Letters, We Get Mail, CCLXVIII

[ Link here = https://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters268.html#Ray_S ]

Date: Tue, October 11, 2011 10:22 pm     (answered 13 October 2011)
From: "Ray S."
Subject: People in AA

Stumbled across this, thought you might be able to put it to use.

Big Book names:

Oh yes, thank you Ray. That is a treasure-trove of trivia. That's a keeper.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     The history of human opinion is scarcely anything more
**     than the history of human errors.
**       ==  Voltaire (1694 — 1778)

[The previous letter from Steve_S is here.]

[ Link here = https://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters268.html#Steve_S ]

Date: Wed, October 12, 2011 1:53 am     (answered 13 September 2011)
From: "Steve S."
Subject: A reply

Re your message : https://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters266.html#Steve_S

Hi Orange

Hi again, Steve,

I only have to comment on a few of those lines:

1. So it was a fight over who got to own and chant to the oldest scroll? Incredible.

No, we didn't fight for it. The priesthood effectively took the Dai Gohonzon hostage. They told SGI members that unless they left the SGI and destroyed their SGI Gohonzon that they would not have access to the Dai Gohonzon.

Still, there was an implication that one scroll was more magical than another. That is not Buddhism. That is some kind of occult belief.

And that kind of magical thinking easily extends itself to having holy relics like "pieces of the True Cross" and "dried Virgin Mother's milk" and "The Shroud", and things like that.

One thing that I think we agree on is the fact that the magic is within you, not in inanimate objects.

2.) I can just see a Zen Buddhist master burning the scroll while asking, "What were you idiots thinking?"

A Zen Buddhist master may well do something like that. Zen buddhism is not based on any of Shakyamuni's transmissions, but that's another argument.

I don't think that chanting to a scroll is part of Buddha's teachings, either.

3.) I can't help but notice the parallels to what happened to Christianity. After existing for several hundred years, Christianity had turned into an organization that excommunicated people, had heresy trials, and burned girls at the stake as witches, and burned astronomers as heretics.

Unfortunately, this is what happens when priests and egos get involved — which is why we don't have any!

Good luck with that one.

4.) I can see some sense in the belief that to improve oneself is to improve the world. Still, I find chanting for the happiness of others a stretch, and perhaps a bit of ego: "I'm so good that I chant for the happiness of others."

If I made you happy in some way, then you have to accept that gives me great pleasure. I desire no recognition — only that you consider what I have said. Some people enjoy the idea of having others dependant upon them. Again, this is incorrect thinking.

5.) My group leader thought I was nuts when I talked about getting enlightenment. Why do that when you can get the good stuff?

That is truly misguided.


6.) Ah, but does chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo "activate your Buddha nature?" That is a huge assumption.

It's a japanese translation of chinese, based on original sanskrit... I guess we could be chanting "rice krispies"... It is the intention behind and understanding of the full theoretical and essential meaning of the daimoku that allows it to have greater effect. Of course, the reason I previously said that I believe simply chanting it without knowing all this will still help, is because it is rare for people to come across the mantra without having it first explained to them even in the most simple terms. But yes, there is a faith element there (back to the tooth fairy argument)

7.) Alas, I remain skeptical. There was a lot more going on at the meetings that I attended. Like subtle pressure to conform and believe in their superstitions. They were constantly selling the practice: "Just try it. Just chant for 30 days, and if it doesn't work for you, we will all quit." They didn't quit when I did.

I can understand your doubt — It would appear you were exposed to the most despicable slander of Nichiren Daishonin's Buddhism.

Well, that's what it was in the USA in 1971.

8.) Ah yes, that is the key question, isn't it? Does it actually work? And work to do what, exactly? Phrases like "activate your Buddha-nature" are so vague and high-falutin' that they could mean anything.

It is the essential question! It works for me (and I'm the greatest of doubting Thomas's) and for millions of other people. It is the most comprehensive method for connecting on a fundamental level with humanity.

"It works"? What works? And what does it do?

You know that I am extremely skeptical about this one. My web site constantly gets letters from A.A. members who insist that practicing an old pro-Nazi cult religion from the nineteen-thirties and praying to the Big Dictator in the Sky "really works". It's so easy for people to delude themselves, and see whatever they wish to see. And of course observational selection kicks in.

Step Eleven suggests prayer and meditation. We shouldn't be shy on this matter of prayer. Better men than we are using it constantly. It works, if we have the proper attitude and work at it.
The Big Book, pages 85-86.

It works — it really does.
The Big Book, page 88.

Follow the dictates of a Higher Power and you will presently live in a new and wonderful world, no matter what your present circumstances!
The Big Book, 3rd Edition, William G. Wilson, page 100.

Whether chanting or praying "works" is entirely subjective. And what it is supposed to do is undefined.

Phrases like "activate your Buddha-nature" only sound vague and high-falutin' when taken out of context, and without the necessary study to understand what they really imply. However, they are not euphemisms for the negative aspects of life — unlike other high-falutin' terms we hear every day.

9.) Sounds good. But will that glorious day ever come? Most of Buddha's teachings said "no". Buddha said that suffering would never end, and this world would never become Paradise.

The original Buddha, Shakyamuni often describes this "saha" world in the Pre Lotus teachings. Saha meaning suffering, enduring etc... However, the Lotus Sutra, which the Buddha revealed towards the end of his life after delivering more than 40 years of provisional (or expedient) teachings, reveals that it is this very world that is also the realm of tranquil light in which the Buddha's (us) dwell. If you remember your meetings you may recall part of gongyo as reciting part of the Life Span chapter. It is this very passage where Shakyamuni establishes that in fact, it is this world, not some other ghostly realm, where we achieve Buddhahood, and thus turn into the Land of Tranquil Light. This is clearly documented in the Lotus, and covered by T'ien T'ai, Dengyo and later propagated by the Daishonin in Japan.

About "the realm of tranquil light":
Yes, we either achieve enlightenment in this world or not at all. And some fortunate souls are able to change their own reality to make it like heaven on earth. But I think that for all of the other people, this world stays pretty much the same. Or they continue to maintain their own version of reality, their own private heaven or hell or usually something inbetween. It isn't like the whole planet suddenly becomes Paradise, like some Christians imagine will happen when Jesus returns.

At least, I don't expect this planet to become Heaven for at least 10 or 15 billion more years. After that, all bets are off, because the Sun might super-nova.

Orange — You clearly have a seeking spirit, and you clearly feel great doubt and suspicion towards the SGI. All this is understandable given your experience. The people you encountered have destroyed your faith in Buddhism, and this is a most awful cause in their lives. I urge you to maintain a connection with the Lotus Sutra. If you want find out more, and have time to listen, try abuddhistpodcast.com — it's down to earth and gives you some idea of how the SGI really fosters happiness and potential in it's members.

The "Nichiren Shoshu" guys that I was involved with in Colorado did not "destroy my faith in Buddhism". I do not consider them to be Buddhists. They didn't practice anything like Buddhism. I couldn't even get a straight answer to the simplest questions like, "Where are Buddha's teachings? What about the 8-Fold Path?". Nothing. It was all, "Just chant. Chant more. And more. Chant for what you want." That isn't Buddhism. That is a strange cult that just chants all of the time, and believes that they can make a scroll give them things if they chant to it enough.

It's just like the crazy "Christian" cults that you find in the USA who don't practice anything like Christianity. Here in Portland we have the Followers of Christ Church people who kill their children by refusing to take them to a doctor and get medical care when the kids are sick. They only believe in faith healing. Every few years they kill another kid. Those nutcases do not diminish the teachings of Jesus. They just show how crazy some people can be.

Have a great week — I have to go to work now!

You have a good day too.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     Teach this triple truth to all:  A generous heart, kind speech,
**     and a life of service and compassion are the things which renew humanity.
**        ==  Buddha
**     However many holy words you read, however many you speak,
**     what good will they do you if you do not act upon them?
**        ==  Buddha

[ Link here = https://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters268.html#John_McC ]

From: "John McC"
Subject: Fw: Fwd: Will you write to The NY State Attorney General in Unison with me
Date: Wed, October 12, 2011 7:21 am     (answered 13 October 2011)

For those of you being victimized by AA in New York state, here is an e-mail from someone REQUESTING COMPLAINTS to be sent to the NY Attorney General's office! She only wants 10-20, but I think a few more can be had then that. Download, complete the form, and "snail-mail" to NY AG! It will be worth the .44 cent stamp!

----- Forwarded Message -----
From: Monica R.
Sent: Wednesday, October 12, 2011 1:05 AM
Subject: Fwd: Will you write to The NY State Attorney General in Unison with me

Dear anti stepper Activists,

my husband kevin and I have written a formal complaint about Alcoholics Anonymous. Its an easy 2 page form to fill out then you would print it and snail mail it.

I am so fed up. WIll you join me. . Its very easy.

It took only a few minutes.

It will be more powerful if they get a bunch of complaints at the same time.

I will wait to mail mine to see if any of you all will fill out a complaint form. All we need are a few but 10 or 20 would be better. :)

here is the link...


address needed;

Alcoholics Anonymous
475 Riverside Dr 11th Floor
New York, New York 10115

Phyllis Haliday

President- General Service Manager

Fill in, print, then snail mail. PLease forward to anyone you think will also send it.

thanks so much
will you please let me know when you mail it. I am waiting for just a few to mail
then I will as well!


From: "John McC"
Subject: Request to Post to forum (not sure how to do this! ;)
Date: Wed, October 12, 2011 10:51 am

Hi Orange,

Can you please post the attached to the "OP-Forum" (I made reference to these "unedited" "Anti-Coercion, 12-Steps" in an earlier posting (now buried DEEP somewhere within it, since your forum has EXPLODED in postings, and members, etc!), and now have them to "post accordingly!

Also, nauseating as it is-I would like to send you my copy of the AAWS produced "Hope" DVD (16:22-produced in 2009). I figured you could put it on either or both of the web-sites (with appropriate commentary of course! ;). I have shown the damn thing so many times in my DUI groups, its "skipping" now! (I am no longer going to show it, as I have a better DVD from Secular Organizations for Sobriety ("The Sobriety Priority") to show the clients. They already get enough 12-Step indoctrination by not having NON-local meetings to go to!

Have a great day!


Size: 2.7 M
Type: image/jpeg

(Click on the image for a larger version.)

Hi John,

I'm not sure about posting pictures to the forum either. I have to figure that one out. I don't know if I have to install a photo gallery or what. In the mean time, I'll post it in the letters section. Good article, by the way.

Yes, I'd like to see the DVD.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     The less reasonable a cult is,
**     the more men seek to establish it by force.
**       —  Jean Jacques Rousseau

July 23, 2011, Saturday, a side trip to the Fernhill Wetlands this summer:




[More gosling photos below, here.]

[The previous letter from Graham_B is here.]

[ Link here = https://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters268.html#Graham_B ]

Date: Tue, October 11, 2011 10:40 am     (answered 14 October 2011)
From: "Graham B-H."
Subject: Re: AA

Very interesting, You would be welcome in AA. The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking. You don't have to pay anything, say anything, believe anything, do anything. In fact you can come to AA and disagree with everything there and you're still a member if you say so.

Hello again, Graham,

No, actually there are other requirements. You have to be gullible, and open to indoctrination, and ready to accept A.A. as your new master. We just discussed the prerequisites in a previous letter, here.

And here is what Bill Wilson had to say on the subject:

      Let's look first at the case of the one who says he won't believe — the belligerant one. He is in a state of mind which can be only described as savage. His whole philosophy of life, in which he so gloried, is threatened. It's bad enough, he thinks, to admit alcohol has him down for keeps. But now, still smarting from that admission, he is faced with something really impossible. How he does cherish the thought that man, risen so majestically from a single cell in the primordial ooze, is the spearhead of evolution and therefore the only god that his universe knows! Must he renounce all this to save himself?
      At this juncture, his A.A. sponsor usually laughs. This, the newcomer thinks, is just about the last straw. This is the beginning of the end. And so it is: the beginning of the end of his old life, and the beginning of his emergence into a new one. His sponsor probably says, "Take it easy. The hoop you have to jump through is a lot wider than you think. At least I've found it so. So did a friend of mine who was a one-time vice-president of the American Atheist Society, but he got through with room to spare."
      "Well," says the newcomer, "I know you're telling me the truth. It's no doubt a fact that A.A. is full of people who once believed as I do. ..."
William G. Wilson, Tom Powers, and other hidden co-authors, Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, pages 25-26.

By the way, there was no such thing as the "American Atheist Society" in existence at that time. Bill Wilson was just making up lies again. (Click on that link.)

I live in South Africa and have never been to a meeting other than here. Maybe one day the truth will out. I have never heard religion preached in any meeting I've been to.

Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. Just because you have not seen something does not prove that it does not exist.

Besides, you have seen it. You are in denial. Don't your meeting groups read the 12 Steps out loud at the start of every meeting? Six of the 12 Steps talk about God. That is a cult religion. It is Dr. Frank Nathan Daniel Buchman's cult religion, in fact. Not even hard-core Christian churches start every church service by reading the 10 Commandments out loud. But A.A. does — their 12 Commandments, that is.

A religious cult is definitely something I would not belong to. However I accept your right to judge me and all AA members. However, there is a God and it's not you, thank God.

Cult members never say that they are in a cult. They do not recognize that they are in a cult. They just think that those other people are in cults. If they do realize that they are in a cult, it's over — their eyes have opened and the little light bulb went on in their heads, and they will soon quit the cult.

You will go on your merry way crusading in the name of your religious cult and I will happily go on my way telling people about my sobriety.

In all fairness to the sick people, also remember to tell them about all of the people whom A.A. did not help, or made worse. Or killed.

Bill Wilson and Dr Bob are not AA. They were two alcoholics. AA is and has always been one alcoholic talking to another in order to reduce their feelings of being different in a world that has always left us feeling frightened and alone.

Of course Saint Bill and Saint Bob are A.A. Whose pictures are on the wall in the meeting rooms? Whose words are read out loud at the start of every A.A. meeting? Whose books are read at meetings? You know, the "council-approved literature"? Whose insane rants and ravings are the official A.A. "program"?

Alano Clubhouse
(click on image for larger version)

Yes, Saint Bill and Saint Bob sure do get their pictures on the wall a lot.
(See a discussion of that picture here.)

There are more such pictures, and another discussion of how "Bill Wilson isn't worshipped with reverence", here.

By the way, the claim that A.A. isn't really about Bill Wilson and Dr. Bob is another standard A.A. bait-and-switch trick:

Baloney. It's all really A.A.

I have had fun corresponding with you and just as you have the right to continue your crusade, I have the right to laugh at myself because the more I can laugh at myself, the more I can find my worth.

So laugh at yourself. Or pretend to. That still doesn't help alcoholics.

I could say you're arrogant, self-righteous, self justifying etc. In fact you are. But never mind, you remind me of a TV evangelist. Whenever I need a comedy show, I watch them in action. You make me laugh, not angry or resentful.

A TV evangelist? Do I tell you that you must believe what I say, and send me your money, or else God won't like you and you will go to Hell? Do I tell you to ignore the facts and just believe?

You live in your shoes, I live in mine and surely if I tell you that I am happy, you should be happy for me instead of telling me why I can't be happy if I'm a member of AA. If you concentrate on the human beings like Bill, Bob, Buchman and so on, you will only find human failings.

Well A.A. and 12-Step-promoting counselors say that A.A. works great, not that it is a catalogue of human failings.

As always, I genuinely wish you well. I have no fight with you. You cannot insult me however hard you may try and I am free.

I am not trying to insult you. I'm interested in telling the truth about A.A. so that desperate, sick, people know what their choices are.

Be well,

You have a good day too.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     The finest structure can house the worst evil.
**     "Wanting to believe is perhaps the most powerful dynamic
**     initiating and sustaining cult-like behavior."
**     The Wrong Way Home: Uncovering the Patterns of Cult Behavior in
**     American Society, Arthur J. Deikman, M.D., page 137.
**     "When you want to believe in something you also have to believe
**      in everything that's necessary for believing in it."
**        ==  Ugo Betti, Struggle Till Dawn (1949), 2, tr. G. H. McWilliam

And now some comic relief:

Remember Harold Camping? The guy who said that the world was going to end earlier this year? Well, he's at it again. Now he says that he has recalculated Doomsday, and it's next Friday, October 21. But this time he says that the end will come quietly. No big volcanic explosions or any of that dramatic stuff.

The End might actually be so quiet and nonviolent that you don't even notice it happening.

October 15, 2011, Saturday, another side trip to the Fernhill Wetlands just two days ago:

Carp feeding
Carp eating pastry.

That brown and white lump is some old pastry that I fed to the carp.

Those guys are really something else. They have a feeding frenzy when you throw bread to them. There are a lot of really big carp in the ponds.

I even saw one carp climb up out of the water to get a piece of bread that was on the shore, and then turn around and crawl back into the water. I couldn't believe it when I first saw it. My reaction was, "Wow! Darwin's Evolution in action."

That answered a big question that I always had: "Why would the fish want to crawl up out of the ocean in the first place?"

Now, the answer is obvious: to get more food. The plants came ashore first, and then the insects. The plants came ashore because there was more territory to colonize, lots of available space and sunlight, and then the insects came ashore because there were plants to eat. Then, there those fish were, looking up at all of that tasty food just on the other side of the surface of the water, just out of reach. Finally, some fish got the idea of climbing up there and getting the food, and then returning to the water.

After that, it was just a matter of, the fish that can hold its breath out of the water the longest gets the most food. Eventually, some fish even grew lungs so that they could stay out of the water for a long time. (We even still have some of those fish around. The African Lungfish is just what it sounds like. And the famous Siamese Fighting Fish — Bettas — have a small lung in their heads so that they can survive in almost no water, like a mud puddle.)

Carp feeding
This guy really wants that pastry. He just has to get around that rock that is between him and the pastry.
(He did.)

Carp feeding
Carp feeding

[The story of Carmen continues here.]

[ Link here = https://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters268.html#Peter_F ]

Date: Fri, October 14, 2011 8:09 am     (answered 18 October 2011)
From: "Peter F."
Subject: Addiction, Heartbreaks and Nightmares

Now, this one was hard to write: Addiction, Heartbreaks and Nightmares


Peter Ferentzy, PhD
Author of Dealing With Addiction — why the 20th century was wrong

Hello again, Peter,

Thanks for your work. You sure are getting a lot of articles published fast.

That article is particularly touching. I've also seen alcoholics and addicts trying so hard to do the right thing. It's doubly and triply hard when you are sick and broke, but some try anyway.

That isn't what A.A. teaches. Bill Wilson just constantly attacked what he called "practicing alcoholics", and raved about how bad they were, and selfish and stupid and willful. (Doesn't "practicing alcoholic" sound just like "practicing homosexual"?)

See The "Us Stupid Drunks" Conspiracy for much more on that.

And have a good day.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     An able, disinterested, public-spirited press, with
**     trained intelligence to know the right and courage to
**     do it, can preserve that public virtue without which
**     popular government is a sham and a mockery. A cynical,
**     mercenary, demagogic press will produce in time a
**     people as base as itself.
**       ==  Joseph Pulitzer

[ Link here = https://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters268.html#Les_A ]

Date: Sat, October 15, 2011 4:57 am     (answered 18 October 2011)
From: "Les A."
Subject: the critical orange papers

Who are you and just what is your motive for writing such a critical and unsubstantiated paper regarding AA's beginning?

I noticed two very distinct patterns in your writing, first, it is dripping with venom that appears to be more a personal prejudice rather than a reporting of facts. The second isn't really a pattern in your writing but rather a pattern established by scoffers and that is that you make no reference to who you are or by what authority your supposed expertise is derived from.

While the facts may indeed be near to what you write, because of the two facts mentioned above your writing must be discounted as mere tripe intended to harm and discredit an organization that has in fact helped many thousands, possibly millions of otherwise hopelessly addicted people including myself, lead useful happy lives. (I am recovered for nearly 32 years without so much as one relapse).


Please check out the book I wrote.Click Here.
>>>Thinking about going to Truck Driver School? Then this book is a must read!

Hello Les,

Well, let's start with your word "unsubstantiated". My "paper", as you call it, is supported by numerous facts. Read the file on The Effectiveness of the Twelve-Step Treatment. There, I quote many doctors, and reference ALL of the valid randomized longitudinal controlled studies and tests of A.A. that I have been able to find in the last 10 years. And I think I found them all. I even quote a Trustee of Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc., Prof. and Dr. George E. Vaillant, who found that A.A. treatment did not work to improve the sobriety rate in alcoholics at all, and it produced the highest death rate of any way of treating alcoholism. So read that file, and then you can dispute my evidence, and my facts, if you care to.

The fact that you have been happy in a cult for many years is not evidence that the cult is a good organization. That only proves that you like the cult. Tom Cruise says lots of good things about Scientology, too. And he says that Scientology is the only cure for alcoholism and drug addiction. Should we believe him? Why not?

In addition, you are assuming that A.A. has done something good for the sober people. The real evidence is that some people just finally get sick and tired of being so sick and tired, and decide that they aren't going to die of alcohol poisoning, so they quit drinking and keep themselves sober. (Like how I did.) They sometimes also go to some A.A. meetings to see if A.A. has any help to offer. Then A.A. steals the credit for their sobriety and claims that A.A. "helped them". That is not evidence that A.A. has "helped many thousands, possibly millions".

Please answer this one simple question that no A.A. member has ever answered honestly:

What is the REAL A.A. success rate?

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

(HINT: the answers are here.)

If you want to know about my own experiences and history, look here: How did you get to where you are?

By the way, my tone of voice, whether "dripping with venom" or not, doesn't change the A.A. failure rate any.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**    "Not only had we failed to alter the natural history of alcoholism,
**    but our death rate of three percent a year was appalling."
**      ==  Dr. George E. Vaillant, formerly a member of the A.A. Board of
**    Trustees, describing the treatment of alcoholism with Alcoholics
**    Anonymous, in "The Natural History of Alcoholism: Causes, Patterns,
**    and Paths to Recovery", Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA,
**    1983, pages 283-286.

[The next letter from Les_A is here.]

[ Link here = https://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters268.html#Brian_F ]

Date: Sun, October 16, 2011 9:13 am     (answered 18 October 2011)
From: "Brian F."
Subject: Orange Papers

Agent Orange,

First let me say I am a big fan of your articles and refer to them often when trying to reconcile the AA "company line" with the truth. I don't think you are always correct, I don't think the company line is always correct, but I believe the truth always lies somewhere in between.

Secondly let me state I am in no way a member of a cult, I go to AA for the friendships I have there, to get a few (very few) opinions or views on the spiritual/religious lifestyle I am trying to live to the best of my abilities, and that sometimes, rarely, I am of some help to someone struggling to stay sober. I am self sponsored actually I follow the step guide of Clarence Snyder who as you surely know was the first "leader" to put the Big Book on the table beside the Good Book, and claims to have documented a 93% success rate in AA. I don't know that this is even possible but it gives me a warm and fuzzy feeling inside lol.I find the more I research the more that I despise Bill Wilson more and more, for me AA is exactly what Bob and Clarence meant for it to be a Christ based recovery group. I think my whole life of pleasing myself and all my whims has been an example of my self-will run riot, and I always tried to find a reason to get back to the religion of my youth and AA if nothing else gave me the nudge and excuse to do the un-macho act of doing just that.

I have just read Bill's story in its original format and clearly agree that it would have been completely rewritten to be of any use in the Big Book and almost agree that he was incapable of writing his name on the bathroom wall..................wait for it .............................BUT how can the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, AA Comes of Age, and Bill's many articles to the Grapevine which led to As Bill Sees It all supposedly written by him be explained? I have looked everywhere I know to including your website and can't find any explanation how a bumbling idiot who could barely put a sentence together at the beginning of the Big Book project turned into such an enlightened example of literature later in life (the sarcasm was dripping off that last statement, I hope you caught it).

I hope my sentence structure, wording and such are understandable, because I really don't want to have my e-mail dissected line by line in your response, nor do I want to debate my personal, very personal beliefs on recovery with you, even though I know there is no logical explanation to what I believe (sometimes an act of faith is just that, as insane as that probably seems to most who would read this) I just do. I also don't want to waste either of our time trying to move each other from either the right wing or left wing to a blissfully unrealistic center. I think in some areas we should probably just agree to disagree (even if you have more evidence to support your argument, I'll just take my ball and go home lol), and agree not to be disagreeable in the process.

Anyway keep up the great work I always find something new and thought invoking when I read your articles and then spend days trying to prove or disprove what you wrote, and I really look forward to hearing from you thanks,

Brian F.

Hello Brian,

Thanks for the letter. And I won't dissect your letter line by line.

Apparently you enjoy A.A. membership. So be it. I won't even knock it. I'm just glad to see that you still have a working brain.

About the question of authorship: We know that Bill had a lot of help in writing his things. The story is that Joe Worth helped to write or rewrite Bill's Story. Susan Smith Windows, Dr. Bob's daughter, said in a sworn affidavit that everything that Bill wrote had to be rewritten by other people:

Mr. Henry G. (Hank) Parkhurst, another early member of the NY group from New Jersey, wrote the outline for the book and at least one complete chapter (TO EMPLOYERS). An AA historian who is writing Hank P.'s biography has reported that Bill Wilson's refusal to recognize him (Hank) as the author of at least that chapter was one of the precipitating factors in Hank's eventual split with AA. It is my understanding that Bill Wilson took sole ownership of the book as copyright holder despite his not being the author and thus unlawfully copyrighted the book under his own name on April 10, 1939. The true authors of this book were the members of the Fellowship. The personal stories were written by individual members and edited by Jim Scott (an Akron, Ohio member). Bill Wilson also did not write the first eleven- (11) chapters. He only wrote a lengthy life story of his own, typed by Ruth Hock. He included some resentments against Christianity and a report about what Ebby Thacher told him. This piece was written so poorly, that it could only be used for the book after Joe Worth, a member of the NY group and successful professional founder and editor of "NY Magazine", had rewritten it entirely.
See full text here.

We know that Henry Parkhurst was the unpaid co-author of the opening chapters of The Big Book. Henry Parkhurst wrote the chapter To Employers, and also his own autobiographical story The Unbeliever, and "Hank" also wrote the outline for the whole book. There is no way to know how much else "Hank" Parkhurst rewrote or contributed to. Bill Wilson cheated Henry out of any share of the royalties or credit for that book, and that's why Henry quit A.A. in disgust.

We know that Tom Powers was the unpaid co-author of Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions. Bill Wilson cheated Tom out of any share of the royalties on that book, and that's why Tom quit A.A. in disgust. There were also other unrecognized co-authors of 12X12 whose names are unknown.

I have no idea who was behind the writing of Bill's other stuff. By the time those other books and articles got written, there was enough office staff at A.A.W.S. and The Grapevine offices to do a lot of rewriting.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     He hath a poor spirit who is not planted above petty wrongs.
**        ==  Owen Feltham (1602—1668), English author

[ Link here = https://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters268.html#Ctmjon ]

Date: Mon, October 17, 2011 8:57 am     (answered 19 October 2011)
From: "Ctmjon"
Subject: Fwd: Change Your Underwear Often

There's an old sea story about a ship's Captain who inspected his sailors, and afterward told the first mate that his men smelled bad..

The Captain suggested perhaps it would help if the sailors would change underwear occasionally.

The first mate responded, "Aye, aye sir, I'll see to it immediately!"

The first mate went straight to the sailors berth deck and announced, "The Captain thinks you guys smell bad and wants you to change your underwear."

He continued, "Pittman, you change with Jones, McCarthy, you change with Witkowski, and Brown, you change with Schultz."

Scroll down


Someone may come along and promise "Change", but don't count on things smelling any better.


Hello again, Ctmjon,

Thanks for the laugh. Oh yes. That one rates right up there with "Parts is parts", and "treatment is treatment."

"Change is change." Oh yeh.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     As the humorist Josh Billings once observed,
**     "The trouble with people is not that they don't know
**     but that they know so much that ain't so."

Blog note, 20 October 2011:

Well, here we are again. Anniversary day. Now it's 11 years without a drink. How time flies when you are goofing off. This "birthday" isn't such a big milestone as the 10th one, but it is still evidence that a lot of us are making it without needing to have a cult religion running our lives. That is, without a "support group" or a "program".

Have you noticed that the number of Steppers who are predicting that I will relapse real soon now has diminished?
"You will still relapse. Somebody with a resentment as big as yours can't help but go back out."
I'm not hearing that one so much any more... I guess they got tired of waiting.

And interestingly, the 11th anniversary is "disaster day" for Alcoholics Anonymous. The table of sobriety coins given out shows a huge drop between 10 and 11 years. The percentage of A.A. newcomers finally getting a 10-year coin was really bad at only a pathetic 1.17%, but 11 years was even worse: only 0.76% got the 11-year coin. That looks like a loss of one third of their old-timers between 10 and 11 years. No A.A. supporter has ever explained that oddity.

One reader suggested that the number of people getting 10-year coins was really inflated by people picking up multiple 10-year coins. Some A.A. members are so proud of themselves for making it for 10 years that they drive all over town, going to one meeting after another, and picking up another coin so that they can hear the crowd cheering for them again and again. That is probably true.

But somehow, 11 years doesn't seem to have the same glitter or pizzaz, so they don't bother doing that again. So at 11 years, we see a really appalling lack of success stories.

Hey, guess what? It looks like I just entered the ranks of the "One Percenters". (Just kidding.)

Have a good day now.
== Orange

P.S.: My 11-year anniversary off of cigarettes is still 3 weeks away, but I was thinking about how many cigarettes I haven't smoked in the last 11 years, so I grabbed a calculator and did some simple multiplication.

There are 4017 days in 11 years (including 2 leap year days). And since I was smoking about a pack a day, that yields 80,340 cigarettes smoked in 11 years.

Yikes! The thought of smoking 80,000 cigarettes is nauseating.

And yet, I smoked for over 30 years, so that is a lot more cigarettes than that. It's a wonder that any of us ever survived that. The human body is amazingly tough when you come right down to it.

Have another good day.

[ Link here = https://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters268.html#Kathy_W ]

Date: Mon, October 17, 2011 5:53 pm     (answered 20 October 2011)
From: "Kathy W."
Subject: Moron

Tell your theory to my two dead brothers. I'm alive, why? I wasn't too much of a pussy to take a good hard look at myself.

I wonder how many people died by your bullshit

Dr. K. M W.

Hello Kathy,

Thank you for the letter. Unfortunately, you left a lot unsaid.

I'm sorry to hear about the deaths of your brothers. You did not say what they died of, or how. You just implied that they died because they would not "take a hard look at themselves" like you say you did.

"Taking a hard look at yourself" does not require joining a cult religion or foisting ineffective quack medicine on sick people, and lying to them about how well it works. In fact, being rigorously honest with yourself works far better if you don't join a cult religion. Then you don't have to tell lies in defense of the cult.

I have always said that about half of the alcoholics get a grip and quit drinking and save their own lives, and the other half don't. That is just how it is, and no "treatment" or "program" changes that.

You have presented no evidence or facts to support your allegation that my statements about Alcoholics Anonymous are "bullshit". Do you have any facts to contradict mine? Or do you just have a resentment?

How many people have died because of the Alcoholics Anonymous bullshit and misinformation and fallacies about alcohol abuse and recovery? Dr. George E. Vaillant, who went on to become a Trustee of Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc., reported that A.A. caused a higher death rate than any other way of treating alcoholism. What about that?

By the way, the accusation that telling the truth about Alcoholics Anonymous causes alcoholics to die is a very old dodge that A.A. is forever using. I have a list of such accusations here.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

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

[ Link here = https://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters268.html#Amy_T ]

Date: Mon, October 17, 2011 9:11 pm     (answered 20 October 2011)
From: "Amy T."

I feel sorry for you that you have so much anger toward a program that works beautifully for so many (those willing to truly look at themselves, which is something I am assuming you would not do- too scared of what you might see).. My only question for you is, were you drinking the entire time you were writing this article? Only an angry alcoholic would spend the absurd amount of time I am certain it took to compile all of your 'evidence' that AA is a cult. I love how the majority of your quotes from AA literature and the like were taken completely out of context. I hope you hit your bottom soon and become willing to do something about your alcoholism.

Hello Amy,

Thanks for the letter. Alas, Alcoholics Anonymous does not "work beautifully for so many". A.A. has a sky-high failure rate, and an appalling death rate. A.A. just raises the rate of binge drinking in alcoholics, and raises the cost of hospitalizing alcoholics, and raises the death rate in alcoholics. A.A. pretends to be a solution to the problem of alcohol abuse, but it isn't. Doing the 12 Steps and confessing all of your sins is not a cure for alcohol addiction.

I was not drinking while I wrote any of the Orange Papers. In fact, coincidentally, today is my eleventh "birthday" off of alcohol. Yes, 11 years of sobriety, as of today. And I did it without any cult religion or doing the 12 Steps to Buchmanism, or worshipping Bill Wilson, or participating in a cult religion.

Once again, we have another A.A. true believer claiming that someone must be "angry" to tell the truth about Alcoholics Anonymous. That is just such a common hackneyed old line that A.A. members are forever using to dodge the important issues. See the list of such accusations here.

You have not addressed any of the big problems with Alcoholics Anonymous, you just claim that I must be angry and drunk to criticize A.A. That isn't much of a defense of A.A.

You claim that my quotes from Alcoholics Anonymous Council-approved literature were "taken out of context". Please show me even one quote that is taken out of context.

You do know what it means to "take something out of context", don't you? It means that you deceptively change the meaning of the words by misquoting them, by only partially quoting them. I don't do that. Again, please show me any quote where I changed the meaning of the words by taking something out of context. I don't do that.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**      The tongue of the wise adorneth knowledge:
**        but the mouth of fools bubbleth out folly.
**          ==  Proverbs 15:2.

[ Link here = https://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters268.html#Zanon ]

Date: Mon, October 17, 2011 9:13 pm     (answered 20 October 2011)
From: zanoni
Subject: resentments

Who are you? Why are you so angry? Why waste so much time attacking anything. I could literally feel the hate in you. Is there anything better you could do like spread love. become conscious. This material I read brought me back to high school days. Meaningless and sad.

I hope you find what you're looking for. you may want to start by looking inward rather than outreach.

a cry for help?
Ego gone mad?

Who are you?

Hello Zanon,

Thanks for the letter. When it rains, it pours. Yours is the second letter in a row to come from an A.A. true believer who accuses me of being angry and having a resentment. (Look here.)

It does not matter whether I am angry or have a resentment. That does not change the horrible Alcoholics Anonymous failure rate. Nor does it make any of the A.A. lies and misinformation come true.

I am telling the truth about A.A., and alcoholism, and recovery, because somebody has to tell the truth to the sick people who need to hear the truth about what might help them.

I am spreading love and consciousness. By telling the truth.

If you think I'm not telling the truth, then please answer this one simple question that no A.A. member has ever answered honestly:

What is the REAL A.A. success rate?

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

(HINT: the answers are here and here and here.)

For information about who I am, look here: How did you get to where you are?

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     Foisting ineffective quack medicine on sick people is not
**     a wonderful noble act of self-sacrifice to help others;
**     it is the reprehensible behavior of a damned fool.

More Letters

Previous Letters

Search the Orange Papers

Click Fruit for Menu

Last updated 22 September 2013.
The most recent version of this file can be found at https://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters268.html