Letters, We Get Mail, CCLXXVI

[ Link here = https://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters276.html#Laurence_C ]

Date: Sat, November 19, 2011 11:46 am     (answered 5 December 2011)
From: "Laurence C."
Subject: Just feel I have to reply

Hi again Orange

I'm a bit late replying but I'm catching up on my OP letters reading. In reply to CJ "AA Horror Story" posted Nov 5th, forget your injured pride, we all fell for the AA bull shit, you survived, many didn't, including two friends of mine one of whom is an AA suicide and I think it truly great of you to go to meetings to protect newcomers and I also think its a duty more of us could do with performing.

I also choose to moderate alcohol while abstaining from cigarettes and cocaine, but as you say "no one needs to have their psyches interfered with by a cult." I truly wish you very best for the future my friend.

In reply to Martin D again posted Nov 5th, I get tired of hearing how many years you old time recovery gurus have been abstinent from Alcohol. (Whether you have founded a "recovery home" or are opposed to the disease lie or not.) 47 years at first sounds impressive, especially to vulnerable AA newcomers. But you people never say how long you were actually drinking for. 47 years abstinent, correct me if I'm wrong the legal drinking age in the US is 21, that doesn't leave much time for problem drinking unless you are 100 years old or so. In which case my hat is off to you if you also manged to keep working till you were 89 years old.

Did you actually have much of a drinking problem in the first place or are you just another old timer stepper bull shitter who is in love with his own self-obsessed importance and thrives on continual boasting to the gullible newcomers down at the local cult indoctrination session? I would never grace an AA (or AA front group) gathering with the name "meeting" that implies intelligent discussion and argument as opposed to repetitive brain washing cult garbage.

To the rest of you stepper zombies who continually have a go at Orange. Terry is by no means the only person who despises your disgusting satanic cult, which thrives on fear, lies, misinformation and manipulation and sexual exploitation of the vulnerable. Terry just has much more of a sense of honour and duty than the rest of us silent majority, and is prepared to go the extra mile to expose this 12 step thing for the true evil it is.

Best again Orange and have a great day

Laurence UK

Hi again, Laurence,

Thanks for the comments and the compliments. I won't even comment, other than to say,

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**       If a man speaks or acts with pure thought,
**     happiness follows him like a shadow that never leaves him.
**         ==  Buddha

May 24, 2009, Sunday:

Canada Geese family
The Family of 9

Girl feeding Canada Geese
Girl Feeding The Family of 9

Mama Goose begging
Mama Goose Begging for more munchies
You can tell that she is begging for bread, rather than threatening to kill me, by how she is hissing. She has her mouth wide open and her tongue is out, and she is hissing softly. When geese are threatening to attack, their mouths are nearly closed — it's like they are hissing through clenched teeth, even though they don't have any teeth — and they lower their heads and point their beaks at you and hiss an ominous sort of growl. This mama isn't doing that. Also, if she were alarmed by my presence, she would be up on her feet, facing me, and defying me. And the children would be up on their feet and running for the water, and the father, whose tail you see, would turn and face me and threaten me too. Nope, this mama just wants some breakfast in bed for her and the kids.

[More gosling photos below, here.]

[ Link here = https://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters276.html#Daneng ]

Date: Sun, November 27, 2011 11:22 pm     (answered 6 December 2011)
From: "daneng"
Subject: Useful for shitbrains

Evildence biased medicinal info for rightwingedboxheads



Quote this shit shitfershit

Go forth and Kill more suffering souls, its important to be "right" and stroke yer ego

Aka orange is yellow n cowards sicken the planet

Sent from my iPad

Hello Daneng,

Thanks for the links. That research finds that there is a genetic basis for how some people get more pleasure out of alcohol than others. Also, I noticed their statement that there was a lot of variation in how much dopamine people got out of drinking alcohol. That suggests different mutations of a gene, or several different genes involved in the reaction to alcohol. Personally, I have long suspected that it is the later. But in this case, they actually have the dopamine response pegged to two specific mutations of the 118 gene — 118A and 118G. That is pretty darned specific.

I also liked the director's optimistic note that this may lead to personalized medications for alcoholics. There is a light at the end of the tunnel, and it might not be the headlight of an oncoming locomotive.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     Medical researchers in Chicago say binge drinking can decrease
**      bone mass and strength because alcohol affects bone health genes.
**        ==  UPI, Oct. 24, 2008

[ Link here = https://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters276.html#Patrick_B ]

Date: Thu, December 1, 2011 7:57 am     (answered 6 December 2011)
From: "patrick b."
Subject: your writings

Let me begin by saying that I have found your writings interesting and enjoyable. I also would like to thank you for just having saved me a waste of 2 hours going to an AA meeting.

I first started going to AA in 1996. I never knew anything about the organization, only that people with alcohol problems went there to stop drinking. Upon my first meeting, I indeed found it off-putting and not quite right that God and a big book were introduced. I never thought that that was what I had to put up with. Nor did I realize there was a collection of money that was "optional." I mean really, if it's optional, why have it?

Anyhow, I continued to go once per week and tried to keep it at that. I just wanted some like-minded people to talk to. Unfortunately, I couldn't "keep it simple" because the other veterans forced a sponsor upon me and were constantly telling me how I needed to "go to more meetings." The sponsor was useless and just a pain in the ass. Like church attendance, a short talk on the phone was time I could have used to do other, more enjoyable things....like stabbing myself repeatedly.

I stopped going to these meetings after about 6 months and was sober for 3 years. I found other things that motivated me to stop drinking. Then I started again after 1999 and want to stop again. Of course, I thought that going to AA was the solution and should have known from past experience that it wasn't. Funny how one would doubt oneself and disregard the truth.

What I wanted to do is thank you for the reality check and the enjoyable read.

Best regards,


Hello Patrick,

Thank you for the letter, and I hope you are doing well. For other helpful hints and kinks and techniques, and things that won't drive you crazy, this is my favorite post: How did you get to where you are?

Have a good day, and a good life, now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**    The first and worst of all frauds is to cheat oneself.
**       ==  Philip James Bailey [1816 — 1902], Festus[1839].Proem, Anywhere

[ Link here = https://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters276.html#Luke_D ]

Date: Sat, December 3, 2011 10:33 pm     (answered 5 December 2011)
From: "Luke D."
Subject: incredibly thorough failure


Nicely done. I am impressed by the breadth of your critique, if not by the arguments. There are some deep crevasses in your arguments that stem from the bias. Now, I have a bias too, and it is that AA is working for me in a way that my experiential will-power was not working. If that's a trick of mind, I am okay with that, because at least I am no longer winding up in hospitals and waking up in different states (Wyoming?), etc. I am living now because of the help I received from AA.

I wish I had time to comb through your papers to give you my considered thoughts from my side of the wall, but, alas, I work like a dog and I am newly a parent. I confess, I have thought many the same things as you. It took a minor miracle to have a change of perspective.

Remember, my friend: you can put a bunch of chimpanzees in a room with Shakespeare and sooner or later, they'll bang out some dramatic irony.

Luke D.

Hello Luke,

Thank you for the letter. I'm glad to hear that you are doing well and maintaining your sobriety, in spite of your belief in a hoax. Such is life. It is especially good that you are keeping yourself sober when children are involved.

Now if you want to delude yourself into believing all kinds of things that are not true, that is your right. It's a free country, and you can join any cult religion you wish, and believe any crazy thing you want. But it is definitely a sin, and probably a crime, to deceive sick newcomers about what might cure them, and how well the suggested cure works.

About your Shakespeare line: Remember that you can put a bunch of drunk monkeys in a room with a cult leader, and sooner or later, five percent of them will quit drinking anyway.

Have a good day, and a good life, now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     Like real medicines, placebos show a dose-response relationship.
**     The more you take, the greater the effect. Taking placebo pills
**     four times a day provides greater relief from ulcers than taking
**     only two a day, and people who take their heart medication as
**     prescribed live longer than those who do not, even if what they
**     are taking is really a placebo that they have been given in a
**     clinical trial.
**       ==  Irving Kirsch, Ph.D., The Emperor's New Drugs, p 133.

[ Link here = https://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters276.html#Luke2 ]

Date: Sat, December 10, 2011 10:13 pm     (answered 16 December 2011)
From: "Luke D."
Subject: Re: incredibly thorough failure

Why propagandize instead of seeking a real understanding?

Wrong. That is a propaganda trick right there. You are trying to use the trick called Assume The Major Premise, and assert that I do not have a real understanding of Alcoholics Anonymous. I've spent more than 11 years now, collecting the facts, and I clearly understand what A.A. is and how it fails to sober up the alcoholics. And I am not "propagandizing", I am reporting the facts.

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 Luke_D is here.]

[ Link here = https://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters276.html#Lee_M ]

Date: Sun, December 4, 2011 6:34 am     (answered 6 December 2011)
From: "Lee M."
Subject: Fwd: Orange Papers

Hello Sir or Madam,

I have just recently read your preposterous essay that slanders Alcoholics Anonymous. I too, like you, once fancied myself an intellectual. I am 25 years old and know the merit of AA and the God-given program that he and Dr. Bob created. There is no worse sin than spreading misinformation. I hope that someday you will become truly open-minded. You will be able to use that brain that God gave you a little better then. Why strive to write arguments that have no meaning? It's a fruitless endeavour my friend. I had a lot of resentment and contempt for organized religion before and still am weary of a starry-eyed religious folk that preaches but know there is a God, of my understanding. He/she/it is everything. Hope someday you come to this realization and stop writing such foolish essays. It is good that you are trying to help people, but maybe (just a possibility) you are being detrimental. Not writing this to offend you, just because I take offense to your page. Have a good day.



Hello Lee,

Thank you for the letter. It is a good demonstration of parrotting of the standard A.A. misinformation.

For example, the A.A. "program" is not "God-given", and it was not created by William Griffith Wilson and Dr. Robert Holbrook Smith. They actually just repackaged Dr. Frank Buchman's pro-Nazi Oxford Group cult. And Bill Wilson even said so:

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.

"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.

Bill Wilson was being dishonest when he listed Rev. Sam Shoemaker as the leader of the Oxford Groups. Sam Shoemaker was the Number Two man. Dr. Frank Buchman was the leader, the founder, and the author of those "steps", but Bill didn't want to mention Frank Buchman's name because Frank Buchman had a horrible reputation for his praise of Adolf Hitler and Heinrich Himmler and the Nazis, and his unpatriotic draft-dodging schemes during World War Two.

Now those are the facts. You may not like people telling the truth about A.A., but those are the facts.

Speaking of facts, while you are praising A.A. so strongly, why don't you answer this one simple but very important question that no Stepper 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.)

Lastly, telling sick people the truth about how well suggested cures work is not "detrimental to them". It is in fact the least that you can do, and doctors are required by law to do full disclosure. Why not A.A. sponsors?

A.A. routinely uses the dodge that telling the truth about Alcoholics Anonymous is "doing a disservice to those seeking sobriety." They also like to complain that I'm killing alcoholics by telling the truth. And some even claim that I don't care how many alcoholics I kill. Look here. But the real facts of the matter are that it is A.A. that is killing alcoholics by telling them that they are powerless over alcohol, and cannot ever recover, and should not see a doctor, and should not take their doctor-prescribed medications, and should just devote their lives to the practices of an old pro-Nazi cult religion from the nineteen-thirties...

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     "When the story becomes the truth, the actual facts just get in the way."
**     All Things Considered, NPR, 12:54 PM 2011.10.25

Date: Tue, December 6, 2011 2:42 pm     (answered 8 December 2011)
From: "Lee M."
Subject: Re: Fwd: Orange Papers

Well I guess you have an opinion. I hope that you are doing this out of a hope to help people and not just to inflate your ego. Your mention of Frank Buchanan maybe correct. I, honestly, acknowledge that I don't know the facts behind that. I think that the message stated in the steps of AA has merit though. I disagree that you are correct in putting that web page up, based on the opinion that people should have access to other methods of recovery. There are a lot of rehabs which deal with psychological approaches to addiction. You just have to flick on the tube to see that (Celebrity Rehab, Dr Phil, etc). But hey, it's still a free country right? You should have the right to your opinion. I just disagree with it lol. There is more to the universe than meets the eye. More to the Universe than we can explain from our limited conciousness. Have a good day Orange.

Hello again, Lee,

The problem with "the A.A. message" is that the message is really that

  • Dr. Frank Buchman's cult religion practices will make you holy and special.
  • And you are powerless over your problems.
  • And you are insane.
  • And that you should surrender your will and your life to somebody else and let them "take care" of your life for you.
  • And that you will be a better person if you confess everything all of the time.
  • And Somebody Else will fix your defects for you.
  • And that you should conduct séances and hear the Voice of God (or spirits, or devils, or something...), giving you orders and telling you what to do.
  • And you will get a wonderful "spiritual experience" or "spiritual awakening" from those cult practices.
  • And that you should go recruit more members for the cult.

All that Bill Wilson did was hijack a branch of Frank Buchman's "Oxford Group" cult and rename it to "Alcoholics Anonymous". The 12 Steps are the recruiting and indoctrination and brainwashing practices of Frank Buchman's cult, not a formula for quitting drinking. That is why none of the 12 Steps even mention quitting drinking.

Then it appears that you do not believe in freedom of speech, and you don't think that people should have access to all of the information about a suggested "cure" for addictions.

I disagree that you are correct in putting that web page up, based on the opinion that people should have access to other methods of recovery.

The least that I can say about that is that it is un-American. Americans believe in freedom of speech. It is also in violation of the medical laws that require doctors and healers to do full disclosure of the success rates and risks of any suggested treatments.

I do not endorse either celebrity rehabs or Dr. Phil or Dr. Drew. I find them to be just some more quacks, really heartless quacks who exploit sick people for TV ratings. Look here for some correspondence about Dr. Drew and Dr. Phil and his recovery hoax:

  1. https://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters220.html#Dr_Phil

  2. https://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters234.html#Taylor_W

  3. https://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters216.html#Dr_Phil

Please note that changing the debate to a discussion of celebrity rehabs is a diversion. I'm talking about the failure of 12-Step treatment, not the failure of celebrity rehabs on TV.

And if you want the list of what I believe does help more and work better than A.A., here it is:

Your last lines are an attempt at an irrational escape by using the propaganda tricks Escape via Irrationality and Argue From Ignorance:

There is more to the universe than meets the eye. More to the Universe than we can explain from our limited conciousness.

Nonsense. Somebody can use the same lines to promote voodoo, black magic, and witchcraft:

"There is more to the universe than meets the eye. More to the Universe than we can explain from our limited conciousness. We don't know everything about the Universe. Maybe Magik really does work after all. Can you prove that wearing a pointed black hat and muttering spells while stirring a cauldron doesn't work?"

That is a bogus argument because we don't need to know everything in the universe to be able to test whether medicines and treatments really work and cure our ills or are just quack medicine. The FDA tests medicines every day. And A.A. has been properly tested, and it failed every test. A.A. is just quack medicine that increases the rate of binge drinking in alcoholics and raises the death rate in alcoholics.

By the way, you never answered my question about the A.A. cure rate. What is it? Is A.A. really worth doing?

Oh well, have a good day.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**            1 WITCH.  Round about the caldron go;
**         In the poison'd entrails throw.
**         Toad, that under cold stone,
**         Days and nights has thirty-one;
**         Swelter'd venom sleeping got,
**         Boil thou first i' the charmed pot!
**            ALL.  Double, double toil and trouble;
**         Fire burn, and caldron bubble.
**            ==  William Shakespeare, Macbeth

[ Link here = https://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters276.html#Emma_H ]

Date: Sun, December 4, 2011 3:58 pm     (answered 6 December 2011)
From: "Emma H."
Subject: Love your site!

Your research (didn't read all of it) is very detailed and well presented.

I wonder if you have time to answer these questions (I already know the answer from your site....attitude change)

Why do some alcoholics recover and some don't? (apart from the 5% natural attrition rate.) Compare my mother (never stopped drinking or lying, now dead) to others I know who have given up late in their lives (aged 62).

A bipolar friend has been a chronic alcoholic for years — sure he's 'self-medicating' is this a bit of a cop out? Compare him with other bi-polar people who give up the grog & their medication starts to work properly so they become 'well'... How much of being 'well' involves pulling your finger out & how much is just 'its part of their condition etc'. DO alcoholics require compassion or honesty when they are full of shit?

I'm confused. Your opinion would be appreciated.

Emma H.

Hello Emma,

Thanks for a great letter. Unfortunately, you are asking some of the toughest questions in the world. Plenty of people with letters like "Ph.D." and "M.D." after their names are trying to answer those same questions.

Coincidentally, I just got a letter that referred to a study that was published by the NIAAA, here:


This study found that mutations of the gene that grows dopamine receptors in peoples' brains makes some people get much more pleasure out of alcohol than other people. So this evidence supports the idea that there are some people who are just born alcoholics.

Also notice how they talked about two mutations of that gene, the 118A and 118G variations, that cause different levels of response to alcohol. Things like that help to explain how one alcohol will eventually get a grip and stop drinking, and another will just stubbornly commit suicide by bottle.

Then there are a zillion other factors, like bi-polar disorders, which certainly cause people to drink excessively. Those people may not even have the mutated 118 gene; they have something else instead to make them bi-polar. (But if they have both, then Wow!)

Then there are factors like the environment and childhood abuse and the mental condition of the person in question. That matters a lot too. See this study of how childhood abuse causes a shrunken Cerebellar Vermis in the brain. Those people's ability to feel joy or happiness has been damaged. Some people's heads are so messed up that they don't feel like life is really worth living. Sometimes, getting stoned is the only way they can feel ecstacy.

You are right when you say that some people just use lines like "self-medicating" as excuses. Yes, that is true. And the "powerless over alcohol" line is another excuse.

I also feel a lot of frustration when I'm dealing with an addict who just won't get honest, and won't be realistic, and just lies and makes excuses for continued drinking or doping even though it is obviously killing him. I try to be compassionate when dealing with such people, but I don't feel any obligation to take their shit or agree with their bull. Sometimes all that you can do is walk away and save your own sanity. I know that isn't much of an answer, but until modern medicine invents some better cures, sometimes that is all that you can do.

And in the end, it is undeniable that some people simply choose to quit drinking and save their own lives, and some people choose to die. Now why is that? I don't really know all of the answers.

Have a good day and a good life now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     I used to be a creature of the night.
**     Now I'm a creature of the light.

Date: Wed, December 7, 2011 1:45 am
From: "Emma H."
Subject: Re: Love your site!

Thanks so much for your response! keep up the good work.....sheesh your website is awesome!


[ Link here = https://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters276.html#Cecily_G ]

Date: Mon, December 5, 2011 9:05 pm     (answered 8 December 2011)
From: "Cecily G."
Subject: 75% recovery rates?


Sometimes I attend AA meetings, but I'm trying to get out of the habit of it because I am now seeing what a false system AA is. But I was wondering if you could help me find the answer to a question. At the clubhouse I have been going to, I saw a flyer for a Back to Basics course that claims AA had a recovery rate of nearly 75% in the 1940s. I've attached it to this email. You've proven that a lot of AA's claims are lies, but I can't seem to find any evidence either for or against this one. I asked about it at the club, and the three people I asked said something like, "Just read what Bill W. wrote in the Big Book and you'll see why so many people recovered in the 1940s." This doesn't answer my question and it sounds like a way of sluffing off the issue. Do you know where they get this 75% figure. I'm pretty sure it's false anyway, but I'd like to know. Have a good day.


Hello Cecily,

Thanks for a great question. And the answer is, "That boasting about 75% recovered is a total lie, just some B.S. that Bill Wilson made up and put in the Foreword to the second edition of the Big Book to encourage more people to join his cult and buy his book."

I analyzed that claim in the file on the effectiveness of the 12-Step cure here:

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     Deceivers are the most dangerous members of society. —
**     They trifle with the best affections of our nature, and
**     violate the most sacred obligations.
**        ==  George Crabbe (1754—1832)

[ Link here = https://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters276.html#Charles_D ]

Date: Tue, December 6, 2011     (answered 6 December 2011)
From: "Charles Dundee"
Subject: Re: AA

Hello- Can we chat sometime? Im not interested in arguing, just having an honest discussion re AA. I am pro AA one day and wondering what Im doing at meetings the next. Call if you have a spare 10 minutes.
Thank you.


Hello Charles,

I do not have a phone, and don't plan to get another one. I got tired of being ripped off by T-Mobile and Qwest, so I find that I am quite happy without one, and save a ton of money too.

Have a good day now. == Orange

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

[ Link here = https://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters276.html#Nicholas_L ]

Date: Wed, December 7, 2011 2:47 am     (answered 12 December 2011)
From: "Nicholas L."
Subject: Please Explain

A lot of what you right is very inaccurate. For example, joking and laughing is not allowed in AA. You forgot to mention rule 63 in the Big Book is to never take yourself too seriously and laugh. There are even meetings in LA that encourage heckling speakers and making complete asses of each other. So, I'm not sure what the whole point of the website is, but it seems like either propaganda or limited intelligence in conducting your research.

Hello Nicholas,

Thanks for the letter.

I know all about "Rule 63", which says that you are not "allowed to take yourself seriously". Translation: you must constantly criticize yourself and put yourself down. You must lament how stupid you were, until wonderful A.A. and your sponsor showed you The Path. You are not, however, allowed to criticize the 12 Steps, or Alcoholics Anonymous, or The Founders Bill Wilson and Dr. Robert Smith. You are not allowed to tell the newcomers about the real A.A. failure rate, and how A.A. is just a bunch of cult religion bullshit that doesn't work at all. Anybody who talks like that will get shouted down immediately, for "making a complete ass of himself".

I've been to plenty of A.A. meetings, so I know how the subtle censorship works. My criticism of A.A. isn't just "propaganda".

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     Since mind control depends on creating a new identity within
**     the individual, cult doctrine always requires that a person
**     distrust his own self.
**      Combatting Cult Mind Control, Steven Hassan, 1988, page 79.

[ Link here = https://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters276.html#Steve_T ]

Date: Wed, December 7, 2011 11:01 am     (answered 12 December 2011)
From: "steve t."
Subject: Thanks!

Hello Mr Orange,

Just wanted to send you a HUGE thank you for the wonderful service you are doing for humanity! I attended half a dozen NA meetings in 2004 and ended up leaving. I seemed to spend most of my 'sharing' time arguing with them all. I gave up drugs pretty much by myself nearly three years ago. I found your site by searching for AA criticism on the net. So glad it exists! I have joined the forum and will keep coming back. Might take me a few days to read your 'big book'! haha! Keep up the great work.

Let go... of god,


Hello Steve,

Thanks for the compliments. Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     Freedom of religion, freedom of the press, and freedom of person under
**     the protection of the habeas corpus, these are principles that have
**     guided our steps through an age of revolution and reformation.
**       == Thomas Jefferson

[ Link here = https://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters276.html#Elly_H ]

Date: Wed, December 7, 2011 2:22 pm     (answered 12 December 2011)
From: "Elly H."
Subject: Thank you

I've been reading many of your papers on different aspects of AA and I wanted to thank you for getting the word out. You gave a voice to all those nagging thoughts and suspicions I tried so hard to quell during my nearly 11 month stint as a fully active member of Alcoholics Anonymous. I withdrew from college 2 years ago, drinking and drugging to deal with untreated PTSD and DID. I had also just gotten out of an abusive relationship, so my self-esteem was completely shot. I am only too embarrassed now to see how I fell for AA hook, line and sinker. I became convinced that I needed help, decided to focus on the alcohol abuse rather than my mental issues, and did 2 full weeks of day treatment at Kaiser CDRP before being sent into a 12-step based rehab for the full 60 days allowed on my insurance benefits.

At first, AA was amazing. I loved the groups and the camaraderie, and the instant intimacy. I've always had a way with words, and that helped me gain popularity quickly. It was 'suggested' that I step down my treatment, from rehab to a Sober Living Environment, and I went back to Kaiser's CDRP and completed their whole program. I was living in SF, going to Kaiser inpatient in the morning and 2 meetings in the afternoon, living with a bunch of people forced to work the 12 steps, and developing a large network of AA pals. Around 3 months sober, I started to wake up, but at the time my only two options were living sober in the city or living back with my parents. Considering they were cult members of Adi Da for nearly 2 decades and were the main reason I deal with PTSD and DID in the first place, I decided staying in the city and continuing to do AA was better than living with them.

At 6 months sober, I was gaining respect in the rooms. I only hung out with people who were fully "in the boat", I knew how to talk the talk, and I will admit that I really enjoyed the excess attention and support and admiration I was getting. But something wasn't right. If almost all the women I had attended rehab with had already relapsed, if the 'elders' seemed to relapse no matter how 'spiritual' they were getting, if everything that stands for the program is god's will and everything that conflicts with it is your disease, then wait......what??? How can the bad times be god's will just as much as the good times are? How can AA be accountable if they are shoving the responsibility of drinking or not back onto their members? If you're unhappy, that's God testing you, and if you're happy, that's God blessing you. The circular logic started to gnaw at me, little by little, until first I stopped talking in the meetings, then I went to less meetings, and then I finally dropped out.

I am happy to say that I only fully tried going back to AA once this year. They got me so badly, that after I went on a stress-induced total bender, I bought back into the program and went back to Day Treatment at Kaiser. And brainwashing feels so good at first! My old friends, who were part of the 5% success rate and now active, prominent members of AA, brought me to meetings again and suggested I dump my boyfriend. After all, I was working the program, and he obviously wasn't. His disease was going to get me! I dropped AA, finally went back to college this past quarter, and joined a sorority instead. And wow, I was actually hanging out with 'normies', and they didn't think I was a defective, flawed piece of shit? I was flabbergasted that I could associate with such 'normal' people.

Anyway, I completely agree that AA is a deadly, horrible cult. And I'm angry and feel betrayed by the medical system who sent me to 12-step programs in the first place and filled my head with lies when I was at my most vulnerable. It's hard to get over thinking of yourself as diseased and defective, or to start to believe that hey, maybe sometimes i DON'T have a part in someone else's bullshit. I was tired of being blamed for everyone else's actions, simply because I was the alcoholic. Sometimes, people are just assholes. It's a weird way they teach you to accept that you're powerless over yourself, but somehow responsible for everyone else's actions towards you.

What I'm really struggling with right now is trying to enlighten my boyfriend, who also struggles with DID and PTSD. He never got into AA like I did, yet he fully subscribes to their beliefs. When all he did was AA-lite, I'm trying to understand how he can so devoutly stand behind a program when he is living proof that you don't need it to be sober. He did a few meetings, went to Kaiser's day treatment, and dropped out and got his life back together on his own. He never got a sponsor, or worked the steps, or did anything AA supposedly requires for sobriety. And yet he parrots back to me the same old "How dare you say something about a program that's saved millions of lives, relationships and families??" and refuses to look at any outside evidence. This is quite possibly the largest fight we've ever been in. In general, I would say that he is highly intelligent and rational. But he is acting like a complete moron and I'm sort of disgusted by him for being so dogmatic. I finally told him I was going to stop debating with him, because he had yet to show me any shred of proof that AA worked, and yet he calls me an arrogant child for disagreeing with him. He's 'disappointed' in me, I think he's acting like an idiot... How can he claim to be a success of AA without working the program? AA certainly wouldn't call him a success. AA told me to stay away from him. He won't listen to reason, and it's driving me up the wall.

Anyway, thanks for all your hard work putting your website together. It certainly helped me a lot. Now I have to deal with the fact that Kaiser sent my parents, semi-deprogrammed cult members, into Al-Anon, where they are absolutely flourishing. I always knew my parents were total nutjobs, but I was really hoping my boyfriend wouldn't drink the kool-aid. I do think that if he saw me at my AA best (read:worst) though, he would start to understand what I was talking about. If he saw me ignoring him at all hours for meetings and AA socializing and constantly quoting those stupid slogans like I used to, he would probably start to think differently. I don't think he ever got involved enough to see the true workings of the program. He only saw enough for that propaganda to become firmly lodged in his head. Is there any way to deprogram a person who doesn't think he needs deprogramming??


Hello Elly,

Thank you for the letter. It says a lot. I'm glad to hear that you are feeling better, and you have found your way to health.

I wish I had an easy answer for your boyfriend, but I don't think there is any easy answer. I am reminded of the words of Carl Sagan: "You can't convince a believer of anything; for their belief is not based on evidence, it's based on a deep-seated need to believe."

And that's it. Your friend immediately rejects all evidence that contradicts what he wants to believe, and he rejects information simply because it contradicts what he wants to believe. He is not searching for the truth, or interested in finding the truth. He just wants his favorite beliefs repeated back at him.

It is very revealing that he didn't even "work the Steps", or "work the Program", and yet he fervently believes in it. That reveals a strong need to believe in Something. He is not a person who is reporting his own experiences, and his belief is not based on observation or experiences. He is just parrotting the dogma of the cult. "Millions saved...."

This line is also significant: "he calls me an arrogant child for disagreeing with him." Yes, that is standard cult behavior. Don't debate the actual facts of the matter; just attack the critic personally (ad hominem). People who criticize the cult (any cult) are routinely called stupid, lazy, low-I.Q., evil, satanic, willfully disobedient, blind, stubborn, obtuse, and "arrogant and childish." He cannot really debate the facts, because he doesn't have any facts on his side, so he resorts to personal attacks on you.

The word "arrogant" also has special meaning: In the A.A. cult, everybody is supposed to be meek and submissive and confess that they don't know anything, and they are supposed to just think what they are told to think, and do what they are told to do (in Step 11, or by their sponsor). People who insist on thinking for themselves, and following their own conscience and doing what they believe is right, rather than what the cult tells them to do, are criticized for being "arrogant big-shots" who are "against the Will of God".

Not at all coincidentally, a recent letter also accused me of "playing God", apparently because I insist on thinking for myself. Look here.

Now, about deprogramming him: Well, I'm not holding my breath, but there might be a small chance of success. The first thing that occurs to me is Steve Hassan's trick of criticizing a different cult. Cult members immediately reject any criticism of their own cult, but they happily criticize other cults. Cult members are notoriously hypocritical, and are quick to criticize other cults for obnoxious, insane behavior, even when it's exactly the same things as they are doing in their own cult. They do a lot of "projection".

Pick out some bad characteristics of Scientology or the Moonies or Jim Jones's People's Temple or the Heaven's Gate cult, and criticize them. (Check out the Cult Test for some material.) Just accidentally, coincidentally-on-purpose pick some evil cult characteristics that A.A. also displays and talk about how deluded those poor other cult members are, to act that way and believe that nonsense.

Never mention the A.A. name. You have to just hope that maybe your friend will eventually connect the dots in his own mind, and maybe, just maybe, the light bulb will go on in his head. Maybe, just maybe, when he is at an A.A. meeting and listening to someone parrotting exactly the same words as they do in Scientology or the Moonies or the Hari Krishnas, maybe he will see something.

Check out this anti-cult book by Steve Hassan: Releasing the Bonds: Empowering People to Think for Themselves. It is loaded with techniques for getting somebody out of a cult. His other book isn't bad either, Combatting Cult Mind Control. Both are described in the bibliography.

Good luck, and have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     "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

May 24, 2009, Sunday, Downtown Portland, Waterfront Park:

Spirit of Portland
The Spirit of Portland cruise ship, going underneath the Hawthorne Bridge

new MAX train
The new MAX trains
They are very sleek and aerodynamic. MAX == Metropolitan Rapid Access

Great Blue Heron
Beethoven, the Great Blue Heron
Beethoven has to be about the tamest Great Blue Heron in the world. He is quite happy hanging out in the center of Portland. At first thought, you wouldn't imagine that an endangered species would be so comfortable in a city. Now if he could just find an old lady who is equally cosmopolitan.

Crow bathing
A young crow is taking a bath.
This little guy is native to downtown Portland, too. He just hatched out in the spring.

Canada Goose family
Carmen's family
Carmen is the gosling in the middle. The adult in the water is the father. The mother is nearby, just out of the picture.

[The story of Carmen continues here.]

[The previous letter from Meatbag is here.]

[ Link here = https://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters276.html#Meatbag ]

Date: Wed, December 7, 2011 3:51 pm     (answered 14 December 2011)
From: "Meatbag"
Subject: Re: More Random Comments

Sorry it took so long for me to respond. There's two reasons for that. First reason is that I discovered that Morrowind runs about as well in WINE as it does in Windows (I admit it: I'm a video game junkie. That was probably pretty obvious from the mention of the expensive gaming rig, and that's far from the only bit of paraphernalia I possess.) Second is that AM melted the tip of its own charger, limiting my computer access for a while (hopefully, AM's not getting any ideas from its namesake). Judging by the fact the replacement charger has a different design, it seems like charger-melting is a rather common problem for this particular model laptop. And no universal charger fits this thing. I tried. Why is it I could find both a standard third-party universal charger and a car charger for a then-12-year-old laptop that outlived the company that made it (Marvin's original charger disappeared long before I got it), yet nothing for a Samsung laptop that's not even a year old? Turns out that extended warranty I bought has paid off.

I've checked Knoppix's minimum system requirements, and it apparently requires 96 MB of RAM for it's default graphical mode with KDE. I could bring that down by replacing KDE with IceWM or Fluxbox (not really a big KDE fan, anyway), but I'm not sure if that would be enough. Slitaz <http://www.slitaz.org/en/get/flavors.html> could potentially work, specifically the loram-cdrom one, but I really don't like the idea of my CD drive being unusable, especially since that's one of the only ways for Marvin to receive files from my newer systems.

I did manage to find this <http://rescup.winbuilder.net/bootdisk/>, which seems like it would be a really useful tool for Marvin. I think the utility you were thinking of is Smart Boot Manager, which is on that disk.

Seems like you got some amusing pro-steppers since my last email.
> There is no worse sin than spreading misinformation.
Lee M., you owe me a new irony meter. You also owe me medical expenses for the injuries I incurred as a result of the explosion. And why exactly are you so offended by something that, according to you, has no meaning? It's simple. You disagree and have no way to refute Orange's arguments, so you declare his site to be false and meaningless. I'm not even sure if you've read most of his site. It's confirmation bias. Like any other stepper, you reject any information that does not fit AA dogma, regardless of its veracity. You're no intellectual. Odds are, you never were. Your backstory seems as phony as Bill W. and AA itself. It looks exactly like all the other phony stepper backstories.

Sorry about hijacking your soapbox there, Orange, but it's been a while since I've sharpened my teeth on some snark.

As for Richard M., 90%, seriously? Am I really supposed to believe that hardly any alcoholic ever noticed that those brown bottles were making them feel like crap before Bill W. told them it did? As you correctly pointed out, there was already a recovery movement before AA. Any decent U.S. History text mentions said recovery/temperance movement. Why? The first half of the 19th Century had a lot of reform movements (school reform, prison reform, mental health reform, etc), and the temperance movement was a sort of proto-feminism, since a lot of women supported it as a way to fight domestic abuse (of course it was a lot easier to target the booze than the assholes drinking it). AA, on the other hand, is just another cult religion that's worth a footnote, at best.

And you're apparently Fox News now. Really? In that case, Orange, you really need to get busy on posting all about the War on Christmas. It's December. There is absolutely nothing more newsworthy than a fake war based on how that Walmart greeter greets you.

You know, your father sounds a lot like my paternal grandfather, judging by what I've heard about him. My dad never says much about either his father or his childhood, but he does his absolute best to not be like him. I believe he's succeeded. My dad is not the brightest crayon in the box, but he's a very loving man, and his current alcohol habits (going out to a bar twice a week) are more accurately defined as a mid-life crisis, rather than alcoholism. Apparently, my grandfather was also a sexist asshole. Going by my mom's story, he was very disappointed that my sister was not a boy, and when my brother was born, he ignored his female grandchildren in favor of him. He never had a chance to be disappointed by me, though, since he died before I was born. Thank heavens for small favors.

Just as a note on the tough love and the Pearls nonsense, that reminds me a lot of Attachment Therapy <http://childrenintherapy.org/essays/overview.html> (entire site is worth reading), which is the same child abuse wrapped in a pseudo-psychology. Here <http://web.archive.org/web/20100815050600/http://stopchildtorture.org/> is another website, written by a survivor of AT. I'm not surprised that that second site can only be found in the Wayback Machine, since these "therapists" do have a history of taking down sites critical of their practices. Sadly, a lot of that site's best posts were not archived, but the In Memorium page <http://web.archive.org/web/20100904194427/http://stopchildtorture.org/2008/02/26/in-memoriam/>

and half of the survivor stories <http://web.archive.org/web/20100729195249/http://stopchildtorture.org/survivors-index/>

are intact (the link to the second half of Katrina's story doesn't work, but you can find the text for it on the front page.) If those sites get too depressing, here <http://cuteoverload.com/tag/birds/> is a minor antidote for that.

Now to determine which video game will become my latest addiction. Happy Holidays, Orange.

Date: Wed, December 7, 2011 5:52 pm     (answered 14 December 2011)
From: "Meatbag"
Subject: Re: More Random Comments

Oh, and I just opened up my ex-host Windows 7 VM after not touching it for weeks, in an attempt to get The Elder Scrolls Construction Set for Morrowind (does not work as well as the game itself does, and I had no luck with my Windows 2000 VM, either) to work, and clean up some extraneous programs so that the damn thing's actually somewhat useful. Now, Microsoft has declared my copy of Windows 7 to be counterfeit. Fuck you very much, Microsoft. If I actually pirated your product, I would probably not have that problem. And the fact that Windows 7 is now one of many VMs rather than my host OS is entirely your fault, too.

Hi again, Rebecca,

Thanks for the input. It's okay for you to "highjack my soapbox." I find the comments amusing.

About the father thing, yes, I think that it is pretty much human nature to go to extremes in such a situation. Either the child is brutalized and turns out exactly like good old Dad (shades of the Stockholm Syndrome), or else the child goes to the opposite extreme and turns into a parent who never beats the kids. I took the latter path and became a good peacenik Hippie.

About CuteOverload.com, a friend has been telling me that I should send my gosling photos there, especially Carmen. I'll have to check it out.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     "Safety, conformity, and lack of imagination —
**      the worst elements of adulthood"
**        —  Stuart Nicholson

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Last updated 22 January 2013.
The most recent version of this file can be found at https://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters276.html