Letters, We Get Mail, CCCX

[ Link here = https://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters310.html#Crystal_C ]

From: "crystal c."
Subject: AA Nonsense
Date: Mon, June 4, 2012 7:55 pm     (answered 7 June 2012)

I have been sober for 14 months (meth). I am living in transitional housing where is I am required to attend 3 meeting per week. At first I was excited about AA, but as I saw the whole process and hearing the same thing at every meeting from people that been there 25 years drives me crazy. The people that run the transitional house are true AA steppers. They tell me that I am in denial of being a addict and the only way to stay sober is to work the 12 steps, attend meeting, and fellowship. I get so annoy with there AA and Big Book talk. What can be a valid response to them that I will not relaspe, just because I am not excited about NA/AA/CA. They say I will relapse because I not working the program. I am done with drugs and got tired of that lifesyle, ready to live life sober without AA. They said AA leads you to God and must have a connection with God to stay sober. I know Jesus and believe that he has deliver me from the bondage of addition.

Thanks for the site I thought I was wrong for feeling the way I did about AA and the members. There are rarely any newcomers, just the same people saying the same thing over and over again. I refuse to think and say I have a disease, sick way of thinking, along with characters defects for the rest of my life. These people are insane!


Hello Crystal,

Congratulations on your new clean and sober lifestyle. Fourteen months is over the hump. The worst is over. And thanks for the letter, too.

About your halfway-house lunatics: Everything they told you is wrong. Everything. We can just go down the list and refute everything that they told you.

  1. "You are in denial."

    No you aren't. You are seeing the truth. They are in denial. They refuse to see the truth, they refuse to tell the truth, and the truth is that they are mindlessly parrotting the lies of an old cult religion.

  2. "...the only way to stay sober is to work the 12 steps, attend meeting, and fellowship."
    "They say I will relapse because I not working the program."

    Bullshit. Totally untrue. Just for starters, I have 11 years clean and sober, and have not been to a 12-Step meeting in over 10 years. I quit going to A.A. and N.A. meetings when I discovered that I could go to SMART meetings instead, and would not have to listen to the crazy lies of some cult members.

    And it isn't just me:

    • The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism of the National Institutes of Health says that 75% of the successful quitters do it alone.
    • The Harvard Medical School says that 80% of the alcoholics who successfully quit drinking for a year or more do it alone, on their own. And likewise, most drug addicts quit on their own. Look here for the rest of the story.

    A.A. and N.A., on the other hand, have at least a 95% failure rate. Sometimes, it's much worse than that. In some medical tests, A.A. produced a zero-percent improvement along with an increased binge-drinking rate and an elevated death rate. (It's all in that file.)

    And Narcotics Anonymous also failed similar tests.

  3. "They said AA leads you to God and must have a connection with God to stay sober."

    Baloney. A.A. and N.A. are a grossly-heretical religion, in direct conflict with Christianity in many ways. Steppism leads to something more like Satan-worship than Christianity. There is a great deal of similarity between selling your soul to Satan in trade for sobriety, and surrendering your mind, your will, and your conscience to the A.A. or N.A. "higher power" in trade for sobriety, and then spending the rest of your life parrotting their lies and trying to recruit new members for the cult.

    I wrote a whole file about that: The Heresy of the Twelve Steps

About this line: "I am done with drugs and got tired of that lifesyle, ready to live life sober without AA."

Happily, that is one line that I don't have to refute. I believe you. When you are done with it, you are done with it. Sooner or later, everybody either gets done with it, or gets dead. I'm glad that you chose life.

Lastly, "These people are insane!"

Yes, I'm glad you noticed that.

Have a good day now, and a good life.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**   "When in the company of deluded people,
**       keep your own counsel."
**           ==  Buddha

May 06, 2012, Sunday: The Fernhill Wetlands

Canada Goose goslings
The Family of 6 goslings in a mud puddle.
For some odd reason, they really like this mud puddle. They have that whole gigantic pond — actually, three or four ponds — and they want to play in this mud puddle. Go figure.

Carp getting some of the munchies

Canada Goose goslings
The Family of 6 Goslings

Canada Goose goslings
The Family of 3

[More gosling photos below, here.]

[The previous letter from Anonymous is here.]

[ Link here = https://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters310.html#Anonymous ]

Date: Mon, June 4, 2012 9:53 pm     (answered 7 June 2011)
From: "Anonymous"
Subject: RE: What's Not Good About A.A.

Thank you for the thoughtout response. It is nice to have intelligent conversation that doesn't turn into personal attacks. I didn't know if you'd respond, or how you'd respond, but I appreciate your time and will add a couple more things. The applicable snippets of your response (and info from your website) will be in non-bold blue and mine will be bolded black to help differentiate. I didn't check the hyperlinks but a quick copy and paste if they don't work should do the trick (as you know).

Hello again, Anonymous,

Thanks for the letter. Alas, none of the colors or formatting came through the email, so I'll have to reformat it and colorize it myself.

"Right. The first confusion is in just what constitutes 'help' or 'saving'." True. I suppose that if whatever "helps" an alcoholic stop drinking, it might just be "saving" his/her life. Although, of course there are a lot of other factors involved. "Alcoholics Anonymous is good at claiming undue credit."

How is Alcoholics Anonymous claiming undue credit? From what I understand (and correct me if I'm wrong), you've had a hard time tracking down official numbers from Alcoholics Anonymous. Penn and Teller also ran into the same problem in their Bullshit episode about A.A. That doesn't seem like claiming credit at all. It would be great to see official and recent claims Alcoholics Anonymous as an organization has made. If Penn and Teller couldn't find any official ones, I'd be interested to see in just what numbers people are using to blame A.A. for taking credit, and where those numbers are coming from.

That is a false dichotomy. Alcoholics Anonymous is not just a corporation in New York City that issues or fails to issue numbers. That is the old "Real A.A." argument. Whenever A.A. members do something bad, the A.A. proselytizers start complaining and rationalizing that they aren't "the real A.A." — the "real A.A." is something else:

Baloney. It's all really A.A.

Now there are plenty of A.A. members who teach that A.A. is the only way, and you will die unless you "Work A Strong Program". Heck, the previous letter that I just got complained about just that.

And A.A. routinely makes grandiose claims of great success rates in treating alcoholics. Bill Wilson lied in the Big Book:

Of alcoholics who came to A.A. and really tried, 50% got sober at once and remained that way; 25% sobered up after some relapses, and among the remainder, those who stayed on with A.A. showed improvement. Other thousands came to a few A.A. meetings and at first decided they didn't want the program. But great numbers of these — about two out of three — began to return as time passed.

"There are plenty of people who are going to quit drinking, because they have just had it with being so sick all of the time, and having alcohol mess up their lives. Those are the cases of normal spontaneous remission."

Right, but how many of those were alcoholics? I think this is where effectiveness of any program starts to blur. Just because a person is in an A.A. meeting, does not mean they are an alcoholic. I think that differentiation needs to be made.

That is another false dichotomy. When you don't like the results of the tests, you start quibbling about whether they were "real alcoholics". But further down in this letter, you are assuming that they are "real alcoholics" who are fooling the doctors.

If somebody is such a bad drinker that he ends up in the hospital for detoxing, then it's a fair bet that he has a serious drinking problem. Whether he is "a real alcoholic" seems to depend on hair-splitting definitions.

"Whenever one of those people walks into an A.A. meeting, A.A. is quick to claim that it saved them, or "helped" them. And A.A. wants to count them as its success rate. But A.A. is not due the credit for those people, even though they may have attended A.A. meetings while they quit drinking."
Again, I don't see where A.A. is taking any credit. I do see them making claims in the Big Book, starting when it was written back in the late 1930s. I think there are also some numbers in some of the forwards, but some of those are just membership numbers, and not directly related to how many it has "saved" or "helped" or whatever.

That is Minimization and Denial. The Big Book very specifically made grandiose claims of great cure rates, and now you try to claim that the numbers only apply to "members"? That is not what Bill Wilson wrote. And that is not what A.A. members claim today. Bill Wilson even claimed that non-members "began to return".

"I suppose I should modify that sentence to read, "A.A. kills one patient for each one that it appears to save. Killing as many patients as it appears to help means that A.A. does not work. Look at penicillin, for example. It is deadly poisonous to some patients, and kills them. But doctors are careful about whom they give penicillin to, and I think it's fair to say that penicillin saves at least 1000 or 10,000 patients for every one that it kills. Now that is a medicine that works. Something that kills as many patients as it appears to help is useless, or even worse than useless. It's really a very poisonous medicine.

Now your question about "how could A.A. really kill people?" Simple:

  1. Have crazy sponsors who tell the newcomers not to take their doctor-prescribed medications. The newcomers then die from heart attacks, strokes, psychotic breaks and suicides, and on and on.

  2. Also drive newcomers into bad depression by the constant harping on lists of sins and moral shortcomings, and constant confession sessions, which also drives people to suicide.

  3. Then there is the teaching that alcoholics are powerless over alcohol. That leads to worse binge drinking, and deaths.

  4. Then there is the induced hopelessness, which leads people to believe that they cannot ever recover. That leads to more suicides and uncontrolled drinking.

    Bill Wilson even taught A.A. recruiters to make people feel hopeless in order to mess with their minds:

    Maybe you have disturbed him about the question of alcoholism. This is all to the good. The more hopeless he feels, the better. He will be more likely to follow your suggestions.
    The Big Book, 3rd Edition, William G. Wilson, chapter 7, "Working With Others", page 94.

    That is vicious.

  5. And then there is the general obnoxiousness of Alcoholics Anonymous driving people away from any kind of treatment or help. Lots of people decide that they would rather drink themselves to death than turn into an A.A. religious nutcase."

  • 1. It specifically says in the Big Book that it is not intended for medical advice. And those "crazy sponsors" are not supposed to be giving medical advice to newcomers.
    You cannot pin those deaths on the organization when those actions are carried out by certain individuals (the sponsor). That would be like saying the entire medical profession kills people because some doctors prescribe mediciation in dangerous and inappropriate ways.

    Yes, I can pin those deaths on Alcoholics Anonymous. It's all A.A.: the meetings, the untrue dogma and propaganda, the cult religion, and the bad sponsors who tell people not to take their medications. It's all "the real A.A.". Again, you are trying to use false dichotomies, by splitting A.A. into many pieces, and assigning the blame to only some pieces.

    Furthermore, the whole argument about whether A.A. is a medical authority on alcoholism is a bait-and-switch trick:
    First, they will tell you to see a doctor, and say that "we know only a little", but then it's "We know more than doctors", "We are the experts on addictions", and "Don't take medications."

  • 2. About newcomers being driven into bad depression, we cannot abandon personal responsibility, or blame Alcoholics Anonymous because of a blurry correlation. I would be willing to bet most newcomers could be classified as depressed, whether it be acute or long lasting. You would need some specific evidence linking newcomers and A.A. being the cause of it (and even suicide, as you go on to claim). A.A. is usually voluntary, and in the cases of "mandatory" meetings by the court, there are MANY meetings out there. You're all for self-empowerment, and not being "powerless". If a newcomer is finding him/herself spiraling into a "bad depression" because of A.A., they need to take some personal responsibility and try different meetings.

    The A.A. death rate is not "a blurry correlation". Again, you are in denial. Dr. Vaillant, who went on to become a member of the Board of Trustees of A.A., spend nearly 20 years treating alcoholics with A.A., and the results were:

    After initial discharge, only five patients in the [A.A.] Clinic sample never relapsed to alcoholic drinking, and there is compelling evidence that the results of our treatment were no better than the natural history of the disease.
    Not only had we failed to alter the natural history of alcoholism, but our death rate of three percent a year was appalling.
    Once again, our results were no better than the natural history of the disorder.
    The Natural History of Alcoholism: Causes, Patterns, and Paths to Recovery, George E. Vaillant, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA, 1983, pages 283-286.
    The same text was reprinted in Vaillant's later book, The Natural History of Alcoholism Revisited, George E. Vaillant, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA, 1995, pages 349-352.

    Also, I am not sure where the "constant harping on lists of sins and moral shortcomings" happens. In Step 4, you "Made a searching a fearless moral inventory of yourself". Introspection is not a bad thing. Resentment is an awful thing to carry around for anybody (not just alcoholics). As one person wrote about it in one of your letters (paraphrasing), "AA bottles up and suppresses anger and resentment". To me, getting those down on paper and dealing with them is just the opposite. In fact, coincidentally, it runs parallel to what many counseling programs suggest you do. Never in the steps does it say anything about "sins". The "constant" confession session only happens in Step 5. It isn't a "constant" thing, unless you count step 10, where you continue to take personal inventory and when you are wrong, promptly admit it. Introspection (of both good and bad behavior) is not a bad thing. Admitting you are wrong when you are wrong is not a bad thing. The other list, as you know, is the list of people one has harmed, becoming willing to make amends to those people, and then making amends to them. Once again, personal responsibility is not a bad thing. And driving people to suicide? That is correlation, not causation. To make the leap from correlation to causation is a fallacy, as you probably know.

    Oh baloney.

    • In Step One, you admit that you are powerless and cannot manage your life.

    • In Step Two, you confess that you are insane.

    • In Step Three, you confess that you cannot run your own life.

    • In Step Four, you get serious about listing your every moral shortcoming and sin and wrong.

    • In Step Five, you read the whole list out loud, and confess it all to someone.

    • In Step Six, you confess that you have "defects of character".

    • In Step Seven, you yammer about your "shortcomings".

    • In Step Eight, you dwell on everybody whom you ever harmed.

    • In Step Nine, you go and humbly grovel and apologize for everything.

    • In Step Ten, you promise to repeat that insane routine for the rest of your life.

    That's enough to depress anyone. It even drives some people to suicide, when they are told that they cannot ever recover and be like normal people.

    The bottom line is that the whole routine has never been shown to benefit anyone. Not spiritually or physically. It just drives people to drink and death.

    This line is correct, but deceptive: Never in the steps does it say anything about "sins".
    Right. Bill Wilson saved the word "sin" for his second book, "Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions". Bill didn't want to get in trouble with the Catholic Church, which has a ban on public confessions of sins, so Bill renamed "sins" to "defects of character", and "moral shortcomings", and "wrongs". Bill also renamed confession to "sharing". And religious became "spiritual". But in 12X12, Bill stopped the pretense and yammered about "sins" in page after page.

          Now let's ponder the need for a list of the more glaring personality defects all of us have in varying degrees. To those who have religious training, such a list would set forth serious violations of moral principles. Some others will think of this list as defects of character. Still others will call it an index of maladjustments. Some will become quite annoyed if there is talk about immorality, let alone sin. But all who are in the least reasonable will agree upon one point: that there is plenty wrong with us alcoholics about which plenty will have to be done if we are to expect sobriety, progress, and any real ability to cope with life.
          To avoid falling into confusion over the names these defects should be called, let's take a universally recognized list of major human failings — the Seven Deadly Sins of pride, greed, lust, anger, gluttony, envy, sloth.   ...
    Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, William Wilson, pages 48, 49.

    There is much more of Bill Wilson's crazy sermon on sin here.

    This quote reveals that Bill Wilson's phrase "character defects" was really just a euphemism for "sins":

    Since most of us are born with an abundance of natural desires, it isn't strange that we often let these far exceed their intended purpose.
    [Whose intended purpose? God's? Mother Nature's? The Force of Evolution's?]
    When they drive us blindly, or we willfully demand that they supply us with more satisfactions or pleasures than are possible or due us, that is the point at which we depart from the degree of perfection that God wishes for us here on earth.
    [How do we demand that desires supply us with satisfactions? Desires are urges or wishes to get some satisfaction, not the source of satisfaction. Hunger, for example, is the desire to get some food. Hunger does not give us any satisfaction, it gives us a big pain in the belly.
    And Just Who is keeping the big account book that determines how much pleasure is now due us?]
    That is the measure of our character defects, or, if you wish, of our sins.
    Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, William Wilson, page 65.

    So just measure how far away from perfection you are — how far away from "the degree of perfection that God wishes for us here on earth" you are — and Bill Wilson says that is how much you sin.

    If we can control our desires, or let them "exceed their intended purpose", then we are in control of our drinking, so Step One is wrong. We are not powerless over alcohol.

    And just what is "God's intended purpose" for our desire to drink alcohol?

    Need I even mention the obvious conflict between the A.A. dogma of a loose, free-form "any Higher Power of your choosing" (Step 2) and Bill Wilson's scheming "God" who puts desires into people with the intention of manipulating people in certain ways?

    And how about the conflict with this statement, earlier in the same book?

    Alcoholics Anonymous does not demand that you believe anything. All of its Twelve Steps are but suggestions.
    Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, William G. Wilson, page 26.

    First, you don't have to believe anything, and then you have to believe that God gave you desires with intended purposes. That's another bait-and-switch trick:
    First, A.A. tells you that "A.A. requires no beliefs," but then you have to believe everything they tell you, and have blind faith in the proclamations of Bill Wilson.

    Bill Wilson wrote such insane bullshit, and the addled A.A.s just eat it up as if it's cosmic wisdom. Oh well, that's just how cults work.

  • 3. "There is experimental evidence that the A.A. doctrine of powerlessness leads to binge drinking. In a sophisticated controlled study of A.A.'s effectiveness (Brandsma et. al.), court-mandated offenders who had been sent to Alcoholics Anonymous for several months were engaging in FIVE TIMES as much binge drinking as another group of alcoholics who got no treatment at all, and the A.A. group was doing NINE TIMES as much binge drinking as another group of alcoholics who got rational behavior therapy."

    Court-mandated offenders who had been sent to Alcoholics Anonymous? As with your penicillin argument, the Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous are for alcoholics. That means not all binge drinkers are alcoholics. Not all court-mandated offenders are alcoholics. I have no idea what effects the practice of the steps of Alcoholics Anonymous has on people that are not alcoholic. Another issue I have are with the groups themselves. They say that "court-mandated offenders" were sent to AA, then compare the binge drinking of those to "..another group of alcoholics", is confusing. What method did they use to determine that control group, and the lay-RBT were alcoholics? And was this used on the ones sent to A.A.? Yet, another problem with the research that I see is how thee fact that they uses "sessions" and "mean number of days treated" in their numbers to come to get their end dataset. The method of Alcoholics Anonymous is practicing the steps of A.A.. It isn't about how many meetings you attend, or do not attend. Simply attending meetings and not working the steps of Alcoholics Anonymous is NOT following the program of Alcoholics Anonymous.

    Again, you are quibbling about who is "a real alcoholic" or "not a real alcoholic". That does not change the fact that exposure to A.A. teachings increased binge drinking.

    What, are you trying to claim that only normal people drink more as a result of A.A. teachings, while "real alcoholics" drink less in A.A.? You've got to be kidding.

    How they determined who went into the control group was RANDOM. They RANDOMLY selected who went into which group. That is an essential feature of a randomized longitudinal controlled study. Consequently, all of the members of the groups were equally alcoholics.

    And now you are trying to claim that someone must practice the 12-Step cult religion to be a real member of A.A. "working the program". But that is in direct conflict with the teachings that say that you don't have to do that. The 12 Steps are supposedly only "suggestions", remember? (Big Book page 59.) That switcheroo is just some more bait-and-switch tricks:

  • 4. If nothing is done about hopelessness, I can see that it does, indeed, lead to more suicides and uncontrolled drinking.

    Well, Bill Wilson's routine sure does not reduce depression or suicides.

    If somebody is disturbed by the question of alcoholism, why are they disturbed? It disturbed me when I faced the possible reality that I may be an alcoholic. That was a good disturbance. I was seeing my patterns of behavior. I was seeing the possibilities. I was seeing where drinking was taking me over and over again, and it disturbed me. As for the hopelessness, an alcoholic has no hope of recovery if he/she continues to drink. That is a proven medical fact. There is nothing bad about realizing how hopeless you are if you continue to drink alcohol. While it may be "vicious", it is the truth.

    Also a factor that nobody seems to consider is the use of other harmful substances (nicotine). I'm sure there are numbers out there that tell how many people that attend A.A. meetings (alcoholic or not) smoke, or rationalize other legal (or non-legal) harmful drug use. Not to mention the overall poor state of health that most alcoholics are in when they first come into A.A.. I would assume that stuff that actually has been proven to kill people is actually more likely to contribute or even cause death.

    I have certainly considered it. I've been harping on the issue of tobacco for the last 11 years, while A.A. members rationalize that smoking isn't so bad, and "Well, I've got to keep something."

    Again, you are trying to dodge the point. Dr. Vaillant compared A.A.-treated alcoholics to a population of untreated alcoholics. Presumably, their other problems, like smoking and malnutrition, were about equal. And Dr. Vaillant also compared the A.A. treatment results to the results from other treatment programs. And the results were that A.A. had the highest death rate of any way of treating alcohol abuse and alcohol addiction, or so-called "alcoholism". And A.A. didn't improve on the sobriety rate at all.

    "Excuse me, but no. The American Psychiatric Association very deliberately did not "loosely throw around" the term "alcoholism", and they refused to even put that word in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. It isn't in there, not anywhere. I've looked very carefully, and it is not in there. "

    What I meant was that the term "alcoholism" is thrown around a lot by peope in general, not by the APA. I could have worded that better. But the reason I brought it up is because alcoholism is defined as: "a chronic disorder characterized by dependence on alcohol, repeated excessive use of alcoholic beverages, the development of withdrawal symptoms on reducing or ceasing intake, morbidity that may include cirhosis of the liver, and decreased ability to function socially and vocationally". I think the word "chronic" is where the line is drawn, by definition, to set apart alcohol abuse, alcohol dependence, and alcoholism. Do you see where this might be a problem when, depending on where you live, a first time DUI offense gets you mandatory AA? If you read that correctly, you'd see it said ".. AND decreased ...", which means all of those must be present (minus cirhosis fo the liver) to define alcoholism.

    Whoa! You are throwing together "alcohol abuse, alcohol dependence, and alcoholism", when "alcoholism" is still undefined. Please define it, before you use it.

    Are you trying to claim that "alcoholism" is both alcohol abuse and alcohol dependence, only more so?

    The talk about a first-timer DUI offender getting sentenced to A.A. meetings is pretty irrelevant in a discussion of what constitutes "alcoholism". If you think about it, putting a bunch of non-alcoholic people into A.A. meetings should make A.A. look more successful, because those people will be quickly "cured" of "alcoholism".

    "Alcohol Abuse" means "alcohol abuse", not "alcoholism", and "Alcohol Dependence" means addiction to alcohol, not "alcoholism". "Alcoholism" is not a "disease". Period. It is behavior. Drinking is behavior. So is eating too much fatty or sugary food and getting fat. So is smoking cigarettes. So is snorting cocaine. And shooting heroin. And on and on. Just because someone is engaging in very bad unhealthy behavior does not mean that he has a disease. (And it also does not mean that he is powerless.)"

    When that behavior (regarding alcohol), crosses over that line into a "chronic disorder" (see definition above), you are an alcoholic, which is defined as a disease using my definition of a disease that I got out of the dictionary (see previous e-mail). One of the reasons for a dictionary is to establish a common definition for communication sake. I'm sorry if you don't like the definition of disease from the dictionary, but that is a lot more reliable than someone's opinion of what is and is not a disease.

    No, stop right there. Using the vague dictionary definition of disease as anything that causes sickness or discomfort is not applicable as a medical definition of a disease. Again, by such a loose definition, eating too much ice cream and candy is a "disease". But when A.A. declares that "alcoholism is a disease", they mean a real deadly medical disease, not a vague discomfort. So the loose vague dictionary definition is not applicable.

    "Your very loose first dictionary definition of "disease" is worthless. By that definition, children eating too much ice cream and candy produces the nasty "spiritual disease" called "candyism" when they get a belly-ache."

    No, but it can contribute to type 2 diabetes (a disease), heart disease (yet another disease),
    and that is important to note that the specific BEHAVIOR has shown that it CONTRIBUTES to a disease. Alcohol consumption (drinking) IS a behavior, but that doesn't mean that when it becomes chronic, it can't contribue to alcholism (a disease). If you have your own definition of disease and how alcoholism does NOT qualify as a disease, I'm all for it.

    You are changing the subject. I said that children eating too much ice cream and candy is not the "spiritual disease" of "candyism". That has nothing to do with the fact that if you chronically consume too much sugar and too many carbohydrates, you will get diabetes. Of course you will. But that does not make eating ice cream and candy "a disease".

    Furthermore, your explanation of "alcoholism the disease" is circular:

    • First, the alcoholic supposedly drinks too much alcohol because he has a "disease" called "alcoholism", and he is "powerless" over it. (So it isn't "a moral stigma". See "Mrs." Marty Mann, the Big Book, 3rd Edition, Page 227.)
    • Then, drinking too much alcohol produces "alcoholism".

    Nonsense. So which came first, the "alcoholism", or the drinking? Do people drink alcohol because they have "alcoholism", or do they have "alcoholism" because they drink alcohol? It's a real chicken-and-egg problem, isn't it?

    I really do enjoy learning new things (and it probably is on your website somewhere). At least one of the studies you cite for the ineffectiveness of AA refers to alcoholism as a disease. And, to bring it up again, National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions conducted by the The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism of the National Institutes of Health proves absolutely nothing about the efficiency of AA regarding alcoholics, as it specifically states it refers to alcohol dependence, which I think we both seem to agree is not the same as alcoholism.

    Again, you are quibbling about definitions. What they found is that A.A. is unnecessary, and most people who suffer from "alcohol dependence" recover on their own without any A.A. "help". You are trying to differentiate "alcoholism" from "alcohol dependence", and claim that recovering from "alcohol dependency" is not like recovering from "alcoholism". But you were just equating them, and explaining "alcoholism" as being "alcohol dependence and alcohol addiction" just a few paragraphs earlier, in order to try to shoe-horn your ideas of "the disease of alcoholism" into the DSM-IV.

    "In addition, if a "hopeless alcoholic" cuts down on his drinking and cleans up his act and appears so sober that he is able to fool the doctors, how bad can his drinking really be? Isn't it just possible that an "alcoholic" who improves his lifestyle and his health to the point that he can routinely pass for sober might really be "recovered"?"

    Just because a doctor is fooled, doesn't mean injurious drinking is not still injurious or dangerous.

    You are assuming that the drinking is so bad that it is "injurious", and yet the doctor is too blind to see it? How do you get that? You imagine that somehow the doctor won't notice that somebody is drinking himself to death? (That sure wasn't my experience with doctors.) Again, that is the standard A.A. bias against real doctors. (Most quack medicine rackets hate real doctors.)

    "Again, killing as many people as it appears to save is a disaster, not a wonderfully good thing."

    I still see nothing other than correlation throughout everything I've so far read (there really is a lot to go through on your website).

    Correlation? Did you actually read the file on The Effectiveness of the Twelve-Step Treatment? That file contains all of the valid randomized longitudinal controlled studies that I have been able to find in the last 11 years. They test for causation, not correlation.

    "I know who and what the enemy is. Did you read about the Lizard Brain Addiction Monster?"

    I did read it. I was interested to find out what help(s/ed) you. Not a lot in there I didn't already know about the brain, but it was an interesting read nonetheless.

    There is also a lot in there that makes A.A. teachings unnecessary.

    "Been there, done that. I do truly understand. Now you are trying to use the propaganda trick of claiming that your opponent does not know what he is talking about, because he hasn't had the "special experiences" that you have. Wrong. I've been to hell and back with alcohol too, and I do know."

    It was not my intention to imply you have not "been to hell and back with alcohol", and I was definitely not trying to use propaganda or "tricks" to imply you do not know what you're talking about. As a matter of fact, I never said you "didn't know what you're talking about because you haven't had the 'special experiences' that [I] have". If you were to say that Alcoholics Anonymous did not help me, I WOULD say you do not know what you are talking about, because you don't know what happened to me or what helped me (but that is merely just my own personal experience), and that would be fair of me to say (not propaganda at all). I was running out of time and trying to end the e-mail, so I'll rephrase it: Alcoholism took me to a pretty dark place. I believe that the transformation from what I was to what I am now has been a miracle. In addition, I applaud any alcoholic who has overcome alcoholism (no matter the method).


    To sum it up: I see "controlled studies" done that send one group of people who may not even be alcoholic to A.A. meetings, and another group of people that might not be alcoholic to a different program (or in some cases, none at all). If the death rate is higher for A.A. meetings, A.A. is to blame for the death rate increase. That is correlation, NOT causation, and a logical fallacy.
    Again, the above is just my $0.02.

    Again, if non-alcoholics get sent to A.A. meetings (something that I am very opposed to), it will make A.A. look better, because "Look at how quickly A.A. cured them of alcoholism!".

    The same goes for sending non-alcoholics to "treatment programs". I am reminded of what Cora Finch wrote years ago, about the exaggerated "success rates" of treatment centers:

    It comes down to two things, baseline and outcome. Both can be defined in a variety of ways, or left undefined.

    The "best" numbers come from studies with the highest baseline. Take highly-paid professionals who have had a DIU and get a lot of hangovers. In 1940 they would have been considered ordinary people. But now we can count them as alcoholics and put them in a diversion program with the threat of losing their jobs and — Wow, what a success rate!

    Again, those randomized longitudinal controlled studies test for causation, not correlation. The whole point of doing an RLCS is to avoid the confusion of causation and correlation. You keep trying to dismiss all valid tests of A.A. as merely showing "correlation", which is not the case.

    That is like trying to claim that there is merely a "correlation" between taking penicillin and having nasty streptococcus infections die out. Not! It isn't just a coincidence or "correlation" when infections disappear after you take penicillin. There are real cause-and-effect relationships in this world. And some that have been established are:

    • Penicillin and other antibiotics kill bacteria.
    • A.A. increases binge drinking, costs of hospitalization, and deaths.

    I'd prefer if you kept this correspondance between us, but ultimately it is up to you what you decide to do with it. If any of the above came off as representation of any organization, cause, or person other than myself, was not intended and was by mistake. Any typos, grammatical errors, etc.. well, you get the point. This is just my opinion and nothing more. I appreciate the time you have taken to respond. -Anonymous

    I'm going to print this, because it is a good set of questions, and they deserve answers, and I simply do not have the time to spend on private email debates that don't get published. I just don't do that, because it's a waste of time. I will of course preserve your anonymity.

    Have a good day now.

    == Orange

    *             [email protected]        *
    *         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
    *          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
    **  "We AA's have never called alcoholism a disease because,
    **   technically speaking it is not a disease entity."
    **      ==  Bill Wilson,  speaking to the
    **          National Catholic Clergy Conference On Alcoholism,
    **          April 21, 1960, in New York

    May 06, 2012, Sunday: The Fernhill Wetlands

    Canada Goose gosling
    The Baby of the Family of 6

    Canada Goose goslings
    The little one and a sibling munching bread

    Canada Goose goslings
    The little one and a sibling, hanging out

    Canada Goose goslings
    The little one and a sibling, hanging out

    [The story of the goslings continues here.]

    [The previous letter from Meatbag is here.]

    [ Link here = https://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters310.html#Meatbag ]

    Date: Tue, June 5, 2012 11:05 am     (answered 7 June 2012)
    Subject: Re: Orange Papers as ebook
    From: "Meatbag"

    Good news is I did figure out the DRM situation. I couldn't crack the DRM on either OS of my laptop. I had to use my gaming rig, and the tools worked on that. I suspect the reason it only worked on the desktop is it had an older version of Adobe Digital Editions on it. DeDRMing some new books I bought from Amazon, on the other hand, worked just fine on the Linux side of my laptop (if it works on Linux, I don't care about Windows). I know exactly where I'm going to be buying my ebooks now. Of course, no DRM at all would be even better.

    Hello again, Meatbag,

    I agree. No DRM would be much better. One of the big reasons why I refuse to buy an Apple iPad is because the music must be all locked up in the odd iPad iTunes format. The heck with that noise. I play MP3s and FLAC files with no locks on them.

    Again, it's the "closed system" philosophy versus the open system. Linux is open, so I run Linux.

    Have a good day now.

    == Orange

    *             [email protected]        *
    *         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
    *          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
    **     "Every day, one should hear some fine music, see a
    **     beautiful picture, and speak a few reasonable words."
    **       ==  author unknown

    [The next letter from Meatbag is here.]

    [ Link here = https://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters310.html#Jim_McP ]

    Date: Wed, June 6, 2012 5:52 am     (answered 7 June 2012)
    Subject: Good to see things are growing!!
    From: "jim mcp."

    Hi Orange,

    Good to see numbers on the site are growing.

    Hi again, Jim,

    Yes, it really surprised me how much it is sky-rocketing lately. At the beginning of last month, I doubted that the web site would get 2 million hits for the month, because of the usual summer slump. The count actually went over 2 1/2 million. If it keeps climbing like that, it will be 3 million hits this month.

    I am now over 3 years without a meeting and life is just dandy.......even though their are many frustrations and difficulties currently; life is dandy.


    Overall, I am now some 9 years sober and can honestly say, that any 'real' or 'sincere' Spiritual growth, did not 'genuinely' start till I pulled away from those rooms.


    I did speak with an old AA friend the other day and when after some telephone knockabout and fun, it was offered to him that I didn't attend meetings any more ( He asked ); the mood quite clearly changed.

    I was offered the following......."Lots of meetings, lots of chances; few meetings, few chances; no meetings, no chance!" and this gem "We (note the Royal 'we') Alcoholics ride a bike uphill and when we stop peddling we slide backwards."

    It deeply saddened me you know.


    I would highly recommend a book to you, if I may (providing you haven't read it already)...... Its called 'AWARENESS' by ANTHONY DE MELLO. What a beautiful book and what a beautiful man.

    I'll check it out. No, I haven't read it.

    Keep up the tremendous work for the sake of sanity and truth!!!!

    And as my old friend Neil Young once snarled with brutal sarcasm "Keep On Rockin' In The Free World" !!!!!
    (Some of the sleeping masses thought this was a pro American song)........!!!!!! There is indeed much work to be done!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    God bless you,


    Thanks, and you have a good day too, Jim.

    == Orange

    *             [email protected]        *
    *         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
    *          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
    **     Look! Good fortune is around you.
    **     It is better to be alone than in bad company.
    **        ==  author unknown

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    Last updated 26 December 2013.
    The most recent version of this file can be found at https://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters310.html