Letters, We Get Mail, XXXIX

[5th letter from Injoyon. The previous 4 are here.]

Date: Fri, March 3, 2006 15:17
From: "injoyon"
Subject: Re: question for you


I have not responded because quite honestly ? you are exasperating! I have to say I have the whole while felt as though I've had unfinished business. I am hoping I won?t feel it complete ONLY WHEN I convert you, because I know that will never happen...

Hello Injoyon,

It's good to hear from you again. And your finding me exasperating makes my day. I must be doing something right.

So I would start to respond, and I?d find myself getting side-tracked from themes and concepts of far greater relevance than these paltry details you persist feeding and thriving upon. Really Orange, it is not only redundantly boring, it is downright tedious ? not to mention reminiscent of bad former relationships.

I had to remove myself for a while to collect my thoughts with regards to the overall picture here, and get away from arguing such trifling minutiae.

Of far greater significance, is the fact that I myself recently celebrated 15 years of sobriety, of which I feel deeply blessed to experience daily, the joy of living (BTW — the "theme" of the 12th step). When once I saw a world that I found unbearable to live in, today I have tools that have given me the real ability to cope? (I'm glad your proofs are invalid, or I would have offed myself for sure...).

Excuse me, what "proofs"? What are you talking about?

Congratulations on your 15 years of sobriety. The reason you have 15 years of sobriety is because for 15 years you have chosen not to drink alcohol. A.A. is irrelevant.

Today I know I don't have to agree or like everything in the world in order to be a part OF, PARTICIPATE, and BE PRESENT enough to experience the joys and sorrows it has to offer. And, to be able to do so while appreciating exactly where I am as an individual, and appreciate exactly where my city, country, and world are? and as I said, be a part of it exactly where we are in the given moment ? well, that is a gift indeed. One that was a by-product of working the 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous.

That sounds like a bunch of nonsense. How much do you appreciate how George W. Bush is messing up both Iraq and the USA?

I had a sponsor who said once ?you don?t have to understand or even like everything in order to accept it?? ?sometimes we just have to accept the unacceptable?. Now you could say this is unreasonable and no one should have to accept certain things blah blah blah? but that is precisely my argument with you ? it is a broader meaning I see.. and it is one that has to do with inner peace and little else. (How does that go? I'd rather be wrong and happy then right and miserable?? — I've spent far too long being right.) Acceptance does not mean I roll over and play doormat. But it has everything to do with knowing where I end and the world begins. I now know the difference between my place, my job and dare I say ?God?s? for lack of better general understanding of what I am talking about ? the flow of things, the cosmic vibe, the totality of energy, higher power, whatever? I keep it simple and say ?I am responsible for the effort and not the outcome?.

Okay, so now you have accepted "the unacceptable", whatever that means. That is a lot of vague, flowery language. Just what did you accept? What are you talking about, really?

I cannot control what every individual A.A. member says and how they sponsor. There are a lot of whack jobs out there for sure. And to hold an entire fellowship accountable for what few have done is not right. Not to mention it is overlooking and completely undermining the very principles the fellowship touts.

That is just some more minimization and denial, trying to blame the glaring faults of Alcoholics Anonymous on just a few errant members. The whole thing is wrong, starting with Bill Wilson's lies about alcoholism and recovery and spirituality.

I see.

You are of the mindset ?practice what you preach? (or you?ll have none of it??) Well, if I remember correctly, focusing on what other?s are doing, how other?s practice the program or how other?s don?t didn?t blah blah blah is a very common (alcoholic and addict) defect in the first place. So it does not surprise me that one would spend so much time and effort in doing just that in the first place. If I spent all my time pointing out the many flaws in my city, country, and beloved A.A. fellowship? cofounders included? well, that is what I used to do (when I was miserable and in the grips of addiction and enslaved to my own emotions) and A.A. is not about that. It?s about how I am practicing the principles? not how others are doing it. (Or, to give you credit where it is due, how others are NOT doing it...)

And it?s that simple.

When a criminal is foisting quack medicine on sick people, it is morally irresponsible to NOT speak out and criticize his activities.

And if I am focusing on that, (myself) I have found in my years of sobriety to be a far happier, more well-adjusted participant of life? not to mention the many inside gifts I get to experience which I can?t possibly tell you about as I could write a book instead of a paragraph. Didn't you ever learn a key A.A. pricniple?? That our well-being is not contingent on what others or how others, or ON OTHERS.... it is contingent on being whole and complete and not so RELIANT ON OTHERS... and how do we get whole and complete? Well, i will leave that up to you — I know how I did it :-)

I am enjoying my years of sobriety too, but that has nothing to do with Alcoholics Anonymous.

The difference between you and I, is that I can actually see your points and I appreciate being brought to light the many concerns you convey? valid as many are. But you, on the other hand, cannot see beyond any of your own points because you are blinded by your own personal ambitions? so you use every little shred of evidence you possibly can muster in order to perpetuate your one-sided perspective.

What personal ambitions? Do you see me setting up a cult like Bill Wilson did? Do you see me claiming to be on a special mission from God?

Believe me Orange, I have concerns too. There is dogma, pomp and circumstance, ritual, verbatim regurgitation? you bet I see these things? When the structure becomes more important than the spiritual entity it was designed to hold ? THAT is scary?My conclusion is the same as when I was disillusioned with the world. I will not make decisions based on my fears? I will not let circumstances dictate who I am or how I behave? I will continue to try to live up to my ideals for myself, regardless of stupid people? I will continue to be a part of the process? to participate in a solution? much along the lines of ?think globally, act locally?? I sponsor and I am sponsored?My husband is 10 years sober and we are both active in many facets of A.A.

It is all fine and well that you and your husband enjoy Alcoholics Anonymous activities. That is not evidence that A.A. helps alcoholics to quit drinking.

I never claim to have a monopoly on recovery. I spoke at a school of pharmacology the other day as an A.A. member and I simply told them what A.A. is and what it is not. I told them we do not have a monopoly on recovery. (They were, in fact studying various forms of drug therapy for alcoholics and addicts.) I'm not going argue with any of that — hell, even Bill Wilson looked for solutions to Alcoholism in many many ways, including dropping acid. (But you would use this piece of information to say he used drugs and wasn't recovered.)

On the contrary, I never said that. Other critics of Alcoholics Anonymous have, but I have not. Heck, I took a lot of LSD myself, and learned some good things from it. I have very mixed feelings on the subject of LSD.

I have criticized Bill Wilson for lying, selling Frank Buchman's cult religion as a cure for alcoholism, stealing the A.A. money, lying about the A.A. success rate, philandering and seducing A.A. women, and making himself the Chief Boohoo of a cult, but not for trying LSD.

I will go so far as to say that I have serious doubts about the sanity of a man who takes LSD for 2 years and then says that God sent him on a special mission to save all of the alcoholics in the world.

But as far as I am concerned, the word "sober" means that you have not drunk any alcohol. It doesn't say anything about LSD. I don't buy into the A.A. extended definition of "sober" which means that you are "working a strong program" and "working the Steps", and going to lots of meetings, and don't consume any other mind-altering chemicals.

So as far as I'm concerned, Bill Wilson probably was sober after December of 1934, even though he was stoned crazy most of the time.

Whatever?. You take things out of context to fill your own ambitions. What you do not consider is the process of growth. That alcoholism affects us mentally, physically, and spiritually and therefore the solution must address all areas and not just the physical one.

I do not take things out of context. We have talked about that before.

Do you even know what it is to take things out of context? Not every quote is something taken out of context.

Please read the original discussion about taking things out of context, and then show me even one example where I took a quote out of context and twisted or distorted its meaning.

You are just complaining that you don't like the real facts that I quote.

Thank God (figure of speech) because I'd still be picking apart and dissecting every little thing every one else does were I not SOMEWHAT right-sized. So I suppose I've done my fair share of that for a while.

Progress, not perfection (progress for me = trying, perfection = not having to try — I am still trying!!)

Until next time?

Injoyon as usual?

Okay Injoyon,

Have a good day.

== Orange

P.S.: I suspect that all of the question marks in your letter are caused by you having written the letter on a Macintosh, and sent the letter in Macintosh format. Macs don't use proper ASCII codes for things like quotation marks, hyphens, or apostrophes.

Some computer between yours and mine "fixed" the problem by replacing all of the goofy codes with question marks.

What Mac users should do is convert the letter to plain ASCII text before sending it. Thanks.

*                  Agent Orange               *
*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
** The A.A. Plan: "Search out another alcoholic and
** try again. You are sure to find someone desperate
** enough to accept with eagerness what you offer."
** (The Big Book, page 96.)

[Another letter from Injoyon:]

Date: Mon, March 27, 2006 15:12
From: "injoyon"
Subject: Re: question for you

I was not using a Mac.

I will get back to you — I'm off to my Home Group now (and chuckling because I am sure you are rolling your eyes...)

Although I don't agree with your assessment at all of the program and fellowship of people who showed me how to apply the tools to my life that have given me a new life... (and NO Agent, I do not have the life I have because I simply stopped drinking... if only it were that easy...)

I have to say I like your Nina quote, lol

"Sometimes you can be shown the light, in the strangest of places if you look at it right" — Jerry Garcia

Okay, Injoyon,

Have a good time and a good day.

*                  Agent 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.

Date: Sat, March 4, 2006 15:43
From: "aagso.org"
Subject: inner workings of AA, Inc.

BCC to some people listed in my address book

I'm gonna take a chance here, and ask that you upload the two attached files to the web-site. They're meant strictly for a "humour break", (and you can quote me there, if you like). My former home group used the phrase for years, after I'd stolen it from someone who's identity I don't even remember. After "mass emailing" it to my (former) home group, the only answer I got back, went something to the effect of "I don't want to see this kind of stuff"! Oh well, so much for "absolutely insisting on enjoying life", for some. If you choose NOT to upload the files, I'll take no offense, nor feel "slighted".

What I'm learning about the inner workings of AA, Inc., not only saddens me, it makes me absolutely sick, not to mention terrified of what's going on in the name of spreading the message. What I've also learned about Bill Wilson and his chicanery as related by [and about] Henrietta Seiberling, Henry (Hank) Parkhurst, Dr. Bob Smith's daughter Sue Smith Windows and others, (available via https://www.orange-papers.info/orange-aacoa.html) leaves me with the impression that Bill was just another (sober) horse-thief. His ORIGINAL intent probably WAS pure and altruistic, but when the rubber met the road, and there was a buck to be made, it kinda (very sadly) fell back to basic human greed.

I'm no big fan of the "Orange Papers" but there ARE unanswered questions. LOL, I guess AAWS doesn't want to get involved in any (further) controversy, eh?

Al (not anonymous within the REAL Fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous) Cooper

P.S. I claim NO copyright, trademark, or ownership of the Butt Twisted Serpents.jpg logo. Public domain by wishes of the designer!

Okay, Al, thanks for the letter and for the thought.

And have a good day.

*                  Agent Orange               *
*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
** "You go to war with the jokes you have, not the jokes
** you might want or wish to have at a later time."
**  == Our Secretary of Offense, Ronald McDumsfeld

From: "John M."
Subject: Jim Jones
Date: Sun, March 5, 2006 23:38

I must say that you're papers have been very entertaining and informing. As a guy who's gotten sober (and therefore drunk) in AA, and now am trying to find an alternative way, what I'm learning, and what I'm seeing in AA, is pretty frightening, even more so when I realize that a lot of these people are genuine, honest, good people.

But onto the subject line. It's strange that you mention Jim Jones. I was in a NA meeting, largely because I couldn't find an AA meeting, and one other guy mentioned that the first time he got sober he did so alongside Jim Jones. We were talking about anonymity, and I kept mentioning how odd it was that this was Alcoholics _Anonymous_ or Narcotics Anonymous when we state our names. His point was he didn't want anybody to associate Jim Jones with the AA/NA traditions.

Hi John,

Thanks for the letter. Now that is interesting. Are you telling me that Jim Jones was at one time a member of A.A. or N.A., and that Jones went there for a drug/alcohol problem? Or did that fellow first sober up in Jones's organization?

Have a good day.

== Orange

*                  Agent Orange               *
*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
** And the believers said, "If you want what we
** have, and are willing to go to any length to
** get it, then, here, drink this koolaid."

Date: Mon, March 6, 2006 2:21
From: "Eric F."
Subject: Thanks for the info!

Hi AO,

I stumbled across your site last year in an AA chat room, when I brought up the subject of a group breaking the traditions. I was plenty mad for about 15-20 minutes, until I got into reading the letters section. Wow! What an eye opener. I sure have felt a lot better since then! I appreciate the work you've done in gathering all this information. I still attend AA meetings occasionally, and they sure don't like what I have to say these days. My favorite meetings to go to are the "book studies". I flat out tell these people the truth and challenge them when they claim that I am wrong. I had always been considered an authority on the BB, 12+12, and AA history and traditions, and now even the old-timers can't dispute any thing that I have said in regards to the BB and history. My favorite things are to tell the truth about what kind of man Bill Wilson really was and to shoot holes in the slogans and double-talk dogma. I have gotten a few people to come to your site and learn the truth about the "emotional black-hole" of AA. I always tell them to be sure and read the letters section so that they can see "AA spirituality" in action and get the real deal behind a lot of the AA fallacies. My next job is to get my true-believer girlfriend to wake up to the truth.

Hope you have a great day and thanks again for giving us this great tool in fighting the lies of AA.

Eric F.

Hi Eric,

Thanks for the letter, and thanks for all of the compliments.
And congratulations on your new-found mental freedom.
And yes, I am doing well, and having a good day, thank you.

And you have a good day too.

== Orange

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

[another letter from Eric:]

Date: Sat, March 18, 2006 18:37
From: "Eric F."
Subject: Circular logic

Hey AO, thought I'd fill you in on a hand grenade I threw out in an AA meeting this morning. the topic at this morning meeting always comes out of the Daily Reflections book. Today it was something about trusting in God and went something like " I never trusted God. but the more willing I became, the more I trusted God, and the more I trusted God, the more willing I became". this meeting goes around the room and gives everybody a chance to share, so they're not able to skip over me. Several people told me they were very offended at my remarks about the nonsense and stupidity of circular logic. (HAHA) But a couple of people told me afterwards that they didn't think that reading made sense, they just didn't know what it was about it.

Or how about,
"The more brainwashed I am, the more I believe this stuff.
The more I believe this stuff, the more brainwashed I am."

That vicious circle is unfortunately true. That's how members become increasingly indoctrinated in a cult.

I only went to this meeting because a lady that my girlfriend sponsors was celebrating a year of sobriety. My girlfriend is an AA true believer, but I am starting to break through the wall of lies that AA built around her. But it is fun to show up now and then to rattle the cages of the diehards. (Would that be considered practicing a character defect? LOL)

Hope all is well on your end. Things are great here, and I have given the website addy to a few others. They are grateful to learn the truth, as am I. Take care, and keep up the great work.

BTW: I quit smoking at the first of the year, and I have to thank you for getting me back to the reality of me being in control of my life and my choices. That's another thing they hate to hear; that we are responsible for our own decisions and actions!

Eric F.

Oh, now that's really good. That's a very big deal. Remember that alcohol kills about 100,000 US citizens per year, while tobacco kills 430,000 per year.
So which is really the more dangerous drug?
What should people really be sitting in a circle confessing?

** Smoke, smoke, smoke that cigarette.
** Puff, puff, puff yourself to death.
** Tell St. Peter at the Gate
** That I hate to make him wait
** But I gotta have another cigarette.
== A Johnny Cash song

Oh well, have a good day anyway.

== Orange

*                  Agent Orange               *
*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
** "Cast off the shackles of this modern oppression and
** take back what is rightfully yours, because as William
** Shakespeare never wrote, 'Life is but a bullring, and
** we are but matadors trying to dodge all the horns.'"
** —  Matthew Clayfield

Date: Mon, March 6, 2006 3:36
From: "Ian H." in the U.K.
Subject: AA

I've just read your article "The Funny Spirituality of Bill Wilson and A.A.", and I'd just like to ask you a couple of questions:

1. Are you an alcoholic?
2. Has your life been affected by an alcoholic?

Ian H. (Lancaster, UK)

Hi Ian,

The answer is BOTH. My father was an abusive alcoholic, and then I turned out to have inherited alcoholism from him.

For a short summary of my experiences, read these:

*                  Agent Orange               *
*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
** "Most people would sooner die than think; in fact, they do so."
**     == Bertrand Russell (1872-1970)

Date: Tue, March 7, 2006 1:11
From: "john h."
Subject: Intrigiuing Web page

Dear Double Secret agent Orange,

I found the topic of your discussion most intresting. I found several flaws in your theory, but it was most excelently constructed. I can truely see the amount of effort you put into this work. I can only imagine the many long hours and sleepless night wich you invariably spent on proving that Alcoholics Anonomous truely is a Hoax. Not only a Hoax but an evil and terrifing colt!

There are several areas of your page that were troubling to me.

In reading about the propaganda in the text of Alcoholics Anonomous I found many louded words and to speak plainly much of your reading to be very much on the lines of propaganda itself. Please correct me if i be mistaken, because when your explaining in great detail the "lie by omision" did I not read

What a huge difference that one tiny little fact makes. That chapter reads entirely differently, it becomes a sick twisted joke, when you know who the real author was.
[ — a quote from the web page on Propaganda Techniques, here. ]

The truth being I already knew who the author was, and did not find it to be a sick twisted joke.

This is one little example i found that hurts your research. When reading your page I could not help but see slander in many forms through your writing. What this kind of slander cannot help but cause is the athour, being you I presume, to lose credibelity. One starts to ask the question of whether you have a hidden agenda or not.

Ah, so you want me to be unemotional? Sorry, but that is not my style. I have friends and aquaintances dying over this stuff while the "Friends of Bill" continue to parrot his lies. I am not going to be emotionally cold and neutral in this matter. I think that deliberately foisting ineffective quack medicine on sick and dying people is one of the lowest and most vile crimes on Earth.

And you may have known that Bill Wilson wrote the Big Book chapter "To Wives" while he lied and wrote that the wives wrote it, but lots of other A.A. members don't know it, or deny it.

And it really is a sick twisted joke for Bill Wilson to pretend to be his own wife, and to write her confession of how she was so silly and selfish and dishonest and unspiritual while she supported him while he just stole money out of her purse and drank it up. Bill Wilson was an insane heartless creep who exploited everybody around him.

In looking at your statistics there is not a sound baseline and most of the statics to be rather annectodol. Trying to pull statistics from a very small group is not reliable (although it is done often). Doing a lttle research myself, I find that it is quit easy to get a skewed statistic when dealing with a control that is rather small.

Here are some variables I am curious to see factored into your equatioin; such as many people move, it is also very plausablemany members of this "colt" do not go to the same AA meetings.

Wrong. You are just making up groundless accusations, just pulling stuff out of the air. Please read the file on The Effectiveness of the 12-Step Treatment again, carefully.

First off, they are not "my statistics". That is a propaganda trick where you try to minimize the importance of the information by trying to imply that it just comes from me, rather than the truth that the information comes from many doctors who are experts on the subject of alcoholism and recovery. The information is also not just "statistics". It is the results of the biggest and best tests and studies of Alcoholics Anonymous ever done.

Next, there was not a problem with a too-small control group. Some of those tests were large. Especially look at the English Orford and Edwards study. That was just about the biggest and most extensive test of A.A. ever done, and they found that a year of A.A. was no more effective than a doctor talking to alcoholics for one hour, telling them to quit drinking or they would die.

Then there are summations. Dr. George E. Vaillant (the member of the Board of Trustees of Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc.) chose to track just his first 100 patients that he had treated with Alcoholics Anonymous, but he had thousands of patients to choose from. Since he was such an enthusiastic A.A. booster, he would have chosen a different hundred to report on if he could have gotten better results from some other group. But he couldn't. He got failure all across the board.

Read those studies again. If you don't believe that I am reporting on them accurately, then go get the original publications and read the full text of them yourself, like I did.

Please pay particular attention to the work of Doctors

  1. Brandsma, who found that A.A. increased the rate of binge drinking, and
  2. Ditman, who found that A.A. increased the rate of rearrests for public drunkenness, and
  3. Walsh, who found that "free A.A." made later hospitalization more expensive, and
  4. Orford and Edwards, who found that having a doctor talk to the patient for just one hour was just as effective as a whole year of A.A.-based treatment.
  5. George E. Vaillant the A.A. Trustee, who found that A.A. treatment was completely ineffective, and just raised the death rate in alcoholics.

The truth is you are also making unfounded accusations of the author of the Book _Alcoholics Anonomous_. I could be mistaken and would ask you to write me back if this be the case. I do not believe that you have had any personal contact with Bill Wilson and am curious how reliable your sources are.

Unfounded? Like hell. Bill Wilson was undeniably a monster. His own writings clearly reveal that, and his history shows it. He stole all of the money, constantly cheated on his wife by screwing all of the prettiest women who came to A.A. for help, lied like a rug, sold cult religion as a quack cure for alcoholism, and lied about the success rate, and kicked out those who would not kotow to him. Bill Wilson generally acted just like any other cult leader.

You just don't like to hear your favorite cult guru criticized.

it is plain to me that you truely have devoted a very long time to the "Orange Papers" and I truely have a passion for looking at two sides of an arguement, for Herbert Spencer truely said it best. Regardless of the point he was trying to make.


Okay John,

I have written back.

Have a good day.

== Orange

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

[2nd letter from John H.:]

Date: Tue, March 21, 2006 21:39
From: "john h."

Dear double secret Agent orange,

I thank you for your response to my email, I apologize for coming off as an A.A. member or supportor. I am just doing research for several presentations of mine when I stumbled across your web page. I really could care less about Bill Wilson, but I find rather intresting that some of my research does not support yours. I am not trying to discredit your work and that last email was written rather quikly and not thought out. What still strciks me as odd is you lose effectiveness and credibility when you use slander. I can see your reason for doing so but never the less hurts what your oblective is, which I am assuming is trelling the world the truth about A.A.

Know that you have proven that A.A. is an evil colt what next? Maybe you should take down the Catholic Church, and then while your at it, take down all christianity. You should probably tell the world the truth about Islam, and then you could mabey destroy the idea that there is even a God. You sure do have a whole lot of work ahead of yourself but i'm confident that you can do it.


Hi again, John,

Let's see... First off, I do not use slander. To slander someone is to tell lies about them. I do not tell lies about Bill Wilson or anyone else. I go out of my way to get the facts right and tell the truth.

I tell some very unpleasant and unflattering truths about Bill Wilson, and I regard that insane philandering lying thieving con artist with contempt, but that is not slander. It isn't slander or libel when you are telling the truth.

In the second paragraph, there you go again. Your first paragraph was all apologetic and mollifying, but then you reverted to your usual attitude in the second paragraph. You just couldn't be that calm for very long, could you? :-)

My web site is about Alcoholics Anonymous and other recovery cults, and abusive "rehabilitation programs" like child-abusing boot camps. I don't feel any need to attack the Catholic Church or Islam. And I am not an atheist or an agnostic, so I feel no need to "destroy the idea that there is even a God."

You are just going non-linear because I criticize your favorite cult.

Oh well, have a good day anyway.

== Orange

P.S.: You declared that "some of my research does not support yours". What research? Why don't you show it to us?

*                  Agent Orange               *
*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
** "The man who invented the telescope found out more about
** heaven than the closed eyes of prayer ever discovered."
** — Robert G. Ingersoll, "The Great Agnostic" (1833-1899)

Date: Tue, March 7, 2006 9:06
From: "Emma"
Subject: update

hi again orange

just visited your site again, i have to keep visiting every now and then to keep remind myself that i'm not a dry drunk and that it's possible to stay sober and happy without AA. It was encouraging to hear emails from so many ex-members who are happily getting on with their lives. I left 5 months ago and my boyfriend nearly a year ago (i couldn't resist reading all the illicit anti-aa literature he had around the house :D ), and although i've been enjoying the extra time i have, pursuing a fuller life becoming an illustrator, i feel that AA has made me quite phobic — i live in london and am afraid that people (ex-members who i may bump into) see me as a dry drunk and that i'm on the verge of insanity (jails, institutions and death) but it's thanks to your pages that i can be reassured about the reality that AA is a cult and to stop doubting my own sanity — mind you, as a guy in an SOS chatroom mentioned, the day he became truly free was the day he no longer cared what AA's thought of him.

As i've heard in meetings for the past 4 years that the alternative is death or insanity I'm bound to doubt myself, when i look at it rationally though I know there is no sense in drinking and i am no different to the person i was when i went to aa — except that now i am an atheist and very much into reading about secular ethics etc.

Keep up the great work — the work you are doing helps more people than you may realise.

all the best

Emma x

Hi Emma,

Thanks for the letter and all of the compliments. And congratulations on both your sobriety and your freedom.

I'm glad to hear that you are doing well. That phobia thing will wear off eventually, but it will take time.

For a while, I would feel weird when I was around Steppers, since I wasn't doing it any more and didn't believe in their commonly-accepted bull any more...

And then it occurred to me that it wasn't me who should feel weird. Here I was, being both sober and relatively sane and cult-free, while they were crazy as loons and mad as hatters, yammering nonsense about how belief in a Higher Power like a doorknob or a motorcycle can make you quit drinking. They should feel embarrassed to see me and have to admit that they have made no progress or changes or growth in years.

Have a good day.

== Orange

*                  Agent Orange               *
*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
** One of the most sublime experiences we can ever have
** is to wake up feeling healthy after we have been sick.
**         Rabbi Harold Kushner

Date: Tue, March 7, 2006 14:27
From: "John L"
Subject: AA and me

Note, could you just refer to me as John L if you do decide to print this.

Anyway, I've been hanging around the rooms for about three years now. On and off, up and down, back and forth. They told me to keep around the rooms, probably a common cult indoctrination technique, do 90 in 90, get a sponsor, on and on and on. One of the guys that helped me said that I shouldn't go "back to church" for a while, and to keep around the rooms.

Well, this last relapse, I ended up a blathering idiot talking about how I was evil and since this is how God made me, this is how I'm going to end up, why even try to obtain any sort of power over alcohol. One night last year, I had a bottle of vodka in my hand just praying for God to intervene, a flash of lightning, even somebody coming over and knocking on my door. And every time I opened the door, all I heard was the crickets and the wind (that's getting to be one of my favorite sayings).

This last time back, early on, I was very bitter. I thought of myself more as miserable, depressed and enslaved. Here I was, 28, living at home with mom, going to meetings, and hearing more God freaks in my life. I'd be looking over at somebody at what I call "amateur preacher hour" stringing cliche after cliche after cliche together in his sing song voice, leaning back in his chair and acting like a wise old man and I'd think, "can't you even think for yourself?"

And I got other thoughts in my head, as well. For instance, if God is not only omnipotent but omniscient, why didn't he see the life I was doing and put a stop to it? Moreover, why didn't he cover up the hole in the first place. It's kind of like the guy who rescues the kid who has fallen into the sewer ditch he dug on his land and didn't cover up. Is he applauded as a hero, or fined and maybe even arrested for leaving an uncovered hole?

Then it came to me: like Kyle says in that South Park show, "If God didn't make you drink, then he didn't make you sober either". God created me, gave me a will and power over my body, it's time for me to start using them. The answer isn't found in those smoke-filled rooms where if the tobacco doesn't kill you, the guilt will. It's found on the streets, outside the rooms, in you and not in the group.

Since then, I've written a short story, worked overtime to start paying my bills, and talked with other people outside of AA. And I finally came to your site and a couple of others (notably SOS). Keep up the truth, and the truth will set you free, from alcoholism and from AA. It won't make you popular, however.

Hi John,

Thanks for the letter, and I'm glad to hear that you are feeling better, and liberated.

Taking your last remark first, — "It won't make you popular, however." — I am reminded of an old Turkish proverb: "He who speaks the truth should always keep one foot in the stirrup."

So true.

And then on the whole "God will make you stop drinking" thing — I think you've got it right. Personally, I suspect that God is having too much fun playing with galaxies and super-novas and black holes to care whether I drink some beer.

It's all up to me.

In a way, that much freedom is frightening, and it scares a lot of people. I suspect that they resist the idea because they see so much freedom as a huge yawning gulf that they could get lost in. Well yeh, but it beats living in a cage.

Have a good day.

== Orange

[2nd letter:]

Date: Tue, March 7, 2006 16:45
Subject: Random thoughts on AA


Hope you dont mind me emailing you but I was hoping to come across SOMETHING that critised AA and Alanon. Thank you! My life has been hell since I had a complete emotional and mental breakdown after attnding Alanon some 10 years ago. Where oh where do you go to recover from their so called recovery??????? GOD BLESS YOU!

S B.

Hi again. I don't mind at all. Thanks for the thanks. And have a good day again.

*                  Agent Orange               *
*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
** "People unfit for freedom — who cannot do much with it
** — are hungry for power. The desire for freedom is an
** attribute of a 'have' type of self. It says: leave me
** alone and I shall grow, learn, and realize my capacities.
** The desire for power is basically an attribute of a 'have
** not' type of self." == Eric Hoffer

Date: Tue, March 7, 2006 23:09
From: "german"
Subject: thank you

for helping me free my mind :)

You are welcome.
Have a good day.

== Orange

*                  Agent 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.

Date: Thu, March 9, 2006 11:37
From: underdog
Subject: Thank you for your website!

I have been completely unproductive all day, thanks to your website! I haven't read the whole thing yet, but so far, it's fascinating.

Hi AJ,

Thanks for the compliments.

Since I was prescribed AA for my "alcoholism", I have been suspicious of it, and grown to resent it, even hate it. I don't want to bore you with my sob story, but I was arrested for underage consumption twice within a year. A combination of my bad judgment and bored small town cops landed me in drug counseling. My counselor was in AA, and from the start, he was always fishing for reasons to send me there.

Yes, alas, they do that. They aren't happy unless they are shoving somebody else into their "fellowship".

I stupidly admitted that I occasionally smoked pot, which, to him, meant I was an incorrigible drug addict, and surely on my way to Skid Row. He even admitted to me that he could "tell" I wasn't really a drinker, but I was required to attend the AA meetings anyway. I had to collect signatures from the group leaders, or gurus, or whatever they're called, to prove I had been there, so there was no getting out of it. I had a 30 day sentence hanging over my head if I refused.

You can insist on your right to attend a non-cult-religion recovery group like SMART. Lots of high-ranking judges have ruled that Alcoholics Anonymous is conducting religious services, and that it is a religious program, and that nobody can be forced to attend somebody else's church. See this link.

Proceed carefully, so that you don't antagonize some powerful authority figure. But you can proceed. I wonder if it is also within the realm of reason to ask the judge for another counselor because the one you have is a member of a cult religion who is trying to recruit you.

I wasn't quite 21 years old when I started going to the meetings. The first thing that freaked me out was the surrendering to a higher power thing. I just cannot force myself to believe in any sort of god. I was told I was selfish if I didn't, and many times told I suffered from "terminal uniqueness", otherwise known as "independant thought", ha ha. What freaked me out the most, though, was the vacant look in everyone's eyes. Obviously these people are members of a cult. I don't like the way they force you to admit to problems you don't have. I took my boyfriend to a meeting once, and they all looked at us like we were prey. I'm not even joking.

Welcome to the Night of the Living Dead. The zombies really are out to get you.

At AA, it seems to me, you're guilty until proven... ah, forget it, you're GUILTY. You don't think you have a problem? You're in denial. Or you're "terminally unique". If you don't have any real problems, dig deeper. Find something to moan about.

Yep. It's a double-bind.
If you say that you are an alcoholic, then you are.
If you say that you are not an alcoholic, then you are an alcoholic who lies and is in denial.

But hey, why am I spouting off to you? You know. I'm so glad my instincts were right on this one. Thanks for putting this information out there :D

Cheers, AJ

You are quite welcome.

Have a good day.

== Orange

*                  Agent Orange               *
*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
** Rev. Jim Jones said, "Drink the red koolaid. It
** has cured millions. RARELY HAVE we seen it fail...
** But then again, the green koolaid is good too.
** Take what you want, and leave the rest."

Date: Thu, March 9, 2006 13:15
From: "Ed M."
Subject: Amazing...

Man, I am blown, BLOWN! The amount of work, and the detail of this site is staggering...I've been reading it for two days straight. Amazing stuff.

I was sober for 9 years without the program. Of course to the AA folks that's worthless, even dangerous... Started drinking again recently, and it's gotten out of hand and started looking into treatment options.

Including AA.

What I felt 9 years ago I still feel today. AA is plain creepy. After reading your site, I understand why I've always felt that way.

Thanks for opening the discussion.

Hi Ed,

Thanks for the letter, and all of the compliments.

I hope you are finding what you want. May I suggest some things, of the non-creepy variety?

First off, we were just talking about what works in a previous letter, here.

Especially check out The Lizard-Brain Addiction Monster. That knowledge has been a giant help to me.

Here is a list of discussions of what works to help other people: here.

And then there is the list of usual suspects, the non-cult recovery groups:

Enjoy, and good luck.

And have a good day.

== Orange

*                  Agent Orange               *
*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
** Being surrounded by a group of people who keep
** telling you that you are powerless over alcohol,
** and that your will power is useless, is not
** getting "support". It is getting sabotaged.
** With friends like them, you don't need any enemies.

Date: Thu, March 9, 2006 14:02
From: "John McR."
Subject: Get a Life!!

Is this your life?s work to bitch and moan about other people. In spite of their shortcomings and defects of character, millions of people are living the life of the 12 Steps and the 4 Absolutes. Why don?t you write something worthwhile and try losing some of your anger and resentments.

John MacR

[2nd letter from John McR:]

Date: Fri, March 10, 2006 8:22
From: "John McR."

I think you got sprayed with too much agent orange!!!!!!!

Hi John,

You making some wild groundless assumptions there. No way on earth are there millions of people practicing the 12 Steps and Frank Buchman's Four Absolutes.

First off, the "millions" number is questionable. It comes, of course, from the A.A. headquarters in New York, from the Triennial Surveys. But those people at the headquarters are liars. They sent representatives to Mexico and Germany to lie and commit perjury to put A.A. members into prison for the "crime" of carrying the message to other poor alcoholics. In Mexico, they swore on a Bible that some guy named "Wayne Parks" wrote the Big Book just recently, so it was still under copyright. In Germany they swore on a Bible that Bill Wilson was the SOLE author of the Big Book, as if all of the other authors from Doctor Bob to Henry Parkhurst to Clarence Snyder never existed.

So do you really trust them to give you accurate numbers for the A.A. membership? Why?

Then, there is no way to eliminate the duplicates from the membership list, because everybody is "anonymous". People who have two or three home groups get counted as two or three members.

Then, counting everybody who comes to A.A. meetings as members is not valid. The A.A. rules say that people are members when they declare that they are members, not when some group secretary counts the visitors as members.

So who knows what the real A.A. membership actually is? It is definitely under 2 million.

Then there is the problem that not all of the A.A. members practice the 12 Steps. Lots of people just come to meetings, and reject Bill Wilson's version of Frank Buchman's cult religion as just so much nonsense.

And almost no A.A. members practice Frank Buchman's "Four Absolutes". Bill Wilson clearly explained why he stopped even mentioning them:

...drinkers would not take pressure in any form, excepting from John Barleycorn himself. They always had to be led, not pushed. They would not stand for the rather aggressive evangelism of the Oxford Group. And they would not accept the principle of "team guidance" for their own personal lives. It was too authoritarian for them. In other respects, too, we found we had to make haste slowly. When first contacted, most alcoholics just wanted to find sobriety, nothing else. They clung to their other defects, letting go only little by little. They simply did not want to get "too good too soon." The Oxford Groups' absolute concepts — absolute purity, absolute honesty, absolute unselfishness, and absolute love — were frequently too much for the drunks. These ideas had to be fed with teaspoons rather than by buckets.
      Besides, the Oxford Groups' "absolutes" were expressions peculiar to them. This was a terminology which might continue to identify us in the public mind with the Oxford Groupers, even though we had completely withdrawn from their fellowship.
Alcoholics Anonymous Comes Of Age, William G. Wilson, pages 74-75.

So your statement that "millions of people are living the life of the 12 Steps and the 4 Absolutes" is obviously false.

And lastly, your grumbling about my resentments is so stereotypical that it is getting to be funny. We have talked about the standard A.A. put-down of accusing people of having "resentments" before. Look at this list of "resentments".

And more to the point, if you don't have a resentment at somebody who is shoving ineffective quack medicine and cult religion on sick people, then there is something wrong with you.

Oh well, have a good day anyway.

== Orange

*                  Agent Orange               *
*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
** Gandalf said, "The demons of the darkness howl in
** pain when you shine the light of truth on them."

Date: Fri, March 10, 2006 13:58
From: "Paul N."
Subject: Powerless

Interesting reading. One of the phrases I hear at meetings which greatly disturbs me is "I am powerless over people, places and things". Tell that to the boss when the project you are managing fails!.

Paul N.

Hi Paul,

I couldn't agree more. It's "the Church of Loserism" all over again:
"I'm a loser. I am powerless over everything. I am stupid. We are all stupid. Isn't it wonderful?"

Oh well, have a good day anyway.

== Orange

*                  Agent Orange               *
*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
** When I was a boy I was told that anybody could become
** President. Now I'm beginning to believe it.
**   == Clarence Darrow

Date: Sat, March 11, 2006 16:09
From: "jem"
Subject: anonymity

. . . . . . is grand isn't it? !!!!!

Huh? Says who?

*                  Agent Orange               *
*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
** "You got to be careful if you don't know where
**  you're going, because you might not get there."
**     == Yogi Berra

[2nd letter from jem:]

Date: Wed, March 22, 2006 13:08
From: "JEM"
Subject: Re: anonymity

Thanks Orange but it is sadly obvious that you are so far behind you assume you are ahead!!

Good luck!

Behind? Is sobriety a race?

Oh well, have a good day anyway?

== Orange

*                  Agent Orange               *
*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     Gandalf said, "The little orks don't like
**     humor. They cringe in pain at the sound of
**     laughter. And they really can't stand it when
**     you poke fun at them. So they howl and growl
**     and scowl and get all bent out of shape."

Date: Sat, March 11, 2006 19:47
From: danlboone
Subject: Herbert Spencer

Your statement on your home page, "...in 1864 Herbert Spencer was actually arguing against fundamentalist religious beliefs and dogmatic blind faith, and in favor of Charles Darwin's new theory of evolution."

This is what I found on the net.

"The Victorian biologist and early social philosopher Herbert Spencer was a great rival of Charles Darwin's. His theory of evolution preceded Darwin's own, but was soon overshadowed because of the absence of an effective theory of natural selection — although it was Spencer, and not Darwin, who popularized the term "evolution" itself and coined the now-ubiquitous phrase, 'survival of the fittest'."

found on this link.. http://cepa.newschool.edu/het/profiles/spencer.htm

At first I was appualed of what I read of your pages, but on the other hand life would be boring if everyone believed the same things. Then I laughed. How much effort you put into this. You must be proud.

Thank god for you for being right where you are supposed to be.

It is very funny how you mentioned that Bill Wilson had taken a lot of information from other sources which ended being AA.

Where as you have done the same thing to discredit AA and its theory.

Thanks to the internet.

Hold on right there. I most assuredly did not say that Bill Wilson took a lot of information from other sources which ended up becoming Alcoholics Anonymous. Bill Wilson made that claim, but it was just another one of his lies.

What I said is that Wilson took the Oxford Group "alcoholic squadron" and made it into his own cult. He just appropriated Frank Buchman's cult religion in its entirety. The theology of A.A. is a sole-sourced project, pure Buchmanism.

Bill Wilson's thinking in this regard was narrow and one-dimensional.
Heck, his thinking was really non-existent.
Bill Wilson did not invent or synthesize anything. He just copied and stole.

Bill Wilson wrote some more lies in the front of the Big Book where he claimed that he drew on the philosophies of Carl Jung and William James, but that was just an act to hide the Oxford Group roots of Alcoholics Anonymous, because Frank Buchman was so unpopular for his praise of Adolf Hitler and the Nazis.

Bill Wilson got nothing from Carl Jung, and only one slogan from William James:
"The only radical remedy for dipsomania is religiomania."
(Footnote 1 on page 263 of The Varieties of Religious Experience.)
And then Bill mistakenly attributed that quote to Carl Jung.

Then, a little further on in the Big Book, Bill Wilson also claimed that he got the disease theory of alcoholism — "a unique theory" — from Dr. William D. Silkworth, but that wasn't true either. That idea was already old, and popular in the Oxford Group too.

Look at Beverly Nichols' description of how the ideal Oxford Group wife must tolerate her husband's alcoholism because he has "a disease":

Absolute Unselfishness
      I should have to bring a whole collection of family skeletons rattling out of the cupboard to explain why I mistrust this apparently spotless ideal. All I care to say here is that I have seen several people's lives brought to the brink of ruin because of one woman's absolute unselfishness. If you strip this vague and mushy ideal to its essentials, how does it reveal itself? As a complete abrogation of the rights of the individual concerned. For example, an absolutely unselfish wife must endure, year in and year out, the persecution of a drunkard. She must never assert herself, never speak harshly to him, never protest when he revolts her sensibilities, terrifies her children, turns her house into a lunatic asylum, gambles away her money. 'It is not him,' she must say. 'It is a disease.' Or again: 'I took him for better or for worse; I must endure to the end.'
      Such women exist by the thousand; the Oxford Group approves of them; I do not. They are magnificent but mad. Unselfishness, if carried to these extremes, is an obsession that does nothing but prolong unnecessary pain. (Read Stefan Zweig's Beware of Pity.)
All I Could Never Be, Beverly Nichols, pages 262-266.

Note that Beverly Nichols was describing the situation in the Oxford Group back in the nineteen-twenties and -thirties. The excuse that alcoholism is a disease was already common then. The disease concept of alcoholism did not originate with Bill Wilson, Alcoholics Anonymous, or Dr. William D. Silkworth, either. Bill Wilson did not invent or discover anything when he created the A.A. cult; he just copied the Oxford Group.

The disease theory of alcoholism dated all the way back to Dr. Benjamin Rush in the 1784, so Bill's story that he got all of that "new medical wisdom" from Dr. Silkworth was just another phony show biz act, claiming that Bill's organization had some modern new discovery:

      Bill listened, entranced, as Silkworth explained his theory. For the first time in his life, Bill was hearing about alcoholism not as a lack of willpower, not as a moral defect, but as a legitimate illness. It was Dr. Silkworth's theory — unique at the time — that alcoholism was the combination of this mysterious pysical "allergy" and the compulsion to drink; that alcoholism could no more be "defeated" by willpower than could tuberculosis. Bill's relief was immense.
'PASS IT ON': The story of Bill Wilson and how the A.A. message reached the world, Authorship credited to 'anonymous', actually written by A.A.W.S. staff, page 102.

Now I have drawn on a wide variety of sources of information in writing my web pages, as you might have just noticed. That's the only part of your statement that is true.

For me Life is trial and error. After we leave our childhood home, we make our own success stories and failures we learn from ourselves and others.

My question is: What has AA done or not done to you, whereas you decided to put that much effort into your web site?


Hi Daniel,

Alcoholics Anonymous has foisted a pack of lies and quack medicine and cult religion on sick people, and caused a bunch of them to die. It has caused a lot of suffering to others. A.A. isn't really any better than Scientology or the Moonies.

Read these files:

  1. The 12 Biggest Secrets of A.A.
  2. The 12 Biggest Lies of A.A.
  3. What's Not Good About A.A.?

Oh well, have a good day anyway.

== Orange

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

From: "Dave T."
Subject: Simplicity Scares
Date: Sun, March 12, 2006 0:36

Every single statement that you have made is "/so"/ incorrect, one can only conclude you're a disgruntled ex-AA member out for laughs. Too bad. You must be one miserable S.O.B.

Cheer up!! I'm sure you're normal...in you're own mind.

Passing Gass

Hello, PG:

You are making some sweeping statements, accompanied by zero facts.

Would you care to be specific about what you think is incorrect? Please cite page name and quote the exact statement that is wrong, and then declare what you think the truth is, and show your sources of information (which will hopefully be something more than hearsay).

Oh well, have a good day anyway.

== Orange

*                  Agent Orange               *
*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
** "There were alcoholics in the hospitals of whom A.A. could
** touch and help only about five percent. The doctors started
** giving them a dose of LSD, so that the resistance would be
** broken down. And they had about fifteen percent recoveries.
** This was all a scientific thing."
** === Nell Wing — PASS IT ON, page 370.
** (Nell Wing was an early secretary of A.A. and Bill Wilson.)
** Apparently, for treating alcoholics, LSD works three times
** better than cult religion.

[2nd letter from Dave:]

Date: Thu, March 23, 2006 6:32
From: "Dave T."
Subject: Re: Simplicity Scares

First of all I'm not exactly sure what you're trying to prove to people ....please state you're reasons and motovations. Secondly, Alcoholics Anonymous is NOT (and never intended to be) some sort of "exact medical cure". Simply put, it (the Fellowship and the program), are a design for maintaining some sort of contented, manageable, sober life. A.A. is not necessarily out to sober people up.... it's main purpose is to "keep" them sober.

Hello again, Dave.

Thanks for the response.

Excuse me, but those statements are absurd —
A.A. isn't intended to get drunks sober? It's just intended to keep them sober?

That isn't what Bill Wilson wrote in the Big Book.

And if A.A. isn't intended to make alcoholics quit drinking, then why do A.A. boosters tell judges that they should sentence all of the drunks and drunk drivers to A.A. meetings?

While you may have found some contradictions ??? , people have been arguing over literature since man began to write.

That is more nonsense, just so much minimization and denial.

Religion is a very good example. A.A. states that there's is not the only way, just one way that is presently working for millions of people.

Sure, first Bill Wilson said that A.A. wasn't the only way, so that he would sound generous and open-minded. And then Bill Wilson contradicted himself and declared that A.A. really was the only way.

It's a bait-and-switch trick: First, Bill Wilson declared that Alcoholics Anonymous was only one of many ways to achieve sobriety, then he declared that it was The Only Way.

One must be "ready" for the program or chances are it will not work for them very long...keeping in mind that A.A. never claims to be a "cure"..only a remedy.

That argument is called "blame shifting" — "It's never the fault of the A.A. program when the members relapse — the A.A. program is perfect. It's just the drunks who are imperfect."

Now I agree that people must be ready to quit, and must be determined to quit, in order for them to succeed. But that is just another way of saying that A.A. cannot make people quit drinking. (A.A. will just steal the credit if they succeed.)

And people must keep themselves sober by using their own will power and intelligence, because the A.A. program sure won't do it for them.

Two drunks started this whole thing back in 1935....again I say...what is you're point?

The point is that A.A. is a dishonest cult religion that lies a lot and fails to sober up the alcoholics. In fact, A.A. hurts a lot of people.

They were'nt perfect and therefore there's bound to be some insignificant misconception... for those who are looking for it.

Sorry, but that is incomprehensible gibberish.

If you are complaining about people finding fault with Alcoholics Anonymous, well, that is not "some insignificant misconception". A.A. is a huge fraud, and that is obvious to anyone who examines all of the facts.

Back in 1986 I was "ready" for the program. Honestly did the best I could do as far as the book instructs. However, due to some deep seated "psychological" issues that were beyond my reach at the time, I was not able to stay sober for more than 2 years. The first year was beautiful, then, tension began over issues that A.A. is not designed specifically to handle.

Now you are actually making some sense, although you are in denial about it.

The simple truth is that the A.A. 12-Step program is a hoax and doesn't work at all. You quit drinking when you are ready — when you want to.

And you have to keep yourself sober because the A.A. program won't do it for you.

The A.A. program was not "designed specifically to handle" alcoholism at all. In fact, the whole A.A. program was actually designed by an American cult leader named Dr. Frank N. D. Buchman, and he designed those cult practices to create an organization that would support him in luxurious first-class comfort for the rest of his life. And his cult practices worked quite well for that.

Bill Wilson was a member of that cult — "the Oxford Group" — and he just broke off and took over the alcoholics' branch of the cult, and Bill made himself the new cult leader. Then Bill called the Oxford Group cult practices "Alcoholics Anonymous spiritual principles".

I then thought as you do now.

Sorry, but there is no similarity in our thinking.

I will investigate your allegations with references.


Good. Please investigate at length.

And have a good day.

== Orange

*                  Agent Orange               *
*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
*** "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."
*** == Bill Wilson, Alcoholics Anonymous Comes of
*** Age, page 39.

Date: Sun, March 12, 2006 14:32
From: J

Dear Orange:

Thanks for your site! I'm sober twenty years. They got me as a baby! A sick, twisted college teacher-drunk and his wife whose son had just killed himself decided I was diseased and did everything they could to 12 and 13th step me. I never believed I was diseased. I was drinking after a rape-near murder of myself in which perps were convicted. AA invalidated my real-life experience, but I wanted help, so I went, got socialized into it and kept my mouth shut.

Then I "drifted away" for about a decade, had a great life, only to try therapy later (when I got sick and needed support getting on my feet after a 3-year illness.) That guy made me re-live the rape, over and over. I didn't want to return to AA, but I did, anyway, since the therapist was even more toxic and with the same sick belief system. My mother told me when I went to AA that I was "ruining my life." That got a big laugh from AA members, but I agree with her.

Still, helping systems for undersupported people are hard to find. Despite being interested and nice looking, I never did date due to all the pathologizing. I went to college 11 years, am pretty extensively published, worked as an editor in nyc for nine years with four promotions, but the therapist kept hammering away at all the AA stuff again, when I was really physically sick (you're dysfunctional, incurable, nobody loved you, your parents were narcissistic, etc).

I just keep saying what I believe is the truth in AA meetings, but get hammered by people. Then I don't go for months. I know I was "set-up" for one of the really bad therapies (which eventually spawned orgs like The False Memory Syndrome Foundation, and rape crisis centers where you have to fill out documents written with the underlying assumption you have the unlikely disease of multiple personality disorder), due to AA where everybody lives in therapies and if you don't get along with a therapist there's something wrong with you. I was care-taking two dying relatives and sick myself while this guy kept cutting me down, and I knew no one (not because I was "isolating" but because my dying relatives live in another town), and he was very hot to get me onto psycho-chemical drugs. I kept refusing it all, care-took my family, then fled.

I'm very glad to have survived a really difficult period and having fought the therapist off me (literally) so as not to be socialized into pathology. I feel there is nowhere for people who've had to use this stuff on occasion to get "real" help — by real, I mean where social stressors (illness, job loss, city moves, etc) can be seen as causal, instead of diseases and such. Even tv programming is totally underwritten by this.

Anyway, I'm under-supported; I went to AA as an alternative to therapy, then therapy as an alternative to AA. AA sets people up to not be critical about their care. I am lucky to be alive.

Definitely, the lack of critical capacity (and berating me whenever I'd try to question) caused me to get into one of the most toxic (and often deadly) kinds of therapy. (When I tried to get help in AA to take legal action, forget it!) I am just lucky to be alive.

The therapy cost me money, career gains, my family (they are the big abusers and now I'm estranged from them; I did not make the standard molestation-incest accusations, thank God, but he wanted me to; still, I went down the tubes emotionally.

My father ended contact. I don't blame him. Drinking would have been less toxic.

To be honest, I got the most help from past AA friends who are "back out." At least they understand the sick brainwashing of the program, and most had been had sexually, or financially, [exploited] by at least one therapist.

I cannot "erase" the vulnerability left by my college rape experience. But AA has been even more dangerous. Also, I've seen a lot of good kids die in the last twenty years, and none had a disease.

Even though I'm attractive, smart, and other things, my sexuality, in particular, has been hammered by therapy, AND, early on, I told myself not to date in AA, since some of the people had truly dangerous pasts beyond what I could deal with.

Anyway, I didn't mean to write so much. But I was always secretly horrified by AA ideas. I'm religious, but quiet about it, too, and so said screw "spirituality." I saw little of it in AA people, anyway.

To me, religion (taught right) is about the truth, not lies. In that way, I felt religion saved me from AA. My parents told me if a lot of people in a group are obviously dying, the group is bad.

Still, even when I started really, really looking, I have had trouble finding alternatives. It took me years in this quagmire to realize I probably would have not felt as harmed by a good cognitive-behavioral therapist, but that was (according to my battering shrink), just denial of my infantile bonding issues. I do need some form of non-toxic, non-battering, non-pathologizing support based in acknowledgment of reality. How to say? What a world... when that's virtually non-existent.

Recently I started to write a memoir of my life in the recovery movement, and all the unnecessarily dead kids, horrifying loss of life and family, and the fury I feel over the money made on my youth and vulnerability, but I have had little idea that there are other people viewing previous AA experience with a truly critical eye, and who may be finding other forms of support.

The circular, bizarre thinking of AA members is beyond belief. I have volumes of stories. Again, I'm slowly trying to find some group of people who think like me. I'm isolated and angry, but hopeful when I see things like your site.

A few years back, if it wasn't for a book I found called "stage two recovery," I don't know what I would have done. While I hated the agenda (trying to rope people like me back into the money making myths), the descriptions of a woman being ousted and mistreated (and patronizingly treated) when she tried to tell her real version of AA was helpful. So was/is your site. Just discovered it. Will return often.

I feel really shaky over the past years just coming clean with myself about how much I disagreed with AA, but how necessary it seemed, given the toxic treatment of women in some of these bizarre therapies.

I know two people in AA who were really nice (truly active, smart, functional), who took a tumble for real-life reasons, spiraled down in these weird therapies and wound up getting electric shock. One woman who was a professor and married, but now she seems to have brain damage and cries all the time.

Anyway, the whole thing is really scary and I could talk for hours. Thank you so much for taking the time, expense, and for keeping your wits about you, to produce your site.


Wow, J, thanks for a hair-curling story. And thanks for all of the thanks.

About finding groups of like-minded people for some social support, may I suggest a few links? You might enjoy hanging out with some of these people. Try several, and see which flavor you like best.

And you have a good day.

== Orange

*                  Agent Orange               *
*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
** "A little patience and we shall see the reign of witches
** pass over, their spells dissolve, and the people
** recovering their true sight, restore their government
** to its true principles.  It is true that in the meantime
** we are suffering deeply in spirit, and incurring the
** horrors of a war and long oppressions of enormous public
** debt.  == Thomas Jefferson

[2nd letter from J.:]

Date: Tue, March 21, 2006 7:57
From: J

Dear Orange —

Wrote you a longer letter last week. Just want to say thanks again. I hate that I was pulled into AA so young. It's such a sick, twisted, distorted thing to do, especially to kids. The saga of people I've known who was just partying in college who were too young and/or weak to see through this, or just anxious to take whatever help they could get, so they'd have better lives is so horrific. My own personal AA horror tales (NYC NA-AA) transcend much of what I've read. People with AIDS and having sex with AIDS victims 13th stepping newcomers, eg. I am so sorry I was exposed to so many of the people I met. The price of getting off the sauce can be so deadly, to the heart, soul, spirit, finances — everything. The idea that AA is free is such a crock!

Once, I added up the total cost of "treatment" (which AA says it doesn't endorse — is this a joke?) The price of a treatment center (which was sick and abusive), as well as years of "recovery" literature costs people close to a million dollars (seriously, add up the years of what "insurance pays" — I'm self-employed! I PAY the insurance costs... my monthly bill has never been less than my health care costs!) I beg people to add up the cost of AA — the corporate hospitals are making the money, not the people who lose their integrity in this sick perspectives. Even at 19, I knew the brainwashing of the sick rehab was only for the hospital. My impressions were all negative. But what are young people supposed to do?

One of the last "leads" I heard the girl's "drug of choice" was Ritalin. I spoke out at the meeting, questioning this, and had about four young kids, visiting NYC from Dade county tell me they "proudly lived in the rehab capital of the world," and so on. It was like Nazi youth, I'm not kidding. You'd think they'd know that nazis gassed "alcoholics," just sixty years ago. (I'm following Robert J. Lifton's The Nazi Doctors here). You'd think this would give all these self-proclaimed diseased people pause (not to mention some of the language in the New Freedom Act).

Anyway, I'm so horrified by the helping systems of our society, nowadays. I really, really, hate that despite being reasonably educated and intelligent I couldn't see through these things better, and have weaknesses that can be so easily exploited, and have been to such life-altering affect. Without AA, I really think I would have had a much better life. No one in my family was as "dysfunctional" as people I met in AA.

Plus, teenagers and young adults are struggling to differentiate from parents, so they can easily pathologize normal things, such as their supposed family dysfunction. The people who met spouses in AA, or made money from related recovery industries, either by publishing in that perspective, or working as counselors, therapists, psychologists, or in health care, did seem to fare worse, in that they became people who will simply die in that sort of weird socialization.

I'm also really frightened when I see the proliferation of tv shows such as Starting Over, and on tv "AA meetings." I just saw one on... I think it was ER. Place meets her old sponsor in the hospital. I'm surprised (and scared) that more people don't react to this.

But maybe you have to have actually lived the darker side (watching street people with diseases 13th step young confused people and see people commit suicide during the re-socialization therapies), to understand the implications. I heard a kid from The Kids of Bergen County qualify (I think that's what he said. It was a New Jersey rehab that he said was eventually sued, one of those governmental spin-off rehabs related to The Seed), and he couldn't even talk when trying to speak of the rehab experience. They weren't allowed to go to the bathroom, and he was led around by a rope around his neck, and crawling, to atone for his alcohol abuse. His parents were Irish immigrants from a farm community, and they didn't understand what was happening to their kid at school. Anyway, because I had a similar therapy experience, I was really moved. He was one of the few people I'd ever heard who'd been caught in something like that. Also, what these people have survived in coming forward is amazing. It's not like you can just dial up a lawyer who understands that you're not crazy, you don't really have a disease, you don't deserve to be treated like this, and so on.

Anyway, I know I need support. I feel very alone in my perceptions, and really thought for years that I was the only one who had them. I know one young person who swears she "has no memory of her life." She's in the program, and in all the attendent therapy that people do. It's crazy. She talks about her memory all the time. Watching "newcomers" revise their life stories (learn to "lead" by framing their life in the dysfunctional family model and thus pathologizing everything they believe in their memories, and thus, ultimately themselves) is so scary. What AA started a therapist really tried to finish, in my case. I underwent four and half years of therapy abuse when I got sick much later in life (with a real disease that deeply affected my thinking-functioning; it was hormonal). I went to therapy, remembering my four-year earlier-life brush with AA and vowing not to deal with that again. Therapy was far, far, far worse, even at that. Some say there are good therapists out there, and I just didn't find one, but I doubt it. I found Thomas Szasz, Stanton Peale, Phyliss Chessler (Women and Madness), Tana Dineen (Making Monsters), and those books.

Now I'm [in] "recovery" from that. I got all the therapists' published work, too, as well as work by another therapist. The work is published by John Wiley and Sons, as well as well-known academic journals (I'm not stupid and tried not to hire a quack, although in the end, it turned out he didn't have a license, something I was shamed for, but then, if you start checking, you'll find out most of these people do not have licenses. In the therapist's work, he shows himself calling a severely depressed man a corpse, berating him for lying there "like a corpse" (for about a paragraph). In my esteeemed therapist's imagination this is his "counter-transferential response". He also showed himself coercing clearly reticent clients to have physical relations with him. (This is the use of new "mainstreamed body-centered and gestalt-oriented training techniques). Anyway, the guy was even more horrifying than AA. Too late, I realized a lot of women in AA both use and justify these sick therapies (having therapist's rebirth them and do infantile bonding, and so on.) Literally, I feel utterly explosive toward all this horror. Why don't the kind of women who go to AA react with the same horror?

I have to quit going to AA meetings on occasion for what a shrink would call "developmental" reasons... I "share," (how can you share when no one ever talks back?), and simply talk about all the sick, twisted (and very dangerous) people who've come into my life through this twisted thing that they kept telling a young, artistic, sensitive person (me) that I'd die from, unless I "identified" that I was "exactly like them." Sorry, but NYC AA has gangers, mobsters, diseased street people, homeless people with contagious problems, murderers cruising. In one qualification (no joke), I heard of two guys who tried to help someone, putting him up for the exchange of building shelves in their apartment. The guy built a trough instead, under the bed, and killed one of the men. The trough was to catch his blood. Then the "newcomer" vanished.

I'm really not kidding. I heard this "lead." I could tell other blood-curling tales. A book was published in the 80s, Marrying the Hangman, about an NYC AA relationship, in which a woman, Diane Picul was murdered. Of course, people in other walks of life get killed. But I really think you up the ante in NYC AA.

Dear Orange, please never print my name or e-mail address. I'd appeciate it. Anyway, I've read much of your site now, and all the bibliography info, many of which books I've read. (My way into the anti-disease lit actually came later, after the therapy which nearly killed me. When I went to a rape crisis center, after the therapist tried to re-birth me, I had to fill out pages of forms written with the underlying assumption I had multiple personality disorder. Worse, a rape counseler, employed by the center, showed a roomful of rape victims (most of which had not actually been raped for many years, as it turned out), how she "shifted between her alters." I'm not joking. It was so surreal. All the rape counselors went to my therapist's "body-centered" therapy lectures, and they, too, felt that past rape victims need to be physically "worked with" while being re-birthed by these horrible therapists. Bluntly, they were all pretty physically unappealing, to boot. I mean, not on your life....

When I complained at the rape center, I was told, "These people need that. Our research shows this." And, "No one will ever be able to help you," (since I refused to "open up.") Anyway, it was just weird. The shell-shocked people at that place were every bit as into this as the AA people. Also, I was asked to read a book called The Courage to Heal and told repeatedly that "it was okay to want S and M, and to be a lesbian" as a supposed natural reaction to the "white male patriarchy of rape." The online site for the rape center is very clear about what they're offering. Arguing that you don't hate men, don't want abusive sex, or to become a lesbian is hardly possible in a rape crisis center, I guess. I lasted three "therapy" sessions. The woman had dolls in her floor (which she wanted me to play with). I was over forty, responsible for dying relatives and a business. Now it just seems sick on their part. At the time, I had nowhere to go, nowhere to turn. I had been sick for three years, then many in my family were sick, I was out of state from where my friends were.

Anyway, people will do anything for money. And like I said, AA is very definitely not free. Hospitals support it, so does television programming. To say it's not allied with sects, politics, etc... is hopelessly naive. Even among therapists, they use the term "psycho-politics" to describe what they're doing. The pro-choice agenda was very very plain at the rape crisis center. That would be fine — except when I was much younger, and in a place like that, I did feel coerced to have an abortion I didn't want. YEARS LATER... who do you tell that to? It's not in anybody's agenda to listen to that... except a seeming very, very few people who actually give a damn about the truth. Sometimes they are very hard to find.

No doubt, in NYC, I may have seen more scary business than people in the American burbs, but there were other young people like me. Most of us just silently tried to run, thinking (exactly what they say about us) "There but for the Grace of God" (I mean, what kind of schmuck says this about his/her fellows, anyway!

Early on, one boyfriend and I made up a mocking little song called "So So Co" About our supposed "co-dependency". To this day, I have no idea what that means. I have no idea why I was taught that all relationships are this thing called codependency. I mean, I was young and wanted to get married and have kids. What was the agenda of all those "old-timers" and "sponsor-types?"

Years later, when I was forty, and went back and saw those "old-timers" still there, still at it, YEARS LATER, and that they'd gone nowhere with their lives, that they were still just 13th stepping kids, I was so horrified. That's when I realized what had been done to me in college, and to some of my friends as young as high-school age. I'm really glad I never made my life in AA. I paid lip service. But after four years, I never had a sponsor. Two of my sponsors had kids either dead from, or attempted, suicides. Supposedly, this was due to the genetic disease. In reality, they were awful people. You couldn't rely on them. Their kids couldn't either. And anyway, one of the kids was adopted.

Still, they were community leaders, married, with kids, advanced degrees, jobs. From what I could see as a much younger person, they really were "winners." Really, they were living pretty sick lives, on a deeper level. They were trying to save other people's kids, when their own were severely compromised. The fourth step was a helpful tool in my working things through for myself, to make my peace with situations I felt I couldn't change, but that was the only useful thing at all. The rest — all the rest — was harmful.

When the twenty year old whose "drug of choice was Ritalin" went at me, when I said I "couldn't identify" and had a very different life story and relationship with AA, I was really frightened. When I got sick (with a real disease), you realize that this is the mentality in the health care industry, generally. It's how those workers are trained. Two relatives were in nursing and/or assisted living care, and I saw it there, too.

Anyway, I just wrote tons again. Honestly, as much as I hate to admit it, there's just no one in my life (and I don't know where you'd find them), who understands what happened to me, in my trying to find help for myself, and to live a good, decent life. Most of the people I know who fled AA (some drinking, some not), will still not say anything critical, although I know their actions have spoken louder than words.

I wish I had dime for every time I was told that I'd die if I rejected any piece of the AA lifestyle and program. Why take people at their most vulnerable, when they're confused, and hammer them with such life-debilitating lies. I just started thinking it was so evil. And so underwritten by age-old greed. Somehow, I think I just collapsed inside, and just shut off my critical thinking, because I saw no way out. I just kept my nose to the grindstone and tried to stay honest, but say nothing, since there was no one interested in the truth, anyway.

AA people and therapist cannot ever see... how to say... real social reality. Once the disease (or some other lie-concept) becomes the basis for their causal thinking, they become utterly unusable. Rape center workers really believe that I would not have been raped by sociopaths (outside my family) if my dad hadn't supposedly abused me first. And I wouldn't have "drank over it" if I wasn't already pre-disposed by my genetic family history (not very existant really). And my mother's fault in it, is that she didn't bond with me properly as an infant (the fact that my therapist's own personal publishing work is entirely bound up with this issue, something I'd never ever said is immaterial to the other 20 of his colleages I called to question afterward), and so on.

That people are destroying other lives this way, and with little or no resistance, and in such a complex way that it's hard to even explain it to a non-AA type "lay person," is very frustrating to me.

I know I can just "forget it." I don't need help now. (I finally found a doctor who treated my hormonal illness — a totally non-active thyroid gland, with thyroid hormone, and feel better, and better still that some psycho-freak is not trying to convince me that I have infantile bonding issues for his own agenda — getting in my pants!) I am no longer being physically assaulted by a health care worker (body-centered therapy, which is being taught in most colleges to therapist's nowadays... before you tell me that's "non-mainstream," it's not!), I feel better.

Had I not gotten sick, I would have just kept moving farther and farther from AA. But when I went to therapy, it was like discovering yet a whole other underworld of bizarre, twisted thinking. I taught Freud to college kids (I was a TA at age 22 in philosophy), but I was teaching the ideas as methodology (and clearly erroneous), not as the way life really is! Anyway, I'm really lucky to be alive — from getting raped early in life (and thus drinking and having to be diseased), and then having to re-live that, over and over, and blame it on my dad. Trying to defend myself against these crazy, erroneous ideas caused such a horrifying state of confusion that I could have wrecked my car... anything. I almost was led to suicide. Seeing so many AA's get into worse trouble when they went for "outside help" I did know it wasn't me, no matter what the therapist said, nor was it my family.

One woman got electric shock treatments. She was in the middle of a divorce, then the therapist's started doing all this weird stuff to her (as was done to me), and she just got very confused. Now she has brain damage. She'd been working at a think tank, and teaching at a major university. No one in AA defended her. She simply became known as "Depressed so-and-so, (her name)" That's what AA did for her. Clearly, she'd been sober, then had cataclysmic life circumstances confront her years later, and had one of these psycho-shrinks go at her. It ended very very badly.

Also, her being convinced she had a disease totally short-circuited any critical capacity (despite her having a ph.d. in another area where she could think critically), and it was through that vulnerability that the shrink was able to use her that way. I had a similar thing happen, but fled before it went all the way. For me, I couldn't take in that, after years of AA people talk about how great therapy was, that this was what was really going on in these places... in many of them.

I couldn't believe people were being grossly devalued this way without any defense, nowhere to turn, no protection. I just couldn't take in the level of hunger that would lead people to do that to people. I just read R.D. Laing until I could leave. I remembered reading him in college, and knew he'd reacted to this. It was one of the few voices of reason I could remember.

Whoops. Just went on far too long. I couldn't come forward about my therapist. By the time he was done, I really did look like a crazy person. I'd lost all my money. And then he threatened ME (by having his lawyer contact me), about my coming forward. Believe me, he had more money than me. So, there was no way I could fight. I literally fled the town where the therapist abused me. I put a move on my credit card. Thank God.

The town was a medium size American town, but with the pull-out of industry, and a hugely growing health care industry. Local universities and hospitals are joint ventures and the only game in town. It wasn't Cleveland, but very like it. Campus kept nice for parents to see, the hospitals... then outlying extreme poverty and ghettos, just fifteen minutes from town. There was no other way to make a living there, really, but being in and working in places like that crazy rape crisis center. Tons of people who'd gotten advanced degrees, but wanted to stay in this town, were working on incoming students as "therapists," in the community. Really, they were slackers. People who didn't leave college and get "real jobs."

All of it — so scary to me. It's hard not to feel sorry for myself, that I got caught in some of this. I feel like I escaped with nothing — except my own perceptions intact. Yet this is more than some of the people leave with. Last week, I heard two NYC "old timers" died. They went to their graves believing their "disease" explained the complexity of their lives. I remember telling one, a guy with forty years, about the therapy experience I had. The only thing he mustered was, "you didn't drink!" I just gaped at him.

Can people really be this ethically empty? This hollow? This non-critical?

Again, thank you for being strong enough to put together such a site.


Thank you, J.

*                  Agent Orange               *
*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
** Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done
** it unto one of the least of these my brethren,
** ye have done it unto me.
** (Jesus, quoted in Matthew 25:40)

[3rd letter from J.:]

Date: Wed, March 22, 2006 18:03
From: J

Re another word for "seeing through tinted glasses," on wish list... maybe "transcendental signifier" (think it was vogue during the Jacques Derrifda trend in philosophy in the seventies), but don't really know its origin. Also just "God-term," here meaning that one thing (sign or word) which transcends and subsumes whatever's beneath it; the thing by which all other things may be explained and understood. As in, "The disease concept functions as a transcendental signifier, or God term, for the confused AA's...just as evil is the transcendetal signifier for those in Bible-based communities..."

Wish I could send money. Broke now. Maybe another day. Still reading your site. You rock!


Hi J,

Hi and thanks again.

"Transcendental signifier". Now that's a mouthful. I'll have to check that out.

In the mean time, I came up with a word for the other thing — "panmalefic". I just made it up. What's that old saying — "If you want something done right, do it yourself"...? So I did it myself.

Have a good day.

== Orange

*                  Agent Orange               *
*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
** "Men are born ignorant, not stupid; they are made
** stupid by education." — Bertrand Russell

UPDATE: Another reader found a good word for "seeing with tinted lenses": It's apophenia.

Date: Sun, March 26, 2006 18:02
From: J

Dear A.Orange:

Hi, me again. I almost made a Smart meeting, (got as far as subway, then detoured since I realized I was going to arrive late and felt paranoid), but will get there next meeting. Anyway, you inspired me greatly. I'd almost given up on my search for all my therapist's sick, freaky publications, showing how he treats clients, but got back online (a new thing for me) and footwork. Found and ordered tons of sick stuff, which I intend to quote to anyone who'll listen. It's important for AA, since...those exact same concepts were used later by the rape crisis center (but they were using them to make "alcoholic" rape victims see they had MPD/DID (multiple personalities). And FORGET the 15K at rehab. Those units in corporate hospitals charge 3 million per client; they've been sued but they make so much money that a 10mil settlement is still a drop in the bucket for them. How the therapist's are using AA concepts then leads to stuff like the MPD diagnosis. And some of those hospitals have been sued for tons; a woman named Pat Burgis got 10.6 million, out of court.

Anyway, I have a favor, since I saw you edited someone else's letter who offered too much info (her name). I FINALLY actually found and ordered the article where my ex therapist does as I reported. I never want him identified as my therapist, although I know my name is confidential with you.

[Here she requested a change to mask an identity better.]

I'm really sorry. But the guy threatened to sue me. He made me re-live my near-murder over and over, so many times that I literally lived in isolation, thinking I was being killed; I mean very full-blown PSTD. A Vietnam vet I met in a coffee shop is the person who actually saved my ass. He took one look and said, "One of the local head shrinkers got a hold of you, right?" He really helped me get away from him. Not the people in the program. And he was drinking, and I didn't even know him. One of my best friends had become homeless in AA, drinking again, and sadly, I was in no shape to help him, which was so horrible, (he's okay now and off the streets).

Anyway, I'm still reading your site. How the AA concepts helped lead to me accepting a truly brutal, barbaric, nearly deadly "therapy" experience by a very well-published person who I couldn't complain about (I would so love to sue or prosecute, but it's definitely too late for the former now and he threatened me). I was so scrambled I didn't even know how many years I'd gone to therapy, my family and career were no longer in my life, all my money gone...money I'd worked very hard to get, working two jobs in sobriety, so it was really awful. I desperately want to find his public work and at least try to expose that. It's so sick, I just don't understand why his colleagues can't see through it. (Or are they just so evil, they don't care?) Oh... p.s., my ex-sponser (who was/is a therapist) recommended him, and she had gone to him four years. Another program person had gone to him for four years. But he was crazy. The second woman, it later turned out, had — by the end of his therapy — lost her husband, her job, and was virtually homeless, since she left her husband and the house, and then was couch surfing.

Anyway, thanks for the change if you can make it. I want to quote that article, since I know have it coming, and want no reference to the author being the one who "treated" me, (by forcing me into a physical "relationship" with him I didn't want).

Seeing what you've done really encouraged me. Maybe I've got another go in me after all this horse rubbish.

It seems you are five years sober? Great! I hope you are able to stay so...the world needs people like you! Very best with your not drinking today... You really are helping a lot of people. Just seeing other letters is so good. Take good care of yourself...


Hi J,

Thanks for the letter. Glad to hear that you are feeling better now.

And yeh, I've got 5 years now. And yeh, doing well. Now I'm just grumbling about how old I will be when I get to 20 years. Although, I was just thinking that it is actually possible for me to make it to 50 years sober, if I don't mind living to 103.

Oh well, have a good day.

== Orange

*                  Agent Orange               *
*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
** One reason I don't drink is that I want
** to know when I am having a good time.
**         Nancy Astor (1879 - 1964)

[another letter from J.:]

Date: Tue, April 4, 2006 13:55
From: J.

Dear A.O.:

Thank you so much for fixing my letter. It's great. I just want no link between me and my therapist's publications. He is well-known, well-published and really creepy. I literally fled the town where he treated me. I lost my health, family, sanity, money. I just got caught in one of those really sick therapies that occasionally come to light. I was very physically ill, and when he pushed and pushed me to re-lived the past, I had a true mental breakdown. What I hate most, is how reactionary I've become. I used to be much nicer, free and easy, and would always help other people out, and now I feel like a bitch. I mean, that freak was trying to "re-birth me" (without my being able to figure out what he thought he was doing) while my own real mother was dying and so much more.

I really hope I can get my own trauma symptoms under control and write about the experience. I've written books, although not non-fiction, and if I knew how to do it, I'd love to have a website devoted to abuse by psychologist/social workers. Again, many really used these concepts primed from other "free" programs to take things another step forward.

Many on the site, say, yeah, we don't really believe in disease concepts, or the warm-runny-mollasses pancake-style god of AA. But that new-age spirituality is so empty inside — you scratch the surface and God only knows what you'll find. And regarding the disease concept.... it's no joke that shrinks are making increasing arguments for electric shock (being used more and more today, even in schools, on site, on the premises, noted twice in NYC local news this week), and psycho-surgery. It's not a good health care climate to go running around blithely announcing you have a "brain disease."

Before they ever make me say it, I definitely want a real bonafide test. I maintain my brain is normal. And I think the same of so many drinkers and dopers I have met. Most kids would want to drink if they endured what some of them did. And then, when the stress is gone, you slowly realize you don't need a drink to numb the pain. Pathologizing child-hood victims by trying to make them brain-diseased for their whole lives should be a total crime. It's sick. Who would stoop so low as to make money on all this.

To shock AA's out of it, I often just take the whole game at face value. Tell them they have a disease and you don't wish to be infected. Perhaps they should be quarantined. It's sounds awful, but they start to see the implications. And if we identify the troubling genes, we can wipe people like them off the planet soon...

The one AA I told about Hitler's gassing "hereditary alcoholics," said, "that just must have been the bad ones." He has never held a full-time job of any duration, lost a sibling to AIDS, another to OD, and takes meds. I mean, these groups normalize pathology to the point that he can't see how he'd be percieved in such a climate. I say this because I want people like him (and people like I sort-of-am and definitely used to be, to be protected).

Health care isn't moving in a direction that looks very good to me. Sadly, a lot of AA debunking (which is correct), may also obscure some of the larger moves by a very very hungry health care industry, in trying to take over any populations they can get more bucks for treating. In AA, I feel they really refine the product, get people talking. In A Disease Of One's Own, like I said, it was clear John Steadman Rice, an anthropologist, was just going to meetings, taking notes.

Anyway, people like you restore my faith. At first, I thought it possible that you had an agenda, (other than your truth), but after reading a bit, I don't think so. I know that sounds cynical, but I come by the attitude honestly.

Once more, hope you have another great sober day. Find birds. See the sunshine. Again thanks, and take care!


Thank you J, and you have a good day too.

*                  Agent Orange               *
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** "Do, or do not. There is no 'try'."
**  ==  Yoda ("The Empire Strikes Back")

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Last updated 4 November 2014.
The most recent version of this file can be found at https://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters39.html