Letters, We Get Mail, LIII

Date: Thu, June 8, 2006 06:53
From: "John J."
Subject: Some people need a place to go.

Dispite reading a great deal of your site, (and I agree that most of your arguements are true) I honestly can say that "AA saved my life". The biggest thing is there was really no where else for a person physically to go at the time.

My story is not unique, there are probably millions/billions of people through out history have have had same/similar experiences. My story as i tell it is jumbled. I diverge a lot, I am trying to show my reasons behind my actions.

I was borne in 1968. Anyway I came from a highly disfunctional family. The abuse was mainly verbal/phsycological. As I was growing up, I would comment to my parents how come our family is not like other families, the answer was "They are they are just pretending not to be". Looking back I can not really remember having "fun" as a child/youth. Anyway I ended up becoming a loner. I had many people I knew, but probably no person who was truly a friend. Looking back to some degree I have/had a narcisitic personality, but on the other hand at times I had tremendous self doubts. Limited comprehension of other people's "feelings" and limited respect of other people in general. At an early age I discovered the magic that would allow me to have "fun", booze. As young as 12 I remember sneaking booze from my parents stock.

Some how early on I got the belief that rules apply to other people but they do not apply to me.

Anyway soon I was 17. Emotionally/mentally fucked up individual running arround on the streets. Probably a danger to himself and society in general. Soon I ran into another "group" of disfunctionals, the military. I signed up with the army reserves. I liked the army. It gave me a sense of purpose. Also another bonus was that the army messes/canteens would sell booze to under-age guys. On top of it drinking was socially acceptable, if not encouraged. Paradise :). People always ask me how was "Basic Training". Ohhh its a snap. 3 good meals a day. And the sgts only mentally/physically abuse you if you do not do what they want. Wow what an improvement on my home life where abuse would come out for virtually any reason, and food was crap. My parents believed that going to bed hungry strengthened your character.

Another intresting personality trait is that I am a "anarchist" as in a person who does not like rules, and gets pleasure from breaking them. A fun/perverse game I played in the military was breaking the rules while still staying within the legal guidelines. My favorite motto was "You can do what ever you want providing you do not get caught". Ironically in the military this sort of attitude gained respect. NCO's would attempt to "break" me. Due to my stubborness they would fail. When possible using under handed methods I would strike back. Stealing/Damaging of NCO's kit etc. As ussual allong the way my drinking progressed. In a round about way I would do it to boost me ego. I would know for being able to drink 10-20 drinks in an hour and still be standing and relatively coherent.

Anyway by 1989-1990 my drinking had progressed to the point where I was unable to work in the "real world" as in hold down a civilian job (The real problem was they would not recognize my "brilliance" ). As a result for a source of income I was relying more and more on the army reserves. (Basically I was a loser, but ofcourse the reality did not touch me). The boiling over point came when during a military function I told an officer what I personally thought of him, and other not very nice details. (This is what I was told happened). You talk about AA and politics. Well what happened was very political (I did not realize this till after I read your site about politics of AA). Finally after 3000-4000 years someone figgered out that there hey there is a alchol problem in the military and civies for some reason do not like this.

Next day I was called in. To be honest I did not know what happened, why I was being called in. An officer interviewed me and asked me what happened. I told him well I drank a lot and had a good time. He did not do anything but recomended/ordered that I go see an doctor. The doctor later send me to a 1/2 way house for the day treatment. In a nutshell I was indirectly told I could go for treatment or face countless charges. This was not a first time alchol offence, there had been previous less serious ones but they had been ignored, hence the serverity. Also I was for obviously not liked by many higher ups and they wanted an excuse to nail my hide to the wall.

I went to the half way house. They had already set me up to be interviewed by one of thier councilars who was legendary for his verbal abuse. He said Hi my name is _____ i am an alcoholic. The he yelled at me you are a alcholic, a fucking drunk you can not stop drinking and you will die on the street. Ironically that is what saved my life that one sentence. I replied back fuk you. I will stop drinking. I will prove you wrong. He got me angry. When I get angry things go crystal clear. Inside of my head I said that "YES I WILL FUKING STOP DRINKING". My "controled" insanity kiked in and the same voice said. I will stop drinking, come back and show you that I have and then bash your had in. Ofcourse I did not tell _____ that since that could be implied as a threat ;). At that moment the impulse/desire to drink left me. Officially I had an "awakening" I saw the light of the AA program, ofcourse i never told anyone about my real awakening. (AA is great compared to ~3 months in a military prison). Remember I said earlier that I do not like following rules, well a better statement would be that I do not mind following rules/ideas that I can exploit to my advantage.

One of the things that AA teaches is the addiction is a disease and that we are hopeless. And even better they even have "medical evidence" to back it up. 4 weeks before my final drink bout I had been fired from my previous job. (That is probably what triggered my drinking bout). Reality is that I had been fired from my job for not doing it :). When I applied for unemployment benifits I was turned down. I then appealed and said I was fired because I complained of safety issues. No surprise I was turned down because it was bullshit.

AA to the rescue. I then applied to the 2nd highest level of appeal. I then stated that I lost my job because of my "disease". Here is the comical part, by my own appeal I had admitted that I "lied" in my previous appeal. When questioned about this, I stated yes that is 100% true, but it was not really me, it was my "disease". I thing got documents to show I was in AA, "getting help" etc. Because of the politics that you mentioned very quickly I was approved. I find it very comical. Lying on a gov't form is a federal offense.

Also about this time I read the book "The blue max". The "hero's" feelings of complete self importance and nothing is impossible seemed to be followed by extreme self doubt. This has plagued me thru my until life. AA seems to imply that majority of alcholics are like this, but I am no longer sure now. Many alcholics/addicts seemed just to have poor self image. <shrug>

2 weeks after doing the day program in the 1/2 way house I went back to the doctor. He now saw that I was a "convert" and recomended that I be sent to a "better" treatment facility fulltime. It was set up similar to the Hazelden institute that you describe. They also had a allong with coffee a no candy rule. I soon found out ways to bend this rule and use it to my advantage.

I loved the institute, i spent 9 1/2 weeks there, most people would spend 6 weeks there. I was considered to be a "hard" case so I was kept longer. In many ways the institute was my genisis. 3 nice meals a day. Wow a nice clean room to live in. A house keeper that came to clean up. All my life I have been a very good reader. I soon set this to learning about AA. Every book I could get my hands on I read. Ofcourse the purpose of this learning was to be able to twist the rhetoric of AA to my advantage. Group theorpy was a blast here was a place where I had a captive audience, people to listen to my wacked out ideas. It was run by counselors who used the various psycological tricks that you describe to break you down. Ultimately if you broken down and cried that was the beginning of your "recovery". For what ever reason as ussual I was assigned to a woman counselor who had a reputation for being "hard/mean" and handled the "hard cases".

As you have seen as I am telling my story I digress. I am adding reasons why I believe I exhibit this behaviour. The case of the woman is very similar to the case of the male counselor except my exposure to her was much longer. One thing I have discovered is logic and humans do not mix well. I am case in point. Logically I should have played along. But for some reason I was not happy with that. Instead I wanted to publicly humiliate this woman and shame her. The animals I admire the most are crows, coyotes, ones that are cunning,intelligent and adapt then actually thrive on the adversity. One of my tactics is if a stronger opponent advances I retreat. While I am retreating I am observing, and probing looking for weaknesses. Meanwhile to throw the enemy off I fien weakness and attempt to make them think my strength are weaknesses, and vice versa. Meanwhile I learned as much rhetoric for the inevitable day when the show down will happen in my chosing. My tactics and reasoning are more important I think then the actual event that happened, since it reveals what type of person I am. Another thing is always try and get the person emotionally involved that way they will make mistakes.

Anyway after 2 weeks the show down happened. Before the group theorpy started I knew it was my turn. Right off the bat she goes into me. Initially I agree with her, to throw her off and give her false confident. 10 minites in, she the saids I am not following the program. Ofcourse i respond back the 12 steps are "suggestions", that the only requirement for AA is the desire to stop drinking. One of her favorite comments when people would question her about her "program" was "We should focus on you, stop being in denial and avoding the issue". She then got personal and make comments about me. Anyway I then pointed out her personal faults. She ofcourse answered back "Don't avoid the issue her program is none of my buisness". I then answered back as long as I am not drinking how I run my program is not her buisness. Maybe she should do some "self examination" on her self. At this point she for some reason got so upset and had to leave the room. For some reason I go a great deal of satisfaction. Also I became a kind of a hero among the other inmates.

From the institution I learned many positive things. Ironically none of the have little of anything to do with the program. I stopped being a shy person. I now found out that people actually listened to me. I also developed primitive social skills of some degree. Also I found out that people found me "funny". I am not sure why, but I would just tell a story and people would start laughing. It is kinda comical since I have a very serious face.

After 9 weeks I think they basically decided that I was a hopeless case, and decided that I was "all well".

I like the article "What's Good about A.A.?". The AA meeting gave me a place to go. For once I was accepted for who I was. Membership dues where non-existant. It gave me a sense of purpose. Anytime I was feeling down I could find one (they run 24/7). Ofcourse I only adopted the rhetoric that suited me. The sponsor thing I throw out the window. Ofcourse when the old timers would comment I would say the 12 steps where "suggestions". I became so good at rhetoric that I could even out quote them. Again all these things helped me. Thinking about it now probably it would be more effective to scrap the "program" and just have like a "dropin" center where people can just talk about themselves or what they are feeling. Because basically that is what I did. Ironically it worked.

After reading your web page I did some thinking about what happened to my fellow "inmates". Of the 60 people that entered the same time I did within 1 year there where 2 suicides that I know of. Majority of people relapsed within a very short time. 15+ years later I only know of one other person besides myself who was sober the entire period. Ironically he told me he stopped drinking after waking up in a detox center. This was 2 months before he went to the institute. When I last saw him 3-4 years ago he confessed to me that he went to the institute basically because he wanted a place to stay for free for a few weeks. He also described AA as "The kindergarden of spirituality". The intresting part is I assumed that my batches poor success rate was just "bad luck". Your website seems to hint otherwise. Heya how often do you get a 9 week 50k vacation at gov't expense.

Anyway once back in the real world I moved into a 1/2 way house. It was good. A place to stay. Not too bad food etc. Shortly after an short 3 month attachment to the regular army was offered. I needed cash. I needed a place to stay I took it. After I came back they saw I was "really sober" since they could observe me. I became the "poster child" for my reserve unit. After that I was attached to the regular force for the 9 month on a UN posting. Again I could do no wrong. Again if I had behaviour problems well it was my "disease". After the UN tour I now was a quasi veteran and could even then blame eratic behaviour on some other crap. I refined my tactics here on manipulating people. For example it is ok to threaten NCOs providing it is done in a manner which is not an actual threat and there are no witnesses.

Sgt I like you, you seem like a very nice guy. It would be horrible if a nasty accident happened to you.

What do you mean ?

There are snipers here. Land mines etc. Also fire is a very big danger. It would be absolutely horrid if you went to sleep. and unknowingly someone had stored gasoline in a improper place like under your bunk. And lets say i was passing by and carelessly lit a cigarette. ..........

I was called on the carpet once for a senario like the above. The officer asked me if what I said was true. Yes i replied.

Do you realize threatening an NCO is a chargable offense. (Look of dismay on my face now).

What on earth do you mean sir ? Did you not threaten Sgt _______ ?

No Sir.

You just said a few moments ago you did.

No Sir. I believe it is a misunderstanding.

What on earth do you mean private?

Well Sir did you not say last week that it safety is everyones responsibility? I like Sgt ______. I was just telling him about the dangers in country and also the dangers of improper storage of famable materials. Safety is very important sir.

(Suspision on face) Carry on private.

Just an example of what a twisted individual i was. Ironically I did not think anything wrong with such behaviour. I knew how far to push. Also the sgt by complaining looked like a wimp since it implied he can not control his group properly.

When I got back from the UN posting I enquired about the Doc who had initially helped me in the military, was the doc of my unit etc. To be honest I liked him. He seemed a very understanding man, and very kind and compassionate. He was only a reserve doctor and had a regular practice. Anyway every officer/NCO I would ask they would get really vague. When I asked where he was they would not tell me. When I went to where his practice was it had disappeared. I never pushed the inquiries, but I now suspect that he relapsed and i don't know maybe is dead. I suspect no one wanted to tell me since they where affraid I would "relapse". I was kinda sad they would not tell me. Anyway it was for the best. That way he stays a good man in my mind. Probably you could rack him up as another victom.

Anyway shortly after I joined the regular army and served for 3 years. AA at this time was no longer useful and went out the window. The same methods I used in AA I used in the regular army. I read the amies rules and regulations. I soon became a "baracks lawyer", a soldier who argues the "legality" of things and incites trouble. NCOs soon learned that it was easier to get another soldier to do a task instead of me. I would demand orders in writing (legal if you are in doubt of the orders).

Despite all of the victoms of AA and the falacies in my case I think it was helpful.

Emotionally I was s fuked up that did not even know I was fuked up. I had authority problems. I already had a bloated narsasisitc view of my self. This also seemed to go hand in hand with occasional massive lack of self worth. In many ways my traits are very similar to Bill W. For this type of person I think the program is successful.

When I found AA i was very vunerable to far more less desirable groups. Kinda like your description of Bill W when he sobered up. Hey a "religous" crackpot is better then a drunk anti-social freak running arround on the street. AA is probably better then joining a gang, some sort of skin head organization etc.

When I tell people if it would not be for AA and the military I would be dead/in jail and probably have murdered someone I am not joking. I was like a cyclone that had to run down till I could see some sorts of reason. Fortunately the military and AA gave me a place to channel my energies till I could see some sort of reason. Probably spouting adivse and shooting at targets and blowing crap up in a place where normal people can not get hurt as apposed to on the street is a good thing.

I am now working on my personality problems. It is a long journey. I have had a brush with xtianity for a 3 year period. I now see that "religions" when misused can be deadly. Ironically I am looking into similar things as you "deprogramming your mind" etc.

I glanced at a few letters on ur site and a big problem seems to be sponsers. I only had a "sponsor" while in the institute since they had a policy to go out you needed to be accompanied by a sponsor. I looked for the guy in the AA meeting that seemed to have the least ambition asked how long he had sober (he needed 3 years). And now I had a parole dude who would take me where I wanted.

The biggest problem is not AA or religions in general, but that people seem to have a herd mentality. Throw out a few statements people seem to think you are "profound". Ironically sponsers was one of the reasons I left AA. I was a pretty funny person. I could spout off lots of rhetoric. Always good at giving useless advice. After I had 1 year in, many people asked me to be thier sponsor. I always turned them down. I would tell them I do not run a good program (by AA standards the truth). They would always argue with me, no john you have a good program. Looking back I think subconscously I knew I was emotionally/physcologically messed up, and how can a person like that help another.

Ironically I had to leave the military for the same reasons. Honestly I was a poor soldier. (baracks lawyer). However when convinient I would spout the military doctrine. After my time in the regular force they wanted to send me on leadership courses. Somehow it does not seem to matter what you do as long as you spout rhetoric when appropriate, and pretend you know what you are doing. Problem is a) I would actually have to do some work. b) I personally think militaries are silly, lots of fun at taxpayers expense. Also there seems a part of me that everyone should make thier own destiny not use someone elses. I am now attempting to find out what drives my anti-social behaviour, and how to correct it. (Bios in brain has faulty chips and they need to be replaced/reflashed ;) )

One interesting parallel is AA and the military. Both use similar tactics. Break down the guy. Once he is a blubbering moron, rebuild him up into the image which you want. It is a highly effective for getting people to do what you want. Whether or not it is good at helping adiction is questionable. The key to survival as the motto in the military is to "play the game" and use it to you advantage. Fine that you have been broken down. Also they seem to like to talk about the "group" a lot.

Anyway writing this did me good. Remembering and pondering. Not really sure if my story interests you. I am not really sure if it is a pro or anti AA story. Your site triggered a lot of memories about AA thank you. Me, I was not damaged by AA, but looking back, I think countless others were. With me it was "take what I wanted", which I did, unfortunately many people are not as discerning. In the future if I run into a person who has a drinking problem I will recomend AA with the condition that he visits your website first before he tries out the program. If the guy wants to do AA still well heya.

You can do what you want with this just leave out the last name and email address.

Thanx John

Hi John,

Thanks for the letter and the story.

Just a couple of comments: You repeat the standard A.A. line about: "AA teaches is the addiction is a disease and that we are hopeless. And even better they even have "medical evidence" to back it up."

Actually, they don't have any such medical evidence. It is all faked and fraudulent.

The real medical evidence says that lots and lots of people just get it together and quit killing themselves with drink and dope. And "alcoholism" is not a disease — it is habitual behavior — a very bad unhealthy self-destructive habit, but a bad habit nonetheless.

And you cannot possibly be hopeless. You got your addictions under control, didn't you? You changed your life for the better. And you are continuing to work on yourself, "I am now attempting to find out what drives my anti-social behaviour, and how to correct it."

Good, that it really good, that is great. Just keep up the good work. You aren't hopeless at all.

I agree that some people need a place to go. But we can do better. We can do much better than forcing an old cult religion on people and telling them that it is the best answer we can come up with. (That old cult religion is completely ineffective, and seems to drive some people to suicide.)

For one suggestion of a better treatment program, see this previous letter.

And have a good day.

== Orange

*                  Agent Orange               *
*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**  Someday, maybe there will exist a well-informed,
**  well-considered, and yet fervent public conviction
**  that the most deadly of all possible sins is the
**  mutilation of a child's spirit.  ==  Erik Erikson

[a second letter from John J.:]

Date: Sun, June 11, 2006 19:49
From: "John J."
Subject: Re: Some people need a place to go.

I guess i did not make myself clear (sorry my fault).

The point what i was trying to drive home is that even the gov't and many medical experts believe this "disease" "medical evidence" crap dispite there being no evidence. Until I read you site i believed it despite seeing first hand the success rate of the institute I was in, i bought into it. I believe in freedom of choice if someone wants to join AA it is his/her right but they should be aware of the facts. I will no longer blindly sent people to AA, and will also point out there are other probably better alternatives. Subconsciously I do not think I really believed the "evidence" but it sure made a good excuse to justify my behaviour.

Also it was better that i join AA as opposed to a gang, a terrorist group of some sort etc. On the other side of the coin probably I could have joined a lot better group. Unfortunately most of the organizations which you mention where not in existance at the time.

I am not really sure if I personally believed it but it sure as hell made a good excuse for my various anti-social behaviour. In all honesty i did not deserve to recieve unemployment benifits, but because of my supposed "disease" it was ok for me to lie on a federal form etc, as long as my supposed "disease" was getting treated.

Also the success rate in the treatment center was very poor. Out of 60 people 2 suicides (that i know of) in 1 year after "recovery". The "treatment" was not cheap and cost taxpayers a lot of money. Also you mentioned it, but treatment centers are big $$$$ often funded at gov't expense. The 12 step programs appeal to gov'ts since they are simple.

Also another point I was trying to make is that possibly it "might" have stopped my drinking. But it did nothing to curb my anti-social behaviour. Possibly it made worse. Quit drinking become an AA "saint" chosen by "god". You want a mentally unstable person running arround on the streets who now thinks his actions are the "will of god". People who think their actions are "god driven" are dangerous — they do things like flying airplanes into buildings, to murdering abortionists, to invading other countries.

You sure got that right.

Anyway working on my anger/anarchistic behaviour. I am now aware of it, and the "disease" excuse not longer cuts the mustard.

Thanx John

Hi again, John,

Yes, that sounds good. Have a good day, and a good life.

== Orange

*                  Agent Orange               *
*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
** "I distrust those people who know so well what God
** wants them to do, because I notice it always coincides
** with their own desires."  ==  Susan B. Anthony, 1896

[this is about the 4th letter from Jenni. The previous ones are here and here.]

Date: Thu, June 8, 2006 13:22
From: "Jenni J."
Subject: Re: Wow!


As usual, you have succeeded in making us all laugh. Me and my friends believe that reading your e-mails is truly a source of entertainment. There was a bet on how many 'ad-hominems' you were going to put in your last e-mail. I lost.

But hey, at least someone is paying attention to you, right?

You are a funny man. Your time has passed. Joseph McArthy is your leader, you would have been great weaving some of this propoganda back when people were stupid. Unfortunately, that time isn't now. You missed your calling. You could've made Rosenbergs out of all of us. :) he he.

How many ad-hominems was that? Your like a machine with that evasive tactic of yours.

Hi again, Jenni,

Actually, you've got it backwards. You are doing psychological projection. Your last letter was just loaded with ad hominems. Ad hominems are attacks on the speaker, rather than attacks on his arguments or statements. Ad hominems are things like "you are stupid, you are immoral, and you have ugly hair too."

I did not do that to you. I was just re-reading my previous letter to you, and I don't see me making a single ad hominem attack on you. You launched plenty of them though —

  1. "little juvenile diatribe reeks of unfulfilled desires."
  2. "You are far too cerebral for your own good."
  3. "You are not smart enough. You are what we would call in the intellectual circles at Princeton, a 'Grade B' thinker."
  4. "...you'll never grow with that brand of close-mindedness."
  5. "Your obviously very young, probably a student, not much life experience."

The thing you fail to see is that you are caught up in slander. What if AA were a profit corporation, and you were going around with your propoganda disparraging the brand equity of their organization. Of course, you realize you would most definitely be called into court under suit. What would you do then? Would you try to 'ad-hominem' the judge? "Your honor, I refuse to answer that based on the grounds that it is an attack on the messenger and not the message", you'd say. The judge would say in retort, "Yes, you stupid idiot, that's why you were called in here in the first place, this is a slander case". Seriously, you would be in quite a pickle, and yes you would have to defend what your saying. Bwa-ha-ha.

Hey, I'm just telling the truth. I research carefully and document things and show my sources. I can prove in a court of law that A.A. is guilty of perjury in Mexico and Germany and that the copyright on the Big Book is invalid. And a lot of other things too.

But we know that would never happen because AA is a not profit organization, and that would be against their principles. (You actually could still be sued though)

Actually, that is not true — Alcoholics Anonymous [World] Services, Inc., is a for-profit corporation, and they take in approximately $6 million per year. The members of the Board of Trustees make about $70,000 per year, each, and the President makes about $125,000. And all of that is nothing compared to what the treatment centers that sell 12-Step quackery make.

CORRECTION (2011.03.28): It turns out that the trustees are not paid. But other people get lots more. The President and General Manager of A.A. Greg Muth gets $125,000 from both AAWS and the GSB (General Service Board of A.A.), for a total of $250,000 per year. And then his friend Thomas Jasper gets $469,850 for being a "Senior Advisor". And many others get salaries in the range of $70,000 to $100,000 each. Look here.

Which brings me to my next point. Motive! Every cult has a motive. What is AA's motive? Money? NO. Sex? NO Control? NO What exactly is it? AA members don't have to give money. They are usually married to people outside of AA. They don't always even go to meetings, and can change meetings where no one even knows them.

I've already answered that before too. Look here, for a previous letter where we discussed just that issue.

Nothing, you got nothing but yellow journalism in your favor. If your idea is so clever, where are your fans and your riches. Surely, a good point deserves some merit to the person who made it. Where's yours? (It doesn't exist)

Now there you go again. Who says that honesty and truth must always lead to riches? I thought you were supposed to be interested in spirituality. Spirituality isn't about making money, is it? So why are you sneering that I am not rich? It would seem that your real value system respects money more than truth.

I just remembered that there was another guy who also didn't make any money off of what he said. His name was Jesus Christ. When He died, He was so poor that He didn't own anything but the robe on His back (which the soldiers then stole from Him). His fan base abandoned Him too. He must have been a real loser in your book, right? No riches and no fans.

Oh, I know, someone in AA once had a picture of Adolf Hitler in their wallet and refused to buy a Model T when they were popular, or some other such strange nonsense. ;)

You are babbling.

You should use your talents for a more honest and worthwhile cause. Your not on the front lines dealing with drunks and addicts, you have no credibility on the subject. My first point I'm sure any intelligent person would agree with.

You don't know what you are talking about.

Hereafter, you shall be known as "Billy the Magic Donkey"

Whatever. "Name Calling" is just another standard propaganda trick — one which is usually used by people who are losing a debate because they don't have any facts or truth on their side.


Well Jenni,

I must thank you for a letter that clearly shows the world what Alcoholics Anonymous "rigorous honesty" and "spirituality" really amount to.

You know what is missing from your rap?

  1. Any evidence that A.A. is good and actually works to make alcoholics quit drinking.
  2. Any evidence that A.A. doesn't just raise the death rate and suicide rate of alcoholics.
  3. Any evidence that Bill Wilson wasn't just a philandering lying thieving con man who sold a repainted version of an old fascist cult religion.

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.

[another letter from Jenni J.:]

Date: Sun, June 11, 2006 13:25
From: "Jenni J."
Subject: Re: Wow!

You are too much, comparing yourselves to Jesus.

Aha! Stop right there, Jenni. I knew that you were going to do that. I was very careful not to compare myself to Jesus Christ. Read that paragraph again. Read very carefully.

I asked you whether you consider Jesus a real loser because he died without any riches or fans. Well, do you?

Can somebody tell the truth without getting a bunch of riches and fans?

I have seen no actual facts on your website.

Well then, there are only five possibilities:

  1. You are blind.
  2. You are illiterate.
  3. You are in denial.
  4. You haven't actually read much of the web site.
  5. You are lying.
Now I don't want to accuse you of lying, so which of the other four is it?

I am going to spread this around because all this really seems like a cry for help on your part. You need help bad getting sober, my friend.

I already am sober, 5 1/2 years now, so I am not "crying for help".

Orange, you need to get to a meeting and quit drinking. First Step, we admitted we were powerless over alcohol and our lives became unmanageable..

Wrong. We are not powerless.

We will be waiting for you in the rooms of AA ready to help. Put down the bottle and GET READY TO GET SOBER!

Knock it off. Do you think you are being witty or something?

I am going to tell some of my AA male friends about you. They will contact you soon and then make a visit to you personally.

Oh sweet. Is that a threat?

We even take hopeless cases like yours. You are obviously deranged and are only writing me because you want help in AA.

Actually, you wrote to my web site, remember?
You started this exchange of letters.
So are you drunk and deranged and crying for help?

Your wish is my command.


Have a good day anyway, Jenni.

== Orange

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

[this is the 6th letter from Jenni:]

Date: Tue, June 20, 2006 08:21
From: "Jenni J."
Subject: Re: Wow!

Gee, orange, I can see that you are so easily baited into frustration. You are suffering from "Last Word Syndrome". You have to have the last word. It is symtomatic of the final stages of alcoholism. Right now, you are probably getting to that point where everything seems hopeless. Yet you are defiant, as any alcoholic who is crying for help.

Hi again Jenni,

You should check yourself. You are the one who is writing to me to get the last word in.

We here for you Orange. We can help you see through the maize of delusion which has become truth to you. You are probably starting to talk to spiders now. That's common too. Just remember, they're not people, they can't operate machinery, and they don't live long anyway.

We here for you Orange.


If you want to "be there" for anyone, why don't you be there for the newcomers who are sick and in need of help. The best way that you can help them is to be rigorously honest and tell them the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth about Alcoholics Anonymous and its failures. Falsehoods and fairy tales don't make it.

Oh well, have a good day.

== Orange

*                  Agent Orange               *
*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
** The finest structure can house the worst evil.

[another letter from Jenni:]

Date: Fri, June 23, 2006 06:20
From: "Jenni J."
Subject: Re: Wow!


I didn't see a reply. I've read your website thoroughly. It's comedic. You are a fool, man. You should really show that to some people to get their opinion. Seriously, it's pretty dumb. No educated person would take it seriously. You're just begging, I mean begging the question over and over again. AA is related to Nazism. Ha!

It's laughable. This is your life's work. I pity you, really pity you. Ad Hominem for sure. You failed to establish any valid point at all, Orange. Not one single connection. Do you even know what an alcoholic is?


Hello again, Jenni,

My, you are in a good mood today. It's a beautiful day, the sun is shining, summer is here, and you sit there with a little gloom and doom cloud over your head, angrily muttering about how you don't like me. That is sad. Why don't you brighten up?

Your previous letter was posted right after your other recent letters. I try to group sequences of letters together for continuity. Look here for yours: Letters 53.

You keep complaining that I am all wrong, but you have not introduced a single fact to support your accusations and denunciations. You have produced nothing to show that I am wrong about anything.

You offer no facts, just accusations, like that I must be drinking or something.

That cuts both ways. Are you drinking, Jenni? Are you practicing psychological projection? Is that your problem?

Oh well, have a good day anyway.

== Orange

*                  Agent Orange               *
*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
** Drinking makes such fools of people, and people are such
** fools to begin with, that it's compounding a felony.
**         Robert Benchley (1889 - 1945)

[another letter from Jenni:]

Date: Wed, June 28, 2006 10:53
From: "Jenni J."
Subject: Re: Wow!

Gee there Orange, I think what the question really comes down to is, can one really win an argument with a crazy person?

I think I may be a little crazy for trying. I will leave you now to wallow in your obsessive misery and contrived happiness.

Okay Jenni, goodbye.

And have a good day anyway.

== 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.

Date: Fri, June 9, 2006 06:40
From: "Stephen R. in the U.K."
Subject: All Addictions Anonymous



Have written to you before, from a different email address, just to say thanks for your help. This time I am writing with some information that I think may be of interest. The above link is for a sight called All Addictions Anonymous. It is simply another off-shoot of AA. The twist with this one is the militancy of it's members. If you visit the link, you will see that they believe that they can raise the recovery rate to 50-75%, simply by being Big Book thumpers and Step Nazis. Chris Raymer, one of the up and coming AA celebrities, has some of his speaker tapes on the site. Have a listen, I am sure you will be disgusted by what he has to say. It seems his "message" is becoming increasingly popular in AA circles. Certainly, I have seen him mentioned many times on AA web forums and the like, and met people in NA and AA who were very influenced by what he had to say. I see it as a worrying development for an organisation that is already causing enough damage.

Anyways, I hope you find the site interesting....


Hi Stephen,

Thanks for the note. I had not heard of those guys before.

I just listened to one thing, so far, and it sure does sound militant. It gives a new color to the expression, "Step Nazis".

It also sounds for all the world like some of the more obnoxious Fundamentalist Christian preachers from the USA.

I shall have to listen more.

Have a good day.

== Orange

*                  Agent Orange               *
*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**   "Through clever and constant application
**   of propaganda, people can be made to see
**   paradise as hell, and also the other way
**   round, to consider the most wretched sort
**   of life as paradise"  —  Adolf Hitler

Date: Sat, June 10, 2006 08:39
From: "Chris I."
Subject: proposition

Hey there Orange,

Tell ya what. If you do all 12 steps with a sponsor (preferably not some asshole barking orders but really it doesn't matter) and are unhappy with the results.... then I will quit AA for good.... hell, might even have a drink!

I would suggest that spiritual (for want of a better term) propositions are characterized by the impossibility of receiving benefit from them through intellectual investigation as they are experiential by nature. Unless you experience them, how can you nay-say them? Would be like me saying there can be no rush obtained by surfing had I never even seen the ocean. So if you were to experience the 12 steps and reject the results, your arguments would actually have weight. As it is they appear to be an obsessively constructed edifice of denial, full of resentment and pain. That's how it appears.

Good luck!


p.s. If you want to fast-track it, all 12 can be done in about a week, barring any long-term financial ammends. I'd be happy to help.

Hello Chris,

That's a standard cult ploy. They say:
"You can't judge our program until you've tried it.
Just do our practices for a year, and you will see that it is all true."

If you do their program for a year, you will be so brainwashed that you will believe whatever they say.

The 12-Step program is inherently psychologically harmful, as well as heretical, and there is no way that I'm going to practice Buchmanism. Sorry, but I'm just not that crazy.

Alcoholics Anonymous is extremely arrogant when it assumes that nobody but 12-Step cult members have ever had spiritual experiences. And hence nobody but A.A. members are qualified to judge the spirituality of Alcoholics Anonymous. As if there is no valid religion in this world except Alcoholics Anonymous, and no valid spiritual practices except Buchmanism.

But remember that Bill Wilson declared that he really liked LSD, because it gave him once again those good old feelings of spirituality that he got from belladonna in Towns' Hospital in December of 1934.

Well, gee, what a funny coincidence. I spent years on a hippie commune, tripping my brains out on guess what? So I know all about Bill Wilson's psychedelic experiences and his spiritual feelings.

Furthermore, I don't care whether you quit Alcoholics Anonymous, although I advise you not to take a drink in either case. I have said many times that I don't care if some burned out old alcoholics want to gather in church basements and convince each other that they are the Chosen People of God. What I care about is that Alcoholics Anonymous foists quackery and cult religion on sick people and then lies about the failure rate.

Have a good day.

== Orange

*                  Agent Orange               *
*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
** "One of the founders of Alcoholics Anonymous [Bill Wilson]
** described to me the transcendental experience he credits
** with giving him control over his compulsive drinking.
** Years later he took LSD five or six times. This, he
** said, reinstated his original ecstasy, and consequently
** he wishes that LSD were more available to alcoholics."
** == Walter Houston Clark. Chemical Ecstasy: Psychedelic
** Drugs and Religion, p 101. Sheed & Ward, New York, 1969.
** (Note: Bill took LSD for two years, not 5 or 6 times.)

[2nd letter from Chris I.:]

Date: Sun, June 11, 2006 13:04
From: "Chris I."
Subject: Re: proposition


Brainwashing I know all about and it's true that if you repeat the same things for long enough, eventually anyone will believe it. Could take a while though so there are tried and true methods to expedite the process. I don't know about you but sleep deprivation, malnutrition, isolation and constant pain and suffering was a LIFESTYLE choice for me and I made myself believe all sorts of insane things and committed all sorts of insane acts. Perhaps I have been reprogrammed in AA. But it is a program after all, and believe it or not, your grey matter harddrive has been programmed as well....everyone's is.

Hi again, Chris,

RE: "Could take a while though..." The process works much faster if the victim wants to believe.

Wanting to believe is perhaps the most powerful dynamic initiating and sustaining cult-like behavior.
The Wrong Way Home: Uncovering the Patterns of Cult Behavior in American Society, Arthur J. Deikman, M.D., page 137.

Did you now that the Oxford Group (Buchmanism) actually goes all the way back to the Templars? Late 19th/early 20th century rich folk were steeped in the occult and occult historians (Rudolph Steiner, et als) concerned with decoding the Legend of Parsival, the last codified record of Templar methodology. Hitler was also quite determined in that direction...Steiner was actually a paranormal advisor to Churchhill, supposedly keeping psychic tabs on the nazis! The Spear of Destiny is a great book on the subject.

Actually, no. Those were Adolf Hitler's interests, not Frank Buchman's. Buchmanism and Nazism were not the same thing, although they had many points of similarity and a lot of overlap. It is true that Hitler was a superstitious nutcase, and so was Heinrich Himmler. And yes, they liked the book The Spear of Destiny, and dabbled with astrology and spiritism. And Heinrich Himmler had Gestapo agents running all over Europe looking for the Holy Grail and other artifacts. (There is a little bit of historical truth in the Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark movies.) (There is more on that here.)

But Frank Buchman drew his doctrines from a different thread. His mentor was Henry B. Wright of Yale University. Wright, in turn, had found the four standards in the writings of Robert E. Speer. Speer, in turn, had borrowed from Henry Drummond. Theirs was a kooky American Protestant chain of thought.

Me, I don't care. Knowledge does not exist in a vaccuum. Would be like embracing communism because our founding fathers were slave owners. Who gives a shit that AA is full of cult groups and crazies. What, are you so weak that such people are dangerous to you? Hell, all of my sponsors have been totally fuckin nuts. I had the bad fortune also of getting mixed up in a UK offshoot of Clancy's Pacific Group cult... I knew something was weird right off but they were the closest meetings to my house. So for your records, The Plymouth Group in Plymouth, UK, which expanded to the Vision For You and Road to Recovery groups in London are straight-up mind-control cults using standard mind-control tactics. Those guys definitely don't have a clue as to what Easy Does It means! Was I hurt by it? No, initially I was puzzled, then just amused. But one of the guys there got me a job, so thanks cult!

Now you are doing the minimalization and denial tap-dance, along with assuming facts not in evidence: "Heck, A.A. isn't so bad. Shouldn't all mental patients be treated by other crazies? It won't hurt them."

Actually, it does a lot of harm, including raising the death rate. I believe it also raises the suicide rate, but I don't have a number for that.

Again though, so what? You see, freedom allows for all sorts of stupid behavior and AA groups are Autonomous which means they can do what they want, follow principle or not....those that don't get screwed up. Just like individuals. But what do you expect? Remember we're dealing with fucked-up alkies here man! Even my crazy sponsors, I hate to imagine what they'd be like had they not gotten sober and even tried to live according to spiritual principles but they freely gave me their time and, dude, even at my most fucked-up I was still able to dispense some good advice myself.

Again, you are ignoring the points that it is manslaughter to kill people with quack medicine, and it is a violation of people's Constitutional rights to force a cult religion on them.

By the way, your interpretation of the steps really is juvenile and superficial... you read a lot into them that isn't there.... here I'll help:

1. You're fucked. which is totally true if you're an alcoholic like me who gets raging drunk every time I drink and eventually absolutely must drink after periods of crazed abstinence. That's my life. And it continued until I knew I was doomed and became suicidal...homicidal...matri/patri,fratri/genocidal. there is no such thing as "partially unmanageable" or "temporarily unmanageable" as that just means "difficult to manage". My life was fucking over. Unmanageable. Period. if that's not you, maybe you're not an alcoholic. Acceptance is always the first Spiritual principle, acceptance of reality.

Yes, that is standard "Introduction to the Cult 101". "You are a worthless piece of dirt, and only the cult can save you."

2. But maybe you're not so fucked. maybe just possibly there is something that Could work for you because when you come to believe in something you most likely first come to believe someone and all these alkies say they were like me and they sure as shit don't look like it anymore so just maybe...maybe. It DOESN'T say we all the sudden believe in God. But is something like that at least possible? Even for a die-hard atheist like me? of course it is. Hope springs eternal.

Maybe Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy will save you. Isn't it at least possible? Don't a lot of people believe in them?

3. God, for want of a better term anyway. I wouldn't have gotten out of bed this morning had I not decided to. Decisions precede any conscious action. Dude, how can some shaky, spiritually comatose drunk just turn his life and will over to his conception of god? That's absurd. But he can, out of desperation and a glimmer of hope, at least decide to do so. So how does he begin? Well, first question would be exactly what is he turning over to God as he undersytands it?

That is gibberish.

4. An unexamined life is not worth living, a concept older than Socrates....confuscious said the same, jesus too. Who are you orange? certainly not the personal mythology you've constructed for yourself. And why all the fear and wallowing in self-indulgent guilt? It's supposed to be a searching and fearless moral inventory not a superficial, fear driven guilt-fest. Examine yourself dispassionately and objectively for the first time in your life....hell, you're going to die anyway. List everything, good and bad...but start with the bad, the resentments, fears, selfish sexual pursuits...I'm sure you're already adept at trumpeting your good points. Then when you come to the conclusion that you're just a nice, sweet, sensitive, caring, loving little creature on a big lonely planet who has wasted a lot of time and life acting the fool can you gain a bit of humility. But don't worry, you didn't know what you were doing.

Wallowing in guilt is not "the examined life". It is the path to suicide.

5. Now you can actually lay yourself bare to the universe, bluff and bravado aside, and show yourself as you really are to yourself, God, the universe, another human being, for the first time. And ya know what? It's no big deal. You'll wonder what all the worry was about. The guy I read my 4th to wanted to make me feel comfortable by telling me a couple of his secrets first but when he started telling me about having sex with the retarded girl I had to say, "Dude! This is MY 5th step, shut the fuck up!" And he was rather disappointed that there wasn't more interesting stuff in there. Honesty, my friend, is a wonderful thing.

So you get off on confessing things.

6. Now that you've examined yourself, you might just notice that there are some undesirable traits that you really might consider shit-canning if you are to survive and be happy because it doesn't work very well for you. But how to do that? And are you ready for it? Ready after an entire life of carefully inculcating these negative traits? I doubt it. Preparation is key. get yourself ready....think about it, talk about it, write about it...it's an important step! Seeing these new traits honestl;y for the first time and seeing what they've done to you, might make you feel sick, used, a badly programmed, virus-ridden robot of self-destruction, make you feel completely willing to finally be free of them. It's about Freedom.

That is more nonsense. When I got myself ready was when I said, "You know, I'm getting tired of being sick and tired like this, and I don't want to die that way. Maybe I should just not drink any more."

By the way, notice the switcheroo that is inherent in that step. A.A. was supposed to be about quitting drinking. But by Step 4, "The Program" has changed into yammering about your "moral shortcomings" and "defects of character", and the focus stays on guilt-inducing routines all the way through Step 10. That is a classic cult bait-and-switch trick.

7. Now HUMBLY ask for their removal. keep asking. You'll find that instead of lighting strikes there is a much more organic, almost tidal process at work. It doesn't happen over night but while it's happening there is more to do.

And what will you pay this "Higher Power" for working for you? Where do you get off assuming that you can demand that some God work for you for free?

And old "Higher Power" must not really like you very much, because he let you suffer from alcoholism for decades, right? But as soon as you join A.A., He is suddenly willing to perform miracles on demand for you? So what makes Him suddenly care so much about your problems? Your confessions?

8. What about all the people you've hurt? Even if they hurt you so what? get the 2x4 out of your ass before you go plucking motes out of their eyes. That is a spiritual principle. Isn't it time to stand up and be a man and deal with the damage you've caused? To face your life and your past head-on? Finally? And this will dismantle the foreboding, the sense of impending doom which is a conglomeration of wrongs committed. More guilt-fest Orange? hardly. You should be excited at the prospect that finally your conscience can be free of all that shit. And it will be if you do it. Even the instances where you feel justified in causing harm, even if those were your victories, if you make ammends you will feel clean, empowered, and not lessened.

I'm all for repairing damage wherever it can be done. But this is still just more guilt induction.

9. An apology has five parts or it isn't an apology. State what you did, why it was wrong, that you're sorry, that you'll never do it again, and ask for forgiveness. It's at this step that the really wondeful stuff happens, that the fears melt away, that you start to feel at peace with yourself and your past and the world around you. Why? I dunno. I don't know why that on the day I made ammends to my older sister for being a cunt of a little brother (wait...is she a crazy bitch? yes. Do I even like her? not really. But then again, having me for a brother didn't help her any), on that day my lifelong, overwhelming fear of financial insecurity took a nose-dive towards non-existence. I felt it. It was palpable. Sure it flares up occasionally even now but on a very easily managed level. I am no longer paralyzed by it, it passes like a wave. Now me, I'm still terrible with money and my financial ammends have grown in sobriety through compounding interest. Fortunately I was "amazed before I was half-way through" because according to my calculations it'll be another 25 years before I am halfway through if I ever am. Go ahead and judge away but I am doing first things first which is my kid and the IRS can go fuck itself until I get to them.....point is I am totally willing to get to them.

So you are going to spend the rest of your life apologizing? That is more guilt induction.

10. What's so hard about admitting you're wrong Orange? What, you're perfect? Isn't it better to deal with it immediately rather than just create another miasma of resentment and guilt? Is it so hard to just sit down for 20 minutes and examine yourself and your motivations during your day or days or week objectively? Well sure it's impossible without doing the previous steps but, typically, alkies worry about flying before they even learn to walk. Do you really want to go through another huge 8th and 9th step? Some people just can't ever admit to being wrong...they're too fearful...obviously the ones incapapble of being honest with themselves.

What is wrong with recognizing when you are right? The A.A. program is all negative. It's only about how sinful and selfish and wrong you are. It drives people right out of the rooms and to their deaths. It even makes some commit suicide.

11. Prayer takes two basic forms: Please and Thank you. Even those as a mantra work. prayer seems to work. Hell, I' even got laid through prayer when I was new (21 year old recovering drug addict ex-stripper with an eating disorder who gave me scabies the first time I fucked her....of course she moved in with me.....the next one was a roommate my sponsor hooked me up with, a model/botanist from England....we've been married 4 years). Don't confuse prayer with meditiation. Prayer is active. meditation is passive, passively opening yourself to the infinite potentiality which is existence (read a little quantum theory).

Quantum theory doesn't say anything about hearing voices in séances or getting "sure power" from ghosts and spirits, or spending your life doing what the voices in your head tell you to do.

12. These steps do indeed result in a spiritual awakening. So we're not spiritually comatose anymore, but that's about it...now we gotta learn to stand up and walk this thing. There are such things as spiritual principles; they are timeless, universal, and immutable. And at least trying to live according to them, inexpertly, faultily, is better than complete disregard of them. Those steeped in alcohol for decades just totally lose sight of them....nature of the beast. Now, nothing puts a shine on my apple like helping a down and out drunk get on his feet again. Do I tell em what to do? What, tell a grown man what to do? Of course not. I just say I used to be like that, I did these things, now I'm like this. Period. Does the guy want suggestions? Ok. Up to him to act on em or not, no skin off my ass. But I'm not gonna argue with the guy or listen to his bullshit because, one, I don't argue with crazy people and, two, whatever he's thinking or feeling, all his ideas and opinions and feelings will change if he does the things I suggest so it's a waste of both our time to hear it. See, I don't NEED the guy in my life, I have a rich life and he has nothing to offer. I already have friends, sane ones, non-alkies. But since no one else will give the poor fuck the time of day I will, just like people did with me when I was a crazy, enraged, malignant, spiteful loser.

Just recovering from alcohol poisoning is wonderful, and gives great experiences of sudden clarity and elevated energy. No hocus-pocus explanation is needed.

So Orange, fuck AA. You've gotten what you need from it which is introduction to the steps, period, which is half of it. The other half is you introducing them to someone else. period. You may have to sit through a bunch of meetings listening to crazies jabber but keep your cool and someone will ask you for help. AA is personal, strictly between you, the ones who help you and the ones you help. Fuck everyone else. But who knows, you might run into a few sane ones....it's just that they're not as visible as the crazies because they make less noise.

"Introducing them to someone else" is perhaps the worst part of it. It's like a mind virus, or rabies, and now you have to go bite somebody else.

Fuck Bill W, he was a scumbage who, thankfully, didn't drink himself to death but lucked into plagiarizing ageless concepts into a coherant formula....and I'm so glad James Woods played him in the movie! What a sleaze!

Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.

Fuck the book, it's badly written by a grandiose megalomaniac and erroneous in many key places.

Again, that presents a problem. A.A. members try to have it both ways. The true believers quote Big Book scripture to me all of the time, but when I point out just how crazy and wrong it is, somebody else pops up with "Oh the book isn't the real A.A...." But they will be back to quoting me more Big Book scripture tomorrow.

Basically fuck everyone's experience of the steps, even mine, and have your own experience with them....it doesn't take a year of brainwashing to do them. Certainly don't let Bill W tell you what they mean. Look at them exactly as written. Now me, religeon has never been a possibility for me so these steps have so far been the only avenue towards spirituality that I've ever encountered. The only one? I doubt it, but I haven't seen another yet.

The 12 Steps are not a path to spirituality. The 12 Steps are Frank Buchman's cult recruiting and indoctrination procedures, dressed up with the words "alcohol" and "alcoholics" inserted at the beginning and end.

Actually the acid tripping experiences I had when I was a teenager and the sense of the organic, micro/macrocosm continuum nature of the universe that they gave me never left and was the basis of my atheism....but at some point I did ask myself if maybe the Creator and the Creation were one and the same thing which led me to penning the theorem "if something requires the existence of another to itself exist then it is merely part of a greater whole" (or maybe it was the other way around, the theorem and then the question). If I apply that theorem to any list of things, I invariably come to the conclusion that really only everything can be considered as something, all distinctions being sebjectively anecdotal. So what is the nature of everything given that I am an integral component and it is illogical to think that I or we are anomalies as, logically, anomalies cannot exist. The words of that great spiritualist, Obi Wan Kenobi, ring true: many of the truths we cling to depend greatly upopn our particular point of view.

Good luck! Chris.

The quote from Obi Wan Kenobi is true. (George Lucas was good at stealing from Oriental wisdom.) Funny that Steppers refuse to see that problem in their own thinking. Enthusiastic Steppers are forever telling me that they know that the 12-Step program is right and true and spiritual because they feel so good when they go to A.A. meetings and laugh it up with the boys.

Oh well, have a good day anyway.

== 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: Sat, June 10, 2006 14:35
From: "Cam"

*Thanks for putting the letter up*
*here's letter 2 link 2:-*
"The typical A.A. member has been sober more than 8 years, is now 48, and attends an average of two meetings a week; 86% belong to a home group."

*Hmmm something fishy in there.*

Hi Cam,

Thanks for the note.

I love this. This is a great example of just how tricky statistics can be, and how deceptively one can use them. You think that the statement is false, just another grandiose A.A. exaggeration, because they are trying to make A.A. look good, right?

Well, it might be. They are trying to make A.A. look good all right. And they might in fact be lying like a rug.

But think again. It might actually be true. In fact, I guess that some day it will for sure be true.

That statistic is not a story of great success. It is the announcement of the death of Alcoholics Anonymous.

In order for it to be true that the average A.A. member has 8 years of sobriety, there can be almost no newcomers joining Alcoholics Anonymous. *Almost NONE*.

Think about it this way: If you have one newcomer who just joined A.A. a few months ago, there has to be a 16-year oldtimer to match with him to make the average of the two people be eight years of sobriety.

But you and I both know how few 16-year oldtimers there really are in Alcoholics Anonymous. Those things are as rare as hen's teeth. Consequently, there must be almost no new members joining A.A. if the average sobriety is 8 years. Mathematically, it cannot be any other way. Newcomers would pull down the average.

Likewise, if somebody has 1 year of sobriety, there has to be somebody else who has 15 years to balance him out at an average of 8 years for the two of them. But those 15-year guys are pretty darned rare too. You can continue the pattern through the rest of the numbers: 2 and 14, 3 and 13, 4 and 12, 5 and 11, and so on.

They just told you that A.A. is a shrinking and dying organization that is composed of 50% old dinosaurs. There is no next generation. Only a few out of each thousand newcomers survive to become 10- or 15-year oldtimers, so the current small group of new members that they have will yield almost no A.A. members 15 years into the future.

Now at this point I'm sure that some A.A. booster or other will grin and start to quibble and say, "Oh, but that page doesn't say AVERAGE, it says TYPICAL."

In terms of statistics, the word "typical" is meaningless. It is undefined.

There are three statistics words that it could represent: mean, median and mode.

MEAN is the average that we just talked about. Add up everybody's sobriety time and then divide the sum by the number of A.A. members. That gives you the arithmetical mean, also known as the average.

MEDIAN is simply the middle value in a list of things. If you were to just make a list, in numerical order, of the sobriety times of all of the A.A. members, you would get a list that started with one day and ended with maybe 50 years or something. Most of the numbers would be low, days or months of sobriety, lots of time less than a year. Then you would have a bunch of people with a year or two. Then you would have fewer and fewer of the higher numbers — 5, 10, 15, 20, 25 years, etc. Whatever number was in the middle of that list would be the MEDIAN value. (I would guess that it might be a year or two, maybe less.)

The MODE is simply the commonest number in that list. Obviously, it would be a month or two. There are lots more short-timers than old-timers.

When A.A. says "the typical member", they are implying that it is either the MEAN or the MEDIAN value, although they aren't saying what it is for sure.

Nevertheless, after that long-winded lecture on statistics, we still arrive at the unavoidable conclusion that Alcoholics Anonymous has to be desperately short of new members for either the MEAN or MEDIAN or MODE sobriety time to be eight years.

Can you say "Endangered Species"? I knew you could say that.

Have a good day.

== Orange

*                  Agent Orange               *
*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
** 'After all, facts are facts, and although we may quote one
** to another with a chuckle the words of the Wise Statesman,
** "Lies — damn lies — and statistics," still there are some
** easy figures the simplest must understand, and the astutest
** cannot wriggle out of.'
** Leonard Henry Courtney, the British economist and politician
** (1832-1918), later Lord Courtney, New York, August 1895.

P.S.: On rereading that A.A. page again, I noticed this paragraph:

"Ages of Members — Reflecting the general aging of the population, the average age of A.A. members seems to climb a digit or two with each survey and is now 48, as noted, with those aged 41-50, 33%; 61-70, 11.5%; and over 70, 4.8%. Those under 21 constitute 1.5%; and 21-30, 7.9%."

The AVERAGE age of A.A. members is 48? That is certainly an aging population. Again, we see no next generation.

Any time you see an aging population, that means "few children". It doesn't matter whether it is the USA, China, or Italy. A rising average age means that there are not very many children being created. (If a couple has a bunch of children, then the children will really pull down the average age of the family. If a 30-year old couple has 5 children ages 1, 3, 5, 7, and 9, then the average age of the family members, including the parents, is only 12.) But that isn't happening in either Italy or Alcoholics Anonymous.

Less than 10% of the A.A. membership is under 30. For every young 21-year-old member, there must be another member who is 75 years old for the average of the two to be 48 years.

Dinosaurs, headed for extinction.

Gee, I guess that nineteen-thirties old-time fascist cult religion just isn't selling so well any more.

And there is still more revealed by that triennial survey. Look at the issue of coercive recruiting.

All of these people were in one way or another pressured, coerced or shoved into the A.A. meeting rooms by the health care system, the courts, or a so-called "Employee Assistance Program" (threats of firing for non-compliance):

referred by a treatment facility 31%
by court order 11%
through a counseling agency 8%
by a health care provider 8%
by an employer or fellow worker 5%
Total 63%

Those are almost the same coercion numbers as came from the previous triennial survey — they are just two points higher.

Yeh, it's really a program of "attraction, not promotion"... Not!

Oh well, have a good day anyway.

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Last updated 15 December 2012.
The most recent version of this file can be found at https://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters53.html