Letters, We Get Mail, LV

Date: Wed, June 14, 2006 15:46
From: hwrdwl

Dear Orange:

I have decided that is clear that your site has struck a raw nerve.

If AA were not a cult, you would not be receiving the hate mail that you are. As has been said, "the best thing to do with a fool, is to let him speak".

Aha! You have figured out my strategy! :-)

Yes, there is simply nothing that I could say that exposes the insanity of A.A. as much as just letting them rave. I mean, some of them are so far over the edge that even if I had the imagination of Steven King, I couldn't make up characters like that.

It seems clear to me, that you have struck a nerve with the zealots. It is sad but true that these folks do not give credit to themselves for what they have done. I do not expect the zealots to respect themselves enough to realize that they were the driving force.

But, owing to the fact that 95% leave within one year, and AA is anonymous, one cannot know.

I must say that one must be very careful in AA. It is replete with sociopathic personalities; plus zealotry and arrogance. I must say to a newcomer: Sit with your back to the wall.

Yeh, and if somebody walks up to you and offers to be your sponsor, run for the door.

It is the very model of the blind leading the blind.

Do not ever forget that.



Hi H W,

Thanks for the letter, and have a good day.

== Orange

*                  Agent Orange               *
*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
* If you wonder whether evil karma can be neutralized or not,
* then know that it is neutralized by desire for goodness.
* But they who knowingly do evil deeds, exchange a mouthful
* of food for infamy. They who knowing not wither they
* themselves are bound, yet presume to pose as guides for
* others, do injury both to themselves and others. If pain
* and sorrow ye desire sincerely to avoid, avoid, then, doing
* harm to others.
*    — W.Y. Evans-Wentz, Tibet's Great Yogi Milarepa

Date: Wed, June 14, 2006 16:20
From: "Marcus"
Subject: Comment.....

Your comments are only your opinion.....
AA does exist ....It does help people who have a problem with addiction.....
AA is fellowship that help people understand issues....Circumstances and Events that occur daily.....
Truth be told AA is an acroymn of Attitudes.....Behaviour.....and Consequences.....


Hi Marcus,

Actually, my comments are not just my opinion. (That's the propaganda and debating trick called Escape Via Relativism "it's just your opinion versus my opinion".) I quote doctors who have done the best studies of A.A. ever done in this world. One of them is even a member of the Board of Trustees of Alcoholics Anonymous [World] Services, Inc. He said that the A.A. death rate was "appalling".

Yes, of course A.A. exists. Nobody is arguing about that.

No, A.A. does not help people. A.A. true believers just chant that slogan over and over again, based on no facts at all. The truth is that A.A. has a horrendous failure rate and an appalling death rate. A.A. has a bad suicide rate, too.

If you think that A.A. works, please tell me, out of each 1000 newcomers to A.A., how many of them will get a one-year coin for a year of sobriety? How about a 10-year coin?

And how much less than the normal rate of spontaneous remission of alcoholism is that?

Oh well, have a good day anyway.

*                  Agent Orange               *
*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
** "A well conducted professional study" showed that
** "some 5% of newcomers are still attending meetings
** after 12 months. This is a truly terrible statistic.
** Again we must ask 'Where does the fault lie?'"
** == Dr. Ron Whitington - Chairman General Service Board,
** AA Around Australia, Spring Edition No 90, October 1994

Date: Thu, June 15, 2006 11:21
From: "dave p."
Subject: interesting site

I often hear at meetings, "aa is for those who want it, not for those who need it." I for one, agree with that statement. If aa is not for you, then don't bother with it. AA helps many, but not all. I too reject the court system sentencing people to attend aa. Most aa members don't like it either. Any way, I definitely appreciate that you have your own point of view. Much food for thought.

Dave P.

Hi Dave,

Thanks for the letter.

There seems to be an echo in here. I keep hearing the statement that "A.A. helps many", based on no facts at all. (See the previous letter.)

Just pointing at some sober people at an A.A. meeting or a big convention does not prove that A.A. or the meeting or the Twelve Steps "helped" those people, or made them quit drinking. Such an assumption completely ignores spontaneous remission — the people who just quit drinking because they got sick and tired of being sick and tired and decided not to die that way. In truth, A.A. simply steals the credit for a few people who quit drinking by using their own determination, desperation, will power, and intelligence.

The apparent success rate of Alcoholics Anonymous in sobering people up is actually less than the normal rate of spontaneous remission of alcoholism. That is, less than the sobriety rate of alcoholics who get no help or treatment or support group at all.

The real evidence is that Alcoholics Anonymous actually makes people worse, rather than helping them. When it was put to the test, A.A. produced:

  1. a zero-percent success rate coupled with a higher death rate,
  2. a higher rate of re-arrests,
  3. a higher rate of binge drinking, and
  4. higher costs of hospitalization.

In addition, I am convinced that A.A. is also yielding a higher suicide rate, too, although I don't have statistics for that.

We all agree that sentencing people to A.A. meetings is unConstitutional and reprehensible, but it still continues, every day. Likewise, 93% of the drug and alcohol treatment centers in this country shove the clients into A.A. meetings, which is nothing but coercive quack medicine. The A.A. headquarters absolutely refuses to put a stop to it. They could, but they won't. (Just sending out a directive that A.A. will not sign any more attendance slips would go a long way towards stopping those practices.) A.A. would lose a lot of recruits if they did that, and considering how poorly the current recruiting is going, they just don't dare to do that.

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.

Date: Fri, June 16, 2006 11:21
From: "william n."
Subject: Steppers Are So Thoughtful

Hi Orange,

It's so great to write and communicate with you — out there in the ether; "Yes Virgina, there IS an Agent Orange..."

I know in one of my last e-mails to you I mentioned that I accumulated a year of sober time on May 26th. Well, since then I've run into some of my old Stepper pals and they always say that dreaded code phrase, "Hey: I haven't seen you around lately?" And then I tell them I've decided not to attend AA anymore.

But this is the best part — they always ask me flat out, "So are you still sober?"! I swear, I think they want to hear that I axe murdered my family in a drunken rage after having been nailed for 3 or 4 DUI's. I think they want so bad to hear that I've failed — that I've relapsed. They're so sanctimonious about spirituality yet they're such ninnies. At least I think so. I probably shouldn't cast aspersions like that but I don't claim to be a spiritual little angel.

Anyway, hope you're doing well. Thank you for putting up all those letters lately. They're so much fun to read. We really appreciate it.


Hi again Bill,

Thanks for the thanks, and yes, I'm doing great. And so are you. Congratulations on your year of sobriety.

And yes, Virginia, there really is an Agent Orange. (That's funny.)

About the Steppers hoping that you will relapse, yes, that's sad but true. The Germans have a word for that: schadenfreude — taking joy in the harm that other people suffer.

I suppose we all have a tendency to be happy to see an enemy having troubles. But why should you be an enemy of the Steppers just because you decided to stay sober without attending their meetings? (That is the cult characteristic Enemy-making and Devaluing the Outsider.)

Yeh, they apparently just can't stand the idea that you can stay sober without doing things their way. (And that is the cult characteristic Insistence that the cult is THE ONLY WAY.)

Oh well, have a good day anyway.

== Orange

*                  Agent Orange               *
*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**    Every thinker puts some portion of an
**    apparently stable world at peril.

Date: Fri, June 16, 2006 17:24
From: "Mary L."
Subject: AA as a 'Religion'

I've read a lot of your stuff in here, but not all of it.

After 4 years in 'the program', I'm tired of the bully tactics, the harrassment from other members who dissaprove of how I work my program, and the constant telling me to get involved, even though I was the group secretary for over 3 yrs. because no one else would do it.

It is still not enough for my group. They are still telling me to 'get active'.

I'm sick of it. I came into AA as a Catholic, and quickly had that beaten out of me. Organized religion is very much frowned upon.

I find AA very ANTI-CHRISTIAN, definitely not a spiritual program except for the fact it was the 'SPIRITS' that brought me to AA in the first place.

I bet Bill W. was a Mason, an Illuminati, or a follower of Satan.

My sheer will power is keeping me sober, like it did before when I was sober for 10 years without going to an AA meeting.

Is it a coincidence that I constantly run into AA holes everywhere I go?


There are a few stalkers and people with issues other than alcoholism at my meetings, but as you know, AA is a cure all for everything....


Mary T.

*/Live Your Dream.../*

Hi Mary,

Thanks for the letter, and I hope you are finding happiness and companionship elsewhere.

I recently posted a list of alternative organizations that might provide some companionship, chats, and society, here. Perhaps you might find some less irritating acquaintances there.

Have a good day.

== Orange

*                  Agent Orange               *
*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
** Self-appointed do-gooders arrogantly imagine that they
** have some God-given right to tell others what they should
** or shouldn't think, and how they should or shouldn't live.

Date: Sun, June 18, 2006 04:52
From: "ANDREW C."
Subject: Great site

Great site.

Very informative.

I tried AA and was basically told the same brain washing shit that everybody is told.

I left years ago (After 2 months) and through good old fashioned self-discipline, I have got my drinking under control. I'm not drinking myself to death anymore but found total abstinence is not the answer for me. I still get pissed and love it. I can drink, get pissed, behave, and then stop. It took lots of practice though!

Self-control, nothing else.

When I was told at meetings about " a power greater than ourselves" I knew straight away it was bullshit. There is no power greater than ourselves. We experience the world from our own unique minds and bodies. There will never be a power greater than yourself. Yourself is the greatest power in the universe.

The similarities between Scientology and AA are quite amazing. The simple answer to that, is that they are both, by definition, cults.

The world is full of desperate people looking for answers. The answers lie within themselves. Seek and you shall find.

Keep doin' it man.


Ps Sorry I'm shit at English.

Hi Andrew,

Thank you for the letter and all of the compliments.

And your English is just fine. You are more literate than a lot of the true-believer Steppers who write to me. (And they are supposed to be able to speak and write English as their native language. :-)

You are not the only one who has found that moderation is the path for him. Way back in 1976, the U.S. government think tank called The Rand Corporation did a study of alcoholism, and it found that fully 50% of all of the alcoholics who recovered from self-destructive drinking did it by tapering off into moderate, controlled drinking, and the other 50% did it by total abstinence. Look here.

Now me, I'm a total-abstinence kind of guy. That's the only thing that ever worked for me. But that was the point of the study. Different strokes for different folks. We are not all the same. We each have the problem of figuring out what works for us.

About those people who can drink moderately: More power to them. Have a good time. It doesn't hurt my feelings any.

And have a good day.

== Orange

*                  Agent Orange               *
*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
** People whose own lives are not worth living desire
** the power to control other people's lives.

Date: Sun, June 18, 2006 09:11
From: "David A.T."

Dear whomever,

The program of AA is not perfect, however I've had the best year of my life which was sober due to the principles outlined by Bill Wilson.

I'm a commercial pilot and the Federal Government, the FAA will let me fly once again as long as I'm going to AA and following its suggestions.

It just seems like you wasted a lot of time on absolutely nothing.


Hello David,

Thanks for the letter.

Congratulations on your sobriety.

What you are missing is the actual cause and effect that was going on there:

  • Tell me, why did you decide to go to your first A.A. meeting?
  • When did you make the decision to quit drinking and go to A.A. meetings instead?
  • Did it have something to do with threats of losing your license to fly? That is not the "principles of Bill Wilson".

So the FAA will let you fly as long as you go to A.A. meetings?
Well, why can't you go to the Catholic Church or the Baptist Church instead?
Is the FAA enforcing attendance at The 12-Step Church of 'Higher Power'?
That is illegal and unConstitutional, you know. I'll have to write to my Congressman about that.

Oh well, have a good day anyway.

== Orange

*                  Agent Orange               *
*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**  "AA certainly functions as a cult and systematically
**  indoctrinates its members in ways common to cults the
**  world over."
**  "...in the absence of proven scientific efficacy,
**  critics are legitimate in suggesting that mandated AA
**  attendance may be criticized as a failure of proper
**  separation between church and state."
**  == A.A. Trustee Prof. Dr. George E. Vaillant,
**  The Natural History Of Alcoholism Revisited, page 266.

Date: Mon, June 19, 2006 10:57
From: "Mvega"
Subject: OMG!

http://www.nsfoundation.org/sa/index.html [== Schizophrenics Anonymous]

Hi again, Mvega,

Yep, unbelievable, but true. Sometimes truth really is stranger than fiction.

Like I was saying in my web page on Snake Oil cures:

Someone would have to be pretty crazy to think that doing the Twelve Steps — performing a searching and fearless moral inventory and confessing all of his sins — is going to cure mental illnesses like schizophrenia and compulsive-obessive disorders.

But, come to think of it, that's just how the game works, isn't it? Go find sick, vulnerable people who are suffering, whose minds aren't too clear, and exploit their weaknesses and talk them into joining a cult religion while telling them that this magical 12-Step program will heal what ails them.

It would be really funny if it weren't so tragic, with people really getting hurt, even driven to suicide, by the 12-Step hoax.

I notice that the SA webmaster is doing a pretty good job of hiding the religiosity, in their descriptions of S.A. on the web site. This Schizophrenics Anonymous has only 6 steps, but they still talk a lot about surrender, and then they start the meeting by reciting the Serenity Prayer. I think I can guess most of the unmentioned content.

And in the autobiographical stories we get the SA founder Joanne Verbanic saying,

"I have made a commitment to devote the rest of my life to helping other mentally ill and believe this is God's plan for my life."

But another SA member says:

"Anyway, I got sober by entering treatment and Alcoholics Anonymous about a year later. I was exhilarated, although things still didn't seem to be quite right. ...
And I thought I could read peoples' minds and communicate with them without speaking. I thought I had found what great spiritual leaders termed 'being spiritual.' I truly thought I had been blessed by God and that I had a direct pipeline to Him. ...
While traveling, it seemed like God's voice entered into my thoughts and told me to do something if I wanted real peace and power in my life."

Wow. We are getting it both ways: "I'm on a mission from God — He chose me to help all of the schizophrenics", and it's a sign of schizophrenia to think that you are on a special mission from God.

And then there is this story, which says a lot more:

In jail, I was introduced to Alcoholics Anonymous and Schizophrenics Anonymous, and when I got out I continued to attend. By working the suggested steps and having a higher power of my understanding, I am now leading a happy and free life. I thank God for putting these programs and people in my life.

And then more autobiographical stories on the web site say:

When I was discharged, I started seeing my therapist Karen. A year later, she heard Joanne Verbanic speak at a conference and asked me if I wanted to start an SA group. I said yes.   ...   Thank you Joanne Verbanic and everyone in SA. What a gift we have in SA.

Another member says,

While there, I was still hearing voices. I thought that someone called my name out loud. I asked Joanne V. if she heard it too. She said no and I jokingly told her that I must have been hearing things. When Joanne told me not to worry and that I was among friends. I knew I was truly home and that SA would be something I wanted to do for the rest of my life.


SA has been that joy in my life. Thanks to SA, and thank you Joanne, for the gift. I must give it away to everyone I meet.

Watch out Bill Wilson, you might have some competition here.

Oh well, have a good day anyway.

== Orange

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

Date: Tue, June 20, 2006 05:16
From: "Ronald D.V."
Subject: Good Quote

Here's a good quote I've begun to use for myself when discussing politics and religion:

It is often a devastating question to ask oneself, but it is sometimes important to ask it — "In saying what I have in mind, will I really improve on silence?"
Robert Greenleaf, from The Servant As Leader


Hi Ron,

That's a good quote. I often think about that idea — remaining silent — and wonder if some stupid statements are even worth answering.

The problem with remaining silent when you hear stupid or bigoted or outrageously false religious or political statements is that if you do that, then only the lies will be heard in the free marketplace of ideas.

That is precisely the problem with Alcoholics Anonymous. They have dominated the rap for the last 60 years, and too many of their falsehoods have gone unchallenged.

Then another famous old quote comes to mind:

"The only thing necessary for evil to rule in this world is for the good men to remain silent and not make a stand."

Oh well, have a good day anyway.

== Orange

*                  Agent Orange               *
*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
** Who speaks the truth stabs Falsehood to the heart.
**    —  James Russell Lowell (1819-1891)

[2nd letter from Ron DV:]

Date: Wed, June 21, 2006 10:34
From: "Ronald DV"
Subject: Re: Good Quote

I wasn't suggesting that you stay silent. It was more for me to remember to use discernment when I speak. I think your website is very needed and I have passed the link on to several people.


Hi Ron,

Okay, you may not have been suggesting it, but I was. I often consider whether just ignoring some of the most goofy or crazy letters would be the best policy. The most recent one was David K. who started off his defense of A.A. by asking whether I believed that the Will of God was to be found in the Bible. Obviously, you can't win a debate with people like that, and your odds of even teaching them something are very poor. So what's the point? I guess the only point is to show what kind of people newcomers might get as their sponsors, and how crazy and dogmatic some of that A.A. organization really is.

Oh well, have a good day anyway.

== Orange

*                  Agent Orange               *
*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
** At least two thirds of our miseries spring from
** human stupidity, human malice and those great
** motivators and justifiers of malice and stupidity,
** idealism, dogmatism and proselytizing zeal on
** behalf of religious or political idols.
**  ==  Aldous Huxley

[3rd letter from Ron DV:]

Date: Fri, June 23, 2006 07:49
From: "Ronald D.V."
Subject: RE: Good Quote

Yes, I've found it's good to pick and choose my conversations with people. Sometimes it's a waste, sometimes it's well worth the effort. I pass your page on often because it is well researched and gives a view of AA that needs to be told. It's fine to have 12 step programs for those who want them, but it's also good to be honest about what they are and what they can and cannot do. Also no one should be "sentenced" to a 12 step program.

Fanatics and closed minded people are not worth arguing with, but unsuspecting people in a vulnerable state should be offered a clear picture of what they are getting into if they choose to attend 12 step groups.


Yep. What more can I say? Yep.

Have a good day.

== Orange

*                  Agent Orange               *
*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**    Fanaticism consists of redoubling your
**    effort when you have forgotten your aim.
**    == George Santayana

Date: Wed, June 21, 2006 18:55
From: "g sTar"
Subject: what the hell

you suck

Date: Wed, June 21, 2006 19:12
From: Zchaigirl

Why the big resentment against Bill W and AA? Are you an alcoholic?

Hello Zchaigirl,

You haven't actually read much of my web site, have you? Try reading the very first page of the web site, the introduction, for the story of my introduction to "A.A. treatment".

Of course he was horribly flawed, he was an alcoholic not a saint. And no one in the program goes around worshipping him.

That is simply not true at all. Check out a "Founders' Day" celebration.

To claim that all of Bill Wilson's crimes were okay because "we are not saints" is just a dishonest dodge, one that A.A. members use regularly. Look here and here.

So happens Bill W was the founder but he is not revered as anything else. He's just a guy who found a way to not take the first dink. And he passed it on. It ain't no cult. And it ain't a religion. There are meetings for agnostics and you don't need to believe in God, Bill W or anything else to get sober.

The fact that there are token meetings for "agnostics" does not change the fact that A.A. is a cult. Read The Cult Test, the whole thing, questions and answers.

Bill Wilson is revered, and at almost every A.A. meeting, somebody reverently reads out loud his delusions and lies like, "RARELY HAVE we seen a person fail, who has thoroughly followed our path..." They also read "inspirational" quotes from books like "As Bill Sees It" — Bill Wilson's bombastic opinion on every subject.

AA has saved millions of lives all over the world. Is your rant saving any lives? Alcoholism was a hopelessly incurable disease before the acceptance of AA.

A.A. has not "saved millions of lives". That is the standard A.A. Big Lie. The truth is that A.A. merely steals the credit from a few people who were going to quit drinking anyway. A.A. actually raises the rate of binge drinking enormously, rather than lowering it, and A.A. also increases the rate of re-arrests for public drunkenness. A.A. also makes a lot of alcoholics sicker so that they required more expensive hospitalization later on.

Worst of all: a member of the Board of Trustees, Dr. (and later Prof.) George E. Vaillant, spent many years trying to prove that A.A. works. What he accidentally proved was that A.A. kills. His A.A.-based treatment program had the highest death rate of any of the kinds of treatment that he studied — much higher than the others.

So, no, A.A. has not saved millions of alcoholics. It has merely fooled and deceived millions, and wasted their time with cult religion nonsense. And it has even hurt a lot of alcoholics.

Lois Wilson was a very sick woman with absolutely no self esteem. What other kind of woman would put up with an alcoholic? She could have walked away at any time. She chose not to and that is her stuff to look at.

What is the point of that? Are you blaming Lois Wilson for staying with her husband for better or worse, like her marriage vows said?

So I suppose you agree with me that Al-Anon, which Lois Wilson supposedly founded, merely increases the suffering of the wives and children of alcoholics by encouraging them to be guilt-ridden doormats and stay with the alcoholic husband who is making their lives hell?

And many of your interpretations of the AA program are completely off. The fact that it started with the Oxford group is not hidden. There are no leaders in AA. It expressly says so in the traditions.

Most of the real Oxford Group history of Alcoholics Anonymous is still hidden by the official A.A. organization, and what is not hidden is white-washed.

Bill Wilson and Dr. Bob were the charismatic cult leaders of Alcoholics Anonymous. They are dead now, but are still reverently worshipped as The Founders, and the deluded true believers still pore reverently over every word of the scribblings of Bill Wilson as if they are messages from God.

The current leaders of Alcoholics Anonymous are to be found in the New York corporate headquarters, where they commit crimes like perjury to put A.A. members in prison for "carrying the message" to poor alcoholics in foreign countries.

Some of your facts are interesting but if you really read the big book you would understand that it talks about selfishness as the root of all alcoholics problems. So seeing an alcoholic as a narcissist is no real revelation.

Ah, but discovering that the Founder of A.A., and the author of most of the rants in the sacred first 164 pages of the Big Book, was a raving lunatic does matter, and is a revelation.

And yes, I have read the Big Book, and quoted it and discussed it extensively. You should try actually reading my web site.

[2nd letter from Zchaigirl:]

Date: Wed, June 21, 2006 19:37
From: Zchaigirl

AA was already started, and wilson out of the oxford group when Buchman made his quote about Hitler.

That is wrong. Dr. Frank Buchman made his famous "I thank Heaven for a man like Adolf Hitler" statements on August 25, 1936. Bill Wilson and Dr. Bob were both enthusiastic members of the Oxford Group at that time.

Neither Dr. Bob nor Bill Wilson quit the Oxford Group in protest when Buchman praised Adolf Hitler. They were not bothered by the pro-Nazi politics of the Oxford Group. Bill Wilson stayed in the Oxford Group until he was kicked out of it for refusing to follow orders in the spring of 1937. Dr. Bob stayed in the Oxford Group until 1939.

Bill Wilson and Dr. Bob did not start Alcoholics Anonymous in the spring of 1935. They started recruiting alcoholics for the Oxford Group then. They were convinced that the Oxford Group had the answer to alcoholism, so they went to the local hospitals in Akron and forced the O.G. religious cure on alcoholics, no matter whether they wanted religious conversion or not.

The newly-recruited alcoholic Oxford Group members usually attended the O.G. meetings at the large Westfield home of T. Henry and Clarace Williams. But before they could attend, they had to "make a surrender". Dr. Bob actually demanded that the sick alcoholics get out of bed at the hospital and get on their knees before him, and "surrender to God", before they were allowed to go to their first Oxford Group meeting. Dr. Bob was a religious nutcase.

One of Dr. Bob's protegés, Clarence Snyder, was the first one to start independent "Alcoholics Anonymous" meetings. When Clarence Snyder went to an Akron Oxford Group meeting and announced that he and his fellow alcoholics in Cleveland would not be attending any more O.G. meetings because they were starting up their own alcoholics-only group in Cleveland, the other O.G. members threatened to beat him up for deserting the Oxford Group. That was May 10, 1939. (See Mitchell K.'s history of Clarence Snyder and Alcoholics Anonymous: http://www.aabbsg.de/chs/chs04.htm#C43.)

Unfortunately, Dr. Bob's remarks on the subject do not seem to have been recorded for history.

Bill Wilson did not start using Clarence Snyder's name for the organization, "Alcoholics Anonymous", until the spring of 1939 when he needed another name for the Big Book, instead of "100 Men: The story of how 100 men recovered from alcoholism".

The Oxford Group was originally a religious group of Oxford students. It was founded in the 1910s by the Christian evangelist Frank N. D. Buchman and grew into an international movement until it was replaced in 1938 by its sucessor Moral Re-Armament.

Yes, I know that. You might try actually reading my history of the 12 Steps, Frank Buchman, and the Oxford Group/Moral Re-Armament, here, before lecturing me about the Oxford Group.

Various other movements were influenced by the Oxford Group, most notably what was later to become Alcoholics Anonymous.

The London newspaper editor A. J. Russell converted to the Oxford Group after attending a meeting in 1931. He wrote "For Sinners Only" in 1932, which inspired the two writers of "God Calling". They collaborated with A. J. Russel to publish in 1935 one of the all-time Christian bestsellers.

I wouldn't call "For Sinners Only" "Christian". It was hard-core Oxford Group dogma, not main-stream Christianity.

And "God Calling" was the delusional ravings of two old Oxford Group women who claimed that they were channelling Jesus Christ, and writing down His messages. That was, of course, just occult nonsense and wishful thinking. But that was the kind of "spirituality" that Frank Buchman was selling — just wowie-zowie "Let's have a meeting and hear the Voice of God" hoopla.

The Oxford Group was the brainchild of Dr. Frank Buchman, a Lutheran minister. Popular in the 1920s on college campuses (including Oxford University, from which it took its name) and in upscale neighborhoods, the group promoted Buchman's belief in divine guidance: One should wait for God to give direction in every aspect of life (it wasn't about alcoholism or any other single problem) and surrender to that advice. Buchman's program emphasized public confession of sin during meetings at members' houses, making restitution to those sinned against, and promoting the group to the public. The group's individualistic bent — if God's guidance could solve everyone's problems, social movements seemed useless — divorced it from activism or politics. But when Buchman told a reporter in 1936, 'I thank heaven for a man like Adolf Hitler, who built a front line of defense against the anti-Christ of Communism,' the Oxford Group's fortunes started to fall. After Buchman's death, in 1961, the group all but disappeared. Few remember his name today, but his principles 'surrender to divine guidance, confession, and making amends' live on in another unlikely fellowship

That is all fairly accurate, except for the statement, "divorced it from activism or politics." Nazi-sympathizing is as political as it gets. And Frank Buchman was very pro-Nazi, and very pro-Fascist. Frank Buchman never ever criticized Hitler or the Nazis — not even for the Holocaust — and Buchman even helped British Oxford Group members to hide from the British draft so that they wouldn't have to serve in the British Army and fight against Hitler.

Oh, and "surrender to divine guidance, confession, and making amends" are cult practices, not "principles". I know that both the Oxford Group and Alcoholics Anonymous routinely used (and still use) the term "spiritual principles" to describe their cult practices, but they are still practices, not principles. See this discussion of practices and principles.

Oh well, have a good day anyway.

== Orange

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

Date: Thu, June 22, 2006 12:47
From: "Peter L."
Subject: Help With An Article

I am writing an Article called 12-Steps for Dummies and want to applaud you for your efforts at enlightenment. I see you update your website and hope to establish contact with you for feedback.

I advocate an approach to recovery I term progressive recovery which supports progressive issues, causes and struggles in the real world.

Peter L.
CASA Field Coordinator

[2nd letter from Peter:]

Date: Thu, June 22, 2006 12:57
From: "Peter L."
To: "Humane-Rights-Agenda GROUP"
Cc: [email protected]

Hola All ~ I support this truth teller. Check out his website. I was doing some research today on the religious origins of A.A.. You know I cannot even find a copy of the A.A. 12-Steps at their Official Website that I can copy because copy is not allowed on its PDF Version. There's big money in recovery programs that can easily be abused and end in fraud. ~~Peta


*Peter L. ~aka Peta *
*Join the Humane-Rights-Agenda Group
Humane-Rights-Agenda Blog <http://humane-rights-agenda.blogspot.com/>*
*Sacramento, California, Aztlan

Hi Peter,

I'll be happy to help you any way I can.

For starters, you can get a list of the 12 Steps at https://www.orange-papers.info/orange-interpreted.html

You will have to cut out the comments, but the steps are there.

There is also another copy at https://www.orange-papers.info/orange-spirrecov.html along with more comments on the steps. (But the first reference is the accurate copy of the Steps.)

Have a good day, and thanks for the compliments.

== Orange

P.S.: I had not realized that the Twelve Steps are not even listed on the official A.A. web site any longer. Talk about hiding the religious side of the organization. They won't even print the 12 Steps on their own web site? Those Steps are just too revealing, I guess. Can't let the new prospects see too much truth, too fast, now can we? "Dole out the truth by teaspoons, not buckets."

Oh well, have a good day anyway.

*                  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.

[3rd letter from Peter:]

Date: Sat, June 24, 2006 13:43
From: "Peter L."
Subject: Saturday Afternoon: On the Twelve-Steps for Dummies: By Peta

We should be careful not to throw the baby out with the bathwater. Just take what we can use and develop from there. Get rid of all the icons and ignore the self-proclaimed experts

Blessings, Peta

On the Twelve-Steps for Dummies:
By Peta ~aka Peter S. Lopez

In the context of this essay, recovery is a lifelong healing process from addiction and its evil effects. Worldwide millions of people see the AA 12-Steps Program model as the main treatment method for recovery from a variety of addictions by seriously working its basic 12-Steps. Always keep in mind that alcohol is a liquid drug and the alcoholic is also an addict, but there are many kinds of addictions.

Hello Peter,

Alas, you are still promoting the 12 Steps as a cure for addictions.

There is no "baby" to throw out with the bath water.

The 12 Steps are totally inappropriate for use in treatment of addictions.

The only thing that the Twelve Steps are good for is brainwashing sick people into being members of a cult religion. That is what Dr. Frank Buchman created those practices to do back in the nineteen-twenties and -thirties, and that is what they still do.

The 12 Steps are inherently harmful and even drive people to suicide. Dr. Vaillant tried for 8 years to prove that A.A. worked to cure alcoholics. What he ended up proving is that A.A. kills alcoholics.

The 12 Steps are also very bad religion — heresy as far as Christians are concerned.

Oh well, have a good day anyway.

By the way, the URL that you gave doesn't work. But this does:

== 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.

Date: Thu, June 22, 2006 10:03
From: "Michael M., US Army"
Subject: the greatest salesman

a different angle.

What attracted me to AA originally was that fact that Bill Wilson was a Mason, and I thought that meant credibility. As well as Joseph Smith, whose religion at one point I tried to follow. Both men were cult leaders. Masonry, I think, has a history of attracting the occasional nefarious characters who manage to exploit its principles to the nth degree. I am neither for nor against the association, I don't really have an opinion. I haven't read of any of your judgements here about this association... not that your opinion is the Alpha and Omega. Maybe you are a Mason?

My Dad was a Mason, but after joining AA he tended to disassociate from them and warned me that "they like to drink". Then my Dad must have seen the light and quit AA. He told me that Bill Wilson was "the greatest saleman" that ever lived. I was taken aback at this statement. At the time I was an AA devoutee, and for the life of me, I did not understand how a man who had "guided" so many lost souls could be simply pidgeon-holed as a salesman, by a man whose opinion I respected. My father was a wise person, and I admire his intellect. He left AA and was sober over 10 years till he passed; I don't think he appreciated being pidgeon-holed for the rest of his life as someone who will never recover completely and was ultimately "powerless". His life was bad enough having the drink make decisions for him, never mind the wacky principles and personalities in AA.

Michael M.

Hi Michael,

Thanks for the information. I didn't know that Bill Wilson was a Mason. I'll have to check that out.

The answer to why I haven't written about the Masons is simple: I don't know anything about the Masons. They are just outside of my field of experience. I never knew any Masons, or had any dealings with them. And no, I'm not a Mason. I was never even invited to join.

I have heard the usual rumors about Masons, of course, but nothing substantial. And I haven't gotten around to reading any books about the Masons. Perhaps I should, eventually. (Like when the summer is over and I get tired of the sun and the great outdoors, which hasn't happened yet. The weatherman is even predicting a glorious heat wave for the next week. Summer is here.)

I agree that Bill Wilson was a great salesman. He was really a very clever propagandist. The web page on Propaganda Techniques got started because Bill Wilson was using so many dishonest deceptive propaganda tricks and logical fallacies in his writings in the Big Book.

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

[another letter from Michael:]

Date: Sat, June 24, 2006 08:25
From: "Michael M."
Subject: Wilson Freemason


In retrospect, my post feels kinda foolish. I would imagine that maybe the circle/triangle symbolism found in Oxford literature and implemented by AA may be construed as FreeMasonry. I don't have any other evidence that Wilson was a FreeMason. Perhaps my Dad was just human and read into it. Perhaps Wilson did not even fit as an ideal prospect and/or he wasn't genuinely interested in it. Overall, the FreeMason contributions to society are probably more honest than most other organizations, considering historically we owe are probably in debt to them regarding our independence and constitution..

Hi again Michael,

Hey, don't feel bad. It's a valid question, and worth checking out. I know that lots of famous men were Masons — or at least, that's what some pundit says every so often — including some of the framers of the Constitution.

So I'll keep my antennae up regarding any connections between Bill Wilson and the Masons.

Have a good day.

== Orange

*                  Agent Orange               *
*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
** "Men and nations behave wisely once they
** have exhausted all the other alternatives."
**     - Abba Eban (1915-2002)

Date: Thu, June 22, 2006 15:00
From: "H"

Dear Orange:

I consider it axiomatic that AA is a psychopathological organization. That is, crazy.

I am, though, interested in 12 step as a general proposition. There are many such, akin to AA.

I wish to ask you:

What is the attraction of 12 step in general ? Are they only "copy cats"?

How do you see 12 step in general? Is it going up in popularity or down?

Does 12 step speak to any general issues that you see in the society at large ?

Clearly, I am asking you to ruminate upon aa issue larger than AA. AA does seem to speak to issues beyond alcohol abuse. 12 step does seem to resonate to some issues.


call me "H"

Hi H,

I think that the 12-Step thing is popular for two reasons:

  1. It sounds like technology. "Just follow this formula — do this and then that and then that — and it will work and everything will be okay."

    In their spoof of the Twelve Steps, Penn and Teller made that comment — "it sounds like technology". That was very accurate, and very observant on their part.

    Oh, and you must see that video, if you haven't already: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U-epOgih5PI

    UPDATE: 2012.07.02: A better link is here. Someone posted it in its entirely as a single file:

  2. And then the "12-Step Spirituality" is popular for the same reason as crazy fundamentalist religions and other cults are popular: fear of death.

    People are hungry for something, anything, that tells them that they are more than just dust in the wind, soon to be blown away, gone forever. Unfortunately, a lot of those frightened people get manipulated and hoodwinked by smooth fast-talking charlatans.

    Frank Buchman was a great success because he sold a simple occult routine of "sit silently and conduct a séance and hear the Voice of God." How convenient. You can go from being a lost soul, alone in the Universe, to having a pleasant chat with God in just one hour, just by believing what Frank said.

    The whole Buchmanite family participates in the Quiet Time.
    They sit quietly with notebooks in hand, ready to write down the messages that they receive from God.

    What those people are really looking for is a lot more than just a few words from God: They are seeking signs — they want proof of the existence of God and also proof of their own immortality. They think that if they can talk to some spirits that it proves that they themselves are immortal.

Also see these previous discussions of why people stay in cults:

  1. Why people stay in cults
  2. Another answer to why people stay in cults

I think that the popularity of 12-Step programs in general is going down. The whole 12-Step thing has become a joke these days. The Steppers just took it too far, trying to make '12-Step anything' into a panacea that would cure all of the ills of the world, until it became absurd, and people started seeing through it.

We were just discussing the disastrous recruiting rate that the latest A.A. Triennial Survey revealed — very few new members. Look here.

In addition, I have been talking with another fellow who has done some statistical analysis of the numbers from the latest triennial survey, and he found that the middle of the population is missing. That is, the people with from 1 to 5 years of sobriety are not there. A.A. is composed of a bunch of old-timers, and a bunch of newcomers who leave soon (newcomer churn). — And that is just what I deduced from the statement that the 'typical' A.A. member has 8 years of sobriety — that there must be a lot of old dinosaurs and not a lot of people with fewer years.

Yeh, well, the public was bound to become aware of what is going on eventually. Thank God!

As far as the Steps addressing anything in society, my impression is, "not much".

  1. Step One offers a great excuse for "the diseasing of America" (as Stanton Peele put it). "It isn't my fault. I am powerless. The disease made me do it."

  2. Step Two again asserts that some Big Daddy upstairs will solve your problems for you. Lots of people like to believe that. It's the easy way out.

  3. Step Three offers nothing except the opportunity to surrender control of your will and your life to somebody else. Some people actually like that idea. It is again the easy cop-out. And again, this step asserts that Big Daddy will solve your problems for you, and take care of you.

  4. Steps Four through Nine are just a big guilt-induction routine where you harp endlessly on what is wrong with you, and what you did wrong.

  5. Step Ten traps you in an infinite loop where you have to repeat the routine forever.

  6. Step Eleven is back to pure Buchmanism — conduct a séance and hear God talking to you, theoretically telling you what to do.

  7. Step Twelve is just recruiting more suckers for the cult.

Alas, I don't see much benefit for society there.

The one big thing that a lot of people do like is the social circle that is sometimes found in the meetings. A lot of people are lonely, and joining an enthusiastic club is a boost to their morale. Unfortunately, that often quickly turns into "we are special" and "we are better than the outsiders".

Have a good day.

== 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

Date: Fri, June 23, 2006 16:57
From: "Penelope"
Subject: Re: hi orange

Hey Orange — I always look forward to reading your messages.

Regarding the court mandated meeting attendance — you know what's funny — actually — we don't solicit the courts — they solicit US and it is the source of a great deal of controversy in the 12 step programs. For starters, the only requirement for membership is the DESIRE to stop using — and we all know that lots of the court ordered folks are just jumping through the hoops to stay out of jail. I know that, having watched my husband do a lot of jumping through hoops with no intention (Initially) of quitting dope or drinking. We (Our local area of NA — I can't speak for NA as a whole but I think this is pretty much universal) have let the courts know that:

*Signing a court card means the CARD — not the person named on the card — was at the meeting.*
*That we will NOT testify, obey subpeonas to testify, or otherwise appear in courtrooms as witnesses for NA (I dunno what AA does.) The courts are already forcing people to break their own anonimity as atendees at a NA / AA / fuckin A program — but the rest of us aren't gonna do it.*
*We do public information panels _at the request_ of courts, treatment programs, etc — but we do not solicit or promote the program to these institutions.*

A lot of meetings won't sign court cards because frankly a lot of those folks could give a rats ass about getting clean, and are /sometimes/ nothing more than a disruption.

In general, these "Closed" meetings are for people who are serious about recovery, so if a court ordered person wants to attend because he / she wants it (recovery,) they are welcome to attend...but their cards aren't gonna get signed.

I do believe that court ordered folks are welcomed to attend meetings of any kind — SMART recovery, medicine wheel (Native American based recovery,) "Celebrate Recovery" (Christianity's version of 12 step — I think they have more "Steps" or different ones — I dunno cuz I'm not a christian :-| ) but the problem is that there just aren't many of those fellowships out there. I hear what you're saying, though. The reality is that no matter what you order someone to do, they are going to do it to avoid jail, and not always with the intent of addressing their addiction. Another reality is lots of us DO get clean via the courts and 12 step — my hubby is one of them. NA DID help him (And me) change our minds about wanting to continue using, so in our cases, the court ordered meeting attendance ended up being a good thing!

Regarding "Treatment Centers." Do you know that we pay them rent in order to bring meetings to their facilities? We don't accept meeting places (Or anything) for "free." No donations from anyone who isn't a member (or from any outside facility or enterprise) are accepted. We bring meetings to those places for obvious reasons (And only when the facilities request we do so) — but you are right — no one shoud be _forced_ to attend a 12 step meeting by a facility they are PAYING to help them recover from addiction! One funny thing I did hear was this:

"Going to a 28 day program for $10,000 was an expensive way to find out NA is free!"

Anyhow — I understand where you're coming from — whether we agree or not — there is one piece of evidence that "It Works..."


It worked today, anyhow.

This has been an interesting dialogue and I want to commend you for the courtesy and respect you have shown me. Having had this very debate on NUMEROUS occasions, I do have to say that the one guy who has a whole website devoted to speaking AGAINST what I do, YOU, have been the most respectful. I want you to know that it is appreciated. People CAN agree to disagree without tearing each other apart.

Hope to hear from you again, Orange! One day we'll talk about the bad experiences that I have had in "The Rooms" with the NA Nazi's, OK?

I still go to the meetings.* I just lost respect for the individual Nazi's, not the program.* The Nazi's can kiss my ass (_Y_)

Have a good one — hope it isn't too hot where you are today...it IS too hot here today and I HATE HOT!!!!

Until later,

Hello Penelope,

The court-ordered attendance issue is another example of A.A. denial and reversal of reality.

A.A. has always promoted court-ordered attendance. Who do you think has been telling the judges and the criminal justice system that A.A. is the best way to deal with the problem of alcoholism? (And now N.A. likewise promotes itself as a cheap cure — or 'non-cure but treatment' — for drug addiction.)

And A.A. has been doing that for 70 years now. Heck, the Oxford Group was doing it even before that — that is where Bill Wilson learned it from. Ebby Thacher, Bill Wilson's sponsor, was shoved into the Oxford Group as an alternative to jail. Rowland Hazard offered to take Ebby to New York and give him "the religious cure" as a way of saving him from 6 months in jail for habitual drunkenness.

The Hazelden "Little Red Book", a clone of the Communist Little Red Book of Chairman Mao, specifically teaches A.A. recruiters to indoctrinate judges, police, doctors, and other officials as part of the proselytizing work. It says that faithful A.A. members can "carry the message" by:

11. By telling the A.A. story to clergy members, doctors, judges, educators, employers, or police officials if we know them well enough to further the A.A. cause, or to help out a fellow member.
The Little Red Book, Hazelden, page 128.

Then that book even goes on to tell recruiters to teach the judges, police, doctors, and other officials just what kind of people A.A. wants coerced into attending its meetings:

By educating doctors, the clergy, judges, police officials, and industrial personnel regarding the type of people A.A. can help, we will avoid flooding our ranks with an unwieldy preponderance of nonalcoholics.
The Little Red Book, Hazelden, page 137.

So much for the lie about how A.A. can't help it if the judges, parole officers, doctors, and therapists force people to go to A.A. meetings.

And Hazelden is merely echoing Bill Wilson's instructions. In a 1939 letter from Bill to Earl T., a founding member of the Chicago A.A. group, Bill wrote:

By educating doctors, hospitals, ministers along this line, you will surely pick up some strong prospects after a bit.
PASS IT ON, The story of Bill Wilson and how the A.A. message reached the world, Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc., pages 225-226.

The official stance of the Alcoholics Anonymous leadership on this issue is a piece of double-talk and blame-shifting. Coincidentally, I was just reading the official A.A. web site on this issue yesterday. And what it says is:

Members From Court Programs and Treatment Facilities
In recent years, A.A. groups have welcomed many new members from court programs and treatment facilities. Some have come to A.A. voluntarily; others, under a degree of pressure. In our pamphlet "How A.A. Members Cooperate," the following appears:
We cannot discriminate against any prospective A.A. member, even if he or she comes to us under pressure from a court, an employer, or any other agency.

Although the strength of our program lies in the voluntary nature of membership in A.A., many of us first attended meetings because we were forced to, either by someone else or by inner discomfort. But continual exposure to A.A. educated us to the true nature of the illness.... Who made the referral to A.A. is not what A.A. is interested in. It is the problem drinker who is our concern.... We cannot predict who will recover, nor have we the authority to decide how recovery should be sought by any other alcoholic.

Proof of Attendance at Meetings
Sometimes, courts ask for proof of attendance at A.A. meetings.
Some groups, with the consent of the prospective member, have the A.A. group secretary sign or initial a slip that has been furnished by the court together with a self-addressed court envelope. The referred person supplies identification and mails the slip back to the court as proof of attendance.

Other groups cooperate in different ways. There is no set procedure. The nature and extent of any group's involvement in this process is entirely up to the individual group.
This proof of attendance at meetings is not part of A.A.'s procedure. Each group is autonomous and has the right to choose whether or not to sign court slips. In some areas the attendees report on themselves, at the request of the referring agency, and thus alleviate breaking A.A. members' anonymity.

So they are copping out and saying "it isn't our fault. Every group can do whatever they want to do."
Isn't that cute? They can have their cake and eat it too. They use front groups like Hazelden to promote the coercive recruiting, and the A.A. organization as a whole benefits from the coercive recruiting, while they declare innocence and claim that they have nothing to do with it. So much for the A.A. "rigorous honesty".

And of course the A.A. headquarters is not going to stop coercive recruiting. That would be a disaster for Alcoholics Anonymous. The last two triennial surveys have revealed that nearly two thirds of the entire membership was originally coerced, shoved, or pressured into A.A. by the criminal justice system or health care system. Look here. If coercive recruiting for A.A. were stopped, then A.A. would shrink rapidly.

Who cares whether you pay rent to treatment centers for meeting rooms? That does not make A.A. and N.A. innocent of coercive recruiting.

About the line, "Going to a 28 day program for $10,000 was an expensive way to find out NA is free!"
Doesn't that bother you? Why do you cooperate with an outfit that sells free A.A. and N.A. for $10,000? Don't you care that people are getting ripped off by one of the biggest cons in America? Why do you allow yourselves to be used in such fraud?

Is it because you like the stream of new members that the treatment centers route into your meeting rooms?

Lastly, you are not proof that "it works". Your present clean and sober status is due to your decision to quit drinking and doping, period. Congratulations on your new clean lifestyle.

Going to A.A. and N.A. meetings would be completely ineffective if you had not decided to straighten out your life. You just said as much while you were talking about the other people who are forced into your meetings, who do not wish to really change their lifestyles. You know that they are wasting their time and yours by going to your meetings. So the meetings are ineffective for making people quit drinking and doping. Only the personal decision matters. Every one of the coerced people who shouldn't be there is proof of that.

Oh well, have a good day anyway.

== Orange

P.S.: I also like that fact that we can debate without degenerating into personal slurs and attacks, like several of the more dogmatic true-believer Steppers have been doing lately.

*                  Agent Orange               *
*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**  If merely "feeling good" could decide, drunkenness
**  would be the supremely valid human experience.
**  —  William James (1842—1910), U.S. psychologist, philosopher.
**   The Varieties Of Religious Experience,
**   lecture 1, "Religion and Neurology" (1902).

[another letter from Penelope:]

Date: Sun, June 25, 2006 18:39
From: "Penelope"
Subject: Re: hi orange

Hi... Me again!

OK we agree 100% on something — *NA would NOT WORK* for any person who did not make a personal decision to change their lives — and it still will not work for someone who wants to stop using, but doesn't like the way we do things. For me, it has been the means to the end — I did learn how to stay clean there and let me tell you, I did try on my own a thousand times, and failed a thousand times. I got to the point that I wanted to stop using and honest to God, I didn't know how to stop.

Hello again, Penelope.

What you are really saying there is that "The Program" does not work. Period.
If you quit drinking or doping, then the 12-Step program will steal the credit for your work.
If you don't quit, then you get all of the blame.

They are playing "Heads I win; Tails you lose" with people's lives.

Had I gone to NA when I was a devoted user, I would have laughed, and often thought "Those people just can't handle their dope." Today, I realize I used dope and ended up unable to handle my LIFE. NA has helped me get things in the right order.

Here's a funny story about treatment centers. I signed up and paid my $1500 (It was cheaper back then.) When I showed up on the day they told me to, they gave me my check back and told me to go home — hahahaah — I think they knew I wasn't that interested in getting clean at that time (I wasn't — I wanted to save my job.) So, I was so f-ed up as an active addict, REHAB wouldn't even take me.

Now that was an unusual treatment center. Most people have experiences more like this woman's: Seven rehabs, seven chances to get cheated.

OK — a quote: About the line,

"Going to a 28 day program for $10,000 was an expensive way to find out NA is free!" Doesn't that bother you? Why do you cooperate with an outfit that sells free A.A. and N.A. for $10,000? Don't you care that people are getting ripped off by one of the biggest cons in America? Why do you allow yourselves to be used in such fraud?

It really doesn't bother us, because in all sincerity, we really DO want to help the addict who still suffers. There is no secondary gain in this for the groups that do hold meetings at these facilities — we even pay them rent. Yes — we pay THEM to hold meetings at their facilities. We do it to "Carry the Message," a saying you probably hate a lot. I do agree that the rehab business is lucrative — the counselors don't always require a whole lot of education on addiction "Therapy," and 10 grand is a lot of money for room, board, and a journal! We go to those places because there are addicts there — and we really DO want to help others the way we were helped when we were in that stage of desperation and addiction. I know that I want to help, and I also know that not everyone is going to want the kind of help I have to offer.

You say that "we really DO want to help the addict who still suffers."
By taking their last $10,000 and foisting cult religion on them?
By using a program on them that has been shown by a leader of Alcoholics Anonymous to increase the death rate of alcoholics?

Yes there is a "secondary gain" — you gain members.
The treatment center gets the money, and you get the people as converts.
It's a "scratch my back and I'll scratch your back" crime ring.

I would love to see that red book you wrote about. Interesting!

What red book? Do you mean The Little Red Book of Hazelden?

Of course NA is the "fruit" of AA, but we are also two very different programs in many ways. There ARE "NA Nazi's" that think they are above the rest, talking all the jargon at the meetings and then they go out for coffee to talk shit about the other people at that night's meeting.... I have, sadly, participated in that behavior and am really trying NOT to talk smack about other people... I learned how much it hurts when YOU are the one they talk about. Anyway, we aren't AA, although I understand you likely see us as one and the same. I can tell you that AA doesn't want us (Recovering drug addicts) showing up at their meetings and saying "I'm an addict." They hate that. We (NA) consider them addicts, so they are welcome to come to our meetings — but then we don't like them to consider themselves different or "Special" when they identify as alcoholics — NA is more about addiction than it is about the drug you used....

The differences between A.A. and N.A. are minor. Both promote the same 12-Step cult religion and quackery.

And yes, we all smoke cigarettes and love coffee I've gotten a lot of shyt about that fact.

Well for good reason. How can you say that you are in recovery while you are addicted to nicotine and killing yourself with that stuff? What is so damn wonderful or spiritual about dying of emphysema and lung cancer?

What did Bill Wilson brag? — "Half measures availed us nothing".
Well, a lot of Steppers think that they really can just half-ways recover:
"Oh, I'll quit one addiction, but not this other one."

Now, I have to ask you Orange — are YOU an addict (Or alcoholic if you wanna be "special"... LOL.)

I was both an alcoholic and an addict. (I was addicted to alcohol and tobacco, and dying from the stuff.) I talked about that in the introduction to the web site.

I'm curious how you became so invested in this topic to begin with, and fully confess that I haven't read that part of your site, if it's there at all.

Again, you should have read the introduction — just the very first page of the web site.

Here is the usual list of autobiographical information:

Once again, I fully support the notion that 12 step programs are NOT for everyone, period. It has been the key to my own recovery after 26 years of heavy, daily drug use (Mostly meth, cocaine, and weed, or whatever YOU had to give me.)

Again, you assume a cause-and-effect relationship that does not exist.
There is no evidence that 12-Step programs help people to quit bad habits or get unaddicted or avoid relapse. The evidence is that the 12-Step programs mess people up and make them worse off. When it was put to the test, A.A. produced:

  1. a zero-percent success rate coupled with a higher death rate,
  2. a higher rate of re-arrests,
  3. a higher rate of binge drinking, and
  4. higher costs of hospitalization.

I think the "Little Guys" in the rooms, people like myself, DO believe we are doing the right thing when we "Carry the Message" (There's that saying again) regardless of whatever may or may not be happening at the top.

Oh, I'm sure that you believe that you are doing the right thing (after you blindly reject all evidence to the contrary), but that doesn't make the program right.

*Bottom line, though, you and I are on the same page on at least ONE fact — an addict who doesn't WANT to stop using is not going to stop using no matter what you try to force feed him, period.*


I think that's why I got my $1,500 back that one time. My job gave me an ultimatum to go to rehab or go bye bye — so I signed up for rehab and ended up jobless in the end. I was NOT interested in rehab. I wanted to keep my job.

One more thing:

The next time some 12 stepper tries to force feed you our way of recovery — tell him, "Take your own inventory and call your sponsor too."

Well then you should definitely read this letter which just came in: A doctor getting force-fed Steppism by the true believers.

That should shut them up nicely

Unfortunately, it isn't nearly that easy. They don't shut up. They just seek out another victim who is a little more confused.

Oh well, have a good day anyway.

== Orange

*                  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.)

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Last updated 23 January 2013.
The most recent version of this file can be found at https://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters55.html