Letters, We Get Mail, LVI

Date: Fri, June 23, 2006 20:05
From: "doc scott"
Subject: hello

My name is Doc and I've been reading some of your stuff, especially about AA and Bill Wilson, and most of what I read is true. I was a member off and on since 1980. It appears that you may think "born again" Christians may have a mental problem...of course that's what I always thought until I heard the Bible preached with no appology. God's Holy Word introduced me to who He is and who Jesus is and from July 22, 1992 changed my everything. The alcholism (bondage) I suffered with for years which was killing my marriage was on again/off again in A.A. God's truths in the bible about drunkeness set me free when I accepted them and repented. Drinking hasn't been an issue since Jan. 19, 1993. You are quite a smart person with a lot of time on your hands to be able to research so much history on Oxford, AA, Bill and Bob, beledona, etc. Did you ever spend as much time reading God's Word and listening to His Word preached? I will try to find the time to read more of your site, and I hope you will respond.

Doc Scott

Hello Doc,

Thanks for the letter. Congratulations on your sobriety. I am happy for you and your better life now.

Alas, you have it backwards about my attitude: I don't think that people who are born-again Christians have mental problems. I think that a lot of people with mental problems claim to be born-again Christians.

When somebody like Jimmy Carter says that he is a born-again Christian, I can believe and respect that because he is one of the most moral and honest men on Earth. And he spends his days doing things like the Habitat for Humanity and promoting peace and freedom. He really deserved to win the Nobel Peace Prize. I am happy for him.

On the other hand, when a person who claims to be a born-again Christian refuses to honestly answer a single question, and just repeatedly arrogantly declares that he understands the Bible better than I do, while dodging more questions, then I know that he did not go through any kind of a genuine death and rebirth experience. And he didn't go through any kind of meaningful religious conversion either.

His "spiritual experience" was probably just a delusion, or wishful thinking. Some revival preachers are skilled in inducing such sham experiences. Look here for a description of the process. The problem with such false experiences is that their effects wear off quickly, and people are soon back to their old bad habits, same as usual.

Far, far more people like to imagine that they are born-again, than really are.

Many will be called, but few will be chosen.

You shall know them by the fruit of their labors.

Have a good day.

== Orange

*                  Agent Orange               *
*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**   "There are only two ways to live your life.
**   One is as though nothing is a miracle.
**   The other is as though everything is a miracle."
**       — Albert Einstein (1879-1955)

[2nd letter from Doc:]

Date: Sun, June 25, 2006 20:56
From: doc scott
Subject: Re: hello

Hey Orange,

Thanks for replying. You would have been a great lawyer. Trust me, I came from a long line of them. I read a little bit more of your communications, and from what I gather you would definitely not qualify as a "born again" Christian. This is why bibically: A Christian would be convicted by the Holy Spirit to confess Jesus Christ to others (I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ for it is the power of God unto salvation).

Hi again Doc,

That is incorrect. Read on and I'll explain why.

The stuff about Moses killing and such. He's doing what God says to do. We don't always understand everything, but God's ways are higher than our ways. I think the people who are being captured or killed were a long time rebellious to God, and He'd had enough. There demise would fit into his plan of an eventual peace for His chosen people. I wasn't aware that Moses was racist because didn't Moses marry an Ethiopian woman, and his sister was stricken with leprosy for saying something to him abo ut it? I don't pretend to know everything, but I believe have been tribes that God decided to eliminate.

That is quite an excuse for mass murder and rape — "God told me to do it." When a serial killer is hauled into court for murder, the judge does not accept a defense of "God told me to do it." Today, we lock such people up in prisons for the criminally insane.

Heck, even Adolf Hitler claimed that God told him to do it:

I believe today that I am acting in the sense of the Almighty Creator. By warding off the Jews I am fighting for the Lord's work.
== Adolph Hitler, Speech, Reichstag, 1936

The folkish-minded man, in particular, has the sacred duty, each in his own denomination, of making people stop just talking superficially of God's will, and actually fulfill God's will, and not let God's word be desecrated. For God's will gave men their form, their essence and their abilities. Anyone who destroys His work is declaring war on the Lord's creation, the divine will.
== Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf Vol. 2 Chapter 10

Today Christians ... stand at the head of [this country]... I pledge that I never will tie myself to parties who want to destroy Christianity ... We want to fill our culture again with the Christian spirit ... We want to burn out all the recent immoral developments in literature, in the theater, and in the press — in short, we want to burn out the poison of immorality which has entered into our whole life and culture as a result of liberal excess during the past ... (few) years.
== The Speeches of Adolph Hitler, 1922-1939, Vol. 1 (London, Oxford University Press, 1942), pg. 871-872.

What you are missing is the fact that we only have the word of Moses the mass murderer that God told him to do it.
I don't believe that God told him to do it.
What Jesus said is, "God loves you more than a mother loves her child."
Jesus did not say, "God hates you and will kill you by the hundreds of thousands if you are the wrong religion or ethnic type."

What you are doing is contradicting what Jesus said, and making God into a cruel monster. (I wonder how God feels about such an insult.)

Now you can choose to believe Moses if you wish. I choose to believe Jesus.

And yes, Moses was a racist, in spite of his having married an Ethiopian woman. He still slaughtered hundreds of thousands of people just because they were the wrong race — non-Jewish.

And Jesus never said that God decided to eliminate tribes because they were the wrong religion or race.

What you are trying to do is rationalize away some of the worst of crimes — mass murder, genocide, ethnic cleansing, religious bigotry, slavery, and rape of tens of thousands of virgins. But the rules have not changed in the last 3000 or 4000 years. Murder is still murder.

And Moses even wrote a commandment against it — "Thou shalt not kill." Then Moses broke his own rule. I guess maybe Moses really meant, "Thou shalt not kill Jews."

That is racism.

If we the human race have learned anything in the last 4000 years, it is that conduct like genocide and ethnic cleansing is not good. But you want to wipe out the last 4000 years of progress and return to moral standards where such murder is okay and justifiable (if God tells you to do it).

You know, people these days don't like for anyone to tell them that they are a sinner on their way to hell because God can't allow sin into his presence. They don't mind hearing that Jesus is a way, but they don't like to hear that Jesus is the only Way, Truth, and Life. No man comes to the Father, but by Me.

Also I wouldn't sweat it when someone tells you that you don't understand scripture because you're not born again. I understood parts of it before, but it came to life after I was born again. Now do me a favor and explain your answer that you have found peace.

Actually, you are misunderstanding that phrase, which is common among people who have not had death and rebirth experiences. When you die, your ego disappears and you cease to be the person whom you were before.
Jesus announced that he would be leaving his disciples. They asked, "Lord, we don't know where you are going, so how can we know the way?" (John 14:5)
Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really knew me you would know my Father as well.".
He was speaking as the Holy Spirit, not as Jesus. He was not so vain and shallow as to say, "Only through Jesus can you come to the Way and the Truth and the Life and the Father." Jesus did not say that other religions could not also lead their followers to the Way and the Truth.

And that is why I don't spend my years trying to cram one particular religion down the throats of unwilling victims.

Do you have One you will have to answer to? Or will you just try to live well and die and be gone?

Oh yes, I am quite fine in the God department. Don't worry about me. Worry about yourself.

P.S. I go to AA about once a year to see how nasty it looks, how rough the people look, find out who all died, and let them know I didn't slip for the last 13 years.

Thanks, Doc

Well good. Congratulations on your sobriety.

And have a good day.

== Orange

*                  Agent Orange               *
*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**  Man is the religious animal. He is the only religious animal. He is
**  the only animal that has the True Religion — several of them. He is
**  the only animal that loves his neighbor as himself and cuts his
**  throat, if his theology isn't straight. He has made a graveyard of the
**  globe in trying his honest best to smooth his brother's path to
**  happiness and heaven.     ==  Mark Twain

[2 more letters from Doc:]

Date: Tue, June 27, 2006 19:52
From: docscott7
Subject: Re: hello

I would have to beg to differ when Jesus said I am the way... He meant he is the only way. The Holy Spirit was waiting for His ascension in heaven so the Holy Spirit could come down on Pentecost. Apostle Paul said if anyone else comes to you with any other gospel than the one I have given you, then let them be acursed. Since the Savior of the World has already come, He is the Way, the only way. If you'd think that Jesus was one of many ways, what would be the point of Him dying on the cross and raising from the dead (witnessed)?

Moses did what God told him to do, so God can take the blame. But God is God and if God wants to do another sodom explosion and vaporize New Orleans and San Francisco, then that's God's choice. God can't be how you want him to be because you didn't create Him, and His ways are higher than our ways.

Thanks, Doc
Have a wonderful 4th (God Bless America)

Hi again, Doc,

No, Moses did not do what God told him to do. God gave no such orders.
The Father of Jesus Christ is not such a monster.
Can't you see how you take the name of the Lord in vain?
You really insult and defame God and make him as bad as the Devil.

Your religion is really way off the deep end. You declare that mass murder, genocide, ethnic cleansing, religious bigotry, and the rape of 32,000 innocent virgin girls is okay because some psychopath hears voices in his head that tell him that God says to do it?

That is not Christianity. Period.

What your religious beliefs remind me of is the TV show "Stargate-SG1". There, the "gods" are the Goa'ould, which are some very nasty worms who demand that everybody bow before them, and worship them as gods, and be their obedient slaves, or else they will kill the whole town, or the whole planet. The similarity to the Old Testament tyrants, including the God of Moses, is not a coincidence. If you saw the original movie, you would know that they patterned the Goa'ould after the Egyptian Pharaohs.

You are deluded about God, and you are ignoring the teachings of Jesus:

Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
== Jesus, in Matthew 25:40

Next, I suppose you will be telling me that Alcoholics Anonymous is a really great religion that has a working cure for alcoholism.

You are also way off base about the Holy Ghost not being in Jesus until after He died. The Bible states pretty clearly that the Spirit entered into Jesus when he was baptised by John the Baptist:

And Jesus, when he was baptised, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him.
And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.
Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be temped of the devil. And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights...
St. Matthew 3:16 to 4:1


And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost returned from Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness. Being forty days tempted by the Devil. And in those forty days he did eat nothing.
Luke 4:1

And so on and so on...

Jesus constantly taught that you should not wait to make your spiritual progress. Do it in this lifetime, now. Catch the Spirit now. Ego loss now. The Kingdom of Heaven is within you — go to Heaven now.

Spirituality is not something that you get after you die. If you think that you will get handed the goodies after you die, you just might miss the boat, and find out that you are a day late.

Date: Thu, July 6, 2006 8:25 am
From: docscott7
Subject: Re: Your last letter

Hi Orange,

In regards to Moses, you may think he was a mass murderer in his time, but God's ways are (again) higher than our ways... No comparison to Koresh or Jim Jones because they are not in the Holy Bible. I submit to you that if the world used this book as their standard of living, we would not have the problems we have today. If you just want to use one little piece of the Bible and run with it, then you have a problem both in living practices and faith. You were using today's judicial system for judging Moses or anyone else. First, God Himself would be the judge for Moses (Prophet of the O.T.) Our judicial system (reinterpreting the Const.) is so screwed up, our educational system is so screwed up, even some the churches (ex:Episcopal) are so screwed up because they are not living by the standards set forth in the Bible. Take God out of everthing is our worldly (Satanic) view, hence, chaos.

I didn't catch a response when I questioned you about being "born again." How do you get your peace from God, and if you don't trust Jesus to take you to Heaven when you die, then how do you plan to get there?


Hello again Doc,

Focusing all of your energy on going to Heaven is enormously selfish. "To Hell with all of those other people, I got mine."

That whole "going to heaven" routine is a big ego trap. It's just another temptation. What will you do to get a guaranteed ticket to heaven? Will you be like Moses and kill everybody in the city?

Personally, I plan to go way beyond Heaven. Heaven is merely a stopping-over point where you can get bored to death with playing a harp.

Now if they offered old Fender Stratocasters, I might be tempted...

But enough of this. The Orange Papers web site is about alcoholism, A.A., and recovery, not debating the fine points of fundamentalist religions. Although you have done a fine job of warning people about the kind of religion that they might find in the next A.A. meeting. I thank you for that.

Oh well, have a good day anyway.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
** The Earth is degenerating today. Bribery and corruption
** abound. Children no longer obey their parents, every man
** wants to write a book, and it is evident that the end of
** the world is fast approaching.
** == Assyrian tablet, c. 2800 BC

Date: Sat, July 15, 2006 7:00 pm
From: doc scott
Subject: Re: your letter to the Orange Papers

Dear Orange, Let me just say that spirituality is not something that I'm waiting to get when I die. Real godly spirituality was what I was given the day I was "born again." Don't knock it till you've been there. I'm not deluded about God or Jesus Christ being the Only Begotten Son of God. I won't challenge you in any way as this is your domain, and it is about the agendas of AA, which I made it very clear I am not in agreement with that program/cult. I'd like to finish by saying I am thankful there was a Jew named Moses who delivered the Israelites out of Egypt (a picture of sin) and handed us the ten commandments, and I am thankful there was a Jew named Jesus Christ (The Word) who delivered me (a sinner) from bondage into eternal life. Doc

Hello again, Doc,

Once again, you are trying to claim that you have some special spirituality, of which I know nothing. "Don't knock it till you've been there." That is the standard propaganda trick of "claim special knowledge".

But you are still rationalizing mass murder, genocide, ethnic cleansing, and the rape of 32,000 virgins as acts of God.

I thank God and Jesus that I do not share your religious beliefs. I also thank Them that I did not have whatever "spiritual experience" drove you to such madness.

Have a good day.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
** In the Bible, Moses says that we must kill all of the
** non-Jewish people who invite us into their churches.
** (Deuteronomy 13:13-15, 7:3, 13:8-10, 20:14-15, 20:16-18)
** There go a lot of fundamentalist Christians.

Date: Sun, June 11, 2006 16:15 ??? (Received June 23)
From: "buren_s."
Subject: A.A

You are an idot! Ask anyone who actually works daily in the field of Addiction if A.A works. Quote all of your so called facts you want. With your logic there is only a 50-50 chance that someone will die of addiction today. Either they will or they won't. Let me assure you they will. The big book calls it contempt before investigation. If we can help one person. Just one then it was all worth it to me. A.A. offers hope nothing more. Who are you to challenge that hope?

Hello Buren,

The people who work at the treatment centers are the worst people to ask for the truth. They have a vested interest in lying to continue the hoax. That is like asking a thief to honestly tell how much money he stole. Look here for a description of how the treatment centers fake the success statistics.

When you say, "Quote all of your so called facts you want.", you destroy your own argument right there. Ever heard the saying, "Don't distract me with mere facts; I already have my opinions."

The statement that slightly more than 50% of the alcoholics will eventually just stop drinking and save their own lives comes from the Harvard Medical School. I trust their opinion a lot more than yours, especially considering that you don't believe in facts.

The contempt before investigation is yours. You just said that you don't want to look at the facts.

You say, "If we can help one person."
But what if you kill 5 or 6 people in the course of "helping" one?
Those are the results that the member of the Board of Trustees of Alcoholics Anonymous World Services Prof. Dr. George E. Vaillant got when he used Alcoholics Anonymous to treat alcoholics. For almost 20 years, Vaillant tried to prove that A.A. works good, but in the end all that he proved was that A.A. does not work and that A.A. kills.

When you say that "A.A. offers hope nothing more.", you are both repeating a slogan, and saying that A.A. does not actually have a working program for curing or treating alcoholism. Really, A.A. claims to offer a lot more than just hope, but it fails to deliver on the promises. (As is common with cults.)

As far as giving hope is concerned, I give lots of people hope by telling them that they don't have to be a slave of the Alcoholics Anonyous cult for the rest of their lives just to avoid dying from alcoholism. There are much better ways to recover and live. Here is a list of alternatives that give people hope.

I am one example of happy recovery without Alcoholics Anonymous, and as soon as I finish these letters, I'm going to go play in the sunshine because it's Saturday and the sun is shining and it's a beautiful day outside. My daily meeting is with the river and the ducks and geese.

And you have a good day too.

== Orange

*                  Agent Orange               *
*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**  Not only had we failed to alter the natural history of alcoholism,
**  but our death rate of three percent a year was appalling.
**  == Dr. George E. Vaillant, describing the treatment of alcoholism
**  with Alcoholics Anonymous, in The Natural History of Alcoholism:
**  Causes, Patterns, and Paths to Recovery, Harvard University Press,
**  Cambridge, MA, 1983, pages 283-286.


Date: Sat, June 24, 2006 03:51
From: "gwen r."
Subject: incorrect information

Reguarding your website https://www.orange-papers.info/orange-cult_a5.html

No place in any literature of Alcoholics Anonymous does the phrase "you must" appear. If this page is a joke I have not yet seen the punch line. If it is for real more research is required as your information is not accurate in the least.

Have a wonderful day

Hello Gwen,

  • We are not cured of alcoholism. What we have is a daily reprieve contingent on the maintenance of our spiritual condition. Every day is a day when we must carry the vision of God's will into all of our daily activities.
    The Big Book, 3rd edition, William G. Wilson, Into Action, page 85.

    Just where did that "vision" come from? Prayer, meditation, belladonna, delirium tremens, LSD, or delusions of grandeur?

  • I must turn in all things to the Father of Light who presides over us all.
    The Big Book, 3rd edition, William G. Wilson, Chapter 1, Bill's Story, page 14.

  • But after a while we had to face the fact that we must find a spiritual basis of life or else.
    The Big Book, 3rd edition, William G. Wilson, Chapter 4, We Agnostics, page 44.

  • Above everything, we alcoholics must be rid of this selfishness. We must, or it kills us!
    The Big Book, 3rd edition, William G. Wilson, How It Works, Chapter 5, page 62.

  • Whatever our ideal turns out to be, we must be willing to grow toward it. We must be willing to make amends where we have done harm, provided that we do not bring about still more harm in so doing.
    The Big Book, 3rd edition, William G. Wilson, Chapter 5, How It Works, page 69.

  • We must be entirely honest with somebody if we expect to live long or happily in this world. Rightly and naturally, we think well before we choose the person or persons with whom to take this intimate and confidential step. Those of us belonging to a religious denomination which requires confession must, and of course, will want to go to the properly appointed authority whose duty it is to receive it.
    The Big Book, 3rd edition, William G. Wilson, Chapter 6, Into Action, pages 73-74.

    You MUST do Step 5, and confess everything to somebody else, and wallow in guilt and self-contempt.

  • To some extent we have become God-conscious. We have begun to develop this vital sixth sense. But we must go further and that means more action.
          Step Eleven suggests prayer and meditation. ...
    The Big Book, 3rd edition, William G. Wilson, Chapter 6, Into Action, page 85.

    Yes, you MUST pray and meditate until you hallucinate, and hear voices in your head, and start talking to dead people, like Bill Wilson did. (Really, no joke.)

  • To be vital, faith must be accompanied by self sacrifice and unselfish, constructive action.
    The Big Book, 3rd edition, William G. Wilson, Chapter 7, Working With Others, page 93.

    Yes, you MUST go recruiting yet again...

Need I continue?

That is just the tip of the iceberg. There are lots more.

See the file on the Bait and Switch stunts of A.A., particularly: "First they tell you that "There are no 'MUSTS' in Alcoholics Anonymous, only suggestions", but then they will tell you that there are many necessities and musts." — Like you must work a strong program or else you will die.

Oh well, have a good day anyway.

== Orange

*                  Agent Orange               *
*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
** "I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God
** who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect
** has intended us to forgo their use."
**     —  Galileo Galilei

[2nd letter from Gwen:]

Date: Sun, June 25, 2006 18:07
From: "Gwen"
Subject: Re: incorrect information

Well, I guess I stand corrected. My apologies.

Gwen R.

Hi again Gwen,

That's okay. The problem with A.A. meetings is that some people will tell you a lot of stuff like that which is just not true at all — like the slogan
"There aren't any 'musts' in this program, but there are a lot of 'you betters'.."

Oh well, have a good day anyway.

== Orange

*                  Agent Orange               *
*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**  "To see what is in front of one's nose needs a
**   constant struggle" — George Orwell

Date: Sat, June 24, 2006 05:19
From: "Lulu in U.K."
Subject: Thanks mate


I have been feeling that I must be mad. I feel like I am the only one who is admitting that the emperor has no clothes on if you catch my drift. I have been in AA for two years and I don't believe in God. I did a chair the other day to that effect and was criticised. I started to doubt myself. Luckily I have the strength of mind to resist. Some don't.

Hello Louise,

Thank you for the letter, and thanks for the compliments.

Your site has helped me to get a better perspective away from the AA propaganda and it's perpetuators. I always had a feeling that the teachings of AA were more than just suggestions. A lot of those that I hear in AA make it seem that they are requirements.

Correct. Coincidentally, the letter than came in immediately before yours was about just that — although the correspondent was denying that there are any "musts" in Alcoholics Anonymous. That is nonsense. There are lots of them, including statements that you Must work a strong program or else you will die.

I went silent and suffered. I felt I could not share the AA line and so was not allowed to share at all. I didn't want to be judged and criticised. Now I feel that it might be my duty to. I do, however, feel that it will fall on deaf ears and be resisted. Perhaps it would be better to just leave.

Perhaps so.

But there is the lingering fear of exit from AA. There are times when I have felt that I needed it when going through rougher patches. It scares you into thinking that your life will fall apart if you leave. Recently I have started attending Adult Children of Alcoholics and although it has the 12 steps at it's core, it isn't as dogmatic and I can actually talk about the underlying cause of my unhappiness and not just "the solution". It seems that AA is saying that if you pray, believe in God and learn how to regurgitate the right things and phrases then you will be well. I feel that there is a lot more to it than that.

Agreed — there is more to it. By the way, that lingering fear is normal — A.A. routinely implants fears and phobias in its members, as do most cults. Cults keep their members in the organization by convincing them that something horrible will happen to them if they ever leave the cult.

Anyway, I have barely begun reading your site, so much there to take in. I thank you for opening up my world, getting me to see that I was partially addicted to AA. I may as well have been drunk. It seems that it helps for a while just to focus you off the drink but unless you are prepared to go super religious after a while, and con your brain into peace and serenity on a false premise, then AA isn't helpful.

It just teaches you to be an ignorant parrot....


I have occasionally suggested to other people that they quit A.A. slowly, kind of detox and go through the cult withdrawal slowly, so that they can see that the sky isn't falling as they attend fewer and fewer meetings. That also gives you time to build up a different social circle so that you are not just suddenly alone.

And you might be able to get some support and companionship from alternative groups. There is a list of alternatives here, including Internet chat groups and message boards.

Have a good day and a good life.

== 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.

[The previous letter from Wolf is here.]

Date: Sat, June 24, 2006 16:10
From: "Mr. A J W."
Subject: More from the Wolf in the UK

Hi Orange,

About three months without a meeting now and, what do you know, I have not died, drunk or gone mad. I still want to write you the big E Mail of my full story some time, but not now. I do think about some things more than others when I remember my 15 years of continuous sobriety in AA.

"AA is a bridge to normal living." What's normal about feeling obliged on pain of death to pray morning and evening, to take continuous moral inventory, attend meetings, be in service, help newcomers, etc.? It never seemed very normal to me.

In AA we have a spiritual experience which stops us ever having to drink again. Then why do people ask to be kept sober every morning? Why does it wear off every night? What sort of omnipotent God heals you, but only until you go to sleep. Even those who believe in faith healing don't think it wears off while you are asleep! I am sure I originally read this point on your site but I can't get over how I swallowed the baloney for all those years.

"You have to go to meetings to hear about what happens to people who don't go to meetings." This suggests that only people who go to meetings get drunk again. But I knew countless people over the years who relapsed despite being regular attenders of meetings, some of them many, many years sober. And I only heard about what had happened to people who had stopped coming to meetings if it was bad, which was actually quite rare.

Maybe, like me, they're just too polite to come back and say, "Actually guys, it's fine out here." Why did I as a true believing Stepper so readily swallow the idea that anyone who disappeared from meetings had drunk again and/or gone mad and/or died? Cult brainwashing, that's why.

And, if I did not mention it in my first E Mail, loads of people claiming to be sober in AA, here in the UK anyway, are using drugs, prescription or illegal. Some even share openly about it in meetings. The person who ripped me off was even elected secretary of a group weeks after coming back from a spell smoking dope. It got too complicated trying to work out who really needed medication and who was just too soft to work the Steps and take the pain. Now I am no longer a Stepper I can see how many people with undiagnosed mental illnesses getting no help from the steps were probably right to take the medication. They weren't soft. They were being tricked. How I took the pain myself, I will never know.

AA is meant to be about getting rid of ego but the most prominent group members were often highly egotistical. They had their way of doing the steps (often denying the usefulness of any literature apart from pages 1-164 of the Big Book) and usually shared in a powerful and dramatic way in meetings. Sometimes they were feuding with each other, trying to be the most sober person in that group or even area. Looking back, it is funny, competing to be top of the sobriety tree. I flipped out once because someone from the UK GSO in York was given a privileged place in a meeting and treated like a celebrity. But then, in time, I fell into the AA way of thinking and looked in AA for things like respect, status, responsibility, that I should have been looking for in my career and the community.

When I was living with my last girlfriend before I met my wife and got married, I took her to a meeting to bring us closer together. She sat there with tears rolling down her cheeks and we eventually broke up. Now I think I know why she was crying. At the time, I just looked down on her for not realizing how wonderful we AAs were.

Keep up the good work. My baby son loves ducks too and now says "quack, quack" to them. You guys must have something in common.

The Wolf

Hi again Wolf,

Wow. Thanks for a moving letter. The girlfriend crying in the meeting really hits right in the gut. So sad, and so true.

Oh, and congratulations on your newfound freedom.

Have a good day, and a good life. And it's too bad your son can't see the little geese here. They are just so cute.

== 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.


[The next letter from Wolf is here.]

Date: Sat, June 24, 2006 17:39
From: "Robert M."
Subject: Only a alcoholic would go to this length to prove something, welcome orange I'll save ya a seat!

I to was sent to AA through the courts and after running from AA like YOU did I returned and followed the steps with help from a sponsor. I am currently sober for almost 9 months and I believe if I can stay spiritually fit I will remain this way for life. I have seen people go in and out of AA this is true but a core group always stays without whom AA would die off but it grows and has remained since 1939. Anyone can attend a open meeting how about leaving it up to the people to attend and they can judge for themselves.

Bob "cult member" LOL!!!!!

Hello Bob,

Thanks for the letter, and congratulations on your 9 months of sobriety.

You are repeating an untrue stereotype of "The Alcoholic" in your title line. There is no such thing as "the standard alcoholic" who is driven to go to great lengths to prove something. That is just more of the standard A.A. indoctrination. See the file on The Us Stupid Drunks Conspiracy for more of that same stereotype.

So you now have 9 months of being indoctrinated into Alcoholics Anonymous, and you have become a true believer. I won't even bother to mention how many years I have been sober. I will just point you to the letter that just came in immediately before yours, from a fellow who has 15 years of continuous sobriety in Alcoholics Anonymous, and he says that it is a cult and he is quitting it.

Have a good day.

== 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: Sat, June 24, 2006 23:19
From: "|<"
Subject: OMG

Wow, read a lot on your web site.

There's really NOTHING I disagree with.

I am a physician with no history of drug abuse other than a short period of "self medicating" after the loss of my wife to cancer.

Without going into details, I took this loss very hard and made a poor decision etc....

I self reported the "self medicating" to the local diversion board.....

BAM!!! — I screwed myself

The medical diversion boards are nothing but AA cult recruiters with considerable power.

Want to keep your license?? DO EXACTLY WHAT WE SAY and swallow the AA religion COMPLETELY.

These diversion boards are also in bed with several treatment centers.... unbelieveable!

When I was at my lowest they almost recruited me...

As I gained my strength I decided not to become a BRAIN DEAD IDIOT and moved rapidly away from the CULT.

But here's the rub — I want to keep my license — so I LIE to the board that I am accepting their religion.

I tried to be honest with them and told them that several things were not sitting well with me......

........ I got assigned more mandatory meetings and more service work. WTF — honesty my ass

As if random UA's are not enough I gotta swallow this CRAP for several more years.

I am going to seek legal advice.

By the way:
I have recovered from my "problem" I am NOT in recovery
I am NOT powerless
I am NOT an addict
I am NOT chemically dependent

The AA cult is shear LUNACY

Thanks for confirming what I was already thinking.
Anything you need just drop me a line

In Denial lololololololololo

Hello "|<",

Thank you for the letter, and the compliments. I would definitely get a lawyer involved. A state-enforced cult religion that sells quackery is so blatantly illegal and unConstitutional that it is almost beyond belief — and yet it is the reality that we have now.

It is a shame that the popular TV show ER glossed over all of those issues when Dr. Carter had his pill problem. They acted like "go to a meeting" was the answer to Dr. Carter's drug problem, and Nurse Abby's alcohol problem too. They implied that the "diversion program" that Carter went into was a good thing — and that it really worked.

That is quackery, pure quackery, no more scientific or medical than selling snake oil elixirs. I can only guess that some more hidden Stepper propagandists are on the staff of writers for the show.

Oh well, have a good day anyway. And as far as support goes, donations never hurt. There is always something to fix. Thanks.

== 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.

[2nd letter from ]

Date: Tue, July 11, 2006 7:43 pm
From: "|<"
Subject: Re: OMG

Many, many thanks for all the work you have done.

I am still dealing with the utter madness surrounding my situation.

I plan on writing you an update to add to your web page letters.

I am curious if you can help me with this:

I need to find as many sound articles and research re: (in)effectivness of AA etc....

I want to collect anything I can find and do my best to get out of the mandated AA cult religion.

As you state, the truth cannot be denied. And I am up against some of the strongest, most devout cult members there are.

Not only do they hold the license's of many physicians, they continue to send them straight to Hazelden — ALL OF THEM. (possibly some other 12 step indoctrination facility)

... turns my stomach

I have sooooo much to say on this subject that I decided to start a book on my experience. Intended to be therapuetic, but I hope to share with others someday.

Any help would be appreciated. I realize that you reference several papers, but do you have them organized in attachment you might send me?

Also which books might be good for my "defense"?

Any — any — help would be greatly appreciated.

I use this metaphor at times in reference to my situation:

Let's say I went to prison. I could make things much easier on myself if I just stop struggling and let Bubba sodomize me...... but I'd rather fight and die trying.

I am actually serious about that. I am willing to lose my license over accepting this brain dead cult.

That really would be a shame. And what would they have to say?
"He just couldn't get the program"
"He was just an angry man"
"He couldn't handle being around drugs again so he decided not to practice"
"It was his choice, it's a simple program for those who can..."

What a bunch of BS.
I joke with my friends that the #1 reason I stay sober is out of spite for the AA cult.

I am going on and on, sorry, but I DO get angry at this new parasite on my back.

BTW I read your pages every day. It helps me deal with these lunatics.

I do find it astounding when they perform right on cue using all the various cult tactics, propaganda and debating techniques when confronted even the tiniest bit.

I hope to share those with you soon. You will get a kick out of it especially seeing that these are full blown phsychiatrists.... unbelievable..... the brain washing is insidious and runs so friggin deep.

Be well, hope to hear from you soon.


(sorry had to do that, I went to the scientology website and had the biggest laughs of my life OMG so friggin funny)

Hi again,

Yes, I have some stuff. See the file on "The Effectiveness of the 12-Step Treatment", which contains listings of all of the valid randomized longitudinal controlled studies of A.A. ever done. Particularly see:

  1. Dr. Brandsma found that A.A. increased the rate of binge drinking in alcoholics.
  2. Dr. Ditman found that A.A. increased the rate of rearrests for public drunkenness.
  3. Dr. Walsh found that "free A.A." made later hospitalization more expensive.
  4. Doctors Orford and Edwards found that having a doctor talk to the patient for just one hour, telling him to quit drinking, was just as effective as a whole year of A.A.-based treatment.
  5. Dr. George E. Vaillant, who later became a Professor of Psychology at Harvard University and a member of the Alcoholics Anonymous Board of Trustees, found that A.A. treatment was completely ineffective and just raised the death rate in alcoholics.

I have xeroxed copies of just about all of those articles. I can scan them into my computer and email them to you.

For legal decisions, see this short summary, here.
For the actual decisions, see Ken Ragge's web site. He has a bunch of files, here:
http://www.morerevealed.com/courts/index.html — Archive of documents, including the legal decisions that declared that A.A. was engaging in religious ceremonies, and that sentencing someone to go to A.A. meetings was unconstitutional.

Have a good day, and good luck. Oh, by the way, I also stay sober because I'll be damned if I'm going to give the A.A. nuts the satisfaction of me relapsing. Hell will freeze over first.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**  From Scientology we learn that, "The evil Galactic
**  Overlord Xenu did it. It's all his fault."

P.S.: I just got a copy of "Resisting 12-Step Coercion", by Stanton Peele and Charles Bufe, but haven't had time to read (or reread) it yet. It might have a lot of useful information.
I also see that it is available for downloading at: http://www.morerevealed.com/library/index.html

Date: Sun, June 25, 2006 01:21
From: "Michael J."
Subject: More Crazy Spiritual Dogma

Read this page and see how it tries to suck the reader in like the big book

My thoughts; God this sounds like bill willson's bullshit.


Bait and Switch, irrelevant concusion, sly suggestion, abstract meaning... just like AA. The zohar comes from kabballa styles. The big book resembles kabballa style diversions. Same style, used slander Christ and divert from Hebrew teaching by using God name to gain confidence in the reader.

Hmmm, 12 steps, 12 months in a year. What do we do on the 12th month of the year?

12th Step

I swear to pass the message of recovery as a result of my spiritual experience to the addict in recovery.

12 month

On the 12 month of the year I pass the message of Christ to my brothers and celebrate the Holy Spirit.

Get my point?

This stuff makes me pretty ill.

Have a great day,


Hi Mike,

Thanks for the letter. I was not aware of the parallels there. Somehow, I am not surprised though. When I started studying cults, I noticed that there were a lot of common threads that ran through all of them. You just mentioned several of them.

And I noticed another: "Sacred Science":

Kabbalah was and continues to be the original technology of life. It's the science of the soul and the physics (and metaphysics) of fulfillment.

Cults constantly misuse the words "science" and "technology". Religious doctrines are actually the exact opposite of science. Science is a process of learning what the truth is by observing reality and seeing what is really happening in front of your face, and then testing your ideas with experiments to see if they are really true. People who pore over ancient scrolls, "seeking to find the secrets of the universe", don't do that.

And then there is:

Suppose there was a universal wisdom, one singular seed that was the origin of all teachings — a body of knowledge that could reveal the spiritual and physical laws that govern the entire cosmos. What if it could account for and explain every emotion and desire that stirs within you? Suppose it could clarify and resolve all the problems that burden you at this very moment?

What if it could explain all the eruptions that occur in our universe the birth of a new star exploding into existence... to the explosive arguments that erupt in your life?

That is, of course, the cult characteristic "We have the Panacea", put forward with the propaganda trick of "Sly Suggestions" — "What if we have the answer to the universe?" (Well, what if you don't?)

But this is the best so far:

Impressive statements.
But don't believe it for a second.
Not one word.   ...


And that is called "Reversal of Reality", another common cult characteristic.

Is Kabbalah mysticism?
Hardly. What was once considered mysticism is now called science. As the renowned writer Arthur C. Clarke put it, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.

Again, they misuse the word science, and make a patently false statement: "What was once considered mysticism is now called science." That isn't true at all.

Now Arthur C. Clarke's statement is true, but he was talking about modern astronauts showing their instruments and tools to primitive natives who could not begin to comprehend electricity, transistors, and microcomputers.

And it goes on and on. It just goes to show that P. T. Barnum was right: "There's a sucker born every minute."

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."

[2nd letter from Michael:]

Date: Mon, June 26, 2006 13:54
From: "Michael J."
Subject: Re: More Crazy Spiritual Dogma

Thanks orange, I found some more interesting stuff for ya. I almost have the big books roots traced back to early kabballa and satanic cult roots.

Pretty Scary Stuff to say the least.

Here is a couple keys for ya. I'll send you my research when I link everything together that make logical sense.

http://www.google.com/search?q=Oxford+Golden+Dawn+Occult+Society&start=0 &ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&client=firefox-a&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official

http://www.google.com/search?hs=WGI&hl=en&lr=&client=firefox-a &rls=org.mozilla%3Aen-US%3Aofficial&q=Aleister+Crowley+AA+Silver+Star+Oxford &btnG=Search



Okay Michael,

More homework and things to check out.

An interesting parallel question is, "What else did Frank Buchman take from occult sources, besides the idea that you can conduct a séance and hear the Voice of God sending you messages which you should then write down." (Ideas which Bill Wilson then copied...)

We know that Oxford Groupers were into contacting the spirits of the dead. Their occult contacts were not limited to just God and Jesus.

Have a good day.

== Orange

*                  Agent Orange               *
*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
** Those who can make you believe absurdities can make
** you commit atrocities. == Voltaire (1694-1778)

Date: Mon, June 26, 2006 00:30
From: chaz
Subject: Your reading list

Hi, I was just glancing through your reading list. First, thanks for listing most of the See Sharp alcohol-related books.

Regarding your list of books on cults, I noticed that you listed the Olin book on Synanon. It greatly downplays the negative aspects of that cult, and is really a pretty lousy book. A much more informed insider's view — and the real dirt — can be found in "Paradise Incorporated: Synanon," by David U. Gerstel (Novato, CA: Presidio Press, 1982), which as a bonus is much better written than the Olin book.

Best regards,

P.S. I think the above bibliographical info is correct, but I don't have the book immediately at hand.

Hi Chaz,

It's a pleasure to hear from you. You had a big influence on my life, you know. As I said in the introduction to my web site, I found your book A.A.: Cult or Cure? in the library and devoured it. It blew away a lot of my illusions about Alcoholics Anonymous. It was like the straw that broke the camel's back. Or, as I said in the introduction, "The dam burst, and a giant wall of water swept across the landscape." (The mental landscape, that is.)

So thank you.

About William Olin, yes, I know that his book is flawed, and occasionally biased, and not a complete history of Synanon. And he downplayed some of the horrors of Synanon. But oddly enough, I find that to also be one of its charms. It's like the impact of understatement. That is, Olin tried so hard to be a good cult member. He gave Synanon 10 years of his life, and his life savings, and he worked as an architect for something like $25 per week for 10 years to help Synanon. He really believed in it, and then he really tried hard to continue to believe in it. So his final disillusionment and departure were all the more moving and striking. I quoted his exit story at length, here.

And he did, in the end, find a number of the common characteristics of cults in Synanon.

Still, I'm interested in the book you mentioned. I'll check it out.

Oh, about the See Sharp books: I've listed all of the books that I've been able to read. The ones that are not listed are the ones that I don't know about. The ones that I have read are listed both in the bibliography and in my "Top 10" list, which really numbers more like 20.

Thanks again for your pioneering work. And have a good day.

== 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 26, 2006 08:35
From: Jim H.

Dear Orange:

You know, I can't disagree with a single thing you say, yet I still have this "gut feeling", against all logic, that A.A. can work. Wonder why that is? Why this aura about A.A. among the general public? I can't help but think that part of it is due to the way it is portrayed in films and TV. i.e. always very favorably. One of the best works about alcoholism is "The Days of Wine and Roses", both the original 1958 teleplay and the 1962 motion picture. And it is one big advertisement for A.A. One leading film critic (I forget which one) complained that is was "too reverant about A.A."

Just wondering,
Jim H.

Hello Jim,

I think you understand the situation. Alcoholics Anonymous has an incredible propaganda mill the keeps up a constant drum-beat of proclamations that "It Works!" We are only human. It's hard to not be influenced by it after a while.

And you are right about The Days of Wine and Roses. Although the thing that really got me was the end of the movie. When the wife declared, "I just can't be that spiritual", her husband just lets her walk out to her death. He doesn't even try to stop her or save her. Say what??!

What kind of "unconditional love" was that?

What was he doing, letting her go "for the sake of his own sobriety"?

Oh well, have a good day anyway.

== 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: Mon, June 26, 2006 13:14
From: HW

Dear Orange:

I think that any person afflicted with substance abuse is in charge of his/her own healing process.

No one else is in charge — "human beings are moral agents who make choices".

That does not mean that the long uphill walk is done with travelling companions. You are not alone — unless you want to be.

I reject "recovery". The term has been contaminated with contingency by the "recovery industry".

If one needs to put an end to substance abuse, one does so. Now and forever. The human being — a moral agent — takes that decision. Having done that, one may begin to address issues.

Does 12 step speak to those issues? Not for me. Now, I must ask, Am I alone in that? I think not.

Is there any organization or person to travel with on this journey of healing? Yes.

Is one alone? No.

Orange, you have laid out many of the options available.

For myself, my alcohol abuse had a start point. I decided — with premeditation and malice aforethought — to get drunk. Every night. Unfortunately — or fortunately [ the issue is in doubt ] I did not drink a enough wine to achieve a fatal case of alcoholic poisoning. I did not drink for "fun". Also, I did not fall down the stairs and break my neck.

Why did I stop? I decided to stop. I found that I had reasons to live. So, a stop point.

So, I can describe when the abuse began; I can describe when it ended.

IMHO, this begs two questions:

To whom does AA speak?

To which questions does AA purport to answer?

The world wants to know.

For myself — I have put my life — which came to an end one black day [ 1 Feb 2004] — back together. I am as happy as I have made up my mind to be.

Does AA speak to me? No.

I must say good things about SMART Recovery. The tools were good — safe and effective — and the folks online were very kind and thoughtful.

I found AA to be pathological and driven by dogma.


Hi again Howard,

Thanks for the letter, and I couldn't agree more. My story is just the same. The doctor said, "Quit drinking or die. Choose one." I thought it over for a month, and drank on it, and thought it over some more, and then finally decided that I would rather live. I just didn't want to die that way. (And then I quit smoking 3 weeks later for the same reason. I was just sick and tired of being so sick and tired.)

I think that is what really happens with a lot of us. A.A. just fools some recovering people into thinking that A.A. *made* them quit, or that the 12 Steps somehow caused them to quit, which is not true at all.

Oh well, have a good day and a great life.

== Orange

*                  Agent Orange               *
*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
** Pain (any pain — emotional, physical, mental) has a message.
** The information it has about our life can be remarkably specific,
** but it usually falls into one of two categories: "We would be
** more alive if we did more of this," and, "Life would be more
** lovely if we did less of that." Once we get the pain's message,
** and follow its advice, the pain goes away.
**         Peter McWilliams, Life 101

[another letter from Penelope. Her previous letters are here.]

Date: Mon, June 26, 2006 15:32
From: "Penelope"
Subject: Re: hi orange

Orange, you certainly have conviction, I'll give you that!

Hi again, Penelope,

I not only have conviction, I have facts. They count for a lot more.

I do feel the program helps me stay clean from the dope — I was not able to do it without the help of NA, and today I can. For me, it has worked so far.

But feelings are not facts. Isn't there an A.A. slogan about that?

And "IT" has not worked for you. You are assuming a cause-and-effect relationship where there is no evidence of any such causation. People quit drinking because they get sick and tired of being sick and tired, not because they join a cult religion.

To say that you couldn't "do it" before N.A., so that shows that N.A. "helped you" to succeed, is an illogical statement.
It's like saying that when you were a child, you could never ride a bicycle — you always fell down — until you tried out Billy's bright red bicycle, and you succeeding in riding that one. So shiny red bicycles are the cure for "bicycleism" — "Hey, I was never able to ride a bicycle before. I was powerless over bicycles. I fell down every time I tried. But with Billy's bicycle, I succeeded, and I don't fall down any more. That is proof that Billy's bicycle is magical and really works."

Quitting dope or drinking is a learning process. (Just like learning to ride a bicycle.) You have to learn that you really, REALLY want to quit and permanently change your lifestyle. Until then, you will backslide. Once you learn beyond a shadow of a doubt that dope and drink are killing you, and you really decide to quit them and live a healthier lifestyle, it is easy. That process has nothing to do with any 12-Step organization, or Bill Wilson's religion, or endless meetings, or Buchmanism, or listing and confessing your sins and wallowing in guilt, or any of that malarkey.

I respect your position — I'm sorry that others feel they need to cram the 12 step philosophy down your throat — "Attraction, not promotion" as we say. There is nothing attractive about choking on someone's opinion or way of life, that's for sure!

It isn't just forcing the 12-Step cult religion on other people, although that is a big part of it. Alcoholics Anonymous and the 12-Step program are inherently harmful and raise the death rate in alcoholics. They even drive some alcoholics to suicide.

OK — I am off to go do an H&I presentation to the folks at the county outpatient treatment clinic, ironically, so I'm gonna keep this one short.

I don't know what an "H&I presentation" is. Should I assume that you are promoting Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous by giving the clinic false success statistics or false claims of success? Just what success rate do you tell them? Do you also mention the normal 5% per year rate of spontaneous remission in alcoholics?

YOU have a good day, OK? I'll try to do the same!

Yes, you have a good day too.

== Orange

*                  Agent Orange               *
*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**  "Not only had we failed to alter the natural history of alcoholism,
**  but our death rate of three percent a year was appalling."
**  == Dr. George E. Vaillant, currently a member of the A.A. Board of
**  Trustees, describing the treatment of alcoholism with Alcoholics
**  Anonymous, in The Natural History of Alcoholism: Causes, Patterns,
**  and Paths to Recovery, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA,
**  1983, pages 283-286.

Date: Mon, June 26, 2006 16:34
From: "Mike B."
Subject: fun with numbers


I have just noticed something interesting which I don't recall ever having seen mentioned anywhere before. At www.midlandaa.org they list membership history, book sales, and book royalties according to aaws over the years. [Starting at page 53.] It is at the end of their history pages. Anyhow, pick a year, any year, say — 1994. That year, aa reported a US membership of 1,127,471 people. That same year, they reported big book sales totalling 1,049,343 copies. Assuming (very generously) each new and returning member that year ponied up their cash and bought a brand new big book and that every remaining member also bought one, we divide 1,127,471 people by 1,049,343 books and then multiply that number by 12 months, we see that aa experiences a 100% turnover in membership every 12.89 months, based on my unrealistically generous model.

Just one more proof-positive that aa works — if selling books and making money constitutes success.

Something else I have considered: If you are in the sheep business and 95% of your sheep can't eat what you feed them and walk away, do you:

  • a) blame the sheep?
  • b) feed them something else?
  • c) wonder why you are in the sheep business?
  • d) don't change a thing because the government and society just keep sending you fresh sheep?

Marion, Ohio

Hi. Thanks for your recent letter. I've been putting together my reply and cannot find the actual statistics you referred to:

At www.midlandaa.org they list membership history, book sales, and book royalties according to aaws over the years. It is at the end of their history pages. Anyhow, pick a year, any year, say--1994. That year, aa reported a US membership of 1,127,471 people. That same year, they reported big book sales totalling 1,049,343 copies.

I've been poking through the history index page and can't find it. I have downloaded the entire web site, for archiving, so hopefully the information should be in there somewhere.

Can you give me an exact URL for the actual web page where that stuff appears?


[2nd letter from Mike:]

Sorry 'bout that. The full address is:

It starts with the year-by-year stuff down around page 52. If you have never seen the big book sales figures for recent years, you will be pretty much floored by the sheer numbers. Looking at those sales numbers, it becomes abundantly clear why it is in AAWS absolutely refuses to turn AA into something that could actually help people seeking recovery from alcoholism. It is in their financial self-interest to keep the ineffective dinosaur propped up as-is with people continually ordered in, buying their books, putting a few bucks in the basket, and then moving on. A fresh crop is right behind them and it wouldn't pay to have large numbers of people recovering, taking up floor-space while we still have millions of books to print and sell with a limitless supply of court slips to get signed. When all the patients get well and take the cure to the masses, the hospital will have outlived its purpose. Keep them sick, and keep them coming back.

Keep up the good work. Your efforts are shaking them up.

Hi Mike,

Thanks for the tip. I didn't know about that web site. But I do now, and I am checking out what they have.

The Big Book sales figures are very strange, aren't they? It looks like every member buys a new copy of the book every year. Or else they have a heck of a lot of newcomers buying a book and then walking out. Or else the old-timer sponsors are buying a lot of copies for their sponsees, who then quit.

I find it curious that from 1987 to 1995, they sold over 1 million copies of the Big Book per year, and then in 1996 it suddenly dropped to below a million, and declined for years (pages 54-55). It looks like the new edition may have been intended to boost sales of the book, because that's what happened. Sales shot up from 899,000 in 2000 to 1,356,000 in 2001. Everybody had to go out and buy a new copy of the book, since the old one was now obsolete.

Oh, and do you know what is really chilling? At the bottom of those pages, it says, "Public Version". The whole file is "A Narrative Timeline of A.A. History, Public Version".

Wow. Most cults hide the fact that they have two versions of the truth — the sanitized white-washed happy-face public version that they tell to just anybody, and the secret insiders' real truth that is revealed only to the innermost circle of highest-ranking old-timers. But A.A. openly labels their released documents "Public Version".

Wouldn't you love to get into the locked and sealed secret A.A. archives and get the real truth version?

Oh well, have a good day anyway.

== 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.

Date: Tue, June 27, 2006 10:29
From: "Joe C."
Subject: nice site...

Enjoyed some of the history about AA and its founders?

I have been going to AA for 4 years, and the good thing about it for me was that I took a better look at myself. Don't know if I needed AA for that but it helped.

I enjoy the meetings and the fellowships.

And I got a whole new concept of a higher power — I call mine life.

Thanks again for putting out another side of the story.

Hi Joe,

Thanks for the thanks, and thanks for the compliments.

I agree that introspection and fellowship are good things, but I am sure that there are much better ways to get them than in Alcoholics Anonymous.

There are many other not-so-good things that come along with the fellowship and introspection, in a sort of unexplained package deal. Some people are even driven to suicide by the constant guilt induction and their sponsors telling them to stop taking their doctor-prescribed medications. Remember that A.A. actually raises the death rate in alcoholics.

You were lucky. Others were not.

You might like to check out some SMART meetings. You will also find fellowship and techniques for self-examination and introspection there, without the cult religion and crazy dogma.

Have a good day.

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

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Last updated 22 January 2013.
The most recent version of this file can be found at https://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters56.html