Letters, We Get Mail, LX

Date: Tue, July 18, 2006 7:57 am
From: James B1

Do you have a biography?

Hi James,

There isn't really a biography, but there is some autobiographical material here:

Date: Tue, July 18, 2006 8:31 am
From: James B1
Subject: Question for you.

OK. I see your points about the many inconsistencies/incongruities in the AA Program.

My question is that if I were considering alternatives to the "support" that I have found in AA to stay sober, what do you recommend.

How do you stay sober — admitting perhaps, that it was your best thinking that got you to AA.

or simply:

How do you stay sober and not a lone wolf.

Thank you.

Hi again, James,

Here is my handy list of alternatives:

Also see this list of discussions of what has worked and helped other people.

Also see my "top 10" reading list, here.

Now about the question of not being a lone wolf. Perhaps I am one. I don't regularly go to any social functions. I make a joke about my daily meeting being with the geese and ducks and sunshine down at the river, rather than an A.A. meeting room. I don't exactly socially isolate, but I don't need constant companionship either.

I did go to SMART for a while, but now I'm just playing music in the sunshine.

When I associate with people, it isn't for the purpose of talking about sobriety. Sometimes we do, but only rarely. Computers and music are the two favorite topics of conversation between friends and me.

How I stay sober is really very simple. I realize the damage that smoking and drinking did to me, and I see how I am *still* just recovering from the damage, even after 5 3/4 years of sobriety. So I conclude that racking up some more damage by going back to those old bad habits would be painful and miserable, and I would be going backwards, so I don't do it.

I don't want to ever be that sick again, and I don't want to die that way. It works for me.

I also just don't have any brain cells or lung cells left to spare, so I don't waste any more of them.

I also consider the issue of re-addiction, and remember that it took me 33 years to get unhooked from tobacco, and 9 to get unhooked from alcohol, and I don't want to go through all of that again. I don't have another 9 years of drinking, or 33 years of smoking, left in me. That would be the death of me. So I don't do it.

Oh, and lastly, I dispute the A.A. slogan about "It was your best thinking that got you here." That sarcastic little put-down reverses reality — it's just the opposite of the truth. Thinking that the only way to be happy was drinking myself half to death was my worst thinking, not my best. The decision to quit drinking and go check out treatment or recovery groups, A.A. or SMART or anything else, in order to get better, was my best thinking. Any time anyone decides to quit drinking and seek some help — any kind of help — to recover and improve his life, that is his best thinking.

So you really can trust your best thinking, in spite of what A.A. tells you.
(The teaching that you cannot trust your own mind is another standard cult characteristic, one that is good for making people doubt themselves so that they will be weak and easily manipulated.)

Have a good day, and a good life, and good luck on your recovery.

== Orange

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

Date: Tue, July 18, 2006 10:50 am
From: "Kathleen M."
Subject: Thank you

Hi Orange,

How wonderful to discover your site. I have been sober for over 15 years and have attended AA sporadically during that time. I did read the Big Book early on, and even in that brain damaged state I could smell the chicanery. Still, the program was something to hang onto in the early years when I felt (or had been led to believe) that I needed something to hang onto.

I still go to meetings sometimes and spend time with others in AA, but it's odd how the spell has been broken after reading your information, and again, I thank you for the massive amount of work you have done.

It never seemed like anything I did after taking the first step (just admitting I had a serious problem and could never drink or use again) really did anything at all for me. I took that step as I lay in the detox unit of a drug and alcohol rehab, practically hallucinating, where they had me in almost total darkness for two days because they thought the lights might trigger another seizure. I just didn't want it to get any worse than that. (I am a middle class, middle aged piano teacher and church accompaniest, by the way.) I said a prayer to my God and felt cradled in his arms and then almost physically turned around and set on a course in the opposite direction of where I had been going. There was a light in the darkness that was almost physical (almost hallucinating, remember) where before there had been nothing. I never turned back.

I think the meetings somehow made my early recovery more comfortable, but I never honestly thought they maintained my sobriety and I would stop going to them sometimes for a couple of years at a time. I never wanted to drink during those times. Regular attenders give me reproachful looks when I come back and make sarcastic comments like, "Here to pick up a medallion?"

After two years in recovery I had a child, suffered two miscarriages, helped my elderly mother during the last two years of my father's life, held down a job and helped my husband through horrendous legal difficulties that threatened to sink us all.


I took care of my husband for the last two years of his life and have supported my son and myself for the last two years. This is real life that I have lived. Certainly I'm grateful that it's possible for me to be with others who know what I've been through, any day and almost any hour of the day, at AA meetings, but I see now that it would sure be nice if some other program existed where I could do the same thing without the snake oil. I don't imagine such a program would improve on the 5% remission rate attained by everything and nothing, but as I said, it would make my recovery more comfortable. It's a shame that my only real choice is a program that increases the death rate of my people.

Thanks again, Orange —

Kathleen M.

Hello Kathleen,

Thanks for the letter, and thanks for the thanks. And congratulations on your sobriety, and sanity, and recovery.

And you were one of the people who was hurt by that phoney "recovered memories" scam? How sad. I don't know why those quacks, frauds, and con artists aren't in prison. They seriously hurt enough people to rate prison time.

By the way, what's the difference between putting a child in a room with strange adults who brow-beat and harass the child for hours, days, weeks, and months, insistently demanding that the child "remember" sexual abuse, and taking a girl down to the dungeon and torturing her until she confesses that she is a witch?

Answer: Not as much difference as there should be.

About only A.A. being available: I am happy to say that there are ever more alternative recovery groups forming — with SMART and Women For Sobriety seeming to be in the lead. See the usual list of suspects here.

Hopefully, a new group will pop up in your area. If not, why don't you start one?

Have a good day.

== Orange

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

Date: Tue, July 18, 2006 1:56 pm
From: 'H.'

Dear orange:

I wonder if i see a "private clubness" about AA.

There is a kind of "DGI" — "doesn't get it" — quality about it.

As is if there is something special about "alcoholics" that "normies" do not really "get". "Normies" do get it; that is the issue.

That may speak to the issue that AA zealots want to avoid "normies"; they do not really "understand" our "disease".

Also, the issue of "recovery" without end means that an AA zealot never really needs to be an adult; once an "alcoholic", always an "alcoholic". Always a child, never an adult. Convenient. To be a victim unto death. A 3rd degree game.

Call me "H"

Hello H.,

I have to agree. Declaring that "Only another alcoholic understands" allows them to discount the opinions of all of the sane people who notice that Alcoholics Anonymous is crazy.

That shows several standard cult characteristics:

If A.A. admitted that outsiders could understand, and did know what they were talking about, then A.A. would be vulnerable to rational criticism. And they can't stand that.

I also agree on the issue of "permanent victimhood", and permanent irresponsibility. It's logical — if you are "powerless over alcohol", then how could anything be your own fault, or your own choice?
"I would have quit drinking long ago, but this damn disease has me in its grip. It's hopeless because I'm powerless over alcohol. All I can do is pray for a miracle."

By the way, South Park did a great satire of just that point.

Have a good day anyway.

== Orange

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

Date: Tue, July 18, 2006 6:16 pm
From: "Gene"
Subject: Your Site

I really appreciate your site, and I applaud your effort. However, calling 12 steps programs a treatment just gives them more power — it's not a treatment, despite they want it that way. It's a fellowship of sharing experience, nothing more.

Sincerely, Gene

Hello Gene,

Thank you for the letter and the compliments.

Technically, you are correct about A.A. not being a treatment. It's a social club, or it's a discussion group, or it's a cult religion, but it isn't treatment.

But A.A. still gets used as treatment for alcoholism, or as part of the treatment program, in 93% of the so-called "treatment centers" in the USA, so it is pretty inevitable that the A.A. program becomes confused with, and synonymous with, "treatment".

It's both funny and tragic that people pay many thousands of dollars for "drug and alcohol treatment", and then the "treatment program" turns out to be:
"Go to at least three A.A. or N.A. meetings every week; preferably one every day. And get a sponsor."

Oh well, have a good day anyway.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
** Treatment centers based on Alcoholics Anonymous concepts
** routinely advised their patients to find a "higher power"
** or take a "moral inventory", untroubled by the contradiction
** between giving such advice and providing insurance-funded
** treatment for medical diseases.

Date: Tue, July 18, 2006 9:33 pm
From: "JEFFREY C."
Subject: Orange papers

Very interesting web site A. Orange. Thanks for helping me to clarify what AA is (a cult ) and is not ( an effective treatment method)

Thanks Again


Hi Jeff,

Thanks for the thanks.

And you have a good day too.

== 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: Wed, July 19, 2006 1:01 pm
From: "Sarah F."
Subject: Program

Have you ever been in a 12 step program?

Sarah F.

"I think that's how Chicago got started. A bunch of people in New York
said, 'Gee, I'm enjoying the crime and the poverty, but it just isn't cold
enough. Let's go west.'" — Richard Jeni.

Hello Sarah,

I guess I would have to answer that question with a qualified "yes". Yes, I was in that 12-Step mess, but I never sold my soul to the devil in trade for sobriety.

I never did the 12 Steps, never had a sponsor, and don't believe in Bill Wilson or his Big Book.

Nor did I throw my rational thinking mind into the trash can, and abandon logic and Reason, the way that Bill Wilson exhorted us to do.

See this autobiographical information to get a better feel for the situation:

And have a good day.

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

Date: Thu, July 20, 2006 1:10 am
From: "James B."
Subject: Orange


Can you help me out with this bit of logic?

People in AA believe that all emotional problems are caused from within. And the perpetuators of bad feeling in others are sinning from within (pride, ego etc), so therefore everyone is defective, even those that are suffering.

So the conclusion then is that there is no such things as politics, or society, but just a load of people sinning. And the answer would be to get humble before God, do the steps etc, and then there would be no 'problems'.

If that is true, it is no wonder my political beliefs got wiped out after a year in AA.

What a shame it takes people's fire, their worldly concerns, their sense of social consciousness. I guess I am coming from the 'left', because AA it seems to me, if the above is true, is very conservative (each man for himself, no such thing as the 'state' etc). difference being is driven into members minds for the rest of their lives. A fascistic cult.

Did that make sense?


Hi James,

It makes perfect sense. You understand the situation exactly. What you are describing is old Buchmanism, which is still the theology of Alcoholics Anonymous today.

Frank Buchman declared that all social problems were caused by individual sin, and the cure for society's problems was not social activism — it was to get "changed" (into one of his followers) and started confessing your sins.

While thanking Heaven for giving us Adolf Hitler, Frank Buchman had declared, "Human problems aren't economic. They're moral and they can't be solved by immoral measures." Thus, to Frank Buchman, the Civil Rights Movement, the Labor Movement, and Women's Suffrage were all "immoral". Only Frank's program for world salvation was moral.

And then Frank Buchman claimed that his program was not political, that it was only "spiritual". But it was actually extremely political, to the point of supporting Adolf Hitler and the Nazis.

In Frank's warped world view, the ideal society would be one in which everyone was the obedient slave of someone who was better than him. Thus all people would be arranged in a pyramid of power, with the more virtuous people occupying the higher layers of the pyramid, leading up to Frank Buchman and Christian Fascist dictators at the very top, who were the slaves of God — holy people who "listened to God" and heard God's orders, and then passed God's orders down to the common rable below.

(Notice the similarity between that pyramid and the pyramid of sponsors in Alcoholics Anonymous. In A.A., you should obey your sponsor because he has more sober time than you do, so he is more virtuous and wiser than you are, and presumably, closer to God.)

In such a Buchmanite society, there was no place for social activism. The good citizen always obeys orders; he doesn't rock the boat and demand changes. Social change should be achieved by converting the world's leaders (to Buchmanism).

Reinhold Niebuhr, the author of the Serenity Prayer, criticized Buchman's crazy beliefs here.

That whole cult religion routine is also a bait-and-switch trick — First it isn't political, and then it is. You are ostensibly just working a spiritual program, and then you eventually discover that it controls your politics, and that it is very political — it turns you into a political eunuch.

Elayne Rapping summed up the current situation in the 12-Step cults beautifully:

      In every case in which I saw an OA member dramatically "recover," she became radically religious in ways I found disturbing. The women who worked their programs as effectively as the men in AA and SA became as religious and spiritual in their worldviews and activities as these men had become. Only this time much more was lost than was gained, in social terms. To a woman, their recovery meant that spirituality became their entire lives, altering partners, professions, social activities, and — not surprisingly — social and political beliefs in alarmingly reactionary ways.
      ... And their binges, their urges to binge, their purges and fasts, were all explained in this depoliticized, indeed politically regressive, worldview.
The Culture Of Recovery; Making Sense of the Self-Help Movement in Women's Lives, Elayne Rapping, pages 121-122.

Oh well, have a good day anyway.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**  One Stepper declared, "My stability came out of trying to
**  give, not out of demanding that I receive."
**  Serving humanity is all fine and well, but what if you are humbly,
**  lovingly, spiritually giving out cups of cyanide koolaid?
**  No matter how generous and loving and unselfish you are
**  while you hand it out, it's still cyanide koolaid.

[The previous letter from Wolf is here.]

Date: Thu, July 20, 2006 3:16 am
From: "Wolf"
Subject: Hi again from England

>From the Wolf in the UK

Dear Orange,

Great to see the goslings by the river. I try to get my fifteen month old son to throw bread to the ducks here, but he eats it himself when I put it in his hand.

Hi again, Wolf,

Yes, that is both funny, and it's real life too. That is, the primary job of any baby animal, gosling or human, is to grab lots of food and stuff it into its mouth, so that it will live and grow bigger. All of them are just doing what the most basic biological programming tells them to do. The idea of sharing the food with someone else doesn't occur to them until years later.

Four or so months without a meeting now (I don't count, unlike how I used to count religiously how long I had been sober), after fifteen years of being told I would drink, go mad, end up in prison, etc. if I did not go to meetings, and I feel better than ever. Sorry I still have not sent you my story. I was flicking through your latest letters and could not pass by your, to be fair, relatively well-meaning correspondent's ideas that only an alcoholic can help or understand another alcoholic.

That was the type of information that isolated me from non-members of AA. I came to AA because I wanted to feel and be normal. By a smart bait-and-switch, after telling me that AA was a "bridge to normal living", they then told me that I could only really trust and communicate with other members of AA. It took a decade and a half of me freezing out my well educated and civilized friends and colleagues in favour of people in various states of damage and recovery to realize that I was not keeping company that helped me much, if at all. Since I have opened up more to my non-AA friends, I find them all understanding and kind. I have even found that I can talk about my personal problems at work, when I need to, although I would not make a habit of it. I have also come to realize that my siblings have very similar problems to me, and are uniquely able to understand me, whereas before I considered myself more damaged than them by our upbringing, and better than them because I had the answer in AA. I cannot believe how fond of me people have been all along, whereas I was mistrustful and sullen of them much of the time, reserving my sunny side for fellow AAs.

Even amidst the ramblings of the first 164 pages I remember Bill W writing that, if we don't drink, problem drinkers "react much like other men" or words to that effect.

That's enough. I am moving beyond recovery and the arguments about it and just living, as you said I would. A couple of days ago I had an anxious feeling for no reason, and I did not have to write an inventory or phone anyone. I just got on with my day and it went away. Somehow the AA treadmill seems like a "meta activity" which floats above life and stopped me actually getting on with it, if that makes any sense. Thoreau is therefore an author I must explore.

Keep up the good work, you are an inspiration.

The Wolf.

Thanks for the letter, and thanks for the compliments. And congratulations on your newfound freedom.

What you are saying is so true. The standard A.A. slogan that "Only another alcoholic understands" is just so isolating, and devalues the whole world outside of Alcoholics Anonymous.

Oh well, have a good day anyway.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
** Arianna Huffington described a fanatic as someone who simply
** rejects and disregards all information that conflicts with
** his chosen beliefs.
** That is also true of cult members who reject all information
** that comes from outside of the cult.

[The next letter from Wolf is here.]

Date: Thu, July 20, 2006 6:40 am
From: "Amber"
Subject: Hi There

Hey Orange,

I'm sure you get way too many emails to reply to everybody, but I thought I'd send this along to illustrate a few points of my own. My father has been an alcoholic for well over 30 years now. He bounced from AA meeting to AA meeting for years and he never once stopped drinking. He learned how to hide his drinking, how to drive so he wouldn't get pulled over when drunk and how to control and manipulate his family with his drinking. He learned to excuse his physical and mental abuse of his family by attributing it to his drinking and his pals in AA never once said "Nope, you're just a violent bastard." According to them, it was our fault because we were unsupportive. By unsupportive, they meant we didn't go to meetings. Oh, and he learned to scream the Serenity Prayer at the top of his lungs before he beat us. We should probably thank AA for that one, we got the chance to duck and run before the fists started flying. AA gave my dad's selfish, violent behavior justification. None of it was his fault after all.

I'm currently majoring in social work and I'd like to work in recovery when I'm done. I won't ever refer a patient to AA, I've seen the damage first hand. Of course, like you, when I tell my story I'm accused of lying or covering up something else by the AA crowd. The downright insulting attitudes I've come across when I speak openly about the horrors we went through in my family only serve to reinforce my dim view of AA. I've read your site numerous times and I've sent it to people who are leery of AA. When I'm through with my schooling, I will find every alternative treatment program I can and refer people there. Thanks for writing your page, it's been very helpful to some of us.


"I'm old enough to know that people waiting on some big sign
Should quit their waiting on the Divine. Divine is what's in your mind."
— Ted Leo

Hello Amber,

Thank you for the letter. That is powerful stuff. And it is so true that A.A. has a bad case of Flip Wilson's joke — Geraldine, who was always proclaiming, "The Devil made me do it." In A.A., it's always the fault of Demon Rum.

What is odd is that people in A.A. meetings can tell tales of horrible abuse towards family members, or trying to murder a friend in a rage, and nobody bats an eye. They say that you should not "Take someone else's inventory", so nobody faults anybody.

But if you dare to criticize the A.A. program, oh boy are they quick to "take your inventory".

Funny how that works.

Oh well, have a good day anyway. And your plan to become a counselor who uses non-A.A. methods sounds great. Have a good life.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
** If alcoholism is really a disease, then A.A. sponsors are
** guilty of practicing medicine without a license. They are
** also guilty of treating a life-threatening illness without
** having any medical education or training.  They have never
** gone to medical school, and never done an internship or
** residency, and yet they presume to be qualified to make
** life-or-death decisions in the patients' treatment. That
** is what you call quackery.

[Next letter from Amber, after graduation, here.]

Date: Thu, July 20, 2006 7:25 am
From: "rock climber"
Subject: AA?

Dear Mr. Orange

I seen your web page and I have to tell you, you must be the most resentful and hateful person on the face of the planet.

Hello, Rock Climber,

You are certainly feeling Serene and Grateful today, aren't you?

Some of the things you say is true but 90% of them are misconceptions. Did you even bother to realize that it take a 60 year old dictionary to understand a 60 year old program?

That is a bunch of bull. I understand very well what the words mean. It does not take a 60-year-old dictionary to understand the roots of Alcoholics Anonymous, or Frank Buchman and his Oxford Group cult religion.

People them self's in AA have messed up a wonderful program. I can see that you haven't worked the steps or you wouldn't be wasting your time cutting down a program that has saved millions of lives. What you are doing isn't any different then cutting down all the medical personal in the world that has saved many lives. I assure you that AA is not the only way to recover and I know many resentful people that don't drink; AA is about how to live your life and it doesn't require you to believe in God. You are missing the purpose of AA all together. I do know there are many and I will say way to many power tripped people in AA, I avoid them all they have nothing I want and not all people in AA are like that.

A.A. has not saved millions of lives. It has merely fooled a lot of people. You are saying that A.A. is a religion — "AA is about how to live your life". Well, A.A. is advertised on radio and TV as a way to quit drinking. I guess that is deceptive recruiting, right?

I view your site with my brain a very high IQ one I might add. I think it's funny as hell to say at the least because of the misconception that you have about AA. You have no clue what it is really about and you have never completed the steps that so easy to tell because when you do you will change to a nice person that stops fighting any and all things. You page shows me that.

That is the standard cult routine of "Oh, you can't understand our Wonderful Guru's teachings because you haven't worked the High-Falutin' Spiritual Practices for enough years. Just do our practices for one year and you will see that they are all true."

But if you do their practices for a year, you will be so brainwashed that you will believe anything that they say.

I just would like to know why the hell you are wasting your time doing this. It's the stupidest thing I have seen in a very long time, if you don't like AA don't go do what ever it is that keeps you sober if you are an alcoholic , many people in AA are no more then heavy drinker and not a true alcoholic. Maybe you are one of them.

I run this web site to get the truth out.

If you would like to know why your site has been deleted I will tell you why too many people that know real alcoholics are very happy to see their loved one get sober and change and winder how this thing they call AA works . Something you have no clue about its so very obvious.

A.A. does not work. If you think that it works, then please answer just this one simple question that the A.A. true believers refuse to answer:

"Out of each 1000 newcomers to Alcoholics Anonymous, how many pick up a ten-year coin for sobriety?"

I would not hack your site ever I do believe in free speech and I do believe all of us have that right. I don't believe in any religion what so ever its all man made up bull shit if you ask me but I sure do believe in my Higher Power it works for me.

How ever I bet you have a very hard time keeping your site up see there are many people in AA with high IQ's like me that can get the job done and I am sure they will it just wont be me your page to me is more comedy then the Redneck comedy tour.

It sounds sort of like you are advocating a Federal felony there. Are you?

The fact is millions of people love AA and you hate it. Leave it alone go your own way be who you are find peace in your life by viewing your page you have none.

Excuse me, but it is Alcoholics Anonymous that is practicing coercive recruiting and deceptive recruiting, and getting people sentenced to A.A. meetings, and then lying about its success rate. Why doesn't A.A. go away and let people be?

I have a very good life and there is a lot of meetings I refuse to go to because of some of the 10% truth that you have writing about. I say screw those people in that meeting and go to good meetings where the power trippers don't go. Just remember this when your site gets hacked deleted etc. and it will because some of those power trippers will get you so they can put it down on their 4th step it wasn't me I don't care what you do and I like a good laugh at times.

I will tell you this I been going to AA for over 12 years and there sure is a lot of people that I avoid like the plague. People that know how to work the steps but have no clue how to live them it is truly a shame I say and I can't change people, I have no desire to do so people are people and many people can't handle a person like me because of my intelligence.

Sounds like an internal church problem to me.

If I was you I wouldn't go into the yahoo chat room and bash AA , there are hacker in those chat rooms and you piss one off when he is having a bad day look out!

Those A.A. hackers, vandals, and criminals probably aren't half as bright as you imagine. They are probably just some stupid script kiddies.

I don't use Yahoo message boards because I don't want to give any business to traitors who have sold out American freedom of speech for a few dollars in China.

I hope you some day can find peace in your life and leave all the BS about anything alone you will never change AA.

I have already found peace, thank you.

One thing you might look into is when AA started over 50% of the people stayed sober so something has really gone wrong for sure, I would call it the BS in AA.

A.A. does not have a 50% success rate, and has never had such a success rate. Not ever. Not even close. Not even within a hundred miles of close.

Bill Wilson was simply lying to sell the Big Book and his new A.A. cult, to make some more money, when he wrote that grandiose claim in the Big Book. Check out this examination of Bill Wilson's lie.

The truth is that A.A. has a zero percent success rate above normal spontaneous remission. That is, above the sobriety level of alcoholics who go it alone and get no help or treatment at all. They get about a 5% per year recovery rate.

And that is the same recovery rate as you see in A.A., too. So A.A. isn't doing anything good at all; it is simply stealing the credit for the people who were going to quit drinking anyway.


Your laughing friend

Peace to you too, Rock Climber.

And please don't forget to answer that one simple question:
"How many sober 10-year winners per 1000 A.A. newcomers?"

And then, if you are really feeling like being truthful and rigorously honest, you could also answer these questions:

  1. Of each 1000 newcomers to A.A., how many are still around and sober one year later?

  2. What is the A.A. suicide rate?

And you have a good day too.

== 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, July 27, 2006 3:11 pm
From: "rock climber"
Subject: AA.

You are one of the most resentful persons i have ever heard of.
Your so full of BS.
I know over 200 people that have over 10 years...

Dry drunk is what you are, if I was you i would just go have a drink!

Hello again, Rock Climber,

First off, let me congratulate you for being the zillion and second Stepper to accuse me of "having a resentment". And you get your place on the list.

Can't you guys think of anything new? You just parrot "dry drunk" and "resentment" all of the time, almost as if you don't have an original thought in your head.

I have no doubts that there are 200 people who have over 10 years of sobriety. I am sure that we could find even more than that at any national convention of Alcoholics Anonymous.

But that was not the question. You dodged my question by using the propaganda technique called The Semi-Attached Figure. That "200" number all by itself, just floating there out of context, is meaningless, and it doesn't tell us anything about the actual A.A. success rate.

You also used Ad Hominem, Launch Personal Attacks On Opponents. When you don't like the message, attack the messenger.

You also seem to have used the technique Answer a Question that Was Not Asked (To Avoid Answering One that Was Asked).

The question that I asked was:

"Out of each 1000 newcomers to Alcoholics Anonymous, how many pick up a ten-year coin for sobriety?"

So what is the A.A. success rate? How many sober 10-year A.A. oldtimers do you get out of each 1000 newcomers?

If you believe that A.A. works, then please answer that question. How well does it work? What is the A.A. success rate?

Have a good day.

== 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, July 20, 2006 10:34 am
From: "Angie H."
Subject: Twelve Step Groups

There is good and bad in everything, everyone.

From those of us that enjoy, grow and recover from our experience with a 12-Step Group...


Isn't there a more worthy cause you can direct your time and efforts?

Your life either sheds light or casts a shadow.


Hello Angie,

Could you answer just one simple question for me, please?

"Out of each 1000 newcomers to Alcoholics Anonymous, how many pick up a ten-year coin for sobriety?"

In other words, what it the real A.A. success rate?

Oh well, have a good day anyway.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**   How many diseases does modern medicine treat
**   with a "spiritual cure"?
**   If you get cancer, does the doctor tell you
**   to join the Pentecostals and speak in tongues?
**   If you get diabetes, is the fix to join the
**   Mormons and eat chocolate cakes?
**   So why, if you get "alcoholism", should you join
**   Alcoholics Anonymous and conduct seances to
**   hear the voice of God giving you work orders?

[Angie's answer about the A.A. success rate:]

Date: Mon, July 24, 2006 5:16 am
From: "Angie H."
Subject: RE: Twelve Step Groups

Like I said, I have much better things to do with my time.


Your life either sheds light or casts a shadow.

Date: Thu, July 20, 2006 12:47 pm
From: "James OC."

Interesting, what if someone kills your family while drunk driving... really, now if that person had the opportunity for help by attending AA meetings, and didn't take it because he felt he didn't need it, or like you say, he felt It didn't work, do you think he was just waiting for the time to come when he was going to outgrow it? Now we know that he killed your family in the meantime, so that is a direct result from his drinking, right? That can't be changed now.

I guess the point is that maybe had he gone to AA he wouldn't have been drinking on that day, or as you suggest, maybe he would have killed himself with booze. The end result still would be your family is alive.

So maybe AA is good after all, regardless of the outcome.

Thanks, God Bless.

Jim, grateful member of alcoholic's anonymous.

Hello Jim,

Thanks for the letter and the question. I like your line of reasoning. You just aren't taking it to its logical conclusion. When an A.A. member relapses and drives drunk and kills somebody in a drunk driving accident, the victim's family should sue Alcoholics Anonymous for failing to keep its Promises.

You are, of course, assuming that A.A. makes alcoholics stop drinking and get sober. A.A. doesn't — it has exactly the opposite effect. Alcoholics Anonymous actually causes:

All of those facts were revealed by careful medical tests. Check out those links.

And have a good day.

== 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: Fri, July 21, 2006 6:58 am
From: "Phoebe K."
Subject: who are you?

Dear A. Orange,

Who are you? What are your credentials that authorize you to publish your so-called "truth" about AA as a cult?

Hello Phoebe,

Here is the usual list of autobiographical information:

As a journalist, I was instructed early on th always consider the source, to verify the source. Our tongue in cheek motto is, "If your mother tells you she loves you, check it out."

I can tell by your phrase "so-called truth" in the previous paragraph that you don't like the facts that I present. As a journalist, isn't it your duty to find all of the facts, and then to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth? So why don't you present me with some facts?

How about doing some sincere and serious journalistic investigation of Alcoholics Anonymous, and then answering just this one simple question:

"Out of each 1000 newcomers to Alcoholics Anonymous, how many pick up a ten-year coin for sobriety?"

In other words, what is the real success rate of Alcoholics Anonymous?

And while you are investigating, you really should look closely at the valid medical studies of Alcoholics Anonymous, where 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.
  5. And a whole year of expensive A.A.-based treatment was no more effective than a doctor talking to the alcoholics for just one hour, telling them to quit drinking or they would die.

I just explored your Web site and must commend you for all the time and effort you must have put into it. Yet nowhere do you provide a link to learn more about the person who made it his or her mission to discredit the AA program as founded by a lunatic and to convince anyone who visits your site that the AA program is nothing but an ineffectual cult.

You have the links above.

And I am not on a "mission to discredit the AA program". Please do not assume things. I am most of all interested in telling the truth about alcoholism treatment and recovery, and getting ALL of the facts out in the light of day. I want to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

As a journalist, you should share that goal. Do you?

The Alcoholics Anonymous leadership doesn't. They keep their archives locked and sealed so that nobody, not even ABC or NBC News, can see the truth about Alcoholics Anonymous.

Are you an AA dropout?

Yes and no. It depends on what you consider a member. I never sold my soul to the cult. I never really considered myself a member, even though I went to a lot of meetings. I never did the 12 Steps, I never had a sponsor, and I don't believe in Bill Wilson or his Big Book. I got sober my own way. Read the introduction to the web site.

Maybe one of your parents was in AA and you had bad experiences under their care?

Maybe you are trying to pathologize the situation. Can't you imagine that people could have some other motives besides just reacting to bad experiences? Like that maybe somebody wants to save others from a lot of suffering in a bad organization?

As a journalist, do not assume that A.A. is a good organization before you have collected all of the facts.

I am pretty certain that you must have had some sort of negative experience related to Alcoholics Anonymous in order to devote "two years" of your time to build such a well-researched public case against the organization.

Read the links that I gave you. And think about this question,

"What is the best thing that I could do to help my brothers and sisters to really recover from drug and alcohol problems?
Send them to a cult religion that is a proven failure?
Or tell the truth about the whole thing, and explore other options?"

If you are a current member, I accept your anonymity as part of the traditions. But I really doubt it, because most AA members I know are not as angry as you present yourself to be in the pages of your site.

No, I am not a current member.

Nevertheless, I think your exhaustive Web site would be much more credible if you provided some sort of credentials or identifying information.

Phoebe K.
Chicago, USA

It just might be. I'll break my anonymity someday, when I feel like it.

But then again, remember that credentials are just credentials. They do not guarantee that the speaker is telling you the truth, or even that he is sane. Look at Prof. Dr. George E. Vaillant. He is a real doctor who spent 20 years shoving A.A.-based treatment on alcoholics. He is also a real Professor of Psychology at Harvard University. He has great credentials. But he is so twisted that he openly declares that A.A. is a cult religion with a zero-percent success rate in sobering up alcoholics, but he thinks that A.A. is such a wonderful cult that lots of people should get forced into it anyway — to get an "attitude change" by "confession of sins to a high-status healer". So what good are his credentials?

**  "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.

**  "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.

Also see this link where Vaillant says that people shouldn't quit drinking as much as they should get "socially rehabilitated" in Alcoholics Anonymous.

Oh, by the way, Prof. Vaillant is on the Board of Trustees of Alcoholics Anonymous Services, Inc.

And then, if you want more lying propagandists with credentials, you might check out Keith Humphreys and Rudolf Moos, who have been using Stanford University and the Veterans' Administration to manufacture a river of misinformation and faked studies to create the appearance that A.A. somehow works.

Have a good day.

== 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: Sat, July 22, 2006 6:05 pm
Subject: roman numerals


hey how have you been? im still sober almost 3 months. arent you proud of me?

Hi again, Bloozman,

Yes, congratulations. I am well, and I'm glad to hear that you are too.

I just writing about a small point. I've been reading your letters a lot. Its kinda like a fix to remind me of whats sane. I didn't go in and see that AA is a crazy cult right away and reject it like you did. I bought into it and became disillusioned. I think that makes it harder to recover when youve been in the program and believed in it. Maybe I'm susceptible to cult indoctrination or something or was. So im still recovering from recovery group disorder which is worse than alcoholism. So I read your site a lot to ground me but mostly the letters cuz I've already read most of the articles. Its funny it seems like the letters from steppers give me more security in my new beliefs than non believers. Non believers make a good case for not believing in AA but believers make a better case! Just look at how mean spirited and phony they are and the crazy way they think.

You got it. Every so often, I start wondering whether maybe I'm going off on a tangent; maybe I am exaggerating and over-doing it. And then I get hate mail from a raving nutcase and I realize that I was right all along — it really is a crazy cult. The A.A. true believers are just so demented that it is almost beyond belief.

Anyway about your roman numerals in your letters I think they are out of whack. 49 = XLIX, 59 = LIX, 60 = LX. I think the rule is the preceding number (the number being subtracted) has to be 1/5th or 1/10th of the number its being subtracted from. So 49 isnt IL its XLIX. Now you know way more about roman numbers than you wanted right. Hey do you think spotting roman numeral errors is a sign of acoholism? I would say about an 80% chance wouldn't you?

best wishes, Bloozman

Okay, I stand corrected. I'll fix that.

It reminds me of an old joke — a corollary to Murphy's Law: "The quickest way to find out that something is wrong is to post it to the Internet. Somebody will be correcting you in no time."

by the way this is the largest roman numeral possible if you ever get that many letters!

__________     _

Well, I'm good for a few more weeks....

But still, I can see why the Romans never produced any great mathematicians.

It reminds me of a show that was on PBS a few nights ago, "The Story of 1", which was a cute Terry Jones comedy about the history of numbers. It seems that trying to work out higher mathematics, like quadratic equations and square roots, in Roman numerals is a real bitch.

The show wasn't just about the number one. They covered all of the digits eventually, finishing up with zero, which got a lot of air play, perhaps more than it deserved, considering how little it actually counts for.

Oh well, have a good day anyway.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**  Programming today is a race between software engineers
**  striving to build bigger and better idiot-proof programs,
**  and the Universe trying to produce bigger and better
**  idiots.  So far, the Universe is winning.  == Rich Cook

Date: Sat, July 22, 2006 8:03 pm
From: Jerry
Subject: agent orange website


I found your website extremely informative and well researched. Of course AA is a cult, in every sense of the word. It is totally ineffective as a "treatment" or "cure" for alcoholism because alcoholism is not a disease but a behavior. The medical community should be ashamed of themselves for going along with the absurd "alcoholism as disease" model of human behavior, however destructive or stupid that behavior may be.

AA is a fundamentalist Christian cult which exists merely to convert people to their cult without regard to any harm it might do in this conversion. And it does this for monetary profit.

Alcoholism, however one may define this behavior, is beside the point. It would be a humorous situation if not for the damage intentionally inflicted upon very vulnerable people who deserve the truth about the people who profess to want to "help" them.

Thanks for trying your best to get this truth out.


Hi Jerry,

Thanks for all of the compliments. The only point that I question is the assumption that A.A. is a Christian cult. I don't think that it is. I think that A.A. is a Buchmanite cult — something that follows the teachings of Frank Buchman — because the theology of A.A. is grossly heretical and conflicts with Christianity in many major ways. See the file on The Heresy of the 12 Steps if you are interested in the theological problems with Steppism.

I agree with all of the rest of your statements, and I also wonder how any medical organization can keep a straight face while endorsing anything about Alcoholics Anonymous, no matter whether it is the disease model or the failure rate or the warped theology or the callous cultish behavior of some of the oldtimers.

Oh well, have a good day anyway.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**  The diagnosis of drunkenness was that it was a disease for which the
**  patient was in no way responsible, that it was created by existing
**  saloons, and non-existing bright hearths, smiling wives, pretty caps
**  and aprons. The cure was the patent nostrum of pledge-signing, a
**  lying-made-easy invention, which like calomel, seldom had any permanent
**  effect on the disease for which it was given, and never failed to produce
**  another and a worse. Here the care created an epidemic of forgery,
**  falsehood and perjury.
**  == Jane Grey Swisshelm (1815-1884), U.S. newspaperwoman, abolitionist,
**      and human rights activist. Half a Century, ch. 30 (1880).

Date: Sat, July 22, 2006 11:15 pm
From: "Mike A."
Subject: Tradition

Hello Orange,

I've talked to you before. I'm up to a year sober and an AA chairmen. I'm a moderate, not an AA pounder by any means. I go once a week usually.

My opinion is that AA would get a lot better if the traditions were adhered to. It seems to me that a great deal of problems originate from ignoring the 12 Traditions... to wit:

2) "our leaders... do not govern" -> Why then are there sponsors telling people what to do? If no one can "govern" then no one can be put in a position of command. Sponsorship was not part of the original AA. When and for what reason was it inserted in the dogma?

3) "The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking." Yet — it is common to hear the old timers talking about the requirement of working the 12 steps, having a sponsor, and reading the big book, or dire consequences. One rarely sees these types being censured. Glossing over the 3rd tradition is a particularly ugly aspect of AA. This is bait and switch. Lure the person in with this promise, and dump more requirements on later.

6) "AA ought never... lend the AA name to any... outside enterprise." This tradition comes closest to expressly making a mistake of AAs long connection to law enforcement. Law enforcement has NO BUSINESS sending person to AA. Law enforcement is AN OUTSIDE ENTERPRISE. Granted that the "AA name" is not affixed to law enforcement, but AA is a de facto part of law enforcement, making it in fact ONE AND THE SAME WITH LAW ENFORCEMENT. It is only with a clever sleight of hand that AA accepts court slips. (I sign them myself.) Also #11, "public relations is ... attraction not promotion." Well, I'd say demanding people attend AA is as close to "promotion" as possible.

8) "AA <is> forever nonprofessional..." and
9) "never organized". How is it then that people complain of getting suspect or plain bad advice from AA? What do people expect? These steps state in as plain a fashion as possible the grounds for unprofessional, roll-yer-own advice. Only a half-brain nitwit would place all his faith in this (dis)organization.

In summary, I think that if groups really adhered to the original traditions, things would improve.

Mike A

Hi Mike,

Thanks for the letter.

I agree that a lot of the Traditions are being violated by both A.A. leaders and oldtimers. Perhaps A.A. might be better if some of the Traditions were actually followed.

There is no doubt that the professional A.A. leaders in New York have totally trashed the Traditions. They have even sued A.A. members and gotten those members sentenced to a year in prison and fined large amounts of money, just to make more profits. (The A.A. members were committing the "crime" of carrying the message to poor alcoholics by printing and giving away translations of the out-of-copyright first edition of the Big Book.)

And the A.A. leaders had to lie in court and declare that they still had a valid copyright on the first edition of the Big Book in order to do it.

That isn't spiritual. And that sure is the guys at the top ruling with an iron fist.

Still, I have problems with some of the Traditions. Tradition One says that nobody can break "A.A. unity", whatever that is supposed to be. The only realistic meaning is that it is a demand that members conform to the group.

Step Twelve is the same thing — a demand that A.A.'s "principles" come before people's personalities (really, before the people themselves). Again, you must conform. The group is more important than you are.

My take on all 12 of the Traditions is here.

About the sponsorship — it actually came from the Oxford Group, and was a part of the A.A. system all along. Look here. It just wasn't written about in the first edition of the Big Book. (Perhaps because Bill was trying to hide all of the similarities between the Oxford Group and Alcoholics Anonymous.) Bill Wilson didn't start lavishly praising the sponsorship system until his second book, Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, which was written 13 years after the Big Book.

As in:

We had approached A.A. expecting to be taught self-confidence. Then we had been told that so far as alcohol is concerned, it was a total liability. Our sponsors declared that we were the victims of a mental obsession so subtly powerful that no amount of human willpower could break it.
Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, William G. Wilson, page 22.

("Our sponsors" may have declared that, but "our sponsors" were dead wrong.)

His sponsor probably says, "Take it easy."
      "That," agrees the sponsor, "is a very good question indeed. I think I can tell you how to relax."
      The sponsor continues, "Take, for example, my own case. I had a scientific schooling. Naturally I respected, venerated, even worshipped science."
Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, William G. Wilson, page 26.

(By the way, Bill's act about being a converted scientific atheist was a sham, a total fabrication that he made up just to impress the marks with his miraculous conversion.)

      At this stage of the inventory proceedings, our sponsors come to the rescue. They can do this, because they are the carriers of A.A.'s tested experience with Step Four.
      The sponsors of those who feel they need no inventory are confronted with quite another problem.
Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, William G. Wilson, page 46.

Our next problem will be to discover the person in whom we are to confide [the person to whom to make the 5th Step confession].   ...   This may turn out to be one's sponsor.
Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, William G. Wilson, page 109.

If you really want to see the full extent of Bill Wilson's madness, read "12x12".

Have a good day.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
** "Important principles may, and must, be inflexible."
** == Abraham Lincoln

[another letter from Mike A.:]

Date: Thu, July 27, 2006 5:49 pm
From: "Mike A."
Subject: Re: Tradition


I agree with you that tradition #1, "unity" could be used to coerce persons into conformity. Conformity brings the biggest rewards in a group environment of this sort — it's just that in my view the actual traditions are not being conformed to. Traditions #2 and #3 were designed to make it impossible for anyone to order someone else, and to restrict the requirements down as far as possible.

I think you are right in your basic premise that a lot of great people go to AA, but it is the brainwashed "true believers" who ruin it for everybody. The issue for me is if I can block out these types and still get something out of it. I basically agree with what you are saying, but I'm going to stick it out in the hopes of managing the situation. Moderates such as me would be well advised to memorize the traditions and call people out who say things like "you must work the steps." No I don't.

Mike A

Hi again Mike,

I wish you all the luck. Just watch out. There is a whole lot more stuff going on there than just true believers. All of the basic tenets of their philosophy are in error.

  • You are not powerless over alcohol.
  • Surrender to Higher Power is not the only way to save your life from Demon Rum.
  • You do not drink because you have unconfessed sins or secrets or resentments.
  • You cannot get miracles on demand just by praying for them.
  • God won't take care of your will and your life for you, just because you "turn it over".
  • Bill Wilson was not a saintly genius.
  • A.A. is not more effective than priests and ministers and doctors and psychiatrists.
  • In fact, A.A. is not successful at all.

Good luck, but stay aware. (Be aware, beware.)

And have a good day.

== Orange

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

Date: Sun, July 23, 2006 12:45 pm
From: "Mvega"
Subject: Heh Look at this!

Hi Orange! How are you doing? I'm pretty good and still sober:)

No meetings no booze or drugs...ah, it's a great life eh?

B.T.W. Thought you'd like to see this:)     [Now a dead link.]

[this also works: http://habitdoc.com/faqs/faq2.htm]

Hi again, Mvega,

Congratulations on your sobriety. It is a good life.

I'm doing great. I have such a good suntan that I might start having trouble passing for white, except that my hair is getting so sunbleached that it is actually turning blond. Not gray, really blond. That's a kick. I never expected that one.

That URL is a kick too. He really nails the 12-Step routine. Too bad he doesn't include a bibliography with that page. I'd like to read some of those studies.

Well, thanks for the tip, and have a good day.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     Anyone who is different today faces harassment, whether it is
**     in the way he dresses, or in the position he takes on important
**     issues. And when the price of being different is a cold fear,
**     with good reason, then freedom as we peddle it in our international
**     publicity releases is gone. If and when it disappears, it won't
**     be stolen by big government, the tax collector, or the Supreme
**     Court. Fascism will be the people's choice. It usually is. We've
**     managed to avoid it so far only because nobody nutty enough to
**     give the people what they want has come along.  Yet.
**       == Mike Royko, For the Love of Mike: The Best of Mike Royko
**       (reprint of column "Fascism Isn't Accidental" dated May 28, 1968)

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