Letters, We Get Mail, LXVII

Date: Sat, August 26, 2006 5:15 am
From: E.I.
Subject: the truth sets us free

I admire your courage, research and coherant presentation of facts.

I endured much mythology in treatment centers and "the rooms", never to see a year of abstinence. I am now 5 years abstinent, thanks to the publication of alternate viewpoints and debunking of myths.

Keep up the good work.

Hi E.I.,

Thanks for the compliments, and congratulations on your sobriety. It's good to hear that you have escaped from the madhouse and are really recovering.

And have a good day.

== Orange

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

Date: Sat, August 26, 2006 4:16 pm
From: "Roxy"
Subject: alanon

I have read a lot at your site referred by an alcoholic friend who's sober without AA but had a long time there. I am trying to find more there about alanon. Are there certain links you can refer me to?

Hello Ellie,

Thanks for the letter. Yes, I have some good links there. Most of the file on 12-Step Snake Oil is applicable, especially this section. And definitely see the vicious Al-Anon put-downs of wives.

I read a lot about AA that doesn't seem to apply at alanon but maybe I have not been going long enough to know. I do not have an alcoholic romantic relationship but go because of drug addict friends I've chosen not to associate with because I refuse to be treated disrespectfully or even to have to listen to slurred stoned voices. I don't wish to spend my time that way or to hear promises and excuses. But I feel guilty sometimes and at alanon I get the feeling I don't have to feel guilty, I can look after me. I have other issues where alanon in particular is helpful.

Watch out. In the end, Al-Anon does treat women disrespectfully. Their literature is appalling. Telling you that you are selfish and silly and dishonest and sick and a domineering bitch is not respect. Telling you that you need to confess all of your sins because you are so bad is not respect.

And really, why do you have to go to a meeting just because you decided that you don't want to hang out with stoned people?

I don't associate with drunks any more either. I just don't feel like it. It is too painful because I used to be a drunk. Too many associations, too many memories, and having to think that I actually used to look and act like that.

And the smell of boozy breath turns my stomach. I have some really strong old feelings there.

Still, I don't go to any meetings over it. I do not feel even slightly guilty for having decided to take care of myself and not associate with people whose lives are on a totally different wavelength, and whose goals are very different from mine.

By the same token, I also don't associate with child molesters, serial killers, or corrupt politicians, and I don't go to any meetings over that, either.

And I choose alanon too because I want a spiritual support group that is face to face. I don't want an online group of any kind because I don't have my own computer and when I use my friend's I have limited time and other things to do. I'm not interested in that anyway, I tried it once for something and I didn't feel any support or help done online.

Honestly, what do you need "support" for?

It is again also important to me the group be supportive which alanon is. I tried a therapist run support group and found nothing in common with the women half of whom were borderline retarded. And I want a spiritual support group but I do not like religion or believe in church.

Support group or social club? What is it that you really seek?

I read in letters the list of religion and spiritual words and some of those spiritual terms are air head ideas about spirtuality and some of the religion words redone would fit, spirituality incorporates certain things to follow, ways to live such as similar to the 10 commandments but not exactly. Like to give to others and be kind and honest and to not wish others didn't have what they do so you could have it instead. And I really believe you have to give up of yourself and some TIME to be spiritual not tell someone if you need me let me know and they let you know and you say "I'll pray for you." Spirituality is an action not just a feeling or the creation around you but what you do and how you treat other people and help out others.

Your response would be appreciated.

Hi Roxy,

That is really a tough puzzle you present. "Spiritual, not religious"? That might be an oxymoron, you know.

Now if you were to ask for something like, "Spiritual, but not dogmatic, fundamentalist, or Bible-beating", then that would be easier to find.

I can't really recommend one church over another. But one thing you might want to check out is the Sufis. I think there must still be some of them around. They were about the most ecumenical people (least discriminating and dogmatic) that I ran into. In their services, you would do all of the religions. That is, every few minutes, you would switch religions. Do something out of Christianity, then something out of Judaism, then Buddhism, then Islam, and so on. They had the symbols of all of the well-known religions on their walls.

Just something to check out anyway.

Likewise, since you seem to be seeking some kind of spirituality, you might actually like checking out the social auxiliaries of various local churches, especially the Unitarians. Not all churches are "churchy" or dogmatic. Some are actually surprisingly, refreshingly, enlightened and realistic.

You might enjoy their company.

Oh well, that's just my two cents worth. Have a good day.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**   "The best cure for drunkenness is whilst sober,
**   to observe a drunken person"
**     ==  Chinese Proverb

Date: Sat, August 26, 2006 10:41 pm
From: "regina k."
Subject: hello

hi orange,

i adore your website, and am happy to see there are more and more letters in support of your work — you are providing a great service, especially for those (like myself) who question aa.

i've been sober almost (20) years — and rarely go to meetings anymore. your website has really helped me to become more aware of (i'm not sure if i can articulate this) — how thoroughly the idea "of myself i am nothing, the father doeth the works" permeated my consciousness (let me clarify that i am not, and never have been a person who believes in god) — i'm trying to explain that, in my experience, the underlying current of aa (where one can't take credit for anything one accomplishes — especially longterm sobriety, w/o some idiot giving you a 'pride goeth before a fall' vibe) — is so damned negative, and the concept of "powerlessness" so incredibly pervasive that it's a wonder anyone can function or accomplish anything in life — outside of simply staying sober.

i ran into an old sponsee of mine recently (albeit one of my favorites) — and she told me "i don't really go to meetings anymore" — i told her i didn't either, and the next thing out of her mouth was:
(told you she was one of my favorites!)
i told her about your website... we both agree that aa is no supporter of self-actualization.

i wrote to women for sobriety(?), per your website's recommendation, and their literature seems completely supportive of a woman growing into herself and becoming the best *individual* she can be. it doesn't sound exactly for me, but i totally agree with where they're coming from, and it is *not* where aa is coming from.

i hope, that in years to come, that aa will disband — i am so sick of listening to people in meetings impose their fear, dogma, superstition and avarice on everyone else — and it's through your efforts of "carrying the message" that people who have bad experiences in aa can recognize themselves and their own experiences in your letters and find themselves (finally!) feeling justified and not so alone.

it's not just the "my sponsor screwed my girlfriend" or the far-more shattering, seriously perverted stories that (i've heard and you've experienced) that render aa a mess. it's the subtle (or not) message that one will never be able to do anything unless "god" decides one can.

love! r

Hi Regina,

Thanks for the letter and the compliments.

Your last line especially hits home — "one will never be able to do anything unless "god" decides one can."

That is just so destructive and self-defeating. I get so many letters from confused people who actually believe — who have been fooled into believing — that they cannot just quit drinking or doping — that they must have something or somebody else making it happen.

And of course when that invisible "Higher Power" doesn't make them quit, they relapse.

I can't count how many people have been hurt by that nonsense, but I know it's a lot of them.

Oh well, have a good day anyway.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
*  If you have to pray for some "Higher Power" or "God" to save you
*  from alcoholism, why is that called a "Self-Help Movement"?

Date: Sun, August 27, 2006 4:33 am
From: "Cora F."
Subject: Rowland Hazard

Dear Agent,

I just noticed a fragment of an email I sent you years ago (I was using a different name then) on my favorite topic, Rowland Hazard. I'm afraid I overstated the case little. When researchers ruled out the possiblity that RH was a patient of Jung in 1931 or within a few years of that time, and there was no evidence of an analysis at any other time, I took it as reasonably good evidence that the story was either about someone else or made up.

It isn't quite that simple. RH was Jung's patient in May and June of 1926. But he could not have returned immediately afterward, and although he did relapse it was some time later. I wrote all my findings up and put them on a web site, http://www.stellarfire.org, but at the time I suspected that the germ of the story about a return visit was a trip made in 1928.

I've since found that RH did not in fact return to Zurich in 1928. I can't find any time when he could have seen Jung again prior to the possible visit in 1931. Sometime, I will revise my web site to reflect this. Something else could always turn up, of course, to change it again. But at least the basic timeline is on the site.

It still seems to me that the "message" attributed to Jung was primarily derived from Oxford Group influences, rather than Jung himself. RH had active OG members in his family who were trying to persuade him to be "changed." However, the connection with Jung is not as imaginary as I once thought.


Hi Cora,

Thanks for the history update. It's good to hear from you again. I'll tweak a few lines of my own history here and there. The changes are really minor though.

(Various items here, here, and here.)

I have to agree especially with the line, "the 'message' attributed to Jung was primarily derived from Oxford Group influences, rather than Jung himself."

In fact, Jung's influence on A.A. was so minimal as to be nonexistent. It still looks like Bill Wilson was basically just dropping names when he declared that Carl Jung was one of the philosophical fathers of Alcoholics Anonymous.

The fact still remains that Bill Wilson's favorite "quote from Jung" actually came from William James. Bill Wilson liked to opine that "the only radical remedy ... for dipsomania is religiomania." Meaning: the only cure for alcoholism is religious fanaticism — religious mania. And Bill claimed that the saying came from Carl Jung.

But William James wrote in footnote 1 on page 263 of The Varieties of Religious Experience:
'"The only radical remedy I know for dipsomania is religiomania," is a saying I have heard quoted from some medical man.' (William James published Varieties in 1902, but he didn't meet Carl Jung until 1909, so it is unlikely that James got that line from Jung.)

Bill Wilson said many times that either Rowland Hazard or Ebbie Thacher brought him The Varieties of Religious Experience to read while he was detoxing in Towns' Hospital in December of 1934, and that he managed to read it even though it was tough going. (See page 124 of PASS IT ON for a fawning glorified account of Bill reading Varieties, which says that Bill's "powers of reasoning helped him extract some important ideas from the weighty and intricate text." Not bad for a guy who was also hallucinating his brains out on belladonna, henbane, morphine and more...)

So that's where Bill Wilson got it. Jung didn't write it.

Bill Wilson also got from Varieties the idea of people having dramatic religious experiences that made them suddenly quit drinking for the rest of their lives.

And Bill also copied from Varieties the idea of including a bunch of autobiographical stories of people's religious experiences that made them quit drinking — the whole section of Varieties from pages 198 through 263 is such autobiographical stories, just like the back two thirds of the Big Book is.

So what did Carl Jung contribute to A.A.? Apparently nothing.

Oh well, have a good day anyway.

== Orange

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

The Jung debate continues here: https://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters245.html#Rajiv_B

Date: Sun, August 27, 2006 6:17 am
From: "kiki s."
Subject: a.a.

interesting article on a.a..

have you tried exposing this? like an important newspaper ? people need to know.

judges, therapists, clinics etc... are sending people there.

in case you didn't know, throughout his life, bill wilson was never sober for more than a year. when he died, he had less than a year's sobriety.
it is a subject that is forbidden in a.a.

Hello Kiki,

Thanks for the letter.

Unfortunately, "the system" out there is very resistant to hearing the truth about Alcoholics Anonymous, for a variety of reasons that range from moral cowardice to institutional inertia. Some channels of information just don't want to be bothered; others are convinced that A.A. really is a good thing that has helped millions; others are reluctant to get into a war with A.A. members; others don't want to get into anything "controversial"; other media channels are actually managed by A.A. members or "fellow travelers" (Bill Wilson's wording) and they aren't about to tell the truth.

And of course the treatment centers stand to lose $6 billion if their 12-Step treatment is exposed as quackery and cult religion nonsense, so they aren't eager to say anything bad about Alcoholics Anonymous.

As it is, a bunch of different people, including me, are working on getting the truth out.

About Bill Wilson relapsing a lot: I can believe it, but have no documentation or supporting evidence for that. I would love to get some. Do you have anything?

The best I got was one guy who has been in and out of A.A. for the last 35 years. When I questioned him about the founders, he said that he didn't know a lot about them, and that the groups that he had been in did not pay a lot of attention to them. He said, "Heck, one of them was relapsing all of the time."

I told him about Bill Wilson's LSD use, and he said, "See? There you go."

But to me those are not the same thing. I don't consider LSD use relapse for an alcoholic — drinking alcohol is. Now I am not advocating or recommending LSD use — it's just that LSD does not trigger alcoholic binge drinking like even just a little alcohol does. And LSD will not re-addict an alcoholic like how ethanol will. There is a very big difference between the two.

So all I have is rumors that Bill Wilson didn't stay sober, which isn't enough to go on. And we have Susan Cheever's revelation that on his deathbed, Bill Wilson was screaming for a drink of whiskey. But that doesn't prove that he was drinking continuously through his period of supposed sobriety.

Still, it makes me wonder about that cryptic line that ended the Hazelden Foundation's "autobiography" of Bill Wilson:

There will be future historical revelations about Bill's character and behavior in recovery that will be interpreted, by some, as direct attacks on the very foundation of AA.
Bill W., My First 40 Years, "William G. Wilson" (posthumously ghost-written by Hazelden staff), Hazelden, page 170.

So is the "Big Secret" that they are keeping hidden in the locked and sealed historical archives information about Bill Wilson's drinking and relapsing?

That would be a big enough bombshell. I can see why they would want to keep that hidden.

Oh well, have a good day, and thanks again for the letter.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**  Anthropology 101:
**  Many of the primitive natives in the concrete jungle
**  practice a strange kind of ritual self-mutilation where
**  they scrape their heads with sharp steel blades and cut
**  off much of their hair, usually from the facial area,
**  and occasionally from their entire heads.
**  They seem to think, in their warped value system,
**  that by showing obedience and loyalty to their Massuh
**  with routine self-depilation, that they will somehow
**  become more moral, Christian, and dependable.

[another letter from Kiki:]

Date: Sun, October 1, 2006 6:05 am
From: "kiki s."
Subject: Re: a.a.

thanks so much for replying, really.

i do not remember how i knew about bill wilson's sobriety, but when i asked some a.a. members about how many years bill.w. had sober, no one seemed to know. charles bufe wrote a book called "a.a. cult or cure", i think he mentions it. stanton peele also has information on bill wilson and dr. bob. to do research on the real bill wilson will not be easy. many consider him a saint, a legend.

i do remember when i asked a dedicated blue book thumping member, she said the rumor could be possibly true, but it was better not to talk about it because bill wilson was considered an example to new members..

the only research i've done is with the internet. i wanted to know more about a.a. and it's origins. it was fascinating in an angering way but was a serious taboo subject with a.a.

oh well

still thanks for writing that article. wish someone could expose it to the media.

kiki s.

Hi again, Kiki,

Thanks for the answer. We'll just have to keep asking and investigating.

Have a good day.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**  "To sin by silence when they should protest makes cowards of men."
**    ==  Abraham Lincoln

Date: Sun, August 27, 2006 10:58 pm
From: "Tracey"
Subject: Thanks!

Dear A. Orange,

Thank you so much for taking the time and making the effort to write such logical critiques of the 12-step cult and its pervasiveness in society. Your analyses are extremely thorough and well referenced, providing me with a large repertoire of ammunition to combat the insidious 12-step-pushers in my locale.

I went to NA and AA for about 8 years pretty frequently, mainly because I wanted to associate with people who were abstaining. I now have over 11 years of abstinence from alcohol and other drugs (only 4.5 years off tobacco, though).

Though the 12-steppers would like to take credit for the fact that I'm still off drugs (when they're not busy spreading rumors that I'm using because I don't go to meetings anymore), I know that my abstinence is in direct relation to the extent to which I resisted their brainwashing.

Along with the shaming-patriarchial-higher-power-concept pushing, the garbage about acceptance being the answer-all was particularly offensive. Though I did buy into much of the 12-step dogma that I can now see is nonsense, I did remain largely true to myself and retained my willingness and ability to resist injustice.

Again, thank you for your hard work; you do a great service to humanity!


Hi Tracey,

Thank you for the letter and all of the compliments. And congratulations on getting off of both drugs and tobacco. That's really good. Breathing is a lot easier and less painful, isn't it?

Have a good day now.

== 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: Sun, August 27, 2006 11:26 pm
From: "Matthew J."
Subject: On the subject of AA

Please attend AA meeting, and get a good idea of what it's really trying to do before you write a multiple page "essay" on why it's a cult. Many of the things you said are false.

Hello Matthew,

Please read the introduction to the web site and get a good idea of the fact that I have been to A LOT of A.A. meetings. And N.A. meetings too.
Thank you.

For quick examples,

  • 1. I've heard many people criticize what they've heard. Nobody makes personal attacks against them.

    Standard Rule for Meetings: No Cross-Talk. Unless it's an old-timer criticizing someone newer for improper dogma and saying the wrong things.

    The guru can be wrong, the twelve traditions themselves say we have no authority with the only exception being god as he may express himself.

    I have never, ever, heard someone say in a meeting that Bill Wilson was really wrong, and that what he wrote in the Big Book is wrong.

    And who gets the power to decide what God is saying?
    Who says that God is expressing anything in the A.A. meeting?
    How do you know it isn't just some crazy oldtimers spouting cult slogans?

  • 2 — the program wouldn't work if everyone was always wrong.

    Correct. That's why the A.A. program does not work.

    Our opinions definately matter. It's more trying to express the point that you CANNOT fully control ANY situation that life hands you, and that's where most alchoholics will realize they have no control and therefore go back to drinking.

    That is baloney. That is just the standard "you are powerless over alcohol" cult dogma. That is not true.

  • 3. "If anybody can turn around and drink like a gentleman, our hats our off to you." Just plain false, they encourage people to do research until they can fully admit to themselves they are an alchoholic, or realize that they aren't. It happens both ways.

    That is just the standard A.A. dodge to avoid seeing that alcoholics can recover without Alcoholics Anonymous.

  • 4. There are no graduates because you can never be cured of alchohlism. "Maybe someday science will create something to relieve us of our alchoholism, but it hasn't done so yet." There is no pill you can take that will cure you of alchoholism.

    Alcoholism is not a disease, so how could there be a cure?
    Alcoholism is behavior. The fix is to change your behavior.
    There is no need to spend years in meetings.

    As for people taking medical drugs, I've NEVER once heard someone telling them to stop. It's obviously not mind altering, so let them use it. If it stabilizes their mood, good. Example: Multiple people in the program have gone through surgery and take vicodin, or other POTENTIALLY mind altering drugs, but as long as they don't over-do it with the sole intent of getting fucked up, they haven't relapsed.

    Well I have heard it. And so have plenty of other people. Your failure to hear is not evidence that it doesn't happen.

    Like Carl Sagan said, "Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence."

  • 5 — It's a spiritual program, what do you expect?

    If it's really so spiritual, then why don't they tell the truth? — Especially about the A.A. failure rate?

    Someone who's not going to meetings is eventually going to put themselves into a bad situation and end up drunk. Meetings are a great way of spending time without being around those who are drinking a lot.

    Baloney. That is more cult dogma. More alcoholics recover outside of A.A. than inside it.

    You don't have to hide from the world in an A.A. meeting room to avoid alcohol.

    "One day you will realize that you are not god, and I am, and you will be happy." — The fricking bible.

    That is just more cult religion jabber. Alcoholics do not usually go around declaring that they are God, except for the nutcases in A.A. who say that they used to think they were God.

  • 6 —
    In Step Two you *come to believe* that you are insane, and that only some undefined "Power greater than yourself" can fix you — "restore you to sanity."
    — No, it's either you're insane or you're an alchoholic, which can easily drive you to insanity.

    No, you don't get to redefine things to suit yourself, and play word games to twist things around. That is not what Step Two says.

    As for an unmanageable life, it's true. Life is unmanagable for virtually every alchoholic. The reason they say follow what it says in the big book, is because people who try it their own way often fail. If they do manage to stay sober without the program, they might not be alchoholics. All the power to them.

    That is just more standard A.A. word games — The Real Scotsman logical fallacy and propaganda trick.

    When people recover without A.A., just declare that they weren't "real alcoholics", and then continue to chant that "real alcoholics cannot recover without Alcoholics Anonymous". Actually, they can and they do, every day.

  • 7- Irrationality is a relative term. What's rational to you may not be to someone else. Your entitled to your opinion, but it is just that — your opinion.

    And that is another dodge. It's the propaganda and debating trick called "Escape Via Relativism" When faced with real facts that you don't like, just do a side-stepping tap dance and declare that everybody has their own opinion, and it's just one opinion versus another...

    That is not true. There are real solid facts involved here, like the fact that A.A. fails to sober up alcoholics. It is just a lying cult religion.

    And there is the A.A. death rate. Whether somebody is dead isn't just a matter of your opinion versus my opinion.

  • 8 — An open mind in no way means guillible. An open mind is the key to any intelligence. You can't tell me einstein didn't have an open mind when he discovered E=mc^2, or that it didn't take an open mind to come to terms with the world not being flat, or us not being the center of the universe, or ANY major revolution in popular thinking which has only lead society to a better understanding of the universe we live in. You can't say that theoretical physicists today don't have an open mind to even CONSIDER having 11 dimensions (which is required for the most popular theory of everything today, and quite possibley could combine quantum physics, and real-world physics as we know it). Having an open mind means simply that, being open to suggestions. This is the only one of your arguments in which i will even respond this much, simply because it's rediculous.

    An open mind means that you are willing to see all of the facts as they really are, and honestly state what the truth is. A.A. does not do that.

    The "open-minded" A.A. member is supposed to believe quite a large number of illogical or highly unlikely things:

    • — That the Twelve Steps actually work to make people quit drinking.
      — They do, no contest there.

      The Twelve Steps actually do not work at all. No contest there. Even a leader of Alcoholics Anonymous, Prof. Dr. George E. Vaillant, who is a member of the Board of Trustees of Alcoholics Anonymous Services, Inc., and one of the most enthusiastic A.A. promoters, found that A.A. was useless and just raised the death rate of alcoholics. He spent nearly 20 years treating alcoholics with A.A,, and 8 years doing a test of A.A., trying to prove that A.A. worked. In the end, he reported:

      After initial discharge, only five patients in the Clinic [A.A.] sample never relapsed to alcoholic drinking, and there is compelling evidence that the results of our treatment were no better than the natural history of the disease.
      Not only had we failed to alter the natural history of alcoholism, but our death rate of three percent a year was appalling.

      Vaillant said quite clearly that A.A. produced a zero-percent success rate in sobering up alcoholics. The A.A. sobriety rate was identical to the sobriety rate of alcoholics who got no A.A. or help at all. A.A. made no improvement there. But the A.A. death rate was the highest of any kind of treatment program that he studied. Nothing was better at killing alcoholics than was Alcoholics Anonymous.

      And one of the leaders and biggest promoters of Alcoholics Anonymous said that.

    • That the strange practices embodied in the 12 Steps are not heretical, and will actually please God (in spite of the obvious conflicts with the religious teachings found in the Bible).

      — WRONG, the 12 steps will help you gain a better conscious contact with god, along with relieving you of the resentments and mental problems which often drive alchoholics back to alchohol.

      Prove it. Show me some evidence that you actually contact God during your séances. If A.A. members really contacted God, God would have told them to start telling the truth, just for a change.

      And show me any valid study that shows that the A.A. program really relieves people of "resentments and mental problems". Where are you getting that garbage?

      And you are dodging every point in that file on The Heresy of the 12 Steps, and not looking at any of the actual items of heresy that I listed.

      How about the heresy that you can worship a Golden Calf, a bedpan, a doorknob, or a motorcycle as your God?

    • That A.A. members will get miracles on demand from God (in spite of the billions of sick and starving people in this world who are obviously not getting miracles on demand).

      — No, they will get miracles but not on demand, by any means.

      Not on demand? The Twelve Steps are a list of demands on God:

      • 1. God: Control our alcohol consumption and manage our unmanageable lives.
      • 2. God: Restore us to sanity.
      • 3. God: Take care of our wills and our lives for us.
      • 5. God: Listen to our confessions.
      • 7. God: Remove all of our defects.
      • 11. God: Talk to us in a séance and give us secret orders and the power to carry them out.
      • 12. God: Give us a spiritual experience, or a "spiritual awakening".

      And Bill Wilson didn't even say "Please" as he demanded that God do those things for him.

    • That God will "restore people to sanity" for no particular reason, but only after they have joined Alcoholics Anonymous, not before.

      — Or perhaps because they spend the time to seek him, and develope themselves spiritually. Besides, what about Co-dependants anon. they claim the same thing, AA is not involved in this. It's the 12 steps which help people, and the development of the spiritual self that comes from working the steps.

      The Twelve Steps are just a rehash of Dr. Frank Buchman's fascist cult religion. They don't help anybody. They certainly do not restore people to sanity. The 12 Steps are just the worst kind of snake oil.

    • God doesn't have anything better to do with His time than attend A.A. meetings and make people quit drinking.

      — How is god restricted by time? God is everywhere and in everything, how would TIME be involved in this in any way? This one is irrelevant.

      You are ignoring that fact that God has better taste than to hang out at A.A. meetings.

    • That alcoholism is not actually caused by drinking alcohol — that it is really caused by unconfessed sins and secrets.

      — Wrong again, it's caused by a spiritual malady, resentments that we won't let go of, and to some degree the unconfessed sins (but only because they drive you insane in your head until you release them).

      Again, there is no such thing as a "spiritual malady" that causes "alcoholism, the spiritual disease". That is crazy cult dogma.

      And yes, the 12-Step dogma says that unconfessed sins is the problem. Look here.

      And Bill Wilson used the fear-mongering propaganda trick to declare that if we skipped the confession, we might not overcome drinking. "If we skip this vital step, we may not overcome drinking." (Big Book page 72.)

      And that crazy dogma came straight from the Oxford Group, just like all of the rest of the A.A. theology did.

      Now Bill Wilson also raved about resentments, and said that they caused all forms of "spiritual disease". But then Bill Wilson raved about a lot of things. He had a huge long list of "causes of alcoholism". Look here.

      'Resentment is the "number one" offender. It destroys more alcoholics than anything else. From it stem all forms of spiritual disease...'
      The Big Book, 3rd & 4th Editions, William G. Wilson, Chapter 5, How It Works, page 64.

      Unfortunately, that is the only time that Bill Wilson ever mentioned "spiritual diseases". He did not bother to explain what they were, or say anything more about them. That whole "spiritual disease" thing is just hocus-pocus nonsense, the ravings of a certified lunatic.

    • That confessing their sins to another A.A. member will make people quit drinking alcohol.

      — Wrong again, but it will relieve you of the guilt or pressure you feel — which often drives people back to a drink.

      Nonsense. The Twelve-Step guilt-induction routine makes people feel worse. It's part of the brainwashing program. It even occasionally drives people to suicide.

    • That a lot of grovelling confession sessions will make people "spiritual" and change them into something greater.

      — Where does it say that?

      You just said it, for starters. Elsewhere in this letter you have declared that spending time in the A.A., "working the program", produces "spiritual development". The Big Confession is a big part of the 12-Step program. Surely you didn't skip that "vital step", now did you?

      And that crazy idea is found throughout the A.A. literature. Bill Wilson constantly equated A.A. activities and "working the Steps" with "spiritual progress".

      1. "The path of spiritual progress" means doing Alcoholics Anonymous activities.
        (A.A. Big Book, 3rd & 4th Editions, William G. Wilson, Chapter 7, Working With Others, page 100.)

      2. "Willing to clean house" really means "willing to confess all of your sins, 'defects of character', and 'moral shortcomings' to someone else."
        (Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, William G. Wilson, page 63.)

      3. A "drastic housecleaning which requires discussion with other people" means "a guilt-inducing confession session where you confess all of your sins to some Alcoholics Anonymous members."
        (A.A. Big Book, 3rd & 4th Editions, William G. Wilson, Chapter 7, Working With Others, page 94.)

    • That "nobody can do it alone."

      — It's true. What can you do alone? You can't make a society. You couldn't even put this paper on the internet alone. The internet wouldn't exist if it were only you.

      You are playing word games and trying to pull another switcheroo. I quit drinking alone, on my own, without A.A., and so do a lot of other people. And then I also quit smoking the same way too.

    • That it is okay to deceive newcomers in order to help them.
      — Where does it say that?

      In the Big Book, chapter 7, Bill Wilson's recruiting manual.

      And here is Bill Wilson bragging about how he hid the Oxford Group cult religion part of the A.A. program from the newcomers, and only slowly told them the truth, later:

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

      "Don't tell the newcomers too much, too soon" is still the standard A.A. recruiting practice.

    • That God just can't wait to hear people confessing, and that the confessions will please God so much that he will do big favors for A.A. members in return, like making them quit drinking, and "restore them to sanity".

      -Where does it say pleasing god? Please inform me, for I must have missed it. I've already gone over this one.

      If God doesn't like to hear your confessions, then why would He suddenly start performing miracles for you? He never did before.

      Of course the implication is there, that God loves a good grovelling brown-noser, and God won't do anything for you until you confess everything.

      And Bill Wilson said as much. "If we skip this vital step, we may not overcome drinking." (Big Book page 72.) Remember?

      You do the big confession in Step 5, and then God supposedly removes all of your defects in Step 7.

    • That God will take care of A.A. members, and take care of their wills and their lives for them, and take away all of their difficulties and solve all of their problems, for no particular reason other than that the alcoholics joined Bill Wilson's organization and confessed their sins.

      — Wrong again, everybody has problems, this is just dealing with life on lifes terms and realizing that in the end everything is gonna be alright (something which a lot of alchoholics have a hard time seeing).

      That is just another cult slogan — "dealing with life on life's terms". That is nonsense. What other terms are there? Napoleon's terms? Ghengis Khan's?

      And again, you are pulling a switcheroo and dodging the point. Why would God want to take care of your will and your life for you? Nowhere in the Bible does it say that God will become your butler and take care of you if you become a grovelling brown-noser who has "surrendered to God". That bit of religious dogma comes from Frank Buchman's crazy Oxford Group cult, not from Christianity or any other great religion of the world.

    • That after A.A. members have "Worked The Steps" for a while, all kinds of wondrous things are just supposed to materialize in the lives of A.A. members — "the Promises" will come true.

      — And they often do, mostly because they have abstained from alchohol and worked on personal improvement.

      You just pulled a switcheroo there. That's another deceptive sleight-of-hand trick. You are full of them.

      Bill Wilson wrote in the Big Book that your life would improve and you would get The Promises because you had done his Steps 1 through 9.
      You just changed that to your life improving because you quit drinking alcohol.
      Those are two entirely different things.

    • That A.A. members will get a "spiritual experience" from doing Bill's 12 steps (rather than from taking hallucinogenic drugs, which is how Bill got his).

      — Bill was sick, he was an alchoholic. He had problems just like most of the rest of us did. As for the spiritual experience, it doesn't have to be a burning bush — they come in many shapes and forms.

      You are dodging the point. Obviously, A.A. members do not get Bill Wilson's "spiritual experience" without also taking drugs.

      And remember that in the 1950s, Bill Wilson took LSD for a couple of years and loved it and gave it to everyone around him who would take it. Bill declared that it gave him the same good old religious feelings that he got from detoxing and belladonna in Towns' Hospital in 1934.

    • That many years of "Working The Steps" makes people healthy, holy, and wise.

      — or perhaps it grants them the time to grow, which is something that alchohol naturally represses.

      No, "working the Steps" does not "grant people time". You are assuming facts not in evidence and pulling another switcheroo. It is abstaining from drinking alcohol that gives people more time to live, not "working the Steps".

    • That people really should discard their logical thinking minds and "just believe" and just "have faith".

      — No, keep thinking, but take note of when you're thinking becomse irrational, and do whatever it takes to get out of yourself, and your irrational thinking. Believe, and have faith, that everything will be alright.

      Bill Wilson very explicitly declared that we must abandon Reason and logic and just "have faith" (in his Buchmanite cult religion). See the file on A.A. and Religious Faith. Bill Wilson's sermon is undeniably clear on that point.

    • That the A.A. founder Bill Wilson was a wise holy man, rather than a compulsive liar and a raving lunatic.

      — He was an alchohlic, as for a compulsive liar, I don't see that. A raving lunatic, probably... most of us are.

      Okay, you said it. That's why A.A. members are not qualified to be teachers of either sobriety or religion. They are raving lunatics.

      And yes, Bill Wilson was a compulsive liar. Read the file on The Funny Spirituality of Bill Wilson and A.A..

  • 9 — Not true, they say "if you can turn around and drink like a gentleman, our hats are off to you". Nowhere do they say, don't go to church. A lot of people in AA still go to church, but NOT to get sober. They're right in that respect, it won't keep you sober. Church doesn't have the fellowship required, nor does it have the stories and hardships required to keep an alchohlic sober.

    Neither does A.A. — they have a zero percent success rate above normal spontaneous remission, remember?

    And where do you get that arrogant condemnation of other religions?
    Not as good at sobering up alcoholics, huh?
    But A.A. has a zero percent cure rate above normal spontaneous remission, so the other churches can hardly do worse than Alcoholics Anonymous. And they will probably teach less goofy religion and heresy.

    Your statements there reveal the two-faced attitude that A.A. has towards other religions:

    1. First, A.A. says that there is no friction or conflict with other religions.
    2. Then A.A. says that the other churches and religions are inferior to Alcoholics Anonymous.

    It's another bait-and-switch trick. A.A. pulls so many of them.

  • "instead of the twisted black and white " — I guess your black and white argument is out the door. AA works, that's for sure.

    No, A.A. doesn't work. That's for sure.

    If you think that A.A. works, then please answer just this one question:

    Out of each 1000 newcomers to A.A., how many of them will pick up a ten-year coin for sobriety?
    How about the 11-year coin? What percentage of the newcomers go on to get an 11-year coin?
    How many success stories are there really, out of each 1000 newcomers to A.A.?

    I know because I see people in the rooms with 10, 20, 30 years of sobriety.

    How many of them do you see per 1000 newcomers?
    The fact that you have a few token old-timers is meaningless. What is the actual A.A. success rate in sobering up alcoholics?

    How many 10-year success stories do you get out of each 1000 newcomers?
    How many 20-year success stories do you get out of each 1000 newcomers?
    How many 30-year success stories do you get out of each 1000 newcomers?

    Not very many, right?

    And the answers are:
    11 or 12 ten-year winners per 1000 newcomers.
    7 1/2 (seven and a half) eleven-year winners per 1000 newcomers.
    1 1/2 (one and a half) twenty-year winners per 1000 newcomers.
    1/6 (yes, one-sixth) of a 30-year winner per 1000 newcomers.

    That is what you call a complete failure. Alcoholics Anonymous does not sober up the alcoholics.

    Sure, people go back out, so what. Alchoholism isn't a normal disease. It's not a common cold, or a flu. It's a spiritual malady and a physical allergy.

    There is no such thing as a "spiritual malady" or a "spiritual disease". That is the cult dogma talking.

  • Who are you to say that this program doesn't work?

    I am somebody who is realistically looking at the facts and telling the truth. You should try it sometime.

    Life has a 0% survival rate. You WILL die, who's to say you can't do it sober.

    That is an irrelevant statement — yet another dishonest switcheroo. That has nothing to do with the fact that A.A. is a failure that does not sober up alcoholics.

  • "They fail to see that they go to A.A. meetings because they want to quit drinking, not that they want to quit drinking because they go to A.A. meetings."

    that's just plain not true, they say in every meeting that
    a. it's based on attraction, we don't go out and try to convert people... and
    b. the only requirement for membership is the desire to stop drinking.

    You are mixing irrelevant things and pulling yet another switcheroo.

    My statement about the failure to see the cause and effect relationship is about the confusion in A.A. over what causes people to quit drinking.

    I know all about the so-called "tradition" that says that A.A. is supposed to be a program of attraction, not promotion. But A.A. gleefully violates that "tradition" every day. That's why A.A. is happy to take in so many people who have been sentenced to A.A. meetings.

    Move over, Mel Gibson is coming back for a bunch more A.A. meetings.
    (You knew, didn't you, that Mel Gibson had already been a member of A.A. for many years?
    It hasn't helped him any, has it?)

    And in keeping with the fake "attraction, not promotion" tradition, A.A. and Al-Anon run commercials on TV and radio, too, don't they?

    I'm not even going to go into the rest, because I don't have the time. I am going to wake up tomarrow and go surfing, which is something I really never had the chance to do before I got into AA — because I was drinking every day... something I would likely still be doing if I weren't going to AA.

    Correction: you mean that you are going to do something that you never had the chance to do until you quit drinking alcohol.
    A.A. had nothing to do with it.
    How healthy and athletic would you be if you still drank a whole bunch of alcohol while going to A.A. meetings?
    It is abstaining from drinking alcohol that causes the recovery, not going to A.A. meetings or working the 12 Steps.

    That is yet another switcheroo — trying to attribute to A.A. the benefits that really come from not drinking any more alcohol.

    Please sir, do some research — go to AA for 90 days, at least once a day.
    Better yet, have an alchoholic go to AA and report to you. They'll get a better idea of what's going on in the rooms, because you have a faint and mis-guided view of AA as a whole.

    Better yet, why don't you read the introduction and learn something about what you are complaining about.
    Been there, done that.

    And then read the bibliography to see how much research I've done. Don't bother reading all of those books yourself, like I have done. You won't want to get that much of an education. Just read the list of the books and their descriptions.

Good day sir,
-Matt J.

Good day to you too.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**  You believe in God. I believe in God, too. But I also believe
**  in Santa Claus, The Easter Bunny, and The Tooth Fairy, so I
**  am obviously more religious than you, and morally superior to
**  you, because I believe in a lot more supernatural stuff than
**  you do.
**  Next, I'm going to come to believe that the world is flat, so
**  I can really be more religious than all of you.

A reader reply to this letter is here: https://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters260.html#Alice_V

Date: Mon, August 28, 2006 9:34 am
From: "Ray S."
Subject: Comment


I do not doubt what you are saying about Bill Wilson. However, AA is not about Bill Wilson. Freud, Jefferson etc. and all famous people are just people. That does not diminish the contributions they have made to mankind. While religions bibles were created and written by "flawed " men, does that mean they are not useful.

Well, Bill Wilson's contribution to Alcoholics Anonymous, namely the "first 164 pages" of the Big Book, and "Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions", are the deluded ravings of a lunatic. They are not good sane advice about how to quit drinking. They are just a rehash of Dr. Frank Buchman's fascist Oxford Group cult religion.

AA has helped many people become and stay sober. I would think that should count for something.

No, A.A. has not sobered up a bunch of alcoholics. That is that standard A.A. Big Lie. A.A. is a complete failure that simply steals the credit for a few people who were going to quit drinking anyway.

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.

Also see the same argument in the previous letter.

Does a writer, cofounder have to be perfect to be valid. Your own writing may be excellent, informitive etc. How would you feel if your entire body of work was dismissed because you were not a perfect human being.

Wrong again. I dismiss Bill Wilson's writings because it is a mass of lies and propaganda tricks.

I am curious about your motive for writing this article.

My goal is to get the truth out. Read these three items to see where I got my motivation:

  1. the introduction, my introduction to A.A., and also
  2. the "treatment" bait-and-switch trick, and
  3. another friend goes missing.

Ray S.

You have a good day too.

== 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.

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