Letters, We Get Mail, XC

From: Eric O.
Subject: AA
Date: Tue, May 6, 2008 8:36 am     (answered May 6, 2008.)

I was just reading some five year old letters and responses on your site. One question. If, as you contend, alcoholism is NOT a disease, or as the Big Book suggests, an "allergy", then why is it that you admittedly can never, ever take a drink?

I come from a championship bloodline of alcoholics. AA (or more accurately, a belief in God) saved my life when nothing else could. AA is not perfect, but I know of no organization that is. (I had several medical doctors, in their wisdom, tell me to "cut back" in my drinking. Even you acknowledge that merely cutting back is not the solution.)

Eric O.

Hello Eric,

An inherited condition is not necessarily a disease. And the inability to drink something without getting sick is not a disease. I also cannot drink cyanide koolaid without getting sick, but that doesn't mean that I suffer from a "spiritual disease" called cyanidism.

Approximately 50% of Asian people have an inherited condition called "Alcohol Flush Reaction", which causes them to flush red and also suffer from nausea, headaches, light-headedness, an increased pulse, occasional extreme drowsiness, and occasional skin swelling and itchiness. (See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alcohol_flush_reaction.) Their bodies do not metabilize alcohol the way that ours do, so alcohol makes them sick, often very sick. Thus, those people really shouldn't drink alcohol. But "Alcohol Flush Reaction" is not considered a disease. It's just a genetic condition — one mutated gene, and you don't metabolize alcohol the same as how other people do. The answer is very simple: Just don't drink any alcohol, and you won't get sick.

Likewise, when I drink alcohol, I get such a good buzz on and like it so much that I want more and more, and want to totally make it my lifestyle in spite of the terrible cost and negative consequences. You could argue that alcohol warps my thinking and makes me a little irrational (okay, maybe a lot irrational); you might even be able to argue that alcohol make me a bit mentally ill, but drinking alcohol still isn't a disease. It's behavior. And the "cure" is just: "Don't drink alcohol."

And alcohol is simply a poison. It poisons me just like it poisons the Asian men. The difference is just what part of my body it affects the most. And I also occasionally suffered from "nausea, headaches, light-headedness, and occasional extreme drowsiness", just like the flush reaction causes. So what? That is just a reaction to alcohol, not a disease.

In addition, A.A. routinely says that "alcoholism" is a disease, but they have never clearly defined just what the disease is. (The ridiculous Joint Committee hack job for the A.M.A. is not any answer. Look here and here.) As I have said before in previous letters:

A.A. uses three different definitions for the word "alcoholic", and gets them all mixed up, which really confuses the issue. The definitions are:

  1. An alcoholic is someone who habitually drinks far too much alcohol.
  2. An alcoholic is someone who is hyper-sensitive to alcohol, almost allergic to alcohol, perhaps a genetic alcoholic; someone who cannot drink even one drink or his drinking will spin out of control and he will become readdicted to alcohol.
  3. An alcoholic is an insane sinner who is full of disgusting character defects and moral shortcomings and resentments and barely-contained anger, and is a prime example of self-will run riot and instincts run wild and selfishness and self-seeking and the Seven Deadly Sins, although he doesn't think so... etc., etc., ...

When I call myself an alcoholic, I usually mean definition 2, and only occasionally definition 1, but never definition 3.

  1. By definition 1, I stopped being an alcoholic 7 years ago.
  2. By definition 2, I will always be an alcoholic.
  3. By definition 3, I was never an alcoholic. I was always a nice drunk. People liked having me at their parties because I was so much fun to have around when I got high. (But, as one friend said, "Even nice drunks die of cirrhosis of the liver...")

And even if you consider the second item, the "allergy", to be a disease, can you explain how practicing the Twelve Steps and confessing all of your sins to your sponsor is supposed to "cure" or "treat" alcoholism? What other allergy is there that is cured by confession of sins? That is crazy cult religion, not the practice of medicine.

By the way, allergies are not usually considered diseases. If you are allergic to bee stings, or penicillin, or peanuts, you don't have a disease that requires constant medical treatment. You just have to avoid those things. Avoid them like your life depends on it, because it does. But you don't have to go to a never-ending series of meetings and talk about how "Higher Power" is taking care of you to avoid bee stings or penicillin or peanuts.

And why is it so terribly important to you and other A.A. members to call alcoholism a disease? Do you want to claim that nothing was your fault because you have an inherited disease? (But if that is true, then why confess your sins in steps 4, 5, and 7? Why confess your "moral shortcomings" and "wrongs" if you have a medical disease?)

I find it better to realize that drinking alcohol too much was a choice that I made, a bad choice that was prompted by the way that I felt, which was largely due to child abuse, and now I can make other, wiser, more sane, more mature choices. Live and learn.

The fact that you found inspiration in religion is all fine and well. But I am still not convinced that there is any cause and effect relationship there. Usually, people drink themselves nearly to death and then come to the realization that they had better quit that behavior, or else. Then they go to "treatment" where some A.A. recruiter sends them to lots of A.A. meetings. Or they wander into an A.A. meeting on their own, to see if it might help. Then the true believers in A.A. immediately set about convincing the newcomers that only A.A. will keep them sober. And some of the newcomers start talking about "God" or "my Higher Power".

But the sad truth of the matter is that the majority of people who go to A.A. come out worse off, not better. When A.A. was put to the test, Alcoholics Anonymous was actually shown to cause:

All of those facts were revealed by carefully controlled medical tests.
The last test was even done by a doctor who is a Trustee of Alcoholics Anonymous. He tried for many years to prove that A.A. works, and he accidentally proved that A.A. does not work; it just raises the death rate of alcoholics.

Alcoholics Anonymous teaches some really harmful ideas, like that you are powerless over alcohol because alcoholism is a disease. That is a ready-made excuse for relapsing. It's also a great excuse for the morning after.

Oh, and even Bill Wilson said that alcoholism isn't a disease. See the signature.

Have a good day.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**  "We AA's have never called alcoholism a disease because, technically
**   speaking it is not a disease entity."
**   ==  Bill Wilson,
**   speaking to the National Catholic Clergy Conference On Alcoholism,
**   April 21, 1960, in New York.

From: "Jeanie H."
Subject: Re: Do you have any similar studies on NA?
Date: Sat, May 3, 2008

Hi Jeanie,

I don't have any separate study of NA. However, this web site is in many ways just as much about NA as AA, even though I don't often use the name NA.

I went to just as many NA meetings as AA, and it was just the same. The only thing you got less of was worship of Bill Wilson and Dr. Bob. Otherwise, it's the same.

Have a good day.

== Orange

*          [email protected]       *
*      AA and Recovery Cult Debunking     *
*      https://www.orange-papers.info/      *
** "Now I know what it's like to be high on life.
** It isn't as good, but my driving has improved."
** == Nina, on "Just Shoot Me", 13 Jan 2006.

From: "Jeanie H."
Subject: RE: Do you have any similar studies on NA?
Date: Mon, May 5, 2008 5:29 am     (answered 6 May 2008.)

Dear "Orange"

I just want to thank you for having the steel and wisdom to put your website out there. I feel like Richard Dreyfuss in "Close Encounters." My husband has been attending NA religiously for 1 1/2 years. I've been telling him, our friends and family "listen this NA stuff is cult like, it's not normal, etc. etc."

I went to my church and shared my concerns about them drilling into his head that he was an addict and would never recover. I e-mailed his sponsor and questioned the sanity of making him write out all of his negative "stuff" and spending weeks on it and the resulting depression he experienced. I kept questioning the 1st tradition of NA is first above all else and why there was no mention of just having a life, taking care of your family, etc. etc. The end result was my husband was berated and yelled at by his sponsor in a meeting room and basically told him to tell me to keep my mouth shut that I didn't know anything about this program and I was an outsider. Several members ostrasized him and still will not speak to him. You can imagine the wrath I received from my husband for that.

He sounds like a parrott, he's not only stopped drinking, he's stopped living. He attends 5-6 meetings still a week. I was very concerned because his sponsor (an old-timer) was in the middle of an affair with another NA woman (while married) and has since moved on to another woman (NA). My husband had an affair with another NA married woman and now we are all in the process of divorce. I am not naieve enough to say that he did [not] have a serious drinking problem. However, I am very much of the belief that yes he did and drinking is a choice, abeit even a "disease", but one that you can recover from, one that does not require a cult like involvement. Everything he ever enjoyed that did not involve drinking in his "prior life" he has given up.

I'm going to pick up the fight, orange. I am not afraid to go up against this and I feel like it's what I am suppose to do. You'll see my name sometime in a letter to a public official, I plan on giving the facts to all of the churches that harbor and enable this organization to stay alive and well and that is just the start. When you do, you'll know that it was because you took the step to speak out. What would be the best book I could read that tells the real facts about Bill and the founding of the 12 steps? What data based report/book could I get my hands on that supports your Cult test theory?

I know I sound dramatic, do not mistake drama for just genuine relief that I am not crazy and the things I've been thinking and saying for all of these months are founded in truth. I've been doing hard duty in the watchtower for over a year, I've witnessed first hand exactly what you've documented and it is my time to speak out. That's all I can do and that's all that I believe is expected of me.

Sorry for the lengthy e-mail. Bless you, Orange. I hope you're enjoying your life.

Hi again, Jeanie,

Thank you for the story and the compliments. I'm sorry to hear about your troubles. And welcome to the battle for the truth.

I really wish the general public understood just how many people get messed up by so-called "12-Step Recovery". As you have seen, it isn't all it is cracked up to be.

There isn't any one book or source for the cult test. I used a huge number of books for the information, as well as my own experiences with cults. Start with the "Cults and More Cults" section of the bibliography, here.

For a quicker overview, and a much shorter list to start with, see the "Cults" section of the "Top 10" list (which really lists more like 40 books), here. There, you will find my favorite dozen books about cults.

Have a good day.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**  "Although easily mistaken for candy, holly is quite poisonous."
**  "Although easily mistaken for real moral religions, cults are quite poisonous."

[ Link here = https://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters90.html#Green ]

Date: Mon, December 24, 2007 11:22 am     (answered Feb-June 2008)
From: "Agent.Green"
Subject: I don't believe you

I have posted some research and counter-arguments to you at http://www.geocities.com/agent.green/

Agent Green

And my responses are:

What I respect about Orange is:
  • He has stayed clean and sober for 6 years.
  • He has done a huge amount of reading and compiled a website of literally thousands of pages.
  • He helps remind us that AA is not the only way and provides alternatives.
What I do not respect about Orange is:
  • He distorts facts and figures. He ignores research he doesn't like. He'll read a whole book and quote only the one sentence that supports his views.
  • Though millions of people have attended AA, Orange will not admit that AA has helped a single one of them.
    AND (the main reason I made this website):
  • By his obsessive anti-AA stance, Orange may be turning away desperate people whom AA might be able to help.

About the respect, the only one to comment on is the years of sobriety. You are displaying a typical A.A. attitude where people are worth more if they have more years of sobriety. I reject that idea, even though I now rate as one of the "holy old-timers". The virtue of a person is not determined by how many years he has abstained from drinking alcohol. Heck, even Jesus Christ turned water into wine and drank it.

By the way, I just had another anniversary, so it's seven years now. So that makes me even holier and wiser, doesn't it?

About your criticisms:

  • He distorts facts and figures. He ignores research he doesn't like. He'll read a whole book and quote only the one sentence that supports his views.

    No, I don't. I am very careful to not distort numbers or statements when I quote things. And I often quote entire pages of A.A. booster's diatribes, just to make sure that the entire argument is clear.

    Further down in this letter you complained about how I quoted and analyzed Prof. Dr. George Vaillant's book "The Natural History of Alcoholism". There, I quoted two or three entire pages, and two tables of numbers where he clearly described how his A.A.-based treatment program failed to cure alcoholics, and just yielded an "appalling" death rate. I didn't just quote one or two sentences.

    I do not quote entire books because that's a violation of copyright law, and it's also just too bulky. So of course I pick out the quotes I want to talk about.

  • Though millions of people have attended AA, Orange will not admit that AA has helped a single one of them.

    No, that is not accurate. I have said several times that it is impossible to prove individual cases from statistics. Four years ago, I wrote this in a response to a letter.

    It is not possible to prove or disprove that one individual person was helped or not helped by A.A.; it is only possible to show that A.A. did or did not help A GROUP of people become more sober than another group who didn't get any A.A. treatment.

    It is possible that A.A. helped one guy "Joe" to quit drinking, while pushing 5 or 6 other guys towards their deaths by indoctrinating them with horrible cult dogma like that they are powerless over alcohol, and can't quit on their own, and can't ever get cured, and are disgusting sinners who need to do a Fifth Step and confess everything to their Sponsor... "Oh, and you need to stop taking those pills that the psychiatrist gave you. Meds quiet the still small voice of God."

    So it is theoretically possible that A.A. helped one guy in some way, while simultaneously killing five or six others. I don't consider that "helping people".

    Oh, and the other part of your statement, "Though millions of people have attended AA..." is irrelevant. It doesn't matter how many people have attended A.A. meetings, or Scientology or Moonies meetings, either. What matters is whether they were helped or hurt.

    A.A. often uses the propaganda trick of Appeal to Numbers to try to fool people's minds, like bragging that A.A. is a success because they have lots of members or get lots of people to attend their meetings. (They learned that trick from Frank Buchman, the monster who created all of the roots of Alcoholics Anonymous. Buchman habitually bragged about how many people came to his meetings, and implied that it meant that his religious cult was a success.)

    AND (the main reason I made this website):

  • By his obsessive anti-AA stance, Orange may be turning away desperate people whom AA might be able to help.

    Thank you. I sincerely do hope that I turn some people away from getting sucked into Alcoholics Anonymous, because A.A. kills more alcoholics than it helps.

    Your standard A.A. phrase, "desperate people whom AA might be able to help" is unrealistic. The net results are that A.A. doesn't help them. A.A. makes them drink more, and A.A. makes them die more.

For the record, here is my own "Q&A; on AA":
Q: Are all AA members abusive cult extremists, like Agent Orange says?
A: No.

Sorry, but that is also wrong. I don't say any such thing. I have often said that some of the people at A.A. meetings are very nice. Even sane. Look here for a letter from one of them. And here for another. And here for another.

Does AA's low retention rate really indicate 95% failure?

Orange quotes an internal AA survey that shows that only 5% of visitors to AA stay more than one year. That's another source for Orange's purported 5% success rate. I will now use Orange's spectacularly warped logic to prove that exercise is unhealthy. Watch carefully!

  • After one year, 95% of people who began work-out routines at a gym are no longer using the gym.
  • Therefore gyms have a 95% failure rate.
  • Therefore exercise is unhealthy!

That is a bad analogy. A better analogy is this:

Imagine that there is a guy who calls himself "Dr. Tom". Now "Dr. Tom" is not a real doctor — he never graduated from medical school. In fact, he didn't go at all. Dr. Tom isn't licensed to practice medicine either. He is a quack doctor.

Dr. Tom claims to have a revolutionary new cure for coronary disease that he derived from some secret herbal cures known only to "The Ancients". Dr. Tom sets up a coronary clinic and advertises a lot, and attracts a bunch of customers.

Dr. Tom's patients gradually discover that what Tom is really selling, besides his herbal cures, is Dr. Tom's favorite cult religion. Tom is constantly spouting slogans like,

  • "Fix your head, and your heart will follow."
  • "This is the science of the soul."
  • "A holy heart is a healthy heart."
  • "God wants you to be happy, healthy, and holy."

Unfortunately, Dr. Tom's patients have a very, very low recovery rate, and a high death rate.

Most of Dr. Tom's patients soon grow disgusted with him and leave. Fully 95% of Dr. Tom's patients leave his care within a year. Some of them get care from other doctors, and some recover, and some die. And some actually recover on their own without a doctor's help.

Now the question is, "Should we call Dr. Tom a success or a failure?"

After all, Tom can argue that the patients quit before receiving his full course of treatment. They might have gotten better under his care. (In fact, a few people did, and Tom never stops bragging about them.)

On the other hand, we can argue that the patients should not have remained under Tom's care any longer. He was selling ineffective quack medicine and cult religion. That does not fix people's coronary problems. It often kills them. And since "Dr. Tom" failed to cure his patients, for whatever reasons, we can only call his treatment a failure.

And the few people who did recover under Tom's care are cases of normal spontaneous remission. No matter what the disease is, a few people will just get over it and get better. Their bodies just heal themselves. Or those people change their unhealthy sedentary lifestyles and bad diets, and heal themselves. Dr. Tom cannot claim those people as proof that his treatment works.

Well, I would call Dr. Tom and his so-called "treatment program" utter failures.

What would you call them?

Research by Vaillant

Orange writes a lot about psychiatrist George Vaillant, author of The Natural History of Alcoholism Revisited, which he wrote while at Harvard. One of Vaillant's studies was of 100 severe alcoholics who sought help at a clinic. After discharge from hospital detox, these alcoholics were followed for 8 years, during which time they had unlimited access to a local network of halfway houses, drop-in centers, detox units, and integrated mental health facilities. All patients were encouraged to attend twice-weekly outpatient meetings, which in turn encouraged AA attendance. The final outcomes (p 191) after 8 years or death were:
  • 29 patients achieved stable remission;
  • 24 were intermittent drinkers; and
  • 47 were still chronic alcoholics.

Excuse me, but these numbers are obviously wrong. Blatantly, screamingly wrong. Can't you see that something is very funny about those numbers? You don't see it? Okay, I'll tell you:


Previously, Vaillant declared that the score with his first 100 patients was: 5 continuously sober, 29 dead, and 66 still drinking. Now the dead people have been magically resurrected, and now we have 29 who are in "stable remission". Wow. It must be a miracle. Apparently George Vaillant is better at raising people from the dead than even Jesus Christ.

And right there on page 191 of the book that you cited, "The Natural History of Alcoholism Revisited", Dr. Vaillant clearly stated that he counted dead people as "sober" in order to come up with those improved numbers. And people who were called "in stable remission" only had to be sober for 51 weeks of each year to qualify as "sober for 3 years". That's what you call "massaging the data" and "cooking the books". Also, "Moving the Goalposts".

You know what else is wrong with those numbers? You are assuming that all improvement in the alcoholics is somehow due to Alcoholics Anonymous. But that isn't how reality works. With a normal 5% per year rate of spontaneous remission, after 8 years you will have 34 people out of a hundred alcoholics who have recovered all on their own, just self-healed, with no credit due to Alcoholics Anonymous. When Dr. Vaillant wrote that the results with A.A. were no better than the natural history of the disorder, that's what he meant. The recovery rate with A.A. "help" was no better than the natural spontaneous recovery rate.

In the numbers that you quoted above, 29 patients achieved stable remission, 24 were intermittent drinkers, and 47 were still "chronic alcoholics". We don't know whether "intermittent drinkers" means just healthy moderate drinking, or whether they occasionally drank too much, and still had a problem. But still, it looks like whatever improvement occurred can be explained by normal spontaneous remission — especially when many of the supposedly healthy successful sober people were actually dead.

By the way, Dr. Vaillant isn't just a psychiatrist at Harvard University. He is also a member of the Board of Trustees of Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Incorporated, and he's one of the biggest promoters of Alcoholics Anonymous on the planet.

Fully 95% of the subjects had one or more relapses during the 8-year study, and twenty-nine had died — roughly three times the death rate expected for non-alcoholics of the same age. Seeing these results, it is hard to deny that severe alcoholism is difficult to cure. But contrary to Orange's summary, AA actually helped reduce the death rate. Here is where I see Orange falsifying the results:

  1. Where the results showed that clinical treatment didn't work, Orange claims that AA didn't work.

    Again, Dr. Vaillant was testing the treatment of alcoholism with Alcoholics Anonymous. Dr. Vaillant was trying to prove that A.A. treatment works. The "clinical group" WAS the A.A. group.

  2. Orange claims that every relapse counts as a failure for AA, even for patients who recovered at the end, and even though not all patients attended AA.

    Yes. You can't cherry-pick and just claim the success stories for A.A. while ignoring those whom A.A. did not help at all, or even hurt, like drove to relapse or drove to suicide.

    And your phrase, "even for patients who recovered at the end" implies that you expect me to give credit to A.A. for people who got a grip and quit drinking after they quit Alcoholics Anonymous. No way Jose'. That's just like the "Dr. Tom" described above trying to claim the credit for people who recovered from their coronary disease after they quit his treatment. He isn't due any credit for his ex-patients' recovery, and neither is Alcoholics Anonymous.

  3. Orange ignores results that showed positive effects of AA.

    What positive results? You haven't shown any, and neither did Dr. Vaillant.

This is plain dishonesty. Orange, you have a banner at the top of your page that says "Everybody is entitled to their own opinions, but not their own facts." So what's your excuse? Let's deal with the above points one by one.

By all means, let's discuss facts. Uninformed opinions and propaganda tricks have no place in a discussion of what might save the lives of our friends.

(1) Was the study really about AA?

This was a study of patients at a clinic. AA attendance was encouraged but was optional and was followed to varying degrees by the study subjects. At the end of 8 years, only 32 patients had attended AA meetings 100 or more times, for a mean of 600 visits. (Note that over 8 years, 100 meetings averages out to once a month, and 600 meetings, to every 5 days.) Those who did attend AA had higher recovery rates.

Wrong. The "clinic sample" was A.A.-treated patients. That's what Vaillant's program was doing — treating alcoholics with A.A. and testing how well it worked, while trying to prove that A.A. works.

Dr. Vaillant clearly declared that he and his co-worker William Clark were very excited about the "new" A.A. treatment, and set out to prove that it worked. Vaillant wrote:

  ...   To me, alcoholism became a fascinating disease. It seemed perfectly clear that by meeting the immediate individual needs of the alcoholic, by using multimodality therapy, by disregarding "motivation," by turning to recovering alcoholics [A.A. members] rather than to Ph.D.'s for lessons in breaking self-detrimental and more or less involuntary habits, and by inexorably moving patients from dependence upon the general hospital into the treatment system of A.A., I was working for the most exciting alcohol program in the world.

But then came the rub. Fueled by our enthusiasm, I and the director, William Clark, tried to prove our efficacy. Our clinic followed up our first 100 detoxification patients, the Clinic sample described in Chapter 3, every year for the next 8 years.   ...

Table 8.1 shows our treatment results. After initial discharge, only five patients in the Clinic 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.

The Natural History of Alcoholism: Causes, Patterns, and Paths to Recovery, George E. Vaillant, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA, 1983, pages 283-286.
The same text was reprinted in Vaillant's later book, The Natural History of Alcoholism Revisited, George E. Vaillant, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA, 1995, pages 349-352.

The "clinic sample" was patients who were treated with the Alcoholics Anonymous program. And Vaillant clearly declared that A.A. was a complete failure — not a 95% failure, but a 100% failure. Those few people who recovered were just the normal spontaneous remission at work. And Vaillant candidly admitted that the A.A. program couldn't take credit for them. So a 5% apparent success rate minus a 5% spontaneous remission rate yields a zero percent success rate for Alcoholics Anonymous treatment.

When Vaillant wrote, "and there is compelling evidence that the results of our treatment were no better than the natural history of the disease", he was declaring that A.A. did not improve on what normally happens with untreated alcoholics — the "natural" course of the disease. (You know, "Jails, Institutions, or Death". But also many spontaneous remissions.) "Compelling evidence" is scientific jargon that means, "The evidence is overwhelming and cannot be interpreted any other way. The truth is self-evident."

(2) Did AA really fail 95% of the time?

95% of patients had relapsed at some time during the study, even though many of these eventually attained sobriety. Orange counted this as a 95% failure rate for AA.

Nope, A.A. failed 100% of the time. Even giving A.A. credit for the 5% spontaneous remission rate is being too generous. Just because some people were in or near an A.A. meeting when they quit drinking or cut down does not mean that A.A. deserves the credit for their sobriety. (A.A. is very good at stealing the credit for other peoples' hard work.)

Dr. Vaillant actually agreed there. On the next page of his book (p352 of Revisited), he wrote:

In table 8.2, the results of the Clinic sample at eight years are compared with five rather disparate follow-up studies in the literature which are of similar duration but which looked at very different patient populations. Once again, our results were no better than the natural history of the disorder.

Again, Dr. Vaillant declared that A.A. was completely ineffective and useless. It had no success rate above normal spontaneous remission. The effective net success rate attributable to A.A. was zero.

And when you talk about those people who "eventually attained sobriety", you must remember that normal spontaneous remission goes on indefinitely, too. Just because somebody quits drinking later, after rejecting A.A., doesn't mean that he suddenly changes from an A.A. failure to A.A. success story. Approximately 5% of the alcoholics quit drinking each year, every year, to save their own lives. A.A. is not due any credit for their work to save themselves.

(3) Were the results negative for AA?

Results that Orange must have forgotten to mention (Vaillant 1995, p 187 - 197) were that increased AA attendance was associated with a higher rate of sobriety, and AA helped many alcoholics who would otherwise been predicted not to stop drinking. For example, half of the stable remissions, but only two of the chronic alcoholics, had made 300 or more visits to AA (Vaillant 1995, p 196). So contrary to Orange's statements, AA attendance was associated with positive results.

That phrase "was associated with" is a buzz-word for "now we are giving you unproveable assertions..." "Now we are going to try to fool you by using the standard propaganda trick called 'Confusing Correlation With Causation'."

You can find all kinds of "associations" that don't prove anything:

  • Increased attendance at Scientology centers was associated with reduced drug and alcohol use.
  • Increased participation in the Moonies' cult religion was associated with reduced drug and alcohol use.
  • Increased involvement in Rev. Jim Jones's cult religion — "The People's Temple" — was associated with reduced drug and alcohol use. (Not to mention the fact that it was also associated with an increased death rate.)
  • Increased attendance at the local Baskin Robbins ice cream parlor was associated with reduced drug and alcohol use.
Any time anybody does more of anything that isn't taking drugs and alcohol, you can find an association with "increased sobriety". But that doesn't prove causation at all. It's just that some people voluntarily chose, using their own intelligence and will power, to eventually do something other than kill themselves with drugs and alcohol. So of course you can find "increased sobriety" in whatever they choose to do.

The second half of the first sentence is more baloney: "AA helped many alcoholics who would otherwise been predicted not to stop drinking."

Predicted? Predictions are not medical or scientific evidence of anything except that somebody has an opinion. Predictions are more guesswork.

Oh, and notice The Use of the Passive Voice there. That's another propaganda trick. Some unnamed invisible person "predicted" something, but we can't examine his logic or question him about it, or verify anything. We are supposed to just uncritically accept as fact the statement that somebody predicted that some alcoholic wouldn't quit drinking.

What does "help" mean? It can't mean "makes them quit drinking", or A.A. would have a higher success rate than it has.

RE: "For example, half of the stable remissions, but only two of the chronic alcoholics, had made 300 or more visits to AA..."

Again, you are 'Confusing Correlation With Causation'. Only those people who quit drinking and became committed members of the cult went to 300 A.A. meetings. The drinkers went to 300 meetings at the bar instead. So what else is new? That doesn't prove anything about what makes alcoholics quit drinking.

Antiquated and Irrelevant References

Orange emphasizes studies by Ditsman from 1967 and Brandsma from 1979. Why does Orange rely on decades-old results? There is plenty of newer research. The answer is that Orange selects the studies that he likes, even though they are practically museum pieces.

I have spent the last seven years searching for every and any valid Randomized Longitudinal Controlled Study of A.A. effectiveness that I could find, and that's all there is. After the first half-dozen clinical studies all showed A.A. to be a total failure, A.A. showed no interest in helping with any more studies. In fact, A.A. has been positively hostile to valid controlled studies, and arrogantly claims that they know more about alcoholism than the doctors do.

Please note that "research" is something more than just propaganda articles in magazines. Real research means Controlled Studies. "Research" is not just some fool jabbering about how he thinks A.A. works, or how he noticed that people who go to A.A. meetings drink less than the people who go to bars. Follow that link for a description of how you do a valid Randomized Longitudinal Controlled Study.

I have also had a challenge out there for seven years now, asking A.A. boosters to send in reports of ANY valid clinical test of A.A. that showed that A.A. worked or helped the alcoholics in any way. The only thing I have ever received was some links to the pathetic Moos and Humphries propaganda where they "discover" "associations", where people who go to A.A. meetings drink less than people who go to bars.

You claim that there is "plenty of newer research." What newer research? Please don't hold out on me. Tell me very specifically what you are talking about. Send me the authors' names, titles of articles, periodical where the work was reported, date, volume, and page number. Then I'll go to the local medical university library and get copies of the research.

But please don't send me any more links to articles that are just deceptive propaganda that "finds associations". I have enough of those already.

Another problem: these studies were not on regular, voluntary AA members, so it's no wonder AA showed limited success with them. Orange quotes as follows:

  • "AA does not work well with municipal court offenders." (Brandsma)
  • "Offenders were sentenced by the court to one of three 'treatment programs'". (Ditsman)

That's right. A.A. does not work well with court-ordered victims. And yet, the courts keep on doing it because the "counselors" and "advisors" who are hidden A.A. members keep on recommending it.

And The A.A. Grapevine has reported that the results of the last two triennial surveys show that about two-thirds of all A.A. members were coerced, forced, blackmailed, pressured, or otherwise shoved into A.A. by courts, prisons, parole officers, rehab facilities, bosses, co-workers, families, or whatever. So when we say that A.A. doesn't work well on coerced members, we are talking about fully two-thirds of the A.A. membership. No wonder A.A. doesn't work.

So the "regular, voluntary AA members" that you wrote about are mostly people who were once coerced into A.A. (and then some got brainwashed enough to stay in the cult after the coercion stopped).

How could anybody expect coerced cult religion to cure alcoholism? You would have to be crazy to believe that.

So what's the word on the street?

Let's sum up what some experts say for a balanced view, both pros and cons, of AA.


"Certainly, AA is not a magic bullet for every alcoholic. In my own follow-up studies, there were a few men who attended AA for scores of meetings without improvement." (2005, p 434).
"The implication from [my studies] is that a great many severely alcohol-dependent Americans, regardless of their social or psychological makeup, find help for their alcoholism through Alcoholics Anonymous." (1995, p 388)
"Alcoholics Anonymous appears equal to or superior to conventional treatments for alcoholism, and the skepticism of some professionals regarding AA as a first rank treatment for alcoholism would appear to be unwarranted." (2005, p 431).

Those two references to Vaillant's 2005 magazine article are classic propaganda. That article was a declaration that A.A. is "good spirituality", as opposed to "bad religion". Didn't you notice that Vaillant had to go all of the way to New Zealand to find a journal that would publish his cult religion diatribe? Apparently, no reputable American medical journal would touch it. No wonder. I have written about that obnoxious piece of untruth before, here.

Vaillant's other remark, about the "implication of his studies", is just some more of Vaillant contradicting himself, and promoting his favorite cult religion, in spite of the evidence.

In his Natural History of Alcoholism books, which you are quoting there with the 1995 quote, Vaillant did things like first report that A.A. was a total failure with an "appalling" death rate. Eight years of carefully documented study and testing proved it. But then, because that was such a bitter pill for Vaillant to swallow, he "discovered" that some natives in Trinidad and Tobago mixed some A.A. rituals with alcohol-free calypso sing-alongs and reduced the drinking at their parties. On the basis of that "research", Vaillant happily declared that Alcoholics Anonymous was a success after all.

You have to read Vaillant very carefully, and separate the wheat from the chaff.


Edwards conjectures, on the basis of available research, that "AA probably works, in some way or other, for not less than 50% of the troubled drinkers that make contact with it." (2002, p 117.)

This is great. I must thank you for this one. There is nothing that you could have said that more clearly shows what a bunch of bull this pro-A.A. propaganda is.

The bibliography at the end of your web page shows that the author of this quote founded an "addiction center" in London:

Edwards, Griffith (April 2002). Alcohol: The World's Favorite Drug, 1st ed. Thomas Dunne Books. ISBN 0312283873. [Griffith Edwards founded the National Addiction Center in London and has served as editor-in-chief of the journal Addiction.]

That "National Addiction Centre" describes itself as:

"The NAC is a network of clinicians, researchers and clinical teachers sharing a commitment to excellence in work directed at the prevention and treatment of substance misuse, and to the support and strengthening of national and international endeavours in this field. It will make science and scholarship useful."
Much of the clinical, research and teaching work of the NAC is within the clinical services of the South London and Maudsley NHS Trust, and within the research and teaching activities of the Addiction Research Unit of the Institute of Psychiatry.
Comments from the National Addiction Centre

In other words, it's an association that includes people who promote and recommend and apologize for treatment programs, and the people who actually sell the cult religion "treatment" to the sick people. We have the same kinds of "addiction study centers" in the USA, which also sell 12-Step snake oil to sick people: ASAM, NCADD, and NAADAC.

  • NCADD, the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence,
  • ASAM, the American Society for Addiction Medicine, and
  • NADAAC, National Association of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselors.

See this document for an example of The National Addiction Centre's official "treatment works" attitude:

Just what literature is Edwards talking about? Well, in that document they say,

Q19 — There is increasing evidence that treatment for alcohol dependence is effective (Miller et al, 2000; Miller and Wilbourne, 2002). However they are only effective in the context of the individual strengths and social environment of the patient.
Miller WR et al (2000). How Effective is Alcoholism Treatment in the United States? Journal of Studies of Alcohol, 62, 211 - 220
Miller WR, Wilbourne PL (2002). Mesa Grande : a methodological analysis of clinical trials of treatment for alcohol use disorders. Addiction 97, 265 - 277

That is a bunch of double-talk which means,
"Treatment is effective, but it is effective only if the alcoholic decides to quit drinking and has the strength of will power to quit and stay quit."
== Which really means that the treatment doesn't actually work at all. The only thing that really works is people getting a grip and deciding to quit drinking, and then really doing it, and sticking with it. Treatment is an expensive hoax. The treatment programs are just stealing the credit for those people who quit drinking by using their own intelligence and will power.

Edwards apparently saw that A.A. wasn't working in his neighborhood in London, because he did not describe any success rate that he had actually seen with his own eyes. He had all of those treatment centers that are members of his National Addiction Centre, and he could have easily asked them for their actual success rates. He could have collected real information on how much A.A. was helping the alcoholics. That would have revealed the truth. But he didn't do that.

Instead, he said that he guessed — "conjectured" — from reading "the available research" — the deceptive A.A. propaganda — that A.A. "probably" works for some alcoholics somewhere else.

Notice the propaganda trick there — Sly Suggestions: He started with a vague guess — he conjectured that A.A. worked — and then he morphed it into a specific solid-sounding number — "not less than 50%".

The 50% number is meaningless. He could just as easily have guessed that A.A. helped 25% or 75%. When you are just guessing, based on no real facts, you can make the numbers into anything that you want them to be. Of course the numbers are worthless.

That whole quote is pure guesswork, not a factual declaration of actual successes. Why should I care what a professional snake oil salesman guesses?

I quote real doctors who did real controlled studies of the effectiveness of A.A. treatment of alcoholism, and you counter with someone who guesses that A.A. must work for somebody somewhere else, like maybe over on the other side of the planet, but who doesn't say that it works in his own city, or in the treatment centers with which he is associated.


And do you know what is saddest of all? This same Griffith Edwards participated in the biggest and most lengthy and expensive test of Alcoholics Anonymous treatment that was done in England. It is described here. Doctors Orford and Edwards showed clearly that just having a doctor talk to an alcoholic and his wife for just one hour, telling him to quit drinking or he would die, was just as effective as a whole year of A.A.-based treatment. And now Edwards ignores that study and "guesses" that A.A. might work after all — based on no valid evidence at all.

UPDATE: Griffith Edwards passed away. His obituary is described and discussed here:


"AA, like all other therapies for alcoholism, is limited. ... [Criticisms include] AA's being rigid, superficial, regressive, inspirational, fanatical, stigmatizing, and focusing only on alcohol. The rigidity is more likely to lie in individual members than the AA program itself." (p 597)
"Many efforts have been made to assess the effectiveness of AA attendance... In studies of AA from the 1940s to the early 1970s, sampling difficulties and other methodological problems were immense. Nevertheless, the findings indicated that thousands of AA members had achieved sobriety through AA." (p 597)
"AA involvement correlates favorably with a variety of outcome measures. Those patients who attend AA before, during, or after a treatment experience have a more favorable outcome in regard to drinking. In the few studies available that assess the outcome on other variables, AA involvement is associated with a more stable social adjustment, more active religious life, internal locus of control, and better employment adjustment. Increased ethical concern for others, an increased sense of well-being, and increasing dependence on a Higher Power with less dependence on others also have been described. Finally, there is a positive relationship between outcome and extent of AA participation. Outcome is more favorable for those who attend more than one meeting per week and for those who have a sponsor, sponsor others, lead meetings, and work Steps Six through Twelve after completing a treatment program." (p 592)

Once again, there is no evidence that A.A. works or helps anyone. It's all the "AA involvement is associated with..." propaganda trick. It's all a mess of statements that A.A. "correlates", or "is associated with", or has "a positive relationship", which is suggestive, but proves nothing.

You can just as easily say,

  • "Suicide is strongly associated with reduced drinking."
  • "Suicide positively correlates with a more spiritual way of life."
  • "People who commit suicide will have greatly reduced dependence on alcohol."
  • "People who commit suicide have greatly improved chances of remaining sober."
  • "People who commit suicide have much lower rates of re-arrest and imprisonment."
It sounds like the logical conclusion should be, "Therefore, helpful counselors should aid their clients in transitioning into suicide groups, and A.A. sponsors would do well to recommend that their sponsees commit suicide."

You can do the same thing with cult religion, too:

  • "Fanatical membership in a cult religion is strongly associated with reduced drinking."
  • "Fanatical membership in a cult religion positively correlates with a more spiritual way of life."
  • "Cult religion involvement is associated with a more active religious life."
  • ... etc. ...

Oh, and I can't let this line go without comment:
"AA involvement is associated with ... [an] internal locus of control..."

No, that is the exact opposite of the truth. That is a complete reversal of reality. A.A. teaches alcoholics that they are Powerless Over Alcohol, and that their lives are unmanageable, and that they can't control their own lives and just quit drinking by an act of intelligent will power, and that they need a Higher Power to control them and keep them from drinking. A.A. theology teaches people to Turn It Over (to God), and rely on an external locus of control. Bill Wilson wrote that A.A. members must depend on Something Else, like "Higher Power", or the A.A. group, to keep them sober. They must not depend on themselves, or be self-reliant, or control their own lives, or think for themselves, Bill says. That is one of the big problems with the A.A. program.

American Psychiatric Association

"The effectiveness of AA, per se, has not been evaluated in randomized studies. However, other sources of information provide growing support for the utility of AA and 12-step-oriented treatments as well as the efficacy of professional therapies such as TSF [12-step facilitation] that are aimed at motivating patients to participate in AA. In addition, a large number of studies have documented that greater AA participation is associated with greater rates of abstinence from alcohol as well as with better drinking outcomes. Thus, most patients should be encouraged to attend at least several AA meetings to ascertain the appropriateness and utility of AA in helping them remain alcohol free."
== Practice Guideline for the Treatment of Patients With Substance Use Disorders, p 98-99. (PDF, 2.2 MB)

You could have stopped at the first sentence: "The effectiveness of AA, per se, has not been evaluated in randomized studies." Period. End of story. They present no valid evidence to show that A.A. works, or helps anyone.

And their statement is actually dead wrong. A.A. has been evaluated in randomized controlled studies. I have listed them, and you complained about the fact that I listed them: Brandsma, Ditman, Walsh, and Orford and Edwards.

The A.A. boosters just didn't like the results, so they keep on parrotting the line about "A.A. has not evaluated in randomized studies", or "A.A. has never been properly tested". Yes it has. And Alcoholics Anonymous failed the tests.

The rest of that rap is the usual "is associated with" nonsense. Like, "The rooster's crowing louder is associated with the sun rising. (Therefore the rooster must be causing the sun to rise.)"

Once again,

  • The people who want to drink do so — they go to meetings at bars.
  • The people who want to quit drinking do so. They don't go to bars. They may stay home, or they may go to A.A. meetings, or they may go to the movies, or they may go play bingo, or whatever.

You can always find "an association" between alcohol-free activities and increased sobriety.


I'm glad I did my own reading on AA. If I'd trusted Agent Orange, I might have believed that AA doesn't work!

I sincerely doubt that. You had your mind made up long ago. You aren't even a member of A.A. — you go to Al-Anon, the wives' auxiliary — and yet you are still sure that A.A. works, without any personal experience with quitting drinking.

What did Senator Patrick Moynihan's quote say?
"Everybody is entitled to their own opinions, but not their own facts."
Well, you sure have your opinions. Now you need to learn what makes real hard evidence.

Have a good day.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     If we persist in writing blank checks to
**     treatment centers without demanding results,
**     then we will continue to get failure
**     disguised as success.

[The next letter from Green is here.]

Date: Sun, June 8, 2008 10:30 am     (answered 28 July 2008)
From: Madame Senga
Subject: Madame Senga with an article for you

Hi AO,

I keep meaning to send you this article (see attachment) on addiction that turned up on my AOL main page one morning, written for Psychology Today. I think the article came out a few months ago, maybe April. I wasn?t sure if you?d seen it so wanted to pass it on. Maybe the psychiatric community is coming around? One can only hope.

Hope you are well and out there enjoying life and the Canada geesies! My condo is off an artificial pond and I had an entire family here! Momma, Poppa and SIX babies! I love Canada Geese too.

Hey, I noticed there is an Agent Green out there, now, to ?rebutt? you. How pathetic.

-Madame Senga

Hi again, Madame Senga. It's good to hear from you again.

That's a good article. Written by Stanton Peele, too.

The Surprising Truth About Addiction
More people quit addictions than maintain them, and they do so on their own. That's not to say it happens overnight. People succeed when they recognize that the addiction interferes with something they value — and when they develop the confidence that they can change.
By: Stanton Peele

Rather than reprinting the whole article here, I'll just give a link to it, since Psychology Today magazine has their own web site going and publishes the article there:

It confirms what a lot of us already knew, but it's still good to hear it again from one of the leaders in the recovery field.

And yes, I got a message from Agent Green, too, challenging my statements. Coincidentally, I was just answering it when your letter came. Look here.

And have a good day.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**  After silence, that which comes closest to expressing the
**  inexpressible is music.  ==  Aldous Huxley

Speaking of goslings, I've been going through some very emotional stuff with them. It started last May 17th, when I found these orphaned goslings sitting on flotsam, crying for their mother. Some people told me that they had been wandering around the marina all day, searching for their parents and crying and nearly getting run over by motor boats.

Canada Goose goslings on flotsam and garbage

I was very surprised. I had been photographing them and feeding them the previous two days, and they had both parents then, and everything looked fine. Then, suddenly, on day 3, no parents. Just some babies crying.

By the way, that means these little guys were 3 or 4 days old when this photo was taken. That is far too young to survive alone. Without a mama sitting on them and warming them, they will die of hypothermia at night when it gets really cold at 4 or 5 in the morning — especially if they stay out on the flotsam where it is cold and wet. But if they come ashore and try to huddle together in a dry nest, the predators will eat them. There are very nasty river rats and feral cats that patrol the waterfront, eating all of the ducklings and goslings that they can get. Even worse, the goslings would be crying in the middle of the night because they would be cold and lonely and lost and afraid, and that would attract the cats, who would come and finish them off. The poor goslings were really stuck between a rock and a hard place — damned if you do, and damned if you don't. Either freeze and starve on the water or get eaten on the land.

Here, they are huddling together in a vain attempt to get warm.

Canada Goose goslings huddling together on flotsam

Well, I won't keep you in suspense. I waited for hours, to see if the parents would show up and rescue them. Come sundown, still no parents. I know that sometimes geese parents will stash their babies in a safe place for an hour, and go off and do something, and then come back, but that obviously wasn't what was happening here. I still don't know what happened to the parents. This is the only time in 8 years of feeding the geese that I've ever seen an orphaned brood. (Maybe because orphans die or get eaten very soon.)

I was saying to myself, "These little guys aren't going to make it through the night. There isn't much chance of coming back here tomorrow and finding them still alive."

I didn't have the heart to just walk away and leave them to their fate, so I waited and watched some more.

When the opportunity presented itself — when they got off of the flotsam and swam near me — I put my hand in the water and said, "Come on... Come on..." and they sort of swam into my hand. The first little guy squawked in fear when I scooped him up, just once. I soothed him and said, "I'm not going to hurt you. Here, tuck in right here. That's a good gosling," and cuddled him against my chest with my left arm. He didn't try to escape. He tucked himself in as much as he could get in between my arm and my chest, which is just like a gosling getting under his mother's wing. The others watched what happened to the first one, and lost some of their fear. They were still a little afraid of me, but they were even more afraid of dying of the cold. One by one, they swam up to me within easy reach, and allowed me to pick them up and tuck them into my arms. None tried to escape. They just tried to get more tucked in. They basically knew in five seconds flat that I was a friend.

At that time, I did not know that putting a wing over a baby gosling is the official goose act of adoption. When I was cuddling them against my chest with my arms, that was an adoption in goose body language. When a gosling is orphaned, it goes around to all of the females and begs, "Will you be my mommy?" Usually, almost always, the female rejects the baby and snaps at it, or even bites it, and drives it away. Hence most orphaned goslings die soon. But if the female accepts the orphan, she puts a wing over it and cuddles it against her side. I did that because I just wanted to warm up the goslings and comfort them, and I also didn't have any other handy way to hold them right then. They understood it to mean something more.

I took them home, and fed them and warmed them and cuddled them, and yes, adopted them. I didn't originally intend to adopt them, but they got to me. And they accepted me as their foster mother very quickly — like within 18 hours, they wouldn't leave me.

It's a long story. I'll tell it by and by. I have a zillion more photographs. The camera got a good workout on this one.

Have a good day.

[The story of the goslings continues here.]

Date: Sat, July 26, 2008 9:39 am     (answered same day.)
From: Victor M.
Subject: Re: AA

Dear Orange,

I want to thank you for helping me make the right decision at a critical time in my life!

I was in the Twelve-Step program for a few years, but I got sober only AFTER I left AA completely. I've now been clean and sober for almost two years.

My experience corroborates many things you claim. For example, my drinking definitely became much more intense and dangerous when I relapsed after having started to attend Twelve-Step meetings. I think this was at least in part because of the phenomenon you call "learned helplessness", and also because of the shame and guilt I felt for not having "recovered". After the first drink I just said "fuck it, now I've got nothing to lose!"

In AA, I was never able to remain sober for more than a few months at a time. My sponsor told me I wasn't "open minded" enough to work the Steps properly. The real reason was that I had been taught that just staying "physically sober" would have no effect in terms of recovery. This belief undermined my resolve and thus weakened the only "power" that could actually help me.

Leaving AA certainly wasn't easy. Most of the people I had known in the program displayed a subtly condescending attitude. When I expressed my feelings of resentment towards AA to a "friend" (who had introduced me to the program), he told me that "criticizing AA is a loser behavior". Even though I had been miserable in AA, I still had great difficulty trusting my own instincts and judgment. When I left the program I was full of rage, particularly against the abusive narcissist who was my sponsor, but I still had the feeling that it was my fault and that perhaps my "disease" was guiding my actions.

Luckily I found your website (and Ken Ragge's). Your writings eloquently expressed thoughts and feelings that I had, in a vague sense, carried with me the whole time in AA. I was just afraid to acknowledge them. After reading your pages I realized my instincts were dead on. I had participated in a crypto-religious cult whose beliefs and values only superficially had anything to do with recovery. Anti-intellectualism, superstition and pseudo-scientific rhetoric were the order of the day. You really helped me solidify my decision to trust my own judgment!

Best regards,
Victor M.
Stockholm, Sweden

Dear Victor,

Okay, thank you. You just really brightened my morning. Now I feel cheerful enough to go make some coffee and start the day.

And congratulations on your escape and your sobriety. Life really is so much more fun when you aren't sick and hung over, isn't it?

Have a good day and a good life.

== Orange

*          [email protected]       *
*      AA and Recovery Cult Debunking     *
*      https://www.orange-papers.info/      *
** "Now I know what it's like to be high on life.
** It isn't as good, but my driving has improved."
** == Nina, on "Just Shoot Me", 13 Jan 2006.

Date: Sun, July 27, 2008 6:08 pm     (answered 28 July.)
From: Metalsaw
Subject: Why should we care what some unnamed invisible fools allegedly believe, anyway?

Why should we care what some unnamed invisible fools allegedly believe, anyway?

I am referring to you

Hello, Metalsaw,

Now do you have anything to offer to the world besides a resentment?

Oh well, have a good day anyway.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**  "r u looking to BUY Bacheelor/MasteerMBA/Doctoraate dip1omas?
**     read more her meg hlfe doshu"
**  == A real spam email that advertised a diploma mill.

Date: Sat, June 21, 2008
From: "eMac User"
Subject: Re: Wish List

"We AA's have never called alcoholism a disease because, technically speaking it is not a disease entity."

== Bill Wilson, speaking to the National Catholic Clergy Conference On Alcoholism.

"Can someone give me a date and a place?"

April 21, 1960 New York

Thank you for this site.

Hi eMac,

I'm not sure of the location, but it is listed in the transcripts of the NCCA, here: http://www.silkworth.net/religion_clergy/01052.html

The date appears to be 1960. The quote is about two-thirds of the way down the page.

Have a good day. == Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
** "Now I know what it's like to be high on life.
** It isn't as good, but my driving has improved."
** == Nina, on "Just Shoot Me", 13 Jan 2006.

Hi. I was just editting this item for publication, and I realized that I had misunderstood your letter. I just realized that you were answering the question, not asking it.

Oh well, at least I got to find a source for the quote.

Thanks and have a good day.

== Orange

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