Letters, We Get Mail, CLXII
by A. Orange

Date: Thu, February 25, 2010 11:30 am     (answered 19 May 2010)
From: "Mr. Z."
Subject: Saving Christianity

Hello A,

I just wanted to thank you for this site. It is a gold mine of information and your work is irreplacable. I have already referred many people to your site. Whether you know it or not, you helped saved a Christian girl's sanity from her AA-brainwashed husband. I often paraphrase your statements to others AND give your site the credit. I am very careful today what Christian sites I visit. Many of them are information gathering sites that come across as Christian although they are not. I also am a member of NARPA and help others along those lines to the best of my ability. Other sites include Hassan's Freedom of Mind Center and the "More Will be Revealed site". My Word Like Fire also blasts AA. So our numbers are growing and your site is turning into a focal point to expand out from. Also I am a Navy Veteran and due to the highly intelligent nature of your site I assume you are also. UH-Oh Incoming. Gotta run, thanks.


Date: Thu, February 25, 2010 11:51 am     (answered 19 May 2010)
From: "Mr. Z."
Subject: Lizard brain


Well I almost can totally recomend your site. Almost. I believe that I will steer around part of you site that gets into the rational recovery stuff. The man who created it was an atheist who hated God. I read his book "Alcoholics Anonymous Cult or Cure" years ago. It then got filed under "the usual bullshit". R.R. was a failure as much as AA is. So is S.M.A.R.T. and S.O.S. The best treatment is no treatment. My base is Jesus, my King James Bible and myself. To be fair I must also admit to avoiding all churches with a central authority or even a "convention". This doesn't leave me a lot. When Oh when will we ever get away from ALL the Treatment Nazi's? I am greatful to say that I can be feircly individual and stay out of all forms of groupthink. Too many churches have also got on the "program" bandwagon.

So whenever i hear program,treatment or help I remember the Lynyrd Skynyrd song lyric, " I think it's time for me to move along now, I do believe! Iam a conservative Christian and thank God I don't have an evolutionary lizard brain. I feel sorry for those that do. But I did have a pet iguana once. Maybe he could have told me about his lizard brain. I think the atheists are really grasping at straws on this one.

Hello Mr. Z,

Thanks for the letters and the compliments. I'm glad to hear that you are doing well.

Actually, I was Air Force, not Navy, but thanks for the compliment anyway.

I think you are confusing Jack Trimpey of Rational Recovery with Charles Bufe, who wrote A.A. Cult or Cure?. Personally, I don't know if either of them are atheists — I never thought to ask. Nor do I really care. What I care about is whether they tell the truth. And they seem to.

So have a good day now.

== Orange

*             orange@orange-papers.org        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one 
**     of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
**          ==  Jesus Christ (Matthew 25:40)

Date: Sat, January 9, 2010 6:31 pm     (answered 19 May 2010)
From: "Serenity Seekers"
Subject: The Religious Roots of AA

The Religious Roots of Alcoholics Anonymous and the Twelve Steps, Chapter 5: The "First Century Christian Fellowship" Campus Crusade in the 1920s certainly casts much darkness over AA roots. Have you read the introduction of Serenity: A Companion for Twelve Step Recovery? It doesn't paint in the lurid details as does your Chapter 5.

I am curious if you are famliar with what Jeff VanVonderen, Dale and Juanita Ryan refer to as a "written exercise called the Four Absolutes" which they claim to be from Oxford Group traditions? The question comes from information in the VanVonderen/Rayn book Soul Repair published by IVP in 2008. The Four Absolutes are reported to be Purity, Honesty, Unselfishness and Love. Have you run across them in this form as denoted from Oxford Group tradition?

In Service to God & Country
Peter R S.
Certified Chemical Dependency Professional
Certified Anger Management Instructor
Certified Stephens Minister
Founder, Serenity Seekers

Hello Peter,

Thanks for the letter.

I am familiar with the "Serenity Bible". There is a quote from the beginning of it, here.

I have not run into those other books. I'll have to check them out.

About the Four Absolutes, yes, they are well-known features of the Oxford Group. Check out these links:

  1. Frank Buchman's program consisted of "personal evangelism" with emphasis on: ... the practice of the Buchmanite Four Absolutes — Absolute Purity, Absolute Honesty, Absolute Love, and Absolute Unselfishness;

  2. Soon you will be hearing which of Christ's four standards of purity, honesty, love, or unselfishness the other is breaking. Then challenge!

  3. ... the Four Absolutes, when compared with any of the classical codes of ethics, do not form a well-balanced or comprehensive rule of life.

  4. Beverly Nichols, who was a member of the Oxford Groups for a while, gave his analysis of the Four Absolutes

  5. ... the Four Absolutes were not original material, either

  6. "Your four absolutes," I recounted, "came from Henry B. Wright, who got them from Robert E. Speer, who got them from Henry Drummond, who very likely got them from someone else."

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             orange@orange-papers.org        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**    True religion extends alike to the intellect and the heart.
**    Intellect is in vain if it lead not to emotion, and emotion
**    is vain if not enlightened by intellect; and both are vain
**    if not guided by truth and leading to duty.
**      ==  Tryon Edwards

Date: Sun, January 10, 2010 5:36 pm     (answered 19 May 2010)
From: "Chick W."
Subject: Are you an Alcoholic?

Are you an Alcoholic?


Hello Chick,

That depends on what you mean by that nine-lettered word, "alcoholic". I'm not dodging the question, just noticing that A.A. has many very different definitions for that funny word, and A.A. mixes them freely, which is at least grossly inaccurate.

Here are some previous discussions of the definitions of "an alcoholic", and whether I am one:

  1. here
  2. and here

But notice that, when I tell some A.A. true believers that I now have 9 years clean and sober without any participation in cult religion nonsense, they declare that I am "not a real alcoholic" after all.

Oh well, have a good day anyway.

== Orange

*             orange@orange-papers.org        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     How persistently we claim the right to decide all by ourselves
**     just what we shall think and just how we shall act.
**     William G. Wilson, Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, pages 36-37.
**     Don't worry, Bill will fix your thinking for you.

Date: Tue, January 12, 2010 2:02 pm     (answered 19 May 2010)
From: pd
Subject: Sentenced to A.A.

Dear Orange,

I am a recovering alcoholic who will very shortly celebrating one year sober. I have read nearly all of the files on your webpage and I must say that I agree with you on all material points. I have read your article entitled, "Sentenced to A.A.", and I think it bears mentioning that yet many other people, myself included, find themselves coerced into participation in Alcoholcs Anonymous or a similar 12-step "program of recovery." This often happens without any formal intervention from the criminal justice system. Let me tell you a little about myself.

I am a recent law school graduate who has successfully passed the bar exam and who has fulfilled all other requirements for licensure. However, I had to disclose on my bar application that I recently sought help for a problem with alcohol, and because of this disclosure, my state bar association denied my admission, pending an appeal to the bar association to determine if, over the past year, I have done enough to sufficiently recover from alcoholism. All of this I am ok with. I really am a recovering alcoholic, and a state's interest in preventing those who have not addressed their substances abuse problems from practicing law is a legitimate concern. What troubles me is the way decision-making bodies decide on the issue of whether a person has recovered from alcoholism. People recover individually, and, as your webpage correctly points out, Alcoholics Anonymous is not a "one-size fits all" program of recovery.

Several months ago, I was faced with the utimatum of, "participate in A.A., or don't get your law license." I went to a counseling service that purportedly had no connection with A.A. The counselor implied that if I do not work the A.A. program, then I would not be given a recommendation that I had been taking my recovery seriously. Never was it mentioned that there were other avenues of recovery available — SMART, SOS, LifeRing, etc. A.A. was the only option. There was no discretion. I had done a lot of thinking on the subject, and, in short, I can say that there is every indication that if I do not participate in the A.A. program, then I will not be licensed.

So, I participate in A.A. — reluctantly. My appointed sponsor insists that I discontinue all of my medications (including those used for depression), or otherwise I would not be considered "sober." I have one year of sobriety, and my sponsor insists that I have zero, because every day I am "relapsing." This is a horrible thing to do and say to those dealing with sobriety. It is totally unacceptable to me, and when I addressed my concerns at an open discussion meeting, I was personally attacked by the elders, telling me to "put the bat down," and, "you're still in denial."

Today, I am regarded as an anti-A.A. person/basher. Whenever I share at a meeting, some old-timer finds something in what I said to pick apart, and more than once it was told to me outright that if I did if I did not want to work the A.A. program, then I should immediately go to the nearest bar and get drunk (no joke). I must say, it is a really horrible thing to actually encourage people to relapse because they might not want to do things your way. This is a really bad experience, and it makes me wonder whether people outside of A.A. know what A.A. is really about. When I tell people that A.A. is a cult, they look at my like I'm crazy.

That being said, I do take my recovery very seriously, and I would even go so far as to try to help other alcoholics to recover from their problem. Thing is, I don't believe A.A. is at all a proper means through which to accomplish this.

When I do get my license to practice law, I intend to join SMART recovery (as their approach seems the most reaonable to me), and hopefully extend its influence to my geographic area.

Please feel free to write back if you'd like. In any event, best of luck to you in your own recovery, and keep up the good work.

warm regards,


(p.s. please do not disclose the above email address on your site)

Hello Paul,

Thank you for a very revealing letter. Sorry to take so long to answer — I was going through difficulties with a property management company (who also deserves to get sued).

I sincerely hope that, after you get your license to practice law, you sue the 12-Step coercing bastards. I mean really. That will save some other people from having to go through the same grief. You are in an especially good position to make big changes to the system, because nothing will put a stop to 12-Step coercion as fast as the coercers losing some multi-million-dollar lawsuits.

By the way, did you hear about the court ruling that declared that you can sue somebody who coerces you into the 12-Step religion? Even a judge can be sued, I hear. Or a parole officer, or you name it. I don't know the particulars of the case, but I think it was in the district court in Hawaii.

P.S.: A Google search found this:

ANY "coercive authority" who orders a person to attend a self-help group MUST give that ordered person a CHOICE between 12-Step (religious), and non12- Step (secular) self-help groups. Failing to do so allows for the ordered person to SUE the coercing authority, INDIVIDUALLY, as defendant Inouye was allowed to do to his parole agent in this case.
http://www.dangerthinice.org/Anti-Coercion%2012%20Steps.htm == John McCready's Anti-Coercion 12 Steps

Also see: http://www.dangerthinice.org/Lawsuit%20aa.htm == Lawsuits

Also see: http://www.sossobriety.org/events/appeals_court_says_requirement_t.htm == the Inouye case

Also see http://www.morerevealed.com/courts/index.html == Ken Ragge's web site More Revealed — very good. It has a list of court cases where A.A. was declared to be a religion, or engage in religious activities, which makes it illegal to coerce someone to participate in A.A.

Have a good day now, and please, use your special skills to our best advantage. I would sue, but I am not a lawyer. Joining SMART and helping there is all fine and well, and a good thing to do, but nothing will change the situation as fast as big spectacular lawsuits. So plan your attack, and collect documentation and evidence that they are forcing the A.A. religion on you... Olympus makes tiny digital sound recorders that fit conveniently in your pocket and record up to 22 hours of audio on its internal memory, and they are good for picking up all of the voices in the room. That's good for establishing who really said what and when and where. (Olympus VN-3200PC)

Again, have a good day.

== Orange

*             orange@orange-papers.org        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     What do you call an economist with a prediction?
**      Wrong.
**       ==  BusinessWeek headline, 1999

Date: Wed, January 13, 2010 10:44 am     (answered 20 May 2010)
From: "John McC"
Subject: NCADD references on your site

Hi Orange,

Given that your site is so extensive, and never-ending (that's a good thing!), I need to know WHERE in your site, you have information on/about/against the "National Council on Alcohol and Drug Dependance" (NCADD-the "lobbying" arm of AA/12-Step groups). I am working in a DUI Program that is unfortunately, OWNED by NCADD, and it seems to have this idea that the "disease THEORY" needs to be promoted to promote the organization's "Mission Statement". It sucks, as I prefer to give the clients CURRENT, and ACCURATE information.

Please let me know what you have.

Keep up the awesome site (and get it in PRINTED, BOOK FORM already! ;),

El Monte, CA

Hi again, John,

It's good to hear from you again. Sorry to take so long to answer — I've been offline while, looking for a new place to live (like here).

Now then, NCADD. There are many references, and you can find them by using the search engine that is at the bottom of each web page of the Orange Papers. That "Entropy" search engine is not the best, but it is usable. It will only give you a listing of the page names and the first lines of the page, which means that you usually see just a list of key words, or the page title, which is not much help. But if you open the page, you can then use the browser's built-in search function (in Firefox, at least, type a slash '/') to find NCADD within the page. And use control-G to find again.

These are some of the best references to NCADD:

  1. Two A.A. front groups write the AMA's definition of "alcoholism" == the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence and the American Society of Addiction Medicine

  2. More on that goofy AMA definition of "alcoholism" (Ah, this is you, isn't it?)

  3. some NCADD propaganda. Especially look at the update, where I just found that Scientology was using the same propaganda to claim that their "Narconon treatment center" works.

  4. a letter with references to NCADD as a front group for A.A.

  5. Dr. Tiebout was chairman of the National Council on Alcoholism (which later morphed into the NCADD) in 1950...

  6. in November of 2004, after Susan Cheever published her book My Name Is Bill, she was elected to the Board of Directors of the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependency — the NCADD — the A.A. front group that was founded by "Mrs." Marty Mann to promote Alcoholics Anonymous.
    Susan Cheever's lame attempts to explain away Bill Wilson's occult practices like necromancy are something else. Look here.

  7. More of Susan Cheever, and still more, and still more, this time rationalizing Bill Wilson's philandering and sexual exploitation of women newcomers to A.A., and doing the minimization and denial tap-dance, for which she was rewarded with a directorship in the NCADD.

  8. But this has to be one of Susan Cheever's best statements — she says that Bill Wilson's sex life is still a secret, and the embarrassing materials are being excised from the official literature and the archives.

  9. Bait-and-switch: the web site of the NCADD brags:

    The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence fights the stigma and the disease of alcoholism and other drug addictions.

    But then A.A. says that you are a defective, disgusting sinner who is in denial and full of resentments...

Oh well, have a good day anyway.

== Orange

*             orange@orange-papers.org        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     In the meantime, bundling boards — low walls clapped into
**     place across the bed — and homemade chastity belts were
**     used to keep the beast at bay.
**     ==  My Name Is Bill; Bill Wilson — His Life And The Creation Of
**        Alcoholics Anonymous, Susan Cheever, page 228.

Date: Thu, January 14, 2010 8:38 pm     (answered 21 May 2010)
From: "Richard S."
Subject: I agree

A. Orange,

just read your website. The Big Book follower clearly is due to experience the plaques found in the Bible in Revelations chapter 22. The AA gets to the rooms, gets his coffee and is handed his first Big Book. Having gotten many plaques prior to his first AA meeting he is now setting up for his/herslf the most horrifying nightmare known to man. Violation of chapter 22 Revelations. This has been happening to millions and millions of people since the Big Books inception in 1939. not just the alcoholic but everybody he comes in contact with. AA will implode from within.

Richard S.

Hello Richard,

Thanks for the letter. If you haven't already found it, I think you will like the chapter on The Heresy of the Twelve Steps. It goes into a lot of that stuff.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             orange@orange-papers.org        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin,
**     it would be better for him to have a great millstone hung around his
**     neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.
**        ==  Matthew 18:6

Date: Thu, February 4, 2010 7:40 am     (answered 21 May 2010)
From: Vicky
Subject: Is There Nothing We Can do About AA???

I have been reading your papers and after a forced participation in a 12 step program I am angry that this cult hasn't been uncovered. I do not drink anymore but what they have to sell is BS and I can't believe the people out there that are willing and programmed to believe their crap. As soon as my 8 weeks were up at treatment I was supposed to do the 90/90s. That didn't last. I started to question and left because they were like a group of zombies!! It scared me that these people have no mind of their own and truly believe that they need to rely on a set of cult-based steps to stay sober!! Isn't there anyway to expose them for what they are? I guess no one will believe. I will probably end up losing my job because I am not participating in their crap, but a risk I'm willing to take. I believe in myself and I "don't want what they have"!!!

I even joined the online group Escaping the Cult of AA. I had to express my opinion with people that know what I know and feel. If you don't believe, you are in denial, or if you don't drink without them, you are a dry drunk. It's like there is no getting around them.

Just needed to vent. I feel so helpless against them.


Hi Vicky,

Thanks for the letter. And I do believe that things are changing. On a bright note, a high-ranking official of the NIAAA — Mark Willenbring, director of treatment and recovery research at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism — recently declared that Alcoholics Anonymous teachings about alcoholism were "inconsistent with the evidence". (Look here.) He is in an important position, and controls a lot of research money, and he basically, in a reserved and dignified way, said that A.A. is full of bull. So the word is getting out, albeit far too slowly.

So have a good day now.

== Orange

*             orange@orange-papers.org        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     The greater the desire of your soul to heal your addiction,
**      the greater will be the cost of keeping it.
**         ==  Gary Zukav, Seat of the Soul

Date: Fri, June 4, 2010 12:53 pm     (answered 22 June 2010)
From: Vickie
Subject: Re: Is There Nothing We Can do About AA???

Dear Orange,

I so much appreciate you responding to me. I enjoy your web site and have refered so many people to it. I've also seen your papers mentioned on the anti-AA sites that I've visited. I recently read that they, they being the shrinks at DOE, have stopped using the term alcoholic and alcoholism and started referring to it as alcohol abuse, which is so much better.

Thank you for your response and all the info you sent. It will change eventually, it has too. I think people will start realizing that the AA way of thinking is so old school, but of course, you will never change the old timers. I read someone website and he said he was his own higher power and that's what I believe. Like you, I don't chose to drink to today and that's totally up to me.

Take care, you are in my thoughts, Vickie

Hi again, Vicky,

You know, I think the worst thing about A.A. is not that it is old, but that it is old lies. They are still repeating the same lies that Bill Wilson made up 71 years ago. And they won't correct one lie because the words of Bill are sacred.

Oh well, have a good day.

== Orange

*             orange@orange-papers.org        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     A truth is not hard to kill and ... a lie told well is immortal.
**        ==  Mark Twain, Advice to Youth, 1882

May 17, 2009, Sunday: Day 17, continued:

Canada Goose gosling
A Canada Goose gosling
I'm not sure which family this one is from.

[The story of Carmen continues here.]

Date: Wed, February 3, 2010 7:17 pm     (answered 21 May 2010)
From: caryn
Subject: Alcoholics and Children and "Intervention"

Mr. Orange,

I have never been to an AA meeting, but found your website right after my (now ex-)husband attended his first meeting. He started spouting slogans and I was freaked out about him turning into one of "those people". As a teenager, I could recognize there was something not right about people who were "recovering alcoholics"... there was a sameness about them that I found rather "Stepford-Wife"-ish. Thank you for all of your research and for being a sane voice in an insane world.

I recently watched an episode of A&E's show Intervention that I found absolutely dreadful. The father had a problem with alcohol. They didn't mention it (or I didn't hear it) until the end, but apparently the father had a fatal medical condition and had a short time to live. I missed whether that illness was related to his drinking, but I got the impression that it was not. When the family got together to do the intervention, they included the man's children — a teenage daughter and a son who was about 9 or 10. It broke my heart to see a little boy sobbing as he begged his father to stop drinking. The last scene of the show was the little boy saying "I'm sad my father died, but at least he didn't die an alcoholic." Is this child-abuse a standard AA/12-Step technique???? Children are to be loved and cared for, not used as pawns in adult relationships. I would never have involved my son in the issues I had with my ex regarding his problems with alcohol. My feeling at the time was that my son should have the opportunity to have as happy/care-free a childhood that I could provide, given the circumstances, and that someday, when he was older, he could make up his own mind about what kind of father my ex had been to him.

Thanks in advance for your thoughts on this topic.

Hi Caryn,

Thanks for the letter and the compliments.

I'm with you — using a child that way is despicable. On top of that, I'm pretty sure that the producer of the TV show wanted to do it because it would be a good melodramatic tear-jerker. None of that stuff in "reality" shows is accidental. The way I hear it, everything is rigged, and people are even encouraged to fight and squabble before the cameras.

I strongly suspect that the guy's excessive drinking really was connected to his fatal illness. People are not completely oblivious to their condition. Somewhere inside of himself he had to feel or know that he was fatally sick and going down. Drinking may have been his way of dealing with impending death.

And the kid's line about, "...at least he didn't die an alcoholic" is really pathetic, isn't it? I doubt that the kid thought of that himself. It was probably fed to him by one of the adults, like the producer. A kid is just as likely to say, "Gee, I guess we should have let him drink. At least he could have had fun at the end."

Oh well, have a good day now.

== Orange

*             orange@orange-papers.org        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     The road to your soul is through your heart.
**       ==  Gary Zukav, Seat of the Soul

Date: Mon, March 1, 2010 8:16 pm     (answered 22 May 2010)
From: "Mike B."
Subject: Something You Can Relate To

Hey, Terry,

I hope your move went well, and you are settled in. Jimmy from Blamedenial is back from hiatus, and we just put up a new video about some of the treatment center folks I have known over the years. I know your counselor was quite a guy, so I'm sure you can relate to some of these people. All is well here, even the weather, finally.



Hi again, Mike,

Thanks for the video. I'm glad to hear that you are back at it. I've really got to do some videos myself, on top of everything else that I have to do.

Oh, and as you have probably already seen, I finally got a new place, and I'm enjoying the change.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             orange@orange-papers.org        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     Humble spirits are free to love and to be who they are.
**     They have no artificial standards to live up to.
**         ==  Gary Zukav, Seat of the Soul

Date: Tue, March 2, 2010 4:06 pm     (answered 22 May 2010)
From: "John S."
Subject: query

Hi A Orange.

I've been reading your site off and on for a few years and have much food for thought.

Hi John,

Thanks for the letter and questions. I don't know as much as I wish I did, but I'll tell you what I know.

My question is has AAWS, the general conference, trustees. or whoever ever officially/formally corresponded with you about the bill wilson royalty history including Lois Wilson bequeathing the same in her will.

The answer to that is simple: "No." They have never corresponded with me about anything.

If you have, I would appreciate hearing about it as I would like to take this matter to the next general service conference through our area's representative.

It seems to me that these monies should remain with the service structure and I would like to know the official reason for them not remaining with the service structure if that is so.

A lot of people have expressed the same sentiment — that the money should have stayed in the Alcoholic Foundation. The reason that the money did not is because neither Bill Wilson, nor Lois Wilson, nor Helen Wynn felt like bequething their royalty income to Alcoholics Anonymous.

Here are copies of Bill and Lois' wills:

  1. Bill Wilson's Last Will and Testament, leaving ten percent of his estate to his favorite mistress, Helen Wynn, and the other ninety percent to his wife Lois.

  2. Lois Wilson's Last Will and Testament, where the royalty money for all of Bill's books leaves the A.A. fellowship forever.

Basically, William Griffith Wilson left 10% of his estate (royalty income) to his mistress, Helen Wynn, and 90% to his wife Lois.

Lois made the house Stepping Stones into a museum and established a foundation to manage the house, and endowed the foundation with 50% of the royalty income. Lois left the remainder of her royalty income to her relatives and friends. And Nell Wing got her clothes and jewelry.

It's an interesting question: How is it that neither Bill Wilson nor Lois Wilson felt like bequething any of the money to the Alcoholics Anonymous organization?

I don't have any information on what happened to Helen Wynn's share of the royalty income; I can only guess that she also left it to her friends or relatives.

Years ago, I read a posting on the Internet where somebody explained that a lawyer's office in New York City handles the estate and disburses the money to Lois's relatives and their descendants. (And, I guess, to Helen Wynn's descendants.) People who have nothing to do with A.A. get the money.

Maybe you are aware if there has ever been a motion to this effect at the general service conference. And if there hasn't been a motion about this, do you maybe know why.

A motion would be ineffective. Legally, the royalty income belongs to other people.

I think it is safe to say that none of those other people feels like giving their royalty money to Alcoholics Anonymous, so it would be totally pointless for the A.A. conference or headquarters to pass resolutions saying that they wish they got the money.

Looking forward to your response.

Sincerely, John S.

John D S                    | Born to see; meant to look
                            |                           Goethe
                            | "All good things — trout as well
                            | as eternal salvation — come by art
                            | and art does not come easy."
                            |    — Norman Maclean "A River Runs Though It"
                            | The rest is silence.           (Hamlet)

Okay, John, have a good day now.

== Orange

*             orange@orange-papers.org        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**    Madame, there are always two paths to take; one back towards
**    the comfort and security of death, the other forward to nowhere.
**       == Henry Miller
[The second letter in this chain is here.]

Date: Mon, May 24, 2010 3:02 pm
From: Claire S.
Subject: Helen Wynn

"Hi Terry — Claire here — one of your many fans, now free of the cult. I'm an estate lawyer, and I was just looking over the codicil to Bill W's will — the one where he leaves 10% of his big book royalties to Helen Wynn. The interest he gave her was a life interest, which legally means that her interest died when she did. She should have had no right to bequeath that interest to anyone else. Yet no provision seems to have been made in Bill's will for what happened to the interest after she died. Do you have any insight on this? I can't imagine that I'm the only one who has noticed this."

Thanks for the reply. I was wondering about that "life interest" phrase. What stopped me from wondering was noticing that Lois Wilson's inheritance was also a "life interest". And I know that I've read many times that she left her share of the royalties to her relatives. In fact, her will says so.
So how could she do that when she got a "life interest" share of the royalties from Bill?

Subject: Claire S. sent you a message
Date: Mon, May 24, 2010 4:58 pm
Re: Helen Wynn

Actually, he did a very different thing with Lois's 90%. He gave her a life interest, but he also gave her what's called a power of appointment — the right to say who got it after her death (which she did, in her own will; but if she hadn't, his will said who would get it in that case).

With Helen, though, he didn't provide the power of appointment. So there's a "hole" in the disposition, meaning that the intestacy laws should have kicked in to say who got it. Intestacy laws are the laws that say who gets people's property when they die without a will or with a will that "misses" something. The property doesn't automatically go to the state (that's a common misconception though), it goes to the decedent's family depending on marriage and bloodlines. In most states (not sure about NY), when a married person dies without leaving surviving parents or children, all the money goes to the surviving spouse.

The whole thing makes me suspicious, especially knowing what a sneaky sort Bill W. was. He obviously knew how to do a power of appointment (or his lawyer did) since one was put in place for Lois. I wonder if he did the 10% thing to appease Helen, but didn't put in the power of appointment, knowing that a partial intestacy would result....which would then give the interest back to Lois.

Hmmmm....just like Bill to do something nice for Lois, eh?

Ah, thanks for the clarification. So it sounds like the final disposition of the royalties from Bill Wilson's books and other writings is that the Stepping Stones Foundation is getting exactly 50% of the money, and Lois's heirs and their descendants are getting the other 50%.

So it goes.

Date: Tue, March 2, 2010 1:14 pm     (answered 22 May 2010)
From: "Dave H."
Subject: Thank You!

Dearest Orange,

I wasn't able to find your exact name, so I guess I'll just call you Orange. A little background, first.

I got into drugs in college, and after getting married, I ended up with a serious addiction which ended up with my getting arrested and forced to go into rehab. After that, I was told to join a 12-step group which I did for several years. I still had many, many, many relapses, mainly because I really liked getting drunk or high. After some time, a priest told me to get counselling. I did. And I quit the destructive behaviour.

Finally, I decided that I had had enough with the 12-step bullshit and left the programme. I told my sponsor I was done with it. He actually asked me if I was going to use again. I responded that I didn't do drugs any more and that I had a life to live now. We kept in touch afterwards periodically and I made sure to call him every now and then to tell him how grateful I was for the work he did with me.

Even whilst I was in the programme, I drank moderately. I never told anybody of course. I was there for a drug addiction, not alcohol, and I felt that it wasn't anybody's business. Anyway, I continued drinking moderately after I left the programme, and this moderate drinking soon turned into compulsive drinking. Then, one day after church, we went over to a friend's house and I drank so much booze that I blacked out. Not a pleasant experience. The next morning, my wife was angry, and I cried and told her that I would go back to AA. I didn't know about anything else.

She didn't believe I was alcoholic and remarked that I had matured an immense amount over the last several years since quitting the drugs. She thought AA was overkill. I disagreed, explained that my drinking patterns were indeed alcoholic and that I needed to get back on the wagon. I went to my first meeting that night, got a sponsor, and began reading the Big Book.

It has been 36 days since then. And I have gone to my last AA meeting ever. Basically, everything you have written about AA is true. I hate the group. I hate the hopelessness of it. I don't buy the disease bullshit. And I sure as hell don't accept the idea that rational thinking should be curtailed by the newcomer. I couldn't voice honest criticisms of AA without being told how "sick", "insane", and "deranged" I was. Granted, I was drinking destructively, but does that mean that I shouldn't get basic questions about the programme answered?

I have a very large family. I have enormous obligations as a husband and father. So I was going to two meetings a week. I was told that I needed to go more. No, I'm sorry, I was given "strong suggestions" to go to more meetings Suggestions which, if I didn't follow, might lead to my sponsor refusing to work with me. I was told that whatever I put in front of my sobriety I would lose. Really? Is going home to be a father to my children and a husband to my wife putting family before sobriety? Really? If I choose to sleep eight hours per night, am I putting sleep before sobriety — sleep which I will lose because I did so? Huh? But when I asked these questions, I was told that I was "overthinking" and that I needed to "keep it simple".

I was told that I needed to work "the programme" and not "my programme."

So I asked, "Does the Big Book contain the programme?"


"And how many meetings does the Big Book say to attend?"

Silence. Of course, the Big Book does not say a single thing about meeting attendance (nor does it say anything about sponsorship, either). So who was working the programme? The guy who followed the Big Book, or the guy who invents meeting requirements over and above the Big Book? But this question was just too impertinent you see. I mean, what does a guy with 30 days of sobriety really know anyway?

So then I stumbled upon your page. Ah! So I'm not crazy after all! Thank you, thank you, thank you.

I hope that your web page becomes all the more well known in the years to come and that people are able to see through the 12-steps to swallowing shit sandwiches. There is so much more that I want to say. But I know you get lots of letters as it is. So may God bless your efforts.

Sincerely and with much gratitude,

Dave H.

Hi Dave,

Thanks for the letter and the thanks. Sorry to take so long to answer — I've been busy finding a new place to live, which ended up taking 10 times as long as I thought it would.

Congratulations on your victories. And for dealing with your current problems, it sounds like you have already found something that helps: counseling. So maybe more of that will help some more.

In addition, I would consider both SMART and AVRT. Both of them have counseling-like aspects where they encourage you to look at your own thoughts and understand what is happening there. What are you thinking just before you drink or take a drug? Why do you feel the way that you do? What thoughts are contributing to those feelings?

I've already put together a list of what works for other people, and the list includes descriptions of both SMART and AVRT — a.k.a. the "Lizard Brain Addiction Monster", so look here and here.

Have a good day and a good life.

== Orange

*             orange@orange-papers.org        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     The part of you that reaches for the Light may not be the
**     strongest part of you at the moment that you chose to
**     journey toward authentic power, but it is the part that
**     the Universe backs.
**         ==  Gary Zukav, Seat of the Soul

Date: Sat, February 27, 2010 10:21 pm     (answered 22 May 2010)
From: "Tim K."
Subject: (no subject)

I am a member of alcoholics anonymous and wish people like you would get a life. Do you have nothing better to do than look down at others and be negative about millions of people who have found a way out? Bill was definitely no saint, none of us are in or out of aa, but we are all on a path hopefully one that leads us in a positive direction which is precisely what has happened to millions as a result of aa.

get a life!


Hello Tim,

Actually, I have a life, and I have plenty of better things to do than argue about Alcoholics Anonymous. And if A.A. would stop the coercive recruiting, and stop running a publicity machine that declares that cult religion is the best cure for drug and alcohol problems, then I would be able to spend more of my time doing other things that are a lot more fun.

By the way, your "millions" number is the typical A.A. exaggeration. The most that A.A. can claim world-wide is 2 million members, and 95% of them will relapse and leave within a year or two. So A.A. is not "saving millions". It is merely deceiving millions.

And then your rationalization, "Bill was definitely no saint, none of us are in or out of aa", is just some more of the standard A.A. minimization and denial. An organization that is supposed to "save millions" must be better than a club where the founder was a lying, thieving, philandering narcissist who sold an old cult religion to the suckers. And to base one's life on the teachings of that nutcase is mental, moral, and spiritual suicide.

Oh well, have a good day anyway.

== Orange

*             orange@orange-papers.org        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     She will be more fresh MEAT for Bill's 12-Step MEATing room.

Date: Sun, February 28, 2010 10:43 pm     (answered 23 May 2010)
From: "mike r."
Subject: Hello

I had a whitelight experience back in 92. I too was as arrogant as Bill. Mine was as a natural result of the steps. It it hard to share with people, even in AA, especially in AA. I have stumbled over and over since then. People can feel it in the meetings, but shake their head in disbelief, because of my relapses. I feel for ebby. I need someone to talk too. My current sponsor has never had a slip in 18 yrs. He thinks when I speak and quote phrases from the big book I am being a smart ass. I have just studied it because I don't want to die. I am troubled now, with him not listening to me at all. I don't bring up the awakening to anyone unless led in a meeting or when I feel God sharing through me. I need to talk to others that have had one. I never have. The guy that helped me get my moved away and died. Sad most folks in AA don't even believe in them anymore, I know I need to connect with it again or make peace with it. I wish I could talk to someone who had one and got it back. I know I may sound nuts but I am talking to the right person...I am not

/ Ty Mike

Date: Sun, February 28, 2010 10:56 pm     (answered 23 May 2010)
From: "mike r."
Subject: Disregard last post

I see you have a huge chip. Will pray for you.

Hi Mike,

Thanks for the letter. Sorry to take so long to answer " I had other problems to deal with.

Congratulations on your sobriety, and just keep at it. Slips are not the end of the world. The most important thing is that you don't give up. After you slip, pick yourself up out of the mud, clean yourself off, and get on with your life.

I'm not sure what the "huge chip" means " whether it is a nine-year sobriety chip (which I never collected), or if you mean that I have a huge chip on my shoulder, which Steppers have occasionally accused me of. Whatever.

Now, about the white light experience. I don't think you are crazy. I've had a few too.

You know what is maddening about such experiences? They don't solve all of your problems. You get shown something utterly fantastic, totally life-changing, and then you have to go back to ordinary life and do all of the ordinary work, same as usual. The white light experience doesn't solve any of your problems. You still have to quit drinking and quit smoking and take care of your health, just like everybody else. You still have to fight temptation and urges, just like everybody else. And you still have to get up in the morning, and go to work, and pay the rent, just like everybody else. It seems unfair, but that's just how it is.

It reminds me of some Zen sayings, like:

Before enlightenment, there is only chopping wood and carrying water.

After enlightenment, there is only chopping wood and carrying water.


Being enlightened is just like ordinary life, except that you are walking around about two inches off of the ground.

Have a good day and a good life.

== Orange

*             orange@orange-papers.org        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     The great path has no gates.
**     Thousands of roads enter it.
**     When one passes through this gateless gate
**     He walks freely between heaven and earth.
**     ==  Zen Flesh, Zen Bones, A Collection of Zen and Pre-Zen Writings, compiled by Paul Reps, p. 88

Date: Sun, February 28, 2010 11:32 pm     (answered 23 May 2010)
From: "steve a."
Subject: your article

They are a cult. I stopped going and they used every means possible to try to force me to go to their meetings. There are a lot of aa and na people in Las Vegas and they have harassed me for 10 years. I can't prove this, of course. Because they are 'anonymous'... i.e. secretive... people. I Do know from the cult are using people I DON'T know to mess with me.... and because they are experts at this and they work in groups and there is nothing that can be done about them. Law enforcement works with them because some of law enforcement and the court system ARE them. I appreciate your effort to educate the public. Be careful... these people tried to drive me crazy enough to kill myself.... and almost succeeded. They use hypnosis and high tech. equipment being the worst. They are dangerous.

Hi Steve,

Thanks for the letter, and congratulations on your escape.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             orange@orange-papers.org        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     "A little patience and we shall see the reign of witches pass over, their
**     spells dissolve, and the people recovering their true sight, restore their
**     government to its true principles.  It is true that in the meantime we are
**     suffering deeply in spirit, and incurring the horrors of a war and long
**     oppressions of enormous public debt.  But if the game runs sometimes
**     against us at home we must have patience till luck turns, and then we
**     shall have an opportunity of winning back the principles we have lost,
**     for this is a game where principles are at stake."
**         ==  Thomas Jefferson

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