Letters, We Get Mail, CLXVIII
by A. Orange



Date: Fri, April 30, 2010 12:18 pm     (answered 11 June 2010)
From: "Ken S."
Subject: CDs / Lizard Brain

Terrance,

Great website you've created, I've been reading it all week :)

I have a theory I call the "CD Theory" — for Compensating Depression. The idea is that for every euphoric experience created by drinking alcohol, there is a compensating depression, a form of payment extracted by mother nature.

Hi Ken,

Thanks for the letter and the compliment.

That CD theory sounds about right. There is a crash after every drug high. Sometimes the crash is very mild, like with pot and acid. And sometimes the crash is hellish, like with speed. But it just seems like you can't get something for nothing.

Also, I was wondering if you believe the Lizard Brain can be equated to the Freudian concept of the "Id", and the higher mind, the one that is needed to overpower the Lizard Brain, is equated to the concept of the Freudian "Superego".

Hmmm. I had not thought of that connection before. That makes sense. I think Freud was talking about the same thing, just interpreting the animal drives of the base brain through the filter of Victorian morality. And now the Medieval image comes to mind — believing that people had a devil and an angel inside, fighting for supremacy. Funny how we keep coming back to that same dichotomy.

Keep up the good work at the website :)

— Ken S.

Okay, I will.

And have a good day now.

== Orange

*             orange@orange-papers.org        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**      Steven King wrote, "Ghosts are real. Monsters are real too.
**      They live within us. And sometimes, they win."





The following four letters arrived at the same time, with the same last name and the same ISP. Apparently, I have a husband-and-wife tag team working on me.

Date: Fri, April 30, 2010 2:21 pm     (answered 11 June 2010)
From: "Mike C."
Subject: Your site

Orange,

So much hate directed at one target. AA is having it's International convention in San Antonio in July and 75,000 to 100,000 will attend. It will be the largest convention in San Antonio's history as it was in Seattle, San Diego, Minneapolis, and Montreal. People will attend from all over the world. Millions would of course disagree with your characterization of AA including Judges, Clergy, lawyers, engineers, Doctors, professional people, laborers of all ilk, all the way down to people living on Skid Row.

Hello Mike,

Well, you are starting off by using the A.A. father Dr. Frank Buchman's favorite propaganda trick: Appeal to Numbers (Argumentum ad Numerum). Buchman was always claiming that the large numbers of people who attended his meetings and conventions proved that he was right about everything.

So, you are going to a convention. So what? Lots of organizations have conventions. Haven't you seen the videos of Tom Cruise working a Scientology convention? Search on YouTube. It's quite a show.

And here is an old favorite:


Moonies Mass Marriage Ceremony, 13 Feb 2000

I'm sure that they rave about how wonderful their conventions are too.

You have quite a large site. You know if I was convinced that horse shit was brown I would not devote my life to trying to convince people I was right. Of course I am 25 years sober, retired with a great family a solid financial portfolio and not living on the streets in Portland Oregon for the last 9 years. My life I have because of AA. Would you say your life is because of your philosophy. Let's see. A life of comfort and joy vs a life of discomfort and anger. I think I will take mine.

I spent 3 months looking for another apartment, not 9 years.

And your moral standards are apparently determined by wealth and comfort. So rich people are more virtuous than poor people because the rich people have more luxuries? That attitude is so anti-Christian and fascistic that it warrants no further criticism.

Congratulations on your 25 years of sobriety.

Best of luck to you and I hope some day you may find the peace that millions of us have found in Alcoholics Anonymous.

Regards,

Mike

You have a good day too.

== Orange


Date: Thu, April 29, 2010 4:39 pm     (answered 11 June 2010)
From: "Traci C."
Subject: AA

Wow! I've been studying your site awhile and am so sad. Why would anybody wish to viciously put something down that has helped so many people? I'm sorry you had a bad experience. Of course there are some sick people in this program. They obviously are not working the steps. There are sick people EVERYWHERE - in every organization, religion or institution. That doesn't mean that the organization, religion, etc. is bad as a whole. Don't condemn it all because of a few bad eggs. I mean, come on! Besides, this obsession of yours is killing you. Why invest so much energy on something you don't fully understand? Sure you've done some research. So what? I can manipulate any study, any story, any statistic into what I want it to mean, especially if I'm hell bent on one particular side of an issue.

I truly hope you find peace some day.

Traci

Hi Traci,

Thank you for the letter. I have already found peace.

The simple facts of the matter are that A.A. does not work to make alcoholics quit drinking, and A.A. lies about that a lot.

Everything else is minimization and denial, and rationalization, and trying to avoid the point.

  • It is not a matter of me "having had a bad experience".
  • It is not a matter of people "not working the Steps right".
  • It is not a matter of "There are sick people EVERYWHERE".
A.A. doesn't work to make alcoholics quit drinking. Period.

This statement of yours is true: "I can manipulate any study, any story, any statistic into what I want it to mean..."

Yes, that is exactly what Alcoholics Anonymous does to create the appearance of a good organization that actually sobers up a lot of alcoholics. But it still isn't true.

Have a good day.

== Orange


From: "Traci C."
Subject:
Date: Fri, April 30, 2010 11:38 pm     (answered 11 June 2010)

Hmmmm... Let's see....

Do I take advice from the hundreds of wonderful people I know personally (all of whom are happy, have jobs, homes, and tons of family and friends who love them)?

OR

Do I wanna listen to an angry, pathetic lunatic who can't even hold down a job and find a place to live besides homeless shelters?

Boy, that's a tough one.

Come on! A homeless guy giving advice to other people on how to live is nothing short of LAUGHABLE!!! (Thanks for the joke....because that, sir, is all you are.)

Post THAT on your site!

Hi Traci,

Okay, I posted it. I don't practice censorship.

Have a nice life! (HA!)

Sent from Traci's iPod

Nothing like a little schadenfreude, huh?

Do you carry on the same way when one of your fellow A.A. members loses his apartment?

You have a good day too, Traci.

== Orange


Date: Sat, May 1, 2010 12:19 am     (answered 11 June 2010)
From: "Mike C."
Subject: AA Does it work

I find it truly amazing that you have devoted such a large part of your life trying to prove to yourself and others that AA does not work. Let me give you a bit of my own experience. My experience is that Alcoholics Anonymous works and it works 100% of the time. As our Big Book states there are many other ways to get and stay sober and AA does not have the only way. Tearing down our successful program does not elevate another. Millions of people worldwide attest to the success of AA. According to you they must all be wrong.

You have to be lying with qualifiers to claim that A.A. works 100% of the time. Obviously, you are not counting all of the people who come to A.A. seeking some kind of help or answers. You are only counting the ones that you like to count.

Again, you are trying the "appeal to numbers" trick: "Millions of people worldwide attest"...
But since there are only 2 million A.A. members in the whole world, and 95% of them will drop out without getting a one-year sobriety medallion, your statement cannot possibly be true. So A.A. is not "a successful program". It is just a successful cult.

I have been sober for 24 years in the program of AA. I have never met one person who has honestly taken the 12 steps with the assistance of a sponsor who had a sponsor and then continued to live within those 12 steps who has ever taken another drink or used a drug. It simply does not happen. Those who do drink or use have not been failed by the program. They have failed by not adhering to the program.

Again, you are cherry-picking and lying with qualifiers. Only those people who quit drinking are, in your opinion, "honest".

And you couldn't be doing a better job of parrotting the cult dogma: "The program is perfect. It's just the people who fail the program."

Congratulations on your 24 years. (Not 25? You said 25 above.) That makes you one of the respected old-timers, doesn't it? So why aren't you using your position and influence to fix what is wrong with A.A.? How about stopping the sexual exploitation of underage girls in Mike Q.'s group? Or Clancy's? Why don't you do that?

The 12 steps are a way of life. As long as a person sticks to that way of life they stay sober and their lives improve. I read a number of the letters and more letters and did not find one letter from anyone who was failed by AA. They all failed because like you they abandoned AA. Sobriety is a bi-product of right living and the 12 steps are a way to live right.

The Twelve Steps are Dr. Frank Buchman's practices for producing well-indoctrinated members of a fascistic cult.

You like to quote statistics and as you know given a set of numbers I can prove any side of any argument. The old adage that figures lie and liars figure is appropriate.

No, that is not true at all. You cannot "prove" anything you wish with numbers, not without lying and deception and bad mathematics. Proper mathematics is a very good way to find the truth.

The Big Book speaks of a 75% success rate and those like you love to debate that number but it is not debatable. The 75% rate is followed by three critical words "and really tried."

Yes, like I have said so many times, Bill Wilson was lying with qualifiers when he wrote that. That is a grossly dishonest statement, a complete fraud. Bill Wilson's intention was to fool people into thinking that A.A. actually worked, which it did not.

Does that mean 75% of the people who walk into an AA meeting stay sober? Of course not. That is not what our book claims.

Ah, but that is what Bill Wilson implied. It's just like, "RARELY HAVE we seen a person fail, who has thoroughly followed our path." What Bill did not write is that, in his opinion, very very few people ever "thoroughly followed his path".

And you old-timers won't tell the newcomers the truth about that, either. When is the last time that you told a bunch of newcomers that the odds of them getting a 20-year coin are less than one in a thousand?

AA meetings are but a small part of the program of AA. There are meetings, the fellowship, the common bond, the Big Book, the 12 steps and the sharing of AA all of which are parts of the program.

Yes, there are lots of cult activities to keep you busy. It's just like the fundamentalist Christian cults with Bible study, and prayer meetings, and lectures, and church services, and conventions, and meetings, and recruiting, and more Bible study, and more recruiting...

Those who fail in AA fall into three basic groups:

  • 1. People who cannot or will not completely give themselves to this simple program
  • 2. People who are constitutionally incapable of being honest with themselves
  • 3. People who suffer from grave emotional and mental disorders. Every letter on your site which I read where someone claims that AA does not work and did not keep them sober falls into one of those three categories. Those who got and stayed sober without AA are to be commended. We never debate that there are other successful programs.

It's all the fault of those darned disgusting alcoholics that Frank Buchman's Oxford Group cult practices don't cure alcoholism, isn't it?

That is, of course, total baloney, just more standard cult dogma. But after 24 years, I'm sure that you have it all memorized, and can recite A.A. scriptures all day long, right?

There is absolutely nothing I have read on your site that disproves that AA works for those who honestly work it.

Again, that is lying with qualifiers. You have to always tack on those qualifiers to the ends of your sweeping declarations — "those who honestly work it".

And please show me where, in the official A.A. literature, we see the test that determines whether an A.A. member is rated as "honestly working it". (Or would that be "taking someone's inventory"?)

So how do you decide whether someone is "honestly working it"? Don't you just look at whether he is drinking?

  • If he is drinking, then he must not be honestly working it, right?
  • And if he is sober, then he must be honestly working it, right?
  • So 100% of the people who, in your opinion, are "honestly working it", are sober.

Talk about loopy circular logic.

Your way of thinking has gotten you what? You are an angry unsuccessful homeless person who does not drink or smoke tobacco. You have developed an antipathy to those in AA who are successful, homeowners who are financially stable with wonderful friends and families. Why is it that you dislike these people so much?

Alcoholics Anonymous foists harmful quack medicine on sick people, and lies about its success rate in curing alcohol abuse and alcohol addiction. A.A. hurts a lot of people.

And again, you appeal to materialism: "Your way of thinking has gotten you what?"

Hmm, no millions, no split-level house in suburbia, no 401K, no financial stability. He must not be moral... God must not like him. Maybe he should try selling his soul to the Devil in trade for sobriety. That's highly profitable.

I wish you only the best but perhaps your life would go better if you channeled your energy into a positive rather than a negative endeavor. You are obviously quite bright and it is sad that you have wasted so much of your life trying to disprove that AA actually has worked for millions of people. If all of the time you have spent on this task were directed toward positive things I would surmise you would not be homeless or living hand to mouth as you are.

Getting rid of bad quackery is a good thing to do. We wouldn't be half as healthy as we are if we had not gotten rid of a lot of quackery and bad medical practices.

And again, you mention the homelessness. You seem to be delighted that I lost my apartment and had to find another one. Apparently, in your moral system, losing an apartment equals being wrong about everything in life. And you are also happy to mention the fact that I am not rich. That is a very, very strange morality that you have there. Is that what you call "spirituality"? It sounds much more like crass materialism:
"The rich are morally superior to the poor. We are just a better class of people. We are royalty, you know."
(Remember that scene in Titanic?)

I wish you continued sobriety but in conjunction with that I wish you a happy prosperous life. You obviously do not have the latter now.

Actually, I do. I am quite happy and contented with life. Apparently you do not understand how someone can oppose and criticize evil without being miserable. You should try it some time, and see how it feels.

Mike

Have a good day, Mike.

== Orange

*             orange@orange-papers.org        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**  "WHEN a pretension to free the world from evil ends only in a new proof
**   of the danger of a fanatic to the commonweal, then it is not to be
**   marveled at that a distrust is aroused in the observer which makes
**   sympathy impossible."
**      ==  Sigmund Freud





Date: Sat, May 1, 2010 2:28 am     (answered 11 June 2010)
From: "john r.
Subject: greetings

Hey I respect the work you do and what you have written it has enlightened me ,,, I have been a member of the Cult AA for 22 years and have been drug free for 21 years and about 11 months I did have two slips along the way where I drank but did not go back to drugs .... I did not wind up in jail or in the gutter ,,, but I just knew it was over like you say just dont pick up I agree

I have a lot of friends in AA and alot of enemies too the haters despise me because I feel its important to let newcomers know people here cant run your life, you dont have to believe in anything, and you dont need a sponsor to micro manage your life

Maybe all you need is a few good non drinking non judgemental friends

I stay because I really enjoy making the Koolaide drinking Orgasmic God Calling Spiritually Awakened Buddahs squirm especially if I get to chop up the dogma and disagree in a public forum ,,, Ive saved a few New People from really drinking koolaide ,,, especially along the lines of family seperation tactics, life micro management, practicing medicine without a license, etc etc

I stay because I dunno maybe I just like starting shit honestly I hope I dont have the Narsasitic Complex you describe in Bill but I stay ,,, cause maybe I can help one person from getting totally destroyed by some weird ass cult member buddah you have no idea how much some of them hate me ...but I,m not drinking having a great time and enjoy fucking with them because they are not Gods and i,m long around enough to know where all the bodies are buried (heh)

all the best I hope this Email Finds you not all of us are Brainwashed ....

I leave my number you have my name at your service

xxx xxx xxxx

Hi John,

Thanks for the letter and thanks for the thanks. And congratulations on your many years of clean and sober living.

You sound like another good candidate for the Newcomer Rescue League. (It's a mythical organization of brave souls who attend A.A. meetings to rescue confused newcomers from the clutches of bad sponsors. Look here and here and here and here and here and here. But it ought to be real, and maybe it is becoming real.) So thank you for the good things you do to help the newcomers.

Oh, and I'm sure you don't have Narcissistic Personality Disorder. People with NPD cannot even consider the possibility that they are sick and insane. No, they are perfect, God's gift to mankind (and womankind).

So have a good day, and keep up the good work.

== Orange

*             orange@orange-papers.org        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**  "I do not know how to avoid the conclusion that a man who is capable
**   of taking the illusions of religion so literally and is so sure of a
**   special personal intimacy with the Almighty is unfitted for relations
**   with ordinary children of men."
**      ==  Sigmund Freud





Date: Sat, May 1, 2010 5:57 am     (answered 11 June 2010)
From: "David A."
Subject: sorry

I'm sorry you're so angry. I'll pray for you.

Yours Truly,

NA member

Hello David,

Thank you for the good wishes, but don't waste your time praying for me. I'm fine. Pray for the newcomers to 12-Step meetings. They are in great danger.

So have a good day now.

== Orange

*             orange@orange-papers.org        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**
**     As a lifelong Catholic and former altar boy, I still can't figure
**     out why people of my religion believe that our "all knowing, all
**     loving, all powerful" God can't figure out whether or not to help
**     a human situation unless one of his incredibly less knowledgeable
**     creatures — the Pope, a saint, etc. — intercedes to the Almighty
**     on behalf of someone.
**     So if a Catholic says, "I'll pray for you.", doesn't that indicate
**     they believe God is either not all knowing or not all loving —
**     since he doesn't know if he should or doesn't want to help unless
**     he hears the prayer. Consequently, aren't they really saying they
**     don't believe in the entire Catholic concept of God?
**        ==  The Mick
**     http://www.usatoday.com/news/religion/2007-05-29-pope-missing-girl_N.htm?csp=34#uslPageReturn





Date: Sat, May 1, 2010 7:28 am     (answered 11 June 2010)
From: "Peter H."
Subject: wow!!!

Wow,
why would you go to so much work trying to prove something wrong, that is working for many people?

Hello Peter,

Thanks for the letter.

And here we go again with the same old line, the biggest Big Lie of Alcoholics Anonymous. A.A. is not "working for many people". A.A. is a failure that merely claims the credit for some people getting their lives together and saving themselves. I've written it all before, so look here.

Wow, You must have had some major problems in AA or NA and still carrying some pretty huge resentments?

Again, wanting to get the truth out there is not "a resentment".

And resentments are not the cause of alcoholism or addictions, either. That is just some more 12-Step cult nonsense from Bill Wilson's ravings. Look here for a list of previous discussions of "having a resentment".

Obviously I have not read all your stuff, but a bit and you make some valid points, but a lot is just negative fear based excuses?

I am not afraid to notice the A.A. and N.A. failure rate, and tell the truth about it. I also have 9 years clean and sober now, so I'm not making excuses. What are you talking about?

Yes there are some wankers in AA, but there are many in life too....
Yes there are many egomaniacs in AA....same in life
Many people get into AA and get forced to go with certain sponsors....told these sponsors are good etc....but the sponsor is existing on his reputation only....probably because he has sponsored untold people??? It does not mean he is any good, or even is an alcoholic.....as most people in AA probably do not even know what one is???

You do realize, don't you, that that whole rap is just so much minimization and denial?

Denial ain't just a river in Egypt.

I know from my own experience that there are troubles and divides in AA, but the really spiritual thing to do is not to knock them, but to try and pass the real message and be a real example and show real humility??? Maybe I am wrong and you are right, who knows?

What "real message". Lying to newcomers about how well "the Program" works is not "spiritual". Nor is it showing "real humility". Real humility is admitting that you don't have any magic answers, and that you have been wasting your time foisting a hoax on sick newcomers.

I for one never tell or order sponsors to do anything.....when they make a decision to believe in their god....it is just that...their god and I am not god, so can not and will not instruct them to do anything realted to that...it is personal.

My god is not religious and never will be, some people believe in religion and if it works for them good luck to them and no they should not force it on newcomers.....attraction rather then promotion???

Thanks
Peter H.
Singapore
21 years sober....still works for me
--
Easy does it....but do it

When you say "My god is not religious and never will be", that is just typical A.A. double-talk, and double-think, and meaningless slogan-slinging. Of course beliefs and teachings about God are religious, by definition. Look at the definitions of religious and religion

To say "My god is not religious" is ridiculous. What, does your god not believe in God? Is your god a hard-core atheist who refuses to go to church?

Oh well, have a good day anyway.

== Orange

*             orange@orange-papers.org        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**
**     "Don't you see that the whole aim of Newspeak is to narrow the range
**     of thought? Has it ever occurred to you, Winston, that by the year
**     2050, at the very latest, not a single human being will be alive who
**     could understand such a conversation as we are having now? The whole
**     climate of thought will be different. In fact, there will be no
**     thought, as we understand it now. Orthodoxy means not thinking —
**     not needing to think. Orthodoxy is unconsciousness."
**         ==  George Orwell's 1984, Syme, pages 46-47





May 18, 2009, Monday: Day 18:

Woman Feeding Geese
A woman gets a kick out of feeding the geese
The geese get a kick out of it too. They like Fritos. They are junk food junkies, just like people.

[The story of Carmen continues here.]





Date: Sat, May 1, 2010 12:24 pm     (answered 11 June 2010)
From: "Elizabeth R."
Subject: Trapped by AA and government

It takes me a moment to get to the point but I do.

I have been reading your website and it helps validate what I think and keeps me from falling for the brainwashing that I am currently getting. I just wonder why there is not more information like this out there. I have been searching around desperately for another way to conquer my addiction that was not AA, twelve step or disease orientated. I played with rational recovery but I lost my focus and descended deeper into addiction. My second DUI worked. I sobered up and quit taking the prescription drugs that started the whole mess.

In order to get my license back in SC I have to go through their program. I was ready for that since there was no doubt in my mind that I needed help and should face the consequences of my actions. I was completely honest when I was evaluated by a counselor who by the initials at the end of her name couldn't qualify to counsel my dog. I didn't know that then, I trusted that the system had my best interest and the safety of others in mind. It didn't occur to me at the time that my insurance card was about to become their personal credit card.

A group of counselors reviewed my file and decided that I needed IOP (intensive outpatient therapy) which amounts to 4 times a week, three hours per night. By this time, I had been without alcohol for four months and pills three. I had managed to maintain my job and start rebuilding my reputation. They gave me a chance to appeal this by pleading my case to a group of counselors that I had never met before. I thought that if I spoke logically and honestly to these people that they would understand that putting that kind of regime on someone without a license and a stressful job is a setup for failure. I got about ten minutes where the only questions that were asked related to my former medications. I've been evaluated for most everything at one time or another and had a pill for everyone of them.

Needless to say they rejected my pleas. I get that, really. I am sure that people lie to them all the time and my sobriety is fairly new. What I didn't get was being told that I was rejected because in their opinion I needed to be on medication despite the fact that I had explained in full detail to the other counselor in detail that the pills were the catalyst for downhill slide. I used alcohol when I did not have pills, later I used both. I did not doctor shop or do anything illegal to get them so when I was out, I was out until I saw the doctor next. I could not believe that they would be so irresponsible and ignorant. I have no doubt that if I was still taking the pills, I would probably still be drinking. The pills deadened my conscious which kept me from viewing myself or my life with any kind of clarity which made it easier for me to drink. Yet they pushed me to see a doctor. Thankfully he was pleased with my progress and decided that I was doing well without medication. In fact, he seemed a little annoyed that people would make that kind of judgment without knowledge of my medical history.

I was also told that focusing on my work was a sure danger sign and they made the assumption that I was only switching my addictions. No one asked how many hours I was really working. I was also told that dealing with my anxiety on the weekends through prayer and self counseling was a bad coping skill. I now know that if I had told them that I had gotten sober by filling my time with meetings and handled my anxiety by calling a sponsor they would have probably let me in the once a week treatment. But I did not want to lie anymore. Addiction and dishonesty go hand in hand. But in order to get through this eight to ten week thing, I have to lie. My length of time in this thing is dependent on the counselors opinion of my progress despite the fact none of these counselors appear to be qualified to make that call. One of them is a master social worker and the other some kind of pastoral care person.

They strictly use AA doctrine despite its religious overtones and the fact that their funds came from government organizations. I am a spiritual person and know that I could not have made it through this without my faith, but I am offended at having their version of spirituality shoved down my throat with my tax money. Of course they also charge for these services, around a hundred dollars a day. That's a lot of money to me and I have insurance and a job. Ninety percent of the people in my group have neither. They graciously allow you to make payment arrangements something they bring up every session. You get kicked out for not paying, sober or not. It seems reprehensible to me to appear to want to help addicts while knowing that your paycheck depends on them staying addicts.

According to them, AA is the only way to stop. (Since when is there only one way to do anything?) They say that the statistics prove what they claim. What statistics? All they know about are the people that come to meetings. Considering what I have seen, it is no surprise that recovery rate is very low and requires numerous times to take if it ever does. If you don't buy the AA thing and you're told that is all that works, what is the point of even trying? Addiction defies logic but attributing it to disease and allergies while touting personal responsible makes absolutely no sense. Telling someone that the only way they will remain permanently sober is attending depressing, drama filled meetings for the rest of their life can drive you headfirst into the bottle or drug of choice. The meetings seem to be their own type of addiction. It astonishes me that an organization created by the likes of Bill Wilson would even bring up his name without a disclaimer. He might have been sober upon the creation of AA, but it seems to me that he drowned himself and everyone around him with his narcissism for the rest of his life. I cannot respect an organization founded on the belief system of a lying philanderer and possible crook.

That being said, why is it the preferred method of treatment? The abysmal failure rate should be a sign to somebody. Certainly there are parts of it that are valuable but AA teaches that it is an all or nothing thing. You're in denial and on the road to relapse if you question anything. The only reason I can think that these programs survive and thrive as they do is financial. Entire sectors of the population are dependent on the inevitable failure of people caught in the noose of addiction. It is a pretty safe bet that such professionals will always be employable. Everyone that I know who successfully put addiction behind them, did it without "working the program". My way of quitting didn't benefit anyone or anything financially. Only time will tell if my way works, it is too early to tell. (153 days is not that long but I never looked at it that way until they forced me to count) I just do not understand why most people consider AA the only way. I am sure it works for some people. I just don't know any of them.

Elizabeth R.

Hello Elizabeth,

Thank you for the letter. I'm sorry to hear about the difficulties that you are going through.

Your story reveals precisely what I am so opposed to. Some arrogant fools shove their 12-Step cult religion and quackery on sick people, and victimize them and financially exploit them, while pretending that they are "helping" those people.

That has to stop. I don't know what it's going to take, but that has to stop.

And why do they claim that A.A. is the only way? Because A.A. is a cult, and that is what cults do. That is a standard item in the Cult Test: 11. Insistence that the cult is THE ONLY WAY.

And here is the answer for A.A.: 11. Insistence that the cult is THE ONLY WAY.

You are quite right about "What statistics?" They don't have anything but faked success statistics. They never do proper clinical tests of their methods to see if their quackery really works. (Why should they? They have weasled their way into positions of authority, and now they always get your money, without even having a working treatment.)

The rest of your letter doesn't need any comment, really. You have done a good job of describing the corrupt "treatment" racket. All that I could do is just repeat what you have said.

You have the right plan — in the short term, you have to just put up with the routine, and just get through it.

But in the long run, we need more publicity to bring this dishonest racket to the attention of the public and the powers that be.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             orange@orange-papers.org        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**   "I have sworn, before the altar of God, eternal hostility
**    against every form of tyranny over the mind of man."
**      == Thomas Jefferson, from a letter to Dr. Benjamin Rush, 1800





Date: Sun, May 2, 2010 9:18 pm     (answered 11 June 2010)
From: "Joshua F."
Subject: Curiosity And A Question

Greetings: After going through your page briefly I was wondering as to why your choice topic ever became A.A. Perhaps I missed something about you on a 'Bio' link or something of the sort. Just curious as to where the spark came from to go so in depth over something such as A.A. Thanks for any information regarding that. For how much work you put in and the organizational aspect I wondered why someone would dedicate so much time into refuting an organization. Thanks again.
--
Josh

Hello Josh,

The answers to your questions are in these three files:

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

Those three files will give you most of the answers, but if you want it all, the entire list of biographical items is here.

Have a good day.

== Orange

*             orange@orange-papers.org        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     Wherever God erects a house of prayer,
**     The Devil always builds a chapel there;
**     And twill be found upon examination,
**     The later has the largest congregation.
**       ==  Daniel Defoe, The True-Born Englishman





Date: Wed, May 5, 2010 1:45 pm     (answered 11 June 2010)
From: "John D."
Subject: orange ass hole

When was the last time you REALLY helped a drunk?

John D.

Hello John,

From what some of my readers tell me, the answer would be "today".

So have a good day.

== Orange

*             orange@orange-papers.org        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     I'm learnin' one thing good. Learnin' it all a time, ever' day.
**     If you're in trouble, or hurt or need — go to the poor people.
**     They're the only ones that'll help — the only ones.
**        ==   John Steinbeck, The Grapes of Wrath





The first letter in this chain is here.

Date: Wed, May 5, 2010 1:18 pm     (answered 12 June 2010)
From: "Diana T."
Subject: RE: Your Wonderful Article on Propaganda Rhetoric and AA

Hi Agent O

Nice to get your reply today. That "I AM" quote from Steven G (in case he should wish to protect his anonymity) was exactly on the money. That's just what I was getting at. Excellent — I'm filing it for future ref.

Hello again, Diana,

Thanks for the response. That is some interesting stuff.

No need to keep Steven Gaskin's name anonymous. He was famous for a while. He was a professor at San Francisco State University who took psychedelics back in the 'sixties, and learned a few things, and started giving free lectures on life, the Universe, and everything. Many of them are contained in his book "Monday Night Class". He ended up attracting a huge following, and he came to the conclusion that they needed to get out of the city, so they got a large number of old school buses and drove across the country in a caravan, looking for a good place to live. Like modern-day gypsies.

I met them in Boulder, Colorado, and almost joined them, but forgot to go to the free lecture that I was invited to, so I missed the bus. So it goes. My kharma was to go to a commune in northern New Mexico, up in the mountains, surrounded by forest, and spend years there.

They bought land in Sommerville, Tennessee, and had a farm there for many years. They also got involved with charity work, like going to Guatemala and building houses for the earthquake victims there. Gaskin had this wonderful enlightened attitude like, "So we can take care of ourselves and be self-supporting? That's nothing. The question is, 'How many other people can you take care of?'"
So they got into helping others.

They were the single most successful hippie commune for many years. I heard a rumor that the farm eventually broke up. I don't know. That's another thing to look up on the Internet.

They also set up a publishing house, and published many books. Search the Internet for "Steven Gaskin" or "The Farm", or "Sommerville, TN".

Thanks for setting me straight on the sexual exploitation angle. I wasn't disputing it, as you seem to have graciously understood, but just that it was (thankfully) not part of my experience. I didn't realize there was as much evidence of it as there undoubtedly is and so I withdraw my criticism of that as being a weak angle. It was me who was under-informed, which I always like to admit (on those rare occasions...:-)

I AM (tee hee) however, familiar with the famous Clancy of the Pacific Group! I was blissfully unaware of this scandal, but I have zero problem accepting it as the truth. Indeed, I found it strange, even as a starry-eyed newcomer, grateful not to be dead and thinking AA had something to do with it (actually it was the medical staff at Beth Israel Centre in NYC and a stranger I only know as "Jack" who have the distinction of saving my life), I found it strange as I was saying, that in a cult of anonymity that certain personalities seemed to achieve such renown. As it turns out they also achieved infamy.

Because I went to meetings more on the East side, Hollywood and beyond, I only attended one meeting of the Pacific Group out in the Pallisades. It was memorable, the location, the setting, the number of old timers, the sheer numbers of people (it was an ENORMOUS meeting) definitely all contributed to a vibe that I guess is what evangelists get at their tent meetings or whatever. Yeah, those guys were set to be holly rollers for sure!

The predatorial sexual behaviour described is as you point out, classic cult leader "trust in me and be healed and let me twiddle your bits while I'm at it" shit. Really standard. I guess I was lucky because I was always a part of the gay-friendly scene and so less hetero predatorial males are going to be around that in the first place!

So you were right there, in Clancy's den, and slipped away with mind and body intact. What a small world it is.

Regarding the ayahuasca/iboga. Yes funnily, aya was one of the only things I'd never done and it's what took me out of AA as I hinted at before. The iboga scares me too much, though I'm fascinated. Interestingly, I keep getting invitations to do it in a safe intentional situation and it is without fail on a weekend when I'm out of the country. And I am not going in and out of the country constantly so I take that as an "omen" if you will. If it's meant for me, not to be superstitious, it will be natural and right, the way the aya came in. I'd read all these books about shamanism as a teenager and was very interested in it but it never even occurred to me to try and find it and then one day it came and found me.

If you ever do decide to give it a try I think you can feel pretty assured that no brain cell frying will take place. It's a really powerful entheogen which gives you intense personal insights (not to mention pretty colours). It works on the addict by taking them through a trip in which they face their inner demons. The iboga is even more specific and contains certain compounds that not only takes an addict (even a hard core junkie) through the physical withdrawal way faster and without the usual symptoms but also kind of programs a revulsion button in the subject's very being. Kind of like the aversion therapy in Clockwork Orange, only the movie is in your head I guess. It doesn't work for everyone — what does — but I've heard staggering results. People who've used every day for 30 years just walk away from it and never look back.

It's a trip, as the saying goes.

In the end though, despite the legal usefulness of the Religious Freedom Act to combat the Controlled Substances Act, I am now personally doubtful regarding the wisdom of allowing these privileges to be tied up with religion. To me, it just compounds the problem further. Yuu have to "Sing up with another corporation" as a friend puts it, in order to get high. Fuck off. I ought to be allowed to take a safe dose of peyote with friends in my living room and not be breaking a law. Why should I have to be in a Native American sweat lodge?

The ayahuasca and ibogaine certainly sound interesting. I've heard of those kinds of dramatic instant results before. Some researchers were getting alcoholics sobered up with LSD therapy back in the 'sixties. We were just discussing that, here.

Personally, I do believe that my tripping days are over. Been there, done that. It was really great for a while. But in the end, when I would take LSD, all that it would say was, "Quit smoking, quit taking LSD, and get your life together." And that was that. And the next time I took LSD, I got the same message. After about three times of that, I stopped taking LSD. It took a lot more years to finally get off of the tobacco addiction.

So now my big project is developing continuous consciousness without any chemical stimulation (other than good strong kick-ass coffee, which I'm drinking right now).

I broke away from the Daime because religion, no matter how fucking groovy (and what gets groovier than getting super high on psychedelics and singing and playing music all night in an atmosphere of total joy and love) is just not for this chicken.

Anyway, it's kind of interesting that one cult saved me from another, but in the end it was refusing to let go of my intellect that saved me from both.

The intellect is often posited as the enemy of what is good, in these hyper-emotional times, but while I love an indescribable feeling as much as the next person, I am IN love with what it feels like when I really understand something. Blind faith doesn't give me that feeling. I guess I prefer mystery to belief.

Best wishes,
Diana
Brighton, UK

Yes, refusing to let go of my intellect is what saved me from a few cults too. Funny how just about every cult I ever got involved with wanted me to stop thinking and stop asking critical questions, and just believe stupid things.

In fact, I remember when I was going to like my third A.A. meeting ever, about 21 years ago, and asked one of the old-timers what to do and how the program really worked, and he gave me this mindless grin and shrugged his shoulders, and just said, "Keep coming back." I found that a less than satisfactory answer.

So I just drifted away from A.A. I decided that they were nice people, but I didn't want to spend the rest of my life sitting around talking about drinking. In those years, I only went to four A.A. meetings, ever, all totalled, but still kept myself sober for three years.

It would be many more years before I learned just how intensely anti-intellectual A.A. really is.

Oh well, have a good day.

== Orange

*             orange@orange-papers.org        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     A man must not swallow more beliefs than he can digest.
**        ==  Havlock Ellis, The Dance of Life





Date: Thu, May 6, 2010 4:19 am     (answered 12 June 2010)
From: "Brent A. B."
Subject: AA Paper

I just completed reading your theory and paper on AA, Bill Wilson, and all of the 12-Steps and have to say this: You are a complete and utter jack-ass my friend. You obviously need attention and require help. This program has worked for millions of people and continues to work miracles today.

You and your organization should be ashamed of yourself for posting such complete nonsense. May God have mercy on your poor and lost soul.

Brent A. B.

Hello Brent,

Well, you are repeating the regular cult slogans.

First off, "the program" does not work "for millions". I've already answered that false A.A. claim so many times that I will just point you to the facts, here. You can also read about The Effectiveness of the Twelve-Step Treatment, here.

Then, about, "being ashamed for posting such nonsense", no, I am not ashamed of telling the truth. The A.A. claim that you are hurting alcoholics by telling the truth about Alcoholics Anonymous is just another standard cultish dodge to avoid having people hearing the real facts of the matter. Look here for a list of similar attacks.

Have a good day.

== Orange

*             orange@orange-papers.org        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     "You are doing a great disservice to those seeking sobriety
**     (by telling the truth).  Everybody knows that those disgusting
**     feeble-minded alcoholics cannot handle the truth."
**     "Oh, and we are working real hard to remove the stigma of alcoholism."





Date: Thu, May 6, 2010 6:44 am     (answered 12 June 2010)
From: "Mary D."
Subject: I Almost Drank the Kool-Aid

Dear Orange,

You and your website are awesome! I started OA at the end of last October. I quit a few weeks ago. I could never get with the program. Something seemed off, not right. I couldn't pinpoint it. I thought something was wrong with me. I would read the part about "rarely has anyone failed..." and think I'm not totally surrendering. I am weak, a failure. I resisted a lot and questioned everything. I tried...I really did. I told my sponsor I thought OA was very negative. It's like OA is boot camp and tears/strips/knocks you completely down...to nothing...then builds you back up. I couldn't get past the fact that my overeating was an addiction, sickness, illness, and that I would never be cured. I couldn't accept abstinence forever. And I couldn't get past all of the character defects and flaws that needed to be removed. I knew I had a problem before but when I got to OA I found out how screwed up I really was. I completed steps 1-3. I was typing up the questions for step 4 and something just snapped inside of me. Like you say, the moral inventory only focuses on the negative...what about the positive? You've gotta take the good with the bad. I decided that the questions on the moral inventory had nothing to do with me losing weight. What part did I have to do with my resentments and anger...maybe I was a child and didn't know any different or better or how to defend myself. Everything is YOUR fault. I decided that God doesn't require me to do a moral inventory so why am I doing this? And He doesn't require me to remove my defects. This is BS. I started googling to find out if 12 step programs are a hoax. I found your website...a Godsend. I e-mailed my sponsor and said I'm done. AA doesn't have any medical backing and I had no idea about all of the contradictions and inconsistencies. I haven't read everything in your website...I like everything I've seen. I think you've done a lot of research and have the experience to back it. It's not just fluff. I think you know exactly what you're talking about. I see a lot of people criticize you, but you're right on. It IS brainwashing. You become a slave to the program. I have come to the conclusion that 12-step programs are not for me. If you think they're for you then knock yourself out. Orange, thank you for your website, knowledge, and expertise. You are well versed and a very articulate writer. I think you're a 12-step genius and that you're brilliant.

Take care. I think I saw in your latest letter that you've found a new home. Hope you're enjoying your new digs. Keep up the good work and thank you for helping me see the light.

Mary D.

Hi Mary,

Thank you for a bright, positive letter. That goes well with the morning cup of coffee.

I'm glad to hear that you escaped from the madhouse. So have a good day and a good life now.

== Orange

*             orange@orange-papers.org        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     "Instead of dirt and poison, we have rather chosen to fill our
**     hives with honey and wax; thus furnishing mankind with the
**     two noblest of things: which are sweetness and light."
**        ==  Johnathan Swift, The Battle of the Books





More Letters


Previous Letters









Search the Orange Papers







Click Fruit for Menu

Last updated 21 January 2013.
The most recent version of this file can be found at http://www.orange-papers.org/orange-letters168.html

Copyright © 2016, A. Orange