Letters, We Get Mail, XXXIII
by A. Orange



Date: Sun, January 1, 2006 0:49
From: "Contrails Blue Sky"
Subject: hello

Regarding your article on AA, have you talked to the people in the meetings for whom it works?

AA is the best thing I ever found — I'm sorry it did not work out for you.

Best Wishes

Hello, Blue Sky,

When you say, "I'm sorry it did not work out for you", you are completely missing the point. It isn't about me or whether I like A.A. meetings. It's about the total failure of Alcoholics Anonymous as a program that is supposed to help alcoholics. Even a leader of A.A., Prof. Dr. George E. Vaillant, who is a member of the Board of Trustees of Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc., found that A.A. had a zero percent success rate (above normal spontaneous remission), along with the highest death rate of any kind of treatment for alcoholism that he studied. A.A. was a total failure, and worse.

Of course I have talked with people who think that the program worked for them. (I have also exchanged letters with a zillion of them. Read the files of letters.) I remain totally unimpressed with their stories when they have only two or three out of each hundred newcomers who end up being sober old-timers who rave about how great A.A. is and how they have 10 years or more of sobriety. That is just the propaganda trick of "proof by anecdote", which is just what the A.A. Big Book is — just one long collection of cherry-picked success stories, without any honest discussion of all of the cases where cult religion fails to cure alcoholics.

By the way, you are assuming facts not in evidence when you talk about "the people in the meetings for whom it works".
There is no evidence that "it works". All of the real evidence says that "it doesn't work". The only success stories that A.A. has to brag about are those few people who were going to quit anyway — in other words, cases of normal spontaneous remission.

You are also "confusing coincidence or correlation with cause and effect". There is no evidence that Alcoholics Anonymous, the 12 Steps, or A.A. meetings cause people to quit drinking. The evidence is that A.A. involvement increases the rate of binge drinking, and increases the rate of rearrests for public drunkenness, and raises the death rate of alcoholics.

  • A bunch of people went to a Baptist church for years.
  • During those years, many of the women got pregnant and had babies.
  • That proves it: Going to Baptist churches causes women to get pregnant and have babies.
Not!

That goofy logic is the same logic as A.A. uses to insist that it's a proven fact that going to A.A. meetings and doing the Twelve Steps causes people to quit drinking.

Oh, and you are also assuming facts not in evidence when you say, "sorry it did not work out for you." Wrong. MY program is working great for me. I have 5 years of sobriety now, by doing it my way. I never did the Twelve Steps, I never had a sponsor, and I don't believe in the Big Book. I saw very soon that it was a stupid cult, and decided that I had better things to do with my life than throw my logical thinking mind in the trashcan and become a true believer in a bunch of nonsense.

Oh well, have a good day anyway.

== Orange

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


[2nd letter from Contrails:]

Date: Fri, January 13, 2006 15:20
From: "Contrails Blue Sky"
Subject: Re: hello

Thanks for responding. I'm glad you found something that works for you.

I personally know many people from whom this works. They haven't drank — and they atrribute it to the program. I AM ONE OF THEM.

We all have our journeys. I respect yours. I wish you peace of mind and happiness.

Hello again, Blue,

I'm still not buying it. You are confusing correlation with cause and effect. It's also an attempt at Escape Via Relativism -- "It's just your opinion versus my opinion, and one way is just as good as another."

Wrong.

To say that
"I quit drinking and then devoted my life to Alcoholics Anonymous, so A.A. works."
makes no more sense than saying,
"I quit drinking and then spent all of my money on Scientology, so that proves that Scientology is a good cure for alcoholism."

A.A. does not have a success rate. It has a failure rate. A.A. is not "a way". You should read the file on The Effectiveness of the 12-Step Treatment very carefully.

Oh well, have a good day anyway.

== Orange

*                  Agent Orange               *
*             orange@orange-papers.org        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
** Foisting ineffective quack medicine on sick people is not
** a wonderful noble act of self-sacrifice to help others;
** it is the reprehensible behavior of a damned fool.





Date: Sun, January 1, 2006 4:12
From: "Brock"
Subject: Oxford Groups' influence on Bill W.

Wow.Thanks for the insight but get off the tack!

Hi Brock,

What tack? Do you mean that you don't want to hear anything more about the Oxford Groups?

Aw shucks! Stories about Nazis are just so much fun, and so sexy, too, what with all of those beautiful blonds with heaving chests... :-)

Have a good day anyway.

== Orange

*                  Agent Orange               *
*             orange@orange-papers.org        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
*** "Early AA got it's ideas of self-examination,
*** acknowledgement of character defects, restitution for
*** harm done, and working with others straight from the
*** Oxford Groups and directly from Sam Shoemaker, their
*** former leader in America, and nowhere else."
*** == Bill Wilson, Alcoholics Anonymous Comes of
*** Age, page 39.





Date: Sun, January 1, 2006 10:30
From: PEARCE...@aol.com
Subject: orange papers

AO,

Thanks for your hard work. You are really on the right track. I entered AA in early 1993, and went through 3 years of pain before I realized that it was I that quit drinking (not God for me), and that there is nothing on my mind that AA couldn't make worse.

I have not been to AA for years now, but I am still sober (getting close to the 13th year). I have done a lot of my own research, learning about many things, like the "lizard brain" that you mention. I do intend to returning to a meeting when I return home from the military, just to show some folks that a sober living does not have to involve AA.

Anyway, I am just dropping an email to be friendly.

Pearce...@aol.com

Hi Pearce,

Congratulations on your sobriety, and thanks for the letter. I really like to hear from the people who are winning by doing it their way. You know that Frank Sinatra song, "I did it my way..."? You can play that now.

Alas, I don't know if you will get this answer, because you are on AOL, and AOL has chosen to block my mailings to AOL customers, but I shall try.

Have a good day anyway.

== Orange

*                  Agent Orange               *
*             orange@orange-papers.org        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
** The A.A. Plan: "Search out another alcoholic and
** try again. You are sure to find someone desperate
** enough to accept with eagerness what you offer."
** (The Big Book, page 96.)





From: "Ace Renegade"
Subject: Beneficial
Date: Sun, January 1, 2006 18:34

Your website has been invaluable to me. I don't share your disdain for Alcoholics Anonymous in general. I do see a serious problem with AA's General Service Office in New York. Your research data has given me much ammunition to substantively argue against the financial support of the New York office.

I'm a staunch civil libertarian. I was a named plantiff in ACLU v Reno, the watershed First Amendment defense of the internet. I'm curious regarding the AOL blockage. They've always been a kindergarten ISP.

If they tell me anything about their policy regarding your situation, I'll gladly forward that information to you.

I practiced AA with Clarance Snyder before he passed. I was strongly influenced by his friend Oscar Weiss. Many of the criticisms of AA you voice including the ineffectiveness of AA in general I agree with. I consider it a result of Wilson's overbearing influence on the New York office, and the ineptitude of its staff and trustees. I even agee with you about the cult thing, albeit, I don't particularly give a shit about it. It's not a big deal to me. At least I tell newcomers the truth about it.

Good Luck.
--
"When cryptography is outlawed, bayl bhgynjf jvyy unir cevinpl!" JPB

Hi Ace,

Clarence Snyder, now there is a guy whom I would have liked to have met. Too bad the New York office decided to purge him from the Big Book.

Thanks for the letter.

Have a good day.

== Orange

If we don't outlaw cryptography, gubfr fzneg-nff juvm xvqf zvtug qvfpbire nyy bs gur cbyvgvpvnaf' qvegl yvggyr frpergf.

*                  Agent Orange               *
*             orange@orange-papers.org        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
** Gandalf said, "The demons of the darkness howl in
** pain when you shine the light of truth on them."





Date: Mon, January 2, 2006 14:40
From: "Gordon M."
Subject: aa

Why would you spend so much time and energy trying to convince anybody about anything to do with Alcoholics Anonymous? Do you suppose anyone is too concerned?

Any success achieved by any alcoholic not drinking should be applauded and that is that.

There is an old expression I have heard which might apply here, ? Get over yourself, you?re not so much?.

Gordon

Hello Gordon,

Yes, we should congratulate any alcoholic who successfully quits drinking.

And we should condemn, and even prosecute for manslaughter, any so-called "counselor" or "sponsor" who causes an alcoholic to die by giving him quack medicine and misinformation.

You don't really approve of doing harm to alcoholics, do you?

When you ask,
"Why would you spend so much time and energy trying to convince anybody about anything to do with Alcoholics Anonymous? Do you suppose anyone is too concerned?",
that is just standard A.A. condescension and minimization and denial, again. It is obvious to everyone, including you, that alcoholism and what works to stop it is a matter of life or death for a lot of people. So yes, many people are "too concerned".

Oh well, have a good day anyway.

== Orange

*                  Agent Orange               *
*             orange@orange-papers.org        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
** Foisting ineffective quack medicine on sick people is not
** a wonderful noble act of self-sacrifice to help others;
** it is the reprehensible behavior of a damned fool.





From: "Jesse"
Subject: Great web site!
Date: Mon, January 2, 2006 16:27

Do you remember a website called aadeprograming? I noticed it's gone, now. The Thought Police probably got to it, I guess.

Do you read Stanton Peele's books? What do you think about RR and the "small book"?

Hi Jesse,

Apple's web site called "AAdeprogramming.Com" wasn't wiped out by the thought police. She just got tired of maintaining it, and went on to do other things with her life.

I would mirror her web pages if I could get in contact with her and get her okay. I have almost all of the pages, except for the first couple of splash pages and the first table of contents, and the background graphics. (Readers, do you have them on some disk somewhere?) I'll keep on looking into that because there are some really good stories there, and I don't want those pages to disappear.

I liked Stanton Peele's book, and also Trimpey's. You can read my reviews of them on my Top 10 Books page.

Have a good day.

== Orange

*                  Agent Orange               *
*             orange@orange-papers.org        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
** Rev. Jim Jones said, "Drink the red koolaid. It
** has cured millions. RARELY HAVE we seen it fail...
** But then again, the green koolaid is good too.
** Take what you want, and leave the rest."





Date: Tue, January 3, 2006 3:46
From: "Mikael J."
Subject: AA Member Who Wants What You Have

Actually, I just want to have the ability to execute the amount research you have done in an orderly fashion. I am a writer too — at times.

I agree with some of the stuff you have written about the treatment of the newcomer. I came back into the program September 24th. Drank again on Nov 4 and 5 during a business trip. Got a sponsor some time else and have been doing pretty well since. I think AA works for me, is going to continue to work for me. I know the percentage rate must be low. I saw the studies that you document and I have seen others, there are too many variables to document anything conclusive. I only go by with what I see before my eyes. And I see people that want to stop drinking — stop drinking and people that want to drink go out and drink. For me, I have always wanted discipline, organization, and a design for living. And this works for me. I am no zealot and evangelicism makes my skin crawl. I am not going to save everybody.

I do see a correlation between my drinking and my depression. The two are indesputably related. AA works for me and helps me work through this. I don't know what I am saying anymore or going at. I had a question for you. But it is almost 4 am and I am tired. I got on your website and felt like responding.

Anyway — what's this about Bill W on acid? I'd like to hear more about that. I find it interesting.

Thanks
Mike
Maryland

Hi Mike,

Thanks for the letter.

Congratulations on your sobriety. Hang in there. You can make it.

Personally, I regard the A.A. involvement as irrelevant to your decision to save your own life, but if you get some comfort from it, whatever...

The statement that, "there are too many variables to document anything conclusive" is wrong. That is the whole point of doing a randomized controlled study. You create two randomly-chosen groups that are just the same, and only one of them gets the medicine or treatment, and then you see what difference the treatment made. You eliminate or average out all of the other variables, so that the only difference between the control group and the test group is that the test group gets the 'treatment'.

To claim that the tests are invalid or "not conclusive" is just an attempt to use the propaganda trick "Escape Via Relativism" -- "Well, it's just one guys opinion versus another's and we can't know anything for sure..."

Oh yes we can. It isn't hard to see when more people are dead in the A.A. group than in any other treatment program.

About the LSD: Bill Wilson started taking LSD in the middle 1950s. He got it from the famous LSD researchers Doctor Humphrey Osmond and Doctor Abram Hoffer. His first trip was August 29, 1956, in Los Angeles. (See PASS IT ON, pages 368 to 377.)

Bill really liked it, and he became an LSD evangelist for a while. He gave it to his wife Lois, and said that "she had a most pleasing and beneficial experience." Then he gave it to his secretary Nell Wing, and to his priest friend Father Edward Dowling, and to his other preacher friend Rev. Samuel Shoemaker, and also to a bunch of the other early A.A. members.

For a while, Bill was convinced that LSD was the answer to alcoholism.

He continued those activities until he had the more conservative A.A. oldtimers/leaders screaming that Bill Wilson was disgracing Alcoholics Anonymous by promoting drug use.

Oh well, have a good day anyway.

== Orange

*                  Agent Orange               *
*             orange@orange-papers.org        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
** "There were alcoholics in the hospitals of whom A.A. could
** touch and help only about five percent. The doctors started
** giving them a dose of LSD, so that the resistance would be
** broken down. And they had about fifteen percent recoveries.
** This was all a scientific thing."
** === Nell Wing — PASS IT ON, page 370.
** (Nell Wing was an early secretary of A.A..)
** Apparently, for treating alcoholics, LSD works three times
** better than cult religion.





Date: Tue, January 3, 2006 13:57
From: "Christine P."
Subject: Very interesting

I applaud your research and concise manner in which you present the argument about A.A. Very interesting stuff. Alcohol damages lives, bodies and souls when it is abused. I for one, had tried for many, many years to quit on my own. For me, it what not just a matter of "not drinking"--I am not of the sort to think "self knowledge" accomplishes much, save feeding my own ego.

Hi Christine,

Thanks for the letter, and congratulations on your sobriety.

Self-knowledge is not egotism. There is no connection between those two things. Apparently you never really learned what introspection is.

A.A. 12 years, sober 12 years, no depression or need for medication 12 years, (although I am not a doctor, and abhor those self appointed physicians in meetings). I do not think A.A. is a cult- I think some human beings in A.A. use it as a cult-like vehicle, and I try to steer the newcomer clear of that. I have an IQ of 153, but could not think my way sober.

The way that you think yourself sober is to say, "I absolutely will not drink any more alcohol because it's wrecking my life and killing me and I don't want to suffer like that any more."

And then you really follow that plan. No excuses allowed. No rationalizations like "Oh well, one will be okay because I have a head-ache."

One alcoholic talking to another, be it in A.A. or in this forum. That is what sobriety is to me. I don't have to go to a church to pray, I don't have to go to an A.A. meeting to stay sober. However, I have known waaaaay to many people who didn't talk to another person in sobriety who have died of this disease — and I can't help thinking there is a connection.

A connection? That is the logical fallacy of Confusion of Correlation and Causation. And it's also Observational Selection What about all of the people who went to some A.A. meetings and then relapsed and died drunk? Did A.A. meetings make them drink? Why not?

I am not in a position to defend or critisize A.A. --- it works for me, because it introduced concepts that I was not familiar with, and I tried them. Can't speak for anyone else, but I like your site. I hope you stay sober, and continue to grow.

Christine

What is working for you is not putting any more alcohol in your mouth.

The rest of the program is irrelevant.

Have a good day.

== Orange

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





Date: Wed, January 4, 2006 8:01
From: "Robyn W."
Subject: Your site

I have just spent some time reading your view on AA. I am quite shocked by it all. I have admired these people and followed the Big Book for many years. I'm an AA member of 22 years and a lot that you wrote about was true in many ways. I found it a relief to read such honest and seemingly well researched material. I'm not sure why you would devote such time to the topic. Are you a psychologist or of similar background? I'd be interested in knowing what stirred you to such a degree that you spent so much time investigating AA? Were you in the fellowship for a while or something?

Hi Robyn,

Thanks for the compliments. I'm not a psychologist, although I've read some books on the subject. I answered the "who are you" question here.

The answer to "what motivated me?" is here:

I found it fascinating. It certainly opened my eyes to many things about Bill Wilson and Dr Bob Smith. It is always deflating to read about people you admire as being very sick people.

In spite of all you have written, my experience with the Twelve Steps is that peace of mind comes by living fully in the moment, as myself, available to life and to any who may ask for my help. I just lask questions that lead them to see the moment, to live in the here and now. It's the only time we live. We remember yesterday, imagine tomorrow, but we only live now. It is the doorway to creative living and thinking. To a new freedom. To be myself. That's what I got from AA. I missed a lot of what you saw. I'll keep my eyes open now though.

Thanks.

Robyn W.

You know, Robyn, that stuff you just described, "peace of mind comes by living fully in the moment", sounds like the exact opposite of what the 12 Steps do.

Living fully in the moment sure isn't spending days making long lists of everything that is wrong with you, and every sin and offense you have ever committed in the past, and then confessing it all to your sponsor and wallowing in guilt.

Oh well, have a good day anyway.

== Orange

*                  Agent Orange               *
*             orange@orange-papers.org        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
** Rev. Jim Jones said, "Drink the red koolaid. It
** has cured millions. RARELY HAVE we seen it fail...
** But then again, the green koolaid is good too.
** Take what you want, and leave the rest."





Date: Wed, January 4, 2006 20:03
From: "Thomas G."
Subject: nice site, but I am still an AA

Hello Mr. Orange.

I am impressed with the amount of research and effort that has gone into your site. Your arguments are very persuasive from a certain point of view. However, I do take exception with the assertion that AA has only a 5% success rate. I am familiar with the study by George Valiant you are citing. However, isn't it true that Valiant's study is of people who were coerced to join AA? People such as these can not be expected to truly follow the program, that is get a sponsor, attend 90 meetings in 90 days, and complete the steps with an open mind and heart. Instead they are folks who are merely on the sideline, listening and not acting. Thus I don't see that study as a true investigation into the program's effectiveness.

Hi Thomas,

Thanks for the letter.

Where do you get the 'coerced' element? That wasn't in Vaillant's book. Vaillant was describing the on-going program at Cambridge Hospital, CASPAR, the Cambridge-Sommerville [Massachusetts] Program for Alcohol Rehabilitation. It featured 24-hour walk-in services with medical treatment for detoxing. It treated 1000 new patients per year, did 2500 detoxifications per year, and had 20,000 outpatient visits per year.

The 5% success rate for A.A. is actually too generous. That is what is left after just the first year, but then the attrition continues. Did you know that the sales figures for the A.A. sobriety coins reveal that for every 1000 of the One Day coins that they give away, they only give away 31 of the ten-year coins? That's only a 3.1% success rate. And then it gets worse. 20-year oldtimers are as rare as hen's teeth, and you know that. That's why you ooh and aah over them when one of them comes as a guest speaker.

[CORRECTION: That A.A. success rate, 31 per thousand, is way too high. I miscalculated it by getting some Narcotics Anonymous information mixed with the A.A. information. The real A.A. success rate is only 11 or 12 10-year old-timers per 1000 newcomers. See this letter.]

Besides, 5% is also the normal rate of spontaneous remission in alcoholics. Alcoholics Anonymous cannot claim those five percent as its success stories. Their sobriety is not due to anything that A.A. did. When you subtract the normal rate of spontaneous remission from the apparent 5% A.A. success rate, you get zero for the real effective A.A. success rate. A.A. did not make or cause anybody to quit drinking.

That is why Dr. Vaillant wrote:

After initial discharge, only five patients in the Clinic sample never relapsed to alcoholic drinking, and there is compelling evidence that the results of our treatment were no better than the natural history of the disease.
...
Not only had we failed to alter the natural history of alcoholism, but our death rate of three percent a year was appalling.
The Natural History of Alcoholism: Causes, Patterns, and Paths to Recovery, George E. Vaillant, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA, 1983, pages 283-286.
The same text was reprinted in Vaillant's later book, The Natural History of Alcoholism Revisited, George E. Vaillant, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA, 1995, pages 349-352.

"Natural history of alcoholism" means what usually happens to untreated alcoholics. So Dr. Vaillant was saying that A.A. treatment wasn't any better than giving the alcoholics no treatment or help at all. A.A. had an effective success rate of zero.

I know that anecdotal evidence does nothing to prove an approach's effectiveness from a scientific point of view, but I can say from my own experience that the AA program has brought me to a place of not actively craving the substances to which I was addicted.

You are correct about anecdotal stories proving little or nothing. And you are Confusing Correlation and Causation. How do you know that you didn't just mature out of your addictive problems? You didn't get sober until you had enough years of experience in suffering from the negative effects of alcohol, and then you finally quit.

This state of being did not develop until I faced certain facts about myself and requested that God take me into His care. The steps facilitated this spiritual experience by allowing me to face the wrongs I had committed in the past and laying them to rest so that I would no longer be plagued with feelings of guilt and remorse. The feelings used to lead to a desire to escape from myself which lead to drug and alcohol abuse. Now the program allows me a healthier way to deal with the negative thoughts and feelings and avoid drugs and alcohol. Most of this program is openly borrowed from spiritual traditions that evolved before and is packaged to reach self-centered people such as alcoholics generally are. Spiritual approaches to problems are easy targets to be picked apart from a scientific perspective, but does this mean that they have no value or use to a person who suffers?

Sorry, but I'm not buying it. Buchmanism, which is what A.A. "spirituality" really is, is not "openly borrowed from spiritual traditions that evolved before". Not unless you are counting pre-existing cults. Frank Buchman got his funny ideas from Prof. Henry B. Wright of Yale University, who got them from Robert E. Speer, who got them from Henry Drummond, who very likely got them from someone else.

Go read The Religious Roots of the Twelve Steps again.

Indeed, it would seem by your own admission that you have not actually worked the program yourself and instead have been an observer who has been to some meetings, didn't see anything he liked, and began criticizing the program as a mind control cult. You have stated that you recovered from drinking and using on your own. Congratulations. There are some who can do that and live on contented and productive. But I believe there are others who, upon quitting their substance of choice, will be plagued by the same tendencies within them that lead to the addiction in the first place and will go on to live unhappily, even if they maintain abstinence from the addictive behavior.

Sorry, but that is some more bad logic. You are trying to claim that I don't know anything about A.A. "spirituality" like deceptive recruiting, implanting phobias, irrational thinking, guilt induction, slogan-slinging and group-think, because I've never tried it? Wrong.

I have also never tried Rev. Jim Jones's cyanide koolaid, but I have a very good idea of what the "benefits" of drinking that stuff are, anyway.

I was persuaded initially by your arguments. I felt superior to the people in AA and I decided to go it alone, saying that no cult was going to control me. I ended up using and getting drunk even though I set out intending to stay sober. I did some things that could have had dramatic consequences as a result. Now I have gone to AA and I am doing the program as they suggest.

This is bullshit. I'm not buying it. You are trying to claim that you relapsed because I told you the truth about Alcoholics Anonymous?
No you didn't.
If you really relapsed, if this whole letter is not a hoax, then you relapsed because you decided that you would enjoy drinking some alcohol, and then you decided to actually do it.

Your decision to drink alcohol had nothing to do with what you think about the integrity of Alcoholics Anonymous. You were just doing what you wanted to do.

I have been sober this time for 35 days, longer than I ever have since I was 15 years old (I am 32 now).

Now wait a minute. If that is true, then I can't possibly have caused you to relapse, because you were never sober.

Apparently, you were able to drink for the previous 17 years without having my web site as an excuse to drink. But the minute you see my web site, you start complaining that I am to blame for your drinking? That is just as crazy as claiming that a few A.A. meetings make people stop drinking.

Now, I am well aware that correlation doesn't prove causation, but the results I have been experiencing do suggest that something different is going on this time around. I attribute it to the changes within me that AA's practices have helped me to effect. I wish now that I had not been persuaded before that AA is a cult and should be avoided. If that were so, I probably would have more sobriety now than I currently have and would have avoided some painful experiences that arose from my latest episodes of drunkenness.

You've gotta be joking. You are trying to tell me that one month and 5 days of not drinking proves that A.A. works? Get real. Talk to me in a year. Talk to me in 5 years. Check back in 10 years.

We can compare notes then. If you behave yourself, in 10 years you will have 10 years of sobriety and I will have 15. Then you can tell me about the experiences and "changes within you" that Alcoholics Anonymous practices have caused.

And again, you didn't drink alcohol because somebody told you that A.A. is a cult. You drank alcohol because you wanted to get high and have fun and feel good. Your trying to blame me for your latest binge is the lamest excuse for drinking that I've heard in months.

And you lost what? Two or three weeks of sobriety? And you are crying about how you would be so much better off now if only you hadn't read my web site? Whom do you think you are fooling?

By the way, quitting for two or three weeks isn't quitting drinking. That's just pausing to catch your breath before the next round.

Well, I guess the upshot of this is that I respectfully disagree, but I believe in your right to present your point of view. I vigorously oppose any attempts to censor you. Any thoughts you wish to share with me on my correspondence would be appreciated.

Best regards,

Tom G.

Take care of yourself Tom, and try to stay sober.

And have a good day anyway.

== Orange

*                  Agent Orange               *
*             orange@orange-papers.org        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
** Bill Wilson wrote that you cannot quit drinking by
** using your own intelligence and will power; that you
** must have a "Higher Power" doing the quitting for you.
** When I asked Jesus about that, He said,
** "Screw Bill Wilson.  I'm not gonna quit drinking."


[2nd letter from Tom G.:]

Date: Sat, January 14, 2006
From: "Thomas G."
Subject: Re: nice site, but I am still an AA

You wrote:

You are correct about anecdotal stories proving little or nothing. And you are Confusing Correlation and Causation. How do you know that you didn't just mature out of your addictive problems? You didn't get sober until you had enough years of experience in suffering from the negative effects of alcohol, and then you finally quit.

My rebuttal:
I don't think I am confusing correlation with causation and this is why: If I were simply asserting that I stopped drinking at the same time I started going to AA meetings then to say that the two events are simply correlated and a causal relationship has not been established would be a reasonable objection. But I am talking about a change in the very quality of my experience after I did certain things prescribed by the AA program. Before I started AA I knew I wanted to quit drinking and using, but after abstaining for a day or two I would be overcome by a restlessness and an urge to use that was so intense and a conviction that to drink or use was the only way to relieve the uncomfortable feelings that was so strong that it would have taken a Herculean effort to avoid taking the fix. Upon doing the simple things the program suggested I no longer felt the need to use or drink and the feelings of restlessness and discomfort lifted. It was as simple as that. No scientifically developed therapy, medical or psychological, has ever so completely affected that conflicted part of me that drove me to drink as has AA.

Wait a minute, whoa! You don't even have 7 weeks off of alcohol and you are trying to claim that you know all about what makes people quit drinking and stay sober? You claim that the practice of the A.A. 12 Steps has changed you? Get real. You obviously don't know what you are talking about. You are imagining things.

In your previous letter, you declared that you had not stayed sober for more than 35 days at a time in the previous 17 years, and now you are giving me all of this grandiose nonsense about how A.A. has changed "the very quality of experience"?

By the way, I don't believe a word of it. You are far too practiced in delivering the Alcoholics Anonymous party line to be a beginner. When I started reading your previous letter, I thought that you had about 10 years or so in A.A., from the way that you talked and all of the buzz words that you used, and how you had all of the jargon down pat — just so pat and polished, just like your previous paragraph: "Upon doing the simple things the program suggested I no longer felt the need..." That is pure Bill Wilson jargon.

And what Bill's euphemism hides is the fact that the "simple things that the program suggests" are that you must make a long list of your every sin and crime and then confess it all to your sponsor in an intense guilt-inducing confession session. And that will supposedly remove your desire for drink. That's just Frank Buchman's old cult religion.

I was very surprised when you told me that you were a only a 5 week old baby. You don't talk like one.

I know that it takes years of indoctrination and practice to rap the A.A. rap like you do. So what are you, really? Are your letters a hoax?

You wrote:

Sorry, but that is some more bad logic. You are trying to claim that I don't know anything about A.A. "spirituality" like deceptive recruiting, implanting phobias, irrational thinking, guilt induction, slogan-slinging and group-think, because I've never tried it? Wrong.

I have also never tried Rev. Jim Jones's cyanide koolaid, but I have a very good idea of what the "benefits" of drinking that stuff are, anyway.

My response:
Do you really think comparing AA's mode of spirituality to Jim Jones's cyanide is fair and apt? Isn't it just a tad hyperbolic to make that leap? If I had taken the cyanide cool-aid I would be dead . There was absolutely nothing redeeming about Jones's deception. On the other hand, the steps of AA invite a person to shine a light on some dark areas of their conscience and confront some of their demons. Setting aside for a moment the question of whether that helps a person's alcoholism, what is so sinister about suggesting some introspection? Moreover, I don't think it is much of a leap to suggest that people drink to escape the feelings they experience when they have no intoxicating substances in their systems. It seems clear that confronting those feelings and their causes would go a long way to promote sobriety.

More grandiose nonsense. You try to make a virtue out of the psychological harm that A.A. does, like guilt induction, implanting phobias, confession sessions, and instilling self-doubts, and then you claim that A.A. is so much better than the People's Temple cult?

People should not have to "confront" those feelings. And the evidence is that such feelings drive people to drink.

Lots of A.A. members are dead from drinking the A.A. koolaid. A common recurrent theme in the letters that I've been getting lately is A.A. suicides.

If you are only a 7-week baby, how did you get to be so expert and polished in rationalizing cult religion practices?

To reel off this litany of mind control tactics that AA supposedly engages in and to compare them to the practices of Jim Jones's cult is only so much hysterical thinking and fear mongering. Also it is a subtle form of ad hominem attack, as such charged speech is meant to belittle me rather than address my statement. Am I to believe that your statement above should read in a respectful and neutral tone or is it charged with superciliousness, anger and venom?

You want respect from me for cult practices like deceptive recruiting, sexual explotation of newcomers, and lying about God? You're out of your tree.

And speaking of superciliousness, let me address the following passage:

You've gotta be joking. You are trying to tell me that one month and 5 days of not drinking proves that A.A. works? Get real. Talk to me in a year. Talk to me in 5 years. Check back in 10 years. We can compare notes then. If you behave yourself, in 10 years you will have 10 years of sobriety and I will have 15. Then you can tell me about the experiences and "changes within you" that Alcoholics Anonymous practices have caused. And again, you didn't drink alcohol because somebody told you that A.A. is a cult. You drank alcohol because you wanted to get high and have fun and feel good. Your trying to blame me for your latest binge is the lamest excuse for drinking that I've heard in months.

My response:
So basically you are saying that I don't have enough clean time to formulate an opinion about the origin of the time I do have? I would think that such a tactic would be reprehensible to you. It is evidence of the sinister cult-nature of AA when an AA'er derives some status from his clean time but it is just so much logical reasoning for ol' Orange?

I am saying that it is absurd for you to so confidently lecture me about how well the A.A. program works when you are not a success story yet. How do you know that the A.A. program works so well for you when it has not done so yet?

And it is equally absurd for you to claim that you know what the cause of your sober time really is, when you do not have that sober time yet.

You have formulated an opinion of the effectiveness of A.A. as a cure or treatment for alcoholism, but unfortunately, that's all you have — just an uninformed opinion. By your own statements, you have 44 days of recovery. That does not make you an expert on recovery programs. That doesn't even make you slightly knowledgeable about what is really going on.

Like I said, talk to me in two or three years and we can compare notes about what works then. For now, please quit putting on airs.

And by the way, I am not blaming you for one muscle twitch of my actions in the past. I take responsibility for my decisions and I would not give such power and credit to someone else, especially one who seems to act out of anger, resentment, and hatred rather than genuine concern for his fellow man. I've got some bum steers from other sources of information before, that I acted on them, if I did, is shame on me, not the sources. I am simply pointing out that you provided a seductive and ultimately unhelpful source of information.

Ah, but you did blame me in your last letter. It was very clear:

I was persuaded initially by your arguments. I felt superior to the people in AA and I decided to go it alone, saying that no cult was going to control me. I ended up using and getting drunk even though I set out intending to stay sober. I did some things that could have had dramatic consequences as a result. Now I have gone to AA and I am doing the program as they suggest.
So you drank and did wrong things because my writings gave you the wrong ideas. But the noble saints at the A.A. clubhouse put you back on the right path.

Really, how many years have you been in Alcoholics Anonymous? People don't get that brainwashed in 6 weeks.

You wrote:

And you lost what? Two or three weeks of sobriety? And you are crying about how you would be so much better off now if only you hadn't read my web site? Who do you think you are fooling? By the way, quitting for two or three weeks isn't quitting drinking. That's just pausing to catch your breath before the next round.

My response:
Yep, as I said before I am a newcomer to the program of Alcoholics Anonymous. Today was day 44 of sobriety. But I am sure that I have quit drinking, not just caught my breath before the next round. I am also not offended by your your attempts to hurt me or cast me as some idiotic, starry-eyed cult inductee. Thanks for your little "you haven't quit drinking," or "you'll go back to drinking" quip at the end. It's like one of those curses you accuse AA'ers of throwing at people who dissent from the program. It suggests your motives go beyond a balanced and evenhanded criticism of the program and aim toward attacks on its practitioners and those who feel it has helped them.

Wrong. I did not say that you would go back to drinking. I do not put curses like that on people. I did say that you had not quit drinking yet, not in the sense that you were trying to claim. You were putting on airs, trying to talk like you were an old expert on recovery, very knowledgeable about how the A.A. program works to keep people from drinking, when you haven't even finished detoxing yet. I am not impressed with your immense 6 weeks of expertise in recovery.

When I said, "By the way, quitting for two or three weeks isn't quitting drinking. That's just pausing to catch your breath before the next round.", I was specifically referring to the 2 or 3 weeks of sobriety that you claimed that you lost because you read my web site and got bad ideas about recovering without Alcoholics Anonymous.
It is ridiculous for you to claim that I made you lose those 2 or 3 weeks of sobriety. During the previous 17 years, you regularly lost 2 or 3 weeks without needing any such excuse from me, didn't you?
And when you paused in your drinking career for 2 or 3 weeks during the previous 17 years, you didn't really quit drinking, did you? That was just a short pause, not really quitting.

It is premature for you to claim that A.A. has made you a success story. It will take you between 6 and 9 months just to detox and begin to heal the damage to your body and start to get your head straight and clear the fog. It's a long hard road.

Congratulations on your 44 days — keep it up — but please quit trying to pass yourself off as an expert on sobriety and recovery, entitled to lecture me about how well A.A. works. If your story is true, then I was in A.A. longer than you have been, and I wasn't in it for very long.

People who are really at the 6-week point of detoxing feel confused, shaky, uncertain, and cloudy-headed, and are wondering if anything will really work to make them stay sober forever. Your confident insistence that "you are sure" that A.A. has the answer reveals that you are not a beginner at Alcoholics Anonymous. 6-week beginners are not that convinced, indoctrinated, and dogmatic yet.

So how many years have you been in A.A.?
(Apparently in A.A. for years and still drinking for years... Is that it?)
How did you get to be so well-indoctrinated so fast?
How did you get to be so well-practiced in delivering the A.A. speeches?
When did you learn to use all of those A.A. euphemisms and buzz words and propaganda techniques?

Oh well, have a good day anyway.

== Orange

*                  Agent Orange               *
*             orange@orange-papers.org        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
** Foisting ineffective quack medicine on sick people is not
** a wonderful noble act of self-sacrifice to help others;
** it is the reprehensible behavior of a damned fool.





Date: Thu, January 5, 2006 5:36
From: Madame Senga... @aol.com
Subject: Happy New Yr AO! Its Madame Senga...

(you may post this, if you want)

Hey AO,

Just a follow up and wanted to forward a link, you may or may not have: I've read only half of it, and don't know the validity of the enter article or its author, BUT wanted to forward fast because: there is A LOT in the first half on the Oxford Group, MRA, AA and Frank Buchman! Some of it we already know, but in this article it mentions Bush's grandfather's connection to the Oxford group! Looks like he was a member! (Also mentions Harry Truman's early connection to them as well). It also mentioned Rev. Moon and his cult being inspired by Buchman's teachings. Well, check it out and let me know what you think. Like I said, I'm only half way through. A friend googled the words "the fellowship" because she'd heard it referenced out of my mouth in terms of AA and then later in terms of something else and she got curious.

Here it is: If you've already seen it, my appologies for being redundant. And if it's on your website already, well it's so wonderfully vast I may have just missed it up til now!

http://www.insider-magazine.com/ChristianMafia.htm

Have been to your website again not long ago and saw a recent letter where someone mentioned ACIM and you had a link. Oh my! ACIM! I had to laugh when I saw that, did it take me back to early sobriety! My first sponsor and soooo many in the program were "doing" that stuff. The AAers around here were eating it up, gathering to do it in groups. I took one look at that book on a local bookstore shelf and dropped it right back down. Even then, for me, it was "more of the same" and I didn't want anything to do with it — which should have been my first clue back then, that it was time to think about leaving.

And speaking of leaving: I did! I quit AA last night. Walked out of my last meeting. It was that last secular group and I sure love the people in it, but... I hit the breaking point. A pompous guest speaker and one of his (even worse) buddies with him. He was harping in a macho way about total abstinence (even from drugs, which in a way is funny, because alcoholics don't want to hear drug talk at their meetings — but don't "do" them and then claim your sober. If you can't talk about them, "because we only deal with alcohol" why should it count against your sobriety if you use them? Sigh so much about 12step is insane!

I think we need a variation on that "tree-falling-in-the-forest" statement, you know? Something like "If a joint is smoked in the bedroom and AA won't hear of it... is it really a "slip"?)

Meanwhile someone else is saying their main goal in life is "to die sober" and I'm sitting there thinking to myself "I don't think that's my main goal any more! Do I really have anything in common with this group?" My main goal is to live and die as a really nice human being, no matter what I've put in me!

Anyway: the speaker's buddy didn't like our secular format and proceed to let us all know that Bill Wilson separted from the Oxford group because it was religious (well we know that's not true, huh? Do these people ever read?? Anything but the Big Book??) Then after stating that AA is "spiritual not religious" (and people around me are nodding in agreement!!) he goes right into the fact no one (meaning us) should change AA format by taking god out of it. ??? So I'd had enough, apparently, and in a move that shocked even me I did the unthinkable (cross talk, gasp!) and without even thinking bellowed out "THEN it IS RELIGIOUS!!!!"

Holy moley, I thought we would all fall out of our chairs! And he never missed a beat just shot back "no it is not" (I tell ya, for a group that claims it fights denial, ITS STEEPED IN IT!)

I just got up, after that and took my coat and walked out.I had had enough! On the way out, someone else asked me "Oh are they done?" and I smiled and said, "No but I am!" And as I walked out those glass doors, I knew: I was done. I am never going to let myself be forced to listen to lies and denial like that ever again. I never want to here those damn words again "Its spiritual, not religious" — the hell it's not!!!!! (and the next words out of these peoples mouths is always "...but don't remove God...don't change it." If it's not religious, why would they care?)

From talking to one person from that group afterwards, I think I will still retain some friendships, the regulars are decent people, some genuinely concerned about that night. But I can't stay in that insanity. It means living with the toxic framework, and that's not possible for me.

Part of what set me off was further reading in one of Stanton Peele's books. I have known of some violent tragic suicides — nice people, they just couldn't quit drinking. And here in Peele's writing I find evidence that other countries are willing to look at other alternatives, including working with the alcoholic to estabish moderate drinking (like in Canada) if they can't abstain. Don't know how those programs in other places are doing... but it makes me mad as hell that my own country is so STUCK on ONE concept and that is Abstinence and God. Even though the recovery rate, by pushing only that model, is miniscule! It really makes me mad that fifteen years worth of dead faces rushes through my head, and maybe some of those deaths didn't have to happen. I don't begrudge AA's existence so much as I am furious it's barred the existence of other methods! AA would let people die tragically to make the heinously illogical point that one follows God's will and can only recover sanity through total abstainance. (As a matter of fact you lose it in those rooms!)

AA is "the only house on the block" for a reason: it's full of arsonists who've been burning down the other houses!

Take care, AO! Happy New Year!
The Madame :-)

Wow, Thanks for a dynamite letter, Madame Senga. Congratulations on your new-found freedom. And that took guts, to nail that guy at the meeting like that.

And I love your signature — "arsonists who've been burning down the other houses!" So true.

I am still reading and digesting that article about the "Christian Mafia". I know that a lot of the historical links are correct, but don't know about the whole take on history. But that's what makes that kind of history interesting.

Have a good day, and a happy new year.

== Orange

*                  Agent Orange               *
*             orange@orange-papers.org        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
** It may be difficult to determine where religious
** beliefs end and mental illness begins. — Elaine Cassel





Date: Thu, January 5, 2006 19:26
From: Rob S.
Subject: AA and Catholicism

Dear Mr. Orange,

This article, http://www.catholic.com/thisrock/1996/9610fea1.asp, I found on a Catholic website, regarding AA and the Catholic Church. The reason it caught my attention was the fact that I got into a discussion (argument?) with an AA fellow about the cult-like characteristics and his comment was that the 12-Steps where derived from the Book of James. Now I know that they were an evolution of the Oxford Group as per your research and I seem to remember from reading Not God, that the comparison to the Book of James came from Fr. Dowling after AA was brought to Cleveland and a justification to provide it to Catholics. The last section of the linked article (AA's Fullfillment on Catholicism), however, discusses Dr. Bob using James, I suppose from the get go. Anyway, I was trying to get some clarification on this. I understand that Dr. Bob's early methods were to exclusively use the Bible, no drunkalogues, etc. (per Dick B.'s website), but I was wondering how much of this really reconciles with the Catholic dogma maybe then and know.

Also, there is a saying used quite a bit, "we should not regret the past nor close the door on it." I found something from the Book of Isaiah 43:18-19, "Forget the former things and do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and the wasteland" — declares the Lord. Kind of puts a damper on making leads, huh?

Take care,
Rob



Date: Thu, January 5, 2006 20:00
From: Rob S.

Dear Mr. Orange,

As a continuation of my evaluation from the previous e-mail on James, I noted, James 5:15-16, ... If he has committed any sins, he will be forgiven. Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed." This is in reference to the annointing of the sick and needs to be done by the presbyters of the church which would be the priests. As the only ones in the Catholic faith (the only faith that I am aware of since confession is the only valid sacrament) are the priests who can forgive sins, it appears to me therefore, then that only the Fifth Step can be provided by a priest. That being said, then only Catholics can be absolved and therefore invalidates, God as we understand Him. It can only be God, or Jesus Christ. So if this is true that the argument is that AA is connected to the Catholic faith in such a way, then only Catholics can belong. See my logic?

Regards,
Rob

Hi again Rob,

That whole argument that A.A. practices are somehow based on the book of James is itself another thing that A.A. got from the Oxford Groups. That tiny fragment, James 5:16, "confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed" was Frank Buchman's justification for having meetings and "house parties" where everybody confessed their sins to the whole group. Look here for more on that.

I think that the statement that you found in Not God, about the comparison of A.A. practices to the book of James coming from Fr. Dowling, was just another of Kurtz's cover-ups, trying to hide the Oxford Group roots of both the practice and the rationalization for the practice.

The Catholic Church has a ban on public confessions, for several good reasons. The early Christian Church found that the practice of public confessions was a big mistake. As Rev. John A. Richardson wrote:

  1. "The minds of the young were contaminated by the practice, and

  2. the sensibilities of older persons needlessly offended."

  3. And, I would add, people become desensitized by constantly hearing how everybody around them is doing this or that immoral thing. The unthinkable becomes thinkable.

  4. And then there is the problem of prurience. In the 1920s, Frank Buchman's cult became notorious for sensational parties where people laughingly and graphically confessed to all kinds of immoral sexual practices. The confessions were said to be as satisfying to the listeners as the original sin was to the sinner. (More on that here.)

  5. And people took pride in their sins. "My indisgressions were far bigger and more outrageous than your wimpy-ass little sins..." (That is, of course, a problem with A.A. drunkalogues, too.)

So the early Christian Church very quickly stopped the practice of public confessions, and made it a private affair between the believer and his priest.

I don't know quite how contemporary Catholic A.A. members manage to imagine that A.A. dogma is compatible with Catholic dogma. The Catholic Church banned Frank Buchman's Oxford Groups and Moral Re-Armament, repeatedly. (Look here and here.)

I do know that their rationalizations are helped by Bill Wilson's renaming of those practices, so as to mask the conflicts with Catholicism. Confession became "sharing" and "admitting" (even the word "sharing" came from the Oxford Groups), "religious" became "spiritual", A.A. was a "fellowship", rather than a church, and Wilson declared that A.A. was a "spiritual program", rather than a religion. (More on that renaming here.)

Still, the "Catholic apologists" (who are really Alcoholics Anonymous apologists) have to be stone blind to not see the conflicts between A.A. theology and Catholicism:
"You can worship any 'Higher Power' of your understanding, like a Golden Calf, or Baal Bedpan, or Doorknob Almighty."
Really now.
And, "It doesn't matter what church you belong to. They're all the same."
That isn't what the Catholic Church says.

One of the most glaringly obvious conflicts with the Catholic Church is A.A.'s actual rejection of Jesus Christ. You just will not hear talk about Jesus in A.A. meetings — it's all "Higher Power gave me this." "My Higher Power has changed my life." "My Higher Power is taking care of me."

If you talk about Jesus someone will suggest that you take it to church. Or, as one A.A. member so eloquently said to me, "You are in the wrong group if you are looking for Jesus.   ...you are one blind fuckwit."

W. Robert Aufill, the author of both that A.A.-promoting propaganda article, and also of the article mentioned in the right-hand side-bar "The Catholic Contribution to the 12-Step Movement", rewrote a lot of history and tried to imply that Father Dowling had a lot of input into the design and theology of Alcoholics Anonymous, and that A.A. theology is just like that of the Catholic Church. That just is not true. That is just so much wishful thinking and cult propaganda. (Oh, and A.A. is not a "movement". It's just another cult in decline.) Aufill starts by saying that

"After only a few years, AA broke away to become a more narrowly focused organization whose primary purpose is to help alcoholics recover."

That simply is not true. Bill Wilson was kicked out of the Oxford Group for refusing to follow orders, and for building up his own alcoholic cult-within-a-cult. Bill then stole the alcoholics' branch of the Group and made it into his own cult, which supported him in comfort for the rest of his life.

Father Edward Dowling didn't come along until after the Big Book was published. All of the A.A. theology was already formulated and written down (copied from the Oxford Groups, actually) before Dowling ever heard of Alcoholics Anonymous. Fr. Dowling read the Big Book and thought he saw some similarity between the 12 Steps and the practices of St. Ignatius of Loyola. Fr. Dowling was really reaching there.

Fr. Dowling occasionally gave spiritual advice to Bill Wilson, which Bill just as often ignored. For instance, when Bill was bragging about all of the spirits of the dead, like "Boniface", whom Bill was contacting in his seances and sessions with the ouija board, Father Dowling wrote back that he feared that Bill was in contact with lying evil spirits from the dark side who would tell small truths in order to fool Bill into believing big lies:

"Boniface sounds like the Apostle of Germany. I still feel, like Macbeth, that these folks tell us truth in small matters in order to fool us in larger. I suppose that is my lazy orthodoxy."
Letter from Fr. Ed Dowling to Bill Wilson, July 24, 1952,
The Soul of Sponsorship: The Friendship of Fr. Ed Dowling, S.J. and Bill Wilson in Letters, edited by Robert Fitzgerald, S.J., page 59.

Bill wrote back that he found the Catholic Church's attitude towards his "spiritual" activities like necromancy to be narrow-minded and prejudiced:

"It doesn't seem reasonable to think that the Devil's agents have such direct and wide open access to us when other well-disposed discarnates including the Saints themselves cannot get through. That is, in any direct way. Since prudent discrimination and good morality is necessary when we deal with people in the flesh, why shouldn't these be the rule with discarnate, too. So motivated, I don't see why the aperture should be so large in the direction of the Devil and so small in the direction of all the good folks who have gone ahead of us. One can't blame the Church for being cautious but I do sometimes wonder if the view isn't rather narrow and even monopolistic. To assume that all communications, not received under Church auspices, are necessarily malign seems going pretty far. I'm not sure the Church says this but that is what the inference always seems to be. I do say this, though, more in the nature of speculation than argument, for the spook business is no longer any burning issue so far as I am concerned. Without inviting it, I still sometimes get an intrusion such as the one I described in the case of the purported Boniface."
Letter from Bill Wilson to Fr. Ed Dowling, August 8, 1952,
The Soul of Sponsorship: The Friendship of Fr. Ed Dowling, S.J. and Bill Wilson in Letters, edited by Robert Fitzgerald, S.J., page 61.

So much for the compatibility of Bill Wilson's religious beliefs with the Catholic Church's doctrines.
(And Bill claimed that he was still getting visitations from the ghosts without even inviting them??? Was Bill Wilson really hallucinating that much, or was he just lying again?)

Nevertheless, W. Robert Aufill happily declared in his "Catholic Contribution to the 12-Step Movement" article that Bill Wilson wrote to Bishop Fulton J. Sheen,

To Sheen Wilson wrote: "Your sense of humor will, I know, rise to the occasion when I tell you that, with each passing day, I feel more like a Catholic and reason more like a Protestant!"
Pass It On, p. 282.

It was all a phony act. Bill was just trying to get the Catholics into his cult. Bill wasn't like a Catholic; Bill didn't convert to Catholicism, and Bill didn't promulgate doctrines that were compatible with Catholic teachings.

Likewise, this happy piece of fluff in The Catholic Contribution, about Fr. Dowling talking to Bill Wilson, is just a complete white-wash:

The priest went on: Having surrendered to God and received back his sobriety, Wilson could not retract his surrender by demanding an accounting from God when life did not unfold according to preconceived expectations. Even the sense of dissatisfaction could be an occasion of spiritual growth.

Bill didn't 'surrender to God'. He just stopped drinking and then established a cult where he stole all of the money and took all of the credit for other men's sobriety, and where he became a glory hound and publicity hog who lied constantly about the A.A. success rate in sobering up alcoholics. And Bill was a sexual predator who used his leadership position in A.A. to take advantage of the pretty women who came to A.A. weak, sick and confused, and seeking help to overcome alcoholism. Oh, and then Bill bragged about how he suffered from "divine dissatisfaction". There are many paths to God, but that isn't one of them.

A.A. likes to claim that it is a universal religion — or a 'non-religion' — just a "spiritual adjunct" to whatever other beliefs a person might have, and it doesn't matter what church you belong to. That is what Cardinal Hinsley called the error of "indifferentism":

Wrote he: "The Group Movement is so tainted with indifferentism, i.e., with the error that one religion is as good as another, that no Catholic may join in such a movement so as to take any active part therein or formally to co-operate therewith."
TIME magazine, April 4, 1938, page 66.

Likewise, Vatican spokesmen denounced the next version of Buchman's cult, Moral Re-Armament, with these statements:

The Catholic Church's main objection to Moral Re-Armament, L'Osservatore Romano indicated, is that it presents itself as "a movement with a true religious ideology of its own of a nature different from Catholic ideology."
The New York Times, December 10, 1957, page 21.

And Alcoholics Anonymous has the same problem because it is the same religion as Buchmanism.

And isn't it funny how here in America, and over in Europe, A.A. says that it is just the same as Christianity? — "Just the same; no difference; no conflicts; no problem."
But over in Japan and China, they say that A.A. is just the same as Buddhism? — "Just the same; no difference; no conflicts; no problem."
And over in Arabia, A.A. is just the same as Islam...? — "Just the same; no difference; no conflicts; no problem."
And on Indian reservations in the U.S.A., A.A. is just the same as the Native American beliefs? — "Heap Big Great Spirit save you from firewater."

And that is the error that the Catholic Church calls "syncretism" — uniting conflicting religious beliefs so as to reduce them to a common denominator that is acceptable to all. (See Thomas L. Noa, D.D., Bishop of Marquette.)

Those people who keep yammering that Alcoholics Anonymous and the Catholic Church are completely compatible are perpetrating quite a hoax. There are some very good reasons why the Vatican banned Frank Buchman's cults and his theology — it is grossly heretical. And so is Alcoholics Anonymous, which is just Buchmanism dressed up in a shabbier suit of clothes.

A.A. promoters like W. Robert Aufill continue to pretend that their first loyalty is to something like the Catholic Church or "Christianity" or "science" or "fair medical treatment for alcoholics" when their real first loyalty seems to be to the Alcoholics Anonymous cult religion, and they don't seem to have any problem with telling a lot of falsehoods, historical distortions, mendacities, falsifications, prevarications, inventions, fabrications, and deceptions to promote their favorite cult.

And what is very strange is that even some Catholic priests do it. Get a load of this double-talk:

"AA is a spiritual rather than a religious program of living; and living this program, for many of us, is our religion."
Getting right with God (Recovery Life), Father Joseph C. Martin, Alcoholism & Addiction Magazine, April 1988 v8 n4 p35(1)

Huh? It's not a religion, but it is your religion???
And what happened to practicing the Christian religion of the Church in Rome?
I really would like to hear what the Vatican has to say about that.

You make a good point in asking how someone who isn't a priest can absolve sins. I asked the same question in my file on "The Heresy of the 12 Steps", here

I have doubts about the statement that "Dr. Bob's early methods were to exclusively use the Bible, no drunkalogues, etc. (per Dick B.'s website)". The thing is, Dr. Bob was an enthusiastic (if not fanatical) true believer in the Oxford Groups, and the Oxford Groups had confession sessions at every single meeting. The Oxford Groups even had a standard show piece with alcoholics — some old guy like Vic Kitchen would stand up and say, "Oh, I was such a hard-core degenerate alcoholic that I... [wild sinful story follows]. My life was hopeless and a living Hell until the Oxford Group changed me, and now for the first time in my life I have a real relationship with God, and God is keeping me from drinking..."

And Dr. Bob was such a faithful O.G. member that he didn't even quit the Oxford Groups when Bill Wilson did. Bob stayed in for a couple of years longer, and Bob wasn't in charge of the meetings — he didn't run them. The meetings were over in the large Westfield home of T. Henry and Clarace Williams, and were run by other Oxford Group oldtimers. So how could Dick B. say that there were no drunkalogues?

Or was Dick saying that Bob radically changed the meeting style and eliminated confessions (a.k.a. "sharing") only after he quit the Oxford Group? Why would he do that if he believed in the Oxford Group practices? Why would "sharing" be such a big part of A.A. meetings today if Dr. Bob banned the practice?

I'll have to put that on my list of things to investigate further.

Thanks for some interesting questions. Have a good day.

== Orange

*                  Agent Orange               *
*             orange@orange-papers.org        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
*** "Early AA got its ideas of self-examination,
*** acknowledgement of character defects, restitution for
*** harm done, and working with others straight from the
*** Oxford Groups and directly from Sam Shoemaker, their
*** former leader in America, and nowhere else."
*** == Bill Wilson, Alcoholics Anonymous Comes of
*** Age, page 39.





Date: Fri, January 6, 2006 12:07
From: Rusty U.
Subject: problems

Sorry to here about the problems with the mail, I am trying to get through life without a cell phone so this computer stuff has got to be basic for me.

I would really like to know how long in AA it took you to realize something was wrong. It took me 8 years until I started to identify as a RECOVERED ALCOHOLIC and that pissed them off. I asked my home group at 6AM if there were any other RECOVERED alcoholics here today and no one raised there hand. Then I asked if there was anyone there who WANTED to be a RECOVERED alcoholic and the response was the same. Living 35 years in Palm Desert and listening to the Betty Ford people spin their message in our meetings was what made me write my book, which at this time I am waiting for the second proof and will send you a copy as I used your POWERLESS CHAPTER which is right on.

Hi again, Rusty,

It was between 2 and 3 months of A.A. and N.A. when I realized that it was a cult. What finally did it was the constant subtle invitations to throw your logical thinking mind in the trash can and just "come to believe". It helped that I also got my hands on a copy of Charles Bufe's book, "A.A. Cult or Cure?". That helped a lot, and made me snap aware of some things that I had been kind of glossing over in my mind, or ignoring with the thought of "Well, that's kind of goofy, but if it helps the weak people to stay sober, then what the heck. Any port in a storm". Bufe's book made me realize that it was much more than just goofy.

I'll look forward to your book.

Did you go to treatment? I did not unless the drunk tanks are treatment.

"Treatment"? Oh yeh. — If you want to call it that. The treatment center did, as they billed the state health plan for having a cocaine-snorting pedophile lecture us on how we needed a "Higher Power" in our recovery plan. Read the introduction, and also this comment on treatment.

Did you ever hear Gene Duffy from Calistoga talk. He was the man for me and he did not sugar coat things. Keep up the great work and great site.

RUSTY

No, never heard of him. And thanks for the compliments.

Have a good day.

== Orange

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





Date: Fri, January 6, 2006 12:08
From: "Mark Z."
Subject: Why are you mad?

It sounds like somebody called you on your BS @ AA.

MZ

Hi MZ,

Gee, isn't everybody just giggly and happy and Serene and Grateful when they see their friends being killed by quack doctors?

Oh well, have a good day anyway.

== Orange

*                  Agent Orange               *
*             orange@orange-papers.org        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
** "There were alcoholics in the hospitals of whom A.A. could
** touch and help only about five percent. The doctors started
** giving them a dose of LSD, so that the resistance would be
** broken down. And they had about fifteen percent recoveries.
** This was all a scientific thing."
** === Nell Wing — PASS IT ON, page 370.
** (Nell Wing was an early secretary of A.A..)
** Apparently, for treating alcoholics, LSD works three times
** better than cult religion.


[another letter from Mark Z.:]

Date: Wed, February 1, 2006
From: "Mark Z."
Subject: RE: Why are you mad?

Who goes to doctors for sobriety? Not me.

MZ

The quack doctors that I was referring to in the previous letter are the A.A. sponsors.

As far as real doctors go, I found my doctors to be quite helpful, and a lot more sane and knowledgeable than the cult members who proclaimed themselves to be "the experts on addiction".

Oh well, have a good day anyway.

== Orange

*                  Agent Orange               *
*             orange@orange-papers.org        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
** Humans always do the most intelligent thing after every
** stupid alternative has failed. — R. Buckminster Fuller





Date: Fri, January 6, 2006 8:43
From: Hoffman
Subject: you make a many good points

I do believe you make many good points concerning 12 step meetings. I do think, however, that some of your thought processes are too "literal". When you break out working the steps all the time and go into the grocery store bit than that might be a little off center and a few of your other points are as well. I have used 12 step recovery and it did lead me to a deeper relationship with Jesus and my life is far better than it ever was after 5 years of not gambling. Now don't get me wrong I do have a tremendous problem with many of the hardline 12 steppers and their distorted messages. Recently I had a hardliner try to scare a group into voting that the meeting be a "closed" meeting because "we didn't want parole officers, wive, etc etc etc coming into the meeting". It's funny how you mention "religiomaniacs" because my main problem in the 12 step environment is the feeling that I cannot express my belief in God.

Keep studying you do have some good points. However, it is important that you do not use the same "scare tactics" that so many in 12 step programs will use.

Hi Hoffman,

Starting at the end — yes, A.A. is full of religiomaniacs. The reason that you can't talk about your belief in God is because it isn't the same as their beliefs.

It's just like Henry Ford's joke about car colors: "You can have any color you want, as long as it's black."

Well, in Alcoholics Anonymous you can have any Higher Power you want as long as it's the A.A. God who micro-manages people's lives and delivers miracles on demand.

Other gods are not welcome, in spite of all of the talk about "any god", or "any Higher Power"... Just try telling them that God is not Santa Claus, and God does not respond well to demands from little pip-squeeks. (Like in Steps 3 and 7.)

Just try to talk about Jesus as your Higher Power in an A.A. meeting, and see what happens. You know what happens. So much for all of that freedom of religion that they like to brag about.

In order for you to get a closer relationship with Jesus by "Working the Steps", you have to really be distorting and reinterpreting the 12 Steps, and making them into something of your own creation. When Frank Buchman created those cult practices, he was developing some techniques for converting people into true believers in his cult. Bill Wilson just copied all of that stuff. It doesn't make people spiritual or religious, it makes them crazy.

Oh well, have a good day anyway.

*                  Agent Orange               *
*             orange@orange-papers.org        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
** Rev. Jim Jones said, "Drink the red koolaid. It
** has cured millions. RARELY HAVE we seen it fail...
** But then again, the green koolaid is good too.
** Take what you want, and leave the rest."





Date: Fri, January 6, 2006 8:53
From: GL
Subject: Great website

I just discovered your website — great postings ! ! ! !

Keep it up.

Guy C. L.
Former Rational Recovery Coordinator
cited in Vince Fox's book

Hi Guy,

Thanks for the thanks, and have a good day.

== Orange

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





Date: Sun, January 8, 2006 0:10
From: Paul
Subject: THE AA CULT — IMPORTANT OBSERVATIONS, PLEASE READ.

Dear Agent Orange,

My name is Paul, I am a twenty-seven year old man who has been abusing alcohol for about three years. This week, I have been to an AA meeting every night since Tuesday. I had heard from various internet sources that there is something fishy about the group (I had not yet been to your site), but I thought I would try it out for myself.

By the end of my first meeting, I knew I wasn't in Kansas anymore. Everyone spoke almost entirely in slogans and inside terms. At the next meeting I was told I would "be able to understand these sayings later". I felt more like I was in a Masonic lodge than an alcohol-abuse help program! Next came the concept of God. I am a Christian, and when I mention this, even to another Christian in the group, a worried look comes over the faces of all who hear it, even the other Christian, who actually said "you might believe in God, but you don't have a relationship with God."

At the next meeting I was told I must pray on my knees every morning, and when I said I prayed lying in bed that day, a member said "As a group we pray on our knees, even if you don't believe it, just do it." I said "I believe He'll hear me even if I stand on my head!" The member just smirked, looked down at the ground, and that was that. On the way home from a meeting, a member began criticizing me for living with my parents, trying to make me feel bad about myself (like I don't know I have to get up and move back out sooner or later). That little pep talk resulted only in my going to the store for a 12-pack.

It was just last night, when I came home from AA, that I surfed the net about it and wound up here. Just in time for this evening's meeting. I apologize for the length of my letter, but please read on.

We traveled tonight to a neighboring AA group. The subject of tonight's meeting was "To Wives" in the Big Book. Men began discussing their relationships and marriages, past and present, when a fellow not much older than I said of his former marriage "even though it was over, I tried to save the marriage. Then I started coming to AA and I found out I was ill-equipped to save it. Sometimes divorce is necessary, and that happens sometimes in AA. I realized that what I wanted was not necessarily God's will for me." I didn't know whether to cry, puke, or stand up and curse out the whole organization, so I just kept silent. How do we know it was God's will? AA has a made-up god whose commandments are the Steps and whose scripture is the Big Book. In addition, they encourage you to make up your own god early on in the steps.

Next up to bat was an older gentleman, who explained that his ex-wife was given "To Wives" to read. They have since divorced. He and the younger gentleman I mentioned are fast friends, as the older man referred him to his divorce lawyer. Thanks AA for helping alcoholics have their marriages torn asunder.

What followed was a strange exchange of ideas while waiting for the mens' room. A member from my group kept saying, about his relationship, "I like to be right", which is seen as a flaw. I said "It's O.K. to like being right, when you are right!" He said, flatly, "No. We're told to say nothing when we're right, and apologize when we're wrong." He carried on a conversation with another member, from the group we were visiting. He said "I do like to have my way (in arguments with his girl). The other member said "part of that is normal, but as alcoholics, we are not". And all this time I thought Human Nature was Human Nature.

After this surreal little episode, I was introduced to a member who had began the steps. He kept saying "It's simple, don't think about, just do it, it's simple. I just followed the suggestions of my sponsor, I did what he told me to do." I responded "So you don't have to do your own thinking." His frozen smile didn't change a bit as he said "Yeah, it's simple".

On the way home, I rode with an older member from my group. Since tonight's meeting was focused on "To Wives", I took that opportunity to say "Did you know 'to wives' was not written by a woman?" He replied, "Who told you that?" I said "Oh, a friend who used to go to AA. Bill Wilson wrote 'To Wives'. You didn't know that?" His answer was "I knew that, I wanted to know who told you that, since you said you haven't been coming around to meetings (prior to this past Tuesday). I said "Oh, I heard it from a friend". He said "Did he read the Big Book?" I said yes. He said "So he was trying to dissect it and pick it apart." To not alienate this man, I just said, "Oh, he uses it, but he looks at it rationally — it's not the Bible." A pause, and he said "Why do you focus on the un-important parts. Focus on the important parts. Don't dissect it, just listen."

The conversation then turned to AA's constant "self-blame game". I asked the same member "As alcoholics, is anything not our fault?" He replied "Right now, assume everything is your fault. Later you'll be able to differentiate. Right now your mind is insane, you can't tell the true from the falsehood." I said "I can use my own mind". He said "Where has your mind gotten you?" and "Every time you make a decision, ask a sober alcoholic first. I guarantee that the decision you'd make will be wrong ten out of ten times." He proceded to pull rank, talking about how I should listen to him because he no longer drinks. So I just quieted down so he would.

Earlier I had discussed the notion that others may be to blame for some of our painful experiences, with another member. He said "When you first come in here, you are mental defectives." Another parrot of Bill's. The attempt to make us despise ourselves and our God-given mental abilities to the point where we do not trust ourselves to think, is undoubtedly the main objective of AA in regards to newcomers. There is even a sign in most AA rooms that reads THINK, but is written upside-down. I asked the old-timer what that meant, and he said "It means your brain is broken." Newcomers are encouraged to go to a meeting a day for 90 days, pray when, why, and how they are told, call a sober alcoholic in the group once a day at a specified time, and every day read Chapter 1 of the Big Book, called the "Doctor's Opinion" penned by Dr. Silkworth. I was told to start by reading ONLY that part, and not to read ahead just yet.

Your book is absolutely right about the cult behavior of AA, I am a witness to that. Thanks for the work you have done to let people know. Feel free to publish my letter, if you wish. Keep in touch. I'm going to attend some more meetings, and I'll keep you posted on what goes on there, until they boot me out for not being a robot!

Sincerly, Paul.

Wow, Paul, thanks for a great letter. I love to get such reports, if only to verify what I'm already pretty sure about.

Take care of yourself, and be happy. And have a good day.

== Orange

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


[2nd letter from Paul:]

Date: Wed, January 11, 2006
From: Paul K.
Subject: Leaving the madhouse (AA)

Dear A.O.,

I am Paul, I wrote to you a few days ago describing my experiences with AA. Part of my program was to place a phone call to a certain member (who is on Step 8) , every morning at the same hour (after the first time he actually chided me for calling him four minutes early!) and my call to him on Monday morning was to say farewell. I said "it's not for me"; he suggested I do the "90 meetings in 90 days" before I make that decision. I said "Thanks but no thanks". He suggested I maybe should try another AA group. I said I liked the people at his group well enough, but the AA concept is not for me. Thankfully, he has not called me since.

I have an interesting sidenote about medication: I am on an anti-depressant, and the members informed me that, "unlike most AA groups", they adhere to a "no-pill policy". To their credit, they were adamant that I talk to my doctor before I even consider going off the pills. They told me I could do a 90 in 90 with them, but I could not become a member (get a sponsor, do the steps, and be allowed to speak at meetings representing the group). Obviously, what they were hoping for was that the doc would let me off the pills at some point during the 90 in 90. The reason is very clear: had I done the steps, they would fear the meds may help me quit drinking, and thus full credit for my sobriety could not be given to them.

I also became aware of a phenomenon that a friend of mine who was with AA for a month also noticed. Members will often volunteer their phone numbers to newcomers; this is competition over which one I should choose as my sponsor.

On another note, I was very pleased to see, this morning when I was reading your book, your comparison of Bill's term "the father of light" for his object of worship, and the Biblical Lucifer. I had read that part of The Big Bull, I mean Book, after my first meeting, and that terminology was one of those "things that made me say hmmmm..."

But anyway, I'm glad to be a free man. Keep up the good work.

Sincerely, Paul.

Thanks again for the letter Paul, and you keep up the good work too. And you have a good day, too.

== Orange

*                  Agent Orange               *
*             orange@orange-papers.org        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
** The A.A. Plan: "Search out another alcoholic and
** try again. You are sure to find someone desperate
** enough to accept with eagerness what you offer."
** (The Big Book, page 96.)





Date: Sun, January 8, 2006 1:35
From: Naganom
Subject: Secret Agent Orange.

Very interesting website, especially the letters section. It's amazing how irate members of the Bill W. Unification Church can get.

I have a TV viewing suggestion; check out an episode of South Park called 'Bloody Mary'. In this episode, Stans's father gets a DUI, & is court-ordered to attend AA meetings. Naturally, AA messes up his head badly. Stan goes to the group, & tells them that AA is a cult, resulting in Stan being shown to the door.

If I recall, ABC got a ton of complaints about John Stossell's special on addiction; I'm sure the same thing will happen to Comedy Central. I mean, we can't have people hearing the truth, can we? That's 'stinkin thinkin.'

Hi Naganom,

Thanks for the letter.

Yeh, I saw that episode. I love it, and watch it again and again. I missed it on TV, but I managed to download it. It's great.

On the Internet, a couple of web sites said that Comedy Central had buckled and bowed to pressure, and yanked the Bloody Mary episode. I wrote to Comedy Central about it, and they said, "Not true". They wrote back:

Dear Agent,

Thank you for your letter regarding the "South Park" episode entitled "Bloody Mary." We appreciate your concerns about the potential influences of outside special interest groups on the media and enterainment industries and particularly Comedy Central. Though Comedy Central did not include the "Bloody Mary" episode in a special year-end marathon of "South Park" episodes in deference to the Holidays, "Bloody Mary" did in fact air in every one of "South Park's" normally scheduled repeat timeslots. As satirists, we believe that it is our First Amendment right to poke fun at any and all people, groups, organizations and religions and we will continue to defend that right. Our goal is to make people laugh, and perhaps if we're lucky, even make them think in the process. Despite misleading claims from those who would like to claim victory, we have not permantly shelved the "Bloody Mary" episode from future airings due to outside pressure nor will we exclude it from future DVD releases.

Sincerely,
Comedy Central Viewer Services
To Reply: http://www.comedycentral.com/help/questionsCC.jhtml

I was relieved to see that. I hate to see the censors winning everywhere, and stopping everybody else from having fun.

It seems that Comedy Central did move the time of the rerun a little away from Christmas, to avoid tweaking too many noses, but they did rerun the episode. Good for them.

Personally, I found the whole episode to be very funny. I didn't find it at all offensive. But then again, I'm not a Catholic or a fundamentalist or a religious fanatic or just an uptight dogmatic person — or an Alcoholics Anonymous true believer either. I guess I can see how some of them might get tight-jawed. They should learn to laugh.

Oh, and you might also want to check out Season 9, Episode 12, just two episodes before the Bloody Mary episode. It's a spoof of Scientology where the crazy Scientologists think that Stan is the reincarnation of L. Ron Hubbard (the founder of Scientology). That's why Stan said in the A.A. meeting, "I know about cults. I used to be the leader of one."

Have a good day.

== Orange

*                  Agent Orange               *
*             orange@orange-papers.org        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
** Gandalf said, "The little orks don't like
** humor. They cringe in pain at the sound of
** laughter. And they really can't stand it when
** you poke fun at them. So they howl and growl
** and scowl and get all bent out of shape."


[2nd letter from Naganom:]

Date: Wed, February 1, 2006
From: Naganom
Subject: Re: Secret Agent Orange.

Thanks for responding to my e-mail; i'm glad to hear that Comedy Central is sticking to their guns.

Say; have you ever seen 'When A Man Loves A Woman?" That is truly the most stomach-churning AA film made to date. Meg Ryan's character becomes a drunk & gets sober in rehab. When she gets out, she's chain-smoking, much to her husband's dismay. Plus, she's at meetings constantly, & spouting AA slogans on the rare instances when she's home. All of this is taking it's toll on her marriage-to make matters worse, her husband, who is sober, is made into the villain! It turns out that she was an abusive mother, who routinely hit one of her daughters when she was drunk, & drove drunk with both of her kids in the car. For this tale of child endangerment, her AA group applauds her. Naturally, the story has a happy ending when her husband realizes the errors of his ways, goes to al-anon, & works HIS 'program.' Ironically, the film's script was co-authored by Al Franken, who created the 12-Step addict Stuart Smalley character on SNL. Mr. Franken went from lampooning AA to deifying it; it must have been all those death threat from the steppers.

Hi again, Naganom,

Thanks for the tip on that show. I'll have to check it out for my collection of pro-AA propaganda.

Yes, Al Franken is funny about the 12-Step thing. I saw him speaking live once, and he mentioned that he went to something like an Al-Anon meeting, and thought it was pretty stupid until somebody said one thing that really spoke to his heart, and then he realized that he could learn something from anybody, even the dullest and stupidest person.

I agree, as a general principle, that everyone has their story to tell, but I don't think that Franken is really aware of all of the baggage that comes with the 12-Step cult — especially the history of fascism and Nazi-sympathizing. I think that might turn him off real fast.

Oh well, have a good day anyway.

== Orange

*                  Agent Orange               *
*             orange@orange-papers.org        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
** "People unfit for freedom — who cannot do much with it
** — are hungry for power. The desire for freedom is an
** attribute of a 'have' type of self. It says: leave me
** alone and I shall grow, learn, and realize my capacities.
** The desire for power is basically an attribute of a 'have
** not' type of self." == Eric Hoffer





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