THE ORANGE PAPERS
One Man's Analysis of Alcoholics Anonymous and
Substance Misuse Recovery Programs, and Real Recovery.
An Online Book
"There is a principle which is a bar against all information,
which is proof against all arguments and which cannot fail to keep a man
in everlasting ignorance — that principle is contempt prior to
The above famous misquote1
was put in the Big Book by William G. Wilson,
in Appendix II, "Spiritual Experience",
in the back of the second and third editions.
Bill Wilson was trying to imply that we should not dismiss his
"spiritual cure for alcoholism" without first trying it.
That is curious, because in 1864 Herbert Spencer was actually arguing against
fundamentalist religious beliefs and dogmatic blind faith,
and in favor of Charles Darwin's new theory of evolution.
Nevertheless, that quote sounds like good advice.
So let's really, honestly, investigate Alcoholics Anonymous,
without rejecting criticism of A.A. before investigation of
all of the facts...
What is the REAL A.A. success rate?
Out of each 1000 newcomers to A.A., how many will pick up a one-year sobriety
medallion a year later? Or ever?
And how many will get their 2-year, and 5-year, and 10-year coins?
How about 11 years and 21 years?
Grant of Authority: A.A. General Manager Greg Muth authorizing
the German A.A. organization to sue A.A. members who were publishing their
own translation of the old out-of-copyright first edition of the Big Book
A lawyer's opinion to Greg Muth, declaring that the 400 multilith
(mimeograph) copies of the Big Book that Bill Wilson made and sold were
not a problem to the copyright. Of course the lawyer maintained the fiction that the copies were all stamped
"Loaner Copy", which they were not.
Historymetaphor.pdf, by Peter Ferentzy and Nigel Turner,
a history of the debate about whether problem gambling is literally a disease, or only metaphorically so.
Much is also applicable to alcohol abuse and A.A.
Get this entire web site in a set of compressed packages so that you can
read it later offline (and burn CDs and give copies to friends).
Archives are available in both Unix/Linux tarred-gzipped format,
or Micro$uck Windoze winzip format.
Current as of 2013-05-20 (yyyy-mm-dd).
Total Size = 400 MB compressed (891 MB uncompressed), but no file is
larger than 12 MB, to prevent file size problems with some systems, like Comcast.
Get either set; you don't need both, as the files contained are identical.
(And don't worry if the "alpha" file is newer than the image files;
that often happens, because I update the text of the web pages far more
often than the pictures.)
No special installation is required — just make a new empty subdirectory
("folder" in Windowese) and put all 128 archive files in
it, then unpack them, and then start browsing with the
"index.html" or "menu1.html" web page.
Detailed instructions for
burning a CD are here.
The quintessential sponsor's letter: a crazy woman insists that she has
the sole right to talk to a kid who is a "retard" who
"has a serious spiritual disorder and also one inside his head",
Also see comments on this letter
Professor G. sent in
some interesting history.
Did you know that the "Big Book" got that name because Bill Wilson
wanted to make a medium-sized book look bigger
so that he could sell it for the equivalent of $55, so he had it printed on the cheapest, thickest
paper that the printer had, with extra-large margins, which made it a very bulky book.
Someone sent in a document that is the first official A.A. headquarters
admission that I've seen that says that sponsors raping under-age girls
in 12-Step groups is a big problem.
The International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction
totally discredited the faked Humphries-Moos study that supposedly showed
that A.A. works better than Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. They criticized
for many failings like bad mathematics in calculating the A.A. success rate,
no control group, mixed teachings (teaching 12-Step superstitions in
CBT courses), cherry picking, self-reporting, unrealistic environments,
and no actual valid follow-up. See:
It's quite an article.
Fixed a zillion misspellings and typos and broken links, thanks to Alan who
compiled a long list of such errors. If you haven't updated your local archive
of the Orange Papers in a while, now might be a good time, because much is fixed.
Another post on the Midtown Group
MySpace thread says that the "Pacific Group" on the West Coast is
similar to the Midtown Group.
And NBC4 produced yet another story of the Midtown Group. This time a policeman's wife says that she was
encouraged to cheat on her husband and to divorce him.
See the story here.
And also see the following story about life as a teenage girl in Midtown:
Michelle told News4 that sexually transmitted diseases are not all that uncommon in Midtown.
"It was almost your rite of passage. I would say that it would be
uncommon to not have something once you've been there a couple months," said Michelle.
And still more on The Midtown Group.
NBC 4, the local TV station in Washington DC, has another story about a girl who ended up in the hospital
after she was told to have sex with the male cult members and stop taking her doctor-prescribed
See story here.
And more news:
Midtown Group banned from another church in Washington DC.
See the story here.
Still more from the Midtown Group: A good historical narrative from one
of the earlier old-timers, who saw how Mike Q. took over the Midtown
Group. Includes stories like how girls are counseled to have sex with
the older male members of the group. Described and linked
Still more from the Midtown Group: Newsweek magazine published an article:
== A 15-year-old girl is told to cut off all communications with people outside of A.A.,
and stop taking medications for a bipolar disorder, and is encouraged
to have sex with MUCH older A.A. men.
And that's just the start of the article.
A therapist says:
"We're all saying, 'Go to AA, go to AA,' and we may be sending people
into this terrible situation and not realizing it."
Worse of all, the police say that they can't find anything wrong with it.
== where MSNBC has reprinted the article
Now we get a report from the Phoenix, Arizona, Young People's A.A. that says that the group exists solely
for "cars, pussy, and money".
Check it out.
Over at the Rick Ross web site, there has been an on-going debate about whether A.A. is a cult.
I saw such obviously wrong
statements being made that I just had to jump in. After a few posts, Rick Ross started deleting my
messages, especially when I questioned his credentials and knowledge of A.A.,
and pointed out that he had the same number of degrees and certifications as I have == none. (But at
least I've gone to a lot of A.A. meetings.)
You can read the censored posts
This is too much: a violent video game from the Religious Right
where the players wander the streets of Manhattan and
shoot those people who will not convert to fundamentalist "Christianity".
(Can you say "Fascism" and Hitlerjugend? I knew you could say that.)
Laugh of the week:
— this is allegedly The International Employee Assistance Program Association.
(That terminology, "Employee Assistance",
is code-speak for "shove all drinking and drugging employees into
a 12-Step quack medicine program.")
Their web site is so messed up that it looks like they are all stoned out of their gourds
on something or other.
Check out their web site, and then ask yourself whether you would trust those
people with your mind and your life. — Or with the lives of your loved ones.
Fun and games! South Park did a show that is an outrageous spoof of
Alcoholics Anonymous — the most biting and true satire of A.A. that I've ever
seen. You can download the show to your computer and watch it again and again.
See the story and the procedure here.
Have a Merry and Hilarious Christmas!
More on the Straights, the child-torturing "drug and alcohol treatment programs" that
were run by, among others, former Ambassador Melvin Sembler, who was also
a Finance Director of the Republican Party. (Melvin Sembler is the guy whom
Gary Trudeau lampooned in Doonesbury for buying an ambassadorship.)
Added an "Action Alley" web page
— quick, easy things that you can do to make a difference.
Right now, you should send an email to your one Congressperson and your two
Senators to oppose H.R.1258, which is just another attempt by the quacks to
steal some more of your money.
One clever correspondent, Rob, got the bright idea of
asking the A.M.A. to explain their policy
that "alcoholism is a disease". The results are appalling, outrageous,
and entertaining — It turns out that the A.M.A. actually let two A.A.
front groups write the definition of alcoholism.
A British journalist, Michael Burn, who went to
the 1935 Nuremberg Nazi
Party Day rally found Dr. Frank Buchman, Unity Mitford, and
Lady Diana Mosley
sitting together on the bench in front of him. Frank Buchman was, of course,
the founder and leader of the Oxford Group and Moral Re-Armament religious
cults. The madcap blond Unity Mitford was a passionate fascist and a
favorite of Adolf Hitler. Lady Diana Mosley was the sister of Unity, and
the wife of the British fascist leader Sir Oswald Mosley.
What a small fascist world it is after all.
Likewise, another British writer who observed the 1938 Nuremberg
Nazi Party Day rally noted that Heinrich Himmler "apparently
dotes on the Oxford Group
and writes to its English members discussing their troubles with them."
More about Bill Wilson's narcissistic personality disorder:
Nina Brown's book on living with a narcissist explains a lot of Wilson's behavior.
Carolyn See is the stepdaughter of Wynn Corum, who was one
of Bill Wilson's paramours, and the author of the Big Book story
"Freedom From Bondage".
reviewed Susan Cheever's book
for The Washington Post.
Besides verifying her stepmother's affair
with Bill Wilson, Carolyn reported that the early A.A. members were
so extreme, so fanatical in their
opposition to medications
that they even
bickered about whether taking an aspirin for a headache constituted a slip
Susan Cheever's new biography of Bill Wilson,
"My Name Is Bill"
is quite an apology for Bill.
Sentenced to A.A.:
Judges in the Westboro, Massachusetts area are sentencing people to A.A.
meetings for everything from exposing oneself in public to stomping heads
to being a bad cop who threatened to rape a 12-year-old girl. It seems like those
judges really do believe that A.A. is
magic snake oil that can cure anything.
Another AA/NA horror story:
First, a sponsor seduces the guy's girl-friend, then
the group seduces his 15-year-old god-son; then,
years later, another A.A. group nearly destroys his marriage.
A survivor of Dr. Miller Newton's "Straight"
concentration camp for children
tells her story.
And more about Miller Newton the child abuser
Frank Buchman the social climber actually had the nerve to tell
Queen Marie of Romania that
she was endangering
"the moral and spiritual development of her children" by not
attending any more of his tea parties.
Peter Howard, Frank Buchman's
disciple who took over the leadership of Moral Re-Armament and The Oxford Groups
after Frank Buchman's death, was a fascist — a real genuine fascist.
Peter Howard was a high-ranking member of Sir Oswald Mosley's New Party,
which morphed into the British Union of Fascists, and Howard was
the leader of the New Youth Movement, Oswald Mosley's copy of the
Hitlerjugend (Hitler Youth).
Dr. H. H. Henson, the Bishop of Durham, pointed out that
Frank Buchman's doctrine of Checking Guidance created
It was a classic example of a bait and switch trick — you started off
being told to listen to "God", but ended up being told to
listen to the cult leader —
still uses the same trick today.
In 1939, Percy Hutchison, the poetry editor of The New York Times
(and a hidden propagandist for A.A.),
declared that the new book Alcoholics Anonymous was
the best treatment of the
subject of alcoholism that he had ever seen, and it
had the best alcoholism treatment program (as if the poetry editor was
qualified to give medical advice to the public).
Rev. Sam Shoemaker, the American Oxford Group leader, invented
the "Act As If" routine to help
in the religious conversion of doubters, and A.A. has been using it ever since.
We know that Bill Wilson learned the cult religion routine from Frank Buchman and
his sequacious "Oxford Group" followers.
So, from whom did Buchman learn it? The answer was buried in
an obscure book that
was published in 1946.
alcoholics successfully quit drinking all on their own, all of
the time — plenty of them — in fact, far more than ever recover in A.A..
This web site, all of these pages
and all of this information was suddenly totally erased
without prior warning or notice, or explanation,
on Sunday, April 20, 2003, by Geocities.Yahoo.Com,
whose friendly staff didn't seem to like something that I said.
They wouldn't say what it was that they were censoring.
Read the story here.