Letters, We Get Mail, CLXXI
by A. Orange



Date: Sun, May 16, 2010 3:31 pm     (answered 18 June 2010)
From: "Facebook"
Subject: Dennis W. M. wrote on your Wall...

Dennis posted something on your Wall and wrote:

"Hey Orange, long time no chat... I was looking at letters on your site the other day, and somewhere you mentioned that if alcoholism is a disease, sponsors are practicing medicine without a license. Loved it, plan to use it. Never even thought of that but such a great point."

Hi Dennis,

Thanks for the note. Yeh, that one hit me after a while. The well-indoctrinated A.A. believers are so insistent that "alcoholism" is a "disease" — even to the point of writing a goofy definition of the "disease" for the A.M.A., but they just totally ignore the fact that real diseases are supposed to be treated by real doctors. The A.A. members somehow imagine that they are qualified to treat this one "real disease", even when they are qualified to treat no others.

And of course they are certainly not qualified to treat PTSD or Bipolar Disorder or Schizophrenia or Clinical Depression, or any of the other underlying disorders that can cause excessive alcohol consumption.

I think that practicing medicine without a license is at least a misdemeanor, and it's felony manslaughter if the patient dies.

Oh well, have a good day.

== Orange

*             orange@orange-papers.org        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     Fate keeps on happening.
**        ==  Anita Loos (1893—1981), American writer





Date: Thu, May 20, 2010 8:58 am     (answered May 20, 2010 2:50 pm)
From: "X"
Subject: getting aa criticism mainstream press

Today I emailed Oliver James, a British psychologist, about the Orange Papers and I was astonished that he replied with some enthusiasm. I hope when he has finished ploughing through your good work he contacts you.

All the best, sir.

Hello X,
Now that is interesting. Thanks for the plug.
And have a good day now.
== 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: Thu, May 20, 2010 6:39 pm     (answered 18 June 2010)
From: "X"
Subject: RE: getting aa criticism mainstream press

Thanks for replying, I think we are different time zones but I am awake on mine. I don't want to take up more of your valuable time, so don't trouble yourself to reply because I now know you actually exist, which is reassuring. As I have said, I very much appreciate your thorough investigation into this bizarre cult. Oliver James is one of the biggest media pop pyschologists in the UK, and frankly, if he is as ignorant as he professes, then the difficulty of getting beyond the aa PR machine is fairly huge.

Do you know of any published paper that I could cite to him? I think that he is a bit of a media-whore, if you know what I mean, in the nicest way. When you next get round to forwarding your good work, could we have a bit more on al-anon and alteen?

This is our correspondence

Dear Mr James,

Have you read the orange papers and other websites on the same subject? I simply cannot understand why this racket has lasted 75 years. If you have, please let me know where I can find out more.

Thank you very much. I admire your work as it goes against the bizarrely accepted consensus.


Dear X,

Nice to hear from you.

I was completely unaware of the Orange papers. I must admit that I had not realized there had been studies of AA, except one, which did find beneficial outcomes.

Do you know of a published paper which reviews all the evidence?

Thanks for putting me onto this!

All Best,
Oliver

It was just a pot shot that I contacted him; was delighted that he got back within the hour. Personally, I had some therapy about 15 years ago, and immediately afterwards I trained as a therapist myself, but never practised because I concluded that it was pretty much all, except CBT and Brief, Solution Focussed Therapy, either placebo or rubbish. But aa is beyond the pale because, in my experience it causes harm, and massive damage to the wallet of concerned wealthy parents. I will continue to 'plug' the orange papers continually, and I have noticed that a few others seem to be doing the same on the comment sections of the UK press. I am toying with the idea of writing to every single psychologist/phychiatrist with the same information.

Can you believe he knew, or sought to know, so little? I wonder which study of aa he knows of that showed it was beneficial. Possibly from the words of Bill W in the big book?

I am going to have to stop drooling my admiration for you now because we don't want to start another cult now, do we? One of the best bits of advice I had years ago was to never trust a guru. But, I do feel that you have done a humanity a service. I have heard that aa is the greatest human movement since Christianity; I think that the 12 step movement is the greatest con of the 20th century.

High regards to you, Orange, and please don't put my name anywhere public; I am not quite sure how to remove it from my e-mails but I will find out how to soon.

Hello again, X,

Don't worry about your name. I don't know of any way to automatically remove it from emails either, other than an anonymous remailing service, but at this end, I just edit out the names when people wish. So you just became "X".

As far as publications go, the single most revealing publication is the book by Dr. George E. Vaillant, The Natural History of Alcoholism: Causes, Patterns, and Paths to Recovery. Dr. Vaillant was a doctor at Cambridge-Sommerville Hospital who spent the better part of 20 years treating alcoholics with A.A. as part of a government-funded project called CASPAR — the Cambridge-Sommerville Program for Access to Recovery. Vaillant's goal was to prove that A.A. worked. Instead, he accidentally proved that A.A. kills. Dr. Vaillant tracked his first 100 A.A.-treated alcoholic patients for 8 years, and he got a zero-percent improvement in the sobriety rate of the alcoholics, along with the worst death rate of any kind of treatment that he studied. You can read all about it here: http://www.orange-papers.org/orange-effectiveness.html#Vaillant

What is really strange is that Dr. Vaillant still loved A.A. so much that he has devoted his life to promoting it, and even became a member of the Board of Trustees of A.A. Dr. Vaillant insisted that all alcoholics should be sent to A.A., even if it will kill them. Vaillant actually declared that the real goal of A.A. was to induce an attitude change in alcoholics by having them confess their sins to a high-status healer.

And then the rest of that web page contains some other good studies, too. Particularly look at these controlled studies:

  1. Dr. Brandsma found that A.A. increased the rate of binge drinking, and
  2. Dr. Ditman found that A.A. increased the rate of rearrests for public drunkenness, and
  3. Dr. Walsh found that "free A.A." made later hospitalization more expensive, and
  4. Drs. Orford and Edwards found that having a doctor talk to the patient for just one hour was just as effective as a whole year of A.A.-based treatment.

If you want just one short publication to send to Oliver James, send him that one file, The Effectiveness of the 12-Step Treatment. It is the single best web page for a doctor to read, because it contains all of the medical tests and clinical studies.

Have a good day.

== Orange

*             orange@orange-papers.org        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**      Life itself is the proper binge.
**          ==  Julia Child (b. 1912), American chef

[The next letter from 'X' is here.





Date: Sun, May 16, 2010 6:09 am     (answered 18 June 2010)
From: "Facebook"
Subject: Morgan L. wrote on your Wall...

Morgan posted something on your Wall and wrote:

"Hello Orange, perhaps you've addressed this previously, but I am wondering what your take on Glenn Beck and his use of the 12 steps is. Unfortunately, my current work situation makes me privy to his rhetoric... and I here a lot of "programming" being broadcasted over the airwaves daily (and the results)."

Hi Morgan,

Alas, I don't know a thing about Glenn Beck, other than some criticisms of him that I have heard on left-wing radio. I've never heard Glenn Beck speak, not even once, so I have no idea what he might be doing with the 12 Steps. I don't even know what channels or programs he is on.

Any readers have any ideas?

Have a good day.

== Orange

*             orange@orange-papers.org        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run
**     than outright exposure. The fearful are caught
**     as often as the bold.
**        ==  Helen Keller (1880—1968), American writer





Date: Fri, May 21, 2010 11:40 pm     (answered 19 June 2010)
From: "Deeke"
Subject: Real freedom

Dear Agent Orange,

Just want to thank you for your overwhelming orange papers. When I started reading them I was in shock but I am so glad I found them! Reading and studying them opened my eyes.

I have been in AA for several years.

Must say: first year really felt okay and safe.

I stopped drinking after my first meeting and never had a relapse.

The next years there were so many things I didn't like and made me feel uncomfortable.

I had my doubts, "funny" things popped up in my head, I felt irritated and not at ease.

But I firmly ignored all the signals and stayed. Getting deeper and deeper involved in AA service/12th step work. Trying to become the perfect AA member. Thought I was doomed to drink if I ever left the Program. At the same time I thought I was perfectly happy, joyous and free.

But I was not free at all; even without drinking, alcohol was still my obsession and passion .............. a mind consuming thing.

Today I know better. I am not afraid of alcohol anymore. I just don't take that first drink, no matter what. That's what, for me, feeling free is all about. My own power.

Thanks again, Orange

Dekeket

Hello Dekeket,

Thank you for a cheery letter to go with the morning cup of coffee. I'm glad that you are free and healthy and feeling good. And I'm glad that you have found your own power.

So have a good day now.

== Orange

*             orange@orange-papers.org        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     If you have made mistakes... there is always another chance
**     for you... you may have a fresh start any time you choose,
**     for this thing we call "failure" is not the falling down,
**     but the staying down. 
**        ==  Mary Pickford (1893—1979), American actress





Date: Fri, May 21, 2010 9:17 pm     (answered 19 June 2010)
From: "Fred S"
Subject: thank you, I think

I found your site by googling 12 step and cult because I have misgivings about the group I just left. I am a non apostolic reformed pagan religious scientist who vacillates between ways to relate to the universe. Though none involve bearded guys in robes or magic underwear, I sometimes lean heavily upon quantum physics, which I know as much about as I would the Upanishads.

Anyway, you probably know that not everyone in AA (or any A) believes in God or even the group as god. One of my favorite friends from "the rooms" believes in whatever it is that keeps her breathing and pumping blood whilst she sleeps, presumably incapable of micromanaging herself.

Anyway I am wondering what your grinding axe is. Care to tell me?

Fred


Date: Fri, May 21, 2010 9:29 pm     (answered 19 June 2010)
From: "Fred S"
Subject: excuse last email

Hi, I just found your letters section and took a random turning for a quarter hour. Absolutely fascinating. I don't care what your axe is. I am ready to do anything you say.

"Together, we're better!

Together, we're better!

Nooooooooooooooo...shit."

Best

Fred

Hello Fred,

Thanks for the letters and the compliment. And you don't need to apologize for the first letter. I don't see anything wrong with the question in the first letter.

So what is my ax to grind?

For me, the single most important fact is that the A.A. "Program" does not really cure or save alcoholics, and then A.A. lies about that fact a lot. So I have to tell the truth, just to counter the river of misinformation that comes out of the A.A. propaganda machine.

The rest of the answer, like who I am and my experiences that led to my starting this web site, are linked here.

I'm glad that you like the letters.

So have a good day now.

== Orange

*             orange@orange-papers.org        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     ...the greatest part of our happiness or misery
**     depends on our dispositions
**     and not on our circumstances.
**       ==  Martha Washington (1731—1802), American First Lady

[The next letter from Fred S. is here.





Date: Thu, January 14, 2010 4:02 pm     (answered 19 June 2010)
From: "James C."
Subject: AA is spiritual, not religous.

I read your page for about 3 minutes before figuring out what you were saying is all bull shit. I seems like you needlessly slammed AA and twisted the meaning of its principles in order for you to be able to get your point across. In one way or another, this program has helped millions to recover from a disease that would have otherwise killed them. AA does not tell you to believe in any one God, nor does it ally itslef with any institution. Bottom line, it teaches members to open their eyes to a power greather than themselves. Most people in the world aren't atheists anyway. What you may think of as a well-researched assasination attempt of AA is little more than a two-bit piece of propaganda. Your work is not in any way convincing. There are many loop holes in the arguments you provide, just as you were trying to find loop holes and fallices in the book. The only way to know anything about the program and what it really means is to be around it. I don't know if you've ever even been to a meeting and I think it would be sad for someone to go out of their way to try to bash a program which has saved so many. Maybe you have tried the program, but have found certain principles that you were not able to agree with. Well congratulations, you are the very first one in the history of AA to question some of the ideas the program stands for. Even the most skeptical of us have been able to recover. So before you go bashing a program that has no other interest other than helping people, maybe you should think of other ways to waste your time and leave the people who want to get better alone.

Hello James,

Well, starting at the top:

  1. You said, "I seems like you needlessly slammed AA and twisted the meaning of its principles in order for you to be able to get your point across." (sic.)

    There are no "principles" in the 12 Steps. Dr. Frank Buchman started the habit of calling his heretical occult practices "spiritual principles", and Bill Wilson just copied him. We have discussed that before, here.

  2. And then, A.A. has not "helped millions to recover from a disease that would have otherwise killed them."

    First off, the most that A.A. can claim is 2 million members worldwide, and they are not all sober. We have discussed that many times before, too, so I'll just point you to the summary, here.

    If you think that A.A. works, why don't you tell us what the actual A.A. success rate is?

    • Out of each 1000 newcomers to A.A., how many of them eventually pick up a one-year coin for sobriety?
    • Out of each 1000 newcomers to A.A., how many of them eventually pick up a five-year coin for sobriety?
    • Out of each 1000 newcomers to A.A., how many of them eventually pick up a ten-year coin for sobriety?
    • How about the 11-year coin? What percentage of the newcomers go on to get an 11-year coin?
    How many success stories are there really, out of each 1000 newcomers to A.A.? How well does Alcoholics Anonymous really work?

    Hint: the answers are here.

  3. Then you said, "AA does not tell you to believe in any one God, nor does it ally itslef with any institution. Bottom line, it teaches members to open their eyes to a power greather than themselves." (sic.)

    Oh really? Then how can the 12 Steps work if "God" does not answer prayers and deliver Miracles on Demand? How can "surrendering your will and your life" to "God" be a good thing that will save your life?

    The 12 Steps demand that you believe in a very specific kind of micro-managing, wish-granting "God", or else the 12 Steps won't work. If "God" won't deliver Miracles on Demand to A.A. members, then they are screwed, and the 12-Step program can't work.

    Please don't try to tell me that you can "surrender" to Doorknob Almighty or Baal Bedpan, or "G.O.D. = Group Of Drunks", and those "gods" will perform miracles and save your life for you.

    That standard A.A. rap is another bait-and-switch trick, or rather, many of them:

  4. Then you said, "Most people in the world aren't atheists anyway."

    I never said that they were.

  5. Then you said, "What you may think of as a well-researched assasination attempt of AA is little more than a two-bit piece of propaganda. Your work is not in any way convincing. There are many loop holes in the arguments you provide, just as you were trying to find loop holes and fallices in the book."

    Okay, let's get specific. I research very carefully, so please show me where I erred. Give me specific quotes, and tell what web page you got them from, and then show us what you think the truth is, backed up by reputable sources — better than my sources and documentation. Let's see those "loop holes".

  6. Then you said, "The only way to know anything about the program and what it really means is to be around it."

    Oh, that is classic. Trying to claim that people who are not members of the cult do not know anything about the cult. You can get the same rap from Scientology or the Moonies or Rev. Jim Jones's People's Temple. Want to try some cyanide Flavor-Aid so that you will really know something about the church?

  7. Then you said, "I don't know if you've ever even been to a meeting..."

    Well then, you haven't read much of my web site, have you? Criticizing without reading? Contempt before investigation?

    Oh yes, that's right: You began your first line by saying, "I read your page for about 3 minutes..." So much for knowing what you are talking about.

    Start with the introduction, and these two items:

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

  8. Then you went back to, "...and I think it would be sad for someone to go out of their way to try to bash a program which has saved so many."

    We already covered that one, above. A.A. does not work. It does not "save so many".

  9. Then you said, "Maybe you have tried the program, but have found certain principles that you were not able to agree with."

    Again, there are no "principles" in the cult practices that Bill Wilson copied from Dr. Frank Buchman.

  10. Then you jabbered, "Well congratulations, you are the very first one in the history of AA to question some of the ideas the program stands for."

    Nothing like a little condescending sarcasm. (A.A. teaches that, and goes a good job of it.)

    What "ideas the program stands for"?

    • Declaring that you are powerless?
    • Declaring that you are insane?
    • Declaring that you are a disgusting sinner who needs to list and confess all of his sins, "defects of character", and "moral shortcomings" in Steps Four through Seven?
    • Imagining that you can get Miracles on Demand from any old home-made "god" or "Higher Power" that you like to think you believe in?
    • Imagining that you can get all of your addiction problems solved by giving up and "surrendering" your will to a home-made "god"?

  11. Then you said, "Even the most skeptical of us have been able to recover."

    Well yeh, duh. Quitting drinking, and recovering from the physical damage done by alcohol, has nothing to do with skepticism or belief in the tenets of a cult religion.

  12. Then you finished with: "So before you go bashing a program that has no other interest other than helping people, maybe you should think of other ways to waste your time and leave the people who want to get better alone."

    Actually, "The Program" has other motives than just "helping people" — everything from recruiting new victims with coercive recruiting and deceptive recruiting, to committing perjury against A.A. members who printed their own literature, to sexually exploiting under-age girls.

Oh well, have a good day anyway.

== Orange

*             orange@orange-papers.org        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     Light tomorrow with today!
**         ==  Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1806—1861), English poet





Date: Sat, May 22, 2010 4:43 pm     (answered 19 June 2010)
From: "Anne S."
Subject: Read a book that might give some insight...

...into why change away from 12-step groups seems so slow and why governments get away with sentencing people to them at the rate they do...

It's titled "The Family", written by Jeff Sharlet. What he describes there sounds remarkably 12-steppish but what's scary is that this group is international in scope and centers power in several corporations and government. In other words, the mentality found in 12-step groups has been seeping into our society at large since around the same time Wilson started his group.

Maybe you can find it at your library. Or, you can get it fairly cheap at Amazon:
http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=The+Family&x=17&y=22

Glad you're back. I looooooooooove reading your letters!

Hello Anne,

Thanks for the input and the good wishes. I'll have to check that book out.

It isn't really surprising. Remember that all of the philosophy and theology of Alcoholics Anonymous actually came from Frank Buchman's Oxford Groups, which was the fashionable religion of the rich. Buchman's teachings were quite compatible with fascism, and Frank Buchman was of course notorious for his praise of Adolf Hitler and Heinrich Himmler, and declaring that he wanted America run by "a dictatorship of the Living Spirit", and he envisioned a wonderful world run by "Christian Fascist dictatorships". Buchmanism promoted ideas like, "The common man is too stupid to run things. The greatest patriotism consists of following the orders of Der Führer without question."

Surrender to Adolf, or surrender to God, or surrender to the Big Boss, what's the difference?

Frank Buchman did not invent all of that stuff. He simply rode the wave, and lived in first-class comfort, supported by sympathetic millionaires.

Remember that the Duponts and their ultra-right-wing friends even conspired to overthrow President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. It was a near thing. And they were never prosecuted for it, because Roosevelt believed that he would need their help to win World War II. Congress suppressed the report. So those people never stopped believing in their fascistic ideology, nor did they lose their wealth and power. They just went underground until fear of the Communists brought them back in their glory again, in the 1950s. Senator Joseph McCarthy made fascism fashionable again, just with a new name, "anti-Communist patriotism".

So yes, they are still around, and teaching the same garbage. Today they proclaim that a world run by corporations will be the best of all possible worlds. Oh yes, let British Petroleum write the regulations that govern oil drilling and environmental protection. That will give us Heaven on Earth, won't it?

Oh well, have a good day anyway.

== Orange

*             orange@orange-papers.org        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     One of the things about equality is not just
**     that you be treated equally to a man,
**     but that you treat yourself equally to the
**     way you treat a man.
**        ==  Marlo Thomas (b. 1943), American actress





May 18, 2009, Monday: Day 18, continued:

Canada Goose gosling
A Canada Goose gosling.
I'm not sure which family this youngster belongs to.

[The story of Carmen continues here.]





[This is the second letter in the chain. The first is here.]

Date: Sun, May 23, 2010 7:13 am     (answered 20 June 2010)
From: "John S."
Subject: Re: query

Hi Orange —

thanks for the reply. This is a friendly, non adversarial follow up. I am not an AA anything. I am in recovery for 35 years and see miracles every day in AA, but don't claim to anyone that it is the only way to sobriety. It works for some, for some it doesn't.

Hello again, John,

Congratulations on your years of sobriety, and I can agree with your first statement, but not the second. That is, I'm sure that you have seen many wonderful recoveries where people suddenly just quit killing themselves with alcohol or other drugs. It's beautiful to see somebody choose to live, isn't it?

But I cannot agree about the reason why they quit drinking: "It works for some..."
That is the same logic as the guy who says, "I was sick unto death, but then I drank five bottles of Dr. Bummer's Magic Snake Oil Elixir, and I immediately got better. So Dr. Bummer has really great medicine."

That guy does not know whether the snake oil made him get better, or his own immune system rallied and did it, or it was the chicken soup that his mother brought to him. That's why doctors do carefully controlled tests of medicines to find out what actually works.

When A.A. and its 12-Step treatment of alcoholism were tested, A.A. was completely ineffective, and even downright harmful.

I have looked at the index you sent me, and don't see anything in the index about correspondence between you and AAWS or GSO or any legal representative of AA.

As I said before, I have had zero correspondence with the A.A. headquarters. But if they send me a letter offering to let me poke through the locked and sealed A.A. historical archives and find the real truth, then I will most assuredly respond to that letter.

Let me try and rephrase my question that I sent earlier.

The question is do you have any correspondence with AAWS or any legal representative of AA that addresses your statements about Bill Wilson, Lois Wilson, or their relatives or associates receiving income derived from the AA literature, etc.

No, nothing.

I have been a member of AA for 35 years and am concerned that GSO for years has been saying that if local groups donated more money to the New York CIty office, it would not be necessary to charge for literature.

If your statements are true, and I am not saying they are not true, then the problem of charging money for literature is caused by the payments to Bill Wilson et al, not the lack of contributions from AA members.

Thanks for responding to this.

John S.

Calling all dreamers and optimistic fools
Don't let go of your dream make it now make it all come true
If you believe in a brighter day
I know we can find our way

To this island, in a starry ocean
Poetry in motion, this island earth
Spinnin' like a dancer, gravity is the answer
Rendezvous in the blue, this island earth
-P.Cooper/The Nylons

Birds flying high
You know how I feel
Sun in the sky
You know how I feel
Breeze driftin' on by
You know how I feel
It's a new dawn
It's a new day
It's a new life
For me
And I'm feeling good

Fish in the sea
You know how I feel
River running free
You know how I feel
Blossom on a tree
You know how I feel
It's a new dawn
It's a new day
It's a new life
For me
And I'm feeling good

Dragonfly out in the sun you know what I mean, don't you know
Butterflies all havin' fun you know what I mean
Sleep in peace when day is done
That's what I mean
And this old world is a new world
And a bold world
For me

Stars when you shine
You know how I feel
Scent of the pine
You know how I feel
Oh freedom is mine
And I know how I feel
It's a new dawn
It's a new day
It's a new life
For me
And I'm feeling good

== Anthony Newley

Well, John,

I am pretty darned sure that all of my information about Bill's will is true. I have gotten it from a variety of sources, and I have every reason to believe that the copy of Bill's will that I have is accurate. And nobody has ever disputed that will and said that it isn't the real thing, and it's been online for about 8 years now.

And I have corresponded with a guy who did write to the A.A. headquarters and ask about the royalties. (See the links below.)

Incidentally, Claire S., an estate attorney, read our correspondence and sent in some explanations and clarifications of Bill's will, and the disposition of Helen Wynn's share, and those messages are located immediately after your first letter, here.

What I heard is, at the time of her death, Lois Wilson was getting over $900,000 per year from royalties on Bill's various books — all of them, not just the Big Book. So that includes 12X12, "As Bill Sees It", "Alcoholics Anonymous Comes Of Age", various Grapevine articles — the whole mess.

The current sales of A.A. literature, and the collection of illegal royalties from foreign countries, might be about the same as before, so it is probably safe to assume that The Stepping Stones Foundation is getting approximately $450,000 per year to maintain the house (pretty darned good maintenance, huh?), and Lois Burnham Wilson's heirs are getting the other $450,000.

I cannot say whether that $900,000 would make it possible for the A.A. headquarters to give away free A.A. literature. It is entirely possible that the executives at the A.A. headquarters would just take the money for themselves. There is some evidence that they have already been doing it for many years. Look at this information about the A.A. finances:

  1. A.A. finances for 2004
  2. Response to above letter from former A.A. EDP manager Lillianna Murphy: the A.A. headquarters is filing false financial reports with the IRS
  3. more discussion of finances
  4. links to A.A. financial reports
  5. Use Guidestar to investigate the General_Service_Board
  6. Big Book sales numbers
  7. John McC. wrote to the GAO and asked about the royalties, and they responded.

Notice that the filed reports — Form 990 — do not actually say how much money the top A.A. executives are getting, which is a violation of the laws governing non-profit organizations. (See the first link there).

Oh well, have a good day anyway.

== Orange

*             orange@orange-papers.org        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     There's a time when you have to explain to your children
**     why they're born, and it's a marvelous thing if you
**     know the reason by then.
**        ==  Hazel Scott (b. 1920), Trinidad-born American musician





Date: Sun, May 23, 2010 10:01 pm     (answered Mon, May 24, 2010)
From: "Ray Smith"
Subject: Jack Trimpey

Hi Terry,

I was reading your latest batch of letters and saw the letter that stated Jack Trimpey is an atheist.

Trimpey is a Methodist, he mentions it on one of his video tapes. He also talks about it on page 7 of "Rational Recovery":
http://books.google.com/books?id=-vVR4dVqMo4C&pg=PA7&lpg=PA7& dq=Jack+Trimpey+methodist&source=bl&ots=2WqmBGq3ox& sig=ifLUiKHLZKIJ6wfbmtdl54N6I9o&hl=en&ei=AwH6S_IchIqXB8_I-dAK& sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1& ved=0CBIQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q&f=false

A lot of people seem to believe that anything secular means atheist. The members of these alternative recovery groups just see religion and recovery as separate matters.

Ray Smith

Aha! Thank you very much. And you are absolutely right about how anybody who doesn't kowtow to the A.A. party line gets accused of being an atheist. Bill Wilson started it, in the Big Book, and nothing has changed in 70 years. I can't count how many times I've been accused of being an atheist, and "fighting against God", and "afraid to get straight with God", etc., etc.

Oh well, have a good day anyway.

== 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: Tue, May 25, 2010 12:46 pm     (answered 20 June 2010)
From: "deb"
Subject: Cult ed forum

Hello,

I thought of the AA thread as I was reading the new Transition Towns (TT) thread on cult education. com. The people there are trying their hardest to turn TT into a cult, and RR allegedly (according to a poster I email with) has censored posts. He's now trying to twist this same poster's words to say she is making threats to another poster.

The AA thread really bothered me when I saw what was going on and this is equally disturbing. But — he the expert, right?

Regards,

Deb

Hello Deb,

Thanks for the letter. That "Cult Education Forum" is run by Rick Ross, isn't it? That explains everything.

He and I have crossed paths before. He censored me when I tried to participate in a discussion of whether A.A. is a cult. Look here for the story. It seems that he censors everybody who criticizes him, or questions his expertise, or says things that he doesn't like.

Oh, and then Rick Ross even awarded me "two flames" for criticizing him. That guy is so immature and narcissistic that he made up a special rating system and graphics for awarding "flames" — one to four flames — to people who offended him in some way.

As far as Rick Ross being an "expert" on cults, that is a laugh. Guess how he got to be an "expert"? He just declared that he was an expert. He has no credentials or training as a cult expert. None. Nada. Zilch.

Rick Ross' previous occupation was "cult deprogrammer". A "cult deprogrammer" was a thug who used mind-control and torture techniques on children to get them to say what the paying parents wanted to hear.

"Cult Deprogramming" used to be a very profitable business before those deprogrammers started getting charged with kidnapping, false imprisonment, and torture, and getting convicted and sent to prison.

One of the most obnoxious of the deprogrammers was "Black Lightning", a big black guy who got his kicks beating up on wimpy white kids, and getting the stupid parents to actually pay him to do it. Look here for some of the story.

So now Rick Ross is out of the "cult deprogrammer" business, but he still calls himself an "expert on cults".

You should read the Wikipedia pages on Rick Ross:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rick_Ross_%28consultant%29
Very revealing. They say that Ross even went to Waco, Texas, while the Branch Davidian seige was going on, and presented himself as a "cult expert", and encouraged the FBI to be confrontational with "David Koresh". You know what that led to: the deaths of a whole lot of people, including a bunch of children. The FBI says that they didn't listen to Rick Ross. But they did just what he said...???

I guess I really have to jam on getting a forum working, so that people can have a forum where they won't get censored.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             orange@orange-papers.org        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     A mother is neither cocky nor proud, because
**     she knows that the principal may call at any
**     minute to report that her child has just driven
**     a motorcycle through the gymnasium.
**        ==  Mary Kay Blakely (b. 1957), American writer





Date: Wed, May 26, 2010 10:14 pm     (answered 20 June 2010)
From: "Ray Smith"
Subject: The Harvard Psychedelic Club

Just posted this to my blog:
The Harvard Psychedelic Club: How Timothy Leary, Ram Dass, Huston Smith, and Andrew Weil Killed the Fifties and Ushered in a New Age for America
by Don Lattin

Fascinating to read about the interactions between these people (and Alan Ginsberg and Aldous Huxley and Bill Wilson and a other notables). For those unfamiliar with Smith, he wrote The World's Religions, required reading for most Comparative Religion courses.

Interesting bits:

Andrew Weil, jealous that his roommate had been accepted by the LSD inner circle while he was excluded (unaware that Ram Dass, then Richard Alpert, had a crush on the roommate) helped get Leary and Alpert kicked out of Harvard.

Ted Kaczynski, the Unibomber, underwent CIA-funded psychological stress LSD tests at Harvard being performed by Harry Murry, who ran the Personality Assessments section of the OSS during World War II..

Bill Wilson:

In August 1956, one year after Wilson turned over the AA leadership to an elected board of directors, Heard guided Wilson on an LSD trip that would have a profound impact on the world's best-known recovering alcoholic. Wilson took what was probably his first LSD trip at the Los Angles Veterans Administration Hospital on August 29, 1956. According to notes taken by Heard, the founder of AA felt "an enormous enlargement," and his insights included the realization that "people shouldn't take themselves so dam seriously." Shortly after that acid trip, Houston Smith accompanied Heard on a trip to Kansas City and spent two hours in a hotel room listening to Wilson and Heard talk about the acid trip. Wilson was blown away by the drug and said the experience was a dead ringer for the famous night in the 1930s when he fell down on his knees and had an epiphany about founding his twelve-step program.
The Harvard Psychedelic Club, pg 66-67

So Rule #62 is the result of Wilson's first (?) LSD trip!

It goes on to describe another time when Wilson was going to trip with Tom Powers and the person offering the pills said that there was more available if they wanted it, Wilson responded, "Never tell that to a drunk" and took a double dose.

The book also says that when Wilson heard that Timothy Leary had a bit of a drinking problem, wrote to him about checking out AA.
http://raysny.multiply.com/journal/item/83/The_Harvard_Psychedelic_Club

Hello Ray,

Thanks for the input. Now that is darned interesting.

It also reminds me of the book Acid Dreams: the CIA, LSD, and the sixties rebellion.
The government (CIA) really did dose a lot of people with LSD, didn't they? Everybody from Ted Kaczynski to Ken Kesey got their psychedelic start courtesy of the U.S. Government... What a long strange trip it's been.

I had to laugh at Bill Wilson telling Timothy Leary that he should join Alcoholics Anonymous. Like, "Hey, Tim, I hear that you have been partying hearty. You need to join my cult and become one of my flunkies, and worship my God."
The gall of that man... But then again, I guess that's how a cult leader builds his cult. "Always Be Recruiting!" (Shades of Glengarry Glen Ross.)

Oh well, have a good day.

== Orange

*             orange@orange-papers.org        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     I am never afraid of what I know.
**        ==  Anna Sewell (1820—1878), English writer





Date: Mon, May 31, 2010 4:27 pm     (answered 20 June 2010)
From: "Parrish S. K."
Subject: Legacy

Hi, Terry:

I've been going thru your most recent letters pages this evening, and something occurred to me. I don't like to bring it up, because it's not a pleasant topic, but I think it's necessary.

The work you've done with the Orange Papers web site is very important — probably the most rigorous and thorough examination of Steppism that anyone has ever produced. However, it's been your work and your work alone, and you're getting on in years. You may pass on tomorrow or 20 years from now, but as with everyone else, it's inevitable.

Your work is far too important to lose. Have you made arrangements in your will to ensure that the site will continue after you're deceased? I'd really hate to see the entire site get shut down simply because you passed away and hadn't taken care of this.

Hope all is going well in your new home, and that it's not too far away from the goslings so you can still visit them. :^) Best, P

Hello again, Parrish,

Thanks for the reminder.

I went through a strange experience last year: I nearly fell to my death. I just stepped backwards, and tripped over some stuff that was on the floor, and in a flash saw that I was going to fall over flat backwards, and smash the back of my head on the concrete, and die. What occurred to me in that instant was that nobody else on earth but me knew the passwords to get into my web site and maintain it, or to renew the domain name. Funny how that was what I thought of, in a moment like that.

Well, I somehow recovered my balance. It was one of those moves that seemed to be physically impossible, and yet I somehow managed to bend the laws of physics and regain my balance, and I came back up intact and unharmed.

Nevertheless, I was so impressed with that issue that I emailed a friend, and asked him to hold all of the relevant passwords, just in case. And of course, promptly forgot to send them. So I still have to get on that.

I have already given my official permission for people to mirror the web site if I die. But I think we can do better than that. I have already gotten some offers of help in moderating the web site when I get the forum going. That's good, because I will need the help. I am not even online right now, and just answering all of the email is a job in itself. I think that the forum could gather a small club of moderators who will keep the web site going after I'm gone. That sounds good.

Alas, I'm really far away from the beach where I used to hang out, so I haven't been seeing those geese. But one of the reasons that I chose Forest Grove is because it is real close to a place called "Hagg Lake", which has a wildlife refuge. So there are probably a zillion geese over there. I haven't gotten over there yet, but I will real soon. I just need to get a bicycle that is good for several miles.

Another funny thing that I have seen is that the geese get around a lot more than I thought. A few months ago, I was in another town called Beaverton, which is like 10 or 15 miles from the beach in the center of Portland, and I was at a grassy field beside the light rail line, and there was a flock of geese in the field. Two of the geese perked up as soon as they saw me, and came on over to see if I had any bread. The rest of the flock there was those small Cackling Geese that are native to Alaska, and they were just resting and feeding before moving on, and they ignored me. But this one pair obviously recognized me. They knew me. They were friends from Waterfront Park.

Suddenly it occurred to me that Canada Geese can fly one or two thousand miles when they migrate. Fifteen miles is nothing to them. They can casually fly that far just looking for something to eat. So there is a distinct possibility that I may run into some of my old friends over here.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             orange@orange-papers.org        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     It's the friends you can call up at 4 A.M. that matter.
**        ==  Marlene Dietrich (b. 1901), German actress





Date: Tue, June 1, 2010 2:38 pm     (answered 20 June 2010)
From: "Samantha S."
Subject: repeated inventories

I just read the website and would like to share what my experience has been. The repeated inventories have worked for me and continue to work. The inventory process asks me to soften my hard and jaded heart. The inventory process asks me to question over and over why things are repeating and why they are not working. The inventory process invites me, if I am truly honest, to accept myself and to accept change as a true, logical option that simply opens itself up to me in the process of taking the inventory repeatedly and even habitually. The answers just come through the process. I no longer grit my teeth and 'conquer' anything. I get so much more done this way and I am more readily able to accept others as they actually are.

We as alcoholics have 'strange mental blank spots' and I am not the authority on this. This has only been my experience. The inventory process sheds light on these 'blank spots' and I know myself so much better. The inventory process has been the one crucial tool added to help the others work better. They have truly saved my life.

That's just my experience.

With kind regards,

s

Hello Samantha,

Thank you for the letter.

It is all fine and well that you enjoy "inventories", but they are a big problem for other people, to the point of even driving some people to suicide. Some people find constant fault-finding to be very depressing. As a treatment program for alcohol abuse, the 12 Steps are disastrously bad.

It sounds a bit like you have developed your own techniques for introspection that are not shared by Alcoholics Anonymous.

I can't buy the idea of "blank spots". I know that was Bill Wilson's excuse for alcoholics suddenly going on binges, but I can't agree. There may be moments when a person just does not want to be responsible and think realistically about the consequences of drinking alcohol, but there are no blank spots where a person cannot control his hands or his mouth. There is no blank spot where he does not know what he is doing.

And in fact, the examples that Bill Wilson gave in the Big Book are not blank spots at all; they are moments when someone had a very stupid (Lizard Brain) thought about how it would be okay to drink alcohol, and the guy chose to believe that stupid thought so that he could indulge. That is an example of someone being dishonest with himself, not a blank spot.

Have a good day.

== Orange

*             orange@orange-papers.org        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     We don't see things as they are,
**     we see them as we are.
**       ==  Anaïs Nin (1903—1977), American writer


Date: Mon, June 21, 2010 9:25 pm     (answered 30 June 2010)
From: "Samantha Santos"
Subject: RE: Re: repeated inventories

Orange:

Thanks for your reply. I am so grateful that I am able to get the results I need. I am also grateful that you get the results, seemingly, that you need.

With kind regards,

Samantha





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