Letters, We Get Mail, XLVIII
by A. Orange



Date: Mon, May 8, 2006 21:05
From: "patrick l."
Subject: thanks

have been clean/sober 18 years now.... and so much of what you said rings true.... never DID buy: powerlessness, progressive disease theory, god/as/doorknob, big book/as/bible, fake-it-til-u-make-it..... the thing that infuriated me the most was when someone would say" if you don't blahblah... you're gonna drink"...... am seriously thinking about cult-like aspects.... it's clear that AA IS a religion... and that it dominates treatment modalities (knew this before, but never connected the dots before)..... consistently arrived late to meetings so as not to have to hear the readings.... honestly don't think i could even repeat back to anyone the 12 steps or trads....... DID have a great sponsor, though, who has given me good advice on all non-AA aspects of my life..... so i've been lucky...... although, when i mentioned to him about sending him your writings, he said he "didn't have time to read any anti-AA literature... that it worked for me, so why bother"...... which gave me pause...... have been reading SOS and RR literature... SOS seems more sensibly able to find ways to remain in dialogue with 12-steppers..... i suppose the biggest revelation to me was that i simply had a spontaneous recovery..... and that i don't have to accept any more AA dogma.... was raised a roman catholic..... and, as we know, roman catholicism still essentially says all other religions/ christian denominations are HERETICS (soft-pedalled these days to: "only the roman catholic church possesses the fulness of truth.").... so it's a relief to know that i can go back to wrestling with my deepest fixed catholic beliefs instead of wasting any more time as a 12-stepper!

thanks,
patrick l.

Hi Patrick,

Thanks for the letter and the story. 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/      *
** Every thinker puts some portion of an apparently
** stable world at peril.





Date: Mon, May 8, 2006 22:53
From: "John NoName"
Subject: Wow

It seems that membership in a 12-step program alters one's ability to write coherently in English. Even if you take mis-used apostrophes and ALL CAPS off the table, the terrified Buchmanistic ramblings of the emails you get is truly startling. Here, let's play A.A.:

— You have OVIOUSLY never been a alcoholic because if you was one you would know that THERE IS NO BETTER WAY too stay sober than by sitting in meetings four the rest of your life!

— It's a shame that you cant find a better way to chanel your energy then by bashing the one true religion which has helped milions of people like me.

— ALL I KNOW IS KEEP COMING BACK WERE SAVING A SEAT FOR YOU MY FREIND FOR WHEN YOU DECIDE TOO GET HONIST AND ADMIT YOUR A DRY DRUNK.

— You take your path and I will take mine because that it what it says in the bible or don't you read? Your bible because if you did. THAN you would know about Bill wilson and how hes holy and take's the most despirate alchoholics and make's them better we are not bad people trying to get good we are sick people with a diseas.

— You're site is FULL OF LIES and you MISINTERPRET what the steps are all about. You mus t not halve been to many meeting or you would no that it is a FELOWSHIP plane and simple you are reading to much into a SIMPEL PROGRAM meant four complicated peaple.

You must want to pull your hair out sometimes. I would never have the patience to produce such a well-researched, articulate body of work, much less respond to a constant stream of truly idiotic emails. I mean, the steppers are really really good at ignoring the actual issue, aren't they? They don't read the intro, they don't look at the footnotes. Because they are afraid. That was always my problem with "the program." Rigorously honest, my ass. Any reasoned question was consistently met with not just fear, but TERROR. Unnecessary, isn't it? I was just talking about books I'd read, people I'd talked to. But the response was consistently attack. Vicious, condescending comments wrapped in a folksy "look at how cute and misguided this lost lamb is" tone.

But you know what was behind those patronizing, fatherly smiles? The terror of having their whole set of (wrong-headed) values turned upside down. Superstition. The urge to balk at, to belittle, to banish those who question.

I imagine that you are actually a man of great compassion, because I would never be able to sign off with a cheery(ish) "oh well, have a good day anyway" after reading and responding to so many outlandish emails — messages which continually ignore the main premise: AA doesn't work. I especially love the fanatics who write things like "just leave us alone," ignoring the conspicuous fact that it was THEY who found their way to YOUR website.

Wow.

If you post this, no last name please — I don't need a lecture from any of these nuts.

Okay, John,

Thanks for the laugh. That's good. I needed that. And thanks for all of the complments.

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 common dogma [of fundamentalists] is fear of modern knowledge,
** inability to cope with the fast change in a scientific-technological
** society, and the real breakdown in apparent moral order in recent
** years.... That is why hate is the major fuel, fear is the cement of
** the movement, and superstitious ignorance is the best defense against
** the dangerous new knowledge. ... When you bring up arguments that cast
** serious doubts on their cherished beliefs you are not simply making a
** rhetorical point, you are threatening their whole Universe and their
** immortality. That provokes anger and quite frequently violence. ...
** Unfortunately you cannot reason with them and you even risk violence
** in confronting them. Their numbers will decline only when society
** stabilizes, and adapts to modernity.  == G. Gaia





Date: Tue, May 9, 2006 08:08
From: "Robin C."
Subject: Regarding "The Killjoy Cover-Up"

Wow. Finally, someone who says what I've been thinking for years. I grew up with an alcoholic father; married an alcoholic man; watched my oldest son turn to alcohol and start down the same road as his father; watched my brother ruin his life with alcohol, and watched my mother join the "if you can't lick'em, join'em" club.

I get sick and tired of society leaning on the excuse that they have a disease. I've never understood it and have always been made to feel guilty for not understanding and having compassion for "the disease".

Thank you for validating my thoughts and feelings.

Robin C.

Hi Robin,

Thanks for the letter and thanks for the compliments and thanks. I hope you are managing to finally salvage a little happiness out of the mess.

Have a good day.

== Orange

*                  Agent Orange               *
*             orange@orange-papers.org        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
** Drinking makes such fools of people, and people are such
** fools to begin with, that it's compounding a felony.
**         Robert Benchley (1889 - 1945)





Date: Tue, May 9, 2006 12:39
From: "keneth d."
Subject: thanks for website

as your site has pointed out, the AA concept of the deity or "higher power" is not very congruent with most christian groups. However, at least in my area, it seems that the denominations are more than welcoming of AA. Perhaps the idea of "never drinking" and in the more modern "politically correct terms", "(some people) never drinking" is an attractive feature of the 12 steps, despite an inconsistency in the basic theology. I do agree that AA has had greater failure rates than success rates, overall.

Hi again, Keneth,

I tend to agree. It seems that the ministers are doing a lot of rationalizing to gloss over the theological differences, imagining that A.A. saves a lot of alcoholics, so it is a *Very Good Thing*, and we should just ignore the theological differences in the interests of the Greater Good. Alas, their logic would fall apart if they realized that A.A. doesn't actually have a success rate — that it has a failure rate and increased death rate.

Oh well, have a good day anyway.

== Orange

*                  Agent Orange               *
*             orange@orange-papers.org        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
** "Always do right- this will gratify some
** and astonish the rest."
**     - Mark Twain (1835-1910)





Date: Tue, May 9, 2006 20:09
From: "Gordon G."
Subject: I found this interesting

Hi Agent Orange,

Am looking over some things on your site again.

"(3) understandable by the general public. Therefore, the committee agreed to define alcoholism as a primary, chronic disease with genetic, psychosocial, and environmental factors influencing its development and manifestations. "

http://www.orange-papers.org/orange-letters28.html#AMA

I was not aware that there is any evidence at all for a genetic connection now, in 2006 and this was written in 1992

Gordie

Hi Gordie,

A couple of things have come up recently, but I think that in 1992 their statement was guess-work, and they were just assuming things, probably on the basis of the famous Swedish twins studies. There, somebody found that both twins of a pair of orphaned twins tended to become alcoholics if either did, in spite of the twins being separated and raised in different families. (Recently, I've heard that those studies were fatally flawed, but don't know the details. I'll have to research that.)

What I've picked up on lately is:

Alcoholism and some other addictions and compulsions have in common the inability to achieve satisfaction from limited quantities of a pleasure stimulus. This inability, "reward deficiency syndrome," is hard-wired into the brain and appears to be linked to a genetic variation in the D2 receptor of chromosome 11.
See Reward Deficiency Syndrome, Kenneth Blum and others, The American Scientist, March-April 1996.

And:

"A Functional Neuropeptide Y Leu7Pro Polymorphism [is] Associated With Alcohol Dependence in a Large Population Sample From the United States".
"This is only the second specific genetic mechanism ever identified that modulates risk for alcohol dependence."
See: Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2002;59:825-831;
http://archpsyc.ama-assn.org/issues/v59n9/toc.html (dead link)

Notice the careful wording: "modulates the risk for alcohol dependence", not "causes alcoholism".

I like that. I agree. I don't think that the gene forces anybody to be an alcoholic; it is simple an influence that loads the dice, and makes somebody more likely to become an alcoholic. But we have a choice, and can override the genetic influence.

Something like eye color is totally genetically determined, and we don't get any choice in the matter later on. Alcoholism isn't like that at all.

Have a good day.

== Orange

*                  Agent Orange               *
*             orange@orange-papers.org        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
** Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.
** He isn't really trying to get Dorothy killed by
** the Wicked Witch of the West. RARELY have we
** seen him fail....





Date: Tue, May 9, 2006 20:52
From: "Louie"

Truth and reality are two different things; truth is the way you see it, and reality is the way it is.

Hi Louie,

Is that another attempt at escape via relativism? -- "Nobody sees the truth clearly, so let's not discuss the faults and shortcomings of Alcoholics Anonymous... You can't be sure of what you are seeing."

I think that just like the A.A. slogan "Some are sicker than others", we can say that "Some see the truth more clearly than others."

Those who will see the truth most clearly are those who really want to see the truth, and are really trying to see the truth, rather than just trying to avoid the truth and cling to their old beliefs.

What was it Bill Wilson said?...

Some of us have tried to hold on to our old ideas and the result was nil until we let go absolutely.
The Big Book, 3rd & 4th editions, William Wilson, Chapter 5, How It Works, page 58.

We can start with discarding the old ideas that are embodied in the Twelve Steps, and all of the rest of Frank Buchman's twisted philosophy.

Have a good day.

== Orange

*                  Agent Orange               *
*             orange@orange-papers.org        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
** The only way to achieve maximum openness is to arrive at
** every moment without a single preconception. Otherwise,
** we resist what doesn't fit our model.
** == Raphael Cushnir, from 365 Nirvana, Here and Now by Josh Baran


[2nd letter from Louie:]

Date: Thu, June 1, 2006 10:08
From: "Louie"

"We found the Great Reality deep down within us. In the last analysis it is only there that He may be found. It was so with us."

Hello Louie,

Like duh.... Why are you quoting Bill Wilson's insane religious ravings to me? You must know that I don't believe in Wilson's delusions.

Oh well, have a good day anyway.

== 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: Wed, May 10, 2006 07:20
From: "Chris S."
Subject: congratulations

I am glad you have discovered the power of healing in telling stories.

best wishes.

chris s

Hi Chris,

Thanks for the good wishes.

But... I don't think that there really is much "power of healing in telling stories."

When Bill Wilson printed a lot of autobiographical stories in the Big Book, he was merely trying to use the "Proof By Anecdote" propaganda trick to fool people into joining his new cult.

I rarely tell stories on my own web site. A few, but not many. Testimonials are one of the least reliable sources of information.

Have a good day.

== Orange

*                  Agent Orange               *
*             orange@orange-papers.org        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
** Isn't it funny how, when George Bush misreads intelligence
** reports, the error is always in the direction of going to war?
** Bush has never refrained from getting into a war because he
** failed to read a report, or misunderstood a report.
** And the "bad intelligence" that he has such a habit of
** finding always tells him to go to war. Why is that?





Date: Wed, May 10, 2006 13:35
From: "Bridget McN."
Subject: The Orange Papers

Dear Orange,

I was sent your website by a friend.

So much of it is completely false that I was astounded.

If you used to (or a close family member) go to AA and had a bad experience, I'm sorry. Unfortunately, sometimes that happens.

Best, B.McN.

Hello Bridget,

I research very carefully. I believe that everything on my web site it true. If you think that some fact or statement is in error, please tell me what it is. Please give the page name, and the erroneous statement, and what you think the truth is, and your sources of information. (Include book name, author, and page number, of course.) Thank you.

Trying to explain away my objections to foisting quack medicine on sick people as just having had a "bad experience with A.A." is another standard Alcoholics Anonymous dodge. (It's called "minimization and denial", something that Bill Wilson said alcoholics were good at.)

I get that in letters from Steppers every so often. Here is another recent letter that said the same thing: here.

My belief that it is morally wrong, downright evil, to knowingly foist ineffective quack medicine on sick people and then lie about how well it works is based on my basic ideas of right and wrong and how you should treat other people, not on a "bad experience". == 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: Wed, May 10, 2006 22:08
From: Shane in Australia
Subject: Re: Wowwww the penny just dropped

This is the funniest thing I have ever seen in my life — this week.

If you could post this as a reply to the letter you put up it would be appreciated.

Yeah I guess my point was that if one really wants too and one really has too get off the alcohol and other drugs, then one gets off them.

Groveling at 2 sticks on the wall, while in some sense, may provide a nice cosy bias to ones belief system — a sort of positive spin in a cess pit of habitually negative thinking, doing so does not actually make one stop. Self (me, myself and I) — we have to do it.

There is millions of people who grovel at two sticks on the wall, and they still drop dead of every thing... the groveling doesn't work.

I have heard the phrase "Bill Wilsons quack medicine / faith healing".

And while I do believe that some lying can be useful, to tell people that they are not fucked, that they can make it, because if we can make it, you make it too; that can inspire some hope, in some one who feels utterly hopeless; however when it's coupled with ongoing systemic lies, abuse and neglect — to achieve in effect the suspension of reality and fairly valid insights and observations, then it's utterly evil.

So to be told (or positively manipulated) that "You can get off the alcohol and other drugs, we did it and this is how — you have a bright and wonderful future ahead of you — everything is going to be rosy" — can really help... you can actually GIVE people some hope.

A sort of "pat on the head, an ice cream and to be told they are loved and wanted; and that we can overcome this, we will even help you to help yourself — please come back" — is a very good thing, to the person drowning in the despair of their own belief systems.

But when it's coupled with the rest of the AA program, which after my 30 years in it, from the age of 12 onwards, qualifies me as having an opinion based upon experience, then it's the most fundamental bit of manipulation and mind fuck imposition that one can be subject too.

I am reminded of my own childhood, where I was so fucked up from all the incest etc., that at 14 I was a sitting duck for a serial pedophile who used the same technique that AA does to recruit new members.

He promised to look after me, but under his terms and his conditions for his own ends, at my expense.

He essentially lied to me, by promising to act as a defacto or substitute father, and yet having manipulated me in dropping what ever defences I had left, he then exploited me.

This is exactly the same way that Alcoholics Anonymous works.

And it was founded by two scam artists — who since I was not a part of Bill Wilsons life, I was never with him from birth 24/7, side by side like a siamese twin, or some free floating spirit hovering over him, I cannot say what went on in his life with absolute authority on the subject; however I am told that there is a very good chance that he was subjected to much sexual and emotional abuse, as well as coming from a pretty crazy family.

However, what we experience we learn from and it's completely realistic to recyle abuse both onto one's self and others, in a myriad of ways.

How a serial pedophile works, is exactly the same way that the program of AA works; it's the same techniques — played out in a different way.

It's pure manipulation.

One of my major points of irritation with AA and it's brainwashed members, is how the "Singleness of Purpose Statement" gets read out at meetings and conventions....

e.g. http://www.aaprimarypurpose.org/SinglePurpose.htm

The whole thing is bullshit, Bill Wilson on account of all the groups having a million and one rules for membership, said we got to include everyone who wants to stop drinking; yet the "singleness of purpose" agenda is pushed to keep AA only for alcoholics and to tell people to confine their discussion (sharing) only to problems with alcohol (and not other issues, such as sex, other drugs gambling, food, gossip, diet, exercise, relationships blah blah blah etc).

And yet, a real lot of people who want to stop drinking, weather they are fortunate enough to escape or avoid the clutches of AA, all need varying degrees of help with living skills and self care — so they can live well and care for others — and have functional relationships.

Yet the party line toting AA nazis — through shaming, manipulation and control, try to make other people whittle the stories of their own lives from the start, to the great fall and ascending to earthly heaven in recovery, down to "I drank, I got drunk, I fell over, I came to AA, and thanks to god and Alcoholics Anonymous I am sober today, please put more money in the basket — and keep spouting the party line".

Yet in 30 years of time around mostly AA and NA (and some 15 other fellowships) it's been my own personal experience that almost everyone does drugs other than alcohol, and their whole lives are in summary — just fucked up everything. Fucked up self care, fucked up eating, fucked up exercise, fucked up businesses, fucked up relationships, fucked up parenting — everything.

So for the AA nazis to be spouting "The singleness of purpose" statement, the suggestion that must be obeyed... well not only are they just fucking arseholes using lower grade standover merchant antics and the threat of non-conformity with the group and fellowship, these stupid cunts who spout the party line, miss the point entirely that "recovery" is about "living as a whole and well person in every area of their lives" and it's got fuck all to do with having a good AA drinking story.

The most useful things I ever got from AA was being told, "That just for to day, you don't have to drink", someone gave me permission to change.

The other main thing I found that was immensely useful in AA was to undertake the process of daily inventory. Self examination at depth — and to eventually give the flick to most of the stupid fuck AA sponsors — who were basically gossips running on hidden adgendas; and to share these issues with competant therapists — who could help me to help myself — is an overall good thing.

Inventory in a nutshell is the recording the process of examination in detail and then making revisions to either improve or cease lowering the bench mark.

You do it in cooking, business, accounting, repairs, the laundry.... everything, but it's the process of applying it to ones self, ones personality and ones motives and ones undertakings.

The car runs really well, why does it run really well?
The car runs like shit, why does it run like shit?

The laundry is clean and and fresh, why is it really clean and fresh?
The laundry is grubby and unclean, why is it grubby and unclean?

The food is great or the food is shit? Why, how did it get that way? Can it be improved? What do you need to do to correct it?

This is the same fundamental process we need to apply to ourselves and our lives.

As far as giving the well deserved flick to all the AA sponsors, some of the most useful people I have ever come across are my friends — outside of AA.

They have a fun tendency to be blunt and to the point.

I kind of divide life and people and their attitudes up into 2 polarised opposites.

One is either making ones self a better and healthier person or one is not.

Life is like being able to swim well. Choosing to learn how to do it well is a good thing, but if you can't, choosing to not go out in to the surf, is a good decision as well.

If you don't currently have many happy or good relationships, at least don't go hang out with the crazies and losers.

But in the meantime, go get lessons on how to live well within and with yourself and hence to go on and to lead a full, happy and productive life — away from AA; and the people in it — which is basically everything that AA and it's party line fundamentalists don't do.

Some people in AA said "You don't have to drink again, if you don't want too" — and really that was about as far as AA goes in being of any use to anyone.

But I needed LOTS of help... and for me, Anthony Robbins and his "Get the Edge" progam has been one of the most useful things I have ever applied to my own life in great detail.

He doesn't have "the patent" on fundamental truths, he willing admits that alot of his material, is what he has picked up from other people, who have practiced a range of attitudes, outlooks, expections and efforts, to make themselves into happy, well adjusted and productive people.

There is a lot of really good self help stuff around — that is everything that AA isn't and can't be or do.

AA is just a nasty little cult...

Since I don't need or want shit like that in my life, being the AA program of recovery, a good drinking story to keep the arseholes happy cause I am giving them the impression that I am as just into denial about my entire life as what they are... and that I too am exploitable and an exploiter, well I have long since moved on from that shit...

I don't think that drinking again would be a particularly wise move for me... nor would taking anything else, so what?

There is a lot of really good therapists and self help programs and groups and life skills things to get into.

Learn how to swim well.... go and have a great time in the surf... enjoy yourself and your life.

Be Well — Live Well

Shane.

Hi again Shane,

Okay, your wish is granted.

Have a good day,

== Orange

*                  Agent Orange               *
*             orange@orange-papers.org        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**  Fundamentalist anti-abortion pseudo-Christians who
**  even defund programs that dispense birth control in
**  poor countries are guaranteeing that there will be
**  the maximum possible number of suffering starving
**  children in this world.





Date: Thu, May 11, 2006 09:36
From: Dave A.
Subject: Re: AA

So do tell me, what are you selling ?

Hi Dave,

I'm not actually selling anything.
I'm giving away the truth for free.

*                  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.


[2nd letter from Dave A.:]

Date: Thu, May 11, 2006 11:15
From: "Dave A."
Subject: Re: AA

Well, please try to be more responsible in espousing your version of the truth, it could prove deadly to someone.

Respectfully,
Dave

Excuse me Dave,

But just what part of your response was "respectful"?

That accusation of killing alcoholics is the standard Alcoholics Anonymous attack on anyone who tells the truth about the bad side of A.A. and "the program":
— "You are doing a great disservice to those seeking sobriety".
— "It is irresponsible to release such information to the public. It will give alcoholics an excuse to drink."

Nothing is new under the sun.

Oh well, have a good day anyway.

*                  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, May 11, 2006 18:31
From: "BLOOZMAN"
Subject: Re: cults

Orange,

Another thought occurred to me. When you're defining alcoholics by having all those negative traits on the TSARI indicator what you're really doing is defining nonalcoholics. Does that mean nonalcoholics are perfect and never have faults or negative traits? So nonalcoholics are never criminals? never pontificate? never charming? never think the rules don't apply to them? (probably almost everyone breaks the rules sometime in their life.)

So logically either 1. nonalcoholics sometimes have these traits too which blows the whole theory out of the water because then anyone can be an alcoholic. or 2. nonalcoholics never have these traits which is even scarier because that's saying that alcoholics are an inferior "race" to nonalcoholics. So he could be defined as a nonalcoholic supremest.

Maybe we need a little ethnic cleansing to rid our society of these inferior drunks. So where are these people that have no negative traits and never cheat? I've never met one have you?

Isn't it cheating by the way to sit in AA meetings fraudulently? Also it's strange to me the mix of positive and negative traits on the list. Isn't pontificating a good thing? Isn't being charming good? That mixture of good and bad makes the theory even more bizarre and hard to follow doesn't it.

Another point is I think people are more likely to exhibit those traits when drunk whether alcoholic or not (such as pontificating, breaking the rules, being charming etc) so that shows that he's defining alcoholism as being drunk. That's like saying a food addict is a person who eats.

So whenever you're drunk you can be defined as an alcoholic but we all know that its a person who is chronically drunk not just drunk who is alcoholic. So doesn't that mean that the Thorburn theory is basically meaningless and puerile?

Steven

Hi again, Steven,

You make some good points there.
And yes, I have to guess that the Thorburn theory is basically meaningless and puerile...

Have a good day.

== Orange

*                  Agent Orange               *
*             orange@orange-papers.org        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
** To describe drunkenness for the colorful vocabulary
** is rather cynical. There is nothing easier than to
** capitalize on drunkards.
**  == Anton Pavlovich Chekhov (1860 — 1904)





Date: Fri, May 12, 2006 13:47
From: "Norman W."
Subject: aa

Fix your eyes on Jesus instead of AA.

Hi Norman,

Ummm... Didn't Jesus say something about helping other people? I seem to recall a lot of instructions to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, and heal the sick.

Well part of healing the sick is to get rid of bad medicine that doesn't work, so that other people can concentrate on what does work better.

Have a good day.

== 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. and Bill Wilson.)
** Apparently, for treating alcoholics, LSD works three times
** better than cult religion.





Date: Fri, May 12, 2006 14:52
From: "Mr. Wolf"
Subject: Thanks for the freedom

From The Wolf in the UK:

Orange,

I could write you a very, very long E Mail and one day I will, but I just want to let you know the following. I came across your website in March after fifteen years as a real AA True Believer. I have been deeply depressed for almost my entire sobriety and made poor decisions in every area of my life. What was the solution I was offered, "Keep coming back. It gets better." Needless to say, it did not and by this March I was verging on the suicidal, not for the first time.

In my time in AA I have either experienced myself, or heard first hand testimony of, being financially ripped off, threatened and suffering emotional manipulation and sexual abuse. Many, probably most, AAs are well-intentioned people doing the best with the crud they are offered but there are some truly sick and even dangerous people hiding in "the rooms" as well. I worked out even when I was still a deacon that many so-called members are not alcoholic while many of those who are have no interest in getting well, but do like a social club where they get to dump their toxic crap. In the end I realized that I was sober despite AA and not because of it.

One day somebody is going to sue AA for the harm done to themselves or a loved one. What will happen when the outside world realizes that AA holds weekly meetings with no list of who has attended and no minutes of what was said? Why do so many families accept their loved ones going to AA and then dying, as I saw time and time again?

Sadly, AA's propaganda is so good that, when I told friends and family that I had had enough and was not going to meetings any more, they were worried. Suffice to say that now they see the change for the better in me, they are delighted, and back my decision.

I know a lot of your angry, aggressive correspondents who lead such a spiritual life in the Fellowship accuse you of knowing nothing about AA, despite your experience which anyone can read in your introduction. Well, after over fifteen years, which included service at group level, sponsoring people and a lot of meetings, certainly well over a thousand, I am qualified to say that your criticisms of AA are entirely accurate and it is urgent that the wider public become aware of them.

In my last ever meeting, someone whom I had never seen before walked in late and confessed that he had been compulsively masturbating and paying for sex. The craziness of such "sharing" to a room of strangers finally hit me in all its bizarreness. I was not first in the queue to hold his hand when we said the Serenity Prayer. What really scared me was my AA auto-pilot which led me to take him into a side room and invite him to get on his knees to pray with me for him to be released from his compulsion. I felt a complete phoney and an idiot. Sorry AA, I have a wife and two small kids now; I just do not need dangerously unstable people in my life any more. I have been hurt enough

Is it any surprise that, as Bill writes in the 12&12, when some early AAs went to Europe to fight in WW2 and were away from meetings, more of them stayed sober than the ones who stayed at home? Bill let that slip through the propaganda net, didn't he?

The first person to benefit from my leaving AA was my wife. She actually gets me at home in the evenings when she needs me and I no longer sit around "with the phone stuck to my face", as she once said, when she is getting on with what needs doing. More importantly, I no longer look down on her as a "civilian" who "does not have a programme". My former arrogance was sickening.

I can't ever get back the fifteen years I lost in AA, and I can't imagine how much more I might have made for my life if I had not been filled with guilt and shame by the steps and spent countless hours of my life in meetings, denying my intelligence and abilities, and desperately bored, instead of out playing music or sport or building relationships with workmates. I have to make the most of what is left of life, which, fortunately, is a lot, as I came to AA young.

You are a good man doing an important job. I needed the validation to overcome my cult-implanted phobias in order for me to break with AA, and you provided it. We will never meet, but you have helped me to change my life. Thank you.

I am not using my own name as I am still scared of the person who ripped me off.

Wolf.

Hi Wolf,

Thanks for a very moving letter. I just can't add anything to it. You said it all.

Oh, and thanks for all of the compliments. And congratulations on your newfound freedom.

Have a good day.

== Orange

*                  Agent Orange               *
*             orange@orange-papers.org        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**  An A.A. true believer (Craig S.) babbled:
**  > How many times to I have to explain it to you. Alcohol
**  > is but a symptom, our bottles are but a symbol.
**  No, alcohol is a poisonous clear hydrocarbon solvent
**  that produces intoxication if swallowed in quantity.
**  Drinking alcohol is the cause of alcoholism.
**  There is no other "primary cause" of alcoholism.

[The next letter from Wolf is here.]





Date: Fri, May 12, 2006 22:55
From: dan
Subject: Thanks for your website

Just a quick thanks for all the work that you have put into this website, and to let you know that it really helped me to come across it. After 8 months of having locked my doubts and reasoning mind in the closet and being an AA poster child (2-3 meetings a day, 6 commitments, daily check-ins with my sponsor), I was at the point where I could no long close my eyes or my mind to the feeling that there was something terribly wrong with this belief system that encouraged dishonesty and stuffing feelings and that was devised by a man that I wouldn't want to have dinner with, much less pattern my life after. I also couldn't shake the feeling that the longer people stayed in AA, the less their lives seemed to offer. They seemed less genuine and "human" than the people, like me, that were new. It all seemed creepy to me, for lack of a better term.

The problem was, I had been led to believe that there were no alternatives... that it was either AA or death/insanity for me and anyone else who struggled with alcohol. Talk about hitting bottom!!! Finally I came to the point where I realized that, if my ONLY choices were AA or hopeless alcoholism, I knew I'd rather die an honest drunk than live some kind of tortured lie in order to stay sober. Faced with this choice, I was ready to go out and have a binge because I thought that was the only alternative to the AA zombie "way of life".

About that time, I came across your website, along with SMART materials, and I started to realize that I didn't have to make that choice.... that I could live just fine without alcohol and NOT sell my soul to AA.

I still go to some meetings (not the 2-3 a day that I went to for 6 months) because there are some good people there who are in the same boat I am. But I don't subscribe to the crap that constitutes most of the meetings, and I am also exploring other support alternatives.

AA has some good points, which you've already covered in your website. But ANY organization has it's good points. The test is the overall result. If it helps other people not drink, fine.... I can't make judgments about their lives... but it just seems like a dishonest and pernicious belief system, and it almost drove me back to booze.

Keep up the good work.

Dan

Wow, thanks Dan. I'm really glad that you found something helpful in this web site, and glad that you are feeling better.

Oh, and congratulations on both your sobriety and your newfound freedom.

Have a good day.

== Orange

*                  Agent Orange               *
*             orange@orange-papers.org        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
** To find everything profound — that is an inconvenient
** trait. It makes one strain one's eyes all the time, and
** in the end one finds more than one might have wished.
**   ==  Friedrich Nietzsche, The Gay Science, section 158





Date: Sat, May 13, 2006 19:36
From: "James G."
Subject: Re: Help needed

Orange,

Thanks for all your help — it is much appreciated. I liked your reasons for not replying due to the nice weather — it is so refreshing to hear of someone who is able to enjoy themselves without feeling guilty and why the hell not? Enjoy the sun!

I had a tough letter from a friend in AA who I respect. I do not respect his views but he is a good man and means well but he is caught up in all this as well but he is more open-minded than most. I am new to all this and as such I am not sure I used the right arguements or facts. Please let me know and feel free to post it on your site. To see the letter go here.
<http://www.blamedenial.co.uk/Lettersaafriend1.html>

I really hope the UK is able to catch on to the truth like the US has with your site — that is my main objective with all this.

Hoping for more sun your way...

J a m e s G

PS I am soon to release the video Confession Session Part 2 — will keep you posted. Adding links on the Orange Papers to my site have really helped both the site (and thus the cause) and my beleif in myself and my thoughts. Sometimes I feel like I might be wrong but hearing from other people who feel the way we do really does a lot to reverse that damned step 2. Did you doubt yourself fleetingly at times when you first started out? I never doubt myself totally, but at times I ponder and AA dogma comes back for a moment but I KNOW it is not right.

Hi James,

It's good to hear from you again. As you probably already guessed from this slow answer, I've been enjoying the sun again. And the company of a bunch of little people:

   
Some of my new lunch partners
(Very new, about 2 weeks old.)
These are Canada Geese. You can see the parents in the left-hand picture. The big papa is on the right; the mother is behind the goslings. They are pretty tame. Some of the goslings will eat bread right out of my hand, and curl up and go to sleep at my feet.

Taking your last question first, of course I have doubted myself at times. Many times, I would have to double-check the situation to make sure I wasn't going off on a tangent, or being too crazy. I think that is actually a sign of sanity. A sane, realistic person pauses and does a reality check every so often. A narcissist with delusions of grandeur doesn't. (Does that sound familiar? Can you say 'Bill W.'? "We, who have recovered from serious drinking, are miracles of mental health.")

About your letter on Blamedenial —

  • You did a good job of arguing a lot of points. I think that the guy with whom you were debating is unlikely to change his opinions about the things you discussed. Once someone becomes convinced of the rightness of the A.A. program — and convinced of such strange irrational beliefs as that "sharing" in A.A. meetings with a bunch of "untreated lunatics" cures (or arrests) alcoholism — they tend to stay that way, at least for a long time. So don't be disappointed if nothing changes.

    The people who say in letters to me that I changed their minds about things also often mention the fact that they were wondering about things for a while before they stumbled across my web site, and then something that I wrote made things clear for them. Such people had actually already changed their minds before they ever got to my web site; they just didn't know it yet. Reading something that I said merely crystalized something that they were thinking but had not quite put into words yet.

    Those people were willing to change their minds. In fact, they already had. On the other hand, the people who write to tell me that I'm all wrong and don't understand A.A. at all are quite unwilling to even think that A.A. might be less than wonderful. I don't think I've changed the minds of very many of them at all. I only know of one, ever. One guy wrote to say that he had debated with me a few years earlier, and then gradually came to agree with me. Otherwise, forget it. Not gonna happen.

    One of the saddest lessons of history is this: If we've been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. The bamboozle has captured us. Once you give a charlatan power over you, you almost never get it back.
    == Carl Sagan

    So when I carry on those debates with the true believers, I don't expect them to change their minds. I do it for the benefit of the other people, the innocent bystanders who are watching the show. They can read the whole debate, both sides, and learn from it. (Hence there is no point in carrying on private email debates, so I don't do that.)

  • This line really stood out — after your correspondent listed a whole bunch of mental illnesses, he wrote:
    The illness of Alcoholism includes all of the above to a greater degree than in the average person.

    Ummm, I'd like to know where he gets that. I've read a lot of things about alcoholism, and never saw any doctor or psychiatrist claim that alcoholism was a catch-all of other mental illnesses. In fact, the bible of psychiatrists in the USA — The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders — doesn't even list "alcoholism" as a mental illness or disease at all. That is quite deliberate, not an oversight. They list "alcohol abuse" and "alcohol dependency", but there is no "alcoholism". See the actual page here

    Now I agree that people who are compulsively drinking themselves to death usually have some underlying mental illness, but that sure doesn't mean that "alcoholism includes all of the above" mental disorders. It doesn't even mean that there is any such disease as "alcoholism".

    That leads us right into the next item: The American Medical Association:

  • You asked about the AMA recognizing "alcoholism" as a disease. Actually they did, but watch out. That is a loaded statement. There are all kinds of gotchas and complications. The first big problem with that is that the American Medical Association is not actually the final or official authority on medical issues, not at all. In fact, it is just a private club for some doctors. About half of the doctors in the USA are members. Other doctors are strongly opposed to what it does.

    The AMA has a very sordid history. Morris Fishbein, the guy who built the AMA up into the empire that it is, was convicted of racketeering for practicing extortion on the pharmaceutical companies and forcing them to buy expensive full-page advertisements in his JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association), or else he wouldn't let the AMA recommend their medicines.

    The AMA decision to recognize "alcoholism" as a "disease" was a political decision, not a medical decision. They were just mollifying some noisy Steppers who wanted alcoholism declared to be a disease. What was most outrageous is that the AMA didn't bother to actually define the "disease of alcoholism" themselves. They let a joint committee of two A.A. front groups write the definition for them. So of course the definition is very strange. It doesn't even say that alcoholism is caused by drinking alcohol. Hence the AMA has zero credibility on the subject of alcoholism.

    See the whole gory story here.

Have a good day.

== Orange

*                  Agent Orange               *
*             orange@orange-papers.org        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
** The Age of Oil has lasted only a little more than 100
** years. A gang of gibbering hairless monkeys had a big
** party and took all of the oil that the planet Earth had
** made in the last 60 million years, and burned it all up
** in a mere century. Future generations of people will
** curse their stupidity for millions of years to come.





Date: Sun, May 14, 2006 18:45
From: "Banana"
Subject: Blaming the Victim

Hey Orange:

Thanks for your site. I find it rather cathardic after six years in AA. Prior to attending AA, I consider myself fortunate that I had the ability and desire to read most of the derogatory information available at that time. I believed it all and think that to a great extent it's how I stayed true to myself in AA.

Why did I stay, was I helped or was I harmed.... I think I'll grapple with those questions for quite some time. I'm more sure of why I left. It took just about a year, I know the beginning date and I know the ending day. But this isn't about me, I'm one of the more fortunate ones in AA ... I lived. Presently I'm more concerned about the ones who die. I'm outraged and heartbroken.

I can only repeat what we've all heard before... AA isn't about helping the sick and suffering. AA is about AA and it can callously sloganize people virtually to death! What I've seen in six years is the same recidivism of 95% or more, with the mixed bag of placebo effect, religiosity and whatever that we all see, plus the heartbreaking person that comes in and out of AA for an entire life time believing they are at fault, being told that they are at fault, when anyone with half a brain should see that AA doesn't work for them, it never has worked for them, if they try to work what has never worked for them, they will just die! It's like the Law of Diminishing Returns.

I left AA because I could not be sure that I would not be above violence if I heard one more person blast any of these people with "You are powerless over alcohol" or "You need to surrender completely to this program", in a droll voice. I was just becoming more and more angry with the more I saw... the real AA.

I'm outraged at what I have seen in six years. After six years, the discomfort I felt when the steps and literature was read has never changed. Did that damage me? Probably not, only to the extent that it is probably unwise to be pissed off so much!

Does it damage some people desperate enough to think that to be sober they must believe that they are actually worse people than they think they are and that is the only way to get sober! AA is an extremely abusive and exploitive organization. Sound therapeutic practices build on peoples' strengths not their seven deadly sins! Of course AA damages people or at the very minimum slows what they call recovery.

Regards,
Banana


[2nd letter from Banana:]

Date: Tue, May 23, 2006 21:33
From: "Banana"
Subject: Pink Cloud

Hey Orange:

After six years in AA, now I have parted, and your site has been a blast! I always said that "Peanuts" was my higher power, but I'm having so much fun (in between resentments about AA), your site is a close tie!

Did you miss this goodie on sponsorship:

"during the "Treatment Center Boom"... AA's membership increased dramatically... This would at first glance seem to be a good thing. However... large numbers of newcomers were showing up who were physically recovered and feeling good about themselves..... Most arrived far less teachable than they ever had in the past."
http://www.waxahachieaa.org/info/sponsorship.htm

So... all that cramming in college... those all nighters... strung out on coffee and cigarettes was the way to go afterall... I was more teachable when I was run down and wrung out. I just knew it all along!

Fortunately, I never had a sponsor, never prayed... excepting my serenity prayer "Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me" (works for me), never did 'the steps', but frequently quoted my own:

1. Can't drink.
2. People need other people.
3. Don't beat a dead horse.
4. Look in the mirror.
5. Get real.
6. Build on my strengths.
7. Practice being the person I want to be.
9. Clear out negativity in relationships.
11. Pet the kitty. (really, that was always a hit)
12. Live gracefully in a world of give and take.

Still quite sad about the harm that I've seen done to people. Some instances still fill me with bitterness. I stopped going for many reasons, but the ugliest remains the hardest to shake. A friend of mine went to a meeting expecting to find me. She was heavily intoxicated, hysterical and verbally abusive. She's a feisty gal, but harmless. She was all but begging for someone to get in touch with me. It was a small meeting, usually less than 20 people attend, every body knows everybody. I'd say that at least 4 people knew how to get in touch with me. That didn't happen, instead someone called the police and when she exited the building she was greeted by two policemen holding shotguns at her. Although she had another (sober) friend in a car waiting for her, she was handcuffed behind her back and taken into protective custody. Protective custody... fancy term for absolute humiliation and degradation, not to mention outright abuse considering the circumstances. During processing she needed to vomit, but with her hands chained behind her she lost her balance and fell face first on the floor. I could go on but it just gets uglier... their excuses are even more despicable.

I want nothing to do with any of these people who help the still sick and suffering! I just don't have the stomach for it anymore.

I've rambled enough but I do have a question. I've read a lot about AAWS and their cutesy little prudent reserve. Do you know if they are a tax exempt organization and a non-profit... don't laugh. I'm curious about accessibility to records. Love that stuff, formerly I was a state tax auditor. If you ever get this... I'd really appreciate a quick answer, if you know anything.

Thanks for your good work.

Regards,
Bananas

Hi Bananas,

Thanks for the letters and the stories, and congratulations on your newfound freedom.

Alcoholics Anonymous is actually two corporations — one a for-profit publishing house, and one a non-profit service organization, which owns all of the stock of the first one. They are Alcoholics Anonymous [World] Services, Incorporated, and the General Service Organization, respectively.
[The publishing house AAWS dropped the "World" word from their name a couple of years ago. Still, you will see a zillion old references to "AAWS", like on the copyright page of the Big Book.]

[UPDATE: They reincorporated AAWS as a non-profit corporation. Now they don't have to pay taxes on their income from book sales.]

Because the GSO is a tax-exempt non-profit, they have to file publicly-accessible financial documents. I've never done it, but somebody on the Internet has looked up those things, and found interesting information like that the members of the AAWS Board of Trustees make over $70,000 per year each (and there are 15 of them), and the President of AAWS gets about $125,000 per year.

CORRECTION (2011.03.28): It turns out that the trustees are not paid. But other people get lots more. The President and General Manager of A.A. Greg Muth gets $125,000 from both AAWS and the GSB (General Service Board of A.A.), for a total of $250,000 per year. And then his friend Thomas Jasper gets $469,850 for being a "Senior Advisor". And many others get salaries in the range of $70,000 to $100,000 each. Look here.

One of these days, when I get around to it, I'll have to figure out how to get access to those documents. If you do it first, please let me know how to do it, and you might pass on anything interesting that you get.

Have a good day.

== Orange

*                  Agent Orange               *
*             orange@orange-papers.org        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
** The finest structure can house the worst evil.

UPDATE: October 2006: I finally did figure out how to get the documents, and learned more about the A.A. headquarters' finances, here





Date: Mon, May 15, 2006 18:21
From: "Howard L."
Subject: Your website

I am curious as to whether or not you are an alcoholic and, if so, are you in recovery?

Hi Howard,

The answer is "yes" on both questions. Read the introduction, here.

But watch out on that word "alcoholic". See this discussion of the various meanings of that word.

I just discovered your site today and although it seems to be nothing more than a dump site for what appear to be resentments toward the Fellowship and anger fueled attacks on any and all books or publications that in any way condone and/or endorse Alcoholics Anonymous, perhaps I have missed something.

Well actually, there is a lot more here than just "resentments".

And congratulations, you are the zillionth Stepper to accuse me of having "resentments". See the list here.

Maybe next year the Steppers will think of something new and original, but I don't think so.

I've been sober, through AA, for thirteen and a half years. This after 30 years of hard core alcohol and drug abuse which destroyed everything of value in my life. So I'm rather sold on AA you see.

Howard

Congratulations on your new clean and sober lifestyle. It is good that you finally quit killing yourself with drugs and alcohol. Fortunately, a lot of us do wise up eventually, don't we?

That learning process has nothing to do with A.A. or N.A. or any 12-Step routine, of course.

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: Mon, May 15, 2006 18:46
From: "R.T.B."
Subject: Re: howdy

I found this cult test. i think youll like it. Damn! You might just put it on your page. it's actually funny.

http://www.gospelassemblyfree.com/facts/questionaire.htm

Rob

Wow. That is so close to so many of the items in my cult test that they are for all purposes identical. That is reassuring that I must be on the right track.

http://www.orange-papers.org/orange-cult.html

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: Tue, May 16, 2006 16:50
From: "mike f."
Subject: 16 year AA Cult member leaves

I chose to walk away from AA a month ago and boy the members are beating on my door. I was a poster child for a solid AA member, regular meetings, several sponsees, etc. Anyhow I had been looking for more out of life the past few years, and the AA tapes in my head would only limit me. A month ago I hooked up with a therapist and he is helping me to extricate myself from this Cult. My feelings come and go on the matter. Reading your site helped a lot. The biggest challenge is other members who don't or won't understand and are trying to save me from myself. Any words or links you may have are appreciated. Thanks for the good work. The truth will set you free!

Mike

Hi Mike,

Thanks for the letter, and congratulations on your newfound freedom. And thanks for the compliments.

Alas, those members who are trying to "save you from yourself" are almost certain to continue to think the way that they think. The odds of you teaching them something are pretty low.

That is just a basic problem with human nature. People don't like to admit that they have been wrong, or foolish, or stupid. To admit that you are right and A.A. is wrong would require them to make huge admissions of being wrong about a lot of things. They have a big emotional investment in A.A., and don't want to lose their investment. And they don't seem to have any desire to change their lives. So they will continue to insist that you are wrong, and they are right, and they will see you as a lost sheep.

The only answer to that is to find a new social circle. I know that's a hassle, and not easy. I don't know what is available in your city, but I would check out everything that is clean and sober, from church socials to bingo parties to dry dances to classical concerts, or whatever.

You could also try online chat groups for some easy quick companionship. There is a list possible candidates, here.

Have a good day.

== Orange

*                  Agent Orange               *
*             orange@orange-papers.org        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
** One of the saddest lessons of history is this: If we've been
** bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the
** bamboozle. The bamboozle has captured us. Once you give a
** charlatan power over you, you almost never get it back.
** == Carl Sagan





Date: Tue, May 16, 2006 19:45
From: "ARID Site"
Subject: The "Addictiveness" Of Tobacco

Regarding the "addictiveness" of tobacco I can happily state that it's a lie. If one believes it to be impossible to quit then it will be hard to quit. But what about us quitters who succeeded?

I have over a decade of being nicotine-free. And, in regards to my other addictions, it was that self-recovery which added some insight into the falsehoods of the "most addictive" substance hype. In fact I've found that the so-called experts don't know jack about self-recovery.

The big skinny is here on how I quit smoking and the numerous insights afterwards:

http://thearidsite.tripod.com/AR060131.HTM

Your site is still awesome and a first-stop reference source for me against the pro-addiction cult known as A.A.

Peace! :-)

dr.bomb, Ph.D. AVRT(tm) \_____________________________
Editor of The ARID Site * http://www.thearidsite.org *
<The Addiction Recovery Information Distribution Site>
PGP keys at: <http://www.thearidsite.org/ARIDPGPK.TXT>
** Addiction counseling and groups are total frauds **

Hi Dr. Bomb,

Thanks for the letter, and thanks for the compliments. And I like your web site too.

Alas, this nicotine issue is one of those things about which we are really going to disagree.

I was addicted to cigarettes and nicotine for about 30 years, and I can tell you that nicotine gets into your brain and affects your mind on a very deep level and in a very strange way. I wanted to quit smoking for just about the entire 30 years, and now that I finally have 5 years off of cigarettes, for the first time in my adult life, I am rejoicing. And I am absolutely determined to never go back to that hell again.

The nicotine addiction is bizarre: One time, I quit smoking for a whole year just by saying, "I need all of my energy for this trip". I threw my pack of cigarettes into the fire, and packed my wife and kids into my jeep and drove to another state and a new life, and I don't even recall any withdrawal. That was it, just like that.

But then, more than a year later, when I returned to the first state, a wave of nostalgia hit me, and the thinking was, "Oh, let's have one with the guys for old time's sake..." and I was instantly readdicted and smoked for years more.

But many, many other times, when I tried to quit, I was crawling the walls for a cigarette and finally just went so insane that I smoked just to stop the insanity.

And then the mind games are the worst of it: After successfully quitting and detoxing, the warped thinking starts and nags at you — "Oh, we can have one now, just one, because we've got it under control now. We've got a handle on it. Just one will be okay."

No, one won't be okay. Just one was always instant readdiction, and then I'd usually have to smoke for another couple of years to get sick enough again to have the will power and determination to quit again.

I think that the mind games are worse than the physical withdrawal. I did a whole web page on that warped thinking, here.

It's a very strange thing, nicotine addiction.

I've even known three different ex-junkies who all managed to quit heroin by just quitting cold turkey and detoxing themselves. And they really were off of heroin. But all three of them still smoked. One of them said, "Oh heck, quitting heroin wasn't that bad. I just laid in bed and sweated and shook for three days and it was over. But I can't quit these things." And he had a cigarette in one hand, and a beer in the other.

I don't think that it is just a coincidence or accident that most of the people in Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous meetings still smoke tobacco. They all "share" their stories about how wonderful it is to be "in recovery" and off of drugs and alcohol, and then they all run for the door at smoke break time, and immediately light up. (And if you are so uncool as to mention the fact that nicotine is also a bad drug, you get a lot of denials and rationalizations and dirty looks... :-))

Oh well, have a good day anyway.

== Orange

*                  Agent Orange               *
*             orange@orange-papers.org        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
** Rule your desires or they will rule you.


[another letter from ARIDsite:] Date: Tue, June 6, 2006 17:23
From: "ARID Site"
Subject: Re: The "Addictiveness" Of Tobacco

Thanks for the very thorough reply. I'm certainly not minimizing your experience with nicotine. Far from it. Even I "relapsed" on nicotine only once in that decade and yet, in my case, it wasn't so much as a kiss of death but a kiss goodbye. Instead of a taste of satisfaction it just tasted icky and, morally, just felt all wrong. Thus ended my addiction to nicotine once and for all via two final coughin'nails.

The irony is that I lit back up in A.A. meetings. No one forced me to, mind you. I did that all by myself.

And, if you must know, that pack of more-than-half a pack'o'coughin'nails is still in my locker at work (give or take a couple since I gave a couple away for those who were jonsein' for some pollution years ago). I wonder how "chewy" those cancer sticks are by now since they're now buried in the back somewhere (maybe soaking in a puddle of long-forgotten hot sauce for all I know). ;->

Finally, I have nothing against drugs. In fact I see drugs as neither good nor bad. So while you may call nicotine "bad", I don't. In fact I don't mind if the Buchmanites light'em'up after their little cult gatherings. It only proves that those so-called "experts" don't know shit about addiction and are NOT to be trusted.

"Yeah." {puff} "We're the REAL experts on addiction." >COUGH!< >HACK!< >WHEEZE!< "Need me as a sponsor? I haven't drank in a few years." {puff} "Damn...I need to save that dollar for my next pack. Pony up two dollars for you're here to learn from us." >CHOKE!< >HOCK!< >PTUI!<

They're free to smoke just as I have the freedom of speech. When they leave after saying their "Our Father" to smoke their sickarettes I call 'em a bunch of world-class hypocrites. Or maybe they are truly being one with their mentor who died of emphysema.

Maybe they're really on "The Path" after all! ;->

dr.bomb, Ph.D. AVRT(tm) \_____________________________
Editor of The ARID Site * http://www.thearidsite.org *
<The Addiction Recovery Information Distribution Site>
PGP keys at: <http://www.thearidsite.org/ARIDPGPK.TXT>
** Addiction counseling and groups are total frauds **

Hi again, and thanks for an amusing, and true, letter.

Have a good day.

== Orange

*                  Agent Orange               *
*             orange@orange-papers.org        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
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