Letters, We Get Mail, LIX
by A. Orange



Date: Wed, July 12, 2006 6:09 am
From: "Stephen R."

Hey Orange,

Hope you don't mind me contacting you with some random thoughts that I've recently had. Firstly, the following exchange from the film Anchorman: The legend of Ron Burgundy. (two characters discussing strategy for seducing the film's love interest)

Ron Burgundy: What cologne you gonna go with? London Gentleman, or wait. No, no, no. Hold on. Blackbeard's Delight.
Brian Fantana: No, she gets a special cologne... It's called Sex Panther by Odeon. It's illegal in nine countries... Yep, it's made with bits of real panther, so you know it's good.
Ron Burgundy: It's quite pungent.
Brian Fantana: Oh yeah.
Ron Burgundy: It's a formidable scent... It stings the nostrils. In a good way.
Brian Fantana: Yep.
Ron Burgundy: Brian, I'm gonna be honest with you, that smells like pure gasoline.
Brian Fantana: They've done studies, you know. 60% of the time, it works every time. [cheesy grin]
Ron Burgundy: That doesn't make sense.

Doesn't that just remind you of AA? "You know, 5% of the time, it works everytime..." "It's compulsory for drunk drivers in 9 states, so you know its good...."

Also, the following was "word of the day" in my office this morning:

mountebank \MOUN-tuh-bank\, noun:
1. A peddler of quack medicine, who stands on a platform to appeal to the audience.
2. A charlatan; a boastful pretender to knowledge or a skill.

For some reason, Bill W was not referenced.....

Anyway, hope things are going well. Just out of curiosity, how did you sort out your bandwidth problem in the end? Hoping to see the Orange papers up and running for many years to come....

Regards,
Stephen

Hi Stephen,

Thanks for the letter. I like that, "5% of the time, it works everytime." Nothing like double-talk and "new math".

My bandwidth problems were solved by Baldwin Research, who just set up a new server for themselves and gave me a home there too. I got moved over to the new server during the July 1st to 4th weekend. There were a few glitches but they were quickly fixed and hopefully people weren't too inconvenienced.

I also hope to see the Orange Papers up and running for years to come. I expect so.

Have a good day.

== Orange

*             orange@orange-papers.org        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     Half this game is ninety percent mental.
**         == Yogi Berra





Date: Thu, July 13, 2006 10:26 pm
From: "Joe B."
Subject: Interesting

Wow you have far too much time on your hands. Don't you have a job?

So, because I tell the truth when you don't like the truth, you think that I have too much time on my hands? I notice that you didn't bother to address any of the important issues. So your message combines an ad hominem attack with sarcasm and condescension to avoid talking about the real issues, like:

  • "What is the A.A. failure rate?"
  • "Of each 1000 newcomers to A.A., how many will get a 10-year coin for sobriety?"
  • "What is the normal rate of spontaneous remission in alcoholics? Why doesn't A.A. get a success rate greater than that?"
  • "Why does A.A. have such a high death rate — higher than any other treatment modality?"

Oh well, have a good day anyway.

== Orange

*             orange@orange-papers.org        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
** If alcoholism is really a disease, then A.A. sponsors are
** guilty of practicing medicine without a license. They are
** also guilty of treating a life-threatening illness without
** having any medical education or training.  They have never
** gone to medical school, and never done an internship or
** residency, and yet they presume to be qualified to make
** life-or-death decisions in the patients' treatment. That
** is what you call quackery.





Date: Fri, July 14, 2006 10:23 am
From: "John M."
Subject: False choices

Orange:

Going through your site and ran across two quotes on the either-or page:

"None of us in Alcoholics Anonymous is normal. Our abnormality compels us to go to AA... We all go because we need to. Because the alternative is drastic, either A.A. or death."
Delirium Tremens, Stories of Suffering and Transcendence, Ignacio Solares, Hazelden, 2000, page 27.

"Either work a strong program or else your fate will be jails, institutions, or death."
== A.A. slogan

Taking both of those statements literally, doesn't that mean AA makes you immortal, and also free from the consequences of crime and mental instability? In other words, if I work a strong program, I won't go to jail, I won't go crazy, and I won't die.

Hi again John,

Yep, that's good. Funny how no one ever mentioned in a meeting that I was actually still going to die anyway, even if I did join A.A. or N.A... :-)

Oh well, have a good day anyway.

== Orange

*             orange@orange-papers.org        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
** "Cast off the shackles of this modern oppression and
** take back what is rightfully yours, because as William
** Shakespeare never wrote, 'Life is but a bullring, and
** we are but matadors trying to dodge all the horns.'"
** —  Matthew Clayfield





Date: Fri, July 14, 2006 1:54 pm
From: "John M."
Subject: just for your amusement

You don't need to respond to this, just sent it for your amusement.

I went to a meeting the other day and a woman shared that "I know that God wants me to stay clean this time, three days after I came back to AA my dealer was arrested." No one questioned the backward logic or stupidity of this statement.

Keep up the good work, it is appreciated.

John M.

Hi John,

Thanks for the note, and have a good day too.

== Orange

*             orange@orange-papers.org        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**      "Every time I walk down the street,
**      I find pennies on the sidewalk.
**      That proves that the Lord loves me,
**      and is giving me money."





Date: Fri, July 14, 2006 5:56 pm
From: "Debra A."

Dear A. Orange,

I recently came across your "Orange Papers" comparing Alcoholics Anonymous to a CULT. What an interesting concept. I've never thought of it in that way before. Of course I've only managed to stay sober 11 years by following AA's guidelines, so what do I know.

Hello Debra,

Well right off the bat, you are assuming a cause-and-effect relationship where none exists. It wasn't "following AA's guidelines" that kept you sober, it was your decision to quit drinking and your determination not to drink any more alcohol.

Why is it that there is always someone to denigrate something useful, something helpful to make themselves feel better?

A.A. is not "something useful". It has a horrendous failure rate. Even Bill Wilson said so. And A.A. has a high death rate, too.

Alcoholics Anonymous may make a few cultish people feel better, but that is no great accomplishment. Remember that William James, whose teachings Bill Wilson claimed to admire and follow, wrote:

If merely "feeling good" could decide, drunkenness would be the supremely valid human experience.
— William James (1842—1910), U.S. psychologist, philosopher. The Varieties Of Religious Experience, lecture 1, "Religion and Neurology" (1902).

Just because A.A. meetings make you feel good does not mean that they are good. Alcohol, cocaine, and heroin can also make you feel good.

Did your Orange Papers and their vitreolic content make you feel better and maybe a little superior to those of us who believe in AA?

No, my feelings were more like being appalled to discover that cult religion and quack medicine were being sold as treatment for the deadly problems of alcoholism and drug addiction.

Does it matter what Bill Wilson did or did not do after all these years of drunks finally getting a bit of serenity and hope?

Now that is classic Minimization and Denial, something that Bill Wilson said alcoholics were very good at:
"Let's not worry about the fact that our Founder whom we worship at every other meeting, the guy who wrote most of the sacred First 164 Pages of our holy book, was really a compulsive liar, a criminal, a religious cult member, a thief, a philanderer, and a raving nut-case — both before and after sobriety."

And you are assuming some nonsense when you talk about drunks getting "a bit of serenity and hope". What about the ones who get depressed and commit suicide from the constant guilt induction of the 12 Steps?

Are you angry that some of us have found a way to stop drinking ourselves to death, by following whatever it is that AA presents to us?

No, I am angry at lying fake healers who hurt people with quack medicine and cult religion, and then lie about their success rate in healing people.

It works for a lot of people.

No it doesn't work. A.A. and N.A. simply steal the credit from a few people who were going to quit anyway. We've been over that before.

If A.A. really works, then please tell me,
"Out of each 1000 newcomers to Alcoholics Anonymous, how many will pick up a 10-year coin for sobriety?"

How well does A.A. really work?

If it didn't, AA would have been extinguished long before now.

Wrong. A.A. is very, very good, and very successful, at propaganda, publicity, and self-promotion. That's why it is still around.

A.A. even gets new members from people being sentenced to A.A. meetings. The last two A.A. triennial surveys have revealed that almost two thirds of the entire membership was originally forced, coerced, pressured, or ordered into A.A. meetings. A.A. is a program of coercion and promotion, not attraction.

Just because some alcoholics chose to stop drinking and remain sober through some work, doesn't mean we're going to drink the purple Kool-Aid as in Johannastown. We haven't had a 'mind-meld' nor are we programmed to only think as Bill Wilson did.

Actually, the illogical arguments of A.A. members, like yours, tell me that you do not think clearly any more, if you ever did.

Tell me, what do you think of Weight Watchers? How about the smoking cessation groups?

I do not know anything about Weight Watchers — I was never involved with them — so I have formed no opinion of them. The question about smoking cessation is far too broad and generalized. Which groups, doing what?

I quit smoking on my own, just like how I quit drinking, and at the same time, too.

And what would be your solution to active alcoholics who don't want to die from acute alcohol poisoning?

Here are my standard lists:

  1. a list of helpful alternatives, support groups, and methods.
  2. a list of discussions of what has worked and helped other people.

I'm just so very curious as to why you felt the need to try to trash what has been a pretty good way for drunks like myself to stay sober.

Because A.A. is a cult religion that lies about its success rate, and A.A. has not helped a lot of people. It has just deceived a lot of people.

I would truly appreciate hearing your thoughts.

Sincerely,
Debra A.

Okay, Debra, you have heard them. And have a good day anyway.

== Orange

*             orange@orange-papers.org        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**  "AA certainly functions as a cult and systematically
**  indoctrinates its members in ways common to cults the
**  world over."
**  "...in the absence of proven scientific efficacy,
**  critics are legitimate in suggesting that mandated AA
**  attendance may be criticized as a failure of proper
**  separation between church and state."
**  == A.A. Trustee Prof. Dr. George E. Vaillant,
**  The Natural History Of Alcoholism Revisited, page 266.





Date: Sat, July 15, 2006 8:55 pm
From: "Gary K."
Subject: Rational Recovery

Hey Agent Orange,

I found your site on RR, a guy from England mentioned it in the discussion forum there so I looked it up. You have really put a lot of work into it and I've learned so much here. The English fellow liked it so much he had a business card printed up with the websites of orange papers on one side and RR on the other to give out to people at AA meetings. He's pissed at the damage AA did to him. As far as my story goes, my brother gave me a book called Adult Children of Alcoholics and it ruined my life. I'm in the process of salvaging what's left after years of self destructive behavior because of a goddamn cult that deceived me and so many others about the nature of addiction.

Best of luck to you and thanks for this essential information.

Regards,
Gary K

Hi Gary,

Thanks for all of the compliments. I'm glad to hear that you are feeling better and coming out of the nightmare. Have a good life, and a good day too.

By the way, I discussed Janet Woitizt's monstrosity, Adult Children of Alcoholics, here.

== 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, July 31, 2006 5:36 pm
From: "Gary K."
Subject: RR Blog

Hello Orange,

Thanks for replying to my email and sending the link to your A.C.O.A chapter, I read it. If you didn't already know, rational.org has a blog now that is really good. The latest one is on AA Bashing so you might want to get in on the argument!!

Take care you Old Hippie,

G-man

Okay, Garry,

You have a good day too. I'll have to go poke around the RR web site and see what's going on.

== Orange

*             orange@orange-papers.org        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**  Emotional Coercion
**  Although we may be able to behave to some extent differently than
**  we feel, any successful coercion to feel other than we actually 
**  feel — even a coercion to fit some preferred version of ourselves
**  — will keep us at a distance from our true selves.
**     —  Robert Langan in "Psychoanalysis and Buddhism", from
**   More Daily Wisdom, edited by Josh Bartok, Wisdom Publications 
**    (http://www.wisdompubs.org)





Date: Sat, July 15, 2006 7:45 am
From: Astridur
Subject: About reading the Orange Papers

Hi Agent Orange,

I'm going through your website and feel like my thoughts and feelings about AA are staring me in the face. I think it's fascinating that you put up this website and I'm sure you have helped a lot of people see the light.

I came back into AA in March this year and got a sponsor that stopped talking to me because I wasn't doing the 9th step fast enough. She's unemployed and didn't really consider the fact that I'm a single mom and have to work almost 11 hrs. a day. So doing all the steps in one week is what I was supposed to do on top of my responsibilities. I crashed and went into depression when I realized that a lot of other people were ignoring me after a while, because I didn't do it their ways.

What helped me is Smart Recovery and this cool lady I met online. I realized that what AA was telling me is actually cruel and probably killing a lot of Alcoholics that don't do it their way. Installing guilt and peer pressure to be sober is not right and it surprises me how popular AA is with all those treatment centers.

Anyway, I wasn't going to write my life story but I respect what you're doing. Keep up the good work ;-)

Regards,
Astridur

Hello Astridur,

Thank you for the letter, and thank you for the compliments. Wow, completing all of the steps in one week is intense. I'm happy to hear that you escaped from the madness.

And I'm glad to hear that you found the SMART Recovery people. Yes, I think they will do right by you.

Have a good life, and a good day.

== Orange

*             orange@orange-papers.org        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
** "If I saw a man beating a tied up horse, I could
** not prove it was wrong, but I'd know it was wrong."
**   ==  Mark Twain





Date: Sun, July 16, 2006 10:02 pm
From: john b.

Hi,

I was wondering if you have totally quit drinking on your own, for how long, and if you are in any other groups like life ring or sos? I have decided to quit drinking and do not like AA at all either and was wondering if there was a better way or just to do it totally on my own.

Thanks,
John

Hi John,

Thanks for the letter.

Yes, I quit drinking, and quit smoking too, by doing it pretty much my own way. I had smoked for more than 30 years, and drank for almost 20, and I have about 5 3/4 years off of both now. Oh happy day.

(See the introduction to the web site for the story of my start down the road to sobriety.)

But I do not *recommend* going it alone, in spite of the fact that the Harvard Medical School reported that 80% of the successful quitters did it alone, on their own.

That is, I see nothing wrong with using a support group for moral support, companionship, advice, education, sharing experiences, or whatever. (Sure, you can do it on your own, but who wants to be lonely?) That is where Alcoholics Anonymous could have been a good thing if it weren't all mixed up with dishonest cult religion practices and pseudo-science and voodoo medicine.

Personally, I see SMART as being the most promising thing happening at the moment. Rational Recovery has good things to offer too, but it is not a group with meetings any more; it is now just a book.

Here are my lists of things that I find to be good and helpful:

  1. a list of helpful alternatives, support groups, chat groups, and methods.
  2. a list of discussions of what has worked and helped other people.
  3. Also see my "top 10" reading list, here.

Have a good day, and a good life. Don't hesistate to write back if you have any more questions.

== Orange

*             orange@orange-papers.org        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
** If alcoholism is really a disease, then A.A. sponsors are
** guilty of practicing medicine without a license. They are
** also guilty of treating a life-threatening illness without
** having any medical education or training.  They have never
** gone to medical school, and never done an internship or
** residency, and yet they presume to be qualified to make
** life-or-death decisions in the patients' treatment. That
** is what you call quackery.

The Daily Non-A.A. Meeting: Down at the River
   
The object of this gosling's rapt attention is of course a piece of bread.


[2nd letter from John:]

Date: Mon, July 17, 2006 1:35 pm
From: john b.

Thanks...

I just bought the book Sober for Good. It is a good source as well for Non AA quitting support. I am starting a group here in Scottsdale, AZ for people that don't want to go to AA. I met some people on the lifering website and some at AA meetings.

I can't stand going to those AA meetings. I always thought there was something wrong with me for not getting the GOD thing. I think it is so scary that they keep saying you can't stop drinking without having a "spiritual experience". Talk about feeling hopeless and helpless.

I think there is another danger out there and that is the website called "Down Your Drink". It is the opposite of AA in that they make light of alcohol problems and promote that you can definitely "safely control your drinking". It did more harm to me than good. At a time that I really needed to quit, I found this program and tried to control my already out of control drinking (should have taken at least 30 days off to get some clarity) then after my life got worse (lost friends and a relationship) I found AA. It creeped me out and I really felt like that was the only alternative to drinking.

I was so ignorant that there are so many that stop drinking other ways, so I continued to drink and screw up my life (this time financially and geographically) I hate both of these programs for leading me astray. The bottom line is that alcohol abuse that causes any problems in ones life needs to stop and it is simply a decision. No mystical thing has to happen to stop the destructive cycle. Well, thanks for your insight and acknowledgement about AA being WRONG for so many people.

John

Hi John,

Congratulations on starting your own group. That is great. That is what we need in every city — more non-A.A. groups. I don't even care what kind, SMART, SOS, WFS, whatever. Just choices and alternatives.

Your complaint about the "Down Your Drink" group rings a bell. It isn't just them though; our whole society is saturated with that attitude. Look at the hard-drinking, cheering crowd at any sports bar. Go to the jokes newsgroups on the Internet and there are a zillion jokes that make fun of drunkenness and make it sound like nothing but a laughing matter. "Yeh, Micky was so drunk that... Ha, ha." Go to any frat house. Championship beer drinking is still the favorite intercollegiate sport at a lot of leading universities.

A large segment of our society is doing the minimization and denial tap-dance about alcoholism and the harm that alcohol really does to millions of people.

On the issue of moderate drinking — it really is a matter of the individual person. Some people can moderate, and some cannot. I am one of those people who cannot. I can stay completely sober for years at a time, and am doing it again now, but I cannot drink in moderation for even a month. "Moderate drinking" turns into "heavy, all of the time" real fast.

But some other people can moderate. Back in 1976, the government think tank called The Rand Corporation did a study of alcoholism where they found that half of the successful people who had stopped self-destructive drinking did it by total abstinence, and the other half did it by tapering off into moderate, controlled drinking. There is more on that report here and here.

The trick for us alcoholics is to figure out which type we are, and whether we really can moderate. Then we do whatever works to save our own lives (or else we don't).

I notice that Dr. Kenneth Blum, who discovered one of the genes that contribute to alcoholism, said that genetic alcoholics cannot moderate. That is both me and my father to a 'T'.

But that's okay. I'm having a good time anyway, and not drinking is so much healthier and cheaper and freer. Not drinking or smoking leaves me the time and energy to do other things that are actually more fun.

So you have a good day too.

== Orange

*             orange@orange-papers.org        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
** If you persist in making criminals out of
** alcoholics and addicts, you will find that
** you have lots and lots of criminals. — Orange





[2 more letters from Sharen:]

Date: Mon, July 17, 2006 2:37 pm
From: "Sharen K."
Subject: Al-Anon's Description of Fifth Tradition

Hi Again, Orange!

Following is the entirety of what Al-Anon's post-1995 basic book, How Al-Anon Works for Families & Friends of Alcoholics, says about their Fifth Tradition,

"Each Al-Anon Family Group has but one purpose: to help families of alcoholics. We do this by practicing the Twelve Steps of AA ourselves, by encouraging and understanding our alcoholic relatives, and by welcoming and giving comfort to families of alcoholics."

So this is what they have in mind by giving comfort to the family members. If you trivialize someone else's problem, and convince him to trivialize it too, you'd be giving comfort, since if he trivialized it, he'd feel more serene.

The essence of all healing is love, and the Fifth Tradition demonstrates the loving nature of the Al-Anon program. In Al-Anon we learn to love not only others but ourselves as well. This often means changing both our attitudes and our behavior. It means putting an end to lingering hostilities and adopting an attitude of tolerance, courtesy, and appreciation.

Wouldn't it be awful to attend an Al-Anon meeting at which everyone did nothing but complain about the alcoholics, blaming them for all of our problems? Certainly, pent-up resentments need release, and sponsors can be extremely helpful in working on those areas and putting them into perspective. But we don't come together to blame, criticize, and gossip. We come together to recover from the effects of alcoholism on ourselves. We learn that no one else is responsible for solving our problems or making us happy. That is our responsibility. The point is not what others can do to improve, but what we can do to improve. We take the Twelve Steps because we want to have rich, full, satisfying lives, and no one else can give that to us. Taking the Steps is an act of self-love.

Everyone deserves love — even those who have treated us badly. Holding on to blame and resentment hurts us far more than it hurts anyone else. Harboring ill feelings toward the alcoholics in our lives keeps us tied to an ongoing cycle of bitterness that can only make us feel miserable and victimized. Changed attitudes aid recovery. We can strive to understand the alcoholics, recognizing that they suffer from a disease that affects their thoughts and actions. Like any other human beings, they are doing their best with what they have, and they deserve our compassion and respect. Adopting this attitude may be the most generous gift we can give-to ourselves.

We also extend love to others who, like us, have been affected by another's drinking, carrying our message of hope and healing through the Twelve Steps. Our literature, posters, and public service announcements provide information to those who have been affected by another's alcoholism but are unaware that help is available. We also reach out to those families and friends of alcoholics who reside in hospitals and prisons, and we share our information with the medical and therapeutic community. We do not push our philosophy on those who are not interested. We simply and discreetly let it be known that there is help available to those who wish to pursue it.

There may be no better reminder of what we are attempting to achieve in Al-Anon than the painful struggle of someone who needs help with an alcoholic situation. Al-Anon exists for the sole purpose of helping such families and friends of alcoholics. Our groups carry out this purpose by welcoming newcomers and by giving love, comfort, and support to anyone who seeks it. We try to appreciate what a privilege it is to contribute to a fellow member's freedom from the desperation and despair that accompany alcoholism. When any one of us is healed, we all heal a little.

~Sharen

Well, Sharen, all I can say is, "Those are some sick puppies." "Taking the Steps is an act of self-love."?

Of course we are seeing the common cult routine of reversal of reality. Instead of recognizing that the 12 Steps induce feelings of guilt, weakness, powerlessness, insanity, and dependency, Al-Anon claims that the 12 Steps will make people healthier, happier, and freer.

And then there is the cult routine of "You are always wrong":
"It isn't the fault of the alcoholic; we can't sit around and criticize him. We must criticize ourselves."

This is lunacy too:
"We learn that no one else is responsible for solving our problems or making us happy. That is our responsibility."
"Harboring ill feelings toward the alcoholics in our lives keeps us tied to an ongoing cycle of bitterness that can only make us feel miserable and victimized."

So the abused wives and children of alcoholics are responsible for their own unhappiness, and it is their own problem to make themselves happy?

And they call that "help"? That is crazy.

This Al-Anon cartoon was intended to persuade children to join Alateen:

The cartoon says that the children should stop "blaming others", like their alcoholic parents, for the fact that their young lives are a living hell, and to start "looking at themselves", and to find fault in themselves. — To, as A.A. says it, "Find our part in it." (That's the guilt-induction routine of A.A. Steps 4 and 5.) At the same time, the cartoon also says that the children "don't feel guilty any more". That is, of course, a good example of Orwellian double-think.

(See the file on "12-Step Snake Oil" for more.)

And then there is this bit of arrogant condescension:
"In Al-Anon we learn to love not only others but ourselves as well."
— As if the wives and children of alcoholics do not know how to love anyone before they come to Al-Anon.

Why don't we have a law against such an organization? I mean, there are laws against medical malpractice and quackery. Haven't they hurt enough people? There is a limit to freedom of speech. Falsely yelling "Fire!" in a crowded theater is outlawed because of the great harm that it can cause to many people. So why isn't such malpsychia and quackery also outlawed?

**  One Stepper declared, "My stability came out of trying to
**  give, not out of demanding that I receive."
**  Serving humanity is all fine and well, but what if you are humbly,
**  lovingly, spiritually, giving out cups of cyanide koolaid?
**  No matter how generous and loving and unselfish you are
**  while you hand it out, it is still cyanide koolaid.


Date: Tue, July 18, 2006 11:28 am
From: "Sharen K."
Subject: Schopenhauer's Ideas Exactly

Hi Again, Orange!

Since you have that webpage about propaganda techniques, I get the impression that you might be familiar with philosophy which might mean that you're familiar with the writings of Hitler's favorite, Schopenhauer. Frankly, both the sort of psychological therapy that The Serenity Prayer prescribes, and the basic themes of modern psychology in general, could be summed up in the title of his magnum opus (and the book that most inspired Hitler), The World as Will and Representation:

1.. Humanity's aggressive willfulness is ineradicable, so all must simply take it as a given. This could be called the basic idea of psychoanalysis.

2.. Therefore, the best that we could do is that when we suffer the consequences of others' aggressive choices, as well as any other problem that may happen to us, is to represent such events to us as being as innocuous as possible. This is what cognitive therapy would call a "positive outlook," and choosing to have a positive outlook could be called the basic idea of cognitive therapy. What The Serenity Prayer called "serenity" in the face of whatever happens in the material world, Schopenhauer called a "sublime" state of mind.

3.. Those who are hurt by the aggressive behavior are just as willful as are the aggressors, but weak people's wills aren't given the deference that strong people's wills are. As The World as Will and Representation says,

"The concept of good is divided into two subspecies, that of the directly present satisfaction of the will in each case, and that of its merely indirect satisfaction concerning the future, in other words, the agreeable and the useful. The concept of the opposite, so long as we are speaking of beings without knowledge, is expressed by the word bad, more rarely and abstractly by the word evil, which therefore denotes everything that is not agreeable to the striving of the will in each case,"
and,
"Wrong through violence is not so ignominious for the perpetrator as wrong through cunning, because the former is evidence of physical strength, which in all circumstances powerfully impresses the human race. The latter, on the other hand, by using the crooked way, betrays weakness, and at the same time degrades the perpetrator as a physical and moral being."
Something else that suggests that aggressive willfulness would be tolerated but the willfulness of the victims wouldn't be, is "Taking as Jesus did this sinful world as it is, not I would have it," and the singleminded condemnation of resentment, anger, fear, etc., that would accompany this.

4.. And this is the world as will and representation. "Taking as Jesus did this sinful world as it is, not I would have it," leaves no room for looking at the specifics of each situation, to distinguish an overreaction from an acceptable reaction. Instead, in a very global sense, we're to take aggressive behavior as a given, try to have the most well-adjusted outlooks toward it, and treat those who don't as if they're untermenschen trying to manipulate others into giving them more than they deserve, because either they're actively cunning, or they sincerely believe that they're entitled to more than they won and naturally that's what everyone wants to believe.

~Sharen

Wow. That is really a twisted philosophy, isn't it? Not to mention totally anti-Christian.

When I stop and think about it, the line about ""Taking as Jesus did this sinful world as it is..." is a bunch of bullshit. What Jesus actually did was walk into the temple and start swinging the whip on the money-changers and con artists. Jesus did not passively accept that sinful world as it was (and bliss out with "Serenity and Gratitude").

About Schopenhauer — Actually, I had not realized that the fascist or Nazi philosophy had been seriously proposed as a genuine philosophy, rather than being just the ravings of some leading Nazis.

I know that Friedrich Nietzsche often got the blame for Nazi philosophy, but that was unfair. The Superman whose coming Nietzsche foretold was a good guy, a super-moral person, like a Christ figure, not a Nazi thug. The Nazis merely twisted Nietsche's words to make themselves into the Supermen.

But it sounds like Schopenhauer was seriously into fascism as a moral philosophy.

What is ironic is that Adolf Hitler was actually an example of Schopenhauer's weak deceitful person who stole things by lying and "crooked cunning ways". Physically, Adolf was anything but a superman, and he didn't win anything in battle. It was lies and deceit and Joseph Goebbels's propaganda all of the time.

I shall have to read some Schopenhauer, some day when I feel like getting seriously depressed.

Oh well, have a good day anyway.

== Orange

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





Date: Mon, July 17, 2006 9:36 am
From: Gruntbulldog
Subject: The funny spirituality of Bill Wilson

I respect you're interpretation of "The Big Book" I, on the other hand have interpreted entirely different. Although I admit it's not perfect, The Big Book has helped me find a way to live life without alcohol. Something I couldn't do on my own. Believe me I tried. I have a lot of friends now that have had the same experience.
Only an alcoholic can help another alcoholic.
We don't expect you to understand.

God Bless,
Recovering Alcoholic
Sean W.

Hello Sean,

Thank you for a great display of the cult characteristics "The cult and its members are special", and Thought-terminating clichés and slogans:
"Only an alcoholic can help another alcoholic."
"Only another alcoholic understands."

A Slogan A Day Keeps The Thinking Away.

Actually, since I am another alcoholic, I do understand A.A. and its cult dogma very well indeed, thank you.

And actually, a non-alcoholic can help an alcoholic. My doctor is not an alcoholic, but he was a lot of help in talking me into quitting drinking. He said simply, "Quit drinking or die. Choose one." It worked. After thinking about it for a while, I decided that I didn't want to die that way.

No matter how much you like it, the Big Book is still the ravings of a certified lunatic. That is what the file The Funny Spirituality of Bill Wilson and A.A. is all about.

Your assumption that the Big Book made you and a few friends quit drinking is nonsense. What A.A. really does is raise the rate of binge drinking in alcoholics, and raise the death rate, too.

To assume that you quit drinking because of the Big Book, after you read the Big Book, is a common logical fallacy — It's like saying that when you were a child, you could never ride a bicycle — you always fell down — until you tried out Billy's bright red bicycle, and you succeeding in riding that one. So shiny red bicycles are the cure for "bicycleism" --
"Hey, I was never able to ride a bicycle before. I was powerless over bicycles. I fell down every time I tried. But with Billy's bicycle, I succeeded, and I don't fall down any more. That is proof that Billy's bicycle is magical and really works."

Quitting drinking or doping is a learning process. (Just like learning to ride a bicycle.) You have to learn that you really, REALLY want to quit and permanently change your lifestyle. Until then, you will backslide. Once you learn beyond a shadow of a doubt that dope and drink are killing you, and you really decide to quit them and live a healthier lifestyle, it is easy.

That process has nothing to do with any 12-Step organization, or Bill Wilson's religion, or endless meetings, or Buchmanism, or listing and confessing your sins and wallowing in guilt, or any of that malarkey.

Oh well, have a good day anyway.

== Orange

*             orange@orange-papers.org        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
** "As a matter of fact, the successful worker [A.A. recruiter]
** differs from the unsuccessful one only in being lucky about
** his prospects. He simply hits cases who are ready and able
** to stop at once."
**  == Bill Wilson, quoted in 'PASS IT ON', The story of
** Bill Wilson and how the A.A. message reached the world,
** page 252.





Date: Mon, July 17, 2006 9:57 am
From: "Brian C."
Subject: funny spirituality

Mr Orange.

I have read the first page of your case against the spiritual program of alcoholics anonymos and it's co-founder Bill Wilson. I don't expect to change your mind about any of this, but I only wish to point out how misinformed you are about alcoholism and alcoholics anonymous.

Hello Brian,

No, I am not misinformed about Alcoholics Anonymous. I have been collecting the facts for many years now.

The wife in this story is a co-dependant. She is addicted to control over the alcoholic.

That is ridiculous. Louis Wilson was trying to save Bill's life. She was trying to get him to quit killing himself with alcohol and cigarettes. But the vain Bill Wilson couldn't stand his wife telling him to shape up and get his act together, so Bill declared that she was a nag and unspiritual.

There is no such thing as "codependency". That is just an imaginary cult bogeyman, just like "dry drunk". No reputable medical organization even recognizes the existence of "codependency". That includes the American Psychiatric Association.

This book was written in the 1940's. Smoking and it's effects was not a health concern until the 1970's.

But Bill Wilson was supposed to be getting divine Guidance from God when he was practicing Step Eleven. Didn't God know that tobacco is very bad for your health back in 1938? After all, Lois Wilson knew it.

The only requirement for membership to alcoholics anonymos is a desire to stop drinking. This is read at every AA meeting in the preamble. If an alcoholic is not ready to stop we encorage them to try drinking more. John Barlycorn is our spokesperson.

Yada yada yada. That is just the usual propaganda. The A.A. recruiters start off with that line, but eventually, there are a whole lot of requirements and "musts". It is a bait-and-switch trick. Look at this list of requirements and musts.

Since man first crushed grapes there has not been a cure for alcoholism. This program gives millions of people hope for sanity and a sobriety. The medical establishment has embraced it as the only form of treatment for this deadly desease. I cant imagine what would cause you to be so angry to write this much propoganda against alcoholics anonymos.

There is no cure for alcoholism because there is no disease "alcoholism". Excessive consumption of alcohol is behavior. The cure for the problem is to change your behavior.

The A.A. "program" is a complete failure with a success rate of zero, above normal spontaneous remission, and A.A. has a terrible death rate, too, the highest of any kind of treatment for alcoholism.

The fact that Steppers have managed to foist their quackery on a lot of people does not prove that it works.

Please let me know if there is anything I can do to help,

Brian

Yes, Brian,

There is something you can do to help. Please tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth about Alcoholics Anonymous.

You can start with this simple question:
"Of each 1000 newcomers to Alcoholics Anonymous, how many get a 10-year coin for 10 years of sobriety?"

Then you could also answer this question,
"Of each 1000 newcomers to Alcoholics Anonymous, how many will still be around and sober one year later?"

And then you could also answer this question,
"What is the suicide rate in Alcoholics Anonymous?"

The answers to those questions will be most informative.

Thank you, and have a good day.

== 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: Mon, July 17, 2006 6:20 pm
From: chipjet
Subject: Stumbled upon your book...

Mike--

Listen don't let me piss you off here, but what was your motivation for writing the AA book?

Hi Mike,

That question has been asked before, so I'll just point you to the list, here.

It's been said that the only thing wrong with AA is that it's filled with alcoholics. It can be dogmatic and rigid, its members self-righteous and cliquish. I agree that everybody's transition to sobriety is as different as their fingerprint and I cringe when people say, "You gotta do the steps or die."

No, I correct them, YOU had to do the steps or die. I know plenty of people who stopped drinking and got along in life without AA or the steps. Like you, it bothers me that such people are called dry drunks. And it's also quite irksome that there are those who tell others in the program not to take anti-depressants. It's none of their business.

But with all that said, AA is what got me sober... 28 days in treatment followed by lots of meetings. Perhaps you're right that I've bought into a bunch of nonsense, but it's worked for me which is why despite all its warts I simply cannot bite the hand that rescued me.

Regards,
Chip

Chip,

A.A. does not work. If A.A. actually worked, then alcoholics who go to A.A. should get sober in greater numbers than the alcoholics who don't go to Alcoholics Anonymous. They don't. In fact, the reverse happens — the A.A. alcoholics binge drink more, and they die more.

You assume that A.A. somehow made you quit drinking, and you assume that "it works for you". I think of Dumbo's Magic Flying Feather when I hear that. Dumbo was convinced that the reason he could fly was because he had that feather that the crow gave him... Also see the rap about confusing correlation with causation that goes along with the Dumbo story.

Also see this previous letter, where I used the analogy of learning to ride a bicycle.

The real reason why you are sober is because you decided not to drink any more alcohol. Now the reason why you made that decision probably had something to do with the disastrous condition of your life that led to you going into a treatment program. Like, you just got sick and tired of being sick and tired, and you decided that you didn't really want to die that way.

I made the same decision. That's why I am sober today.

Have a good day.

== 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: Sun, July 23, 2006 1:07 pm
From: chipjet
Subject: Re: Stumbled upon your book...

Hi — Thanks for getting back to me. From what I can tell, your motivation occurred after attending AA and at some point concluding, "This is bullshit.'

No problem with that, I'm glad you've stayed sober.

Figuring it all out gets to be confusing. I go to 3-4 meetings a week to kick back and help newcomers realize they're not alone. Overall though I adhere to what an old-timer told me a while back: "An alcoholic who brags about not drinking is like a cowboy with hemerroids who brags about not riding his horse."

As time goes by, the big deal isn't such a big deal after all.

Take care of yourself,
Chip

Hi again Chip,

Actually, figuring it all out clarifies things for me. It does not make things confusing.

If you really want to help the newcomers, why don't you study the SMART, Rational Recovery, and SOS methods, and teach that? You would be giving them something that produces a lower rate of binge drinking, and a lower death rate.

Have a good day.

== Orange

P.S.: About the timeline: your guess is backwards. I quit drinking two weeks before I was sent to A.A. meetings by a so-called "treatment program". And I kept my will and my resolve to stay sober in spite of A.A. Isn't it fortunate that I didn't do Step Three and give my will to somebody else?

*             orange@orange-papers.org        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**  —Not only had we failed to alter the natural history of alcoholism,
**  but our death rate of three percent a year was appalling.—
**  == Dr. George E. Vaillant, currently a member of the A.A. Board of
**  Trustees, describing the treatment of alcoholism with Alcoholics
**  Anonymous, in The Natural History of Alcoholism: Causes, Patterns,
**  and Paths to Recovery, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA,
**  1983, pages 283-286.





Date: Mon, July 17, 2006 6:36 pm
From: "Louie"
Subject: abstinence without glory

SUFFERING is a concomitant of growth. Rehabilitation combines the essence of both as every regenerated alcoholic knows. Du Nouy, in his classic Human Destiny, revealed to the discerning eye that the purpose of evolution — the sole purpose — is the creation of a perfect life form, and that man is the evolutive branch destined to become the perfect creature. Every sage, every saint that ever trod the earth, said in one way or another that the sole reason for man's existence is to become one with his Creator; not in some future life, on some other plane of existence, but here and now. Huxley, in his Perennial Philosophy, says that man's final end is union with God through the unitive love-knowledge of the Godhead. What, if anything, has this to do with the problem of alcoholism and recovery from drunkenness?

The AA who has made the 12 Steps as vital to his life as eating and breathing bases his personal daily life upon the 11th Step. Prayer and (right) meditation do improve his contact with God as he understands Him. Praying only for knowledge of God's will for us and the power to carry that out is the most powerful spiritual tool in the universe for this is one prayer that must be granted. Seeking through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understand Him opens up avenues of investigation that are closed to others. To such a one the wisdom of all ages gravitates as surely as water flows downhill. It could not be otherwise for this is divine law.

Many of the old-timers are aware of these truths. Some of them suspect that this is so, and will soon know it, for as they grow in spirit they must likewise grow in knowledge of the truth. The restlessness of the old-timer "who no longer fits the niche he has cut out for himself in AA" is a part of this growth and in a mild sort of way, it is the suffering that is a concomitant of all growth. The recent abortive experimental meetings held on Long Island were evidence also of these growing pains. Their sponsors should not lose heart — the seeds they planted there shall one day take root in more fertile ground and become towering giants.

AA has been rightly called the most vital spiritual movement of the century. History in the making is difficult to see in proper perspective by the participants, yet to some the vision has been granted. To them it is apparent that the "old-timers" are the vanguard of the greatest spiritual force yet to be manifested upon this sad old earth of ours.

During the past three years I have seen "miracles" and miracles in the making. I have seen sodden dissolute wrecks become upstanding clear-eyed men. I have seen emotional five-year-olds become adolescent before my eyes — men who are now well on the road to emotional maturity. I have seen despair and hopelessness in the eyes of wives and mothers replaced with hope and gratitude, and for the first time in my life, I know the meaning of the word, "joy." And a question kept haunting me. What is the meaning of all this? The whole is comprised of its parts — what is the Whole? Could I, one of its parts, stand off and see it as it is? Are we the Good Samaritans of this age or am I just being the same old self-centered egoist trying to grab off a little second-hand glory? What do you think?

Hello again, Louie,

Well, you are assuming a lot when you assume that the human race is just "destined" to become perfect.

The way things are going, we may well be destined to die by the billions when the oil runs out. (The end of oil means the end of our agribusiness-produced food supply. World-wide famine is inevitable.) Maybe sooner than later, if the Middle-East war blows up and destroys our oil supply.

It is an open question how perfect the survivors of that disaster will be. They might be some very tough scarred thugs, closer to Mad Max and the Road Warrior than Mahatma Gandhi.

It would be nice to assume that years of meditation — i.e., practicing Step 11 — makes people really high and spiritual. Alas, there is just as much evidence, maybe more, that years of practicing the steps just makes people angry and bitter. Look at this letter from a 20-year oldtimer.

You are also assuming that practicing the 12 Steps for years makes people more spiritual, rather than guilt-ridden and neurotic, and you are also assuming that A.A. is a wonderful spiritual movement. The evidence is that the Steps are good for indoctrinating and manipulating new cult members, and they are not good for anything else.

You say that you have seen miracles, people quitting drinking, lives rebuilt... Well so have I, but neither A.A. nor the 12 Steps had anything to do with it. Quitting bad habits like drink and dope and smoking is the magic that does it.

If the Steps were really good for making the A.A. oldtimers spiritual, then A.A. should be an enormously spiritual and wonderful organization, wisely led by saintly enlightened leaders. But it isn't. It is closer to an organized crime gang. I get far too much hate mail from the true-believer Steppers to have any illusions about that. And I get far too many horror stories of 13th-Stepping, abuse, exploitation, and crazy sponsors.

And if A.A. were really so spiritual, it would at least tell the truth about its actual success rate in sobering up alcoholics. It doesn't.

Oh well, have a good day anyway.

== Orange

P.S.: One question: This rings a vague bell, but I can't place it: "The recent abortive experimental meetings held on Long Island..." What are you referring to?

*             orange@orange-papers.org        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
** Telling lies about recovery isn't funny, and
** it isn't spiritual, and it isn't okay.





Date: Mon, July 17, 2006 10:00 pm
From: "Jan K"
Subject: Your Website About Twelve Step

Hello.

I had difficulties with AOL and they are no longer my carrier. They had blocked my email as well, but because someone has used my AOL email address to sent out 400 pieces of spam (advertisements about cable connection).

I am a published author/writer, and this did not set too well with me, naturally. I have Yahoo DSL. It's okay.

I was reading your myriad thoughts about the Twelve Step Groups, knowing that upon several points, I agree with you. I have thought some of these same thoughts even though I am a member of Overeaters Anonymous and have lost over 155 pounds, kind of thanks to them, and a lot of it my Maker's strength and my hard work.

This might seem a slightly confusing letter, as I am a 12 Step member. I've seen the good, the bad, the warped side, as far as my human counterparts that would seek to "help me." I had to quickly step back a bit from getting too chummy with a few of them, because my "SPONSOR" (don't know if you are familiar with the term in 12 step) took it upon herself to verify things I'd mentioned at a meeting, personal things that nearly caused me to lose a great position. Yes, my mistake for being a big mouth, talking too much at a meeting full of sick people. The only thing I can lay some of my failing upon is a certain lack of early parental guidance and not many close friends during my early years of having entered Overeaters Anonymous. As I live, I learn.

Sometimes I get a bit scared of these people. Only because I believe they have a "network" of sorts to keep a close tabs upon those who place them in a position of scrutiny or perceived danger that could threaten "the fellowship" as a whole.

I am telling you this because I have never heard a person with such open opinions such as you have. "The Fellowship" has a lot of people in high and low places, it would seem. I have seen this in real life at my face to face meetings when I learn of the variety of professionals mixed in with our assortment.

I do not understand the censorship of AOL against you. I do not doubt you at all, because AOL hires folks that are inclined to think inside the box — never out of it. If you violated one of their corporate/AOL Community rules due to the number of complaints, they may have blocked your mail for that reason. Kind of the equivalent of a small city that thinks that city ordinance overrides state law or federal law. If you catch my drift? AOL blocking your mail does indeed violate the freedom of speech act. Their AOL TOSS VIOLATIONS / COMMUNITY RULES cannot violate state or federal laws by attempting to override.

Only those with money would be able to hit AOL where they live. It would appear that a number of AOL folks who work in that AOL mail department area may be members of "the Fellowship" of one or several 12 Step Programs, and they took it upon themselves to enforce the letter of their corporate/departmental laws to protect any or all the 12 Step Programs.

I support freedom of speech. I don't agree with all of what you state, but you have pointed out valid things that I had often wondered about.

Thank you for your views. Now I know that some of these questionable areas are not entirely within the scope of my own experience.

I would appreciate a reply, but understand if you are too busy. It is obvious that you have devoted a great deal of time to this site and its updates of thought.

Another free thinker.

January

Do you think of yourself as a size?

I hope if dogs ever take over the world, and
they choose king, they don't just go by size,
because I bet there are some Chihuahuas with
some good ideas.
— Jack Handy

Hi January,

Thank you for the letter. And congratulations for getting rid of AOL.

First off, I really do know what an A.A. sponsor is. I just barely managed to avoid getting one, back when my child-molesting "counselor" was telling me to get a sponsor.

AOL blocked my email, they said, because someone had broken into a user account on the ISP of my ISP (over in another state) and used it to send out a batch of spam. Since my sent email went out through the uppermost ISP's machine, and got his IP number attached to it, AOL blocked my email because AOL just blocked everything from that IP number. That was painting with a rather broad brush. Apparently, my domain name also got blacklisted because they blacklisted everybody who was associated in any way with that ISP's IP number.

What was more outrageous was that AOL reads their customers' email, and keeps people from getting emails that contain blacklisted URLs. Thus even a letter from somebody completely different, that contained this line would not get delivered to its recipient while I was on the blacklist:

"I really don't like Orange's essays at http://www.orange-papers.org/"
— because it contains a blacklisted URL.

Then AOL just suddenly took me off of the blacklist without explanation or notification.

But you are actually now on an even bigger violator of freedom of speech — Yahoo. They completely erased my entire web site when I had it on Yahoo Geocities, apparently just because somebody complained that it was "controversial". Yahoo would not explain its actions, or talk to me, or let me have my email. They just wiped out my password, cancelled my account, and erased everything, without warning, notification, or appeal. And then they wouldn't talk to me. They just sent a form letter telling me to read the user agreement. Now that is really heavy-handed censorship.

If you do searches on the Internet, looking for "AOL censorship", or "Yahoo censorship", you will get a whole lot of stories of draconian behavior on their part.

And now, of course, Yahoo is part of the trio of traitors — Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo — who are censoring the Internet for the Chinese Communists. Personally, I am boycotting Yahoo, Google and Microsoft. I won't have anything to do with any of them.

Oh well, have a good day anyway.

== Orange

*             orange@orange-papers.org        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
** "Important principles may, and must, be inflexible."
** == Abraham Lincoln





Date: Tue, July 18, 2006 2:15 am
From: "James B."
Subject: AA

Hey Orange!

Firstly, thanks for writing a wonderfully crafted response to my question: 'what was Bills motivation'. It was a great read, and I deduced from it that Bill was very much like the gurus that Storr writes about in Feet of Clay. Lunatics, sadly.

The alcohol paradigm is shifting Orange — just browse the net and this discussion is going on everywhere. I hope this shift will benefit people 'in recovery'. I have a feeling in my water that AA will be a laughing stock in a decades time — just a few true believers left. I don't know how that makes me feel — happy on one hand because the Cult has been exposed, but sad because it does mean a lot to a lot of people. I am convinced, after my two years of attending the cult, that the true believers, the ones who are deep deep in the 'program', are seriously getting themselves in trouble on a psychological level. I don't know if how they would be able to handle your website for example. Their whole world would disintegrate.

That's shocking, is it not? Bill must have known the consequences of believing in a fundamentalist cult — he was as bright as button. And he must have known that what he was creating was a new religion.

All very frightening and confusing.

Once again, thanks orange for saving my mind. Peace to you, James

Hi James,

Thanks for the thanks, and congratulations on your escape. You did it; I didn't do it for you.

Starting at the end, I'm also sure that Bill Wilson knew that he was starting a new religion. After all, the Oxford Group was a religious cult, and Bill knew that he had just stolen a branch of it and made it his own. Bill just had to use weasle words to avoid getting banned by the Catholics. So it was "spiritual, not religious", and they "admitted their wrongs", rather than "confessed their sins".

Still, Wilson said things like:

An alcoholic is a fellow who is "trying to get his religion out of a bottle... when what he really wants is unity within himself, unity with God...."
"There is a definite religious element here."
— Bill Wilson at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, in March, 1943

I too hope that Alcoholics Anonymous dies out and we get something better for helping alcoholics and addicts.

About the people whose whole world depends on the A.A. cult, yes, they are tragic figures. As much as I pity them, I don't feel that we should feed them any fresh meat to keep their little world going. The last remaining oldtimers can hold each other's hands and chant slogans to each other.

I remember the book Feet of Clay; Saints, Sinners, and Madmen: A Study of Gurus by Anthony Storr as being quite good.

Have a good day.

== Orange

*             orange@orange-papers.org        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
** "A little patience and we shall see the reign of witches
** pass over, their spells dissolve, and the people
** recovering their true sight, restore their government
** to its true principles.  It is true that in the meantime
** we are suffering deeply in spirit, and incurring the
** horrors of a war and long oppressions of enormous public
** debt.  == Thomas Jefferson





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