Letters, We Get Mail, LXXXII
by A. Orange



Date: Sat, October 28, 2006 12:10 pm
From: Ccoast99
Subject: Re: (no subject)

you don't know crap!!! Sicko!





Date: Sun, October 29, 2006     (answered 24 April 2007)
From: "Mike W."
Subject: Re: Thank you so much

Hey, just in case you need more evidence to back up how AA is ineffective (which is beginning to seem to me to be a lot like creationism versus evolution), the Cochrane Collaboration published a study this year showing that, yes, it is indeed ineffective. link: http://www.cochrane.org/

— Mike

Thank you.

In particular, I see:

== 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





Date: Sun, October 29, 2006     (answered 24 April 2007)
From: Psychodr
Subject: Judges protected all of us(even you) from drunks

The judges would not have to sentence anyone to AA if the rocket scientist did break the law by driving drunk in the first place. This is a no brainier. Duh> Like you..................

Well, Psychodr, your "no-brainer" is completely missing the point. Judges are empowered to sentence drunk drivers to all kinds of punishments that range from drivers' education classes to counseling sessions to years in prison. But judges do not have the legal power to sentence anybody to the meetings of a cult religion, or any other kind of religion, either.

That is illegal, unConstitutional, and immoral.

And that is what is wrong with sentencing drunk drivers to Alcoholics Anonymous meetings.

Have a good day.

== Orange

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


Date: Tue, April 24, 2007 4:05 pm
From: Psychodr
Subject: Re: your letter to Orange Papers

Dam you take a long time to answer my e-mail. What were you drunk? You are right, a judge, does not have A RIGHT TO SENTENCE A DWI TO AA MEETINGS. I HAVE RE-THOUGHT THIS. THE JUDGE SHOULD JUST SEND THE DRUNK TO JAIL FOR 10 YEARS. PERIOD. ANY QUESTIONS?

Nope, no questions at all. It's nice to get a clear statement of what A.A. really thinks of alcoholics, and how A.A. plans to "help" alcoholics.

"Let us love you until you can love yourself."

Yeh, right.

Have a good day.

== Orange

*             orange@orange-papers.org        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
** My enemies I can handle, but Lord save me from
** those who would do unto me for my own good.





Date: Sun, October 29, 2006     (answered 25 April 2007)
From: "Ted K."
Subject: Re: The Orange papers

Greetings and thanks for the response. I expect that you keep yourself pretty busy so with this and other ventures so I don't begrudge you taking a little while to respond.

Hi again Ted,

Well, it took a while, but here we are.

A personal point of privilege concerning my comment about Orange and AA finances. OK, you caught me. I made a snappy reaction and it was out of place. email is an imperfect mode of communication as are all others. Given the chance to get to know you a little better before I sent it I hope I would have reacted more gently.

Okay.

On to the issue of AA suing people in Germany and Central or South America over distribution or ownership rights.

OK, fine. I have read most of what is on your pages about these issues and I have some comments: First, I am bothered by these reports as I have heard similar from other sources. I believe it was reported on your site (or a similar one...it has been quite a while since I read the story.) that many board members and people in positions of authority (I don't like that too much either.) quit voluntarily over this (and I don't hear any credit given for doing so), and perhaps, according to the laws applying, some people belong in prison. But where did these actions come from? I believe it is not from the program but from those involved. Who first reported this? Wasn't it other members of AA?

Yes, I learned about it from Mitchell K., who reported it on About.Com, and Anthony of the U.K.

You do realize, of course, that you are using Minimalization and Denial there? As if the crimes of the A.A. leadership are less serious because some of the membership objected to them?

The membership sure should have objected, considering that the crimes of Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc. leaders and staff were being committed against the A.A. membership. And note that none of the leaders got fired for it. The A.A.W.S. leadership is totally out of control. They are accountable to no one. And that's another big problem with Alcoholics Anonymous.

Bill Wilson was an idiot when it came to designing organizations.
So-called "Tradition Nine": "A.A., as such, ought never be organized; but we may create service boards or committees directly responsible to those they serve."

Yeh, right.

Second, there never has been an organization, since the beginning of man as we know it, that has not been associated at one time or another with trouble-makers or generally bad people who just don't see the point behind it all.

And I do realize that is more Minimalization and Denial.

If you have made changes in your personality that are necessary to control any undesirable habit, no matter what it is, you will find yourself in the presence of people that have not "grown" in the way you might have. While in a perfect world the best thing might be to simply share your wisdom with them and be happy that they grow along with you. In the world we live in it is rarely the case of that being either the best thing for you (I'm sure you've caught on that I am using the word generically.) or them. Often I have found that the best way is NOT to cast your pearls before swine, so to speak. We almost never learn from the experience of others.

Sadly, that is often true.

Unfortunately two of the most common characteristics of leaders are ambition and charisma. IMO, Jesus, Gandhi, Mother Theresa, whose opinions we argue over after years, decades and millennia, didn't spend a lot of time seeking those things, yet most of our leaders have and do.

Also true. Although, these days, I would even question the use of the word "leaders". George W. Bush and the other politicians are not leading us anywhere. There is no leadership.

That said, and even keeping in mind the fact that one of the "founders" of AA wanted to "sell" the program at one time, I would find it amazing if the history of AA had less blemishes than it does. (Judas Iscariot was a big time dude in the ministry. He even controlled the money!) To me the difference is when bad things are done "are those things part of the nature of the organization" or "are they exceptions?"

That is more Minimalization and Denial. The evidence is accumulating that the problems with A.A. are inherently the nature of the organization:

— it seems like a poor cure for alcoholism.

And remember that Alcoholics Anonymous has no system for supervising sponsors and firing bad ones. There is no accountability. The sexual predators and the self-appointed cult leaders can do whatever they wish, indefinitely.

And Bill Wilson's lies in the sacred "first 164 pages" of the Big Book will never be corrected, either.

We can make up our own minds.

We had better.

Let me describe my thoughts on it this way, I am a Republican, but in no way approve of everything that happens in the party nor every party plank. I think an honest Democrat would say the same about their party.

True.

With that in mind, I remain an honest member of AA.

Okay.

Now, concerning cults. Since you have chosen your definition of cults and ignored mine I feel no reason to investigate yours. I'm talking to you, not these guys. Who are they? What impact do they have on your beliefs concerning cults? What implications do you see from your resultant characterizations of groups as cults?

Definition of cult? Excuse me, but you did not provide any definition of "cult". You merely remarked that you had read some "religious apologetics", and then you listed only one single characteristic of a cult: 'The singular characteristic of a cult is that the follower "must" be removed from their family.'

That is not a definition of a cult, nor is it a description of the most important characteristic of a cult.

If a cult is just something that removes someone from their family, then the U.S. Army, a Christian seminary, a child welfare foster home, and a residential college all qualify as cults. There is a lot more to a cult than that.

Well I have done a lot of reading too. A LOT of reading. Look at the bibliography. And it was from reading all of those books about cults, as well as personal experiences with cults in the 'sixties and 'seventies that I assembled the Cult Test, a list of 100 common cult characteristics. Social isolation and total immersion in the cult is just one of the hundred.

Now if you want to try providing an actual definition of a cult, then we can discuss your definition. You could start with the dictionary definition of a cult, you know. Look here.

I don't know what "these guys" you are referring to when you say, "I'm talking to you, not these guys."

What I have found in my studies (over perhaps 20 years) is that folks who exhibit a generally anti- or at least a complainatory view of Christianity or quasi-Christian groups select those definitions and definers that they agree with. Fair enough, I may do the same. One difference is the answer to this question: "Does the definition of `cult' that you chose to use leave any room for any evangelical religious group to be excluded?"

(Feel free to ask my why I asked the question in that manner if you like.)

If not, then your definition leaves me thirsty.

Huh? You aren't making much sense there. There is room for evangelical religious groups to not be cults, if they don't insist that the leader is always right, and the followers always wrong, and redefine the language, and practice guilt induction, and promote irrational dogma, etc. Just go down the list of 100 cult characteristics. You did actually read the list that you are rejecting, didn't you? Or did you?

Now finally, concerning groups that require followers to leave family and friends. I'm not sure if you mean this in general or specific with regard to alcohol, so I'll try to address both.

Groups such as the Bhagwani's, saffron-robe wearers or kool-aid drinkers demand that you basically sever all ties with your past life. This is not, AFAIK, a requirement of AA nor do I support it. If some groups do it then they made the crap up and all it does is give us a bad name and screw up a bunch of people's lives.

Yeh, but it still happens. And the damage is still done.

If, on the other hand, you are referring to suggestions that someone with an alcohol problem might want to choose new friends that don't spend all their time partying, well I think that is up to each individual and their program.

But when someone becomes obsessed with A.A. and only associates with other A.A. members, then that creates a problem.

It's my program dammit (I would say to them), and if it works for me don't give me a hard time about it.

Now we come to the truth.
Everything before that sentence was just an apology for your position. You like A.A., period, facts be damned.

Some people find that they cannot go to a bar, grocery or convenience store that they used to buy from without being tempted. I personally do not have that problem. If I had a sponsor or a group that told me how to deal with these situations in a way that does not follow my plan then guess what? I'm looking for a new sponsor or group.

Follow what plan?

There are always going to be weak people that are taken advantage of by the strong. I could make a pretty fair argument that your group is doing that.

"My group"? There is no "my group".

I can see that someone who might be weak in some way or another might read some of your web pages and not have the fortitude to actually make a value judgment about what you say before quitting AA.

Oh geez Louise. Get real. Talk about a reversal of reality. You have people being sentenced to A.A. meetings every day, and you are worried about some "weak" person being lured away from Alcoholics Anonymous? What about the weak people who get sucked into A.A. from having been forced to go to A.A. meetings?

A possible danger I see in your group, and you probably do not intend for it to be used in this way, but there are non-alcoholic spouses who divorce and take information very similar to what is presented in your pages to manipulate decisions of the courts.

Again, I don't have a group. I am the sole author of one set of web pages.

If spouses use some accurate and true information to make arguments in courts, then good. What's wrong with that?

Here is my problem. On the one hand I've got you: some anonymous guy on the web were anyone can make any claim they want and find evidence that life is really just as depicted in the Matrix movies, and then I have a person that I might know, sitting in a meeting with me crying because her husband found a judge that is willing to restrict unsupervised visitation based on this stuff you post. (This really happens!)

My choices are two. I can tell that poor woman, that I have known to be a recovering alcoholic doing the best she can like the rest of us, that she is going to have to accept seeing her kids for one week a year during the holiday of his chosing...or I can try to figure out what you are about and share what useful information I can.

You are attempting a Proof by Anecdote. You haven't told us anything like the truth of the matter. You are trying to just give us a sob story. You haven't listed the facts of the case, or explained why the judge decided that an alcoholic woman was an unfit mother (although I can guess).

So what's the real truth there?
What kind of a horror story are you glossing over?
And what did the husband get from my web site to tell the judge?
And how did that influence the judge's decision?

And again, you are trying to reduce the situation to just a pair of poor choices, using the Either/Or Technique. You failed to mention the third choice: getting the mother into better shape so that she might actually be a better mother, and warrant having her children more.

You could be a person who falls anywhere along the spectrum. You could be someone who got pissed at AA because they made you feel like you should be responsible to a God that you don't want to be judged by. You could be a vindictive person just looking for your own niche on this thing called the internet in order to stab weak-minded people with emotional daggers. I know that there are people of both persuasions out there. I expect you are at neither end, but I won't know if I don't try to find out.

Again, you are not giving any facts. You are just fishing for an Ad Hominem attack, and using the "Hobson's Choice" or Alternative Advance propaganda technique — only offering two bad choices: I might be either "pissed" or "vindictive". Those things are not opposite ends of a range or "spectrum", either.

By your suggestive illogic, you could also say, "Or you could be a selfless saint who is just trying to save the world..."

(Now I'm not saying that I am such a saint, but it makes as much sense as your suggested attacks.)

We are dealing with people with warm bodies and real feelings out here. If given the choice between somebody on the web who is trying desperately to convince others that they are right in order to justify their failures or some asinine AA member who tells a sponsee that they cannot attend their grandmother's funeral, then I say a pox on you all and I'll just try to provide the most gentle, productive counseling that I can.

Again, that is just so much rationalization and minimization and denial. You are just using the Straw Man tactic, setting up and then attacking extreme cases, and also using the The Either/Or Technique, again. "The problematic people are either fools trying to justify their failures or asinine AA members who tell sponsees that they cannot attend their grandmother's funeral".

FYI: we are ALL "dealing with people with warm bodies and real feelings out here." You should read the letters I get from suffering people who have been hurt by Alcoholics Anonymous.

You are also using Ad Hominem, again. I am not "somebody on the web who is trying desperately to convince others that they are right in order to justify their failures". I am somebody who is working on telling the truth about a problem, a very big problem — Alcoholics Anonymous and the 12-Step nightmare.

Ted

Well, Ted, again, all that your letter really means is, "I like A.A., and I won't allow my opinions to be changed by mere facts."

Oh well, have a good day anyway.

== Orange

*             orange@orange-papers.org        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
*  If you have to pray for some "Higher Power" or "God" to save you
*  from alcoholism, why is that called a "Self-Help Movement"?


[2nd letter from Ted K. This and the following letter were written by Ted many months before I answered any of these three, so he wasn't responding to my answers.]


Date: Sun, October 29, 2006 3:18 pm     (answered 27 April 2007)
From: "Ted K."
Subject: Re: The Orange papers

OK,

I just sent you a response without checking out what you think about cults and started feeling guilty.

Where did you get what you know about AA? You must've been a member of a really crazy group.

Hi again Ted,

Read the introduction, and other pages:

I've heard stories like some of the one's you mention and my response is, "Those people are out of their minds." If I was in a group like that I'd leave.

Yes, and I left too, but those groups still exist, and get new victims every day. The courts even sentence people to go to A.A. meetings, without bothering to warn the people about which groups are bad. And treatment centers, like mine, just push the 12-Step nonsense in spite of the failure rate.

You should get out some more and find out what mainstream AA groups are like.

I know what they are like. There are some nice mellow people in some groups. But they still start every meeting by reading Bill Wilson's lies from pages 58 through 60 of the Big Book, and then they reverently recite more stuff from books like As Bill Sees It... All of A.A. is contaminated with Bill Wilson's cult religion and misinformation.

You're working one of the logical fallacies to its maximum. You seem to find every undesirable thing anyone ever reported it and characterize AA like that. In the words of Foghorn Leghorn, "It just ain't so son."

Well, actually, it is like that.

My responses to some of your answers.

#1. You are wrong. Bill is a man. I trust him as much or as little as I do others. As I choose.

You may not worship Bill Wilson, but far too many A.A. members do. They won't even correct any of his mistakes or lies in the first 164 pages of the Big Book.

Some A.A. members even claim that Bill Wilson was divinely inspired when he wrote the Big Book.

#2. I am not always wrong. Hell, I even knew some of Bill's stuff before he said it. My "real" Big Book is what he said he wanted his to be. (The Bible. That's the real secret.)

You may use the Bible as your Big Book, but Bill Wilson merely gave lip service to the Bible.

And I have never, not once ever, seen somebody bring a Bible into an A.A. meeting and read aloud from it. The readings in A.A. meetings are ALWAYS the words of Bill Wilson, or other "council-approved" literature. The Bible is not council-approved literature.

#3. Wrong again. Even the Big Book says that some people can get sober on their own. Didn't you ever hear "This is how we did it"? It's right there in the front of the book!

That rap is just one of Bill Wilson's bait-and-switch tricks. Wilson talked out of both sides of his mouth.

That's just a recruiting tool, sounding so mellow and easy-going to newcomers and potential recruits. Later, the story changes to:

Unless each A.A. member follows to the best of his ability our suggested [Bill Wilson's required] Twelve Steps to recovery, he almost certainly signs his own death warrant. His drunkenness and dissolution are not penalties inflicted by people in authority; they result from his personal disobedience to spiritual principles [Bill Wilson's cult religion practices].
Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, William G. Wilson, page 174.

Any willing newcomer feels sure A.A. is the only safe harbor for the foundering vessel he has become.
Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, William G. Wilson, page 35.

...he was insisting that he had found the only cure.
The Big Book, 3rd Edition, page 257.

...they had found the only remedy...
The Big Book, 3rd Edition, page 259.

#4. You must be thinking binary. Everything is either 10 or nothing.

Are you talking about the cult test? A.A. scores a 10 on a lot of items because they do that stuff.

Look. Let's just save both of us a lot of time and dump this conversation.

You obviously have never been to a meeting at any place that I have, and while there are people who act in some of the ways you describe some of the time, so the hell what? You're a lonely man if you refuse to go to clubs with imperfect people as members.

And that's another attempt at Escape Via Relativism "It's just your goofy meetings versus my wonderful meetings. Everybody has his own meetings, and his own opinion..."

I don't refuse to go to clubs with imperfect members, but I do avoid meetings like: The Ku Klux Klan, The Aryan Brotherhood, The American Nazi Party, The Unification Church, Scientology, The People's Temple, and Alcoholics Anonymous.

I might make up a one paragraph description of the information contained on your web pages and give it to anyone that asks me about Agent Orange and his ilk.

Holy crap! And to think I took you seriously for a while.

Here's in hopes that I wasn't casting my pearls before swine.

Ted

Have a good day, Ted.


[3rd letter from Ted K.]

Date: Sun, October 29, 2006 3:26 pm     (answered 27 April 2007)
From: "Ted K."
Subject: Re: The Orange papers

I feel foolish when I respond to myself, but what the hell? I feel foolish for spending so much time with you.

Let me leave you with one piece of advice.

I'm a computer engineer and I've had a couple of bosses that have taught me something. "If everything has the highest priority then nothing has a priority."

If you have a scale of one to ten and everything is ten, your scale is meaningless.

Ted

I guess you must be referring to the Cult Test.

Those are scores, not priorities. If A.A. rates a score of 10 out of 10 on an item, I score it at a 10.

I'm also a computer programmer, and I have thought of writing a cgi-bin program where each question is weighted for importance. Some questions are more important than others, and would get greater weight in the final score. But I don't know if it's really worth the bother to be that extreme.

Have a good day.

== Orange

*             orange@orange-papers.org        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**  "The spirit of the world, the great calm presence of the creator,
**   comes not forth to the sorceries of opium or of wine.
**  RALPH WALDO EMERSON, "The Poet", Essays, Second Series, (1844).





"The biggest truth to face now — what is probably making me unfunny now for the remainder of my life — is that I don't think people give a damn whether the planet goes on or not. It seems to me as if everyone is living as members of Alcoholics Anonymous do, day by day. And a few more days will be enough. I know of very few people who are dreaming of a world for their grandchildren."
== Kurt Vonnegut


"The only specifically American inventions that have made this a better world are Alcoholics Anonymous and jazz, and jazz has no bad side effects.

"But one piece of AA's advice to recovering addicts, that they live one day at a time, so infects the brains of those who are wrecking the planet as a life-support system nowadays, recovering addicts or not, that it might as well be Hong Kong chicken flu or mad-cow disease. To have gotten through Tuesday, say, with an atmosphere still breathable and water still potable at bedtime is for those so afflicted to be as happy as pigs in shit, so to speak.

"Some accomplishment!"

== KURT VONNEGUT
In an article that originally appeared in the May 28, 1998 issue of Rolling Stone.





Date: Fri, April 27, 2007 2:23 am
From: "Andy M. of the U.K."
Subject: AA creed of powerlessness

Dear Orange

I just wanted to express a few thoughts on what I have come to think of as the AA creed of powerlessness, which owes its origin to the weird ideas of Frank Buchman's Oxford Group, and is advocated by steppers and official AA 'literature' as a way of dealing with all of life's problem's, not just that of addiction to alcohol.

This strange creed of powerlessness which AA members are encouraged to subscribe to has always struck me as expressing a very skewed and flawed way of looking at the world. If individuals really believed that they were powerless to have any influence for good or ill over people, events and circumstances in their lives, they would then, in effect, be mere automata, acting out a script of learnt powerlessness.

A philosophy (if it can even be dignified with such a name) which teaches that people are powerless over the circumstances of their lives is, by definition, a philosophy of fatalistic defeatism. Incidentally, 'self-help' is the most inaccurate description of such a philosophy imaginable.

If people had, historically, followed this crazy, disempowering and defeatist philosophy en masse, the human race would never have progressed beyond the barbarities of human sacrifice and cannibalism, slavery would never have been outlawed, children would still be sent to work down our coalmines and women would never have gained the vote. No scientific, medical or cultural progress would ever have occurred.

It is very worrying that so many people, some occupying positions of power and influence in the medical establishment and elsewhere, are prepared to abandon rational thought and take such ideas seriously. My own position is to treat this AA philosophy of powerlessness with the contempt it deserves subsequent to investigation. I do not think there are many acts more unhelpful than to offer desperate and vulnerable people a counsel of despair.

I have first-hand experience of the Job's comforters who are the 'oldtimers' of AA inflicting their unsolicited and unwelcome counsel of despair on me when I spoke in meetings about having to cope with the following issues in sobriety:

  • The pain and grief I felt seeing my mother die after two weeks in a coma, with unresolved questions left concerning possible medical negligence
  • The shock of the news of the sudden death of my father eight weeks later
  • Hearing the news of my only brother's death from cirrhosis of the liver two years after that.

When I spoke about these events in the rooms, I was 11 to 13 years sober, but was treated with a total lack of respect because I refused to pretend to believe in the AA program. I did not, at that time, vociferously object to the program. I just made it clear that I didn't follow the 'suggestions' and didn't think I owed my sobriety to AA.

On the occasions when I spoke about these things, at no time did I ask for any advice from any other members at the meeting, yet they broke the AA code of not 'cross-sharing' by passing public comment on what I said and pushing unwanted program-laden advice at me, much of it inevitably based on this poisonous creed of powerlessness. This was done in the guise of offering support, but any kind of recognisable human empathy or compassion were conspicuous by their absence. The only thing these people seemed interested in was using somebody else's grief as a pretext for promoting the creed of powerlessness.

The responses I got when I expressed my feelings about these tragic events finally convinced me that I did not want the morbid and unhealthy influence of these AA people in my life any more.

I have not looked back. Over two years after my brother's death I have not drunk, and I have not had a mental breakdown, despite being diagnosed as bipolar. I have moved forward in my life in many areas, and I have found The Orange Papers to be a very useful and encouraging resource to help me take full responsibility for my own recovery and work towards putting my negative experiences in AA behind me.

By the way, I did everything within my power to resolve the issues surrounding my mother's last illness and death, with partial success. Whilst I was a long way from getting an admission of medical negligence from the hospital authorities, I did get an admission from them that I had not been given the full and true facts about her medical treatment up to her death and an apology for being unhelpful and disrespectful towards me during the complaints procedure. I did at least have an opportunity, at an officially convened meeting, to publicly tell those responsible for my mother's treatment that I remained unconvinced by their changing accounts of what occurred, and was considering legal action.

I had tenaciously contested their differing versions of events for almost a year to get to this point. I decided not to take the issue further, for fear of bankrupting myself with legal fees and undermining my health with the stress of a lengthy court case. However, I still felt much better than I would have done if I had simply aquiesced in my supposed 'powerlessness over people, places and things' and done nothing.

The whole issue was connected with MRSA infection, which was then virtually unheard of by the British public, but has now long been a huge political and medical scandal in this country because of poor hygeine standards in National Health Service hospitals and the preventable deaths of elderly patients.

With regard to my brother's alcoholism and death from liver failure, I have learnt many painful lessons from these things. The lessons learned from experience are sometimes painful and bitter, but the AA creed of powerlessness is downright poisonous.

I hope you don't mind my going on so long on this occasion, but I just felt very abused and insulted by the behaviour of these steppers, and I wanted to get it off my chest. I'm sure innumerable other people have had similar experiences. What a relief it is not to be around those creeps any more!

Best wishes and keep up the good work

Andy M

Hi Andy,

Thanks for the story. I couldn't agree more. I especially liked your point about "a group that promotes a philosophy of powerlessness cannot be a 'self-help group'."

And this line is good too:

"My own position is to treat this AA philosophy of powerlessness with the contempt it deserves subsequent to investigation."

Yes, I caught that little twist on "contempt prior to investigation." That's good. And that's my attitude too.

And it's both sad and revealing how quickly the "no cross-talk" and "Alcoholics Anonymous does not demand that you believe anything" rules disappear when you challenge their beliefs.

Oh and congratulations on your continuing sobriety.

And have a good life.

== Orange

*             orange@orange-papers.org        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**  "Wine gives a man nothing. It neither gives him knowledge nor wit;
**  it only animates a man, and enables him to bring out what a dread
**  of the company has repressed."
**  == SAMUEL JOHNSON, quoted in Boswell's Life of Samuel Johnson,
**     April 28, 1778.





Date: Thu, April 26, 2007 7:52 am
From: "Anna B"
Subject: Keep it going

Howdy,

I can finally say an unqualified thank you.

Hi Anna,

Thanks for the thanks.

And have a good day.

== Orange

*             orange@orange-papers.org        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**  "I fear the man who drinks water
**  And so remembers this morning what the rest of us said last night."
**   == Greek Anthology (7th c. B.C. — 10th c. A.D.),
**      7-452, tr. Dudley Fitts





Date: Thu, April 26, 2007 10:05 am
From: "Dr. P."
Subject: oranges or apples

Well done your information and I praise your clear and unbiased presention of this important orientation. Thanks for the labor of many hours to put it together.

Dr P.
Guayaquil, Ecuador

Hi Dr. P.,

Thanks for the compliments, and you have a good day too.

== Orange

*             orange@orange-papers.org        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**  Drunkenness is never anything but a substitute for happiness.
**  It amounts to buying the dream of a thing when you haven't
**  money enough to buy the dreamed-of thing materially.
**    == ANDRÉ GIDE, Journals, 1896, tr. Justin O'Brien





Date: Fri, April 27, 2007 7:49 am
From: "Stephen R."
Subject: History of Anti AA movement

Hey Orange,

Hope all is still well! See that you seem to be getting round to answering some of your mail! Good luck with that. You must be well and truly back logged!

Hi Steven,

Yes, all is well. And I'm returning to the salt mines for a little while, and trying to get caught up on the backlogged email.

I have two questions. Firstly, I was thinking of doing a wikipedia article on the "the anti AA movement". The AA wikipedia article (especially the "criticism" section) has been sanitised to the point of no return. Perhaps some of the criticisms of AA could be documented more effectively away from the main article? Anyway, if I do do this, some pointers on where to begin research (especially around the history) would be useful.

Also, think it may be an idea to do an article about this website (and a section on you...) fpr wiki. Would you have any objections to this?

Lastly, what do you look like? I always imagine you to have the appearance of a big, bearded, gentle and cuddlely uncle. Please tell me this is true!!!

Hope to hear from you soon,
Stephen

Hello Stephen,

The history of opposition to Alcoholics Anonymous: What an interesting concept. I like that. Well, just off of the top of my head, here's what I can think of:

  1. The earliest public criticism of Bill Wilson and Alcoholics Anonymous that I know of is the popular newspaper columnist Westbrook Pegler writing in 1947 that the A.A. founder was "wet-brained", and his followers "effectively deluded". I found that in the book The Soul of Sponsorship: The Friendship of Fr. Ed Dowling, S.J. and Bill Wilson in Letters, edited by Robert Fitzgerald, S.J., page 45.

    I have not been able to find the original newspaper column, and would love to. It wasn't printed in the New York Times — they didn't carry his column. But I hear that hundreds of other newspapers did. (There were a lot more newspapers in those days.) Perhaps it was printed in something like the New York Herald-Tribune, which is unfortunately now defunct, so we can't search its archives online.

    If any readers ever stumble across that column, I would love to get a xerox or computer scan of the original column.

    Or if somebody even just finds the names of some newspapers that carried Westbrook Pegler's column, that would help in the search.

    UPDATE: 2009.11.28: Found it. Thank you readers, for the references.

  2. In the nineteen-sixties, Dr. Arthur H. Cain wrote two famous magazine articles that denounced Alcoholics Anonymous. I have the text of both of those articles here:

  3. Then in the 'eighties and 'nineties, Jack Trimpey, Ken Ragge, Stanton Peele, and Charles Bufe published works that criticized Alcoholics Anonymous. I am not quite sure what the timeline with all of them was. I suppose you could email them and ask them for the specific details.

    • The Small Book     Jack Trimpey
      Dell Publishing, 1992
      ISBN: 0-440-50725-1
      Dewey: 362.2918 T831s
      This was one of the original calls to war against the Evil Empire of Alcoholics Anonymous. Note that Jack Trimpey has declared this book obsolete, and says that you should just read the next one, "Rational Recovery." The funny thing is, I don't find it to be obsolete. Trimpey borrowed some techniques from Doctors Maultsby and Ellis like the ABCs of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and did a good job of explaining them. Trimpey did a good job of collecting a variety of tools for quitting drinking and staying quit and working them together into a fair toolkit. This book does what A.A. only claims to do — "give you the tools you will need to maintain sobriety".

      Rational Recovery     Jack Trimpey
      Pocket Books, 1996
      ISBN: 0-671-52858-0
      Dewey: 362.2918 T831r
      This is Trimpey's second book about quitting drinking using rational techniques. He changed his mind about a lot of things and decided that you only need one technique to defeat cravings — the ability to recognize and dispute the Addictive Voice as it cajoles, wheedles, and seduces you into having "just one". This book is worth reading just for the chapter in the back that describes a counselling session where Trimpey exposes "the Beast", the addiction monster that tries to con us into drinking or using again (really, the base brain).

    • More Revealed: A Critical Analysis of Alcoholics Anonymous and the Twelve Steps     Ken Ragge, 1992.
      ALERT! Publishing, P.O. Box 50233, Henderson, Nevada 89016-0233
      It used to be that the first chapter of More Revealed, which specifically covers Frank Buchman and the earliest days of A.A., was available free on the Internet at
      http://www.morerevealed.com/library/index.html
      Now I think the entire book is available there.

    • The Truth About Addiction and Recovery; The Life Process Program for Outgrowing Destructive Habits     Stanton Peele, Ph.D. and Archie Brodsky with Mary Arnold
      Simon and Schuster, New York, 1991.
      ISBN: 0-671-66901-X
      Dewey: 616.8522 P374t or 616.85227 P44 1991
      LC: RC533.P33 1991
      LCCN: 90-27678
      Stanton Peele was one of the pioneers in exposing the disease theory of alcoholism as a cult myth. Another voice of sanity in the vast wasteland. Includes: Addiction is not a disease — Skills for Taking Control of Your Life — Changing Communities, Changing Lives.
      Chapters:
      1. Why It Doesn't Make Sense to Call Addiction a "Disease".
      2. Are People Born Alcoholics?
      3. Which Is the Most Addictive Drug of All?
      4. Smoking: The Toughest Habit to Lick?
      5. Obesity: Are People Biologically Programmed to Be Fat?
      6. Addictions to Gambling, Shopping, and Exercise: How We Evade Moral Responsibility
      7. Love, Sex, and Codependence: Overcoming Trauma
      8. The Life Process Program
      9. Quitting as Life Process
      10. Are You an Addict? Assessing Addiction in the Life Process Program
      11. Assessing Your Values: Knowing What Is Important to You
      12. Accessing Your Resources: What Do You have That You Can Count On?
      13. I'm Not the Person I Want To Be: How People Carry Out Plans to Change
      14. Changing the Behavior: That Obscure Object of Desire
      15. Life Skills: If You Don't Have Them, Get Them
      16. Integrating Change Into Your Life: Groups and Your Social World
      17. Kids Have To Be Made Into Addicts: You Can Prevent Addiction
      18. Where the Solutions Lie: Re-establishing Communal Ties
      19. A Road Map: Where We've Been and Where You Need to Go

      Diseasing of America     Stanton Peele, Ph.D.
      Lexington Books, D.C. Heath and Company, Lexington, Massachusetts & Toronto, 1989.
      ISBN: 0-669-20015-8
      LC: RC564.P43 1989
      LCCN: 89-31904
      Dewey: 362.29—dc20
      Very good. Puts forward the idea that addiction is not a disease, and neither are many of the other things that are being called mental illnesses these days. The "treatment industry" is essentially a racket that practices quack medicine.

      Love and Addiction     Stanton Peele with Archie Brodsky
      Taplinger Publishing Company, New York, 1975.
      ISBN: 0-8008-5041-6
      LC: HM132.P38 1975
      LCCN: 74-5818
      Puts forward the idea that what is called addiction is essentially just a normal part of a lot of people's lives, just as commonplace as dependent "love".

    • Alcoholics Anonymous: Cult or Cure?     Charles Bufe
      See Sharp Press, PO Box 1731, Tucson AZ 85702-1731, 1998.
      ISBN: 1-884365-12-4
      Dewey: 362.29286 B929a 1998
      This book is an eye-opener. One of the first to tell the truth about A.A..
      (This is the second edition; it has noticeably more information than the first edition. The first edition is: ISBN: 0-9613289-3-2, printed in 1991.)

      This book is now available for free download at: http://www.morerevealed.com/library/index.html
      (And you can also get Ken Ragge's books, The Real AA, and More Revealed, there.)

    • Resisting 12-Twelve Step Coercion: How to Fight Forced Participitation in AA, NA, or 12-Step Treatment     Stanton Peele and Charles Bufe with Archie Brodsky
      See Sharp Press, Tucson, AZ, 2000.
      ISBN: 1-884365-17-5
      More truth from the See Sharp Press — how to resist being coerced into the 12-Step cult.
      This book is now available for free download at: http://www.morerevealed.com/library/index.html

  4. And then a woman who used the pseudonym "Apple" published a web site called A.A. Deprogramming. The site went down, and then Ken Ragge mirrored it for a while, and now has brought it back up under its old name:
    http://www.aadeprogramming.org/aadep/

  5. Then Rebecca Fransway published a book about A.A. Horror Stories...

    • AA Horror Stories     Rebecca Fransway
      See Sharp Press, PO Box 1731, Tucson AZ 85702-1731, 2000.
      ISBN: 1-884365-24-8
      Dewey: 362.2918 T971 2000
      This book will curl your hair. One fair-minded 12-Stepper suggested that every new A.A. member should be issued copies of both the Big Book and this book when he or she walks in the door, to tell the newcomers about both the good and the bad things that could happen to them in "the rooms." One of the most disturbing repeated themes is women who were the victims of rape or thirteenth-stepping being told to just shut up and find their part in it and go make some coffee, and to not harbor any resentments against their attackers.
      This book is now available for free download at: http://www.morerevealed.com/library/index.html

  6. And then in 2001, I started criticizing A.A. with some essays and papers that got posted to Apple's A.A. Deprogramming web site.
    (Oh, and I adopted the pen name "Orange" so we could joke about mixing apples and oranges...)

    Later, those papers evolved into my own web site.

    I'm really a "Johnny-come-lately" in the game.

Oh, and then we shouldn't overlook the people who set up alternative recovery groups: Rational Recovery, Women For Sobriety, S.O.S. (Secular Organizations for Sobriety, or Save Our Selves), Lifering, SMART... Again, I'm not sure about the exact time-line on those things. I believe that W.F.S. was the first, and then R.R., and then SOS, and that Lifering was an offshoot of S.O.S. (I think.)

  • Rational Recovery is of course Jack Trimpey's baby, and the books are listed above.

  • Jean Kirkpatrick founded Women For Sobriety:
    WFS: WOMEN FOR SOBRIETY,
    http://www.womenforsobriety.org/
    WFS is the oldest — founded in 1975 — of the modern (non-12-Step) programs, and is dedicated to helping women overcome alcoholism and other addictions. WFS accepts the disease model and is an abstinence program. The "New Life" program helps women achieve sobriety and sustain ongoing recovery. For groups in your area call 1-800-333-1606.

  • SOS: Secular Organizations for Sobriety, a.k.a. "Save Our Selves".
    http://www.sossobriety.org/
    or:
    http://www.sossobriety.org
    SOS is an alternative recovery method for those alcoholics or drug addicts who are uncomfortable with the spiritual or superstitious content of widely available 12-Step programs. SOS takes a reasonable, secular approach to recovery and maintains that sobriety is a separate issue from religion or spirituality. SOS credits the individual for achieving and maintaining his or her own sobriety, without reliance on any "Higher Power." SOS respects recovery in any form regardless of the path by which it is achieved. It is not opposed to or in competition with any other recovery programs.

    http://www.sos-rochester.org/ — Rochester, NY, SOS on the web.

  • LifeRing Secular Recovery (LSR).
    http://www.unhooked.com/index.htm — LifeRing
    http://www.unhooked.com/lsr/faq.htm — FAQ.
    LSR is a non-religious self-help recovery organization for individuals who choose abstinence from alcohol and other addictive drugs, or who are in relationships where chemical dependency is a problem. The basic philosophy of LifeRing Secular Recovery is summarized in the Three "S" — Sobriety, Secularity, Self-Help.
    Note that LifeRing provides live, online meetings on the Internet.

  • SMART: Self Management And Recovery Training.
    http://www.smartrecovery.org/
    Rational, sane, common-sense recovery techniques. Based on Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy, the brainchild of Dr. Albert Ellis. Also see his book,

    When AA Doesn't Work for You, Rational Steps to Quitting Alcohol     Albert Ellis, Ph.D., and Emmett Velten, Ph.D.
    Barricade Books, Inc., New York, NY, 1992.
    ISBN: 0-942637-53-4
    Dewey: 362.2928 E47w
    This is a lot of good sensible advice. Dr. Ellis is the creator of Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT), which is the foundation of SMART (Self Management and Recovery Training). — And he's also the founder of SMART. If you are looking for some realistic, rational, non-superstitious, common-sense, help in quitting drinking, definitely read this book. It includes chapters on:

    • "But therapy doesn't work!"
    • Denial.
    • How to stop self-defeating BS (stinking thinking).
    • How to change your stinking thinking.
    • Integrating rational ideas into your self-help work.
    • Other cognitive or thinking techniques of RET.
    • How to get in touch with your feelings.
    • Relapse prevention.
    • and more...

    More on REBT: www.rebt.org
    info@rebt.org == Albert Ellis
    The SMART web site: www.smartrecovery.org

And then there are other authors who deserve honorable mention. Many of them are listed on the "Top 10" web page, and described in more detail there:

  • The Culture Of Recovery; Making Sense of the Self-Help Movement in Women's Lives     Elayne Rapping
    Beacon Press, Boston MA, 1996.
    ISBN: 0-8070-2716-2
    LC: RC533.R365 1995
    LCCN: 95-14095
    Dewey: 305.42—dc20 or 362.293 R221c
    Good stuff. As the title implies, this book's emphasis is on women's issues, and how a woman has experienced the self-help movement. Particularly read chapter four: "In the Rooms: Learning to Talk the Talk".

  • Many Roads, One Journey: Moving Beyond the 12 Steps     Charlotte Davis Kasl, Ph.D.
    Harper Perennial, A Division of HarperCollins Publishers Inc., New York, 1992.
    ISBN: 0-06-055263-8 and ISBN: 0-06-096518-5 (pbk.)
    LC: RC533 .K365 1992
    LCCN: 90-56435
    Dewey: 616.86'06—dc20 or 616.8606 K19m
    This book is excellent. It definitely ends up in the Top 10 List of books that you must read if you are thinking about quitting (or perhaps if a loved one is trying to quit, or needs to quit).
    She covers addiction and alcoholism from a lot of different viewpoints, including the need for improved nutrition and getting off of other addictions like nicotine, caffeine, or TV.
    She is about the only one who addresses the issue of the narcissism inherent in A.A., which it got from the champion narcissist, Bill Wilson. (Pages 153-154.) She is also the only one to talk about Candida Albicans, a potentially-devastating yeast infection, in connection with alcoholism. Something that A.A. all too often fails to consider is that people kill their pain with alcohol because they are sick and in pain, not because they are sinful. Ms. Kasl has the brains to realize this.
    She also covers recovery from the woman's viewpoint better than anybody else I've seen. This book is simply Must reading for women alcoholics and addicts.
    She also has a good take on the inherently-patriarchal attitudes of A.A., and the fallacies of codependency.
    See the description in the bibliography or the Top 10 web page for more.

  • How Alcoholics Anonymous Failed Me     Marianne Gilliam
    Eagle Brook, an Imprint of William Morrow and Company, Inc., New York, 1998.
    ISBN: 0-688-15587-1
    LC: HV5293.G55A3 1998
    LCCN: 97-37092
    Dewey: 362.29286'092--dc21 or 362.2928 G481h 1998
    In spite of its negative title, this is actually a very positive book. This is one of the best-looking 'alternatives to A.A.' kind of books that I've seen (from my biased viewpoint, of course). It definitely contains a very strong flavor of spirituality, but without the cult religion aspect. This is a good 'something' for those who try to take the middle road, for those who try to be spiritual but sensible, for those who want something other than either atheism or blind faith in cult religion.

  • Alcohol How to Give It Up and Be Glad You Did     Philip Tate, 1997.
    See Sharp Press, PO Box 1731, Tucson AZ 85702-1731
    ISBN: 1-884365-10-8
    Dewey: 362.2928 T217a 1997
    This is mostly about REBT (Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy).

  • A History of Addiction & Recovery in the United States     Michael Lemanski
    See Sharp Press, PO Box 1731, Tucson AZ 85702-1731, 2001.
    ISBN: 1-884365-26-4
    Dewey: 362.29180973 or 362.2918 L547h
    Also from See Sharp Press, another excellent critical analysis of the whole recovery industry, including A.A., treatment centers, and "codependency therapy".
    Quotes: Mental health in A.A.

  • Addiction, Change & Choice; The New View of Alcoholism     Vince Fox, M.Ed. CRREd.
    See Sharp Press, PO Box 1731, Tucson AZ 85702-1731, 1993.
    ISBN: 0-9613289-7-5
    Dewey: 362.29286i FOX
    And yet another great book from the See Sharp Press. Fox covers:
    1. Heavy Drinking: Its Historical Context
    2. Alcoholism: Definitions & Opinions
    3. Polarization: Us vs. Them
    4. The Objective: Personal Autonomy
    5. Alcoholics Anonymous: Essence & Functions
    6. Alcoholics Anonymous: Effectiveness
    7. The Forces & Directions of Change
    8. The Independent Self-Help Programs
    9. Rational Recovery Systems Network
    10. Traditional Recovery Management
    11. Nontraditional Recovery Management
    12. Noninstitutional Recovery
    13. ...and more...
    One of the things I like best is how Fox stresses just how damaging and dangerous it is for A.A. and N.A. to teach addicts that they are powerless over alcohol or their addiction, and have no choice in the matter. That is a ready-made rationalization for a drunkard to have another drink, and for a doper to shoot up again. And that is what the steppers do. Fox also does a good job of criticizing the arrogant "My way or the highway" attitude of self-righteous A.A. and N.A. sponsors.

  • Addiction is a Choice     Jeffrey A. Schaler.
    Open Court Publishing Company, 2000. phone: 1-800-815-2280
    ISBN: 0-8126-9403-1 hardcover, 0-8126-9404-1 paperback.
    Dewey: 362.29 S297a 2000
    Quite good. This book makes a good case for the standard ideas of addiction and the A.A. idea of "powerlessness over alcohol" being myths. Must reading for anyone wishing to be well-informed in the alcoholism or addiction fields.
    Also see Schaler's web site: http://www.schaler.net/fifth/cultbusting.html

  • Selling Serenity: Life Among the Recovery Stars     Andrew Meacham
    Upton Books, a division of Sirs Mandarin, Inc., Boca Raton, FL, 1999.
    ISBN: 0-89777-708-5
    LC: HV5279 .M43 1999
    LCCN: 97-44281
    Dewey: 362.292'0973--dc21 or 362.292 MEACHAM 1999
    This book is a blockbuster. It is must reading for anyone in the alcoholism or addictions treatment or rehabilitation field. It details a lot of the selling of the standard recovery myths, like selling the idea of codependency and turning its treatment into an industry, and "recovering" false memories, and "reparenting", and more.
    And one chapter title is priceless: The Metastasizing of Metaphor.

Oh, by the way, that fuzzy guy in the picture is me poking through the stacks at the library.

Good luck, and have a good day.

== Orange

*             orange@orange-papers.org        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**  "The drunken man's happiness is blind. Like everything
**  in the world it has a cause, the alcohol; but it has no motive."
**  JOSÉ ORTEGA Y GASSET, The Dehumanization of Art (1925).





Date: Fri, April 27, 2007 7:50 pm
From: Rusty
Subject: AA TRUTH FROM A RECOVERED ALCOHOLIC

Hey Orange I still enjoy reading the letters but that being said I need to tell you that the FIRST STEP says We WERE powerless. Not we ARE. The first paragraph of Chapter 2 There is a Solution it says "Nearly all have RECOVERED. They have SOLVED the drink problem." This before any mention of STEPS. On page 55 it tells us where we find this HIGHER POWER, the great reality is DEEP INSIDE EACH AND EVERYONE of us. Not a door knob or a totem pole or a palm tree, it puts the ball in the alcoholic's court. Then on page 142 TO THE EMPLOYERS the end of the first paragraph it says SOBER FOREVER — no mention of ONE DAY AT A TIME. My friend Leo came up to me on my 4th day of SOBRIETY and looked at me and said "You are done aren't you" and I said "yes it is OVER." Leo was dead at 38 but he was a drug addict and they are different. They share their joints, their drugs, their needles; ALCOHOLICS do not SHARE, if you don't have yours you are not getting any of mine. See AA works 100% as does Betty Ford CEnter if you are DONE. AA was not started to get you DONE. I love going to meetings to say things that make the new guy THINK FOR HIMSELF not AA GROUP THINK. I love to harpoon the old timers that are so in love with BILL and BOB. I do not get resentments. It is more fun GIVING them. You seem to be slow in responding to your mail, don't you know Alcoholics want it RIGHT NOW. Keep stirring the pot and I look forward to your book.

RUSTY, Albuquerque NM

Hello Rusty,

Well, starting at the top:

  1. Your interpretation of A.A. teachings about powerlessness is non-standard, to say the least. Most of the other A.A. apologists tell me that they are only powerless over alcohol after they have taken the first drink. But that is not what Bill Wilson wrote in the Big Book, and that is not the standard A.A. dogma. Bill said that alcoholics were powerless over alcohol before the first drink, and that there was nothing an alcoholic could do of his own power to prevent relapses:

    As soon as I regained my ability to think, I went carefully over that evening in Washington.   ...   I now remembered what my alcoholic friends had told me, how they had prophesied that if I had an alcoholic mind, the time and place would come — I would drink again. They had said that though I did raise a defense, it would one day give way before some trivial reason for having a drink. Well, just that did happen and more, for what I had learned of alcoholism did not occur to me at all. I knew from that moment that I had an alcoholic mind. I saw that will power and self-knowledge would not help in those strange mental blank spots. I had never been able to understand people who said that a problem had them hopelessly defeated. I knew then. It was a crushing blow.
    The Big Book, 3rd and 4th Editions, William G. Wilson, Chapter 3, More About Alcoholism, pages 41-42.

  2. I know that Bill Wilson wrote in the beginning of the Big Book that "more than 100 men", or "thousands of men" "have recovered", past tense. Wilson came to regret his words when so many of the "pioneers" relapsed and returned to a life of drinking, including half of the first-edition Big Book authors. So Wilson changed his story to:

    We are not cured of alcoholism. What we really have is a daily reprieve contingent on the maintenance of our spiritual condition. Every day is a day when we must carry the vision of God's will into all of our activities.
    The Big Book, 3rd Edition, William G. Wilson, Into Action, page 85.

  3. So it's also a bait-and-switch trick: First, you can be cured, alcoholics do recover, and then you don't get cured: you have to stay in A.A. forever, or else.

    And you stay powerless forever. A popular A.A. slogan declares:
    "I pray to God every day that I never get the idea that I can run my own life."

    Really now, when was the last time you saw an Alcoholics Anonymous graduation ceremony where someone was declared recovered and powerful over alcohol now?

  4. Because Bill Wilson wrote all of the Steps in the past tense, as "Here are the steps we took...", you cannot infer present or past tense of powerlessness from the statement,
    "1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol..."
    In the present tense, it could be either
    "I admit that I am powerless over alcohol."
    or
    "I admit that I was powerless over alcohol."

  5. Oh, and if you read Henry Parkhurst's words carefully, you will find that the phrase "sober forever" does not appear on page 142 of the Big Book. And there sure isn't any such promise there. Rather, there is this question:

    ...does he want to get well? You ask, because many alcoholics, being warped and drugged, do not want to quit. But does he? Will he take every necessary step, submit to anything to get well, to stop drinking forever?
    The Big Book, 3rd and 4th Editions, Henry Parkhurst, Chapter 10, To Employers, page 142.

    Henry Parkhurst did not say that the fellow in question would stay sober forever. He asked whether the guy would submit to anything and do anything — in other words, sign a blank check to Alcoholics Anonymous.

  6. It really is a shame that your friend Leo did not benefit from parrotting the A.A. philosophy. Why did A.A. fail to save his life? To argue that "drug addicts are different" does not explain the failure of the A.A. program to help Leo.

  7. Alcoholics share. Ever heard of drinking buddies? I cannot begin to count how many pitchers and six-packs and bottles I have shared with friends, and they with me. Just look under the bridge to find the winos passing a jug around.
    (Well, not in Albuquerque. I can't think of a single good drinking bridge in Albuquerque. But you don't need a bridge to stay out of the rain.)

  8. A.A. does not work, and neither does the Betty Ford Clinic that sells the 12-Step cult practices. If you think that A.A. works, why don't you tell us what the actual A.A. success rate is? (And it sure isn't 100%.)

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

    How well does Alcoholics Anonymous really work?

    Hint: the answers are here.

  9. The statement that you have to be "DONE" for A.A. to work means that A.A. does not work. Only if people are ready, eager, and willing to quit drinking and stay quit will they successfully quit. That has nothing to do with Alcoholics Anonymous. As you say, "AA was not started to get you DONE." And A.A. cannot and will not make alcoholics "DONE", and A.A. cannot make them quit drinking, not any more than A.A. saved the life of Leo.

  10. Congratulations on challenging the standard A.A. dogma in meetings.
    Now why don't you challenge it a little more, in your own mind, and realize that it is contradictory and wrong?

Have a good day.

== Orange

*             orange@orange-papers.org        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**  "an old stomach
**  reforms more whiskey drinkers
**  than a new resolve."
**  DON MARQUIS, "archy on this and that,"
**  Archy Does His Part, (1935).





Date: Fri, April 27, 2007 10:49 pm
From: "A. K."
Subject: Therapists

Hey AO,

Once again, you've been a major help in getting me off the stepper and what I like about you is that you're cheaper than a therapist! but none-the-less.... occasionally some one-on-one processing from time to time might be helpful with a counselor and I was wondering if you had a list of therapists that are an alternative to AA pushers?

Thanks, AK
PS — Love the photo — you look younger than your years! ;-)

Hi A.K.,

Thanks for the compliments. That brightens my day.

I don't have any list of therapists, but I know where to start looking. There is a good percentage of qualified counselors, psychologists, and psychiatrists among the people who act as facilitators of SMART meetings. As you can guess, they are not in any way AA pushers — they teach Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (RBT).

Technically, SMART meetings are conducted by lay people, non-professionals, but not all of them are non-professional. Just up the street from me is a building where a Psychiatric Services branch office of a university conducts SMART meetings, and all of the meetings are facilitated by the students, or their teachers, or both.

I would go to the SMART web site, and start making connections:

SMART: Self Management And Recovery Training.
http://www.smartrecovery.org/

The web site will tell you about local meetings, and you can also log into an online meeting and start asking around.

Now you don't have to get a counselor who is a teacher or proponent of SMART, but I know that somebody there will know somebody who is into more sane methods than Alcoholics Anonymous.

And for that matter, you could also check out WFS, SOS, and LifeRing, and ask there:

Have a good day, and congratulations on your progress.

== Orange

*             orange@orange-papers.org        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**  "Long quaffing maketh a short life."
**  JOHN LYLY, Euphues: The Anatomy of Wit (1579)





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Last updated 27 April 2014.
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