Directory Approaches Anti-12 Step The Orange Papers

The Orange Papers

Certainly one of the most extensive criticisms of the 12 step approach and most specifically of A.A.
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byGadgetqueen, January 13, 2011
People don't need god or false or spiritual/religious program to get clean/sober and get on with their lives.
12 step models keep people sick.
Hokus-Pokus, oneway, one size fits all programs kill struggling addicts.
If I had a real disease and a doctor prescribed a 75 year old treatment that has a 5% success rate, I would run the other way!
Open your mind to newer, progressive behavior treatment programs that utilize CBT type training.
Get a life, not a religion.
Resist getting "churched"!
The Orange Papers "Twelve-Step Snake Oil" synopsis:

Extensive, certainly.

Reactionary, absolutely.

Demonstrating a true understanding of the 12 Steps, lacking.

Providing a workable alternative methodology for overcoming dysfunction and addiction, nowhere to be found.

"Twelve-Step Snake Oil" author A. Orange condemns 12 Step programs and their philosophies. Certainly no system is perfect and The 12 Steps has it's flaws. What becomes clear in A. Orange's diatribe is a lack of understanding of the subject. Recovery axioms and principals are taken at face value and refuted without investigating deeper meanings or how and why they are applied.


A. Orange lambasts Janet Geringer Woititz, Ed.D., and her book, "Adult Children of Alcoholics". He states, "Similarly, Woititz believes that she can describe people's personalities on the basis of only one single fact — that they are children of alcoholics." Orange refers to the "Laundry List" of characteristics that just about any group of ACOAs will tell you they identify with.

"Personalities" are not described as much as common traits. And yes, there are common traits amongst those that have suffered abuse and trauma. Just as incest survivors have common traits, those with eating disorders have common traits, so do ACOAs. Is that really so outlandish a concept?

Orange continues, "Item 11 (Adult children of alcoholics are super responsible or super irresponsible.) is another double-bind — damned if you do, and damned if you don't. You are a stereotypical ACOA no matter whether you are responsible or irresponsible — and whether you are guilty of "super" or extreme behavior is really just somebody's arbitrary value judgement."

Wrong again. It is not "somebody's" value judgment but each individual's judgement about whether or not it applies to them. Woititz is describing the dichotomy of "black/white" thinking. Of being out of balance and polarizing to one extreme or the other. This rigid, inflexible "all or nothing" thinking characterizes and is a component of dysfunctional thought patterns. Just ask an ACOA or anyone who has closely studied dysfunctional behavior if this is true.

More from A. Orange: "Adults who were terrorized and abused during their childhood may well be suffering from PTSD — Post Traumatic Stress Disorder — but that is a very different thing than the condition that Janet Woititz is describing."

So suffering from PTSD is accepted but not the other characteristics on the list. Without explanation as to why, Orange accepts one that condition is a possibility but not others. This is arbitrary and lacks intellectual merit.

Certainly, what Orange lacks in depth and understanding he makes up with in sheer volume of material. Unfortunately, without a more complete explanation of why he believes these tenants of recovery are flawed, it is hard to give much credence to his argument.


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