Is AA a cult?

Discussion in 'Random Thoughts' started by laugh2, May 17, 2004.

  1. laugh2

    laugh2 Member

    "I knew from the start there was something creepy about those people." "They aren't of this world; they're way out there." "I kind of got a shiver during one meeting when they were putting one guy down for arguing against the powerless concept." "When they said my family also was diseased, I knew something was wrong." "When they started this thing about anything being my Higher Power, it felt wrong, like it was going against something very important inside of me." "After I stopped going to meetings, no one I knew from the groups would have anything to do with me, even though I wasn't drinking." "My brother quit drinking by going to AA, but he's become so weird. I hardly know him any more, and almost miss the way he was when he was drinking. At least he was sincere, and could talk about something besides himself." "Our son went to a treatment specialist for drug addiction, and now he says we are satanic child molesters." "I've been telling my husband that the meetings aren't helping, that he now calls his binges relapses and feels less guilty afterward. He admits he is drinking more and more often, but says relapse is a normal part of recovery. When he goes to meetings after a relapse, though, he feels ashamed and depressed." "A year after I quit drinking, my wife went to Al-Anon with a friend. Now she won't communicate with me unless I go to AA." "The counselors at the treatment center were poorly-educated and acted like robots reciting every word." "I heard one man say, 'I pray to God every day that I never get the idea that I can run my own life.' When I heard this, I felt sick inside because I felt unable to leave the group."

    These comments, and the sometimes lengthy stories they tell us, are convincing anecdotal evidence that Alcoholics Anonymous is a cult. AA exudes cultism. It looks like a cult, acts like a cult, and sounds like a cult. It is a cult that has risen meteorically from its origins as a splinter from yet another radical cult, the Oxford Group. They found dark niches in society -- our jails, hospitals, and dead-end missions -- to pronounce the drunk diseased and beyond the expectation to quit drinking or using. They invented the malleable Higher Power, the alcoholics' deity-of-convenience, to sanction them and guide them along the cult's thin ledge of tentative sobriety, and they are directed to constantly seek new members to justify their own cult affiliation.
    Jack Trempey
  2. crummyrummy

    crummyrummy Brew Your Own Beer Lifetime Supporter

    yes, its a coffe drinker cult, they reel ya in offering ya serenity the gets ya all hopped up and cafiene so you'll wax poetically about yer past!!!!!!
  3. BigBong

    BigBong Member

    I didnt read that.. But my got really fucking lame when she started getting brainwash at AA.. =P
  4. Pressed_Rat

    Pressed_Rat Do you even lift, bruh?

    I have pondered the exact same thing many times. Sometimes I wonder if the shit they fill your head with at AA is worse than the effects of chronic alcohol use. Whereas one is more of a poison to the body, the other is more of a poison to the mind. Or so it seems.

    Just look at some of the people who have been through AA. Listen to some of their rhetoric. I noticed a lot of former boozers who have been through AA and came out with an almost holier-than-thou attitude, which has often made me wonder.

    I went to an AA meeting once because it was required by one of my college classes. There was definitely a weird vibe going on which I couldn't quite put my finger on.

    Nice thread. Very thought-prevoking.
  5. i didnt read that but ill go back n do it then.

    the title just made me crack up.

    as most on here know, i have an alcohol prob., and after detox last oct., i did the whole AA thing for a month.

    omg, those people.

    mostly..... it's old men that spend the first 40 yrs. of their lives drinking and the next 40 yrs. talking about it.

    im sure it's helped many people. actualy i know it has.

    but it was DEPRESSING....always made me wanna go drink or do drugs.

    i dunno.....

  6. olhippie54

    olhippie54 Touch Of Grey Lifetime Supporter

    Hmmm. Doesn't sound much like any experience with AA I've had.

    AA is a spiritual program, but not a religous one.

    We do interfere with anyones religion nor do we want to.

    As with any group, there are faults and mistakes made, but it is well documented that the 12 Steps originated by AA and any treatment center that borrows these steps has the highest percentage of recovery over those that don't.

    "There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which is proof against all arguements and which cannot fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance--that principle is contempt prior to investigation."

    -Herbert Spencer.
  7. well, olhippie, i know it works for some people but i just dont know if it could work for me. hearing people talk about those things all the time really depressed me.

    but mad props to ya and others that have benefitted from it.
  8. laugh2

    laugh2 Member

    Yawn.....very informative Old hippie.
  9. olhippie54

    olhippie54 Touch Of Grey Lifetime Supporter

    The program isn't the AA program. The 12 Steps are the AA program. The meetings are for fellowship and to know we're not alone in this.

    A good meeting should be as much about the positives of breaking the drinking cycle.
  10. yah i know.

    but the meetings i went too, people just told sad stories all the time.

    i was going thru so much that in a weird way it just added to my depression.
  11. laugh2

    laugh2 Member

    AA Lies

    Charles Bufe

    There are probably more myths and misconceptions about Alcoholics Anonymous, America’s most sacrosanct institution, than there are about any other mass organization in our country. Neglecting how this came to be,[1] the primary misconceptions regarding AA are that:

    1. AA is the most effective (or the only) way to deal with an alcohol problem.
    2. AA existed from the start as an independent organization.
    3. AA’s co-founder, Bill Wilson, independently devised AA’s “program,” its 12 steps.
    4. AA is “spiritual, not religious.”
    5. AA is a completely voluntary organization-AA works by “attraction, not promotion.”
    6. AA has nothing to do with “outside enterprises” or “related facilities.”
    7. AA takes no position on matters of “public controversy.”

    AA’s Effectiveness

    AA’s supporters commonly trumpet AA as the best, if not the only, way to deal with alcohol problems. To back their claims, they cite anecdotal evidence and uncontrolled studies; but they ignore the best scientific evidence-the only available controlled studies of AA’s effectiveness, as well as the results of AA’s own triennial surveys of its membership.

    There have been only two controlled studies (with no-treatment comparison groups) of AA’s effectiveness. Both of these studies indicated that AA attendance is no better than no treatment at all.

    The first of these studies was conducted in San Diego in 1964 and 1965, and its subjects were 301 “chronic drunk offenders.”[2] These individuals were assigned as a condition of probation to attend AA, to treatment at a clinic (type of treatment not specified), or to a no-treatment control group. All of the subjects were followed for at least a year after conviction, and the primary outcome measure was the number of rearrests during the year following conviction. The results were that 69 percent of the group assigned to AA was rearrested within a year; 68 percent of the clinic-treatment group was rearrested; but only 56 percent of the no-treatment control group was rearrested. Based on these results, the authors concluded: “No statistically significant differences between the three groups were discovered in recidivism rate, in number of subsequent rearrests, or in time elapsed prior to rearrest.”[3]

    The second controlled study of AA’s effectiveness was carried out in Kentucky in the mid- 1970s, and its subjects were 260 clients “representative of the ‘revolving door’ alcoholic court cases in our cities.”[4] These subjects were divided into five groups: one was assigned to AA; a second was assigned to nonprofessionally-led Rational Behavior Therapy; a third was assigned to professionally-led Rational Behavior Therapy; a fourth was assigned to professionally-led traditional insight (Freudian) therapy; and the fifth group was the no-treatment control group. The individuals in these groups were given an outcome assessment following completion of treatment, and were then reinterviewed 3, 6, 9, and 12 months later.

    The results of this study were revealing: AA had by far the highest dropout rate of any of the treatment groups-68 percent. In contrast, the lay RBT group had a 40 percent dropout rate; the professionally-led RBT group had a 42 percent dropout rate; and the professionally-led insight group had a 46 percent dropout rate.

    In terms of drinking behavior, 100 percent of the lay RBT group reported decreased drinking at the outcome assessment; 92 percent of the insight group reported decreased drinking; 80 percent of the professionally-led RBT group reported decreased drinking; and 67 percent of the AA attendees reported decreased drinking, whereas only 50 percent of the no-treatment control group reported decreased drinking.

    But in regard to bingeing behavior, the group assigned to AA did far worse than any of the other groups, including the no-treatment control group. The study’s authors reported: “The mean number of binges was significantly greater (p = .004) [5] for the AA group (2.37 in the past 3 months) in contrast to both the control (0.56) and lay-RBT group (0.26). In this analysis, AA was [over 4] times [more] likely to binge than the control [group] and nine times more likely than the lay-RBT [group]. The AA average was 2.4 binges in the last 3 months since outcome.”[6]

    It seems likely that the reason for this dismal outcome for the AA group was a direct result of AA’s “one drink, one drunk” dogma, which is drummed into the heads of members at virtually every AA meeting. It seems very likely that this belief all too often becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy, as it apparently did with the AA attendees in this study.

    1. See Alcoholics Anonymous: Cult or cure? (second edition), Chapter 8 (“AA’s Influence on Society”), pp 105-124. Tucson, AZ: See Sharp Press, 1998.
    2. Ditman, KS, GC Crawford, WE Forgy, H Moskowitz, & C MacAndrew. (1967). A controlled experiment on the use of court probation for drunk arrests. American Journal of Psychiatry, 124(2), pp 64-67.
    3. Ibid., p 64.
    4. Brandsma, JM, MC Maultsby, & RJ Welsh. (1980). Outpatient treatment of alcoholism: A review and comparative study. Baltimore: University Park Press.
    5. Meaning that the possibility of this outcome being due to random chance was only 1 in 250.
    6. Op cit., Brandsma et al., p 105.

    this article copyright 2001 Charles Bufe
    You Are Being Lied To copyright 2001
    The Disinformation Company, Ltd.
  12. laugh2

    laugh2 Member

    It isn't religious, it's spiritual.

    A.A. is not an irrational cult religion, it's only "a spiritual fellowship".

    Never mind the fact that, after indoctrinating many beginners, Bill Wilson wrote,

    "From great numbers of such experiences, we could predict that the doubter ... would presently love God and call Him by name."
    [size=-1](Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, William G. Wilson, page 109.)[/size] ​
    Never mind all of the state Supreme Court Justices and Federal District Court Judges who have ruled that Alcoholics Anonymous is a religion, or engages in religious activities; we'll ignore them.
  13. one reason that even though i KNOW i need to stop drinking safely... is that i KNOW if i go to detox and/or rehab they will try to convert me to AA.

    they did it so much last time.
  14. laugh2

    laugh2 Member

    1. The A.A. program is perfect. The only reason that it doesn't work for 99% of the people who try it is because they are all disgusting sinners who won't give up their sinful ways and surrender to God. They are all unfortunate people who are constitutionally incapable of being honest with themselves. They are naturally incapable of grasping and developing a manner of living which demands rigorous honesty. [size=-1](The Big Book, 3rd Edition, William Wilson, Page 58.)[/size]

    2. A.A. and the Twelve Steps are the only way to survive alcoholism. Nobody can successfully quit an alcohol or drug habit without a "support group" and attending hundreds of meetings for many years, preferably for the rest of his or her life. And anyone who successfully quits drinking alcohol on his own, without going to A.A. meetings and doing the Twelve Steps, will suffer from a mysterious disease which will turn him into a "dry drunk."
  15. olhippie54

    olhippie54 Touch Of Grey Lifetime Supporter

    I've been hearing this bullshit for years and always from people on the sidelines that have no real knowledge of AA.

    Ignorance can be a dangerous thing.
  16. seamonster66

    seamonster66 discount dracula

    If you have a problem and joining a group helps solve it, then I guess it's irrelevant whether or not you call it a cult.
  17. olhippie54

    olhippie54 Touch Of Grey Lifetime Supporter

    The AA Big Book says that we do not have a monopoly on recovry. Just a way that worked for us.

    Any good AA'er doesn't care how an alcoholic that wants to recover does it. Whether he chooses AA or some other means as long as he recovers.
  18. laugh2

    laugh2 Member

  19. laugh2

    laugh2 Member

    And yes, ignorance is a very dangerous thing.
  20. olhippie54

    olhippie54 Touch Of Grey Lifetime Supporter

    I'm hardly angry. As I've said, I've heard it all before.

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