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Outright Mental Defective
Sunday, May 06, 2007
  Alcoholics Anonymous is a Dangerous Cult
A few days ago, Vicarious Rising linked to a Newsweek article about a rouge Washington D.C. based group of Alcoholics Anonymous. It seems the group has abandoned many of the teaching of A.A. in favor of their own potentially harmful ideas. The bad publicity has of course energized many of the A.A. is a dangerous cult folks, God bless them.

Today all I know, or for that matter care about is that Alcoholics Anonymous works for me. I resigned from the debating society long ago.
Yes, I have been reading about this group. It's amazing that any of those folks can consider themselves in recovery.
Well, I gotta say, I think that's the right attitude to take. And, honestly, if you read that article and came away thinking all of AA is like that, then you wouldn't respond to a reasonable debate in the first place...
I hear ya sista.
Here here Trudge. There are tooo many of us that it really works for to even worry about the other non-sense.

Have a wonderful 24,
So I guess none of you care one bit about the people who have been harmed by the predators in the Midtown Groups, or the countless unorganized predators in other AA groups around the world? Burying heads in the sand won't fix the problems in AA, it just perpetuates them. Perhaps you should rejoin the debating society and challenge your trusted servants to take some definitive action. Small wonder that AA membership has bee steadily declining in the U.S.
The same could be said for many organized groups including religion. It isn't unique to AA. However, one of the things that I've heard is to "take what you need and leave the rest". That's a credo that makes AA and Al-Anon all right with me.
Amazing Read..
I know that the meetings where I go to go through their moments. That is what happens when you have so many people bringing in their styles and opinions of how things should be done.

It is a place for us to share our experience, strenght, and hope. Not what people should do or what we THINK.

This practice of matching up new people to sponsors is being done at a newcomer's meeting where I go and I have had a horrible feeling about it.
Amen.....what else is there to say?
I have that retirement gold watch from the debating society.
I hate that AA gets a bad name from these sorts. It's the kind of thing that keeps people from seeking help from AA. We can resign from the debating society, but that doesn't do a lot of good for those who haven't yet walked through AA's doors.

Just my humble opinion. Not that I have any brilliant ideas on what to do about it. But I am concerned.
Yep, I agree. I don't want to debate or even have a long discussion. I saw my butt saved and many others. That's all the proof necessary.
This was the topic at a meeting I attended tonight. I came into a group that was probably close to as screwed up as that group, but I wanted to stay sober and I did. People will find healthier ways eventually. I hope we don't get too side tracked by this crap.
I appreciated the article. The writer was careful to show how these groups are in contrast to customary A.A.

As for sponsors, I think it's a good idea to shop and choose one, rather than let yourself be chosen as a sponsee.

You can't be kicked out of A.A. There are no rules about taking psychiatric meds. Heck, there are no rules against drinking, for that matter. You only need to have an honest desire to stop: the one requirement for membership.
thanks for posting the article so I could see it
amen trudge
I wonder how these people will be able to carry on now that their style of running a meeting has been illuminated.....
I am just being exposed to this, the article n such. It reminds me of Chris R, one of my fav most pasionate speakers of AA.

In anything someone can see failure . . . no matter what I am grateful for the 2 men that came together to form this entity. How it saved my life @ one point and how it is saving it NOW,
Thanks Trudge... a while back I got some comments that claimed that AA was a cult and I was entering a pact with the devil and so on... it's a shame to see that it extends beyond the crazy web.
What an interesting article, I had heard about it. Thanks for the link
I COMPLETELY agree with you!
I am so shocked at all of the blogs I'm reading. I have been sober for 18 yrs and I am not the least bit worried about AA or it's traditions. Wake up Washington AA! Washington AA has had a bad reputation for years because of this group call Midtown. You may have over 2000 meetings in your area but if 20 to 25 of them are Midtown that is enough to give you a bad name. Forget about your reputation and think of all of those in the Washington community that have been affected by this cult ie families, children, hospitals and institutions and churches. Carry the right message in "ALL" of your affairs. This is not some bickering between groups, These are real crimes being committed. Since when was AA a place where criminals can hide out. As citizens of the US it is your duty to report such crimes. The Washington AA secret of 20 yrs has finally caught up to guys. Apparently many in AA have known about this for years and done nothing. I commend the group that pulled together and is finally taking action.
aa is the only way...aa is the only way...aa is the only way...naw youre right you people arent brainwashed. Rolls eyes!

"Since when was AA a place where criminals can hide out."
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What a great blog -- thanks for your work on this. I ran across it when Googling "bill w. resigned from debating society debating aa" as I searched for fodder for another recovery blog (LetItHappen.org), one I hope you'll add to your comprehensive blogroll of recovery-based websites. Trudge on!
I read the article and I'm sorry, that is A.A. in a nutshell, everywhere, not just in D.C. A.A. ruined my relationship with my boyfriend (almost 20 years in A.A.) because I did not want to join the A.A. culture/cult. I wouldn't attend meetings (I am not an alcoholic!), nor would I live by the 12 steps. ALL his friends and social activities were directly related to A.A. If we got into a fight he would "bring it to a meeting" or call his sponsor rather than discuss the problem with me. Whatever his sponsor decided was law, even if I disagreed with it or it wasn't best for our relationship. His sponsor was God. After we broke up the first girl he dated he took to a meeting!!! I watched A.A. systematically destroy his relationship with his sons (detach with love, they told him when he never attached with love!) I hope he finds an alcoholic and they can blissfully enjoy their cult together.
You say you resigned from the debating society long ago (good bye to the "stinking thining"). No doubt, you turned your mind, body, and soul over to your higher power, which might as well be the easter bunny. You just need something to believe in.

It's all in god's hands. What if god's in your mind; destiny, an illusion. What if one day, you decide that your god hates you and you're going to die.

You "let go and let god" and before you know it your aspirations are in tatters, your entire existence devoted to spreading the good word. AA is a cult on it's way to being a religion (not that the supreme court didn't already rule that in 1997). The con artist leader is dead and a religion is born.

Never forget AA's disasterous effectiveness... to the point where it is not only the least effective program out there, but statistically tends to do worse than nothign at all.


AA is "effective" because it's proponents (who statistically would probably be sober anyway) are required by the twelve steps to go out and speak the good word. Even those who fail, blame it on not following the program. Why? Becuase the only people they know are sober, and in AA, not becuase aa is only sober bunch but because they are by far the loudest and speak with a religious fervor, preaching salvation via the one true way of AA (the alternative, being inevatible death).

In that respect AA propogates like a virus, and like a virus, it mutates. AA is the genetic material for a source of other cults (ex: institutional variants like Synanon, Straight Inc, and hundreds more private facilities). Admittedly, many of these cults distorted the original, replacing voluntary (but pressured) submission of control with less subtle forms of coercion.

That being said, no coercion is more effective than love bombing on those who are at the end of their rope. The promise of salvation, the only way to recovery etc... Hollow dogma and indoctrination designed to create a dependency on the group, a substution rather than cure.

And for your information I am not a drunk. I don't drink, I never liked it. My hostility stems from being a victim of one of AA's institutional variants. Was I a drug addict? No. I was "treated" on behalf of my parents for bisexuality and what they found to be abberant religious beliefs.

We were all there for a reason, we were told, and needed to be there. They would bus us to AA / NA meetings regardless of what your issue. We were not allowed to share, but were encouraged to listen since it was "where we were heading". I listened to the same horror stories you listen to day in and day out and i was scared. We were told to substitute our "issue" for the word "alcohol". "issues" included ADHD, depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, etc... The idea of a "disease" was drilled into my head to the point where after two months I not only confessed, but believed to my core that I was an alcoholic and that I was going to die without the program.

This coming from a person who only got drunk once in his life before that point, an event that didn't even raise an eyebrow with my parents.

I know how cults work (because I was in one) and I see the same exact pattern in AA as a whole. It is a decentralized cult with a deceased leader and a benevolent motive, but it is still a cult, and a dangerous one at that (in that it is ineffective, and teaches a harmful doctrine of powerlessness).
I am still traumatized from my experience in AA. I also have seen it work for other people, though to me, it seems like many were brainwashed.

I was dating someone- and the day after he met with his sponsor, he acted differently. "My sponsor told me to xyz." and his personality vanished. It would come back- the guy I feel for, and then it would go away.

That happened to me. I was one of those people that dove in, became totally involved, was thought by others to have a "good program" and to be very "sober." I submitted my will constantly and was willing to listen to anything I was told.

Being a codependant, that messed with my head. I left 6 months ago, and I still struggle to think for myself because the voices AA pop into my head, and often they are WRONG for me.

I have witnessed cult activity before- started to be apart of a religious cult and then realize that it was the creepy kind of cult. This was no different. And then those secret factions that are even crazier--- mother of god. ONce I went to a secret meeting in a secret room that looks like a store from the outside. I felt uncomfortable and tried to leave, and people, PEOPLE I KNEW, were telling me I absolutely could not leave. The "leader" was coming soon. They held the door shut. I swear to god, after that- I was scared to death.

And then there is that major group named after a state (will not say which one), that uses a specific system and has a sponsorship lineage. So dangerous. That group had an extreme mentality that every negative thing we think is disease. Because apparently "normal" people don't wake up and think they are fat sometimes...
I had an AA group steal two years of my life. I started in Alanon and found that the Alanon group was a fishing pool for the AA group. The people in Alanon, who were really alcoholics, told me I was a "dry drunk" because I did not drink and I needed to work a program. So, I attended AA meetings, eventhough I have never had a problem with alcohol. After about a month of going to AA, I wrongly believed that I was an alcoholic. The other members of AA seemed to have all kinds of problems and they felt free to ask me for help because I was a member. These people were very manipulative. Everyone had their hand out and needed cash for some kind of emergency. It took two years for me to realize that half the people in the meetings were criminals and sexual predators looking for someone to take advantage of. The other half were weak-minded people like myself who were devoting time and resources to something very sick. I am embarrased that I allowed these people to take advantage of me. I was going through a difficult time in my life. But, I hope that if I tell the truth other people will not have to endure the same experiences that I have. These people are looking for individuals who are vulnerable. I am especially concerned that innocient young women may be unaware that the meetings are feeding grounds for sexual preadators and that the behavior of these men is condoned by the group through their silence. I believed that since my group met at my church I was in a safe enviornment. A church may allow the use of a room, but does not have any control over the kind of people who attend the meetings. For anyone who is truly an alcoholic, there are other options.
AA is a horrible cult. I quit without their "help". It is insane to think that they are to only way to quit. By insisting that tiers is the only way, and telling peole that if they do not use tthe AA program they are doomed to failure AA does much more harm than good.
Stepper cults in general and a and a in particular extract a huge price for any "recovery". From the Clancy brainwashed in LA on down the line to the smaller "fear huddles" the "newcomer" is exposed (pun intended), to a truely frightening and dangerous cross-section of social lepers, deviants and criminal types. Wolves in sheeps clothing who prey on the innocent who seek refuge in their inner-circle controlled mental torture chamber. All in the name of the steeper god.
Has any respected organization gathered statistics on the number of suicides that occur because of the "You can run but you can't hide" and powerlessness" indoctrination that these AA bums confuse their victims with? By their own admission they have a success rate of three or four percent. Only the brainwashed could accept a success rate that low - and stay! Ban them from your church basement and save a life. I will never forget that gloating gleam in the "leaders" eyes as he announces that "He or she could not get this simple program and "offed" themselves."
AA spiritually rapped me through brainwashing techniques that are common in all cults.
It's funny, actually re-joining the debating society is what actually helped save my mind from decades of coercieve, religious, cultic nonsense that I would have got in the facistic AA.

Horaar for the debating society!
Amen to that - when I left AA I rediscovered that ITS OK TO THINK for myself !
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