Alcoholics Anonymous is bullshit

In fact, it’s a cult. And I apply the same criticism of all the Ala-Non family groups. I know this after almost a decade of direct experience and much more time of indirect experience. But don’t take my word for it…

The 12 Steps

1. No one is powerless over a substance. People quit substance abuse all the time.

2. This is at least vague and at most a baseless assertion.

3. Turning one’s will and life over to an unverifiable entity is ridiculous. The phrase “as we understood Him” is only there to cop out of the obvious religious implication.

5. One can’t admit anything to an unverifiable entity. One admitting one’s wrongs to another person is ultimately unnecessary.

6. There’s no point in devoting an entire step to the notion of being ready. Especially to an unverifiable entity.

7. One can’t humbly ask an unverifiable entity to remove anything from one.

8. / 9. These really should be the same step.

11. This is so fucking ridiculous that I’m not sure where to start. I’ll go with “conscious contact with God.” I don’t even know what the fuck that’s supposed to mean. I’m sure they don’t mean a literal DSL line connection with an unverifiable entity. But then, what do they mean? Do they mean that through prayer and meditation one hears voices in one’s head that tells one not to drink? They say improve conscious contact. Does this mean that said conscious contact is faulty in the beginning, but then prayer and meditation improve it? Is this contact supposed to be maintained throughout the conscious, waking hours? What the fuck are the specific mechanics of prayer and meditation? How the fuck did the authors know any of this would work? Praying only for the “knowledge of His will and the power to carry that out.” How is this any different from a missionary or a jihadist?? Tons of insane people believe firmly that they know, not think, but know what God wants.

12. What the fuck is a spiritual fucking awakening??!! I’ll tell you! It’s fucking meaningless!! Carry this message to alcoholics?? It’s a fucking mission!

I won’t get into the 12 traditions except to say that 1 of them is about giving the program money. This leads directly to my 1st point.

It’s a cult.

Let’s do the run down of cult features.

1. AA has charismatic leader/savior figures in Bill Wilson and Dr. Bob.

2. AA uses its own jargon. “I’m friends with Bill.”

3. AA claims that you are worse without it.

4. AA’s structure is a system in perpetuum. You can never be “cured.” It is a system that you not only can, but are encouraged to take part in for the rest of your life.

5. AA encourages looking down on outsiders. This is not in any of the literature, but it is an unspoken pressure.

6. AA actively solicits funds from its members solely to keep the organization going.

7. AA has a “spiritual” component which cannot be defined nor proven, but which is a central doctrine and considered effectively infallible.

There are some ethical concepts in AA such as taking responsibility for your actions. The thing is, though, like with any religion, any benefit that can be derived from AA can be found in other facets of society without AA. Basically, it is unnecessary.

My 2 big problems with this cult then are 1 that it is afforded unmerited respect and 2 it takes part in active church/state separation violations in that it is often the go-to choice for courts to send DUI perpetrators and related drunk offenders as a means of dealing with their problem.

181 Responses to “Alcoholics Anonymous is bullshit”

    • Peter crupi Says:

      I applaud your insight. We need to find a way( with todays internet exposure) , to , not simply complain, but form an informative website which provides, people, who are, being brainwashed, and, UNCONSTITUTIONALLY forced to attend A.A. with factual information about this (religion), being forced, upon a lot of Americans

      • That’s not a bad idea. Something like AAFacts.com? If I cared more about the issue and had more time, I’d probably just do that. What’d probably be more effective, however, would be an alcoholic getting the ACLU to help sue the state for compelling him to go to AA against his will and thus violating the First Amendment.

        • Deborah McGrath Says:

          Hi Anton,
          I was forced into an involuntary commitment 72 hr. hold
          because I was drunk and based on the fucked up lies of my sick
          dangerous mother. The contact info I offered for 3 shrinks
          with whom I’d been in talk therapy all of whom would have said I
          have no history that would qualify me for hospitalization
          was ignored I really hate my mother she is a perp of MPB.
          The facility is an AA front group. I contacted one lawyer who
          was appalled at the account of events his clerk or whatever
          told him and called me, when I said I was drunk he immediatly
          said oh (nevermind) well maybe you don’t remember what
          happened (NJ state law explicitly prohibits involuntary
          commitment on the grounds of alcohol or drugs I was in the
          privacy of my home and this lawyer represented someone
          in an IC case who’d assaulted his female neighbor twice.)
          This just one example of the puritanical lies of 12 steps
          infecting the law to the point of justifying ignoring it. The words
          of the social worker upon telling me I was being held were
          “We feel you need something more right now than just
          talking to someone a couple of times a week it’ll just be a
          couple of days try to take advantage of the programs services
          etc. (this is the bitch who made the decision to have me
          put in an ambulence escorted by the police and strapped
          down I asked the ambulence worker if I seemed agitated or
          irrational to which he camly replied no.) It was only 12 step meetings but beyond that someone must be a danger to themselves or others you have no right to “decide what someone needs” that is false imprisonment (the federal government considers IC de facto imprisonment) and a very serious
          violation of my civil rights. I called the ACLU. They are I
          presume very underfunded there is only an awnsering machine
          and it was immposible to get through to them. 12 steps are
          not real medical or mental health care and in fact are damaging
          and dangerous. Once again (I suggest anyone interested
          scroll down for detailed info on the real history and stats of this
          evil scam) the percentage of those who stop drinking (which
          isn’t an accurate measure of psychological health and the
          people who hang around this fucked up made up abusive
          bullshit are almost always very fucked up) is 5% of 5% 70%
          of those exposed leave pretty quickly 95% are gone within
          a year. This is a very serious and important public health,
          medical, economic, legal, philosophical and moral issue.
          Take Care,
          Deborah
          PS:I prefer the term secular to Atheist to me that’s more the
          point than subjective beliefs which people are free to hold.

      • Deborah McGrath Says:

        Sorry Anton when it rains it pours and I don’t know the meaning
        of STFU(I think it stands for Stanley’s Tall Funny Uncle I’m
        not sure who Stanley is ) this is from a long peice in the Orange Papers and why this is about a lot more than separation of church
        and state which is also an extremely important principle.
        I am not a conspiracy theorist, and I don’t like to find secret conspiracies everywhere, but this is one. It has taken control of our nation’s drug and alcohol treatment facilities and institutions, and is using part of the billions of dollars that our government and the health insurance industry spends on drug and alcohol rehabilitation each year to further its own secret agenda, which includes coercing the patients into becoming members of the A.A. and N.A. 12-Step religion.
        A.A. members can easily hide their A.A. membership, because it’s all confidential and anonymous, by definition. Hidden members have worked themselves into positions of power where they control the future of our nation’s drug and alcohol treatment programs. A.A. uses its entrenched position to prevent any other treatment modalities from encroaching on what it considers to be its territory, and its money. A cult religion with an ineffective treatment program has no business running our nation’s drug and alcohol treatment programs and lying about what it is doing.

        Personally, I could hardly care less what a bunch of crazy cultists want to believe. It’s their lives, and they can do pretty much anything they want to with them. I get leafletted and hit on by the Hari Krishnas and the Scientologists often, and it doesn’t matter. I don’t care if a bunch of feeble-minded alcoholic burn-outs want to cluster together in church basements and convince each other that they are God’s special children, and The Chosen People. It doesn’t matter.

        But it does matter when a cult uses City, State and Federal tax money, as well as State, Federal, and private health insurance money, to promote its own religion while pretending to provide medical treatment for a deadly disease. That is unacceptable and unjustifiable (and felony fraud, too).

        It does matter when a cult uses parole officers, judges, and therapists to force more people to join the cult. That is unacceptable.

        It matters when people who are sick, desperate, confused, and going through a real crisis, are deceived and lied to and fed a crackpot cult religion as the universal cure for all drug and alcohol problems, by people who are supposed to be therapists, but who are really just proselytizing religious nut-cases. That is not acceptable.

        To force the insane, bizarre, and superstitious practices of a cult religion on people who are supposed to be receiving medical treatment for a deadly disease is a crime so monstrous, so evil, and so sick, that it is basically unbelievable. That is how groups like Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous are getting away with it. People can’t believe that it is really happening. The other people, that is — the people to whom it is not being done.

        • John Dragons Says:

          You my friend are beyond a nutcase!!! Reading your comment convinces me 100% that you have absolutely NO IDEA what you are talking about. AA receives NO MONEY from ANY State or government organizations. You need help. Stop making stuff up

          • Deborah McGrath Says:

            I’m not your friend and you are an ignorant bully. The rehab industry which is at least 95% 12 step based
            is a $38 billion industry. Public and private health care funds finance this. In addition to this our courts routinely order people to attend AA.
            You did not just beg to differ as it were you called me insane and a liar. My well researched facts as well
            as the detailed and well written way in which I present them more than suggest that your assertions are meaningless bullying tactics (and not very clever ones at that) and that the verifiable facts I put forth
            have a great deal of creditability
            and you have none. You are dishonest and not a nice person. Calling me your friend is a thinly veiled way to hide your insulting aggression. You are a brainwashed
            moron and it is you who is making things up. Go to hell(sorry Anton)

      • Don’t Go, you have a choice, if you really don’t like it leave.

        • Unless you live in a state in which the court can mandate you to go.

          • AA is certainly religious and has been deemed so by 25 courts already in the USA. But even if that was not the debate AA literature is toxic and harmful to ones psyche and it is FILLED with utter lies that Bill made up in just a few years, Never vetted, Never researched and for people in 2013 to be getting fed this crap is criminal. Especially to tell youth that they are broken forever and that they will need to sit in those f**king rooms for the rest of their lives is crazy bat shit. AA needs to be taken on, exposed for the wacko thing it is and the society needs to learn about the many other free options that already exist. You can see my work on youtube type in The 13th Step the film watch the new 7.5 min trailer. Take care.

    • You are an intellectually and factually dishonest dangerous
      moron. Rot in hell you are a corrupt mouthpiece for this DANGEROUS CULT that has hurt many people and society as
      a whole in very far reaching ways. Your half assed semantics
      and dancing around blatant facts to justify this evil that when
      subjected to any examination is easily shown to be total bullshit
      and harmful fraud is morally inexcusable and nothing but the
      actions of a brainwashed cult member. Where are the 95% of people, members of the general public, who realize very quickly
      that 12 steps are beyond retarded speak up motherfuckers, these lies about drugs and alcohol that Wilson (with no formal
      training of any kind) made up as he went along inform our medical societal and legal institutions about substance use.
      Bill Wilson FYI, a moral example for no one, despicable abusive
      con artist.

    • Many things stated here aren’t based in fact, they’re based on opinion… which everyone has the right to have . A fact to consider along the way is that no other treatment or program has come close to the success that AA has brought about. AA may not be for everyone however the only requirement for membership is having the desire to stop drinking. If nothing else about the program attracts you, find something that does. If you’re mandated to go, it won’t hurt you to do your time in the rooms of AA for an hour a day. I hope my comment will spark some inspiration to see solutions and responsibility and discourage judgement, blame and hopeless perspective. My friends, please by weary of those that condemn without offering a solution… They tend to be fueled by an unresolved emotion rather than altruism.

      • Hi Mark, on what are you basing your assessment of AA’s success rate? Any numbers? Studies?

        The question was never whether it’d “hurt” to attend AA, it was the legality of the requirement to do so. As AA has a spiritual component, more explicit in some groups, it’s a First Amendment violation for the government to mandate attendance.

        You’re right, though, to challenge us to offer a solution rather than just condemn. Here’s one possibility: talk to others about recovery without all the other jazz.

  1. I am a recovering member of A.A. and I applaud you!!! Your observations of this ridiculous cult are 100% accurate. Thank you. I enjoyed reading your page.

  2. JR Harris Says:

    I have started a bog on what happens if you are arrested and go to DUI School you may be interested in:

    duischooltruth.wordpress.com

  3. [...] only real point is just because an organization has a positive reputation (like certain 12-step organizations I’ve mentioned) and does some quantitative good doesn’t mean we should [...]

  4. I attended AA meetings for six months after I quit drinking. I left because there wasn’t a single meeting that at some point didn’t deteriorate into up front bible thumping.

    I was also not very keen on the idea of willingly calling myself a “victim” of my addiction. I chose to put myself in that crappy place, I can bloody well choose to work towards something better. And I have.

    The whole idea of “powerlessness” in AA is just an attempt to weaken one’s resolve against religious indoctrination. You take people who are obviously hurting, tell them that this “god” guy can totally help them, and that they are otherwise worthless and unable to live a normal life, and most people fall for it.

    • Anton A. Hill Says:

      Hey Anti,

      Thanks for dropping by! It’s funny that you mention the Bible-thumping as that was never my experience. I hear a lot of God-talk, but never specifically the Christian God. This kind of surprises me too, as Hillsboro OR isn’t exactly Sweden in terms of its secularism.

  5. Al keehoe Says:

    AA helps some people so in that respect it has some merit. I also agree that it is very damaging to other people convincing them they cannot help themselves without AA.
    This is totally wrong. Much of AA “statements of fact” are totally unproven and false. But you must understand AA was originally used for people who were worst of the worst alcoholics, really near death. It was necessary to lie to
    them to save their lives. Now days it is used for every possible ailment. The courts should be held accountable for the people who have been emotionally damaged by AA, and now have lost the confidence in themselves that they can quit on their own. God damm AA.

    • Anton A. Hill Says:

      Hey Al,

      Thanks for dropping by! With respect, I disagree with your assertion that “AA helps some people…” I would argue that some people help some people, but they attribute their help to AA. In my opinion, this is no different from claiming that believing in SAnta Claus has helped some children. I also question whether it is ever necessary to lie to people to save their lives and if it is morally obligatory to save the lives of people who choose to damage their lives. But that’s another discussion.

  6. F*** aa

  7. Well said! The sooner the world realises this and starts promoting superior alternatives, the better.

    • Anton A. Hill Says:

      The only real alternative, other than self-reliance, that I’ve heard of is the SOS… Secular something O Sobriety. I think I have them linked.

      • There is also SMARTRecovery here are two links, one US based but members from lots of other countries, the other UK based http://www.smartrecovery.org/ http://www.smartrecovery.org.uk/ SMART, the rational choice.

        • Anton A. Hill Says:

          Hey EZ,

          Thanks for the links. I’d never heard of that. The closest thing I’d heard of out here was Secular Recovery (or whatever the hell it was called), which has few branches and little public support.

          Best,

          Anton.

          • smart recovery is the best and has the most meetings worldwide. I also like Moderation.org, next SOS, and hamsnetwork.org which is harm reduction for alcohol, and last but not least reading the book The Sinclair Method and using Naltrexone. A great book is Babylon Confidential written by Claudia Christian an actress whom I have met with is a great read and she herself did not like AA and did not want to stop drinking . Her story is a good one and people need to know how to cut back and get in control with this simple non addicting drug. I have interviewed many people who offer saner choices then AA on http://www.blogtalkradio.com/saferecovery.

            • Hi Massive,

              Thanks for the links. Glad to read you’re doing a documentary. If you’re looking for people to chat with you, I’m game.

              Best,

              Anton.

            • Deborah McGrath Says:

              The abstinance mandate is one of the huge lies presented
              as scientific and medical fact by this fucked up fraudulent
              criminal scam. Misinforming the public about the real effects
              of drugs and alcohol informs health care, criminal and family
              law the economy the culture and the very fabric of society.
              I would like to get my letter about drug and alcohol abuse to you
              which I wrote to Bil Maher before I even began really researching
              this extremely important and serious issue. Bill you are an
              American hero a starfucker and a douche. But I’m not wrong
              and you can be smarmy and arrogant at times. I can possibly
              get contact info for Benett Miller of Capote and Moneyball.
              I can my vocal skill is yeah whatever. I want to make a movie
              based on Eleanor Rigby. The story and structure are done
              I need to make a screenplay and I want Justin McGuire to
              do this with me. But I digress Cool ranch or Nacho Cheese
              and I hate when I make jokes and people are like what are you
              talking about that makes no sense without a rim shot and
              applause track anyhoo I think you see what I’m getting at.
              There needs to be court decisions that find this is not real
              mental health care. I have that too. I need to do this. Let’s do this
              The preclusion of harm reduction by this evil cult also causes
              deaths. I speculate as well that many fatalities attributed to
              drugs and or alcohol involve dehydration and malnutrition
              that is the real cause of death which is compounded by the
              ingested substances. Let’s find and get that clinical data and
              all the facts and information to the medical establishment
              and the general public. Anton has my e-mail if you want to
              contact me and please read and share things I’ve written
              about this very serious issue. Trayvon Martin .R. I.P.

  8. [...] my immersion in the 12 Step programs, I had this one shoved down my throat. So nice to see it realistically [...]

    • rayjuglr@gmail.com Says:

      AA is ridiculous. All twelve steps are ridiculous. fake it till you make it? 1′s too many a thousands never enough? slogans like this are the devil to unaware, gullible human beings. its gotten so bad that one cannot give someone other options without someone jumping down their throat telling them that they are in dire need of an attitude adjustment. i quit drinking april 1st 2010 and live with two roommates who drink everyday. . i promise you that AA is bullshit and i feel incredibly sorry for any poor sap who falls into its trap. What is sad is that you are all but forced to participate in this program if you have any alcohol charges against you. and if you don’t have a problem?? you guessed it… you’re in denial!

      • Anton A. Hill Says:

        Yeah, the court-ordered DUI issues have always gotten my goat not only because it isn’t necessarily effective, but it’s a violation of church and state separation. And don’t get me wrong. DUI offenders should be held accountable, but it just seems like a couple days to dry up coupled with a license suspension might be a better way to go.

      • I love your post. So true. Sadly I got caught in the quicksand of AA for many years as a youth. I finally left over 2 years ago and I am so happy. Making a Documentary about it all.

        • Hey massive I’m interested about your documentary, I too am a youth in A.A. Just curious, have you started production?
          When & where can I see the film?

          • The film The 13th Step is not done yet. We have been working on it for 2 1/2 years. I plan for it to be finished by June 2014. I plan to release it in theatres and at film festivals and then get it on Cable and VOD. AND also sell DVD’ s of it. If you google The 13th Step the film you will find the numerous trailers we have made. We are about 75% done. I have two blogs http://www.leavingaa.com and http://www.stop13sstepinaa.wordpress.com . I also have a blog talk radio show called Safe Recovery. It would be great to talk if you want. I left 3 years ago after 36 years in the cult.

  9. It is near total complete bullshit. Someone enters the program as a lifelong alcoholic and before they decide on leaving the program, they’ve met a guy in a meeting and became a crack whore; that’s ok, though. Every body has got to find their bottom and sometimes it is lower than they had realized because every time they leave the program… they sink lower and lower… unto death, even… That’s what the program is for, so work your program…

    • Anton A. Hill Says:

      Hey Harry,

      Thanks for dropping by. I’m not sure I get where you’re coming from because you seem to both be saying that AA is ineffective and effective. I have yet to hear evidence that the program is any more effective than any other method, but if you have any data to support such a notion, please feel free to drop it by here.

  10. helen davison Says:

    AA is sexist! AA promotes a male god. AA claims to be non-denominational but it is based on Christianity. AA is patriarchal and and based on hierarchy. AA is secretive. While not fully a cult , AA is very CULTISH. AA does not encourage service outside of AA. AA is full of fear mongering – “if you don’t go to meetings you will drink or die!” My 28 years of sobriety are not dependent on AA meetings. My recovery is due to my own inner resources. Ardent AAers resent people who become successful in life. The AA Big Book was written by men only. The language is antiquated. The approach is out-dated. The small section on women is DISGUSTING!!!!! AA is full of 13 stepping. Men take advantage of women in program
    who are new and emotionally vulnerable. It is time for up-dated alternatives. 10% of addicts recover across the board whether in AA or not!!!! AA fosters dependency on AA. AA is shaming and restrictive.

    • Anton A. Hill Says:

      Hey Helen,

      Thanks for dropping by. Wow. Some crazy shit that. Even with my reservations about AA, I haven’t experienced have the stuff you mention. In my time with Ala-Teen and Ala-Non, there was definitely a ripping ton of “higher power” bullshit, but never blatant Christianity, and I’m sure most members were Christians.

      • helen davison Says:

        check out the history of AA. It was based on Christianity and still smacks of it. i would like to continue communicating but you need to be more specific. what part of my dialogue do you see as ‘crazy shit?’ what parts have you not witnessed? i attended AA several times a week for 28 yrs in different parts of the world and saw the same stuff everywhere. how long did you attend?

        • hi Helen, glad to read this post. Would you be interested in talking with me for an interview? I was sober in AA for 36 years and left 2 .5 years ago for many of the reasons you speak of. I was just on the TV show Katie Couric talking about the dangers in AA today. Why do people feel like it is above reproach? I just don’t get it. The Catholic Church is not above reproach and they are getting their asses sued all over the place. AA has become very culty, I totally agree. Enough is enough it needs to stop. The emails I get are horrific and woman are getting raped, assaulted, and murdered. Children are being molested!

          • Deborah McGrath Says:

            I would like to talk with you. Please read the extensive comments
            that include a lot of real clinical data about what is a profoundliy
            important issue.

    • Anton A. Hill Says:

      Hey Helen,

      I’m admittedly ignorant of the history of AA other than its founders. As for the “crazy shit”, I’ve not specifically witnessed the “If you don’t go…you’ll die.” I’ve not witnessed any resentment from those in AA of those who recover outside of AA. I’ve not read the Big Book. I know nothing of its small section on women. I’m not surprised by men taking advantage of women, but I’ve not noticed that either.

      I attended Ala-Teen for about 7 years and also attended Ala-Non off and on.

      • Deborah McGrath Says:

        Anton my dear you are ignorant of the clearly professed
        political afinities and beliefs of this cults founders. Do you
        know what they are and the philosophical and psychological
        connections are way more than skin deep semantics.

        • Not sure what you’re talking about.

          • Deborah McGrath Says:

            This bullshit was plajurized from Buchmanite evangelical
            bullshit which was basically a branch of secular humanism or
            Hitler is an awesome dude literaly fascism we endorse it as
            a political and social order that would benefit humanity. I can’t
            remember which one as you don’t remember and maybe should
            take some time tomorrow God’s day of rest wait why does that
            guy need a vacation isn’t he omnipitent that doesn’t seem fair
            and read in entirety everything I wrote about the history and
            facts of AA . How about that Trayvon Martin I can’t believe
            he’s replacing Corey whats his face on Glee or was violently
            murdered I can’t remember which one but stay cool, safe and
            hydrated my friend and check in with your older relatives but
            don’t keep actual company with them cause they do suck and
            are unpleasant. FYI as a big fan of the irreverent joke that
            rape stuff very uncool unfunny and insensitive. Mocking the
            concept of rape for shock value (which I am not above)
            as opposed to making graphic physical reference to a woman
            who has just been raped and the humiliating and intimate
            aspects of her needed actions after the fact, you know I’ve
            taken issue in the past with what I felt was insensitivity and
            oblivion on your part to gender dynamics and politics in society
            but I know deep in my heart if you raped a woman it would
            be only because she was asking for and deserved it. See that’s
            a humorous and tasteful rape joke. That dude is mad offensive.

            • How about pick one topic per comment? Otherwise I’m unsure of how to respond.

              • Deborah McGrath Says:

                I’m unsure of how to respond to that, you could respond more
                than once or comment on more than one issue in a single
                post. Ain’t no law against that.How about that ? Please don’t
                be so easily confused but as this is topical and compelling to
                my soul as this is a forum for public discourse and you know
                how important I think the 12 step issue is I really do, but as a
                smart guy any opining on the Zimmerman case would be great.

    • Anton A. Hill Says:

      Hey Satan,

      Thanks for the link. Was that it?

      Best,

      Anton.

      • I was in AA from the time i was 17 until I was 26. I volunteered to go to treatment after realizing I had a very serious drug problem.(crank, coke weed, alcohol). I say serious as in I did drugs everyday but this was for about a year and a half.

        I no longer attend AA. I have mixed feelings about it. On one hand the people in AA taught me responsibility, being a member of society, and giving back to the world. I guess in a sense they taught me to grow up. It also taught me that without AA I was destined to become a druggy again, and if I wasn’t “spiritual fit” I was headed down the path of addiction.

        I’m 40 now. I don’t attend AA anymore. I don’t have a drug addiction problem or a drinking problem. I have life problems. But I don’t use drugs or alcohol to cope.

        I do know addiction is an isolating behavioral problem. Its just a way to cope with life with altering your mind. You just become – in no other way to better describe it “Full of shit”. You believe your own lies about the world and the people in it. You push away the ones that truly love you and surround yourself with other drug addicts.

        AA gives you new friends.. it may be brain washing but what is better.. hearing “fake it till you make it” and “turn your will over to god” or “I’m a worthless piece of shit” “just do this drug and everything will be better, fuck what your family thinks.” ?

        I saw alot of people join AA, get their life turned around and quit attending, and they mostly led happy lives after. Some people need AA, Their minds are just geared toward self destruction / self deception and they need others in the group to point this out.

        In the end I think its what YOU need. Not what others tell you. I became unhappy in AA. I couldn’t believe alot of what I was hearing and knew for me that I needed to experience other things in life, but again this is just ME. I did join when I was very young.

        Hope this helps.

        • Anton A. Hill Says:

          Hey Joe,

          Thanks for dropping by and for sharing (heh). Yeah, I’ve never denied that people get positive things out of AA. What I’ve denied is that any of that positivity is necessarily through or unique to AA. A long time ago, some woman told me she learned responsibility through AA, but I doubt that as, unless she’s a complete sociopath, she’d already picked that one up.

          You’re absolutely right that AA gives you friends. Kind of like church. People aren’t allowed to (openly) dislike you. I have several family members and friends of the family who seem to use 12-step programs as their social outlet, which, frankly, I find inappropriate considering its alleged purpose. Last thing someone in need needs is to show up o a meeting for the first time only to realize it’s a huge clique.

          I understand your question on which is better. The problem I’ve always seen is that the choice you suggest is a false one. It’s not either “let go and let god” or “your’e a piece of shit.” It can also be “figure it out for yourself with a little help from your friends.” To suggest otherwise is horseshit.

          I get that some people seem to “need” AA. But I don’t buy it. People have existed for a very long time. So has alcohol. There’s evidence of wine-making in Anatolia dating back something like 8,000 years. I’m pretty sure that they didn’t need to chat about their problems with alcohol. Granted, I’m sure life was very different then, but the point is that the premise that AA is somehow necessary has yet to be demonstrated.

          Best,

          Anton.

    • Deborah McGrath Says:

      I knew this stuff was retarded as a teenager. These lies are
      not just informing but defining law and our health care system
      Stanton Peele is brilliant and an important voice to be given
      real authority and credibility in this area though personally he
      comes across as a dick based on my inteactions or lack thereof
      this is the person NOT DROUCHE PINSKEY to be informing
      the public about this issue. The Orange Papers are great as
      are Jack Trimpey and Steven Slate.I want a real documentary
      about this that doesn’t reject and expose 12 steps while
      operating whithin the same false constructs this cult created.

  11. AA is the most useless outreach organizations out there along side with other anonymous groups. It basically tells one that they are not to blame when in reality, they are the ones that were susceptible to their behavior and choice of actions.

    this is also a placebo and I feel terrible for those that really need help because they are under real problems such as depression as they aren’t getting the correct diagnosis and treatment.

    • Anton A. Hill Says:

      Hey Paul,

      I’ve found it more than a little ironic that AA preaches both personal responsibility and choice, but also preaches one’s lack of control over alcohol. Baffling.

      Yes, misdiagnosis and mistreatment are both problems, though clearly not exclusive to AA. But this speaks to a larger issue. Since AA is so culturally praised, it’s almost unheard of to even question its efficacy. The assumption tends to be that if it didn’t work for you, it’s your fault, not because it simple didn’t work.

      Best,

      Anton.

  12. Hey guys,
    It is literally a situation… to each his own. If you need aa you will see it as a solution and it will work for you. That is the only way that anybody can put it. I have just recently gone to a few meetings and I have noticed huge changes in my outlook on life and also my drinking habits. For me I am a believer in the higher power and have been able to use this to my advantage. I was lucky and this situation has worked for me. AA is definitely not for everybody and there are definitely different ways that work for different people. This program will only work for you if you let it work for you.

    • Anton A. Hill Says:

      Hey Joel,

      What you describe in your second sentence is confirmation bias. The same can be said for any placebo, such as rabbits feet. Yet, we don’t hear rabbits feet being universally praised in the culture, do we? I’m sure the effects you describe are real. I’ve never said that group sharing is bad. But I wonder why you believe in a higher power. What evidence is there that such an alleged entity has helped you stopped drinking rather than your own choices and self-restraint?

      My two main problems with AA have always been its unmerited universal cultural praise and its oft government-endorsed compulsory attendance for DUIs and the like. The former is irritating, but the latter is a constitutional violation.

      Best,

      Anton.

  13. I dont even know where to begin when approaching the subject of AA. It is probably not sufficient to say I do not like it. I have had a lot of encounters with it, 95% of which were court-forced.
    It should be obvious to the most simple person that it is indeed a cult and that, even though they deny the fact, it IS a religious program. I am not an atheist, but I believe that on’e spiritual status, relationaship with god, whatever you may call it, is a very personal thing.
    Bringing up the unconstitutionality of the courts forcing alcohol/drug offenders to attend AA is just the tip of the iceberg. It must be awkward and uncomfortable enough for someone to go to an AA meeting for the first time already, but when it is thrust upon an individual? When that individual walks into a meeting and has to give the facilitator of the meeting a paper to be signed for the court? That is just plain wrong.
    In my personal experience, AA people do not like to see AA shunners do well because it negates thier undying belief that the cult they have allowed to take hold of thier souls is irrellevant and unnecessary. The worst slogan I have ever heard, and I have heard them all – they are all terrible, is this: “You are not responsible for what you did in your addiction/alcoholism. You are responsible for what you do in your recovery.” If that is not the worst of cop-outs and irresponsible denial of reality, completely seperating some AA hack from the negative impact of thier actions… holy christ man, I just can’t imagine what would be.
    AA is nothing more than a social club and a cult. If you have never been there, they would like you to join them. If you hve been there, and have made it obvious that you are aware of what it really is, you are thier socail pariah. If you have quit drinking/drigging without the “help” of AA, they really can’t stand it and are waiting, hoping you will fall down in order to verify that they are not wasting theier lives in this pointless and mind-sucking cult.

    • Anton A. Hill Says:

      Hey Drew,

      95% court-forced, huh? A tiny issue with responsible driving have we? Why aren’t you an atheist? What do you believe and why? I agree with most of the rest you say except for the stuff that can’t be verified. While I’ve observed social disapproval of those who’ve helped themselves without the help of the program, I can’t go so far as to declare that members of AA want people to fail so that they need AA.

      Best,

      Anton.

  14. there is NO reliable hand of AA.It’s turned into a bunch of worn out drunks and a front for druggies,to hide out and who can’t handle the rigors of real rehab.A total crock of crap.

    • Anton A. Hill Says:

      Hey Ron,

      Didn’t know AA was a front for druggies. It’s fascinating to me the levee of reaction my post has garnered. Some are vehemently against AA, some are kind of for it. No one so far has vehemently defended it.

      Best,

      Anton.

  15. For more estute expose,go to Orange Report and comedic synopsis by Penn and Teller. Always remeber,founder Bill Wilson(who is to be revered by the old groupies,used the funding to payoff a knocked up secretary. Scam begets future scams,all iun the supposed name of recovery.

    • Anton A. Hill Says:

      Hey Ron,

      I forgot Penn and Teller covered AA. I’ll have to watch that again. I know too well the reverence held for Bill W. That’s one of the reasons I’ve called it a cult. That much worship for anything is weird. I had no idea about the secretary bit. I’d love to see/hear the evidence for that.

      Best,

      Anton.

  16. I wish I could justifiably assert that the substance of what has thus far been said were untrue.

    I wish I could state that AA does not co-opt some of the tactics commonly utilised by cults.

    I wish I could know that AA is an overwhelmingly positive movement. (Remembering that an unknown number of those who do leave, are FURTHER damaged by their AA experience.)

    I wish I could say that AA promotes the integrity of thoughts, emotions, and actions of the individual, and of the group.

    Sadly, I cannot.

    I am sadden that AA continues to miss the opportunity to be more open-minded and flexible, in order to assist in the lives of people in real need of help.

    I cannot be an apologist for lies, delusions, obfuscations, cognitive dissonance, or veiled threats, ESPECIALLY in terms of individuals at a low point in their lives, psychologically.

    AA’s greatest weakness perhaps, is that it cannot evolve, or admit to any inherent, erroneous aspects. As such, it dogmatically asserts a regard for itself, as some kind of absolute, which is unnerving and disquieting for an individual with any integrity.

    Also, I do find it particularly insulting, that AA’s seek out rationally-based opportunities for discussion such as this page, in order to indulge their own narcissistic desire to patronise those for whom AA has not been of benefit, in order to boost themselves.

    And lastly, I do commend you for maintaining a quality of discourse, which can so often be sabotaged or otherwise degraded by toxic individuals.

    Best,

    James.

    • Anton A. Hill Says:

      Hey James,

      Well put! Couldn’t have said it better myself. I don’t know about people boosting themselves. Seems you could apply that criticism so far and wide as to render it meaningless.

      Best,

      Anton.

    • Right on the mark.This outfit should be taken out,tarred and feathered for their actions.Most do NOT recover,several actually commit suicide while maintaining membership.It’s become nothing more than a front for DRUG addicts to cowardly to attend NA,politicians who get in trouble and 13th steppin morons to hide behind. Hopefully several state AG’s offices will run undercover invests on these clowns and BS artists.

      • Anton A. Hill Says:

        hey Ron,

        I don’t know what I’d go so far as tar and feathering, but i see we’re on the same page. :)

        Best,

        Anton.

  17. MikeAugustine Says:

    It’s an ersatz social social group for people who otherwise don’t have anything to do in the early evening. Most people are decent enough (at least superficially) but suffer from depression or anxiety disorders that they tried to treat with booze. Now many suffer from depression of anxiety disorders that they try to treat with caffeine, nicotine and day old donuts.

    Weird.

    • Anton A. Hill Says:

      I’ve definitely witnessed people who had nothing better to do on a Saturday night and the anonymous group of choice was their (only) social outlet. That’s kind of sad, but not wholly unethical, except if a newcomer tries the group and sees that there’s a firmly established clique, they may wander away.

      Your other observation of the co-existing chemicals I definitely also noticed. i found it more than a little ironic that alcoholics would drop the booze only to suck down cigarettes and coffee during breaks. One addiction for another. Then again, I don’t remember any car crash fatalities involving doughnuts. :)

  18. Waldo Cain Says:

    Hey, I loved your post. It hit home in a lot of ways. I grew up in Alanon, I did the cultish vibe from it at times. But I found it very different from A.A.. I never had a problem with drinking. But a lot of my family does. I have gone to quite a few open A.A. meetings, annd everytime I went, I felt looked down upon, Like I wasn’t a member of their group, and got the vibe every time that I wasn’t welcome. From what I’ve experienced and seen friends and family go through is, it’s their way or no way, and if you don’t do what the program/steps require, then you are not living the correct way and are doomed. They claim there is no religion, But it constantly goes from higher power to God and spirituality to religion. It’s all very dehumanizing and degrading. And don’t get me started on the whole sponsor thing. But I do believe Alanon people are a little more accepting from my experience and I didn’t feel the pressure from others like I did A.A. but I still feel the whole cult vibe it has.

    • MikeAugustine Says:

      “They claim there is no religion, But it constantly goes from higher power to God and spirituality to religion.”

      I started attending AA again about 6 months back and have made it clear at meetings that I’m agnostic. The reception has been mixed. Some people are nice and make small talk, others roundly ignore me. Some have advised me to read the chapter “We Agnostics” in the AA Big Book. This reading is meant to convince the reader of the existence of god. I find it to be a poorly written insult to thinking people that uses goofy and antiquated 1930′s jargon. My 2 cents for what it’s worth.

      • Anton A. Hill Says:

        Thanks! I’m glad you’ve found some use in AA. I’d love to know more about the “We Agnostics” bit if you care to expound.

      • Deborah McGrath Says:

        The United States courts have ruled with pretty much no
        exceptions that despite the illegal claims of this organization
        that I can’t imagine is not the biggest perpetrator of outrageous
        medical fraud and malpractice in American history this cult
        is overtly religious and not “spiritual.” The constructs of
        not drinking or doing drugs as a barometer for psychological
        health are also puritanical made up fascist bullshit lies.
        There is real clinical data, drugs and alcohol don’t have the
        influence and effect on human behavior and psychology that
        these cultural myths claim they do and this bullshit is being
        presented and accepted as medical fact.This is morally obscene

    • Anton A. Hill Says:

      Thanks! Yeah, the “correct” way. My experience was basically positive, but the odd, cultish things I started to notice in my late teens (when I coincidentally started losing my faith). I had no experience with sponsors as I never tried to get one.

  19. Back again.Well took the cult to task via the Catholic and UCC Churches here in VT.The drug addicts(who actually control the agenda)and drunks were “mother f’n”God to the hilt at meetings held in a Church basement.They also had a clown,who claims to be a perpetual killer clippin good from the churches food bank.Well the so called pastors,who are tied into local politicians,both opted to look the other way.Fraud religions,fraud recovery and just a hangout for druggies.Next stop law enforcement..

    • Anton A. Hill Says:

      Hi Ron,

      What went down?? What’s this about a clown?

      • I wrote long well researched letters to Bill Maher about 12 step
        programs and Drew Pinsky socoipathic scumbag who’s having
        a profound impact on our society (Maher had Pinsky on his show
        for some “expert commentary” in the wake of Whitney Houston’s
        death.) FYI Pinsky isn’t a trained psychiatrist. 12 step programs
        are dangerous to our society and our health care system. I think
        this issue is far more important than the general public realizes.
        The culture created that discredits and demonizes those who get
        drunk or high is judgemental and fascist. This climate has social,
        professional and familial reprecussions for many people. Society
        tolerates things much worse than drug and alcohol use. Research
        the history of this scamming of the health care industry and the
        society. Bill Wilson was a despicable con man who continued
        to behave very badly long after he stopped drinking. The program’s
        grandiosity and inherently contradictory manipulative doctrine
        are indicative of Wilson’s highly pathological psychology. Most
        normal people(even many health care providers) recognize 12
        step programs are bullshit once given any exposure to it and
        walk away with a chuckle. So why does this fraud with ZERO
        basis in science or psychology continue to hold a legitimate
        and almost exclusive status in the health care industry and the
        courts?If people want to sit in a church basement hey,it’s a
        free country but when it comes to health care(and health care dollars) and the courts this shit needs to be outlawed ! I’m very serious.

        • Anton A. Hill Says:

          Hi Deborah,

          I wouldn’t go as far as all that, though I trust that you’ve done your research. In my opinion, our society tolerates 12-step programs for exactly the same reason it tolerates The Secret: it’s popular.

          Best,

          Anton.

          • Hi Anton,
            The thing is it’s really not popular. Most people exposed to
            it step away pretty quickly(many find it to be a psychologically
            damaging experience) and those in the general public who
            haven’t make totally false assumptions based on the
            propaganda 12 step programs have innundated throughout
            the society.The program is rooted in lies,propaganda,bullying
            and secrecy.Health care professionals are bullied and face
            negative career consequences if they speak out against 12
            step programs.The Secret is a stupid book that people are
            free to read or not read,if it were being taught as scientific
            fact in public schools that would be a problem.12 step programs
            are much worse than that scenario. People may have jobs,
            custody rights,licenses or their freedom on the line if they
            don’t attend AA. What Dr. or course of treatment would
            claim to be the”only way”? This needs to be out of our health
            care system and our courts(employers do actually have a right
            to make keeping a job contingent upon AA attendance but
            they probably wouldn’t if they knew the program is a totally
            fraudulant scam.) As I said it’s a free country but health care
            and our public institutions are subject to some accountability.
            Any Dr. conducting a course of treatment so unconnected to
            science and a good faith effort to produce successful results
            would be sued for malpractice and/or lose their license.
            Take care,
            Deborah

            • No comments on the extensive ,informed, and(in my estimation)
              insightful opinions I’ve expressed?Maybe some highly subjective
              anecdotal bullshit would have been more graspable in this sound
              bite based self absorbed culture we live in. This is what enables
              Republicans to get people to vote against their own economic
              interests.This is a very serious and far reaching issue.If you’ve attended AA and figured out it’s nonsense(and very damaging
              to many people) which most people do in time,the anwser is
              not to shrug your shoulders and say well that’s over and done.
              Just because you’re ok doesn’t mean it’sok.It’s profoundly
              fucked up and unacceptable medically,legally,socially and
              morally.Remember Drouche Pinsky a huge salesman for this
              scam probably has more influence over public perceptions
              about mental health and substance abuse than any other
              person.This is our health care system,our justice system and
              our society.This is about your jobs and your families.All it
              takes is one DUI to find yourself engaged with this cult.
              Have a nice night,
              Deborah

              • Why is my comment still awaiting moderation?Is it the anti Republican comments or the misspelled commonplace word.
                I ask you this, if Churchill had been discredited and ignored for
                being a “drunk” when he said very early on that Hitler (who did
                not drink) was very dangerous and needed to be stopped what would happen in a Pinsky cultural climate where he could easily
                dismissed as an alcoholic? I think this is a very important
                issue that has deeply sociological, cultural and political
                effects. Take care and please take this seriously. Deborah

                • Anton A. Hill Says:

                  Calm down, Deborah. This isn’t all I do and I like to read comments before I approve them even though I approve all comments. I don’t care if you’re anti-Republican. I wouldn’t care if you were anti-Democrat.

              • Deborah, HI I love love your post and agree 100 % . I am working on changing this and doing it forst with a Documentary film and writing literature that we will hand out outside the court rooms. We will atned Lawyers conventions and then outreach to Insurance companies telling them of our findings with criminals in AA. I hope we can talk and if you want you can help us make change around this insanity. Please contact me if you like at makeaasafer@gmail.com I was in AA trying to make it safer but left 2.5 years ago. I am making headway exposing AA for the bullSh*t it is and oh my how dangerous it has become. Someone needs to stop the court ordereding and sending innocent people there after rehab. Those people give AA big $$$ in literature sales and this must be stopped. Take care. Again love your post and I wish you would come over to my blog http://www.leavingaa.com and I will post it there on the front page.

                • Deborah McGrath Says:

                  I give full legal permission (I hope this has legally binding
                  power if not obviously the only person who could take legal
                  action would be me, I am unmarried with no children) for
                  you to take and publish in any venue my comments on this blog.
                  I want to do a documentary about this issue. I sent a letter to
                  Bill Maher about 12 step programs and the social, cultural,
                  economic and moral importance of substance use and abuse.
                  He ignored it and had Drouche Pinskey on his show a few
                  weeks later as a credible authority on this subject. Bill I love
                  you but fuck you and are you really going on this sociopath’s
                  show to discuss the murder of Trayvon Martin. Let’s do this.

                  • I think Bill Maher is going to get some new information regarding AA.

                    • Deborah McGrath Says:

                      I expect better from him than this. Pinskey FYI not a
                      real mental health practitioner. Check his actual
                      credentials and training. Go through the stuff I wrote and
                      cut and paste whatever info you want. I want to do this
                      documentary. Do you have experience and technical
                      training in the mechanics and logistics of making a film.
                      Do you have specific ideas and plans for the media
                      entities you would choose to broadcast this venture?
                      I will do this. Bill along with many others knows about AA.
                      The gravity of this has been ignored by those that can and
                      should know better. 95% step away from AA very quickly
                      but never bother to mention their experiences to the legal
                      societal and medical institutions that impose this nonsense
                      on the public. Please read everything I wrote Bill you’re a
                      card carrying douche sometimes, don’t engage with Pinskey.

                    • Deborah McGrath Says:

                      You seem like a nice person but anyone with an iota of
                      intellectual and psychological development sees through 12
                      steps very quickly so maybe based on the well researched
                      and stated material I’ve written that I’ve been screaming
                      to a self involved mindless morally and intellectually corrupt
                      country for several years I should I can’t even go on make
                      it safer are you a moron. Do you have actual financing
                      and specific media targets for your “documentary”? My
                      guess is no. I’m sorry for whatever personal trauma you’ve
                      been through but insightful and enlightened I think not.
                      Anton your repeated intellectual and cultural shallowness
                      and lack of content while basking in the self indulgent identity
                      of a member of the Atheist Community, that is not a real
                      issue. The murder of Trayvon Martin and the actions of
                      American legal institutions as well as public conversation
                      are. This is very serious you seem to feel it’s not.

                    • Deborah, what makes you accuse me of intellectual and cultural shallowness? Why does being an atheist make me self-indulgent? I don’t know what you mean by lack of content.

            • Anton A. Hill Says:

              I guess what I mean is that in popular culture, AA seems to have this odd, hallowed place. I agree with you on many people’s reactions once they’re long-term exposed to it, but the program does seem to prevail. The only part I disagree with is the claim of AA’s “bullying.” I’m not aware of any evidence of that. Are you? If so, please share.

        • The scam gets into the court system.The use AA/NA/Al ANON when medical plans aren’t available or county services are overloaded.The new Bill Wilsons and Wilsonettes control the donation basket,then vulture upon the new prey as they wander in.The scam furthers it’s claws by providing 13th stepping for those who provide the “well to do” AA’ers their services(pc repair,tax advisement,landscaping,ski instruction and yes even legal aid).As you provide more for the hierarchy,the more benefits come your way.Killington and a few Rutland sects operate efficiently in this manner.The same chairpeople,GAO’s and speakers.Phoney sponsors abound and get pats on the head ,blueberry pies,free coffee and some employment opportunities for ascertaining new members vital info and deepest information,which puts the local AA hierarchy in a blackmailing position.Then they con a few church fools into the scam,utilize their facilities free of charge and the smoke n mirror road show goes on.In this case Vermont’s Attorney General and state law enforcement need to become involved directly.People who are psychopathic,homicidal,still dealing/using drugs and should be institutionalized frequent and keep any enlightened newbees in line.They could put a major dent in the operation with a sting.Wouldn’t it be grand if ssome local meetings got raided,churches shut down for complicity and then the NYHQ raaided ,padlocked with their “special”people being led away?Wouldn’t take much;afterall they’re a pack of supposed exdrunks running a three card monty /shell game scam,who actually beleive they are Bernie Madoff caliber.Time to take em down.

          • Anton A. Hill Says:

            While I agree, I doubt that any takedown will occur as there isn’t any perceived massive damage being inflicted.

            • Hi Anton,
              Sorry for my slightly overreactive tone,you know how we alcoholics are(ever heard that one before?) I think Ron’s
              right and their is a lot of legally objectionable stuff going on in “the rooms” the big problem being there is no accountability for the
              sponsers(who are essentially put into the role of mental health
              care provider ) I understand his venom and have read many
              equally enraged accounts from many former steppers. Ron I’m
              sorry for the abuse you suffered and you are not alone! The
              abuse is rampant and inherent in this cults fucked up mean spirited doctrine and mandates. That being said I would
              oppose curtailing the right of people to engage in any crap
              but the lies of this bullshit must be exposed to the public. This
              is why at least this needs to be outlawed in our health care
              system and our courts. There may be laws addressing cult
              mind controls and if there are I’d love to see 12 step programs
              taken down. The bullying of members by other senior members
              (most of whom seem to be angry fucked up assholes who
              never explored or addressed their serious psychological
              problems )is more often the case than not (if you’re lucky
              maybe you’ll just get a benign nut job.)This psychological
              violence has been directly linked to suicides.If you’ve ever
              been in rehab (especially if you’re a minor who can’t leave I
              went to Hazeldon at 16) the bullying is extreme. Just saying
              this program is the”only way” and you’re going to die(or end up
              in jail or institutionalized)if you don’t do exactly as you’re told
              is a bullying scare tactic and a complete bald faced lie.
              This group is very dangerous and harmful.How has this
              bullshit managed to con trained protessionals?Because they
              are con artists. They also deny and suppress the existence of other treatment models and health care providers are coerced
              and intimidated to endorse this theocratic evil that is connected
              to a billion dollar inpatient treatment industry.
              Best wishes,
              Deborah

              • Anton A. Hill Says:

                Apology accepted. I try to get to this site as much as possible, but I really have very little time. And you wouldn’t believe the backlog of e-mails, posts, responses, blah that I have. I agree with you on your piont of outlawing 12-step programs when it comes to healthcare. I feel the same about homeopathic “medicine.” It’s been my observation, however, that when things are seen as exceedingly popular, the people as a whole don’t give a shit about any ethical or legal implications. I’m optimistic this’ll change, which is why I wrote the original post, but I’m realistic enough to know that it’ll take time.

                • Simple phone calls to state authorities,agencies such as Health Depts.and if meetings are in a church ,to the Diocese may get things rolling.Also,investigative reporters can help.If anyone here wishes to back up my efforts,feel free to notify any or all of the afformentioned VT authorities.I’ll be glad to reciprocat in your plighted area.

                  • Ron,
                    I think you should look beyond Vermont. This organization
                    needs to be completely discredited and defunded across the
                    country. The public perception of 12 step programs needs to
                    change and our health care providers must stop prescribing
                    this as “treatment.” Don’t forget as much as it sucks to sit in
                    a room for an hour listening to morons with no self awareness
                    or awareness and being subjected to the psychological
                    violence of said morons it really sucks to get locked up for
                    months in a “treatment” facility with the same garbage. These
                    programs are connected to a huge rehab industry and when
                    someone with a medical degree tells your spouse or parents and
                    you that this is what you must do to not die it’s pretty strong
                    persuasion. Going after Vermont groups will be seen as
                    isolated events in what is an otherwise well intentioned and helpful program. Good luck. I admire your conviction and
                    willingness to challenge the outrageous legal,societal and
                    moral violations that lie at the heart of what 12 steps are really
                    all about. These investigations should be taking place on a widespread federal level.
                    Best wishes,
                    Deborah

              • hazelton at 16 ….aye…that a bet is worth telling into a camera for a documentary film. Im making one if you want to call me.

                • Deborah McGrath Says:

                  Actually I think more than interview regarding this issue I’ve
                  researched and screamed about to a society that despite 95%
                  of the public walk (run really) away from is in order. What are
                  your logistical goals and plans regarding this potential project.
                  Do you have financing for this documentary and any specific
                  media outlets in mind? Anton can give you my e-mail address.

          • Ron,
            This is an issue of extreme importance to our country. I hope
            you can reach out and organize the many victims of this evil scam
            to inform the intellectually and morally lazy public about the 12
            step programs. Research the orange papers Stanton Peele and
            Jack Trimpey. The inpatient treatment centers are the huge
            money makers civil rights violaters and robber barrens of our
            insurance resourses and our citizens. 50% of AA ‘s supposed
            2 million members are there under court order. I agree with you
            some of the parties involved in the outrageous conning of our
            health care system and society should face criminal charges.
            Good luck. I wish you well. You (and I) need real therapy to
            heal our lives and I hope you can find that (easier said than done the get help mantra never takes insurance status and financial resourses into account.)
            Be good to yourself and take care,
            Deborah

  20. Hi Anton,
    I don’t think holistic and homeopathic medicine engage in the
    kind of fraud that 12 step programs do nor are they dominating
    health care. From what I understand it’s practitioners (or many
    of them )are trained in Western medicine and are licensed MDs.
    I do see the danger in unaccredited people providing serious
    services like health care, legal advice or education. Alternative medicine does have some relationship to facts and results
    and Western medicine relys too much on toxic pharmaceutals
    and invasive procedures though it obviously saves many people
    if we look at health and mortality stats from the past. The scale
    of 12 steps is far beyond alternative medicine (which isn’t that
    credible or popular with the public.) The Nazis were popular too.
    AA is perceived as popular because like the Nazis Bill Wilson
    and his modern day counterparts are shameless lying
    propagandists. People think it’s great and effective and saves
    lives etc. because that’s what they’ve been told. Medicine is
    supposed to be based on research and data that is scientifically
    and clinically organized and examined. fyi many state supreme
    courts and federal circut courts have ruled that manditory 12
    step attendance imposed by courts is a violation of separation
    of church and state and deemed it illegal (I don’t think any court presented with this issue has ruled otherwise and the federal supreme courts refusal to challenge these rulings is taken
    as an implicit agreement with the decisions.) The law is going
    in the right direction but the issue of it being a fraudulant
    absurd and damaging treatment model has not been examined.
    Pinsky is stepping up the infection of our society with these
    lies and this puritanical mentality. If you’ve been a victim of
    12 steps(and there are many)I would ask you to speak out
    organize whatever you can do to expose this rape of our health
    care system and our citizens. The public needs to hear what you have to say. Your voices are being drowned out by 12 step
    programs and Drouche Pinsky (not a trained psychiatrist.)
    Take care,
    Deborah

    • Anton A. Hill Says:

      You sound more informed than I am on holistic medicine. I don’t know that much about it and don’t even care that much except that if a medicine practice isn’t based in peer-reviewed, verifiable research, I don’t think it should be supported. But that’s the extent of it. Well, that and this whole anti-vax movement, which I realize isn’t about holistic medicine, but it is about denying facts.

      I’m curious. What do you consider “alternative” medicine and what facts and results is it related to?

      While I agree that medicine has a for-profit motive, that in itself doesn’t make the practice invalid. Yes, pharmaceutical companies want to make money and lobby and that shouldn’t be supported, but that doesn’t discount the valid effects of the ones that are effective.

      You also clearly know much more about Bill Wilson than I ever have. Didn’t know he was a propagandist or a Nazi (yes, I know you meant the latter metaphorically–unless you didn’t).

      Yeah, I’m aware of some of the court issues which is one of my root problems with the program.

      I wouldn’t say I’ve been a victim of the program. Just like I wasn’t ever a victim of a church. I just call bullshit where I see it and someone had made the same claims of AA to me as so many had before, so I wrote the original post to clarify why (I thought) it was all crap.

      • I agree with you about the need for peer reviewed verifiable
        research. I’m sure the medical establishment has blocked
        any funding for evidence in the area of alternative medicine.
        I don’t know a lot about it my understanding is that it uses
        natural substances (herbs for example in highly concentrated
        forms)instead of synthetic drugs. I saw a Donahue about it
        years ago and audience member after audience member said
        they’d been treated with multiple Western medical approachs
        for years in response to one specific condition and when
        they went the alt. medicine route they got results for the first
        time. The guys from the AMA sat on the stage rolling their
        eyes and engaging in other broad mocking gestures that
        clearly indicated they had no verbal rebuttal. I meant the Nazi
        thing metaphorically but as it happens the 12 step program
        is based on a Protestant sect (of which Wilson was an ardent
        member) based on the teachings of Frank Buchinite who
        thought Hitler was a great guy.It’s called The Oxford Group.
        Bill Wilson cheated on his wife relentlessly and made a ton
        of money from sales of the “Big Book” and fucked his buddy
        Dr. Bob (a surgeon) co founder of AA out of a share of the
        profits.In addition to the court issues I’m concerned about
        the health care issues. People with substance abuse problems
        usually have emotional and life problems so in addition to
        being traumatized(or just having their time wasted)they are not
        getting help they need. The medical establishment judges and
        the public blindly accepting something so ridiculous at face
        value is retarded. The creators of this psychologically and
        intellectually fucked up program were not Dr.s(Dr. Bob’s
        medical background was irrelavant to this area of mental
        health) or scientists. The more you learn about AA and it’s
        history the more fucked up it gets.

        • Anton A. Hill Says:

          Hi Deborah,

          Are you seriously suggesting that doctors have en masse colluded to block funding for evidence into alternative medicine? Do you also think the moon landing was faked? Sorry to be impatient, but unless you have evidence for such a claim, i’d suggest the only reason you have it is because you want to.

          I don’t ultimately care whether people use herbs or synthetic drugs. I care about what works. So far, there’s no evidence that “homeopathic medicine” works.

          You’re willing to accept anecdotal hearsay on homeopathics, but consider doctors colluding against such things? Whether the AMA had any verbal rebuttal is irrelevant to the evidence. Claims of “alternative medicine” should be mocked until demonstrated–just like any other extraordinary claims.

          I trust you on your revelations of AA. Doesn’t really surprise me. Whenever there’s money to be made, there’s a charlatan who’s willing to do that which is necessary to make it.

          Best,

          Anton.

          • Hi Anton,
            I think you are right about the quackery in alternative medicine
            but when Sloane Kettering and his prestigious oncology team
            tell my father that what he eats doesn’t impact his health
            (rolling their eyes condecendingly in the process) it does speak to
            a denial of natural and cheaper things that really promote health
            and prevent illness. I have no philosophical objection to western
            or eastern medicine, both are valid but the moon landing was
            obviously an elaborate hoax. I believe in facts and critical
            thinking (this is why I know Elvis is still alive.) Don’t place too much blind faith in the medical establishment. It’s the only
            (and best )game in town but the disregard for diet and the
            reckless overuse of powerful drugs (often for minor conditions)
            is rampant by well meaning medical professionals. The DNC
            convention blew me away and I don’t think 12 steps will stay
            in our healthcare system on Obama time . Michelle is also
            very commited to the nutrition and health of our kids. He’s
            all about math and science (boring more into the social sciences)
            he’s brilliant and we’re lucky to have him. Romney can’t
            out debate him. Makes me very proud of my stupid country.
            Take care and best wishes,
            Deborah

            • Anton A. Hill Says:

              Hi Deborah,

              Your father had an experience. And trust me, I know well of doctoral condescension. But to discount medical science on the basis of one, or even a thousand doctors, is silly. And I don’t think you could point to a legitimate doctor who truly denies the facts of nutrition and preventative medicine. Homeopathics, on the other hand, actually deny medical science, or make claims of conspiracy.

              Maybe I’m not understanding what “eastern” medicine is, but as far as I know there’s only one kind of medicine: that which makes people healthier. Acupuncture doesn’t treat cancer. Chemotherapy does. And so on.

              I’m not sure where, other than your father’s experience, you’re getting the idea that doctors discount nutrition.

              I didn’t see all the DNC, but I hope you’re right. I actually think Michelle’s better at the game than Barack. Too bad she doesn’t have a penis. :)

              Best,

              Anton.

              • Hi Anton,
                I don’t discount medical science or fact. While Drs. over the
                last few decades have had to accept the relationship between
                nutrition and health due to overwhelming and irrefutable evidence
                they have very little training or information in this area(I’m not
                saying apples cure cancer.) Dietary advice tends to be broad and
                generalized (ie:low salt, high protein the elimination of certain
                items etc. in terms of any given medical condition.) Processed
                chemical laden crap marked low sodium is not good food. I’m
                familiar enough with the culture of the medical establishment
                to know that nutrition is pretty much ignored or at best an
                afterthought. There is an indoctrination towords pharmaceuticals
                with little restraint or consideration that these drugs are powerful,
                toxic and can be dangerous. I respect the acomplishments of
                modern medicine and fully understand that many lives have
                been saved and prolonged by these scientific advances. Do I
                think it’s very possible that safer, less harsh and effective
                treatments have been suppressed by drug companies and
                the medical establishment? Do you think it’s possible that
                cleaner ,safer and cheaper forms of energy have been suppressed? The Bush family and their cronies controlled the
                White House for 3 terms Sr. was head of the CIA (those guys
                are pretty much on the up and up from what I’ve heard) and
                Jr. and Sr. both started wars that were clearly connected to
                the family’s financial interests. Healthy people are medicated
                for trivial ailments and emotional issues in huge numbers to
                the extent that it’s been totally normalized in our culture.
                Look at Michael Jackson and Whitney Houston niether of whom
                had a medical condition. Look at the fact that the medical
                community totally endorses 12 step programs as real (and
                the only) treatment. While they do cure and control disease
                they don’t promote health. I have heard theories that the goal
                is to keep people alive but sick to maximize profits. Couldn’t
                speak to that definatively but I do know psychiatric hospitals
                have been found to be locking people up and giving them
                treatment they don’t want or need. These practices have been so rampant there has been a lot of government intervention.
                Pat Schroeder(congresswoman from Colorado) headed a
                commitee to look into this in the early 90s and drew strong
                conclusions about the widespread existence of these practices.
                Giving people pills they don’t need is also connected to profit
                and it’s very possible exercise yoga music meditation whatever
                would help whatever malaise or anxiety is bothering them
                as much or more than weakening their system with a drug.
                I wouldn’t put blind faith in this industry. I think the bottom line
                is that healthcare (like education) needs to be socialised as
                it’s function is too important to be subject to corruption because
                of greed. Remember while many Drs. are very well intentioned
                the hospitals drug companies and insurance companies are
                corporations and you know what their bottom line is.
                Take care,
                Deborah

                • Anton A. Hill Says:

                  I’m with you on a lack of nutrition education and the interests of individual pharmaceutical companies or even associations of companies. I just get nervous when people suggest conspiracy theories or that scientists are colluding against homeopathic “medicine.” In my opinion, the question of whether homeopathics are effective is irrelevant to pharmaceutical companies. Fact is, if they thought they could make money off the stuff, they would (and maybe they do).

  21. Anton and all others who might find this to be of interest and
    importance google aa is a cult and read Jack Trimpey (I think the site
    says ofcourse it’s a cult when I googled it it was the first listing
    under this topic.) It is a brilliant and well informed breakdown of
    the whole 12 step hijacking of our health care system, public funds
    and our society. I’m reading echos of what I’ve been saying all
    over the web this is not about a few harmless wackos. And Anton though I assume you haven’t had substance abuse issues members
    of your family have so this affects you more directly than you know.
    Sorry the name of the leader of the Oxford group was Buchman
    so I don’t know everything (unlike AA.) I know and understand that
    you’re busy (live your life!) If you could pass this on to parties who
    have the time, motivation and inclination to act on this very serious
    issue it would help many and the society as a whole. I agree with
    you these things take time but from what I’m seeing on line that
    time is coming soon.
    Take care,
    Deborah

  22. Regarding a.a.
    These comments are peurile and ignorant.
    It is a simple proven fact that working the programme of a.a. Does work.
    I think the post writer obviously has issues he needs to deal with so he can have an openminded approach to life.
    I suggest he attend a few open meetings and hear how many hopeless alcoholics have gained useful lives by using the suggested program of aa

  23. I actually stopped reading this when the post writer showed his ignorance by continuously swearing. Honestly son you cant make people listen by swearing.

    • Anton A. Hill Says:

      Hi Mark,

      You’re certainly welcome to your opinion regarding my puerility, but, just so you know, my opinions are not borne of ignorance. I was raised in the 12-step programs, Ala-Non, AA, and Ala-Teen, so all that I’ve expressed is either from direct experience or second-hand experience.

      You’re right. I swore. And I agree that it wasn’t the best idea. I was emotional at the time that I wrote the post; I probably should’ve given myself a bit of time before sitting down to write it. I didn’t. Oh well.

      You claim that it’s a “simple proven fact” that AA works. I wonder what your evidence is for that. While certain aspects of the program do seem to have some positive social effects, namely the charge to take responsibility for one’s actions, I’m sure you’ll agree that such a charge is neither exclusive to nor originating from the program. Such a notion is basic human civility.

      And then there’s the bullshit. I challenge you to cite one single piece of evidence that there is a direct, causal link between a “higher power” and anyone’s recovery. What you’ll find is that the two variables are entirely unrelated. Some people who trust a higher power recover, some don’t. Some people who don’t trust a higher power recover, some don’t. If this is the case, which, by the way, it is, then there’s zero connection between one of the program’s core doctrines (and thus the program itself) and recovery.

      Finally, I suggest I have more of an open mind than most people you’ll meet, including yourself. I am always willing to be proved wrong on my convictions given evidence. So, like I say, if you have any objectively verifiable evidence to back up your claims, I’m happy to listen.

      Best,

      Anton.

    • Mark,
      You’re a douche. You’re also a liar. AA does not work and it can be psychologically harmful. The disease model has been
      overwhelmingly disproven by scientific research and data. This
      cult was made up by the grandiose and extremely abusive con man Bill Wilson. Your bullying and baseless assertions and accusations are typical of AA tactics. Explain why this model of treatment has no trained professionals. Mental health is a science
      (and an art.) My deepest sympathies go out to anyone who has
      the misfortune to have you as a “sponsor.” From your condesending tone and outdated attitudes about profanity I’d
      guess you’re a long time member of this cult. I’m searching for
      les mots propres in the words of Gustave Flaubert
      they just came to me FUCK YOU. Sorry Anton for degrading
      the spirit of civil discourse this site upholds.
      Best wishes to all who have sought escape from emotional
      pain with drugs and alcohol. Take good care of yourself.
      Deborah

      • Anton A. Hill Says:

        Hi Deborah,

        I’ve prided myself on not censoring anyone on here, even when and especially when they attack me, but for practicality, I won’t approve a flame war because it’s exhausting, so I’d prefer in the future if you simply didn’t use any ad hominems, and I should warn that if you choose to comment using only an ad hominem (and nothing else), then I most likely won’t approve it. Beyond that, if you and Mark wanna have at it in a polite way, I say go for it.

        Best,

        Anton.

        • Hi Anton,
          Mark’s aggression towards you was more extreme than my use of profanity
          (which was very funny in my opinion.) I did not use only an ad hominem (don’t I get any credit for the euriadite literary reference?) I wouldn’t waste my energy engaging with this 12
          step bully. The influence these lies are having on our health care system and society needs to be exposed and debunked. Speaking
          of free speach check out a website called Citizen Warrior. I think you’ll find it interesting and informative.
          Take care, Deborah

          • Anton A. Hill Says:

            Hi Deborah,

            You’re right. He did call me puerile. And we could debate all day long which is the worst ad hominem. I just wanted to make clear that I don’t want to deal with a conversation that boils down to that and nothing more. Yes, you said other substantive things. I’m just being cautious.

            Best,

            Anton.

            • Anton,
              I think truth should trump caution. I think the extensive things
              I’ve written on your blog indicate my conversation goes far beyond inflamitory semantics. The lies and bullying tactics of
              Mark and his ilk are exactly why 12 step programs have conned
              their way into American society. In a country that promises the
              right of freedom of speech censorship can’t be tolerated. Speaking of which check out the Citizen Warrior site. I hope this
              Mark fellow (that’s a socially acceptable euphamism for dickhead
              douchebag) will shun your site and I hope the people with substance abuse issues presented with 12 step programs as
              a solution to their problems are protected from the toxic pathology
              that is this “program.” Take care, Deborah

              • Anton A. Hill Says:

                Deborah,

                “Douchebag” is an opinion. “Liar,” to some degree, is as well. To say someone is a liar is to imply their intent to speak dishonesty knowing that it’s dishonest. To say that Mark is wrong is true. But without being able to read his mind, we can’t honestly say that he’s a liar.

                Best,

                Anton.

                • You are right and this crossed my mind as I was typing the word.
                  That being said the statement that AA works 100% percent of the
                  time and is the only way is a lie and 12 step programs could not
                  and would not have the “success” and exclusive domain they do
                  without a lot of lying. This is not real healthcare and beyond that
                  I put forth the concept that the recovery industry (including non
                  12 step based programs) is a false construct as a healthy and
                  productive life can’t be defined in terms of “sobriety” or the lack
                  of substance abuse. I think a lot of people persue this end because they are told chemical excess is their problem. It’s not
                  healthy but many things are unhealthy. Why are drugs and
                  alcohol singled out? Fuck Bill Wilson and fuck Mark. I’m sure
                  he’s meanspirited and is hurting wounded people with damaged lives. How has this prick been awarded the role of mental health
                  care provider? My opinion is he’s a douchebag. Wait, the lab
                  results just came back he’s a douchebag. Do you want to break it
                  to him or should I? I calls em like I sees em. Please excuse my
                  hostility but I don’t think it’s without cause (and it’s funny.) Once
                  again best wishes and good luck to all who are over indulging in
                  drugs and or alcohol to escape emotional pain. I hope you will
                  heal yourselves and your lives. Be well, Deborah

                  • Anton A. Hill Says:

                    Hi Deborah,

                    Though I wouldn’t go so far as saying any one individual lied about AA’s effectiveness, I’m almost willing to say that there’s a system-wide lie going on. The reason for this is my whole life when I’ve even suggested criticism of the program(s), I’ve immediately been met with “It helps a lot of people.” Let’s just say this is true. The question is, how does the claim-maker know this? They don’t, of course. Not a single person I’ve talked to about this could cite one single piece of verifiable evidence of the claim that AA helps people. It’s all anecdotal at best. But there’s this cultural narrative–lie, if you will–that says that the program works and it’s socially unacceptable to suggest otherwise. It’s really weird how that works.

                    Best,

                    Anton.

                    • Hi Anton,
                      It’s not weird it’s bullying and propagandizing. Bill Wilson
                      was a con man and the programs reflect his psychology.
                      Not only do the programs claim to be effective but they claim
                      to be the “only way” and assert that anyone who doesn’t do
                      exactly what some untrained”sponsor” and the program
                      dictates will end up dead in jail or institutionalized. These are
                      blatent lies that hurt people who want and/or need help with
                      their lives and emotions. AA may result in short or long term
                      “sobriety” for some but that doesn’t mean they’re healthy or
                      happy. The 12 steps rejection of harm reduction increases
                      tragic outcomes for those who engage in substance abuse.
                      I once again present the idea that abstinance=health and
                      substance use=disease as a false construct and a gross
                      oversimplification of human psychology and behavior. This
                      syndicate has lied and coerced its way into our healthcare system and society. It is evil and needs to be exposed.
                      Take care,
                      Deborah

                    • Hi Anton,
                      I posted a comment but my computer went down so I’ll retype it. It’s not weird it’s bullying and propagandizing. Bill
                      Wilson was a con man and the programs reflect his psychology. Not only do the programs claim to be effective
                      they claim to be the “only way” and assert that anyone who
                      doesn’t do exactly what some untrained “sponsor” and the
                      program dictate will end up dead in jail or institutionalized.
                      These are blatent lies that hurt people who want and/or need
                      help with their lives and emotions. AA may result in short or
                      long term “sobriety” for some but that doesn’t mean they’re healthy or happy. The 12 step rejection of harm reduction
                      increases tragic outcomes for those who engage in substance
                      abuse. I once again present the idea that abstinance=health
                      and substance use=disease is a false construct and a gross
                      oversimplification of human psychology and behavior.
                      This syndicate has lied and coerced its way into our healthcare system and society. It is evil and needs to be
                      exposed.
                      Take care,
                      Deborah

                    • Anton A. Hill Says:

                      Hi Deborah,

                      The comment posted. No worries. As for exposure, share the link to this site!

                      Best,

                      Anton.

                    • deborah Says:
                      September 21, 2012 at 5:53 pm
                      Hi Anton,
                      It’s not weird it’s bullying and propagandizing. Bill Wilson
                      was a con man and the programs reflect his psychology.
                      Not only do the programs claim to be effective but they claim
                      to be the “only way” and assert that anyone who doesn’t do
                      exactly what some untrained”sponsor” and the program
                      dictates will end up dead in jail or institutionalized. These are
                      blatent lies that hurt people who want and/or need help with
                      their lives and emotions. AA may result in short or long term
                      “sobriety” for some but that doesn’t mean they’re healthy or
                      happy. The 12 steps rejection of harm reduction increases
                      tragic outcomes for those who engage in substance abuse.
                      I once again present the idea that abstinance=health and
                      substance use=disease as a false construct and a gross
                      oversimplification of human psychology and behavior. This
                      syndicate has lied and coerced its way into our healthcare system and society. It is evil and needs to be exposed.
                      Take care,
                      Deborah

                    • Hi Anton,
                      As I said Christianity and Judaism are stupid. Islam is evil
                      and the idea that all religions are rooted in the same moral,
                      psychological and political/social intentions is a manipulation
                      that those who oppose and question religion and those who blindly accept religion as sacred embrace. Islam is just as
                      bent on world domination as Hitler was, it’s a core principle
                      and mandate in the doctrine. Keep in mind we can’t compare
                      the violent and extreme passages in the old and new testaments to the very literal and specific orders of Islamic
                      holy scriptures. Have you heard any public condemnations
                      of the violence this religious and POLITICAL system and set
                      of laws has enacted upon the west and Muslims from the “moderate Muslim community”. We are being lied to there is overwhelming support for terrorism in the
                      Islamic world and amongst Muslims living in the west. Check
                      out citizen warrior to really learn about what Islam is. The west has been very naive and uninformed (this is due in part to the
                      lies perpetrated by Muslims which is morally allowed if the cause of Islam is advanced the word is Taquea not the
                      spelling but who cares) The road to hell is paved with good
                      intentions. Europe (especially England ) may very well be over.
                      Freedom of speech is already being curtailed and intimidated
                      by violence in our own societies. England has allowed civil
                      and criminal cases to be decided by Sharia courts and France
                      has no go zones they won’t enter that have been taken over
                      legally and politically by Muslim communities. Our public school and college curriculims are being dictated and censored in regard to Islam. I’m not being alarmist. Go to the
                      blog. I’ll cut and paste something I posted about the lefts understanding of the cituation(IT’S ISLAM!)
                      Take care,
                      Deborah

                    • Well,it’s interesting that several people who have assisted our efforts to expose the AA Con game in Killington/Rutland have left or were forced out of their jobs.The lacadasical churches ,diocese and governments involved are a tad weary of this for sure.Keep posting,keep exposing the charade of charades.

                    • Can’t cut and paste this. I’m disgusted with computers. I’ll try
                      again but please contact Stanton Peele. This issue is of huge
                      importance and has very far reaching effects on us all.

  24. deborahbeth
    9/5/2012 11:57:04 PM

    12 step programs are a complete fraud and anyone
    who insists otherwise either been conned by the
    bald faced lies, propagandizing and underhanded
    bullying of this dangerous and extremely politically
    powerful cult that has taken over our healthcare
    system and infiltrated our justice system or currently
    in the throes of 12 step brainwashing and intimidation techniques (that only lasts for deeply
    disturbed people the vast majority of those who are
    involved in 12 step programs eventually see how
    sick and ridiculous it is and leave oftentimes emotionally scarred and very angry with the programs.) A huge percentage of people decide
    early on when exposed to AA that it’s nuts and abusive. The AA numbers and success rates have
    been self reported by the organization. Upon clinical
    examination(which is hard because the organization is so secretive and tells outright lies)
    there is overwhelming irrefutable evidence that
    the programs statistically are worse than nothing.
    AA doesn’t keep members it cons and coerces
    new members in a revolving door system.It’s
    non-profit claim is a ruse as the book sales made
    Bill Wilson very wealthy ( he was a despicable
    con man and deluded pathological bully who treated his wife and the AA members exploitatively
    and abusively, check out his real unsanitised bio.)
    This program has taken over a billion dollar treatment industry that is bilking our health care
    resources and citizens of money and the real
    mental health care they may need. Do some
    (non AA suplied/supported ) research if you’re
    so inclined. AA is really evil in its philosophies
    and practices. The more you learn the uglier
    it gets. This is doing more damage to our country
    than the public understands. I would like to see
    court rulings that find AA is not real treatment
    (which can be easily scientifically proven) so that
    federal and private insurance funds can be taken
    away from this scamming of our society

  25. Hi Anton,
    My comment didn’t post but I hope it provided some insights for you. We have and had (as teens) the intellectual and psychological
    development to disregard 12 step programs. I cut and pasted (I’m
    practicing this stuff it’s all new to me) something I posted on a site
    called Legal Lad. As for the link forwarding I have no clue. If you are
    so inclined cut and paste anything I’ve written to whatever sites you
    think would be most effective in dealing with this issue.
    Best wishes,
    Deborah

  26. for sure a bit off topic, but for whatever reason as responses accumulate in the thread the comment section begins to constrict on the horizontal and as a result it lengthens in the vertical. When it gets down to just a single word per line it strangely begins to seem as if an experimental or conceotional poem.

    But I have enjoyed the discussion hugely.

    • Anton A. Hill Says:

      Dammit! Didn’t know that was happening.

      It’s all Deborah’s fault! :)

      • Hi Anton,
        The last few posts are only accessable by clicking on reply and
        don’t even get me started on the logistical, economic and
        sociological effects of these overly complicated procedural steps
        that define communication and professional oppourtunity in the
        computer age. Morons are being empowered and those who use
        logic and language to navigate these cryptic arbitrary mechanics
        are at a loss. I do accept blame for the technical gliches on your
        blog and I must admit I am half Jewish and responsible for most
        of the wars and human suffering throughout the history of humanity (despite our seeming peacefulness and contributions
        to mankind we have been secretly plotting in a passive aggressive way to bring destruction to all societies). Do check
        out the Citizen Warrior blog and if you’re so inclined ,spread the word. Christianity and Judiasm are stupid. Islam is evil. Radical
        Islam and Islamic Extremists are misnomers. This is like calling
        examination and criticism of Nazis discriminatory (once again
        religion is a set of beliefs and behaviors not an immutable human
        characteristic). I am very dissapointed with the ignorant knee jerk
        responses of the left (of which I’m a proud card carrying member)
        to the dishonest manipulative tactics of the Muslim mainstream.
        Mohammed is no different than Hitler. Europe may be over.
        Take Care,
        Deborah

        • Anton A. Hill Says:

          Hi Deborah,

          In case you haven’t done this already, you may want to just start a new thread by doing an original reply.

          I don’t know enough about Mohammed to sufficiently comment except that I’m not sure that he intentioanlly set about the annihilation of an entire culture, and certainly not in the systematic, state-sponsored way in which Hitler did.

          But then Hitler was in the majority. Europe has always been very antisemitic and Hitler’s age was no different. Mohammed was up against those who thought he was full of shit.

          I almost think Muslims and Mormons have more in common.

          Best,

          Anton.

  27. Hi Anton,
    I don’t even know what an original thread means. It’s not self
    explanitory hence my point about the mechanics of these machines
    needing to be more user friendly. Mormons are whack (as I like to say about Romney you believe in magic underwear, you’re not getting my vote for leader of the free world) but that being said, Islam
    is much closer to Nazism psychologically and philisophically than
    Moronism (that’s a pun not a typo). Mormons don’t engage in the
    acts of violence and intolerence that Muslims do which are directly
    commanded by the Islamic holy scriptures. The west is ignorant
    about what Islam really is and that so called moderate Muslims are
    sympathetic and support terrorists in logistical and monetary ways.
    This religion is a brainwashing cult that uses threats of violence
    and murder to keep its members obedient. Check out Citizen Warrior. Fuck you Islam. Mohammed was a stone cold psychopath!
    Best Wishes,
    Deborah

    • Anton A. Hill Says:

      Hi Deborah,

      I may have already mentioned this, but just scroll to the bottom and leave a new comment.

      I am largely ignorant of Islam. I’m only slightly less ignorant of Mormonism, but I am aware of the magic underwear. Though when it really gets down to it, I don’t know that magic underwear is any more nutty than transubstantiation or Jewish liches.

      Best,

      Anton.

  28. Anonymous September 13, 2012 4:40 PM
    I have seen rampant false “but look what we do” comments on line by people who think they’re being
    progressive and free thinking. This
    is morally and intellectually lazy.
    I find it offensive as a citizen of a Western democracy that this potentially self defeating rhetoric
    is mindlessly spewn forth by immature idiots with no real intellect who have gotten no facts
    or given any serious thought to the
    issues. I am female and very aware
    of and angered by our sexism which
    is sometimes covert and subtle as we pay lip service to equality for women and HAVE LAWS DEMANDING IT! I would never equate it with the treatment of women in the Islamic world (which is a direct result of
    Islamic doctrine and law.)To do so is to disregard what I would imagine is one of the most extreme and large scale occurances of human right abuses in the
    history of Mankind. The shortcomings of Christianity are
    irrelevant to the tyranny, violence
    and evil that is Islam. And don’t
    cite things that happened hundreds
    of years ago. We have developed into a modern society with values
    including rights,justice,equality
    and human decency. When we fall short of our ambitious and noble
    goals for this society that does not make us as bad,cruel,violent,
    unjust and barbaric as Islamic theocracies are. One cannot help but notice that the US detractors
    with their ignorant yeah buts have nothing negative to say about the Islamic world. They know next to
    nothing about Islam. I’ve heard many people say the West has made
    these societies what they are. Its
    not our foreign policy it’s Islam.We didn’t force it on them(it was there long before the USA
    was even created )but they would force it on us if they could.These
    stupid and dangerous comments make me angry. Military and foreign policy decisions made by elected politicians(that many Americans may object to,not know about until after the fact and over which they
    exert no direct control)are not the same thing as violent mobs of citizens taking to the street or huge crowds cheering for the deaths of Westerners or Israelies.
    Shoving someone is not worse or the same as shooting someone. To insist it is is thoughtless and dishonest. I can’t give this behavior a free pass especially
    when those who espouse ths garbage
    are so arrogent and sure they’re
    seeing through the status quo and
    challenging the powers that be. Abbie hoffman is turning over in his grave.This is a great blog and
    the only informed and intelligent
    discourse I”ve seen or heard about this very important issue.Thank you!

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  29. After revising, adding to and editing Understanding Muhammad since its first release in 2008, I am now happy with the final result and will not alter it again. The sixth edition will be going to print and will be available from any bookstore in North America. Meanwhile, I have stopped the sale of the fifth edition. The new edition should be released in the fall of 2012. I would like also to thank all the friends who commented on the book and gave me constructive criticism.

    _____________

    Since September 11, 2001, there have been over 18,000 terrorist attacks, resulting in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of civilians and a lot more injuries, throughout the world. The perpetrators of these crimes were not monsters; they were Muslims. They were pious people who believed and acted in accordance with their faith. There are millions more who think like them and are ready to do the same.

    If you think Islamic terrorism is a new phenomenon, think again. Islam owes its success to terrorism. The prophet of Islam bragged, “I have been made victorious with terror“. [Bukhari: 4.52. 220] Since the day Muhammad set foot in Medina, he started his campaign of terror. His followers have been doing the same ever since.

    Muslims are intolerant, supremacist, bullying, and violent. They are highly inflammable and can explode if they are not treated preferentially and with respect. At the same time, they abuse others. This is psychopathology.

    To understand Muslims, one must understand their prophet. Muslims worship and emulate Muhammad. Islam is Muhammadanism. Only by understanding him can one know what makes them tick.

    Understanding Muhammad is a psychobiography of Allah’s Prophet. Historians tell us that Muhammad used to withdraw to a cave, spending days wrapped in his thoughts. He heard bells ringing and had ghostly visions. He thought he had become demon possessed, but his wife reassured him that he had become a prophet. Convinced of his status, he was intolerant of those who rejected him, assassinated those who criticized him, raided, looted, and massacred entire populations. He reduced thousands to slavery, raped, and allowed his men to rape female captives. All of this, he did with a clear conscience and a sense of entitlement.

    He was magnanimous to those who admired him, but vengeful to those who did not. He believed he was the most perfect human creation and the universe’s raison d’être. Muhammad was no ordinary man. He was a psychopathic narcissist.

    Understanding Muhammad, ventures beyond the stories. Focusing on the “why” rather than the “what,” it unravels the mystique of the most influential and yet enigmatic man in history.

    Muhammad believed in his own cause. He was so certain of the reality of his hallucinations that he expected everyone to believe in them too. He would make his Allah indignantly ask “What! Do you then dispute with him [Muhammad] as to what he saw?” (Q.53:12) This is psychopathology. Why should others believe in what he saw? Wasn’t it up to him to prove what he saw was real? Only a psychopathic narcissist expects others to believe in his claims without asking for evidence.

    Muhammad was an orphan. Spurned by his mother in his infancy and left in the care of a Bedouin couple, he had a loveless childhood. He then passed to the care of his grandfather and uncle who took pity on him and spoiled him. Not receiving love at a time he needed unconditional love and not receiving discipline when he needed to learn about boundaries, he developed narcissistic personality disorder, a trait that made him a megalomaniac bereft of conscience. He fantasized about unlimited power, expected praise and admiration, believed he was special, and expected others to believe him and go along with his ideas and plans. He took advantage of others, was jealous, yet believed others were jealous of him, and was hurt when rejected, even killing those who deserted him. He lied and deceived, feeling entitled and justified in doing so. All these are traits of narcissistic personality disorder.

    Thanks to another mental illness, temporal lobe epilepsy, the prophet of Islam had vivid hallucinations which he interpreted as mystical and divine intimations. When he claimed he heard voices, saw angels and other ghostly entities, he was not lying. He could not distinguish reality from fantasy.

    Muhammad also suffered from obsessive compulsive disorder, causing his fixation on numbers, rituals and stringent rules. OCD explains why he lived such an austere life and why his religion is filled with so many absurd rules.

    In late life Muhammad was affected by acromegaly, a disease caused by excessive production of a growth hormone, resulting in large bones, cold and fleshy hands and feet and coarse facial features such as enlarged lips, nose and tongue. Acromegaly occurs after the age of 40 and usually kills the patient in his early 60s. It causes impotence, while TLE increases libido. This explains Muhammad’s sexual vagaries in his old age and why he had such an insatiable craving for sex. He would visit all his 9 wives in one night to touch and fondle them, without having intercourse. His impotence explains his insecurity, paranoia, and intense jealousy for his young wives. He ordered them to cover themselves, lest other men cast a lusting eye on them. Today, half a billion Muslim women veil themselves, because Muhammad was impotent. Muhammad’s illnesses explain a lot of mysteries of Islam.

    The combination of all these psychological disorders and his unusual physiognomy made Muhammad a phenomenon that set him apart from ordinary people. His uneducated followers interpreted his differences as signs of his prophethood. Like devotees of all cults, they rose to champion his cause with dedication. By defying death and butchering others they made Islam the world’s second largest religion, now the biggest threat to world peace and the survival of human civilization.

    Why is it important to know Muhammad? Because over a billion people try to be like him and do as he did. Consequently, the insanity of one man is bequeathed to all his followers. It is by understanding him that we can see through them, and be able to predict these unpredictable people.

    We live in a dangerous time. When a fifth of humanity worships a psychopath, eulogizes suicide bombing and thinks killing and martyrdom are ultimate acts of piety, the world becomes a dangerous place. When these people acquire the atomic bomb, the earth becomes a powder keg.

    Islam is a cult. It is time to wake up and realize that this cult is a threat to mankind and there can be no co-existence with Muslims. As long as Muslims believe in Muhammad, they are a threat to others and to themselves. Muslims must leave Islam, leave their culture of hate and join the rest of mankind as fellow humans, or non-Muslims must separate themselves from them, ban Islam, end the immigration of Muslims and send home those who plot against democracy and refuse to integrate.

    Islam is incompatible with democracy. It is a warring creed that uses democracy to destroy it and to establish itself as a worldwide totalitarian regime. The only way to avert the clash between this barbarity and civilization and a world disaster, is to expose the fallacy of Islam and demystify it. Muslims must be weaned from Islam for humanity to live in peace.

    Understanding Muhammad is imperative for both Muslims and non-Muslims. This book makes that task easy.

    Reviews of Understanding Muhammad

    1 FJordman

  30. to aholzman

    I am a strong Obama supporter and very proud to call him my president. I am very dissapointed in our (and Europe’s ) political left’s Islamic apologists. Those who support progressive values (which the Republican Party does not but they are not Islamic! ) should be opposed to Islam, its doctrine and its practices. I will cut and paste something I posted on Citizen Warrior (amazing blog I am trying to spread the word we must learn from Europe’s
    example, this is not alarmist.) The Muslim deception of the West in all fairness was in large part due to the lies and

    manipulations of the Muslim communities here and abroad. You will see in my post however that I don’t excuse the

    West completely. In defense of Obama I have to say these are matters of national security so prompt and full

    disclosure are sometimes not in our strategic interests and he did find Bin Laden and kill him (this culture of intimidation the Islamic world has imposed on the West while posturing as victims should not be met with

    negotiation or cultural sensitivity.) Food for thought, any embassy in a foreign country is legally considered the soil

    of that country. When members of that mob broke into the embassy desacrated property and committed attempted murder and murder these were crimes commited in our country over which our government has legal and

    judicial authority.

    Anonymous September 13, 2012 4:40 PM

    to aholzman

    I am a strong Obama supporter and very proud to call him my president. I am very dissapointed in our (and Europe’s ) political left’s Islamic apologists. Those who support progressive values (which the Republican Party does not but they are not Islamic! ) should be opposed to Islam, its doctrine and its practices. I will cut and paste something I posted on Citizen Warrior (amazing blog I am trying to spread the word we must learn from Europe’s
    example, this is not alarmist.) The Muslim deception of the West in all fairness was in large part due to the lies and

    manipulations of the Muslim communities here and abroad. You will see in my post however that I don’t excuse the

    West completely. In defense of Obama I have to say these are matters of national security so prompt and full

    disclosure are sometimes not in our strategic interests and he did find Bin Laden and kill him (this culture of intimidation the Islamic world has imposed on the West while posturing as victims should not be met with

    negotiation or cultural sensitivity.) Food for thought, any embassy in a foreign country is legally considered the soil

    of that country. When members of that mob broke into the embassy desacrated property and committed attempted murder and murder these were crimes commited in our country over which our government has legal and

    judicial authority.

    Anonymous September 13, 2012 4:40 PM

  31. I never was an alcoholic. I have experience with a few that have recovered in AA. I’ve been to a couple open meetings. AA is a life saver for many people and they have formed lasting relationships with like minded people in the program. I’m am against all religions, but AA only refers to a higher power – it is whatever you want it to be. One can believe in their own or choose the non-sense Jesus or other made up God. I’ve known people that have tried the program and failed. If you don’t live it you go back to drinking – that is what I have seen. And it is true that courts do send drunk drivers to AA. I don’t know the statistics, but some must recover – I suppose it is the best option available. There is a lot of negativity here about AA, but how about offering up something better with your remarks. Self responsibility is very difficult to learn for most people and some that think they are really are not. If people can learn it at AA then that is a BIG BIG deal. You can’t learn it at church or school or work. All in all I say AA is an excellent organization and there are thousands out who know that from experience, so rather than tear it down, go after real poison – religion – the opiate of the masses, the fairy tale that many dummies believe and live and will die for – that is the real enemy of self-responsibility, common sense, and logic.

    • You have no idea what you’re talking about. There has been
      vast clinical scientific data and research about substance use/
      abuse patterns as well as 12 step programs. The success of
      AA has been self reported by the organization which uses it’s
      claim of anonymity to remain secretive and free from accountability (fyi there is no professional or legal obligation
      for members to protect the privacy of anyone outside the rooms
      and the contents of confessions in a meeting or to a sponsor/group member are admissable in a court of law.) AA
      is worse than nothing it has led to suicides and beyond not
      addressing the emotional and enviormental issues that trigger
      drug and alcohol problems it’s abusive and damaging. Think
      about the reckless nature of any arbitrary untrained person
      being put in the role of mental health care provider. Addiction is
      not a disease, not progressive and usually doesn’t result in death.
      These are lies told by AA which is far from non profit. The rates
      of people quitting drugs/alcohol are the same if not higher for
      those who decide to quit on their own yet this group claims to
      be the only way and promises death, institutionalization or jail
      for everyone who doesn’t mindlessly submit to the will of a
      higher power (and their sponsor.) Bill W(ilson) was a fucked up
      fascist abusive con man who continued to exibit said traits long
      after he stopped drinking. Everything I said about 12 steps is
      based on factual research and the first hand accounts of those
      exposed to it. The vast majority of people step away and AA does
      not save lives that is a lie. You also can’t be anti religion and pro
      12 steps. They are worse than religion this is a cult based in an
      into;erent bullying sin based philosophy. The god concept was
      broadened to higher power(semantics) to extend the cults membership to non religious people. It is evil and hurting many
      lives as well as bilking our health care industry out of billions of
      dollars. Do some research before assuming this is an excellent
      organization. I know you mean well but you and society have been lied to by this scam. Read the Orange Papers and Stanton
      Peele (a psychologist and lawyer with ivy league credentials.)
      Forced participation in AA has been found to violate separation of
      church and state by one court decision after another all of whom
      found the program to be overtly religious. Be well and take care.

    • Anton A. Hill Says:

      Hi Rick,

      I’ll address a couple of your points.

      1. As you said, “formed lasting relationships.” That’s the lifesaver. You’d have to otherwise prove that AA is.
      2. AA does refer to a higher power, for which it provides neither definition nor evidence. It’s a meaningless phrase.
      3. As you say, it is whatever you choose it to be, which renders it entirely meaningless. If one’s going to give one’s faults over to the care of whatever one wants the receiver (higher power) to be, then just cut out the middle man and accept personal responsibility for one’s faults. This is the fundamental premise of the program that I’ve never understood. It’s predicated on the assumption that one must turn over one’s faults to someone else. But there’s no reason why this must be true.
      4. I understand that you’ve seen those who don’t live the program and go back to drinking. But, by definition, this is anecdotal evidence. The same can be said of any number of claims of salvation from any number of vices. There is zero evidence that AA is necessarily causal in the anecdotes of sobriety told of it.
      5. That courts send drunks to AA isn’t evidence that AA is the best option. And as I pointed out in the post, the action of sending drunks to AA is a violation of the First Amendment of the US Constitution.
      6. Here’s my offer of “something better” than AA. Take responsibility for your actions. That’s it because that’s all that’s necessary. But…
      7. It’s not my responsibility to come up with “something better” than AA. I never claimed to be a recovery expert. All I claimed was that it’s bullshit.
      8. Self responsibilty may be difficult, but that’s no excuse to A. allow people not to practice it or B. break the law by having government officials ignore the Constitution.
      9. If people can learn personal responsibility at AA, they can learn it anywhere.
      10. I challenge you to prove your assertion that persona responsibility can’t be learned elsewhere.
      11. I agree with your assessment of religion, but on this site, I endeavor to go after bullshit–the harmful and the seemingly harmless–equally.

      Best,

      Anton.

      • aa was formed by a narcissistic control freak who preached
        about god as the answer even though he was fucking other woman
        behind his wifes back. he preached anonymity yet he had his picture
        in newspapers and lived off the money from the big book for his
        miserable life. he even wrote the chapter TO WIVES because his wife
        wanted to do it but he knew that if she did, people would find out
        what a lying hypocritical scumbag he was. aa is responsible for
        sick, mentally ill people not seeking proper treatment and dying.
        it is bullshit, religious garbage. bill wilson dropped acid to try
        and treat his depression but did he change his sobriety date? no,
        of course not. i’m glad hes dead.he lied and condemned sick people
        to a life of mediocrity and servitude just so he could get what he
        always wanted.attention.

  32. [...] funny to me, though, is I imagine the most popular and not best written post seems to be my rant on AA. While I’m glad that’s brought people here, I kind of wish it had been something [...]

    • The control of 12 step temperance prohibitionist policy, morality
      and psychology is dangerous far beyond some new age twit at a dinner party (and don’t you ever try to catagorize and dismiss me as such because my intellect is fierce and formidable I will rip you to shreds with facts. logic and genius insight. That’s a promise. )12 step programs and the financial, health care , legal
      cultural and social impact are of profoundly far reaching meaning
      and consequence philosophically and practically. Serious stuff.

  33. I’m an atheist who has been recovering in AA quite happily for seven years. I have no problem working the program. It’s a shame when people conflate their atheism with wilful ignorance. But hey ho, it’s your lookout.
    It might have some characteristics of a cult but how many cults would allow you to come and say ‘I think this is bullshit’ indefinitely? Or would allow you to come and go as you please?
    Granted, there are meetings which are unwell or zealous and that don’t give the newcomer the love, acceptance and patience I was given. That’s a shame.
    Anyway, if you don’t need us, fair enough, have a good life. If at any point you feel you do, we’d love to see you. Oh and maybe if you don’t understand something ask someone to explain it. It’s ok to be angry though, I understand.

    • Hi Woop,

      I wonder if you read what I wrote because with over a decade of experience in the 12-step programs, I’m hardly willfully ignorant. And if you consider my experience willful ignorance, what would you consider knowledgeable?

      Honestly, my characterization of AA as a cult was a touch dramatic as what you say is true. At the same time, however, with, as you admit, its cult-like features, it is cult-like.

      As I mentioned in the post, my two biggest problems with the program are 1. that it preaches concepts for which it has zero evidence (higher power among other things) and 2. that it receives unmerited privilege from the government.

      Well, I don’t need AA because I’m not an alcoholic, not because I’m an atheist. I’m not angry, I’m more frustrated. And no, I don’t need your explanation as, per above, I have plenty of experience.

      Best,

      Anton.

      • With respect, the reason I wrote ignorance is because of the language you used in your original post. I’d put money on you not having worked the program.

        I actually agree about it being connected to govt. In the uk it isn’t and I (and quite a few other members, I think) hope it never will be. You basically get people who don’t want to be there and who use the connection with govt to drive a resentment.

        Personally, I think it’s very important that we are only seen as one way to find recovery. There are other ways; other paradigms that work better for other people. No biggie. All I’d say to a prospective member is any way out is going to take a degree of openmindedness and sustained effort.

        As for the higher power thing, i just understand that as a power greater than me. The collective knowledge in the rooms is greater than me. Human knowledge is greater than mine. Science is a power greater. Etc etc etc. it’s simple.

        Anyhow, peace. Out.

        • Then you’d lose your money. As I said in the post, I have more than 10 years direct experience with the Ala-Non family groups and even more years of indirect experience.

          I’m glad to read that AA doesn’t enjoy government support in the UK. Maybe one day that’ll be true here. Until it is, though, my objections to such involvement stand.

          While I agree with what you say of “only seen as one way,” in the US, AA tends to be respected as either the best way or only way. Granted, this isn’t entirely AA’s fault; it’s cultural as well, but AA seems to have no official objection to its cultural status.

          I’d argue that there are only other ways. Believing that a “higher power” cures one of one’s alcoholism has zero evidence to support it, thus it doesn’t work. Perhaps socially sharing with other alcoholics does, but that has nothing to do with a higher power.

          I agree with you on sustained effort. I have no idea what you mean here by openmindedness.

          If all you’re going to say about a higher power is “I understand that as a power greater than me,” then what’s the point of the construct to begin with? If you’re going to define “higher power” as “collective knowledge in rooms,” then why not just say “collective knowledge in rooms”? There’s zero need to artificially insert meaning where there is none.

          • So you’ve worked the program with a sponsor? I don’t believe you. You can sit in meetings forever. That isn’t working the program. You can sit and watch Spanish TV every day. You might pick a few things but, without help you’ll be unlikely to be fluent.
            I say open minded because every technique will ask you to challenge your own thinking.
            That’s just my understanding of a power greater. To others it might be more supernatural (or less). It has to be a free choice. Forced belief doesn’t work anywhere. The founder members were both Christians but they actually committed heresy by opening it up like they did. What religion would say ‘believe whatever you want’? I know a guy who uses a London bus as his higher power. Ok, it’s crazy but it works for him and that’s all that matters.

            • Never said I worked with a sponsor. Said I was active in Ala-Non family groups for 10 years. I don’t care if you believe me. Now you’re pulling the Not-A-True-Scotsman fallacy. The only thing I didn’t do was get a sponsor. Everything else I did. I made amends. I practiced rigorous honesty in all my affairs. And so on.

              I’m not sure how much we can discuss open mindedness as the concept is based on the assumption that my pre-Ala-Non thinking was closed, but since I’d been raised in the program before I practiced it myself, that was all my thinking. In fact, by that definition, my mind was completely closed, except in the opposite way you’re suggesting.

              Okay, that’s your understanding, but even with your statement, you’re saying that there are multiple possibilities in understanding. This widens the definition of “higher power” so much as to render it meaningless. I’d argue that a more supernatural model does tend to be forced. Socially forced. While every group is different, and maybe this hasn’t been your experience, every group I’ve been involved with has definitely emphasized a supernatural nature to the higher-power concept.

              But if someone uses a bus as his higher power, then the whole concept of the higher power is ridiculous. Can this person honestly say that he doesn’t drink due to the power of the London bus? If so, he’s insane because the London bus is a system of inanimate objects; it has no control, direct or indirect, over his drinking.

              Except that it doesn’t work for him. What works for him is presuming responsibility of his drinking to somehow be in the hands of an external force. But that external force is, well, external. It has no bearing on his drinking whatsoever. What does is he. He chooses not to drink because he’s found value in not drinking. Why he chooses to assign his accomplishment to an external, ridiculous force, I imagine, is that it’s, for some stupid reason, taboo for us to not only take responsibility for our own actions, but also take credit for them as well.

              The more dangerous undercurrent of your bus-worshipping pal is that if he finds such delusional thinking reasonable for such a mundane thing as the choice of whether to drink, imagine what other ridiculous concepts he might be willing to commit himself to for no other reason than surface-level social acceptability. I wonder what justifications he uses when he votes. What a Kit-Kat bar told him? How about how he treats his family? Does the post box have some say in that? Or does he limit his delusional thinking only to the bus::pint relationship?

            • I don’t see how having a sponsor helps the claim that AA is not a cult. I also grew up in AA (my parents were in the program), and I was solidly involved with Al-Anon for 5 years. I had a sponsor who I called daily, I went to 3 meetings a week, 2 conferences a year, worked the steps, sponsored others, all of it. I loved the program, I thought it was the only way to live my life, and I intended to stick with it for the rest of my life.

              The sponsorship part was the most cult-like of the whole thing for me. My sponsor allowed me no privacy. She learned every intimate detail of my life and directed all of my decisions. In our area we have different “sponsorship lines” our line prided itself in being the most committed to the program, and almost everyone in my area was in it. We only used “pure” literature like the Big Book – none of that watered-down Al-Anon crap. We were required to wear skirts to all the conferences we went to, and we would leave each other little gifts on our pillows and line up in the order of the amount of time we had in the program. It was like a sorority or something. We also followed strict rules like no sex until marriage, no asking boys out on dates (wait until they ask you), and we were required to call our sponsor at the exact same time every day. If we missed or were late, we made amends. If that’s not a cult, I don’t know what is.

              Even though I felt all of Al-Anon was ultimately harmful, I think the best part was just sitting in meetings and listening to people share. Having a sponsor and working the steps really screwed up my life until I got the confidence to quit and live my own life.

              • Yeah, the sitting around chatting with people I’ve never had a problem with. It’s the “higher power” horseshit and government sponsorship that have troubled me.

  34. An arbitrary untrained unaccountable member of the general
    public being given the role, responsibilities and authority of a
    mental health care provider is beyond outrageous morally, medically,
    psychologically economically the list goes on and on. This should
    not be a radical idea in a SANE developed society with some
    semblence of structure and morality regarding science, health care
    and the law (as in rule of, it’s right up there with the opposible
    thumb in seperating us from the animal kingdom.) Trained clinicians
    are subject to professional and legal accountability while privacy
    of patients is seriously protected. Training and certification is not a garauntee of competence or integrity but it must be a minimally
    required litmus does this even need stating it’s so obvious and
    basic and any assertion to the contrary is retarded irresponsible
    indefensible illegal and totally unacceptable on every level in
    a civilized society. I suggest anyone interested scroll back in the
    comments (I’m sure my longwindedness has given Anton more
    than a few headaches sorry buddy, you are nothing if not gracious)
    to learn more about the facts and real history of 12 steps and
    substance use and abuse. Even those opposed to 12 steps which
    are incredibly fucked up corrupt and evil, use the same language
    and operate within the same false constructs and goals of 12 steps
    which is rooted in the fascist puritanical ideology and psychology
    of the temperence movement and prohibition.

    • Well said Deborah, well said indeed.

      • Thank you. I think this fucked up bullshit is affecting all of us
        economically, socially, culturally, psychologically, philosophically,
        legally and morally. It’s not just a ridiculous cult it’s a very
        dangerous power and influence in this country on every level
        health care, law enforcement, the courts, civil liberties truth,
        justice and the most basic tenets of liberty and personal choice
        privacy and freedom that are supposed to be inalienable rights and the foundation of America. If this sounds overly dramatic
        upon examining the real effects 12 step lies rooted in a literally fascist and very abusive psychology and morality have every
        time a police officer, judge, medical or mental health practitioner,
        employer, spouse or partner family member friend enemy neighbor teacher social worker or stranger comes in contact with a situation that happens to involve in part to whatever degree
        substance abuse the standard having now been lowered to mere use this affects everyone profoundly. Human psychology and
        behavior is potentially affected but in no way close to defined
        or understood in terms of substance use/abuse. The totally made up 12 step fraud teaches everyone that it is. It precludes a society
        that has insight and compassion in regard to humanity and it
        obscures scrutiny at the same time giving creditability to many
        toxic abusive people while demonizing and discrediting many
        who seek relief from emotional and situational pain with drugs
        and alcohol. These gross moral factual and medical lies which
        have been disproven with real clinical findings are seen as truth
        and scientific fact by the entire society. This is medical fraud.

  35. Alcoholism: A disease of speculation

    “In 1976, the writer Ivan Illich warned in the book, Limits to Medicine, that ‘the medical establishment has become a major threat to health’. At the time, he was dismissed as a maverick, but a quarter of a century later, even the medical establishment is prepared to admit that he may well be right. (Anthony Browne, April 14, 2002, the Observer)”

    History and science have shown us that the existence of the disease of alcoholism is pure speculation. Just saying alcoholism is a disease, doesn’t make it true. Nevertheless, medical professionals and American culture enthusiastically embraced the disease concept and quickly applied it to every possible behavior from alcohol abuse to compulsive lecturing and nail biting. The disease concept was a panacea for many failing medical institutions and pharmaceutical companies, adding billions of dollars to the industry and leading to a prompt evolution of pop-psychology. Research has shown that alcoholism is a choice, not a disease, and stripping alcohol abusers of their choice, by applying the disease concept, is a threat to the health of the individual.

    The disease concept oozes into every crevice of our society perpetuating harmful misinformation that hurts the very people it was intended to help. Remarkably, the assumptions of a few were accepted as fact by the medical profession, devoid of any scientific study or supporting evidence. And soon after, the disease concept was accepted by the general public. With this said, visiting the history of the disease concept gives us all a better understanding of how and why all of this happened.

    The disease concept originated in the 1800s with a fellow by the name of Dr. Benjamin Rush. He believed those who drank too much alcohol were diseased and used the idea to promote his prohibitionist political platform. He also believed that dishonesty, political dissention and being of African-American descent were diseases. The “disease concept” was used throughout the late 1800s and early 1900s by prohibitionists and those involved in the Temperance Movement to further their political agenda. Prior to c.1891, the term alcoholic, referring to someone who drank too much alcohol, did not exist. Before that, alcohol was freely consumed, but drunkenness was not tolerated. Many sociologists contribute its non-existence to the very stigma that the disease concept removes. Drunkenness was not so much seen as the cause of deviant behavior-in particular crime and violence- as it was construed as a sign that an individual was willing to engage in such behavior.” (H.G. Levine, “The Good Creature of God and the Demon Rum,” in Alcohol and Disinhibitition, eds. R. Room and G. Collins.) During this period of time social ties and family played a much more influential role in an individual’s life. Therefore, deviant behaviors were undesirable and less likely to occur. It was not until industrialization began, when the importance of social and family ties diminished, that alcoholism became a problem. We now live in a society that encourages binge drinking as a social norm, but at the same time, we live in a society that discourages it.

    The “recovery” community’s adoption of the disease concept began with an early AA member named Marty Mann. Her efforts, combined with a somewhat dubious scientist named E.M. Jellinek, began national acceptance of the disease concept. It was Jellinek’s self-proclaimed “scientific” study that opened the door for the medical community’s support. E.M. Jellinek’s study was funded by the efforts of Marty Mann and R. Brinkley Smithers. And, like so many other circumstances involving Jellinek and Mann, the study was bogus, if not outright fraudulent. The surveys Jellinek based his conclusions on were from a handpicked group of alcoholics. There were 158 questionnaires handed out and 60 of them were suspiciously not included. His conclusion was based on less than 100 handpicked alcoholics chosen by Marty Mann. Mann, of course, had a personal agenda to remove the stigma about the homeless and dirty alcoholic or “bowery drunk” in order to gain financial support from the wealthy. By removing the stigma, the problem becomes one of the general population, which would then include the wealthy. The first step was Jellinek publishing his findings in his book “The Disease Concept of Alcoholism,” which was based on selected subjects who fit the criteria supporting Mann’s preconceived conclusions. Later, E.M. Jellinek was asked by Yale University to refute his own findings. He complied. E.M. Jellinek’s The Disease Concept of Alcoholism did not stand up to scientific scrutiny.

    Early in the 20th Century, the validity of the disease concept was often debated in medical circles. However, in 1956 the American Medical Association (AMA) proclaimed alcoholism an “illness.” Then, in 1966, the AMA proclaimed alcoholism a disease. The decision was embroiled in controversy. Historically, Marty Mann had her hand in much of this and manipulated information and doctors into agreeing with the disease concept. Marty Mann used her position as founder of the NCA (National Counsel for Alcoholism) to promote the disease concept through Jellinek and the founder of the NIAAA (National Institute for Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse) whose founder worked with Marty Mann during the institute’s early development. The founder of NIAAA, R. Brinkley Smithers, was a major contributor to, and promoter of, the disease concept. It was his money that actually funded Jellinek’s work at Yale. Smithers was also responsible for gaining insurance coverage for patients in treatment (hence the 28 day program.) Smithers was certainly not altruistic in his efforts. At that time he had already launched a treatment program for which he was lobbying for insurance payments. Acceptance by the medical community was the only way this could happen; alcoholism had to be a medical problem in order for medical insurance to pay for programs. We can see the influence of these “advances” everyday in treatment programs. Today, the treatment industry is a multi-billion dollar industry, with insurance paying the lion’s share of the costs. [Author’s note: In 2008, insurance companies paid for approximately 40% of those who underwent alcohol and drug treatment. By 2008 “the lion’s share” of the cost of drug and alcohol treatment was paid by private payers.]

    While it can be argued that Smithers’ efforts played an important role, it was Jellinek’s study that was such a monumental turning point for the supporters of the disease concept. The disease model was, in part, developed and promulgated by Jellinek and various other partial participants, all with personal agendas. Today (2009), Jellinek’s “Stages of the Alcoholism” is still widely used to diagnose substance abuse.

    But, these stages are based on a corrupt study that the author, himself, later refuted.
    Jellinek not only published a fraudulent study, he defrauded members of his academic community, and apparently lied about his educational background to gain acceptance. Nonetheless, it was Jellinek’s “Stages of the Alcoholism” that led to diagnosing alcoholism as a disease and eventually to the medical acceptance of alcoholism as a disease. Astoundingly, the inception of the disease theory and treatment for substance abuse is based on fraud.

    While many advocate for its benefits, the disease concept has proven to be far more damaging to substance user then anyone could have predicted. Therapists claim the disease concept helps the patient to understand the seriousness of [his/her] problems. But in reality, this idea backfired. The disease concept stripped the substance user of personal responsibility. A disease cannot be cured by force of will; therefore, adding the medical label transfers the responsibility from the user to caregivers. Inevitably, the users become unwilling victims, and just as inevitably they take on that role. In retrospect then, the disease concept has effectively increased alcoholism and drug use. Furthermore, its only benefit has been vast monetary reward for the professionals’ and governmental agencies responsible for providing recovery services. Specifically, it has not offered a solution for those attempting to stop abusive alcohol and drug use.

    Baldwin Research Institute, Inc. interviewed 545 self-acknowledged substance users. Out of the 545, 454 of them had been to at least one conventional, disease-based treatment facility prior to the interview. Some had been to as many as 20 or more conventional, disease-based treatment facilities prior to the interview. Of the total 545 substance abusers, 542 never thought they had a disease. Rather, they thought they had made poor choices regarding their substance use. Three thought they had a disease, and it should be noted that those three were continuing to use substances. For those who did not think they had a disease, more than 400 of them falsely stated during conventional treatment that they believed they had a disease. The pressure to conform to the treatment rhetoric and the built-in excuse to relapse were the primary reasons given by treatment clients for saying they had a disease even when they believed wholeheartedly that it was not true. Many, perhaps most, substance users embrace any excuse to be insincere and abdicate responsibility for themselves, even if they know in their heart, it’s a lie.

    In a recent Gallup poll, 90 percent of people surveyed believe that alcoholism is a disease. Most argue that because the American Medical Association (AMA) has proclaimed alcoholism a disease, the idea is without reproach. But, the fact is that the AMA made this determination in the absence of empirical evidence. After reviewing the history of the decision, it is reasonable to suggest that the AMA has been pursuing its own agenda in the face of evidence refuting the disease theory of alcoholism. While the AMA has made contributions in the mental health field, the AMA is not outside the box and many of its mental health contributions have been dubious, at best. The AMA is a part of the capitalist paradigm that is necessary for our society to function. The promulgation of the disease concept, in conjunction with AMA approval, has created a multi-billion dollar treatment industry that contributes billions to the health care industry. But, even with the AMA’s lofty status, mistakes in classifications can and has resulted in disastrous consequence.

    While the AMA’s classifications for the most part are accurate, the organization is not without error. Since its inception the AMA has made classifications of varying “deviant” behaviors without scientific research to validate its claims. And, for whatever reason, the definition of a disease, as set forth by the AMA, is a malleable and all inclusive definition allowing for the inclusion of almost every behavior, deviant or otherwise. As a result, every unwanted behavior can be medicalized and medically treated, thereby providing professionals with more patients and more income.

    With respect to alcoholism, it is beyond the grasp of logic for medical professionals to prescribe 12-step type meeting attendance as a remedy for an “incurable” medical ailment, not to mention a contradiction to the supposed nature of the problem. Medical professionals are admittedly incapable of helping drug addicts and alcoholics so they pass the buck to organizations outside of the medical community. But, because of recidivism rates and treatment failure, the buck is passed right back. Patients in search of help, pay, on average, over $18,000 (BRI 2003) to attend programs based on principals promulgated by 12 step groups. After an array of varying forms of “therapy” the patient is released with a prescription for lifelong attendance to AA or NA meetings.

    In treatment and 12 step groups the individual is told that they can only live “one day at a time.” Additionally, they are told that they should never be fooled into believing they can be cured, and if they don’t attend meetings they will inevitably fall prey to their “disease doing push-ups in the parking lot.” The disease, as described by 12 steppers, is all powerful; it is a separate entity and without meetings it will destroy them. But, with some thought one realizes that these ideas are oxymoronic. To point out the obvious, if someone is “powerless” they would, by definition, not be able to control themselves, not even one day at a time.

    The absurdities do not stop with 12 step groups; professionals contribute their own set of absurdities. For example, the AMA’s definition of alcoholism is: “Alcoholism is an illness characterized by preoccupation with alcohol and loss of control over its consumption, such as to lead usually to intoxication if drinking; by chronicity, by progression and by a tendency toward relapse. It is typically associated with physical disability and impaired emotional, occupational and/or social adjustments as a direct consequence of persistent excessive use.”

    A natural assumption would be that the classification of a disease requires that characteristics and symptoms can be measured or observed. While the majority of diseases fit this requirement, substance abuse does not. The contradiction to these requirements lies within the defined nature of “alcoholism.” This supposed disease’s symptoms are only discovered after the consumption of alcohol. The health risks, dangerous behaviors and repercussions only materialize after the alcohol is consumed and not before. In comparison, the diagnosis for cancer comes after symptoms surface or cancerous cell are discovered. There are physically visible anomalies that can be measured. This measurement does not exist with alcoholics. The majority of time, the diagnoses of alcoholism is a guess, if indeed such a diagnosis actually exists. There is little question that a person exposed to enough carcinogens or radiation will eventually get cancer. With alcohol it is questionable if a person will become a problem drinker if exposed to alcohol. While cancer is a separate entity of its own within the body that first exists without the knowledge of its host, over consumption of alcohol, a substance consumed by choice, is necessary before a diagnosis can be made. That is to say that one must choose to create the condition before the condition can exist and subsequently be diagnosed.

    Furthermore, consider the following taken from CNE Health. “From doctors and patients to drug companies and the media, there are relentless pressures to classify any condition as a disease. Richard Smith, the British Medical Journals editor, wrote: ‘Doctors, particularly some specialists, may welcome the boost to status, influence and income that comes when new territory is defined as medical. International pharmaceutical companies have an apparent interest in medicalising life’s problems. Dr. Iona Heath, head of ethics at the Royal College of General Practitioners, warns that there could also be clear downsides: ‘Alternative approaches – emphasizing the self-limiting or relatively benign natural history of a problem or the importance of personal coping strategies – are played down or ignored. The disease-mongers gnaw away at our self-confidence. Inappropriate medicalization carries the dangers of unnecessary labeling, poor treatment decisions, economic waste, as well as the costs that result when resources are diverted from treating or preventing more serious disease. At a deeper level, it may help to feed obsessions with health.”(CNE Health)

    Then, there is the DSM IV criterion for diagnosing alcohol abuse. It also does not include physically measurable symptoms. It only requires social and/or legal problems. The DSM IV criterion for diagnosing alcohol dependence requires only one physical symptom that is a result of drinking too much, which is alcohol withdrawal. Following this logic, if a person smokes cigarettes they do not have a problem, but, when they stop smoking and go through nicotine withdrawal, they are then diseased. Yet, most treatment professionals seem oblivious to these blatant contradictions. (Keep in mind that cigarette smoking is not a disease according to DSM IV, although it causes far more health problems than does the use of alcohol and all other drugs combined.)

    Sociologist and psychologist have long since been aware of the dangers of medicalising deviant and normal behaviors. Most encourage extreme caution when diagnosing mental illness because of the potential for damage in doing so. People, who are labeled, usually conform to the standards that labels indicate, whether the diagnosis is correct or not. It’s dangerous ground that is commonly tread upon by professionals today.

    What’s even more disheartening is that a large percentage of diagnoses are not made by doctors, but by unqualified “drug counselors.” Treatment and AA are recommended by counselors as a way to “nip it in the bud.” But, these recommendations do far more damage to the individual than if they had just been left alone (which will be discussed later.) It should be pointed out that there is a major conflict of interest among drug counselors, a conflict of interest that cannot, and should not, be ignored. The majority of counselors are, themselves, members of 12 step groups and are believers in AA doctrine. These non-professional “professional” counselors have been manipulated into believing 12-step propaganda. And, like the AMA, their “professional” status allows counselors to convince patients that the patient needs help because they are sick.

    And, if this 12 step nonsense is not harmful enough, misinformation abounds. Consider that attempts to prove a genetic link for alcohol and drug use, most studies only provide roundabout evidence of a predisposition, not a cause for alcoholism. With this said, we should point out that the predisposition can only prove a difference in bodily processes, not a difference in thinking. ”Knowing the sequence of individual genes doesn’t tell you anything about the complexities of what life is,” said Dr. Brian Goodwin, a theoretical biologist at Schumacher College in Devon, England, and a member of the Santa Fe Institute in New Mexico. Goodwin goes on to explain single gene mutations are not accountable for, and cannot explain, complex behaviors. Genes produce proteins they do not guide behaviors. The truth is a predisposition for substance abuse, if it does exist, has no bearing on subsequent behaviors. Chemical processes do not make a person an alcoholic. The person makes the conscience choice. Altered processing of alcohol in no way determines choice or behaviors. Obsessive drinking is not a reaction to bodily processes, but merely a choice. The amount consumed is determined by the individual, not by the body.

    Nevertheless, news stories surface every year proclaiming discoveries of the genetic sources of emotional and behavioral problems while ignoring the mountains of evidence that refutes such preposterous assertions. In the study a genetic marker was found in 69 percent of 70 cadavers who had died from alcohol related deaths. But, the cadavers only represented 5 percent of the American population. According to the study 25 percent of the population has the “alcoholism gene marker” or genetic predisposition. The actual alcoholic population is 10 percent. It was then found that only 1/5 of the 25 percent that have the marker would develop alcoholic drinking that fit the parameters of those involved in the Blum-Noble study. Therefore, the results failed to demonstrate any increased vulnerability to alcoholism. In later articles it was revealed that the genetic marker appears to have little to do with becoming alcoholic. Not surprising, the AMA supported the faulty findings with limited investigation. The two members of the team who reported the false discovery of the gene were not without bias. Ernest Noble is the former director of the NIAAA and Blum, a Pharmacologist for Texas University, markets his own remedy for the malady in the form of supplements.
    Subsequently, a team of three genetics researchers summarized the results of research on the Blum and Noble “alcoholism gene:” excluding results from studies Blum himself conducted, the frequency of the A1 allele at DRD2 is 0.18 in alcoholics, 0.18 in controls (random population and nonalcoholic), and 0.18 in severe alcoholics. Blum et al. reported allele frequencies for their alcoholics that are significantly different from the combined allele frequencies reported by a total of seven other groups of investigators for alcoholics (p < .001)." (J Gelernter, D Goldman, N Risch, The A1 allele at the D2 dopamine receptor gene and alcoholism: a reappraisal, JAMA, 1993;269:1676)

    Looking at the situation objectively, if alcoholism is passed through genes, the abnormality must be relatively new. As stated previously, alcoholism did not exist in the early colonization of America. In fact, it did not exist until the late 1700's. Some would argue that the residents of the United States are largely immigrants and as a result the alcoholism gene was introduced later in history. Meaning, the "new" citizens are not of the same family tree as those of the 1700s. But, it’s important to point out, many cultures outside of the United States do not even know what alcoholism is; they do not have a word for it. People with different cultural backgrounds do not have different genetic make-ups. America's arrogance has led the population to believe that we are scientifically more advanced than other cultures; therefore, we know the truth and they do not. But this is far from true. In a country where we claim to "know the truth", the City of Los Angeles has more addicts than all of Europe. While professionals strive to obscure the stigma surrounding alcoholics, they are in essence, removing the social unacceptability of the act. By removing the stigma, they are encouraging this socially unacceptable behavior to continue.

    Today, the AMA reports that while there is no "alcoholic personality," it does not seem unreasonable to believe that there may be "some combination of personality traits which are contributive to the development of alcoholism." They assert that emotional immaturity and strong dependency needs are commonly seen in alcoholics. While researchers work hard to prove the disease concept sound and verifiable, repeatedly studies refute the impact of genetic predispositions. Strangely, cultural groups that don't believe they can control their drinking have higher rates of alcoholism than those who believe they can.

    The NIAAA (National Institute of Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse) found that 1 in 4 children in the US have been exposed to a family member who was/is an alcoholic before the age of 18. In 1974 an estimate was developed by Booz-Allen Hamilton based on the ratio of problem drinkers in the United States, and the average number of children a family has. This method was then applied by the Children of Alcoholics Foundation in 1984, and it is estimated that 6,600,000 adolescents were children of alcoholics (Keep in mind that there are 195,000,000 people in the United States, so even though 6,600,000 looks large, compared to the total population, it is not.) Another estimate, using the 1980 population census, puts the number of COA's (Children of Alcoholics) at 22,000,000. It has also been found that children exposed to the idea that they will inevitably become alcoholic drinkers should they decide to drink, and those who enter support groups, have lower self-esteem and increased feelings of depression, two characteristics of every substance abuser. Similar to treatment for substance abusers overall, children entering support groups as a result of familial problems are more likely to develop the same or similar problems themselves. Furthermore, it has been shown in numerous studies that COA's are only 6 percent more likely to become problem drinkers. Like the need for a war on drugs, the idea that COA's will inevitably become alcoholics, is pure propaganda. Teaching children they will face inevitable consequence upon the consumption of substances, for many, actually creates the problem.

    It seems that self-proclaimed treatment professionals, blinded by intention, ignore the overwhelming evidence that contradicts the very principles they teach. True scientist and medical professionals know, beyond all reasonable doubt, the truth about alcoholism and substance use. The truth being: all substance use is a conscious choice. The rise of pop-psychology has clouded reasonable thought on the subject. Self-help groups, treatment, "therapy," counselors, and groupers are severely damaging the very people they whole-heartedly try to help. Twelve-step dogma and treatment misinformation contradicts empirical evidence and rational thought, in essence, stripping patients and members of their inborn abilities of spontaneous recovery.

    While the NCADD (National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence), formally the NCA, claims to "fight the stigma and the disease of alcoholism and other drug addictions," its happy-go-lucky explanations of alcoholism and its nature are insultingly unsound. The NIAAA and the NCADD are two adamant supporters of the disease concept and 12 step therapies. But, as previously stated, they are not altruistic in their efforts. These two organizations fund most of the treatment research that goes on in the United States. And, like Marty Mann of old, they pick and choose studies that fit their agendas, or they manipulate and reinterpret the outcomes in their own favor. Thus, they receive funding to preserve themselves. This fact is applicable across the board for all certifying governmental organizations and institutions. In truth, whether intentional or not, it is pure genius. By filtering the facts, these organizations have "created" the necessity for themselves. They have created a public perception that they are needed by controlling and manipulating substance abuse information.
    It has been estimated that 5.5 million Americans are in need of help for substance abuse issues. In 1988, 10.5 million U.S. residents could be diagnosed with alcohol dependency as set forth by the AMA and DSM IV, and 7.2 million more abused alcohol. Estimates among the general population indicate that 6-12% have substance abuse problems. The population of substance abusers has slowly increased since the 1930's coinciding with the spread of the disease theory and governmental interference in individual freedoms. What is interesting is that since the 1970's substance abuse has increased dramatically and proportionately with the popularity and prevalence of the drug treatment industry. The question is: if the multi-billion dollar war on drugs and the multi-billion dollar treatment industry have been growing, why does the drug problem continue to get worse?

    Irrefutable empirical evidence has shown that organizations and institutions that promote, and adhere to, the disease concept, fail when trying to help people with substance use problems. Alcoholics Anonymous has successfully promoted itself as the only hope for alcohol abusers. The public perception is that Alcoholics Anonymous works, but reality is something quite different.

    In 75 years Alcoholics Anonymous has become a part of our social structure. Its tenets have led the medical establishment and been used to diagnose patients with alcoholism while simultaneously giving birth to dozens of spin-off anonymous meetings. Its most outstanding accomplishment has been successfully promoting a fictitious disease, as fact, and to be absorbed into the very fabric of our society. But, while Alcoholics Anonymous has accomplished the unthinkable, its accomplishments have damaged the society. Although its intentions are synonymous with help, the organization's lies and manipulations have damaged society as a whole, costing taxpayers billions of dollars and costing families the lives of their loved ones.

    In 1990, the Alcoholics Anonymous General Services Office or AA GSO, the governing organization overseeing all "autonomous" meetings, published an internal memo for the employees of its offices. It was an analysis of a survey period between 1977 and 1989. The results were in absolute contrast to the public perception of AA. "After just one month in the Fellowship, 81 percent of the new members have already dropped out. After three months, 90 percent have left, and a full 95 percent have disappeared inside one year!" (Kolenda, 2003, Golden Text Publishing Company) That means that in under a year, 95 percent of the people seeking help from Alcoholics Anonymous leave the program. While this only speaks for attendance, it has further implications. For the most part, those who study the efficacy of Alcoholics Anonymous do not include dropouts in their sobriety failure statistics, which is deceptive, if not outright dishonest. When studies include AA GSO dropout statistics, "…the total averages of sobriety for the total AA membership become 3.7 percent for one year [of sobriety], and 2.5 percent over five years." (Kolenda, 2003, Golden Text Publishing Company) It's important to understand that 95 percent of all substance abuse treatment centers in the United States are 12-step based programs. Thus, the failures of Alcoholics Anonymous are also the failures of treatment.

    Repeated studies have shown that the average person, who could be diagnosed with a substance abuse problem, will discontinue use on their own 20 to 30 percent of the time. But, those who are exposed to AA and treatment and who are taught the disease concept have a drastically decreased chance of achieving sobriety. While treatment professionals are aware of program failure, governing organizations support and promote the adoption of 12-step tenets into treatment programs for substance abusers. Families pay tens of thousands of dollars to help their loved ones only to place them in programs that follow guidelines of a documented failed program. Any program based on a program that fails will inevitably fail. For most, 12-step has become synonymous with failure.
    In contrast, programs that teach personal responsibility and choice are far more successful than programs that teach the disease theory. While conventional treatment methods result in a 3 percent success rate after five years, programs that do not teach the disease concept, and instead teach choice, have success rates of more than 60% percent after five and even 10 years (Baldwin Research Institute 2003).

    In conclusion, after reviewing the available research from both sides of the debate, the belief in the disease of alcoholism (addiction), causes the disease. Organizations and institutions that promote the disease theory are, in many cases, doing irreparable harm to the individual and performing a disservice to the population as a whole. Geneticists are aware that a predisposition does not dictate subsequent behavior, and treatment professionals are aware that the programs they offer, fail. It is an outright injustice when faced with the facts. Stripping human beings of their ability to choose is damaging, whereas giving them back the power of their own volition is essential for recovery. Alcoholism is a choice, not a disease.

    Alcohol Alert, National Institute of Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse, No. 43, April 1999 Rockville, MD, pgs. 8-9,41,42

    Anthony Browne, "Why it's all in the Mind," Guardian Publishing, (observer.guardian.co.uk/), Sunday April 14, 2002 (*CNE Health Quote and AMA definition)

    • Hi Deborah,

      I don’t mind your posting entire articles, but it may not render well considering the number of comments on this post. If it looks wonky, please delete the comment (if you can) and re-post as a new comment, or if you like post elsewhere and I’ll link to it.

      Thanks,

      Anton.

  36. Sorry Anton,
    I don’t really know how to post link etc. You can delete it and I
    know it’s a lot to read. I do wish we lived in a culture with a longer attention span and a willingness to spend more time and energy
    learning and thinking. I just thought the technical science, facts and
    history illustrated my point as to why this is such a big deal and
    getting past the surface impressions of this issue even for those
    who are very anti AA to an explanation and clearer sense of oh
    my you know who how the fuck has this happened. I guess it’s popular and people like it even though it’s retarded which was your
    initial take on this isn’t the real answer. So if you can delete it
    (do I need to if so I will) and post a comment below this one (for
    anyone reading this who’s so inclined) with a link. Does that work?
    Did you read it and if so what did you think? Sorry again, I know
    I can be overly intense but that’s got it’s place in the universe.
    Thanks, take care,Deborah(e-mail me with any specific instructions)

  37. It’s not streaming, it’s only a few paragraphs. When you get a
    chance if you’re so inclined read it. I’d like to know what you think
    and if you were at all suprised. You have more indepth experience
    with 12 steps than I do (I never paid the sillyness much mind)
    though the a-non groups aren’t as psychologically violent (as they
    are the supposed victims and less vulnerable and likely to tolerate
    being berated and abused) as the groups for the diseased dishonest
    selfish sinners. That this is foisted on minors is horrible. Got caught with alcohol or pot you have a fatal disease and look what your
    selfish ass did to your parents who are no doubt wonderful.

  38. deborah Says:

    Last night Bill Maher was calling for the authority and factual truth
    of science to have the final if not the only say in the public understanding and policy decisions regarding climate change
    (he coined this term as more accurate than global warming which
    is of course real I’m inclined to agree based on my empirical observations but of course I defer to the men and women of science
    with no financial motive informing their impartiality for the real data about this planet that appears to be dying.) This plea for rational
    fact and truth applies to the massive case of medical fraud that
    has been perpetrated upon the American public and our important
    and powerful social institutions public and private. The public has
    been presented bald faced made up lies about drugs and alcohol
    and the real facts about usage patterns and their effects on human
    psychology and behavior. This is a huge deal on many unseen
    levels. Take the expensive and futile “war on drugs” alone. The
    courts and law enforcement ruined lives and the deep philosophical
    and civil rights issues alone must be recognized and addressed.
    The lies and propaganda of 12 steps are what allow this societal
    outrage and insanity. All of the organizations claims are self
    reported and asserted with no scientific fact. These are not scientists
    they are lying brainwashed bullying cult members. AA does not
    help millions of people. That is a made up lie that is nothing
    short of gross fraud and medical malpractice. Where is the outrage?

  39. So what verifiable entity works? Restraints Cleon commit piss handcuffs sounds like your on the right path to make sure you the tool that will put your ass out and could give a shit while God watches and hurts for your soul. Give it God brother if pray to wild turkeys they have confession boxes I heard.

    • Hi Michael,

      I don’t really know what you’re on about so I’ll respond to the one bit I got. God hurts for my soul? That suggests something like sadness or disappointment which seems impossible because both of those emotions are at least partly predicated on a lack of knowledge on God’s part, which is impossible since God is omniscient.

      Best,

      Anton.

    • You can wax as holy and pseudo profound as you want, it
      won’t change my objective observation that you are a silly
      douche. Your dramatic posture of humble “spirituality” coupled
      with your self proclaimed and certain knowledge that you know
      “God’s” inner pain would be hysterical if not for the perpetuation
      of powerful and dangerous cultural folklore. I’d also hire an
      editor of some kind, just as your imaginary friend “God” and the universe have laws and rules of structure and factual reality
      the same can be said of the English (or any) language.
      Good luck and take care.

  40. You are such a fucking dick head you’re talking through your ass

  41. “there are very few true atheists”, but I am one of them. The twelve step program is a distortion of religiosity under the guise of non-religious idioms. Factually there is no psychological improvement obtained by the distortion of concept obtained in the 12-step lie. The majority of 12-steppers are christians capitalizing on the opertunity to further distort peoples already contorted perception of reality. Their goal seems to be to take advantage of the weak in the same manner that is utilized by most religious people. Kill the lie! Religion teaches hate, coruption and bigotry.

  42. […] I like to think that if I can quit drinking, anyone can quit anything (and without becoming a religious Alcoholics Anonymous zombie either, but that’s a topic for another time). Even Charles Bukowski, […]

  43. Hi guys! Let me share my story. I am also a daughter of an alcoholic… I was 17 years old then and pretty much aware of my surroundings. I knew that my dad was an alcoholic. I grew up watching him drunk, and I tend to ask him, “Do you Love me dad?”, “Do you Love this Family?” he answered me with tears… and every drop of it breaks my heart. I saw him suffered although I didn’t know the reason why. And because I really love him, I started browsing the internet and searched for reliable, effective websites that will help me find a solution to my dad’s alcohol problem and ask for other’s suggestions and advices… Yes! At first, it’s not that easy, but I have faith that there are answers in every problem that we have. One day my friend which is a doctor referred me this Addiction Treatment Rochester MN. After a 3 month treatment, my dad survived and came back home clean and alcohol free. He promised me and to the whole family that he will continue his life without getting back the past and he assured us that he will become a better person. And now, he decided to continue his work. I am certified proud daughter because my dad now is an alcohol free for almost 5 years. He drinks alcohol/ liquor moderately. He is now totally healthy and alive. He told me that he will convert all his experiences in the past into a positive way to move his life positively.

  44. Thank you Anton and also to everyone here :)

  45. The.223round Says:

    I wanna file a complaint against AA nationwide,first of all the coffee sucked my ass there.
    second of all the bums holy shit man they stunk like hell but i bet that had no bearing on the halfway-houses in the area of that meeting despite the free coffee and air condition.
    Third of all After this FIRST meeting i was shit sore sick of the Pitty me stories im so bad i drink 1 bottle of wine a night stories, (listen here i drink over-proof and i can still have a coherent conversation with you at the end of the night)
    I dont drink when i wake up in the morning i drink on the weekends i drink when i know i go into work late the next day i held the same job for years my co-workers drink with me my drinking had absolutely no effect on my family life If anything its improved it, i can speak easily about my problems with (or about my wife for that matter) we always come to a rational decision on our problems. and its allowed me to open my mind to other thought processes i would never consider before .
    Ive always known how to handle myself never beat my wife/kids never punched holes in the wall never robbed banks. But hey its all about self control right and if you dont have that dont do anything because even caffeine is a drug and that coffee albeit weak as tea is still a drug and you dont want that to get out of hand like your nicotine addiction, replace your drugs and alcohol for nicotine and coffee great plan whats next Sexoholics anonymous? I forgot you already have that down. but try putting down your AA/NA/AA/ Lets avoid life and live on a cloud book. pick up the bottle and take a chill pill. Try making a group for fighting that criminal urge your all pr-dispositioned to rob banks/prostitute/drink to oblivion. thats just Darwinism its breeding out the weak genes in the gene pool. so thats my complaint me and my liquor shop clerk are tired of you dumb ass pamphlets all over my store,This country was founded (like many others) on guns and alcohol,If you dont like it move to a dry state,Such as Alaska you wont have to worry about sex/narcotics/anything up there. though you may have to start some other bullshit cult like the people who worship bears or something, like i said Darwinism

    • deborah mcgrath Says:

      Great post. Fuck the guns. The lies and propaganda Bill Wilson’s evil scamming cult have made public perception about drugs and alcohol are dangerous fraud. There is real clinical data about drugs and alcohol. Your psychology and circumstances define your behavior and personality, not substances. The abstinence myth is a lie. Bad psychopathic behavior coupled with substance excess is comorbidity not cause and effect. Gentle morally responsible people are discredited and demonized while people who have commited acts of physical and psychological violence get a free pass by blaming their conduct on a demon substance. This is not truth or science. 12 steps are also a license for people, cult members and family members, to be abusive to others. This needs to be out of our health care, legal and societal system.

  46. Do you greet people “Hi, my name is _____ and I’m an asshole?” Who cares what you think? Your logic is not impecable and your assertions are based on superficial assumptions. Go get a life.

  47. what a joke. AA does not require anything from anybody. I was court mandated, and it is a hell of a lot better than jail. All I had to do was hang out and people were friendly, and signed my card. To say it is a scam is an even bigger joke. Nobody is profiting from anything in AA, they don’t make any money. And for those saying they are manipulating rehab facilities, that is just a small sample of some people in AA who are not very ethical.

    Funny thing is everybody who is against AA is probably not even sober…

    • what’s that saying in AA, if you point a finger three others are pointing back at you? Oh well, thanks fior taking the inventories of anyone who disagrees with or finds fault in AA

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