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…
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.