More AA commentary

I thought this would’ve been DOA. Ha!

From Anonymous:

I’m sober not because I simply stopped drinking and did nothing else. I tried that a hundred times and it didn’t work for me personally; however, it works for others and that’s great for them. For me, I need a fellowship of people like me and if that means finding a higher power, then I will try. Searching for a God of my understanding is something I’ve never done before, and what do you know- getting sober is something I’ve never done before. If praying to a God I don’t quite “get” keeps me sober and alive, then that’s just what I’ll do. Call me a sheep, but I’m alive and I’m smiling. It works for me, and just why do you feel the need to chastise what works for some? The fact that you feel it necessary to call what another person finds sanctuary in “hogwash,” only tells me that you’re own weaknesses, which have nothing to do with me or the program. Thanks for sharing.

From me:

I understand fellowship. It’s a social device. Though I’ve been to enough meetings where the “fellowship” is little more than group complaining and mental masturbation, but fellowship is, in and of itself, inoffensive.

“Finding a higher power” doesn’t make any sense. You can’t honestly define that. For, in the more than two decades of experience I’ve had in AA and Ala-non Family Groups, neither the literature, nor any single person has been able to give me a straight answer on exactly what that means. A “God of my understanding” is the same thing. What’s a God not of your understanding? As I’ve said on my own posts, the only reason the “understanding” bit is there is so the groups can claim that they don’t proselytize, but it’s a monotheistic doctrine any way you cut it. Notice the literature never says “Gods of your understanding” or “Devil of your understanding” or anything else. Imagine how that makes people feel who aren’t monotheistic, but who, like you, feel that they need help. Not just atheists, but
polytheists and pantheists as well. Are we to understand that only a belief in a god can help one to sobriety? That’s what the literature and every single person within the group claims. And what evidence is there for this claim? Not one whit.

I have no claims as to your personal experience, but I know what I know from, as I mentioned, over 20 years of direct experience with these groups.

The problem is that praying to a god whether you “get” it or not is not what’s keeping you sober. You are. And the sad thing is that you’re not giving credit where credit is due. You are solely responsible for your own sobriety and, in your attempt to pass off your success onto a made-up concept, you refuse to celebrate your success.

To a great degree we’re all sheep. Any of us who follows the herd without questioning why we do so is a sheep. That’s not the issue. The issue is that you’ve chosen not only to change your life for the better, but also to not recognize your own efforts in having done so.

If you stopped by my site, you know why I feel a need to point out that which is ridiculous. Believing the earth to be flat “worked” for some. Believing the earth to be the center of the universe “worked” for some. Believing some peoples to be inherently inferior to others “worked” for some. Just because people, even a large number of people, believes something does not validate that belief. It is vitally important that we all endeavor to do our best to base our lives on evidence rather than good-feeling hogwash because if we don’t, we can justify any claim, no matter how ridiculous, just because we think it “works for us.” You quit drinking. Good for you. Now have the courage to proclaim that it was you who accomplished that, not the Invisible Sky Man.

Speaking of who needs what, I find it interesting that you felt the need to drop by my site just to post a link to another site. If I’m sad for stopping by your site to reply, what does it say about you for stopping by my site in the first place?

You’ll have to explain to me what you mean by my weaknesses and their relationship or lack thereof to the program, but for now, let’s address the elephant in the room. The fact is that AA and Ala-non are both theistic organizations. The fact is that the government sanctions them, and even, in many cases, mandates attendance to them. The fact is that going by AA’s internal data alone, we know that its and Ala-non’s success rates are not even 60%. Thus, it’s unethical and illegal for the government to endorse a religious group for no other reason than its popularity in the culture which, by the group’s own estimation, is unmerited. For an individual to seek out the groups is his own waste of time. As much as I might disagree with that, I have no right to impede that. But for the government to get involved is wrong. And before you protest with “but it’s a ‘God of your understanding'” just imagine how you’d feel if the program replaced the word “god” with “leprechaun.”

Thanks for letting me share.

Oh, and one final thing. Ever notice the preponderance of chain smokers at meetings? Interesting how they find “sobriety” from one vice, just to slowly kill themselves with another.

One Response to “More AA commentary”

  1. Deborah McGrath Says:

    As an amateur yet well versed scholar of psychology and as a rational intelligent person, this is in no way a real treatment model.
    The NY Times 5years ago or so printed an article that AA success
    rates were like 5%. It’s a revolving door,. Drinking or not drinking also, is not an accurate measure of the well being of a life.
    AA has been found unconstitutional in multiple states as court after court has deemed this cult to be blatant religion despite the syndicate’s claims of being spiritual rather than religious. Forced participation even for incarcerated persons is not legally allowed
    in I think it’s 25 states. FYI “spiritual” is still snake oil !
    Treatment is a clinically trained professional bound by professional
    ethics and scientific methods,. Substance excess is not a disease.
    It’s self medication for emotional pain, conflict and adverse conditions in a life. Hope all’s well with you Anton. I’m guessing
    you’re a Bernie Sander’s supporter. Go transgendered civil rights !
    I think our society is moving forward. I hope so !

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