“Our public relations policy is based on attraction rather than promotion; we need always maintain personal anonymity at the level of press, radio and films.”
I am always amazed to hear an AAer state that they are an organization based “on attraction, and not promotion”. This is bullshit on many levels.
Courts throughout the United States compel people to attend AA meetings, partly because of a general ignorance as to the ineffectiveness of the program, and partly because in many places, there is simply no treatment alternative. Additionally, treatment centres are the life blood of AA, as they model their treatment on the 12-Step approach, and they use AA as their aftercare program. Finally, the largest purchaser of AA official literature; and the largest publisher of AA based, 12-Step literature is Hazelden.
From The Orange Papers:
First, it’s just a quiet, confidential program of attraction, then it’s a tough-love program of steel-fisted coercion and promotion.
• They begin every meeting by reading aloud Tradition Eleven, which says:
“Our public relations policy is based on attraction, rather than promotion….”
• But later, they tell you to do everything you can to use the health and criminal justice systems to force people to join the 12-Step religion. The Little Red Book of Hazelden — a clone of The Little Red Book of Chairman Mao — specifically teaches recruiters to indoctrinate judges, doctors, and other officials as part of the proselytizing work. It says that faithful A.A. members can carry the message by:
“By telling the A.A. story to clergy members, doctors, judges, educators, employers, or police officials if we know them well enough to further the A.A. cause, or to help out a fellow member.”
The Little Red Book, Hazelden, page 128.
Then that book even goes on to tell recruiters to teach the judges, police, doctors, and other officials just what kind of people A.A. wants coerced into attending its meetings:
“By educating doctors, the clergy, judges, police officials, and industrial personnel regarding the type of people A.A. can help, we will avoid flooding our ranks with an unwieldy preponderance of non-alcoholics.”
The Little Red Book, Hazelden, page 137.
So much for the excuses that A.A. can’t help it if the judges, parole officers, and counselors force people to go to A.A. meetings. And Hazelden is merely echoing Bill Wilson’s instructions. In a 1939 letter from Bill to Earl T., a founding member of the Chicago A.A. group, Bill wrote:
“By educating doctors, hospitals, ministers along this line, you will surely pick up some strong prospects after a bit.”
PASS IT ON, The story of Bill Wilson and how the A.A. message reached the world, Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc., pages 225-226.
Let’s examine this cycle a little further. This is a win/win/win situation for AAWS, Hazelden and local AA groups. Hazelden publishes the approved AA literature, Hazelden supplements the literature with their own publishing arm, and the local groups are fed an endless stream of recently graduated rehab patients.
The patient/AAer is the only party who is victimized. How? The findings of Project MATCH concluded that in-patient rehab is no more effective than either just going to AA, or a person quitting on their own. This insures that 95% percent of rehab graduates will fail, and a good percentage of them will go back into treatment – which is not cheap. Alcoholics who fall off of the wagon are led to believe (along with their families) that they failed the only program that can help them. Multiple rehab stints can literally put a family into financial ruin.