Step 12: Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

Any program where almost everybody fails is in need of an effective recruiting strategy in order for it to sustain any sort of growth. Walk into an AA Chapter that has been around awhile, and the room might look like a nice mix of a few old-timers, some people who have been sober for two or four or six years, and a larger percentage of people who are fairly new to the group. This is deceptive, and when an AAer says that they know the program works because they have seen too many people in their meetings, who have been sober for too many years for it not to be effective, then that person is most likely telling you the truth. Or, should I say, the truth as they see it. The problem is, they either have no understanding of basic statistics, or they have not made an effort to run the numbers.

To fully understand this, all one has to do is imagine a chapter that has been newly formed, that consists of 100 brand new members. Within three months, half will disappear; after six months three-quarters are gone; and after one year there is only five left standing. (source:aa_triennial_survey) There are three ways of keeping the rooms full to replace so many dropouts: one way of filling the rooms is with court ordered attendees, but is actually a small percentage of AAs; the other is to feed them in from 12-step rehab clinics; and the other is to use manipulative recruiting and retention tactics. The third way is how AAers utilize step twelve, and they do so with instructions right out of The Big Book that would serve Amway proud. Like Amway, AA instructs their members to be deceptive about the nature of the organization:

When dealing with such a person, you had better use everyday language to describe spiritual principles. There is no use arousing any prejudice he may have against certain theological terms and conceptions about which he may already be confused. Don’t raise such issues, no matter what your own convictions are.” The Big Book, Chapter 7

There is another curious quote from Chapter 7 of The Big Book that demonstrates AA doublespeak – “Let him see that you are not there to instruct him in religion”. Why would this be part of the recruiting instructions if this was not religion? Why not also instruct the AAer to tell the prospect they aren’t there to instruct him on football or weaving or politics? It specifically tells them to deny it is religion, and the reason is because it is religion, and that will be an obvious objection. The instructions continue:

Do not be discouraged if your prospect does not respond at once. Search out another alcoholic and try again. You are sure to find someone desperate enough to accept with eagerness what you offer.” The Big Book, Chapter 7

How do they reconcile the the above with their 11th Tradition that states that AA is a program of attraction, and not promotion? They don’t. It’s just another contradiction with the big contradiction, which is AA.

Orange Papers on the deceptive recruiting tactics.

The Big Book, Chapter 7  Working With Others

  • speedy0314

    well, whatever they're doing it's not working.

    AAWS membership numbers worldwide have seen about a 5% decrease since 2000. the only geographical area to see an increase was canada & it was nominal at best.

    attraction. promotion. whatever. AA/12X12 is slowly making its way into the dustbin of history.

  • friendthegirl

    That's heartening… I hope the trend continues. It seems that the more information accessible on the web, the faster its trip to the dustbin will be. I imagine that before internet, most people were probably utterly unaware that there were alternatives. Many people are unaware now.

    • speedy0314

      actually, it seems AA's own slapdash 'traditions' & the big media failures of everyone from lindsay lohan to keifer sutherland (not to mention the circus sideshows 'celebrity rehab' & 'intervention') are making the case against 12-step in a big way.

      the american public loves to see people fall on their asses, loves a good rags-to-riches (and maybe back to rags) story, & 12X12 is a virtual inexhaustible source for that kind of story.

      but you're right, options & other (more effective solutions) exist. the WWW is instrumental in getting that information out there & making it go viral.

      • friendthegirl

        I have been very interested in the Intervention show. I've never seen Celebrity Rehab, but those interventionists on Intervention are all 12-stepers. The show seems so incredibly irresponsible, from filming people actually using heroin, filming them driving drunk (they should call the cops, for crying out loud!) say, to shipping them off to a facility that has very little chance of actually helping in any way. I wonder if any exposes have been done on this.

        I saw one episode where the director of the facility was a smarmy tough-lover, a real hardon, that it was no surprise the kid couldn't stick it out there — the guy messed with his mind in that "If you get angry when I accuse you of something, then you must be guilty" kind of way.

        Here, it's this guy:…. and he has the episode posted on his website:

      • jim

        As I started out on the "fantastic" website of Truth, re" Paul Crouch, J D, Jakes and other members of the TBN family and their "sordid, evil ministries", I thought. Wow! So much of this I had a gut feeling about for years. Last names can tell one much about one "nationality", like Crouch could be a Jew of Judaism from Germany. And Benny Hinn being a Jew as is Morris Cerrullo, and most people with east european names are of the Jews of Judaism, the Ashkhanazxi, Jew or trhe Khazakhstan or Khazar Jews, of a "religion", called Judaism. Jesus told them, John 8:44 "you are like your father the devil. Liars , theives aqnd murderers". Of course God hates "religions", which are mostly "isms", Catholicism, Mormnism, etc. Also, some of our greatest have been False Prophets, yet have done a tremendous job in bring Salvation to the World, of the devil. Take a 33 Degree Mason known as Billy Graham. Yet. God used a Deist, [ who I suspect was deceived by powerful, "respectable " Business men. They always invite the people who are powerful, especially in their association with the People. Oral Roberts is also a Mason. Through him millions, "in Jesus' name" have been saved or healed.]

        Where am I going with this? I am almost 70 years old. I have been around the horn a time or two. And since I renewed my Faith in the "none religion" of the Pure Religion, St. James, "in His image", I have a testamony since March, 1985, that most of you Christians who enjoy critiqueing your Brothers, and others , who need your Christian love, you do out of ignorance and heresey. In 3-85, I quit drinking, smoking, drugs, coffee and sugar. !2-15 cups a day with 2 cubes to the cup. 3-4 packs of cigaretts p/day. And I broke every sales record in that BMW store in Sunnyvale, Calif. since it had opened 15 years prior. 410,800 was a lot of money in those days for a pipe fitter who was selling BMWS. Isn't God good? All I hear , in this writineg, on AA, who has a much better record on getting drunks and drug addicts clean and sober than Pastor and his "nice" church with their "sweet little Christian smiles". Yep! I even met, talked with Bill Gates and the 2 boys who started Apple Computer several times over the years. Engineers love hot rod ,4-door sedans. BMWs.

        When I quit drinking, smoking, dopings, coffee and sugar,,,,,,,,,,,,,,all at once, [don't recommend it] with no church to help me. Only AA was there. Though I went to many services after God tricked me into going one night at The Cathedral Of Faith, San Jose, Calif. Pastor-Kenny Foremen. 5-86 God ,"agents", tricked me into leaving work to catch the evening service. I(won't go into what experiencing the annointing of the Holy Ghost for hours was like when I walked through the door. The tears, purging of my Spirit, me, in the Spirit of God was something few Christians [none Penecoatels, I raised Baptist. Never missed a Sunday. ] ever know, even guess at. As Pastor Leo Price, decked out in a $1000 Western cut suit and Tony Lama boots, was preaching, he stopped, raise his hand and said, there is a man here tonight that has hated god for 30 years and has been trying to get back for the last three. . No one knew this except the couple God sent to the BMW store to "trick me into going to church with them….And no one stopped to pee when we went in…

        Though you may have seen Benny Hinn at work on TV, healing and saving men by the thousands, "In Jesus name", the main line, middle of the road churches, [Baptist, Methodist, Presberterian, etc, some hardly Chr4istian, where they do not Trust and Obey, completely when they pray. Except in words. He says to raise your Holy Hands and praise in much Joy. "Speak it into being". Even in tongues if you have that gift. That night, Pastor Leo Price, stopped in the middle of his sermon, raised a hand and said. "I have a word from God. There is a man amoungst us who has hated God for the past 30 years, and has wanted to come back for the last 3 years." I will stop on this part of my testimony here. And! Yes! I did go to the alter and renew my Faith in my Lord. Also, a woman, who had cancer with a week to live, was healed. Praise God. I was the last one at the far right at the alter. After Pastor prayed for me. the people poured down from the podium onto me, with the big choir following and the people spring forth from the pews like I was Elvis and they hugged me, prayed over me, blessed and loved me for 10-15 minutes. This church seats 3500 Sons of God.

        Because I had stopped all of my vices, at one time, my life was falling apart. I was in a rage, such anger from a very passive person, and the tears, depression and wish to die was conquoring me. This night was the beginning of the end. I quit all of these addictions, cold turkey, with no desire to smoke , dope, alchol or caffien and sugar. Yet. My life , litterally went to hell in a hand basket. I saw some of the findest Shrinks in Silcon Valley. In the VA Hospitals, and no one could seem to define my illness. I went back to that church, or any other, Assemblys of God, Penecostel church s that I could. In two years from D-Day, clean of Vices , i was no longer able to work. An Alcholic manger, hignest paid BMW Gen. Mgr. in the country, a drunk who would not frire me thou I probably cost that dealership $200,000 in that two years. How? "What do you mean? You are looking for a deal." " Get off this lot if you can't afford it." Or. 'You want to buy a car? Go next door to the Dodge lot to buy a car." you S.O.B. BMWs are Automobiles." And he would fnot rire me because he made 4-5 g's a year as a drunk and could not quit. And I did, and stayed quit. Praise the Lord! [See how the Lord works in one's life, even when his Christian Brother would sneer at him and turn their backs . Too many Churches, Christian Brothers do not want to have a mentally ill, or alchol or drug addict in their midst. Why? As Jesus said: "o ye of little Faith". Don't know what Trust and Obey means. You people sounds like the people at the little "yuppie church", college professers, teachers, professional men, tainted with secularism, humanism, liberalism, Political Correctness. Being a Professional often exposes good Christian much of the "new age" r"religions" of "isms", whose purpose is to study from the NIV perversion, [worse than the Big Book] which had two Sodomites, translators, possessed by the demonic spirit of queers, and 1/3rd of the 28 plus, intellectuals, Mormon, Catholic , Jehovah Witness, sons of Satan, trying to "decern the word of God with "no affilation to any church". Talk about a true book of lies and deceit and missing 65,000 pages from the KJV 1611. Whole chapters of Red Ink! You wouldn't say I am a bit perturb with many of my , watered down, Christian Brother, Men of God, who has no Faith or desire to fulfill the great Commission and take the Good News to these , demonically afflicted, oppressed and possesed creations of God. No. It is easier to critize men who truly care, are available 7/24 for the men who they are sponsoring, while maitaining their own sobreity. And. Will answer the phone any hour of the night, go sit with that man in pain for a drink until it passes. Drink coffee all night if need be. Most Christians I run into during my many years of homelessness and suffering reminded me of a lazy Dr. "Take an aspirin and I will pray with you, for 30 seconds." Not one Of you said, can I come to you? Will you come to me? Can I pick you up for church? Nope. All I hear is a bunch of stupid talk about something you know little about. I, fortunately , found my way back to the Lord in my second year of sobriety, become dysfunctional, homeless, and never turn my back, never doubted Him when I was sleeping in an office bldg or a car, eating out of dumpsters. It never dawned on me to pass Him by on the Cross for my Glory. I have seen drunks and drug addicts who came out of those ` 12 Step Rooms , turn to God, because some drunk Christian was back in step with Jesus, who took this man to church. I know a murderer who spent 25 years, out of 27, ,,,, 3 on death row, in prison, before he was beaten, knifed and shot to death in the prison yard. And. Only to sit up on the gurney after 2 hours, when the Drs were going to do an autopsy on him. He was in bed for 7 weeks. Today, he is in charge of a chapter of Full Gospel Business Men in San Jose, Calif. PTL. My younger brother aciidently shot himself through his left ankle and foot with a hunting riffle. I tried to get him to let the Drs. fused it together so it would stop flopping and hurting him Then he could get off the crurches. He said no. God has a plan for me. Amd, after hearing aqbout a "Healing Pastor" coming to Stockton, Calif., he went. Every time I see him, he smiles, finds a place to set down. He knows I will ask to see his ankles. He takes off both shoes annd socks. " Which one? " Both are perfect. No big ugly hole in his foot. He was a drunk and valium addict once. Both of us were raised in an Old Fashion Baptist Church where people help those in need instead oif sneering at their efforts to help themselves.

        AA started out as a Christian group. The Oxford Group. Jesus was the answer. John D. Rockerfeler, Jr. anti-Christian Jew, gave his approval. Many clergy did in the '30s. Hudreds of drunk crowded these rooms looking for salvation from there alcohol. But, where were all the Christians who read the same news paper articles about this new group of Christians [Fools ?] with their desire to help, offering them Jesus when these crazed and sick men, many out of their mind, His Salvation , when they could comprehen the message,,,if ,,,,,,they chose to. Jesus never ask one if he were a Child of God before He blessed him.

        After 10 years of misery, in and out of VA facilities, Hospitals, War Veteran Homes, mental health assistance from many sources, always with Jesus at my side. It would be interesting to see how good your Christian's Faith and Trust would be after you income dropeed from 410,888 in 3-85 to zero for the next eight. No family to help a raging man. Just drunks helping drunks. Not completely. The Catholic, pagan, Church help me, gave me money twice and the Salvation Army gave me money. Both gave me food and clothing. They knew I was sick, but sober. My fine, middle of the road Brothers in Christ did nothing. "Sorry! We can't help you Mr Homeless Man. Our records showqyou have not contributed to this Church with your tithes."

        Finally in 3-95, Volunteers of America took me in on their 90 Day Emergengy Apart.ment Program. A Born-Again, Christian, Shrink, who we spent our sessions talking about Jesus, decided that I was 100% disabled. Finding a job was not the problem. Not giving the boss a cuzz'n , while in rage, within a week didn't qualify me for a place amoung the well. After 10 years, finally, I received medication. I was found to be a Bi-Polar Patient. Today, anyone with a little hang over or depression is considered Bi-Polar. The medical industry, doctors, pharmacitical houses, ins. cos. are suffering from much corruption. Hand out the chemicals !!

        Again, before you continue to show your ignorance about what you speak of, I suggest that you get a copy of the BIG BOOK and see what real men, whose "Higher Power" is god , can do without Jesus. Just on blind Faith and the love of a fellow man. There must be millions of these people who really want to get well but have no funds, families are gone, no , good sober Christian freinds. Yep! There are plenty drunks who are Born again Christians who will repent at the Pearly Gtes, if no one helps them back from the Protacals Sons wondering. The next 14 years, 'til now, I will only say, it has been hard, painful and even disgusting sometimes. But, me a Son of God, a "king", "preist" "joint heir" to the Throne with my Brother, the First Son of God have had a long and, tiring and happy walk. He will never turn His back on His Sons/Brother, Property, Citizen of Heaven. As for the rest, they are waiting for men to better there imagine in God's eyes. He is watching you know. And St. Peter was also a Bi-Polar case, always in trouble with Jesus. Do you want to have to answer to a "nut case" on Judgement Day.

        In the summer of 1995, homeless, I went to 3 little Penecostel Churches. Never been before ,not again. The Pastor would stop, look at me, and say, Sir! I have a word from God for y6ou. Do you want to hear? Of course I did. I knew this God. Sir! And, he would proceed to tell me of the hell I had been through the past 10 years. Homeless. Mentally incapacitated with depression and rage. Then. Sir. The Lord says to tell you that He wants you to continue to do what you are doing. Don't look right, or left or back. "I have a plan for you." [ When able to, I was into the History of you and I, up through Europe, Christian America, the usA, republic, under God. [The US CORPORATION, Democracy, of Socialism/Judaism/Atheism, "of", subject to, "men", Corporations, in Washinton, DC. District of Communism, is subject to the Devil. 85% of the People, We the People, are Sovereign Citizens, of Christian America, the usA, republic. The rest are 14th Amendment "citizens", "property", slaves, of the UNITED STATES, COR$PORATION, Democracy, under Satan……

        Back to summer. 1995. The Lord bless me again. Dr. Ryder, shrink, helped me get SS Disabilty. [ Who ever heard of a Christian shrink? ] For the first time in many years, I had a roof, 3 hots and a cot. $6500. in back , SSDI, payments. A new, , $ 1000.,,,500 Gig , HP, PC. PTL. And, I bought a 1983 Buick, the little old ladies car, and I was so happy. Bought a new TV. Voluteers of America got me into a Section 8 housing apartment and found used furniture. In about 3 months I was back on the road to Calif. God tired of family, who deidn't help, talk about how happy Jimmy was in that smelly government housing.

        Dear Brothers. It was not my Christian Brothers who bailed me out when I was hunger, homeless, tired and crazy. It was those men at AA, in the 12 Step Rooms. Read them. You will see that all of these Princibles are right out of His WORD. How many times did I receive $5 05 $ 10 bill with, Have you eat today Jim"?, which I often turn around and gave it to some poor fool who was worse off than I was. Don't judge. serve or shut up and move on. I doubt that few of you can uphold the teaching and training of the 12 steps. And, quite possibly, some of you need them. Do you smoke? Stop at Burger King too much.? Need to lose 30-40 pounds, hooked on Valium or some prescription. Do you gamble? Your child died? Your wife is dieing of cancer. It's a cruel worlds. A place for Christiand to be Christ like. Got too many ladies in your life? Go meet these men in many 12 step programs. Share you pain, and their love. For free. Pray with them. Learn how to be a True Man of God instead of sneering and critiqing men who may have accomplished many great thing before something happened. They fell. Listening to you talk, I don't get a sense of you as being men of much accomplishment. Making lots of money is not the real accomplishement to be happy with. Fulfilling the Great Commission is our job. . I know! It is easier to write a check and let a True Man of God go do the dirty work in Russia , Asia or S. America. . There is plent of God's work to be done in your community. "Love your enemy! Love your neighbor! Do you know either ?

        Hope I didn't step on your toes. I am still crazy. You know ? Deal with the anger a bit. Praise the Lord! I am not stupid anymore. Stupity is passing up an oppurtunity, another mans pain, to be Christ like. Since I have shared so much with you, bent your ears a mite, you are welcome to get even. My name is Jim. My ph. #, cell is405 714-4877 or Res. 405 225 6902. Stillwater, Oklahoma.

        Jesus loves you and so do I. He is all I have, except for God's plan for me, No. It wasn't taking the Good News to "nice folks". Like you! The drunks, drug addicts, Jesus hating Jews, men with caner, emphysema, strokes, marriages problems, bad kids, etc. Can you imagine folks calling a nut case about their suffering and pain? Pain?? One poor joker had a golf clud laid across his shoulder by his wife. He went to jail. Now, they are back together, gonna make it work this time. PTL ! And. I am still crazy. I have a little house, about 2000 books, re: God, Jesus, the History of the Adamites, Isrealites, the English of the Mayflower Compact, 1620, the usA, republicd, under God, the Constitution, founded by the Founding Fathers who Beleived that Christian Principles was to be the foundation of Christain America. Yet. Most of these men were Deist, of God, trusted Jesus as a Great Man, yet did not accept Him as Lord and Savior. Please bear with me. You have so much better to share on God's behalf, as Sons of God, than you do as crtics of the helpless. And some of these people are Sons of God. You know what God says about critizing, judging, your Brother. A drunk Christian is a, mentally, demonic oppressed, Son Of God. No worse than any other illness. Just suffers more. Can't seem to die and can't get things straight. On the streets. In jail. They are all God's Creations. Jesus died for each one that they might become His Brother, His Son, and a Ruler beside Him in the New Kingdom of God on earth after the Battle of Armageddon. Excuse me. I must go. My index finger is a bit numb after all of this writing.
        Jesus I and Love you. jim
        PS As for the celebritys, they are mostly, spoiled, self centered , foolish people, who would do best with a good spanking for starters. They are like mules. Ya gotta hit'm 'tween de eyes wid a 2X4 to get their attention. To them, it is Me! Me! Me1 Childish foolery.
        Jesus is Lord, jim

  • One such alternative is Reformers Unanimous. It's a faith based, Christ centered, addictions program and it does not attempt to hide that fact in anyway. They are a big proponent of Behavior Modification -> Change the belief, and let the behavior change itself.

    • friendthegirl

      Thanks for the tip, Michie. This outfit has quite a stunning success rate:

      "Graduates of the program are 84% successful over their addictions."

      I'm not sure what that means, but that's really something. (84% are successful, or graduates are abstinent 84% of their lives, and drunk the rest of the time?)

      I wonder how they arrived at that number…

    • friendthegirl

      I just visited this website, and thought I'd post their first step to recovery here. It can only get better:

      "Step One: Accept the fact that you are a sinner. Express to God in dependence upon Him your agreement with the Bible that you are indeed a wrong doer, a sinner!"

  • M A

    I'm going to go out on a limb and say that their claim of an 85% success rate is bullshit.

  • Grateful

    As an AA with three years sobriety, I'd like to say that the program works. You get out of it what you put in to it. Three years ago, I was homeless and facing jail. Today, I have a great job, a home, and a life that I owe to practicing the principles laid out in AA.

    • speedy0314



      that's a great story of triumph over hardship with a nice bit of plugola for AA thrown into the mix for good measure. if you want to remain 'grateful' for AA & its 'magical' ability to match the average for self remission, this is not the blog for you.

      go to meetings, tell your tale of glory & gratitude to people who might pretend to give a shit, read up some on 'causation & correlation', & (for your own sense of well-being & 'serenity') keep walking.

      don't let the door hit you on your ass while leaving.


    • LAAME

      DANGER! You are brainwashed, you think the options are few; jails, institutions, or death, believing makes it true. You are fully indoctrinated into the cult of fear. Sure AA helped you but now it is time to be an adult and help yourself. Nothing in this world comes without a price or opposite reaction. Be mindful, the price you paid for overconsumption of alcohol or drugs was due to lack of moderation. AA does not teach moderation of itself, it teaches the opposite, it can consume your entire being. AA can eliminate your family if they drink or even if your sponsor says they are "untreated". Break away and find moderation. You owe your gratitude to physical sobriety, dry drunk is a myth. You are normal and similar to your fellows, not insane. Face reality; don't repeat the sayings just because everyone else does, listen to the parroting. You have reaped the benefit; get out before it is too late.

  • H

    Grateful — I am very happy that YOU did what YOU needed to do. AA did not get it done. YOU did.

  • mikeblamedenial

    We do put a lot into it, do doubt. List-serves, blogs, videos, etc, all to serve as warnings to people who are going to be hearing from folks like you when they have to get their slips signed in AA. What principles, precisely, are you referring to? Not honesty, I hope, given all the lies and self-contradictions contained in the slogans, bigbook, and 12&12. You certainly can't be referring to open-mindedness, given the group psyche's adherence to cognitive dissonance, the refusal to see the horrendous attrition and failures in AA. How about AA's self-denying religiosity?
    Love AA as much as you want. You got your stuff back because you quit drinking yourself stupid. AA didn't do that, you did. If you want to give it credit, suit yourself, but I imagine you aren't in for much support here.

  • C наступающим Вас! Пусть Ваши мечты сбудутся!