Archive for 15 April 2009

“Insanity: doing the same thing over, and over again, expecting different results.”

Bullshit slogan of the day:
“Insanity: doing the same thing over, and over again, expecting different results.”

This expression, like so much of the Alcoholics Anonymous dogma, has no clinical or psychological foundation. In fact, the word “sanity” is a legal term denoting a person’s ability to take legal responsibility for their actions, and not a psychological term. So, even if God were to restore us to normal psychologically, he would not restore us to sanity, unless we were in trouble with the law. In that case, I would want to be considered insane, because I would not want to go to jail – I would not be asking God to restore my sanity. Bill W used the term “sanity” in step two, but he obviously had no training in psychology.

Obviously what is meant by “insanity” here is “crazy” or “nuts” or “irrational”. The objective of this expression is to point out to an alkie that if they keep trying to quit on their own, they will continue to fail. This would make absolute sense if the alternative that they propose had any efficacy at all, which it does not. Since 1939, AA has not changed, and since that time, it has had the same miserable rate of success. Still, proponents of AA still advocate the same tired program – without change – as the only viable approach to quitting drinking. To the vast majority who fail, no alternative approach is offered, or even allowed (no outside literature is allowed in AA meetings, for example).

Any person who fails AA is told that they, not the program, have failed. The only change that is suggested upon his or her return from a slip is a change in attitude. Many will say that they kept coming back until they finally “got it”. Commonly heard are such things as “I thought I knew it all” or “I was too smart for the program”. The twelve steps is a program in ego deflation, and most often people leave before they are fully beaten down and indoctrinated. The AA flock will equate their unwillingness to change their sense of self worth to one of shame, with the idea of doing the same thing over and over again. Change to AA is not toward greater empowerment for the individual. Change for the individual in AA is defined a self-degradation.

Why is AA unwilling to change itself? Because AA is not science. Science refines itself over time. AA is religion, and change in religion is tantamount to heresy. AA may have a miserable rate of success in keeping people off the sauce, but they have great success in perpetuating themselves as an organization, and that is their stated objective. The welfare of individual members comes in a close second. Any evidence showing another approach to quitting drinking is more effective, is a threat to organization and to individual groups. This is why AA has no interest in even exploring new ideas beyond their 12 commandments.

Another Puff Piece

On any given day, go to google, plug in “Alcoholics Anonymous,” then click “news” and you will see puff pieces in local newspapers all over the courntry. Do it now. You’ll find this one. Do it tomorrow, and you’ll find another one. If you did it yesterday, you would have found the piece that MA found.  And mixed in with these puff pieces, you’ll find news about people being sentenced to attend AA meetings.

It’s great for the writer. AA is unimpeachble! You can’t lose, writing about AA. You get the drunkalogs, the horror stories, and then you get redemption, and coffee! Give out a phone number and a schedule, and sleep very well, goodnite.