Archive for 21 June 2009

BITE Model and Alcoholics Anonymous


My most recent post, which examined the thought control of AA based on Robert Lifton’s criteria from his study of totalism, started a pretty good dialog over whether AA is truly a cult or not. Some really good and interesting points were made, among them this once from Cuda:

“Rather than debate whether AA is a “Cult” or not let’s just ask, “What isn’t a “Cult?”

Most Religions fall under this umbrella joined by most, if not all, spiritual fellowships. AA is on this list. The Oxford Group is still around under a different name. What about The Masons? Knights of Columbus, etc… What about Fraternal Orginizations? Moose, Elks, Rotary? Ad infinitum!!

Who isn’t a “Cult” by these standards is the question. In fact, if that’s what a “Cult” is, I’ll take it. A lot of good comes from these “Cults” as you call them.

I believe if anyone has the desire to call AA a “Cult” in the same fashion that we would refer to The Branch Davidians, Peoples Temple, Heavens Gate, etc… you’re really scraping for fuel to keep your torch lit.”

I understand Cuda’s point, although I think comparing Rotary with a cult is like diagnosing someone a narcissist because they will on occasion perform a selfish act, or might be proud of his or herself for a particular accomplishment. A healthy ego does make person a narcissist, just as secret handshakes esoteric rituals does not make a group a cult. Continue reading BITE Model and Alcoholics Anonymous