Real Alcoholics

The term “real alcoholic” doesn’t have any meaning outside AA. It’s just AA jargon. The more exclusive a group is, the more dense and peculiar their shorthand, and the less meaning it has for “normies.”

Not to be ironic, but look, for instance, at wine geeks who talk about “nose.” Everyone knows what a nose is — but when wine geeks talk about nose, it means something else. And when we get that they’re not talking about the nose on a face, we still don’t bother to adopt the term for our everyday use, when we’re talking about how something smells, because that would be ridiculous and no one would know what we’re talking about.

It’s similarly ridiculous to use the phrase “real alcoholic.” I mean, aside from the inherent fallacy that groovecat deftly pointed out in the PS to his comment on the subject, it simply wouldn’t make sense for me to insist that I’m a “real alcoholic.”

I think the reason we tend to balk at the phrase is that it is so dismissive of our own alcohol addiction — a phrase that makes so much more sense. I mean, when they say “real,” we seem to let that undermine our own experience, and tend to try to prove that we are indeed real alcoholics, when, in fact, the only thing “real alcoholic” means is that you worked the steps and had a religious conversion (kinda like, if you’re predestined to go to Heaven, you’ll behave like one of God’s chosen). It has nothing to do with your actual experience as a drunk. I think the reason we bristle is that, in plain English, “real” means valid, legitimate, true, and the phrase itself is a passive aggressive insult to what others have accomplished without AA.

On Planet Earth, insisting that there is such an objective thing as a “real alcoholic” is like insisting that one has real cancer, as opposed to everyone else’s pretend pee-pants cancer. It is just that bizarre. Objectively, it makes more sense to simply, and correctly, assert that you are, or were, addicted to alcohol, or even addicted to alcohol to the point of debasement, brain damage and debilitation. That would be a plain fact.

And another fact is that in order to be considered a “real alcoholic,” one must have had the AA religious conversion. If you’re a real alcoholic, and you work the steps the conversion will take — unless you didn’t do it right, or you are a sociopath. We can’t know if you’re a “real alcoholic” unless you have 1. worked the steps, and 2. are not drinking. If you meet the requirements, you can consider yourself a “real alcoholic,” unless/until you relapse, in which case, you can either say that you failed to honestly follow the steps, or admit that, while you may be a “real alcoholic,” you’re also a sociopath.

If all things can be equal, except for the fact that the “real alcoholic” is predisposed to AA’s spiritual epiphany, then, as opposed to suffering from an addiction, the “real alcoholic” is suffering from something more akin to demonic possession than an addiction, affliction, disease… The 12 Steps are a DIY exorcism.

“Real Alcoholic” belongs to AA. Among the reality-based community, addiction is more appropriate. You really should have no more interest in insisting that you’re a “real alcoholic” than you would to insist that you’re possessed by the spawn of Beelzebub.

  • Cuda

    The term "Real Alcoholic" doesn't need to have ameaning outside of AA.
    You can walk into a treatment center and call yourself a duck if you want. As long as the check clears they will work with you to help you to not be a duck. Just make sure "Ducks Anonymous" is part of your "treatment plan"

    • M A

      The term “Real Alcoholic” doesn’t need to have ameaning outside of AA.

      AA uses the Salem witch trial logic to define a 'real alkie'. In the with trials, they would toss a defendant in a pond to see if they sank or floated. If they sank and drowned, they were not a witch; if they floated, they were deemed a witch and executed. With AA, if the person buys into the dogma, stays with AA and quits, they are 'real alcoholic', if they find it repugnant and leave, yet stay sober, they were not real alcoholics. By this logic, the steps work 100% of the time for real alcoholics.

  • Cuda

    You keep insisting on repeating that and we keep on insisting that Alcoholics are welcome to quit any way that can.
    How many times do we have to tell you that?

    • M A

      You keep insisting on repeating that and we keep on insisting that Alcoholics are welcome to quit any way that can.
      How many times do we have to tell you that?

      You are missing the point, Cuda, or refusing to see the point. You people say that the steps work for only 'real alcoholics', and those who AA does not speak to are not real alcoholics. That has been repeated ad nauseum, and it is absolutely ridiculous. You dismiss people who leave the group as not being real alkies. I'm not dreaming this up, Cuda. It permeates the mindset of the hardcore whackadoodle AA crazies. I swear you people would deny it is raining if you were soaking wet, and in the middle of a hurricane.

  • Cuda

    WTF are the steps supposed to do if you're not a "Real Alcoholic" ?

    "You dismiss people who leave the group as not being real alkies"

    No, as said before I dismiss people that leave AA as not being interested in AA.
    I've even suggested people leave AA if for any reason they are incapable or unwilling to take the 12 steps as they are written. Never suggesting they're not alcoholic.
    The words go like this.
    "If you want what we have and are willing to go to any length to get it, then you are ready to take certain steps".
    Oh silly me. Now I'm Parroting the book.

  • AndyM

    People reinvent their life histories to fit the profile of the aa definition of "the alcoholic". This is the true purpose of the aa drunkalogue. Over a long period in aa it becomes a well-rehearsed and plausible testament to key aa beliefs about inherent defectiveness, personal powerlessness, the inevitability of progressive deterioration whether one drinks or not without the 12 step program etc. etc. A well-refined and rehearsed script of this kind probably becomes a personal reality for the person delivering it for the umpteenth time, but will have altered out of all recognition from a straightforward account that had not been retrospectively distorted by aa dogma. It has become a work of fiction but a template for others to follow. I saw this process over and over again in aa. Over time members' stories changed from being inarticulate attempts to describe the reality of their lives as newcomers to
    glib, well-rehearsed testimonies to the orthodox aa dogma, complete with all the give-away readymade slogans, buzzwords and self-effacing witticisms.

  • Tony J

    Oh, ftg has posted her picture. Thanks. I thought you were a bit heavier, but still I had you pictured pretty close.

    Since the anti-AA's are rational folk and like facts, I figured I'd do a little fact check for you. Just to be helpful.

    "On Planet Earth, insisting that there is such an objective thing as a “real alcoholic” is like insisting that one has real cancer, as opposed to everyone else’s pretend pee-pants cancer. It is just that bizarre. "

    I get the impression that you're all of about 16. When you grow up, you might learn that there are, in fact many different kinds of cancer and some are much more serious than others. Basil cell carcinoma is much better to have than pancreatic cancer. Having a slight problem with alcohol is better than being beyone human aid.
    I know it's hard for you to think, but trust me. BTW, we all live on planet earth….well, I do. Maybe the anti-AA's don't. That would explain alot.

    "I think the reason we bristle is that, in plain English, “real” means valid, legitimate, true, and the phrase itself is a passive aggressive insult to what others have accomplished without AA."

    “Real Alcoholic” belongs to AA. Among the reality-based community, addiction is more appropriate.

    So when you say 'reality-based community' you are using a passive aggressive insult to what people have accomplished in AA. I see. You're very rude.

    "And another fact is that in order to be considered a “real alcoholic,” one must have had the AA religious conversion."

    Nope. You don't pay attention do you. In order to be a 'rea alcoholic' (BB definition) you must be powerless to stop drinking. That's all. No conversion needed.

    "The term “real alcoholic” doesn’t have any meaning outside AA. It’s just AA jargon. " Gives example about wine (because she's a drunk ?)

    ", it simply wouldn’t make sense for me to insist that I’m a “real alcoholic.”"

    First of all, definitions of words are important. Every activity has it's jargon. Since this is a blog about AA that jargon should be understood.

    And no, it wouldn't make sense for you to insist you're a 'real alcoholic' if you don't fit the definiton. And I'm sure you don't.

    What you are saying is that you should be able to define the jargon that AA uses, as an outsider. That's unreasonable (because the anti-AA movement is unreasonable by definition.) So, point taken. You are belligerent and unreasonable. We get it.

    Now do the head spin trick for us and throw up on yourself.

    • friendthegirl

      You’re very rude.

      Yeah… fuck you.

  • mikeblamedenial

    There is no such thing as "powerless to stop drinking", regardless of what the indoctrinators told you during the Kool-ade therapy.

  • Cuda

    I guess the important thing is that everyone believe as you do. Otherwise they're wrong.

    • M A

      I guess the important thing is that everyone believe as you do. Otherwise they’re wrong.

      Of course not, but you if you are going to treat alcoholics, your belief system alone is not good enough. Just because you believe something, regardless of how strong your belief is, doesn't mean others should acquiesce to those ideas. A quack who happens to be a true believer is no less a quack, and is no less dangerous. Your ideas, along with any other spiritual healers, are quackery. If you want to be taken seriously, then subject your ideas to the same process that any other treatment for disease is subjected to, and if they hold up, fine. Faith healing quacks won't do that, because they are frauds. If you want to be taken seriously, Tony, go talk to a naturopath or a touch therapist. They'll placate you.

  • friendthegirl

    Anyway, jeez, guys… What are you protesting? "Real Alcoholic" is yours. You guys are Real Alcoholics. The realest, most reallie realissimo realio-dealio alcoholics ever. And we're not. We're not EVEN real alcoholics. OK?

    Does it have to mean something to everyone on the planet for you be satisfied using it? It just doesn't have the same righteous feel to it, if other people don't care whether you think they're "real" or not?

    "Real alcoholic" doesn't mean anything outside AA. It just doesn't. You can tell us what you mean by it. But that doesn't mean that it's a phrase with objective meaning. What do you care?

  • Jonathan Riley

    So taking this discussion further………are only "real alcoholics" welcome in AA ? It sounds as if I'm not an alcoholic or certainly not a "real" one according to the feed. Obviously I have stopped drinking and for many years, so I can't really consider myself powerless as per the BB.
    This is why these definitions are plainly stupid and dangerous. Taking this to the logical next stage, I may as well go out and try some "controlled" drinking now. It's a great book that, full of useful tips.
    Just to let you know, passed on that tip that no where in the book (apparently so I was told here) does it mention meetings. Didn't go down too well and was asked what Bill and Bob were doing together.

  • Cuda

    The term "Real Alcoholics" is used because AA is being over run by drinkers that think they're alcoholics when they're most likely just undisciplined drinkers. They thensit in meetings and tell a "Real Alcoholic" that walks in needing "Real AA" and needing to hear "Real Experience" . These "Fake Alcoholics" bay be alcoholics but they want to spread a message that AA is whatever you wannt it to be, steps in any order are optional if you choose to do them. The most common is the AA waltz with the 1-2-3-12 footsteps. They think hugs and pats on the back are the answer and slogans work better than anything.
    Then they have the absolute gall to call it AA.
    The "Real Alcoholic" doesn't.
    They take the program as it was intended to be taken and then deliver that message to a newcomer.

    • friendthegirl

      So, exactly — "Real Alcoholic" doesn't mean anything except to AAs who do real AA. Outside of AA, the term is useless, a complete void. It's nothing. When you tell us, for instance, that we're not "Real Alcoholics," you're not telling us that we do not have a debilitating addiction to alcohol. Well, actually some of you do use it that way, to try to invalidate others' experience with alcoholism. (I can't imagine what enlightened spiritual principle is involved in that petty behavior, but it's all over the place here.)

      The reason I posted this "real alcoholic" thing was to point out how meaningless it is for someone to try to prove to you that they're a "real alcoholic" — just as meaningless as my trying to insist that I'm an actual wizard for real, and everyone should consider me one, even though I'm only a wizard to my D&D friends.

  • Jonathan Riley

    That is fair enough. I understand that. The problem exists though though of trying to diagnose whether you are an undisciplined drinker or a real alcoholic. I can almost feel myself saying "perhaps Cuda is right……….and I've been wrong all along."
    I know I can't afford anymore disasters though. I'm like the Cat who's had his 9 lives, and that's enough for me, at the moment anyway. I mean in terms of the sobriety I chose to have without a programme. Ovbiously I can never speak for others and this is where AA I think gets very confusing because until you have a degree of sobriety you can't even think………full stop.

  • Dana

    "And another fact is that in order to be considered a “real alcoholic,” one must have had the AA religious conversion.”
    Very well said Tony

    . Yes it s a relgious conversion of AA (relgion) that is the smartest thing i have ever heard you say. This reglious cult of the word "real Alcoholic" goes only in the cult AA. OMG a relgious conversion that sounds heavy. Your Christian right oh I mean Catholic and now your doing conversion through AA? Hmmmmm

  • Dana

    Tony if your so unhappy here , why do you stay? You sure have alot to say defending your cult.

    Are you trying to convince us or yourself? For me you have proved the point that all AAers are like you always trying to blow smoke up everybody else. Proving and proving that your right.. very sad really.
    This mentality that "your right" Not listening or caring about anything except yourself. Its all about you. Narcissictic R'Us (AA) thats what your 1930's cult i call it the new name NRU

  • raysny

    Cuda writes:
    "The term “Real Alcoholics” is used because AA is being over run by drinkers that think they’re alcoholics when they’re most likely just undisciplined drinkers."

    AA has been recruiting people who are not alcoholics but have problems with drinking for decades. And they work hard at convincing them they are alcoholics:

    "Nobody gets here by accident."
    "If you think you have a problem, you do."

    If AA only wanted "real alcoholics" they wouldn't cooperate with the courts, but they need coercion in order to swell the ranks. They can say "attraction rather than promotion" all they like, but it's just another lie.

  • Cuda

    "AA has been recruiting people who are not alcoholics but have problems with drinking for decades. And they work hard at convincing them they are alcoholics"

    That's because, as I say, AA has morphed into an hour long bullshit session where the more the merrier is the only tradition that makes sense. (they write their own traditions too)
    So no! They don't want "Real Alcoholics" they want friends.
    So when we throw around the term "Real Alcoholic" anyone that's interested in hardcore AA will know what we're talking about.
    FWIW we aren't interested in Court Orders either.

    • M A

      Cuda,

      Do you know anyone who joined AA, works the program, stays in the program, but is not a real alcoholic?

      • mikeblamedenial

        Yes, I know quite a few, mostly would-be NAs who, for whatever reason, found AA more to their liking. They chair meetings, sponsor, go on the speaker circuit and are generally admired and accepted by one and all. The most recent was a daily pot-smoker who came to AA at the urging of a relative, also a long term pot smoker. Like I said, she chairs, sponsors, and gives leads all over the district. Since her initial arrival, she has been romantically involved with several AA/ex-AA members. There are many other examples who come to mind, just in case this one doesn't pass your criteria.

        • mikeblamedenial

          "You" referring to Cuda and company, of course.

          • M A

            The reason I ask the question is because they dismiss those for whom the program doesn't work as not being real alkies – not just Cuda, as I've seen this ridiculous argument before – but I have yet to see one to say, "Bob, you aren't really an alkie, so you don't need the steps." It simply doesn't happen. They take credit for all successes, and brush off the failures and blame the person who failed. That is where they get their crazy success numbers.

  • Cuda

    One of these days you'll have to send me a video of you. I would really like to see someone type while they have their fingers stuck in their ears.
    I think you're inventing things as we go. As usual.
    If they aren't alcoholic, what are they "Recovering" from in the first place?
    If they still drink after being in and out of AA for years it's because they would rather drink. No Drama, No God, Nothing worthy of print. They just don't want to quit drinking.
    Of course I see you're dismissing completely what has been said in the past and will continue to be said.
    AA does not get people sober. AA requires something on the part of the Alcoholic. Mostly a little willingness on their part to quit drinking.
    As with most things that makes talking to the wall more apt to get a point across, you also must have missed the part where AA is not about quitting and doesn't make quitting any easier. AA is more about removing the reason we drink in the first place. If we remove the reason we drink we remove the impulse to need to turn to alcohol as an impulse.

    • M A

      This isn't AA, Cuda. You don't have pull the "get your fingers out of your ears" routine. You are beginning to lose it a little. Put me on your resentment list and work your way back into the serene Cuda we love.

      I understand the concept of the steps. I understand quitting drinking is incidental to the program. Still, the reason people go to AA is to quit drinking.

      • Cuda

        "Still, the reason people go to AA is to quit drinking".

        Precisley what the topic is here. Hard drinkers just quit. Real alcoholics can't "Just Quit" but that's what they're told by the countless "Fakers" inside the rooms.
        Very little that goes on in a meeting has to do with AA and the book. In fact some of the last thing talked about are God, Sponsorship, and the Book. Instead they would rather spour slogans and pat each other on the back.
        When the Hardcore walks in this strategy doesn't work as well.
        Then he says AA didn't work and fuels your fire here at ST.

        Don't go twisting that message in any way. Real Alcoholics get sober in and out of AA. Fake alcoholics get sober in and out of AA. Hard drinkers and Alcoholics fail in and out of AA.
        The problem lies in the hens telling the roosters all about how to crow. They have no idea how it's done but as long as they "Fake it till they make it" eventually they will prove the roosters to be wrong.

        • M A

          Real Alcoholics, even by your definition, can just quit. You did. You just happened to have been practicing a crazy religion while you did. Be proud of yourself, Cuda. It was you, and only you who is responsible for your sobriety. The spiritual hocus pocus was just background noise.

          • Cuda

            I also said this. Which you chose to disregard. As usual.

            "AA is not about quitting and doesn’t make quitting any easier. AA is more about removing the reason we drink in the first place. If we remove the reason we drink we remove the impulse to need to turn to alcohol as an impulse".

        • Agent Mango

          In fact some of the last thing talked about are God, Sponsorship, and the Book.

          Maybe you're going to the wrong meetings. The meetings I went to talked about those all the time and practically nothing else.

    • Agent Mango

      AA is more about removing the reason we drink in the first place. If we remove the reason we drink we remove the impulse to need to turn to alcohol as an impulse.

      I agree there must be a willingness to quite, but AA does not address, or even acknowledge, all the reasons for drinking. AA has a very narrow vision of what those reasons are. For instance, I did not drink because I was self-centered. Quite the opposite, I wasn't selfish enough! I gave too much of myself away and ignored my own needs. I drank to fill the void. It was one of the few pleasures I allowed myself to have.

      I know now that not only is it okay but also important to take care of my needs FIRST, something I could not have discovered in AA because it is in direct opposition to AA teachings.

      Anyway, my point is even if AA were only a "remove the reasons for drinking" program it fails in that regard because it ignores, and sometimes even runs counter, to the myriad of reasons for alcoholism.

  • Jonathan Riley

    I actually find myself agreeing with what Cuda says "in principle" at least. Certainly the last sentance makes sense. But, it is obviously also true the vast majority of people go to AA just to quit drinking. What then happens depends really on one's state of mental health and vunerability. As I've said here before, there are many people I see in AA who have not drank for years, much longer than myself, but I wouldn't want their lifestyle which is AA obsessive and strange.
    I was always told AA can provide "a bridge to normal living" whatever that is. It just seems the hardliners I know have no idea what this is, or rather their lifestyle is massively different to the one I would chose. One other point I see. Committed steppers are just out of touch with the real world. The change in thinking makes it pretty impossible to tolerate the rest of us !!!

  • Tony J

    MA:
    " Your ideas, along with any other spiritual healers, are quackery. If you want to be taken seriously, then subject your ideas to the same process that any other treatment for disease is subjected to, and if they hold up, fine."

    Actually we don't MA. Your argument would be with the treatment industry. 'WE' (we in AA) have freedom of assembly like every other group in this country. You're barking up the wrong tree. Besides, our track record is bretty damn good. 24% remaining for a year I think, from the figures you provided in our last discussion. That's not chopped liver. When a better method comes along, it will catch on. You not likeing the best method available at the moment is no relavant to the discussion.

    Mike :

    "There is no such thing as “powerless to stop drinking”, regardless of what the indoctrinators told you during the Kool-ade therapy."

    That was Mike expressing his ill formed opinion again. Not the lack of evidence to support it.

    FTG :

    "Anyway, jeez, guys… What are you protesting? “Real Alcoholic” is yours. You guys are Real Alcoholics. The realest, most reallie realissimo realio-dealio alcoholics ever. And we’re not. We’re not EVEN real alcoholics. OK?

    Does it have to mean something to everyone on the planet for you be satisfied using it? "

    Go up to the top of the page and read your article. You brought the topic up and you're getting answers. It doesn't have to mean anything to anyone outside of AA. But the fact is, AA was designed for a certain type of drinker.

    • mikeblamedenial

      You might consider putting wider tires on, Tony. You are just sitting there at the starting line, red-lining your engine, burning rubber, wasting fuel, but getting no traction. Your exhaust pipes are loud, for sure, but noise doesn't win races.

  • M A

    You need to ask your higher power to fix your math skills, Tony.

  • Tony J

    My math skills are right on.

    Too bad for you and your master orange, isn't it ?

    Mike, you really have nothing but an opinion. There's nothing wrong with that until you allow yourself to become deluded that your opinion is the basis for fact.

    Well, that's the whole focus of the anti-AA movement anyway.

    • mikeblamedenial

      Lame and more lame. Get some new material.

  • joedrywall

    According to "the book" AA had a success rate of 75%. Cleveland and Akron hung out a success claim on 93%. If the program was that successful, why wouldn't you want to have it institutionalized? Why wouldn't you want to have coercion for people with alcohol problems? Whether or not they were "real alcoholics". And if it really was that successful why wouldn't you want to recruit more into it?
    Just saying if it was really that successful.

  • Warren

    The "Real Alcoholic" ploy is a NO TRUE SCOTSMAN logical FALLACY:
    http://www.logicalfallacies.info/presumption/no-t

    Explanation
    "The no true scotsman fallacy is a way of reinterpreting evidence in order to prevent the refutation of one’s position. Proposed counter-examples to a theory are dismissed as irrelevant solely because they are counter-examples, but purportedly because they are not what the theory is about."

    Read the rest at the link above.

    It leads to a circular arguments because no one could actually prove that one is, or is not a true alcoholic.
    Which is convenient for those positing the theory that there are real alcoholics vs. not real alcoholics because it leads to mind fuckery and loopy thinking.

  • John

    If you drink 3 bottles of wine per night maybe 3 nights a week and wonder because you have the other 4 nights relatively alcohol free (but are thinking about having a drink) then I would say you are an alky/addict! I am from Manchester in England (O.k I now live in Kent)so know what I am talking about. If you are a wealthy London wife with a professional husband (sorry to stereo type but you do exist) but are drinking 2-3 bottles of white wine per day then you have exactly the same problem as me but in a different environment.

    The 12 step thing seems to work o.k for some people if you Google, but to be honest I am not a religious person and I do understand that maybe the only place for religion where it does some good (instead of causing millions of people to die around the world in various conflicts) is with delussioned addicts.

    There is no conclusion to this ramble, I just found this page whilst drunk.

    P.S – for the politically correct addicts I might add “If you are a wealthy London husband with a professional wife………..” not intentional. ta.

  • John

    BIG POINT – WHAT WE SHOULD ALL REALISE IS THAT WHILST WE ARE ALL ROLLING IN SELF PITY FOR OUR ADDICTIONS TO OUR WESTERN DRUGS, THERE ARE PEOPLE/BABIES/CHILDREN STARVING TO DEATH IN THIS WORLD AND WE SHOULD GET THINGS INTO PERSPECTIVE!

  • Gunthar2000

    Hey lookie here… a new guy named John who types Shakespearean cockney collywobbles.

  • diablo

    MA wrote:
    Real Alcoholics, even by your definition, can just quit. You did. You just happened to have been practicing a crazy religion while you did. Be proud of yourself, Cuda. It was you, and only you who is responsible for your sobriety. The spiritual hocus pocus was just background noise.

    @MA,
    That is some serious dangerous ground your crossing. You sound like the very AA sponsors we all dislike so much here.
    Are you a Doctor, a licensed therapists, Scientists ect…..how do we/you know what a real alcoholic in the grips of DT’s, vomiting, severe craving and just about ready to go into convulsions because his body needs alcohol. That this person has been living this lifestyle for the last 20 years and his liver shows it.
    Just wanted to get some clarity on what we are talking about here, people who have had some serious issues with alcohol or a “real alcoholic”.
    Big Difference!!!!!
    One could help himself and the other could pray all he wants but unless he gets to a hospital he is going to die. Unless he has a detox time and a period of recovery he will die.

  • Gunthar2000

    Here we go folks… He’s edging his way back into full troll mode.
    Who are you to have an opinion MA?!!! Only doctors are allowed to have opinions!

  • humanspirit

    @diablo

    “One could help himself and the other could pray all he wants but unless he gets to a hospital he is going to die. Unless he has a detox time and a period of recovery he will die.”

    I completely agree with you that some people desperately need medically supervised detox, and I don’t think MA was denying that at all. What he’s taking on, to my understanding, is the self-serving definition of ‘real alcoholic’ used by so many steppers. This is not to do with whether any particular person needing some urgent medical intervention at some point, but the opinion bandied about by many in AA circles that if anyone manages to get sober without/despite the steps and the rest of the mumbo-jumbo involved, they weren’t a “real alcoholic’ in the first place – even if they actually did get to the state you describe. I’m not sure why they say this – they can’t really believe it, can they?

    On the other hand, anyone who approaches an AA group wanting help with stopping drinking, whatever the actual level of their problem is or however minor or severe their drinking is, is immediately encouraged to label him/herself as an ‘alcoholic’ (presumably a ‘real’ one) who must then go on to practise a non sequiter of a religious program if they are ever to ‘recover’. It’s not MA who’s pronouncing on who’s a ‘real alcoholic’ and who isn’t – this is standard AA/12-step dogma and doublethink.

  • AnnaZed

    @John ~ “…I do understand that maybe the only place for religion where it does some good (instead of causing millions of people to die around the world in various conflicts) is with delussioned [sic] addicts.”

    har!

  • jeremiah

    i am enjoying this thread immensely. after going through 3 rehabs mostly for opiates and benzos, i drink a few times a week (yes, to get drunk). i did try to really listen to the AA jargon in my treatment, and while I was there I read the literature and took part in the meetings… but in the end, one should admit to oneself that it’s pure horse shit and get on with things.