AA’s 5% Success Rate

Gunthar just sent me this LA Times article (I don’t have time to read it right now):

Charlie Sheen Claims AA Has a 5% Success Rate — Is He Right?

111 Responses to 'AA’s 5% Success Rate'

  1. truebeliever says:

    Holy crap Gunthar-
    Way to go!

  2. truebeliever says:

    What happened? One second your comment was up, next second it was down???
    I think the 5% of people who AA worked for must be LA Times employees. It don’t matter anyway, the newspaper is dead…

  3. Gunthar2000 says:

    Yes TB… The LA Times don’t like the truth.

  4. violet says:

    This is making me insane. There are so many cult doctors being interviewed. This douche works for the Caron Foundation is interviewd. Caron ISSSS AA. http://www.thetakeaway.org/2011/mar/02/charlie-sheen-and-alcoholics-anonymous-psychologists-take/

    Listen to this ^ He compares Charlie to Jack Ker. and talk about him dying in his mother’s apt. at a young-sh age. Lame. SO lame. why cannt they interview more stanton types. Stanton, we need you , man!!! I know, he was on Good Morning AMerica.

    I need to maybe “detach” from this Cahrlie stuff. I am so digusted by enyone’s reactions (not you guys). DEATH JAILS INSTITUTIONS, that is what this dbag is saying. FU, buddy.

  5. causeandeffect says:

    I just mentally vomited a little. Er, maybe a lot.

  6. I just read it. I’m going to ad the “propaganda” tag.

  7. causeandeffect says:

    OK G, exactly what did you say so we can figure out a way to work around this thing. I don’t have access to my bookmarks right now. If you guys post the facts, I’ll come in with the anecdotal.

  8. causeandeffect says:

    Never mind. I see it now.

  9. AndyM says:

    I’m numerically dyslexic so I’m not competent to argue statistics. I leave it to others to brawl over that. We each have our own strengths. I also go non-verbal at times. Hope this foible doesn’t piss people off too much.
    I think the stakes have been raised considerably by Charlie’s outburst. Be ready for some dirty fighting by media placemen and steppers!

  10. AndyM says:

    PS (off-topic)
    I just discovered from the Catholic Encyclopaedia that St Boniface is the patron saint of brewers! How apposite (or convenient, perhaps?) is that?

  11. AndyM says:

    My mistake- wrong boniface. Thought for a moment Bill was acting like a good Catholic, chatting to saints. Sorry for that interruption….

  12. JR Harris says:

    Great post Gunther. It’s one thing to say something and not back it up with published facts. It is another thing to say it and back it up with facts from an independent authority on the subject. It gives people a chance to research the actual 5% Success Rate of AA.

  13. violet says:

    people argue that the 5 percent is off, as the people who do not really wanna be there bring the stat down. i would counter that with, well, the people who do wanna be there would get sober anyway, as those doing the steps, sponsor bs have determination, not aa magic, for fuck sake.

  14. Did anyone, in the comments or in the article, point out * that the 5% statistic comes straight from AA?

  15. Gunthar2000 says:


    Diablo is over there making an ass of himself.

  16. causeandeffect says:

    I did but there was some crap at the top that must have came from IE. Any idea why that happened? I wanted to post more but I don’t know why that happened.

  17. Beyond Rehab says:

    Dr. David Sack of Promises says, “AA is a self-help support group, it wasn’t designed as a treatment.” I was in Promises in the 90’s and AA sure didn’t feel like SELF-help when we were required to go or else be criticized, talked down to, left out and accused of not working our program. AA is a self-help support group? Powerless — self-help. Self-help — powerless. Interesting. And AA was not designed as a treatment? Words.

  18. Gunthar2000 says:

    @Beyond Rehab… I’ve been anxious to read the post that you mentioned last night. Did you get it up?

  19. Gunthar2000 says:

    diablo is over there blowing his spiritual horn and making an ass of himself. He’s already filled most of the criteria for cyber-stalking… The last of the most three important would be for him to cut and paste from here to there and then he’s violated the law. I have my hand on the phone ready to call the cops on this wacko.

  20. Don’t let him get to ya, G. Let him show everyone what AA’s all about.

  21. Beyond Rehab says:

    @Gunthar, I was late submitting it. I hope it’ll be up in the morning, I’ll share the link then (wait til you see the title, yikes!) I added a link back here too.

  22. Gunthar2000 says:

    I just posted a response asking diablo to stop stalking me.

  23. Also G, he just called you “beaner.” I don’t know where he’s from, but he’s not going to make any friends in LA calling you that.

  24. humanspirit says:

    This is very funny . . . diablo’s just accused me over there of ‘taking LSD with my buddies’. (Regrettably I’ve never taken LSD, even in my wildest youth,) He also tells me that Bill Wilson only took hallucinogenic for depression. I don’t ever remembering BW ever mentioning this, or telling anyone else that taking acid for depression was OK. Isn’t following the steps supposed to cure depression and every other human condition under the sun?

    Anyway, I’m not going to get into any arguments on that particular thread. Just think it’s worth trying to raise a bit of awareness on these mainstream sites wherever possible . . .

  25. humanspirit says:

    @ftg – What’s a beaner?

  26. causeandeffect says:

    It did it again. Is it because I’m pasting from Word?

  27. Gunthar2000 says:

    Yes C&E

    Paste from notepad instead… It will erase the formatting.

  28. humanspirit, beaner is a racial slur used against Mexicans. I think he called Gunthar that because Gunthar lives in “bean town”.

  29. causeandeffect says:

    Oh, I’m having too many tech difficulties right now anyway. I give up. It’s frustrating.

  30. causeandeffect says:

    ftg, LOL!

  31. c&e, I can’t even log in, so I’m with you. I am working, anyway — definitely not supposed to be rubbernecking the LA Times comments.

  32. AndyM says:

    Gunthar doesn’t sound a very Mexican name to me!

  33. humanspirit says:

    C&E – I had the same problem. Kept getting told that my post exceeded the character limit even though the counter at the bottom didn’t indicate this. I ended up cutting my comment by about 50% and then typing it out directly into the window, and even then it kept telling me it had exceeded the character limit. I think they should do a bit of work on making their comment site more user-friendly . . .

  34. causeandeffect says:

    diablo is still at it. Claiming to now know Gunthar, then showing he’s watching what we’re posting here, about the beaner reference. He’s the worst liar ever!!! Can’t keep his story straight to save his life, just like when he was posting here.

  35. Gunthar2000 says:

    Irish Beaner Daffy

  36. soberbychoice says:

    AA should have to pay Charlie Sheen a marketing fee for publicizing and exaggerating the program’s recovery rate. There just ain’t no 5% recovery rate. As I pointed out in this piece archived on ST, AA’s own counts show it has exactly the same number–2.1 million–members that it had in 1993: http://stinkin-thinkin.com/2011/01/10/aas-own-stats-show-slow-demise, first listing under “Essential Reading” Tab on ST.
    The only way anyone in AA can count “recovery rate” is to consult the membership growth rate. There ain’t none, zilch, nothing, despite selling one million BB a year for the last twenty years. It’s all churn from courts and treatment centers. Since Harvard Medical School says the “natural remission rate” for alcoholism is 5% a year, it’s proper to say that AA is less successful by 5% than letting nature take its course. They owe Charlie a good fee for the exaggerated PR.

  37. Vera says:

    This Diablo clown must one sad little man. Talk about holding resentments, he’s over at LA Times still all bitter and pissy about getting booted here. I wonder if he’s looked at his part in getting banned here or talked to his sponsor about it.

  38. JR Harris says:

    Stanton Peele was on blogtalk radio tonight. He made a very interesting statement. He said he wants to help the 95% of the people who leave AA. I am sure that many of them recover by themselves, but if they need help there are people who are willing to do it. I don’t think that many other doctors would make that statement. Not the ones on TV anyway.

  39. AndyM says:

    I could be wrong, but I don’t think Stanton Peele is a medical doctor. As far asI know he’s a psychologist and also (I think) a qualified lawyer. He’s a clever chap, perhaps he has a PhD or whatever it’s called in the States, which entitles him to the “Doctor” tag.

  40. JR Harris says:

    He is a psychologist, lawyer, and [sychotherapist – here are his qualifications:


  41. JR Harris says:

    He is a psychologist, lawyer, and [psychotherapist – here are his qualifications:


  42. Gunthar2000 says:

    Look at the bullshit numbers they’re putting out here… 60 – 75% recovery rates for AA!


  43. JR Harris says:

    Are they talking about the 60-75% recovery rates of the 5% that stay? That would be make it about 3%.

  44. AndyM says:

    It’s pretty darned low, anyway, as any long-time member knows from personal observation. If it wasn’t they’d welcome some attempt at an approximate measurement, at least.

  45. AndyM says:

    Thanks for clarifying Dr Peele’s credentials by the way. Pinsky’s medical qualifications seem bona fide too (an assistant professor of psychiatry, no less). He really should know better, but perhaps he can’t help himself, poor soul. He’s found his true vocation as a media quack.

  46. Primrose says:

    Who was it who predicted (twenty five years before Wilson died) that after his death the bb would take the leader’s place as an object of veneration?

  47. Steven Slate says:

    It’s amazing that it’s taken this long for a major media outlet to actually discuss Charlie’s 5% claim. I had been working on a post about the fact that it’s being ignored, the only thing I really found before this article was some local news station that called in a local rehab guy to shoot it down. Anyways, new theme for my post : the 5% number is the thing nobody’s talking about, even when they talk about it.

    Anyhoo – Ilana Mercer had a good piece cheering Charlie on:

  48. Steven Slate says:

    Also, I would say we should call the AA trolls “5 percenters”, but it would be an insult to this group http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Nation_of_Gods_and_Earths#Origin_of_Five-Percent_title
    Having grown up on a healthy diet of hip-hop, it would be a fun term for me.

    I don’t know if that would make us eighty-fivers, or the 10% (in the eyes of the aa 5%’ers).

    Anyways, I’m breaking my own rule of not talking about religion – this is all in fun, so if anyone is part of that group, please don’t take offense.

  49. AndyM says:

    Awesome. I can only echo tb’s perspicacious words in another context earlier:
    Holy crap, way to go!

  50. JD says:

    While the article has 11 reported opinions and surveys, only Charlie’s and the Cochrane survey (which researchers found to be limited) are the least bit negative. Readers won’t consider Charlie as much of an athority on recovery, so that leaves 1 (flawed) for 10, with 9 positive. I count 7 extremely positive, and a big slam for CBT in there, so final total 9+. Hope whatever professional sports teams you’re obsessing on have that kind of season.

    Your joy over a flattering pro-AA article is surprising. Is it that someone somewhere thought (though the conclusion is flawed and discounted) that AA possibly isn’t effective is worth blowing all the rockets off?

    If so, you all are way too easy to please. Stanton’s able to disregard all those positive surveys and professional opinions from his betters, so I suggest you better stick with Stanton. And let him tell you again about the Inyoe 9th circuit decision from ’07 as if it’s hot off the press.

  51. Steven Slate says:

    JD – you haven’t even read the thread, have you?

  52. Martha says:

    FTG, what is the above picture about?

  53. Sugomom says:

    Steven, I am really a fan of Horvath. I was introduced to him via phone by Mary Ellen Barnes who is going to be the next guest speaker on the HAMS show Peele was on last night. BTW, I hadn’t checked Barnes site in quite awhile and accidently typed this in the address wrong and stumbled upon this http://www.non12steprehab.org/ It made me sick. Advertised non twelve step choices, showed young teen faces and then said
    “Another type of treatment to stay away from are programs that implement replacement drug therapy. This dangerous form of treament uses prescription drugs like anti-depressants to replace the drug of choice which is being abused. Unfortunately most 12 step programs use this form of rehabilitation and is one of the reasons they have such a low success rate. Most non-12 step rehab programs do not use replacement drugs, instead they believe in proper nutrition and daily exercise to improve a persons health and well being.”
    What bad advice for those that are truly suffering a mental disorder.

  54. Sugomom says:

    Martha, It’s a little boy….Get it? Get it?

  55. That’s Little Lord Fauntleroy. I always think of JD’s story about arranging tulips with the nobility when he talks to us our betters.

  56. Martha says:

    okay I just figured out the context.

  57. Martha says:

    Speaking of JD’s betters Stanton Peele did a great job on the radio last night.

  58. Sugomom says:

    Ha ha FTG, I was just looking up the link for Martha when you posted. Good job getting the nod from Amy Coy. I would love if she were more active on this site.

  59. Sugomom says:

    SS, What did you think of the reference Discovery made to 5% in a different context?

  60. Gunthar2000 says:

    JD… Shouldn’t you be shining your sponsor’s ass or something?

    I’m having a diffi-CULT time understanding what you are trying to say today.

    Are you saying that you perceive the fact that many of us have chosen to focus on this recent LA times article as undue hysteria, and that there is no call for celebration?

    Do you believe that commenting on current articles in major news outlets somehow equates with celebration?

    Are you comparing the movement to bring change to the recovery industry with a sports venue?

    Are you suggesting that Dr. Peele is not a reliable source of information?

    Do you believe that circuit court rulings have expiration dates and should therefore be considered irrelevant after a certain period of time?

  61. mikeblamedenial says:

    I tried to start a thread with this one, but couldn’t get it to fly. Here is a vid we did about Charlie Sheen’s recent events.

  62. Lucy says:

    Here is what I know, and it is admittedly anecdotal.

    Before August 5, 2010 – I would have been counted in the very small minority of AA members who have been sober longer than 25 years.
    After August 5, 2010 – I would be counted in the percentage of AA members who don’t make it.

    Did I drink and become a relapse statistic?Did I quit my job and end up in a homeless shelter? Am I in a psychiatric hospital? Have I commited a crime? NO

    I just stopped going to meetings, which is of course AA evidence that there is something wrong with me.

    Ask anyone at my old home group and they will tell you I am crazy.

    And that is why crowing about “success rates” by AA members is ridiculous to me,

  63. mike, try now… Something went haywire with the last WP update, and the video button vanished. The trick to getting the video to post from the editor now is to use flash tags around the URL

    [ flash ] [ /flash]

    Also, you should see the publish button now.

  64. JD says:

    G-why not go back to basking in the wonderful LA Times article that the moderators were kind enough to put up there for you to enjoy…and don’t fret about what it actually says too much. Ignoring reality is what ST is all about, after all…

    Just tell yourself all those people you saw sober in the meetings you attended when you were slipping around weren’t really sober. They were only saying that they were happily sober and that you could have it too without pilling up in order to be mean to you. Complete and utter liars, even though if you covered some ground in 18yrs you saw thousands of them.

    Because they were such awful and hurtful liars you must get back at them all, I understand. They, of course are now lying about being 18yrs even longer sober than when you stumbled in and will not know about your wrath but hey, somebody has to say they don’t really exist, that AA doesn’t work and they are not really there, and if it’s not you it certainly won’t be those going to meetings with them now.

    Someone must step up and be brave enough to deny the existence of what anyone who walks into a meeting will see.

  65. Sugomom says:

    Lucy, a neighbor of mine is a bartender. He says that every night at exactly 10 pm a group of people come in to slam a few and discuss what went on in the AA meeting that night. They complain about the court ordered attendees so he assumes they aren’t amoung them. As I always say, being in AA doesn’t make you sober anymore than being in a garage makes you a car!
    Mike BD superb!

  66. AndyM says:

    “Sober” is really not a word that I consider a particularly useful part of my vocabulary these days. I’m with Charlie on that.

  67. causeandeffect says:

    The local alano club has just a handful of oldtimers, and even less who are able to maintain sobriety and for all their time actively working the program and for all their religiosity, frequently relapse. There is a dizzying array of people who see faith healing and steps as useless to help them quit drinking. Literally hundreds come and go each year.

    On the other hand, there is a very small meeting almost exclusively of old timers. They make no pretense of not liking to go to meetings where there are newcomers. They prefer to shield themselves from the fact AA can’t retain members. This also serves to shield the newcomers from them as well. I mean, we can’t have newcomers exposed to the fact that these oldtimers are still patiently waiting for God to remove their character defects. I mean what would newcomers think of someone with 35 years in the program who is still such a bitch that she has to still make amends to nearly everybody she encounters, regardless of how brief that encounter is? Or how they just learned how to not go ballistic when somebody has one too many items in the express checkout lane. Or how poorly they still treat their spouses and children. Or how controlling and manipulative they are. Or how they have serious suicidal ideation over small frustrations. And on, and on. No way you want the newcomer to see all that!

  68. tintop says:

    Well, this ‘success rate’ appears to be a retention rate. Which does not tell me very much. What of those who leave? Is anything known of them? From what I have seen, read or heard, next to nothing is known of them, other than hearsay.

    Why should anything be known, as almost no one has interest in knowing.

    Just exactly what is ‘success’? After having defined it, how do you go about measuring it?

  69. tintop says:

    c & e — quite

  70. Lucy says:

    Oh, for the love of God, JD. Don’t break your arm patting yourself on the back. If you wanted someone to pat you on the back for being “brave,” you would be spouting all your praise at an AA meeting. You are just here to fight with people.

    I’ve been to over 9,000 AA meetings. I’ve been a circuit speaker. I’ve been a GSO Rep. I’ve sponsored lots of women, and I have been sober for decades. What in the hell do you think you’ve seen in an AA meeting than I haven’t?

  71. hulahoop says:

    Lucy says Here is what I know, and it is admittedly anecdotal.

    Before August 5, 2010 – I would have been counted in the very small minority of AA members who have been sober longer than 25 years.
    After August 5, 2010 – I would be counted in the percentage of AA members who don’t make it.

    Did I drink and become a relapse statistic?Did I quit my job and end up in a homeless shelter? Am I in a psychiatric hospital? Have I commited a crime? NO

    I just stopped going to meetings, which is of course AA evidence that there is something wrong with me.

    Ask anyone at my old home group and they will tell you I am crazy.

    And that is why crowing about “success rates” by AA members is ridiculous to me,

    And you are not dead either. I think you found a much better program and are working it very well. I can honestly say you have something I want.

  72. tintop says:

    Lucy —

    hear hear

  73. Lucy says:

    Hula- you are too kind.

  74. BusBozo says:

    Thanks for the videos….I went to a performance of The Magic Flute about 5 year ago, good stuff.
    They must not have been humble enough when they asked God (perhaps the didn’t grovel on their knees). But you gotta give them credit, they are Spiritual, unlike the Normie’s.

  75. AndyM says:

    Yes,great clip Tintop. I started going to the opera when my missus worked at the theatre and got complemenary tickets. I was surprised to find I loved it (and ballet, she worked at Sadlers Wells). Mozart rocks!

  76. tintop says:

    andy, I love the opera as well. I figured that the relief of ‘papageno’ was indicated.

    Mozart does rock. Those who are bored, may skip this

  77. causeandeffect says:

    Thanks for the plug diablo! Getting more people registering here every day!

  78. Cuda says:

    Charlie also said in the same sentence that he has a 100% success rate. Is this the part where we get to pick and choose what we believe?

  79. Gunthar2000 says:

    I’m 100% successful… I’ll never drink alcohol again.

  80. AndyM says:

    I’m 100% successful too. There’s an approximately one in five lifetime suicide rate for bipolar people and I’m still here and have no intention of checking out any time soon. Sure, I have the occasional Guiness when I’m hypomanic and it chills me. I stay well away from coke, speed, smack and skunk. I don’t drink when I’m down. I exercise and I eat well and take food supplements. Not recommending this to anyone else, but to coin a phrase “it works for me” (but only if I work it, of course).

  81. tintop says:

    yes cuda we do. It is called free will.

  82. Martha says:

    Cuda, it is totally legitimate to set your confidence to 100% and decide that you will never drink again for the rest of your life. Why the tentative one day at a time bs? Drinking is a choice and we all have the ability to decide not to drink ever again. Self will is a good thing and it should run riot.

  83. causeandeffect says:

    My success rate is 100%. I don’t drink. Don’t want to drink ever again. Don’t have to sit in a church basement telling people that I’ll probably drink tomorrow, but I’m not going to drink today. I don’t have to massage it every day and keep it alive for the rest of my life.

  84. Martha says:

    If a rational and honest person had founded AA and really had the intent of making it a method to stop drinking they would have had self confidence as the first step and the other steps would nave built on increasing your self will.

  85. Ben Franklin says:

    Is this the part where you get to choose your own God,Cuda? Now that is really stupid.

  86. Martha says:

    It is very difficult to have a normal conversation with a person who has been immersed in the 12 steps for a long period of time. Any fact that you confront them with is met with some slogan that shuts down the conversation. To them self confidence is a sign of sickness. They live in a bizarro world where everything is turned to the opposite of reality. Rigorous honesty is defined as faking it until you make it. Cognitive dissonance becomes something they think we all want. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cognitive_dissonance

    When Stanton Peele was on the radio the other night he spoke of posts on his blog where AA members say that Stanton must be an alcoholic. The only reason they make this charge is that Stanton disagrees with AA. It is also an attempt to discredit the messenger.

    While we hear a lot from people who will not tolerate AA being questioned it is apparent that the very existence of this blog and articles by Stanton can play a huge role for individuals who up until now believed that they were sick merely because they question the AA way. In the past some of these people internalized the AA propaganda and would drink themselves to death. It is not a stretch to say we may have already saved some lives just by validating their misgivings about AA. In the past week thousands of people have been exposed to Peele’s articles in Psychology Today and The Huffington Post. People from this community have posted comments with links back to this blog. Now Amy Lee Coy’s Oped article is in play and being read by thousands of others. I think this week is a turning point and even though we are just putting a few dents into AA’s armor and there is lots of work to be done we should pause for a minute and realize we have made a positive impact on the lives of a few people who last week were hopeless.

  87. ez says:

    What is the deal with the multiple exact same posts over in the coments section of the article by the AA advocates?

  88. Gunthar2000 says:

    They do it to push relevant posts to the back. That way people will give up on the thread before they have a chance to read any of the information that might cause them to question AA.

  89. Gunthar2000 says:

    The best thing you can do is report overposting… Admin will eventually remove it.

  90. JR Harris says:

    Multiple exact same posts is a ploy used by irate Steppers to cloud the truth. The LA times has policies against it and cyber stalking, but they are letting it through anyway. It shows that once a Stepper gets involved in your life, they will never leave you alone. If you notice the people who are doing it are all posting to attack individual posters.

    Thank you AA Nazi Steppers for showing the world your real colors and allegiances.

  91. joedrywall says:

    I do believe that Bill W. has been quoted a couple of times saying that AA had a 5% success rate. Once in Akron when it began, and another time when he said that LSD was 3 times for effective at giving the “spiritual awakening”. The so called 75% success rate as stated in the 2nd edition is of those who “really tried”. Cleveland and Akron would like you to believe that the success was near 93%, however they don’t tell you that they didn’t want women or blacks. That must have been an oversight in their calculation.
    Ok here is what I am getting at: I was a MOTR(middle of the road) AA member. I do believe in peer support/self help organizations to help folks. I did(and still do) like certain aspects of the program, however I don’t believe that everything in in could help everyone in the rooms. Of course if you listen to the big book thumpers who actually believe that AA was so effective back in the day(total propaganda) they would have you believe that people like myself “watered” down AA, and are the cause of the success rate dropping to the dismal 5% rate. Then of course they will try harder with their indoctrination techiniques, meaning more meetings, more sponsors, more big book studies, and more emphasis on step work, and more recruiting new members(carrying the message). With the extra efforts at indoctrinating there will be a bigger dropout.

  92. flannigan says:

    Actually it was Nell Wing, Bill W’s long time secretary, who stated that AA could only reach 5% of alcoholics in hospital but with LSD that percentage increased to 15%. There is no reliable evidence to my knowledge that early success rates in Cleveland and Akron were 75% and 93%. Over half of the 1st edition story authors returned to drinking according to Francis Hartigan, Lois Wilson’s secretary. Apparently Bill kept track in his first edition book to come off the press.

  93. Sugomom says:

    @JoeDW, I remember “back in the day” when my parents used to whisper that somebody went for “the cure”. Correct me if I am wrong, but I don’t remember my next door neighbor going to meetings incessantly. When did the 90/90 come into play? Or if it was always there, when did people become so over zealous about enforcing it?

  94. hulahoop says:

    I posted this link before. I think it is worth a repost since the subject of LSD and spriritual awakening came up. Grandma on acid.


    Heard then turned to Bill Wilson, guiding him on an LSD trip supervised by Dr Cohen in the summer of 1956 – perhaps in the same room we see in this video.
    ‘Wilson, who started AA in the 1930s, thought LSD could help alcoholics have the spiritual awakening that is such an important part of the 12-step recovery programme he popularised.

  95. JR Harris says:

    The AA Trolls on the LA Times Blog must have been watching the Youtube show “Muck & Fuddy – How to Be an AA Troll”, it covers everything they are doing.


  96. SoberPJ says:

    Yeah… the LSD experiments … If he took it to try to help people find a spiritual awakening, that is an interesting approach. Let’s see..what if it worked? Would he have recommended to all AA’ers to take acid? Hmmm….If the beloved program he developed was the answer to finding gawd, why did he have to experiment with LSD? Also, why did he do it multiple times over a few years. And, why did he do it with his favorite squeeze mistress Helen Wynn? These are baffling items.. I wonder if he recognized the thrill from his multiple Belladona sessions at Towns? So, multiple Belladona experiences over two years and mutiple LSD experiences over three years… that’s certainly more hallucinogenic drugs than your average drunk, especially for that era… Looks like Billy had a thing for hallucination … That’s OK, he was still sober till the day he died …. NOT !

  97. causeandeffect says:

    And if one is already spiritually awakened, how could one know if a hallucinogen causes a spiritual awakening?

  98. SoberPJ says:

    Good point … maybe he knew he was a fraud and needed a real solution to give to the AA masses. He had to know he was a lech and a cheat and his beloved program didn’t work on those serious problems. I mean, c’mon, people holding you up as a great social architect and you can’t keep your hands off the vulnerable newcomer women while your wife is supporting you. The dichotomy is huge. He was pretending this high ideal existence, while living a Jerry Springer-style life. That would take its toll on anyone.

  99. Sugomom says:

    Gosh, I missed your wit PJ, don’t go away again.

  100. SoberPJ says:

    Thanks Smom.. the break was good for me …

  101. JR Harris says:

    Well maybe we will find out if Operation Payback had anything to do with the outage to the AA website:


  102. The same article showed up today in a 3rd paper, the Miami Herald: http://www.miamiherald.com/2011/03/12/2108282/charlie-sheen-claims-aa-has-a.html


  103. Clyde Strunk says:

    More Bullshit, or “A Desire to Start Thinking.”
    Whatever god there may or may not be, contrary to widespread belief, He, She, or It is not in the power business. It doesn’t have any power-none at all. That shit is obviously completely in the hands of human beings; Gods’ magnificent crowning creation achievement. Whatever god there may or not be, it doesn’t exercise any authority either. There can’t be a loving god who’s all about power & authority too. A cretin with his brains beat out understands that. Anyone wishing to prove it need only observe human behavior – listen or watch the news. Go where people gather and just watch what they’re saying & doing. Reflect on our own dubious pursuits of power & control. Understand that we all go around deceiving ourselves and others in so many big & little ways. If we’re honest with ourselves, we’ll see we want as much of whatever we want, however we can get it, to whatever extent we can get away with getting it. The pursuit of power, control, and authority is exclusively entrenched in the human condition.
    The exception that trumps everybody is “Mother Nature”…The gardener who keeps this whole physical gag cooking. (that subject’s covered in an upcoming book) She’s in charge of life in capital letters. Human beings only run the lower case, or sometimes think they do. Good and evil, likewise are exclusive to the human species. God, good, and evil manifest mainly in human consciousness, though I could swear I’ve detected those qualities in dogs, birds, and, I’m told, horses. It could be argued that god needs humans at least as bad as humans need god. That’s something to meditate on.
    We go to places like church, or the ladies’ auxiliary, or the People for the Ethical Treatment of People, or a Masonic Lodge, or some kinda “let’s all get together & yak it up” sorta thing, such as AA, (which is obviously the target subject of this shocking, tell-all expose) where we’re supposed to learn to be better subjects. What most of us learn is how to be better hypocritical egomaniacal bullshitters -more deceptive hypocrites. We learn to mask our selfish, self-serving selves with a piss-thin layer of claptrappery, ostensibly packaged & promoted in the first hundred and sixty-four pages of ”The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous”. Of all such groups, AA is the worst, (or the finest) example of “hypocrisy in action” How and why does all that crap perpetuate?
    Most of it boils down to ego, stupidity, and fear.
    Fear. Alcoholics Anonymous hit that one on the head. It just misunderstood, of what, are we all so fearful? The book rightfully named one of, if not the greatest of human quagmires, fear, then went oblique. Jumped the track & lumbered off into a cornfield; a real corny one. It has a habit of doing that. Gives a fairly good general description of the behavioral characteristics and dilemmas that people who drink too much experience, announces: ”but there is a solution…”, says: “Hey, you better jump on this ride or else & retreats mysteriously way deep into that cornfield rather than spell out the only simple answer to the “drinking problem.”
    Instead of pushing a truthful, factual, practical method for dealing with the alcoholic condition; the over-consumption of alcohol and the peripheral damage it causes, AA goes on a long, rambling, kooky, “spiritual” hayride through Cornelius J. Clutterbutt’s (AKA William G. Wilson’s) tall cornfield, with Uncle Cornies’ right-hand-man (God) at the reins. Cornelius calls the turns. God’s just the chauffer… j’ ever notice that? Well, shit-fire, Clutterbutt had a goddam book ta write, don’ ‘cha know? He’d had a bona-fide drug-induced spirachal experience; the result of a hallucinogen/opiate induced “treatment”, combined with his own competitive/dramatic inclinations. …his old friend & drinking buddy had one, & goddamned if he wasn’t gonna have a better one; make it pay, too.
    It’s known he used a bunch of his disciples to critique his allegedly inspired work, help him do some editing, but he made sure the royalties stayed in his pocket… Shrewd.
    Wilson couldn’t copyright The Bible… specifically, The Oxford Group’s take on The Bible, & he found himself in competition with that wacky outfit, besides all them bible-thumpin’ preachers. He kicked off his book with mostly Oxford bullshit; essentially Fluffing Oxford’s 6 steps into his 12. Ya examine them steps and ya see them for the contrived contraption they are. The Oxfords were crumbling under the weight of their own bullshit about the time the big book was being written. They tried to keep it going by renaming it “Moral Rearmament” – didn’t work.
    In any case, there was quite an ego battle raging between Wilson & Oxford when they booted him. He was too radical for ‘em & he kept bringin’ all them stinky drunks to their meetings. He’d been bitten by their Jesus & spirit-channeling bullshit though, and he certainly did plunder freely from their foundation for his building material. The other “New Thought” books he pilfered from, (There were quite a few kickin’ around back then, as well as today) well, he’d change the wording just enough to avoid getting sued. He probably also calculated that few would want to litigate such a noble, well-intended, all too istic effort…Though one can’t help notice gobs of ideas & phrases lifted damn near verbatim out of Emmett Fox’s “Sermon on the Mount,” (1934) among others of that era.
    One great fear most human beings harbor, here specifically members of AA, whether they have been sober 30 years or thirty days, is fear of not being socially accepted. That fear is rooted in thoughts regarding the consequenses of not accepting AA’s “program.” That fear is one big reason they become, and remain attached to all that claptrap.
    With the help of a good sponsor, their first impressions are stifled and a standardized perspective is installed, (The Program) one that assures they’ll think or say nothing critical or negative about those first hundred-sixty-four pages; they’ll understand it’s for their salvation; their own good, and they’ll be thankful and endeared to their sponsors for saving them; setting them straight, getting them in line-on the one true path, in tune, singing from the same songsheet; maybe even coincidentally keeping ‘em from takin’ another drink. At least they’ll feel like they’re just like everybody else. Now I ask you… what more could anyone ask for?
    They fear, correctly so, that they will be shunned, cold-shouldered by the group, essentially burned at the stake, should they not conform to the quasi-religio-socio-dogmatico-doctrino-horseshoot which is the words-on-paper, party platform choir sheet the AA faithful must sing from or be damned. One must, at the very least, toss a little lip-bone on the pile. Listening to and watching the art of that dance is a great source of interest & amusement at AA meetings; “and I’m gonna get into those steps this time for sure,” & “yeah, I half-assed it through the steps, but ahhh…” & “so I finally got into what it’s sayin’ in this book (Pats the book) when I got to hurtin’ bad enough” & “Uh, so…I’m startin’ my steps uh, next week, uh…” & “ I find that there’s some really good shit in here when I read the book,…but I really don’t read it much, as I should, y’ know, y’know what I’m sayyin’? But I’m gonna, fer sure….next week” Everybody keeps score… it’s variations on a theme. (but nobody ever cops to those observations; they practice acceptance, love & tolerance… and you know what they say…”You’re only as sick as your secrets…”)
    GOD – We inanely use that word to describe something no one has ever proven the existence of. Whether or not it does, it totally defies description, unless by fools, charlatans or con men. God. The not a boy, not a girl, not a “it” kinda thing. Out of our hands, out of all that we call “real” or “reality,” not anything that exists in the physical universe, out of our minds to try to describe the simply indescribable, let alone namable. The Buddhists say “those who know don’t talk, and those who talk don’t know.” The god of Abraham said “I am who I am.” (so did Popeye) Jesus said: ” I am who you say I am.” C.J. Clutterbutt said: “God is who I say he is.” The charlatans & the conmen say: “There could be a lot of easy money in this religion & spirituality stuff.”
    When I was a Katlikker, (Catholic), they told me I was a “temple of the Holy Spirit” – my conscious being was the place where God was… within my consciousness. If there is any truth in that, it means that all that I am, the sum of my parts, both tangible and abstract, was, and is, (should I choose to believe it so) holy – sacred – and therefore, is every other being likewise, and I should treat myself and them as such, in matters of degree,…I don’t mean that “turn the other cheek” ‘til your head looks like a shoulder clod idea, I don’t mean be a sucker, but the thought that myself and every other self is a worthwhile person unless he proves himself otherwise sounds like a good idea to me, no matter how or where I first heard of it.
    That moral, ethical (call it sacred-spiritual if it pleaseth thou) concept, commonly called “The Golden Rule,” is really all there is…all anyone needs to know, in order to be a peaceful component of the functioning whole. It doesn’t have to have anything to do with religion or anybody’s god, even though it is cited throughout religious & spiritual teachings from Genghis Khan to the Fuller Brush Man. It could be called the law of reciprocation if ya don’t wanna get churchy about it. It’s cited in Judaism, Buddhism, Hindu, Sikh, Jainism, Tao, Confucianism & repeated about a dozen times in the Bible, starting in Leviticus & ending up being mouthed by Jesus. The significance of that simple idea, applied to all of ones’ dealings with others, is the whole ball game, all anyone needs to know about how to live a decent, ethical life.
    That knowledge, applied, eliminates the whole nutty idea, and the necessity of Steps, Sponsors, Sponsees, and that crazy-ass Big Book. Everything, including that crazy-ass big book, is built into that one ancient law, and should persons wish to gather to “study” spiritual ideas that have practical applications, they need only that one. There is no room within that ethic for any hierarchic malarkey, thinly masked big egos, heavy with hypocritic, cloned, manufactured false humility and all-too-ishtick bullshit, just mutual friendship and support among one another, and the group as a whole. Kinda family-like stuff. Knock off the bullshit and the problems that go with it.
    The drinking too much problem is solved by applying the notion of not picking up a drink & pouring it down ones’ throat. Stop. We’re done. There’s no more need be said. Difficult at first, yeah, and it is. But it really ain’t near as tough as we make it, It’s a learned thing; it’s a learning how to just watch those obsessive thoughts come & go, instead of acting on them. Again, it’s fear that makes quitting look so tough. We project our fear onto the world around us, and it’s magnified on the big 360-degree wrap-around screen, and the fix is just as near as the liquor store, and it’s our fear alone that drives us back to the liquor counter, not a disease, not because alcohol is “cunning, baffling, powerful!” The only thing that’s cunning, baffling, & powerful is our desire to wanna fool ourselves into believing it’s any more than that. Just understanding that fact makes it no big fuckin’ mystery, it’s 100% possible, especially when we consistently go and let a bunch of other people remind us of all the reasons why grabbin’ a bottle ain’t a good idea. The more distance one gets from his or her last drink, the easier that habit becomes, the more ones’ life improves, physically and mentally.
    In 164 pages, AA does a roundabout, fuzzy, confusing, feeble job of trying to turn that simple “golden” axiom into a dogmatic set of hard absolutes, numbering twelve, no more, no less, that must be adhered to, otherwise, those who don’t…”…surely sign their own death warrant.”…AA 12 & 12, Tradition Nine, (long form) page 174. If that strikes one as sounding kinda nazi-like, it’s probably because it is kinda nazi-like. It’s at least kinda nutzy-like.
    Whether we choose to steep ourselves in all the claptrap, religiously, fervently, drape ourselves in the circle & triangle “bigbook blue” flag, or just make a decision to stop hurting ourselves, stop hurting others, contribute in some way to the common good, and live a decent life; once we internalize those behavioral changes, it’s all about going on-chopping wood, carrying water-being responsible. Alan Watts, a popular Zen lecturer in the 1960’s, said, among other things, “When you get the message, HANG UP THE PHONE.” It’s a shame a lot of AA doesn’t see the wisdom in that.
    Regarding those other than drinking too much problems (other than some kinda true insanity) – Because AA is is a gathering place for human beings; a part of life, a percentage of meeting goers will be in the borderline personality category-Psychopaths & sociopaths clever enough to avoid getting arrested or killed while they’re out & about plundering and pillaging. There’s a concentration of them in AA… swarms of ‘em, & our present society’s breedin’ em like maggots these days. AA’s a natural lodestone nut magnet.
    There’s never been a shortage of too-shrewd-two-eared pricks, either. Takers. Someone’s always cookin’ up an angle – manipulatin’, wheelin’ & dealin. Stabbin’ a fat hog. Seeing others as utilitarian objects. “What can this guy or gal do for me?” kinda thinkin’…”Nothing??… Fuck ‘em, then. They don’t count.” What a fabulous arena AA affords them. The takers love the givers….love to take and take from them, whether it’s money, marbles, chalk, flesh, or just plain peelin’ out on their eardrums – stealing their time with their claptrap “Lemme run your life for ya” power-control games. The givers too often don’t know how & when to stop allowing the greedy takers robbing them of everything they’ve got, and AA, with its goofy “code” of love, tolerance, and acceptance, swell in an ideal world, maybe, but in this one, it sure in hell offers no defense, no protection from those aberrant personalities. That’s how it’s always been; before Buddha, before the Bible, long before AA came along, and that’s likely how it’ll be long after, until Hell freezes over and thaws out again.
    I ain’t sayin’ nothin’ new here. Nobody ever says nothin’ new, nowhere. This is just another slant on the same bullshit. Maybe someone who reads this will find it more direct. Somebody who, for whatever reason can’t swallow AA’s pile of wang, can’t get it to stick to them, yet has a need, perhaps a desire to be sober, find some sober friends to hang out with and be somehow useful to one another. For those,
    There is a solution
    There is a substitute, and it is far more than that. My intent, other than having nothing better to do, in putting these words on paper is to suggest what that solution and that alternative might be – maybe eliminate a lot of time and effort and redundant, unnecessary middlemen-“sponsors”- and their neurotic agendas of power & control….unless you go for that sorta thing…some folks do, and should you prefer that, Don’t let these words get in your way. Forget the whole thing.
    Is there really an AA “program?” Some say there is. I guess if you wish hard enough, you can conjure one up. Wrench it from those 164 pages of words on paper. Does that make it so? Does it have to? I guess it’s up to you…or your sponsor…or you & your sponsor. Many see it as a pile of crap. You’ll ultimately be the one who has to make that decision. Bullshit’s only bullshit if you choose to think it’s other than bullshit. A lie is only a lie if you believe it. The only way you can find out is by investigating. With your own mind. Your O.E.M. equipment. Read that book. All by yourself. Read it carefully. Notice how it’s written. Stay objective. Remember the old adage; “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is…”
    It’s often heard , among the AAliens: “My best thinking got me here.” Bullshit! Your worst thinking got you here, for chissake. The only reason people say that is ‘cause they heard some other asshole say it. …That’s that “monkey do” bullshit. Somewhere, sometime, someone said something, then it becomes so often quoted it’s believed then it becomes part of dogmatic AAspeak. Think about that one.
    It certainly has to be ones’ worst thinking, or not thinking at all that brings him to that “jumping-off place”, his life ravaged by alcohol.
    The human will is the strongest abstract force in the universe, it’s the operant power behind belief, or faith. It’s what got us here, and what keeps us going. We’re selfish, self-centered by design; it goes into high gear at birth, when we’re brutally evicted from nirvana. Paradise Lost. The initial smashing of the initial illusion. (this universal experience could be the foundation of the being cast out of the Garden of Eden bit.) There we are…blind, cold, terrified, enraged, hungry, the chow line’s been whacked; shut down forever, we’re surrounded by alien beings, and for the first time we must do something for ourselves if we wanna stay in the game. We gotta breathe, & we gotta get warm, & we gotta eat. Our only resource available is screamin’, and it does get those aliens’ attention. Self-will run riot. That’s how we start out.
    There, we were…and here, we are. We gotta play our ball from where it lies. Dwelling on whatever occurred between then and now really doesn’t count for much. It’s far more important to get the donkey out of the ditch, and keep him out than it is to hold a grand-jury investigation on how he got there. That stuff’s for politicians & high-ranking military people.
    Now about Herbert Spencer…The man and his quote, the final word, capping AA’s oft- referenced, oft-asterisked Appendix II – “Spiritual Experience.” AA self-servingly, pervertedly, twisted Herbert’s quote into a device to suggest (demand) blind acceptance of their doctrine, when his intent was anything but.
    After Uncle Cornie did the twist on Herbert’s pivotal quote, I wonder if he pissed on his grave on his way out of the cemetery. Spencer, (an atheist and an evolutionist, FYI) in his quote, was talking about the necessity to utilize unprejudicial critical thinking when deciding whether & to what degree & why one may or may not wish to give credence to whatever modality one may be considering, whether it be an institution, a science, religion, a philosophy, or a particular brand of beer…rather than walking, or being led blindly, naively & ignorantly, without question, into a situation that is, or should be a serious undertaking; practicing abstinence from alcohol, lest we forget, There’s a lot of bullshit out there, and it’s wise to watch where you’re walkin’, especially when you’re comin’ off of a long run, & are bleary-eyed lookin’ for one good day in a row.
    Count the daily failures. Count the number of ones who announce their time sober – between 2 & 87 days. Watch ‘em come & go, and sometimes come back. They make up the bulk of any given meeting. They may at one time have been “the lifeblood” of AA, today they’re just the rising and falling flotsam & jetsam tidal ebb & flow.
    Everything happens a lot faster these days. Most, if not all AA newcomers have already been rocketed far beyond the fourth dimension. Most of ‘em are spun to the hubs before they’re 21 years old. Unless their brains have been so severely damaged from their adventures in space, (not uncommon) They’re about as interested in AA’s program as they are in Barbara Streisand or John Denver music, or how the supreme court functions.
    Once in awhile someone has a strong enough desire, (will, determination) to “sit on his hands” & not drink while his mind & body heals. Once in awhile someone gets thumped & attaches to the claptrap. Them that do are coaxed; coerced into believing that some Big Daddy hangin’ out somewhere in the middle of nowhere is the reason they’re able to get and remain sober, and their lives are quasi-psuedo-AA wonderful, more or less, either way, it’s because They put down the booze & the dope & their lives improved… because they stopped.
    They stopped drinkin’ & druggin’. That’s why the peripheral damage stopped. That’s why their lives got better. The AA dogma & doctrine was superfluous to their improved lives…Had no bearing on their status outside of AA meetings, but inside, is claimed to bear witness to the faithful, as well as the doubters and skeptics that the AA horseshit is great & godly truth.
    Alcoholics anonymous does this clanky, mechanical left turn through the cornfield toward an old-time tent revival gatherin’, a-thumpin’ an’ a-bumpin an’ a’ getting’ salvation by confession and atonement, just like it says in the Bible, thus throwin’ the haywagon in front of the horse, somewhat to the drivers’ chagrin & bewilderment, but he checks himself, remembering that he’s only God, & has no sayso in this matter; ( besides, he’s been down this road billions of times before) this time, it’s Uncle Cornie’s ride & he says that ya gotta get saved (the aa way) before ya can’t get sober!
    The gatherings all begin with the “serenity prayer” habit, the senseless, mind-numbing, mind-absent “ God, gimme” “prayer”. …the one where everybody asks god to make it O.K. for everybody to accept anything and everybody they don’t like…(Now, why the hell would ya wanna accept everything ya don’t like & don’t want, & what kinda god do you think would wanna make ya do that? Huh?) Nobody’s gotta accept shit they don’t like. Send it back! For chrissake. Ya might hafta accept that there’s a lotta shit ya don’t like, but goddam…you don’t have to accept any of it, or any asshole that says ya gotta either. That’s plain silly. Ya don’t have to accept things you can’t change. Ya only gotta accept the fact that you can’t change ‘em. Y’ unnerstan’ what I’m sayyin’? an’ ya don’t have ta pray to no god about it neither, ‘cause if you can’t change somethin’, ya can’t fukkin’ change it! Jeez! A rose is a rose, ain’t it?
    The serenity prayer… the Chapter 5…How it werks…The Promises! The words on paper…aren’t really important, it’s their intent. They soothe. They numb. They bring about at least a partial hypnosis. A semi-consciousness. It’s a known thing, a familiar thing. By itself, it’s fairly harmless. Who can argue with being relaxed & reassured by the familiar? I can’t argue with that, yet what I would be welcomed to hear is some kinda variation. Say it in Chinese, for Chrisssake. In Gaelic, or some exotic language. Pick a different philosophical thought from a non-approved AA text. Something thought-provoking. …something to wake the mind, shake the dust off. Kick the thought box in a different direction.
    AA’s in a rut! … Whassamatter,’d I say something wrong? Oh, Jeez, I blasphemed! Thought-provoking…I said Thought-Provoking! Guess I better call my sponsor….No, I better call my grand-sponsor. I heard he can channel Uncle Cornie when there’s a ring around the moon. We better all keep our heads buried in the familiar collective claptrap sandtrap.
    Once that partial hypnosis is obtained, once the thinker is unwittingly put in a pleasant twilight sleep once the guard is down, the claptrap marches in.It’s that overall mind-rotting rut that’s the clear & present danger in all that, and some get it; most don’t. They don’t want to upset their social apple cart, or else they’re workin’ an angle. One that usually involves some kinda power-control function, or meat. Flesh. Flesh, and just how to go about getting ahold of a few pounds of it for awhile….Yeah. Is that all there is? Guess it beats the crap out of mere sobriety.
    Meanwhile, back in the meetin’…
    Then persons are chosen, or volunteer to say whatever they will, which is mostly a bunch of rehab-freshmen, spewing AA claptrapspeak, or the 15-20 usual suspects, those who can be counted on to sing from the “AA songsheet”, or deliver mostly chicken-shit details of their daily experiences, or unchanging drunkalogs that everyone knows so well, they might as well assign numbers to…just get up and say: “Number 17!” & sit down. Sure would save a lotta time.
    There’s the stand-up comedians who really ought to stay seated. This goes on for an hour and a half, then everyone recites the gimme chant again, eyes closed, (blind) heads piously aimed toward “Heaven” like ready-to-fire ICBM’s. … (Used ta be they’d wind it up with “the Lord’s Prayer” exclusively, but AA’s “Trusted Servants” cowed, caved, turned their collective back on that recitation, all too readily and easily threw that prayer & its’ traditionally presumed author along with it under the wagon when one chicken-shit litigious non-adherent squeaked his outrage; that a court had demanded he attend a group he determined was religious; Christian, to be specific. [Jesus was a Jew] How could “One who has all power” allow such a sacrilege to occur? Well, He surely did, and it just shows how anybody’s god really has no hand in matters AA. They’re all dealt with by human beings, many not even alcoholics…Lawyers, leftist lobbyists, mass-psychology statisticians, politicos, damage-control analysts, & other high-paid professional bullshitters. Our donations at work.
    That gets overwith & then the yak-yak gets real loud, sounds like Babylon musta’ sounded, cause ya can’t pick one discernable phrase out of all the clamor, That phenomenon’s either because everyone’s suffering vocal compression after playing “pretending to listen” for so long, or it’s a fear-ego based mechanism; no one wants to look like a logbump loser nobody wants to talk with, everybody wants to be cool & popular and all that crap, so that goes on awhile & fades, the crowd thins out, people start driftin’ off, most of ‘em to put their other faces back on, etc., and go back to their video games, or pillaging & plundering & conniving through life, satisfied at having endured another AA meeting, now back to “Free will run riot.”
    The more I hear, the more bizarre it gets. The phrase: “willing to go to any lengths” is quite an understatement for me. That big book talks about a lot of moralistic ideas. Bible-esque stuff, and its’ ineffectuality is painfully obvious as I observe the behavior of my AA brethren and hear of their strange habits now that they don’t drink anymore…The harder they thump, the further they fail…to measure up to the standards they try to push. They can’t even live up to their own hypocrisy. Many seem barely aware of just what “The Principles” they so often blabber about are, let alone what they mean -to them, or to anyone. They’ve learned AA claptrapspeak, canned a pitch, & spend the rest of their lives counting – keeping track – from here to eternity. Announcing their Years, months, weeks, days, sometimes hours. Hangin’ on, attached – anchored – unmoving – unmoved – static. Murder by Pride, in a sense.
    I suppose it’s a good idea to remember the day one took ones’ last drink; honestly, who can forget. So who cares? Who cares how many years, months, weeks & days anyone’s been sober? ‘specially if they’re assholes. It makes far more sense to remember that one half-shot of whisky will take care of all that time, yet it’s a habit; and habits are hard to break, ‘specially ego attachments. Ain’t it?
    “Why don’t you choose your own god?” Well, so I chose my own god…an’ guess what. I start doin’ my double-A steps and my chosen god says to me No, Noo, Nnnooo! I don’t like those fuckin’ steps. If you wanna do it that way, you gotta get another god, see. Well, I didn’t want to do them fukin steps either, so I guess I’ll keep you; You’re my kinda god, I says, y’know what I meen? See how this thing works? Don’t you like the spirachual part of double A?
    Go ahead…choose your own god. It don’t matter, ‘cause when AA’s done endoctrinating your own god with its twelve steps, he’s gonna goddam be in compliance with AA’s claptrap. He ain’t gonna recognize his own image…”Vat da hell hath happenent to me on dis broadt highvay vit all’ tha mashugina goys, I vants to know? Fetch me my carpenter boy. Ve gotta talk.
    Tell a selfish, self-centered, egomaniacal drunk to choose his own god, and who do ya think that’ll be? The all-too obvious answer, with ample evidence to back it up…his “own god” inevitably turns out to be an extension of his own ego.
    “ Now about sex”… the big book spends about three pages talking about how it’s not gonna talk about S-E-X…Fuckin’ causes children. Lust – Where would we be without it?
    Desire. The Big Apple. All kinna desires…Desire to drink… Drinking sometimes causes some people lots of problems. Alcoholism is but a symptom of drinking too much. Bad behavior is bad behavior. Too much alcohol sometimes leads people to commit bad behavior.
    The consumption of alcohol and screwball behavior are not one and the same, though they are generally assumed to be, according to AA claptrap, just one more instance of a half-assed generalization mystically transfigured into absolute, irrefutable sacred dogma. This is another instance where AA tries to create a nexus where none exists, builds a whole platform on that assumption, and pushes it as fact. Everyone is entitled to his own opinions – no one is entitled to his own facts.
    These two things are self-evident: Truth and bullshit. Both stand on their own merit, although they’re easily confused. (Clue: Bullshit stinks. Sometimes one has to use discernment here to determine “stink” from “aroma.”) Here’s where critical thinking is of utmost importance. Truth is far more visible when the bullshit is removed. Double A takes their 12 step program and promotes it as a cure for that condition people who drink too much are commonly known as: “Alcoholics.” Ones having “Alcoholism.” It’s not clear to me whether “having alcoholism” is describing a problem, a possession, a belief, or a vocation. It certainly seems to be a way of life, a devotion, to those who choose it (or are chosen by it, depending on which side of the debate one chooses to rage on).
    I don’t even like saying I’m a “alcoholic”, or that I have a condition called alcoholism, anymore than I wanna say I practice Communism. It’s an archaic stigma. It’s really a kind of punitive interrogation- a 500-WATT light bulb-in-your-face: “Whose Your Boss!” demand AA makes of a “newcomer”; wrenches it out of his drug & ethanol saturated carcass before they’ll let him have a cigarette & a glass of water… He’s obviously been clobbering himself on the head with a ball-peen hammer; some goddam alcoholic drink is his “boss”…Lose the bullshit already! To require that admission of him as a requisite for entry into AA, or the right to address his fellow knot-heads is just way dumb. The more I think about it, the farther dumb it gets.
    In the case of the AA newcomer, to bite pieces out of any dignity he may have left is a childish attempt to beat him down psychologically; to tenderize him for the sponsor/sponsee barbeque; as if the alcohol & drugs haven’t already beat him bloody. AA confuses being humiliated with being humble. There’s more sanity, more integrity; honor?, in stating: “I drank too much.” It’s extremely doubtful these days, with so many drunken encounters with police, busts, jails, lawyers, courtroom procedures, rehabs, and treatment centers, (all fantastic moneymakers & sources of revenue) and general awareness that no one naively walks into an AA meeting without a pretty good knowledge of just what his situation is. . He knows the drill. He knows his role. Everyone knows their roles.The whole schmahoola is ridiculous. It’s time. Time for a change. Changing of the guard. Which is also ridiculous. The guards are all dead…or dead drunk…or deserted their posts. The smart ones Drifted off to a place that’s lighter and brighter. Got the message. Hung up the phone. Saw the light. Became enlightened. Lost their fear…of today, tomorrow, the hereafter, and after the hereafter. Lost their fear of not going along with AA’s ridiculous wacky “program” process, and the boogieman ghost of Bill Wilson, hot on their heels. Stopped feeling sorry for Dr.Bob feeling sorry for them. Rest in peace, Dr. Bob, You were a good man. Rest in peace, Cornelius J. Klutterbutt, you were a good bullshitter…just a bad wizard.
    What any of us really are, is simply, utterly, Human Beings, we all pretty much agree there, and even that’s just another descriptive term we use in attempts to communicate the fact that we find ourselves conscious here in this dilemma; life, on the cutting edge of now and just what the hell to do about it all, now that we quit drinking, now that it’s 2011, later than it’s ever been before, in history, now that we know that we really don’t KNOW anything ,except everything’s really all fucked up, really real fucked up, more fucked up than it’s ever been, and we don’t have to accept it. We might have to accept that we might not be able to change some of it, but we haven’t got any fuckin’ idea what that is, until we try to do something about it… That’s something to think about…just how courageous are we, anyhow…? How much courage is anyone capable of anymore? Is it possible to be courageous? or are we just all gonna haf ta eat crap as we slide into the abyss, reciting our beloved, sacred serenity prayer? Did the bastards finally win?How ‘bout we should turn AA into a rallying point for a militia (drunk or sober) to go after all the rotten bastards responsible for the big mess out there.
    Courage to change the things we can…Indeed. Hmm… how about we start with giving those first hundred and sixty-four pages a proper burial. A bonfire. Have one bronzed for a museum. Send one up in a rocket ship…to the fourth dimension!
    So I’m an “alcoholic.” Does that mean human beings then suffer from “Peopleism”? Are teenagers “acneholics”? AA uses that “alcoholic” label as a schmoozy way to get off the hook, to avoid taking responsibility for what one does to oneself, to falsely perceive that one has a “disease” rather than a chosen addiction, a product of ones’ free will, and with that disease model is therefore not culpable, nor capable, on his own, of not drinking,(here’s where the woo-woo insanity enters the picture, (“God could and would,” if only we could get him off that haywagon) as part of its indoctrination methodology, in order to get fresh meat to accept the dogmatic, doctrinal yoke, as well as to put forth that idea in the double A claptrap as part of a ploy to make AA something more than it is; to create a false sense of credibility that it really doesn’t have and really doesn’t need!
    That’s the crazy part! AA can and will survive just fine, and a whole lot better, sans all the bullshit. Will it happen? Jumping Jesus, I know I’m not the only Son of a bitch that has these kinna musings. When is the hundredth monkey gonna sling a well-aimed pile of shit in the right direction? All them old crustations are dyin’, myself included. No one’s buyin’ the crap any more. Not for long, at any rate. Just listen…. 27 days sober is a long time nowadays…. That’s a sho’nuf ol’timer!
    Once the newcomer swallows that candy-coated horseshit, then working the AA “program”, “studying” the Big Book, having a sponsor, and practicing blind acceptance of “these principles”… serves to teach, cultivate, and perpetuate a learned helplessness. By now the new guy has invested a significant amount of time & effort in this thing with so much history, and so many fuzzy hints that some kind of powerful, magnificent being is behind it all and will satisfy his or her aspirations and fix all his or her problems; wipe his ass for him, so that a mindset develops that is a bar to questioning any AA dogma or doctrine. Inevitably, an attachment to the bullshit develops, and with it, an ego-driven defensive posture – The antithesis of Herbert Spencer’s often referred to quotation regarding the wisdom involved in investigating … the program of Alcoholics Anonymous, in this case.
    Spencer’s quote suggests stepping back and looking at the material – checking its soundness, asking important questions like: Who are these people that put this thing together? What’s their history? What kicked this thing off, really? “What’re they really saying here? And what do they mean by what they’re saying?” and how much sense, if any, does it make? Herbert Spencer was suggesting a cool, impersonal, objective search into what something’s really all about before buying in lock, stock, and barrel, because what often occurs, as many who find themselves involved to some degree in AA find at some later date, that they’ve purchased a broken-down old nag with a fresh coat of paint that washes off the first time it rains. That occurs all too often in AA’s case. Now what? Most just go back out & get fucked up again. The few who see through it all but hang on anyway, not wishing to admit their error, even to themselves, (let alone AA’s god) paint the poor old horse anew, and…”Pass it On” – carry the message – Ya discover you’ve bought a lemon & the best thing to do is promote whatever positive features it may have and hide its glaring defectiveness, then peddle it to someone desperately in need of wheels. It’s another example of AA methodology backfiring – creating a more cunning, confused, deceptive, blame-shifting being than the one it’s trying to make honest & aware & responsible…uh, oh, and I almost forgot…sober.
    What AA tries to spin Mr. Spencer’s advice into breaks down to something like: “Put your brains in your back pocket and hand over all your decision-making processes to another person, who often turns out to be ten times goofier than you could ever have imagined being. Many sponsors are problem-laden people themselves, and, more often than not, really get off on having power and control over other individuals’ lives. ‘ Specially those with a few bucks in their pockets, an obsessive-controlling nature,& a lotta thumpin’ time on their hands. I’ve seen & heard a lot of ‘em playin’ this sadistic, sarcastic game of “Simon Says” with their sponsee victims. ..& other crazy shit.
    It’s the notion of establishing solid, long-lasting friendship twisted into something perverse & wacky. Bait-and-switch. Ya pay for this but they give you that. Ya gotta remember; the guy who kicked off the whole deal was a con man – a stock swindler, & not a highly successful one either, besides being nuttier than a carload of bedbugs.
    Bill Wilson’s big book says alcoholism is caused by everything but drinking alcohol. Creates a hundred-sixty-four page schmooze job out of a very simple cause-effect phenomenon with a likewise very simple fix. Like sayin’ “the sun’s not yellow, it’s chicken.” (Bob Dylan) Sacrifices truth for bullshit.
    Understanding how and why ones’ thinking is haywire is a good idea if one finds oneself bumping hard against people, places and things whether one drinks or not. Certainly not all, but much of troublesome behavior is tied to excessive drinking. Human behavior is generally calmer, more rational, less violent when alcohol is removed from the equation. There are those too, who need no alcohol to get in trouble. They have grave mental and emotional disorders. The other ones are just drunks.
    That’s really about it. That’s all there is. That’s the how and why of it. Alcoholics drink alcohol, paranoid schizophrenics and psychopaths are nuts. The latter sometimes drink alcohol. Then you get double trouble. That’s another situation where AA fucks up. Pushes the completely false idea that every human malady is but a symptom of drinking too much …”alcoholism,” and “alcoholism” is but a symptom of every human malady. Horseshit.
    In many AA meetings I attend, I find a percentage of the faithful go to the podium to literally shit in their hand and throw it at the crowd. I guess it’s the primal instinct, like monkeys & apes at the zoo. Maybe their sponsors tell them that’s what AA meetings are for. “Dumping”. That shitting and heaving is a cathartic, therapeutic sorta thing. Swell.
    This is not a nice thing to do.More un-progress. We, the people are supposed to love & tolerate them for their monkey business. It’s our “code”, after all. I wanna throw their shit back at ‘em and somma my shit too. They threw the first pile, & if they did it anywhere else but in a AA meeting, they’d get a faceful back. I’ve had shit slung at me by experts over the years. Professional shitslingers. That isn’t why I go to AA meetings, that isn’t a reason why I go anywhere. Maybe some people enjoy that sorta thing. Maybe they should start a “Shitslingers Anonymous meeting. I came to AA to maintain my sobriety. To not drink, and “share my common problem” with other sober alcoholics. I didn’t come to AA to be thought of as someone’s toilet. Thank you. The bathroom’s back there on the right. Don’t forget to flush it.
    The vision of whatever AA was supposed to be about seems clear enough in their preamble. It all goes to hell from there.
    There’s an infinite number of interesting things people enjoy hearing about if the speakers are good communicators and enjoy telling things. They don’t need to be terrific wordsmiths or literary scholars, neither, & shouldn’t necessarily have to confine their yak-yak to “alcoholism”, as long as it’s makin’ some kind of a point that may help someone think better about something.
    99% of what is heard in AA is unfortunately canned, cloned, parroted, plagiarized, platitudes, broken off from maybe 2500 phrases , give or take, in any case, a finite pile of doctrinal dogmatic horseshit AAspeak. So driven into the dirt, dirt between the ears of the congregation, so densely compacted that the head & its contents only serve to hold their ears apart, those organs themselves now being useless appendages, but for places to hang things on & stretch holes in.
    Keep comin’ back – it works…as long as ya don’t drink.
    More will be revealed.
    Always remember this:
    never forget

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