It Works If You Work It

This slogan is really sticking in my craw lately. It is, without a doubt, the biggest cop-out for the ineffectuality of AA: It’s a deflection of responsibility; it’s utterly unprovable; and it’s crazymaking.

If you believe that AA worked for you because you worked it, then anything at all would have worked for you. Anything. There’s nothing about the 12-Steps that addresses addiction or recovery, which means that by the sheer force of your self-will you made a decision, fixed your intention, and followed through. Congratulations! But if AA were a program of standing on your head for an hour a day, that would have worked for you, too. The power of placebo is amazing.

“It works if you work it” is just as true about turnkey businesses, multi-level marketing, and fad diets. What all these things, including AA, have in common, is that they require you to continue “working it” — abdicating your right to self-direction — for the rest of your life. And their failure rates are just as high, for exactly the same reason: it’s soul killing.

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132 Responses to 'It Works If You Work It'

  1. DeConstructor says:

    Shout out for other ‘diseases’ that can be ‘cured’ or ‘arrested’ or term de jour by ‘works if you work it’

  2. Primrose says:

    Look at me! If I can do it, YOU can do it! That one sticks in my craw.
    It is illogical. And they don’t see it is illogical.

  3. JD says:

    Yeah it’s conditional, ftg. Which just infuriates those who would like to sail in, do very little on their terms, have someone give them the magic words, cut corners, act as if their amends are too difficult or non-existent, ect. But that doesn’t seem to be enough to make this stick long term. Sometimes down the road they show up again a little worse for wear and willing to do what it takes. Then they do ok.

    It’s why I’m tickled with Smart and the other plan bs…they keep the fringers out of our hair while they get sicker and more desperate. A great place for people to simmer until their drinking softens them a bit and they become willing to actually do things to get better. Until that point is reached (the ‘if you work it’ part) they are wasting everyone’s time.

    And ‘it works’ as long as they stay connected. If the sober people were as you say sober on self-will and would have gotten sober anyway, I wouldn’t see their sad asses dragging back in new after they disconnect a while. If you were the least bit right they’d have stayed sober, but they ordinarily get drunk again.

    Wouldn’t let it bug you too much, serves no purpose.

  4. humanspirit says:

    Ftg, I totally agree. This is one of the most illogical and unhelpful statements ever, used only, I presume, by people who have actually ‘worked’ the steps and who are in the minority of people who have managed to stay sober despite them.

    The same thing goes for AAs who say that people fail in AA because they don’t really want to stop drinking. Well, it beats me why anyone would ever go to AA or into 12-rehab in the first the first place unless they really wanted to stop. Why would anyone do that? And this is an insidious argument too, as it means that AA gets to claim the credit for those who are highly motivated to stop in the first place and are determined to stay stopped whatever nonsense is thrown at them.

    As pointed out before on these pages, AA deliberately confuses the issues of a person’s commitment to stopping drinking and their willingness to buy into the irrelevant program that is the 12 steps and the “big book”. In reality, the two things really have very little to do with each other.

  5. Primrose says:

    ‘worked the steps’ means ‘is willing to join a cult’ with all that that entails.

  6. JD, at the point when someone is willing to do what it takes, “what it takes” could be anything at all. Also, as I said, there is no way to prove that someone who has gotten sober in AA actually “worked” it. Don’t you know tons of people in the rooms who have stayed sober for years by taking half-measures? (Right, they’re not “Real Alcoholics.” — another rabbit hole AA argument). Do you say they’re working it just because it’s working? “Working it” doesn’t mean anything at all if it could mean anything from complete dedication to following all “suggestions” to simply showing up and taking what they need. There is no standard for “working it”. That phrase has absolutely no meaning if evidence of working it simply means that its working. As I said, that’s a cop-out of the highest order — a complete abdication of accountability.

    You say:

    If the sober people were as you say sober on self-will and would have gotten sober anyway, I wouldn’t see their sad asses dragging back in new after they disconnect a while. If you were the least bit right they’d have stayed sober, but they ordinarily get drunk again.

    JD, you see the sad-asses of chronic relapsers parked right in the rooms with no disconnection time from AA, too — people who keep coming back trying to “get it”, afraid to leave 5 minutes before the miracle. What you’re describing there — people who try and try and finally overcome their addiction — is the natural process of recovery without any help at all. I would argue that the people who play out this natural process within AA struggle harder and longer with it because of the self-debasing belief system they’ve bought into.

    The natural process can be facilitated by evidence-based treatments, just as it can be prolonged and sabbotaged by the debasing beliefs of disease and powerlessness in AA.

  7. tintop says:

    It is a pretty fatuous slogan; really quite comical in a black humor kind of way. It is, for AA, really effective get out clause. Which is what is so funny about it. AA does not have the self awareness to understand that it is.
    But, I agree; it does work if you work it. We see that every day in the remarks made by steppers. We see their serenity; their kindness; their heplfulness; their compassion; their wit and their wisdom.
    The problem is this: AA does not know what it is working. That is what happens when you lack self awareness.

  8. causeandeffect says:

    And the power of suggestion that one would relapse if they leave the program, or don’t do little irrelevant thing expected often leads to relapse. It the self fulfilling prophecy that makes it *appear* to be correct. But the simple fact that those who do *work* the program still relapse is dismissed.

  9. mfc66 says:

    My therapist always congratulated me for giving up drinking and emphasised that it was down to my hard work and not just because of AA or a higher power as many AA’s claim.
    I have not needed to see her for many years due to the great modern and rational advice she gave me.

    AA members are often ready to maintain any success at sobriety is down to the program but never question the program when somebody fails. If AA was so great you would have hundreds at every meeting instead of the 20-30 average. Many of those in the rooms are day at a time time-bombs waiting or their powerless to strike. I never met such a bunch of dysfunctional, delusional, sad people as those in the average AA meeting. I am sure the regular steppers that pollute this blog fit in really well.

  10. Ben Franklin says:

    FTG, I totally agree. I was reading the LA Times comments and that slogan was repeated ad naseum. You know another type of slogan is the selling point of “well you can’t control diarrhea, such and such has a disease and he she can’t control it. It is like that. Ever try to control your diarrhea? You can’t.” Not only is this a false analogy concerning a behavior and a symptom of an underlying problem- uncontrolled pooping but you can with proper treatment control your diarrhea. A commenter posted the diarrhea comment there like it had some deep spiritual meaning. It actually shows a level of ignorance that is outstanding. It is useless. Like a JD post.

    My Diarrhea is doing pushups in the parking lot,
    Ben Franklin

  11. Let me just beat this point into the ground here: if you have reached a point where you are “willing to do whatever it takes” whatever could be anything, because reaching that point means that you have already made a decision and fixed your intention. When that happens, nothing can stop you. Nothing, that is, except AA, which will start by completely invalidating the monumental effort of self-will and powerful self-directed intention you drew upon to walk through their door in the first place. The first thing you do in AA, after proving how powerful you truly are, is to ask something outside of yourself to remove your self-will.

    .

  12. tintop says:

    ftg — you got it. dead solid perfect.

  13. flannigan says:

    Rarely have we seen a person stop drinking who has not stopped drinking. (huh?)
    WHAT works? And what is IT (that one “works”?) AA is too confusing for me. If AA is the or an answer, what is the question?

  14. Martha says:

    Someone posted “it works if you work it” in the comments in the LA Times article about Sheen and the 5% figure. Not sure if it was a stepper or one of us being facetious.

  15. causeandeffect says:

    Martha, since the article is about someone who has been in AA 22 years and it obviously hasn’t worked for them, it’s impossible to tell if they are being facetious or not!!! Strange but true!

  16. JD says:

    ‘if you have reached a point where you are “willing to do whatever it takes” whatever could be anything, because reaching that point means that you have already made a decision and fixed your intention. When that happens, nothing can stop you.’

    Really? Here’s a suggestion to see how completely wrong you are…visit the plan b programs and ask for the 10-no, make it easy on them-7 year people to come forward who haven’t pilled or weeded up and have been off booze for that miniscule length of time and haven’t done AA.

    Find me just 10 of them at Smart. Find me 10 of them at SOS. Find me even 7 at LifeRing.

    There should be lots, because they wanted to quit and were ready to not drink, and since these plan bs rely on good science and will probably someday issue stats there should be a flock of them. Since these alcoholics (oh, just alcoholics please…no one cares about the toenail-biters or procrastinators who found their answer at Smart) were ready to quit they should be around somewhere there, or at least rumors about them if nothing else.

    It’s a big, big world and between the 3 plan bs there should be 27 that come forward with that tough-tough 5 yr sobriety sans AA and dope figure…but they won’t, because in the big wide plan b world they don’t exist. In a 50 person AA group, no problem at all coming up with that many 7yrs or more…some here may have witnessed that amazing thing in person while they were slipping around, wondering why some of the same good stuff wouldn’t rub off on them.

    You’re kidding yourself that any solution is as good as another. Restating it makes it no truer than saying it the first time.

    No AA, no happy pills, no dope…and 7 yrs. If you won’t do it, perhaps one of your trusted minions will do it. Since anything works they should be somewhere in great numbers, not just all ganged up in every AA meeting in the world…that would be unfair. And it would indicate something interesting, wouldn’t it now?

  17. Martha says:

    We could easily find tons of people out there who quit on their own without joining any group. Self will is in fact the key to staying abstinent. The biggest plus of not wasting time in AA is that no sane person will undercut your confidence by telling you that you are powerless. Self confidence works if you work it.

  18. JR Harris says:

    You won’t find people is the “rooms” of the other non 12 Step rehabs with multiple years of sobriety because those programs are not a cult that requires life time membership. Only people that need help go to them. Then they leave. Only deceptive AA Steppers would try to use the logic that you won’t find people with multiple years of sobriety in these groups to advance the AA cause.

  19. JD says:

    HA!

    C’mon Martha…make me eat my words. Ask for them on the plan b forums…no pills, no dope, no AA.

    7yrs in AA is small change, nothin’. Should be a piece of cake to find such tiny numbers. I’m not talking thousands, like an AA convention would provide. Just 10-10-7…couldn’t be more itsy-bitsy for you people.

    But, keep in mind what it means when they aren’t to be found in the plan bs even in miniscule numbers like this.

  20. Gunthar2000 says:

    I’m not sure I understand why anyone who takes pills would be excluded from the group that JD would consider truly sober people.

    Could you explain this JD?

  21. Martha says:

    Why don’t we find the number of people who AA kills by convincing people that they are powerless and have a life long disease. The other programs actually give people the tools they need such as self confidence. The old times in the rooms who have ten years or more are in fact among the sickest, manipulative, destructive assholes in AA and are the ones who cause newcomers to go out and drink again. People who have been abstinent (sober) for decades without going to AA have moved on with their lives and are better for never having been in the rooms at all.

  22. Martha says:

    Oh yeah, the pill issue. I took Vicodin after oral surgery and I do not consider that to have been a slip. I freely admit it not only killed the pain, but without an ounce of guilt I will tell you I enjoyed the buzz. I defy anyone to say that I must now start from square one.

  23. Acacia H says:

    I know of 13 people that I can think about at the moment that I’m still friends with, that did a non 12-step rehab. It was based on CBT, Psycho Anaysis and Person Centred Therapy. Dave has been sober for 25 1/2 years. None of them take any other drugs.

  24. causeandeffect says:

    JRH, it’s because they erroneously believe the steps are tools for life, but the steps are like a spork–useless brittle plastic–totally inadequate for any significant or long term change in the belief systems that may cause unhappiness. That’s why they absolutely must keep going to meetings to get another spork. Steppers just can’t believe that one could get real tools that can be used a lifetime and have no need for eternal meetings. I’m glad I found SMART and can use truly effective tools any time, any where.

  25. Rick045 says:

    Convincing people to give credit where it isn’t due is what AA does best. That’s the real purpose of the steps. I never saw anybody stay sober who wasn’t determined to, and their mind was usually made up before they set foot in those rooms. The guy in the video makes a great point about how the use of placebos will always backfire in the long term because word will eventually get out. It’s taken a long time, but I think that’s a good description of what is finally happening to AA.

  26. BusBozo says:

    Just as AA dropouts don’t show up at a meeting to pickup a 20 year chip and proclaim they had found AA to be bs many years back; had quit going to meetings, did not “work” the steps, found AA to be cult-like, religious faith healing.

  27. Acacia H says:

    The thing that I noticed in AA meetings that I attended, was that phrase they like to use “Dry Drunk” was that all of them acted like “Dry Drunks.” Unbelievable!

  28. BusBozo says:

    I must admit to the “dry drunk” thinking for a good portion of my time in AA. That is to say, one who is sober but not in AA. It seems to be a way of feeling superior, apart from the “normies”, special, in-the-know, condescending, all the while proclaiming humility…Lol. JD is a fine example of this type.

  29. Primrose says:

    There are not people at SMART/LifeRing//SOS with multiple years of aa’s unique definition of ‘being in recovery’ because those are not programs that require an extended membership. People leave. That is a success, not a failure.

    ‘no one cares about the toenail-biters or procrastinators at SMART’.
    I care about those people. I want to do what I can to help them avoid AA whilst they are vulnerable to deceptive recruiting, the love-bombing, the family substitution and the false promises. Promoting other methods would probably be the best way of doing that.

  30. Primrose says:

    ‘toenail biters or procrastinators who found their answer at SMART’

  31. Rick045 says:

    The people I was closest to in AA all privately admitted to taking antidepressants at various times and some were on them continuously. These were people with many years of sobriety. Sadly, they would also remain silent during meetings when some of the more righteous members would preach about the evils of taking such “happy-pills”.

  32. Acacia H says:

    There is nothing wrong with taking anti-depressants! If people are depressed and are advised to take them, then it’s up to the individual to take them or not. It irresponsible for people to tell some-one they should’nt take anti-depressants if they need them. Or to ridicule them if they do. That kinda thing kills people! Depression if not treated can lead to suicide!

  33. Gunthar2000 says:

    In AA they want you to blame yourself for your depression because they believe that your depression is caused by separation from your supposed “natural state of being” which is walking in the spirit and grace of God.

    This is nothing but extreme Christianity re-worked to include everyone… even the morons who choose to worship motorcycles and doorknobs.

    PAAARAISSSSE the frickin doorknob!

  34. Acacia H says:

    JD, you obviously haven’t recovered from you’re “disease of alcoholism” yet,because you talk shit! Oh sorry I forgot you’re still in recovery and always will be so you’ll be talking shit for the rest of your life.
    Have a word with ya self!!!

  35. tintop says:

    JD, in regard to Martha– your opinion marns less than nothing.
    martha is none of your business. never has been never will be.

    And do not make the mistake that I, or anyone else here is concerned your ignorrant opinion on matters that are, beyond doubt, none of your business.

    “HA” and the horse you rode in on.

  36. tintop says:

    Acacia, JD is an ignorant troll who sticks his nose into matters that are none of his business

  37. Acacia H says:

    Tintop, what do you expect from a AA’er. They think it’s their business to stick their noses into peoples lives, because they aint got one.

  38. hulahoop says:

    Uhh…I loved the accent of the doctor in the video. I wish he could read to me each night (or day) to help me fall asleep. :) I mean that in the most sincere and flattering way. I wish he could read me awake again. What a great accent! Truly lovely! I’ve recently discovered using a harp sound (not harpy…like JD) to wake me up. I never thought such a sweet, soft sound could wake me up. I find I am in better mood too as opposed to the sound of some siren (like JD) forcing itself in to my deep sleep jarring me awake. The difference between the two is amazing. So maybe it isn’t the message, it’s how you deliver it.

    Anyway, I am wide awake now. You will never win a debate with a stepper because steppers have an answer for everything that makes total sense in their mind. The reason you don’t get what they are saying, and most importantly, accept what they are saying, is BECAUSE THERE IS SOMETHING WRONG WITH YOU! All they see and care about is that the “program” worked for them and you are too “smart” (their words, not mine) for the program. They revel in being brainwashed. They revel in their ignorance and stupidity. I’ve seen them do it with my own eyes in person at live meetings.

  39. Acacia H says:

    Me too HH. I don’t need to win a debate. I’ve already won. I’m sober, beautiful kids, got a good life, fab friends, hobbies and I don’t have to go to meetings for the rest of my life. I don’t need a sponsor to sort my life out. I don’t have to ask their opinion for anything, because I have my own. I’m capable of running my own life, which I’m doing. Sitting in a room listening to drunkalogues is’nt my idea of living a life. All they do is stop drinking, then spend the rest of their lives talking about drinking. If that’s not weird and obssessive then I don’t know what is.
    It’s to remind them of how they use to be…not forgetting that last drunk. News for ya. Just don’t do it again!

  40. tintop says:

    Acacia, you are correct. Censorious busy bodies like JD have nothing to offer.

    There is no debate to win. These are matters of no concern whatever to steppers, and none of them are in any position to judge.

  41. JD presents a challenge:

    Really? Here’s a suggestion to see how completely wrong you are…visit the plan b programs and ask for the 10-no, make it easy on them-7 year people to come forward who haven’t pilled or weeded up and have been off booze for that miniscule length of time and haven’t done AA.

    JD, I cannot make any logical sense of your challenge. I have a lot of faults, but complete intellectual disconnection from the logical flow of an argument is not among them (#tigerblood). In fact, “making sense” is a fetish of mine, and usually turns out to be more of a complication when I’m dealing with people who argue points on emotion or belief. You might call my insistence that one thought follow another to be a weakness or lack of spirituality, but I insist upon it around here.

    So, before I meet your challenge (do don’t doubt that I am in. I want to make this a front page Stinkin Thinkin challenge), I insist that your challenge make logical sense — that there is an objective way to answer the question and judge it. Is there? Who counts? Do ST members count? Becuase we’d trounce you, but we’re biased, you see. As soon as you give me the guildelines, I will post this challenge on the front page. To account for the possibility that I might have gone off the rails, I’ll allow you, JD, to present the challenge in your own words.You must be able to make a couple of things clear, though:

    Who qualifies as a real alcoholic? (Immediate disqualification: Real Alcoholics are those for whom AA works if they work it.)

    What is your definition of success?

  42. Martha says:

    Now playing on the LA Times site: The you must be resentful card:
    http://discussions.latimes.com/20/lanews/la-heb-sheen-aa-20110302/10?

    (I am posting as Former Alcoholic over there)

  43. hulahoop says:

    Acacia H says Sitting in a room listening to drunkalogues is’nt my idea of living a life. All they do is stop drinking, then spend the rest of their lives talking about drinking. If that’s not weird and obssessive then I don’t know what is.

    That was always one of the most strangest and hardest concepts for me to grasp. It was like a lot of the people spent a lot of their time reliving their “glory days.” At the risk of sounding inconsiderate and cruel, I felt myself wanting to suggest they go have a drink. They would light up like Christmas trees and practically salivate when they were talking about how they used to be.

    I’ve wondered how many people actually do go out and drink because they were reminded of how much they missed it by the drunkalogues they heard. Like they were not craving nor even thinking of having a drink until they arrived at the meeting and were reminded.

    I’ve wondered how many people got turned on to new and different drugs and new ways of getting high by the others they were in rehab with. I’ve wondered how many people found new dealers in meetings and rehab. How many of them went for help only to receive temptation instead?

    I think having someone who understands your situation can be a good thing. Having someone who can relate with what you are going through can be a good thing. But seeing someone who lives their life in the past, reliving what was supposed to misery, is not a good thing. Too many of those drunkalogues were people bragging about how “bad” they were and they seemed like they were missing it to me. Worse was seeing people trying to out do each other. It was like a big pissing contest where nobody won.

  44. Primrose says:

    March 5, 2011, 3:54 pm Acacia H says There is nothing wrong with taking anti-depressants! If people are depressed and are advised to take them, then it’s up to the individual to take them or not. It irresponsible for people to tell some-one they should’nt take anti-depressants if they need them. Or to ridicule them if they do. That kinda thing kills people! Depression if not treated can lead to suicide!

    And it does. People suffering from depression, and it would appear that a lot of them turn up at AA, through one way or another, not only get no treatment, they get AA’s cult like take on everything, including brainwashing into powerlessness, the disease nonsense and the suicides.

  45. tintop says:

    well said , hulahoop.

    The drunkalogs were funny if you enjoy black humor. Many of them were part of a belonging ritual; if I can tell a story, I will get approval. That was the only way to get approval. The endless recitation of AA jargon was, also, approval seeking.

    It is important, to many, to have someone who understands your situation That is one of the attractions; and, perhaps, the main benefit of AA.

  46. hulahoop says:

    Uhh…I have a question. What is the web address of AA? I went there because I wanted to copy and paste something from the official AA website while totally giving credit to them because that is what AA expects…anyway, it looks like it has been shut down by a hacker. I went to http://www.aa.org Thanks in advance. HH

  47. Acacia H says:

    HH….?

  48. hulahoop says:

    No seriously Acacia. I went to the AA website. It’s been hacked. I am not making this up.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Payback

    Wow! The truth is stranger than fiction sometimes.

  49. hulahoop says:

    How odd. http://www.aa.org does not work. It’s been taken over by Operation Payback. There is another way in to the site but I am not fooling with it. What I had to say is not that important. I know y’all must be thinking I am wearing tinfoil hat and booties waiting on the aliens to come get me right now…but I think someone at Operation Payback holds a resentment towards AA. Imagine that. Wow!

  50. humanspirit says:

    Yes, this is true. Go the AA website and you get an announcement that Payback has closed it down.

    This should be interesting.

  51. hulahoop says:

    Uh…anyway…
    @tintop – The drunkalogs were funny if you enjoy black humor. Many of them were part of a belonging ritual; if I can tell a story, I will get approval. That was the only way to get approval. The endless recitation of AA jargon was, also, approval seeking.

    I love black humor. The sad thing is the approval part. So many of the steppers place the love and approval of the group over the love and approval of their families and loved ones. The group must come first. Or the AA(TM) God. Not sure which, but in the minds of a lot steppers the group is GOD.

    Uh…maybe someone in Operation Payback is a Charlie Sheen fan. #tigerblood #winning #planahead

  52. humanspirit says:

    They are obviously a bunch of alcoholics with a resentment :)

  53. hulahoop says:

    @humanspirit – Yes, this is true. Go the AA website and you get an announcement that Payback has closed it down.
    This should be interesting.

    I did manage to get in using another link. I am not hanging around though because I am keeping my own side of the street clean. And yes, it is very interesting to me. Like I said, either someone has a resentment towards AA or someone is missing their “Two and Half Men” fix. #adonisdna

  54. hulahoop says:

    humanspirit saysThey are obviously a bunch of alcoholics with a resentment

    How do you know they are “real” alcoholics and not people with a drinking problem or just garden variety dry drunks? :)

  55. Gunthar2000 says:

    Anonymous just hacked AA’s website at AA.org!

  56. hulahoop says:

    Just so everyone knows, Charlie Sheen is my new higher power. It used to be Snookie even though I don’t really know who she is or the name of the show she is on. I just liked the name. But she has been replaced by Charlie Sheen because he has #tigerblood and #adonisdna and apparently a vast network of friends with resentments. Long live Charlie.

  57. humanspirit says:

    @hulahoop says: “How do you know they are “real” alcoholics and not people with a drinking problem or just garden variety dry drunks?”

    Well, I’m sure the people at AA.org, with their god-given insight into the minds of others, are in the best position to tell us this :)

  58. hulahoop says:

    @humanspirit -Well, I’m sure the people at AA.org, with their god-given insight into the minds of others, are in the best position to tell us this

    Oh yeah…I keep forgetting they have a batphone with a batline straight to AA God (TM). Sheeiiit! They should have seen this coming! Perhaps they aren’t working a good enough program at the GSO.

  59. hulahoop says:

    Maybe the official AA GSO ouijAA boAArd is broken.

  60. humanspirit says:

    hulahoop says:

    “Maybe the official AA GSO ouijAA boAArd is broken.”

    Looks like it. They ought to get those damn things serviced once in a while.

  61. Gunthar2000 says:

    HP was too busy to protect the website tonight!

  62. causeandeffect says:

    anonymous is my higher power!!!! ROFLMAO!!!! :)

  63. humanspirit says:

    @gunthar2000

    Yes, that old HP has been nodding off on the job. No doubt to be woken up soon by the hysterical prayers of steppers around the world . . .

  64. Gunthar2000 says:

    And JD says we’re not making a difference!

  65. humanspirit says:

    Unfortunately the UK AA website is still functioning.

  66. raysny says:

    JD,

    People in SOS and SMART are encouraged to stay only as long as they feel they need to be there then get on with their lives.

    In August, I’ll have 10 years without AA.

  67. AndyM says:

    I think the aa program, in a nutshell, comes down to a deification of the placebo effect.

  68. Z says:

    Deification of the placebo effect, very good definition.

    I looked at the LA Times thread and what a bunch o’ jerks are posting there.

    The thing about 12 stepping is, they really, really insist you have certain pretty immature outlooks, that you’re pretty shallow, etc., etc. If you really are that way, then I guess it helps you manage your life. And then I guess that keeps you from going haywire (including drinking). But you really have to be the person the 12 steps are speaking to, and many really aren’t that person, at all. That’s not to say others are “better,” or anything like that.

    I just mean – well if you go to a cancer support group, for instance, they won’t assume everyone has the same cancer and it’s working on them in the same way, or say that everyone must have certain beliefs and personality structures to improve.

    Seriously, the logic of this whole 12 step thing leaves SO much to be desired.

  69. darfieldboy says:

    aa site still hacked at 08.35 GMT

  70. Gunthar2000 says:

    Tee Hee…

  71. JD says:

    ftg, I agree that you put a high value on making sense, that’s clear from the way you write. It’s also true that almost every ST members would not say things they believe are senseless.

    Saying something valid is different.

    You said ‘if you have reached a point where you are “willing to do whatever it takes” whatever could be anything, because reaching that point means that you have already made a decision and fixed your intention. When that happens, nothing can stop you’…which makes sense as a well-structured collections of words, but is the point you’re expressing valid, or are you in error?

    It couldn’t be easier to check and see one way or another.

    The plan b programs each have forums where members gather to discuss their lives. All these people who are doing so well apart from AA, the program that doesn’t work are over there doing fine and getting along sober. Why not hear the thunderous voice of the sober multitude there by asking a simple and respectful question, and sitting back for a week to observe the happy result.

    May I hear from the members of (SOS, Smart, Lifering) here who have delt with an alcohol problem and acheived at least 7 years without alcohol, perscription medication to treat pain or emotional conditions, marijuana use, or any AA involvement?

    Out of the limitless throngs of people involved in the alternative programs who are getting fantastic results from CBT, self-will, and identifying their inner A’s it should be a snap to hear from 10 on SOS (which is drying up like yesterday’s spit), 10 on Smart (just former drinkers, no toenail biters or hopeless procrastination victims), and 7 on Lifering with that piddly time.

    10-10-7 are ridiculously low numbers to make the point clearly and undeniably. And thereafter you can begin to make more sense in this one small area. We can slowly begin to work on some of the others, and before you know it you’ll be saying some things that not only make sense but are valid.

    Obviously, people here would be on their honor to not interfere in any way, though if they are using these programs and qualify to answer they should of course do so.

  72. tintop says:

    “Saying something valid is different.”

    Nice move JD.
    You refudiate real well.
    briliant

  73. tintop says:

    “May I hear from the members of (SOS, Smart, Lifering) here who have delt with an alcohol problem and acheived at least 7 years without alcohol, perscription medication to treat pain or emotional conditions, marijuana use, or any AA involvement?”

    Why would anyone want to do that, JD?

  74. tintop says:

    A and Andy, it does come to a placebo effect.
    The 12 steps are mainly busy work.

    There are a couple of other things: it can be used as an ersatz social club; or, an ersatz support group.
    AA as a support group can be done; but, it has to be done by explicit intent.
    AA as a social club is easier; it is mainly a matter of going along to get along.

  75. tintop says:

    I meant “Z” not “A”
    I guess that Operation Payback can be called ‘black humor’.

    hulahoop: the need of approval is important, and when people get themselves into such a fix as many find themselves when they end up ait AA, approval needs go up to the ceiling. This approval need can be used by AA to get peole to fall into line:
    you go along to get along. Then, the person buys into the program.

    At least, he is not drinking.

  76. joedrywall says:

    Most everything can be explained by using Simpsonian logic:

    http://www.criticalthinking.org.uk/tigerrepellantrock/

    A nice illustration of a fallacy from The Simpsons:
    After a single bear wandering into town has drawn an over-reaction from the residents of Springfield, Homer stands outside his house and muses, “Not a bear in sight. The Bear Patrol is working like a charm!”
    Lisa sees through his reasoning: “That’s specious reasoning, dad.” Homer, misunderstanding the word “specious”, thanks her for the compliment.
    Optimistically, she tries to explain the error in his argument: “By your logic, I could claim that this rock keeps tigers away.” Homer is confused: “Hmm; how does it work?” Lisa: “It doesn’t work; it’s just a stupid rock!” Homer: “Uh-huh.” Lisa: “… but I don’t see any tigers around, do you?”
    Homer, after a moment’s thought: “Lisa, I want to buy your rock…”
    Correlation does not imply causation. Just because two things occur together, does not mean that one caused the other. Homer argues that as the Bear Patrol vans are correlated with an absence of bears, the former must have caused the latter. Lisa, tongue in cheek, argues that as the presence of her rock is correlated with an absence of tigers, the former must have caused the latter.
    At least Homer recognises that the two arguments are on a par, even if he fails to recognise that both are examples of the correlation not causation fallacy.

  77. JD, you’re asking us to go to “Plan B” groups, where people are actually allowed to graduate and move on with life, to find people who sit around in meetings like they do in AA? And you would like these people to use AA’s weird definition of sobriety? They are disqualified if they have had to take pain or depression medications (really? is that what you tell your sponsees?) ? And if they have recovered to the point where they can drink moderately (meaning that they lost their addiction)? And these people can’t ever have spent any time in AA? How likely is it that any one in an alternate program hasn’t tried AA first?

  78. JD, I’m still marveling at your description of someone would qualify in your challenge. They can’t smoke pot? Why not? Why no pain medication? No anti-depressants or anti-psychotics? No moderate drinking?

    For this challenge to make sense you can’t demand that people in other programs share AA’s purity fetish. Those are AA standards, not universal standards. These people have to be successful according to their own understanding. For instance, it’s not necessary in SMART to be completely abstinent, unless that is your goal. You can decide that you want to stop drinking destructively and use the tools to achieve that goal.

    How do you account for the fact that people graduate from other programs? If someone is sitting around at SMART for 7 years, that’s probably more evidence of failure than success in that program.

  79. Gunthar2000 says:

    How many times have I heard it said at a meeting… “If I make it through this day I’ve been successful.”? Now JD has set the bar at 7 years, and if I have surgery my sobriety doesn’t count… That is unless I’m a fanatical AA idiot and choose to ride the pain out with no medications.

    Here are my standards…

    Believe from the start that you have already won the battle.
    Instead of viewing yourself as someone who struggles with addiction, proclaim your victory and believe in yourself.

  80. hulahoop says:

    I’ve always been a insomniac. Excessive drinking helped to me finally go to sleep when I couldn’t. I found it very difficult to sleep when I stopped drinking and started attending AA. I went to the doctor and honestly explained my situation to her. She gave me twenty sleeping pills to help me. I took them as directed and used them for what they were prescribed for.

    I was told I would have to start all over again because prescribed sleeping pills counted against my sobriety. WTF? I had a drinking problem. Not a prescription medication problem. I kept hearing, “You should be very careful…you could become cross-addicted.”

    How come nicotine doesn’t count? How come caffeine doesn’t count? How come it’s acceptable to outside during a meeting a smoke to get the nicotine fix? Why is it okay to disrupt a meeting getting three cups of coffee? Nevermind….I know the answer. So people can remain awake through those boring drunkalogues.

  81. Acacia H says:

    Well peeps, in JD’s eyes, I’ve relapsed 4 ttimes. Each time I was in labour with my 4children I had pain relief.

  82. Martha says:

    Gunthar said: “proclaim your victory and believe in yourself.”

    Saying that in AA would set of a firestorm of serenity fits. They would call that stinking thinking and say you are a dry drunk. It is astonishing to consider how much energy they put into undermining self confidence.

  83. Ben Franklin says:

    8 years, no program at all and in a very competitive to get into professional school. That is the truth and not some made up shit like fluffing flowers with fairy princesses while my 12 year old gets smashed. JD, you never did answer the questions put forth to you about your inebriated preteen, why should anybody here answer anything you stringently put forth?

  84. Martha says:

    Do you suppose that the reason cigarette smoking is so widespread and accepted in AA is that Bill W. sort of gave smoking his blessing and died because of it?

  85. Ben Franklin says:

    I take credit for this slogan I made up:

    It jerks if you jerk it.

    It actually makes more sense than “it works if you work it”. The act of jerking something cause an equal and opposite reaction in some law of physics sense. Jerking is defined. Working is not. How many times did you here there are many ways to work this program? The steps are vague BS that can be interpreted many ways. You don’t take an aspirin and work its program. The aspirin just works. Period. AA bringing on the stupid.

    Ben F, too smart for 12 steps and proud of it.

  86. SoberPJ says:

    Billy sets it up in the book so he can keep killing himself without scrutiny

    …Here is a case in point: One of our friends is a heavy smoker and coffee drinker. There was no doubt he over-indulged. Seeing this, and meaning to be helpful, his wife commenced to admonish him about it. He admitted he was overdoing these things, but frankly said that he was not ready to stop. His wife is one of those persons who really feels there is something rather sinful about these commodities, so she nagged, and her intolerance finally threw him into a fit of anger. He got drunk.

    …Of course our friend was wrong – dead wrong. He had to painfully admit that and mend his spiritual fences. Though he is now a most effective member of Alcoholics Anonymous, he still smokes and drinks coffee, but neither his wife nor anyone else stands in judgment. She sees she was wrong to make a burning issue out of such a matter when his more serious ailments were being rapidly cured.

    In AA, you get to kill yourself as you see fit. Just say you’re sorry and do it anyway. Nobody will stand in judgement if you say you’re sorry. You see, once you quit drinking it doesn’t matter if you are killing yourself in other ways. it is most important to be a “most effective member of Alcoholics Anonymous”. It also documents the fact that at any time, an AA can step right outside the spiritual realm of their higher powers grace and good standing because the wife is a nag. How dare she be concerned about the overall health and well being of her husband. Who in the hell does she think she is? It also shows how someone has trumping power over the higher power of a weak-willed, lily-livered, punk-ass, human troll of a most effective AA member. Bill had no idea how much he was writing in that passage. He was trying to put Lois in her place and contradicted many of the key tenents of his beloved program. He was an idiot, and people give their life to his program.

  87. Rick045 says:

    “How come nicotine doesn’t count? How come caffeine doesn’t count?”

    I heard AAers claim repeatedly that “meetings were the way they treated their disease”. If that’s the case, then they must be getting treated for caffeine deficiency. The most serious discussions I ever witnessed during those idiotic “group conscience” meetings centered around whether the group should buy good coffee or the cheap shit.

  88. causeandeffect says:

    I’ve suffered the excruciating boredom of sitting through an entire meeting where the topic was whether or not energy drinks would precipitate a relapse. I had to leave.

  89. hulahoop says:

    I asked my totally indoctrinated, brainwashed, big book thumping, slogan spewing, two or three meeting a day attending, friend about why his higher power didn’t take his urge to dip and smoke and also to overeat seeing as how his higher power was taking care of everything else in his life including that nasty urge to drink. “Progress not perfection” was the answer I received.

    I can’t wrap my mind around it. How can you be “healed” of your desire to drink but not your desire to use nicotine and to eat everything in sight (especially sweets)? The women’s meeting I attended passed around a huge gallon ziplock bag of candy through the entire meeting. I don’t mean to sound offensive nor to offend, but a lot of those ladies should just be saying no to the candy, if you know what I mean.

    I do not think being an AA member means you have to perfect. It’s when I hear shit like, “Oh, you will have to start all over again if you take children’s liquid Benedryl to help you sleep” it does make me wonder what kind of mirror they are looking in.

  90. Martha says:

    C and E, your post reminds me of one meeting where they were discussing placing a ban on people bringing plastic bottles of water to meetings. One of the ideas was to not only make people leave those bottles outside, but to shame those who arrived with them by sending them away for a week.

  91. Martha says:

    Yes those bottles are a legitimate environment concern, but it was typical AA type heavy handedness on display. I later found out that the person pushing for the ban was an obnoxious local guru and serial sponsor.

  92. JD says:

    Yeah ftg, if I were you I wouldn’t do it either…wise choice. You’d have rounded up only 3-5 from the worldwide membership of Smart, and maybe 3 from Lifering (more likely 2). I’ve no clear idea about SOS, but doubt if they could come up with one.

    Now that you’ve had this altogether too-close brush with the truth we can go back to pretending AA doesn’t work, and the plan bs provice a useful answer for alcoholics.

    Dream on.

  93. I agree about the bottles, but jeezus… unreal.

  94. Martha says:

    JD, you lost this challenge hands down. Run along now, kid.

  95. tintop says:

    “Yeah ftg, if I were you I wouldn’t do it either…wise choice. You’d have rounded up only 3-5 from the worldwide membership of Smart, and maybe 3 from Lifering (more likely 2). I’ve no clear idea about SOS, but doubt if they could come up with one.”

    wow, JD, that was brilliant. you sure put eveyyone in their place. simply brilliant
    JD again shows everyone how smart he is:
    http://www.break.com/index/live-reporter-slaps-dumb-drunkard.html

  96. tintop says:

    “JD, you lost this challenge hands down. Run along now, kid.”

    yes he did, but he is just a stupid drunk.

  97. JD, your challenge doesn’t make any sense. Even you must be able to see that. Pretending that you can’t see the flaws doesn’t mean that people with basic comprehension skills won’t see that you are playing fast and loose with this. It is clear to all that you refuse to answer the questions. And your declaration that truth won is clear bluster and High Order Rigorous Honesty ™. It’s genuine, objective nonsense, visible from outer space.

    Let me repeat your challenge: You want us to find people outside AA who meet AA’s peculair standard of sobriety.

    And when I point out the glaring flaw there, you use that as support of your position?

    Let’s put it like this: You can’t present a challenge that makes sense in the real world.

  98. hulahoop says:

    JD gets a rush off of pissing on ant hills. Should that activity be included in the challenge? I know it isn’t technically taking a substance to alter one’s state of mind…but it makes him feel better to do it. Just like some prescribed medications make the person whom they are prescribed for feel better. Only they don’t have to piss on ant hills.

  99. JR Harris says:

    I like how AA always uses the “Plausible Denial” trick to hide behind. The cult has learned this tactic very well. Steppers are being used by AA to do this because they are the “bottom rung” of the group. Why don’t Steppers understand that and stop being used?

    “Plausible deniability refers to the denial of blame in loose and informal chains of command where upper rungs quarantine the blame to the lower rungs, and the lower rungs are often inaccessible, meaning confirming responsibility for the action is nearly impossible. In the case that illegal or otherwise disreputable and unpopular activities become public, high-ranking officials may deny any awareness of such act or any connection to the agents used to carry out such acts.”

    https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Plausible_denial

  100. tintop says:

    “Let’s put it like this: You can’t present a challenge that makes sense in the real world.”

    true ftg.

    but that will never slow down our boy. The real world is a figment of our imagination.

  101. causeandeffect says:

    That’s excellent info JR. I just sent that link to massiveattack. BTW, diablo has been serial copy and pasting your comments at LA Times. And talking in baby talk again.

  102. BusBozo says:

    Martha
    “They would call that stinking thinking and say you are a dry drunk.”
    For sure. The many times I have seen someone take a chip and say “I didn’t do this (stay sober), He did (as they point upward)”, reinforces the belief of powerlessness. To take any credit (aside than the statement “Yes, I did the footwork”) is just not acceptable to the drones in rooms.

  103. JD says:

    So the new unlimiting, non-AA definition of sober is stoned, loaded, and drinking. Very interesting…

    I guess I was wrong and this crowd is sober after all. Given the new definition

    I’ve seen how the new definition works out for people a long time before it was the new definition, and I’ll be going with the old definition. Works out better.

  104. Gunthar2000 says:

    @JD… Please define sober for us.

  105. tintop says:

    “I guess I was wrong and this crowd is sober after all. Given the new definition

    So what. JD

  106. tintop says:

    “ve seen how the new definition works out for people a long time before it was the new definition, and I’ll be going with the old definition. Works out better.

    so what JD.
    Your approval is not required.
    What you “go with” is your business

  107. JR Harris says:

    I’m just wondering….. would a self proclaimed 12 Stepper who is personally attacking someone on the LA Times be considered a “Dry Drunk”?

  108. causeandeffect says:

    They would be according to my definition JR. From what I’ve experienced, especially noticeable in the behaviors of old timers, they never move past behaving as if they were drunk because they are told that their drunken behavior is their core personality that they are powerless over. They very seldom get better.

  109. In the spirit of Rigorous Intellectual Honesty, JD presents: “So the new unlimiting, non-AA definition of sober is stoned, loaded, and drinking. Very interesting…”

    You say this, JD, as if you really, truly believe that’s what I meant. So, are you mentally challenged or are you lying?

    Or is this just the verbal equivalent of squinching up your eyes and sticking your fingers in your ears. (Hint: When you do that, uncomfortable facts don’t disappear for everyone — just you.)

    This is a stunning display.

  110. Ben Franklin says:

    Ditto FTG ditto,
    Doesn’t it seem strange that in meetings you can’t take other people’s inventories but you can come on a blog and tell people they are drunks and potsmokers without any evidence.
    Mcgowdog or someone else would do this. Set up some impossible game with unknown rules and challenge us to some undefined goal. They would then keep score. Of course they were always winning. Then they would within a short amount of time declare the game over and claim victory! Mcgowdog also claimed all over the innertubes that he and Tony J were kicking our asses in debates. Bizarre. That is why when JD entered our world people thought him and Tony J were one and the same. The stunning displays and modus operandi of their thoughts is striking.

  111. tintop says:

    Ben Franklin:

    who cares?
    The ignorant opinion of a fool means nothing.

  112. Thumb66 says:

    LOL@ Ben
    I have a disease that tells me I dont have diarrhea.

  113. SoberPJ says:

    Thumb .. I wish I was still going to meetings so I could use that ! I would say it with real conviction and watch some of the heads nod… it would be priceless !

  114. Thumb66 says:

    Yes PJ, the agreeing nod of the bobble heads..my non stepper friends really get a kick out of the slogans when I run them by them. I recall how my friends and myself all used to joke about AA when we first started going to meetings and how we would mimic them. I wonder how many people are are put off instantly with AA from the hand holding, chanting and slogan stuff?

  115. Primrose says:

    JRH: You are spot on that those on the bottom rung do the dirty work; the recruitment, the PR, the testimonials. Very good point. I am reading some of this site with a stepper and he seems to be realising what a good little foot soldier he has been. HH recently posted something similar. She could run a sober home, invest in a rehab, hold meetings and be revered (apols hh if I am misrepresenting your great sarcastic post) and get her bottom rung clients to do the recruitment and PR. Kerching!

  116. humanspirit says:

    Ftg says (to JD): “You must be able to make a couple of things clear, though:
    Who qualifies as a real alcoholic? (Immediate disqualification: Real Alcoholics are those for whom AA works if they work it.)

    What is your definition of success?”

    JD aside (he didn’t manage to answer ftg’s challenge in any coherent or convincing way) these questions have to be the absolute crux of the matter when talking about success rates in the real world and within any kind of normal context.

    Steppers have for far too long been able to get away with saying that anyone who stops drinking without AA or the 12 steps was never a “real alcoholic” to start with. And yet these are the same steppers who are in a great hurry to label anyone as an alcoholic the moment they present themselves at an AA meeting, and who tell people in no uncertain terms that they are “in denial” if they say otherwise. They use the same thought-stopping, circular, and sophistic slogans (“it works if you work it” being one of the best examples) to attempt justify it. Why? If this program was so great, and if it really had “saved millions of lives” as some of them falsely claim, they could well afford to explain it openly and honestly without talking in meaningless riddles.

    And they will absolutely not – certainly not publicly – define what they mean by “success”. Why not? Does “success” for them mean achieving a spiritual awakening? ( I would suggest that people who want to achieve that would be far better off going to a church or a mosque, or joining a Buddhist order, etc.). Does “working the steps” equal “success”? Why? How? Surely the only criterion for success is that people manage to overcome their addiction and go on to leading an addiction-free life. Whether or not any individual decides to buy into the 12-step program is a completely different (and irrelevant) issue.

    As for approaches apart from AA and the 12-steps being “plan Bs”, whoever said that AA was plan A? Most alcoholics stop drinking without following any program at all, including the “real alcoholics” who need medically-supervised detox. (I can think off the top of my head of two friends – whom AA would most certainly have defined as real alcoholics and immoral promiscuous drug addicts to start with – who got sober on their own: one after discovering he was HIV positive 15 years ago and who was told that alcohol would interfere with his life-saving meds; another who found that his alcohol-related gout was so excruciatingly painful he would go to any lengths :) not to experience it again.)

    The arguments “it works if you work it” and “he/she wasn’t a real alcoholic to start with” are just dishonest. The only measure of success afforded in AA, it seems, is one that cannot be proven until you’re dead (and even then it’s very dubious). But as JM Keynes said, in the long run we’re all dead, so such an approach is less than helpful to anyone still living.

  117. AnnaZed says:

    Good points humanspirit, I too now know about a dozen people from my old record company days that lived in a near haze of plentiful alcohol and drugs during that period that would incapacitate Charlie Sheen that are now just clean ~ no fuss, no bother, no amends. I also have an old boss who calls me and makes amends for being a shitty boss (he was) about every two years. He seems to have no memory of having done it before and apparently has cyclical slips. Needless to say he is a die-hard stepper.

  118. humanspirit says:

    @Anna Zed says:” I too now know about a dozen people from my old record company days that lived in a near haze of plentiful alcohol and drugs during that period that would incapacitate Charlie Sheen that are now just clean ~ no fuss, no bother, no amends.”

    Exactly. I’ve too known people beside whom Charlie Sheen is a lightweight. The thing is, the vast majority of people just grow up and move on (some of them could relate highly entertaining drunkalogues if they’d ever been in AA). Others don’t quit because they want to but because they have to as they get older, for health reason or whatever . And what’s cool behaviour at 25 won’t necessarily seem so at 45. It seems to me pretty much down to individual motivation and how strong that is at any particular time of their life. I think AA attracts not those who are most addicted but those who are most into beating themselves up and who lack confidence – and of course those feelings of inadequacy are reinforced in spades by AA.

    This is why I’m highly suspicious of those people who say they “got sober” in AA when they were 19 or whatever and have been in it for 25-30 years. Life changes you, and you change throughout your life. Anyone who has been in AA for decades has absolutely no idea whether , in the natural course of things, they would still be drinking or not without AA.

  119. Acacia H says:

    Hear! Hear! HS.

  120. humanspirit says:

    @AnnaZed says:” I also have an old boss who calls me and makes amends for being a shitty boss (he was) about every two years. He seems to have no memory of having done it before and apparently has cyclical slips. Needless to say he is a die-hard stepper.”

    This is really funny. What do you say to him? I’d be tempted to tell him you won’t accept his amends and that he should go back and work more on his fourth step, as he’s in so humble a mood.

  121. Vera says:

    AA is for those who are constitutionally incapable of excepting personal responsibility for the predicament they got themselves by their irresponsible and/or out of control drinking and hope the sky wizard will fix it. The plan b programs are for those who accept personal responsibility for their irresponsible and/or out of control drinking and have decided to make positive changes in their life by adopting productive habit and better decision making.

  122. JR Harris says:

    The slogan “It works if you work it” is a very coercive gimmick programmed into AA members to demand compliance. When they meet any resistance to the program saying that it is not effective this is the first think out of their mouths. The programmed technique goes something like this between a newbie and an AA Stepper:

    NEWBIE: “I don’t see how this program is supposed to help me,.”
    STEPPER: “It works if you work it!” (Don’t ask questions just do it.)
    NEWBIE: “I don’t see how this religious program is going to help me.”
    STEPPER: “It’s not a Religious program it’s a Spiritual program!” Lets confuse him with words, maybe I can use the door knob slogan on him.)
    NEWBIE: “It sure seems like a religious program.”
    STEPPER: “Your in Denial of your problems! (Trick statement, they know it is impossible to Deny you are in Denial)
    NEWBIE: “I still don’t know if I need this type of program.”
    STEPPER: “You don’t have enough sobriety to understand.” (Another trick statement, of course you don’t have enough sobriety to understand, you are a newbie.)
    NEWBIE: “I don’t think I;m every going to understand.”
    STEPPER: “Fake it until you make it.” (just go along with the program, I’ll brainwash it into you.)

    You will always notice that a AA Stepper will always answer a question with a slogan. They are programmed to do that. The slogans are carefully planned and are designed to confuse you. Depending on the AA Stepper they may spout dozens of slogans at you.

    Anyone else have any Slogan spouting Stepper scenarios on how they can not answer you unless it is by a use of a Slogan to confuse and belittle you?

  123. Acacia H says:

    AA’ers don’t like to hear the truth. I remember when I started to attend AA inmy area. I was told to do the 90×90. I said that I could’nt do that due to issues with childcare. This person went on to question my committment to sobriety. What a cheek!

  124. causeandeffect says:

    JRH said “Trick statement, they know it is impossible to Deny you are in Denial”

    That’s an infuriating one. It was used on me over a decade before I started to drink in any way that could by any stretch of the imagination be called problematic. I stated that I rarely drank and I was told that I was lying about how often I drank. I stated that even when I did drink, I drank very little. I was told I was denying how much I was drinking. This was from someone who had never, ever seen me drink. It was only because I had family members with drinking problems.

    After a truly tragic event that I just had no coping skills for, I started drinking daily and eventually heavily. I never denied it was a problem. I really kind of wished I could stop, but since I was already indoctrinated by the family, I thought I was powerless to do so until I hit rock bottom and went to AA. I really wished I had done my homework then instead of now.

  125. JR Harris says:

    There is a psychological way to combat the relentless attack from a Stepper that has their sights on indoctrinating you into the Cult. As we all know, once they find a way to infiltrate your mind to manipulate you, they are very hard to get rid of. I once though that the best way to do this was to combat them with one of there own slogans. I have found that ineffective because they automatically realize that you are using their own mind control techniques against them. You have to remember that they have pre-programmed responses (triggers) to attacks on their slogans and are often times better trained at it. You can use the technique of “Word Association” to accomplish the same thing and they do not know how to respond because they have not been taught how to respond to attacks in this manner. Be warned that this will put the Stepper in a very dangerous frame of mind of confusion because it makes them start to list what is wrong with them. If you carefully remove the pre-programmed sayings from their list, you can combat them logically and they have to think about it which confuses them.

    WORD ASSOCIATION list – you have to completely remove the following words from your vocabulary to prevent pre-programmed responses from clouding the issue.

    1. Denial – replace the word with just “deny” or “denying”. Never use the word “denial” because they know how to combat that word. They will always try and pull the denial card on you. Carefully use the word to make them start to list in their mind what they are doing wrong.
    2. Moral – replace with the word with the phrase “what my faults are”. The Stepper is using morals against you. Morals is defined as what the majority of the people think is correct at that time in history and they are using “Group Think” against you.
    3. Inventory – replace with the word “list” and always drop the moral part. The word Inventory always provokes a slogan in AA.
    4. Angry – replace with the word “mad”. Mad is actually what the Stepper is trying to provoke in you. Mad is another word for insanity and it makes them realize they are trying to drive you insane.
    5. Think – Use “logic” instead. This word think is used as a trigger for slogans.

    SETTING – The setting that this “Confrontation” takes place is very important. The Stepper uses the setting to control you.

    1. Place – Under no circumstances let this “Confrontation” happen at an AA meeting or around multiple Steppers. They will use “Group Think” against you and it may start a riot.
    2. Invitation – Make sure that the “Confrontation” happens at a place you decide that is far away from “Group Think”. If the Stepper suggests you go to the local coffee shop and talk about your problems, tell them you want to go to another new spot you have found that is real nice. Make sure you pre-plan this spot and go there a few times so that you know the staff by name and they know you. It would be real nice if you walked in and the waitress and you greeted each other by name.
    Witnesses – The Stepper attacks you in front of witnesses because they are using “Group Think” to demoralize you and they will tell other Steppers to come and save you and talk about you amongst themselves. This causes other Steppers to come after you. Do not allow this.

    This setting is exactly what the Stepper sets up for you when they set up a “Confrontation.”

    THINGS TO REMEMBER – To effectively remove this Stepper from your life you have to confront them in the same fashion they use against you.

    1. The first thing that a Stepper will use against you is the “Denial Card”. The interesting thing with this card is that the first person that uses it wins. Beat them to the punch and accuse them of denying something first.
    2. Do not repeat any slogans to them. If you do they have won. You are repeating slogans designed to brainwash you in to the cult, so don’t do it. If you repeat them you are admitting you have become brainwashed. Many AA intergroup websites psychologically train Steppers on how to use slogans as a cult tactic. Most private sites are riddled with it because they have been brainwashed by the Cult.
    3. Do not let them use “Group Think” against you. Only do it in a place that they do not have this power.

  126. Z says:

    It occurs to me that questioning commitment is one of those abusive mind control techniques that’s used in other settings as well.

    As an academic, I am impaired by guilt because I:
    a) care where I live
    b) prefer not to teach freshmen.

    What I’ve always heard: “If you’re serious, you will live anywhere for the sake of this. If you’re truly good at what you do, freshman courses will be your favorites.”

    The logic behind those ideas is ridiculous, in my professional opinion. The answer to that, of course, is that because of being serious, I want to live somewhere that supports my work, and because I am serious, I am bored futzing around with too many non serious people.

    Anyway it’s ridiculous to accuse someone of lack of commitment if they’ve made serious strides in any particular direction. I really think that people who go so far as to go to AA, must be serious about quitting drinking, even if they’re not sure about AA itself.

    So, the accusation of lack of commitment, made to someone who has in fact commited quite seriouly to something, is hurtful and is also a major form of gaslighting.

  127. causeandeffect says:

    JRH, those are excellent ground rules. I’m saving that for future reference. I would like to suggest that introspection be used instead of list or inventory since the words are interchangeable in the steps.

  128. Tom Bradley says:

    Love it. God Bless America, and its addicts.

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