Archive for the manipulation Category

How You Were Duped, Why You Believed, The Reason You Stayed

Back in the late 1950s, a couple of researchers designed an experiment that was meant to measure a person’s cognitive dissonance. The subjects were put into a room, where they sat in front of a box full of a dozen spools, each sitting upright in rows of three. They were told to take the spools out of the box in a certain order, and then to put them back into the box as they were before. Then to do it over and over again until they were told to stop.

Next, the subjects had some wooden cubes placed in front of them in rows. They were asked to take each cube, and rotate it clockwise one turn. And then they were asked to do it over again with each cube, and to keep repeating that until they were asked to stop. Both tasks were by design boring and tedious, and took about an hour. Continue reading How You Were Duped, Why You Believed, The Reason You Stayed

Bill Wilson and “You’re Only as Sick as Your Secrets”

Pandora’s Box

One of the many AA Slogans that is often used is “You’re Only as Sick as Your Secrets”, and is used by members of the fellowship to gaslight prospects for Alcoholics Anonymous to do the 12 Steps with no real manual to follow. The problem is that by doing the 12 Steps, you often open up a Pandora’s Box that should remain closed, and that box often gets opened up for your friends and family to see with disastrous results. There is a disclaimer in the 12 Steps on Step 5,”Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs”, but is it really followed? Do the secrets in the Pandora’s box that the 12 Steps open up cause harm?  Does the sacred first 164 pages of the “Big Book” even attempt to follow this Spiritual path? Are your secrets safe and will they be used against you if (and when) they are revealed? Continue reading Bill Wilson and “You’re Only as Sick as Your Secrets”

Bill Wilson and his Library at Stepping Stones

Example of husband and wife research early 1900's

To understand the inner thought processes, friends and outside influences of Bill Wilson you can gain incite from his personal Library at his home of Stepping Stones in Katonah, New York. While this is only a snap shot of the collection of books that Bill Wilson owned during his entire life, the publishing dates and inscriptions from people who gave them as gifts are available here.

Your library is your portrait. - Holbrook Jackson

Libraries are as the shrine where all the relics of the ancient saints, full of true virtue, and that without delusion or imposture, are preserved and reposed. - Bacon

What is nice about the site that this post links to is that the entire inventory of 96 pages can be searched using keywords which can show the manuals and text books that Bill Wilson was using to research the vast empire and influence of Alcoholics Anonymous he was building. You do have to bear in mind that the search not only searches the title of the book, but also any inscription put in it. The keyword “dictionary” brings up 29 instances which can be used to understand the definitions of the words Bill Wilson was changing. The keyword of “bible” brings up 10 hits. The keyword “spiritual” brings up 14 results. I can find no references to the keywords Jewish, Muslim or Atheist in any of Bill Wilson’s personal library. Where did Bill W get his information from to rewrite the definition of Spiritual for the non-Christian prospects he sent the fellowship out to recruit?

AA Troll Self-report 4 point Questionairre

AA Troll Self-report 4 Point Questionnaire

Guidelines: When answering remember that a “prospect” for Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) is someone that you think may be an Alcoholic, but you aren’t sure. Only circle the best answer and only one.

A. When you meet someone new do you?

  1. Become their friend.
  2. Immediately identify them as a prospect for AA.
  3. “When you discover a prospect for Alcoholics Anonymous, find out all you can about him.” BB p.90, Working With Others
  4. “If there is any indication that he wants to stop, have a good talk with the person most interested in him — usually his wife.” BB p.90, Working With Others
  5. Items 2,3 and 4.

B. When you find a prospect for AA do you?

  1. Become their friend and nothing else.
  2. Invite them to meet your home group.
  3. Recommend Al-Anon to the spouse and/or Alateen to the children.
  4. “Continue to speak of alcoholism as an illness, a fatal malady.” BB p.92, Working With Others
  5. Items 2,3 and 4.

C. When a prospect resists indoctrination into the faith of Bill Wilson do you?

  1. Just be their friend with no strings attached.
  2. “We find it a waste of time to keep chasing a man who cannot or will not work with you.” BB p.96, Working With Others
  3. “Approach through a doctor or an institution is a better bet.” BB p.91, Working With Others
  4. “If your man needs hospitalization, he should have it, but not forcibly unless he is violent.”  BB p.91, Working With Others
  5. Items 2,3 and 4.

D. When a prospect is having trouble with family life do you?

  1. Tell them to spend more time with their family and work it out.
  2. Tell them to go to more AA meetings where their family is not present.
  3. Replace their family with the family of the home group.
  4. Make sure they spend ALL holidays and weekends at AA sponsored events.
  5. Items 2,3 and 4.

Scoring: Count up the circled answers above and apply to the scale below.

  • 5 – No narcissistic Bill Wilson infection detected.
  • 5-10 – Slight infection but still treatable.
  • 10-15 – Needs a 90 meetings in 90 days booster shot.
  • 15-20 – Intergroup management material. Will make an excellent Sober House Slum Lord or Addictions councilor.

AA Deception and Plausible Deniability

Despite the fact that AA has a definite chain of command and an AA Corporate home office, it’s members claim that there is no controlling body in Alcoholics Anonymous and can not be held accountable for the actions of its members. It gets away with doing this because of what is called Plausible Deniability. In a nutshell they are using the AA members they recruit as prospects and the cloak of anonymity of  the AA Corporate Home Office in New York, to give them a way out of any trouble they may get into. If anything bad happens because of one or more of their members, they quickly abandon that member and disavow any control over that individual or group of individuals to protect themselves using Plausible Deniability by blaming those underneath them.

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.

The big problem with this command structure is that currently a percentage of these members come from the court systems as potential violent criminals who deny this because of the anonymity that AA provides. AA is set up to make its members find “prospects” for indoctrination into Alcoholics Anonymous and where to find them.

“Perhaps you are not acquainted with any drinkers who want to recover. You can easily find some by asking a few doctors, ministers, priests or hospitals.” Pg. 89 “Big Book”

The above quote is from the original 164 pages of the “Big Book” and is considered the foundation of the Alcoholics Anonymous movement. Over the years that followed the 1936 publishing of the “Big Book”, the “hospital” part of where they searched for prospects for Alcoholics Anonymous somehow changed to “hospitals and institutions(H&I) with the institution part referring to the court system for DUI, Drug and Alcohol Courts and the general prison population.
Because of the “cloak” of anonymity and the problem of getting an accurate count of its anonymous members, it is nearly impossible to find out how many people actually come from the court systems. AA members always claim that the percentage is extremely low, but you will also hear many times during meetings that they have been arrested and put in jail where they “hit bottom” and find the fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous.

Alcoholics Anonymous and the problems that we are seeing are not going to change until the cloak on anonymity and the plausible deniability of the AA Corporate Office and its individual members are made accountable for their actions.

AA and the Moral Inventory Roller Coaster

When you did Step 4, a searching and fearless moral inventory, did you feel like you were being put through a grueling  interrogation by your sponsor? You were, and they were using the manipulative Reid Technique to do it. This technique is designed to put you through a roller coaster ride with your emotions so bad that you will admit to anything to get out of the interrogation. It has even been banned in some countries because of the false confessions it produces.

You are not being questioned by a trained professional, you are being questioned by an amateur who has been taught a deceptive technique by AA to find fault with your moral inventory. They play with your emotions until you make something up to get away from this step.  These are the steps of the interrogation and the emotional roller coaster that an AA stepper uses to manipulate you into a  false confession. Welcome to the ride! Continue reading AA and the Moral Inventory Roller Coaster

Slate on “Surviving Straight, Inc.”

Please go read Steven Slate’s piece on the new documentary about the “troubled teen” industry, created by survivors of the Straight, Inc. nightmare. He makes the connection between what some might consider a sort of isolated issue and draws a very clear line to the addiction recovery movement whose psychotic mythologies influence our culture so profoundly.

Here’s Steven Slate’s article. It is essential reading. When you’re done, please friend it:

Surviving Straight Inc, a Controlling Approach To Addiction Treatment Brings Disastrous Consequences

I wanted to also point out that one of the creators of Surviving Straight, Inc. started a website that we linked to in the blogroll. Troubled Teen Industry is a powerful resource and a compelling read.

[UPDATED]: I guess Steven and I were writing posts for ST at the same time, and I just happened to hit “post” before he did! Sorry, Steven… I scooped you on your own story.

Steven Slate says:

As of now, distribution plans for the movie are up in the air, and they’re submitting it to festivals. One thing that may help is making noise about it on the net, and showing that there’s demand for it. I don’t know the best way to do that, but here’s where to start:

The film’s website:

Troubled Teen Industry:

Reddit Troubled Teens:

I can’t stress how much these people have put themselves on the line by making this film and appearing in it. Along the way, one of the filmmakers even received a message ominously taped to his door which read “You won’t survive Straight Inc.” I’d hate to see their efforts go to waste. I don’t know the best way to support them, so I’m just starting by spreading these links around and talking about the movie with the means I have at my disposal. Many of the abusive methods of Straight Inc are still in use in Therapeutic Communities all over the place, and this stuff needs to be stopped.



Why We Were Chosen

Why We Were Chosen Group

Sometime in the 1980s, a meeting chairman in San Francisco gave me a wallet-sized card engraved with a portion of the text from “WHY WE WERE CHOSEN,” an eponymous speech given by Judge John T. on the fourth anniversary of Chicago’s first AA club in 1943. He said that, although GSO Conference had declined to approve the text as AA literature, the San Francisco groups had thought it such an important message that they handed it out to newcomers and visitors.

“WHY WE WERE CHOSEN” talks about drunks as prophets and saints, and places AA as a movement as important as Christianity. It’s both grandiose and inane at the same time and a real Christian might find it offensive, as Dr. Arthur H. Cain did when he called it “idolatry” in his Saturday Evening Post article. You can read both the tract and Cain’s response on Orange’s blog:

By the time I first saw the tract, I had already heard all kinds of BS, from an aging hippie explaining that Bill Wilson’s birth was the “dawning of the Age of Aquarius,” to how AA was so “cutting edge that science was trying to catch up with it.” I considered most “Meaning of AA” proclamations as either psychobabble or Godbabble, and I thought it was harmless drivel. But, twenty years later, I got to see harmless drivel in action.

A friend asked me to speak at a “Chicago” Group here in my home state. She explained that Chicago Groups follow the 90 minute format of the groups in that city using a speaker who introduced the topic, and a chairman who “calls up” responses from the group. She didn’t particularly like the group format, because she thought the men used it to exclude women. She had been going simply because her daughter attended, and now she hoped to change the group by bringing in women speakers. She wanted me to be her first speaker, even though she wouldn’t be able to be there that night. I didn’t know what a Chicago Group was, but I liked her and I thought it would be fun. I also wanted to encourage young women.

On the day of the meeting, I got a call from a man who introduced himself as the Powerfully Recovered Alcoholic who would give me the Chicago Group speaking rules. I needed to wear a “modest” dress and make-up, to introduce myself as a “Recovered” Alcoholic, to give both my sobriety date and sponsor’s name, to not use curse words, and to limit quotations either to the first 164 pages of the Big Book or to the “Other” Big Book.

Well, okay.

When I got to the clubhouse, a young woman wearing a flowered Sister Wife dress opened the door. She was in the middle of introducing me to the other similarly dressed Sister Wives when I realized she was the daughter of my friend. Her Andrea Yates thousand-mile stare had been so flat that I hadn’t recognized her. She handed me to a faded young man in a baggy suit, unpressed tie and scuffed shoes, and then she faded into the wall.

The young man was the Powerfully Recovered chairperson. He showed me to my seat, and began to read “WHY WE WERE CHOSEN” from the podium. He was near the end of the tract when I noticed that everyone wore oversized clothes.

I picked an innocuous topic and I told the usual jokes, but I just couldn’t connect with anyone. I was the only person wearing the right size and a smile in the room. I realized that looking like a normal person might very well constitute immodesty in this crowd.

After I spoke, the Powerfully Recovered chairperson began choosing men (not women) from the audience to give short responses. The gloomy men spoke about duty and privilege, and the (nearly) cheerful men talked about their new lives. They inserted “Praise God” an average of once every 90 seconds, and thanked their tireless sponsor, who was the Powerfully Recovered chairperson.

I was glad when the meeting was over and, for the first time in AA, I did not stay and talk to the crowd. I never went back.

My friend later told me that she had gotten her daughter into therapy and that the therapy had caused her daughter to leave the group. The daughter had the divorced her husband, mainly because he lost his job because he was missing work to be at the group. He then left the group and moved back to Iowa to live with his parents. Both of them blamed the group for destroying their marriage.

The Powerfully Recovered chairperson admitted that he has twice been hospitalized for depression, and he has left the group, which shrunk from a club house to a weekly meeting.

Stinkin’ Thinkin’ Over at the Sober Recovery Forum

What happens when there is dissension in the AA ranks? It depends on the platform. In real life, anyone questioning any part of the program will be derided. On an internet forum run by 12-steppers, they get censored. Even if it is not their AA section.

A few days ago, we were directed to a thread that was started at the Sober Recovery forum titled “The Concept of Powerlessness.” As is most often the case in these discussions about ‘Big Book’ scripture, it devolved into a circle-jerk of pseudo-intellectual mental contortion and philosophizing. I find it difficult to make it through more than three or four posts before my reading voice morphs into the “wah wah wah” of the teacher’s voice in Charlie Brown.

This time, I paid closer attention to the conversation, because a rare voice of trenchancy – “John Barleycorn” – jumped into the conversation. Knowing this was would go over like lead balloon, and knowing the AAs moderating the Sober Recovery forum would delete any challenge to the dogma quicker than one can say “rigorous honesty,” we took a screen shot. Click on the image below to enlarge:

It was followed up with this, which has yet to be deleted, but I’ll go ahead and include it here because I suspect it will be. It’s just makes too much sense:

One problem with using examples from internet forums is, AAs tend to couch their language more than they do one on one or within the confines of a group. What John Barleycorn is asking for is an alternative to tell a person who repeatedly fails. Something beyond a slogan. The answer, of course, is that the program cannot fail. It can only be failed. The onus, and the fault, is always on the individual. Always. It says it right there… in the ‘Big Book’.

It’s almost unfair to ask this of a group that is currently under the AA spell. They’ve been conditioned, and have no point of reference other than the insular world of AA. To a worm in a horseradish, the world is a horseradish.


Jonny Quest, aka “John Barleycorn,” advised us SR deleted another post that would dare to criticize AA. Here it is:

Recovery Thought Police

Wyoming Supreme Court: Sentence Unusual But Not Illegal

CHEYENNE — The sentence of a Campbell County man convicted of aggravated assault and battery was unusual but not illegal, the Wyoming Supreme Court ruled Wednesday in a split decision.

Willis Center Sr. pleaded no contest to the charge and was sentenced by District Judge John Perry in November 2008 to 36 to 80 months in prison. But the judge stayed the sentence and granted Center a furlough so he could enter an alcohol rehabilitation treatment program.

Center failed the program primarily because he refused to complete the written first step of the 12-step Alcoholics Anonymous program in use at the WYSTAR center.

He was then sent to the state penitentiary.

On appeal, Center claimed the sentence was illegal and his right to due process was violated in the way his placement was revoked.

The supreme court majority, in an opinion written by Justice William Hill and including Chief Justice Marilyn Kite and Justice Michael Golden, said that while the sentence was “unusual and perhaps ill-advised,” it was not illegal.

Read the rest…

First, the judge diagnosis Center’s real problem as alcoholism, not violence, and sends him to an alcohol rehab program, which turns out to be nothing more than AA. Center cannot bring himself to admit he’s powerless over alcohol, so they “fail” him and send him to the pen.  I think the state has put itself in the position of having to prove that the 12 steps are effective and necessary for the treatment of alcoholism.

Maybe he should have gone to the pen in the first place for whatever violence he comitted, but now he’s being sent there for not taking the First Step, which is nothing more than a statement of belief. Insane.