Posts tagged Big Book

Dick B is On Youtube

Some of you may be unaware that AA historian and California Raisin, Dick B., has a new Youtube channel. I highly recommend it for any of you who subscribe to Dick’s brand of AA, and made it to our blog by mistake; or for anyone with sadomasicistic tendencies. HERE is a link.

Speaking of Dick, it looks as though another of his lectures to Jesus wound up in in the comment section of our old blog, donewithaa, by mistake. This often happens when a person channels Jesus through the ‘Big Book’ instead of the ‘Good Book’. It’s like reading a Windows document on a Mac, or using translation software to read a foreign website. Sometimes things get lost in translation.

Knowing Jesus reads our blog, because He is as perplexed at using a doorknob to perform miracles as we are – I figured I would link Dick’s post here, where Dick answers Jesus’ question, “what the fuck you are muttering about, Dick?”:

Dear JC:

I make every effort to reply to any courteous email that comes to me at DickB@DickB.com. However, some people try to send me messages by clicking on the “Reply” button when they receive one of my “Dick B. FYI Message” newsletters. Such “replies” have been going to a different email address (dickb.lists@gmail.com) that is associated with the program we use for sending out the “Dick B. FYI Message” newsletters. Those “replies” have not been going directly to me. In fact, most never reached me until today, when my son Ken discovered this “secret cache” of backlogged responses and forwarded them to me in a large batch. Sadly, I do not have the time to sift through them all for happy birthday cards vs. genuine questions.

One other point about how people identify themselves when they contact me. When someone writes me—through any medium—and just uses initials like “J.C.” or “Jim C.,” I really don’t care to reply until and unless they identify themselves by using a fuller form of their name and by including their regular (“snail mail”) address. You have no idea how many “Jim’s,” “Jim C.’s,” “JC’s,” and even “James’s” and others—not including spammers—cross my path.

Dirtnapping With Bill and Dr. Bob

Here is a site – jesus-is-savior.com – so batshit crazy, that after reading it, I had to come here and read some of JD’s comments to find something more lucid and rational. Kind of like the lion in the jungle who was seen eating elephant dung, and when asked what he was doing, he replied, “I just ate a lawyer, and I’m trying to get the taste out of my mouth.” We should put whoever wrote this site into the ring with Dick B. for an all-out, serenity death match.

The quote below is taken from their “False Religions” section, in the sub-category of “Other Pagan Mumbo Jumbo.” One of us should break out Ouija board and ask Bill and Bob what it’s like down there:

“While AA has good intentions, they are based upon a worldly philosophy, one that is based upon man’s own conception of God. The God of AA does not have the power to clothe the alcoholic in new clothes; it simply provides a patch that in the long run makes the tear worse. They are worse off because they do not believe in the God that the Bible teaches, the one that makes you whole forever. To the AA member, they will always be an alcoholic. They are a torn and ragged set of clothes, with patches that constantly need to be maintained.

One of the motivational phrases used in many 12-step programs is, “It don’t work unless you work it.” In reality they offer a plan of salvation to drunkenness based upon works. They have tried to implement biblical principles upon one sin, rather than the whole, and in doing so they missed the greatest part of the gospel message. That Christ actually sets you free! If anyone is in Christ he is a new creature, if anyone is in AA they are forever an alcoholic.”

Pick A New Name For Freedom House

In the latest update on the continuing saga of Freedom House, the slumshack in Kalispell, Montana that is running under the guise of a rehab facility; the powers in charge have decided to take the name away. It also appears that the last group of felons in charge of the place are no longer involved in the day-to-day operations. This shouldn’t come as too much of shock, as it is difficult to run a hell hole like this from jail, which is where former board President, Randall Marr, has been rotting for the past couple of months.

I’ve no doubt that the landlords and Bill Hawk, the current resident in charge, are trolling the rooms of the local AA chapters to find suitable replacements. The last board, which consisted of a hooker, a thief and a pedophile – is a going to be a tough act to follow.

The first thing the new board will have to do is pick a new name this cuckoo’s nest. I thought that we might be able to help them out with a few suggestions of our own. Any thoughts?

Trolling for Pigeons

A couple of years ago, Dexter Parker found himself in a bit of pickle. He was arrested for assault; or, as he put it, “I got into a little trouble with an ex-girlfriend.” I’m not sure if his girlfriend would characterize the incident in the same way, and I’m fairly certain she would not refer to it as “a blessing”, as did the author of this puff piece from the Lufkin Daily News in Texas.

In the two years since his arrest, Dexter has had trouble keeping his sobriety, so three and a half months ago, he entered a treatment program and joined AA. Now that he has been spiritually awakened, he has decided to  temporarily suspend his anonymity and the tradition of “attraction, not promotion”, so he could tout his own story, and use the local rag to troll for help in starting his own group.

You go, Dexter!

AA DictionAAry: Stockbroker

To understand AA, one has to learn – or should I say re-learn – a whole new set of terms and definitions. They have a unique definition for so many different terms, it is sometimes difficult keep up. So, I thought it would be helpful to create a new “DictionAAry” category in order to help those not familiar with terms.

I thought that I would start with a term that with which we are all familiar: Stockbroker.

Stockbroker [stok-broh-ker] noun – a huckster who was never licensed to sell stocks, never bought or sold a stock, never had a client, and was never an employee of a member of a stock exchange or any securities firm.

AA Eddie: “Did you know that AA was created by a stockbroker named Bill Wilson after he was confronted by God?”
Doubting Thomas: “Really? I thought he was just some unlicensed shyster who took part in ‘pump and dump‘ scams, and he saw God during a belladonna hallucination.”
AA Eddie: “Yeah…whatever.”
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“James Woods puts in the most magnetic performance of his career in this stunning neglected classic. Normally known as a tough guy,Woods is profoundly affecting, and heartrendingly vulnerable as the charming and brilliant young stockbroker who succumbs to alcoholism, before going on to found AA, and help so many to find the strength to stay sober….”
IMBD movie review of “My Name is Bill W.”

“A.A. had its beginnings in 1935 at Akron, Ohio, as the outcome of a meeting between Bill W., a New York stockbroker, and Dr. Bob S., an Akron surgeon.”aa.org website on “The Birth of AA.”

Father and Son Serenity Tag Team

Here is an interesting story out of Reading, PA — where a guy flipped out, and accused a group of AAs of taking his inventory

Two arrested in gun threats outside church after AA meeting:

“Jan Nies arrived after the meeting and started yelling at a group of people standing in the parking lot.

He accused them of saying bad things about him. He lifted his shirt to show them a .45-caliber handgun he had tucked into his pants.

When police arrived, Nies was still yelling at several people in the parking lot.

Police approached him from behind with their guns drawn and placed him under arrest without incident.

His gun was still tucked in his pants and fell to the ground when police took him into custody.

Bradley Nies started yelling at the officers and also was arrested.

Jan Nies was charged with firearms violations, making terroristic threats, disorderly conduct and related offenses.

Bradley Nies was charged with disorderly conduct and interfering with police.

Both father and son were awaiting arraignment late Friday in Reading Central Court.

Police said Jan Nies had been arrested a number of times for disorderly conduct and weapons violations, mostly during domestic disputes in Laureldale.”

Big Book Delusion

“The fact is that most alcoholics, for reasons yet obscure, have lost the power of choice in drink. Our so-called will power becomes practically nonexistent. We are unable, at certain times, to bring into our consciousness with sufficient force the memory of the suffering and humiliation of even a week or a month ago. We are without defense against the first drink.”
– from the ‘Big Book’ of Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 24

The above was written in 1939, at a time when we knew little about alcohol addiction. Sure, we knew how it manifested itself, and we knew the consequences of addiction – but we did not know the true nature or the cause of alcohol addiction. Because of our limited understanding, all that could be done at the time to address alcoholism was to treat the symptoms. There were only theories as to what caused alcohol addiction. At that time, it was a widely held belief that alcohol abuse was a character flaw, and that those who abused alcohol were simply exhibiting their weak moral constitution. This was perfect for AA, as they took advantage of his belief, which thy exploited and perpetuated, just as they do today.

AA fills in the blanks of addiction ignorance much like religion fills in the blanks of scientific ignorance. With religion, “God did it” is the default answer to that which we do not (yet) understand. It is fallacious logic at its finest, and is in a nutshell saying, “I don’t know, therefore I know.” With AA, “spiritual weakness” is the default answer. Why does Mary D. insist on drinking when it continues to ruin her life? Simple. Because Mary is “constitutionally incapable” of being honest. This quote from the ‘Big Book’ states that “for reasons yet obscure”, some people have an inability to stop drinking, yet the book turns around and states that a “spiritual awakening” or “an entire psychic change” will relieve a person of their compulsion. In other words, they are stating that they don’t know why some people can’t stop drinking, but the reason they can’t stop is because they are spiritually weak — “I don’t know, therefore I know.” It is just one of the many contradictions which is AA.

In 1939 we did not know the cause of addiction, or why some people could control their drinking, while others could not. This is one thing the ‘Big Book’ had right, and at the time the it was written, a ‘spiritual deficiency’ was as good of a hypothesis as any. Closer to the actual cause was the allergy theory set forth in ‘The Doctor’s Opinion’. The doctor was wrong, but at least he was on the right track, and it was as good of a place as any to start to find an answer. Fast forward seventy-five years, and much of the ignorance we had about the causes of alcoholism have been answered. Any answers we have found in that time, and any scientific advancement made in the understanding of addiction, has been discovered in spite of AAs fighting it at every turn. It is difficult to advance when the primary group available to help alcoholics is only interested in the advancement of their fellowship, and imposing their a set of arcane religious beliefs.

We now have an understanding of the physiological effects alcohol has on the brain, including how alcohol affects the brain’s pleasure pathways, which were not even discovered until twenty years after the ‘Big Book’ was written. We also know, for example, how alcohol affects the production of dopamine for alcoholics, as opposed to non-alcoholics; and it is this understanding that has led to breakthroughs in the treatment of alcoholism. Knowing the cause allows us to treat the cause, and not just the symptoms, of a disease. One thing we know for certain is that alcoholism is not a spiritual malady, and it is not an allergy. Not that there are not psychological consequences to addiction. Obviously, there are; and it is obvious, as well, that psychological problems often serve as a catalyst, and as a reason a person begins drinking in the first place — but the addiction itself is now understood. It is not obscure.

Drugs like Campral and Naltrexone, which have shown to be effective for many in curbing or eliminating cravings, work on these pathways that have been affected by alcohol abuse; and for most, prolonged abstinence will allow these pathways to revert back to their normal function. This happens regardless of whether a person is working religious steps. The “psychic change” that is referred to in the ‘Big Book’, and is so often repeated by AAs, is simply a consequence of abstinence. A person whose brain produces and transmits the proper amount of dopamine and serotonin will feel better, and any intervention by a faith healer, hypnotherapist or any other pseudoscientific practice, is simply a placebo. AAs believe in the placebo because their feelings of well-being correlates with their AA attendance. It is really no different of a mindset as with Native American tribes who once upon a time practiced “rain dances”, which were proven effective by their anecdotal experiences of seeing rain after these dance occurred. These people were not crazy, but were simply working out of ignorance of weather patterns. These dances may still be a part of Native American tradition, but they are no longer practiced for the purposes of actually producing rain. Why? Because the science is in, and we no know rain dances don’t work. That is what science does. It provides us with an improved understanding of things, so we can advance to the next step.

AAs do not, will not, discuss or educate its recruits on the science of addiction, and it will not update its practices to work in tandem with current scientific research. Regardless of what actual science shows, they hold true to the idea that their addictions are a consequence of moral weakness, for which the answer lies in moral re-armament. This is the nature of religion. The world is flat if the good book says it is flat, and nothing can be done to change this belief. A person in AA who fails, is believed to have failed because they did not work the program properly, not because of any physiological problem in their brain. The person who fails, and has been told over and over that “insanity is repeating the same thing over and over again, and expecting the same results,” is told to start once again at step one, regardless of how many times they may have failed before. Real treatment does not enter into the picture, and is more often than not discouraged if brought up to fellow AAs. Get right with God, and you’ll get right with your quit. This is the answer. the only answer. Science be damned.

Tell Us Your Story

One common theme I have seen with former AAs is that there is often a moment of clarity when they finally agree with that voice in their head that something was amiss, and that the program that they had signed up for – a quit drinking fellowship – was indeed much more. Sometimes it is a single incident, like the actions of a sponsor, or something said by another member that was particularly absurd, that gave their head a shake. With others, it was simply the totality of it all, and they knew that if they were subjected to one more aphorism, or one more trite slogan, they felt like their heads might explode.

What was your moment? When did you finally have enough? Was it a particular event, or was it a process. I would be interested to hear from those who have left AA. A reverse drunkalog, if you will. What caused you leave, and what difference has it made for you.

Denial

By Dan –

Denial (the technique):

The abusive manipulation of the subject wherein both agreement to and denial of an accusation confirm the accusation. This methodological technique of breaking down the subject’s resistance to control and manipulation was borrowed by Freud from Nietzsche’s claim to understand the mind’s of those long dead for the purposes of undermining their professed beliefs. In psychoanalysis, any statement by the patient is interpreted to confirm the analyst’s preconceived diagnosis, invariably based on the Freud’s (evil and preposterous) insistence that all neuroses, that is, behavioral problems, derive, ipso facto, from suppressed childhood sexual lust for the opposite parent. The idea is, “I hear what you’re saying, but know what you’re unconscious thoughts are.” In other words, the subject is “in denial.” There could be no greater abuse of the notion of self-hood than convincing the gullible that their own thoughts are lies, for no other purpose than to suit the preconceived notions of the therapist or sponsor in proselytizing the fanatical, quasi-religious cult of AA. Continue reading Denial

The Anti-Religion Religion

One of our readers, Dan, wrote the following in our comment section. We thought it was good summary of the religion of AA. With his permission, we decided to post it as blog entry:

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AA dogma on the Second Step is primarily contained in the Twelve & Twelve where the theme is transcendence from atheism, agnosticism, AND the religion of the Bible to a supposedly higher-level spirituality based on AAs precepts and practice. Any sop toward organized religion in the texts or heard at meetings is strictly a rhetorical ploy which will be dismissed with in short order during every newcomer’s formal indoctrination at the feet of a watchful adept, his sponsor. A newcomer will rarely question the religious beliefs of his new sponsor, but this is irrelevant since no matter what belief a sponsor professes to have as a come-on, it is going to be unadulterated indoctrination in the AA religion. So, what is the AA religion?

Looking at its history gives some clues. Both its founders were Ouija board-using spiritualists claiming communication with the dead and spirits. Bill W’s wife was a Swedenborgian and Dr. Bob was a freemason, both of which deny the Divinity of Christ. Today’s AA, however, is more self-indulgent New Age mysticism than like its Jazz Age, New Thought spiritualist roots. In my experience from attending meetings for 15 years, I’d say it’s essence is an anti-religion religion–that’s its main appeal–and any spirituality is acceptable and may be freely expressed at meetings, just so long as it’s not the theological teachings of the Christian faith. That will immediately elicit disapproving body language, coughs, chairs moving around, and so on.

This anti-religion religion has a strong appeal to those looking for the benefits of organized religion without the moral consequences of its teachings. Spiritually, AA is itself the “easy way out” it claims to oppose. If there is one sentiment that characterizes AA “sharing” on spirituality, it’s the venomous resentment of organized religion from the predictably ignorant and contrived catalog of its failures. This is odd since AA claims resentments are the number one reason for relapses, while these resentments against religion are voiced with passion, and often rage. Continue reading The Anti-Religion Religion