Posts tagged cult

Alcoholics Anonymous and the TABOO of the GEOGRAPHIC change.

 

 

No.

Geographical Cure (a.k.a Geographic ):
An effort to cure our alcoholism by getting a ‘fresh start’ in a new location. It doesn’t work. There is a saying around AA, ‘Wherever you go, there you are.’

I remember having about five years sober in AA and approaching my sponsor for guidance. I had done well and established a very successful business. In my success I started to look at property in an idyllic location where my family and I had always wanted to live. I had saved enough money to buy a house there for cash. My wife and I had picked out a house and were ready to make our move. Being a good AA I decided to check with my spiritual advisor and sponsor first. Much to my disappointment, he told me that it was dangerous for me to buy this house and move so far from my support group. Clearly I was brainwashed; AA and my sponsor had become my lifeline. I had such a lack of confidence in myself from working the AA program and listening to the rhetoric of the group that I was unable to stand on my own two feet. I was completely dependent on the program and fellowship. As someone who has disconnected from AA, I can look back and see what a shame this is. I see now that AA did not give me power but that it completely crippled me. I have not been living my own life but have been living the lives of others. I remember hearing how bad it was to move away from a persons AA group but never recall hearing anyone share about experiencing a move in which they drank. Members would share that if an alcoholic were to move away from their group they would drink. They would even share that subconciously it was probably an underlying reason for the move. Remember, the great obsession of every alcoholic is to drink normally.

Another factor that plays into the AA’s management of the geographic move is the God implication. Whether implied or by direction the AA seems to rely heavily on the notion that God will do for the alcoholic what he cannot do for himself. Live and let live and let go and let God would seem to directly conflict with any sponsors direction regarding a geographic change, unless of course the AA sponsor is a direct channel from God.

Bottom line; what business does any AA have meddling with the personal life choices and goals of anyone who wanders in their door?  Have you been incapacitated by a sponsor who told you not to make a geographic change?  Were you pressured to stay in your community?  This may be the place to talk about it and share opposing viewpoints so that those who are still crippled by AA can gain insight and make their own decisions.

AA is not cult – but its members are my gods!

Ruth Fowler wrote a piece for The Fix busting some supposed 12-step myths. I’ve gotta say with this and another mythbusting piece they published, The Fix has done the worst job of busting myths that I’ve ever seen. Most of their myths are simply strawmen, or the discussion which follows the “myth” either confirms it or has nothing to do with it!

Fowler’s first few myths have to do with the suggestion that AA is a cult – which makes this excerpt all the more hilarious:

But many AA-ers are non-believers. It’s perfectly acceptable *not* to believe in God. It’s perfectly acceptable *not* to hand your life over to Him. I always understood this step to mean: I came to AA a total mess, and I needed to be willing to take the suggestion of everyone around me and have enough faith to trust that things will get better so I can piece my life back together. These people became my quasi-gods, and their advice became my commandments, if you will. And I kind of liked them more because they were real, flawed, screwed-up human beings, not a big old bearded man in the sky. It’s okay not to “get” God.

I couldn’t begin to pick apart everything that’s wrong with this article – so maybe you guys should check it out and report back with your favorite quotes.  I almost think it’s supposed to be a humor piece for Mcsweeny’s.  It makes me wonder why people like this are in AA at all when they claim their interpretations of the program are so different than what is clearly stated by AA literature, experts, and members everywhere.

For a good laugh, check out the full article: 12 Steps To The 12 Steps

Also, I hesitate to mention this, but a commenter on the article going by a name we all know too well ironically posted a link to Rational Recovery.

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.

UPDATE:

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

Quote of the Day

“I have not used the term “dry drunk” since I left AA and one of my (former) AA comrades accosted me in the grocery store and accused me of being one. Right there in the produce section! To her, my actual state of mind and health was unimportant: the only thing that mattered was that I had left the program, and to her, that equated with drinking. Since I was physically sober, that had to mean I was a “dry drunk”.

The term COULD be useful if it was uniformly used to describe a person who is not drinking, but is still exhibiting some of the behaviors of someone who is actively addicted to alcohol. However, as long as it continues to be used as a pejorative term, applied by AA members to outsiders, it is of dubious utility.”

– “onlythetruth“; a former AA in a thread about the term “dry drunk,” sharing his/her experience with a current member of the fellowship after leaving AA.

Quote of the Day

“…drinking or drug use is inevitable unless the person stays in meetings until the insanity stops….”

Ben Brown, an AA who is still going to meetings after 40 years, commenting on how there is not exit strategy in AA.

Quote of the Day

“One of my favorite Bill Wilson stories (according to biographer Susan Cheever.)

On his death bed, Wilson threatened his attendants to give him a shots of whiskey.

The lessons: Even 36 years of AA won’t knock the alcoholism out of me. Alcoholism will never leave me . I have but a daily reprieve based on my spiritual condition.”

tomvlll, an AA.

Quote of the Day

“And that is a shame that some would spend their time in futile resentment trying to mislabel AA as some religious cult. I have seen some others ex-AA’ers with the same vendetta trying to sway others with their copy and paste twisting meanings. Most of them anti-God Christian hating atheists authors trying to mock AA’ers as brainwashed people when that is the farthest from the truth….”

Nite Byrd, an AA, commenting on this post made about the term “Dry Drunk.”

(I posted the link to a frozen page because I have no doubt the original thread and the link to our site might soon be deleted.)

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?

Quote of the Day: “Gary”

“They told me to stick with the winners, to get involved in service, to help other alcoholics, to feel part of the fellowship and stop saying ‘me and them’ but think about ‘we’ or ‘us’. AA is a part of me now. It gave me life, a happy, sober life, a reason to keep going. That is why I am a happy person today: I am alive….”

– “Gary,” an AA, parroting the clichèd, cultish nonsense that he has been conditioned to believe in this puff piece from The Independent. Poor bastard.

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!