I’ve seen a number of examinations of whether AA is a cult or not, with each using criteria set by various cult experts. This one is a pretty good explanation, and I thought it was a good time to post it here, because we have recently had some feedback telling us why AA is not a cult, using such reasoning as “a person is free to leave whenever they like” or “if we were brainwashed, we would all think exactly alike”.
One trend I have noticed on our blog is AAs never rarely respond to posts such as this, and when they do so, it is with a “that is all bullshit” type of answer. I would love to hear some feedback from some of our AAs on the specific points of this article.
Is Alcoholics Anonymous a Cult? An Old Question Revisited
L. Allen Ragels
The “alcoholism cult.” That’s what Sheldon Bacon, for many years the director of the Rutgers Center for Alcohol Studies, called overly avid supporters of Alcoholics Anonymous. Alcoholics Anonymous – AA as it is generally known – was started in the 1930s as a spinoff from the Oxford Group, a religious movement whose ideas were sometimes alleged to help chronic drinkers. With the aid and approval of key members of the power elite such as John D. Rockefeller, Jr., AA grew from an obscure idea to what many have come to regard as a national treasure: society’s premier (practically only) way of treating alcohol, drug, and related addiction problems. By now, AA certainly must have more than a million members, with groups organized in virtually every city, town, and village, along with numerous foreign countries. Moreover, AA’s core doctrine, the famous Twelve Steps, has been adopted by hundreds of parallel organizations with programs that address problems such as gambling, overeating, emotional troubles, and related family issues. Without question, AA and the Twelve Steps are among America’s most well known and revered institutions. Continue reading An Examination of the Cult Aspects of Alcoholics Anonymous