Posts tagged mind control

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

Quote(s) of the Day

“Well, I have been called a Big Book Thumper. I take it as a compliment.

However do not refer to me as a Big Book Nazi or a step nazi. I find it offensive that anyone would associate something that is about love and service with something that is perhaps the greatest smear on the face of humanity in history. AA members that refer to fellow members in that fashion are an indication of the sickness that permeates our fellowship. I don’t look down on these people. Like Dr. Bob, I feel sorry for them. They are the walking dead, all that is missing are the tags on their toes.”
Jim; a Big Book Nazi

“I thank Heaven for a man like Adolf Hitler, who built a front line of defense against the anti-Christ of Communism”
– Frank Buchman; leader of the Oxford Group, from which AA is derived.

Back to Baclofen

Here is an article from The Guardian on Dr. Olivier Ameisen and baclofen: “The little pill that could cure alcoholism”. From the article:

“It’s not that there is much argument over how baclofen might work. Recent advances in brain imaging have increased knowledge of the function of the pleasure and reward systems, and suggested that addiction interferes with the balance of the neurotransmitters dopamine, glutamate and gamma- aminobutyric acid (GABA). “What baclofen does is stimulate the GABA-B receptors, and you see the release of dopamine and glutamate is slowed, so the reward system is normalised,” says Ameisen. It is even widely accepted that baclofen in low doses treats withdrawal from alcoholism, though no more effectively than several other medications. What proved more controversial was Ameisen’s theory of the “threshold dose”, which he says is “needed to break the cycle of addictive craving, preoccupation and obsessive thoughts” and which moves baclofen from treatment to cure.”

A couple of years ago, Scientific American ran a series of stories on “self-experimenters”, including this one on Dr. Ambeisen. There is good information in the story. We have also written here before about Dr. Ambeisen and his use of baclofen to treat himself. What is as interesting as the story itself, is the comment section. There are a couple of nice snippets of AA dogma, including this gem below, which I thought I would highlight for those in need of a daily chuckle:

“It is regretable [sic] that AA did not work for this man. From my experience, he could not get out of self long enough to let it. Ego is the main target of alcoholismn [sic] and and the only remeidy [sic] I have ever seen is true spiritualism. Unfortunately, you have to get out of self long enough to gain the proverbal [sic] high ground perspective of spiritual intervention. I guess this is the reason that AA is not for everyone. Some sorry souls are so wound up with self, they cannot alter their perspectives, even momentarily. I feel very sadened [sic] for this man and can only think of the quote, “heal thy self physician.” This must be true for anyone who will not let God do it.”

_____________________________________________________

We are often asked to post alternatives to AA, or what our opinion is in terms of treating  addiction, beyond simply quitting. My opinion of using baclofen to treat alcohol addiction is no different than it is of naltrexone, campral,  CBT or any other treatment option. Subject it to proper, scientific, peer reviewed research – and if it shows to be effective in treating addiction, it should be looked at as a possibility for treatment. If it is unwilling to subject itself to the scientific method, and is unwilling to change or improve upon itself (as is the case with AA); or, if it has shown itself to be ineffective by objective research (also AA and Twelve Step Facilitation) – then it is most likely snake oil.

I have no idea whether or not baclofen is an effective treatment for alcoholism. I read Dr. Ambeisen’s book, and would recommend it to anyone interested in the subject of addiction recovery. My guess is that it most likely is effective, but my opinion is not what matters, which is the beauty of science. What does matter is what the science says, and there is currently research being done on the effectiveness of baclofen, including a study at the University of North Carolina on the use of baclofen in conjunction with naltrexone. These are controlled, double-blind studies on which science thrives, and AA avoids like the plague.

Another AA Sexual Assault

Here is a story out of Winnipeg about an AA whose character flaws include raping and beating women. His first victim was his ex-wife, who he met at an AA meeting. Naturally, AA welcomed him back with open arms. The second victim was another woman he had 13th stepped in AA and started dating, and though they had stopped dating, she remained his friend, and drove to his home to help him when he phoned her in a drunker stupor. She was met with this:

The man put duct tape over her face, bound her hands and legs together and then sodomized her. He also demanded she call her 18-year-old daughter to come over so he could sexually assault her while she watched. She was repeatedly beaten when she refused. The man also threatened to hit her with a lead pipe.

I wonder why this woman’s higher power™, an all-knowing AA god who was kind  enough to take away her shortcomings and keep her sober, would not keep her out of harms way by advising her not to show up at this guy’s home to help him in the first place.

Ask a true AA believer, and you will be told this guy was obviously not working the program correctly, or he would not have been drunk in the first place. Or, maybe he was not a real alcoholic, as the steps only work for real alcoholics. What I wonder is why his higher power™, who was standing idly by, waiting for him to really start working those steps properly, would not step in and intervene in this situation. It seems like if He (the higher power) were going to allow this guy to victimize a person, He would have forced this AA to grab a bat or a baton and sodomize himself. Now that would be a higher power™ I could believe in.

Quote of the Day

“Bill W was a modern day prophet sent to us from God.

I cant believe the terrible things that are said on this site.

Shame on you all.”

Murray, an AA, commenting on this blog

Quote of the Day

“I have to say I had a few experiences that were VERY questionable, but the one that took the cake was taking a sponsee through a fifth step. She shared she was afraid to go back to meetings because she had shown up very drunk for a meeting, shared that she needed a safe ride home and was taken home by an “old timer” and fucked.

Months later, he sat on sex and dating panels at our young people’s conference. His friends knew what he was doing and never called him out. People nodded when he spoke in meetings and told him he was so insightful. And he was full of shit.

I’m now about 9 months into AA “deprogramming” and have completely flipped my life. Lost friends, new social scene, new habits – It’s shitty, but I’m finally being genuine. I can love myself, question what people tell me, and know that I never was an alcoholic.”

- “Skye”, former AA and reader of this blog, commenting on an article about predators in AA

AAmwaying the Alcoholic

Yesterday, one our readers wrote:

“As to “corporate AA”, I think it would be hard for me to care less than I do. I tried Amway about 15 years ago and ditched it when it became apparent that it wasn’t about selling soap; it’s about getting other people to sell soap for you. The analogy breaks down at that point because I don’t see a significant money trail in AA, but again, I don’t really care. The only money I’m expected to put into AA is the 50 cents in the piggy bank if I want a cup of coffee.

In my experience, AA meetings are a place where I can be with people who used to be desperately sad, hope-less drinkers who couldn’t stop their self-destructive behavior. And now we aren’t like that any more. And some poor schlub who is *now* where I was *then* might ask me how I got from there to here, and I can tell him.”

We appreciate the comment, and sincerity and thoughtfulness with which it was written. I wanted to highlight it, because I know that Amway has been compared to a cult, much like with AA. Cult expert Steve Hassan does not have Amway categorized as a cult (nor does he label AA a cult), but he does believe there are disturbing practices, and he shows how it fits into his BITE model. Like AA, it doesn’t meet all of the criteria, but it does meet most. Read through Hassan’s description of Amway, and see if you find any similarities.

I thought it would be interesting to compare Amway to AA, and in the process I found this analysis of Amway as a cult, written by a former Amway distributor. This person uses the criteria of a destructive cult, set by Robert Lifton. It is plain scary how similar the groups are to one another. Below I’ve taken some relevant parts of this analysis to compare to the AA experience: Continue reading AAmwaying the Alcoholic

Quote of the Day

“Considering the chronic nature of alcoholism and the amazingly low rate of recovery using other methods God’s work in AA is inescapable.”

cknuck, an AA, who is responding to an article on alternative alcohol addiction treatments.

Stinkin' Thinkin' Pop Quiz

Hey kids! Get out your freshly sharpened no.2s and put on your thinking caps, because it’s time for the Stinkin’ Thinkin’ Pop Quiz!

Here are your instructions: Read over the passages below (redacted for anonymity – these edited parts will appear as “[...]”) and then answer the question underneath. Post your answers in the comments, and feel free to show your work. Googling does not count as work; it counts as cheating. When everyone puts their pencils down, I will post the answers, the full quotes, and the links so that you can verify the answers for yourselves. There will be a potty break in an hour. Continue reading Stinkin' Thinkin' Pop Quiz

Quote of the Day

“Our 1992 Survey showed that only 5% of newcomers to AA are still attending meetings after 12 months. This is a truly terrible statistic. Again we must ask ‘Where does the fault lie?'”

– Dr Ron Whitington, Chairman of AA Australia General Service Board
Comments made in AA Around Australia, Spring Edition, 1994; Commenting on a survey of more than 100 of Australia’s AA groups.