Posts tagged The Big Book

A little fun with an AA Crazy

Ben found this quote below from Rob B, an AA fundy and reader of our blog, over at “McGowdoghouse”, a blog set up for AAs to vent about this blog, and  how they don’t care about this blog. In my experience with the 12-step fanatics, they are often emotional bullies who only feel comfortable within the insular world of AA, where their lunacy and manipulation of others goes unquestioned. AA is a collecting ground and a carnival for these insecure and sociopathic types, as it gives them unfettered access to those seeking help, who happen to be in an emotionally fragile state. Gaslighting, passive aggressiveness, shutdown statements, implications that if they are not working the steps, then they will be drinking, works well on these people seeking help from their addictions. On the occasions where they venture outside of the AA boundaries, where normal rules of discourse apply; and techniques like passive aggressiveness, ad hominem attacks and shut down slogans don’t work – they are at a loss, and respond like an angry child on a playground. They cannot understand that the dogma and manipulation tactics that they thrive on in AA, do not work for those of us not under the spell.

Reasoning with them or discussing their crazy belief system rationally does not work, because they are so brainwashed and jaded by the AA religion, that they cannot see how far-out crazy they have become. It’s like reasoning with a person who has schizophrenia, and trying to convince them the voices they hear in their head is not real. It’s a pointless exercise in futility. Sometimes I find myself feeling sorry for them. Then I realize what they are doing to people, and that feeling quickly goes away.

With that in mind, I thought it would be a good time to mock Rob B, in the best way I know how: by using his own words to make himself look like an ass. I thought it would be fun to include this quote, along with some of the “12 promises” of AA, which I have included in bold brackets:

…I figure they are just bored, or the most bitter vile pseudo intellectual folks I’ve ever seen.

I have been mixing it up with our good friends at ST, shame on me. There is no winning with these people, they don’t play by their own rules and have nothing to offer anyone. I would do well to steer clear of them, they really don’t know what they are talking about.

If MA or SPeedy were on fire, I’d be hard pressed to piss on them. [We will lose interest in selfish things and gain interest in our fellows] now if they wanted to recover from alcoholism, I could and would offer them something.

Funny thing about that site is that some of our biggest critics can’t stay sober, hmmmm, get back to me when you’ve found something.

Patrick [Mcgowdog],

I’m beginning to see where some of your anger and intensity comes from, [We will comprehend a new serenity/We will know peace] to [sic] bad this wasn’t real life, we could go over and kick their ass LOL. [We will intuitively know how to handle situations which used to baffle us] I hope they come over and cut and past this to suit their scripts. If any ST folks are reading this, I am kidding. If MA is reading this, with all the love I can muster go fuck yourself.

Treatment With A Bang

The founder of a California 12-step treatment facility has been arrested and charged with rape. Lance Glock, who owns the Johnson Sober Living House along with his wife, decided to take time away from her to have a sexual encounter with another AA:

The 27-year-old alleged victim was the only prosecution witness to testify at the preliminary hearing for Lance Glock, co-owner of Johnson Sober Living House.

The woman testified that in August she and Glock took a motorcycle ride into Azusa-Canyon, where she said he forced her to perform oral sex.

After leaving Azusa-Canyon on Glock’s motorcycle, the woman testified, Glock brought her to another one of his sober living homes in Azusa and raped her.

“I said, `No, you’re hurting me. Ouch. You’re hurting me. Stop,”‘ the woman said. “We think and we blame ourselves, but this is not my fault.”

The woman said she initially told the owner of a competing sober living home and another woman about the alleged rape during an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting in September.

Not knowing the facts of the case, I have no opinion as to whether this guy committed a crime or not, but I do know that at a minimum he abused his authority and status in AA in order to receive sex from an AA subordinate who was not his wife. Even if this is not rape, it is 13th stepping to the degree of which Bill Wilson would be proud. Of course, in true AA style, he paints a different picture of himself on his website:

“Lance believes a Sober Living community is an integral part of the process of recovery, and that sober living helped him to become a better person, teaching him compassion and concern for the well being of others. He says sober living houses offer viable, tangible solutions for homelessness, starvation, employment, and an opportunity to learn to care for the well being of others.”

This is standard AA nonsense, and this piece of shit – who boasts 23 years of being in Alcoholics Anonymous – is typical of the narcissistic jackasses who serve AA as old-timers and role models. The saddest part of this story is that it is not uncommon. I’d bet my dog that his isn’t the first time this asshole has done this sort of thing, but hopefully it will be the first time he is held accountable.

Quote of the Day

First off, if you don’t do the steps of course you go back out. Heck, if you don’t get a sponsor, and won’t do 90 in 90, and won’t do the steps, you were never in! How can you go back out? How can you relapse if you never attain?

When I was taken through the steps I was told that AA required constant and unending spiritual growth until I died. I was told that the character building never ends, and that I was responsible when a suffering alcoholic put out his hand for help. But much more than what I was told, it was what I was shown. My sponsor and his circle of friends were all in their late 60s, and they were 12 stepping machines. You could ask them any day what they were building in their character, and they could and did come right back with the answer of what they were working on.

My sponsor once drove through a hurricane to do a 12th step. Believe me, he wasn’t crazy, just willing. The person he went to told me that he arrived moments before the suicide. On the night he died my sponsor went out on a 12th step at 9pm, and died at 2pm. I might add that he died in his sleep, sober, serene, and loved by very many.

My sponsor was always taking people through the steps. When ever he made an assignment of any kind for a sponsee he went and did it again himself. He said he had seen too many old timers falling into telling people to do things they had long since stopped doing. This approach to serving and character building kept him constantly recycling the steps, and it caused him to apply AA principles in all his affairs.

To the best of my knowledge, all the people he sponsored are still sober. It is my intention to keep doing the actions he took, that kept him sober, and that gave him such a clean and serene end.

From a response posted yesterday on a year-old thread over at Friends of Bill called “relapse is ‘stinkin’-thinkin'”.

The original post is some bonus crazy:

We are speaking of those who are capable of being honest with themselves. Relapse is caused by a lack of spiritual development and we believe in a spiritual solution that recovery is completely and directly dependent on the integrity of the individuals spiritual program. It is not based on support groups from finite man, ((b) That probably no human power could have relieved our alcoholism..) but upon the individuals spiritual fitness- how well one “trust God, and cleans house”.

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.

My Short AA Experience

My Short AA Experience

by Samuel Ross 

I’m twenty-five years old and I have been an alcoholic and a drug addict for about five years.  I say I have been rather than I am because I do not believe these addictions are a disease that anyone must live with for the entirety of their life, regardless of what Alcoholics Anonymous indoctrinates its followers with.  When I felt I had hit bottom about five weeks ago my initial plan of action for my recovery was to join the local AA group.  I did this with the most positive and open-minded intentions I could have had.

I made it very clear at the first meeting I attended that I was an agnostic would not do the God thing and I was told by other members not to worry about it and that the God thing is not necessary.  All that was required was that I had a desire to stop drinking.  I continued to attend twice a week, which is the amount of meetings held in this town each week, for about one month.  I was told by other members that my progress was going great and that I was doing the right things in my life.  I just felt I was living my life without my addictions and I was happy because I was doing more productive things and feeling great.  I was enjoying learning a new way of living my life. Continue reading My Short AA Experience

Quackwatch

I’ve been perusing quackwatch.org this morning, and in case any of you are not familiar with this site, I thought I’d direct you to it, and also highlight some interesting points. The site is like an enormously detailed PSA and consumer watchdog, focusing on quackery in all its forms (mostly the kind of quackery that is epitomized by the likes of Kevin Trudeau, people who are cynically exploiting vulnerable consumers and getting very rich in the process). Here is their detailed definition of the term “quackery.”

There are a couple of things I wanted to pull from this site, that I thought would be of interest. Continue reading Quackwatch

Chapter 6: Why it Doesn't Work

Here is another entry from Silky at Luv Drunk. These guys are very funny. Go see this site!

Chapter 6: Why it Doesn’t Work

Rarely have we seen a person fail who has thoroughly followed our crap (oops, I mean path). Those who do not recover are people who cannot or will not buy into our fallacious program. Usually men and women who know a few things about the sciences, rational thinking and have some common sense. There are such unfortunates; they are not at fault, they seem to have been born that way. They are naturally incapable of grasping and developing a manner of living which demands self delusion and adherence to erroneous ideas. Their chances are less than average. There are those too who suffer from grave emotional and mental disorders, but many do recover since they have no where else to go.

Our stories disclose in a general way what we used to be like, what happened and what we are like now. If you have decided you want to be like us and are willing to go to any absurd length to attain it, then you are willing to take certain steps. At some of these we balked and said “This is dumb, it obviously won’t work”. With all the earnestness at our command we beg of you to quit questioning us and take the cotton out of your ears and stick it in your mouth. Some of us tried to hold on to our old ideas but we had to discard them because they do not fit with the program. We had to let go absolutely.

Remember we are dealing with alcohol, a liquid substance which sits on a shelf or in someone’s fridge. Unless we drink it, it has no power whatsoever. But there is one who has all power, that one is God and he or she will prevent you from drinking it. Half measures availed us nothing, we stood at the turning point we asked his protection and care with complete abandon.

Here are the steps we strongly suggest as a program of recovery.

1. We admitted that we were powerless over alcohol and it can attack us at any time – that our lives are unmanageable (that means everyone).

2. Came to believe a power (whatever the heck you want) can prevent us from drinking and restore our sanity.

3. Made the decision to turn our will and lives to this power which was to our liking.

4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves which has nothing to do with drinking alcohol.

5. Admitted to God, to ourselves and to another human being why we screwed up and use “alcoholism” as an excuse.

6. Were entirely ready to have God remove our own screw-ups and make us grow halos over our heads.

7. Humbly asked him to remove our screw-ups which we caused in the first place.

8. Made a list of people we harmed in any way shape or form and became willing to fix the enormous damage that we caused due to our own screw-ups.

9. Called, emailed or instant messaged these people and made our apology.

10. Continued to see ourselves as screw-ups and alcoholics and this became our
identity.

11. Sought through prayer and meditation to make us chill out…

12. Having had a massive identity shift as the result of these steps, we carried this message to other alcoholics and practiced these principles everywhere we go.

Many of us exclaimed “Sounds pretty tough but I am willing to try anything at this point, do not be discouraged. Our success rate with this method is astronomical (about 5 or 10%). Remember we are definitely not saints (especially not Bill) we just believe in things which are incorrect. Just remember to keep that cotton in your mouth!

Our description of the alcoholic, the chapter to the agnostic and our personal screw-ups before and after made 3 things very clear:

A- That we are alcoholics always will be and cannot make rational decisions.

B -That no human power could change our mind about this.

C- That even God couldn’t change our minds about this either.

Yours Truly,
Silky

"It's in the book"

Bullshit slogan of the day:
It’s in the book

Translation – any answer to any question or objection can be settled with a quote from the ‘Big Book’. The ‘Big Book’ is the bible of AA, and its authority is unquestioned, which is baffling when one considers its origin. This is nothing more than a compilation of stories put together by a group of religious zealots with no scientific understanding of alcoholism, many of whom actually failed in their own sobriety. AAs study the book as though they are holy scriptures, no different than a group will study The Bible in Sunday school. It is considered infallable. The final word.

Step 12: Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

Any program where almost everybody fails is in need of an effective recruiting strategy in order for it to sustain any sort of growth. Walk into an AA Chapter that has been around awhile, and the room might look like a nice mix of a few old-timers, some people who have been sober for two or four or six years, and a larger percentage of people who are fairly new to the group. This is deceptive, and when an AAer says that they know the program works because they have seen too many people in their meetings, who have been sober for too many years for it not to be effective, then that person is most likely telling you the truth. Or, should I say, the truth as they see it. The problem is, they either have no understanding of basic statistics, or they have not made an effort to run the numbers.

To fully understand this, all one has to do is imagine a chapter that has been newly formed, that consists of 100 brand new members. Within three months, half will disappear; after six months three-quarters are gone; and after one year there is only five left standing. (source:aa_triennial_survey) There are three ways of keeping the rooms full to replace so many dropouts: one way of filling the rooms is with court ordered attendees, but is actually a small percentage of AAs; the other is to feed them in from 12-step rehab clinics; and the other is to use manipulative recruiting and retention tactics. The third way is how AAers utilize step twelve, and they do so with instructions right out of The Big Book that would serve Amway proud. Like Amway, AA instructs their members to be deceptive about the nature of the organization:

When dealing with such a person, you had better use everyday language to describe spiritual principles. There is no use arousing any prejudice he may have against certain theological terms and conceptions about which he may already be confused. Don’t raise such issues, no matter what your own convictions are.” The Big Book, Chapter 7

There is another curious quote from Chapter 7 of The Big Book that demonstrates AA doublespeak – “Let him see that you are not there to instruct him in religion”. Why would this be part of the recruiting instructions if this was not religion? Why not also instruct the AAer to tell the prospect they aren’t there to instruct him on football or weaving or politics? It specifically tells them to deny it is religion, and the reason is because it is religion, and that will be an obvious objection. The instructions continue:

Do not be discouraged if your prospect does not respond at once. Search out another alcoholic and try again. You are sure to find someone desperate enough to accept with eagerness what you offer.” The Big Book, Chapter 7

How do they reconcile the the above with their 11th Tradition that states that AA is a program of attraction, and not promotion? They don’t. It’s just another contradiction with the big contradiction, which is AA.

Orange Papers on the deceptive recruiting tactics.

The Big Book, Chapter 7  Working With Others

"There is no chemical solution to a spiritual problem"

Bullshit slogan of the day:
“There is no chemical solution to a spiritual problem.”

This is one of AA’s more ironic clichés. They profess alcoholism to be a disease, and then go about treating it as a moral failing. The Big Book was written in 1939, and since that time science has improved the treatment, or found cures, for just about every imaginable disease. Treatment for alcohol addiction is the lone exception, because it is the only disease where the primary means of treating has been a spiritual means. It is also the only form of treatment where those in charge are not interested in advancing and refining the status quo. This is understandable, because only science changes with greater understanding – religion does not.

The use of any prescription drug is frowned upon by hardcore AAs, who will tell a person that they are simply replacing one drug for another. Although there is a percentage of AAs who continue to take their prescribed medications, many are talked into giving up on their medication against medical advice. This might make little sense to those looking in at this from the outside, but for those within the bubble of AA (and those who have been there), it makes perfect sense. Once a person has gone through a proper amount of conditioning through Big Book study, 90 meetings in 90 days, following the teachings of a sponsor with no counseling qualifications and having the idea that the steps are infallible if a person simply “works them” – any questioning of the dogma (and yes, relying on means of recovery other than the steps is a form of questioning) is tantamount to heresy. There is a reason AAs are told not to think, and it is because reliance on an invisible higher power to rid them of their addiction makes as much rational sense as faith healing.

There are obviously psychological reasons for alcohol abuse, and there are certainly psychological consequences to it, as well. Those should not be discounted, but to say that alcoholism is not largely – and perhaps mostly – a chemical problem is ignorant. There are correlations between certain ethnic groups or within families, and alcoholism – and though we don’t necessarily know the specific cause of each of these, we won’t get closer to that cause if we simply acquiesce to the idea that entire populations of people have a collective character flaw. Native Americans have the highest percentage of alcohol abuse, but to say they are more morally flawed than other groups is as absurd as saying that Jews are cheap and black people are lazy. Yet, the approach that AA takes with their group that meets on the Native reserve ten miles from my home, is to tell them it is their moral failings, not their body chemistry, that are the culprit.
complimentary-medicine-cartoon1
The operative word in understanding this cliché is the word “problem”. I have often heard that the first step is the most important, because without it, the other steps are meaningless. I agree with this. The need to quit drinking is the nexus of Alcoholics Anonymous. Without it, AA would be…well, the Oxford Group. So, alcohol addiction brings people there, and brings them back when they fall off of the wagon. It is the one commonality all members have, and it is also an ingenious tool to bring people into a cult. Most alcoholics, like myself, won’t address our problem until it has had a negative affect on our lives. We arrive to AA already compromised, at least some degree, so half the battle in turning a person over to the beliefs of the group are already won when a person walks in the door to their first meeting. There is no need for tactics like starvation or sleep depravation to help beat a recruit down, as many have likely done that to themselves already. The first step becomes the easiest, but after it is accepted, it becomes an afterthought, because drinking is not the “problem”, and step one is the only one that mentions the word “drinking”. The problem, and the primary objective of the group, rests in the next ten steps.

Bill Wilson discovered this almost by accident, as his original objective in joining the Oxford Group was a religious one. His motive was to adhere to the tenets of the group to rid himself of his moral failings and defects of character, and alcoholism just happened to be one of his. It also happened to be the failing that others within the group had, and like minds tend to gravitate toward each other. Alcohol addiction may have been their common trait, but recovery from that addiction was not their primary purpose. It was simply their moral failing of choice, their best recruiting tool, and the catalyst that morphed their branch of the Oxford Group into Alcoholics Anonymous.

The AA of today is no different, and though alcoholism is what brings people through the door, it is considered by those who run the show to be a symptom of the primary disease – that being original sin. Alcoholism is simply a symptom of our inherent moral failings, and treating the symptom is analogous to suppressing a cough and believing that it cures the flu. There is a cousin to this saying: “take the alcohol out of the asshole, you still have an asshole”. I think they should change AA to mean Assholes Anonymous. It just seems more fitting.