Most of our experiences are what the psychologist William James [in his book The Varieties of Religious Experience ] calls the "educational variety" because they develop slowly over a period of time. So you can get a sudden, dramatic religious experience, or a slow gradual religious experience, but you must get one. Bill Wilson declared that only by doing what God dictates, as he saw an authoritarian patriarchal God dictating, will you be able to avoid death by alcoholism: "Follow the dictates of a Higher Power and you will presently live in a new and wonderful world We are not cured of alcoholism.
What we really have is a daily reprieve contingent on the maintenance of our spiritual condition. Every day is a day when we must carry the vision of God's will into all of our activities. And then, finally, Bill Wilson declared that the real purpose of his program was to get people to "seek and do God's will" every day: At the moment we are trying to put our lives in order.
But the only way that Bill wanted to "be of service" to other people was to convert them to his A. He performed no other "services" for people, because: The minute we put our work on a service plane, the alcoholic commences to rely upon our assistance rather than upon God. So don't help the alcoholics, and don't perform any services for them. Bill says that they must learn to rely on God. You know, that is really heartless spiritual one-upmanship.
Buchmanism is such an evil religion. Tell a cold and hungry homeless person, "I'm not going to give you any money or food or even a cup of coffee because you must learn to rely on God. Does God hand out sandwiches and cups of coffee to the homeless? Some Alcoholics Anonymous members are such extreme religious fundamentalists that they want you on your knees, praying to God, at least once — preferably twice — every day. The slogan is: If you don't bend your knees, you'll bend your elbow. And the poem is: The Camel The camel each day goes twice to his knees; He picks up his load with the greatest of ease; He goes through the day with his head held high; And he stays for that day completely dry.
The apologists for Alcoholics Anonymous constantly yammer the slogan that A. They have a clearly-defined "God" or "Higher Power". They have a holy book that says what that "God" will or will not do, and what that God wants you to do. Their holy book declares that you must convert to Bill Wilson's religion , or else. They have a clearly-defined "way of life" for you, and a book that gives the commandments that you MUST follow, or else, like You must confess "admit" that you are "powerless over alcohol". You must "come to believe".
You must attend lots and lots of their religious ceremonies. You must label yourself an "alcoholic". Then they will teach you what a bad person "an alcoholic" really is. You must list and confess all of your sins. You must surrender control of your life and your will to "God" or your sponsor or the A. You must go recruiting and get the religion more converts. It's called "12th-Step work". You must repeatedly, endlessly, perform all of the other commandments "Steps" , or else "God" will become very angry with you and will torture you to death with alcohol poisoning.
On the bright side, their holy book also declares that if you please "God" by being a proper member of Bill's religion, that "God" will give you a "miracle" and your alcohol problem will suddenly cease to exist. And how well does that proselytizing work? So, practicing these Steps, we had a spiritual awakening about which finally there was no question. Looking at those who were only beginning and still doubting themselves, the rest of us were able to see the change setting in. From great numbers of such experiences, we could predict that the doubter who still claimed that he hadn't got the "spiritual angle," and who still considered his well-loved A.
Bait and Switch: First, Alcoholics Anonymous is not a religion, but then it is better than all of the other religions. First, Bill Wilson declared, Alcoholics Anonymous is not a religious organization. However: The 12 Steps mention God, directly or indirectly, in 6 of the 12 steps. The Ten Commandments of Judeo-Christian religions mention God fewer times than that — only 4 or 5 of the 10 commandments refer to God, directly or indirectly 1 — but the A.
Bill Wilson declared that the real purpose of the A. To some people we need not, and probably should not emphasize the spiritual feature on our first approach. We might prejudice them. At the moment we are trying to put our lives in order. Our real purpose is to fit ourselves to be of maximum service to God Wilson, Chapter 6, Into Action , pages But then, an enthusiastic convert bragged in the Big Book that A.
The Big Book , 3rd Edition, page Maxwell quoted another A. Maxwell, Ph. And other A. Notice the contradiction: The Alcoholics Anonymous true believers brag that A. In the A. Bill instructed the recruiters to deal with people who had strong religious convictions this way: Your prospect may belong to a religious denomination. His religious education and training may be far superior to yours.
In that case he is going to wonder how you can add anything to what he already knows. But he well be curious to learn why his own convictions have not worked and why yours seem to work so well. He may be an example of the truth that faith alone is insufficient. To be vital, faith must be accompanied by self sacrifice and unselfish, constructive action. Let him see that you are not there to instruct him in religion. Admit that he probably knows more about it than you do, but call to his attention the fact that however deep his faith and knowledge, he could not have applied it or he would not drink.
Wilson is teaching deceptive mind games again: First, claim that you are not there to instruct him in religion. Second, display some false humility to flatter him and win his trust. Tell him that he knows more about religion than you do. Third, assert that his drinking problems prove that his religious beliefs and faith are inferior to those of the A. And induce some guilt with this mind game: "He could not have applied [his faith and religious knowledge] or he would not drink. Similarly, first, "A. And A. Everyone has to find their own way.
Wilson, Foreword , page xxi. That's another bait-and-switch trick. Bill continued: If he thinks he can do the job some other way, or prefers some other spiritual approach, encourage him to follow his own conscience. We have no monopoly on God; we merely have an approach that worked with us. But point out that we alcoholics have much in common and that you would like, in any case, to be friendly. Let it go at that. Our book is meant to be suggestive only. We realize we know only a little. Wilson, A Vision For You , page Perhaps you are not quite in sympathy with the approach we suggest.
By no means do we offer it as the last word on this subject It would be a product of false pride to claim that A. Wilson, published by A. But then Bill wrote: Any willing newcomer feels sure A. For most cases, there is virtually no other solution. The AA member has to conform to the principles of recovery. His life actually depends upon obedience to spiritual principles. If he deviates too far, the penalty is sure and swift; he sickens and dies.
At first he goes along because he must, but later he discovers a way of life he really wants to live. Moreover, he finds he cannot keep this priceless gift unless he gives it away. Neither he nor anybody else can survive unless he carries the AA message.
Wilson, Tradition One, pg. If we skip this vital step, we may not overcome drinking. Time after time newcomers have tried to keep to themselves certain facts about their lives. Trying to avoid this humbling experience, they have turned to easier methods. Almost invariably they got drunk. Big Book , 3rd Edition, William G. You must confess everything to man and God. For if an alcoholic failed to perfect and enlarge his spiritual life through work and self-sacrifice for others, he could not survive the certain trials and low spots ahead.
If he did not work, he would surely drink again, and if he drank, he would surely die. Then faith would be dead indeed. With us it is just like that. At first some of us tried to avoid the issue, hoping against hope we were not true alcoholics. But after a while we had to face the fact that we must find a spiritual basis of life — or else. Finally, Bill Wilson wrote that you must do all of Bill Wilson's Twelve Steps all of the time, or else you are "signing your own death warrant".
Unless each A. His drunkenness and dissolution are not penalties inflicted by people in authority; they result from his personal disobedience to spiritual principles [Bill Wilson's cult religion practices]. And the Table of Contents in the same book declares: Absence of coercion works because unless each AA follows suggested steps to recovery, he signs his own death warrant. Likewise, the A. And the Big Book also says Bill Wilson's recruiting manual in chapter 7 of the Big Book says: We find it a waste of time to keep chasing a man who cannot or will not work with you.
To spend too much time on any one situation is to deny some other alcoholic an opportunity to live and be happy. Wilson, chapter 7, "Working With Others", page So if you don't get around to recruiting an alcoholic into Alcoholics Anonymous, he won't be able to live and be happy. And other pro-A. Our abnormality compels us to go to AA We all go because we need to. Because the alternative is drastic, either A. These statements come from more A. In fact, it is widely believed that not including a Twelve-Step program in a treatment plan can put a recovering addict on the road to relapse.
The Recovery Book , Al J. Mooney M. So, "it is widely believed" that A. Widely believed by whom? That is the propaganda trick of using the passive voice , where things get done by some invisible unnamed people. It's just like "Everybody knows that the world is flat. The statement that "One way or another Alcoholics Anonymous AA or a similar Twelve-Step program is an integral part of almost all successful recoveries from alcohol or drug abuse" is nothing but a blatant lie. Even a simple examination of the facts reveals that A. Using the criteria for alcohol dependence found in the DSM-IV, they found: "About 75 percent of persons who recover from alcohol dependence do so without seeking any kind of help, including specialty alcohol rehab programs and AA.
Prayers for Healing
Only 13 percent of people with alcohol dependence ever receive specialty alcohol treatment. Telling newcomers one thing, and then changing the story later, is called "deceptive recruiting" and "bait-and-switch" selling. For more on A. Again, first A. If he thinks he can do the job some other way, or prefers some other spiritual approach, encourage him to follow his own conscience.
But then they insist that if someone leaves A. Further, many people who enter [A. An example is a parent who drinks too much and makes a fool out of themselves at the PTA meeting — then goes to AA for a couple months to atone for their blunder. Another is the celebrity who crashes their car or ruins a movie because of their substance abuse then attends meetings for a while.
These people can then leave AA and refrain from drinking all by themselves, and they do this with ease, because they were never really alcoholic in the first place That is of course The Real Scotsman logical fallacy. It works like this: Smith: No alcoholic can quit drinking without A. Jones: But look at Terry there.
He quit drinking without A. Smith: Ah, but he wasn't a real alcoholic. If he was a real alcoholic , he wouldn't have been able to quit without A. Page 59 of the Big Book says: Here are the steps we took, which are suggested as a program of recovery Wilson, chapter 5, How It Works , page But then they will tell you that you must do all of Bill Wilson's Twelve Steps all of the time, or else you will die — that you are "signing your own death warrant " if you don't work Bill's 12 steps.
Notice how, in the following quote, the first two sentences tell you that you don't have to do the 12 Steps, but then the third sentence says that you do. Bait and Switch. The Twelve Steps constitute a suggested program of recovery. The Steps are prefaced with "Here are the steps we took" not "Here are the steps you must take.
Milton A. It's often said that the steps are "suggested" in the same way as when you jump out of an airplane wearing a parachute, it is "suggested" that you pull the ripcord. This story from an A. In this and other ways, the meaning of the word "suggested" is perverted: I remember my sponsor's answer when I told him that the Steps were "suggested. He pointed out that it was "suggested" I practice the Twelve Steps, if I wanted to save my life.
So I try to remember daily that I have a whole program of recovery based on all Twelve of the "suggested" Steps. So when A. I'm only suggesting that you do some things for us. Vinnie and the boys will just pay you a little visit tonight, and make you an offer that you can't refuse And: We are convinced that a spiritual mode of living is a most powerful health restorative. We, who have recovered from serious drinking, are miracles of mental health. But we have seen remarkable transformations in our bodies.
Hardly one of our crowd now shows any mark of dissipation. But this does not mean that we disregard human health measures. God has abundantly supplied this world with fine doctors, psychologists, and practitioners of various kinds. Do not hesitate to take your health problems to such persons. Most of them give freely of themselves, that their fellows may enjoy sound minds and bodies. Try to remember that though God has wrought miracles among us, we should never belittle a good doctor or psychiatrist.
Their services are often indispensable in treating a newcomer and in following his case afterward. Wilson, The Family Afterward , page You've got to be kidding.
Talk about denial. Bill Wilson was a raving lunatic who obviously suffered from delusions of grandeur and a narcissistic personality disorder and chronic clinical depression , and his psychiatrist, Dr. Harry Tiebout, told him so. Denial isn't just a river in Egypt.
And you can't trust the word of a doctor because they won't tell you the truth: Doctors are rightly loath to tell alcoholic patients the whole story unless it will serve some good purpose. Isn't warning the patient that he is going to die if he keeps on drinking alcohol "serving some good purpose"?
That's what my doctor did for me. And then the Big Book prints a story where a newcomer read the Big Book and concluded: Here was a book that said that I could do something that all these doctors and priests and ministers and psychiatrists that I'd been going to for years couldn't do! And Bill Wilson, while pretending to be the wife of an A. He has been placed in one institution after another.
He is violent, or appears definitely insane when drunk. Sometimes he drinks on the way home from the hospital. Perhaps he has had delirium tremens. Doctors may shake their heads and advise you to have him committed. Maybe you have already been obliged to put him away. This picture may not be as dark as it looks.
Many of our husbands were just as far gone. Yet they got well. And a doctor who went to his first A. And how does meeting with the butcher, the baker, and the carpenter "make a man out of you"? What kind of manhood do you get from the local drunkards? A common A. Likewise an A. And see the list of A. Bait and Switch: First, they will tell you that you can do it your way. Then they tell you that you must do it their way. Likewise, first they will tell you that you have a free choice in how to work the program, and then they tell you that you have no choice, and must do it their way, or else your fate will be "Jails, Institutions, or Death".
First, they will tell you that you can "Take what you want, and leave the rest" , but soon that will morph into: "You aren't qualified to judge what you should take — your brain is messed up from alcohol, "Your Best Thinking Got You Here" , and it's too early in your recovery for you to start being creative — so you should just do what your sponsor says, and Keep Coming Back! When did this place become a cafeteria? Notice how "the A. That is the propaganda trick of False Equality — claim that two different things are just the same thing. Anthony, Likewise, a rehash of the Big Book that is aimed at youths says, She admitted that her way wasn't working and became willing to try someone else's way.
And then Bill Wilson declared that you do not even have " the right to decide all by yourself just what you shall think and just how you shall act. So you don't even have the right to design your own recovery program. Just shut up and do what your sponsor says — "Take the cotton out of your ears and put it in your mouth. Don't try to change the program. As I told you this had been a six-step program then. The idea came to me, well, we need a definite statement of concrete principles that these drunks can't wiggle out of.
There can't be any wiggling out of this deal at all and this six-step program had two big gaps which people wiggled out of. He felt that he was entitled to write "spiritual" contracts that other people couldn't get out of. And again, the 12 Steps are practices , not "principles". Finally, the real kicker was Bill Wilson declaring that A. There wasn't a hint of freedom left there. Bait and Switch: First, they will tell you that you can "Take what you want, and leave the rest. Again, first you get a come-on that promises freedom. But later you will hear exhortations to work a strong program exactly as your sponsor tells you to do it, or exactly as described in the Big Book.
Some sponsors tell a story about how they tried to make some strawberry shortcake by only taking the parts of the recipe that they liked, and leaving the rest out. The result was terrible shortcake. So the moral of the story is that you must follow the Step recipe exactly as it is given to you.
Another version of this story is: Some oldtimer will sagely tell a story about trying to make a chocolate cake from his aunt's recipe, except that he decided to do it his own way and only use some of the ingredients — and the result was a terrible cake. The moral is that you must work all of the Steps, all of the time, and do the entire A. They didn't, really. Half of the original A. Then another condescending sponsor will parrot the slogan, "It's too early in your recovery for you to start being creative.
You will get the standard cult routine of No Exit "You can't leave, because if you do, you will relapse and die drunk. It is a way of life, and the challenge contained in its principles is great enough to keep any human being striving for as long as he lives. We do not, cannot, out-grow this plan. Big Book , 3rd Edition, Sylvia K. In conclusion, I can only say that whatever growth or understanding has come to me, I have no wish to graduate. Very rarely do I miss the meetings of my neighborhood A.
Bait and Switch: First, alcoholics are charming, and then they are disgusting. They had that certain something that seemed to glow, a peace and a serenity combined with happiness. Bill Wilson also wrote: Truly did a clergyman say to me, "Your misfortune has become your good fortune. You A. Way of Life In his own story of alcoholism and joining A. The reason is that I consider the AA people to be the most charming in the world.
I can name a few reasons. The AA people are what they are, and they were what they were, because they are sensitive, imaginative, possessed of a sense of humor and an awareness of universal truth. They are sensitive, which means they hurt easily, and that helped them become alcoholics. But when they have found their restoration, they are still as sensitive as ever — responsive to beauty and truth, and eager about the intangible glories of this life. That makes them charming companions. And they are possessed of a sense of universal truth that is often a new thing in their hearts.
The fact that this at-one feeling with God's universe had never been awakened in them is sometimes the reason why they drank. Stand with them when the meeting is over, and listen as they say the 'Our Father. And that gives them a charm that never was elsewhere on land and sea. Some of them drank to flog their imaginations on to greater things.
Others guzzled only to black out unendurable visions that rose in their imaginations. But when they have found their restoration, their imagination is responsive to new thinking, and their talk abounds with color and light. And that, too, makes them charming companions. Even in their cups they have been known to say damnably funny things. Often, it was being forced to take seriously the little and mean things of life that made them seek escape in the bottle. But when they have found their restoration, their sense of humor finds a blessed freedom, and they are able to reach a god-like state, where they can laugh at themselves — at the very height of self-conquest.
Where Did Everybody Go? Alcoholics are the most charming people in the world? Alcoholics Anonymous members reach a god-like state? Good grief. This is raving lunacy. But then Bill Wilson pulls the switch, and suddenly the alcoholics are all so bad that they seem to be the spawn of Satan: An alcoholic in his cups is an unlovely creature.
Wilson, 3rd and 4th Editions, page Alcoholics especially should be able to see that instinct run wild in themselves is the underlying cause of their destructive drinking. This perverse soul-sickness is not pleasant to look upon. Few people have been victimized by resentments more than alcoholics. Then Bill Wilson used the "Preacher's We" propaganda trick to rave about how bad "we" are: We alcoholics are the biggest rationalizers in the world. The A. We want to find exactly how, when, and where, our natural desires have warped us. But it is from our twisted relations with family, friends, and society at large that many of us have suffered the most.
We have been especially stupid and stubborn about them. The primary fact that we fail to recognize is our total inability to form a true partnership with another human being. Our egomania digs two disastrous pitfalls. Either we insist upon dominating people we know, or we depend on them far too much. When we habitually try to manipulate others to our own willful desires, they revolt, and resist us heavily.
Then we develop hurt feelings, a sense of persecution, and a desire to retaliate. We have not once sought to be one in a family, to be a friend among friends, to be a worker among workers, to be a useful member of society. Of true brotherhood we had small comprehension.
We failed to see that, though adult in years, we were still behaving childishly, trying to turn everybody — friends, wives, husbands, even the world itself — into protective parents. We refused to learn that overdependence upon people is unsuccessful because all people are fallible, and even the best of them will sometimes let us down, especially when our demands for attention become unreasonable. We "constructively criticized" someone who needed it, when our real motive was to win a useless argument. Or, the person concerned not being present, we thought we were helping others to understand him, when in actuality our true motive was to feel superior by pulling him down.
- Psalm One - Becoming a Psalm One Overcomer - RU Recovery.
- Blog | Jordan Lee Dooley!
- Alcohol Abuse, Alcoholism and Alcohol Dependence?.
- Love Bombing: Reset Your Childs Emotional Thermostat!
- Vidocq (French Edition)!
We sometimes hurt those we love because they need to be "taught a lesson," when we really want to punish. We were depressed and complained we felt bad, when in fact we were mainly asking for sympathy and attention. This odd trait of mind and emotion, this perverse wish to hide a bad motive underneath a good one, permeates human affairs from top to bottom. This subtle and elusive kind of self-righteousness can underlie the smallest act or thought. Such gross misbehavior is not by any means a full catalogue of the harms we do.
I guess all of those "wonderful, charming, god-like" alcoholics should just be taken out and shot. Bait and Switch: First, God loves you, and then He doesn't. Steps Two and Three tell you that God is ready to immediately start working for you, restoring you to sanity in Step Two and taking care of your will and your life for you in Step Three. God is supposedly eager to come to your aid, and perform a miracle and change reality to suit you, just because you were foolish and drank too much alcohol.
But starting with Step Four, suddenly you are unworthy of God's love. Now you have to grovel and wallow in guilt and make long lists of your sins and confess to God how terrible you have been — confess everything, withholding nothing — and you have to spend the rest of your life trying to make amends.
We pocket our pride and go to it, illuminating every twist of character, every dark cranny of the past. Once we have taken this step, withholding nothing, we are delighted. Wilson, Chapter 6, page The head of the house ought to remember that he is mainly to blame for what befell his home. He can scarcely square the account in his lifetime.
Wilson, Chapter 9, page We alcoholics are undisciplined. So we let God discipline us in the simple way we have just outlined. We never thought of making honesty, tolerance, and true love of man and God the daily basis of living. This lack of anchorage to any permanent values, this blindness to the true purpose of our lives, produced another bad result.
For just as long as we were convinced that we could live by our own individual strength and intelligence, for just that long was a working faith in a Higher Power impossible. That basic ingredient of all humility, a desire to seek and do God's will, was missing. Bait and Switch: First, God loves you unconditionally, and then God won't save you unless you "work a strong program".
One A. Besides the invaluable gift of sobriety that AA has given to millions of Alcoholics, it also started a revolution in Spiritual consciousness. The dramatic success and expansion of AA facilitated the spread of a radically revolutionary idea which has traditionally, in Western Civilization, been considered heresy. This was not a new idea but rather a reintroduction and clarification of an old idea, coupled with a formula for practical application of the concept into day-to-day human life experience.
This revolutionary idea was that an unconditionally Loving Higher Power exists with whom the individual being can personally communicate. A Higher Power that is so powerful that it has no need to judge the humans it created because this Universal Force is powerful enough to ensure that everything unfolds perfectly from a Cosmic Perspective.
And now they have been clobbered by an earthquake, and next they are going to get wiped out by a volcano. Unconditional Love? Does Higher Power only unconditionally love white people on this side of the planet? Does Higher Power only care about alcoholics? Of course that also begs the theological question: Where was the unconditional love of God when he let alcoholics drink themselves to death for 20 or 30 years? And why didn't God care about the welfare of the children who suffered at the hands of the alcoholics? But that grandiose flowery talk is followed by death threats if you don't conform to the group and Work The Steps every day: We are not cured of alcoholism.
What we have is a daily reprieve contingent on the maintenance of our spiritual condition. Every day is a day when we must carry the vision of God's will into all of our daily activities. Work The Steps or Die! God's "unconditional love" won't save us: Unless each A. Bait and Switch: First, God is your servant, and then you are a slave of God. In Step Two, God will allegedly restore you to sanity for free. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
Step Three says that God will take care of your will and your life for you, again apparently for free, just because you gave up and shoved your life at Him for repair. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him , praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.
And here Bill reveals that you cannot have a life of your own; you are first and foremost a slave of God: The notion that we would still live our own lives, God helping a little now and then, began to evaporate. Many of us who had thought ourselves religious awoke to the limitations of this attitude. Refusing to place God first, we had deprived ourselves of His help. But now the words "Of myself I am nothing, the Father doeth the works", began to carry bright promise and meaning. We saw that we needn't always be bludgeoned and beaten into humility. Finally, Bill Wilson actually wrote that we do not even have the right to think for ourselves , and that we are fortunate if alcohol destroys our brains and our ability to think independently.
Bait and Switch: First, you don't have to be perfect, and then you do. First, you can be just another degenerate alcoholic, full of failings and "defects of character" and "moral shortcomings". It's okay, because "you're just one of us. Welcome to the club. You have to go to lots of meetings and do the 12 Steps really well, or else you will die.
Bill says that you must do the 12 Steps to the very best of your ability, or else you are signing your own death warrant And you better not fail to confess every dirty little secret in your Fifth Step, or else you are doomed: If we skip this vital step, we may not overcome drinking. Likewise, you must be completely selfless and totally dedicated to doing the Will of God, or else God won't like you, and He will let you die drunk in a gutter, and it will all be your own fault. And if you do relapse, it's all your own fault because you didn't "really try", and you didn't "thoroughly follow our path".
Bait and Switch: First, they tell you that Alcoholics Anonymous is a program of "rigorous honesty", and then it's a program of gross dishonesty. Those who do not recover are people who cannot or will not completely give themselves to this simple program, usually men and women who are constitutionally incapable of being honest with themselves.
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 rigorous honesty. The Big Book , William G. Wilson, Chapter 5, How It Works , page Act As If. Slowly feed the truth about the A.
Don't reveal the religious nature of the program to the new recruits , you might arouse their prejudices. The Big Book , page In fact, deny the religious nature of the program entirely, by chanting the slogan " It's spiritual, not religious ". Don't tell the truth about the real history of A. Don't tell the truth about what the A. Don't tell the real truth about the A.
Avoid discussing anything that is embarrassing to A. Don't tell the truth about the real nature of alcoholism. Don't admit that the "spiritual disease" doctrine is a bunch of superstitious nonsense. Don't admit that A. Above all, never tell the truth about the horrendous dropout rate and failure rate that A. Bait and Switch: First, it's just a quiet, confidential program of attraction, then it's a tough-love program of steel-fisted coercion and promotion. They begin every meeting by reading aloud Tradition Eleven, which says, "Our public relations policy is based on attraction rather than promotion The Little Red Book of Hazelden specifically teaches recruiters to indoctrinate judges, doctors, and other officials as part of the proselytizing work.
It says that faithful A. By telling the A. The Little Red Book , Hazelden, page Then that book even goes on to tell recruiters to teach the judges, police, doctors, and other officials just what kind of people A. So much for the excuses that A. And Hazelden is merely echoing Bill Wilson's instructions.
In a letter from Bill to Earl T. As one wit said, "A. Not that the snake was all that unwilling They start off by telling you that A. But later, after you have joined, they will show you the other face. They will threaten you with death, and tell you that you are "signing your own death warrant," if you don't conform and do all of Bill Wilson's Twelve Steps exactly as they dictate. Alcoholics Anonymous does not demand that you believe anything. Here are the steps we took, which are suggested as a program of recovery But after they get you to join and start working the program, the tone of the instructions changes: If we skip this vital step, we may not overcome drinking.
Wilson, chapter 6, Into Action , page The "suggested" steps have suddenly become "vital steps", and we might not survive alcoholism if we don't do Bill's Twelve Steps, he says. On the second page of chapter 5 of the Big Book , the steps were just "suggested steps", but on the first page of chapter 6 they have become "vital steps". And then, in his next book, Bill really cranked up the pressure.
Bill declared that alcoholics would die unless they followed his instructions and did the 12 steps that he made up: Unless each A. There are many, many more A. Alcoholics Anonymous shoves all of the responsibility for quitting drinking on the individual alcoholic, and then takes all of the credit when someone succeeds in keeping himself sober. To succeed in A. Bait and Switch: First, the story is "The A. Likewise, if someone quits drinking, that allegedly proves that the A. Bill Wilson even claimed that the A.
Wilson, Chapter 3, page But then, when the vast majority of the newcomers relapse , A. They can't be in control of the patient's life and health when the patient recovers — and due the credit for the success — but not in control, and not at all responsible for the failure, when the patient relapses or just never quits drinking at all. Either the cure works, or it doesn't. Either the program changes peoples' behavior, or it doesn't. Either the program causes people to quit drinking, or it doesn't.
Speaking of which, they never defined just what "working the Program properly" really means. Often, they have a laundry list of things that you "must" do after declaring that there are no "musts" in A. Considering that people's lives are at stake, giving precise instructions seems to be the least that they could do.
They have a slogan that says, "Working the Steps won't make you quit drinking right; quitting drinking will make you work the Steps right. Admitting powerlessness. You must admit that you are powerless over alcohol. They do not explain how you can immediately quit drinking, so as to work the Steps properly, when you are powerless over alcohol. Admit that you are insane, and at the same time, "come to believe" that a vague, unnamed, "Higher Power" will restore you to sanity. They do not explain how that is not an insane belief. Turn your will and your life over to the control of somebody or Something Else.
They do not explain how that "Something Else" is not held responsible when things go wrong. To use a Navy analogy, when a man is made Captain of the ship, he is responsible if the ship runs aground or sinks. He cannot blame a lowly sailor, or even the second in command, for the failure. The man who is in command and who gives the orders is responsible. List and confess all of your sins. They do not explain what this has to do with drinking alcohol.
Keep coming back to more meetings. Beg a Higher Power to fix whatever is wrong with you. They do not explain how this is not just wishful thinking.
They do not explain how this is supposed to make you quit drinking. Pray for God to tell you what to do and to give you the power to carry out the orders that you hear. Again, they do not explain how God is not responsible for disasters when He is the Captain of the ship, giving the orders.
Go recruiting and get more people to join A. And that is supposed to somehow take away the desire to drink alcohol, and keep you from drinking alcohol. But if it doesn't work, it isn't the fault of "The Program". An article in a magazine for counselors made these grandiose claims about the effects of practicing the A. From that point, alcohol became their method for coping with stress, and they apparently failed to develop much beyond the adolescent personality stage.
The twelve step rehabilitation program of AA helps to complete that personality development process. It also instills attitudes of positive spirituality, which will allow recovering alcoholics to deal effectively with the stresses of life and bring about a fulfilling and even joyful recovery. It does so by promoting the growth of a healthy ego in a nurturing environment.
According to Khantzian and Mack, "The spiritual dimension of AA helps to move a person from a less mature, childish self-centeredness toward a more mature form of object love" , p. Essentially, the founders of AA understood that the transcendence of ego stimulates in the alcoholic a corresponding growth of positive spirituality.
As recovering alcoholics "work the steps" of the AA program, guided by their sponsors in the supportive family environment, they begin to develop positive spirituality. This is reflected in blossoming attitudes of unconditional love, acceptance, and trust in relationships with themselves, others, the world, life, and the God of their understanding.
They come to believe that they are fundamentally okay even if their behaviors sometimes are not. They begin to love, accept, and trust themselves. As they begin to live life through satisfying relationships with themselves, with others, and with the world, they come to believe that life is okay. They no longer see it as a purely biological happenstance or some kind of cruel joke, but rather as a condition that has profound meaning and purpose for them. They come to love, accept, and trust life.
For most members of AA, it is inconceivable that such life is not ordered and supported by a loving God. Accordingly, they come to love, accept, and trust God. Those who achieve this level of spiritual development show the greatest happiness in recovery and seem to have the greatest sobriety. They seem to have a special presence about them, a kind of light in their eyes that draws newly recovering alcoholics to them like a magnet. They are the role models for all who are serious about their recovery. The most effective sponsors come from their ranks.
They inspire all who are resolutely working the steps as well as those who have newly entered AA and have not yet committed themselves to its program. Spirituality: The key to recovery from alcoholism. Click on that link for a criticism of that pseudo-scientific nonsense. That is, of course, just such a load of Pollyanna's fluff. We could be cranking out saints on an assembly-line basis if it worked. And Bill Wilson even bragged that A. God constantly says to us, 'I trust you will find and do my will. Therefore we [AA] have the full benefits of the murderous political dictatorships of today but none of their liabilities.
The Bait-And-Switch Con Game
Wilson, pages — The full benefits of murderous dictatorships? What benefits? Benefits for whom? And what liabilities of dictatorships does A. Even the 12 Steps themselves make grand claims of good effects. Having had a spiritual experience as the result of these steps Alas, many A. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps Whatever a "spiritual awakening" is supposed to be But when A.
See letter here. Many of us exclaimed, "What an order! I can't go through with it. No one among us has been able to maintain anything like perfect adherence to these principles. We are not saints. The point is, that we are willing to grow along spiritual lines. The principles we have set down are guides to progress.
We claim spiritual progress rather than spiritual perfection. William G. Wilson, Alcoholics Anonymous , page The problem with what you are doing is that A. For alcoholics to come recover. It is not a place for nice kind folk to become saints. Posted by: "inventory" — September 13, AM, to a Washington Post readers' comments section, in response to a story about the sexual exploitation going on in the Washington DC "Midtown Group of A.
I was suffering from an actual disease that had a name and symptoms like diabetes or cancer or TB — and a disease was respectable, not a moral stigma! Big Book , 3rd edition page , and 4th Edition page Wouldn't that be like demanding that cancer victims choose to not have cancer any more? Bait and Switch: First they tell you that you are powerless over alcohol, but if you drink any alcohol, then it's your fault because you chose to drink. It can't be your fault if you are really powerless over alcohol. If you can choose whether to drink alcohol, then you are not powerless over alcohol.
Nevertheless, the A. Those who do not recover are those who cannot or will not give themselves completely to this simple program, usually men and women who are constitutionally incapable of being honest with themselves. So it's all your own fault because you would not give yourself completely to the A. Instead, you chose to drink alcohol. Bait and Switch: First they say that alcoholics are powerless over alcohol and their thinking is "alcoholic" and flawed and corrupted by desires, but then, suddenly, A.
First, Bill Wilson described alcoholics like this: Alcoholics especially should be able to see that instinct run wild in themselves is the underlying cause of their destructive drinking. Wilson, Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions , page Like most sick people before me, I was implacably selfish, and chronically self-centered. It did not satisfy us to be told that we could not control our drinking just because we were maladjusted to life, that we were in full flight from reality, or were outright mental defectives.
These things were true to some extent, in fact, to a considerable extent with some of us. But we are sure that our bodies were sickened as well. Wilson, page XXIV. But then, after some A. We are convinced that a spiritual mode of living is a most powerful health restorative. Hardly one of our crowd now shows any dissipation. Wilson, Chapter 9, The Family Afterward , page Finally, Bill declared that practicing the 12 Steps transformed sinners into spiritually-awakened believers: In Step Eleven we saw that if a Higher Power had restored us to sanity and had enabled us to live with some peace of mind in a sorely troubled world, then such a Higher Power was worth knowing better, by as direct contact as possible.
From music therapy research, documented sessions have shown that patients exhibit reduced muscle tension, improved self-image and self-esteem, as well as an increase in motivation, and a decrease in agitation and anxiety, among other benefits. In his book, Musicophilia , esteemed neurologist Oliver Sacks discusses the use of music as treatment with some patients suffering from various mental illnesses.
But for many of my neurological patients, music is even more — it can provide access, even when no medication can, to movement, to speech, to life. For them, music is not a luxury, but a necessity. For some, it can be more beneficial than medicine or traditional therapy. More importantly, I hope that after reading this you take the time to build your own playlist of songs that can become a source of therapy as you move through your recovery.
This song of redemption holds a lot of positive energy, both in the vibrations of the music and the optimistic lyrics. Though the title and lyrics are in reference to a biblical passage, the song is not religious and instead focuses on the idea that, even in your darkest hour, the sun still rises and gives you a new day to recover. Then came the morning It was bright, like the light that you kept from your smile Then came the morning Like a flood from the storm that you kept from my heart.
Drug use and addiction are often glorified in music, especially in the rock and hip-hop scene. In this song, the singer is not proud of his cocaine and heroin addiction and reflects on what he lost because of it to help remind the listener that the road to recovery will be worth it. Under the bridge downtown Is where I drew some blood Under the bridge downtown I could not get enough Under the bridge downtown Forgot about my love Under the bridge downtown I gave my life away. I find this song to be helpful for re-centering during recovery, especially if your mind tends to drift in many chaotic directions.
It can make you feel less alone knowing that others have felt these same anxieties. This is the pump up song we all need to hear every now and again. The artist uses this song to discuss his personal road to recovery. Through calming music and hopeful lyrics, he highlights the silver lining during the darkest hours of recovery.