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Why It's Good To Criticize A.A.

Sunday, April 24, 2005 - dr.bomb

"It may be a mark of a certain degree of maturity on our part that members of the Fellowship seem to have been less disturbed by the critical article than our nonalcoholic friends have been ... The subjects for a movement inventory are legion. The important thing is that the process has begun. I hope that every considerable gathering of A.A.'s will give thought to sessions on taking inventory of A.A. and to inviting critics, even hostile ones, to participate because you sometimes find that people animated by what may appear to be the worst possible motives speak truth in large portions."
-- William Griffith Wilson, 1963 A.A. General Service Conference
(from http://silkworth.net/aahistory/harpers_mag1963.html - copy available here)

A.A. is an organization in decline. If it wasn't for its P.R. masquerading the reality of its horrible performance in teaching people how to remain abstinent then the organization would have gone the way of the Washingtonian Society. Fueled by government subsidies and coerced attendance by law enforcement and the judiciary, this formerly voluntary organization is a tragic mockery of its former self before it started creating front groups, such as the National Council on Alcoholism.

There are very few people who know of A.A.'s lost history, such as how even its own cofounder stated that A.A. was a dismal failure and a current A.A. trustee admitted 60% do recover from their alcohol addiction without A.A.. Even fewer people actually muster up the courage to take a peek behind the curtain to see that this revered American institution is nothing more than an American atrocity. The reason behind this is that while hiding behind its spiritual rhetoric it can then cast its critics as being "dry drunks", diseased and unspiritually in denial. After all, A.A. has helped millions to recover, so the P.R. of the movement repeats that as a mantra as often as "treatment works" in response. Instead of instilling within American culture a sense of independence the opposite has occurred: A culture of dependence has coalesced to the point that it is now deemed by American society as radical, even impossible, for one to solve their own problems on their own. The slogan is: "No one can do it on their own."

Since A.A., by its own Traditions, will never hold its organization accountable by its membership's actions under its aegis by simply disavowing such actions as being "outside issues" or "not A.A." the time has always been right for checks to balance A.A.'s power. That means removing Wilson's blindfold and using and trusting your own eyes and senses and realizing the truth that A.A. harms hundreds of millions more more for every million it claims to save.

We have access to all of the facts of the organization with more lost history being unearthed by the week. It is the reason why I started The ARID Site to begin with. The more information I collected along with the research I performed and publicized has led me to perform a very radical notion to some who run competing programs against A.A.: I am emphatically against A.A due to its highly unethical actions. To state that A.A. helps some people, despite the fact that some means one out of twenty according to A.A. itself, serves only to legitimize A.A. further and to undercut the competitor's own program.

It's that stance which many competitors, such as I found within a recent online chat at LifeRing, cannot bring themselves to reconcile. It's such a religious taboo to criticize A.A. that Jack Trimpey's Rational Recovery is shunned not because of how AVRTTM challenges the current addiction treatment paradigm but because Trimpey doesn't hold back in his criticism of the cult (nevermind the fact that Trimpey's organization has fielded many complaints concerning the abuses within A.A., therefore there's a lot of weight behind his claims). Meanwhile, millions remain upon the Recovery Merry-Go-Round in the form of recidivism and fear of self-intoxication brought upon by an industry where the slogan, "keep coming back", has turned into a very lucrative business proposition.

A.A. is far from being a perfect program. It is a colossal failure. It quite arrogant of its followers to proclaim that it is with the grandiose label of being "divinely inspired" while labeling its dissenters as being "in denial" or being "sicker than others" (there will NEVER be an official A.A.World Services book detailing stories of those hurt by Buchmanism). A.A. wants to take all the credit for everyone who recovers through its program yet wants to blame the person who wants to end their addiction when that person intoxicates themselves again within it. It can't have it both ways!

If there's going to be change then the first change is obvious: Stop giving A.A. credit where none is deserved! If one is going to say good things about A.A. then what's the point of offering options outside of A.A.? A.A. is an offense of idolatry to the First Commandment of Christian doctrine through the idea of a human-malleable Higher Power, an offense to the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America concerning the separation of religion and state when people are court-mandated to attend it, an offense to medical ethics such as found within the Hippocratic Oath and Informed Consent when information on competing organizations and the actual failure rate of Step-based treatment is deliberately withheld, and it flat out fails nineteen out of twenty people who enter into it. Finally, A.A. is a pro-addiction organization which keeps the option for future intoxication wide open for the sake of pushing its "real purpose" as indicated on page 77 within its book, Alcoholics Anonymous, by instilling a phobia through the fear of a drunken death. I'm sure more offenses can be detailed but only when more people take the moral hit in taking productive action now.

Let the truth of A.A. be known so that people who are addicted can make a decision to improve their own lives. Don't cover for A.A. Hold nothing back. Your program and humanity in general will benefit from that and Wilson himself would appreciate that if he were still alive.

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Last updated 2005/04/24

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