The Addiction Recovery Information Distribution (ARID) Site

About ARID
ARID Media


Old News

PGP Public Key
E-mail The ARID Site

Join the Blue Ribbon Online Free Speech Campaign
Join the Blue Ribbon Online Free Speech Campaign!

Get Firefox!

Get Thunderbird!

The Buchmanese Lexicon

(c) 2004-2007 dr.bomb Ph.D. AVRTTM and The ARID Site

Revision History
2007/03/11 It's been a long time since the last update. Added "addictive", "disease", "diseased", "overeating", "science", and "symptoms" to the Buchmanese-to-English Translation Table.
2005/10/10 Added within "The Synonym Game" the synonyms for the word "disease". I never realized how big and thorough its entry was within the thesaurus I use.
2005/07/23 Performed a much-needed spell check to this material. Added a section within "The Synonym Game" which describes how A.A. deliberately confuse the results of its actions by detailing its "attraction, not promotion" slogan with evidence scanned straight from A.A.'s own catalog (obtained directly by me last year by walking into A.A.'s Central Office in Pittsburgh, PA, and asking for it as though I were starting a new group). Also added Voluntary to the list of Buchmanese.
2005/07/04 Added a new definition within the reality portion of alcoholism. Replaced Albert Ellis's webpage link with James DeSena's webpage link within the definition of Time. Added Ken Ragge credit to the Buchmanite Definition of Sobriety.
2005/04/30 Fixed some external links so that they spawn a new window. Outed Dan within the definition of Time. Added Theory to the list of Buchmanese. Added Sobriety/Sober to the list of Buchmanite Ideas. Added a killer Jack Trimpey quote into the Introduction. Edited some definitions to remove my former habit of stating "we" instead of "me" or "I". Habits are hard to break...but not impossible.
2005/03/12 Cleaned up the format a little. Added "The Synonym Game" and, for an example, the listings of the synonyms for the words "religious" and "spiritual".
2005/03/05 First publication. Writing and prototyping of the list started in the Summer of 2004.


"...the self-conscious avoidance of certain words originated in the recovery group movement, where many words have changed their meanings in the service of self-indulgence. That's also where problems became issues, sin became disease, quitting became denial, vices became symptoms, gluttony became overeating, and where today numerous nonprofit orgs strive to eradicate the stigma of instant gratification of bodily desire. The language police have succeeded in twisting words and playing upon sentiment to form social policies designed to remove the wisdom of the ages from social institutions."
--Jack Trimpey, Rational Recovery Archived BBS, 06-28-2003 06:54 PM

This is an ongoing examination of the language employed within the 12-step world of A.A. What I have done is to present the language and ideas espoused within Buchmanism as described through their Buchmanite Definitions (BD) and then refute them with the actual " reality" definition (courtesy of various dictionaries and my experiences within the cult). Much of the language, while sounding like English, is composed of euphemisms which are used to invert reality and conceal the truth. It is the purpose of this page to expose that truth no matter how uncomfortably ugly it may be for the Buchmanites when their "rigorous honesty" is exposed for what it is.

SPECIAL FEATURE FOR WEB-BASED AUTHORS: Would you like to link to the actual words and definitions here? It's easy to do! Just create your link to this page with the appropriate anchor. For example, just run your pointer over the example link for the highlighted "rigorous honesty" above and you'll see how its done. The anchor text itself is the actual word or phrase without any spaces and punctuation. For example the link to "Rigorous Honesty" would look like this:

Just like quitting drinking/drugging once and for all, "It's not hard. Anyone can do it!"

The Synonym Game

(Not to be confused with The Synanon Game, through the title of this section is quite accurate nonetheless regarding the context of this technique)

syn-o-nym (noun): [[ME sinonyme < L synonymum < Gr synonymon, of like meaning or like name < syn-, together + onyma, a NAME]] 1 a word having the same or nearly the same meaning in one or more senses as another in the same language: opposed to ANTONYM 2 METONYM 3 Biol. an incorrect taxonomic name --syno-nymic or syno-nymi-cal adj. --syno-nymi-ty (- te) n.

This is a very common rhetorical tactic used by Buchmanites to make it appear that something is something else by simply using synonyms. As you will see within the Buchmanese-to-English Translation Table some words used by the Buchmanites are nothing more than synonyms. The feel that by using synonyms that they change what they're actually saying. That way they can state that they didn't say it in a "literal" sense. All they're really doing is just playing a very childish game.

For example, in the case of A.A. meetings, the cult is often described within one of its official slogans as being "spiritual, not religious". According to Webster's New World Thesaurus:

"Religious" "Spiritual"


see religious

Excerpted from Mosby's Medical Encyclopedia
Copyright (c) 1994-5, 1996, 1997 The Learning Company Inc. All Rights Reserved

Isn't that nice how they saved space on the "Spiritual" side within the thesaurus? ;->

Also, within the doctrines of A.A. are numerous references which define the "spiritual disease" of alcoholism. While the word "disease" is only mentioned once within the first 164 pages of Alcoholics Anonymous (pp. 64) its synonyms are used throughout its text. This is the complete entry for the word "disease" from Webster's New World Thesaurus:

disease, n. 1. [A bodily infirmity] ----Syn. sickness, malady, illness, indisposition, unhealthiness, disorder, ailment, spell, condition, complaint, distemper, unsoundness, affection, visitation, morbidity, pathological case, psychosomatic illness, epidemic, plague; see also illness 1. --Ant. health*, strength, vigor.
2. [Loosely used term for any ailment] ----Syn. (patient's) condition, defect, infirmity, collapse, complaint, breakdown, (nervous or functional) disorder, temperature, fever, infection, attack, contusion, stroke, fit, seizure, convulsions, congestion, inflammation, fracture, lesion, adhesion, hemorrhage, flux, atrophy, cramps, ache, collapse; see also pain 1, 2. Specific diseases include the following--diseases affecting various organs or the body generally: cancer, ulcer, shock, paresis, paralysis, focal infection, atrophy, psittacosis, streptococcal infection, staphyloccic infection, chicken pox, cholera, diphtheria, malaria, chills and fever, (German) measles, mumps, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, Legionnaires' disease, rabies, scarlet fever, scarlatina, smallpox, tuberculosis, toxic-shock syndrome, tularemia, typhoid fever, typhus, leprosy, yellow fever; venereal or social diseases: gonorrhea or both (D): clap, dose; herpes, AIDS, syphilis or all (D): French disease, maladie anglaise (French), English disease, pox; brain and nervous system: encephalitis or sleeping sickness, meningitis, aphasia, Alzheimer's disease, hemiplegia, Reye's syndrome, brain tumor, poliomyelitis or polio or infantile paralysis, sclerosis, multiple sclerosis or MS (D), delirium tremens or D.T.'s (D); diseases affecting the respiratory organs and passages: bronchitis, rhinitis or common cold or sniffles (D), cough, influenza or flu, Asian flu, laryngitis, pleurisy, (viral or pulmonary) pneumonia, phthisis, tonsillitis, emphysema, streptococcal infection or strep (D), sinusitis, croup, tuberculosis or TB (D), whooping cough; diseases affecting the digestive system: acidosis, appendicitis, Bright's disease, colitis, diabetes, diarrhea, constipation, dysentery, anasarca or dropsy, gravel, jaundice; diseases affecting the circulatory system: angina pectoris, high blood pressure, cystic fibrosis, hemorrhage, hardening of the arteries, hypertension, (heart) murmur, palpitations, arteriosclerosis, leakage of the heart, coronary thrombosis; skin diseases: athlete's foot, boils, eczema, psoriasis, erysipelas, dermatitis, scabies, ringworm, trench foot, seven year itch, acne; diseases of the joints and muscles: arthritis, bends, cramp or both (D): charley horse, crick; rheumatism, lumbago, a sacroiliac strain; diseases of the eye: cataracts, glaucoma, pink eye, trachoma; allergies or psychosomatic diseases: migraine, hay fever, rose fever, asthma, hives; allergy to dust or wheat or feathers or pollen, etc.; glandular diseases: hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism, progeria, hyperpituitarism, hypopituitarism, etc.; diseased membranes: rupture, hernia, adhesion; diseases common to animals and birds: anthrax, black leg, blind staggers, bloat, cholera, colic, distemper, encephalitis, hydrophobia or rabies, heaves, hoof and mouth disease, glanders, milk sickness, pneumonitis, roup, spavin, trichomoniasis; diseases common to plants: blight, rot, rust, scale, smut, wilt; see also complex 1, insanity 1.

Excerpted from Mosby's Medical Encyclopedia
Copyright (c) 1994-5, 1996, 1997 The Learning Company Inc. All Rights Reserved

Again, notice the entry. Notice anything missing? That's right! The word "alcoholism" does NOT even appear within it. But then anyone who can use Microsoft Encarta can easily debunk the disease mythology of "alcoholism" and see the truth just as easily.

Confusing the Results

Another key part of The Synonym Game is confusing and denying that the end results of an action as not being related to the action at all. An excellent example of this is how A.A. claims it relies upon "attraction, not promotion" when in fact it heavily relies upon targeted promotion and the attraction to A.A. such promotion provides (the evidence of this is the catalog listing of its Service and PSA materials, pages 10 and 11, from its "Conference-Approved Literature and Other Service Material" Spring/Summer 2004 catalog). To contrast those two terms let's also add the word "coercion" into the comparison:

"Attraction" "Promotion"


[The act of drawing toward]
drawing power

public relations

see pressure

Excerpted from Mosby's Medical Encyclopedia

Copyright (c) 1994-5, 1996, 1997 The Learning Company Inc. All Rights Reserved

Attraction is the end result of promotion and is a gauge of how persuasive the act of promotion is. Successful promotion means that its generating sufficient attraction to what's being promoted. Likewise, coercion guarantees attraction by fostering pressure through threats based in fear. Promotional campaigns which attract a lot of attention do feature a coercive fear-based component, such as election campaigns.

In A.A.'s case that feat of promotion is accomplished through the evangelical recruitment crusades of its followers known as "carrying the message" or "Twelfth Step Work" and through thought-terminating cliches, such as "jails, institutions or death", which predict bad consequences when its spiritual program is not followed by either its crusader or its mark. Government coercion, such as through court orders which mandate A.A. attendance (a flagrant contradiction to what's supposed to be a "voluntary" program), should not be discounted either since the "promotion" is literally at gunpoint though its law enforcement officers.


All it takes is to pay attention to the specific activities within the cult to realize and to trust your own intuition that it is unequivocally religious and engaging in heavy promotion through coercion. The Synonym Game is nothing more than a bunch of literalists attempting to convince you that you are crazy by playing infantile word games in an effort to obscure the reality that you can plainly witness.

Try it sometime! Find an oft-used word used within meetings and learn its synonyms by using a good thesaurus and look those words up with A.A.'s doctrinal texts.

Buchmanese-to-English Translation Table:

To assist outsiders in understanding the "Language Of The Heart" employed by the members of A.A. a list of common terms and slogans utilized within A.A. meetings are listed here with their actual English synonyms. This reduces the need for more verbose definitions within the lexicon.

Notice that many of the words and slogans one hears within the cult take on very sinister connotations when translated from Buchmanese to English. For example "The Promises" (pp. 83-84, Alcoholics Anonymous), which are recited at the close of most A.A. meetings, are in reality quite wicked in nature when translated back into English (i.e. "We are going to know a new freedom and a new happiness," becomes "I am going to know a new slavery and a new paranoia."). This is doubly so when one has been to quite a few meetings and finds the translation more revealing and in touch with the reality at hand than the euphemistic language employed by the cult.

Do you have any words you'd like to share for inclusion upon this list? Click here to contribute some Buchmanese translations to me!

Buchmanese English

"Act As If"



Ambivalence/Bad Habit







Big Book

"Saint" Wilson's Bible a.k.a. "Alcoholics Anonymous"

"Came/Come To Believe"

Became/Become Deceived

"Caring Fellowship"

Fanatical Zealots














Religion/Religious Belief

"Fake It 'Til You Make It"




"G.O.D." ([The] Group Of Drunks/Drones)

The Cult (A.A./N.A./etc.)

"G.O.D." ([The] Good Orderly Direction)

Peer Pressure/Cult Coercion

"In Recovery"

"In Addiction"



(Hit The) Jackpot

(Suffered A) Misfortune





Higher Power

Deity (see God)

"Language Of The Heart"






May Be





Elder Priest














Resisting Peer Pressure/Coercion





Rigorous Honesty





Curiosity, Optimism, Dreams and Ambitions (C.O.D.A.)








Drink More



Spiritual Activities

Cult Indoctrination



Spontaneous Remission


Stinkin' Thinkin'












Tough Love

Sadistic Torture


Destructive Cult Indoctrination











Buchmanite Ideas:

A.A. Basher (noun): BD: 1. One who secretly wishes for the death of millions of alcoholics. 2. Causes people to relapse. 3. Blasphemous heretical heathens who deserve to drink and, by default, have nothing of importance to say worth listening to and understanding. reality: One who witnesses what actually goes on "within the rooms" and shares such observations in a frank, candid manner with others for educational purposes.

alcoholic (noun): BD: 1. Someone who habitually drinks far too much alcohol, 2. Someone who is hyper-sensitive to alcohol -- something like allergic to it -- perhaps because he inherited a gene -- and he is someone who will become readdicted to alcohol and go on a binge and drink for years if he drinks even just one beer, 3. An immoral person who is resentful, angry, manipulative, self-seeking, dishonest, selfish, and a prime example of instincts run wild, self-will run riot, and the Seven Deadly Sins... and on and on and on.... (kudos to Secret Agent Orange for those definitions) reality: 1. A person who deliberately drinks alcoholic substances habitually and to excess just to feel that deeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep pleasure alcohol provides then rationalizes the choice for consumption by blaming other people, places and things for their own decision they themselves and nobody else put into action. 2. A believer in the philosophy that one is powerless over the decision and action to voluntarily consume alcohol and is dependent upon someone or something outside of themselves to make their decisions for them. i.e. One who switches from alcohol dependency to another dependency, absolving one's own personal responsibility for poor decision making prior, during and after the consumption of intoxicants in the process. (See alcoholism)

alcoholism (noun): BD: A disease of the mind, body and spirit in which one is compelled by the cunning, baffling and powerful force of alcohol in which only a spiritual experience can conquer one day at a time. reality: 1. "Alcoholism" is nothing more than a theological construct: A parasitical RELIGION which holds a majority of its services within actual places of worship of other peoples' religions and practiced by a self-identifying group of people who subscribe to and abide by its tenets: "Alcoholics". Likewise, to follow this logic through to its conclusion, that makes Alcoholics Anonymous its "non-organized" church and its "Big Book" the sacred written word of its prophet, William Griffith Wilson, as handed down from God Intoxicant Itself (or plural, when you include the other drugs used by Him) as Wilson understood It and as its current flock understands It today. 2. The fatalistic philosophy in which one believes that they are powerless, and therefore irresponsible concerning the control over their own voluntary muscles, over the choice to consume or not to consume alcohol. One also believes to be afflicted with a mysterious disease, despite lacking any disease-bourne pathology whatsoever, which can only be arrested by performing the practices of Buchmanism as enshrined within the 12-Steps. (See alcoholic)

coincidence (noun): BD: A fictitious occurrence which never happens because God is in full control of everything. "There are no coincidences." reality: The state or fact of occupying the same relative position or area in space and time. Incidents always occur. When two or more occur then you have co-incidents, or rather, coincidence. Because we live in an infinite universe where an infinite amount of incidents occur by the nanosecond it's easy for misguided people to ascertain connections between these incidents by default when in fact there may be none at all. Only observation and analysis can determine causality and, when these incidents involve people, motives and actions.

Die (verb): BD: To be finally at peace (see Drink). reality: Death is an absolute state of being possessing the simultaneous properties of a 100% certainty rate coupled with a zero percent recovery rate characterized by a relatively quick decrease in systemic activity of all bodily functions to the point of one being rendered inert. To die is the ONLY thing ALL of us WILL do when we are finished with our lives. In the meantime live and enjoy life to the best of your abilities NOW and stop wasting time at those damn meetings with those chronic procrastinators who comprise the majority of the recovery group movement! Learn AVRT! Free your mind! End your addiction before you die! Get to know and love the experience of liberation and get to know and love yourself! It feels great to be alive as compared to your throes in addiction! Watch The Matrix and replace the blue pill with A.A.'s blue Big Book and the red pill with Jack Trimpey's rusty red Rational Recovery book to feel the total Zen experience of watching the movie from a completely introspective perspective which truly touches something deep down in your life and makes the movie an even more moving positive philosophical experience ("Welcome to the real world." --Morpheus)! Take up a hobby! Write some essays! Build a website! Spend some time learning new things each and every day! Fall in love! Get laid! Heck, make a list of things to do and accomplish those tasks! I'll think of more things to do with your life! So whaddya waitin' for?

Drink (verb): BD: Die. (" drink is to die.", pp. 66, Alcoholics Anonymous) reality: 1. To take into the mouth and swallow (a liquid). 2. To swallow the liquid contents of (a vessel). 3. To take in or soak up; absorb. 4. To take in eagerly through the senses or intellect. 5.a. To give or make (a toast). b. To toast (a person or an occasion, for example). 6. To bring to a specific state by drinking alcoholic liquors. --intr. 1. To swallow liquid. 2. To imbibe alcoholic liquors. 3. To salute a person or an occasion with a toast.

mistake (noun): BD: The name of a fictitious incident which never happens when "The Program" is involved. ("Nothing, absolutely nothing happens in God's world by mistake." , pp. 449, Alcoholics Anonymous, 3rd Edition) (see coincidence) reality: 1. An error or a fault resulting from defective judgment, deficient knowledge, or carelessness. 2. A misconception or misunderstanding.

relapse (noun/verb): BD: To drink, no matter if its one or many, for mysterious reasons known as triggers and to tell the group about it afterwards with the punishment for the honest admission of this wrong being the loss of all of their accumulated Time. reality: A triple-lapse in ethical judgment where one chooses to drink for the deeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep pleasure that the alcoholic drink provides, chooses to lie to one's self about how a mysterious "disease" compelled them to do it and chooses to tell lies to the group all about it, including telling the lie about themselves having no control over their own voluntary muscles concerning their own consumption of the drink(s) in question. The severity of the relapse should be graded on a scale as to how many drinks were consumed and whether others' lives were affected due to such inalienable exercises of personal liberties. WARNING! Beware of counselors and other workers within the American Addiction Treatment Tragedy...err, industry...who assume that only one drink is as deadly as a full-fledged binge and will report such an admission to law enforcement and criminal justice personnel for your own good. Anonyminity is NOT confidentiality, and vice versa, and a warm, welcoming and outstretched helping hand is usually the same which can also turn the key within a cell's lock!

Sobriety (noun): BD: "A special state of Grace gained by working the Steps and maintaining absolute abstinence. It is characterized by feelings of Serenity and Gratitude. It is a state of living according to God's will, not one's own. It is sanity." (Ken Ragge, "Meetings", pp. 103 The Real A.A.) reality: 1. Gravity in bearing, manner, or treatment. 2. Moderation in or abstinence from consumption of alcoholic liquor or use of drugs. Sober (adjective): 1. Habitually abstemious in the use of alcoholic liquors or drugs; temperate. 2. Not intoxicated or affected by the use of drugs. 3. Plain or subdued. 4. Devoid of frivolity, excess, exaggeration, or speculative imagination; straightforward. 5. Marked by seriousness, gravity, or solemnity of conduct or character. 6. Marked by circumspection and self-restraint.

Stinkin' Thinkin' (noun/verb): BD: 1. Any idea which a fellow Buchmanite disagrees with which can be attributed to alcoholic brain damage which can lead to a relapse and the first of many drinks. 2. Thoughtcrime per George Orwell's "1984". reality: 1. To have or formulate in the mind. 2.a. To reason about or reflect on; ponder. b. To decide by reasoning, reflection, or pondering. 3. To judge or regard; look upon. 4. To believe; suppose. 5.a. To expect; hope. b. To intend. 6. To call to mind; remember. 7. To visualize; imagine. 8. To devise or evolve; invent. 9. To bring into a given condition by mental preoccupation. 10. To concentrate one's thoughts on. --intr. 1. To exercise the power of reason, as by conceiving ideas, drawing inferences, and using judgment. 2. To weigh or consider an idea. 3.a. To bring a thought to mind by imagination or invention. b. To recall a thought or an image to mind. 4. To believe; suppose. 5. To have care or consideration. 6. To dispose the mind in a given way. --think adj. Informal. 1. Requiring much thought to create or assimilate. --think n. The act or an instance of deliberate or extended thinking; a meditation. --idioms. come to think of it. Informal. When one considers the matter; on reflection. think aloud or think out loud. To speak one's thoughts audibly. think nothing of. To give little consideration to; regard as routine or usual. think twice. To weigh something carefully.

Time (noun): BD: An invaluable asset of consisting of consecutive day-to-day continuous sobriety which is easily lost as soon as a Buchmanite takes the First Drink. The more Time a Buchmanite possesses is proof that the member is working A.A.'s Good Program and living life on a spiritual basis and, through the proof of wisdom and experience with the evidence of Time, can help others recover from their alcoholism. reality: It is a hierarchical means of establishing status within A.A. and nothing more. Likewise, the Time is all for naught unless someone does something with that Time such as learning more about addiction from a wide variety of sources instead of solely Conference Approved literature ("All you ever need to know is in the Big Book"). Who would you rather have as a sponsor: A nine-month pigeon who explores the work of people, such as Jack Trimpey, James DeSena and Stanton Peele, among other authors, and has applied such sources of knowledge to rid the scourge of addiction from their life and found a reason to help others to end their addiction or a multi-year oldtimer whose advice to someone regarding the reading of such materials is, "I'll take that book ['The Truth About Addiction And Recovery'] into the woods to use it as toilet paper!" (Dan McLachlan, New Kensington, PA, Citizens Hospital 10:30a Sunday Morning Meeting, 2004/07/25)? Such an expression of unbridled "spirituality" by that "wise" oldtimer makes the best choice obvious.

Thinking (noun/verb): See Stinkin' Thinkin'.

Thought (noun/verb): See Stinkin' Thinkin'.

More to come? I hope so! Feel free to share some Buchmanite definitions with me!


Back to the 12th Files page.

Last updated 2007/01/14

(c)2003-2005 dr.bomb & The ARID Site - All Rights Reserved
Quotes are attributed to their appropriate sources.
E-mail policy: If I feel it's outrageous enough in an informative sense I'll publish it at my own discretion.

drunken cultists