Author Topic: Discovering The Misconceptions and Falsehoods; OP's  (Read 1482 times)

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Offline DannyB II

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Discovering The Misconceptions and Falsehoods; OP's
« on: September 18, 2010, 08:12:54 PM »
These essays, which have ended up pretty much making up a whole book, began as my attempt to clarify my own thinking about A.A., and to explain to others why I felt that there was something wrong with people trying to shove Alcoholics Anonymous on patients. I had signed up for a course of outpatient "alcoholism treatment", but ended up getting something more like "Introduction to Cult Religion 101," where most of the "course of treatment" consisted of compulsory attendance of Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous 12-Step meetings, and "group therapy" sessions where xeroxed copies of A.A. and N.A. literature was handed out and discussed by a 12-Step true-believer group leader, someone who just assumed that of course everyone who recovers will do it at 12-Step meetings...

I have never thought this guy who wrote the Orange Papers, was worth discussing because his fundamental presumption, came from a counseling session, with a few AA meeting sprinkled in. He was a drunk for twenty years and he found a way to get sober. Sounds like his experience with AA, pushed him forward.
So instead of all this cockamamie BS, lets just say, "Thank You" to AA.

I began to get the funny feeling that there was something wrong, that something didn't quite add up right. For instance, in a "group therapy" session, I mentioned the fact that a dozen years earlier, I had quit drinking, all on my own, and stayed quit for over three years. The counselor declared that I had not had a period of "recovery," that I had only been "abstaining," because "I had not been dealing with any issues." The counselor had not bothered to ask about my past, other than to ask how many A.A. meetings I had gone to before (only 4, ever), so he had no way of knowing whether I had dealt with any "issues." He simply assumed that I had not, and declared that I had not. He was wrong, totally wrong. You don't just quit and stay quit for three years without dealing with all of the issues, problems, and hassles of real life. Nobody gets a free 3-year vacation from all of their problems just by abstaining from both beer and A.A. meetings. (Heck, that would be a great recovery program if you could do that...) Then, when I wanted to debate that point, he changed the subject and wouldn't discuss it.

AA does not have counselors.

For example, Bill Wilson talks at length about the need to be freed from ego, the need to be freed from "the bondage of self." Now, liberation from ego is a great thing, if the student can accomplish it. It is a magnificent spiritual accomplishment, the culmination of a lifetime of training and preparation. Many spiritual schools teach techniques for doing it, like the Sufis, Zen Buddhists, and various yogis and swamis. But Mr. Wilson's methods are ineffective and harmful to people. He makes students wallow in guilt and shame, and grinds their faces in the mud. That doesn't work, it only makes the students neurotic. It is really just very common cultish guilt induction disguised as some kind of self-improving spiritual training. But hey, "Freeing the students from ego" sounds great on the surface.

Nope, AA, if you feel like practicing the steps properly would never bring about the feelings of shame, guilt and wallowing in self pity. We are not students/robots, we are Americans from all walks of life, that share a common malady.
AA is not a treatment center, cult, folks don't wallow like many folks from treatment centers in their anger/resentment. This guy who wrote these papers, learned AA from a counselor in a treatment center, good luck.
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