Author Topic: On AA's effectiveness and George Vaillant  (Read 1689 times)

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Offline DannyB II

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On AA's effectiveness and George Vaillant
« on: September 21, 2010, 04:57:40 PM »
Quote from: "Anne Bonney"
Quote from: "Maximilian"
I find it somewhat ironic that suddenly personal responsibility is so important when talking about addiction. But when talking about why we ended up in programs, it's suddenly somebody else's fault.

If you can't see the difference between an adult being responsible for their own actions and a child being forced into a "rehab", I can't help you.

Quote
Suddenly we are on an uncontrollable destiny, not of our own choosing.


That's right.  I didn't choose to go to Straight and I certainly didn't choose to be abused there.  However, how I choose to deal with it now is up to me.

Well, there are a lot of folks who would disagree with you Anne, they would say from listening to your story that you absolutely are responsible for ending up at Straight and if you had not acted out while there you would never had been treated so harshly.
Your decisions laid out your path.
I am not saying I am one of those folks but just showing you the other side as you do with AA.


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AA works for a lot of people, I have a hard time understanding why people are so offended by this truth, on fornits.


Because there's no proof, other than anecdotal, that "it" does work and AA's own Dr. George Vaillant's study concluded that it was actually harmful to the alcoholic because it taught them that if they 'relapsed' (even having one drink) or rejected AA's teaching, then they were "certainly signing their own death warrant" (see 12 & 12).  The poor souls believed it and went binge drinking.

George Vaillant, sat on the Board of Directors, he had his opinions but if you really had read up, you would know that he never stopped encouraging folks to come to AA. George wanted AA to become better. He never went against AA.
AA will continue to put emphasis on anecdotal testimonies, they are of great value to us. Sorry you want more but as usual live doesn't always give us more.
There is no proof, Anne your communicating with two folks associated with AA, right now. There is some proof.


http://www.orange-papers.org/orange-effectiveness.html

One mans opinion. Good for him.

n spite of the scarcity of good, properly run randomized longitudinal controlled studies of the effectiveness of Alcoholics Anonymous, there are still several good tests and studies which were done properly, and give us a good idea of what is happening.

Jeesh, this is why millions are so happy AA does not get caught up in these exaggerated  studies done by folks who have absolutely "nada" when it comes to experience. AA is not a corporation it is a bunch of independent groups that are anonymous. Anne, beating on AA is not going to change what you went through in Straight.
That was not AA.
There will never be any studies because they respect the rights of the individuals in AA nor would we want to get caught up in such politics.
This may be hard for the average bear to understand but folks in AA could care less what you think.



There is experimental evidence that the A.A. doctrine of powerlessness leads to binge drinking. In a sophisticated controlled study of A.A.'s effectiveness (Brandsma et. al.), court-mandated offenders who had been sent to Alcoholics Anonymous for several months were engaging in FIVE TIMES as much binge drinking as another group of alcoholics who got no treatment at all, and the A.A. group was doing NINE TIMES as much binge drinking as another group of alcoholics who got rational behavior therapy.

Experimental evidence, AA doctrine of powerlessness, WOW!!!!! It would be nice if you could correctly articulate what that word means (powerlessness) for people in AA. Now I know you have mentioned you were at one time associated with AA, though I have always had a hard time accepting this. Powerlessness is explained as a existence of no power. Yes, there was a time in my life I felt I had no power to make any changes to stop my self destructiveness. My god, family, friends, good counseling and AA help to bring back the power within myself to make good decisions. This is what "powerlessness" has meant to me.

Those results are almost unbelievable, but are easy to understand — when you are drunk, it's easy to rationalize drinking some more by saying,

    "Oh well, A.A. says that I'm powerless over alcohol. I can't control it, so there is no sense in trying. I'm doomed, because I already took a drink. One drink, one drunk. I'm screwed, because I already lost all of my sober time. Might as well just relax and enjoy it now. Pass that bottle over here, buddy."

It's also easy to rationalize taking the first drink with,

    "I'm powerless. I can't help it. The Big Book says that I have no defense against those strange mental blank spots when I'll drink again. Bottoms up!"

Yep, you are right Max, she really doesn't have a clue. Anne you are intelligent there is no doubt about that but for some reason you have this ability to just look the other way and simplify addictions and alcoholism.


Dr. Jeffrey Brandsma and his associates Dr. Maxie Maultsby (co-inventor of Rational Behavior Therapy) and Dr. Richard J. Welsh did a study where they took some alcoholics who had been arrested for public drunkenness, and randomly divided them into three groups, which got one of:

   1. A.A. treatment
   2. Lay RBT (non-professional Rational Behavior Therapy, something invented by Dr. Maxie Maultsby and Dr. Albert Ellis, something very similar to SMART)
   3. No treatment at all. This was the control group.

And the results were:

    The variables that showed significant differences at outcome could be organized into three categories: treatment holding power, legal difficulties, and drinking behavior. Treatment holding power was indicated by the percentage of dropouts between intake and outcome (p = 0.05), the mean number of treatment sessions attended (p = 0.05), and the mean number of days in treatment. Less than one-third (31.6%) of the clients assigned to the AA group qualified for outcome measures in contrast to almost 60% for the lay-RBT group, and this occurred with equivalent attempts by our social work staff to keep the men in treatment, whatever type it was. Table 32 highlights these differences. See table at link above.

Hey, if folks can sober up without AA's help that is great, we do not have the "corner market on helping Alcoholics".
Here is a thought for ya, show me where AA has ever criticized another organization that was helping folks to get sober. Never!!!! We are not about this type of malicious behavior, AA understands folks are dying from alcohol and drugs, we are just trying to do are part in helping.




http://cbtrecovery.org/AAefficacyrates.htm

Some information about AA's success rate comes from its own membership surveys. In particular, the rather famous 'Comments on AA's Triennial Surveys' document cited by Charles Bufe in Alcoholics Anonymous: Cult or Cure is AA's ID # 5M/12-90/TC, which was produced for internal purposes. It is also summarized in Vince Fox's Addiction, Change, and Choice (1993). The document is not listed in AA's 'Conference Approved Literature' but Fox was able to obtain a copy from AA.

This was a internal survey done almost 20 years ago, AA was doing this often until politics interfered and folks like yourselves here started to take private answers from folks and twist them.

AA's own analysis was that 50% of all those who try AA leave within 90 days, which they describe as cause for 'concern'. Their own data shows that is actually optimistic. In the 12-year period shown, 19% remain after 30 days, 10% remain after 90 days, and 5% remain after a year.
The retention rate of AA is 5% after one year.

So out of one survey twenty years ago, you base your opinions on. Anne, please come on.

So do we define the success rate as the retention rate? You'd have to tell me if you believe that success in AA is measured by whether people are still attending meetings.

Anne, there is no studying or definition. It is one person helping another, one day at a time. Keep it simple. AA is not Straight.


Other observations:

60% of those surveyed were getting outside professional help. This means that any success (or failure) rate, however it is defined, can't be attributed entirely to AA.

Ok, so what, it this supposed to be bad, Bill Wilson and Dr. Bob encouraged this. AA does not take the place of counseling, psychiatric care, detox, residential care, ect....
The steps are a design for living.


One way to measure the success of AA would be by comparing 12-step based treatment with other treatments. A 1997 study found that 93% of American drug and alcohol treatment programs follow the 12-step model. So it would be pretty easy to tell, at least, whether 12-step programs work.

Well that would be great if AA was a treatment center but it is not, so why would we do this comparison. This is not Straight.


An extensive study (Hester and Miller, Handbook of alcoholism treatment approaches) shows that peer-based 12-step alcohol treatment programs do NOT have a higher success rate than no treatment at all. Facilitated 12-step treatment (trained facilitators guiding subjects through the twelve-step process) were marginally better. "The two tests of AA found it inferior to other treatments or even no treatment but were not sufficient to rank AA reliably."

OK, it has worked great for me, Max and millions of others. I suppose it can not work for everybody.


Brief, non-confrontational interventions and motivational interviewing were found most effective.

If you define success as reduced drinking, absence of alcohol dependence, or a reduction in problem drinking, then you see different results. Success in AA is presumed to be total abstinence. But followup to many treatment programs finds people have done some drinking, or drink moderately (defined by the researcher, not the patient!). They would be considered failures in AA--but the behavior has changed. So if one wants to improve the statistical success rates of 12-step treatment, just broaden the definition of 'success' to include moderate drinking!

AA does not have failures, why would you say such a thing. Many folks have gone on to realize they could drink responsibly, still smoke pot ect....then there are folks like myself who realized that I could never drink again.
No problem, more beer for y'all.





http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/add ... le-disease

George Vaillant is a world renown alcoholism expert who identified this truth, then became a spokesperson for Alcoholics Anonymous and the disease theory. When he determined that his 12-step treatment program did no good, Vaillant intoned, "the best that can be said for our exciting treatment effort at Cambridge Hospital is that we were certainly not interfering with the normal recovery process." Chew on that!  But, even this ridiculously modest claim is wrong.......

Well I believe the same was said about Straight. AA is self help it can not be forced. Once again George Vaillant, sat on the AA BODs and still encouraged folks to attend AA meetings.



............In a separate non-clinical sample he studied, Vaillant found that the substantial majority achieved remission without entering AA. Yet Vaillant failed to cite a single case of natural recovery in his book! Every single case is of an AA success, or else of failures like "Tom Reardon," who foolishly "never learned to pick up the telephone" to call AA. The discrepancy between his data and his case studies is not very reassuring about Dr. Vaillant's mission.

Oh well.
« Last Edit: September 21, 2010, 11:06:41 PM by DannyB II »
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Offline Anne Bonney

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Re: What illegal drugs would you legalize?
« Reply #1 on: September 22, 2010, 09:52:07 AM »
Quote from: "DannyB II"

Well, there are a lot of folks who would disagree with you Anne, they would say from listening to your story that you absolutely are responsible for ending up at Straight and if you had not acted out while there you would never had been treated so harshly.
Your decisions laid out your path.
I am not saying I am one of those folks but just showing you the other side as you do with AA.

Well, those 'folks' would be either just dead wrong and mistaken, or more likely -  program parents as this illustrates exactly what we're talking about.  I drank and smoked pot and not even that much.  I've said before that I was the 'lightweight' of the group I was hanging around with and they weren't 'heavy' into drugs either.   My school didn't have a problem with my behavior, nor did my mother - which is why she gave me more freedom after my parents divorced.  My father didn't like the fact that he couldn't control every single aspect of my life anymore, so he found a way to do it.



Quote
George Vaillant, sat on the Board of Directors, he had his opinions but if you really had read up, you would know that he never stopped encouraging folks to come to AA. George wanted AA to become better. He never went against AA.

I never said he "went against" it.  What I said was that the study he did proved that AA not only didn't "work", but it actually made binge drinking worse and raised the death rates of alcoholics.


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AA will continue to put emphasis on anecdotal testimonies, they are of great value to us. Sorry you want more but as usual live doesn't always give us more.

I don't want more, I want them to tell the truth.

Quote
There is no proof, Anne your communicating with two folks associated with AA, right now. There is some proof.

Why is my association and experience with AA any less valid than yours?


http://www.orange-papers.org/orange-effectiveness.html

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One mans opinion. Good for him.

And that's what your view of it is....an opinion.

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Jeesh, this is why millions are so happy AA does not get caught up in these exaggerated  studies done by folks who have absolutely "nada" when it comes to experience.


Yeah, why get caught up in things like "studies" and "facts" when you've got Danny!  Dern book lernin!!!!!


Quote
AA is not a corporation it is a bunch of independent groups that are anonymous. Anne, beating on AA is not going to change what you went through in Straight.
.

I'm not beating on AA Danny.  I have a different view of it than you do.


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There will never be any studies because they respect the rights of the individuals in AA nor would we want to get caught up in such politics.
This may be hard for the average bear to understand but folks in AA could care less what you think.


You obviously do or you wouldn't have such a problem with me posting my views on it.



Quote
Experimental evidence, AA doctrine of powerlessness, WOW!!!!! It would be nice if you could correctly articulate what that word means (powerlessness) for people in AA.

Ummmm, what?

Quote
Now I know you have mentioned you were at one time associated with AA, though I have always had a hard time accepting this.


I'm sure you do Danny.  I'm sure you do.

Quote
Powerlessness is explained as a existence of no power. Yes, there was a time in my life I felt I had no power to make any changes to stop my self destructiveness. My god, family, friends, good counseling and AA help to bring back the power within myself to make good decisions. This is what "powerlessness" has meant to me.

Good for you.

Quote
Yep, you are right Max, she really doesn't have a clue. Anne you are intelligent there is no doubt about that but for some reason you have this ability to just look the other way and simplify addictions and alcoholism.

Like I said, personal responsibility is a bitch.



Quote
Hey, if folks can sober up without AA's help that is great, we do not have the "corner market on helping Alcoholics".


What about that "signing their own death warrant" if they don't "follow the 12 steps"?  12&12 p.174,  Tradition Nine

Quote
Here is a thought for ya, show me where AA has ever criticized another organization that was helping folks to get sober. Never!!!!

I never said they did, but I've seen it personally in quite a few meetings.  I've been told that by at least 2 sponsors.  And then there's the person a few weeks ago who's sponsor told them to quit taking their anti-depressant meds, cold turkey.


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This was a internal survey done almost 20 years ago, AA was doing this often until politics interfered and folks like yourselves here started to take private answers from folks and twist them.

There's no twisting Danny.  It just makes you feel better to believe that.  And that's ok.


Quote
So out of one survey twenty years ago, you base your opinions on. Anne, please come on.

Well, that's the only one they've allowed but no - that's not all I base my opinion of it on. I base it on about 10 years of my own research and my own experiences with AA.

Quote
Anne, there is no studying or definition. It is one person helping another, one day at a time. Keep it simple. AA is not Straight.

No, it's not Straight but there are a lot of similarities.


Quote
Ok, so what, it this supposed to be bad, Bill Wilson and Dr. Bob encouraged this. AA does not take the place of counseling, psychiatric care, detox, residential care, ect....

Ya might want to tell that to sponsors because a lot of them sure try to.


Quote
Well that would be great if AA was a treatment center but it is not, so why would we do this comparison.

The steps are used in virtually every treatment center available and AA is recommended as aftercare.

Quote
This is not Straight.

Yes, I know.

Quote
OK, it has worked great for me, Max and millions of others. I suppose it can not work for everybody

Then I wish they'd stop telling people that they'll die if they leave the rooms.  I wish they'd stop telling people to stop their meds because AA is all they need.  That is a direct quote from the sponsor of the person I was helping a few weeks ago.  This person actually told their sponsee that AA was all they need and to stop taking the meds immediately.



Quote
AA does not have failures, why would you say such a thing.


 :lala:  :lala:  LaLaLaLa LaLaLaLa LaLaLaLa LaLaLaLa   :rofl:  :rofl:  :rofl:  :rofl:  :rofl:  :rofl:  :rofl:  :rofl:  :rofl:  :rofl:  :rofl:

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Well I believe the same was said about Straight.


Huh?  

Quote
AA is self help it can not be forced. Once again George Vaillant, sat on the AA BODs and still encouraged folks to attend AA meetings.

Yes, despite his findings.  Funny, huh?

The discrepancy between his data and his case studies is not very reassuring about Dr. Vaillant's mission.


............In a separate non-clinical sample he studied, Vaillant found that the substantial majority achieved remission without entering AA. Yet Vaillant failed to cite a single case of natural recovery in his book! Every single case is of an AA success, or else of failures like "Tom Reardon," who foolishly "never learned to pick up the telephone" to call AA. The discrepancy between his data and his case studies is not very reassuring about Dr. Vaillant's mission.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »
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AA is a cult http://www.orange-papers.org/orange-cult.html

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Offline DannyB II

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Re: What illegal drugs would you legalize?
« Reply #2 on: September 22, 2010, 05:49:14 PM »
Quote from: "Anne Bonney"
Quote from: "DannyB II"

Well, there are a lot of folks who would disagree with you Anne, they would say from listening to your story that you absolutely are responsible for ending up at Straight and if you had not acted out while there you would never had been treated so harshly.
Your decisions laid out your path.
I am not saying I am one of those folks but just showing you the other side as you do with AA.

Well, those 'folks' would be either just dead wrong and mistaken, or more likely -  program parents as this illustrates exactly what we're talking about.  I drank and smoked pot and not even that much.  I've said before that I was the 'lightweight' of the group I was hanging around with and they weren't 'heavy' into drugs either.   My school didn't have a problem with my behavior, nor did my mother - which is why she gave me more freedom after my parents divorced.  My father didn't like the fact that he couldn't control every single aspect of my life anymore, so he found a way to do it.

Now you have said you got involved with different kinds drugs a little more than this, Anne.



Quote
George Vaillant, sat on the Board of Directors, he had his opinions but if you really had read up, you would know that he never stopped encouraging folks to come to AA. George wanted AA to become better. He never went against AA.

I never said he "went against" it.  What I said was that the study he did proved that AA not only didn't "work", but it actually made binge drinking worse and raised the death rates of alcoholics.

Your point is well taken.
I am just confused and I think we should start posting more documentation concerning Vaillant, because I believe he maybe being taken out of context especially concerning the voracity of his negative comments about AA. Vaillant was a strong supporter of AA, never stopped being, encouraged folks to go. Yet like Bill Wilson had serious concerns with the direction AA was going, especially with treatment centers, hospitals and the Judicial system.  
Anne if the alcoholic is not ready to stop, he is not going to stop.



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AA will continue to put emphasis on anecdotal testimonies, they are of great value to us. Sorry you want more but as usual live doesn't always give us more.

I don't want more, I want them to tell the truth.

Quote
There is no proof, Anne your communicating with two folks associated with AA, right now. There is some proof.

Why is my association and experience with AA any less valid than yours?

I don't know Anne.



http://www.orange-papers.org/orange-effectiveness.html

Quote
One mans opinion. Good for him.

And that's what your view of it is....an opinion.

Anne, I read this when it first came out. Many of us at the time had all kinds of opinions about the papers, I personally always respected the man to have his experiences and theories/opinions on the subject of AA.
I am willing to go further then I ever have into breaking down the "Orange Papers" with you, if you would like. My mind will remain open as I hope yours will.  


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Jeesh, this is why millions are so happy AA does not get caught up in these exaggerated  studies done by folks who have absolutely "nada" when it comes to experience.


Yeah, why get caught up in things like "studies" and "facts" when you've got Danny!  Dern book lernin!!!!!

Now this kinda talk will not be tuller-ated, y'all git'it. Anne be nice.


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AA is not a corporation it is a bunch of independent groups that are anonymous. Anne, beating on AA is not going to change what you went through in Straight.
.

I'm not beating on AA Danny.  I have a different view of it than you do.

I don't know if we really have that much of a different view, all we have done is bicker. I think we are starting to get better at listening to one another.

 


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There will never be any studies because they respect the rights of the individuals in AA nor would we want to get caught up in such politics.
This may be hard for the average bear to understand but folks in AA could care less what you think.


You obviously do or you wouldn't have such a problem with me posting my views on it.

Yes I do care what you have to say Anne, because I choose to care. No, I don't have a problem with you posting, so much anymore.
I owe you a public apology also, for calling you a liar 3 weeks ago. I am very sorry for that.




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Experimental evidence, AA doctrine of powerlessness, WOW!!!!! It would be nice if you could correctly articulate what that word means (powerlessness) for people in AA.

Ummmm, what?

That's what I thought, Anne.


Quote
Now I know you have mentioned you were at one time associated with AA, though I have always had a hard time accepting this.


I'm sure you do Danny.  I'm sure you do.

I am getting better, everyday.

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Powerlessness is explained as a existence of no power. Yes, there was a time in my life I felt I had no power to make any changes to stop my self destructiveness. My god, family, friends, good counseling and AA helped to bring back the power within myself to make good decisions. This is what "powerlessness" has meant to me.

Good for you.

Quote
Yep, you are right Max, she really doesn't have a clue. Anne you are intelligent there is no doubt about that but for some reason you have this ability to just look the other way and simplify addictions and alcoholism.

Like I said, personal responsibility is a bitch.

Anne, what you are so casually referencing is not "personal responsibility" it is reckless abandonment. In the throws of addiction and alcoholism you don't make cavalier comments to someone that is dying.



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Hey, if folks can sober up without AA's help that is great, we do not have the "corner market on helping Alcoholics".


What about that "signing their own death warrant" if they don't "follow the 12 steps"?  12&12 p.174,  Tradition Nine

You are taking the "most serious one" (Bill W.) as Dr. Bob called him, why to literal. Most folks in AA today would not know a "Delirium Tremor" from this shakes you get from being cold.


Quote
Here is a thought for ya, show me where AA has ever criticized another organization that was helping folks to get sober. Never!!!!

I never said they did, but I've seen it personally in quite a few meetings.  I've been told that by at least 2 sponsors.  And then there's the person a few weeks ago who's sponsor told them to quit taking their anti-depressant meds, cold turkey.

Well, Anne, they are people that have a lot to say about everything. So AA (Literature and GSO) ) has to be held responsible for what everyone says and does. Absolutely not.
I know folks say that and I agree with you, it is one of the most reckless opinions to give. I have stood up and denounced this in a meeting but as sure as I am typing now someone is telling another person this very opinion. Stupid.



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This was a internal survey done almost 20 years ago, AA was doing this often until politics interfered and folks like yourselves here started to take private answers from folks and twist them.

There's no twisting Danny.  It just makes you feel better to believe that.  And that's ok.

No, you are doing this because I don't believe you understand the reason AA first came up with the idea to do this. It was to help us in AA not for you folks outside.
Maybe the word twist could have been left off in favor of another word.



Quote
So out of one survey twenty years ago, you base your opinions on. Anne, please come on.

Well, that's the only one they've allowed but no - that's not all I base my opinion of it on. I base it on about 10 years of my own research and my own experiences with AA.

OK. Fair enough.

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Anne, there is no studying or definition. It is one person helping another, one day at a time. Keep it simple. AA is not Straight.

No, it's not Straight but there are a lot of similarities.

That is understandable.



Quote
Ok, so what, it this supposed to be bad, Bill Wilson and Dr. Bob encouraged this. AA does not take the place of counseling, psychiatric care, detox, residential care, ect....

Ya might want to tell that to sponsors because a lot of them sure try to.

Will not argue that point.


Quote
Well that would be great if AA was a treatment center but it is not, so why would we do this comparison.

The steps are used in virtually every treatment center available and AA is recommended as aftercare.

I understand what you are saying but I have never confused one for the other. AA is a set of principles, a design for living I chose to use to straighten my life out. of course I also had other help.
This bullshit with treatment centers and what not is not AA, as I know it.


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This is not Straight.

Yes, I know.

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OK, it has worked great for me, Max and millions of others. I suppose it can not work for everybody

Then I wish they'd stop telling people that they'll die if they leave the rooms.  I wish they'd stop telling people to stop their meds because AA is all they need.  That is a direct quote from the sponsor of the person I was helping a few weeks ago.  This person actually told their sponsee that AA was all they need and to stop taking the meds immediately.

Anne, this person is not speaking for AA nor in my opinion representing AA at all. Bill W. and especially Dr. Bob S. never ever said these things. Like I said earlier Bill W. was not talking to 70% of the people in the rooms today when he made that comment. He was talking to me, fo sur!!!!!!!I would have died if I had left AA and the friends I made early on, shit I was hanging on for dear life, I could not bang another bag of dope or drink anymore Wild Irish Rose. I was wasted.
I weigh 220lbs and I am 6' 1" physical fit, a little robust but no flab. In 1988, Nov. 2nd I weighed in at 151 with the filthy grime on me. Am I proud of this "no" but this is where I went.




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AA does not have failures, why would you say such a thing.


 :lala:  :lala:  LaLaLaLa LaLaLaLa LaLaLaLa LaLaLaLa   :rofl:  :rofl:  :rofl:  :rofl:  :rofl:  :rofl:  :rofl:  :rofl:  :rofl:  :rofl:  :rofl:

Anne, why are you calling people failures ??


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Well I believe the same was said about Straight.


Huh?  

Quote
AA is self help it can not be forced. Once again George Vaillant, sat on the AA BODs and still encouraged folks to attend AA meetings.

Yes, despite his findings.  Funny, huh?

Yes.

The discrepancy between his data and his case studies is not very reassuring about Dr. Vaillant's mission.


............In a separate non-clinical sample he studied, Vaillant found that the substantial majority achieved remission without entering AA. Yet Vaillant failed to cite a single case of natural recovery in his book! Every single case is of an AA success, or else of failures like "Tom Reardon," who foolishly "never learned to pick up the telephone" to call AA. The discrepancy between his data and his case studies is not very reassuring about Dr. Vaillant's mission.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »
Stand and fight, till there is no more.