12 step group
Posted by: cD7iM9kI0x ()
Date: October 22, 2011 12:35AM

I honestly believe 12 step groups can be like cults. They have an all or nothing ideology and worship their founders... a little too much for comfort. They say take what you like and leave the rest, but if you do that you will dangle off the edges and probably be excluded. I was in a 12 step group for four years and although a lot of good came out of it, the people there were more messed up than me but i really bought into their extremism. They are militaristic about what constitues"sober" but I'm not sure how sane the people at the core of these programs really are

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Re: 12 step group
Posted by: rrmoderator ()
Date: October 22, 2011 03:15AM

12 step groups are not "cults"--unless it's a splinter group following an absolute authoritarian leader.

Other than such splinter groups, which are relatively rare, 12 step groups don't fit the criteria that defines a cult.

See [www.culteducation.com]

Psychiatrist Robert Jay Lifton, who wrote the definitive book about thought reform (often called "brainwashing") also wrote a paper about cult formation. Lifton defined a cult as having the following three characteristics:

1. A charismatic leader, who increasingly becomes an object of worship as the general principles that may have originally sustained the group lose power.

2. A process [is in use] call[ed] coercive persuasion or thought reform.

3. Economic, sexual, and other exploitation of group members by the leader and the ruling coterie.

The single most definitive and salient feature of cults is the charismatic leader, who becomes an object of devotion, and has little if any meaningful accountability.

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Re: 12 step group
Posted by: Sparky ()
Date: October 23, 2011 07:33AM

There are non-religious 12-step programs out there run by secular humanist groups which actually claim they have a slightly higher success rate since they don't make people use god as a crutch. Check around. Not all require belief in a higher power.

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