You made a potentially misleading statement and it needed to be responded to here.
AA is not a "cult."
Here is what it says in context:
[b:a46f57fe5f]Defining a Cult [/b:a46f57fe5f]
Question: Isn't the word "cult" a pejorative label used to discriminate against new religious movements?
Answer: No. It is disingenuous to ignore the historical significance and modern day applications of the word cult. Today many controversial groups, that have been called "cults", are seeking to either eliminate the word, or create through fear of litigation a reluctance to use the term. Some cult apologists have literally said that "'cult' is a four letter word," and should be replaced by the politically correct title "new religious movement" (NRM). However, historically cults have always been with us and they continue to be a part of the world today.
Question: How is the word "cult" defined?
Webster's Dictionary defines a cult as:
"1. A formal religious veneration 2. A system of religious beliefs and rituals also its body of adherents; 3. A religion regarded as "unorthodox or spurious."; 4. A system for the cure of disease based on dogma set forth by its promulgator; 5. a: A great devotion to a person, idea, thing; esp.: such devotion regarded as a literary or intellectual fad, b: A usually small circle of persons united by devotion or allegiance to an artistic or intellectual movement or figure."
This definition obviously could include everything from Barbie collectors to old "Deadheads," "Trekkies" to diehard Elvis fans. American history might also include within such a definition the devoted followers of Mary Baker Eddy the founder of Christian Science, or the Mormons united through their devotion to Joseph Smith. Both these religious groups were once largely regarded as "unorthodox or spurious." However, the most important concern today is not simply who might be somewhat "cultic" in their devotion now or historically, but what groups might represent potential problems regarding personal or public safety. That is, groups that are potentially unsafe and/or destructive.
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.
Question: Don't some groups once seen as "cults" often move more into the mainstream, becoming generally respected sects or religions?
Answer: Yes. There are certainly examples of groups that were once perhaps thought of as "cults" that have evolved into relatively mainstream sects or religions. Such examples as the Seventh Day Adventists once led by Ellen White, or the Mormons, also known as the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints.
But it is also important to note that some groups, which may have once been labeled as "cults" continue to be controversial due to their unsafe or destructive practices. Two examples of groups that continue to be problematic and often destructive are the former Russellites, now known as "Jehovah's Witnesses," that once prohibited organ transplants and still expects its members to refuse blood transfusions, which has resulted in numerous deaths. And the Christian Scientists founded by Mary Baker Eddy who often reject medical treatment, again resulting in the loss of life. Some groups may say they have renounced unsafe or destructive practices, only to be exposed later as guilty of the same extremes and abuses.
If you don't like AA and feel it is a bad group or movement, that's one thing, but please don't attempt to place a false label on the group. It's really not useful for the purpose of meaningful discussion here.
AA doesn't meet the criteria for a cult, nor does it utilize thought reform per the definition of experts in the field.
A fair, objective and accurate statement might be; AA is an organization that has a belief system/philosophy, and it indoctrinates and expects its members to accept that belief system.
Subsequently, you might point out why you don't like AA or its beliefs.
That would then be your opinion about AA.