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Re: Alcoholics Anonymous - Savage Therapy
Posted by: jerseybarb85 ()
Date: January 25, 2009 05:52AM

I am sorry about the horrible experiences that some of the posters in this thread have suffered at the hands of some AA members. I go to AA, but with not much enthuasiam. AA has helped me a lot, but it has to be realized that AA is filled with people who, by definition, are sick. Sick people do sick things. AA is ONLY qualified to deal with alcoholism NOTHING else. I have been 13-stepped, sneered at, head game played by people (usually men) in AA. I have been told that I shouldnt go to therapy, that I should bring all my problems to the tables of AA. ( I did not believe that woman at all, dont worry) I have learned that I should be on my guard in AA, as I would in any other situation.

The program of AA mostly deals with the issues and needs of the alcoholics that seem to be suffering from personallity and charater disorders. I should point out, that I am not a mental health professional, just an informed layperson that has had a lot of contact with the mental health profession. (I am diagnosed as having schizo-affective disorder) AA does not deal much with the issues of the mentally ill alcoholic, which I like to call "self-medicators".

When I got sober, I ran across a lot of the "sickos" who prey on the newcomer in AA. This turned out to be a blessing in disguise, as it taught me that I should be wary. There are a lot of borderline socipaths in the program, and like I said above, AA mostly deals with their issues and needs. I was lucky to find women that took me under their wing and gave me love until I could love myself. There was very little of the guilt games and shame games that some in this thread have encoundered.

Overall, even though there are some bad feelings I have about AA, it did save my life and it did help me quite a bit

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Re: Alcoholics Anonymous - Savage Therapy
Posted by: GratefulRage ()
Date: June 06, 2009 12:39AM

The AA teachings about the nature of alcoholism are wrong. They've been proven wrong again and again by scientific studies.

AA expects you to believe that a person you just met, your 'sponsor' has been sober for many years, and knows better than you what you should think, feel, and do.

AA allows no changes to it's literature and program. They are frozen for all time, unchanging.

AA teaches that all alcoholics are the same and must do the same exact steps to get a temporary reprieve.

Still, AA as a cult is very week, disorganized and ineffective at truly brainwashing people. It may damage your self esteem and confidence, but it has failed to control the actions of the vast majority of people who've attended meetings over the last 70 years.

In my experience, it's really only dangerous to a few vulnerable people. After all, the disrespect, ridicule and hostility you get from AA members isn't any worse than what an out of control drinker gets from bartenders, customers, friends, family and police. I view my experience of AA in comparison to the disgusting things I was doing before I went in. I'm lucky none of the men I picked up at bars seriously hurt or killed me. Or gave me AIDS or another disease, since I let them do what they wanted, and never insisted on using a condom.

If money brought happiness, there would be no expensive LGATs.

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Re: Alcoholics Anonymous - Savage Therapy
Posted by: Open Mind ()
Date: June 19, 2009 08:55AM

All AA meetings follow a fairly similar format (reading the steps, hearing testimonials, reading a selection from AA literature). But apart from that, I've found, meetings tend to be VERY different in tone from one another. And that tone is set by the people in the meeting.

Generally any AA group will respect the right of any person to tell their story or their troubles while 'sharing' in a meeting.

However- the advice, opinions and (yes) judgments of group members are going to reflect the community where the AA group is based, and it's going to reflect the individuals who make up that particular group. The values of the people in a rural Kansas AA group are going to be different from the values of people in a gay AA group from New York City. And, frankly, some groups just might have a bunch of power-tripping jerks in them. From some of the stories I've just read above, it sounds like some AA groups have made some bad mistakes. It's best to remember that AA is good at giving specific advice on drinking, and general advice on recognizing and calming one's ego. (Buddhist meditation also has the avowed goal of taming the ego. It's a fairly benign goal.) But no-one in AA should give you advice on your car or how you dress or whether masturbation is sinful unless you ask.

If you don't want to drink any more and if you want to see if AA can work for you, try going to a number of different groups until you find one where you feel like you can relate to the people a bit more. If you're a 22-year-old woman, you might feel uncomfortable going to a meeting made up mostly of 50-year-old men. Fortunately in larger cities, there's a big variety of groups, many of which cater to particular needs - gay groups, women's groups, groups conducted in Swedish etc..

One thing you tend to hear a lot in AA is that AA is the only way to get sober. This is clearly untrue. But AA is made up of people who got sober through AA and people who got sober in AA, then quit AA, then drank again, then returned to AA to give it another go. (People who got sober without AA don't go to AA groups to tell their story. People who went to AA for a bit and then quit and stayed sober don't come back to AA groups to tell how they are fine now without the program.) So the experience base of an AA group is sort of limited by that.

I will say this: I tried to quit drinking on my own for many years. I also tried to moderate. I failed. When I joined AA I was able to get sober. When I quit AA, I began drinking again and was unable to quit. When I returned to AA, I was able to quit again. Does it follow logically that AA MUST be the reason I'm sober? No. Does it follow logically that anyone who follows the AA program can and will get sober? No. But it seems to work for me at the moment. And for other people in the program. And I have no idea why. And it's easier to put up with AA weirdness than drunk or hungover weirdness.

Finally, let me say this - if your sponsor is power-tripping on you or crossing common-sense boundaries, then ditch them and get another one. And tell someone what happened. You're allowed to.


Oh ya - AA literature does change occasionally. They add new testimonials to the big book. Like once a decade. Or they write new pamphlets. But they have not updated the stuffy 1920s language of the original text one iota. I think they should. It can put people off. It was meant to be colloquial, common-sense language. And in its time it was. But now that it seems to come from another age, some people give it this weird reverance. It's not supposed to be scripture. It's supposed to be a how-to book.

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