AA , the mental health community, and the courts
Date: September 11, 2006 09:26PM
But Rick, it would seem like with the volume of AA related complaints not only on this board but on countless websites, books, etc the world over, you might stop to consider that there might indeed be a problem with this organization, which purports to treat a medical, biologically based disease with prayer and meditation. No other disease, whether physical or psychological, is treated in this manner (depression? Schizophrenia? Bi polar disorder? Diabetes?) AA, while it may not be a cult by your standard definition, DOES have a lot of cult-like ideas, is based on the writings of one man with n o medical background--writings which have remained unchanged since the 30's in the face of changing social mores and medical/scientific findings because they are viewed as scripture (heck, even the Holy Bible has had the language updated to make it more understandable to a new generation--but not the Big Book!). Are you aware that the Big Book contains a chapter entitled "To The Wives" that assumes all alcoholics are male and tells the wives how to endlessly put up with their escapades and foibles without being a "nag" or "wet blanket"?
I just think that, as the founder of a website exposing cults or cult-like practices, you might want to view both sides of the coin without just simply saying that in your time with one agency you did not happen to receive any complaints against AA, therefore it is a fine organization unworthy of being challenged here. I know that while I was a member, I was terrified to complain about it to anyone--I would have gotten into legal trouble if I did not report that I was working those steps and praying regularly when my PO asked about it. Many courts ask the sponsors to fill out monthly "sponsor reports" and send them in, and based on this unknown person's estimation of whether or not the probationer is sufficiently "spiritual", they can be sent back to jail! Who would dare to complain?
I would truly urge you to check out some of the websites mentioned here, including the Orange Papers, and the Yahoo groups 12 step free, and 12 step coercion, and there are MANY MANY others. This does not happen with benign support groups. I am not trying to offend you, sincerely. I am only asking you to look beyond your admittedly limited experience with AA and see for yourself what complaints are out there before you write it off as a harmless support group. That's all.