24
   

The cult of AA

 
 
chai2
 
Reply Sun 23 May, 2010 04:40 pm
I originally had no intention of starting a thread like this.

I was just messing around on youtube, and, as happens, one video leads to another, and you notice a subject of interest to you, and start to watch related videos.

I'd better get as much of what I have to say out there, before sglass comes along to tell me and anyone reading this that I'm a "dry drunk", that I don't know what I'm talking about, that I'll probably start drinking any time now because my life is so obviously out of control. Or, that I wasn't a "real" alcoholic.

I'll let you be the judge.

I watched a few Youtube videos that made me laugh. If you've been there, but realized at some point that "hey, I'm gonna go off and live my life" the vids were like watching something from when you were much younger, and more gullible. I'll post one or two of those in a moment....

Then, I watched this video I'm gonna post right now. While listening (the video itself was that annoying shaky camera ****) my feelings traveled to all different places.
First was the "yeah, I hear ya...." then came the "oh come on, it's not (always) that bad"....to "****, you just a ball buster feminista, aren't you".....to "you know, maybe all these things didn't happen to me...but yeah, I can remember so-and-so, and yeah that could have happened...I remember so-and-so, that happened to her..."

This woman is angry, yeah.
But you know, that anger obviously doesn't spring from out of nowhere. I know for sure that someone, or a few someones, discouraged her from expressing her anger.

I'll let you watch before continuing.....

  • Topic Stats
  • Top Replies
  • Link to this Topic
Type: Discussion • Score: 24 • Views: 12,925 • Replies: 207

 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sun 23 May, 2010 04:54 pm
@chai2,
Too bad, I can't hear her well enough to continue. I've mixed feelings re AA, having friends helped and with my native distrust flags upraised at the same time.
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sun 23 May, 2010 04:57 pm
@chai2,
Which reminds me of a tangent (I had a census person come to interview me a couple of days ago and I couldn't understand her because she squeaked. We managed to work it out.) Oh, never mind, but I'd like to see a text to that.
0 Replies
 
chai2
 
  2  
Reply Sun 23 May, 2010 05:00 pm
Well, that was a cheery little video, wasn't it?

To break the sour mood, here's one I watched before that one.

Humorous, but still the truth....




No one wants to have a family member, friend, other person close to them be an alcoholic.

Not only is it sad, destructive to the alcoholic, but it makes their life a living hell as well.

Anything that gets that person to stop drinking is welcome. Be it joining AA, a church, a sky diving group, is ok in their book.

You may be annoyed if your friend or loved on joined a church that didn't jive with your beliefs, or you might be worried sick whenever s/he goes sky diving. But, ****, they aren't drinking and if that's what it takes, fine. So it isn't for quite some time, or never, that the family/friends off the alcoholic says "You know, maybe you're taking this a little too far. The people you've become friends with there are not always people you should be spending time with. And frankly, we're getting tired of you speaking mainly in tired, and really stupid, cliches."

As far as what goes on when "you step through the doors"
Think about it.
Yes, yes, doctors, lawyers, housewives and computer programs become alcoholics, and choose to go to AA.
Problem is, rapists, pedophiles, thieves, con artists, violent people and so on become alcoholics too. Guess who ends up sitting next to you?

Heaven forbid you say "you make me uncomfortable, and I don't want you to sit next to me, or talk to me"

The fact that a room full of people have one thing in common....they drink....is not enough reason to that that particular group of people in that same room together.

to be continued.....
chai2
 
  1  
Reply Sun 23 May, 2010 05:10 pm
@ossobuco,
ossobuco wrote:

I've mixed feelings re AA, having friends helped...


This is a big part of the mental block many people have about AA. People who both go there, and have had people they know helped there.

Your mixed feeling come from "how can I say something negative bad about this group? They've help some friends. It wouldn't be fair to critisize something that helped them. Never mind that it's full of people who have no business giving any sort of advise on anything. If I say so, someone will tell me I don't know what I'm talking about, or that "that doesn't happen here" or that, as said in the video you had problems hearing "If I say something negative, I'm murdering someone.What I say might keep someone from coming here and getting help."
Yeah, it could also keep them from becoming involved, to even some extent, with peope you would never dream of letting in your home, or alone with your child, wife, husband, etc.

As far as the cult features, I'll get to that in a moment....

to be continued....
0 Replies
 
Pemerson
 
  1  
Reply Sun 23 May, 2010 05:18 pm
I suppose this lady could start her own group that she thinks could work better for alcoholics than AA. Actually, the 12 steps used in AA were taken from 6 tenants used by a religion called The Oxford Group, in England. But, I know zip about that.

ebrown p
 
  1  
Reply Sun 23 May, 2010 05:29 pm
Let's first of all challenge the word "cult". There is no good definition for the word other than "religion or subculture that you don't like". Without question, AA is a subculture-- and clearly people have feel it is harmful. But, I also know people who have personally found AA helpful.

My problem is with the "cult" label. This label seems to be an attempt to prevent anyone from joining-- even people who might find it helpful or meaningful.

Of course I have no problem with people challenging and questioning groups like AA. The scientific questions its effectiveness are certainly relevant particularly for questions of sentencing.

But demonizing AA as some sort of sinister force that will destroy the life of anyone who comes near is a little extreme.
farmerman
 
  2  
Reply Sun 23 May, 2010 05:35 pm
@ebrown p,
AA is like Tom Cruise. Hes certain that his revelations are the only valid ones and everybody elses is crap.

Noone does any research of the number of people whove NOT used AA to beome and stay sober. AA is a competitive industry that cannot abide any competition.
roger
 
  5  
Reply Sun 23 May, 2010 05:41 pm
@ebrown p,
ebrown p wrote:



But demonizing AA as some sort of sinister force that will destroy the life of anyone who comes near is a little extreme.



If Chai is going to say all that, and in such exaggerated form, possibly you could wait for her to say it.
ebrown p
 
  1  
Reply Sun 23 May, 2010 05:43 pm
@farmerman,
Quote:
Noone does any research of the number of people whove NOT used AA to beome and stay sober. AA is a competitive industry that cannot abide any competition.


I think there is research (I don't feel like looking it up right now). And, if memory serves me, I think it shows pretty convincingly that people with drinking problems can stay sober without AA.

This doesn't take away from the fact that some people find AA meaningful and helpful.

Shouldn't this be a matter of personal choice?

(I do agree that AA should not be forced on anyone as part of the legal system.)
ebrown p
 
  1  
Reply Sun 23 May, 2010 05:44 pm
@roger,
Roger, I may have been reacting to the video, and the misuse of the word "cult".
0 Replies
 
chai2
 
  1  
Reply Sun 23 May, 2010 05:52 pm
@Pemerson,
Pemerson wrote:

I suppose this lady could start her own group that she thinks could work better for alcoholics than AA. Actually, the 12 steps used in AA were taken from 6 tenants used by a religion called The Oxford Group, in England. But, I know zip about that.


I don't believe this woman did this video with any thought to creating something that works better.
This isn't a matter of "if you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all" She was giving her warning of what pitfalls lie ahead.

Why do you supposing, Pemerson, that because this woman expressed that there are problems with something, she needs to be prepared to come forth with a solution?

I think she stated very well that (and she is speaking to women) that when you are in a place where you realize you need to do something about your drinking, in general, your thought processes are not all that great.
When you are conflicted, scared, confused....to the point where you might say you would literally say the lords prayer backwards and sacrifice a newborn if that would get you to stop drinking, you are in a place where you can be taken advantage of.

There are all kinds of sexual predetors in AA, both male and female. However, people, male and female can certainly be taken advantage of in other ways.

I, for instance, don't feel the need to, nor am I qualified to start a better way to detox and help alcoholics. Actually, I have no desire to do so either.
However, like this woman, and the man in the 2nd video, I am qualified, and clear headed enough, and not subject to censure to express what I know to happen all the time.

As far as the Oxford Group....so?

The Oxfords Group's influence can be found in Alcoholics Anonymous. Both Bill Wilson and Bob Smith, the two founders of Alcoholics Anonymous, were members of the Oxford Group. Though early AA sought to distance itself from the Oxford Groups, Wilson later acknowledged, "The early AA got its ideas of self-examination, acknowledgment of character defects, restitution for harm done and working with others straight from the Oxford Group and directly from Sam Shoemaker, their former leader in America, and from nowhere else."

The Oxford group has nothing to do with alcoholism.


farmerman
 
  3  
Reply Sun 23 May, 2010 05:53 pm
@ebrown p,
Quote:
Shouldn't this be a matter of personal choice?
Agreed, I went through a total rehab program and then worked with a counselor who instille in me the sense that if I can keep the same passion about the bad times that booze lent me, it would help a lot. I did, and it did. I also got involved down at U PEnn with some studies a=of the genetic links in the condition. Interestingly we now live in the time where genetics of our system (DNA that exists outside the cell and mitochondria are called "epigenetic" DNA). The science of epihgenetics and how it transfers into the cells of succeeding generations added a genetic focus to alcoholism. I came from a family tree that was constantly having its males fall out of their perches because they were "drunks".


However, I tried AA and it was not of any use because , if I didnt have any answers other than "youre powerless" and "relinquish to a higher power" ""come to a meeting and that will help", Id go try to find my own answers. Higher powers only work if you believe in them.
So, for me, total washout. When I got control of me and analyzed why I drank and what it did, and what the metabolic pathways were, it became infinitely easier. Now Im a total Pain in the ass at parties. (In fact we dont go our to many parties anyway because I dont like being around people when theyre even a little bit Assited by alcohol or drugs.
ebrown p
 
  0  
Reply Sun 23 May, 2010 05:54 pm
@chai2,
Quote:

There are all kinds of sexual predetors in AA, both male and female.


Give me a freakin' break!

If this isn't defamation with no support, I don't know what is.
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sun 23 May, 2010 05:59 pm
When I was first acquainted with it, via friends' children, cult was just the word that came to mind. I know what a cult is, from another occasion, years ago, where family friends of my husband's lost a child to Children of God. There are similarities, and, I won't argue, differences. I still nod at the word cult, though I mostly get that it helped the aforementioned friend's child.

I'm not clear how good the data is re it all working. I hired several aa people with varied results (yes, I know I wasn't supposed to know); let's say recidivism was rampant. But, in the world of recovery programs, I take it from my reading that data can be scarce. I grew to assume that most workers in my (then) county were in substance abuse programs.

One of my cousins' children stopped on his own, not being able to do the higher being thing. Cool for maybe seven years, one lapse, cool for another bunch of years now.
0 Replies
 
ebrown p
 
  1  
Reply Sun 23 May, 2010 06:03 pm
@farmerman,
I come from a similar family tree. I was exposed to AA through family members, but thankfully was never a part of it.

My impression is that people who are happy with AA are happy with the community it provides-- a group of like-minded people. I believe that this type of close (even insular) support system can be very helpful for some people.

Obviously for people who are forced into it, it isn't going to help one bit. And, of course, there are lots of other options for people to choose.
farmerman
 
  3  
Reply Sun 23 May, 2010 06:04 pm
@ebrown p,
Alcoholism is exchanged for meetaholism in AA.

But, if what you say is true, why does AA preemptively attempt to beat up on anything other than their little program?

After all, it was the AA Inc that came up with the phrase "dry drunk" as a pejorative term.
ebrown p
 
  1  
Reply Sun 23 May, 2010 06:10 pm
@farmerman,
Alcohol use only becomes "Alcoholism" when it is ruining your life (and whether it is ruining your life is judged by your own standards). Many people use alcohol without it being a problem. The same is true with meetings. If going to meetings isn't ruing your life, then what is the problem?

AA's tendency to "preemptively beat up" other programs is not an endearing quality. I have the same reaction to that as I do to people who attach the "cult" label to groups they don't like. Still, It doesn't make the sexual predators.

0 Replies
 
shewolfnm
 
  2  
Reply Sun 23 May, 2010 06:14 pm
This is more of a bookmark post than anything else because this is going to be a good topic.
Unless there is nit picking. Blah.

Even when I was attempting to swallow AA/NA , it always rang to me as a mindless program.
Something that teaches people to never let go of their alcoholism, their behaviors, that mindset and to belittle themselves constantly . It seems to produce victims, obsessive dry drunks ... not healthy well rounded people.

just my opinion Smile
( I got sober when i left it)
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sun 23 May, 2010 06:17 pm
Two people I know who were into AA married and are, far as I can tell, presently happy. I seem to remember though, that they said such fraternization was frowned on when they got together.
 

Related Topics

Battery malfunction - Question by dalehileman
AA question - Discussion by Eliusa
It Happened ! ! - Discussion by 9one1
 
  1. Forums
  2. » The cult of AA
Copyright © 2017 MadLab, LLC :: Terms of Service :: Privacy Policy :: Page generated in 0.03 seconds on 09/21/2017 at 05:06:19