You Are So Brainwashed It’s Funny

You learned that your defective, obsessive, and diseased mind is bent on its own destruction: that is simply the nature of alcoholism, your newly diagnosed affliction.  Ruin is inevitable.

They exploited the desires, fears and sins you revealed during “Step Work” to exact obedience and stifle doubt.

Then they sent you out into the world to proselytize for them: to convince others they are similarly defective and obsessed even if they don’t realize it, insisting that their claim to drink just because they want to is a lie, even as you deny trying to convince anyone they are alcoholic.  And you do it, because it’s an essential part of the only known cure.

Now they sit back and laugh, waiting for you to self-destruct because one day you you wake up in a good mood and forget to beseech your Higher Power for protection from your own mind’s lethal obsessions and at the end of the day when you suddenly remember and reach for the phone to call your sponsor, it’s too late because the combination of vodka you picked up on the way home to commemorate a successful day (an old habit you assumed was long since broken), and a nearly full prescription of vicodin left over from a previous surgery (whose longevity you and your sponsor recently agreed was sure proof of progress even while you wondered why she didn’t demand that you flush it immediately), has already shut down the nerve signalling pathways controlling the muscles in your extremities, thereby rendering a maligned and abused but normal brain truly and hopelessly powerless, for the first time ever.

That’s the most common modus operandi of Alcoholics Anonymous, the brainwashing cult of powerlessness that doubles as a drinking club (oh you thought AA was a treatment for alcoholism? Gotcha haha!), and it happens many times every day in this country. They thirst for your blood because it makes them stronger; your expiration increments the obscene statistic that stands as this year’s testament to the fearsome power of the same affliction that now threatens the life of tonight’s featured speaker even as he stands here before us: a humble Christian, and at one time not so long ago another certain victim of the disease, were it not for his discovery of a simple but powerful program, which worked when nothing else did, and which not only rescued his poor and admittedly imperfect soul from certain death but offered it abundant life; the initiation of which requiring only a willingness to admit the power of an undeniably deadly disease; and for its maintenance his continuous vigilance lest it return. The disease withered as he advanced in the program in which he learned to exercise rigorous honesty in all his affairs; and finally the infernal malady receded, though it left behind in its wake a shameful trail of sin, which he regrets and for which he has made amends, as our program requires. He then proceeds to recount the harrowing details. We listen and much to our surprise he is laughing and we are laughing! The recovery from our condition has strengthened us and made us resilient, and we are able to find humor in the midst of the suffering and hardship it created for us and the ones we care about most. Indeed, we are not a glum lot.

You chuckle along with the group at the stories of mischief, unaware of the high cost the cult has incurred for them, or that this obligation can be satisfied only by the blood of its members. Who will die for this man’s sins? That question never occurs to you. For now you are focused on your recovery, while you relish the warm welcome of the fellowship.  Their eager hugs and knowing smiles suggest a genuine appreciation of your suffering, even if the repeated demands for ‘rigorous honesty’ about past mistakes left you demoralized.  They say you’re making progress.

You recommit yourself to the Steps as our speaker advised and wait your turn for the promised miracle, wondering if you really have admitted utter powerlessness to your disease as he did, and trying to remember what he even said about that.


The Real Alcoholics of AA pour their drinks and take their seats, laughing about their new disciples. Who will be first to attain true knowledge?  The bets are placed and the curtain is lifted.  The demons settle in to watch an eloquent apostle of our “cunning and baffling” condition start her day in a good mood and conclude it in silent vindication.   The curtain falls and the room erupts in raucous cheers: the old prank remains as young as the blood that affords it.  The winner of the pool soaks in the accolades and starts to plan her merry escapade, which will only wax more lurid in its retelling. Brew sloshes and spills from a goblet raised jubilantly in its own honor.


My advice is to get out now and don’t look back. Maybe stop by your local church on the way home and see if they have any openings for service work.

And for gosh sakes, don’t mix alcohol and drugs!

AddictionMyth gratefully acknowledges the contribution of Dr. Drew Pinsky for this article.

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1,168 thoughts on “You Are So Brainwashed It’s Funny”

      1. LOL. Keep people sober. Save lives. Change lives for the better. Give children their parents back. Make productive members of society. LOL

    1. AA has worked for me for 23 years. I do find the fellowship lacking. But the God of my understanding has given me the strength to stay sober. I am however seeking alternative recovery fellowships. I am a clean-cut, sober, successful educated man. The friends I have made in the fellowship I can count on one hand. I really would like to find some like-minded people who are staying sober, who I can relate to outside the rooms of recovery.

      1. Thank you Kris reading your entry was a breath of fresh air. I have been sober for decades now and would not be had it not been for AA. A series of unfortunate events have led to me surviving outside the rooms of AA meetings. I hope to go back this summer having moved to a totally different area. The thing I related to the most was a meeting of minds outside the program.

      2. Kris,
        Interesting comment. I was recently thinking the same thing. I have cut my list of friends down to 1 or 2 and those just because I have to deal with them. I would not even think of hanging around anybody I have met in AA. I will never attend another AA meeting as long as I live. So I was thinking , I need to find some sober or at least be sober when we are hanging out kinda friends. Alcohol doesn’t tempt me anymore. My wife will have drinks when we go out and has alcohol in the house. I was always a beer drinker, so hard alcohol not really all that appealing. Just nice to hear that someone is thinking along the same lines as me. But it’s almost like trying to date after a long relationship. Where do you find new friends? Good luck.

    2. YOU are the ones BRAINWASHED, “YOU” ARE the cult. You need to STOP you are a fake, phony and fraud. No I don’t totally agree with some things autonomous groups state. But guess what that’s life, dough!!! SHUT UP about What you DON’T know about you are of the darkness of this world. Try JESUS and come to the LIGHT!!!

      1. I think you meant Duh there Dough. Try to become a bit more lettered if you are intent on writing. duh?

    3. Yea I got interested at the humble Christian part of this blog and his ability to read from the big book and thought this addictionmyth guy knew what he was talking about. But its a joke to him.

  1. Blame thy sponsor for not answering when you called.
    Then go and get drunk.
    After that think of others to blame.
    Stew in resentments and anything but personal responsibility.
    Be a light weight. Don’t fight back the bully is too big and powerful for you to do anything. Sound familiar?

    1. Oh yea, I stepped on an anthill and got bit, so I had to go apply some alcohol to the wound. The rest of the bottle was just internal medicine. Funny that I didn’t learn that occultish behavior from an AA group and them telling me I was an alcoholic really meant that I needed to work the 12 steps and find a sponsor. God will fill in all the blanks.

      1. They don’t tell you that you are an alcoholic they let you figure it out for yourself and come to that conclusion on your own.

  2. First off AA isn’t a membership drive. We do not care if people
    Join or not. We do not promote. It’s always someone’s own choice weather they decide to join the fellowship or not. A sincere desire to be helpful is what most members I’ve encountered have always tried to do. They’re are no bosses in AA. No one to run your life.. We have a design for living it’s always a persons choice if they chose to live accordingly or not. I see you blogged “stop by a church for service work” you may want to read up on the origins of the 12 steps and see where they were inspired from. Even going back as far a bible days alcoholism was a huge problem…Furthermore if you would like to argue the fact that Addcition isn’t a disease, that most of the time will only be conquered by a spiritual experience or physic change you are Debating with the American medical assciociation (AMA) as well as tons of past “step programs” going back to temperance movement, Washingtonins, Oxford movement.. Ect.. Ect… It must be very easy to sit behind a computer and take shots about a fellowship and program you have never really be able to experience… It’s cool tho, keep killing people by posting opinions on a experience you’ve never had… I know I’m able to sleep at night… I don’t know about you tho..

    1. I think it is great that AA members can punch in an opinion in response to what A M says. I would ask that members check spelling and such to not come off too ignorant. It sort of belies credibility and comes off angry. Come on a little rule 62 here folks.

      1. Thanks for the quick response on Rule 62 comment. You are certainly consistent and don’t call me

    2. I’m a drug addict and alcoholic. I know what I’m talking about. You are the one who is ignorant. It’s cool tho, keep killing people with your nonsense… I know I’m able to sleep at night… I don’t know about you.

      1. The very fact your saying your a drug addict and alcoholic and then turning around and saying it isn’t a disease is stupidly at its finest please define addict and alcoholic to me and then tell me it’s not a progressive fatal disease… It is absoulety a disease Genetic in nature…you may want to read up a little buddy..get some facts together..MR

      1. Gotcha you certainly exposed the foul mouthed low life twit you are. Plus you guessed wrong.

    3. If it helps to believe that addiction is a disease and it helps you to find a solution for that problem. And you don’t drink anymore and you live , then who cares wether it is or not

  3. Never read more destructive fiction in my life. 12 steps are the most solid design for spiritual living I’ve ever found. Keeps me clean and sober and improving

    1. I love this forum as it allows all kinds of thought on the subject of addiction. AA definitely has its faults. I have been on hiatus for quite a while from it and perhaps will attend a meeting sometime this summer. AA is so disorganized that it is impossible to know if that effective or not. Just always disconcerting when Christianity rears its ugly head in a meeting when some jug head announces that is the only way to be sane, sober and saved. Yuck.

      1. It’s like a cross section of society . In any place at any time there are jugheads saying all kinds of things. good luck finding the perfection your looking for , nobody wants to to hear anything younger not agree with. Hahahah

    2. You are right. It is about spiritual living and the acceptance of fictional beings running your life. Has nothing to do with alcohol or addiction

  4. “Addiction is not a disease. Please, stop reciting the Craving Lie: “I wanted to stop drinking but couldn’t no matter how hard I tried.” You are killing people with your religious ‘spawn of satan’ nonsense.”

    It is in FACT a disease. A Disease of the mind. Talk about lies. Perhaps you could find actual research from reputable sources if you could get your head out of High Times Magazine.

    1. It’s definitely NOT a disease. The only person claiming it’s a disease is Nora Volkow, High Imam of the 12 Step Caliphate. Everyone else says it’s a lie. That includes Carl Hart, Stanton Peele, and most of the medical and scientific establishment. Why are you so quick to believe the proclamations of Caliphs? You should move to Syria.

      1. You are pretty amusing with your ISIS and caliphate nonsense. Good read as far as fantasy reading goes.

      1. Most doctors and scientists say it’s NOT a disease and the only way to ‘diagnose’ it is if someone confesses to be an alcoholic. It is NOT fatal, most heavy drinkers moderate naturally. Unless they end up in ‘treatment’ which is actually more likely to kill them.

      1. Again, whatevet you have to tell yourself to get you through the day. Have a blessed day.

  5. Anger is all I hear. My brother lived to be this angry. He chose to remove himself from life because of it. His children found what was left of him. Anger is dangerous. I have 14 years of sobriety & more important life because of AA. Find something that gives you real joy as I have. One day you will cross over to the other side. An ‘Oh sh*t’ moment is to late. Hope you find peace.

    1. Thank you for the comments about anger. I lost my best friend in 1992 after being around AA for 5 years. He was obsessed with his ex-wife and her lover and the fact she was never coming back to him. He also thought computers were an evil and unnecessary invention. He played Russian Roulette for about a year before he blew his brains out. It made me angry for years that he checked out so radically and left us all wondering. Still think about him and remember the day of his death and wonder what it would have been like if he had been able to let go of all that anger he had?

    2. You get real joy from bullying people into overdose and suicide like you did to your brother? Well hey whatever trips your trigger. Who am I to judge? I get real joy from bullying the bullies. 🙂

  6. Thank God AA neither endorses or opposes any causes and chooses not to enter into public controversy or I’d really be up your ass with both feet! Sober since Sept 26, 1985 inspite of myself!

  7. Well AM Bill was no prophet. He was just ahead of his time on addiction recovery. Blaspheme all you want but quit spreading libelous bullshit about that which you know nothing about. And Blessed Be friend.

  8. Anonymous Wanker, After reading your self adoring drivel,..I can see why you do not have a hand out to help your fellow man. You have one hand on the keyboard and the other one is tossing off your ego. Find a closet,…….. or go to Tossers Anonymous. (Just don’t shake hands with anyone for a while Please)

      1. There is no demands to do anything in AA. Your a member if you say so. No dues or fees or lectures to endure. You come and go as you please. There is not a single demand in the Big Book. All steps are but a suggestion. If a person is bullying you simply stay away from them. Get a new sponsor cause that person is not being a friend amongst friends or a work amongst workers. To think oldtimers are perfect they are not we are all human still. To call AA a cult is totally out of bounds. We are a group of people sharing the destructive impact alcohol has had on our life. THERE ARE NO DEMANDS IN AA. If there were any demands in AA I probably would not be sober today. I simply came to a point in my life when I was willing to try the suggestions that AA offers and my life is wonderful as a result of it.

      2. Resentment is the number one offender. You started this out of a resentment and lashing out at AA as a whole when our common welfare should come first.

      3. Telling people they have ‘resentment’ is suicide bullying: “We have found resentments to be a deathly business for the true alcoholic” (BB p 73). If you complain about the bullying they say, “Oh he was just kidding” or “So go find someone else to sponsor you”. And then when the newcomer dies they say, “Constitutionally incapable of being honest”. Yes, watching people die is what brings them ‘peace and serenity’. Thanks for showing how it works.

      4. You obviously know or have a Big Book. Yes suicide is a tragic circumstance that is a reality in life. Helping a another person see a resentment is not sentencing them to their death. If you fully read in the BB about resentments it fully explains that they shut us off from the sunlight of the spirit. We prey for the people from whom we have resentments against showing them the same we would show a sick friend. That the people in this world are sometimes wrong in how they mistreat other people. A well nourished grudge renders us ineffective. This business of resentments continues for a life time we continue to watch for selfishness, dishonesty, resentment and fear.
        I’m greatful for the people in my life that call me out on my resentments. It helps me see where I am being shut off from the sunlight and where I need to be at peace with acceptance on matters.
        Bullying is everywhere, schools, work places and other social places. Bullying is simply a attempt for that person to feel inferior to the other person. Many psychological factors play a part on both side of the bully and the person feeling bullyed. Thats not what AA is about, this frankly is the first time I have ever heard of somebody being bullyed in AA. Progress is based soly on the individuals recovery. Sometimes quickly sometimes slow. The promises come true. Fear of people and economical insecruity will leave us. Telling someone they have a resentment is far from suicide. To drink is to die to an alcoholic. We were all committing suicide slowly before coming into AA.
        People in this world are often wrong. Forgive and move on. I will prey for you friend. God Bless

      5. I find all your babble over complicating a simple program. As far as Dr Drews stats, what are yours? Success or death rates arent his primarily, they include a variety of factors. From reading one of your blogs its clear your part of the problem, not any kind of solution is portrayed. Its a waist of internet space. Your convoluded, distorted perceptions of 12 Step programs are out there, these are in place as an option to help people. Its sounds like maybe you are rationalizing your own substance abuse and borders on writings i did while tweeking on meth. Please do the public a favor and remove yourself from the internet.

      6. Addiction myth……hear is a box of tissues for your issues! Lifes soo unfair to you, being bullyed by all these AAer’s. By the way you do it all to your self. Best wishes to you on your “new” addiction myths and cult proclaims, I bet you help no one!

      7. Again, you are such a bully. Again, thanks for showing “How it works”. It’s funny you think cult tactics are at all effective online. But please, don’t let my pointing that out stop you from demonstrating how you bully the newcomer into overdose and suicide and then cry, “Constitutionally incapable of being honest with themselves” and then, “People are dying we must do something!”

      8. I feel it necessary to address the fact that those who are standing up for AA by berating AddictionMyth are playing right into his/her hand. This is nothing personal against you, AM. You seem to be reasonably intelligent and I find your grasp of the english language admirable. But I see what you are doing, using an inflammatory standpoint to draw out those who will make disrespectful rebuttals to string them up as examples of the shortcomings of the AA program as a whole. It’s clever. Obviously there are individuals within AA that are less apt to use a filter when addressing their issues with what you have to say. A few gnarled trees don’t make a forest ugly. Candidly I find some of the replies here to be deplorable, but they are not an accurate reflection of AA as a whole as far as I have seen. If you have, in fact, found a way to beat addiction beyond the AA program, AddictionMyth, instead of putting your effort into ripping AA down, perhaps consider consolidating your efforts towards building your program up.

      9. Addiction Myth,
        I would really like to understand your recovery. I am very openminded to other peoples recovery and what is keeping them clean and sober. What program of action, spiritual principles, one day at a time, and steps that kind of stuff.
        Most of the things you have posted on here do not entail any of that stuff.

        Thank you

      10. Let me guess, addictionmyth doesn’t believe resentments exist. Go figure. He/she must be one of those people that belive the earth is only 6000 years old. Regardless of the overwhelming scientific evidence to the contrary, AM does not believe in addiction and probably does not belive in mental illness. And yet the proof is in the pudding for AM to see and not in the punch he/she is drinking.

      11. I believe in resentments, I just don’t think they will surely kill you. I know that is blasphemous to the words of your prophet Bill and I am a heretic. “Kill the infidel!”

      12. From v AA saved my life all i did was drink. The Driars club in Reno Nevada got me involed and showed me i can be a better person. Thsnk you AA

    1. Nah, I’m good on meetings this week. Just thought it would be fun to pick your brain a little. I like to look at things from both sides of the fence. You know, take the middle path. I think you may have misunderstood my intentions, my friend.

  9. For starters I see no reason to nit-pick or argue with this articles writer and I will fully admit up front to my naivete in regards to the inner workings of AA as a whole. What I can say is that before seeking help for my addiction I had no idea how to beat it. Did I want to spend 30 days in a treatment facility? No. I doubt if anyone does. But I do believe the experience helped. Was it the cliche ridden 12 steps? Was it reconnecting with my concept of a higher power? Was it the 7am meditations and two hour long Big Book studies? I cannot say for certain. But I do know there is one element that I have grown to appreciate greatly. The community.
    I still intellectually struggle with many aspects of AA but it is worth setting aside my personal qualms at least for the time I spend at a meeting. I’ve seen plenty of people relapse in the short time I’ve been involved in this program. I place no fault on those individuals or the AA community.
    I believe that addiction cannot be explained by a single factor (genetic predisposition, environment, circumstance). I know from my own personal experience that using started as a social lubricant and developed into an uncontrollable desire to escape that I obsessed over every waking hour. Once I accepted rehab as an option I found something I lacked for a long time; people who cared about me and were willing to hold me accountable. I am personally better off after having gone through treatment.
    I go to AA meetings. I’ve met a lot of great people. I appreciate having a group of individuals in my life with the common goal of staying sober. I don’t know if I will need the program for the rest of my life, but I am also aware that I don’t know who I will be in the future. Maybe I will find that magical answer that will allow me to move on from AA. Maybe I won’t. For now it works for me and I am grateful for it.

    1. Oh man! Quit being so kind and helpful,talking about your own experience and providing hope. People will get the wrong idea! We’re bullies dum-$#! I bully everyone in my life. Like the guy i am supposed to train and supervise at work, “how am i supposed to do this crap?….Don’t tell me what I’m doing wrong, so i can do the best job possible, i don’t need to know! This f#&@/g place is just like the last 7 places i worked!…..Its because I’m Norwegian! ” or the kids,”Daddy, why does my hand hurt so bad?” “Well son, you keep putting your hand on the stove’s burner.” “Darn Dad,don’t tell me the truth,that hurts! You’re a DB! I’m telling mom! And if you tell me to clean my room again, I’m calling C.P.S. Brow beater!”…….Well, when you’re standing in front of me,asking me for the truth, I’ll give it to you. I owe that much.

    2. I to am glad that it worked for me! All you others can say whatever, for me & countless others we are grateful for the program.

  10. Sober since 7/7/1987 and today is 5/8/2015. Couldn’t do it alone, but did so with the help of the caring and understanding folks at AA. This site has to be one of the worst on on the Internet.

    1. I’ll admit to being part of a cult , IF, the believers & backers of this statement ADMIT they are TOTAL ASSHOLES & LOSERS or that their people who cannot put any amount of sobriety together , which would explain why they feel the need to degrade a program who’s success rate is as great as it is

    2. Some people who Cannot or Willnot put any sober time together , WOULD TRY TO DISTRACT FROM THE GOODNESS that others have found . This has to be the case because those who truly do not have an alcohol problem wouldn’t even waste their time trying to prove otherwise . They are , for lack of words they can’t understand , TOTALLY without any guts , AGAIN ,OTHERWISE THEY’D RETURN TO THE JUDGE WHO SENTENCED THEM TO THESE SO CALLED CULT MEETINGS & TELL THEM TO GO TO HELL .

    3. I totally agree. AA brought me to where I’m at now how dare they speak as something that they don’t even know. it’s quite obvious to me that these people are or money motivated…..look at all the books and websites that their selling!

  11. “People drink because they want to and they stop when they want to. Unless they meet Gavin at a meeting who will demand they confess powerlessness to alcohol and then teach them slogans and then proceed to abuse and exploit them for fun and profit and then insult and bully them into suicide. And when they die he says “Oh they were only able to quote slogans.” Thanks for showing how it works, I’m sure people are lining up right now to join your club.”

    You really think it is that easy for alcoholics to stop drinking? I don’t demand anything of anyone. If they don’t think they are powerless thay are free to run right over to your house to get drunk. I have never in my life bullyed anyone into suicide. It sounds more like that is what you are doing by telling people that addiction doesn’t exist. How are you going to feel the next time your slamming down a 12 pack whith your friend that cannot seem to quit drinking and they run out and kill themselves or someone else? You going to blame that on me as well? The next young man or woman that goes to the hospital for an overdose is going to be my fault? Even if it is in some place that I have never been? What will you tell the family of the little girl or boy your friend runs over when they are driving intoxicated? “Oh it’s alright he doesn’t have a drinking problem, he can quit whenever he wants to?” Small solice for the family who just lost the love of their lives. And small solice for your friend who is going to do up to 10 years in prison for vehicular homicide. Or perhaps you don’t believe that is real either. Maybe you should spend your time going to hospitals and institutions to see how many of your non-alcoholics are sittign their time because of their addiction. Perhaps when you see the real destruction caused by such a deadly disease you will change your tune. Don’t take stats from all of the reputable sources (CDC, AMA, APA, SAMHSA, ER Drs et al) go and see for yourself.

    1. That’s right, hold everyone hostage to your threat of drinking again if they blaspheme 12 Step dogma. Thanks again for showing how it works. Wow what an idiot you are. The more you defend your cult the more you expose it.

      1. Wow Dude….I assume you are a dude. I can get you help and so can these other people. as you can well tell these people are very passionate about their sobriety. what are you passionate about? Addiction is not the answer. Trust me go to an AA meeting if you haven’t been there already. So many miracles in one how many millions of people have you helped I don’t think so I don’t even know you and I don’t know your books but what I do know is that a absolutely work for me so actually I’m kind of offended that you would try and push your belief systems off on other people that are passionate about the program .Devon

      2. You expose your unprofessionalism without anyone elses help. You will never have any support by calling someone an idiot.

      3. Just so you’ll know, I’ve been sober in AA for nearly 40 years and still attend four or five meetings a week. I am involved in service work and have been from the start. My home group is not the largest in my very large city, but it probably has more sobriety than most. 40 individuals are celebrating AA anniversaries this month alone, and 17 of them have more than 25 years of sobriety (11 have more than 30 years).

        I have also served several terms on the board of our local non-profit council on alcoholism and drug abuse, where I was the AA member of the clinical committee.

        In addition, I have been a certified suicide and crisis counselor for nearly 20 years and work the hotline regularly each week. I estimate I have counseled more than 7,000 people during that time and along with my 90 volunteer colleagues have pulled many of them — many of them alcoholics — back from the brink of suicide. I have referred hundreds of callers to AA.

        I am extraordinarily fond of the program of Alcoholics Anonymous but recognize that it has flaws and failings as any fellowship of people with checkered pasts like ours might have. But AA never has claimed perfection; in fact, it claims imperfection as one of its greatest assets. Its deeply flawed co-founder, Bill Wilson, was the perfect person to create a program of rescue for people just like him.

        He never claimed anything, never bullied anyone, never even hinted that AA was the only road to recovery. He merely pointed out that the AA program of love and service to others was working for a large number of alcoholics. He acknowledged that “we realize we know only a little” but was unaware of how much he actually did know about this fatal obsession.

        Of course, the antidote to blogs like The Addiction Myth is a glance at the elephant in the living room: AA’s immense size (2.4 million members in the U.S. alone; 120,000 registered groups worldwide), longevity (80 years old this month), and high success rate (according to the NIAAA, three times more successful than all other treatment regimens plus “self-recovery” combined).

        Finally, I am pleased to note that many AAs have posted here (some of them pretty snarky, true, but then they were sorely provoked by your goading). AA’s defenders have first-hand knowledge of how successful this simple program is, how loving and kind the fellowship truly is. Wherever you may go in the world you will find a warm welcome in an AA room, filled with people who will laugh at your stories, cry at your sorrows, buy you lunch, and take you into their hearts.

      4. Wow you didn’t insult or offend. I’m impressed. But unfortunately for you, your mischief club and suicide cult is completely dependent on its ability to bully people into silence (while acting all pious and sanctimonious). So as long as all your members act so polite then your demise will be swift. Of course, not holding my breath. Will be fun to watch.

    2. Looks like some of us are powerless over spilling and then over spelling. such Unlettered ridiculous entries here. We must all be either had or mad in addition to bad.

      1. I’m really not just being deliberately (and manipulatively) reasonable here — that’s just my way. But, wow, thanks for the compliment.

        I honestly do not understand what kind of “mischief” you believe we are up to and how suicide is somehow connected to AA. There are no data to support such a contention, nor do I know of any instances where “bullying” of any sort ever took place in AA, and particularly not “into silence.” AAs are among the most talkative people I know. We are great story tellers, and you just can’t shut us up.

        Many alcoholics complete suicide; I nearly did so myself two months before coming into AA. I credit the crisis line I now volunteer for and the AA member who took me to the hospital for saving my life. But in my many years in AA I have known of only one suicide that I could partially attribute to AA (and it was the dreadfully bad advice of an individual AA to a mentally ill member). On the other hand, I have heard dozens of stories of AA members who credit the fellowship for saving them from suicide, and thousands of stories of how the AA fellowship has made life worthwhile.

        But I will repeat my admission that AA has its faults and failings — how could we not? We are a loosely organized bunch with little central leadership either nationally or locally. We have general guidelines we sometimes follow but often do not. We have good groups, bad groups, and fabulous groups (like mine).

        As for politeness hastening our demise, I wonder if you had noticed that AA has added 1,000 new groups each year for the past eight years, so it seems that demise may be farther away than perhaps you had hoped.

        I have written a rather lengthy two-part essay entitled: Part I, Recovery in AA, and Part II, AA’s Errors and Character Defects. It explodes many of the myths about alleged poor recovery outcomes for AA, explains why so much quantitative research into AA is so badly flawed, and dispels many of the misconceptions about AA that so many — including yourself — seem to have developed. At the same time, it points out errors in some of AA’s early suppositions about the causes of our illness, and exposes some of the ways in which AA members harm the fellowship and weaken its appeal. If you would like to read it, please post your email address and I’ll send it to you.

      2. 15 years you should find that very little rock you came from crawl back in if you do have one person to help you have him bring a plunger you’re going to need it shit for brains cult ha.

  12. I came across this and find it very interesting.

    We are all brainwashed or habitually directed by influences in our american culture.

    Look at our diets, recreation, work, relationships etc. Much of the dialog here shows much concern in its self.

    It seems mainly a discussion of who is right. We are all at a time in history where so much is changing so quickly. More and more people are in various states of mental, emotional, spiritual, bodily and financial disease.

    I challenge those who can lead to love or accept others as they are. If there is useful information that can serve another why not help as you would want help in any current situation we all face. How can we with so much ability to connect do so on terms of service.

    When we judge others we judge ourselves. When we learn to love ourselves we can love the next human being.

    Everyone on this planet has a special gift. Lets open up our gifts and share them with each other.

    1. This is the worst thing I have ever read u people that believe AA is a cult are so wrong we take suggestions not made to do anything. I highly recommend that these skeptics read about AA and not judge what you do not understand for this is ignorance.

    2. Word. But all in all, let’s get rid of 12-step based rehabs. I almost killed myself at the last one I was at the shaming was so awful. It works for most I believe, but definitely not at all. Now I’m just a loser with zero confidence, no job, no more than a handful of family and friends that for some reason put up with the shell of who I was. It is an actual problem. I don’t know if addiction myth is mad bcuz he’s been treated this way or if he’s particularly easily “triggered”, but AA is not the problem. AA is the SMOKESCREEN to keep these cult rehabs running and respected somehow.

      1. Unfortunately, AA had no copyright protection of the 12 steps and they were simply appropriated by the treatment centers that began springing up in the late 70s. AA has never formally endorsed treatment centers, and has observed its treasured tradition of non-affiliation, but our willingness to cooperate with them inevitably meant implied endorsement. Moreover, graduates of 12 step-oriented treatment centers often bring the “language” of treatment with them when they transition to AA, mixing the messages in a way sure to create confusion. Fortunately, it seems that this problem is now dying out, and the young newcomers to my home group are fully on board with the AA program, and quite enthusiastic about recovery in traditional AA.

  13. Amen, Brother. I’ll add this…my now ex girlfriend attends AA. Since attending, she’s become the phoniest most self-righteous slogan spouting lemming I’ve ever met. I don’t even know or like her anymore. And as for their help with her addictions…I was prescribed flexeril for injuries I received in a car crash. I told her I wasn’t filling the prescription and wasn’t interested in using it. She asked me to fill the prescription and give them to her. When I reminded her that she’s going to AA to clean up, she said “that’s just for alcohol.” I don’t drink. I haven’t in twenty years. I have no desire to drini. I used to be quite notorious for drinking. I quit. How? I quit. No support group, not Jesus, not Bill W., no big book…I didn’t want to drink so I didn’t. Pretty simple.

    1. Rick good for you for not drinking for the past 20 years. With that said not everyone can do it alone. While you may think AA has made your ex a phony what is more likely the case is that she has always been a phony. Just like going to church and praying and all that does not automatically make one holy AA does not always make one healthy. At least not unless a person wants to change more than their drinking. Workign the 12-steps allows people to look at who they are and to help them identify their character defects such as being a judgemental phony and to help people do something about them. If one does not want to change those things one will probably not remain sober for long. AA does not preach holier than thou attitudes nor does it consider itself the only game in town for recovery. I will say this, I have been in AA for 26 lovely years and I have seen the slogan quoters come and go. They go back out because the only things they learned were the slogans. They refused to do work on their other problems. Good luck to you.

      1. People drink because they want to and they stop when they want to. Unless they meet Gavin at a meeting who will demand they confess powerlessness to alcohol and then teach them slogans and then proceed to abuse and exploit them for fun and profit and then insult and bully them into suicide. And when they die he says “Oh they were only able to quote slogans.” Thanks for showing how it works, I’m sure people are lining up right now to join your club.

    2. I drank with several friends in my youth who consumed as much or even more than I did. But at some point, their drinking moderated, tapered off, and in some cases, ended altogether. Mine did not. The reason? They were not alcoholics; I was. The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous noted this difference as long ago as 1939. Today, the treatment community recognizes it as alcohol abuse vs. alcohol dependency. AA is for the “real” alcoholic — the individual who simply cannot stop no matter how fervent the wish or desire. It is not for people like yourself, who are able to stop on their own when they have a sufficient reason to do so. Flexeril, by the way, is a common muscle relaxant and if prescribed by a doctor is not in any way considered a break in sobriety. If it is not so prescribed and is abused, it means a new sobriety date.

  14. And Trish there is no scientific study that provesthat church works to save people’s souls either but you don’t hear us bithing about it.

  15. I think AA in principle was pretty good at first. Then in the intervening almost 80 years they have not changed much of the unlettered preachments of its founder. Using really outdated terms in the Big Book. More insane most of them say the whole truth is contained in the first 164 pages. wow.

    1. The Big Book is more of an historical document today than a text that needs updating. The program remains the same, but it is true that the language is 1930s all the way. Don’t let that bother you. The truth is still there.

  16. Im a doctor, i have my masters and my php. I can tell you through studies (yes there have been MANY studies) and proof that AA and the 12 steps work for millions of people and thousands possibly millions of people would be dead right now if AA did not exist.

      1. I recently was one of several AAs who made talks on alcoholism and AA to first and second year medical students at a major, prestigious medical school. This was part of an annual educational program put on by the medical school that has been going on for years. I guess the professors at the med school who presided over the program just didn’t read the Atlantic article.

      2. Well the Nazis also used ‘science’ to justify their massacres. Fortunately the ‘experts’ are starting to realize they’ve been duped. I doubt you’ll be invited next year. 🙂

    1. Thank you! I have 13 yrs & my husband 14yrs…have sponsored 5 people who are still sober today. We certainly don’t claim to be the only way. .but This article has many untruths about AA

      1. True alcoholism is a disease.. I’m an alcoholic and have been sober , by the grace of God, for 25 years… If you had a brain cell you would read the Big Book… It will tell you the truth. I’ve seen alcoholics die young, I have given eulogies for some. What you espouse is a dangerous slippery slope of ignorance and I believe you and your cohorts are spawns of Satan.. It is a deadly disease and there is no answer except to be around sober people.. AA is a miracle.. I feel pity for idiots like you.. Just stay the hell away from me.. I have never been able to have A drink…. I drink until it’s gone. I have the same addiction to pills.. I can’t take some medications because I will take the whole bottle in a week, when it was supposed to last for a month. You are inviting alcoholics to try having ONE DRINK… Guess you got jokes. I feel sorry for anyone who runs into jackasses like you… Alcoholics will always take the challenge.. we want to drink.. we love to drink.. Do some real research or shut up and go back into your hidey hole under the snakes’ belly. You are a disaster.

      2. Addiction is not a disease. Please, stop reciting the Craving Lie: “I wanted to stop drinking but couldn’t no matter how hard I tried.” You are killing people with your religious ‘spawn of satan’ nonsense.

  17. Addition Myth said, “Thanks again you’re doing great. So which newcomer do you have your money on? Please, proceed:” I did. I am the newcomer. I went to a meeting today. Guess what, there are a lot of people who are f#$ked up from abusing drugs and booze. But they are trying to be good people and none of them are as puffed up and full of themselves as you seem to be. Maybe they don’t have the answers but they are mostly genuine in there search. Thanks you,…..for being the alternitive.

    1. Did it never occur to you that you were meeting people who were in a social situation in which they were under strong social influence to tell their stories/drunkalogs (sin-and-redemption narratives) – stories that they are pressured to “adjust” to conform to the 12 step storyline – making their pre-12 step life sound as bad as possible and their life with 12 steps sound so much better? This happens not only to convince the person telling “their story” to stay, but as a recruiting tool for new members (notice the Big Book is a collection of drunkalogs. It doesn’t tell the science of how alcohol controls a person or the science of the development of the 12 steps – I mean the copying nearly verbatum from the Oxford Group’s “principles”: The practices of the Oxford Group were:

      1) Admission of personal defeat (You have been defeated by sin).
      2) Taking of personal inventory. (List your sins.)
      3) Confession of one’s sins to another person.
      4) Making restitution to those one has harmed.
      5) Helping others selflessly.
      6) Praying to God for Guidance and the power to put these precepts into practice.)

      Did it never occur to you that these people might be f-d up people who maybe did some alcohol and drugs, too, but that the drugs and alcohol might not be their main problem? The addiction/recovery-with-relapses storyline is pretty handy for criminals and users who want to convince potential pigeons of their “sincerity”.

      1. AA does not state that alcohol is the main problem. Only step one says anything about alcohol. The main problem is me. The rest of the steps teach me how to be a better me, if willing.

  18. If kept within the original intent I think the AA program would have been okay. I believe over the decades the nut cases, control freaks and Jesus freaks have taken over. Not to mention the ungrateful dead and the rage a holics. It is great that sites like this exist so we can blow out a little bit. Thank you. Chilly.

    1. Actually, Chilly, the original intent of AA was for Bill Wilson to not have to get a freaking job. He was a low-level fraudster who pretended to be a stockbroker – but had never been licensed as a stockbroker – and his wife was sick of working to support them both while he spent his days drinking and goofing off. By creating a social movement, he made himself appear to his wife and himself to be an important person, and by putting the copyright of the Big Book in his own name, created a revenue stream that undermined Lois’ complaints about his not contributing to their finances.

      As for people who claim AA helped them? Well, if someone feels they’re doing better after attending, AA is happy to take the credit. But for those whose lives don’t improve, AA blames them for “not working the program” correctly or having inherent character flaws that prevent them from benefitting from Bill W’s rip off & reformulation of Oxford Group methods. As opposed to how diseases and responses to treatment are viewed by medical professionals – if a person’s cancer continues to grow after chemotherapy, oncologists don’t blame the patient for not accepting chemo correctly. AA is basically an unfalsifiable system – if one has good events following attendance it works, if someone has bad events following attendance, it’s the fault of the individual, not of AA. This is not a treatment and what it focuses on is not a disease.

      1. I love your comments but I love even more when I come across them on real web sites. Check my facebook page for links to articles that could stand a dose of reality. 🙂

      2. Hi AM,

        Thanks, I will check out your facebook later today. Also, I want to thank you for doing the heavy lifting of keeping a website going. I imagine it must be tiring to be the target of so much bile and venom – as the Japanese saying goes “The nail that sticks up gets hammered down”. But just know that there are more and more nails sticking up on the issue of the imaginary disease of “addiction” (“alcoholism”, “alcohol abuse”, “drug abuse”, “substance abuse” etc., etc.) and the training in how to behave and describe one’s past consistent with the 12 step storyline that goes by the name “treatment”.

      3. LOL it’s the 12 Steps that are getting hammered. And you have yourself a nice hammer why not use it out in the great big world? Why should I have all the fun? OK cool well I look forward to seeing you plant some nails.

      4. The only thing I find “tiring” is being the only person who comments on most of the / pro-talk articles. I mean it’s like shooting fish in a barrel, how could I be the only one who thinks it’s fun? I sometimes feel like maybe something’s wrong with me. 🙁

        And I also find it “tiring” when people seem more eager to explain to me why I’m the only one who seems to think it’s fun (by appeals to my ‘higher nature’) than to just join in on it.

      5. AM – gotta check out the Forbes article that literally just came out on the $35 billion rehab industry – good stuff!

      6. Right – saw your comment

        Did ya see the Daily Kos article about the uselessness of the DEA? Priceless!

      7. “As for people who claim AA helped them? Well, if someone feels they’re doing better after attending, AA is happy to take the credit. But for those whose lives don’t improve, AA blames them for “not working the program” correctly or having inherent character flaws”

        Tell me Trish does your Westboro Baptist church claim that they God holds the salvation of your soul in his or Jesus’ hands? Do they blame you for your sin or when you fall short of the “techings” of Christ?

  19. Oh boo hoo! You are quite the whinger mate. Everybody likes a sad eyed clown but ,….not a whimpering bozo. Sorry you got your knickers all in a bunch over AA,…but really ,…stop crying. Seriously, for someone that does not beleive that alcoholism exists,….there is an awful lot of whine in you. Wipe your eyes, put on your big boy knickers and go live in the real world,……but not Down Under.

      1. I don’t give a flying f%#k that you challenge AA. Could not care less about it. It is just the way you do it. Like some angry little metro-sexual whinging wussy who would feel roughed up while alone in a room lined with puppy fur. Man up and get a life.

      2. You are the despicable bully. You’ve described a worldwide nonprofit organization that offers help to people by exaggerating and negatively bashing anyone who dares walk in the door. As if every person in AA thinks and behaves as you’ve described! That’s pure fiction.
        Readers, do not assume that blog is an accurate reflection. It isn’t.
        People can stop using drugs and drinking, and I’m glad when a person does so regardless of what method they use. Isn’t that what is important? Some need support groups, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

      3. Wow, Josh is yet another example of the serenity, class and maturity that can be achieved by those who buy into the 12 step worldview.

        As for the Anonymous (one of so many who post comments here) – the idea that people need support groups is unfounded and not supported by any studies of how they function and their results. See the post of “Josh” for an example of an not-uncommon result of buying into the created-by-a-pretend-stockbroker-fraudster 12 steps. It’s not pretty.

  20. Wow, sounds like someone is really working the hell out of a program lol. Instead of hurling insults at everyone you disagree with maybe you should take your own advice and do your own research. The success rate for na and aa is 5-10%. While I’ve been in the rooms for almost a year I’ve seen about 10 people out of about fifty that are still around. Its a fear based and guilt inducing cult. Im not saying its never help anyone become a better person but as far as getting clean, people who dont want to use or drink dont. Steps dont keep you clean, sponsors dont keep you clean. Whatever your motivation is for getting clean or sober is what keeps you clean or sober. Plain and simple!

    1. Even if it seems someone turns out to be better off after having attended AA, that might just be because that person’s own efforts made that person’s life get better, either regardless of, or in spite of, AA doctrine and the group-think social pressure that is foisted upon anyone who is unfortunate enough to wind u in their clutches.

    2. Amen, Brother. I’ll add this…my now ex girlfriend attends AA. Since attending, she’s become the phoniest most self-righteous slogan spouting lemming I’ve ever met. I don’t even know or like her anymore. And as for their help with her addictions…I was prescribed flexeril for injuries I received in a car crash. I told her I wasn’t filling the prescription and wasn’t interested in using it. She asked me to fill the prescription and give them to her. When I reminded her that she’s going to AA to clean up, she said “that’s just for alcohol.” I don’t drink. I haven’t in twenty years. I have no desire to drini. I used to be quite notorious for drinking. I quit. How? I quit. No support group, not Jesus, not Bill W., no big book…I didn’t want to drink so I didn’t. Pretty simple.

    3. AM,
      I’m guessing you went to a meeting, (probably for all the wrong reasons). met a nice girl, went out for a cup of coffee. She figured out you were just an angry guy with mommy issues and she wont return your calls.
      Somebody hurt you,
      I heard someone say not to long ago. “hurt people hurt people’
      get over it!

  21. You are so abundantly wrong regarding the personal benefits of AA!! As well as, although you didn’t mention, the personal benefits of Al-Anon & other support groups… including church.
    I pray that you find the help you need!

    1. People often believe things about themselves that turn out to not be true – this is why individual reports from people telling their stories is not a valid way to determine if something works. People will often report that something “works” out of allegiance with a social group they belong to, out of misunderstanding their symptoms, or out of deep desire to have the thing they report to “work” to be successful.

      The way to determine if a claim about whether AA is helpful to anyone – which is what AA claims – is to examine the evidence.

      The evidence shows that people who drink heavily* who don’t attend AA are no worse off than those who do – and that the death rate is *Higher* among people who attend AA compared to heavy drinkers who don’t go to AA. (See the study by AA Board Member George Valliant, at Harvard, on death rates of people attending and not attending AA)

      So the evidence is that AA is unhelpful at best, and attending AA coincides with a slightly higher death rate, and there are, therefore, *zero* personal benefits from attending AA.


      *Since there is no way to physically distinguish people who supposedly suffer “alcoholism” (a supposed lifelong, incurable disease) from people who don’t, the only measure to go by is the amount of alcohol people drink.

      1. Drinking heavily and being alcoholic are two different things. It’s important to know what the difference is before you draw any conclusions.

      2. The difference between “drinking heavily” and “being an alcoholic” is this – one can be demonstrated by evidence and one cannot. The one that cannot is “being an alcoholic”. While a person can claim to “be” an alcoholic, or someone can accuse another person of “being” an alcoholic, there is no way to disprove the claim, or the accusation, that a person is an “alcoholic” – in fact, attempting to dispute the accusation is often described as “denial”, and “denial” is claimed to be a symptom of “alcoholism”. This formulation is what is known in science as an Unfalsifiable Claim, which is, by definition unprovable and by definition unscientific.

  22. I dont know what your selling, but your probably killing people so that you can make money. Look at the millions AA has saved and I am one of them. And there is no charge, you can puta dollar in the plate if you want to.
    Jack Wellborn

    1. When actual scientists and doctors are professionals who research &/or treat a disease encounter criticism of the diagnostic criteria or treatment protocols, these professionals do not respond by claiming that the critic is secretly trying to sell something that can kill people just to make money. Nor do professionals claim to have “millions and millions” of success stories without having evidence, in the form of published, peer-reviewed double blind placebo studies to back up that claim.

      Just because a person believes AA cured them is no more proof that there is a disease called alcoholism/addiction/alcohol abuse/alcohol dependency/drug abuse/drug dependency or that the 12 steps, a certain number of meetings or bad coffee and cigaret smoke is a cure.

      People believe all kinds of things that are not true: that they’ve been abducted & had children by aliens, had rocks thrown at them by bigfoot, that the bumps on their heads show their personality traits, that laetrile cured their cancer, that drinking a quart of milk a day prevents cancer, and so on.

      1. A recent example of how medical science responds to criticism and claims about a procedure being harmful – Andrew Wakefield proposed that autism was caused by vaccines, specifically the MMR. Even though it does turn out Wakefield had financial motives – selling new vaccines and methods for diagnosing autism, that was not the first thing the medical establishment had to say about his study. Much effort was put into examining whether the claim that the MMR (and later, that the preservative thimerosal that is no longer used) caused autism, and studies showed this was not the case. The fact that Wakefield’s study had such a small number of children (12 total, five of whom showed signs of autism before receiving any MMR vaccine and three that did not have autism), that reviews of statistics did not support a correlation of MMR & autism (correlation does not prove causation, but lack of even correlation rules out causation), and finally, even Wakefield could not reproduce his results caused the study to be discredited. Later investigative reporting demonstrated the financial links between Wakefield and attorneys who wanted to sue vaccine manufacturers. The accusation of fraud was definitely not the first thing that came to the minds of scientists and medical professionals when learning of Wakefield’s ultimately unsupported claims.

        And this shows also that people can be stubborn in continuing to believe that which has been disproven – vaccination rates have still not returned to pre-Wakefield levels.

      2. For your information, AA has never alleged that they cured anyone only that through a profound spiritual experience that the program helps to arrest alcoholism. And also just because you and a few willfully ingnorant and uneducated people don’t believe that addiction exists, despite overwhelming proof to the contrary, does not mean you are right. The CDC, APA NIDA and SAHMSA all have countless hours of research to prove that addiction indeed does exist. And it will kill. By telling people they don’t have addiction you are perpetuating their deaths.

      3. There is no cure for alcoholism. What we have is a daily reprieve contingent on our spiritual condition. We have been cured of a seemingly hopeless state of mind and body, period. Hope is what we give. Once an alcoholic, always an alcoholic.

  23. so what you fools are saying is that an unstructured program ,with no formal leadership, and no structure ,based on suggestions, is a cult? you people really are that fucking stupid. the literature even says so to the reader . stupid fucking ass hats. the program has saved millions how many have tou and yor useless opinions saved. do some research and read the book cover to cover before you spout off

    1. An unstructured program with no formal leadership being a cult? That has happened before in history – for example, early Christianity.

      And AA is not entirely without formal structure – there are over 100 salaried employees in NYC supported by the proceeds of The Big Book.

      You tone certainly shines with serenity and warm feelings toward your fellow human beings.

      1. The paid employees at World Service are not paid to make policy, they are only paid to distribute the information and carry the already established message.

  24. Do you have a drinking problem, or are you an alcoholic? A drinking problem is a worldly malady – anyone can help. Alcoholism is a spiritual malady, nothing worldly bests it.

    Treating, or attempting to treat all sorts of character irregularities has left the program A.A. with quiet a tough roe to hoe indeed.

    Most speak of worldly clamors with doubt manifesting any coversing of spiritual thoughts, if you do not a power greteater than you, keep doing something.

    1. If it’s a disease “like diabetes or cancer” (as claimed by AA since the Big Book was a manuscript) then why is a “higher power” a necessary part of treatment? If someone has schizophrenia, or Lyme or Ebola, the success of the treatment is not dependent on the beliefs of the patient.

      And if treatment of one of the above (or so many other diseases) fails – the Ebola patient dies, the medical community doesn’t snark about what a bad person the patient must have been.

      1. The disease is centered in our mind. We have an allergy to alcohol, therefore we should not put it in our body. When we take away the alcohol it is easier to heal the mind. Simple, yet profound.

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