Is AA a Cult - Recovered 410
Release Date: 05/14/2013
Milt L. from Cleveland, OH speaking on "Dumb Guy Approach to the 12 Steps" in San Diego, CA - June 21st 1997info_outline Dumb Guy Approach to the 12 Steps Part 2 - Recovered 1190
Milt L. from Cleveland, OH speaking on "Dumb Guy Approach to the 12 Steps" in San Diego, CA - June 21st 1997info_outline Popsicle Sticks - Recovered 1188
I first experienced “Popsicle Sticks” at the Thursday Midnight night meeting at the Northwest Alano Club in Wayne Michigan. At first I hated it, then I got used to it, then it became my favorite meeting.info_outline Self Care - Recovered 1187
Self-care looks different for everyone, and that’s okay.info_outline Loneliness - Recovered 1186
It is no more cowardly to use help in recovering from a drinking problem, than it is, to use a crutch if you have a broken leg. A crutch is a beautiful thing, to those who need it.info_outline First Things First - Recovered 1185
The rhythm of our own special routine has a soothing effect, and an apt principle around which to organize some orderliness is—yes, “First Things First.”info_outline Getting Rest - Recovered 1183
For at least three reasons, people who drink heavily often cannotinfo_outline Serenity Prayer - Recovered 1181
Serenity is like a gyroscope that lets us keep our balance no matter what turbulence swirls around us. And that is a state of mind worth aiming for.info_outline Smartphone Therapy - Recovered 1179
When we stopped drinking, we were told repeatedly to get A.A. people’s telephone numbers, and instead of drinking, to phone or text these people.info_outline Changing Routines - Recovered 1177
Some of us insist that it was never the availability of the beverage that led us to drink, any more than the immediate unavailability kept us from that drink we really wanted. We live in a drinking society and we cannot avoid the presence of alcoholic beverages forever.info_outline
So we all need to take this seriously because I’m sure some alcoholics have decided not to enter because they perceive AA as a cult
For those of us that scoff at the very notion that AA is a cult, Please recognize that we have many cult like practices...
we hold hands
we hug alot
we have our own language and talk in numbers
we have stupid slogans
we talk in unison at awkward moments, like “God could and would if he were sought”
we talk about god alot
we talk about the necessity for a charismatic leader called a sponsor
we have our own bible
we are evangelistic
I’m going to be the devil’s advocate and challenge our hosts today.
The following are cult attributes, let’s discuss each one why the do or do not apply to AA and why.
In a cult, the group displays excessively zealous and unquestioning commitment to its leader and (whether he is alive or dead) regards his belief system, ideology, and practices as the Truth, as law. What about Bill W, is he the charismatic leader mentioned? Why or why not.
In a cult, questioning, doubt, and dissent are discouraged or even punished. Is AA the only way to sobriety?
Mind-altering practices (such as meditation, chanting) are used in excess and serve to suppress doubts about the group and its leader(s). What about Step 11?
In a cult, the leadership dictates, sometimes in great detail, how members should think, act, and feel (for example, members must get permission to date, change jobs, marry—or leaders prescribe what types of clothes to wear, where to live, whether or not to have children, how to discipline children, and so forth). Let’s discuss AA leadership.
The group is elitist, claiming a special, exalted status for itself, its leader(s) and members (for example, the leader is considered the Messiah, a special being, an avatar—or the group and/or the leader is on a special mission to save humanity). How does Anonymity apply here?
The group has a polarized us-versus-them mentality, which may cause conflict with the wider society. What does AA say about conflict, the spiritual axiom, who is at fault when conflict arises in an AA memeber?
The leader is not accountable to any authorities (unlike, for example, teachers, military commanders or ministers, priests, monks, and rabbis of mainstream religious denominations).
The group teaches or implies that its supposedly exalted ends justify whatever means it deems necessary. This may result in members' participating in behaviors or activities they would have considered reprehensible or unethical before joining the group (for example, lying to family or friends, or collecting money for bogus charities).
The leadership induces feelings of shame and/or guilt iin order to influence and/or control members. Often, this is done through peer pressure and subtle forms of persuasion.
Subservience to the leader or group requires members to cut ties with family and friends, and radically alter the personal goals and activities they had before joining the group.
The group is preoccupied with bringing in new members.
The group is preoccupied with making money.
Members are expected to devote inordinate amounts of time to the group and group-related activities.
Members are encouraged or required to live and/or socialize only with other group members.
The most loyal members (the “true believers”) feel there can be no life outside the context of the group. They believe there is no other way to be, and often fear reprisals to themselves or others if they leave (or even consider leaving) the group.
Final thoughts....Is AA a cult?