Help keep 12 step religion separate from State...
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01-10-2015, 05:10 PM
RE: Help keep 12 step religion separate from State...
(01-10-2015 10:54 AM)GirlyMan Wrote:  
(28-09-2015 06:45 PM)oddnes Wrote:  I don't know if you all are aware but the courts are constantly mandating folk to religious 12 step groups.

I 'm not sure it's the courts doing it. It appears the courts have already ruled it is unconstitutional. It looks like parole officers are doing it as a condition of parole.

http://nccriminallaw.sog.unc.edu/does-ma...amendment/

From what I hear it is the drug courts... At least here in California. I know I have read countless articles of people being mandated to so many meetings a week as part of their sentence, perhaps though it is a plea deal? But it is certainly true that many different bodies mandate 12 step religion. And often Poo poo alternatives, secular, or otherwise.
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01-10-2015, 05:19 PM
RE: Help keep 12 step religion separate from State...
(01-10-2015 09:42 AM)mediocrates Wrote:  
(01-10-2015 09:33 AM)morondog Wrote:  Two links for you:

http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/arch...us/386255/

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/johann-har...06936.html

The "rat park" study is new to me. That's an interesting finding Consider

Yes, rat park is a common discussion point in many circles I run in... lol. And frankly in my experience it is an excellent example of the greater "Addiction" reality. Both those articles are good. The most important thing to impart to people is that if they do not get help from AA or other alternatives, that they can totally do it themselves.

The big problem is that 12 step groups demand absolute abstinence as the only goal, for one. Two they claim that alcoholism is a fatal disease that is incurable without their help, and if you refuse their help you will die as a result.

But in reality, most people who feel they have a problem with alcohol, quit, or reduce on their own over their lifetime through trial and error.

12 step is like god itself too. It gets all the credit when things go right, but the individual is always at fault if it fails them. AA is infallible in its members eyes.
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01-10-2015, 05:21 PM (This post was last modified: 01-10-2015 05:31 PM by GirlyMan.)
RE: Help keep 12 step religion separate from State...
(01-10-2015 05:10 PM)oddnes Wrote:  
(01-10-2015 10:54 AM)GirlyMan Wrote:  I 'm not sure it's the courts doing it. It appears the courts have already ruled it is unconstitutional. It looks like parole officers are doing it as a condition of parole.

http://nccriminallaw.sog.unc.edu/does-ma...amendment/

From what I hear it is the drug courts... At least here in California. I know I have read countless articles of people being mandated to so many meetings a week as part of their sentence, perhaps though it is a plea deal? But it is certainly true that many different bodies mandate 12 step religion. And often Poo poo alternatives, secular, or otherwise.

So I googled it some more. You are right. It looks like the courts are mandating treatment as an alternative to incarceration but they can't mandate AA. Many choose AA because it is free. I think there are a number of acceptable free secular programs as well but the court doesn't necessarily make the offender aware of them.

A.A. Not the Only Choice
Under these alternative sentencing programs, offenders are usually given several program options they can complete instead of going to jail. These include: entering a professional drug and alcohol rehabilitation facility, undergoing professional counseling or therapy, or attending A.A. or an alternative support group program.


Here is the FFRF's guidance.

There is only one really serious philosophical question, and that is suicide. -Camus
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01-10-2015, 05:25 PM
RE: Help keep 12 step religion separate from State...
(01-10-2015 05:19 PM)oddnes Wrote:  The big problem is that 12 step groups demand absolute abstinence as the only goal, for one. Two they claim that alcoholism is a fatal disease that is incurable without their help, and if you refuse their help you will die as a result.

Those are antiquated ideas from when we had very little scientific knowledge of addiction. Europe has already abandoned them. As usual the US lags behind.

There is only one really serious philosophical question, and that is suicide. -Camus
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01-10-2015, 06:51 PM
RE: Help keep 12 step religion separate from State...
(30-09-2015 07:18 PM)GirlyMan Wrote:  
(29-09-2015 08:46 PM)oddnes Wrote:  That is exactly what I am saying. Insofar as what was in your reply. I do not know if you have personal experience, but go and try to go to an AA meeting and claim yourself as your own higher power. Also later day 12 step groups will state in their literature that that is one thing it cannot be.

I do not have any experiences with AA but my atheist alcoholic brothers do. What would AA say to me when I say I believe that "I" am the greater power than myself that can restore me to sanity? Kick me out? Write me off as batshit bonkers?

Nobody gets kicked out, except possibly disruptive/dangerous people.

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Science is not a subject, but a method.
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01-10-2015, 06:56 PM
RE: Help keep 12 step religion separate from State...
(01-10-2015 09:12 AM)oddnes Wrote:  
(30-09-2015 07:18 PM)GirlyMan Wrote:  I do not have any experiences with AA but my atheist alcoholic brothers do. What would AA say to me when I say I believe that "I" am the greater power than myself that can restore me to sanity? Kick me out? Write me off as batshit bonkers?

Be clear what AA is, they actually cannot really kick you out per se. But the cultist members would begin to slander you behind your back, and others would likely start working on you. They may shun you, to your face.

The greater point though that I started this with is the sentencing of people to 12 step groups by the state. So the state is sending people there to pray in a circle, and work a program that offers nothing more than religiosity and faith healing.

Really? Consider How about peer support, friendship, acceptance, honesty, and understanding? Facepalm

Quote:The reality is that the individual would be way better off being their own Higher Power, taking the reigns back in their lives and dealing with their issues. Few drink to a damaging level for love of alcohol. The vast majority of people are engaging in self destructive behaviour due to varied other underlying issues.

You really shouldn't pontificate out of ignorance. It's called addiction, and it isn't a choice to be an addict.

Quote:AA misguides so many to focusing on the scapegoat alcohol, and really retards their ability/desire to seek real help for their problems.

See comment above. That is not what AA does; the focus is on personal behavior and taking responsibility.

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01-10-2015, 06:58 PM
RE: Help keep 12 step religion separate from State...
(29-09-2015 08:46 PM)oddnes Wrote:  
(29-09-2015 06:20 PM)GirlyMan Wrote:  "Taken as a whole, the data suggest that AA may be helpful, especially in conjunction with professional treatment, for many people who are addicted to alcohol. We do not know, however, whether AA might occasionally be harmful. When a group is highly confrontational, for example, alcoholics may become resistant to change [see “The Advice Trap,” by Hal Arkowitz and Scott O. Lilienfeld; Scientific American Mind, September/October 2010]. Nevertheless, in light of the evidence supporting the program, the wide availability of meetings and the lack of expense, AA is worth considering for many problem drinkers."

There are atheists which AA worked for them. They typically identify thier higher power as the group. Or themselves. Blush Problem I have with them and the US treatment of the disease in general is that they believe an alcoholic can never drink again. Complete lifelong abstinence. Europeans realize this is unrealistic and ask "What do we need to do to return them to normal moderate drinking?" ... Baclofen?

That is exactly what I am saying. Insofar as what was in your reply. I do not know if you have personal experience, but go and try to go to an AA meeting and claim yourself as your own higher power. Also later day 12 step groups will state in their literature that that is one thing it cannot be.

The real problem is the amount of contentious drama one is sending another into if they blindly recommend AA to an atheist. And frankly it is due to AA that other groups that do do what it is you mentioned cannot get a leg up. And there are several. I belong to the only one that attempts to do what you mentioned in the last sentence of your post.

and the petition is about mandating people to attend Via the courts. Which to me is sentencing people to church. And that is just not right.

Many people in AA have serious objections to courts ordering attendance at meetings.

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Science is not a subject, but a method.
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01-10-2015, 07:00 PM
RE: Help keep 12 step religion separate from State...
(29-09-2015 06:20 PM)GirlyMan Wrote:  "Taken as a whole, the data suggest that AA may be helpful, especially in conjunction with professional treatment, for many people who are addicted to alcohol. We do not know, however, whether AA might occasionally be harmful. When a group is highly confrontational, for example, alcoholics may become resistant to change [see “The Advice Trap,” by Hal Arkowitz and Scott O. Lilienfeld; Scientific American Mind, September/October 2010]. Nevertheless, in light of the evidence supporting the program, the wide availability of meetings and the lack of expense, AA is worth considering for many problem drinkers."

There are atheists which AA worked for them. They typically identify thier higher power as the group. Or themselves. Blush Problem I have with them and the US treatment of the disease in general is that they believe an alcoholic can never drink again. Complete lifelong abstinence. Europeans realize this is unrealistic and ask "What do we need to do to return them to normal moderate drinking?" ... Baclofen?

There are alcoholics of varying degrees. For some, the next drink will almost certainly lead to more; others might learn to control it.

Of course, the ones who take up social drinking were never True Alcoholics™. Big Grin

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01-10-2015, 07:10 PM (This post was last modified: 01-10-2015 07:19 PM by GirlyMan.)
RE: Help keep 12 step religion separate from State...
(01-10-2015 07:00 PM)Chas Wrote:  There are alcoholics of varying degrees. For some, the next drink will almost certainly lead to more; others might learn to control it.
...
Of course, the ones who take up social drinking were never True Alcoholics™. Big Grin

You made AA work for you. Did anybody ever ask you whether you believed in a power higher than yourself?

There is only one really serious philosophical question, and that is suicide. -Camus
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01-10-2015, 08:26 PM
RE: Help keep 12 step religion separate from State...
(01-10-2015 07:10 PM)GirlyMan Wrote:  
(01-10-2015 07:00 PM)Chas Wrote:  There are alcoholics of varying degrees. For some, the next drink will almost certainly lead to more; others might learn to control it.
...
Of course, the ones who take up social drinking were never True Alcoholics™. Big Grin

You made AA work for you. Did anybody ever ask you whether you believed in a power higher than yourself?

Nope. However, I did say that the group was my support and where I drew the extra power I needed.

I'm pretty sure that I could do controlled drinking for a while, maybe even a long while.
But I wouldn't want to - the control would ruin the drinking. It did before.

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