Is AA a religion?
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12-03-2015, 08:32 PM
RE: Is AA a religion?
(12-03-2015 08:28 PM)Nieko Sx Wrote:  
Quote:That group meets on Friday, I'm the chair. Smile

Do you sign court slips? Confused

Pro tip: You can skip the meetings and scribble anything you want on those court slips.
It's anonymous, they have no way of checking. Big Grin
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12-03-2015, 09:15 PM
RE: Is AA a religion?
(12-03-2015 08:32 PM)pablo Wrote:  Pro tip: You can skip the meetings and scribble anything you want on those court slips.
It's anonymous, they have no way of checking. Big Grin

But if I don't go I won't be able to take anyone to court for breaching my first amendment rights like
this guy did

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12-03-2015, 09:47 PM
RE: Is AA a religion?
I don't have much to really say to the thread itself, of course they have their religious views included into the whole of their system. That's pretty much making it a religious service and yes the alternative group options deserves to be better met..

But I just wanted to say that is the proper way to effectively necro a thread. It should be a shining example :bowing:

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13-03-2015, 04:03 PM
RE: Is AA a religion?
(12-03-2015 03:32 PM)Nieko Sx Wrote:  I'm interested to see this thread here though I see it's been a while since anyone posted.
There were a lot of people in the church I attended who were suffering from or had recovered from drink and/or drug problems and anonymous programmes became a bit of a pet topic of conversation.
Some had left NA/AA groups and were using the church to help with their recovery. Some of them were very anti AA/NA with the more religious considering it to be a demonic cult that went against their faith.
Here is a link to a blog on helping christians leave AA groups

If you take time to look into the history of AA you'll find that it has very little to do with cessation of drinking/drugging and could be seen as a religious conversion programme.
Here's some AA history and how one of it's co-founder Bill Wilson channeled spirits to write the 12 steps, used LSD throughout his sobriety and was an incorrigible womaniser
Bill Wilson and early AA


A direct answer to your question "Is AA a religion?" - according to the US court system - Yes. The US Justice system is starting to accept AA as a religious programme with some seeing court ordered attendance at AA meetings a breach of 1st amendment rights.
Barry Hazle was awarded $1.9 million after being court ordered to the programme

If you take a brief look at the AA programme; practically all information comes from one source - the somewhat outdated Alcoholics Anonymous 'big book', the programme consists of surrender, confession of defects (sins), amends/apology/forgiveness and reaching out to the still suffering addict/alcoholic going to places such as prisons, rehabs and detox units to recruit new members - sound familiar?

Anyone looking for help with an drink or drug problem might think twice before attending an anonyomous group especially if they have already had issues with belief in a god or higher power (as AA calls it) there are an increasing number secular, scientific evidence based programmes out there nowadays.
Like evangelicals with their threats of hell and eternal damnation the worst of AA promises you a life of jails, instutions and death if you don't "do the steps or die!"
The religious AA detractors may be pushing an even worse disease (Christianity) in its multitude of forms, than the so called disease of alcoholism. Like Christianity AA does offer death for the non adherents and of course we all die one day.
Yes Bill was on psychedelics,swapped his spirits for those of the ouija board, and helped many young alcoholic woman( into bed)........
As an aside, a mega study held by GPs saw alcoholism,by a small percentage, as not a disease at all,simply an irresponsible habit.
The fact that the majority of addiction treatment centres are AA oriented is also worrisome, given AAs 5% success rate.
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13-03-2015, 04:25 PM
RE: Is AA a religion?
(13-03-2015 04:03 PM)Mr Woof Wrote:  The fact that the majority of addiction treatment centres are AA oriented is also worrisome, given AAs 5% success rate.

[Citation Required]

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Science is not a subject, but a method.
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13-03-2015, 04:31 PM
RE: Is AA a religion?
Quote:The fact that the majority of addiction treatment centres are AA oriented is also worrisome, given AAs 5% success rate.

This part too.
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13-03-2015, 04:46 PM
RE: Is AA a religion?
(02-11-2014 04:21 PM)WhiskeyDebates Wrote:  
(02-11-2014 04:11 PM)Chas Wrote:  No, it's not. Some AA groups are quite cult-like and others are quite rational. There is no one AA.

And declaring it to be one of the least helpful, we would have to know its success rate.

Between 5% and 10%. It's harder to get more accurate numbers because AA goes out of their way to hide actual numbers. Their official stance is that the program can't fail you, you can only fail the program and when you fail then don't count you in their numbers. It's dishonest as fuck.

Also the balls on you Woof calling me a drunk moron multiple times because I have the word Whiskey in my forum name lol

Pfft. I have drunkin in my name. It's even spelled wrong...
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13-03-2015, 04:57 PM
RE: Is AA a religion?
(13-03-2015 04:25 PM)Chas Wrote:  
(13-03-2015 04:03 PM)Mr Woof Wrote:  The fact that the majority of addiction treatment centres are AA oriented is also worrisome, given AAs 5% success rate.

[Citation Required]

You may care to check this out for yourself.
Even AA does not deny such.
Of course it is difficult to assess where various degrees of drinking become hazardous.
I researched AA for 20 months while also a member.
The 5% seems pretty well agreed by researchers in general>>>>>>
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13-03-2015, 05:02 PM
RE: Is AA a religion?
(13-03-2015 04:46 PM)Drunkin Druid Wrote:  
(02-11-2014 04:21 PM)WhiskeyDebates Wrote:  Between 5% and 10%. It's harder to get more accurate numbers because AA goes out of their way to hide actual numbers. Their official stance is that the program can't fail you, you can only fail the program and when you fail then don't count you in their numbers. It's dishonest as fuck.

Also the balls on you Woof calling me a drunk moron multiple times because I have the word Whiskey in my forum name lol

Pfft. I have drunkin in my name. It's even spelled wrong...
Many drinkers can be very amiable...........I only recall using the 'drunken moron' jibe once.
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13-03-2015, 07:51 PM (This post was last modified: 13-03-2015 07:55 PM by claywise.)
RE: Is AA a religion?
From my time in NA, I would say 12-step programs are not a religion, but share many features with religion.

NA, which came about in 1953 and was the second "A" group to be founded on the Wilson/Dr. Bob AA steps, traditions, principles etc., seems to me to be somewhat less theistic. In a way, I view AA as the "Roman Catholic" version of 12-steps and NA as the "Protestant reformation."

My problem was not alcohol, but other drugs, so NA made sense for me. In addition, the language and "scripture" of AA is considerably more theistic and condescending in tone, in my opinion. The famous "To the Agnostic" chapter in the Big Book essentially says, yeah, sure, you don't have to believe in our ideas of God ... unless you you do it right. I always sensed that if you didn't wind up in the pews somewhere you were somehow not really "recovered."

NA more vigorously defends the notion that it's OK to be an atheist in recovery, even featuring personal stories from numerous atheists in the latest version of its "Narcotics Anonymous," the "blue book."

While I was in, I found ways to sort of wave off the "God" references and thought of "higher power" as different, non-theistic approaches to life. Ultimately I settled on a higher power that more or less was just the idea, "pay attention. Take notice, see what you can learn about how to behave." This grew out of my first notions of an HP, which I call my "literary" version: you can read a book for the plot alone, or, if you like that sort of thing, you can look deeper for symbols, metaphors, similes and so on. Ditto for life: you can wander through life just doing what you do, or you can take note, moment to moment, asking yourself if there is something to learn.

Ultimately, I left the group because a key feature felt, if not strictly "religious," then "church-like." Here's the formulation: a) You are damaged goods; b) You can be redeemed; c) We have the answers; d) You must come to our "church" to be "saved" from your essential flawed nature; e) You must stay in the church or you will not be saved; f) If you leave, many (not all) of us may 1) pretend you never existed or 2) make up stories about you to fit our narrative that we must *never* leave, because we will fall back into depravity or even death.

In essence, like Christianity (the religion of my birth) a foundational aspect of the belief system is that you are "stained" and cannot ever truly be "clean." NA (or the church) can help you, so long as you are willing to be helped, but if you bail, you are fucked. As one wag liked to say, "They say we're brainwashed ... well, I have a dirty brain!" Ho, ho, ho, ho, ho!

I "worked" the program and I stopped my problem behavior, and when I left the group—ta dah!—did not go back to drugs. Life is great. So I'm a huge success, right? Nope. To many in my former fellowship I'm a danger and a failure, an apostate, a bit of Kryptonite; I have, in some sense, been shunned. I know from a few people I do see here and there that the rumor mill churned for awhile with whispered tales of, "I hear he's using!" and "He's drinking!"

Actually, I am drinking. Very responsibly enjoying learning about craft beer as a matter of fact. No desire to be drunk, almost always stop at one, on rare occasions—the horror!—I've had two over the course of an evening. But this, according to the dogma, is not possible. There is a widespread, almost supernatural belief that if someone, for example, accidentally downed a thimbleful of wine, all of the magical pixie "recovery" power would be instantly withdrawn, presumably by some external "higher power."

The other bit that really drove me away was the smug, self-satisfied chortling when someone would say, "Ha! He thinks he can actually drink a beer and not wind up turning tricks for his next fix." Ho, ho, ho. (This not in relation to me, as I was still "in," but to other poor suckers who thought they could live without the "church.")

And I definitely found some people's pedantic attachment to "holy texts" ridiculous; there were regular, heated arguments about how changing the male pronoun for God would somehow violate the magical scriptures and, I don't know, I guess render them inoperable?

That said, there really are no charismatic preachers, there is no hierarchy, the dunning is very, very low-pressure (most people I saw never put in even a buck), and the program is extremely empathetic and understanding and welcoming of every kind of person. Even "using" elicits sympathy, not ostracization.

I actually appreciate what NA did for me. It did help me stop using and better yet, it helped me see how my behavior—not just drugs, but all kinds of self-indulgent, selfish crap—was not serving me, my family or the world at large. I met a lot of very nice people there and since I'm something of a loner, it was a nice way to have a little bit of human contact besides my wife and son.

But having left, my life is better. The constant, low-grade fear I felt—very similar to my Catholic upbringing—has lifted. I am happier, less socially isolated, more willing to live, less willing to accept the boxes people and society have established for me. I have, in middle age, begun to try new things—I'm in a play, going to thru-hike a long trail this summer, go out with my wife more often, started making beer—and just as important, stop doing things I always did, just because—a life-long football fanatic, I didn't watch a single game last season, choosing instead to climb mountains, write, run ... anything.

This got way longer than I expected it to, but I have thought about this a lot.

God does not work in mysterious ways — he works in ways that are indistinguishable from his non-existence.
Jesus had a pretty rough weekend for your sins.
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