AA Bullies Still Calling Me an AA Basher

I’m called an AA Basher because I am opposed to AA for numerous reasons: My personal experience with the program making my problems worse. The fact AA is grossly ineffective yet has a monopoly over the treatment industry. The 12 Steps are negative, and use religion to scare believers into submission, and teach dependency.

If the Public was aware of this would they continue to support AA?

If the Public was aware of this would they continue to support AA?

For anyone with self-esteem issues, also including severe past history of abuse, the 12 Steps are the worst medicine a professional can prescribe. I am not an AA Basher for pointing this out, I am simply putting the facts out there. Bulling people online in an attempt to embarrass, shame, or run them into a corner to hide is not proving AA members to be “healthy” after working the 12 Steps. It actually makes you appear cruel, heartless, and disturbed.

I guess I should thank the online bullies for illustrating the point so many of us have tried to make. If it’s wrong to point out AA has no safety policies, no code of conduct against sexual harassment, or any formal complaint process, then it just further discredits the organization. No one should seek help at any group, dealing with any problem, and have to put up with harassment. Yet, the books themselves are seeped in bigoted sexist language and that seems to foster a culture that permits crime.

Yes, crime happens anywhere, but I can’t think of any organization or business as lawless as Alcoholics Anonymous. If your loved one is murdered by an AA member, AA will offer no condolences. Meetings are open to the public, even the closed meetings, and all you have to do is announce you are a member. AA calls “anonymity” a spiritual principle, but how is denying a rape victim help and protecting a rapist SPIRITUAL?

I’m bashing harassment, abuse, rape and murder— all of which deserve to be bashed.

I’m bashing an organization’s silence on the matters.

I’m bashing an operation that allows crime to persist and does nothing to address members’ concerns.

I’m bashing a fellowship that uses books that sends women’s rights back to the 1930s.

Only in AA would bashing misconduct and unethical, immoral business practices be wrong; Which is precisely why I oppose the organization of Alcoholics Anonymous.

However, opposing the organization of AA does not mean I oppose every individual member. Many are working above and beyond the confines of only carrying the AA message. They are more interested in reaching out and helping others than trying to sell them on AA. I’m “accused” of wanting AA to change. Yes, I absolutely do want AA to change, because progress is not a bad idea. I’m accused of wanting AA members to be knowledgeable about treatments for alcoholism that are not AA. Guilty as charged.

In Tracy Chabala’s recent article, “What It’s Like to Go to SMART Recovery After Eight Years in AA,” she writes that the SMART facilitator mentions other forms of recovery:

He seemed happy that I was there, and then he started the meeting with an explanation of what SMART is—an abstinence-based recovery program based on self-management and self-reliance, one that uses mostly Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and some Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy (REBT) and Acceptance Commitment Therapy (ACT), all proven through scientific research to help with addiction. He told us we were encouraged to participate in meetings as long as they were helpful and discontinue if we felt we had adequately achieved our goals. He told us some people attend other recovery programs like LifeRing, SOS, or AA, and others just did SMART alone.

Is this SMART facilitator remiss for mentioning other “brands” by name? No, he is informing people that other options exist so they can get as much help as they can get or want to get.

Is being knowledgeable about alternatives to AA sound horrible to anyone? It sounds responsible to me. Does wanting AA to safeguard their members sound horrible to anyone? It sounds like being accountable to me. Responsibility and accountability are taught in AA, but how has the organization set an example with dodging responsibility, allowing misconduct in the rooms, and taking no accountability whatsoever that there are no rules against 13 Stepping, sexual harassment, and other crimes?

Again, I blame the literature that teaches a person is at fault even if they are the ones who were hurt by another person. I blame literature that makes it perfectly clear if a person does not give themselves FULLY to the AA program they will drink and they will die. What AA has done is created a perfect scenario of sitting ducks, who believe if they tell on a perpetrator they are blaming, pointing fingers, breaking their anonymity if they tell the police, and not seeing “their part in it.”

Of course, if an AA member grabs your ass and fondles your breasts, you should report this violation to the proper authorities. However, AA does not have a disclaimer making it abundantly clear to ALL members that the law of the United States comes before the 12 Steps. At this point, I am sick of hearing how professionals coerce AA attendance and even impose consequences on those who fail to comply with going to meetings. This includes doctors, nurses, lawyers and pilots.

Tom Gleason writes of institutional abuses of power and 12 Step coercion on his blog: Not Powerless. Michael Langan writes of those in the medical profession forced to participate in 12 Step groups and more on Disrupted Physician. And there is talk of pilots suing the FAA and their employers for forcing them into 12 Step programs.

Members are actually told outsiders, those not in the program, don’t understand AA and don’t realize that sick people (those who rape or molest children) need AA’s help too. How dare a person “play the victim” because they are hurting a sick person (a rapist) who needs to work the AA program? How selfish and self-centered of the victim, who wants all the attention on them, and is building a resentment which AA teaches will lead to alcoholic death. Let it go, they tell the victim.

Because of all of these injustices and problems within AA, and the fact I talk about them, I’m called an AA Basher. I wrote about this for The Fix over a year ago, but little has changed. If you point out AA’s problems, you will be called a lot of bad names in an attempt to discredit you. However, facts cannot be discredited and this reflects poorly on the name callers, not the individuals pointing out the truth.

Recently, I posted a video featuring Hitler, and although that is a strong artistic statement meant to indicate dictatorship (sponsors, oldtimers) and the rigid adherence and loyalty members develop to AA, I’m back to being called an AA Basher. Actually, I’m a Hitler Basher. His image is in there because it’s a strong image of what I am against: Hate, abuse of power, and killing innocents. I see a lot of hate, abuse of power, and innocents killed in AA. If the shoe fits…

I am sorry it’s hard for people to hear that AA is not perfect and many are harmed by its program, but the truth hurts. I wish those who devoted time and energy getting mad at me would take that time and energy and work to make AA better, instead of defending AA warts and all. Warts. No, more like Deathly Lesions. As though rape and murder are just pesky annoyances one must put up with while attending AA.

Yet, if members continue to defend the product they’re selling, and the public becomes more aware of the product’s defects, the less consumers will buy the product. AA’s reign of cover-ups and silence is over. It’s time to fix the system, because AA refuses to change while the rest of us refuse to allow AA to hurt anymore people.

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6 thoughts on “AA Bullies Still Calling Me an AA Basher

  1. Mental Health professionals can’t continue to ignore this. It will be shown that they have caused these problems more than solved them, by their allegiance to the abusive cult of AA.

    • Thanks Tom, and I agree so many agencies are going to be held accountable for forcing AA attendance. Especially when their patients/clients are getting worse, not better. It seems to be the only instance where a person enters therapy not doing well, but exits therapy with a slew of even worse problems. Thanks for helping call attention to this.

  2. I do not agree that you are bashing. I might say that a simple approach would be to say….

    I oppose any involvement with AA because it is a loosely Protestant Christian based organization, citing Co-founders Wilson stating..”in the beginning we were all Christian” , Dr. Bob, states Dr. Bob and the Good Old Timers, that AA was originally called a Christian Fellowship, and when combined with the BB and 12 & !2 there is a definite desire to coerce Atheists into changing beliefs also confirmed in Wilson’s writings in Language of the Heart. Wilson in the 12 & 12 clearly states that the desire to drink is removed by the Grace of God and tells Ebby that AA is based on a simple religious idea.

    I don’t have the need or desire to be involved with a Protestant Christian group, wanting to have beliefs that I choose and not that are aligned with any particular group and if a simple religious idea, the grace of God and some form of Christianity is what AA is all about then I would imagine that if I chose to find God in a Christian group then I would look elsewhere. In consideration that I have no belief and find that those that choose not to believe in any God should be able to find their own way to whatever it is they believe makes the world go around and AA seems to impinge on personal beliefs of that sort.

    All of the coercion, mandates, and unclear information in my opinion has nothing to do with my perception of the habit of excess drinking and those in AA that have found help, well then Alleluia for you. Just understand that in the industry sadly what is proposed is what is called “Belief based treatment” rather than “Research based Treatment”…..and I did not make that up. You can find that sort of information and dialogue in many books by credible authors, like the Sobell’s. So, for you AA works. For me I find AA is not something I want to be part of and wish you well and I would hope you wish me well too. Have a good day.

    • I’d simply state read the BB’s chapter to the Agnostic and it’s pretty clear what AA wants members to do (especially atheists and agnostics). But also, to religious members (Catholics, Jewish, Methodist, etc.) it’s an insult to tell them perhaps they were praying to the “wrong” God and that’s why God wouldn’t cure their alcoholism. Only with AA will God work. So AA created a special AA-God and to me, religious or not, that’s blasphemy.

  3. Gee- We can’t criticize AA? Why not. What makes AA so special? Nothing. …Is AA above reproach, above the law, above the Catholic Church, above the Boy Scouts…I don’t think so. Expose…educate and empower!

  4. Direct confrontation of a belief with a truth that contradicts the belief produces an attack, not on the belief, on the character of the messenger. Discredit the messenger, dismiss the message. The action is justified by a belief in the greater good, Divine right through grace of a Higher Power, claiming His will is being done.
    As far as the picture. If you didn’t follow his solutions, you warranted a personal attack, public condemnation and death. This is similar to the group’s own seminal beliefs, if you don’t follow our solutions, your future is either jails, institutions or death. Of course, if you speak out against the un-excusable acts of behavior and violence, you warrant a personal attack and public condemnation. If you’re not with us, you must be against us. We need a scapegoat to deflect the problems; you’ll do fine.
    A myth unless supported by a reputable legitimacy, is just that. It is the means by which the myth is carried into the collective group usually by the appearance of simplicity. Dispel or reveal an error, in the vehicle the myth is attached to, one not related to the belief, but one that the myth needs to coexist, and change will occur.
    A group, which holds core beliefs of questionable origins, without biblical repentance, redemptions, and reconciliations, through a Higher Power, but not necessarily the God of the Scriptures, from false spiritual prophets, diviners, dreamers, soothsayers, and sorcerers, will duplicate the structure, the organization and many of the practices of Christianity for single purpose; spiritual results without regard or adherence to scriptural integrity,
    If a group who avoids the doctrine of fundamental Biblical teaching is exposed, for what it is and not the myth it is known for, it would be difficult for a Christian organization to justify a group with these values meeting on consecrated ground. The Pastor and the church body would seem to be encouraging, sanctioning, protecting, and even condoning a counterfeit or replacement church within their basement walls, and in the hallowed halls of Christianity.
    Juliet, your words, and images (good job Massive) have power.

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