AA slogans condition people to turn off their minds

 AA slogans condition people to turn off their minds. Don't go into your
 mind, you may get mugged. It goes back to the your best thinking got
 you here. If you are told that your thinking is not good, and told that
 everyone else's is better, you grow to depend on them. What amazed me
 was how people who conducted their lives well in many areas, would
 suddenly turn into to children in meetings. They would do the 'mother
 may I' routine. The worst when the discussion of meds came up.
 "Va. Carper" <> wrote: Some of the aa slogans were
 borrowed from elsewhere: just do it, first things first, think, etc.Â
 Some of these are a part of the culture, others were specific to time
 management.  What I have noticed for some peculiar reason is how much
 of the slogans and the materials reflect management theories of the
 Wow, that is very interesting.  And it makes good sense too, that
 these are business-inspired.  Never thought of that.  You take on the
 effect of the "innocent" slogans in an aa context - very insightful!
 Ear worms...that's a good one.  Got a nasty picture in my mind of one
 of those hearts in a jar full of heart worms at the vet's office.
 Picture that in your brain, gag!  Ear worms crawling around in my head
 for how long????  And when does it end? Oh yukky!
 Very good analogy.
 I always thought of it as shrapnel.  It is a war zone really, in those
 rooms, for who will control the minds.  You, or them.  (In AA, it can
 only be one or the other, IMO)
 Lots of slogans machine gunned at you day after day. You get to where
 you don't even hear them firing after a while, you get so conditioned
 to hearing it. Guess that is when common sense becomes uncommon sense".
 Darn shrapnel... I am STILL it picking out after all this time. Just
 when I think I picked out the last piece...bummer--there's another
 Come to think of it, I'd rather think of it as shrapnel than ear worms
 because I am rather visional in my thinking, ha. Not that shrapnel is a
 pretty mental image, but at least it's not squirmy...heh heh.
 I know my life is much better...I have gotten over so much with the
 help of this group.  But I just wonder sometimes, will the effects of
 this cult linger in one way or another for the rest of my life?
 It's been 5ish years since I left. Sometimes I go for long times
 without even thinking about that life, only to realize in one way or
 another my thinking is still colored in certain aspects by their
 programming.  There have been times I have thought, "All better now!!"
 and meant it.
 Guess any part of life, good or bad leaves a mark, becomes part of the
 whole story, "the beautiful patchwork quilt of my life" or some such
 Anyone know any "facts" on the risidual effects of being "cult"ivated"?
 How long do they linger if you are aware and actively seek to think
 your own thoughts instead of the programmed ones?
 Is there a "cured" time, where it really is completely OVER?  Because
 just physically leaving AA did not end it for me.  You can leave AA
 and still think AA.  (AA thinking IS stinkin' thinkin') Maggie, the
 Mandlebrot Maniac
 --- In, "Va. Carper" <snork5902g@y...>
 wrote: The aa slogans and repeated readings of the big book are like
 ear-worms.  They get into the brain and pop out without you even
 thinking about it.  As you have probably figured it out, aa is really
 about converting to a religion, not about stopping drinking.
 The whole thing started when Wilson and group decided that the atheist
 guy had to believe in god. Then there was Smith on a mission to convert
 the miserable drinkers in his Upper Room. I think these two clowns
 started the whole idea of "I know best, you don't", and convinced
 people to play "Mother may I".
 One thing that I despise about 12-step slogans is how ignorant they
 are. This gem came from Dr. Bob: "Camels in a caravan kneel down in the
 evening and the camel-driver unloads their burdens. In the morning, the
 camels kneel down again, and the camel-driver put the burdens back on.
 It's the same with prayer: we get on our knees to unload at night, and
 in the morning we get on our knees again. God gives us just the load we
 are able to carry that day."
 I always objected to AA's depictions of camels and drinking. Camels
 store water and fat in their humps. It is how they survive. Yet aa
 thinks of camels in regards to drunks.
 Dr. Bob's knowledge of camels was not much better either. IF THE BURDEN
 great at saying "No" to an over zealous packer. They are very good at
 service but also very good at teaching the meaning of no. Dr. Bob
 doesn't include that aspect of the camel in his quote-saying. He just
 assumes that alcoholics are simple beasts of burdens to carry god's
 Moslems regard the camel to be a gift from Allah. To them, camels are
 more than beasts of burdens. The camels provide for man, and man
 provides for the camels.
 I am sorry if this seems so silly but it is important to get things
 right. I had a long exchange with a manatee research over folk ideas of
 manatees vrs. scientific behavior studies. She found the manatees that
 she studied to be elusive and cunning. Something
 that people do not associate with manatees. They are also curious
 intellegent animals who like to explore. She noted this aspect of their
 character when studying them. I guess it is the sense of the 'other'
 and allowing for the 'other' to be something not you.
 The things I do for this group :). I have checked a few sites that
 compile slogans. I went over the ones on thinking: either aa wants you
 to think or they don't:
 Here it goes:
 pro-thinking (not a very long list)
 (Most of them in the context of the program means that you must think
 to accept the program. It is a subtle way of turning off your brain.)
 Think, think, think
 Keep an open mind
 Descisions aren't forever
 Look for the similarities rather than differences (The Law of
 Let Go of Old Ideas (In aa's case, forget what you know.)
 Before engaging your mouth, put your mind in gear. (My high school
 science teacher said this a lot, meaning say things that bear weight.
 AA's case: shut up unless you speak program.)
 If I think, I won't drink. If I drink, I can't think.
 Minds are like parachutes -- they won't work unless they're open. (In
 aa's case, shut up and learn the program.)
 The 7t's: Take Time to think the thing through.
  1. —————————————————–
 (This is a devastating list. What I make of it is the self-denigrating
 of a person. After hearing these over and over in their various forms,
 you end up hating yourself. Small wonder that people want to kill
 themselves after sometime in the program. You tear people down to make
 them cogs in the aa collective.)
 More will be revealed (appeal to authority)
 You will intuitively know (appeal to emotion)
 Sober and crazy (I HATED THIS ONE.)
 It's in the book (Stop questioning)
 We are all here because we are not there. (Meaning we are stupid
 drunks. Our brains don't work. HATED THIS ONE TOO.)
 The road to sobriety is a simple journey for confused people with a
 complicated disease. (Don't get a big head, you stupid drunk. Alcholism
 is smarter than you are, stupid person.)
 Bring the body, the mind will follow. (You are impaired in your
 thinking. Welcome to the aa collective.)
 There are non too dumb for the A.A. program, but many are too smart.
 (Ray's unfavorite saying.)
 Knowledge of the answers never made anyone slip - it was failing to
 practice the answers known.
 Some A.A.'s are so successful that they turn out to be almost as good
 as they used to think they were when they were drinking. (Well, so much
 for self-confidence.)
 The alcoholics's mind is like a bad neighborhood, don't go there alone.
 (Well if that doesn't strike people down, I don't know what will.)
 Don't drink, don't think, don't get married. (???????)
 We have a thinking problem, not a drinking problem. (We are stupid
 DOn't go in your head alone. It is a dangerous neighborhood.
 AA is a simple program for complicated people. (We are stupid drunks.)
 It takes time to get your brains out of hock.
 AAAAAARRRRRRGGGGGGG. My slogan for this anti-thinking slogans. I like
 my head, it is a good head. It is not a dangerous place. It is a
 pleasant place filled with beautiful thoughts. At last I have come to
 the end of the god ones. think I have. There are probably more out
 there. I will take everyone's suggestion about checking with seesharp
 press. I read their submission requirements and can probably pitch a
 book length of "As Snork Sees It: AA Slogans Deconstructed". I'll let
 you know
 where this all goes.
 Thinking is bad for the aa member. Witness the following:
 Your best thinking got you here.
 -----> Meant to say that you can't think. So stop thinking, you stupid
 Actually, when you *think* about it, it means that the thoughtful
 person wanted a solution to their problem. So they are investigating
 solutions. So in that repsect, it is a good thing.
 "I asked my sponsor how to let go of something. He said "Don't think
 about it." I left happy, finally knowing how to let go. Went home, told
 myself I would never think about it again ... Thought about it more
 than ever before in my life."
 ------> Actually this is the classic problem in aa. If you keep
 thinking about not drinking, you keep thinking about drinking.
 "Analysis - Paralysis"
 -----> Meant to say that if you analysis you don't get to the point of
 using the tools to solving the problem. However, there is a spectrum of
 thinking. AA takes the extremes in this. Before attempting something,
 you have to analyze it, just to make sure that what it is is
 appropriate. Of course the extreme, is sitting there and doing nothing.
 So aa ties the idea of thinking about something to the extreme of that,
 without any middle.
 Use, Don't Analyze
 ------> This is usually in regards to reading the big book. The program
 and the bb are full of contradictions. The only way you can get people
 to subscribe to the program is to stop their thinking about it. Keep
 saying that it is a simple program, which is false. That way people
 consider themselves to be stupid drunks, which is the whole point of
 the program.
 BIG BOOK = Believing In God Beats Our Old Knowledge
 ------>This is why aa does not want you to think. If you are a
 thoughtful person, then you will not believe in God. And you certainly
 will not read the big book. This reminds me of Fundamental religious
 believers who take things literally. AA is similiar in that it requires
 that people stop thinking. You must not think in order to believe. This
 flies in the face of
 thoughtful religious believers who think about their faith. Usually
 this deepens their faith as they come to a deeper understanding of
 their God. God gave people minds to use wisely and well.
 From Check List for A Relapse
 16. Omniscience This is an attitude that results from a combination of
 many of the above: you now have all the answers for yourself and
 others.* No one can tell you anything. You ignore suggestions or advice
 from others. If such is the case, relapse is imminent unless drastic
 changes take place. ("Omniscience' is derived from two Latin words:
 "Omnia Scit," meaning: "He knows it all.")
 -----> This is why aa does not want people to think. They realize that
 once people think for themselves, they are not receptive to aa
 teachings or oldtimers or sponsors. In short they come to an
 understanding of the program that runs counter to the standard of the
 big book. AA regards thinkers as evil people - they become like God
 since they know too much.
 Thinking gets in the way of the simple program. It also gets in the way
 of aa's "us stupid drunks". If you call people 'stupid drunks', you get
 them to think of themselves that way. Therefore it is easier to
 convince them that your method is the best one for them.
 What is sad is that thoughtful people can deepen their understanding of
 their problem and come to a solution that fit them. They can also help
 others. AA doesn't seem want that.
 In answer to Laura's question about "Think", It is usually printed
 upside down. At least the ones I have seen as a poster.
 There is a difference between 'keeping an open mind' and 'keeping an
 open mind'. The first is in reference to new ideas. Try to listen and
 be receptive of the idea, without dismissing it out of hand. It is used
 in trying have people relate to each other in productive ways.
 The second is used by manipulative people who want you to believe the
 snake oil they are peddling. Those people would say outrageous things.
 You would question them, and they would pop back with, "You are
 biased." No one wants to be biased, so you keep an
 open mind. In aa's case, people come in with all sorts of questions.
 The major one being is how does a belief in god going to help me stop
 drinking. What does spirituality have to do with a medical disease.
 Then the questions progress from there. However, the
 people involved with answering the questions do not wish to seem
 impolite. So instead of shut up you fool, they say "Keep an open mind"
 which in this case has the same meaning.--- Janice:
 > --- In srfbrdy@a...> wrote: (snip snip)
 > "There is just so much dishonesty and manipulativeness I have
 encountered in aa. I would have fallen for this crap when I first got
 into aa. I'm a pretty forthright person so I didn't expect this kind of
 deceitfulness from people."
 > Surfbirdie - Neither did I. I was being conned all along in the
 expectation that if I continued to go to meetings on a daily basis and
 "kept an open mind", eventually I would have a religious conversion.
 Except for that one AA "friend", I no longer speak anyone even remotely
 connected with AA. Janice
 Since everyone talks about how aa is spiritual but not religious, I
 gathered up the considerable pile of slogans about the religion of aa.
 It is an interesting pile of contradictions and a weird god. Here is
 the first of many. And we know how many that can be with religion
 perculating through aa.
  1. ————–
 aa won't keep you from going to hell nor is it a ticket to heaven but
 it will keep you sober enough for you to make up your mind which way
 you want to go.
 aa never opened the gates of heaven to let me in, aa did open the gates
 of hell to let me out
 aa isn't a religion, we can't open the gates of heaven and let you in,
 but we can open the gates of hell and let you out.
  1. —→These three assume that there is a hell and a heaven, both not

universal concepts for religons. Christianity has the fullest sense of

 the meaning of heaven and hell that aa is talking about. Also aa is
 assuming Protestant Christian doctrine in what they say. Japanese
 Budhists believe that when they about to die, if they call on the mercy
 of Buddha that they will go to a merciful place. Catholics have a
 middle place -- Pugatory. Also if you receive the Rite of Confession on
 your death bed, you will go to Heaven.
 So what aa is promoting are the Protestant concepts of heaven and hell.
 That is a religious doctrine. Two of the statements assume that aa has
 the power to reprieve sinners in hell. That is another aspect of
 Christian religion. It is not god that reprieves sinners but aa. How
 does aa do that? They must have some sort of religious doctrine that
 states how. Spirituality does not release people from hell, a religious
 entity does that.
  1. ————–
 without aa, it's Amen
 religion is for those who fear god, spirituality is for those who have
 been to hell and back.
  1. —→ Contrast the above two. If you are not in aa, you are dead. Or

if aa does not exist, you are dead. Therefore, fear aa. If you add

 these with the first three, then you get a picture of a group of people
 who assume that there is a hell and they were condemed to it. That is a
 pretty bleak picture and assumption. All people who enter aa are evil
 people deserving of hell without aa's help. Again we have an
 organization that condemns people to save them.
 gut = god's undeniable truths
 program = people relying on god relaying a message
  1. —> So now we get to the guts of the thing. Every one sits and

meditates and has god tell them what to do. What are these undeniable

 truths that aa promotes? If they are promoting god messages and
 undeniable truths, then they are a religion.
  1. —–> Well if aa is not religion, then I am a duck. Actually I really

am a duck – quack, quack, quack….. No, I am really a squirrel in a

 duck suit. No wait, I am a squirrel without a duck suit.
 Well here are the old chestnuts of aa slogans. Things that you hear in
 every meeting. What do they say about god and the aa person's
 relationship to this god.
  1. ———————
 let go and let god
 let go or get dragged
 turn it over
 if you turn it over and don't let go of it, you will be turned upside
  1. —→ These are the standards of aa - let go etc. What are the

consquences of hanging on, you get dragged or turned upside down.

 First off 'letting go' need to be defined. For example -- abolishing
 slavery in the United States. If people let go and let god, then would
 we still have slavery in the U.S.? On the other hand, there are some
 things that needs to be let go off such as clutter in your house. There
 are ideas that need to be let go off -- for example I had to let go of
 the idea that someone would take care of me always. I had to grasp the
 idea that I would have work most of my life.
 What are these aa ideas of letting go -- letting go of your problems,
 and having god taking care of them. Self will run riot disguised as a
 benign saying - if you run your own affairs, you will get bonk on the
 head and go out and get drunk. So you let god run your affairs. It is a
 saying of becoming passive in your life. You will be taken care of by
 this nanny god. This runs in the face of "Heaven helps those who help
 themselves." Instead you have people becoming inert objects to be acted
 remember nothing is going to happen today that you and god can't handle
 the will of god will never take you where the grace of god will not
 protect you
 god will never give you more than you can handle
  1. —–> I have heard preachers and ministers say these. They are

generally comforting people who are facing difficulties and grief in

 their lives. These people already are believers in god, and have a
 relationship with their god. They understand the underpinnings of these
 says in terms of that relationship.
 What is aa's underpinnings and assumption of their relationship with
 god. Well first off, they again assume a Christian god. The use of word
 grace is generally used in a Christian concept. However, the concept of
 grace flies in the face of "Let go or get dragged." and other aa
 slogans. In the aa assumption, is that you turn your will and life over
 to god, and trust that god won't hurt you. (There are a whole slew of
 sayings on faith and trust.) These sayings
 present a loving god, however, they fly in the face of "a slip begins
 with not bending the knees." and other such sayings. But they do lull
 you into believing in a benign aa god that you can turn your life over
  1. —————–
 when man listens, god speaks; when man obeys, god works
 god could and would if he were sought
 god grant me patience right now.
  1. ——→What do we make of these little sayings. First you have an

active god in the 'let go or get dragged', then you have the benign god

 of "god's grace', now you have the absent god. God is out there
 somewhere waiting to be contacted by man. God has no power until man
 contacts him. God is powerless.
 So now you have a nanny god who takes care of you, a benign god of
 granting grace whenever, and an absent, powerless god. So is the aa god
 is one of convienence -- he is whatever Wilson, the GSO board, big book
 thumpers, and oldtimers want him to be. An inflatable god, that you pop
 in the closet when you don't need him, and inflate him when you do.
 What I have noticed about aa's approach to god is that he is
 They have one track that says you must decide to turn your life and
 will over to him. If you get drunk, that means you snatched your will
 back from him. Then there is this other track of 'you are special
 because god made you a drunk', god does things for you without you
 knowing anything about it, a god that sneaks around getting you from
 point a to point b.
 The upshot is you have this silly god that demands that you give your
 will and life over to him or he will make your life a living hell. And
 even when you resist or object such as being sentenced to aa meetings
 by a judge, this god is really the one working behind the scenes for
 So aa god is like the atomic oppossum that lives in my nearby dumpster.
 If you go near the dumpster, the possum hisses at you and bears his
 teeth. But he likes the garbage that you throw in the dumpster. You
 have to use the dumpster to get rid of your trash. So
 you have to deal with this possum. We tried calling animal control,
 they keep removing the animal, which pops back to rule the dumpster.
  1. – Just Laura wrote:> Snork says, „If you want God in your life, you

ask Him to come inside. He doesn't sneak in when you aren't looking.

 The way that AA slogans seem to say God works is that he comes in the
 dead of night when you are asleep and pops inside."
  1. —-
 > But...but....I thought we were supposed to "turn our will and our
 lives over to god as we understood him". I also thought that "god could
 and would if he were sought". I thought god was helpless and unable to
 do anything until the alcoholic asked him to. I thought it was we
 ourselves who had power over god in this way. I thought god couldn't do
 diddly-squat until we mere humans asked him.
 > Oh wow, reading another post, "The 'there's nothing you can do about
 it' grates on my nerves. It makes me feel like I am being mugged by a
 bunch of marshmellows."
 > Oh haw haw haw haw!!! LOL!! Mugged by marshmallows! Snork, that's a
 fantastic metaphor, that's a keeper!
 AA is fond of telling people that they are not god and There is a god.
 However, if you combine all the following, you get a skewed view of
 what people in aa should be.
 First off are these two gems. For a group that talks about having the
 answer to stopping drinking, their idea is faith healing. Go to a Zulu
 Sangoma instead. In fact, Sangomas have to be trained for 15 years
 before they can throw the bones and doctor people. People who are
 councilors in treatment centers are much less trained and far more
 AA is a religious organization.
 there is no chemical solution to a spiritual problem
  1. —→ Ha! Got you, aa. What is the spiritual problem? How is having

people believing and turning their will over to god going to help them?

 there are no atheists in foxholes
  1. —→ Meaning that everyone is expected is to convert to believers.

Also note how aa takes the problem of drinking too much and places it

 in an extreme contex. Foxholes are for war. So is aa at war with
 drinking? Is this a spiritual war that is meant to be fought through
 converting people who want to stop drinking?
 Next contrast and compare these two groups:
 1. we are not human beings having spiritual experiences; we are
 spiritual beings having human experiences.
  1. —–> That goes with aa being the chosen people or gifted people.

That goes with the idea of the godhead resides in you. We are all gods

 through our efforts. This is an hallmark of a cult. If any religious
 group promises godhood from within, it is a cult. (That includes
 Mormonism, which tells people that they are the new Adams, and will
 become gods.)
 aa works for people who believe in god
 aa works for people who don't believe in god
 aa NEVER works for people who believe they ARE god
 we had to quit playing god
 there is a god and I am not it
  1. —–> SO how does these three sayings go with the Chosen people of aa

and the spiritual beings that are having human experiences????? Either

 aa people become gods or they do not. AA takes with one hand and gives
 with the other. Small wonder people are confused.
 The other subtle feature of this that aa assumes that everyone plays
 god or believes they are god. I don't believe that for a minute. I
 believe that these are put downs of people trying solve problems. It is
 another way to encourage passivity in people.
 It also assumes that atheists will become believers. It encourages
 atheists to become
 believers. Also, these 'not god' things are telling atheists that they
 believe or act as if they are god. In short, if you want to be humble,
 you have to believe in god. These sayings are a slap at atheists, since
 they assume that people who do not believe in god are playing god.
  1. —-
 if god is your co-pilot, switch seats get out of the driver's seat, let
 go and let god
  1. —> These two slogans are teaching passivity. I remember the movie,

„God as My Co-Pilot“. The man showed that he had a partnership with

 God. It was a team effort. These slogans teach that you are not in
 partnership with god. God is your parent and you are the child. It is
 an immature relationship with god that aa encourages. AA discourages an
 active relationship with god. There is no wrestling with god, not
 questioning of god, none of the dark night of the soul. If you are
 doing any of these things, then you will drink again or your self-will
 is running riot.
 The following I grouped together because they made sense to me that
 way. You are of course could probably find a different grouping better.
 What is interesting about this group is how it directly ties drinking
 with praying.
  1. ——
 trying to pray is praying
  1. –> No comment
 be careful what you pray for; you are liable to get it
  1. —→ What is interesting is that you have all those prayers to remove

drinking impluses and all that. So the slogan is saying that you, you

 small little drunken worm, can not be depended on praying for the right
 stuff. We the aa collective must teach you the correct things to pray
 for. We can't have you just praying for just any old thing.
 bend your knees before you bend your elbow backsliding begins when
 knee-bending stops
  1. —→ This is Christian style of praying. Other religions do not bend

knees for pray. Some bow, others stand, others sit and remain quiet.

 Since praying on one's knees is always presented as do this or get
 drunk, then aa is a religion. Other forms are praying are not
 I thank my HP for my sobriety.
 My daily sobriety is contingent on my spiritual condition
 help = his every loving presence
  1. —> These three contradict each other and the above slogans. If the

HP loves you, then you can pray any way you want. If the HP loves you,

 then your daily sobriety is not an issue.
 This group certainly promotes a religious conversion and passivity by
 the aa member.
 i came; i came to; i came to believe
  1. —→ It assumes that your brain is lost in a fog, and when you come

out of the fog, you convert. The logical progression is brain doesn't

 work, thinking bad; once brain works; believing good. However, what is
 left out is the fact that once your brain works, it may come to many
 other conclusions about how to stop drinking.
 i can't....he can...i think i'll let him
 i can't handle it god; you take over
  1. —→Basically aa tells people it has a way to stop drinking. Then you

come to the meetings and are told that you can't handle it. SO you are

 left hanging. What is next: belief in god. God will take over now. You
 just run along now.
 willpower=our will-ness to use a higher power
  1. —> Another one of those aa dyads to have will be evil, and belief

good. It takes an active of will to believe in God. God gave people

 free will to choose. This takes away that choice......
 when we surrender to our higher power, the journey begins
  1. —>And that journey is what? Why should we surrender to a higher

power, unless we are converting to a religion. Surrender is used in

 Christian religion for surrendering to the will of God. I don't think
 that surrendering to God is an universal religious idea. I think it is
 more specific to Christianity.
 willing = when i live life, i need god
 live life on life's terms
  1. —> These two directly contradict each other. If you live life on

life's terms, then why do you need god? How is living life contected to

 needing god? How did the two get linked together?
 Although AA may seem Christian, there are parts which are not Christian
 at all. The needing god is one of them. Baptists sing "Just as I am" in
 regards to God's love. God doesn't place conditions on His Love.
 Catholics learn to Love, Honor, and Obey God. AA says nothing about
 loving God nor Honoring Him. There is nothing in the AA religion, that
 talks about man loving God. It is always one way: god to man. Man has
 no part in the relationship. There is no action on Man's part in
 regards to Honoring God, either. How do AA's demonstrate their love of
 god and how to do they honor god?
 Here is where they hit you over the head with god, and passivity.
 But for the grace of god
  1. –> Ha, ha, look at the unfortunate fool. I am really glad I am not

that fool.

 there are no coincidences in aa
 in aa we say a "coincidence" is a miracle in which god chooses to
 remain anonymous
  1. —→ Are there coincidences outside of aa? This is superstition writ

large. You are expected to live in a universe where if you do not pay

 the troll under the bridge, you will be eaten. You have to knock on
 wood, pick up pennies, watch out for black or white cats....
 god is never late
 man's extremity is god's opportunity
  1. —> So god has to beat people into the ground to get believers? What

kind of god is that? Actually Satan works that way: force people to

 believe in him. God gives people choices. aa god does not.
 god taught us to laugh again but god please don't let us forget we once
  1. —→ If god needs you to be beaten down, how do you learn to laugh

from such a god?

 you are exactly where god wants you to be
 If it is meant to be, i can't stop it
 The results are in god's hands
 I don't know what god's will is for me, but I always know what it is
  1. —→ Passivity built in for the aa-god believer. You do not move for

anything. You just have to lay down and take whatever is dished out to

 you. You can not plan. You have no future. Everything is up to a god
 that has beaten you to in submission.
 Small wonder people in aa are scared. I would be too if I had a god
 that was fickle.
 These AA slogans and others like it is a part of the Christian European
 Medieval beliefs of the "Great Chain of Being" and of Fallen Man.
 In the the Fallen Man belief, Man degenerated from perfection with the
 Fall from grace, i.e. the Garden of Eden. Since then, man has fallen
 further. The only way that man can be improved is through the working
 out of God's plan of salvation. Human pursuits of this world such as
 drinking will distract us from the faith required for redemption.
 Great Chain of Being goes like this: There is a static, divinely
 ordained cosmos. God's plan for the universe is flawless from the worm
 to man. Therefore, when things are out of balance it is because someone
 does not know their place in the Great Chain. The greatest good is
 knowing one's place and staying there.
 Added to that is the 18th century notions of progress and improvement:
 humans can follow a successful path of intellectual and moral
 improvement. (AA left out the intellectual improvement unless you
 include exclusive reading of the big book.)
 So the elements of the aa god slogans and such lies with:
 You are distracted from your great purpose in life by drinking.
 You must learn your place since it is the greatest good. God has made
 it so.
 You can only do this through moral improvement: the steps and reading
 the materials.
 Your great purpose in life is to stay put since that is where god
 ordained you to be.
  1. —————-
 But for the grace of god
 there are no coincidences in aa
 in aa we say a "coincidence" is a miracle in which god chooses to
 remain anonymous
 god is never late
 man's extremity is god's opportunity
 you are exactly where god wants you to be
 If it is meant to be, i can't stop it
 The results are in god's hands
 I don't know what god's will is for me, but I always know what it is
  1. ————
 Finally I can see the end to these God cliches. Here are the miracle
 ones. These ones are actually promoting faith healing and magic. The
 god is a god of small things.
 expect miracles
 you will be amazed
 possibilites and miracles are one in the same
 there is no magic in recovery only miracles
 i am a walking miracle
 The central fact of our lives today is the absolute certainty that our
 Creator has entered into our hearts and lives in a way which is indeed
 miraculous. He has commenced to accomplish those things for us which we
 could never do by ourselves.
  1. —→ This bb quote is a lot of bullhockey. If you want God in your

life, you ask Him to come inside. He doesn't sneak in when you aren't

 looking. The way that AA slogans seem to say God works is that he comes
 in the dead of night when you are asleep and pops inside. There is no
 action on your part except being an inert person.
 Then this uninvited god does all these things that we can never do. How
 do we know what it is we can never do? I have one leg shorter than the
 other. I go up and down stairs sideways. I supposed the aa god could
 have me go up and down stairs forwards without
 falling. Now how does the aa god do that? Make one leg longer?
 Meanwhile, what I can do to stop falling is use a cane, hold the
 railing, have corrective shoes. These things are not what a god does
 for me.
 pain is the touchstone of spiritual growth
  1. —> Then you get this slogan from the same person who brought you the

above quote. How do the two square with each other? If you read the

 lives of the saints, you will find some of them did not experience pain
 in their lives. They were simply holy people. Then there were other
 saints who inflected pain on themselves. Does that makes them more
 Nearing the end of these. For a non-religous group, aa certainly has a
 lot of dogma to follow. Not to mention confusing ideas about their god
 if god seems far away, who moved?
 you don't need to find 'find god', he isn't lost.
  1. —–> This is in contrast to expect miracles and god making you over

without your consent. AA people have very conflicting ideas about their

 god. First he pops in on you, then you have to pray, then he goes off
 gift = god is forever there
 god has no grand kids
 please be patient - god isn't finished with me yet.
 I love you, god loves you, and there's nothing you can do about it
  1. —–> Well how do you reconcile these with the ones above it? The one

that is most offensive to me is the „I love you, god loves you…..“ I

 would rather sing the Barney song, "I love you, you love me..." at
 least Barney has two people interacting. The 'there's
 nothing you can do about it' grates on my nerves. It makes me feel like
 I am being mugged by a bunch of marshmellows.
 god = group of drunks
 god = good orderly direction
  1. —→ Interesting how they define god. Actually I prefer 'genome of


 ego= edge god out
  1. —> Why do they equate having an ego with being godless? In order to

love god, you need an ego. This is a case of pop psycology being

 misused. I much prefer the 'footsteps of the giant id' fotgi to edging
 god out.
 Well here the ones on FAITH. It is an interesting collection. without works is dead
 If faith without works is dead; then willingness
 without action is fantasy
 faith is spelled a-c-t-i-o-n.
  1. ——> This is directly from Christian doctrine about faith. However,

depending on what sect you are, these statements may run counter to

 your dogma. Lutherans, I think, believe in 'Justification by Faith
 Alone'. Faith with works is a Catholic concept that several Protestant
 sects rejected.
 However, if you look at this deeper, the Catholic teaching about faith
 and works does not apply. Catholics are taught to visit the dying, give
 comfort to the sick and the inprisoned, feed the hungry, clothe the
 naked, and give homes to the homeless. It is oriented to building a
 community and helping those less fortunate than you with your
 abundance. Through your works, God's Mercy is shown.
 AA couples this with "walking the talk". But they define action in very
 narrow terms -- doing the fourth - ninth steps, and carrying the
 message. They do not extend beyond that. Their actions do not really
 reveal God's Love or Mercy. The actions do not build a community or
 encourage people to extend themselves to people who are not like them.
 practice an attitude of gratitude
 replace guilt with gratitude
  1. —→ This is one of those thought stoppers. Because you may be upset

about the potholes on Main Street, you should not complain since it

 would affect your serenity. Also all alcoholics are guilty of
 something. This hints at aa's mission of supposedly
 rehabilitating alcholics. They do this by removing the guilt. Instead
 of replacing guilt with gratitude, guilt should be replaced with
 responsibility. However, the other part of this is to browbeat the
 person into believing that drinking to excess is evil. Guilt is an
 useless emotion but a useful one for coercing people. Shaming them is
 something that aa
 does all to well. Both slogans attempt to shame people from thinking
 spirituality is the ability to get our minds off ourselves
 faith is our greatest gift; sharing with others our greatest
  1. ——>The definition of spirituality is a strange one. Usually

spirituality means how people commune with god. Is god supposed to keep

 our minds off ourselves? This slogan doesn't address that at all. But
 does hint as how selfish we all are.
 I coupled these two together since they address selfishness verses
 unselfishness. In both cases, we are selfish people who think only of
 ourselves. Sharing faith is a subtle method of conversion. It depends
 on how you do it. We share our respective faiths or no faiths here. But
 we are not in the business of converting people to our way of believing
 or not believing. There are those who share with conversion in mind
 (witnessing). Also the sharing is as part of the Experience, Strength
 and Hope business.
  1. ——–
 trust god, clean house, help others
 faith = fantasitic adventure in trusting him
 faith is a lighted doorway, but trust is a dark hall
  1. ——> Which is trust? Why trust god but then trust is a dark hall.

What is the slogan saying: that god is going to leap out at you and go

 boo! Aliens are lurking to snatch you? Why can't faith be a flashlight
 (torch) to light your way?
 courage is faith that has said its prayers
 fear is the absence of faith
 faith = fear ain't in this house
 faith chases away fear
 fear alone won't keep me sober, but for a newcomer, it's not a bad
 place to start
  1. ——> I have heard these outside of aa. They are directed to

believing people who are frightened. The last one is a slap in the face

 of the person just coming in aa. It is also the foot in the door to
 convert the new person. Scare them out of their minds with demon rum
 and then offer to convert them to your faith.
 I have noticed that there is a lot of fear slogans in aa as well. It
 seems to be as many fear as faith. It is almost like aa takes ordinary
 people and makes them afraid of life.
 What is interesting about aa's version of fear is that it causes people
 to drink. The slogans on fear rarely discuss turning to God. However,
 they do drive despair into the heart of anyone who stays in aa.
 nothing is so bad, a drink won't make it worse
  1. —>This does make sense. But the assumption is that when faced with

adversity, the person will drink. People may have different reactions.

 The person trying to stop drinking or the person who has stopped
 drinking for a long period of time will not consider drinking. AA
 assumes that people will just slip right back into drinking.
 anger is but one letter away from danger
  1. —→ What is danger – the danger of drinking. This is a thought

stopper. You are not supposed to get angry. It is assumed to be a

 dangerous emotion. Anger is a part of being human. However, if a lot of
 the people in aa are depressed, then anger is a symptom of mental
 illness. Rather than deal with anger, aa prefers to banish it and the
 people who feel it.
 we all have another drunk left in us but we don't know
 if we have another recovery in us
 the doors swing both ways
 Yet = You're Eligible Too
  1. —→ If this doesn't cause fear and despair, little else will. Think

about it. You will drunk again but you will never recover again. If I

 kept hearing that, I would be paranoid myself. Really fearful about
 drinking. What is interesting is that for an organization that is
 supposed to help people, they certainally put the fear of god into
 them. It is almost as if aa thinks that by scaring people to remain, it
 is doing good. AA is supposed to equip
 people to live life without alcohol. Scaring them is not equiping them.
 Here are all those nifty acronyms that aa is so fond of about fear.
 fear = false expectations appearing real
 fear = false evidence appearing real
  1. —→ This doesn't make any sense. How does false expectations make

one afraid? If the false expectation is that someone is going to rob

 you and they don't, is that fear? Isn't that acting fearful that maybe
 you will be robbed in a parking lot? If you have expectations that
 something nice will happen, and it doesn't, isn't that disappointment.
 (Very few
 of aa slogans deal with feeling disappointed.)
 fear = f** everything and run
  1. —→ This is the reaction to fear. To run away. Sometimes running

away is a good thing. It saves you from getting killed. But aa takes

 things to extremes. For instance, as assumes that all people who drink
 are craven cowards.
 Fear = frustration, ego, anxiety, resentment
  1. —→ How is frustration a part of fear? And resentment and ego? And

how do the four fit together.

 Is it the ego becomes anxious and frustration and then starts resenting
 things. But how is this fear? I have a fear of being hit by a bus. How
 does my ego, frustration, anxiety, and resentment come into play with
 this fear? I was hit by a car. Buses are bigger than cars. But I don't
 resent buses. Although they frustrate me when they go slowly and I am
 driving behind them, I am not afraid of them.
 Fear = face everything and recover
  1. —→Again I do not understand how facing everything and recovering is

a definition of fear. It is aa antidote to fear. Face your problems and

 go on with your life.
 I think aa use of fear is not fear itself but worry and anxiety. Fear
 is a useful emotion. If you were not afraid of being burnt, you would
 stick your hand into the fire and hurt yourself. Fear is a primary
 emotion. Anger usually masks fear. Is aa worried or fearful of basic
 human emotions?
 halts fear = hope, acceptance, love and tolerance
 stops forgetting that everything's all right
  1. —→ What is this gibberish????? Love is the opposite of fear. Hope,

acceptance, and tolerance are also fear opposites. But 'stops

 forgetting that everything's all right' what is that about? It simple
 does not make any sense. If you have love, you have not fear. How could
 you forget everything's all right when it is? Unless aa is
 misunderstands the power of love. AA usually corresponds faith with
 fear. Love is the other correspondence but aa does not address that. It
 seems that any strong emotion be it love or anger triggers aa's fear of
 drinking again. There are very few slogans on love.
 fear is the darkroom where negatives are developed
  1. —> Again AA associates fear with negative thinking. Upon further

reflection, the darkroom is your mind. AA assumes that people who drink

 too much think in terms of catastrophies. If that is true, then there
 is a mental component that needs to be addressed.
 However, this slogan is another thought stopper in that it accuses
 people of thinking too much since their thinking leads to them being
 BAR = Beware Alcohol, Run
 BAR = Beware Alcoholic Ruin
  1. —–>This is the basic fear that aa promotes. It is a good fear to

have. However, besides warning people, there is education as well. We

 live in a society that uses food and alcohol for all sorts of purposes.
 We should be equipped to learn to handle all these social events.
 Diabetics and people with religious reasons to avoid certain foods all
 have learned to manage without running away. Why can't the aa member
 learn how to socialize without being afraid?
 FAILURE = Fearful, Arrogant, Insecure, Lonely, Uncertain, Resentful,
  1. —–>Well that certainly defines a failure. Arrogant doesn't seem to

fit in though. Again we get the resentful, fearful words being used. I

 think that if I counted every time I read the word resentful, resent,
 resentments in aa materials, I would probably go past a google. (More
 than a trillion).
 AA links fear with ego, which linked with arrogance, and resentments.
 Fear is much more than that. Fear keeps people safe. Fear does contain
 people. But as a primal emotion, fear is more than aa seems to say it
 I grouped these pain slogans under fear since most people are afraid of
 pain. I find that for a group that is trying to entice people to join,
 that the preoccupation with pain is odd. I understand the idea of pain
 being neccessary for maturity. All sunshine and no rain makes a desert.
 if you find a path with no obstacles, it probably doesn't lead anywhere
  1. —→ Unless it is path that is designed for people using wheelchairs.

Then it leads to where everyone else is.

 pain is necessary, suffering is optional!
 There is pain in recovery. Misery is optional.
  1. —→ pain, suffering, misery seem to a part of the same spectrum.

Pain causes suffering and misery. But I think that these are useful to

 understand. I remember reading a NY Times editorial stating, "Not all
 the suffering was necessary." in reference to a killer heat wave. They
 were discussing men wear ties in the heat and how useless a tie was
 under those conditions. I think to turn these slogans around, I will
 used the "not all suffering is necessary", it gives me a perspective on
 there's no gain without pain
 pain is the touchstone of progress
 pain before sobriety and pain before serenity
  1. —→These are those seeming truisms that people agree upon. However,

looking at pain closely, sometimes pain tells you to stop. It hurts,

 you are damaging something. Stop! Also if you are in constant pain, you
 shut down. You don't become serene nor sober. Some people drink from
 Also, there is progress in peace time as well. You don't always need to
 be sticking yourself all the time. Also these slogan display the
 Western European belief of an upward arrow of progress. Pain stops
 people, causes their decline. Hense a spiral. If you
 think of life as a circle, these slogans make no sense. If you think in
 terms of yin/yang - these slogans make no sense.
 always remember the insanity. Be thankful for the pain. But most of all
 be thankful for the days that remain.
  1. —–>Oh, I remember the insanity. AA never allowed me to forget the

insanity. No one was allowed to forget all the stupid things they did.

 AA constantly reminded everyone of their sorry pre-aa state. Be
 thankful for the days that remain -- are they full of insanity and
 pain? Nope, not thankful for days of constant pain. What is aa
 promoting -- a group of masacists(sp.)? (the opposite of sadists)
 feelings aren't facts
 compare and despair
 thank you for sharing my pain
  1. —→ I beg your pardon, feelings are facts. People act on their

feelings. Then you have the compare and despair. Is that if I compare

 my stuff with yours, I will dispair that I have less stuff. Or do I
 breathe a sigh of relief that I don't have your stuff. Is this aa's
 subtle way of making all of us alike in our drinking and recovery. The
 last one is one I have heard in meetings. I used want to barf. My pain
 is my pain. 'sharing my pain' is one of those pop psych things. Also if
 everyone bonds over pain, then they stay for reasons of relief. Bonding
 over pain is a powerful glue to keep people together. However, feeling
 pain is an emotion, a strong emotion. AA hates people feeling emotions.
 SO they give them a double message -- feelings aren't facts, share the
 pain, pain is the touchstone of progress. So what is a person supposed
 to think. They can't feel anything except pain? Hello folks, here is
 the last one on fear.
 I included these under fear since they discuss how fear happens.
 sorrow is looking back, worry is looking around.
  1. —→ AA assumes that looking back creates sorrow since there is

nothing there. owever, there were good things in our pasts and good

 things we did. However if we just only see the past as the only thing
 good in our lives, then it is sorrow.
 I don't think that worry is caused by looking around. Worry comes from
 how you think. If you think that life is out of control and an elephant
 is ready to dance on your toes, of course you will worry. If you look
 around and see a blue sky, birds singing, people strolling about, then
 you will not worry. AA assumes that all alcoholics worry.
 Constrast this slogan with the one "Keeping the memory green." and the
 constant retelling of drunkalogs. AA forces people to look bad at their
 evil alcoholic drinking days. AA rubs people's noses in their bad
 behavior when they drank. So sorrow is looking back in aa's world view,
 since all people are evil when drunk, and all aa members were drunks.
 it is a pity we can't forget our troubles the same way we forget our
  1. ——> This assumes that you have a religion in which god blesses

you. This also assumes that people do forget the good things in their

 lives and concentrate only on the bad things. The use of the word
 blessings mean that god gives you good things. Troubles are the things
 that you give yourself. It is part of the undercurrent of you bad, god
 serenity is not freedom from the storm but peace amid the storm
  1. —→ I have no problem with this. However, aa over does the serenity

idea. They equate serenity with having no emotions and being 'sober'

 (following the steps.)
 I have lived through two hurricanes and liken this saying to
 hurricanes. The eye of the hurricane is calm but before and after, the
 winds and rain whip you. Is serenity the eye of the hurricane? The calm
 middle of this fierce storm. So my sense is askewed
 in that aa's view of serenity is actually a part of the hurricane that
 they create in people's lives. Going with this idea, if you think of aa
 as the eye of the storm, then aa is a false place of safety. Leave aa
 and you are back in the storm that you left to join aa. AA doesn't help
 you deal with your own personal storms.
 It is not the experience of today that drives people mad, it is remorse
 of yesterday and the dread of tomorrow.
  1. ———→ Excuse me. Mad?????????? Mad?????? Is this mad as in being

angry or mad as in being insane? If the insane meaning, then excuse me,

 people are not driven made by remorse and dread. It is a more potent
 mix. Also there are more to madness than what aa
 makes it to be. Madness or insanity is more powerful that what aa can
 handle. So aa makes these little jokes about madness to cut it down to
 size. The result is that aa ends up being caged inside with the
 Notice that aa assumes that all people who drink too much have only
 remorse of their pasts and dread of their futures. I am sure there are
 aspects of remorse of our lives. But again with the steps, aa really
 rubs your bad behavior in your face. It simply assumes that you are bad
 or evil. Then the dread of the future. Some people do dread the future,
 some don't. But isn't aa supposed to give people hope, to make them
 optimistic about life and their future. Then why would aa constantly
 harp on great awful tomorrows? Is that a part of the one day at a time
 think? After all aa spends a lot of time scaring people with their
 futures which is 'jails, institutions, and death'.
 Fear is what controls most people that are in cults.  Fear of god's
 disapproval.  Guilt is another reason why people give their power over
 to others and try so hard to prove themselves worthy.  You're
 absolutely right. Sam
 Hello everybody, Here is one of the old chestnuts that are drummed into
 our dear little heads.
 From the big book:
 our personal adventures before and after make clear three pertinent
 ----->My personal adventures made clear many pertinent facts such as I
 love my son and I live in a condo. So what?
 (a) That we were alcoholic and could not manage our own lives.
 ------>What does one have to do with the other? How do you link the
 two? If you drink too much, you stop drinking. Isn't that managing your
 life? In pursuit of drinking, you are managing your life quite well....
 obtaining the drink, finding a place to drink, finding the
 time to drink, drinking..... You chose to spend your time drinking
 instead of doing something else.
 (b) That probably no human power could have relieved our alcoholism.
 ------>WHAT???????? Lots of people stop every day. A lot of people have
 friends who help them. A lot of doctors help people. So this is the
 logical lynch-pin for this little illogic. If you accept the first
 premise, therefore you should be able to accept this transition.The one
 does not follow the other. AA wants you to assume that it does, but it
 c) That God could and would if He were sought.
 -------->If you are a religious person, you would be seeking your God
 for this problem. Various religions have ways of helping people through
 their problems. This is o.k. However, if you don't believe in god, then
 this doesn't mean anything. You use humans to help you. So it is a
 However, what this chain of aa logic does is set people up for
 religious belief. It doesn't address the problem of not drinking but
 assumes that the person is totally helpless. Then the only means to
 ending the problem is belief in god.
 This is o.k. but then you are zapped with the following:(From an
 "Well, now, the reason and understanding that I was given that it
 returns with such fury, and it would return even faster and harder for
 me now, even after all these years, is that the disease of alcoholism
 is PROGRESSIVE, even if we are not drinking. It progresses all the
 time. We alkies and addicts are different in our metabolism from other
 folks. We do something with the alcohols and sugars that others don't
 do. "
 All of us have heard some variation of that. So a medical disease that
 is based in our bodies is cured by belief in God???????????!!!!!Not
 only that, but this disease is different from all others: it is
 progressive. Even if we go to meetings etc, we are still in the grips
 of this disease. So where does that leave our perscription? The
 perscription is bogus.
 Quotes & Cliché's
 > A drug is a drug
 ----> Yes, but some drugs are helpful to people such as Zoloft and
 Tegretol. These are perscription drugs for people who need them.
 Insulin is another drug as is aspirin. So don't lump all drugs as bad.
 > A drunk is a sick human being trying to get well, not a bad one
 trying to be good
 --------> Define 'drunk' and define sickness. What is wrong with a bad
 person deciding to be good? Isn't that part of becoming moral? If you
 are sick, then you have an escape clause to do bad things. You can say
 my sickness made me do it. However, if you beat a man while having a
 rage seizure, you go to jail.
 > Acceptance is the answer to all my problems today. When I am
 disturbed, it is because I find some person, place, thing or situation
 - some fact of my life unacceptable to me & I can find no serenity
 until I accept that person, place, thing or situation as being exactly
 the way it is suppose to be at this moment. Nothing, absolutely
 nothing, happens in God's world by mistake.
 ----------> Acceptance is a crock. So my power went out, I should
 accept that the electric company is incompentent? I should accept that
 they forgot to trim the trees? My house is a mess. I should just accept
 it exactly as it is because it is ordanted by God. I should accept that
 my checkbook is out of balance. BLECH. If I do accept that nothing
 happens in God's world by mistake, then how do I explain my son's
 schezophrenia? I don't think so. I have a more mature view of God and
 the world than that.
 > Alcohol is a perfect solvent: It dissolves marriages, families &
 -----> 1040W oild dissolves paint so you can open windows. Alcohol also
 makes for a lively party. So what is your point.
 > Alcoholism is the only disease that tries to convince you that you
 don't have it
 ------> Alcoholism is NOT a disease. Even if you may believe that it
 is, the diseases that convince you that you don't have them are mental
 illnesses. So does that mean that alcoholism is a mental illness. If
 so, then why go to aa meetings. Go to therapy and take meds instead.
 > An alcoholic is someone whose feet are firmly planted in thin air
 -----> What is that susposed to mean? Maybe they a dreamers?
 > An ingrate is someone who bites the hand that feeds him then
 complains of indigestion
 ------> Well I do agree with that. However, it depends on the help.
 Some people help just to make themselves look good not to really to
 help the other guy.
 > Call your sponsor before you pick up
 ----> Call your friends. Enjoy your friends. You don't need a nanny.
 > Courage is not the absence of fear, but the ability to overcome it
 -----> Well duh.
 > Cunning, Baffling, Powerful & Patient
 ------> Well snapping turtles are all that and more. They hunt. So is
 this in reference to going to a pond -- watch out for those snapping
 turtles? If they are refering to alcoholism, it is a thing. It doesn't
 live. It is none of those things.
 > Death, Insanity or Recovery
 ------> You forgot jails. How about stopping or recovered. How about
 living your life without aa freaks in your life.
 > Denial is Not a River in Egypt
 ----> No that is The Nile. What do you mean by denial?
 > Do unto others as you would have them do unto you
 ----->So if I like sex, I should give people blow jobs so they can give
 me blow jobs?
 > Do what you did & get what you got
 ----->What does that mean? What is the context?
 > Don't use even if your ass falls off
 ----->Well duh.
 > Don't drink, don't think & go to meetings
 ----> Why don't think? What is wrong with thinking? Think helps you
 figure out what the problem is. Why go to meetings? What is at a
 meeting that you can't get from a good friend or bowling?
 > Don't give up before the miracle happens
 -------> What miracle? Does this mean that aa is a religion since they
 believe in miracles?
 > Don't work my program, or your program, work "the program"
 ----> What is this program? Is it a tv program? Exactly what do you
 mean by 'the program'?
 Embrace the journey
 ------> Well duh. I like doing that when I shunt-pike on the back
 > Everything happens for a reason
 -----> Really? Who's reason? What is the reason in a guy going beserk
 and kill 7 people at his work? Tell me that one.
 > Faith chases away fear
 -----> So does a flashlight to flash in all the dark corners. Reason
 also chases away fear. It makes for a great flashlight (torch).
 > Faith without works is dead
 ----->Well doesn't that make aa a religion? If you have faith, then you
 believe. If you believe, then you have a religion.
 > Fake it 'til you make it
 -----> Make what? A teddy bear? A book case? Fake what? Isn't that
 living a lie?
 > Get to the meeting early & go to the meeting after the meeting
 -------->And waste time when you should be with your family, at work,
 bowling, sleeping, eating, and thinking. Is the coffee that good?
 > God speaks through other people
 -----> What does god say? Someone told me once, I read too many books.
 I thought reading was good. Was god telling me not to read?
 > God will not close one door without opening another
 ----> That came from "Sound of Music". Don't people have plan a and
 plan b for when things don't work out. What about muddling through
 > Gratitude, that's the attitude
 -----> Grateful for no arms in casts, fine. But attitude is all sorts
 of things. If I have an attitude, then I have emotions and an ego. So
 when do I start to do the ego diminishing dance?
 > Half measures availed us nothing
 -----> Well we got half way. That is better than getting no way. We are
 halfway there. So we are on our way.
 > Happy, Joyous & Free
 ----> O.K. Sometimes being free is not very happy or joyous. Sometimes
 being happy is not being free. All sunshine and no rain makes a desert.
 > He who laughs... lasts
 ---> DOH
 > Humility is not thinking less of yourself, but thinking of yourself
 -----> Don't be so humble, you are not that great.
 > I came, I came to, I came to believe
 -----> I came, I saw, I left. I came, I came to, I walked home. If this
 program is about stopping drinking what does belief have to do with it?
 Then the program is a religion.
 > I like to get a good jump on worrying about something
 ------> Well why not. You have to occupy your brain with something.
 > I may have another drunk in me, but do I have another recovery?
 ------> Yes. And No. I don't have any drunks left. I do have recovery
 left. What if Lance Armstrong decided that he didn't have any recovery
 left, would he just lay down and die instead of winning the Tour de
 France? Does this assume that people in aa are pessimists?
 > I need just enough to tide me over & then I need MORE
 -----> A common human emotion. People are not content with things.
 > If I woke up today feeling like I did every day when I drank, I'd
 take myself to the emergency room
 -------> Well, why didn't you, when you drank? Do you remember what you
 felt like when you drank? I didn't drink everyday. I didn't get sick, I
 just fell asleep. Got crazy in the head but then I was crazy to begin
 > If you don't want to slip, stay away from slippery places
 ----> What is a slippery place? Home? Work? Family? Why don't you just
 live in a box away from everybody. Of course, if you like to fish, you
 have to watch out for the slippery rocks. Just wear rubber soul shoes.
 > If you wonder if you're an addict, you probably are
 ----> Really? Maybe you are concerned that you don't want to get too
 far and want to stop. Don't most addicts say they can stop at anytime?
 Therefore they aren't addicts.
 > If you don't have a higher power, borrow mine
 ----> Why should I do that? People's relationship with god is personal.
 You can't relate to someone else's god.
 > If we knew which drink would cause "wet brain," we'd stop just before
 it did.
 -----> Well, if that isn't saying that we are lower than the gutter, I
 don't know what does. Why don't we hit ourselves on the head with a
 hammer, instead.
 > I'm really a very persuasive person; I can convince myself of
 -----> Well yes and no. It depends on what you want to be persuaded of.
 > Insanity is defined as doing the same thing over & over again,
 expecting different results
 ----> So why do people keep slipping in aa and redoing the steps. I
 think that is insane. Leave and do something else.
 > It gets better
 -----> What is 'it'? What gets better?
 > It's not easy to find happiness in ourselves & it's impossible to
 find it elsewhere
 -----> So why shouldn't I try to find happiness in me? Or is there a
 hidden meaning that I am not getting.
 > It's okay to look back at the past - just don't stare at it
 ----> If you do, then go talk to a friend about what is wrong. You may
 have post-tramatic stress syndrome. Some people's past include stuff
 that they need to deal with.
 > I've been sober & I've been drunk. Sobers better - I think I'll stay
 ----> Well DUH
 > Just for today
 ----> Just what for today? Just sick for today? Just drink for today?
 > Keep coming back, it works if you work it
 ----> What is 'it'? What is this 'it' that I need to work? Is it a DVD
 player? Do I need to work on my English?
 > Keep it simple
 -----> There is much to the simple life. However, what is 'it'?
 > Keep your hands in your pants & give the newcomer a chance
 ----> No 13 stepping? You don't greet the new person? What is this aa
 > Let go & let God-----> Let go of what? Yes free will is important,
 and asking god is important. However, you need more.
 > Live for today. Yesterday's history. Tomorrow's a mystery
 -----> What happened yesterday affects me today. If I don't prepare for
 tomorrow, then I am in deep trouble. Wait for the miracle is not living
 for today.
 > Live life on life's terms---->What are life's terms? What happened to
 letting go and letting god? Contradiction.
 > My worst day sober is better than my best day drunk
 -----> That is assuming that everyone drinks every day and gets drunk.
 What about those who did not? I guess the aa assumes that drunks are
 all alike -- one big cookie cutter.
 > None of us came here on a winning streak-----> Are we gambling?
 > Ninety meetings in ninety days-----> Yeah, so what? Whatever.
 > Not everything that is faced can be changed but nothing can be
 changed until it is faced
 -----> Is that the same as not staring at the past?
 > Once an addict, always an addict
 > Once an alcoholic, always an alcoholic-----> Really? On what is this
 > One is too many, a thousand never enough-----> What about the Law of
 Diminishing Returns? You stop after a few.
 ACTION = Any Change Toward Improving One's Nature
 DETACH = Don't Even Think About Changing Him/Her
 HELP = Hope, Encouragement, Love and Patience
 PROGRAM = People Relying on God Relaying a Message
 RELATIONSHIP = Real Exciting Love Affair Turns Into Outrageous
 Nightmare, Sobriety Hangs In Peril
 RID = Restless, Irritable and Discontented
 SLIP = Sobriety Loses Its Priority
 WILLING = When I Live Life, I Need God
 Was this clown who wrote this piece of tripe a member of aa or what?
 From I remember of the exchange, wilson babbled on about channeling
 13th century monks and stuff like that. Fr. Dowling was carefully
 neutral in the whole thing. It sounds like something that wilson made
 up to make himself larger and life. It also sounds like something that
 aa types would have written to make their guys seem really, really
 What is telling about this is that a Catholic Jesuit Priest is saying
 that there is a force in Bill that had never been on this earth before.
 What about Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Lamb, the Willing Victim,
 the Saviour...? What the priest said is blashemy and I doubt seriously
 that ANY JESUIT would have said that. It made Wilson sound like he was
 the Second Coming of Christ. That is why I think that this author is
 bogus or at least suspect. snork
  1. – maggieqt1974 > wrote: Here is a quote from „The Soul of


 Friendship of Father Ed and Bill Wilson in Letters" by Robert
 Fitzgerald, S.J.:
 > "Before Father Dowling left, he pulled his crippled body up and,
 leaning on his heavy stick, thrust his head forward and looked straight
 into Bill's eyes. He said there was a force in Bill that was all his
 own, that had never been on this earth before, and if he
 did anything to mar it, or block it, it would never exist anywhere
 Comments inside - snork
  1. – maggieqt1974 > wrote: > Got a couple more quotes from „The Soul of
 Sponsorship" from that fateful visit when Father Dowling showed up.
 Then of course, comments will follow:)
 > o Bill muttered, "Not another drunk." Bill corted the stranger in a
 black raincoat into his room, noticing his severe limp and his cramped
 body bent over a cane. The visitor shuffled over to a straight wooden
 chair opposite the bed and sat down. Then his
 coat fell open, revealing his Roman collar. "I'm Father Ed Dowling from
 St, Louis," he said. "A Jesuit friend and I have been struck by the
 similarity of the AA Twelve Steps and the Spiritual Exercises of St.
 Ignatius." "Never heard of them." Father Dowling
 laughed and seemed delighted. From page 2
 > o Soon Bill was talking about all the AA steps and taking his Fifth
 Step with this priest, who with no warning had limped in from a storm.
 Page 3
  1. —-
 > Have you caught onto the lie yet?
  1. ——–>No I was bowled over by the overwritten and dramatic

language. No mere day but a storm. Funny how Wilson flirted with

 Catholicism but denied Christ. I wonder how the priest felt about doing
 the Rite of Confession with a non-Catholic. Was Wilson undergoing the
 Rite of Catholic Conversion? How was the connection made? Remember in
 the 1930s, it was a mortal sin for a Catholic to set foot in a
 church. So what was a priest doing there? If this is supposed to be
 anon., how did the priest know where to go and who do see. Inquiring
 minds want to know. There are many lies here that are not being said.
 > This meeting took place after 5 years sober. Bill Wilson didn't do
 his fifth step until FIVE years sober. He didn't get sober because he
 had done the 12 steps.
 > The Big Book was...printed from the vantage point of as if Bill and
 lots of other alcoholics had been doing these steps long BEFORE THEY
 > Remember, he said: "these are the steps we took"--when in actuality,
 there WERE NO 12 steps till the day he WROTE them!
  1. ——→ Also the lie is in the statistics he says – hundred had

taken our steps. This was while only 30 people or so where in AA. Lies

 throughout the book. I guess Wilson figured that no one would check the
 facts. If they did, by then, then AA would be firmly
 > And TWELVE steps didn't go over very well with the rest of them. The
 society argued about his including more steps than they really used.
 > NONE of the early AA's had practiced 12 steps as the Big Book
 declared they had. NOBODY.
 > A bold lie to not only declare that these steps worked, but to state
 that "RARELY have we seen a person fail who followed our steps"
  1. ——→ What is funny is that today's aa folk want to go back to

basics, the way the original program was done. However, it is using the

 original big book and the steps that they want to continue.
 > Billy hadn't even done them himself. That's quite a lie to build an
 entire program on. And everyone in AA believes that it is what it is
 presented to be...a fool proof, testing way of getting sober. This
 program riddled with lies is what people all over the place
 are building their lives on, pinning all their hopes on. That is so
 sad. If the foundation is a lie, then what could be expected of the
  1. ——→ By this time, Wilson's mission in life was to be the saviour

to the unwashed masses. He wanted to convince people of the rightness

 of his purpose. To do that, he had to tell heavenly lies, since it was
 the only way. After all he was doing good. Of
 course, Wilson was barmy with more than a touch of the carney in him.
 So he would tell as many lies as people would want to hear. W.C. Fields
 did it better in his movies.
 > Such as the UNspoken lie in the chapter to wives, where we are led to
 believe that a woman wrote it, maybe Lois. DECEPTION! It was that good
 ole lying sack,,,,Bill Wilson who wrote it.
  1. —→ He wanted total control. He couldn't trust anybody including his

wife to write it. This total control permeates throughout the

 materials. It is reflected in today's aa's sponsor programs. However,
 the total control was practiced by Smith as well. The two were master
 controllers and petty tryants.
 > BTW, I once read that one of the early aa's, when asked about working
 the steps back then, replied: "Steps? What steps?"
  1. —–> The ones you take out the door?
 Some of the aa slogans were borrowed from elsewhere: just do it, first
 things first, think, etc. Some of these are a part of the culture,
 others were specific to time management. What I have noticed for some
 peculiar reason is how much of the slogans and the materials reflect
 management theories of the 1930s. (Someone who knows business theory or
 history should
 correct me on this.) I remember reading about how people were looking
 at movement and time to increase productivity. Several theories came
 out that sound like aa slogans 'first things first'. It had to do with
 how to motivate people to do things on a factory line.
 Anyway the materials of aa sound like a mix of carrot and stick theory,
 motivational theory, and just plain beating people up.
 The slogans in themselves are harmless. It is the context in which they
 are used which makes them harmful. 'First things first' is a mainstay
 in time management. You have a limited amount of time, so you spend
 your time doing the most important thing first. You do not do third
 things first. AA has taken the slogan and placed it in the context of
 being sober. Not drinking is a first thing which is a good thing.
 However, aa attaches to not drinking, things like 'go to meetings, call
 your sponsor, do the steps'. None of these things are good things to
 ending excessive drinking. They are good things if you want to keep
 people in your organization. That is where the mix-up comes. snork
  1. – floppydaisy > wrote:
 > Maggie wrote:>
 > "Anyone know any "facts" on the residual effects of being
 "cult"ivated"? How long do they linger if you are aware and actively
 seek to think your own thoughts instead of the programmed ones."
  1. ————
 > My atheism protected me to some degree, but while I was looking THAT
 way (wrestling with the godism), they were slipping all sorts of other
 stuff past me. Only yesterday, I was thinking what you wrote, when do I
 get my thoughts back? Can't recall exactly, but I was walking around by
 the garden, and aa slogans were organizing the world around me. They
 appear like post-hypnotic statements.
 > Now, I don't see any harm in the aa slogans, "Easy Does It," or
 "First Things First." To me they mean, calm down and prioritize. Not
 bad advice generally.
 Well I did not meet dishonest nor deceitful people in my groups. What
 is I did meet were people who were sliding into to dishonesty without
 knowing it. Myself included. The first dishonesty and manipulation is
 to convince people with doubts that the program really works. The
 second to convince people that the program is spiritual and not
 religious. The third is believing that a medical disease can be cured
 by faith healing. Add to that the drama of making your war stories
 worse than the other person's and the stupid inventory stuff.... You
 end up creating dishonest and deceitful people. Also, as many people
 here have pointed out, people going into aa are not corrected in their
 dishonest ways. They continue doing what they have been doing, except
 they are not drinking. That is supposed to make all things right. So
 the 12-steps keep people dishonest and create more dishonest ones. The
 people become emotional vampires feeding off of innocent people.snork
 There is just so much dishonesty and manipulativeness I have
 encountered in aa. I would have fallen for this crap when I first got
 into aa. I'm a pretty forthright person so I didn't expect this kind of
 deceitfulness from people. Now I see it everywhere and it's depressing
 sometimes. Obviously drinking was a way for me to ignore things I
 didn't want to see about the world and the way it often operates.
 My comments are inside: snork
  1. – maggieqt1974 wrote: Still digging through my books and files…I

had to post it for the barf value.

 > More book quotes about that very strange man, Father Dowling. This
 paragraph comes from Ernest Kurtz book: "Not God".
  1. ——> Does this Father Dowling exists or is made up whole cloth? I

am sure there is an actual man by that name but is that man and this

 character the same person. From what I have read about aa materials, a
 lot tends to be made up for the sake of a good story.
 > o "He told of his high hopes and plans and spoke also about his
 anger, despair, and mounting frustrations. The Jesuit listened and
 quoted Matthew: "Blessed are they who do hunger and thirst."
  1. —–>Notice the quote is from the Sermon on the Mount. It could be

any quote that could fit conseling wilson but the Sermon on the Mount

 is the Emment Fox book that fundie aa types read. Why the choice of
 this particular verse?
 > God's chosen, he pointed out, were always distinguished by their
 yearning, their restlessness, their thirst.
  1. —→ No priest or minister would ever say 'God's chosen'. They simply

do not do that. This sounds like twisted propaganda. There is the

 expression of 'God's chosen people' but not in this context.
 > In pain, Bill asked if there was ever to be any satisfaction.
 > The priest almost snapped back: "Never. Never any." He continued in a
 gentler tone, describing as "divine dissatisfaction" that which would
 keep Wilson going, always reaching out for unattainable goals, for only
 by so reaching would he attain what-- hidden from him--were God's
  1. —→ In a counseling session with a dispairing man? After this, I

would go out and kill myself. No, this is made up garbage coming out of

 Kurtz or Wilson's mind. Actually, Saint John of the Cross talked about
 spiritual droughts when God's voice is not heard. He
 had a lot of these but kept the faith. However, he did not explain it
 as 'divine dissatisfaction' but as being a spiritual darkness waiting
 for a glimmer of light. It had nothing to do with God's goals. The
 whole exchange is made-up garbage to make wilson seem Christlike.
 > This acceptance that his dissatisfaction, that his very "thirst",
 could be divine was one of Dowling's great gifts to Bill Wilson and
 through him to Alcoholics Anonymous."
 > Bill's depression and misery was "divine"???
 > Okay, obviously Kurtz is a Wilson lover. And a nut to state that
 Dowling telling Bill that never achieving satisfaction was the
 "greatest gift" to Bill Wilson and through Bill, to Alcoholics
 Anonymous. Some gift huh?
  1. —–> It was the annointing of wilson in Biblical terms.
 > Oh, Thank you Father Dowling for insisting that misery is vital to
 the success of AA. So the co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous is now
 encouraged to live in a state of perpetual discontentment and
 dissatisfaction??? And he in turn "PASSed IT ON" to
 everyone else in AA. Apparently, in Father Dowling's eyes, it was a
 virtue to be "restless, irritable and discontent."
  1. ——→ No not in the real Dowling's eyes. In the AA contructed

Dowling's eyes, yes. Was Dowling dead by this time? I wonder if he

 would have sued for slander since this is supposed to be contrary to
 what a priest actually does? No, what this all is is the
 Annointing of William G. Wilson as the Divine Chosen
 One of God. It probably came out of wilson's dear
 little head.
 > No wonder people are so miserable in AA. It has > been "passed down"
 for years. How sweet.
  1. —→Interesting point.
 > I would have wanted to slit my wrists, had I been informed (in the
 heights of a great depression) so dogmatically that there was NEVER to
 be any satisfaction, NEVER! But this was twisted into some kind of
 sickening martyrdom thing that apparently was gratifying to Bill. Being
 the "chosen one" and all that.
 > No wonder Bill himself quit going to AA meetings the last years of
 his life. Another tidbit of history the average AA doesn't know. The
 co-founder himself stopped hitting meetings.
  1. ——→ That is news to me. Did this come form Kurtz's book? Or where

is the info from?

 > Don't think I am feeling sorry for Mr. Bill. It was his ego and his
 choice to be the martyr.
 > His depression that was unbearable lifted precisely when he decided
 it was time to back off and just be "Bill" instead of the flawless
 figurehead he was never able to live up to. Guess leaving meetings also
 took him out from under so much scrutiny for his affair with his
 current mistress. How insulting to Lois for him to have put his
 mistress in his will? And to tell other people that he thought of Lois
 "more as a mother" as an excuse for his infidelities. Maggie
  1. —→Well I think it was a bargin that the two made between


 Snork,  I loved those comments interjecting in funny! It
 amazes me how even if people today are presented with those very facts,
 including what you added, they will jerk their heads defensively and
 say, "It doesn't matter!  The Program works! We are all proof of that
 here! So it doesn't matter!"  So desperate to hold onto it...when you
 make the steps the foundation of your life it can be quite terrifying
 to have someone put some cracks in it. Maggie
 At 08:13 AM 9/13/03 -0000, maggieqt1974 wrote:
 >Here's something I found on the ORIGINAL steps (in my Word file):
    From the pamphlet "Three Talks to Medical Societies
 >by Bill W., Co-Founder of Alcoholics Anonymous":
    This was from something I sent. I'll add a few more comments:
 >   In substance, here they are, as my friend applied>them to himself
 in 1934:
 1. Ebby admitted that he was powerless to    manage his own life.
 2. He became honest with himself as never    before; made an
 "examination of
 3. He made rigorous confession of his personal defects and thus quit
 living alone with
 his problems.
 4. He surveyed his distorted relations with other people, visiting them
 to make what
 amends he could.
 5. He resolved to devote himself to helping other people, without the
 usual demand for
 personal prestige or material gain.
 6. By meditation, he sought God's direction for his life and the help
 to practice these principles of conduct at all times.
    The above says that Ebby (who had "found religion" through the
 Oxford Group) told Bill these things in 1934, apparently in that
 meeting described in Chapter 1 of the bigbook where bill is still
 drinking (the story of this meeting starts at the bottom of page 8 and
 goes on, with long digressions about God, Christ and whoever, through
 about page 12), or if not then, Ebby told him of this list ahd had Bill
 doing these things shortly after in his visit to the hospital on page
 >   From the book "The Language of The Heart" (Bill W.'s Grapevine
 Writings), p. 200:
    This is from an article where Bill described the actual writing of
 the 12 steps, and how a few things got changed from his initial version
 (this supposedly showed how it was written "by the fellowship" and not
 just by him). The changes I recall mentioned were the addition of "as
 we understood Him" after two instances of the word God, and the
 deletion of "on our
 knees" from the 7th step which he initially wrote as "Humbly, on our
 knees, asked Him to remove our shortcomings."
 >   During the next three years after Dr. Bob's recovery, our
 growing>groups at Akron, New York, and Cleveland evolved the so-called
 word-of-mouth program of our pioneering time.
    So now Wilson writes that THEY (the "AA'ers", the 'first 100' the
 bigbook refers to) came up with or "evolved" this "word-of-mouth"
 program. So let's see how much these things "evolved" from when Ebby
 gave them to Bill:
 >As we commenced to form a Society separate from the Oxford Group, we
 began to state our principles something like this:
 >   1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol.
 >   2. We got honest with ourselves.
 >   3. We got honest with another person, in confidence.
 >   4. We made amends for harms done others.
 >   5. We worked with other alcoholics without demand for prestige or
 >   6. We prayed to God to help us do these things as best we could.
    If there's any substantial difference, it's that these things are
 trimmed-down versions of what Ebby first told Bill. It doesn't look
 like a lot of "evolving" to me, but rather that Bill Wilson wrote it
 that way to subtlely hide the fact that these came straight from Ebby
 and the Oxford Group, and give the AA fellowship full credit for
 "creating" the 12 steps from scratch (as most AA members tend to
 And one more version of the steps before the big book was written
 claiming 12
 This was transcribed from a tape of one of Bill's AA talks:
 We admitted we were licked.
 We got honest with ourselves.
 We talked it over with another person.
 We made amends to those we had harmed.
 We tried to carry this message to others with no thought of reward.
 We prayed to whatever God we thought there was
 There is also a handwritten copy of this by Bill Wilson, but I have not
 copy of this.
 <maggie01@m...> wrote: Got a couple more quotes from "The Soul of
 Sponsorship" from that fateful visit when Father Dowling showed up.
 Then of course, comments will follow:)
 > > o Bill muttered, "Not another drunk." Bill escorted the stranger in
 a black raincoat into his room, noticing his severe limp and his
 cramped body bent over a cane.  The visitor shuffled over to a
 straight wooden chair opposite the bed and sat down.  Then his coat
 fell open, revealing his Roman collar.  "I'm Father Ed Dowling from
 St, Louis," he said. "A Jesuit friend and I have been struck by the
 similarity of the AA Twelve Steps and the Spiritual Exercises of St.
 Ignatius."  "Never heard of them."  Father Dowling laughed and seemed
 delighted.  From page 2
 > > o    Soon Bill was talking about all the AA steps and taking his
 Fifth Step with this priest, who with no warning had limped in from a
 storm.  Page 3
 > >
 > > Have you caught onto the lie yet?
 > > This meeting took place after 5 years sober.  Bill Wilson didn't
 do his fifth step until FIVE years sober. He didn't get sober because
 he had done the 12 steps.
 > > The Big Book was...printed from the vantage point of as if Bill and
 lots of other alcoholics had been doing these steps long BEFORE THEY
 > > Remember, he said: "these are the steps we took"--when in
 actuality, there WERE NO 12 steps till the day he WROTE them!> >
 > > And TWELVE steps didn't go over very well with the rest of them.
 The society argued about his including more steps than they really
 used.  > >
 > > NONE of the early AA's had practiced 12 steps as the Big Book
 declared they had. NOBODY.
 > > A bold lie to not only declare that these steps worked, but to
 state that "RARELY have we seen a person fail who followed our steps"
 > > Billy hadn't even done them himself.  That's quite a lie to build
 an entire program on.  And everyone in AA believes that it is what it
 is presented to be...a fool proof, testing way of getting sober.  This
 program riddled with lies is what people all over the place are
 building their lives on, pinning all their hopes on.  That is so
 sad.  If the foundation is a lie, then what could be expected of the
 > > Such as the UNspoken lie in the chapter to wives, where we are led
 to believe that a woman wrote it, maybe Lois.  DECEPTION!  It was
 that good ole lying sack,,,,Bill Wilson who wrote it.
 > > BTW, I once read that one of the early aa's, when asked about
 working the steps back then, replied: "Steps?  What steps?"
 Ugh.  No secrets.  Yeah, I know, my parents and other authorities
 seemed to take the position that it's only the things we're ashamed of
 we want to keep secret.  If you aren't doing anything wrong, you won't
 mind being searched.  There's a guy on another list who says that if
 anyone were to ask him if he takes drugs, he'd willingly take a urine
 test - and pay for it himself.  He claims that innocent people don't
 mind doing this since they have nothing to hide and nothing to keep
 Hey!  Why are you complaining about the police wanting to search
 you?  If you aren't using drugs, you have nothing to worry about.
 You have nothing to hide.  You should welcome the police coming into
 your house! You're innocent, and welcoming them and allowing them to
 search will establish your innocence for all to see.
 What's the matter with you?  If you haven't done anything, you won't
 mind being questioned.  If you aren't lying, you won't mind taking a
 lie detector test.  If you haven't done anything wrong, you won't mind
 if everybody and anybody comes stomping in and looking at every cubic
 inch of you.
 I got pipelined in Tennessee.  I was coming back from Texas, and when
 the cops spotted my NY license plate and my bumperstickers, they
 figured I was one of those yankee drug smugglers, and that I must be
 from New York City, because New York City is the only thing in New
 York, there are no other places in NY.
 I am not a drug dealer, not a drug user, not a drug smuggler, not a
 druganything.  I was a tourist.  But those cops tossed my stuff, made
 a great big mess of everything.  When they failed to find a load of
 drugs and could only find my AAA travel books, they had to let me go.
 What a shame, and I know those guys were hoping to get their name and
 picture on the front page of the newspaper for having busted a big-time
 New York Drug Smuggler.  All they got was a middle-aged woman who was
 I got sick behind it.  It was a very stressful experience. I felt
 vulnerable.  It was like the aforementioned burglaries.  It was like
 a rape.  It was invasive.  Never mind that I was innocent.
 My sponsor said that he felt comforted to know that god was looking
 over his shoulder and seeing absolutely everything he did or thought or
 felt. No secrets from god.
 I thought the analogy was more like god as a peeping tom, looking
 through the curtains, peeping into the bathroom.  I didn't care for
 that image at all.
 The way I see it, our secrets have something to do with our personal
 boundaries, and a sense of being an individual.  Having to give up
 your secrets leaves you awfully vulnerable and wide open.  It makes
 you prone to identification with the group and dependence on the
 group.  It takes your Self away.  It's about lack of privacy.  I
 think we need a measure of privacy to have a healthy sense of self.
 Shucks, in the hard-core cults, we hear that you are never allowed to
 be alone, even in the bathroom.  No privacy, no secrets.
 We're only as sick as our secrets?  Bullshit!  Billshit!  We're only
 as sick as our *lack* of secrets and boundaries and private space.
 I learned in AA to self-disclose.  Now, on the one hand, it's an
 anonymous program.  But that anonymity, so it was explained to me, is
 only at the level of press, radio and film.  On a personal level we
 are to self-disclose and carry the message wherever we go.  We never
 know if there's an alcoholic in the room who will hear our
 self-disclosure and will come to AA and get sober because of what we
 told about ourselves.  I learned to be a blabbermouth.  What
 boundaries I had were badly broken down.  I was wide open, and any
 asshole could step into me.  No secrets. Be wide open and tell all.
 To anybody in earshot.  Blah blah blah.  What there was of my Self
 was all vulnerable and spread out in plain sight for all to see.  My
 Self belonged to any idiot who cared to come stomping in
 to take a look.
 I think privacy and secrecy is essential to good mental/emotional
 Cheers, Laura
 We all should march into a aa meeting or other 12-step meetings and
 shout down with the fifth step. Wait -- let's be a flash mob. Meet at
 some appointed time at a place and chant away. Then melt into the night
 or day.
 I remember towards the end of my attending meetings, people were
 discussing the slogan 'progress, not profection' and the fourth - 7th
 steps. I was so tired of hearing people drone on and on about terminal
 uniquieness and having character defects removed so that I can do god's
 work. I just finished my green beans. (I took fresh green beans to
 meetings, snapped them, and ate them raw.) It was my turn to share. I
 jumped up flinging the ends of the green beans in the air, and shouted,
 'LONG LIVE ANARCHY' and ran out of the building. Needless to say, I
 never went back there. (It was the day before my period.;) )
 Anyway, aa does not care about the Rights of Man, U.S. Constitution,
 and anything remotely that promotes personal freedom. There first and
 foremost aspect about the founding of aa was coercion. All those people
 trapped in private rooms forced to read the big book or the bible. all
 those people forced to listen to wilson and smith drone on about stuff.
 all those people forced to believe in a god. snork
  1. – Just Laura wrote: > Thanks, Roger and Snork. I'm thinking some more

about this. Isn't it the Fourth Amendment which prohibits Unreasonable

 Searches and Seizures? Of
 course we can bicker endlessly about what we mean by "reasonable", and
 whether or not a particular search in a particular situation is
 unreasonable or not.
 > Still, this means we have the idea that Personal Privacy is a
 fundamental right, and necessary to the well-being of people. It means
 that the Individual is of value, not as a member of a group, not as a
 tool for something or somebody else, not as an object for
 the benefit of some other person or group, but as an Individual and
 nothing more. The Individual is of value, period.
 > This makes the fifth step toxic. While it is a good idea for me to be
 honest with myself about my weaknesses, it's nobody else's business. I
 have no obligation to self-disclose and tell all all all to someone in
 > If I want to confide something to my friend, that's fine, if my
 friend wants to listen and be supportive. But AA has No Damn Business
 demanding, on pain of suffering jails, institutions and death, that I
 blab my innermost essence to some clown who hasn't had a drink longer
 than I haven't.
 > Down with the Fifth Step! End the Fifth Step NOW! Every one of us is
 Terminally Unique, and it's a toxic and destructive violation to
 suggest otherwise, or to say that we shouldn't be. Cheers, Laura
 There is an assumption that 'we are only as sick as our secrets'. This
 means that all secrets are sick. That is not true. Laura pointed out
 how keeping secrets is neccessary for mental health.
 I remember my aunts teaching me manners - whenever people went into
 great detail about their private lives, one of the aunts would say,
 "THAT'S MORE THAN I WANT TO KNOW." I think that keeping secrets is a
 part of good manners. I remember a TV episode where someone blurted out
 something personal and everyone else said, "Ick. I'll never look at
 them the same way again."
 AA and other 12-step programs want people to know everything about
 everyone else. It goes back to the origins of aa where that was a
 standard practice. I often wonder how people actually were in the
 original meetings. Did wilson actually detail all his sexual adventures
 with his wife present?
 There are secrets in which telling another person would hurt that
 person. That is an individual call.
 Some secrets are kept for protection reasons. Banks do not want people
 to know their business so they have an agreement with the Federal
 Reserve that all the information that they report be classified as
 secret. However, if you go into each bank, you can collect
 information on their loan rates and such. However, that information
 cannot be released by the Federal Reserve (U.S. Central Bank) There is
 other information that banks provide such as money to drug dealers etc.
 that is collected along with the interest rates.
 Keeping secrets means many things. Some of it is for self protection
 and boundaries. Some of it is because people prefer privacy.
 When aa demands that people tell their secrets, they take away the
 individual's choice. They want everyone to be a 'we', and not a 'me'.
 Healthy groups are 'me's who cooperate together to form a 'we'. In
 unhealthy groups, there is only the 'we'. That is one reason why
 leaving is so difficult since there is no long a 'me'.
 me, me, me, me, me
 I, I, I, I, I, I
 now that I have cleared my throat, a toad jumped out
  1. – Just Laura wrote: Ugh. No secrets. Yeah, I know, my parents and

other authorities seemed to take the position that it's only the things

 we're ashamed of we want to keep
 secret. If you aren't doing anything wrong, you won't mind being
 > I think privacy and secrecy is essential to good mental/emotional
 Thanks, Laura, you just reminded me of my last feeble attempt to
 "connect" with my old grand-sponsor. As soon as he said "It's ODAAT"
 the chat went silent. Maybe because it was used as a superior
 holier-than-though thought stopper, like "Cert, let me tell you what
 it's like to have 40 years sobriety" - - which he often tells people.
 Just Laura> > Cert is asking about One Day At A Time.
 Okey doke.  I think there's lots of good about this practice.  To me,
 it makes sense to break great big overwhelming situations and problems
 into smaller, more manageable parts.  It makes sense to do certain
 things one day at a time instead of trying to solve the problem all at
 once.  There are things I do one day at a time, just as you do.
 > > So far, so good.
 > > It becomes a problem, though, when it is used as a thought-stopping
 slogan.  It's a problem when it's used as a reason to not plan
 something and think something through.  It's a problem when it's used
 to discourage people from creating long-term goals.  It's a problem
 when a power-tripping sponsor uses it to control a "pigeon".
 > > The same can be said of certain others of the slogans.  They have
 their use and make sense.  But they get used as thought-stopping, mind
 shutting, control devices.
 > > When I see the acronym ODAAT, I think of the Al-Anon book.
 There's plenty wrong with that, at least with the edition I have.  It
 puts the wife of the alcoholic in a crazy-making, no-win position.
 > > I totally agree with Laura.  But I'll take it a step furthur.
 ODAAT is more than just a thought stopping brain dead slogan.  Where
 the 12-steps are concerned, it's a human spirit killer!  ODAAT in
 steptalk conjures up indecision, insecurity, fear, deprivation,
 mistrust of one's own judgment and a myriad of other emotions.  You
 have to remember that steppers have extremely low expectations of
 themselves.  When they adhere to the ODAAT mantra, tommorrow doesn't
 really matter.  If something shitty happens, then they've given
 themselves the "green light" to use if they have a "reason"(a reason
 which, in reality, is just an excuse to get high)  And when they do
 use, they can crawl back to the open arms of AA and receive forgiveness
 and absolution for what their "disease" made them do.  And what's even
 better than that is, they are forgiven by the step-sheep, for FUTURE
 fuck-ups.  AA is truly a society of moral indecision and degeneracy.
 AA is bad medicine and bad religion, EDATT--EVERY-day-ALL-the-time.
 One Day at a time is used in a good way. It can be one of those things
 as Laura said -- breaking a project down into managable chunks. It can
 be something to stop people from zooming into the future and panic. It
 is something to help people to cope with a seemingly impossible
 However in the aa sense, it is a thought stopper. It has nothing to do
 with helping people not to panic about the future. It has nothing to do
 to help people focus on today and what they need to do.
 It is used to connect god with your sobriety with your time in aa. In
 that sense, the slogan is toxic. It keeps people from saying I have 40
 years and I have learned all I need to know. So now I am leaving. It
 keeps people stuck in 'if I think ahead, I will drink'.
 It is used to put people in their place -- how many days are you sober.
 It is a way to diminish people's efforts at not drinking. Instead of
 having people think in terms of years, they think in terms of days. If
 you only think in terms of days, you can see the
 future. You can not plan. You remain stuck. The positive aspect of one
 day at a time is to help you when you are building the Hoover Dam. You
 decide what you do today and only today. Then building on what you have
 done, you move to the next task. It helps you focus on the task at hand
 and not panic or be overwhelmed. snork
 Maggie asks, "What does serenity mean to others in this group?  It is
 another word that has been contaminated in AA.  Can some of you
 decontaminate it further for me?"
 This is another word that has been trashed as far as I am concerned.
 I don't know how to decontaminate it.
 I used to be "serene".  To me, it's a kind of blissed-out condition.
 I don't want to be serene any more.  I don't want any more AA
 While I was in AA I was burglarized three times.  Burglary is no fun,
 let me tell you.  But because I was in AA, I was just so full of
 Serenity.  Serene as the dickens.  I pasted my idiot's smile on my
 face and said sweetly, "They burglarized my house and robbed me of my
 possessions, but they didn't get my Sobriety. <smile, smile,
 blissed-out face>"
 I was so goddamn Serene, I shut out all feelings about being
 burglarized.  Oh, everybody was so damn impressed with my Sobriety and
 my Serenity.  I was a little Poster Girl for the AA Way of Serenity.
 Y'know, it's rather like being raped, being burglarized.  It's so
 vulnerable-making that someone can break in through a locked door and
 go through what ought to be your safe space, just stomp all over and go
 through all your things and help himself to everything he feels like
 stealing.  Your home isn't your castle, you aren't safe behind your
 own locked door.  It's such a violation, so disempowering.
 Dehumanizing and depersonalizing to be burglarized.
 But I stuffed any and all feelings and just went around with my AA
 Serenity and Sobriety on my silly face.  Smi-i-i-i-le....everything is
 just so ducky-dandy.  Nobody can take my Sobriety away.  So-o-o-o
 They admired me.  Oh boy, just look at Laura, by golly, if someone
 broke into my house and stole from me, I'd be freaked out.  But Laura
 is so serene.  She really works her program.  She's got good
 sobriety.  The burglars couldn't take her sobriety away.  Yeah, she
 sure works the steps.
 Bullshit!  Billshit!
 I don't want to be primarily serene.  Serenity is only one of many
 emotional states.  I want to be able to feel an entire continuum of
 feelings, and yes, serenity can be one of them from time to time.  But
 I want more than that.
 One of the things I want is to be able to recognize abuse, and not
 stuff it and deny it.  I want to be able to respond appropriately to
 an abusive, destructive or disempowering situation.  I want to be
 able to feel the appropriate feelings and speak up.  I don't want to
 make Serenity so important that I shut myself down and go around all
 blissed out with the cult grin on my face.
 Three fucking times.  Three fucking burglaries.  And I denied and
 stuffed any reasonable feeling.  Shit, Piss, and Industrial Waste!!
 Nope!  The only time I want to feel Serene is on a lovely evening when
 there is good music playing and a soft sunset, after a fine dinner.
 But not when I've been violated and need to address what has been done
 to me.
 We had our home broken into as well. They didn't get much because we
 didn't have much. I had my car windows smashed. Again nothing was
 taken. But it is a violation.
 Serenity in aa speak equals some sort of la=la=la numbness land where
 no one feels. I certainly wasn't serene seeing glass all over my car. I
 was mad. Then calm because I had to do things --like report the crime,
 get the car fixed. After that, I got mad again. However, I was never
 serene because the occasion did not warrent my serenity.
 I think that serenity in aa is the opposite of strong feeling. Al-anon
 uses it in the same way - stop feeling so strongly about stuff. That is
 not the true meaning of the word.
 Actually the serenity prayer does give a working definition of
 serenity: courage, wisdom, and action. It is the opposite of flying off
 in different directions in order to face a situation. It is the
 calmness of mind that enables you to muddle through with a clear mind.
 The Dali Lama is serene but he is not numb nor has he shut down his
 feelings. Serenity as I see is an active verb.
 I am not serene. Never have been. What I do is start working on stuff
 to get my nerves cooled down. Take walks, wash walls, stuff like that.
 AA never was big on active serenity. They were into the
 passive-aggressive type. snork
  1. – Just Laura wrote: > Maggie asks, „What does serenity mean to others

in this group? It is another word that has been contaminated in AA. Can

 some of you decontaminate it further for me?"
 > This is another word that has been trashed as far as I am concerned.
 I don't know how to decontaminate it.
 > I used to be "serene". To me, it's a kind of blissed-out condition. I
 don't want to be serene any more. I don't want any more AA Serenity.
 > While I was in AA I was burglarized three times. Burglary is no fun,
 let me tell you. But because I was in AA, I was just so full of
 Serenity. Serene as the dickens. I pasted my idiot's smile on my face
 and said sweetly, "They burglarized my house and robbed me
 of my possessions, but they didn't get my Sobriety. <smile, smile,
 blissed-out face>"
 > One of the things I want is to be able to recognize abuse, and not
 stuff it and deny it. I want to be able to respond appropriately to an
 abusive, destructive or disempowering situation. I want to be able to
 feel the appropriate feelings and speak up. I don't want to make
 Serenity so important that I shut myself down and go around all blissed
 out with the cult grin on my face.
 I gathered up all the slogans about how aa wants people to think about
 themselves and to relate to themselves. Of course this involves
 emotions. What I have noticed is a thread of self-hate and denigration
 in the slogan.
 The first step in overcoming mistakes is to admit them
  1. ——→How does one overcome a mistake? I thought the term was

'correct' a mistake. Why the word overcome? It makes the mistake sound

 like something more than a mistake. I believe that mistake is really
 another word for sin in this usage. Hence overcoming sin is to admit
 your sins. It makes the idea of mistake into something quite serious.
 We are only as sick as our secrets
  1. —→People say this with a knowing wink as if they had these awful

secrets. The problem is that they are supposed to tell their secrets.

 TO bring them out in the open. That part is not said. Actually, aa
 people assume that all secrets are toxic.
 I know a man who went bald at 15 years old. He wore a toupee at all
 times. That was his secret - he was ashamed of his baldness. I never
 thought he was a bad person with an evil secret. Never thought that his
 secret was toxic. Imagine doing a 4th step about wearing a toupee to
 cover your bald head.
 In order to change the way we feel we need to change the way we act.
 Mood follows action.
  1. —→ AA has a lot of slogans about people acting as if. Show up and

the feeling follows and all that. The slogan is half right. You also

 need to change the way you think. Acting toward a person may disguise
 action hate. People act polite because society demands that they do,
 but do they feel polite towards people that they dislike?
 Denial is not a river in Egypt!
 DENIAL = Don't Even Notice I Am Lying
  1. —→ I hate this slogan. However, denial has a good side as well as a

bad side. People cope with denying certain things. It is a coping

 mechanism. You need to offer something to help the person give up what
 it is they are denying. Fear is the emotion behind denial. That has to
 be dealt with before you accuse people of lying.
 'You're in denial' is an expression that is judgmental. I remember a
 woman who refused to use a wheelchair tell a man who was using his two
 canes that he was in denial because he would not acknowledge his
 disablity. He and I were puzzled by her remark since we were in public,
 using our canes, and walking up stairs (slowly). I felt that the woman
 was struggling with the fact that she could no longer use a cane but
 needed to use a chair instead. She got mad at us instead because we
 were taking the outside steps.
 I think that the 'you're in denial' is really a way to break people
 down and hurt them.
 What struck me about this group is how self-destructive it is. They
 assume that all people who drink are self-pitiers and that is all they
 are. What I have found in my meetings is that most people are not but
 aa turns them into self-conscious self-pitiers. However how much of the
 self-pity is really depression and mental illness. AA practices the
 form of tough love or kicking people in the teeth to shut them up.
 This group deals directly with self-pity and how it is linked with
 Poor me...poor me... pour me another drink
  1. —→Actually AA hasn't really looked into connections of drinking and

emotions. They have made several assumptions which may or may not be

 When I was in the depths of self-pity, I did several things, none of
 which was drinking. I slept, I spaced out, and I just went into my
 personal fantasy world. I think people who self-pity themselves do many
 things, not just drink. I knew one person who would sit in the dark and
 whine all the time about how abused she was. She was pouting that she
 did not get her own way. She did not drink, just made life miserable
 for the rest of us around her.
 When wallowing in your self-pity...get off the cross we need the wood.
  1. —–> This is a cruel reference to Christ's sacrifice. Actually, I

find it offensive for several reasons. One it assumes that everyone in

 aa is Christian. Two, it denigrates Christ's sacrifice by equalling it
 to somebody who is pitying themselves. Three it is crude in that it
 assumes that people automatically crucify themselves to get attention.
 Four, what are they going to do with the wood - burn the person? Five,
 it ridicules the person who may be severely depressed and offers no
 kind word.
 When you run out of quarters for your asskicking machine, I've got an
 extra roll for you to use.
  1. —→ I hate the crudity of aa. I never understood why aa people had

to use vulgar words in their discourse. It reminds of me of the men who

 would hang out in the barn discussing in crude terms women's attributes
 and what they were going to do. If aa is trying have people do god's
 work, why would they let them indulge in being vulgar and crude?
 Again this is another slogan which is cruel and tearing. Instead of
 offering a kind word or asking what's wrong, they kick the person in
 the teeth instead.
 Whining is not only graceless, but can be dangerous. It can alert a
 brute that a victim is in the neighborhood.
  1. —–> Well, that certainly is stomping on people. Telling them that

when they are down in the dumps, they are a victim. They are helpless

 because they whine. Yes, I know people who whine get on people's
 nerves. Yes, I would like to stomp on them. But that doesn't solve the
 problem. It tells the person that they must stifle their feelings and
 if they don't then they are victims asking to be abused. This links the
 idea that if you are abused, you asked for it.
 PMS = Poor Me Syndrome
 PMS = Pour More Scotch
  1. ——> I find these offensive because they are subtly directed

towards women. There is the 'beneath every woman, there is a slip' and

 it variations on women slipping. Nothing about men. And what is worse,
 is how many people repeat this garbage and don't challenge it. If you
 said the same garbage about other groups of people getting drunk,
 people would be angry. Well maybe not, after reading, "Join the Tribe"
 in the big book written in white man's indian talk. People find that
 story inspiring and wonderful.
 I want what I want when I want it.
  1. ——> That is a two year old having a temper tantrum. I guess they

equate people who drink with two year olds. Actually two year olds are

 developing a sense of self and are learning where they begin and
 everyone else ends. They use no to assert themselves. Maybe, aa should
 take a page from two year olds and learn to develop a sense of self and
 explore who they are.
 Time wasted in getting even can never be used in getting ahead.
  1. —→ AA never discusses people's successes in anything but not

drinking. What is this slogan doing in aa? It is a commonsense approach

 to feeling slighted.
 Don't compare your insides to other people's outsides.
 STOP = Sicker Than Other People
  1. —–> The two contradict each other and also the business about


 I never understood the inside outside slogan since everyone is also
 told to stick with the winners, find somebody whose sobriety you admire
 and copy them. Get a sponsor, etc.
 The STOP is making the drinker someone special. They are sicker than
 everyone else. How does that square with stop whining and pitying
 yourself. Are not saying you are sicker than other people a form of
 ISM = I, Self, Me
 ISM = Incredibly Short Memory
 ISM = InSide Me
 ISM = I Sabotage Myself
 The selfishness of the program pops out in these. It is to link the
 disease of alcoholism to distrust of yourself. If you rely on yourself,
 you self-destruct. These teach you to hate yourself since you are the
 one who caused yourself to drink. They do not build up self-confidence
 but instead tear you down so that you go to aa for help. You can't
 leave the group since you will be leaving yourself there. AA has stolen
 your sense of self and leaves you an empty shell for them to fill up.
 PAID = Pitiful And Incomprehensible Demoralization
 I have no idea why this slogan exists. Is it in reference to doing paid
 service work as opposed to volunteer work? If you get paid for serving
 coffee at a meeting, that demoralizes you? I guess you are supposed to
 work for aa for free. If that is so, then that slogan is a sign of the
 cult aspect of aa. Everyone is expected to do everything for aa for
 free and not get paid for it. If you ask for gas money after
 transporting people to meetings, you are pitiful and will be
 demoralized. Therefore you will drink if you get paid your gas money.
 Poppy cock.
 These gems are what the aa people tell themselves about what being
 sober is all about.
 SOB = Sober Old Bag
 SOB = Sober Old Bastard
 SOB = Sober Old Biker
 SOB = Sober Old Bitch
  1. ——>This group is really self-demeaning. Think about it. You are

striving in aa to be sober and this is what you are called. I do not

 think that these terms are used in a friendly way. But even if they
 were, do you want to be thought of in this way? Either you are a stupid
 drunk or a sober old bitch. What abuse. It really does tear people
 down. Some help to people who are trying not to drink.
 SOBER = Son Of A Bitch, Everything's Real
  1. —→ The aa definition of sobriety. The assumption is that everyone

drinks to escape life. That drinking is because they can't live in the

 world. People drink for many reasons. They are too shy and feel to
 limber up. They are sad, and want to be numb. They crave the alcohol in
 their bodies. They find drinking fun.
 But the other subtle idea in this slogan is that reality sucks. Does
 it? Reality is simply reality. It exists. It is neither good nor bad. I
 have had good times and bad times. But all reality is what is, not what
 is imagined. Actually, I knew chronic worriers whose imaginings were
 worse that their reality.
 PACE = Positive Attitudes Change Everything
  1. —→ Sounds of Norman Vincent Peale. If you change your thinking, you

will change your life. PACE - what does that mean: pace yourself? Go at

 a fast pace? What is the context of these other than a handy memory
 These slogans are the core of the aa program. Remember at meetings how
 much talk was taken up about gratitude and resentments. I imagine that
 many people have these ingrained into their brains.
 Gratitude is an attitude.
 Write a gratitude list and count your blessings.
 I didn't get sober to be miserable
 Try to be grateful and resentful at the same time, you can't serve two
  1. —–> What is interesting is about this group is that sober people

are miserable ducks. They are also all ingrates. People are supposed to

 be grateful for not drinking too much. Grateful to what -- aa and aa
 god. Is that what these slogans are for - imprinting in people's brains
 that they are grateful to aa for the good things that has happened to
 them. That they cannot be miserable, unhappy or question the program
 The other assumption is that people who are not grateful are all
 resentful. It is an either or situation. There is a middle -- people
 carrying on, muddling through, going through the day. But aa doesn't
 want people to be neutral. AA wants people to grovel with gratitude
 until it hurts. It always reminded me of those people who would demand
 that you smile when you didn't feel like it.
 The word blessings assumes that the person believes in a religion that
 has a god who blesses them. Not all religions have that. Not all people
 believe in blessings. Counting blessings is a popular American cultural
 idea. It is one of the Christian things that leaked into the culture.
 How many other religions have people count blessings?
 "Without memory, there is no healing. Without forgiveness, there is no
 The flip side to forgiveness is resentments
  1. – The flip side to forgiveness is justice. In these two, aa insists

that you must forgive. If you don't forgive, you will drink again and

 you will have no future. AA doesn't understand what forgiveness is.
 They think that somehow if you don't forgive, you resent people. Some
 people deserve not to be forgiven. People should have the choice to do
 so. AA should not be rehabilitating the abuser. But aa assumes that all
 people are willing victims and therefore must look to their part of the
 matter. So if I carry a $100 in my wallet, and I get mugged, I asked
 for it?
 "Resentments are like stray cats: if you don't feed them, they'll go
 The road to disappointment (resentment) is paved with expectation.
 Expectations are preconceived resentments
  1. ———→ That is an interesting progress that aa sets up. That

having expections will lead to resentments which of course leads to

 drinking. What are expections? They are promises that people either
 come through on or done. Yes, breaking a promise is disappointing.
 However, there are expections of safety. For example, I expect that the
 building I word in to be safe -- not fall down, not make me sick, not
 allow thieves to come in. If the building makes me sick, then I expect
 that my work should do something to correct this. There are laws. Laws
 based on expectations. They expect people to act a certain way or
 receive punishment. Do laws on safety cause resentments? They do with
 people who want to cut corners on their building.
 AA teaches people not to expect anything. Not expecting anything means
 not having a future, not being able to make plans. AA keeps people
 stuck where they are. AA also assumes the worst of people. They expect
 the worst from people.
 I kept the whole exchange because it sums up exactly what the dynamics
 are. If you balk at what you are told to do, then just leave and kill
 yourself. Other groups just let people go. They don't chase after them
 and demean them. The other thing in play is the idea of 'hitting
 bottom' -because you want a drink, you haven't hit bottom. Of course,
 the group determines what that bottom is. Not you. Someone wrote that
 tough love was just another term for abuse.
 I think that tough love as originally thought was to aid people in
 taking responsibility for their actions while weaning other people from
 being over responsible. It was a way to balance out responsiblity
 between people. Not cut them off.snork
  1. – Ben Bradley <[4]> wrote:
 > At 03:50 AM 9/24/03 -0000, luckycat892000 wrote:
 > >Statements like that "go out and use some more" give new meaning to
 the term "killing the newcomber"....I'd consider that homicide if
 someone died because their "sponsor" gave them this GREAT piece of
 advise and they followed it!!
 > I've seen or heard of this mamy times, and even "So you say ou want
 to drink? Here's five dollars to get you started. Here, go drink." I
 understand the person receiving the offer declined, but my thoughts at
 hearing about this (I was pretty much a 'believer' at the time) was Why
 don't you just take a gun and shoot him? A bullet is a lot cheaper than
 five dollars.
 > Then there was the woman who got on this list a couple of years ago
 saying WE were "killing alcoholics"...
 > "certainly1232000" : Lisa, that is exactly what my sponsor told me 10
 yrs ago: "You need to go out and use some more"...SO I DID!...and then
 I drunkenly realized the "error of my ways" and went back to seek his
 humble forgiveness and leadership into the Steps (To Heaven)....
 > "princess_parsimony" : and do you know, one has ACTUALLY said to
 me... you need to go out and use some more. omigod. how brutal and
 irresponsible and dangerous. then he had the disclaimer of that being
 "tough love". my ass.
 I find this group to be particularly offensive for various reasons. One
 is that it degrades people and puts them into their place. The other is
 that it stifles them.
 When you do all the talking you only learn what you already know.
 When you head begins to swell you mind stops growing.
 Don't speak unless you can improve on silence.
 Keep right size
 People who are wrapped up in themselves make a very small package
  1. —→ We talked about how aa makes everyone the same. No one better or

worse than anyone else. However, these slogans by themselves are quite

 innocent. It is how they are used in the context of aa that makes them
 offensive. They are directed toward people who ask questions and who
 want to offer something to the group. The background that is not
 mentioned is the role of the oldtimers. When they talk, everyone
 listens. No one tells them to keep the right size, or to stop talking
 and listen. No the opposite happens -- they can blather on and on and
 have people nod in agreement with them. One oldtimer's website is so
 full of innanities, that I have to laugh. However, on several recovery
 boards he is regarded as profound and wise and godlike. No one wants to
 question what he has to say.
 Sober `n'crazy
 You can be just as crazy sober as you were drunk, you'll just remember
 it the next day.
  1. ——–> What is with the crazy talk? This is offensive to people who

are truly insane. Actually, insanity and crazy is used a lot in aa talk

 and materials. What is strange is when you actually discuss insanity,
 people shy away from you. It is almost as if they want to be insane but
 not that insane. And when you discuss how meds help your insanity,
 their response is insane -- only the program can cure you.
 When we couldn't dominate, control, or manipulate, we would ask for
 terms and conditions.
 The definition of an alcoholic: an egomaniac with an inferiority
  1. —–>So when people become sober, they are left with this

self-definition? That they are egomaniacs with an inferiority complex?

 That they dominate etc? Why remain in aa if you are going to insulted
 and demeaned. Who says that an alcoholic are these things? Is this
 something that was studied and verified or is someone just shooting off
 their mouth. Actually, I think smith and wilson fit these
 self-definitions quite well. There ae a few oldtimers who do as well.
 Is that the sort of person that aa attracts and is attracted to aa? Or
 is that the sort of person that flourishes in aa? Or is that the sort
 of person that aa turns out?
 Remember these gems. We have all hear versions of them in our 12-step
 FINE = Feeling Insecure, Numb and Empty
 FINE = Frantic, Insane, Nuts and Egotistical
 FINE = Freaked out, Insecure, Neurotic and Emotional
 FINE = Frustrated, Insecure, Neurotic and Emotional
 FINE = F--cked, Insecure, Neurotic and Emotional
  1. ——>What is interesting about these is that they assume that being

emotional is bad. Feeling frustrated is bad. In short, when you say you

 are fine, you are not really. This word makes people out to be liars.
 When you ask them how they are and they answer I am fine, they are
 liars. Really, this is more than bad manners. But if you answer that
 you are not fine, then people in aa will fault you for not being
 FINE = Faithful, Involved, kNowledgeable and Experienced
  1. —→ Well this is a nice one. Only problem is that it is in relation

to the program and not to the community.

 HALT = Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired: Fix these situations before you
 make any decisions.
 HALT = Horny, Arrogant, Lazy and Tragic: if you're any one of these,
 get to a meeting!
 HALTS = Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired and Stupid
  1. —→How many of us have heard this adinfintem at meetings. On the

surface they make sense. At least the first version does. The other two

 slip in insults in their slogan. That is the other thing that I noticed
 about aa is how they slip in an insult in the name of 'goodness'. Again
 emotions are bad, and somehow people in aa are stupid, horny, lazy,
 arrogant, and tragic.
 HALT = Honestly, Actively, Lovingly Tolerant
 HALT = Hope, Acceptance, Love and Tolerance
  1. —→ This is an interesting twist on the usual halt. However I have

rarely heard tolerance in meetings. On the surface, this is a lovely

 slogan, but under uses. Rarely did I experience tolerance in meetings.
 If you are an atheist, you are not tolerated. If you take meds, you are
 not tolerated. Neither are you loved. But it is funny how much aa
 stretches to get a good slogan going.
 These are the famous kiss ones and related ones. What is interesting
 again is how demeaning they are. What has struck me about them and most
 of the aa slogans is how banal and vulgar they really are. It is as if
 aa wants everyone to think of themselves as 'trash'. It is also gives a
 false sense of familiarity to the members. In short -- everyone has to
 be Bob, no one can be Robert. We all have to give our sense of
 ourselves and mold ourselves in the false informality of aa. Hale and
 well-met stuff.
 Act as if
  1. —→ As if what? Are we to be false to ourselves? Are we to not tell

ourselves the truth. Does the truth matter? What does matter? Looking

 the part? AA is full of slogans telling people to look the part if they
 don't feel the part. AA is actually separating the person from
 themselves and setting up a false self. A true self would not act as
 if. But aa does not value truth in regards to the self. Sometimes the
 truth can hurt as well as heal. But aa tries to place a wedge between
 the person and themselves. AA wants the group to be the final arbitour
 of how the person feels.
 Dry and tighten up (financially)
  1. ——>
 I have no idea what this mean. Does it mean that when you are 'dry'
 that flesh-eating moths fly out of your wallet when you spend money?
 What does aa teach about money? From what I can see, it teaches that
 people give to aa until it hurts. That giving to aa is the best thing a
 person can do. If they can't give money, then they give time. However,
 aa doesn't encourage that people save for a rainy or spend time on
 themselves. Again aa is stripping the person of their resources that
 they need and encourage the person to give all to the group. I know
 that this may be stretching the slogan but I have been wondering how aa
 teaches people to deal with money. If they do at all.
 "The good news is you get your emotions back; the bad news is you get
 your emotions back."
  1. ——→The assumption is that people don't have emotions until they

get into a 12-step program? Or that people drink to drown their

 emotions? Or that people do crazy things to escape their emotions? Now
 what does this slogan say to people who are feeling painful emotions?
 Does it tell people how to handle those emotions? No. Also the subtext
 of this slogan is that all emotions are painful. What about the good
 emotions? Also the subtext is that emotions and feeling them are not
 KISS = Keep It Simple, Stupid
 KISS = Keep It Simple, Sugar
 KISS = Keep It Simple, Sweetheart
  1. —→ These are used by the general population to make sure that

simple things are kept simple. In the context of aa with the added

 put-down, they are telling people that everyone makes everything too
 complex. It is a *simple* program. These are thought stoppers in that
 when people ask questions, someone will pop up with KISS. And of course
 the name-calling is to make the person feel at the same bad and a
 member of the group.
 Imagine if the last 's' was 'sassy', 'sober', 'serenity', 'silly',
 'sassafrass', 'super' --- it does change the meaning of kiss.
 These are so contradictory that I wonder why they even have them.
 Guilt is the gift that keeps on giving.
  1. —> Well guilt is a useless emotion. But aa types do use guilt to get

people do things like service work and to give money to keep the lights

 Gossip hurts and sometimes kills.
  1. —→ Then why does everyone in aa do nothing but gossip?
 Feelings aren't facts.
  1. —→ After hearing the above two, then you hear this, you shake your

head why. Actually in order to be fully human, you have to feel. People

 do have feelings and they are facts. I feel happy. Fact: I am happy. AA
 tries to disable the common human quality of emotions. You cannot feel.
 Alcoholics heal from the outside in, but feel from the inside out.
  1. —> What does this mean? Does it mean that alcoholics have scars that

they wear bandaids for. This is one of the most idiotic things that I

 have heard. How does one heal from the outside in unless they have burn
 injuries? Is this in reference to going to meetings and convincing the
 aa member needs the group to get better. Is this one of those subtle
 things of don't trust yourself, trust only the group?
 "I thought I wanted to commit suicide, but all I needed was a

saying. Suicide is not funny. Suicide is real. Suicide needs to be deal

 with in a serious matter. You don't equate a serious illnes with
 hunger. Of course, if feelings are not facts, then suicide does not
 exist. Funny that. Then people do not have take responsibility for when
 people talk about killing themselves. They can just say, "Well IThey
 can just say, "Well I offered the guy a hamburger." Blech.
 I included this group together as they all deal with insanity in some
 Depression is anger toward inward.
  1. —→ Well this is actually true. One of the discussion that mental

health types have about depression is how it is anger towards the self.

 But how does aa deal with a bonifide mental illness such as depression?
 Most people in aa have been exposed to people with depression, since
 quite a few self-medicate themselves by drinking. Also Wilson was in
 the throes of deep depression for a number of years. AA doesn't deal
 with depression. They tell people not to take their anti-depressants
 and not to see their doctors. The program is the cure. Wilson sought
 relief through the program and the steps for his depression to no
 avail. It simply did not work.
 Suicide which is one result of untreated depression is regarded as
 someone on a dry drunk. The solution is more service work or spending
 more time sharing in meetings. AA simple does not deal with this mental
 The legacy of Wilson's depression on aa is great. He hated himself and
 this shows in his writing. He kept hammering at the self-will run riot
 and ego was bad. He kept hammering that anger was wrong. Plain wrong.
 AA members have a streak of self-hate in their materials and in their
 sharings at meetings.
 Insanity: doing the same thing over and over and expecting different
 If you do what you always did, you'll get what you always got.
  1. ——→ On the surface, these are gems of good thinking and

directions. After all it is insane to do the same thing over and expect

 something else. In general living, you ask yourself what it is that you
 keep doing that is not working.
 Of course, if you think deeply enough, you will realize that the
 12-steps and the program is one of those things that give the same
 results of failure that people keep expecting something different. I
 found it interesting that in meetings that there was a split in aa
 thinking. People kept slipping and coming back firmly convinced that
 the program was the answer but then they would quote these two slogans.
 It was strange to see people lie to themselves and tell the truth at
 the same time.
 If your spinning your wheels, try getting out of the driver's seat.
  1. ——–>
 This is similiar to the insanity ones but the focus is that you can't
 do anything without someelse's help -- your sponsor's, god's.
 Actually if you combine the three ones on insanity, you will see that
 they are directed at demeaning the person and make them give up.
 Surrender to the program since that will make you sane. Think about it
 in those terms and these slogans are destructive to the self instead of
 being helpful.
 Here is a quote from the "Big Book of Insanity" for your barfing
 pleasure. Grab your puke bags, all who attended al-anon. You have been
 Chapter 8 To Wives, page 119
 "Still another difficulty is that you may become jealous of the
 attention he bestows on other people, expecially alcoholics.  You have
 been starving for his companionship, yet he spends long hours helping
 other men and their families.  You feel he should now be yours.  The
 fact is that he should work with other people to maintain his own
 sobriety.  Sometimes he will be so interested that he becomes really
 neglectful.  Your house is filled with strangers.  You may not like
 some of them.  He gets stirred up about their troubles, but not at all
 about yours.  It will do little good if you point that out and urge
 more attention for yourself.  We find it a real mistake to dampen his
 enthusiam for alcoholic work."
 Aaak.  Ick.  Gag.  Where's MY barf bag?
 What sickness Lois must have felt in her gut to read such garbage Bill
 wrote and to conform her life to it...though it already was conformed
 to such.  She had to have secretly hated this could she not have? Maybe she was so "programmed" herself
 to stuff it that she did just that.  Stuffed some more. She did state
 that she was hurt that she was not allowed to write the chapter to
 wives herself. Maggie
 These gems about the humility that we all must feel in the program.
 One alcoholic talking to equals one
  1. —>Well that certainly is a put down of people and the program. You

read how aa started with one alcoholic talking to another. That all aa

 is one alcoholic sharing with another. One equals one is stating that
 we are all equals. However, one talking to one equals two. One plus
 Humility is our acceptance of ourselves
  1. —→ I never heard this definition of humility. Acceptance of

yourself. I thought that was self-love and having good self-esteem.

 What exactly is meant by this. Is this an aa co-opting another word.
 Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it's thinking of yourself
  1. —→ Well this is sensible definition. However, it is also the

definition for altruism, unselfishness, and other good things.

 Some people are so successful in aa that they turn out to be almost as
 good as they used to think they were when they were drinking
  1. —–> This is another put down of the members. Of course aa must keep

you humble.

 Rule 62--don't take yourself so damn seriously!
  1. ——> I never understood this. There are times when you need to take

yourself seriously. I never understood the humor behind 'rule 62' - it

 seemed to be some secret code that I never could understand. An
 insiders' language. It is also something that is said to people who are
 seriously depressed.
 Success means getting your BUT out of the way.
  1. —→ Is one those slogans for stopping people from objecting to the

more stupid parts of the program? But is useful. It is there for a

 reason. It is a means of safety. What is 'success' in this meaning? AA
 success is defined by days sober.
 These ones are strange in themselves.
 You either is....or you ain't ----->I am what? I am not what? What is
 it that I am or not? Is this in reference to being sober? Being drunk?
 Being in the program? Actually the one thing that I detest about aa is
 the false folkiness that they try to play. Is - ain't -- is another one
 those appeals to the common person but it falls flat because it is so
 patently false. But then again aa does not uplift people but tries to
 keep them in the gutter.
 Before you say: I can't... say I'll try.
  1. —> I remember the Star War's line: No try, do. Trying is the same as

can't. However, this slogan is another one borrowed from some place

 else. It is one of those booster slogans to get people motivated. In
 the context of aa, what is the reference to -- doing the steps? Doing a
 specfic step? Is there a reason the person is balking at doing the
 Have a good day unless of course you have made other plans
  1. —>What a snide thing to say to someone. Then again aa is full of

snide slogans. The kind of stealth slogan that tears you down without

 warning. This is one of those -- you mess yourself up on your own.
 Where you go....there you are
  1. —>Well, yes. However, I believe that this one is in response to

people leaving or moving to another part of the country. They are

 saying you are running away. But are you leaving or going towards
 something. AA assumes that there is nothing to go to.
 Stay sober for yourself
  1. —>Well, yes. Who else would you stay sober for? Are people so group

focused that they get drunk if the group asks them to. Actually, this

 slogan has another meaning in the context of aa -- that of ignore
 everyone else in your life except for the aa members. Usually this
 slogan is in response to a member complaining about their family or
 friends. The answer of the slogan is to ignore them, they don't count.
 The only thing that matters in your life is your sobriety, which what
 aa places at supreme importance. The subtext is stay in aa and stay
 away from family and friends.
 The only thing alcoholics do in moderation is the 12 steps.
  1. —–>Another put down of people. Another slogan saying that everyone

is alike. We are all out of control drunks. Also the slogan is designed

 to put people in their place. You cannot exhibit self-control, except
 through the program. It is a way of disempowering someone and directing
 them to the steps at the same time.
 I wonder what the meetings of early aa was like. Did smith or wilson
 just hold forth with their babble and everyone else just went along.
 Was there toing and froing? Was there a collection of equals or were
 there only the two heads? These slogans seem to indicate that people
 came in thinking that they were equals but were quickly put into their
 Snork continues to dissect the slogans.
 "You either is.or you aint ----->I am what?  I am not what?  What is
 it that I am or not?  Is this in reference to being sober?  Being
 I think it means you either are an alcoholic, or you're not.
 I remember steppers coming on with that smug, know-it-all grin, and
 saying, "You can't be a little bit alcoholic.  That's like being a
 little bit pregnant.  Either you are an alcoholic, or you aren't."
 I didn't argue, but even when I was deep in the program I didn't
 believe it.  I thought that people varied greatly in their drinking
 behavior, and I knew from experience that such behavior varied over
 time.  I knew from experience that it was NOT a progressive disease,
 because I had observed my own drinking behavior change for the better,
 and not become steadily worse.
 Besides, we've determined that "an alcoholic" is a meaningless term,
 anyway.  It's not in the DSM.  (Not that I have much respect for the
 DSM, I have to say.  Many of the so-called mental illnesses are
 dubious, and far too many shrinks misuse the damn book, anyway.)
 "Before you say: I cant say Ill try. ----> I remember the Star War's
 line: No try, do.
 Trying is the same as can't."
 AAACCCCKKKKK!!!!  This pushes my buttons!  This pulls my chain!
 Down with Yoda and his advice!
 Not to poke Snork in the ribs, because I admire her brains and love to
 read the things she writes, mind you.
 This is about that toxic therapy I've bitched and grumbled about.  One
 of the therapists had his own slogan, " 'Try' is a weasel word."  What
 he meant is that when someone says, "I'm trying," what they are really
 doing is making a choice to fail.  They are deliberately *not* doing
 something, and rather than saying, "I choose to not do this," they say,
 "I tried, and I failed."
 Oh, that pisses me off no end!!!  It makes me so goddamn angry!!!
 When I failed at something, I got blamed for wanting to fail and
 choosing to fail.  This blame caused me so much emotional pain, and
 undermined my sense of self and self-esteem.  I struggled so hard to
 do certain things, I made such an effort, I tried.  I tried, dammit!
 And when I failed, I felt such shame and confusion.  The f*cking
 therapist blamed me for my failure.  I chose, he said.  I messed up
 on purpose.  My fault.  "Try" is a weasel word.
 This is yet another part of the toxic therapy I need to deprogram from,
 along with steppism.
 A number of failures are due to the fact that I have a neurological
 handicap which was not diagnosed till I was 54 (Tourette's, just before
 my birthday) and 55 (ADD/ADHD right after my birthday).  Parents and
 authorities saw me as a naughty, bad girl, willfully doing these things
 just to be perverse; rather than a person struggling with a handicap.
 I got punished and blamed for things I had no control over.
 "Try" is NOT a weasel word.  It's a good word, a useful word.  "Try"
 means "to make an effort", "to attempt", "to endeavor".  When I say
 I'm trying, I mean that I'm making an effort, but I can't guarantee
 what the outcome will be.  I may try and fail.  I may try and
 succeed.  I may fail at first, but eventually succeed.  I may try and
 fail, and then learn all sorts of useful things from the failure.  I
 learn as much from a failure as from a success.  I may try and fail,
 and understand that it has to do with this irritating handicap.
 Having understood what is wrong and how the failure took place, I can
 try to find better ways to do things, ways to compensate.  I may find
 something that works, or I may be stuck with the fact that there are
 some things I simply can't do, no matter how hard I try.
 Hooray for "Try"!!  Down with Yoda and his ignorant therapist
 Oh, and Hooray for Snork!  This angry rant isn't directed at her, but
 at Yoda and his ilk. Cheers, Laura
 AH that naughty little word "try" this brings back yet another memorey
 of the program for me..I was also told you should not say  "try" or
 "cant" or wont" its like its all a simple black and white world??? You
 mean there cannot be a gray area where people may be hovering in?
 UGH!!! Now i was being told to watch my vocabulary....this also did not
 sit well in my goodness.Cant i even be a little bit of my
 real true self? How suttle all these  slogans and words are for the
 mind.......Now i am going to try and do my dishes.LOL..does that mean i
 will or will not do them? Or can i leave it open and do them when i so
 desire? Wich  for me
 means....they certainly shall get done!!! Its just a figure of
 speech....hehe....Purple Hazy Dreamer
 That's one thing I hated about meetings or therapy, I could say
 anything that was a negative feeling, or perceived to be negative
 without it becoming a topic and me to blame. I couuldn't say I was
 bored without someone trying to tell me what i was doing wrong and what
 I needed to do to get unboard, or some smart ass saying, "people who
 are bored are usually boring people," God, I just wanted to strangle
 some of those people. I couldn't say I was angry or upset without it
 becoming a topic as if I would stay that way permanently if people
 didn't tell me what to do about it, such incane bullshit! Shit happens,
 people get bored, people become angry, they don't fuckin' stay that
 way, most don't, anyway. I was always to blame to, always something I
 was doing or not doing. I told my therapist once, "Look, I don't want
 to read all these self-help books, I don't want to become a robot, I
 don't want to become Dr. Spock and not have any illogical emotions, I
 don't want to be perfect!" All those people made me feel like there was
 something wrong with me, it was like adding a negative to a negative, I
 already had feelings and suspicions of not being normal, and all they
 did was try and confirm it for me. I get so freakin' angry some times
 at these dicks who were suppose to help me, who were suppose to be
 supportive and empower me, and what bothers me the most is I can never
 make them take any responsibility for their damage. Blame is another
 thing I hate about 12-step recovery; I used to hear it all the time and
 even dished it out for a while, "blame is not a solution," "it doesn't
 do any good to blame anyone," well it may not be a solution, but it
 does let you know who is responsible, and some times, it's not me! And
 no, it usually doesn't do any good to blame anyone, because the stupid
 fuckers won't take responsibility for the damage they've caused. Blame
 is the beginning of many solutions for me to day; it let's me know who
 is responsible for fucking me over, and if it's not me, then I don't
 have anything to do with the person who fucked me over anymore, because
 the sons o' bitches will not take responsibility for the damage they
 cause. It's been a really fucked up day and I have been reminded of a
 lot of hurt at the hands of those who said they cared, loved, was there
 to help, would always be there, and they were fuckin' irresponsible
 little liars; sometimes I think really bad thoughts and want revenge, I
 wish I could just forget, I wish I had no memory of all the shit, but I
 do!  rambling, Point
 If blame is eliminated entirely from life--then also is accountability,
 justice and personl responsibility.
 As long as NO ONE is supposed to be blames, ever, we can hug the
 pedophiles, the rapists, and the predators, swallowing that sick
 feeling in our gut, because down deep in most of us is the core
 knowlege that THIS IS WRONG.
 There is a such thing as HEALTHY BLAME.  What a surprise.
 AA's version of blame makes victims feel guilt for daring to hold
 someone accountable for wrong--to blame a perpetrator of a wrong is a
 huge NO NO. This just gets the perp big hugs from the group while the
 wounded one sits alone to the side. Silenced. Revictimized.
 Then they procede to place the blame for whatever was done, big or
 small on the hurt and wounded party-- whoever was simply saying, OW!
 because you "blamed" someone. How wicked of you to assign "blame"! You
 are the bad guy, even if they ruined your credit, wrecked your vehicle
 or terrorized you. 
 Then you are forced into a silently writhe in pain because of the
 "loyalties" reguired in AA. Demanded.
 This is also AA shrapnel that stays in the brain long after leaving.
 The belief that one must maintain silence and loyalty to one who has
 done a wrong. And it is perceived as a virtue.
 This is a sick program.  It ill fits us for life once leaving AA.
 The old thinking is subtle.  We sometimes don't even know we are
 engaging in this thinking, we just have a inner sense of disloyalty to
 "ourselves" that is conflicting with our remaining AAthink.  Which is
 a big clue, that this programed thinking is wrong.
 Some one mentioned stinkin' thinkin'. AA thinking "IS" stinking
 thinking.  You are told the opposite in AA.  There is a reason for
 this.  With believing that rational thinking and logic is stinking
 thinking, you are easy to manipulate into the program and learn to
 distrust your own gut feelings. Believe these things, and you are
 AA's way of using blame and shaming and guilting the victim for not
 being "spiritual enough" for feeling pain or anger is---This is nothing
 more than one more form of abuse on victims. And never forget to "love
 your enemies" and those who do you wrong.  Welcome to false piety
 But there is a blame that is good, just and needful. And it helps us to
 become stronger and to step out of a victim role in life to one who
 will not be victimized. To stand up and say without qualm:"That was
 wrong, that hurt."  That is a strenght of character. It is not
 necessary to have loyalty to those who have damaged you. That is not a
 strenght of character. That is foolishness and a set up for
 The man who raped me deserves the blame, all of it.  I do not need to
 be blamed for being a victim of rape. And I won't be.  More power to
 me.  The less I accept this perverted blame and use my logic, the less
 of a victim I wiil be.  The less of a victim I AM.
 AA mentality is sick and lasts long after leaving the rooms.  Only
 conciously attacking it with awareness such as in learned in this
 group--WITHOUT RUNNING FROM IT--removes the remaining shrapnel of this
 and other terms perverted in aa. Words known by those outside of AA to
 mean an entirely different thinng. Maggie
 This is the last of the self slogans. I have found that aa wants to put
 a wedge between the person and themselves. AA becomes the person's
 self. If that makes sense.
 It is not the experience of today that drives people mad... it is the
 remorse or bitterness for something which happened yesterday and the
 dread of what tomorrow may bring.
  1. ——> Why is it that aa always assume that people have remorse or

bitterness of their past and dread of the future? How many people have

 you met that had remorse about their pasts? That is like asking people,
 how many convicted felons they are friends with. Not everyone knows a
 felon. I am beginning to think that aa is full of felons. I don't dread
 tomorrow. I have a better future than I did a past. I finally dealt
 with my past.
 The subtext of this slogan is pure negativity. Have you met any
 optimists in aa? Do they exist? Or do they get beaten down with all
 that talk about one day at a time stuff?
 To thy own self be true
  1. —–> Except in aa. You must be true to your aa self. If you were

true to yourself, then you would be at odds with aa. However, the

 subtext is that aa states 'ignore all your family and friends, be true
 to the aa message and program' Sobriety is the truth that you must be
 true to.
 Don't compare ... identify
  1. —–>Well that certainly contradicts 'to thyown self' doesn't it. How

can you be true to yourself and identify with others? Doesn't that mean

 you must submerge yourself into some one else. Become someone else.
 The lesson I must learn is simply that my control is limited to my own
 behavior, my own attitudes.
  1. —–> This sounds sensible on the surface. It is something that

people must understand that they cannot control others. Al-anon is full

 of control slogans. The whole focus of al-anon is control and
 non-control. Nothing else counts. However, the subtext is that don't
 try to change anything -- one person can change a lot but really
 shouldn't. It is to instill passivity in a person. Also to instill that
 people should not seek justice for being wronged.
 maybe Co-dependency is one of those words we have either reclaim or
 destroy.  What I have gathered from reading those books is the
 following:  some people have the inability to say no, some people feel
 that thay must take care of people to the point of injuring their
 health, some people are trained to be overresponsible.
 I grew in a family where there was only the 'we', we were a mass glued
 together.  No 'i'.  Sort of like the 12-step programs which do not
 allow 'i' just a 'we'. What I have found in reading the boards and aa
 materials is they encourage the three things that I noticed.  You
 can't say no.  You have to take care of under-responsible people.
 You have to do service work to the point of injuring your inner life.
 What I think that 'co-dependency' is about is that one person cannot
 exist without the other.  It has to do with if there is no 'i' in a
 relationship, then when one person goes away or dies, then the other
 person has nothing -- no self.  I think the building of the self is
 To live with other people and in relationships, you must care.  You
 must do things that help the commonweal.   However, it is a choice
 that you make within yourself.  You choose to say no and to say yes.
 I was told that I was selfish because I did not do what other people
 wanted me to do.  The other people were telling me this since I told
 them no.
 I have no idea where the term got made up since the 12-step programs
 encourage codependency.  You cannot exist outside the group.  You
 must look to the group for guidence and help.  You must give all to
 the group since it is through the group that you get yourself
 Well I got blessed by my bus driver when I got off at my stop.  She
 blessed everyone.  However, not everyone was interested in having a
 blessed day.  But that didn't matter to her.
 Actually, the general public use the slogans  as well. But I think the
 subtext is what makes the difference. The bus driver in my case was
 doing what all bus drivers do -- making the passengers feel welcomed.
 Different drivers say different things to people.  I would not have
 noticed her blessed day remarks except for this list.  People getting
 off the bus usually say things like 'have a nice day', 'thanks', 'bye',
 etc. The subtext in the bus driver's wishing me a blessed day was one
 of 'welcome to our bus'.
 The subtext of Keep it simple or Easy does it in aa is different than
 in time management classes.  In time management books, they want
 people to manage their time better -- be more effective and efficient.
 Simplicity is more effective than complexity in managing time.
 However, in aa kiss is a thought stopper to get people to not question
 the program. Easy does it is the same way.  To be more effective, you
 do things in small steps.  In aa, it is to tell
 people to not be so zealous about things.
    Many people in many areas of society have done this, but blaming
 the rape victim is decreasing as awareness grows that NO woman (or man
 or child) ever invites rape or causes themselves to be raped.
    But this enlightenment is NOT happening, and is unlikely to happen
 in AA. "Look at your part in it" is a fundamental part of the AA
 program, and it doesn't matter what "it" is, if something bad happened
 to you, there was surely something you did to cause it.
    I suspect this "look at your part in it" is magical thinking
 encouraged by AA. It allows you to believe that you are (in some sense)
 in complete control of your environment. If you believe there was
 something you did that caused something bad to happen, then you can
 stop doing that, and you'll believe that you're preventing the bad
 thing from happening in the future. Most unfortunately, the thing you
 were doing that caused it is something like "not praying enough" or
 "not going to enough meetings."
    Another interpretation of the AA program is that it doesn't matter
 what happens to you, that if something bothers you it's because you're
 not working the program correctly. This is spelled out in the infamous
 paragraph from the big book story "Doctor, Alcoholic, Addict" (on page
 449 of the 3rd edition) that starts with "Acceptance is the answer to
 all my problems today..." When read or recited in meetings, the word
 "all" is usually emphasized. I won't quote the rest of it, it's bad
 enough in general, and really awful in this context.
    There ARE things one can do to help prevent rape (such as having
 pepper spray or similar self-defense device always on your person), but
 people generally don't learn these things in AA.
 >Not defending the big book or AA, but maybe people read a little to
 >much into that line?
 >"Sometines" doesn't mean all the time.
    What that is saying is that people do not always hurt us.
 > And isn't it true that sometimes people do act in ways that hurt or
 offend us and their actions are actually reactions to what we have
    In reality you are of course correct, sometimes this does happen
 for this reason, sometimes for other reasons, sometimes other things
 happpen, but in the quote the "sometimes" word has already been used up
 to qualify "they hurt us." The quote says that whenever someone does
 hurt us, it's because of some "decision" we previously made. Actually,
 that part is qualified by the word "invariably" (or the words "We
 invariably find").
 >It's either that or it's always everyone elses fault, the blame lays
 never on us?
 >Sometimes the posts on this board get so rabid in opposition to
 12-step garbage that they bring on the appearance of being as whacked
 as AA itself.
    I've been to meetings, I've heard it read in that context, I've
 heard this interpretation (and no other interpretation) within AA.
    I can see your point about us becoming rabid, but I've seen in
 meetings so many of the things discussed here, and specifically
 discussion of virutually every sentence of the big book (yes, I went to
 at least four big-book study groups, for perhaps a total of over 100
 meetings studying
 the big book, not counting typing it into the computer and
 deconstructing it on my own), that I can say that this interpretation
 is not over-the-top.
    If you really think we're off on this interpretation, we can ask
 on alt.recovery.aa, perhaps something like:
    Hi, fellow Friends of Bill W., I'm Grateful To Be Sober today,
    Several of us were discussing after a meeting the words on page 62
 of the Big Book, specifically the last sentence of this paragraph:
 Selfishness - selfcenteredness! That, we think, is the root of our
 troubles. Driven by a hundred forms of fear, selfdelusion, selfseeking,
 and selfpity,we step on the toes of our fellows and they retaliate.
 Sometimes they hurt us, seemingly without provocation, but we
 invariably find that at some time in the past we have made decisions
 based on self which later placed us in a position to be hurt.
    What exactly does the last sentence mean?
    Dismissing spurious responses such as "utilize, don't analyze/Just
 don't drink and go to meetings/Ask your sponsor," it would be
 interesting to see. -BEN
 Well I am going deconstruct this gem.snork
 --- Devin <> wrote:
 > Here is a passage from the notorious 12X12 about justified anger;
 > It is a spiritual axiom that every time we are disturbed, no matter
 what the cause, there is
 something wrong with us.
 ---->As Devin pointed out, where is this spiritual axiom written?
 Axiom is an interesting word in that it relates to mathematical
 knowledge.  Is this Wilson trying to codify his ideas and give them
 weight.  What is this spiritual axiom's source?  Did the Dali Lama
 say something like this?  I do not think so.  I don't even think that
 it is in the words of Christ.  He was disturbed with the money changes
 in the temple.  He whipped them and drove them out.  There was
 nothing wrong with Him or his reaction.  He was reacting to a wrong
 that was occurring.
 I believe that this is Wilson speaking about himself. I think he is
 really into the guru thing by this time and was really doing some
 serious damage to himself. At least he was searching for relief.
 If somebody hurts us and we are sore, we are in the wrong also.
 -----> WHAT?  So if I get shot in a gang shooting simply because I
 happened to be taking a walk, then I am in the wrong?  WTF?  When
 that happens the police usually will arrest the person who hit us.
 They usually do investigate what happened but if you were a victim, you
 are not wrong.
 Was Wilson speaking about his wife getting on his case?  Anyway this
 sentence does discourage people from defending themselves.  It leaves
 them open for more hurt and being stomped on.  It also lays the blame
 on the victim.  Who is Wilson speaking to in this passage?  Himself?
 But are there no exceptions to this rule? What about "justifiable"
 anger? If somebody cheats us, aren't we entitled to be mad? Can't we be
 properly angry with self-righteous folk?
 -----> It is interesting what he uses for examples. Especially the word
 'self-righteous'.  Who are these people that he is really talking
 about?  His wife? Other people disturbed by his guruness?  Why should
 people be angry with self-righteous people?  Why single them out?
 For us in A.A. these are dangerous exceptions. We have found that
 justified anger ought to be left to those better qualified to handle
 -----> And who is better qualified to handle this anger?  What do you
 do when you are angry?  Go to one of these people?  This passage is
 basically telling people to lay down and be stomped on.  Then turn
 over and get stomped on some more.  There are ways of dealing with
 anger.  If someone burns down your house, you go to the police.  You
 take someone to court.
 > Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, William G. Wilson, page 90.
 I think that Wilson had some serious anger issues that he could not get
 a grasp on.  What is strange is how many people cannot see that Wilson
 is just plain nuts. I mean really nuts.  I personally think that the
 man should have been locked up at least.  I do not say that lightly.
 He is mentally ill.  Really ill.
 I am not at all surprised by the find your part sick shit in 12 step
 world. I rember  hearing abuse  in forced meetings imgaine hearing
 some aa guru tell a victim of domesticabuse with a  history
 of  severe depression  " to find their part"  I told the guru to go
 fuck himself and that he was a lowlife sack of shit . I later found out
 he had a history of Domestic Vilonce oddly not long after  his
 little  abusive speach he was busted for beating his new 12 sweetiy
 I wondr if  he topld the cops   that she should find her part
 and   all the other  trite little AA sayings.
   I agree any one who sends pople to 12 stpe programs should be guilty
 of malpractice.  Telling a  vitime of vilonec  or other abuse   in
 any form to go ot 12 step meetinfs is sick twisted and cruel  . Lets
 say that sex offenders  d batters do not fare well in  jail  the
 certainly do find there part usuly part of the cement wall .
 While I am on this   I wonder how many pople have had thier lives
 riunded becasue of steppers BS  such as all the slogand and the tough
 love crap  . I call it a excuse for abuse. Seems lots of vilonet  and
 sex offenders  love 12 step stuff and  i wondr about the
 professionals who believein it so strongly . Steppers should find
 therivpart  in the abuse the perpertate on otherss the real sick one
 was reading about telling a woamn to find her part in being raped as a
 3 yr old or ten year old that  is some sick shit  .
 Well I am almost finished with these buggers. The next groups are about
 the program. What all these rules and program stuff tell me is that it
 is a religious program or at the very least, not interested in
 rehabilitating people. But is interested in free labor and keeping the
 membership numbers strong.
 AA = Absolute Abstinence
 AA = Adventurers Anonymous
 AA = Altered Attitudes
 AA = Altruistic action
 AA = Attitude Adjustment
  1. —> Well this certainly tells you nothing and everything about aa.

You abstain absolutely. Not just a little bit but totally and

 completely. You go on adventures?? You alter your attituded and become
 altruistic. Does this sound like a group that is interested in healing
 drinkers or a religion or cult group?
 ALCOHOLICS = A Life Centered On Helping Others Live In Complete
 ANONYMOUS = Actions Not Our Names Yield Maintenance Of Unity and
  1. —→ This further explains what aa is all about. Sobriety. Not

rehabilitation people. Not teaching them how not to drink. But helping

 people stop drinking. Does that mean that aa is like a soup kitchen or
 a therapy group? Unity and Service -- again the group over the person
 and having them serve the group over themselves.
 If we really thought about these, we would be clued into as to what aa
 is really about. Free labor.
 If you want to drink - that is your business
 If you want to quit - that is aa's business.
  1. —→ How is that aa business? Why should it be aa business? Quiting

is a personal descision. It is personal what the person does. Not an

 organization. Of course this sets up aa's principle of being the busy
 body group that helps drunks. It also is what encourages judges and
 others to sentence drinkers to aa meetings.
 AA is an education without graduation
 AA is a school in which we are all learners and all teachers
 AA may not solve all your problems but it is willing to share them.
 AA is the easier, softer way.
 AA is the last stop on the train.
  1. ——> What is aa? It is as many things as people. AA doesn't solve

problems even though it claims to as in 'last stop on the train'. Also

 in the steps is the answer to life's problems. Education without
 graduation is a major signal that nobody leaves aa. The easier softer
 way has been debunked by the big book as being bad. So aa has been
 caught in another contradiction of itself.
 The last stop on the train means of course - death. The implied death
 threat is there. You don't go to aa, you die.
 What you hear and see here, stays here
 Respect the anonymity of others
 Anonymity is so important it's half of our name.
 Another friend of Bill W.
  1. —→Of course these are good slogans, but are they practiced by

people? Do people respect others? Of course, you need code words to

 determine who is who in the universe. But how do you help 'drunks' if
 you don't break your anonymity?
 Principles before personalities.
 All you need to start your own aa meeting is a resentment and a coffee
  1. —→Well these do contract each other. If people adhere to principles

they would not need to start another meeting. They would simple work

 out their differences.
 Of course, aa teaches that resentments are evil but why do they
 encourage in this slogan or wink at them? Of course, we must have that
 coffee pot. Assume that everyone drinks coffee, whether they do or not.
 What about soda? Why serve refreshments at all? Many other
 organizations do not serve refreshments. Do you need to entice people
 with refreshments to an aa meeting?
 It is always easier to take somebody else's inventory.
 Take other people's inventory until you can take your own.
  1. —→ These two are direct contradictions of each other. Of course aa

is full of contradictions. No one seems to see that. I guess if you

 gather all the slogans together in one place, you may see the
 contradictions but then again you are not supposed to think.
 O.k. more of aa as they see themselves.
 ABC = Acceptance, Belief, Change
 ABC = Ashtrays, Broom, Coffee
 ABC = Ashtrays, Broom, Chairs
  1. —–> What is interesting about these is how they have assumptions.

One that aa is a stealth religon – belief. Everyone smokes at

 meetings. Everyone sweeps up at meetings. In short they make messes and
 except someone else to clean up the mess. Also ABC is Alcohol Beverage
 Control as in state stores, so that is why they do the abc's.
 If you want to stay sober, make the coffee.
 Stand by the coffee pots, it is a good way to meet people.
  1. —→ If you relate these with the abc ones, you get an idea of free

labor. We must stand and serve. Who do we serve? Also what is with all

 this coffee? Why coffee? Why not just refreshments?
 Also this is a silly correspondence -- if I make coffee, I will stay
 sober. If I make tea, do I stay sober?
  1. ———————————————————————

Comments inside - snork

  1. – purplehazydreamer wrote:
 This reminds me of what i kept hearing at so many meetings.You should
 do service work....and then you will remain sober?
  1. —> I never understood the correlation between the two unless it is

in keeping the memory green or something. But other groups do have

 service work like the Boy Scouts, they do it to encourage citizenship
 and other things. However they don't say that in order to be a good
 citizen you must clean up the litter in the park. They say that good
 citizens clean up litter in the park. Meaning that there is more to
 citizenship than.
 We even had meetings about the dam coffee pot.hahahha....of how you
 should never complain about the quality of the coffee....or that it is
 not yet dare a person even think to do such an awful
  1. —> We met in a U.S. government conference room and coffee or other

refreshments were not allowed. So no made coffee or complained. We

 still had a meeting inspite of no making of coffee.
 I often had said to these folks."I can be of service in many
 ways"....yes maybe making coffee and sweeping will give me a feeling of
 group belonging....and also distract my mind on the drink......but i
 always said you can help anyone or everything you choose to..Like the
 big picture of it all....all this brotherly/sisterly love......Why is
 it only suppose to be for giving or helping the Alkie? I enjoy helping they have a problem with a chemical or not....I was
 told."Well its why we are in the give it order to
 keep it"......keep what i kept asking?
  1. —→ Actually the it is supposedly sobriety that you give away. But

actually what they are doing is telling people that you need to get

 members for the organization. Boy Scouts don't tell scouts that in
 order to get a rank, they have to help only other potential scouts. AA
 is about keeping and getting members, not about helping people. If you
 do a community service that does not reflect on aa, then you are not
 doing the program. You are not going to any means to keep sober if you
 decide to pick up litter in the park as a community service. Now if you
 take the people who are drinking in the part to an aa meeting, then you
 are working the program. To an outsider, there is no difference between
 the two as long as both serve the community. To the aa members, there
 is a difference. Picking up litter is the easier softer way.
 what i choose to have is a choice i make....and i had felt icky after
 some of these meetings.its like do it my way....or take the
 highway..ugh!!! It seems the longer i am away from this all....wich has
 been about a 7 weeks now,the more my mind is seeing the whole side of
 life.and i dig that!!!WHOHOO> PurpleHazy Dreamer
  1. ——→ That is because you left the narrow way of thinking in aa.
 The three t's of gratitude to repay aa for our sobriety: our time, our
 talent, our treasure.
  1. —→ I thought this was a free program. I did not know that I had to

repay aa. How many other groups do you repay? Boy Scouts do not ask for

 repayment. People leave with good feelings. So we have to pay for our
 sobriety - time, talent, treasure. So what is this -- a subtle change
 or a subtext of how aa really works. Defintely a split of thinking. So
 aa is a lifetime consuming activity. You have to pay for your sobriety.
 Remember that.
 Three a's in aa - affection (thoughtfulness), attention (listening),
 appreciation (gratitude)
  1. —> Really????? Then how does this go with the one above it? Funny


 In aa, first we remove the anesthesia, then we operate.
  1. —→ Ouch that hurts. And having thoughtfulness runs counter to this.

Which is it - attention and kindness? Or pain?

 Are people in aa pain freaks or what?
 After reading the pathological profile that some one here sent, it
 makes sense to me about this single focus of service.  It is a way to
 deflect the true purpose of the organization.  It is also a way to
 deflect from the faults of the leader.  As long as everyone is busy
 bringing members and sweeping up, they do not ask questions.  They are
 too busy to think about what is going on.
 Actually what is interesting about this service stuff is how aa
 approaches it.  Boy Scouts and other organizations have problems
 finding voluteers.  They usually get people who had favorable memories
 in Boy Scouts, people who actually liked being one and want to
 continue, people who feel that they can best serve is through teaching
 boys, and parents of boys in the troops.
 Boy Scouts rarely beat the parents over the head with 'well your kid is
 in our troop, therefore you MUST serve'.  The groups that have that
 requirement always say it upfront.  We expect this from your
 membership. However, aa says nothing about membership duties or what
 they expect from you.  AA tells you that it is a free program to help
 you get sober.  There are no musts, etc.  Then you get in, and you
 get the pressure to bring in more folks.  You get the pressure to man
 the coffee pots.  It is like once they have a captive audience and
 convinced that if they don't sweep floors they will get drunk.  Funny
 Service should come willingly. not forced.  It comes from the person
 and how they choose to serve.  AA takes the point of view that the
 same service is what all people need. Also aa makes it more than good
 manners that you straighten up a place.  They turn it into some sort
 of bizarre virtue.
 These are centered about what is expected of the member in aa. The
 things that they don't tell you until you are emeshed in the program.
 OUR = Openly Using Recovery
  1. —→ What does that mean? We break anonimity which is drumed in our

dear little heads not to do. We are told not to talk about what happens

 in meetings. So how do you openly use your recovery? If your membership
 is supposed to be unknown, how do others know what you are doing? This
 does place the aa member in a quandry.
 Be a part of the solution, not the problem
 Let it begin with me
 Pass it on
  1. —–> I put these three together. What they are saying is that you

need to pass the solution on. Now on the surface these are rather beign

 slogans. We hear them all the time. Except for pass it on. Now what is
 the it = solution that aa is talking about. The program of course. The
 aa member should not only practice the program but also go out and
 witness to others. The 12th step in action. What happens if you don't
 pass it on? Do you drink?
 You can't give away what you don't have
 To keep it, you have to give it away
 What you receive without cost, now give without charge
 Get it, give it, grow in it
  1. ——> More of the it. It is the program. So what the members are

supposed to do is to out and recruit members to the organization. What

 is in the subtext is that you need to get people to join if you want to
 be sober. The recieve without cost is interesting in that aa drums in
 people's head how much it costs to get to aa. The giving without charge
 is winked at since treatment centers are a big business in which aa
 members are counseling other people. One oltimer described it as "Now,
 with regard to getting "it", that so many are searching for, this
 definition speaks to me, "It" being the ability to live one day at a
 time, sober, grateful and fully alive, in the sufficiency of God's
 Grace, without self-destructing." (The assumption is that we
 self-destruct without the program.)
 Be as enthusiastic about aa as you were about your drinking
 To be of maximum service to others.
 Unity, recovery, and service.
  1. —–>I grouped these together since they are all centered on service.

The assumption is that people must give all to aa, maximun service. But

 how is this service defined: is maximum service only what people do for
 alcoholics? Does this mean manning a soup kitchen? Picking up litter at
 the park? What does aa means by maximum service to others?
  1. —————–
 This is what Wilson said about the subject.
 (Commentary by me)
 The three legacies of AA - recovery, unity and service - in a sense
 represent three impossibilities, impossibilities that we know became
 possible, and possibilities that have now borne this unbelievable
  1. —–> How are they impossible? Many groups has the same problems and

seem to do all right.

 Old Fitzmayo, one of the early AA's and I visited the Surgeon General
 of the United States in the third year of this society and told him of
 our beginnings. He was a gentle man, Dr. Lawrence Kolb, and has since
 become a great friend of AA. He said, "I wish you well. Even the
 sobriety of a few is almost a miracle. The government knows that this
 is one of the greatest health problems but we have considered the
 recovery of alcoholics so impossible that we have given up and have
 instead concluded that rehabilitation of narcotic addicts would be the
 easier job to tackle."
  1. —–> Of course wilson does the tangent dance to show how aa is

Surgeon General approved. Not that the SG was wishing them well. Not to

 mention this business of relentless promotion.
 " Such was the devastating impossibility of our situation. Now, what
 has been brought to bear upon this impossibility that it has become
 possible? First, the grace of Him who presides over all of us. Next,
 the cruel lash of John Barleycorn who said. "this you must do, or die."
 Next, the intervention of God through friends, at first a few and now
 legion! Who opened to us, who in the early days were uncommitted, the
 whole field of human ideas. morality and religion, from which we could
  1. ——> Actually Robert's Rules Of Order would have done the same

thing without all the melodrama that wilson writes.

 These have been the wellsprings of the forces and ideas and emotions
 and spirit which were first fused into our Twelve Steps for recovery.
 Some of us act well, but no sooner had a few got sober than the old
 forces began to come into play in us rather frail people. They were
 fearsome, the old forces, the drive for money, acclaim, prestige.
  1. —–> Well that certainly is a round about answer to the question of

service, etc. But his take on uity is interesting.

 "Would these forces tear us apart? Besides, we came from every walk of
 life. Early, we had begun to be a cross-section of all men and women,
 all differently conditioned, all so different and yet happily so alike
 in our kinship of suffering. Could we hold in unity? To those few who
 remain who lived in those earlier times when the Traditions were being
 forged in the school of hard experience on its thousands of anvils, we
 had our very, very dark moments. "
  1. —–> It must have been very angry for wilson to be denied what he

wanted. He is referring to himself and his wisdom in the matters.

 "It was sure recovery was in sight, but how could there be recovery for
 many? Or how could recovery endure if we were to fall into controversy
 and so into dissolution and decay? "
 Well, the spirit of the Twelve Steps which have brought us release from
 one of the grimmest obsessions known -- obviously, this spirit and
 these principles of retaining grace had to be the fundamentals of our
 unity. But in order to become fundamental to our unity, these
 principles had to be spelled out as they applied to the most prominent
 and the most grievous of our problems. "
  1. —→ Boy what melodrama. This man should have been writing dime


 So, out of experience came the need to apply the spirit of our steps to
 our lives of working and living together. These were the forces that
 generated the Traditions of Alcoholics Anonymous.
 But, we had to have more than cohesion. Even for survival, we had to
 carry the message and we had to function. In fact, that had become
 evident in the Twelve Steps themselves for the last one enjoins us to
 carry the message. But just how would we carry this message? How would
 we communicate, we few, with those myriad's who still don't know? And
 how would this communication be handled? How could we do these things.
 How could we authorize these things in such a way that in this new, hot
 focus of effort and ego that we would not again be shattered by the
 forces that had once ruined our lives? "
 This was the problem of the Third Legacy. From the vital Twelfth Step
 call right up through our society to its culmination today. And, again,
 many of us said: "This can't be done. It's all very well for Bill and
 Bob and a few friends to set up a Board of Trustees and to provide us
 with some literature, and look after our public relations and do all of
 those chores for us that we can't do for ourselves. This is fine, but
 we can't go any further than that. This is a
 job for our elders, for our parents. In this direction only, can there
 be simplicity and security. "
  1. —–> That says a lot about his view on the alcoholic and aa. Elders

and parents take care of us. Our service is really in terms of them. We

 are children doing chores.
 Now, as we have seen in this quick review, the spirit of the Twelve
 Steps was applied in specific terms to our problems of living and
 working together. This developed the Twelve Traditions. In turn, the
 Twelve Traditions were applied to this problem of
 functioning at world levels in harmony and unity. (10th GSC, April,
  1. —–> I don't think that answers any question. But that is wilson's

take on the whole thing - which, gee I don't know, except i'm the

 greatest and best, and I know what is best for the rest of you.
 We in aa don't carry the alcoholic; we carry the message.
 Carry the message, not the mess
 Take the mess to your sponsor, the message to the meeting.
  1. ——→ What is the mess that they are talking about – our daily

lives. Isn't that the whole purpose of the program. Or is it another

 slight of hand where you think it is one thing but it is another. So
 meetings are not the places were people talk about burning desires and
 stuff like that. What are meetings for? To indoctrinate people into a
 particular way of thinking. The other thing that is interesting is the
 subtext: aa doesn't care about individuals. doesn't give a rat's behind
 about the suffering individual alcoholic. These people are only
 symbols, inflatable dolls to be trotted out when needed. AA is not
 about helping people. It is only about getting converts. AA does not
 care about what people need.
 This is a selfish program
  1. —→ How does that slogan square with „If you want it, you have to

give it away.“ It doesn't. And what about all that stuff about

 self-will run riot and ego easing god out. Exactly how does this
 contradiction fit in. The subtext is: screw everyone else, only aa
 matters. AA is the selfish program. You give yourself to aa. You must
 ignore all those who question aa. You must spend all your time at aa
 meetings and ignore the needs of your family and friends. How dare they
 place demands on you when your goal is to be sober.
 At 06:29 PM 10/14/03 EDT, wrote:
 > I've heard "does anyone have a burning desire?" said at the end
 ofmeetings, but never knew what it meant. What does it mean?
    I recall hearing that quite a bit. Different people run meetings
 differently - some call on people who raise their hand to speak, others
 just call out names and "appoint" people to share.  It means a
 "burning desire to share" and it gives the opportunity for someone to
 speak their mind, or to share some personal stuff, whatever - it's like
 a "last call for sobriety." Anything said other than a gushing report
 of the results of doing the AA program will surely result in a lecture
 after the meetings.    Then there's the said-in-jest sexual
 interpretation, as someone answers "Yes, I have a burning desire for
 Are you going to drink/drug, hurt yourself or others unless you are
 heard before everyone leaves. But if you do it, you'll hear
 groans. They really don't want to hear any story that doesn't end
 with, "...and XA changed all that for me."    Ray
 Well group here are the ones about sponsors and their role. After I
 asked about how aa continues without wilson, I realized the answer is
 sponsors. What I think that sponsorship is about is forming a new
 person's ideas and life and mold it into the aa way of life. I remember
 a woman who just had a baby and was not taking calls at times. Her
 sponsor cided her that she was never too busy to talk to her sponsor.
 That being a new mother was no excuse for daily phone contact. The
 woman was properly ashamed and called more often.
 Sponsors are the aa priests or ministers. They are vital to the
 transplanting of the program to future generations. Without the sponsor
 system, you do not get many people staying. Sponsors offer people power
 to control others. People stay long enough to become one. Also sponsors
 offer a sense of false friendship. It is not a friendship of equals but
 one of parent-child.
 There are people who really do want to help others. And they do. But
 they are few and far between. Also many sponsors have good intentions
 but end up passing on the flawed system of the 12-steps.
 GAYS = Go Ask Your Sponsor
  1. —→Is this a subtle slap at gay, lesbian, bisexual, and

transgendered people? Is this some sort of backhanded acknowledgement

 that glbt people exist? It is interesting that they translated the word
 into a matter of sponsorship. Is this to tell the glbt people that they
 cannot discuss their sexuality except with a sponsor while heterosexual
 people can openly discuss their sexuality?
 SPONSOR = Sober Person Offering Newcomers Suggestions On Recovery
  1. —–> However the sponsor system ends up not being sugesstions but

requirements. And they are not offering suggestions but instructing

 Sponsors: have one, use one, be one
  1. ——→This combined with the SPONSOR slogan suggests that everyone

has to have a sponsor or be one. Why? Why must everyone be a sponsor or

 have a sponsor? Is it for reasons of passing on aa doctrine on to
 someone else. The other thing is that aa looks down up having a
 Catholic priest helping some one or a doctor. Somehow using these
 people is not the same. But why have a sponsor if not to learn aa
 Call your sponsor before, not after, you take the first drink
 Tell your sponsor, or you will be telling it to a bartender.
  1. ——> What is your sponsor supposed to do – babysit you? How is

telling your sponsor about your desire to drink going make you stop

 drinking? Why can't you call a friend or relative about your desire to
 drink? Why only a sponsor? Also, how does not telling a sponsor lead
 you to drink? If you tell your boss about your desire to drink, do you
 drink or not? What is so magical about a sponsor that causes people to
 stop and start drinking?
 Your big book is your sponsor too.
  1. —>Well this certainly contradicts all the sponsor calling slogans.

So how does reading the big book replace calling a sponsor? Actually,

 it is the same process, however there is no one threatening or urging
 you to do stuff. But if your big book is a sponsor, then why get a
 human sponsor? Why be a sponsor if the big book is sufficient?
 When you are a sponsor, you get out of yourself. If I serve, I will be
  1. —–>If I am a waiter, then the chef will served me when the time

comes? yeah, right. Actually, the reverse is true. When you are a

 sponsor, you seem to get out of yourself. However, you are more into
 yourself since you are telling the other person what to do. It is not
 serving anyone except yourself.
 Be nice to newcomers, one day they may be your sponsor.
  1. —→ That is awful on many levels. First, many organizations are nice

to new people since the people are checking the organization out. They

 try to be welcoming to the new person. This slogan says that aa members
 stomp all over new people unless there is a reason not to. What is so
 threatening to the established aa member from the new person? Actually,
 it is because the new person asks questions in their desire to learn
 more. Often times these questions are unanswerable or embarrassing to
 answer since they expose the aa fraud.
 Next, the idea is that you will drink again is always present. That you
 the sponsor will slip. So be nice to people since you will drink again.
 The assumption is that everyone drinks again. No exceptions. Everyone.
 Get a sponsor.
  1. —→Why? It is not enough to say get a sponsor unless there is a

reason to. What is the reason? What is so important about getting a

 sponsor. If you combine this with the ones about calling sponsors or
 drink, then you have your answer. If you have no sponsor, you will
 drink again. If you are a sponsor, you will drink again. If you have
 the big book as your sponsor, then you need to get a human sponsor. In
 short, you are screwed no matter what you do. You just going to drink
 I don't know where I'd be without my sponsor.
  1. —–> This is the statement of a child about a parent. If I did not

have my sponsor, I will be drunk. On the surface, it seems like a

 statement of friendship. I don't know where I would be without my
 doctor, friend, gameboy..... I am lost without these people. They are
 of great help to me.
 How does a sponsor helps a person? Friends, etc, do have respect of the
 person themselves. They embrace the reality of the person. They do not
 negate the person. Sponsors are not really in aa to help a person. They
 are there to get the person to the 12-steps. If the person's help is to
 take meds or to see a doctor, the sponsor generally will discourage the
 person. They deny the reality of the person. Good aa sponsors who
 really care about their sponsees have the problem of funnelling the
 person's problems into the prism of the 12-steps or letting the person
 find their own way. It is a conflict that is hard to resolve.
 This is the AA dogma distilled into the little paradox slogan that
 people kick around the program.  Now taken as a whole, they do not
 make a lick of sense.  The subtext though is the aa's ideas of the
 teachings of Christ.  However, Christ did not teach all this but
 enough to be perverted by AA.  The thing is that Christ's Teachings
 have to be placed in the context of Christianity which is different
 from the aa program. These in the context of aa program perverts
 Christ's Teachings.
 AA paradox:
 Forgive to be forgiven
 Give it way to keep it
 Suffer to get well
 Surrender to win
 Die to live
 Darkness comes light
 Weakness comes strength
 Dependence to independence
 Forgive to be forgiven --
 Christ said to St. Peter -- as you are forgive, so you must forgive.
 That which you don't will not be.  (In short, Rock boy choose what you
 want to be a moral life among people on Earth.)
 AA -- it is not a moral choice but a requirement.
 Give it away to keep it
 This has to do with tithing in the Church.  If you give to God, you
 will receive.  It has to with the
 ethics of giving and hoarding.  However, aa perverted it to you have
 to go out and get drunks to meetings or you will drink.
 Suffer to get well
 The Catholic teaching as least as Pope John Paul II has written is that
 chornic illness makes people close to Christ on the Cross and to the
 understanding of His Sacrifice.  However, there is no teaching that
 suffering leds to health.
 AA is trying to convince people that when they drank they suffered
 mightly and that their suffering was the way they got better.  i.e.
 grew spiritually in the program.  Suffering in aa is encouraged for
 spiritual growth.  Suffering in Christianity is not encouraged to the
 same degree in that if you can grow spiritually without a great deal of
 suffering, then do it.
 Surrender to win
 Christ taught that in order receive grace, you had to surrender
 yourself.  However, He never taught that you had to give up your self
 will.  Instead, you use your will to choose to glorify God.
 AA teaches that you have to surrender to the program to become sober.
 Die to live
 This is a pervision of Christ's Sacrifice.  However, among evangelical
 Christians, they speak of the old self dying and being reborn in
 Christ.  i.e. Born Again. However the sense of Born Again is that you
 are washed cleaned of all sins.  In aa, you are not washed clean of
 anything.  You just die drunk or live sober in aa.
 Darkness comes light
 No Christian teaching there.  Curse the darkness rather than light a
 Weakness comes strength
 There is a subtly that aa misses in Christ's teaching. He is teaching
 non-violence and choosing to act and conduct yourself in a certain
 way.  That is where your strength comes from.
 I do not know the aa sense of this.  Other than week drunk, strong aa.
 Dependence to independence
 How does this happen?  The problem with these slogans is that they do
 not say how the miracle happens.  Only that it does.
 I personally think that these slogans are meant to sound profound but
 are really silly pretensious stuff to puff up the 'profoundities' of
 the program which is really rather banal.
   There are certainly plenty of things to criticize XA about.  The
 fact that Jesus according to the "New Testament" is not specifically
 mentioned is actually not among them.  I tend to agree that although
 XA's "spirituality" is Xtian in nature (the vicarious salvation from
 sin, and all that), that the reason Jesus is never mentioned is because
 XA wants to appear "accessible to people of all faiths" when of course
 it isn't really.~Rita
  1. – In, „Ulla W“ <ulla.wiklander@s…>

wrote: I found the following _expression on another board and I have

 understood it: "The longer I stay sober the closer I am to the next
 > Should it not be the opposite?
 Another one that doesn't make sense is while you are in there having a
 meeting your disease is out there doing pushups--getting stronger.  I
 used to think well we ought to get the hell out of here so it won't get
 any stronger! or...if the longer we go without drinking the stronger it
 gets, then maybe we ought never stop drinking at all and it won't have
 a chance.  Or, why don't we just
 go out in the parking lot and shoot the son of a bitch! Just some of my
 strange random thoughts during AA. - Maggie
 I included Ulla's question and Rita's answer since they are part of the
 disease idea of alcoholism. This is where aa gets really dicey. They
 claim that alcoholism is a medical disease that can only be arrested by
 spiritual intervention.
 In answer to Ulla's question on the slogan. Ithas to do with scaring
 people into thinking that they can never overcome alcoholism, and if
 they do, they will die. i.e. get drunk. It is an implicit death threat
 to keep people in aa and not have them leave, once they got sober.
 Rita puts the concept in the context of aa disease.
  1. ——–
 My take on the disease slogans.
 The road to sobriety is a simple journey for confused people with a
 complicated disease.
  1. —–> Actually it is simple – don't drink. What the context of this

slogan is that the simple journey is the 12-steps (simple program),

 people who drink too much are confused (well they may be that), and
 that alcoholism is a complicated disease.
 What is so complicated about alcoholism? In the context of addictions,
 it is the nexus of biology and human behavior. Sort of a grey area,
 where people try to parse out, what is what. However, alcoholism is not
 recognized as a medical disease, disorder, or anything that is genetic.
 It stems from behavior and a propensity for that person's body to be
 addicted to that chemical. However, the cure is to change the behavior
 and to eliminate the chemical from the body. How to go about this -- is
 the subject of much research and ill information.
 AA does not really understand any of the science about alcohol,
 behavior, and biology. They say they do since it plays into reaching a
 particular audience, who feel that they can not stop. They say to these
 people, it is not you, it is your disease, and we have the cure.
 From Cocaine Anon website:
 "Don't Blame Yourself: Addiction is a disease. You didn't cause it. You
 can't cure it. And you can't control it. It's not your fault. Be gentle
 with yourself."
  1. —>That says it all.
 Alcoholism is an equal opportunity destroyer
 I did my drinking from Park Avenue to park bench.
  1. —→ This is interesting that they always depict the most successful

people as the ones who end up on the street. Actually, in many surveys

 of homeless people, drinking is not the main cause as why they were
 there. Mental illness accounted for more than 50 percent. Also being a
 war veteran (Gulf, Vietnam, WWII, etc) acounted for a large portion of
 homeless people. Drinking was low on the list of the causes of
 After reading these slogans about Park Avenue, I wonder why aa is so
 anti-success or anti-rich. It seems almost as if everyone had to be the
 Remember that alcoholism is incurable, progressive, and fatal
  1. —→ First the big book offers the way out of drinking, then zaps the

reader with well you in this for a lifetime. Define incurable: what

 does this mean? If you stop drinking, you are not cured? Is that what
 this means? What is interesting about the slogan - progressive and
 fatal - is that it is applied to people not drinking. If you are
 drinking, then yes as you put more poison into your body, alcohol is
 fatal. But if you stop drinking? How is it progressive and fatal? If no
 poisons are in your body, then how do you die from alcoholism?
 The answer is that aa is doing a switch on the definition of disease.
 They flip from a physical disease to a mental disease. Since you can't
 see it on a MRI, then alcohol progresses in your mind. Whispering in
 your ear, drink!. Then if that doesn't work, then there is the allergy
 aspect. However, all of this distracts the person from the obvious --
 stopping drinking stops the progression. A poison can't kill you unless
 you put it in your body.
 The other thing is to convince people that demon rum is this monster
 under the bed or hiding in the closet. Instead of shining a light on it
 and yelling boo!, you cower under your covers repeating, "There is no
 Alcoholism is the only disease that tells you, you're all right.
 We have a disease that tells us we don't have a disease.
  1. —→ No, most mental illnesses do. That is the problem. Trying to

convince a paranoid person that that their reality is not true. If you

 follow this logic, then alcoholism is a mental illness. And should not
 be treated only and exclusively by lay people. Well this explains aa's
 hatred of therapists -- they are after the same group of people. The
 other thing of this slogan is 'only'. Of course you have to make an
 exception for aa people and make it sound like they are special.
 If you wonder if you are an alcoholic, you probably are.
  1. —→ If I wonder if I am six feet tall, then I probably am. If I

wonder if I am a bus, then I

 probably am. If I wonder that I am the President of the United States,
 then I probably am. As you can see, how absurb this slogan is. It does
 create the double blind. You either slip through the horns of the
 dilemma or refute one of the horns. I sliped through the horns by
 applying it to another case - my occupation. Refuting the horns is 'if
 you wonder, then you are asking yourself, you are finding out
 information' In finding out that information, you may find that what
 you thought was alcoholism may be symptoms of something else -
 depression, etc. So therefore, not everyone who wonders is one.
 Why recovery never ends: the disease in alcoholISM, not alcoholWASM!
 Once and alcoholic, always an alcoholic.
  1. ——>This is brainwashing. Pure and simple. If you stay in meetings

long enough, you start thinking in terms of the present and not the

 past. You think that since you drank, you will drink again. So you do
 not recover, you are sentenced to a lifetime of aa.
 Now what do people with chronic illnesses do - they live with the
 illness. They seek relief. They accept their illness. It is a fact. If
 taking meds puts the disease in remission, then you take the meds.
 However, these slogans make it seem that you lay down and die. You give
 up. AA strips you of your defensives and tell you to give up.
 Cunning, baffling, powerful, and patient.
 My disease is doing pushups, getting stronger--just waiting for me to
  1. ——→So now they are personifying a natural process. Actually my

favorite quote about natural process is: „Civilizations exist with the

 permission of geology." by Will Durant. Meaning that earthquakes can
 wipe you out. If you approach alcohlism the same as a volcano, that
 volcanos are cunning, baffling, powerful, and patient, then you should
 have a horde of scientists studing it trying to stop the destructive
 forces. You would have early warning systems in place. In short, you
 would not have people meeting in Volcanos Anon meetings, saying that
 they were powerless over volcanos. They should rely on god, and listen
 to god's messages.
 Also the quotes on how alcoholism is doing push-ups etc, leads to the
 superstitious mind. If you make this process personal, then you make it
 into a god, and therefore, you must scarifice virgins to the angry god
 (which aa does). Alcoholism is a god *as rita says*
 Hi Ulla ~ I never really understood that _expression either.  I just
 figured that if you are in AA, you travel along a time/space continuum
 between your last drink and your next.  With that sort of linear
 model, then it makes sense that the farther you travel from the last
 drink, the closer you come to the next.  It's just another example of
 their tentative sobriety program.  How silly!  My time line stops at
 the last drink.  There is no next, period.  Henny
  1. – railroadrita wrote: Oh, well, it's that „cunning, baffling,

powerful“ inanimate object, alcohol - it „does pushups in the parking

 lot" and makes itself stronger as you abstain, so it will MAKE you
 drink it the moment you get a weak spot, from not being in a "fit
 spiritual condition" by praying to the step-god and doing its bidding.
 > Step-god and Alcohol Demon -- clashing forces locked in an eternal
 battle -- sort of like Matter and > Anti-Matter in the sci-fi movies.
  1. – Rick Storm wrote:
 > Laura: That was hilarious!!!!!!!A question: Was your addicition doing
 pushups in the parking lot while everyone was listening to the Billshit
 > I've found that I indeed have power over alcohol long as I don't suck
 up the stuff - I can choose not to drink. Not a day at a time - forever
 and accept responsibility and move on with my life
 > AA appears to me a group of folks aching to drink again, and coming
 close as possible to the buzz through a sick group regurgitation
 system. They revel in the memories. They use the sick label to purge
 themselves of any responsibility for their actions - after all, they
 are SICK, but God'll fix'em up in a jiffy. Today only, of course. Next
 day, you have to get a refill. Forever, cause there's no cure and
 jails, institutions and death are waiting for you if one dares question
 all the Billshit. I indeed agree they are very very very very sick
  1. ———
 Hello,, my "disease" didn't do push-ups at all. I had
 no problems staying sober, nor did I ever go back to where I was when I
 stopped back in 1975. Nor did I "progress" to an even worse condition.
 > Point of Freedom wrote, "Most alcoholics/addicts, especially members
 of 12-step groups, eventually drink/use drugs again. According to
 statistics, this is correct. NA/AA's efficacy would have to be greater
 than 50% for this not to be true, and the reality is the efficacy is
 only about 1%, if that 1% has anything to do with AA/NA at all. So,
 actually they were telling the truth, they were just beating the odds
 for a while, eventually they would drink again, so they were getting
 closer and closer to that day."
 > Hey! Guess what! I'm one of those "alcoholics" who left the
 12-step-program and eventually drank again! Horrors!
 > But the "disease" didn't progress. I didn't go to where I would have
 been if I'd never stopped drinking. I didn't end up in the gutter. I
 didn't die or end up in jail or the mental institution.
 > I simply matured out of the youthful excesses. If I don't want to
 drink, I just don't. And if I do drink, I drink a limited amount and
 then stop. I don't go out of control. I'm not the only one to do this.
 My Sweetie matured out of his behaviors, and so did my first
 ex-husband. We all just stopped behaving in a problematic way.
 > Of course that is not what AA is saying, as we all know.
 > AA wants us to think that we are in imminent danger of exploding out
 of control and progressing to even worse drinking than ever before.
 > So it's true that the longer I was sober in AA, the closer I was
 getting to the day that I decided to drink again. Ditto for my family
 members. But that didn't mean I was getting closer and closer to a
 That's definitely one of the worst of their slogans, it's absolutely
 ridiculous.  In another permutation, I've heard, "The further away
 from the last drink you are, the closer you are to the next."
 Complete nonsense, I don't need to tell you, with great emphasis on the
 nonsensical aspect.  With just a small bit of sense, one can easily
 see that the longer one is not drinking, the easier it is not to drink
 (smoking is another analogy).  How about, "The further away from logic
 you are, the closer you are to the next meeting."Todd
 I am doing the intro on steps and step 13. What is interesting is how
 aa views life. They use the mystical 12 to make people believe that
 magic will happen. They make sobriety the goal of everyone. Not a
 better moral life or becoming a better citizen, but sobriety. One
 should not mix sobriety with morality. An aa slogan says If you sober
 up an horse thief, you get a sober horse thief. I think that sobriety
 in aa is a mystical state of being. Has nothing to do with morals or
 Another thing that runs through the steps and other slogans is a dark
 undercurrent of death. It seems that every other slogan deals with a
 form of death - dying, killing others, killing self. Anyway, it is
 almost as if wilson shaking hands with death and promoted his views of
 darkness. You do the steps to get well, not because you are afraid of
 STEPS = Solutions To Every Problem in Sobriety
 STEPS = Solutions To Every Problem, Sober
 There are 12 steps in the ladder of complete sobriety.
  1. —→ Every Problem???? Every single problem has a solution in the

steps. Get real. That doesn't seem to wash with me. But if you want

 people to stay on message, you tell them that the steps are the only
 way, not meds, not doctors. Steps only the steps, nothing but the
 Then the tagline of sober. What is the opposite of sober: drunk. So if
 you are not drinking but not using the steps, you are drunk. AA has
 copted the word sober to mean something other than 'not drunk'. But how
 are the steps solutions to every problem? Well they are surrounded by
 prayer and god, and more prayer and more god. Nothing else. So that is
 a safe way to say that there is a solution to every problem.
 The elevator is broken - use the steps.
 You can take the elevator going down, but you gotta take the steps back
  1. —–> A play on words. However, the subtext is that if you go too

fast, you will fail. You go down fast but go up slowly. Also the

 elevator is the 'easier, softer way'. We can't have people zooming to
 the top in a flash.
 I remember an homily where the Catholic priest was discussing Christ.
 He said that Christainity was a religion in which you did not have to
 do anything to receive Grace. In fact, you can be laying flat in an
 elevator and Christ will zoom you to where you need to be. In fact
 taking the steps under your own power is the opposite -- to prove your
 worth rather than relying on Christ. Having that in mind, the aa steps
 were always a conflict with me.
 The easier softer way is one through twelve.
 There is safety in numbers. One through twelve.
  1. —–> Well this is certainly in conflict with the prior slogan. What

is interesting is the fixation on 12. Why 12, why not 14 or 8 steps?

 Why 12? What is the significance of the number 12? Wilson explains it
 in some silly mumble jumble about how 12 made more sense than 6. But I
 think of numerology and the significance of 12 = 4 x 3. Also Christ and
 the 12 disciples.
 The 12 steps tell us how it works, the 12 traditions tell us why it
 The steps keep us from suicide; the traditions keep us from homicide.
 The steps are there to protect me from myself, the traditions are there
 to protect aa from me.
  1. ——> These three slogans contradict each other. Actually, they

trying to say that the traditions are different from the steps. But how

 are they? How does the traditions tell why the program works? I think
 that it is the reverse of what wilson of the how it works. With an how,
 you need a why. However, the traditions are simply aa's version of
 Robert's Rules of Order.
 Suicide verus homicide is a theme that runs through aa slogans. They
 make less of them both and treat it with humor. As though both are
 funny. I don't understand why the preoccupation with killing is there
 in the slogans. It does fit in with the preoccupation of death. Use the
 steps or Die! I almost think that aa could be construed as a cult of
 death. They talk about killing others and themselves. They accuse
 others of killing alcoholics or newcomers. Why is there is strange
 preoccupation with dying and not with life? This seems to be the dark
 undercurrent of aa. Underneath the butterflies and rainbows of
 recovery, is this darkness of death, dying, and killing.
 No steps, no change -- no change, no chance
 Don't wait to get better to do the steps -- do the steps now to get
  1. ——>Again you have the tone of darkness. You have to do the steps

or die. Implicit in the second slogan is the idea of you do not do the

 steps, you will not get better.
 Step 1 plus step 12 equals step 13.
 Step 13: Newcomer meets newcomer in aa is worse than the 13th step --
 it's more like 26.
  1. ——> This makes light of a serious problem. It seems that aa simply

doesn't say 'keep your hands to yourself'. They make fun of the whole

 problem. They have these sly winks to a problem in human behavior.
 Instead of just saying flat out, don't do this, they make it into some
 sort of fraternity rite. In my reading of slogans, I never heard one
 cautioning new comers about oldtimers or one cautioning oldtimers to
 lay off. Nothing. I think the permissiveness of illicit sex in aa goes
 back to the idea that they can't help themselves. They have a disease,
 only god can help them..... all the excuses that makes for an unsafe
 place to be.
 The other aspect of these slogans is why they exist. In Boy Scouts,
 they have a problem of sexual abuse between adults and boys. So we have
 semi-annual classes to take if we are in leadership positions on the
 serious of abuse. The boys have classes too. To be certified as a
 quality troop, you have to take them. They have a section on sexual
 abuse in all the manuals. Parents are instructed to read the manuals
 and sign them. Boys have to show proof that the parents have read them.
 On campouts, they have rules about that one boy is not left alone with
 one adult. Two boys, one adult. Never one boy and two adults.
 Anyway, aa does not have any of this to combat the problem of sexual
 abuse. Nothing. No pamphlets. Not even a paragraph about the problem.
 So they do not consider the 13th step a problem. These slogans say to
 the new person, stay away from this group. WARNING, this is an unsafe
 group. Unsafe organization. Flee. Run away. Think about that and how
 the people at meetings banter the 13th stuff
 Step One
 These are the ones about step one. They are a strange lot since they
 deal with people's ideas of admitting powerlessness over a substance.
 (I liked Laura's idea of *were* instead of *are*)
 Accept your admission
 The first step in overcoming mistakes is to admit them.
  1. —→ Well these are good in themselves. That people should admit

their mistakes and accept that they make them. However, in regards to

 the first step, saying that you are admitting or overcoming a mistake
 is the same as admitting powerlessness over a substance. What gives?
 And overcoming a mistake. Who overcomes a mistake? You correct the
 mistake. You do not make the same mistake again. You take
 responsibility for your mistake. There is nothing in these sayings that
 discuss responsibility. They discuss it in terms of overcoming.
 Overcoming what? Sin = mistakes. I think that is what the secret word
 is - sin.
 Lighten up -- the war is over.
  1. —→ What war? How is admitting you are powerless over a substance

ending a war? Why the use of war? And why tell people to lighten up?

 What does that mean in the context of war. If you surrender then what
 does that mean? Is the subtext of this slogan saying that you are
 surrendering. But what are you surrendering to -- alcoholic or other
 addictive substances? Isn't that is meant by drinking? This is a
 confusing set of ideas. Not very logical. What I parse out of the mess
 is that "cheer up, you have surrendered to the program."
 The first drink gets you drunk.
  1. —> How does the first drink do that? Lots of people have a drink. I

see them in restaurants drinking a toast of wine. They don't seem to be

 drunk. What about the people drinking a beer at a football game? It is
 generally lots of drinks that gets you drunk. On the judge shows, they
 all say that people claim they only drank two drinks, no more, no less,
 when they are being arrested for being drunk. And it is true. I have
 watched five years of judge shows and have seen this take place.
 The subtext of this slogan is that you are so powerless over alcohol
 that if you take one itsy, bitsy, teeny, tiny drop, you will become a
 raging drunk because you will have the drink monster driving you on a
 search and seizure mission to drink. OMDK, I drank a drop of sherry,
 the drink monster has taken me hostage, I must go out and get blotto
 now. I can't stop. Must drink more.
 Skid Row is a place in my mind -- not a place on the street.
  1. —→ Well that is just jolly. Along with all the anti-thinking ones,

this says stop thinking or you will get drunk. Of course, you are so

 powerless over this substance, that your mind is ready to get you
 We can do what I can't.
 You're not alone anymore.
  1. —→ We can we do that I can't? Can we drive a bus for me? That would

be nice, my own bus. Can we go to work when I am in the hospital and do

 my job. What can we do? Who is this we anyway? Can we write a Nobel
 Prize winning novel for me? Big whoop.
 Strength in powerlessness.
  1. —> Good old george Orwell's 1984. War is peace!
 Powerless over people, place and things; it's a two-way street.
  1. —→O.K. I am powerless over people and they are powerless over me?

Who has the power, if we are all powerless? Surely the man with the gun

 has the power over the rest of us. How about the guy with a bomb. How
 is he powerless over me? He has a bomb, I don't. I can run away and
 hope I can run fast enough.
 Actually my attitude is "looking forward to being attack. Or how I
 decided not to let some lowlife disrupt my day." Basically it means you
 are prepared for the lowlifes that want you dead. At the very least,
 you say no and have them shoot you in the parking lot. At least your
 family can find your body and not wonder what happened to you. At the
 very most, you say no, they get distracted enough for you to run and
 dial 911.
 We didn't fly into aa on the wings of victory.
 God help me! (Step one short form.)
  1. —→ So much for being a spiritual and not religious program. I guess

moral folks who have no god beliefs need not apply.

 The journey of a 1,000 miles begins with the first step.
  1. —→ This was co-opted from general life. Except it is not a journey

of a 1,000 miles. It is a 12-step journey where you may get rocketed

 into the 4th dimension.
 The first step is the only step a person can work perfectly.
  1. –> Well, I might as well go out and lay and die. Why even do the

program. Why even try since no one expects me to succeed. Anyway, what

 is with this perfection. I thought it was progress not perfection. So
 where does perfection come in?
 If a candidate for aa is ready, you can't say anything wrong; if he's
 not ready, you can't say anything right.
  1. —→ Well duh. It is like that with any belief system, silly.
 Step One only works when you do the other eleven.
  1. —> I help with research where they do dynamic and simultaneous

equations for modeling various natural and human activities. This

 sounds like one of those constructed models. You have to do everything
 at once. United field theory anyone?
 Keep coming until you hear your story.
  1. —–> So I have to come until I can relate to someone. Actually that

is a way to keep people in meetings. They establish personal

 relationships. Actually I never heard my story in a 12-step group.
 Heard it at the mental hospital though. I guess people in 12-step
 groups were too gross-out to hear all the difficult stuff. Also this
 slogan does have a subtext of trying tell people that they are not that
 If you quit one day at a time, every day that you don't drink will be
 an accomplishment. If you quit forever, you won't have accomplished
 anything until you're dead.
  1. ——→ Well, why don't I just lay out and die on the Financial

Times. Life is futile. All life is futile. Anyway, I had to slip this

 one in since it is so bizarre in its logic. It makes it seem that one's
 life only matters if one does not drink. What about General U.S. Grant?
 He drank and won a war. Was President of the U.S. and wrote a best
 seller. I guess he didn't accomplish much since he didn't stop
 drinking. How utterly absurb.
 "Well, I had no problem admitting I was powerless over alcohol. The
 step doesn't say, we *are* powerless. It said we *were* powerless. Past
 tense. And indeed I had gone through a period of powerlessness. I had
 been overwhelmed with cravings. I'd had a genuine drinking problem. No
 argument there. It was also true that part of my life was unmanageable.
 Not all my life, but part of my life."
 This is step 2 and 3 together. What is interesting about these two is
 these are the religious steps. You have to believe in god before you
 can stop drinking. Also they are subtle forms of brainwashing or making
 people receptive to belief in the aa god.
 Step 2
 What I came here looking for, I came here looking with.
  1. —–>Well let's see: Came to believe in a power greater than

ourselves that could restore us to sanity. That is the 2 step. Now how

 does that slogan square with the step. I came into aa looking for god,
 and god was with me all the time? Is that the meaning of this cryptic
 slogan. I thought aa was about finding god. Or is this one of those
 hidden god slogans -- we were chosen by god to be members of aa or
 something like that.
 Step 3: Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care
 of god, as we understand him.
 The emergency form of step 3: skip it!
  1. —This I do not understand. Skip what? What is the it that they want

you to skip. Making a decision? Turning your will and life over?

 Nonsensical slogan.
 I get what I need and inevitable find out it was what I wanted all the
  1. —→ Is this like brainwashing? You are told what to like and you

decide to like it, even if you didn't like it in the first place? How

 does needs and wants equal each other. Is this a subtle form of telling
 people not to want anything. Not to desire more than what they need.
 This runs counter to American culture. Is this to tell people to give
 up being capitalists since it is a bad thing. If so, then who decides
 needs and wants? God? What is god -- a dictator to people? Is that the
 god that people want - a dictator?
 If I take a drink, I take my life back.
  1. —–> When I first read that, I thought „I get my life back.“ No, it

is the self-will done up slogan style. God gives people free will.

 However once you decide to turn your life over, you loose that free
 will. God then becomes evil since god does not allow choice. So if you
 drink, you are bad and god will have nothing to do with you since you
 took your will back. Now, is that an evil god or what? Unforgiving one
 at least.
 Do what you can, let go of what you can't, and leave the results to a
 higher power.
  1. —→ Or come back to it later and see what else you can do. You

cannot control results but you can contribute to them. This slogan

 teaches people to be passive in that they are not invested in the
 outcome. Since they are not invested in the outcome, then they are not
 responsibile for their actions. The aa god is. So people don't have be
 accountable. That is the bargin that they have with this aa god.
 If you have a problem believing in God, go to an aa meeting and you'll
 see miracle, after miracle, after miracle. Seeing is believing.
  1. —→ Not so. There are magic tricks that are slight of hand which

people see and believe are true. They are not. The magician is

 diverting the person's attention from what the magician is doing so
 that the person is not aware of what is happening. Actually, I never
 saw any miracles at aa meetings. I was not interested in hearing about
 a rivalist meeting. There is an element of rivalist preaching in aa
 slogans. Witness to the healing power of the aa god, which only heals
 people only one day at a time if they want the god to only about
 drinking. Is that a miracle or a magic trick?
 Let it go, it was never yours to begin with.
 Just trust and surrender that's all you really need to do.
  1. —> Exactly what am I trusting and surrendering to here. Inquireing

minds want to know. Before I trust, I have to make sure the thing or

 person is worthy of my trust. Now how do they prove that worth. By
 going to meetings and seeing 'miracles'?
 What am I susposed to let go or surrender -- my will? Then if it was
 not mine to begin with, whose was it? Am I some sort of thief? What is
 the slight of hand going on here. Am I susposed to feel guilty for
 being suspicious of the aa group? Well why not?
 The third step is the Swiss Army knife of the steps: it helps you do
  1. —→ Does it help me catch the bus in the morning? But of course

because god gets me up and dressed and walks me out the door on time.

 Gee I thought I was setting my alarm, and dressing myself and being
 responsible enough to check the time. What is this -- god is
 responsibile for everything, and I am just chopped liver. Well that
 certainly says alot. It says this god is awful and dispicable to have
 such a low opinion of me. I thought god loved me. This isn't love, it's
 Three frogs were on a tree limb and decided to jump off. How many are
 left? All three of them (they only made a decision to jump off.)
  1. —→ If a plane crashes on the border between Canada and the United

States, where would you bury the surviviors. You don't bury surviviors.

 It is a question to distract people. A slight of hand. The idea of
 making a decision among most people is to carry that decision out. You
 make a decision to write a letter. You write the letter. Even when the
 U.S. Congress decides something, it becomes law (within reason). When a
 judge decides a case, that decision is carried out. So stop with the
 silliness of frogs deciding to jump out of trees. They jump.
 Of course splitting the two makes it easier for someone to slide in a
 god belief. These are subtle techniques to get the more ardent non god
 believer to eventually believe. See now deciding about it was not
 difficult. You can live with that. After getting used to that, you can
 start believing in god.....
 Step Three
 "> They told me to turn my will and my life over to god as I understood
 him. I understand that there isn't any. At one point I had a frantic
 stepper freaking out and gibbering about how can you turn it over if
 you don't believe in god? I said it was simple. Just let go. Stop
 thinking I have to have the ultimate solution to every and any problem.
 Stop feeling as if I have to do everything and do it now. Be really
 flexible and choose what problems I want to solve, and what I want to
 let go of, and what I want to wait a while on."
 A lot has been said about step four and the inventory thing.  The
 slogans involving this step revolve around fear, taking other people's
 inventory, and uncovering. However, there nothing on moral.  In fact,
 aa's definition of morality is not to take other people's inventories
 and looking to your part.  Having a moral life is much more than than
 being critical of others
 and looking inward.  There is the doing part.  You do not lie, cheat,
 steal, kill, and all that.  You promote goodness in your community and
 among your loved ones.  AA misses the boat on loving your neighbor.
 They also miss the boat on accountability.
 Step four - the searching moral inventory one.
 Nothing pushed down inside of us stays down for very long.
 ------> Actually yes, and no.  People can keep stuff frozen inside for
 a long time.  A very long time. Part of the problem is that it leaks
 out in odd ways -- drinking too much, eating too much, sleeping, being
 very busy.  However, what this has to do with an inventory is beyond
 me.  However, it is based on the fear factor -- if you don't face, it
 is going to come out anyway.
 Put down the magnifying glass you use to look at others and look in the
 When you're taking someone else's inventory, who's taking yours?
 Taking other's inventory: You spot it, you got it.
 ------> This seems to be a recurrent theme in aa.  The idea of being
 hypercritical of each other.  Actually in group therapy, you have this
 activity all the time. That is why you have a third party such as a
 doctor to mediate things.  Also Christianity and other religions do
 discuss being critical of others. However, they combine injunctions
 against doing that with examples of love and compassion.  What is
 oddly lacking in aa slogans is ones about compassion for others.
 The existence of these slogans of inventory taking says to me that aa
 is full of people who indulge in this activity.  Well most groups of
 people indulge in this activity.  The problem is that they ignore it
 and go about the business at hand.  AA seems to be fixated on all this
 inventory stuff to an unhealthy degree. It is almost as if everyone is
 primed to lit into each
 other at a moments' notice.  I think it has to do with the inability
 of people once they disclose their thoughts and feelings to feel
 safe.  AA has no safety mechanism to ensure safety, instead just shuts
 people down.  To feel safe in aa, people attack each other.
 However the inventory taking injunctions also are thought stoppers.
 When someone has a legitimate concern, they are told to stop taking
 other's inventories.  They are not heard out.  It could be that the
 concern is a grave one that the group should know about.  AA does not
 want to be bothered with anyone's concerns about how things are being
 Uncover to recover.
 ------>Recover what?  Actually, it is a process of getting well that
 you look at your past and self. However, this needs to be done with
 care and love.
 As the unexamined life is not worth living, the unlived life is not
 worth examining.
 -----> How this one got slipped into aa is beyond me. But let us look
 at the subtext, if you do not do the fourth step, you might as well lay
 down and die. Since you were drunk all the time, you lived life.  So
 start examining your actions.  Sort of a perverted way of looking at
 Conquer yourself rather than the world.
 -------> So flawed people are not supposed to help make the world
 better.  This is self-focus to the nth degree.  It also makes for a
 passive group of people. They are paralized since they have make
 themselves better.  But also note the word - conquer.  It makes sound
 as if everyone is busy battling the world and themselves.  Are we at
 war and with whom?  I believe that this the religious aspects peeping
 through - we are at spiritual warfare, and must conquer ourselves
 lest we be conquered by the evil one.
 There is no mistake so great as that of being always right.
 -----> How is always being right a mistake?  I believe it was Ken
 Ragge in his book who pointed out that mistake really means sin.  If
 you replace the word mistake with sin, it makes more sense.  Then
 mistake must be one of those words that makes the religious parts of aa
 harder to detect.
 Step 4: Soul Searching -- There is a saying in the 12-step programs
 that recovery is a process, not an event. The same can be said for this
 step -- more will surely be revealed.
 ------> What will be revealed?  That I am a flawed person living in a
 fallen world?  That is obvious. Unless I want to undergo extensive
 therapy, I do not think that having more revealed to be particularly
 helpful.  In fact I think it is quite destructive. Once you have the
 information, what do you do with it? How do you cope?  I think that
 unless there is a compelling reason to do this, then don't.
 Step Five (admitted stuff to other people)
 To practice Step 5 is to share at a meeting.
 Share or die.
 Talk or die.
 Be a channel not a dam.
 If you pass, it's your ass.
 -------> Well that certainly says a lot, you share or you die.  Bald
 statement.  Why share?  What value is in sharing?  Why is it equated
 with death?  The subtext is that the meetings and the fellowship is
 the heart of the aa religion.  The meetings are really a form of group
 therapy without a referee.  In group therapy, you bond with telling
 each other your deep dark secrets.  The group is supposed to help you
 work through them.  However, aa is only made up of people
 uneducated in the therapy process.  As you can see, what happens is
 people bond and they know you.  The group ethics becomes one of if you
 don't share, you will drink.  Which is not true.  It could be that
 you are listening and considering what is being said.
 The sharing thing is a two edged sword since you are told not to carry
 the mess to the meeting, and you are to put up and shut up.  So you
 get mixed messages on the whole thing.  Again aa ethics direct people
 to say what is aa approved and does not really involve the truth or
 Give to God and God will give to you.
 ----->Well of course this is another god step.  You admit to god all
 your stuff.  But what does god give to you?  In Christianity, you
 receive God's grace and forgiveness.  What aa god gives does not seem
 to be either.  You get things like a good job or a day of sobriety.
 Step 5: Integrity -- Probably the most difficult of all the steps to
 face, Step 5 is also the one that
 provides the greatest opportunity for growth.
 ------> How does admitting your wrongs to another increases your
 integrity?  Well it is a part of the process of having integrity.
 However, there is the other side -- which is honesty and
 trustworthiness as well.
 > Hi Va. Carper:
 > The discouragement of taking others inventory is a way AA justifies
 behavior of some of its slimier members. I was told that lowlife 13th
 steppers and wackos trying to fix people and screwing them up, were
 "just doing the best they could," and the focus was then placed on the
 victim rather than the snakes performing their evil acts. I was told I
 had to forgive these slimy turds.
 > Forgive them, I guess, so they could continue to victimize others.
 While forgiving is within me, I'd say it comes at the end of a process,
 after one shows, not talks about, remorse, and demonstrates remorse
 through concrete action that shows such behavior will not be repeated.
 > In addition, these messangers of evil were the ones who had the most
 contact with the frightened and desperate people who seek AA. It's
 incredible to me that a bunch of mama's boys and chronically unemployed
 losers think they know what it takes to fix people. Of
 course, some are just not very savory folks.
 >  While there are some genuinely wonderful folks in AA, they seem to
 be the ones who have actual lives outside AA and spend most of that
 life with healthy people. You don't see them at many meetings.
 >  I think a danger sign for a newcomer to look out for is the guy
 with more than a year sobriety (lots of them have many years of
 sobriety) that doesn't hang out with his peers, but seems to spend all
 his time with newcomers.
 > There are no checks and balances to protect newcomers in AA, and the
 veil of anominity is cunningly used by many cunning people. AA
 apparently won't even look at the problem, and the Moonie mentality
 discourages good people from speaking out.
 > One of these days, the real story of AA will come to light before the
 general public.
 > Best Rick
 Step Four/Five
 I was already making an inventory. It was my own in my own way. I was
 already looking to sort my life out and solve my living problems.
  • I was already telling stuff to the therapist. Unfortunately it was

this toxic therapist I've been bitching about. Eventually I did get

     a sponsor as a formality, and I did do the Official Fifth Step. My
     sponsor kept fishing and trying to get me to say stuff he wanted to
     hear. It was a joke, and nothing of value came from it.
 When I read the materials of aa bashing and how individuals are harmed
 by other individuals, I took exception. Steps 6,7, 8, 9 are harmful to
 people without even another person doing anything to them.
 Step 6 Were entirely ready to have god remove all these defects of
 Choosing to abandon defects of character
  1. —→ Is that abandoning yourself? What is this mix metaphor about?

How do you abandon defects of character? I mean do you abandon ship or

 A "character defect" is like driving on it.
  1. —→ I have no idea what this means. I have no idea why anyone would

say this and others think they were profound. A flat tire perhaps.

 The key to step 6 is acceptance -- accepting character defects exactly
 as they are and becoming entirely willing to let them go.
  1. —→You accept them and then let them go? I don't understand the

concept. Actually what is frightening about this is that they are

 talking about you. If you believe that god made you, just as you are,
 your character defects must have a purpose. This goes around and around
 and makes no sense. You have a flawed person who is told god doesn't
 make trash. Then you tell this god made person that they have defects!
 My head swims at the very thought of it all.
 Part of compliance is defiance, but you must arrive at acceptance of
 the disease.
  1. ——→ Ah this is the rub. That is what we are supposed to get at.

Accept our disease is removing our defect of defiance. Now what is

 wrong with defiance? It disturbs the cozy little aa world and disrupts
 the peacefulness of the program. Actually what this slogan does is lay
 bare the truth of the program and the disease. The disease is not
 drinking, but defiance. You are defying authority, the big book, the
 wisdom of bill and bob. That is the real disease that people are
 talking about when they talk bout denial. You can't accept this
 gooblygook if you ask questions or state you don't agree. You have the
 disease of defiance.
 Change only happens when the pain of holding on is greater than the
 fear of letting go.
  1. —–> Well that depends on the pain and the fear. This is a common

theme in general self-help books. Somehow you have to get from point a

 to point b. It is uncomfortable but neccessary.
 Do what you don't want to do.
 W.O.W. Willingness over willpower.
  1. —–> Well willpower is a form of defiance, so willingness means

acceptance. The subtext of these is stuff your doubts and do what you

 are told to do. Actually the first one is how they treat phobias --
 have people do the thing that scares them. However in the aa world, it
 means admitting that you are an idiot and everyone else knows how to
 live your life.
 Acceptance: experience is what you get when you don't get what you
 Acceptance: Stop barking and start biting.
 Acceptance: Life is 10 percent what you make it and 90 percent how you
 take it.
  1. —–>Ah the crux of the step. You have give up yourself, so that you

don't rock the boat. Accept the status quo. You can't go out and try to

 make anything better. But what is this removal of defects of haracter
 about changing the world. Not really, just keeping you from do just
 Step 7: Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
 (My purpose is not to deconstruct the steps since many others have done
 that but to deconstruct the slogans involved with the steps.)
 Step 7: Humility: the spiritual focus is humility asking a higher power
 to do something that cannot be done by self-will or mere determination.
  1. —→ That is one of the things that is attached to step 7, the idea

of humility. So here are some of the slogans attached to humility and

 Dating is pouring Miracle Gro on my character defects.
  1. —> How? I thought that dating was when you were on your best

behavior, not at your worst. Actually, aa in the slogans takes a dim

 view of people dating or having relationships. The slogans center
 around -- you are a screw up, so don't get screwed.
 If you want to feel better right away, ask God to help you be of
  1. —→ Actually the removal of shortcomings or whatever they are called

is how you are supposed to be of service. But what is service? Well

 that is a topic for another post but aa narrowly define service in
 terms of 12-step calls etc. Not picking up litter in the park.
 When I ask for patience, God gives me a traffic jam.
 If you pray for honesty, the chances of your lying go 'way up.
  1. —→Well this is standard Christian doctrine. You get practice in

patience or whatever. You learn patience. However this does not square

 with asking your shortcomings be removed. Removing is just that, not
 relearning or learning. It means poof they are gone. Not that you have
 to work at get them gone. So actually, step 7 is useless according to
 the slogans.
 When God closes one door, he always opens another - but sometimes he
 makes us wait out in the hallway for a while.
  1. —–>AA in their slogans always add a tag line, a zinger that gets

you. The zinger is usually something to humble you. Actually the zinger

 does more than that, it tears at you and tells you that you are less
 than zero. You are zero with the lines rubbed out.
 Get humble or be made humble.
 Unless one attains some degree of humility, one is condemned to drink.
  1. —→ These two go together since the being made humble is drinking.

It is interesting about the condemning part. If the aa god is a loving,

 caring god who is always looking out for your own good, who does the
 condemning? The group? aa?
 Humility is the soil in which all other virtues grow.
  1. —> never understood that one. What are the other virtues that are

important to aa? honesty, hope, faith, courage, integrity, willingness,

 brotherly love, justice, spirituality, and service. I fail to see how
 all of these virtues spring from humility.
 Humilitary is that virtue which reduces a man to the proper size
 without degrading him, thereby increasing him in statue without
 inflating him.
  1. —> What? That doesn't make sense. Actually aa is full of slogans

about keeping the proper size, they don't have any on uplifting people.

 Most people hear the keep the right size and all that.
 Humility is like a veneral disease. If you have it, you don't talk
 about it.
  1. —–>Leave it to aa to make it venal. AA certainly does like the

vulgar side of life. After saying humility is the soil for other

 virtues, it says it is like a veneral disease.
 In the listings of the steps and what they respresent, step 8. is
 associated with brotherly love, reflection, and willingess.
 Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make
 amends to them all.
 Those who anger you, conquer you.
  1. —> This is in general culture as well. If you are made angry by

someone, you are liable to make mistakes. You are too busy to

 concentrate on what they are doing. What is the context of aa: well
 anger is a banned emotion, serenity is the desired emotion. If you
 become angry, you will get a resentment, then you will drink. That is
 the chain of reasoning in aa. However, the reverse of the slogan is
 true: Those who anger you fuel your desire to conquer them. You become
 angry at the fact that there are no chair lifts on buses for people
 using wheelchairs. You decide to take action about that. You sue
 Greyhound and picket the bus terminals. That is a form of conquering
 the bus company. AA does lull people into a sense of passivity. If you
 become active, you will drink.
 Don't just take an inventory; let it take you.
  1. ——→ This means what you find out in your inventory, then you have

the information to go do something about it. Anyway, I have a problem

 with all this inventory taking. I think it makes people self-asorbed
 and self-conscious.
 Love is less a feeling than a thousand tiny acts of kindess.
  1. —→Well love is many things. This is one of those things.
 LOVE: Letting go Of Virtually Everything.
 To open oneself up to love, is to open oneself up to loss.
  1. —→What is interesting about love in aa is how it is associated with

drinking and screwing up. Relationships is frowned up in a peculiar

 way. However, the conventional self-help books about love discuss it in
 these terms. I wonder why. Is there something about the negativity of
 love that makes people seem it more profound. Love is embracing every
 thing. I do not understand how aa associates love with a sense of loss.
 This is one of the undertones of aa in regards to emotions.
 When you do not face reality, reality will face you.
  1. —–> This is common self-help advice.
 The victims of alcoholism are those around us.
 There are no victims, only volunteers.
  1. —→These two slogans contradict each other. Which is it? How do

people hold the two in the same mind. How do they explain the two

 Step Eight/Nine
 > They told me to make a list of persons I had harmed and be ready to
 make amends to them all. Well, hell, I was already working on being a
 better mother and wife. The big book said more. It said that if I was
 hurt or angry with someone, it was my fault. If I thought someone had
 harmed me, I should go and make amends to *them*.>
 > They said I should make direct amends. There was this psychiatrist
 who had seriously abused me. The guy was really bad shit, and I heard
 that later on he cracked up and fell apart himself. One of these toxic
 shrinks who covers up his own stuff by projecting on to his patients. I
 made an appointment and paid good money to see this asshole and
 apologize to him, even though it was *he* who had damaged *me*. He
 sneered and dumped abusive contempt on me, and claimed that the AA
 group in State College was *his* (no, he wasn't a member, but he owned
 the group since a couple of the people were patients of his), did that
 I was invadiing "his" meetings. Abusive, ignorant jerk! I made amends
 like a good little stepper and got thoroughly humiliated and kicked
 around all over again.
 Step 9: Made direct amends to such people whenever possible, except
 when to do so would injure them or others.
 In step lists, the virtues associated with this step are Justice,
 Amendment, and Forgiveness.  (I didn't think of amendment as a virtue,
 just something that is added to the U.S. Constitution and to laws.)
 The opposite of nine is 'blame'. Here are the slogans on blame.
 Don't point a finger; point the whole hand (reach out).
  1. —> You don't blame people, you embrace them? When you point a finger

at someone, there are three pointing back at you.

  1. —> What a stopper that is. In short, don't judge unless you are to

be judged and to be found wanting. Actually, what the whole Christian

 passage says about that is: first make sure you have no black offenses,
 then make sure you have your facts straight, then accuse.
    If this slogan is followed, there would be no court cases.
 People who are wronged sued for redress.  They get it from judges.
 Is aa telling people that since we wrong people, we should never seek
 out redress when we are wronged.  I find this slogan simliar to the
 people on the judge shows who say that the other person is sueing to
 get back at them.  Then the person
 goes on about how bad the other person is.  However, it doesn't
 address the wrong that was done.
 If you stop treating yourself poorly, it will become unacceptable for
 others to do so.
 ----> In step nine discussions, they talk about making amends to
 yourself.  That you should put yourself on the step nine list.  I am
 not sure that this is really the purpose of the step but I think it may
 be a softening of the whole harm idea.
 Forgiveness of others is a gift to yourself.
 The number one way to relieve pain is to forgive.
 Going to any length means forgiving the person who has injured you the
 ------->I find these slogans on forgiveness to be interesting.  You
 forgive to get something for
 yourself.  You do it to get sober.  There is nothing of the moral
 dimension of forgiveness.  The concept is reduced to petty things.  I
 forgive you from stepping on my foot.  These slogans do not address
 the wrongs done nor do they address the ethics of forgiveness. You do
 it to feel better.
 When I demand justice, I'd better think of the consequences.
 ------> Well then we shouldn't demand justice now should we.  We will
 have to face the awful
 consequences won't we.  What exactly is aa saying this slogan?  They
 are saying that there is no such thing as justice, what justice is is
 petty.  That if you demand that a wrong be rectified, you are really a
 petty person.  What are the consequences - making people
 uncomfortable, stirring up the pot, drinking again?  This is one those
 vague things.  I think that this demeans the concept and morality of
 justice.  AA is not really after forming ethical people, but 'serene
 What happens when people do demand justice, well they go through
 hell.  Then they get their justice.
 Step 10: Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong
 promptly admitted. Perserverance, Vigilance, and Maintencance.
 Nobody likes to admit to being wrong.  But it is absolutely necessary
 to maintain spiritual progress in recovery.
 ------>How is it absolutely neccessary?  Wouldn't it just be
 neccessary?  Mandated?  Well why do we need to maintain spiritual
 progress in our recovery?  I thought we needed to make non-drinking
 Sobriety is a gift, the price of which is eternal vigilance.
 ------> WHAT????  I think the metaphor is mixed here. The price of
 liberty is eternal vigilance.  Liberty is not a gift but something
 that is fought for, and keep on fighting for.
 Is aa equalling sobiety to liberty.  If so, then it is not a gift, but
 something fought for.  But if
 sobriety is a gift, then it is something that can be taken away.
 Hense the price is eternal vigilance. Who is going to take away the
 gift?  God?  AA members? Who gave the gift?
 Step 11's principles are spirituality, attunement (being one with our
 Higher Power) and making contact. The purpose of Step 11 is to discover
 the plan God as you understand Him has for your life.
  1. ——→ What is interesting about the slogans is that they are

chockful of God and prayer. However, the slogans only skim the surface

 of prayer as practiced by most religions: Glorify God, Thank God,
 Petition God, Adore God. AA has nothing on Glorifying God in its
 slogans or steps. Nothing on thanking god either. They don't discuss
 loving God either.
 They discuss gratitude but not for God but for the Steps, Programs, Big
 Book. AA doesn't give God glory nor thankfulness nor show love. Their
 prayer life revolves around gimmies. Petitioning God has many aspects:
 you pray for yourself, for someone else, or for humanity in general. AA
 petitions are only for yourself and your relationship to aa. In short
 aa's idea of prayer is asking god will for me, that is it. Nothing more
 or less. Prayer is much more than that. It embraces the community of
 believers as well. AA's prayers are empty of that community. Praying
 the aa way leads to ideas that God is a sadistic, cosmic bell-hop.
  1. ————-
 BE: a human being not a human doing
 Be here now
 Don't know - be.
 What will be will appear.
  1. ——→ Well if these don't appear to be aa version of zen koans,

then I don't be. However, unlike zen koans which are used for

 meditation, these dribblings are profound nothings. Actually the only
 useful one is the doing versus being. I use it when I am being pulled
 into many directions and have to slow down. However, these be slogans
 seem to induce a sense of passivity to the hearer. Just be. Be a rock.
 Just sit there and shut up.
 If you only pray when you need something fixed, you're turning God into
 a repairman.
  1. —> Actually people in aa have two choices: pray for something to be

fixed, or for god's will for them. Either way, god is a repairman.

 Praying is asking God for help, meditating is listening for God's
  1. —→Isn't this a direct contradiction of the previous one. Praying

for help is wanting something fixed.

 We don't pray to change things; we pray to change us.
  1. —→ This also contradicts the one about god as a repairman. But pray

is many things. What this one does is create a circle where you ask god

 to remove your shortcomings to change you so you can do god's work so
 that god will change you..... If you are busy with yourself, you can't
 pray for world peace, the poor people in Asia and other things that
 need praying for. In short, you don't pray to change a thing. Be
 Prayer is not a device for getting my own way, but rather a means to
 become what I should be.
  1. ——> Again aa assumes that people only pray to God to get their own

way. Actually, aa teaches people that they have to get their own way to

 do God's will. Prayer is not a device, it is an action. It is a
 communion between Man and God. It is not a means. This slogan seems to
 indicate that Man has no relationship with God, nor should Man
 cultivate one.
  1. ————-
 Daily Medititation for about 20 minutes is recommended for all in
 recovery; unless of course, you are very busy -- then you should
 meditate for an hour.
 If you are too busy to pray, you are too busy.
 When you find yourself in a hurry, Stop and Recall the real ASAP:
 Always Say A Prayer.
  1. ———>Then you encounter these three slogans exhorting you to

pray. If you don't pray, you are neglecting god. What is interested is

 how they emphasis being too busy for God. Actually, there are many
 forms of prayer. These seem to indicate that you must make time for God
 or else. There is the subtext also of being too busy for aa. If you are
 working, you must spend your free time praying the aa way.
 If you are having trouble getting on your knees to pray in the morning,
 put your shoes under the middle of the bed the night before.
  1. —→ Again the assumption that everyone prays on their knees in the

morning. Actually people pray in different forms for different

 religious requirements. This is also one of those silly slogans that
 makes no sense. But there is the connection with magic thinking -- if
 you pray on your knees you will stay sober. If you pray standing up,
 you don't.
 What is God's Will for me today?
  1. —→ I do not know. I do now of many religions who require their

adherents to ask themselves that. The tag line of today flows into the

 idea of 'one day at a time'.
 Pray as if everything depended on God; work as if everything depends on
  1. —→ Actually, God helps those who help themselves. But this does

show up the aa dogma though, you rely on god, then you rely on yourself

 but not too much, but you rely on god not too much. If this does not
 make sense, that is because the dogma doesn't.
 No person can spend more on good works than they earn in meditation.
  1. ——> I guess no one read Martin Luther – Justification by faith

alone. Actually, this aa slogan is a cruel one. It whips the person

 into do meditation so they can keep sober.
 A day without prayer is a day unfulfilled.
 A day hemmed in prayer is less likely to unravel.
  1. —→ Says who? Actually this goes with the aa dogma of one day at a

time. The assumption is that if you don't pray, then you are asking for

 it. Actually people pray for many reasons, they do it out of devotion
 and love to God. They don't do it to feel good or to keep from having a
 bad day. This demeans prayer.
  1. —————-
 What has struck me about this is how much aa is wrapped up in god. How
 does the 11 step prevent people from drinking? You have to have a god
 belief, and not just any god belief -- the aa god belief.
 Step 12
 Step 12 is going to be in multiple parts.
 Step 12 Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps,
 we tried to carry this meesage to others, especially alcoholics and to
 practice these principles in all our affairs.
 The principles attached to Program: honesty, hope, faith, courage,
 integrity, willingness,
 humility, brotherly love, justice, perserverance, spirituality and
 Surrender, hope, commitment, honesty, truth, willingness, humility,
 reflection, amendment,
 vigilance, attunement and service.
 honesty, faith, surrender, soul searching, integrity, acceptance,
 humility, willingness, forgiveness, maintenance, making contact,
 service. (Step 12's principle is service.)
 --------> My response in reading these principle lists is how much is
 confused as to what a principle is. When people stand on their
 principles or are principled, I doubt it includes surrender,
 reflection, amendment, attunement, soul searching, maintenance, making
 contact, or spirituality.  Honesty, integrity, vigilance are more what
 most people consider to be principles.  However what is interesting
 about aa's principles is what exactly they consider a principled
 person to be like.  'humility, willingness, service, honesty, hope'
 are the top principles of aa.
 Interesting grouping.  So you want a humble, hope-filled, honest
 person willing to do service.
 That is it?  (Exactly how does such a person stop drinking?)
 Spirituality is not a principle that seems to be a part of the general
 population.  Again I think it
 does clue people into what is going on with the steps.
 Focus plus Courage plus Willingness to Learn equals Miracles.
 ---------> This is the result of applying the principles of the
 program.  Again the slight of hand
 in changing the meaning.  Principles as in the major parts.  The
 principle parts.
 The result of these principles is Miracles.  Exactly how does focus,
 courage and willingness to learn equal a miracle?  I thought it was
 equal to achievement through hard work.  I guess aa takes away all
 your efforts and gives it to the magical god.  So what we are really
 saying is that hard work does not result in achieving something but in
 a miracle.  I wonder what Thomas Edison and other inventors would
 think about that.  I wonder what teachers would say about that as
 well.  Since they expect their students to be focused, have courage
 and a willingness to learn.
 Maybe that is the relationship - teacher-student.  AA member -
 student.  Program - teacher.
 Practice these principles in all your affairs - or change your affairs.
 -----> I hate these.  I really do.  If I was malevolent dictator for
 a day, I would make every aa
 type read all these odious slogans and rewrite them thirty times.
 Nudge, nudge, nudge, wink, wink, wink.  Let us degrade something
 serious into a vulgar banal thing. Actually, what I realized about this
 tendency in aa and other step groups is that the anger at the program
 is peeping through.  These zingers in my mind are from disgruntled
 people who are unhappy with the whole thing but can't quite say it or
 acknowledge it.  It is
 simpler to zing away.
 Service: Shut up, show up and say yes.
 ------> So we cannot choose according to our talents. Of course, since
 no one reads St. Paul, they would not understand 'each according to his
 talents' concept. God gives people different gifts to glorify God.  I
 guess in aa, all people are the same.  No different gifts.
 Trust in God, clean house, and work with others
 ----> I prefer 'run with sissors' and 'doesn't play well with
 others'.  In short, put up, shut up, and let others tell you what to
 do.  If you object, you are horrible and must repent your selfish
 Service is gratitude in action.
 -----> Not to me.  Service is love of people in action.  I give to
 Goodwill not out of gratitude but because I think someone else can get
 some use out of my stuff.  I remember being poor.  I don't like being
 poor.  So I make sure that I give good stuff to Goodwill.  No
 gratitude there.
 The gratitude thing of course is how aa manipulates people into doing
 stuff.  You are selfish because you do what you want to do, not what I
 People don't care how much you know, until they know how much you care.
 -------> Again why the connection unless it is one of those handy dandy
 turn inside out slogans.  Actually it is a put down again on
 thoughtful people. Intellegent people are pains in the butt, they don't
 care.  Stupid people care alot.  That is the subtext.
 The greatest gift that can come to anybody is a spiritual awakening.
 ------> The greatest gift that can come to anybody is being left alone.
 The greatest gift is having a child... we can certainly expand this
 list depending on our cultural and religious leanings.  I disagree
 with the 'greatest' unless of course I am seeking converts from the
 unwashed.  If you are one of the unwashed, then the greatest gift that
 can come is for me to disappear.
 Awakening into sober usefulness
 -----> Sheeesh.  Exactly what is 'sober usefulness'? Is that being a
 judge?  A jury foreperson?
 AA leads us to God, and God leads us to ourselves.
 ---->This is a selfish program.  EGO - Easing God out. So what is it,
 Are you a human being having a spiritual experience? Or a spiritual
 being having a human experience?
 -----> Neither, I am a squirrel having a nutty experience, or am I a
 nut having a squirrely
 experience.  Whatever.  Does it matter?  Actually if you are one of
 the chosen ones, it does.  And that slogan presents the new age
 concept of we are starseeds and the like.
 > They told me that as I'd had a spiritual awakening as a result of the
 steps, I'd have to carry the message. Looky, I can out-spirituality the
 whole lot of them. I quickly caught on that "spirituality" was more of
 a cozy, yummy feeling inside. For steppers, it was getting that warm,
 fuzzy, yummy feeling inside as a result of thinking about god. But I
 knew you don't need any god to feel all sorts of nice warm fuzzies. I
 could feel as high and fuzzy and tasty-toasty as the whole lot of
 them,> without resorting to any external deity.
  1. —————–

Carry the message, not the mess.

 The message is under the ashtray.
 The message is up front.
 -----> Actually I have no idea what these mean.  The message is under
 the ashtray?  up front?  How about under the soda can? back behind?
 Some of us get so spiritual, we are of no earthly value to anyone.
 ----->This is a real zinger.  After hearing all about how spiritual
 everyone has to be.  I think this slogan is directed towards what
 wilson called 'bleeding deacons'.  Actually what is interesting about
 that prejorative is how it shows Wilson's contempt for organized
 religion.  He flirted around trying to convert to RC and other
 mainstream Christian religions but was still firmly in the cult of the
 Oxford Group. Actually, being a church deacon is an honorable thing.
 Many people think so.  It requires a calling and study.  I wonder if
 'bleeding' was in reference to
 Christ's Wounds.  But the whole thing is a way to separate people from
 their own religions.
 Most people hope to avoid hell; spiritual people have been there.
 ------>What?  What is that saying?  That we are so special because we
 survived hell?  We are the Choosen Ones?
 The more have on the inside, the less you need on the outside.
 ------> This is a slap against 'rich' people. Actually, aa is full of
 contempt for people with
 money. What it reminds me of is the glorification of poverty to keep
 the masses from uprising and demand their share.
 How we treat others is a consequence of the depth of our own
 -----> Really?  Boy spritituality is a catch all for a lot of
 We are hardest to love when we need love most.
 ----->The subtext is that drunks are unlovable.
 When I am working with a drunk, sometimes the drunk I'm working on is
 ------>That is the idea of sponsorship.  It is to help the sponsor not
 the sponsoree.
 A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle.
 Only in giving do we receive in full measure.
 -----> Translation: get more members for the organization.  Actually
 the other subtext is the idea
 of magic.  However, giving means openning yourself up to abundance.
 Be where you are supposed to be, do what you are supposed to do, when
 you are supposed to do it.
 -----> I am supposed to be at the bus stop waiting for the bus, with my
 tokens, and getting on the bus.  Is that one of those seemingly
 profound sayings that is really a lot of nothing?
 I can only help another to the degree that I've been helped myself.
 ------> On the surface that does make sense.  You can't keep going to
 the well when the well has run dry.  I think the subtext is that you
 have to keep going to meetings etc to get the program.
 When anyone, anywhere, reaches out for help, I want the hand of AA
 always to be there: and for that, I am responsible.
 -----> I am???  How am I responsible for that?  That is right -- aa
 has no support organization -- just the members.  So this is the
 covert message to the members -- if you don't do it, aa will fall.
 The destruction of aa will be on your head.  Then all those drunks
 will die.  That will be your fault too.
 Actually, the truth is different.  Members come in by treatment
 centers and jail sentences.  The
 organization has departments -- printing big books and other materials
 for members, they have the area districts.  In short aa is a
 corporation and can survive nicely without all those members.  But
 this saying seems to say that aa is emphirmeral, a will o wisp, it only
 exists in the mind of the members.  That is not true.
 These are the slogans on groups of steps or just on how to do the steps
 in general.
  1. ——————–
 Untreated alcoholism without the steps on a daily basis will make my
 past my future.
 Take one day and one step at a time. Don't ever look too far ahead.
  1. ——→These two I group together since they both advocate the same

thing – one day at a time, dailiness of the steps. Also the

 concentration on the the day today. Both assume the worse if you do too
 much at once or if you do to little. To keep people in aa think, they
 have to do the steps on a daily basis. Note the plural of steps and
 implied plural in both -- they just do not mean 10, 11, or 12, but all
 of them. So you get caught in the never ending cycle of steps. Of
 course if you keep doing the steps, you don't have a past or a future.
 You are stuck in the present. Stuck in the present means that your
 disease is going to get you. It also means that you never envision a
 day that you will leave.
 Don't push a newcomer to do the steps too fast. A heavy downpour runs
 off whereas a gentle rain soaks in.
  1. ——→ On the surface, this is benign. You don't want to overwhelm a

person with too much information at one time. In education, you start

 at the beginning and make sure everyone got the concepts before you got
 on to the next thing.
 However what this slogan is also saying is that a newcomer may leave if
 introduced to the steps too soon. After reading the steps a new person
 will ask, "What does this have to do with stopping drinking?" The
 gentle rain is like making sure the person has been exposed to enough
 aa group think to agree with the concepts. I know I was not questioning
 of the silliness of the steps or their tearing of the person's
 The principles in the 12 steps guide us to a new life in recovery.
 There is little room for
 WISDOM - Words In Steps Do Open Minds.
  1. ——> On one hand these two do contradict each other, and on the

otherhand they complement each other. If you have an open mind, you

 question things and rethink things. You may or may not decide what is
 going to be a part of your new life. How they complete each other is
 they both point to a new life in recovery. Open Minds means turning to
 the 12-steps, and stop rationalizing not doing the steps.
 AA loves to group the steps. Here are a few groupings:
 Uncover, Discover, Discard
  1. —→How is discovering the next step in uncovering? How is discarding

a result from discovering? I am reminded of those pencil puzzles that

 have you change a word a letter at a time. This is one of those
 favorite aa tricks of combining eceletic things into a whole.
 The AA waltz : steps 1, 2, 3
  1. —→Another cute slogan.
 Put down the weapons, pick up the tools.
  1. —→Well does this mean that people are angry and want to kill each

other? Tools - are for building and construction. However, weapons are

 for defending as well as for attack. You can interpret it both ways.
 Stop defending yourself, start doing the steps. Why shouldn't I defend
 myself until I know what I am getting into? Why shouldn't I be cautious
 about a group that says I have to have full disclosure. A group of
 people I really donot know or trust.
 The steps: Give up (1,2,3) Clean up (4,5,6) Make up (7,8, 9) Keep up
  1. —–> Well now we have a clearer idea of what the steps are about.

Make up – is that in regards to relationships?

 The 12 steps: Clear up (1,2,3), Clean up (4,5,6,7,8,9), Group up:
  1. —→Group up????? After taking a personal inventory, I meditate to

learn God's will, which is after my spiritual experience, get more

 people into aa.
 Steps 4-8: the six-pack of steps.
  1. —–> Of course, we must always have the references to drinking. I

wonder how many slogans can be made without vulgarity, drinking

 references, or stupid groupings.
 Chapter five (Big Book) is called "how it works", not "why me?"
  1. —–>Yeah, so what. Oh, now I know – it is self-pity which we must

never, never have. Let's think about self-pity for a moment. You are

 told you have an incurable, deadly disease from which you will not
 recover from. What is your first emotion? "WHY ME?"
 You have to feel that emotion before you can progress. Imagine telling
 a cancer patient that they can't self-pity themselves. Well, AA tells
 people they have this disease that has no cure and will kill you. So
 why wouldn't you scream, "WHY ME!"
 The shortest sentence in the big book is, "It Works."
  1. —→ My first reaction to this was, „The shortest sentence in the

Bible is „Jesus wept.“ For me, this slogan equates the bb with the

 Bible, and Wilson with Christ. I want to vomit.
 Of course the surface is that the program works. But this slogan
 doesn't have any qualifiers. Or what 'it' is. It is assumed that people
 know what it is that works.
 How it works: half gallons availed us nothing.
  1. —–>Another drinking reference slogan. Cute but doesn't do anything.

Only to impress upon people, don't drink.

 You are right, I am serious. One way to expose the inanity of the
 12-step method to recovery is to try it on something trivial. When they
 cry, "We are saving people's lives here!", you can respond "well the
 more you talk about not doing the more you want to do it." Try it with
 bananas and get back to me on how effective the 12-step way is in
 stopping banana consumption.
 That is one way I deprogrammed myself. I took the 12steps which are
 applied to everything under the sun and decided to use them to tackle
 my banana eating. I like bananas. Lots of bananas. So I did the steps,
 even confessed my overeating of bananas to my girlfriend. Then I had to
 make amends to the people my banana consumption had harmed. Namely the
 produce guy in the store. I am very specific in which bananas I eat and
 buy. I admitted I was powerless over bananas, and they made my life
 unmanageable. Well I guess having a lot of bananas makes the house
 (It is sort of like growing zuchini - true powerlessness, as you watch
 the zuchini multiply and multiply until your whole garden is taken over
 by the squash.)
 Then I had a spiritual awakening and carried the message of eating too
 many bananas to people.
 Now having done that exercise, I saw how silly the 12-step way was. It
 did not do diddly squat. Of course, I must admit that I did not have
 the big book of bananas nor did I have banana meetings to go to. I
 think if I had those, I would have gone 'bananas'.(I know wee puns of
 mass distraction.)
 But seriously, no one is saved by using the 12-steps on anything. I
 believe the opposite is true - the 12-steps cause more deaths.
 Service is another one of those words. How does service work keep
 people from drinking? Why is it only service work that keeps people
 from drinking? What is the service work that keeps people from
 Actually, I always thought that keeping busy was one way not to drink.
 I can't drink or eat when I am doing my bead work. AA defines service
 work in narrow terms -- namely getting drunks to go to meetings. How
 does that stop people from drinking? Wouldn't manning a soup kitchen do
 just as well?
 What Carroll said that he relapsed because he was selfish and wanted a
 moment of happiness struck me as pure program brainwashing. What is
 wrong with wanting a moment of happiness? What is wrong with desiring
 happiness? How did happiness get equated with being selfish and
 drinking? I am selfish for wanting a moment of happiness. I get my
 moment of happiness by walking by a small stream where a blue heron
 stands waiting for a fish. No small children died. No one suffer
 because I took a walk. So why equate selfish with happiness with
 This is the miscellaneous group of slogans about those aspects of the
 program such as 'slogans', reading big book, and such.
 Program bumperstickers belong on the dashboard, not the bumper.
 ----->I guess you are supposed to read them while driving.  To have
 them ingrained in your dear little brain.
 Don't ever be someone else's slogan because you are poetry.
 ----->Well o.k. but could you be a bit more explicit. After all
 according to one slogan, 'slogans are wisdom'.  So is this another one
 of those twistings that aa subjects us to.
 The sloagns are Band-aids; the steps are the cure; your higher power is
 the doctor.
 ------> Another one of those handy-dandy slogans to encompass the
 program.  They forgot the big book is the perscription.  And the
 traditions are the doctor's office.  The promises are 'a writ of good
 health'. The meetings is 'out patient care'.  I mean we could be
 really exploring the disease idea of alcoholism. After all the steps
 are the cure for all that ails us.
 The slogans are wisdom written in shorthand
 ----->The slogans are slop without interpretation. The subtext varies
 according to use.  For example: "I complained about having no shoes
 until i met a man with no feet."  This slogan is telling people to put
 up and shut up.  Your problems are small.  The converse of this
 slogan could be: I need to get shoes before I get a foot infection and
 have no feet. Or I like going barefoot.  Having no feet has nothing to
 do with having no shoes.
 Tradtion 1: The things we alcoholics have in common are more important
 than our differences.
 -----> On the surface this makes sense.  You have a common cause.
 However, if you read it with the other slogans, you discover that the
 slogan is saying, 'don't be different, you will disturb the group.'
 Disrupt the group and you will destroy the group.  The group is so
 fragile that one surly individiual can explode it into little pieces.
 The other is the giant 'we'.  "We" are more important than "you".
 "We" are more important than "I".  The individual serves the group,
 not the group serving the individual.  AA presents the idea that they
 are there for the person.  The reality is the opposite.
 Remember the cost of your last drink when observing the 7th tradtion.
 ---->Oh Crap.  Let's motivate people through guilt. Don't forget that
 if you fail to give, you will cause the lights to be turned out.  Then
 you will be the cause of countless alkie deaths.  Again the whole idea
 of aa for the person.  SO when do we ask where the money goes?
 Coffee, rent, materials, salaries?
 The 12 promises have no expiration date.
 ------>Yeah, so what.  Big Whup.  Actually, this points out the idea
 that promises are limited.  That you can't rely on them, except for
 the special 12.
 (Words cannot express the contempt I have for this book.  It is one of
 the few books that I would happily put into the garbage.)
 Warning Label on big book: Soberity and reading of the Big Book may
 cause Excessive Happiness.
 ------> Caused me excessive headaches.  Loved the language but the
 meaning was too much for my poor brain.
 You don't need the latest self-improvement bestseller. You have the
 classic in your hands.
 ----->HA!  This interesting.  The big book is not a cure for drinking
 but is a self-improvement
 bestseller.  Interesting.  You may be the only copy of the big book
 some people ever see.
 ----->So now we are equating the big book with the Bible, now.
 Prevent truth decay -- read your big book
 ----->Boy am I cranky.  Oh, pooh.  Oh, bother.  Not another cutesy
 pun.  How about 'wee puns of mass distraction' for 'weapons of mass
 distruction'. Anyway, this is another equalling of this stupid book
 with the Bible.
 Once of those rare books that gets smarter every time I read it.
 ------>How does a book get smarter?  Yeah I know a putdown on the
 reader.  Actually, I thought it was stupid.  But I did see whole
 groups of people trying to find meaning in it.  Of course, they were
 primed to do that.
 When you re-read the big book, you do not see more than you did
 before.  You see more in you than was there before.
 ----->Well if I go to enough big book meetings, and analysis enough of
 this book, I will become the aa clone.  I did re-read the big book
 recently.  I felt vomit rising.  Maybe that is what they were talking
 Read your big book every day, but try reading only the black parts.
 -----> Oh, poop.  Another one of those let's slap the person seeking
 help down.  Beat him up with the idea that he is a stupid wuss.
 If you want to hide something from an alcoholic, hid it in the big
 book, because that is where he will find it.
 -------->Ack.  What is this?  Circular reasoning. What will said
 person find in the big book?  Why hide it there?
 The reason I keep going to meetings is because the big book has no
 pictures in it.
 ------->Another put down of alcoholics.  Who cares.
 The law of oversell:  When putting cheese in a mousetrap, always leave
 room for the mouse.
 ------> Stupid alkies.
 The Law of reality: Never get into fights with ugly people, they have
 nothing to lose.
 ------> Hateful.  simply hateful.
 The Law of Self sacrifice:  When you starve with a tiger, the tiger
 starves last.
 ----->Stupid, stupid, stupid,
 The Law of drunkneness: You can't fall off the floor.
 ----->Well you can get injured.
 Make no major changes in the first year.
 ------>So aa takes over your life now and tells you want to do.
 Every so often, I read a slogan that just frosts me. Really frosts
 me.  This is one of those: "God only Prunes Those that have potential
 to grow".
 One explaination that goes with this little gem is "The tree that grows
 the straightest and strongest, is the one which is pruned and
 trimmed.  ... Your greatest problems are God's way of making you
 stronger.  He is pruning you because he knows that you will become a
 better, more fully developed human being and most important, he knows
 that you can survive the pruning." (Co-anon material).
 It is quite apparent that who ever came up with this one doesn't
 understand forests and forestry.  The tree that grows the straightest
 and tallest in the forest is the one with the most sunlight and space
 and diversity.  I.E. a pine will be outclassed by an oak since oaks
 can grow in the shade when seedlings. Pines need sunlight all time in
 order to survive.  Go into a forest -- not a logged one, and you find
 tall trees.  Lodgepole trees.  They existed before gardens.
 As for pruning, yes it does help a bush or a tree. But Bonzai is the
 art of pruning a tree to keep it a
 small size.  I have a friend who grows tiny forests from maples, oaks,
 pines, etc.  He does it by keeping the trees in a bonzai pot and
 constant pruning.  If he takes the tiny trees out and plant them in
 his yard, they grow normally.  He grows his trees from seedlings found
 in his yard.  In short constant pruning will keep you small.  Very
 As for surviving pruning, if you think that God prunes trees, then why
 do so many of them get struck by lightening, uprooted in a wind storm,
 or get eaten by bugs.  Is this god ridding the forest of dead wood? If
 so, then why the idea that god knows that when he prunes, you will
 Then there is the garden metaphor.  Gardens are small inclosed places,
 tamed places where nothing grows (well almost nothing) that a person
 has not placed there.  They are managed places.  I guess 12-step
 people would just freak out if they were in a forest or a pairie that
 extends for miles.  What would they do in the wildness of a forest or
 a mountain?
 I edited most of Laura's post - but she said a lot. One thing is the
 add.adha thing.  AA provides a lot of structure and also a lot of
 direction.  For someone who is frustrated and easily side-tracked,
 this is a godsend (:) )  I wonder how many people in aa have other
 things wrong that they need the structure.
 The other thing with structure is what Laura touched upon.  When your
 life is a mess, it is easier to be in a group that provides order out
 of chaos, structure, and sureity.  When you into aa a mess or any
 12-step group, you are looking for order.  Since you cannot make that
 order out of chaos, you rely on others to provide it for you.  If you
 are in an emotional state, it is comforting to read the big book and
 just do the stuff.  You do not have to think and you do not have to
 come to grips with your emotional, mental state.
 What was soothing about aa and the 12-step groups that I attended was
 that there were no surprises.  Every thing was in its place, and every
 place had a thing. It didn't matter to me since I couldn't make order
 in my mind.  I could go to a meeting, sit there, and hear the same
 stuff over and over, and not have to think. It all very soothing to
 have a place where the chaos was not allowed to intrude.  A place
 where I could rest and get respite from my crazy brain.
 I think that structure and not being challenged is a goodly part of why
 people stay.  At least in the meetings, I did not have to account for
 the time I could not get out of bed.  With my doctor, I had to tell
 him about the days I just slept and slept.  We had to work on that.
 With aa, we could just slide by that part.  No one challenged me on
 that, instead I had a disease (well I did have a real one) and it was
 my disease that was doing that stuff.
  • I have asked steppers repeatedly,“How am I bearing contempt prior

to investigation when I have tried AA over and over in the past

     twenty years and gotten nowhere with them?" I'm told I was going to
     the wrong group or I needed to approach it with an open mind. Out
     of literally hundreds of people I've spoken to, only a handful have
     suggested I look elsewhere. No, I take that back. A lot suggested I
     look elsewhere, none too politely. Only a handful suggested that I
     might find help elsewhere.   Ray
     What you do is pin them down. Make them tell you first exactly how
     many meetings one must attend before deciding that AA is a crock of
     Of course you wont get a straight answer, but it will become very
     clear that they believe that no matter how many meetings you go to
     you will always be one shy of having an truly informed opinion
     untill you love AA.D
   * I didn't go to 90 in 90 in the beginning because there weren't that
     many to attend, but later after a year and a couple of months I got
     a sponsor, he suggested that as a cure for what ever my problem at
     the time was, I think I was worried about paying my bills, his
     was 90 in 90, I wound up doin' 272 in 270 days; I still had
     financial problems, I wonder why it didn't cure them? Perhaps he
     should have suggested working overtime!!!! Dumbass sponsors!!!!!
     I've heard a lot of dumb things from the mouths of oldtimers,
     probably the dumbest thing I ever heard was an oldtimer with 26
     years clean and sober said: "The longer I'm in the program the more
     I realize how sick I am (seems like that should have been a clue to
     him)," this somehow, to him, meant, "I'm smarter than the rest of
     the steppers because I know how sick I am," which paradoxically
     made him better than everyone else. If the steps/the program works,
     aren't they suppose to get healthier? Isn't an inventory done so
     you can identify what you have on your shelf that needs to be
     thrown out and what needs to stay because it sells? Aren't
     character defects suppose to get removed? Aren't they suppose to
     become happy, joyous, and free? AA and all the rest of the 12-step
     programs are dumb programs for dumb people! Point_of_freedom
  1. —→ Well if you read the promises, you will find that the fear of

economic insecurity will be removed. In short do the program, you will

 not worry about money.  Now how does that magic work?  As point
 pointed out - attending meetings is not the same as working overtime.
 There are lots of ways of dealing with paying bills:
   1. go to bizillion meetings and forget your troubles.
   2. Pray and ask god to provide.
   3. Get blotto and forget your troubles.
   4. See an accountant or a good friend who
 understands money for advice.
   5.  Work overtime.
   6.  Moonlight.
   7. Get food stamps.
   8. Spend less.
   9. Read Suzy Ormond's books.
   10.  Cut up the credit cards.
 As you can see the list is endless.  However, some of the things will
 enchance your ability to pay your bills and some will not.
 ----> Then how did we get involved?  I guess we were struck with
 dumbness at the time.  Or we were conned until we got so far in that
 we had trouble getting out.
 As for the sicker stuff, the slogans are full of that stuff.  After
 all it is the disease we are talking
 about, the cunning, baffling, powerful disease that is waiting in the
 parking lot to mug you.  So what we do? Do we carry a club to beat the
 disease to death.  A cell phone to call 911?  Nope, just our big
 books. Well actually that is a rather large club to smack that big bad
 disease with.  You chuck that sucker and get the disease right in the
 chops.  Now actually what we do is read from the big book.
 Incantations.  Does that make the disease disappear? not on your life.
 Just makes the disease madder, it grabs your big book and knocks you
 senseless.  Leaves you laying on the ground.
 One contradiction in AA that always pissed me off was in the
 "Promises." "We will be amazed before we are halfway through." Halfway
 through with what? Members tell you that you are never through, you
 must live the steps, you don't work 1 through 12 and then you're
 finished, there are no graduates, you only have a daily reprieve from
 this demon rum. I always wanted to ask the oldtimers with 25, or 30
 years sober, "now, are you half way through yet, two-thirds,
 three-quarters, seven-eigths, where are you at exactly?" Of course, I
 knew they would laugh, or get that shit-eating grin on their face and
 think to themselves, "newcomers, they just don't get it." Yeah, I get
 it, the fellowship is full of people who lie, contradict themselves,
 are hypocrits, and just needed a fucked up little cult to join, one
 where you could make up anything at anytime, be praised for not
 drinking, confessing how sick you are, forgiven and not held
 responsible for past misdeeds and current misdeeds, blame behaviors on
 this mysterious disease and the character defects that acccompany it,
 yeah, I get it, I got it from the beginning, but closed my mind to any
 thoughts that questioned the dogma, and opened my mind to the insane
 ramblings of people like Bill W. who swore God revealed himself to him
 in the form of a brilliant white light, never mind however that he was
 under the influence of hallucinogens and was mentally unstable and
 suffered from a narcissitic personality.Point
 I was told that only members of aa have promises, the rest have to make
 do.  When I heard them read, I thought gee isn't that is what people
 are supposed to be about anyway.  We will intuitively know what to do
 what we formerly did not.  Well duh.  Actually I thought that you got
 the promises after step 9.
 Of course I couldn't let this pass without decontructing it.  here
 goes - snork.  If these are promises then what is the reverse.  In
 short what were people doing.
 "If we are painstaking (which means showing care) about THIS phase (the
 amends phase) of our
 development, we will be AMAZED before we are half way through.
 ----------> As point puts it: what is half way.  What do you mean by
 half-way? What bad thing were we doing that caused us to have this
 promise?  We are bored with making amends.
 We are going to know a NEW freedom and a NEW happiness.
 -----> What is this new freedom and new happiness? What is the
 definition of this freedom and happiness? If it is new, then why wasn't
 the old freedom and happiness enough?  What happened to the old
 freedom and happiness?
 Why promise?  We are bored with the old freedom and happiness.
 We will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it.
 -----> Is this bill telling himself that everything is o.k.  I wonder
 about this.  Actually this is something that people do work for --
 living with all of their life.
 Why promise?  Our pasts are so horrible that we want to erase them
 from our lives.
 We will comprehend the word serenity and we will know peace.
 -----> I guess our brains were not working very well. This is a slap at
 people who think.  We can't
 comprehend serenity.  Anyway, this is the goal of aa and other groups:
 serenity.  What is interesting about this is that serenity is the goal
 of Moonies and other cults.
 Why promise? We are squirrels squirreling about burying nuts and
 chasing each other around trees.
 No matter how far down the scale we have gone, we will see how our
 experience can benefit others.
 ------> Well is this a promise or a statement of fact. I fail to see
 how this is a promise.
 Why promise:  We are slime.  We have oozed from the premodal sludge
 of life.
 That feeling of uselessness and self-pity will disappear.
 -----> How does the feeling of uselessness disappear? Self-pity?
 Again these are the evil things of the program.  You have to be
 useful.  You can't feel pain.
 Why promise:  We sit around crying woe is me.
 We will lose interest in selfish things and gain interest in our
 -----> Well isn't that what everyone else is doing? Define interest in
 fellows.  What does that entail.
 Why promise: We spend our money on the lottery and don't share our
 Self-seeking will slip away.
 ----> What is self-seeking?  What does this phrase mean?  If you are
 seeking yourself, you are lost.  You need to know yourself.
 Why promise: we are self-centered twits who need a whack on the side of
 the head.
 Our WHOLE attitude and outlook upon life will change.
 ----> Our whole attitude?? If I am an optimist, does that mean I will
 become a pessimist by following the steps?  What is the assumption
 behind this promise?
 Why promise:  We have lousy attitudes: we are selfish twits who need
 to see the light.
 Fear of people and of economic insecurity will leave us.
 ----> How is that supposed to happen?  Why couple economic insecurity
 and fear of people together? Actually taking a course in finances may
 help the economic insecurity.
 Why promise: We are lonely idiots on the dole.
 We will intuitively know how to handle situations which used to baffle
 ----->Well you don't need a program to do that. People can put thought
 into what they do.
 Why promise:  We are screw ups.
 We will suddenly realize that God is doing for us what we could not do
 for ourselves.
 -----> There you have it.  That is the big kahuna. That is what the
 program is all about.  However, if you are a believer, you do not neet
 the twelve steps to know that.  It is interesting in the turn of the
 word 'suddenly'.  Why that word?  Does that have to with the
 spiritual experience of bill?
 Why promise:  We are atheistic ingrates.
 Are these extravagant promises? We think not. They are being fulfilled
 among us - sometimes quickly , sometimes slowly . They will ALWAYS
 materialize IF we work for them."
 -----> They are not even promises.  Let alone extravagant ones.  But
 how do you work for them - by doing the steps.  Always is a big
 work.  Actually, this really a stupid con to get people do the stupid
 I heard that slogan all over the place. I took it to mean not to get
 involved in cliques and being critical of people. So I dwelled on doing
 the program.
 What I have finally come to realize is that the divide between
 principles and personalities is the same silly one between spiritual
 and religious. Reading the Back To Basics sites and the sites critical
 of today's aa all want the same thing. They want to go the days of
 yesteryear where aa is nice and clean and civilized and everyone loved
 each other and got sober. Well it ain't gonna happen because it didn't
 happen. They are sick of todays aa with all the recovery slogans, and
 recovery language, and the criminals sentenced to aa. They want an
 imaginary aa that was all principles and no people.
 The aa mythos demands that people believe that early aa was the best.
 That today's aa is the pits. If you read nothing but the aa creation
 myths, you think that everyone just plain liked each other and they
 were very moral people. The mythos says that there are aa principles to
 Actually as henny pointed out, there are no principles in aa. None. It
 is all like water -- ever changing, never the same. Sobriety is not a
 principle. It is not truth. It is not morality. There are plenty of
 sober con people.
  1. – hennipen14 wrote:
 > Devin ~ I couldn't agree more! In meetings I kept hearing "principles
 before personalities" over and over. And when I expressed my concerns
 to my sponsor about some of the creepy folks in the program, she would
 admonish me with "Principles before personalities!" This went on for a
 long while, until one day someone said it again and I really listened.
 I needed focus on the principles instead of the people, how simple
 could it be! So I focused. I ignored the nutso, lecherous, creepy folks
 and concentrated on the principles set forth in the 12 steps and the
 Big Book. Since my attention was no longer distracted by those around
 me, I was able to truly get a feel for the core concepts of the
 program. I became informed, and I wanted to shout, "The principles
 suck, too!", but I didn't for fear that the personalities might have an
 issue with that. Henny
 Reply inside, some editing - snork
 --- Just Laura <> wrote:
 > This issue has come up before, "But what, exactly, makes alcohol
 different from other "drugs" besides its legality?", asks
 -------> Nothing, but its history.  Remember alcohol has had a long
 history in civilization starting with the Egyptians who drank beer.
 Opium and other drugs seemed not be as accepted for as long a period of
 time.  Opium was accepted at one time but people along the way decided
 that it was not longer acceptable. Alcohol such as beer when properly
 brewed provides nourishment.  It was drank for that as well.  Beer
 now is not brewed with nourishment in mind.
 > Point says, "A drug is a drug is a drug, alcoholics are fulling
 themselves if they they think they're
 better than someone who used some other drug, they don't get it, it
 doesn't matter what drugs  you use, addiction is addiction..."
 > It was in AA, not NA, that I heard that a drug is a drug is a drug.
 While many alcoholics did stick their noses up at drug addicts, there
 were some AA members who saw all drugs as being all the same, which
 meant you couldn't even take an aspirin for a headache.  One idiot
 told me my asthma medicine is "addictive", which angered the hell out
 of me.  So I'm supposed to just let myself go into status asthmaticus
 and hope I don't die?
 > Drugs are not all alike.  At times I've used Adderall for my ADD.
 That's speed.  I can use it with
 some small success, and with no addiction whatsoever. My Sweetie uses
 opiates for his chronic pain.  But if he were to use my Adderall, he'd
 be sick for at least a couple of days.  And I cannot use Vicodin at
 all. It makes me sick and sleepy and doesn't stop the pain. So not all
 people have the same reaction to drugs.
 > This drug is a drug attitude makes it hard for people who have to
 take medication.  There were those who claimed that anybody who used
 any sort of medication "isn't sober".  They couldn't comprehend that
 it is indeed possible to be addicted to alcohol but not to something
 taken for medicinal purposes. They couldn't comprehend that many of us
 put a drug in our mouths, not because we have an intense and unbearable
 craving for more and more of the drug, but because we need to stop the
 asthma, or control the blood pressure, or in Snork's case, stop the
 -----> I think the drug is a drug goes beyond whether it causes
 cravings.  I think it is because people have to rely on a higher
 power.  Taking meds does encourage people to have sole reliance on
 god.  This is the faith healing aspect of aa.  Belief in the program
 will cure you.  Taking meds is a demonstration that the program does
 not work.  It is a religion like Christian Science.  You pray your
 illnesses away.
 I don't blame you. What I find interesting is how the alkies have
 attached the name of Johns Hopkins University Hospital to the
 questions. If you read the list and think about it, it is not the
 standard sort of dignosis questionaire that is generally used. The
 questions are more nuanced and specfic. This seems to be a general all
 purpose proganda one that the aa types managed to promote as legit.
 Let me point out what a doctor would ask and not ask: The famous 20
 Do you lose time from work due to drinking?
  1. —> Yes a doctor would be interested in this.
 Is drinking making your home life unhappy?
  1. —→ This one is hard to quantify. How would the patient know this?

The doctor or therapist would have to explore what is 'unhappy'.

 Do you drink because you are shy with other people?
  1. —→ That is not a question a doctor would ask. Shyness is not a

medical condition that doctors usually treat. Usually if that is the

 problem -- GAD, there are other symptoms that are manifest and the
 doctor would explore those.
 Is drinking affecting your reputation?
  1. —> No, how would the doctor be able to find out any symptoms with

that one? How would the drinker know?

 Have you ever felt remorse after drinking?
  1. —→Remorse is a symptom of other things. The doctor would explore

that angle and not the drinking one. Drinking is more of a symptom of

 something else.
 Have you gotten into financial difficulties as a result of drinking?
  1. —–> This would be a symptom of other mental illnesses. The

financial difficulties is actually a separate problem from drinking.

 Lots of sober people have problems with finances. Most people who go
 bankrupt is because of unplanned illnesses or loss of jobs, not because
 of drinking. This question generalizes the idea that drinking causes
 financial difficulties. It also makes drinking the root cause.
 Do you turn to lower companions and an inferior environment when
  1. —→ That is an aa question. No doctor has ever used those words with

me or anyone else I knew. 'lower companions' 'inferior environment'.

 That is unmaterial to finding out what is wrong with the person. Why
 would a doctor ask this question?
 Does your drinking make you careless of your family's welfare?
  1. —–> Again the question ties drinking into something unrelated. It

is hard to correlate the two. If the question was more specific such as

 careless of driving or receiving tickets, then there is actual data for
 the doctor to work with. This is a soft leading question which a doctor
 would not ask.
 Has your ambition decreased since drinking?
  1. —> This lives in the world of 'how long have you stop beating your

wife.' definitely aa and not a doctor.

 Do you crave a drink at a definite time daily?
  1. —> Yes a doctor would ask this. They are seeking answers that may

lie in the body or in the habits of the person.

 Do you want a drink the next morning?
  1. —> Again yes. This is a two layered question - the surface one of

does your body need something, and the subtext of you are addicted to

 the stuff.
 Does your drinking cause you difficulty in sleeping?
  1. —→ Yes, a doctor would ask this.
 Has your efficiency decreased since drinking?
  1. —> How long have you stop beating your wife.
 Is drinking jeopardizing your job or business?
  1. —→ This maybe a question that is asked if the person is worried

about the issue.

 Do you drink to escape from worries or troubles?
  1. —> Yes a doctor would ask this to determine anxiety disorders.
 Do you drink alone?
  1. —→ AA propaganda. Drinking alone means you have a problem. Drinking

groups means you are a social butterfly.

 Have you ever had a complete loss of memory due to drinking?
  1. —→ A doctor question.
 Has your physician ever treated you for drinking?
  1. —> Well this opens the aa box. It means that doctors cannot treat

people for drinking.

 Do you drink to build up your self-confidence?
  1. —–> Nothing like zipping in this one to divert people's attention

from the subject at hand.

 Have you ever been to a hospital or institution on account of your
  1. —–> This would be asked by a doctor wanting to know your medical


 Actually if you look at the progression of the questions, they lead you
 on to the inescapable conclusion that you are an alkie. The questions
 center on 'remorse', 'ambition',, 'efficiency', 'escape' are clues that
 aa wrote the questionaire. It was probably one of the 1930s ones. The
 questions also center on the idea that you are shy, withdrawn, and
 drink alone. Again aa type questions. The personality type that pops
 out of these questions is someone who is not comfortable with people
 and is a worrier. Those types of people are prone to aa propaganda. I
 have met more than my share of these types.
 What is interesting about the slogans and the other 12-step materials
 is the emphasis on the evil past. I kept reading and reading and
 reading, but the only description of the past that appears is
 'regretting, harmed'. Nothing neutral about the past.
 Most people I know, not in the program, sometimes get nostosglic about
 their past. You see the commercials for the music of the past when the
 people were young -1940s, 1950s, 1960, 1970s. People in the old age
 homes are surrounded by good memories of the past - theirs and in
 general. You have peole reminising about Christmas or another holiday
 that they remember.
 What troubles me about these slogans about not regretting the past is
 that they really are asking the person to give up their past. Their
 history. What made them who they are. The past is is important to a
 person as is the present and future.
 This is what one old timer in aa said about the concept of the past in
 aa: "As in so many things, especially with we alcoholics, our History
 is our Greatest Asset!.. We each arrived at the doors of AA with an
 intensive and lengthy "History of Things That Do Not Work" .. Today, In
 AA and In Recovery, Our History has added an intensive and lengthy
 "History of Things That DO Work!!" and We will not regret the past nor
 wish to shut the door on it!!"
 From what you can see, he assumes that the only history that matters is
 the one started in the program. That the history before that should be
 regarded as a failure. If you regard your history before the program as
 a failure, that makes you a failure. Therefore the only chance at
 succeeding is in the program.
  1. – Just Laura <[5]> wrote:
 > What I got from the website is that WFS is another one size fits all
 program, where you're supposed to learn to think in slogans and
 describe your experience in slogans by affirming those slogans over and
 over and over, day after day, all day.
 > I get that LandShark is likewise full of upbeat slogans. I know that
 my friend gets this kind of enthusiastic weird look on his face when he
 talks about it. He doesn't run too much of the slogan stuff on me, but
 I know that LandShark has its own jargon. "Enroll" is one of their
 buzz-words. "Are you enrolled? I want to enroll you in the
 possibility...." "Story" is another word they use to invalidate any and
 all of your past experiences. I get that they believe you can erase
 your past.
 > WFS says, "9. The past is gone forever. No longer will I be
 victimized by the past, I am a new person."
 > This is 12-step-free, but here we are grousing about LandShark and
 WFS. I think it is still relevant, because as we deprogram from the
 steps, we find our Bullshit Detectors working in other areas, too.
 Actually I noticed that circular reasoning in all of the aa and other
 12step materials. Actually, what is interesting is that they do not
 discuss evil. I know the language of 'shortcomings', 'character
 defects', moral inventories, 'self-will run riot', and resentments
 point to the idea of sin. But they do not deal with the idea of evil in
 all evil's forms.
 What happens is that they have dualistic god - an evil/good one. And
 the people become dualistic evil/good. Mention of an evil god is
 forbidden. 13stepping which is evil is winked at. At the same time,
 they talk about being spiritual beings and doing god's work.
 The 12-steps do not tackle the idea of living in a fallen world with
 fallen people. They say the people are flawed but rarely discuss
 whether the world is or not. Actually when they say 'it is a selfish
 program', they really do mean that. It is revolves around the self.
 There is no consistent relationship with god. God shifts around and
 never is the same.
 The other idea that has occured to me while reading the slogans is that
 the aa god or what wilson claimed his source was is really the Evil
 One. All the 12-steps conform to people's notions of evil. The
 surrendering of self-will, the inability to say no to the higher power,
 the idea of gaining power through ritual that binds people to the
 higher power, the inability to leave. These all are aspects of evil and
 not of good. Coupled with the reality of the meetings and materials,
 you do get a picture of evil in flower.
 The idea that people have to be poor or be condemned, the idea that
 people have to be stupid or be condemned, the idea that people have to
 give up themselves or be condemned. Elements of these are in
 Christianity but people don't get condemned for being these things.
 Only if they misuse their gifts.
 The way I understand it, god made us perfect but because of the fall we
 are depraved.  All of us are, not just alcoholics.  So, alcoholics
 "in recovery" are especially blessed, having been given a convenient
 reminder of their depravity and then granted a daily reprieve.
 Some of that comes from ordinary christianity but there is a difference
 in emphasis. For any christian there would be a tension between "in the
 image of god" and "imperfect".  However, AA has put the Oxford Group
 twist on it in a way that would embarrass even Frank Buchman.
 A good question was asked recently on AAhistorylovers:  where did
 the  3rd step and 7th step (I may have the numbers wrong here, folks)
 prayers come from?  Did Bill find them somewherre or write them
 No one has answered the question.  Believe me, if there were an answer
 one of the alert AA historians would have let us all know.
 So I looked the prayers up, hoping that maybe I could contribute
 something.  The prayers read exactly like something Bill Wilson would
 have come with, and not like anything I had seen elsewhere.  The
 oddest thing about them was the aspect of "REMOVE my character flaws,
 Lord, so the the OVERCOMING of them will be a testament to your power,"
 or something to that effect.  Make me perfect so people will be
 impressed and I can tell them "aw shucks, it was God."  Not the most
 theologically literate request to make of a deity, and a good sign that
 Wilson himself was the author of the prayers.
 By the way, I understand from various AA honchos on the web that this
 all applies to alcoholics only, not druggies.  Druggies are just plain
 depraved and should stay out of AA. Cora
 These slogans are what aa thinks of new people.  In short, they are to
 show up, shut up, and put up.  See I can write nifty aa slogans too.
 Like show up, shut up, throw up.  New people are useless in the aa
 Once you are a pickle, you can't be a cucumber.  But once you are a
 pickle, you can be a newcomer.
 ------>OH, most gracious door knob, spare me these word play slogans.
 Newcomers are like rum fruitcakes.  You can take out the rum, but you
 still have a fruitcake.
 ----->O.K. This one and the previous one says the same thing: newcomers
 are to be ignored since they are 'nut cases'.  That certainly is some
 welcome to a new person to be told they are a fruitcake.  Gee, hit me
 with a hammer a few times while you are at it.
 Newcomer is someone with less than five years of sobriety.
 ----->Five years?????  Does it takes that long to indoctrinate a
 person into the 12-step way?
 You need newcomers to tell you where you came from; old -timers to tell
 you where you could go, and a sponsor to tell you where you are at.
 ---->Another stupid word slogan, but you see what the set up is.
 Newcomers are examples of what you were -drunken sot.  Old-timers rule
 the roost.  Sponsors are the people who bird-dog you so you get the
 right thinking.  Or this is the variation of past, future, and present
 If you want proof of how aa mangles the language, here is a gem from
 the other guy of aa who seems to play fast and loose with the language
 as well.
 Dr. Bob, co-founder of AA, commented on Tradition Eleven as follows:
 "Since our Tradition on anonymity designates the exact level where the
 line should be held, it must be obvious to everyone who can read and
 understand the English language that to maintain anonymity at any other
 level is definitely a violation of this Tradition.
 ------>Well I supposed that all the people who CAN'T read and
 understand English are excused since they are all stupid.  Of course,
 B.S. knows that the only people who understand the 11 tradition are
 himself and a precious few others.
 "The AA who hides his identity from his fellow AA by using only a given
 name violates the Tradition just as much as the AA who permits his name
 to appear in the press in connection with matters pertaining to AA.
 ----->Doodoodooo, welcome to the doublespeak zone.
 "The former is maintaining his anonymity ABOVE the level of press,
 radio, and films, and the latter is maintaining his anonymity BELOW the
 level of press, radio, and films - whereas the Tradition states that we
 should maintain our anonymity AT the level of press, radio, and films."
 ----->Can anyone explain this to me?  Above, below and at.  Strange
 stuff especially when dealing with something that has no direction.
 There is no above and below with speaking to reporters.  You either
 speak to them or you don't.  You have a designated speaker for the
 Wonder what he thought about Wilson in this matter.
 (the February 1969 Grapevine)
 The whole concept of the "Annonymous" bullshit is simple enough to
 understand.  The "annonymous" in ANY 12-step program has NOTHING AT
 ALL to do with the individual's annonymity.  The cult doesn't want the
 general public to know who their members really are because so many of
 them FAIL at maintaining abstinence and struggle in their own day to
 day existence. This could be dangerous information used against AA and
 other 12-step programs that would show everyone what a dismal failure
 the "Program" really is.  Of greater importance to the cult however,
 this evidence of utter worthlessness could seriously undermine and
 threaten the "lofty perch" it has attained over the years in society
 and more importantly, in the judicial system and regulatory agencies in
 this country. It would also be perhaps a deathnail to the addiction
 "treatment" industry as well, because they would then have NO basis or
 "formula" to practice the black art of addiction "treatment", and thus
 be unable to continue reaping millions of dollars annually into their
 dishonorable profession, disguised as medical therapy.  I once read
 that privacy and confidentiality, from which safety and dignity flow,
 have nothing in common with annonymity, which allows one to act
 secretly, for reasons that are unknown to others.  There is no
 accountability, no personal responsibility.  The need for secrecy
 signals something to hide. Annonymous donors should not be confused
 with annonymous zealots, for the zealot is often the recipient of what
 the donor freely gives.  Cults foster annonymity because of their dark
 nature and hidden agendas(such as the KKK).  But once exposed, the
 lies and deceit begin to crumble in the light of the truth.  Anything
 12-step is a lie and is evil in nature and evil and deceptive in
 practice. Beware of annonymity... Ben
 AA has a peculiar point of view about relations with other people.
 They warn that people should not be by themselves but warn that 'hell
 is other people'.
 The slogans seem to point to a sexless way of being in aa.  They warn
 about having relations with people in aa but discourage relations with
 people outside of aa. I believe that aa does really encourage a sexless
 style of living.
 The other thing I have noticed is what types of relationships aa
 discusses.  They tell people to steer
 clear of romantic ones.  Friendship is never discussed.  'Fellowship'
 as in the group is presented
 in both the slogans on the meetings and elsewhere. The primary
 relationship between two people that is heavily emphasised is the
 sponsor-sponsee.  Which is a one down relationship. No equality.  The
 relating of others in the group is ignored in the materials other than
 'share or die'.  However, the group dynamics is stressed over the
 We are attracted to people who share in our growth and progress and
 lost interest in those who don't.
 Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions.  Small
 people always do that, but the
 really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.
 ---------> These are relatively honest and direct. However, what is
 discussed in al-anon and other
 al-anon style groups is that people are only attracted to the drunk.
 They never outgrow that attraction, which is why no one graduates from
 al-anon or nar-anon or gam-anon.
 The funny thing about these slogans is that if you do follow them, you
 will leave aa.  In aa, you are told to keep the right size and that 'a
 job happens on the way to a meeting'.  In short, your ambitions are
 belittled.  Of course the subtext of these slogans in aa is that
 everyone in aa will inspire you to greatness but everyone outside will
 belittle you.
 My biggest problem was bottles of the two-legged variety.
 A.A. Romance: The odds are good, but the goods are odd.
 Looking for a relationship in aa is like shopping for a car in a
 Romantic relationshps in the first year: two dead batteries can't start
 a car.
 RELATIONSHIP = Real Exciting Love Affair Turns Into Outrageous
 Nightmare, Sobriety Hangs In Peril
 ------------>Is this how AA really see their members? People who are
 the dregs of society and that is it? AA discourages relations between
 members but also discourages relations outside of the group.  This is
 subtle but is a sign of a cult in that your sexuality is being
    Other religions do encourage marriage between their members.
 They address all of the aspects of being human.  Most of what the
 mainline Western religions back away from in sexual relation matters is
 in same-sex, bi-sexual, and transexual relationships. But AA seems to
 extend this to any sexual relationship.
 Those of the opposite sex may pat your rear end, but often those of the
 same sex will save it.
 ------>What a dim view of what goes on among aa members.  Also how
 restrictive in thinking they are. Why have this slogan unless you
 believe in the prior ones of how people get drunk by having sex with
 the 'wrong' person.
 An alcoholic alone is sluming.
 Only an alcoholic would believe that the solution to loneliness was
 Alcoholics are life-long loners who cannot stand to be alone.
 ------>First they tell you not to mix with nonmembers, then not to mix
 with members one on one, so what is left?  Meetings!! Meetings,
 anyone?  12-step calls anyone?  We must not learn to live with
 ourselves alone.  No, we can't have that can we - self-reliant people
 who are happy with their own compnay.
 Don't let anyone walk around in your head with their dirty shoes on.
 ---->This is what happens when you are alone. Actually it is good
 advice but the subtext is
 something different.
 DETACH: Don't Even Try And Change Him (Her)
 Enabler: The only thing I can do to help my loved one is to let him
 help himself.
 ------> Al-anon slogans.  It spoiled the word 'enabling' for me.
 "enabling" can mean to have
 hearing aids to hear.  "enabling" can mean have a lawyer work pro-bono
 for a poor client.  Enabling is a good thing.  Enabling is a neutral
 If 2 million plus recovering alcoholics are wrong, I'm screwed.
 -----> You are screwed.  Actually, this is faulty logic.  Simply
 because a large group says it is so,
 does not mean that it is truth.  However, aa is promoting safety in
 If you have one hand in the fellowship and one hand in God, you can't
 get drunk today.
 When God is holding your right hand and aa is holding your left, you
 have no hands with to pick up a drink.
 --------> What can I say about these?  It is quite obvious of what aa
 is all about: religion.  If you
 don't believe in god or don't go to meetings, you will get drunk.
 Actually, the will is involved in
 non-drinking.  But this is not what aa wants people to know.  They
 have developed a binary system to keep people from realizing the truth.
 Looking for the right person? Become the right person.
 ------>Of course.  Subtext: only in aa are you going to become the
 right person.
 If you look to others for fulfillment, you will never be fulfilled.
 ---->Of course.  But this is in direct conflict with the ones about
 the fellowship and being alone.
 Honesty, Intimacy, and Vulnerability are the keys to my recovery (HIV)
 Intimacy: Into-me-I-see
 ------> These do contradict each other.  (The HIV was my grouping of
 letters.  I guess whoever came up with this gem did not realize
 that.)  So which is it - intimacy or no intimacy? If love has
 conditions attached, it is not love it is barter.
 ----->Makes sense.  Subtext is that aa loves people unconditionally.
 RJMing: Rationalizing your way out of anything, Justifying yourself
 about everything and Manipulating everyone.
 ------> And hating yourself while being aa hearing the crap of how bad
 you are.
 Since I found little in the slogans about the person's relationship
 with their family, I thought I would see if there were any reason for
 that.  Well I found these two gems, which are really anti-family.
 The New A.A. and His Family
 When alcoholism strikes, very unnatural situations may develop which
 work against marriage partnership and compatible union.
  1. —>When alcoholism strikes? I thought it was something you were

born with. very unnatural

 situations? what are natural situations?
 If the man is affected, the wife must become the head of the house,
 often the breadwinner. As matters get worse, the husband becomes a sick
 and irresponsible child who needs to be looked after and extricated
 from endless scrapes and impasses. Very gradually, usually without any
 realization of the fact, the wife is forced to become the mother of an
 erring boy, and the alcoholic alternately loves and hates her maternal
 --------> What an awful picture of family life. Actually that is the
 picture of Wilson's marriage as
 he saw it.  The wife becomes something evil.
 Under the influence of A.A.'s Twelve Steps, these situations are often
 set right.
 ----->How does these situations get set right?  What are the natural
 conditons of the family?  Wife stops being a mother of an erring boy
 and kicks said erring boy out the door?  Practice tough love.  Or
 does wife see that the sponge known as husband is working on the steps
 and not getting a job.  Whatever, how are the 12-steps supposed to
 help a family?
 Whether the family goes on a spiritual basis or not, the alcoholic
 member has to if he would recover. The others must be convinced of his
 new status beyond the shadow of a doubt. Seeing is believing to most
 families who have lived with a drinker.
 ------->Actually the family is expected to go on a spiritual basis.
 What is a spiritual basis?  What
 does that mean?  What does wilson mean by seeing? Does the family
 person get a job, contribute to the commonweal of the family?
 Actually the subtext of this passage is that the family be damned, I
 the alcoholic must leave them if I want to get recovery.  It says
 nothing of how the alcoholic relates to the family other than imply
 they do not matter in the alcoholic's life.
 FROM BIG BOOK: How to 12-step someone.
 Sometimes it is wise to wait till he goes on a binge. The family may
 object to this, but unless he is in a dangerous physical condition, it
 is better to risk it. Don't deal with him when he is very drunk, unless
 he is ugly and the family needs your help. Wait for the end of the
 spree, or at least for a lucid interval. Then let his family or a
 friend ask him if he wants to quit for good and if he would go to any
 extreme to do so. If he says yes, then his attention should be drawn to
 you as a person who has recovered. You should be described to him as
 one of a fellowship who, as part of their own recovery, try to help
 others and who will be glad to talk to him if he cares to see you.
 ---------> So the family asks you for help, and you ignore them.  You
 tell them, you know best.  They are incompetent boobs.
 If he does not want to see you, never force yourself upon him. Neither
 should the family hysterically plead with him to do anything, nor
 should they tell him much about you. They should wait for the end of
 his next drinking bout. You might place this book where he can see it
 in the interval. Here no specific rule can be given. The family must
 decide these things. But urge
 them not to be over-anxious, for that might spoil matters.
 -----> Are families hysterical and demanding?  What exactly is the
 family role in all of this.
 Over-anxious.  Actually this is a proactive family who is trying to
 seek outside help for their loved one. You would never know it by the
 put downs on the family by Wilson.  He obviously had no use for
 families or regarded them in a positive light.
 My conclusion is that aa is anti-family unless the family is going to
 al-anon.  Why would aa treat the family as an enemy of the alcoholic
 when the family loves the alcoholic to help them.  Then you get the
 enabling messages that families are evil since they keep the alcoholic
 from help.  More signs of a cult -- separate you from your loved ones
 and make them the enemy to your recovery.
 Finding your part ....
 Many moons ago, I worked at a rape crisis center --- manning phones. I
 remember the briefing that everyone had to go through. One thing that
 they emphasized was that the survivor needed to do was reclaim personal
 power. One way the survivor did that by blaming themselves -- if only
 they walked down a different street, if only they didn't drink so
 much....... As a phone person, I was just to listen. The counselors
 were to try to transfer the self-blame into something else. So looking
 to your part was the first step not the last step in reclaiming
 personal power.
 However, I have heard this slogan in meetings in 12-step groups. It was
 usually for benign things such as pissing off your boss or check
 kiteing. Things that you did that was wrong but did not want to take
 responsibility for.
 The evil usage of the slogan of looking to your part was introduced in
 al-anon meetings. They would talk about how you were keeping your
 husband from getting help. How your activities and actions were
 interfering with his getting sober. I would sit and listen to this and
 wonder how does one person's actions affects someone else to that
 degree. I kept wondering where does the other person's responsibility
 kicked in. I mean the person could stop drinking inspite of what
 everyone else was doing. They would have to make choices and live with
 those choices.
 After reading the stuff on Orange's site about both Wilsons, I realized
 what the whole thing was about. Mr. Wilson needed his wife to blame for
 his actions. Mrs. Wilson needed to be blamed for his actions. They were
 in a destructive relationship that was one of power. He wanted to be
 the bad boy and stick one to her. She wanted to have power over the bad
 boy and make him do right. You can tell alot from the pictures. They
 hardly ever look at each other and hardly ever stand near each other.
 Looking for your part came from Wilson and probably Smith who needed
 people around them to blame for their shortcomings. It is a way to
 deflect and to save face. It is also a way to evade responsibility and
 confuse the issue.
 I often wonder: Do men who wear expensive Italian made suits ask to be
  1. – Devin wrote:
 > Find your part
 > I wonder how common the "find your part in it" bullshit is applied to
 rape victims. I just came across it while snooping into the steppers'
 affairs. There was a woman who said she was raped at the age of three
 and grateful for her sponsor who helped her see her part in it. I had
 seen it on this list and some instances on aadeprogramming it adds up
 to a lot of cases.
 > The idea that someone can "find their part" in a rape, attack, abuse,
 etc. is not just a little eccentric, not strange, not unusual or
 bizarre - it is pathological certifiable stark-raving loony-tunes wacko
 over the fucking edge.
 > Any "professional" who orders, coerces, requires, recommends,
 suggests, or introduces a client into the 12-step program is guilty of
 malpractice and should be shit-canned on the spot.
 At 04:02 PM 11/4/03 -0000, purplehazydreamer i try
 to sift and sort the AA gunk out of my head....a >phrase keeps popping
 back in my head that i was told by a few oldtimers...they would say "My
 how you have grown"
    I recall "Maggie H." Sunday Morning meeting at Biscayne (it may
 have had a name like the "Third Step" meeting, I forget), which I think
 was famous for having a large number of true "old-timers," AA'ers with
 20 or 30 years "sobriety." There was, IIRC, a few "rules" in this
 meeting: everyone shares, and you only share for a minute or two
 (Maggie always said that an alcoholic could tell everything they know
 in a couple of minutes, so there was never any reason to talk longer
 than that) so that the meeting can end on time, and you share on the
 topic (which was always a "real" AA topic, usually a step, or maybe a
 tradition or slogan). This was a 'strong'
 meeting that my sponsor (circa 15 years in AA) attended and he had
 always encouraged me to attend. I had a year or two in AA at this
    For months in there I shared as I had done since first coming into
 AA, saying something about what was happening in my own life and
 somehow tieing it into the steps or program so at least I will have
 "said something about how AA has helped me." This was probably me just
 bitching and complaining...
    One day the topic was a favorite among AA fundies, the Third Step.
 When it came to me, I decided that rather than saying anything about
 where my life was at at the time, that I would instead repeat this
 silly little story I heard on the third step at a meeting at NABA the
 day before: "Hi, my name's Ben and I'm an alcoholic. About the third
 step, there's the story of three frogs on a lilly pad. One of them
 decides to jump off. How many frogs are left? Three. Deciding to do
 something is not the same as doing it. Step Three says we MADE A
 DECISION to turn our will and life over to the care of God as we
 understood him. Taking steps four through twelve is the carrying out of
 that decision. I'm grateful to be sober today, thanks for letting me
    So after this meeting, a woman with about seven years in AA came
 up to me and says (have you guessed it yet?) "Ben, you really have
    I thought, What the Hell? I repeat some stupid STORY on the third
 step rather than saying how I took the third step, and she says I've
 grown? I of course didn't say anything to to her about it (positive
 comments in AA are rare enough, and I didn't want to look a gift horse
 in the mouth), but I thought that was crazy. It should have been a hint
 to me, that AA is truly NOT about either personal growth or "sharing"
 about oneself, it's about participating in one-hour live infomercials
 for AA.
 >or " I see much growth in you,since you started the program" or " I
 can sense your aura has changed,you have grown so much"
 >I didnt really know how to respond to these comments....they would
 tell me they have watched me "grow" since i came to the program.and
 that yes,it is hard for you yourself to see this growth...hmnnnnnnnNow
 i wonder.....Is it that i was not really in a sense growing there
 standards....but maybe i was being converted? I was starting to get
 that glazy sheepish look in my eye? I was starting to remember those
 slogans and what page said what in the BB? I wonder if that is what
 they meant by me "growing"? It also made me feel like i might have
 something more wrong with me that a drinking problem....But gee...since
 i kept coming back...and if i continue too...i will just keep on
 >I did not see this transformation  like they did.And my family saw a
 different angle on my so called "growth".My hubby would start whistling
 the outer limits tune...or clap and sing hare krishna,everytime i
 talked of how he and i should be living are life....
    If he had been more direct in questioning your AA involvement,
 would you have listened and taken his thought seriously?
 >Recently, a few friends,that i luckily kept thru all this...tell me
 they were worried about me.....that i was becoming too religious and
 superstitious....this blew me said she just knew i would
 snap out of it....hmnnnnnnSo i find it strange.All these different
 veiws.....of how i appeared to people inside and outside of the
 program...and i am leaning towards my family and friends viewpoints,as
 having any important signifcance to me personlly...And also,why on
 earth didnt my family and friends speak up on how they truley felt
 about all this sooner?  Why now? When i told them i chose to leave the
 program?Is it worth keeping quiet of it because i was no longer
    That's definitely an AA argument. Sometimes I bitched about all
 the "emotionally unavailable" people (this was a few years later, in my
 more liberal 'John Bradshaw' and going-to-other-12-step-meetings phase)
 in AA to an Al-Anon 'friend' and his response was "but they're SOBER!"
 as if that
 made up for everything, or that for these people to be 'sober' was
 already more than one could expect from them.
 >Like it didnt matter if it took a cult to keep me dry?At least in the
 beggining? better to be "sober" and weird(converted)....rather than
 drunk or passed out?
 >So many questions to ponder...
 >Purple Hazy Dreamer
 "My how you have grown" or " I see much growth in you,since you started
 the program" or " I can sense your aura has changed,you have grown so
 ----->How about snappy answers to stupid questions? Gee, I have
 heighteners in my shoes, glad you noticed. Um, well, I did start a new
 vitamin regime. Er, is that your way of telling me I've gotten fat? You
 can sense my aura?  Gee, golly whiz!  Do you read Tarot as well.
 Tell me my future!
 Growth???  Nah.  A maturing, yes.  Is growth the same as becoming an
 adult?  Becoming responsible?  What does growth means?
  1. —> I have noticed the more a person is in the program, the more they

become fixed and superstitious. You have all those exhortations that if

 you do not go to meetings, you will get drunk.  If you do not read the
 big book, you will get drunk.  If you drink tea instead of coffee, you
 will get drunk.  ... well you get the picture.
 Answering that question: What does the Program mean by growth?
 Change is inevitable, Growth is optional
 Spiritual and emotional growth does not depend so much upon success as
 it does upon failures and setbacks.
 A ship that stays in the dock is safe, but that's not what ships are
 for. (---> I guess houseboats don't apply.)
 Show up to grow up.
 -----> Interesting how they set up what growth is: spiritual and
 emotional.  You get that by going to meetings.
 Don't commit suicide during the first five years sober (you'll be
 killing the wrong person.)
 ----->That says a lot about the effectiveness of the program doesn't
 it.  Telling people not to kill
 Growth: Esteem-able acts build self-esteem.
 -----> Shall we ignore this one and put it with those response-ability
 Growth: If small things make you angry-how big are you?
 ----> Good question but is that a definition of maturity?
 It's not so important why you are an alcoholic-but rather what are you
 going to do about it?
 Just be on the side of the angels, it doesn't matter what rank you are.
 ----->It makes it seem that you have to do more than stop drinking.
 Pain is mandatory, suffering is optional.
 ----->Define suffering.  We are to be cheerful as we are racked in
 pain.  Bah, not me.
 The opposite of joy is not sorrow, the opposite of joy is cynicism.
 -------> That is sick.
 Sometimes the good is the enemy of the best.
 -----> What does this mean or is it a twisting of words that aa is fond
 When the pain of where I am is worse than the discomfort of where I am
 going, then I'll move.
 ----->That is the common definition of growth but if you couple that
 with 'change happens, growth doesn't', then you have to scratch your
 There are only two sins: To stand in the way of someone else's growth,
 or to stand in the way of your own.
 --------->Sins???? Sins???? Sins??? What does a *spiritual* program
 have to do with a *religious*
 concept of sin.  ;)
 Early Sobriety is growing up in public.
 The best way for me to succeed and grow in my sobriety is to follow the
 advice I hear myself giving to others.
 -----> Growth in aa is sobriety. My take on growth in the aa sense or
 12-step sense, is to be a part
 of the cult.  To increase in the understanding of the cult
 teachings.  It has nothing to do with becoming mature or dealing with
 What is interesting is the written versus the oral traditions of aa.
 The written stuff does not discuss
 growth but it does discuss happiness.  The oral stuff discuss both and
 throws in serenity as well.  SO what is it that they want - growth in
 the program.  What does growth in the program mean?  Is there a
 maturing going on?  Actually, the old timers did not seem to be
 maturing very much.  They seem to reach a plateau and stayed there.
 If you grow in the program, does there come a time that you do not
 About happiness -- it is supposed to come from praticing the program.
 But the program does not seem to produce very many happy people.  At
 least at the meetings, they were grateful and serene but not happy.
 Very strange.
 --- wrote:
 > Standard Time, writes:  It should have
 been a hint to me, that AA is truly NOT about either personal growth or
 "sharing" about oneself, it's about participating in one-hour live
 infomercials for AA.
 > You have really touched on something there, Ben. That's all meetings
 really are. One-hour live
 infomercials for AA. It's creepy and tacky at the same time.
 > As for growth, I remember when people would start saying how I had
 grown. It was when I was learning how to parrot the party line. Half
 the crap I said I didn't even mean but it was accepted by the group and
 that's all they really cared about. Please agree with our view of life
 and we shall reward you for it. Yuck. It really is similar to what goes
 on in most group think. You see it in politics, social cliques, et al.
 It's all about agreeing with the group. It's unfortunate when the
 people who you choose to call friends only will be friends with you if
 you agree with them. Some people never get very far from the sandbox.
 > I remember when I told my sponsor how unhappy I was going to some
 particular meetings that I had been attending. Her comment was that my
 goal in life should not be about being happy but about growth. YUCK!
 Big red flag. I used to stew on that one. It kept swimming around my
 head like a noxious vapor. My thoughts kept leaping to the ultimate
 logical conclusion to that statement which was "So I will be all grown
 up but incredibly unhappy". WTF? Who the hell wants that?! I think my
 sponsor did me a great big favor by being such a neurotic freak. It
 showed me what 20+ years in the program will do to a person. No thanks!
 I have a large file of working program. However, they don't say very
 much except that the program is this imaginary thing that is a figment
 of everyone's imagination. (There is no program.)
 On to the slogans.
 HOPE = Hang On! Peace Exists...
  1. —→ This certainly doesn't say much. What exactly am I supposed to

feel in hearing this?

  1. ——————
 Take what you can use and leave the rest
 When all else fails, follow directions
 In aa, I get an owner's manual to go with my new life.
 You are not required to like it, you're only required to DO IT.
 AA has not musts but it has a lot of have-tos.
 Ask us how we did it, then do what we did.
  1. ———–>Now these ones have conflicting advice working the

program. You take what you can use but you are required to DO IT. What

 is up with 'no musts' but 'have-tos'. I guess it ranks with 'spiritual,
 not religious'. In the word of Webster's Dictionary, have-tos are
 musts. There is no difference. What are these directions that people
 have to follow? The ones in the owner's manual or the ones that the old
 timers tell us? Tis confusing.
  1. ——————-
 Don't work my program, or your program work , work THE program.
 If you are working the program, no one else needs a program.
 The longer we are in the program, the worse our stories get.
  1. ——> What is THE PROGRAM? Who defined THE program? Then if I am

working the program, then all the folks of 12-sf don't have to? How

 does that work. Of course, the zinger is the last one -- a statement of
 fact. You can take this two ways -- we keep leaving the program and
 drink more or we want to fit in and make our stories worse.
 When my insides match my outside, I'm practicing a good program.
 This program changes the way I relate to me. That's what I'm trying to
 do, change the way I relate to me.
  1. —–>Well according the steps, that is not the result of working the

program or practicing a program or dancing in the light. You are

 supposed to relate better with your fellows (according to wilson.) So
 what is this program? What is THE program?
 Don't worry, if you don't get the program right away, it will get you.
 Tahe the program seriously, not yourself.
 Work the program hard; life is easy. Work the program easy; life is
 You can't speed up your recovery, but you sure can slow it down.
  1. —–>So if you don't get the program right away, life is hard. But

that is o.k. since the program will get you. So if the program will get

 you, then how can you slow it down?
 Today I soak up aa the way I used to soak up alcohol.
 With a stomach full of AA, you won't have room for beer.
  1. —→ So working the program means soaking up aa? How does that square

with 'follow the directions'? Soaking is passive, the other is active.

 Small wonder people are confused by the program. It is an illusion of
 smoke and mirrors. You cannot get well on that.
 Well here are the remainder of those program slogans. As you can see
 the program is about 'asking for help', but not asking how it works. In
 short, all smoke and mirrors. What is this program? I don't see
 anything useful in the slogans that tell me what I don't already know.
 Here are more those program slogans. More slippery stuff.
 DUES = Desperately Using Everything but Sobriety
 Remember your last drunk
 Remember when
 Keep it green
 Keep the memory green
  1. —→Why should I remember my last drunk? Unless of course it is the

reason to keep me in aa.

 Take the cotton out of your ears and put it in your mouth
 Sit down, shut up, and listen.
 Listen only like the dying can.
 Three suggestions for making an aa speech: be interesting, be brief, be
 The program is worked from the waist up.
  1. ——>What is interesting about these slogans is how they complement

each other. Basically you are supposed to only listen. The zinger is -

 as dying can. Exactly what does a dying person suppose to hear?
 Deliverance? Deliverance from what? These are religious concepts not
 health concepts. The waist up on adds the zinger of alkies are sexed
 craved maniacs who don't listen. My one question about these slogans is
 'who does the talking, if everyone is listening'?
 If it works ... don't fix it
 Keep coming back, it works if you work it
 AA will work if you want it to work.
 It works, it really does!
 Keep coming back.
 It gets better.
  1. ———→ O.K. Already, it works. So why do we need all of these

slogans to convince that it does work? Is that because we have doubts?

 So instead of answering these doubts, we get told a silly slogan of 'it
 works'. However there are caveats placed in them, 'if' - Notice the if
 - it doesn't work unles you work it. Well aren't you supposed to be
 doing precisely that? So why say it? Because IT DOESN'T WORK PERIOD.
 If we don't grow, we gotta go.
 Let us love you until you learn to love yourself.
  1. ——–>So if I don't grow, you won't love me? If I love myself, then

I gotta go. Why should I care if you love me? Does it really matter?

 Why should it matter? We are a collection of people. Do we need to love
 each other?
  1. ————
 GOYA = Get Off Your Ass
 ASK = Ass-Saving Kit
  1. —–> Bite me. Forget this vulgarity.
 Help is a phone call away
 The smartest thing an aa member can say is, "Help me."
 Make use of the telephone therapy.
  1. —→ Telephone therapy? I thought that aa was anti-therapy. O that is

right, anti-therapy when it means not going to aa. Help is also a

 person away. However, the help me is useful information but there is
 the response: Let me help you. They don't seem to explore that idea
 outside of sponsoring or carrying message. But what is help? How does
 aa define help? Talking the program with someone. That is about as much
 help as aa really offers. Sending people to meetings. That is it.
 We have a chair with your name on it.
 Qualifications for me to help you 1. you have to need it 2. you have to
 want it. 3. you have to ask for it, 4. you have to ask me.
  1. ——> What is it? The subtext of this is grovel you pitful person

you. Grovel and let me be the glorious one to lead you to the light.

 (Bemember that Satan was once the angel of light.)
 HOW = Honesty, Open-mindedness, Willingness: that's how we do it
 HOW = Honest, Open-minded and Willing
 Act as if......
 Fake it until you make it.
  1. ——→ Again what is 'it'. What is the reference of it? The program?

Make it? Again we see the contradictions of aa made plain. If you are

 honest, you can't fake it.
 However, what is interesting is the combination of honesty,
 open-minded, and willing. It is almost as if they are equal like
 equality, liberty and brotherhood or faith, hope, and love. But are
 they? What does honesty have to with willingness? I understand the
 connect with open-mindedness. If you are honest with yourself about
 being a bigot, then you will become more open-minded. Actually the
 logical sequences here is a=b, b=c, therefore a=c, or I am Bill. Bill
 is a man, therefore I am a man. The problem is lies in which Bill are
 we talking about? All Bills, me, or the guy over there. I think in this
 case the sequence is set up to get someone into the aa belief system.
 If you want what we have and you're willing to go to any lengths to get
 How does it work? It works just fine.
  1. ——–>So what. Big whup. Why should I care? Actually the subtext is

interesting – why ask how does it work if it does. Unless of course

 you are swapping meaning here -- the how of the way as opposed to the
 result. AA does a lot of that swapping.
 First we stayed sober because we have to
 Then we stay sober because we are willing to
 Finally we stay sober because we want to
 AA is not a program to get's a program to live your life
 successfully and to be happy once you get sober.
  1. ———–> Again the contradictions of program speak. First we get

sober because we have to with the subtext of using the aa program. Then

 you are told that aa is not a program to get sober. So what do you do
 to get sober if not the aa program? Actually, the subtext of this
 slogan is interesting -- aa is not about stopping drinking but
 successful living. What is that? More money? The Nobel Prize?
 ray, the latest con on me was to say my code of ethics was my higher
 power. i can get them to understand that my code of ethics is just
 that... my code of ethics, i don't communicate with it, i don't breathe
 supernatural life into it, i don't pray to it, i don't have a wank,
 drink blood or do a dance with/to it. why is that so damned hard for
 anyone to understand?? lisaG
 --- In, Ray Smith <raysny@y...> wrote:>
 "Va. Carper" <snork5902g@y...> wrote:> HOW = Honesty, Open-mindedness,
 > That one always killed me. I've been accused of dis-honest,
 closed-minded, and unwilling, because of my atheism. They tell me I can
 pray to a doorknob. I can see the logic in praying to a god, if you
 believe, but why would anyone pray to a doorknob? I guess I'm too
 close-minded and unwilling to pray to a doorknob, but I'm honest about
 These people do not understand because they don't want to examine any
 further than they have. You know the old truism/riddle: "Why is what
 you're looking for always in the last place you looked? Because after
 you've found it you stop looking!" These people stopped looking because
 they have discovered explainations that allow them to feel safe, loved,
 and a little self-rightous. They've stopped looking because they are
 comfortable and the idea that there might not be a cosmic force for
 good scares them. God will even things up and if life is still unfair,
 everything will even up in the afterlife. Your atheism is an affront to
 their comfortable mythology. The idea that you put your faith in a
 different diety is understandable to them,(although you're wrong). The
 concept that you have no diety is too scary to consider. I have no
 desire to have others think this way; it's been uncomfortable to go
 through life "winging it", so if their beliefs help them to justify
 leading a moral life for God's sake rather than because it's simply the
 right thing to do, who cares? I believe it is the lack of conviction in
 faith that allows so many to do bad things. I just wish they'd quit
 trying to convert me and everyone else.  Ray
 One thing that I've always noticed, especially through my time in
 12-step society, is that personalities change very slowly, if at all. I
 believe change comes slowly over the years (people generally change
 behaviors and attitudes because of maturity phases). In AA I heard it
 said, "you can take a drunken horse thief and sober him/her up, but
 then you've got to teach him/her to stop stealing the horses." This
 statement confirms that AA seeks to change behaviors other than
 drinking (sobriety means more than abstinence from alcohol). Clearly my
 experiences in AA were more about the "old timers" wanting to teach the
 newer members certain morals that closely followed along the lines of
 traditional religious teachings. Over in NA where I spent most of my
 years in "recovery" the oldtimers weren't quite so concerned with
 morals or christianity, mainly they were concerned with teaching
 humility and non-judgement of others behaviors. The Basic Text of NA
 states: "What we really needed was a personality change." My
 observations were most showed no change other than staying drug free
 for a few months, others who remained abstinent for over two-years
 seemed to show some small personality changes, but not a great deal.
 Most old timers seemed to try to project a spiritual guru type personna
 and wanted to be viewed as such, others seemed to sort of reach a point
 where they were ok with themselves and all their defects of character
 and just didn't give much of a shit whether anyone approved of them or
 What I'm trying to say here is this: Most of us come from step-land,
 but I don't think that necessarily taints us or determines how we
 react, we were pretty much who we were as a person before we got to
 step-land. Some of us are ASSHOLES and will remain assholes, some of us
 will treat others badly, being a member of 12-step free doesn't make us
 "special," "unique," "recovered," "genius," "saints," "devils," it
 doesn't make us anything! Is it wrong to try and make people behave
 themselves or share our own personal values? I don't know the answers
 to those questions, I do know that it's not very affective in changing
 an individual personality. One thing I do like about this list is how
 people discuss what's bothering them, how their feelings were hurt, who
 hurt them, etc. I believe it is a sign of maturity and growth. I do
 feel like I'm back in step-land at times when someone decides to let
 their assholiness show, but what can you do but complain and talk about
 it? One thing that really bothers me about some atheists is how they
 seem to thoroughly enjoy verbally attacking someone with Christian
 beliefs, instead of ignoring (live and let live), or educating, or
 debating, they just attack the person and their hatred shows, it's a
 real turn off for me and I know I wouldn't want to be in the company of
 someone who reacts to religious people in this manner. On the other
 hand, I wouldn't want to be in the company of a religious person who
 believes that they are superior and should be treated as superior just
 because they believe God talks to them or has ordained them to correct
 the non-believer and convert him/her, that's always been a big turn
 off. Peace, Point
 Actually, all 12-step groups have slogans about what they consider to
 be 'slips'. Deconstructing these aa ones will probably be helpful since
 quite a few have nothing to do with drinking. Notice the explicit death
 threats in these slogans and the meanness of them. I found these
 DEAD = Drinking Ends All Dreams
 The bottle, big house, or the box.
 Death, insanity, or recovery.
  1. ———> This is what happens when you slip. You don't stop until

you are dead or pop back into the meetings. Nothing about people just

 getting fed up and stopping on their own. Actually, I think that if you
 have been in enough meetings, you will lose the ability to stop since
 you will have convinced yourself that you can't stop.
 Don't watch the slippers but watch those don't slip closely and watch
 them go through difficulties and pull through.
 Danger sign: when your eyes have wandered from the alcoholics who still
 suffer and need help - to the faults of those whom the program has
 already helped.
 Each and every alcoholic - sober or not - teaches us some valuable
 lessons about ourselves and recovery.
  1. —→ These three contradict each other. First you don't watch

slippers and then you find out that each alcoholic teaches lessons.

 ('Each and every' is like 'true facts' or a 'hot water heater'.) The
 middle one is basically telling people to help slippers while the first
 one tells you to ignore them. So what is it? I all notice that in many
 slogans that 'suffering' is an adjective for alcohoic.
 Slippers in aa use the rdp - revolving door policy
  1. ——→ This is not very helpful. I mean it is used to shame people

into staying and not leave. AA has the subtext in a few of the slogans

 of 'you are one too, a chair with your name on it' -- as though people
 are drifting through life unaware of the monster in their midst -- the
 big bad alcoholism.
 She came through the back door of aa - al-anon.
 Beneath every dress is a slip.
  1. —–> AA slogans have few nasty slogans about women. Never „HE“ came

through the back door. Nothing about under pants a slip. I guess people

 really like the word play on slip. Ick.
 A slip is a premeditated drunk.
 SLIP - Sobriety loses its priority
 Something Lousy I planned.
 stupid little idiotic plan.
  1. ——> A slip is a premeditated drunk? Was it planned and rehearsed

as well? What do you do sit around thinking about slipping? Then you

 have the slip word play. Two of them have plans in them. Is it that you
 are not supposed to plan. Of course not, because you are living one day
 at a time. They don't plan. Notice the adjectives for plan: stupid,
 lousy, idiotic. I guess aa doesn't want people thinking, plotting or
 planning. Why no slogans with plotting in them?
 These are the time worn ones that I have heard in countless meetings.
 More on the deconstructing these gems.
 RELAPSE: Reliving every low and pitful scene exactly.
 Relapse is not a requirement.
 Relapse begins long before you pick up the drink.
  1. —→I find these ones on relapse revealing. That somehow aa expects

people to relapse and tell hows exactly they do it. They relive low and

 pitful scens and meditiate on the whole thing. There is nothing on
 people who drink at parties for fun or feel drinking is a way to get
 along with uncomfortable people.
 The door swing both ways.
  1. —–> This is something I cannot understand. You go in and you go

out. I think the subtext is the same that people must stay and do the

 steps or else. The unintended subtext is that aa cannot prevent people
 from relapsing, therefore it is not a cure for drinking. You have
 enough slogans on relapses, you have to wonder what aa is really
 saying. We can't prevent you from drinking again. SO therefore aa is an
 If you don't want to slip, stay away from slippery places.
  1. —→ This is a part of the group of wet faces and barber shops. What

is a slippery place? Actually, the answer is that everywhere is a

 slippery place except for aa. But no one ever really states what is a
 slippery place other than a bar.
 Knowledge of the answers never made anyone slip - it was failing to
 practice the answers known.
  1. —–> Again one of those slight of hand words. What are the answers

that people are failing to practice? What are the answers that people

 are given. The answers are in the big book. What are those answers --
 the steps. How do you practice the steps? On and on it goes until you
 end up in a circle.
 An ounce of prevention is worth a gallon of relapse.
  1. —→ Oh Fuck. Another one of those stupid drinking things. A gallon?

Not a beer, not a glass? A gallon? How about two gallons? Let's go all

 out. What is the ounce of prevention? Around, and around, we go where
 we stop is in a circle.
 Those who relapse are attending powerlessness graduate school.
  1. —–> Oh Crap. Powerlessness graduate school. PULEESE. What does that

mean? Another stupid meaningless slogan trying to be profound.

 My meetings were Wash. D.C., No. Va. and Eastern Shore MD/VA. I guess a
 1000 would be a good guess. As for the regionalism, the Wash D.C.
 meetings had a lot of visitors. My two home groups were held in U.S.
 Federal buildings. A lot of Federal workers on detail (i.e. field
 assignments) would attend for a few months at a time. Another meeting I
 attended regularly was near the World Bank/IMF and had a lot of
 international types attending. So there was a lot of regional mixing.
 Some of the slogans were gathered off the net from slogan collection
 sites. Others were found on recovery boards.
 Some slogans that I have not encountered except at my meetings were :
 'Misery is optional', 'There is a god and I am not it', 'sit down, shut
 up and smile *three s's,' and the al-anon - 'three c's - didn't cause
 it, can't control it, and can't cure it'. So there is some regional
 variation on the slogans.
 Consider the source was a slogan that was often bandied about. It was
 meant as in don't take that person's opinion of you to heart since they
 are flawed, defective, etc.
 The water thing was something new to me as well.
  1. – Ben Bradley wrote:
 May I ask what area of the country you went to meetings, and is there
 any way you could estimate ese 'countless' meetings? FWIW, I went to
 roughly 1,000 AA meetings and very roughly 1,000 other (Al-Anon, CoDA,
 OA) 12-step meetings, all in the metro Atlanta area. I ask because I've
 of course heard so many of the slogans you've discussed, but you've
 used many others I've never heard. This shows some regional variations
 in AA. As an example of this, there's the slogan/acronym I heard
 exactly once, from a visiter from Texas: "Denial: Don't Even kNow I Am
 > >RELAPSE: Reliving every low and pitful scene exactly.
 > >Relapse is not a requirement.
 > >Relapse begins long before you pick up the drink.
 > I hadn't heard the first, but related to "relapse is not a
 requirement" I recall hearing something like "relapse is a part of the
 process" or "relapse is a part of recovery" which to me says you almost
 surely WILL get drunk again.
 > >
 > >The door swing both ways.
 > This is one of those "unexplained" things. My sponsor, when I would
 tell him what someone else said, would usually say "Consider the
 source." Consider the source what? A direct messenger from God? Someone
 who is full of shit? In context, it was always the latter, but he never
 spelled it out.
 > I recall when I though of this recently - when Greg (pro-AA
 participant here a month or two ago) said "water seeks its own level"
 which was apparently his own personal slogan. It has no meaning out of
 context, and in context it appeared to be some vague put-down of some
 person or group of people.
 What is it about 12-step programs that brings out the vulgarity in
 people?  I have read several boards and email lists and they are all
 the same.  Banal and vulgar.  Why?  Why isn't there a better level
 of discourse?  Is there something inherent in the program that brings
 out the base side of people?  Just curious.
 --- hennipen14 <> wrote:
 > In Greg's case, his personal slogan proved to becorrect.  He left
 here and joined the Yahoo group"aabugsmebecause" While he was here, he
 at leastseemed to present some modicum of decency, even if hewas a
 stepper.  Over there, he fits right in with theothers on that site,
 immature and profane.  Go overand read his posts (Henry Jarrod).  He
 doesn't evensound like the same person.  He likes to call womenthe
 c-word now.  It appears that water does indeed seek its own level.
 Oh, and he likes to call us (12sf) "humorless fucks".  Oh well, I'd
 rather be called a humorless fuck than a slap-happy stepper!>
 Henny I've wondered about this too, Snork- the high cursing level in
 aa. It's almost like the secret password to being 'in like Flynn", in
 AAworld, is frequent use of vulgar language mixed with just the right
 (or wrong)insane slogans.
 I was naughty, and went to an aa beginners' meeting a couple months
 ago, and during the meeting a lady was 'sharing'. She said her husband
 had come to a couple of aa meetings with her but he didn't like them,
 so "I couldn't get him to come tonight." And she talked about the
 cursing in aa- and said it had bothered her. But as she spoke, she
 started interjecting cursewords, much to the croud's vocal and
 applausal and body-languagable delight. A "fuck it" here and a
 "shithead" there
 here a shit
 there a fuck
 everywhere a shit, fuck
 old McBilliam had a cult
 E I E I O
 but I digress. By the time this lady was done sharing, she was being
 cheered on in her newfound abilty to curse. A fairly estatic moment for
 her, I suppose. I think she felt a big spark between herself and the
 aa-borg that night.
 Straight-up, Dawg
 This looks like a convoluted argument for a very simple concept.  If
 you are a former hard drinker who dried out without fulfilling this
 particular stepper's requirements for  working the steps, you are not
 and never were a real alcoholic.  If you hang around AA anyway ("the
 only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking"), you are
 killing real alcoholics by your presence.
 It's the usual shell game.  How can the non-alcoholic faker be
 distinguished from the real-but-untreated alcoholic?  Even steppers
 don't know how to tell the difference, but every stepper agrees there
 IS a world of difference.  The real-but-untreated alcoholic has the
 spiritual malady but the faker does not.  So AA can help the one but
 not the other.
 Therefore . . . If your spiritual malady is real, we can tell you how
 to cure it.  But if you can stop drinking without doing precisely what
 we say, you do not have a spiritual malady.  As a person lacking a
 spiritual malady, you cannot be helped and we need to protect ourselves
 by eliminating you from our fellowship.
 The most destructive people of all DON'T have a spiritual malady?  I
 hope the traffic court magistrates and EAP counselors and seminaries
 and medical schools all know that.  If they don't have the spiritual
 expertise to make the proper distinction they will destroy AA.
 Shame on them.Cora
 Actually the reason why I deconstructed it and posted it is because I
 have seen these ideas of what is destroying aa written about other
 places. I have been tracking the documents that the net has on aa and
 the problems. They had wilson writing in the 1940s and 1960s about this
 problem. Then you had a Grapewine article in the 1970s and rewritten in
 the 1990s. Then you have this article written in late 1990s. You have
 the GSOwatch group discussing what happened in aa. The Back to Basics
 group trying to regress to the aa that they think worked. In short in
 the aa world, quite a few people have expressed the reasons why aa does
 not work today (whenever today was).
 The reasons are: the active drinker (1940), the young people (1960),
 the people from the treatment centers (1970), the hard drinkers (1990),
 the court people (2000), and whatever group is destroying aa. In short,
 the problem is trying make something work that did not work in the
 first place. But everyone is so mired in the dogma that they can't
 think outside the box.
 Maggie in 12stepspeak a loser would be any one who is not  in a
 program because every one has some kind of disease  that need
 treating  in a 12step program that of course is the only "proven "
 orKnow treat,ment for the life long  deadly and of course powerfull
 baffleing and cunning disease . Yeah thoes steppers are real bunch of
 winners alright.It is amazing a convicted  pedophile , rapists  or
 other assorted  twisted folks  call them selves winners becasse they
 are in the "program " sounds like Billshit to me  I like that new word
 ..   --- In, "maggieqt1974"
 <maggie01@m...> wrote:
 > I never did follow the logic of that "worst day sober better than my
 best day drunk" thing. I remember sitting in meetings when they said
 that feeling uneasy because I often had a lot of fun while using. Those
 days were better days, than my worst days sober. Guess it runs along
 the same logic as "you're a winner, no matter what, if you didn't use
 today." That's what they said to my crack addict theiving boyfriend. Oh
 yeah, he was a real winner. He just got back from a crack binge on MY
 money and car, but that's what they told
 him. "The only thing that matters is that you are here. If you didn't
 drink drug today, you're a winner."  Ick.
 > What is a loser then?
 > Maggie
 > Part 2 of this hateful thing and comments at the end.
 > I have marked the passages which are nothing more than
 > hateful bile.  The writer is angry that he had to
 > suffer and these others did not.
 > I don't understand what the hate is coming from.  It
 > is almost as if the writer is so angry that some
 > people can stop that he has to spill bile.
 I'm not so sure either Snork. I have an idea that the old-timer who has
 devoted so much time to the rediculous steps will no doubt feel
 miserable. =
 Then to do that for years and years -- those guys have got to be just
 with hatred.
 When I went to the meetings recently I could see the intesity of that
 anger in the old-timers. Another thing that I can't help but notice is
 that AA meetings are not friendly and inviting plases at all. THe
 opposite is true. Very cold, hostile, and unwelcoming.
 This Floyd H. dude has some real serious problems. I've heard the rants
 of some bitter old fucks in AA about how bad it is now and how good it
 was then, but this fuck takes the kitchen sink.
 I could see this sombitch with the huge selection of torure devices
 from the inquisition witch-hunts of old Europe, getting the confessions
 - "SO! it is true that you arjust a heavy-drinker and not a true
 "AAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!  OK  OK!! I confess it's true"D
 I read as much of it as I could stomach. It's one of the most
 delusional and paranoid stepper apologetics I have ever read. It
 contains some pretty standard stuff, but AO still has better arguments.
 I understand where this guy is coming from though. It sounds like for
 whatever reason he was able to stay sober for 7+ years and then he
 started to think that he might be able to drink again because of some
 things he heard in meetings...or did he? He never really does come out
 and say that he drank again did he? It sounds like the hard drinkers
 caused more of a philosophical dilemna for him.
 If he did drink again, the problem is not with what these people were
 saying, nor is it with his own "real alcoholism" needing the "real
 solution." The problem is with the fragility of the AA system of
 thought. Because he believed so fiercely that the AA program was
 keeping him sober, when he began to question some of the details, the
 whole structure fell and he drew the fallacious conclusion that he
 could or should drink. I opine that it was AA that failed him after
 The real alcoholic think is a myth pure and simple. Even though I do
 not now consider myself an alcoholic. I still resent when a friend of
 mine tells me that he thinks I am not really an alcoholic based on my
 ability to quit so easily. It minimizes all the suffering and the depth
 of my life's experience. It's as if to say that I never had any real
 problem in the first place.
  1. – In, „sihtrevocer“

<recoverthis@h…> wrote: The real alcoholic think is a myth pure and

 simple. Even though I do not now consider myself an alcoholic. I still
 resent when a friend of mine tells me that he thinks I am not really an
 alcoholic based on my ability to quit so easily. It minimizes all the
 suffering and the depth of my life's experience. it's as if to say that
 I never had any real problem in the first place.
 Same here. A friend of mine who still haphazardly attends meetings and
 goes on binges thinks that the reason I quit so easily and have stayed
 sober so long out of AA is because I never was an alcoholic in the
 first place. Well, I wasn't. But I did use just the same as she does,
 when things got rough and I wanted an escape, and because I was
 convinced that I had a "disease" I was "powerless" over.
 I honestly think that if she realised that she didn't really have a
 "disease" which she was "powerless" over, she wouldn't have such a
 problem with it. The attitude is kind of, "Well, it's this darn disease
 again. I am gonna be wrestling with this for the rest of my life."
 That belief system really sets you up to drink or drug, IMO.Maggie
 Since aa and other 12step programs are wedded to the one day idea, I
 collected the ones on time together. I wanted to see how the person is
 supposed to relate to time.
 TIME = Things I Must Earn
 It takes time.
 Give time time.
 One day takes time.
  1. ———–>I have no idea what these mean other than 'Rome wasn't

born in a day.' But the idea of time is things I must earn is a strange

 one. Unless of course you work in an organization that rewards people
 for longevity.
 Do not regret growing old; it is a privilege denied many.
 The person with the most sobriety at a meeting is the one who got up
 earliest that morning
 How does one become an `old-timer'? Don't drink and don't die.
  1. ———> These ones on 'old' are strange but do fit into the aa

mythos. Think about it – aa assumes that people will die without aa

 and people will drink. A dismal view of people. They are doomed no
 matter what they do.
 One day at a time
 We don't just get somewhere, we go there one day at a time.
 One day at a time, remember "the mighty oak was once a little nut that
 held its ground."
 Life sucks. But in aa life sucks one day at a time.
  1. —→In context, the one day at a time is a good thing. You can work

on the basis of one day at a time until you can get the full routine

 down. It is the beginning of taking baby steps. You start doing small
 things and work up to the big things.
 AA takes this idea to the extreme and compel members to stay stuck in
 one day at a time.
 Easy Does It.
 Use the 24 hour plan.
 Today I have more solutions than problems.
 Live in the NOW
 Every recovery from alcoholism began with one sober hour
 I have been here a few 24 hours.
 I can do something for 24 hours that would appall me if had to keep it
 up for a lifetime.
  1. —–>This is the crux of the aa's member's relationship to time. You

can't move anyway since you live in the 24 hours. The last one is a tip

 off for problems of the program. The program is so awful that you have
 to suck it up a day at a time.
 The farther I get from my last drink, the closer I get to my next
 If you can't remember your last drink, maybe you haven't had it.
  1. —–> We have discussed these. However, it does fit in with the time

relationships. You get the feeling that you have no time. There is no

 passing of time, there is only the instantanous moment of time. Time in
 aa doesnot exist. AA is only three dimensions, not four. Time is
 nonexistant in aa. It is a paradox since that is how people value
 themselves in the program. Those with the most time are the ones who
 are the most valued people.
 Live each day the best that you can.
 New Day, new Way.
  1. —→ Again, the aa program slips in the back door. The idea of one

day at a time is central to the program. You have to live in only the

 now. You have no past nor any future. If you keep people off balance
 with the day concept, then they are unsure about themselves and their
 futures. It is a subtle means of keep people in aa.
 What is interesting is how much emphasis that aa has on people living
 in the now or today.  They seem to think that if people look back or
 look forward something awful will happen.  What is strange is that the
 person in doing the steps have to look to the past to make amends and
 all of that.  However the past is used as whip to convince the person
 that that is what they will return to in the future if they leave aa.
 AA separates people from their past.  Past defines people, that is
 where they came from.  When you separate a person from the past, you
 can remake the person in the 12-step image.  You entice them with the
 idea of a clean slate.  Then sentence them to keep the memory green
 for selected parts of their pasts.  It is a way of destroying the
 person and remaking them.
 AA separates people from their future.  To aa, the future is a
 threat.  Once people start to dream and plan, they realize that they
 can do things and one of those things is leave.  AA steals people's
 dreams.  AA is pernicious in destroying people.  They tell people if
 you plan or expect, you are evil and will drink. AA robs people of
 hope.  There is no hope on the endless cycle of the steps.
 As long as people are in the now, they can not grow. There are no
 stages of growth.  There is nothing that the person can look back to
 to see where they need to go.  No mile posts, nothing.  People become
 children who can not see beyond where they are. Adults live in the
 past, present, and future.  That is what mature people do, they
 assimilate the whole from the parts. AA keeps people immature by
 forbidding them from the parts.
 Today is a gift that is way it is called the present.
 Don't worry about tomorrow, god is already there.
 When I live in the past, I live in regret.  When I live in the future,
 I live in fear.  When I stay in
 the NOW, everything's always O.K.
 Alcoholism: Guilt of yesterday, fear of tomorrow, shame of today.
 Tomorrow's a fantasy and yesterday's gone.. there is only today.
 When you've got one foot in yesterday and the other in tomorrow, you
 can only piss on today.
 The only way to have gratitude is to live in the now, not in the past
 or the future.
 Just accept, don't expect.
 Therefore our very first problem is to accept our present circumstances
 as they are, ourselves as we
 are, and the people about us as they are.
 -------->These two are destructive in that they discourage community
 activism and encourage passivity.
 Meetings are so important to the working of the program, that the
 slogans are full of dire warnings if you don't go. Along with sponsors,
 meetings are a way to indoctrinate the person into the 12-step way.
 A job is something that happens to you on the way to a meeting.
  1. ——→Actually this equates that if you go to meetings, you will get

a job. Does this mean that many aa members were unemployed? How do they

 get this job? The subtext seems to say: the meeting comes first, the
 job second. Actually, people are expected to go to a lot of meetings in
 liu of family responsiblities.
 AA meeting is where losers get together to talk about their winnings.
 HOPE = Hearing Other Peoples' Experience
 It takes the good and bad aa meeting - the good and bad aa talk - to
 make this fellowship `work'.
  1. ——–>These are what people think about meetings.
 It doesn't seem so bad except that they do emphasize the idea that you
 need to go to a lot of meetings.
 A meeting is like an orgy. When it is over, you feel better, but you
 are not sure who to thank.
 MMM = Meetings, Meditation and Masturbation (recommended for the first
  1. ——>I don't understand why anyone would have coined these two.

However, since sex seems to be a problem in aa, there are a lot of sex

 jokes, I understand the reason for these slogans. What strikes me is
 that people in aa treat sex and sexual matters in a flippant manner
 instead of the seriousness that they merit. I was always struck by the
 sex talk at meetings.
 Bring the body, and the mind will follow.
 90 meetings in 90 days ... 90/90
 Try it for 90 days, if you don't like it, we'll gladly refund your
  1. —–>These are the instructions for people who are starting out.

Actually, they are cult instructions - divorce the person from their

 life and immerse them into the cult completely.
 Seven days without an aa meeting makes one WEAK.
 If you only need one meeting a week, you may have to go to five of them
 in that time to find out which one it is.
 Go to enough meetings and you still may not stop drinking; your
 drinking however will be ruined.
  1. ——→Again the urging to go to many meetings. What is curious about

these slogans is the reason why you need to go to a lot of meetings.

 The last one is revealing in that aa is not about stopping drinking.
 The meetings are not for that.
 What are the meetings for? Churches discuss how it is important for a
 community of believers to assemble in one place. It is a way of
 glorifying and praising God and a way of learning the faith. Churches
 has ceremonies with group sacrements. I think the same occurs in aa
 except it is not called that.
 We go to the meetings for all sorts of reasons, but we don't know what
 they are, so we keep going to meetings.
 If you are not getting mad at meetings, you are not going to enough
 The time to attend a meeting is when you least feel like going.
 You have to go to these meetings until you want to.
 Go to meetings when you want to, and go to meetings when you don't want
 If you are thinking about going to a meeting, go to the meetings, and
 then think about it.
  1. ———→All of these are the same doublespeak – nobody knows why

they go to meetings, only that they must go. But again why? The slogans

 do not address why a person needs to go to meetings. What happens at
 meetings that are so important? It is almost that whatever happens at
 meetings, nobody understands. But the slogans urges people to attend
 meetings just because. No particular reason, just because.
 Most places that require regular attendence usually tell people why.
 You are learning something or working on a problem. They have
 attendence guidelines up front. The groups that do not, generally are
 transparent enough that people understand the need for regular
 However, aa does not seem to require regular attendence. Then it does
 not define regular
 attendence. Nor does it tell why regular attendence is needed. And it
 is not transparent to people trying to understand what is regular
 attendence. In short, the whole thing is set up to throw people off.
 They come to rely on the group to decide something as basic as how
 often they need to attend the group.
 These are interesting in that they are simple, direct, and give
 absolutely no reason why meetings are so important.
 Fellowship is the meeting after the meeting.
 Get to the meeting early and go to the meeting after the meeting.
 20/20 come 20 minutes before the meeting, stay 20 minutes after.
 If you don't have home group, you are homeless.
  1. ———>I was never much for meetings after meetings or before

meetings. I had too many other things to do and too little time to

 spend with people I barely knew. However, what is evident in these
 slogans is that people are important. PEOPLE MATTER! That in order to
 get the program, you have know the people and develop friendships.
 Actually aa never uses friendship - fellowship instead. What exactly is
 fellowship and why is it used? Is that so no one forms any kind of
 bonds outside of the group one and the sponsor one. There are no equals
 in aa. If you become one with the group, then it is more difficult to
 leave. It is also more difficult to be an individual. So you use the
 group to make basic life descisions for yourself.
 But why is it important to spend so much time before and after
 meetings? What gives? Is aa also a social club as well? They do have
 social events. The subtext is that if you spend more time with the
 people of the program, then you will become tied to them. Become tied
 to them means again you can't leave without leaving them behind. Also
 if you spend so much time with the people of the program, then you have
 little time to form friends outside of the program. Actually, I do not
 think of people in the program as friends since they were only there
 for one thing only. We never went to basketball games and other such
 things together.
 People who don't go to meetings don't find out what happens to people
 who don't go to meetings.
  1. —–> Um, and people who go to meetings find out what happens to

people who don't go to meetings? How does that happen? Do they have an

 army of detectives who scour the countryside for relapsed members? Do
 they issue a weekly report on who lapsed and who didn't? Do they pray
 for all the strayed members? Actually, it is plain old gossip -- true
 and untrue. People conjecturing of what happened to so and so without
 any facts.
 Also this begs the question: Do people who don't go to meetings really
 want to know what happens to people who don't go to meetings? Or do
 they really care?
 If your ass falls off, pick it up, put it in a paper bag, and carry it
 to a meeting.
 My ass was on fire.
  1. ———>So what. Again is there a more genteel way of saying this?

And why should it matter – if you are in dire straits, then you need

 to take care of your family responsibilities and other responsiblities.
 You don't need to waste the time going to a meeting to hear other
 people talk about whatever. Besides if you miss this meeting, you go to
 the next one. Why the dire threat of if you don't go when you have an
 emergency, you won't go ever again? Is this a matter of cult
 programming - any time away from the cult and the person reclaims their
 Don't drink and go to meetings.
 Don't drink, don't think, and go to meetings.
 Don't drink, don't think, and don't get married.
 Don't drink, read the big book, and go to meetings.
  1. —————>Alright not drinking is coupled with meetings. It is

direct correlation like - being married and having babies. If you want

 to stop drinking, you go to meetings. If you want to go to meetings,
 you stop drinking. How are the two related -- can't you stop drinking
 without a meeting? Can you drink and still go to meetings? Then you
 coupling the drinking with thinking. Very strange. How does thinking
 leads to drinking. How does going to meetings stop thinking?
 Meeting makers make it.
  1. ——> Make what? What is it? Make brownies? Make lace dollies? What

is this it that everyone talks about?

 Suit up, show up, shut up, grow up.
  1. —→ Well that says alot. Show up to meetings, remain quiet and you

will grow up? How does shutting up balance with 'Share or Die!'. There

 lots of slogans on how people are supposed to share at meetings. Either
 they are silent or they are sharing. Which is it? How does showing up
 to meetings make people more mature? Actually, it does because the
 person learns to be at a place at a specific time. They also learn to
 obligated to a group. But what is maturity? How is that achieved? The
 subtext of this slogan is that people in aa are immature. It is aa's
 job to mature them. I thought it was aa's job to sober them. Being
 sober in the aa sense is different than being mature.
 When you start to skip, you start to slip.
  1. —–>Well we wouldn't want that now would we. Actually this is an

implicit death threat. Skip meetings, you will drink again, and Gasp!

 DIE!. How do meetings keep people from drinking? What happens at the
 meeting that stops people from drinking? AA is full of slogans equating
 meeting attendence with stopping drinking. But what is the mechanism at
 play? How does a group of people prevent the members from doing
 destructive things? Is it magic or a committment to the group? What is
 the aa group's obligations to its members?
 Those who get around, stay around.
  1. —→ Get around what? Travel around the country? Attending many

meetings? What does this mean? Very vague.

 AA is like a raffle; you must be present to win.
 A meeting a day keeps the detox away.
  1. —→How does a meeting a day do this? Why not a meeting a month or a

week? Why daily? Another death threat. The interesting thing about aa

 is like a raffle, is the subtext that not everyone gets sober. I know
 that aa people do not see that but it is there.
 It has been a good meeting so far.
 I've heard a lot of good things said at this meeting.
  1. ——>I have heard a lot of good things said. Now so what. Do I go

home and think about these good things? Do hearing these good things

 keep me from drinking? What does aa mean by 'good things'? What is a
 bad meeting? What is implied with this 'good thing'?
 I agree. I do read the archives for various reasons. One is to
 understand what it is that bugs people. I read the GSO-watch list for
 the same reason.
 Two is read the language used. I find that language is a way to
 understand the thought processes. I guess that makes me one of those
 anthros doing investigation into an exotic tribe.
 About the language - it says a lot about people. I find that in aa,
 that aa and other 12-step groups divorce people from their native
 language. Such as changing the meanings of the words 'enabling',
 'dependency', and the like. The other thing is replacing one set of
 words with another. People do not have drinking problems, they are
 Then there are the descriptives -- the alcoholic is always suffering.
 Never struggling (well at least I haven't heard that used.) People are
 drunks or earth people. Alcoholics are dishonest and in denial. Now
 what does 'in denial' mean? Who thought up that concept? Then there are
 real alcoholics versus hard drinkers or social drinkers. Drunks are
 described as stupid.
 The list goes on, but if you hear people describing themselves as 'us
 stupid drunks', you want to tell them that they are none of those
 things. You also wonder how it is that they have come to hate
 themselves so much or have such a divorcing from themselves.
 The third is to see the level of discourse that goes on. What sorts of
 things do people discuss and how do they go about it. Such as the
 increased vulgarity and baseness of the recovery boards. I wonder how
 that happens. It is another process to divorce people from themselves.
 Also to learn how to combat 12-step group think and help people reclaim
 themselves -- their true selves (whatever that is).
 I was reading the archives of aa bugs me and rereading the letter
 concerning Cosmos. I was going ask you privately maggie - why you
 tolerate what I think is abuse. Rude and strange answers to ordinary
 questions. But now I think I understand what the process is.
 I think underneath all the brovado that various folks display there is
 this small quiet feeling that something is wrong. After reading several
 boards, I now realize that people do hear that small voice that says
 this is not working. Their response is: more meetings, more sponsor
 sessions, more big book reading, more whatever the program says works.
 In this process they convince themselves that the program is working.
 What was revealing to me was reading Wilson's eulogy at Dr. Smith's
 funeral. I read it on an aa site - he says that Smith white knuckled
 most of his life (after starting aa and running groups). I would think
 that the founders would be doing great but it was stunning to hear that
 one of them had to use the old fashioned approach of simply not
 drinking. Wilson himself stopped drinking but did other things that
 were just as destructive, much like many 12-step people do. They stop
 drinking but continue smoking in aa. While there are 12-step smoking
 groups who turn to eating..... on it goes. Wilson did smoking and sex
 to an excess.
 After realizing this, I now understand how people really, really want
 the thing to work. Any small mention or whisper of perhaps it doesn't
 gets this reaction that is out of proportion to the original question.
 People are defensive and flip for a reason.
blog/snork/aa_slogans_condition_people_to_turn_off_their_minds.txt · Zuletzt geändert: 2022-06-21 11:09 von sax