The sub-culture of anti-A.A.

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The sub-culture of anti-A.A.

Postby Teddy » Wed Aug 22, 2012 1:32 am

Hello all. Wanted to put something out there and watch the feedback. It's in regards to A.A. haters. Not talking about people that refuse A.A. from denial, or some slang term for jealousy. I'm talking about a sub-culture of people that with all their might hate Alcoholic's Anonymous and any 12 step group. Recently, I've been spending time in some of those forums focused on being anti-A.A. I will keep my accounts generalized so as to give a unbiased account.

Part of my initial attraction was that I had never heard of such a group, the curiosity intrigued me. Also, I learned much through sourced information I found there, mostly about A.A.'s history and the original founders. Unfortunately, not flattering information but nevertheless, it was new playing ground. I'm just a curious cat. I did find it ironically humorous that there's terms for people in A.A., the three common ones are "steppers", "Wilsonites", and the "cult". As you might tell by those terms, the perception there is a heavily sloped one. Anything brought to the contrary was met with hasty opposition; depending on the site and individual(s), some of it got real nasty (even when the language was formal and courteous on my end).

Most of the blogs typically surrounded a handful of topics: the claIm that it's a dangerous environment because of the criminal activity related to people from A.A. (typically accounts of a variety of sexually related crimes), many feel they were duped by the program and many years were lost, the ever ubiquitous that 12 steps don't work. Within the blogs you find countless citations and links to news reports regarding A.A. members and their criminal activity (they like to home in on ones where there was complicity within members of a room), again citations and links about "studies" that prove the program doesn't work, and of course their own personal accounts. For me, it has been a dance with the devil. I can't say my view has entirely changed but, I do have to say certain realities have been remolded around new information. So I'm just little curious here, what is your take on this? Have you heard of such a group? If so, what is your perception and if not, what are your thoughts?

***************************ADDENDUM******************************************

Considering the quick negative responses, I wanted to make clear, my intent with this post was not to "troll". I specifically designed the post so that it remained as unbiased as possible. My intent is to get a general idea if people know about this detached subculture. Since I had never heard about it (and I've attended A.A. for years), just trying to get a general all around feel from A.A. members. It's obviously not something I could bring up in a standard meeting. I felt this was an appropriate forum for it. Again, I kept my language broad without really revealing anything other than generalities.
Last edited by Teddy on Wed Aug 22, 2012 7:45 pm, edited 9 times in total.
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Re: The sub-culture of anti-A.A.

Postby ann2 » Wed Aug 22, 2012 3:25 am

Hi all!

Ann here, moderator at the e-AA forums. I've been online in AA forums for a while, and to me this post sounds like a "troll" -- someone fishing for flaming controversy.

2-3 times a year our forums are used as a fighting ground for people who aren't interested in our program of recovery. The view of the moderators' committee overall has been that this is a forum for recovery from alcoholism using the 12 steps of recovery as outlined in the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous. We are not interested in anti-AA sentiments here because we sincerely believe it is the function of this forum to talk about the blessing of sobriety that we have achieved in the fellowship and program of AA.

Those who wish to talk about the "anti-AA" philosophy :) are welcome to share their views in appropriate forums, which does not include ours.

Our online group, e-AA, firmly follows the 5th tradition of AA:

Each group has but one primary purpose, to carry its message to the alcoholic who still suffers.

That's it, that's what we're here for.

Please feel free to pm me or the coordinator Karl if you have any questions.

Ann
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Re: The sub-culture of anti-A.A.

Postby Tosh » Wed Aug 22, 2012 9:12 am

Troll post or not, I think this is a good discussion. Just recently I was asked by a young sponsee about A.A.'s Cult status; he'd been googling on the interweb and it was from the posts discussing this that I'd read that gave me a good answer.

Is A.A. a Cult? Well, there's a few indicators of what a cult is like. A cult will do the following:

1. Isolate you from Worldly people and information.
2. There will be negative consequences if you leave (i.e. fellow cult members will have to disown you).

In A.A. we are told to make amends to those people WE isolated from and we are also told to 'get a job' or 'go back to school' and even the Big Book says 'There are many helpful books'. So A.A. does not isolate us; just the opposite; it reintegrates us back into family life and society as a whole.

As for leaving A.A. drunk or sober, we're told that if someone doesn't want our solution, we're to be friendly, otherwise we may spoil a later chance (paraphrasing part of Chap 7). So there's no negative consequences either.

However, I quite like the 'Cult' status; I think there's a bit of kudos in it. :mrgreen:
Come, come, whoever you are. Wanderer, worshiper, lover of leaving. It doesn't matter. Ours is not a caravan of despair. Come, even if you have broken your vows a thousand times. Come, yet again, come, come.” Rumi (No sniggering from the sex addicts)
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Re: The sub-culture of anti-A.A.

Postby Tommy-S » Wed Aug 22, 2012 9:21 am

Thanks, Ann.

Coming to this AA group to complain how screwed up people are on other forums, groups, etc, is anything BUT a solution! (Tradition 10)

The principle of sobriety I was given is "They always discovered relief never came by confessing the sins of other people. Everyone had to confess his own." (Step 5)

I am grateful, member of e-AA because of its adherence to sobriety and AA Traditions. Thanks
Together, we don't have to cave in or wimp out to that Fatal First One, no matter what today!
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Re: The sub-culture of anti-A.A.

Postby avaneesh912 » Wed Aug 22, 2012 9:53 am

We who are in AA are there for a reason. Deep down, we could relate to the experience of the alcoholics illustrated in the big book. Those who can't relate, have their opinion. Other peoples opinion/experience shouldn't matter to us. And the main thing is, we are here to lend our hand for people who want it.
You cannot solve a problem from the same consciousness that created. You must see the world anew.
Albert Einstein.
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Re: The sub-culture of anti-A.A.

Postby Mike O » Wed Aug 22, 2012 10:36 am

The whole anti A.A. thing? Sure, I've come across it. I'm not blind to what's around me.

To be honest, the whole thing is meaningless to me.

"A.A. is a cult" - seems to be the most derogatory thing they can come up with. I couldn't care less whether it's a "cult" or not - it works for me and that'll do it as far as I'm concerned.

Let's not waste any energy on debating this.

:)
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Re: The sub-culture of anti-A.A.

Postby Marc L » Wed Aug 22, 2012 10:55 am

Bill and Bob are both dead and gone. If AA is a cult there is no leadership.
Those two guys and others did a wonderful thing for drunks around the world so there is a lot of jealousy and envy out there.
I don't pay it much mind.
But if a Jim Jones or David Koresh shows up on here send them to me so I can kick their ass or kill them. :D

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Re: The sub-culture of anti-A.A.

Postby Tommy-S » Wed Aug 22, 2012 12:33 pm

***ADDENDUM***


E Z Duz IT...Please don't confuse the accurate dissemination of this site's purpose & policies by one of the Group's trusted servants, or our Traditions & Principles as
quick negative responses


If you feel
It's obviously not something I could bring up in a standard meeting.
then talk about it with your Sponsor.

It's an "Outside Issue". I suggest it would be best to leave it 'outside' as well as staying off those sites (I'll PM you some excellent links for historical & practical application of AA) .

Anything that isn't moving towards sobriety is taking me back to the Drink.

Thanks, Tommy
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Re: The sub-culture of anti-A.A.

Postby Jaywalker Steve » Wed Aug 22, 2012 12:44 pm

"Let 'em whirl"
Every group has men and women who put too much thought and effort into their daily sobriety and not enough of themselves into their daily living. - Ed B., Akron, OH
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Re: The sub-culture of anti-A.A.

Postby PaigeB » Wed Aug 22, 2012 12:57 pm

All good answers here. I can say that from the beginning I found that e-aa was a safe place and a place dedicated to the AA Traditions.

What I have found elsewhere is another matter. As an atheist, I looked straight to Rational Recovery instead of AA. Their meeting (just one) in my city had gone belly-up and no longer existed... no hand there. I went to AA, still determined to find rational recovery online, to balance out all the G.O.D. I knew I was going to hear. Man was I soooo not interested in things I found. When I was drunk, I lived on anger - it was my propellant. But I could not (& can not) handle ANY anger and feel sober - anger made a drink necessary and I could not be around any flamers. In fact when I got here, Karl R (love him) spent a good amount of time reassuring me that trollers & flamers were not allowed to carry on. I PM'd him so many times, the team finally asked me to be a moderator so I could troll for the trolls! (Be careful what you complain about in AA, it usually means a service position!)

At first, (because we at e-aa do not off the cuff ban someone who might wish to have recovery in AA) those posts meant to inflame got me flaming! I was propelled into anger and rational response in defense of AA (& its HP idea)
from an atheist's view.

It seems to be not so unique as I once thought it was! I no longer feel compelled to blast into argument & defense of any meme that I maintain. It just does not matter - in fact it separates us. I have a desire to not drink and if you have a desire to not drink than NOTHING else matters. I want the hand of AA (not my hand) to be there. And for that I am responsible. So I welcome your response to our responses! Join us in peaceful recovery. You don't have to fight anyone or anything here, we probably won't fight back.

Love and tolerance of others is our Code. (page 84) :idea:

EDIT ADDITION: AA has no opinion on outside issues.... These ^^ are my opinions.
"... content with patient improvement." Pg 65 in the 12 & 12
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Re: The sub-culture of anti-A.A.

Postby Lali » Wed Aug 22, 2012 3:46 pm

Do you even know the meaning of the word "biased"?
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Re: The sub-culture of anti-A.A.

Postby Marc L » Wed Aug 22, 2012 4:42 pm

So what is the secret handshake for this stupid thing anyway.
If it's a cult then there has to be one. :lol:
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Re: The sub-culture of anti-A.A.

Postby Teddy » Wed Aug 22, 2012 7:11 pm

Lali wrote:Do you even know the meaning of the word "biased"?



Hahaha. Ooops. Thanks for the correcton. Obviously, it was to be unbiased.
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Re: The sub-culture of anti-A.A.

Postby Duke » Wed Aug 22, 2012 9:18 pm

A cult that offers recovery from a hopeless condition of mind and body and asks for nothing in return except that you pass it on. I never heard of such a cult before. Interesting idea. I must say, in 28 years I've never heard of an "anti AA" movement. Seems like a silly waste of time by unhappy people who have nothing better to do with their time than tear down what they don't understand. Of course, I understand tearing things down out of fear. But I gave it up in favor of recovery.
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Re: The sub-culture of anti-A.A.

Postby Teddy » Thu Aug 23, 2012 1:55 am

Duke wrote:A cult that offers recovery from a hopeless condition of mind and body and asks for nothing in return except that you pass it on. I never heard of such a cult before. Interesting idea. I must say, in 28 years I've never heard of an "anti AA" movement. Seems like a silly waste of time by unhappy people who have nothing better to do with their time than tear down what they don't understand. Of course, I understand tearing things down out of fear. But I gave it up in favor of recovery.


Duke,

Funny you should mention that. The way you described them was pretty much my evolved perception of them through my experiences. I tried various angles to see if I'd get a different response. In the end, it was worst than dealing with drunks in denial. Like I said, I had never heard of the movement before. I'd venture to say they're maybe a few thousand internationally, a pale number by comparison. It was an interesting experience. Difficult though, seeing so much anger and hostility, shouldn't have been a surprise though. Thanks for your reply.

-Teddy
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