This is posted here with the permission of the writer herself.
Post written by Carrie Lee
So after a year of sporadically making my way through the Orange Papers and being involved here on this forum here’s my take on what’s going on with AA:
1. The premise and dominant philosophies of AA came from the Oxford Groups – a puritanical fundamentalist Christian group started by a nazi sympathiser
2. The program, a mish-mash of poor philosophy and random spirituality, was cobbled together through the ‘inspiration’ of a megalomaniac, womanising, momentarily-physically-sober madman with absolutely no supportive evidence that it could be relevant to alcoholics except the backing of one doctor who was apparently impressed with the idea of peer support (wow, what a concept). The god-stuff was entirely erroneous.
3. The program was given credibility when they lobbied the AMA to call alcoholism a disease so it would be covered by insurance …and so the now billion dollar D&A industry was born to perpetuate the myth
4. The program has always had a heavy confessional component that keeps people focused on their negatives, their self-esteem low and their minds therefore malleable
5. This allows for an environment in which control-freaks and predators can thrive and prey on the vulnerable
6. The program has no greater success rate than the percentage of people giving up naturally in any given year. Further, there are many components of both the program itself and the way people apply it that actively work against a person’s sobriety and well-being from simple ideas like don’t get a partner or job when both are proven to be tremendously helpful to people wishing to get sober, to the harmful such as “it’s a disease, you are powerless and will need us forever”, to the seriously dangerous like “don’t take your meds”
7. While you could forgive it for not being effective, it’s hard to forgive the serious harm done through sexual abuse, mental manipulation, guilt-tripping and humiliation that lead to suicides, binge drinking, premature death, loss of family, friends and support structures and at the very least, many lost years and opportunities
8. The program will never be altered in light of new evidence and proven current support mechanisms.
What’s not to like eh??!?!?!?!?!