Is Alcoholics Anonymous a Cult? Do AA Members ACT Like They Know It ALL?

Do they act and say things making one believe that  their way is the only way?

I have seen this in many forms. I think it…AA… is dangerous because many people need help and AA and its ideology is actually hurting poeple. Its just not true. The AA literature is filled with lies. People are not powerless. Alcohol over use is not a diease. AA is not the only way to stop, moderate or get help. AA is not the only form of free support self help groups.

Smart Recovery, SOS, Moderation Management and Hams Harm Reduction and Life RING are other choices. In 10 years if SMART continues to grow as it is, it will be bigger then AA. Amy Lee Coys Way is better, Hank Hayes was On Track and Beyond is better.

This is from the orange-papers and I felt it was time to share it here.

There are many aspects of a cult.

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149 thoughts on “Is Alcoholics Anonymous a Cult? Do AA Members ACT Like They Know It ALL?

  1. Honestly, I don’t think it’s a cult. AO has done a lot of solid research into AA but he doesn’t make a great case for it being a true cult. Now its loose, unaffiliated nature might allow cult-like groups to form (e.g. Midtown) but to label the whole organization as such is stretching it.

    • OK MIke we have to have a discussion here about this. WHen I was first blogging on ST I did not see AA as a cult. But I do now.

      Here are some ideas. This is not my writing.

      Alcoholics Anonymous as a Cult
      Scorecard, Answers 1 to 10
      by A. Orange
      So how does A.A. score as a cult? On a scale of zero to ten, where zero means that it isn’t like a cult at all, and ten means that A.A. is really like a cult, I score A.A. like this: (Feel free to grab a piece of paper, and make up your own scores. It isn’t like I own a monopoly on the truth, or anything…)

      (To go back and forth between the questions and the answers for Alcoholics Anonymous, click on the numbers of the questions and answers.)

      1. The Guru is always right.
      The Guru, his organization, and his teachings are all considered above criticism and beyond reproach.
      A.A. scores a 10 on this one.

      William Griffith Wilson
      November 26 1895 – January 24 1971
      Born: East Dorset, Vermont
      One just does not criticize the Founders, Bill Wilson and Doctor Bob, or their wonderful program. Bill Wilson’s “Big Book” — really titled “Alcoholics Anonymous” — is cited as the ultimate answer for everything, a new Bible for contemporary alcoholics. If Bill said something, then it is automatically true. In the eyes of the A.A. faithful, Bill Wilson never made a mistake after he started A.A., and never gave bad advice to any A.A. member. Bill Wilson was a paragon of sanity, clarity, wisdom, and honesty.

      Many of the true believers in Alcoholics Anonymous actually believe that Bill Wilson’s writings were inspired by God, just like the Bible. They say that Wilson wrote the Twelve Steps while receiving guidance from God. The faithful reverently pore over books like The Big Book, Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, and As Bill Sees It as if they were holy scriptures, rather than the ravings of a lunatic. Bill’s writings in the Big Book — “the first 164 pages” — are considered to be so sacred that they cannot ever be updated, fixed, or changed. The 4th edition of the Big Book was just released, and the first 164 pages are still unchanged. Not a single lie or error was corrected.

      this was written by Terry over at OP. Now what do you say to this?

      • Hi Massive its Bpb Hunley. I owe you so many thank you’s. When i was lost.and confused you still were so kind it brought me to tears later on. Keep up the good work. Bob. Ps your singing voice rocks. Bob

  2. AA Cult Watch is run by AA Members who love the original 12 steps. They make a very good case for AA being a cult. I certainly think they are.

    From their site

    “The primary purpose of this site is to speak for those who don’t have a voice, and those too intimidated to speak, and also those poor souls who don’t even realise they been abused, believing their experience to be the AA message.

    Here are just a few. We have changed the names to protect them, but if anyone doubts what follows contact us and we will, where appropriate arrange one to ones to validate. This particularly applies to those trusted servants now coerced into the “trash the messenger” tactic of stay on the fence with head firmly in sand approach. Meet these refugees and call them liars to their face. What follows is not hearsay, gossip or rumour. Its real stories from real people. I repeat only the names have been changed to protect the damaged and the innocent.

    1) Henry had to miss meeting and service job as a relative was seriously ill and hospitalised. Henry got a sub for service but next day cult sponsor told him he was “self centred” Henry explained family crisis, sponsor said his first loyalty was to group!!! Henry said bye bye!!! (He was strong enough, some aren’t)

    2) Lucy is a single mum, she was told to put minimum of ten pounds in pot at each meeting. (Look at your treasurers report on group donations, cults will look impressive, they are supposed to) Lucy said bye bye!! Did you check those figures yet ! Big bucks eh. How do they get so much in the pot, ask Lucy she knows.

    3) George. Told to leave his eleven-year-old daughter home alone to attend meeting. George protested and pointed out that this was actually illegal. (14 is legal age for home alone) Cult sponsor said go or you will drink. George said bye bye.

    4) Steven .14 years sober, told he wasn’t really sober because he takes medication. Steven was and is still a tad angry, he said bye bye.

    5) Jennifer. 8 years sober had serious problems of personal nature and attempted suicide. She survived. Her cult sponsor told her not to share her experience in the meeting because “We don’t want to hear negative stuff” Jenny said bye bye.

    6) Michael. Turned up at meeting having had a couple of drinks. He wasn’t drunk, or disruptive, but was told to “sit at the back and keep quiet” – oops bye bye.

    7) Another Michael, Shared for five minutes then admitted he’d had a drink that day. Promptly told to be quiet as he was “Spreading the Illness”. He left meeting immediately never to be seen again. Could be bye bye – maybe amen.

    There are many more like these, but the only reason their stories became known is because these folks either found or returned to mainstream AA. God only knows how many more went out into the night and left what they thought was AA. History shows that it is the story of survivors that eventually nailed the culprits.

    Do we continue to allow this in our name? Well if we do then we justify it and condone it. We are only autonomous when it doesn’t affect other groups or the fellowship. We are responsible. Our pledge says that.

    So this site is really for Jenny, Michael, Lucy, Steven, Michael, George, Henry, and all those yet to come.

    Most of the above stories had a good outcome. We have others that are truly tragic. So tragic that we could not witness them if challenged, you can probably work out why.’

    • A A are suggestions only if followed will give the addicted person choices they normally wouldn’t have clouding there brains with there addiction as a person who has attended meetings no one has said I had to do anything that I didn’t want to as where anything has humans involved there are always those that need to feel in control or there way is the only way such as the person who thinks all persons going to AA are all a like wake up it sounds like you are trying to gather troops for your own personal cult.

      • Interesting perspective and one long run-on sentence there “Danny”. Not unique however. If this is a cult, it is the cult of reason, not the cult of magical thinking that is embodied by the true stealth religious Cult of Alcoholics Anonymous.

      • i know it is a cult..from being in it and from info on the internet..
        and even if it was proved not to is religouse damaging dangerouse and full of dangerouse people.the mean find it or die a gun to your head..go tell your wife the truth ruin your marrage..infact leave your wife..

        was the movie phone booth wrote by an aa.

        dont think… do as we say..know it alls we know whats best for you.including being raped or molested by us ..
        god god god pray hand over your will..lets all hold hands and it or die..

        you people make me want to vomit

            • danny what you and the know it alls in aa don’t know, is that in the 3 yrs since i left aa harm reduction works better for me, than aa sugestions.

              and that my life though not perfect is better than it was when i went to aa.that my friendships are better than the few i had in 12 yr of aa.and that my mental health started gettin better.

              if the programme makes them better, why did an old timer of 15yr and staunch aa.come to my door recently, asking for help around problems.demading my blue badge,which is for the person who drives me places, im disabled,and its not for an aa who rarely offers me a lift.

              asks for me to take care of his responsabilitys, asks me for sex offers me an arrangment..i take care of his responsabiltys have sex with him on ocassion and take care of his responsabilies while he runs around finding sex with others..

              and dumps his heroin addicted child partner and dog on me to look after..and at my financial cost..and though tells me they are burglars and pycos who would stab you..also keeps telling me helping them isnt enabling..yet when in aa… would tell me it was.and because he dumps his probs on me around there dog i then have to have contact with them around the dog i watched for them and him..he brought them into my life..

              ..and when in aa often cast up tiny little things he did for me to a point i felt i owed him back..and also still hadnt snapped out of the aa dogma in my of help to the suffering alcoholic addict…i felt sorry for his child to after the letter she wrote me. and i hope she gets ok one day ..but i cant help her her partner or her dad no more..

              im nearing old age pension,waiting on mir scan results im disabled and getting worse..i have ptsd..caused through abuse..and i try to care for my elderly dieing father, who in order to help i have to travel long distance and change several times on buses.

              when i put a stop to it and say i dont want to do anymore..especialy after my hand got bitten from stopping there dog being attacked by 3 pit bulls..

              and the thought of haveing a sex affair with this person made me feel sick..i just cant get the hots for an aa, never have done, i tyred but just nothing there..and man who sees me as a just dont turn me on.

              so i say no more..AND DO THAT RESPECTFULLY..and then i get several nasty txs..which included 1 where he is trying to intimadate me around an aa male member and seriouse wife beater that threatned me on the streets some years back!!!????

              i left aa 3yr ago ..i wasnt wanted liked or needed there by any who go there.
              im told im a loser by them im told by this aa old timer im a child a kid i know nothing..i went through aa programme ..dont they say its condesending to call someone a child if they have done that…
              i was not a child on entering aa i was a grown woman and i still told its my loss..that i dont want his friendship any more…

              i dont feel lik a looser or tht i lost anything..its taken me a week to start feeling ok hram to him his family or anyone else..

              but no 1 can ever tell me again that aa is okay or helps dont even stop people drinking..the few that do are really messed up people…and they stopped drinking themselfs..aa didnt do it.

              no one can tell me its not a cult ..its not religouse..of course it is..
              and it is damaging to all people who attend it..and its full of users abusers and dangerouse people.

                • thankyou librarian..that’s the last 1 of many i have posted here..the last 1 because i will not allow them near me again.

                  • Cults, wonderful on the outside but on the inside are very manipulating. Cult leaders are desperate to trick you into joining. They are after your obedience, your time and your money.Cults use sophisticated mind control and recruitment techniques that have been refined over time. Beware of thinking that you are immune from cult involvement, the cults have millions of members around the world who once thought they were immune, and still don’t know they are in a cult! To spot a cult you need to know how they work and you need to understand the techniques they use. Teaching you these things is what this article is all about.This article exposes the secret techniques cults will use to try and trick and control you. Cult leaders will not want you to read this, but read it anyway. Once you understandHow Cults Work you will be better able to spot and avoid cult recruiters, and protect your family and friends.
                    taken from cult watch..i cant afford to let my guard slip again after recent events of an aa trying to fish me back in. chuck d type .

  3. This website has been like a breath of fresh air for me. Ever since I got in AA a year and a half ago I have tried intentionally to retain some part of my actual brain. (Bad Newcomer!) I noticed in the beginning that when I said I was researching and seeking to learn more about AA and alcoholism on the Internet, some AA’s did not merely discourage it; some got downright hostile about it. Well, that just made me more determined to keep up my studies. I tried to be balanced by reading the negative information and the positive. AA really only condones reading the BB, 12&12 and “approved” literature….over and over and over. Now I know why they do this. It is a part of the conditioning and program. I have been out for 3 weeks and that sh!t is still droning in my head. Only sites such as this, and the words of others who have come- to, have helped me to escape their stupid slogans and oxymoronic excreta.
    My sponsor(s) (ain’t I the “lucky” one to have had both my sponsor and her sponsor, my grand-sponsor working with me?) forbad me to look anything more up on the Internet. Of course I continued to investigate because their reaction to my educating myself just made me wonder what they had to hide. I mean, if what you are following is actually valid, why have you know confidence in it outside your meeting doors? Well, if one studies AA history, Bill, effects on alcoholics, events, murders, suicides, etc. one will quickly see just why the old-timers and sponsors discourage to forbid any newcomer to research.
    Yes, they do THINK they know everything. If they do not know it, as far as they are concerned it is not worth knowing. And why does a newcomer need to research when their wise sponsor knows every damned thing? Newcomers are told to “take the cotton out of their ears and put it in their mouths,” RIGHT? They literally told me NOT to think! I am over 45 years old with a college education and these people are telling me to STOP THINKING. There was something “stinking” about that form the git–DAMN IT!
    Still, I tried to hang in there. AA came into my life when I was at a low point and I honestly did need someone to help and understand me. They helped me get sober and for that I will be forever grateful…but do I owe them my mind, time & entire blind obedience? Even God gives us free-will!
    My sponsor seemed so very kind and helpful. In the beginning she took me to 3 meetings a week because I was without transportation. She took me for coffee (cause ya def need more friggin coffee after an AA meeting–right?) and sometimes to eat. In the beginning she would talk for hours and hours about her past drinking. Sometimes it actually scared me and I wondered what in the world I was doing out alone at the mercy of this nice, but rather strange lady. I went 4 months without taking a drink. I “slipped” and had to start all over. My first taste of shunning was that I was not allowed to see her or talked to her for 30 days. She then showed me a little “mercy” and said I was allowed to still call her once a day. Like a good lil AA azz kisser, I stepped in line, found a way to get to meetings on my own (often walking miles) and I got 30 days again. (Good Girl Lassie!)
    I then went for 6 months and “slipped” again after smoking with my brother. Which I did not really think was valid because I have NEVER really been a huge pot smoker. I’ve never really enjoyed it all that much. I drink. Drinking’s what I like to do. I felt that as long as I was not drinking I was doing well. My sponsors did not agree. So, I accepted my punishment, my demotion, my loss of time. Gotta be humble! (But ONLY if you are a so called Newcomer. Sponsor are NOT humble—at least not to those with less time than they have…or say they have…but that’s another story.)
    So, I have been on shaky ground ever since last Aug. I have not been able to string together another 60 days. Unfortunately, when I have drunk (er drank?) while being an AA member it has been all out of fluckin bounds! I have MASSIVE binges that threaten to kill me. I did not used to be that way before I got into AA and started obsessing over alcohol like some kind of fiend. Oldtimers would just look at my suffering, smile that snaky grin and say, “Well, Hon, just like we told you; AA ruins your drinkin!” Well, AA ruins your heart, soul & brain is what I say.
    I have never been so head-fluckin screwed up ever before AA. That nice lady who came to take me to meetings and out for coffee and to eat a year and a half ago has suddenly morphed into an EVIL, vile, callous, cold, maniacal blitch on buttered wheels. I never suspected that she had it in her to be so harmful to me. She called me 3 weeks ago. She said she had “prayed on it” and she could see that she could not help me any longer because of my relapsing and my mental problems. WTF?!
    I told her that I had been diagnosed as depressed as a teenager and in recent years I had been diagnosed with generalized anxiety. (Well, when you are a survivor of childhood molestation and then later rape…you end up having a lil baggage here and there…) Anyway, I told her these things up front and she said that The Program would help me deal with all that. She said not to take the medication for depression my doctor gave me. I did as she suggested (Their so-called suggestions are NOT suggestions at all! There are consequences and punishing emotional abuse if you dare to disobey them. Suggestion my ass!)
    Now she says that she can’t help me when I have come to totally rely on her, trust her and have told her all my fluckin business! I reminded her that she promised me she would not do this to me. She just said, “Oh well.” If I were not more concerned with getting my life back on track, free of AA and all of their dangerous-made-up stupidity from hell, I swear I would sue them for emotional abuse and giving unqualified medical advice. Someone needs to hold them accountable. Where can you just do damage to a person and throw up your hands after you have broken a person totally down like they do? She just told me to get another sponsor and consider all the cow-dung with her as a Learning Experience. (Blitch! This is my Life you have been playing with here!)
    Fortunately as I stated, I have continued through all of this to research and study. So, when things took this turn I was not totally caught off guard. At first I felt extremely emotionally devastated and utterly abandoned. I felt like poor little Bambi lost in the woods and calling for his mother. I tried contacting her. She just ignored me. I called my grand sponsor and she “suggested” that I get Back to Basics and go to meetings.
    Suddenly, it dawned on me and this brain that AA has been warning me about for over a year began to kick in, “See? Do you feel more helped or harmed? These damned AA people are liable to drive you to suicide and say that it’s all your fault for not ‘following the Program’… Everything you have read about their abusive practices is coming to a head now. Why would you dare go get more of the poison you are already suffering from? Run Forest! Run!” So, I changed my number, erased all of their names and numbers and am NOT going to call not one of their natty-asses ever again. It was very, very hard at first though. I went crying all through the day. I felt a deep need to connect with my sponsor and get her advice on how to deal with this horrible pain. I had no sponsor. It actually felt akin to experience a bad break up or a death or some such intense emotional loss. Oh it was so bad because I felt like I really loved and needed my sponsor. I still do not know how I feel. Ultimately, I think she just did me a HUGE favor though.
    Most of the people in the AA Fellowship were very kind to me, but I have seen firsthand what evil potentially lurks behind that “kindness” and I never need to be shown again. Honestly, I would rather die drunk in the gutter than to let anyone ever do anything to me like this again! I have been abused all of my life. I did not survive all that I have been through to just allow an entire flock of misguided cult-victims to get their jollies off of controlling and power-tripping over my ass. Naw. No thank you Wizard. You drink the Kool-Aid. I’m going to sip on something else from now on.
    So what of me now? I have been using HAMS Harm Reduction and my obsessive thoughts about alcohol have greatly diminished. I allow myself to drink IF and when I like but ONLY beer or wine. No more than 3. I only drink vodka on Monday nights when I use to go to meetings with my sponsor.
    Every Monday night for a year and a half I had been attending those meetings and just like that she is like, “F-U old Sponsee. Go die.”
    Well, that is fine. “And F-U too ol culty!”
    The first Monday I cried and cried sitting at my door with my coat on waiting for Mommy to come get my dumb ass. She didn’t come. After a point I knew they would all be at the part where they ‘Pray for all the alcoholics still out there suffering…’
    And I thought, “Well, you can all pray for my ass and I will toast to yours!” And I bought myself vodka; Just half a pint. I can NEVER have more than that. So, that is my stupid story and I can’t do anything but stick with it because it is true. I actually allowed myself to get sucked into a damned CULT! I cannot believe this!
    After the first of the year I planned to check out a SMART Recovery Meeting. I have been reading positive things about that and I do need to decide whether or not Moderation or Abstinence is best for me. I have been drinking a little bit for 3 weeks now. I have not binged. I am not in an asylum or jail. My ass still ain’t died…SMILE…(they would likely be so pleased if I died; then it would prove them right. It is evil the way they cream over someone who is not in AA or left AA dying) I have not had one hangover or blacked out or anything destructive…other than consuming alcohol–which we all well know is not a “Health-Drink” right?
    Anyway, thank you for this site. It is quite informative and cathartic.

    • Judgin’ by yer vocabulary you made it past elementary school; sorry, you are not qualified foe long term AA membership. Nice to see you here, should you want to converse with like minded people and debrief or deprogram from AA a bit then this site can offer comfort.

      • Oh my…. I wonder just how this cathartic outpouring can be good for anybody? This stuff belongs in a therapy session. I too come from a background very similar to what Illbefree has described.
        But guys, it is possible to have a balanced view on life.. what you are doing here is polarizing views, and that can never be healthy. Please do not put yourselves forward as balanced judges of AA and do try to find in your heart and soul, that we are all flawed, we all have tendencies or traits which are flawed, in other words we all have clay feet, none of us is perfect, but we can find spirit in our lives, hearts and souls by searching, being honest etc..
        AA is not perfect, none of us is and certainly no organization is. So what?
        I see ‘the control freaks’ both in and out of AA. One only needs to avoid them in life… remember Desiderata ‘avoid vexatious people’.
        I have been a 12 stepper since 1984 (with relapses) but I can only hope that people searching this site will realize that no matter what our beliefs, we are all human beings struggling to get through life without causing too much harm, wishing for calmness and good things to happen to us and to those we love…. Please be gentle with each other xx

        • Green Girl,

          While sociopaths exist outside as well as inside AA, AA itself is institutionalised sociopathy. Tolerating sociopathy allows it to thrive from the low level threat that you will drink if you dare leave to the higher level stuff such as 13th stepping, embezzelment, stalking, rape and even murder. Suicide is unfortunately too common among the AA members. Rather than miracles of mental health, many members are sadly, basket cases mentally. Many are chronically unemployed or under employed. The sponsor has virtually unlimited power over his protegé and the sociopathically minded sponsors will not be called to account for their abuse.

        • the people in aa who sexually abused me,verbally abused me,ripped me off for money,threatened my life on the streets, played mind games with me,slandered and lied about me, stalked me tryed to have me put in a womans dry house at 1 yr clean sober, and made me believe i was an alcoholic when im not, i know they are not perfect..i know im not perfect either..
          your book says if you have investagated AA you can make a judgement on it.
          the sponsors and people i got to know a little in AA were not gentle with me.
          and i had to talk with non AA counsellors to get myself right from a lifetime of sadistic abuse..and help for the balls up you twisted gits made of my step work..
          your teachings are religouse..i didnt want a religoun.
          and where is your gentleness or empathy for the woman who poured her heart out in that post.
          get lost ,,,no ones perfect your evil too…yeh i heard it enough..yeh avoid do you know they are them..and avoid them i was pressurised into being friends with them.and makeing amends to people who were a real danger to me.
          your just the same, no ones perfect..we are all evil..
          im not im not evil im not the not a dirty deviouse violent serial man beater, im not a scammer of money from friends, im not a dirty rapeist.
          i had to listen to male wife beater scream at me in cafes that i was dirty deviouse addict scum ..he had no call i did nothing to him other than the fact i was smileing that day.
          im calmer without people like that in my life..

          • I agree Sally- Why she comes on here and talks so much about her faults and we are faulty …what a negative focus on faults. All that brainwashing is very apparent.

            • yes brain washing, just been to my doctors,,he said im not an alcoholic, 9i had to be reasured again.and its partly due to them i get anxiety attacks,and i can have free counselling at the surgery by a non aa counsellor if i ever want to around canabis..i noticed by the time i halted that aa man , canabis use had increased again..i have cut down this week.
              it was good to have a normal rational converstaion with my doctor around it..just to remind me it’s not me thats in the wrong.or the crazy one.

        • I doubt anyone who posts here wishes harm on anyone. If the very outdated, and completely unscientific addiction “solution” for alcoholism/addiction in it’s various incarnations is something you enjoy, then by all means utilize it. But this site offers another side to the story. The 12 steps can be psychologically harmful, hard-core criminals and predators are sent to “the rooms” by judges so the system doesn’t have to deal with them. Kids are also sent to “the rooms” to sit with the predators. So you can have unsuspecting citizens, and even kids, put in an unsafe environment and told to trust.

          It was on the news when I went home for lunch that a local psychopath had been “sentenced to drug treatment’. She will be welcomed into “the roomzzzz” and told she is the most important person there, given hugs, love, phone numbers, you name it. Yea, the steps will do a whole lot for a person who has no conscious; and for those with a conscious, they can inspire constant guilt and fear for every little thing, as they did with me. I could go on and on about how this site is needed and the good it can do.

          • thanks for post border collie,
            thats what AA did for me too.constant guilt remorse fear..for every little things i did even got me apologising for things i didnt do.
            they shouldnt come here and knock this web site..because this web site has gave me and many people more help than AA ever did.

            and its helping there own organisation.if AA was safe, its members wouldnt flee from it.

        • Green girl- ahhhh what stepper you are. !
          You are a typical troll,
          Your opening paragraph is why we all hate AA now .

          First you start off with OH MY! …Really? On my…

          I have written so many rebuttals to types like you…

          I wont be wasting my time.

          maybe spj will come along and tell it like it is…I hope. I’m sick of people like you coming to a LEAVING AA blog like its a stupid AA meeting where you get to talk to vulnerable people in your stupid ass tone.

          Don’t let the door hit you on ass on the way out….

        • I kind of had this analogy come to mind to explain the difference between the people here and the ones still in the rooms…

          Massive and all of us who would say by no means should anyone ever go to a 12 step group for any reason are like a sign in front of a known abandoned minefield.

          We all walked through it and had various parts blown off. And so we are going to stand here in front of the known mine field and warn people not to go through that minefield as it may vary well damage you.

          The stepper may say… ahhh… I know we got dangers, “but so what?”

          you tell me who the asshole is.

          Seek alternatives…. make your own program, stay the hell away from those untrained ignorant lying abusive dirty puritan asshats.

        • “Oh my…. I wonder just how this cathartic outpouring can be good for anybody?”

          Green girl – oddly when people leave AA, no matter what they personally think it really is, they experience a set of experiences that precisely aligns with what is known a cult withdraw syndrome.

          Why that is? oh my… I just can’t seem to figure that one out. Golly gee.

    • WOW! What a story! Thanks so much for telling it. It really, really covered so many of the issues of AA. True story of a typical mind F*&^ by AA members and sponsors. It reflects why it is not surprising why so many suicides are linked directly to AA.

      I love your sense of humor. Good to have when reflecting on everything you went through. I had to laugh at the Grand sponsor. I had not thought about that. It goes to show when you give be a little power how it can go to sponsors heads. AA sponsors are like a pack of wolves when they gang up on the poor sponsee. So many of these people have self esteem issues, if they didnt they sure did after doing the 4th step and confessing every sin. Because of this in part, AA is a breeding ground for thousands of mini AA guru’s running around playing power trips on those they can abuse and exert power over.

      Glad to hear you seem to be moderating okay. SMART also as you might know has a great website they also have free online meetings and chat rooms etc.

      Even though you made me laugh at some of your humour, it mostly really angered me the pain they put you through. Like you said, you had been abused enough already and did not need your sponsor dropping you like a hot potato. How cruel. That is emotional abuse plain and simple. I do believe there is an evil component to AA. It can bring out the worst in some people. I feel so bad you had to go through that. Well welcome here on leavingaa, you will find support!

    • ill b free loved her posts.

      must say, what she has written is the truth,her sponsor nice at first.,then turns nasty.
      i should have remembered that,then i wouldnt have fell for the stuff i just went through recently
      .i cant believe i once had respect and even love in my heart for some of these people.

      however wasnt i brainwashed into that…”you got give respect to the man that stays sober ”
      and when your shunned by most and your looseing friends outside in isolation..isnt it easy to start to feel love for your jailers..(stockholm syndrome comes to mind )

      im angry again anger had went away..but now its back will pass with time.i cant believe i let scum me scum..or allowed people to reduce me to a mind state of a 2yr old..allowed them to patronise me or be in authority over me.they thought they were superior to me,condesending

      theres no good feeling left in me now for any of them.

  4. @Illbe free- Oh My Goodness. Welcome ….welcome …. OMG what a crazy f####king story. I hope you find some new like minded friends here as anon stated. I have over the past 3 years that I have been blogging. was a very active anti AA site where I blogged when I was still in AA , but trying to make it safer. AA at almost every level past the group think they are special …hold on …let me gag……

    And I thought I left AA because of reports of Rape , sexual harassment and now murders, or because I found out they were sending 3rd level sex offenders and violent criminals to AA.
    But reading your post made me realize why I really left. AA has become a cult filled with severely mentally ill controlling old timers who have nothing better to do but tell people like you what they can or can not do.

    That is not recovering from alcohol over use etc.

    Again welcome. I am interviewing Ken Anderson on blogtalkradio Safe Recovery tonight at 7 PM if you want to listen and call in. 🙂

  5. WOW!

    Thank you all for such an enthusiastic welcome. I was a bit nervous after I posted it (well, you know the lil AA zombiees are still buzzin in my head to some extent). And I thought some crazed Thupper was going to come out slammin me about being a negative whiner crying, “Poor me; Pour me!”

    And asking me what my part was in my sponsor kicking me straight in the gut. That is what I have gotten used to. Everything is always turned back around on me. Now they have helped me see some of my own sh!t. I am far from perfect…or as they say (as if people REALLY needed to know because they must think they REALLY look it) “We are not saints!”

    Revelation much?

    Anyway… Your responses have really warmed my heart. As a part of my personal deprograming process I am teaching myself to just BE WITH ME again. It is some times refreshing and at other times a challenge. I have been going to at least 4 meetings a week for a year and a half.

    My sponsor and granny-sponsor insisted that I disconnect from my family. They complained that I only did it to like 85% and that I was not willing to GO TO ANY EXTREME…But my mother and I used to be very close. We were like best friends. Our relationship has not been as close due to my involvement with AA. You see, my mother has gone from drinking gin back in the day to drinking only champagne mopst nights before going to sleep. I know that’s not good…but it is far, far better than she was back in the day.

    My mother survived domestic violence and almost being killed by a drunk driver. She had to raise her children alone in poverty. I love her and I am proud of her–even though she drinks champagne at almost every night. You can sue me, but my AA sponsor really tried to nail me to the rusty cross for still communicating with my mother. I did not even make Thanksgiving dinner with my mother this year in an attempt to please my sponsor.

    So because I could not deal much with my mother I also had to stop speaking daily to my aunt because even though my aunt doesn’t drink, she and my mother are close. So, can you imagine what my mother would feel like then?

    Oh this sh!t had me so twisted & scrwed up. I always felt guilty all the time for every damn thing. Trying to make my power-love-drippin sponsor happy while at the same time not breaking my poor mother’s heart. Impossible by the way. Everybody was unhappy with me–including me.

    So, they work to make me depend ONLY on them. She rides me and rides me about telling her EVERYTHING and not lying by omission. Finally after this last “slip” I started to just SNAP. I mean really. I was ready to just do whatever she said and tell her everything and give my will over to Oz…

    I thank God that her head was too damned far up her thunpin pie-hole to notice where I was. I was utterly at her mercy. I did not trust myself or any of my thoughts any longer. I was ripe for the beheading. LORD! It gives me the friggin chills just thinking of it.

    When she called to FIRE me, she said it was because I had just drained her. All I did was text her my thoughts and feelings as granny sponsor told me to share absolutely EVERYTHING…every thought and deed with her.

    Granny Sponsor said, “If you think it, write it; If you write it; tell it.” I even asked her how much of my crazy thoughts and BS I was supposed to share with my sponsor. Granny Sponsor said that it was not my job to worry about that. She said TELL EVERYTHING and that my sponsor would let me know when it was too much.

    Well…all…fluckin righty then… (You guys see how I write, right?)n So, I just got to sharing…

    Now my sponsor calls telling me that I have drained her. She said she has given me all she has. (But thank God her ass never actually took me past the 3rd step as a bunch of people kept telling me she was supposed to.) She said it was because I never stopped drinking. I just “paused”. She said that I have mental problems and I need treatment for depression and anxiety and my problems go beyond what she can do to help and then she goes on to say that I need a sponsor with a different style.

    They are so prone to saying opposing things at the same damned insane time. It makes you wanna just cow-punch a blitch!

    Do I need to stay in AA or do I need a friggin psychiatrist? (Rhetorical.)

    I know I do not need to stay in any program where the norm is to emotionally abuse vulnerable people. They want to say that alcohol dependence is a disease, but if you slip or relapse, they show their true colors. They treat you like every damned body eles. They treat you like you have the power to stop, call them, go to a meeting, stop your stinkin thinkin and not start drinking.

    “But how can that be Granny if I’s POWERLESS!”

    Slap. Slap, kick, punch!

    I actually called the suicide hotline 3 days ago just to have someone to talk to. How pathetic is that.

    I am not suicidal.

    I am a PERSON…not a newcomer..a pigeon…a low down scum bag drunk…I am just a PERSON…


    I am going to try SMART.

    I appreciate you all so much for letting me work this out here with you.

    AA has really harmed me.

    That’s all I know.

    PS: Penn and Teller – 12-Stepping (Full Episode) Was GREAT. Thank you to whoever posted that.

    • There are lots of great helps out there. The main thing for me was that it was a shock to disconnect from AA after long term membership. My whole life, relationships, friendships, mentors, etc were all in AA. I was not part of normal society, I was separate and different. I needed blogs like this to challenge my AA ideas; ideas that had become old. I knew I was making progress when I had a sober dream while drinking instead of a drunk dream wile sober. I knew then that if it were possible to be a dry drunk while sober that I could be a wet sober while drunk. I’m serious about this, I stop drinking before I get drunk. Life is good today; I’m not denying myself anything and feel more confident. I don’t need to call my sponsor or go to a meeting. I don’t need or want to be told the hidden truth or have my covers pulled. Life is good and I’m getting all of it that I can. Sure, the AA’s would say “you aren’t an alcoholic then”, well then; why the heck didn’t you tell me this during the decade that I went to AA? All I heard was that people don’t find AA by mistake, welcome, we’ll love you till you lover yourself.
      I am going to keep not going back!

  6. Well of course you drained her! It is an unheathy relationship of co dependency she and granny sponsor had insist you do. On top of that you told to cut your own damn mother and aunt out of your life. Sounds like a Scientology tactic as well.
    They created a child like dependence on them and then took the rug out from under your feet. what witches! My heart breaks about your Mom and aunt. This is just plain wrong. Unless your mother was causing you emotional grief-but it sounds like you were close. You did not say how much your Mom drinks, just that she drinks daily, in the evening. Well it is quite common for many to have a couple of drinks every night to relax. Have you gone to visit your Mom and Aunt now? Maybe Christmas will be different.

    Jack Trimpey of Rational Recovery is big on family. That it can be healing to spend time to those you neglected while being an addict or just screwing up. He believes on peoples ability to not need meetings.

    I liked what you said about just learning to be with yourself. This is an important I think. Alone time can be very healing. I love it myself. Many people cant stand to be alone and get into trouble always trying to fill a void by bar hopping and being around people they shouldnt.

    It was good to hear you took advantage of a suicide hotline. That is what they are there for-to talk to! At
    we strongly encourage people to take advantage of these resources. There are people who really care and want to help. AA does not refer people to any suicide prevention help or hotlines-they think all anyone needs is AA.

    When your sponsor told you you had mental problems did she suggest professional help or just to more big book thumping?

  7. Thank you all so much. Thank you Anon and AntiDenial. As Hartman says on his radio show, “I’m ok…but I’ll get better!”

    AntiDenial, she told me to do BOTH: Get treatment and get another sponsor. In the beginning she said that I did not need treatment or anti-depressants. I think she also was taking a hit to her ego by keeping a chronic relapser as a sponsee. She has quite a few and the others are much more malleable than I will ever be. I think I was making her look bad. That should not be the case. My drinking is totally My Responsibility. No one made me do it. The disease did not. The devil did not. My sponsor did not.

    I drank because I decided to do it…and I did.

    Yes, as one of you stated I am just not qualified to be an AA Member because I cannot master POWERLESSNESS. I honestly feel that I am Powerless Over God and the Will of Others…the weather…my ex-husband’s penis…well, you get the picture.

    I am going to just do what I do. I write. In my quest to regain my whole sense of self, I am going to write informational articles such as the ones I searched for and was seeking more of when I first entered AA. I will model this endeavor a bit off of what my sponsor always liked to draw from as the inspiration for her life’s work. It was something about making sure that AA is always there for the outstretched hand of an alcoholic. Well, I would like to make sure that information is always there for the Outstretched Mind of those who go looking for the truth, alternatives and solution.

    Before anyone ever, ever allows himself or herself to be molded into a subordinate position under some rank stranger in AA with a history of substance abuse issues and likely mental and emotional problems of their own, that person should FULLY be made aware of the potential dangers: emotionally, physically, mentally, financially, etc.

    I never totally trusted the entire AA scenario…but I did allow myself to trust and rely on them more than has resultantly been safe for me to do. I have to work very diligently to remain positive, hopeful and strong now. This site is such a help with that. I wish I had watch the following AA Sponsor WARNING a year and a half ago:

    The worse has not happened to me. I have not been physically assaulted or raped in AA. That is likely because I am already a survivor of childhood molestation, rape and chronic marital sodomy. My guard is always up in situations where I may be vulnerable sexually. I have seen the potential for it. I have been in a car with a man who made me very uncomfortable—following my sponsor’s suggestions! I have been instructed to ride to meetings with a man who is very well respected at a meeting I have attended every week. I simply found another way to get there or I did not go.

    I habitually avoid situations that place me in potentially uneven, vulnerable positions with men that I do not know and trust very well. I was raped at the age of 15. It was my first sexual experience. If I had known the potential for that to happen to me again was as exponential GREAT as it is merely by virtue of my attending AA (and even worse some NA) Meetings, I would have never, ever taken my raggedy ass in to even one of those rooms!

    My guard, however, was not sufficiently raised up against the so-called wiser, older, well-meaning women who said they only wanted to help me. They said that they would “love me until I learned to love myself…”
    That is just a saying.
    I have not been loved.
    I have been manipulated, humiliated and emotionally harmed. I have been abandoned and left for likely dead. In my opinion the way I have ultimately been treated is murderous. I have confided in my sponsor and her sponsor that I am also a survivor of an attempted suicide attempt when I was 17 years old. You see? They know. You simply do not treat a person with or without my history in the heinous, emotionally cruel ways that I have been treated. My sponsor’s sponsor literally told me that the reason I did not feel comfortable with another lady in The Fellowship who was trying to befriend me was because I recognized a look in her eye.
    “What look is that?” I asked.
    She said, “She has in her eye the look of Death…of one who is close to death. You recognize it because it is a reflection of you. That’s why you do not like her.”
    She said that to me a few months ago. Words cannot describe the mental agony that thrust me into. Even other people in The Program could not believe that. Why would people who know that someone has a history of depression, anxiety and teenaged suicide, tell the person that they have “the look of one who is close to death?”
    Is it ignorance or wickedness? I have chosen to believe that it is ignorance because I would vomit down her open neck if I thought she intentionally would be that wicked to me or anyone else. So let’s just go with Dumb-Ass-Old-Blitch, shall we?

    It is only by the True Grace of a God that AA knows not of that I retained enough of myself to resist being utterly consumed. That was always their primary objection with me. I was constantly told that I was, “HARD-HEADED.”
    I have not been called “hard-headed” since I was a danged-on child! How can I be disobedient and hard headed if the things they tell me to do are REALLY suggestions? They are liars and something within you senses it from the onset when they keep claiming not to be “religious” but then EVERY meeting starts and ends with The Serenity Prayer or The Lord’s Prayer–neither of which I have a problem with, but WHY LIE?
    AA lies a lot while calling you a liar.
    I feel that I as an individual have been fed a bill of lies that they hoped I would be weak-minded enough to totally ingest. When my mental and emotional digestive system continually refused to eat the whole “kablob” they decided to take a sledge hammer to my feet like Kathy Bates in Misery. The intention was to either kill me or break me.
    SEE: I left AA and I Didn’t Die
    Still, I do not get the sense that my former sponsor is mindfully wicked. I feel she is just indoctrinated and very ignorant. She has no original thoughts or comments or observations. She believes that this Program has saved her life. And if she believes it, I must accept that to be True for her. For me now, I am beginning to simply see her as a child (or mental-retard) who just does not know any better than what she is doing; too dull to really be culpable. She has been drinking Kool-Aid laced with AA-LSD for two decades and she thoroughly believes and is dedicated to The Doctrine of AA.
    I cannot hate her for that. I will continue to pray for her as I am sure she believes she has done for me.
    Most AA’s are so indoctrinated that I do not feel that they are even aware of the hypnotic modis operandi that has taken over their fully Program saturated psyches. Still, many more of them I suspect are keen enough to have long ago discerned the fallacious nature of The Program, but they are simply as we say, ‘in too deep.’
    Many so-called Sponsors who have been self-reportedly ‘drink & drug-free’ for decades have only their membership in AA and designation as a wise oldtimer with numerous sponsees as their source of self-esteem, accomplishment, worth and purpose. To admit that it’s all been a pack of lies, would be akin to taking a sledge hammer to their own feet of rotten clay. They don’t have the brass kahunas to be as rigorously honest as they demand the newcomers be.

    For instance, my sponsor with almost 21 years of self-proclaimed Dry Mouth, said that I was a liar who needed to learn how to tell the truth, immediately and without omission at all times as she herself had learned to do. Really?
    When she fired me 3 weeks ago, I had no warning. I was utterly caught off guard and brought to tears like a child. She coldly stated, “This has been building for a long time!”
    Wait a dog-damned minute here! Why would a seasoned sponsor with two decades of sobriety and who always stressed the importance of “Character Building,” promptly admitting wrongs and blah-dee-toot-fart-blah, hold on to a resentment for a sponsee and let it build and build over time until it exploded like audio diarrhea into the unsuspecting sponsee’s ear?

    If I was doing something wrong by sharing my thoughts and feelings with her as her sponsor, my so-called Grand-sponsor ‘suggested’ I do, why did she fail to bring this up with me herself before she became so full of cat-piss and vinegar?
    I’ll tell you why; Cause the people in AA are blind-sheep and full of sh!t and hubris. The more of that ‘book’ written by some desperate men in 1935 that they can read and even memorize, the more puffed up they seem to become. It is INCREDIBLE! But they are tripping for REAL. If they have not had a drink or a drug in years, one of the few things they have left to trip on is a mighty intoxicating drug called POWER. They are like Energy Vampires who suckle the soul-blood of hapless, helpless, powerless, clue-damned-less newcomers.
    Where else could an old lady call and make an intelligent middle aged mother of grown children cry like a baby sparrow? (I am so fluckin ashamed of myself for that!)
    She must have wet her Depends hearing all the pain she had the power to inflict upon me that day.
    Now, if I was successfully Programmed perhaps I would see the value in, staying with The Program so I could one day soon get my very own sponsees to misuse and abuse, eh? Yes… Sweet Dreams Are Made of These…Who the Hell Am I to Disagree?

    Okay. Excuse me please. Hopefully this will be my last scattered rant.

    Moving forward I intend to get into more writing articles about specific topics that would have helped me…thus helping other people searching for more information about what they may expect from a Journey into The Valley of AA.

    • Moving forward I intend to get into more writing articles about specific topics that would have helped me…thus helping other people searching for more information about what they may expect from a Journey into The Valley of AA.
      This was very theraputic for me Ill be free.

        • Anon- and ill be free

          Yes I will post them on the front page. You can send them to me and we can find pictures or you can that express what you feel. please feel free to do this. I agree with Anti D and really anon this goes for you as well. If you have an idea for a front page article or story written by you, send to me and we can see about putting it on the front page. Its a very important topic.

  8. @ill be free

    ranting is really important when we first see the truth about AA, are abused by AA members and when we leave. I ranted for almost 2 years on and off. But a good year I spent blogging daily.

    Being able to express ourselves and be validated and heard by others who really understand was so helpful to me.
    Im glad your found us and we found you 🙂

    • Thank you, so very much, Massive. It does help to be able to get it out of my system and to know that people that understand and know do hear me. No one else has a clue what I have just been through. Even the few people I told that I was in AA do not understand what I am going through now. They feel that my sponsor was horrible to treat as she did, but they do not really GET IT.

      I feel you guys on this site hear me. That’s a blessing.

      That is really all any human being wants; to be heard. That is what I think AA meetings capitalize on. And it would be a good thing if the core intent were benevolent. I thought it was. Where it was lacking I thought it was just an innocent or ignorant mistake…but the more I look the uglier it looks. (or am I just feeling this way because it’s sour-grapes at being FIRED by my sponsor? That thought creeps up here and there… I lack confidence in my thoughts and thinking so often now.) I feel I have more basic sense than to malign an entire program that actually helped people just because one person wronged me. That is not in my heart. I already suspected and felt these things prior to my sponsor’s crap treatment of me. I just tried to overlook it. It became far, far too important to me to please her and the Grand Sponsor. Oh how SICK! (I actually am nauseating to my own damned self right now.)

      I hope this all helps more people to be very, very cautious. Even if they are charmed by the kindness, the love-bombing and sense of belonging that they may be feeling In the Rooms initially, I hope this gives them reason to pause. And NEVER stop THINKING. AA can be exploitive. I have been remembering lately how one so-called “friend” in the Fellowship harped and harped on me until I edited her very poorly written 300+ page play for $56.

      It was not until I began reading sites like yours until I discovered that this type of advantage taking is commonplace in The Fellowship. Newcomers, it seems, are used and misused in as many ways that ex drug users and alcohol abusers can come up with. My mother always warned me about people like this. She says the live by the motto, “If you see a fool…bump his head!”

      I came across a “friend’s” email just today. She was my Sister-Sponsee (we have the — had the same Sponsor). She and I had gotten close. She has only been in for 3 years. She is a very nice lady. (I think???) I want to contact her…but I know I had better leave well enough alone.

      She would just ultimately be a means of The Program keeping tabs on me. Others in The Program who know what just happened are trying to “help” me and get me into “treatment.” They are being so kind. They agree that what my sponsor did was cruel—or at least they say they do. (I know NOTHING of these people anymore.) So, now the consensus is to get me in a treatment facility. WTF? That is the next phase, I suppose. Lock down & round the clock 12 – Step Indoctrination. This is SO strange. I cannot imagine how I got myself into this fluckin pig mess. Yes, drinking is bad! It lead me to this sh!t. Bad…Bad…Bad…

      I am very saddened by all of this.

      Today my anxiety over it has eased back up a bit. I do not feel as bad as I felt a few weeks ago, but I am still very sad. No one but people who have been in AA can understand how kind the people in The Fellowship can be; especially, in the beginning when they do all of their Love Bombing on you. My sponsor was like an angel from heaven. I felt like she was sent by God as a blessing to my life to actually help me. I never, never thought that she would hurt me intentionally. It did not seem to be in her nature. But she spoke to me like I was a piece of unwanted trash on the street that she needed to get rid of as quickly as possible. From kindness to meanness just-like-that! I’ll NEVER forget it.

      I remember always telling them how kind they were and how very much I appreciated them. I had become such a loner that I was simply not accustomed to people being nice to me anymore as pathetic as that sounds.

      How many more people out there are like I was? They just want someone to listen and genuinely care.

      One day I hope we can form a 24-hour a day line where people leaving AA can call and just talk to someone who cares; not a “sponsor” but someone better than a sponsor pretending to care but only doing penance or amends; someone who honestly cares and has volunteered just to listen to people in need of Human Compassion.

      That’s all I needed; not a new religion. Human Compassion. Def not a cult.

      I am also working on a starting a web site where I will publish my articles. For my first assignment I want to look into the danger of AA Meetings during the holiday season and beyond. My sponsor has told me of people who carry guns and of shoot-outs in the clubhouses of meetings within the city. I was shocked and wondered how/why anyone would continue to go to those meetings.

      You can actually feel your vulnerability at some of those meetings. Some of the men carry concealed weapons. Anyone can walk in. Times are hard. People need money, food, a sexual victim— some even need a fix.

      It is a Perfect Storm for DEVASTATION.

      Newcomers do not get this when they walk into these meetings.

      Thanks Massive.

      PS: You know what’s funny? My obsessing over alcohol is like GONE since my sponsor fired me. I feel so much better about alcohol in general. It doesn’t feel like a cunning, baffling, monster waiting out there to pounce on me and beat me with a lash until dead.

      It feels like a substance that I need not to use at all or too much at my own discretion…like it used to feel BEFORE AA.

      Never knew I was so damned weak-minded!

        • Thank you AntiDenial!

          Writing has always been therapeutic for me. Journaling can be very powerful and healing for those who use it. My head needs to get clearer after my trip through The Valley of AA…but I feel compelled to start a web site due to all of the help and support I have gotten from web sites like this one with caring people on it who are so willing to be as supportive and helpful as one can be to a stranger out in cyber-no-where-land.

          I have started it, but no real content YET-

          I don’t want to necessarily “bash” AA…but I want to cut through the bullshit and offer REAL information. I was in trouble when my sponsor reached out to me. She did actually help me. That is the confusing part. (That is the part that still makes me feel a bit ungrateful and guilty for speaking out now.) It is like being an abused child talking about a parent that hurt you, but you somehow still love. Flucked up; I know.

          I want “Newcomers” who question information given to them in the initial stages of being embraced by The Fellowship to be able to get the kind of insight I was looking for early on.

          I want to tell them EXACTLY what they will hear in response to their questions so that when they hear it they will not be shocked; They will see that we who have been there…HAVE BEEN THERE.

          I want to help create that healthy doubt, that crack in the armor of AA seduction and indoctrination. I want someone who visits my site to NEVER be caught off guard by a seemingly nice, kind, supportive sponsor who suddenly turns into a monster. I want them to KNOW what to expect.

          The strength and the simultaneous weakness of The Fellowship is that every blind sheep in the fold says the same damned things over and over. No one has an orginal, organic thought or genuine reaction. Cut thru the exterior of warmth and seeming kindness and they are really like ZOMBIES. After a point You don’t even have to ask them anything, you know EXACTLY what they will say.

          They’ll say what Bill W. said or they will say, “Bah…Bah….Bah…”

          It gets really Stepford Wife creepy after a point…but they will start droning in on the Serenity Prayer…asking if The Promises are “too extravagant,” everybody bah-chants “WE THINK NOT” in unison and ya just kind of leave it alone and drink your hot weak coffee.

          I want to write articles that relate to the Newcomer to AA… and the newly leaving AA. I want to ease the sense of aloneness…uncertainty and imbalance that AA injects into one’s mind in the beginning. I want them to begin to really wonder if they are in a cult—which the people in The Fellowship openly joke about. *So, if they joke about it, it just cannot possibly be true—right?

          It’s like that saying, “Just because I’m paranoid, doesn’t mean everyone is not out to get me.”

          “Just Because AA Members Laugh at People Calling Them a Cult Doesn’t Mean They Are Not One!”

          Funny thing is…as soon as one realizes that he or she is in a cult, you just cannot remain in. The spell breaks. The people in a cult; don’t believe they are in a cult. They REFUSE to believe it They think if AA was a cult, then it would not have “helped” them. But yes it would have…or could have. They fail to realize that their drinking is inconsequential. AA wants souls for The God of Alcohol. Everything is for the sake of AA as an organization. AA must survive. AA must survive. AA must survive…even if you, the “alcoholic”—dies.

          In tradition 1, they kind of talk all around this: the importance of AA as a group in relation to the individual. It’s kind of slippery, but one can get a new appreciation for it only AFTER being experientially exposed to AA. They try to make a big distinction between using the words “ought” vs. “must”. GOAT SP!T

          Only liars have to play such word games.

          I want to help the Newcomer to NEVER-QUITE-TRUST-&-OBEY-AA…like I never did.

          I suffered and I earned a mighty reputation for being “hard-headed” and unwilling to just “go down” to “surrender” and STOP THINKING…

          Oh I suffered for that.

          But I’m glad I’m out… & I dodged a MAJOR bullet, too.


          Thanks AA Leavers!

          • Good start on the website! I think cults in general can be attractive for being very accepting of all walks of life to get members. People who might of thought they did not fit in before, or burned all their bridges, are attracted to the love bombing and acceptance. Plus I am sure their are well meaning people in AA. But the path to hell is paved with good intentions.

            They seem to really drink the koolaid, and helping others or exerting power over others starts to satisfy a need for control and to be needed. I have read that those that do best in AA are those that actually sponsor. This is of course at the expense of the poor sponsee!

            So many in AA have so many unresolved issues that AA just does not handle, in fact they can make people much worse.

            It really is like a huge dysfuntional family, with unhealthy dynamics. Lots of co dependency, gossip galore, back stabbing etc. It seems many get addicted to not only the meetings, but the drama surrounding the meetings. There is always new horror stories, gossip, people falling off the wagon, others getting arrested-again. Just a mess really!!!!

            Good for you for wanting to write to help the new comers and the people leaving. There cannot be too much help on that end. You can tell by those that post their sense of relief and gratitude to find sites like this. They realize their feelings are being VALIDATED, they are not crazy after all!

  9. Holy mackerel smacker. This is the best thread I’ve read in a while. Hi all.
    Illbefree, thank you so much for speaking your Truth. I am in awe. An Incredible-bittersweet-horrid-glad-you-got-OUT story. I can relate. We all can. I am so happy you found us. Namaste all over you. Wow. I can’t comment much except for “Ditto on what they all said…” You write very well. I left on Mothers Day and have never felt so free. Totally gone is all the guilt, shame, beating myself up, and FEAR — all gone. Sponsors are so sick and dangerous. I am so glad I walked out of there forever. Many were really pressuring me towards the end. I, too, witnessed people not having an original thought of their own, all they were doing was spouting slogans like mantras. It never did quite sit right in my gut. I tried to connect totally with their pooorgram, but it was just too dang contradictory and was reminding me of Catholic church when I was small. Don’t question, don’t think, do this, do that… But they’re only suggestions, right? Pllllllffffffffffffttttttttttt…
    I’m not mad like I first was when I left. Some weeks are better than others. Sometimes I do want to go scream at them all in a meeting, telling them what a bunch of pathetic, lying, mindless zombie stepford wives they all are. They don’t see, just like you said.
    Glad you’re here. Everybody is very warm and helpful. I am eternally appreciative of the kindness here. Peace.

  10. Thank you–I really mean that sincerely AntiDenial & Rainbow…I appreciate everyone on this site sharing their Truth. It is liberating. I have been going back and reading past threads on here as well. How eye-opening. There are so many intelligent, aware & experienced people here. I would much rather communicate with people who do not feel that it is a dangerous, sin and “character-flaw” for one to utilize the Brain that God, the Creator of ALL saw fit to arm us ALL with.

    There are sites that say we are all just AA-bashers… That is not what I feel we are. AA did help me at first. I just want people to be able to KNOW the Truth when they initially are approached or are deciding to approach AA. That’s all. If a “higher-power” that you pray to for the miracle of releiveing you of your obsession for alcohol and removing all your flaws; whether that “higher-power” be a god, a door-knob, a sponsor, a table of people or a rock; works for you: I say WORK IT.

    But damn…Don’t people deserve to know what they are getting into? Not bashing; just asking. I mean, in the Big Book you can read where they tell them to purposefully hide the whole truth from newcomers so as not to scare them away. AA is a stone cold TRIP! Folks have a right to know BEFORE they start admitting to being a powerless alcoholic and telling people all of their business that they may surely live to regret!

    I balked at being told not to think when I was a 5 year old child in church for spit’s sake! Might the possession of a Brain, be a hint that it was meant to be used and not subdued for the sake of blindly, mindlessly following some outdated (if ever effective) Miracle Alcoholism Treatment from 1935?

    I woke wondering today how I ever allowed myself to be sucked into such an obvious perversion of anything that could be even remotely therapeutic. I mean, I was raised in a very strict religion. It took me years to find a Connection with God, the Creator separate from religious dogma and “church-people”.

    In my 20’s I found a way. I Purposefully and Consciously chose not to raise my children within any religion because in all good consciousness, though I do believe in God, the Creator of ALL and I do respect the religious beliefs of others…I don’t believe in them. I believe one can believe ANYTHING…the belief of one does not make it Truth for me. That’s all I’m saying.

    So, how; why did allow myself to be sucked into the most steadfast of religion/cult that I have ever experienced in my life? It is AMAZING. Often times I feel I am allowed to go through such trials so that I may transcend them and come back with a report to help, serve and inspire catharsis among others.

    It’s is the only way I can make sense of some of the BULLSHANK I have gone through in my burdensome existence—especially this latest CIRCUS CLOWN RIDE! I honestly cannot believe that someone who I allowed to get to know me; someone with whom I would share the tragedies of a childhood wherein I was molested by my aunt at 3; someone who heard me describe in detail how my virginity was stolen from me at 15; someone who listened to me say I had to endure being raped and sodomized as an abused wife and young mother for YEARS… Someone to whom I explained that I survived a serious suicide attempt as a teen and was diagnosed as clinically depressed; then as having generalized anxiety a few years ago…I just cannot fathom how someone you share so many intimate details of your life could actually come in and mindfully just hurt you more and while you cry like a baby that someone can just say…

    “OH WELL”

    It’s like talking directly to the devil…

    No one has treated me so wickedly, I swear, since my sadistic ex-husband–but I actually feel that my ex-sponsor is sicker than even he is. She came into my life as a Sponsor; someone who was supposed to care and help me; someone who told me that the medical professionals, counselors and such “just do not understand us alcoholics…ONLY we know how to help One of Ours… You are in the right place… We are going to LOVE you till you learn to love yourself…Don’t you worry now…Don’t you think…Don’t you cry & don’t ya drink…”

    Just keep comin…

    Yeah…they are certainly; aren’t they?

    Just this morning I realized that the church I was raised in has been accused of being a cult all of my life. I never believed it even though I left this church when I became of age. This church was also formed by a religious zealot who had visions, proclaimed to be a prophet and wrote many books…

    Did my background in that church help set me up for this I wonder?

    I do not know. My brain is still pretty sh!tty with the residuals of AA indoctrination, manipulation and castration. (I wore them fools out though…heh, heh, heh. I’m what ya call a HARD EGG!)

    I still feel like I miss and love my sponsor. Isn’t that crazy as hell? I still have this lingering doubt that maybe she will come and explain all this to me in a way that will make her not look so flucking DEMONIC. I still want to be wrong about her and the others. I still want them to REALLY love me and not be a part of some GIAGANTIC COSMIC LIE FROM HELL…

    But…just like people in hell want ice water…I want crap to be cream… LOL..

    What if she had not FIRED me?

    You see, her sponsor (my Grand Sponsor) fired her too, years ago. But she learned her Lesson. Straightened up and began to work a Good Program. The mental and emotional abuse worked on her. I am sure she feels that it ought to work on me too. Maybe she thinks one day I will get it together, work The Program and she will allow me to return as her sponsee. Maybe? Or maybe she notices that I will NEVER stop thinking?

    Maybe she thinks I will come closer to death, hitting my bottom and I will crawl up bleeding and naked from the gory gutter begging for AA Absolution????

    That ain’t NEVER gonna happen Sister!

    I’d rather drink muddy vodka water… & sleep out in the purple rain, than to ever, ever be an AA Member ever, ever again.

    I can’t wait till this sh!t wears of COMPLTELY…

    It’s worse than an extended hangover from hell…DAMN!

    • I think it is normal that you have mixed feeling about your sponsor. You were sincere in your friendship to her, just not the other way around. What she did to you is NOT normal. It is cruel and sadistic emotional abuse getting off on some power trip. Also it can be a case of- be careful what you ask for! She basically asked for all of your energy to be placed on her. She created this dependency and nurtured it until it no longer fit her emotional needs, then BAM!

      It is a process leaving a cult. It is like dealing with death on some level. Different levels of dealing with it. Denial, anger on and on. It will take time to deprogram and regain your emotional independence. ( You are doing pretty damn good!).
      I can see how after confiding your inner most personal details of your life to someone, and then they abandon you – would make anyone very confused and angry. This seems to be fairly common in AA, and I do not doubt for a minute plays a role in attempted suicides, and completed suicides. I am so glad you came out in one piece, and reaching out for help and reaching from within as well.

  11. I can not find words to explain how comforting it is to have people to communicate with about this who understand it. I would be so alone in this without you. Thank you!

    It is very uncharacteristic of me to have allowed myself to become so dependent on someone. I honestly still cannot believe I let it happen. Gulable Fluckhead…that must be me. But not really, really… Cause ya know, I never bought 100% into their pigspit. And that was their main issue with me.

    They said my hardheadedness was what was causing me to stay at the beginning at at the level of pain. I think it was painful because I knew better. I have never been one of those people who are capable of just going with the flow. Even when I TRY to; I just cannot do it. It is a blessing and sometimes feels like a curse.

    I did feel like opening a vein when my ex-sponsor called to fire me. It was so, so , so HORRIBLE. It still hurts. I honestly took her into my heart as a Family Member; a Sister. I would have done anything to help her or support her. If she had told me that I was bothering her or draining her or stressing her out I would have done my best to stop doing it. I’m not retarded. I do not just go around harrassing people. She and her sponsor told me to tell them EVERYTHING I thought and did. Why encourage someone to do that if you do not mean it? Or if you find it is too much, why not just say something before it becomes a problem?

    I feel like she resents not being able to 100% Program me…so she wants me to die. You see, you simply cannot know as much as she knows about me, do that and not expect something really tragic to happen to me. She wants me dead. I do believe that. And that is why I am fighting so hard to keep it together.

    F that. If I am going to fall all apart, at least let it be cause I got my heart broken by some fine-assed, tall dark handsome son of a blitch… Not some old AA lady. Naw… oh naw… I can’t go OUT like that! LOL

    I think it was just so new for me to have someone to rely on; talk to. It is usually I who serves as the advisor and caregiver. I liked having someone to lean on. It is emotionally traumatic to just lose that kind of support. She has at least 6 other sponsees so what does she care? What a fluckin SET UP…

    Luckily, I have a dear, dear friend that I went to grad school with. I have tried to explain to her what I am going through with this. At first she was angry with me for stopping AA. She doesn’t want me drinking at all. She actually cussed my ass out when I told her about my Harm Reduction Drinking Schedule…(Hha ha aha aah) I love her so much! She was like, “What the hell kind of mess is that?! Do not make me buy a plane ticket just to come slap you!”

    I promised her that I am only doing until after the first of the year when I will investigate SMART. I honestly am not having any real problems with drinking since leaving AA. It’s like a HUGE weight or pressur has been lifted from my mind and soul. They just make you build up so much fixation and anxiety around alcohol. Maybe this helps some people…it really messed me up.

    My friend and I have been friends for over 20 years. She’s been there all while I raised my kids and earned my degrees. I can talk to her about this…but as empathetic as her ear is–she doesn’t really, really get what has been done to me. Her solutions is, “Screw that crazy brainwash-blitch. You don’t need her. You never did. Just don’t f-n drink!”

    I’m like, “Okay…”

    Thank God for you guys.

    • This woman for sure got under your skin and in your head. It is like losing a best girlfriend after an argument -on steroids. She was like a SUPER girlfriend that was not a peer but someone you looked up to as well, thinking she was so wise. She was your mini guru. Just like most Guru’s, they are not what they appear to be. You found that out the hard way.

      I think the founders of AA knew enough about basic psychology that the way to to make AA grow and make people stay was to make them dependent on others in AA for their emotional survival.
      AA was not designed like this by accident in my opinion. It is not an accident that they say you need meetings for life, a sponsor for life, and if you do not you will die. Also it is no accident they set up the organization to minimize legal accountability. They just did not by some miracle organize in a way that they could shield themselves better than any organization I know of.

      Your story is happening to thousands as we speak no doubt. Sponsees being dumped, members being the butt of jokes behind their back, members at least on a sub conscience level hoping you at leasy half die so they can say ‘I told you so’.
      These nuts are practicing medicine without a licence, and it is killing people and emotionally doing so much damage. Not to mention they only have a tiny % that succeed in AA!

      I have read that even very intelligent people can be taken in by cults because they tend to be more open minded to different ideas. Then their are those that are just so vulnerable because they have burnt all their bridges, and they are lonely and want loving friends. Many actually walk in to AA starting out suicidal they are so down and out. This is what they get????!!!!!!!! It is criminal what they are doing, and look forward to the day that things change in AA.

      Keep on writing- you are doing great expressing yourself. All of us reading I am sure can feel your pain, I know I can! I am glad there are boards like this for people leaving AA, and I am glad you have your longtime 20 year girlfriend to talk to. Time will help heal.

      • anti d She was like a SUPER girlfriend that was not a peer but someone you looked up to as well, thinking she was so wise. She was your mini guru. Just like most Guru’s, they are not what they appear to be. You found that out the hard way.

        Very well put. This is exactly what happens. It needs to be exposed like we are seeing here.

  12. Speaking of AA people acting like they KNOW EVERYTHING. The egomaniacal air they take on when speaking of The Nature of This Disease of Alcoholism is totally absurd. They speak as if they have the grandest Authority on this quackery that some old crazy person made up out of desperation and then plagiarized some religious doctrine directly from The Oxford Group. He didn’t even know what the hell he was talking about and now they follow him acting like they know something. But IF we REALLY look at them; what they profess with their mouths, their behavior and attitudes do not support.

    I did not do well in The Program because of many reasons. One of the main ones was my inability to fully accept the idea of POWERLESSNESS & Disease.

    Honestly, these AA people do not REALLY accept it either. I see that now.

    Case in point: A dear friend of mine recently lost her mother to cancer. She was like a mother to me as well. A few years ago when the disease went into remission we were all absolutely overjoyed. Sadly, she relapsed and came out of remission last year.

    None of us ever had a thought to verbally condemn her, hit her or chastise her in any way for having come out of remission. She had a disease. She knew and we knew that she was utterly powerless over the cancer. (And all without her standing up and proclaiming, “I am POWERLESS over cancer!”) Yes, she could do things to try to care for herself and the doctors could treat her. We could all pray—HARD. Still, she could not control the disease. When we are dealing with Reality (and not trickery) it just IS WHAT IT IS.

    When she died a couple of months ago we were all heartbroken and her loss is just an ongoing pain. We are not, however, angry with her. We do not feel that she is dead because she FAILED to do anything or had some gross, unattended character defect.

    When I relapsed in AA EVERYONE got very angry with me personally. I failed. (When you are sober, God and The Program have succeeded & you are powerless; when you relapse—YOU FAILED & you used your power…you self-will run riot to do it!) One time after yelling and screaming at me my Grand Sponsor caught herself and claimed that she was not angry at me; she was just angry at the disease. Yeah…yeah right. (Does the disease have eardrums? Cause if it does it ought to be deaf by now.)

    One time someone in the program got so angry with me that she said she wanted to just punch me. One of my Program friends actually flogged me over and over with a pair of leather gloves (LOL she didn’t hurt me). My sponsor has gotten very nasty with me and verbally condemning over the slips or relapses I have had.

    Here is my observation: You do not get angry at someone that you believe has a DISEASE for getting sick, coming out of remission or relapsing. You get angry at people for making engaging in unwanted BEHAVIOR. Why? You get angry because you KNOW that BEHAVIOR is dog-damned CHOICE and NOT A DISEASE!

    Every time I have taken a drink in my life…I have chosen to do it. I know that.

    They fluckin know it too!

    The people in AA know that this DISEASE and POWERLESS stuff is a bunch of LIES. (Most will never admit it…well, unless and until they get the gonads to up and leave AA—which I have learned from this phenomenal site does actually happen. Thank God!)

    If AA-holes believed their own BS they would all gather around their poor relapsed comrade and give them some type of medicine…or maybe they would dance about naked under full moons, speak in tongues or get down on all fours and howl like dogs. I don’t know. I do know that they would not emotional or physically punish a sick person with an actual disease over which the patient has no control or power whatsoever.

    Am I right?

    I wish I could go to a meeting and continued to ask them every damned week, “Why do “we” get so upset with relapsers?” Just to hear the different bullspit they come up with. That’d be fun.

  13. ill be free- if you live close to me I’ll go with you so you can say it. Im in los angeles.

    FIrst off you have nailed the insanity in AA today.

    you said “Speaking of AA people acting like they KNOW EVERYTHING. The egomaniacal air they take on when speaking of The Nature of This Disease of Alcoholism is totally absurd. They speak as if they have the grandest Authority on this quackery that some old crazy person made up out of desperation and then plagiarized some religious doctrine directly from The Oxford Group.”

    The last 6 months I went I felt like I was taking LSD when they would read or talk , because I finally saw through the lies and the made up wacko ideology. It was like I had never really listened, like I never really questioned. But I did …didnt I when I was young and newer? I guess I just heard what I liked and left the rest.

    Boy was that a manipulating slogan said over and over again to gain more young new members. I get so F#####king mad sometimes that I hung out there for so long UGHHHHHHHHHHH.

  14. Alcoholism IS a disease. With enough repeated exposure your body chemistry changes and you become chemically dependent. This is what causes withdrawal symptoms. Its a disease that is reproducible in animals. In some cases the dependency is so severe that acute withdrawal can be fatal. That’s why so many people have to de-tox under the care of a physician. Its a not normal to be dependent on alcohol; chronic alcohol use causes many physical ailments including dementia.
    It is a denial of reality to claim alcohol dependency is not a disease. Ask yourself if its not a disease, how is it animals can be made physiologically dependent – that is, they suffer withdrawal symptoms- measurable changes in the body’s chemistry that cause pain and discomfort and are relieved when alcohol is administered; the administration of which also causes measurable biochemical changes. Its a diseased state for an animal to be dependent on alcohol.

    • No question that physical dependence on alcohol (i.e. alcohol dependency) results in physiological changes that can require medical treatment for potentially life threatening withdrawal (been there, done that). Similarly, continuing medical treatment may be required for a host physical ailments that are the result of alcohol use (i.e. cirrhosis, dementia, etc.). However, “alcoholism” (which differs from the medical definition of alcohol dependence) is defined by AA as a “spiritual disease” that is to be treated with the 12 steps as outlined in the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous. Furthermore, “alcoholism” is considered by AA to be a family disease requiring treatment of the self-identified alcoholic’s family and friends with the 12 steps (via Alanon, Adult Children of Alcoholics, etc). If the alcoholic and/or their family also practice poor financial management, they can seek treatment for the disease of poor financial management through the 12 steps (via Debtors Anonymous), as well as work the 12 steps to address the disease of habitual messiness (via Clutterers Anonymous).

    • Dependence on a substance that YOU choose to physically ingest is not a disease like cancer is a disease. The dependence argument is weak at best and doesn’t support the disease concept. Once the organism does not consume the substance, the “disease” goes away. Your argument makes no real sense to those that aren’t affected by cult thinking. Your logic is twisted.

    • If one eats too much hagendazz ice-cream or even a pot of coffee a day will have horrible headaches from the withdrawal.

      Is being addicted to caffeine a disease. Nope!

      Is being addicted to nicotine a disease. Nope!

      Alcohol Dependance IS NOT A DISEASE.

      GO away Nurse Jackie…you are on the wrong blog!

    • @Nurse
      AA claims that alcoholism is a spiritual disease. What part of a nurses medical training covers spiritual diseases? Does your local hospital have a department of spiritual diseases? Are there any other spiritual diseases we need to know about besides alcoholism?
      In medical school are there any other diseases that are considered treatable only by the beliefs of a brain damaged,criminally dishonest, unemployable, acid dropping, lifelong sexual predator with no education to speak of waffled out in 1939?

      • ANd what disease in the hospital do they ask you ” what’s your part in it” and what disease are you treated by a non dr layperson who is a control freak? What disease do they say, you are like a man who has lost his legs you will never grow new ones, but GOd will help you….


        • And what disease is treated by putting you in a room with no supervision alongside convicted sex offenders who have been recruited there without your knowledge and sit beside you anonymously.
          What other diseases have only three outcomes insanity,jail or death?

  15. i had my own concept of god before i went to AA but i kept getting told i had to change that
    it was sick, and i kept getting told i had to find god and had to get god.
    i also kept getting told what god was and to do things such as cast spells
    and say the serenirty prayer.
    when i met my last sponsor she said she was leading me to god and if i got lost she would lead me back to god. after that i kept getting told it wasnt god it was HP,
    and getting told i had to get and find god….
    and that it wasnt god it was HP and it was spiritual
    i got more confused around god in AA /NA than i had ever been before in my life.
    I found some of the members and the sponsors very controlling. And the steps very difficult and very hurtfull at times. And dangerouse i thought it dangerouse to my family and myself to make ammends to men who had battered me near to death.And being blamed for being raped very harmfull to me.
    I firmly believe AA is a cult.And it has hurt me very much. I’m lucky i got out of AA
    and that im doing okay without them.
    well i cant change what i think god is and no longer care to try to. because no matter what i looked into and i practised many beliefs none of them worked.
    And god don’t answer many of my prayers, that i say for myself
    So fuck it all i don’t want any religoun, and i don’t want a faith cure for anything.
    and from now on i’m sticking with my free will. im also becomming too disgusted to stand hearing much more about AA. And hurt feelings sadness for other’s pain , i can feel there pain, Thats what AA has done for us then. I need to get my mind off it for a little while.

    This is AA’s concept of god..beware
    its got AA behind it

  16. Hi! I’ve read all your comments. I’ve been going to Aa meetings for a month and a half and I’m here for a reason and it’s because I was questioning inside my head what I’m getting into. I have been attending meetings as much as I can even though I’ve been repeatedly told that I must do 90/90 despite the fact that I’m happily married and have two children to take care of. Had my life become unmanageable because of my drinking and cocaine habit. Yes it had. I wanted to separate from my husband and live the life of an addict (though at the time I wasn’t aware of this because I did not admit I was addict and the drugs were simply making me think in a screwed up way). Am I powerless over drinking and using? Yes. I cannot moderate myself and my only option is complete abstinence and my life has become a happy and rational one. I have definitely found the serenity I was seeking. So I’m pretty much done with Aa right? Not according to them of course. I’m only on Step One. They are love bombing me. I’m hugging people I don’t know and it definitely feels pretty awkward at times. At the meetings I hear the same things over and over again. Maybe stories about their lives and how they became alcoholics vary but the message and slogans are all the same and it is all about promoting Aa and how it has saved lives. Fantastic. Then why do they keep going back after even 30 years? Because they are indoctrinated and they haven’t moved on at all as they keep constantly and obsessively dwelling in their defects of character for even the most minor things that have to do with daily life problems that all of have to face and that most can do so without going to Aa meetings all the time. One thing that really gave me a lot of suspicion was that any question I had regarding Aa was brushed off as “this is the way it works, take it or leave it but if you leave your life will turn back into the shithole you had gotten yourself into”. I once was simply complaining to my sponsor that I sometimes can’t deal with some of the discussions I get into on Facebook. She said: people like us (I’m not like her or anyone, I am me) don’t belong on social networks or on the Internet in general. How medieval is that? Is she afraid that I might get information that will change my mind on Aa? Because life, emotions, everything has to stick to the program. Now if that is not a cult I don’t know what is. Another example is that when I was drunk I got into a horrible fight with my father in law and want to apologize and make things right because it is also affecting my overall family relations. My sponsor said to wait because I’m not there yet. What? I’m only on step one so I have to wait how many months to apologize?! That is insane. Another thing that she required is prayer. I’m Catholic (living in Rome!) and I’ve always believed in God and pray and go to church when I feel like it. I have my own way of praying and that is my business. She said that I have to get on my knees (LOL) every morning and every night asking for a day of soberness and then thank for another day of soberness. Getting on my knees! What am I? Five years old? And who is she to tell me or suggest as they like to put it how I have to pray? And also she was an atheist who only found God through the steps. Sorry but I have a little more experience than that. How pretentious! But what is bothering me the most is that when I share I’m already using their lingo and always find myself thanking the program for helping me stay sober. I don’t even believe that! I checked myself in the hospital on my own asking for help because I would have overdosed otherwise. I went to rehab and at that point had already decided on my own that I was done drinking and using. I’m using their lingo and thanking the program because I’m a people pleaser and almost feel that these poor indoctrinated people need some kind of confirmation. So I can see that their indoctrination has actually seeped into my brain and that scares the shxxt out of me because what will happen as I move ahead on these steps. And regarding the steps I am not a bad person!!! Surely I have hurt some people whom I love while I was using drugs but everyone makes mistakes and my behavior was induced by the drugs. However as a nice person deep down inside I simply regret what I have done and will make ammends because that is what people do. I don’t need a step to make me figure that out!!! To conclude, and I think this is where it becomes dangerous, is that I have been diagnosed Bipolar by numerous psychiatrists throughout my life, it runs in my family – while drinking doesn’t at all – and naturally I have now accepted to be on medication. What I was told by the cult is that 1. they are not doctors. (Fine!) but 2. that eventually I will be able to go off my medications – they especially don’t like the xanax-. So Aa cures bipolar too? My anxiety? I actually take a xanax before I go to meetings cause it gives me anxiety!!! As not calling my sponsor every single day (to check in) gives me guilt (indoctrination alert) and anxiety and talking about alcohol all the time gives me anxiety. Because when I don’t call the sponsor or go to a meeting and just go about my regular day sober I don’t think about drinking at all! It’s them who make me want to obsess about it. Anyway how dangerous is it to tell a person with a mental disorder to basically go off medication? It even says in their introduction: there are those who suffer from grave mental and emotional disorders and that basically through the very dated and weird big book they will be saved. People with mental disorders commit suicide and the only way to prevent that is with medication and psychotherapy! I’m not surprised that some people who go to Aa end up committing suicide. They tell them to go off the medication and at the same time keep reminding them that they are helpless, they need to make constant inventories, they will never be normal (normies being not the enlightened ones) etc. To conclude I have decided to cut down on the meetings (sure sometimes they are even fun and helpful) and fire my sponsor before I get to entwined in all of this BS! Yes they are a cult and I’m glad I have enough intelligence to have figured that out on my own and to have found this and other websites that confirm this.

    • critical thinker- you said …I’ve been repeatedly told that I must do 90/90 despite the fact that I’m happily married and have two children to take care of.

      I loved your post and Im happy to see you have more brains and get the feeling that something is “wrong” with this sort of advice.

      I want to repsond in more detail but I have been filming an interview all day. Im pooped! So I will come back later and join in the conversation.

      Again Welcome, welcome, welcome!!!

  17. One more thing: Alchoholism is not an allergy as The Doctor’s Opinion chapter in the Big Book states. It does not give you hives! It’s a compulsive psychological and addictive desease where you need more and more drinks to get the wanted effect and in many people it can become so progressive that you can’t do without. There are plenty of ways to recover in more rational scientific ways. I wish it gave me gives or a fever. I would have stopped a long time ago 🙂

    • critical thinker,

      im not an alcoholic, so I CANT get step 1..they judged and blamed me and branded me for not takeing it..
      i tryed to, they said i was in denial..
      i went through all there steps a few times in different ways..
      (I have no hidden dirty secrets, i shared it all)
      but i kept picking up .

      I drink now.
      I can have 1 or 2.
      i can leave it alone not think about it for long periods of time..

      i have also been drunk a few times in the past year and a half..maby
      5 times not often. and i enjoyed myself and didnt do any harm, and dont feel ashamed guilty or bad for that.(had one bad hangover)

      there are alcoholics who can stop and stay off without AA.

      They messed my head up about god..
      I also didnt like it when i first went and other times ordered, to get on my knees and pray…especially when it came from a very abuseive sponsor who later ran away with all AA takeings

      They are not a self help group they are a religoun of there own.
      They will not believe that you already have a god in your life..Some may tell you that the god you have is not god.
      They will tell you that you have to find god through AA steps.
      And its AA and AA sponsors and AA doctrine your being drawn into.

      Even if you go regular to your own church…you will be liveing by AA doctrine you will be required to recruit other members of your church into AA if they show an interest in AA if they are haveing drink problems.

      I’m not sure but, Your church may differ in some of it’s doctrine to that of AA.

      I wanted to make ammends to my children and father…I made ammends to most people i harmed while clean and sober…

      But picked up again before i made ammends to the last person i had on that particular list…(I’m sure i could have wrote another..).my father was the last one.

      I did it while stoned ..he said “You dont owe me any you were never bad to me and never harmed me “You were always a good person.
      You were not a spoilt brat

      My dad dont like AA or want me to go nor do my other family..
      they like me okay as i am.

    • Well, Critical Thinker, like we say in SMART, what are you going to do now? It is obvious you are far too intelligent and self-aware for AA, so you need a plan. And, yes, they are attempting to indoctrinate you into cult thinking and belief systems. They will use fear, shame, guilt and social inclusion and exclusion as their main tactics. Ultimately, what they are looking for is the conversion narrative from you. It goes something like this – “My life was a mess and I was living all wrong and was miserable. Then I found the fellowship of AA and got a sponsor and worked the steps and now have a conscious contact with a higher power of my choosing that I call gawd and my life is better than I could have imagined before I got here.” Heads will nod in approval, people will smile and you will be one of them at last.

      • thank you Spj. I wish we had Smart in Rome because I looked it up and sounds exactly what I was looking for and ended up in Aa instead. However I am sure that with a little research I will find something similar. In fact the last time I was at my psychiatrist office there was a pamphlet about group therapy on drug and alcohol addictions which seemed very scientifically based and run by cognitive behavior psychologists. I only briefly took a look at it and didn’t put it in my purse because I was already attending Aa and was happy at first before I came to the realization that I was getting myself into a very twisted and possibly dangerous setting. I will look into it again. I don’t believe that I am an alcoholic the rest of my life. In fact I’m already not as I neither drink or use drugs or have any desire too. But surely I want to learn more about addiction and compulsion because I’m prone to it. Furthermore I will seek a CBT therapist to help me figure out what has lead me to use. I have social issues such as shyness, insecurities etc. and hopefully and with serious work based on a non religious model I will find tools to overcome them. No brainer really. Aa sells itself as a simple program but it’s the most complicated, twisted and irrational crap I’ve ever read or heard. And Yes!!! the way you described their shares is exactly like that. As I’ve mentioned their histories vary but the message is always unmistakably the same. I have learned nothing about their experience except to keep going to these insane and often boring meetings (some are actually even funny… hilarity drawing you in to not make it sound so damn tragic– cult alert)

    • The big book was never vetted or researched. SO much of it is bullshit…plan and simple. I am lucky I am free and gone from the cult.

      • I’ve been skimming through it apart from being dated it is also very ignorant. The Doctor’s Opinion, the first chapter I was asked to read, is an insult to the profession. Also I was asked to read two pages at a time! And then to underline and discuss it with my sponsor. What am I? In first grade? lol Obviously I read the whole chapter and it’s all a bunch of lies that make no sense. The reason they want you to read that one chapter first and only two pages at a time is for them to make it go really slow in order to indicotrinate you slowly… it takes time to brainwash people who come in surely vulnerable but with core ideas and culture behind. They need to destroy that before sinking the big book pages into your mind. If you read the big book all at once it’s too obvious how twisted it is. I was also told to not read the 12/12 book because I wasn’t ready yet. How patronizing! I’m college educated but even if I wasn’t how pretentious to tell me not to read a book! I read whatever I want. But the thing is they want you to read it while they explain it too you so you don’t interpret it your own way. The deprive you of identity. I’m so sorry Massive about your horrible experience but I’m glad you turned it into something positive. I hope that by my small contributions as a newcomer I can also help another newcomer as I just lived and still living these aspects. Today I did cally sponsor and told her that I have absolutely no desire to drink and she said :Good, that will make it really easy for me to sponsor you but remember that even a broken shoelace will make you relapse so keep coming to meetings. It’s almost like they expect and want the relapse so you keep going back. Anyone else, like my non Aa friends are just happy that I’ve come so far and compliment me and not the program. That is what I need! Also, I was told to network a little more with Aa members and to go with then to coffee, dinner etc. Now why in the world would I want to hang out with people I don’t know and call them? To say what? Share my thoughts to strangers? give them my phone number or house adress or last name? So much for anononymity!!! They are nuts and a cult!!

  18. I agree with every thing you say except the bit about continuing to go to meetings. I say don’t go at all because they are dangerous and will harm you. They will undermine the independent thought you have demonstrated in the above two posts with subtle mind control techniques that later can become very difficult to deprogram from. Congratulations on seeing the truth so early, move on, you don’t need them, nobody does.

    • Without even realizing I am doing it sometimes I still “look for my part” (something I always hated) and getting depressed. As if I am somehow responsible for other people’s bad behavior toward me. That is very destructive and I ended up very depressed. And bargaining with God. It is not healthy and it is not theologically sound for Catholics and i am one, too. I do not like that AA snickers at Catholics, at best. I found it very hurtful. It is hard to shake this stuff. I kept feeling like God did not like me because I was having a bad day. Like I must have done something to deserve it. No one ever taught me that about God in catechism. I learned that in AA. If you want to find out AA’s true colors, work it into your share in a group meeting that you are Catholic. Snorts and snickers at best.

      • Another reason for any Catholic not to attend AA is the issue of its many heresies in particular that of sharing at meetings. I believe that public sharing (witnessing, testimony) is banned by the Catholic church, by no less than the Pope. For a Catholic, confession should only occur in a private with an ordained priest. Therefore 12 step meetings are heretical for Catholics.
        Sharing, AA style is public confession, it is shaming, it ignores normal social boundaries and when we cooperate with it we willingly violate our own personal sanctity leaving us ripe for indoctrination.

        • As a matter of fact now that you made me think about it, here in Rome all Aa and NA are held in Catholic Churches (there isn’t really any other options as far as other denominations such as Protestant etc) so I must assume that Catholics actually do like the cult! And also the English speaking ones are packed with Irish Catholic drunks…

  19. I would say that AA members do not act alike, the ones what seem to control the peoples lives are the aggressive ones who meme rise the big book and intimidate the weaker ones, with threats violence and verble abuse, they seem to be the ones what seem to control the others lives and they are the ones what are destroying there own cult, and they create a people like my self who bad mouth the AA groups and the people, and chase away the new comer thank god for web sites like this and people like my self what spread the anti AA message

  20. I wasn’t chased away from AA by gossip or anyone bad mouthing it.
    I was threatned with violence,verbel abuse,and controlled.
    I left becuase i picked up again while trying to do the sugestions.
    And i didnt like the way i felt a lot of the time.
    I didn’t know already gone was catholic,i thought atheist don’t know why.
    I disliked one catholic in AA, but not becuase he was catholic.
    He was a catholic priest, and this isnt why i disliked him but,
    he shared that he prayed and said “Who ever the real god Is ” in his steps.
    i tried that but it didn’t do nothing for me.
    I disliked him when he looked down his nose at me, and he would interupt me when i shared.
    He also tryed to manipulate me into being counselled by him..
    He was a counsellor.
    Good luck to him he’s been sober many years so it helped him.
    i have knew many catholics, hes the only one i disliked.

    • Once a newcomer asked me about telling her sponsor things she did not feel comfortable telling her in the fifth step. The newcomer was an Orthodox Jew, practicing. I told her she could tell her Rabbi or someone bound by confidentiality if she chose. The old-timers were mad at me. I also said that I held some things back and told them to a priest. AA heresy.

      • it says in there own book Another human being….
        I reckon a priest would be a better person to do it with than an AA..(And im non religouse) Good for you !

        They kept telling me i was pickin up relapsing becuase i was hideing dirty secrets..
        They kept at me to share it all with an AA sponsor…
        I shared many things with, was it 7 sponsors..
        I shared it all “WHAT THEY DID TO ME ”
        Some of “WHAT THEY DID TO ME…a little of it i shared with a couple of sponsors in LIFE STORY… very short ones. no details of what they did to me..

        this was responded to with harshness and told I DID IT
        told You should be thinking about how guilty he must feel , around one issue..Or nothing said at all.
        I was Blamed for Things they did to me..i was left gutted
        they had the abilty to hurt me inside…Then

        I told them all of what I DID..all of it..

        I was honest..but i kept picking up.
        They seemed to be pushing me to some kind of breakdown..
        forever being told i was dishonest..too gravely ill, hideing dirty secrets…

        I have been skint most of my life..long story but they were keeping me that way…
        Theres been times i have nearly been down the road of soliciting..Through lack of money and a violent man
        i never did..I got away…
        i have never prostituted…thankfully i have not had to ..ATE FROM BINS and begged…yes, and worked when i could i have worked on and off since i was 14.

        One time out of AA i was near to this again Soliciting..but i didnt and i went back and i shared it..
        They pushed again and again..almost as if they wanted me to go out and end up that way along with a needle in my arm if i had listened to NA..

        I havent been no angel, in my part of the world theres some would call me a whore..
        Mayby i have been at times, but i aint ever prostituted “Not YET ! they would say..

        Yes i went there in the first place..Yes i went because i got drunk too much..
        im sorry i ever did. go there,im sorry i met them
        But What makes them so innocent, there shit dont smell of roses.They find ways to blame me for everything, but its never AA.

        They tell me im pretending to be ok cant be without AA.

        I get this all the time, not just from AA,people searching for something who tell me i cant be okay.Projecting there own unhappy lifes on to me.People trying to break me down so they can have there bit, of me.
        They say i cant be happy as i am not in AA dont get or do steps, i drink and use weed (I use weed for pain im a bit disabled..) so i cant be okay..they say i pretend im okay pretend that i dont care that im not in there didnt get it..
        They say i caused everything i did it all.

        Well, i have got over worse than AA..and i got over AA.
        F*** them F*** looseing everthing becuase of P***ks
        I may be a cripple and a whore but im a lot more honest than the sad bas***s i met in there.

    • Because he’s in the cult! And also being a priest as we have read a lot in the news doesn’t necessarily make you a good human being. Because that is what they are: humans. Sorry about your experience 🙁

    • i did not know any priests..i wasnt brought up with any church..
      i did go to a church of England Sunday school a few times with my mum when i was an infant.
      My dad stopped that.
      The only priest i really met, but did not know, was one catholic priest in AA whom i disliked.Dont hate dont resent and dont think about..

      Priests are bound to confidentiality, like counsellors,
      so thats why i think it would be better to share harms with one of them than AA..thats if a person wants to do that.
      My step work was shared around the rooms. also my personal 4th step stuff was gossiped about around the rooms by sponsor.

      Also arent priests and all christains ment to be forgiveing, isnt forgiveness part of the teachings of jesus.
      Not many christains do it though i find them mostly unforgiveing.
      And judgmental.
      Not that im perfect in that department myself.

      But then again i found no forgiveness towards me from any AA sponsor, when shareing what i did ..or shareing what they did, or empathy.Just blame..YOU DID IT..My sponsors were all in AA, Some of whom were pagan, athiest and christain, bar the last one, i had a feeling i wasnt judged by her, but then again she did class me as evil so maby not.

      I have some belief in jesus teachings, but that hasnt always worked for me though.either.
      PRE AA , bad shit happend, i would talk to a mate or family about it get angry , shout a bit ..then forget about it. I was layed back easy going and forgiveing..towards most who hurt me. Too forgiveing at times , i recall my aunty cathy telling me that many years ago..your too forgiveing..she said
      Also, Too many times i took the blame for things that i did not do.I could also blame others at times.When i did play a part in it, sometimes i didnt look at that.But mostly i forgot shit and got on with it.
      I dont hold with the take 40 slaps on the face and turn the other cheek, any more, or if your brother robs your coat take off your shoes and give them to him also..
      I know thats not the exact words but it’s near enough.
      I think it best if someone hurts me too much too walk away from them and not go near them any more.And if i bad mouth them in the process of doing that so what!
      i dont think about AA any more.i post about it here thats the only time im thinking about it.Im not seething with hatred and bitterness towards them.

      I like helping to expose them, and helping others who want to leave.
      but i do think a lot of them are p****s, and bitches.

    • Joe
      yeh AA priests are not right religouse myself .
      my mum was a lapsed christain, the things she told me put the fear of
      god in me .
      AA seemed the same as cultish and religouse.Its own religoun.

      i stayed abstinant of sex and relationships for 9 years in AA it made me celabate,
      i may as well have became a catholic nun.
      i was told that sex or relationships for the first 2 years was wrong.
      yet i was hit on for sex by old timers.
      I said no.i was blamed

      i had a few one night stands when i was younger and at times had a few relationships that i was not married to therm
      i was married twice.And found it hard to escape from domestic violence.

      That apperently made me a sex n love addict..A whore..
      A consenting adult haveing sex with another consenting adult in the year 2000..because i had feelings for them.
      i wasn’t out looking for sex ..
      i stayed off men for 4 years at one time in my life PRE AA
      so i can do without it.

      If i go to AA i may as well be in a convent or a monestry .I May as well go back to the mormons.Another cult i was in when young.
      cant do anything in AA. and it dont stop at drink ..Everything is seen as a drink..

      What did i write there i stayed off men LOL
      men are seen as a bottle getting drunk..
      Cigaretts are, weed is, gambling is, coffee is, work is

      AA is not the last stop theres lots of anons.

  21. Hello again and thank you for welcoming me Massive and all the others for advice. I know I have to leave but since I haven’t been damaged yet I’m not sure how to exactly do it. I’m going to try within the next couple of weeks by showing up less and and not calling my sponsor. Hopefully they won’t be on my back but if they do it will be interesting to see what methods they use and I will post about them. I feel pretty safe because I figured this whole scam very quickly. My brother was in a cult, a very bad one, and it took years if reprogramming to get him back to being a functional person in society. So I know the mechanisms and was able to recognize them. This and other websites such as Orange papers confirmed what I had suspected. As far as what will I Di next is find a good CBT therapist and already have several numbers to call, two of them directed by my wonderful psychiatrist (who laughed at the whole allergy bull). I told the whole Aa group that I’d be going from the beginning and they all kind if brushed it off except for only two of them who go themselves… but they spoke almost whispering after the meeting when everyone chit chats and gossips of one another (pathetic!). I know things after only a month if other members that are none if my or anyone’s business! I have already confessed my wrong doings spiritually at the priest who gave Sunday mass at the clinic where I was for rehab and to me a priest who has no idea who I am and is sworn to secrecy much like a psychologist are the only people I should trust with my intimate affairs… not a whole group of blabbermouth drunks! So I will let you all know how things devolop if anything strange should come up. (by the way in Rome we don’t have small community churches where everyone knows each other… it’s Rome and it’s packed with almost too many very very big ones Lol).

    • You’re very fortunate to have figured things out so early. It seems like you learned a lot from your brother’s experience. I always find it interesting to hear about AA in different parts of the world. The descriptions of dysfunctional behavior are usually very similar. Once a cult, always a cult, no matter the place or language.

      • Exactly. And one of the strongest signals I got was because since this Aa group is the only English speaking one in Rome there are a lot of visitors, tourists and flight attendants, and they ALL speak the same way. Same exact format. All gearing towards an Aa promotion of life saving program and keep coming back lingo. They are robots and they come from all over the world Rome being a huge tourist city and English being an international language.

  22. I want to add one more thing: I am very angry that I was told in the cult that Aa comes first before my children. The last year I was drinking and using cocaine and pretty much ignored them or rather wasn’t there for them as much as I would have liked to. I ended up in the hospital and was away from them for three weeks, the longest I have ever been away. When I recovered all I wanted was to make it up to them and be with them all the time (they are the ones who have restored me to sanity!!!). But according to the cult I had to attend meetings every single day and the meetings are either at lunch or at dinner time for my English speaking home group. I hated the fact if missing meals with them and my husband as I was trying to put the family back together and bring back normality-meals being an obvious time for that having missed so many of them for going out and partying. The cult told me that I come first. That is bullsxxt!!!! My kids come first. They are my children for crying out loud. My family comes first and it’s the only really normal thing there is! I am appalled that my sponsor the other day was at a meeting and told me that her 12 year old daughter was making pasta for her and that her daughter picks up her little brother from school and takes him home on a public bus in one of the largest cities in the world where she doesn’t even speak Italian.. just because their mom has to go to meeting after 5 years of sobriety. That is not sober! That is sick! That is belonging to a cult!!!!

  23. One more thing I need to add: English is my second language so I was mistaken when I said I went to rehab. I went to a mental clinic where I was again diagnosed as Bipolar and a new diagnosis of addiction. They gave me medications which are life savers for me and simply told me to get therapy. They detoxed me from Valium which I was abusing (the cocaine and alcohol were already out of my system). They had several meetings lead by psychologists and doctors explaining the harms of drugs and some basic ideas about addiction. They also had an introduction to Aa where Aa volunteers came and talked about the program. Well what I found out later was that Aa wants to stop going because the meeting was lead by a psychologist and a psychiatrist and they said that only they have the right to speak without any interference from non alcholics… cult alert. But good that they’ll stop going at least people with mental illnesses and addictions can go and seek help to more scientific medical psychological rational approaches rather than a magical thinking one I.e God will cure you. Because as a religious person I had asked God many times to give me a way etc. but in the end it was me and only me that decided I’d had enough! Maybe my belief gives me strength but ultimately it is a challenge that I must work on… not Him!

    • critical thinker,
      i agree with your post, im not religouse person.
      however on entering AA i had a very strong belief in god.
      AA did more to destroy my belief, than anything or anyone else ever has.
      Since AA i have became confused around god, and I have a tendancy to jump from christain to pagan beliefs and at times im an athiest…this didnt happen to me PRE AA.

      My beliefs can be of help and comfort to me at times,
      but No amount of prayers has taken away any of my addictions.

      When someones had enough of something they stop.
      I personally like phycology.

      AA stopped me getting outside help for PTSD.

      • I absolutely agree. While I told my sponsor that it was useless for me to do all this God Higher Power thing because I already have faith and pray regularly I was told that I needed to comprehend Him in a better way (this is coming from someone who was an atheist and had no religious background ) which at one point made me question how I was praying and my relationship to my religion!!!! That was shocking to me to even question it… but they get into your brain! That is called brainwashing! I have prayed when I was sick on drugs for God to help me quit. It never worked because God can give you a psychological strength but ultimately only you can make that decision. And in the end what I did was to check myself into a hospital and asked for help which I got. But I decided to go there not God. My faith helps me but doesn’t solve my problems literally. I also believe that therapy is the way to go because each one of us is an individual with different reasons for drinking or using drugs and one should find out what mechanisms brought you to that point. Group therapy can be very helpful to learn about what an addiction is or damages that a drug does etc. But Aa does not address that. All they do is tell you it’s a spiritual disease if some sort or an unscientific allergy. All they want is for you to keep going back. That’s it. They need the money and reinforcement to their cult. And from the stories I’m reading it is so fuxxin’ dangerous!!!!!

        • AA is a mind f*#k of epic proportions. It is well documented that indoctrination into AA causes 3 times as many people to die versus doing nothing at all. I contend that the number is higher than when the study was done because more violent offenders are sentenced to AA today. Keep that religious horseshit away from kids and people that have even a modicum of independent thought.. Those people should seek genuine help to drug and alcohol problems through scientific and medical means. Over time, AA creates an entirely new belief system which is precisely what the Oxford Group was trying to do. According to them, all other belief systems are wrong and they are right. Where have we heard that before?

          • I agree that the number is probably higher because remember that members of the 12 step cult can’t count. They can’t count their numbers of members, so they just guestimate. Everyone else can count but not them. When they guestimate they probably still include you and me and many others because they can’t see that we don’t go anymore. They can’t count the numbers of dead bodies lying drunk in the gutter after they stopped going to meetings and relapsed but they know that it is a lot and that you and me and many (how many?) others will soon be heading there. They know this without counting anything. They can’t count how many people their program actually works for, they just know that it works if you work it. And they can’t count the numbers of suicides because those people weren’t working a strong program and don’t count. Not that anyone was counting. They can count money though.
            You can count on that.

            • Yeah, I saw JR’s post on Orange. Why in the hell do they put up ANY numbers if they then say they are basically meaningless? Some governing body in a true position of authority really, really needs to take a deep and, shall I say, sober look at this complete and utter nonsense. Maybe they are.

              Since AA numbers are such bullshit, maybe they should post counts of all the people that died drunk because they couldn’t ” adopt their way of life”. Must be in the trillions by now.

              • To get back to the title of this thread, I can only conclude that yes, AA members do act like they know it all. All of the credible studies and numbers that I am aware of tell us that AA does not work and show us how harmful it is to people. Still they persist with this bullshit. Any one of us who has sat in the rooms for any length of time has witnessed this as well. I know of no other treatment for anything that continues with such an absence of supporting evidence.

        • critical thinker,
          PRE AA i was in one to one pycological therpies..
          it had got me to a point where i was reducing my drinking and also starting to think better about myself
          i was getting to a good place with it.
          i went into AA at that time, they AA stopped me going..
          i wish i had stuck with it. im not against churches and all that but there arent any god cures,
          anyway a bit of a laughs what i need today and some cheeriness. dont mind my spelling my first lingo is Doric.

            • critical thinker,
              yes i love janis joplin. music helps my mind.
              i’m glad you are here and i think your a very inteligent person, AA don’t like inteligent people.
              you already have a god and a religoun, you don’t need there’s.i dont think they are very spiritual people.
              And its your human right to have your own beliefs.
              like spj said AA is an indoctranation into The oxford group beliefs.
              i’m not so inteligent , bad grammer and no spell check..i keep trying to get one downloaded.
              i have been watching a dvd it was called 21 based on a true story about gamblers counting cards , i should have learned to count cards instead of drinking LOL.
              i have been on line a lot recently , but will be off for a while.
              you take good care.

  24. I really don’t care about the research as to whether or not AA is a cult, it is. How else do you explain an intelligent , free thinking person likes wife becoming a cliche spouting evangelical über religious robot. She has kicked me to the curb wit the reason being that she
    Married me for the wrong reason during her drinking days. Go figure, 8 years and 3 houses later this pops into her thinking. Seems like some brainwashing went on. It has even caused issues with her job as she has been regurgitating many of the AA talking points to patients.

    • Yeah, that unfortunately is a common occurrence with families. You see, everyone else is the problem initially .. get rid of everything that bothers your delicate psyche, and join us on the broad highway where no one understands but us. I bet she gets fired from her job eventually. I have known doctors that were “let go” because they couldn’t separate their indoctrination from their practice. People trained to see people that are nuts can see it very clearly when indoctrinees spout slogans that mean absolutely nothing relevant to the problem at hand. A guy talked about a company meeting where they were going broke and when asked what he thought, he spouted, “to thine own self be true” .. the meeting went silent and he took it as a sign that he had said something deep and meaningful.. he doesn’t work there anymore.

      • Yes, and they will also say that it is a family disease and that the whole family is sick. In other words they diagnose people they have never met with a disease that does not exist. I am not joking. They will also stress that recovery must come first, ahead of your family! If you are experiencing family breakup they will lie and say that doing Bill Wilsons steps is the priority as it will bring you back your family. When this doesn’t work they will tell you to hand it over, let go and let god?? By this time the window when you could have done something sensible about your situation has probably gone and you just stare at a banner waffling nonsense about your imaginary disease while the ex pisses off with a non wacko.

        • indeed. Bill Wilson and gawd give them talents mere mortals simply don’t have. Diagnosing people with fatal diseases while at a complete distance being one of them. That magical power is demonstrated in internet chat rooms and on blogs regularly. Direct and personal contact with the creator of the universe, or a door knob, is another. It seems their powers are only limited by their imagination and all they had to do to get them is to consume massive quantities of alcohol and then practice Buchmanism. With just that simple little formula they know more than doctors and clergy and research scientists. And anyone who challenges their seriously uninformed and naïve “truth”, well, just doesn’t “get it” or is angry, or in denial or all three and that’s that. They don’t have any valid arguments, but others are just, well, wrong. Ohp, time for my cloistered, intellectually inbred, spiritual but not religious meeting where we chant and talk and hold hands in prayer and all the secrets of the universe are revealed to us by our doorknobs and each other. Gawd will surely be there doing his ventriloquist act by speaking through other people – and sometimes he is just tooo funny ! You poor normies, you’ll just never be as wonderful as us.

          • spj- I hate it when they say you can make up who GOD is. How arrogant it that.

            You can not make up who GOD IS! That is just nuts.
            I so agree.

            • you see, we just don’t get it.. You don’t make up a gawd. You make up your higher power, which you then call gawd. It’s totally different, which makes it ok. You’re only calling your higher power gawd, it isn’t actually gawd, They just want you to get used to the word so when it comes time for the poor belligerent ones to actually get close to the real gawd – from Belladonna or their program – they have the right name for it and the whole sleazy thing can slide right together. Well, looky there, you went from a higher power that was your doorknob right into being jammed with the Buchmanite gawd and you didn’t even notice. Musta been the lubricant.

              Now THAT’s a good religious conversion con job.

  25. joe- this is a very sad situation. Im sorry for you. Although I too was once a cult koolaid drinking fool…I drew the line somewhere. With that said, if you asked my ex husband about me…he would laugh and tell you the stupid Sh*t I said and did as well.

    I will not lie. I once ran to meetings when we had a fight… like going there made my marriage better after I shared at my Alanon meeting. poor guy. Even though that marriage was hopeless to me I do wonder how differently it would have played out if I was NOT IN AA at the time. I think AA harmed that marriage for sure now that I am long gone.

    Good news joe…if I flipped and left…anyone can. You just never know.
    It was my son that made me see AA for what it is. It was Kali, it was being a GSR and seeing all the horror in the mixed meetings at The Marina Center and at the VRC at 414 Lincoln and watching AA NY doing Nothing as women were being raped and and then murdered.

    After Kristine Cass was murdered by Claybourne Connley and her 13 year old daughter, and I saw the AA memebrs reaction…Hopy fu**king god…I realized I wanted no part with of them, their stupid made up “program” and I no longer wanted to sit another second in the same room with them.

    Maybe search my site here and print out that murder for her and let her read it. Then ask her about safety in her meeting. Then have her watch the 4 .08 min trailer I have on youtube. Them ask her to look at the orange papers….not the forum….that was not up yet….just the reg op. Good luck. Be strong and when she spouts shit….call her on it.

  26. What do you guys think of alcoholics anonymous groups what own their own buildings what keep everyone who comes name and phone numbers and tries to collect alano dues from members even if they do not want to belong or even people what have been kicked out? they will say that this is the place where you got sober at even though you did not ?
    I think it is a violation of the AA groups to collect phone numbers and send letters to people if it is anonymous club.
    it seems to me that I learn more about AA on this message board then I do at AA meetings,

    • The only things you learn about AA while in AA are very sanitized and created versions. The truth is learned on the outside of AA and this blog is good and there are other links on the right of this site.

      AA groups do whatever the hell they want. Doesn’t matter if it is in any AA bylaws, except on occasions where AA corporate cares to get involved and send somebody to have a chat with the owners.

    • I’ve never heard of anything like that, but it wouldn’t surprise me if the owners were desperate enough. I used to attend some meetings at clubhouses, but never joined any. I was never pressured to join or give anything either. If all you’re doing is attending a meeting and that’s it, then they have no business asking for anything beyond the usual passing the basket. I wouldn’t put anything past them though. It would be interesting to see what New York has to say about it.

    • They are liable is someone is being hurt. Write to NY and file a complaint with the State Attorney General in the state you live in about the business. If they own the building, its a legal entity.

  27. I am an AA member and I love to read the anti-AA stuff. Really puts things into perspective. I am a non-conformist AA member. I would tell anyone and even encourage people who don’t want to go to meetings to not go. If someone in an AA meeting demanded that they go to X number of meetings per week, no where in the literature does it make that demand so I would go to less than that arrogant douche bag demanded. They demand you get a sponsor, never get a sponsor-no where does the book say that you must. Even the pamphlet on sponsorship says that not everyone has a sponsor and that is conference approved literature. Someone demands I write a fourth step in black ink on white paper, go to the ends of the earth to do it in blue ink on yellow construction paper. Proves that person is a LIAR as they claim that white paper and black ink are the ONLY way it works, rebuilds my faith in my own capacity to think for myself and faith in the steps/higher power, and it shows me who to trust and who not to trust in AA. I also use parts of Rational Recovery and SMART recovery. I suppose I actually use a hybrid between the three. The funny thing in AA meetings when people say “must this” and “must that”, is that they are totally contradicting the book. I can say that on an anti-AA website without worrying about some big headed baffoon who thinks they know everything blasting me for “not being honest” simply because they don’t what I’m being honest about-it’s only “honest” if they like what I say. Sometimes I say it in a round about way in a meeting. It (Big Book) said that we had to quit playing god because it didn’t work, even though our motives were good. If this newcomer would only go to the number of meetings I demand they should, if they would only get a sponsor like I demand they should, if they would only do a fourth step in the color ink I demand they should, they would be happy, I would be happy, and world would be lollypops and rainbows. So the book said not to play god, never talk down to an alcoholic from a moral or spiritual hilltop, there are no axes to grind, no people to please, and no lectures to be endured, and yet they cherry pick and lie about so many things. The book even said that we can arouse prejudism in other people by our actions, yet I act like a giant dildo and it’s the newcomers fault when they get offended. Fuck their emotions, screw what they want, it’s all about me and MY way of doing things as I’m right and they’re wrong because I have more time. “Time bully” as they are called. By that line of reasoning all the people they screwed over in their drinking, stole from them, slept with their friends wife, told vicious lies, they don’t owe them an ammends as that is the other persons fault that they are bothered by the behavior. I truly love the AA program, but not this tin foil hat wearing AA-ism that these self righteous hypocrites eat, drink, and live by. To them, Bill W. was Jesus, Ebby Thatcher was John The Baptist, Dr. Bob was Simon Peter, the Big Book is the Torah, the Little Book is the Satanic Bible, and Jack Trimpey is Judas Iscariot (he would probably find that hilarious).

    • Alex Adieu,

      Gee, after that very interesting/unusual comment; Id be interested to hear what you like and why you stay. For starters, are you able to tolerate the reading of that lovely (: piece of literature; known as the chapter 5 preamble.

      I am not trying to challenge you. Just very curios.

    • I don’t think I ever met anyone in the program who didn’t consider themselves to be “non-conformist” to some degree, or when it was convenient for them. The contradictory nature of the literature leaves plenty of room for it. Especially the ultimate loophole on page 164 where the entire book is declared to be “suggestive only”. That makes everything subjective and opens the door for any cherry picking a person wants to engage in. There are plenty of “musts” in the big book, but again, it’s all subjective, so a “non-conformist” can always “take what they need” and pretend “the rest” doesn’t exist.

          • rick,
            yes they spoke of light bulbs at times in AA.
            And trees and ducks and swans. And lots of things like that.
            im going to look up this father of light thing. i got a new key board as most of my letters had rubbed off my old one. when i was decorating my new one fell, and my F key has fallen off and i cant find it.
            its makeing typeing difficult im useing a pen to press my F key.
            mayby the light bulb god made that happen divine intervention…so i cant use the F word.

    • @ Alex Adeui-

      I think you are fooling yourself…In one breath they say in AA ” Take what you like and leave the rest” and in the next breath they say…” you must take the first part of the 1st step 100% or you cant get the program and your gonna drink again”

      Okay…which is it?

      I have done research on how many times its says you must or you are gonna die in the first 164 pages. Its ALOT!!!

      • Alex admits that AA is a breeding ground for sanctimonious know-it-alls, but says that he is not one. He ignores a bigger question.
        Why would a “support group” create those attitudes in the first place?
        Those attitudes are to be expected in fundamentalist religious sects or cults. The answer is because that’s all AA ever was and all it ever will be.

      • massive,
        what do’s it feel like,
        what is the measure,
        what is 100%.

        how do they know when they have hit 100%.

        i dont even understand what that means.
        not really.

        i am 100% an alcoholic addict…
        how do i know i am 100%

        I am 100% powerless,,,how do’s that feel.
        i dont know what that means.

        what do’s 100% feel like.

        A 100% i have no idead what that means.

        at school and most of my life i have been confused by maths.
        to me 100% is a number. thats all i know.

        LOL there steps baffle me.
        and well just lets say *uck the steps i no longer want to try to work them out
        happy thanks giveing

    • Alex,
      it say’s in the book WE MUST,and i was told many times i MUST.
      I had a sponsor who was a bit like you. He had done the steps as in the big book, and did the im the most important person bully bit.
      But then stopped doing that and was doing something else,i dont know what else…but he went to meetings and sponsored.
      He kept telling me i was crazy…i should go to the hospital ….
      i spoke twice to mental health doctors and a full medical board…they kept saying i was not crazy!
      This sponsor ended up on the mental; health ward while going to AA.
      looking back now in hindsight and with a much clearer mind..
      It was him that was crazy..He was extremely erratic, NICE NASTY NICE NASTY he changed his opinion daily, he was very much full of self importance…To the point where i felt i couldn’t call him or take up any of his time. and thought i had tp pay him back for giveing me any time.
      He misinformed me about things.And he got me wrong about a lot of things.
      My own opinion is that AA is the big book and the programme. and that they are evangalists. And that
      The big book contradicts itself, and the programe cant work for the majoritie.
      i would be carefull while going to AA if i were you.

  28. they say that defects must go or you drink again,
    and they say defects dont go over night or 100%.

    i have only slept a couple of hours i dont sleep well when abstinant.
    Im faceing some racisim at work from some of the yorkshire people.
    And turning it over in my mind on how to stop it.

    First time i saw it in yorkshire was my first week here.
    when my 9yr old child came in from school with 2 black eyes.
    The kids at school surrounded her and attacked her because she talked scottish.
    the school said when i went to deal with it “your child should have stuck up for herself. (she tried to but 1 against an angry racist crowd.)

    The racists who go to AA ,are still raceists when sober,and some old timers are too after they do the steps.

    Why havent they drank again ?

    They told me in AA …you MUST do it MUST do the it or die!
    They told me i MUST get a HP or GOD..i told them i already had one..

    But where was god when my childs eyes were blackened,and where was god when people in AA were being murdered by other members of AA.

    Where was god when bill wilson was targeting vunrable women.

    It is a horrable dangerouse cult…and bill wilson was a nutter.

    • Sally, I’m sorry to hear what you are going through. I hope things work out okay for you. Of course, you’re right about AA and Bill Wilson…

      • rick,
        and thanks to all here tonight who have left AA.
        And those who post here.

        i bought some new coffee mats.
        they have sayings on them.
        i got them in town one say’s.
        Shit happens,another says, today
        no matter what shit comes my way no matter how many bast**ds i have to deal with
        ……i will survive.

  29. I only found out what i was into… AA all that,
    because of the web site address of
    the orange papers…and reading them…
    that was a very long time ago…
    it took me many years to get out.

  30. ive left a.a after attedance of a.a for 32 yr,s weekly ,uncountles hr,s of service work.after having had a suicide attempt, and trip to the phsyc ward,and further rmental health treatment for,anxiety,depression and ,long term ptsd.i feel aa contributetd greatly to the decline in my mental health.i went to a.a after this and,the cult like abuse,s esculated.thank God my mental health treatment and,my breakdown gave me insight ,and,self worth back to me. ive thrown all my aa litature away,and no longer attend aa mtgs. im so glad ive made this dicesion to extradite my self from this harmful cult. im still maintaing my sobriety and ,im happier then ive ive ever been!!! it,s so good to hear about other,s who have escaped this cult.thank you !!!! 😉

  31. Speaking of AA being a cult, I remember the first time I started to kind of suspect there was something funky with AA along cult lines. I was on my way to moving to Portland, Oregon way back in 1991 with a friend from AA. The friend and I knew AA people from our days in Flagstaff, Arizona, that lived outside of Salem, Oregon and that let us stay with them for a couple of days before we drove up to Portland to get settled there. These were decent AA people – not the scary kind, not the criminal kind, just the brainwashed drank too many gallons of the Kool Aid kind. The whole time we were under their roof it was program this and program that and when I tried to divert the conversation to other topics, current events, questions about living in Oregon, etc, the conversation was quickly rerouted back to AA and the program. These were people I had respected in my Flagstaff AA days in the mid 80’s to 1990 and it was scary to see them like this – utterly unable to communicate about much outside the program. It was as if a seed were planted (to use AA speak from that time) while I was under their roof and I never looked at AA quite the same way again even though I stuck with it longer.

    Seeing good people just lose their ability to communicate outside the program – to have difficulty in interacting with the wide world outside AA – really threw me for a loop as there it was right in front of my face, crystal clear, and I found myself unable to look away and not see it. I have no doubt at all all these years later that AA is indeed a cult. Just imagine thought someone like myself – who believed in AA to that point – confronted with the above situation and how it rocked my world view at the time (I was younger then, too) and how it made me question some of what I had blindly accepted as truth.

    • rob,
      thanks for your post.and i understand what you mean.
      some people in AA are okay folk.however they dont have conversations.They have AA comming out of it now.
      however haveing had contact for a few months with one of them..and it wasnt 1 of the okay ones..i was getting drawn back into it all.
      i started shareing old wrongs and defects and old drug storys again.i also got back to feeling worthless depressed and anxiouse again.
      im getting alright now.
      well im off to dish up my curry, made a rogan josh, and watch X men on TV.

  32. i have found lots of self help on the internet.i found help to recover from narsistic abuse on blog talk radio.and pandors box. the times i shared my life story in aa ( i did that and 2 other types of step work) with sponsors. i walked into rathfull judges with no compassion or mercy.narsistic people.. one of those people came to my home not so long back,i have posted about that.
    theres help to on blog talk radio around emotions.
    its very helpfull .

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