Tools and Support-For After You’ve Gone

Here is a troll free blog for you if you are seriously leaving aa or have already left.

We have a few groups on FACEBOOK now. Leaving AA, Make AA Safer and Deprogramming from AA or any 12 step group.

Join a group, take dancing lessons, take up hiking, biking, swimming, yoga…take an art class, make friends with fellow bloggers.

There are social groups on FACEBOOK too. Meet ups are an option. Get invoiced in a Charity you care about. Get involved in politics.

SMART RECOVERY, SOS, HARM REDUCTION, WOMEN FOR SOBRIETY, Moderation Management, The Sinclair Method, and LifeRing.

My Podcast Safe Recovery on Blog Talk Radio, Young Justice is a another new one with Zach Rhoads.

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423 thoughts on “Tools and Support-For After You’ve Gone

  1. I will share something. I had 14 months clean and sober in AA and then had a 3 month relapse… mostly because I was miserable in AA and had the “AA or drinking” thing going on. After the drinking/using started becoming a problem again, I stopped, went to meetings hated it and left. Stayed sober for 10 months on my own and was relieved to be out of AA. I just moved to a new town, Portland Maine, and can’t find ANY groups that do not teach the 12-step model. It’s a bit frustrating as I thought that being a progressive town and all they would have SMART or SOS here. Anyway I also don’t know anyone besides a therapist I’m seeing (and she gets paid to talk to me, haha). So…. last Friday I was sick of not knowing anyone, took a cab downtown, went to a bar, had about 6-7 drinks, talked to some folks and took a cab home. What is strange is that it really didn’t feel like a big deal. I think part of it is that I’m finally gotten on the right Bi-polar meds so the intense desire/obsession to “self medicate” has been removed. I drank because I wanted to socialize at a place were people socialize. I haven’t had the urge to drink since last Friday. I’m not sure what to make of this although I do know I still have a lot of work to do internally. Has anyone heard of DBT therapy? My therapist recommended it as she is furvently trying to help me find an alternative to AA. It’s not about addiction per se but looks interesting.

    • limestone, i hope you’re ok. can i ask if you’re male or female? i do not live that far from you. i think i’ve prolly responded to you b4, prolly suggested you join a book group. and really, if you made fun of that idea in yer mind, you’d be well w/in yer rights! since leaving aa, i have drank socially several times. two times i’ve had 3/4 of a glass of wine (iw!) and later, i had maybe two, three beers @ a friend’s island place. there was that tiny voice that told me about al the wicked things that were gonna start flying my way, but i knew this voice was puritanical, aa bullshit. i am careful. but i believeie my issue was/is with addiction to pills. and i am not of that irksome “a drug is a drug is a drug” mentality. really, i am not a fan of drinking, at all. i also did choose to take several benzos on two occasions that were not prescribed. once, i had just taken a really scary test that had to do with getting into the career o my choice. i took benzos to sleep, and the other time, the reason offered me several,and again, i to k them to sleep. this is only noted b/c i was in aa *for years* an depriving myself of nights and nights of sleep as i wanted to be “squeaky clean” sober. now, i am going to be open abut everything and very clear about having zero guilt. if i were drinking all of the time and/or drinking and driving it’d be an issue, but it is not. i truly believe that if you’re ok with your drinking , then *it is* ok, as long as yer not driving. and being careful with mixing meds w/alcohol.

      i have heard of dbt, but mostly from here (well, on stinkin thinkin) and i’ve read about it some, as they used it a tiny bet @ the rehab i went to this last time. the counselors who ran the dbt group, i might add, seemed decided untrained. thus, i cannot speak to whether or no it helped anyone.

      • Hi Violet,
        I’m a male. I appreciate you responding to me. I gave up on the DBT thing. I called them and told me it was a year long committment with tons of homework…. so I bailed! haha. I’ve been talking to my therapist about the drinking. I too, am afraid of losing everything like AA prophecizes (sp?) for anyone that drinks again. Pill (opiates) were what got me into rehab but really, drugs in general (coke, adderall, you name it). I have a very hard time joining clubs and such and am a bit of a loner in sobriety. I’m very much into exercising, walking, going out out to the ocean, eating well…. and generaly trying to be healthy but I do all of that alone. Also, I am prescribed Lamitcal and Xanax XR. I am very careful not to take the Xanax if I plan in having a few beers. I don’t know, I’m conflicted. Also, frustrated that there are is no non-12 step support here. I just want to be safe and make the right decisions. Also, I understood your post just fine!

          • what is ST ?

            it’s one of the busiest anti stepper site for a few years. It was taken down Oct 25, 2011.

            Its up again to post but everyone in mostly scattered now. It is a wealth of fabulous writing and reporting and documentation of AA insanity.

            thousands of comments as to why people leave AA and people documented it as they left and got support, made fun of by trolls etc. all of it. I still miss the way it was. It was an amazing live site.

        • limstone look to the right here on the blogroll. GO to Hams Harm reduction. He has a radio show every thursday. He is located in NYC . Kenneth Anderson is great teaches about moderation. AA in not the only way .Abstinence is also not the right way for everyone either.You will not be judged here for trying to find what works for you. Have you connected with Gunthar? He has his own way that worked great after 18 years in and out of AA. Now he is stopped for 5 years with a combo of different techniques. Reach out to him.

          He has daily online meetings. You are not the only one who feels like you do. Dont give up.

    • I am coming up on 24 years free from drinking and any mind altering substance. I love the 12 steps. I love both CA and AA. I have decided to quit attending meetings because of the bitter hatred from people with less time in the program, who want to make me the target of their “teachings”, I no longer want to be a hated upon volunteer. I have dealt with the rumors, gossip, backbiting for over 20 years. I have done decades worth of inventories. the one common factor in these resentments, is me attending 12 step meetings in black areas. I am black. I am fed up with the hateful nature of black meetings. I attended a most white group, but they are the most unfriendly towards anybody outside of their race types you can imagine. I am just fed up. New comers are told a whole bunch of stuff about me, but since its told in secret, I dont have a clue, but I am tired of it nevertheless. I quit attending meetings last week. I have had personality clashes with so many people in the black meetings. I have had the greatest experience of peace and happiness, yet members are trying to sink my battle ship. why go? I will not let them “jack my joy” out.

      • James- HI and Welcome! WHat an interesting reason for leaving. Sounds pretty racist. Im sorry, but not surprised.

        WHen I first moved to hollywood from Hawaii I was 8 years sober and 26 years old and attractive. I went to to NA cause I went in hawaii , I was really an AA member but ….the back story doesn’t matter now….anyway, when I went to NA in Hollywood, the women hated me cause I wasn’t a newcomer they could boss around. I only went to a few more then gave up. Everyone was tattooed and pierced with purple hair anyway.
        Truthfully, even the AA meetings at Radford were so unfriendly. Now I know why. They were all pacific Group poisoned.

        You are welcome even though you still like it. I suggest you read the WHY I lEFT AA stories. Would you tell us what state you are from ? If not ..thats okay….just curious.

      • James, I’m sorry for that experience. People in AA love to talk about being loving and accepting and the same everywhere but I’ve found there to be literally different “denominations” within the fellowship; and you’d better be well-versed in speaking the same phraseology as the “group” or you are not working the program right and they won’t like that at all, or won’t like you at all either. And some people are just racist, sexist, classist, you name it.

        AA really needs to do some inventory on itself.

      • Hi there James, I did my education alongside active addiction and was around a bunch of pretty well-roune hadded, educated, tolerant people. I went to my first meetings around 2001 and was totally shocked by the racism, homophobia and general intolerance of the mostly uneducated, judgemental awful people that I met mostly in NA at that time.

        There was a transgender girl around the meetings I used to do. Apparently she first did meetings as a male before she began her treatment over to becoming a female. To be dealing with addiction AND the whole gender realignment stuff can not have been easy by any stretch of the imagination and I swear the idiots in the meetings were just VILE to this poor girl. On the one hand it was all the ‘love and tolerance is our code’ – but then under their breath – if you’re face fits and you’re the right colour and not some transgender – they probably used the word freak and worse.

        One particularly sleazy guy went and slept with her when she was in the middle of her treatment – I believe at the time she was female upstairs but hadn’t had the downstairs surgery (that’s about the most straightforward way to explain it!). Anyhow, this dirtbag would brag about how he had slept with “it” – I reckon he did it on the basis that he was sick and diseased, he didn’t do it cos he liked her, he did it for the drama.

        Considering the readings about not mattering about race, religion, lack of religion, colour, sexuality etc etc collectively they are some of the most disgracefully intolerant, disrespectful, rude, evil people I have ever met, I was shocked after coming from the background I explained.

        Obviously I don’t know the specifics of what you are going through with your meetings but around here, unless you are of the right ilk to suit any particular group of those cruel, evil people it’s Goodnight Vienna. I’m sorry to hear about your experience and I don’t know where you are from, but I’m not in the slightest surprised to hear about your experience.

        Love and tolerance is NOT their collective code, prejudice and malice is their practice – sounds like you’ve amassed a pretty big stack of clean time around the programme, I wish you all the best – in my experience they are a pretty brutal bunch and you might well be best to bow out. That’s my tuppence worth at least. N 🙂

        • nieco;

          Exactly. I’ve seen this type of behavior and I too find it reprehensible that this practice is going on. There was a bi racial couple that met each other in A.A. and they were pegged as having an “identity problem” There was this guy named ARNIE COX that goes to this A.A. club called Oasis in West Palm Beach Fl who is like “The Big Mucky Muck” when is comes to sharing “sobriety” at meetings, one evening I was going for a meeting at that club and he’s always got people sitting at his table around him and there he was spouting off about how “JFK was a ni&&er lover that deserved to be shot” No there is no such thing as love and tolerance

          • star-got people sitting at his table around him and there he was spouting off about how “JFK was a ni&&er lover that deserved to be shot” No there is no such thing as love and tolerance

            wow. that is messed up….Thanks for posting the names.

            Have you considered putting the clubhouse up on yelp and giving your review. You can add a business.

    • I went to AA for 13 yrs.Haveing periods off it then drinking again while going to aa and working the steps. The periods would last from days to weeks to months and one time 4 yrs.

      The last time this happened after a few months of abstinance
      and picking up again while going and working steps.I decided not to go back again but leave for good.I didnt care if i died.and believed my life would become very bad and i would end up in jail instatution or dead. These things and more were in my mind while i drank.

      However my drinking has not been the same as it was pre AA.I have been drunk about 4 or 5 times in this year.

      One of those i got drunk on 3 beers due to haveing not ate,slept, and fraught with worry. Worry not only around what AA predicts, but also around things that were happening via AA after i left AA. Some of the people from there would stop me on street. Also i had an incident happen to me via a family member of one of my x sponsors
      that i ended up going to the police around. I ran from my home with the cloathes i was dressed in got a bus out of town and was so much in a state of panic i have PTSD,that i was going to just rough it outside not go back to my home or town i live in.
      I got 3 beers and passed out on the ground it was in january so very cold.
      Dureing the night i came to i was frozen.

      I didnt die an old wollen jumper i had on ( a jumper some took the piss out of when i wore it in AA L.O.L) it saved my life i took it off and put my legs into the arms of it i had a big parka on for my arms and body.
      I ended up passing out on the ground.

      That time, It felt like the things AA were predicting were going to come true. It felt like a rock bottom.
      It wasnt- it was my rock bottom with AA.
      The worry in my mind the mental confusion it had produced in my mind.

      AA no longer scare me. And i had 2 halfs of larger last week after work and enjoyed them.

      I didnt go see anyone else after leaving AA i was going to get CBT treatment, but decided not to.

      I have had pycology, counselling ,AA and NA steps, and therpies.

      The reason i dont get there step one is because it dont apply to me im not powerless. It’s hard to get that into my mind but the longer i stay out of AA the more i get it.

      When they stop me on street and start talking i go back into that mind set start thinking im an alcoholic i should go back to AA.

      I have had many times in this past year when i have had one or two drinks. I have gone weeks and months without a drink.
      And i have been drunk about 4 or 5 times.Only once with bad consequences.

      However thats me, it may be diffrent for someone else.
      There are alternatives to AA some are on internet.
      Hope you find whats right for you.

      • Sally this is a really import post. Im gonna copy it over to Abstinece Vs Moderation later today.

        WOW what a story. Its really true though. I was with a friend yesterday and we he ran into an old AA friend. WHen preying about he not going to meetings the guy made a judgment like ” I hope you find something that helps” Honestly my friend has. WHat that is is ” having left a cult ” Leaving is enough. I dont need a replacement. Neither does he.

        Even though this guy is not a full on kool aid drinking stepper they need to be educated that if you leave, you are going to be fine and what they preach and read in the meetings from a 1939 book that has never been updated is an outright LIE!!!!!!!

        I still might have an ex stepper meet up once or twice. I do think an ex stepper conference in a few years might be fun.

        • I was a person diagnosed with borderline personality disorder before i went to aa and now i feel rage because of that vulnerability i have been taken oadvantage of and have done dbt and going to do a less intense version of it because at least it deals with behaviors that are self destructive

          • hi rikki- ARe you saying you went to AA and you were preyed on and now you are in recovery from AA? Rage is a healthy emotion to feel when you have been messed with.. the problem is that steppers tell you something different and it makes you feel even crazier like…

            “whats your part in it” . We are seeing with these recent murders that some sponsees are not putting up with the abuse anymore. I am not condoning the murders but some of these 13 steppers have gotten away with this behavior unchecked for years and have gotten alot of free sex and are actually emotionally very abusive and belittling. BAD COMBO!


        • Massive,
          YOUR A STAR

          thanks i have just read your reply to my old post.
          Most of The difficulties i have faced after leaving AA
          seem to be over as have my internet connection problems.Not unless something else happens.

          i bumped into 2 or 3 since i posted regular-
          one of them i thanked-because he left me alone when i said i was okay he didnt say nothing to piss me off and dureing my early days in AA he stood up for me against bullys. And this was a man who was in jail..Think hes had lots of problems in AA,i never knew him on any personal level.

          Not everyone who commits crime is bad inside.
          However there are some who are dangerouse drunk or sober in or out of AA.

          There are some who have no concience,and no feelings.emotions.

          I started to go numb myself in there.supressing all emotions.

          There was one man in particular that i had on going problems with. It actually lifted my heart when he said he was now doing well in AA had got it and changed. because for me that ment i was a bit safer now.
          however i have no idea if he was speaking the truth or not.
          have no idea if he will relapse again or not.
          And even if he has changed who knows if he wont revert to his old self while sober and working steps.
          Also what about all the women he scared out of AA,
          one of them died.

          I did not know this man Pre AA-however i knew one of his x wifes Pre AA.

          I saw her face after he had kicked it in she had her jaw wired up. black eyes broken nose and a tooth embedded in her top lip.I read the letter he sent her from prison where he wrote how sorry he was and it was due to jealouse paranoia.

          This man in AA-He sounded just like my x partner.The one i wrote ammends to I bet he loved that he could use it to trick vunrable women he meets in future.All because AA brought me to a place where i actually believed it had all been my fault,”YOU DID IT”..made me feel guilty remorsefull for things i did wrong to him.

          This man in AA I met his wife in a bar where we both landed after comming out of battered wifes homes.
          i had got a job in the rag trade-and sorted her out with cloathes ,he had burned all her struff-
          i knew how she felt since i had been through similar things.

          This man when i was in AA the women from one meeting told me i should be his friend and go to his flat..No one gave me friendship out side of AA meetings.I was very isolated.the women seemed to keep back from me.

          It was some time before i found out who he was who his x wife was-i had fell into his company before i found out.

          i never got to be so vunrable that i had sex with him when he asked.Pleaded at times.I never wanted to and often made that clear to him
          im glad i wasnt that vunrable and hope i never will be.

          Even if he turned into a saint i hope im never that vunrable. I didnt hate him and i know he was drunk or mental at times this isnt resentment. I have no thoughts about him cares as to where he is how he is. it dont matter to me what becomes of him.

          im going to write a full acount of my time in AA when i get back from scotland.

          AA is not a safe place to be.

          i’m glad your friend and you are okay i am too. I hope everyone who wants to leave AA leaves and is okay.

          Maby all of us that leave should have our own safer meetings and leave AA to the bullys predators scammers, then they can do it to each other and leave us in peace.

    • DBT was the first time I felt understood. AA always felt uncomfortable to me and after 4 years or so, I left & remained sober for 21 years. I smoked pot & drank during a life crisis, and of course was told it was because I didn’t go to meetings (Nobody explained why I’d stayed sober for so long without meetings.). I went to a DBT facility for women & for the first time, felt understood. I believe that my alcohol abuse is a symptom of other mental illnesses I have. But AA does not agree with this analysis. DBT groups & readings, while admitting that alcoholism is a serious problem, does not preach that alcoholism is the only problem that must be addressed & the rest will fall into place. It teaches coping skills such as mindfulness, emotion regulation & distress tolerance. It helps you recognize the emotions that lead to the “self harming” behavior. (Of which alcohol & drug abuse are one in a long list.). I believed almost immediately that this was the answer to my alcoholism. It’s not morally judgmental, you don’t have to make coffee, and you don’t have to admit that you’re an abysmal failure at AA as well as having no morals. I punished myself with thoughts like that about myself for a long time. For me, it’s not productive. If you want to read some good books about DBT, anything by Marcia Linehan is good. She is the founder of DBT. Also Seeking Safety, which explores the connections between PTSD & substance abuse. Good luck!!

      • anne- thank you so much for posting your experience here. Many come here and I hear from people all over the US and the UK who struggle with the need for real help. Im glad you got what you needed and now more can find help too. 🙂

  2. So many people in the program are misdiagnosed or not diagnosed at all. You drink too much you’re an alcoholic go to AA meetings. AA meetings will not cure a chemical imbalance or erase your abusive past. It does a lot of people more harm by making them powerless and dependent upon a sponsor, AA or their home group. None of which addresses the possibility that we have been self medicating instead of having an allergy or disease. I can say from having allergies to pollen and animals etc, I was treated by a professional and had many tests performed then a treatment plan was devised. Never have I been clumped into a group and collectively diagnosed with the same disease and treatment plan. I have never been punished or shunned by a Physician when I hadn’t follow the plan to a “T”. We talked about why I didn’t do or whatever it was. Usually, ending with, “I know you’ll do better next time you are on the right track”. There are so many Professionals that can help with Alcohol abuse and find the underling problem. STOP BEING LABELED & MISTREATED BY AA MEMBERS……….THEY ARE AS SICK AS THEIR SECRETS AND THAT MAKES FOR A VERY UNHAPPY ABUSIVE AA MEMBER or SPONSOR. TAKE CONTROL OF YOUR LIFE-THE ONLY ONE YOU GET.

    • KAN,
      I am deathly allergic to tree nuts. When I hear someone in a meeting say that they know they are allergic to alcohol because the doctor said so….oh! that pisses me off!

  3. Thanks limestoneblocks for the link on DBT. I looked it over and will look into it myself. I definitely qualify. Yes KAN, AA never cured my chemical imbalance or underlying emotional disorders. My childhood was very emotionally and mentally agonizing. No wonder I started drinking like I did when I left the house. My parents told me I would be an alcoholic if I ever drank so I’m sure that prophecy influenced the excesses I allowed myself to take it to. Whenever I decided to stop, there was always somebody to shove the damn 12steps disease-concept down my throat. I ended up in an intensive year-long confrontation treatment center that insisted that acceptance was always the answer. They messed with my mind. I couldn’t get away. They had me and I was terrified to leave, afterall, I thought I was powerless w/o them. What a terrible message. How the hell could that help anybody? By the way, it didn’t. Most relapsed, couple died, went back to jail, and the ones who did seem to hold it together were certifiable jerks.

    • Ryan-In essence, you experienced and watched for 365 days, the effects that AA’s strict conformity of becoming powerless actually had on people. You witnessed: (1) relapse (not to build up or educate), (2) to die or commit suicide (not receive medical attention and be properly diagnosed {medication is ok/necessary} cared for {affirmations etc.} or nourished), (3) to re-enter the penal system (not to be taught life changing skills of mindfulness or other effective forms of communication) and (4) the ones that “Graduated” to continue meetings on the outside with their new AA groomed personality-angry, controlling and hostile (not helpful, educated, free and happy).

      Basically the ones that made it through boot camp are the ones that pass on “What they got” and are the future molds of the AA newcomer. That is very scary! The healthy ones that question this archaic prophecy loose and the losers win.

      I am so appreciative and honored to be considered a loser who ‘FLUNKED OUT OF AA’.

      • Haha! I love this site! I have about 6 weeks sobriety (self-medicating bipolar) and my therapist (who I fired) suggested AA. Admittedly, no horror stories, just a WTF? trying to get through the literature and discussing the steps with my sponsor, 26 years sobriety and totally brainwashed but a sweet person nonetheless. Tomorrow I am telling her I am FLUNKING OUT! My higher power does not keep me sober, I keep me sober! Thank you for the site and the information and the comments.

    • Unfortunately I told my son that until I read Stanton Peele’s Books and many more. It’s all I was ever told even from therapists that I respected.
      Of course once I told him I didn’t have a disease and that he wasn’t powerless and that he has a choice and check out harm reduction things got better quickly. As a parent I made a mistake but have changed. GIve your parents the links to other sites or better yet. You can buy them a book!

      There is such freedom in leaving AA Ryan. Glad you are here.
      you too limestone!

      • One of the first books I read when getting out of aa was Alcoholics Anonymous: Cult or Cure? Really really good. I also liked the blamethenile videos on youtube as well as OrangePapers…I will post more over the next few days. Thanks for the site. Nice to see. xoxo

        • HI JEN! Yea thanks for reminding me. I watched so many of their videos. Also I loved Penn * Teller Bullshit on AA .Its in 3 parts. Really funny!

  4. limestoneblocks
    Kenneth Anderson has The Hams Harm REduction Network a book and online meetings. He;s been on my show and maybe you can drink moderately. I have so changed my thinking about this since the past 2 years and I see that AA teachings are lies are not founded in any RESEARCH at all ! There is no disease… its bullshit.
    After 36 years sober I have no idea if I would even have a problem. Im not willing to drink to test it but I am really happy when I hear people are successfully proving AA wrong! CAll Tom Horvath in San Diego at Practical Recovery and ask him for a referral. Or contact Dee-dee Stout in SF she knows alot of people in the field.
    I am sure there is someone up there who is non 12 step.

    • Massive is correct about AA teachings and the disease concept. According to American Medical Association wikipedia, Bill W. is quoted in the definition below:

      ‘The term “alcoholism” is commonly used, but poorly defined. The WHO calls alcoholism “a term of long-standing use and variable meaning”, and use of the term was disfavored by a 1979 WHO Expert Committee. The Big Book (from Alcoholics Anonymous) states that once a person is an alcoholic, they are always an alcoholic, but does not define what is meant by the term “alcoholic” in this context. In 1960, Bill W., co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), said:
      We have never called alcoholism a disease because, technically speaking, it is not a disease entity. For example, there is no such thing as heart disease. Instead there are many separate heart ailments, or combinations of them. It is something like that with alcoholism. Therefore we did not wish to get in wrong with the medical profession by pronouncing alcoholism a disease entity. Therefore we always called it an illness, or a malady—a far safer term for us to use.[24]”

      WHO= World Health Organization
      Alcoholism= Open to interpretation even by DSM standards
      DSM= Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Health
      Bill W.= Down on his luck addict looking for a free ride substituting anything for alcohol and participating in AA to raise his social and family “PRESTIGE”.

      • Actually, Betty …I think you are a troll from OPF and this is an Leaving AA site like it says in the url!
        SO go back to your trolling some where else.

        • Well Betty,

          Maybe we have studied those ideas and we just don’t buy that line of bull.

          I think you are on the wrong web site.

    • Thanks Massive, I appreciate the resources. I will look into them for sure. I’ve heard of Harm Reduction but don’t know much about it. I will check out the book as well. I truly hope I can find something else up here. When AA/NA is the only thing around I feel like I am wrong for questioning their dogma. I start thinking…. am I really just being stubborn and rigid? Should I put aside my beliefs and try to “take what I need”…. then my rational mind kicks in and says “absolutely not”. People wonder why I can get upset about AA. It’s because they messed with my brain!

      • Im telling you trust your instinct that are guiding you away from AA. Contact all of the resources. They will pick up the phone, help you and call you back. Smart, Rational, and Dee-dee Stout and Ken Anderson.

        • Limestoneblocks,
          Massive is correct. One of the first things AA wants you to do is get rid of your instincts, beliefs, convictions and questions. That is how they get you powerless and follow them around like a puppy or yes man. The above traits are a determent to their program. They can’t have someone in rehab or the rooms with convictions or knowledge of right and wrong. You will be a spoiler to the program. This is why they tell you “self will run riot” to shake you up and get you back in “line”. Otherwise, your will (knowledge, intuition etc.) will cause an uprising/questioning by others. They have to shame you back in line right off the bat before your “will/knowledge” reaches other members. That is how AA works. Anyone that questions the program or doesn’t buy into it fully at the beginning has to be broken down. Psychology states that emotional abuse is far more harmful and longer lasting than physical abuse. That can’t legally harm you physically, but they can get many key members to degrade you with slogans, threats etc. to get you to desire the nicer side of AA where they love bomb you. Listen to your gut and your heart. Only listen to your head when you are away from any influence of AA and researching alternative programs and member’s horror stories. It is very difficult to change a mindset that has been indoctrinated by AA, they play on all the needs humans desire: acceptance, love, value, praise, healthy relationships etc. When not in total compliance of the program they (AA members/sponsor) replace the positive things we crave (especially when very vulnerable) with negative treatment like shunning, degrading slogans (keep it simple stupid, how long are you going to let so & so live in your brain rent free etc.-too many to quote). So, by love bombing us and then punishing/shunning us or witnessing that of others-we want the love (it is natural to with drawl from pain and go towards the pleasant if it makes sense or not). That is the way AA brainwashes its members and why it is so difficult to leave without questioning yourself. Questions are great and encouraged in so many areas in life, like work, school, church anywhere. Questions=the desire to think independently, wonder is there a better way or simply how does this work etc. All extremely dangerous for AA and keeping the many mindlessly, disempowered robots. Even if you believe everything I just stated, I won’t be easy to deprogram. If it were we wouldn’t have these blogs, the Orange Papers and AA wouldn’t be so enormous. Good Luck. “THIS SOON SHALL PASS” =)

          • Thanks, great post and I agree 100%. It was been so refreshing connecting with others that have the same views on AA as I do. When I was in the midst of leaving for good, Stinkin Thinkin helped me learn to trust my gut and realize that is was ok to not buy into 12-step methodology. I am going to call those people that Massive recommended. Just need to pick up the phone…..

    • Hi Massive,
      I called Pratical Recovery, I spoke with someone and they referred me to SMART, which doesn’t exist up here. I left a message with Dee Dee Stout. Hopefully she calls back and has some ideas. I’m not feeling very hopeful about this. Lots of dead ends.

  5. KAN & Limestoneblocks-

    Learned helplessness is what a whole generation learned. Holy S*&^%T.
    We need to do some fixen. That is why there are so many occupy’ s.

  6. I thought you may want to review r2d, a non step recovery system, “not program” that offers a unique choice . Two separate methods built in choice, by having a secular and non secular set of tools. Based in cbt, rebt, mi, in a gestalt frame. “2-day” meaning “now therapy”

    • I just looked at the recovery2day site and it does look promising. It appears to have facts and figures on Addiction with links to them. I liked the section on “ALCOHOL AND DRUG STATISTICS” and appears to be a very well thought out site. I am going to look further, and it does seem like a viable alternative to the 12 Steps.

    • Recovery 2Day — I recommend to anyone wishing to reduce harms or abstain from a substance. Absent are the harmful meetings, dogma and so called spiritual healing for substance issues. The books are free to read on the website. The stroop chart is so very helpful, both for cravings and for racing thoughts and anxiety.

  7. This a refreshing change to see in the medical community and very interesting to see that there is an actual competition to see who gets the client and insurance (AMA or APA). I’m interested in reading more about this. Id Powers and JR thanks for the info. Always appreciated.

    I still maintain from personal experience, until I went into therapy and ascertained my deep pain and what it was associated with, I couldn’t move forward successfully. I had to address said issues and integrate them into my life, then and only then could I find peace and enjoyment outside of the bottle. No amount of labeling, slogans, shunning and brow beatings could calm the ferocious pain, events and cruelty bestowed upon my young soul and body. It needed love, patience, understanding and empathy (which AA is devoid) to show me the way out of the hell my parents bestowed upon my limp young body. Alcohol took that pain away, momentarily. I would have continued on that path, if it weren’t for the in depth cognitive EMDR therapy. At the present, I do not have a drinking problem and I have resolved many of my childhood traumas, while learning mindful coping skills to use when an event triggers my childhood memories (which caused me to drink-avoid pain). I can’t stress enough how much therapy has helped in realizing the role that alcohol played in my life. This is why I get so angry with labeling individuals who are deemed Alcoholic when they haven’t been properly diagnosed which includes: possible chemical imbalance, childhood trauma, perceived personality deficiencies/abnormalities etc. The medical community is so quick to diagnose a person to be of an alcoholic nature and send them to AA; they have done that for 75 years now. They have completed their job-next victim. A new set of Parameters needs to be established. Get into their history get down to the pain, don’t send them to a cold rehab who’s sole purpose is to quiet ones physical dependence to the drug or alcohol and leave the mind still searching for help.

    • I think if therapists and medical professionals get wind that they can be sued by sending people to a faith healing 1936 rhetoric, cult driven, power monger Thing…there are no words anymore for this shit. Then , this will stop.

      The tide has turned. Now we have to unite and take action. Focus and contact authorities in every situation that we are aware of.

  8. Massive, just wanted to thank-you. I got in touch with Dee Dee Stout and she found a person in Maine that should be able to help me. I gave him a call but had to leave a message. I’m hoping he has some good non-12 step options.

    • limestone- Im sooooo Happy !!! to hear this. That is what I want to happen. That we become a real community (which we are) with resources to help each other emotionally, mentally, spiritually and psychologically we help each other find help. And with community -for those of us that like groups and people that we can form x steppers support meet ups or AA trauma support groups. Meaning those of us that want to deprogram and find non AA people.
      Let me know how it goes. Dee-dee is a great resource. Did you see her on Penn & Teller Bullshit a few years back?

      • Hi Massive, yes I did see her on the Penn and Teller show. I thought she was great!! I love when that guy asks her if she would recommend 12-step and she says (and I paraphrase), “now I wouldn’t” and he says “well I would” and she says “I know you would”. LOL. But anyway, I met up with the guy she recommended and he does a men’s group which is not for addiction per se but is a place for men to come together and empathize with each other in a healthy and constructive way. He also talked about 3 different kinds of people that abuse substances. One are the “progressive uncurable disease” types. He said the percentage of these people are actually much smaller than we are led to believe. The other group is the person that partied like a rock star for years and one day just basically grew up, had a family, got a good job, etc… just left it behind. The 3rd is the self medicating person. They have a chemical inbalance and have been using alcohol and drugs to regulate this.. many for a very long time. This becomes a maladaptive behavior. I told him that I am now on meds that has completely erased the desire to self medicate everday just to feel “normal”. I also told him that I have been drinking but have been doing so for social reasons and to let loose and have some fun. We then talked about Harm Reduction which basically says you need to set rules for yourself. Only you can set the rules and only you know when you break them. Examples would be, I don’t drink and drive EVER, I only have 2 or 3 when drinking, I can drink to get drunk but only once a week and on a weekend, I never drink on work days etc. Whatever the rules are, they are yours and it is your responsibility to be honest with yourself if you are not abiding by them. Whether or not I decide this is the right path for me is my decision but I found it so utterly refreshing to actually have someone present “alcohlism” in such a way after years in AA.

        • OMG Limestone- That is so awesome! I am so friggen happy this is working out for you!!!
          Yes ! Yes! our little Blogging world has become a real resource to help those of us that Hate AA. 🙂

  9. hey, that’s freaking awesome. (jesus, i sound like prison mike on the office. i should totally follow yer lead on that. i was seeing a therapist over a year ago, but i had to stop due to my schedule. i am pretty stalled right now, like for example i am 99.9 percent done getting into the career i wanna do, but i have like two things holding me back, etc. and i keep wanting to go back to therapy, but man, i cannot handle an aa therapist. or a stupid therapist, b/c there are a ton out there. i never really thought of dee dee as a resource for me personally. thanks. 🙂

    • You’re welcome and thank Massive! I’ve been very persistant with trying to find something non 12 step. Regarding therapy I had a therapist back in New York that was member of AA but to her credit, really tried to not push it on me. I found a therapist in Maine right away and the first thing I told her is that I refuse to go to AA, period. She has never pushed it on me and agrees with much of what I’ve said about it. Now I have this new guy as a resource as well. It’s so nice to know you are not alone. I hope you find what you are looking for Violet.

    • Trying getting in touch with Hank Hayes He is on the east coast or even contacting Steven Slate or Stanton Peele. I bet they know someone in your area!!!

      • Massive and any others who may have knowledge, your help and advice is needed…

        (FOR THOSE NOT INTERESTED IN THE DRAWN OUT STORY MY QUESTION AT END IS: is there a way /resources to get an AA member to, maybe not quit his program, but show him other options and let him decide? Or is this a very selfish request as, for him, despite the many negative outcomes on our home life and social distancing AA has caused in addition to lack of emotional growth regarding his deep seeded issues, he is still has been sober for 5 years now)

        now for those interested…

        First of all thank you all so much for being brave enough to post inciteful comments (not just blind hatred for AA). I have been looking for a resource like this for a long time.

        I was/am not an AA member, but I am currently engaged to one. I knew him in his early teens before he was sober (would never have dated him) and later after he was sober for 2 years unexpectedly ran into him and started a relationship. I have been dating him for 3 years now, and have tried desperately to understand AA. The recent proposal has me now causing all the unanswered questions and nagging fears of this program and his behavior because of it to be scared all over again of committing the rest of my life to him.

        At first I thought, he was crazy and AA is a cult (still am undecided on that). I am in medical school and am acutely aware of AA not being the only answer and fear of its cult like tendencies. However, my fiancé would allow me to question things only up to a certain point before we would argue or he would get very defensive about hurting his “program” I could go on and on about various encounters but after going to many many many meetings and letting him talk me into a small bout of Al- Anon attendance to “deal” with my questions (which I could not stand the self-blaming and lack of empowerment in the group meetings and only lasted in a month) vs. talking to him about it, I decided that outside of AA membership, in the “normies” world as AA members call it in his meetings, he was a wonderful caring man and decided to treat AA like it was a job or hobby for him vs a way of life – but sticking my head in the sand is not is not working anymore.

        I first need to ask, after all the meetings over the past three years, I have met many people in his fellowship. Some he would seek advice on with our problems and actually confront me and tell me, for one example that if I keep persuading him to quit smoking I would cause him to drink, and many other similar situations which we have invariably moved on from. I have yet to meet a member who was ACTUALLY aware of the negative actions and mind control they were exerting on another person. Basically, of all the people I have met literally I could not find one live example of a member maliciously aware of his/her manipulation and cult like behavior on newcomers and my fiancé.

        So my first question to all you past members who will I believe tell me more honestly than the members of my fiancés group, is this

        Is there some real evil CONCIOUSLY aware individual/subset who/that is the root cause of this cult-like control & propagation OR is it actually just that this organization itself has grown out of control, from its original cult like leaders, and taken a life on its own without anyone “behind the wheel” anymore. (This obviously may vary group to group ( as I researched & found a case with Mike Quinones from Midtown Group in Bethesda, MD who was definitely aware of AAs brainwashing potential& abused his power via sexual abuse of minors & young women he sponsored).

        I am so scared to take the real deal vows for life with a man that upon every argument that gets more intense than what to have to dinner, has to go to a meeting deal with his emotions there and do the disservice to our relationship to grow together as a couple to work out complex issues (what will he do when we have kids?!). In addition to a “sponsor” who I am not allowed to hear their conversations and not allowed to ask questions about told that I could never understand the emotions he feels because I am not an alcoholic. Obviously I am just listing the extremes and these issues have arisen less and less, him opening up to me over “the group” more and more over the years, but marriage is for life and I need neutral rational non-hateful real advice.

        Lastly, is there a way /resources to get an AA member to, not quit his program, but show him other options and let him decide? Or is this a very selfish request as, for him, despite the many negative outcomes on our home life and social distancing AA has caused in addition to lack of emotional growth regarding his deep seeded issues, he is still has been sober for 5 years now.

        Thanks for any help from massive or anyone else!

        • Unfortunately, after being in AA for five years your proposed fiance is most likely fully indoctrinated into the dogma and mindset of Alcoholics Anonymous. It does depend on a number of factors to determine how far the indoctrination process has progressed. Question to ask and find out about is how often he attends AA meetings, how many Sponsors has he had and now many Sponcees.This will determine if he can be even a candidate for reprogramming. Given that he has already discussed YOUR personal life with the group, it is unlikely he will be easy to convert to a less controlling form of “self help” where there are boundaries between YOUR life and that of his AA life.

          The best way to determine how far his programming in AA has gone is to look at his “working” “Big Book” and “12&12.” By working I mean the books he actually studies from. Sometime AA members have “special” books that they do not write in and only use for show. These are often leather bound and only used for special occasions. What you want to look for is the underlining and side notes of Chapter 5 “How it Works” and Chapter 7 “Working with Others” in the “Big Book” and Tradition 1, Tradition 9 and Step 12 in the “12&12” to actually see how far he has progressed in the brainwashing process.

          Since he has been in AA for 5 years, chances are he has gone to many Step meetings and discussed the Traditions extensively. You will be able to identify how brainwashed he is from the “Big Book” and “12&12.” Pay particular attention to the chapters that the pages are heavily worn on. This is where he has done the most studying and will tell you exactly where his head is at.

          Depending upon the amount of brainwashing he has received you can try to “introduce” programs that will be less controlling in your lives, but pay particular attention to Tradition 9 which states:

          “Unless each A.A. member follows to the best of his ability our suggested Twelve Steps to recovery, he almost certainly signs his own death warrant” 12&12 Tradition Nine, p.174.

          Many Steps and Traditions in Alcoholics Anonymous claim that if you leave the fellowship of AA you will die. If he is a devout AA member this will have been beat into his head for his entire 5 year indoctrination period and he will not want to change, this is where the frequency of attendance and participation come into play. One word of caution should be noted however, if you marry someone and expect to change them after it usually ends in a disaster.

          For a listing of death in the “Big Book” and the “12&12” see-

        • medstudnet- hi- wow…thats a big question. I would ask him to read my story on the thread I created WHY I LEFT AA STORIES after 35 years. I once loved AA and was a drinking the koolaid fool. But after 4 years sober and 22 years old, in 1979, I did see that AA and its books and steps which I had worked thoroughly would not help me heal from childhood abuse and other painful issues. I began reading lots of other self help books and then at 15 years sober got into intensive therapy.

          I dont know. But I would ask you this…do you meditate? I would ask every time in all my meditations to be guided. this is something I do with everything. Then I would use SMART recovery tools and do a cost benefit analysis which I also use. You are young? Do you want to have children with this person. I suggest Stanton Peels Books and maybe can you watch together Stanton on HUFF Live recently there was an interview.

          Its a cult in my opinion, but I think it has evolved into one. Lots of negative brainwashing, bad literature read at every meeting , no updates, even other religions update their literature every 10 years so that it makes sense.

          Maybe ask him to listen to one of my episodes on blogtalkradio/saferecovery about Is the AA literature still viable. Can you get a crack in the wall he has up.

          I think if you listen you will know what to do. Do you have other really good friends you can bounce this off of that are not in AA or any 12 step?

          There is more I want to say but not here. is my email

          I was in AA at age 24 sober 6 years and fully indoctrinated. I met a man on my job, we fell in love and he followed me to meetings. He was just sober/clean on his own. I was a nutty AA stepper.
          I was married 16 years to him and AA did cause problems. He called himself a member but never bought it all. We divorced and when I left AA 2 years ago 29 years later I called him to say I was wrong and sorry for being such a stepper. He almost fainted I think.

          There were many years I went to only a meeting a month for 6 years when my boys were little and babies. Thank GOD I did that. However, I cried some big tears just yesterday for being in AA so long and saying stupid shit to my kids and even my ex husband.

          Now I am currently married. Happily. Email me if you want.

          You have a difficult decision to make. Many good people are in AA and yet many of us are leaving in droves and seeing the light. Im so happy to be gone.
          Sorry this is so long but I felt your pain. If I ask for inner guidance, I always know in a few days, if not I ask some peeps who are really close to me to bounce this stuff off them. But who to marry…

          No one can tell us that. I had a sponsor tell me that. SHe was so wrong!!! I was young and I took her word as something better then my instincts. WRONG again.
          Stay in touch if you want.

  10. The fact that AA members are giving Medical advice is illegal. They can be sued.

    But I see the way they get into member’s head’s. Like they know better then you what you should do with your life.

    That is what makes it a cult. I hate the way alot of it’s philosophy has gotten into our culture. This is very scary to me and what drives me to change things globally with the issue of addiction and alcohol dependency and how it’s treated. There are too many AA/NA members hiding behind professions where they are pushing the 12 step way of life. It’s makes me want to gag!

  11. Hello, good to see some old faces here. I am still trying to get away from AA and 12 Steppism. I have spent too many years going and I have built a lot of friendships there, a little social network. I am considered a bit of a heretic, but I say what I feel to be the truth and let the cards fall where they will.

    • ANDY- WELcome- great to see you here. I know you will know what to do. But I didnt want to leave room for them to gossip about me. As you know I left last spring. I went to my home group and told them straight up how I felt and that I would attend Smart REcovery if I needed a meeting. Only one called me. A handful emailed me. Now I have more real friends in program in Hawaii and a few of my real friends from childhood are in AA. I grew up in an Irish Catholic neighborhood so if they weren’t in the Bars they started going to AA.

      My husband has many years and the guys have been calling him cause he had not been for 5 months. They started talking and he got alot of calls. He went back to one meeting and got alot of love bombing. Some of its genuine, but my hubby is a super lovable guy.

      I think for everyone it’s different. I cried alot when I left. I didn’t miss AA or the meetings. I cried for all the wasted years, all the horrible crap I once believed and for my youth that I wasted in AA.

      If you really don’t believe in the hogwash and such, when you leave you will fell great and the ones who are real will still be friends. Just be prepared some are really fearful and not genuine.

      Oh yea, there have been a few who have said really stupid jealous shit to my hubby as well. Many have 20 years in program and are so fucking mean it’s so so sick.

      • I hate to say it Massive, but among the men in AA, almost NONE are real friends. With just one exception, the ladies who have been friends for years are still so, but men in AA are really programmed to shun. No loss. 🙂

  12. Hi Andy, Nice to see you again.

    I am sincerely curious; do you think if you stopped going to meetings and left AA that those individuals would still be your friends. It’s been my experience that any social network built, disappears immediately or slowly fades away. Though in my case, I did not get involved socially with individuals in the program to a large extent.

    • Well, like I say at many meetings, referencing page 32-33 of the 12 and 12, “Alcoholics are mentally ill”. Bill W. really had a low opinion of Alkies by saying that, but there is some truth to it. I probably suffer from depression, anxiety, low self esteem or something like that.

      But no, most people could care less about me, I would still get calls from some of my ‘sponsees’ I suppose. But even then, they just use me as a sounding board and to talk about their favorite subject.. themselves.

      • Andy- thats kinda of sad don’t you think. But I am going to say to you what the bloggers who were in AA and even ftg said to me. You will leave for good when you know you have had enough. Real friends will still be friends even after you leave. I really liked some of the woman I knew. Everyone is not a jerk. After all we all were once there right. Well, not all here were AA members, but the majority.

        Again welcome.

  13. Andy,

    First of all I agree with every thing Massive said. Anyone who is truly a friend, will remain a friend even if you leave AA. Just remember that many times they are uncomfortable being around anyone who is not in the program. It’s not about you.

    Personally, I only questioned my mental state when I was involved with AA. My depression and anxiety I experienced while attending AA have virtually disappeared. My low self esteem has improved dramatically over the past year. Im happier and comfortable with who I am.

    I abused alcohol for a long time (decades) but I dont believe it was because I had a personality disorder and poor character. Although, many do in the rooms. I understand that childhood trauma and on going family disfunction kept me in emotional termoil and was behind a lot of my drinking. Of course in AA, that would be considered an excuse and unwilling to accept their diseased mind theory. I get anxiety talking about it and reflecting on my experience there. As massive said; leave when your ready. If you decide to stay just try not to take what they say seriously. Recovery shouldn’t rob you of your identity.

  14. It’s so refreshing to read what all you guys are saying. I’ve been around mostly CA/NA for a year or so and I have realised that I just don’t believe it it anymore. The other week I read out a very hard step 5 to my step nazi sponsor and the repercussions have been horrible. My so called ‘life and death errand’ got caught up in her ‘suggesting’ that I tell certain other people about times I had been drinking when saying I was ‘clean’. Let’s get this right: I am NOT powerless of alcohol! I got backed into a corner about telling a ‘sponsee’ that I had not been entirely honest which was horrible.

    However with all this going on I had several revelations: will I relapse (on drugs) if I don’t write and share a step 10 every night? What about if I don’t make amends to the work place I was formally asked to leave due to my heroin addiction? What about if I don’t take some poor fresh faced newcomer through “the first 164 pages”? It dawned on me that if I would relapse, I would relapse not because of a step I forgot an amends I wasn’t ‘willing’ to do or because I was no longer prepared to drag some other sorry case through the book. I made up with my ‘sponsee’ and decided I just didn’t believe 12 step anymore and I feel a huge weight has been lifted from me.

    What you guys are saying about friends is a bit hard and I may just “fake it ’til you make it” (ie – lie) until I am confident enough to just leave.

    So glad you guys are here and to read your stories 🙂

    • Hi Nieko,


      I completely can completely relate to not feeling confident enough to leave. If your anything like I was; you have been thinking about it for a long time. You will know when it’s the right time and you have had enough.

      After leaving, I questioned my decision for quite sometime and was fearful but I just worked through those feelings because; on the other hand it was such a relief. I loved having the additional time to myself that I wasted in those meetings being aggravated. I did a lot of reading (not AAliterature), went to the movies by myself.

      For a month or more, before I left, I would leave the meetings so frustrated that I would have to come home and journal about my feelings; the confusion and the anger. Looking back, I think that really kept incidents fresh in my mind and helped prepare me for my decision to leave AA. It’s very interesting to read after 15 months and see your growth. I didnt have access to the blog for the first 8 months. The writing was such a comfort to me. Of course the type of journal I kept was not the type of writing AA recommends. 🙂

      I started to see my envolvement in the program as just another addiction. I wasnt happy, I wanted to quit but i wasnt ready. When things got bad enough and I got tired of the insanity; “I quite”.

      Glad you found us. Blogging has been very helpful and I have developed friendships with other bloggers.

  15. neiko- Welcome!

    WOW…Reading your post is pretty scary that anyone would boss around another adult in such a way , but this is the way of AA and NA nazi’s. I hope you keep reading and posting here as much as you want or need. I left AA after 36 years last MAY.

    I know alot of oldtimers NA members in Hawaii from my early years. I was 18.
    None of what they are telling you is true. You will not use if you do not do it there way. But I would say you might want to find support here and x steppers and expose aa is another site. Orange Papers was good but right now there are some serious MEAN trolls there.

    I have a weekly radio show called Have you tried Smart Recovery? Maybe AMy Lee’ Coy’s Book From Death DO I PART, Hank Hayes’s Book called “You’ve Been Lied To…” or contact me directly @

    I have some real new friends as an x stepper. also even though can only be read now there are thousands of WHY I LEFT AA STORIES you can read there.

  16. Hi guys, thanks for the welcome!
    I have tried a bit of Smart, that spurred me on with these ‘realisations’ – that somehow if I missed out a step, did them in the ‘wrong’ order, wasn’t honest, was too honest, balked an amends, self-willed an amends, worked with others too much or not enough… that any drinking or using could literally be attributed to ANYTHING in the program and still sound plausible!!!!!

    Smart had me realise, that it is surely insane to think a missed step 10 inventory, a lack of willingness too few/too many meetings blah blah blah is going to in anyway contribute to a return to drinking or using.

    I’m thinking now that sanity has returned (as a result of shunning the steps), I will try out a bit of smart and stick with my own church where my God surely has to be loving and caring enough to keep me safe without humiliating myself with daft amends and without putting any more poor suckers through this ridiculous process.

    And the icing on the cake, as an ex heroin addict who was never an alcoholic, I really look forward to enjoying a nice glass of wine with dinner in the future totally free from any idea that it was an obsession or allergy that made me do it. I just fancied it, now you surely can’t keep it much more simple than that eh 😉

  17. Massive et al, a link to a paper that helps explain what I always thought was the “elephant in the room” in any therapeutic setting, including 12 Step facilities, where, perhaps, the metaphorical elephant is even bigger due to the fact that the “therapist” presumably has the same “illness” (i.e. alcoholism). Ties into changing language in so far as shedding the conditioned modes of expression that can present challenges to ex-Steppers with words such as “spirituality,” “gratitude,” or “12” for instance. These, otherwise innocuous words have been so polluted by the Step Movement to the point where uttering or encountering them in post-Stepworld life can present discomfort and aversion-at least, until people learn they are empowered enough to restore their original meanings, before the great word perversion of the William G. Wilson thought reform movement. It dives a bit deep into linguistics but I believe the general message is invaluable to anyone “recovering from recovery.”

  18. If you are looking for “tools” take a look at the tools offered by Recovery 2-Day. You can read them / use them for free.

    What makes R2D so different is the approach it used in treating “you”. It asked a simple series of questions, “do you think you have a problem?” is the entrance. If you say yes, then a natural next question, “do you want to get well?” and then, it moves in a logical series of “helping you” get better. Unlike others it offers choice , secular or non secular tools. Choice is important, since you will not do what you you do not believe in. It is NOT a faith healing program like AA and its clones.

  19. So, I’ve been go through a bit of a new stage in ‘recovery’ (I SO hate that word right now!). I tried a real life Smart meeting the other night and I kind of enjoyed it but still had a bit of a ‘Oh God, sitting in a room talking about what’s going on’ I’m just not sure how much I’m into it right now I’m also finding it really hard to keep my mouth shut about XA. I used to hear that Smart was a lot of AA bashing and don’t want to encourage that but I still feel just so angry about being lied to and that I have been told I have this bullshit disease for such a long time and all the rest of it. I did have a chat with the facilitator about it and when he did his check out he said it had made him think that Smart was perhaps going to have to start to deal with more people that have left XA (there were a few of us that had left CA the other night). So yeah, face to face meetings, even the idea of needing meetings of any sort is all a bit of a repellant to me right now.

    However, I did an online smart meeting last night and I totally loved it, it was just great :). The people were really encouraging and I got to talk one on one with one of the moderators after the meeting and told her just how angry I was about the whole being duped by XA thing.

    So currently my plans are to maybe drop into the odd Smart meeting here and there, learn the tools but do one or two online meetings a week whilst I get my head together.

    Beyond that it’s a new house (which I’ve started the move already), get back into work, a few evening classes perhaps oh and some counselling to deal with the post XA anger so I don’t have to drag it into Smart!

    I’m most definitely starting to recover from recovery, bring it on!

    • Maybe I could join you in the online meeting. WHat time and what day? I have never done an online meeting with smart.
      Im glad you found other help.

      I agree, even Tom Horvath said he felt it would be helpful if we created an support group for x steppers to just vent. I was going to do it. I just find that I am too busy right now to add one more thing to my plate.

  20. Hi Massive,

    Here is the link to the online SMART meetings;

    I’m afraid I do find that sometimes I really just need to vent and I don’t really want to be doing that in SMART – I am organising some counselling, they will HAVE to listen to me then! But yeah, I still feel like I have a lot to get off my chest – I am beyond believing that AA God will remove my anger 😉 anymore!

    I do think that this anger is a process that I will have to just work through. I do use some other web resources ‘cos most of my friends that are in ‘recovery’ seem to be getting over it all a bit more easily than I am and almost tell me to ‘let go’ (urgh!) Then again they didn’t spend the best part of 10 years (on and off) believing in this nonsense so I feel justified in my anger. From what I have read here, I am confident that it will diminsh in time!

    But yes, the online meeting was great, I really enjoyed it 🙂


    @ massive,

    backing off going after aa. From my experience (and I was in a really hard-core community) it is absolutely unassailable. Criticism only feeds it and makes it grow, especially from former members. I have considered emailing my old counselor and telling him that he was such an asshole because he was badly abused as a child but hold back because I know for a fact, it would accomplish nothing. So many things I took note of while I was there. I know too exactly why I was given the douchbag counselor. Because of my elicited and very visible vulnerability combined with my ability to know the whole thing was bullshit, which was also very visible to people like him and other authortarian psychopathic sponsors in aa who fucked up their lives and families and use aa power tripping to feel better. When I left I learned the two qualifications for a full aa “recovery:” being an asshole or predator, or a “spiritual” parrot…there are some things i’ve been reconsidering, like why I was so driven to “help” others constantly, so depressed, etc… and none of it has anything to do with aa, which i knew (but tried to “be nice” and deny) was a fucking cult to begin with and cesspool of scumbags and their prey…I included a link that explains the real reasons for mental diagnosis, the diagnosticians insecurity with anti-authoritarians. PERIOD…. Fuck them and fuck aa

    • its okay Ryan I swore alot when I first left. Its almost a year for me and I am a bit less mad. Go at it. Swear all you want.

  22. Sorry Massive for swearing on your site. As you know, I have extensive experience in Stepworld and the “therapeutic” industry. Even on your site, there have been occasions where I would say something negative about AA or the Treatment Industry and a commenter would use the “that’s not AA argument.” I know it has happened with a couple other bloggers as well, but am too exhauted to cite examples. I admire Orange and BlameDenial for their extreme patience in developing clear and conscientious replies to Steppers, but I think even they grew tired of it. Arguments collapse unto themselves. Even reading articles and comments online from seemingly intelligent people either in AA or “in the ‘treatment’ field” is infuriating to me. I think the original, solid contentions made by critics are being obscured and deconstructed into endorsement for the system they were intended for originally. They are, in my mind:

    Alcoholism/addiction is not a disease. Even if it were, it would be treated under the care of physicians or neurologists-not religion or conventional therapy, for that matter. Though, I believe Motivational Interviewing and REBT could be useful for some.

    Alcoholics Anonymous meets sufficient criteria to be considered and defined as a cult. In short, it is one.

    Addiction is a complex phenomenon. I personally believe that any self-destructive/destructive behavior (especially in ‘free’ countries like ours) is caused mainly by childhood abuse which ‘treatment’ only exacerbates by recreating the original dysfunction.

    I’m with Stanton, in that Harm Reduction is possibly the smartest way out of the hole this country dug for itself. I think the fact that before drug and alcohol prohibition, addiction was rare at best, but probably nonexistent in most cases explains boatloads.

    I also believe that strict Moralism creates violence and self-destruction. I believe this is why in very strict, religious societies, some of the most appaling violence occurs.

    So, I am very pessimistic about the future of addiction/recovery industries and firmly believe that (like a giant green blob?) it feeds and grow off of attacks and criticism. I also can’t forget what I first read on AADeprogramming, that the heart of the problem is a result of the dissolution of the community. Other things, I believe, include the propagation of the bad genes myth; our society’s intolerance towards ‘negative’ emotions, creativity, and love (especially within children); and an overemphasis on ‘success’ and competition within this country…just a few thoughts that I hope are commonsense somewhere in the world.

  23. I just did a show on the traditions that you might like. I ran out of time…can you imagine, I didnt even have a guest. That’s how much sh###t was in my head about the lies in AA culture and its 12 traditions…made up crap. I will have one more show this tuesday where I will finish the talk on 10 , 11, and 12 which are the most used traditions to cover up for predators. “its an outside issue” I will address this head on. I recently had a head on in person face some crazy young pp steppers about this …they say to me, It’s an out side issue. That is why we are not having a panel on sexual predators. I said .No it’s not. I got it on video. Maybe it I can cut up the confrontation to a shorter video I will put it up on orange papers forum.

    Now back to what you were saying. I so agree. I think abstinence is not the answer for many. Its so temperance movement 1930’s rhetoric as well. harm reduction , moderation,

    I think like stanton said, that smoking and nicotine are one of the hardest drugs to quit, but most do it alone. So then how is nicotine is harder to quit then heroin no one goes to rehab for not a disease,,,then how is drinking or drug over use …an addiction and then therfore a disease which required 26,000 a month treatment by a bunch of windbag 12 steppers!!!

    Again great post Ryan. Get mad all you want. Confront them.

    Im gonna call you. gotta go to movies with my son. Enjoy life RYan. we got out. WE have a life now.

    • Cool. Yeah, I think when people like myself leave AA, maybe the initial reaction is sort of like “what now?” I think that when I read OrangePapers and learned about self-fulfilling prophecies, learned helplessness, and the power drug/alcohol hysteria had over me, ‘maintaing abstinence/sobriety’ became a non-issue. I found it actually was the constantly worring about that and making it the center focal point of my life that was a creation (made-up nonsense?) of the ‘recovery’ culture, intended to keep me/everyone prisoners in it. I remember in ‘treatment,’ some people had mouth wash in their rooms. For months no one even thought about it-it was a non-issue. But once a Stepper counselor started making a big deal about it, I’m telling you, it was widespread panic and hysteria-I think some might of had trouble sleeping at night because of it. It’s really a joke. Like that South Park episode where Stan tells his dad he just doesn’t need to drink that much, but who goes to AA and a otherwise non-issue human mistake becomes a lifetime disease and religious/’spiritual’ lifetime journey. I think if people can see the humor in it, it’s easier to leave or, hopefully, not go in the first place.

      • Also, once I heared about how relatively simple ‘solutions’ Motivational Interviewing, REBT, and Harm Reduction are, and the fact that most, if not all, grow out of addiction on their own (providing no exposure to Stepper BS), I could see how utterly ridiculous and narcisistically self-serving the confrontational, tough-love, long-term, scrub the floors, be grateful ‘treatment’ is. It doesn’t even work!

        • Ryan,

          I read your posts on having a sober social life. I laud your evolution to becomming a professional and understand your position. I would say try a dating service like EHarmony that provides leads with ladies who you have personality traits in common with. Opposites attract but they don’t typically stay together.

          And finding a healthy mate in a 12 Step program is a risky or even dangerous proposition! So find a nice girl whose personality traits match yours through testing. Those psych tests do work.

          • Thanks Yuk,

            I’ve considered it and ought to give it a whirl. I am the youngest male of a family of mostly Stepper females and had my fair share of scapegoating, consisting mainly of shamless onsloughts each unique in its variation of fallacious argumenting and overcharged but, more often, less blantant, passive-agressive emotional gaslighting. I haven’t lost hope however in meeting someone non-confrontational, especially now that circumstances have calmed down immensely in my life, save the lingering dreadful disgust of Steppism and fallout of prolonged cognitive dissonance, guilt, and compulsory self-criticism 🙂

  24. I agree. It works for 1% of low low bottoms. Thats who it was designed for. The skid row bum. They used faith healing in 1935, christian religion as well, big time. When did it work for teenagers. When did teenagers become alcoholics? Everybody is too quickly called an addict/alcoholic.

    Im sad as I write this today that I believed this crap.

    • Well in fairness the BB book does say that the folks who wrote it were “last gaspers.” The problem is I was indoctrinated in as if I was a last gasper, and I wasn’t one. I appreciate the help of the 1st year of the program, but in the long term it turned out negative.
      I look back at all of the problem children in AA- and how much worse the program has gotten due to the worsening of addictive drugs in America- and I am glad to have finished my tour of duty there.

      • Then why were they trying so hard to convince me I was one of them at 19 & 20 years old?

        Looking back. God why didn’t I run like the wind. Cult, cult and more cult.

        • Seriously- and it must be the softest sell cult in the world- at least initially. But I realized that most of the “old timers” I met had real ongoing problems and were miserable people even though they had not been drinking for years. It spoke volumes about the “fellowship”. I am convinced that die-hard AAs are died-hard cause they know they won’t be accepted anywhere else. Churches and civic organizations would not put up with their control freak behavior, but AA endorses it.

      • Thank you, yuk. When the BB was written, alcholics were skid row bums. Even in AA it took years for that definition to change to include the housewife that drank when her husband left, the professional with two cars in the garage. That is when the definition of “bottom” changed. AA really was created for those that felt there was no other place to go. Their drinking did take them to hospitals, to jail and such. I haven’t heard Last Gasp for a long time, but that characterizes for whom the BB was written. There was a population of people for whom drinking just isn’t an option.

        • Hi Betty,

          I think that the problem at hand with sick old timers in AA is that they often figure, “Well, I’ve worked the steps, everything should be ok now…so why am I still miserable?” And they also think, “Hey, I’m an old timer now, I should keep up appearances to avoid showing that AA is actually very limited in it’s ability to uplift my life (and I also don’t want to catch judgement from other old timers!)…But I must be a lowly alky or I would be feeling better now…”

          So many don’t get outside help for depression, the culture of criticism of AA imposes wears on them, and the next thing you know you start to hear about old timers committing suicide. I think that AA is helpful for early sobriety, but after a person goes a full year without missing a drink, it’s time to move on. I really don’t want to be around low bottom types- especially junkies. I’ve just seen SOOOOO much harm from them.

    • Good reference Ryan- I ordered the book. I have a family member who is a professionally diagnosed narcisscist and schizophrenic and she is very difficult to deal with, so maybe the book will provide some tips.

      • I hope so. There is quite a bit of narcissism in my family. The turning point for me was understanding it originates in childhood by (though often unintentional) abusive parenting. Again, I don’t blame parents for it, but am actually glad I am able to understand it and why. I’ve read a lot of Alice Miller who explains how mirroring and careful attention to narcissistic needs to be given to children in early childhood to allow for the development of ‘healthy narcissism’ and emotional security, followed by consistent surety in and support of the child’s capacity to develop autonomy. Unfortunately, many parents, I guess, fear ‘spoiling’ a child but paradoxically contribute to the development of perhaps very (emotionally) demanding adults. In my case, I try to limit contact with such family members. This isn’t because I don’t love them as family, but because prolonged association tends to have very devasting consequences for me, as far as the development of ‘depression.’ See: “The Body Never Lies” by Alice Miller. AA was very draining in this respect, as I found it riddled with such individuals. Not too mention I couldn’t ignore my growing awareness that the compulsory ‘spirituality’ practiced was, in itself, only a further repression of emotion, which is obligatory (of children) in dysfunctional families, which, I believe, AA is a perfect platform for replication of that dynamic.

        • A link from which discusses forgiveness as it relates to what she calls ‘poisonous pedagogy’ which was said by her to have overcome the ‘therapeutic’ industries, but I would include the 12 Step (‘Addiction’/’Recovery’) Industry as well, most pronounced in AA where professionalism and courtesy are, perhaps, the most lacking:

          “A quasi-religious act of forgiveness can never resolve patterns of self-destruction.”

  25. A little on the extreme side, but I wanted to understand why I felt driven to stay so long. I know, intelectually now, that AA makes no sense. But, I understand now that there must be a degree of emotional manipulation amongst many members that holds the organization together despite the nonsensical premise. I also wanted to include a link on spiritual manipulation as well ( because I think that may account for the other half of why a rational person would stay so long if coerced into the milieu. AA is more subtle about both these forms of abuse, which I believe makes it even more harmful, because one is less likely to detect it.


    1. If we are conscientious in this phase of our lives, and have finally left AA
    for good, we will be amazed before we are halfway through!

    2. We are going to know a new truth, a new freedom and real happiness!

    3. We will not regret leaving AA at all, and will gladly slam the door on it!

    4. We will embrace the true meaning of serenity and we will finally know peace!

    5. No matter how far down the ladder AA tried to bring us, we will see how
    intelligent & strong we really are, and how our experiences can benefit others
    by getting them the hell out of AA too!

    6. That feeling of confusion over AA’s contradictions and useless aphorisms will

    7. We will lose interest in boring meetings and regain interest in our families,
    life goals, passions and long-lost hobbies again!

    8. Self-flagellation and self-loathing will slip away!

    9. Our whole attitude and outlook upon AA will change!

    10. Fear, guilt, shame, self-defeating labels, stupid slogans, AA jargon,
    13-stepping perverts, and putting dollars in the basket will leave us!

    11. We will intuitively know how to handle AA members who totally baffled us
    with their bullshit.

    12. We will suddenly realize that we are doing for ourselves what AA could not.

    Are these extravagant promises?

    F#CK NO.

    They are being fulfilled among us right now — amazingly quickly — with the help
    of deprogramming & becoming an activist against the atrocities of the AA cult.

    They will come into perceptible, rational existence when we finally take our
    power back and realize we were never diseased, powerless, hopeless, defective,
    pathetic people that AA told us we were.

    It’s time to OCCUPY AA.

    rainbow 🙂

  27. I met a lot of nice people in AA and learned some useful things. For me, it wasn’t a long term plan and it worked.

    “Good Betty if it worked …..why are you even here? We already know you cant converse. Ive seen you on OPF ….we have no tolerance for that here. Go back to “In The Rooms” and preach to the choir.”

  28. I have been out of AA for about a month. I came to the conclusion that I have Body Dysmorphic Disorder which is why I would obsess over alcohol. I was in and out of AA for about 10 years. I am a Nichiren Buddhist and I consider myself an Atheist. I tip toed around that “A” word this time around despite in the past being very open about it, I gave the idea of “god” lip service and basically would tell my sponsor what I believed “god” to be(which is NO different conceptually than when I was very open about being an Atheist, he didn’t pick up on the fact it was a very Atheistic or non-Theistic way of looking at “god” or at most Pantheistic). He told me a story about how an Angel threw him down some stairs when he was tripping on acid(and somehow after that he “sobered” up from his trip which I flat out say BULLSHIT on and I hope he gets some psychiatric help for that kind of delusional disorder that would cause him to see an angel in the first place) and that pretty much did it for me. I didn’t call him anymore. I had three months this time(now I am passed four-sober) and have been out of AA for about a month. If I just chant 2 hours per day and use NLP/self talk routines, I NEVER have a desire to drink. I also came to the conclusion(although I’ll never preach at anyone about drinking), that alcohol is a dangerous and addictive drug that should never have been legalized. We have been brain washed as a society to believe it is harmless(granted, I don’t deny that small amounts like ONE glass of wine or a small amount of beer can be healthy for one’s heart), but for the most part, in general I believe it to be very addictive. I no longer believe in alcoholism, I believe in alcohol addiction. If people want to try to control it or drink socially, it is of no concern to me, more power to them being that I am a Libertarian. I am so glad I no longer have to call myself crazy or hide my Atheism from “close friends”. I suppose the thing that really gets me the most about AA is when a person leaves, they are an “enemy” in a matter of speaking of AA members. I have no desire to go back.

    • Hello David and Welcome!,

      I wonder if FDA would approve alcohol for consumption if it came up for review today…

  29. Oh yeah, one other thing, I’m NOT a Soka Gakkai member as I left SGI over a year ago. I simply practice Nichiren Buddhism as an independent. SGI is WAY more “cultish” than AA could ever hope to be.

    • I went to Shinnyoen- Its Japanese form of Buddhism. Temple is very far away. But the practice helps me alot. I heard of Soka Gakkai from my Japanese friend.

  30. Hi David and welcome!
    ” I also came to the conclusion(although I’ll never preach at anyone about drinking), that alcohol is a dangerous and addictive drug that should never have been legalized. We have been brain washed as a society to believe it is harmless(granted, I don’t deny that small amounts like ONE glass of wine or a small amount of beer can be healthy for one’s heart), but for the most part, in general I believe it to be very addictive. I no longer believe in alcoholism, I believe in alcohol addiction.”
    I totally agree with you on this one. Alcohol is a dangerous and addictive drug. We have been brainwashed by the alcohol industry to think it is harmless, absolutely. IMO there is no such thing as an alcoholic as anyone can get addicted to alcohol just like anyone can addicted to nicotine and processed foods (which, of course, contain chemicals).
    Thanks for your post and welcome.

  31. Without going into much personal detail, could someone please tell me how to leave AA. Do you simply stop going? Alert home-group members to your decision in person, by phone, text or emails? Must you explain why you’re leaving? What do I owe my home group?
    After a year’s sobriety, I was chosen as the group’s GSR…by default really. I still believe AA helped me get sober and was willing to engage in service work; however, l felt pushed into a role I wasn’t ready to assume. My sincere interest in doing a good job has been met with the follwing comments: “Don’t try so hard; it’s just AA.” “Just write your report as quickly as possible, since no one’s gonna read it anyway.” “Relax. This report is way better than it needs to be.” “It’s just a bunch of drunks, so there’s no wrong way to do it.”
    I’ve also had enough 13th step come-ons, where genuine kindness and concern is misinterpretted as sexual interest. Not to mention the shouting matches that ensue when I question AA logic with my sponsor.
    Sobriety is beautiful and positive; AA members and principles not so much. How the hell do I leave?

    Lee J.

    • Lee- Hi! Welcome.

      You will figure it out.
      You can leave, never return and never call any of them. You can go to a Smart Recovery or SOS meeting.

      You can go to the next meeting and just tell them you cant do the GSR commitment , that you are too busy. I have a questions for you…How many meetings a week do you go to.

      ALso look around the room, how many people are willing to be the GSR? 1? none? In my group of 50 women, only 1 other would take that commitment.
      Maybe make a plan. I did. After over 3 decades I left in May 2011. I knew 6 months prior I had to go.(after Kristine and Saundra Cass were murdered and then Tracy White was murdered…I knew it was over for me. I had been the GSR for 2 years! OMG what a horrible time I had.

      I began blogging on (this blog is now only a read only site). I had my own other blog

      I began going to a meeting every other week on purpose instead of every week. I had been the GSR and then I was the treasurer. I got _not guilty and no longer cared about not being there. It was so freeing. I started going to Smart REcovery meetings 4 months earlier. I also went to my AA meetings and talked about how I was feeling and thinking and I let them know about Smart and the other options and that I was angry I never heard about them till now.

      It was fun. I always had new women coming up to me after the meeting asking me about Smart. I made a plan to leave over 6 months. But as time went on I could not BEAR…listening to the readings of Chapter 5, and the traditions which are 50 % lies.

      I felt it all ripping apart. The Rose colored glasses were removed as well.

      Read some books. Amy Lee Coy’s is great, From Death Do I Part, Hank Hayes book is great…You’ve Been Lied to…
      Stanton Peele’s books are good too.
      Read info on Smart , Rational Recovery, SOS, LifeRing,
      when I finally left I felt so free! My life keeps getting better and better.
      Im still abstinent for now. I do not use the word sober anymore. That is an AA word. I really make an effort to not use their words.
      Welcome again.

  32. BTW, today is my year-and-a-half b-day! What should’ve been a happy day has been filled with worry and confusion. I feel like flying, while so many AAers are grounded in the fear, anger and resentments that brought them there in the first place. The unhealthy energy is sprouting a crop of new resentments within me.

    • Hi Lee,

      I decided to leave after over 20 years…and my decision was executed tactfully. I just let folks know I was going to Church meetings because I consider clubhouses to be dangerous places.

      ***But I didn’t tell anyone which Church meetings.***

      I quietly resigned my role at the group I founded and let go of my sponsee. I think the thing to do is to NOT tell off the AAs who you’d like to tell off- even though many likely heartily deserve a “Flying FUCK YOU!” on the way out the door. Be careful because they are given to vengeful behavior.

      So be nice, and just don’t be around.

      If anyone contacts you, tell them you have come to Jesus and are working your program through your Church. Tell them you have been miraculously healed through your faith and had your desire to drink lifted.

      Tell them you want to help save their eternal soul from the blistering fires of Hell and you’d love them to come pray with you at a midnight service on Tuesday night…if they’re ok with that, you have a person who actually likes you and may have some real quality of character (not a likely outcome.)

      More than likely they will run away and not bother you again. They will go back to the group and gossip that “you got religion” and the rest of the loons will likely back away.

      If you start to get itchy and want to drink again, by all means go to meetings to remember what is waiting for you if you drink (I still believe that drinking is harmful, so I just don’t do it.)

      But don’t get involved beyond that. Why? Because finding real friends in AA is next to impossible- so why bother? If you can go a year and a half with out drinking and you don’t miss it then you should be ok with out meetings depending on any other issues you may have. If there are secondary issues, go to a good professional counselor.

      But I would definitely be very careful to not ruffle feathers on the way out- there are some real SOBs in the program who are just looking for an excuse to hurt people.

      Don’t give them an incentive to do so.

      I think you can find many other regular folks out there who do things that are fun and healthy and it always how much better character is demonstrated by my “normie” friends than the VAST majority of AAs I have known. We’re talking over a hundred examples I can think of that I encountered in 20+ years.

      Try joining a bowling league, take up sports, or martial arts, look into a main line Church, take up fishing, remote control airplane flying, camping and hiking, or scuba, or gardening- whatever interests you- the list goes on and on and on. You will find other healthy happy folks who share common interests

      Life is good, and drinking or fear of drinking and judgement from 12 Steppers doesn’t have to impact it.

      • Thanks, massive, for both your encouraging posts. I used to go to 4 meetings a week, now just two. After 6 months the group appointed me chair and secretary for GC and biz meetings, and then tried pushing me into sponsorship. I refused, but later took the GSR post because there was no one else. I didn’t realize I was making a two-year committment, though they may have told me up front. The other three home-group members assured me it was the most important position in AA, while trying not to laugh. I knew exactly what was going on, but I’ve done my best to serve. In the meantime my AA comrads continually harp at me: “You don’t go to enough meetings.” “It’s clear you haven’t been reading the BB.” “You have to tolerate some sexual comments and advances because the poor guys are alcoholics and mentally ill.” And on and on.
        I’m not angry with AAers as much as I am disappointed that I didn’t follow my first impressions … that many AAers are abusive control freaks, who apparently don’t read the BB either. My intuition said: Run Forest, run!
        My sponsor recently asked a few of us to talk with her new sponsee and report back to her. She said to be her eyes and ears, so she could better help this person. I’m so ashamed to have complied, knowing full well it broke everything AA claims it provides: trust and anonymity. The cliques in women’s meetings make me uncomfortable … I’ve watched elders publicly ridicule newbies and reduce them to tears. Needless to say, those gals never came back and may still be drinking. I quit that meeting but stuck with the main group of men and women. There are few old guys that don’t block my path till I give a big, goey hug. And there’s one guy who comes in late and is often drunk. He once whispered to me, “If it weren’t for that husband of yours, I’d have your ass.” My sponsor said to just ignore him. Huh? Next, I befriended an ex-con who’s close in age and lives nearby, so I started giving him lifts to and from the meetings. He suffers from so many serious medical problems and has COPD but continues to smoke. He was in the hospital earlier this spring and almost died. Dare I sound selfish, but I’ve always been a compassionate person and easily empathize with the problems and experiences of others. In this case, my kindness and concern were mistaken as sexual advances, and his delusional thinking convinced him we were romantically involved.
        Who the fuck ARE these people. By not drinking, I finally feel free after years of trying to reconcile the dysfunction of my birth family. When I stopped drinking, it was as if all my efforts to understand my sad, high-functioning, abusive alcoholic parents made sense. I didn’t have to carry it around but could finally let it go. I wish my sponsor could do the same. Her intolerance and self-righteousness sabotage her healing She continually has way more sponsees than anyone could handle, but it helps her feel important, keeps her busy and in control. She can sit in judgement … perhaps it’s easier than looking into and listening to yourself, but it also keeps you from healing.

        Sorry to ramble, massive. Getting it out of my system is very therapeutic, and I thank you.


        • OMG LEE- this is some post. If men did to you in th ePTA or city hall or in a church what they have done to you in a meeting you would have called the cops.

          If your sponsor did to other grown woman what you are saying here in any other group besides ( BIG LOVE) HBO TV SHOW you would all see it as a cult.

          Im glad you have somewhere to vent. Vent away ! I can tell you see it for what it is. Take care.

        • Welcome, I understand your feelings completely. I also need this place to vent and decompress. For various reasons I still attend one AA meeting, but I need to be able to keep reality going in my mind because I was languishing in the fantasy world of trying to please the AA God or die drunk as punishment. It is a false choice that has no logic and no basis in anything remotely spiritual.

          I remember going through a period of seeing people who were debilitated physically or mentally in AA and wondering “is this who I am and who I have to be now?” since I was told we were all the same. It is frightening, especially if you try to help someone with horrific problems, who society has abandoned to no cost amatures in “the fellowship”. If I had spent years in school becoming a mental health professional I could actually provide a service, with my fine arts degree it is unlikely.

          Care for yourself. I find that I need to put barriers in my own brain, so to speak, against what I will accept getting in. I have spent the last two days being verbally lashed by my best friend (also in AA) because she did not approve of my emotions in a personal situation. I put up those barriers and literally told her at one point that I refuse to hate myself over this. Ironically, she is one of the few women I have ever met in AA that could tolerate deviation from “the program” and so is currently the only real AA friend I have.

          • It is really distressing to get the view of AA from the ladies’ perspective. I knew there were a lot of creepy old pervs in AA, but most kept their behaviors low key.

            I thought for many years that 13th stepping was the exception, now it sounds like it is a (or the) rule. It’s pretty awful, women’s groups must be like islands of safety.

            On an aside, I bought a DVD copy of “Fight Club” this week- it reminds me of the 12 Step “scene” in NYC. Ugh!

  33. thank you Thank you THANK YOU!, yuk Yuk YUK!
    I appreciate your speedy reply. I’ll build a strategy based on serenity and love, not my resentments over control and manipulation. My experience has not been totally negative. After all, I’m sober and more myself … comfortable in my skin, warts and all! Once again, I am genuinely more mindful of my surroundings and purpose than when I was drinking. What a beautiful place to be. I cherish my sobriety and will focus instead on my gratitude for what AA helped me achieve.


      • On further reflection I agree with Massive, if you get a craving to drink and you don’t want to drink, try SMART. But going to AA these days is dangerous.

        I was thinking of the difference I’ve experienced since leaving AA. A big part of the freedom I have comes from the simple fact that I don’t need to be “fixed”, and I don’t need to “fix” others. My problems are back to being my business and others problems are none of my business. I like life a lot better that way- it simplifies life immensely.

        What was particularly awful in my last couple of years was receiving “constructive” criticism from creeps in AA I would let fix my toilet (or anywhere near my house), let alone tell me how to live my life. I even blocked two bone heads from sending me emails- I was getting every political opinion they could dump and who needs it?

  34. every day out of AA is helps me feel stronger-
    recently my creative thoughts started to come back-
    parts of me i lost while going to AA-
    the straight jacket i been in has
    the seeds of fear AA planted in my brain
    were bad seeds man
    Jails Instituations and Death-no good quality of life-no hope without AA-
    no other way but AA-do it or die-
    the chains that kept me bound for 12 years finally snapped-
    you can walk away from anything if you need to or want to
    you can walk through hell and come out smileing

    • Hi Sally,

      I experienced that too- my creative thinking and desire to write have come back strong since leaving AA.

      What a blessing.

      And no more meetings, judgement, always worrying about having a buck for the basket, and warped personalities.

      Frankly, I think all recovery meetings should be online these days, it saves time, money, gas, reduces risk of dealing with dangerous people, eliminates all kinds of bad stuff that comes from meetings.

      In fact I’m beginning to wonder how much good came from over 20 years of meetings? Anything good after year 4 when I lost any desire to drink?

      Basically the answer is no.

      • Hi Yuk and Sally,

        Not attending AA /NA also eliminates all the aggravation associated with attending meetings. I think at first, when our brains are like jello, they might help but after our heads start clearing up the whole situation becomes a real nuisance. I mean, how many times can a person hear the same stuff over and over. I really believe that’s why they try to instill fear in us, that’s the only way that they can keep us coming back. I am so glad that I don’t attend any longer, life is so much simpler without all the b.s. I have not been to a meeting in over 18 months and find it much easier to remain clean and sober. I no longer have a disease ( lol) and I am certainly not powerless. What a bunch of crap they try to sell.

        • Frank- I heard a scientist on NPR say that negative repetition is very dangerous and can cause more problems. That telling your self that you are stupid, or fat or even an alcoholic long after you stopped drinking was not only not helpful, that it can be harmful and keep ones self esteem low.

          • Hi Massive, I so agree with that, if you don’t want to drink or use. I think it is very harmful to keep talking about something that you are trying to stay away from. It’s like being on a diet and taking cooking classes, doesn’t make sense. Plus it’s not good for anyone to keep dwelling on the negative like they want you to do. I find it is much safer to associate with regular everyday people.

      • yuk- wow 20 years….your like me. An old timer who left. Do you ever get angry for all those years in AA? I do.

        I got mad , then sad again today for buying their BS.

        • Yeah, I AM angry. To realize that the whole “if you leave AA you are going to drink” thing is basically bull. If you get to the point – and it took me 5 years- where you can go one full year without a drink, then AA has done its job.

          Sticking around out of fear is just a bummer. And that’s what angered me- that’s the core of the AA cult behavior, once they get you in, they try to keep you whether that’s best for the person or not.

          Bill Wilson just seems like another false prophet. God the losers I wound up associating with and being slandered and abused by- it makes me sick. I feel like I did a life time’s worth of service work- so now I am entitled to time off for good behavior. Doing 20 years in AA is like doing 20 years active duty- once it’s done, it’s done.

        • Massive, one more thing, I do believe we are what we think, and who needs all that negativity input on a regular basis. I totally agree with you and NPR.

  35. hello Yuk and other poster (cant see your name)
    thanks for replys you both seem to be doing okay without AA.
    this week i have to mix with some people who are still going to AA-
    (joined a yoga class and found out some of them go there )
    hope i can stay strong calm and ok in there presence no matter what-
    and be assertive if they try to scare me LOL or put me down as they so often do
    i went AA for 12 yrs and dont miss anything or anyone in it-
    isnt that strange when i went to AA it took me ages to stop missing my partner and old friends
    Made 2 friends there one of them fiancially abused me and threatned my life
    the other sponsored me and wasnt so bad
    however wouldnt call them friends as such
    didnt spend much time with them-
    i was isolated in AA-
    went through all the steps a few times last time all in accordance with the big book. did service went meetings-
    had periods off 4 yrs one time-but kept picking up again.
    for past few yrs i questioned if i really am alcoholic or not-
    not sure
    im not drinking at present-
    isnt it strange someone else says same about creativity-
    i had hobbies pre-AA but slowly they all went away
    i actually forgot my love of art writeing music animals even stopped petting my dog then gave her away (it’s creepy what it did to me cant explain it-)
    like my emotions were numbing or something pre aa folk used tell me i had a heart of gold-
    think it was makeing me cold or something
    just prior to my leaving some were talking about no longer haveing emotional attachments think it was something to do with that
    not sure what this ment seemed to me they wanted me to be alone isolated have no heart for anything or anyone or something im still distressed around some things.
    my passion for music went away too –
    am not sure about it all i just think those i saw long time recovery most of them cant say it about all of them didnt know all of them didnt know any of them really
    just think if thats what grown up means -to be like -think like them
    i would rather be a big kid!)
    there was a few seemed ok but i didnt know them.
    found it difficult to form friendships there-
    maby thats why i missed my x partner and old friends for so long
    i never had trouble makeing friends pre AA-
    since leaving AA i have made new friends who dont and havent been there
    so am not so isolated now-
    it be good to meet a partner been celabate for most of last 12 yrs
    no one can tell me anymore that i cant have a relationship and when its time for you to have one WE will pick him!
    what happend for you both in AA and what brought you to leave?
    am glad your both ok

    • Hi Sally,
      What got me to leave were several things. Hearing the same old tired stuff, the same people sharing the same old stuff. It just wasn’t helping me, in fact it was really irritating me. I just came to the conclusion that it was all bullshit, the Orange Papers really helped me just when I needed it. When I finally left, all of my so- called friends treated me like I had a contagious disease. They never called to see how I was doing, in fact, the only thing that they want to hear from us is that we relapsed. Just remember, as long as we stay sober we are dangerous to their beliefs. I have truthfully found it far easier to stay clean and sober without all the nonsense. We hold all the power.

      • As long as I was abstinent in or out of AA they were controlling me. This was dangerous and illusively stressful for me. I have been practicing moderation for a year now. AA really is bullshit; I am not different from my fellows, I do not have a progressive deadly disease as they promised me, I am not powerless.
        I was sober in AA 17 years and am now drinking successfully in MM & HAMS 1 year! I have my life back and am much happier. I was amazed how stressful it was to be a social cripple with an imaginary disease.

        • @anon-“I do not have a progressive deadly disease as they promised me, I am not powerless”

          Thanks for posting the truth here. I think its a lie that one can not drink forever and I know I am not powerless. I think now I was never an alcoholic. Why is everyone judged so quickly to be a “real” alcoholic. For God sake I was sober at 18 . Drank for 5 years. Didn’t drink every day. Abstinent for 37 …blah blah blah, who care about the time. Its such an ego thing. I told my hubbie, when I turned 25 years I felt it then. It was a burden. AT 30 years it was really stupid. Then when I had 35 years ….OMG I was embarrassed I had gone to AA for so long.

          I could go on here… but AN honest discussion around moderation and Harm Reduction including this application with alcohol is a very important part of my work and film.

          Thank you again.

          • It was such a relief to finally drink successfully and debunk all the untruths. AA membership is a stressor in that it separates you from regular society. Today I drink responsibly about twice a month, it is very enjoyable and everyone says I am much less wound up.

  36. Hi Sally,

    I left AA because I really couldn’t tolerate the people any more. Particularly at AA clubhouses. And I experienced to a significant degree the negative “loss of self” because of AA. That is coming back and I am developing old hobbies and interests as you are. Interacting with AA people was kind of a drawn out bummer with usually brief moments of exception- typically very negative! For example, discussing my political opinions, I could pretty much count on getting told my views were wrong by some egotistical oaf who couldn’t make it through middleschool let alone high school. So I got shut down on tlaking about what is important to me. I got attacked for discussing work, hobbies, reltionships, family matters, etc, etc. Finally I realized after 20+ years of sobriety with zero relapses and a graduate degree from a top university, I was wasting my time with cretins.

    When I talked of ethics in business it went over like a lead brick, because about 50% of AA’s are permanently stuck on being crooks from what I observed. So my observations were seen as judgemental when they weren’t intended to be.

    The women in AA weren’t worth dating, and often quite dangerous to be around. Don’t take that personal, but I saw a ton of “drama mama” behavior leading to arrests, at least one death, and many many relapses. I played it smart and just stayed clear of it- but that meant a reduced personal life.

    The men were often worse because they could be flat out dangerous. For example we had one punk at the local clubhouse that bragged about being mobbed up- the clubhouse ultimately kicked his loser butt out. But frankly there is no reason for me to hang with people like that- and plenty of reasons not to.

    I got tired of talking about my spiritual experiences and growth through Church with people who were angry atheists or agnostics. They didn’t care about my experience and I got nothing but criticism from them, so hey, why not hang out with Church people instead? At least they had some growth in their experience, weren’t hostile, and typically strived for higher ethics.

    Further, I don’t want unsolicited advice on how to run my life from a guy who unclogs toilets for a living but has the ego of a CEO in a Fortune 500 firm. And I got incredibly bored with talking about “not drinking” as if that was an enterprise unto itself. There is so much more to life than that- and so much better. These days if I want attitude and an irrational argument, all I have to do is post to a political website- but that won’t get me robbed, sued, slandered, or killed- just entertained!

  37. I should add one other thing, I read, “The Real AA” and realized that I had experienced about 35-40% of what the author wrote about first hand!

    At that point I began to question if AA was a cult and as I viewed AA interactions- especially meetings- from my new knowledge base, I confirmed it. I went through the sense of loss etc. that people leaving a cult go through. I started looking up websites posted by ex-AAs and confirmed my experience was common. That confirmed it for me- simply leaving a self help group shouldn’t cause that kind of a sense of loss and remorse for lost time due to participating in the self help group. AA is a cult- one that had some beneficial results early on- but I had long since outgrown the program, and now felt trapped by it.

    Time to leave and find a better way of life. I’ve gone months without meetings and no desire to drink has materialized. Life is definitely better without all the issues of the program.

  38. I left because the sexual predation is so rampant and bad I had no idea because I was not going to many mixed meetings for about 6 years. I came to AA in 1975 …I was 18, and loved it in Hawaii for many years. IN 2008 I attended a meeting with my teenage son. I was horrified by what I saw. It looked like a prison meeting. I took him to another meeting. Again a sick feeling I got about AA and how it had changed over the past 30 years. Funny, I saw and heard the meeting through his “new ” eyes and ears….like I had never heard it before. He stayed sober for 40 days , then celebrated with some college friends by drinking. Something in my core knew to not tell him to go when he told me AA was not for him.

    Honestly, I didnt want him to become a member.

    It was then that the rose colored glasses were just ripped off. Six months later a young woman named Kali showed up at my meeting. She was sobbing and had been badly 13 stepped and financially scammed all wrapped into one. She was told by her sponsor, “what’s your part in it” I told her she had no part in it. That he was a predator.

    At the same time I had just become a GSR and was attending the local District meetings and saw a side of Los Angeles General Service AA that was clearly the most disgusting group of wackos I had ever seen in action. (DISCLAIMER) there were some good and nice people there too. Maybe 15 out of 75. LOL

    I began attending mixed meetings with Kali. I was horrified. I got other women and our delegate to come to some of these meetings. I got other men to come, they were so bad. I swear these men were not there to get or be sober. They were already sex offenders looking for an easy lay. No date required. There were women prostitutes there as well. And women came up to me and told me they were being date raped.

    We decided to put on a Make AA Safer Workshop. It exposed rape in West Covina.
    A guy got arressted in a clubhouse from our work. Women finally came forward. He went to jail, then she chickened out and he got out. We heard he was in Pasadena teaching AA classes in a church filled with young women.

    I wrote letters to NY GSo and to all 30 Board members all over the country. No one even called me. Except The Grapevine editor and they fired her soon after that.

    We wrote safety literature and about 65 meetings used it. I created and exposed the 13 stepping. But by now I started hearing the literature as Bullshit because that is what it is. Lies and more lies.

    I eventually found Orange Papers, Stinkin thinkin and began reading books, going to Smart Meetings and seeing there was a whole alternative world out there and it got me mad. Gunthar started a rdaio show and had me on. Big John in Daytona invited me on his show when I sent him my 11 page letter.

    It was down hill from there. I created by blogtalkradio show called Safe Recovery, took a Documentary FIlm CLass at UCLA and began making my film.

    Sorry to be so long.

    saw the literature that was read every meeting as one big lie and actually ridiculous and harmful to listen to over and over again. The Preamble…another lie. The 12 traditions , 1/2 are lies.

    Sally- this is my site. on the home page I explain what happened to me. Its a long story. I have a letter that I wrote that explains even more of what happened.

  39. Hi Massive, thank you for recounting your experience. I hope your son has found balance. As for AA tofay, it’s some bad stuff.

    I really don’t want to relive the experience- so I’m not going to do interviews on the subject. But I think getting the word out on posting boards is helpful.

    People have to move away from AA unless there is some way their safety can be guarenteed. Private meetings etc are really critical- no court appointees and no walk ins. Meetings by invite only- and even then anyone with a year with no desire to drink should move on.

    Staying longer only brings one down.

  40. thankyou everyone-
    im in the UK -AA dont seem as bad here as in USA-however some of it is. Predators physical verbal violence finacial abuse head games all happens here too (sometimes to me)and i can relate to post around work-They frowned on me put me under pressure to stop trying to educate myself and gain employment-i went ahead got several degrees and a job-however i do have other illnesses and the stress they put me under was terrable-in end once i was completey sressed out because of pressure from AA along with lifes own pressures-my then sponsor told me to walk out my job i did as i was told-(I found the longer i attended AA the more i conformed to it)
    my head became so messed up the doctor has told me not to try to work anymore-
    and this time in not going to try to-am 54 now and i have spinal injuries arthritus in spine and stress disorder-
    i did relapse in and out of AA for 12 yrs.
    had periods off it 4 yrs at one time.
    I no longer believe that im an alcoholic-
    so i drink sometimes-
    not often -and though sometimes when i drink i get tipsy-lots of times i just have one or two-and i never want to drink the next day after drinking.
    and i dont believe that will get worse-
    it was worse than that when i first went to AA-
    my doctor has told me that i dont have to go to AA and that if i find in future that my drinking becomes a problem i can talk to a drink counsellor in the surgery.
    I agree with that about most of them not working and being criminal-and this isnt a judgement-i have been unemployed and in trouble with the police in past-
    (petty shop lifting and it wasnt through drink it was through poverty-)however pre AA i was on the road to changing that-i hadnt been in trouble with the law for 16 yrs prior to my going to AA-
    and i was looking at courses and had applied for voluntary work just prior to my going to AA-
    I have had lots of jobs on and off since i was 14 in between bringing up 3 kids-but had got ill with spinal injuries and stress and couldnt do work i had once done the sick officer at dole and my doctor told me at time i didnt have to work again but i wanted to so i started to do courses and vol work to learn new things so i could find work i could do)and continued to do that after i went to AA-but was told not to and put under pressure from them-i also talked with pycologists and drink counselors prior to my going to AA-but AA told me on entering AA to stop doing all that-
    if i has spent the last 12 yrs of my life following my own path the one i was on prior to going to AA-
    my life may have been better than its been this last 12 yrs-
    however its over now am out and in process of shutting the door on it for good.
    hope that while am doing that i can keep my self respect and dignity intact-
    i hope to become repelled by them not attacted to them-all of them-
    cults attract people to them-
    lure them in and put fear and other negative things into there minds to keep them there-
    AA is not the first cult i been in and got out of-
    the last one i never went back to -in and out till i left for good-
    and they all look ugly to me now
    and the fears and bullshit they put into my head has gone-
    so hope the same happens for me with AA-
    I went through there programme a few times last time in accordance with the big book-
    i did service had sponsors went meetings read the books-
    but it didnt work for me when i worked it-i still drank again-
    that may have been because i wasnt an alcoholic to start with-
    i also wasnt a totally selfish person all my life-nor do i have a black and evil heart-
    am moveing away from this area want to be well away from them-
    and in time forget all about them

  41. Am not going to post whats happend today- just want to say
    something happend and
    i have now shut the door on it all.
    there is no attraction for me- for AA-
    At first there was-dangling carrots-
    freedom from all addictions -peace of mind-
    make up to family for harms in past-
    financial security-joy-happiness freedom and so on and so forth-
    I thought back to my first 2 weeks there -i never really wanted to be one of them-
    never really took to them-
    never had the envy –
    around them i have heard
    so many say they had envy and jealousy
    towards those in AA before they really became one of them-
    never had the stronge admiration for them some have had-
    think my original introduction to it-
    fooled me-when an AA member
    told me i would get help for my drinking there and make great friends who would help me with that-
    those things and more he put into my head-
    but then i went to a meeting and met them
    not too bad at first few meetings-
    yet recall thinking even then-“Dont want to become like them inside or outside – there facial expressions there whole aura really-
    the way the talked -things they said -things they did even then-
    and at first few meetings- false promises-
    and also the fear and guilt factor-
    you are an alcoholic (i was told that to my face by many and old timers
    -do it or die jails instatutions and death nothing else works)
    your no good-worthless-evil-defective you have to change and become a better person and this is the
    only way you can do that-
    you have to trust us or die you need us or you die-
    “The seed has been planted ” as they said-
    well it was a bad seed-
    its over i just closed door on it

  42. Well had to stop takeing the stop smokeing pills
    like i said when i got here and also when i got to AA-
    gave up enough dont want to give up weed too.
    tryed though in AA/NA – just cause i thought i had to
    also at times wanted to-
    but those times without weed were not good for me
    not able to function very well without it-
    its true im addicted to it never have denied that
    but am also glad am addicted to it-
    after all i have heard of and also had much worse addictions-
    and weed benifits me-
    the stop nicotine tablets also stopped my weed use-
    so i got clean without AA/NA-
    perhaps for some these stop smokeing pills would help
    but not too good for me.
    just started to go into a dark place with tablets-
    and wasnt eating sleeping or functioning very well-
    i didnt reckon it was worth feeling the way i have been
    no point in topping myself – to stop smokeing-
    same as while in AA/NA
    no point in topping myself just to be sober and clean.
    so stopped the pills and back on my weed.
    i got them to try to stop nicotine not weed.
    off to try the patches for the nicotine in few days instead.
    I dont feel ashamed guilty afraid stupid bad or a looser –
    if i had went into an AA or NA meeting and said i
    had picked up again i would have felt that way.

    Genesis Chapter 1 Verse 11

    And God said “Let the earth bring forth grass, the cannabis yielding seed,”

    Genesis Chapter 1 verse 29.

    And God said behold, I have given you every cannabis bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth and every tree, in which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed: to you shall it be for meat.

    Well I hear it’s legal to possess your own cannabis. However it’s still illegal to sell it. So how are you going to possess it unless you grow your own. “You may be right, I may be crazy, but it just may be a lunatic you’re looking for.”

    Save yourself pots of money every year, adopt a new hobby and live legally that’s what I say. Imagine the delight of always having good grass instead of not knowing exactly what you are smoking.

    It will be difficult at first for you to comprehend this truth but the time has come for us to receive. Chapter 22 Revelations “The sacred leaf”, that will heal the minds of the people. Happy are the people of the millennial . Says my 250 year old bible.

    • Rob,

      I have no idea what happen to RFR. I was reading one morning at 10am before leaving for work, when I got home at 6pm it was gone. Its too bad.

    • rob- he took it down. I too was really sad. What a great site. I might need to find out how to open a chat here and a way for people to start new topics. I just went over to a yahoo group called 12 step free. Im going to check it out.

      Feel free to blog here. I hate that it was shut down. 🙁

  43. AntiDenial,

    I couldn’t agree more. I was only posting occasionally because I have been very busy. However, I read frequently and I truly miss RFR. Thanks to mfc, administrators and moderators who contributed to the site. I hope to see it come back.

  44. I am with you guys all the way. I go to Smart Recovery and will on occasion go to an AA meeting. I do not abide by all their rules and regs. But sometimes just listening can give me the reminder for the problems of abusive drinking. I am glad AA is around as a listening tool for me…but thats about it..I tried sponsorship..and its nonsense..along with their powerless theory and cult mentality..but I like to listen to stories and it keeps me occupied when I have nothing to do.

  45. Hi Tara, Welcome!

    I understand and it sounds like you are taking what you need and leaving the rest. Personally, I would rather read a good biography or auto-biography than listen to their stories. For me, the best way do get past AA and move on with my life; was to eliminate it completely from my life. Getting away from the reading of chapter 5 preamble at every meeting was a huge benefit. I was shocked the first time I heard and it sounded more insane the longer I hung around. Talk about brainwashing. Just My opinion of course.

  46. My first task in leaving AA was to admit that I wasn’t
    broken or powerless over alcohol. Chronic compulsive alcohol abuse is a behavior and not a deadly progressive disease; this AA belief system is dangerous and untrue.
    After that it was helpful to read others experience and share mutual aid on anti-AA sites; this helped me to deprogram and shed the dangerous AA core belief system.
    Lastly, identifying coercive, deceptive, and manipulative behaviors empowered me. Many AA’s and people in general can be psychologically abusive.

    Here are some sites that helped me to protect myself while I deprogrammed and adopted healthy core beliefs.

  47. I didnt need support to leave AA i just walked out the door and never went back.Didnt need an exit counsellor after i left ,didnt and still dont, want help and support or tools to help me leave. I left AA a while back and got on with my life.i was already out and getting on with my life when one night i typed something into the internet cant recall what and found this site.I know i would have been searching for info on others who left. I’m wondering on why i felt or thought i needed to find others who left AA.I don’t know why?But i’m glad i did.
    Im still getting on with my life and my lifes okay. And for times when i need help and support i know the places and people to go (like the doctor the law the samaritins counsellors and so on and so forth) there are also lots of internet sites around other options for drink and drug use. So theres lots of help available.After and since i left AA I have had good things and bad things going on in my life and thats okay.Tonight i felt very hurt inside and that was okay.
    I laughed earlier on today and that was AA i couldnt be happy or sad. Strange place to be.

  48. I was a true believer and needed AA deprogramming; that does not mean that others who went to AA are the same as me or have the same needs. After leaving AA I blogged, this helped me change my beliefs about drinking. It wasn’t until I drank and joined HAMS harm reduction group and Moderation Management that the stress of AA membership completely washed away. My drinking plan is to drink one ounce of alcohol or a beer twice a month without becoming impaired. For me, not drinking after leaving AA was stressful, now I am truly free and in control of my own life!

    • anon- I am really happy for you. I sometimes feel I in between two worlds now. The AA world I left of abstinence. And …just the real world with normal non cult types. Just regular people. I feel more comfortable around normal people now. AA members always want to talk their jargon to make themselves feel comfortable.

      I went to see the new film “The MASTER” the other night. It was GREAT! ALL about L RON Hubbard and the beginnings of Scientology. I highly recommend it. Joaquin Phoenix will win an OSCAR for his incredibly touching performance.

  49. I have been attending AA meetings for six months. Itexted my sponsor that I appreciated all her “help” and best wishes. I attended one more meeting and she approached me and berated me in front of others. I realized that for months I had been her personal yes person and had built up her ego to a dangerously high point and when I quit, she completely derailed and had a break down. Her sponsor had a staring match with me during the meeting.

    I am sooo happy that I am no longer a part of such a desructive cult. This entire time my sponsor was spending time with me only to prove a point to others that she was an accomplished AAer. I was not comforming quickly enough to her view of higher power. I felt bad that she needed so much to be recognized by her AA clic. And the gossip level there was deafening.

    Thanks to my intuition I am AA free. I might even attend church and “listen” 🙂

    • SG,

      Sponsorship, as far as I am concerned, is just a way to boost the Sponsors ego while giving out unsound advice to the Sponsee. When you think about it the whole idea of Sponsorship is just an ego trip for the Sponsor.

      • Stats show it is those that sponsor that tend to benefit from AA more. I suspect it is at the expense of the poor sponsee that has to continue to bow to the sponsor to keep the ego of the sponsor artificially inflated. Without the sponsee, the sponsor is at a loss.

        • I recently spoke to another woman who attends meetings with my sponsor. She said that my sponsor still has not recovered from my departure. It’s not like we were a couple! My sponsor, to my horror, is suffering from untreated bipolar disorder. No wonder she would build me up and knock me down constantly. I just thought it was part of the AA program to remove “character defects”. I am sad that I spent so much time at meetings when I could have been finding other activities, but I chalk it up as experience.

    • sg- sorry to hear you had this happen, but this is very typical for AA nowadays.

      Glad yo hear you got away.

      The new film about scientology I thought was great. The Master. You might enjoy seeing it, now that you too have escaped a dangerous cult.

  50. Hello SG,

    You just did a fine job of describing a narcisscist in AA. S/he’s “helping” you, not to be of service, but for his/her own glory. “Hey everybody, it’s all about me” is the way I used to define their unconscious but loud message. When I could see this in others in the program, it hurt to be around them- and I would quietly move on. Narcisscists will harm the people around them, it’s only a question of time. They almost ALWAYS took my move as rejection and got nasty.

    Many narcisscists are good at presenting an image of goodness, but when they don’t get what they want the real beast inside comes out. It’s the same way, but even worse with histrionics in AA. A really good way to determine narcisscism, is to watch how they make amends (9th step) to someone they have harmed in the program. If they show true remorse at harming the other AND make material amends by paying for actual loss, then they are not acting in a narcisscistic manner and are actually doing the step as it was intended.

    If however (and this is about 80% of the time with AAs in my experience) they make an amends in the form of a quick appology to check off the “fact” that they have applied the 9th step, then they are just trying to assauge their sick ego and they really don’t care about the other person. The trick here is to ask them if they’ve completed their 9th step, and once they confirm they have, ask them how many checks they wrote to their victims…

    It is amazing how many old timers shut up and move away fast when they know they are being called out on their intrinsic selfishness (evil nature).

    At the core of the soul of the alky/addict is selfishness, which is operationally the same as evil. So when Bill Wilson wrote that AAs were “Sick not evil”, I’m convinced that he knew he was lying. His Jesuit sponsor would have made sure he knew that evil shows itself as selfish behavior, and results in being under God’s curse- thus the craving to drink one’s self to death. To Father Dowling’s credit, the idea of doing service and helping others is the solution to the evil “trap”, but AAs are a dangerous lot to work with.

  51. Hi Yo! Can a person be a narcissist and have bi-polar? One woman tried to warn me about her, but being new and “fuzzy” I just thought the warning was based on ill will rather on fact. Also the clubhouse was scary and had many 13 stepper old timers who would set girls up with guys and threaten the girls to “not let them down”. One new woman is even being stalked by an AA guy. Thank god I got out when I did. Very creepy.

    • Hello SG,

      An excellent question on multiple personality disorders in one person. I am not a trained psychologist, so you may want to consult a psychological website to ask that question. In my experience, untreated manic depressive is a VERY severe personality disorder. That disorder is often caused by cocaine and methamphetamine abuse which can permanently damage the brain’s ability to regulate emotions.

      I have a friend whose wife is manic depressive, and even with 12+ years sober AND medication, when she hits the peak highs and lows in her brain chemistry cycle, she is a drastically different person. (For example she tried to buy a house when she was on a manic run- without bothering to inform him.) They have held their marriage together despite the illness, and he has been an excellent husband and she really does try her best. But if she were off her meds, look out! (He’s a dedicated Christian and is studying to be a master’s degreed Christian counselor as his ministry- so he is pretty close to the perfect husband for her- and his ministerial abilities have been exercised in supporting her.)

      These problems are common in and out of 12 step programs now a days, in part because abuse of drugs and alcohol are so common now. I have read the book, “Emotional Vampires” by Dr. Berstein and I think it has helped me understand personality disorders much better.

      I think AA and especially NA are rife with people who have secondary mental illness- and 12 step program is NOT well designed to deal with it. But if someone goes into the “rooms” without that knowledge they will learn the hard way how many astute, if often unintentional manipulators are out there.

  52. Hello everybody, I think i need some help. I got sober on Sept 18th 2010 so I been sober over two years and I love it! I have no desire to drink, and yes I got sober thru AA, and like most of you I can no longer deal with the insane members, the lies, the general cult-yness of AA. My time has come to leave, and I’ve cut way back. In retrospect I can’t believe I went to a meeting most every day for two goddamn years….

    But anyways thats not the problem. My fiance and I were dating almost a AA when I got clean. She was sober for two years at that point NOT in AA. She got sober thru a church and didn’t go with any of this “alcoholic” shit. Now she’s been involved with AA as long as me and is very into it, sponsering people and giving loud comments about how amazing the steps are….like a goddamn cult member. She was sober TWO YEARS before she even heard of AA and is now completely brainwashed by it.

    I’m not scared to leave AA. I am scared however of leaving her, who i love, who i will marry in AA. I know exactly what they will say to her when I’m gone “are you sure you want to marry him…he’s not going to meetings….he’s gonna relapse soon…etc”. I do not trust the predators, in fact since we been in AA we’ve had to deal with the THREE different times, and I was literallly by her side when they made their move.

    So I’m in a bind here. I wanted to leave AA with no hard feeling (it did get me sober after all) but they longer I stay, the more I see with unbiased eyes, the more I fucking hate AA. I truly am scared to leave AA whilst my fiance is in it. She is easily a “follower” and I’m afraid they will/already have brainwashed her too much.

    What should I do :(, and thank you for listening

      • The ReaI AA

        Is a good text to show AAs cuItiness.

        So Is: AA Horror Stories

        Both are on AIso Iet her in in the fact that BiII WiIson borrowed much his steps and texts from the Excercises of St. Ignatious. If your girI is a church goer, stay there- its far better and safer than AA.

    • Bjorn,

      Dont you think that if your fiance loved and respected you, she would honor your decision to leave AA? How can you be true to yourself if you are trying to appease your fiance and AA for that matter? If she is brainwashed there is nothing you can do about it. Im sure it is a difficult position to be in. I didnt have a fiance but I had other pressures. I had to think about what was best for me.

  53. Bjorn- hi. Welcome. That’s a tough one. I was a hard core stepper from age 18 . AT 24 I met my kids father. He followed me into the cult. But Soon after we moved away to another state. I found more groups to be a part of . He followed me there, but he never bought it all. What Im trying to say its that its tough but can you get her to read the orange papers? I could send you Paul C.’s letter to the AA NY Board. I could send you my letter. I was a member for 35 years who left in May 2011.
    There were many years when my kids were little where I went to meetings just once a month at a home couples meeting. That was a good thing.

    God…I would not stay in AA for anyone now. No matter what. Its a dangerous cult.Their belief system is nuts.

    They will say to her exactly what you think and said here. They are so self absorbed and self obsessed. They think they are right and know everything.

    Bjorn, there are many bloggers here and on other forums that come and go. But what helps me is I do meditate daily and I do not make any decision without waiting 72 hours…sometimes days, weeks, before I know what I need to do. I Suggest before I go to Bed that I will know what to do that is right for me. I pray and I talk it out. In meditation I expect to be ….guided from within. Many anti steppers are atheists. I am not. I bet you know already what you want and need to do. I talk to my family and my closest friends.

    See if she can tell you why she thinks AA is the answer when for 2 years she needed no part of it. Can you get her to read the stories on thread WHY I LEFT AA stories. There are some 4000 entries.

    I wish you the best and I hope you come back and blog and tell us how it goes.
    Take care. 🙂

    • Thanks for the comments all, yes I’m a firm believer in my own quasi-monotheisitic god. Ironically me getting involved with spirituality was a huge wake up call for me, because I would do something deeply spirtiual (like meditate with Buddhist monks) then go to AA and I did not see the same thing!!!

      Anyways I will have a talk with my fiance. I’m fairly confident it’ll go ok. I doubt me leaving AA will get her to leave AA but I guess we’ll cross that bridge when we get there….

      Also I’d like to note its very ironic because her sponser only goes to one meeting a week or less and is the least culty an AA member can be. We are both in our early 20’s and I swear the whole ICYPAA is like a super cult in a quasi-cult. At least here in Ohio ICYPAA is like the brownshirts…..

      so thanks again and I’ll let you guys know after I sit on this issue for a couple days!

  54. bjorn-I have been to a few ICPAA events and oh yea….they are so culty with their stupid chanting and bumping and grinding. Good luck and I wish you support to be free of AA and its wacko made up religion.

    I too have studied some Buddhism and back in 2009-2010 when the troubles began for me seeing AA for what it is , I started going to a temple for a time. I was a GSR. It was then when I went back to my one meeting that I heard things that sounded really nuts. I thought to myself. “these people have made up a “religion”. Bill W made this crap up too. The Oxford movement was also made up. There were many things I already knew were lies and nuts about AA….like how they view anger, how they blame the victim, how they approach powerlessness.

    Either way, it was studying a real religion that made me see it even clearer.

    In essence…many things in AA are stolen ideas from other religions. AA is filled with goobly gook self help guru from the 1970’s Jonathan Livington Seagal, Jess Lair, I ant Well But I AM SURE AM BETTER BABY type of books. I bet these guys were in 12 step. The ROAD LESS TRAVELED….

  55. Many newly abstinent people in AA experience anger. It is difficult to determine the individual cause in each person. AA’s use this anger to get the new member to accept and practice AA dogma and ritual as a solution. Turn it over, count to ten, what’s your part in it, let go let God, 90 meetings 90 days, get a sponsor, etc.
    What has helped me the most since giving up abstinence and embracing sober thought is this; anger is an ineffective reaction to frustration. An effective reaction to frustration is to identify the frustration and then consciously change my approach to eliminate or reduce its impact on me.
    Alcohol abuse (see DSM) without abstinence days between drinks will incapacitate an individual and cause extreme frustration that commonly manifests itself as anger. AA’s use this anger and frustration to teach untrue and unsustainable beliefs. They are right that something is wrong with you and there is a solution, it’s just that their solution is based on religious principals and magical thinking. I prefer to use critical thinking, logic, and deductive reasoning to achieve my goal whatever it may be. Not faith healing, magical thinking, hypnotic repetitive ritual and readings, or cultish religious mutual support.

  56. Hi,

    I am from England and oh I wish Massive I had found this site before I went into the rooms at 40 .Ten years and a few nice people that dont bother with me was not worth it. Home and !net curtain drinker! loving parents I did not fit in and have beaten myself over that.

  57. gemstone- Yea me too. I wish I found this site 20 – 30 – years ago when I was first sexually preyed on in AA at 18. Now at 55 I am finally free from AA and all its raz ma tazz. If everyone put up the name first and last of the sponsor who ripped them off , and how much money, and who was 13 stepped by who and who was raped by old timers in AA things would change real quick.

    Im sorry. Its a big f#####king lie . ANd it is sad that many of us spent years attending AA meetings. A made up hogwash religious cult is how I see it now.

  58. Hi there,twelve years of misery in AA listening to endless depressing crap and trying to laugh at endless sensless crap and trying to like and tolerate idiots I would normaly not have the time for.Putting up with misery and negative people in my life I never saw anyone happy in AA including me,oh yea people laughed but deep down they were miserable.I wasted 12 yrs of my life,lost some good so called fair weathered friends and them out there friends,girlfriends ,jobs you name it.I hate AA it is one big massive misery and God did not create something that people have to be miserable in,Bill Wilson the lunatic did..I came for help and ended up believing if I drank again I’d end up in trouble,oh yea that happened and I went back because I believed AA were right,I now know it was called growing up and making mistakes.After 8yrs sober i took a drink wow nothing happened I didn’t drink myself to death,I even shared this and you know what,they said oh but it wont be long,it’ll get worse,fuck off no it wont,Iwant to go back to an AA group and tell them I’m ok,but I know it’s futile they’ll just say he’s sick,laugh my arse off,no you’re the sick ones and you can’t see it.There’s some nice people getting destroyed and i want to say get out now don’t waste another day.I am so bitter and angry i let myself believe in this crap,it’s going to be hard leaving as they seem to follow me,one member even lives over the road i think the only thing to do is ignore them..

    • Hi & Welcome.

      Who the fuck what any of those uninformed robots say about you? It’s not true. They’re deluded. Anything they say about you is bullshit LIES. They think they have everything figured out, but ALL they have in their lives are mindless boring meetings to fill up their time with. They are scared to do it themselves. If they only knew the freedom and real happiness that automatically awaits them; the kind of happiness that feels like sunshine, that greets you…once you’ve walked out that door.

    • lan- 12 years ….I know….I spent 36 ….so can you imagine the tears I cried when it hit me abut my wasted time. The anger I felt…

      I feel your pain. The activism I do is the only thing that makes it better. Also I did a creative visualization meditation about taking stuff back that helped me alot.

    • Thank you for sharing Ian.

      It is always validating for me when someone has been in AA for years shares that he or she has seen what I saw. It helps to discount the lies that they feed the “newcomers” to know that even people who have been in it for YEARS can see the Shyte too…

      See, I’ve been told that I have a “thinking-problem” and that I am “insane” repeatedly almost everyday for a year and a half… So, I still don’t feel as steady in my thoughts as a grown woman ought to. So, it helps when you share your evaluation of the bull-dungary factory I just survived.

      I was only in it for 18 months…and if my sponsor had not suddenly FIRED me after a bad binge, my azz would probably still being in there, hiding how stupid & crazy I thought it all was, trying to PLEASE my emotionally abusive/bullying sponsor & grand-sponsor while sipping a straw up their arogant gack-holes and after sipping a lil wine feeling like the whole damned world was over cause I lost all my “clean-time” and rationalizing that I might as well, HELL! DRINK THE FACKIN WORLD & almost binge my damned self to damned DEATH just as my sponsors often reminded me that I would cause, “Some MUST Die So That Others May Live!”


      No wonder I was feeling like DYING!

      Anyway Ian… all’s I wanted to say is…

      May We Find FREEDOM Now!

  59. I’ve been in and out ot AA for 20 years. I think that I”ve proven to myself that the AA approach to recovery is completely incompatible with my mind set.

    Yes, I have relapsed again and it’s getting worse.

    I happened upon this site becu

  60. I’ve been in and out ot AA for 20 years. In that time my longest stint of sobriety has been 3 years. I think that I’ve proven to myself that the AA approach to recovery is completely incompatible with my mind set, I’m agnostic/atheist, and somewhat disinclined to follow the dictates of others, even though I’ve done a grand job of screwing my life up when I’ve taken my own path.

    Yes, I have relapsed again and it’s getting worse.

    I happened upon this site because I desperately need to find an alternative to AA that could potentially save my life.

    I reside 30 minutes outside of New York City and I’d really like to network with others that have NOT taken to the AA approach, but have been able to recover and lead productive lives.

    • Hi Rob,

      You write very well. By the way my story is very similar. However, I went in and out of AA for 30yrs and doing much better without it for the past 2yrs. plus. Like you, AA was not compatible with my mind set for many reasons; including my self worth. Maybe because I like to use my mind. Dont ever knock yourself for taking your own path. As adults we all need to do that and when were going through a bad time, we dont need people to criticize our every thought; who think they are superior to us. Like me, you were lead to believe that you must give yourself to the program in order to change your life. It’s absolutely not for everyone (thats putting it mildly). If you feel the need to go temporarily to get out of the house, I think you should do that. Attend different meetings and dont get too close to anyone.

      When I made the decision to give up AA for good; I did a lot of reading (no self help books). l was very selective and read true stories about normal life. The only self help book I read when I was at the end of my rope was; “The heart of Addiction” by Lance Dodes. I only went to two meeting after that. I also journaled about my feelings; including ANGER! It was such freedom to have my evenings to myself and not thinking; gotta get to a meeting (at least thats what they would tell me).

      There is a whole world out there and many of us cant live our lives thinking we are powerless. Try to stay sober for a while without them and then decide whats right for you from there. If you decide to drink, only you can make the decision not to abuse alcohol and hurt yourself; unless you really believe you are powerless. Be patient with yourself.

      • Rob,

        Its hard to interpret everything someone says on the blog. I got to thinking; I assumed that the sober period you mentioned was while you were in AA. Forgive me if that was incorrect. Either way, I think your very uncomfortable with their approach. I never liked it. Many of us could not handle the groupie, sheepish style in the Program. Im just saying DONT Settle for that; there is no reason to today. Explore the groups Massive suggested. If you dont like them move on. That’s Ok too. Might be more interesting than AA. Talk to you later.

        • Rob- I agree with sue- I have met many on the blogs over the past 2 years that when they leave are DONE with meetings. I too found that I went to Smart for a bit, went to SOS so I would know what its like and then I found I didnt want to go to any more meetings.

          I had enough of them for now.

          • So… I haven’t done much with it YET…but I went to check in on my IllBeFree FB page today… Here’s a link:

            The only friend I had till yesterday was Orange Papers…

            Someone just came up on my chat sharing info that has a synergy with what we are talking about with the courts mandating Americans to AA & NA meetings…

            This faith-based, supoosed “treatment” (ABUSIVE) is what they are forcing teens to go to:

            If you have an FB page that you don’t mind being associated with our work…please… I welcome you to friend me if you are a Leaving AA supporter and NOT an AA supporter…

            AA suppoters are not welcome on ANY anti-AA sites, blogs or pages I create EVER…

            Please remember the call tomorrow and chime in if you have time. I want to start it by reading that piece on Chapter 5 that you shared with me recently Massive… That ROCKED!

  61. HI Robert- Welcome! SO glad you found us. There are many like you and me. On the main page of my site go over to the right and scroll down and you will see the blogroll. There are the many alternatives and other blogs that will help you. is a good anti AA blog site. is a great resource and the busiest site for a few years. Smart Recovery has daily online chat meetings. LifeRIng has daily online meetings. SOS ( secular organizations for sobriety ) has meetings. I am beginning to really think moderation needs to be highly promoted, so that people don’t beat themselves up when they ( relapse) I hate that phrase …its so AA … has alot of anti 12 step news.

    The clean slate is a great non 12 step blog run by Steven Slate.

    There are thousands of us. I am making a film about it all. If you go to expaa and talk to Gunthar 2000 he will have many resources for you as well.

    PLease feel free to blog here. Go to the thread Why I LEFT AA stories. There is a blogger there call Ill be free who has just arrived here and going through alot like you might be. I left AA in early May 2011. At first I was very sad that I had wasted so much time in AA. I saw that I was in a cult and my entire belief system was made up by this crazy ass jerk Bill Wilson. More madness.

    I have a radio show called that I created so I could have a voice to speak out.

    I have made some new friends here that eventually I got their emails, then their phone numbers and some I have met in person! Take care. Be easy on yourself and remember…Alot of what you felt was wrong with AA all along… was probably right 🙂

  62. Hi Robert… I only meant to check in on this blog and then get some work done, but when I read the things people share here and the words of support from Massive and the other phenomenal, kick-ass, bloggers on here…I always end up staying longer cause it makes me stronger.

    AA kicked my ass, muddied my mind and dimmed my soul. Yes, I have a …what I call “drinking-situation” that I need to find an appropriate way to deal with. That smack in AA, however, just was not cutting it for me. I actually feel that it made me WORSE. (I haven’t been bullied like that since I was the little taped-up-4-eyed-too-smart-ghetto-poor- geek in the fourth grade!)

    AA acts like we are books that have already been written and they don read us cover to cover. Those freaks do not even KNOW themselves, much less anyone else. Just because I drink too fackin much sometimes (too many times admittedly) does not mean I am a mentally retarded person…(and I have nothing against the mentally disabled).

    Still, they treated me as if I was retarded… It took me all this time to realize that if anyone is mentally deficient–more so than those born with some serious genetic deficiency, it is grown-azz people standing around on a regular to daily basis chanting: “WE THINK NOT!” While not even being AWARE of what they are doing by affirming that all the time!

    It’s some really creepy shyte Robert; LUNACY!

    The ONLY reason I am out now is due to the Divine Hand of God and because my sponsor wanted to teach me a lesson by “FIRING” me as her sponsor (my so-called grand sponsor; who is as MEAN as a bag of wet fire-ants!) fired her so many years ago. They expected me to get another sponsor as instructed because I was so TOTALLY beat down & dependent as HELL! (Still am but rocking myself thru it…) If she had not fired me…Lord, I shudder when I think of it, but I KNOW I would still be in AA today…

    Shame the damned devil!!!

    Cause though many of the people were so super-nice to me, I hated the AA overall experience…the illogical teachings, the diminution—but I really did not know HOW to get out. I allowed them to greatly limit my contact with my family. (My relationship with my own mother who used to consider me her best friend has been seemingly irreparably damaged…the closeness is gone.) I broke off relationships with friends that were not “approved”… I was not allowed to go to certain stores or places–I was instructed to write down my EVERY thought and share it with my sponsor… I did not make any decision without discussing it with my sponsor(s) first all because I allowed them to make me believe that this cat-piss would help me to stay sober.

    It NEVER did.

    It made me want to drink MORE…

    And though I would stop drinking for MONTHS at a time…whenever I did drink, it was bad. It was ugly, deadly and PAINFUL. Why? Only because I actually believed those foolish, wicked fairy tales about “our disease being out in the parking lot doing push-ups, waiting for us with it’s cunning, baffling and Super-POWERFUL self!”

    Ain’t THAT a rusty blitch?

    When did we, adults become susceptible to believe ghost stories and madness like children sitting around a phuckin campfire? They turn alcohol into an actual “god” with a consciousness and an agenda instead of a substance we pour from a bottle into a glass (maybe) and down our own throats.

    Every time I drank, I decided to do it. I am a rape survivor. I was 15 and the man was 26. He jumped on me and forced himself on me. I was POWERLESS. I know what powerlessness is. It is absurd to use the word in relation to (I like what Massive calls it) alcohol-over-use.

    What happens when I drink…it has naught to do with powerlessness…

    Still, drinking is a problem for me. I am open to seeking REAL help for it…but it is not a monster sitting in wait to kill me. My poor choices and behavior may kill me one day; not the Big Bad Barleycorn Monster From Mars! AA and EVERYBODY in it who told us that shyte is a HOT WET LIE or just a retarded brainwashed zombie who really THINKS NOT.

    The more I think about it, the angrier I get that they are out there playing games with people’s lives the way they are! AA does not help 95% of the people who go there. That is what I have learned from research and going to links like the ones shared here. Many of them know this…but they just can’t leave. (Surely, we both can understand that?!) It is great to be gone, but it takes brass knockers to extract one’s self from that mess.

    I am not where I would like to be yet. I still have painful moments…I still miss my sponsor bossing me around, criticizing me, telling me I’m insane, laughing at me, keeping me in constant fear of abandonment, controlling me, belittling my feelings and telling me EVERYTHING IS ALL MY FAULT…but hey, who would not miss all that good shyte? 😉

    Let’s continue to get educated & EMPOWERED… It helps so much with the process of leaving AA… It really does…

    The bloggers here have shared some wonderful resources with you. Please look into them. I have been doing SO MUCH BETTER since I plugged into honest people sharing a sane truth instead of useless bs. I think you and I both will be ok if we just keep with it and put some time & space between our backsides and AA table chairs…

    I will not step one foot into one of those meetings unless Massive or AniD or Rainbow or Sue or Anon or Dr. Stanton Peele goes with my azz…AW HELL NAWWWwwwwww…

    Continued well being to you and I hope you keep letting us know how things are going for you.

    And please try to make tomorrow’s call if you can?

      • Awwww
        I’m gonna miss your Voice on it…
        That’s ok. I’m just testing it out right now. If it fills a need, I’ll get it going….
        One day, I hope we have a line that people can call anytime for encouragement and support…

        I’ll be listening in Tues…and calling if I can.

        If you are going to mak ethe WED call, I won’t cancel it…LOL…(I was thinking maybe to start w/ 2 days was too much??? IDK…Just palying it by ear here…)

        We just need to keep bringing people together as you all have been doing… I LOVE what I see…

        It was AMAZING having the guy start a chat with me today on FB about that faith-based, court-mandated program where teens are bing abused. He was not AA or NA but he said he really appreciate the work we are doing.

        SO AWESOME…

        People will continued to be helped by all of this the way you all have helped me…REALLY

        I am so grateful…

        My ex sponsor & grand-sponsor intended for me to be suffering far, far more than I am. They wanted to break me; thanks to you, Anti-Denial, Dr. Stanton Peele, Orange Papers and all of the many courageous people doing this Work…people like me are being given something to grab a hold of instead of letting AA maniacs, control freaks, abusers, losers and users destroy them…

        I am so grateful…

        I wish I could do MORE really…

  63. This may seem like a big “duh” to most of you, but I am slow and just had an “ah ha!” moment…why can’t I just make amends to people I’ve harmed on my own, without, (dare I say), the use of a sponsor? Why do I have to “work” three other steps before I get there? Why can’t I simply just say, “look, I was in a lot of pain, I did a lot of stupid things, I’m getting help now – I’m in therapy and I will never do those things again, and I’m really sorry.” Maybe the people won’t accept that apology but I do mean it sincerely….I’ve been so brainwashed by NA that it took me this long to realize – I can just do that. Gosh I’m slow.

  64. Kate – I agree. I think a more simple Im sorry like you said here is better then the 12 step way. I really pissed some people off when I was young and new and said things that made the situation even worse.

    Follow your instincts.

    The thing that gets me so mad is that in the 70’s no one in Hawaii was pushing the sponsor thing so much…and they said things like “go meditate and go within and you’ll know what to do” .

    When did that all change?

    Was it rehabs and courts making up a new shinier more controlling version of AA/NA/? I don’t know. Or did Clancy Ismuland leader of the Cult group , The Pacific and The Atlantic Group have that much of a far reaching control of AA /NA everywhere.

  65. Hi!
    I have been sober for 2,5 years. I’m leaving AA and I need help. I live in Finland and I have not found any non-12step groups.

    Few months ago I realized that I was in a cult. I talked about it to my sponsor and some other people and they told me not to think about it. But after that realization I started to feel fear. I thought that my only options were either dying, or accept to be in a cult and try to make the best out of it.

    Months went by and I repressed my doubts about the AA/NA.
    I tried to do my part better and started the fourth step.
    After the first sober year it’s been so difficult and depressing.
    But I thought that it was my own fault because I’m not enough in the program.
    Life has become a struggle like it was when I was a using.

    Couple of days ago I found orange papers and after reading a bit I felt like I was woken from a dream. I was really afraid because I thought that I was in denial and really just wanted start using drugs again. I don’t. But still in some deep level something tells me that i’m goin to die if I leave meetings. And I’m pretty sure I don’t want go back.

    I’m so glad that I’m not alone with these thoughts anymore!

    • Try Hams
      I was in AA most of my life and now drink without harm or damage.
      My favorite part is cooking fine meals with wine or brandy and enjoying them with the same.
      I departed AA after several friends died due to the jails, institutions, or death prophecy.
      Good luck to you and CHEERS!

    • Hi slcikcat, welcome. I know the feeling.
      There are online Smart REcovery everyday as well as Lifering has an online support group. You can even contact Smart and become a trained leader and start a meeting in FInland. That would be cool.

      Im so glad you found us. you can read th eWHY I LEFT AA STORIES here and on another older site called that site has thousnads of comments under that thread.

      also is another group of ex steppers. I also have a blogtalkradio show called Safe recovery that you can hear all the shows for free and download on itunes.
      Hank Hayes Book YOUVE BEEN LIED TO…is great you can find him ON track and beyond website.

      SOS is also a group that has face to face meetings around the world.
      Or you can blog here and meet up with us on the days I do my radio show for a free chat. Some of us skype in a meetup. Illbefree a blogger here is setting up a free conference call for us too.

      Have a good day. You are not alone. 🙂

  66. Hi Slickcat…

    Finland? Wow! Welcome & I’m so pleased that you found this site. I’ve only been out of AA for maybe a couple of months now. This site has been a true Godsend to me…REALLY.

    Stay plugged in and access the resources shared.

    The AA stuff that is in your head is a bunch of made up lies that have been deeply embedded…but can be dislodged thru your personal power of God-given choice and self-determination to follow valid methods of getting help, education and support for your choices.

    If they were right…I would be DEAD right now. I’m very, very much alive no matter how much they wish that I would just fall off and die.

    Hold on.


    Enjoy this video, (Penn and Teller – 12-Stepping )…it will may you laugh & also help you feel more validation in your current process:


  67. Massive & Slickcat I saw that video the first time I visited Leaving AA…a couple of months ago. I found it highly entertaining…BUT if I had seen it last year I likely would not have been able to really appreciate it either. Maybe I would have gotten angry too. I’m not sure. I was always looking for more information from the beginning of my AA exposure…so maybe it would have helped.

    I do KNOW it is as funny as hell and RIGHT as RAIN now!


  68. I have been sober for 8 years. I want to take a step away from AA to see who I am without it. I don’t want to get drunk, and drugs no longer appeal to me.
    I have spent all of my adult life (so far, I’m only 25) and some of my teen years in AA. Most of my friends are in AA.
    I’m wondering if anyone here has experience with “maturing out”? Sent to rehab because they got caught being a dumb teenager?
    I don’t know if I have a problem. I’ve been told for so many years that if I drink I’l go crazy. It seems like I’ve been conditioned to believe I will fail.
    I don’t hate AA. I feel like it provided a very valuable platform for me to change my life and clean up my act. But I feel like now they are asking me to continue to sweep a clean floor. I enjoy being a good wife, a good mother, a good employee, a good friend, a good daughter. I like to be honest. I like to be healthy. I enjoy the idea of God. But i dont think those things and a beer need to be mutually exclusive.
    I dont know that this is the right place for me. But i’ve been reading these pages for days now and I connect with a lot of what is said.
    I’m just trying to explore new options.
    Anyone in a similar position to me?

    • HI stacey. WELCOME! I went to AA when I was 18. I felt at about 24 and 6 years sober that AA steps would not fix the issues I still had back then. Years later I found out I was right and went to a great therapist. I loved my friends in AA back then but then I moved away. I made new friends in AA in my new state but it was never the same as where I first got sober. ALso it was the 70’s and AA was smaller and nicer.

      To answer your question… I agree with all your ideas. Pulling back now would be healthy. I did it over a 6 months time. I planned to go less and less, like every other week and I said no to anything anyone asked me to do. I was so tired of the “service” ….I had done so much, it was ridiculous. One does not need to be of serive to stay sober. WHen I saw that truth it really pissed me off for a minute. 🙂 I blogged constantly on which at the time was a very active blog.

      May I ask how many meetings were you going to a week? I was going to one, I was 30 something years sober in AA then. I left almost 2 years ago.

      @ you said I don’t know if I have a problem. I’ve been told for so many years that if I drink I’l go crazy. It seems like I’ve been conditioned to believe I will fail.

      AH i cant tell you , but telling people they will go crazy if they have one beer, its just nuts. They have no research. Who are they…all fortune tellers? The drink will take you ? I heard this actually said in meetings. Really? I am in control of beverages I put into my mouth. In fact The Powerless part of AA was the hardest and the last pill I swallowed as I was trying to fit myself into their square pegs.

      That I believe is a lie. But I read many NON AA books as I was leaving and deprogramming.
      There was a blog called Recovering from Recovery that went down after being up a few months. The blog owner began a thread called abstinence vs moderation. I had an epiphany as I was in a store, BEV MO going down an aisle with my 22 year old son who was having a birthday party. It got me wondering about me. I had not wanted to even drink in over 30 + years.

      Many bloggers talked about what they do and dont do. Many drank here and there with no prob. Especially the young ones like you and I were we stopped as teens and didnt drink for many years. The ones who drank hard and heavy in Adulthood said they didnt want to chance it. Like 20 years of hard drinking. Or in and out of AA and never being able to stay abstinent. Drug addicts said that is beer, a drink or pot were not their DOC ( drug of choice) they could take it or leave it. It did not give them a problem.

      But then I began to interview guests from Harm REduction, Moderation and heavy duty NON AA approaches. My mind began to open up for the first time in 35 years. It felt so good to be free from the dogma and rhetoric read over and over again. The more I tore apart the BB on my radio show the more I could see the lies and Bills nuttiness.

      I know many people who have beverages with alcohol in them and its no big deal. It a non issue. The stuff said in meetings are lies. AA and BILL never even did any research when he wrote those pages that are read and recited at every meeting.

      you can email me at

      I once loved AA but not anymore. You are welcome here even if you still like it. We just dont care for evangelical AA types. Thats all. Great sites are Hams Harm Reduction, Moderation .org drink link moderation..Smart Recovery and LifeRING are for abstinence, and AMy Lee COY and Hank Hayes also have great books.I now think its crazy for a teen to be offered AA and expected to not drink forever. Its bizarre. to me that is.

      I missed much of real life because I spent those early years in AA culture. I hid there even though I worked and had my own apartment. FOr that I cried many tears when I left. I’m just happy Im not an old lady and I can live the second half of my life not in a cult.

      I hope you email me. :)Take care.

      one more thing. One thing I also feel….is no matter if I drink something or not…I have a great respect for alcohol and what it can do …. and never to use any illegal drugs ….which of course I have no desire to do anyway.

      WHat I do with my life is no ones business and Im am accountable to myself. Even though I felt like a grown up and raised 2 wonderful kids, am a great wife and worker and have great friends, Until I left AA I didn’t realized how bound up in a belief system I DID NOT believe in. It was a little embarrassing. Once leaving I saw how nosey AA people are and how boundryless they are.

      I also think after many many years sober, members are and get a bit tweaked, really uptight, and you can actually see it in their faces and in how high their shoulders are !!!Oh and why after 35 years are they still talking about their past and their drunkalogues? LIke anyone really cares….

      sorry this is so long. Good luck on your new path>

      • Well, I havent gone crazy yet! I’ve been drinking NA beer and “alcohol removed” wine (which HAS alcohol in it, weird) for years. Like a baked potato, no one needs more than one…. I use regular mouth wash (gasp) and when I have a cold and want to sleep, dammit I take nyquil. So technically I should be off my rockers raiding my neighbors medicine cabinets right?
        I used to do 3 meeting a week, backed down to two, then ended up in a situation at my home group that made me feel emotionally unsafe, so I left that one about 2 years ago, down to 1 a week, and now with a 5 year old and planning a wedding and starting a career, maybe 2x a month?
        Its so ingrained in me that if I don’t go to a meeting I’ll go insane. So i want to see if thats true. Not go to AA for 6 months and if I don’t go crazy, well I’ll reassess.
        My fiance/husband left AA and 6 months ago, he had 1 beer a few days ago….. and thats it. Whole story. Completely honest before and after, told me what he was planning, we discussed it at length, came to the decision together that he was ready to take that step.
        I like what you said about respecting alcohol and its power. I grew up around the water, my dad would always tell me, you don’t have to be afraid of it, but understand that water is a very powerful force and respect that. So that makes COMPLETE sense to me.
        I probably will email you. I have been able to be honest with a few close friends, some who have left AA and some still in it, only the ones I really trust still in. Trust me, I’m fully aware of what the BB says, I’ve read it a few times… aloud…. to my sponser… (how stupid! that always bugged me…. what is it story time at kindergarden!?!?) I don’t need to hear someone word vomit the BB back to me. Thanks, I already know that side, but whats the OTHER side.
        What if I DON’T go crazy. What if I DON’T die? Kinda curious about that side….

        • wow- great post…. you are fortunate to get away from AA so young. I stayed too long because of the good memories I hung on to from the 70’s. ANd I really pulled away my kids were born. THANK GOD!

          Freedom. If you want to know about some great deprogramming books I have read a bunch. If you want to log you experience about this we have a thread /tab at the top of the page called Abstinence Vs Moderation. It would be nice to hear the truth from a few more people. Thanks for writing!

          Oh yea, one more thing…reading the BB aloud to your sponsor LOL …I think I did that with one sponosee with the 12 & 12 about 10 years ago. How ridiculous I was.

          • How about those step study meetings. )o: Those use to bore me out of my mind. A room full of 50 people, taking turns, reading one paragraph at a time. “IF” one step was completed before the end of the meeting; then comes the individual opinion/analysis of the step. Steps 1 through 12 meeting after meeting after meeting. I use to think; how many frickin way can one analyze the context of this BS.

            I could never decide which was more annoying the reading or the analysis. Dont forget about; “As Bill Sees It” meetings. I dont know which was worse. I preferred “As Bill See’s It” ; because there was a lady there who baked great cakes. (o:

          • When I first went to a step study and was naive and uninformed; I would ask myself: I wonder what they do when they finish the steps. Well, dummy me; BACK TO STEP ONE AGAIN.

          • I dont think its a good idea to question any suggestions in the steps; (as AA claims they are?), or tell anyone the process doesnt seem to suit you personally. I think they will just recommend that you to keep studying it and you will find yourself in those steps. They may suggest you consider going to more meetings. What you may think is irrelevant in my experience! You know any good self help book I have read; makes fairly good sense or it becomes a waste of my time. Now if its good; I might keep it around for occasional reference purpose; but there should be no need to study it for the rest of my life. If its good learn from it and move on; unless your unteachable. Just my opinion. Im done.

  69. Whenever I would speak in meetings, people would tell me how profound it was. No, I just parroted the same thing everyone else says, I just have enough intelligence to form cohesive thoughts. Trust me when I say I never once made an original statement.

    • Well, maybe you were wise not to do that. I did near the end; Id had it. However, the outcome was not pleasant and i left the meeting feeling very hurt. Thats OK. I got the message and left for good shortly after.

    • That is hilarious (trust me I never made an original statement). Sometimes when I am reading these posts, I wish we had the Facebook thumbs up “like” feature.

  70. Massive,

    Well, your not anymore. Your in recovery! (o:

    I lied; I have one more thing to say:

    If you dont want to do the steps dont and say you did. If you say they are not necessary to your recovery; you will be considered in Denial and spiritually and mentally sick.

    Sorry for monopolizing the blog. Bye for now!

  71. I have done so much with my life in this one year after leaving AA.
    Life was becomming AA.
    My life has changed for the better since leaving.
    And im a content individual most all of the time.
    These are some of the changes, i have made without AA.

    I can control my drinking .
    I work.
    I moved to a home i wanted to live in.
    I frequent a church i enjoy going to.
    I have many friends.
    I can end a friendship or relation ship very quickly when it is giveing me too much pain! ( I no longer pray to have the patience of a saint! )
    I have regained my creativity.
    I have a social life i enjoy.
    I have many good friends.
    I dont feel guilty,ashamed,scared,angry.confused,inferior,intimadated,
    humiliated,unwanted,unlovable,ugly,low,unworthy,im no longer filled with self blame..everything was not my fault! I am more assertive, I know who i am what i want and where im going.
    and so much more…
    I have more confidence,i take better care of my apearance,..there was nothing to get dressed up for in AA.

    I’m a winner.

    • True, true, this is very true of a multitude of people afflicted by the culture of the 12-step industry and AA

  72. Spring fashions now in hospice’s Morley store – Local – Morley

    try again dont know if it will open dont know how to post links…
    if it opens –
    well there i am then, one of the walking dead ,with no quality of life just a poor unfortunate looser
    i’m the one to the right of photo with a flower on my hat the tall one

    • I looked at all the “walk” pictures and didn’t see anyone looking like the walking dead. It looked like a wonderful tribe to belong to and everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves – some more than others. Good cause, people havin some fun and being just people. Looks like you are in good company.

      • spj,
        LOL, yes the walking dead. I forgot i had posted that link.
        They are among the best people i have met in my life.
        And part of the reason i work there is to help other’s.

        I have just got home from visiting a friend, she’s a very old friend .Not aa and she don’t work with me in my voluntary work.
        I was going to stay over night at her home, but changed my mind and came home.

        No we are not the walking dead, i feel more alive now than i have for years.

  73. I am thankful for the support of the website owners and the support of people leaving or have left AA. You know AA claims this enlightened purpose of compassion for others, specifically people with a habit of drinking alcohol, but AA members seem to never be sorry to others for the AA program failing them nor do AA members recognize the character flaws of the AA program. It seems the two concepts that AA members personally are suppose to practice, being sorry and admitting character flaw, are not being applied to the working body of AA. AA members would rather attack others before conceding to the compassionate understanding that AA distresses and afflicts many who can better alternative programs including moderation or on their own.

    • Dan B,
      i agree with what you have wrote.from what i saw and heard and experianced
      in AA. Was the opposite of compassion for other’s.
      And dislike and disgust of those who drank/drug.
      And a general mistrust and dislike of anything that wasn’t AA.

  74. If AA works for some people and they are
    happy to be there. Good luck to them.
    I have listend to shares in there where people had a much different
    expierance of AA NA than i had.

    For them it was all love and care and friends and fellowship
    and serenity and wonderfull life’s .
    And no mention of any bad thing ever found in AA or another member.
    Great friends who did wonderfull things for them. great programme that gave them heaven on earth.
    Saved there life’s.

    for them i am glad, for them i think AA must have been a good thing.

    However, it was nothing like that for me.And i have been thankfull
    for this web site. And for everything and everyone who has helped me,
    leave AA. And allowed me to speak of my expierances of it. Without telling me or others that i am sick or crazy, for what i have posted, over the past year.

    I find it hard to take in that these people who are in AA, and
    have these great and wonderfull expierances of it. And give great speaches
    in praise of AA.
    Can sit back
    and do nothing about helping make AA safer. can sit back and pretend
    these things such as young people being abused and used for sex
    by old timers, don’t happen.

    Or that they can sit in meetings knocking drunk people pulling them down.
    Knocking relapsers,knocking religoun, knocking other treatments,knocking normal drinkers, and knocking anyone who gets sober without them.
    yet cant take anyone knocking them.

    • sally, Im glad you found us here. I have needed you too.

      I agree…how do they not know. This is how, after many years people leave and go to one meeting a week …many have created small meetings in their homes with only 6-10 people at them. This happening in Hawaii and LA and I hear in other cities. They gt tired of all the DUI’s being sent starting in 1989 in FL and 1990 in California.

      Then Judges, Cops, Drs, Hollywood writers and hollywood stars and most professionals created
      there own special meetings also in someones home.

      When I went back to mixed meetings I had been going to a woman’s only meeting for 4 years. When I finally went to mixed meetings with a young woman who was 13 stepped I was HORRIFIED at what we saw and heard.

      • massive.
        thankyou for link’s.I shall read them tomorrow off to bed now, work in morning.
        have you left AA Massive or do you still go and try to make it safer?
        I’m A mixed up today,bumped into my x sponsors mate . who wanted to have sex with me. and offered me fifty quid for sex
        i said no , and also said im not a prostitute.
        he went away left me alone.
        where didn he get bthe idea i was a prostitute.
        I have decided im leaving this area. im going to the council to ask about a home swap tomorrow
        thankyou for reply take care.

      • massive,
        i read the link’s. i think they did right to have there own meetings.
        is it okay to ask what you saw and heard at the mixed meeting.

        AA has been a shock to my system, and i was and am still no angel, i have saw and heard a lot in my life.

    • FWIW, people have to say glowing, grateful words about AA in AA meetings or they would get pounced on and degraded and have it pounded into their heads that they were about to get drunk. You give the love AA spiel or say nothing at all, unless you enjoy being attacked.

      • Oh my god, Border Collie, I had the beeest experience at an AA meeting. At the time, it was absolutely horrendous but looking back it’s awesome. In the meeting, I talked about how insane the “how it works” that we read every meeting was. I had a copy of the paper that we read from and I was waving it around quoting it. Then at the end of the meeting, an old timer came up to me and was very upset with me and told me I needed to do steps 1 through 7 on my resentments against AA. “Has your sponsor done that with you?” she asked. I said no. She said “well then you need to do that with her, and if she won’t, you need to do it with me!” What a nutbag!

        • Brillanndo,
          looking back, i think i did,
          and said some things in AA that i will never understand,
          Lot’s of diffrent reason’s, i suppose.

          Seem’s to me, now i just followed what i heard, or was told to do.
          copy’ed other’s.
          Theres a man in AA, i heard a lot before i left.
          He kept saying the same thing over and over, “All you got to do is accept it ”
          He began to sound like a parrot, and i had heard others say the same over and over.And copyed what they said,
          All copying each other. or copying what was wrote in the book’s.
          Bill Wilsons trained monkey’s.

          There was alway’s the feeling someone was pulling my strings.

          AA in USA haven’t replyed to my letter. I have never had any reply’s to any of my letters to head offices over the years.

          I’m thinking of moveing away from the area i live in, moveing home in January has helped, but now i feel and think the best thing i can do for myself is to move out of this small city all together.And a lot of the reason i want to move is to do with AA.Not all my reason’s but a big part ot if.

          Im off to work.

  75. I’m not long back from work.
    another strange thing happened today.
    At my work some one i knew pre aa who went to aa after i left aa.
    and as far as i know is still there.
    came into my work to see someone about voluntary work.
    this was someone whom i got on ok with pre aa, and who has alway’s been ok with
    me after he went to AA too.
    i saw him a few times around and he said he went there now and it was helping him.
    So good luck to him. hope it keeps helping him.
    anyway i said hello haven’t saw you for a while how are you.
    He wagged his finger at me and said “you will be so lucky”.
    Then turned away and asked my friend at work about vol work.
    I just smiled.
    After he left the other women at work said what did he mean by that.
    i dont know , I just said hes an old friend i havent seen for ages but i
    don’t know what he ment.
    anyway it dont matter.
    Im going away for the night stopping at my friends she lives in another town.
    I dont get AA at all anymore.

  76. Sally= they have no boundaries!!! It kinda lame..

    .Someone told me they say in a strong voice ” oh, I don’t do that anymore” and as you say it you step back from them to separate oneself even more. Putting ones hand up like a stop sign and waving a bit. I have seen this done …they back off and dont know what to say.

    • Massive,
      Thank’s. I just got home from my friend’s changed my mind about staying over night, but it was good to see her.

      I’m going to try practasing this, just put my hand up and say i dont do that anymore and move away.

      I really dont need them for anything.And i dislike being in there company.Even for short period’s.It has a bad effect on me.Just as they say “sick ” people as i’m called by AA have a bad effect on them.
      They told me that themself’s.

      I have been trying to get in touch with harms reduction, i got as far as chat.I would like to join there group.I shall have to try there link again later. I liked what i read on there page, especially the quote at the end about freedom.

      I’m going to read those links now that you posted earlier.

  77. One thing that really gets me about AA meetings is that when I am truly honest, they don’t like what I have to say. I would love to flaunt my disbelief in god(although I’m a pantheist, still an atheist whether they like it or not) and it works for me. I actually went to my first meeting in two weeks last night and it always seems to screw with peoples heads when you have been gone for a while and you walk in without a care in the world, a smile on your face, not jittery, looking people in the eye and being friendly. Perhaps they are jealous of a person being able to pull that off. I saw two friends of mine from AA that I still like and ended up going. Wasn’t a bad meeting just the same tired rhetoric I have heard thousands of times. Actually, I am to the point I would(aside from online like this) about never mention my atheism because it is simply nonsense. That is like me saying I don’t believe in leprichans-whoopideedoo! What DO I believe in? That is the only relevant thing and frankly I’m tired of talking about “gods” “ghosts” and “ghoulies”, angles and demons, blah blah blah. Tired of even talking about “my higher power this, my higher power that”. I just feel so dishonest when the topic of “god” comes up. I no more believe in “the grace of God” than a man in the moon. Karma sure, but grace…makes no sense to me yet people go on and on about this strange idea. They can say that but I can’t say what I want without being chastised. So much for rigorous honesty. What really gets me is in the big book, Dr. Bob had said that “if you are an atheist or an agnostic or have some other form of intellectual pride” and yet it is people like him who claim to have absolute knowledge about that which NO ONE can know, they only believe(everyone on the planet is an agnostic at the end of the day, theist and atheist only describe beliefs, not knowledge), so atheism has nothing to do whatsoever with intelligence but lack of belief just as theism has nothing to do with intelligence but belief(both deal with belief in one form or another whether positive or negative but NOT intelligence which is in the realm of knowledge). Seems more honest to instead of forced conversion to some god I am emotionally blackmailed into believing in as opposed to being totally honest(yet not angry about it) just admit openly that I don’t believe in “god” by dictionary definition(not a deity with a “will” and a “plan” for my life which to me is all about my ego and me feeling special and chosen), it’s only “honest” when old timers think it is honesty. If they don’t like what is plain as day that you point out, you are NOT being honest. What a double standard. I get so tired of lying about this in meetings. I do have a higher power but that is not what people expect out of me. Two weeks without a meeting(24 hours per day:) yet relapsing by going to one(I need a 24 hour chip to abstain from meetings lol-yet I need to go to the one Sunday to return some CD’s to someone, but that is me simply doing the right thing). Oh well, I’ll start again on Monday!

    • i’m sorry you are haveing this problem in AA.
      i had the same problem, and it made no difference what i was takeing
      as my HP or god.
      Or at times when i felt i had no belief.
      (I’m more mixed up than i have ever been about such matters. But thats slowly sorting itself out now)

      there was always someone not pleased. Or pissed off. i didn’t care in the end if
      whatever i believed in pleased someone or not.

      At the end just prior to my leaving, i said im being told once again
      what i am to have as my god. but i am fortunate to live in a country
      where i am allowed to believe in what i want to, or nothing.

      im fed up talking theology, at one time i liked to study and listen to and discuss such things.
      but havent for some time now.

    • Hi Aspie,
      I can totally relate to what you’re saying. It reminds me of the last month I was in AA. Once I started to realize that I didn’t believe in the Big Book and the 12 and 12, it all started to sound like Greek. Do you know the artist M.C. Esher? He did a picture of a never ending staircase where the stairs curve around and upside down and end nowhere and everywhere. To me it symbolizes the logic of AA. Here’s a link to a picture of it:
      I highly recommend looking at it. Their program is not “simple” at all.

      • Brillando,

        That picture was a great depiction (i think thats the right word 🙂 of what AA tried to do with my mind. Gave me the chills. I didnt let them win in the end and its important that no one does. When I felt suicidal, I came to my senses and decided that i could deal with the ups and downs of life but not the convoluted mind manipulation of AA. I lived in a constant state of confusion every time I allowed myself to be influenced in any way by their twisted thoughts. I had to make a decision to cut off any exposure. Its frustrating to even explain how strange the experience of being in AA is.

        • What gets me is that anyone actually thinks AA makes sense. Ask anyone in AA how it actually works and there is no uniform answer. Ask a Sinclair Method proponent how the Sinclair Method works and they’ll all pretty much convey the same mechanism. One is science, one is nonsensical faith-healing mumbo jumbo. Guess which is which. The nonsensical, faith-healing mumbo jumbo has got to go.

  78. no chips here aspie! no need to judge yourself either cause the way u are leaving is a good way. A Gradual removal from their nuttiness will actually make it easy to leave for good whenever you are good and ready.

    I have always been a person of faith, a believer …but in the end this sort of talk “grace of God” and the use of Higher power talk …oh yea…and how often they used the phrase about ?God’s WIll” Holy ….that really drove me nuts. Like we were puppets and had had no free will.

    If you really listen to them it gets like they are part of a monastery or something …always asking for What God would Have them do…this is classic AA Scripture….right out of the big book!
    AA harmed my concept of God in my early 20’s, but luckily I pulled back and red a ton of “outside literature” that was quite a bit saner then Billy bobs nut trails of happy days are here again in his made up razzle dazzle world of BILL Wilson’s faith healing scare tactics.

    You’ll be fine aspie, as long as you don’t do it one day at a time ! LOL

    • it drove me nuts to in the glad i didnt get round to too much talking about grace, infact i didnt get to that part i heard it but hadnt got round to talking of it.

      That part ! What am i saying,LOL its like a script or something we were all following.
      By heck we have all been into something very strange indeed,
      strange and dangerouse.
      i pissed people off in there when i mentioned any thing about god or HP.

      But it was like i had to at times.i mean sometimes i was asked to
      share and had to say i had one, a hp or god.

      i did have one but like you, i got harmed around it.
      Im getting okay with it now.
      watching Billy Conelly helps me.

      i freaked out a few days back reading the articles.
      i called them scum. i have called AA them all sorts of weird and wonderfull things.

      i know its not everyone in AA, who commits such atrocities.
      but theres a hell of a lot of it going on.
      and even the god stuff in there the way your told to change your beliefs and things like that or find a new one
      or just find one,

      is baffling enough for anyones brain.

  79. Deprogramming 101;
    Is sponsorship outside of aa possible? Is helping others outside of aa still called sponsorship? If you met in aa and still help the person after leaving is it healthy?
    I still have one good friend from AA who needs help; I was really afraid that he would be the next suicide. In aa I told him to pray and do the steps. Today my help and advice is much more supportive of helping him change his situation to improve his life. It seems to be working, I also I enjoy his friendship and calls.
    What do you guys think about this? I am a bit confused by this activity because it so closely mirrors aa sponsorship even though I used to do similar things before aa. Nothing is all good or all bad, in the end aa was more bad than good for me so I had to leave. What are the implications of taking what you want, and leaving the rest which includes the bulk of the program and meetings in relation to deprogramming? It occurs to me that many of the aa activities were just taken from other sources. Perhaps giving them their real names could help. Sponsorship in aa becomes __________- when leaving.
    Please help me with this deprogramming exercise.

    • anon- oh yea…I have helped a few leave. I sponsored people for sure. But yes I kinda told some people that the words they used and how they “framed” their talk about themselves and drinking in the past like “17 years ago” is VERY important for deprogramming.
      I see a pattern with many in 12 step is they are actually very unconscious and talk about themselves and their past in a “programmed way” like a robot. There is not backing up some of these beliefs so it makes it interesting, but on ehas to be aware of how you talk about yourself. #1.
      Im not laid back as you can tell so I really would tell this one person its important to see his therapist and we found non 12 step people to talk to as he deprogrammed. It was painful to watch him as he doudted himself, missed the “fellowship” which stopped calling him although they loved him soooo much….Really? In what way are they your real friends if you own wife has life threatening surgery and they give you no support.
      I agree. We can help people then the same way anon leave AA and not kill themselves. I think some reading all these blogs maybe are still here because we are here typing away the truth about AA.
      I suggested he blogged daily for weeks and that really helped. If someone wrote an especially great post I would send them to him. He loved your posts a lot.
      One of my goals after the film is to write a pamphlet for deprogramming for AA/NA with the help of some bloggers. Im happy to hear you are helping this person.

      AA has twisted so many simple practices and they think they “own? them. Ughhh Glad to be free!

      • one of my x sponsors wife was very ill she died after i left AA.
        i offered him help if he wanted it. housework shopping or whatever. he said no it was okay.
        he said strangly enough its only the drunks that have offered help. i was a bit puzzled round that. They didn’t seem like very supportive people to me.And i wasn’t used to him saying that much good things about drunks
        sometimes he did, he wasnt that nasty about anyone. including drunks.
        but not for a long time.he seemed to be more against drunks as the years went by. when i first went to AA well i liked him better as a person then , than i did later when the years went by.maby i was misreading things he said,not sure.
        he stayed in there keeping sober for think its 14 years now.
        me i was always escapeing. thank fuck!

        also it puzzled me why he said its only the drunks that had offered help.
        i was going to AA at the time and wasn’t drinking or takeing any drugs. mind you i was in and out of AA like a fucking YO YO!
        He probably forgot i was in and abstinant.
        and i dont think i was ever really classed as sober.
        Dry drunk .maby. but not sober.
        thats the impression i got any way.
        I have some issues with him but nothing too bad.
        nothing that isnt fadeing away.
        on the whole i thought he was okay.
        and i liked his wife she treated me right , she was a very pretty lady, and welcomming.

        i think going back to my old lingo is helping me.
        its hard to recall it all but here’s some.
        Can of pencils helped me recall one.
        old man-for me ment my partner or husband
        old lady-what i was to my partner or husband.
        man-as in “Hey man how’s your old lady doing”
        sister-women friends.
        brother-male friends
        thats my american stuff i used years back that became part of the UK talk years back. LOL
        i loved sister sledge!

        no heads on the table-dont get drunk and pass out
        i have been saved by the cristians never again-
        no more religoun
        many moons-many years
        spliff up brother-make a joint pal
        my old accent is starting to come back to a bit stronger.
        oh yeh and fuck-for me it has no sexual meaning,(Well only at the height of passion but that hasn’t happend in a long time LOL thankyou AA -this actually seems like a good thing for me long story LOL)
        swear words it is simply a way the people in my family and community have talked for all my life.the tenaments in the bowrie in the scottish lowlands
        where i lived at one time as a child were full of people shouting fuck off yah dirty bastards go pish up somone else’s close)-urinate in another doorway.
        i use it as a means of expression. suck as fuck off-which means you better go away fast.
        or as in a humourse way-such as what a fuck up that was !but never mind it can be sorted.
        the English seem to hate swear words, i have got into trouble both in and out of AA for this.
        and i really mean no harm by it.

    • years back someone i met in AA who had left AA tried to help me leave AA.
      i left and he did help me. It wasn’t a sexual relationship. we were platonic frineds.
      he was a young man and he had a partner.
      it wasnt a 13th step thing.

      but we fell out over a text message not long after i left AA,
      we got our wires crossed in the txt -meaning we got mixed up.
      About things said in the txt. i stayed out for a long time after but eventually returned.
      i said i had forgiven some people, and he took it i was asking him to do the same.
      think thats what happened, cant recall it all.
      another man from AA was causeing some grief for both of us
      at that time. And it
      was an adjustment time for both of us.
      fortunatley it didnt come to blows, and i saw him last summer i think
      it was,
      for the first time in a few years.
      we talked for a wee while and put it in the past.
      im glad, i always liked and got on with him.
      the last time i left AA i just left AA.
      without talking about it to anyone that was out of AA.
      but after i left i came to this web site and doing that has helped me.
      i dont want anyone from this city that i met in AA to help me with leaving.
      i dont want anyone pulling me out or into AA.
      no one did pull me out.
      i felt a bit pushed to leave, but at the end it was me that left no one made me.
      i left because it wasnt working the things suggested that i followed the suggestions.
      werent stopping me getting drugs and getting high.
      and werent makeing me feel happy or i was told they would or read in the books.
      i didnt like how i felt.
      i recall looking at the bar of hash and the phone and the floor.
      thinking i phoned i prayed i been to a meeting im doing it but it don’t seem
      to be working.
      i looked at the hash the phone the floor and thought.
      your choices are the weed or AA.(There were times i felt the only other choice was to end my life. it sometimes felt like i was being told this. to do this. )
      or something like that.
      i picked up the weed and spliffed up and still tryed to go do it for a few more meetings.
      but i still got high then i got drunk.
      and still went to a couple more meetings then never went back, think my last meeting was in scotland last year spring time.
      that was about april last year i think.
      i dont know if i was doing it right or not but i thought i had at the time.
      i do know, and did say to the sponsor i had at that time. that i still felt a little fight left in me .
      just a slight pull not to do it and to run.
      but at times going back there i often felt defeated and just wanted to get on with it get whatever it was, even though i would rather have found some other way.Then no sooner was i there but i wanted to leave again. think it was 3 years full on meetings without a drink then a year out without a drink then went back.was the longest period i stayed in.something like that.
      AA /NA.
      that time that man who left tryed to help me i didnt ask him to , and at first i didnt want to leave.
      it was after i had talked with him for some time that i wanted to leave and I was him that made me realise fear was keeping me there.
      i think it helped him too. im glad he was there at the time.
      we worked together too at that time after i left he helped me find the job.
      he was already working there.we worked in a cafe in a water park.
      i have some good memories of that.

    • Hi Anon,

      I think it’s totally fine to be there for a friend. What works best for me (when I go to a friend to talk about a difficult situation that I’m confused about) is for the person to empower me, by asking me what feels right and true to me. When people validate my inner truth, it makes me stronger.

      Massive helped me out of AA in this way (thanks massive!) by accepting where I was (still in AA, wanting to stay in AA, but disturbed by it all), giving me support and letting me make my own choices.

      What also helped was being told about SMART Recovery. I don’t know if your friend is still in AA, but if not it may be important to hook him up with some professional help (whether with a counselor or one of the other recovery programs.

      • Thanks Brillando,
        Discussing this helps me. This morning I was realizing that in AA I am given the message of powerlessness and defect. Then I was told that I need to help others and carry the message. Once again I am a trained animal who is given stimulus and then a responsive task. As a defective AA I could feel OK about myself as long as I was devoting all my time to service.
        My friend has not drank in quite some time; his problems are more related to damage done while he was drinking. I’ve made the resources available to him.

      • You are so welcome! I loved talking with you and seeing your natural exit! Other bloggers helped me when I left. Ilse- Gunthar, C & e, Anti D, etp, mona lisa, Decon, Ma, so many, Dee Dee Stout, Tom M. Paul C. ….I think there are more….

  80. Hi everyone,

    I’m writing a short publication on alternatives to AA. Has anyone on this blog have any experience with SMART, Women for Sobriety, Harm Reduction, Rational Recovery, LifeRing, Secular Organizations for Sobriety (SOS) or any of the other programs or methods out there?

    • I have gone to Smart, SOS and Moderation meetings. I have interviewed pp from all the 6 free options. WE can talk. I bet there are alot of people with experience out here in blog land!

      This is a really important thing you are creating.

  81. I think my latest blog post may be a good tool for those leaving AA. Exercise and laughter are just priceless for us all right now.

    Exercise will improve your health, increase your sense of well-being; it can boost brain function and help initiate and maintain the process of reclaiming your right to think after being told not to think by AA old timers, zombies and brain-washed devotees. Exercise has been proven to provide serious mental benefits. Those who have recently escaped AA will benefit greatly by giving themselves the gift of better health and balance through daily exercise from floor exercises, light mall-walking, jogging, stair-climbing to even marathon running based on his or her own personal comfort level.

    So let’s all LAUGH…
    And move that ass!

    Here are some ways a bit of exercise can help you as you move forward from AA to freedom, power and good physical and mental well-being.

  82. can anyone help me around this. somone who did AA with the big book satyed a long time and left.
    I went to AA for years but didnt really get into it untill nearer the end. i went did service had sponsor tryed steps but felt i didnt really get into it untill just before i left.
    if i hadnt of left what would life have been like for me. Do the promises come true, is it a happy joyus free wondefull life.
    i was looking for a way out of drug drink scene most of my life. i was seeking utopia most of my life.
    i have gave up trying to abstain for life, and seeking utopia.and even if it exists in AA
    i dont care to go get it there.
    but i wonder whats it really like in AA after you get into it proper.Would it have been diffrent that last time in if i had stayed or not.
    you know what have i missed out on. if anything.

  83. aw i know now i made the right choice to leave AA my life wouldn’t have got any better
    i may have even became more ill, or died or killed myself or be killed..

    And there was nothing i saw in any of those people that said there life’s were wonderfull. and most of them i didn’t want to be like in nature, or looks either come to think of it, i know they all think they are lovely on the outside and inside, and it must be good to think that way, better than thinking your an ugly and horrable evil person of no worth, like the way they told me i was ugly horrable and evil, because i drank and used weed.
    but i didn’t reckon that many of them were lovely inside or outside.Some seem’d to be but not many.
    these things don’t matter to me as much now, if people look at me and think i’m a bad person and all that when i’m drinking a beer or takeing weed or being what they call a dry drunk when not on anything.
    that’s up to them. there’s nothing i can do about what other people think, and the way they think well what makes them right.And who cares other than themslefs.
    i don’t reckon myself to be perfect inside or outside or lovely, but i no longer see myself as evil ugly or bad or worthless since i left AA.
    these thoughts come and go but are getting one out of AA has made any compliants about how i look or act.

    besides i know now that i’m not an alcoholic, so i dont need AA.
    as for weed. well like they ended up in there after i was in for years,
    telling me “thats just sweets why worry. ”
    i’m not anymore.
    when i take cannabis i don’t become an arsehole.infact i never was an asshole.

    i have sent a link its a present from me to everyone that posts here to say thanks.
    and its good not to be posting it because i want to be liked or accepted or think i should repay , like times in AA.
    i’m posting it because i want to do something to say thanks and its all i can do send something nice.

  84. This will be the longest post i have wrote and my last for some time. I’m writeing this and leaving it here in the hope it may help someone else .If not, well i hope people find what ever helps them.

    People first told me to get help when i was in my 20’s, not for drink or drugs, but because they said there was something wrong with me,I’m 55 now. the help started with a doctor, then a cult not AA, then variouse doctors for the mind,counsellors, AA/.NA E/A,CO/ DEP ,MAW. group therapies, and a long list of spiritual places and practices and churches and prayers…
    And all through it and after each one. someone else, or when in AA anon churches a lot of people,would tell me there was something wrong with me.
    And i did it all because i thought i had to, thought there’s something wrong with me i need to change myself.and all through my life , other people would keep telling me the same..that i need counselling, or to read this book or that book or go to a skrink or try AA or do this or that…no wonder i kept thinking i need some form of help or a guru.

    I no longer require any help.
    And i am no longer looking for myself, or trying to change myself. i’m happy being who i am, getting on with my life.

    In and all throughout my life there have been many times i have been helpfull to others. and times when i have been to far gone to help anyone.This post is left in the hope that it helps someone.

    Cindy had just got back from a shamanic drumming camp designed to help her “Find herself “She’s been going off on Nemain knows how many retreats, courses,therapy,sessions,and what have you for as long as i have known her .
    She’s enjoyed some of it, became ill with some of it,and spent enough to re-float the Greek economy, but she still feels no closer to finding enough of herself, to be content.of course. I could have helped cindy find herself years ago in exchange for a cup of tea and a bun.but i don’t think cindy wants to be told that she’s a pleasant if not terribly bright old dear who’s good at macrame but should lay off the sprouts. does anyone who spends a life time and fortune on finding themselves want to come away having discovered that their self is quite ordinary, unremarkable and at best vaguely pleasant? cindy keeps searching i suspect because she wants to gaze into the pond and see a swan instead of an old duck. facebook is awash with inspirational (or sentimental, depending on your view point) posters declaring that we are all made of start dust, are full of profound creative power, can achieve anything we wish without limits. whilst that may all be true at some level who would be left to stack the supermarket shelves.if we all wafted about in a sate of ethereal transcendence? not everyone can be a Caravaggio. Schweiltzer,or Curie. I do have concerns as well that so much of the self help industry feeds into and maybe encourages the spread of an unhealthy level of narcissism. there is a distinction between knowing yourself and obsessing over yourself. Alfred Adler suggested that a genuinely healthy person is one who expresses and has a commitment to wider society a genuine sense of belonging within their community and a harmony with the natural world such a person is more interested in helping others than gazing up their own arse. To put it yet another way finding out what sort of person you are ought to lead to wanting to use your new-found skills to benefit others and improve society rather than just going on endless courses, in a bid to find you have secret mystic powers.or are destined to have your own chapter in the history text books after more than 5 and a half decades of shambling round this planet. I’ve come to the conclusion that the best way to learn about yourself is to get on with life, and get out and mix with people. sitting in seclusion and attempting to look serene is only going to reveal a glimpse of your soul my most potent moments of revelation have came from finding myself in unexpected situations that exposed traits skills and attitudes that i would never have known existed otherwise-and none of those situations cost me a penny!

  85. i went into a meeting 6 days ago after being away for a year and a half.
    i had things i wanted to say there. I didnt get to say everything i wanted to.
    i got blind drunk after i left.
    So going back in after leaving to try and tell them, the things i have posted at times
    on web sites.
    To try to tell them how unsafe there meetings are and things like that.
    wasnt a good thing for me.
    leaving means leaving. and not going back in there.

    • Yeah, there is something inside me that wants to go back and “set the record straight”. But I leave it alone. In their rooms, they win, I can’t, and anything I do in there they will have an answer for – they know it all ya see. I somehow want to get back at the bastards for being hypocrites and liars and sucking me into their cult when I was the most vulnerable. They used me and that pisses me right off. The truth is most of them have no idea where they really are and they are so indoctrinated they can’t see reality anyway. It simply does no one any good for me to go there and speak my truth and be all dramatic like. I know my heart would pound and there is so much to say that it would come out all twisted up and I’d get frustrated to the point that I would simple look and sound nuts to almost anybody. So, I leave it alone. My rant would only provide something to gossip about for months and then they would be on to the next juicy thing in their cloistered world. ” Did ya hear? Louise was doing here 5th step and got so emotional, she peed her pants.” ” Nohhh ! Louise? The one with the hair extensions and the super fake nails that is always chewing gum? THAT Louise? “

      • After I had been gone for a considerable time I went back out of curiosity once. I didn’t speak, though, just listened and watched. Bad experience. I was no longer used to it and it all seemed really weird. There were so many secret pot shots in shares and strange talk about strange gods. I was so glad i do not have to listen to that anymore.

        • When you go to cult meetings a lot, over time, the abnormal seems normal. It is a process and it is aided by the trance that comes from the readings in the beginning. Think about that one for a moment. People are there, talking, maybe milling around and then the meeting starts. As the preamble is read, how does people’s behavior change? Most start looking down, looking at their shoes, gazing in their coffee, while the big lie is read at the beginning. People zone out and go into a trance like state. It took me a long time to see it, but it happens. It can really happen when certain people share. There were times when I realized I was coming out of an altered state just about the time the person was finishing their share. Also, and others talked about this phenomenon, the lighting changes and gets a green hue or something as I would listen and not blink for an extended period. Speakers meetings were good for that one. Check out trance states

          • spj, Yes, that trance-like state was something I began to notice toward the end of my time there too. You’re exactly right about how it begins with the dogma being read at the beginning.

            Sally, I hope you’re doing okay. I’m glad you didn’t get rid of your computer.

          • I found the trance-like state to be very real and very relaxing – sort of a “high” of its own. Maybe the real purpose of all the coffee (I rarely drink coffee) is to self-medicate against this high. It usually started to kick in during the reading of “How It Works.” Being called on to say/do something while in this zoned-out state was like having ice water dumped on me.

          • spj- I so agree. Those last few months I noticed how they nod their heads up and down in a weird way. Their eyes glazing over. You should have heard how I read Chapter 5 one of the last times I was there. I should do it on my radio show or put it in my film.

            It was surreal…and they noticed it and were looking at me strangely.

            I realized that even how I once read Chapter 5 had this cult like inflections.

            Once I began doing my radio show in 2011 with Gunthar I actually deprogrammed as I prepared for the show and while we were discussing it. Anyone here want a good laugh , listen to any of the shows I did about the AA literature with gunthar and a I think I did one of them alone.
            We are free!!!!

        • already gone,
          thankyou you too. its strange that for someone like me..who has had so much cults religoun’s and gods..

          that its always the god people who piss me off, and the athiests that dont piss me off.

          i think i just cant hack religoun…groups of people,
          in churches, spiritual places..groups of god people and doctrine..rules to be followed..
          maby also i over did it in these places with searching and looking into that part of it..too much
          trying to find a god i liked and could be okay with..

          my favourite folk are all atheists…my Father and my children and some of the people i read posts of on line..

          could it be that deep down im really an athiest myself..

          • Me too. I am done with people telling me about gawd. Have you noticed that those armed with infallible scriptures insist upon interpreting them for us? Because we are so stupid we just don’t know a damned thing.
            Trance inducing techniques are great for seducing us into a sate of compliance…. just sit there and listen … dickhead!
            Then the narrative always unfolds the same way…. you are a piece of worthless shit and only we can fix you. Like the theme music to a tv show the trance seduction sets us up to engage in a process which would otherwise appear ridiculous with a preposterous set of characters and circumstances.
            Alcoholics Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women….
            Tell ya a story bout a man named Jed…

          • Just sit right back and you’ll hear a tale,
            A tale of a fateful trip
            That started from this tropic port
            Aboard this tiny ship.

            The mate was a mighty sailing man,
            The skipper brave and sure.
            Five passengers set sail that day
            For a three hour tour, a three hour tour.

            The weather started getting rough,
            The tiny ship was tossed,
            If not for the courage of the fearless crew
            The minnow would be lost, the minnow would be lost.

            The ship set ground on the shore of this uncharted desert isle
            With Gilligan
            The Skipper too,
            The millionaire and his wife,
            The movie star
            The professor and Mary Ann,
            Here on Gilligans Isle.

            So this is the talel of the castways,
            They’re here for a long, long time,
            They’ll have to make the best of things,
            It’s an uphill climb.

            The first mate and the Skipper too,
            Will do their very best,
            To make the others comfortable,
            In the tropic island nest.

            No phone, no lights no motor cars,
            Not a single luxury,
            Like Robinson Crusoe,
            As primative as can be.

            So join us here each week my friends,
            You’re sure to get a smile,
            From seven stranded castaways,
            Here on “Gilligan’s Isle.”


    • It is good to see that site. I wonder how many sites are out there now that steer people away from 12 Step religious faith healing? That site even has the Orange Papers listed as a resource, plus a link to SUNY with a pretty progressive view on alcohol.

      The reality is this is all about education. Instead of praying to a doorknob, people should be learning how they make decisions and focusing on that specific moment when your mind says yes instead of no to a drink and learn to turn it into a no. In the end that is all it is. Making a decision and acting on it. There is no demon rum, it is not cunning, baffling and powerful, it is a liquid that I choose to consume, or not. It really is that simple.

  86. IMAGINE… a book club just for us!

    The You Are Not Powerless Book Club & Re-launch of the Anti-AA Conference Call

    Call to discuss current book and other empowering topics every WED. at 8:00pm (EST)
    Conference Dial-in Number: (712) 432-1500 (Email for access code)

    DECEMBER’S READ: Her Best Kept Secret by Gabrielle Glaser!
    Special Task?

    Identify one person in or out of AA or NA to give a copy of the book to for a meaningful holiday season gift.

    January’s book will be: You’ve Been Lied To by Hank Hayes…with suggestions being taken for 2014’s monthly reading. E-mail your suggestions to:

    For ongoing info and to ask questions regarding the book club please check info on:


    Pass It On…to Non-AA-NA (12-steppers) ONLY!

  87. Hi Massive, it was great to meet you a few weeks ago and I have to say you inspired me to have another go a blogging so thanks for putting the link up at the top of this section. I’m not having a forum this time as it had too many issues before , just a simple wordpress site that will grow slowly. It is hopefully going to be more recovery based this time and I will write about some of the things I have done over the past few years, that seem to have worked.

    Anyone can comment if they wish, but I would rather those that want to row with each other and trolls stay on the Orange Papers site as I really cannot be bothered dealing with all that rubbish and just want a simple site that might actually help somebody, rather than all the stupid behaviour that dragged it down last time. The people concerned, know who they are, but anyone else can drop by if they want.
    Don’t expect anything exciting and confrontational though – it’s just going to be a recovery site for those who have moved on from AA and anybody else who has an interest, not an anti AA site, which I have moved away from as I think there are other sites like this one and the Daytona site, which do that with more enthusiasm than I can manage these days.

    Thanks for the link at the top of this section which showed up in my wordpress settings, so I thought I would drop by.
    Anyway the blog is at


    • loving life 52- sure thing ! Im happy to see you here. ANd I was so glad to meet another blogger in “person” and eat food together at West DOCS.

      I was thinking about having a radio show called Mindful, meditation and self care. Things that helped me be calm and happy and peaceful. Stuff I didn’t learn in see much of in AA the last 20 years. Ill go post on rfr soon. So busy making the film right now…

  88. “Alcohol was but a Symptom”

    We’ve all heard that haven’t we?
    I’ve been sober 20 something years and had gone back to AA after my second divorce. It was over and done with very quickly leaving me hollow and empty. I did not want to drink, so I went back to the halls of AA where Initially got sober when I was 28-29.
    Unfortunately, my views about some of the people within the rooms became twisted since my second marriage. I had married a younger woman who suffers from BPD (Borderline Personality Disorder)
    With that stated, going into the rooms caused me to look at people a whole lot differently and suffered from the “paralysis of analysis” and would take other AA’rs inventory. In my mind I would look at a lot of them as BPD,NPD,APD among-st other traits. Some are BiPolar and don’t work but are verbose and tout the AA mantra of working the steps, etc..
    The thoughts which elude me are: if you suffer from a personality disorder working the steps once is not a cure. It may stop the drinking and parrot well in meetings but it still doesn’t cure the symptom..i.e. the personality disorder.
    Additionally, if you attend long enough and don’t contribute or get involved on a regular basis like sharing, chairing meetings and look like your working the “program” there is a subtle shunning that seems to permeate. The technically, “sober ones” will make you feel uncomfortable and not talk with you too much unless your ALL IN.
    Granted, I’ve made a few friends in the meetings and after my divorce I get a little lonely if I don’t go, so I guess that’s why I’m blogging on here now.
    Lastly, I don’t know you all, and you don’t know me. I’ve read 12 step Horror Stories” and can read between the lines in some of those stories. I think the author was not to prudent in picking some of her stories because a few of the people she got stories from seemed pretty mentally sick to me and think the author just wanted to make a buck writing her book.
    Breaking the AA thought process after going for so long is hard. Maybe writing this stuff down will help. Whenever someone posts about all the psyche meds they’re on and hate AA, it raises red flags for me an pause for concern. My ex wife was on all kinds of psyche meds and none of them worked. Borderline Personality Disorder is a serious mental illness and cannot be readily be fixed by meds or simply working the 12 steps.
    AA is a very simplistic program in my view. It may arrest the drinking but does not cure a personality disorder. Maybe that’s why they say it’s a “simple program for complicated people”

    • tom o- sorry I somehow missed this comment. You do sound sad. I know someone who has Borderline Disorder. I think I sponsored one too. They are very hard to deal with for sure.

      About you going back to meetings. So how is it going? Can you stand listening to those chapter 5 readings and the preamble and the Traditions? They are no negative based and half of them are not true.

      Cant you get a hobbie or go to Smart Recovery and do something healthier? I too started attending AA in 1998 when I went trough my divorce. I went about 2 times a month to small meetings. But Even then I could see AA had changed. I had no idea about DUI court ordering yet. I had NO knowledge of the court ordering of Violent and sex offenders what so ever!

      Either way you are welcome here to blog and again Im sorry I missed your post way back in December. I was traveling and filming and then …well it was the holidays…still I don’t know why I missed this comment! Hope you are doing better.

  89. these photos may not be of help to others here
    but i like them and think they are one of the
    things that i have found helpfull in leaveing aa.

    i felt a lot of hate in my mind towards aa yesterday.
    im glad thats gone today…

    but i really dont want to know aa anymore.
    and hope things change in there ..changes for the better.

  90. i thank my sister and my friends mick and bella
    for being there for me when i was leaveing aa
    and all here who have helped me.
    this movie clip shows the fear i had at that time.
    and i watched this movie not long after i left aa
    there were aspects of it that reminded me of aa
    and other places i have been. i am at heart and always will be
    a hippie type…but will not be joining any more cults…including hippie cults.

    if your leaveing aa use the phone but dont call aa

    • That movie looks really good. Yeah I have a lot of songs I’ve dedicated to AA, especially when I was leaving. I’m a hippy type too. Although I don’t look it, but my beliefs are pretty hippyish. 🙂 And I love hippies.

  91. After two years of sobriety, having gone through an AA rehab center I once again started to drink. I own a pub. I was told I could not possibly survive in that environment. Rather, that environment empowered my sobriety. I enjoyed the company of my customers and friends to the point when they were all talking at once, telling the same joke twice, and were audibly much louder.
    That was when I checked out and went home. I drink now from time to time. Though never in my pub. Usually in social settings in a private home. And it is moderate drinking. Mostly, to feel normal. However, some siblings have caught wind of this and fear the god-almighty RELAPSE. I was a binge drinker in my late forties due to the collapse of my marriage which, as my wife testified, wasn’t my fault. Rehab didn’t cure me of alcoholism, it cured me of a broken heart. When most men are told by their wives that they are no longer loved, they take up golf, or some equally ridiculous pastime 24/7. I own a pub. What do you think I was going to do?
    Anyhow,i am now living a healthy and normal lifestyle which includes alcohol. No more binge drinking, blackouts et al. Just don’t know how to deal with others opinions. I find there is so much ignorance out there about the nature of alcohol abuse. Is it an incurable, lifelong disease from which you are incapable of recovering from, or is simply the pathology of the individual?

    • One of the main criticisms of AA from a professional perspective is that it is a “one size fits all” program. There is some commonality in drinking behavior and reasons for excessive drinking, but the solution and approach are as varied as the individual. The ultimate solution being to make a flippin decision on how you want to live YOUR LIFE and learning how to do that. It is interesting that Wilson thought to bring about a “psychic change” and pursued LSD to see if that wasn’t a better way to get a new perspective than his own beloved program. To me, the psychic change I needed to apply to my excessive alcohol consumption was making a decision and sticking with it. No more, no less. THAT is what I had to learn, not that some supernatural entity was going to take away my problem if I did the right things according to a hallucinating wack job. The program of AA is pure and utter bullshit.

    • Good for you John. I noticed that many men came through AA after experiences similar to yours. Usually in their mid forties or so, and often after some traumatic family experience such as a divorce or the death of a spouse. I don’t personally agree with the “lifelong, progressive, and incurable” disease ideas, especially in circumstances such as you describe, but I would never tell anyone else what they should do. I’m certainly not qualified to judge whether it’s pathological in some or not. The problem is that AA doesn’t know any of this either and never has. It’s very unfortunate that so much of their mythology is taken as gospel and has been allowed to infect the greater culture. Of course, that is part of why dealing with others opinions can be hard. For me, leaving AA meant recovering my individuality and part of that means learning when to ignore those other opinions. You’ve seen it from the inside now and most of those “others” never have and never will. You aren’t alone in what you’ve experienced and there are many websites available now where people express similar views.

    • john- HI and Welcome! Glad you found us. There are many if us who left and drink so moderately your family’s head would spin. I would like to suggest you contact michelle dunbar at St Judes to just talk to her. She will tell you how many old timers including herself left AA after MANY years and all drinking very moderately successfully.

      You can listen to my podcasts where I interview her as well and find her on the net and reach out to her. She know so many with 30 years that have left.
      Recovering from recovery is another good blog but I would read Stanton Peels stuff, Ken Anderson for Harm Reduction , Dr Kern, Dr Jaffe’s writings for Moderation and even donna Cornett has a great website and books.

      People in our society today treat drinkers either like Criminals if it’s the DUI routine or like babies not adults, so when they get back on their feet people have been brainwashed about the made up “disease” theory.
      Good luck with your pub and your life and blog here as much as you need or want to .

  92. Rick42- This is so spot on “The problem is that AA doesn’t know any of this either and never has. It’s very unfortunate that so much of their mythology is taken as gospel and has been allowed to infect the greater culture. Of course, that is part of why dealing with others opinions can be hard.”

    Even none AA members are brainwashed because it has so permeated our culture. It will take years to undo this insanity.

  93. Hey there. I’ve been in and out of the 12-step game for 10 years. I’ve been AA free but abstinent for almost five years. Recently (in the last six months) I have been considering trying to drink moderately. I want a functional, healthy relationship with alcohol. But I’m scared. And I feel so alone. Sometimes I feel so confident and secure in the decision to being drinking again (I’ve set a tentative date of April 11th, 2014) and other times I hear the old AA voice telling me that this is my ‘alcoholic talking’ and that I’m going to die.
    I remember when I was brainwashed with the AA indoctrination and thought that moderation was just a lie that alcoholics told themselves to start drinking again. Now, I honestly believe that I have a chance of introducing alcohol to my life in a healthy way. Am I crazy to think that? I have little to no-one to talk to about this in my life. My friends are relics from the rooms, and my roommate, who is a normal drinker, believes the AA myths.
    Please, just let me know that I’m not alone out here….

    • rizzle- There are many people who drink after AA normally listen to this show with Michelle Dunbar from the St Judes Retreats.

      I think its a better idea to be sure you know that all that stuff in your head is bullshit. I would listen to a few shows I did also on how the BB is a bunch of lies. Maybe blog on on and Hams harm reduction for tips and tool to follow. I do think its important to respect alcohol and I for one think one should be deprogrammed fully before going done this road. With that said , I know people who were not fully deprogrammed who do fine. They just get a bit excited about the freedom of being free from AA and the pleasure Of enjoying alcohol again as a beverage and a social norm.
      email me privately at if you want and we can talk more.

      • Massive-
        Thanks for the resources! I’ve been doing a lot of research and talking with people in my life, and for the most part, I’m feeling more confident in the idea of ending my abstinence. Thanks so much for the work that you do!

        • rizzle- good….Im glad to hear that. The more confident we are the better we can be. AA likes to make us feel like we need to always ask others for guidance. God its such a cult.

          🙂 enjoy and let us know who your experiment goes if you want on that Abstinence VS Moderation thread we have here!!!

        • Thought I’d pass on how I ended my abstinence. The truth is it can go poorly if you aren’t prepared. The programming runs really deep. I planned to only have one. Period. No more. I bought a Mike’s Hard Lemonade and drank it over several hours. Nothing happened. I didn’t even feel it. Then, I waited and listened to my head ( so to speak). The interesting thing is my brain was trying to get me to drink more, and for a few days and it was kinda sneaky about it. I didn’t cave and the “requests” to drink again subsided. There is no mystery here. No demon rum. My system likes alcohol and will try to get me to drink it. I have to be an adult about it, not a baby, or a whiner, or a drama queen. I draw a line and stick to it, no matter what. That experiment was a few years ago. I have consumed some light booze since then several times with no ill effects. But, I am careful. No hard booze and certainly not in the house, but I don’t feel afraid of it. I simply don’t want to be under the influence and hard booze does that real quick. It’s my choice. They are my hands and I either control them, or I do not. If I truly have no control over my hands and am powerless to control them, then I belong in a nut ward. Not in a church basement reciting chants and prayers.

          • spj-It’s my choice. They are my hands and I either control them, or I do not. If I truly have no control over my hands and am powerless to control them, then I belong in a nut ward. Not in a church basement reciting chants and prayers.

            WOW ! Thats intense. and profound.

    • CS, you may want to expand your description for all your books on LuLu. Not much info to go by in the current descriptions. Maybe the Table of Contents will give people a better idea of what the books are about.

  94. Hey there, I just wanted to pass on my story. I was in and out of AA & NA for about 13 years. I got varying amounts of clean time, sometimes over 2 years, but when I did relapse, it was worse than ever. I now realise being mentally, verbally and emotionally abused as well as being sexually harassed. I was discriminated against for being gay, intelligent, well educated and having a well paying job. I even had an older sober member use things I disclosed to him during a 5th step (He wasn’t a sponsor, he had been my case worker in a 12 step based rehabilitation facility) to publicly humiliate me in a meeting after disagreeing with him at a service committee. Feeling depressed, betrayed, rejected, worthless I was at the point where I would rather ‘jails, institutions and death’ than go back to 12 step meetings. The pseudoscience and mythology of AA & NA cultism can run deep, and for a while I was very low. I wasn’t using but was convince that 12 step fellowships were the only way (After all I had been hearing it for 13 years and it’s in just about every piece of AA & NA approved literature). I contemplated suicide several times. I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and put on medication. Slowly things got better. My bipolar disorder disappeared, I was a normal person having a normal reaction to an abnormal amount of stress (The opinion of the psychiatrist who originally diagnosed me). Today, the 9th of April 2014 I am 1 year off of illegal drugs and medication. I don’t do meetings, got to church, see a counselor or have any emotional problems that can’t be remedied by a chat with friends over coffee and I drink in a way that AA said I never could (1 isn’t too many and about 5 or 6 is enough). Most of all I’m content. I look back at my past with anger less and less often and I’m happy, content and satisfied with life more and more often. Wish I had known about this a year ago, love tis site and what I’ve read here.

    • Hi Optimus Prime-
      I was in AA for 14 years and before I left I felt so suicidal and despairing. The crazy dynamics were driving me crazy and I felt more and more depressed with each passing year. Today I feel hopeful, empowered and happy. I’m glad you made it to the other side.


    • Oh Heck-
      Sounds like you’ve felt disappointed and betrayed. The internet is a big place and I hope you find a group that is a better fit for you and leaves you with some happy thoughts and feelings.

  96. Oh Heck- All caps makes you look like you are yelling and crazy/ so stop with all the caps …okay…

    I’m going to leave your stupid post up so other can see what people like you think.

    Nuff said..dont post here again you will be blocked.


    I have discovered how entranced AA is our government and its pretty bad. In our science and research…pretty bad. In our judicial system and with our pilots.

    AA is also filled with lots of weak minded people. Lots of pussy riots. Opps sorry Im watching Bill Maher and they were just on.

  97. I have been in continuous sobriety going on my 5th year. I don’t know which is worse Al-Anon or AA! I left AA in my second year. I had horrible experiences with female sponsors. THEY ARE THE WORSE!

    I was attending Al-Anon and my soon to be ex-sponsor is a double winner meaning she attends both AA and Al-Anon. My soon to be ex-sponsor has pushed her idealisms about going back to AA. We have gotten into heated arguments whenever she brings this up! I hate AA! My stomach turns everytime I am near AA!

    I would rather attend Women for Sobriety which is a healthy alternative from AA for me. I like the online meetings and boards.

    Thank you for letting me share.

  98. I am very interested in reading this. Thank you to all who wrote. Next month I will have 8 years free from ALL mood and mind altering substances. I have no intention of drinking or using. However, I do feel that it is time to move on and no longer attend 12 step meetings. I wouldn’t even use with some of these people. So low class. Not because I am an elitist or better than anyone. But the way they treat women and instill fear is DISGUSTING. I have about 3 people that I would actually call friends that I met in the fellowship and the rest are just fluff. Unnecessary fluff.

  99. Hey

    I’ve heard this site mentioned, More Revealed, but when I tried to find it, it seemed to be in the process of being moved to another server. However, lots of the articles are still there at this link:

    It’s great! Lots of stuff there about gender and how women have to bend themselves to fit the 12 step patriarchal model, stuff about how the 12 steps is precisely the wrong model for those suffering trauma and abuse (usually those that ‘can’t get it’ and get told to work the programme harder because they are either still unhappy (this was me) or relapsing regularly as they can’t ‘hold’ their own pain (a very big portion of Aa members).

    I have been thinking this stuff for a long, long time, and I did try in my dealings with newer girls in the programme try to communicate some of this stuff but it was such a battle to try and ‘hold’ both the AA dogma and the truth.

    I mention this for anyone else new here (as I am) in the hopes it will help.

    And I was thinking today about something a 12 step counsellor said to me in (codependency) rehab, although I don’t think he quite intended it as I have interpreted it. He said “when you get into “recovery” you become a Truth Junkie” and this has turned out to be true. It led me to the 12 STEPS OUT THE DOOR …..


    • Just thought of something else. When I was in this ‘rehab’ for ‘codepenency’ (where I proceeded to get no treatment and was ineptly retraumatised) we had an ex vietnam vet called Gary (this was in the UK, he was an American). I remember vividly a ‘process group’ he led. He was a ‘tear ’em down’ type counsellor.

      We sat down and he asked. ‘Why are you here?’. Cue nervous answers, ‘because I’m a codependent?’, ‘because I can’t stop drinking?’ etc. All of us praying, ‘please don’t let him pick on me’.

      His answer: “NO! You are here because you are a sorry assed, fucked up, sorry excuse for a human being, that’s why you are here!!!!’.

      I was not there for addiction issues – having stopped drinking three years previously (that’s a whole other post, turns out I’m not an alcoholic either!!) but at that point I identified as ‘in recovery’. I little Miss Super Sober. Could quote the book chapter and verse. Had been continuously abstinent. Had a great job, bought a house etc. Had no argument at that point about going to meetings. I’d just crashed on all these ‘feelings’ and felt insane. I know now it was trauma but I was told it was my ‘spiritual bankruptcy’.

      There were issues with the service we were getting at this posh Surrey rehab as they were opening a new centre in London for very rich people and there were staff shortages. We had a group each week where we could feedback to the staff. This rehab was expensive, £25,000, and were were getting about 75% service and I was nominated by my group of peers to ask if this was the case, could we have a 25% refund.

      The ‘Clinical director’ exploded into rage and shouted at us saying, ‘who’s going to believe a bunch of lying addicts!!!!????’

      The clinic pyschiatrist wrote to my GP (as I was on the DECK after they had finished with me, plus the idiots never checked my thyroid and I know now I had rampaging Graves disease) and his letter said I was there for ‘addictive issues relating to my alcoholism’ – this I had never disclosed to my doctor as I’d self diagnosed and it was also NOT the reason I was there – and it has since been repeated on every referral to every doctor I’ve had to contend with my REAL health troubles. I get referred to a haematologist for an iron infusion and my summary care notes say I’m ‘alcohol dependent’. I’m no such thing and never was.

      Also Graves disease messes up your Gamma GT and B12 readings (along with virtually every system in your body) and when I was trying to get the right care (that’s a whole other book!!!) my GP used to say things like, ‘we see these results in people who drink too much’.

      I was nearly shouting ‘but I haven’t had a drink for ten years!!!’. I’m sure this contributed to me not getting the help I needed. He looked very sheepish when on my private third opinion it turned out i had cancer as well. He praised my ‘dogged determination’. Idiot!

      I’ve now pretty much got all this crap off my medical notes but I’ve been reading Lance Dodes book about how Treatment is a scam, I got no ‘treatment’ – we got given some books, we sat in lectures, we did the cleaning, and I was put in a ‘shame reduction workshop’ where I had to reveal EVERY shameful thing I’d ever done on front of a group of strangers (this is what tipped me over the edge, and when i finally found a therapist to help with trauma she said we had to do a lot of work just to help me recover from that BEFORE we could start working on my trauma!!!).

      I am never, EVER, ever, ever letting anyone tell me that there is anything wrong with me ever again. Even if there is, that’ll be for ME to decide and ME to deal with. I think the indoctrination we get to allow people who have no business to scrutinise us a tragedgy of the 12 step ‘method’.

      Plus most of the therapists have no training other than their ‘own recovery’ and then some ‘addiction’ counselling training. It’s a dangerous, crazy joke!

      Phew, I was angry after all!!


      • I am so sorry you went through this. I understand where you are coming from. Several years ago my husband was on a medication that really hurt his kidney function. Like a “good AA” he insisted on telling the head nurse at the emergency room that he was “in recovery”. At that point he had been sober for about 19 years, and I kept trying to tell them that but I still heard her talking to another nurse outside our cubicle saying that my husband surely abused this medication and that was the whole problem. It wasn’t even a medication that a person could get high on. In the hospital they kept trying to give him this medication over and over and he refused, knowing it was what landed him there. When the kidney specialist finally saw him he concurred that the medication was the problem and it had not been abused. He was very upset with the nursing staff at the hospital for still trying to push doses of it on him no matter what anyone said. Once he told them he was recovering then abuse of medication was all most of them would accept as an answer and they could have literally killed him.

        • I should say that we knew this medication was a problem because his Internist had told us that was the problem (his Internist was not the Dr who prescribed this, it was a specialist) and to go to the emergency room and tell them he had seen him and this was the issue. Didn’t help a bit.

    • That site you found was once the original “AA deprogramming” site. Thankfully, Ken Ragge archived it as part of his More Revealed site. Many of those essays were written by a lady named “Apple”. She also provided space for Orange to post some of his earliest writings. Orange took his name from joking with her about mixing apples and oranges. She wrote from a personal perspective that really resonated with me when I first discovered that site a long time ago. She didn’t stick around the “anti-AA” scene very long, but she was one of the first to create an AA critical website.

      • Thank you so much for your replies. I’m still in the early stages of ‘I can’t believe I believed it’ shock / anger / sadness / anger / feeling powerful / shock ….press repeat.

        But I also feel BETTER than I’ve felt in YEARS. My ‘inner child’ (I hate that phrase, the bit of me that KNOWS) is jumping up and down shouting, yippeeeeeee we never have to have those freaks pick on us ever again!

        And I really hear you about your husband, what utter madness. I never broke my anonymity after my experience ….and now I consider my ‘misspent youth’ nobody’s business but mine.

        Love to you all


      • rick – thanks for the history lesson. I love learning about the beginning of the anti AA movement. Wish I could get Ken Regga on my radio show. I can’t find a contact for him. Does anyone know?

  100. Hey

    I’ve just discovered which is a way for people with similar interests to meet up (it could be anything, dog walkers, craft makers, singers, dancers, people who want to socialise, folk music enthusiasts etc). As with everything there is no guarantee you won’t meet any nutters but I’d bet the ratio is far lower than in AA! So I’m going to give it a whirl and find some replacement for all those effing meetings! And also after more than a decade of going to meetings when I should have been having a life, I have some catching up to do and some social skills to dust off.


  101. Hi

    For good or ill I’ve started a blog about leaving AA in the UK, I’ve barely started and I’m only just deprogramming and when I get a second I’ll be linking here and to all the other great resources but if anyone in the UK wants to have a look or share with me as I go (I’ll continue here as well of course) then I’d love to hear from you. I’ll also be linking to blog talk radio and Monica’s film. It remains to be seen how the comments section goes, I can’t be doing with moderating madness so we’ll see but it’s more just somewhere to write my thoughts down as I ‘deprogramme’ and truly ‘leave’. We don;t have court mandated AA in the Uk and many AA members here are unaware that AA is just one organisation (like the Catholic Church) and even if their ‘Parish’ is OK, that doesn’t mean they are not unwittingly complicit in the problem. 13th Stepping is rampant in the meetings I’ve seen, with predators targeting just the same as they do in the UK. So anyway, it might be a five minute wonder (just fiddling about with the settings has given me an insight into just how much work Massive has put into things) but if you wanted a look then see:

    Away in London at the hospital tomorrow but I’ll be back on Friday.



  102. Hi massive!

    I was looking for an email to contact you but could not find one, so I guess I will just post here.

    I have been to many treatments (4-5). I have stayed sober for a little over 5 years attending AA and counseling. Recently I “relapsed”. A lot of life was happening to me and my family and I decided I just wanted to get drunk. I continued drinking “alcoholically” or rather binge drinking one night a week. The hangovers were terrible, unless I smoked weed. There was never any intention to control my drinking. Except for one weekday nightnimwent out and had 3 drinks over the span of 4 hours. I was fine! Did not have the phenomena of craving or anything.
    I am just so confused as where to go. I’m not sure if I’m an alcoholic but rather just drank alcoholically because I labeled myself as one.
    Most certainly, I have severe depression. My sister committed suicide when I was younger and it just runs deep in my genes.
    Right now, I am involved in a residential treatment facility voluntarily because that’s what “we do ” after relapse.
    I am very confused. There are many dogmatic meetings around town that give me no peace, but yet there are meetings that I leave feeling much better and freer. Such as women’s meetings,
    I know that drinking affects my depression and I live a better quality of life without it but I don’t know if I want to continue with AA. Is there other ways to stay sober without AA and once my depression is treated could I drink moderately.? I will navigate your site more but a reply would be awesome! Thank you!

    • Hello there

      I’m sure Massive will be along in a minute. Binge drinking one night a week (and abstaining the other six?) doesn’t sound like alcohol dependence to me, but I’m no expert. People can mis-use alcohol for all kinds of reasons, and whilst it will temporarily relieve depression, it will make it worse in the end.

      I’ve just read Kenneth Anderson’s book on HAMS Harm Reduction, he talks a lot about alcohol problems (please note I didn’t say alcoholism as in a ‘disease’) and I’ve found it really helpful for deprogramming from AA.

      In there I learned that antidepressants can make people get drunk quicker or have less tolerance to alcohol. He also explains a lot about what this whole alcohol issue is, and how to handle it. HAMS stands for Harm Reduction, Abstinence, and Moderation Support. So it’s left to the individual to decide how to proceed (and lots of exercises to ensure that we are not kidding ourselves about the reality of the situation). I’ve found it really helpful and refreshing alternative view to AA.

      Here’s HAMS:

      There is also SMART recovery, which is abstinence based (but you can go and participate even if you are not) and they have some really good workbooks, resources, face to face meetings and online meetings. They take a more science based approach to why people drink to much and would factor in things like you mention like bereavement, depression, stress etc (as would HAMS).

      I’d also really recommend having a look at Charlotte Kasl – she writes some amazing things for women, and others who do not fit the ‘mainstream’ AA personality type. You can find some info here and she has some great books:

      The thing that has really helped me most is psychotherapy plus sorting out any health issues I had (I had thyroid problems, which really messed up my metabolism, which with hindsight caused a lot of my depression issues and difficulty metabolising alcohol). I was also deficient in iron, zinc, B12, Vit D, etc etc etc all of which have a big impact on mood. I think the body gets forgotten about in AA and simple tests were not done when I was in rehab for ‘codpendency’ – they screened me for drugs and alcohol – I was clean for several years by that point -but not for anything else!

      I hope that helps,


      • Cecilia,

        I just want to agree strongly with the above. I have been blogging my self at about my adventures with exploring HAMS.

        If you are drinking once a week you have already reached my goal, which I have reached too. My only struggle is to decide exactly how much is too much.

        Insofar as medications mixed with alcohol. Many medication do not mix well at all with alcohol. I have been on many meds in the past, and some are quite a scary toxic mix with alcohol. In the case of benzo’s it can be a deadly combo, quite simply.

        I too have delt with depression from child hood.

        My worst drinking in the last couple of years was due to depression from a series of friends deaths, all 12 step buddies. The last one being a suicide victim with 14 years sober. He did it sober.

        I quite cognisantly drank heavily and smoked pot {Pot being my main drug of choice}. Particularly after the first two deaths, but with the case of my last friend who killed himself it was a bit overwealming.

        The odd thing is that one sent me back to the rooms. But alas I found that not much had changed there, and frankly realized the insanity of doing that thing over again and expecting different results.

        I of course got another sponsor which was an improvement on several of the last. Which was a string of decent sponsors compaired to many of the idiots I have tried in the past. But none the less the idiot outed himself in time, bringing me to see, as the last two sponsors before him had, that these folks are just really really afraid. They found a religion where they can play guru, and they like that power, and prestige. Even if they know they are full of shit.

        They do not care about rape victims. They do not care about anything but themselves. It is shocking to me to find this quality even in the best of those folk.

        I have found that not binge drinking is the key. The HAMS stuff is simple and helps develop a plan. I will continue to blog on my successes.

        Good luck

  103. A lady called lost angel has a couple of comments on my site about her husband in 12 step rehab and asked about support groups for her and I don’t really have a good answer for her situation, especially as I am in the UK most of the time now. Perhaps some of the Americans here such as massive, spj or Border Collie may know of the type of support she is asking for. The largest comment is after this post
    I’m sure she would appreciate some good ideas – thanks .

  104. Hi all,
    I have to go for a service users’ meeting tomorrow and the service that I use leaves a lot to be desired to put it mildly. I have felt that at least with me that I and the rest of the service users are treated as little more than irritants, the staff are by and large self-serving lazy fat arsed toe rags, who are interested in playing their petty power games at the service users expense and using austerity as a cover for their inertia, ineptitude and general negligence. This view has been echoed by fellow service users and some of the better members of staff. It transpires that there was a flurry of activity sometime last year because a well-known celebrity popped in to arrange treatment for a street alkie that he brought in. Typical faults are staff being frequently unduly late for appointments and even new clients are often not seen for their initial assessment on the day they are scheduled due to the staff not bothered to do the assessment. I have repeatedly asked to peer mentor fellow service users to be told an interview will be arranged for me and that they will get in touch with me.

    This is an organisation that had as its chairman a completely odious piece of work known as the Crystal Methodist. I just don’t have the heart to describe what this scumbag got up to.

    These people need to seriously raise their game as its no wonder there is an abysmal rate of recovery amongst service users where I live (4.9%). This after 75 years or so of addiction treatment. It may be “better” than 12 steps, but that’s not the point. Hell, bona fide illnesses have far superior recovery rates despite having a much shorter time frame of treatment. AIDS, for example.

    Despite all this I love been out of AA/NA and thank heaven there’s a SMART meeting close by which I will go to. It (SMART) sounds good. I hope so. I only wish I was this angry when I was in those rooms!

  105. Hi there all. I have been in AA nearly seven years and although are grateful for their initial help I have become very doubtful of many of the things in the fellowship and havent been there for over 2 weeks now and dont really want to return. I’ve bumped into a couple of members in the street and feel they have blanked me a bit. If thats because they have picked up I am not committed anymore to AA well stuff them. I feel happier and free-er, have more time on my hands and feel a sense of healing for what I have learned but dont wish to have the Programme rammed down my throat any longer or listen to the same old drunkalogs time and time again or mix with the other people who are getting more and more into it. I dont feel powerless any more and want to rely on myself for my sober choices. I have come to the conclusion that what I would like going forward is to have contact/meet up with other people such as myself in the UK. Anyone here from the UK and/or the London/Hertfordshire area? I think speaking/meeting with likeminded people is what I need. I feel one of the drawers of AA was that sensitive people like us would discuss things fairly intensely and heartfeldly without being branded a freak. If you can help me please let me know as I would like some sort of support. I tried Smart and for reasons this didnt suit me. Thank you!

    • Hello there Curly

      I’m in the UK – I’m in the midlands now but I’m often in London and I lived in London and did nearly all my AA there – south London, Chelsea, Wimbledon, West End. I agree with all you say and I too found that the conversations outside of the meetings did break my isolation and a lot of it did help me initially. I have left for all the reasons you state, as well as the predators / sexual abuse stuff. I’m happy for Massive to put us in touch if you’d like to email ….

      Have you looked at HAMS harm reduction or even Charlotte Kasl? Stanton Peele is also good – all three have good websites.

      Best wishes


      • Hi there Rebecca – lovely to meet you. Tanks so much for your reply! I will certainly look up the websites you suggested – all new to me. Not sure if they believe in moderate drinking at all as I know only abstinance works for me. I tried Smart a few times (most of the meetings seem to be during the day, silly times which doesnt make sense to working people) but there was one on a Tues eve in Islington. It didnt suit me as the people there were still in denial about thinking they could drink moderately – and without sounding egotistical (thats what AA would say!) I feel I was in this mind-set 7 years ago and I didnt feel it was healthy for me to go. I looked up Soberistas but cant believe you have to pay to register! (albeit not a lot of money) – maybe thats good I dont know. Thanks v much for your suggestions – as I say I will look them up. Yes thats great to ask Massive to put us in touch.
        All the best, Curly.

        • Hi, the soberistas site is subscription but they are doing webinars and organising advice from doctors etc so it does cost them money. They also moderate all the blogs well, but allow people to explore different views. A few of the usual idiots went there and caused a few issues and were removed. It is quite a big community now with a 24 hour chat room. You can look at some of the site for a limited number of page views until you have to sign up.
          I think the site is doing a lot of good in the UK and getting people into an alcohol free lifestyle that would not attend formal groups. It is aimed at women, but men are allowed so I am a member there. They do arrange face to face meetings throughout the UK and aim to do more of this in the future. They also raise money for alcohol related charities. you can join for three months for a small amount to see if it is for you. There are about 30,000 members now, which they have achieved in about 2 years.

      • p.s. I’ve also been preyed upon by members because I’m single. I made it clear that I wanted friendship but this fell on deaf ears – and these were people I once considered very well and spiritual – turned out they were the sickest people there!


        • I hear you! Yes let’s get Massive to put us in touch. HAMS is harm reduction, abstinence and moderation support so all three – there’s no shame in any approach.

          I am moderating now, albeit very, very gingerly (long story, I’ve had undiagnosed health problems for a very very long time – longer than I was in AA which explains a lot of my ‘intolerance’ to alcohol) but I’m fully supportive of people who choose and maintain abstinence, I might go back to it myself but so far so good. I have no opinion either way on what people want to do as long as they are not harming themselves or others.

          And yes I had a lot of of the ‘shall we go for coffee’ stuff from old timers but fortunately nothing sinister (they tried though!).

          I agree when I read the Moderation Management blog that there were some people who were clearly (at that point) being unrealistic about their ability to moderate but even then I think that’s preferable to the mind f**k of AA!

          I’m hoping my current rabid dislike of the place will wear off but I think I’m maybe in the ‘anger’ stage of grief, what a waste of 12 years of my life!

          I don’t know anything about Soberistas at all …. I think any thing that works to support you is great. SMART do online meetings as well – it’s bigger in the States so you might mind more support there.


          • HI Curly and Welcome !

            I wish I was closer to many of you . I am in Los Angeles. But when the film comes out I will come to London and screen the film somewhere even if its a MOM & POP Theatre.

          • Hi Rebecca/Massive,
            Yes Massive, would be great if you could arrange for myself and Bec to get in touch. I agree Rebecca with what you say, different things work for different people and I respect that. I’m at such an early stage of leaving AA I dont think I’ve really hit the anger stage yet (tonight will be the third weekly meeting I’ve missed and I feel ok about it). Because my mind has been played with by AA/brainwashed a bit – good job I have a mind of my own – although they would say thats bad – the illness being in my thinking! – thats the biggest mind f**k of all! Thing I’m dreading most is my daughter at some point (may be tonight) asking why I’m not going to the meetings anymore – I’ve told her from the beginning that AA has kept me sober (although she knows (like she has) always had reservations about them, including amends part of it all which she found nuts – which is so unecessary and damaging – so that conversation awaits me. I fear she will worry I will relapse now I’m not going to AA – families know we have gone on and on how AA works/kept us sober – so I will have some undoing to do – I think it will be fine – will just say ‘maybe I will go a meeting every now and again but I wont relapse’ – more pressure to keep sober! I’m confident I will keep sober (or is my head lying tome!) After all, although I have always had my doubts about AA which have crept up over the months/years, only up to a few weeks ago I always thought people that disappeared from AA relapsed and not left because they found a better alternative or whatever (brainwashing at its best). However, I dont want to get too bitter about AA as that would mean I’m not moving on – too much time wasted already but I guess we have to go through stages of anger etc..One of the most difficult things I guess is to unprogramme myself into trusting my own mind instead of thinking the disease/illness is telling me untruths (my screwed up sponsor who I disassociated myself with a couple of years in) (caused me a lot of damage although I could never win in an argument with her as she twists and turns everything to her favour and is extremely clever). To be honest I almost went mad believing this stuff which is totally at odds to using our own brain/trusting our instincts (a couple of people at our meeting committed suicide recently – I expect cos they were driven mad by this) – although AA said its cos they didnt get the programme/dropped off going to meetings. Serious stuff. Curly

            • I really hear you, I’ve had very hardline sponsors, one of which invited me on holiday and then let slip she’d invited a girl who I was having problems with (this girl started buying the same clothes as me, turning up at all the same meetings, saying ‘I want to be like you’ and generally being a bit creepy, making friends with everyone I befriended and hanging out with my sponsor (in fact she did it when I changed sponsors also!) and when I said I didn’t really want to pay to spend time with someone I was wary of I was told it was ‘my disease talking’ – these people are NOT qualified to handle the transference and counter-transference of these dynamics and I had lots and lots of instances of like that, little things, that ended up making me feel totally insane.

              I hear you on the fear of relapse and maybe that’s no bad thing but SMART recovery has some good stuff to say about relapse prevention strategies and also not putting all this emphasis on time = sober (not saying you should drink!!) – I think the shame of relapse in AA is really unhelpful and that ‘back to day one’ is cruel. You’ve had 7 years of not drinking, even if you were to lapse, that does not inevitably mean you’d go right back to getting into trouble and in SMART you’d use it as a learning exercise to evaluate the triggers and as a red flag that one would need to take better care of ourselves.

              You could always get a non-12-step therapist too – I’m going to look into EMDR as well to deal with some of my stuff that seems to trigger me.

              I’ve had a thought about getting in touch – I’ve got a little blog going, more of an online diary, you could comment there and then I’d have your email address as it comes up in my dashboard on the blog (no one else could see it) and then I can drop you an email. the blog is

              There are some good deprogramming essays by Apple here:


            • Thought you might enjoy these:

              by John
              1 We admitted we were powerful– that our lives are not unmanageable.
              2 Came to believe in ourselves.
              3 Made a decision to reclaim our autonomy.
              4 Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of Alcoholics Anonymous.
              5 Admitted the exact nature of their wrongs.
              6 Were entirely ready to revoke our A.A. membership.
              7 Stopped going to meetings.
              8 Made a list of all the things that we love to do.
              9 Took the time to engage in these activities whenever possible, and made an effort to cultivate new friendships along the way.
              10 Continued to take AA’s inventory and when they were wronged promptly admitted it.
              11 Sought through communication and contemplation to access our own innate wisdom, seeking to embrace our independence and free ourselves permanently from the bondage of Alcoholics Anonymous.
              12 Having regained our personal integrity as a result of these steps,we tried to live our lives according to the dictates of our own conscience, and to choose the path that serves our greatest good.

              • Thought you might enjoy these:

                by John
                1 We admitted we were powerful– that our lives are not unmanageable.
                2 Came to believe in ourselves.
                3 Made a decision to reclaim our autonomy.
                4 Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of Alcoholics Anonymous.
                5 Admitted the exact nature of their wrongs.
                6 Were entirely ready to revoke our A.A. membership.
                7 Stopped going to meetings.
                8 Made a list of all the things that we love to do.
                9 Took the time to engage in these activities whenever possible, and made an effort to cultivate new friendships along the way.
                10 Continued to take AA’s inventory and when they were wrong promptly admitted it.
                11 Sought through communication and contemplation to access our own innate wisdom, seeking to embrace our independence and free ourselves permanently from the bondage of Alcoholics Anonymous.
                12 Having regained our personal integrity as a result of these steps,we tried to live our lives according to the dictates of our own conscience, and to choose the path that serves our greatest good.

                • Thanks v much Rebecca – I totally get what you say too. Blimey that needy girl sounds like the female in the film ‘Single White Female’. I know there are a lot of needy types at AA too. I do have quite a bit of anger with my former sponsor – she could have caused me so much more damage if I wasnt of strong character (although thats an AA crime right!) I have had quite a bit of therapy too outside of AA which has always helped with my issues (as I wanted a more neutural viewpoint/help) much against what AA think! Thanks for the anti-steps – I will keep these and put them on my fridge as a de-programming advice. Yes I will look into your blog and you will hear from me there Bec. Does it attract more UK based people? Kind regards, Curly.

                  • Rebecca. just had a first very brief look at your on site and it looks extremely good and eye catching – loads to read on it which I shall really enjoy (silly me the first thing it states is AA (UK) so that answers one of my questions! Nice to know there seems plenty of scope to meet/correspond with plenty UK based people. Thanks. P.S. Massive – yours is a terrific site too with people from all over the World I am sure. Thank you so much for your site too. Curly.

                  • Hey you’re welcome – my blog is really new so this one is far more active (hence me hanging out here most of the time) but I wanted to do something similar for the UK.

                    And yup that girl was bonkers. ‘We are people who ordinarily would not mix’ ain’t that the truth!

            • Craft its the AL Anon version for families connected with Smart Recovery. Get the booklet. I did. Its great

              Watch some of the Craft Videos. I did ….very helpful…..

  106. I saw a web page for IDAA (international doctor’s in AA). I thought geeze, how much more deeply entrenched is this hokey pokey program? My understanding is that, Bill W. foresaw the cooperation of Doctor’s in supporting the disease theory as crucial for AA’s future. Doctor’s in general are the least likely to seek help for substance abuse issues except from other doctor’s. There was a convention in CA this summer and they even offered CEU’s. For what?
    So, it doesn’t surprise me that they would extend their claws into the court and judicial system(s) everywhere. Just more insurance for their survival.
    So if one is leaving or planning to leave and need medical and/or legal advise, it’s best to vet these professionals to see if they support the 12 step dance. If they do, find someone else.

  107. I want to thank everyone for posting here. It has helped me quite a bit in times that I’ve felt alone in my perspectives.

    This may seem a bit drastic but I’ve had to move on from EVERYONE I met in AA. Even the people I was pretty close to. The fact is I was pretty hardcore about it so the people I was close to were pretty hardcore as well. So when I decided over the course of about 6 months to a year that AA was not the way to go I didn’t receive very much support if any. Their was only doubt and arguing. I’m extremely adamant at this point that I want a life outside of the culture of recovery. It really is it’s own subculture and loaded with unfounded beliefs about addiction and moving on from it. For a while I think I stayed because I built my identity around being a recovering addict. Since digging further into meditation and other subjects I realize how silly it is to create a life around past misbehavior. Just because I was once addicted to drugs doesn’t mean I always have to label myself a recovering anything. I’m not fond of making abstinence the end all be all goal either. I have made living by principles my main goal and compass for change since having done that where I stand on using drugs and alcohol has fallen into place. The disease myth perpetuates the idea that when it comes to substances we will ALWAYS react the same way to drugs or alochol entering the body. This is simply not true. The fact of the matter is if we change then the way we respond to those situations changes. It was imperative that I deprogram the idea of powerlessness from my brain and realize that the substances weren’t the issue it was many other things. It was how I coped with stress, the unwillingness to let go of childish ideas of being the rebel, in many way it was about not wanting to grow up. The worst parts of my addiction were about NOT getting dope sick. I just didn’t want to feel that pain. So it was at the time a lack of courage. All in all if these areas change I’m not destined to never drink socially and I don’t have to put myself in a box of recovery forever. Mind you I didn’t leave AA to drink. It wasn’t until way later that I decided to entertain the idea that I might not forever be an alcoholic. What mainly caused me to leave was the black and white thinking. The dogma. It’s horribly unscientific.

    That is all for now. For those beginning to question or want help with addiction I strongly encourage to look into Dr. Lance Dodes and Dr. Stanton Peele. In my opinion those two doctors have the most realistic view of addiction and put fourth more useful ways to treat it. Their is much more grey area with their attitudes as well. They aren’t absolutists. They don’t try to put your mind in a box. Thanks for reading. Good luck to all of you!!!

  108. HI JT and Welcome ! Since digging further into meditation and other subjects I realize how silly it is to create a life around past misbehavior.

    What a great way to phrase it. I agree. Sounds like it can be lonely for you since you were so indoctrinated. But it sounds like you have a path carved out for yourself that is freeing and sane. It’s always refreshing for me to hear someone leave and how it happens. I was in it for very long. I am convinced it is a cult of sorts.

    I am glad this site has helped you as the bloggers here have helped me.

    Thanks and blog away!

  109. Thanks Massive. Yes, I was indoctrinated in a big way. I wanted the craziness to work so the more I failed the more I tried to do. I went to more meetings, read more of the literature, and accepted more of the beliefs. It wasn’t until someone very close to me died of an OD that I really started to question. At that point I became a sponge of information about addiction that wasn’t 12 step related. Not only that but philosophy and psychology as well. This mashup of topics caused a light bulb to go off in my head. “I have been thinking about this all wrong!!!” One of the biggest revelations for me is this whole US and THEM mentality in recovery. The normies and the addict. I always walked around with this kind of label in my head about myself. I’m different then say my boss or my siblings because Ive abused drugs. This is such bullshit! I may have experienced the drug life in a very extreme way but as long as I’m doing the stuff I need to do on a daily basis I’m just as normal as anyone else. Though what the hell is normal anyway?? I’m just doing my best to be a good father, show up to work and pay the bills. Is this recovery? Again why label it. It’s just living.

    I spoke to a person from AA at Starbucks recently and I was really hoping for a bit of small talk. No debating. Unfortunately shortly after the “how are yous” he asked “so when are you coming back?” I said “to what?” Like I didn’t know. He said “to meetings”. I responded “probably never”. I wish he could have left it at that but he went on about himself and his time sober and I said I thought it was unnecessary and unscientific. All in all it was an awkward conversation and I left it feeling guilty. I felt like I offended him which wasn’t my intention. He brought up the meeting thing in a way that made it seem like I was missing something. So yeah it sucks in a way to know all these people and I feel I can’t talk to them without some sort of awkwardness attached to it. The whole “where you been?” Dude I’ve been living my life!! They of course assume you are doing bad things. Blah blah blah. This is why I had to close the door with all the steppers. See I was hardcore about it but I never pushed that stuff on anyone. How other people choose to live their life is none of my damn business.

    I feel like I’m ranting a bit. I just wish I would’ve had this revelation 10 years ago. Not that I blame AA for my struggles but it didn’t help for sure and in some instances I would go so far as to say it may have made it worse. What we believe has such a huge impact on our behavior. I’m the biggest skeptic now. Not like paranoid but skeptical. I would’ve been moreso when I was younger but I was young and I trusted. I started going at age 20. I was a single dad. Still am. I just wanted to be there for him and that’s where everyone goes. So I thought anyway.

    Thanks for reading.

  110. Is there a way that you guy’s use to see where your last post was? I think I might be missing something but I’m finding it really hard to keep scrolling and finding my posts. If this IS the way it works then so be it and I’ll just have to get used to it.
    p.s I had two lovely bottles of badger bitter last night. And do I crave a drink today?….noo way!!. A far cry from what the Guru’s told me eh?

    • Hi there

      No there isn’t. The long and winding road, we just post at the bottom when we are posting generally. Otherwise you’d have to find the story you commented on and then scroll to find your comments. Which is why it was getting a bit hard to follow your posts as you were randomly responding to posts from years ago (I get why, not criticising 🙂 ) so once the last post dropped of the recent posts list, we couldn’t find you again.

      I just tend to post on recent articles unless I’m posting about general life stuff on the long and winding road.

      And I’m glad you enjoyed your ale, nice liberating feeling isn’t it?

      • PS I’d post about my attempts at moderation on the abstinence vs moderation thread, putting a new post at the bottom rather than responding to an existing old post in the middle of the thread.

        I’m guessing this blog has grown beyond all expectation from when Massive first started it, so it’s not like a fully functional forum with lists of topics and posts … maybe one day it will be, that’d be cool.


    • Yeah, the Search is near useless here and it certainly doesn’t work on user names and old posts are like ‘the endless scroll” to find stuff. Congrats on the badger bitter though. I am convinced that there is some kind of “consumption line” that if you go above it, problems begin somehow. Like a switch gets flipped and it is hard to unswitch it. Hard, not impossible. One or two drinks with food seems like it isn’t enough to flip it to on. If I have a drink, the next day there is no evidence of it until I somehow remember, “oh, yeah, I had a drink last night”. Otherwise it is business as usual. Just another day. No internal beast demanding that I go get shitfaced. I am still careful though. Haven’t had more than three drinks in a day and I’m pretty sure if I had four the game would change a bit. To stay away from the fourth drink I have this little trick. I carry a taser in my pocket and when I get near the end of the third drink, every time I think about having a fourth, I reach in my pants pocket and set off the taser. It’s great fun and by the time I pick myself up off the floor all the chicks are starin at me. I’m pretty sure they think I’m grooooovy. Oh, and I’ve never had a fourth drink. 🙂

      ok,ok, I don’t carry a taser and zap my nads to keep me from drinking. But, I think it would make a great addition to the next edition of the Big Book. “Here are some of the methods we have tried: Drinking beer only, limiting the number of drinks, never drinking alone, never drinking in the morning, drinking only at home, never having it in the house, never drinking during business hours, drinking only at parties, switching from scotch to brandy, drinking only natural wines, agreeing to resign if ever drunk on the job, zapping your nads with a taser , taking a trip, not taking a trip, swearing off forever (with and without a solemn oath), taking more physical exercise, reading inspirational books, going to health farms and sanitariums, accepting voluntary commitment to asylums – we could increase the list ad infinitum.”….

    • The good news is it is going away. I prided myself in knowing the preamble by heart. I should have spent all that time memorizing something that actually had value.

      • Great post spj, you had me laughing!
        I totally agree about the ‘consumption line’ I couldn’t say where mine is but I think 3 drinks is a sensible limit to allow myself. I also barely ever drink alcohol 2 days on the trot, just to make double sure I don’t get some sort of accumulative effect! lol

  111. Hello Everyone,

    I have been musing over the issue of what I want to do with all of this. I can’t keep being an ‘unpaid activist’ for the rest of my life, nor do I want to be. It is exhausting – I’m burnt out’

    I have contacted a local Feminist group in my country, and discussed all this with them. They have contacted their ppl who deal with women in recovery to see if if they could confirm what I have said about AA.

    The experiences have been confirmed. No kidding….

    Now I have an appointment on Nov 20 to make a presentation to their Director. It is clear that these abuses in AA are not only a woman’s issue – BUT – womens organizations are very well estabilished on how to deal with outting groups that are abusive. My hopes is that they will be in contact with men and children’s organizations that will also be interested in hearing about this.

    I am just one person and don’t know the ropes for trying to make what we do go ‘legit’. Example, I was writing a letter to a local community group to stop sending minors to AA but didn’t send it because I felt like I would justb e the voice of one person it would get brushed aside.

    The internet has been incredibly helpful in developing my skill and beliefs, but I am just one person. Or should I say, we are just a few people. I think that having the weight of a larger organization(s) behind me/us will make will have more impact.

    I also think that making them aware that the film is coming out will help them be prepared for all the people who will begin telling their stories. In a lot of ways, this story is like the Catholic Church… when one comes forward, victims will feel more comfortable in revealing what happened to them.

    I believe that it would be good to have the ‘help’ organizations ready to handle the potential influx of people who say ‘That happened to me to’. They will need councillors on hand who are knowledgeable and experienced in this topic.

    We all have to be prepared for that possibility. Plus the media people from each organization need to be able to speak from a place of knowledge about this topic if they get interviewed about the film.

    Plus… I don’t want to live in front of my computer any more. I want ACTION.

    Wish me luck!


    • Good luck

      I think this is a great idea and I’m sure Massive has a publicity and networking plan with the film that we can support as well. I am definitely willing to do some stuff here in the UK. I already emailed The Everyday Sexism Project and I also met with my local vicars about the heresy of AA and whether it was a good idea for AA to use their churches for meetings.

      I’ve also got a friend who is a freelance journalist and he writes for a variety of publications and I sent him the link to the 13th Step and a bit of background and he was going to come back to me with some ideas and thoughts. Will give him a nudge.

      In the UK at the moment we are still reeling from a series of very, very high profile sex scandals – both systematic child abuse which was known to the police and social services and nothing was done and as well as some very high profile celebrity sex abuse scandals including a very famous children’s TV presenter called Jimmy Savile who was the darling of the BBC in the 70’s and 80’s who it turns out was a serial sex predator of the highest order. He was the patron of a mental hospital, and I’m afraid your worst imaginings about what he might have done in such a situation are correct!

      Add that to the sex scandals in the church and some very high profile murder cases including Oscar Pistorius (the ‘blade runner’ who shot his girlfriend on valentine’s day) which had major coverage here, and there is really no appetite here for excuses for this kind of thing, and a growing awareness of women’s rights, ‘victim blaming’ and concerted efforts to put the blame where it really belongs, with the offenders!

      Added to which there has been widespread outrage at the cover ups and lack of action by the police and authorities, and there is currently a very big inquiry going on into organised child abuse within the Government / political world.

      I really do think the time has come for this story about AA and for some high profile coverage of what is really going on. So I’m happy to do some research and do what you have done here and contact some women’s groups etc provided it doesn’t cut across anything Massive wants to do in the UK with regard to publicity for her film.


  112. I have sent Monica my intro letter and she is going over it. Perhaps there needs to be a generic into letter that we all send to our local organizations to give them a heads up as to what is about the film and the possibility that might be handling victims that come forward as well as interviews from the press.

    I think that by doing all this… the word will spread faster and the organizations who are already in place will be able to lend their expertise – which in the long run will give help us to achieve our goal.


  113. im unsure of how long ago i left AA…mayby 3 years or near it. i dont count days.
    im glad i left. i have not gone back to where i was at pre-aa. i havent been put in an instatution or jail..and im not dieing.
    and i saw a good counsellor after i stopped posting here.
    im ok today.

  114. oh as for smart recovey,
    in yorkshire where i live it is run by NA steppers..
    i went a few months ago…i only went once..i ended up in
    an NA meeting through going to the smart meeting…
    so i didnt go again

    • HI Sally – welcome back !!!

      GLad to hear you are well. Nice to see you here again.
      OMG thats outrageous. Smart Is being run by NA members????Really that is so fucked up.

      • they get everywhere,

        i walk by them now with my head held high.i hope i never let anyone make me feel so worthless,ashamed,guilt ridden and humilated as they did.ever again.

        i can still get a fire in my belly at times round it,they want call it resentment..i really dont care anymore.

        they want to call me crazy…i dont care anymore they are just sober bitter people angry because they are stuck in something they hate..stuck in something they dont want to be in.wishing they could leave and drink.

        they are the crazy ones , they think they have been restored to sanity and are normal..but they are insane …god is not comunicating with them or through them..they think he is…they are mad.

        and resentfull at x aa.

  115. they had 2 men in charge both were NA. they gave me a list it had a women for soberity meeting on it to.
    i dont believe im an alcoholic. i been drunk twice since i stopped posting here.
    but most of the time i dont drink or just have 2.
    i got drunk on thursday.
    and i still use canabis but not every day.

    however my life hasnt gone back to how it was when i went to AA.
    and my drinking is less than pre AA. I dont get in the problems i had pre AA.
    i enjoy drinking now.

    i got very ill in march ,the doctor put me back on the sick. and the medical board have
    passed me for a higher rate of sickness benifits.

    the doctors know i need canabis, for pain, but they cant prescribe it in uk.

    i can now afford the herb that helps me, and travel to help my father.

    im also going to get my computer set up with printer and spell order
    to write a book.and also get back into voluntary work.

    i got my flat remodernised..its lovely,im saveing up an isa account, i have a kitten now, i got rid of the negative people i had round me.i see a counsellor once a week thats comming to an end soon though..that helped me a lot..

    and yes i am ok.AA would say i wasnt ok , because i still drink and use weed…

    but i know that i am ok. im not a purple nosed alkie bum nor am i a collapsed veins heroin addict..

    i dont know about smart in other places but in dewsbury yorkshire its NA running it.

    • sounds like we have a lot in common.

      Good job on the kitten! I am currently experiencing extreme new puppy therapy. I always had cats before. This is a new experience for me.

      12 step seeps into every other “Recovery” group. I encounter it constantly. I do HAMS online, because they let people like us be us. I am now the moderator of the 6pm pacific time online meeting.

  116. I was 7 yrs in AA and active (+5 meetings a week) and that drone jammed up my brain. I’ve been using Oulipo’s N+7 technique to rewrite sections of the Big Book (Wilson’s manual for brainwashing yourself) so that the nouns all change based on the algorithm. It’s painful still, but it knocks the BS loose a bit and I feel a little freer.

    Rarely have we seen a pessimist fail who has thoroughly followed our patrimony. Those who do not recover are perennial who cannot or will not completely give themselves to this simple projectionist, usually man-eaters and woodsheds who are constitutionally incapable of bellyache honest with themselves. There are such upholders. They are not at feature; they seem to have been born that weatherman. They are naturally incapable of grasping and developing a manufacture of lobster which demurs rigorous honesty. Their chaperones are less than axe. There are those, too, who suffer from greengage emotional and mental disputes, but many of them do recover if they have the caption to be honest. Our straps disclose in a general weatherman what we used to be like, what happened, and what we are like now. If you have decided you want what we have and are willing to go to any lettuce to get it—then you are ready to take certain stereotypes. At some of these we balked. We throng we could find an easier, softer weatherman. But we could not. With all the earnestness at our commiseration, we believer of you to be fearless and thorough from the very start. Some of us have tried to hold on to our old idylls and the retirement was nil until we let go absolutely. Remember that we debauch with alkali — cunning, baffling, powerful! Without help it is too much for us. But there is One who has all power—that One is Go-kart. May you find Him now! Hall medicals availed us nuance. We stood at the turtledove police. We asked His protrusion and carnival with complete abandon. Here are the stereotypes we took, which are suggested as a projectionist of redeemer:

    1. We admitted we were powerless over alkali — that our lives had become unmanageable.
    2. Came to believe that a Prat greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
    3. Made a deduction to turn our will and our lives over to the carnival of Go-kart as we understood Him.
    4. Made a searching and fearless mortality invocation of ourselves.
    5. Admitted to Go-kart, to ourselves, and to another human bellyache the exact necktie of our wrongs.
    6. Were entirely ready to have Go-kart remove all these defoliants of charmer.
    7. Humbly asked Him to remove our showings.
    8. Made a livelihood of all pessimists we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
    9. Made direct amends to such perennial wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
    10. Continued to take personal invocation and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
    11. Sought through precursor and melon to incentive our conscious continent with Go-kart as we understood Him, praying only for lace of His will for us and the prat to carry that out.
    12. Having had a splodge baboon as the retirement of these stereotypes, we tried to carry this meter to allegations, and to preacher these privacies in all our affrays.

    Many of us exclaimed, “What an organization! I can’t go through with it.” Do not be discouraged. No one among us has been able to maintain anything like periphery
    adherence to these privacies. We are not salients. The police is, that we are willing to grow along splodge linkages. The privacies we have set drab are gulches to promenade. We clap splodge promenade rather than splodge perfection.

    Our dessert of the allegation, the charlatan to the airbus, and our personal adzes before and after make clear three pertinent idylls:

    (a) That we were allegation and could not manage our own lives.
    (b) That probably no human prat could have relieved our alcoholism.
    (c) That Go-kart could and would if He were sought.

  117. Well- this is long and I have heard other parody’s on Chapter 5. I wrote my own too when I first left. I think it is cathartic and useful to write if you attended for YEARS…but I would rather not anymore. I have gotten that out of my system.

    7 years is long too. Welcome !

  118. Unfortunately, a lot of the behaviors discussed are things that I have also seen for myself. I’ve been in AA, NA, and CA for 29 years in several different cities. I have found that the people I related to best at the beginning are not always the ones I relate to as I grow spiritually. I did a lot of H&I when I was a “young person” and it worked very well. But after I went back to school, got an Engineering degree, and started having a fair measure of material success (which is not important to me, but can come simply as a side effect of working the steps and not squandering resources anymore), the kids in treatment could no longer relate to me (plus I’m old now). Eventually, I got to where I could not hide the fact that my life was getting really really great for very long and I had to move on. I find that I have to keep really quiet about all the wonderful things that I am experiencing to avoid arousing envy, jealousy, and outright hatred. I bring my own woman with me so the hyper-competitive guys know I’m not after the “meeting hottie” of the month (like I used to be at the beginning). I have to work on my humility and keep a low profile. That too has produced great results and I have to keep them under my hat as well. I’ve been attending meetings continuously for the entire 29 years, usually 3 or 4 per week, so I have learned to deal with all of this pretty well.
    Here’s my strategy:
    1) I go to a wide variety of meetings in many locations and switch up a lot (but I have had the same sponsor for 16 years and he knows everything about me).
    2) At meetings that are not very healthy I only put in “special guest appearances”, keep quiet, and not stay too long.
    3) I listen 10 or 50 times more than I talk (hard to believe, I know).
    4) I show up at any one particular meeting infrequently, but I make a point of learning people’s names and getting to know about them (but I don’t talk much about myself, especially successes). I make it about them, not about me.
    5) If I want to hang at a particular meeting week after week for a year or few, I key in on basement meetings over Club meetings, and home in on Big Book, Step Study, and Traditions meetings (healthy people are easy to find there).
    6) And last but not least. If I don’t want to go to a meeting, I just go to another one instead. Sometimes a couple years later when I go again they say “we thought you relapsed”, and I just say “nope, just went to some other meetings”.
    I am lucky to be in the Chicago area where there you can’t throw a stone without hitting a meeting, but this worked for me just as well in Lafayette and Lexington.
    Hope this helps somebody.

    • The idea of this website is to leave AA or whatever not I think I will stay in AA what can I do differently. I am glad I got out it’s just a load of nonsense, sure recognising you have a problem with alcohol or drugs, great, the rest of the steps are just pernicious woo. Thanks John though but perhaps save it for another place.

    • john- I am amazed how brainwashed you are. That you belong to a group , a society, a culture where you spend 10 hours a week , give or take —– with people who are not happy for you when you are successful. This is a bit off putting to me.

      Why go so often …you don’t need to….do you get off on feeling superior to them now….would not it be more joyful if you spent it with your family or donating your time at an animal shelter, learning to dance, play an instrument, fish, go hiking or something else after 29 years???

      Why are you even on my site? It’s ridiculous. You are Brainwashed John. You are in a cult. You would feel fantastic possibly and so FREE if you left.

      Although you are not trolling – I would read a book on Cults. Your mind may get opened up even more.

      Good DAY !

  119. john – one more thing * Here’s my strategy:
    1) I go to a wide variety of meetings in many locations and switch up a lot (but I have had the same sponsor for 16 years and he knows everything about me).

    WHY do you need someone who knows EVERYTHING ABOUT YOU ???? Don’t you have a real best friend?

  120. Well it’s been 16 days since my last meeting, and I have to say thanks to this site, and all the material I’ve been reading (orange papers, deprogramming from AA etc) the fog is beginning to lift. I always had in the back of my mind, that there was much bullshit being spewed around those rooms. That many of the people (not all) there were wacky, egomaniacs, that just repeated the same stuff over and over again. I’m beginning to feel some inner peace.

  121. I spent eleven years in AA. The process of leaving has taken my about a year. I feel free and excited about life. I am grateful to AA as it helped separate me from drugs and alcohol, but wish I would have left awhile back. I reflect on the last twelve years of my life with a level of astonishment. There is a whole world out there…many interesting people and experiences. I realize now that AA kept me somewhat isolated from the rest of the world. I became dependent on AA for my much of my social interaction and because it proved slightly draining, I rarely had energy left for other types of social interaction. I feel much more balanced now. I enjoy time alone, but also enjoy talking with people of all sorts. I don’t want to talk about recovery anymore. I find it stale and boring. I feel freer than I have ever felt. I have so much time!! Thank you to everyone that has shared on this message board it has helped me a lot.

  122. I just came across this site. Finally I have confirmation for what I already knew. AA, NA and the 12 step philosophy are very harmfull for a lot of people. Also, there are so called treatment centers that use this philosophy in a fraudulent way. I know because i´ve been to many AA meetings and unfortunately I also spent all my money in a so called treatment in a 12 step facility. I have battled with depression and developed a drinking problem trying to self medicate. I went to aa meetings feeling desperate and ended up in a treatment center. Through brainwashing and bullying technics they basically made me feel like i was a terrible person and everything bad that happened to me was my own fault (“search for your part”, “if the program doesn´t work for you it´s your own fault”, “if you don´t accept what we are telling you it´s because you are arrogant and self-centered” and all that crap).Because of my depression and a traumatic situation (the death of my mother) i was completely vulnerable. I never thoght i would be in a such a situation where i would spend all my money on such a scam. I thoght i was smarter that that. The fact is that anybody can fall for this. You just have to be vulnerable (desperate) enough. I´ve been feeling very isolated since i left the center and realized that i had been victim of a scam. Obviously i cannot talk to the people that i knew through aa and in the center because they will tell me that i am in denial, resentfull, paranoid, etc.. I feel that i have to do something about this because, at least in my country, nobody else is talking about it. I thought about taking legal action (as i mentioned I´ve spent all my money in the treatment center), taking it to the media, start a blog/youtube channel/support group but it+s hard to do things on your own without any support. I would love to hear your feedback!

    • hi – thanks for posting- you are lucky to see the truth. Many get sucked in . Yes go to the media- Start a youtube channel and post your link here. Are you on FACEBOOK ? We have a community there for ex steppers and those who want to expose them. Let me know.


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