Answer to "AA Cult Deconstruction"

On June 27, 2011, Kris Best published a three-part article in the Lafayette Examiner that pretended to refute my criticism of Alcoholics Anonymous:

Here are her statements and my replies. Her statements are in black, and my replies are in blue.


  • Mr. Miller directed me to the site and I have attempted to read as much of the site as possible within a one weeks time frame. However, it may take me a year to totally get thru it all.

    Okay, so you haven't actually read the papers that you are criticizing. You haven't bothered to really hear the arguments or see the evidence, so you are speaking from an uninformed biased viewpoint, jumping to conclusions before you even learn the facts. That is exactly the behavior that Bill Wilson complained about in the Big Book (when people rejected his cult religion without trying it):

    "There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which is proof against all arguments and which cannot fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance — that principle is contempt prior to investigation."


    The above famous misquote was put in the Big Book by William G. Wilson, in Appendix II, "Spiritual Experience", in the back of the second and third editions.

  • Nevertheless, I think I've got the gist of the site and will attempt to deconstruct his argument that AA is worthless and dangerous.

    Okay, have at it. Even though you haven't read the papers that you disagree with.

  • Agent Orange seems to be somewhat "undercover". However, occasionally you may find that he identifies himself as Terrence Hodgins from Oregon. Actually, that is his name by memory as his name could not be found again after going back to his site numerous times. No picture was found of himself on the site. An address was found but when clicking on his address, nothing happened. No email address was found but eventually Hard to believe that people are sending these letters by snail mail only.

    You really didn't read much of my web site, did you? I have printed my birth name many times for many years. You found it, didn't you? And the email address is all over the place. ALL of the letters that I print came by email. I have never printed a single snail-mail letter. I never even received a snail-mail letter other than a few people sending me things like books and pamphlets and donations.

    Once again, the birth name is Terrance Hodgins, and the email address is [email protected]

  • It's pretty clear he's been posting complaints about AA for a long time and that he is angry at AA. You can tell that he did not go thru the AA program, because that is one of the major character defects that alcoholics have to work on are their "anger" issues. Carrying around resentments and anger will surely shorten your life as anyone's life.

    You are really very indoctrinated and confused if you think that it is wrong to be angry at criminals who hurt sick people by selling them phony cult religion and quack medicine.

    Would you approve and be not at all angry if you discovered that a fake doctor was selling your mother a quack cancer cure?

  • Agent Orange doesn't explain WHY he's mad at AA.

    Yes, I do. See

    Again, it might help if you read the web site before complaining that I didn't say something.

  • He states at one point that he remains alcohol-free to SPITE AA. Spite is as good a reason as any to remain sober but again one wonders what his true motives are other than to reflect poorly on AA. If that motivates him, that's fine. Whatever floats your boat.

    Yes, spiting A.A. is one way to stay sober. But a better way, which I really use, is to care about my health. I decided that I wasn't going to die that way.

  • However, it's clear he's mad at AA. Did AA kick him out of their group? Did AA not support him? What did AA do to garner this much resentment? Curious minds want to know.

    Well the curious minds should read the A.A. Horror Stories.

  • The site accepts "donations". What would be MOST interesting is to see who is giving the donations, how much and what amount. Also, does this person have a "day job"? If he doesn't have a "day job" then let's congratulate him on finding his "niche" on the internet and making money by directing heat towards AA.

    It's very simple: most years, the donations are under $200, and come in a variety of sizes, from a variety of non-rich people. The largest donation I ever got was $200, many years ago. This year started off good and then fizzled. I have only received one under-$20 donation in months. You see, the web site does not make a profit. It is an expense.

    Hosting the web site on costs $100 per year. And then there are always a zillion little and large expenses — things breaking or burning out, blank CDs and DVDs to buy for backups, and cables and accessories. In just the last year, I bought $400 worth of disk drives just to back things up. And three used monitors at Goodwill for around $15 each. And about a year ago, I got a broken laptop computer for $35 at Goodwill, and bought a new screen for it ($90), and fixed it up, and now it's my main computer and it's the one that I carry to the library to get on the Internet. I don't pay the local cable company for Internet access because it's too expensive. They want you to buy $100 per month of TV along with the Internet, and I choose to not do that.

    I am an elderly disabled Veteran who is living off of a small V.A. pension. That's how I pay the rent.

    I don't make a living off of the web site. Like I said, it costs money to do the web site. I could make some money off of advertising, but I don't take any advertising because most requested placements of ads are for rehabs that sell the 12-Step cult religion as a quack cure for addictions. And, unlike some other people whom I could mention, I won't lie to sick people like that. So I don't make any money off of advertising.

  • Hiding behind a screen name - Agent Orange - is plain suspicious also.

    The reason that I maintained anonymity for some years is because I was living above the "Portland Alternative Addiction Center", which was owned by the same corporation that owned the building that I was living in. (See the introduction.) They were well-known as vindictive and I didn't want to end up homeless.

    But I moved to better housing and dropped the anonymity several years ago. Even you got my name correct without reading much of the web site: Terrance Hodgins. That isn't a secret, and I'm not "hiding".

  • The #1 reason why Facebook has become so popular is because people are tired of lies and trolls on the internet. People are plain tired of "trolls with big balls". So, we can throw out this argument as well that AA's secrets prevent anyone from following the program. Agent Orange is "secret" too.

    What is this nonsense? The Facebook group "Orange Papers" is very popular too.

    And I never said that "AA's secrets prevent anyone from following the program." What I said is that the A.A. program doesn't really work at all, and that is one of A.A.'s big secrets.


  • Agent Orange is pretty certain that AA is one money making machine making $12,000,000 in 2007. Well, what else is new? The healthcare industry makes millions and millions and zillions of dollars every year from unhealthy sick people.

    That is a good example of the propaganda trick of Minimization and Denial. That is as dumb as saying, "Doesn't everybody take advantage of sick people? They are vulnerable and easy to rob. It's no big deal. What else is new?"

  • Get healthy if you want to stiff AA and the Healthcare machine. What's the difference between the healthcare industry or AA making money off of sick people? If you want to stay out of the clutches of AA or the healthcare industry, do EVERYTHING you can to stay away from them. That means, clean, sober, drug free, alcohol free, disease free and smoke free living.

    Now that statement is true. I agree. The best thing that anybody can do is quit their unhealthy bad habits and addictions and get healthy. And happily, you can do it without A.A. or 12-Step rehab.

  • Actually, there is something else you can do. Pray to God or your Higher Power. Whatever works, works.

    That's just the A.A. cult religion "cure" or "non-cure, but a daily reprieve", again. How many people get cured of cancer by praying? Diabetes? Heart attacks? Flesh-eating bacteria? Does praying and begging a "higher power" really work on any disease? Show me the evidence. I want to see the cure rate. You are hinting that it works. So let's see your evidence.

    Especially consider the fact that A.A. claims that you can use anything as your "higher power", or your "god". They say that you can pray to a bedpan or a doorknob, or a parakeet, or a cat, or a mountain, or a motorcycle. Or a Golden Calf. Apparently, stone idols like Kon-Tiki are also okay. And the A.A. G.O.D. can even be "a Group Of Drunks". Can you tell me how praying to a stone idol or a group of drunks will work? What magical powers do they have?

  • AA is certainly not perfect, however, it definitely serves a need for alcoholics wanting to get sober and stay sober.

    Sometimes it is easier to remain in a program if you have other people going thru the program with you.

    The first sentence is false, and the second sentence is half true. A.A. does not serve a need; it poisons sick people with cult religion dogma and self-criticism and lectures about powerlessness.

    People who want to recover from alcohol addiction don't have to join a cult, and they don't have to "work a program". You keep trying to push the idea of a "recovery program" without ever showing that any "program" actually works.

    Come on, what's the cure rate of your "program"? If we send 1000 randomly-selected alcoholics to A.A., how many of them will be clean and sober a year later?

    You want a program that really works? Here is my simple one-step program that never fails, if you just always follow my simple program:

    "Just don't take that first drink, not ever, no matter what."

    It works every time.

    There are plenty of non-cultish groups around that can give some sane advice and companionship and moral support. Here they are:

  • One dollar at every meeting (but you don't have to if you don't have that dollar) and $15.00 or so for a Big Book. Who can beat that for a support group? Who can beat that for cheap?

    Funny how you faulted me for accepting donations, and declared "What would be MOST interesting is to see who is giving the donations, how much and what amount."

    But when A.A. collects donations you have nothing but praise for them. Not biased or anything, huh?

    Like Mr. Rogers asked, "Can you say hypocrisy? I knew you could say that."

  • I would imagine that the AMA (American Medical Association) would support Agent Orange as he basically suggests before you do anything, to be under the care of a Doctor. Does one need a Doctor to tell the patient that he is suffering from Alcoholism?

    Actually, the AMA is very mixed up on the subject. Look here for the story.

    Does one need a doctor? Well yes, if you want actual medical care. Your average A.A. sponsor is not qualified to diagnose and treat cirrhosis of the liver or peripheral nerve damage or brain damage or any other alcohol-induced condition. Nor is the sponsor qualified or licensed to prescribe medications.

    The A.A. superstition that a sponsor is as good as a doctor has killed a lot of people.

  • Most alcoholics know they have a drinking problem but if they would rather DENY that, the law will catch up with them eventually. By the time they enter AA, they are probably in trouble with the law, they've lost their marraige, job and self-respect and that is what ultimately leads them to AA, not because their Doctor suggested he/she should go.

    That is the standard A.A. stereotype of "the alcoholic". That is simply wrong. Every part of those sentences is wrong. Plenty of alcoholics are not in denial — I for one. Not all alcoholics loose everything and end up homeless. Some do, some don't, I did.

    What led me to A.A. was a so-called "treatment program" where a cocaine-snorting Internet child pornographer and child-raping "counselor" sent me to A.A. meetings: "Go to at least 3 meetings a week and get a sponsor." That was the cost of not sleeping in the rain. That's who foisted A.A. on me: a child-raper who got sent to prison for it.

  • Besides, without insurance, where can a person go if he's isn't indigent? Is it too controversial to suggest that AA is for the middle class person without insurance?

    Easy: SMART, SOS, Lifering, WFS, HAMS, MM, RR. Here are all of the addresses:

  • Agent Orange claims AA only saves 5% of alcoholics according to the few trial studies that were done; let's just totally discount AA. However, he doesn't offer any alternative treatments. Well, he offers the SMART program. In fact, what is clear is that a controlled treatment program of alcoholics in the hospital under lock and key under the care of a physician is what will yield a 5% cure rate according to Agent Orange. His complaint that AA has a 5% cure rate as well is based upon the 5% chips that are collected at the end of 1 year and 30 years. Very poor drop out rate.

    No, actually, you are misunderstanding the numbers. A.A. has less than a 5% retention rate, not a "cure rate". The A.A. cure rate, above the normal rate of spontaneous remission, is zero. Only those people who are ready, eager, and willing to quit really do so. (We just covered that.) A.A. does not deserve any credit for them.

    Even that 5% retention rate is in doubt. One mathematician found that A.A. would be growing rapidly, not shrinking like it really is, if it had a 5% retention rate. Look here:

    And yes, I have offered many alternative treatments. See the file How did you get to where you are?

  • What studies have shown are that the Alcoholic has to WANT to take that first step to give up drinking by admitting to himself and others that he wants to.

    Now the first part of that sentence is true. And that explains away the entire A.A. "success rate". A few people who really want to quit drinking do so, and the rest don't. Then A.A. steals the credit for the ones who quit drinking and disavows any responsibility for the majority who didn't quit.

    To recover from alcohol abuse, it is not necessary for the alcoholic to go to a meeting and "admit" that he or she is an alcoholic. That is just more A.A. cult dogma. The A.A. routine is, you go to a meeting and declare, "Hi, my name is Kristin, and I'm an alcoholic," and that is somehow supposed to be a big breakthrough. But then they pull a switcheroo on you and change the definition of the word "alcoholic". Sometimes an alcoholic is someone who drinks too much alcohol. Then an alcoholic is someone who is "powerless over alcohol." Then an alcoholic is someone who has difficulties quitting drinking. At other times, an alcoholic is a digusting sinner who is full of character defects and moral shortcomings and resentments, and she needs her ego reduced...

  • He also has to "do his part" by following the 12 step program, by calling upon a "God of his own understanding" and getting a sponsor to help him with the 12 steps.

    Now we have it! There it is: A.A. is THE ONLY WAY. You must follow the 12-Step program.
    That is pure cult doctrine. That is one of the dead give-aways of a cult.

    You must do the 12 Steps of Bill Wilson, and get a sponsor to supervise you and make you follow the "program", or else you will die and God will be very displeased because you didn't follow Bill's instructions. That is cult religion, not the treatment of a disease.

    See these items in the Cult Test:

  • Again, no one is "forced".

    Tell that to the people who get sentenced to A.A. meetings.

  • It is very troubling that an effective research study cannot be obtained from AA. Why hasn't SOMEONE done a research study on diagnosed Alcoholics, according to the criteria that one is an Alcoholic, and following them for a 5 and 10 year study?

    Now that is a good point. A.A. has had 75 years to produce some valid medical tests of A.A. to show how well it works, and they have not done so. They have produced nothing. Search the official A.A. web site for "success rate" and you will get:

    The closest thing to official numbers that we have is the report from Dr. George E. Vaillant, who later became a Trustee of Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc., who found that A.A. killed more people than it saved. During 8 years of testing A.A., Dr. Vaillant found that A.A. did not increase sobriety in alcoholics at all, not even a little bit, but it did raise the death rate in alcoholics. Dr. Vaillant tracked his first 100 A.A.-treated patients for 8 years, and at the end of the 8 years, the score was: 5 continuously sober, 29 dead, and 66 still drinking. And Dr. Vaillant said that A.A. had not improved the sobriety rate of the alcoholics at all. A group of untreated alcoholics got the same sobriety rate. So all of that meeting attendance and "working the Steps" was for naught.

  • Recently, I filled out an application asking me one zillion questions as to "Why AA works" and received $25 for my troubles. This questionaire has gone to Palo Alto, California. Apparently, some research into AA is being done there.

    Interesting. Did you tell the truth when you answered the questions? And more to the point, did all of the other people?

    Of course you can't say. And neither can the so-called researchers who conducted the survey. That makes such mail-in questionaires pretty worthless as sources of valid information.

    Did the questionaire allow you to say that A.A. does not work? Did they collect any evidence for that? Or was the questionaire rigged to only ask why A.A. works? That sounds like a typical faked "study" of A.A.: They decide ahead of time what results they want, and then they slant the questions towards that result. They even titled the questionaire "Why AA works". That is not fair and balanced reporting.

    The Palo Alto, California Veteran's Administration Medical Center is where the Moos and Humphries team likes to hang out and conduct faked medical tests of A.A. The questionaire may have been from them. Look here for more on that: The International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction totally discredited the faked Humphries-Moos study that supposedly showed that A.A. works better than Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.

  • Agent Orange's charge that it is a cult because of indoctrination is plain ridiculous. It cannot be a cult because no one is "kept against their will", held under lock and key nor threatened.

    Baloney. You don't even know what a cult is, do you? (See The Cult Test for an education.) Very, very few cults ever hold their people prisoner.

    • The Heaven's Gate cult didn't. And they all committed suicide.
    • Nor did "David Koresh's" Branch Davidians. And they all committed suicide.
    • Nor did Luc Jouret's Solar Temple. And they all committed suicide.
    • And not The Moonies, or the Hari Krishnas.
    • In fact, the only ones who come to mind for holding people prisoner are Scientology and Rev. Jim Jones' People's Temple. Scientology runs a prison at "Gold Camp" near Hemet Springs, California, for disobedient Scientologists, and Jim Jones was infamous for shooting those people who tried to leave.

    Most cults leave their members physically free to walk out. But they are not mentally free. The members are enslaved mentally. They are "brainwashed".

  • AA is a "simple program". To make it anything else but simple would be a failure. Because the program has a wide variety of people from simple to complex, AA must be careful to choose a program that EVERYONE can follow.

    That is ridiculous slogan-slinging. "A simple program." Just a nice simple fascist brainwashing program where you have to constantly confess all of your sins and moral shortcomings and then surrender to the cult and obey your sponsor.
    "It's simple. Just throw your logical, thinking mind into the trash can and surrender to the cult. Any fool can do it."

  • Because the alcoholic is dealing with "issues in his brain and possibly even brain damage", doesn't it behoove AA to take that into consideration and choose a simple program? Again, the simplicity of the program speaks to the beauty and success of the program rather than anything else.

    Again, you are pushing the A.A. stereotype of "the alcoholic". Alcoholics are not all the same. And A.A.'s description of "the alcoholic" is just plain wrong.

    When an alcoholic has brain damage, or any other mental problems, he needs to see a real doctor, not get a "simple" one-size-fits-all cure from a cult religion.

  • The "cult" argument can be thrown out as well as No One is given the Koolaid.

    Wrong. You have proven nothing about A.A. not being a cult. So far, you have done a better job of showing that A.A. really is a cult. Again, read The Cult Test

  • Furthermore, it's difficult to keep the people in the program because they are free to go anytime they want to, hence the major reason why FEW if any research studies have been kept on AA. Sure, if the courts sentence you to AA for however long, then you have to go.

    The fact that most people walk out of A.A. in disgust very quickly does not prevent studies of A.A. The research has been done, remember?

    1. Dr. Brandsma found that A.A increased binge drinking.
    2. Dr. Ditman found that A.A increased the rate of rearrests.
    3. Dr. Walsh found that A.A increased the cost of hospitalization of alcoholics.
    4. Drs. Orford and Edwards found that having a doctor talk to the patient for just one hour was just as effective as a whole year of A.A.-based treatment.
    5. Dr. Vaillant, who went on to become an A.A. trustee, found that A.A. did not increase sobriety in alcoholics at all, not even a little bit, but it did raise the death rate in alcoholics.

  • Furthermore, it's difficult to keep the people in Again, if you don't want to be sentenced to AA by the courts, don't drink and drive, don't get a DUI, don't get into an accident while drinking.

    Now that is true. But that doesn't say anything for A.A.


People in Lafayette La and cities all over the USA want to know, " Is AA a Cult?" The last 4 arguments are below.

  • Agent Orange also states that AA threatens you with statements like, "Choose the 12 step program or die or go to jail." Again, this argument can easily be disregarded as Agent Orange even admitted on his site that his Doctor telling him to "give up alcohol or DIE" was what ultimately led HIMSELF to give up drinking on his own accord (with the "threat of his Doctor telling him, no less). What is the difference between his Doctor telling him to "give up alcohol or die" or AA telling him to follow the 12 step program, join AA, get a sponsor or end up dead or in jail? What is the difference? Apparently, only a threat of DEATH works for the alcoholic at times. There is no difference between threats, so we can throw this argument out as well.

    No difference? Are you blind? The doctor gave me a medical opinion and left my health decisions up to me. The judge who sentences someone to A.A. is forcing a heretical unChristian cult religion on a victim. No difference?

    I'm glad to see that you agree that I was an alcoholic who quit drinking without A.A. Many other A.A. true believers launched themselves into the "Not A Real Alcoholic" tap-dance when they heard that I quit drinking without A.A.

  • The argument that the program is a "religious" program and therefore should be dismissed is unbelievable. The site even suggests that someone should sue the program due to "religious indoctrination." Unbelieveable! Most people DO end up praying to their God of their understanding (Thank God!); however, AA set it up so that the word "God" is never used. So, that means if you want to make your motorcycle your "Higher Power" you can. Go for it. We can throw out this argument as well.

    Wrong. I never said that A.A. should be dismissed because it is a religious program. I said that it is illegal and unConstitutional to force people to attend the meetings of a religion. I never criticized the obviously Christian recovery programs like Calix or St. Vincent de Paul or Saddleback. The thing about them is that they tell the truth and say that they are a religious program. They do not try to deceive people with the slogan, "It's spiritual, not religious."

    And I said that it is fraud to sell people faith-healing and pretend that it is a scientific cure for a disease.

    And yes, people should sue their treatment centers for fraud when they are promised treatment for a "disease" and then given cult religion hocus-pocus nonsense.

  • Another argument is that whenever Agent Orange displays a letter or comment FOR AA, the AA commenter appears uneducated or he appears like a maniac or something. There is cursing and a general feeling that the AA person has loss his marbles. Come on, it's ridiculous that EVERY comment from an AA member appears as if he has a middle school education. This looks suspicious. Agent Orange implies that AA members are a crazy, uneducated lot by showing letters that are crazy, dumb or convoluting and make no sense. What gives?

    Well that is just the way that the cookie crumbles. I try hard to print ALL letters that come in, and I don't change what they say. I have also noticed how many A.A. supporters seem to be functionally illiterate. I guess it just comes with the territory: Low-IQ people tend to believe in irrational magical solutions to their problems, precisely because they are low-IQ and don't understand how anything works, and they don't know what won't work.
    "So, an angel will fly down and zap us with her magic wand and cure us all? Well, it could happen, couldn't it? Keep an open mind. You never know."

    And it is not a case of every pro-A.A. letter that comes in is written by an illiterate moron. Heck, I even have the the Newcomers Rescue League where good A.A. members attend meetings to save the newcomers from the bad sponsors and the dogmatic fools. Check them out. Apparently, they have higher IQs.

  • The last argument I will entertain is the argument that because Bill W. was a Narcissist, let's discount his "program". This is the most troubling argument of all. To actually "take up" for a Narcissist. Bill W. is dead. The lies and inconsistencies of what AA is based on is very troubling indeed. The claim that Bill W. was a womanizer and repeatedly cheated on his wife before and after he beat his alcoholism is troubling. The fact that he used his closest friends and squeezed them out of AA and the procedes from AA is shameful but commonplace for Narcissists. The claim that Bill W. prayed upon newbie women trying to cure their alcoholism is upsetting especially since this behavior is carried on today by other leaders in AA (See Midtown).

    Yes, that is troubling. And it throws doubt on all of his raving about God. And on his claims that he had spiritual experiences. And on what he wrote in the Big Book.

  • Whenever there is a woman and a man in a group type setting, they will engage in sex and/or relationships. Nothing to be done about it. If Bill W. would have blatantly been "out there" in this day and age with the internet, etc; he would have been "outted" long ago and his prestige as a recovered alcoholic and head of AA would most probably NEVER have happened. He would have been "booted" out of the office he set up.

    That is some more classic minimization and denial: "Everybody does it. Nothing to be done about it."
    Wrong. Not all healers screw their patients.

    It really is an open question whether Bill Wilson would have been outed today. Lots of people knew what he was doing, and they covered for him. Francis Hartigan, Lois Wilson's private secretary, went and interviewed Tom Powers, who was the co-author of Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions. Hartigan wrote about the philandering:

          Tom said that it took him five years after he quit drinking to change his behavior in this area, and for five years after that, he tried to get Bill to change, too. "Besides what he was doing to the women he was chasing and to Lois, his behavior was a huge source of controversy in AA," Tom said. "He could be very blatant about it, and there were times when it seemed like the reaction to a particularly flagrant episode would end up destroying everything he had worked for. But then people would scurry around and smooth things over, or cover it all up."
    Bill W., A Biography of Alcoholics Anonymous Co-Founder Bill Wilson, Francis Hartigan, 2000, pages 171-172.

    It is likely that the true believers would cover for Bill Wilson today just like they did back then. You see, the problem is that true believers really want to believe in their cult, and they want to believe in the Guru, and they don't want to hear the truth.

    "Wanting to believe is perhaps the most powerful dynamic initiating and sustaining cult-like behavior."
    The Wrong Way Home: Uncovering the Patterns of Cult Behavior in American Society, Arthur J. Deikman, M.D., page 137.

    Now, don't you think that we should throw away the A.A. "Big Book" because it is just the lies of a narcissistic philanderer? It is not a "program" for sobriety, and it isn't spiritual. Heck, Bill Wilson even used the Big Book to tell us how to cheat on our wives:

          ... If we are sure our wife does not know, should we tell her? Not always, we think...
          Our design for living is not a one-way street. It is as good for the wife as for the husband. If we can forget, so can she. It is better, however, that one does not needlessly name a person upon whom she can vent jealousy.
    A.A. Big Book, William G. Wilson, pages 80-82.

    Isn't that neat? Cheat on your wife, but don't tell wifey because she will become jealous and vindictive towards the other woman. Then, when she finds out, tell wifey to forget it.
    "Yes, Lois. Forget about whats-her-name. I already have. I have a new mistress now."

    Are you really going to read that guy's book for spiritual advice?

  • However, Bill W. set up AA so that NO ONE is "head of AA". This was ingenious as only Bill W. can be revered even after death.

    Okay, Narcissists can be smart and crafty as well as greedy, corrupt. self-aggrandizing, controlling, manipulative and whatever other bad characteristics you can think of. The facts are that "alcoholics" have many of the same" character" defects as Bill W. Perhaps this is why they do not mind having him as their revered leader. Bill W. did the right thing by pressing that AA is not run by any one person, that everyone is the same and everyone has an equal say into what goes on in AA. Granted, "old timers" can be controlling, but there are many AA meetings to choose from if one is not to your liking or you can even start an AA meeting of your own. In summary, the whole of AA is still more grand than the parts of AA that are dysfunctional. This is the only part that I found to be truly dysfunctional. No more reverance for Bill W. You can pass on him too but accept his simple program, or beat alcoholism on your own or join SMART. It's just another alternative. Koom ba ya! Pass the Kool-aid please.

    Of course there are leaders, in spite of the slogan about there being no leaders. The first leaders you will notice are the old-timers with the most years of Time, who dominate the meetings with their well-practiced raps. Then the pyramid of leaders goes from the group secretary all the way up through the various area leaders, up to the President and General Manager of A.A. in the Interchurch Center in New York City.

    Nobody is in charge? The previous President and General Manager was Greg Muth, who took home $250,000 per year while instructing his minions to commit perjury and sue A.A. members in Mexico and Germany for publishing their own literature. And Muth gave his lawyer friend Thomas Jasper $469,000 of A.A. funds as a going-away present. (So now you know where your dollar in the basket went.)

    Now the current chair of the General Service Board, elected in 2009, is the Very Reverend Ward Ewing, Class A Trustee and just retired President, General Theological Seminary, NYC (Episcopal). So, finally a man of the cloth as the head.

    And the General Manager of AA's General Service Office is Phyllis Halliday.

    However, you are half right, but only half right, about no one being revered besides Bill Wilson and Doctor Bob. Every cult has to have its infallible holy man who cannot be questioned. And thou shalt not criticize the Guru. And thou shalt not compete with the Guru and try to usurp the Guru's throne. Now, even the A.A. co-founder Clarence Snyder has been purged from the Big Book because he dared to criticize Bill Wilson's financial dishonesty.

    However, new junior gurus have risen up, and some of them, especially Clancy, are revered by their followers as if they were new prophets:

    You made the statement that if you don't like one A.A. meeting, that you can go to another. You imply that somehow the meetings are all different. No, they aren't. They are standardized cookie-cutter copies of each other. They all start by reading out loud Bill Wilson's lies from pages 58 through 60 of the Big Book, and then they read Bill Wilson's "Traditions". And they all push the same heretical unChristian cult religion. Then the featured speaker does a stand-up comedy routine, bragging about how sinful he was in the bad old days. Then they give out sobriety medallions to reward people for sober time. Then they pass the basket for donations. Then they have "sharing", where people must introduce themselves like, "Hi, my name is Joe and I'm an alcoholic," and then Joe confesses how bad he was, or is. After a bunch of that, they hold hands and say the Lord's prayer. Then they leave, and some people find the whole routine so depressing that they go straight to the bar for a drink.

    Finally, A.A. isn't "grand". A.A. is a fake that fails to sober up alcoholics. What A.A. and 12-Step treatment really do is increase the death rate in alcoholics, and increase the binge drinking rate, and increase the divorce rate, and increase the suicide rate, and push people into depression by inducing feelings of powerlessness, dependency, guilt, and covert fear.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

There is a letter about these articles here:

Also see this letter about another of Kris Best's articles, "A.A. Meeting Secrets":

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Last updated 22 February 2014.
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