Alcoholics Anonymous members routinely parrot the claim that A.A. has saved millions of lives, and that millions of alcoholics are sober because of A.A. That is totally false. A.A. does not even have two million members in the entire world, and the majority of them are not sober.

In addition, most of the newcomers soon drop out. About 95% are gone within a year. Only one in a hundred gets sober in A.A. for ten years. Only one in a thousand makes it in A.A. for twenty years.

See these analyses of the A.A. success rate, which show that A.A. has basically a zero-percent cure rate:

  1. Those sobriety coins given out — How many people go from picking up the One Day coin to getting the 5- or 10- or 20-years coins?

  2. What was the sobriety rate in the early days of A.A.? Alcoholics Anonymous never saved millions of alcoholics — that untrue slogan has been Bill Wilson's fraudulent claim from the very beginning.

  3. Analysis of a spreadsheet from the Foxhall Group in Omaha, Nebraska, which shows that they have a terrible retention rate. Each year, they take in 400 to 420 new people, and only 10 become long-term sober members.

  4. A.A. does not have a retention rate, it has a churn rate. The routine is, another 10,000 people are sentenced to A.A. by courts, or pushed into A.A. by a so-called "treatment center", or coerced or pressured in some other manner, and then another 10,000 people drop out of A.A. See the following documents for a mathematical analysis of that. Especially see Section 4 of Part 2 for the retention rate and the effectiveness of A.A.

    1. The_Mathematics_of_Alcoholics_Anonymous_-_Part_1.pdf — Analysis of the mathematics of Alcoholics Anonymous, using A.A.'s own published documents, part 1.

    2. The_Mathematics_of_Alcoholics_Anonymous_-_Part_2.pdf — Analysis of the mathematics of Alcoholics Anonymous, using A.A.'s own published documents, part 2.

  5. This one is the most damning evidence of all, because it came from a doctor who loves Alcoholics Anonymous, and is one of its biggest promoters. He was also a member of the Board of Trustees of Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc., until he rotated off of the board. Earlier, he also became a Professor of Psychology at Harvard University. Many years earlier, Doctor George E. Vaillant clearly demonstrated that A.A. treatment kills patients. For the better part of 20 years, Dr. Vaillant treated alcoholics with Alcoholics Anonymous, and he tried hard to prove that A.A. works. His A.A.-based treatment program produced a zero-percent success rate above normal spontaneous remission, and worse, it had the highest death rate of any kind of alcoholism treatment program that he studied. Dr. Vaillant candidly called the A.A. death rate "appalling". At the end of an 8-year tracking period, the score with his first 100 A.A.-treated patients was: 5 sober, 29 dead, and 66 still drinking.

    But 5% per year is the normal rate of spontaneous remission in alcoholics — what Dr. Vaillant called "the natural history of alcoholism". That's how many alcoholics recover on their own, alone, without any "treatment" or "support group". A.A. cannot claim the credit for those recoveries, no matter whether they attend some A.A. meetings or not, and Dr. Vaillant clearly said that. So 5 minus 5 equals zero, the real A.A. recovery rate.

Nevertheless, the A.A. promoters never stop repeating the claim that millions of people are sober in A.A., or because of A.A.:

  1. It works so well... At last count AA has over 3 million people in it.

  2. AA has saved millions of lives so what do you or anyone else care if its bull crap?

  3. AA saved my life, & the lives of millions of others.

  4. A.A. ... has helped millions...

  5. In spite of their shortcomings and defects of character, millions of people are living the life of the 12 Steps and the 4 Absolutes.

  6. A.A. states that there's is not the only way, just one way that is presently working for millions of people.

  7. Your site is out to destroy (which will not happen) a program that has helped millions of people.

  8. The fact is that he helped millions do what they couldn't do by themselves.

  9. His work ... has saved countless thousands, if not millions, from the fatal disease of alcoholism.

  10. I do not know why you must be so judgmental and harsh towards an organization that has truly helped millions of people across the globe over the past nearly 71 years.

  11. AA has helped millions to get and stay sober... also attain serenity, sanity, etc...

  12. AA has saved millions of lives all over the world.

  13. He points out that millions of addicts around the world have recovered without the help of medication.

  14. ...a program that has saved millions of lives.

  15. I can see that you haven't worked the steps or you wouldn't be wasting your time cutting down a program that has saved millions of lives.

  16. AA works, that's for sure.

  17. AA has helped many people become and stay sober.

  18. The priciples of Alcoholics Anonymous have worked more times for more hopeless alcoholics then any modern theraputic, rehabilitation experience or any medicinal approach.

  19. ...millions of people have been able to stay sober

  20. You sure do a hatchet job on a program that has saved millions of people from a hideous death and insanity at this point in time.

  21. ...his program has saved lives...

  22. AA has helped an incredibly lot of people.

  23. AA has helped millions.

  24. AA has helped millions...

  25. AA has helped millions.

  26. How about the millions upon millions whose lives were saved as a result of learning about the program in treatment, then actually *working* the program...

  27. It is amazing that you would take so much of your time and effort to disprove a method that has worked for so many.

  28. This is the same for millions more around the world.

  29. it helped millions of people in over 150 countrys recover

  30. [refute] the mindless mantra, AA-has-saved-millions

  31. You still spend much of your time trying to pick apart a program that works well for millions.

  32. Why knock something which has helped so many?

  33. This down-on-his-luck Wall Street hustler started something that has proven to work in the lives of millions

  34. AA is free, has helped millions, and remains true to its ideals.

  35. Do you have nothing better to do than look down at others and be negative about millions of people who have found a way out?

  36. AA is a beautiful program that saves lives.

  37. I know the same is true for millions of others who had previously been slaves to alcohol, as I know I was.

  38. Please keep your lack of getting a program off the internet when in fact it helps millions of people world wide.

  39. Do you realise how many thousands (if not millions) of lives have been saved by AA?

  40. I believe what you attempting ( and attempting is giving you way to much credit ) is to put down thru your own prejudices ( for whatever reason ...your issues ) some thing that has saved millions of lives...

  41. However no other movement has spread worldwide and helped millions of alcoholics and addicts to completely recover and turn their lives around and the lives of family and friends around them...

  42. Best of luck to you and I hope some day you may find the peace that millions of us have found in Alcoholics Anonymous.

  43. have wasted so much of your life trying to disprove that AA actually has worked for millions of people.

  44. Millions of people worldwide attest to the success of AA.

  45. why would you go to so much work trying to prove something wrong, that is working for many people?

  46. This program has worked for millions of people and continues to work miracles today.

  47. The fact that you would take the time to ridicule something that has helped millions of people speaks volumes about your motives.

  48. In one way or another, this program has helped millions to recover from a disease that would have otherwise killed them.

  49. I will hope you do well, and that you let AA be what it is; imperfect, yet so very helpful to many millions of people, I being one.

  50. I and millions of others have used them and are free from a disease that had us hopelessly in its grip for many years.

  51. ...I guess I would just ask you if you feel it negates the millions who have been helped by Alcoholics Anonomous and the dozens of 12 step programs that have been born from the steps of Alcoholics Anonomous...

  52. Yet, it works for me and millions others.

  53. Oh I almost forgot you will not accept this because you know more the hundreds of thousands, and much more likely, millions,of people.

  54. I have often wondered what the purpose of your rants are since all AA purports to do is offer a way of life that has saved the lives of millions of people who otherwise would had died drunk.

  55. AA may not work for you but works for millions of others.

  56. I'm happy due to this and so are millions of other people.

  57. WOW so all of the millions of people that have changed their live to thanks to AA, are living a Lie?

  58. Why does it matter when so many millions have recovered?

  59. What amazes me is that a program such as AA which has not only helped millions to stop drinking (not to mention the myriad spin-offs that deal with drugs, food, sex, gambling, etc.) but to live more useful lives was spawned by such a flawed human being.

  60. We just know that AA has worked for millions of people. We are not a cult, but we are a powerful movement.

  61. Both Buchman and Wilson have provided millions of people a way to feel better about themselves and their purpose, whether real or imagined.

  62. I would not waste my time bashing an organization that doesn't work for me (even though millions have found AA extremely useful).

  63. 'I don't want millions of people to get help from addiction because I disagree with how the message was conceived'.?

  64. you must be right ,and millions of people are wrong.

  65. "...if it has saved millions, can it be so bad?"

  66. Alcoholics Anonymous, the grass-roots organization whose meetings have helped me (and millions of others) quit drinking.

  67. Wilson, author of a bestseller book called Alcoholics Anonymous which has sold over 30,000,000 copies is a recognized hero to millions of recovering alcoholics and their families.

  68. AA has saved millions of lives.

  69. How do you explain the millions of people who have gotten sober through AA?

  70. AA does work, there are millions of people and their families who testify to it every day in meetings all over the world.

  71. They assume AA has helped "millions" because they themselves see success stories all around them.

  72. "For starters, by now many millions of people have gotten and stayed sober through AA."

  73. "Why do you attack an organization that has saved hundreds of thousands, if not millions of lives?"

  74. Over two million worldwide ain't too shabby.

  75. There are over 50 well organized national 12 programs and AA itself is in over 150 countries

  76. It works for me (and I'm the greatest of doubting Thomas's) and for millions of other people.

  77. organization that has in fact helped many thousands, possibly millions of otherwise hopelessly addicted people including myself...

  78. "It saves millions of lives. Doesn't that matter to you?"

  79. Arguably, AA has saved millions of lives over the years

  80. I have met so many people where AA has helped them recover from drinking themselves to death.

  81. It seems you have dedicated your life to tearing down a program of recovery that has helped millions.

  82. He never got a sponsor, or worked the steps, or did anything AA supposedly requires for sobriety. And yet he parrots back to me the same old "How dare you say something about a program that's saved millions of lives, relationships and families??" and refuses to look at any outside evidence.

  83. this way of life has helped millions in the AA fellowship and every other step program inspired by AA.

  84. Mr. Jew, you are trying to denigrate and weaken Alcoholics Anonymous. It is that simple. It is a very successful, popular, and powerful movement with millions of followers, and that is a threat to the Zionist fantasy that Jews will rule the world.

  85. AA has helped milllions of people remaqin sober and continues to do so.

  86. Misinformed, delusional critics like you will not stop AA from saving lives and helping millions stay sober.

  87. The fact is whether we like him or not the facts are the AA program of recovery has helped millions of people.

  88. Why would you take the time to bash AA? AA has saved thousands of lives.

  89. It is truly mindblowing that you devote SO much time, energy and internet space to railing against a program that is helping millions of people.

  90. ...but I guess I wonder why you devote SO much time and energy to blasting a program that seems to be working and has helped millions of people??

  91. There are millions of people who's lives have been saved by that program.

  92. Isn't it odd how his program has helped millions get sober and stay sober long after he was gone?

  93. I am still wondering why you choose to berate an entire spiritual program that has worked for millions of people.

  94. AA saves millions despite your manipulation of facts to fit your theory.

  95. Also, AA did help millions get sober.


  97. The AA program helps millions of people around the world- MILLIONS

  98. at least one solution is still there for the millions who want it.

  99. Millions of peoples lives have changed for the better through AA

  100. AA has helped millions of people.

  101. The program, and its sister programs for other addictions, has helped millions improve their lives...

  102. 2.1 million people worldwide have recovered from alcoholism using the twelve step program of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA Membership Survey, 2011).

The A.A. claim that it has "saved millions" is just another Big Lie, some completely untrue grandiose bragging that they have parrotted for so many years that they don't know when it started. Well, it started with Bill Wilson, here.

A.A. does not even have 2 million members in the entire world, so they cannot possibly have saved millions. The truth is that most of the A.A. membership is just churn — another 100,000 people are forced into A.A. meetings for a little while, and then another 100,000 drop out. And then another 100,000 go in, and then another 100,000 drop out. There are only a few hundred thousand committed A.A. cult members in the whole world. Look here for much more about the A.A. churn rate.

We have discussed the "millions" claims of A.A. many times before.

  1. "It saves millions of lives. Doesn't that matter to you?"

  2. you must be right ,and millions of people are wrong.

  3. 'I don't want millions of people to get help from addiction because I disagree with how the message was conceived'.?

  4. I would not waste my time bashing an organization that doesn't work for me (even though millions have found AA extremely useful).

  5. Both Buchman and Wilson have provided millions of people a way to feel better about themselves and their purpose, whether real or imagined.

  6. "Over two million worldwide ain't too shabby."

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Last updated 21 March 2015.
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