Appeals Court Rules Alcoholics Anonymous Is Sanctioned Religion

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Alcoholics Anonymous, the renowned 12-step program that directs problem drinkers to seek help from a higher power, says it's not a religion and is open to nonbelievers. But it has enough religious overtones that a parolee can't be ordered to attend its meetings as a condition of staying out of prison, a federal appeals court ruled Friday.

In fact, said the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco, the constitutional dividing line between church and state in such cases is so clear that a parole officer can be sued for damages for ordering a parolee to go through rehabilitation at Alcoholics Anonymous or an affiliated program for drug addicts.

We've also noted before, statistics show AA - Alcoholics Anonymous' program is no more effective than not attending ANY program.

Rulings from across the nation since 1996 have established that "requiring a parolee to attend religion-based treatment programs violates the First Amendment," the court said. "While we in no way denigrate the fine work of (Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous), attendance in their programs may not be coerced by the state."

The 12 steps required for participants in both programs include an acknowledgment that "a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity" and a promise to "turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him." They also call for prayer and meditation.

Friday's 3-0 ruling allows a Honolulu man to go to trial in a suit on behalf of his late father, Ricky Inouye, who was paroled from a drug sentence in November 2000.

A Buddhist, he objected to religiously oriented drug treatment in prison, sued state officials over the issue and told Hawaii parole authorities just before his release that he would object to any condition that included a treatment program with religious content.



I was surprised...
Posted by JSTR808 on 2007-09-10 02:30:04
...but the data clearly shows that there is no causal link and a very week correlative link to AA and rehabilitation. While I think the "God" part of the program is harmless, I don't think the "Jesus" part is appropriate when used. "A Higher Power" in a Liebniz kinda way or an ancient Hindu view is a good start.

Some believe in God, some believe in AA
Posted by WestOfThePecos on 2008-01-27 02:03:19
Just as easy as that. There are definitely thousands in AA who are religious, as there are thousands who are not. I am one of those who is not. The higher power concept can be related to a more rigorous and humanistic social consciousness in those formerly lacking in any but a life full of selfishness and selfcenteredness.
Posted by Enrico_49 on 2008-06-27 16:19:45
Whatever members of the 12 steps might say about the program and its alleged spiritual nature, the real truth is that the 12 steps are a religious conversion cult. Clearly born out of the Protestant Piety movements of the late 1800's, that gave us Prohibition and organized crime, and now sees us in a never ending "war on drugs".

The 12 steps are not now, nor have they ever been about getting people off alcohol, drugs, or any of the hundreds of other alleged addictions they purport to treat. Any self-indulgent behavior from a deleterious desire for food, gambling, or even poontang is not seen as a poor personal choice capable of being controlled or even ended, but a "spiritual disease" requiring meetings and moral inventories without end.

The 12 steps is quite simply about the perpetuation of the 12 steps, and getting others into the fellowship, then carrying the message with evangelical zeal. Nowhere does it claim to end any addictions. This is the core of this simple never ending program, read the available information and see for yourself.

They view all addictions as "spiritual diseases" a clinically meaningless term. In their 12 step theology all addictions are diseases with no cure, only remission granted on a 24 hour basis by God as you understand him. Membership and meetings are ment to be in perpetuity.

New members are supposed to pick other longer and allegedly more stable members as "sponsors', in reality just another term for busybody's. These sponsors are supposedly able to dispense 12 step "wisdom" for any and all problems. The advice is usually along the lines of "go to a meeting", "re-read this chapter in the big book" and other assorted nonsense.

All members will defensively repeat this mantra when asked: Isn't the program religious? No. "Its spiritual". The incontrovertible facts are; six of the 12 steps mention God, the big book clearly states there is only one being who can help you, "God, may you find him now". The fact is that Bill W. and Dr. Bob were two religiously afflicted, irresolute drunkards, who because of preconceived ideas and conditioning felt the need to appeal to the "unseen God" because they lacked the tools and fortitude to help themselves. They were clearly in the grips of the "Oxford Group" and "Reverend Buchman" prior to forming AA.

Meetings are the reason for the 12 steps. This is where you go for an hour or longer to hear the drink a logs and drug a logs of the recently rehabilitated as well as the few long term members, now a days there is also a large group of "mentally afflicted" members at any given meeting. These "dual diagnosed" members are often people with severe mental problems, for who addiction is at best a secondary or even tertiary problem.

The 12 steps has managed to insinuate itself into the American psyche as the one and only answer to any and all "addictions". They get by on uncritical goodwill by uninformed people who know nothing about the true nature of addictions. One credible scientific study after another clearly shows that the 12 steps doesn't work. Even AA triennial surveys reveal success rates for long term membership to be an appalling 3%.

I could go on for a hundred more pages on why the 12 steps are the problem masquerading as the solution, however I will close with this: All addictions at their core level are personal choices, alcohol or any other addictive substance are inanimate objects that possess no ability to be "cunning or baffling". Unless and until you impart some meaning into your life that's more compelling than whatever it is you think is to be found in a bag or a bottle you shall remain lost to yourself.

Rather than waste untold time in a non productive religious conversion cult that is ill-equipped to offer any real help towards ending any addiction, you should do careful due-diligence on the available non 12 step help that's out there. Every addicted person needs to know that they can indeed become en-powered and eventually end their addiction.

However, the purveyors of "personal powerlessness" have a vested interest in telling you the vile-fiction that you have a non existent spiritual disease and you can't ever hope to help yourself...what absolute life denying bullshit!
That is the 12 steps is really about.
Enrico's comments
Posted by Marge on 2008-07-05 23:56:35
How many of these meetings did you attend to make the statements that you did? By the tone of your comment it appears that you have a resentment towards the program. People do not walk into those rooms willingly....they usually have tried other methods. What works for some will not work for others but there is no reason to knock an organization that has helped so many.
All Comments
Posted by Friend of Bob S. on 2008-07-15 10:21:04

The truth is that AA does work for some people whether you believe it or not.

No. Drug addiction is not a choice.

This is of course if you truly are an alcoholic or addict if you are not the program does not work and yes, you have a choice.

The problem today is that we have an industry of treatment centers that thrives on telling people they have the disease of addiction and recommending meetings.

This of course leads to lots of people who do not need meetings; to be in them. This causes mass distortions of the program as it is laid out in the book Alcoholics Anonymous; which by the way, says in several places it is not the only method of recovery.

However it is one that works so well, it has outlasted many other such programs.

I think many people on here have a problem I like to call Modern Jackass Syndrome. This basically means you have just enough information about something and enough intellectual pride to make a nice jackass out of yourself.
Posted by Enrico_49 on 2008-07-17 16:11:14
To friend of Bob S.:

Let me take a wild guess...would your friend be none other than the renowned Dr. Silkworth; religiously afflicted; irresolute drunkard; proctologist; Oxford Group member; and original 12-stepper.

Believe it or not your correct in a few of your assertions, but, than again, as an illogical 12-stepper clearly lost in the wilderness on the others.

1: AA does work for some people, correct, Just check their very own triennial surveys...its about 3% over a five year period. That's a 97% failure rate.

2: All addictions at their core level are personal choices, not mythological, uncontrollable, "spiritual diseases". This is a cruel fiction that the 12-steps ceaselessly perpetuates through their front groups. NCADD ASAM are two of the more irresponsible purveyor's of this nonsense.

3: This is pure 12-step bullshit, the program endlessly steers anyone caught up in a DUI or turned in by their parents for a joint into the program. You have now been pronounced as "diseased" by the self-appointed experts, guru's and evangelists in the program. Now, its meetings and moral inventories in perpetuity. Oh, and lets not forget 24 hour reprieves from your higher power...only if you continue, if not...poof...its jails, institutions and death!

4: Your absolutely correct, this is what us anti-12-steppers call the "addiction treatment industry"...and take a wild guess, it consists of about 98% of 12-step programs...but its what we call "industrial AA NA CA", whatever. This is where you or your insurance company pay for the same exact program that doesn't work for free.

5: Your correct, but this is the end result of 12-step know, step 12. In its effort to be the answer to any and all addictions it winds up helping far too few, and damaging far too many with bad information and fallacious reasoning.

6: You've got to be kidding...if there's so many other treatment programs that fell by the wayside in light of AA's singular success, than name just five other programs.

7: As to your self-diagnosed problem "MJS" [modern jackass syndrome] that you seem to think some people who posted here are suffering from...where did you come up with that one from...your sponsor? This is pure stepper mumbo-jumbo.

What I've said in my first post about the 12-steps is beyond refutation amongst researchers into the science of addiction.

In closing, if that post and this answer to your post makes me someone who in your estimation possesses just enough intellectual pride to make a jackass out of himself...its still the preferred position to my mind than your pseudo- intellectual posturing, and fictional syndrome.

If your clean from whatever substance that afflicted you, than I'm glad to hear it, maybe its time to take credit for your achievement, and get on with your life, without switching your addiction to AA, NA, CA et al.

Don't ever made the personal choice to start, and stop. There is power in that...but you'll never hear that from the purveyor's of personal powerlessness...will you.
Posted by Does it matter on 2008-11-29 16:12:19
I have seen the arguement time and time again - is it a cult? Is it brain washing? Is it religious? The bottom line is that it works for some people - and when you see where they came from and where they ended up after the 12 steps you'd be amazed.

It is easy to criticize something from the outside. If you have never attended a 12 step program and have no need for it - you are fortunate. Count your blessings that you don't have an addiction - it's isn't a choice - because if it was a choice then people could just stop. This is not the case.

I am a very educated person - as are many of the people in 12 step - I have tried to cure my problems with the help of dietitians, psychologists, psychiatrists, day programs, group therapy, support groups, reading every book under the sun and at the end of the day - checking in with a Higher Power - be it Allah, God, Jesus, Vishnu or a lamp (whatever I choose as my higher power) - if it keeps me sane and sober - why the heck not ???
alan davis
Posted by Alan davis on 2010-05-12 22:13:45
To those who criticize AA with an evangelical zeal, people are free to come and go as they see fit. Heavy drinkers who aren't alcoholics can control their drinking - more power to them. There are now more than 100 self-help groups based on the 12-Step model. The net impact on society is nothing but positive. The meetings are free. The 12 steps are based on Gospel - thank God.

Could AA come from a Buddhist country? Nope. Hindu? Nope. Islam doesn't count as a religion.

The net impact on society of criticizers is what exactly?
Imagenes de Jesus Dios
Posted by jcortgar on 2010-09-07 19:31:38
alguno me podria decir si esta permitido tener imagens fotos de Jesus o Dios dentro de los grupos de alcoholicos anonimos y si es que hay dentro de la literatura de alcoholicos anonimos algo que lo prohiba o apruebe ?
AA member
Posted by Lefty "Two Guns" on 2011-08-07 21:36:46
After a time, those whiners who know so much are like arguing with a pig in the mud...after a while, you realize the pig likes it!
FORMER A.A. member
Posted by Dogleg on 2011-10-01 02:54:15
I attended those stupid meetings for some years and always felt something was wrong! then I read "The Orange Papers" All of it! And I was right the whole time, A.A. is 1, A failure 2, A CULT 3, A Religion...Now you AA members go read the orange papers, and if you continue to endorse AA you are in DENIAL...Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha
et oui
Posted by Rodger on 2012-01-12 13:56:06
La religion dit : si tu ne crois pas en mon dieu tu finiras en enfer , wilson et ses 22 dépressions et le dr bob disent : si tu ne crois pas en notre dieu tu vas continuer a vivre l'enfer ..... Régner par la peur de l'enfer ... et personne ne me reprochera de ne pas connaitre AA, j'en ai fait partie pendant 17 ans
Take credit, take responsibility
Posted by Pagun on 2012-01-14 05:53:10
Let's stop blowing smoke...AA is a religion, why keep denying it?

Has it helped people? Sure. Or more correctly, people used AA to help themselves. Is it harmful?...absolutely.

It is harmful for the same reason that all religions are harmful. They relieve individuals of their responsibility for weakness or failure or poor choices or bad behaviour. At the same time religion (and AA) denies people credit for good choices, heroic actions, personal courage.

While addiction is a disease and not a choice, each action a human being engages in IS. You may have an addiction, but you choose to pour and swallow that drink, mix that fix, or light that smoke. You can also choose NOT to do any of those things.

So when you turn over your life to a higher power, you abdicate that responsibility. And when you make that terribly difficult and painful choice to give away the credit for your courage.

A programme based on responsibility and accountability would be far more successful than the 3-5% claimed by AA. The number of people who have defeated their addictions by accepting their responsibility for their actions and seizing the courage to act far outnumber AA's success stories.
Writer, Historian,Recovered AA
Posted by Dick B. on 2012-02-20 16:53:14
Alcoholics Anonymous History And Its Initial Christian Roots
How They’ve Been Forgotten; And How They Can Help Recovery Today
By Dick B.
© 2012 Anonymous. All rights reserved
Learn About Them
I am one of the tens of thousands (probably hundreds of thousands) of Christians who deeply appreciate the recovery from alcoholism and addiction that Alcoholics Anonymous made possible in our lives. Many of us have been criticized for mentioning Jesus Christ and the Bible in our talks at meetings. But most of us know that God is our sufficiency. We pray to Him in the name of Jesus Christ. And we recover.
Many of us who are Christians involved in A.A. do believe in God, the accomplishments of His Son Jesus Christ, and the truth about both that is found in the Bible. Many of us, as Christian members of Alcoholics Anonymous, had no idea whatsoever that early A.A. was a Christian fellowship, that its members believed in God, surrendered to Jesus Christ, and studied the Bible on a daily basis. Many of us had no idea whatsoever that the early, Christian-oriented A.A. claimed an overall 75% success rate among the “seemingly-hopeless,” “medically-incurable,” “last gasp case” alcoholics who thoroughly followed the pioneer A.A. program. And many of us never learned that the Original Akron program is summarized rather well in on page 131 of the A.A. General Service Conference-approved book, DR. BOB and the Good Oldtimers.
How could so many of us have been unaware of these facts?
The answer, in part, is that, as the First Edition of A.A.’s Big Book manuscript was being written and edited in 1938 and early 1939, many additions, omissions, and changes were made to the highly-successful Akron Christian program Bill W. and Dr. Bob began developing in the summer of 1935. For example, as Bill W. stated on pages 166-67 of the A.A. General Service Conference-approved book, Alcoholics Anonymous Comes of Age:
We [Bill W., Hank P., Ruth Hock, and John Henry Fitzhugh M.] were still arguing about the Twelve Steps. All this time I had refused to budge on these steps. I would not change a word of the original draft, in which, you will remember, I had consistently used the word “God,” and in one place the expression “on our knees” was used. Praying to God on one’s knees was still a big affront to Henry. He argued, he begged, he threatened. He quoted Jimmy [B.—i.e., Jim Burwell] to back him up. . . . Though at first I would have none of it, we finally began to talk about the possibility of compromise. . . . In Step Two we decided to describe God as a “Power greater than ourselves.” In Steps Three and Eleven we inserted the words “God as we understood Him.” From Step Seven we deleted the expression “on our knees.” . . . Such were the final concessions to those of little or no faith; this was the great contribution of our atheists and agnostics. [Emphasis added]
Bill W.’s wife Lois spoke about another major change on page 113 of her autobiography, Lois Remembers:
Finally it was agreed that the book should present a universal spiritual program, not a specific religious one, since all drunks were not Christian.
Dover Publications has recently released its reprint of the First Edition of Alcoholics Anonymous with an extensive introduction by me [Dick B.]. This new A.A. history resource is of immense value today for several reasons: (1) It contains the personal stories which were expressly placed in the Big Book as testimonies to the efficacy of the A.A. program as Bill expressed, though modified, it in the first portion of the basic text. Most of these testimonials have been removed, story by story, as A.A. has chosen to publish edition after edition over the years—editions that changed the whole tenor of A.A. recovery by the new personal stories inserted. (2) The Dover Publications reprint contains the original A.A. ”solution.” That solution was a “spiritual experience.” It emanated from the writings and views of Professor William James of Harvard who was called one of three sources of the 12 Steps as claimed by Bill Wilson. It also emanated from the views of world renowned Swiss psychiatrist, Dr. Carl Gustav Jung who passed along to A.A. the idea that those with the mind of a chronic alcoholic could find release through a vital religious experience—a conversion experience. And it emanated from the language of Rev. Sam Shoemaker who wrote in one of his earliest books that those suffering from spiritual misery—separation from God by people who were meant to be His companions—needed (a) to find God. (b) a vital religious experience. (c) Jesus Christ. Yet that clear solution—a vital religious experience, a spiritual experience, a conversion experience was soon dumped by Wilson in favor of his nebulous phrase “spiritual awakening” which eventually became a “personality change” sufficient to overcome alcoholism. (3) The Dover Publications reprint enables readers to contrast the Bill Wilson program of the 1939 Twelve Steps in the main body of the First Edition with the testimonial stories at the rear of the book where alcoholics attested to the efficacy of the Akron A.A. Christian Fellowship which derived from the study and effort in the Bible that Bill and Bob undertook in 1935 as they developed the “old school” program in Akron.
Such major changes to the Original Akron A.A. “Christian Fellowship” program obscured the simple solution the A.A. pioneers in Akron discovered; specifically, that a cure from alcoholism was available through reliance on Almighty God, coming to Him through His Son Jesus Christ, and reading and studying the Bible—along with the other principles and practices of the early days. [For the Frank Amos summary of the Original Akron A.A. “Program,” and the other principles and practices of the Akron fellowship, see: Dick B. and Ken B., The Dick B. Christian Recovery Manual (Kihei, HI: Paradise Research Publications, Inc., 2009), 44-46, 49.]
The Lesson from the First Three AAs
Early AAs knew one another. They visited one another. They had address books with the phone numbers (if a given member had a phone) and addresses of the other members. And they kept rosters which showed the sobriety dates and sobriety history of the members.
The 75% overall success rate early A.A. claimed was remarkable because it was attained by what Bill W. called the “seemingly-hopeless,” “medically-incurable,” “last gasp” real alcoholic cases who gave their all to God and received the blessed healing and deliverance that followed. Bill W. and Dr. Bob did indeed state that there were “failures galore.” But there weren’t failures galore among the real hardcore members who turned to God and gave the program everything they had.
A very important part of the historical record is how the first three AAs got sober in late 1934 and in 1935. When they got sober:
There was no Big Book (Alcoholics Anonymous was published in April 1939);
There were no Twelve Steps;
There were no Twelve Traditions;
There were no “drunkalogs”; and
There were no “meetings to make”—at least of the kinds normally seen in today’s A.A.
The Creator of the heavens and the earth was there. See, for example, Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th ed.:
“my Creator” (page 13)
“My Creator” (76)
“our Creator” (pages 25, 68, 72, 75, 83)
“a living Creator” (page 28);
“his Creator” (page 56, 80, 158)
“their loving and All Powerful Creator” (page 161)
The “Great Physician,” Jesus Christ, was there. See, for example: Dick B., The Conversion of Bill W.: More on the Creator’s Role in Early A.A. (Kihei, HI: Paradise Research Publications, Inc., 2006), 59ff.
The Bible (which Dr. Bob often called the “Good Book”) was there. See, for example, page 13 of the A.A. General Service Conference-approved pamphlet, The Co-Founders of Alcoholics Anonymous (Item # P-53; available for reading online at; accessed 8/5/09):
“At that point, our stories didn’t amount to anything to speak of. When we started in on Bill D., we had no Twelve Steps, either; we had no Traditions.
But we were convinced that the answer to our problems was in the Good Book. To some of us older ones, the parts that we found absolutely essential were the Sermon on the Mount, the thirteenth chapter of First Corinthians, and the Book of James.”
A.A. Number One, Bill W., learned from Dr. Silkworth that Jesus Christ could cure him. Bill learned from his old drinking friend Ebby Thacher that Ebby had been to the altar at Calvary Rescue Mission, and been reborn, causing Ebby to tell Bill that God had done for him (Ebby) what Ebby could not do for himself. Bill then went to Calvary Church itself. He heard Ebby give testimony from the pulpit; and Bill decided that he too needed help and needed the same help that Ebby had received. Bill then went to the altar at Calvary Rescue Mission, made a decision for Christ, wrote that he had been born again for sure, and then decided to seek the help of the “Great Physician,” Jesus Christ. Deeply depressed and despairing, Bill proceeded drunk to Towns Hospital where he was greeted by Dr. Silkworth. At Towns Hospital, Bill cried out for help, had a dramatic spiritual “white light” experience, perceived that he had been in the presence of the “God of the Scriptures” (as Bill wrote on page 284 of The Language of the Heart), and never drank again. Bill proclaimed he never again doubted the existence of God. And his message became: “The Lord has cured me of this terrible disease, and I just want to keep talking about it and telling people.” (Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th ed., 191) No Big Book. No Twelve Steps. No Twelve Traditions. No drunkalogs. No meetings. Just the power and love of God that Bill had sought and relied upon.
A.A. Number Two, Dr. Bob S.,–a Christian since his youth in St. Johnsbury, Vermont–prayed for deliverance on the rug at the home of T. Henry Williams in Akron. Miraculously, help showed up quite soon in the form of a visit of Bill W. to Akron. Henrietta Seiberling declared Bill’s visit to be “Manna from Heaven.” Bill soon moved in with Dr. Bob and his wife, studied the Bible with them, and nursed Dr. Bob back from one, brief and last binge. Dr. Bob never drank again thereafter and told the nurse at City Hospital that he and Bill had found a cure for alcoholism. No Big Book. No Twelve Steps. No Twelve Traditions. No drunkalogs. No meetings. Just the power and love of God that Dr. Bob had sought and relied upon. Dr. Bob closed his story in the Big Book with these words:
“Your Heavenly Father will never let you down!”
Bill W. and Dr. Bob sought out another drunk to help. They found A.A. Number Three, the hospitalized Akron attorney Bill D., also a Christian. After Bill D. heard what Bill W. and Dr. Bob had to share, Bill D. decided to entrust his life to God’s care. Shortly, when Bill W. and Dr. Bob returned to the hospital, Bill D. told them what had happened. Bill D. then left the hospital a free man and never drank again. He had been told to find other drunks to help; and he did so. No Big Book. No Twelve Steps. No Twelve Traditions. No drunkalogs. No meetings. Just the power and love of God that Bill D. had sought and relied upon. Bill D. found himself echoing Bill W.’s statement on page 191 of the Fourth Edition of Alcoholics Anonymous:
“The Lord has cured me of this terrible disease, and I just want to keep talking about it and telling people.”
Bill D. called Bill W.’s statement the “golden text of A.A.” for him and for others.
What These Three Stories Show Us Today
Three men! The first three AAs. All healed by the power of God—never to drink again!
What they did is scarcely known by AAs and recovery workers today. I know, for I have spoken and written about it in front of audiences all over the United States and in Canada—in person, in books, in articles, in emails, in phone calls, and on radio and television. Yet that is the message they seem hungry to hear.
These first three AAs recovered by the power of God. Because of their experience, other “seemingly-hopeless,” “medically-incurable,” “last gasp case” real alcoholics, who thoroughly followed the early Akron A.A. “Christian Fellowship” program path, were able to recover by the power of God. But what I especially hope you, the reader, will take away from this discussion is that what was done in 1935 and the next three years can be done and is being done today.
Benefitting Today from the “Lessons Learned” by A.A.’s Pioneers
I’m a proponent of A.A. I recovered immediately when I entered the rooms of A.A. in 1986 and have never relapsed since. I have had complete release from alcoholism and addiction. I credit the support I received in A.A., the work I did in learning the program of recovery in the Steps and helping others to take those Steps, and the complete dedication I had to the A.A. way. But I have never for one moment doubted that God must ultimately receive the credit—just as He received the credit from the mouths of the first three AAs—Bill W., Dr. Bob S., and Bill D.
When a Christian in A.A. is buffeted with intemperate remarks from others about the Creator of the heavens and the earth, His Son Jesus Christ, the Bible, his faith, or his church, he needs to stand solid on the real recovery factor that is available in A.A. today, just as it was available in the Christian Fellowship founded in Akron in 1935. A.A. was founded on statements such as this: God could and would if He were sought. He can. He will. He does. And He is available to every drunk or addict who wants to seek and obey Him. That was proved in 1935. It is being proved today among those Christians in recovery who choose to avail themselves of His help. And His help—the help of the Creator of the heavens and the earth—stands at the ready awaiting a call from those who believe. Those in prisons, jails, mental wards, hospitals, A.A., N.A., other Twelve Step Fellowships, the Armed Forces, veterans facilities, homeless shelters, treatment programs, rehabs, detoxes, and counseling offices. Anywhere! Anywhere at all!
Dick B.: PO Box 837, Kihei, HI 96753-0837; (808) 874-4876; Email:;
Gloria Deo
Posted by Paul Rathbun on 2012-05-19 13:23:06
Funny, both sides are correct.
--AA is NOT ALLIED with all the treatment programs who have freely co-opted parts of the program for lack of a better plan. Treatment is not AA.
--Courts have no business sending violators to meetings, AA members feel that way too. First amendment complaints are reasonable and accurate.
--The success rate is low, but cost effective since it is free. 3% to 5% is still millions of people.
--Many move on after a while, nothing wrong with that.
--AA and its program worked for us, it should never be said it's the only way. Visitors who object are encouraged to try something else. What is wrong with that? This is the most perniscious complaint, since the door is always open, entering or leaving.
--Unlike religious institutions, AA owns no properties, pays no that way it is spiritual.
--I believe in the healing power of the fellowship, not some imaginary being.
--The lord's prayer, Jesus, chanting, endless drunkalogues, airing resentments, advising (cross talk) all have no place at meetings, absolutely, they are not part of the program, BUT there are no AA police or officers with the power to prevent distortions...members (like me) must speak up.
--If reasonably offended, go to a different meeting.
--AA should not be recruiting, but we do invite people to try a meeting if they think they are having a problem. "If you want to drink, that's your business, if you want to quit...give me a call."
--The common readings and the big book all point out that the tenants of the program are suggested, not required...some say different but they are wrong to insist.
--The personal inventory of the fourth step, and subsequent discussion with another, really did set me free from feeling like a victim of other's misdeeds. I took responsibility for my own resentments and reactions to others, I was empowered, not dependent.
--I was powerless over substances when I was drinking and drugging, not after I got away from them. Critics seem to think people should just recover and drink/drug "normally." That is impossible for some of us.
--Addiction has rational, chemical, scientifically demonstrable components. I repeat: rational, not psychological or mystical.
--Again, I left a bunch of addicted loser friends 31 years ago and replaced them with a healthy community of people who work to be there for others and to improve their own character.
--I ignore the bible thumpers and hypocrites.
Recovered alcoholic
Posted by Dick B. on 2012-08-09 14:06:35
The Last Perfect Man and The Carnal Christian

Dick B.
Copyright 2012 Anonymous. All rights reserved

This is one of the most helpful comments I heard when I was new in Alcoholics Anonymous and began to hear all the condemning remarks made about ministers, politicians, doctors, 12-Step people, and AAs who—though Christians—had missed the mark. The comment was:

The last perfect man left us some 2000 years ago. But He is seated at the right hand of God. And He is coming back to gather together the children of God.

Yet “scholars,” writers, historians, a few Christian leaders, and many in and out of 12-Step Fellowships denigrate participation, service, and actions of Christians in A.A. They do so by pointing to the so-called foibles and shortcomings of A.A.’s founders and 12-Step groups themselves. They pontificate in saying nobody should associate with an organization founded by such “sinners.”

I can truthfully affirm that, when I sat down in A.A., I had some sinning problems to deal with. Also that God had provided the Way and the power to deal with them.

I can truthfully affirm that some of the drunks and addicts who were sitting next to or near me seemed also to be in need of some instruction and some cleansing. And that the Word of God contained instructions for doing the job for them if they wanted to believe in God and diligently seek Him.

My Bible has some important comments about such sinners—whether yet redeemed, or already saints. It says:

But, God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ (Ephesians 2:4- 6)

That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ. In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise (Ephesians 1:12-13).

Does that new man in Christ status make us perfect? If it did, then many of the following verses would be virtually meaningless:

This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh, For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary the one to the other; so that ye cannot do the things that ye would. But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law. . . . If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another (Galatians 5:16-18, 25-26).

Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness, considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. Bear ye one another’s burdens; and so fulfill the law of Christ. For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself. But let every man prove his own work, then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another. For every man shall bear his own burden. Let him that is taught in the word communicate unto him that teacheth in all good things (Galatians 6:1-4)

Romans 8:1-2, 5-7 tell us:

There is therefore no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death . . . For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.

Our job is laid out in Romans 12:1-2:

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto to God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world; but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

What do you do, then, when:

you are sitting next to someone in A.A. who says: “Bill and Bob were not Christians?”You show them the evidence, and let them decide for themselves. And what do you do when you hear anyone—Christian or not—say: “Bill and Bob dabbled in spiritualism?” You show them the evidence that these men were born again Christians and may well have occasionally walked by the flesh. What do you do when you read something like “12-Steps to destruction?” You show them that a born again Christian can put on the whole armor of God and resist the wiles of the devil. And what do you do when someone writes that Dr. Bob was a freemason? You show them from the Word of God and tell them it is not what man belongs to or may have done, it is whether he is a born again Christian, who asks forgiveness for a sin when he wants forgiveness, and whose walk by the Spirit of God helped thousands to become children of God and overcome their sins, their shortcomings, and their obsessions—if they then chose to do so.

When you hear that someone or some group or some fellowship is being condemned, do you see if you can love and serve there? Do you tell those who are hungry that they can be fed the Word of God? Do you show them exactly how they can become children of God by accepting Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior?

Do you simply think of Jesus’s instruction in Matthew 7:1-5 and realize the accuser has an eye problem? He has failed to pull the log out of his own eye, so that he can see clearly how to tell another how to be rid of the speck in the other’s eye.

Gloria Deo
Posted by Richard on 2013-05-08 11:33:52
"Unlike religious institutions, AA owns no properties, pays no that way it is spiritual. "

BS! AA owns a HUGE office complex in NYC, has millions of dollars in assets, and board members make six-and-seven figure salaries.
More lulz
Posted by Richard on 2013-05-08 11:37:18
"Courts have no business sending violators to meetings, AA members feel that way too."

Then why does AA actively beg judges to sentence people to AA? AA even puts out a pamphlet on how members should get judges to coerce people into mandatory AA programs?

Face it, if AA didn't want these people, they could end it TOMORROW. Simply stop signing the sheets! If AA stopped signing the sheets, judges would get the picture very quickly. But we know that won't happen, because the TRUTH is that AA WANTS people to be forced into meetings.


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