Is There a place for atheist in alcholics anonymous

Ken G.
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Is There a place for atheist in alcholics anonymous

   A few years back I ask "Is it Ok, to get religious when your getting straight" and some people here said that its better being religious than being strong out on drugs or booze, I disagree, anyway read this article and tell what do you think ? www.alternet.org/stroy/151294is_there_place_for_atheist_in_alcoholics_anonymous

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 Well Ken, before moving on

 Well Ken, before moving on to other matters, let me address a potential elephant in the room:

 

What is the actual published “rate of recovery” for AA members in general?

 

Honestly, that is not going to be something for which a number is likely to exist. AA is designed around being opaque to such a study.

 

For one point, how would you set up a control group? Every city of any respectable size has many groups and there would be little way to assure that members of the control group don't pinch off to other meetings, thus ruining the statistical base for the study.

 

For another, the tradition of maintaining anonymity is so deeply entrenched that despite the literal wording of “press, radio and film”, it is pretty much a standard to keep what is in the rooms inside the room s. Not that I know you personally but if I did and you tole me “I go to meeting X and this person that you know fairly well is a regular there” that would be viewed as a bad thing by most of the people in the rooms.

 

A third point is that the “old timers” do not, in the rooms, make a claim of a cure. Rather, they like to state that they could still fall off the wagon at any time (and there is no loss of people who claim o have done so after more than the years of sobriety). In fact, it is a fairly standard claim that they depend on the opportunity to help the new comers in order for them to continue maintaining their own sobriety. That and the rather large number of people who are in and out, revolving door style, for many years without ever really addressing what they came to the rooms to address.

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The cure for an addiction to

The cure for an addiction to 12 step programs is an 11 step program.


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There are atheists in AA and

There are atheists in AA and are fully accepted as members. Believing in god is not a requirement. In fact when AA started there were members who were atheist and their presence lead to the split with the Oxford group who said you needed jesus to get sober. Also the italics were added to the steps god as you understand him. 1935 so you get a him. Some will not read it as him but change it simply to god.

Crusty old timers will say I don't get a shit about this god crap.

Sobriety doesn't require god - paraphrasing Steven Hawkin.

Religion Kills !!!

Numbers 31:17-18 - Now kill all the boys. And kill every woman who has slept with a man, but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.

http://jesus-needs-money.blogspot.com/


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I have had

I have had some issues with what the 12 step groups do (I have a family member who is a heavy member) and some of the things that they talk about. There is a chapter in their literature called "We Agnostics" that speaks against non-believers and Atheists. There is also an excerpt in another of their books that refers to Atheists as savages and animals almost. (Thatv book is called the 12 and 12).

I dislike the idea that you are supposed to have a "Higher Power", be it a doorknob, a coffee pot or a group in order to get sober. But odd that the "Higher Power" is almost always referred to as "GOD".

The principle of AA is a good thing, a group of people getting together to overcome their addictions and support one another. I think that would be a good idea.

But after seeing how kooky my uncle became in there, I did a little research.

Google the Orange Papers. a study on it. I may not agree with everything I read on that site, but it did jive with what little I know about the "rooms" of recovery.

Of course, it may vary from region to region. I know my uncle has been to some meetings that insist on the "Lord's Prayer" at the end of every meeting and some where they do not.

What alot of people do not realize is there are alternatives like SMART recovery, Rational Recovery, Secular Arm for Sobriety and many others. AA is not the only way to get sober. AA is not the only support group for alcoholics who wish to quit.

The 12 Step movement almost has an entire monopoly over the treatment center industry, and more people need to be aware that there are other ways to do that.

I am thinking of writing a blog, with all of my research on this.

“It is proof of a base and low mind for one to wish to think with the masses or majority, merely because the majority is the majority. Truth does not change because it is, or is not, believed by a majority of the people.”
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 There are definitely other

 There are definitely other places to go besides AA, but it works for some. That was recognized early on in AA. It is not the only answer. The founders were open to other means of getting sober, including therapy-whatever works is the bottom line. The AA traditions say the power is in the individual groups. So you can get a wide variety of experiences going from one meeting to another. Remember these guys are controlling assholes to begin with. Getting that fix is all important, so you can meet very dysfunctional people in AA, but then again you can meet some of the best people. It is independent groups and if the make up is right it can be a wonderful place for recovery. If not it can be a horrible place. If you go to one meeting and don't like it try another. If that don't work then go to a non-AA source. 12 steps are powerful, that is why they are so copied. This program got started in 1935 so there are lots of religious thinking and phrases in the books. But it is not the scriptural and any person who tells you otherwise is one of the sick bastards still hanging on to the disease.

I don't like the rap AA is getting these days as if it was a fundamentalist church. Can you find assholes in AA, sure, but they are not following the program and a key tradition is there is no spokesperson for AA. It won't defend itself. Why? Because they is not why it exists. that is just bullshit. Getting sober is its only purpose. Anything else derails that purpose.

AS I have stated elsewhere the higher power concept is beneficial and I speak as an atheist. A lot of alcoholics have a problem with god and if saying your higher power can be anything you want disarms the argument. What good is that? I am not going to argue with you about god because that doesn't matter, sobriety is what matters. That principle explains a lot of AA behavior and Alanon too which I have said before saved me. I comfortably sit in  alanon rooms as an known atheist and nobody has got a problem with me and nobody wants to change me. I am definitely not alone. 

Here I was with this background of growing up with a whole lot of alcoholics in my life (many who did  go to AA and have decades of sobriety) and an ex-minister angry at god and ready to debate anyone. Alanon welcomed me and I would rail against god and they would just listen, having no need to persuade me otherwise. It was amazingly disarming. I could focus on the things that really matter, how I was affected by this disease.

 

Harley, I will be interested of course if you write a blog and will obvious have opinions about it. 

 

 

 

Religion Kills !!!

Numbers 31:17-18 - Now kill all the boys. And kill every woman who has slept with a man, but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.

http://jesus-needs-money.blogspot.com/


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harleysportster wrote: I am thinking of writing a blog ........

  Most Defiantly, I agree, the 12 step movement has for all intent and purpose is the place that most addict are sent to or self committed to, there are a lot of people trapped by this kind of web,which will lead to more non thinking humans, the atheist community needs to reach out to others, and let them know that there is another way, more logical.  PS.  Write that blog, it'll be a great read I'm sure.

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ex-minister
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Ken G. wrote:  Most

Ken G. wrote:

  Most Defiantly, I agree, the 12 step movement has for all intent and purpose is the place that most addict are sent to or self committed to, there are a lot of people trapped by this kind of web,which will lead to more non thinking humans, the atheist community needs to reach out to others, and let them know that there is another way, more logical.  PS.  Write that blog, it'll be a great read I'm sure.

So you are free to be an atheist and in be in 12 step program. How is that a web?

Religion Kills !!!

Numbers 31:17-18 - Now kill all the boys. And kill every woman who has slept with a man, but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.

http://jesus-needs-money.blogspot.com/


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ex-minister wrote:So you are

ex-minister wrote:

So you are free to be an atheist and in be in 12 step program.

How many nonbelievers stay and leave AA as nonbelievers???

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How is that a web?

It may not be a web by itself, but with everything else... particularly how it's a dating service for the mildly predatory seeking young(er), disaffected, and worn-rugged members of society. No defense against people pretending to be in recovery trying to find a sexual partner on less than equal footing in life. It is, after all, a revolving doors membership. Apparently there are other ills in the "rooms", but the person I talked with about this didn't bother to mention them.

“A meritocratic society is one in which inequalities of wealth and social position solely reflect the unequal distribution of merit or skills amongst human beings, or are based upon factors beyond human control, for example luck or chance. Such a society is socially just because individuals are judged not by their gender, the colour of their skin or their religion, but according to their talents and willingness to work, or on what Martin Luther King called 'the content of their character'. By extension, social equality is unjust because it treats unequal individuals equally.” "Political Ideologies" by Andrew Heywood (2003)


ex-minister
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I wil write more

I wil write more tonight.
But there are many non-believers in aa and alanon.
I came into alanon in 1986 as a believer and about 3 years ago because of alanon I became an atheist.

There is much misinformation out there about these programs.

Religion Kills !!!

Numbers 31:17-18 - Now kill all the boys. And kill every woman who has slept with a man, but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.

http://jesus-needs-money.blogspot.com/


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ex-minister wrote:There is

ex-minister wrote:
There is much misinformation out there about these programs.

 

Well X-M, that much is true. However, it is true in the same sense that America is a christian nation. Which is to say, not even at all.

 

So is there a web that people can get stuck in? Yah, that exists. Well, you are also correct that the rooms are not “a thing” so much as each room is a thing by itself. The only thing that there can really be is the GSO. Honestly, I am not sure if we should even call the GSO a thing, at least in the sense of providing all that much of service. And that being said, Zaphod is just this guy.

 

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ex-minister wrote: How is that a web ?

 You got to be kiddin me ! How is that a web ? Well, let me fill you in, first off, every job related addiction (that I know of) won't ask you if you want to be sent to a secular rehab or AA, you will almost every time,be subjected to a "Higher Power" (AA) kind of thinking, and they more or less tell you that with this "Power" you'll be able to deal with your addiction, so in a way your not responsible for your addiction, so when your sent to AA, its like getting caught in a web, just like religious thinking. Dah!

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Ken G. wrote: You got to be

Ken G. wrote:

 You got to be kiddin me ! How is that a web ? Well, let me fill you in, first off, every job related addiction (that I know of) won't ask you if you want to be sent to a secular rehab or AA, you will almost every time,be subjected to a "Higher Power" (AA) kind of thinking, and they more or less tell you that with this "Power" you'll be able to deal with your addiction, so in a way your not responsible for your addiction, so when your sent to AA, its like getting caught in a web, just like religious thinking. Dah!

Reminds me of fundies saying evolution is only a theory. The language of AA is not  religious and you are most fucking responsible for your behavior. You break the law you go to jail. You continue to drink you die. The latter is said all the time. I have never heard in any meeting that you are not responsible for your actions but just the opposite. The 12 steps are about taking responsibility for your life.  Alcoholics have not taken responsibility for their lives that is why it is such a mess and they have so many broken relationships. Coming into AA a person confronts his demons, looks at his life, sees the damage he has done and makes amends. Don't paint AA with a religious brush unless you want to say also you think evolution is just a theory. 

A very common phrase in AA and alanon is The only thing I need to know about God is that I am not him. How is that building a religion? You can believe anything you want about it. It could be the group or a rock or tree for all other members care or it could be nothing or just life itself. One member says frequently her higher power is just the inner life source that guides her (conscience) and there is no HIM in her life. That would not be stood for in any church. They tell you who God is and have tons of rules around believing, following, trying to convert others. There are no rules or musts in these programs recognizing you cannot enforce the unenforceable. 

How religious does this sound? It is read at the beginning of every meeting.

Quote:

"We do not give advice and are NOT a religious organization. You may hear members speak of their concept of God, but remember this is their concept ONLY. Take what you like and leave the rest.

We request that all present refrain from gossip, dominance, discussion of religion, treatment centers, self-help programs, counseling or use or  mention of material other than conference approved literature."

The whole point of calling it a higher power is to set aside the god shit. It fucks with people's heads. Getting sober is key, not defining a god. Many who come in are desperate. They don't need a lecture on god and most have a big issue with a god. I went into fundie land to fix what was wrong with me and it never worked. I went into alanon and if they started telling me I had to believe in God I would have left because I knew after years of trying that did not work. 

Even the steps are called the 12 SUGGESTED steps. It is just what people in the past found worked for them. The literature is not scripture. It evolves. In fact one of the oldest alanon books got revised a few years ago and most of what was removed was anything that sound like religion. We do criticize the literature in meetings. There is nothing wrong with that. I do it on a regular basis.

AA/Alanon are about taking responsibility for your life and for one its only goal is stay sober and the other is to stop trying to save the alcoholic from the natural consequences of his/her behavior and take responsibility for ones' own life. He comes home and vomits on the floor, don't clean it up and put a blanket on him. Let him wake up in it. He probably blacked out the night before and is clueless until he wakes up. He made the mess, he can clean it up.

How do you explain that I am a known atheist in these meeting and no one cares? People who I know believe in Him lots of times come up and tell me how helpful what I talked about was.  One member said in a meeting recently she left her fundie church. Most come to recognize that the churches are screwed up and a bunch of control freaks.

A friend of mine developed a friendship with a died in the wool fundie. After some time the fundie said to her I cannot believe I get so much out of what you say and you are an atheist. My friend just laughed. The fundie in her church had learned to fear atheist because they would make them lose faith.

Many people come into these meetings ultimately throw off the shackles of religion. I have seen it myself multiple times.

If someone tells you they are not responsible for their drinking then that as AA says is the disease talking and not recovery. I had cancer. It was a disease. If I had of thrown up my hands and said I am not responsible I would be dead by now. I took action and went to an oncologist and he helped me through it and I am in remission now. The oncologist was literally my higher power. I didn't know how to fix this disease, but went to someone who did. That is a real definition of a higher power in both these programs.

Alcoholics that come to AA have a disease. They come there looking for help. Sober alcoholics tell them what they did. If they do what the sober guys did they may put the disease in remission. But if they don't take responsibility and do nothing they will die.

 

Have you ever been to a meeting? There are open meetings.

 

 

 

Religion Kills !!!

Numbers 31:17-18 - Now kill all the boys. And kill every woman who has slept with a man, but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.

http://jesus-needs-money.blogspot.com/


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ex-minister wrote: A very

ex-minister wrote:

 

A very common phrase in AA and alanon is The only thing I need to know about God is that I am not him. How is that building a religion? You can believe anything you want about it. It could be the group or a rock or tree for all other members care or it could be nothing or just life itself. One member says frequently her higher power is just the inner life source that guides her (conscience) and there is no HIM in her life. That would not be stood for in any church. They tell you who God is and have tons of rules around believing, following, trying to convert others. There are no rules or musts in these programs recognizing you cannot enforce the unenforceable. 

How religious does this sound? It is read at the beginning of every meeting.

 

The whole point of calling it a higher power is to set aside the god shit. It fucks with people's heads. Getting sober is key, not defining a god. Many who come in are desperate. They don't need a lecture on god and most have a big issue with a god. I went into fundie land to fix what was wrong with me and it never worked. I went into alanon and if they started telling me I had to believe in God I would have left because I knew after years of trying that did not work. 

Even the steps are called the 12 SUGGESTED steps. It is just what people in the past found worked for them. The literature is not scripture. It evolves. In fact one of the oldest alanon books got revised a few years ago and most of what was removed was anything that sound like religion. We do criticize the literature in meetings. There is nothing wrong with that. I do it on a regular basis.

AA/Alanon are about taking responsibility for your life and for one its only goal is stay sober and the other is to stop trying to save the alcoholic from the natural consequences of his/her behavior and take responsibility for ones' own life. He comes home and vomits on the floor, don't clean it up and put a blanket on him. Let him wake up in it. He probably blacked out the night before and is clueless until he wakes up. He made the mess, he can clean it up.

How do you explain that I am a known atheist in these meeting and no one cares? People who I know believe in Him lots of times come up and tell me how helpful what I talked about was.  One member said in a meeting recently she left her fundie church. Most come to recognize that the churches are screwed up and a bunch of control freaks.

A friend of mine developed a friendship with a died in the wool fundie. After some time the fundie said to her I cannot believe I get so much out of what you say and you are an atheist. My friend just laughed. The fundie in her church had learned to fear atheist because they would make them lose faith.

If someone tells you they are not responsible for their drinking then that as AA says is the disease talking and not recovery. I had cancer. It was a disease. If I had of thrown up my hands and said I am not responsible I would be dead by now. I took action and went to an oncologist and he helped me through it and I am in remission now. The oncologist was literally my higher power. I didn't know how to fix this disease, but went to someone who did. That is a real definition of a higher power in both these programs.

Alcoholics that come to AA have a disease. They come there looking for help. Sober alcoholics tell them what they did. If they do what the sober guys did they may put the disease in remission. But if they don't take responsibility and do nothing they will die.

 

Have you ever been to a meeting? There are open meetings.

 

 

 

Ex-minister, I respect your opinions and have have always liked you. But I must disagree. I have been to some of those open meetings with my uncle and the slogan was "There is a God and you are not it". I have also heard people say that they had a problem with the god aspect of the program, then they talk about how the Big Book lead them to "God" and how "God is doing for them, what they could not do for themselves". Bill W. had a slogan that said " Our real purpose is to be of maximum service to God and our fellow man". Which seemed to me, to be about recruiting more members. Maybe in some regions, with AA,you can have somewhat secular sobriety, but not in any area that I am aware of.  Every meeting starts with the serenity prayer and most of them end with the "Lord's Prayer". You can be an atheist and be a part of AA, but you know, as well as I do, that it is not encouraged and often scorned. Just read the "We Agnostics " chapter in the AA book. Working on my blog as we speak.

“It is proof of a base and low mind for one to wish to think with the masses or majority, merely because the majority is the majority. Truth does not change because it is, or is not, believed by a majority of the people.”
― Giordano Bruno


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http://www.youtube.com/watch?

“It is proof of a base and low mind for one to wish to think with the masses or majority, merely because the majority is the majority. Truth does not change because it is, or is not, believed by a majority of the people.”
― Giordano Bruno


ex-minister
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harleysportster

 

I have seen these in the past. Penn says he doesn't know dick about addiction and the show illustrates it. I love Penn & Teller but they are off base on this one, too many things to object too. I think he only knows the program name, AA, pretty much everything else is wrong. The show is appropriately named bullshit. I sent you a private message.

Religion Kills !!!

Numbers 31:17-18 - Now kill all the boys. And kill every woman who has slept with a man, but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.

http://jesus-needs-money.blogspot.com/


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PM read

PM read. Thank you for the information and will consider for my future blog on AA.


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harleysportester was spot on

 Thank You, for putting up those very important videos. Let me tell you a short personnel story, about a old friend of mine, his name is Mark, him and his Father owned 3 Gas Stations, Mark was always a pragmatic type since I knew him in Catholic School, he never believed a word the Nun's told us, he didn't know it back then, but he was a critical thinker, he thought that miracles sounded stupid and he loved George Carlin, anyway after he got married and his wife had a miscarriage, he was soon divorced, and fell into drug and alcohol abuse, he got arrested for drunk driving and was sent to AA, and his Father also saw AA as a good place for his son, and all of his friends said that he was doing better because of AA, and I ran into him a few years ago and he was wearing a rosary around his neck and telling me how good AA was for him (he found God ) and he said that he understood his problems alot better now,thanks to AA, and then a few months ago a mutual friend of ours, told me that Mark died, and then he told me that Mark committed suicide, I thought to myself, Fucking AA made him crazy. 

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Penn & Teller video

My comments on the first part of Penn & Teller video

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8tPNgHrIkgo

It is honest for Penn admit up from that they know nothing about addiction. Penn says he has never had a touch of alcohol on his lips. But yet they are going to tell us how fucked up AA is. Seems like a bad start to me. How is it that he never had one drink in his life? Do I smell bullshit? But it doesn't matter except for his lack of knowledge on the subject.

I have never heard AA referred to as technology. If just numbering things is technology then I guess there is little that is not technology.

== The twelve steps. Penn doesn't read the steps, he modifies them. He says he is "just reading". Bullshit! He changes the tense of them and that is significant. He also leaves out that they are called the Twelve SUGGESTED steps of AA. The steps are written in the past tense meaning this is what the other alcoholic found that worked for them. YMMV.

As he reads his modified version of the steps Teller does some performance art. Funny bit, but the steps don't shame you or say you are helpless. Step 1 is a reality check about an alcoholic's life. It is NOT a call to action, it is just seeing it for what it is. If their life is not a mess than they don't need AA. But if they look around and see their life is out of control and unmanageable then this step applies. Now if you see a problem what should you do? Shaming yourself is not AA's answer. A dry drunk has enough shame already. He drinks to not feel the shame. Few in his life are happy with him and they let him know it. Common phrases in AA are "Screw guilt" and "God don't make junk". Step 1 says you are powerless over alcohol, not helpless. If you had power over alcohol then why is your life such a mess?

Now Penn contradicts himself saying the drunk is told he is not responsible for his life & also the steps are bad for saying face your life and make amends. Which is it? Penn seems like a bright guy not sure why he doesn't hear himself on this. He says AA teaches to "shrug off all responsibility", yet you see Teller putting cash in an envelope to pay for his past debts. Penn cannot have it both ways and be logical.

== The disease and responsibility. Didn't cause it, cannot control it, cannot cure it.

If you are around alcoholism you can see how powerful it is. It makes no sense the way a person will ruin their life and the lives of those that love them by continuing to drink. It is insane. There must be some genetic connection to this because you see it in families like blue eyes and brown hair. This is Darwin-esk in that the family connections is obvious but it cannot technically explained yet. It is very rare to find an alcoholic who is not related to an alcoholic. In some instances they didn't see it up front but then years later they recognize it. One characteristic of alcoholism is lots of denial.

Some people can get shit-faced and wake up the next morning and say they ain't doing that again, but other people look forward to the next drink at any price. The latter is a good working definition for an alcoholic.

AA doesn't use the term disease to say you have no options and everyone is supposed to put up with your unacceptable behavior. It uses disease in the sense of you cannot control it. You need help. Just as my prior example of when I had cancer. I could have chosen to not take responsibility for it and because it was a terminal disease it would have killed me. I could not control its growth nor could I cure it myself. I needed help. My higher power was a brilliant oncologist who by my turning myself over to him he put my disease in remission. I gave him my body and he used chemo to attack the cancer cells (and lots of others too). An alcoholic who uses this term as an excuse for his behavior is still living in the disease and will die from it. Alcoholism is a choice also. I can choose to continue to drink and not seek help. Calling it a disease and it is a choice is the point of AA. If you didn't have any choice than there is no need for AA.

In 1998-1999, I had Non Hodgkins Lymphoma. I fully believed I got this disease from swimming in a indoor public pool 5 days a week for years. The chlorine was poorly administered by high school students. There were many days when we came up from air everyone was coughing and hacking, the chlorine replacing the oxygen. My skin got dried out and my hair brittle. What is the point of chlorine? To kill biological bacteria. I also am a biological living being. My wife did some research on the internet about chlorine. I couldn't. It was too painful to think about. She found some website that linked cancer with overuse of chlorine. In fact it said chlorine gave off two known powerful carcinogens that floated above the water for about a foot or two, right where I was heavily breathing. The guy I swam with was a water polo coach and had a heavy duty training program. I was in the best shape of my life and I came down with cancer. While I was under treatment, I found out one of the lifeguards, a high school student, came down with NHL also, but his disease was in remission and he resumed his position as a lifeguard. I decided I could not go back to the pool even though I loved it and miss it to this day. I had a susceptibility to this disease while others did not. After a number of months after I went into remission I found out the lifeguard lymphoma came back and he was going for bone marrow transplants. So, to me this cancer is like a behavior disease just like alcoholism is. You might not buy my example but I think you could agree that some forms of cancer are caused by the environment. If I place myself in those environments my risks are higher especially if I have a genetic weakness.

Perhaps the Harvard doctor in the video doesn't think emphysema is a disease since smoking is one of its main causes.

The veterans who filed for benefits too late and blamed it on the disease are assholes. The supreme court rightfully denied it. AA says if you continue to drink it will kill you. You are responsible for the consequences of your behavior. (Religion says just believe in Jesus and keep asking for forgiveness and you will live forever)

== AA is the only solution. AA has never said this. In fact they are a group of non-professionals and it is perfectly acceptable to find help outside AA and continue to be a member of AA. If it works they are all for it, sobriety anyway, anyhow. However, they don't promote any of these outside treatments because that would splinter the group and cause it to lose its' focus. While Penn is making the point that AA supposedly says it is the only solution, he shows an the front of an AA pamphlet that reads:

"What is A.A?

Alcoholics Anonymous is a voluntary, worldwide fellowship of men and women from all walks of life who meet together to attain and maintain sobriety. The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking. There are no dues or fees for AA membership".

How do you read into that AA is the only answer to alcoholism or for that matter that you must believe in a particular god or any god? There is only one requirement - a desire to stop drinking.

== higher power In the big book there is a chapter called "We Agnostics" and it explains that many alcoholics come into AA with a problem with god or with the view there is no god. It is 1939 when this was written, the depression was on, white america was in charge, Jesus was the man, fundamentalism was on the rise. The godless communist were a threat and the god shit would soon be added to the pledge of allegiance. This chapter in the big book suggests you be open to the possibility of god but then it sums up with a statement radical for its time.

"When, therefore, we speak to you of God, we mean your own conception of God"

My concept of God is there is none. That qualifies me. I suggest this be tried, go to an open AA meeting and say "I am an atheist and will not change that, but can I be a member of A.A.?" Then walk into any fundie church and say the same thing. If the AA member says anything other "Come on in" he is a closet fundie.

== a cult I had to laugh when Gary Busey showed up in his Taz slippers. He is so funny to watch. And they put him right after a Harvard professor poo-poo'ed alcoholism as a disease. Great editing.

Penn says that an alcoholic leaning on another boozer to help him through his addiction is not a terrible idea. (Oh thank you Mr Penn who knows nothing about addiction). But then he adds AA however turned into a cult.

I have a handy list of cult characteristics put together by a fundie. On a youtube video where I found these I posted a comment showing how Christianity is a cult. He never replied back.

But lets apply this list to AA.

1. Cults have a single, powerful human leader who becomes the cults messiah - Bill W and Dr Bob called the program alcoholic anonymous. Anonymity is not a good start for a messiah. They wouldn't even use their last names. I don't think there is a book by him either. AA/Alnon literature has no identified author because of anonymity. No one in AA sees visions, hears revelations from angels, speaks in tongues, performs miracles or has divinely inspired words. Also there are no fees or dues.

2. Cults teach commandments of men - AA says you can pick any higher power you want. That violates Moses' first commandment.

3. Cults force you to make a decision - It is a voluntary association. It is anonymous. So if you show up and say your name is Belzebub they will call you that and if you leave and never return they cannot find you. There is no membership list. You can come and go as you like.

4. Each cult denies Jesus is the divine son of god - AA doesn't care what you believe about Jesus.

5. Cults urge their converts to leave their families - It actually does the opposite. It tells you to face your life, your mistakes and make amends where you can with your loved ones.

Will watch the other parts later and post my comments. It might be next weekend or so.

 

 

Religion Kills !!!

Numbers 31:17-18 - Now kill all the boys. And kill every woman who has slept with a man, but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.

http://jesus-needs-money.blogspot.com/


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Ken G. wrote: Thank You,

Ken G. wrote:

 Thank You, for putting up those very important videos. Let me tell you a short personnel story, about a old friend of mine, his name is Mark, him and his Father owned 3 Gas Stations, Mark was always a pragmatic type since I knew him in Catholic School, he never believed a word the Nun's told us, he didn't know it back then, but he was a critical thinker, he thought that miracles sounded stupid and he loved George Carlin, anyway after he got married and his wife had a miscarriage, he was soon divorced, and fell into drug and alcohol abuse, he got arrested for drunk driving and was sent to AA, and his Father also saw AA as a good place for his son, and all of his friends said that he was doing better because of AA, and I ran into him a few years ago and he was wearing a rosary around his neck and telling me how good AA was for him (he found God ) and he said that he understood his problems alot better now,thanks to AA, and then a few months ago a mutual friend of ours, told me that Mark died, and then he told me that Mark committed suicide, I thought to myself, Fucking AA made him crazy. 

Sorry to hear about your friend Mark. I have had a couple of cousins and grandfather die from alcoholism. But on the other hand I have a couple of uncles and aunt and at least 2 cousins who went to AA and live to this day sober.

Religion Kills !!!

Numbers 31:17-18 - Now kill all the boys. And kill every woman who has slept with a man, but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.

http://jesus-needs-money.blogspot.com/


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I watched P & T a few times,

I watched P & T a few times, subscribed to podcast of their show for a bit, then gave up in disgust at their shallow, twisted reading of so many things.

The no longer impress me in any way, apart from the skill in some of their 'magic'.

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

"Theology is now little more than a branch of human ignorance. Indeed, it is ignorance with wings." - Sam Harris

The path to Truth lies via careful study of reality, not the dreams of our fallible minds - me

From the sublime to the ridiculous: Science -> Philosophy -> Theology


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Technology is defined as

Technology is defined as anything that might be considered a tool or a method.

 

ex-minister wrote:
The twelve steps. Penn doesn't read the steps, he modifies them. He says he is "just reading". Bullshit! He changes the tense of them and that is significant. He also leaves out that they are called the Twelve SUGGESTED steps of AA. The steps are written in the past tense meaning this is what the other alcoholic found that worked for them.

Well of course he's going to weasel in some histrionics. He has a show to promote; a premium channel show, at that.

xm wrote:
As he reads his modified version of the steps Teller does some performance art. Funny bit, but the steps don't shame you or say you are helpless.

xm wrote:
"When, therefore, we speak to you of God, we mean your own conception of God"

My concept of God is there is none. That qualifies me.

Quote:
We who are in A.A. came because we finally gave up trying to control our drinking. We still hated to admit that we could never drink safely.

http://www.aa.org/lang/en/subpage.cfm?page=12

Quote:
Most of us in A.A. made all kinds of promises to ourselves and to our families. We could not keep them. Then we came to A.A. A.A. said: "Just try not to drink today." (If you do not drink today, you cannot get drunk today.)

Quote:
We tried all kinds of ways. We made our drinks weak. Or just drank beer. Or we did not drink cocktails. Or only drank on weekends. You name it, we tried it. But if we drank anything with alcohol in it, we usually got drunk eventually.

Quote:
Be honest! Doctors say that if you have a problem with alcohol and keep on drinking, it will get worse -- never better. Eventually, you will die, or end up in an institution for the rest of your life. The only hope is to stop drinking.

Quote:
Many of us kidded ourselves into thinking that we drank because we wanted to. After we came into A.A., we found out that once we started to drink, we couldn't stop.

Quote:
Many of us started to drink because drinking made life seem better, at least for a while. By the time we got into A.A., we felt trapped. We were drinking to live and living to drink. We were sick and tired of being sick and tired.

Quote:
We admitted we were powerless over our addiction - that our lives had become unmanageable

Quote:
Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity

Quote:
Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood God

You say tomatoes, I say tomahtoes... apparently what you say about god and what AA says (and does) about god appear to be two different things. AA also does very much appear to say (or at least, suggest) that newcomers are helpless before joining an AA group.

Also, I can't seem to find anything about the 12 steps being "suggested" on www.aa.org.

http://www.aa.org/lang/en/results.cfm?results=12+suggested+steps http://www.aa.org/pdf/products/p-55_twelvestepsillustrated.pdf http://www.aa.org/lang/en/en_pdfs/smf-121_en.pdf

Maybe the pamphlets they give to actual AA members are different... but the website does "leave out that they are called the Twelve SUGGESTED steps of AA."

“A meritocratic society is one in which inequalities of wealth and social position solely reflect the unequal distribution of merit or skills amongst human beings, or are based upon factors beyond human control, for example luck or chance. Such a society is socially just because individuals are judged not by their gender, the colour of their skin or their religion, but according to their talents and willingness to work, or on what Martin Luther King called 'the content of their character'. By extension, social equality is unjust because it treats unequal individuals equally.” "Political Ideologies" by Andrew Heywood (2003)


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12 suggested steps

Kapkao wrote:

Maybe the pamphlets they give to actual AA members are different... but the website does "leave out that they are called the Twelve SUGGESTED steps of AA."

 

Chapter 5 of the big book introducing the steps calls them suggested.

 

 

Here are the steps we took, which are suggested as  a program of recovery: 

1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol—that our lives had become unmanageable. 

 

http://www.aa.org/bigbookonline/en_bigbook_chapt5.pdf

 

 

 

 

Religion Kills !!!

Numbers 31:17-18 - Now kill all the boys. And kill every woman who has slept with a man, but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.

http://jesus-needs-money.blogspot.com/


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atheists in AA/alanon

Kapkao wrote:

We admitted we were powerless over our addiction - that our lives had become unmanageable

Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity

Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood God

You say tomatoes, I say tomahtoes... apparently what you say about god and what AA says (and does) about god appear to be two different things. AA also does very much appear to say (or at least, suggest) that newcomers are helpless before joining an AA group.

They don't say helpless. You even quoted step one. It reads powerless not helpless. The string of quotes you had about not being able to stop drinking just describes the first step. No matter how hard the alcoholic tries he cannot stop drinking and his life is a mess. This is just an honest fact for those who find themselves there. If you can stop drinking you don't need AA. But alcoholics will lie to themselves and try to think they can drink but then they wake up from a blackout.  They don't have to admit something that isn't true. The first step asks them a question, is your life unmanageable? Do you find yourself in trouble with the law? Do you have broken relationships with your family? Do you find yourself continually  making promises to stop drinking and yet you continue to drink? This is different than saying you must admit you are a vile sinner with an unqualified definition of what that means exactly; that you are born in original sin, destined to burn eternally if you don't believe in a specific imaginary god.

Perhaps you didn't read what I quoted from the big book above. In the chapter "We agnostics" it reads

Quote:
"When, therefore, we speak to you of God, we mean your own conception of God"

http://www.aa.org/bigbookonline/en_bigbook_chapt4.pdf

page 47

If you an atheist than your concept of god is that there is no god and I know personally atheist who are in AA as well as in alanon and have recovery. I am not saying these programs are perfect by any stretch. They work for some and they don't work for others regardless of what they think about god.  This is a suggested program, not THE snake-oil program that will cure your life and that rash you wondered about. It won't give you eternal life.  It is not empty promises. Step 2 you quote. It reads a power COULD restore you to sanity. It doesn't say you WILL be. Even the big book talks about some who had much promise but couldn't stop themselves from drinking to death. They were dumbfounded as to why, not because they believed their answer must work, but more in the vein of "what could we do different?". 

 

You quote the third step about making a decision to turn our will and our life over to the care of god and we understood god/him. The last part, as we understood god, was added because in the founding years of AA there were atheists who asked to have that added (step 11 as well). AA was apart of the Oxford group originally but they had to break from them because they were too religious. When we go over the third step in meetings I say tongue in cheek, "I thank god there were atheist in AA when it started". They are what kept it from becoming a religious program. 

Here is something read at the beginning of alanon meetings (I am not sure if there is an equivalent in AA). It is in every meeting I go to.

Quote:
"We do not give advise and are not a religious organization. You may hear members speak of their concept of God here, but remember this is their concept only. Take what you like and leave the rest. During this time we come together to learn how to live the Al-Anon program. We request that all present refrain from gossip, dominance, discussion of religion, treatment centers, self-help programs, counseling and the use or mention of material other than our Al-Anon Conference approved literature. We ask member of other anonymous fellowships to remain anonymous during the meeting to help focus on the Al-Anon program."

 

The bible is not al-anon conference approved literature.  

 

Alanon has a service manual for groups to reference. Here are quotes about what Al-anon thinks about the place of religion in meetings.

 

http://www.al-anon.alateen.org/members/pdf/p2427/P24_27.pdf

 

Page 48 wrote:

Group Problems and Solutions

Many groups have problems at one time or another. Attendance may fall off as personality differences come to the surface. The three major obstacles to success in Al-Anon are discussion of religion, gossip, and dominance.

...

Members may discuss specific religious tenents, forgetting that membership is open to all.

Page 106 wrote:

Meetings

Al-Anon is a spiritual program; thus the discussion of specific religious beliefs at meetings may divert members from Al-Anon's primary purpose. Our meetings are open to all those who are affected by alcoholism whether the member has a religious belief or not.

 

 

Religion Kills !!!

Numbers 31:17-18 - Now kill all the boys. And kill every woman who has slept with a man, but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.

http://jesus-needs-money.blogspot.com/


harleysportster
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The Orange Papers

http://www.orange-papers.org/

 

Still working on my blog. This laptop is acting pretty weird with the links. Hope this one works in the meantime.  

 

 

“It is proof of a base and low mind for one to wish to think with the masses or majority, merely because the majority is the majority. Truth does not change because it is, or is not, believed by a majority of the people.”
― Giordano Bruno


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harleysportster

harleysportster wrote:

http://www.orange-papers.org/

 

Still working on my blog. This laptop is acting pretty weird with the links. Hope this one works in the meantime.  

 

 

 

Who is the author of the orange papers? Is that you or your source?

That is an impressive amount of labor. 

Even got jokes - cool.

 

 

Religion Kills !!!

Numbers 31:17-18 - Now kill all the boys. And kill every woman who has slept with a man, but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.

http://jesus-needs-money.blogspot.com/


harleysportster
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ex-minister wrote:  Who is

ex-minister wrote:

 

 

Who is the author of the orange papers? Is that you or your source?

That is an impressive amount of labor. 

Even got jokes - cool.

 

 

Nope, I did not write the Orange Papers. Hehe. But that is one of my many sources. I should probably post a bibliography at the bottom of my blog.

“It is proof of a base and low mind for one to wish to think with the masses or majority, merely because the majority is the majority. Truth does not change because it is, or is not, believed by a majority of the people.”
― Giordano Bruno


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struggling nontheist at Al-Anon

Oh, thank GOD I found this thread!!!  (just kidding - hehe!)  but seriously, I need this discussion right now.

I am attending an Al-Anon meeting for some much-needed support (for about 8-9 months now). There are very good healthy things about it, but the religious thing is sticking in my craw. It is true as some have said here that the program makes an effort to be inclusive in a religious sense, which I do appreciate, but the inclusiveness comes with limits. The literature makes it clear that the program expects and hopes its non-believing members will eventually find a "Higher Power." The readings are replete with religious references to "God" and prayer, particularly the blue book (an earlier text which is still much used-"One Day at a Time in Al-Anon" ). 

To tell you my story, I started right from the beginning substituting words when it was my turn to read. Instead of "God" I would say "good healthy impulses" and some other things like that. After a couple of months, the group's informal leader backed up by another long-time member confronted me right in the middle of the meeting, saying she was "offended" that I would not use the word "God." She actually held up the blue book and said "This is SCRIPTURE!" I was like, I beg your pardon?! I was totally shocked that someone would confront me that way, but given that the person herself had shared a glowing story of being "saved" a few weeks prior, I figured she felt threatened as she was trying to integrate with her new church family, and was projecting her fear and anxieties about being rejected onto me. Afterwards she actually encouraged em to think about leaving the meeting.

The good that came from this, was that several other members, when I continued the discussion in the hallway after the meeting, and in subsequent meetings, made a concerted effort to reach out to me and reassure me that I was welcome, that there is no requirement for attending Al-Anon, other than your own belief you have a problem with someone else's drinking or drug use. Several passages from the literature were cited as examples of the inclusiveness policy. They clearly expressed that I was welcome in spite of my "heathen" ways.  Smiling

Nevertheless, after some mulling, in an attitude of tolerance and "love thy persecutor" I decided I would demonstrate my godless goodness and show more respect for the group's leaders than they had shown me. Out of respect and not wishing to create discomfort and turmoil in the meeting, going forward I chose to decline to read whenever I was asked to read any passage or one of the 12 steps that contained any reference to "God" or "Higher Power." I might comment on the meeting's topic but without reading a passage. Personally, I recognize the language of "Higher Power" as a compromise on the part of religionists, which is admirable, but I still see it as being charged with religious attitudes and I don't like to use that term, either.

It continues to be an uneasy situation. I think I am making a point by declining to read anything with "God" in it, and it suits me to be non-confrontational. Then they asked if I would be willing to lead a meeting. Well, I was very reluctant. I didn't want to be forced into reading or saying something against my own conscience, or risk offending others. At our meeting the Serenity Prayer is said at the beginning and the Lord's Prayer at the end. Finally I told this same leader who had confronted me six months prior that if I were to lead a meeting, I would invite people to join me for a minute of silent meditation in closing instead of the Lord's Prayer. She said "That's fine." But the next week when I came in, they said they had been "talking about me" and suggested that instead of me leading the Lord's Prayer, I could lead the meeting but not lead at that point. That anyone who didn't want to say the Lord's Prayer could simply stand there with her head bowed while the rest recited it (as if I don't already do exactly that). Well, maybe I am sensitive and probably I am conflict-avoidant, but this embarrassed me, mostly because I had already thought about it and decided it was demeaning of my beliefs to ask me to lead a meeting yet expect me to step aside during the religious parts. My suggested solution seemed inclusive and respectful to me. If I'm going to lead, I'll lead according to my conscience. I only said "I'll think about it." Another member then said to me "Read page 122!" Well, I don't like being told what to do any more than I like being told what to think. I said politely "You would like me to read page 122?" and he repeated enthusiastically "Yeah, read page 122!" Something about ecumenical religion. As if I need fixing.

Sorry about going on in such detail, it just feels good to vent. Anyway, I am inspired here when I read the ex-minister's posts about actually holding forth against "god" in his/her group and not being challenged over it. Maybe instead of being so accommodating I could be more honestly in-your-face about it with my group. I live in a very religious community and I know I'm a pioneer just by saying and doing the little that I've said and done. But I do hate being the focus of controversy. I don't even consider myself an "atheist," because to me that term implies an opposition to something, whereas I am not much interested in arguing with people over their god-belief. I just don't share it.

 

 

 

 

"Love is everywhere, I believe it." John Denver


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ex-minister wrote:I wil

ex-minister wrote:
I wil write more tonight. But there are many non-believers in aa and alanon. I came into alanon in 1986 as a believer and about 3 years ago because of alanon I became an atheist. There is much misinformation out there about these programs.

It's a little late to point this out, but I thought I might add that this doesn't even come close to answering the question I asked just above the quoted post. And it looks like you were responding to me, however I can't tell.

“A meritocratic society is one in which inequalities of wealth and social position solely reflect the unequal distribution of merit or skills amongst human beings, or are based upon factors beyond human control, for example luck or chance. Such a society is socially just because individuals are judged not by their gender, the colour of their skin or their religion, but according to their talents and willingness to work, or on what Martin Luther King called 'the content of their character'. By extension, social equality is unjust because it treats unequal individuals equally.” "Political Ideologies" by Andrew Heywood (2003)


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I haven't

I haven't forgotten the new addition to my blog on this matter. I been busy with physical therapy for this injury I had earlier this year and a host of other things. I am still on crutches (damnit) and am gonna be off work a little longer, but I guess that gives me time to sit in front of the tv and the computer, stare at my bike out the window in sorrow AND GET THIS LATEST ADDITION TO MY BLOG WRITTEN !!!!!! ARGGHHHHH. Laughing out loud

“It is proof of a base and low mind for one to wish to think with the masses or majority, merely because the majority is the majority. Truth does not change because it is, or is not, believed by a majority of the people.”
― Giordano Bruno


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movemens wrote: To tell you

movemens wrote:

 

To tell you my story, I started right from the beginning substituting words when it was my turn to read. Instead of "God" I would say "good healthy impulses" and some other things like that. After a couple of months, the group's informal leader backed up by another long-time member confronted me right in the middle of the meeting, saying she was "offended" that I would not use the word "God." She actually held up the blue book and said "This is SCRIPTURE!" I was like, I beg your pardon?! I was totally shocked that someone would confront me that way, but given that the person herself had shared a glowing story of being "saved" a few weeks prior, I figured she felt threatened as she was trying to integrate with her new church family, and was projecting her fear and anxieties about being rejected onto me. Afterwards she actually encouraged em to think about leaving the meeting.

The good that came from this, was that several other members, when I continued the discussion in the hallway after the meeting, and in subsequent meetings, made a concerted effort to reach out to me and reassure me that I was welcome, that there is no requirement for attending Al-Anon, other than your own belief you have a problem with someone else's drinking or drug use. Several passages from the literature were cited as examples of the inclusiveness policy. They clearly expressed that I was welcome in spite of my "heathen" ways.  Smiling

That was the overall impression that I got from both my research and 12 steppers I know.

movemens wrote:

Nevertheless, after some mulling, in an attitude of tolerance and "love thy persecutor" I decided I would demonstrate my godless goodness and show more respect for the group's leaders than they had shown me. Out of respect and not wishing to create discomfort and turmoil in the meeting, going forward I chose to decline to read whenever I was asked to read any passage or one of the 12 steps that contained any reference to "God" or "Higher Power." I might comment on the meeting's topic but without reading a passage. Personally, I recognize the language of "Higher Power" as a compromise on the part of religionists, which is admirable, but I still see it as being charged with religious attitudes and I don't like to use that term, either.

It continues to be an uneasy situation. I think I am making a point by declining to read anything with "God" in it, and it suits me to be non-confrontational. Then they asked if I would be willing to lead a meeting. Well, I was very reluctant. I didn't want to be forced into reading or saying something against my own conscience, or risk offending others. At our meeting the Serenity Prayer is said at the beginning and the Lord's Prayer at the end. Finally I told this same leader who had confronted me six months prior that if I were to lead a meeting, I would invite people to join me for a minute of silent meditation in closing instead of the Lord's Prayer. She said "That's fine." But the next week when I came in, they said they had been "talking about me" and suggested that instead of me leading the Lord's Prayer, I could lead the meeting but not lead at that point. That anyone who didn't want to say the Lord's Prayer could simply stand there with her head bowed while the rest recited it (as if I don't already do exactly that). Well, maybe I am sensitive and probably I am conflict-avoidant, but this embarrassed me, mostly because I had already thought about it and decided it was demeaning of my beliefs to ask me to lead a meeting yet expect me to step aside during the religious parts. My suggested solution seemed inclusive and respectful to me. If I'm going to lead, I'll lead according to my conscience. I only said "I'll think about it." Another member then said to me "Read page 122!"

 I can't speak for Ala-non. Never been but it sounds like alot of the people that I have met through my Uncle and his friend's AA meetings and what they would do.

 

 

 

 

 

“It is proof of a base and low mind for one to wish to think with the masses or majority, merely because the majority is the majority. Truth does not change because it is, or is not, believed by a majority of the people.”
― Giordano Bruno


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Harley look out

harleysportster wrote:

I haven't forgotten the new addition to my blog on this matter. I been busy with physical therapy for this injury I had earlier this year and a host of other things. I am still on crutches (datemnit) and am gonna be off work a little longer, but I guess that gives me time to sit in front of the tv and the computer, stare at my bike out the window in sorrow AND GET THIS LATEST ADDITION TO MY BLOG WRITTEN !!!!!! ARGGHHHHH. Laughing out loud

 

 

                     Stay in doors and hide the crutches,  do you know what happens to horses with bad legs????????

"Very funny Scotty; now beam down our clothes."

VEGETARIAN: Ancient Hindu word for "lousy hunter"

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Jeffrick

Jeffrick wrote:

harleysportster wrote:

I haven't forgotten the new addition to my blog on this matter. I been busy with physical therapy for this injury I had earlier this year and a host of other things. I am still on crutches (datemnit) and am gonna be off work a little longer, but I guess that gives me time to sit in front of the tv and the computer, stare at my bike out the window in sorrow AND GET THIS LATEST ADDITION TO MY BLOG WRITTEN !!!!!! ARGGHHHHH. Laughing out loud

 

 

                     Stay in doors and hide the crutches,  do you know what happens to horses with bad legs????????

 

“A meritocratic society is one in which inequalities of wealth and social position solely reflect the unequal distribution of merit or skills amongst human beings, or are based upon factors beyond human control, for example luck or chance. Such a society is socially just because individuals are judged not by their gender, the colour of their skin or their religion, but according to their talents and willingness to work, or on what Martin Luther King called 'the content of their character'. By extension, social equality is unjust because it treats unequal individuals equally.” "Political Ideologies" by Andrew Heywood (2003)


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 movemens,Thank you for

 movemens,

Thank you for your post. The "disease" that alanon people carry is control. They cannot control their alcoholic (getting him sober) so they will try everywhere else and the un-recovered ones are focusing on you. The part I love about alanon is that I can stand up to these assholes. I couldn't do that as a child and was even fearful with my family as an adult. But here in this meeting I learned how to stand up for myself and know myself. They are not related to me, but they all look familiar. There is one old biddy that I first thought was OK because she can speak the language but she still is in the disease. She controls the heck out of things and still has the sweet smile on her face saying she loves everybody just as Lois W taught. I have stood up to her and pushed back. I told her I was angry at her. She still wanted a frickin' hug. I told her NO and repeatedly told her no. It was a major step for me. I didn't seek any battle but I wasn't about to be walked over either. To this day, I stand my ground with her. She has become my teacher. Now I don't take shit from my family like I used to. 

I have had to learn, grateful to some healthly members, what alanon is about. And there is ONLY one requirement to be a member as you noted. That we only read conference approved literature and if you get a copy of that list at your service center you will see the big book is not on the list. The bible is not on the list. Part of my growing up in alanon is speaking my truth and I have become an atheist and that is the truth. It was alanon that allowed me to open that door. I have seen a number of wacky fundies come in and it has softened their hard line. Some have left their wacky churches. Once you understand the alanon issue with control then you start seeing it everywhere and it is rampant in fundie churches. It is eye opening.

In my group we don't do the Lord's Prayer at the end. We had one fundie come in and requested a business meeting to do it instead of the serenity prayer. When we held it, she said look at the power of the words they apply to everyone. Don't think of it as Christian.

I quickly wrote down the lords prayer on a piece of paper. When it came my turn to speak I said, this thing is chocked full of theology (and I should know). It says god is male and has a will. It introduced sacredness and glory. It identifies an invisible kingdom in the sky. Introduces sin & temptation and the need to have a guy in the sky forgive you.  I said we have in this room more than 5 different views on religion (it actually was Judaism, Hindus, Muslim, Buddhist, atheist, and different types of Christians). That is not their theology. I think even you would not want to say one of their prayers at the end. 

The vote came and the majority voted against it. This woman never returned even though she had been their for months. She was off to find another group to control and make it suitable for her world view. 

You will find assholes in AA & Alanon. It can suck you in, but you can see they only have what you have. I started gravitating to members who didn't have what I had and didn't need to make the world safe for themselves by controlling the shit out of others.

I still plan to do the other two Penn & Teller videos. Just work keeps getting in the way.

Another thing you hear for g.o.d is good orderly direction. when I hear god, I translate it in my head as just life and focus on what am I trying to control today that is beyond my responsibility and power. 

 

If you want to talk in private messages I would be fine with that.

 

Religion Kills !!!

Numbers 31:17-18 - Now kill all the boys. And kill every woman who has slept with a man, but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.

http://jesus-needs-money.blogspot.com/


ex-minister
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Kapkao wrote:ex-minister

Kapkao wrote:

ex-minister wrote:

So you are free to be an atheist and in be in 12 step program.

How many nonbelievers stay and leave AA as nonbelievers???

Quote:
How is that a web?

It may not be a web by itself, but with everything else... particularly how it's a dating service for the mildly predatory seeking young(er), disaffected, and worn-rugged members of society. No defense against people pretending to be in recovery trying to find a sexual partner on less than equal footing in life. It is, after all, a revolving doors membership. Apparently there are other ills in the "rooms", but the person I talked with about this didn't bother to mention them.

Oh. Here is my response to this post.

I cannot give you a count. From my prior posts I think you can see there are some that stay. In my group I know of at least half a dozen who are atheist and come every week. I came in a fundamentalist. I see softening of hard iines for those that are still religious.  It directs you that way, because the focus is in AA to stop drinking, the focus in Alanon is not controlling others and make them behave the way you want them to so you can be happy. But I in no way say that there aren't members who try to make you a fundie clone. The groups are independent and if you get sick bastards in your group they will try to take over. I know of one where that happen and that group is no more and the individual can't figure out why. (duh).  I think sick groups tend to die out.

 

A dating service. AA yes. It is called 13th stepping. The alcoholic is just swapping one obsession for another. It is predatory. But this disease is just fucked up and alcoholics are only focused on themselves and what they need. The 12 steps are the wake up call. Step 8 "made a list of all people we have harmed and became willing to make amends to them all". An alcoholic is destroying those around him and all he is thinking about is his next fix. AA is saying wake up and see what you are doing to those around you, but you got to stop drinking to see it. Alcoholics abuse and use each other and the codependents are enabling it. It is a family disease. I don't have to go to a meeting to see it. But people truly trying to recover will learn to not let the assholes win. 

 

Religion Kills !!!

Numbers 31:17-18 - Now kill all the boys. And kill every woman who has slept with a man, but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.

http://jesus-needs-money.blogspot.com/


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ex-minister wrote:Kapkao

ex-minister wrote:

Kapkao wrote:

ex-minister wrote:

So you are free to be an atheist and in be in 12 step program.

How many nonbelievers stay and leave AA as nonbelievers???

Quote:
How is that a web?

It may not be a web by itself, but with everything else... particularly how it's a dating service for the mildly predatory seeking young(er), disaffected, and worn-rugged members of society. No defense against people pretending to be in recovery trying to find a sexual partner on less than equal footing in life. It is, after all, a revolving doors membership. Apparently there are other ills in the "rooms", but the person I talked with about this didn't bother to mention them.

Oh. Here is my response to this post.

I cannot give you a count. From my prior posts I think you can see there are some that stay. In my group I know of at least half a dozen who are atheist and come every week. I came in a fundamentalist. I see softening of hard iines for those that are still religious.  It directs you that way, because the focus is in AA to stop drinking, the focus in Alanon is not controlling others and make them behave the way you want them to so you can be happy. But I in no way say that there aren't members who try to make you a fundie clone. The groups are independent and if you get sick bastards in your group they will try to take over. I know of one where that happen and that group is no more and the individual can't figure out why. (duh).  I think sick groups tend to die out.

 

A dating service. AA yes. It is called 13th stepping. The alcoholic is just swapping one obsession for another. It is predatory. But this disease is just fucked up and alcoholics are only focused on themselves and what they need. The 12 steps are the wake up call. Step 8 "made a list of all people we have harmed and became willing to make amends to them all". An alcoholic is destroying those around him and all he is thinking about is his next fix. AA is saying wake up and see what you are doing to those around you, but you got to stop drinking to see it. Alcoholics abuse and use each other and the codependents are enabling it. It is a family disease. I don't have to go to a meeting to see it. But people truly trying to recover will learn to not let the assholes win.

So... that is to say, AA has quite a few vulnerabilities and even some problem members in it, yeah? That was the gist of most of my posts in this thread.

Your last sentence is a little vague. So is a person hindered and delayed by the troublemakers of a given group, or not?

“A meritocratic society is one in which inequalities of wealth and social position solely reflect the unequal distribution of merit or skills amongst human beings, or are based upon factors beyond human control, for example luck or chance. Such a society is socially just because individuals are judged not by their gender, the colour of their skin or their religion, but according to their talents and willingness to work, or on what Martin Luther King called 'the content of their character'. By extension, social equality is unjust because it treats unequal individuals equally.” "Political Ideologies" by Andrew Heywood (2003)


ex-minister
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Kapkao wrote:ex-minister

Kapkao wrote:

ex-minister wrote:

But people truly trying to recover will learn to not let the assholes win.

So... that is to say, AA has quite a few vulnerabilities and even some problem members in it, yeah? That was the gist of most of my posts in this thread.

Your last sentence is a little vague. So is a person hindered and delayed by the troublemakers of a given group, or not?

Welcome to the human race (no sarcasm intended) . 

People who come into AA/alanon are dysfunctional. Their lives are a mess. They have been abusive to and by family members and friends. We are talking human beings who have some major problems. So the crazy comes in. In healthy groups these members cannot make headway. They either get better or leave.  I think the strength of AA/alanon is that the groups are autonomous. If a group is really sick it will die. If they have healthy members it will go on. I have seen some members leave and start a new group. It happens.  So yeah there are problem members. In fact I would say all of us walking in the door are a problem members. Why else would we be there? 

It is not a professional organization. It is a bunch of people affected by alcoholism. People come and go. There are no dues or fees and no membership list. It is very loose in many ways. It is easy for courts or health organizations to tell people to go to these meetings just because of that. It costs nothing but getting or having a ride. 

Part of recovery is standing up for yourself and not controlling others. When the dysfunction walks in the door (on a bad day that can be me) each member has a choice to let that get to them or not. The only person who hindered my recovery was me.  As a child I was a victim. As an adult I am a volunteer. These organizations cannot hold you, it is anonymous. I only give out what information I chose to. I don't even know how to contact people I see every week. If they decide to never come back I simply won't see them again.

I think you want a black or white answer. It simply cannot be given. I have gained my greatest recovery from the "troublemakers".  They are my teachers. I unlearned the survival techniques I learned as a child, which was shut up, go along to get along, accept unacceptable behavior, not be myself, not trust what I feel or think. (it is no wonder I became a fundamental Christian)

Hopefully that addresses your question.

Religion Kills !!!

Numbers 31:17-18 - Now kill all the boys. And kill every woman who has slept with a man, but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.

http://jesus-needs-money.blogspot.com/


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harleysportster wrote:I

harleysportster wrote:

I haven't forgotten the new addition to my blog on this matter. I been busy with physical therapy for this injury I had earlier this year and a host of other things. I am still on crutches (damnit) and am gonna be off work a little longer, but I guess that gives me time to sit in front of the tv and the computer, stare at my bike out the window in sorrow AND GET THIS LATEST ADDITION TO MY BLOG WRITTEN !!!!!! ARGGHHHHH. Laughing out loud

 

Dang, that sucks.

I will ride my sporster this weekend for you.  

Even starting it gives me a thrill.

 

 

Religion Kills !!!

Numbers 31:17-18 - Now kill all the boys. And kill every woman who has slept with a man, but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.

http://jesus-needs-money.blogspot.com/


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Jeffrick

Jeffrick wrote:
 

 

                     Stay in doors and hide the crutches,  do you know what happens to horses with bad legs????????

Laughing out loud Probably involves a rifle and what my girlfriend would like to do to me on most days.

“It is proof of a base and low mind for one to wish to think with the masses or majority, merely because the majority is the majority. Truth does not change because it is, or is not, believed by a majority of the people.”
― Giordano Bruno


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Penn & Teller video Part 2 & 3

 My comments on Penn & Teller video part 2 & 3 - thats it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5uwx2P5LJgk&feature=related 

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7PjpOsE3xoY&feature=related

 

== Higher power 

Penn and Teller are irritated that AA will not define god. They want to force them to pick a god, but AA decided that decades ago. "When we talk about God, we are talking about your concept of God". An atheist concept is that there is no god or at least all the gods humans have come up with are not god. That is the aa/alanon program - god as you understand him. I mentioned above how talking about a god can be useful just like it is in this forum. People walk in the door, as I did, pissed at god but were afraid to say so. In alanon I learned I could be myself, say anything I wanted and not be controlled being told how to think and feel. In a church if I said I was pissed at god, I would have gotten talked to and told that I was the problem and I needed to get right with Him. In alanon I was told I could find my own god and if I didn't like the one I had I could change that. So I did and I have seen others change their god as well. Many have said that the god of their understand changed quite a bit from when they first became a member. Anecdotally I have seen either it stays roughly the same but the majority of the time it is less fundamental and sometimes the need for a personal god completely disappears.

 

== Forced into 12 step program 

AA doesn't establish or promote this. It is done by courts, therapist and employers. In alanon I have seen these people come into the meetings. They look for someone to sign a piece of paper saying that they were there. The first time I was asked I was hesitant to respond. What I did and still do is I sign my first name and first initial of my last name. I provided no other information. Really all someone would have to do after they learn this is to fake a name from then on. It would be very hard to track. People come and go in these meetings. It is an anonymous program. You would need to hire a detective to find the member that signed the paper. I don't see that happening because the court, therapist or employer will simply see if this person has decided to change their life.

 

== Statistics

Penn tried to get statistics from AA regarding its effectiveness. He did the "Michael Moore" thing he says and he hated doing so. He went to AA offices and could  find no one. He doesn't understand that AA is an anonymous program. That is one of its strengths. People who come in the door don't want to be publicly announced as someone with an alcohol problem. Lindsey Lohan and others would like that as well. Some people could be fired if their employer found out such a thing, so they want to keep their personal life, their personal life. Penn digs and finds a 1987 report that says 5% of the people who come in the door stay. (There are no numbers I am aware but have no reason to doubt this) And he bemuses that AA states it  cannot do study on why the other 95% left. Well, he doesn't again understand anonymity. People are not forced to stay, they can come and go as they please and they cannot be easily tracked down and it would be against the program to do so. But he says that non-AA programs have the same success rate, 5%, meaning that the same person can get sober under any program. I don't see it that way. To me the number is cumulative. How does he know that that same person can get sober in different program?  Why begrudge those who do find help there. Lots of programs cost big bucks and for some alcoholics their finances can be in complete disarray. AA charges nothing.

 

== AA treatment in 1935, same as today.

It is not a medical organization, but it has changed. You can read the history on it and see that religion was first strongly apart of it and then stripped so that you can even say god could be a rock or nothing at all. In alanon the first step book (the 12 and 12) has been revised just within the past couple of years. You wouldn't do that with the bible. Most of what was removed was christian references (like "a new heaven and new earth&quotEye-wink.

 

==  Only solution & Powerlessness

As I noted before this "only solution" is not AA or alanon. The 12 steps are central to the program and even in the big book it calls them the 12 SUGGESTED steps. If you read the history of AA you can see they were trying many things and it developed into what it is today. They were willing to look for help from whatever source it came from. 

Penn misunderstands powerlessness like christians misunderstand the word  theory. If they were so powerful why are they still drinking? I have heard many times "If I could do it by myself I wouldn't be here." Admitting the reality of what is going on is the first step to recovering. I cannot solve a problem if I don't or will not see it. It is a hard step. It doesn't read I am helpless, worthless or anything like that. I came into alanon powerless and had no clue where to turn. I had tried so many things even fundamental religion to fix me. It wasn't working. They were of no help. But I did find help in alanon. No one could do the work for me. I was fully responsible for the consequences of my life, but here were people who had been down the same road as me. I could identify with their story and I could pick and choose what I wanted to try. And it worked. There is no one solution in these programs. I used to think/preach there was only one way (i.e. Jesus). In this program I can see people trying a variety of things that would not work for me, but it does work for them. For some (at the beginning was true for me) alanon was not enough and they were doing other things as well. No judgement whatsoever on it. I think that is coolest thing. There is not one answer. There are as many answers to recovery as their are people. Each has to find their own path and alanon has given me that freedom.

 

== Commitment

Penn suggests it is some time consuming deal. I go to meetings 2 to 3 times a week. The meetings are 1 hour long. I donate $1 a meeting. That is my entire commitment. I live with the disease 24 hours 7 days a week. It really is a cheap investment.

 

== Summation

You don't have to go to meetings, you don't have to say your name in meetings, you don't have to label yourself anything, you don't have to believe in anything in particular. There is only one requirement for membership in AA, a desire to stop drinking. In Alanon the only requirement is you have a family member or friend whose drinking bothers you. You can find help elsewhere and I and those I know would certainly be happy for you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Religion Kills !!!

Numbers 31:17-18 - Now kill all the boys. And kill every woman who has slept with a man, but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.

http://jesus-needs-money.blogspot.com/


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I am almost finished with my next blog

I am almost finished with my latest addition to my blog. Should be up by in tonight or tomorrow. I intend to show where AA is not only a quasi-religious cult organization, but also where it is vehemently anti-atheist. If I am not correct in any of my findings, I welcome any comments to show me where I am in error.

“It is proof of a base and low mind for one to wish to think with the masses or majority, merely because the majority is the majority. Truth does not change because it is, or is not, believed by a majority of the people.”
― Giordano Bruno


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harleysportster wrote: tonight or tomorrow

 Well, I've been waiting to read something that is different from the usual stuff that most people in AA or Al-anon read for quite a while now, so take you time and be precise, I'll be here to enjoy reading your findings.

Signature ? How ?


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It's up

It's up. Not as detailed as I would have liked, but I can always add more later as the discussion continues.

“It is proof of a base and low mind for one to wish to think with the masses or majority, merely because the majority is the majority. Truth does not change because it is, or is not, believed by a majority of the people.”
― Giordano Bruno


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harleysportster wrote: It's up.

  It's up, exactly where ?  Is there a Link ? Am I missing something ?

Signature ? How ?


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Scroll down

Scroll down the recent posts until you see my title : Why I believe the 12 Step Movement is just another religion.

“It is proof of a base and low mind for one to wish to think with the masses or majority, merely because the majority is the majority. Truth does not change because it is, or is not, believed by a majority of the people.”
― Giordano Bruno