43 Comments

AA – How AA Steals Your Soul – by Robert Warner – a book review

The truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

Usually, when you read a book about AA and the 12 steps, the author finds it necessary (cultural brainwashing if not personal indoctrination brainwashing) to claim that the ‘steps’ have worked for millions. They somehow seem to have the need to insist that they are not bashing AA. It’s maddening because AA should be bashed. AA should be exposed for the cult religion it is. AA should be revealed for the lies and deceit is foists on members and the us court system and on the film and TV industries and the general public. It’s lies lies and more lies.

Mr. Warner does not need to qualify anything. He takes the reader step by step through the sneaky subterfuge forced on anyone who is unfortunate enough to end up ‘in the rooms.’ Step by step he reveals how members lie to newcomers and slowly warp their minds into believing the ‘spiritual, not religious’ lies. Step by step he reveals how they do it, why they do it, and exactly when in the ‘steps’ they pull all the big switcheroos.

Do not let the grammatical errors or editing issues deter you. Robert self-published this gem of a book after he successful sued the state for illegally mandating him to AA after a DUI. This mandating is illegal why? Because in our first amendment establishment clause, church and state cannot be mixed. We cannot allow judges to force us into a religion. AA is its own special mind-control religion. Mr. Warner and his obviously brilliant attorney proved this. He won his lawsuit. He proved that what was being forced down his throat was illegal. He also did this while being threatened by his employer with termination and the judge with jail time. He attending meetings in his own way, not participating in the praying, hand holding, hugging and god worshipping and mantras claiming ‘gratitude’ for ‘powerlessness.’ He left as they all held hands and said the Christian ‘lords prayer.’ He made his views known and was unafraid to stand his ground. He knew better. He knows better. Most people leave the group and never look back. Mr. Warner has written a book that will help you know why it does not work no matter how you ‘work it.’ He also lets you know that if Wilson-worshipping works for you, cheers! However, it does NOT work for the vast majority of people who prefer to get well and get on with their lives … Not to be stuck for all eternity in meetings of lies and religious conversion.

Thank you, thank you, thank you. Finally, someone had the guts to push back against the most successful, longest running cult religion of all time. AA is a cult religion. End of story.

The book is available in paperback or kindle.

http://www.amazon.com/A-A-Alcoholics-Anonymous-Steals-Your/dp/1489599266/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top

43 comments on “AA – How AA Steals Your Soul – by Robert Warner – a book review

  1. I don’t think of it just as a cult – more of a death cult. You are told repeatedly things like “your disease is doing pushups in the parking lot.” “You will either end up sobered up, locked up or covered up.” “If you drink again you will end up worse than where you started from because your disease is progressive, and keeps on progressing no matter how long you have been “sober.” It’s a complete mindfuck!!

  2. Thank you to all the courageous people who speak out about AA. I have just left after 21 years worth of the degrading nonsense. I feel like I am free as a bird to live. It is definitely a cult. Many of my ‘friends’ of many many years will no longer talk to me because I don’t attend meetings. That’s called shunning. And as we all know – that’s another hallmark of a cult.

    • Yes it most certainly is. I love you. You are loved. You are in great company. Without even knowing you, I love you and would never shun you. Never.

    • FiftytoEighty,
      So sorry about the reactions from your “friends” – apparently it’s as obvious that those peeps stayed in touch due to being sober in AA. Just like they talk about not being able to keep your drinking buddies when getting sober, it seems that if there is true friendship drinking or in sobriety, those people will be real friends.

      • Since AA is a cult religion, if someone leaves, they are automatically the enemy. These people were never your friends. You can check in but you can never check out.

  3. I am also very happy that the AA Dogma and Truth about this Cult and the damages it has done is coming into the light. I left after 28 years of the nonsense. I have seen so much damage and very few results from the Self-Fulfilling Prophecies of the 12 Steps. I enjoy your Blog immensely. Thank you

    • Thank you for commenting. I don’t know how any clinician can continually refer clients to 12 step meetings. It’s truly unethical as attendance harms and does not help. Religious conversion should not be allowed to be in anyone’s treatment plan. When I attempt to speak with my professors at Hazelden, they will no longer have anything to do with me due to my views on the 12 steps.

      Really? Live and let live, yeah right. They do not want to know about the dangers let alone the alternatives. Hazelden should be either shut down or there should be strict oversight. I actually had one of my former classmates tell me that with his personal success and his training, (he works for the Caron Foundation), he will continue to ‘tow the party line.’ Then he defriended me on facebook when I privately told him about harm reduction and SMART and all the other aftercare choices. Truly mind-boggling. Just last night at a party I was speaking to an older woman who told me to calm down, I was completely calm, I said so … Calmly. Her husband sat down, listened for a bit, she said, “he’s a heroin addict.” He said, “not any longer and I could never take the indoctrination of the program, she’s right, fuck that.” She stormed off.

      Always an emotional topic. Cult, cult, cult.

    • I find it interesting that many of the people who are speaking out are former members who have long term sobriety and long term membership. Something to think about for sure…..

      • Absolutely. You are told that you cannot afford a normal feeling like a resentment and if you leave you will die. But most people DO leave within the first year. They will only tell you that they are saving a seat for you and you are on a slippery slope. It’s a dangerous cult.

        If you read this book, you will see that Robert was forced to go and therefore his perspective was from the inside with a clear mind. He saw exactly what was going on, found a lawyer to help him, won his case and self-published a book. It’s actually heroic when you think about it … with all the vitriol and anger that comes from devout steppers when their cult religion is exposed.

  4. Cougar, I’ve got this title on my list. Haven’t gotten to it yet. I’ll appreciate his observations. I’m quite sure the author and I both have many of the same takes on things.

    • I am sure of it too. It’s a quick read and a laugh out loud/cry kind of read. He fought for his life … and won. Thanks for commenting Mark.

  5. It is an interesting book as it goes through the religious side of AA based on the Oxford group. I always thought the God and Higher power stuff was rubbish, but it is hard to ignore when so many people are repeating the same stuff in meetings. I like the section at the end that breaks town all the typical stepper answers.

    • He points out step by step how they lie and where they get their lies from. He WON his lawsuit against the state for illegally mandating him to a religious organization. AA is a dangerous cult religion that steals your soul so that you are nothing but a recruiter for more prospects. Any other pursuits in your life take second to your spreading the AA rhetoric. Any other relationships that are not with those spreading the words of AA are put aside. This book shows exactly how the 12 steps are presented in ways that seem harmless but are nothing but harmful.

      Anyone struggling with the insistence of the ‘spiritual not religious’ lies can find the truth here. It is difficult for people to stand up for themselves when they are systematically subjected to the brainwashing techniques of the 12 step religion. It is a valuable piece of work.

      Thanks for commenting!

  6. Yes, a death cult. I’ve done my time. One of the more interesting points is that they claim that “God can be whoever or whatever you want he/she/it to be..yet they hold hands and recite the Christian Lord’s Prayer. For me, I bought the total “powerless for life” package handed me, and once one does that, they are trapped. Every personal failing will be easily pegged to “well. I’m powerless, and only these tables can grant me salvation.” Not to mention, at least n my area, that when you leave a group for good, the gossip rolls. Your “friends” stop calling, because you rejected their advice. I have not maintained one single friendship with anyone I met in AA circles, after I left for good. I tried. I called people who were once close to me..AA people, after I had left. I would tell them “hey, we’re friends. It goes beyond a table and a belief system” But all I ever got was “Well, when you’re ready for help again, we’re here.” CULT. Why do people fail at alarming rates? Because they buy into the “powerless” tag, and thus live as victims.

  7. Interesting stuff here. I have been reading from several sources of the ‘bad’ of AA. I told my wife I was quitting AA – prior to my ‘research’. She said, “No, you have to go” without having any knowledge of what goes on etc. I told her it was a waste of time. I saw it from the very beginning. I have been attending the ‘program’ for just over two months. I find it beyond ridiculous. And the cliches, I hear them all. I like the term ‘steppers’ too. I call them big book thumpers. I have to admit that I am powerless, turn my life and my will over to the care of god “as I understand him.” If I don’t I will be relegated to death or institutions and one other thing.
    It is amazing how often I hear people say they didn’t believe in a higher power until finally they got it. Now it is only by the grace of god that they are able to maintain their sobriety. Many didn’t need god to stop drinking, but they sure as hell cannot “keep it” without him. It takes about a year or less I think for someone to be converted. But it will happen – just keep coming back. It took me about a week to see the nonsense. But, going was part of my “continuing care plan.” The more I go the more amused I become with hearing the same shit day after day. And the ones who “keep coming back” after they “went back out”. My disease is all powerful! I had to come back into the ‘rooms’ to get my medicine. It is amazing that the program works so well that many with several years get drunk time after time but still return to get better. And there are those too who attend almost daily meetings with 20, 30 years of sobriety who say that if they stop coming to meetings they will head straight to the nearest bar. WTF?
    Mind you, there are a number of true believers that what they are doing is helpful. And for some it works. For those who are desperately at the end of their rope it is a good start to stay off booze. But long term, it is a poison to the mind. I’m all in favor of someone doing 90 meetings in 90 days if that’s what it takes. But after that, we’re glad we helped you control your drinking for a couple months. No go out there and do it on your own – you are NOT powerless. Get some help if needed – highly recommended for most.
    But those who sacrifice their life and soul to this ideal with always be mindless wonders of society in my opinion.
    I could go on and on about it. But I think it’s mostly been covered. So for those who talk down to the ones that left after years of ‘stepping’, I am one who saw the light right out of the gate.
    Brian

    • Brian – Come to the light, Come to the light. Nice job. I love it when steppers claim that some people are too smart for the program but the program is perfect, it’s only people who are imperfect. WTF is right. Good for you. Seems as if your wife has learned a great deal about this cult religion of a program right along with you. You are lucky. Not everyone’s marriage survives the ‘steps’ especially if the spouse of the ‘alcoholic’ is in al-anon. The combination has destroyer more marriages than cheating! Hey, if a cult religion works for you, cheers! But it does NOT work for the great majority of people, never has and never will. These people were never your friends. True friends do not dump you because you no longer want to listen and subject your brain to the chants of negative affirmations and ‘powerless’ lies. Keep coming back! Or not. You are now free. Nice job! Thanks so much for writing.

    • By the way, it’s Institutions, Dead … or in Jail. Most people would rather be in jail thank you very much. You would probably be safer!

  8. Wow! I am not sure how I stumbled upon this… Must be my higher power! Just kidding. I left AA after 19 years over a year and a half ago and I couldn’t be happier. I’ve kept a couple open-minded friends from AA, but most are stuck talking a lot more about me than to me. Anger, aggression and violence around meetings and a total non-response to it led me away from meetings. It took about six months to be comfortably clear of all the bullshit, but life with my wife and kids is so much better with Daddy around the house and not racing out to meetings with freaky dangerous “friends”.

    • Wow! 19 years and still here to tell the tale! Good for you for getting out! This is no small task.

      Thank you so much for commenting. Keep coming back.

  9. Reblogged this on Juliet Roxspin and commented:
    I love this blog: And this review describes a book exposing brainwashing techniques and how spiritual groups such as AA are largely influential in creating lifelong dependence on groups and others to control your life. Also, note the author of the book successfully sued his state for illegally mandating him to AA meetings after a DUI. Court mandated religion is a crime in itself.

    • Thank you Juliet. Robert is a brave man. This book is priceless. He does not pull any punches. It’s wonderful.

      Thank you also for the reblog!

      • Welcome 🙂 I must get back to writing but meanwhile re-blogging works too 🙂 Lol I admire the variety of your blogs and I’ll likely reblog again soon.

        Thumbs up lady! You’re awesome.

  10. This is truly the best blog ever! I could tell you exactly how everything you have said here is completely true and give you example after example. I mean I guess that is what happens when you are forced into this cult like many of us have been. I spent a year living with these cult members, who I thought were my best friends. However, once I left they will not even respond to a message on Facebook (not sure why they even became my friend to begin with, now most of them have either removed themselves from my list or I have taken them off). I don’t need that bullshit in my life. Luckily, I do not live anywhere near them (well a four hour drive), but I will never step foot back in that town again. Thank you so much for writing. I enjoy all of your blogs. I love how you cut straight to the point and tell it exactly how it is instead of trying to please both sides. AA is a cult and a deadly harmful cult. Also, thanks for letting me share your blog on Willingway Survivor Support. It’s amazing how many people have contacted me, and told me their horror stories, but are still too scared to hit a like button b/c a cult member might see it. It’s truly amazing. You are wonderful!!!

  11. This is truly the best blog ever! I could tell you exactly how everything you have said here is completely true and give you example after example. I guess that is what happens when you are forced into this cult like many of us have been. I spent a year living with these cult members, who I thought were my best friends. However, once I left they will not even respond to a message on Facebook (not sure why they even became my friend to begin with, now most of them have either removed themselves from my list or I have taken them off). I don’t need that bullshit in my life. Luckily, I do not live anywhere near them (well a four hour drive), but I will never step foot back in that town again. Thank you so much for writing. I enjoy all of your blogs. I love how you cut straight to the point, and tell it exactly how it is instead of trying to please both sides. AA is a cult and a deadly harmful cult. Also, thanks for letting me share your blog on Willingway Survivor Support. It’s amazing how many people have contacted me, and tell me their horror stories, but are still too scared to hit a like button b/c a cult member might see it. It’s truly amazing. You are wonderful!!!

    • Thank you so much. I really needed to hear this tonight buchanan.

      This part. “I love how you cut straight to the point, and tell it exactly like it is instead of trying to please both sides.” If I do that,please both sides, am I not potentially sending someone into this cult or allowing for a justification from a present member? Why would I do that? Why would anyone do that?

      1) They spent aLOT of time ‘in the roomz’ and even though they are free, they still on some level believe that AA saved their life. But if you know the truth, do not sugar coat by minimizing the psychological damage inflicted upon you. They saved their OWN lives but what they have yet to realize is that they did that IN SPITE of AA, just as you did. When they started questioning all the ‘powerless-disease’ dogma is when they started to break the restraints that held them in a no-win position.

      2) Their indoctrination and subsequent bullying was so extreme that they genuinely have a hard time saying anything negative about the program. If that is not proof that they were abused, like a child who hides every time his father starts screaming in the hope that he will not get beat this time, I don’t know what is.

      This is a very lonely fight but I have a core group who have a private yahoo group where we share our work and ask one another for research material and help finding a therapist for a client in a certain city … things of that nature. I recently had a friend in the expose/leave/getthefuckout circle attempt to make me wrong for doing just what you describe so well here “cut straight to the point instead of trying to please both sides.” That other people don’t get that for whatever reason is their problem, not mine. But it does bother me when someone attempts to censor what I am saying. Fuck that. I would never do that to someone else.

      There are many, many reasons people have a hard time exposing this cult religion but as deeply as they mind-fuck their members and lie and manipulate and destroy lives, they deserve a strong push back. That people are taught they cannot afford a real feeling like the dreaded resentment, lest they drink themselves to death slowly in a gutter, actually causes extreme resentment. There’s that no-win situation in every page of their bible. If we don’t allow ourselves to express and process our feelings, we are going to be miserable … all the “happy, joyous and free’ chanting in the world could not erase the brain damage caused by this dangerous cult.

      The fact that people are too afraid to come forward for fear of their ‘friends’ in the cult is insane and an enormous RED FLAG. But steppers cannot see red flags because they are too busy beating up on themselves and living in fear of their ‘disease doing push-ups in the parking lot.’ What a hot, festering crock of BILLshit.

      Enough already. Thank you so much for the support.

      (and btw, there are also those that have books/films to sell and do not want to burn any bridge that might help them get a wide audience. That is another legitimate reason people ride the ‘taking sides’ fence. No thanks. I’d rather jump over the fence and kick their asses. This is not about some personal agenda other than exposing the dirty, covert, ‘jihad’ fucking truth.)

  12. I would like to read this book and will try the library.

    I enjoy your point of view whenever I run across it, Cougarblogger, and just learned you had your own website. You made a post about the Tina Dupuy interview that I really agreed with. You said that AA did not save her life, it stalled her life. That is a good observation; it felt true to me.

    Moving away from AA, the anti sites have been invaluable to me. I could not have the distance I have now without them.

    Recently, though, going onto a few different forums, I am reminded of the many in the program who still love it and it works for them. I remember these people, the winners, who just seem to click with it. The rest of the AA population tries their darndest to be winners, though, and end up wasting a lot of time and effort. They do not belong there, it is not a good match for them.

    The field of psychology seems to hold the answers to the addiction/compulsion problem in society. Why have they been so silent? Why have they let this get so out of hand? The 12 Steps are in direct contradiction to psychological principles! Why didn’t the psychologists claim their turf? Were they afraid they would have to lower their fees? I assume Dr. Phil is a Doctor of Psychology, and he has joined the 12-Step bandwagon wholeheartedly. The field really dropped the ball, in my opinion.

    • There is absolutely no need for you to qualify with your opinion. FACT — the field of psychology has failed to offer proper help and to stand up to this cult religion. FACT — AA has impeded medical advances and actively blocked research. FACT — AA devotees have conducted studies and when their theory (AA is perfect) did not show in conclusion, they then fudged to get the results their bias was trying to prove. FACT — This is an equal opportunity cult religion which mandates you adopt that your best thinking got you to abuse yourself with substances … psychologists and psychiatrists are human too. FACT — The 12 steps is not a program for recovery from any issue. The 12 steps is religious indoctrination disguised as medicine. These and many more reasons are why the field has so severely dropped the ball here.

      I disagree with you on only one point. Those who claim to love AA and insist it works for them are merely parroting the thought-stopping chants they hear everyday in the rooms. They are terrified of ending up as one of the unfortunates.

      What they do not realize is that by staying in a brain damaging program, they already are one of the unfortunates. That is highly unfortunate. They are too afraid to leave lest they end up in jail, an institution or dead. What kind of choices are they given? None. AA is about AA. AA is not about recovery from hemorrhoids let alone a disorder like chemical dependency. AA is about keeping the cult moving since they knew way back in 1935 that if they do not keep recruiting, the cult will die. People leave in droves, far more than those unfortunates who stay.

      I have lost colleagues/friends over this. Difficult emotionally? You bet. But if a licensed social worker or MFT is going to end a friendship over a difference of opinion … I am better off without them in my life. Their insistence that I should not be bad-mouthing AA is definitive proof that not only are their clients not being served, they are as brainwashed as the clients they are harming. These so-called professionals are going to have to take a serious look at what they have been doing and learn evidence/science based treatments. I do understand … along with the brainwashing comes the fear of their livelihood. Stepper professionals make money when clients keep coming back. They are at fault for this and just like judges are going to be required to offer more than a cult religion, so are those in the field of psychology.

      I stand that those who claim to be the winners are stuck and their lives are stalled. They can live without their meetings and chanting and service commitments … but not if they believe they cannot. That 5% that stay have experienced spontaneous remission and subsequently required through much subterfuge and dogma to give the program all credit for their success. If they are on a website praising their AA god, they are spreading the AA way of life … while wasting theirs. Their family of origin was so piss-poor that this cult religion is preferable to that. However, what they really need cannot be found in AA. Empowerment.

      Thank you again for writing in. Your opinion matters and obviously your best thinking is working for you.

    • To the Coug…I learned that in meetings the last damn you wanted to be was “honest”.
      The one time I was, I found myself attacked by the entire group! And the time I once said,” Hello. My name is Tom. I’m a Baptist and an alcoholic…Jeeezuhs! Thankfully, I now am free of both conditions.

      • Nice work! You sound like a strong person. Many people who come into the ‘roomz’ are terrified and vulnerable and fail to see the humor as easily as you seem to have done. These people are not well and they are dead set on seeing to it that everyone around them is unwell too. It’s a toxic environment. I wouldn’t send my dog there. Thanks for commenting!

    • would love to read this book…..

  13. Found your rap on “The Fix”. I learned the absolute last thing you wanted to be in meetings, was “honest”. When I was, the whole group would become like a bunch of fucking pit bulls. I still laugh about the time I began the meeting with,”Hello! My name is Tom and I’m a Baptist and an alcoholic…well, I thought it’d be funny. Fortunately, neither condition now obtains, for the scales have fallen from mine eyes. Am now free of the “Rooms” forever.

  14. I believe moderation to be a very viable alternative, The question is: why are bureaucrats slow to truths? Real people are smarter than hired guns, we are the ones on the internet espousing truths, keep your minds free and open to change. Question everything and don’t fear a god. We are the gods, if you want to fear god, fear your fellow man.

    • Thank you for commenting! The fear instilled in people over their substance use is an attempt to control them … When they’re perfectly capable of controlling themselves.

  15. You know what’s going on after quitting AA for good after 20 years? I am piecing every bit of rhetorical slogans, situations that went with that rhetoric, and feeling more betrayed from believing the cult especially in my early years there. Since I never gave in to their religious bullshit, I was never a popular guy around the Rooms. I stayed around when I made friends which were people not so indoctrinated in the bullshit either. I moved to Delaware and saw the religion even more pronounced in their meetings, and I said to one person that I could vomit pea soup like little Reagan from the Exorcist. That, with freely using the word fuck when I shared didn’t go over too well, either so I walked out. That was 5 years ago and I only went 10 times more in the last 5 years. I only went to my anniversary meetings in those times along with other “friends” anniversary meetings, too. I think the last 5 years were the process that got me to start taking over my life again… My partner and I are living a beautiful relationship, and I have never looked back after we met. What really woke me up for some reason, wasn’t the ongoing sex hookups, and people ripping each other off, but when on two separate occasions where one guy (with double digit years mind you) mentioned that if it weren’t for his sponsor, he would have never made a move without his “Advice”. This frightened me. I started to wake up…Then there was this lady giving all this horrible stuff on how her day was going, and said “But IT’S OKAY”…WHAT?? Is she full of shit, or what?? IT’S NOT Okay sweetie!!! If I had a shit day, I would NOT say it’s okay… I’d want to cherry bomb the office toilets, or something…Which leads me to say this much. After leaving the meetings, I left a whole lot of anger behind. 20 years of this mind fuck hasn’t gone away completely, so I’m working through the reasons still…Thank you for a great blog. I may have more of this stuff to share eventually…

    • These cult religion meetings will always make your life worse, never better. Once people leave, they actually CAN become “happy, joyous, and free.” As long as you allow yourself to push your power down and label yourself with nothing but BILLShit. you will suffer the mind-fuck of all mind-fucks.

      It’s so incredibly dysfunctional that people give all credit for their very lives to a “sponsor” or the “program.” Can’t take a shit without permission.

      They are brainwashed to think that they cannot possibly make a decision without the assistance of their all-knowing leader (CULT) and they BRAG about it!! … that koolaid is nothing but deadly.

      You can take all credit for seeing the truth for the subterfuge. This is not an easy task. Nice Work!

      Feel free to off gas any BILLShit here as you continue to work thru the piles of cognitive dissonance this lovely cult religion provides. That’s the entire purpose of my blog!

  16. Hopefully this blog remains up to date.
    AA is a cult and for years I was afraid to state that (hmmm.. fear of speaking out against a group is proof of it being a cult.)
    I have not drank in 10 years (that’s all I tell people if the topic of drinking comes up.)
    I don’t define or label myself after a problem since I believe that is a self-fulfilling prophecy.
    I have written a brief autoiographical essay in AA Beyond Belief while stating a white lie.
    I realize that was a result of the power of AA. The power of a cult.
    The main point of my Beyond Belief piece was that I had “rediscovered” AA after being away over 20 years.
    This was an exaggeration since my “rediscovery” -albeit as an atheist-lasted a mere 3 meetings.
    I soon figured out that several people at my meetings were the same folks I knew from 25 years ago-when I first discovered the comraderie of AA as a young man.
    Needless to say they still exuded the evangelical appearance of folks who strictly abide by their Big Book. And those who don’t follow the Godly steps? Doomed to prison, the mental institution, or early death.
    My “rediscovery” was actually a reawakening of what AA really is. A true blue “with us or against us” religious cult.

    • The 12 step cult brainwashing would have you always blaming yourself for any issues in your life. They will make you believe that any deviance from the principles of their cult is a sure-fire way to destroy your life. You cannot live without the cult and it is only a matter of time before you become what you were born to be… a powerless, diseased, defective, morally bereft, godless, pity pot, piece of garbage.

      Good for you for getting OUT.

      Thanks so much for commenting. Keep coming back.

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