“Why do you hate 12 step programs so much?” When I get asked this question, in my head I think, “Why don’t you?!?!” Then I realize they are either ignorant, have a relative/friend in the cult, (who gives all credit for their very lives to the cult), or are a stepper (or ex-stepper), themselves. What is most astounding is when ex-steppers defend the cult, but then I quickly realize the power of the brainwashing. Even those who have left (gotten free really), feel the need to defend the cult.
Why? They were told for years that their own mind was not their friend. They were told for years that they were wrong about every choice they have ever made. They were told for years that they are wrong and the program is right. They are, even after years of freedom, unaware of how their mind is still hijacked by their time in a 12 step program. This only serves to prove the power of this cult religion. Your power is stripped away while all power is given to the program. Either you conform and buy all this brain-damaging rhetoric, or you are dead, institutionalized, or in jail. The end.
But this is just not so. The wonderful work of Gabrielle Glaser has now been published in the New York Times (not her first article there, but her most illuminating). You see, Gabrielle has never been a stepper. Gabrielle has never been told that she cannot trust her own thinking. Gabrielle has not embraced nothing but negative affirmations for herself. She is a journalist with a clear, healthy mind, telling the truth through extensive research and painful stories of families in great need of help. She has discovered that the 12 steps are dangerous to the mind. Her only purpose in this is to help others. In addition to her book, Her Best Kept Secret (link below), her recent Propublica article (link below), she now graces the New York Times with her work on addiction disorders. (link below).
This NY Times article describes how and why the 12 step cults are dangerous and how to get evidence-based help. Faith-healing for a very dangerous disorder makes the problem worse, never better.
I pass this NY Times brilliance on to you, my readers. Please pass this on for others who are struggling or have a loved one in need. People deserve help that will actually help and not a load of BILLshit to keep one powerless. You have choices. You also have unlimited and immeasurable power.
New York Times: http://nyti.ms/1zbCn9b
Buy the book: http://www.amazon.com/Her-Best-Kept-Secret-Drink-And-Control-ebook/dp/B00A286SM4
– Laura Tompkins
As much as I support writing and blogging against AA (I am hoping it keeps SOME people away from it!). I wonder if taking things to the “next level” (i.e. audio/video recording the more “famous” of the A.A. meetings-e.g. “The Midtown Group” of Washington, D.C. for example!), would help! A.A. needs to have a LIGHT shined on it like “60 Minutes” does in the “exposes” it does. Anything that can “evangelize” the obscene, pathetic, mysogynistic REALITY of the “fellowship”, I am all for! 😉
It all keeps many people away from it or helps free those who are questioning the dogma and getting nothing but thought-stopping slogans shoved in their faces. Gabrielle and Monica Richardson were on Katie Couric not too long ago. It is just a matter of time before a show like 60 minutes finds it important enough to report. The obstacle is the steppers on staff on these shows and online papers. The Huffpost has all but stopped printing any articles that are negative about the 12 steps. Even Stanton Peele is experiencing his work being rejected by them. Why? Ariana Huffington is a stepper.
Monica Richardson is about to release her film, The 13th Step. If it gets the distribution it deserves, it will blow the roof off this subterfuge. And it’s way past time. Thanks for commenting. I hear from people privately at least three times a week thanking me for my blog. It all helps.
But YES! The light needs to shine and the man behind the curtain exposed!!!
Reblogged this on A.A.R.M.E.D. with Facts and commented:
I’m busy with tons of recovery writing, so am dropping by some favorite blogs of mine. This one is key, and the intro says it all. There are better options than the 12 Step programs, especially no programs at all. However, there are so many obstacles to non-AA groups due to treatment center red tape and state guidelines catering to 12 Step treatment. The education for certifying drug counselors needs to match the real facts- the facts that show nearly every other recovery method works better than AA. Wake up world!
Thank you Juliet. We are fighting the good fight here. No matter how steppers balk, what matters most is that we continue to get up, expose truth and never throw in the towel. 12 step programs have harmed far more people than they’ve helped. No amount of chanting ‘happy joyous and free’ will change the fact that the vast majority of steppers are miserable, depressed and shackled. Who wouldn’t be after adopting nothing but negative affirmations for oneself?! Who wouldn’t be miserable when living in constant fear or being ‘one of the unfortunates’ if they deviate at all from the ‘program?’ Who wouldn’t feel imprisioned after being brainwashed to think their ‘best thinking’ got them to hit rock bottom.
There is no way out and yet there are no alternatives presented for the vast majority of people who do not want a cult religion to dominate their lives … Forever and ever and ever? It’s diabolical and criminal. When the final bell rings we will always know we are standing on the side of genuine ‘rigorous honesty’ rather than spouting deadly dogma. They seem to have been born this way.
I must talk to you more in depth, you seem to know your stuff maybe more than I do. Perhaps some of us weren’t thinking straight if our best thinking led us to a crazy organization that made us feel worse… There is truth in that twisted logic— If we start to think our best, we leave AA behind? Lol, I need a slogan generator. I know I’m more rigorous honest without AA, and it just burns to know how dishonest AA was to me. The organization more than the people, who I forgive for not really knowing any better. But their close minded refusal to hear anything criticizing AA should wake them up, but they’re so damn loyal!
Their loyalty is misplaced and toxic. “If you become enraged and defensive when someone criticizes your ‘program’ — you may be in a dangerous cult religion.” ; )
Of course they’re loyal. They have to label themselves a ‘hopeless alcoholic’ every time they go to a meeting (which they can never stop attending!). If you chant a negative affirmation enough, it defines who and what you are. They not only label themselves with this negative, lifelong label, they also have their ‘time’ as the number one, número uno, most important accomplishment of all their lives and their life to come. They are told that everything in their lives (family, job, fun, love, enjoyment, exercise, etc, etc, etc) must come second to their ‘sobriety.’ They are brainwashed that they are one stinkin thinkin thought from complete ruin. In some meetings, as you know, they are required to announce their amount of time and everyone claps and if you have short time they all chant, “keep coming back!” There are also meetings where unless you have 10 years or more ‘time’ you cannot share. What the fuck is that!? And then they stand outside their meetings binging on nicotine and caffeine!
Of course they are loyal! They live in extreme fear! All the time. It’s sad.
If I’m to be loyal to ANY organization— I need to know if I’m really part of it. Do I get an opinion, a voice, an opportunity to make any changes I see fit? In AA, the answer was no. Some support group! I do TRY to find people who are trying to improve the program, and meet them at their level, and at best we get along. But I worry that although their heart is in the right place, they are in the wrong program. They help more outside the rooms, with non AA literature, and this accomplishes more than what AA does. I was told after every time “back out there” to wait 30 days to speak. “Take the cotton outta yer ears…” I’m still addicted to nicotine, I’ve accomplished going from 8 – 10 a day (or more, yuck) down to 5 or less. I find it disgusting, and of course, this was acceptable in AA to smoke. The 1939 Big Book sees no ill harm from cigarettes, it’s in there!
They don’t know if they fear leaving AA, it’s too much a part of their lifelong recovery. I try to tell them, “Give AA less credit, give yourself more.” AA was an idea to help people, there are vastly many more ideas a person can latch onto to recover. The AA one seems the most unhealthy.
I’m glad I came out writing directly about the bullies and being called a basher, because this middle school mentality is exactly what the culture was to me. If these were employees at a company they’d be fired for their harassment. Consider that. Right? Yes it’s sad.
I’ve met people since January who have been inspired to start their own blogs or FB pages. Because of pages like mine, and yours. They were reluctant and scared and curious and afraid, and it’s great to see them find their voice. I think 2015 will be an even better year. Remember, the best meetings happen before or after the meeting, that’s what my AA friends told me. Kind of made the AA meeting irrelevant, all the fun times were outside of AA. It’s like parents dragging you to church- the gospels weren’t helping anyone- it was the BBQ after church, or the dinner, or the brunch. How soon we forget when we’re forced to comply. It’s the Asch line experiment.
SO glad to find you! You echo my experience with this cult, but so much more articulately and bravely! More steppers should be challenged/insulted.
Thank you for your brave voice.
I anxiously await the expose too.
This is so late to reply. I do hope you see it. My daughter is four years sober and over her head deep in AA/NA. After all that I’ve done to support her in this recovery and life in general, I’m told “I don’t need you, get out of my life” because I have to work and miss part of her anniversary celebration. Of course her “new family” is there so it doesn’t matter. I to.d this to a close friend who is 20 years sober who will be there. Of course he didn’t want to to take sides. Why? He couldn’t take sides against the program. I hate this cult!!!
It’s never too late to comment in my blog Kim. This is a horrible story. They are supposed to be ‘grateful alcoholics’ and yet all they have been brainwashed to be grateful for is their ‘new family’ as you so painfully describe. I am so deeply sorry.
This man who you call a close friend is no friend. If he was, he would be telling your daughter that she cannot treat her mother this way. Any sane person would tell her this and obviously her sponsor and pseudo cult family are supporting this abuse of you. And that is exactly what this is — abuse. You so not have to stand for it nor do you have to take it without calmly and respectfully saying your peace. Like you say above, after all you’ve done for her, how dare she treat you is way!
The pain you are experiencing is palpable. Do you want to be there? Of course. What is best for you only you can decide. Take extra special care of your heart right now. She (and your supposed ‘friend’), may not care but you have to protect yourself from this neglect and abuse. This is abusive, “I don’t need you, get out of my life.” Please remember, you don’t need nor deserve to have your daughter say such cruel things to you. The so-called anniversary is a big sham and a lie. What are they celebrating exactly? That they have brainwashed another one? That they have destroyed yet another family? That they have ruined another persons life? Actually, yes. They will do anything to keep their beloved cult alive.
I hate this cult too and you are always welcome to comment here. You said it right, she is over her head deep into this cult and since it sounds like she’s an adult, she is allowed to stay in whatever mind-fuck cult she chooses.
I wish I could say that there are people who go and save people while deprogramming those who have lost their minds to this cult, but there are not. Just like the guy you describe as not wanting take sides against the cult, our culture in general is oblivious to how this really works. The 12 step cult has destroyed more families than any other religion. That steppers insist their cult is not a cult and not a religion is only proof of their extreme indoctrination.
Please put yourself first right now and do not let anyone tell you that she is better off than she was before the ‘programme.’ She is worse. Much worse. While those of us who have become enlightened fight the immediate problem of the courts mandating violent felons to the cult, families like yours are being destroyed every day. You deserve better and you can demand better by speaking your peace and only going where you feel supported and loved. Please take care of you.
And feel free to write here anytime. You are also welcome to write to me anytime privately at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I have never called myself an alcoholic or addict. I find it to be irrelevant for one thing in the way we speak English calling yourself such thing is claiming that you are still actively using. AA has too many aberration for my liking. Make too many claims for which there is no evidence. And repetitions of cliches that makes those meetings extremely boring. There seems to be very little independent or creative thinking. They just parrot what they hear without much thinking and then they claim they are neither brainwashed or indoctrinated. They are so obviously in denial. And seem to be afraid of thinking critically, because they maybe treated as heretics. Then they say is not a religion is spiritual. But when you try to figure out what is so spiritual there is no real agreement or definition. Everyone does anything they want and call it spiritual.
Have you read the book below Carlos? He explains how they do it, why they do it and what to do about it.
It’s all be design to confuse and keep you from leaving this cult religion.
Oh, and to get you to recruit others of course … Under the guise of “service commitment.”
Thank you so much for your comments.
I hope you’ll pardon me for trying to link to another entry from my blog. This entry touches on the dangers of labelling:
And please let me express my gratitude for the service you are rendering in writing this blog. You will be helping a lot of people who are trapped in the oppressive milieu of blatant lies and outdated psychology.
Of course! Sorry took me so long to reply. Busy lady.
Really enjoying your blog JP!
The major problem with 12-Step religion is the “1st Step” of “We admitted we were powerless over alcohol—that our lives had become unmanageable” which while not “outlined” in the 12 Steps, you are prompted to classify yourself as an Alcoholic to join AA. This is done through the expected “Hi, my name is XXXX and I’m an Alcoholic” salutation that you are expected to identify yourself with. If you don’t identify yourself as such you are considered in “denial” and meet with the slogan of “you didn’t get here by accident” etc…
In 12 Step rehabs you are instructed to do so and if you don’t you are “not working the program” which can result in a hefty rehab bill that your insurance company will not cover. In the US the repeal of Obamacare is causing many questions and it is reported that millions of people will loose healthcare or be put in “high risk pools” with high deductibles and even higher premiums which will also tend to make people go without insurance because of the costs. There are reports that people in court situations that people have been questioned under oath if they ever identified themselves as Alcoholics.
There’s No Percentage in Admitting You’re an Ex-Alcoholic …
Examples of Two Drunk Driving Cases – FindLaw
Chemical Dependency Evaluation Strategy – DUI alcoholism ..
My Name is Roger, and I’m an alcoholic | Roger Ebert’s Journal …