The High PROFITS of the 12 Step Cult Religion and Bain Capital

The following article will educate you on the annual profits made by the 12 step industry.  Whenever steppers claim that their cult is free, you now have proof that it is most certainly not in any way, shape or form, free.  Just because people are too lazy, ignorant and/or brainwashed, is no excuse for perpetuating dangerous lies.  Please note that anything in parentheses is my addition and anything bolded is also mine.  This author is misinformed, as is the general public, and classifies alcohol disorders as diseases.  However, this misinformation does not disqualify the facts here about rehab profits and Bain Capital.

Bain Capital’s grip on addiction – The profit of 12-step treatment

By Jamie Wendland

Last year nearly 2.5 million people 12 years of age or older sought treatment for substance abuse in the U.S., according to the National Survey on Drugs and Health. 2.3 million Americans obtained inpatient care, and it was reported by the AP that this number is expected to double under the Affordable Healthcare Act.

The National Institute of Health estimates that 15% of Americans suffer the disease of alcoholism, (alcoholism is NOT a disease), and other estimates run as high as 30%. The National Institute of Alcohol Abuse And Alcoholism reports that, in America, 5-10% of males and 3-5% of women will at some point face alcohol abuse. So serious is the disease, (again, alcoholism is NOT a disease), that the World Health Organization estimates that 1 in 25 deaths worldwide are the result of alcoholism.  (The death rate is this high due to the dangerous lies forced on people — Robin Williams is a sad example — who have substance use issues, by the cult religion commonly known as the 12 steps.)

There is little argument or question today that substance abuse is a serious problem and a deadly medical condition. But rarely do substance abuse treatment centers mention medical, psychological or pharmaceutical approaches to treatment; instead visitors to websites are almost always greeted with the words, “We are a 12-step based program.”

Alcoholics Anonymous and its 12-steps to righteous and disciplined living is the primary core of preferred treatment in over 90% of every outpatient and inpatient facility. Additionally, The National Institute of Health indicates that 36% of all 12-step-based inpatient treatment is court ordered or referred.  (Danger Will Wilson!  Danger!)

The success of this 12-step ‘treatment’ is so dubious, however, that the AA General Service’s own statistics, which obviously wish to portray AA in a positive light, admit that less than 5% of first-time attendees continue after the first year and most relapse multiple times. At best, your odds of staying sober through the 12-steps are perhaps 1 in 19, and the success rate of treatment facilities is even lower.

Currently there are no uniform standardized methods for treatment that are required of service providers. Other for than licensed counselors with minimal medical training, there is very little regulation regarding actual treatment methods or requiring the offering of medical options such as Vivitol or Antabuse.  (This author apparently does not know about Naltrexone and Acamprosate.)

Instead it’s a mish-mash of state regulations which are largely administrative, with tougher standards regarding room and board or criteria for patient disclosure than actual treatment. Although most states offer ‘recommendations,” they aren’t followed and the treatment industry is seemingly trusted to develop their own concepts of ‘treatment,’ often meeting only the minimum government recommended standard.

Take the Wisconsin Bureau of Mental Health and Substance Abuse recommendations for AODA counselors and therapists. The bureau’s website states that adequate and complete treatment for addiction should include; “Cognitive Behavior Therapy, Motivational Enhancement Therapy, Community Reinforcement Approach, Contingency Management, AA 12-Step Facilitation Therapy, Pharmacotherapy, Biofeedback, Relapse Prevention, and Multidimensional Therapy.”

While the 12-step method is included, it’s only part of the larger treatment plan, but these are only recommendations and not requirements. At most treatment centers it’s strictly one size fits all, and that is the AA 12-step-based model.

Few rehab centers list Ph.D. psychologists or psychiatrists on staff and many counselors are tech college graduates with Associates Degrees or a B.A. On occasion, you may find one therapist with a Master’s degree, and it’s easy to understand why.

According to Indeed.com, the median salary of a counselor with an Associate’s degree is $34,340, compared with $96,500 for a Ph.D.-level practitioner. A psychiatrist would cost right around $200,000.

But, the reality is, you don’t need a PhD or a psychiatrist in order to “take a fearless and thorough moral inventory of yourself,” as almost all treatment center curricula consists mainly of learning to regularly attend AA meetings and completing the first four steps before graduating the 28-day treatment program.

“Ninety meetings in ninety days,” is the catch phrase most oft recited in rehab.

“What we have in this country is a washing-machine model of addiction treatment,” A. Thomas McClellan, chief executive of the nonprofit Treatment Research Institute, based in Philadelphia told The New York Times. “You go to Shady Acres for 30 days or to some clinic for 60 visits or 60 doses, whatever it is. And then you’re discharged and everyone’s crying and hugging and feeling proud – and you’re supposed to be cured.”

It’s pretty clear then why opportunistic corporations and shrewd investors are preying upon an ignorant public, medical community and criminal justice system. Treatment facilities are unregulated, expensive snake oil salesmen pitching a self-help ‘cure’ for a medical condition.

Substance abuse treatment is a $7.7 billion-dollar industry according to New York research firm IBISWorld Inc. Small wonder why in 2006, Bain Capital eagerly obtained CRC, the nation’s largest single provider of substance abuse treatment and services, according to Bloomberg’s Magazine.

SEC Form 10-K reveals as of 2012, CRC operated 29 inpatient, 57 comprehensive treatment facilities and 16 outpatient clinics in 21 states. It doesn’t end there. CRC’s youth division includes 15 adolescent and young adult programs in 6 states. Bain’s CRC also operates 17 weight management facilities in eight states and one in the UK.

The cost of inpatient 12-step based treatment averages $25,166 and because it isn’t very effective relapse is almost guaranteed. Although centers rarely state any hard data regarding anything, best estimates indicate that the average addict repeats treatment eight times or more.  (EIGHT times or more!!!! — for fuck’s sake)

Furthermore, The Partnership at Drugfree.org quotes the AP as reporting that this substance abuse treatment is largely publically funded.

The government’s own Alcohol and Drug Services Studies (ADSS) revealed that 86% of substance abuse facilities receive public funding, with a median of 62% regularly receiving public funding.  (Do you want to pay for this abuse? I do not!)

Corporate money grabbers are eager to jump on the addiction treatment bandwagon because few question the methods and programs are cheap to operate and very profitable. Simply have patients repeat, “I am powerless over alcohol and my life has become unmanageable” enough times, then hand them a meeting list and they’re cured.  (Abusive and dangerous to say the very least.)

That is until the court to treatment pipeline sends them through again and with county funding.

Well-intentioned (don’t know how well-intentioned they are, as judges shouldn’t they be educated to the truth?), judges don’t really understand addiction or its effective treatment so they continue to order defendants to what they’re vaguely familiar with-Alcoholics Anonymous and 12-step-based treatment.

Due in large part to increased court ordered treatment; CRC alone boasts an annual growth of 2-2% with patient revenue of $452.3 million, with 20.9% it government funded.

Even if the patient doesn’t qualify for public funding, there really isn’t a problem. 12-step treatment centers are slick operators who know just which philanthropic agencies and good hearted churches to turn to, and keep a list of contacts.  (Anything to get them in the door and brainwashed into the 12 step dogma.)

Unlike medical facilities, treatment centers demand payment up front, so they’re a no-lose investment for vultures like Bain. They’ve already got the cash even if a patient drops out of the program. Overflowing with a steady stream of state and privately funded clients, the opportunities for profit just keep growing.

The courts are more than happy to accommodate this.

Recently, the national trend has been a more sympathetic tone toward heroin addicts. Even conservative governors such as Wisconsin’s Scott Walker are advocating court-ordered and publically funded treatment.

Not one to miss out on easy financial growth, Bain is eager to jump on board.

The Boston Globe reports the Massachusetts investment giant also recently acquired Habit OPET, the state’s largest chain of substance abuse treatment facilities. Through CRC, Bain pumped $58 million into the purchase of the for-profit centers.

Bain really has a diverse portfolio; Dunkin’ Donuts to methadone clinics.

As with inpatient substance abuse treatment facilities, state are sketchy and federal requirements for methadone clinics are incredibly low.

Dr. Ken Hill, director of the Substance Abuse Consultation Services in Belmont, Mass., lamented, “The problem I find with some of the for-profit clinics is the absolute minimum required by law becomes the absolute maximum they’re willing to do for their patients.”

This isn’t to say that there isn’t quality substance abuse treatment available and based on solid medical science and some states, notably Oregon, are implementing evidence based treatment.

There’s also non-profit methadone clinics such Dr. Hills at McClean Hospital, and facilities such as St. Jude Retreats of Upstate New York, which isn’t 12-step based and touts a 62% success rate. Compared to the estimated (at best) — (this one parenthetical is not mine) 5% of 12-step based treatment, which is really hard to accurately gauge because most are unwilling to even share that data.

Substance abuse treatment has been hijacked by corporations and shrewd investors because it remains a minimally regulated or monitored industry. Strict treatment standards developed by modern addiction and psychological experts need to be implemented and enforced, just as there is for any other medical care provider.

When Bain Capital is so eager to invest in 12-step treatment, it’s a fairly good indicator that it’s probably a scam. Bain is interested only in one thing and it certainly isn’t treating substance abuse.  (In case you are unaware, Bain Capital is owned by Mitt Romney.)

While it may play a role and may very well be beneficial to some addicts, (only for those who experience spontaneous remission or need a cult religion to bully others), the 12-step, religious principles of AA are not sound or proven medical, evidence based science.  (And no matter how steppers rant about how their program is spiritual not religious, they are brainwashed and dangerously misinformed.)

It simply cannot be at the core of publically funded addiction treatment in the twenty-first century.

(And yet it, the cult religion known as the 12 steps, is at the core of publicly funded addiction treatment in the twenty-first century. What can you do?  Start by sharing this article and talking with people about your new knowledge base.)

Thank you for reading and for sharing.  Now you know.

— Laura Tompkins


29 comments on “The High PROFITS of the 12 Step Cult Religion and Bain Capital

  1. […] has its fingers deep in the pockets of the multi-billion dollar drug and alcohol testing and assessment and treatment industries. And the arm around the shoulder of medicine has its fingers clamped around the throat of […]

  2. […] has its fingers deep in the pockets of the multi-billion dollar drug and alcohol testing and assessment and treatment industries.  And the other arm around the shoulder of medicine also has its fingers clamped around its […]

  3. This is spot on. As a victim of this cult “treatment” industry myself. You couldn’t have said it any better. It is time the public is aware of what AA and these treatment facilities are getting away with. I am linking your blog to my Facebook page created for the survivors of one particular AA treatment facility in GA called Willingway. These people are the biggest crooks, quack doctors, unqualified “therapists”, money-hungry liars, who will keep people trapped in their “treatment” centers for years until your family runs out of money, then they kick you out on the streets. So, I understand all to well the subject here, and you have nailed it. Thank you!

    • Thank you!

    • Please contact me if you can, we are getting our daughter out tomorrow due to misrepresentation of services, billing practices and fraud.

      • I am so sorry to be so late in responding. How is it going?

        • I responded back to her, as she was suddenly interested in me and my page on Facebook, and I have no idea how she was then able to find me here as my Facebook isn’t linked in any way. I wanted to know what exactly it is that she was so desperately in search of. She seemed more interested in knowing who was behind the page than her daughters safety, as her daughter and the only daughter she had listed on her page was eight years old, when I asked if that daughter wasn’t a little young for drug treatment. She laughed it off and said she had an older daughter, who was older.I guess just not listed on Facebook page? She really offered no reasons for wanting her daughter out of the “cult” that was put in parentheses, which I explained that it isn’t a “cult”, it is a fucking cult! I never heard anything else about her sudden need for information from me from the Facebook page, my facebook page, and my random comment on your blog. If my suspicions are correct. She isn’t interested in helping anyone out of the cult or exposing the cult religion at all. She was more interested in knowing who was behind telling everyone that Willingway was a member of this cult religion. I could be wrong, but I haven’t heard or seen anything from her since this day when she needed to know who to contact. I gave her some useful information regarding the cult of AA and Willingway, but she seemed more concerned with who I was, and if I was the one responsible for spreading the truth about their cult in Statesboro, and since she works in the mental health field in the area it would appear that she wouldn’t be so desperate for information from me specifically.

          Although, if I am wrong (highly unlikely), please let us know how your daughter is doing and if you ever got her out and how she is doing now coping with the abuse that goes on there that is mostly unspoken and psychological. Please let us know how she is doing and what you have done to help her since you had just realized how bad Willingway was for anyone? These AA’ers forget that we are the enlightened one,s and the ones who were able to escape. We aren’t continuously fooled with the same BS, Once was enough!

          • Once was more than enough! You’re probably correct John. In fact, she most likely has no daughters or if she does, they’ve long since decided that have nothing to do with her or her mind🤡fuck cult religion. Thank you so much for commenting, these steppers are bat shit crazy.

            • Yeah, they sure are. It looks like someone, I can only guess it was her had logged into this account and changed my name to “John”, because it wasn’t….and God knows what else was changed, but I had a notification that someone had logged into this account, and it wasn’t me. So, I’m certain she needs no help! (Well, she needs a lot of help, just not help with her daughter at Willingway or getting out of AA!”

  4. The Mormon Church is in bed with AA, as Lisa Ling showed in her CNN special on addiction in Utah. I guess if you can believe in “recovered gospel” you can believe anything. Why not exploit your coreligionists for profit?


    • Why not indeed. It is the American way after all.

      Thank you for commenting. Exploiting the masses is as old as mankind. Here however, Mitt Romney and Bain Capital are the beneficiaries of the exploitation, along with hundreds of others working for 12 step rehabs. It’s diabolical and abusive and they know it.

      My professors at Hazelden will not speak to me about this any longer when I present calmly the facts. I was in touch with Bill Moyers (one of Hazelden’s overpaid CEOs) but after Robin Williams checked himself out and promptly hung himself, I cannot seem to reach him. Hmmmmmm.

  5. Fantastic work. I have read the top three articles, almost half a book already. I tend toward the skeptical side of all issues as an ex-debater, love your analysis and the work that you are crafting your arguments with. I am in a similar labor of love in my blog.

  6. Thank you for this enlightening article. This is shocking. Mitt Romney? Guess I’m not that surprised.

    • You’re welcome! Shocking yes. Surprising no. This is one of the biggest ways the AA cult can claim its growth and most people think of this’program’ as some safe self-help group, perpetuated by the rehab industry.

      And to think Romney was the republicans last candidate for president of the free world! Mind blowing.

      Thank you so much for reading and commenting. Please share everywhere.

  7. Thank you! An even bigger problem is that 12 Step programs are being used to
    treat people with serious mental health issues.

    I dissociative identity disorder confirmed by the Kaiser Department of Behavioral
    Health. However, Kaiser wants me to go to Al-Anon meetings–when asked why
    kaiser doesn’t offer more “psychiatric” treatment groups specific to trauma I was
    told that “kaiser” doesn’t want to duplicate services, which means that Kaiser is
    treating 12 Step groups as if they are a form of organized treatment.

    It is so outlandishly corrupt that I can’t believe that someone with a degree to
    practice psychology was able to form the words without laughing.

    • Wait. This is new to me. Just when you think you’ve heard it all. So, let me get this straight. You have DID and Kaiser is attempting to treat you with the 12 steps? Is this correct?

      • Yes! I am telling the absolute truth. I was provided with a psychotherapist which I had to pay for — fortunately I am familiar with the technical aspects of advocacy and had a therapist who helped me to write a letter of medical necessity…So Kaiser now covers most of my sessions…In my discussions with Kaiser I get the impression that they think they are being benevolent–

        However, I consider it a matter of professional responsibility…

        I have a verified disorder which can now be identified with MRI technology and the only treatment is traditional psychotherapy.

        The problem is that psychotherapy cannot happen in isolation…I need a case manager who can train the staff and also monitor any hospitalizations that might be needed. It has been four years and the Kaiser staff in San Francisco still claim ignorance and or suspicion regarding the diagnosis, even though it was given to me and confirmed by a a kaiser psychiatrist.

        That is what is so weird.

        I realized today that whatever progress I’ve made has been in spite of Kaiser. I am well motivated and willing to make a commitment to treatment. I can’t help but believe that If Kaiser were providing me with the safety that i need to work through the trauma, I might have returned to work by now.

  8. Reblogged this on Art by Rob Goldstein and commented:
    Excellent post!

  9. Reblogged this on Me: Finding the Missing Pieces and commented:
    if only this were how alcoholism was treated. maybe in the next few years?

  10. […] has its fingers deep in the pockets of the multi-billion dollar drug and alcohol testing and assessment and treatment industries.  And the arm around the shoulder of medicine has its fingers clamped tightly around its throat; a […]

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