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Censorship

Censorship to Protect the Program of His Kingdom

The Fix has recently taken to heavy censorship of those who are critical of AA. Pro-AA commentators have been free to post whatever they want for quite some time. AA critics have started getting their posts delayed for many hours and usually removed. While those of pro-AA posters remain, no matter how much they are contradictory to the posted rules.

The following comments (along with almost all of the posts by AA-critical writers) were removed from an article by a Joe Nowinski titled “Thoughts on the Overdose Death of a Young Woman” . The article is about a therapist (Nowinski) who, in spite of his patient insisting that AA wasn’t good for her, was not offered an alternative treatment. The patient ended up dying. This, alone, is grounds for malpractice. But there is more.

The “treatment” he was giving was 12-Step indoctrination. The fact that AA has never been shown to work better than nothing is not the only thing wrong with AA.  Four U.S. Circuit Courts have ruled that AA is religious and the 9th Circuit Court went so far as ruling not only that AA is religious, but that agents of the state who coerce to AA can be sued because the violation of the Constitution is so obvious. Recently, a $2,000,000.00 case was won against what many call a cult on a par with Scientology and the Moonies and their cures for social problems.

Here are a couple comments of mine that were deleted on this article:

It would be nice if people who make a living off of 12-Step indoctrination would not use the death of their patients as reason to promote more 12-Step “treatment.” 12-Step is especially dangerous since it gets people to adopt the alcoholic/addict identity and then throws in “Powerless” as if that is not a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Harvard psychiatrist George Vaillant called the AA death rate “appalling.” He was not biased against AA. He is an Al-Anon. He was biased (as all too many professional “helpers”) in that after his study and finding the appalling death rate he went on to promote AA in the NEJM. He also blamed the failure/deaths of those in his study who went to AA in terms of them not “coming to believe.” He compared AA to the Fountain at Lourdes.

Harvard psychiatrist George Vaillant is one of the most well-known “two-hatters.” The term “two-hatter” is from the AA literature and means someone with a professional title (e.g. psychologist, doctor, judge, attorney, EAP employee, etc.) who uses their position as a professional to proselytize for AA. Vaillant, is the author of “A Natural History of Alcoholism” and a trustee of AA Inc. He is also a member of Al-Anon, a 12-Step “fellowship.” His comments have been used to push AA for decades in places like the New England Journal of Medicine.

Here another comment that was promptly removed from the same Fix article:

It is not at all unusual for two-hatter mental health worker continue trying to push someone into the Step groups no matter how poorly they are doing and no matter how much they don’t want to be there.

The two-hatter is not bothered by conscience like the rest of us would be. The two-hatter has conscious contact with God and knows God’s Will for him. God’s Will for all Groupers is to get some converts.

Here is a post by an anonymous poster similar to many others that were left:

In any case, The Fix has a policy of deleting posts critical of their authors and AA posters. They do not offer a balanced perspective, even though they go to great effort to try to present one, never naming an author promoting AA as a group member and never even reprimanding the 12-Step posters who viciously attack those who have been taken advantage of (e.g. murder, rape, theft, 13th stepping, etc.) by fellow group members.

So that everyone can know what the fix is doing, it is hoped that others who have been censored by The Fix will report their experiences here.  This can either be comments below or your own article.

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The Pharmocatherapy of Malingering

Malingering has been a problem in the workplace for thousands of years, at least since the building of the great pyramids of Egypt. Before modern science, malingering was thought to be the result of a weak will or sin. In the not-too-distant past, the most merciful thing an employer could do was fire those with the more serious cases of the mental illness once called “laziness.” Once those of us in the sciences realized that it was a disease, we had support groups like M.A. to help those who were powerless over their behavior because of this chronic condition. While many were helped, many fell through the cracks. With this terrible, incurable disease, no treatment was very effective and many died homeless on the streets.
Warning sings to look for in the disease of malingering For those who are ignorant of the science, as the photos below show, malingering is clearly a brain disease. Compare the brain of the malingerer on the left with the normal brain in the center. Recent advances in medicine have found great success in treating malingering and malingering, once the scourge of the workplace, can now be successfully treated. It can now be treated so well that someone who is a chronic malingerer, with correct treatment, can be a far better worker than the average. In the factory, this means increased production, increased international competitiveness, and most importantly, happier well-adjusted, and grateful employees. Not that anyone concerns themselves with such things, but the cost of labor drops by roughly three quarters.

Among the newest medications for this sometimes fatal disease is Enlivia™. Enlivia was developed by a team of researchers led by Howard E. Makemwork of the Harvard Biochemical Institute. Among the great advantages of Enlivia™ according to Dr. Makemwork is that workers just don’t want to sit around and be lazy. If properly medicated, they want to get to work right away and don’t want to stop. And work they will until given Relax-eez™ at the end of their shift. The fact that a medication cures malingering removes all lasting doubt that malingering is a disease treatable by restoring the brain’s proper chemical balance.
The Brain with and without Enlivia TM and the normal brain

In the photos above, one can see the clear scientific evidence that Enlivia™ causes the brain to work even better than in the normal brain. On the left one sees a gray, gloomy brain. This is the brain of the average factory worker most of the time at work. In the middle, with a normal amount of coloration, is the brain of a corporate president. This is the normal brain. The treated brain on the right shows that Enlivia™ is the healthier, far superior, brain. It is the brain everyone wants for their staff. For malingerers, one of the prime symptoms of the disease of malingering is not wanting to take medication to help them be well. With Enlivia™, not only does their resistance to good mental health care melt away, but workers become far better than just well.

A great advantage of Enlivia™ is that after a brief adjustment period, workers appreciate the little boost they get during the workday from having normal brain chemistry temporarily restored. No longer do employees whine and cry to go home after 14 or 16 hours on the job. No one knows why, but Enlivia™ has been shown to have the side effect of also curing unionomania in 99.97% of cases. Workers will work overtime without complaint. They will work until they drop dead. Of course, no employer wants this and the manufacturer of Enlivia™ cautions that no employee should ever work longer than 20 hours in a shift and always should be given free time to attend recovery meetings to maintain their attitude of gratitude. No factory that spares their employees the best treatment available, Enlivia™, has ever had a case of strikophilia break out. Why this is has not yet been determined. Says Frederick Fagan, the production manager of the McWorkem Tildeth factory in Centerville, New Jersey,

“During the first few days a few of the most difficult employees, the former union activists and other communist agitators often object strenuously and must be court-ordered to inpatient treatment for their disease until treatment with Enlivia™ begins taking effect. However, after only a few days, all employees can be expected to appreciate this very effective treatment for malingering. They not only are lined up waiting to clock in and go to work in the morning, every morning, and on time, but they appreciate all we do for them. They no longer complain, as malingerers are wont to do, that the gruel served nightly for dinner is somehow not good enough or that a three minute bathroom break once a day is not long enough.”

With your first order for Enlivia™, Modern Pharmaceuticals will send a free peer support team. These are workers who have banded together on their own with no corporate involvement whatsoever to help other workers have a happy and productive workplace. Coming from peers who are recovering malingerers themselves, their support can persuade all but the worst of the unfortunates among your workers, the ones who were probably born that way, to in short order do what is best for them.

From a worker who at one time was reduced to living on the streets and eating out of garbage cans because of his disease,

“I was useless. I was worthless. I was lazy. Just 16 or 18 hours a day and after a couple of weeks on the job, I got depressed and wanted to lay around and do nothing. Then I’d get fired. Life was all dark shades of gray and black. I had even considered suicide. Brain scans had even shown my brain in dark shades of gray and gloominess but still I resisted Enlivia™. Then one day I got lucky and was arrested for sleeping on the street after getting kicked out of my apartment. With a nudge from the judge, with deferred prosecution, I was sent to treatment.

In treatment, along with attending peer support group meetings with other malingerers, I began taking Enlivia™. In only a few days, my brain lit right up. I found I couldn’t sit still for a minute and was dying to go to work, to do any work. Things haven’t been the same since. I now have meaning and purpose. I now feel alive again. I can now work 16 or 18 hours a day, never being lazy and never losing my gratitude. My disease, while I know it is off doing push-ups out of sight, doesn’t scare me at all, not as long as I take my Enlivia™ and attend my peer support groups. The only time I want to leave work is to attend my M.A. meetings. I now am able to spend all my free time helping others to overcome their malingering. For that I am truly grateful.”

Of course, Enlivia™ isn’t a perfect treatment and it isn’t for everyone. During the first few weeks, employees must be watched to see that they take their medication. Sometimes, the agitators will only pretend to take their medication. They will slip it under their tongue and when they think no one is looking, they will spit it out. In such cases, sometimes it is best to have the factory mental health expert order the implantation of the No Complaint™ automatic dispenser. The No Complaint™ medication dispenser is placed high up within the rectum of a patient while the patient is under general anesthesia. Since it is out of view, the patient never knows it has been implanted so it won’t be removed. The only thing they notice is that they are rapidly recovering. It is only in the tiny percentage of workers that are constitutionally incapable of being honest that there isn’t the quickest of recoveries. See the article on page 47 about this great new medical assistant.

Even with Enlivia™ without No Complaint™, after just a few weeks escape from work drops to almost zero. The expense of monitoring workers drops by as much as 75 percent.

No longer must workers be carefully monitored under heavy guard on their way to and from the sleeping quarters. Just one monitor will usually suffice for as many as 20 workers as long as they have been given their nightly dose of Relax-eez. No longer must one pay the expense of having escapees hunted down and sent for expensive medical rehabilitation. No one who has been on Enlivia™ for six weeks has ever needed the medical amputation of a foot to keep him from running away. This is not only good for the company, but good for the worker as well.

As reported in the American Worker’s Mental Health Institute’s “Journal For the Care of the Worker”, “Enlivia™ does indeed make workers the epitome of what well-adjusted and cooperative workers should be. They work hard at producing maximum output for their short lives without pay obediently and without complaint.”

It is an employer’s obligation to ensure his employees get the best of treatment. Saving a few dollars on mental health treatment costs in the long run. It is an employer’s obligation to have the Human Resources department have the EAP prescribe Enlivia™ to all workers who are in need of it. A caring employer understands that he owes it to them. An intelligent and caring employer knows it is for their own good and delay in treatment of this terrible disease can be fatal.

* Enlivia (racemic desoxy-nor-ephedrine) and Relax-eeze (dihydromorphine) are trademarks of Modern Pharmaceuticals.
* No Complaint US patent no. US999999999.

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Another Response to “Agent Green”

There have been several excellent responses to an “Agent Green” who started a website [note, 2011: now apparently Green Papers] to attack a noted A.A. critic who goes by the pseudonym Agent Orange. Among them are a couple of members of the 12-Step Free email discussion group, and Agent Orange’s own response.

Agent Green does not offer anything new in his attempts to discount criticisms of the Step groups. He begins in the very familiar fashion of trying to usurp the critic’s position. This is not by coming up with facts. It is done by attempting to use window dressing to look like he is saying something relevant. He tries to usurp the obvious authority of Agent Orange’s position gained through careful argument and the footnoting of his work. He does not offer real argument or even facts. What he does is characterized, in part, by his trying to imitate “Agent Orange” by calling himself “Agent Green”. As if calling himself Agent Green isn’t enough, at the top of his page, Green has a quote prominently featured on the Orange Papers website.

“Everybody is entitled to their own opinions, but not their own facts.
—Senator Patrick Moynahan, quoted at www.orange-papers.org.”

I know Groupers have no factual, logical argument against the assertions of the growing army of Step group critics. However, their lack of originality is getting tiresome.

Green announces with false bravado,

“This page gives referenced information (below) on Alcoholics Anonymous and also provides counter-arguments to a viciously biased anti-AA site known as the Orange Papers. References are at the bottom of the page. Enjoy!”

Of course, his references can’t be more biased. They are from 12-Step group members and 12-Step treatment industry sources. They are worth about as much as a tobacco industry spokesman’s assertions about the safety of cigarette smoking.

Green’s argument begins by blurring the definition of “alcoholism” so that, just like Alice was confronted with in Wonderland, the word means what he wants it to mean as needed for different contexts. Of course, with such a vague and undefinable disease which is nothing like the disease A.A. and front groups promote, he seeks traction by claiming research on A.A.’s efficacy is too difficult to carry out. He ignores that the reason why little research is done is because the alcoholism movement and alcoholism treatment industry control the research money. They do not want any research that will show that what is presented as treatment is at best a terrible waste of billions of dollars. At worst, it is a fraud, a hoax, malpractice and a violation of the U.S. Constitution.

Green argues, “Though millions of people have attended AA, Orange will not admit that AA has helped a single one of them.” I don’t know that Orange has ever argued any such thing. However, I do know that I’ve been accused of the same. Green confuses a “treatment” being effective with simple correlation. Imagine a man gets stupid drunk, steps into traffic, gets hit by a speeding truck and ends up in intensive care in a hospital. If the man should decide to not get drunk any more and sticks to it, does that mean that getting run over by a truck “works” for alcoholism”? Does that mean that we ought to all jump in our trucks and run over any drunk we can find to cure his alcoholism? Once his language is untwisted, that is what his argument, and accusation against Orange, boils down to. An effective treatment has to have more successful and less unsuccessful outcomes than no treatment.

Another point that Green misses is there is no evidence that those who claim to be doing well in A.A. for long periods of time were those with the worst drinking problems to begin with. It is integral to the way A.A. works for members to exaggerate pre-A.A. drinking. The best stories of terrible sin and miraculous salvation are greeted with the most applause. People are conditioned to exaggerate. Over many years time the stories become unrecognizable from the originals. Also, it is also normal for A.A. members to hide their difficulties.

And what about the precision of the diagnoses of alcoholism to begin with? The rule is “You are an alcoholic when you say you are.” Also, if you say you aren’t, you are suffering the symptom of denial, so you are an alcoholic. I can’t imagine that there would be any value in the results of study for the treatment of a bacterial pneumonia that was diagnosed by either “You said you had it” or “You said you didn’t have it”.

The “symptoms” of alcoholism, just as the symptoms of all the “diseases” that the Step groups claim to help all center around unpleasant feelings. For someone to later not feel as bad as “the worst time in my life” is not a miracle. It is the normal, expected outcome. It can’t be measured as “success” without knowing that a greater percentage of people are not going to feel better without the treatment.

Following his trivial attacks on Orange that were based on alcoholism being “just what I say it is when I say that is what it is” Green goes into the desperate old 12-Step emotional plea, “You are killing alcoholics by criticizing A.A.” with [your] “obsessive anti-AA stance”.

I have never heard an A.A. member speak of anyone having an “obsessive pro-AA stance.” It seems the “obsessive” zinger is saved for the heretics.

One thing that Green seems to be ignoring completely is the effects of teaching someone:

  • you are powerless (Step 1)
  • you can’t manage your life (Step 1)
  • you are insane (Step 2)
  • you must turn over you will and life to God as defined by the group elders.

Throw in separating people from non-Step support and shunning people to pressure adoption of group doctrine and the high suicide rates of A.A. members are no surprise.

Green talks about “research” in a very problematical way. He doesn’t use clearly defined terms and he doesn’t use anything near Standard English. He uses Programese, the self-proving, circular language of the Step movement. It is impossible to make logical arguments when the language is so far removed from useful constructs. It is impossible to make logical arguments when the twisted definitions of words “prove” doctrinal concepts. Some examples of Programese and non-Step constructs are:

Programese psychology non-Step
common language
alcoholism alcohol dependency
& alcohol abuse
  • primary disease
  • spiritual disease
  • abstinence only way
  • can’t trust own thinking
  • characterized by denial
  • ‘self’ is the enemy
  • faith healing
  • specific symptoms
  • specific “have it”
  • specific “don’t have it” (anymore)
plain English
can be as simple as “drinks too much”
sober sober or abstinent sober or abstinent
absolutely abstinent and in “a” spiritual program (meaning a 12-Step group)

antonyms:
  • drunk
  • drinks (even moderately)
  • on a dry drunk
  • not ‘serene’
not drunk not drunk

Green builds a straw man. He asks a dishonest question, one that implies things that are obviously not true, gives his made-up wished for answer from Orange and then responds to his own set up.

“Q: Are all AA members abusive cult extremists, like Agent Orange says?
A: No.”

I don’t know that Orange has ever said such a thing. I do know it would not only be atypical of Orange, but also that I have been accused of saying such things without ever saying them. The idea that one can notice some people being horribly abusive and not just everyone that way seems to be for some reason beyond many Groupers’ understanding. Some most certainly are. Most members (and most members aren’t going to hang around too long!) are simply wrong. Wrong can be a problem for a number of reasons.

Believing one has special “conscious contact” with God and knows what is best for others when one doesn’t is not at all helpful and can hurt. Believing that one has special knowledge of God’s Will that overrides consideration of hundreds of years of legal precedence that protects us all from each others’ excesses is another danger area.

Green attempts to build a mirage in asking and answering himself, pretending the answer came from Orange:

“Q: Are there emotionally mature AA members who can offer guidance and share their experience, strength, and hope?
A: Yes.”

“Shar[ing] experience, strength, and hope” is also known by other terms. “Sharing for witness” and “proselytizing” come immediately to mind. This “sharing” is done to “keep the conversion experience real”/ to “stay sober”.

Some important questions are,

  • Who are the “old timers” at meetings who “can offer guidance and share their experience, strength, and hope”?
  • Who is someone likely to find when they walk into a meeting?
  • Is one likely to find someone who has “gotten well” and gotten on with his life?
  • Or is one is going to find someone who is stuck, who still hangs out at meetings day after day, year after year for ten, twenty or thirty years playing all-wise guru?

Of course, it is the last who one is most likely to find.

Green does not fail to insist on the omnipresent-in-all-cults directive that those unfamiliar with A.A. attend meetings. Meeting attendance is key to recruitment into any cult. In the group environment, group dynamics can be manipulated to get the potential recruit to distrust himself and to begin relying on the group for self-definition. Among the influences possible in a group having roles modeled that one is expected to fill in the future and being “a minority of one against a unanimous majority.” (much more about the dynamics of meetings is on line in Meetings)

“Agent Green,” since he is “Anonymous,” makes a not at all unusual but very telling disclosure.
* I am not an alcoholic or addict.
* I have personally benefitted [sic] from attending Al-Anon and CoDA and from working the Twelve Steps.
* I have seen 12-step programs rescue people from despair, compulsions, and even suicidal thoughts.
* I have also met so-called 12-steppers who are abusive gossip-mongers.”

After all these years, I am still rather amused by the attempts of 12-Step group members when they are defending one 12-Step “fellowship” to try to portray themselves as “independent” and “impartial” while essentially announcing “I found the God of the 12 Steps by working the Step in another 12-Step fellowship, not the 12-Step fellowship I am defending at the moment.” Of course, the only real difference between the hundreds of different 12-Step fellowships is that each centers around a different disease (alcoholism, gambling, loving an alcoholic, being messy, etc.) as leverage for conversion to the 12-Step religion. Same church, different pew.

It is also rather amusing to me after all these years to see a Grouper challenge the 5% “success rate” often attributed to A.A. In treatment, depending on what the desired effect is, A.A. has either a 5% or 75% success rate. If someone was being stubborn about “coming to believe,” a big to do was made about “only 5%” with the implication that one had best obey. At other times, like when someone was implying that A.A. doesn’t work very well or when trying to convince someone to go to a 12-Step treatment center or even a meeting, the success rate is 75% “for those who really try.”

Leaving aside his rather strange analysis from what we are supposed to think are independent experts, I’ll just leave with a couple of quotes from two of those experts who he uses to claim that A.A. works and a comment on a study that showed A.A. worse than no treatment he claims is “Antiquated and Irrelevant.”

From A.A. trustee and Al-Anon George Vaillant, speaking of his own study, the study that Green (and Vaillant) contort success for A.A. out of:

“It seemed perfectly clear…by turning to recovering alcoholics [AA members] rather than to Ph.D.’s for lessons in breaking self-detrimental and more or less involuntary habits, and by inexorably moving patients…into the treatment system of AA, I was working for the most exciting alcohol program in the world.

But then came the rub. [We] tried to prove our efficacy. …

After initial discharge, only 5 patients in the Clinic sample never relapsed to alcoholic drinking, and there is compelling evidence that the results of our treatment were no better than the natural history of the disease. …Not only had we failed to alter the natural history of alcoholism, but our death rate of three percent a year was appalling.”63

As to 12-Stepper Dr. Edgar P. Nace who is an “expert” on alcoholism and author of a medical school text on the disease that Green uses to prove A.A.’s efficacy on where he gained his “wisdom” about alcoholism from:

“Every effort should be made to introduce the patient to AA. Schedules of local AA meetings should be kept in the office and given to each patient. The physician should know several recovered men and women active in local AA who are willing to meet with a new patient, share their experiences, and take the patient to an AA meeting.”[231]

If the excessive drinker would rather quit on his own, the doctor is to suggest that the person who tries to quit “by himself … usually fails”[232] as if people who go to AA have a lower failure rate. The psychiatrist is advised that his “primary goal” is to establish a “therapeutic relationship” with the patient in order to use it as “leverage” to get him into AA.[233]

None of this is surprising since the book is written with the admitted goal of getting people into AA [234] by a man who got his information from the “insights” of “recovered” alcoholics, going to AA meetings and friendships with AA groupers.[235] The author claims “a deeper understanding of alcoholism, an understanding that is not approached by the usual process of medical education.”[236]

Then there is the Dittman study that Green claims is “Antiquated and Irrelevant.” Green seems to have no understanding about the way science works. An old study may well be a better study. With an old study, at least one should know. There has been a lot of time for it to be redone and problems found with it. There has been a lot of time for it to be repeated and confirmed. Of course, since the Dittman study, in spite of being very easily done and very inexpensive, has not been repeated. It had the “wrong” findings to draw alcoholism research funding. According to the researchers’ report:

“Some of the present writers [3 of 5] were quite optimistic about the possibilities of enforced referral to treatment, but the early encouraging anecdotal reports are not borne out by present data.”[61]

This was rather good in terms of science. It is significant when researchers find results different from what they expected. This was rather bad in terms of 12-Step promotion. It showed the Steps to be a total failure.


[61] 61. Ditman et al (1967) 1967 Ditman KS, Crawford GG, Forgy EW, Moskowitz H, and MacAndrew C, A Controlled Experiment on the Use of Court Probation for Drunk Arrests. American Journal of Psychiatry 124(1967):160-163
[63] Vaillant (1983a):283-285 Vaillant GE, 1983a. The Natural History of Alcoholism. Cambridge, London: Harvard University Press, 1983
[231] Nace (1987):148 Nace EP, The Treatment of Alcoholism. New York: Brunner/Mazel, 1987
[232] ibid. p60
[233] ibid. p124
[234] ibid. pxix
[235] ibid. pxiv
[236] ibid. pxiv

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The Strange World of Mark Dombeck, Ph.D. at MentalHealth.net

For quite some time I’ve wanted to respond to the writings of Mark Dombeck at mentalhealth.net but have been constrained by time. Now that I have some time, I’m rather stumped. The reason for this is that rather than wanting to respond to one outlandish article, I’m now in the position of trying to respond to a series of articles written by Dombeck that so resembles a series of arguments on why some particular number of angels can dance on the head of a pin. How does one respond to pages and pages of armchair wisdom on how many angels can dance on the head of a pin arrogantly dispensed as wise, compassionate counsel by a guru of “mental health”? Where does one begin?

While it is understandable that he would write an article without any scientific reference using the format he does, what I do find surprising is that when challenged with scientific references that show him far off base, he continues on in the manner of, “I am very sympathetic to the anger of those who argue that I’m incorrect in my assertion about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin. I am very sorry for what happened to them. But what one must understand is that angels are only one thousandth of a millimeter in width so of course many thousands can dance on the head of a pin and they love you. These people need to learn to trust.”

Dombeck’s writing is all nonsense with no support except for the testimonials of those who are “in recovery” which, as far as scientific evidence goes, are directly parallel to and as valid as the “scientific evidence” offered in television infomercials and Wednesday-night prayer meetings. Having such value, they can be taken as worth no more or no less then the testimonials in latest infomercial for an herbal penis enlarger.

Instead of challenging every incorrect statement of Dr. Bombeck’s which would take pages and pages, I’ll restrict myself for the moment to only one small paragraph from AA Is To Shame As A Hot Knife Is To Butter.

While the central theme of the article as expressed by the title is so bizarre, so “Alice in Wonderland,” that I don’t know where to begin, perhaps by restricting myself for the moment to one small paragraph I can begin.

The sentences from the paragraph are in italics.

For those of you who don’t know—AA is a fellowship of alcoholics who come together regularly for the purpose of helping themselves and other alcoholics who desire help to stop drinking.

This is indeed the way AA presents itself. However, this is far from the actual truth of the matter. AA, as Dr. Bombeck noted, is a 12-Step fellowship. Of these fellowships, there are hundreds ranging from being addicted to one substance/behavior or another, caring about other people, being messy, being a Fundamentalist Christian or having the disease of caring about anyone with one of these “spiritual diseases.” There is a 12-Step “program” of conversion for almost any ill imaginable.

All have the 12 Steps as a central theme. The Steps themselves are the core of a program of indoctrination into neo-Buchmanistic religion. The Steps themselves were written with the sole purpose of codifying Oxford Group “spiritual principles” and winning converts. They were written by a member of the Oxford Group (Bill Wilson) before AA existed.

Rather than AA being a fellowship which “comes together to help themselves and other alcoholics,” AA is just one more of the hundreds of “fellowships” which will use one problem or another, one painful difficulty or another, as leverage in the manipulation to conversion to the 12-Step religion.

Step group members do not want to hear about anything to “help the alcoholic,” or to help anyone for that matter, except 12-Step indoctrination. If anyone seems in danger of stopping or moderating without AA, every effort will be made to sabotage their success.

This is not to say that the majority of AA members are not sincere. However, sincerity alone is not a substitute for a willingness to see what actually helps and what doesn’t help. Most Jehovah’s Witnesses are extremely sincere. That does not mean that they have valuable advice to give in emergency rooms on blood transfusions.

Multiply AA by the hundreds of separate 12-Step fellowships which claim to hold one problem or another at bay “one day at a time,” and what the Step groups amount to is a cure-all for all of humanity’s problems.

AA is a volunteer organization that exists to heal and serve alcoholics free of charge.

This is incredible nonsense. They don’t “heal” anyone but convince them they are sick forever and must be obedient to “the programme of His Kingdom” for their entire lives. No one ever gets well and gets the ok to leave.

It is also extremely misleading to describe them as free. Yes, one can go to a meeting in a church basement and not be coerced into contributing anything into the hat that gets passed around. However, there is a lot more to AA than simply the thousands of meetings.

AA is very careful to give themselves plausible deniability for all actions of their members outside the meetings themselves. For example, AA clubhouses are clubhouses that allow only AA meetings and usually some other 12-Step meetings, are operated by AA members and are often financed by the government under response to the plea of “helping alcoholics and addicts.” While of course they are AA and nothing more or less, they will not only deny being AA but for the most part sincerely believe it. The same goes for much of the multi-billion dollar treatment industry.

A treatment center owned and operated by AA members that only hires 12 Steppers, has “group therapy” that consists of using group pressure to get acquiescence to AA doctrine, and whose one and only purpose is to indoctrinate the patients into AA is “not AA.”

Front groups like the NCADD, which work to get legislation passed that is helpful to the Step groups (e.g. coerced indoctrination) and to “educate the public” in AA theology disguised as “alcoholism science” is “not AA.”

People have no trouble understanding that when Moonies have a weekend getaway for “world peace” that is operated by the Unification Church that it is indeed a Moonie operation. Because of the “spiritual principle of Anonymity,” people believe the lies of the Steppers when they band together under a difference corporate label to further AA goals. “That isn’t AA” sometimes followed by a sincerely expressed quote from a reading at the opening of most every AA meeting, “A.A. is not aligned with any sect, denomination, politics, organization or institution.” This seems to bring all query and thought to an end.

It is true that AA is not aligned with any other sect, denomination, politics, organization or institution AA. However, what is left out is that AA is its own sect/denomination, has its own politics, has its own organizations and has numerous umbrella groups aligned with it. (for further discussion of “not AA” AA organizations, see: How Far Carried? )

As I understand AA’s organization, they are completely self-funded – existing off internal donations and not seeking monies from external organizations.

I would hope that for anyone who is not a Step group member and knows even a tiny little bit about the Step groups knows that what Dombeck “understands” is plainly and simply 12 Step propaganda. The meetings were intended to be kept “purely spiritual.” They are purely for the indoctrination of new members. All other actions—“educational,” legal and legislative—are carried out through front groups under other corporate umbrellas. Even AA’s official magazine, the Grapevine, is “not AA.”

They insist on anonymity within their meetings.

Well, sort of. Certainly, such statements put newcomers at ease. However, no one is really anonymous in the meetings. Everyone knows everyone else. From what I’ve seen having been an AA member 20 years ago and have heard since, one doesn’t want to say anything in an AA meeting that one doesn’t want the group elders to use against them in the future. Nor do they want to say anything that they don’t want other group members gossiping about. (for further information, see 12-Step Horror Stories )

There is nothing about “Anonymity” that actually protects the members. Members are encouraged to reveal their “disease,” desperation and salvation by “treatment.” What Anonymity is about is protecting AA. When AA members get drunk and kill people in their vehicles, for example, they can be held up as reasons for the need for AA. This is directly opposite to what happened when AA’s founders were members of the Oxford Group. When Oxford Group members who had been boasting about their alcohol problems being solved by the Oxford Group in their efforts to proselytize and then became publicly drunk, rather than being a boon to the Oxford Group as they are to modern-day AA, they were a serious embarrassment.

An effect of this and similar policies is that people’s social status tends to fall away at an AA meeting. An AA meeting is a place where normally unequal people (in terms of wealth, status, etc.) are more equal.

All of this is so sad. There is no “more equal,” except perhaps in Animal Farm’s sense of “some pigs are more equal than others.” Claiming Time is claiming status. Those with most claimed Time are on pedestals and no criticism is allowed no matter what they do from those with less time. Any criticism is met with, “He has Time, what can you say for yourself?” or “Point one finger at someone else and you are pointing three at yourself.” or “You have to consider where he started from.”

None of these expressions are ever used against someone with more Time. They are reserved to keep those with less Time in line.

Most certainly, normal ways of acquiring status in society are nullified. For instance, if someone was to graduate summa cum laude or even was to find the cure for lung cancer, that would not increase his status in AA. However, someone who claims the most Time doing something that he had decided decades before he didn’t want to do anymore because continuing was simply too painful and that he shouldn’t have done in the first place, then he will have have the most status. It is irrelevant if he beats his wife, cheats welfare for decades, lies, betray friends, 13th Steps newcomers or does anything else reprehensible. He is the wise guru whose wisdom all with less Time, all the “pigeons” must acknowledge.

It would be like someone who quit smoking 20 years before being granted special status for having done so and being considered to have special knowledge of God, God’s Will, and everything about life that one must follow in order to avoid death. And all of this for stopping being stupid, for simply having quit smoking. (For some examples, see Miracles of Recovery and 12-Step Horror Stories )

I’m well aware that this blog entry is far, far from a thorough debunking of Dr. Bombeck. It is only a humble starting point. That is the best I can do at the moment with the wealth of misinformation and disinformation offered.

While I am far from naive on the matter, I still am most horrified to see someone who is supposed to be a member of a profession using science to help people mindlessly repeat cult propaganda.

Most of my life I’ve had close friends who were psychologists who were very, very important people to me. They are gone now and greatly missed. One thing they all had in common was their great respect for other people and the scientific method. They would use words like “autonomy” and were proud of the research base of their therapeutic techniques. Perhaps it is for the best that they didn’t live to see the likes of Dr. Bombeck taking over the profession.

More about all of that later.

For those interested in reading further about the Step groups, I’d like to recommend: More Revealed.

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