Piece of Propaganda #3: The AA 12 Steps.

My newest piece of propaganda is a little process enforced on people by an extremist religious cult (Alcoholics Anonymous), and supported by the monopolizing courts of the state. I’m talking about the “12 steps”.

1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol – that our lives had become unmanageable.
2. Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
5. Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong, promptly admitted it.
11. Sought though prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.
12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

These “12 steps” are rather like the “10 commandments”. Everyone thinks they’re great, no one knows what they are, and they show the true colours of a nasty religion. In this case, the Alcoholics Anonymous’ religion of anti-individualism and submission. And if you’re an atheist, you better forget about it.

Step 1 and 2 are the most important for the conditioning process. They break down your desire to get better, make you believe that your alcoholism makes you an irredeemable “sinner”, and that only “God” can save you, through of course submission to the AA program. This is somewhat problematic… if “God” can save you, then why hasn’t it done so already? What about alcoholics who are already submissive Christians? I’m sure such a thing is easily explained away by AA doctrine.

This AA version of “original sin” is a microcosm of Christianity itself- with themselves as the profiting party instead of a church. This writhing, submissive attitude is the opposite of what is needed to discipline oneself. To gain discipline, one must have willpower and confidence in oneself. Like any other cult or religious system, the AA has nothing to gain from people gaining willpower and confidence in themselves. It must attract alcoholics and keep them for as long as possible. Therefore it must foster the absurd myth that alcoholism is a permanent disease.

Now, alcoholics are more prone to falling for this rhetoric because they are likely to feel out of control, and unable to quit, or they will tend to be sent to the AA because they lack that control. On the other hand, the shifting of the blame is to their perceived advantage. They are told that they are not responsible for their own cure, which no doubt relieves many of them. Thus only reinforces the culture of submission further. With freedom comes responsibility: and with the loss of freedom inevitably comes the loss of responsibility.

In reality, about 5% of alcoholics per year get out of it without any help or support- the same percentage that become sober on AA (but of course they are never allowed to realize they are sober).

The rest of the steps are basically a reinforcement of the submissive attitude, with a cult of confession added (because that is, after all, what AA meetings are all about), and a last point at the end to help propagate the AA cult and its beliefs.

The “12 steps” are propaganda. They are a tool to remodel the alcoholic’s mind in order to submit and serve the interests of the AA cult. In doing so, they indoctrinate their victims into a collectivist mindset.

Unfortunately, the state also uses the AA cult as a tool to hook alcoholics on collectivist beliefs. Because of this widespread support, the cult and its evil doctrines have ensconced themselves in society. Only if it became common knowledge that the AA is an extremist religious cult, would there be any hope of stopping its anti-individualist conditioning.

If you have a propaganda item you’d like me to look at, just post it in the comments. I welcome all suggestions.

18 thoughts on “Piece of Propaganda #3: The AA 12 Steps.

  1. psyborgue September 28, 2007 at 01:28

    beautiful analysis.

  2. […] 5th, 2007 I have already written on the immorality of the Alcoholics Anonymous’ 12 steps. However, the thought keeps waking me up sweaty at night: what if the AA bozos are right? What if […]

  3. roma38 December 14, 2007 at 07:29

    “This is somewhat problematic… if “God” can save you, then why hasn’t it done so already?”

    A bigger question would be why would God who is supposed to be benevolent create a world so full of ‘sin’ and ‘sinners’? The answer to this would answer tour more narrow question.

    “What about alcoholics who are already submissive Christians? I’m sure such a thing is easily explained away by AA doctrine.”

    I would say just because someone says they are a Christian for whatever reason or even non reason and they are alcoholics as well it does not mean that you can blame Christianity for the failure. Individuals are all different even those who profess to follow a ‘collective and universal’ morality. There are good Chrsitians and bad Christians…the good adhere to their religion more closely in letter and spirit than the bad ones.

    Atheists I am sure come in many hues and colors, some are good others are bad…it would be unfair to say all atheists are failures just because I can find afew atheists who are bad examples of atheists.

  4. SerenityGrrrl September 16, 2008 at 18:20

    I always have to wonder what inspires such a rant… having a hard time not taking a drink today? What difference does it make – if it helps people, then it helps people. Court enforced attendance does very little to keep somebody sober. So you go to a few meetings, get your sheet signed, and go home and do a couple more lines – what’s the harm? Why such a vehement lash out at a pretty benign organization? If you don’t like it, don’t go. Why bewail those who do? This doesn’t seem to be much of an exercise other than futility.

  5. Abby October 23, 2008 at 22:29

    Oh I SO agree with this. My brother is an alcoholic and I sent to a couple of meetings with him but the way he and his friends act, EXACTLY like a christian cult. EXACTLY, along with the gossip, the controlling, the condemnation. The lot.

  6. Abby October 23, 2008 at 22:30

    Serenity Grrrl. You’re just a bitch.

  7. Pesker May 20, 2009 at 08:59

    She’s not a bitch, just another long suffering cult member who lashes out defensively.

    Take a serenity pill sweetie.

  8. H July 15, 2009 at 17:23

    serenitygirl? Not serene at all.

  9. H July 15, 2009 at 17:25

    That is a good analysis!

  10. Cal Worthington September 7, 2009 at 10:31

    Well, it was either die a puking drunk in the gutter or hook up with this “evil cult”. Of all the evil cults I looked into, this one was the cheapest, has no police force, and is the most fun. So I choose to remain brainwashed.

    Oh yeah: The 5% figure is frequently misquoted. Fact is, studies have been done that show any drug or alcohol treatment is more effective in conjunction with a 12-step program. Also, 5% is the number of people that stay after their first meeting. If someone stays for six months (without having been coerced by the courts, their wives; etc.) then the 5-year success rate is more like 65%.

  11. flicky November 23, 2009 at 01:30

    It’s frustrating to read such uninformed analysis. I’m an anarchist myself and my experience of 12-step groups has been really positive – they are anarchist in theory but vary a lot in practice. Personalities can influence a group enormously, and compulsory attendance totally screws with the spirit of it. It can hardly be called a “religious cult” when everyone is free to define their spirituality as they please – I’m a hippy child of the universe, and other people I know treat the group itself as their higher power. It’s pretty arrogant to pronounce so vehemently on something you so obviously know little about.

  12. scouse November 30, 2009 at 16:31

    Me and my missus both graduated from the AA school of brainwashing fear driving guilt burdening superstition after a 6 month spell in one of their kindergartens, AKA treatment centre where we were forced to swallow their bile or face being kicked out after they forced us through passive aggression to give up our private flats. This lack of power was a real bastard to get rid of, much worse than the drink but we got away. We are still recovering from the AA treatment but have kicked the booze ourselves, both now at uni with a 2 year old daughter we prosper and look forward to our future whilst our friends who didn’t relapse through despair are stuck in the same cycle of claiming benefits because they are ‘mentally ill’ and going to meetings calling us ‘sick’ because we don’t follow their doctrine……………anyone who says this is not a cult is really mislead…or delusional.

  13. flannigan June 21, 2010 at 18:55

    AA is a religion and not an alcohol/drug treatment facility/modality. It is a fundamentalist, faith based cult which is an inappropriate and ineffective way of treating addiction/abuse of any substance.

  14. Ignorance Abounds September 6, 2010 at 16:50

    I have to laugh at the ignorance comments and the
    blog (drivel) they’re based upon.

    My friend is an alcoholic and from time to time I’ll go to a meeting with him. The people there seem friendly and happy for the most part, unless they are new.

    A.A is in no way a cult. That suggestion is laughable. As I understand it, you can choose to go whenever you feel like it. You can quit anytime.
    He always says: “A.A. has no rules”

    Pretty funny concept for a cult.

  15. Francois Tremblay September 6, 2010 at 17:02

    “A.A is in no way a cult. That suggestion is laughable.”

    Then why does AA fulfill every single criterion for a cult?

    “As I understand it, you can choose to go whenever you feel like it. You can quit anytime.”

    A Scientologist can say the same thing. A Hare Krishna can say the same thing. Anyone in a cult can “choose” to go, but they are brainwashed NOT to! “Choice” is an irrelevant concept!

    “He always says: “A.A. has no rules””

    And a Scientologist can say “What is true for you, is true for you.” But neither of them follow these principles. People are sometimes motivated to lie to you, and if you believe them without fact-checking while knowing that they are motivated to lie to you, you are an idiot, pure and simple.

  16. Lori March 28, 2012 at 10:19

    I was pretty far gone when I showed up on A.A.’s doorstep. I have to say that it really did help me for a long time. However, after collecting my coins, repeating the mindless slogans, keeping myself in a childlike state because “I don’t know any better and my best thinking got me here” for the last 5 plus years, I now realize how they keep you imprisoned by the disease concept and scare you to death with statements like “your disease is doing pushups in the parking lot” and “if you stop going to meetings, you will drink and then die.” Yeah. It’s a cult. And yes, it is fear-based. I’m now having to deprogram myself. Not an easy task.

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