Sunday, January 16, 2022

Truths to Counter the AA Cult #11: AA Falsely Shames Alcoholics


From the Orange Papers

  1. The A.A. stereotype of alcoholics is untrue.

    A.A. creates a completely untrue negative stereotype of alcoholics, and then says that the Twelve Steps are the magic that will fix that standardized bad guy:

    Alcoholics especially should be able to see that instinct run wild in themselves is the underlying cause of their destructive drinking. ... This perverse soul-sickness is not pleasant to look upon.
    Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, William Wilson, page 44.

    Since most of us are born with an abundance of natural desires, it isn't strange that we often let these far exceed their intended purpose.
    (Whose intended purpose? God's? Mother Nature's? The Force of Evolution's?
    What happened to "A.A. requires no beliefs?")
    When they drive us blindly, or we willfully demand that they supply us with more satisfactions or pleasures than are possible or due us, that is the point at which we depart from the degree of perfection that God wishes for us here on earth. That is the measure of our character defects, or, if you wish, of our sins.
    Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, William Wilson, page 65.

    "Instinct run wild? Natural desires exceeding their intended purpose? Pleasures due us?"
    Pleasures due us from whom? And due us, according to whose ledger book? God's?

    Also notice how Bill Wilson just redefined "character defects" to mean the same thing as "sins":
          That is the measure of our character defects, or, if you wish, of our sins.

    That noticeably changes the meaning of Step Six --
          6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character
    — by adding a burden of guilt to the Step, making it into a begging session where we beg God to remove sins. Bill Wilson gradually morphed alcoholism from a disease to be cured, into a sin that must be removed by God. That is another Bait-and-Switch trick.

    The Sage and High Priest Of Alcoholics Anonymous,
    Bill Wilson
    Bill Wilson was all mixed up:
    • Natural desires do not supply us with "satisfactions or pleasures". Natural desires are an itch, an urge, to go get some satisfactions or pleasures. Hunger, for instance, does not give us pleasure. It gives us a big pain in the belly that drives us to go find something to eat.

    • Instincts are urges to do things like eat, survive, have sex, and care for our young. Such urges are extremely intense, because that's what works to keep the species from going extinct. (See the definition of "instinct" here.)

    • But there is no "instinct" to drink ethyl alcohol or get high on drugs.

    • You do not voluntarily chose to get hungry, crave sex, feel a drive to survive, or wish to care for your young. You do not allow those "desires" to "far exceed their intended purpose." You are driven by very strong compulsions to do what is necessary for survival and reproduction. That's just life, keeping life going, no matter what...

    • According to Bill Wilson, God is a poor bio-engineer whose designs for instincts and desires are malfunctioning badly. They aren't working as He intended, and we aren't working as He intended. Gee, we aren't getting our wishes granted; God isn't getting His wishes granted; nobody is happy. It looks like The Creative Spirit Of The Universe really screwed up this time.

    Bill continued his attack on the stereotypical alcoholics:

    Selfishness — self-centeredness! That, we think, is the root of our troubles. Driven by a hundred forms of fear, self-delusion, self-seeking, and self-pity, we step on the toes of our fellows and they retaliate.   ...
    ... the alcoholic is an extreme example of self-will run riot, though he usually doesn't think so.
    The Big Book, 3rd Edition, William Wilson, Chapter 5, How It Works, page 62.

    Since defective relations with other human beings have nearly always been the immediate cause of our woes, including our alcoholism, no field of investigation could yield more satisfying and valuable rewards than this one.
    Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, William Wilson, page 81.

    So now alcoholism is caused by "defective relations"? Earlier, Bill Wilson declared that our self-destructive drinking was caused by our sins, moral shortcomings, defects of character, resentments, instincts run wild, instinct gone astray, self-will run riot, self-seeking, selfishness, desires that far exceed their intended purpose, and failure to practice religious precepts properly. What will it be next?

    People do not drink too much because they have big puffed-up strutting-peacock egos, or because they think they are the center of the Universe, or because they think they are too big and too good to need God, like Bill Wilson said.

    And people do not drink too much because they are examples of instincts run wild, or self-will run riot, or because they are sinners with moral shortcomings and character defects, like Bill Wilson said.

    People usually drink too much because they feel bad and are trying to feel good. They are often miserable, and just trying to "have fun."

    Just because alcoholics and drug addicts have brains that are deficient in L-dopamine or beta endorphins doesn't mean that they are all selfish, immoral, and unspiritual, like Bill Wilson said.

    Forty percent of all alcoholics and drug addicts were abused children who are now just trying to cope with their mangled emotional lives, damaged personalities, and shriveled cerebellar vermises. In addition, many more alcoholics and drug addicts suffer from emotional or mental illnesses that they are trying to fix by self-medicating. And there are even more people who are sick and in pain from physical illnesses, and they are just trying to kill their pain with drugs and alcohol. And last but not least, there are alcoholics who smoke and drink to kill the pain of being very sick from having drunk too much alcohol and smoked too many cigarettes for far too long.

    The numbers look like this:

    • Forty percent of all alcoholics and junkies were abused children. Sometimes the parents were alcoholics, sometimes dopers, sometimes just insane. Sometimes insane vicious religious nuts, or insane cruel alcoholic military sergeant fathers. Sometimes insane first, and then they used alcohol or dope to kill the pain of their insanity. Often, those abusive parents had been abused children themselves, and they were just passing it on. For whatever reason, they then abused their children, physically, or mentally, or both, and the children responded by using alcohol or dope to kill their own pain.
    • And, in addition, at least half of the people in prison for violent crimes were also abused children. Perhaps it's much worse than that — according to one survey, 85% of all violent prison inmates were abused in childhood.
    • Two-thirds of all teenage mothers were raped or sexually abused as children or teenagers.
    • Rape victims are ten times more likely than other women to use drugs and alcohol to excess.
    • In the U.S., at least one in ten women have been raped, almost two-thirds before the age of eighteen.
    • A recent survey reports that one-sixth of all rape victims reported to police are under the age of 12. (And this is the category of rape least likely to be reported.) One-fifth of these girls were raped by their fathers. They have been betrayed.

    Trying to make those people quit drinking or drugging by crushing their egos and making them feel guilty doesn't work, and usually does more harm than good. (They will just get stoned again, trying to obliterate the feelings of guilt and get back to feeling good. It is neither an accident nor a coincidence that involvement with Alcoholics Anonymous was seen to increase, not reduce, binge drinking.)

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