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-   -   Atheist nurse's fight against mandatory AA will go before B.C. Human Rights Tribunal (http://www.internationalskeptics.com/forums/showthread.php?t=336979)

Belz... 20th June 2019 12:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Minoosh (Post 12727333)
If you want to stop drinking it's worth a shot, IMO.

Not statistically, it's not.

Butter! 20th June 2019 12:48 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Minoosh (Post 12731773)
Re: the highlighted: Who "made them use religious language?" How were they forced to use "weird submissive mentalities?

As far as I know, AA doesn't require attendees to use religious language or weird submissive mentalities.

A quibble, he is making the claim against his employer. I'd be curious if there was an employees' handbook that spelled out what would happen if staffers were diagnosed with a substance abuse disorder.

The people running the program. The counselors and the people who reported to them. If residents didn't cooperate with the group mantras (prayers) and participate in the activities (which centered around the steps), they weren't allowed to "graduate" from rehab.

I always found that troublesome.

I'm not insulting you, AA, or the meetings you went to. My understanding is that there is wide variation in how individual meetings are conducted. I'm sure it's also influenced by location.

Minoosh 20th June 2019 03:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by isissxn (Post 12732426)
The people running the program. The counselors and the people who reported to them. If residents didn't cooperate with the group mantras (prayers) and participate in the activities (which centered around the steps), they weren't allowed to "graduate" from rehab.

I always found that troublesome.

I'm not insulting you, AA, or the meetings you went to. My understanding is that there is wide variation in how individual meetings are conducted. I'm sure it's also influenced by location.

And I'm saying, don't conflate the treatment industry with AA, which doesn't "make" you do anything. It won't withhold your diploma, it won't "require" complete abstinence (as was stated in one of the OP links) and it doesn't force you to believe in God. Attendees will be encouraged to find something they believe in, but it doesn't have to be anything supernatural.

Minoosh 20th June 2019 03:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Belz... (Post 12732363)
Not statistically, it's not.

Anecdotally, it is.

whoanellie 20th June 2019 04:54 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Minoosh (Post 12732573)
Anecdotally, it is.

Minoosh, I read this thread last week, posted once, then disappeared for a while. I appreciate you correcting - at least attempting to - many of the misconceptions about AA. The caricatures of AA are just that, caricatures.

AA is not "run" by anyone. The point of AA is not to coerce anyone to do or believe anything. Not all AA meetings conclude with the Lord's Prayer - though some do. AA does not promote anything resembling a religion. AA is not supported by the government or by any church. If a meeting takes place in a church it will often make a donation or pay rent to the church.

AA has saved many, many lives and helped a whole lot of people. There is something off putting to me about someone who is not an alcoholic, who has no experience with the desperation alcoholics put themselves and their loved ones through, and who objects on a theoretical basis to AA as a solution. AA does not work for everyone and it does not have a high success rate. I don't know of any approach that is widely accepted to have a high success rate. Nonetheless, AA does work for many.

I Am The Scum 20th June 2019 05:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by theprestige (Post 12725184)
Who ****** cares? You've got a serious substance abuse problem. You've had a psychotic break and you're about to lose your job. Say the words, go through the steps, get recovery, and get your job back. If that's what you want.

If that's what you want.

He specifically asked for a secular alternative. His doctor refused to accommodate. This isn't complicated.

Butter! 20th June 2019 05:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Minoosh (Post 12732570)
And I'm saying, don't conflate the treatment industry with AA, which doesn't "make" you do anything. It won't withhold your diploma, it won't "require" complete abstinence (as was stated in one of the OP links) and it doesn't force you to believe in God. Attendees will be encouraged to find something they believe in, but it doesn't have to be anything supernatural.

Fine, but what I was saying was still relevant to the thread topic, which is courts ordering treatments that involve religious elements. I was saying that yes, I saw that happen in relation to the 12-step method, and it bugged me. The center also used the AA "big book." So that's the only reason I commented - because often, 12-step stuff is religious even if it claims it isn't. My original post in the thread was talking about how people at this rehab center would explicitly tell concerned atheists and agnostics that would be no religion, and then there WERE ridiculous amounts of religion. And if you objected, you didn't always "pass."

Rehab institutions and programs shouldn't misrepresent themselves like that, and judges shouldn't order people who object to religion to go to places or programs like that. That's my point.

Minoosh 20th June 2019 08:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by isissxn (Post 12732636)
Rehab institutions and programs shouldn't misrepresent themselves like that, and judges shouldn't order people who object to religion to go to places or programs like that. That's my point.

Do you think AA misrepresents itself in that regard?

Minoosh 20th June 2019 10:15 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by whoanellie (Post 12732615)
AA has saved many, many lives and helped a whole lot of people. There is something off putting to me about someone who is not an alcoholic, who has no experience with the desperation alcoholics put themselves and their loved ones through, and who objects on a theoretical basis to AA as a solution. AA does not work for everyone and it does not have a high success rate. I don't know of any approach that is widely accepted to have a high success rate. Nonetheless, AA does work for many.

What I object to is the idea that AA is coercive and/or sneaky. Addiction is a stubborn disease/disorder/whatever that often needs to be addressed on multiple fronts. AA isn't even "treatment." It's a support group for people who find it helpful. It co-exists at present with meetings that call themselves agnostic or secular (but still 12-step based), as well as non-12-step-based programs. These are available in Vancouver but I'm not sure about the rest of B.C.

The effectiveness measures cited here come in part from the fact that some problem drinkers will benefit quite a lot from a "brief intervention," such as a doctor spelling out the health effects or a 6-week CBT outpatient group run by a professional facilitator. For some lucky folks that's all it takes.

Others benefit from a more comprehensive, longer-term course of action and strong social support is part of that. So, often, is an emphasis on "spirituality" and emotional growth. Yes, it will encourage a period of "abstinence" but it is not required, as the OP links mistakenly stated. (SMART Recovery also stresses the importance of abstinence).

If someone wants to stay sober or "drink responsibly" just to spite AA that's fine too :D.

Thor 2 22nd June 2019 02:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Minoosh (Post 12732789)
What I object to is the idea that AA is coercive and/or sneaky. Addiction is a stubborn disease/disorder/whatever that often needs to be addressed on multiple fronts. AA isn't even "treatment." It's a support group for people who find it helpful. It co-exists at present with meetings that call themselves agnostic or secular (but still 12-step based), as well as non-12-step-based programs. These are available in Vancouver but I'm not sure about the rest of B.C.

The effectiveness measures cited here come in part from the fact that some problem drinkers will benefit quite a lot from a "brief intervention," such as a doctor spelling out the health effects or a 6-week CBT outpatient group run by a professional facilitator. For some lucky folks that's all it takes.

Others benefit from a more comprehensive, longer-term course of action and strong social support is part of that. So, often, is an emphasis on "spirituality" and emotional growth. Yes, it will encourage a period of "abstinence" but it is not required, as the OP links mistakenly stated. (SMART Recovery also stresses the importance of abstinence).

If someone wants to stay sober or "drink responsibly" just to spite AA that's fine too :D.


Be interested to see what those alternate agnostic/secular steps are, replacing the 6 or so referring to God in the AA original version.

theprestige 22nd June 2019 03:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Thor 2 (Post 12733652)
Be interested to see what those alternate agnostic/secular steps are, replacing the 6 or so referring to God in the AA original version.

Be interested to see your report on the research you do, for this interesting question. I'm guessing you'll probably start with a Google search (or similar) of the term "secular aa programs". But please don't let me dictate your research methodology.

Thor 2 22nd June 2019 03:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by theprestige (Post 12733665)
Be interested to see your report on the research you do, for this interesting question. I'm guessing you'll probably start with a Google search (or similar) of the term "secular aa programs". But please don't let me dictate your research methodology.


Once again you demonstrate your lack of comprehension prestigious one. Did I say I was going into some heavy research on the subject? No, given that Minoosh mentioned the existence of such groups, I had hoped he/she would fill us in.

Oh, don't let me discourage you from doing your own research theprestige, and please give us the benefit of your knowledge, regarding research methodology. I am sure we will all benefit from this.

theprestige 22nd June 2019 03:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Thor 2 (Post 12733690)
Once again you demonstrate your lack of comprehension prestigious one. Did I say I was going into some heavy research on the subject? No, given that Minoosh mentioned the existence of such groups, I had hoped he/she would fill us in.



Oh, don't let me discourage you from doing your own research theprestige, and please give us the benefit of your knowledge, regarding research methodology. I am sure we will all benefit from this.

It's not an interesting question to me.

I figure if you are interested, nothing stops you from doing your own research, just to see if Minoosh is onto something. Doesn't have to be heavy. You only need to go as far as your interest actually takes you.

Minoosh 22nd June 2019 04:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Thor 2 (Post 12733652)
Be interested to see what those alternate agnostic/secular steps are, replacing the 6 or so referring to God in the AA original version.

They're included in sites I've already linked to.

Thor 2 22nd June 2019 06:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Minoosh (Post 12733816)
They're included in sites I've already linked to.


Nice cop out. I went back through a number of your posts and only found a link to an agnostic 12 step group with no details. I would have to go to a meeting to get that.

Minoosh 22nd June 2019 06:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Thor 2 (Post 12733875)
Nice cop out. I went back through a number of your posts and only found a link to an agnostic 12 step group with no details. I would have to go to a meeting to get that.

Try restarting your browser.

whoanellie 22nd June 2019 07:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Minoosh (Post 12733816)
They're included in sites I've already linked to.

I found them very easily at the link you provided.

carlitos 22nd June 2019 08:48 PM

I posted a link to Smart Recovery earlier. Smart is an evidence-based recovery program, but it’s probably 1/1000 the size of AA, so not available everywhere. Judges might not have even heard of it. And people in charge of rehab might not accept it, preferring 12 step.

SmartRecovery.Org

AA’s tradition is “attraction not promotion” but the people forced to go to the meetings or to do the 12 steps by courts haven’t been attracted; they have been court-mandated. If they don’t do the AA program as interpreted by the people in charge of them, they can lose their freedom, a bed at a sober house, whatever.

abaddon 22nd June 2019 09:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Minoosh (Post 12732736)
Do you think AA misrepresents itself in that regard?

It absolutely does. I have in mind a chap who is a member for some 30 odd years. When he goes on holidays he makes sure that he finds and attends whatever local AA meeting he can dredge up.

So wait just a minute, I asked. You are in a country where you don't even speak the local language. What use is that? You have no clue what is going on or what is being said.

His answer was disturbing. He stated that it didn't matter, that the lord's prayer was universal and that he felt secure in the company of the brethren. Having rocked along with the guy to a few of his meetings at different locations, I know for a fact that half of the attendees were plainly half cut and plainly on the pull for vulnerable young drunk women. It was awful.

But I had to ask, "wait, when I go on holidays, my first act is to explore the local culture in all it's spotty glory. You seek out the local AA chapter come hell or high water as your first move?"

"Yes" he said. "WTF is that about?" sez I. And he then proceeded to tell me about how one could never leave the cult. Once one bought into it one simply could not leave and so forth. AA is frankly bizarre, and anyone who believes it cures anything is deluded.

Minoosh 22nd June 2019 09:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by carlitos (Post 12733947)
AA’s tradition is “attraction not promotion” but the people forced to go to the meetings or to do the 12 steps by courts haven’t been attracted; they have been court-mandated. If they don’t do the AA program as interpreted by the people in charge of them, they can lose their freedom, a bed at a sober house, whatever.

The person in charge of the probationer, or the person in charge of AA? Nobody's in charge of AA - and it shows :D

ETA: And AA is full of folks who think other people are doing it wrong. That's why there's so many meetings.

Minoosh 22nd June 2019 09:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by abaddon (Post 12733952)
"Yes" he said. "WTF is that about?" sez I. And he then proceeded to tell me about how one could never leave the cult.

And you believed him?

Minoosh 23rd June 2019 02:40 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by whoanellie (Post 12733904)
I found them very easily at the link you provided.

Most people I've known in AA have in some way interpreted the program in their own personal ways. For me "powerlessness" meant discovering that using does not relieve a craving but makes it much, much worse.

I also didn't really consider myself an alcoholic. My strong preference was for opioids. I mentally substituted "addict" for "alcoholic" which became gradually more acceptable in some groups. I thought I was safe from alcohol ... it made me violently ill. But then I drank my way into full-blown alcoholism - I "needed" a legal escape. Now I can't remember the last time I drank alcohol out of a glass. The bottle works fine.

The saving grace is I'm not a daily user so probably am not in danger of a life-threatening withdrawal syndrome.

Everyone I know has made some personal accommodations in their interpretation of the steps and general program patter. I don't have a strong belief in a personal God, but I have no problem with praying. It seems to open up some channel in me that gets me out of self-defeating thought patterns. I definitely don't understand God so "God of our understanding" doesn't mean much to me. But something about asking seems to help me see solutions that elude my conscious mind.

I'll be 60 in two months and I pray for the imagination to see it as a vibrant, joyful decade ahead rather that the steady decline I can expect if I carry on with current behavior. I very much need a commitment to abstinence and the support of fellow travelers whose phone numbers I will actually use.

To people put off by the "creepiness" of AA: Yes, there are a fair number of loose cannons on deck and it's good to remember that. If you're looking for crazy, you'll find it. But you will also find many relatively sane, happy, practical people who are are devoted to your success. That's a pretty big upside.
[/drunkalogue]

whoanellie 23rd June 2019 04:30 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by abaddon (Post 12733952)
It absolutely does. I have in mind a chap who is a member for some 30 odd years. When he goes on holidays he makes sure that he finds and attends whatever local AA meeting he can dredge up.

Good for him. Has your chap been sober for 30 years? If he has, I'd say its working for him.
Quote:

Originally Posted by abaddon (Post 12733952)
"Yes" he said. "WTF is that about?" sez I. And he then proceeded to tell me about how one could never leave the cult. Once one bought into it one simply could not leave and so forth. AA is frankly bizarre, and anyone who believes it cures anything is deluded.

What do you think would happen if one tried to leave? I know lots of people who have left AA.

Here's links to deluded people:
https://www.scientificamerican.com/a...rk/?redirect=1
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2746426/
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Effect...lics_Anonymous
https://www.thefix.com/content/the-r...tics-of-aa7301

Darat 23rd June 2019 05:14 AM

Been reading on the AA UK website and I'm struggling to find how the courses are audited and how the fellowship gets those leading courses and so on. Does anyone have links to those areas, AA ones?

whoanellie 23rd June 2019 06:34 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Darat (Post 12734117)
Been reading on the AA UK website and I'm struggling to find how the courses are audited and how the fellowship gets those leading courses and so on. Does anyone have links to those areas, AA ones?

I don't know what you are asking for. audited? courses? leading?

Darat 23rd June 2019 06:42 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by whoanellie (Post 12734174)
I don't know what you are asking for. audited? courses? leading?

Well I can see there is a structure to the.. er.. process, so I'm assuming those leading meetings will have been trained on those steps and how to help facilitate the progress of people attending? And my further assumption would be that those leaders are regularly assessed in regards to how they facilitate the process for members, how meetings are conducted, that proper records are kept (I know not of the people directly, I get what the second A is for ;) ) and so on. But can't find any of those details on the UK website.

Butter! 23rd June 2019 07:51 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Minoosh (Post 12732736)
Do you think AA misrepresents itself in that regard?

I don't think AA as a body represents itself in any particular way, actually. My understanding is that it has no overarching structure or anything. Different groups do things differently. I'm sure some are very religious while others barely mention those elements at all. I think it would be possible for someone court ordered to AA meetings to "shop around" a little until they find one that best suits their spiritual needs (or lack thereof).

I still, as a stickler about separation of church and state, think that courts should probably avoid even the possibility of muddling the two by only ordering people to programs that use zero religious language, period. However, it's not a crusade I'd embark on.

I think these problems are much more serious in inpatient settings. Meetings feel different. But if someone called the leader of the meeting up beforehand and said, "Do I have to do or say anything religious in order to get you to sign my slip that participated?" and the leader said no, but then the person actually did have to say prayers and stuff, I would have the same issue I have with rehab centers who do those things. I just can't see it happening the same way in a meeting setting. The pressures are different. The hierarchy is different.

I still don't like things about the 12-steps, but that is my personal opinion based on what appeals to ME. If it works for people, they should do it.

carlitos 23rd June 2019 11:40 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Minoosh (Post 12733954)
The person in charge of the probationer, or the person in charge of AA? Nobody's in charge of AA - and it shows :D

I thought my post was pretty clear on this. The person who is in charge of the probationer, the poor guy who is trying to get sober to satisfy a court or job requirement. They are at the mercy of a system that requires them to go to AA. They did not choose to go to these meetings or pick and choose a more evidence-based program.

That’s what this thread is about – the courts sending someone to AA, a process that is often validated by them completing the steps and participating in overtly religious meetings. Lords prayer and all in most of them.

Again, if the low level employee who runs a sober house or rehab facility feels that the addict is not doing the steps or committed or doesn’t have a sponsor or hasn’t fixed their “character defects,” then they are out on the street or out of a job or back in jail. This is the reality.

Just to be crystal clear: this thread is about people being sent to AA, not about people choosing a given meeting and shopping around to find one that aligns with their values.

Minoosh 23rd June 2019 11:59 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Darat (Post 12734183)
Well I can see there is a structure to the.. er.. process, so I'm assuming those leading meetings will have been trained on those steps and how to help facilitate the progress of people attending? And my further assumption would be that those leaders are regularly assessed in regards to how they facilitate the process for members, how meetings are conducted, that proper records are kept (I know not of the people directly, I get what the second A is for ;) ) and so on. But can't find any of those details on the UK website.

What sorts of records are you talking about? At the group level there is probably a secretary or treasurer to make sure the rent is paid and to buy supplies as needed. At business meetings a core group of members will discuss overall format and the level of participation, if any, in the larger governance structure. Otherwise people come, find out what was worked for other members and if they find a group they like or identify with they might stick around, get to know people and let other people get to know them. You learn how to run meetings by watching others do it, then doing it yourself if you're willing.

Otherwise it's just peer-to-peer support, no formal training or evaluations.

Minoosh 23rd June 2019 12:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by carlitos (Post 12734380)
I thought my post was pretty clear on this. The person who is in charge of the probationer, the poor guy who is trying to get sober to satisfy a court or job requirement.

I was court-ordered into AA, though I would have gone anyway. Once I caught surveillance checking to see if I actually went to the meeting. (I was on a modified version of house arrest). I don't think it's done much anymore but it's been a few years since I've been convicted of a crime.

Quote:

Originally Posted by carlitos (Post 12734380)
Again, if the low level employee who runs a sober house or rehab facility feels that the addict is not doing the steps or committed or doesn’t have a sponsor or hasn’t fixed their “character defects,” then they are out on the street or out of a job or back in jail. This is the reality.

Just to be crystal clear: this thread is about people being sent to AA, not about people choosing a given meeting and shopping around to find one that aligns with their values.

For better or worse, probation exists to, uh, encourage behavior modification. I think the whole point of mandatory AA was to provide/impose a structure that might help keep people out of bars. It was about what you do with your body. What you do with your soul is, as you say, no business of the government's.

Personally, I benefited from that structure. SMART Recovery would have been OK too, but I don't think it would have been possible to find meetings at all times of day, 7 days a week, all over town. I'm not in a hurry to get another probation officer but you are correct that probation limits personal liberty. That's kind of the point.

Darat 23rd June 2019 01:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Minoosh (Post 12734393)
What sorts of records are you talking about? At the group level there is probably a secretary or treasurer to make sure the rent is paid and to buy supplies as needed. At business meetings a core group of members will discuss overall format and the level of participation, if any, in the larger governance structure. Otherwise people come, find out what was worked for other members and if they find a group they like or identify with they might stick around, get to know people and let other people get to know them. You learn how to run meetings by watching others do it, then doing it yourself if you're willing.

Otherwise it's just peer-to-peer support, no formal training or evaluations.

Does that mean the answer to "what is an AA course?" Simply "anything someone wants to slap 'AA'" onto?

Set aside the court ordering for a moment, what if someone is seeking to sign up and join the AA, how would they know if particular meeting followed the process, that it was of sufficient quality and so on?

Minoosh 23rd June 2019 01:37 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Darat (Post 12734459)
Does that mean the answer to "what is an AA course?" Simply "anything someone wants to slap 'AA'" onto?

There is no such thing as an "AA course."

Quote:

Originally Posted by Darat (Post 12734459)
Set aside the court ordering for a moment, what if someone is seeking to sign up and join the AA, how would they know if particular meeting followed the process, that it was of sufficient quality and so on?

You don't sign up, you just attend, or not. Meetings follow a format adopted and adapted by individual groups.

I say it's a support group, but it's also an oral tradition, which fosters a certain continuity. There's no guarantee anyone is doing it right. I've never heard of AA suing anyone to keep the term "AA" out of the wrong hands.

Thor 2 23rd June 2019 01:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Minoosh (Post 12733899)
Try restarting your browser.


Again with the cop out.

You made the comment that there were agnostic type 12 step programs. I find it hard to imagine given the heavy religious theme of the original, with 6 of the steps actually referring to God. What do these agnostic steps look like?

carlitos 23rd June 2019 02:28 PM

Atheist nurse's fight against mandatory AA will go before B.C. Human Rights Tribunal
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Minoosh (Post 12734427)
I was court-ordered into AA, though I would have gone anyway. Once I caught surveillance checking to see if I actually went to the meeting. (I was on a modified version of house arrest). I don't think it's done much anymore but it's been a few years since I've been convicted of a crime.



For better or worse, probation exists to, uh, encourage behavior modification. I think the whole point of mandatory AA was to provide/impose a structure that might help keep people out of bars. It was about what you do with your body. What you do with your soul is, as you say, no business of the government's.



Personally, I benefited from that structure. SMART Recovery would have been OK too, but I don't think it would have been possible to find meetings at all times of day, 7 days a week, all over town. I'm not in a hurry to get another probation officer but you are correct that probation limits personal liberty. That's kind of the point.



This is so disingenuous. I am out of here.

Seriously, I’m so glad that you are well now but you don’t seem to be objective about this.

Minoosh 23rd June 2019 02:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Thor 2 (Post 12734493)
Again with the cop out.

You made the comment that there were agnostic type 12 step programs. I find it hard to imagine given the heavy religious theme of the original, with 6 of the steps actually referring to God. What do these agnostic steps look like?

Thor, I literally linked to a site that contains a secular version of the 12 steps. Sometimes not all of a website's content will fit on one computer screen and you have to click on what's known as a "link." You don't have to "imagine" anything; you just have to click.

Minoosh 23rd June 2019 02:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by carlitos (Post 12734514)
This is so disingenuous and I am out of here. I’m so glad that you are well now.

I seriously don't know what you think is dishonest about any of that. Not a clue. If you want to tell me, I'll listen.

Thor 2 23rd June 2019 04:27 PM

I did some research and found an agnostic AA group that gave their own version of 12 Steps:

Agnostic AA 12 Steps – Religious AA 12 steps
1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol—that our lives had become unmanageable.
We admitted we were powerless over alcohol—that our lives had become unmanageable.
2. Came to believe and to accept that we needed strengths beyond our awareness and resources to restore us to sanity.
Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
3. Made a decision to entrust our will and our lives to the care of the collective wisdom and resources of those who have searched before us.
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.
Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
5. Admitted to ourselves without reservation, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
6. Were ready to accept help in letting go of all our defects of character.
Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
7. With humility and openness sought to eliminate our shortcomings.
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.
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.
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.
Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
11. Sought through meditation to improve our spiritual awareness and our understanding of the AA way of life and to discover the power to carry out that way of life.
Sought through 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 a result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.
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.

Seems to me that when the ones referring to God are adjusted to be "agnostic" they get a bit wishy washy.

whoanellie 23rd June 2019 07:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Darat (Post 12734183)
Well I can see there is a structure to the.. er.. process, so I'm assuming those leading meetings will have been trained on those steps and how to help facilitate the progress of people attending? And my further assumption would be that those leaders are regularly assessed in regards to how they facilitate the process for members, how meetings are conducted, that proper records are kept (I know not of the people directly, I get what the second A is for ;) ) and so on. But can't find any of those details on the UK website.

I think many outsiders would be surprised - shocked even - at how disorganized /unstructured AA is. There are no AA courses. There is no formal training training. No assessment, no records kept. That's why those details are not available.
Typically each time a group meets there will be a chairperson for that meeting. Sometimes groups will have a sign up sheet for people to volunteer in advance to chair the meeting. Often the chairperson is just someone who is willing to do it just before the meeting starts. The chairperson has minimal responsibilities and authority over the meeting.
If you want to start an AA meeting all you need to do is contact the local office and tell them you are starting a meeting and ask them to add it to their publicly available schedule. I know of no instance in which a local or national office has interfered in what goes on a particular meeting.
here are a couple of AA's 12 traditions:

Four – Each group should be autonomous except in matters affecting other groups, or A.A. as a whole.


Seven – Every A.A. group ought to be fully self-supporting, declining outside contributions.

Nine – A.A., as such, ought never be organized, but we may create service boards or committees directly responsible to those they serve.

AA meetings will seek donations from those in attendance. In the US people typically give $1 for each meeting. The money covers the minimal cost of the meeting - coffee, rent of the meeting room if there is any, etc. AA sells books for minimal costs. There are two main texts in AA the "big book" and "the 12&12". Each are < $10 in the US.

The closest thing in AA to what you are asking about is a "sponsor". Every person new to AA is encouraged to get a sponsor. A sponsor is someone with some sobriety/experience who can answer a newcomer's questions, introduce them to AA, and guide them through working the steps. Newcomers should pick their own sponsor - but are not forced to have one. Each sponsor leads a newcomer through the steps differently depending on how they were led through the steps. There is no one right way to do it.

whoanellie 23rd June 2019 07:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Darat (Post 12734459)
Does that mean the answer to "what is an AA course?" Simply "anything someone wants to slap 'AA'" onto?

Set aside the court ordering for a moment, what if someone is seeking to sign up and join the AA, how would they know if particular meeting followed the process, that it was of sufficient quality and so on?

People are free to go to as many different meetings as they can and decide on their own what is right for them. There are bad AA meetings and if a newcomer wanders in to one it can be a turn off. On the other hand, what is a bad meeting to one person may be just what another person needs.

8enotto 23rd June 2019 08:03 PM

My late uncle was in AA first by court order and then he chose to stay on as staff helping others. He was natural for that as he had bounced through several religions and had been quite successful in Amway for a few years.

Not saying or implying anything bad, he just had a mind that really worked in that area. He could be that person that convinced others it was real and made it work.


Earlier in life he made toys for the USN to blow stuff up with and wasn't short on smarts. He just had that type of personality.

He told me it's as effective as the person wants it to be. So he was outto make people want to be cured.

Minoosh 23rd June 2019 09:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by whoanellie (Post 12734714)
People are free to go to as many different meetings as they can and decide on their own what is right for them. There are bad AA meetings and if a newcomer wanders in to one it can be a turn off. On the other hand, what is a bad meeting to one person may be just what another person needs.

I feel like AA takes the hit for all the frustrations and disappointments people might have with the treatment industry, the legal system, organized religion and the stubborn nature of addiction itself. It's like a Rorschach test - people read into it many things.

I have trouble connecting the images of an 800-pound-gorilla that holds the treatment industry in a stranglehold with the generally pretty low-key people I've known in AA.

People ask, but why does God have to be involved? And the answer is, that's just the way it happened; that's just what a handful of guys in the 1930s came up with. It resonated with enough people to create a chain reaction that continued over the next few generations.

Darat 23rd June 2019 11:27 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Minoosh (Post 12734479)
There is no such thing as an "AA course."



You don't sign up, you just attend, or not. Meetings follow a format adopted and adapted by individual groups.



I say it's a support group, but it's also an oral tradition, which fosters a certain continuity. There's no guarantee anyone is doing it right. I've never heard of AA suing anyone to keep the term "AA" out of the wrong hands.

I'm really trying to get my head around this, it seems that there really isn't anything you could call "AA"?

Minoosh 24th June 2019 12:05 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Darat (Post 12734801)
I'm really trying to get my head around this, it seems that there really isn't anything you could call "AA"?

Darat, this has been asked and answered several times. I'm not sure what else can be said to help you get your head around it. If you want to conclude that AA doesn't exist I won't argue the point.

whoanellie 24th June 2019 04:25 AM

nt

whoanellie 24th June 2019 04:26 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 8enotto (Post 12734744)
My late uncle was in AA first by court order and then he chose to stay on as staff helping others. He was natural for that as he had bounced through several religions and had been quite successful in Amway for a few years.

Not saying or implying anything bad, he just had a mind that really worked in that area. He could be that person that convinced others it was real and made it work.


Earlier in life he made toys for the USN to blow stuff up with and wasn't short on smarts. He just had that type of personality.

He told me it's as effective as the person wants it to be. So he was outto make people want to be cured.

AA has no "staff".

whoanellie 24th June 2019 04:29 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Minoosh (Post 12734773)
I feel like AA takes the hit for all the frustrations and disappointments people might have with the treatment industry, the legal system, organized religion and the stubborn nature of addiction itself. It's like a Rorschach test - people read into it many things.

I have trouble connecting the images of an 800-pound-gorilla that holds the treatment industry in a stranglehold with the generally pretty low-key people I've known in AA.

People ask, but why does God have to be involved? And the answer is, that's just the way it happened; that's just what a handful of guys in the 1930s came up with. It resonated with enough people to create a chain reaction that continued over the next few generations.

On this thread alone we have everything from AA is a creepy religious cult to AA is a big nothing.

Pixel42 24th June 2019 04:37 AM

As far as I can make out AA consists of a couple of books that recovering addicts can use as a guide to help each other stay off whatever they're addicted to, and a list of places where such people meet.

theprestige 24th June 2019 07:12 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Darat (Post 12734801)
I'm really trying to get my head around this, it seems that there really isn't anything you could call "AA"?

It's a human social club, not a system of formal logic.

TragicMonkey 24th June 2019 07:16 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by theprestige (Post 12735009)
It's a human social club, not a system of formal logic.

AA = ~AA

theprestige 24th June 2019 07:20 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Pixel42 (Post 12734899)
As far as I can make out AA consists of a couple of books that recovering addicts can use as a guide to help each other stay off whatever they're addicted to, and a list of places where such people meet.

And the people themselves. The people themselves are a big part of it.

It often seems to me like skepticism causes a blind spot around what people are and how people actually function.


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