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Old 14th July 2019, 01:19 PM   #401
Wolrab
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I've been to several different AA meetings around my area. Too many creepy guys looking to score a woman at her weekest. The regulars also look down on those that.are mandated by court.
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Old 14th July 2019, 01:52 PM   #402
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From Wikipedia:
Meetings canceled
Rational Recovery claims that "AVRT has made recovery groups obsolete." In 1998, Rational Recovery announced, "The Recovery Group Movement is Over!...Beginning January 1, 1999, all addiction recovery group meetings for Rational Recovery in the United States, Canada, and abroad are hereby canceled and will not be rescheduled ever again, it's just a waste of time and is completely unproductive." Despite those remarks, there are still some groups in existence today, although the numbers are dwindling.

In a 1993 research study led by Marc Galanter, former president of both the American Society of Addiction Medicine and the American Association of Addiction Psychiatry, attempted to measure the impact of Rational Recovery on members. The research found that "Rational Recovery succeeded in engaging substance abusers and promoting abstinence among many of them while presenting a cognitive orientation that is different from the spiritual one of AA. Its utility in substance abuse treatment warrants further assessment. The results of the impact on this type of recovery are too few to make an educational assumption"[19] This research was conducted before Rational Recovery disbanded their meetings in favor of self-recovery treatment. SMART Recovery split from Rational Recovery just after this research and continues to offer these same groups.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rational_Recovery
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Old 15th July 2019, 12:18 AM   #403
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Originally Posted by blutoski View Post
I think the challenge specifically for this claimant is that he offered to go to a secular support group and also offered to continue the pharmaceutical treatments that had helped him up to now, but was told by his employer that no, only demonstrated AA attendance will qualify him to return to work because that's policy. Since he has buy-in with the secular one and no buy-in with AA's "higher power" mandatory capitulation, he feels the employer's policy is arbitrary and/or prejudicial against Atheists and a human rights violation. He did not refuse attendance - he refused to agree to the step in question during a meeting and this was reported to the employer as a refusal to participate, so he can't go back to work.

Personally, I think he has a good point. I agree that the benefits of group support carry a plausible mechanism for success despite unclear/jumbled study results, and that participant buy-in is critical. The barrier to his return to work is not necessarily his refusal to participate in a group process, but rather, specifically AA because of its Higher Power mandate.
Some of those statements are not accurate. The lengthy and complicated history written by the Tribunal is here:

http://www.bchrt.bc.ca/shareddocs/de..._BCHRT_113.pdf

The requirement to attend AA came from Wood’s doctor. After a psychotic episode landed him in a mental hospital, Wood voluntarily agreed to participate in an employee assistance program that required that he voluntarily surrender his nursing license until completing the program. The program does not prescribe a specific recovery program, but rather relies on a physician to prescribe treatment.

The physician prescribed AA attendance, then a residential treatment program, then a follow up. Based on concerns that AA is not evidence based and a desire to attend SMART, the physician allowed him to attend a mixture of AA/NA and SMART.

After the residential treatment program, the physician prescribed psychological counseling, random testing, AA meetings and an AA sponsor. Based on concerns that AA is not effective, the physician allowed him to attend SMART or Daytox instead, except he had to attend at least one AA meeting per week so that he could maintain an AA sponsor. The physician felt that frequent contact with an established sponsor (not a family member, as Wood requested) was necessary and SMART does not offer a sponsor program. Wood agreed to this recommendation.

Wood claims that he raised the religious issue a number of times, but the Tribunal found almost all of the unsubstantiated. The doctor says he didn’t, which is supported by his notes. He claims he raised the issue with certain people at certain meeting where those people were not even there. He claims he raised the issue at meeting where all of the other participants say he didn’t.

It did raise objections to AA as being not evidence based or being ineffective, but it is not substantiated that he every raised the religious issue until much later. That was around the time he tried to limit testing to only testing if he was intoxicated at work and not testing for any use at home (which was denied). That was shortly before he stopped attending AA, stopped showing up for testing, and stopped seeing his psychologist. He gave no notification, submitted no complaint, and did not respond to numerous notices. He later admitted to his psychologist that he was using during that time.

The case is quite a bit more complicated than the news implies. The case will go forward, but only to determine whether religious accommodation was denied after the date it can be substantiated that he actually raised the religious issue. If that is established, the real question becomes whether AA can be required because it is the only available such program that offers sponsorship (note that SMART intentionally does not offer sponsorship to avoid some of the issues it can raise in AA).
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Old 15th July 2019, 11:20 AM   #404
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Originally Posted by whoanellie View Post
What type of data would you have it collect? There is a potential Uncertainty Principle in play here. Would the very act of measuring all this data change the nature of AA? I firmly believe that if AA did collect extensive data or conduct experiments on itself they would be met with a great deal of skepticism. Would you actually trust AA to study itself?
I would trust AA to allow others to study it.

It seems you put a lot of trust into a system that you are saying is not trustworthy.


Quote:
I don't know what you mean by the highlighted.
And despite its claims, it does discourage other treatment by its very nature.

The twelve steps are the only solution. If you lapse it is because you failed, not the twelve steps. You are powerless against your disease and must hand over all power to God.

Applying this thinking to any other disease would be called woo around here.
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Old 15th July 2019, 11:24 AM   #405
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Originally Posted by Minoosh View Post
You both got better. Heavy drinking is a phase some people pass through. That's fine.
Agreed. But, when we were heavy drinkers we met the AA's criteria of being alcoholics. AA couldn't distinguish us from alcoholics, their analysis called us alcoholics, not just people in a heavy drinking phase. Not my analysis, theirs.

That seems like a big miss. I could have a very thriving skin cancer treatment practice if I declared every mole is skin cancer and my methods prevent death in over 80% of my patients.

Quote:
The old AA thread ran 174 pages. I don't know what finally killed it off. Arguing about AA was ultimately not very productive for me, personally. I doubt if any new arguments are being made in this thread.

If someone grows out of compulsive drinking I count that as a success and I don't care who gets the credit.
I agree.
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Old 15th July 2019, 12:08 PM   #406
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Originally Posted by Dr. Keith View Post
I would trust AA to allow others to study it.

It seems you put a lot of trust into a system that you are saying is not trustworthy.
These comments are highly disingenuous. Plenty of people have studied AA. They don't need AA's permission. I never said I don't trust AA. You should know that. You and many others on this thread have expressed great mistrust in AA. I have no doubt that if AA conducted studies or gathered data, many of the same people would dismiss that data as biased and untrustworthy.

Originally Posted by Dr. Keith View Post
And despite its claims, it does discourage other treatment by its very nature.

The twelve steps are the only solution. If you lapse it is because you failed, not the twelve steps. You are powerless against your disease and must hand over all power to God.

Applying this thinking to any other disease would be called woo around here.
In my experience, AA does not discourage anyone from seeking any help they need, AA typically does not talk about people who "fail", and the 1st of the 12 steps does indeed state that we are powerless over alcohol. Above, I've quoted from a response from AA's office to an author seeking comment and from the book "Living Sober" regarding AA's stance on "outside help" and "other treatments" I don't think you understand how AA works as well as you think you do.
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Old 15th July 2019, 09:13 PM   #407
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Originally Posted by Dr. Keith View Post
Agreed. But, when we were heavy drinkers we met the AA's criteria of being alcoholics. AA couldn't distinguish us from alcoholics, their analysis called us alcoholics, not just people in a heavy drinking phase. Not my analysis, theirs.
I would be shocked if your memory is accurate. It is totally against AA culture for someone else to tell you whether you are an alcoholic or not.

Originally Posted by DevilsAdvocate View Post
Some of those statements are not accurate. The lengthy and complicated history written by the Tribunal is here:

http://www.bchrt.bc.ca/shareddocs/de..._BCHRT_113.pdf
Thanks - I was pretty sure there was more to it.
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Old 16th July 2019, 02:32 PM   #408
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Originally Posted by whoanellie View Post
These comments are highly disingenuous. Plenty of people have studied AA. They don't need AA's permission. I never said I don't trust AA. You should know that. You and many others on this thread have expressed great mistrust in AA. I have no doubt that if AA conducted studies or gathered data, many of the same people would dismiss that data as biased and untrustworthy.


In my experience, AA does not discourage anyone from seeking any help they need, AA typically does not talk about people who "fail", and the 1st of the 12 steps does indeed state that we are powerless over alcohol. Above, I've quoted from a response from AA's office to an author seeking comment and from the book "Living Sober" regarding AA's stance on "outside help" and "other treatments" I don't think you understand how AA works as well as you think you do.

Forgive me if I have missed something, but I have a problem with the statement - "AA does this, and AA does not do that."

Was it not established some pages back, that anyone could start an AA group, and no set standards or procedure were laid down?
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Old 16th July 2019, 02:50 PM   #409
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Originally Posted by Minoosh View Post
I would be shocked if your memory is accurate. It is totally against AA culture for someone else to tell you whether you are an alcoholic or not.
To be fair, I was drinking a lot more back then. But, I think it was some sort of quiz that helped to determine whether or not alcohol was a problem in your life. At that time alcohol was my life, so yeah I hit all the major markers.
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Old 16th July 2019, 04:42 PM   #410
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
Forgive me if I have missed something, but I have a problem with the statement - "AA does this, and AA does not do that."

Was it not established some pages back, that anyone could start an AA group, and no set standards or procedure were laid down?
A person says what they have to in order to defend their position. Contradictions are quite acceptable. Itís a Trump thing.
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Old 16th July 2019, 05:09 PM   #411
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
Forgive me if I have missed something, but I have a problem with the statement - "AA does this, and AA does not do that."

Was it not established some pages back, that anyone could start an AA group, and no set standards or procedure were laid down?
You raise a very good point. The fact is that two people can sit together in an AA meeting for years and have completely different ideas about what AA does and doesn't do.
On the other hand I believe I was responding to some broad, blanket statements

Originally Posted by Dr. Keith View Post
And despite its claims, it does discourage other treatment by its very nature.

The twelve steps are the only solution.
which I believe are contrary to the writings of AA and which "in my experience" are not at all typical of what you will hear in an AA meeting.
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Old 16th July 2019, 05:11 PM   #412
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Originally Posted by Steve View Post
A person says what they have to in order to defend their position. Contradictions are quite acceptable. Itís a Trump thing.
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Old 17th July 2019, 02:44 AM   #413
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Originally Posted by whoanellie View Post
You raise a very good point. The fact is that two people can sit together in an AA meeting for years and have completely different ideas about what AA does and doesn't do.
On the other hand I believe I was responding to some broad, blanket statements


which I believe are contrary to the writings of AA and which "in my experience" are not at all typical of what you will hear in an AA meeting.
I was trying to remember if there had ever been a time when someone who relapsed was criticized for not working the program hard enough. Fairly often the returnee had talked about their part in that - if they had stopped going to meetings, for example. I don't specifically remember anyone being blamed for their relapse. If they had, I'm pretty sure that I would have brought up another point of view - which is basically that sobriety was a gift to begin with, so that assigning credit or blame was beside the point.
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Old 17th July 2019, 03:43 AM   #414
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Originally Posted by Minoosh View Post
I would be shocked if your memory is accurate. It is totally against AA culture for someone else to tell you whether you are an alcoholic or not.



Thanks - I was pretty sure there was more to it.
If this is the case surely the AA would not allow people to be forced to attend its meets via a court order?
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Old 17th July 2019, 03:45 AM   #415
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Originally Posted by whoanellie View Post
You raise a very good point. The fact is that two people can sit together in an AA meeting for years and have completely different ideas about what AA does and doesn't do.

On the other hand I believe I was responding to some broad, blanket statements





which I believe are contrary to the writings of AA and which "in my experience" are not at all typical of what you will hear in an AA meeting.
Problem is there are apparently thousands and thousands of AA meetings, I doubt you have attended enough different meetings that would be statistically representative of what happens in those thousands of meetings to be able extrapolate your experiences are typical.
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Old 17th July 2019, 05:35 AM   #416
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
Problem is there are apparently thousands and thousands of AA meetings, I doubt you have attended enough different meetings that would be statistically representative of what happens in those thousands of meetings to be able extrapolate your experiences are typical.
I'm quite certain that I have far more experience than any one who is disagreeing with me. What evidence/experience do they have?
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Old 17th July 2019, 05:38 AM   #417
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
If this is the case surely the AA would not allow people to be forced to attend its meets via a court order?
How would they stop it from happening? AA, generally speaking and in my experience, does not disallow any one from attending. How could AA tell a judge or even an employer what they are allowed to do?
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Old 17th July 2019, 05:42 AM   #418
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Originally Posted by whoanellie View Post
Have you noticed that I'm the one person on this thread who is quoting from and posting links to thet peer-reviewed medical literature?
Which makes your position contradictory.
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Old 17th July 2019, 10:36 AM   #419
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Originally Posted by whoanellie View Post
How would they stop it from happening? AA, generally speaking and in my experience, does not disallow any one from attending. How could AA tell a judge or even an employer what they are allowed to do?
Do you not see a difference between abstaining from telling an individual "you can't come here" and advising employers/judges "you shouldn't force people to come here, it's not how our system is supposed to work?"
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Old 17th July 2019, 06:04 PM   #420
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
If this is the case surely the AA would not allow people to be forced to attend its meets via a court order?
Corrected version: I've heard of groups that won't sign court slips. They wouldn't disallow someone from attending though.

ETA: Darat, there is a complete disconnect from what I posted and what you responded to. I said AA doesn't label anyone alcoholic; you said that means it (logically) shouldn't allow people to be court-ordered. It doesn't follow, at all. The courts requiring people to attend does not equal AA calling them an alcoholic.

At a guess, I'd say groups that sign court slips do so in hopes that the person will hear something that helps them.

Last edited by Minoosh; 17th July 2019 at 06:11 PM. Reason: I was wrong.
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Old 17th July 2019, 06:14 PM   #421
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Originally Posted by Minoosh View Post
Corrected version: I've heard of groups that won't sign court slips. They wouldn't disallow someone from attending though.

ETA: Darat, there is a complete disconnect from what I posted and what you responded to. I said AA doesn't label anyone alcoholic; you said that means it (logically) shouldn't allow people to be court-ordered. It doesn't follow, at all. The courts requiring people to attend does not equal AA calling them an alcoholic.

At a guess, I'd say groups that sign court slips do so in hopes that the person will hear something that helps them.

There it is again. A statement about what the AA doesn't do!
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Old 17th July 2019, 07:57 PM   #422
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
There it is again. A statement about what the AA doesn't do!
Caught out. But this is pretty fundamental, prominent in the literature.

I think Dr Keith may have been talking about a brochure called "Is AA for You"? If you answer yes to at least 4 of the 12 questions you are "probably in trouble with alcohol." It carefully avoids pronouncing a person alcoholic, though.

What they meant by "alcoholic" is made clear - people who had tried unsuccessfully to moderate, often many, many times. It's up to the individual whether they identify as alcoholic.
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Old 17th July 2019, 09:19 PM   #423
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Originally Posted by whoanellie View Post
I'm quite certain that I have far more experience than any one who is disagreeing with me. What evidence/experience do they have?
That is a non sequitor.
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Old 17th July 2019, 09:20 PM   #424
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Originally Posted by whoanellie View Post
How would they stop it from happening? AA, generally speaking and in my experience, does not disallow any one from attending. How could AA tell a judge or even an employer what they are allowed to do?
By making it an official policy of AA to not accept such court rulings.
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Old 17th July 2019, 09:24 PM   #425
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Originally Posted by Minoosh View Post
Corrected version: I've heard of groups that won't sign court slips. They wouldn't disallow someone from attending though.

ETA: Darat, there is a complete disconnect from what I posted and what you responded to. I said AA doesn't label anyone alcoholic; you said that means it (logically) shouldn't allow people to be court-ordered. It doesn't follow, at all. The courts requiring people to attend does not equal AA calling them an alcoholic.

At a guess, I'd say groups that sign court slips do so in hopes that the person will hear something that helps them.
Of course it follows, why would a court be forcing someone to attend what a court believes is a treatment for alcoholism if the court wasn't saying someone is an alcoholic? In other words the person being forced to attend an AA meeting is being told they are an alcoholic regardless of their personal belief.

And I note yet again that AA is yet again according to you something without any consistency at all.
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Old 18th July 2019, 02:12 AM   #426
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
Of course it follows, why would a court be forcing someone to attend what a court believes is a treatment for alcoholism if the court wasn't saying someone is an alcoholic?
AA is not calling him an alcoholic. And even judges and employers aren't necessarily using that language. They're saying, we've established you have a problem, and here are the conditions you must meet to keep your job/get off probation. They want to see a commitment to recovery. How is this AA telling a person he/she is alcoholic? You seem to be lumping all of these entities together, when in fact each has its own role.

This distinction seems so clear to me I have trouble seeing why it wouldn't be clear to you, but apparently it's not.

Originally Posted by Darat View Post
In other words the person being forced to attend an AA meeting is being told they are an alcoholic regardless of their personal belief.
They're not being told that by AA, and the courts aren't doing this to random people off the street. The people involved have demonstrated problems with substance abuse. Byron Wood was medically diagnosed as having a substance abuse disorder after a drug-related psychotic break. The human rights tribunal has found that various entities did try to accommodate Wood's beliefs, but they did not allow him to completely dictate the terms of his treatment plan, just as a judge doesn't let a repeat DUI offender dictate the terms of his or her probation.

Read the full tribunal report to see the problems with his case. The religion objection took quite a bit of time to surface.

Originally Posted by Darat View Post
And I note yet again that AA is yet again according to you something without any consistency at all.
No, I have never said that. There are individual, mostly autonomous groups, and the format of meetings varies from place to place; but they share the same literature, suggested program of recovery and strong commitment to certain ideals, such as keeping AA accessible if someone reaches out for it. Online and in the Grapevine magazine you can hear recovery stories from all over the world and essays about how various people interpret the program. (One issue was dedicated to secular AA). In a forum like this I can hear from people in other parts of the country. There is a structure of governance, and regional/national/international conventions, where issues affecting AA regionally or as a whole are discussed. Autonomy does not mean that groups operate in a vacuum. They can stay small and specialize, if they want. But I think most groups have a representative in a local intergroup, which in turn is affiliated with a regional office, on up the chain. All volunteer and self-funded.

Last edited by Minoosh; 18th July 2019 at 02:51 AM. Reason: Minor tweaks
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Old 18th July 2019, 02:48 AM   #427
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
And I note yet again that AA is yet again according to you something without any consistency at all.
I think you are vastly overestimating the inconsistency. AA is established by the 12 steps, 12 traditions, and the Big Book. There are also guidelines issued by the General Service Office.

AA tends to be rather hand-off and non-litigious. They enforce trademarks and use of the name to a small degree and generally prefer not to escalate the issue. There is little oversight of individual groups.

That means individual groups could vary widely, but that doesn't seem to happen.

An AA group could just involve people getting together every Wednesday to go bowling and drink beer.

A Baptist church could just involve people getting together every Wednesday to go bowling and drink beer.

But that wouldn't really be an AA group or a Baptist church. There might not be anything that would stop that, but it really just doesn't happen.

AA groups are usually founded by an established AA member and usually follow the AA traditions. One AA group is pretty much the same as any other.

I have not been able to find anything that indicates that one AA group is substantially different from another.

(Excluding a couple outliers that are clearly only pretending to be an AA group and not following any AA principles and appear to have ulterior motives.)
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Old 19th July 2019, 02:13 PM   #428
The Greater Fool
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
Of course it follows, why would a court be forcing someone to attend what a court believes is a treatment for alcoholism if the court wasn't saying someone is an alcoholic? In other words the person being forced to attend an AA meeting is being told they are an alcoholic regardless of their personal belief.

And I note yet again that AA is yet again according to you something without any consistency at all.
AA claims not to be treatment. Courts & employers seem to believe AA is treatment. Why does AA allow folks to be forced into their non-treatment?

AA claims not to be treatment. Scientists perform studies (which have been sited here) on it's effectiveness as... non-treatment?

It seems that AA is non-treatment treatment?
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