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Old 15th June 2019, 05:42 AM   #81
abaddon
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
The steps are steps you take to recover from your addiction. God doesn't take those steps, you do.
And you are wrong. The steps explicitly state that it is NOT anything to do with yourself.

Step 1:We admitted we were powerless over alcohol - that our lives had become unmanageable.

Step one explicitly states that the individual has bugger all control.

Step 2: Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.

Step two explicitly hands over power to an external agent. It is a fundamental abdication of personal responsibility.

Step 3: Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.

Yay. Blatant theism.

Step 4: Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.

No issue there

Step 5: Admitted to God, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.

Oh here we go. No God there, no sir.

Step 6: Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.

And now it is God's problem, not the individuals. If only they had faith enough.

Step 7: Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.

And now we have to worship him/her/it/housecat and bend the knee.

Step 8: Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
Step 9: Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.

Valid.

Step 10: Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.

Well, duh.

Step 11: 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.

Wow. Talk about grovelling.

Step 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.

Invitation to proselytize

Now brothers and sisters let us conclude with the lords prayer (Yes, they do that at every meeting).

It is simply another example of the religious preying on the most vulnerable. Pretending it is anything else is just stupid.

So what about their success rate? It has been measured. It is the single worst method for recovery. It is worse than spontaneous recovery.
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Old 15th June 2019, 02:17 PM   #82
Minoosh
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If you want to stop drinking it's worth a shot, IMO. If your goal is moderation, there are other options. I would suggest checking out a few different meetings because you may relate better to some people than others.

Caricatures of AA are often inaccurate.
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Old 15th June 2019, 03:27 PM   #83
acbytesla
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Originally Posted by Minoosh View Post
If you want to stop drinking it's worth a shot, IMO. If your goal is moderation, there are other options. I would suggest checking out a few different meetings because you may relate better to some people than others.

Caricatures of AA are often inaccurate.
If you're a Christian/theist or someone who can simply don't care about the obvious religious themes, I can see how these programs could work. Although, my guess, it is the support group of others going through the same issues that offers the greatest benefits.

I personally would have a hell of a time trying to recover with it. People don't choose their beliefs. You either believe something or not.

You can tell me all day that there are invisible fairies that are in charge of our lives and if I think it's a crock, no amount of coercion is likely to change my mind. I may "go along" because I have to but I'm not likely to be vested in my recovery.

And that is the crux of the problem. Isn't it hard enough to get those with substance abuse problems to be committed in the first place?
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Old 15th June 2019, 05:40 PM   #84
Minoosh
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Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
If you're a Christian/theist or someone who can simply don't care about the obvious religious themes, I can see how these programs could work. Although, my guess, it is the support group of others going through the same issues that offers the greatest benefits.
Yep, there is a ready-made network that's free and accessible to anyone.

Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
I personally would have a hell of a time trying to recover with it. People don't choose their beliefs. You either believe something or not.
In the 1930s, positing a "God of your understanding" was actually quite a liberal concept. That's changed over time, obviously, and it now reeks of excessive religiosity.

Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
You can tell me all day that there are invisible fairies that are in charge of our lives and if I think it's a crock, no amount of coercion is likely to change my mind. I may "go along" because I have to but I'm not likely to be vested in my recovery.
That coercion is not coming from AA.

I tried to research if meetings in different parts of the country are more religious than others. But I think it would be somewhat self-correcting. An individual might get preachy - "You gotta believe or you're going to die!" - but in my experience they'll be asked to wrap it up after a couple of minutes. Then someone else might say, "For me, the important thing was finding something I could believe in."

If you can do it on willpower alone, that's fine too. But apparently it wasn't OK with the BC board of nursing.

Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
And that is the crux of the problem. Isn't it hard enough to get those with substance abuse problems to be committed in the first place?
There is IMO a misconception of what AA is for. It's not about saving someone else's skin, it's about saving your own. If you can help someone else in the process, terrific.

Internally there are controversies - nonsmoking meetings once had vehement detractors - but it's worked out within an AA framework of governance. I've noticed many groups no longer close with the Lord's Prayer. But they're not going to rewrite the steps just to avoid triggering atheists. At least, not yet.

The guy in the OP has suffered psychosis, nearly died of a heroin overdose in another incident and has lost not just his job but his registration to be a professional nurse. Reading between the lines, I think he might be looking for a way to use more safely. And there may be one. He has tried naltrexone, which actually requires you to drink again to reach "extinction." It's fine as part of a recovery plan, but by itself, it's not a plan.

This guy had a doctor-supplied plan that I'm certain had components other than just going to AA - probably including professional counseling, maybe including naltrexone. As for meetings, sometimes it is useful to go through the motions. That might sound absurd, but it demonstrates a commitment to recovery. And he might make a friend, or help someone else.

One workaround is to have new hires read and sign an employee handbook disclosing typical terms of a medical treatment plan.

I've heard AA is more secular in Australia than it is in the U.S. I suspect the same is true in Canada. Although Agnostic AA was taken off the Toronto meeting list, it still uses "AA" on its own website. These are accommodations that have evolved over time. Many AA members are sensitive to reducing perceived barriers to the program's usefulness.

I got carried away with my sermon but I'm just trying to illustrate that the situation is much more nuanced than "AA forces atheists to pray" - which is not true to begin with.
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Old Yesterday, 12:15 PM   #85
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Originally Posted by Minoosh View Post
There is IMO a misconception of what AA is for. It's not about saving someone else's skin, it's about saving your own. If you can help someone else in the process, terrific.
You should read the AA Twelve Traditions.

Quote:
Tradition #1 Our common welfare should come first; personal recovery depends upon A.A. unity.

[Long Form]
Each member of Alcoholics Anonymous is but a small part of a great whole. A.A. must continue to live or most of us will surely die. Hence our common welfare comes first. But individual welfare follows close afterward.
AA unity comes first. Failure to conform means probable death.

Sounds like a creepy-ass cult to me.
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Old Yesterday, 12:36 PM   #86
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Originally Posted by Senex View Post
You should read the AA Twelve Traditions.



AA unity comes first. Failure to conform means probable death.

Sounds like a creepy-ass cult to me.
That would be because it is a creepy ass cult.

If one has a working method for recovery from anything, why is it's measured success rate actually worse than nothing at all?
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Old Yesterday, 02:15 PM   #87
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Originally Posted by Senex View Post
You should read the AA Twelve Traditions.



AA unity comes first. Failure to conform means probable death.
The traditions are talking about traditions of the organization. In practice unity means that the organization as a whole does not get involved in public controversies. Meanwhile accommodations like the one in Toronto speak to what happens in practice: Toronto governance elected not to put Agnostic AA in its meeting list, but Agnostic AA still calls itself "Agnostic AA."
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Old Yesterday, 02:48 PM   #88
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Originally Posted by abaddon View Post
That would be because it is a creepy ass cult.

If one has a working method for recovery from anything, why is it's measured success rate actually worse than nothing at all?
There's a long, long thread from a few years back that examines in detail how various entities arrived at those success rates. Some measure success as reduced or moderated drinking. If that works for someone, great. It's not how AA measures success, largely because AA doesn't measure success. It's a collection of anecdotes.

Medical boards don't seem to have much patience with their practitioners experimenting with moderation once they've been diagnosed with a disorder. I can't blame them.

Earlier you said:
Originally Posted by abaddon View Post
Now brothers and sisters let us conclude with the lords prayer (Yes, they do that at every meeting).
No they don't. The errors of fact people make bug me, which they probably shouldn't. My best attitude for recovery is that your attitude is none of my business.

AA by long tradition will not step up to defend itself from people jeering at it. Many people can find reasons to reject it. For example, one poster is against the 9th step, while you find it perfectly valid. Here's a fable about a man and his son trying to cross a river with a donkey. Trying to please everyone, they manage to drown the donkey.

Last edited by Minoosh; Yesterday at 02:51 PM. Reason: Fixed link
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Old Today, 01:01 PM   #89
abaddon
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Originally Posted by Minoosh View Post
No they don't. The errors of fact people make bug me, which they probably shouldn't. My best attitude for recovery is that your attitude is none of my business.
Yes. They do. Eye/ear witness right here.
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Old Today, 02:33 PM   #90
Minoosh
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Originally Posted by abaddon View Post
Yes. They do. Eye/ear witness right here.
No, they don't say the Lord's Prayer at every meeting. Groups adopt formats, formats can change over time.

Have you ever actually heard anyone at an AA meeting say, "Brothers and sisters"? It's possible, but I've never encountered that.

Last edited by Minoosh; Today at 02:45 PM.
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Old Today, 03:00 PM   #91
abaddon
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Originally Posted by Minoosh View Post
No, they don't say the Lord's Prayer at every meeting. Groups adopt formats, formats can change over time.

Have you ever actually heard anyone at an AA meeting say, "Brothers and sisters"? It's possible, but I've never encountered that.
Yes. It is commonplace in the AA movement. I have seen it and heard it. Now what?
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Old Today, 03:04 PM   #92
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I've never seen "brothers and sisters," but I have seen many, many many AA meetings at the VA where I used to volunteer - At the end of the meeting someone says "Who's father" and they all respond "Our father...." and go on to finish the prayer. Some of the other ones do the serenity prayer instead, or the member running the meeting gets to choose between the two.
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