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Tags alcoholics anonymous , alcoholism , treatment programs

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Old 21st March 2012, 09:51 PM   #6641
Minoosh
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Originally Posted by Joey McGee View Post
She clearly makes the case that it is the program that broke them up.
They'd had a tempestuous relationship and when he joined AA and got sober she felt excluded. But he apparently felt he needed to change a lot of habits in order to save his life. She can blame it on whatever she likes.

Originally Posted by Joey McGee View Post
They broke up. You think the fact he lives around the corner and visits often means their marriage isn't destroyed and their hearts broken? That makes absolutely no sense.
It sounds like they see each as much of each other now as they ever did. He comes over twice a day. He's sober and being a responsible dad. It seems like a great relationship.
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Old 22nd March 2012, 12:06 AM   #6642
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Originally Posted by Joey McGee View Post
I'm happy to say that I wish AA didn't exist.
Well, that's clear, thanks. I'm glad it does exist. If it changed to please you it would no longer offer me something I can't get anywhere else.

Originally Posted by Joey McGee View Post
What matters is what takes place in reality, not what you can claim your ideals are.
You dismiss the reality I've experienced as somehow less real than your reality. I disagree.

Originally Posted by Joey McGee View Post
You can't make the claim that it is effective when compared with other treatments though, unless you can refute the Cochrane review.
A couple of things. My goal is abstinence - for practical, not ideological reasons - and there's little quantitative research on best practices for lifelong abstinence. In many studies that's just not in play. I'm self-assigned, which a lot of studies would consider a flaw. And I've already had chats with docs, read self-help books and enjoyed "brief interventions" from the local police among others. I've been an inpatient and an outpatient; have attended groups that were AA-like and groups that weren't, have used opiate-replacement therapy and currently see a psychiatrist monthly to check in and get a scrip for a medication that contains a cousin to naltrexone. And soon I'll resume one-on-one sessions with an excellent counselor - the detox is far enough along to get me out of holding-pattern mode. No one can say I "blindly" accept AA as the one true faith and preeminent global clearinghouse for alcoholism expertise.

One of the biggest forces for change is harnessing the inclination to form habits. AA is ideally set up for my purposes. Daily maintenance 5 minutes from my house for free? Perfect. Whatever methods others want to use to reach their goals is their business. What's worked for me is *believing* I can get better, having a *community* around to support that belief and *altering key habits* in a way that leverages the power of routine. I don't give a rat's ass what anyone else's higher power is and I haven't met anyone who cares what mine is. And I don't care about Boniface or belladonna or the bed-hopping of a guy who's been dead for 40 years, or whether he played psychic parlor tricks. He busted his butt to set up a self-sustaining network of drunks talking to drunks. For that I am grateful.

"My" experience of AA is just as valid as yours. I'm not pointing to how it ideally works; this is the reality where I live, in meetings I attended very faithfully for 7+ years and semi-regularly at other times. I'm not culling nicey-nice examples from the Net to prove my points. So I'm not sure what it is about my experience that renders it irrelevant to reality. It's anecdotal, but it's not cherry-picked.
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Old 22nd March 2012, 10:42 PM   #6643
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Originally Posted by Minoosh View Post
And you're missing my point. I'm talking about now. Where I live people come up with their own higher powers. Some call it God, some don't.
No one ever disputed that, it doesn't bear repeating. Why don't you bother commenting on the comment by Bill in the 12 and 12 about all coming to believe in a higher power and most believing in God?
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Why are you so sure that broadly tolerant meetings are the exception? I'm not holding up an "ideal" - just what I observe as normal AA.
Did I say "broadly tolerant meetings are the exception"? No. I was talking about how a specific example of where a poster claimed their delisted agnostics meeting was "real AA" and what I actually said was "You can't erase the facts about the organization as a whole by holding up an ideal or talking about exceptions." You're seeing this too black and white to have a real conversation. You're skipping the 12 and 12 quote from Bill very suspiciously too.
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So your friend went in to AA with his life hanging by a thread. He started praying. Presumably he got sober. Why is this any of your business?
Why is it any of my business if my loved one's are converted at a weak point in their life when they are highly suggestible and desperate? Do you think that him being a cult member and delusional about reality and prayer is worth being sober? Maybe if religious experience was the only way to get sober. So, it doesn't matter how delusional and dependent on the group they brainwash him to be, as long as he's sober in your books? Sounds like you don't care much about my close friend here.
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But not everybody in that meeting did agree with him. Apparently he didn't just find a meeting where everyone agreed with him.
We don't know, he grabbed his smokes and left in a huff, like a childish narccisist. I've already shown proof that meetings split into factions and some are fundamentalist and underground. So non-issue.
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Joey I really can't figure out your position. What "sweeping changes" would satisfy you? Would it still be a free-of-charge amateur mutual-support society, open to anyone, which does not collect personal data on members?
Again, this is just rehashing everything over a million times. AA is not just a mutual-aid society, they have a big book they say will never change, a list of steps they will delist groups over if they are altered, a memetic structure which means that Back to Basics groups will just never pay attention to anything that is done. They need to shift to evidence-based therapy, drop the new age crap, and make every group accountable to a set of rules or standards and force anyone who doesn't measure up to stop using the AA name. Sponsor tells sponsee to go off meds? Not allowed to be a sponsor ever again, anywhere. Background checks on people running youth groups (remember that guy running a youth group from Cleary's letter?) You know, extremely simple stuff that is actually silly to have to explain. A method where you can complain to body that will investigate and act. Somehow the argument gets made that this standard is actually bigotry or totalitarianism. I love when that argument gets made, it exposes the hysterical nature of the apologist canards. There is no trade-off necessary by becoming science-based, accountable and professional. You can have all of the positive and helpful things and no-one's privacy or freedom will be affected. Just the freedom of quacks and predators to roam free because of Bill's dogmatic 12 and 12.
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OK, is it still your position is that AA could solve all problems overnight?
Quote me saying that. Are you trolling me at this point? Every post you say I said things I never said. You're trying to end the debate by painting me as extremist or radical. It's not working, it's a fact you constantly misquote or fabricate positions.
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Don't know. Maybe after other AA members started monitoring the situation Midtown morphed into a more conventional group. But I really don't know.
The information is available to those who care to research it. You don't care Minoosh, or you'd already know. You'd have an answer to my question. Why are you responding if you don't want to know?
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The whole world has a problem with predators. I don't see any magic wand to fix that. There are guys who will hit on every woman they can. In my experience AA is pretty much like other social/work/schoo venues I've seen.
You ignore all evidence and Cleary's letter, PLUS, say you don't know, when you could easily find out. I ask what is the point of this conversation continuing when you aren't engaged in it.
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Old 22nd March 2012, 11:16 PM   #6644
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Originally Posted by Minoosh View Post
They'd had a tempestuous relationship and when he joined AA and got sober she felt excluded. But he apparently felt he needed to change a lot of habits in order to save his life. She can blame it on whatever she likes.
She made the case clearly that it's the cult-like, sickly aspects of the group that drove him away, and you dismiss this on nothing than but your imagination. He stopped seeing anyone other than people in AA. That's not healthy for anyone. Go ahead, make the argument it is!
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It sounds like they see each as much of each other now as they ever did. He comes over twice a day. He's sober and being a responsible dad. It seems like a great relationship.
She actually says "It is painful beyond belief." I'll let your dismissal of her story based on nothing speak for itself.
Originally Posted by Minoosh View Post
Well, that's clear, thanks. I'm glad it does exist. If it changed to please you it would no longer offer me something I can't get anywhere else.
You keep making this claim that if AA was accountable for what happens in it's rooms it wouldn't exist without explaining why you believe this. Instead, you make up things I didn't say to support this
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You dismiss the reality I've experienced as somehow less real than your reality. I disagree.
No I have not. Or quote me directly. From now on, please quote what I say instead of telling me what I said, then we will start having a real conversation.

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A couple of things. My goal is abstinence - for practical, not ideological reasons - and there's little quantitative research on best practices for lifelong abstinence. In many studies that's just not in play. I'm self-assigned, which a lot of studies would consider a flaw. And I've already had chats with docs, read self-help books and enjoyed "brief interventions" from the local police among others. I've been an inpatient and an outpatient; have attended groups that were AA-like and groups that weren't, have used opiate-replacement therapy and currently see a psychiatrist monthly to check in and get a scrip for a medication that contains a cousin to naltrexone. And soon I'll resume one-on-one sessions with an excellent counselor - the detox is far enough along to get me out of holding-pattern mode. No one can say I "blindly" accept AA as the one true faith and preeminent global clearinghouse for alcoholism expertise.
No one here claimed you did. This isn't about you personally. We're talking about an entire organization and his recent history across the entire world. We have to talk about patterns and sects and memes and different levels of rational to insane.

I'll have to give an analogy here. It's like some Christian claiming that they don't believe in faith-healing or that gays go to hell so Christianity isn't that. The bible and the religion directly support both of those beliefs, and we're busy combating that in society right now, so skeptics rightly laugh off and ignore those kinds of Christian apologists and focus on combating the lobbies actualizing those beliefs.

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I don't give a rat's ass what anyone else's higher power is
You sure don't care about what they did to my friend!
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And I don't care about Boniface
I bet you that the people would go to 12 and 12 meetings would be interested to know that they stuff they are studying came from a 15th century monk through Bill.
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or belladonna
People should care that Bill lied that it was a genuine spiritual experience instead of a drug-induced hallucination because people try and emulate that, because that's what is taught. That's some weird stuff right there.
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or the bed-hopping of a guy who's been dead for 40 years
You call preying on all of the new members who are coming for help for a life and death problem "bed-hopping" that was so bad they formed a group to stop him from this predatory behaviour? That's "bed-hopping"? If Bill was picking up women in normal places like the grocery store or the coffee shop like most normal people do, I couldn't care less about how many beds he hopped in. This is just strange.
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or whether he played psychic parlor tricks.
He labored, worked, to defraud people that he was psychic to gain social power over them. Yet you call it "parlour tricks" Apologia is the only word...

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He busted his butt to set up a self-sustaining network of drunks talking to drunks. For that I am grateful.
He copied the Oxford Group and intended to bring people to that version of a God, as the 12 and 12 quote you didn't respond to states.

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"My" experience of AA is just as valid as yours. I'm not pointing to how it ideally works; this is the reality where I live, in meetings I attended very faithfully for 7+ years and semi-regularly at other times. I'm not culling nicey-nice examples from the Net to prove my points. So I'm not sure what it is about my experience that renders it irrelevant to reality. It's anecdotal, but it's not cherry-picked.
I have said, over and over, that some places are worse than others, that some countries are worse than others. That it used to be a lot worst over 10 years ago. But you repeat your story. It's perfectly within my version of reality for you to say that, I don't know why you keep repeating it as an argument.
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Old 22nd March 2012, 11:43 PM   #6645
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Per what some people are saying in other threads about consciousness and control, there's a real argument to be made that none of us has control over anything - that "decisions" bubble up from a jumble of habits over which we have no control. A book I just read - the Power of Habit - disputes this and offers an approach for developing alternative routines. The author is pretty high on AA but that's not my point - it's the idea that maybe we all really are powerless over everything. Our thoughts and actions are totally dictated by material phenomena.

Don't know what that shows, just figured I'd offer up that thought. I find it kind of liberating to be in charge of nothing. I'll seek help only when biochemical impulses compel me to do so. Biochemical impulses will also dictate what kind of help I'll seek. It's really not a choice. This is not a fringe opinion on this forum.
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Old 23rd March 2012, 04:14 PM   #6646
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Originally Posted by Joey McGee View Post
Why don't you bother commenting on the comment by Bill in the 12 and 12 about all coming to believe in a higher power and most believing in God?
I've commented a number of times on things Bill wrote.

Originally Posted by Joey McGee View Post
You're skipping the 12 and 12 quote from Bill very suspiciously too.
First I'm negligent, then nefarious. I don't agree with everything Bill wrote. What exactly do you suspect me of?

Originally Posted by Joey McGee View Post
Why is it any of my business if my loved one's are converted at a weak point in their life when they are highly suggestible and desperate? Do you think that him being a cult member and delusional about reality and prayer is worth being sober?
I'm curious about why you think this should be your call.

Originally Posted by Joey McGee View Post
So, it doesn't matter how delusional and dependent on the group they brainwash him to be, as long as he's sober in your books?
The only evidence of delusion you've cited is that he prays. If you think he's mentally ill maybe you can petition to have him committed.

Originally Posted by Joey McGee View Post
They need to shift to evidence-based therapy, drop the new age crap, and make every group accountable to a set of rules or standards and force anyone who doesn't measure up to stop using the AA name.
Your opinion is noted.

Originally Posted by Joey McGee View Post
Somehow the argument gets made that this standard is actually bigotry or totalitarianism.
You don't seem very tolerant of other people's beliefs.

Originally Posted by Joey McGee View Post
Quote me saying that. Are you trolling me at this point? Every post you say I said things I never said.
You said AA could wipe out its problems overnight. That's the part I disagreed with. Sorry if I misspoke.

Originally Posted by Joey McGee View Post
You ignore all evidence and Cleary's letter ...
I've addressed his letter several times.
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Old 23rd March 2012, 05:43 PM   #6647
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Originally Posted by Minoosh View Post
Per what some people are saying in other threads about consciousness and control, there's a real argument to be made that none of us has control over anything - that "decisions" bubble up from a jumble of habits over which we have no control. A book I just read - the Power of Habit - disputes this and offers an approach for developing alternative routines. The author is pretty high on AA but that's not my point - it's the idea that maybe we all really are powerless over everything. Our thoughts and actions are totally dictated by material phenomena.

Don't know what that shows, just figured I'd offer up that thought. I find it kind of liberating to be in charge of nothing. I'll seek help only when biochemical impulses compel me to do so. Biochemical impulses will also dictate what kind of help I'll seek. It's really not a choice. This is not a fringe opinion on this forum.
http://www.spectrum.niaaa.nih.gov/fe...lcoholism.aspx

http://www.latimes.com/features/heal...0,474959.story

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Leading scientists say that most humans never become powerless over alcohol
Where is the science that refutes this?

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Old 23rd March 2012, 08:30 PM   #6648
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Originally Posted by Joey McGee View Post
She made the case clearly that it's the cult-like, sickly aspects of the group that drove him away ...
It's clear she found AA distasteful. That "smelly" AA meeting hall - yuck. The "happy morons" in Al-Anon. I don't blame her for finding it weird. But apparently he felt he needed to shrink his world to a cocoon, not so weird for some guy with PTSD trying to put together a bit of clean time.

Originally Posted by Joey McGee View Post
He stopped seeing anyone other than people in AA. That's not healthy for anyone. Go ahead, make the argument it is!
I don't understand how you could possibly be in any position to judge what was healthy for him.

Originally Posted by Joey McGee View Post
She actually says "It is painful beyond belief."
Backing up, and in a nod to fair use I should say, this is an article by Janine Di Giovanni from the Mail Online. Ms. Giovanni also has written a book, "Ghosts by Daylight: A Memoir of War and Love":

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How do you amputate the love of your life from your world? You don't. It is painful beyond belief, but there are ways of triumphing. Most of all, there is his triumph. My husband is more than three years sober.
Man life is funny. You think you're amputating a guy from your life, three years later he's popping over every day and taking the kid to school. Sober and triumphant.

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There are days when I yearn for the wild husband I had, the days when we lived in Africa and drank shots, and he jumped on top of the bar and ran down it to where I was sitting just to kiss me ... I miss it all. But I am also grateful he is alive. And recovered.
Even though you think he did it wrong.

Originally Posted by Joey McGee View Post
I'll let your dismissal of her story based on nothing speak for itself.
Far from it, I understand about attempted amputations and love you let go of and how sometimes it comes back, and how, even without the old shot-slamming bar-skating euphoria, things might just be OK after all ...

Originally Posted by Joey McGee View Post
You keep making this claim that if AA was accountable for what happens in it's rooms it wouldn't exist without explaining why you believe this.
You've explained many times what it would take to satisfy you - AA would be secular, run by professionals, regulated by a central authority, focused on harm reduction; it would jettison the steps and all the Bill & Bob baggage. You never explain what still makes it "AA" at that point.

Originally Posted by Joey McGee View Post
You sure don't care about what they did to my friend!
This is what you said:

Originally Posted by Joey McGee View Post
I have a close friend, never tolerated any religiosity or supernatural beliefs, fought to keep his children out of religious schools and won, etc. Now he gets on his knees in the morning and gives thanks at night with a new understanding of Jesus. Now, that could have happened as a total coincidence at the exact same time he entered AA with his job, finances, marriage etc hanging from a thread, but I think it's safe to say they gaslighted and manipulated the brains right out of him and I think it's pathetic and sad.
"I think it's safe to say." That's an assumption, not evidence. People do start praying sometimes. I've seen it happen more than once. But then I pray sometimes so I'm delusional. Why are you arguing with a crazy person, Joey?

Originally Posted by Joey McGee View Post
He copied the Oxford Group and intended to bring people to that version of a God, as the 12 and 12 quote you didn't respond to states.
I'm still confused about whether your friend was brainwashed into believing in Bill's God. Did he become a Christian? You jumped on me for assuming he had.

Originally Posted by Joey McGee View Post
I have said, over and over, that some places are worse than others, that some countries are worse than others. That it used to be a lot worst over 10 years ago.
Do you mean AA improved on its own? How is that even possible?
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Old 23rd March 2012, 08:39 PM   #6649
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Originally Posted by Joey McGee View Post
People should care that Bill lied that it was a genuine spiritual experience instead of a drug-induced hallucination ...
I'm not actually sure that these are mutually exclusive.

Do you think there exists such a thing as a "genuine spiritual experience"?
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Old 24th March 2012, 08:42 AM   #6650
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Or as is said in meetings "Self-Will run riot".

Not that Self-Will actually exists even though many of us choose, so-to-speak, to believe it exists, and think we act like it exists.

Alcohol for an alcoholic is seldom amenable to stopping cold-turkey on ones own devices.
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Old 24th March 2012, 01:43 PM   #6651
Joey McGee
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Originally Posted by Minoosh View Post
I've commented a number of times on things Bill wrote.

First I'm negligent, then nefarious. I don't agree with everything Bill wrote. What exactly do you suspect me of?
You're talking about the exact same issue, Bill's quote is the elephant in the room to your statements. This thread isn't about what you or individuals in AA agree with, it's about what AA is in it's official texts and actions.

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I'm curious about why you think this should be your call.
You don't think we should protect our loves ones from cults and pseudoscientific beliefs? Should we dissolve the JREF?
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The only evidence of delusion you've cited is that he prays. If you think he's mentally ill maybe you can petition to have him committed.
Nice. So the fact that a nonreligious man was turned religious by a cult at the weakest point in your life means nothing to you. He's going to do what they say and attend 4-5 times a week until he dies, like he has done for the last 10 years, and you snark about how we should have him committed. Again, you don't understand cults and the harm they do. This guy has no friends that aren't in the program, hasn't done one extracurricular activity that didn't involve them on a weekend as far as I know for years. He used to be fun and cool. Oh well. Forget that, your apologia said it all on this issue already. Moving on...
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You don't seem very tolerant of other people's beliefs.
This is activism, friend. This is about finding what is true in good in the world. The only thing the religious have against us is accusations of hate and bigotry. Google atheists intolerant for endless debunkings and rebuttals of your position.
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You said AA could wipe out its problems overnight. That's the part I disagreed with. Sorry if I misspoke.
No I did not. How many times have you misquoted me so far? 20? 30? I said "Are you trying to make the argument that aacultwatch is a good thing? So you agree that many strains of AA are genuinely dangerous cults now? And incredibly you think that they are making a significant difference with that blogspot blog? When a change to their format to be a professional, accountable organization could just wipe the problem out overnight?". Yes, it is possible to wipe out the problem of having wildly differing cults in AA overnight, delist and condemn the crazy, anti-med, etc groups. Stop them from using the AA name legally. Please, quote me directly when talking about what I have supposedly said, this is a problem here.
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I've addressed his letter several times.
Yet still claim you can't tell if their problems are worse than public schools.

Originally Posted by Minoosh View Post
It's clear she found AA distasteful. That "smelly" AA meeting hall - yuck.
I did some research, that church actually does smell, according to another visitor.
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The "happy morons" in Al-Anon. I don't blame her for finding it weird. But apparently he felt he needed to shrink his world to a cocoon, not so weird for some guy with PTSD trying to put together a bit of clean time.
That's your excuse for cutting off everyone in his life except for AA people? No response required.
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Backing up, and in a nod to fair use I should say, this is an article by Janine Di Giovanni from the Mail Online. Ms. Giovanni also has written a book, "Ghosts by Daylight: A Memoir of War and Love":
What does this have to do with you disrespecting her statements and telling her what she really feels? It's not that much different from Dale telling Glenda she just wants to get high, sinful addict.
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Man life is funny. You think you're amputating a guy from your life, three years later he's popping over every day and taking the kid to school. Sober and triumphant.
The article is about how AA destroyed her marriage because it is cult-like, us and them. You don't like that so you invent your own interpretation of the story. Moving on...
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You've explained many times what it would take to satisfy you - AA would be secular, run by professionals, regulated by a central authority,
GREAT
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focused on harm reduction
No I said the full extent of what science knows, comprehensive health care. Nice try.
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it would jettison the steps and all the Bill & Bob baggage. You never explain what still makes it "AA" at that point.
So what? We need support group with scientific resources and guidance available. AA is a cult based on the Oxford group that is a parasite on the idea of support groups and community action.

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This is what you said:

"I think it's safe to say." That's an assumption, not evidence. People do start praying sometimes. I've seen it happen more than once. But then I pray sometimes so I'm delusional. Why are you arguing with a crazy person, Joey?
Cults take advantage of people at their weakest moments. You should study cults, it's important. Some countries in Europe have anti-cult education for their children. You argue everything. You tried to say that (name withheld) wasn't threatening ST by including their home address in an email, someone who was later proven to be out for blood. You aren't being skeptical, you're being radically apologetic for anyone connected to the cult. The person in my story was irreligious for 45 years, ends up in detox, and then weeks later was praying twice a day and asking God to magically heal him. And when his cravings went away he credited God. That happened because of AA. It's a safe assumption.
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I'm still confused about whether your friend was brainwashed into believing in Bill's God. Did he become a Christian? You jumped on me for assuming he had.
Clarification is not jumping on you. I said he had a new understanding of Jesus. Bill had a new understanding of Jesus too, as in he thought he was the reincarnation of him. New agers who don't call themselves Christians still like Jesus and have various mystical beliefs about him. Look into it, a varied phenomenon.
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Do you mean AA improved on its own? How is that even possible?
It happened the same way anti-med got quashed and the old-timers lost the monopoly that you needed a higher power to get sober. People like me stood up and called bs and wrote books etc. But it wasn't powerfully effective, like it would have been if responsible, accountable, non-woo people ran the org.

Originally Posted by Minoosh View Post
I'm not actually sure that these are mutually exclusive.

Do you think there exists such a thing as a "genuine spiritual experience"?
Do you think Bill really saw God or was he tripping balls? If went out to the garden and ate some belladonna and later told you I saw God would you think that was genuine? At the least you'd be very skeptical wouldn't you? And if after I went around telling people I had a spiritual experience, and started a religious group about it, without including the bit about the drugs, you'd think I was **********.
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Old 24th March 2012, 02:00 PM   #6652
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Originally Posted by AlBell View Post
Or as is said in meetings "Self-Will run riot".

Not that Self-Will actually exists even though many of us choose, so-to-speak, to believe it exists, and think we act like it exists.

Alcohol for an alcoholic is seldom amenable to stopping cold-turkey on ones own devices.
See post 6647. Why do you keep making this claim when science says it's wrong? And it's been posted throughout this thread dozens of times? Oh right we're back to the "if you got sober without AA you weren't a "true alcoholic" thing, right?

And round and round we go...
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Old 24th March 2012, 03:01 PM   #6653
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Originally Posted by AlBell View Post
Or as is said in meetings "Self-Will run riot".

Not that Self-Will actually exists even though many of us choose, so-to-speak, to believe it exists, and think we act like it exists.

Alcohol for an alcoholic is seldom amenable to stopping cold-turkey on ones own devices.
Saying it in meetings doesn't seem to help if the actions of AA supporters in this thread are any indication. AA seems to be based on self will or the "stubborn adherence to one's own will, desires, etc., esp at the expense of others."

In the face of all evidence AA and its supporters dogmatically adhere to a party line that is detrimental to real recovery from addiction.
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Old 24th March 2012, 04:04 PM   #6654
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Originally Posted by AlBell View Post
Or as is said in meetings "Self-Will run riot".
Yes, there's a lot of nonsense said in meetings that does nothing but reinforce mistaken beliefs.


Quote:
Not that Self-Will actually exists even though many of us choose, so-to-speak, to believe it exists, and think we act like it exists.

Alcohol for an alcoholic is seldom amenable to stopping cold-turkey on ones own devices.
What non-AA sources do you have to evidence this statement?
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Old 24th March 2012, 04:31 PM   #6655
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[quote=AlBell;8138869]
Not that Self-Will actually exists even though many of us choose, so-to-speak, to believe it exists, and think we act like it exists.

Can you please elaborate on this, Albell?

Quote:
Alcohol for an alcoholic is seldom amenable to stopping cold-turkey on ones own devices.
Untrue.

"About 75 percent of persons who recover from alcohol dependence do so without seeking any kind of help, including specialty alcohol (rehab) programs and AA. Only 13 percent of people with alcohol dependence ever receive specialty alcohol treatment. "

http://www.spectrum.niaaa.nih.gov/fe...lcoholism.aspx
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Old 24th March 2012, 05:59 PM   #6656
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Post 6650 is for Minoosh #6642 & #6645.
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Old 24th March 2012, 08:51 PM   #6657
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Joey, you're doing great in this thread!! I'm not surprised this thread still going - AA apologists are , for the most part, very difficult to convince otherwise - although I have had some success in the last couple years.

Just this past week, I was at a meeting where several long-term members (10+ years) starting spouting off about how it was impossible to get sober without a higher power - and this impossibility was 'inscribed into the big book by bill and bob, at the direction of God'. At this same meeting were a dozen or so court appointed folks, quite beat down and confused. I immediately jumped in and forcefully stated no 'higher power' - of any kind - is necessary to get and stay sober, and that I personally haven't a clue what people mean by 'higher power' unless they describe it clearly.

At that point, several folks mentioned without God (capitalized to refer to the xian god), without prayer, without turning their life completely over to this non-existant being, that these new people wouldn't have a chance.

Once again, I spoke up stating the previous god-believers were not correct, that I personally have been in communication with hundreds of people who had no need for any god of any kind - and were perfectly sober, relatively happy, productive members of society.

After the meeting , several of the new folks came up to speak to me about how uncomfortable they felt with the god nonsense, and thanked me for speaking up (some asking me for my contact info).

Such instances are pretty much the entire reason I still go to meetings.

Have a great evening!
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Old 25th March 2012, 01:51 PM   #6658
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Originally Posted by causeandeffect View Post
Originally Posted by AlBell View Post
Not that Self-Will actually exists even though many of us choose, so-to-speak, to believe it exists, and think we act like it exists.


Can you please elaborate on this, Albell?
Not sure how to elaborate. I at least choose to believe that I am not a clockwork mechanism that is pre-programmed to react specifically to public and/or private stimulus.

Quote:
Untrue.

"About 75 percent of persons who recover from alcohol dependence do so without seeking any kind of help, including specialty alcohol (rehab) programs and AA. Only 13 percent of people with alcohol dependence ever receive specialty alcohol treatment. "

http://www.spectrum.niaaa.nih.gov/fe...lcoholism.aspx
Interesting, and could even be correct. Has any other study verified those findings?
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Old 25th March 2012, 02:03 PM   #6659
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Quote:
Leading scientists say that most humans never become powerless over alcohol
Has anyone on this thread, or anywhere, said that most humans do become powerless over alcohol?

Originally Posted by Joey McGee View Post
Where is the science that refutes this?
Search for threads with "free will" in the title. There was one started 2-3 weeks ago in the science forum. I'm getting a "database error" when I try to call it up. I don't know if science can prove there's no such thing as free will. It would be trying to prove a negative. Many forumites are better equipped than I to present the scientific evidence in support of the no-free-will claim. Here is how I understand the basic rationale: Belief in free will requires belief in mind-body dualism. Materialists reject this. Every action and every "thought" (a kind of action) is dictated by biochemical impulses. There is no "thought" directing action, therefore no free will.

Quote:
One thing leads to another”? Not always. Sometimes one thing leads to the same thing. Ask an addict. - George Carlin
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Old 26th March 2012, 11:43 AM   #6660
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Originally Posted by Joey McGee View Post
This thread isn't about what you or individuals in AA agree with, it's about what AA is in it's official texts and actions.
AA's made up if individuals, a constantly changing array. This discussion has not been limited to "official AA." Why start now?

Originally Posted by Joey McGee View Post
You don't think we should protect our loves ones from cults and pseudoscientific beliefs? Should we dissolve the JREF?
JREF doesn't exist to "protect" people and I'm not inclined to police the beliefs of my friends and family.

Originally Posted by Joey McGee View Post
Nice. So the fact that a nonreligious man was turned religious by a cult at the weakest point in your life ...
You have presented no evidence of that.

Originally Posted by Joey McGee View Post
He used to be fun and cool.
You lost the companion you had known. But he was about to lose everything. Things might look different from his perspective.

Originally Posted by Joey McGee View Post
This is activism, friend.
Great, go for it.

Originally Posted by Joey McGee View Post
Yes, it is possible to wipe out the problem of having wildly differing cults in AA overnight ...
AA has a government. Eliminating autonomous groups and imposing a top-down standard on 2 million members - in 24 hours, no less - is not within the power of a few board members in New York.

Originally Posted by Joey McGee View Post
I did some research, that church actually does smell, according to another visitor.
Thanks for the tip.

Originally Posted by Joey McGee View Post
That's your excuse for cutting off everyone in his life except for AA people? No response required.
Fine, you be the judge. After all you have some of the facts.

Originally Posted by Joey McGee View Post
The article is about how AA destroyed her marriage because it is cult-like, us and them. ...
It was far more complicated than that. From The Guardian, here's a more extensive version of the original article:

Janine di Giovanni: I believed I had escaped trauma ... but I was not as unbroken as I thought

...When she and her husband finally put war behind them to start a family, the past came back to shatter their lives…

http://http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2011/jun/26/janine-di-giovanni-war-memoir-family

Originally Posted by Joey McGee View Post
No I said the full extent of what science knows, comprehensive health care. ...
If you want AA to be a comprehensive health care provider regulated by professionals, you're barking up the wrong tree.

Originally Posted by Joey McGee View Post
You argue everything.
I suspect that soon I'll resign from the debating club. Sort of.

Originally Posted by Joey McGee View Post
You tried to say that (name withheld) wasn't threatening ST ....
That whole scene just seemed twisted to me. Head games. I'll trust the FBI to see if it rose to the criminal level. They have investigative powers we don't.

Originally Posted by Joey McGee View Post
The person in my story was irreligious for 45 years, ends up in detox, and then weeks later was praying twice a day and asking God to magically heal him. And when his cravings went away he credited God. That happened because of AA. It's a safe assumption.
Your "assumption" was that "they gaslighted and manipulated the brains right out of him." I don't really know. I don't have the evidence.

BTW did he become a Christian?

Originally Posted by Joey McGee View Post
It happened the same way anti-med got quashed and the old-timers lost the monopoly that you needed a higher power to get sober. People like me stood up ...
I would argue that this is emblematic of how change occurs within AA. It trickles up. Smoke free meetings, tolerance of "addicts" vs. alcoholics, a better understanding of antidepressants, agnostic meetings (some listed) ... the changes come at the group/membership level. Not by hierarchical fiat. I have more faith in that process than you do.

Originally Posted by Joey McGee View Post
Do you think Bill really saw God or was he tripping balls? If went out to the garden and ate some belladonna and later told you I saw God would you think that was genuine?
You didn't answer the question. Do you think there's such a thing as a genuine spiritual experience? I caught the end of "Ray" last night and it portrays a similar epiphany. Could such experiences really be a glimmer of a non-material dimension? I'm not convinced but I haven't ruled it out.

An alcoholic's savior: God, belladonna or both?
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/20/health/20drunk.html
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Old 26th March 2012, 06:16 PM   #6661
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Quote:
JREF doesn't exist to "protect" people
Yes it does. It exists to promote critical thinking. Which is like a mental immune system for bad ideas that harm people. When Randi busted Pompoff he was trying to protect people from the fraudster by exposing him. I can't believe you don't see that.
Quote:
and I'm not inclined to police the beliefs of my friends and family.
So if your teenage sister joined a cult you disliked, say, Scientology, you'd keep your mouth shut? Yeah right.
Quote:
You have presented no evidence of that.
Give me a break! This is a personal story. He admits it to me (that AA converted him) He believes you need a relationship with God to get sober. I don't see why you'd argue about it. Oh right it's because it makes AA looks like a religious cult.
Quote:
You lost the companion you had known. But he was about to lose everything. Things might look different from his perspective.
If it was Narcanon that got him sober and he was a Scientologist on the Sea Org who was disconnected from me because I'm an SP would you say the same thing?
Quote:
AA has a government. Eliminating autonomous groups and imposing a top-down standard on 2 million members - in 24 hours, no less - is not within the power of a few board members in New York.
I don't care what their self-imposed structure is, that's not an excuse. Nitpicking about the term "overnight" seems extremely silly when the point is to illustrate my position on how they let anyone use their name no matter how retarded and destructive their beliefs and actions on newcomers are. And how one simple change to their structure could eliminate the problem of really bad cults inside the cult of AA. Seems extremely desperate in the face of that you'd nitpick about term "overnight", seriously.

Quote:
It was far more complicated than that.
You're nitpicking over this article endlessly. She thinks AA ruined her marriage. So do lots of people, including a few in the small amount of comments I read on the article. For the exact same reasons too. All you'll do is make up reasons why it might not have been AA, why these people blame AA unfairly, anyone could do that. It wouldn't really be interesting to list all of the ways it is possible. We should just listen to their stories and weigh them against the evidence and the patterns we see.
Quote:
If you want AA to be a comprehensive health care provider regulated by professionals, you're barking up the wrong tree.
You could be a support group that is connected with comprehensive health care and applies all known science, and teaches all known science. I know there are support groups like this in several very small cities around here connected to the local mental health units.
Quote:
BTW did he become a Christian?
No and I was clear about that. I said "New agers who don't call themselves Christians still like Jesus and have various mystical beliefs about him." and "his religion is AA."
Quote:
I would argue that this is emblematic of how change occurs within AA. It trickles up. Smoke free meetings, tolerance of "addicts" vs. alcoholics, a better understanding of antidepressants, agnostic meetings (some listed) ... the changes come at the group/membership level. Not by hierarchical fiat. I have more faith in that process than you do.
You sure do. But this is like saying that Christianity is good because there are churches that accept homosexuals as members. Christianity is fundamentally anti-homosexual. No amount of guilty liberals patting themselves on the back for being tolerant is going to change that.

Quote:
You didn't answer the question. Do you think there's such a thing as a genuine spiritual experience? I caught the end of "Ray" last night and it portrays a similar epiphany. Could such experiences really be a glimmer of a non-material dimension? I'm not convinced but I haven't ruled it out.
You're asking me if I think that it's possible Bill truly saw God? You should know that the vast majority of people of my persuasion do not claim to know that God does not exist. I can't rule out fairies in the garden either.

Quote:
An alcoholic's savior: God, belladonna or both?
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/20/health/20drunk.html
OK
Quote:
On the second or third day of his treatment, Mr. Wilson had his now famous spiritual awakening. Earlier that evening, Mr. Thacher had visited and tried to persuade Mr. Wilson to turn himself over to the care of a Christian deity who would liberate him from the ravages of alcohol. Hours later, depressed and delirious, Mr. Wilson cried out: “I’ll do anything! Anything at all! If there be a God, let him show himself!” He then witnessed a blinding light and felt an ecstatic sense of freedom and peace
...
Belladonna hallucinations, on the other hand, are typically based on recent discussions the person had but become far more fantastic. Many times, these visions appear to fulfill the wishes one might have had during the inspiring experience.
Exactly.

On the weight of all evidence known to man, this was hallucinatory, and the reason AA is such a cult to this day. No belladona, no Ebby, no AA.
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Old 26th March 2012, 06:45 PM   #6662
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Originally Posted by Minoosh View Post
Has anyone on this thread, or anywhere, said that most humans do become powerless over alcohol?
Albell just said it again! "Alcohol for an alcoholic is seldom amenable to stopping cold-turkey on ones own devices." Although now seems to be reconsidering this statement while being interested in the result being replicated which is good.

That study has been posted over a dozen times in this thread over the last six months.

Read the quote in the context of the article.

"Seventy years ago, Bill Wilson -- the co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous -- declared his powerlessness over alcohol in a book by the same name. The failed businessman contended that, as an alcoholic, he had to "hit bottom" before changing his life and that sobriety could only be achieved through complete abstention.

For generations, Americans took these tenets to be true for everyone. Top addiction experts are no longer sure."
Quote:
Search for threads with "free will" in the title. There was one started 2-3 weeks ago in the science forum. I'm getting a "database error" when I try to call it up. I don't know if science can prove there's no such thing as free will. It would be trying to prove a negative. Many forumites are better equipped than I to present the scientific evidence in support of the no-free-will claim. Here is how I understand the basic rationale: Belief in free will requires belief in mind-body dualism. Materialists reject this. Every action and every "thought" (a kind of action) is dictated by biochemical impulses. There is no "thought" directing action, therefore no free will.
I'm well aware of the brain-numbing debates taking place on neuroscience/philosophy and free will on the internet. It's not relevant to the conversation. We're talking about the claims AA makes about alcoholism, mainly that you need to turn your will and life over to God or "the group" in order to get sober. Which is a) complete ******** and b) part of it's cult nature.

Look at that post from tinyal in the light of this. That's the reality of what we are dealing with.

Regarding free will Hitchens use to say that he took refuge in philosophical irony, that we had no choice but to have free will. Dan Dennet says we can have free will as long as you accept that everything has a cause, there are no causeless actions. In his example no skyhooks only cranes. I haven't gotten around to murdering my brain trying to think hard about these issues. What I do know for sure is that AA's claims and methods are woo ********.
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Old 26th March 2012, 07:13 PM   #6663
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Originally Posted by Tinyal View Post
Joey, you're doing great in this thread!! I'm not surprised this thread still going - AA apologists are , for the most part, very difficult to convince otherwise - although I have had some success in the last couple years.

Just this past week, I was at a meeting where several long-term members (10+ years) starting spouting off about how it was impossible to get sober without a higher power - and this impossibility was 'inscribed into the big book by bill and bob, at the direction of God'. At this same meeting were a dozen or so court appointed folks, quite beat down and confused. I immediately jumped in and forcefully stated no 'higher power' - of any kind - is necessary to get and stay sober, and that I personally haven't a clue what people mean by 'higher power' unless they describe it clearly.

At that point, several folks mentioned without God (capitalized to refer to the xian god), without prayer, without turning their life completely over to this non-existant being, that these new people wouldn't have a chance.

Once again, I spoke up stating the previous god-believers were not correct, that I personally have been in communication with hundreds of people who had no need for any god of any kind - and were perfectly sober, relatively happy, productive members of society.

After the meeting , several of the new folks came up to speak to me about how uncomfortable they felt with the god nonsense, and thanked me for speaking up (some asking me for my contact info).

Such instances are pretty much the entire reason I still go to meetings.

Have a great evening!
Thanks man!

You're a rationalist hero! They are telling traumatized, terrified people that they must convert to the AA religion or die horribly/suffer endlessly. You are there directly exposing this lie potentially saving people from a life of cult brainwashing and stupidity. That's awesome. If all of the skeptics who feel the same way about AA went to the occasional meeting for the same reason it would make a HUGE difference!

Keep on rockin' in the free world
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Old 27th March 2012, 04:27 PM   #6664
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Quote:
Leading scientists say that most humans never become powerless over alcohol
Originally Posted by Joey McGee View Post
Albell just said it again! "Alcohol for an alcoholic is seldom amenable to stopping cold-turkey on ones own devices."
The statement you quoted was: Leading scientists say that most *humans* never become powerless over alcohol. Not that most *alcoholics* never become powerless over alcohol.

Assume 10 percent of the population is "alcoholic." That means 90 percent of the population is *not* alcoholic. So even the most cartoonish old-timer in AA would not claim that most (50%+) *humans* become powerless over alcohol.
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Old 27th March 2012, 08:05 PM   #6665
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Originally Posted by Minoosh View Post
The statement you quoted was: Leading scientists say that most *humans* never become powerless over alcohol. Not that most *alcoholics* never become powerless over alcohol.

Assume 10 percent of the population is "alcoholic." That means 90 percent of the population is *not* alcoholic. So even the most cartoonish old-timer in AA would not claim that most (50%+) *humans* become powerless over alcohol.
Do you have evidence to show that alcoholics are the humans that are powerless over alcohol because the evidence thus far doesn't suggest that with many quitting or changing their drinking habits?
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Old 27th March 2012, 08:10 PM   #6666
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Originally Posted by AlBell View Post
Not sure how to elaborate. I at least choose to believe that I am not a clockwork mechanism that is pre-programmed to react specifically to public and/or private stimulus.
And yet you say alcohol has this exact effect on you and all other alcoholics! Can't have it both ways, Al.
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Old 27th March 2012, 09:03 PM   #6667
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Originally Posted by Minoosh View Post
The statement you quoted was: Leading scientists say that most *humans* never become powerless over alcohol. Not that most *alcoholics* never become powerless over alcohol.

Assume 10 percent of the population is "alcoholic." That means 90 percent of the population is *not* alcoholic. So even the most cartoonish old-timer in AA would not claim that most (50%+) *humans* become powerless over alcohol.
Read the quote in the context of the article and the conversation of this thread. If your nitpicking interpretation of that statement was correct, then someone would be claiming that humans who have never tasted alcohol somehow become powerless over it. No it is clearly saying that most people who become dependent on alcohol are not powerless. Moving on...
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Old 27th March 2012, 10:39 PM   #6668
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Originally Posted by Minoosh View Post
The statement you quoted was: Leading scientists say that most *humans* never become powerless over alcohol. Not that most *alcoholics* never become powerless over alcohol.

Assume 10 percent of the population is "alcoholic." That means 90 percent of the population is *not* alcoholic. So even the most cartoonish old-timer in AA would not claim that most (50%+) *humans* become powerless over alcohol.
Your use of 'human' versus his use of 'alcoholic' -- a difference without distinction. 'Powerlessness over alcohol' is an unproven concept perpetuated by AA. No... in this case, I'm going to go so far as to say that it's a disproven concept perpetuated by AA.
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Old 28th March 2012, 12:04 AM   #6669
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Originally Posted by Joey McGee View Post
So if your teenage sister joined a cult you disliked, say, Scientology, you'd keep your mouth shut? Yeah right.
If my 16-year-old niece got into Scientology I'd probably accept that choice. If she joined the Manson Family, not so much. I don't argue with my evangelical aunt or my conspiracy theorist brother, either.

Originally Posted by Joey McGee View Post
Give me a break! This is a personal story. He admits it to me (that AA converted him)
New evidence. Twice before you offered only assumptions. Does he agree that AA manipulated the brains out of him?

Originally Posted by Joey McGee View Post
If it was Narcanon that got him sober and he was a Scientologist on the Sea Org who was disconnected from me because I'm an SP would you say the same thing?
The short answer is, yes.

Originally Posted by Joey McGee View Post
Nitpicking about the term "overnight" seems extremely silly ...
If "overnight" isn't what you meant to say, what is a more realistic time frame for AA to conform to your wishes?

Originally Posted by Joey McGee View Post
You're nitpicking over this article endlessly. She thinks AA ruined her marriage. So do lots of people, including a few in the small amount of comments I read on the article.
We - you, me, the commenters - are getting only one side of the story. I wonder what he has to say. He might perceive events differently.

Originally Posted by Joey McGee View Post
All you'll do is make up reasons why it might not have been AA, why these people blame AA unfairly, anyone could do that.
"These people" - you mean the commenters? Who've heard one side of the story? Ms. DiGiovanni did not to my mind make a convincing case. I'm a journalist and used to looking for bias in people's perceptions. Based on internal evidence I found her an unreliable narrator. But that's just my opinion. I could be way off base.

Originally Posted by Joey McGee View Post
You could be a support group that is connected with comprehensive health care and applies all known science, and teaches all known science.
Of course, if someone wants to organize and fund such groups.

Originally Posted by Joey McGee View Post
No and I was clear about that. I said "New agers who don't call themselves Christians still like Jesus and have various mystical beliefs about him." and "his religion is AA."
I asked, "Did he become a Christian," you answered, "New agers who don't call themselves Christians still like Jesus." I wasn't sure what you meant. Thanks for the clarification.

Originally Posted by Joey McGee View Post
You're asking me if I think that it's possible Bill truly saw God?
No. I've asked twice: Do you believe there is such a thing as a "genuine spiritual experience." Twice you've parried with a non-response. It's OK if you don't want to answer.
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Old 28th March 2012, 07:50 AM   #6670
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Originally Posted by Minoosh View Post
The statement you quoted was: Leading scientists say that most *humans* never become powerless over alcohol. Not that most *alcoholics* never become powerless over alcohol.

Assume 10 percent of the population is "alcoholic." That means 90 percent of the population is *not* alcoholic. So even the most cartoonish old-timer in AA would not claim that most (50%+) *humans* become powerless over alcohol.
I, other AAers who have been around awhile, and most people, imo recognize most humans are capable of being social drinkers and are not alcoholics.

The treatments non-alcoholics may seek and be helped by if they (usually incorrectly) think they do have an alcohol problem imo do not apply to alcoholics. ymmv.
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Old 28th March 2012, 08:03 AM   #6671
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Originally Posted by Minoosh View Post
The statement you quoted was: Leading scientists say that most *humans* never become powerless over alcohol. Not that most *alcoholics* never become powerless over alcohol.

Assume 10 percent of the population is "alcoholic." That means 90 percent of the population is *not* alcoholic. So even the most cartoonish old-timer in AA would not claim that most (50%+) *humans* become powerless over alcohol.
I, other AAers who have been around awhile, and most people, imo recognize most humans are capable of being social drinkers and are not alcoholics.

Also imo, social drinkers who for one reason or another decide they have an alcohol problem, and are helped by some intervention medical or otherwise, are not in fact alcoholics and even though they considered the treatment effective that says nothing for alcoholics.
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Old 28th March 2012, 03:59 PM   #6672
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Originally Posted by Joey McGee View Post
I'm well aware of the brain-numbing debates taking place on neuroscience/philosophy and free will on the internet. It's not relevant to the conversation.
Conceptually relevant as a counterpoint to the claim that addiction is solely about choices. How's this: Admitted my conscious mind was powerless over habits, came to believe in a habit-changing process, made a decision to turn my will and life over to a habit-modification routine. It's one way to look at it. A model.

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We're talking about the claims AA makes about alcoholism, mainly that you need to turn your will and life over to God or "the group" in order to get sober.
Those aren't the only options. Turn your life over to the science-based pursuit of well-being. Whatever you believe can override the biological compulsion to drink while your nervous system learns alternative behavior, because something has to bump the turntable needle out of its broken-record rut. "I" can't jog the stylus; I'm down there in the addiction groove. Whether or not supernatural agency is invoked, IMO for many entrenched addicts getting clean requires a leap of faith. Hope is a leap of faith.

For many substance-dependent people, a relatively brief effort may suffice and moderation may come easily. Others may need much more support to acquire new habits, and more reinforcement to keep them. That's one reason I'm skeptical of any one-sided claim that "AA drove us apart." People may have to put on hold relationships that threaten or don't support the habit-changing effort. Bruno the war correspondent was shattered by alcoholism and PTSD and apparently craved seclusion. Who am I to second-guess what he needed to heal? He's better now and there for his kid. Divorce is sad. Death is final.

Newly sober I had to avoid a guy who always wanted to argue with me about alcoholism and AA. I didn't need that crap. This time around I'm seeking it out. Go figure.

Unlike Tinyal - who probably makes a lot more meetings than I do - I'm relatively subdued in countering dogma, usually making mild "I" statements like, "I found prayer helpful, even though I'm not sure God exists." Yes Joey I realize this isn't all about me, but Tinyal and I both represent the diversity within AA. Similarly I share my detox status and state that it's important to take meds as prescribed. For me, I don't think the full brain healing can occur until the controlled meds are out of my system and I share that too.

This isn't professional evidence-based treatment. It's life. It's potluck, everyone brings something to the table. Standardizing it misses the point - life is messy and you can't control what it throws at you. And besides all that philosophical goo I really don't see how a board in New York, with very few employees on the ground, can effect all the changes you want. Simply expressing contempt for AA's organizational rules does not answer the question.
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Old 28th March 2012, 04:22 PM   #6673
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Originally Posted by The Norseman View Post
Your use of 'human' versus his use of 'alcoholic' -- a difference without distinction. 'Powerlessness over alcohol' is an unproven concept perpetuated by AA. No... in this case, I'm going to go so far as to say that it's a disproven concept perpetuated by AA.
Perhaps. I've proved it to myself; even 1 drink turns off my normal rational cognition and leads to more drinks. Well, in my case maybe semi-rational cognition.

By the third drink I'll be drunk before I stop and have become a danger to all around me, and to my own well-being.
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Old 28th March 2012, 06:00 PM   #6674
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Originally Posted by qayak View Post
Do you have evidence to show that alcoholics are the humans that are powerless over alcohol because the evidence thus far doesn't suggest that with many quitting or changing their drinking habits?
qayak mock me if you want but it hinges on the definition of alcoholic. I identify as an "addict" and consider that different than "physically dependent on drugs." When committed to a taper I'm physically dependent but not craving. Then I've had horrible craving without physical dependence. Using triggers a rapidly escalating obsession. It is the hair trigger that makes me self-identify as an addict and I'm sure most self-proclaimed "alcoholics" will know what I mean. Is the hair trigger a permanent feature, I don't know but it's proven damned durable independent of me knowing anything about AA.

Originally Posted by The Norseman View Post
Your use of 'human' versus his use of 'alcoholic' -- a difference without distinction. 'Powerlessness over alcohol' is an unproven concept perpetuated by AA. No... in this case, I'm going to go so far as to say that it's a disproven concept perpetuated by AA.
Talk to the materialists who espouse the position that we all are powerless over everything, that mind/body is a complete illusion (so how much worse can mind/body/spirit be? We're both wrong) and that body is all. Science may actually be on their side. At an rate it's fairly meaningless to say "powerlessness over alcohol" is a "disproven concept" because the concept has no meaning outside a felt experience of the "hair trigger" phenomenon I cite above. Without that context it's a pointless image and perhaps as you suggest counterproductive. Here's where I'm willing to say "12-step facilitation" may very well be misguided. Maybe it's better to let this disorder run its course, so that the only people attending AA are those who have learned that "just one" doesn't work for them. From there they can decide whether the other steps apply.

Originally Posted by AlBell View Post
I, other AAers who have been around awhile, and most people, imo recognize most humans are capable of being social drinkers and are not alcoholics.

The treatments non-alcoholics may seek and be helped by if they (usually incorrectly) think they do have an alcohol problem imo do not apply to alcoholics. ymmv.
Yes. If you're an enthusiastic social drinker a period of abstinence or brief cognitive therapy or motivational interviewing may be sufficient to launch an entirely successful career as a somewhat less enthusiastic social drinker. Yay! Alcoholics can moderate! Then there's the guy who's found that "willpower" becomes totally irrelevant after any alcohol whatsoever. It's like your brain and alcohol were lovers in a past life. From the very first buzz you realized, this is what has been missing from my life. For that group I believe successful social drinking may prove elusive.
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Old 28th March 2012, 10:50 PM   #6675
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Originally Posted by Joey McGee View Post
You could be a support group that is connected with comprehensive health care and applies all known science, and teaches all known science.
When a local hospital moved into its magnificent new shrine to Asclepius they chose to drop their substance abuse recovery department. I guess "comprehensive health care (that) applies all known science, and teaches all known science" wasn't profitable because so many who have hit rock bottom have no money or insurance. All the while AA plugs along, basically free.

Yes, the books are in a desperate need of a rewrite to be less quaintly 1930s. Some consistency defining the HP would be nice because the same authors shift between Hairy Thunderer and Cosmic Muffin. And the steps could be arranged more logically and progressively.
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Old 29th March 2012, 08:54 AM   #6676
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Originally Posted by dropzone View Post

Yes, the books are in a desperate need of a rewrite to be less quaintly 1930s. Some consistency defining the HP would be nice because the same authors shift between Hairy Thunderer and Cosmic Muffin. And the steps could be arranged more logically and progressively.
I've read the books many times and see no such shifts. AA promotes healing via a monotheistic entity specifically referred to as God.
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Old 29th March 2012, 06:21 PM   #6677
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Originally Posted by Minoosh View Post

...

Yes. If you're an enthusiastic social drinker a period of abstinence or brief cognitive therapy or motivational interviewing may be sufficient to launch an entirely successful career as a somewhat less enthusiastic social drinker. Yay! Alcoholics can moderate!
Seems logical, and may stop additional DUIs and nights in jail for abusive behavior.

Quote:

Then there's the guy who's found that "willpower" becomes totally irrelevant after any alcohol whatsoever. It's like your brain and alcohol were lovers in a past life. From the very first buzz you realized, this is what has been missing from my life. For that group I believe successful social drinking may prove elusive.
My thought as well. Alcohol offered the only (legal) alleviation of my agoraphobia, and at least in initial (pre stupid obnoxious, uncontrollable, drunk) stage allowed me to mingle and interact with others as social drinkers seem to do effortlessly and effectively.
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Old 29th March 2012, 07:53 PM   #6678
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Originally Posted by Minoosh View Post
qayak mock me if you want but it hinges on the definition of alcoholic. I identify as an "addict" and consider that different than "physically dependent on drugs." When committed to a taper I'm physically dependent but not craving. Then I've had horrible craving without physical dependence. Using triggers a rapidly escalating obsession. It is the hair trigger that makes me self-identify as an addict and I'm sure most self-proclaimed "alcoholics" will know what I mean. Is the hair trigger a permanent feature, I don't know but it's proven damned durable independent of me knowing anything about AA.
So what you are saying is that your argument comes down to two fallacies. The informal "no true Scotsman" fallacy and the more formal "special pleading."

In essence, what you claim is that: The 5% of alcoholics who go to AA are the only true alcoholics, everyone else can't be because no "true" alcoholic would ever be so crude as to quit/moderate without AA, and you seem to have some special knowledge of alcoholism that no other alcoholic, or anyone who doesn't agree with you for that matter, isn't privy to.

Both claims are completely false but thanks for clarifying.
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Old 30th March 2012, 02:33 PM   #6679
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I dip in and out of this thread, but it does seem to me to be going round in circles.

Let’s try to answer the question which started this thread: is AA a religious organisation? The short answer is "yes".

Referring to “god, however you understand him” does not alter the fact that – at least in the group I have been attending – there is a clear meaning that this is the xtian god. Maybe there are AA groups where this is not so, but I haven’t found them. If anyone knows of a non-religious AA contact in the UK, can they please post a link for me.

Regrettably, this does mean that I can’t buy into what seems to me to be the central plank of the AA message. That is that there is this superior being and it is only they who can “cure” you.

This really does mean that I can’t buy into steps 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 11 and 12. In particular, I am an atheist, and the idea that there is some kind of a “superior being” is anathema to me.

Actually, it is not an anathema: it is just that I find the idea of some kind of superior being completely meaningless. It is not that I am exceptionally powerful. I am not. I am a very insignificant lump of protoplasm, on a very insignificant lump of rock, orbiting a very average star, in a very average galaxy, in a massive universe (which may, of course, be only one of many – perhaps infinitely many - depends on your physics).

BUT, I and only I, am responsible for my behaviour. No superior being – whatever you want to call it. Just me. That guys is it. Full stop.

However, that is not my only point, which is that there seems to be an almost boastful attitude in the group of:

“Look how bad I was.”

I was much worse than that.”

“You think that was bad, I … ”

And so on.

Thomas Szasz (an influential American psychiatrist, author of a much quoted treatise entitled “The Myth of Mental Illness”) once said (on UK TV) to a fellow psychiatrist who asked him how he would deal with a woman “patient” of his who complained of being plagued by “imps”:

“Was she complaining or was she boasting?”

Are they complaining; are they, to use AA nomenclature, sharing their experiences; or are they boasting?

There is a strong case that it is the last.
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Old 30th March 2012, 02:50 PM   #6680
Joey McGee
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Originally Posted by AlBell View Post
I, other AAers who have been around awhile, and most people, imo recognize most humans are capable of being social drinkers and are not alcoholics.
No one cares what AAers think except for AAers. The science already tells us this.

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The treatments non-alcoholics may seek and be helped by if they (usually incorrectly) think they do have an alcohol problem imo do not apply to alcoholics. ymmv.
Woo/crank definitions of what an alcoholic is were not included as part of the study. They use scientific ways to define what alcohol dependence is, not the crap Bill made up.

How does AA scientifically define what an alcoholic is? It doesn't. It's woo.
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