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Tags alcoholics anonymous , alcoholism , treatment programs

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Old 19th October 2011, 05:03 PM   #5441
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Originally Posted by Joey McGee View Post
Then we have the fact that despite the successful trials of naltrexone people are steered away from that in AA
Joey. Dude. Please. Do you have any evidence that people are steered away from naltrexone in AA?

Re: Stanton Peele. His article piles on the unsupported claims:

"Since the 12-step mantra is that substance use problems only grow worse without their intervention, AA members must deny this reality ("All the youthful drug users have died!")."

This isn't the 12-step mantra, and AA members don't insist all youthful drug users have died, and Peele knows better.

There doesn't have to be a conflict between harm reduction and abstinence. Some people have found that for themselves the only effective harm reduction is abstinence. Peele makes this point nicely by citing people who quit smoking. Many, probably most, do so after multiple efforts have proven that abstinence is easier than moderating.

Originally Posted by The Norseman View Post
Studies can be done on addicts/alcoholics who are not interested and never go to AA as a control group
Yes. But you have strongly suggested that AA should do the studies. And AA rather avoids seeking out people who are not interested. So, someone else should do studies. Suggestions below.

Originally Posted by The Norseman View Post
When some AA groups felt similarly, they decided to make a few alterations to the 12 steps and the AA World Organization decided that was no longer AA.
Two meetings in Toronto were left out of a meeting book by Toronto Intergroup. If you find it was a worldwide ruling let me know.

But at any rate, what's wrong with AA saying "That's not AA"? Do you see them trying to stop these folks from meeting and even using "agnosticaa" to describe themselves?

What you would hesitate to call AA - my scenario of a secular spirituality - is the way it works in practice for a lot of people, including atheists who don't hesitate to call it AA.

Originally Posted by The Norseman View Post
AA as such isn't the only game in town, true; but ~90% of all treatment agencies in the US are 12-step based which severely undercuts your argument.
Who is responsible for the treatment industry? The treatment industry. Who's responsible for government policy? The government. Who's responsible for peddling pharmaceutical treatments? The drug company. Etc.

Quoting from Scientific American, just for the heck of it:

In 2006 psychologist Rudolf H. Moos of the Department of Veterans Affairs and Stanford University and Bernice S. Moos published results from a 16-year study of problem drinkers who had tried to quit on their own or who had sought help from AA, professional therapists or, in some cases, both. Of those who attended at least 27 weeks of AA meetings during the first year, 67 percent were abstinent at the 16-year follow-up, compared with 34 percent of those who did not participate in AA.

http://http://www.clinmedres.org/cgi/content/full/4/3/163
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Old 20th October 2011, 09:24 AM   #5442
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All of those methods have science behind them, which anyone can look up for themselves. An old game is being played here which isn't fooling anyone.

How is naltrexone and the associated genetic test that shows it's chances of working on you not some of the best science?

Sometimes people defend things that they have no interest in actually learning about, like people who defend ear candling and obfuscate over meanings despite the overwhelming evidence it is total delusion.
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Old 20th October 2011, 09:49 AM   #5443
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Pharmacological treatment of alcohol dependence: a review of the evidence.

http://http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10208148


Quote:
Naltrexone (grade A) reduces the risk of relapse to heavy drinking and the frequency of drinking compared with placebo but does not substantially enhance abstinence, ie, avoidance of any alcohol consumption.
Naltrexone does not enhance abstinence, which may be fine for some people. And not so fine for other people. In addition a Canadian study cited cost as a potential factor - $5 a day, plus the cost of liver function studies to before and after to make sure you're not getting poisoned. It's usually prescribed for three months.

If the cost in Canada is $5 a day what do you figure it is in the U.S.?

Another caveat: If you are on naltrexone and for some reason end up in a lot of physical pain, naltrexone will block the pain-killing effects of narcotics. So you might want to wear a little bracelet in case you end up with a compound fracture and the morphine isn't working.

And, it is not recommended to use naltrexone without psychosocial support. Which means you may end up in meetings. If cost and insurance coverage are not a barrier, you can probably do non-AA intensive outpatient for oh, $3,000 or so.
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Old 20th October 2011, 12:06 PM   #5444
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Originally Posted by Minoosh View Post
Yes. But you have strongly suggested that AA should do the studies. And AA rather avoids seeking out people who are not interested. So, someone else should do studies. Suggestions below.
I'm failing to see the problem here. AA -- or any researchers for that matter -- puts the word out that they're looking for volunteers.



Quote:
Two meetings in Toronto were left out of a meeting book by Toronto Intergroup. If you find it was a worldwide ruling let me know.
How did the Toronto Intergroup get the authority then? It's written in the 12 traditions and I'm sure in the AA World Intergroup charter what exactly the hierarchy is and at which level these kinds of decisions have to be made.


Quote:
But at any rate, what's wrong with AA saying "That's not AA"? Do you see them trying to stop these folks from meeting and even using "agnosticaa" to describe themselves?
There's nothing wrong with it. My argument is that the decision to de-list a group that makes changes to be more inclusive and (admittedly according to those groups' beliefs) more in accordance to the spirit of the AA method/movement, goes to the heart of when people say "take what you want and leave the rest" and all the other ways people make their own program, simply aren't doing AA.



Quote:
What you would hesitate to call AA - my scenario of a secular spirituality - is the way it works in practice for a lot of people, including atheists who don't hesitate to call it AA.
I hesitate to call it AA is because it doesn't follow what AA says of itself. AA says, "this is what it means to be 'in AA' and here's what it takes to be able to call yourself an AA group." The de-listing is a very visible example that the organization still has sway in saying what goes on in that organization, just as all organizations do. It's just not quite the free-for-all that many members like to present.



Quote:
Who is responsible for the treatment industry? The treatment industry. Who's responsible for government policy? The government. Who's responsible for peddling pharmaceutical treatments? The drug company. Etc.
I'm saying that the treatment industry, the government and so on have been heavily pressured and frankly lied to regarding AA's success numbers. Policies have been set, courts are actively involved in shuttling people off to AA, and so on, with no actual evidence that it works and this has been going on for at least fifty years.



Quote:
Quoting from Scientific American, just for the heck of it:

In 2006 psychologist Rudolf H. Moos of the Department of Veterans Affairs and Stanford University and Bernice S. Moos published results from a 16-year study of problem drinkers who had tried to quit on their own or who had sought help from AA, professional therapists or, in some cases, both. Of those who attended at least 27 weeks of AA meetings during the first year, 67 percent were abstinent at the 16-year follow-up, compared with 34 percent of those who did not participate in AA.

http://http://www.clinmedres.org/cgi/content/full/4/3/163
That's a really great study! I'm very pleased you found it and posted it, thank you.

My only issues with it are that the study was measuring gender differences in treatment success rates and AA is not isolated (the terms 'self-help group' and 'AA' are conflated as used in the text). In other words, there are differences between AA and self-help groups, but the study only seemed to use AA.

My interpretation of this study is that the people who were more social (used more family, friends, and support groups) tended to fare much better. However, based on this study, we don't know if the deciding factor was the AA program itself versus development of a stronger sober social support network in general. This ties in with my previous paragraph; the study didn't seem to measure people seeking non-twelve-step meetings for drugs/alcohol such as SOS or Lifering or going to community centers or churches.

Though I will admit that one of the strengths of AA is that anyone can go into nearly any random town in America and find an AA group to attend.
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Old 20th October 2011, 01:36 PM   #5445
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Mod WarningThis thread is off Moderated Status. Do not engage in the kinds of behavior that got it on Moderated Status to begin with or it will be placed back on Moderated or even closed.

Keep it on topic. Keep it civil and do not personalize the issue.
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Old 20th October 2011, 03:46 PM   #5446
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Originally Posted by Joey McGee View Post
All of those methods have science behind them, which anyone can look up for themselves. An old game is being played here which isn't fooling anyone.
Indeed!
The game where someone makes outrageous claims, doesn't or can't support them, and then tells others to look up the non existent information.

Like you said, it's not fooling anyone.

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Old 20th October 2011, 03:47 PM   #5447
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Originally Posted by kmortis View Post
Mod WarningThis thread is off Moderated Status. Do not engage in the kinds of behavior that got it on Moderated Status to begin with or it will be placed back on Moderated or even closed.

Keep it on topic. Keep it civil and do not personalize the issue.
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Open season!



Just kidding.



Sort of,
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Old 20th October 2011, 03:52 PM   #5448
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Originally Posted by The Norseman View Post
Though I will admit that one of the strengths of AA is that anyone can go into nearly any random town in America the world and find an AA group to attend.
Let's not be too insular.
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Old 20th October 2011, 06:00 PM   #5449
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Originally Posted by Minoosh View Post
Joey. Dude. Please. Do you have any evidence that people are steered away from naltrexone in AA?
Off the top of my head there is an article shown in the Penn and Teller episode, timestamped here, which I paused to type this out. From Lennie S., a local AA spokeswoman,
Quote:
"We just believe it's not necessary. AA is a program based on a power greater than ourselves."
Then they show the woman saying that it's a band-aid, (not treating the real problem, which is the four-fold disease, mental, physical, emotional, spiritual. Total woo) I was personally told by people in AA that naltrexone was a "band-aid." and googling that, I found some Bill Wilson follower saying, in response to a question about naltrexone
Quote:
Why not try NA or AA for the cravings? We often run to medication too quicky. Sometimes there are no quick fixes. You have to right what's wrong with yourself before you can truly heal. Putting a band aid on it with another medication doesn't make much sense to me
Seems like they've got their slogans cult speech down pat.

You can surely find some rule or AA literature about telling it's members not to "play doctor" but this is the reality of what people are often told. The main point is that they don't offer a comprehensive approach because it is cult religion. They don't give you options, they tell you to follow the program. My point is that any organization should be offering people these options, or at least making them aware of them. AA isn't set up to help people with harm-reduction because it's shaped on sin/redemption because of the Oxford group, not because they know anything about "true alcoholics."

Quote:
Re: Stanton Peele. His article piles on the unsupported claims:

"Since the 12-step mantra is that substance use problems only grow worse without their intervention, AA members must deny this reality ("All the youthful drug users have died!")."

This isn't the 12-step mantra, and AA members don't insist all youthful drug users have died, and Peele knows better.
I have heard hundreds of AA'ers talk about their addiction. They all repeat the mantra that "I tried to drink again, and it was worse, it's a progressive disease. A true alcoholic never gets better. " Just look up progressive disease AA, here's an example
Quote:
I also learned that alcoholism is a chronic, progressive disease that manifests itself with symptoms that affect one physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually and socially
Here's an addictions guy who was treated like garbage because he dared to drink socially again

Quote:
About three years ago, I was attending a national conference on public health (American Public Health Association) and presenting my posters on the relationship between drug use and violence, and sexually transmitted infections and injecting drugs. As I walked the aisles I ran into a woman who runs a Florida addiction "treatment" facility. We talked for a bit about my work, her facility, and then we shared some of our personal stories. Mine included meth addiction, jail, recovery, and now graduate school studying addictions. Everything was great until I mentioned that I now drink alcohol socially... "We'll save a seat for you" she told me as she handed me her business card. Idiot.
So you are just splitting hairs over the idea of a "12-step mantra".

Quote:
There doesn't have to be a conflict between harm reduction and abstinence. Some people have found that for themselves the only effective harm reduction is abstinence. Peele makes this point nicely by citing people who quit smoking. Many, probably most, do so after multiple efforts have proven that abstinence is easier than moderating.
That's the point, AA doesn't try and take care of everyone and address everyone's problem. They make up this crap about "if you can quit drinking on your own, or learn to moderate, you aren't a 'true alcoholic'"whatever that means." And the facts show (posted many, many times in this thread already) that most people quit on their own, without AA.

Despite this the cult carries on with their spiritual abuse.
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Old 20th October 2011, 06:43 PM   #5450
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Originally Posted by Joey McGee View Post
...
Despite this the cult carries on with their spiritual abuse.
If you say so. I have experienced zero abuse at the hands of the folks at AA. I don't know why you choose to vilify a bunch of folks who, regardless of whatever woo they might be into, are trying to support each other. Yeah, they talk about god a lot, but that should come as no surprise since most folks seem to believe in god in one form or another. Maybe living in the bible belt has desensitised me to the god-talk, as I really couldn't care less about what they have to say about their religious beliefs. Hell, I hear just about as much god-talk when I go to the grocery store. Don't care about that, either-- But if folks hoping and praying and believing in magical thinking bothers you so much that you can't see that they're also actually supporting each other in the decision to remain sober, then tilt away. I guess we all have our windmills.
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Old 20th October 2011, 07:20 PM   #5451
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Is teaching children about hell child abuse? I say it is.

Is teaching people with addiction problems that they can't get their lives together because they aren't spiritual enough abuse? I say it is.

Spend some time googling aa deprogramming and tell me it's all positivity. Spend some time reading the letters from the Orange Papers and tell me it's a few bad apples. Actually go to a lot of different meetings and talk to a lot of people about these issues that keep coming up. Like I've said here before, there are lots of good people in AA and some groups are worse than others. But look at the core, look at the history of Dr. Bob getting people to get on their knees and "surrender.", look at what the Oxford group stood for and was at it's core.

Can't put lipstick on a pig, is what they say. Really I need to move on, most skeptical people know what's up by now, and really if you can watch the penn and teller episode and still not get it, well, you probably have worse problems than not understanding how 12-step operates in society.
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Old 20th October 2011, 07:23 PM   #5452
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Originally Posted by kmortis View Post
Mod WarningThis thread is off Moderated Status. Do not engage in the kinds of behavior that got it on Moderated Status to begin with or it will be placed back on Moderated or even closed.

Keep it on topic. Keep it civil and do not personalize the issue.
Posted By:kmortis
I think having this thread come off Moderation is a good thing.

We just need to remember that while we may differ in our beliefs, we can use rational arguments and cite pertinent facts without resorting to, well, you already know.
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Old 20th October 2011, 10:17 PM   #5453
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Originally Posted by Joey McGee View Post
Off the top of my head there is an article shown in the Penn and Teller episode, timestamped here, which I paused to type this out. From Lennie S., a local AA spokeswoman,
Then they show .
Penn and Teller are scientists now? Seriously?

How about some of that science based evidence you said is available? Put up or shut up, as my dad used to say.

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Old 20th October 2011, 11:01 PM   #5454
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The question was "Do you have any evidence that people are steered away from naltrexone in AA?" I have provided that evidence. I used that article they showed, the woman they had on, plus some cult member out on the internet towing the same line about "band-aids". Your objection that they are not scientists make absolutely no sense.

Here is some evidence that even if I do try to explain these things to you, you will not read any of it anyway. Kind of like when we talked about the Cochrane review earlier. If anyone else really wants to ask me about that stuff, I'll work to provide it.

But I'll get you started with my list. Motivational Interviewing.
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Old 20th October 2011, 11:03 PM   #5455
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Joey, you really think saying "we'll save a seat for you" is treating someone like garbage? This man's entire article was based on those words.

Re the "Bill Wilson follower" who said, "Why not try NA or AA for the cravings? We often run to medication too quickly." Did you keep reading? Her later post said,
"When I got sober from alcohol and illegal drugs 5 years ago I never thought about taking another drug to fight the cravings but if you feel that is what you need, then God bless and good luck.

And when the original questioner cited research the "Bill Wilson follower said:

A lot of that I didn't know. Maybe if some people I know that have struggled severely in the past could have taken that, they would have remained clean.
If you choose to go that path, keep us updated and as always God bless and good luck!!


Cherry picking?

It bugs you that "AA doesn't try and take care of everyone and address everyone's problem. " No. Has it ever said it does? I'm not an expert on formal logic, but isn't there a phrase for rebutting a claim that was never made?

I hate to repeat that "no true alcoholic" thing, but many people in AA believe they are a certain kind of alcoholic - ones that have tried moderation and have concluded abstinence is the safest course. I don't think it's as bound up with Protestant sin as you believe. For some people abstinence is just better, and they learn it the hard way. This is why you'll see some "selection bias" if you Google "progressive disease AA." You'll get AA members saying this is a progressive disease. I repeat: Chances are they tried moderation more than once before arriving at this belief.

And guess what? AA members aren't there to save the world. They're there to save themselves.

Norseman, you've chosen not to elucidate how AA could conduct the sort of research you want AA to conduct, although you've implied repeatedly that AA really should do these studies.

You seem to think it's OK for AA to track down people who aren't interested in AA and make them promise not to attend meetings, and that it's OK for AA to require some attendees to pray and work the steps and some attendees not to pray and work the steps. Though you say that's not what you meant, you have not shown me what AA's involvement in the study would look like.

Now perhaps the Toronto situation will allow just that sort of laboratory.

You made the statement that AA's world organization made the decision to de-list the group, and I've failed to see you support that claim. It's moot, but it's also sloppy. Nice try on the save, Yeah but ... there are these traditions ... and where do they come from ... so really it was AA's world organization.

Here's something to gnaw on. If more people identify themselves as God-believers than as agnostics, than a group calling itself "agnostic AA" arguably could be less inclusive than a group where vague theists want to develop a relationship with a God of their understanding. Now, that's not a particularly strong argument. But it does go to this idea that AA should be all things to all people, or that it "should help everyone."

I totally get how AA at any level would sincerely believe changing the steps would hurt more than it would help.

Nah, that can't be right. They're just hung up on some stupid meme to keep their ratty little "cult" together. For the money, doncha know. And for the heady glamor of being anonymous. And the kick they get out of treating "sinners" like garbage.

I hope to be out of this thread soon. Lost health insurance, big motivator to get off the harm-reduction Rx, and away from threads that push my buttons as much as this one. I keep doing the same thing and expecting different results.

Insanity.
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Old 20th October 2011, 11:09 PM   #5456
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When people want to learn about Scientology, they often talk to Marty Rathburn or Mike Rinder. If you want to learn about the cult of AA, check out xsteppers or aa deprogramming, learn from people who were in it hardcore for +25 years.

Here's a good one, and fairly typical
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Old 20th October 2011, 11:25 PM   #5457
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Originally Posted by Minoosh View Post
Joey, you really think saying "we'll save a seat for you" is treating someone like garbage? This man's entire article was based on those words.
She immediately broke repore when he mentioned social drinking because people like that are treated as it they still have an active disease. He's treated like an outsider of the cult. It's a fake niceness, I know people just like her, they will talk behind your back and do nothing but try and wear you down until you admit you have the disease just like them and need the cult to cure it.

Quote:
Re the "Bill Wilson follower" who said, "Why not try NA or AA for the cravings? We often run to medication too quickly." Did you keep reading? Her later post said,
"When I got sober from alcohol and illegal drugs 5 years ago I never thought about taking another drug to fight the cravings but if you feel that is what you need, then God bless and good luck.

And when the original questioner cited research the "Bill Wilson follower said:

A lot of that I didn't know. Maybe if some people I know that have struggled severely in the past could have taken that, they would have remained clean.
If you choose to go that path, keep us updated and as always God bless and good luck!!


Cherry picking?
Wow, the cult programming didn't completely destroy her humanity, but the point was made. No I didn't read the entire thread.

Quote:
It bugs you that "AA doesn't try and take care of everyone and address everyone's problem. " No. Has it ever said it does? I'm not an expert on formal logic, but isn't there a phrase for rebutting a claim that was never made?
The treatment is the same for everyone. People leave the cult and drink normally for the rest of their lives all the time, having realized the disease and cure idea was complete nonsense. They have no way of figuring this out but "Well, Bob must not have been a 'true alcoholic'" while someone too weak to think for themselves go to a cult program for the rest of their lives, few times a week, and have no friends outside of the program, like that story I just posted.

Quote:
I hate to repeat that "no true alcoholic" thing, but many people in AA believe they are a certain kind of alcoholic - ones that have tried moderation and have concluded abstinence is the safest course. I don't think it's as bound up with Protestant sin as you believe. For some people abstinence is just better, and they learn it the hard way. This is why you'll see some "selection bias" if you Google "progressive disease AA." You'll get AA members saying this is a progressive disease. I repeat: Chances are they tried moderation more than once before arriving at this belief.
I think you just need to go spend some time around the people who have been in the cult for a long time before leaving, find out what the "back to basics" groups are like. This is too complex an organism, you have to focus on the core situations and the total history of the program instead of the exceptions. People who defend this cult the make a lot of excuses for the bad stuff. If you pressure them they will say they fight against the 13th stepping and the delusional stuff. Well the reason that stuff exists is because of the structure of the program and wouldn't exist in a properly thought out system so it's completely delusional propaganda.

Quote:
And guess what? AA members aren't there to save the world. They're there to save themselves.
I like science, in science, we are trying to work on every problem simultaneously and learn from each other and do it together. The psychologists work with the medical doctors, the physiotherapists work with the surgeons, the cult does it's own thing because it's the Oxford Group for booze. The Big Book IS the program, and will never change.


Quote:
Nah, that can't be right. They're just hung up on some stupid meme to keep their ratty little "cult" together. For the money, doncha know. And for the heady glamor of being anonymous. And the kick they get out of treating "sinners" like garbage.
You really have a naive vision of why this group is rightly called a cult. Look up Clancy, he's a real hero.
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Old 20th October 2011, 11:51 PM   #5458
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Originally Posted by Joey McGee View Post
It's a fake niceness, I know people just like her, they will talk behind your back and do nothing but try and wear you down until you admit you have the disease just like them and need the cult to cure it.
Fake niceness = being treated like garbage? And how did you know they were talking about you behind your back?

Originally Posted by Joey McGee View Post
Wow, the cult programming didn't completely destroy her humanity, but the point was made. No I didn't read the entire thread.
A mild reply was offered and the discussion grew from there. But you'd already found the low-hanging fruit; why should you risk reading something that might contradict that?


Originally Posted by Joey McGee View Post
The treatment is the same for everyone. People leave the cult and drink normally for the rest of their lives all the time, having realized the disease and cure idea was complete nonsense.
So this is not a disease and therefore not a medical issue?


Originally Posted by Joey McGee View Post
I like science, in science, we are trying to work on every problem simultaneously and learn from each other and do it together. The psychologists work with the medical doctors, the physiotherapists work with the surgeons.
I like science too. AA isn't science. And since there's no disease there's not much of a medical issue.

Originally Posted by Joey McGee View Post
You really have a naive vision of why this group is rightly called a cult. Look up Clancy, he's a real hero.
And you have a remarkable ability to discount anything positive said about AA if it contradicts your assertion of culthood.

Insanity. Mine not yours.
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Old 21st October 2011, 12:14 AM   #5459
Hallo Alfie
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You said:

Originally Posted by Joey McGee View Post
Wait, I thought we were talking about how AA is not interested in being studied scientifically and uninterested in in integrating the best that science has to teach us about addiction.
I asked

Originally Posted by A.A. Alfie View Post
Please elaborate on "the best that science has to teach us about addiction" as well as the treatments we have from these teachings and the efficacy rates of same.
And I wait.

Originally Posted by Joey McGee View Post
Here is some evidence that even if I do try to explain these things to you, you will not read any of it anyway. Kind of like when we talked about the Cochrane review earlier.
Rubbish.
And your evidence relates to another topic altogether and one I have limited knowledge and admitted so.

Do you really want to get started on previous or earlier discussions?

Originally Posted by Joey McGee View Post
But I'll get you started with my list. Motivational Interviewing.
I'm willing to bet that I know a lot more about motivational interviewing than you.

That said, please show me the science on it as a treatment and its efficacy for alcoholism. That link you have provided would not appear to go close. Colour me unsurprised.

You said there was science based evidence. I want to see it, what it is and the efficacy for alcoholism.

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Old 21st October 2011, 12:19 AM   #5460
Joey McGee
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Originally Posted by Minoosh View Post
Fake niceness = being treated like garbage
You just don't get it. They are only nice to you when you are an abstainer and you tow the disease line. You are obsessing over my use of "garbage", they treat them the same way Scientologists treat their "squirrels" or Christians treat their atheists, which is not with respect. You obviously have limited experience with this organization.
Quote:
And how did you know they were talking about you behind your back?
My back? No. I have heard people talking **** about people who have left AA, they make fun of them for being out doing "research" where they will inevitably find out that indeed, they can't live without the cult. Go read the whole article that Jaffe wrote, calling ******** on the addiction bullies was it called? Again, you haven't been around long.
Quote:
A mild reply was offered and the discussion grew from there. But you'd already found the low-hanging fruit; why should you risk reading something that might contradict that?
You didn't notice the two representatives steering people away from Naltrexone? One said "You don't need it." The other said "It's a band-aid." People whose only qualifications are being high up in the cult. You're the one going for low-hanging fruit with the third example. And it proved my point, she tried to steer someone away from the drug. And what an idiot, obviously that person knows AA and NA exist if they are sober and going for naltrexone, it's just the robot cult thing but you don't get it... yet.
Quote:
So this is not a disease and therefore not a medical issue?

Quote:
I like science too. AA isn't science.
Quote:
And since there's no disease there's not much of a medical issue.

Quote:
And you have a remarkable ability to discount anything positive said about AA if it contradicts your assertion of culthood.
That's all the defenders ever finish with. It's the same as all religionists. "We do charity! We provide support! We focus on good stuff!" All stuff non-cult organizations do much better.
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Old 21st October 2011, 12:24 AM   #5461
Joey McGee
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Originally Posted by A.A. Alfie View Post
You said there was science based evidence. I want to see it, what it is and the efficacy for alcoholism.
I know you know more about it because we've already been over this several times. My point is that none of this is integrated into AA and should be, not the pissing match of "effectivity" which is just a red herring against my point. We already showed through the Cochrane review that it really shouldn't be recommended by medical providers with evidence-based practices!!!

You don't agree that AA should be changed to include all that we know into just being part of medicine instead of a religious cult full of delusional apologists. The point is that AA doesn't help very many people, and holds people back, and actually harms them because of it's cult structure. You have no arguments against that. All that stuff with the lack of accountability, the lack of integration with science, is something you can't argue about.

It's just a stupid cult. What's your opinion of xsteppers and aadeprogramming? That's what I have a problem with, what those people went through. Did they just not do the program properly or what?
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Old 21st October 2011, 12:42 AM   #5462
Hallo Alfie
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Originally Posted by Joey McGee View Post
We already showed through the Cochrane review that it really shouldn't be recommended by medical providers with evidence-based practices!!!
I don't think the Cochrane review shows anything like what you would like it to. More information please.

In the meantime, perhaps you wouldn't mind outlining which practices should be recommended by medical providers, what the evidence based practices are, and their efficacy (which would be the reason for the recommendations one presumes).
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Old 21st October 2011, 01:21 AM   #5463
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The Cochrane review is here in full for anyone who would like to read it.

It's really very simple, what should happen, what should be there for you when you decide to quit drinking.

1. Education on everything we know about the science of addiction and what works. Put together a panel of experts with a peer-review structure to create websites, videos and books for people to learn about addiction, treatment options (drugs, groups, 1 on 1, programs) and what they can do for themselves (how to exercise best for healing your body and mind, how to eat for healing your body and mind, how to manage stress, self-taught cognitive behavioural therapy courses, education about how your brain can change, education about alcohol withdrawal syndrome and what they can expect, information about healing and having healthy relationships with people). Empower people with information, and make the information the best of the best. Give it to people for free. Everything peer-reviewed and signed off by an authority. Updated as much as possible. None of this hasn't changed since the 30's ********.

2. Comprehensive, constantly evolving diagnostic systems using information such as the results from a motivational interview session (like I showed we can get information from such things), questionnaires, DNA scanning (bingo you're a great candidate for naltrexone!) The future of dna research will do so much for addictions no one can even imagine... Make customs programs for people. Do standardized testing so we can figure out that you have a brain tumour making you act crazy, not an imaginary spiritual disease. None of this "You're feeling guilty and you screwed up your life with booze, thus, you have a disease" ********.

3. Access to 1 on 1 therapists who are educated in a comprehensive addictions counselling program, peer-reviewed by a the highest authorities with consistent upgrades and lifelong competency testing. None of this get a cheap piece of paper, call yourself a counsellor and do nothing but 12-step with your clients ********. We all know there are too many of these people out there.

4. Group therapy that is not forced, as in, they don't pressure you to come back for the rest of your life, it's just there when you need it. Something with accountability and professionals running it. None of this don't leave our mind control cult or it's jails, institutions or death ********.

That's what the future "treatment pipeline" will look like. This group of ideas is already basically forming naturally it's just that the cult has such a stranglehold on the world. I really don't want to hear any thoughts like "But that would be too hard! We need the cult." or "But I need to get paid and that seems like not enough money! We need the cult. Or "We already have the answers, it's in the Big Book!" We'll follow the protocols for building science-based medicine like we do for everything else.

Ok I'm seriously wasting my time if I continue in this thread.
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Old 21st October 2011, 01:28 AM   #5464
Hallo Alfie
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Originally Posted by Joey McGee View Post
Ok I'm seriously wasting my time if I continue in this thread.
See ya.

I assume that means you still have nothing.

If you do want to return, I would be interested in some actual data and conclusions.

Just for fun I looked up Motivation Interviewing in the Cochrane report. They did not even look at abstinence or long term recovery. So a fail there too.

http://www2.cochrane.org/reviews/en/ab008063.html

Objectives

To assess the effectiveness of motivational interviewing for substance abuse on drug use, retention in treatment, readiness to change, and number of repeat convictions.

Authors' conclusions

MI can reduce the extent of substance abuse compared to no intervention. The evidence is mostly of low quality, so further research is very likely to have an important impact on our confidence in the estimate of effect and is likely to change the estimate.

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Old 21st October 2011, 02:07 AM   #5465
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Originally Posted by Joey McGee View Post
From Lennie S., a local AA spokeswoman
LOL, well local AA spokesman ProBonoShill says you should take whatever drugs are prescribed by your doctor.

Quote:

You can surely find some rule or AA literature about telling it's members not to "play doctor" but this is the reality of what people are often told. The main point is that they don't offer a comprehensive approach because it is cult religion. They don't give you options, they tell you to follow the program. My point is that any organization should be offering people these options, or at least making them aware of them. AA isn't set up to help people with harm-reduction because it's shaped on sin/redemption because of the Oxford group, not because they know anything about "true alcoholics."
We are local self-help groups comprised of alcoholics doing our best to help each other, not medical treatment centers with trained staff.

I've never heard at any meeting anyone being told to not take medication, in fact I've heard the exact opposite. so my numerous anecdotes trump your very bald assertion "this is the reality of what people are often told." It's becoming more obvious with each of your posts that you are ignorant about what AA is and how the organization is structured.

Quote:
I have heard hundreds of AA'ers talk about their addiction. They all repeat the mantra that "I tried to drink again, and it was worse, it's a progressive disease. A true alcoholic never gets better. " Just look up progressive disease AA, here's an example


Here's an addictions guy who was treated like garbage because he dared to drink socially again



So you are just splitting hairs over the idea of a "12-step mantra".

Yes and what did this addictions guy have to say about twelve step programs (from your link):

Submitted by Adi Jaffe, Ph.D. on February 7, 2011 - 5:48pm.


First of all, thank you for NOT reading my article as bashing the 12-steps, which I see as a totally legitmate option for helping addicts.





Quote:
That's the point, AA doesn't try and take care of everyone and address everyone's problem. They make up this crap about "if you can quit drinking on your own, or learn to moderate, you aren't a 'true alcoholic'"whatever that means." And the facts show (posted many, many times in this thread already) that most people quit on their own, without AA.

Evidence? Please don't cite the nonsense from Orange, that drivel was debunked pages ago.


Quote:
Despite this the cult carries on with their spiritual abuse.


Why don't you drop by and educate yourself?

http://aatorontoagnostics.org/

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Old 21st October 2011, 02:35 AM   #5466
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We've already been over all of these same topics before. I'd rather forget this cult existed and you go to it every week so it's clearly a mismatch of emotional will. Agree to disagree I suppose. I think AA is a harmful cult that makes people stupid, you think it's a multi-faceted diamond of great worth, end of discussion. I'm happy. Anyone who hasn't already finished the jug of kool-aid and licked the crystals from the package at least has a fighting chance at beating the virus thanks to the information available online that just wasn't there 10 years ago, oh and the penn and teller episode, GAWD THAT'S GOOD TV!!!

Some deluded AA freak tries to lecture the ex-cult members at xsteppers on the p&t episode

I will add that it's been very interesting to see how people apologize for the harm AA does by holding up their idealized versions. It's exactly the same tone as Andrew Sullivan screaming that "Of course the stories in the bible are metaphors you idiots!" while the majority of Christians believe at least some of the wildest stuff.

This one though, I find interesting.

Quote:
Why don't you drop by and educate yourself?

http://aatorontoagnostics.org/
That's not AA anymore dude! They delisted that group in the summer and *checks* still isn't on aatoronto.org! So how are you going to educate me on AA when your group isn't part of the main flock?

Even if I found a group doing all of the stuff I wish they did, that still wouldn't erase the fact that Clancy is still out there doing his thing, and I know several people who, quite literally, have no friends except for people in the program 5+ years into it.

Eye yai yai!
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Old 21st October 2011, 03:08 AM   #5467
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Ohhh! Disappointed: First of you are back and second of all you haven't got evidence.
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Old 21st October 2011, 09:27 AM   #5468
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Originally Posted by Joey McGee View Post
We've already been over all of these same topics before. I'd rather forget this cult existed and you go to it every week so it's clearly a mismatch of emotional will. Agree to disagree I suppose. I think AA is a harmful cult that makes people stupid, you think it's a multi-faceted diamond of great worth, end of discussion. I'm happy. Anyone who hasn't already finished the jug of kool-aid and licked the crystals from the package at least has a fighting chance at beating the virus thanks to the information available online that just wasn't there 10 years ago, oh and the penn and teller episode, GAWD THAT'S GOOD TV!!!

Some deluded AA freak tries to lecture the ex-cult members at xsteppers on the p&t episode

I will add that it's been very interesting to see how people apologize for the harm AA does by holding up their idealized versions. It's exactly the same tone as Andrew Sullivan screaming that "Of course the stories in the bible are metaphors you idiots!" while the majority of Christians believe at least some of the wildest stuff.

This one though, I find interesting.



That's not AA anymore dude! They delisted that group in the summer and *checks* still isn't on aatoronto.org! So how are you going to educate me on AA when your group isn't part of the main flock?

Even if I found a group doing all of the stuff I wish they did, that still wouldn't erase the fact that Clancy is still out there doing his thing, and I know several people who, quite literally, have no friends except for people in the program 5+ years into it.

Eye yai yai!
Oh boy. It seems you've gone off the deep end.

Tell me Joey, if a Pop Warner football coach is caught molesting kids, should we ban football?
What if he's just not a good X's and O's kinda guy, I mean the kids love him to death and are having fun, but his team loses a lot, should they tell this guy to take a hike?

What if some guy in a Las Vegas Weight Watchers group tried to take advantage of vulnerable overweight women, does that mean WW in Saskatoon don't help people?

Now any rational person would answer no to those questions.

But that's exactly what you're doing with AA, stereotyping and profiling all of AA due to isolated incidents involving some rogue members.

None of us are saying AA is perfect and nobody is excusing bad behavior, your attempts at implying such are dishonest.

As for the two groups, who cares what Toronto AA intergroup does, what part of AA Toronto Agnostics do you not understand. Did you even visit the page? I suggest you do so and engage in some light reading, starting here:

http://aatorontoagnostics.org/2011/0...-groups-in-aa/



I've haven't been able to make it downtown to one of those meetings yet, so it's been two months since I've been to any meeting. Guess what, no one has come to force me back into the "cult".
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Old 21st October 2011, 09:31 AM   #5469
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Evidence of what? I'm sorry I lost track. I claimed only that there is science AA refuses to integrate, things they won't try or do, and that they are such an arrogant cult that they won't modify the treatment to fit the results, or try and get better in any way.

Or like that Harvard egghead from the P&T put it

""I hope that we are moving towards a day when AA will assume it's rightful place as one of a number of treatment approaches and that people will stop saying that it is the correct approach or the one apprpach, people will stop prescribing it from the courts"

You seem to think you have an argument about something to do with comparing different types of treatment. First of all, we know from studies like the Cochrane review that it's not very effective. Second of all, we know that it's not trying to get better, it's only interested in perpetuating itself, like all memetic viruses.

The point is that AA is acting like a cult refusing to integrate anything to do with science.

Is that clear? Is their any doubt that your line of argument doesn't make sense given the problems that are being outlined?
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Old 21st October 2011, 09:41 AM   #5470
Joey McGee
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Originally Posted by ProBonoShill View Post
Oh boy. It seems you've gone off the deep end.

Tell me Joey, if a Pop Warner football coach is caught molesting kids, should we ban football?
We've been over this before. If he is caught but no one has any authority to make sure he's never a football coach for anyone ever again, (like making sure predators or people who coach people off of meds are never sponsors again) then you have a ****** organization on your hands with no accountability. This analogy has nothing to do with anything.
Quote:
What if he's just not a good X's and O's kinda guy, I mean the kids love him to death and are having fun, but his team loses a lot, should they tell this guy to take a hike?
AA claims it can help people, that it knows the answers, since they suck at this, and also refuse to catch up to evidence-based medicine, everyone should know about it before they choose to devote their life to the cult.

Quote:
What if some guy in a Las Vegas Weight Watchers group tried to take advantage of vulnerable overweight women, does that mean WW in Saskatoon don't help people?
If they don't ban him from ever being a part of WW again, and if WW doesn't use science (it most certainly does more of science stuff than AA!) yeah I'd say they were a stupid cult too.

Quote:
But that's exactly what you're doing with AA, stereotyping and profiling all of AA due to isolated incidents involving some rogue members.
Highlighting the core of the program is religion and saying that they don't use science to improve their success rates because they are an arrogant cult is just the facts. Saying that there are many problems because of it's structure and belief system is just the facts, Bill Wison was the worst 13th stepper, it's his cult, it's built right into the system! No accountability.

Quote:
As for the two groups, who cares what Toronto AA intergroup does,


Quote:
I've haven't been able to make it downtown to one of those meetings yet, so it's been two months since I've been to any meeting. Guess what, no one has come to force me back into the "cult".
Jails, institutions or death.

Your experience is contradicted by the people who have written on aadeprogramming and xsteppers. Those people that were in the program for decades know a lot more about this than you, and didn't have the luxary of an AA agnostics meeting (from the article, a dude actually was balling his eyes out over the fact they'd been delisted, seems even the people in your beloved agnostics group care about what the intergroup does)

Anyway arguing about this religion is the same as arguing about all religions, the apologia lines and pseudoargument tactics are all the same. It's a huge cult with all sorts of different groups and people in it, you have to look at the overall trends and the general patterns of what happens. Just apologize for your idealized version and ignore the fundamental problems.
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Old 21st October 2011, 10:44 AM   #5471
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Originally Posted by Joey McGee View Post
It's really very simple, what should happen, what should be there for you when you decide to quit drinking:
The list you provided is fine. You get something like it, if you have money or good insurance. But the complete physical, genetic screening, nutritional advice, one-on-one therapy ... you're talking about health care, and yeah, wouldn't it be nice?

It's a real stretch to say that none of this is available because some outfit that collects dollar bills in baskets is entirely to blame for shortcomings in behavioral health coverage that are part of the general U.S. health care mess.

I don't doubt your sincerity at all. You really believe that combing the Net looking for examples that you can use to quickly demonize AA is not cherry-picking. Yet, when people click on the links and conclude the example doesn't prove what you think it does, you tell them they can't see what's right before their eyes.

Their anecdotes are worthless; yours are probative. You cite one exchange in a thread, jump to the most damning conclusion you can, and don't read for another 60 seconds to see the weaknesses in your interpretation. A science article that suggests effectiveness of AA is dismissed, while you place complete confidence in the Orange site. There's this constant theme that anyone who has a favorable impression of AA doesn't know the real story, the background, the structure, etc.

An example of an AA member saying "Oh, that's cool about naltrexone, hope it works out for ya!" just proves that the cult hasn't managed to quite brainwash her yet, while her comment, "Why not try AA for the cravings?" is evidence that people are being steered away wholesale from science-based addiction treatment. Therefore everything is evidence against AA.

It's distorted. I don't think you're trying to distort anything though.
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Old 21st October 2011, 11:02 AM   #5472
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Originally Posted by Joey McGee View Post
We've already been over all of these same topics before. I'd rather forget this cult existed and you go to it every week
Except that the poster doesn't go every week. You keep offering up such dubious "facts" and being wrong doesn't faze you in the slightest. You're not mean about it.
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Old 21st October 2011, 11:24 AM   #5473
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Originally Posted by The Norseman View Post
That's a really great study! I'm very pleased you found it and posted it, thank you.

My only issues with it are that the study was measuring gender differences in treatment success rates and AA is not isolated (the terms 'self-help group' and 'AA' are conflated as used in the text). In other words, there are differences between AA and self-help groups, but the study only seemed to use AA.

My interpretation of this study is that the people who were more social (used more family, friends, and support groups) tended to fare much better. However, based on this study, we don't know if the deciding factor was the AA program itself versus development of a stronger sober social support network in general. This ties in with my previous paragraph; the study didn't seem to measure people seeking non-twelve-step meetings for drugs/alcohol such as SOS or Lifering or going to community centers or churches.

Though I will admit that one of the strengths of AA is that anyone can go into nearly any random town in America and find an AA group to attend.
Originally Posted by Minoosh View Post
Norseman, you've chosen not to elucidate how AA could conduct the sort of research you want AA to conduct, although you've implied repeatedly that AA really should do these studies.

You seem to think it's OK for AA to track down people who aren't interested in AA and make them promise not to attend meetings, and that it's OK for AA to require some attendees to pray and work the steps and some attendees not to pray and work the steps. Though you say that's not what you meant, you have not shown me what AA's involvement in the study would look like.

Now perhaps the Toronto situation will allow just that sort of laboratory.

You made the statement that AA's world organization made the decision to de-list the group, and I've failed to see you support that claim. It's moot, but it's also sloppy. Nice try on the save, Yeah but ... there are these traditions ... and where do they come from ... so really it was AA's world organization.

Here's something to gnaw on. If more people identify themselves as God-believers than as agnostics, than a group calling itself "agnostic AA" arguably could be less inclusive than a group where vague theists want to develop a relationship with a God of their understanding. Now, that's not a particularly strong argument. But it does go to this idea that AA should be all things to all people, or that it "should help everyone."

I totally get how AA at any level would sincerely believe changing the steps would hurt more than it would help.

Nah, that can't be right. They're just hung up on some stupid meme to keep their ratty little "cult" together. For the money, doncha know. And for the heady glamor of being anonymous. And the kick they get out of treating "sinners" like garbage.

I hope to be out of this thread soon. Lost health insurance, big motivator to get off the harm-reduction Rx, and away from threads that push my buttons as much as this one. I keep doing the same thing and expecting different results.

Insanity.


A simple 'you're welcome' would have been nice along with a follow up on discussion of this study you provided. Maybe Alfie would have deigned to comment on the study after reading it as well, but I guess that's asking too much.

Because of this, I'm reluctant to continue posting in this thread.

If someone would like to discuss specifics of the STUDIES WHICH HAVE ALREADY BEEN POSTED as well as new ones as found and presented, I'd be happy to continue contributing.
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Old 21st October 2011, 11:41 AM   #5474
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Originally Posted by Joey McGee View Post
You just don't get it. They are only nice to you when you are an abstainer and you tow the disease line. You are obsessing over my use of "garbage", they treat them the same way Scientologists treat their "squirrels" or Christians treat their atheists, which is not with respect. You obviously have limited experience with this organization.
So, it seems that in order to "get it", one has to be on the outside looking in. The argument usually goes the other way around, although in this case it seems that the outsiders are the real insiders, privy to special knowledge, possessed of esoteric insights in to the malevolent inner working of an organization to which they do not belong.

Interesting.


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You didn't notice the two representatives steering people away from Naltrexone?
AA hasn't cornered the market on idiocy. There are plenty of idiots to go around, in AA and out.

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That's all the defenders ever finish with. It's the same as all religionists. "We do charity! We provide support! We focus on good stuff!" All stuff non-cult organizations do much better.
Which does nothing to address the fact that you vehemently discount the positive if it flies in the face of your preconceived notions.

Tilt away.
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Old 21st October 2011, 11:54 AM   #5475
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Originally Posted by Minoosh View Post
The list you provided is fine. You get something like it, if you have money or good insurance. But the complete physical, genetic screening, nutritional advice, one-on-one therapy ... you're talking about health care, and yeah, wouldn't it be nice?
It IS nice, my home country already provides most of these kinds of services, they will be infinitely greater in 10 years! The investment in society is completely worth it.

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It's a real stretch to say that none of this is available because some outfit that collects dollar bills in baskets is entirely to blame for shortcomings in behavioral health coverage that are part of the general U.S. health care mess.
I have no idea why you wrote this sentence. I say that a the AA recovery cult is in the way, not that it's to blame for everything.

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I don't doubt your sincerity at all. You really believe that combing the Net looking for examples that you can use to quickly demonize AA is not cherry-picking. Yet, when people click on the links and conclude the example doesn't prove what you think it does, you tell them they can't see what's right before their eyes.
AA members generally steer people away from naltrexone, there are exceptions, but it doesn't jive with their belief system. It's easy to try and obfuscate over examples, sure.

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Their anecdotes are worthless; yours are probative. You cite one exchange in a thread, jump to the most damning conclusion you can, and don't read for another 60 seconds to see the weaknesses in your interpretation.
Ok fine, is your contention that AA supports the use of naltrexone for "true alcoholics" or that they are neutral? People should make up their own minds, the writing is on the wall.

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A science article that suggests effectiveness of AA is dismissed, while you place complete confidence in the Orange site.
Did you read the Cocharane review?

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There's this constant theme that anyone who has a favorable impression of AA doesn't know the real story, the background, the structure, etc.
I don't know any skeptic/science-minded people that do not have SERIOUS problems with AA and the big book. I only know apologists who are too small-minded to realize that radical changes are both necessary and possible.

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An example of an AA member saying "Oh, that's cool about naltrexone, hope it works out for ya!" just proves that the cult hasn't managed to quite brainwash her yet, while her comment, "Why not try AA for the cravings?" is evidence that people are being steered away wholesale from science-based addiction treatment. Therefore everything is evidence against AA.

It's distorted. I don't think you're trying to distort anything though.
You picked one little thing to nitpick about I see. What do you think about xsteppers then?
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Old 21st October 2011, 11:56 AM   #5476
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Originally Posted by Minoosh View Post
Except that the poster doesn't go every week. You keep offering up such dubious "facts" and being wrong doesn't faze you in the slightest. You're not mean about it.
You don't think AA steers people away from other kinds of therapy. Ok, go to a meeting and ask all of the old-timers what they think of naltrexone. Bye
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Old 21st October 2011, 12:04 PM   #5477
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Originally Posted by gentlehorse View Post
So, it seems that in order to "get it", one has to be on the outside looking in. The argument usually goes the other way around, although in this case it seems that the outsiders are the real insiders, privy to special knowledge, possessed of esoteric insights in to the malevolent inner working of an organization to which they do not belong.

Interesting.
What are you talking about? Are you familiar with the term "dry drunk"? It's what AA cult members call people who don't drink but don't go to meetings. Kind of like a scientology "squirrel". I mean to them, it seems like they are chastising this person because they are either a) unhappy and abusing the people around them because they need meetings to act like good people b) likely to get drunk eventually because they don't go to meetings.

I have family in the program hardcore. I have seen them argue and yell at each other, "You need to go to a meeting!" I have heard them talk about people who don't go to meetings anymore. This is a cult, you don't understand because you haven't been around long enough maybe, that's my point.

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AA hasn't cornered the market on idiocy. There are plenty of idiots to go around, in AA and out.
They are well-known for turning previously bright people into babbling cult idiots...

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Which does nothing to address the fact that you vehemently discount the positive if it flies in the face of your preconceived notions.

Tilt away.
Cult apologia comes back to haunt you, ask Paul Haggis.
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Old 21st October 2011, 02:49 PM   #5478
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Originally Posted by Joey McGee View Post
Evidence of what? I'm sorry I lost track. I claimed only that there is science AA refuses to integrate, things they won't try or do, and that they are such an arrogant cult that they won't modify the treatment to fit the results, or try and get better in any way.
I could believe this........... maybe, except yo keep saying things like this:

Originally Posted by Joey McGee View Post
AA claims it can help people, that it knows the answers, since they suck at this, and also refuse to catch up to evidence-based medicine, everyone should know about it before they choose to devote their life to the cult.

So I am asking what evidence based medicine? Which treatments? And their efficacy?

I am still waiting on you to expand on exactly what you think the Cochrane review says.
You must also have noted it addresses many other treatments, perhaps you could outline which of the "science based" ones you think best?

PS. I have read all the relevant info you have submitted, to suggest otherwise is untrue.

Last edited by Hallo Alfie; 21st October 2011 at 02:55 PM.
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Old 21st October 2011, 03:02 PM   #5479
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Originally Posted by Joey McGee View Post
What are you talking about?
I'm talking about the knowledge that you purport to have that gives you keener insight into the AA experience than that possessed by those actively involved in going to meetings and living a sober life. You "get it". You see the malevolence that is AA, while those in AA don't.

I find this interesting.

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Are you familiar with the term "dry drunk"? It's what AA cult members call people who don't drink but don't go to meetings.
Yes, I'm familiar with it. Folks like a good label, though I don't much go in for them myself. Each to his own-- The whole idea behind encouraging folks to continue to attend meetings is to keep them in an environment that's conducive to and supportive of a sober life-style. People, however, are still people. We're going to engage in the same stupidity that everybody else in the world does: plays for power, petty bickering, attempts to achieve physical and/or intellectual dominance, struggles for power and control, etc. That's just the kind of apes we are. So, the fact that we strive to live a sober life-style in no way means that we're somehow above all the foibles associated with the human condition. It just means that today we're sober, we want to stay that way, and we want to help others who want the same thing. It's really not nearly as evil as you make it out to be.

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This is a cult, you don't understand because you haven't been around long enough maybe, that's my point.
I suspect that, were I to tell you that I've been in the program for 30 years, you'd say that I was brainwashed, completely indoctrinated, and incapable of see the truth. On the other hand, were I to tell you that I've been in the program for a couple of years, you'd (obviously) say that I haven't been around long enough to understand what you're saying. Consequently, the amount of time I've spent in AA has very little to do with how well you think I understand you. With this in mind, I submit that I completely understand what you're saying and have come to the conclusion that, while you make some good points about possible alternatives to AA, you are largely trapped in your preconceived notions, and are prone to summarily dismissing any notion that doesn't support them.

As I said earlier, tilt away.

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They are well-known for turning previously bright people into babbling cult idiots...
Perhaps. But sober babbling, cult idiots...
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Old 21st October 2011, 03:06 PM   #5480
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Originally Posted by The Norseman View Post
A simple 'you're welcome' would have been nice along with a follow up on discussion of this study you provided. Maybe Alfie would have deigned to comment on the study after reading it as well, but I guess that's asking too much.

Because of this, I'm reluctant to continue posting in this thread.
If you were offended that I didn't say you're welcome, I'll say it now: You're welcome.

I didn't want to start a back-and-forth about the study because essentially I agreed with you. It was originally cited in a Scientific American link that's been posted here twice. I've written and edited a lot of science stories for the mainstream media, so I suspected Scientific American was simplifying things.

When I looked at the write-up of the study I saw that the same things you did: that the emphasis was on gender differences and the language somewhat loose - it was not always clear whether "self-help group" meant AA or any self-help group. I'm sure you're aware that in practice, if study participants were told to "attend an alcoholism self-help group of your choice," a bunch would end up at AA because there are a bunch more meetings. Other groups just haven't taken off the way AA has.

Fodder for another study, perhaps. However the fact that there wasn't a specific comparison of AA vs. LifeRing or AA vs. SOS doesn't nullify the study findings that AA was effective. (Also for better or worse AA has brand recognition. When I Googled SOS I first got "Survivors of Suicide.")

Re: Cochrane. "Most studies included in this review did not allow assessment of the effectiveness of TSF in promoting complete abstinence." Note two things: a) that's a pretty huge disclaimer - abstinence, aka continuous sobriety - was not in play and b) TSF is not AA. So, another flawed study. They're all "flawed" in that they are all finite. You can keep burrowing down, asking narrower questions, striving for more rigor, and that's all good.

Right here, right now, if anyone wants to put off drinking for an hour and a half by going to a place where they can make friends, get social support, hear success stories, laugh, cry, engage their critical faculties and possibly tap into genuine if mysterious source of strength, there's always AA.

An alternative to prayer in meetings is the responsibility oath - AA members always want AA to be there, in case someone reaches out for it. Which in some eyes makes it a cult.
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