On another site somebody wondered out loud how is it possible that people get duped into falling into the AA trap. One person stated that it is because people are vulnerable when they get there. I added a bit more to that true observation and here it is....
Powercoll, you totally nailed the biggest factor. People entering AA for the first time are big-time vulnerable, scared shitless and DESPERATE! They WANT to believe that this will work. The cult, of course knowing this, designed some pretty nifty sales/guilt pitches to lock you in the second you walk through the doors.
The worst is the reading of the beginning of the "How it works" chapter of Bill's big book of lies. I wrote about it in The freedom to Recover" and this comes from Chapter 3.....
How it works is a lie!
"Rarely have we seen a person fail who has thoroughly followed our path. Those who do not recover are people who cannot or will not completely give themselves to this simple program, usually men and women who are constitutionally incapable of being honest with themselves. There are such unfortunates. They are not at fault; they seem to have been born that way. They are naturally incapable of grasping and developing a manner of living which demands rigorous honesty."WOW! What an incredibly arrogant, insulting and patently false statement! The first sentence is a lie. I have personally witnessed hundreds of people coming back to AA after having failed even though they; "followed the steps, called their sponsors, etc." A sponsor is a personal mentor that one picks from the group to help guide them through the 12 steps of the program. Old school AA disciples will usually point out that these people had cut down on their attendance of meetings and did not keep in daily contact with their sponsors and that is why they relapsed So in other words, unless you take your daily dose of AA medicine you will inevitably fail. For those that have not discovered and addressed their underlying issues that caused them to drink in the first place, this is probably true. This statement also insinuates that once you have joined the AA flock and found salvation that you had better not leave or else you are doomed. If this doesn't reek of a fundamental religious power play then I don't know what does. This is where the true TRAGEDY of AA lies. When you give AA a try because psychiatrists, counselors, members of the AA organization and society as a whole tell you that it is virtually the only solution and then it doesn't work for you, then you are bound to become hopeless and give up any serious attempt at recovery! I'm absolutely sure that I am not the only one who left the "fellowship" demoralized and resigned to the fact that I was destined to live out my life depressed and drunk. I feel extremely confident that the number of people who invariably took this route by
far exceeds those who have found and maintained sobriety through AA's church and
12-Step religion. The second sentence in this self-righteous paragraph implies that if you can't get with the program that you are a dishonest and hopeless liar! Quite the nerve thereFor the longest time I thought that the third line was a typo and that the word "there" was actually supposed be "they're", as in "they are such unfortunates". NO, the intent actually is to say; "Wow, can you believe that there are actually people who don't get and embrace this?" Well yes, there are lots of them.While it is obvious that those inflicted with addiction are in denial and are lying to themselves about the extent of their dilemma, I find it reprehensible to insinuate that anybody is incapable of choosing to seek the truth and take responsibility for the
direction of their life without an affiliation with AA.
So what the F is a newcomer to think? I'll tell you what they think. They think "I'm not constitutionally incapable of being honest with myself!!!! I CAN DO THIS PROGRAM GOSH DARNIT. DON'T CALL ME INCAPABLE!!! I'm not going to be one of those "Unfortunates" It's sick, twisted and VERY cult-like.
And then there is that part of the "Promises"....Perhaps the most awkward and disturbing moment of one's first meeting occurs right after when whomever is reading the passage gets to the part where they ask; "Are these extravagant promises?" The whole congregation then very enthusiastically and loudly answers in unison; we think not! It's extremely creepy and borderline cult-like.
So it's no wonder that people get SUCKED into this very disturbing CULT.