1-Step One- We admitted that we were powerless over alcohol, that our lives had become unmanageable.
In what way is taking away an individual’s ability (power) to overcome life’s obstacles by telling them that they have none, helpful? In one sentence AA is telling people that one’s own resources are completely and utterly useless in overcoming dependencies. In fact, this puts forth the notion that in order to overcome this issue that one has to become dependent on anything other than oneself.
It takes away the individual’s right and responsibility for making decisions. After all, how can you be held accountable for your actions and behavior if you are powerless over it?
The whole point of this step is to put one in a highly suggestive state where the rest of the steps will somehow make sense.
2-Step Two- Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could return us to sanity.
Without saying as much, this step in conjunction with Step One, puts forward the notion that “alcoholism” is an incurable disease and that we are at the mercy of outside agencies for any kind of relief. Besides the obvious dis of telling people that they are insane, this step begins the notion that some kind of “faith healing” is our only hope.
Again, the question here is, how does calling people crazy and in need of “outside intervention” from some undefined higher power, helpful in teaching people how to stop drinking?
3-Step Three-Made a decision to turn our WILL and our LIVES over to the care of God as we understood him.
It doesn’t matter how you understand God, God is still some conception of God. Besides the obvious bait and switch from a “higher power” to that of God, it’s the rest of what this step “suggests” or implies that is so damaging.
Again, we are dealing with people who are down and out, desperate and vulnerable. People who are generally completely lacking in confidence, assertiveness and whose willpower has been virtually
depleted. So what does AA do? It tells them to surrender what little willpower they have left and to turn their lives over to God and then take it from there. Fine, if you want to tweak the bait and switch and say that you can turn it over to AA or a Unicorn, it’s just as bad if not worse.
The bottom line of the first three steps is that they are telling you that as an individual, you are screwed unless you give it up to this miraculous program and all that it entails (Powerlessness, surrender, God/AA/Unicorn/doorknobs).
Again, this is helpful how? This addresses how to stop drinking how?
It’s all about EGO DEFLATION as opposed to building someone back up. This is clearly evident as we move on to steps four and five.
4-Step Four-Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
It would be one thing if this step said to take a look at our past behavior and responses to life and to analyze and see where we could make improvements or gain a better understanding, but that’s NOT what it says to do. It’s a “searching and fearless MORAL inventory”. When you’re talking morals or as is usually the case, the lack thereof, you are of course talking about sins and bad behavior. It concentrates on things that you are
resentful over or angry about. It asks you to look for “your part” in every negative experience or event from your past.
Again I ask, how does this self-flagellation teach you HOW NOT TO DRINK? It doesn’t. Nothing about this
step is designed to address any other kind of underlying issues that you may have such as stress, anxiety, or depression and what to about them. No, it’s all about how bad you’ve been and how angry and resentful you are. While there might be a small benefit to be gained from looking at those kinds of things, it should hardly be the “meat” of your self-analysis! Yet that’s it! That’s the only place in which the 12 Step program even pretends to look at one’s behavior or way of living.
Helpful? I think not.
5-Step Five-Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our
Besides the fact that this is simply AA’s version of confession and that it is almost always given to an unqualified for anything sponsor, the purging of one’s sin list again does nothing in terms of overcoming one’s dependencies. How and in what way does confession teach you how to NOT DRINK? It doesn’t and confession doesn’t absolve you of your past
Ok, we’re back. Does any of the above sound somewhat religious in nature? AA claims that it is not religious but rather spiritual in nature. Well the next two Steps should lay that ridiculous claim to rest. Now don’t forget that we are powerless and that our own willpower is worthless, OK? So what to do being that apparently we can’t effect positive change in our own lives.
Ok, here goes….
6-Step Six-Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
Oh, right, those sinful character traits that we were told to search for and that we can do nothing about anyway. Oh, but wait, let’s get “ready” for Gods (or your higher power’s) intervention.
So sitting around getting ready for a “miracle” helps you stop drinking how?
7-Step Seven-Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
This is in essence praying for the miracle that you just got ready for. Same question applies. How does praying teach you how to stop drinking?
8&9- Step Eight-Made a list of all persons we had harmed (sinned against), and
became willing to make amends to them all…..Step Nine-Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.”
They actually “suggest” that you go back all the way back to your childhood and seek these people out. “Gee, Mrs. Snodgrass, I’m sorry I called you a big stupidhead when I was 6.” First of all, good luck finding Mrs. Snodgrass if she’s still alive and even if you do and apologize to her, she’ll probably call the guys with the white coats to come and take you away.
Apologizing when you screw up or do something mean is hardly an AA revelation. It’s called doing the grown up right thing and you don’t need to engage in a series of steps to do so.
But again, as nice a thing as apologizing is,……HOW DOES IT TEACH YOU STOP DRINKING?
10-Step Ten-Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
More of the same, do the next right thing and admit and apologize when you screw up. Again not revolutionary not helpful in any way in teaching you HOW TO STOP DRINKING.
11-Step Eleven-Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we
understand Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.
Any quit drinking methods at work here? Ummmm, NO.
This step is kind of a recap……Asking him to offer a bit of his power being that we already surrendered ours along with our will.
I guess when you’re meditating you can’t drink as well, then again, take a slug and say OHMMMMMMM, God, can’t you help a brother out?
Faith healing is all it is and maybe, just maybe, it will give you a placebo effect if you believe it…….but just for today because……..
12-Step Twelve-Having had a spiritual awakening as a result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.
What principles? There are no “principles here”, just a bunch of steps that DON’T TEACH YOU HOW TO STOP DRINKING. It’s not bad enough that these Steps don’t DO ANYTHING, they then demand that you become a lifetime missionary and bring more people in while repeating this nonsense indefinitely.
It all starts with your declaration of powerlessness and it just goes downhill from there!
So what am I missing folks?