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Offline violatedsmurf80

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AA and No god
« on: September 21, 2011, 06:45:17 AM »
I read this article this morning and couldn’t help but laugh at fact that now that you don’t need jesus to sober up this might hurt the church and end day will happen sooner.

http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2011/08/28/my-take-an-atheist-at-aa/
When fascism comes to America it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross.”--- Sinclair Lewis

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Offline Samuelxcs

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Re: AA and No god
« Reply #1 on: September 21, 2011, 06:47:51 AM »
That is very funny.
"The stupid neither forgive nor forget; the naïve forgive and forget; the wise forgive but do not forget."
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Offline rickymooston

Re: AA and No god
« Reply #2 on: September 21, 2011, 07:16:53 AM »
I read this article this morning and couldn’t help but laugh at fact that now that you don’t need jesus to sober up this might hurt the church and end day will happen sooner.

Interesting read.

12 step programs do work for some people and some of them are not full of religion per se.

Alternatives exist.

At the IGI, several were discussed:
1) Smart
2) Rational Recovery

Quiting an addiction like alcocol isn't easy for some people
"i had learn to focus i what i could do rather what i couldn't do", Rick Hansen when asked about getting a disabling spinal cord injury at 15. He continues to raise money for spinal cord research and inspire peoople to "make a difference". He doesnt preach any religion.

Offline violatedsmurf80

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Re: AA and No god
« Reply #3 on: September 21, 2011, 07:37:27 AM »
I read this article this morning and couldn’t help but laugh at fact that now that you don’t need jesus to sober up this might hurt the church and end day will happen sooner.

Interesting read.

12 step programs do work for some people and some of them are not full of religion per se.

Alternatives exist.

At the IGI, several were discussed:
1) Smart
2) Rational Recovery

Quiting an addiction like alcocol isn't easy for some people

I know but it is sad that they have to find a higher power to help them, when they can do it all by them self, if they put their mind to it, instead of having to be scared GoD will throw them into hell.
When fascism comes to America it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross.”--- Sinclair Lewis

I believe there is something out there watching over us. Unfortunately, it's the government.

Offline MMcNeely

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Re: AA and No god
« Reply #4 on: September 21, 2011, 11:32:01 PM »
Fear is a powerful motivator... just look at the Dark Ages!

Offline rickymooston

Re: AA and No god
« Reply #5 on: September 21, 2011, 11:44:41 PM »
I know but it is sad that they have to find a higher power to help them, when they can do it all by them self, if they put their mind to it, instead of having to be scared GoD will throw them into hell.

The other techniques I mentioned above don't employ a "higher power". They also work for some people

As for the higher power in AA, it isn't in general driven by "fear" but some groups may introduce fear into it. The "higher power" is a technique aimed at getting people to stop focusing on all the can't"s. Addicts can be very short term focused people and they tend to get stuck in "mind traps".

Having seen alcohol and drugs destory a few lives, I think, if a techique works, its worth it.

I know at least 2 atheists who used AA to quit and their lives seem better. They are still atheists.

At the end of the day, the higher power is of course, the alcoholic. Again, whatever works for you, go for that. Alternatives exist.

What I do like about the above programs over AA is that they are far more flexible.
"i had learn to focus i what i could do rather what i couldn't do", Rick Hansen when asked about getting a disabling spinal cord injury at 15. He continues to raise money for spinal cord research and inspire peoople to "make a difference". He doesnt preach any religion.

Offline Chronos

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Re: AA and No god
« Reply #6 on: September 22, 2011, 05:15:22 AM »
Believers are like alcoholics, so for alcoholics to turn to a religious system to get sober is just trading one addiction for another.

However, any way that an alcoholic can stay sober is fine with me. They can believe in a sky daddy if they like, just don't foist sky daddy on the rest of us. Let him be your own personal sky daddy that you can never talk about.

John 14:2 :: In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.

Offline Historicity

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Re: AA and No god
« Reply #7 on: September 22, 2011, 06:27:27 AM »
I am a fan of Sarah Michelle Gellar's new series, Ringer.  The Higher Power is intentionally so vague it could cover any religion.  Hey, it could be Manu, the monkey god of Hinduism who oversees honor.  It could also be the sense of groupiness in a single AA group or its whole network.

But for the character Bridget Kelly who's under threat by 3 different groups and in fear of multiple discoveries from people she must deal with, the Higher Power is God.  She prays to the Higher Power in times of stress.  Like Conan's Crom Who gives men the courage to slay but is otherwise passive, her version of the Higher Power will not work a miracle but will psych her up to her morally dubious tasks.  (Her character, after all, has passively assisted a gangster in beating the rap.)


Offline jaimehlers

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Re: AA and No god
« Reply #8 on: September 22, 2011, 08:32:20 AM »
Well, can't "a higher power" refer to anything that a person happens to believe in that's stronger than they are?  Someone who believes firmly in honesty could cite that as their "higher power", because it's something they try to live up to.

Offline rickymooston

Re: AA and No god
« Reply #9 on: September 22, 2011, 08:20:38 PM »
Believers are like alcoholics, so for alcoholics to turn to a religious system to get sober is just trading one addiction for another.

I don't really agree. Certainly, this wasn't true for the atheistic member of AA I met. As far as I can understand, the higher power was more of a technique than anything else.

He certainly isn't religious in his thinking per se.

Quote
However, any way that an alcoholic can stay sober is fine with me. They can believe in a sky daddy if they like, just don't foist sky daddy on the rest of us. Let him be your own personal sky daddy that you can never talk about.

That's food for another discussion. There is nothing wrong with people talking about thier religion but certainly, its rude to keep talking about it, if others are disinterested.
"i had learn to focus i what i could do rather what i couldn't do", Rick Hansen when asked about getting a disabling spinal cord injury at 15. He continues to raise money for spinal cord research and inspire peoople to "make a difference". He doesnt preach any religion.

Offline IAmFirst

Re: AA and No god
« Reply #10 on: September 23, 2011, 06:52:45 AM »
Bill Wilson, founder, was a sick christian elitist. This is nothing more than a cult to get you to believe and limit you. Now how is this a cure?

Some of the 12 step rules are/were blatantly religious:
2. Came to believe that God could restore us to sanity.
3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care and direction of God.
5. Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
6. Were entirely willing that God remove all these defects of character.
7. Humbly, on our knees, asked Him to remove our shortcomings — holding nothing back.
11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our contact with God, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.

Let's remember that most members rejected these rules in the phrasing so they changed them. For example, the word "God" in step 2 was replaced by "a power greater than ourselves." Why can't it be replaced by "the strongest power that comes from you" or something like that? And why the lord's prayer? Why not a weekly oath to not drinking?

Let's remember that if all of these rules are not accepted, you can not be cured. Isn't that the goal?

YOU don't matter, but this god guy does. Sound familiar?

I once attended a meeting with a friend years ago. He had to go due to court and said I'd drive and go with him. The stories from these people are heartbreaking and I immediately saw the camaraderie being a great help to each other.

BUT THEN... they end the meeting with a reminder that god comes first and you must be weakened to bring your self to him and to turn over your life to him. They end with the lord's prayer and that pretty much negated the whole story for me.

Bottom line is that YOU are the highest power in your life and you have to believe in yourself to be positive. To quit.

Here's a great article on the origins of AA: http://www.orange-papers.org/orange-rroot030.html

From the article:
Quote
So the Twelve Steps really were, right from the very start, intended to

start a new religion — Bill Wilson's flavor of Buchmanism,
and to give the followers "vital spiritual experiences" and "huge emotional rearrangements" and "religious experiences" by "completely deflating their egos",
and to turn the followers into religious fanatics — "religiomaniacs".
Bill Wilson believed that religious fanaticism — religiomania — was The Only Answer for alcoholics, and he said so often.
2nd of all, if all you believe in is peer-reviewed papers, you won't go very far in life...

-- Shin :D

Offline pianodwarf

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Re: AA and No god
« Reply #11 on: September 23, 2011, 08:42:32 AM »
Don't get me started on AA.  If you do, I could end up talking about it even more than Terry does over at Orange Papers.  He does do a very good job analyzing its roots, its failure rate, the scandals involved, the legal ramifications of being ordered to attend meetings, and all kinds of other stuff.

One thing in particular I got from reading Orange Papers is this astonishing revelation that you would think would be completely obvious, but that almost no one (including me) actually notices until it's pointed out: the twelve steps don't say anything about stopping drinking.
[On how kangaroos could have gotten back to Australia after the flood]:  Don't kangaroos skip along the surface of the water? --Kenn

Offline violatedsmurf80

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Re: AA and No god
« Reply #12 on: September 23, 2011, 10:01:57 AM »
Quote
One thing in particular I got from reading Orange Papers is this astonishing revelation that you would think would be completely obvious, but that almost no one (including me) actually notices until it's pointed out: the twelve steps don't say anything about stopping drinking.

it is implied because in today's world, most christians have this thinking that drinking is against GoD, but yet Jesus turned water into wine. at least that is what i have been told about the concept of AA. 

Quote
Well, can't "a higher power" refer to anything that a person happens to believe in that's stronger than they are?  Someone who believes firmly in honesty could cite that as their "higher power", because it's something they try to live up to.

In a way but i think that it would fall under SPAG

When fascism comes to America it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross.”--- Sinclair Lewis

I believe there is something out there watching over us. Unfortunately, it's the government.

Offline hypagoga

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Re: AA and No god
« Reply #13 on: September 23, 2011, 10:20:00 AM »
Believers are like alcoholics, so for alcoholics to turn to a religious system to get sober is just trading one addiction for another.

As Cheech and Chong said, "I used to be all messed up on drugs, now I'm all messed up on the lord .."

Offline rickymooston

Re: AA and No god
« Reply #14 on: September 23, 2011, 11:25:46 AM »
Don't get you started?

Brothers

It works for some ppl and not all those
Ppl are religious

Other methods exist that work for other ppl
"i had learn to focus i what i could do rather what i couldn't do", Rick Hansen when asked about getting a disabling spinal cord injury at 15. He continues to raise money for spinal cord research and inspire peoople to "make a difference". He doesnt preach any religion.

Offline violatedsmurf80

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Re: AA and No god
« Reply #15 on: September 23, 2011, 11:30:07 AM »
Don't get you started?

Brothers

It works for some ppl and not all those
Ppl are religious

Other methods exist that work for other ppl

I all comes down to will power and support doesn't matter were you get as long as you have. IMHO
When fascism comes to America it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross.”--- Sinclair Lewis

I believe there is something out there watching over us. Unfortunately, it's the government.

Offline pianodwarf

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Re: AA and No god
« Reply #16 on: September 23, 2011, 11:33:35 AM »
Don't get you started?

OK, you were warned...

Quote
It works for some ppl and not all those

There have been studies on this.  Twelve-step has been shown to be ineffective.  Dr. Vaillant, a member of the AA Board, conducted one such study.  It had an annual fatality rate of three percent, which he himself called "appalling".

As to what actually does work, this should be an eye-opener for you:
http://www.behaviortherapy.com/whatworks.htm

Notice how far down the list twelve-step is, and notice that it actually has a negative score, indicating a failure rate, not a success rate.
[On how kangaroos could have gotten back to Australia after the flood]:  Don't kangaroos skip along the surface of the water? --Kenn

Offline rickymooston

Re: AA and No god
« Reply #17 on: September 24, 2011, 11:13:45 AM »
Glad I got you started. Why did you need me to prod you?  :police:

Again, my view is, try what works for you. Go into a program knowing that others exist. I'd not force anybody into AA but it definitely works for some people. I've no clue what kinds of people it works for.

It had an annual fatality rate of three percent, which he himself called "appalling".

What is the fatality without AA? Let's be honest, lots of alcolics die of suicide and liver disease.

We also have to consider that many people are forced to take AA/12 steps. You'd want 100% of the studies to involve people who signed up willingly.

Quote
As to what actually does work, this should be an eye-opener for you:
http://www.behaviortherapy.com/whatworks.htm

While the researchers writing the link you supply have made an effort after the fact, one doesn't see apples compared with apples. I certainly suspect 100% of there numbers made after the fact on attempting to "objectively compare" studies.

Is it valid to "average" these numbers that the researchers have made up here: "scientific rigor", "severity of addiction", etc.

How does one evaluate "success"? Is it evaluated in the same way for all studies? For example, "alcohol free for 5 years".

In short, you've supplied some valid food for the thought, some alternative therapies.

I have a friend who is close to becoming an alcoholic.

I'm curious about this GABA idea. I wish he could try the family therapy thing but the pressure his wife is putting on him is what he was using alcohol to escape from. (She was upset that he doesn't make enough money to support his 3 kids as well as he should. She also expects him to be home a lot and is estranged from him romantically. In short, he doesn't have the time to obtain the sort of success she wants him to achieve.)
"i had learn to focus i what i could do rather what i couldn't do", Rick Hansen when asked about getting a disabling spinal cord injury at 15. He continues to raise money for spinal cord research and inspire peoople to "make a difference". He doesnt preach any religion.

Offline rickymooston

Re: AA and No god
« Reply #18 on: September 24, 2011, 11:19:44 AM »
I all comes down to will power and support doesn't matter were you get as long as you have. IMHO

Will power is sometimes enhanced by emotional and psychological support. That is, some techniques to reprogram your mind work for some people.

Again, I only can say, some people have found 12 steps helpful. For them, its a great program. Other people find those programs don't work; those people should try other methods.

If I were an addict, I'd look into SMART recovery and rational recovery.

I'd also want to see some of the one's mentioned in the previous posters "what works" post.

12 step would probably work for me. I don't consider it a big deal to invoke a "higher power". I'm naturally religious psycologically. I'm capable of accepting a higher power on one level while considering the higher power to be me on another.
"i had learn to focus i what i could do rather what i couldn't do", Rick Hansen when asked about getting a disabling spinal cord injury at 15. He continues to raise money for spinal cord research and inspire peoople to "make a difference". He doesnt preach any religion.

Offline Tinyal

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Re: AA and No god
« Reply #19 on: September 24, 2011, 12:54:47 PM »
What most people outside of AA (I have 20+ years involvement with AA, some of which was at near the highest levels of the organization) do not understand is that the AA program, as outlined in the big book & the 12x12, is most definitely not a quit drinking program.  What is it then? It's a faith-gaining program, which (once the appropiate level of faith has been reached through rigourous application of the 12 steps) is supposed to then remove 'the alcholol problem' as a side effect.

As the program states, "our goal is to be of maximum service to God".

Anyone who comes into contact with the program should be immediately struck by that fact.  The chapter 'we agnostics' will tell one all you need to know about what the program thinks about critical thought.

I've been working in AA - from within- with many of the other atheists for decades to get that obnoxious, insulting, and outright lying chapter removed - we've been voted down and ostracized at every Conference we've presented such a proposal at.

AA is, in my view, one of the most dangerous 'socially acceptable' cults in today's socitey.  It doesn't work (with a failure rate around 95% or higher), it increases the rate of binge drinking, and prevents attention to finding real solutions that may work.

Don't get me started on AA please :)
Don't kangaroos skip along the surface of the water?

Offline rickymooston

Re: AA and No god
« Reply #20 on: September 24, 2011, 01:02:30 PM »
What most people outside of AA (I have 20+ years involvement with AA, some of which was at near the highest levels of the organization) do not understand is that the AA program, as outlined in the big book & the 12x12, is most definitely not a quit drinking program.

GenerousGeorge, a past member of this forum, certainly considered it an alcohol drinking program and that is what he used it for. He has been sober through AA for many years.

Why did you stay at AA for '20 years" and "even at the highest levels", if it wasn't an alcohol quiting program? Are you by nature a dishonest person? I'm confused.

I mean be honest here.
"i had learn to focus i what i could do rather what i couldn't do", Rick Hansen when asked about getting a disabling spinal cord injury at 15. He continues to raise money for spinal cord research and inspire peoople to "make a difference". He doesnt preach any religion.

Offline Ivellios

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Re: AA and No god
« Reply #21 on: September 25, 2011, 07:43:37 AM »
I was on my home today from work and the local Radio station had a speaker for AA on it

Quote
People have the misconception that AA is Religious. This is not true. We just believe in a "higher power," something that is greater than ourselves. Whatever you want to call it. Here are some of our rules:
  • Belief in a Higher power is necessary to regain sanity.
  • I am willing to submit my self and my will in order to do HIS will in my life.

By this point I got home, luckilly since I didn't want to die laughing while driving. Don't be saying it isn't religious then spout off about doing "His will." I can see right thru this like it's crystal.

Offline Ivellios

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Re: AA and No god
« Reply #22 on: September 25, 2011, 08:12:03 AM »
Don't get you started?

OK, you were warned...

There have been studies on this.  Twelve-step has been shown to be ineffective.  Dr. Vaillant, a member of the AA Board, conducted one such study.  It had an annual fatality rate of three percent, which he himself called "appalling".

As to what actually does work, this should be an eye-opener for you:
http://www.behaviortherapy.com/whatworks.htm

Notice how far down the list twelve-step is, and notice that it actually has a negative score, indicating a failure rate, not a success rate.

Wow, 12 steps is worse than having a placebo.  :o

Offline rickymooston

Re: AA and No god
« Reply #23 on: September 25, 2011, 12:10:57 PM »
[Wow, 12 steps is worse than having a placebo.  :o

This wasn't demostrated using the same sample conditions or the same experimental design

The 12 step program uses a placebo by the way; that is what the "higher power" is.
"i had learn to focus i what i could do rather what i couldn't do", Rick Hansen when asked about getting a disabling spinal cord injury at 15. He continues to raise money for spinal cord research and inspire peoople to "make a difference". He doesnt preach any religion.

Offline changeling

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Re: AA and No god
« Reply #24 on: September 26, 2011, 05:09:53 AM »


Again, I only can say, some people have found 12 steps helpful. For them, its a great program.


I agree. Voodoo works for some people, Wicca works for some people self flagellation works
for some people. The 12 step program is a controlling cult, and some people thrive in such an atmosphere.

My wife almost died from an accidental overdose of pain medication. Because of this the doctors
recommended that she attend a therapy session.
I didn't know it was a 12 step program, and really didn't know much about the programs at the time.

The group sessions almost immediately started directing her away from her existing friends and even her family.
The group and other 12 steppers were to be her companions.
She was even told that when we were on vacation, out of town, that she needed to find the
closest AA group meeting place and go to the meetings.

It was total emmersion into their cult at the exclusion of everything else.
The cult nearly destroyed our marriage because we naively took the  advice of a doctor.
« Last Edit: September 26, 2011, 05:11:46 AM by changeling »
The level of dumb they have to sell, is only made remotely possible by the level of flocking their sheep are willing to do in the name of rewards for no thought. quote: Kin Hell

"Faith is the enemy of evidence, for when we know the truth, no faith is required." Graybeard

Offline pianodwarf

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Re: AA and No god
« Reply #25 on: September 26, 2011, 06:26:55 AM »
The cult nearly destroyed our marriage because we naively took the  advice of a doctor.

In his defense, the doctor probably didn't know any better.  Not many people do, although word is starting to spread.  The AA propaganda machine has done an excellent job of making everyone in society presuppose that it is the only solution to alcoholism, but the truth is finally getting out.

Your story, sadly, is not unusual.  Terry, over at Orange Papers, receives letters from people telling the same story, and even worse, about how AA urges people to leave their spouses as "part of their recovery".  He also gets letters from non-alcoholics who are married to alcoholics.  They frequently report that, as bad as things were when the spouse was drinking, the spouse being in AA and not drinking made the marriage significantly worse, to the point where some marriages (and other relationships) do, indeed, get destroyed.
[On how kangaroos could have gotten back to Australia after the flood]:  Don't kangaroos skip along the surface of the water? --Kenn

Offline Ivellios

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Re: AA and No god
« Reply #26 on: September 26, 2011, 06:58:55 AM »
All according to the will of the "Higher Power" they submit thier will to, aparrently. Sounds as bad as the Cult Larissa was in.

Offline changeling

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Re: AA and No god
« Reply #27 on: September 27, 2011, 06:44:25 AM »
Quote
He also gets letters from non-alcoholics who are married to alcoholics.  They frequently report that, as bad as things were when the spouse was drinking, the spouse being in AA and not drinking made the marriage significantly worse, to the point where some marriages (and other relationships) do, indeed, get destroyed.

I think that is because the alcoholic merely replaces one addiction with another one that is just
as destructive mentally, if not physically.
The level of dumb they have to sell, is only made remotely possible by the level of flocking their sheep are willing to do in the name of rewards for no thought. quote: Kin Hell

"Faith is the enemy of evidence, for when we know the truth, no faith is required." Graybeard

Offline rickymooston

Re: AA and No god
« Reply #28 on: October 04, 2011, 02:08:15 AM »
My wife almost died from an accidental overdose of pain medication. Because of this the doctors recommended that she attend a therapy session.
I didn't know it was a 12 step program, and really didn't know much about the programs at the time.

If the overdose was accidental, why did she need any "treatment"? Why did she take the pain medication in the first place? Was she in pain? How serious was the cause of the pain? was shew addicted to the meds?

Quote
The group sessions almost immediately started directing her away from her existing friends and even her family.
The group and other 12 steppers were to be her companions.

The idea of seperating from friends would make sense, if the person with the problem was hanging out with drug users or in an otherwise negative environment that was causing their problem. Its stupid if, that person has a supportive family and set of friends.

Quite frankly, it sounds like the implentation of the 12 step program was brain dead. I've heard people tell me about smarter implrmrentations.
As for wiicca, its a great recreational activityfor some.

voodoo? don't know anything about it; heard bad things
"i had learn to focus i what i could do rather what i couldn't do", Rick Hansen when asked about getting a disabling spinal cord injury at 15. He continues to raise money for spinal cord research and inspire peoople to "make a difference". He doesnt preach any religion.