---This is a continuation of a topic I brought up the other day. Orange discussed the Chapter To Wives, giving examples of Bill W.'s Lying by Omission.
--Below is more of Orange's examples of 'Lying by Omissions and Half-truths' propagating techniuques as they relate to Bill Wilson and AA. Orange is quoted with the bold text and quotes from the AA text are italicised. ---Thoughts and arguments?
Bill Wilson gave us many more examples of that Lie By Omission technique. Here, he is talking about doing Step Five, where we confess all of our sins and moral shortcomings to someone else:
'This is perhaps difficult, especially discussing our defects with another person. We think we have done well enough in admitting these things to ourselves. There is doubt about that. In actual practice, we usually find a solitary self-appraisal insufficient. Many of us thought it necessary to go much further. We will be more reconciled to discussing ourselves with another person when we see good reasons why we should do so. The best reason first: If we skip this vital step, we may not overcome drinking. Time after time newcomers have tried to keep to themselves certain facts about their lives. Trying to avoid this humbling experience, they have turned to easier methods. Almost invariably they got drunk. Having persevered with the rest of the program, they wondered why they fell. We think the reason is that they never completed their housecleaning. They took inventory all right, but hung on to some of the worst items in stock. They only thought they had lost their egoism and fear; they only thought they had humbled themselves. But they had not learned enough of humility, fearlessness and honesty, in the sense we find it necessary, until they told someone else all their life story.'
A.A. Big Book, 3rd Edition, William G. Wilson, Chapter 6, Into Action, pages 72-73.
Wow. That's really impressive. I guess we had better get down on our knees right now, and start confessing everything, holding nothing back!
Notice that the rest of the logic is missing. That is, where do we see the report on the other people, who did confess everything, and then successfully abstained from drinking? There is no such report, because they all relapsed too. The early New York group that Bill Wilson was writing about had a very high relapse rate. Fully fifty percent of the original Big Book authors relapsed and returned to a life of drinking. In Akron, Bill Wilson and Doctor Bob calculated that they had only a 5% success rate in sobering up alcoholics (which is the same as the success rate of people who quit on their own). Bill Wilson couldn't keep 'em sober not for nuthin'. The cult religion routine didn't work at all.
But Bill didn't want to talk about that, because he was a faithful Buchmanite who believed that you must confess your sins to everyone else in your group if you are to be holy. So Bill was doing everything in his power to make everyone holy, even if it didn't make them sober.
And note how Bill also gave us illustrations of a few other propaganda techniques:
The Straw Man Tactic:
"We think we have done well enough in admitting these things to ourselves."
"They only thought they had lost their egoism and fear; they only thought they had humbled themselves. But they had not learned enough of humility, fearlessness and honesty..."
Those people who think that they don't really need to do all of Bill Wilson's wonderful 12 Steps are really stupid egotistical dishonest cowards, aren't they?
Hiding Behind Others:
The use of "We" to create the false impression that it was more than just the opinion of Bill Wilson — that many people had done a whole lot of research on the subject, and had gained a lot of valuable experience in what really works to keep people sober: "We think... We usually find..." The truth is, when Bill wrote that paragraph in December of 1938 and January of 1939, there were only 60 or 70 sober A.A. members in the whole world, and they didn't all agree with him. Their major experience was in watching Bill Wilson's religious program fail to keep them sober, with most of the early A.A. members relapsing and leaving. Here, Bill Wilson was really just pushing his own strange Buchmanite religious beliefs, and trying to convince others that his ideas were the only things that work.
Lying by Omission (some more):
Half of those few sober A.A. members didn't like or do Bill Wilson's Twelve Steps. They were the members who demanded that Bill's 12 religious steps be called "suggestions", not requirements, because they saw clearly that Bill's dogmatic religiosity would drive away many of the alcoholics whom the program was supposed to help. See page 59 of the Big Book — the steps are only "suggested as a program of recovery". But here, Bill wants to fool you into thinking that all of the sober members did Step Five thoroughly, holding nothing back, and that's why they were sober.
Post Hoc, Ergo Propter Hoc: "It happened after 'X', so it was caused by 'X'."
"Time after time newcomers have tried to keep to themselves certain facts about their lives. ... Almost invariably they got drunk."
Bill Wilson doesn't really give us any evidence that withholding embarrassing personal secrets makes people drink alcohol, just like he doesn't give us any evidence that confessing sins to other A.A. members makes people get sober. He just wants to fool us into thinking it. I can with equal validity argue that they all relapsed because they wore clothes to the meetings:
Time after time, we have seen newcomers make the stupid mistake of wearing clothes to A.A. meetings. Almost all of the newcomers who relapsed wore clothes. (What sins were they trying to hide?) Almost invariably, they got drunk. And almost all of the people who wore clothes to A.A. meetings eventually dropped out.
Conclusion: Obviously, wearing clothes to A.A. meetings causes people to drink alcohol.