There are no doubt some people on this site who will cheer when I say this is my last blog on this particular forum, and possibly see it as a “victory”. That is their prerogative, and not one that concerns me. I’m writing this on the off chance that a passing reader or lurker might be reassured that, despite what they might have gathered from the behaviour of some on this forum, there *are* some safe places to go where they will not be subjected to the same put-downs, judgments, slogans, circular thinking, negativity, and AA-speak that they might have encountered in 12-step environments – and which may be exactly the kind of situation they are trying to get away from.
For a good start, see:
(Obviously for the best and most thorough analysis of AA and the 12-step movement, see the Orange Papers main site.)
Please be assured that there are many, many people out there who take your sincere concerns and experiences seriously, and will not personally attack you or dismiss them with smug, spiteful, and irrelevant arguments if you if you try to express them. There are people out there who are concerned for the 95% of those for whom the religious 12-step program provides no solution, and are not solely and selfishly concerned with the (possible) 5% that it “works” for. There are people out there who believe that trying to treat a sometimes life-threatening condition with faith-healing and the mumbo-jumbo spouted in Wilson’s self-contradictory religious ramblings is an absolute scandal, especially when sold by 12-step rehab businesses. There are people out there who understand that powerlessness, self-blame, prayer, confession, daily seeking of the AA God’s will, and lifelong attendance at AA meetings is not a legitimate or effective method for tackling addiction and/or stopping drinking and should never have been regarded as such. And there are people out there who will share their strength, hope and experience with you, because they too know what alcoholism and addiction is all about and have been affected by it in one way or another.
This is a hugely serious matter that deserves to be taken seriously. Unfortunately this forum is one in which the serious grown-up voices have been drowned out by those who are out to wreck, and do not even pretend to present any coherent arguments in favour of the 12-step program or engage in any kind of rational debate. This is a pity, because this forum could have been a good one, despite disparity of opinion, and I hope that it might change one day. Meanwhile it has largely become an echo-chamber for those pro-AA people whose lives are obsessively devoted to posting on anti-AA forums and sniping at other contributors rather than furthering their own cause to people who might actually find their approach to be a helpful one.
However, in the end it doesn’t really matter what goes on here. What matters is that we try to effect some change, raise awareness in the wider world about what is going on under the guise of “recovery”, and seek to provide some effective and real help to those affected by addictions of all kinds.
Once again, I’ll plug this site (it’s not the only one, but you will get some helpful links to others from there):