GROW is a peer led self help group for those with mental illness. It was founded in 1957 in Australia by Fr. Cornelius Keogh (RC). GROW's program is based on the 12 steps of AA with some slight changes. Just as in AA, GROW is a life long program of self hate and group dependence. It's popular in Australia, New Zealand and Ireland but not very widespread in the USA - mainly Illinois and New Jersey.
GROW's program is self described as "The Program of Growth to Maturity" implying that all who suffer from mental illness are immature and thus the solution to their condition is to develop maturity. Right from the start we have the medical to moral switch!
GROW describes the "12 Stages of Decline" which is basically blaming the patient for their own condition. Some of these stages are:
1. "We gave too much importance to ourselves and our feelings." You're selfish and self centered!
2. "We grew inattentive to God's presence and providence and God's natural order in our lives." God has given you your mental illness as a punishment for not doing His will! If only you'd believe in God He'd remove your mental illness.
3. "We let competitive motives, in our dealings with others, prevail over our common personal welfare." You're too competitive and you think you're really important - it's time you put others needs first and your needs last.
12. "We lost all insight into our condition." You're in denial and you need someone else to define your condition, it's causes and its treatment. You are incapable of dealing with this yourself since you have no insight into your condition.
And then there are "The Twelve Steps of Recovery and Personal Growth". Some of these steps are:
1. "We admitted we were inadequate or maladjusted to life." This is hideously counter therapeutic. The last thing you want to say to someone who has a mental illness is that they are inadequate and maladjusted to life. This is a horribly cruel method for instilling self hate and moving a person a step closer to suicide.
2. "We firmly resolved to get well and co-operated with the help that we needed." Get better already! If you're not getting better it's because you're not co-operating with our help and you're ungrateful and selfish.
3. "We surrendered to the healing power of a wise and loving God." How can any ethical organization teach people that only God will cure them of their psychiatric disorders. Again, this is horribly counter therapeutic and disempowering.
5. "We made a moral inventory and cleaned out our hearts." Mental illness is neither caused by immorality or cured by morality. What nonsense!
6. "We endured until cured." Take whatever crap we throw at you until you're cured. Also, you will never be cured - this is a lifelong program!
8. "We learned to think by reason rather than by feelings and imagination." A nice thought BUT one can't think by reason rather than imagination and practice step 3. Reason dictates that God doesn't cure psychiatric disorders so steps 3 and 8 directly contradict each other.
11. "We grew daily closer to maturity." Again, back to your immaturity which is the reason you have a mental illness. Maturity is the goal that you will always strive for but never reach - thus you will be part of our group for life.
12. "We carried GROW's hopeful, healing, and transforming message to others in need." Now that we've convinced you that you are self centered, overly competitive, immoral, Godless, inadequate and maladjusted go out there and convince others of the same. Get all of that self hate that we've instilled in you and transfer it to some other poor unfortunate. You'll feel much better when you do and God will love you for it!
And finally a quote from page 7 of GROW's "Blue Book": "I have my unique place and my unique part in my Creator’s own saving, healing and transforming work”. So there you have it: GROW is a faith healing cult for those with mental illness. What a horrible thing to do to any human being. And all this cultish, self hate filled, nonsense was put together by a Catholic priest.