by A. Orange
If, when you honestly want to, you find you cannot quit entirely, or if when drinking, you have little control over the amount you take, you are probably alcoholic. If that be the case, you may be suffering from an illness which only a spiritual experience will conquer.
That is crazy. That is also bad medicine. There is no disease recognized by either the American Medical Association, or the American Psychiatric Association, which "only a spiritual experience will conquer." But this is the dogma, one of the core beliefs, upon which Alcoholics Anonymous is based. A.A. teaches that you can't "just quit drinking" or "just abstain". You must join A.A., do the Twelve Steps, and have a "spiritual experience", in order to quit drinking.
To one who feels he is an atheist or agnostic such an experience seems impossible, but to continue as he is means disaster, especially if he is an alcoholic of the hopeless variety. To be doomed to an alcoholic death or to live on a spiritual basis are not always easy alternatives to face.
This is false logic and deliberate deception: Mr. Wilson is playing mind games with your head, using the Sly Suggestions propaganda technique again and again. Bill starts with, "you may be suffering from an illness" and then jumps right to "you are doomed to an alcoholic death", while hardly pausing to take a breath. He never bothers to collect any supporting facts to change the "You may be sick" medical diagnosis into "You gonna die!"
In addition, Mr. Wilson has given us no evidence whatsoever that having a "spiritual experience" or "living on a spiritual basis" is necessary, or even helpful, for quitting drinking. Yet Bill insists that it is essential: we will die without it.
And Bill Wilson feels that this broken logic is proof enough to demand that all skeptics be converted to believing in his religious ideas:
But it isn't so difficult. About half our original fellowship were of exactly that type. At first some of us tried to avoid the issue, hoping against hope we were not true alcoholics. But after a while we had to face the fact that we must find a spiritual basis of life — or else. Perhaps it is going to be that way with you. But cheer up, something like half of us thought we were atheists or agnostics. Our experience shows that you need not be disconcerted.
You need not be disconcerted. Half of the Alcoholics Anonymous members have already been forced through a religious conversion against their will, and they survived it, and so will you.
Lack of power, that was our dilemma. We had to find a power by which we could live, and it had to be a Power greater than ourselves. Obviously. But where and how were we to find this Power? Well, that's exactly what this book is about. Its main object is to enable you to find a Power greater than yourself which will solve your problem.
Indeed: the main object is to get you to believe in God, Wilson-style. Quitting drinking seems to be secondary.
Likewise, in Chapter Five, Wilson declared:
Remember that we deal with alcohol — cunning, baffling, powerful! Without help it is too much for us. But there is One who has all power — that One is God. May you find Him now!
We have no desire to convince anyone that there is only one way by which faith can be acquired. ...
Note Bill's implication that people must "acquire faith" (as if they didn't have any). Alcoholics Anonymous is not a quit-drinking program; it's an "acquire faith" program. And the faith that you must acquire is faith in Bill Wilson and his cult religion.
And the "no friction" statement is another blatant lie. There is immense "friction" for those who do not subscribe to Bill Wilson's religious dogma. Both atheists and devoted Christians get attacked for their religious beliefs. Atheists and agnostics are constantly criticized and sneered at ("You think you are too good to need God. You think you are God.") and sincere Christians are laughed at and told to "take it to church" when they speak about Jesus Christ.
PRACTICAL EXPERIENCE shows that nothing will so much insure immunity from drinking as intensive work with other alcoholics. It works when other activities fail. This is our twelfth suggestion: Carry this message to other alcoholics!
Chapter Seven clearly describes the deceptive recruiting practices and mind games that will be used to seduce and convert newcomers. It starts with, find a prospect, and start working on him:
Don't start out as an evangelist or reformer. Unfortunately a lot of prejudice exists. You will be handicapped if you arouse it.
Yes, people are prejudiced against crazy cults and their missionaries, and don't like to be bothered by them, unfortunately.
Sometimes it is wise to wait till he goes on a binge. The family may object to this, but unless he is in a dangerous physical condition, it is better to risk it. Don't deal with him when he is very drunk, unless he is ugly and the family needs your help. Wait for the end of the spree, or at least for a lucid interval. Then let his family or a friend ask him if he wants to quit for good and if he would go to any extreme to do so. If he says yes, then his attention should be drawn to you as a person who has recovered. You should be described to him as one of a fellowship who, as part of their own recovery, try to help others and who will be glad to talk to him if he cares to see you.
What a setup. Call on him when he is sick, hung over, jittery, and depressed. He will be in the weakest and most vulnerable condition then. And then start to play mind games on his head: Get him to write a blank check — he must be willing to go to any extreme to stop being sick — just coming to his senses and getting a grip and quitting drinking isn't nearly enough. Then carefully do a little social engineering:
See your man alone, if possible. At first engage in general conversation. After a while, turn the talk to some phase of drinking. Tell him enough about your drinking habits, symptoms, and experiences to encourage him to speak of himself.
This is standard Buchmanism, just the regular recruiting techniques used by Frank Buchman's cult, "The Five C's". First, the recruiter confesses things about himself, to get the trust and confidence of the prospect. Then the prospect confesses something in return. Then the recruiter turns it around, and uses it against him, amplifying it and exaggerating it as much as possible, to get the prospect to feel terribly guilty, and to "convict himself" — to find himself guilty — of some sin or crime. Then, the only way for the prospect to escape from the feelings of guilt is to surrender to religious conversion. Frank Buchman developed that procedure into an art form, and called it "Soul Surgery". Then some of Buchman's followers taught the technique to Bill Wilson. Now Wilson is teaching it to the A.A. recruiters.
If his mood is light, tell him humorous stories of your escapades. Get him to tell some of his.
Again, the setup, getting his confidence, and getting him to reveal his history and his secrets.
When he sees you know all about the drinking game, commence to describe yourself as an alcoholic.
Another mind game: Tell him that his situation is hopeless. That is the cult practice of Phobia Induction. Suggest to him that his thinking is faulty, that he is suffering from a queer mental condition. That is the cult characteristic 'Newcomers can't think right'. Don't mention the Big Book, because we don't want him to know that we are following a recipe in a manual, and we also don't want to disclose other information in the book that he isn't supposed to know yet, like how this recruiting scam works, or just how fanatically religious this cult really is.
And be careful not to brand him as an alcoholic. Let him draw his own conclusion. If he sticks to the idea that he can still control his drinking, tell him that possibly he can — if he is not too alcoholic. But insist that if he is severely afflicted, there may be little chance he can recover by himself.
These are some powerful mind games: "You will die if you don't do things my way. You may think that you can recover on your own, but, your 'queer mental condition' renders your thinking useless, so your odds aren't too good... You will die before you even realize your predicament. You had better join my cult right now, while you still can."
Doctors are rightly loath to tell alcoholic patients the whole story unless it will serve some good purpose. But you may talk to him about the hopelessness of alcoholism because you offer a solution.
Yes, the members of the cult are special. They will tell you things that your doctor won't. (Now whether those things are true is another matter...)
You will soon have your friend admitting he has many, if not all, of the traits of the alcoholic.
Dream on. You will soon have him admitting things? Next, confessing things?
If his own doctor is willing to tell him that he is alcoholic, so much the better. Even though your protege may not have entirely admitted his condition, he has become very curious to know how you got well.
Now he's a protegé? We just met a few minutes ago. And he has progressed
from stranger to friend to protegé in mere minutes.
The truth is, he is a recruiting target, not a friend or a protegé.
And now the prospect is curious? Notice how skillfully Wilson plays
his mind games. Bill Wilson was trained in
techniques by Frank Buchman's cult, The Oxford Group, and he was a
good student. Then Bill took courses like Dale Carnegie's How to
Win Friends and Influence People. Bill really knew how to
manipulate and influence people's minds, and did it deliberately,
and now he's teaching the recruiter his techniques.
Let him ask you that question, if he will. Tell him exactly what happened to you. Stress the spiritual feature freely. If the man be agnostic or atheist, make it emphatic that he does not have to agree with your conception of God. He can choose any conception he likes, provided it makes sense to him. The main thing is that he be willing to believe in a Power greater than himself and that he live by spiritual principles.
Why are you supposed to
"Stress the spiritual feature freely"?
emphatic that he does not have to agree with your conception of
is deceptive recruiting.
The recruiters also tell the prospects,
But prospects and new members, whom A.A. calls "pigeons" and "babies", are not told that up front.
Once the prospects have been recruited and brought into the group, the old-timers will set to work indoctrinating the newcomers and pressuring them to bring their beliefs into agreement with the rest of the group. A book called the "Serenity Bible" describes that theistic bait-and-switch process precisely, using more Sly Suggestions:
We may start out as agnostics. We may then come to view the group or recovery process as our higher power, looking to other people for strength. Gradually, we accept a vague notion of god, which grows to a more specific monotheistic god. We may even begin to pray to and dialogue with this god. Eventually we come to know the one true God.
Notice how most of the sentences in that paragraph are vague "suggestions"
that say "We may" do something... The only two solid statements are:
That is the propaganda trick of Sly Suggestions: It's a kind of illogic, another kind of bait-and-switch trick: First, only suggest that something may be true, and then suddenly assume that it really is the truth.
When first contacted, most alcoholics just wanted to find sobriety, nothing else. They clung to their other defects, letting go only little by little. They simply did not want to get "too good too soon." The Oxford Groups' absolute concepts — absolute purity, absolute honesty, absolute unselfishness, and absolute love — were frequently too much for the drunks. These ideas had to be fed with teaspoons rather than by buckets.
The alcoholics (whom Bill Wilson arrogantly called "drunks" who didn't want to be good) just wanted to quit drinking; they didn't want to join Bill's crazy Buchmanite cult religion with its ridiculous Four Absolutes. So Bill Wilson's answer to that problem was to deceive the newcomers, and hide the intense religiosity of A.A., and to also hide the Buchmanite Oxford Group cult religion roots of Alcoholics Anonymous, until after the newcomers had been indoctrinated and brainwashed enough... Mr. Wilson candidly admitted that he was practicing deceptive recruiting, not honestly telling the newcomers what membership in his group would really entail. And now, the A.A. slogan "Teaspoons, Not Buckets" teaches standard A.A. recruiting procedure.
Notice how Bill Wilson claimed that the prospects' reluctance to join a cult religion was "clinging to their other defects". In Bill Wilson's mind, the alcoholics had to both quit drinking and join his religion in order to be good people.
Also note that the absurd "Four Absolutes" were not exactly restricted to the Oxford Groups. The popular terminology was, but the thinking wasn't. Most cult religions encourage irrational absolute black-and-white thinking and impossible, super-human standards of perfection.
When dealing with such a person [an agnostic or atheist], you had better use everyday language to describe spiritual principles. There is no use arousing any prejudice he may have against certain theological terms and conceptions about which he may already be confused. Don't raise such issues, no matter what your own convictions are.
Again, deceive the prospect. Downplay and soft-pedal the religiosity. Don't use any theological terminology that would reveal the true religious nature of the A.A. program.
Notice how Bill Wilson declared that agnostics or atheists who wouldn't believe in his peculiar Buchmanite religious ideas were "prejudiced" and "already confused" about "certain theological terms and conceptions". Such arrogance. Mr. Wilson won't admit that many very intelligent, well-educated people — both non-believers and believers — who clearly understand what theological terms mean, still strongly disagree with Bill's religious proclamations for a variety of good reasons.
Even the Pope would disagree with the theology of Frank Buchman and Bill Wilson, because it is grossly heretical nonsense. In fact, the Vatican did ban Frank Buchman's Oxford Group and Moral Re-Armament cults — twice — specifically because of its bad theology — and the Pope ordered that no good Catholics should go to Oxford Group meetings or work with Moral Re-Armament.
But Bill Wilson just claimed that people who objected to his
peculiar Buchmanite religious tenets were all
and trying to
obvious truth that he imagined he saw so clearly:
We had seen spiritual release, but liked to tell ourselves it wasn't true.
(That is Bill's narcissistic delusions of grandeur, showing again. Only Bill and those people who agree with him see everything clearly, Bill thinks. Everybody else is just confused and prejudiced and thinking dishonestly and fooling themselves...)
Your prospect may belong to a religious denomination. His religious education and training may be far superior to yours. In that case he is going to wonder how you can add anything to what he already knows. But he will be curious to learn why his own convictions have not worked and why yours seem to work so well. He may be an example of the truth that faith alone is insufficient.
That is a vicious mind game of religious one-upmanship: If someone is having troubles with alcohol, claim that it proves that his religious beliefs and faith are inferior to those of the Alcoholics Anonymous members: "his own convictions have not worked", and "his faith was insufficient".
But is that true? Is the recruiter really a living example of a good religion? The recruiter may appear to have his act together, but that is often a sham. He may be "faking it until he makes it." The usual path for new cult members is to become true believers early in the game, and enthusiastically go recruit others, and then, eventually, the older members will become disillusioned and leave,
Just look around an A.A. meeting, and ask yourself, "Where are all of the old-timers, the ones with 20 or 30 years? Why are even the guys with just 10 years sober in A.A. just a bit unusual?"
And note that here is where Mr. Wilson begins his campaign to convert all believers of other religions to his own religious beliefs, while he also declares that A.A. is not a religion, and that you are free to have any religious beliefs you wish.
The Big Book also says:
I had been brought up to believe in God, but I know that until I found this A.A. program, I had never found or known faith in the reality of God, the reality of His power that is now with me in everything I do.
Yes, A.A. is much better than other religions. So you should convert to Mr. Wilson's religious beliefs.
All of these games of religious one-upmanship contradict the happy P.R. statement that Mr. Wilson made earlier in the Big Book:
Those having religious affiliations will find nothing here disturbing to their beliefs or ceremonies. There is no friction among us over such matters.
Besides which, A.A. starts off telling you that "alcoholism" is a disease, often caused by inheriting a gene for alcoholism from your father. What do faith and religious beliefs have to do with a congenital disease? Real doctors don't say, "You have cystic fibrosis. You had better change your religious beliefs, fast."
The Big Book recruiting manual continues:
To be vital, faith must be accompanied by self sacrifice and unselfish, constructive action.
Again, this is a misleading statement. Those terms, "self sacrifice" and "unselfish, constructive action" are so vague and generic that they could mean anything that Mr. Wilson or A.A. want them to mean. And Bill usually wants them to mean, "Go recruit some more members for our little 'fellowship' if you want your faith to be 'vital'."
(Pardon a stupid question, but just what is "vital faith", and why should I want some, and how does it differ from "non-vital faith"?)
There is a guilt-inducing accusation implied there:
And again, this is religion, not how to quit drinking. The Catholics, Protestants, Jews, Buddhists, Moslems, Sufis, Bahais, Hindus, and Native Americans have every right to (at least try to) lecture me about faith, but not A.A., because A.A. says that it isn't a religion.
Let him see that you are not there to instruct him in religion.
Geez Louise, Bill. Whom do you think you are kidding? Do we really look that blind and stupid?
Admit that he probably knows more about it [religion] than you do, but call to his attention the fact that however deep his faith and knowledge, he could not have applied it or he would not drink.
Wilson is teaching deceptive mind games again:
Perhaps your story will help him see where he has failed to practice the very precepts he knows so well. We represent no particular faith or denomination. We are dealing only with general principles common to most denominations.
Again, we see the "medical-to-moral-morph" bait-and-switch stunt unfolding:
And this is also untrue:
"We represent no particular faith or denomination."
And they dissemble when they say that it isn't a religion. Any sane reader should be able to see by now that it's a religion. (All of the judges and courts can see that it's a religion.) Mr. Wilson has done little else besides talk about God and faith and how God will save you from alcoholism, if you confess enough and believe enough and recruit enough... And Bill Wilson spent all of chapter four of the Big Book — "We Agnostics" — lecturing everybody about how they had to believe in God, just like Bill did, and convert to Bill's religion, or else. Bill gave no helpful information in chapter four about how to actually quit drinking and stay quit. That is a religion, not a quit-drinking program.
And Bill said, "We are dealing only with general principles common to most denominations." No way José!
A.A. has almost nothing in common with any sane, ordinary religion.
Can you imagine thinking you are in a Catholic mass or a Baptist
church service when you walk into an A.A. meeting? Not a ghost of
The simple answer is, "No. Most denominations won't tell you that."
One critic on the Internet said it beautifully:
I fail to see how the Judeo/Christian God is the one referred to by Bill W., nor do I think that the 12-Step cult holds any considerable similarities to major religions. None of them consider "newcomers" to be sick people who must be introduced to the religions piecemeal, nor do they use cliches and other insulting language in a sophisticated attempt to make the congregation passive. In writing that, I just tried to picture in my mind an actual sermon, where the priest tells his colorful "story" of his life before joining the church (to the laughter of the congregation,) and pleads, "your best thinking got you here. 90 services in 90 days. Fake it 'til you make it. Keep it simple, stupid. Keep coming back, it works if you work it, you die if you don't, so work it, you're worth it!" ... and I laughed.
Bill Wilson's recruiting manual continues:
Outline the program of action, explaining how you made a self-appraisal, how you straightened out your past and why you are now endeavoring to be helpful to him. It is important for him to realize that your attempt to pass this on to him plays a vital part in your recovery. Actually, he may be helping you more than you are helping him.
Yeh, I can't get my merit badge in recruiting until I get three more new converts.
Actually, this is also standard cult behavior: It is called "actionizing", or "self-sell". The trick is to get new members out on the streets fast, busy recruiting more members. The act of trying to convert others will cement the new dogma in the minds of the recent converts, and they will be convincing themselves as they try to convince others.
Make it plain he is under no obligation to you, that you hope only that he will try to help other alcoholics when he escapes his own difficulties. Suggest how important it is that he place the welfare of other people ahead of his own.
Outrageous. What did I tell you? We haven't even converted this guy yet, and already we are telling him that he has to go recruiting for us.
And then the recruiter uses a little shaming and guilt induction to manipulate the prospect's mind: "Place other people's welfare ahead of your own, you selfish slob, and go recruit some more members for our 'little fellowship'."
And he also uses some fear-mongering at the same time:
Notice the cute double-bind: Even if the recruiter claims that he is recruiting for A.A. because he is placing the welfare of other people ahead of his own, he is still out there recruiting because he is really trying to save his own life (probably a lot more than theirs). Indeed, it's nearly impossible to not be extremely interested in your own welfare when we are talking about who will die. So you should then feel guilty about being so selfish.
Wilson continued with the recruiting manual:
Maybe you have disturbed him about the question of alcoholism. This is all to the good. The more hopeless he feels, the better. He will be more likely to follow your suggestions.
Again, more scheming mind games. Disturb him, and make him feel hopeless, the more hopeless the better, so that he will give up, and despair of saving himself, and surrender to you and the cult.
Do not be discouraged if your prospect does not respond at once. Search out another alcoholic and try again. You are sure to find someone desperate enough to accept with eagerness what you offer. We find it a waste of time to keep chasing a man who cannot or will not work with you. ... To spend too much time on any one situation is to deny some other alcoholic an opportunity to live and be happy.
Indeed. We aren't trying to save alcoholics here, we are trying to get more cult members. Don't waste your time on the ones who won't join the cult. Keep fishing, and you will find someone desperate enough to grab, like a drowning man, at anything you hold out. And you will find somebody; that's how this cult succeeds in getting new members.
And note Bill Wilson's delusions of grandeur showing again: If you don't get around to pushing some alcoholic into Bill's program, then you will be denying him the "opportunity to live and be happy." Bill actually claimed that alcoholics couldn't possibly recover, be happy, or even live, without his Alcoholics Anonymous program. Nobody else in the whole world had the magic. Just Bill Wilson. If you don't recruit them into A.A., then they die. That is the standard cult characteristic of We have THE ONLY WAY.
Ah, but don't give up too easily. Even if you can't talk the alcoholic into joining Alcoholics Anonymous, maybe you can recruit the rest of his family into the Al-Anon and Alateen branches of the 12-Step church:
Though an alcoholic does not respond, there is no reason why you should neglect his family. You should continue to be friendly to them. The family should be offered your way of life. Should they accept and practice spiritual principles, there is a much better chance that the head of the family will recover. And even though he continues to drink, the family will find life more bearable.
So, all is not lost, even if he won't join A.A. — you can still recruit his wife and kids into the other branch of the organization, Al-Anon, where they will practice Bill Wilson's "spiritual way of life", doing his Twelve Steps, confessing all of their sins and hearing the Voice of God telling them what to do.
Note, once again, that Alcoholics Anonymous is not really a quit-drinking
program, it's a religion. Drafting the wife and kids into the program
is a dead give-away. They don't drink, and they don't need a quit-drinking program.
Note the subtle, veiled, hints of magic:
Bill Wilson clearly said,
"The family should be offered your way of life."
The argument that the family should be recruited because
maybe the alcoholic will join A.A. later is
pretty flimsy. And the claim that somehow, the family's life will be
made more "bearable" by Bill's "spiritual way of life"
clearly indicates that it's a religion that is supposed to
somehow give you comfort and help you to bear your load of
woes and suffering.
(Even if it doesn't cure anybody
So, just how IS the wife's confessing all of her sins to her sponsor
supposed to make her husband's suicidal drinking more "bearable"?
Note the subtle, veiled, hints of magic:
Bill Wilson clearly said,
"The family should be offered your way of life."
The argument that the family should be recruited because maybe the alcoholic will join A.A. later is pretty flimsy. And the claim that somehow, the family's life will be made more "bearable" by Bill's "spiritual way of life" clearly indicates that it's a religion that is supposed to somehow give you comfort and help you to bear your load of woes and suffering. (Even if it doesn't cure anybody of "alcoholism".)
So, just how IS the wife's confessing all of her sins to her sponsor supposed to make her husband's suicidal drinking more "bearable"?
Then, Mr. Wilson instructs the recruiter to be wary about loaning the prospect money, or letting him live in his house for a while, or giving too much other help. On one level, this is good advice, because too many down-and-out alcoholics are likely to take advantage of such a situation if they can. But the rationalization for not helping the alcoholic is:
The minute we put our work on a service plane, the alcoholic commences to rely upon our assistance rather than upon God.
This is remarkably similar to the Buchmanite Ted Stoan's remarks about how he had made a big mistake by campaigning for poor school-children to get meals and boots, because he had made "materialists" out of them. And it also explains why Alcoholics Anonymous never engages in any social work, participates in no charities, and never helps the poor or homeless, even though many of them are alcoholics.
Then Bill Wilson once again shows us the intensely religious and magical nature of the program:
Job or no job — wife or no wife — we simply do not stop drinking so long as we place dependence upon other people ahead of dependence on God.
Then Bill couldn't help but go on a side trip for a page, and get in a few more jabs at his wife:
Though his family be at fault in many respects, he should not be concerned about that. He should concentrate on his own spiritual demonstration. Argument and fault-finding are to be avoided like the plague. In many homes this is a difficult thing to do, but it must be done if any results are to be expected. ... Little by little the family may see their own defects and admit them. These can then be discussed in an atmosphere of helpfulness and friendliness.
Meaning: "Yeh, Lois. When are you going to admit your own defects, like that you are really a horrible bitch who nagged me for years, always demanding that I quit drinking and go get a job? Now, I'm too spiritual to bring it up and criticize you for it, but don't you think it's about time that you 'cleaned house' and confessed it to me?"
Then, Bill Wilson just had to make one more try at recruiting the entire family into his religion:
After they have seen tangible results, the family will perhaps want to go along. These things will come to pass naturally and in good time...
If there be divorce or separation, there should be no undue haste for the couple to get together. The man should be sure of his recovery. The wife should fully understand his new way of life. If their old relationship is to be resumed it must be on a better basis, since the former did not work. This means a new attitude and spirit all around. Sometimes it is to the best interests of all concerned that a couple remain apart. Obviously, no rule can be laid down. Let the alcoholic continue his program day by day. When the time for living together has come, it will be apparent to both parties.
Yes, she must "fully understand" that Alcoholics Anonymous will now dominate his new life, and that they shouldn't get back together until she knows her place and is willing to stay in her place. And if she won't accept the A.A. program, then the marriage should end.
Then Bill Wilson even had the gall to tell the wives that they should leave quietly, and not make a scene:
The first principle of success is that you should never be angry. Even though your husband becomes unbearable and you have to leave him temporarily, you should, if you can, go without rancor. Patience and good temper are most necessary.
So, lady, even if you have to leave your husband, you shouldn't make an angry scene on the way out the door. It is "most necessary" that you smile sweetly at hubby as you leave.
Most necessary for what?
Bill Wilson just couldn't stand his wife Lois criticizing him, nagging him, or angrily screaming at him, calling him "a drunken sot".
And if they can't get back together, Bill has this advice for the ex-wife:
But sometimes you must start life anew. We know women who have done it. If such women adopt a spiritual way of life their road will be smoother.
So ladies, even if A.A. breaks up your marriage, you should still join Al-Anon and adopt Bill Wilson's 12-Step "spiritual way of life"...
Bill just couldn't stop recruiting, could he?
No, he couldn't. Over on page 130, in the chapter The Family Afterwards, Bill also wrote:
One more suggestion: Whether the family has spiritual convictions or not, they may do well to examine the principles by which the alcoholic member is trying to live. They can hardly fail to approve these simple principles, though the head of the house still fails somewhat in practicing them. Nothing will help the man who is off on a spiritual tangent so much as the wife who adopts a sane spiritual program, making a better use of it.
Note Bill's arrogant assumption that the women did not already have
a "spiritual way of life", and didn't even know much about
Any woman who, like Lois Wilson, could
play the thankless "stand by your man" role
and tolerate an arrogant obnoxious egotistical philandering drunkard like
Bill Wilson for many years,
and even go to work in a department store to support him
while he stole money
out of her purse to go buy more booze,
must have the patience of a saint...
Note Bill's assumption that his "simple principles" are
so obviously true that no reasonable person could possibly
disagree with them:
Bill Wilson even thinks that his religion is the best cure for a family where
Daddy has gone crazy
from too much of Bill's religion:
Having destroyed a bunch of marriages, Bill now takes off his marriage-counselor hat and switches back to being a spiritual advisor:
Remind the prospect that his recovery is not dependent upon people. It is dependent upon his relationship with God.
Oh? What is this religious mumbo jumbo? Can you prove this, Mr. Wilson?
Follow the dictates of a Higher Power and you will presently live in a new and wonderful world, no matter what your present circumstances!
More of the same unproven mumbo jumbo. What if my Higher Power isn't
Then Wilson declared:
We are careful never to show intolerance or hatred of drinking as an institution. Experience shows that such an attitude is not helpful to anyone.
Why? I don't feel bad about damning the tobacco industry. Why
does alcohol deserve special treatment? Doesn't advertising
beer on TV during every sporting event increase drinking and cravings?
Hint: Of course it does. That's why the big brewing companies spend millions of dollars to air those commercials.
Then Bill ended the recruiting manual with these declarations:
After all, our problems were of our own making. Bottles were only a symbol. Besides, we have stopped fighting anybody or anything. We have to!
Actually, our problems were made by a lot of things: God, physics, evolution, biochemistry, genetics, medical problems, psychiatric problems, childhoods, parents, child abuse, life, society, history, culture, laws, breweries, and ourselves.
Bottles are not a symbol, they are a container. The implication here is that the disease theory of alcoholism has been completely discarded now, and the moral model is installed. Now, the alcoholic is told that his problems were of his own making, due to his own moral shortcomings, his own personal sins, and his own failure to practice religious precepts properly. Genetics and diseases do not count any more.
But it is clear that we made our own misery. God didn't do it.
The medical-to-moral-morph bait-and-switch stunt has been completed.
Last updated 20 September 2018.
Copyright © 2019, A. Orange