AA's Sinister Chip Club

Yet another "Fix" article has moved me to write. I need to thank them for the inspiration :-> At first glance, AA’s “chip club” celebrations would appear to be nothing more than a happy occasion in which to recognize its participants’ success at having remained sober by adhering to the tenets of the program. In reality it is just another reinforcement of AA’s obsession with time. It is the basis of its continued existence and growth. One never accrues a sufficient amount of time in the halls of AA because there is no finality to recovery in its philosophy. Whether you have just “celebrated” 2 months, 2 years or 20, it is never enough. There is no exit plan, it’s a lifetime of living as a “recovering” alcoholic “one day at a time” for ETERNITY. Ms. Williams’ observation that; “Others believe this method can shame the chronic relapser” is more accurate than she knows. Nothing brings home the assertion that if one leaves the program that they are destined for relapse, to be followed by jails, institutions or death, more efficiently than this practice accompanied by the looks of shame and failure seen on the faces of those who have to humble themselves in front of the AA congregation as they meekly stand in judgment as they go and “receive” their “New or JUST COMING BACK” chip. To leave is to DIE as is very clearly stated in AA literature (page 174 of the 12&12) “Unless each AA member follows to the best of his ability our suggested Twelve Steps to recovery, he almost certainly signs his own death warrant.” It serves very nicely as a notice to the “newcomers” exactly what will happen if you stray away from the flock and actually believe that you have “recovered”. You can see the “knowing” looks on the faces of the old timers and sponsors any time this practice takes place. I can’t get out of my head the pained looks of failure and guilt that many of those that are made to stand before the court of AA judgment are forced to endure. How many, not wanting to face that humiliation, don’t bother to come back and end up believing that they actually are failures and as a result, do in fact go on to continue to hurt themselves because they have been led to believe that they are “powerless”. It’s all a lie because most people RECOVER on their own with no program whatsoever. You have the freedom to recover without surrendering your will or life to anyone or anything or in declaring yourself as a powerless alcoholic whose best case outcome is a lifetime of recovery. www.thefreedomtorecover.com


Those chips are humiliating to go up and get from the person giving them out. Someone walks up to get a hug, a plastic chip or "jewelry" and then to give a small speech/drunk log... (My partner gives me something real, even though I don't care about the recovery years that go by) I'm recovered as far as alcohol goes, even though a failure and feel very low right now. Don't give one piece of carbon for those stupid plastic chips, I wish one of my friends (who I talk about on this forum sometimes would stop going to those meetings, but she's still my friend). Grateful? For plastic chips? For those who care about them, I'm sorry.
Property of Dog's picture

I always vowed that if I relapsed I would kill myself to keep from taking a "white chip" and get all that applause and all those syrupy hugs of condescension. People tell me that's "not what it's about" and that I am seeing something they don't see in this ritual of shame and humiliation, but I know I am correct in how I see it. It kills people every, single day. Shaming fucking kills people.

magical properties of protections and luck, and to ward off evil. Amulets (usually heavy gold AA emblem suspended by thick gold chain, or heavy embossed ring) are different from talismans as their magic properties are thought to be natural, and talismans can be made of non-precious materials. The chip is often passed around the room with each member pausing and concentrating on the object. They believe they are infusing it with their personal power before giving it back to the member to carry. Care of talismans in AA is evidenced by the elaborate covers of the Books of longtime members, and the careful storing and handling of archive materials. Letters signed by Bill Wilson are given reverence and gloves are commonly provided for handling early editions or old cards and booklets. Those members known to have first editions secreted away are viewed by local members as having access to special and deeper power.
AntiDenial's picture

AA's connection with suicides are undeniable. They even admit it as it relates to telling people to stop taking their meds. Another reason to stop the 12 step madness.

"I welcome all allies in the fight against A.A. hegemony" -Orange

www.leavingaa.com www.expaa.org

NA DAYTONA Violent Criminals Mandated to AA and NA Meetings

d0gmatic's picture

I think they should use a pickle system for lengths of sobriety. Little gherkins for months and big honkin' dill pickles for years. After all, once you become a pickle, you can't go back to being a cucumber!

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"Sometimes people don't want to hear the truth because they don't want their illusions destroyed." ~ Nietzsche

Not just starting your time over but re-igniting the guilt and shame. In my experience a "relapse" (even just a few drinks one night and back on the wagon the next day) meant starting the steps over. That's admitting being powerless again and turning your will over to a God that already must have failed you. Then the further steps, all of the awful things you did wrong revisited. All that is enough and I believe has attributed to having a slip (few drinks one night) turn into a real relapse - back to excessive drinking and being sick. I sure as shit would not be keen on "humbling" myself (admitting I was a piece of shit just cuz I drank) in front of a group of people that otherwise say we have no control over it. Make up your minds! I'd even unconsciously want to stay away from remembering and obsessing (telling others AGAIN, also) all of my wrong-doings and shit. That and the damning powerless mind fuck would surely more often lead to indulging again/longer. I like what you all wrote. Yep, starting over again to go nowhere. How NOT appealing. *I often replace the words drugging or using with "drinking". It's just easier for me than going through the explanation each time, actually I wasn't a drinker but a drug user.

Pro Empowerment!

"I'm recovered as far as alcohol goes, even though a failure and feel very low right now." :( I understand feeling very low (although lucky the last few weeks/month, I haven't been as down as I had been). But Dan, No!!! You are not a failure. Maybe you have some of the cult belief in your mind, please don't believe that about yourself. I don't believe it for a minute. And, you have been an inspiration in these forums. That's just a fact. Want to argue about it? lol/jk. I'm serious, Dan. The real failures aren't near as likely to admit that as opposed to the non-failure - good heart, decent, and successful men that are being hard on themselves.

Pro Empowerment!

Rolf Ankermann's picture

is the fact that this whole white chip spectacle makes people feel shitty about their successes!-As if the time that they have managed to turn things around no longer count!!!! That's Billshit! I don't care if it's 2 weeks or 20 years, that time counts! You don't unlearn what you learned during that time, the lucid moments, the productive things you did, the relationships you worked on restoring, etc.... None of that disappears because you hit a bump in the road. In normie land people will still give you credit for those successes and simply tell you, if they even find out, that it's OK, just move past it. But NOOOOOOOO, not in CULTLAND. It's not OK!!!! You have failed yourself and more importantly, "the fellowship". But it is OK in a sense because we LOVE to see people fail who haven't been "working a good program", because after all, THAT'S WHAT HAPPENS TO EVERYONE WHO DARES LEAVE. Now go pick up your white chip, take the cotton out of your ears and learn something. Oh, and don't forget to keep coming back EVERY DAY forever and CALL YOUR SPONSOR for Unicorn's sake!!!!!

It's so fucking stupid and anti-intellectual (like most of AA is, really). Anyone can come up with meaningless metaphors and apply them in any way they want to. I once went to an AA event where this one lady (who is a condescending bitch in general) was handing out little pins shaped like pickles for everyone to put on their shirt to symbolize our status of having been "pickled." WTF?

The pickle/cucumber thing is possibly the worst thing about the cult apart from 13 stepping and their cover ups. Completely sickening.

Thank you. You write things much better than I can and I'm glad you're here on the forum/along with many others who have inspiration.