AA is a Cult, part 19

Step 7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings. 

Alcoholics Anonymous is a religious cult. It has only one path to salvation, and it’s surrender to the group. Once a penitent has “turned their will and life over to the care of” the group and the group’s shared concept of God, they are promised sanity, magic removal of their flaws, and sobriety. But the only mechanism for achieving sobriety is “religiomania”, as AA founder Bill Wilson put it. 

Clearly the claim anything could be your Higher Power doesn’t hold up. A doorknob or book can no more remove my shortcomings than it can restore my sanity or be my self-control. Even the ” group of drunks” can’t perform what Oxford Group founder Frank Buchman called “soul surgery”. This step calls on me to make direct contact with the supernatural Lord of Heaven. 

If such a god does not exist, the twelve steps can’t help you.  If a god exists but intended free wills not to be turned over to His care, the twelve steps can’t make good on their promises. For the cult’s teachings to be true, religion needs to be a genuine cure for alcoholism. It isn’t. I’m not getting into the question of whether or not any gods exist, but pointing out every twelve step group has this step which relies on a very specific, intervening, authoritarian god. 

Between this passive waiting for miracles and the AA dogma that “relapse is part of recovery”, it’s not a tremendous shock to read that an independent study of criminals esentenced to AA and its daughter cult Narcotics Anonymous found those in twelve steps group’s had binge drinking episodes five times as often as the rest. AA is a cult focused on recruiting and retaining membership. It is not focused on the sobriety or emotional health of its members. 

AA is a religion. It promises God, in exchange for surrender. Sobriety is never once mentioned in the steps. Drafting a sober plan to prevent slipping isn’t part of this cure. Getting a therapist and really dealing with the problems members used alcohol to self medicate is not included. There’s no place in this quasi faith healing cult for antidepressants. It’s God or get out. 

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