AA is a Cult, part 21

Step 9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others. 

Alcoholics Anonymous was originally “the Alcoholic Squad”, a branch of the fascist cult the Oxford Group. The Oxford Group had theology cobbled together by a disgraced professor from the United States named Frank Buchman, and an early membership of young Oxford University students. It taught that constant, public confession was the way to get in God’s good graces. 

Of course it is sometimes right to address one’s wrongs, and to apologize to injured parties. Sometimes that is only the beginning, and restitution is needed as well. You don’t need a cult religion to say you’re sorry, or to try to make right what you’ve set wrong. You can do it without submitting your will and life to God, or admitting you are powerless over alcohol. 

AA uses the ninth step as a semi covert promotion tactic. Because you don’t need a cult to say sorry, AA needs to mention itself in the apology. We’ve probably all witnessed a TV, movie, or book character who started their amends by explaining they were in a twelve step group, that they’d progressed to step nine, and that step nine called on them to make amends. They stress they are doing this because of the cult. 

If AA was primarily concerned with helping alcoholics become and remain sober through a fellowship of mutual support, why hasn’t alcoholism been the focus of these steps? If AA is about treating and curing a disease, why does medicine have no role to play? If, as it claims, AA is not a religion, then why is there such unbalanced focus on the God of Bill W.’s understanding?

This is Step 9. We’ve made it three quarters of the way through the steps. God has been integral to five of the nine steps so far. Alcohol was mentioned in passing. Disease, addiction, sobriety, and quit drinking have made no appearances thus far, and won’t show up in the remaining steps either. This is not a sobriety program. It is a cult posing as one. 

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