AA is a Cult, part 52

Twelfth Tradition. And finally, we of Alcoholics Anonymous believe that the principle of anonymity has an immense spiritual significance. It reminds us that we are to place principles before personalities; that we are actually to practice a genuine humility. This to the end that our great blessings may never spoil us; that is, that we shall forever live in thankful contemplation of Him who presides over us all. 

Short: Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all our traditions, ever reminding us to place principles before personalities. 

“Principles before personalities” is another way of saying that the welfare of Alcoholics Anonymous the national 501(c)3 charity comes before the welfare of its members – the people who pay all the bills and volunteer most of the labor. The people it claims to be helping. Imagine if hunger or housing charities required all donations to come from starving and homeless people. That’s how AA finances work, by design. 

It’s also how AA responsibilities work. AA groups are responsible for being self-supporting, for sending extra funds to AA headquarters, and for the actions of their members. AA, Inc. sets the rules, but takes absolutely no responsibility for enforcement. That’s why they’ve never made any move to shut down the Midtown group in the DC area, even after allegations of rampant sexual abuse and exploitation of minor teens made national papers, more than ten years ago. 

I don’t know how much “genuine humility” we could possibly ascribe to the glory hound founder who wrote these words, Bill Wilson.  There are many words to describe his demeanor: gregarious, flirtatious, erratic, explosive. Humble isn’t one of them. He liked the attention, special favors, and exceptional permission to break the rules that leading a cult gave him. We must infer this edict was intended for others to follow, but not for him. 

“Thankful contemplation of Him who presides over us all” is not what people look for when they try their first AA meeting. People with drinking problems want real solutions. They want to stop doing things they know are bad for them and they probably want to feel a lot better than they do. An “attitude of gratitude” won’t address childhood trauma or unmedicated chemical imbalance. AA pretends to get at the root cause instead of the symptom, by declaring alcoholism is a “spiritual disease”. The real root causes go ignored. 

This is a bait and switch, a con artist’s tactic, a shifty salesman’s best pitch. Alcoholics Anonymous promotes itself as a cure for alcoholism, as a holistic approach for a physical disease. But quickly, so quickly, alcohol itself is dropped from the conversation to make room for God. Not the Christian God, of course; Jesus is verboten. AA inserts itself into criminal courts and medical addiction treatment, masquerading as addiction counseling, but it is nothing more than a purile religion. 

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