Lest people think they can quit drinking on their own, an Alcoholics Anonymous slogan warns “When a person tries to control their drinking, they have already lost control.” As if control, once lost, could never be regained. But they promise “AA will work if you want it to work.” This lets AA off the hook for all those times, the majority, when AA does not work: it was the alcoholic’s fault.
“You have to go to meetings until you want to” and this cult recommends you go daily. “Try 90 meetings for 90 days and if you don’t like it we will gladly refund your misery,” they quip. That’s quite an investment of time for no guarantee. AA also has a slogan on sponsors, “Have one, use one, be one.” Regarding AA failures there’s a slogan: “We in AA don’t carry the alcoholic, we carry the message.”
AA newcomers are told “There is no magic in recovery, only miracles” a nonsensical assertion presented with no evidence. They’re advised to “Stick with the winners”. If they ask for genuine sympathy for their struggles they’re likely to be mocked with the slogan “Poor me, poor me, pour me another drink.”
The groups say “there but for the grace of God go I” when a member starts drinking again. They insist “There are no atheists in foxholes” and to the doubter they ask “If God feels far away, who moved?” “If God is your copiulot, switch seats.” For a program which insists it’s not religious, there are an awful lot of slogans about God. How does one “let go and let God” in a way that isn’t religious faith? (One doesn’t.)
AA members are discouraged from trusting their own minds or sharing their own thoughts. “When your head begins to swell, your mind stops growing” so don’t have self-esteem. “Minds are like parachutes and only work when I opened” so ignore your instincts, now relabeled ss closed mindedness. “When you do all the talking, you only learn what you already know” and it’s given that newcomers can’t possibly teach oldtimers a thing. “Before engaging your mouth, put your brain in gear” – in gear meaning in the cult mindset.
Contradictory slogans advise “Don’t put conditions on your sobriety”, yet claim “My daily sobriety is contingent on my spiritual condition.” For all the claims alcoholism is a disease which AA members are “powerless” over, AA slogans are quick to lay blame. “A slip is a premeditated drunk” (binge). They jest that “Reality is for people who can’t handle drugs” and promise “All we ask is that you completely change your attitude as soon as possible.”