The Nazis were masterful with propaganda. If you would question a well-intentioned German citizen on his political beliefs and Nazi policy, he might respond: “Perhaps some of your criticisms are valid. But vat else can ve do about ze problem of ze Jews? If you have no solution, zen you are just part of ze problem.”
Of course, there was no problem. Thus, no “solution” is necessary. Nevertheless, they succeeded in framing the issue in these terms through effective propaganda. It was obvious that the Jews were the problem, and anyone who might question this article of faith was a traitor. Millions of innocent people were killed, and we’re still trying to understand how it happened.
Alcoholics Anonymous has done the same thing with its propaganda machine, which kicked into gear around the same time. They have succeeded in convincing this country that there is a “problem with alcoholism”: the insatiable craving for alcohol is a real disease or disorder and real people suffer from it. And anyone who criticizes AA or questions alcoholism must be an angry resentful person, possibly in denial of his own addiction. The members of AA themselves, who should know best whether or not alcoholism exists, think this is beyond question. If you criticize AA without offering a better solution to alcoholism and addiction, then you are just making things worse for the poor victims of the disease. The brainwashing is so deep that even prominent experts such as Dr Drew and Dr Carl Hart, who are intimately familiar with alcoholism and addiction, and readily admit the typical addict has a history of lying and crimes preceding the onset of their ‘disease’, will defend AA even while they offer tempered criticism. Millions are spent yearly to study the ‘Science of Addiction’.
But alcoholism doesn’t exist. It is a completely fake disorder/disease/pathology. It is simply a lie: a modern delusion created by AA, nor did it exist before AA. But we all believe it. Well, most of us.
(Yes there were chronic excessive drinkers before AA, but they didn’t claim ignorance as to the reasons they drank, even if they didn’t openly admit them. Furthermore, medically supervised detox is usually reported as being a ‘surprisingly comfortable’ experience.)
The fact is, AA is a drinking club for some and brainwashing cult of powerlessness for others. None is a true alcoholic (or addict). But as I’ve shown, some men use alcohol or drugs as cover for their mischief (sex, crime, etc), and then try to brainwash vulnerable people to kill themselves to “prove” their powerlessness to the same substances. The victims effectively vindicate the cult by dying for the sins of its members.
The rooms of AA receive a steady flow of impressionable and vulnerable people ripe for brainwashing. Mostly they have discovered that alcohol and drugs have become ineffective in treating the pain of loneliness (or any of life’s persistent disappointments), and have come to the rooms in search of companionship. Some arrive at the behest a friend or family member who sees that their loved one is suffering, but doesn’t know what else to do. Some are referred by professional counselors or are required to attend by their rehab discharge plan. And some are ordered to attend by the court in response to a DUI, in the mistaken belief that this experience is more effective in preventing substance abuse than community service, a fine or jail time. Many of these people are really struggling with various mental and emotional problems, as most of us do at various times in our lives. Unfortunately, they are easily abused by the cult.
The primary goal of the cult is to brainwash the victim into self-destruction, and it’s not hard to exploit the newcomer’s mental state to achieve this goal. A hundred middle age women destroy themselves daily with painkillers, and it is no coincidence that most of them were introduced to AA/NA during their youth and young adulthood, either because of a family history of involvement, or through friends, or even through school programs.
Newcomers are encouraged to choose a sponsor from the group. It should be “someone who has what you want”. These would be charismatic people who seem to have the answers to life’s questions. The sponsor may use the following lines to brainwash the new victim:
- You are a danger to yourself and I am scared for you. You don’t know what you are capable of.
- You must be an alcoholic. Otherwise what are you doing here?
- You are obviously in denial. I was once, too.
- You seem angry, ignorant, and hateful. I feel sorry for you.
- Look at how well your own program is working.
- If you don’t like the program then go home and drink and keep blaming the world for your problems.
- You think you are your own Higher Power — this is the height of pride and narcissism. No wonder you are miserable.
- Alcoholism if left untreated always results in ‘jails, institutions, or death.’
- You are too smart for your own good. (Turn off your brain.)
- You are too much ‘in your own head’. (Turn off your brain.)
- Keep coming back. It works if you work it. (This is recited in unison while holding hands at the end of each meeting.)
Newcomers may also be exploited for sex using these tactics (13th Step). The rooms of AA are rife with such stories, and many web sites are dedicated to exposing the truth. However, even those sites don’t acknowledge that the addiction was created by AA, and that they too have fallen for a modern delusion. They still insist that addiction is a real phenomena — just that AA is not an effective treatment for it. Most likely they prefer to think of themselves as an addict instead of a lonely person. The solution is not to destigmatize addiction: it is to destigmatize loneliness.
The Powerlessness Trap
The steps are designed to make the victim believe he has a disease to which he is powerless, and which will kill him (as it almost did his sponsor). To be rescued, he must undertake the steps vigorously:
- We admitted we were powerless over alcohol—that our lives had become unmanageable.
- Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
- Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
- Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
- Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
After taking the first step, the newly self-proclaimed alcoholic is in a precarious position. His willpower is insufficient to resist the cravings, and yet he has no other means to defend himself from them. We’ve all experienced a failure in willpower and we can relate to the struggle. These people are sometimes encouraged to experiment with ‘controlled drinking’ to demonstrate their helplessness (and not to return until they are certain). See: Candy Addiction and the Power of Suggestion.
AA demands ‘rigorous honesty’, and if you are not willing to provide this, then come back when you are. Ready now? OK admit your deepest faults, sins and insecurities. These are the ‘keys to the kingdom’. For example, if they feel lonely, abandoned, or mistreated the sponsor will say, “You feel lonely/abandoned/mistreated because you have not fully admitted powerlessness to your disease and/or you think you’re your own HP and/or you are too smart for your own good.” At this point they will turn off their brain and believe whatever the sponsor tells them and do whatever he says. Even if they are not at the point where they are ready to choose a HP (which normally doesn’t happen until middle age).
At this point there are 3 basic paths: Trouble makers will use these years to indulge their powerlessness and collect stories for their future AA careers, dropping in periodically to collect chips. Young people may get sexually exploited by the older men in the club. Depressives will sometimes kill themselves, believing that they had no choice in the matter.
Mischief and Demon Possession
The mischief-maker’s story goes as follows: “I drank, I got drunk, I got high, I had sex/homosex/killed someone, and yet I wasn’t satisfied”. Rinse/repeat through middle age. He may report attempting the steps but being insufficiently honest with himself and others. Or he may have attended AA and thought it was for losers. Or that it seemed too “Christian” and judgmental. But then suddenly in late/middle age he realizes he prefers ‘peace and serenity’ to ‘mischief and debauchery’ (as if he had a better option), and ‘realizes’ that he was powerless to alcohol all along. It was as if he was possessed in his youth by the demon spirit of alcohol, and now he’s ready for an exorcism. He then performs the steps with new-found vigor, sometimes reuniting with abandoned family members (not all of whom appreciate the miracle). These are the typical AA speakers and subsequent ‘old-timers’, who are AA’s most persuasive apostles, having had years to refine their drunkalogs for maximum impact. As with any good cult, its members are required to recruit new ones: they fulfill the Twelfth Step’s requirement to carry the message to ‘the alcoholic who is still suffering’.
The old-timers are also the main promulgators of the Craving Lie foisted upon the general public: “I needed alcohol to live. I was unable to resist the temptation no matter how hard I tried, and I tried everything. AA was the only thing that ever worked for me. Now I am happy, joyous, and free.™” Interestingly, ‘craving’ is never mentioned as an issue during a 12 Step meeting, nor do people ever talk about struggling with it, resisting it, or giving in to it. This explanation is offered only for public consumption. Attend your local AA meeting and see for yourself!
Nevertheless, the Craving Lie is the drinking club’s great innovation and the linchpin of its success, because it efficiently deflects the ‘willpower/moral failing’ argument: “You think that it’s just a matter of willpower? Well I was almost killed by my own cravings. Go preach to the people who died!” But unfortunately, only the good die young. The members of this group invariably escape their close calls with the grim reaper, living to tell their stories in merry drunkalogs. Don’t be surprised to find them enjoying a glass of wine with dinner.
For women this stage generally ends by the early 20’s, when they decide to stop drinking at mom for perceived neglect. At least, until mom stops giving in to it. But they may continue going to meetings to hold the family hostage to their ‘disease’: “Cosign my car loan or I’ll drink and get drunk and have sex with another alcoholic and have a baby and you’ll have to raise it while I’m out partying.”
AA defenders universally refuse to post their drunkalogs, the same ones they recite at meetings, knowing they would immediately demonstrate these simple dynamics. But don’t get me wrong: there is nothing wrong with mischief and fun. It makes the world go round. The problem is first of all they exploit the Christian sensibility of forgiveness and redemption to protect and propagate the cult (AA is a Pagan Cult), and innocent people are sacrificed to justify their ‘sins’. Most of us are sinners, but we don’t blame alcohol, and we don’t demand that innocent people die for us. We may be embarrassed or feel guilty, but we’ll get over it.
The lonely and vulnerable, enjoying a sense of identity and belonging that they may not have experienced in some time, are happy to proselytize for the cult. However, the brainwashing propaganda of the steps may result in abuse, exploitation, overdose, and sometimes death. Essentially, they are asked to ‘prove’ that they really are powerless, at risk of rejection by the group. They may tolerate the abuse for some time — sometimes for years, and the lucky ones will eventually leave in anger, without fully understanding why. (Their ‘resentment’ towards the group is used against them as further proof of their disease.) The remainder contribute only to the morbid statistic that is exhibited as testimony to the severity of their disease. See: You Are So Brainwashed It’s Funny. Big Book dogma dismisses the fresh victims as ‘constitutionally incapable of being honest’, and the fellowship shakes its collective head in self-righteous pity. But this is interesting: even though alcoholism is a disease, their death resulted from a moral failing. Of course, AA dogma is rife with such hypocrisy, and thus the need to suppress critical thinking and other brain-based shenanigans.
Members may defend AA’s cultish environment: “AA helped me learn to become a responsible adult. If there is brainwashing, well my mind was dirty and needed a good washing.” What they don’t realize is that they are now ticking time bombs.
Actors like Cory Monteith and Phillip Seymour Hoffman are good examples of this strategy. Though not ‘lonely and vulnerable’ in the typical sense, they are actors who love drama and are trained to believe the part. If they have performed a role as a drug addict, and have 12 Step experience (as both did), then they are likely to really believe that they can be powerless. They are convinced their ‘disease’ can and will kill them, but they are not yet ready to accept a Higher Power that would be their only hope of rescue. They may then realize AA’s self-fulfilling prophecy of doom.
AA touts itself as a solution for millions of people with a dire affliction. In reality, it has killed millions: like a reverse Christianity in which the innocent die for the sins of the group. It is also a haven for criminals, playground for abusers, and a nursery for psychopaths. The comparison to Nazi Germany is apt (most members are well-intentioned but misguided), and years from now we will struggle to understand how we legitimized and medicalized garden variety demon possession.
- Powerlessness as Religion – Only the good die young
- You Are So Brainwashed It’s Funny – Who will pay for their sins?
- The Drinking Club – Watch what they do, not what they say
- Cory Monteith: The Cult of Powerlessness Claims Another Victim – Fresh from a role as a drug addict
- AA is a Pagan Cult – You got a problem with that?
- School for Scoundrels – What you actually learn in the rooms
- The Little Psychopath Could: How the Addiction Myth creates new Drug Addicts
- Addict Science – A rising Tower of Babel