Congratulations Bill W and Dr. Bob! The Library of Congress ranked your book among the 100 most influential books in American literature.
“Alcoholics Anonymous” (1939)
The famous 12-step program for stopping an addiction has sold more than 30 million copies. Millions of men and women worldwide have turned to the program co-founded by Bill Wilson and Dr. Bob Smith to recover from alcoholism. The “Big Book,” as it is known, spawned similar programs for other forms of addiction.
This book is one of the greatest frauds ever perpetrated on the American public (and has long since gone world wide). It is well deserving of its position on the list. It has spawned industries, inspired entertainment of all kinds, and caused untold suffering throughout all strata of society. We hope that its position on the list will subject it to greater scrutiny and not lend it any credibility, and that it will soon be widely debunked for the fraud that it is.
Its numerous and absurd prescriptions are taken quite literally:
Remember that we deal with alcohol-cunning, baffling, powerful! Without help it is too much for us. But there is One who has all power-That One is God. May you find Him now!
We learned that we had to fully concede to our innermost selves that we were alcoholics. This is the first step in recovery. The delusion that we are like other people, or presently may be, has to be smashed.
The Big Book has done more than anything else to foster the modern myth known as ‘drug addiction’ (even more than Dr. Drew!). It is the foundation for the multi-billion dollar substance abuse treatment industry (which has a dubious record at best), and the fear of addiction is the basis of the harsh criminal laws that support the prison-industrial complex. The myth provides limitless fodder for all forms of entertainment, including movies and tv, using the drug addict/alcoholic as plot line. The drug war itself is a product of the fear of addiction, and provides a dramatic plotline for many movies (“No Country for Old Men” – sorry I know it’s been a while, but what performances!).
The book has also created endless suffering for families and friends who try to help the drug addict, in the mistaken belief that it is a disease beyond the control of the sufferer, like multiple sclerosis or Alzheimer’s. They don’t realize that they are just the victims in a selfish scheme of the drug user to avoid growing up. This is now known as codependency and enabling. The Big Book is a recipe for this, and the chapter “To Wives” is a perfect example (as described in http://addictionmyth.com/?p=247).
And now that it has achieved public acceptance, we as a society must now expend valuable resources in ‘treating’ drug addicts through public funds and insurance regulations (thanks Obamacare!).
Essential Health Benefit #5: http://www.healthcare.gov/news/factsheets/2011/12/essential-health-benefits12162011a.html
At today’s meeting in West Hollywood, we were again reminded of the power of the addiction myth and the danger that it poses for all of us. The featured speaker was a young woman from Montana who moved to LA with the hope of making it big in movies. Failing to achieve professional success in the field of dramatic arts, she instead created her own real-life drama, by descending into a dark hell of drug use of all types — alcohol, cocaine, and various anxiolytics. By doing so she was able to justify her lack of success to herself – she was an ‘addict’ just like her dad. Of course, she didn’t want her mother to know (wink-wink), and she was continually trying to impress her (for reasons unexplained). For example, one day on a coke induced frenzy, she texted her mother of her intention to run the city marathon, for which she was not training. As the time drew nearer, she realized the futility of this mission, so she concocted a plan: she would down a bottle of xanax and then get behind the wheel. The plan worked! Soon enough she was in an accident, and hurt her neck, and therefore was unable to run the marathon. (Don’t worry she was ok, dunno about the other driver though. I hope it wasn’t you!)
Among the other experiences in hell were going on weeklong binges and then sleeping for 8 hours at a time, often missing appointments with drug counselors and parents. Once she flew to NYC because she thought it was a good idea, and in an alcoholic stupor she found herself in a strange man’s hotel room, about which she doesn’t remember much, and then later almost missed her flight back home!) She was being terribly irresponsible! Once when her family was visiting, she drove around with her nephew in the car when she was high on benzos, and could have fallen asleep at any moment. But she didn’t think she was doing anything wrong at the time. She was an addict, and as you know about addicts, they aren’t even aware that they are addicted! Yes she was addicted to alcohol and was aware of that, but drugs prescribed by doctors aren’t anything to worry about, even if you get them off your creepy neighbor. So we can forgive her for that transgression. At the end of the visit her mother gave her the “I-never-want-to-see-you-ever-again-you-are-a-terrible-person” look. This was such a surprise because she had tried so hard to hide her drug use! But addicts are notoriously non-self-aware — more evidence that you really have a problem. Fortunately this was the wakeup call she needed, the bottom-of-the-bottom for her, and she decided right there and then that she had to set things right. So she marched back into her local AA meeting (for the umpteenth time), and found all the support she needed to remind her that all drug addiction is addiction, not just alcohol, and that addiction justified all her terrible behavior and gave her a great story of redemption to tell in AA meetings across the city for months to come.
All in all a very entertaining meeting. If you’d like to concoct your own addiction story, just follow my step by step instructions posted here:
How to construct a great addiction story
Were you inspired by today’s story? Feel free to add details of how you put innocent people at risk through DUI. Don’t worry we won’t judge you! As long as you do your amends.
One thought on “AA Enshrined in History”
“If you want what you have always had, keep doing what you have been doing. If you want soinhtmeg other than “that”, changes are required.” Someone else said, “You don’t not have habits but you replace them with more desirable habits”. “Addiction” doesn’t have to be bad. Focus, concentration, living on purpose are all “good and positive addictions”/as one may want to call them. It is easier to live with good habits, so why not replace/establish more of them. The good thing is – it is OUR choice. God has given to us the flexibility that he has not given to any other creatures he created. It comes with a price. Like Storms have a purpose of balancing out the environment….cooling where things are too hot….so we should not get too out of whack when they happen. Appreciate them for what they are/recognize them for what they are….not easy if your house floods/is burned by lightening/damaged by tornadoes….. Thanks again for some great insights!