10.20.09

the doorknob debate

with one comment

For millions of addicts around the world, Alcoholics Anonymous’s basic text – informally known as the Big Book – is the Bible. And as they’re about to find out, the Bible was edited.

via AA original manuscript reveals debate on religion.

Well, of course it was edited. It was a book manuscript.   Jesus.

As for purposefully de-emphasizing the “religious” facet of the Program, the directive in the BB to not talk about God too much or share the BB right off the bat is right there in the book.   This is not news. The publishing of the original manuscript is news; that’s awesome and cool.

In my readings I’ve been over all kinds of AA deprogramming/debunking material, looking specifically for  helpful advice about changing one’s attitude and safely steeping out from the AA sphere while continuing to grow and not regress into “white-knuckling it.”   For me, whether or not AA is a “cult” or “religious”  is as stupid a debate as a drunk figuring out if they are “alcoholic” or not.  The name is not the reality, the reality is the reality.

The only part of the “spiritual program” that sits wrong with me, for me, is the sheer bullshitness of stating “god can be whatever you want, god can be a daisy” then presenting steps 3 and 7. Could any rational person easily turn their will over to a daisy, and then pray to the daisy to supernaturally change their personality? Come on. The truth is God can be what you want for a while but the expectation is eventually one will come around to the Real God.  I personally have no problem with God as God or praying to God.  In a beginner meeting last week a new visitor piped up at  discussion open: “I am having trouble with the God part.” The room became home to an award-winning smug expression collection at once.  The woman was then cross-talked over and over about how there was room for all beliefs and non beliefs….but she would eventually see the light.  The obligatory “doorknob” statement made its appearance.  I was struck at how not open -minded the group is.  I saw sanctimonious dismissal and disinterest in a newcomer’s worldview and honest questions, and a blind assertion of The One Truth.  My acceptance of AA as a place of open-mindedness was destroyed. The only open-mindedness in the Program  is admonished upon any who think or act in any deviation from the written instructions or conventional wisdom.

The point is that I don’t care if AA is a religious cult or not. I care about its humanity and honesty.

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Written by xty

September 23, 2010 at 09:55

One Response

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  1. To borrow (and modify) a phrase from Forrest Gump… “Cult is as cult does”.

    If any collection of people gathered for any purpose behave like cult members (deifing their leaders or concepts, inordinate fixation/involvement with the cause, etc), then presto… they have created a cult.

    Of AA or any other organization for which people have a passion and in which the stakes are high, some will invariably move to cult behaviour. Others won’t. I benefit greatly from AA but refuse to worship it.

    So agreed, the cult question is moot. Like saying “cars move fast”. Some do, some don’t, some are parked, some are broken, some race, some are for display only, whatever.

    There will never be a shortage of cult-hunters. And in my experience, many appear to be wrapped up in their self-importance and live lives with a lack of stimulation and meaning. So they often pick a pet-dislike and appoint themselve head inquisitor.

    Whatever. I am sober today and continuously for years. I havent been to an AA meeting in weeks. I think I will go tonight. Dang, where’s my cloak?

    Ciao.

    Chaz

    Chaz

    September 23, 2010 at 15:17


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