Your Experience May Differ: Why People are Anti-A.A.

Why the hell are all these people so strongly opposed to a friendly self-help organisation like A.A.? Every year, millions of people around the world go to A.A. meetings for the first time. Many of these people will have passable, even positive experiences. But a very large number of them will not. To someone who has … Continue reading Your Experience May Differ: Why People are Anti-A.A.

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Ten Reasons to Believe that Alcoholics Anonymous is a Cult

Writers like Charles Bufe and Agent Orange have argued at length that Alcoholics Anonymous is a cult. They have made a very strong case that A.A. shares key characteristics with notorious organisations like the People's Temple and the Heaven's Gate group. How could an apple-pie American institution like A.A. possibly be called a "cult"? Many … Continue reading Ten Reasons to Believe that Alcoholics Anonymous is a Cult

Alcoholism and the right to die: A Case from the Netherlands

A number of British newspapers have been reporting on the case of a man living in the Netherlands who apparently was granted the right to die because of his alcoholism. Mark Langedijk apparently died by lethal injection on 14 July 2016. This sounds like a shocking story, but I'm not one-hundred percent convinced the newspapers … Continue reading Alcoholism and the right to die: A Case from the Netherlands

“Yes, A.A. is a cult! So what?” Why there is no such thing as a ‘benign cult’.

Writers like Charles Bufe and Agent Orange have argued at length that A.A. is a cult that belongs in the same category as notorious organisations like the Moonies, the People's Temple and the Heaven's Gate group. They have made a very strong case that A.A. lies on a continuum with these organisations. Many of A.A.'s … Continue reading “Yes, A.A. is a cult! So what?” Why there is no such thing as a ‘benign cult’.

Confronting Confrontation Therapy: Some reflections on my twelve step rehab

I had just been on a prodigious alcoholic bender. (That's right, it was a bender so bad it actually warranted the use of an adjective pompous enough to have made it into the Big Book itself.) I had done a lot of emotional damage to the people around me. Drastic measures were called for. I … Continue reading Confronting Confrontation Therapy: Some reflections on my twelve step rehab

“Well It Works for Me!” Why I am not Persuaded by Twelve-Step Testimonials

Why should we take scientific evidence for/against AA and the twelve-steps seriously? There are many AA true-believers who would like to claim not only that the twelve-steps work for everyone, but that they are the only way a “true alcoholic” can remain sober for a long period of time. Then there are those AA members … Continue reading “Well It Works for Me!” Why I am not Persuaded by Twelve-Step Testimonials

AA Comes from a Crazy Religious Cult! A Brief Overview of the Oxford Groups

Many modern critics, including Charles Bufe and Agent Orange, have suggested that AA is not a friendly self-help organisation, but a cultish religious movement whose main purpose is to transmit a set of disempowering religious dogmas to alcoholics. To help decide this question, we need understand where the core of the AA program, the twelve … Continue reading AA Comes from a Crazy Religious Cult! A Brief Overview of the Oxford Groups