Are JW's allowed to go to Alcoholic's Anonomous?

by digderidoo 32 Replies latest jw friends

  • digderidoo

    Hi all

    I went to an AA meeting tonight for the first time in a few weeks. After about 6 weeks of attempting to control my drinking in a social way, i feel that it best to go the abstinence route as i wasn't really enjoying it.

    Anyway i got to thinking afterwards whether JW's are allowed to go to them? I have heard how some elders disaprove of them because it's classed as a spriitual program. But as the AA welcomes atheists or whatever beliefs, the spiritual side in terms of religion is not the cornerstone of recovery if you choose not to believe in god. Plus the spiritual side of it is to have a God of your own understanding, this would surely sit well with a witness.

    So is the discouragement of JW's to be in AA an official one or is it just individual elders who say that witnesses can't? Is there anything in literature about it?

    The fact of the matter is that i am thinking of telling my mom about my AA attendence. I'm sure she will be happy that i am doing something about my alcoholism, but i wonder if she is going to start looking into the WT literature about it.


  • crazyblondeb

    In my old congregation it was HIGHLY frowned upon. You should be able to "lean on Jah" blah blah blah....

    That is wasting time with worldly people. Never mind the prayer at the beginning and end. You don't have time to work the steps, after all they

    interfere.........way too much worldly contact......why do you need a sponsor--you have jehovah!!


    *excuse me while I go puke, after reminding myself of that freaking voice*

  • Lady Zombie
    Lady Zombie

    I would imagine it would be a conscious matter, however I can see some despot elder persecuting a JW in the AA program.

    They would make the individual feel like a failure because they had to go to AA instead of simply praying to Jehovah for help to stop drinking. How many stories do they tell of brothers and sisters who were addicted to drugs while in the world but kicked the habit permanantly once they came into the truth.

    AA, unlike JWs, tries to provide non-judgemental support for its members.

  • Dagney

    I know many who have gone. Most have done it without telling the BOE; it's something they know they need and the elders are ill equipped to handle it.

    Most elders would not recommend going, I think, but what could they do to you if you did? Unless you were a servant, I don't think they can do anything to you.

    Kudos BTW for going and I wish you continued success.

  • Hope4Others

    I think the 10 step program was frowned upon but what don't they frown is help....

    tell them to screw off.


  • Octarine Prince
    Octarine Prince

    for the information.

    The fellowship can come from AA, if you choose, or somewhere
    else you feel comfortable.

  • digderidoo

    OP i can't get into the thread without registering on the forum. Could you cut and paste it if you have access?


  • JK666


    I was DF'ed for drunkenness, and I got my act together by going to AA. When I tried to get reinstated, it was strongly pointed out to me that I could get the help I needed through the congregation. I quit going to AA on the elder's advice, and tried to use one elder as my "sponsor."

    He was a total dick, and would make sure that he would have quality time with my wife alone at his apartment, trying of course, "to help." I ended up getting reinstated, but without the support that I received from AA, I got drunk soon after. I ended up getting DF'ed again, just because I was stupid enough to tattle on myself when I slipped.

    I do not know what the official stand on AA is. I know that at their convenience the Society quotes from the AA big book, but only the punitive parts, like "To the Employer."

    F 'em, I don't care what they think anymore.


  • Pistoff

    The WT officially relaxed their anti AA stance in 1983, basically saying that it does some good. "Christians" (jw's only) must be careful not to become involved in religious practices; that must have been their way of saying don't do the serenity prayer or the lord's prayer that AA still does.

    I like NA; it focuses on addiction as the issue, not one substance, and is more recovery focused, in my opinion. They also have no religious prayers; AA says it is not religious but still uses the lord's prayer.

    The elders and others in the hall have the same reaction to AA or NA that they so often have; they don't understand it, and so they fear it and talk it down.

    I am alive because of recovery fellowships; NA helped me to figure out that I needed to solve the God puzzle for myself.

    Recovery programs are spiritual, not religious. WT does NOT get this concept. Many other fundy groups don't either, basically saying that to regard one's higher power as anything other that GOD (as THEY define God) is wrong, and is taking from his glory or whatever.

    Well they can kiss my clean and sober ass. I tried it for years their way and was not able to stay clean until I went to recovery and found other people like me. When I went to recovery I learned that I was not a moral weakling as I felt I was in the congregation for so many years.

    Keep it up; it works of you work it.

    I have 25 years clean this year.

  • StAnn

    How would anyone know if you're going? It's anonymous.

  • jaguarbass

    AA recommends 90 meetings in 90 days that wouldnt leave any time for magazine sales meetings.

    I dont think the publishing company would approve of a competitor on their turf.

    Espcically when the publishing companys world view probably is a major contributor to ones alocoholic state.

  • FairMind

    I remember being told that going to AA meetings and getting with their program to quit drinking was not prohibited by the WTS. Of course many would frown upon it but bottom line was that drunkards will not inherit God’s kingdom. I was able to stop drinking (eighteen years ago) without AA but would have gone if it had been necessary. My life now is 1000% better then my life of drinking. Job advancement, no hangovers, better health, etc. And if I don’t inherit God’s kingdom it will be for reasons other than being a drunkard.

  • digderidoo

    Thanks all, i'm just a bit concerned that if i do tell my mom that she's gonna be researching about it through the WT later. Guess you've alleviated my fears.


  • Witness 007
    Witness 007

    You can go but it won't be so "anonomous" when the Brothers spread the news around the Kingdom Hall.

  • BluesBrother

    Breaking the Chains of Alcohol Abuse. Aw 05 ..Oct 8

    There are many treatment centers, hospitals, and recovery programs that can provide help. Jehovah’s Witnesses do not endorse any particular treatment. Care must be exercised so that one does not become involved in activities that would compromise Scriptural principles. In the final analysis, however, each will have to decide for himself what type of treatment is needed.

    Offiicially, they do not comment for or against . That may not stop a busybodying individuall giving a negative opinion , but that may be true of people from all walks of life.

    Many years ago I knew a "study" who had a smoking problem . She enrolled in group therapy treatment at the local hospital. She told me that some had criticisized her for "seeking a cure in the world" . I disagreed with that advice..She stuck to her guns, conquered the habit and got baptized . Nowadays I am not sure if that was a good thing in the long run? But that is what happened.

    Good luck in your recovery

  • compound complex
    compound complex

    Hello Didg,

    I attended Al-Anon for 4 months in order to understand and deal with the behavior of an alcoholic JW friend. A fellow JW - encouraged by our elders to attend - was my unofficial sponsor. After each meeting all members but one joined hands and said THE LORD'S PRAYER. Once a month we had a birthday party to celebrate members' yearly anniversary date.

    I joined in with all of the above, my friend graciously assuring me that there was no problem in my doing so (all my JW friends thought of me as an active Witness). My sponsor, however, would not take part in anything smacking of interfaith or a celebratory nature.


  • JeffT
    I am alive because of recovery fellowships

    Ditto here. I've been away for too long to comment on the question asked, but I realize that you're preparing to deal with your family. I hope you can explain that this program has helped a lot of people, and its what you need to put your life together.

  • minimus

    Nobody could say anything if the court or state ordered a person to AA.

  • digderidoo

    Thanks BB for that Awake quote.

    Minimus, that doesn't happen over here. If someone is ordered by the court it is usually some therapy under the supervision of probation. AA is not ordered by the courts in the UK at present.


  • minimus

    In certain states, here, it is part of the sentence.

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