The Watchtower and Alcoholics Anonymous
Many people have stopped drinking through the 12 Steps of the programme of recovery of Alcoholics Anonymous. Can active 'Jdubs' join AA to get over their addiction?
In this area it is left to the choice of the jw. Not all rehab programs have an AA component. It is not necessary to chant the Lord's prayer either, but the Serenity prayer may be substituted. There are many atheist/agnostic alcoholics in this area who have no desire to add religion to the mix and substitute "higher power" for "God" to accommodate such members. I have known jws to go to AA and it helped them in a way that the WTS never did but the jw did not leave the organization. The elders were relieved they were getting help and that it did not involve any time on the part of the elders.
*** g05 10/8 p. 11 Breaking the Chains of Alcohol Abuse ***
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.
The actual figures on how many persons RECOVER while under treatment attending Alcoholics Anonymous is the SAME as the number who are successful going "cold turkey" all by themselves.
AA hides their success rate as best they can.
They are really a religious organization.
I would imagine the Watchtower has a similar recovery rate.
(p.s. 88% failure rate)
In addition to what Terry said, there are secular recovery groups for those who want to join a group to help in their recovery.
What is more important than peer support groups is professional treatment, which the dubs hate even more than AA!
I used to be a counselor and I have always felt the religious-based groups and/or treatment models can be a harmful to former members of religious cults. I wrote about it in a treatment manual for clinicians here.
I knew a dub who attended AA as part of her court-ordered recovery plan. The elders were really dismayed & felt it was an inappropriate compromise of xian values [or whatever the lingo was]. She didn't participate in the prayer part of the AA meeting. The dubbies undermined everything she learned at the AA meetings, basically saying they were wrong about everything. (I mean, come on, they're not wrong about everything.)
Above I posted a link to other rehab groups. I'll post it here again if you are interested in looking at it.
I will add that over the years several jws have attended AA meetings without being harassed or pressured to stop by the elders or rank and file jws. Every BOE is different. But as the quote above from the publications says, it is officially a personal decision.
AA is not the only way to stop drinking and start living! Many have stopped by using other therapies and none at all. However, it worked a treat for me and opened my spiritual eyes. I am very grateful to AA but I would not push it down anyone's throat, never!
Addictions can be likened to a locked door.
You keep trying different keys until the door unlocks and you can escape the room you're in by walking through it.
For 12% of the alcoholic population AA is the key.
My father was an alcoholic. I only met him twice. I searched and found him in Detroit when I was 25.
He once looked me up when I was living in California (I was now 33). He came over to spend the night, ate supper with me and my wife and said he had to "go buy some socks".
He left around 7 in the evening and didn't return until 3:00 in the morning drunk as the skunk he truly was.
He never reformed. Never tried.
Terry. your story touches me deeply. I am so sorry about how alcoholism has affected you and really hope your father finds sobriety and serenity. I was truly hopeless and lost cars, families and jobs. I got a sponsor and 3 months later the compulsion suddenly left and touch wood has never returned. Your Dad is suffering from a mental. spiritual and physical disease for which there is a cure. If the cure is not affected then the ONLY outcome for the practising alcoholic is insanity or death or both.
I knew of numerous witnesses who had a serious drinking problem - including more than one elder.
Only one JW that I am aware of was disfellowshipped for this - she was the mother of a girlfriend back in the 1960s. As with most JW DFings, it was more about the fact that she was nonresponsive to the committee and really could care less about being a witness anyway.
In no case whatsoever was any effective assistance offered or given.