are 12 step programs a cult? Discuss..

by avishai 26 Replies latest jw friends

  • JeffT

    OK, a couple of other thoughts regarding women in AA. This is entirely my own opinion.

    Everybody who goes into AA has some history, if you haven't been through a lot you don't need a 12 step program to get out of a mess. This is equally true of the women. So most of them have been through some seriously not nice things and know how the world works. They don't need a video warning to know that there are some unpleasant men in the world. And a good number of the women I know in AA would have no trouble holding up their end of a fight in a biker bar, and a few of them have. A guy trying to rape one of those gals would quickly find himself on the wrong side of a beat down. And if she can't do it, there will be no shortage of men around who would do it for her.

  • Mad Sweeney
    Mad Sweeney

    AA's 12 steps are a "suggested" program of recovery. My higher power is a trio of ideals: honesty, unselfishness, kindness.

    That's great for you but can you see how possibly some AA groups do more than merely suggest that their members follow the 12 steps and how they may coerce members into conforming to a specific group-endorsed "higher power"? While AA overall might not be a cult, I have no doubt that there are local and perhaps regional AA groups that ARE.

    You could say the same for pretty much any mainstream religion, too. Are Baptists a cult? Generally speaking, probably not, but I bet you could find some cultlike Baptist churches around.

    AA is the same sort of deal. It lends itself to becoming culty.

  • Jankyn

    @ Mad Sweeney: Yes, I do see how some groups have become high control. Nice thing about AA is you get to choose your own meetings. Go to a different one if you don't like the way one group is run. Or better yet: start your own!

    Try doing that in a cult!

  • darkuncle29

    I think that ANY group can develope unhealthy control elements, including recovery groups. I think with AA or other groups, that they are not one great united group -think united like JWs-, but many "cellular" groups that operate on a model. So the model may not be "bad" but someone running the model could turn it into something about them or the group.

    I tend to mentally "chafe" at almost any group, so I my be hyper sensitive to group stuff. I think "cult" might be too strong a term to use for the average AA group, but I agree with you Avi, that there is something there that we as ex cult memebers would react to.

  • jaguarbass

    When I escaped the tower in 83 I started going to AA in 85, It was fantastic and wonderful.

    It was like paradise on earth.

    But it takes work, I felt so good, I let the good things I learned at AA take me away from AA.

    I would recomend AA to all Jw's

    and all JW's I have ever known would qualify for AA.

  • jaguarbass

    They never kick you out of AA even if you drink.

    They are ok with blood transfusions and they celebrate the holidays.

    You can fall off the wagon every week and someone will give you a hug and they will talk to you

    and invite you to their picnics and gatherings.

    AA works, if you work it.

  • digderidoo

    What do you now think Avishai? I'd be interested to know whether you feel AA/NA is a cult.


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