I keep crossing paths with people who are in recovery, that is, recovering from drug and alcohol addiction. These folks regularly attend Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous meetings and are all somewhere in the process of working the 12 steps of recovery.
The organization denies affiliation with any legal entity; A blatant deception, a lie they tell new ones and each other at each and every meeting. Although there is no official contract between the court system and the friends of Bill W, it is the LAW and court system that can take credit for the vast majority of those attending these meetings by enforcing standard mandates and court orders. The two organizations, no matter what is stated at the AA and NA meetings, work hand-in-hand.
And what of this concept of a HIGHER POWER? They also insist they are not affiliated with any religious organization or denomination, but at every meeting, they form a circle and hold hands praying for this or that . . . and of course they are not affiliated with any religious organization for clearly, THEY ARE a religious organization. First, they hammer it into the heads of those attending these meetings that they alone are powerless to effect change in their lives to overcome their addiction, and they must turn to a "higher power" in order to do it. An individual's personal religious beliefs are both summarily validated and invalidated with the philosophy that "your higher power can be anything you want it to be". The scented oil burner on my bedside table, for example, can be my higher power if choose. I am powerless against drug addiction, if I were an addict, and it is this scented oil burner that I should give it over to, pray to, rely upon for strength, and will, and determination to overcome an enslavement to substance abuse I am simply powerless against.