My Response to Steve Slate’s Powerful Open Letter to the Anti-AA Movement
Thank you, Steven Slate. Yours is a POWERFUL and profound article/ “Open Letter”! (I encourage everyone to read it.)
You have helped to clarify and articulate an aspect of a perspective that has been forming within me for almost the entire year since I left AA. Alcoholics Anonymous and it’s forceful shoving of “powerlessness” and disease down the dry or wet throats of those who stumble into the sticky 12-step web is certainly a major problem with AA—but not the only one by far.
Why Not Give People Choices if They Feel They Need Them to Be Free of the DANGERS of AA?
I feel that many of us Anti-AA Movement supporters offer alternatives to AA (12 step) primarily because many have been convinced that people with substance use or over use challenges need “something”? It’s akin to some pacification to take AA’s place for those convinced that they need external “help”. Even that is a choice. If people want or need choices why not give them choices that are not as potentially DANGEROUS to them on as many varied levels as AA is? Attending AA is replete with dangers that the general populous knows nothing of. Those dangers, largely hidden are a substantial aspect of what fuels many anti-AA activists. The dangers are real.
People have lost and are losing their lives as a direct result of being exposed to AA’s mistreatment, harmful and sometimes criminal members and sponsors and just plain malpractice that has caused extreme emotional and mental distress leading to suicide and murder in far too many instances. Again, why not give people who choose, want and think they need it an alternative to AA until they (if ever) are empowered enough to know that they do have the power to choose not to be powerless over AA and in need of external sources of treatment and authority. Sometimes freeing one’s self from the beguiling and deceptive quagmire of dysfunctional thought and belief systems embedded via exposure to AA is a process. It was for me and many very strong and intelligent people I know.
I Fight for People to Know that AA is NOT the “Only Way”
Should people not be told that AA’s major premise which is that AA is the ONLY way is an out and out lie? In most cases that do not involve physical/medical dependence on a substance that would cause withdrawal and/or death… I think people “need” an alternative to AA simply because they “believe” they need it. Therefore, the alternatives serve some purpose for some people. After leaving AA I was abstinent in SMART for over 30 days. I left SMART and was abstinent on my own for another 30 days. Something in me CLICKED. My drinking was not an addiction or a disease; it was MY CHOICE. That is the POWER! Now I only drink if/when/what I Choose! I am not dead. I am not prison-bound nor institution bound due to escaping from Alcoholics Anonymous. I am fine. Learning about programs like SMART, S.O.S., Women for Sobriety, LifeRing, Moderation Management, etc. has been very empowering for me. I know if for some reason I ever experience any difficulty with my choice to drink responsibly—I have places to go for assistance should I feel I need or just want it. I fight for the right for EVERYONE to know that.
People Choose to Drink Because It Feels Good: DAMN!
The solutions to alcohol and substance use and/or over-use challenges are as varied as the individuals that deal with them and try to help others to deal with them. As well they should be! Some do not agree with my decision to drink in and outside of the AA and Anti-AA factions. Yes, I said it. I drink if and when and what I want to. Why? I drink because I choose to. I love the way you went into the fact that people drink because of the satisfaction and the pleasurable feeling it gives them. That is the core Truth if anyone ever stated it before. Damn! Thank you so much for that. People drink for the same reason most of them eat fattening foods of little nutritional value. People drink for the same reason people strap sticks to their feet and soar from snowy mountains. People drink for the same reason people touch one another in secret sexy places till they climax. People drink for the same reason for the same reason they watch comedy shows. People drink because they enjoy it… People drink because they choose to. That’s why I stopped going to SMART. I knew I could abstain if I chose to. I chose not to. So, I have a beer every now and then. I enjoy drinking wine with the girls and laughing over all kinds of situations. It’s fun. If it ever stops being enjoyable for me, I will choose something else.
My POWER is Dear to Me
It took me to foolishly allow Alcoholics anonymous and it’s minions to steal my power from me for me to realize how very dear my POWER is to me. I will never allow any organization or individual to do to me what they did to me again. I wish there had been more information out here opposing AA when I first began searching. It would have saved me from a lot of grief, pain and a literal threat to my very existence. Being exposed to AA almost killed me. I am contributing my energy to the Anti-AA Movement in hopes that I might be able to be a single ray of light that some poor soul might see and I might help him or her to take hold, hold on and escape that harmful, dangerous organization by any means necessary. If he or she needs an alternative; I’ll show them one. If they need to go off and do on their own; I’ll encourage them. Whatever works! I’m fighting AA’s domination over the alcohol and substance abuse treatment industry that they still rule despite the efforts and experiences of the many people who have left AA and lived to tell the tale.
Thank you for this article. It highlights the POWER of choice which is of prime importance here. Alcohol consumption is a choice and how one deals with it is also a choice. Maybe some folks need a pacifier of sorts as I did before they completely wean themselves off of “treatments” or maybe they will lean on so-called treatments, programs, AA, SMART or whatever for the rest of their lives. The point is that they know it is their choice!
I choose to help others to feel the sense of empowerment that I feel after finding out the Truth about AA and that they have a choice in all matters around their own alcohol and/or substance use. They have the power to keep going to AA if that is what they want to do. They also have the power to choose to drink themselves to death if that is their choice. I fight for everyone to know what ALL the options are in between. If I ever find myself doing anything around what I deem my responsible consumption of alcohol, I am glad to know that there are places I can go for any help I decide I need that do not include the so called “spiritual-not-religious” dangerous cult of Alcoholics Anonymous.
As long as AA exists there will be a need for alternatives to that hot-wet-mess to exist too…
Everyone deserves options & the Power to Choose. The Anti-AA Movement is letting disempowered people know that AA has lied to them…they do not have to submit to AA or die or be incarcerated or institutionalized. People deserve to know that many felons attend those meetings. People deserve to know that AA has a tendency to spark or intensify suicidal ideology in some people. People have a right to know about “13th stepping”. People have a right to know about America’s pernicious 12 step treatment racket driven by profit and greed instead of actually helping anyone with substance abuse. People have a right to know that AA was made up by Bill W. based on his plagiarism of the Old Oxford Group Religion. It may seem silly but many people need to hear these things over & over and over again from as many sources as they can to combat the propaganda machine that Alcoholics Anonymous has had in place for over 70 dog-damned years. Many people need to hear about alternatives before they can even reach the point that you and I have reached which is knowing that IT IS ALL A CHOICE. The Anti-AA Movement supporters helped me to reach true EMPOWERMENT over this issue; this is PRICELESS!
We Fight Because We Choose To!
Thank you, Steve Slate. I sincerely appreciate your article. It fills a void and yours is a Voice that warrants much attention and respect.