Every cult needs a charismatic leader for the sheep to blindly follow, and AA is no exception. Drug use, moral depravity, the belief in a direct link to God, and a raging sense of entitlement is a perfect recipe for a cult deity; and Bill Wilson fit this role like a glove. In the proud tradition of a David Koresh or Ted Haggard, Bill’s sense of entitlement allowed him to conduct a lifestyle that was in direct contradiction to the very things he railed against. When he wasn’t busy taking LSD or copywriting ghost written literature for himself, he was chasing skirts. Bill was married, but he loved the ladies, and his philandering was legendary. Among the many women he was banging was Helen Wynn, with whom he had a long time affair, and who he left a portion of his estate. All of this happened after he quit drinking, so one can imagine what a scoundrel he was while he was still on the sauce.
So, what happens when you take a delusional SOB such this, have him splice together the tenets of a fringe religious group as though he had written them himself, and then lead him to a flock of desperate alcoholics who are already compromised and want nothing more than to get their lives together? You get the basis of a cult that would make Jim Jones and L Ron Hubbard look on with envy.
“I became acutely conscious of a Presence. . . . ‘This,’ I thought, ‘must be the great reality. The God of the preachers’.” – Bill W
Bill was highly revered by the AA flock while he was alive, but in death he has been promoted to saint status. Today, groups get together for Big Book study, much like Bible study in a church – and like Jesus in the Bible, the words of Bill Wilson are looked on as infallible by the AA hardcore. Any disagreement on a point about a step can easily be settled with a quote from Bill. Where the 12-Steps are like the commandments, the words of Bill are the indisputable voice of the Lord. They are the ultimate authority.