i remember listening multiple times to the ‘qualification’ of one of nyc’s more famous male AA gurus. it was (& almost certainly still is) a virtually litany of “people who died from this disease”.
i tried counting once & gave up after 30. with a wry, twisted smile, he just kept going.
invariably, his words were met with rousing applause & lauded for their honesty & inspiration. to my ears, it was necrophillia of the most disturbing nature. this fellowship that was going to “love me until i loved myself”, was simultaneously waiting for me to walk out the door, die a horrible death, & make rhetorical hay out of it in a ‘qualification’.
of course, some died-in-the-wool stepper will read this comment & respond with the tired & worn “that’s not real AA.” to which i would answer, go back & actually read your big book, your 12X12 & count up the number of times death is mentioned as the end run for ‘real alcoholics’. go to a meeting & i guarantee you that at least one person sharing will mention ‘death’ or a former member’s death in the same fashion.
AA is not about alcohol or even god — for the most part. AA is about power & vulnerability. the ‘powerless’ have no defense outside ‘group unity’. the ‘powerless’ have no individual agency in the face of certain alcoholic death.