Bullshit slogan of the day:
An A.A. meeting is where losers get together to talk about their winnings.
Among the most often heard utterances at an AA meeting is, “As alcoholics, we are…” This is followed with some negative stereotype such as “angry” or “selfish” or “overly sensitive” or “argumentative”. The list goes on and on and on….
There is no basis in fact for any of these claims, as alcoholics are no more selfish or angry than the general population. These are simply myths created by, and perpetuated by, Alcoholics Anonymous. The ‘Big Book’ and the ’12×12′ are littered with degrading references to alcoholics, as is the vocabulary of any hardcore 12-Stepper. Pick a pejorative, and the chances are good that you will hear it applied to alcoholics as a group.
There are a couple of reasons for this self-degradation. One is that AA was built around the tenets of the Oxford Group, which was built around the Christian belief in original sin. Christianity adheres to the idea that we as people are inherently sinful, and that we can be saved and forgiven through the salvation of Christ. One of the techniques the Oxford Group used to bring people to salvation was the use of confession, which served the purposes of making one aware of their sinful nature, and of breaking the person down so that they could be built back up again. The book Soul Surgery by H.A. Walter was a recruiting instruction manual used by the Oxford Group. In it, Walter wrote:
Through confession we may win his soul—for Christ. Even where there is abundance of natural confidence, our work may be a comparative failure, because we have stopped short of the ultimate confession that is needed in order to complete penitence and victory.
Not only were the steps a re-working of the Oxford Group tenets, but so too were the recruiting tactics. The term “complete honesty” in AA is a euphemism for sin confession, and is actualized in steps 4 and 5. One is not expected to be totally honest, as in ‘I have a short temper, but I also play scratch golf, and I volunteer for local charities’. AA only focuses on a person’s moral failings. This breaks a person down and humbles them. The objective in Christianity is to bring one closer to Christ through confession of, and His forgiveness of, sin. In AA, forgiveness comes from the group itself, and with that comes salvation to the individual.
Love bombing works, and it works well. We all want to be cared for and loved, and there is nothing more attractive than a group who accepts us despite our debased nature. To those whose minds have been pulled so deeply into AA, the thought never occurs to them that the very group who is accepting them despite their character flaws, are the very ones who tore them down and led them to believe that they are losers in the first place.
(THIS is a pretty good read from the Orange site.)