Here is an interesting article from the New York Times about about belladonna and its use in treating alcohol addiction. Bill Wilson used it when he had his famous “white light experience”. For any AAs out there who are working those steps with rigorous honesty, and have still not had their spiritual awakening, you might consider tossing a bit of belladonna into the mix. That picture of Jesus or chia pet or pine tree or whatever you happen to be using as your higher power, is sure to come to life:

On the second or third day of his treatment, Mr. Wilson had his now famous spiritual awakening. Earlier that evening, Mr. Thacher had visited and tried to persuade Mr. Wilson to turn himself over to the care of a Christian deity who would liberate him from the ravages of alcohol. Hours later, depressed and delirious, Mr. Wilson cried out: “I’ll do anything! Anything at all! If there be a God, let him show himself!” He then witnessed a blinding light and felt an ecstatic sense of freedom and peace. When Mr. Wilson told Dr. Silkworth about the event, the physician responded: “Something has happened to you I don’t understand. But you had better hang on to it.”

By Dan –

Denial (the technique):

The abusive manipulation of the subject wherein both agreement to and denial of an accusation confirm the accusation. This methodological technique of breaking down the subject’s resistance to control and manipulation was borrowed by Freud from Nietzsche’s claim to understand the mind’s of those long dead for the purposes of undermining their professed beliefs. In psychoanalysis, any statement by the patient is interpreted to confirm the analyst’s preconceived diagnosis, invariably based on the Freud’s (evil and preposterous) insistence that all neuroses, that is, behavioral problems, derive, ipso facto, from suppressed childhood sexual lust for the opposite parent. The idea is, “I hear what you’re saying, but know what you’re unconscious thoughts are.” In other words, the subject is “in denial.” There could be no greater abuse of the notion of self-hood than convincing the gullible that their own thoughts are lies, for no other purpose than to suit the preconceived notions of the therapist or sponsor in proselytizing the fanatical, quasi-religious cult of AA. (more…)

One of our readers, Dan, wrote the following in our comment section. We thought it was good summary of the religion of AA. With his permission, we decided to post it as blog entry:

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AA dogma on the Second Step is primarily contained in the Twelve & Twelve where the theme is transcendence from atheism, agnosticism, AND the religion of the Bible to a supposedly higher-level spirituality based on AAs precepts and practice. Any sop toward organized religion in the texts or heard at meetings is strictly a rhetorical ploy which will be dismissed with in short order during every newcomer’s formal indoctrination at the feet of a watchful adept, his sponsor. A newcomer will rarely question the religious beliefs of his new sponsor, but this is irrelevant since no matter what belief a sponsor professes to have as a come-on, it is going to be unadulterated indoctrination in the AA religion. So, what is the AA religion?

Looking at its history gives some clues. Both its founders were Ouija board-using spiritualists claiming communication with the dead and spirits. Bill W’s wife was a Swedenborgian and Dr. Bob was a freemason, both of which deny the Divinity of Christ. Today’s AA, however, is more self-indulgent New Age mysticism than like its Jazz Age, New Thought spiritualist roots. In my experience from attending meetings for 15 years, I’d say it’s essence is an anti-religion religion–that’s its main appeal–and any spirituality is acceptable and may be freely expressed at meetings, just so long as it’s not the theological teachings of the Christian faith. That will immediately elicit disapproving body language, coughs, chairs moving around, and so on.

This anti-religion religion has a strong appeal to those looking for the benefits of organized religion without the moral consequences of its teachings. Spiritually, AA is itself the “easy way out” it claims to oppose. If there is one sentiment that characterizes AA “sharing” on spirituality, it’s the venomous resentment of organized religion from the predictably ignorant and contrived catalog of its failures. This is odd since AA claims resentments are the number one reason for relapses, while these resentments against religion are voiced with passion, and often rage. (more…)

Update Update: We have some pretty good ones. Agent Mango came with some nice ones. It is kind of nice to see that most of our AA friends don’t like the slogans and aphorisms, either. Just so you folks know, I am using one of these pens, and it writes really well. It has nice feel to it.

UPDATE: These are supposed to be your creation, not slogans already in use. I’ve seen three pretty good ones so far:

“AA: Because thinking is hard” by Sunny
“It’s time to harvest the crust from your eyes” by Sunny
“Just Quit, It’s the Bees Knees” by Tony (must be said sarcastically, but still not bad)
“I have a disease that tells me I don’t have a disease” me, which I stole from Corky the Twelve-Step Monkey
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It’s time to put on your thinkin’ caps and stir up those creative juices, kids. We are having a competition to see who can come up with the best thought stopping AA slogan. Submissions will be graded on catchiness, inanity, wit, thought stoppability, serenity, flavor and rigorous honesty. Everyone is eligible. Easy does it!

The winner gets this inspirational serenity pen (really, we’ll send it to you):

Good Luck!!!

Truthiness noun – 1) the quality of preferring concepts or facts one wishes to be true, rather than concepts or facts known to be true; 2) truth that comes from the gut not books

“The truth only carries so much weight. What we believe to be the truth will trump the actual truth every time.” – Cuda

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The above quote summarizes, in a nutshell, AA’s approach to recovery — or their approach to almost anything else for that matter. There is a reason why the endless debates which take place in our comment section will never be end, and that is because the two sides are playing with different points of reference – with one relying on logic, skepticism and rational thought; and the other relying on what they want to believe. (more…)

“When I see a 9/11 victim family on television, or whatever, I’m just like, ‘Oh shut up’ I’m so sick of them because they’re always complaining.”

Glenn Beck, AA, advising the families of 9/11 victims to get off the pity pot.

“… Here’s some further stats for you ~ those who claim AA doesn’t work, are typically boozers who don’t want to work the program, because like it or not, that program works if you work it…end of story.”

Live n Let Liv, AA, responding to a review of the book The Heart of Addiction by Lance Dodes