The Social Contract of Alcoholics Anonymous

There may be no purer example of a society formed by social contract than Alcoholics Anonymous. It will come as no news to secular AAers that this doesn’t necessarily mean that AA is a bastion for equal rights of all. We forget that the great theorists of social contract were dangerous radicals. They rejected theContinue reading “The Social Contract of Alcoholics Anonymous”

On the recitation of the Lord’s Prayer in AA meetings

To many in traditional AA fellowships, it is perplexing when secular, agnostic, or atheist members object to reciting the Lord’s Prayer in meetings. The basis of my own objections are that reciting the Lord’s Prayer allies the fellowship with a particular denomination and religion, and that it excludes and therefore oppresses me as a member.Continue reading “On the recitation of the Lord’s Prayer in AA meetings”

Traditional AA, Repression, Oppression, and Alienation

How’s that for a title? A discussion of a traditional AA fellowship’s repetition of God language turned up today on Facebook. The poster was upset by the repeated references, and not only references but worshipful statements about God, Jesus, etc. (not to be confused with the Wilco song “Jesus, Etc.”). Some of the comments struckContinue reading “Traditional AA, Repression, Oppression, and Alienation”

The Myth of Twelve Steps

There should be no space in the recovery community for authoritarianism and oppression. A hallmark of Alcoholics Anonymous is the list of twelve steps. It is so central to the ideology of AA that other recovery groups are referred to as “12 step” groups. Many newcomers are told that they can recover only if theyContinue reading “The Myth of Twelve Steps”

“Character defects”

In traditional AA meetings, I enjoy saying things contrary to the dominant ideology. I don’t look for fights, and I don’t say these things solely or even mainly to stir controversy. Often enough, they pass uncommented on. Whenever the Sixth Step topic of “character defects” comes up, I say “I don’t believe in character defects.Continue reading ““Character defects””

Capitalism and addiction

The current psychiatric and psychological concept of addiction is being unable to stop engaging in a behavior that is harmful to your health or relationships, regardless of this harm. What counts as “harm” depends on what you regard as health or healthy relationships. Those valuations are social and historical, as are the needs that serveContinue reading “Capitalism and addiction”

Introduce Yourself (Example Post)

This is an example post, originally published as part of Blogging University. Enroll in one of our ten programs, and start your blog right. You’re going to publish a post today. Don’t worry about how your blog looks. Don’t worry if you haven’t given it a name yet, or you’re feeling overwhelmed. Just click theContinue reading “Introduce Yourself (Example Post)”