Reminder that Alcoholics Anonymous is a Christian faith, not science, based organization that was founded in the 30s at a time when we understood almost nothing about the actual mechanical function of the brain and addiction, and that their 12 steps have become so ingrained in the US medical system and culture that most people and medical professionals dont realize there are other better researched options available now.

Has AA helped some people, sure absolutely. But, call me a stickler, im very much not a fan of a program for overcoming addiction categorically claiming that anyone who the program doesnt work for just had something inherently sick and wrong about how they were born.

Maybe your Christian Group Huddle just isnt a one size fits all solution, dumbasses.


Heinous garbage from AA’s actual “bible” 

“Rarely have we seen a person fail who has thoroughly followed our path. Those who do not recover are people who cannot or will not completely give themselves to this simple program, usually men and women who are constitutionally incapable of being honest with themselves. There are such unfortunates. They are not at fault; they seem to have been born that way.”



Heinous garbage from AA’s actual “bible” 


Heinous garbage from AA’s actual “bible” 

@rigatonimonster it makes me incandescent, it sucks so bad.

Gotta love how step one is “admit you are powerless over alcohol” but if youre TOO powerless it means youre just irrecoverably bad and awful and dishonest

Heinous garbage from AA’s actual “bible” 

@swiff I mean... part of my future job is gonna be having to refer people to places like this so it's super good to know that AA specifically sucks ass

Heinous garbage from AA’s actual “bible” 

@swiff plenty of more "scientific" paradigms for treatment have similar axiomatic nonsense at the bedrock. Look up ABA - a "treatment" for Autism that is still the primary in the West - and quotes from the founder if you want to make your skin crawl.

Psychology studies are mostly observational - expose people to a modality, track their success. It is hard to disprove psychological theories.

more on psychology and therapy 

@swiff Hell, CBT, Family Systems Therapy, and Existential Therapy - 3 modalities of therapy taught and used widely - have entirely different core theories about the mind. All constructed basically the same way as AA.

Someone thought a lot, read books, and constructed a theory of the mind, and derived a solution from that theory.

more on psychology and therapy 

@swiff We do not have the fidelity of imaging to disprove any of them, only observe their relative effectiveness.

All this to say I agree AA sucks, but if you think there is a more rationally proven model out there that has a stronger basis in brain scans and tested data about neurology you will be disappointed.

more on psychology and therapy 

@dualhammers no, but there ARE models out there that have statistically supported better efficacy than AA. We can get lost in the weeds of minutia and phrasing here, or we can move on understanding that im not claiming to be an addiction expert and am calling out a particularly monolithic organization in that realm.

more on psychology and therapy 

@swiff Of course. I latched onto the phrasing because it is all I know about you and I took it in good faith you used the best phrasing you could to articulate your position.

in any event, I agree with the call out. It is important people understand the theory of mind behind any treatment before they submit to it

more on psychology and therapy 

@dualhammers thats legit, apologies if i bristled a bit. Good article recc too, ty

more on psychology and therapy 

@swiff no worries. I understand a stranger entering your menchies with verbosity basically produces a pavlovian stress response in all of us veterans of online

@dualhammers Oh to be sure, theres plenty of rackets taking advantage of people needing help.

Its just that AA is the biggest game in town, at least in the US, and is regularly recommended by doctors, medical professionals, and just the general populace: for many, myself included until relatively recently, the faith based parts of it are often not known, and its ubiquity gives the organization an air of legitimacy lesser known programs lack. Hence, the reminder

@swiff Yep, it is true that ubiquity is a heuristic for validity our brain uses a lot and does not always yield the best choices.

Here's a review of psychosocial treatment systems - of which AA is one. The paper spends a bunch of words just explaining how difficult it is to compare effectiveness and collect good data

Heinous garbage from AA’s actual “bible” 

@swiff i knew AA was bad but wow this is fucked

re: Heinous garbage from AA’s actual “bible” 

@swiff No True Alcoholic Scottsman....

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