27 votes

Court-ordered into Alcoholics Anonymous? You could use the Satanic Temple instead

2 comments

  1. inwardpath
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    At one point in time I would have seen no problem with this, or TST, until I learned more. Recent lawsuits and articles have brought more to light. However, sometimes it's hard to know who to...

    At one point in time I would have seen no problem with this, or TST, until I learned more. Recent lawsuits and articles have brought more to light. However, sometimes it's hard to know who to believe about what when it comes to these things. A meme group I followed on FB happened to be run by former members of TST that are being sued and so I read more about the situation and history of some goings-on at TST that make me feel less than thrilled about the organization.

    Some links for those interested:

    7 votes
  2. NoblePath
    Link
    Just for the legacy record: The person's experience as described in the article is not AA. It's a Christian Church scam using AA as a hook. AA has engaged in legal process at times to prevent this...

    Just for the legacy record:

    The person's experience as described in the article is not AA. It's a Christian Church scam using AA as a hook. AA has engaged in legal process at times to prevent this sort of thing in egregious cases.

    Real AA meetings are very adamant on the point that they espouse no particular, or any, religious point of view or ideas. Individual members are absolutely free to have any, or no, belief in "god."

    AA does have some loose Christian affiliations (especially at its formation), and some meetings express this more explicitly than others, and it does suck in some ways. But that's the thing about AA-individual meetings have a full autonomy to run themselves however they see fit; if they run too far outside the traditions they tend to be delisted from websites and pamphlet meeting listings. And there's always other meetings that are the opposite of that, some are even explicit in their meeting descriptions about their agnostic or atheistic orientations.

    The deal is that the AA solution relies on a spiritual dimension. It is OK if this is entirely self-contained, and can be nothing more than an acknowledgment that the individual AA simply doesn't know everything, and there might be something out there, even as simple as cooperation among humans in an AA meeting, that can offer a better perspective on how to deal with those things outside the individual's understanding. People who are really successful in AA will have no problem with people having different ideas from them, or finding success outside of AA entirely. This principle is explicit in AA's literature.

    To the bigger issue of whether or what a Court should order. It makes a big difference to me whether it is a "consent" order or one imposed externally. In other words, I'm fine if a court says we'll avoid incarceration if you agree to participate in some kind of recognized voluntary substance abuse recovery fellowship, in other words, a condition of probation. Especially true if this is some kind of deferred prosecution agreement that avoids a conviction. And I don't have any problem if the judge were to order a primary 12 step program specifically.

    To the question whether AA works. It undoubtedly works exceptionally well for some people, OK for some, and not at all for a lot. There's a lot of factor, but one I've noticed, is that all of the people in the first category, they have external support and resources-both money and people. These things do not guarantee success, there are many people in the last category that have plenty of external support. Very exceptional are the cases where someone truly "from the street" will succeed in AA, and these are often people who came to AA while in prison.

    7 votes