I learned long ago that, in order to objectively evaluate something, one must look into the given issue from multiple angles. One of the largest, most difficult critical thought projects in my life experience — an issue that demanded my thorough research from many perspectives and angles — was fundamentalist Christianity. To this day, I would trade that learning experience for anything, for it helped me discover what I believe in my heart. It gave me a Higher Power, so to speak.
In the spirit of critical thought and objective research, I decided to create this page of resources, some of which are critical towards Alcoholics Anonymous. I hope no one takes offense to my inclusion of these resources on this Addiction Recovery site or makes any assumptions regarding my own attitude towards AA and related Twelve-Step programs.
Resources: Varying perspectives on AA
Articles about addiction treatment, rehab
- Why Rehab Fails: The dogma of AA has taken over – New Republic – Excerpt: My favorite two sentences in the Alcoholics Anonymous literature are: “Alcoholics Anonymous does not demand that you believe anything. All of its twelve steps are but suggestions.” When a drunk at the end of his tether, Bill Wilson, founded Alcoholics Anonymous in the late 1930s—a spiritual program based on meeting with other addicts—there was a fundamental humility to his ideology: It might work for some…
- Addiction Treatment in America: Not Based in Science, Not Truly ‘Medical’ – TIME.com
- Study: Men and Women Benefit in Different Ways From AA – TIME.com – Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) helps alcoholics to become sober, but the program may affect men and women differently.
Who was Bill Wilson?
- The Man Behind the A.A. Revolution – Interview with Susan Cheever – Susan Cheever talks about her new biography of Bill Wilson, the man she says was made to
found Alcoholics Anonymous
- The Dry Piper – Modern Drunkard Magazine – William Wilson was, by his own account and those of others, a degenerate alcoholic.
Bill Wilson’s LSD experimentation
- What A.A. co-founder Bill Wilson’s use of LSD reveals about A.A., and about himself – My Word Like Fire – Excerpt: A.A. co-founder Bill Wilson’s involvement with LSD tells us two things. According to A.A. historian Ernest Kurtz:
Here, then, is one clear reason why Bill Wilson experimented with LSD: he was seeking still further ways of helping alcoholics who could not seem to attain sobriety in Alcoholics Anonymous because, apparently, they could not ‘get the spiritual.’
- AA, Bill Wilson, and LSD – Dose Nation – Excerpt: …the popularity and longevity of any movement, whether a cult, a philosophy, or a therapeutic technique, ultimately depends as much on the charisma of the initial promoters as it does on any qualities of the core idea. Just think what the world of addiction treatment would be like today if Bill Wilson hadn’t been such a character!
- Describing A.A. co-founder’s response to dose of LSD – My Word Like Fire – Betty Eisner’s memoir, Remembrances of LSD therapy past, is the most unusual thing I have read in years… observations of Alcoholics Anonymous co-founder Bill Wilson while he was on LSD.
Scholarly articles, research about treatment/rehab
- Religiosity and Participation in Mutual-Aid Support Groups for Addiction – NIH – Excerpt: A national survey of mutual-aid support groups for addiction was conducted to identify key differences between participants in recovery groups. Survey data indicate that active involvement in support groups significantly improves one’s chances of remaining clean and sober, regardless of the group in which one participates. Respondents whose individual beliefs better matched those of their primary support groups showed greater levels of group participation, resulting in better outcomes as measured by increased number of days clean and sober. Religious respondents were more likely to participate in 12-Step groups and Women for Sobriety. Non-religious respondents were significantly less likely to participate in 12-Step groups. Religiosity had little impact on SMART Recovery participation, but actually decreased participation in SOS. These results have important implications for treatment planning and matching individuals to appropriate support groups.