Is AA a cult or not? New conclussions

My dear Benched Sinners,

I have finally made up my mind on the age-old question: Is AA a cult? And let me tell you, the answer is a resounding YES! Let me tell you why...

AA tells us that there is something fundamentally wrong with us and that we will never truly recover. How is that supposed to build self-awareness and independent thinking? We are expected to blindly follow the same rulebook and not trust ourselves. How can we ever hope to truly heal if we don't even believe that our own brains are capable of helping us? To me this feels like stopping my education at 6th grade….when there is still so much more to learn!


I know that at least two of my character flaws are fear and self-condemnation. Shaming me for these trauma responses didn’t help me. So I had to ask….what am I missing? Let's talk about the whole idea of suspending your own impaired judgment, to blindly following the program. It's like they're asking us to check our brains at the door. Well, I don't know about you, but I’ve never been comfortable with following a rulebook that feels a lot like the bible.

So when AA asks that I write this down and how I am responsible for it…that helps build a sense of responsibility. I know that these defects of character need to be removed. So many of us have these defects as a response to trauma. The brain will continue to tell you that you are not safe until you address and heal your trauma damage. Ignoring it and focusing on the behaviors is not something that can be maintained. Shame can control some behavioral responses, but it is not a lasting. We’re stopping our sobriety education at the 6th grade. And this is just not enough.  In other words, you can condition the response you want, but does it lead towards healing? Is there a way to recover from addictive behaviors? Is it possible that aspects of AA hold us back rather than delivering on its promise of recovery. 

And don't even get me started on the shame and fear that AA builds around the idea of "relapse." Public shaming is a powerful tool, and AA wields it expertly. But here's the thing - avoiding something out of fear is not sustainable. That's not recovery. True recovery comes from facing our fears head-on, not cowering in the corner because we're scared of a slip-up.

So, to all my fellow skeptics out there, I say this: when you’ve done the work, give yourself the credit. Start trusting yourself again. Trust your instincts. You are stronger than you think, and you don't need some cult-like organization telling you how to live your life.

And to AA, I say this: it's time to wake up and smell the coffee. True recovery comes from within, not from blindly following a one-size-fits-all program.

So let's raise a glass (of non-alcoholic beverage, of course) to persevering past the follow the leader mentality and push into critical thinking and breaking out of cult-like thinking and embracing true self-awareness and independence.

Until next time; we’ll be keeping the bench warm for you,







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