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Show ALL Forums  > British Columbia  > No such thing as a cure... so Cult      Home login  
 AUTHOR
 trophyboyfriend
Joined: 4/25/2005
Msg: 9
No such thing as a cure... so CultPage 1 of 5    (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
what the hell is 12 steps? Is that like 12 monkeys? or 7 eleven? I need a drink.
 RFlagg
Joined: 10/21/2005
Msg: 11
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History
12 STEPS CULT OR CURE??
Posted: 11/15/2005 3:03:10 AM
cult ( P ) Pronunciation Key (klt)
n.

1. a) A religion or religious sect generally considered to be extremist or false, with its followers often living in an unconventional manner under the guidance of an authoritarian, charismatic leader.
b) The followers of such a religion or sect.
2. A system or community of religious worship and ritual.
3. The formal means of expressing religious reverence; religious ceremony and ritual.
4. A usually nonscientific method or regimen claimed by its originator to have exclusive or exceptional power in curing a particular disease.
5. a) Obsessive, especially faddish, devotion to or veneration for a person, principle, or thing.
b) The object of such devotion.
6. An exclusive group of persons sharing an esoteric, usually artistic or intellectual interest.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
[Latin cultus, worship, from past participle of colere, to cultivate. See kwel-1 in Indo-European Roots.]
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Okay, I suspect it might be possible to classify a 12-step program like Alcoholics Anonymous as a cult under definition 4 or 6, but both would be a stretch and should not be offensive. It is meaning 1 (or perhaps 5), and particularly the word false, that tends to cast a negative light on cults.

But, at the same time, it is unlikely any 12-step program would suggest that it can "cure" anything. It is a process that is worked at daily, and for some people it lasts for a lifetime. But just because it cannot cure something does not make it a cult either. That would be like asking, "'George Bush : Weasel or Carp?' Since he does not have gills, it is obvious what he must be." Cute, perhaps, but not a solid logical argument.
 ieatrocks
Joined: 11/16/2005
Msg: 13
12 STEPS CULT OR CURE??
Posted: 11/22/2005 4:30:41 AM
http://www.recovery.org/aa/misc/12steps.html

Cult; steps 1,2,3,6,7,11,12 (7 of the 12) are all geared towards religious and mental surrender and not conscious change. Definately a cult.

But hey if it works and keeps even a few drunk drivers off the road or abusive alcoholics from hitting their kids, so be it.
 Captain Sargasmo
Joined: 10/12/2005
Msg: 16
12 STEPS CULT OR CURE??
Posted: 11/22/2005 11:29:26 AM
yeesh...sounds like someone's gone a little "Koresh" already...
 gotu
Joined: 5/23/2005
Msg: 21
No such thing as a cure... so Cult
Posted: 11/22/2005 12:36:58 PM

AA is for people that can't handle their booze.........weak people need AA.


Well you must be wrong oephys...Biz who knows everything and expresses himself wich such an air of emphatic grace thinks that only weak people need to ask for help. Maybe we should dredge up his thread off errors again!

It takes a lot of strength admit you have a problem - let alone find the help you need and accept it! AA isn't a cult its a helping organization - at least it is not an enabling organization.
 gotu
Joined: 5/23/2005
Msg: 24
No such thing as a cure... so Cult
Posted: 11/22/2005 12:48:13 PM
Again Biz your intelligence and compassion shows through with you every post.

One day Karma will set you right -
 gotu
Joined: 5/23/2005
Msg: 27
No such thing as a cure... so Cult
Posted: 11/22/2005 12:56:47 PM
Nope but I lived with a drug addict for 2 years. All the same circumstances apply. Through NA he was able to get his life back. Almost 3 years clean and good for him!


Think before you shoot your mouth off.


Again your eloquence is overwhelming. Perhaps you should take your own advice. Clearly we all deal with difficulties in our lives. You have no right to spread your negativity about especially in a forum that may have the possibility of helping someone improve their life.
 Tuff Roxy
Joined: 10/12/2005
Msg: 33
12 STEPS CULT OR CURE??
Posted: 11/22/2005 2:26:55 PM
I don't think she was "discussing private dealings with the public", it sounded more to me like she was saying how its helped her life, that's all.
 canadianredneck
Joined: 11/11/2005
Msg: 42
No such thing as a cure... so Cult
Posted: 12/3/2005 2:08:10 PM
Life's experiences will expand your mind beyond its previous limitations.....................I think this could apply here for someone.
 ieatrocks
Joined: 11/16/2005
Msg: 52
No such thing as a cure... so Cult
Posted: 12/7/2005 6:08:31 AM
To the source? Absolutely, thanks for the challenge.

http://www.aa.org/default/en_pdfs/p-16_theaagroup.pdf

"A.A.’s Single Purpose
Tradition Five: Each group has but one primary
purpose—to carry its message to the alcoholic who
still suffers.
"There are those who predict that A.A. may well
become a new spearhead for a spiritual awakening
throughout the world. When our friends say these
things, they are both generous and sincere. But we
of A.A. must reflect that such a tribute and such a
prophecy could well prove to be a heady drink for most
of us—that is, if we really came to believe this to be the
real purpose of A.A., and if we commenced to behave
accordingly.
"Our Society, therefore, will prudently cleave to
its single purpose: the carrying of the message to
the alcoholic who still suffers. Let us resist the proud
assumption that since God has enabled us to do well
in one area we are destined to be a channel of saving
grace for everybody."
A.A. co-founder Bill W., 1955"

Note that the 12 actual steps the organization is built upon, were not readily displayed at aa.org. All throughout the promotional PDF's displayed on aa.org you can find this rhetoric however. So na.org may be more assistance and less religion based then, right? In all fairness let's have a look.

http://www.na.org/ips/an/an-IP16.htm

Wow! Same 12 steps I quoted, my first time, right from the source. If you want to attempt to disqualify a point I make stating I'm not getting it from the source... maybe you should check the source first to see whether or not it actually is in fact an exact quote I used.

So, glad to have answered your concerns about the integrity of the information I've based my opinion from; I now stand by it. Cult. There is no doubt about that.
 hobbes26
Joined: 11/4/2005
Msg: 55
No such thing as a cure... so Cult
Posted: 12/7/2005 2:44:05 PM
i think its not the programs, its the individuals

Some people can just quit without trouble. My uncle quit smoking cause he did not feel like going to the store to get cigarettes. For others its brutally hard.
Some people the support mechanism these groups provide is needed. Its the same thing with churches. There are those who are total whacko's and there are those that are just part of a community.

Personally, I am neither religious nor one who likes the idea of support groups but I think they have an important place in helping people out. I have had friends that these programs have helped out and as many that they were no help....Its a personality thing. Some folks like to be part of communities especially when they are weak while others its best to go hide away and heal.
 ieatrocks
Joined: 11/16/2005
Msg: 56
No such thing as a cure... so Cult
Posted: 12/8/2005 6:47:09 AM
NRK, I've never been to a Reverend Moon mass wedding either; should I therefore not pass judgement on that organization as being a cult?

To avoid pissing everyone off, I think I must re-state that I am in favour of groups like AA, NA and others; regardless of their program, they produce some results in some cases. This is a *world* of difference when compared to nothing at all. If they manage to save even one home from becoming broken, then they have my support. I may not personally agree with the way those results are produced, but their ability to run it, and my ability to question it are what make us a free society.

If "ieatrocks' 12 ways to smack and insult a drunk into smartening the f*** up" were likely to be as effective and widely accepted, I'd had my pamphlets printed off by next week and my first session on Saturday.
 Captain Sargasmo
Joined: 10/12/2005
Msg: 57
No such thing as a cure... so Cult
Posted: 12/8/2005 2:15:16 PM
i like the Cult...

and also the Cure...

so...i'd take 12 steps in either direction to listen to them.
 gotu
Joined: 5/23/2005
Msg: 58
No such thing as a cure... so Cult
Posted: 12/8/2005 2:26:24 PM
bad cappy - draggin threads off topic :P

Is the cult in here referring to religion... because I think the word that is used is spiritual not religious. I am spiritual and am not religious. there is a difference.
 TheDreadPirateRoberts
Joined: 11/18/2005
Msg: 60
12 STEPS CULT OR CURE??
Posted: 12/11/2005 8:12:45 AM
A fundamental aspect of the *working* definition of a cult, to those who study them, is the deliberate use of deception to entice and ensnare new adherents. Some mainstream "religions" fit this description, but most don't. On the whole, Christianity does not (except for the couple of "offshoots" commonly recognized as such), neither do Buddhism, Judaism, Bahaism, Sikhism, etc.

Remember, the key aspect is DELIBERATE deception in order to ensnare. Since not all religions agree on fundamental points and therefore they cannot all "be right" (presuming that even one can be...) the rest are therefore "wrong" and deceiving their members. Being wrong does not make them a cult -- at issue is the deliberate, planned and choreographed use of deception to E&E. In the cults I've studied, this deception is planned, storyboarded and practiced with full awareness by the leadership that it is, in fact, a deception. Sometimes physical means (sleep-deprivation, dietary anomalies, prepared environments) are used to prepare the subject for the con, but not always.

Of course... no twelve-step program comes even close to this. If a twelve-step program did not work for *whoever*, well it sucks to be whoever. He/She'll have to find another tool to use that *will* work for them -- and I sincerely wish each of us every success with our personal battle-of-all-battles, be it alcohol, drugs or food.
 Captain Sargasmo
Joined: 10/12/2005
Msg: 69
IT'S A CULT
Posted: 3/1/2006 11:18:24 AM
how about this...

if something legal helps someone stop drinking so much they keep waking up in Trophy's bedroom duct-taped to a goat, then great! it's probably for the best.
 ~JaneSays~
Joined: 5/6/2009
Msg: 80
No such thing as a cure... so Cult
Posted: 5/24/2009 9:32:29 PM
Interesting thread and some interesting responses.

I don't think it is a cult. I doubt it meets the definition, but suppose it does. Perhaps, it could be considered a good cult because it helps people change their lives for the better. Also, there is a certain amount of wisdom in some of the things they say.
 WesternWildRose
Joined: 9/15/2008
Msg: 81
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History
No such thing as a cure... so Cult
Posted: 5/25/2009 1:11:43 PM
Well apparently I don't know a lot about this.... so I referred to Wiki...an where I thought the 12 Step concept was a tool to get your life in order and take steps to over-coming addiction by acknowledging your addiction in a group setting with others...etc...tools...step by step ways to get to recovery and cease your addiction.....

now I see where the original 12 Steps of AA as per Wiki involved handing over your confesssion....an accepting God to take over your life...and help you thru this addiction and recovery.

Steps 5,6 and 7 I believe referred to God so why it is not a cult in my eyes..it does have some religious belief... Christianity...and thus could be seen as Christian indoctrine.
 Wilf Huckitt
Joined: 3/29/2008
Msg: 82
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No such thing as a cure... so Cult
Posted: 5/25/2009 1:17:31 PM
Been through a cpl. progams and several meetings but didnt get much out of it in the long run. The fact that you have to believe in a higher power alone is enough to make me think its more of a cult than anything.


http://rational.org/index.php

This was how I finaly made the right choice and quit! No higher power or meetings in 3 yrs.

I dont agree with the bashing of different ideas, nor do I agree with being judged by either side!


So for me the cure was the realization that I was a dumass that chose the wrong life style!
 Wilf Huckitt
Joined: 3/29/2008
Msg: 85
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IT'S A Recovery Program
Posted: 5/28/2009 1:00:34 AM
Here Here ms fartsalot!!

All though I have not read his book, I have viewed his site and the AVRT worked quite well for me!

To finaly realize I was the one that had to decide to make the right choice! None of this one day at a time bs! No higher power to keep me on track, or forgive me if I sin!


I personaly know more "Dry Drunks" as we are called (if we quit outside of the boundry's of the 12 step program)than I know of people that have quit in it!

The "Treatment Industry" is booming these days and will as long as people keep lining their pockets off the "so called sick!"
 Wilf Huckitt
Joined: 3/29/2008
Msg: 91
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12 STEPS CULT OR CURE??
Posted: 9/27/2009 8:18:35 AM
""~JaneSays~ on 9/8/2009 718 PM
Is the 12 step program the only route for a person who is addicted to drugs or alcohol? I am sincerely asking. It seems like group therapy to me and I think some people would prefer private therapy.""

As far as I know the 12 steps are the only recognized program in the "Treatment Industry"!



For me This is the one that worked!


http://rational.org/index.php
 Moanie
Joined: 4/16/2008
Msg: 93
Treatment Really Means Sanitarium!!
Posted: 9/27/2009 1:29:25 PM
^^^^ I see why you choose that handle for yourself. It suits you perfectly

edit: don't you have to be a certain age to be on this site?
 rockondon
Joined: 2/21/2007
Msg: 94
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History
Treatment Really Means Sanitarium!!
Posted: 9/27/2009 2:14:19 PM

These are the original Twelve Steps as published by Alcoholics Anonymous:
1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol—that our lives had become unmanageable.
2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
5. Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His Will for us and the power to carry that out.
12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.
To me that has cult and brainwashing written all over it. The failure rate is over 90% but its not meant to help people get over their addictions anyway, its true agenda is revealed by the completely unnecessary injection of 'God' throughout it. Why not Allah or Vishnu or Zeus or the Creator or better yet, why mention a god of any kind in the first place?

There are two basic principles commonly used to brainwash someone - first you break them down, second you bring them back up. In this case you break them down by convincing them they are weak, helpless slaves to their addiction - then you bring them up by saying but there's hope! - so long as they perform lots of useless prayer and fill the collection plate.

If I truly wanted to help someone overcome something I would encourage them to externalize their problem (as opposed to putting the blame on them) and help them to foster personal strength to fight that problem. I wouldn't slap more shackles on them like the 12 steps do, I would try to liberate them. Naturally this 12 step religious indoctrination, thinly veiled as something meant to help you, does the opposite - it tells you that you are weak, powerless, and incapable of beating your addiction on your own - which is pretty much the exact opposite message you would ever give to an addict if you want them to recover. In a sense, the 12 step program tries to replace one addiction with another - if you convince someone that they need your religion and that they are powerless without it, you've got them addicted.
 rockondon
Joined: 2/21/2007
Msg: 96
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History
Treatment Really Means Sanitarium!!
Posted: 9/27/2009 3:43:00 PM

Gee, rock on ding dong!
Gee, name calling...what a great debate tactic.
copying all that out of google for our education and edification
You're complaining about having the 12 steps listed? What a pathetic thing to whine about.
how many people do you know who have sustained long term recovery from same? i know a few. how many do you know who have recovered (long term and happily) without? hmmm...i know one but he hasn't come out of his house in a few years LOL!!!
You know "a few" people who have recovered from addiction? Congratulations - what an enormous body of subjects from which you've formed an opinion on the matter. It seems unimportant for you to bother pursuing what has worked for thousands or millions of recovered addicts because you know 'a few' people. Good for you.
a twelve step program is not a religion
You're being disingenuous. It may not be a religion on its own but it has obvious religious components. In fact, in many states it is illegal to force someone to join AA as it violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment (Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibit the free exercise thereof).
oh well - you can always go back to cutting and pasting long educational excerpts from google...that'll keep everyone gagging for more...i know i sure am!
And you can go back to whining about cut/paste when you're incapable of refuting the argument itself.

I find it amusing that you defend the 12 steps yet you continue to whine about me posting them. Its not surprising, people don't like it when they're hypocrisy is revealed. If the 12-step program involved the name 'Allah' instead of 'God' I'm sure you'd be wailing in hate instead of defending the program.

There's plenty of other help programs at least as effective as the 12-step programs that don't require indoctrination into believing in God. Clearly the mention of God is unnecessary - this is one of the things that makes it more of a cult than a place to manage your addiction.

Lets look at its effectiveness
In a 1979 study, 260 individuals, either referred by the courts, other agencies, or self-referred, were treated for 210 days. Participants were assigned randomly to one of five groups: AA meetings run by experienced nonprofessionals, RBT therapy administered by a nonprofessional, RBT therapy administered by degreed professionals, Insight Therapy administered by professionals, or a control group which received no treatment.

After treatment was completed, a three month follow-up showed that AA group treatment was associated with five times more binge drinking than the control group and nine times the binge drinking of the nonprofessional RBT group. Nonprofessional RBT was deemed the superior treatment in a comparison between the two. The study concluded that coerced AA attendance did not work well.

AA had the largest dropout rate. The Insight Therapy and Professional RBT groups ranked the highest in drinking indices for the most nondrinking days over the 3 and 9 month follow up.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Effectiveness_of_Alcoholics_Anonymous

I think support groups are great for overcoming addiction but I just dont see the need to inject religion into it.
 Moanie
Joined: 4/16/2008
Msg: 98
12 STEPS CULT OR CURE??
Posted: 9/27/2009 6:03:59 PM
mo-mo:
Wow, 29 years!! Big hand of applause to your Dad, and of course to his obviously very supportive family Very impressive
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