Another of many letters to be sent to State Licensing Boards

“To whom it may concern:

I am writing on behalf of myself and countless others who were hurt by 12 step religious programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous. I was first forced into rehab by the legal system in 2005. I was told my problems were because “I wasn’t honest, I didn’t have the right God and I was too smart for my own good”.

I was told that my “traumas” were my fault and my life in shambles because I was selfish and living in fear. I was told daily about what would happen to me if I left AA. If I disagreed or had my own thoughts about anything said in the rooms I was promised “an alcoholic death”.

I was in an incredible amount of emotional pain. More so than before going to rehab. At this I was repeatedly blamed for not “letting go and letting God”. I was also told that “pain was the touchstone of all spiritual growth “. My problem was I could not be honest and I could not find the right God to turn my will and life over to. Once I was able to leave rehab, I realized I was worse than when I went.

I spent another 5 years in AA because of fear of what would happen to me if I left. Though without alcohol I lived in complete misery inside the rooms of AA. Once out of rehab I was swarmed by groups of people more concerned with who I would grant complete dominion over my life or getting into my pants than my addiction to alcohol. I did choose someone and began working the 12 steps.

I did not understand the program or how simply removing alcohol but leaving all of the misery was any better than my life with alcohol. The therapist I was seeing at the time told me I should put my opinions aside and trust these people.

I did for another amount of time until I was either going to end my life or leave the program.

After I left AA is when I began to feel any kind of happiness. I was much worse but after obtaining a new therapist and a psychiatrist Who prescribed me some much needed medication I began to understand that I was not the cause of every bad thing that happened around me and I wasn’t being punished for not turning everything over to an AA approved God.

I was able to not drink without AA and am much better off without the program. I hope that others like me can be spared the misery and wasted years of 12 step programs with a 95% failure rate. There are other options for the treatment of addiction and I am optimistic that these other options can be explored.”

Another of many letters to be sent to New York State Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia and Samaritan Counseling Centers

This is another great letter because it shows that this ineffectiveness of ‘addiction treatment’ is not a problem with people lacking ‘spirituality’ or religion. It is a problem with people being coerced to think that AA’s weird teachings must be placed above any actual negative outcomes or existing values a person has.

Anti-AA-Letter (full PDF)