This blog focuses on 12-Step coercion by state-licensed professionals.
There are many different aspects to the anti-AA movement, though, because there are many reasons to reject Alcoholics Anonymous. They are all intertwined, as I’ll try to show:
Some point simply to the bad psychology of AA. It’s not helpful to think of yourself as selfish, dishonest, powerless, insane, and defective. Out With the Addict Identity
Some point out the fact that AA mixes vulnerable young people with court ordered sex offenders and people who have a history of violent crime, telling vulnerable people not to trust their own thinking and to do what they are told to do by virtual strangers. The 13th Step: The Film
Some point out that AA is a religious cult. Independent or critical thought is discouraged. You read from the AA scriptures and recite Christian prayers. You’re expected to come to believe and proclaim that AA saved your life and that without AA you will die. AA is a Cult
Some point out the fraudulent and vehemently anti-science rehab industry which is full of “addiction specialists” whose primary qualification is AA membership. It’s a big business founded on misinformation. Doctor Debunks the Bad Science of AA and the Rehab Industry
Some point out the Constitutional violations in mandated attendance in a religious group as punishment for a crime (or non-crime!) Separation of Church and State
Some point out the Ethics code violations by professional two-hatters (people who serve as both licensed professional social workers and AA proselytizers). My cartoon about the 12-step coercion experience originally did not include the name of the organization in the title. But after having my Yelp reviews repeatedly removed, I decided it was the way to make sure this ‘faith-based counseling’ 12-step organization is flagged in some way for people searching for information.
And some point out the pseudo-science of the disease concept of alcoholism. They note that 12 step groups exist for everything from eating and sex and gambling to even Emotions Anonymous, pathologizing virtually anything to spread 12 step faith healing as the solution.