People like me who discover that Alcoholics Anonymous is a religious cult that has nothing to do with solving a drinking problem seem to go through a variety of disturbing emotions, and some fear, about telling the truth about their experience.
At a certain point, I finally decided that AA was not healthy for me. It was making me doubt myself, making me feel powerless, insane, defective, and dishonest. It was depressing and stupid, because I’m not a dishonest person and I’m not crazy. I began to want to tell people about it. I tried to tell my therapist at Samaritan Counseling Center, but they terminated me for non-compliance instead of listening. Over the past year, I’ve had more insight into why people have such difficulty explaining how AA is counterproductive and unhelpful.
The first reasons are obvious. AA tells you that if you leave you’ll die, or end up in jails or institutions. That’s enough of a psychological mind-fuck to keep many people from speaking out. But assuming most people are capable of seeing that that’s just not true, based on empirical data about human habit patterns, there is a lesser known reason why people have trouble speaking out about it.
Dissent and negative feedback are being actively censored by 12-step businesses. The rehab industry is a $35 billion/year business.
In the past couple of months, I’ve had my Yelp account disabled because I posted a negative review of Samaritan Counseling Center for their 12-step coercion. I’ve seen review after review in support of my protest deleted. I’ve seen other people’s reviews of their rehabs deleted.
What keeps people from telling the truth about Alcoholics Anonymous? It’s not fear, in the end. It’s sheer exhaustion from being repeatedly shut down for standing up. It’s a sick, dangerous cult, and the reason why people aren’t aware that places like Samaritan Counseling REQUIRE 12-step fealty is because people like me are not allowed to tell the truth to others about what to expect there. Indoctrination strategy requires that the client is unaware of the ultimate intent of the ‘treatment’. This is called suppression of informed consent, and it’s illegal.