12-step Horror Stories: True Tales of Misery, Betrayal, and Abuse in AA, NA, and 12-step Treatment
See Sharp Press, 2000 - Psychology - 247 pages
12-Step Horror Stories provides detailed, first-hand accounts of harrowing abuse suffered by desperate people who turned to what they thought was a source of help. This book includes numerous tales of "13th stepping" 12-step sexual predators taking advantage of vulnerable, newcomer women; tales of AA gurus using their "pigeons" as slave labor; tales of individuals driven to suicide by the cruel treatment of their fellow group members; tales of broken confidences and broken relationships; and tales of women raped by other 12-steppers, and then told by their sponsors or "home group" to "keep [their] side of the street clean" or even to "make amends" to their rapists. Knowledge of such things is common in AA but never revealed to "normies". 12-Step Horror Stories makes this knowledge available for the first time to the public and in doing so, one hopes, will help prevent much unnecessary suffering.
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I am a 36 year sober member of AA and I credit the organization with saving my life and giving me a life. But most of the stories of AA abuse are believable. They do not typify AA. What is increasingly typical of AA and often quite cruel is New Age philosophy, i.e, the philosophy that everyone chooses their feelings so that if someone is feeling bad, they are choosing to feel bad. This philosophy makes people lie about how they feel and is the worst threat to AAs boasted honesty. If you are a New Ager stay out of AA and go to New Age places instead.
Page turning extraordinaire. From reading other books about A.A., I was already predisposed to believe AA is not too good. This book has me convinced that, as many of the writers in this work say, the top self help organization is a cult. While reading this book’s description of AA, it occurred to me that AA is very similar to Rational Emotive Therapy. Since Rational Emotive Therapy has issue, so does AA. I wouldn’t want to go to an AA meeting; something rubs me the wrong way, and furthermore many of these authors rationally argued against it. Even though I am all against alcohol, I at best find AA to be an impediment.