"Some Of Us"; Christianity Today

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Chris Deile

Vancouver, WA

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#1
Jul 29, 2013
 
"Some of Us" puts my 2001 Christianity Today letter into perspective. Wondered where the abusiveness is coming from in AA so finally got around to looking at AA's teachings more critically. Even though love and tolerance is the code of AA (Big Book), evidently it's not valued.

Concluding it's AA's primary teachings involving absolutism in a guilt inducing manner. Also, AA's being court ordered (people forced there against their will or else be put in jail) ruins the group dynamics of mutuality.

The guilt, along with people being taught if they stop attending AA they'll get drunk, leaves one accepting the abuse.

I've seen many people abused in AA, myself most definitely included.

So even though I wrote that letter in 2001, hadn't had a more specific understanding of the harmful aspect of AA's teachings until the past few years and most recently when looking at 'How It Works' a little more closely.
Chris Deile

Vancouver, WA

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#2
Jul 29, 2013
 
Here's a revision of 'Some of Us'(have to break it up into several posts):

“SOME OF US”

Alcoholics Anonymous ‘How It Works’ absolutism (recited during the beginning of AA meetings):

“With all the earnestness at our command, we beg of you to be fearless and thorough from the very start. Some of us have tried to hold onto our old ideas and the result was nil until we let go absolutely…Half measures availed us nothing…We asked His protection and care with complete abandon. Here are the steps we took….”
Fulfilling such imperatives as to let go absolutely with no old ideas remaining, etc. is to live in perfect communion with God perennially. Therefore, a daily 3rd step (surrender to God) would not only be absolutely unnecessary but a misnomer: If old ideas have crept back in at any point following having let go absolutely, requiring another letting go, one hasn’t let go absolutely to begin with. Absolutely means absolutely, particularly in the context of “half measures availed us nothing” and “the result was nil until…”, thereby rendering a daily 10th step [moral inventory] moot as well since there would be no faults (sins) to tally.
Caveats seeming to rescind the absolutism actually don’t since that which is stated imperative cannot be annulled (caveat here to mean “1b. an explanation to prevent misunderstanding”; Webster’s New International). For example, the caveat “No one among us has been able to maintain anything like perfect adherence to these principles…the principles we have set down are guides to progress not spiritual perfection”: At this point absolutist perfectionism is admitted to be impossible. But it had already been emphatically insisted upon preceding the 12 steps. And,“We are not cured of alcoholism. What we have is a daily reprieve contingent upon the maintenance of our spiritual condition”(Big Book; p.85): Yet what is to be maintained when one has [purportedly] let go absolutely?
Chris Deile

Vancouver, WA

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#3
Jul 29, 2013
 
‘How It Works’, when stating,“Some of us have tried to hold onto our old ideas”, etc. implies the majority of AA members have let go of their “old ideas”(original sin in religious terms) absolutely. However, Appendix II,‘Spiritual Experience’[AA “Big Book”; 3rd Ed.], contains the caveat of many being relieved to find a sudden religious experience (like Bill W.’s) was unnecessary to successfully work the steps [“Most of our experiences are what the psychologist William James calls the ‘educational variety’ because they develop slowly over a period of time.”, etc.]. Thus, most of us are “some of us” and not “we” who “beg of you”(to be absolutist in a guilt inducing manner). Consequently, Appendix II, which grants working the steps a learning process and not an event appears inconsistent.
“Here are the steps we took”, not “Here are the steps we are taking over the span of a lifetime”. Moreover,“If you want what we have and are willing to go to any lengths to get it” not “If you want what we are gradually getting over a lifetime of working the steps and are willing to go to any lengths to get that which we are ever so gradually getting through a learning process”. And, forthwith,“To show other alcoholics precisely how we have recovered is the main purpose of this book”(Forward to Big Book; 1st Ed.); i.e.“Our stories disclose in a general way what it was like, what happened, and what it’s like now”. Finally,“Having had a spiritual awakening as a result of these steps”, not otherwise, we thence commenced compelling newcomers to get on their knees in our presence when turning their lives and wills over to the care of God as we understood Him.
That’s what Dr. Bob did, beginning a custom AA sponsors (“spiritual advisors”) continue today worldwide [even though the Big Book instructs differently; p. 63]. Ebby T. hadn’t required Bill W. to get on his knees; Bill W. hadn’t required Dr. Bob to get on his knees; it had only involved one alcoholic sharing with another on a mutual basis reportedly. But because Dr. Bob “always emphasized the religious angle very strongly when working with others”(Big Book; p.292; 3rd Ed.), and worked in collusion with local judges court ordering people to attend AA, this custom epitomizes Oliver Cromwell coercion more so than a “voluntary program” of “attraction not promotion”[Far more severe laws are needed to deter drunk driving; decades of court ordered AA haven’t worked]
Chris Deile

Vancouver, WA

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#4
Jul 29, 2013
 
Although AA states it is spiritual and not religious, Harry Emerson Fosdick’s review of AA’s “Big Book”(1st Ed.) states:“The core of their whole procedure is religious”. And the following quotes by doctors William D. Silkworth and Harry M. Tiebout depict a religious context:“…under these conditions the patient turns to religion with an entire willingness and readily accepts, without reservation, a simple religious proposal”(italics added); “Considering the presence of the religious factor”; “Because of this initial confidence, identical experience, and the fact that the discussion is pitched on moral and religious grounds…”; “…it is paramount to note that the religious factor is all important even from the beginning…”; “Alcoholics Anonymous is the name applied to a group of ex-alcoholics who, through a therapeutic program which a definite religious element…”; “…found an answer to his drinking problem in a personal religious experience”[‘AA Comes of Age’; pgs. 304-309]
Regarding Ebby, Bill and Dr. Bob, none had let go absolutely: Ebby T. drank again. Bill W. had a sudden religious experience removing his desire to drink, followed by his working the steps, yet shared of suffering waves of self-pity and resentment throughout his first two years of sobriety. Bill W.’s “dry drunk” periods later led to his (and wife Lois, Father Dowling, and other AA’s) using LSD in sobriety, believing it to improve the alcoholics relationship with God by removing self—ego—and making room for God [see AA’s ‘Pass It On’]. Dr. Bob fought cravings for alcohol his first year and a half of sobriety, cravings that continued after he had worked the steps (they were 6 steps back then). So, being mortal men, the co-founders of Alcoholics Anonymous had not let go absolutely [see online ‘Forgetting Reinhold Niebuhr’; New York Times; 9/18/2005—Niebuhr was a Protestant theologian and author of the Serenity Prayer that AA later began reciting at the beginning of meetings].
Appendix II:“Though it was not our intention to create such an impression, many alcoholics have nevertheless concluded that in order to recover they must acquire an immediate and overwhelming ‘God consciousness’ followed at once by a vast change in feeling and outlook”.
Alcoholics concluding that show the caveats haven’t rescinded the absolutism. Resulting in an enigmatic dichotomy of “God conscious” members appearing “happy, joyous and free”(having fulfilled the imperatives purportedly) and “half measures” members chronically aware of not having done so. False guilt is the consequence that can lead an alcoholic back to drinking, or to seek oblivion through myriad forms in order to assuage a troubled conscience.“Strait is the gait and few there be that find it” or “Beware the Pharisees”?

“The basenesses so commonly charged to religions accounts are thus, almost all of them, not chargeable at all to religion proper, but rather to religion’s wicked practical partner, the spirit of corporate dominion.”
William James ‘The Varieties of Religious Experience’
Chris Deile

Vancouver, WA

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#6
Jul 29, 2013
 
"Some Of Us" is scrunched up when posting here, but one other thought--I quit attending AA for over five years and did not return to drinking. Have met others who stayed sober after quitting AA completely. So their telling people that is not necessarily true. It's unfortunate people are being forced away from AA, as there is much that's helpful in it. But that must be a clue as to it's being controlled--when people gain a lot of time in the program, they begin to learn of the hijinx going on. And then they're no longer welcome.
Chris Deile

Vancouver, WA

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#7
Jul 29, 2013
 
Hijinx in last post to mean things are being controlled behind the scenes in a bad way. A different definition of the word came up online. I may have misused it. But that's what I meant--that once someone has been in AA for a long time and learned about it, they simultaneously begin to see of questionable things going on. And once you begin to question matters...."Adios Amore" (Sheila)[YouTube] lol
Chris Deile

Vancouver, WA

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#8
Jul 29, 2013
 
Sheila - Adios Amor - HD

video by LaFelineAlsacienne

(Youtube)
CB Deile

Vancouver, WA

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#9
Jul 30, 2013
 
Hadn't viewed this one in quite awhile either...love Jennifer:

Jennifer - Qu'est-ce que ça peut vous faire ?

video by gusyverdetv

--yet to learn what the song is about (I don't know French), but Christine Chartrand has a great sounding version--especially love her voice when singing that one.
CB Deile

Vancouver, WA

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#10
Jul 30, 2013
 
Oh yeah, lol, forgot--had translated the title a couple years back (just did so again)--it means "What Do You Care?". Funny.
CB Deile

Vancouver, WA

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#11
Jul 30, 2013
 
Used to view this all the time a couple years ago...love the large photo in background--what a cute smile Jennifer had there:

Jennifer - La mélodie

video by gusyverdetv

“ROCK ON ROCKERS!!”

Since: Mar 11

Rockin' USA ;)

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#12
Jul 31, 2013
 

Judged:

1

1

1

TAKES Courage.. for ANYONE of us...To ADMIT they gave an ADDICTION...NOT only to OURSELVES... BUT..to TOTAL STRANGERS...

Whether it's a Drinking addiction or a Drug addiction or a Gambling Addiction..

For One to FACE IT, ACCEPT it and REALIZE it..FOR WHAT it is...THAT is the STEPPING STONE to BEAT IT!!!

GOOD LUCK TO ALL...;)
Chris Deile

Ketchum, ID

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#13
Aug 12, 2013
 
Looks like Greta was here....

Gave "Some of us" to an AA member. They responded they agreed with it, said "AA's format is faulty", but then said AA admits "we only know a little".

I didn't respond, but thought although AA admits "we only know a little", it simultaneously insists upon absolutist perfectionism. Strange.

“ROCK ON ROCKERS!!”

Since: Mar 11

Rockin' USA ;)

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#14
Aug 12, 2013
 
ONE has to be COMMITTED to your beliefs a d values..Goes for religion also...
Chris Deile

Jackson, WY

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#15
Aug 18, 2013
 
It's back...this was gone for quite some time from YouTube:

Petula Clark A Tous Ceux Qui Ont Un Coeur

video by jean claude
Chris Deile

Jackson, WY

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#16
Aug 18, 2013
 
Guessing Colorado Chick is Greta (from UNCA) in disguise. "Committed" to beliefs and values? They sometimes change--see Reinhold Niebuhr reference above; Neibuhr was once a Christian pacifist then later changed his beliefs; became militant; then, around the time of Nazi Germany, espoused the just war theory. Etc.
Chris Deile

Jackson, WY

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#17
Aug 20, 2013
 
Been listening to this one regularly for past two weeks or so; translated the title online as (possibly) "clouds and shooting stars" or "shooting stars":

Miranda Martino -'E STELLE CADENTE (Amurri,Pisano)

video by Federico Martelli
CB Deile

Idaho Falls, ID

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#18
Sep 11, 2013
 
Post #5 missing here....post keep getting removed...

btw, have often thought Gigliola Cinquetti's voice is most beautiful singing this song:

Gigliola Cinquetti - Que C'Est Triste Venise (live) 16:9

video by Elo Dali
Chris Deile

Idaho Falls, ID

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#19
Sep 11, 2013
 
Yes, that's my favorite of all of Gigliola Cinquetti--she does French so well, and that song in particular is the most beautiful sounding of all (I don't understand the words not knowing French). Interesting it only has under 2,000 views. Definitely a rare treasure.
Chris Deile

Idaho Falls, ID

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#20
Sep 12, 2013
 
Wow. This one is nice--have always loved her singing this song...usually it's in b/w though...not this time--woowee-

Gigliola Cinquetti aux mains de Jean-Christophe Averty

video by Elo Dali
Chris Deile

Idaho Falls, ID

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#21
Sep 13, 2013
 
Love this video--up for three years and only 2700+ views...people are missing out--Lucia Rizzi's voice improves as the song progresses--love the ending--this is a great video:

Rizzi Lucia - L'addio

video by texvinrot

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