Yes, I shared in one of the meetings yesterday that in 27 years of being sober the quality of my sobriety was never very good. I seeemd to have lost the willingness to listen to and follow God's will instead of my own early on in sobriety. Could rarely ever find the sincerity or grace to do better in that regard.
Since the topic was on a reading in an AA book about accepting criticism (personally and AA itself), I then shared some criticism of AA. Specifically, that court ordered AA is coercive and unconstitutional--it's Oliver Cromwell (being taught within AA to turn one's life and will over to God with a bayonet at your back). Gov't establsihment of religion.
The next person to share launched into a hateful judgement (criticism) of my share, insisted AA is voluntary and not coercive. He insulted me very badly, evoked laughter from numerous people.
It was reactionary behaviour as there is much about AA deserving of criticism. I was very hurt by the ridicule, and thought about it overnight and tried to understand the person better. Perhaps he was afraid that if AA is criticized (attacked) AA might not withstand the scrutiny--and then where would an individual be who has made AA their higher power? And since there is much about AA that can be criticized, there is reason to be sensitive and reactionary.
But it bothered me because the point (court ordered AA is wrong) was obfuscated by the man's ad hominem (personal attack to divert from the point raised).
It was very manipulative and deceptive behaviour because, as oftentimes happens in AA, the abusive attack was dressed up in AA terminology to sound like the hatred was vented for the betterment of myself. As though I needed to hear that.(see how well that works in the reported incidents of AA members turning to suicide in that type of "tough love" environment in above post).
Moreover, it wasn't true. People forced to attend AA or go to jail are indeed under coercement--serious coercement. So when AA says it is a voluntary program, such "cooperation with the professional community" contradicts that.
And, not to blameshift, but I've wondered how much experiencing such public ridicule in AA on the group level over the years (under the guise of it being for my own good and that even in the meetings seeming to have the best quality of sobriety), how much that destroyed my trust in God, and how much it may have hindered my willingness to surrender to God? Because when new in AA I, like so many, was taught to make AA my higher power if troubled over trying to understand God. So some degree of dependence on AA is most certainly established in one's early formative years of sobriety.
And my ability to trust was also hindered along with the knowledge of people being court ordered--realizing on some level that AA is not what it purports to be--that it's not actually voluntary, and that it's not just "one alcoholic helping another" on an equal mutual level--it's being controlled. And that as a result, it's not an environment of "unconditional love" as portended. People that are coerced to be there can not necessarily be expected to in turn act with "unconditional love" towards others since their very admittance into AA was conditional. Ruins the dynamics and atmosphere of trust.