Generalizing From Yourself
If there is one error that almost 100% of us make, it’s generalizing from ourselves. Stated as succinctly as I can, this means that we assume that others make decisions, are motivated by, have the same values, goals, and beliefs, and care about the same things we do. And if they don’t, they should.
Further, it makes no difference what those beliefs, values, goals, etc., are, the projection of these onto others infects us all. And when our expectations are thwarted? Anger, frustration, anxiety and depression may not be far behind.
Nor the fast, short-term, solace readily available in the bottle of your choice.
While we all do this, with maturity we may get better at recognizing it and compensating for it. But first we have to recognize that we still tend to do it and it leads to invalid assumptions.
Examples? At the very lowest levels of maturation, the con artists, predators, 13th Steppers, and others of their ilk actually believe that everyone lives in their Darwinian world of predators and prey. They cannot even conceive of any other basis for living. To them, everything is a scam.
Slightly higher up the developmental level, conformists, who make up the bulk of successful AA adherents, also believe that we’re all the same, that what works for them is what works, and that if the rest of us would just stop being “in denial” and “get with the program” everything would be great. Of course that also means that suggestions to the contrary threaten the bejesus out of them and they react very harshly.
Those who mature normally still have problems with assuming that everyone else agrees with them, or would if shown the error of their ways. Stereotypes still take the place of thinking and individuation. Women are still from Venus and men from Mars even though there really are more differences within the genders than between them.
All of this is by way of saying, since you, our readers, self-selected by virtue of having subscribed, and therefore more mature than average, still suffer from the confusion that this generalizing from ourselves creates. And many of us, frustrated beyond our carrying capacity, drink to get some respite from others’ immaturity, ignorance, intolerance, racism, sexism, homophobia, xenophobia, and a host of other maladies.
But alcohol isn’t the only relief available. And the other possibilities are a lot less destructive and a lot more fun.
Want to discuss those options? A free phone call will get you that.
How “Rehab” and AA are designed to brainwash you into the 12 Step cult.
The basis for residential treatment isn’t curing your “alcoholism” – it’s collecting your money and initiating you into the cult where you, and most everyone else, will continue to “relapse” and be in need of further, endless, treatment.
In order to understand this, it helps to consider old-fashioned military basic training. That model involved taking young, vulnerable, and terrified boys, isolating them, humiliating them, demeaning and exhausting them, and regressing them to acting at the level of a 3-year-old. That accomplished, they “raised” these now malleable boys to the Conformist level of 10-year-olds and froze them there.
Most rehab programs use the same model: isolation, degradation, humiliation, and initiation into the 12 Step cult which will keep them developmentally arrested for as long as they remain “in recovery.”
But that’s the rub. In the military, it was relatively easy to maintain isolation and endless indoctrination, in real life that’s hard to manage. That means endless meetings and staying away from “Normies” lest the brainwashing erode and people begin to outgrow AA, which doesn’t require much growth to accomplish.
The effects do linger and many people remain terrified of leaving AA for fear they will “relapse” and head down that supposed slippery slope. And of course if you believe this will happen it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.
It’s why we suggest that you ease out of the meeting by substituting other activities – doing real things with real people. Try the gym. Recreational outings. Classes. Anything that mixes you in with people who are living the kind of life you’d like to, pursuing activities that aren’t compatible with drinking, and where the Normies you associate with don’t know you’ve had problems with alcohol and you have a vested interest in the past never coming up.
Yes, you can recover from AA and add the Steps to that list of things you used to do but left behind. And you can quit counting up the days of not doing stuff.
while i agree with you on many matters, i do not believe that AA and rehab centers based on 12-step programs are actually cults. i also think we need stable, community resources to replace programs like AA. without those kinds of things in place, this kind of advice could be dangerous to some people. so, i respect your opinions, and i agree with many of them, but i stop short at AA being a cult.
AA can help in some ways, however it does have many of the characteristics of a cult. I left AA, after attending meetings faithfully for 7-8 years. I was drinking too much, however this does not classify me as an alcoholic, or a bad person. AA has been open to many who just want to stop or have a desire to stop drinking. And, in some ways, looking back on my days going to 12 step meetings, and working with sponsors, I can honestly admit that I was pretty close to being brain washed by their doctrine and platform. Some of us were literally told by some sponsors and others, that we were just like the herion addict, we were no good, or we need to be on the street to better ourselves. Simply put, this is a crock of bull and very destructive. And if one did not agree with this philosophy, this would could harm or hurt you. I believe we need to review some rehab programs, including AA. Its not for everyone. Some people, yes are severe alcoholics, and chronic drinkers. Some constantly relapse, and many die from this disease. It is not fair nor is it healthy to stereotype and lump everyone together.
That’s exactly the plan.
They dont want you to think its a cult.
See, they have you brainwashed already & it will send you straight to hell if you dont get free. God HATES AA
As someone who recently almost had his life destroyed by a group controlled by AA, but was meant to handle an addiction other than alcohol, I can testify that this organization is definitely a destructive cult. What is being said here doesn’t give the half of it. Also, AA’s recovery record is only 5%, and those are the ones that probably would have gotten off without AA via the placebo effect. It is a hamster wheel designed to break you down, gaslight you, and keep you on a cycle of relapse, stop, relapse for the rest of your life, while controlling what friends you have and what you can think. Listen to Regina Lynn, God definitely hates AA.
It is my belief from my experience with 12 step fellowships that they can quite easily resemble a cult. These organizations are sometimes run by criminals, who sober up and find these places serve as a great place for manipulating and preying on people who can’t properly defend themselves. The government loves 12 step because it’s free and costs the tax payers nothing. They need some outside supervision in my opinion, I would recommend smart recovery. As it is free for the patient and has supervision to prevent predators from high jacking the group. I’m am much happier in the smart recovery program, with therapy and a Phyciatrist. I will not be returning to 12 step meetings and happy to be done that part of my recovery. When your ready to get deprogrammed from 12 step groups, you can do it, there are lots of other recovery programs that help build your self esteem and help you live a good sober life. The 12step community in Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada is definitely a cult in my opinion. Thanks for posting this.
12 steps heavily resembles a cult. I was in for over 5 years. Thank goodness for therapy which gave me the courage to leave.
After trying to conform to AA and continued meetings i was relapsing. I could not conform to the humiliation and the self loathing that is part of every meeting. I relapsed because I believed I was broken and the nonsense it was a disease. The meetings were horrific. The shame and then the double bind of not conforming to their insistence I was never going to be well. And their insistence that a person believe in God was impossible for an atheist. Of the twelve steps ten are about God.
The next drink is waiting for you if you believe that alcohol has power. No the power to quit is always with you if you believe you have power. Drinking is a habit and not a disease. Habits can be broken but not if you don’t believe you have power.
It’s a liquid. It never improves any situation. It does not have personality traits. Unless of course a person gives up self actualization and personal responsibility. No one will quit without that. AA says you can’t quit on your own. You can’t if you believe that you need AA to quit.
Once I got some other help such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy through other programs like SMART, the Freedom Model, and used doctor supervised medication which AA frowns on and AA based rehabilitation centers do not educate anyone about I got passed the addiction nonsense. AA tells people they failed the program they never let a person believe the program fails them. It is a cult and a guaranteed money making scam. I oppose AA and it’s religion approach to ironically what they claim is a medical and spiritual problem. What disease is caused by a lack of a spiritual awakening?
Normies is nonsense. We’re all humans. The idea that alcoholics are distinguished by genetics or an allergy has no basis in science. But cult behavior stresses this “specialness.” It has to in order to trap and brainwash people.
Look for ways to find dignity. AA may create a framework for that but at the cost of being brainwashed. AA based rehab continues to degrade vulnerable people who want to quit but are in a position to exchange chemicals for literally daily does of cultish control which cannot sustain self respect in that AA based dependency.
Regina Lynn I would love to speak to you. Im on Facebook Andrea mastropietro karam. I agree with your comments please contact me
I am glad I found this site. I’ve recently been wrestling with the options of either leaving AA or attending occasional meetings while keeping the program at a distance….to avoid the brain scrubbed, cult like behavior and rhetoric.
I’ve recently been struggling with my drinking problem off and on, consistently, for the past year and a half; having lost nearly 3 years of sobriety. My relationship with 12 step culture has been on and off since the late 90’s. I’ve cultivated a spiritual path of my own, borrowing concepts from Jung and Nietzsche, meditation, and much writing. Creative outlets through music and poetry have sustained me and I’ve even maintained a low budget Utube channel with my music.
I really miss the simplicity of “one alcoholic talking to another”, which I believe has been lost in AA…if it ever was that simple and free to begin with. So many good impulses get lost by building some ideaology indoctrinated with cult like devotion and programmed enthusiasm that turns me right off. All the slogans repeated at all the appointed moments by people sounding like automatons. (No, I don’t want what you have! And am certainly not willing to go to any length to get it, thank you very much!)
My best regards to anyone visiting this site. Thank you for existing.
I spent many many years in and out of AA/NA, I was truly almost fully brainwashed but a small part of me never felt fully comfortable, it’s a lonely place to be, then I found some stuff on the Internet like Orange Papers and couldn’t believe what I was reading, I knew I was right..I’m glad to be done with it, I’ve felt so much more relaxed and happy and free just by the act of leaving..