Is Alcoholics Anonymous a Cult?

AA

BLAME

CULTS

Is AA a cult?  Well that depends on who you ask the question.  One thing for certain about the human race…we get some kind of fulfillment out of stamping a “BAD” label on groups of people, organizations, types of people etc.   We don’t want the karma or negative consequences that harsh judgement could bestow on us so we should definitely be careful about using the word “cult”.    There are lots of articles labeling AA a cult.  But really what are the characteristics of a true cult?

  • An organization that insists on separating you from your friends and family.
  • A group of people that want to control your behavior, the way you look, act by lots of rules and regulations that are invasive and contrary to freedom.
  • A religious group that insists they are the only one’s who know God.   They drill into you that all other spiritual and religious groups are bad, wrong and evil.   And they  insist that they are the “way” to God.  Without them you will be lost and doomed to a fate worse than death.
  • They often claim to be the only prophets on the face of the Earth.
  • They make themselves as God by requiring that you worship them, him.  They require that you give you self wholly to them.  All of you your mind, body, time, and work.  They require that you give all your worldly possessions to them.
  • They ultimately require that you cross your own moral boundaries and good conscience to obey them even unto death or group suicide.  The ultimate sacrifice.
  • A cult usually condemns everyone else they claim to be all-knowing when it comes to who and what is evil.  Their primary purpose is to manipulate you into handing over all your power and choices.

Pretty vicious!  These are evil characteristics at best and clearly just another form of blame by a cults condemnation of all other things religious/spiritual .

Is AA a cult?  No, not by it’s doctrines, which are the 12 steps and 12 traditions absolutely not.   Granted that does not mean that there could never be cultist sects working within AA.  Made up of people that practice AA completely contrary to the 12 steps and traditions, but that goes for any large group within organizations.  Any group of people can go awry.

However, few if any religious organizations have the liberating and non-controlling foundation that AA has by its 12 Tradition.  Nor does any other religion suggest that you seek God and put your own vision and label on God.    AA does not hand us God on a platter served up with a cocktail of legalistic regulations of what HE looks like acts like dresses like, wants us to dress like Nor do they serve a desert of descriptive visuals of the punishment and torture God will smite us with  if we don’t obey all the rules.

Spirituality does not come in a box.  We do not come to know God by other people’s seeking God for us.  We must seek out our Higher Power on our own.  That way when we reach that pie in the sky the great creator of human life will recognize us and know exactly who we are because we prayed, meditated, sought God with our might and even helped a few addicts along the way.

Out of a desperation that only the fear of utter emotional pain, death, suffering and worse can induce.   Yes by this woe we found God and by this woe we learned that Love is an action that we take to receive back that same Love.

(thanks to zzzzzzzzzzzzz for the gorgeous photograph that can be found on “your shot” National Georgraphic.)

 

Author: Lori E.

I love to write. I hope recoveryfarmhouse makes somebodies day a little brighter.