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.

 

 

Why Do Humans Pray?

twelve steps and crow

Step Eleven Prayer

There are two things that motivate us to pray from our hearts and with earnest.  The first is gratitude, a wonderful warm and sweeping feeling that travels from our brain and through our entire being. When we recall the grace that God has poured into our lives we are grateful and we thank God.

Grace is unmerited favor Grace also happens when we don’t reap the consequences of our mistakes and wrong choices. But instead we get a reprieve from likely consequences and receive joy, peace and when our children are healthy and happy that is Grace.

The next thing that prompts us to pray is fear. When we are afraid of losing what we have or when we do not get what we think we need ouch!   Also, when our families or loved ones are in trouble Yikes, we run to our prayer closets.

There is nothing wrong with either of these types of prayers. Sure we could be filled with faith and humility and so assured of Gods goodness that we don’t fear at all.   We are in that place of fearlessness many times but not always and that’s OK.

It is written in The Bible that “Faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen.  ” Faith and Peace are intermingled faith is the assurance that everything is and will be OK accompanied by a warm and poetically still pleasant feeling.   When we receive the gift of peace we know it is better than any worldly gift.
The better we know God the more at peace we will be. I pray today for a visitation from The Most High God and Spirit.

The more contact we have with our Higher Power the more faith we have in turn our peace of mind is increased.

Today I will pray because it is my choice to build a stronger and more understanding relationship with my higher power.