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September 22, 2009


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I agree. Those "12 Rights" look very well done. I pretty much follow them myself.
Maybe we can just agree to agree.


I liked them as well. Wouldn't it be something if there were lots of great formats to choose from, anything to up the % of people enjoying long term healing from the disease of addiction.


I love the HP=Hocus Pocus too! I'm gonna steal that! Yeah, I agree--it's well done and totally in line with AA. Don't see anything new here but nicely laid out.


I think that we are told in Al-Anon that it is a selfish program because we have not taken care of ourselves much. I like what the Stinkin' Thinkers wrote. Good for them.

Kimberly A

I, too, think the list just restates the steps, traditions, pricipals and suggestions of AA or in my case, Alanon. I have to keep it simple so I like it the way I get it at Alanon, but that is my path. Great post about being able to have discourse, even with those we disagree with. Much to chew on today, Mr. SP



That is a great list and execellent guidelines for anyone new to a 12 Step program. I wish those were explained to me when I first attended meetings. Unfortunatly, AA is not a hotbed of mental health and when you're new and vulnerable, well, its a bit of a minefield. Thanks for posting Mr SP.


mr. s.p.,

as you've included a personal note i thought i'd respond ... personally.

you can write as one singular, lone, individual voice, "It is a selfless program, not a selfish program" & i certainly hope you practice that.

but i can tell you from near 7 years of meetings & AA involvement (up to & including general service rep. for a particular meeting) that i never once heard that phrasing. the "selfish program" phrase -- i heard that quite literally hundreds of times.

if there's going to be real, practical dialogue 'across the aisle' -- something i would absolutely welcome & something i think actually could revitalize 12X12 -- shouldn't it start with truthfulness? i'm not accusing you of dishonesty, but i am suggesting that you may be privileging your personal philosophy (worthy as it is) over the reality of what is overwhelmingly 'suggested' at the ground level.

whether you (and that's a general, impersonal 'you') care to admit it or not, AA is a larger, identifiable entity with great socio-cultural influence -- especially when it comes to health care. that's implicit in the 1st tradition (a "unified AA" -- larger by far than any 1 individual or any single meeting).

what you write is ... just what you write. it is decidedly NOT what is heard at most meetings.

further, the problem[s] of alcohol/substance abuse by any agency's standards haven't gotten far worse since 1938. even AA's official/unofficial lobbying arm NCADD sounds that alarm bell. yet the preferred method of treatment in more than 90% of US health facilities, prisons, half-way houses, etc. is (you guessed it!) 12 step.

the problem gets worse but the preferred solution remains unchanged.

whether 'the program' is selfish or self-less would seem kind of immaterial at this point. what is material is that at the macro scale it's not quite the miracle that it's been for you & others at a micro scale. (you can label drawing attention to that as "angry", but i'll happily go with "righteous indignation" -- there's a very distinct difference ['courage to change the things you can' & all that].)

i think i should stop myself here as it might read like i'm picking a fight. i want to state as sincerely as possible that that is not my intention. it's not my business to denigrate any individual positive experience of growth & ease.

but if you are interested in keeping the lines of communication open, then i'm up for it. and i promise to keep the snark & tirades to a minimum.




p.s. - "the problem[s] of alcohol/substance abuse by any agency's standards haven't gotten far worse since 1938."

that should read: the problem[s] of alcohol/substance abuse by any agency's standards HAVE gotten far worse since 1938.

h[ocus] p[ocus] i do get myself worked into a snit all too easily -- then out goes that keen eye for proofing my nonsense!

thanks again,


Barrett Pen Der Meer

I wonder if these fellows have any beef with drug addiction counseling? It seems so weird that they'd waste their energy railing against AA.


Mr. Sponsorpants, I think you handled this very well. I think its great that other things can get people sober. Nothing worked for me until AA. I don't find it to be a religion, I don't go to church. I find it to be spiritual and most importantly a true fellowship, we share a common bond. I have no desire to even visit this Stinkin Thinkin site because thanks to the program and the 12 steps, I try to avoid confrontation and not allow myself to get worked up, upset, angry...or anything involved with my ego. I agree that people shoud not be sentenced to AA, this is a program of attraction, only those who want to be here should. But, such is life. I won't bother with things I can not control. I do think its good that the 12 steps are incorporated into treatment centers, because I think if the patient/addict/alcoholic really wants to get sober and really works the steps, they will find some sort of peace. Maybe not, I'm not the judge. But I found peace, sobriety and happiness. FINALLY. Thank you Mr. Sponsorpants.

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