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Archive for August, 2006

The Twelve Steps of AA: Code of the Beast

©2006 Jack Trimpey, all rights reserved.

It is often said that Alcoholics Anonymous membership is “like trading one addiction for another.” In reality, 12-step recovery is not another addiction, such as an addiction to meetings, nor an addiction to AA, nor an addiction to recovery. Instead, the original addiction is preserved in a peculiar state called, “in recovery,” tentatively sober, one-day-at-a-time.”

This is because AA is a fellowship of addicted people, with a program created by addicted people for addicted people. In recovery, one is truly living in the bubble of his original addiction, although in a momentarily (one-day-at-a-time) dry state. All of the priorities, values, relationships, social norms, moral codes, and even the mandate of addiction itself, is preserved in pristine, original condition from the day of one’s first AA meeting. Just beyond the pious veneer of AA, there is a remarkable convergence between 12-step recovery and the mandates of addiction itself.

Even the speech of people in recovery remains entirely in the idiom we call Addictive Voice, i.e., thinking that supports or suggests the possible future use of alcohol or other drugs. Any attempt to veer out of the Addictive Voice will be criticized by the recovery group as “denial,” “self-centered,” “delusional,” “dry-drunk,”or “your disease talking.”

By envisioning a future punctuated with possible “relapses,” people in recovery remain between using episodes. As long as an eventual relapse appears possible, that glorious event will cast a shadow over each day in the interim. People in recovery continue to live by the script written for them by addictive desire. From this vantage point, we can clearly see AA as the painted shell of one’s original addiction.

In recovery means in addiction.
In addiction, as in recovery, self-intoxication is considered an innocent act. One may apologize or accept responsibility only for behavior under the influence, but not the act of self-intoxication. The preferred company is other substance abusers, and evenings away from home are taken for granted. As any common drunk will tell you, his family is part of why he drinks; the same is so in recovery. In recovery, the family must be supportive and never confrontive. Because renewed drunkenness may occur at any time, life must be structured around that possibility.

While abstinence appears to be the desired goal, no such thing is so in the group, which esteems “sobriety” and looks askance upon “willful abstainers” who deny their powerlessness over addictive desire. Sobriety is said to be in accordance with an enlightened state of being in tune with one’s higher power, a state of grace, a spiritual dimension unknown to those who abstain by excercising self-restraint.

The recovery group provides no information at all about recovery from addiction through abstinence from alcohol and other drugs. It is likely that AA has no such information to give, for that information would quickly emancipate most of its members from its obligatory meetings. No one ever recovers while “in recovery,” and those who leave AA are actively discouraged (jinxed) from success through their own efforts and integrity. Members warn those intending to leave AA that relapse is practically inevitable, because without the saving grace of AA, alcoholics become “dry-drunks.” AA lore is full of stories of dry-drunkism, tales of alcoholics who tried to go it alone and became miserable, irritable people without the capacity for happiness, yearning to drink every day until finally the struggle to stay sober became so painful that they drank again, always with catastrophic consequences or death.

The step program is enigmatic, full of counter-intuitive advice such as the idea of powerlessness over addictive desire. To survive the onslaught of an irresistible desire and imagined disease, members are required to form a profoundly dependent relationship upon another member who also is bereft of independent judgment in his personal affairs. Together, they strain to believe a creed that contradicts their native beliefs and original family values, and cultivate fear of the bodily desire for addictive pleasures. This condition should be called, “recoveryism,” for that word is far more descriptive than the pretend disease of problem drinkers, “alcoholism.”

Deep structure
The key to understanding the basic dynamic of recovery group dependence is in the deep structure of the 12-step belief system. AA intercepts newcomers who are on the verge of recovery — aware of the problem and ready to take strong action — and disables their problem solving abilities with the disease concept of addiction. Prepared to get a grip and summarily quit drinking for life, newcomers rightly expect they will meet recovery veterans who will encourage them in their quest for secure, permanent abstinence. Instead, the newcomer is met with a bewildering flurry of inverted thinking intended to discourage willful abstinence and encourage continued attendance.

  1. Recovery is not an individual responsibility, but a group project.
  2. Your religion, native beliefs, and family values are insufficient and part of the problem.
  3. You are a comprehensive victim, from womb to tomb.
  4. Drinking is not a moral issue! It’s an innocent symptom of addictive disease.
  5. Free will does not apply to people suffering from addictive disease.
  6. You must not struggle to gain control, but surrender control.
  7. Only if addictive desire abates, may you confidently refrain from drinking.
  8. Dependence is good; independence is bad.
  9. Groupers exist on a social and philosophical plane above others (normies).
  10. The 12-step program is divinely inspired, inerrant, and Bill W is a saint.

Code of the Beast
I have presented the 12-step program of Alcoholics Anonymous below, not for the purpose of derision, but entirely to provide informed consent to recovery group participation. Naturally, professional services that reflect any of the elements of this system of thought, such as addiction treatment and substance abuse counseling, will be similarly at odds with reason and common sense, and will reflect the inverted nature of the 12-step program itself.

Keep in mind the following definitions, which are keys to understanding:

The Beast: Addictive desire; the desire to drink/use, to get high. The animal (party-animal) desire for the pleasure produced by alcohol, drugs, and other vices.

Addictive Voice (AV): Any thinking, in language or imagery, that supports or suggests the possible future use of alcohol or other drugs.

AV —> Beast = Bark —> Dog

The implicit Addictive Voice appears in italics below each of the numbered statements of stepcraft.

Step 1: We admitted we were powerless over alcohol – that our lives had become unmanageable.

Before Thee, O Mighty Beast, I am powerless. Continue reading ‘The Twelve Steps of AA: Code of the Beast’

The Passion of Mel Gibson

©2006, Jack Trimpey, all rights reserved.

Mel Gibson has apologized for his preposterous, drunken behavior, but he has not apologized for drinking alcohol. A longtime member of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), he has proclaimed himself innocent by reason of addictive disease. Bowing in false humility, he is now obtaining pretend treatment for the pretend disease of “alcoholism.” Intense, public debate continues about his supposed anti-semitism, while no one is concerned that Mel Gibson endangered the public by drinking alcohol even though he was entirely aware of the risks of his using any amount of alcohol. Every so-called “relapse” is a crime against humanity. Mel Gibson’s antics are a perfect illustration of how our mainstream media and our social service system are based upon the inverted rules of addiction, preserving the privilege of substance abuse (“relapses”) among problem drinkers and other addicted people.

Here is what really happened last week, leading up to Mel Gibson’s arrest for DUI and subsequent hate-speech debacle:

Earlier on the day of his arrest, Mel Gibson began drinking alcohol, in spite of his long history of anti-social behavior under the influence. As he took the first drink, he eagerly anticipated the familiar effect of alcohol. His first sensation was the mouth and nasal taste of the beverage, followed by a hot, intense feeling in his esophagus. Then, with a few more drinks, he felt a gentle sweetness spread from his gut throughout his body.

Mr. Gibson felt a physical pleasure similar in some ways to a slowly growing sexual orgasm, but absent the urgency for crescendo and resolution. He felt light on his feet, confident in all that he thought and said, and experienced the illusion of having sublime insight into the true nature of everything. In this realm of sublime pleasure, Mel Gibson’s mental faculties gradually declined, and his moral judgment evaporated into the thin, ethanolic air that surrounded him.

Mel Gibson, in the way of problem drinkers everywhere, had returned to his “home zone,” a realm of unspeakable pleasure known only to those who have crossed the line demarking pleasant drunkenness from the ozone.

The ozone
Let me digress to explain a little about the ozone before I go on with the story of Mel Gibson’s most recent debacle. The ozone is the ohhh-zone, a zone of physical pleasure for which there are no dictionary words to describe, but only the gutteral, animal sounds arising from deeeeeeeep pleasure, “Ohhhh, ohhh, ohhhhhh, this feels sooooooo goooooood. Ohhhh, ooooh, ohhhhh, ohhhhhh…”

mel_gibson.jpgThe ozone is drug-induced pleasure that far exceeds mere sex or eating delicious food. Accordingly, the desire to repeat that pleasure is also much stronger than the desire for food or sex. Entering the ozone can be a life-changing event, as the case of Mel Gibson illustrates. He entered the ozone decades ago, emancipating within him a base, animal desire to repeat that pleasure for the rest of his life. He went beyond innocent enjoyment of alcohol and began an impossible, biologically-driven quest for total, hedonistic fulfillment.

During one episode of drunkenness many years ago, he actually heard, through his inner ear, the birth of his lifelong passion for alcohol, i.e., “the Beast.” It did not come out with an infant’s cry, but as a slobbering, “Ohhhh, ohhhh, ohhhh,” that grew into a Continue reading ‘The Passion of Mel Gibson’

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