• Mon, Jan 12 2009

Big Book Prayers

Found at the AA History Lovers Group at Yahoo! (which were obviously reprinted from elsewhere).

Prayers in the Big Book Prior to the Stories

[page:paragraph]

12:6
For a brief moment, I had needed and wanted God. There had been a humble willingness to have Him with me – and He came.

13:2
There I humbly offered myself to God, as I then understood Him, to do with me as He would. I placed myself unreservedly under His care and direction. I admitted for the first time that of myself I was nothing; that without Him I was lost.

13:4
I was to sit quietly when in doubt, asking only for direction and strength to meet my problems as He would have me. Never was I to pray for myself, except as my requests bore on my usefulness to others.

63:2
God, I offer myself to thee – to build with me and to do with me as Thou wilt. Relieve me of the bondage of self, that I may better do Thy will. Take away my difficulties, that victory over them may bear witness to those I would help of Thy Power, Thy Love, and Thy Way of life. May I do Thy will always!

67:0
We asked God to help us show them the same tolerance, pity, and patience that we would cheerfully grant a sick friend. When a person offended we said to ourselves, “This is a sick man. How can I be helpful to him? God save me from being angry. Thy will be done.”

68:3
We ask Him to remove our fear and direct our attention to what He would have us be.

69:2
We ask God to mold our [sex] ideals and help us to live up to them.

69:3
In meditation, we ask God what we should do about each specific matter [sex harms].

70:2
We earnestly pray for the right [sex] ideal, for guidance in each questionable situation, for sanity and for the strength to do the right thing.

75:3
We thank God from the bottom of our heart that we know Him better.

75:3
Carefully reading the first five proposals we ask if we have omitted anything, for we are building an arch through which we shall walk a free man at last. Is our work solid so far? Are the stones properly in place? Have we skimped on the cement put into the foundation? Have we tried to make mortar without sand?

76:1
If we still cling to something we will not let go [shortcomings], we ask God to help us be willing.

76:2
My Creator, I am now willing that You should have all of me, good and bad. I pray that You now remove from me every single defect of character which stands in the way of my usefulness to You and my fellows. Grant me strength, as I go out from here, to do Your bidding. Amen.

76:3
We attempt to sweep away the debris which has accumulated out of our effort to live on self- will and run the show ourselves. If we haven’t the will to do this, we ask until it comes [making amends].

79:1
Reminding ourselves that we have decided to go to any lengths to find a spiritual experience, we ask that we be given strength and direction to do the right thing, no matter what the personal consequences may be [making amends].

82:1
It may be that both [you & you significant other] will decide that the way of good sense and loving kindness is to let by-gones be by-gones [no direct amends]. Each might pray about it, having the other one’s happiness uppermost in mind.

83:1
So we clean house with the family, asking each morning in meditation that our Creator show us the way of patience, tolerance, kindness and love.

84:2
When these crop up [selfishness, dishonesty, resentment and fear], we ask God at once to remove them.

85:1
How can I best serve Thee – Thy will (not mine) be done.

86:1
After making our (nightly) review we ask God’s forgiveness and inquire what corrective measures should be taken.

86:2
Before we begin (meditation), we ask God to direct our thinking, especially asking that it be divorced from self-pity, dishonest or self-seeking motives.

86:3
[Facing indecision] Here we ask God for inspiration, an intuitive thought or a decision. We relax and take it easy. We don’t struggle.

87:1
We usually conclude the period of meditation with a prayer that we be shown all through the day what our next step is to be, that we be given whatever we need to take care of such problems. We ask especially for freedom from self-will, and are careful to make no request for ourselves only. We may ask for ourselves, however, if others will be helped. We are careful never to pray for our own selfish ends.

87:3
As we go through the day we pause, when agitated or doubtful, and ask for the right thought or action. We constantly remind ourselves we are no longer running the show, humbly saying to ourselves may times each day, “Thy will be done.”

158:2
On the third day the lawyer gave his life to the care and direction of his Creator, and said he was perfectly willing to do anything necessary.

164:2
Ask Him in your morning meditation what you can do each day for the man who is still sick.

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  • mike p”11290″

    Very Good , very appropriate for me today . hows Lonnie ?

  • http://adozensteps.com Mark

    Dammit…. sorry Mike P. Got caught up in the hubbub with the Lonster. He’s fine but these two days seemed like four.

    Happy Anniversary! I’ll call ya’ tomorrow…

  • John H

    What about “We asked his protection and care with complete abandon” on page 59?

  • http://adozensteps.com Mark

    Sounds good to me John – thanks…

  • Progree

    And they claim A.A. is not religious? What besides a prayer-answering favor-dispensing deity fits the above prayers, and the steps for that matter, especially Step 11? A shoe, a light-bulb, a tree, the Group, the Program? AA? Substitute these or any other non-deistic entity into the above and most of them don’t make sense. A.A. is clearly an organization that proselytizes about a prayer-answering favor-dispensing deity.

  • http://adozensteps.com Mark

    Ummm, yep, how nice… another angry, hateful, self-proclaimed critic of something that has helped save countless lives. Yes sir, that makes sense…

    Hey Progree – you wouldn’t happen to have a problem with booze, now, wouldya’?

  • raysny

    Progree is right. Can’t be talking about God, offering up prayers and claim that AA is not religious. The best you might be able to make an argument for is that it is nondenominational. Dick B, noted AA historian, has no problem admiting the religious nature of AA. The courts affecting 16 states agree, AA is religious in nature.

    DOS 8/4/01; recovered.

  • http://adozensteps.com Mark

    Oh goody – here we go… can’t be talking about God??? And then claiming AA is not religious??? Where do idiots like you and Progree see anything in what was published above mentioning anything of the sort? Let’s get real here (and I mean real damn real!) You’ve both come here looking for an argument about this topic and created the argument out of thin air.

    Next I suppose you’ll go real brilliant and tell me I’m not a real alcoholic because I’m not “recovered.”

    Notice I have approved the publishing of your comments. It would be my hope that everyone who reads them will see through your BS and understand that the article posted above makes no such arguments as you’re stating and you are the ones who have the need to argue this point.

    That’s pretty sick stuff.

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  • Progree

    Mark – so you agree A.A. IS religious? Becuase I have heard in countless meetings that A.A. is spiritual but not religious. Where do they get that idea? Probably the Big Book (Forward to Second Edition, 3rd paragraph from the end). And at least 3 pamphlets (“Young People and A.A.”, “A Newcomer Asks”, and “44 Questions”). Also, “About A.A., A Newsletter For Professionals”, Fall 2003, published by A.A. World Services has an article — “The A.A. Program – Spiritual But Never ‘Religious’”. A.A. has also tried to argue in all those court cases that they aren’t religious.

    Many of us are tired of hearing that A.A. is not religious because you are free to pick any concept of God that you wish, be it a light bulb, tree, the group, nature, etc. But none fit with the prayers or steps like 11.

    How is your drinking status? Your name-calling and personal attacks (“angry”, hateful”, “idiots”, “your BS”, “sick stuff”)
    is symptomatic of a wet drunk. So you are not recovered? Hmmm. Since you alluded to me having a problem with booze, my dry date is June 1994 and yes, I consider myself as recovered as anyone can be who is only one drink away from being a drunk again. I’m also a long-time current and active member of A.A.

    A hint: when you can’t deal with the message and start name-calling, you are conceding defeat, and telling all readers more about yourself than the person you are attacking.

  • http://adozensteps.com Mark

    So… I take it you do have a problem with booze, is that what you’re trying to say?

    Nice try – doesn’t work in the real world. I have no need for the win or loss you are so ardently working for.

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/blamethenile mikeblamedenial

    Lots of current and former (an ever-growing sector of the population, given AA’s incredibly high attrition rates) AA members are become increasingly critical, and vocal regarding the commonly-held perceptions of AA vs. the less-than-rigiorously honest nature of AA. For example, a membership which cites its own serenity and acceptance commonly typifies neither when any aspect of the program is questioned by anyone. The insults, anger, and derision quickly fly whenever anyone questions, or criticises.

  • http://adozensteps.com Mark

    Hmmm – I’d love to agree Mike. I do have a thought. How about those who take the time and put in the effort to Google this topic and visit places like this with the sole motive of generating ill feelings only to belittle and diminish once understood. Clearly makes the distinction between sober and dry stand out loudly, imho.

    I didn’t post these prayers looking for an argument. I thought they would be interesting and continue a conversation. Forcing arguments on others is not continuing a conversation it is causing a conflict. In our literature it says we’ve stopped fighting anything and everyone.

    I cannot apologize for being me today. Perhaps someday I’ll get better but when feeling forced into a corner by ignorance I still have a tendency to speak what I feel. And I don’t have to pick up a drink of alcohol. What a miracle!

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/blamethenile mikeblamedenial

    Google didn’t bring me here. Your remarks to Progree and Ray did. When you make insulting and belittling responses to people, it tends to attract a crowd.

  • http://adozensteps.com Mark

    I see – “a prayer-answering favor-dispensing deity” and “A.A. is clearly an organization that proselytizes about a prayer-answering favor-dispensing deity” are so obvious in their constructive nature, not belittling or insulting, rather they must be attractive and folks show up. I get it… you simply sniffed it out.

    What, pray tell, motivated Progee and Ray to come here? They hadn’t commented before this.

    Must have been my good nature eh? BTW – the Google comment wasn’t directed at you it was directed at them. You wouldn’t take things personal would you?

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/blamethenile mikeblamedenial

    Mark, If I took snotty comments from 12-step supporters personally, I would probably be doing life. Someone emailed Pro a copy of the prayers, so no, none of us Googled our way here. I do most of my group postings on the Yahoo boards.

  • http://adozensteps.com Mark

    I see again – you are all part of the same Yahoo! group. You become more clear…

    Anti AAers are always soooo quaint. But what is it with the tough guy stance? You’d be doing life? Impressive. Should I be afraid?

  • Progree

    Its not about “win or lose”, its about A.A. lying about not being religious. You are proudly proclaiming that A.A. is religious. Then I tell you that A.A. in the Big Book (Forward to Second Edition, 3rd paragraph from the end). And at least 3 pamphlets (”Young People and A.A.”, “A Newcomer Asks”, and “44 Questions”). Also, “About A.A., A Newsletter For Professionals”, Fall 2003, published by A.A. World Services has an article – “The A.A. Program – Spiritual But Never ‘Religious’”. A.A. has also tried to argue in all those court cases that they aren’t religious.

    You have no answer to any of this, except personal attacks and trying to change the subject. Don’t you think a program that advocates “rigorous honesty” should be honest about it being religious and proselytizing about a prayer-answering favor-dispensing deity? Rather than pulling a bait-and-switch telling newbies they can belive in a light bulb or a tree or the group etc.?

    And by the way, I’m not anti-A.A., I’m a long-time and currently active member. But that doesn’t mean its not above criticism. Both you and I are saying A.A. is religious, while A.A. is saying its not. You should be upset about A.A.’s bait-and-switch deceit.

  • http://adozensteps.com Mark

    It certainly is about win or lose. If it wasn’t you wouldn’t have had the need/compulsion to come here to say anything to begin with.

    You started the name calling. Geez, now isn’t that childish? “prayer-answering favor-dispensing deity” has a clear tone to me. You have a problem with “God?”

    What I actually said was “AA thrives on religious principles.” So you also have a need to pervert my words. Why? To win a useless argument.

    I don’t tell newcomers to believe in a light-bulb or a tree. I will tell them what they need to know about God is that they ain’t Him/Her. AA itself doesn’t do bait and switch, some of its members do.

    How does it feel to criticize the power that saved your a**?

    Lastly – so what… I’m a longer-timer than you and very active. What does that prove besides nothing.

  • raysny

    I checked this out because Progree alerted me about it. AA claims that it is not religious and here’s a list of Big Book prayers.

    I’m involved with an anti-coercion group. I don’t care if you want to be in AA, or the Moonies or the Scientologists for that matter. Freedom of religion even if AA doesn’t want to admit to being religious. I’m against the courts and government agencies pushing people into 12step treatment and meetings, and so far every time the higher courts have ruled on this, they’ve agreed that AA is “religious in nature”.

    As an atheist, I found AA unbearable and finally found my own way, but that’s my stuff, and if it were only me, I would have let it go long before. But I’m a mental health care worker and I’m sick of my clients being forced into inappropriate treatment. Almost all the people I’ve worked with were problem drinkers at most, forced into treatment that ignored their mental health problems, and they all got worse.

  • http://adozensteps.com Mark

    Good grief! You folks sound as if it were AA forcing people into something.

    A group of people who found a way out of dying put a book together, put some prayers in it, find that it works to help save lives and it gets called religious. Religious principles work in too many circumstances other than AA to help save lives. Are all those circumstances religious?

    Why does it even wind up in courts? Because folks have a problem with it. So it becomes an argument. And that argument will last forever because, as you said, people have the freedom to join if they wish. If they choose to leave, they leave.

    How about courts mandating drug addicts to AA? Why not fight that fight? Why aren’t courts mandating alcoholics to NA?

    When did AA get involved in anyone being mandated? Never…

    Those Big Book prayers I posted are NOT AA!!! This blog does not represent AA!! I put them up to inform and help. I don’t understand why you folks have such a problem with helping others. Would you have the freedom of religion removed because of some misguided notion that AA is religious?

    Relate AA to Catholicism, Judaism, Buddhism or some other denomination. You can’t do that because it doesn’t work. It makes no sense.

    What the heck does AA have to do with “Almost all the people I’ve worked with were problem drinkers at most, forced into treatment that ignored their mental health problems, and they all got worse?”

    What were your recommendations to those clients? Why didn’t they pay attention to you? Who forced them into anything inappropriate?

  • raysny

    I was going to drop it, but your response warranted a response.

    In the early days, AA members went to the courts and asked that people charged with alcohol-related crimes be released into their custody. This evolved into system we have today. AA has a pamphlet on it:

    If AA didn’t want new warm bodies, they could refuse to act as agents of the courts, but they don’t. More than half of all new members are mandated to attend. These people can’t leave, they’re stuck.

    What do you mean those prayers are not AA? You going to claim the BB isn’t AA?

    The clients I refered to came to our agency after having washed out of local 12step treatment, sometimes mulitiple treatments. I helped prevent DSS and other agencies sending them back for more of the same.

    What you refer to as “helping others” is a nightmare for some.

    How do you get “Would you have the freedom of religion removed because of some misguided notion that AA is religious?” That makes no sense whatsoever. Who said about freedom of religion removed? I want it enforced in all 50 states, not just 16. Those courts have decided that AA is religious, anyone without an agenda would take one look at the Steps and know it’s religious. I most certainly can compare AA to other religions and there are enough differences, and enough defining of God, what He will and will not do for you to make AA a stand alone religion.

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/blamethenile mikeblamedenial

    Mark, my “doing life” comment refers to the endless bulling, browbeating and insulting carried out by the 12-step tough guys. Thanks for the validation, tho.

  • http://adozensteps.com Mark

    Mike – you’re so full of yourself I doubt you need any validation from me. Of course what you refer to as bullying, browbeating and insults were (also no doubt) attempts by others to tell you the truth and you refused to listen.

    Have a wonderful life. Good Bye…

  • http://adozensteps.com Mark

    On the other hand Ray I must say that I respect and agree with your passion to help people. But I still think you’re confusing the actions of individual members with policies of Alcoholics Anonymous. I will go do some looking for this pamphlet you mention. I cannot recall which one it is but I’ll still imagine that you’re confusing individual actions with AA itself. If what you describe happened it unfolded more by the actions of the legal system than AA itself (at least until I find out otherwise in B&W).

    AA refusing to act as agents of the court? Please show me where they said they would act as an agent of the court. AA has no opinion on outside issues and that is certainly an outside issue. And what is your basis for more than half of new members are mandated? The folks I see with papers aren’t forced to sit in meetings at all! I see them send their papers with friends, I see them sign their own papers, I see them get over on some newbie by getting them signed before the meeting and then leave. Even those who come back to get them signed and complete what they are required aren’t “stuck” as you say. They pay the consequences for their acts and its over.

    What you are advocating with a demand to acknowledge AA as a stand alone religion is what those folks who don’t want to pay the consequences for their past poor actions want. Next someone will say that they are forced to go to church in prison and prison has its own brand of religion. Think that’s a stretch? The people who are trying to remove God from everything don’t.

    Helping others becomes a nightmare? I can understand that also. Anyone who’s been around for a while can. When a friend dies from insanity it hurts. Do you think we don’t feel it? I know you do and its the same feeling for both of us. But its a human feeling and I have two steps at least that help me get past it without drinking alcohol. Because for me to drink alcohol would be my death. So I give the nightmare to God because He/She can handle it better than I.

    Yes, they’re in the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous. They are prayers derived from the human mind. AA never sat down and thought them up to represent what AA itself thinks. People who wanted to help people wrote them.

    One more thing – you and I disagree. We don’t see things the same way. That’s another way to continue a conversation and I’m all for it. Doesn’t make you or I a bad person.

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/blamethenile mikeblamedenial

    Happy trails.

  • raysny

    I hadn’t noticed that the link to that pamphlet had been stripped from my post, the title of it is “COOPERATING WITH LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES”:
    “Once you have a nucleus of A.A.s, two or three of you might visit with a local court official. Take along A.A. information, such as the pamphlets “If You Are a Professional” and “A Brief Guide to A.A.,” and offer to take the court administrators to an “open” A.A. meeting.Relax. If this is the right time, the program will happen. If it doesn’t,
    wait for a more appropriate opportunity.” I’d say this is an official AA position, not an outside issue.

    When AA members sign slips, they are acting as agents of the courts, whether they realize it or not. It’s not an outside issue when you have an offical platform of cooperating. “Sign their own papers”? Why, are you all refusing to sign? “Sending papers with friends”? Anybody who signs such papers is falsifying a legal document. I don’t think it’s come up yet in court, but it probably will. There is plenty of stories of people using their signed slips as alibis.

    As far as those people leaving, I imagine they can, but they cannot do it legally. Mandated attendence to meetings that have been found “religious in nature” and is a violation of the Establishment Clause of the Constitution. People in prison are not forced to attend religious services, it’s the same principle, the same Establishment Clause.

    The nightmare I refered to was the the type of “help” I received, people browbeating me to find God or die “drunk in a gutter”. The only people who would talk to me at all were the people trying to convert me, when I refused, it often got ugly. I did not find that helpful in my efforts to remain sober, making me feel isolated in the rooms aided in my repeated relapses. Or the type of “help” that leads an AA member to tell people that they’re not really sober if they take psych meds.

    It’s only because you agree with the religious beliefs of AA that you fail to see anything wrong with it. If the courts were mandating a program with a non-Christian religious slant, most AA people would be up in arms. I know of some Christians that are anti-AA over religious differences, mostly Wilson & Smith’s dabblings into spiritualism.

    IIRC, Nov 2002 issue of the Grapevine reported that over 60% of all newcomers were mandated, but there was some issues about how the numbers were collected, so I just say more than half.

    When I see AA members act in similar ways consistantly, different meetings, different states, over a 20 year span, even if it is declared “not AA” it really is, like the anti-medication faction of AA. It is small, but very vocal. I’ve seen a couple of them in every meeting where the subject has come up. Saying people aren’t really sober if they take medication. It was this problem that led to the formation of DRA, the problem is all over. While you may claim it’s not AA, and the literature forbids it, it happens all the time by AA people claiming to be acting in the interests of AA.

    Most of the answers you’ve given seem to be attempt to weasel out of the truth about what goes on. I don’t appreciate that. You’re trying to make anyone with valid issues look bad while AA remains blameless. Something else that seems to be apparent to the casual observer that members do not see.

  • http://adozensteps.com Mark

    ““Once you have a nucleus of A.A.s, two or three of you might visit with a local court official. Take along A.A. information, such as the pamphlets “If You Are a Professional” and “A Brief Guide to A.A.,” and offer to take the court administrators to an “open” A.A. meeting. Relax. If this is the right time, the program will happen. If it doesn’t, wait for a more appropriate opportunity.” I’d say this is an official AA position, not an outside issue.”

    Once again, you and I disagree. I think you are wrong. This is simply a suggestion from AA on how individual members can carry the message and certainly not any kind of “official AA policy.”

    I’m going to do a post relating to this in the next day or so. I couldn’t find the exact pamphlet you spoke of, it doesn’t appear on AA’s web site. I did find one I think may be the same but updated and I have a link to it.

  • http://adozensteps.com Mark

    Are you an attorney? I am not…

    “When AA members sign slips, they are acting as agents of the courts, whether they realize it or not. It’s not an outside issue when you have an official platform of cooperating. “Sign their own papers”? Why, are you all refusing to sign? “Sending papers with friends”? Anybody who signs such papers is falsifying a legal document. I don’t think it’s come up yet in court, but it probably will. There is plenty of stories of people using their signed slips as alibis.”

    I.E. you are advocating that AA pay a price for the actions of individuals who have no legal knowledge of what they are doing? Actually that’s fine – it will force us to educate and possibly to put an end to the signing of papers by AA members. Neither I nor any AA member I know of is required by any law to sign these papers. So what if we simply stop doing it. That will also eliminate the chance of someone signing a paper for someone who isn’t in attendance.

    And – what is wrong with AA cooperating? I’ll post the link later but here is what my pamphlet reads;

    “Often, when the court-ordered newcomer attends an A.A. meeting, the group secretary (or other group officer) is happy to sign their first name, or to initial a slip furnished by the court saying so-and-so was at the
    meeting on a particular date. All involved recognize that neither the group nor the members are “bound” in any way by the signature, nor does this courtesy signify affiliation of the group with any other program. It simply illustrates cooperation.”

    A courtesy… cooperation – to help others. I really want to know what is wrong with this!

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  • raysny

    I was a bit harsh earlier. I get that way when I feel people have quit talking and have started giving me the party line.

    No, I’m not an attorney, but as I said, I am a member of a group that is anti-coercion and this subject has come up.

    “Neither I nor any AA member I know of is required by any law to sign these papers.” No, you’re not, but when you do sign them, you are volunteering to act as an agent of the court. They can be considered legal documents as the provide proof that a person is abiding by their probation or parole.

    I would have no problem with AA if it stuck to “attraction rather than promotion” and the courts, government agencies, and EAPs quit mandating attendance. I’d be even happier if AA owned up to being “religious in nature” as several courts have ruled.

    As I said, the link was stripped before, perhaps this will work:
    http://www(dot)aa(dot)org/en_pdfs/mg-05_coopwithcourt(dot)pdf

  • http://adozensteps.com Mark

    I have more research to do but that is the same link I found. Although it still isn’t working here (and for some reason I can’t edit it right now) I have posted it on the front page.

    As you’ll see I think I’ll be engaging folks to see what they think or feel about signing these papers with this in mind.

    I also still have some responses I’d like to make to one of your previous comments.

  • http://adozensteps.com Mark

    “Most of the answers you’ve given seem to be attempt to weasel out of the truth about what goes on. I don’t appreciate that. You’re trying to make anyone with valid issues look bad while AA remains blameless.”

    Simply not true…

    Hard to believe that this is the way you see what I say but I’ll accept that you do. Of course, in direct contradiction I see what you say as an attempt to force your will upon something that is far greater than either of us that helped me stop drinking alcohol when nothing else did. And I don’t appreciate the attempt to eliminate what saved my life so I see it as you trying to kill me. Once again that is not a stretch of imagination. What would you expect me to do?

    Now for some reality. There is some very sick crap that goes on in AA. It is not isolated within the walls of AA rooms however – it is worldly evil. Your specific example of those who rail at those who take medications and claim they’re not sober has been repeatedly addressed in meetings that the folks I know attend. We don’t let that garbage slide everywhere. It is also the poor actions of some sick people not something that AA condones or approves. There is no way that we who want to do this right can offer up information on where to avoid these a**h**les or where the meetings are that have a good sense of responsibility to others.

    The theme is you just cannot blame AA for the stupidity of some people who are members.

    I’ll have more later…

  • Progree

    Lets try the above post again — it doesn’t seem to like double angle brackets. Please delete my above post if you can.

    MARK }} Ummm, yep, how nice… another angry, hateful, self-proclaimed critic of something that has helped save countless lives. Yes sir, that makes sense… Hey Progree – you wouldn’t happen to have a problem with booze, now, wouldya’? {{

    About “name-calling” – that is what I’m talking about – personal attacks specifically. You started the nasty personal attacks, thus conceding that you can’t deal with the issue — A.A.’s blatant religiosity — so you have to try to attack the messenger.

    As far as “prayer-answering favor-dispensing deity” being name-calling, first it isn’t a personal attack on someone. And what else does the 12 steps and Tradition 2 and the Big Book describe but a prayer-answering favor-dispensing deity?

    MARK}} “AA thrives on religious principles. Recovery thrives on religious principles. _[then two days later after being shown that A.A. claims not to be religious] …. some misguided notion that AA is religious {{

    Sigh. What flip-flopping. What word-parsing.

    By the way, it does not have to be about a specific religion like Christianity, Buddhism, etc. to be religious. I’ve never seen a definition of religious that says something like “of or about a particular known established religion”. The 12 Steps, Tradition 2, and the Big Book describe a prayer-answering favor-dispensing deity called “God” that removes our shortcomings, restores us to sanity, manages our lives, cares for us, loves us, listens to our prayers, gives us power and guides our groups. It characterizes “God” with such specifity (including “Creator”) as to easily qualify to be its own religion.

    It is laughable when you say the Big Book is not a part of A.A. and has nothing to do with A.A., its just a collection of writings by alcoholics. Geez. The title of it, by the way, is “Alcoholics Anonymous” and it is published by Alcoholics Anonymous World Services. Inc. I hate it when A.A. members, when they are in a tight spot about their literature, say A.A. is not responsible for anything, its all the actions or writings of individual alcoholics.

    How about the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions (12 X 12) book? That not part of A.A. either, just the meanderings of Bill? It is also full of stuff about a prayer-answering favor-dispensing deity called “God” by the way.

    Both the Big Book and the 12 X 12 are “A.A. General Service Conference-Approved literature”.

    MARK }} I don’t tell newcomers to believe in a light-bulb or a tree. I will tell them what they need to know about God is that they ain’t Him/Her. AA itself doesn’t do bait and switch, some of its members do. {{

    Do you urge the newcomer to work the Steps? What besides a prayer-answering favor-dispensing deity fits in the with Steps? What do you tell your newcomer to pray to for knowledge of his will for him/her and the power to carry that out? Step 11 is not religious? Do you urge the newcomer to read the Big Book? Full of religion too.

    The bait-and-switch is claiming not to be religious and saying that you can have any conception of “God” that one wishes (other than oneself) and then subjecting everyone to an endless proselytization about a prayer-answering favor-dispensing deity and urging them to “pray for knowledge of His will” etc. It is A.A.’s literature that claims they aren’t religious and it is A.A.’s literature that proselytizes about the prayer-answering favor-dispensing deity and even claiming that if you don’t work the Steps, you are signing your own death warrant (12 X 12 p. 174).

  • Progree

    A.A.’s Twelve Steps and Tradition Two certainly push a prayer-answering favor-dispensing deity called “God” that removes our shortcomings, restores us to sanity, manages our lives, cares for us, loves us, listens to our prayers, gives us power and guides our groups.

    And the Big Book (p. 63) says He is also our all powerful Employer who provides us what we need if we keep close to Him and perform His work well. And God is described as Creator and Maker throughout the Big Book.

    The part where they say you can choose your own higher power is just twaddle — yes they say that to newbies. But then they pressure you to work the 12 steps, which are blatantly religious, involving a prayer-answering favor-dispensing deity. Take Step 11:

    Step 11 “Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understand Him, praying only for knowledge of his will for us and the power to carry it out.”

    Now what concept of “God” fits in the above other than a prayer-answering deity? Do you pray to the group, a light bulb, a tree?

    Or take Step 3 – “Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood him”

    What besides a deity would a person turn their will and lives over to? I sure wouldn’t turn my will and life over 100% to any human institution or group of humans. Not when they (many groups though not all) tell people to quit taking prescribed medications and quit seeing therapists.

    They also push people to read the Big Book — which is full of insults to non-believers, particularly the “We Agnostics” chapter where they call non-believers “vain”, “fooling ourselves”, “perverse”, prejudiced”, “obstinant” and on and on. How is that not religious?

    And many groups say the Lord’s Prayer — a prayer with explicitely Christian themes taken straight out of the bible (Matthew 6:9, Luke 11:1). Kind of hypocritical when they make such a big deal of saying they are “spiritual but not religious” and that they are a program based on “rigorous honesty” (and then lie about not being religious).

    Even groups that don’t put a lot of pressure on people to believe a certain way or to work the steps subject you to religious proselytization — unless you believe that proselytizing about a prayer-answering favor-dispensing deity isn’t religious.

    Three Federal Courts of Appeals (Second, Seventh, and Ninth circuits) and Two State Supreme Courts (New York and Tennessee) have ruled that Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous are religious and that nobody can be coerced by government authority into attending these organizations (as that would violate the First Amendment’s prohibition against the state establishment of religion). No Federal Court of Appeals and no State Supreme Court has ruled otherwise. To date, the United States Supreme Court has declined to consider any of these rulings, thus letting these ruling stand. For more on these court rulings:

    Court rulings other than the 9th Circuit
    http://www(dot)angelfire(dot)com/journal/forcedaa/courtopinions(dot)html

    9th Circuit Court Of Appeals Ruling (Inouye v. Kemna)
    http://sfgate(dot)com/cgi-bin/article(dot)cgi?f=/c/a/2007/09/08/BA99S1AKQ(dot)DTL

    Here is a Duke Law Journal article that discusses the religious aspects of A.A. and the definition of religion for constitutional purposes (first amendment establishment clause).

    Cited: 47 Duke L. J. 785
    [*pg 785]
    RELIGION AND REHABILITATION: THE REQUISITION OF GOD BY THE STATE
    DEREK P. APANOVITCH

    http://www(dot)law(dot)duke(dot)edu/shell/cite(dot)pl?47+Duke+L.+J.+785

  • http://adozensteps.com Mark

    “As far as “prayer-answering favor-dispensing deity” being name-calling, first it isn’t a personal attack on someone.”

    The first thing you say that I disagree with – you are attacking the God that I – I – I understand! That is most certainly someone – to me! Now, if you don’t like that its simply too bad.

  • http://adozensteps.com Mark

    “I hate it when A.A. members, when they are in a tight spot about their literature, say A.A. is not responsible for anything, its all the actions or writings of individual alcoholics.”

    You most definitely are angry and hateful…

  • http://adozensteps.com Mark

    “AA thrives on religious principles.”

    If you sow a seed on fertile soil it will germinate and grow and it will eventually produce fruit. Does that make the plant religious?

    Look it up in the Bible.

    Yours is a foolish argument with its basis in anger and ego. You have a problem with God. Why can’t you simply admit it?

  • http://adozensteps.com Mark

    I’m sure you’ll correct me if I’m wrong…

    “It is laughable when you say the Big Book is not a part of A.A. and has nothing to do with A.A., its just a collection of writings by alcoholics.”

    What you did was come to this blog and offer your hate and anger and criticism because I posted an article titled “Big Book Prayers.”

    This blog is not AA and doesn’t represent AA.

    Of course, the individuals that wrote the books of the Bible knew they were writing the Bible when they inked their words, right?

  • http://adozensteps.com Mark

    At the very least, I am not the most ungrateful member of a life-saving organization as you seem to be. What do you tell a newcomer to do?

    “Since you alluded to me having a problem with booze, my dry date is June 1994 and yes, I consider myself as recovered as anyone can be who is only one drink away from being a drunk again. I’m also a long-time current and active member of A.A.”

    Now that is truly hypocritical! What exactly did you do in AA to end your drinking alcohol? Or – perhaps we ought to look to you, a human power, for relief from our alcoholism…

    Do you sue the surgeon who saved your life? Why do I want to give credence to you when you appear to be doing nothing more than hanging out in AA waiting for opportunities to destroy it?

  • raysny

    “The first thing you say that I disagree with – you are attacking the God that I – I – I understand! That is most certainly someone – to me! Now, if you don’t like that its simply too bad.”

    I thought Progree was attacking the God of HIS understanding. not yours. Oh, is his God the same as your God? See, this religious three-card monte makes no sense to me. AA members shuffle definitions around so that they mean only what is convenient at that moment.

    AA is not non-religious, at most you might be able to make a case for it being non-denominational.

    The program is designed for lapsed Christians, anyone else has to do some mental gymnastics to do the program. Some Christians object to what is not Christian in the program, especially Wilson & Smith’s dabblings into spiritualism. Wilson claims that he channeled the steps from a a 15th century monk named Boniface.

    Henrietta Seiberling, the woman who introduced Wilson & Smith, reported that Wilson told Horace Crystal he was completing the works that Christ didn’t finish, and according to Horace he said he was a reincarnation of Christ.

    Wilson thought that The Lord’s Prayer was not specifically Christian. In a letter dated 4/14/59 to Russ (‘A Letter From Bill W. Regarding The Lord’s Prayer In A.A.’ on the AA history site
    barefootsworld), Wilson wrote: “Of course there will always be those who seem to be offended by the introduction of any prayer whatever into an ordinary A.A. gathering. Also, it is sometimes complained that the Lord’s Prayer is a Christian document. Nevertheless this Prayer is of such widespread use and recognition that the arguments of its Christian origin seems to be a little farfetched.”

    All of this is why I consider AA to be bad religion. Many of my clients already have some peculiar ideas about religion and I don’t want to see the messed up more than they are. Telling a schizophrenic that taking meds “stills the small, quiet voice of God” killed a few years of slow progress with one client in one week. I tell clients that if they want religion, they should walk through the front doors of a church, not meet in the basement.

  • http://adozensteps.com Mark

    So Ray, the basement of a church is somehow something less?

    And – you accuse me – “AA members shuffle definitions around so that they mean only what is convenient at that moment.”

    You have just diminished, belittled, what I said from my heart – I actually feel like Progree is attacking my God and yet you deny me my feelings? What gives you that power?

    What do you do when your clients pay no attention to you?

    Now I really want to know – you both claim to be sober – “DOS 8/4/01; recovered.” What is it that you really do when presented with a newcomer to AA who has a problem (just one problem) with booze? Do you both just make stuff up as you go?

  • http://adozensteps.com Mark

    “reported that Wilson told Horace Crystal he was completing the works that Christ didn’t finish, and according to Horace he said he was a reincarnation of Christ.”

    Just like mikeblamedenial’s videos. Gossip. Talk.

    I imagine you’re an intelligent person and yet you’re willing to buy into that kind of garbage?

    Please…

  • raysny

    A copy of that letter can be found on the AA GSO website under the title “Henrietta Seiberling – without her would be no AA in this world”.

    Mike and I both know our AA history.

  • raysny

    “You have just diminished, belittled, what I said from my heart – I actually feel like Progree is attacking my God and yet you deny me my feelings? What gives you that power?”

    Like I said, does this mean that Progree’s God is the same God as yours? I thought Progree’s God was of HIS understanding and your God was the God of YOUR understanding. Are they the same God or not?

    This is what I’m talking about with the the ever shuffling of definitions in the program. You’re hurt and insulted, but you shouldn’t be if your God does not fit that description.

    I believe that Progree’s description acurately fits the Higher Power/God that is presented by AA, and I find THAT god objectionable.

    The church basement isn’t less, the religious program being taught there is, in my opinion. Your problem with remarks about God show an inconsistency that I have pointed out. The God presented in the program either IS or IS NOT the same God as everyone else in the room, it cannot be both. The “We” at the beginning of Step One either is or is not inferred in the rest of the steps. “WE came to believe” is totally different from “I came to believe” and since it “is a ‘we’ program” and since the Tradition negate the individual in favor of the program, I have to believe that the “We” is inferred and that members DO believe in the same God.

    It is exactly this kind of thing that I call playing 3-card monte with definitions.

    I know a bit about religion, took college level Bible Study through Ambassador College. I find AA to be bad religion. By attempting to be all things to all people it ends up being weak and confusing. It is often contradictory, and these contradictions are used to browbeat people if they relapse.

    I do not attend AA, so I rarely see newcomers. In real life, I work in mental health, the people I see with substance abuse problems are dually diagnosed. The people I meet online who are new to sobriety have found me by looking for alternatives.

  • http://adozensteps.com Mark

    Very interesting: “A copy of that letter can be found on the AA GSO website under the title “Henrietta Seiberling – without her would be no AA in this world”. Mike and I both know our AA history.”

    Direct from that site – see the bottom of the page;

    “This is the official web site of the General Service Office (G.S.O.) of Alcoholics Anonymous.”

    Two searches…

    http://www.aa.org/results.cfm?results=%E2%80%9CHenrietta+Seiberling+-+without+her+would+be+no+AA+in+this+world%E2%80%9D

    and

    http://www.aa.org/results.cfm?results=Henrietta+Seiberling#

    show no results.

    Please, try again.

  • raysny

    I put “Henrietta Seiberling – without her would be no AA in this world” into the Yahoo search engine and it was the first hit.

    http://www.aagso.org/hen/index.htm

  • http://adozensteps.com Mark

    I.E. you insist on redefining my God? You insist on denying me my feelings? And then you tell me how I shouldn’t be? Who the he** do you think you are?

    You don’t attend AA? Yet you claim a recovered date?

    You’ve just lost my respect not that that ought to mean anything to someone who’s set themselves up as powerfully as you think you have. And now I can see why you’re having such challenges in the mental health field. I certainly wouldn’t recommend anyone to you.

    But its all cool – we’re all anonymous now aren’t we?

  • http://adozensteps.com Mark

    Yeah – exactly – http://www.aagso.org/

    AA GSO Watch is not affiliated with “Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc.” in New York

  • http://adozensteps.com Mark

    And a third search yielded no results (spelling change)

    http://www.aa.org/results.cfm?results=Henrietta+Sieberling

    BTW – too bad you didn’t read all of Henrietta’s letter. Your quote is another example of manipulating something for a personal agenda.

  • raysny

    AA GSO Watch is not affiliated with “Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc.”

    GSO Watch
    Description
    Our Mission:

    In accordance with Concept XII: Warranty V Essay comment from The AA Service Manual ((c)2007-08 pg 207 in PDF file AAWS Inc. http://aa.org/en_pdfs/en_bm-31_07-08.pdf):

    “In the long run, though, we shall have to rely mainly upon the pressures of A.A. opinion and public opinion. And to this end we shall need to maintain a continuous education of public communications channels of all kinds concerning the nature and purpose of our Traditions. Whenever and however we can, we shall need to inform the general public also; especially upon misuses of the name Alcoholics Anonymous. This combination of counter forces can be very discouraging to violators or would-be violators. Under these conditions they soon find their deviations to be unprofitable and unwise. Our experience has shown that continuous and general education respecting our Traditions will be a reliable preventive and protection in the years to come.”

    Real subversive….

  • raysny

    “BTW – too bad you didn’t read all of Henrietta’s letter. Your quote is another example of manipulating something for a personal agenda.”

    I suppose this quote from the letter is out of context too:

    “But, Clarence, I have made one big whale of
    a surrender of Bill & his schemes –
    & all thought of him & the possibilities of what
    harm he could do just left me in the most
    amazing way. I don’t have to try to “not think
    of him” again, I just don’t – He is completely
    consigned to God by me & I know He can
    handle him – We will be closely knit –
    even with his taking the money & trying to take the book. I am sure he will need our pity
    & compassion because he has put himself
    apart from the real fellowship – ”

    http://www.aagso.org/hen/index.htm

  • http://adozensteps.com Mark

    I’m not sure what you’re trying to say because you’ve just proved my point. You’re attempting to associate GSO Watch with AA?

    And Henrietta did nothing more than practice the Third Step at that moment. The manipulation – yours – remains obvious.

    You’re reaching, desperate and… it’s not working, your credibility is shot, respect gone and you don’t count anymore.

    Bad kharma…

  • raysny

    Excuse me? Your point was that the things I said were rumors and gossip.

    I gave you the link which you had a hard time finding, and now you say I proved your point?

    I quoted correctly, not out of context.

  • http://adozensteps.com Mark

    You made my point for me. You said that link was on the AA GSO web site and that you and Mike knew your AA history.

    That web site has not one thing to do with AA. Go ahead, do a whois on it;

    http://www.networksolutions.com/whois/index.jsp

    Subsequently all credibility is gone. And yes, you’re trying to make it mean what you want it to mean to validate your agenda.

  • mike p”11290″

    Wow Wee , boys , lots of drama going on here . Been watching from the side lines , watching hit after hit of character assassination, All I can THINK of is which came first ,ya know and rule 62 , I don’t care if any of you want to say AA is a religious body or not , it helps save lives and asks NOTHING in return , I’m not as well spoken as the rest of you guys , lots of time on your hands ? how bout we go outdoors and play nice with the real world ….And yes IM AN HONEST TO GOD ATHEIST,,LIGHTEN UP LIFE IS TOO SHORT . Live and let live . long time member and happy and sober since 1990,what more can i say ? I’m go in to a real live meeting come on we can all go together . LMFAO

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