Anti AA Sites
Anti AA Sites and Forums Such as the Orange Papers Forum
This is an old post about the Anti AA world from 2013 when the Orange-papers.org site was still running so it is out of date in some ways as well as having some broken links. here is a newer related post on the Anti AA world as I now see it https://www.recoveringfromrecovery.com/anti-aa-forums-and-blogs/
I used to enjoy going to blogs such as the Stinkin Thinkin Site which still exists in an archive format. It had a good bunch of people and was well written as well as being humorous. ( I must lighten this place up a bit!). A lot of members of the 12 step world tried to derail threads but it remained popular while it ran. The owners decided to turn it into an archive but you can comment on there now if you want, although it is not fast-moving as it was in the past. I do miss it and some of the contributors.
Other sites take a very aggressive stance which in my opinion make many who question quite legitimate points about the 12 Step process, look foolish. The orange papers forum is rarely moderated and as a result trolls and cranks are able to derail threads at will. Here is another post on my blog which shows the type of behaviour there and why most people avoid it although it is even worse these days as the site owner seems to have just left the forum and a few people are taking advantage of the situation. https://www.recoveringfromrecovery.com/httpwww-orange-papers-orgforum-points-aa-75th-anniversary-big-book/ Any forum site that does not have effective moderation will suffer and any new member can be met with suspicion. The original forum that was on this domain had to be closed due to members of the Orange Papers forum attacking people, each other and breaching privacy. This type of behaviour adds to the argument that people who do not follow the 12 step way, are the dry drunks that AA loves to promote. Of course this is not the case, and many who join these forums are rational, but they tend to be hidden amongst those who are unstable, do not have jobs and seem to spend all day on the internet. Many simply seem to have swapped an alcohol addiction for a blogging addiction rather than developing a wide range of interests and moving forward and achieving something in life. Most of the posts have little relevance to the orange papers themselves, and are simply childish, stupid squabbles.
I am not that interested in old conspiracy theories about Bill Wilson and the fact that he took LSD, or somebody in the Oxford group praised Hitler before the war (In fact the character assassination of Frank Buchman who actually was decorated by the French and German governments as well as being commended by Roosevelt for his contributions to Franco-German reconciliation after World War II, is really poor and shows the length that the writer will go to discredit AA by putting pictures of Hitler next to Bill Wilson. In doing this, he destroys much of his credibility), but this does not really matter to his small bunch of followers. In fact there are many sections of the Orange-papers which do not stand up to investigation, and look like a rather desperate attempt by a lone figure sitting in a public library, to simply sling mud at an organisation he does not like. I am interested in today. I agree that AA etc, has its problems and has not moved with the times, but if you read some of the posts, on some sites, you would think that you are joining an orgy of violence rather than a support group for ex drunks. I understand the problems with 13 stepping and the fact that there are young people mixing with some other rather unsavoury characters, that can join these groups. I am glad these points are being brought to people’s attention, but other people are just lashing out, at a group that they should not have really spent much time in. The irony is that they have somehow managed to stop drinking, and for a lot of them the process started in AA. The 12 Steps may turn off many, including myself, with the religious side, but there is nothing to stop you leaving a group especially in this day and age. These people often say take responsibility for your recovery, but then blame AA for the fact that they failed to get sober in the past. They say you can get sober on your own, but this was not something they managed for a long time, so they take it out on AA. They want to be spoonfed rather than do the work.
I doubt that I will ever attend another 12 step meeting and although I think it could do with modernisation and has many faults, I do not want it destroyed. There are certainly cult type members, who will try to control, but once you come to your senses you can ignore them and move on. You are always going to get strange people in an AA group, as that goes with the territory. However if you simply want to destroy it, you will not improve things for many. It gives people somewhere to go, in their early days that is dry, and it gives you some people to talk to. Although I think Smart Recovery could probably help more people today, it does not have the infrastructure at the moment to do this and the antis seem to overlook this. In fact, many people on the orange forum actually attack Smart because you cannot attack AA in some meetings. They are too self-absorbed to realise that maybe, there are more important subjects to talk about when somebody is trying to break from addiction than trashing AA.
I did find reading posts about how the 12 steps were not the answer, when I was thinking about leaving AA was helpful. I would never have joined any religious group willingly, and did not realise how AA functioned when I joined, but although I do not participate in religion, I do recognise the right of others to do so if they wish. There is a lot of hypocrisy on many anti sites who defend certain groups, while attacking others. Maybe the internet is a place for them to let off steam, but unlike normal forums, you have the risk of vulnerable people getting dragged into situations, that they should not be in, with no real support. Some people use these places as a support group because they like the way that some members lash out at 12 Step groups, but they may find themselves in a more unstable place than an AA group, with no real backup.
Spending all day behind a computer attacking a group like AA is not going to achieve much. Going out and helping people, or putting people in touch with those that can help is something that can make a real difference. The work that is done by those on blog talk radio or the leavingAA etc site is in a different class to the people who just want to bolster their own ego by writing something spiteful. They become part of another dysfunctional group in recovery, and egg each other on, which justifies their point of view to themselves, in a similar way to 12 steppers pushing the steps. They could not even stop their wife going to AA, let alone make a single meeting close!
I have attacked groups like AA in the past, but have moved on. Sometimes taking a step back from things can help with perspective. I feel some of the Anti groups are now dominated by those with extreme views,who enjoy going on other blogs where they will not be welcome for the small hit, they get from confrontation. This is not a very positive thing to do, and will just make you more bitter and twisted in the long-term. It does not help the recovery movement or anyone who is trying to build up an alternative. If people are looking for another solution, they can find it in this day and age.
I was no fan of the steps and did not like a lot of AA members who were more interested in Dogma than really helping others. They treated the Big Book like a Bible and Bill Wilson as a prophet.I must acknowledge that it gave me a place to go, where I could sit in relative peace, with people who had suffered from the same problem. I was not isolating behind a computer and was inspired by some of the people who had been homeless, yet still managed to break free from addiction. In the end I came to the conclusion that it was simply the decision to change and to put a bad way of life behind us that saves anyone, who succeeds in their battle with addiction, rather than the program. I don’t use any support system these days other than my friends and my few relatives. I don’t think of myself as an addict as I have simply moved on. It was not easy at the start and things may have been smoother with a different approach, but it was me that got into trouble in the first place and me that changed things to get out.Google+