Podcast with Jon about AA
One of the great things about having this blog is that I have met many people who have managed to move on from the 12 step world, yet who still have a great recovery and have not relapsed, which is normally what you are told will happen in AA meetings. One of these people is Jon S who has a great blog and talks on the subject regularly. I am not saying everyone should leave AA or any other support group, especially without other options. However, I feel it is important to keep an open mind in recovery and deal with problems as they occur and this may be best achieved by looking for solutions away from your spiritual support group. There seem to be a lot of us who have moved on from AA, yet are still grateful for some of the support we received in our early recovery, although we realise it is not a complete solution for all problems. I mention this, as there are a small minority who are quite loud on a couple of recovery forums, who have extreme views about AA, and who think it is a good idea to attack others who use it as a recovery method. This has led to a whole load of pathetic online arguments from both sides and probably puts people off trying alternatives to AA, when they see the aggression and stupidity of some of the people involved.
I am glad to see that there are websites starting to appear, that are simply providing information for alcoholics to use to get well, without getting involved with arguments. These are written by free thinkers who do not get caught up in the pack mentality of certain unsavoury online groups.
Jon is certainly somebody who is doing a lot to promote alternatives to AA, in an attempt to help people. He left AA about a year and a half ago after about 15 years, and although he now feels that many other solutions have a lot of merit, he realises that the group dynamic of AA can be useful. Below is a short interview with Jon where he talks about why AA cannot improve as it is “Divinely Inspired”. He points out that AA tends to dominate the recovery world to the detriment of other solutions such as Smart Recovery which is based on CBT. He also talks about The Sinclair Method and the film “One Little Pill”. He talks about how people are emotionally invested in AA and refers to the recent Atlantic piece by Gabrielle Glaser, that got around 13000 comments in a week, which I mentioned here.
He does regular talks which are well worth attending if you have the chance as part of the Skeptics in the Pub, which is a group of people that meet all over the UK to discuss issues. He gives a good background about how AA was formed from the Oxford group, and how this spiritual solution has grown, but also been held back by its heritage. He does not attack AA, but urges caution that it may not be suitable for certain people. He does not believe AA is a cult which I also agree with, although there are some cult like groups, and some cult like practices.
Skeptics in the Pub Dates
Here are the upcoming Skeptics talks:
Edinburgh Skeptics, Thurs 11th June http://www.meetup.com/EdinburghSkeptics/events/221400607/ Bristol Skeptics, Weds 24th June http://bristol.skepticsinthepub.org/Event.aspx/2467/Inside-Alcoholic-Anonymous-
Later in the year he will be at North London Humanists (September) Tunbridge Wells Skeptics (October), Merseyside Skeptics (November) and Dorset Humanists (December).
The interview below starts at about 3’30” and will give you an idea about what you would get in a full talk. He also mentions this site, so thanks for that!
Jon has his own blog here which is well worth a look https://jonsleeper.wordpress.com which is a great read and links to many resources.
and was on BBC radio Scotland http://www.recoveringfromrecovery.com/bbc-radio-scotland/
I have also mentioned him in these posts http://www.recoveringfromrecovery.com/jonsleeper-wordpress-com/ and here http://www.recoveringfromrecovery.com/skeptics-pub-aa-god/
I also talk about the “One Little Pill” film here http://www.recoveringfromrecovery.com/pill/