Finding Fault like there's a reward to it - Isn't there more to constructive criticism than pointing out the faults in others? Meet the new book (same as the old book) that takes a pot-shot at AA, 12 Steps and the Treatment modality that embraces this "bad science." Authors Lance and Zackary Dodes sing a familiar refrain in The Sober Truth: Debunking the Bad Science Behind 12-Step Programs and the Rehab Industry. This just in: AA is flawed and unscientific. OK, so room for improvement isn't news. But is AA ineffective? So, in Episode 04 of Rebellion Dogs Radio, we look at AA-bashing from Dr. Cain in 1963's "AA: Cult or Cure?" to Penn & Teller's Bullshit episode on Showtime and this new book. We look at AA's own triennial survey results from 1977 to 1989 and why critics see embarrassing 5% success (or let's call it failure) rates. We counter that with peer reviewed studies that call such a conclusion erroneous or misleading. For 50 years and then some, as a fellowship, we have inspired many to change their life for the better. We have also inspired some to be critical of us.
Bill W was not reactive; he thought that our critics weren't all wrong and we could learn from them. From Cain to Dodes, fellowship reaction is always divided. Many are dismissive or hurt by the mean spirited condemnation. Others find it a breath of fresh and feel vindicated for their own frustration with AA's preaching personal inventory on one hand but being resistant or belligerent about meaningful change as a fellowship. It's a question worth asking for each of us: Am I change-resistant; do I default to contempt prior to investigation when:
- I am criticized,
- someone proposes a change in my home group,
- or, in this case, when someone is publicly critical of AA as a whole?"
It's a regular Rebellion Dog-fight this month and we invite you to listen in or join in on the conversation. We race through the history of debunking and debunking-busting in 45 minutes. We are 100% in favor of skepticism. But have these critics got their facts straight?
At the end you can hear Beyond Belief: Agnostic Musings for 12 Step Life's author Joe C, playing lead and singing back-up on The Chronicle's song Jesse and he wrote, "Chronic Malcontent," the prefect theme song for Episode #4.
Read or download the transcript of Episode 04 HERE
|For links to Don McIntire, “How Well Does A.A. Work?”in Alcoholism Treatment Quarterly, AA Recovery Outcome Rates – Contemporary Myth and Misconception and Hoffmann (2003) “Recovery careers of people in Alcoholics Anonymous.” |
Penn & Teller Bullshit show on Showtime