7 Reasons Charlie Sheen May Hate Alcoholics AnonymousIn one of the myriad interviews he gave over the last week, Charlie Sheen said clearly that he hates AA.

A lot of people have trouble with Alcoholics Anonymous. AA is full of people and people can be messy and flawed.

The human train wreck formally known as Charlie Sheen is a common sight in the AA meeting halls. The only difference between Mr. Sheen and other self-absorbed, delusional, frantic addicts is the size of the audience to which they rant. These people do not last long in AA. They mock the Fellowship and the 12 Steps (PDF) as too religious or simplistic. AA is beneath them.

Here are a few possible reasons why Charlie Sheen might hate AA so much.

115 Comments to
7 Reasons Charlie Sheen May Hate Alcoholics Anonymous

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  1. I spent almost 30 very long years in the CULT called aa. Fortunately, I never drank the cool aid.

    Though the cult says they are not religious, as an atheist, I did feel ostracized. Though the steps are “suggested”, and I never “worked” them, I felt ostracized again. After personally seeing the damage done by people without a medical degree, I was a big proponent of saying that people NEED to take prescriptions as prescribed. I personally saw all too many people without the degree claim that “you aren’t sober if you take ANYTHING, not even Novocain when having a tooth pulled. You know what?! Give me the pain killer, I don’t abuse it! I saw people go off lithium and wow, the damage done there! One person in a meeting claimed that “aa cured all his issues, medical and everything”. Now, that is truly SCARY!

    The cult DID NOT get me sober, I never “worked the program”, yet here I am, SOBER. The true believers on one hand will say “the cult isn’t the only way”, but if a person leaves and never drinks LIKE ME,it is claimed that I am a dry drunk… total and complete BS. I feel SO much freer that when I was in that mess!

    • Well now, congratulations on your 30 years of sobriety.
      It sounds like you, when attending meetings, were minding
      Others’ business rather than focussing on your own recovery.
      Remember, alcoholism is a spiritual illness that manifests
      Physically.
      Now, let me lose the politeness and tell you how it is.
      When you go to meetings who cares what meds they are on?
      Who appointed you their caretaker?
      A cult usually does not want you to leave. AA has an open door policy. Leave if ya don’t like what you hear and good luck.
      If you’ve been able to remain clean and sober for thirty years without relapse, one has to wonder if you were ever an alcoholic to begin with. I think not.

      • Very wisely put Bill W in response to the comments by John. People who claim AA to be a cult always have the same common denominator to me; they aren’t interested in getting sober, they’re sure they can handle it all on their own, and they have serious problems with any idea that suggests they aren’t the center of the universe. And maybe they haven’t studied what a cult is, but AA has a very open door policy, dues are voluntary and you can attend one meeting and never hear from that group ever, ever again.

        Addicts and egoists resent the hell out of friends, families and institutions that don’t enable them or form a part of the addict’s mutual self-appreciation circle.

      • Wow! VedicMedic, if that isn’t promoting the cult as the only way, unless you’re constitutionally incapable of being honest with yourself, I don’t know what is. It took some people 30 years to wake up. Happens all the time. Just say NO to The Oxford Group.

    • I guess my question is why you spent 30 years somewhere you hated. If you had bothered to read the material in living Sober, you would have known that AA has no problem with medically supervised meds. That book was written in 1976. How did you miss out?

  2. Anyway, Mr. Sheen has been pursuing a pretty typical 12-step journey for over 22 years. That is to say declare surrender, go to 12-step based rehab, grovel and apologize, stay clean for a period of time then relapse. It is by far the most typical trajectory for steppers and the expression “relapse is part of recovery” is standard advice in the rooms of AA. Maybe he’s just plain tired of it.

    Add to that that submitting to this regimen and the extremely peculiar religious organization that promotes it (AA) that is full of people who are his employers is a prescription for disaster. Of course he resents being told to submit to a faith healing program that is dominated by his bosses.

    Mr. Sheen certainly seems addled on his internet diaries (and I think he really should get rid of those brainless hanger-ons that he is surrounded with) but I think that’s pretty normal for someone detoxing from cocaine abuse. No responsible medical professional would dream (I’m looking at you Dr. Drew) of diagnosing him as mentally disordered during this period and certainly not without actually examining him.

  3. AA is actually a religion as several courts in the U.S. have decided. A 9th Circuit Court of Appeals decision said that it is a violation of the separation of church and state for citizens to be ordered to attend AA meetings.

    AA is not the only game in town and those fighting addictions are not required to play by the AA rules. Abstinence is in fact the same thing as sobriety and people who have quit drinking are under no obligation to say they are “in recovery” for the rest of their lives. After I stopped drinking using SMART Recovery I stopped calling myself an alcoholic. This is totally legitimate and my physician who sends patients exclusively to SMART Recovery agrees with me.

    Article by Stanton Peele:
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/stanton-peele/charlie-sheen_b_828891.html

    Article on court decision that AA is religious:
    http://articles.sfgate.com/2007-09-08/bay-area/17259704_1_parole-officer-treatment-program-appeals-court

  4. It’s good that the author acknowledges that she only attended open meetings. She doesn’t say, but I doubt that she ever seriously studied any of the literature. Open meetings are generally very choreographed events, thus a good place to impress visiting normies.
    Perhaps if she had attended more closed meetings for twelve years as I did, she might have a more realistic understanding of why Charlie developed his current attitude. She’s right in her observation that AA is full of delusional, self-absorbed people, but she’s wrong when she says they don’t hang around long because she’s also describing many old-timers.
    I witnessed a lot of abuse in those rooms, particularly toward those who may have been suffering from mental illness. Charlie may be a lousy messenger and perhaps he needs competent help, but he’s not wrong in rebelling against the way people are treated in those rooms either.

    • Yikes! Where have you people being going to meetings? I’ve never encountered anything more offensive than coffee breath and body odor. People I’ve met have been calm, friendly, non-confrontational and very laid-back. You either want to replace the need to drink with a sense of serenity, or you don’t. Never, ever had anyone yell at me, harangue or in any way be anything other than laid back friendly and respectful. Maybe come to Canada for some meetings?

  5. It’s interesting what this author has pointed out. She said that even her dog Snoopy can be her higher power. In AA that’s absolutely correct. You can call your higher power by any name you want as long as you believe certain things. In this case, in order to work the steps, she would have to believe that Snoopy could restore her to sanity. She would turn her will and her life over to the care of Snoopy, and admit to Snoopy the exact nature of her wrongs, be ready for snoopy to remove her defects of character. Snoopy would then supposedly remove her shortcomings. She also would have to pray to Snoopy to have conscious contact in order for him to tell her his will. I suppose Snoopy would make a better higher power than many of the other very common examples of higher powers, such as a door knob or a bed pan. I think she needs to pray extra hard to Snoopy for that sanity! I sure hope Snoopy doesn’t run away!
    AA’s absurd fundamental belief is that alcohol dependence is caused by sin and is spiritual in nature. It never addresses the myriad of reasons a person may drink, such as self medication, and that’s exactly why it’s so ineffective.

    Oh, and don’t let them fool you. Doctor prescribed medication is very frequent highly discouraged by many members.

  6. AA works.

    It drives hard-core atheists batty because it works on a spiritual basis. People find and connect with a power that relieves their obsession to drink, and live productive lives.

    That’s an unbearable thing to some atheists, that there are 2 million walking verifications of something greater than human power running around talking about what their simple belief in something greater than themselves has accomplished.

    You’d think those bent on AA’s distruction would just not attend if it was not their cup of tea, but they must damage and destroy it. It’s effectiveness and it’s existence rattles their minds and cannot be tolerated.

    Not all atheists are so driven. The real alcoholic atheists are as happily sober in AA as any theist member, because it’s spiritual and not religious.

    All it takes is not believing you’re God, and doing a few suggested things, which work if people are willing to put in the work.

    The anti crowd won’t go away because every day people get sober in AA all over the world, and knowing that keeps them agitated. Although a little flock of them like this is unusual.

  7. AA works for some people.

    But most who get better get better without it.

    “This dichotomy underlies the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism’s (NIAAA) declaration that “Alcoholism isn’t what it used to be,” and the denial (which is not a river in Egypt) by the treatment community that what the NIAAA says can possibly be true.

    The NIAAA’s finding that alcoholism isn’t what it used to be (i.e., what we thought it was based on AA and TV and movies et al.) is based on its national survey of Americans’ drinking, NESARC. NESARC found that roughly three quarters of people recover from alcoholism with or without treatment (only one in eight alcoholics is exposed to treatment or AA) – and that half of those drink safely.”

    In broad strokes, this means that a quarter of alcoholics maintain their alcoholism (and a minority of those deteriorate to even worse fates) – at the other extreme, a quarter become fully normal drinkers. In between, a quarter eliminate problems but are cautious drinkers, and a quarter continue to have some drinking issues but carry on with otherwise normal lives.”

    http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/addiction-in-society/201102/addiction-in-the-real-vs-the-clinical-world

  8. One thing that often goes unmentioned in this debate is the fact that while AA itself is not a “treatment program”, nearly all treatment programs in the US require AA membership and are based on AA philosophy’s of personal powerlessness and the need for divine intervention.

    This approach may help some people but it absolutely does not help everyone, and those it doesn’t help are subjected to truly outrageous emotional abuse: accused of being “in denial”, “constitutionally incapable of being honest”, “self-will run riot”, etc. Even those who achieve recovery using other pathways are denigrated as being “dry drunks” who “aren’t really sober” because they are not members of AA.

    So the problem here is not with the existence, per se, of AA. If it helps someone, that’s fine. The problem is that our society is so focused on this ONE approach that all else is crowded out.

    And there ARE other paths to recovery. Most people who recover from a drinking problem do so on their own. For those who desire a support group, several non-faith-based groups are available, the largest of these being SMART Recovery.

    Alcohol and drug free since 1998

  9. Has anyone noticed the subtle tendency toward lightheated humor running through this little flurry of anti-AA posts?

    Maybe not. I suppose trying to tear down something that enables people in trouble to begin living well is serious work.

    Victory for the anti’s will only take place when alcoholics rely on their ironclad decisions to not drink, and nothing more. That’s sure worked out well throughout human history.

    They ignore the fact that most people know personally one or more people who have found an answer in AA to the drink problem. Telling the public they are wrong and these sober family members and friends do not exist is a non-starter, but the antis firmly insist on being blind to reality.

    Saying we’re not actually here, staying sober for our lifetimes by the millions is a true challenge to state and continue to appear rational. So far I haven’t seen it done the least bit well.

  10. Monty, you are playing the oldest and most offensive card in the AA playbook (and that’s saying something).

    For the record, a person absolutely, categorically does not have to be an atheist to take offense at the bizarre quasi-occult nature of the AA God. Here’s how it all started (with the 1930s equivalent of a court card by the way, for Ebby Thatcher ~ who not incidentally was never able to himself maintain sobriety for long and like so many of the early AAs including both Wilson and Dr. Bob also never worked again after 1934) http://www.orange-papers.org/orange-rroot780.html
    http://www.orange-papers.org/orange-rroot780.html

    The AA God with its extremely peculiar and theologically extreme manifestations is actually anathema to all of the world’s great religions, including Christianity. Christians don’t worship a slot-machine God who delivers miracles if (and only if) you do certain things while ignoring other human suffering. Christians don’t believe that they have a two-way phone line to God. It’s offensive.

    • Wow. If I were an average Joe who had heard little of AA and read these comments, I’d be convinced that there is a really frightening cult-like tone to the meetings, where highly offensive religious precepts would be forced upon me by screaming old timers….all of which is so, so very far from the benign reality of the AA I know. I read the big book when I started, looking for specific answers on how to not drink anymore. It was largely written in a very different era and as such, is the literary equivalent to me of watching an old movie; however, the message of seeking tranquility and sedation not from a bottle, but through a spiritual re-awakening was a very helpful message. I did then and do now have a hard time with being able to smile blissfully and wax on about my higher power. I’m too scientific, too methodical for this to happen easily, even when I will it to happen. So I’ve not drunk any Kool-Aid. I eventually gained the courage to go to a meeting, and found the people there very unobtrusive, easy-going and secure in their sobriety. A rural setting of middle aged folks of all walks of life, from ageing hippies to farmers, it was and is a friendly group who never asked a thing of me. I eventually asked one of the members to be my sponsor, and have been fortunate to have someone as ethical, erudite and compassionate as he. And no one–ever–has forced religion on me at all. Reading some of these comments criticizing AA, I’m just completely unable to understand how myself and other people from the same planet could get such a different view. But if AA doesn’t work for you, if it offends you and if SMART does it, then use SMART. Or blink your eyes and make it happen if that works for you. Getting sober is the key. Programs and people that/who claim to be able to drink again in a controlled manner are selling a lie in my modest opinion; I don’t know a true addict or alcoholic who can use after a period of abstinence without reverting back pretty damn fast. Those who claim to be able to were not, in my own opinion, ever alcoholics in the first place. AA works for a lot of people. People are individuals, and many individuals deeply resent programs like AA that they feel robs them of their individuality. It can engender resentment, and if you find this the case for you, leave AA (and leave it alone perhaps?), find your help in some other form, and the very best to you that you find peace or serenity or some form of relief from the endless compulsion to use drink as the topping for every event in life, from celebration, to grieving, to relieving boredom to relaxing.

  11. How about everybody with an alcohol problem just stop drinking? Easier said than done? You’re right, it is. However, just like weight loss, going back to school, exercise programs, and any number of other self-improvement processes, most people WILL fail simply because it’s harder to commit to better habits and behaving better than to continue along on the same path. Alcohol and drug abuse is simply a more immediate and intense destructive behavior. If you believe AA gives you a structure and support you wouldn’t otherwise have to succeed, then go with it. However, don’t be fooled into thinking your “Higher Power” had anything to do with it. You do it yourself. People in AA who succeed just give credit to a program for actions they took themselves.

  12. Mike, when we weren’t looking did someone place you in charge of interpreting the experience of millions of sober alcoholics? Were we all mistaken and awaiting you to identify the source of our sudden sucesses as ourselves? We’re the ones who couldn’t stay sober on our own, remember?

    But tapping into a power greater than ourselves (greater, Mike) suddenly we can easily do that which had eluded us despite our efforts for often years. Pretty cool, eh?

    Since we’re a bit closer to our experience than you are Mike, having been the one to live it…we’ll go with how we see things instead.

    Advise whoever appointed you as truth-pronouncer extraodinaire that they set you up to appear ridiculous. Telling AAs what their experience has been makes no sense. We know what you do not.

    Discuss what you’ve actually been through, and leave us the job of describing our own experience.

  13. Sadly, I find this article to be horribly misinformed and judgemental – almost glib about mental illness and addiction.

    As someone who has been around a severely affected person with bipolar disorder, the symptoms that Charlie Sheen are exhibiting are all too sad and all too familiar.

    The grandiose language, the wild accusations, the aggression, the driven, fevered pitch in which he speaks – these are all part and parcel with the extreme mania of the illness.

    It is at this point that a person with bipolar disorder is likely to end up dead or in jail without some sort of significant intervention.

    There has to be more for Charlie Sheen that this kind of OP/ED drivel that simultaneously minimizes and pokes fun at the pain of person in the throes of mania.

    I don’t know if Charlie Sheen is sober or not, what I do know is that one can *not* 12 step their way out of bipolar disorder.

    I certainly would have expected more empathy, if not outright understanding from someone writing on a mental health website.

    It’s sad, just sad.

    • You are right…you cannot aa your way out of mental illness, frankly there is not much aa CAN do. Oh yes it CAN destroy lives, families,and friendships. The dogmatic preachers I.E. sponsors are the most dangerous.

      check out xsteppers…..

  14. We don’t know that Charlie Sheen has bipolar disorder; that is pure speculation and diagnosis-from-afar. What we do know is that he has had a past documented history of drug and alcohol abuse, and that is what this article addresses.

    AA may not be for everyone and its success rate leaves a lot to be desired. But so does most of the industry’s efforts at successful treatment of substance abuse and alcoholism. If it works for you, I think it’s a positive resource. If it doesn’t, I encourage you to find a treatment strategy or program that does — and share it with others here!

  15. Sheen’s remarks are, for me, inspiring, he’s taking his own path and doesn’t give a shite-good for him and i agree AA is a cult.
    The rate of spontaneous recovery (that is recovery without treatment) is about 5% and the success rate of AA is about 5%, except that AA has a higher mortality rate, giving it a less than 0% efficiency rate. AA wants to claim the rate of spontaneous recovery as their own while ignoring the mortality rate.
    Equally surprising is people still think that AA has something to do with not drinking. It’s just an anti-individualist cult-like religion based on ‘gluttony’ of one sort or another, not to stop their gluttonous ways, but to define it’s members by their faults, thereby controlling them through guilt.
    XA and its established members discourages independent inquiry and intentionally shield themselves from knowing these types of things.

  16. From experince AA is a shame-based program. They believe it is never there fault about anything. They claim AA is perfect and there is no other way. AA refuses to be in 2011 they will forever remain in 1935 no matter how we have advanced. Its predator alley. AA fosters depemdecy and no growth. Its stangnat and the people dont move ahead. Who the hell wants to sit around and listen to negativity. I am clean and I got clean because I am not ocnfused on who God is and there is NO where in the bible stating you can have God of your understanding. I have met the most FU backstabbing bitches. Gossip. I only know 1 chick I still talk to however she is an expection to the rule. I can see why Charlie hates AA. It does make soemone mad after they realize how much time you put into something and it does not work. Grow up and starting taking responsbilty for you own choices. Charlie is just milking this and yes he is acting whacked from the crack. AA is a cult.

  17. @ Dr. Grohol,

    I hear what you are saying and I did miss the whole point of this article. The manner in which it was framed seemed to poke fun at this man who, to me, seems in some obvious pain.

    Perhaps a better way to frame it would have been “7 reasons why Charlie Sheen could benefit from AA.”

  18. “The manner in which it was framed seemed to poke fun at this man who, to me, seems in some obvious pain.”

    Madeline, I got the same impression. This man needs intensive psychological help. It is truly sad to see yet another severely ill person mocked all over TV and radio. That’s to be expected in our society, but I find it troubling to see articles like this on Psychology sites. It reinforces the negative stereotypes of people with addictions.

    “The human train wreck formally known as Charlie Sheen is a common sight in the AA meeting halls. The only difference between Mr. Sheen and other self-absorbed, delusional, frantic addicts is the size of the audience to which they rant. These people do not last long in AA. They mock the Fellowship and the 12 Steps (PDF) as too religious or simplistic. AA is beneath them.”

    Being delusional and out of control themselves are elements of severe illness. But this desciption does not portray everyone with addictions; sometimes people with addictions close themselves off to the world, out of shame or other reasons, and suffer in silence.

  19. I’ve seen AA help many died hard alcoholics get sober and stay sober. Many of them have gone on to help many others. My uncle was sober over 20 years when he died. At the funeral home, I met at least 10 people that he helped get sober during that time. AA works if you want to change and will work the program. Some people aren’t ready for that or perhaps don’t really want to get sober. I am skeptical about any therapist who says it is not effective. Sounds a bit self-serving to me.

  20. Some interesting comments. I have been sober in AA for 18 years now. It is a spiritiual program designed to allow us to love ourselves again (instead of loathing ourselves). And the fellowship loves us until we can learn to love ourselves again. I have never known AA to be a cult or Christian. I have many friends in the program who are Christian, Jewish, Athiests, Bhudists, and just about anything else you can put a name on. It is their choice and they don’t force their beliefs on anyone. If there is a prayer at the end of the meeting, you participate or you don’t. It is your choice. It is also your choice to stay or leave. It is your choice to participate in the discussion or just listen. It is your choice to do the 12 step program or not. It is your choice to search for a spiritual solution through working the program or die a miserable alcoholic death. AA is always inclusive, never excluding anyone. If you are looking for an easy way out, AA may not be the answer for you. It takes commitment, trust, action, service, and a personality change. It is not easy but it is a simple program that saved my life.

    • Bang on Dave! Exactly my experience. And a lot of Buddhists in my home group. Aren’t they a horrible bunch of religious zealots, screaming the AA line? To all on this forum, those who like or dislike AA, may you find peace and relief from suffering, very best, God Bless (not intended as a dig at the agnostics, rather, a true blessing for connection to something better than the self, be it community service, helping a stranger or a family member).

    • What kind of choice is it to “search for a spiritual solution through working the program or die a miserable alcoholic death”? It is not a choice. It is subjugating and it is the most fatuous remark I’ve read all day.

  21. He’d have to stop blaming others? All AA members blame their drinking a on a fake disease. What’s the difference?

    • It is a disease. True alcoholics’ bodies metabolic alcohol much faster than the non-alcoholic.

  22. You’re proud of a 30 day coin when you didn’t have a drinking problem?

  23. I personally know hundreds of people who achieved sobriety in AA after failing in other methods. I also know many who have gotten sober in other ways. I have many years experience with AA and am most surprised by all the misinformation. First, the disease concept in AA was a response to how alcoholics had been seen as crazy, possessed, or weak. It is a scientific fact that alcoholics process alcohol in different ways than non-alcoholics. The disease concept does not mean alcoholics are doomed forever or whatever it is people keep think it means. Alcoholics can and do recover with AA and other means if they do not drink. Programs and treatment aim to get alcoholics to not drink, stay stopped, and workout out conditions in their lives that contribute to drinking (resentment, fear, shame, ect).
    The other one that gets me is the cult talk. AA (and other reputable methods) seeks to help members clear up the past and repair relationships so people can become “productive members of society”. People are supposed to make peace with those around them and to accept themselves and others and make amends when they are wrong. It may be a good idea not to hang in bars at first, but once stable a person can go anywhere. AA acknowledges that any attempt to sober an alcoholic by sheltering them from alcohol will fail.
    If you wonder about AA you can read their book at almost any library for free, attend meetings and ask people questions. They are free and info about them is available on line.

  24. Agree that Charlie Sheen may be denying his problem, but agree with him that AA has only a 5% success rate – great for those 5% as people have said, but worth noting that a 95% failure rate is not good. Have discussed the whole alcohol issue on Gargle Nation, a problem created and kept alive by an industry that is marketing a toxic and highly addictive product. We are all victims of that, including Charlie Sheen.

  25. I don’t know if anyone can diagnose Mr. Sheen with any ‘disorder’, if he is under the influence of ANY substance–as ingestion of such-
    DOES cause psychosis, even
    temporarily, which
    . is probably what we
    are witnessing from him…
    As a fellow AA myself, all this ‘cult’ talk and insinuating its ‘brainwashing’ well u know what, I was on the ‘highway to DEAD’ and fast—my brain needed some ‘washing”!! Thankyou AA for giving me a model and the tools for a NEW way of living, an Attitude Adjustment (another AA acronym) and for saving my life. God Bless You Charlie.

  26. All I can say is I am so glad I just quit the bullshit at age 30 and am now 49 and havent had a drink since. I sat in those brain washing bull shit meetings for over six years unable to stay sober as it made me want to drink even more, untill I finally woke up and smelled the coffee. Lets just say Charlie is so right and yes he clearly has a problem but he is on the right track to recovery with his on the money remarks about AA. It is a cult and its a dangerous brainwashing one also!! Here is a qoute by Dresden that fits this topic well!!
    “When a well packaged web of lies has been sold to the masses over generations, the speaker of the truth seems utterly preposterous and a raving lunatic.”

    • Im soberlin aa 20 years and I agree that there are many ways to get sober and many of them are not aa your problem is you need to come up on here are bash something that didnt work for you the fact you wrote what you wrote shows me how drunk in your head you are its not a cult because you can leave anytime you want you cant leave cults on a whim now on charlie sheen no one but you thinks charlie sheen isnt publicly humiliating himself I feel bad for his family he also has the need to talk badly about aa doesnt he realize that no one cares what he says people like to watch him and talk about what a drugged up lunatic he is and how theyre happy they arent him anyway to paraphrase what ive been saying to you shut up

    • I agree John,I totally agree.A woman at my church who considers herself an “expert” in AA substance abuse,whatever,actually had the sack to tell me I was in “denial” after being sober on my own for about 3 months.That really hurt,and I can’t see myself EVER trusting her again.I HATE the 12 step programs,which aren’t “programs” at all…….it is a cult.I’ve attended hundreds of meetings over the years and it never clicked.I never got a decent sponsor either.I will never go back.It did me a lot of damage,in truth.

  27. I wish AA would help me. I hate me so “you hate me” and when I get to AA I take that with me and I am just as isolated as outside. More so, when they all share about their “fellowship”. They make me feel even worse. The backslapping talk of fellowship and love is so hypocritical and hurtful. I don’t want to be the psychologically damaged one who cannot make it under any circumstances, despite thoroughly following the path. Hate it.

  28. I think the actor has taken the personality of his character in the series. If the character of the series will not change, neither will the actor

  29. I find this a pretty low attack on an addict who is clearly in distress. Sheen is not alone in his frustration with AA. There are numerous difficulties people have with the fellowship. The 12 steps were written in 1939and have not being rewritten since. Their are heavy christian
    /religious undertones to these steps. The word ‘God’ is used numerous times. I completely empathise with Sheen. Most people who attend aa are at a vunerable stage in their lives and are showing courage in reaching out for help. It makes me angry then that they are bombarded with concepts of God. Its as if the fellowship for its own agenda are bombarding people with religious crap exactly when they are at the their most vunerable. The oldest trick in the book.

  30. Ok I have been relapsing in AA for 12 years. I think the program is twisted.

    The problem with AA is there are too many lunatics there. They have no concept of personal space etc. They get in your space, There is no room for independent thinking. People condem you for relapsing, they shame you.

    Listen, I went to say, that if it is a prgram of helping, that is a misnomer. The program is one of rididity. There is alof of ridgid thinking.

    They model of AA shoudl change because right now it is best for those who have stabilized without relapse and develp their own fellowhsip. They do this by talkign about those who “don’t get it”.

  31. Does it make you feel good to bash Charlie Sheen? If so, I am happy for you.

    There are plenty of reasons to intensely dislike AA, and reasons to applaud it. It really *is* possible to do both at the same time. I attended AA mtgs for 8 years. The anti-intellectuulism, sexism, and wish to my control my entire life was not for me. The retro approach to treatment (no anti-depressants) wasn’t for me. Yeah, your higher power can be anything you want (a doorknob, shoe) but forgive me if I am bothered by the LORD’S prayer at the end of meetings.

    I have been sober 10 years without AA. Therapy suits me better than the organization.

    And by the way, it is very unattractive to read a naive blog like this.

  32. Regardless of which subculture of AA you fall into, it’s all embued with the culture of the cult religion known as the Oxford Group. Get the facts, read the Orange Papers. Orange-Papers dot org. or MoreRevealed dot com.

  33. AA’s best thinking got me there and kept me there, even while I drank more and more. 12-step thinking was extremely harmful to me.

    There are destructive viral memes out there, and AA is one.

    I have the ability to simply not drink, so I’m not powerless. I’m grateful for all the people who’ve been willing to speak the truth about AA.

    Talk about taking someone’s inventory! This article is a perfect example of how AA is hurting people. This is a typical, cruel prophecy to someone who knows that AA doesn’t work and tries to carry that message to the public.

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