AA Refers To Atheists And Agnostics As "Those People"

Out of boredom during my last compelled AA meeting I picked up the most recent issue of my area's AA newsletter, "Pipeline."  The New Hampshire Area Assembly of Alcoholics Anonymous, Inc., is Area 43

In the June 2011 issue of Pipeline there was coverage of the 61st General Service Conference.  The GSO, remember is AA.  It's true (corporate name) is the General Service Board of Alcoholics Anonymous, Inc., a tax exempt IRS 501(c)(3) "non profit" organization that makes more than $10 million annually.  The GSO, in turn, is made up of the two corporations, AA World Services, Inc., and The AA Grapevine, Inc.

So, every year the GSO has a conference.  The attendees in question are 93 delegates from AA areas in the U.S. and Canada, trustees, AA World Service and Grapevine Directors, and staff from the GSO and Grapevine.  This year, at the 61st General Service Conference, according the the June 2011 issue of the Grapevine newsletter, they spoke about:
  1. "Adding the AA preamble to the Big Book."
  2. "Unbelievable action that may just turn things around for the Grapevine"  whatever that means.
  3. Unauthorized sale of AA literature.  "This is all about to stop!" it said breathlessly.
  4. A "proposed new pamphlet on Spirituality which includes stories from Atheists and Agnostics."
Of course, as an atheist being forced by the state of New Hampshire, I raised an eyebrow upon seeing the section on the proposed pamphlet.  The author of the Pipeline article writes that, "[t]he piece reminds us that AA is not exclusive;  we welcome all to AA that have a desire to stop drinking, regardless of their view of or belief in "God.""

The author continues;
It was heavily debated and my interest was deeply personal.  One side of the argument was that AA is a program based on spirituality and that you cannot be an Atheist or Agnostic and succeed in the program.  The opposing side's position was that many come into AA with no "God" (like me), while others have their own concept of a power greater than themselves and have successfully stayed sober.
The debate raged for two hours.  At that point, a Delegate referred to Atheists and Agnostics as "those people."  That's when I knew where I stood.  When I came into AA, I was one of "those people."  I told my sponsor I did not believe in God, and he said to me, "Be glad he does not feel the same way about you!"  As I worked through the steps, I believed in a power greater than myself--but not "God" in the traditional sense.  I found my higher power in my AA group and in the goodness of other people.  I have since found a God that is beyond my dreams, and those that know me hear me talk of his grace with great frequency--I ask for help every day.
After I left the microphone, another person shared that he, too, was one of "those people."  A gay man, he came to AA a drunk and an Agnostic, yet he found his version of god in AA.
Finally, the last person shared that she was a fallen woman who was welcomed into AA.  She found her sobriety, her soul, and her God--but if she had not been so unconditionally loved in AA regardless of her beliefs, she felt she never would have made it.

The vote to approve the new pamphlet passed with substantial unanimity.  At that moment, I felt God in the room and knew that AA would last for my grandchildren and yours.

Let me leave you with Dr. Bob's essay, "On Cultivating Tolerance," and I hope to see you all at the post conference June 18th to hear your thoughts.

Yours in Service, Rich P. Delegate 60/43, New Hampshire
What absolute bullshit.  Let's take a moment to read between the lines and see what's really being said.

Yes...We welcome Atheists and Agnostics, but they have to find God to become cured.

AA repeatedly tells this blatant lie: "AA is not exclusive;  we welcome all to AA that have a desire to stop drinking, regardless of their view of or belief in "God."" Chapter 4, "We Agnostics" in the Big Book is always used to support this lie.  This chapter says nothing about how agnostics and atheists are welcome to AA, or that they can succeed using the techniques of AA.  This chapter clearly explains how all of the former agnostics and atheists in A.A. got converted into true believers in Bill Wilson's religion, and how all of the new skeptics must also be converted. In fact, the whole chapter is devoted to just one subject: how everyone must "abandon Reason and human intelligence" and come to believe Bill Wilson's religious beliefs.

Here the Big Book states that belief in a higher power is necessary for recovery.  Atheism and Agnosticism, by definition, are both lacking in the belief of a higher power:
We needed to ask ourselves but one short question. "Do I now believe, or am I even willing to believe, that there is a Power greater than myself?" As soon as a man can say that he does believe, or is willing to believe, we emphatically assure him that he is on his way.
The Big Book, 3rd & 4th Editions, William G. Wilson, Page 47.
"Oh, but you can have your 'higher power' be anything you want!" AA members often lie.  The author of the Grapevine article writes:  "I found my higher power in my AA group and in the goodness of other people."  What does this even mean??  One AA member told me that his higher power was a doorknob.

Bill W. himself was emphatically and repeatedly clear that the Higher Power was God:
We found that as soon as we were able to lay aside prejudice and express even a willingness to believe in a Power greater than ourselves, we commenced to get results, even though it was impossible for any of us to fully define or comprehend that Power, which is God.
The Big Book, 3rd & 4th Editions, William G. Wilson, Page 46.
At the moment we are trying to put our lives in order. But this is not an end in itself.  Our real purpose is to fit ourselves to be of maximum service to God and the people about us.
The Big Book, 3rd & 4th Editions, William G. Wilson, Chapter 6, Into Action, page 77.
And what does a religiously converted AA member do next?  Like any good cult member, they go out and lure others using the "higher power" lie, ultimately converting them to religion.
From great numbers of such experiences, we could predict that the doubter who still claimed that he hadn't got the "spiritual angle," and who still considered his well-loved A.A. group the higher power, would presently love God and call Him by name.
Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, William G. Wilson, pages 108-109.
It apparently worked on the dupe who wrote this Grapevine article since he writes, "I have since found a God that is beyond my dreams, and those that know me hear me talk of his grace with great frequency--I ask for help everyday."

Courts don't buy this lie, either.  In the case of Grandberg v. Ashland County, a 1984 Federal 7th Circuit Court ruling concerning judicially-mandated A.A. attendance, the court said: 
Alcholics Anonymous materials and the testimony of the witness established beyond a doubt that religious activities, as defined in constitutional law, were a part of the treatment program.  The distinction between religion and spirituality is meaningless, and serves merely to confuse the issue.
--Wisconsin's District Judge John Shabaz 
So, the next time you hear some AA member say "We welcome everyone, even agnostics and atheists!" or "It's not religious, it's spiritual," you'll recognize them for the nonthinking cult members that they are.

It's always funny to me that AA members' first reaction to people who disagree with them is that they are "in denial."  When I hear this, it's hard not to start laughing.
Oh, and if you fail to find God, and thereby fail to cure yourself of alcoholism, IT'S YOUR FAULT!
RARELY HAVE we seen a person fail who has thoroughly followed our path. Those who do not recover are people who cannot or will not completely give themselves to this simple program, usually men and women who are constitutionally incapable of being honest with themselves. There are such unfortunates. They are not at fault; they seem to have been born that way. They are naturally incapable of grasping and developing a manner of living which demands rigorous honesty.
The Big Book, William G. Wilson, Chapter 5, How It Works, page 58.
It's your fault because you are constitutionally incapable of being honest with yourself, you unfortunate!  The real truth is that AA doesn't work.  By the way, this passage is chanted to start every AA meeting.

Why, some of my best friends are gay Agnostic alcoholics!

After the dupe author of the Grapevine article spoke at the conference, the next person spoke.
After I left the microphone, another person shared that he, too, was one of "those people."  A gay man, he came to AA a drunk and an Agnostic, yet he found his version of god in AA.
This reminds me of the hypocritical racist who says, "why, some of my best friends are black."  But if you think about it, it's even worse.  The author is really saying that AA is SO welcoming, why look at the immoral filth we open our arms wide for!  Not only is he an Agnostic, but he's GAY!!!  Look at us, everyone, we admit GAY PEOPLE!

Yes, the only thing worse than a nonbeliever, is a gay nonbeliever.

If you know anything about the founding of AA, this will not come as a surprise.  Frank Buchman and his Moral Re-armament group (the founders of AA) were rabid homophobes and gay bashers.  Here's a 1954 Moral Re-armament guide on how to spot gays:
There are many who wear suede shoes who are not homosexual, but in Europe and America the majority of homosexuals do. They favor green as a color in clothes and decorations. Men are given to an excessive display and use of the handkerchief. They tend to let the hair grow long, use scent and are frequently affected in speech, mincing in gait and feminine in mannerisms. They are often very gifted in the arts. They tend to exhibitionism. They can be cruel and vindictive, for sadism usually has a homosexual root. They are often given to moods.
...There is an unnecessary touching of hands, arms and shoulders. In the homosexual the elbow grip is a well-known sign.

Remaking Men, Paul Campbell, M.D. and Peter Howard, 1954, pages 60-62.
The son of one of Frank Buchman's early disciplines has said that it was an open secret that Buchman was gay himself.  Gosh, doesn't this sound familar?  (Larry Craig, Ted Haggart, Mark Foley, Bob Allen, Glen Murphy, Jr.)

Why, even women are welcome!

AA even welcomes women, imagine that.  Here's what AA thinks of women.
In Chapter 8 "To Wives" in the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous, a woman is instructed how she should react to news her alcoholic husband is cheating:
Sometimes there were other women. How heart breaking was this discovery; how cruel to be told they understood our men as we did not (Big Book, 2001).
In other words, how can you blame the husband?  He was just seeking out someone who could understand him.

Here is what AA tells a wife to do with regard to her abusive alcoholic husband;
Don't condemn your alcoholic husband no matter what he says or does. He is just another very sick, unreasonable person. Treat him, when you can, as though he had pneumonia. When he angers you, remember that he is very ill (Big Book, 2001).
 The book goes on to tell women exactly how to handle their alcoholic husband;
Your husband has begun to abuse alcohol. The first principle of success is that you should never be angry. Even though your husband becomes unbearable, and you have to leave him temporarily, you should, if you can, go without rancor. Patience and good temper are vitally necessary.
The next rule is that you should never tell him what to do about his drinking. If he gets the idea that you are a nag or a killjoy, your chance of accomplishing anything useful will be zero. He will use that as an excuse to drink some more. He will tell you he is misunderstood. This may lead to lonely evenings for you. He may seek someone to console him - not always another man (Big Book, 2001).
A woman should never get mad if her drunk husband drinks his paycheck or sleeps with other women. And, when the situation becomes intolerable, you should leave without making any waves. Why is this? To not disturb your husband or his drinking!

If this was not enough, the book tells a woman that she should not tell the husband what to do about his drinking, because it might backfire and cause him to have an affair
Read the June 2011 Issue of AA's The Pipeline

The June 2011 Issue of the Pipeline is available here.  Gosh, why that's strange.  Of all the issues for the last ten years, this is the only one not available.  They removed it for some reason.  Why would they do that?

Well, I have a scanned PDF version here.


  1. Seems they removed the June 2011 Issue

  2. Yes, you get a 404 (page not found) error because AA removed it.

    In my post I've linked to a PDF file of the newsletter I scanned. I'm not letting AA revise history just by removing a link.