The Watchtower and Alcoholics Anonymous

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    maputo95 posted Sat, 10 Apr 2010 12:18:00 GMT(4/10/2010)

    Post 50 of 134
    Joined 10/17/2009

    Many people have stopped drinking through the 12 Steps of the programme of recovery of Alcoholics Anonymous. Can active 'Jdubs' join AA to get over their addiction?

    F blondie posted Sat, 10 Apr 2010 15:19:00 GMT(4/10/2010)

    Post 29235 of 37794
    Joined 5/28/2001

    In this area it is left to the choice of the jw. Not all rehab programs have an AA component. It is not necessary to chant the Lord's prayer either, but the Serenity prayer may be substituted. There are many atheist/agnostic alcoholics in this area who have no desire to add religion to the mix and substitute "higher power" for "God" to accommodate such members. I have known jws to go to AA and it helped them in a way that the WTS never did but the jw did not leave the organization. The elders were relieved they were getting help and that it did not involve any time on the part of the elders.

    *** g05 10/8 p. 11 Breaking the Chains of Alcohol Abuse ***

    There are many treatment centers, hospitals, and recovery programs that can provide help. Jehovah’s Witnesses do not endorse any particular treatment. Care must be exercised so that one does not become involved in activities that would compromise Scriptural principles. In the final analysis, however, each will have to decide for himself what type of treatment is needed.

    http://www.cnn.com/HEALTH/9905/19/addiction.programs/index.html

    M Terry posted Sat, 10 Apr 2010 15:33:00 GMT(4/10/2010)

    Post 8101 of 16556
    Joined 6/19/2004

    The actual figures on how many persons RECOVER while under treatment attending Alcoholics Anonymous is the SAME as the number who are successful going "cold turkey" all by themselves.

    About 12%

    AA hides their success rate as best they can.

    They are really a religious organization.

    I would imagine the Watchtower has a similar recovery rate.

    (p.s. 88% failure rate)

    F rebel8 posted Sat, 10 Apr 2010 18:08:00 GMT(4/10/2010)

    Post 7213 of 10070
    Joined 1/13/2005

    In addition to what Terry said, there are secular recovery groups for those who want to join a group to help in their recovery.

    What is more important than peer support groups is professional treatment, which the dubs hate even more than AA!

    I used to be a counselor and I have always felt the religious-based groups and/or treatment models can be a harmful to former members of religious cults. I wrote about it in a treatment manual for clinicians here.

    I knew a dub who attended AA as part of her court-ordered recovery plan. The elders were really dismayed & felt it was an inappropriate compromise of xian values [or whatever the lingo was]. She didn't participate in the prayer part of the AA meeting. The dubbies undermined everything she learned at the AA meetings, basically saying they were wrong about everything. (I mean, come on, they're not wrong about everything.)

    F blondie posted Sat, 10 Apr 2010 20:44:00 GMT(4/10/2010)

    Post 29244 of 37794
    Joined 5/28/2001

    Above I posted a link to other rehab groups. I'll post it here again if you are interested in looking at it.

    http://www.cnn.com/HEALTH/9905/19/addiction.programs/index.html

    F blondie posted Sat, 10 Apr 2010 20:46:00 GMT(4/10/2010)

    Post 29245 of 37794
    Joined 5/28/2001

    I will add that over the years several jws have attended AA meetings without being harassed or pressured to stop by the elders or rank and file jws. Every BOE is different. But as the quote above from the publications says, it is officially a personal decision.

    maputo95 posted Sun, 11 Apr 2010 10:52:00 GMT(4/11/2010)

    Post 52 of 134
    Joined 10/17/2009

    AA is not the only way to stop drinking and start living! Many have stopped by using other therapies and none at all. However, it worked a treat for me and opened my spiritual eyes. I am very grateful to AA but I would not push it down anyone's throat, never!

    M Terry posted Mon, 12 Apr 2010 15:08:00 GMT(4/12/2010)

    Post 8135 of 16556
    Joined 6/19/2004

    Addictions can be likened to a locked door.

    You keep trying different keys until the door unlocks and you can escape the room you're in by walking through it.

    For 12% of the alcoholic population AA is the key.

    My father was an alcoholic. I only met him twice. I searched and found him in Detroit when I was 25.

    He once looked me up when I was living in California (I was now 33). He came over to spend the night, ate supper with me and my wife and said he had to "go buy some socks".

    He left around 7 in the evening and didn't return until 3:00 in the morning drunk as the skunk he truly was.

    He never reformed. Never tried.

    maputo95 posted Mon, 12 Apr 2010 16:24:00 GMT(4/12/2010)

    Post 62 of 134
    Joined 10/17/2009

    Terry. your story touches me deeply. I am so sorry about how alcoholism has affected you and really hope your father finds sobriety and serenity. I was truly hopeless and lost cars, families and jobs. I got a sponsor and 3 months later the compulsion suddenly left and touch wood has never returned. Your Dad is suffering from a mental. spiritual and physical disease for which there is a cure. If the cure is not affected then the ONLY outcome for the practising alcoholic is insanity or death or both.

    JWoods posted Mon, 12 Apr 2010 16:36:00 GMT(4/12/2010)

    Post 2734 of 4822
    Joined 6/23/2009

    I knew of numerous witnesses who had a serious drinking problem - including more than one elder.

    Only one JW that I am aware of was disfellowshipped for this - she was the mother of a girlfriend back in the 1960s. As with most JW DFings, it was more about the fact that she was nonresponsive to the committee and really could care less about being a witness anyway.

    In no case whatsoever was any effective assistance offered or given.

    M undercover posted Mon, 12 Apr 2010 17:27:00 GMT(4/12/2010)

    Post 9016 of 13167
    Joined 9/25/2002
    ...a mental. spiritual and physical disease for which there is a cure.

    While I won't deny that there is some mental issue that causes one to be prone to alcoholism, I have never accepted that alcoholism is a physical disease. One can't go to the doctor, get some blood work done and then be told you're an alcoholic.

    The effects of being an alcoholic can cause physical diseases but alcoholism as a physical disease? No. Not any more than smoking is a disease.

    An unpopular opinion, I know, but I think too many people want to blame something outside of their control for their problem. I have family members who are alcoholics. And they go to AA meetings and they pretend that it's something they were born with and can't change. As long as they have that attitude, they'll never change. If you think it's something out of your control, it's too easy to blame it on your genetics or your 'disease'. But if you realize that you have the power to beat this, then your odds improve immediately.

    I think we do people a disservice by giving them the out of blaming it somewhere than their own behavior. It's not an easy thing to conquer, I know, but having that ready made label of "disease" just perpetrates a helplessness that is defeatist.

    F lisaBObeesa posted Mon, 12 Apr 2010 17:54:00 GMT(4/12/2010)

    Post 1331 of 2374
    Joined 5/8/2001

    The fantasy of the alcholoic trying to 'conquer' the addiction on their own is the basic one that councelors and 12 groups must work to dispel first.

    If he can do it on his own, why get help? You see? It's that idea of doing it on their own that keeps them from getting help often times for years and years... Doing it on his own is what got the addict where they are. Doing it on his own and never actually doing it is classic addict behavior and thinking.

    Alcholoics and addicts need help. They need guidance, support and advice from people who know how to stay sober.

    It's not about being helpless because you have a dissease. It's about being strong and doing what you need to do to take care of yourself because you have a disease.

    It's about getting out of denial.

    JWoods posted Mon, 12 Apr 2010 18:09:00 GMT(4/12/2010)

    Post 2739 of 4822
    Joined 6/23/2009

    Maybe a touch off topic, but when I read what Undercover posted on the "disease concept" of alcohol - I had to think of the "sex addiction excuse" over Tiger Woods.

    Wonder if a JW caught in some hanky-panky could play the sex addict card on the committee?

    M undercover posted Mon, 12 Apr 2010 18:15:00 GMT(4/12/2010)

    Post 9019 of 13167
    Joined 9/25/2002
    I had to think of the "sex addiction excuse" over Tiger Woods.

    I was watching Bill Maher's Real Time on HBO a few weeks ago and he kinda went off on the sex addiction thing. He claimed (of which I never bothered to verify) that sex addiction is not listed as a "real" addiction on whatever official list the medical authorities have.

    And I have to agree with his rant. Addiction to sex isnt so much a disease as it is a behavorial problem. A problem I should be so lucky to have...

    JWoods posted Mon, 12 Apr 2010 18:26:00 GMT(4/12/2010)

    Post 2740 of 4822
    Joined 6/23/2009

    +++ Undercover. My personal feeling is that a lot of this is just excuse making.

    As long as we are on the topic, it probably is worth mentioning again that the WTS has put up with some very drunk people in very high places for years in the past:

    Judge Rutherford and the lawyer Haden Covington are two that come to mind. The only time I met Covington was at a Kingdom Hall friday night meeting in Oklahoma City and he was practically falling down drunk at the time. He was handling the draft case of a witness friend, and not surprisingly lost the case (after being paid over $10,000 in fees) and after then wandering off to represent Cassius Clay/Muhammad Ali. I don't know exactly how true it is, but the inside information I had on Covington was that he was eventually disfellowshipped more for the Ali case than for the drinking.

    More than one story here has represented circuit overseers (and especially some of their wives) as being some pretty enthusiastic drinkers, as well.

    M OnTheWayOut posted Mon, 12 Apr 2010 18:43:00 GMT(4/12/2010)

    Post 10700 of 18532
    Joined 9/8/2006

    The actual figures on how many persons RECOVER while under treatment attending Alcoholics Anonymous is the SAME as the number who are successful going "cold turkey" all by themselves.

    About 12%

    AA hides their success rate as best they can.

    They are really a religious organization.

    I would imagine the Watchtower has a similar recovery rate.

    Terry, with all due respect, you just don't get it. Part of the "Anonymous" part of AA is not keeping names and full statistics on members. AA is not hiding a "success" rate. Plus it's not only about "success." The only requirement to membership is a desire to stop drinking. That doesn't mean all the members have done so, nor will do so for the rest of their lives or for the rest of their involvement in AA. Unlike Jehovah's Witnesses, if a member of AA fails to live up to "the ideal," they are welcome to come back over and over again. No shunning, no taking away of some magical "privileges."

    I mean, if a dentist works with older adults who constantly need those teeth pulled, and success was determined by some group to be "teeth retention," then the dentist would look like an utter failure, despite the great need for him in that community. He's just helping people who need help. Success to him is being there for those that need him.

    Many probably do find a self-applied "Cold Turkey" method. That's great. AA isn't needed for them. I imagine many people overindulged in alcohol as young people, especially in college, but can cool their own jets when life demands it. Continuous AA membership is for those that really cannot stop that easy. They need help. Many learn to be properly controlled social drinkers. AA isn't for them either.

    It can be likened to religion because just like eastern philosophy was ruined and made into religion, so was AA (sort of). I will give you that. But each member is free to think as he/she wants and dismiss the stuff they don't agree with. Atheist/Agnostic AA is available in my area and I benefit greatly from it.

    Can active 'Jdubs' join AA to get over their addiction?

    It isn't against any JDub rules, but it might just be frowned upon in the local congregation. I started in AA and going to the Kingdom Hall. The "brothers" especially might come down on a male for going to AA, saying that they can have "the truth" and Jehovah's spirit so they don't need AA. I managed to stay sober just because the cult taught me that Jehovah hates drunkenness, at least 99% of my time as an active-believing Dub. Does the fact that I fell down about 1% of the time mean that Watchtower statistics should list me as a failure? NO, they generally put enough fear in their members to find a way to stop being drunk. But I have heard of those that don't manage to stay sober being kicked to the curb (DF'ed) because they just don't apply what the elders say to stay sober. They just don't read their WT material enough to get it right. While WTS doesn't officially say "NO AA," they don't encourage real help to the members either. They only know the mantra for any given situation of members not doing what WTS wants them to do: "Do more field service, more praying, more meetings, more reading. Jehovah will then be with you."

    F blondie posted Mon, 12 Apr 2010 18:55:00 GMT(4/12/2010)

    Post 29267 of 37794
    Joined 5/28/2001

    Thanks, OTWO, well written and explained. I had mentioned early that in some areas AA had groups that were made up of atheists/agnostics. I guess things get lost in the large number of posts. I find too that we can tend to have an opinion about things we have no experience with.

    transhuman68 posted Fri, 16 Apr 2010 00:52:00 GMT(4/16/2010)

    Post 5 of 2382
    Joined 3/30/2010

    I don't care about right or wrong anymore- I just do what works. I stumbled through the doors of A.A. ten years ago and I wished I had got there sooner. Of course the Dubs will pour scorn on A.A.- it represents a challenge to their 'spiritual' monopoly. If I was an active Dub with a serious drinking problem I would sneak off quietly to A.A. and not tell anybody; at least not for a few months. I've heard A.A. described as a cult, but it is a fellowship of people with a common goal, and it has a spiritual program far superior to anything the Dubs can offer. Worked for me.

    mindmelda posted Fri, 16 Apr 2010 01:28:00 GMT(4/16/2010)

    Post 979 of 1852
    Joined 5/4/2009

    I had a lot of support at the few meetings I went to...not AA, but a related group for survivors of abuse of any sort, A.C.O.A. Adult Children of Alcoholics. Everyone listened to my story there with no interuption and no judgment. There were people there who didnt have alcoholic parents, but addicted ones of one sort or another, and "religiousity" is considered an addiction. Booze not required. Yes, ACOA considers groups like JWs as cults and as encouraging religiousity or religious addiction. That is where you keep feeling compelled to perform acts of sacrifice,(giving, money or unpaid service, excessive attendance) ritual(obsessive prayer or other rituals your church uses) for a church, sect or cult out of fear, guilt and or compulsion. I'd say JWs qualifies myself.

    Interestingly, having a parent who is a "religious extremist" or part of a cult and trying to force it on you or brainwashing you with it is much like being the child of an aloholic or drug addict, from what I was told. The symptoms in people who are brought up this way are identical. Anxiety, depression, PTSD, obsessive behavior, alcoholism, all sorts of things are connected to that. So, it's a very good idea to get some kind of help if you think you're suffering from anything like that.

    ACOA is good if you're without insurance to cover more usual kinds of therapy, it's free. Donations are asked for but required.

    I felt more of the same spirit with those women than I did anyoene at the KH. Religion was optional...you don't have to believe in anything but the group if you like. The way the meeting is set up gives everyone a safe place to talk about whatever they wished.

    They have their own terms for things, but psychologically speaking, it's pretty sound stuff.

    mindmelda posted Fri, 16 Apr 2010 01:33:00 GMT(4/16/2010)

    Post 980 of 1852
    Joined 5/4/2009

    I think sex addiction can be real, but it's not nearly as common as all these celebrities who are just exploiting women (or vice versa, I'm sure) would like to think it is.

    The sexual addiction I'm familiar with is where couples cannot relate to each other except sexually...they fight all the time, never get along or talk otherwise, but have a lot of sex and actually can get off on the opposition and even violence. Sex based on conflict or hate is one form. Anything done out of rage, fear, guilt, coercion or compulsion isn't good. That's what sexual addiction is.

    Unfaithfulness can have it's roots in sexual addiction at times, but it's not just about a person being unfaithful. Married or committed couples can have sexual addiction without unfaithfulness, as per above.

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