Note- Originally published in 2010 on Associated Content. Dick B. like many other individuals, who could not seem to counter argue my points, instead opted for the censorship approach and had all of their comments and many of these articles removed from publication.
Recently I was left messages from AA guru Dick B. www.DickB.com I was a little upset that Dick masks his advertisements for his site in the form of comments on my articles. However, I hate censorship so I felt that they warranted enough points to be left in print.
I journeyed into the world of Dick B. only to find that it was yet another site claiming to hold the nonexistent wisdom of Alcoholics Anonymous. It is yet another site that puts another spin on the overplayed recovery rhetoric that AA and the recovery community espouse. At best it was trite and mundane.
One would ask “Why Vince? Why do you torture yourself with these individual’s pompous morbid self examinations? Why do you torture yourself with people like Dick B., who provide little to no evidence as to what they are claiming?”
I can only answer these questions by saying that I am driven by an insatiable curiosity to discover some new fact or concept that recovery, religion, or AA might produce. To date I have been sorely disappointed. My adventure into the world of Dick B did highlight a fact which I have been indirectly stating in various ways from the beginning of my writing about AA. This fact is that AA is an extremely malleable program such that it can be molded into anything a person desires.
Dick B. is a Christian in recovery and he believes that AA is a direct reflection of the Bible. Dick essentially is redefining AA in terms of the Christian faith. In many ways Dick feels that AA has lost its path from its original Christian tenets. “…I began picking up at A.A. meetings some A.A. General Service Conference-approved literature which seemed to endorse, and even encourage, unbelief—the idea that you didn’t need to believe in anything at all to get well (Dick B., 2008).”
He might very well be right about this idea, since the AA program has developed into a generic form of religion (or I should say spirituality). But to combine AA with Christianity is really an affront to both Christianity and Alcoholics Anonymous. This is the ridiculous nature of the AA program, the twelve steps can be applied to whatever one desires. By virtue of this nature, the twelve steps are so broad in application as to make them meaningless. The examples of this idea are seen all around us. The twelve steps are constantly transformed to apply to any malady that people see fit, from quitting smoking to sexual promiscuity. Yet none of these applications have any scientific proof that they are effective. Just try to find a real scientific study that measures the effectiveness of the twelve steps for treating sex addicts or smokers and you will find nothing substantive. Besides anecdotal evidence, there is nothing to validate the use of the twelve steps for treating anything.
Sadly Dick B has only gone to prove this idea by virtue of his beliefs. He has molded the AA program or perhaps regressed it back to its origins of being more religious. However, this is in violation of the concepts of AA (at least AA claims this) that they should be nondenominational. Dick has also shown AA to be a religious organization not a spiritual one by showing that AA is derived from the bible.
I guess there are some major questions that Dick and anyone who is Christian and believes in AA should ask themselves. If Jesus is truly powerful and possesses the power of God’s healing then why do Christians need Alcoholics Anonymous? What could Alcoholics Anonymous possibly offer or do to improve upon the power of Christ? Funny that an atheist is asking the question.
Dick B. (2008, October 27). Dick b.’s story. Retrieved from http://dickb.com/dickb-story.shtml