Apologize to your Rapist! Twelve Step Thinking at its Finest.


            Alcoholics Anonymous members insist that the twelve steps are a great method of correcting one’s life and finding peace of mind. However, the truth is that twelve step thinking is so irrational that it often causes severe damage. In order to realize this problem one must understand one of the basic foundations upon which twelve step thinking is based. They call this the spiritual axiom:

            It is a spiritual axiom that every time we are disturbed, no matter what the cause, there is something wrong with us. If somebody hurts us and we are sore, we are in the wrong also. But are there no exceptions to this rule? What about "justifiable" anger? If somebody cheats us, aren't we entitled to be mad? Can't we be properly angry with self-righteous folk? For us of A.A. these are dangerous exceptions. We have found that justified anger ought to be left to those better qualified to handle it. -Twelve Steps Twelve Traditions pg90

            So there you have it, straight from the literature of Alcoholics Anonymous, there is no exception to this rule. For most AA members this type of thinking is gospel. Any sane person would realize that this type of thinking has some limits but not twelve steppers.

            In his book “More Revealed”, Ken Ragge describes an instance where a boy who had been sexually molested by a priest was convinced to make "amends" to the priest. This victim actually apologized for being angry about the molestation. Ragge also relates a tale of a woman who had been gang raped. She was also told to make "amends" to the rapists.

            So powerful is the indoctrination and brainwashing that takes place in AA that the victims will defend their attackers. I personally knew a girl who was sent to AA, when she was 16 years old because she suffering from an eating disorder and alcoholism. She had been raped when she was 13 and molested when she was younger. Two guys in their twenties coerced this girl (who was demented from starvation and drinking) to sleep with them. They then proceeded to brag to everyone in AA about their deed and not a single person stood up for this person. But the sick and twisted part of the whole affair was that the women in the group convinced this girl that she was equally to blame for her part in the crime and she believed them. I witnessed with my own eyes and ears, this girl blame herself and defend her rapists.   

            If you think these are isolated incidents you should read Rebecca Fransway’s  AA Horror Stories, this is a novel filled with sick thinking and terrible twelve step stories. The thing that I find tragic and disturbing is the fact that most professionals in the addiction field are either unaware of this detrimental thinking or don’t care. The worst part is that Twelve Steppers are the ones who have convinced everyone that you can’t trust alcoholics and addicts because they lie or they are crazy, therefore these stories are either exaggerations or the result of sick thinking. Don’t believe me, here is a twelve stepper stating exactly that,

If you were sick and/or dysfunctional enough to find yourself going to AA in the first place, and then had a very bad experience, there is a high degree of likelihood that your experiences in AA were deeply distorted or otherwise primarily reflected your own damaged psyche.”(Comment) 

            So I guess this only applies to negative aspects of AA, if this is true then why would we believe AA members when they state things like AA is great and helped them and many others? What’s to say that their positive experiences are not distorted? But the biggest line of BS that steppers use to diminish the tragic brainwashing of rape victims is that these are just isolated incidents, every organization has problems or troubled people. Right! It’s just a few bad apples in the basket. What a load crap! First of all, most of the incidents that occur with rape victims are never even brought to light. As soon as you find yourself in AA you are almost immediately indoctrinated with the idea that AA can do no wrong. It’s never the organization it’s always the person at fault.  Yet somehow these victims would have never have thought to apologize to their rapist or molester until they went to AA.  As far as these being isolated incidents, I don’t know how anyone in AA can say that when there are entire books written describing this sick behavior. There are hundreds of comments and letters available on websites that describe this type of twisted thinking. But according to twelve steppers everyone is either lying or distorting the truth. Maybe AA members and the organization itself should stop blaming the victim and start taking responsibility for their actions.




More Revealed Ken Ragge, page 178.
Alert Publishing, Henderson, Nevada, 1992.


AA Horror Stories, Rebecca Fransway
See Sharp Press, Tucson, AZ.
Blame-the-victim in rape cases can be seen throughout this book. Pages 47, 49, 55, and 145.


I feel a deep appreciation for Ken Ragge and Agent Orange who have done an incredible amount of research in this area. http://www.orange-papers.org/


Views: 271

Comment by trillianalice on November 7, 2011 at 10:34pm

Well, AA was started for alcoholic Catholic Priests, I think that explains the problem.  They wouldn't even be equipped to handle raped women.  Horrible stories, I never believed in AA anyway.

Comment by Angie the Anti-Theist on November 7, 2011 at 10:53pm

AA wasn't started for Catholic Priests (where'd you get that idea?) It was started by Bill W & Dr Bob, who largely ripped off the Oxford Group cult started by Frank Buchmann. Oxford Group had 6 steps, which became the 12 Steps of AA. 

I used to be in Al-Anon and I know I wouldn't have stayed an extra six months with an abusive husband if the women in my group hadn't been telling me to. I'm lucky I had a sickly child who kept me from going back to meetings after awhile. 

Comment by vincent van noir on November 7, 2011 at 11:48pm

Thanks for your comments. Thanks for relating that personal information Angie. I think it takes a lot of courage to speak on these matters and I glad to hear you got away from Al-Anon.  

Comment by trillianalice on November 8, 2011 at 12:33am



I did not do research before my comment.  I have not had any experience with AA and I had always been told it was secretly started to help Catholic Priests.  I looked and the Catholic Church seems to make claims that they helped AA.  I was Catholic until I became a non-believer.

So, sorry for not doing research and just going by what I was always told.  Huge mistake.


(I put a link in to show how articles were in the Catholic Digest, if links are not permitted, please let me know)

Comment by trillianalice on November 8, 2011 at 1:11am



Here is a link where a Catholic Priest even writes Catholics were involved in the founding, so I guess I heard it all the time.  Just like everything, it seems, different stories everywhere.  I did not know about the original founders, so thank you for that information.

Comment by Bill Butler on November 8, 2011 at 1:47am

I am a Recovering Alcoholic I have been sober for the last 17 years I spent my first 5 years of sobriety attending AA 3-5 days a week I then started to drift away over the next two years and eventually stopped going all together I will address why in a bit but first the topic above. I have never witnessed or heard of this blame the victim mentality at any meeting I attended or in any interaction I had with any one from a meeting. People were encouraged to make amends to those they had wronged them selves but I never heard of any one told to apologize to there abuser be it physical, mental , or sexual. I do know that many people were encouraged to try to forgive those who had wronged them as part of the path to healing a belief rooted in the christian heritage of AA. I am not saying that the claims above are untrue far from it I am only saying I never saw any thing like it in my experience. 


Now AA is comprised of some very damaged people every person has a story and they are all bad its how they learn to deal with there personal damage that affects there success in sobriety and the rest of there life. AA stresses self evaluation and personal growth but fails miserably in the latter and most of that is a result of the structure of the whole organisation for one it denies that it is a religion but it is structured exactly like one. There is the Big Book of AA and it is treated like and quoted like the Bible AA members look at it as though every word is true and infallible. AA dose not value critical thinking it deals in absolutes you are told to as a new comer that you don't know any thing and that your ideas or thoughts are wrong so shut up and do what your sponsor tells you. Now some of this is good for recovery but bad for the individual the whole system is set up to break down the person and make him or her dependent on the group. This tactic is used by cults the real problem with AA however is not there motives they do mean well and have had  a good deal of success over all but the structure is damaging. 


I left AA  mostly because I came to Atheism at the same time and had a real problem with the heavy religious aspects of AA they insist on a belief in a higher power that I cant and wont accept. The other big reason was the dynamic of some of the groups I encountered they had a cult like feel centered around a very charismatic old timer who ruled the group in some cases like a feudal lord some times these leaders just expressed there brand of wisdom and teaching and no real harm was done. I did encounter others that had very creepy and borderline criminal motives where older influential members used there status and wisdom to take advantage of young women who were newly sober and easy prey. All in all I took what I needed from AA and left the rest behind I don't think AA is a terrible organisation its core intentions are good and I would not be who I am had I never attended. I think it is flawed mostly because its members are flawed and its structure has real problems part of that is the nature of how it is set up all the groups are different and autonomous with no central ruling body. In conclusion I have not witnessed the the events mentioned above my self but the members make the groups and they bring there own screwed up ideas and personalities with them so I can believe that such events happened but I can say it has never been stressed to me as a group policy to blame the victim.  

Comment by vincent van noir on November 8, 2011 at 2:38am

Thanks Bill, I have run into this opinion of AA many times. People like yourself were lucky enough to have only seen some of the negative attached with AA. I am glad that you did not have terrible experiences with the program. I have learned of the years that geography plays a huge part in AA experiences. Simply speaking there are some areas where AA is plagued with these problems. No matter what, any organization which builds its recovery on a necessity to believe in God is tantamount to voodoo or witchcraft. Thank you for commenting and for your insights. 


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