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Is Alcoholics Anonymous a secret society?

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posted on Jun, 1 2005 @ 11:51 AM
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YAY! This is my first post... And thanks to Cug for fighting the Freemason powers that be...


First, to difeine literally...
Alcohic: One affected with alcoholism (Webster's)
Alcoholism: The compulsive consumption of, and psychophysiological dependence on, alcoholic beverages (American Heritage Stedman's Medical)
Psychophysiology: The branch of physiology (the body and it's functioning) dealing with the relationship between physiological processes and psychological processes (thoughts, emotions, behavior) (Dictionary.com)
Anonymous: Having an unknown or unacknowledged name (Dictionary.com)

While the quoted passage in Cug's post is an interesting read, it is not very accurate and IMO, is an attempt to warp certain aspects of AA to fit the 8 point cult mold outlined. By using the same logic, The Atkins Diet is a cult, because it requires a permanent lifestyle change, a belief that Dr. Atkins is right, and you can never exit from it or graduate from it, or else you will get fat again.

If the Alcoholics Anonymous program is followed properly, there is no nullification of ones will, rather there is a freeing of one's will from the grasp of Alcoholism. Medical hospitals and rehabilitation facilities (not connected in any way to Alcoholics Anonymous), utilize the program's teachings and steps to help people with the condition because it works, not because Bill W told them so. Judges sentence AA meetings usually in connection with some sort of rehabilitation/detoxification program, also aimed at getting someone with a medical condition help.

The anonymity of AA is not because it is a secret society. The anonymity is because many people are embarrased to have the disease of addiction. The phrase "What you hear here stays here" is used in meetings because, while you are there in a meeting to receive support from others who understand the problems you may have and provide support to others, it IS still your personal business, so you should not repeat other people's private affairs outside of the setting of the group. In other words, you are anonymous in your suffering from alcoholism, unless you personally choose to inform others.

Alcohol, being a drug, affects people in different ways. Some people can go to AA meetings, clean up for a while, and then resume a normal healthy lifestyle, even with drinking. No, the program does not support it, because that is not medically sound. If you have lung cancer removed, and then start smoking cigarettes all day, you will probably get lung cancer again. The same idea is applied in the AA program. If you know you have a problem with alcohol, is it truly worth that risk of drinking again? While you might be fine, and handle it, what if you don't? This is merely basic common sense.

While it is true that there are some AA fanatics out there, they are a non-profit organization supported by the medical community for the effectiveness of the program. AA is a long program with many steps to effectively combat the effects of addiction. More harm is caused with addiction by the insurance companies, who feel that a 3 day detox is all that is needed to combat the disease. They are intentionally choosing to only cover (for the most part) the physiological effects of alcoholism, for the sake of saving a greasy buck. In the mean time, addicts are left with the propensity to pick up another drink, and repeat the same process over again, because the mental aspects of alcoholism often go completely untreated. 3 days in a detox and a couple of AA meetings do not solve the problem of addiction.

Okay, I think that's enough, don't want to write too much. However, I will close by saying that AA is neither a cult nor a secret society. AA is a medically sound approach to repairing the mentally damaging affects of addiction in alcoholics. No, the program does not work for everyone, but it works for many. The ones it does work for live longer happier lives because of it. And while a person will always be an alcoholic, it is that way because they recognize their capacity for alcoholism, and only in that recognition can they begin to understand themselves and their addictive disposition.



Cug

posted on Jun, 1 2005 @ 01:29 PM
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Originally posted by SimonColynAdrian
YAY! This is my first post... And thanks to Cug for fighting the Freemason powers that be...


I am in no way fighting the freemason "powers that be."


In fact I was really pushing the definition of "secret society" to include AA (But I do believe AA is more harmful that good) so I could do a comparison between AA and other secret societies. But I was not able to draw out the responces I needed to get things going in that direction... so I have dropped the subject.

Just a failed experiment



posted on Jun, 1 2005 @ 01:38 PM
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AA is run by lizards in the 4th dimension, we all know that. They propped up bush's campaign with money they got selling drugs through the taliban, then they launder the money through the NWO banks, and siphon proft to run the breeding prgrams with the greys at area 51.

or



they try to help people, and tough love gets a bad rap sometimes



posted on Jun, 2 2005 @ 12:52 AM
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Originally posted by SimonColynAdrian
..... And while a person will always be an alcoholic,......


This statement is a very frightening one, because it is so over-used that people actually start believing it. Including myself. I used to drink, rather heavily. I never went to AA because of it, nor did it really occur to me to stop. (In an earlier post, I mentioned having gone to AA due to the advice of my attorney on something unrelated to alcohol, but that was after I had already stopped drinking).

Anyway, I just want to say this: I had a very bad experiance with a crazed lunatic, which I won't go into, but I went to stay at my mom's in Oklahoma for a while, because the D.A. told me that he didn't know for sure if the lunatic would get sentenced to prison for what he did to me, or if he would just get probation, due to it being a "first offense".

So, I was afraid to go back home until I found out for sure that he was locked up. It turned out that he plea-bargained himself into a lighter sentence. So, I was safe for the time being. But, while I was staying at my mom's I went to a doctor for something, I don't remember, but it turned out that I have a slight chemical imbalance in my brain, and was put on medication for it. When I moved back home, I fully believed that I really wasn't an alcoholic, but was only unknowingly self-medicating, and since I was then on medication, it would be O.K. for me to drink moderately........wrong. Within 3 days, I was back drinking a 1/2 gallon of Vodka a day.

Well, to make a long story as short as I can now, I was then fully under the belief that an alcoholic was always an alcoholic. But a few months later, I moved again, met my current and forever boyfriend. We moved to a different city, he doensn't drink. We just got interested in different things, and finances didn't allow for buying much alcohol anyway. Next thing I knew, I hadn't had a drink in over 2 years, without even trying. A couple of months ago, something really upsetting happened, and my boyfriend bought me a small bottle of Vodka, thinking it might make me feel better. I took a sip, and whew! It tasted awful! As far as I know, it's still in the freezer.

Whole point being.....an alcoholic is not always an alcoholic just because they are told that they are. People change, circumstances change....O.K. end of my ramblings......


//ed for spelling//

[edit on 6/2/2005 by CyberKat]

[edit on 6/2/2005 by CyberKat]



posted on Jun, 3 2005 @ 07:58 AM
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Originally posted by BlissfullIgnorance
Notice how nobody else responds.... because this is stupid. This is a bunch of crazy conspiracy nuts tryong to make something out of nothing. No, Im sorry, not a bunch, just one lunatic. Seriously, alcoholics anonymous? come on whats next, the mickey mouse club? Get realistic


The man is right. some people look at things to closely. AA is a wonderful program that has help 1000000's of downtroten people. some people who post on here really need to get off the computer and go outside.



posted on Jun, 3 2005 @ 08:19 AM
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Originally posted by akilles
Its more of a cult than a society.

Like was noted, you are not free to join, or even leave in some cases.

My biggest problem with AA has always been that you can never drink alcohol responsibly. Ever. You damn drunk!

No wine, no pudding with alcohol, not one of those little candies, its all a slippery slope to drinking yourself into oblivion I tell you!



Believe it or not, there are a large number of people, called 'Alcoholics,' who absolutely cannot have alcohol in their lives. I've witnessed it over, and over, and over. Their rationale is pretty much the same one you pronounce, that they can 'handle it.' I've seen guys lose jobs, families, friends, all their money, end up in jail - all because of alcohol. At that point they are still determined that drinking isn't the problem - everyone else has the problem with them. So, they get out of jail and continue drinking, because of course they can handle it.

For alcoholics, alcohol is essentially cyanide. You have free will, can control all destiny, go eat some cyanide. Sound dumb? So does drinking for an alcoholic.

And no, it's not a cult, it's a tried-and-true program of treatment. They don't ask for your money or personal information (ie 'Anonymous'). Yes, you can come and go as you please. It's up to an individual's free will to learn what they teach or go their own path.



posted on Jun, 3 2005 @ 10:19 AM
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Originally posted by akilles
My biggest problem with AA has always been that you can never drink alcohol responsibly. Ever. You damn drunk!

I think AA probably forces people back to drinking in some cases,


Man, I never thought I would see the day but here it is. We are in agreement. At least on this issue. Back when I tried sobriety, I went to AA. They said that you only had to avoid that first drink. Well after about 11 months of that, I was TERRIFIED of that first drink. I couldn't live like that. So, yup, I ended that. Then I got a counsellor and dealt with my issue, helluva a lot more effective than AA, for me.

Next, AA isn't a secret Society, it's a peer support group that works for many.

And an alcoholic will always be one, the desire never goes away forever. If you work at it sobriety will come but you'll always get those sneaky cravings. Ask an ex-smoker.



posted on Jun, 3 2005 @ 10:56 AM
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Originally posted by Cug
Well besides the nullification of ones Will.

I'd think tho that, to a degree, there has to be something like that, since the Alcoholic's Will and Urge is to drink, destructively. And, also, I am not familiar with how the group operates, but wouldn't they have to try to re-enforce one's Willpower, to stop them from drinking?? Perhaps thats where the 'anti-rational' bit comes in. Rational thinking probably doesn't work with alcoholics. If it did, they wouldn't be alcoholics in the first place, because its a dangerous and irrational thing to be.


It is also bordering on a state supported religious cult

This is an interesting point, I had thought that AA was a 'secular' thing, but apparently its got a strong dose of religion.
But is it a blandish religion?? Can, for example, Hindu Alcholics work with it? Then again, if one was an atheist, or an agnostic or the like, then would one not have to serve time in AA??

I'm trying to find out what people here think a secret society is

Indeed, I suspect that you don't think that AA is a world dominating secret society, but rather, as you clearly note in the opening, want to stimulate discussion and not make this a Masonry Forum. So kudos for that.


After I got out I said to myself I'd better cut that crap out, and I did.

So you can see, your drinking caused problems, you couldn't prevent it from getting you kicked out of the army, and then after that you said 'whoa, thats a wake up call', and were able to stop.
Now imagine the guys that go thru that repeatedly, and never stop.

The definition of an alcoholic was frankly created by the AA to serve their own purposes.

I don't know about that. You got out of hand for a while and drinking was invovled, alcoholism is a serious psychological disorder, thats not babble, the drug is highly addictive, to varying degrees for various people. The ones who have the destructive and extremely powerful addictions, they destroy their lives. If you notice, most anti-addiction programs are rather religious, from what I've heard of any way. There's allways group prayers and 'new agey' type stuff going on. But it seems like application to a higher power is needed for the real alcoholics and addicts to overcome their addiction. If the AA is weird and strict, well, perhaps its because its necessary. I think a better figure than the 5% of people who start AA is, what percentage of hard core alcoholics, the really destructive "Ethanol Addicts" (lets say), that 'recover' did so with AA? Of course, with AA, you are never a recovered alcholic, it can be 20 years, and you are still recovering. Seems 'unfair', but if you have a serious chemical problem with becomming addicted to Ethanol, well, of course you're spending the rest of your life resisting it. And maybe its a good thing to just swear it off completely. Because one year you might be having just a drink a parties, then a few years later its 'i can handle a drink, so now i can drink socially', and then years later, its all back.
I mean, if you were an alcoholic, an addict of ethanol, then it would make sense to say 'its never worth it for me to have 'a beer', because it might go back to the full blown addiction'. Considering that, it would be a failure to say 'i'll risk all that, all that 'recovery' and sobriety, for a stupid drink'.


sebatwork
A large percentage of these people are college students who simply did something stupid, hardly people who feel their lives has become unmanageable due to alcohol.

True enough, but then again, if you're a repeat offender wrt driving while drunk, well, you might very well have a problem, and certianly the people with the problems start off like that. So it might be worth sending them to AA meetings. It probably has a sort of 'scared straight' effect too. I actually had a friend in college, who didnt' drink any more than the rest of us, and he got 'in trouble', with the campus people (not security, not the police, not school admin even), along with the rest of us. Thats what college kids do, they cause and get in trouble. But becuase for one time he happened to get in trouble with two different groups, he had a weird situation. We all went in to the office, get a talking to, and left. He stayed, and the guy was like 'what the heck?" Kid's like 'I'm with the next group". So the dude started really wanting to have him go to a drinking meeting ( i don't recall if it was a campus chapter of AA or whatever). I mean, thats ludicicrous.
But then again, its not like he has AA 'minders' harrasing him at his home or anything either, like with Scientology, which meets the Cult and Secret Society critieria very well.

djohnsto77
Anyone can lookup and go to meetings held practically every night in a large city.

Indeed, I think that and some other things are good arugments for it not being a SS. Secret Societies are usually defined as having Secret Recognition measures, handshakes, codes, passwords, as having secret teachings that are open only to initiates, heck as having an initiation, and as keeping these things secret thru the use of symbology and allegory. Also, the intent is different, a secret society or mystery religion wants to keep the secret knowledge from the profane, who will not properly understand it because they are not willing to work for it, and the like. Whereas AA has no rites or ceremonies or secret knowledge, the books are freely avalable no? They don't try to exclude the 'profane', and i don't think one can count the 'non-alcoholic' as profane nor count the 'Hello, my name is Bob' "Hi bob" as an initiation ceremony.

I think that there's room for discussion tho, but that perhaps AA is more 'cultic' (which is what the above seems to get at) rather than a 'secret society'.


whaaa
My names Allan

HI ALLEN!

Sorry, couldn't resist. Man I'm a dick.

benign
But I don't see why we are even mentioning it on this forum, I don't see any way that this could be a malicious society

A secret society doesn't need to be evil to be discussed here tho, and while we might in the end agree that AA isn't a SS, the discussion is topic and relevant, and I think most of us do find it interesting.


egg mundane
I think that is important for AA members to hang out together outside the meetings

Also if you notice I think that a person in AA is assigned a 'buddy', whom they call when they are "thinkin' 'bout drinkin'" and such. Is it a sensible method to stop one from drinking, or an invasion of 'the cult' into one's personal life?


svcadet32
some people who post on here really need to get off the computer and go outside.

Hmm, maybe we should drop the discussion of AA as being a secret society and look into the mysterious Order of the Arrow? Wearing sashes, members have to go thru an ordeal in which they are phsyically and mentally tested, in secret, yada yada yada....



posted on Jun, 3 2005 @ 11:29 AM
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Originally posted by BlissfullIgnorance
Notice how nobody else responds.... because this is stupid. This is a bunch of crazy conspiracy nuts tryong to make something out of nothing. No, Im sorry, not a bunch, just one lunatic. Seriously, alcoholics anonymous? come on whats next, the mickey mouse club? Get realistic


I have to agree.


Cug

posted on Jun, 3 2005 @ 11:57 AM
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Originally posted by Nygdan

I'd think tho that, to a degree, there has to be something like that, since the Alcoholic's Will and Urge is to drink, destructively. And, also, I am not familiar with how the group operates, but wouldn't they have to try to re-enforce one's Willpower, to stop them from drinking?? Perhaps thats where the 'anti-rational' bit comes in. Rational thinking probably doesn't work with alcoholics. If it did, they wouldn't be alcoholics in the first place, because its a dangerous and irrational thing to be.


Well I'm gona try and keep this short. See that Greek word in my aviator? That is Thelema Greek for Will. One of the main ideals in Thelema is if you follow your Will everything will be perfect, if everyone follows their Will there would be no conflicts between people. An example I use a lot is those stories you hear about some bigwig wallstreet type who quits and becomes a goat farmer and is much happer with his way in life.

When alcoholics have their 4'th martini this is not a Willed action, it is an unconscious action, thus they are not following their true Will.



This is an interesting point, I had thought that AA was a 'secular' thing, but apparently its got a strong dose of religion.
But is it a blandish religion?? Can, for example, Hindu Alcholics work with it? Then again, if one was an atheist, or an agnostic or the like, then would one not have to serve time in AA??


Well AA forces you to have a God (any God, much like the masons).. There have been some lawsuits when an atheist was ordered by the court to go to AA for just this reason.



posted on Jun, 3 2005 @ 12:13 PM
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I can't it hide any longer.

Yes, we are a cult. Damn good one being it is just now questioned.
We sit outside bars more than cops do, looking for recruits to initiate (10 points each)
The "can't leave" bit, kinda true: you can leave, but that first handshake you got from a member actually had a skin-pricker in it, you were tagged with a micro-implant, we will always no where you are and what you are doing.
The closed meetings are the nite we sacrifice little babies and virgins (babies are easier to find)


K, back to rationality. Just venting at the ridiculous theme this thread is.

Seems the author of that little write-up has a serious alcohol problem, could not banish it with AA, and instead is now venting his own demise targeting AA for the outlet. (to that rehab counsellor that posted - you did not see this theory? That's it, you're FIRED !! lolol)

I have been in AA & NA for just under a decade. Buddy, there is NOTHING cultish about this group. Having been forced to believe ideologies as a child/teen/young-adult I would be the FIRST to see any devious actions taking place, no matter how subtle. If you classify this group becuase of its preceedings and guidelines (note: they are GUIDELINES, not rules to adhere or you're excommunicated) then EVERY RELIGION on the Earth is by FAR more of a cult than AA. Jeez.

For those bashing AA and still drinking, sounds like you just are not ready yet. If you are not, then that's all there is to it, you're not. Not EVERYone that gets sober goes to AA, not everyone that goes to AA gets sober, this is not a pre-requisite. If you think you can quite and stay quite on your own then more power to you from everything I am - no matter the means (non-harmful) to quit drinking, if you are not like I once was, then it only makes me smile . If you think you cant quit "drinking hard but just drink here and there", only think I could insert here would be a laugh-track from a TV comedy.

I was going to copy/paste/formulate replies, but then I realized the thread subject and quickly killed the thought of investing energy to such a laughable subject.


AA a cult, would that make NA the NWO?

Damn, I need a drink & a hit now. That counsellor still here? lol

Misfit



posted on Jun, 3 2005 @ 12:27 PM
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Originally posted by Cug
Well AA forces you to have a God


10 years of AA and that's the first I've heard that one.

Dude have you actually attended meetings? Or are you just going by what you've read?

One is never forced to believe in ANY God. It is the way off AA to work that we believe I am just a nothing in this world, that I need help to kick the booze/drugs because I obviously could not do it alone. I have NEVER been to a meeting you speak of. If an Athiest wants to quit, he is advised that the belief in "something" greater than he is exists. even if a damn OAK TREE. I chose the Walnut tree in the backyard. It was by far greater than I, I couldn't hit it and make it hurt, I couldn't curse it and make it cry, I couldnt ram my truck into it and have anything other than a FUBAR'd truck. nothing to make it less than what it is - it was more than I, so I used it as my object of prayer that is needed for the 12 steps to work.

As for the lawsuite - damn, is that your stock in "forcing god"?. Sounds like an alchy disgruntled of the whole aspect of AA, subsequently suing to get out of it. Or he went, tried, and failed - anger issues being vented. Mixed with - this is America, I can sue you (and in many courts win) because you said an org I attent is a cult. Supeona is in the mail.

In any case - Niether AA nor NA have professed nor instructed that a belief in a God is pre-requisite. It would be pretty damn ignorant of an Athiest in recovery to tell a new person he HAS to believe in God. Ugh

Misfit


Cug

posted on Jun, 3 2005 @ 12:42 PM
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Originally posted by Misfit
If an Athiest wants to quit, he is advised that the belief in "something" greater than he is exists. even if a damn OAK TREE. I chose the Walnut tree in the backyard.


Another sign of a secret society.. members get angry when it's criticized
jk

How would a walnut tree help with steps 6-7?

6. Were entirely ready to have the Walnut tree remove all these defects of character.
7. Humbly asked the Walnut tree to remove our shortcomings.



posted on Jun, 3 2005 @ 12:56 PM
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Way damn hard to be angry at a thought (AA=secret) so unequivicably ridiculous.


Originally posted by Cug
How would a walnut tree help with steps 6-7?

6. Were entirely ready to have the Walnut tree remove all these defects of character.
7. Humbly asked the Walnut tree to remove our shortcomings.


It's not about the "who", it's about the "what". The "what" is that we can not quit on our own, that we must surrender our addictions to somehting that is stronger than us. For many it is God, as they already believe in one, for me, it was as I stated. The simple act of asking for help, re-affirms to a mans thoughts that he can not do it alone. The act of asking for help instills strength in us.


Originally posted by Misfit
Have you actually attended meetings? Or are you just going by what you've read?

You did not answer my question.

Misfit

[edit on 3-6-2005 by Misfit]


Cug

posted on Jun, 3 2005 @ 01:05 PM
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Originally posted by Misfit

It's not about the "who", it's about the "what". The "what" is that we can not quit on our own, that we must surrender our addictions to somehting that is stronger than us. For many it is God, as they already believe in one, for me, it was as I stated. The simple act of asking for help, re-affirms to a mans thoughts that he can not do it alone. The act of asking for help instills strength in us.


Thanks for the answer, but I just don't see how a tree (an object) could help.. now if you expanded it to a nature biased religion I can see how.


Originally posted by Misfit
Have you actually attended meetings? Or are you just going by what you've read?

You did not answer my question.

I have attended about a dozen meetings with a girlfriend who was a member (AA and AN)



posted on Jun, 3 2005 @ 01:10 PM
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Originally posted by Misfit
(to that rehab counsellor that posted - you did not see this theory? That's it, you're FIRED !! lolol)


Who me? If you meant me, lol, no, not a counsellor, just known some people who have been through the program (and NA for that matter, too). And I find it disturbing when people define words based on their understanding of them, rather than on what the difinition actually is. Hence, my definitions, then my expasion upon my understanding and oppinions of the program. (But I'm sure you understoodnd that already)


Originally posted by Misfit
Damn, I need a drink & a hit now. That counsellor still here? lol

If you didn't mean me, then I have a joint and a shot of Jaegarmeister waitin for ya....



posted on Jun, 3 2005 @ 01:21 PM
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I don't know about a walnut tree but I call it the Sacred Pineapple. Whatever works for you. A higher power is advised basically because you appearently haven't been able to do it on your own.


BTW, if you have NO idea about addiction I'd advise you to be a little more tollerant of those that have had to deal with a hardship greater than anything you've ever had to deal with mate.


Cug

posted on Jun, 3 2005 @ 01:33 PM
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Originally posted by intrepid
BTW, if you have NO idea about addiction I'd advise you to be a little more tollerant of those that have had to deal with a hardship greater than anything you've ever had to deal with mate.


I did deal with it. twice alcohol and nicotine.



posted on Jun, 3 2005 @ 01:40 PM
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Originally posted by Cug

Originally posted by intrepid
BTW, if you have NO idea about addiction I'd advise you to be a little more tollerant of those that have had to deal with a hardship greater than anything you've ever had to deal with mate.


I did deal with it. twice alcohol and nicotine.


I seriously doubt that with responses like this:


Originally posted by Cug

Originally posted by Misfit
If an Athiest wants to quit, he is advised that the belief in "something" greater than he is exists. even if a damn OAK TREE. I chose the Walnut tree in the backyard.


Another sign of a secret society.. members get angry when it's criticized
jk

How would a walnut tree help with steps 6-7?

6. Were entirely ready to have the Walnut tree remove all these defects of character.
7. Humbly asked the Walnut tree to remove our shortcomings.


Pretty easy to make light of thing from behind a keyboard. The fact that you used the word "did" in dealing with addiction shows me that you haven't. Smokes maybe but an alcoholic "deals" with it for life. No frickin past tense there.


Cug

posted on Jun, 3 2005 @ 02:00 PM
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Intrepid

Frankly that is the MOST offensive post I have ever read on the internet. You have no idea what I went thou, and in no way are you qualified to judge me. The next time you spend a day or weeks weeping over you inability to control yourself, then we can talk.




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