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Health Alcoholics Anonymous AA Sham Criticism 2006

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#21 Anastashia

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Posted 11 June 2006 - 06:51 PM

As you so helpfully highlighted the results of your search on the AMA link GS here's all the article said that referred to AA.

Quote

no studies existed that adequately evaluated the independent effect of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA)
Doesn't say it didn't help just that no study had been done to evaluate it's effectiveness.

Quote

In a subsequent trial among employees referred for alcohol problems, patients who received inpatient treatment and mandatory AA follow-up were more likely to be abstinent at 2-year follow-up (37% vs. 16%) than patients assigned to mandatory AA only.
Well surprise, surprise again doesn't say that AA is ineffective, says it's more effective when combined with inpatient treatment.

So far nothing about spontaneous recovery rate in any of these links.

Edited by Anastashia, 11 June 2006 - 06:56 PM.

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#22 emsparks

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Posted 11 June 2006 - 06:56 PM

View PostAnastashia, on Jun 11 2006, 07:51 PM, said:


Well surprise, surprise again doesn't say that AA is ineffective, says it's more effective when presented in an inpatient environment….

Taking this a step further; among the first things you are told at an AA meeting is to get professional help along with the AA program…
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#23 waterpanther

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Posted 11 June 2006 - 07:06 PM

Oh, surprise, surprise again.  Follow the links from the Baldwin site to their St. Jude Thaddeus Retreat House FAQ and you'll find that they are very much in the rehab business.  A six-weeks course of treatment comes in at $9000.00+, and if that doesn't do it for you, you can shell out $12,000.00+ for more.  There's a non-refundable down payment, too.

AA is free.

Disinterested research, my aunt.

Follow the $$$$$$$$. . . .
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#24 Natolii

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Posted 11 June 2006 - 07:11 PM

Unlike the original poster, I have sources on both sides of the issue. However, I do take major issue to the inflamatory way that GSmonks is addressing those that have spoken up. If personal experience is not good enough, than that is her/his problem. I am calling all those links to be biased and one-sided.

The fact remains that numerous people have gone through the program and have had positive results. NOT everyone has the last name Kennedy and can afford the Mayo Clinic for Detox.

The fact s/he is chose to flame those that speak out against them...

As for proof...

http://pubs.niaaa.ni...ations/aa49.htm

Quote

The beneficial effects of AA may be attributable in part to the replacement of the participant's social network of drinking friends with a fellowship of AA members who can provide motivation and support for maintaining abstinence (4,10). In addition, AA's approach often results in the development of coping skills, many of which are similar to those taught in more structured psychosocial treatment settings, thereby leading to reductions in alcohol consumption (4,11).

http://pubs.niaaa.ni..._HTML/Facts.pdf

http://www.drugabuse...s/Vol2Refs.html

http://www.collegedr...olismFacts.aspx

http://www.drugabuse...diagnosis6.html

I also know what I been through as survivor of abuse at the hands of an alcoholic.


Also another source::

Penn and Teller's "b*llsh*t", Season 2, Episode 11

They did their own look into this issue, but unlike the author here, they at least looked at both sides of the issue. They side against 12 Step Programs and they looked at the numbers.

THere is a difference between blindly quoting biased inforamtion found on the web, and doing actual research.

I sincerely doubt any research has been done in this case.
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#25 Dev F

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Posted 11 June 2006 - 07:31 PM

View PostNatolii, on Jun 11 2006, 07:11 PM, said:

Unlike the original poster, I have sources on both sides of the issue. However, I do take major issue to the inflamatory way that GSmonks is addressing those that have spoken up. If personal experience is not good enough, than that is her/his problem.
GS may not be arguing in the most respectful manner possible, but his fundamental reasoning is sound. Rationally speaking, personal experience is never good enough to justify any sort of medical treatment. Can you imagine if pharmaceutical companies were allowed to dispense drugs because they worked for the CEO's uncle and the guy down the street?

Any procedure that really, truly works will be capable of withstanding rigorous statistical analysis. And if AA doesn't, GS is absolutely justified in calling it a failure.

And if you think GS is wrong, it seems to me that the reasonable course of action is to produce the evidence that proves it (or explain why GS's evidence doesn't prove the contrary), instead of relying on anecdote and indignation, which prove nothing.


Quote

I am calling all those links to be biased and one-sided.
Did you actually review the research contained in these links? I took a quick glance through some of it, and it doesn't seem to be obviously flawed. Maybe a more careful review of the material would reveal weaknesses, but no one who's arguing with GS seems to have done that.

There's a difference, after all, between being one-sided and being wrong. Evidence is evidence, no matter what the agenda of the person who provides it.

#26 Tricia

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Posted 11 June 2006 - 07:34 PM

View Postgsmonks, on Jun 11 2006, 07:45 PM, said:

I'm not sure why no one has yet moved to shut down AA, but I'm guessing the reason is its association with religion, which is how its members are able to garner false credibility and hide from being held to account.

And hence the main reason you object to AA, GS....

Remember I am one of those who read and participated in your personal theory that Lost was all about nothing but religious propaganda

Gsmonks from Lost, What's it's really all about thread
Gs said in post #60

Quote

I guess it depends who you are, Delvo. I see anything to do with religion that's aimed at the general public as propaganda. It is my view that religious beliefs are without foundation, and are actually about delusion, propaganda and, it must be said, marketing strategies and therefore business.

also see post #69

I'm only posting this so you don't have to repeat yourself.

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#27 Anastashia

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Posted 11 June 2006 - 07:43 PM

Dev F I followed three of the links, including one where several of the other links are from the same site. None of those three had any statistics such as GS described. The site that he made multiple links to is laughable. I've posted my issue with it in an earlier post.

What I think GS is doing is posting multiple links, some of which may be authoritative sites that support his positions, in an effort to overwhelm us with so much that we'll give up. Then he's saying people aren't making the effort to look at all of the sites. I honestly doubt he's making an effort to engage in civil discourse on the matter.

Edited by Anastashia, 11 June 2006 - 07:45 PM.

The Science Fiction Examiner

In the quiet of Midden a young child grows.
Does the salvation of his people grow with him?
"Everything we do now is for the child"

"I made a mistake,
just follow along,
isn't that what tyranny is all about?"
Sheila M---my Praise Band Director

For as long as I shall live
I will testify to love
I'll be a witness in the silences when words are not enough
Testify to Love

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#28 Rhea

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Posted 11 June 2006 - 07:47 PM

View PostSolar Wind, on Jun 11 2006, 04:42 PM, said:

~shrug~  I don't see why it's so hard for people who actually want to be free of the effects of alcohol to just refrain from buying the bottle or going to the bar ... but maybe that's because I'm not addicted. AFAIK, people who drink heavily usually have some underlying problem in their lives they're trying to hide from. To me, addressing the underlying problem (or problems) seems more likely to succeed than getting a bunch of such people together as a group to bewail how powerless they are over their condition and tell their sad stories.

The fact that you don't understand says that there are no addicts in your family. Lucky you.

My father and brothers were both alcoholic. My brother has been many years sober, and did it with the help of AA.  My father, OTOH, drank himself to death. His only sober years came from his attendance in AA.

Having someone to reach out to and support you who understands what you feel is priceless. AA doesn't work for everyone - but then, for any group of addicts  there's never going to be one program that works. It's whatever works for you.

I spent years going to Adult Children of Alcoholics meetings as well as the local program for adults who were molested as children, and it got me through some of the worst years of my life. I haven't been been for many years, but I would go in a heartbeat if I though I ever needed to.

It's extremely condsecending of GSMonks to assume that every person who ever went to AA was somehow sucked in because they were either too addicted or too stupid to know they were joining a cult.

I object to GS' characterization of AA as a cult, period. It's a tool, nothing more, but a tool that has help millions of people get their act together and kick their addiction.

The associated groups also teach wives/husbands and children how to stop feeding the loved ones' addiction and save themselves - also extremely valuable. If you don't understand the nature of the addiction you can't understand how to cope with an addict in the family.

Edited by Rhea, 11 June 2006 - 07:50 PM.

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#29 Spectacles

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Posted 11 June 2006 - 08:05 PM

The "Baldwin Research Center" seems awfully suspicious, gs. Looks like some people in recovery found a way to design their own rehab facilities and the site is a pretty classic sales pitch: tear down the competition and present yourself as the authority. Take another look at it:

http://www.baldwinre...oject1991-1.cfm

Quote

The most important credential the authors have is being recovered alcoholics and drug addicts. The second most important credential is that none are psychologists, therapists or counselors.

The authors do not offer this work as a research paper, but rather a report of the current state of affairs with respect to the drug and alcohol treatment and prevention. Additionally, the authors do not offer this work as a comprehensive report of those industries in that such a report would require volumes more to address the subject.

This report is designed to provide the reader with enough of an understanding of the industry, along with its attendant successes and failures, to determine for themselves the appropriate course of action in the treatment of people with drug and alcohol problems.

And they just so happen to have an appropriate treatment, as WP points out above.

AA is not to everyone's liking, that's for sure. I've known people who benefitted from it and others who haven't. Out of respect for those who have benefitted, though, I'd be awfully reluctant, personally, to knock it.

Funny story: a friend has been sober for about thirty years and has been active in AA for the duration. She's an atheist, so at first she had a tough time with the "higher power" thing. But she really, really wanted to get sober, so she shared this with her sponsor. Her sponsor wisely advised her not to get hung up on it. He said "higher power" was a vague enough term to be just about anything. So she made her "higher power" the radiator in the meeting room.
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#30 gsmonks

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Posted 11 June 2006 - 08:18 PM

View PostRhea, on Jun 11 2006, 06:47 PM, said:

View PostSolar Wind, on Jun 11 2006, 04:42 PM, said:

~shrug~  I don't see why it's so hard for people who actually want to be free of the effects of alcohol to just refrain from buying the bottle or going to the bar ... but maybe that's because I'm not addicted. AFAIK, people who drink heavily usually have some underlying problem in their lives they're trying to hide from. To me, addressing the underlying problem (or problems) seems more likely to succeed than getting a bunch of such people together as a group to bewail how powerless they are over their condition and tell their sad stories.

The fact that you don't understand says that there are no addicts in your family. Lucky you.

My father and brothers were both alcoholic. My brother has been many years sober, and did it with the help of AA.  My father, OTOH, drank himself to death. His only sober years came from his attendance in AA.

Having someone to reach out to and support you who understands what you feel is priceless. AA doesn't work for everyone - but then, for any group of addicts  there's never going to be one program that works. It's whatever works for you.

I spent years going to Adult Children of Alcoholics meetings as well as the local program for adults who were molested as children, and it got me through some of the worst years of my life. I haven't been been for many years, but I would go in a heartbeat if I though I ever needed to.

It's extremely condsecending of GSMonks to assume that every person who ever went to AA was somehow sucked in because they were either too addicted or too stupid to know they were joining a cult.

I object to GS' characterization of AA as a cult, period. It's a tool, nothing more, but a tool that has help millions of people get their act together and kick their addiction.

The associated groups also teach wives/husbands and children how to stop feeding the loved ones' addiction and save themselves - also extremely valuable. If you don't understand the nature of the addiction you can't understand how to cope with an addict in the family.

Nothing personal is intended, Rhea, but what you and others are offering is hearsay, not evidence.

The evidence as put forth by many reputable study organisations is this:

AA's rate of success is around 3-5 %.

Spontanious quitting is around 3-5  %.

All AA is doing is trying to take credit for that 3-5 %. End of story.

Waterpanther mentioned that treatment centres cost money. This is a non-argument. Of course they cost money. They're not subsidised. They cost about the same as clinics, which are also treatment centres. Their rate of effectiveness, unlike AA, is something that continually has to undergo government scrutiny in order for them to justify their existence.

AA is free, you say? Of course they're free! You can't charge money for giving bogus treatment. And the easiest way to weasel out of being scrutinised and taken to account is to call yourself a religious organisation, which is what 12-step programmes are.

What's really sick about AA is the manner in which the legal/judicial establishments can force a person into AA "treatment", aided and abeted by the medical establishment.

If AA were subject to the same degree of scrutiny as a treatment centre, they'd be shut down in a week. They're a bogus organisation that was founded by and is run by alcoholics. That's tantamount to having an insane assylum run by lunatics.

You must realise that if this were a court of law, every time one of you said, "I know someone who . . .", all I'd have to do is stand and say, "Objection: hearsay" or "Objection: calls for speculation", and that would be the end of your "rebuttal".

You can't present "I know someone . . ." as an argument. There's something called prima facie evidence, which means that if your evidence is a person, you have to produce that person. You can't speak for someone who isn't present.

Delvo stated: "Actually, no, because you're talking about two different sets of people . . ."

Again, Delvo, here's how it works:

3-5 % of people spontaneously quit drinking. AA's actual success rate is around 3-5%.

So tell me, how does this break down into two different sets of people? That 3-5 % means that any part of the population that's tested quits at a rate of 3-5 %, and part of that population is AA's so-call "success" stories.

The "higher power" thing is a non-issue as far as I'm concerned. Whether people believe in such a thing or not, their statistical rate of alcoholism and quitting is identical.
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#31 Natasha Bennett

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Posted 11 June 2006 - 08:22 PM

Quote

You can't charge money for giving bogus treatment.

It's a moot point, but yes you can. Otherwise we wouldn't have spam.  :blush:

#32 gsmonks

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Posted 11 June 2006 - 08:25 PM

I know of one other cult that's very much like AA and is likewise founded on a book by a crackpot:

Dianetics by L. Ron Hubbard and Scientology.
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#33 gsmonks

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Posted 11 June 2006 - 08:26 PM

View PostTopaz, on Jun 11 2006, 07:22 PM, said:

Quote

You can't charge money for giving bogus treatment.

It's a moot point, but yes you can. Otherwise we wouldn't have spam.  :blush:

Ouch! Good point.  :blink:
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#34 gsmonks

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Posted 11 June 2006 - 08:30 PM

BTW, guys, I hope you won't hold it against me if I run out of ammunition and fall back on good ol' bluster 'n' loud noise?
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#35 Anastashia

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Posted 11 June 2006 - 08:33 PM

3-5 % quit without AA
3-5 % quit with AA
AA has no negative effect on quitting

Your arguement against AA is therefore moot
The Science Fiction Examiner

In the quiet of Midden a young child grows.
Does the salvation of his people grow with him?
"Everything we do now is for the child"

"I made a mistake,
just follow along,
isn't that what tyranny is all about?"
Sheila M---my Praise Band Director

For as long as I shall live
I will testify to love
I'll be a witness in the silences when words are not enough
Testify to Love

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#36 Delvo

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Posted 11 June 2006 - 08:40 PM

View Postgsmonks, on Jun 11 2006, 07:19 PM, said:

That AA's success rate is the same as no treatment at all has been demonstrated time and again. There is nothing here to argue.

It has been demonstrated, time and time again, that people who recover from alchoholism will do so on their own, with or without AA's help.

View Postgsmonks, on Jun 11 2006, 07:28 PM, said:

The facts and endless studies speak for themselves- those that recover would have done so without AA.... Read the statistics: the spontaneous recovery rate is the same as AA's so-called "success" rate. This means that those who recover are the very people who WOULD have recovered anyway.
These posts were both made AFTER I explained why the statistical logic in them was invalid the first time and thus your conclusion couldn't stand even on its own merits. But instead of dealing with that in any way, they merely repeated the earlier statistically invalid claim as if it hadn't been countered at all.

#37 Delvo

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Posted 11 June 2006 - 08:53 PM

View Postgsmonks, on Jun 11 2006, 09:18 PM, said:

Delvo, here's how it works:

3-5 % of people spontaneously quit drinking. AA's actual success rate is around 3-5%.

So tell me, how does this break down into two different sets of people?
Some of them went to AA and some didn't. That's two groups. What your ideas depend on is that quitting is equally difficult for both groups. But that's not necessarily the case. It could also be that people for whom it's especially difficult are more likely to join AA, or less likely to do so.

#38 G1223

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Posted 11 June 2006 - 08:59 PM

I have seen this as an attempt to stir the pot.
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#39 Natolii

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Posted 11 June 2006 - 09:07 PM

DevF,

I have seen these tactics before, however. I have seen them used by people that have said RPG's are the work of the devil and encourage satanism. Welp, I used to work with the Amethyst Alliance in debunking said "theories."

I have posted counter arguements and medical journals. I have posted supporting sources as well.

None of these were addressed...

Instead you, DevF, chose to defend Gsmonks stance even though I posted counter evidence, and said poster REFUSED to discuss the evidence. I posted medical facts and studies.

This isn't a debate, this is one persons attempt to ram a concept down other's throats and anyone that speaks against the topic is only speculating or is a bunch of jokers.
"I have on this board written pages and pages pointing out the science, and I will be dammed if I am going to attempt to reach closed minds that don’t even know how to use a reference library." -emsparks (Fenton E. Magill, dec. 1/25/07 - Love you Dad)

#40 Shalamar

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Posted 11 June 2006 - 09:30 PM

Oh I can produce the 'evidence' - I will gladly bring my brother in here - so don't you dare call my post 'hearsay' for it isn't and I CAN produce the 'evidence'

I don't care how you feel about it - if you want to call it a cult and despise it, hey, what ever works for you -

but as others have said - it worked for my brother -

so - from one member to another  - PLEASE  STOP being so inflamatory!

That is not the way to conduct a civil discussion.

Edited by Shalamar, 11 June 2006 - 09:32 PM.

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