12-Step Coercion - page 4

the following presentation was given at the may 21, 2004 open forum of the north carolina board of nursing meeting:... Read More

  1. by   Havin' A Party!
    Separately spoke to two folks at work last night that have been through the AA program here in the Northeast.

    Asked them if, from their experience, they could say whether or not the program had a substantial religious component to it. Both immediately responded with: "most definitely."

    Just passing this along, as I've no detailed knowledge / experience with the program.
  2. by   Havin' A Party!
    Forgot to mention that I've no problem with the "forcing" of some people into some programs, in general.

    Depending on the individual and how the "forcing" is addressed, think it can still be beneficial and conclude in a worthwhile outcome.
  3. by   tommyperkins
    several people here have denied that aa is religious. for those of you who have not read the 12-steps here they are. a fourth grader could easily see that the steps are religious and are a detailed prescription for one's relationship with their god.



    http://www.alcoholics-anonymous.org/default/en_about_aa_sub.cfm?subpageid=84&pageid=13



    aa denies that it is religious and teaches its members to deny that it is religious with chants such as "spiritual, not religious."



    http://www.alcoholics-anonymous.org/default/en_about_aa_sub.cfm?subpageid=83&pageid=13



    the reason aa denies that it is religious is because aa is one of the most dishonest organizations in the world. it depends on getting its conscripts through government coercion and fully cooperates with this coercion.



    http://www.alcoholics-anonymous.org/default/en_pdfs/mg-05_coopwithcourt.pdf



    one of aa's traditions claims attraction rather than promotion, yet its official published policy is pro-coercion.



    here is an excellent article written by a radiologist who was coerced into the 12-step program as a condition for a liver transplant.



    http://www.morerevealed.com/articles/kirton.htm



    the following are the words of a psychiatrist who was forced into 12-step treatment. the story was first published in the journal of rational recovery under the title, "[font=baskerville]brainwashing 101, or how i survived 12-step rehab":



    [font=baskerville]"i was told that "addicts do not like following rules," so many arbitrary rules were imposed to essentially break us of the bad habit of thinking independently. they wanted to break my will, so that i would "snap," and become one of them, obedient and grateful to the program. . . .

    [font=baskerville]i was told from the moment that i arrived . . . [that if i] didn't complete their "simple program," there was a 100% chance i would drink again, and would lose my career and my family, and would ultimately die from drinking.

    [font=baskerville]. . . i was not allowed to question anything about aa, especially the religious aspect[font=baskerville].[font=baskerville] they kept telling me that my thinking was stinking, that my intelligence was a liability and was causing my problems, and that i had better check my psychiatric knowledge at the door and stop thinking.[font=baskerville]""

    [font='times new roman']http://www.morerevealed.com/books/coc/chapter8.htm
  4. by   VivaLasViejas
    To the OP: Okay, if you don't want people 'coerced' into attending AA or NA meetings, what would you suggest they be mandated to do? Or do you think all treatment should be voluntary, meaning there is no real accountability to the state which issued the nurse's license, let alone the public, and thus no assurance that he or she is even making an effort toward recovery?

    Granted, not every nurse who is accused of impropriety in dealing with narcotics is guilty, and not every nurse who diverts drugs is an addict. And NO treatment program, regardless of whether it's held in a church basement or on the top floor of a professional building, can guarantee success. But there are enough substance abusers out there that states have decided to require certain things of licensees who are presumed to have a problem, and that is as it should be. If not AA/NA, then what? And why so judgmental toward the boat builders and topless dancers and factory workers---do they have nothing of value to offer, simply because they occupy a lower position on the socioeconomic food chain than you do?

    I rest my case. :stone
  5. by   Nurse Ratched
    I've tried to keep up with this thread - has anyone mentioned Rational Recovery as an alternative?
  6. by   sleepless in norman
    enjoyed your reading and it is a breath of fresh air to see someone else being fed up with the intrusiveness of some state boards, read my story on this site entitled "down and dirty in the oklahoma state board of nursing" by me sleepless in norman. good luck.
    Quote from tommyperkins
    the following presentation was given at the may 21, 2004 open forum of the north carolina board of nursing meeting:



    http://www.angelfire.com/journal/forcedaa/ncbon.html
  7. by   vwgirl
    Quote from Nurse Ratched
    I've tried to keep up with this thread - has anyone mentioned Rational Recovery as an alternative?

    I know several people who've gotten sober through Rational Recovery, so I am all for it (except it makes it sound like NA provides Irrational Recovery!); again, whatever gets ya clean and enables you to live the life you were meant to have is a good thing. But I get the feeling that those who oppose mandatory treatment programs will oppose RR as well, if it is mandated. I am not so sure it is the "religious" aspect that is not sitting well; could it be the "mandatory" part? Just a thought.....
  8. by   Nurse Ratched
    Quote from vwgirl
    I am not so sure it is the "religious" aspect that is not sitting well; could it be the "mandatory" part?
    That's what I'm wondering. I guess my thought is that, as someone said much earlier, our licensure is a privilege, not a right. If we mess up and have our capability of carrying that licensure called into question, then we are subject to whatever mandates are placed upon us by our governing body. I can understand the objection to a religiously based mandation (and both sides of whether or not AA is religious have already been argued) but hopefully we're not questioning the need for treatment of some sort in cases where drug abuse is an issue.
  9. by   SRbear
    [QUOTE=Lemonhead]
    Quote from CHATSDALE
    The Whole Point Or Going To These Meetings Is One Helping The Other...i Promise You That "professionals" You Go To Are Not Any More Capable Of Helping You Than Someone Who Has Been There

    Wow, that's a scary thought. I certainly hope the professionals are better equipped to help us, because the "been there, done's that" may not have the simple social skills to walk another person through some extremely traumatic events, regardless of their own experiences. I can tell another person what it was like to have cancer, but I surely am NOT equipped to treat them.
    Case in point--this happened locally over 3 years ago. 26 year old man court ordered to AA following a domestic abuse charge, following several months of alcohol abuse. He was NOT ordered to anger management, nor any other type of professional counseling. He obtained the obligatory "sponsor", a man that had been a lifelong alcoholic and worked in a boat factory. The guys wife attended AA with him and one day after a meeting, went to the "sponsor" and told him that her hubby was acting irritable--the sponsor went a little off the wall--asked the kid if he'd been doing his Big Book reading assignments, his nightly prayers and phone calls...the kid said no, the sponsor said, "well, ya wouldn't be feeling this way if you'd read your book and prayed"....next day, kid rapes and strangles to death his wife in front of his 2 young children....do ya think a professionally trained, college educated mental health therapist would have told the guy to go home and read a book? So, yep, the boat maker had "been there, done that" and hardly handled the situation appropriately--on the contrary, he did nothing short of killing that young woman...
    In response to the "too angry to be objective." "Anger" can propel a person to educate themselves and understand every aspect of a cause they are pursuing..ignorance does not.
    To SRbear, I am so happy that you shared your story. People that have not been through the nightmare of a false allegation, cannot even fathom the horror of it. There are so many nurses that have made false admissions just to save their license. When you have a prosecutor or even board agent tell you that if you do not "admit" to a problem and enter in to a "confidential" program, you WILL face state and federal felony charges and permanent licensure records..and possibly a prison sentence..who wouldn't "admit" and jump through whatever hoops necessary to preserve your livelyhood. I'm sorry you had to go through that and hope you are getting through all of it okay. What every single nurse MUST understand, that something as "simple" as a documentation error can lead to very serious charges--and the board DOES N
    OT have to "prove" guilt. They simply have to show evidence.
    I think I love you !!!
  10. by   SRbear
    I could tell many a story about what happened while I was being "treated", what happened and what did not happen, what should have happened. I could tell you of one person required by the board to attend 1 meeting a week for 4 years, to go to 90 AA meetings in 90 days, but never attended even one, never went to an AA meeting or had a sponsor, never even read the 12 steps, or said 1 single prayer. My point..well, that person is still a nurse today.
  11. by   Tweety
    Quote from Nurse Ratched
    That's what I'm wondering. I guess my thought is that, as someone said much earlier, our licensure is a privilege, not a right. If we mess up and have our capability of carrying that licensure called into question, then we are subject to whatever mandates are placed upon us by our governing body. I can understand the objection to a religiously based mandation (and both sides of whether or not AA is religious have already been argued) but hopefully we're not questioning the need for treatment of some sort in cases where drug abuse is an issue.
    I think there's a lot of bitterness on this board by non-addicts that have fallen through the cracks and had "treatment" forced. I probably would feel the same way. I'm sure there are plenty of victums of unfair judgement out there.

    But what can you do? SRbear says he/she has a story to tell. But any of us in nursing for any length of time also has some stories to tell about addicts. Like the nurse that took 500 mg of Demerol and tried to work with critical care patients in my hospital, on and on and on.

    I agree AA is "religious" while not actually being a religion and shouldn't be forced. But I'm afraid I agree with mandated treatment of some sort. If AA is the only treatment available in the area they should still have to do something, although I'm not sure what.

    The hallmark of addiction is denial, which makes it a tough issue to wade through the innocents and the addict. I'm afraid some innocents, as those on this board have stated, fall through the cracks.

    Good discussion so far.
  12. by   Tweety
    Lemmonhead states "In response to the "too angry to be objective." "Anger" can propel a person to educate themselves and understand every aspect of a cause they are pursuing..ignorance does not. "

    As I'm the one who made the statement you're responding to, let me say that's an excellent point.

    By calling us "ignorant" as you have a couple of times, I presume you mean that we don't know what it's like to be falsely accused of being an addict and thrown into the system. So yes, I am ignorant of that. But don't assume I'm not educated on addiction or 12-Step programs.

    I apologize for saying you weren't objective enough to discuss this from all sides, as you've obviously taken into consideration all sides. But you're anger and bitterness is intense. Understandably so.
  13. by   vwgirl
    Quote from Lemonhead
    This topic is of the utmost importance in this nursing forum--there are many nurses that DO lose licensure over these issues--because they cannot comply with the demands of meetings that conflict with personal, religious beliefs. These meetings are not, in any way,monitored and there is no way for any person to state unequivocally what does and does not happen in them. If a nurse can prove abstinence in another program or another method, that should be acceptable--and THAT defines "option".
    I agree that there should be other options; random hair sampling would be one. (Not urine, 'cause if you really are an addict, a fake clean urine is too easy to score!) But what are the demands that the 12 step program places? In my decade in NA nothing has ever been demanded of me, not to share, not to show up, not even to stop using. Things are suggested, as these are the things that have been proven to work with previous addicts, but whether I took these suggestions was, and is, totally up to me. Or did you mean the demand by the BON of having to attend the meeings? I'm not being sarcastic, just genuinely curious.

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