The truth is … I don't like A.A.; I didn't like it from the day I started. I felt like I was in a cult. People were chanting, and behaving arrogantly as if they had the only truth — 13 years later (2005) people still behave in that manner, in spite of what was written over 50 years ago; In the 12 & 12 on page 129 it says,
“We believe there isn't a fellowship on this earth which lavishes more devoted care upon its individual members; surely there is none which more jealously guards the individual's right to think, talk, and act as he wishes. No A.A. Can compel another to do anything; nobody can be punished or expelled. Our twelve steps to recovery are suggestions.”
Another interesting excerpt is written in the book, “Pass It On” on page 172, Bill wrote a letter to a member in Richmond, Virginia dated October 30, 1940. Concerning his break from the Oxford Group. The excerpt reads:
“ It was discovered that all forms of coercion, both direct and indirect, had to be dropped. We found that 'Checking' in the hands of amateurs too often resulted in criticism, and that resulted in resentment, which is probably the most serious problem the average alcoholic is troubled with.”
The excerpt pretty much explains it; Coercion of any type is a selfish, self-seeking act that doesn't result in anything positive for an alcoholic. This is the crust of my point; I was forced to go into A.A., because A.A. was the only game in town and in fear that I would not be accepted, I had to do as they did, talked as they would talk, and believe as they believed. Eventually that became confusing to me. I had inner conflict; something inside was telling me this doesn't feel right. Inevitably I began rebelling against the establishment. I felt like a rebel fighting for a cause — for my self respect, my dignity, my freedom of thought, and choice in actions, in which those were stripped the day I entered A.A.