AA MINORITY REPORT 2013

Click here

Thursday, 27 November 2014

Alcohol research – National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence



ncadd.org

Recovery is possible.  In fact, we estimate that almost 20 millions individuals and families are living life in recovery!  We know.  Your visit to the NCADD website has brought you to the right place.
 
For nearly 70 years, NCADD has been a valuable resource for millions of people struggling with addiction.  Our founder, Marty Mann, was a true pioneer.  Marty got sober in the rooms of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA).  When AA was just getting started in 1935, Marty’s sponsor was AA Co-founder, Bill Wilson.  Marty exuded courage and unwavering belief in the dignity of all people.  She worked tirelessly to provide education to raise the awareness of addiction across our society.

Marty made two important policy decisions when she first started NCADD:
  1. For NCADD to be a credible agent for changing people’s attitude and understanding of alcoholism, it would need the involvement and support of the medical scientific community; and
  2. To change people’s attitude and understanding meant changing people’s behavior, so NCADD must offer professionally trained counseling services at the local level where people live and need help.”
Cheers

The Fellas (Friends of Alcoholics Anonymous)


PS For AA Minority Report 2013 click here

Alcohol research – Health Promotion Agency (New Zealand)




The Health Promotion Agency (HPA) is a Crown entity established under the New Zealand Public Health and Disability Amendment Act 2000.

We have a Board that is appointed by the Minister of Health.
HPA has an overall statutory function to lead and support activities for the following purposes:
  • promoting health and wellbeing and encouraging healthy lifestyles
  • preventing disease, illness and injury
  • enabling environments that support health and wellbeing and healthy lifestyles
  • reducing personal, social and economic harm.
It also has the following alcohol-specific statutory functions:
  • giving advice and making recommendations to government, government agencies, industry, non-government bodies, communities, health professionals, and others on the sale, supply, consumption, misuse and harm of alcohol so far as those matters relate to HPA’s general functions
  • undertaking or working with others to research the use of alcohol in New Zealand, public attitudes towards alcohol, and problems associated with, or consequent on, the misuse of alcohol.
In delivering its alcohol-specific functions, HPA must only have regard to government policy if directed to do so by its responsible Minister. As a Crown agent under the Crown Entities Act 2004, HPA is required to give effect to government policy when direct by the responsible Minister for its work on other areas.”

Cheers

The Fellas (Friends of Alcoholics Anonymous)


PS For AA Minority Report 2013 click here

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions (contd)


aacultwatch's perspective on:





(an almost as wildly discursive commentary as our 'take' on the Big Book)

This tome is much reviled in cult circles (especially amongst the Big Book nutters who regard it as almost heretical! (A point of interest: if you're looking for meetings largely free of the aforementioned 'fruitcakes', and for that matter sundry other screwballs, then a Twelve Step meeting following the format of the above text is usually a safe bet). The text we will be using is as indicated above. And now we come to:

Step Three (pp. 34-37)


Step Three

Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.[You will note this step does NOT say: “...turn our will and our lives over to the care of our sponsor! In this connection we refer you to AA, Chapter 5, How It Works, p. 60: “ (b) That probably no human power could have relieved our alcoholism.”]

Practising Step Three is like the opening of a door which to all appearances is still closed and locked. All we need is a key, and the decision to swing the door open. There is only one key, and it is called willingness [ie. NOT grudging compliance in accordance with another's instructions or directions]. Once unlocked by willingness, the door opens almost of itself, and looking through it, we shall see a pathway beside which is an inscription. It reads: “This is the way to a faith that works.” In the first two Steps we were engaged in reflection. We saw that we were powerless over alcohol, but we also perceived that faith of some kind, if only in A.A. itself, [or even just in AA itself. It isn't necessary – or even possible - to have faith in something in which you have no belief] is possible to anyone. These conclusions did not require action; they required only acceptance [ie. concepts which you approve – not concepts which someone dictates you should approve].

Like all the remaining Steps, Step Three calls for affirmative action, for it is only by action that we can cut away the self-will which has always blocked the entry of God—or, if you like, a Higher Power [or Higher Powers] —into our lives. Faith, to be sure, is necessary, but faith alone can avail nothing. We can have faith, yet keep God out of our lives. Therefore our problem now becomes just how and by what specific means shall we be able to let Him [or enable whatever concept we approve become operative and effective] in? Step Three represents our first attempt to do this. In fact, the effectiveness of the whole A.A. program will rest upon how well and earnestly we have tried to come to “a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God [ie. not human power] as we understood Him.

To every worldly and practical-minded beginner, this Step looks hard, even impossible. No matter how much one wishes to try, exactly how can he turn his own will and his own life over to the care of whatever God he thinks there is [or to whatever higher principle he/she has confidence in]? Fortunately, we who have tried it, and with equal misgivings, can testify that anyone, anyone at all, can begin to do it [this ability is not the exclusive preserve of 'experts', 'gurus', Big Book or otherwise]. We can further add that a beginning, even the smallest, is all that is needed. Once we have placed the key of willingness in the lock and have the door ever so slightly open, we find that we can always open it some more. Though self-will may slam it shut again, as it frequently does, it will always respond the moment we again pick up the key of willingness [ie. there exists a conflict between what might be termed the 'integrated self' – one which acts in accordance with its best (and highest) interests, and the undisciplined, impulsive, divided, appetite-driven self which pursue only immediate gratification]

Maybe this all sounds mysterious and remote, something like Einstein’s theory of relativity or a proposition in nuclear physics. It isn’t at all. Let’s look at how practical it actually is. Every man and woman who has joined A.A. and intends to stick has, without realizing it, made a beginning on Step Three [apparently without the aid of a sponsor!]. Isn’t it true that in all matters touching upon alcohol, each of them has decided to turn his or her life over to the care, protection, and guidance of Alcoholics Anonymous? Already a willingness has been achieved to cast out one’s own will and one’s own ideas about the alcohol problem in favour of those suggested by A.A. Any willing [not merely compliant] newcomer feels sure A.A. is the only safe harbour for the foundering vessel he has become. Now if this is not turning one’s will and life over to a new-found Providence, then what is it?

But suppose that instinct still cries out, as it certainly will, “Yes, respecting alcohol, I guess I have to be dependent upon A.A., but in all other matters I must still maintain my independence. Nothing is going to turn me into a nonentity. If I keep on turning my life and my will over to the care of Something or Somebody else, what will become of me? I’ll look like the hole in the doughnut.” This, of course, is the process by which instinct and logic always seek to bolster egotism, and so frustrate spiritual development. The trouble is that this kind of thinking takes no real account of the facts. And the facts seem to be these: The more we become willing to depend upon a Higher Power, the more independent we actually are. Therefore dependence, as A.A. practices it, is really a means of gaining true independence of the spirit.

Let’s examine for a moment this idea of dependence [or more properly “interdependence” especially in the context of AA ie. the recognition that all individuals operate within a context operating both – and simultaneously - as cause and effect. We are not wholly autonomous beings, entirely detached from our environment, free to operate without any regard for or reference to others. But see Narcissistic personality disorder] at the level of everyday living. In this area it is startling to discover how dependent we really are, and how unconscious of that dependence. Every modern house has electric wiring carrying power and light to its interior. We are delighted with this dependence; our main hope is that nothing will ever cut off the supply of current. By so accepting our dependence upon this marvel of science [a science and technology which would not exist but for the ingenuity of men – hence the concept of 'interdependence'], we find ourselves more independent personally. Not only are we more independent, we are even more comfortable and secure. Power flows just where it is needed. Silently and surely, electricity, that strange energy so few people understand, meets our simplest daily needs, and our most desperate ones, too. Ask the polio sufferer confined to an iron lung who depends with complete trust upon a motor [again - a technology devised by men] to keep the breath of life in him.

But the moment our mental or emotional independence is in question, how differently we behave. How persistently we claim the right to decide all by ourselves just what we shall think and just how we shall act. Oh yes, we’ll weigh the pros and cons of every problem. We’ll listen politely to those who would advise us, but all the decisions are to be ours alone [this does not imply that these decisions should necessarily be taken by others on our behalf. After all the final responsibility for the conduct of our lives remains with us, not with someone else]. Nobody is going to meddle with our personal independence in such matters. Besides, we think, there is no one we can surely trust. We are certain that our intelligence, backed by willpower, can rightly control our inner lives and guarantee us success in the world we live in [but see the concept of 'interdependence' above. We may not be able to 'control our inner lives' but we're certainly responsible for the part we play in their quality]. This brave philosophy, wherein each man plays God, sounds good in the speaking, but it still has to meet the acid test: how well does it actually work? One good look in the mirror ought to be answer enough for any alcoholic.

Should his own image in the mirror be too awful to contemplate (and it usually is), he might first take a look at the results normal [??] people are getting from self-sufficiency. Everywhere he sees people filled with anger and fear, society breaking up into warring fragments. Each fragment says to the others, “We are right and you are wrong.” Every such pressure group, if it is strong enough, self-righteously imposes its will upon the rest. And everywhere the same thing is being done on an individual basis [eg. cult groups and members with their emphasis on directive and controlling 'sponsorship'. See our series on the subject]. The sum of all this mighty effort is less peace and less brotherhood than before [this is a rather one-sided presentation of the human condition although clearly adopted to make the point. It might equally be argued that everywhere one sees people growing in confidence, secure in their own abilities, and working with others to serve their mutual interests. It also assumes that all human progress is 'dependent' upon consensus. Conflict of varying degrees has always played a part in the development of human civilisation uncomfortable a truth though this might be to acknowledge] The philosophy of self-sufficiency is not paying off. Plainly enough, it is a bone-crushing juggernaut whose final achievement is ruin.”

(our emphases)(our observations in red print)

Coming next – Step Three (contd)

Cheers

The Fellas (Friends of Alcoholics Anonymous)

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Alcohol research – ABMRF – The Foundation for Alcohol Research



ABMRF/The Foundation for Alcohol Research is the largest, independent, nonprofit foundation in North America devoted solely to supporting research on the effects of alcohol on health and behavior and on the prevention of alcohol-related problems.

The Foundation was established in 1982 as the Alcoholic Beverage Medical Research Foundation (ABMRF), a 501(c)(3) organization, with the support of the malt beverage industries of the United States and Canada. This important relationship continues today.

Headquartered in Baltimore, Maryland, the Foundation has supported research projects of more than 570 academic investigators at over 260 universities and research institutions in the United States and Canada. Many of North America's top researchers formed the basis for their groundbreaking work with Foundation grants early in their careers.“

Cheers

The Fellas (Friends of Alcoholics Anonymous)


PS For AA Minority Report 2013 click here

Alcohol research – Psych Central



psychcentral.com/

Psych Central is the Internet’s largest and oldest independent mental health social network. Since 1995, our award-winning website has been run by mental health professionals offering reliable, trusted information and over 200 support groups to consumers.

We are today’s modern voice for mental health information, emotional support and advocacy. With the broadest online reach and recognition of any mental health network today, we touch the lives of over 6 million people around the world every month. We’re also proud to represent the interests of our membership of over 400,000 people whose lives have been touched by a mental health concern.”

Cheers

The Fellas (Friends of Alcoholics Anonymous)


PS For AA Minority Report 2013 click here

Monday, 24 November 2014

The Bill W - Yale Correspondence, February, 1978, Bill W



Cheers

The Fellas (Friends of Alcoholics Anonymous)


PS For AA Minority Report 2013 click here

Sunday, 23 November 2014

Alcohol research – Centre for Alcohol & Addiction Studies (Brown University)



caas.brown.edu

The Brown University Center for Alcohol and Addiction Studies (CAAS) is an internationally renowned research center in alcohol research. The mission is twofold: to conduct collaborative research that will lead to more effective treatment for alcohol and drug abuse, and to create a nationwide program in substance abuse, education and training for psychologists, physicians, medical students, and health care professionals.”

Cheers

The Fellas (Friends of Alcoholics Anonymous)


PS For AA Minority Report 2013 click here