This aspect of Alcoholics Anonymous, which is also true of most of the rest of the literature published by A.A. World Services, such as Bill WilsonĂs 1955 pamphlet on A.A.Ăs ˘Twelve Traditions, evoked several different responses. One is the new nonfiction genre called ˘recovery literature,÷ of which Mueller and Ketcham are fairly typical. This is literature, targeted toward alcoholism or a myriad of other problems, which tones down the spiritual emphasis in favor of a more strictly medical or psychological approach (although there is also a type of such literature which is even more spiritual and sometimes even sectarian).
"Welfare-Recipient Substance Abuse Equals Use of General Population." Alcoholism Report 24.11 (1996): 2.
The other is the rise of alternative recovery programs, with their own literature, which are strictly atheistic and humanistic. Bufe is fairly typical of such literature. His approach represents what one might call the ˘devout atheism÷ of the American Humanist Association, for whose members it is virtually an article of faith that any compromise with theistic concepts would violate their personal integrity. Despite the HumanistsĂ claim that they are not a religion, the AHA is classified as a religious movement by sociologists of religion for precisely the same reasons that A.A. is, and as a religious movement has clear ties to the type of ˘Jewish atheism÷ that is a traditional subculture among educated and radical Jews in America.
Bufe, Charles. Alcoholics Anonymous: Cult or Cure? San Francisco: See Sharp Press, 1991.
"The Price of Golden Eggs." Alberta Report/Western Report 23.30 (1996): 36.
"Is Abstinence from Alcohol and Drugs More Important than Smoking Cessation?" Addiction Letter 12.6 (1996): 1.
Alcoholics Anonymous is certainly essential reading for anyone seriously interested in understanding the complex disease of alcoholism, but it is not easy reading for non-alcoholics and therefore not extremely useful for ed