On this day 1934, according to Alcoholics Anonymous lore, Bill Wilson had taken his last drink. This has led to decades of drunks and other addicts all over the world suffering for far longer than was necessary. You see, AA is a religious program — a way to purify the soul. And in that way, I suspect it isn’t any worse than most other notions that Christians have about spirituality. But I have absolutely no idea what this has to do with drugs. It’s only thanks to decades of propaganda that anyone thinks addiction is a moral problem.
But you have to ask yourself: how did good ol’ Bill W get sober? I contend that it has squat to do with working the steps and all that malarkey. Rather, creating and building the group gave him something to do. I’ve long argued that rather than provide drug “treatment” in jail, they should provide job training. Give them something to do when they get out other than sit in useless — as much as it’s been tested, counterproductive — meetings.
“It works if you work it!” That’s what the AA bots say. Of course, that’s ridiculous. According to AA, addiction is a disease, yet its cure is some kind of spiritual self-help program? If you had cancer, would you ever consider an oncologist who told you that in order to cure the cancer, you were going to have a make a list of everyone you harmed and make amends? Of course not. You’d think she was crazy, or some sort of bizarre witch-doctor. And you’d find someone else.
Of course, the great legacy of Bill Wilson — the reason that he is known — is because AA became part of the criminal justice system. It needed something to do with all the drug users (Only some addicts!) that the state was arresting. So when a convict was on probation or parole, the state couldn’t just forget about “helping” the poor sod. Just the same, the state wasn’t willing to actually pay for anything that might work. And there was AA: the perfect thing! Did it work? No one cared. That’s the American way: it doesn’t matter that you actually accomplish something, so long as you look like you are working the problem. In that way, AA is perfect for America.
There is no question that Bill Wilson’s legacy is terrible. He has caused so much harm, it would be hard to calculate. Yet there are millions who admire him. This is because he created a cult. But not just any cult: a cult that was useful to the state! And then, with court-mandated “treatment,” lots of hospitals and private companies got into the 12-step gravy train. It’s been absolutely fantastic — for everyone but the addicts and their friends and family. For them, it’s sucked. Thanks Bill W!