Alcoholics Anonymous
Deity Not Specific?

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Hello, I was just reading the article "An Author Explores 222 Paths to Sobriety" in the Health & Fitness section of the New York Times April 17,2001.

In it was mentioned that part of the 12 steps of Achohol Anoymous is admitting your helplessness in the face of alcohol and turning to a higher power and prayer.

I assume this someone kind of generic type of God but how much does God and Prayer play in AA? How does AA treat atheists?

They quote an atheist in the article that sounded offended by this part of the program and he says that therapists stress AA and don't openly offer other programs.

One of the other programs listed in the article is Secular Organizations for Sobriety. Has there been any scientific studies comparing this program or another non-faith based program to AA?

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From: "Positive Atheism Magazine" <>
Subject: Re: AA 12 Step includes Prayer/God?
Date: Sunday, April 22, 2001 9:20 PM

The AA god is explicitly detailed, being a rescuing deity who answers prayer and who also deliberately allows some to fall off the wagon and die a miserable death -- although "He" (their word) is said to have the power to keep people on the wagon. Some Steppers assert that He does this to enable the more loyal among them to appreciate what they have.

SOS doesn't really have much of an agenda besides denouncing and slandering programs other than SOS, so I don't see how any study can be conducted. RR, though it denounces all programs other than RR, at least has a method that can be tested, and those figures look pretty good. You can contact RR at

Cliff Walker
"Positive Atheism" Magazine
Five years of service to
     people with no reason to believe

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