Friday, 30 May 2014
There is a strong anti-intellectual streak in certain parts of AA and a suggestion that rational thought and critical thinking are somehow incompatible with right and productive action and progress in the programme.
A slogan I have heard is, 'no one is too stupid to "get" the programme, but there are those who are too clever'. Poppycock.
A very large proportion of AA podium pitches essentially consist in self-mockery, along the lines of 'what an idiot I was when I came to AA!' replete with examples of how the individual was humiliated into submission by a patronising sponsor or group, pulling rank on the evidently retarded newcomer, who had no idea (what an irony!) of what a fool he was. The newcomer is then caricatured.
This cultural aspect of AA is distasteful, and quite opposite to anything described from early AA, which emphasizes respect, and AAs being peers.
I believe AA, as a fellowship, fails to reach a lot of people who come to AA with their critical faculties intact, because genuine questions and enquiries are batted off with a patronising 'stick the cotton wool in your mouth' response, typically because the potential respondent does not actually know how to answer the question succinctly, coherently, or at all.
I will explain this programme to anyone interested as best I can, and also suggest prompt action, and sometimes I will defer a full answer until some practical experience has been gained, but I never dismiss intellectual enquiry and regularly suggest that this be treated as a scientific experiment conducted with an open mind: take the actions, analyse the results, and compare them to the actions and the results you were getting in the past.
I will not be shut down by slogans such as 'KISS: keep it simple stupid', and I would encourage others to maintain the function of their enquiring minds, as long as the action suggested by AA is also taken promptly and enthusiastically.