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The FORCED Speak Out

This is a forum for people who have been forced to participate in the 12-step program of Alcoholics Anonymous. We call forced addiciton treatment and recovery group participation the Belly of the Bureaucratic Beast. Therein, recovery is impossible, participants become permanently marked for lifelong discrimination, the majority acquire new problems directly caused by the coerced indoctrination. The addiction treatment industry is operated by the12-step syndicate, present in every community and in all of our social institutions, and now uses the force of law to funnel citizens into its programs. But some coerced treatment, particularly in prisons, where inmates are increasingly resistant to the religiosity of AA, is along the lines of cognitive psychology. Both are equally inappropriate, ineffective, and harmful, and both violate freedom of conscience guaranteed under our Constitution.

We want to hear from you! The only reason AA has gained such power over your life is because those who were forced before you failed to speak out against AA. The letters on the page below are from people whose Constitutional rights have been violated by the 12-step syndicate.

Send your own story of forced recovery group participation or coerced addiction treatment to:
I Was Coerced

For some background on coerced addiction treatment, see this link:
Have You Been Coerced?


My husband is a physician who has recently been "incarcerated" in a treatment center based on AA. I have been told that I am in denial, that I will hinder my husband's recovery, and that I would rather have him home ill than to recover. I do not want to go to Alanon, as suggested by the staff at the center. My husband will lose his license if he does not comply, which means mandatory AA meetings years after the treatment center.

As far as I can see, AA has ruined my family. I am at home with an 8 year old, a 4 year old and 11 month old twins. Bankruptcy is a possibility. We were a very close family and I loved my husband very much. However, the man that comes out of the center may no longer be the man I married. I cannot tell you how painful it is to me to see the treatment methods. I am allowed to visit my husband on Sunday and talk with him 10 minutes a day. The rest of the time he is theirs to pound 12-step garbage into his head.

I don't have a problem with religion, as I am a Roman Catholic, but I certainly have a problem with forced religion. How can anyone force such a personal thing? I guess that is why they have to isolate the inmates.

My heart is breaking. I know that I cannot be certain that my husband will come out a zealous AAer, but with a minimum of 8 weeks treatment I believe my fear is well founded.

I certainly support your efforts to allow alternative treatments. If there are any wives that were able debrief their 12 step husbands, I would appreciate the encouragement.

I remain responsible for myself (my own actions) and my children's welfare.


Dear Tina,

It is truly astonishing that the medical profession has not only succumbed to the quackery of addiction treatment, but has also embraced AA as an approved method. An interesting footnote is that AMA does not claim to have evidence of addictive disease, but allows its stepchild, the American Society for Addiction Medicine (ASAM) to propagandize the public with disease/treatment hogwash. ASAM is composed of members of AA who saved their careers by copping a disease and claiming they were successfully treated, essentially submitting an insanity plea for themselves when they were caught drinking or drugging.

We have heard from hundreds of physicians and other "impaired professionals" who have been subjected to incredible abuses in the name of addiction treatment. Many are shipped to funny farms on the East and West Coasts, where they are stripped of their fundamental rights, their dignity, their identities, and their assets. There, the treatment specialists spout scientific nonsense that is interpreted as authoritative knowledge, and make ridiculous claims like, "Doctors are the most difficult kind to treat; they are so well-defended with their intellectual armor that it may take many months to break through their denial."

Here's the greatest irony. Professionals are the easiest people to persuade to quit drinking/using. They have more to lose, catch on quickly, understand the nature of authority, and have little difficulty with self-discipline since they have usually prevailed after years of effort to obtain their qualifications. Because of this, the treatment centers can take credit for what their participants finally accomplish, which is to refrain from the use of alcohol and other drugs. When individuals "relapse," it is always attributed to the seriousness of the (fictitious) disease, or to the recalcitrance of the participant or his family.

The reason they want you to become involved in your husband's treatment are (1) to charge extra fees, (2) to find another scapegoat should he continue drinking, and (3) to convert your family to the 12-step cult, replacing family bonds with ties to the cult. I strongly advise you to refuse to get involved in his addiction problems, since they are entirely of his own making, and entirely up to him to resolve.

He is being exploited at a time of special vulnerability, but he may submit to his captors and view them as legitimate authorities in his life, i.e., his higher power. If so, the prognosis for your marriage isn't good; religion can break up families when there is a demand by either party to accept the other's religion. I must comment that the Roman Catholic Church has failed you by accepting AA as a legitimate social institution. I think if your family was being required to attend the Baptist Church, your clergy might become at least a little perturbed.

As a spouse violated by 12-steppers, you have fewer options than your husband does. He has the U.S. Constitution and your state Constitution as first line defenses against the tyranny of forced AA. If he converts to 12-steppism, the 12-step cult will alienate his affection for you, regarding you as a "codependent," or "enabler," much in the same way that some religions regard nonmembers as "heathen," or "pagan." They will intimidate you by making you appear responsible for sanctions they impose against him, such as a longer stay at the treatment center, subsequent relapses, and the loss of his professional license. Already, they have attacked your character, as one who is selfish and wants him home without regard for his illness or survival. There is no practical limit to the insults they will hurl at you, because they cannot tolerate rejection, and will attempt to destroy anyone who attempts to elude them.

On a positive note, he may be playing his cards close to his vest, recognizing the insanity of his colleagues who are running the asylum. He may, as AA oldtimers winkingly suggest, "Fake it 'til you make it." If so, his agony while in treatment will be enormous, and he will have a desperate need for understanding and vindication when he is released. The treatment specialists will insulate him from all contact with the outside world, allowing him access only the cult doctrine of AA. However, you might smuggle in some materials on Rational Recovery, with the understanding that if he is caught with such materials, he will be punished, and you will be implicated as a very sick person. On many occasions, when people in addiction treatment programs obtain a copy of Rational Recovery: The New Cure for Substance Addiction, they simply pass the book along to another patient, walk out of the facility and hail a taxi.

Do not hesitate to urge him to leave the facility, even though doing so may result in reprisals from the center. If he is healthy and sane enough to walk out, then he is also in condition to take legal action against the conspiracy against him.

If he returns home weirded out by AA, expect that he will at least study AVRT and investigate RR-PLAN at this website. That is a reasonable expectation by any spouse under the influence of a cult. Be prepared to assert your beliefs and refuse to be sucked into the enabler/codependent role. Let him know that from here on in, the use of alcohol and other drugs is intolerable, and he must make a personal commitment to have no "relapses," even though his monitor program may find relapses permissible.

In the same way that drunkenness can be cause for divorce, so can irresponsibility from a recovery group disorder. Unreasonable absence from the home, preoccupation with God and stepwork, estrangement of family loyalty from 12-step group pressures, and the betrayal of family confidentiality to the recovery group are conditions of marital infidelity just as serious and damaging as addiction or adultery. When you married, you made vows of loyalty that still exist, and which still exclude unwholesome, competing relationships outside the marriage relationship. You are on firm ground in expecting him to be the man you originally married, so hold your ground from the start.

You can print our letters and sneak him a copy. Put them, folded, into a copy of Rational Recovery. Tell him he can call me here if he is interested in bucking the system and retaining his dignity and career.

Jack Trimpey

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