The Addiction Solution Podcast



Leaving the Cult of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) – Part 1

by | Nov 9, 2018 | Audio/Video, The Addiction Solution Podcast

Alcoholics Anonymous is the most widely accepted and protected cult on the planet!

In this podcast Mark and Michelle talk about their experiences being born into AA families and then fulfilling the dire predictions that they would become “alcoholics”. From attending thousands of meetings, to forming their own AA groups and holding service positions in their district and area, Mark and Michelle got a unique perspective on the inner workings of AA, and how those who question the dogma are treated. For them leaving AA was a process that eventually led to co-writing The Freedom Model for Addictions with Mr. Steven Slate.


  1. David

    Thank you for telling the truth about this terrible program. I just shared your podcast on twitter. Very important what you are doing.

  2. Jasmine Gibb

    I did not lose my husband to alcoholism but my kids and I are losing my husband to the cult of Alcoholics Anonymous. It has been really sad and I am treated terribly even suggesting that AA can have negative effects on a person. My husband has been a devote member for 3 years. His sponsor advises sobriety before everything including family. I am well educated, well loved, love my family and was willing to love my husband through anything but I can’t fight this organization. Help please. Do I leave and save us or can I still help him?

  3. Dawn

    Ohhh, great. So glad I ran into your podcast. Very good and it’s so great to be out of AA, truly sober – soundness of mind. 🙂

  4. monica

    Great podcast and thank you for all the work you are doing ! After Leaving AA myself in 2011 I see AA as a cult more and more with every year I am gone.

  5. Emily. Divney

    I am so grateful I found your podcast. I have been struggling with AA since I “ entered the halls” 4 months ago. I have been questioning everything with this one size fits all mentality. Every time people speak they are all using the same language like they are pod people. I have experienced the 13th steppers, judgement, being told “ if I don’t get a sponsor and do the steps I am not in recovery “ and most baffling, that I am powerless over alcohol. I was sober for nearly a month before I picked up a white chip, and I only attended once a week, yet I am powerless without the support of this group? I recently decided to explore a new type of recovery through my church and the very gentleman who I first contacted through a friend, a man who I believed was a great AA mentor and support in my early sobriety, completely stopped talking to me afterI told him I was moving on from AA to try something else. THAT is the most cult behavior of this whole program. Seriously? I am sooooooo happy I never drank the cool aid!

  6. Candace

    I listened to this podcast yesterday and can’t stop thinking about what I heard. Last December I got involved with a man who was immersed in AA. 3 years ago I lost my husband to alcohol. He was only 54 years old. We were married for almost 30 years. This new relationship was the first I had since my husband passed. I knew the man for 10 years before he asked me out. We were good friends.

    I fell for him deeply and admired everything that he was. I strongly backed AA and was so impressed with his dedication. I never felt loved the way I felt love with him. It was a fairy tale. The trouble was, he had not been sober for a one year time span. Apparently, that was the magic number. Once he was sober for a year he could consider having a relationship. I bought into it and severed our relationship. We only had 6 weeks to wait for that day and I felt he was worth it. During our time apart I worked on myself, reading about AA, going to Al-anon meetings 3 times a week and focused on their literature. When he celebrated his one year Soberversary I congratulated him, thinking that together we could do good things for other alcoholics and their families. For 3 days I didn’t hear from him. I was devastated.

    I was driving myself crazy, not understanding how he could have said all the beautiful things that he said about me and our relationship and then just dumping me. I reached out to him to try and understand what had happened. The person who answered me was NOT the same person I had fallen in love with. He said very cruel things and didn’t acknowledge any of the endearing things that he said before he left me. (I was very afraid of relationships, which he knew before we got involved. I didn’t ask for him to say anything that was even remotely ‘a commitment’ but he did, every day….all the time) When he told me it was over it was as if someone else put words in his mouth. It was and is still very painful. I’m 60 years old and never thought I’d know love again.

    Your podcast confirmed everything I suspected. His AA sponsor said and did anything to change his mind about our relationship. In 6 weeks they were able to eradicate any feelings he had for me. (I always felt as if his sponsor feared me and the relationship. My man was very smitten.) And I never got a chance to let him know how I felt about it all. After listening yesterday I realized that I need to tell myself that he is dead, and that alcohol took another person I loved. It is the only way I can stop hoping that he will see that he needs me as much as I need him. He is not that person anymore. He is dead. He is now a walking AA zombie and I will mourn him like I mourned my deceased husband. It hurts but I need to get past it.

    That poor decent man deserves to be loved and I am afraid he will live a loveless life. I feel destroyed by it all but know that I can and will live through it by moving on. The whole thing is so damn sad.

  7. Dave

    Spent 25 years in AA but never totally felt like I fit in, probably because I never drank the cool aide. I always felt it was more important how well I functioned in life during the other 23 hours of the day. Since being sober the only times I’ve had any problems were with the cool aide drinkers in the rooms. Meetings are full of people that can’t run they’re own life but are more then happy to tell you how to run yours. I have a great life with a wonderful wife a nice home and a good job and finally found inner peace only after leaving AA.

  8. DC

    What an amazing help doubt can be. AA/NA/ACA was helpful at first but the longer I was in those rooms the more depressed and lost in myself I became, looking back it was no wonder I lost myself as it is drummed into one that they cannot trust themselves or their thought’s. My doubt was classed as my disease talking and me taking my will back from a made up god. 99% of the oldtimers were angry & extremely childish, Wilson himself wasn’t the beacon of his Steps and preachings so how could anyone hope to get anything positive out of that cult?! It is a made up quasi-religion at the end of the day.

  9. Timothy

    Great show. I left AA after 26 years-haven’t been happier. I weaned myself from meetings over the past 5 years and realize I was only going there to meet women or see old “friends”. I was becoming one of the predatory old timers. Having self respect I elected to get hell out of there. It is a cult-a religious cult that lovebombs you when you are vulnerable to indoctrinate you into their ways. These are some of the sickest, most twisted people out there. So glad to be away

  10. August Holland

    Attended my very first AA class and I tell you I am totally blown away because I asked myself if this is a cult and low behold I believe it is and I refuse to drink to the cool aid.

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