The 3 Levels of 12 Step Indoctrination

by | Sep 18, 2023


Most people think being immersed in the 12 steps is a valid way to overcome an addiction. Know that this is not the case. Implementing the 12 steps in one’s life has been linked to massive increases in dangerous binge drinking and higher rates of suicide. Simply put, attending 12 step meetings creates an overall net loss in success in moving past addictions permanently. Even so, people are taught they need it for “recovery”; and so they attend these groups and become unwittingly indoctrinated into the cult-like 12 step belief system.  


First, when I say 12 step indoctrination in this article, I’m including in this term all addiction and recovery mythology that is promoted through the activities and rituals at 12 step groups, treatment centers, and the various addiction therapies that use the 12 step model. All of these various Western institutions have their roots set deeply in harmful 12 step lore. But here’s the good news; The Freedom Model provides a path out of this recovery trap, and has for more than 34 years so no one needs to suffer needlessly anymore! If you need help to escape 12 step indoctrination, there are helpful links at the end of this article.


There are 3 levels of harmful 12 step indoctrination in the world today and you may be included in one of these demographics without realizing it. Take a look:


Level 1 12 Step Indoctrination – Cultural Indoctrination


This is the standard, relatively quiet and passive indoctrination that occurs in Western Society as a result of media, education, and both Big Pharma and the substance and treatment industries’ marketing campaigns. This covers, by far, the largest demographic in sheer numbers. Nearly everyone in the US, Canada and Europe are bombarded with 12 step misinformation and propaganda continuously through this level. Their indoctrination is a result of beer ads, liquor ads, drug prohibition, government propaganda, Big Pharma’s influence in Western medicine, and the addiction treatment industry’s consistent advertising of the “powers of drugs” mythology. Nearly everyone in these countries believes that drugs have powers and that there are a class of powerless people called addicts and alcoholics who cannot control themselves. These myths come straight out of the campaigns mentioned above.


Level 2 12 Step Indoctrination – Treatment Indoctrination


After being primed by Level 1 indoctrination, those who find themselves struggling with substance use seek help within the 12 step addiction treatment system. . Level 1’s misinformation is then amplified by “addiction professionals” pushing the now minted “addict” or “alcoholic” into 12 step meetings, therapies, and maybe even a MAT drug regimen where they are told they will always need replacement drugs or blocker drugs coupled with AA or NA meetings and therapy “for life.” This level is smaller than Level 1 from a numbers perspective, but the number of people within this group is growing each year due to the vast reach of Level 1 indoctrination.


Level 3 12 Step Indoctrination – Familial Indoctrination


This is what happened to me. I was indoctrinated by my family because my mother had already succumbed to the first 2 levels of indoctrination, and then she became an active participant in indoctrinating others as a certified addiction counselor and as a mother of 12 children.  This demographic comes to have an almost religious belief in the 12 step ideology of powerlessness and the “need for disease-based addiction treatment” of some kind. Most don’t even know that they are lost in a world of damaging misinformation. You will often hear these people repeating recovery slogans and treatment platitudes such as “relapse is part of recovery,” “once an alcoholic, always an alcoholic,” “one drink is too much, a thousand is never enough,” and so on. This is the level of indoctrination that requires a deep deprogramming, and was the reason The Freedom Model came to be.


If you are anywhere within the 3 level spectrum of 12 step indoctrination, you can be helped by learning The Freedom Model – The Official 12- Step Deprogramming Method. For more information on 12 step deprogramming, go to and you can enroll in our free and confidential Move Past Addiction Masterclass, or call, 888-424-2626. We have helped more than 26,000 people deprogram and move on with their lives, and we can help you too!


Pin It on Pinterest

Share This