In Toronto the Alcoholics Anonymous organization has split into two rival groups... the groups are split over the usage of god in the Twelve Step Program and the introduction of new wording of the Twelve Steps.
The Old Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous:
2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
5. Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God, as we understood Him, prayer only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.
The New Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous:
2. Came to accept and to understand that we needed strengths beyond our awareness and resources to restore us to sanity.
3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of the AA program.
5. Admitted to ourselves without reservation, and to another human being, the exact nature of our wrongs.
6. Were ready to accept help in letting go of all our defects of character.
7. Humbly sought to have our shortcomings removed.
11. Sought through mindful inquiry and meditation to improve our spiritual awareness, seeking only for knowledge of our rightful path in life and the power to carry that out.
The old steps were written in the 1930s and are really outdated. It is past time it was updated.
Sadly Alcoholics Anonymous has become a very religious group, using techniques similar to cults, and is opposed to new versions of AA which is more democratic and leaves it open to interpretation with respect to god.
In the early days of AA meetings they would end with the Lord's Prayer, but that was later scrapped. A few hardcore Christian AA groups still use the Lord's Prayer.
World wide there are 113,000 AA groups. In Toronto alone there are 500+ AA meetings per week. Atheist, agnostic and more democratic versions of Alcoholics Anonymous are increasingly common because many alcoholics are turned off by the too religious groups which feel more like a sermon.
“I’ve tried AA meetings and I couldn’t get past the influence of right-wing Christianity,” says one man at a recent AA meeting, known only by his first name (by AA tradition only first names are used.
“Last night I went to a meeting and it was like a sermon again,” he says. “I felt I should quit."
“But someone told me, ‘hey, go downtown, there’s an atheist/agnostic meeting.’ So I thought I thought I’d give AA one last chance and I came here.”