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AA, Bill Wilson and LSD

Many of you probably know already that Bill Wilson, founder of Alcoholics Anonymous, was an avid supporter of the use of LSD to treat alcoholism. I found this biographical article online (in Modern Drunkard magazine, "Standing Up For Your Right to Get Falling Down Drunk Since 1996", which I have never heard of before now but which seems quite relevant itself) which is brief, catchy and fascinating. It reminds me of several interesting and widely applicable points, not the least of which is that the popularity and longevity of any movement, whether a cult, a philosophy, or a therapeutic technique, ultimately depends as much on the charisma of the initial promoters as it does on any qualities of the core idea. Just think what the world of addiction treatment would be like today if Bill Wilson hadn't been such a character!

This is my favorite part of the article:

One of his therapeutic journeys lead him to Trabuco College in California, and the friendship of the college’s founder, Aldous Huxley. The author of Brave New World and The Doors of Perception introduced Wilson to LSD-25. The drug rocked Wilson’s world. He thought of it as something of a miracle substance and continued taking it well into the ‘60s. As he approached his 70th birthday, he developed a plan to have LSD distributed at all AA meetings nationwide. The plan was eventually quashed by more rational voices, and a few years later the Federal government made the point moot by making the drug illegal. (That Wilson’s plan was shot down is probably fortunate. LSD is a beautiful thing, but nothing sounds more horrifying to me than a roomful of chain-smoking, frightened, needy drunks tripping their heads off in the basement of the local Y.)
Posted By omgoleus at 2008-02-06 17:49:33 permalink | comments
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jfdean. : 2013-06-18 11:24:21
I am at a cross roads.

I've been sober for nearly 8 years with the help of AA. I have been thinking about LSD for some time now. I know it has it's benefits, but I really cant work out that as an alcoholic is it dangerous for me to take a 'mind alterer' or will it possibly help me as suggested by various tests.

I took it about 20 years ago before my drinking was really bad, and I have to say it gave me big insights (although it wasn't that enjoyable in the setting I was in) and in hindsight I did have a spiritual experience.

I am a creative writer and it's how I earn my living, I really feel LSD/DMT or other psychedelics could be very beneficial for my work my spiritual life my step work etc... But I am very nervous about it in case it opens my view down the line that I can then try other drugs then before I know it have a drink and my like go down hill.

A part of me wants LSD to be my answer, my quick fix, maybe cure me of my addictions and I can drink again. This is the worrying thoughts

Any decent advice?

Happy Happy Joy JOy. : 2013-06-12 10:47:48
I know i wouldn't want to be tripping face in a meeting.. however the only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking.
bob. : 2013-06-02 12:21:00
AA is a cult, but its a benevolent cult because it has no leaders. How could it? Its anonymous. No one in AA is an expert. There are NO RULES only suggestions. There are many Agnostic and Free Thinker non-theistic meetings. In fact EVERY meeting is different. People just get together with people they are comfortable around.
August. : 2013-04-10 09:40:51
12-steppers are some very evil, greedy, selfish people....

STAY AWAY FROM THEM....

SlLESNieEV. : 2013-04-04 10:40:07
I had a book that I believe was Go ask Alice as rainedg assignment myself in the early 90s. The early chapters were a little disturbing to me, because the drugs were painted in a rather positive light that could have caused the book to have the opposite effect to what was (presumably) intended with some teenagers.As an aside, there have been some doubts cast on how much true story the book actually contains.
Cosmic Nexus. : 2013-03-13 16:08:43
Psychedelics do not ruin people, people ruin people.
anonymous. : 2013-03-05 01:36:27
Bill W. was a God given channel. Whatever he did is his business. He helped publish a book that led suffering alcoholics to a solution. That solution is God and the study and application of that book helps me live a spiritual life-not a religious one. If I'm atheist or agnostic...sometimes quickly-sometimes slowly. The channel God used was Bill W.. What Bill W. used isn't my business. My truth is that I cannot use ANY mind altering substance safley. And I need God and a fellowship of recovered people to live one day at a time substance free. If I'm truley alcoholic and in the solution-the inventory is mine-NOT Bill W's.. If I'm not an alcoholic- "back of them is a world of ignorance and misunderstanding."
Mike. : 2013-02-21 05:21:17
Well, LSD as a tool to help recovery is not as far fetched as it may sound. Of coarse, you have your AA Nazis who don't believe this could work, but LSD has an ego destroying quality that can be achieved in a very short period. It is our egos that kill us. I've actually taken Mushrooms to try and achieve this and for about 8 months after taking it, my life changed for the better. After 8 months, it starting drifting away, so, I would just take another spiritual trip and I would experience results again. Don't knock these treatments and allow your closed mind to set them aside.
Eric N. Indiana. : 2013-01-24 07:09:20
Ive tried both. many times. and believe me,LSD is no way to get sober, although, one may visit their Higher Power, with no dependable outcome LOL. So far as Bill W. trying it , im sure he would have quickly come to the same conclusion. Today, I am truly Happy, Joyous, & Free. This program helped me change my way of thinken, consequently; my need for drinken. Thanks Bill, where ever you are.
chris. : 2011-08-04 18:36:56
IN one book published by the A.A. press or whatever it is called, there is a whole chapter talking about bill and his wife using LSD. It is not a rumor, it is a well documented fact in A.A. literature itself.
Bro. Oremus. : 2011-07-07 23:38:44
Anonymous, you are right. I did miss the point. But in a way I'm glad I did. In a conversation like that, the mention of Franz Wollenweider's work brings the conversation to a whole higher level. By the way, Anonymous, are your initials J.L.K.? Just a guess.
Anonymous. : 2011-07-06 13:52:33
"In response to Anonymous who has "never seen any data on brain changes caused by psilocybin", check out he work of Franz Vollenweider in Zurich. You may be surprised at the amount of science he has done."

You're totally missing my point. People like Vollenweider explore the healing that psychedelics could promote through things like glutamate-driven neuroplasticity. I was responding to a post that was saying "I know all the bad things these drugs do to your brain!"

Are you seriously holding up Vollenweider as an example of the scientific study of the bad things that mushrooms do to the brain?

Bro. Oremus : 2011-07-05 20:33:05
In response to Anonymous who has "never seen any data on brain changes caused by psilocybin", check out he work of Franz Vollenweider in Zurich. You may be surprised at the amount of science he has done.
Bro. Oremus. : 2011-07-05 19:18:21
High. Just checkin' in to see if I can get a word in.
Amerikkka & it's Legal Pushed Poison. : 2011-06-17 20:13:43
Weed is a great substitute for alcohol. A DWI forced the courts to put an alcohol detector ankle bracelet on me (the SCRAM). I turned on to Sufi Islam and bong hits. To hell with AA. Alcohol is a western civilization accepted poison. Stay away from it. Get Allah and toke to the garden of 40 virgins. No more poisonous booze for me, AA chumps. I'll be torking & grooving with Allah instead of your Inquisition blame depressing pity party. Same attitude killed Jesus, from Hebron in West Bank. One awesome Palestinian.
G-HOOD. : 2011-04-30 20:35:41
Hey again everyone,
Just want to point out here is some proof Bill tried acid as an experiment to get sober. That is awesome he was willing to try to reach a sort of spiritual awareness with drugs to help quit alcohol. In his day, that probably was not looked down upon the way some see it now. Kids abuse psychedelics and burn the f* out, o well. Others take them an expand, learn, see, and move forward. I have done everything I needed to do, played with my experimental, 25 years old, 5 months sober from all substances even ciggs. What a gift.
I had my spiritual awakening from practicing the steps in all my affairs, and now I am available to help other alcoholics and addicts. It is amazing.
Good for bill, We all did it, drugs, alcohol, some of us are sober, so what how we got here, the point is , this is where we are, this is safe, so lets stay here and help others who want to be here with us.
This is not a cult, we do not worship. We pray for others, we meditate, we are friendly. If you want what we got, come to our meetings. If you are one of them who talk sh*t about AA, you have resentments and should seek ways of letting them go.

RESENTMENTS TAKE UP NEGATIVE ROOM INSIDE OF YOU. YOU CAN NOT GAIN POSITIVITY UNTIL THE NEGATIVE IS RELEASED. SO FORGIVE, MAKE AMENDS, LET GO, LET GOD (OR YOUR HIGHER POWER, OR YOUR DOG)

Here is proof if Bills LSD experiment from wiki...IF YOU WANT PROOF I DID ACID JUST LET ME KNOW ILL SEND YOU A PIC WITH A TAB ON MY TONGUE.(from before i got sobeR)

Bill W.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
William Griffith Wilson (November 26, 1895 – January 24, 1971), also known as Bill Wilson or Bill W., was the co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), an international mutual aid fellowship with over two million members belonging to 100,800 groups of alcoholics helping other alcoholics achieve and maintain sobriety. [1] Following AA's Twelfth Tradition of anonymity, Wilson is commonly known as "Bill W." or "Bill." After Wilson's death in 1971 his full name was included in obituaries.[citation needed]
Wilson's lifelong sobriety began December 11, 1934. Wilson suffered from episodes of depression, the most serious of these between 1944 and 1955. In 1955 Wilson turned over control of AA to a board of trustees. Wilson experimented with other possible cures for alcoholism including LSD,[2] niacin (vitamin B3) and parapsychology as a means of inducing spiritual change.[3] Wilson died of emphysema complicated by pneumonia in 1971. In 1999 Time Magazine listed Wilson in the top 20 of the Time 100: Heroes and Icons of the 20th century.[4]

guest : 2011-04-07 09:15:49
Day Tripper
You speak out of ignorance. Or listening to Sheen too much.
Why desparage something that works for those who want it?
A program that helps people make better choices and turn their lives around. What does it matter to you?
And why the hate?
Day Tripper. : 2011-04-03 13:06:53
He sure liked drugs, women and money. Wonder how "sober" he really was. AA is just a cult for sad lonely people who drink too much. Alcoholism is not a disease, cancer is a disease. AA does not help stop people drinking and no treatment at all has a higher success rate.
Annymous. : 2011-03-31 11:06:33
Billy, you say that you "kind of" know the subject, but when you write:

"... saw the destruction psychedelics are ruining our youth in this day..."

it makes me wonder.

I'm not really a fan of "recreational" psychedelics, but when you look at the social and personal cost of using then in that manner, and compare it with a lot of other pastimes that youth engage in, psychedelic use is pretty benign.

I'm not sure of the destruction and ruin of which you speak. Sure, some kids develop unhealthy relationships with drugs -- including psychedelics, I guess, although that's a lot more rare -- but these things need to be put into context. Calling them the agent of destruction and ruin, in the context of everything else out there, seems disingenuous.

Actually, it sound pretty untruthful. If it's a lie you need to tell yourself to stay in recover, fine. But you probably shouldn't be telling it to others, as it clouds the real issue (which should be harm-reduction in the face of the fact that kids will do drugs, despite being told not to).

Billy. : 2011-03-31 01:36:10
I am in recovery, I feel like one person stated that if bill wison lived longer and saw the destruction psychedelics are ruining our youth in this day and age he may have gotten honest and changed his date, I am sure there are constant studies with drugs that arent even named yet in laboratory all over the world trying to invent the cure still but they haven't done so yet. The guinea pigs are still chopping at the cheese. We will have this same discussion for many years with other drugs. I miss LSD it was my favorite but tripping without my friends(that are all dead from alcohol and drugs) and alot of Budweiser wouldnt be fun. I will be 20 this year and also a deadhead, I kinda know this subject.
truthseeker. : 2011-03-20 13:42:07
People should get their FACTS straight before commenting. Please show me FACTS that LSD is effective in treating alcoholism and please show me FACTS that Bill W used LSD well into the 1960's. All else is opinion and/or hearsay.
Anonymous. : 2011-03-01 10:21:52
"I also know what scrooms and LSD does to your brain."

OK, I'll bite: what do shrooms do to your brain? Please enlighten us -- but please include references, because in all the peer-reviewed literature that I've seen, I've never seen any data on brain changes caused by psilocybin.

krissyb. : 2011-03-01 01:10:15
Good God people...get clean and enjoy the life God gave you. someone was on here...what's his name G Hooka...talking about this not being bad for you and probably not this...bull! hahaha I work with organ donors. I see the lungs of just weed or cigg smokers. Good God. I am talking about in their 20's!! I also know what scrooms and LSD does to your brain. whacked...want to waste your time here...go ahead. alcohol in moderation. sorry if you are addicted and can't drink it. I personally never liked it much. never had a problem with it . I can give or take it, blah. I've seen it take the life of many....kills your liver for sure. No, you don't see it...many a people wanting a new liver after they have drank theirs to death! shame. Good Luck and prayers to those to are really trying. Enjoy Life. God be with you
John A.. : 2011-02-27 05:44:36
Read "Bill's Story" Conference approved literature. Perhaps you can get "the facts" there. Tradition 12. Bill was human. The fact he never changed his sobriety date is a big ?? to me. 23 years dry.
Chris M. : 2011-02-11 23:20:40
Hmmm,,
I just recently came up on 2 years sober and almost had a heart attack reading that Bill W did LSD... I think I'm going to do some more research on this. Even if the founder of the program that saved my life did LSD I'm not going anywhere....
mrchris202003@yahoo.com
guest : 2011-02-08 01:52:51
BTW, that picture isn't real.
Valerie. : 2011-02-08 01:52:34
Don't believe everything you read on the internet ffs!

Bill W. suffered from clinical depression. He took LSD for a brief time under a doctor's care specifically in hopes of treating depression, but he and the doctor agreed it did not work and Bill W. ceased using it. He NEVER used it recreationally or without his doctor's prescription, and he certainly NEVER wanted it as a part of A.A.

I've been sober 17 years in A.A., and I can tell you that not only was Bill W. a wonderful man that worked his ass off to help build the program, but that A.A. only "fails" when one fails to use it properly.

Sincerely,
Valerie J.

G-HOOD a.k.a. theLSD. : 2011-01-24 00:33:42
LSD was the first checmical I wanted to use - due to its amazing hallucinogenic powers of changing my view on life. It does not cause blackouts, drowsyness like alcohol does. It does the opposite, it causes powerful memories, alertness, deep meaning, spiritual expierences, and much more.

Alcohol is bad for me, it encourages me to make bad decisions and most of the time I am not fully conscious when I made them. I am 3 months sober from alcohol, and only 2 months sober from drugs - cocaine/acid/weed/DMT/adderol/K2/XTC/shrooms. So I only have a 2 month AA coin.

I am only on step 6, but what step 12 is suggesting to me is that once you go over the 11 steps...now that you have worked with your sponsor and learned how to do these things, it suggests that it may be a good time to try LSD to finish step 12.

If you can change your life by going thru these 11 steps, you should be ready to drop some acid and have a great spiritual experience which is probably going to result in a spiritual awakening due hallucinating.

Be smart about it, be honest about it, and continue to live the 12 steps of AA every day. I do not believe you should continue to use LSD every day, not even occasionally...but if you remain in AA and always work the steps, why not have some more spiritual awakenings from time to time. What is the harm?

LSD is very amazing, powerful, and fun. If you do it all the time you will not get these results, it is being abused and you will suffer with the side effects. Same with alcohol and all drugs.

Once you cross the line with alcohol or ANY substance, I do believe there is NO going back...
I would drink alcohol several times a week. I would blackout sometimes, become violent sometimes, and learned how to cheat and lie like it was my job.
I sniffed heroin 3 or 4 times, never liked it, I dont want to ever use it again. If I sniffed a line tomorrow I would not even consider it a relapse - Why? I never was a Dope Fiend.
I sniffed too many lines of coke, I became unmanageable with my money it all went to the product instead of more important things like paying the light bill. If I sniff a line of coke tomorrow, I just had a relapse.
I smoked DMT 2 times in my life about a year apart. I would not mind trying it again and I would not consider this a relapse I see no problem.
I used MDMA/MOLLY/XTC way to much, it messed my brain up, abused it, sniffed it, smoked it this is a bad drug for me I cant even achieve the same type of high any more from it. I crossed the line long time ago with this one and have had several relapses in the last few years. At least I recognized my X relapse, since I already knew this was a bad one for me, and I do not use this any more.
I eat mushrooms from time to time. I never ate so much I couldnt handle it. I dont see a problem with eating or making tea with the magic fungus.
I tried mescaline one time - I enojyed it and never had a chance to try it again. I wouldnt mind eating mescaline or peyote a couple times before I die.
I smoked salvia a few times. Very powerful and short experience, similar to smoking DMT but not as visual. No problems here.
I smoked weed every day of my life for 10 years. I thought it would cure my ADHD. I guess I crossed the line with this one because it was an alternative to doing something productive...sitting on a couch smoking weed and listening to cypress hill always seemed more fun than work. If I smoke weed, it could easily gateway me back into my addictive side and trick me to think its ok to have a drink, or a line of coke, but certainly a ciggy.
Nicotine, smoked a pack a day, unhealthy, I want to live a good life so I quit. A cigarette would be a relapse for me.


If you have not crossed the line with LSD, what is the harm to use it again? I have been on good trips, bad trips, wtf trips and so on. Mixed with other drugs trip, and when I look back at it, I see no harm, just an openly expanded mind that has not been stretch out to the point of retardation. I believe using LSD is like blowing up balloon...[" the first exhale (1st dose) is tough to get thru because it is a new, tight balloon (virgin brain to LSD), but if you keep trying (keep trippin), you will eventually get it to inflate (expand the mind). One breath (one drop) will make the balloon round (expand), a second breath (2nd dose) will make the balloon bigger (more expansion), and so on. After a few breaths (usually up to 7 doses), it is fun to let it go (deflate which takes time to heal), as it makes funny sound (share your experience) and moves all over the place until it lands. You can not catch the balloon and blow it up again before it is done deflating (you need to land first before tripping again). Put the balloon in your pocket, bring it home, and keep it in a safe place until it is time to blow it up again and watch it fly. Too much air (acid) will cause the balloon to pop (brain fry) and this is when you have gone to far and there is no way of going back, not possible to repair that balloon. So play with your balloon, and only you can know the maximum size of it before it pops. Yo only have 1 brain and whats its gone its curtains. "] -theLSD

Moral: Even though I popped my Coke balloon, Alcohol balloon, Weed balloon, Ecstasy balloon, the party is not over and I have taught my self some wisdom with my experiments.

It works if you work it, so work it - your worth it.

Sincerely,
G-Hood aka theLSD aka Hurricane Bill aka LSD Anonymous

Duncan M.. : 2011-01-23 09:25:01
I'm an avid A.A. Member; alcohol free for over 30yrs. I love A.A. and I love the fact that Bill W. experimented. It is a struggle to be in A.A. and remain true to one's own beliefs (in my case, non-theistic Buddhist ) , but for me it's worth it. A.A. will hopefully evolve into something more inclusive, less dogmatic, but even if it does not, it is still better than the hell that alcoholism is for so many millions. We A.A. members are not all God fearing fundamentalists, you know.
Petr Walker. : 2011-01-19 14:41:03
Why would folks bash on something that has done such good for so many people? If it did not work for you then thats cool. Why bash?
jim . : 2011-01-17 23:18:09
I took too much acid and it lead me to a twelve year heroin addiction. AA helps me and alot of people. The fact that Bill Wilson took LSD doesnt really matter. He is dead and AA helps people. Thats what matters.
Brandon. : 2010-12-26 10:42:20
I will have 18 months of sobriety on Tuesday. I attend MA and AA meetings, yet I only had the “allergy” (the compulsion to keep trying to get to a certain psychological state when no longer accessible) to marijuana.

There are many things I find positive and many I find negative with AA.

I use the model in Zen Buddhism of Northern School (Sudden / Quick Witted) vs Southern School (Slow / Not Quick Witted) often when I am confronted in the rooms with something that does not settle well with me ("Never say no to AA", "Give what was so freely given", etc.)

There are three parts to the program of recovery using the 12-steps method:
1. Discovery of the Problem
2. The Solution to the Problem (Spiritual in Nature)
3. The Path

I had three weeks into the program when a good friend of mine suggested to me that “It was time to fall off the wagon.” The cue registered, and I was Pavlov’s dog until I lit up….. And a realization occurred. It didn’t work anymore.

It took a lot to have that realization.

I like Bill Wilson, am an enthusiast in regards to the healing potential of psychedelics, but I am not in favor of LSD, but of a small subset of psychedelics that have a history of being healing / personal change catalysts which are i. Psilocybin, ii. DMT, iii. Ayahuasca, iv. Ibogaine, and v. Salvia Divinorum).

When the use of psychedelics for healing are referenced, the terms Set and Setting should go hand-in-hand.

Before entering the rooms of AA, I would often say “quote G O D quote” instead of God because I am aware of the physiological reaction it gives to myself and others. It seems to me that the majority of AA members in rooms that I have spent time in are Christians (or Agnostics or Atheists who were raised Christian) who have had limited to no exposure to other religions or spiritual schools. This does cause a certain uneasiness in myself, in how quickly the program goes from “choosing a higher power of your understanding” to hearing God out of most lips. It is my opinion, only, but that most are unaware of the trappings of language and the power of words to define reality.

Defining the aspects of my thoughts and internal dialogue that I do not like as “my disease” is not at this time beneficial to me.

What defined my use of alcohol, pot, and adderall was an automatic retreat from fear. As I open up my awareness to the truth that the retreat either i) is the fear itself or ii) only increases the fear I become more open to what is.

Step 11 is on meditation and prayer. A few powerful meditations for me are:
1. I am not my internal dialogue
2. I am not this internal conflict
3. [Insert Individual’s Name] wants to be unconditional happy

I heard a AA speaker once say, “AA is not a program for people who want it, or need it. It is a program for people who do it.” Find a program that you will do. AA and all 12-step programs have no monopoly on recovery.

coleman simmons. : 2010-12-04 20:27:45
12 step programs work for many people and that is great for them. It also does not work for far more. This would seem to be a straight forward reality. In this writers view, the rooms are very useful for the group support and social outlet they provide people. The whole steps bit and sponsor bit was more than I could handle.

Of an emphatically laughter loving nature, I pass through life with a smile on my lips. I do not let the petty ills of disturb my equanimity. This is what a 12 stepper may refer to as "taking life of lifes terms". I have complaints like anyone else but no need to repine. The last thing I need to be doing is ruminating over a bunch of crap I am working on putting behind. After reaching a period of cleantime it became clear that the only exposure I was getting to this so-called disease was at these meetings. And if I need to talk about it at some future point I will go back.

The whole bit about rarely has someone failed who followed our path was what sealed it for me. Basically, if it works it is the program and if it fails it is the persons fault.

This is an article of faith and I was not interested in being indoctrinated. I am not a religious zealot but superstitious enough to not go around worshipping graven images. In the interest of full disclosure I found the AA meetings far more tolerable than the NA ones.

I am not particularly offended by bill's dabbling in acid. He was just a man. He wrote a book. It has helped some people.

Using LSD for treating alcoholism was an ill-advised experiment but the 12 step battle against medical advancement is neo-luddite struggle they are bound to lose. There is no miracle panacea but to view any advancement in medicine as a threat to the viability of the rooms is a sign of doubt and cowardice.

Is it a disease or not. If it is the symptoms can be treated and the cause can be addressed. Crudely at this time perhaps but the possibility exists. If it can only be magically influenced by incantations, fearless moral inventories and fraternizing with cretins then it is not a disease.

FYI: I'm not buying that Kevin is a "Science" person. No one person has a background in all things "pharmacology and toxicology". Any person with even a minimal educational background in ANY SUBJECT would realize that to possess this scope of knowledge about anything is patently impossible.

guest : 2010-11-20 23:59:41
@ bubba b obvious oldtimer is obvious lulz
Distressed7. : 2010-11-20 09:19:53
The AA program does work. However, one has to step through the mine fields in and out of meetings. I find the AA way of life, disgusting and stupid in many ways. The hypocrite personalities that walk around the meetings getting their needs met to control and get attention at "clubs" where cliques and games reside. When these rituals are spoken of, the reaction is " ... well you know when you get horse thief sober, what do you get? A sober horse thief! Yuk, yuk, yuk, yuk, yuk...hahahah!" However, after being in the fundamentalist jungle of Christianity (so-called) you can, at AA tell someone off and come back, (usually). Not only that, there are far more meetings to choose from and a lot of interesting people. The church is no friend of boozers, losers and mid-night cruisers, and is largely a socio-political strike force. Besides that it is a total top down management operation with untouchable bullies who can and do bully others and fit in greatly with the narcissism tests.
So, I will take AA and I will take it my way. "My way got me into trouble ..." Say a lot of AA's but they still do it their way. I do to and have had unsafe results surrendering to some sponsor. Getting a sponsor is in many cases an exercise in selecting somebody who acts like they've known you for centuries, and it is an uncomfortable gamble one does not have to venture forth on.
I do not talk like this at AA meetings and have been able to get what I need and move on. Years ago, there were more individualistic critical thinkers in AA. It seems that more and more as the world turns more people are like young robotons, unable to properly understand what is controlling and what is not.
There is a lot of hidden controversy and violations of avoiding controversy. There is a religious right type of vanity displayed before meetings and disapproval of possible opponents of their White Flight Patriotism.
Hokus-Pokus. : 2010-11-12 09:27:57
Sorry I missed the LSD
Based on research studies and years of personal experiences (to those that get confused, facts are evidence,)
it is determined that more people get and stay clean and sober in spite of recovery programs rather than because of them.
12 steppers are in denial to the fact that 12 step programs have become their own false religions. The proof is studied when viewing the programs with a detached, open mind as from an above satellite view, there, a reasonable mind, (not clouded by hokus-pokus and superstition that 12 step programs and cults use to hold on to members)will clearly see what brand of religion 12 step programs are selling.
12 step programs work for people that buy the snake oil, drink the kool-ade and have become "churched"
"come in, sit down, shut up,
Drink the coffee
drink the coffee
drink the coffee
drink the coffee...
Oh, by the way,
dont worry if you are a skeptic,
people can and do stop drinking and using without god.
Many thousands of xsteppers find sobriety after leaving 12 steps and taking god out of the equation.
I, and many, many of my friends are proof.

It is enjoyable reading the canned, predicted responses from 12 steppers.

bubba b. : 2010-10-09 18:45:09
hell,now more than ever recover rooms are full of people finding every excuse to be on and stay on Meds...It is a shame to find people in recovery today taking an easier and softer way using the excuse my Doctor perscribed them to me...Bull.Iam unique on and on..Ur not a Doc.Etc..What a crock..But welcome to looser Recovery today...Big money for the Medical Prof....They are fat and sassy on our dishonesty...
Dr. Bob. : 2010-10-04 20:40:21
Since I died years before Bill, it is not quite possible that I was there when he was on his death bed. Sorry, mates.
Lines. : 2010-09-21 13:39:46
Huxley's buddy in Canada claimed that they were having a 25% recovery rate with alcoholics treated with LSD.At the time,Bill W would have killed for a 25% recovery rate,because in New York they were firing up to the classic AA concept of go to a lot of meetings,put a buck in the basket,and do some service routine that is killing 97% of the drunks that try that.The members of the Akron #1 group were about getting drunks through thesteps,about them "finding a way out" having a psychic change" "personality change necessary to recover",and fought Bill tooth and nail.Bill W died screaming for a drink claiming alcohol as his master,Dr Bob opened his eyes,looked at the attending nurse,smiled and said"Well I guess this is it."

I love Akron AA,and have no use for direction Bill W went or the New York AA people that have canonized him,other than to know switching substane is kind of like switching seats on the Titanic.

justin case. : 2010-09-03 19:50:20
Hi confused...

remember that AA has NO opinion on outside issues... I've been sober and in recovery for three years (this time- 10 years b4) and i don't share my medicine cabinet with AA... just my experience, strenght, hope that sobriety (lack of alcohol) can happen by osmosis, but RECOVERY happens with WORK (ANOTHER FOUR LETTER WORD) , but once i got through the steps, i continue to apply them 'IN ALL MY AFFAIRS'... which keep MY side of the street clean. keep the faith confused in AA

Confused in AA. : 2010-09-03 03:36:48
If Bill Wilson took LSD when it was legal, why does modern AA frown on the use of medical marijuana when used as a controlled substance?
Linkflat. : 2010-07-19 18:34:00
Wow! Now I understand how one can have the Spiritual Experience (burning bush) that I so desperately seek. My experiments with LSD back in the 60's and early 70's produced the Spirtual mind experiences that we all seek in our acholic recovory. lmfao. Wilson and Leary, what a "Dream Team".
Leo Miller. : 2010-06-14 17:32:49
I believe that either in the book Not God: A History of AA by Ernest Kurtz, or in a lecture by Kurtz about the book he pointed out that Bill Wilson did in fact try LSD with the help of Timothy Leary, M.D. He experimented with this to see if it - LSD could help the real "low bottom drunks". But, after a few "trips" he found it less than desirable in helping drunks.

You might want to read Kurtz' book, because AA gave him permission to use their archives for his research on this book and there was no restrictions on what he would write.

guest : 2010-06-08 17:28:20
more park sausages Mom,PLEASE
selly. : 2010-03-09 15:22:03
all roads lead to
gavinbathgate. : 2010-03-01 18:05:22
Why is it im always too late to get the answers i always wanted, to find the keys to the 4 doors, but only got them slammed in my face.i took a bunch of acid 20yr ago, just prior to coming back to AA. I got 6 weeks totally clean and sober and had the awakening thats spoke about in the fellowship it was out of this world, i walked with god for weeks inside me and beside me i was the programme and the programme was me,all that stopped when i picked up the first joint, 11month later after cutting down meetings i had a drink ! after many more trips,booze and other mind altering chemicals,and countless failed AA tries,i am now 40yrs old and back in the fellowship 7-8 month sober and clean my first idea comming back was to go to amsterdam and smuggle a few hundred real trips and use them on a daily basis over one year to open my mind to god and the fellowship. i chose to rattle off of or call it cold turkey,i went it alone with only god and the fellowship to help me.i am so glad i did, for years i studied the occult and came very close to oppening the doors in king solomon's book, the lesser key of king solomon. if i had of took the the lsd to open my mind what else could i have opened, the doors of perception were already open would i have entered the dark realms of the spirit? i think so!so what i will do is just hand my will and my life over to the care of god as i understand him. love, light and peace and look forward to another sobber day, one day at a time. i am gavin i am a very gratefull alcaholic,thanks. ps sorry bout the spelling
12 Saratoga. : 2010-03-01 00:31:51
Die hard steppers commonly say, "I don't give a fu$% if Wilson did LSD!" This may in fact be the case. I have a problem with AA acting holier-than-thou and not being truthful about Wilson's shenanigans. He was dosed out once every other week for 2 1/2 years as AA's spokesperson. No doubt, Wilson had the strongest doses of LSD legally allowable. Yet, he is heralded as the guru of the recovery movment. Can't have it both ways. Wilson preached rigorous honesty, yet was a pathological philanderer. Either AA works because it's co-founder was/is time tested, or AA is plausably a farce because it promotes it's cofounder (as found in the Big Book) as somone who got perfectly well once he had his "religious" vision while on Bella Donna halluncinogenics (again!) at the hospital.
Old Leadfoot. : 2010-02-04 13:13:47
"LSD cannot replace working on ones self but it can offer a powerful window to the possibility of change witch many cannot see." - Guest -2-9-09

Of course, it isn't a replacement for "working on ones self". The miracle it offers is as a tool to help one discover ones self. That's when the "work" first begins!

oatstao. : 2010-01-29 06:17:46
i have never been into alcohol, it makes me sick and weird.
My father passed away from all sorts of side effects from over consumption of alcohol.
All I can contribute to this article is my experience and feelings about psychedelics. Mostly Psilocybin Mushrooms, and 8 trips of LSD.
They helped me remember integral morals, and possibly showed me new morals, it's hard to tell, but it basically showed me what I was doing wrong or disfunctional in my life. That even is down to drinking soda, eating bad meat, some social issues, repetetive habits, repressed feelings. It helped me cope and configure them, and I remember everything to this day for reflection. Alan Watts said something like this (on the level you don't have to keep taking psychedelics) "once you get the message, you can hang up the phone"
dude. : 2010-01-06 17:20:21
I took a lot of acid. Too many times to count. Shot a lot of smack, too much to add up. Shot a bunch of coke and meth. Smoked a ton of crack. AA works for me, hallucinogens didnt. There are different types of addicts, different paths to recovery. Letting go and turning it over are necessary in both recovery and tripping. turn off your mind relax and float downstream was my mantra in early 12 step recovery
Pedro. : 2010-01-04 17:43:24
I go to Aa meetings regularly and realising that i am powerless over alcohol has been my greatest discovery in life so far.
I have far too much to lose by attempting to embark on a social drinking/recreational drug use career.
This is pure logic for me and I am aware of research that says I may be able to do this sobel and sobel among many who claim that this would be possilble.
I work my own programme and it is of pure logic i dont do what is going to make me feel like shit and i try to do what is going to make me feel better over a long period.I try to work on my executive functions as I believe that this is where my problems lie.
I take with a pinch of salt the programme bangers who try to tell me how to live my life and quote bill W at every turn.The man was taking LSD for goodness sake when he had this spiritual awakening.We paddle our own canoes but get out to help those who are ploughing a lonely furrow.Best Wishes.X
BillM. : 2009-12-21 00:45:10
Whomever wrote this article, you are less than a fool. AA meetings are not full of frightened, needy drunks. They are full of healthy, confident humans recovering from the disease of alcoholism and addiction. Also wrong. The rooms are full of both.
tommyd. : 2009-12-18 04:38:11
After reading many of the postings, I question the true serenity and peace of a few of my fellow AA's. Specifically the FU and the other comments reflecting and impling others opinions are off based or condescending.
The goal of AA's are to overcome our dependence on alcohol, understand the true reasons we became alcoholic, fix those defects, and become wholly functioning members of society.
Ours is not to judge others, but to have love, patience, and tolerance for others.
I for one, cannot afford to get into an argument, use profanity, or bear resentful and hateful feelings towards others.
If I allow people, places, or things to impinge on my sobriety, then I am placing my life in perilous danger.
I also agree the acid in the 70's was mostly speed. I know I drank even more when tripping. The 60's 'cid was clean and did open some surprising doors. Alas I became a drunk, a sot, a wino, the old guy at the end of the bar huddled over my shot and beer chase.
Today I am clean and sober. I will not forget my past and every day I work the AA program found in the first 164 pages.
VIPelle. : 2009-11-25 08:57:29
Wilson's experiences with LSD and his enthusiasm for it as a possible cure for alcoholism are documented in the AA book Pass It On and in Susan Cheever's bio of Wilson. Since Wilson had his initial breakthrough after a strong dose of Town's remedy (chock full of belladonna) I propose it was psychedelically inspired.

stellabloo. : 2009-11-11 22:22:28
Bill W did indeed take LSD as explained in detail in the book Pass It On.
He took it in a controlled setting, a garden, there were experienced friends present and his wife dosed too.
He describes "seeing" a bush for the first time ever, noticing the detail right down to the fine pores on the leaves.
The interesting part - his wife who was a naturalist did not see plants any differently - she was already trained to notice the details.
LSD acts to shut down the normal controls of incoming sensory signals. Many of us are entirely self-absorbed and see only a fraction of what is really going on around us. This spiritual death occurs as the wide-eyed child grows into a good minion of the state - a perfect consumer rat.
And good consumer rats consume - alcohol.
Cesar. : 2009-10-05 07:34:24
Hola, soy miembro de AA desde 1991, quedo impresionado por las historias de Bill W., de que probo el lsd, de que era mujeriego, de que se plagio el libro azul, de que pidio una ultima copa antes de morir, de que murio millonario y tantas cosas, algunos articulos leidos de orange papers y otros, realmente me gustaria que me ayudaran a confirmar todo esto, que es verdad, que es mentira, lo cierto es que si hay algo que ver con la cuestion de la literatura y de que representa un jugoso negocio para lo que ahora se ha convertido en las oficinas mundiales de AA, ya que esta, hace todo lo imposible para evita que esta literatura sea editada sin la menor ganancia posible, los embates legales de estas oficinas se han hecho sentir en alemania y aqui con nosotros en mexico ya que yo milito en una seccion que se separo de una que tiene la autorizacion de dichas oficinas por ya no estar de acuerdo, por la forma en la que este movimiento se ha pervertido, esto me hace suponer que si hay una gran verdad, sobre las intenciones hipocritas de Bill W. para usar AA para beneficio personal, si hay aqui personas que me puedan dar paginas reales, veridicas, se los agredeceria mucho que me las hagan llegar a mi correo pegos10@hotmail.com
kevin. : 2009-10-01 22:21:51
Hey, I have a Scientific background in of all things pharmacology and toxicology and have been sober about 18 years. I hit my bottom when leaving the field. It is heresay but
the word was the Bill W. was given LSD in a clinical setting as
a possible cure for alcoholism. My experience is that all approaches to rcovery w/ the exception of some minor psycopharmacology administeed by a competant physician were
useless to me except the spiritual tools outlined in the 12 steps having been down the road with nutritional diet, excercise, yoga, church. If there would have been a way to stay sober
like most alcohics I would have found it before becoming one. In my opinion with more scientific information under my belt these days I am still
powerless over alcohol. I cannot breakdown, digest and metabolize alcohol like biochemicaly normal peaple.
Thank God for Alcoholics Anonomous. Sorry about how I spell.
Dave C.. : 2009-08-08 11:32:05
If I could have stayed sufficiently tripping at a steady clip, I'd never have needed alcohol again..... but alas, all psychoactive substances from weed to booze to heroin to meth to acid, have more negative aspects than positive in the big scheme of things. Sadly (sometimes) I think God meant for us to escape only occasionally, but for us to handle life on life's terms- clear headed. And some of us with the addictive tendencies are not afforded the luxury of "occasionally" escaping.
Carlos. : 2009-07-29 12:30:31
Well, I do not know about a cure, although I would not doubt it. Timothy Leary and believe if I remember correctly Richard Alpert (who later became Ram Dass) where Harvard Psychologist Studing and Investigating the use of LSD on Alcoholism and maybe other drugs too. I know that most psychodelic including LSD and Ibogain, are use, or being studied on the effect of other drug uses. I know for sure that on Ibogain Heroin addicts do not feel the withdrawl effects. NOW, when you mean cure are we talking about an alcoholic going back and drinking "normaly" without relapsing to overuse and abuse of alcohol again. Or do we mean that the persons will detox from alcohol and know that he will not drink again and he does not have to go to twocilion meeting in the rest of their life time? I believe that in the USA, LSD research has been discontinued after Dr. Leary and Dr. Alpert made asses of themselves and use it to drop out(It became a dangerous drug). I do know that research on Ibogain has continue and you will find a lot of information on the Internet about it.
aaaaaaa. : 2009-07-28 16:28:48
I have taken LSD probably close to 200 times as a youth.After many years sober and continually striving to improve my conscious contact and understanding of the bigger picture i become increasingly aware and grateful for the doors of perception that in my case,were opened.As far as ridiculing its possible benefits,perhaps contempt prior to investigation might require a closer look on ones part.AA is a way of life that works for someone like me but I believe anyone too caught up in thinking all the paths to get sober must be the same one are maybe a little too narrow-minded.If your not harming yourself or others and have a reasonable sense of peace and serenity,then be happy and don't overcomplicate it.Try to spend less time worrying about how others are doing it.Pomposity too,is a sin.
A AA. : 2009-07-23 06:05:10
I am not an expert on LSD (beyond taking probably over 50 times) or alcoholism (beyond being a drunk that has been sober in AA for over 25 years), but I can say that I truely doubt that a good LSD trip will cure anyone of alcoholism. I used to take LSD because it allowed me to stay awake and all night, whereas without it I would surely have blacked out and sooner or later passed out. But, I will say, the crap I was taking in the 70's probably had a lot more speed in it than the LSD-25 that Bill Wilson took. Having said that, my sobriety is based on being alcohol and drug free.
AA member . : 2009-06-29 13:27:05
fuck you and your vile comments about AA !! "needy , chainsmoking drunks " be dammed , AA has unreservedly given me the very best years of my life and I am tired of morons like you who can 't stand the fact some guys can quit drugs and be happy , get a life and make a difference in the world
Hammilton. : 2009-05-01 23:20:09
Some of you may know who I am.

LSD certainly seems to be effective with treating alcoholism, but you're right to mention the quality of the studies. There are good studies on this subject, and they indicate effectiveness. Better than 50%? I don't know about that; some of the poorer studies report success as being much higher than this, and the good studies show around a 50% efficacy rate. However, the definitions of efficacy aren't great. A modern study would likely find similar results, but we'd have a lot better idea knowing exactly what it found. I would not be surprised if a double blind study found that 80% were drug or alcohol free at three months, 65-70% by one year, and 50% by three years. After the three year mark the number of relapses drops significantly, but it's definitely not unheard of. Performing a study past the three year mark is generally impossible. It's hard enough to keep track of trial patients who have normal, steady and functioning lives; alcoholics often have other pathology or simply lack the skills needed to maintain a steady, functioning life. They tend to move around a lot and lose jobs even when they're not drinking. I wouldn't begin to suggest that this is the 'norm' but just that significant portion have these problems.

anonymous. : 2009-04-23 15:47:24
Lsd is something that is talked about among many people, and in fact being a full supporter of AA myself I think it should be more of a topic when it comes to the terms of sobriety and Bill W. I think if Bill would have stated these facts in present day AA he might have been mocked and put down for interfering with his own length of sobriety. I am a supporter of the concept that was put down so many years ago and that is we are here for alcoholics and this is our primary purpose. This doesn't mean go and destroy your body with other substance. This just means this could open a huge door for people to start looking into a truly great man and finding out what he may have been up to in his spare time... besides writing very good material. Bring it up a good discussion meeting sometime
atrixwolfe. : 2009-03-08 22:19:25
Whomever wrote this article, you are less than a fool. AA meetings are not full of frightened, needy drunks. They are full of healthy, confident humans recovering from the disease of alcoholism and addiction. Whether or not Bill Wilson took LSD matters not in the least, the main distinction being that when he took it he wasn't jepordizing his spirituality (ie he didn't think he was doing wrong by taking it) and since it is not a chemically addictive substance it didn't trigger a relapse into his addiction. When ignorant jackasses like yourself try to act like you know the first thing about alcoholism, addiction, recovery or any other concepts beyond your comprehension you end up looking both foolish and nasty. Making fun of alcoholics in recovery is like making fun of a diabetic for taking insulin. You've wasted enough of my time
guest : 2009-02-09 23:24:34
I have been sober this time for over 6 years. I have done LSD over 80 times in my life. I like to think LSD and myself parted friends. It is definitely not a "recreational experience" as it was introduced to me as a sacrament. I was pleased and felt some relief when I learned that Bill had "experienced" the temparary ego relief offered by LSD. I left with a new perspective. LSD cannot replace working on ones self but it can offer a powerful window to the possibility of change witch many cannot see.
aa member. : 2008-12-21 22:45:30
The steps of AA, at least in my personal belief, are an inspired means of leading the suffering alcholic from the depths and dregs of their personal dilemma and despair towards a path of personal recovery. This recovery happens in a twofold manner where both their addiction to alcohol and/or other mind affecting substances is removed and the driving force that compels them toward the release provided by an external influence is taken away. Where, precisely, the original inspiration or revelation for this came from is largely irrelevant. There are, however, two facts: One being that the twelve steps of AA seem to be the most highly effective path to recovery ever introduced which is particularly evidenced by the fact that those same steps have found their place into so many other recovery programs (CA, NA, GA, SA, OA, the list goes on) that the positive benefits of the life-changing aspects of the application of the program cannot be ignored. The other, and seldom discussed within the AA and "other-A" circles, is that LSD may, in fact, have played a part in this revelation and has, unfortunately, been largely dismissed as a positive influence in favor of 'alternate' and 'more socially acceptable theories'. It is sad that this has been the case and that what was accomplished as a result of the positive aspects of the influence of a potentially beneficial substance are only recently coming to light. Most of this, I am afraid, has come about as a result to the fears that exist within our government (and those who direct it) that an enlightened society is the most difficult to control. They would rather us be suppressed so, go ahead, take your Lunesta or whatever.

Think about it - Those in control don't want you to think but go ahead, do it anyway.

OK. : 2008-12-18 14:37:41
The article you reference has many oversights and falsehoods. For instance, when discussing Bill Wilson's revelation, the author writes:
"Then, on December 11th, 1934, after five years on the bum, something happened. No one, and especially not Wilson himself, was ever able to adequately articulate what occurred, but according to the standard tale it went something like this:

After repeatedly failing to get his drinking under control, Wilson, trembling on the brink of insanity, called up into the sky, “If there be a God, let Him show Himself now!” Suddenly, a warm bright light filled the room and Wilson found himself standing atop a mighty mountain. A wind came to him, surrounding his body and moving through it. With its departure, Wilson fell back into himself and never touched another drop of alcohol..."

While essentially true, the author leaves out one important, universally known fact: This episode occurred in a hospital, where Bill was being treated for alcoholism with belladonna, a hallucinogen, and it was while "tripping" that Bill had this revelatory episode.

Also from the article: "It’s never been entirely clear, however, how AA tallies sober members from the non-sober ones... [the numbers tallied of sober members] ultimately depend upon the truthfulness of information given by members of an organization who have been told that drinking is a source of deep personal shame."
Nowhere in AA, that I know of, are members told to be ashamed of their drinking. Nor, as the author implies, do members believe such a thing due to being told so by someone in AA. AA members aren't "tricked" into believing drinking is a source of shame. AA doesn't recruit, preach, reach out for members, or promote itself in any way. You have to seek it out. People seek out AA because, for them and them alone, alcohol has ruined their lives. It's not a judgment call, or a moral decision. It has nothing to do with "good" or "bad" -- some people are unable, once they have tasted a drop of alcohol, to stop drinking it until they pass out. It is impossible to have a beer for lunch with coworkers, because an alcoholic cannot detach from the beer and will just as likely stay behind to continue drinking. Once this has destroyed aspects of your life, it is not a matter of AA convincing you that alcohol is something to be ashamed of, it's quite beside the point.

thomson2008. : 2008-10-25 00:26:32
A life-long agnostic who sometimes espoused atheism, Wilson took pains to avoid terming the event supernatural. He likened it instead to a heat flash, as if he’d been visited by premature and off-gendered menopause.
===========================
Thomson
Alcohol">[link] Rehab
Precisely Recovered. : 2008-07-09 13:23:49
Agreed on the first point. There are no peer-reviewed studies performed and _independently replicated_ in a double-blind, placebo controlled protocol that show any treatment nearing 50% "effectiveness in combating alcoholism" ... notwithstanding an extremely loose operational definition & measurement of "combated alcoholism." These rigorous scientific standards are what validate a treatment's efficacy

That aside, the DSM-IV aids in diagnosing alcohol abuse and alcohol dependence. Alcoholism, a spiritual malady the central feature of which is self-centeredness run riot, is not a medical condition.

No opinion on the second :)

Knoss. : 2008-07-05 22:23:31
LSD has been shown to have a 60-75% effectiveness in combating alcoholism. Reasherchers in Weburn, Saskatchewan lead the use psycadelic drugs in adictions treatment, a study in Toronto, where subjects were tied up and blindfolded could not replicate the results, however this could be as the enviroment was not friendly.

LSD soon developed a bad reputation due to it's use as a recreatinal durg and was banned, but many people in the medical field belive further study is needed as well re-evaluating the use of LSD in addictions treatment.

aaa. : 2008-04-28 12:41:32
A Quick summeriztion of how to treat lsd

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