For More on the topic of this article, check out The Addiction Solution Podcast’s latest episode related to this episode here:
The Freedom Model is The Official 12 Step Deprogramming Guide: Move Past both Addiction and Recovery




I grew up going to AA. (To hear more about my personal experiences with the AA cult, you can access The Addiction Solution Podcast here.) It was as much a part of my life as any other aspect of living at the time. My siblings attended meetings regularly (I’m the youngest of 12 kids), my mother was an AA “old-timer” as they called them, and I eventually attended 12 step meetings for my own substance use problems as well. It was expected. I was told over and over as a young boy, “if you ever drink, Mark, you’ll be an alcoholic.” The stage was set, and I acted accordingly. By 18 years old, I too was pulled into the cult, like millions before me. I got out, luckily. Like thousands of others, I found freedom from the cult.

AA is a cult:

  • AA abhors critical thinkers and debate.
  • AA demands group-think over individualism.
  • AA demands its members can only gain sobriety and sanity by “working with others” like them, a code for furthering their pyramid membership scheme.
  • AA demands allegiance to its “steps and principles,” or you will “relapse.” They promise relapse will result in “jails, institutions, and death.” These teachings are a classic fear-based manipulation of its members.
  • AA provides only “AA Approved Literature” which makes sense. But if conflicting literature or ideas are brought up, members are warned against even considering them. Old-timers say that reading such materials endangers their recovery. These other “outside” ideas are to be “left at the door.”
  • Dogma is more valuable than free-thinking and organic discussions.
  • “You must give yourself completely to this simple program.” This line, read before every meeting begins the dehumanizing process and sets in motion adherence to group-think.
  • AA has its prophets and dogma – Bill Wilson, Dr. Bob Smith (the co-founders) and the text Alcoholics Anonymous.
  • Changing any word of the text Alcoholics Anonymous is tantamount to deep heresy, like any religious movement.
  • AA places its entire solution to one’s alcohol or drug problem outside the individual. It is only by giving oneself completely to “the program” and a “higher power” that you might be granted This means giving your time and resources to the group, and “surrendering” your will to a higher power (their vision of a Santa Claus God). Cults always remove one’s belief in self-initiated power and decision making and replace it with myth, magic, and external group control.
  • There is an unstated but understood hierarchy in AA. The “old-timers” and “sponsors” at the top of the hierarchy attempt to direct the lives of those beneath them.

Is there an alternative to the 12 Steps? Yes.

The Freedom Model is the Definitive 12 Step Deprogramming Guide and an alternative that shows people how they can solve their substance use problems and move past both addiction and recovery completely. Here is why:

  • The Freedom Model encourages debate and wants everyone to be a critical, autonomous thinker.
  • The Freedom Model encourages one’s autonomy and individualism.
  • The Freedom Model goal is for the individual to explore and decide what is best for them and their life. This includes personal goals, behaviors, likes, and dislikes. You are free to be exactly who you desire to be – unencumbered by institutions meant to make you fall in line.
  • There are no dogmatic principles, tools or steps – no recovery, no treatment, no fear-based manipulations within The Freedom Model. Just research and information which the individual can use to make their own fully informed decisions.
  • The Freedom Model has a complete bibliography of research and other works upon which the reader/student can learn from and critique. Learning is essential to the model, as is allowing the student to seek answers to their issues elsewhere. There is no boxed mindset in The Freedom Model.
  • There are no prophets, gurus, sponsors, old-timers or leaders within The Freedom Model – just authors who continue to research the problem of substance use. As authors, we are continually learning ourselves. Dogma has no place in The Freedom Model.
  • The Freedom Model is the 14th edition of BRI’s approach to solving substance use problems and is The Original Non 12 Step Program. It’s the end-product of constant refinement over 30 years in the field of helping people. We are continually learning and adapting.
  • The Freedom Model is completely individual-centered. The solution to one’s problems lies within that person. It is based on an internal locus of control.

So if you are seeking a model that can help you move past:

  • The construct of addiction
  • The idea that you are enslaved to substances
  • The fear that you will always need 12 step meetings
  • The fear that you will forever need a sponsor to tell you how to live
  • The requirement to identify as an “alcoholic” or “drug addict”
  • The fear that you will never be free of your substance use problem
  • The idea that you are weak, sick and permanently damaged

…then you are ready for The Freedom Model. Moving past an addiction need not be a struggle. Through learning the truth about addiction and about your own substance use, you can find a solution and leave the cult of Alcoholics Anonymous behind you forever.  If you are struggling with Addiction or are looking to Deprogram from Alcoholics Anonymous and the 12 Step Model, contact us today at 1-888-424-2626