Right, I think AA is great for religious people and even the non religious adaptations and claims smack heavily of it. I don’t disagree with the claims or methods necessarily but really the members bother me more.
Bill W is lauded to sainthood even though his transfer addiction killed him in a very pathetic way. The program has a poor success rate, but if you ask, the claim is someone just “wasn’t doing it right” or “enough” or whatever else. AA is not the only way, not even a particularly good way, but it’s the most available way.
The egos, the traditions, the folksy Maxims, the sheer structure is a turnoff. I’m in Mensa and turned off for similar reasons. The most damning part is that the first words out of anyone’s mouth are “go to a meeting.” For people with mental health problems, a huge swath of alcoholics, that’s not enough. AA is not a substitute for or even primary to medical care. It’s a niche religious solution. If your concept of a fulfilled life is coffee in a church basement bemoaning the flawed nature of humanity, fine.
So I’m not so much knocking it but people put way, way too much emphasis on it.