.It's been my experience, currently and long-term, that A.A. has none of the controversy that I see discussed on the internet.
.Court-slips, I've posted a topic on this a few posts ago that I think answers these issues. Inside of meetings I've been to, if folks need those papers signed, we just do it. Those folks rarely seem to come back after a while. Once in a great while, someone hangs around and of those, some become the next sober miracle.
.God, not-God, religion, cult, etc. These topics seem to be more of an internal thing that individuals are able to hash out for themselves in f2f (face-to-face) meetings, but this is an ongoing battle field for the A.A. detractors.
.Identification, aka Step 1. This in my mind is the single-most downfall of most meetings/groups I've been to. If you're not clear on the first step, what it is to be a real alcoholic, and a subsequent decision to do A.A. or not do A.A. as outlined in our book, then meetings/groups just leave themselves open to what many of our detractors find to be wrong with A.A. Now, on the other hand, a good group who can point you to finding out if you're real alky or not and get you to the decision of whether to do A.A. or not, can do some real good for A.A. as a whole and will form a meeting place/group that will thrive.
.The second step. What about God? What about atheists, agnostics, Christians, Spiritual but not religious people? This to me has always always been an internal battle. I've many times gone to folks in A.A. for guidance on this. I've begged folks to tell me the answers. What is it? Is this church? Is God this or that? What's your concept of God? Can I get to a place where I can find this God y'all speak of? Why church? Why not church? What does the book say? Oh yeah. Deep down within all of us is the fundamental idea of God. Just become willing. Seek. Can I do religion and A.A.? Do I need both? Do I need one or the other. In any case, this battle is between my ears and no one elses. That's my experience within A.A. Only on the internet do they, the detractors, make this another battle ground and reason to hate A.A.
.Third Step. Just a decision. This is what makes us immune to a lot of the crap that our detractors try to hang us for. Turning my will and life over to God is NOT ducking responsibility. It's quite the opposite. And I DO decide. I have to decide for myself if I need this and if I will do this. Do I need God? Can I keep myself sober without God. Can I be free of selfishness and can I manage my own life successfully without God? If so, then don't do A.A. Period. It's not as if we don't look at the option. I was not coerced into, hustled into, conned into A.A. What about you?
.Four through nine. Anti/XAers don't know shit about the middle-work and it's evident to me. This is how I can spot them a mile away. You can't bullshit yourself into this. Knowledge about the steps is the stuff MOTR is made of. We that have done the work can just spot it instantly. If our detractors had actual experience in the middle-work they wouldn't be detractors. They would have gotten this and wouldn't be bitching, pissing, nor moaning about it all. That's what I think.
.10, 11, and 12, a direct result of 1-9. It can be disected, lampooned, shot-down, mocked, etc. But these are the fruits of our labor.
.Traditions and Concepts, our detractors have tried to pry our stated purpose apart with these very spiritual concepts, saying we use them to duck responsibility, protect ourselves, etc. It's my understanding and experience that if A.A. is going to be taken down, it will come from within, not without. Only we can damage ourselves. But the mere practice of these principles work to keep us from "Lousing this thing up" as Dr Bob would say.