L. Ron Hubbard's Al-Anon? Really?
December 19, 2005 12:27 PM   Subscribe

Is Al-Anon related to Scientology in any way?

I'd never heard anyone relating the two before reading this BoingBoing story. Google searches turn up a few mixed results, but nothing conclusive, if it's not true, where did the rumor start?
posted by splatta to Health & Fitness (16 answers total)
 
No. You and they are thinking of Narconon, not to be confused with Narcotics Anonymous (Narcanon).
posted by grouse at 12:29 PM on December 19, 2005


Grouse is correct. Al- and Nar-Anon are spiritual, but not religious, programs that are not supported by and do not endorse any religion.
posted by methylsalicylate at 12:31 PM on December 19, 2005


(same for AA and NA, for that matter.)
posted by methylsalicylate at 12:33 PM on December 19, 2005


Son Xeni is just flat out wrong, and spreading misinformation?
posted by splatta at 12:38 PM on December 19, 2005


err.. "So"
posted by splatta at 12:39 PM on December 19, 2005


Alcoholic Assimilation unit Al-Anon (not to be confused with Alcoholics Anonymous).

It looks like the Boing Boing post was edited or you misread it. I'd suspect the former.
posted by mikeh at 12:53 PM on December 19, 2005


mikeh writes "It looks like the Boing Boing post was edited or you misread it. "

No. Al-Anon is separate from Alcoholics Anonymous, and is in no way related to Scientology. Check out Wikipedia for more details; all the relevant articles seem to be accurate.

Expect a BoingBoing update or edit soon...
posted by mr_roboto at 12:56 PM on December 19, 2005


Spiritual == religious. Sorry.
posted by zerolives at 1:50 PM on December 19, 2005


"Spiritual == religious. Sorry."

In my experience this isn't usually true. Some of the most spiritual people I've met, I wouldn't consider them religious, and vice versa. Also that's a pretty snarky way to say that.
posted by splatta at 1:55 PM on December 19, 2005


That boingboing link has been update btw.
posted by splatta at 1:56 PM on December 19, 2005


So anyway, yes, BoingBoing has updated the entry. Oddly, instead of doing a strikethrough on the incorrect Scientology part and explaining the change, as they usually do, they deleted the Scientology reference altogether so that the Reader Comment doesn't quite make sense. Well, whatever.
posted by Gator at 1:57 PM on December 19, 2005


I would consider myself spiritual, but not religious. Just one example.
posted by symphonik at 2:06 PM on December 19, 2005


Some people consider AA (and programs for other addictions that are based on the same philosophy, like NA, SA and OA, for example) religious because one of the steps requires that you admit that you are helpless and give yourself over to a higher power. There is no requirement, however, on what or who that higher power is.

So the spiritual vs. religious thing is a perfect distinction. If the requirement was that you believe in the christian God, for example, it would be religious. AA and it's similar programs simply require a certain amount of "spirituality" for members. I have many friends in AA who consider themselves athiests but have found a way to make peace with the higher power requirement.
posted by pazazygeek at 3:12 PM on December 19, 2005


Spiritual == religious. Sorry

Nope. And you don't have to be snarky about it.

Many of the most spiritual people I know don't believe in churches or organised religion. Does that make them not spiritual? I don't think so.
posted by jlkr at 3:16 PM on December 19, 2005


Those of you who are saying that AA and its ilk are not affiliated with any particular religion are merely pointing to the most friendly facet of a complex situation. Officially, yes, all you need to believe in is 'a power greater than yourself.' But the reality is that a great many meetings end with The Lord's Prayer, which, while not containing the words 'Jesus Christ,' grated on my hebraic ears. And to say, as methylsalicylate did, that those groups are not supported by any religion is not really accurate either. The pope is not writing checks made out to Bill W., but you'll find a great many of 'these rooms' that happen to be in churches (and, I suspect, some in synogoguges too, though I never saw one), and it's not a coincidence.
posted by bingo at 7:22 PM on December 19, 2005


(and, I suspect, some in synogoguges too, though I never saw one)

Though all generalizations are suspect, Jews in general have a very low population prevalence of alcoholism.
posted by ikkyu2 at 8:54 PM on December 19, 2005


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