A.A. co-founder Bill Wilson’s involvement with LSD (Read) tells us two things. According to A.A. historian Ernest Kurtz, “Here, then, is one clear reason why Bill Wilson experimented with LSD: he was seeking still further ways of helping alcoholics who could not seem to attain sobriety in Alcoholics Anonymous because, apparently, they could not ‘get the spiritual.’” 
Wilson fully understood there were motivated alcoholics for whom A.A. was simply ineffective. Referring to the LSD experiments on alcoholics, Wilson’s secretary Nell Wing stated, “There were alcoholics in the hospitals, of whom A.A. could touch and help only about five percent.” 
Many people have died because A.A.’s limitations are never acknowledged in Alcoholics Anonymous meetings. For years we have simply assumed those unable to get sober via A.A. are not really serious about quitting drinking. This can certainly be true for some. But it is also true that A.A.’s “all-gods talk therapy” is ineffective and harmful to many–in this life and the next.
Anyone who has attended A.A. knows that two key passages from the A.A. Big Book (the A.A. “bible”) are taken literally. This is what is read to alcoholics from the How It Works chapter at the beginning of every single meeting:
“Rarely have we seen a person fail who has thoroughly followed our path. Those who do not recover are people who cannot or will not completely give themselves to this simple program, usually men and women who are constitutionally incapable of being honest with themselves. There are such unfortunates. They are not at fault; they seem to have been born that way.” (bold mine)
How It Works goes on to note, “We thought we could find an easier, softer way. But we could not.” 
As noted elsewhere, despite the elasticity of the higher power, these two fundamentalist passages lock many into the A.A. system, while also teaching contempt or distrust for alternative ways of gaining sobriety. People are pointed away from Christ and His church (and also away from secular alternatives). This will be vehemently denied by Christian A.A. defenders, but it is my experience, and the experience of many others.
Irving Peter Gellman observes, “A member who suggests that A.A. is not as effective as maintained, and who implies that some improvement might be made, will be censured when broaching these ideas. The A.A. program is deemed infallible, whereas other methods are considered less than perfect.” 
Bill Wilson’s LSD sessions show us something else. His willingness to seek such a spiritual solution to alcoholism reveals, yet again, Wilson’s lack of understanding. He was not trying to lead people to the biblical Christ, but to some form of mystical breakthrough. Wilson hoped LSD might cause ego reduction, thus facilitating the “influx of God’s grace.” 
But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised. (1 Corinthians 2:14)
In a letter to Sam Shoemaker, Wilson states, “[There is] the probability that prayer, fasting, meditation, despair, and other conditions that predispose one to classic mystical experiences do have their chemical components. These chemical conditions aid in shutting out the normal ego drives, and to [that] extent, they do open doors to a wider perception. If one assumes this is so–and there is already some biochemical evidence of it–then one cannot be too concerned whether these mystic results are encouraged by fasting or whether they are brought on by [other means].” 
Where did Bill Wilson ever preach the undiluted gospel of Jesus Christ? His way was always that of spiritualism, Swedenborgian influence, mysticism, and rebellion.
Wilson himself said, “In some ways I feel very close to conservative Christianity. In other respects–important ones to Christians–no particular convictions seem to come. Maybe down deep I don’t want to be convinced. I just don’t know.” 
Biographer Francis Hartigan, who served as Lois Wilson’s (Bill’s wife’s) secretary for thirteen years, had many interesting conversations with the Widow Wilson. He writes, “[A.A. co-founder Bill Wilson’s] belief in God might have become unshakeable, but he could never embrace any theology or even the divinity of Jesus, and he went to his grave unable to give his own personal idea of God much definition. In this sense, he was never very far removed from the unbelievers.”  (Bold mine)
If you are a person in A.A., I want to tell you something. There is something worse than alcohol addiction, and there is one way, and one way only, to escape it. LSD cannot accomplish this. Neither can Eastern/new age meditation, and neither can any version of a higher power a person invents or adapts.
You are in A.A. to quit drinking, or to maintain sobriety. I have been homeless on the streets of four cities. I have been addicted to alcohol and heroin. But…here I am, an old grandpa type guy. I am content in life (which can be plenty rough for Christians, don’t let TV preachers fool you), and I will live forever. So can you.
We are sinners by nature and by our actions. Our sin is an offense to God. You and I might think we are doing okay, that we are basically good people, but we are judged by God’s standard, not our own. For God is Holy. There is none like Him. Until we know His Son as Savior and Lord, we are condemned. Eternally. Our sin has separated us from our very Maker.
For God did not send His son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. (John 3:17-18)
So, I am grieved that Christians so willingly join A.A. where all gods are seen as equal, and where our theology mixes and merges with twelve step spirituality. This is against His will. (2 Corinthians 6:14-17, Galatians 1:8-9, Isiah 42:8) I grieve too, for you who have believed the A.A. theology that it doesn’t matter who or what you believe your higher power to be.
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.” (John 14:6)
God is Holy. He is righteous. Yet, He is so kind. He has made a way for us. He sent His son to bear His wrath, to take our punishment, to atone for our sins.
Paul explains, For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures,” (1 Corinthians 15:3)
I have asked the Lord that you in A.A. who read this will want to know Him, that you will ask His forgiveness for sins.
My friend, repent and believe in the Lord Jesus. God can grant you sobriety, and so much more.
Don’t go the way of Bill Wilson.
1. Ernest Kurtz, The Collected Ernie Kurtz, pg. 42 Link
2. PASS IT ON, pg.370
2. Alcoholics Anonymous “Big Book,” Chapter 5: How It Works, pg. 58
4. Irving Peter Gellman, The Sober Alcoholic, pg. 121
5. PASS IT ON, pg. 370
6. PASS IT ON, pg. 374
7. June 2, 1959 letter from Bill Wilson to Father Ed Dowling. This letter quoted from by Robert Fitzgerald, S.J., in his book, The Soul of Sponsorship, pg. 92
8. Francis Hartigan, Bill W., pg. 123