AA sobriety coin. (Wikimedia Commons)

The Mystical Roots of Alcoholics Anonymous

Founders of the twelve-steps drank deeply from esoteric sources

Mitch Horowitz
19 min readNov 6, 2023

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Historically, some of the most effective purveyors of therapeutic or self-help spirituality in modern life harbor little-seen ties to mystical and occult movements.

Among such figures, the most consequential in shaping a persuasive, globally popular…

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Mitch Horowitz

"Treats esoteric ideas & movements with an even-handed intellectual studiousness"-Washington Post | PEN Award-winning historian | Censored in China