kathleen parker is right that there's twelve-step stuff behind beck, including a basic stance of kind of desperation for god's help. but there are also many ways and reasons that what beck is doing is bad 12-step practice, however excellent it may be in other directions, or not. one thing to say: twelve-step programs have no leaders, no one who owns the ideology. the principle of anonymity means that aa, e.g. has no spokespersons, and they constantly emphasize "principles, not personalities." i do think beck presents himself in many ways that are immediately incompatible with 12-step practice.
parker by the end says that 12-step programs proselytize, or are "evangelical." i'd say this is a complete misunderstanding. the twelfth step inculcates "carrying the message to the alcoholic that still suffers." and helping others recover is presented as an essential dimension of one's own recovery. but this means one at a time, helping particular people who need and want help find help by sharing your story. it has absolutely nothing to do with ranting for hours on national television, or getting up on the steps of the lincoln memorial and gesticulating. at the heart of the program is a severe and serious cultivation of humility. i'm not sure that beck's declarations of his own humility are entirely sincere
glenn beck, let's say, is the opposite of bill w., who didn't even want to give his name, who never presented himself in public as a leader or spokesman: there are no leaders or spokesmen. i was perfectly serious when i said that it's likely that beck's twelve-step sponsor basically thinks that all he's doing is courting a relapse. well, we'll survive glenn beck's relapse, and twelve-step programs have a survived a thousand distortions/appropriations by a thousand egomaniacs, a thousand attempts to profit or to promote oneself.
Tradition Eleven—Our public relations policy is based on attraction rather than promotion; we need always maintain personal anonymity at the level of press, radio and films.
Trad Twelve—Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all our Traditions, ever reminding us to place principles before personalities