1. Mundis and the 12-Steppers

    Way back when, in my review of Jerrold Mundis’ How to Get Out of Debt, Stay Out of Debt, and Live Prosperously, I mentioned that I found it odd that Debtors Anonymous wanted no part of being connected with Mundis’ book. The book, in my opinion, is excellent, pushing me ahead many times when I was in the middle of paying off my household’s debts.

    This past week, reader Frances emailed with her ideas as to why the 12-steppers shy away from books which so obviously espouse their methods:

    Hi Michael,

    I ran across your site when Googling “Jerold Mundis.” And I’d like to take a moment to respond to your comments about DA’s disinterest in having their name associated with his book.

    It’s my understanding that 12-Step organizations have a tradition of having all program-approved literature be written and distributed “in-house.” This may have something to do with the tradition that members remain anonymous “at the level of press, radio and film.”

    It might also have something to do with the fact that 12-Step members have (as far as I know) a tradition of speaking of their their own experiences in first person (singular or plural), that advice not be given, and that even suggestions be offered only when specifically requested. Mundis’ book is written largely in the second person, and clearly seems (to me anyway) to be offering advice to readers. Which is not necessarily a bad thing. But it is something that I believe that12-Step members have found, at very best, not especially useful.

    So for several reasons it would probably be inappropriate for DA to endorse or associate their name with Mundis’s book. In some cases it might be appropriate for one member to suggest the book to another DA member, but with the increasing amount of DA approved literature being published this is probably happening less and less as time goes by.

    Please keep in mind that I am not a spokesperson for any 12-step program. I’m just one person, hoping to offer some possible (and possibly valid) reasons that DA has not sought to associate their name with this book.

    Best Regards,

    Makes sense to me, I suppose. Though I’ll admit I never lost much sleep over it — How to Get Out of Debt is quite strong enough to get by on its own content, thank you very much, without the need for additional pump-priming by any 12-step organization in particular.

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