Book Review: Peoples Anonymous

In Peoples Anonymous: Twelve-Steps to Heal Your Life, author Lane W reveals a powerful and purposeful guide that, if followed—pardon the term—religiously, will direct the “follower” to a greater level of expression, wholeness and happiness.

I use the word religiously tongue-in-cheek as there are more than a few irreverent moments in these pages—all with a clear intention to help the reader get and apply the steps that have brought healing to millions of lives over the last three quarters of a century through the programs and offshoots of Alcoholics Anonymous.

The passion behind the message hits especially close to home for me as two close family members died as a result of alcoholism and a similar addiction. A book such as this one may have made the difference in their lives. Unwilling to admit their disease of addiction, perhaps they could have picked up this book, had it been available, after all they were “people.”

Peoples Anonymous brings together, for a very broad audience, the deep, proven and practical wisdom of Alcoholics Anonymous’ Big Book and the profound spiritual guide that is A Course in Miracles. I have been a student of this Course for over three decades. I have often said and meant that “it saved my life!”

Lane W’s passion for helping others through the structure of Alcoholics Anonymous’ Twelve-Steps is clearly evident throughout this text. It makes perfect sense that this desire would prompt him to write such a book.

His rich, personal experience affords a perspective that brings this spiritual “technology” to life. Through his liberal use of humor, pathos and passion, one is drawn in to the message. You may find yourself in denial or resistance but the juice is there to keep going, one step at a time.

The “meat” of this message is in the Steps themselves. Here you find distilled, workable steps that are relatable to the human condition, usually followed by examples and then the exercises—part of the “work” that fosters the healing of one’s life. At times the message may be experienced as a bit “preachy.” Being a minister, I can relate to the need to get to the heart of the matter, so to speak, when it’s time for a deeper healing to unfold. A little kicking and screaming is sometimes necessary, it seems, to get to the place where the light can come in.

Part of the beauty of this book is the street-smart, everyday wisdom that populates its pages. While the ultimate value of Peoples Anonymous is walking and working in the light and strength of the Twelve-Steps, the earnest reader will inevitably find great value in the jewels scattered throughout such as:We are the only common denominator in all of our relationships” or “When we make a commitment to walk the spiritual path, to release old ideas and to embrace a radical new point of view, sometimes it gets a little messy.” Can I get an “Amen”?

We are consistently reminded in this work that God is present and working in our lives to move us inexorably forward. Principle is always principle and if we embrace it and apply it with consistency, the results will follow. This is the theme, oft repeated in Peoples Anonymous, to encourage personal transformation.

The deeply moving stories that are offered at the conclusion of the “Steps” chapters are solid evidence that, no matter how difficult one’s past or dire one’s present circumstances, Help is always available. Through the building of our relationship with our Higher Power by whatever Name we choose to call it, that Help shows up and healing and joy also show up.

I recommend this book. I encourage you to read it, work it and find the support that is so essential to help you live it and thereby, heal your life!

Editor’s Note: Keep up with information about the Peoples Anonymous movement at Lane W is available to speak to groups.

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