The 13 Satanic Steps – Addiction Recovery – No God required. The Odinic 9 step plan The Elmore Leonard Jailhouse Serenity Prayer

Recovery: The 13 Satanic Steps

if you’ve ever tired of God/Higher Power based recovery.

(The original AA 12 Steps are reproduced below. As are the rock hard Odinist 9 steps, which will help those wanting to recover without being a pussy about it…and, there is also the highly recommended – rational, cognitive, behaviourial motivational group therapy – the appliance of science. Also available in America.)

The 13 Satanic Steps

1 We admitted we didn’t want to be victims. Actually, you think what you like, I don’t want to be a victim.

2 I will rely on myself.

3 I will stay alert. Freedom from addiction rquires 24/7 vigilance.

4 I will not burden anyone with my confession of past sins or set myself up to fail by seeing myself as incurably ill.

5 I will not recognize God, or his rebellious rival – however much more glamorous and seductive s/he may be – with supreme earthly power, hot horns and hooves, a stonking great hard on and a serious pair of hooters. Although I may wear a Goat of Mendes/ Baphomet pendant – being a sulky teenager, currently rebelling against the onset of senility.

6 I did not make a list of people I have harmed in order to apologise to them, I have made a list of people who have harmed me. But I have come to realise that revenge is counter productive and that blood feuds beget further revenge even unto the sons of the sons of the…(‘Sons? SONS? WHAT ABOUT THE TRANS PEOPLE?‘ Duly noted, Ma’am. Actually, you can’t get more Trans than Baphomet.)

7 I do not pray to God or get naked, dance round the fire and indulge in the lewd scourging of consensual adults, either as an active or passive partner. At least not for the purpose of raising Satan, not any more, anyway, whoever he or she may be. (‘Who may wish to remain gender neutral.’ Yes. Thank you so much.)

8 Having not had a spiritual awakening I do not seek to convert others to my Church of Eternal Hellfire (Membership: 1 on occasion 2, if my dear wife isn’t otherwise occupied), or to the Way of the Libertine or any other simultaneously held beliefs: Part Time Bhuddism, Occult Atheism, Stoic Hedonism. And you do need to be stoic after 3 days of chemical empathy, even if enjoyed in the comfort of your own home.

9 Because I can’t be arsed telling other people what to do.

10 And, if I may humbly suggest, neither should you be. Or at least don’t tell me. The shrift may be short.

11 I continue to exercise and stay mentally alert, through the constant temptation of ‘what harm could one drink do’? As repeated by idiot friends and most other people on earth, wherever you go, forever, as if they were evangelist members of David Niven and Errol Flynn’s Alcoholics Synonymous – if you didn’t want a drink your good friend would turn up and persuade you otherwise.

12 Having progressed beyond spirituality, or using it whenever I might feel like it, I will share what might help other 12 step veterans in the interest of harm reduction. Whatever works.

13 Hail Satan! Or not, as the case may be.


While the above is somewhat facetious I genuinely admire this Odinic 9 Step plan, formulated in a Texas prison, which I will respectfully let speak for itself.


A 9-Step Recovery for Odinists

I came up with the nine steps several years ago. I noticed that many of our people struggle with addiction but had a problem with the deeply Christian 12-steps, where the message is to give up your power to God. Our theology doesn’t resonate with that idea. You will see in the 9-steps the emphasis is more about looking honestly at yourself and using your personal power wisely, not destructively. The point is to be in line with the Gods and with the tapestry of Wyrd, not to be powerless before their will…

Today there is an Odinist AA group at the Ramsey Unit in Texas. The 9-step program has been officially recognized there. The men in this group came up with the embellishments on each step.

Many thanks to Lt. Geist and the substance abuse counselor at Ramsey.

We are all proud to present this program.

Laurel Owen

Coordinator, Prison Affairs Bureau of the Odinic Rite

1) Admit we have a problem with addiction and that we have used our personal power unwisely and destructively. Noble Virtue: TRUTH.

I stand at the Well of Wyrd, and peering within, I see that addiction is poisoning my fate.

2) Make a decision to align ourselves with the Gods and to contribute constructively to the Tapestry of Wyrd. Noble Virtue: COURAGE.

I call out to the Gods for need-fire, and wisdom, to overcome that which is destroying me.

3) Inventory our behavior patterns in a searching and fearless way. Noble Virtue: HONOR.

Guided by the might and main of the Gods, I drink deep from the well of my deeds, and take responsibility for what I find there.

4) Admit to the Gods, to another human being, and to ourselves the exact nature of our wrong choices. Noble Virtue: FIDELITY.

Holding honesty as my honor, I stand before the Gods, my ancestors, and a trusted companion, and lay forth the poison I found within.

5) Ask the Gods to help us change our destructive behavior. Noble Virtue: INDUSTRIOUSNESS.

Having awakened to who I have been, I choose to lay healthy actions into the Well of Wyrd, with the Gods at my side, so I may live with honor and luck in the future.

6) Make a list of all persons we have harmed, and become willing to make amends to them all. Noble Virtue: DISCIPLINE.

Having honestly and completely shared the poison of my past, I choose to attempt to make right what I have made wrong in the past.

7) Make direct amends to such people whenever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others. Noble Virtue: HOSPITALITY.

Realizing that I must let go of who I have been, I hang myself from Yggdrassil, dying to who I was, and beseech the Gods for the Runes of victory. I reach out a hand to people I have hurt, if it’s appropriate.

8) Continue on a daily basis to take personal inventory and when we are wrong admit it. Noble Virtue: PERSEVERENCE.

Having gained the Runes over addiction, I continue to live with meaning, as genuinely as I can, day to day, always remembering that wisdom not lived is a sword not drawn.

9) With the spiritual awakening as a result of the steps, we try to carry this message to others, and to practice these principles in all our affairs. Noble Virtue: SELF-RELIANCE.

Having awakened to the rich heritage of the Gods of my ancestors, and my own constructive power, I go forward in my life to share this spiritual awakening with others, knowing that to gift (Gebo) this awakening is the best way to retain it.

-Laurel Owen, and the Odinist AA Group at the Ramsey Unit in Texas.

And now, last and least…(if you don’t dig Christ…)

The original AA 12 Steps

We admitted we were powerless over alcohol – that our lives had become unmanageable.

  • Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.

  • Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.

  • Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.

  • Admitted to God, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.

  • Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.

  • Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.

  • Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.

  • Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.

  • Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.

  • Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.

  • Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics and to practice these principles in all our affairs.


Well, anyone can argue with the programme. But should you, as advised, take a leap of faith and ‘fake it to make it’? Memorise the other slogans? Get on your knees? If you’ve really hit bottom you’ll try anything. And it could work.

It’s saved more lives than critics like Penn and Teller ever will, (their informative and amusing examination of 12 Step is episode 11, series 2 of Bullshit!). However, P& T point out that rational group therapy is now available in America and in the UK. And it’s free.


Motivational and Cognitive Behaviourial Therapy does work, especially with the added support of a group and peer pressure. Just one problem: you have to want to get better.

And, finally, the Secular Taoist silver bullet:

The AA Serenity Prayer: Elmore Leonard Jailhouse Version

If you can handle it: do it. If you can’t: fuck it.

Penn and Teller call BULLSHIT! on 12 Step recovery

12 step is a cult? Addiction is not a disease? HERESY! And who wants to be shouted at by blowhard buttface Penn – or mimed at by creepy dwarf Teller? Why excoriate something that has saved countless lives? Science evangelists can be just as boring as the let-me-save-you-while-oversharing meeting junkies you get ‘in these rooms’.

DISCLAIMER Penn and Teller are smart, very accomplished performers who raise many important issues in eight series of tearing apart received wisdom. Just sharing the tough love… They do give space to opposing views, with some merciless editing. Very entertaining in a contrarian-just-to-be-cunty, televisual clickbait way. Well, pardon them for being interesting. And informative. And funny.Despite being an addict for over forty years I didn’t know there is a network of rational recovery groups ( or that recovery rate is 5% if you do the programme or if you don’t. Hang on, statistics can be BULLSHIT! and in any case some do learn moderate drinking – if they do a long enough stretch with 12 step, use it during the initial crisis, or come to prefer clean and sober to prison, violence, crime, illness, homelessness, family breakdown, the agony of missing your children, poverty, incontinence and death. (Although I was never degenerate enough to wear long hair in a pony tail. While not noticing that the hippy look might balance a fat, self-satisfied, ever-shouting face. Thank me later.)

Whatever works.

I got eight and a half years sobriety once with the help of AA or was it because I was asked to give up while we awaited the birth of our son? In that time there were just two relapses: one beer to redirect a bad acid trip – alone with toothache, at New Year in a dark house, what could go wrong? – and another during a grueling family Christmas. Someone said: ‘just ONE beer with the in laws?’
Only two drinks so far this year: one very moderate despite the extreme provocation of my Mother’s visit – a female Basil Fawlty who once gave Michael Heseltine a bollocking despite herself being a Tory – and the other a disastrous attempt to slowly sip Lidl’s as-good-as-a-£100 whisky. As if I care about ‘superb mouth-watering gristy sugars’. Six hours of wild hilarity later…the whisky had vanished. Then a day of doom. So it’s back to the 13 Step Satanic recovery – hedonist self-interest, rational choices – without crawling to the cross or using a higher power. Step One on its own can work. Just stop. Stay stopped (the hard part).

I had already learned the fat one’s conclusion: ‘If you don’t want to be a victim, don’t drink. Your choice.’  This fascinating programme will help those riled by the bleating of slogans and preachers who don’t respect your space. It shows there is another way. Excellent work, Penn and Teller.

Critiques of my books and music

The neo-noir Matt and Sasha trilogy (Serpent’s Tail)
The Dark Magus and the Sacred Whore The Dungeonmaster’s Apprentice The Sacred Blood

“Delightful.” Maxim Jakubowski The Guardian
“An excellent novel. Very, very,very funny.” Headpress

“Lashings of black magic, kinky sex, and bad jokes. Agreeably distasteful.’ The Sunday Times
“A baroque and uproarious parody of every genre you could think
of you’ll laugh along till your piercings ache.”
Time Out
“Witty and absolutely hilarious.” Stuff
“Deliciously dark.” Desire
“Weird but great.” Front
“Lashings of humour, generally of a hue blacker than a thigh-high
leather boot.” Big Issue

Ramsden is a prodigiously gifted saxophonist –good chops, beautiful sound, plenty of power and even more imagination. Richard Palmer Jazz Journal

From the Rough Guide to Jazz by Ian Carr

A consummate saxophonist and a talented composer, Ramsden spent one year at Leeds College of Music, after which he joined singer/songwriter Tom Robinson, touring and recording with him, and having some success with the hit single “War Baby”. He has also played with Jimmy Witherspoon, NYJO, Loose Tubes, Dudu Pukwana and Bert Jansch. Ramsden eventually settled in London, and has since released two well-received albums, Above the Clouds and Tribute to Paul Desmond. He has also published a novel The Dark Magus and the Sacred Whore. (Serpent’s Tail). Ian Carr

Rough Guide Entry on Above the Clouds
This haunting duo album was recorded live and unedited in St Thomas’s Church, Clapton Common, London with Lodder playing the Church organ and Ramsden producing ravishing sonorities on the soprano saxophone.
The lyrical brooding timeless atmosphere is sustained throughout.

Jazz UK on Above the Clouds
A truly beautiful and original collection of Ramsden compositions, baroque and thirteenth century dance it won praises from The Wire to BBC music magazine with a heartfelt ‘amazing’ from Nigel Kennedy along the way.
Brian Blain

Critiques of Tribute to Paul Desmond
…a wonderfully expressive, airy alto player. Breezy, instantly accessible, but with a hint of the graininess that produces pearls. Jazzwise Chris Parker

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