Archive for March 2010

The Case for Malpractice

Go read this article by Paul A. Toth at The Nervous Breakdown:

Alcoholism, AA and the Medical Industry: Nationwide Malpractice

Toward the end of the comments section, the author poses a topic for discussion:

Question:If alcohol really is a disease, shouldn’t it primarily be treated by physicians?

No one seems to have engaged him on this question yet.

You Never Win

LUNATICS ANONYMOUS: I have been sober for two years today. You’re not sober, you’re just abstinent. OK, I’m just abstinent, not sober and I haven’t had a drink for two years. You might be abstinent but, you’re not sober. You’re just a dry drunk. OK, I’m just a sober dry drunk. No, you’re not sober. OK, I’m just an abstinent dry drunk. You might be dry but, you don’t have sobriety. I thought I was sober. You might be sober but, you don’t have good sobriety. Is there a difference? Yes, there is. There is abstinent sobriety but, you have bad sobriety. What, I have bad sobriety? Yes, because you are not in recovery. I thought I was in recovery whereas I haven’t had a drink in two years. You’re not in recovery, you are only around recovery. You never recover. I thought that because I’m in recovery that I was sober. No, you never recover, you’re just abstinent. But, I attend A.A. every day. That doesn’t matter because, you are only around A.A., and you’re not in A.A. But, I’m in the program. Yes, you’re in the program but, you’re not working a good program. OK, I’m only around A.A., working a bad program and not sober. But, I am working the 12 steps. No, you only think you are working the steps. I thought if I was abstinent and attending A.A. that I was in recovery. No, that’s your problem, you only thought you were sober. I thought that I had good sobriety as I was attending A.A. That’s another problem you have. You’re thinking, when you were told to sit down, take the cotton out of your ears and put it in your mouth. But, I can’t talk with the cotton in my mouth. That’s good, because you don’t know what you are talking about, just sit there for 90 days and don’t talk or think. But, I think I am sober. No, you’re just not drinking, you don’t have quality sobriety. What, there is good sobriety and bad sobriety and now quality sobriety? Yes there is and you don’t have either or. You’re just a dry drunk. How can I be drunk if I’m sober? I told you that you’re not sober, you’re just not drinking. OK. F**K this bullshit, I think I’ll go the bar and have a few drinks.

Re-posted with permission from Lunatics Anonymous

Another AA Sexual Assault

Here is a story out of Winnipeg about an AA whose character flaws include raping and beating women. His first victim was his ex-wife, who he met at an AA meeting. Naturally, AA welcomed him back with open arms. The second victim was another woman he had 13th stepped in AA and started dating, and though they had stopped dating, she remained his friend, and drove to his home to help him when he phoned her in a drunker stupor. She was met with this:

The man put duct tape over her face, bound her hands and legs together and then sodomized her. He also demanded she call her 18-year-old daughter to come over so he could sexually assault her while she watched. She was repeatedly beaten when she refused. The man also threatened to hit her with a lead pipe.

I wonder why this woman’s higher power™, an all-knowing AA god who was kind  enough to take away her shortcomings and keep her sober, would not keep her out of harms way by advising her not to show up at this guy’s home to help him in the first place.

Ask a true AA believer, and you will be told this guy was obviously not working the program correctly, or he would not have been drunk in the first place. Or, maybe he was not a real alcoholic, as the steps only work for real alcoholics. What I wonder is why his higher power™, who was standing idly by, waiting for him to really start working those steps properly, would not step in and intervene in this situation. It seems like if He (the higher power) were going to allow this guy to victimize a person, He would have forced this AA to grab a bat or a baton and sodomize himself. Now that would be a higher power™ I could believe in.

AA Members Working with the Courts

Sherburne County Probation Department is making some changes…

Alcoholics Anonymous orientation meetings
One month ago the department started an Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) orientation program.

This program is designed for those offenders who are court ordered to attend AA meetings, Hancuch said.

In the past anonymity was a problem, as it put the AA facilitators in a tough spot having to verify who was coming to the meetings, Hancuch said, adding that many AA attendees outside of the court system do not want their identity known to everyone, and like that the program is anonymous.

In addition, it could sometimes be disruptive to the meetings when people who are court ordered to be there were just thrown into the mix of people choosing to be there, he said.

To help combat these difficulties, now the courts can order someone to take the eight-week orientation program.

This program is run by AA volunteers and goes through an overview and run down of the 12 steps.

This way, if a person continues on into regular AA meetings, he or she has already been briefed and has a better idea of what to expect.

From here offenders will also know how to get a sponsor and which meetings might work best for them if they wish to continue on.

Benign Anarchy – Alcoholics Anonymous in Ireland

New book:

AN ABILITY to avoid the politics surrounding alcohol consumption and a leadership structure described as “benign anarchy” are two of the reasons why Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) has thrived since it arrived here over 70 years ago, according to the author of a new book on the group.

Trinity College Dublin academic Shane Butler said the AA’s “inverted pyramid” style of governance has helped it to avoid many of the pitfalls that political and religious institutions have encountered since it was established here in 1946.

“They don’t get distracted by institutions,” he said. “What they have done is kept their eye on the ball from a point of view of following its only purpose – to help people who are absolutely flattened by alcohol consumption.

I’m curious, but I’ll have to wait till it shows up in the library. If anyone’s planning to read it, send in a review.

God's Will [updated]

I lopped off the corner of my finger with a chef’s knife last night, so this post is gonna be a little clumsy. Typing is hard, but unpacking moving boxes is harder (I bashed my finger one too many times). I’ve been meaning to write about this for a couple of days, anyway… So, sorry about any half-formed thoughts and unedited messes to follow:

Aside from the appalling absurdity of the fact that the addictions treatment industry in this country has been co-opted by a juggernaut of quackery – by a program of spiritual awakening, for which sobriety is only a perk (or evidence that one has achieved enlightenment) – and is treated with all seriousness by conventional wisdom, which would never in a hojillion years put up with this kind of crap from any other branch of medicine, there is also the utter lunacy that it fosters among AA members and 12-Steppers, generated by the nebulous standard of transcendence called “Getting It.”

The 12-Steps are not a recipe for sobriety. They are a recipe for opening up a direct line to God, to whom you have turned over your will, so that you may now do his. But, as one poster over a SoberRecovery asked, How do you know what God’s will actually is? This is the essential question that newcomers to AA must ask themselves, because their recovery depends upon knowing the difference between one’s base desires and God’s will. Continue reading God's Will [updated]

Calendar: Stop 13th Step in AA

The AA members at Stop 13th Step in AA are hosting an event that we would like to call your attention to. If you are in the area, please support their cause. As AA members, they are on a mission to root out sexual and financial abuses within the rooms of AA.

Their Mission Statement:

We of Alcoholics Anonymous feel that NO MEMBER should be sexually or financially harassed in any way, especially Newcomers.
It’s up to us, individuals in the room and in the groups to protect the Minor, The new person, young and old from Predators of any kind.  It’s up to us to make AA Safe.  WE want NY GSO to hear our voices and take responsibility with us.

The Details of the Event:

Saturday, April 3rd from 1-3PM
Doors open at 12:45
Please arrive early as this is a working /workshop event.

Grace Lutheran Church
4427 Overland Ave
Culver City, Ca 90230

Upstairs in the big meeting room.


We want our voices heard in meetings everywhere and in NYGSO.
Plan to attend and bring a friend. There will be round table discussions.

We will discuss the problem both financial and sexual.
We will discuss solutions that can be implemented right away.

please contact us at makeaasafer@gmail.com

Steppers Without Defects of Character? by Mykeru

no defects!

Have you seen this man?

Steppers without Defects of Character

by Mykeru

The other night, after a small Alcoholics Anonymous meeting where the lead’s topic was “Using Your Higher Power”, I stood outside the venue, a nondescript building in Arlington, Virginia which might have once been some sort of school, but now functioned as a Baptist church, smoking a cigarette and talking to one of the more intelligent members of this group.

These moments, I think, are my real reason for being in AA: Just to talk to people, one-on-one, without reference to The Big Book or the pointless God-boggled self-loathing and infantile babbling that characterizes “sharing” within the AA meeting itself.

In AA a “Higher Power” is, at first, a pretty amorphous entity — a door knob, a bedpan, a “Group of Drunks” — right up to the point where it transmogrifies with a sleight-of-hand jolt into the easily petitioned, micro-managing, diaper-changing, Great Go-fer God of Bill Wilson’s Buchmanite imagination.

Despite the baited hook of nebulous “Higher Powers” Wilson makes the nature of this “higher power” unequivocal by page 46 of the Big Book: “We found that as soon as we were able to lay aside prejudice and express even a willingness to believe in a Power greater than ourselves, we commenced to get results, even though it was impossible for any of us to fully define or comprehend that Power, which is God.”

“Which is God”. Not a doorknob “higher power”, not a God “as we understand Him”, but God.

Period. Continue reading Steppers Without Defects of Character? by Mykeru

The Excuse AAbuse

An AAer in St Stephen New Brunswick, Kenneth MacKenzie, recently got arrested for drinking and driving, less than three weeks before completing a one year probation for impaired driving. He was not legally impaired, so he was was not charged with impaired driving. He was, however, fined a total of $575 dollars for breaking the terms of his probation.

This part of the story is not too interesting. After all, people use AA as a get-out-of-jail-free card every day, all across the United States and Canada – and, of course, the vast majority go right back to boozing. What I found interesting was this judge was giving this defendant credit for having worked the program:

“Judges normally jail people for breaching probation orders, but Walker credited MacKenzie for the steps he took through AA. The judge gave him until May 10 to pay the fine and surcharge.”

Why would a judge credit this guy with working a program that doesn’t work? It really is astounding. There is a reason AAs feel such a sense of entitlement: because it is given to them. I hope this guy does not kill anyone next time.

Quote of the Day

“…A pill may in fact be able to help an alcoholic drink less…but will it make him stop lying, manipulating, cheating…maybe he’s still judgemental, scared of commitment, holding on to negitive things from the past that are crippleing him… You have fun with your pills…an opioid at that…the same substance found in pain killers that kill more people a year than cocain and heroin combined….”

– An anonymous AA member commenting on an article about Naltrexone in The Windsor Star.