A New Civil Rights Case

Judge: Atheist’s Rights Violated

State parole officers violated a Redding atheist’s rights when they imprisoned him for refusing to participate in a religious drug treatment program, a federal judge has ruled.

Barry Hazle Jr., a 40-year-old computer services specialist, has sued his parole officer and nearly a dozen others in connection with his 125-day imprisonment in 2007 after he declined to participate in a 12-step treatment program at Empire Recovery Center. In his recent ruling, the judge dropped Empire Recovery Center from the suit, which is scheduled for trial in late June.

Read the whole story.

  • Hooray! Another victory!

    I can't possibly express how happy this makes me. 🙂

  • DeConstructor

    Now if we could get emplyees to go after companies that force and coerce employees to these fundamentalist, evangelical rooms, holding a persons employment as ransom for failing to convert to this religion.

    This should also send a message to organ transplant teams that withhold organs of people that do not wish to participate and convert to this religion.

  • This should also send a message to organ transplant teams that withhold organs of people that do not wish to participate and convert to this religion.

    Could you elaborate on this, DeC?

  • DeConstructor

    From http://www.orange-papers.org:

    http://www.orange-papers.org/orange-cult_a9.html (Item 96)

    <a>In extreme cases, like when A.A. members run organ transplant centers, the threat is death. Dr. Clifton Kirton reports that when he needed a liver transplant, and resisted A.A. indoctrination, and said that he felt that A.A. was a coercive religious cult with medically incorrect dogma, he was told:

     

    "If you think that's what Alcoholics Anonymous is all about, you're really missing the point. Religion has nothing to do with it. Your higher power can be anything. You are not being coerced. Your participation in A.A. is entirely voluntary. I must caution you, however, that your failure to internalize recovery concepts will place your transplant candidacy status in great jeopardy."

    (In other words, join A.A. or die. "Voluntarily", of course. Dr. Kirton continued:)

    These statements were made by Judy Stowe, Certified Chemical Dependency Counselor and coordinator of the Organ Transplant Chemical Dependency Unit at The Cleveland Clinic, an internationally respected tertiary care facility. The fact that the 12 steppers have achieved high status at such a prestigious medical center emphasizes the scope of the cult's influence at the highest levels. It is of further crucial importance that, according to Ms. Stowe, chemical dependency "rehabilitation" is mandated by the state of Ohio, although she refused to provide anything to this effect in writing.

    The Semantics of the Twelve Step Neurosis: Surrender, Disease, Denial and other dysfunctional 12-Step pathways to personal dis-empowerment and cult dependency by Dr. Clifton W. Kirton

  • "You are not being coerced. Your participation in A.A. is entirely voluntary.I must caution you, however, that your failure to internalize recovery concepts will place your transplant candidacy status in great jeopardy.”

    This just gives me chills. It's so damn creepy.

    I really understand that being a liver transplant surgeon must be a horror… Actually, I happen to know a liver transplant surgeon, and have heard some first-hand horror stories. And so you'd think that these people — of all people in the medicine — would be leading the fight to get the hooey out of the treatment industry.

    Thanks for following up with that.

  • massiveattack

    everyone who is sentenced to AA needs to know that AA is way too close to a religion and it is a spiritual program. If they don't want to go they should fight it. AA is for those that want it. If they will all fight it they will win. It has been taken all the way to the Supreme Court by some and they are winning as they should!

  • Mikeblamedenial

    Too bad it has fallen largely to the atheists to be the ones who have had to carry this fight to the courts. It gives the false air of acceptability of the 12-step religion to other religions. Theists, pagans, animists and others could plead equal offense at being compelled to participate as a condition for much of anything at all. Steppism is certainly offensive to my personal religious and moral mores, and I am as far from an atheist (and Christian) as it gets.

  • Murray

    I agree Mike

    Although I believe in forces operating at a higher level than we can comprehend.  I  subscribe to the view that there isnt a micro managing god keeping me sober and dishing out little bonuses from time to time.

    What gets me is people in the rooms clinging to the notion that god has a  special plan for them and that everything happens for a reason.

    If anything the 12 steps creates a belief in a belief.  I did my best with the steps and came to my current views through its lack of producing said promises in my life.

    This prompted me to leave rather than foster a growing resentment to the program and become trapped in that awful loop I see so many struggling souls currently in.

  • Mikeblamedenial

    Kirkton is worthy of a further read. Check him out at Ken Ragge's site here:
    http://www.morerevealed.com/articles/kirton.jsp

  • true believer

    AA's deny being defined as anything while they claim to be everything. Now it's up to the courts to define AA. Next, someone needs to sue for medical malpractice to further the definition to "AA, a medical religious treatment".

    Perhaps AA can adopt some new truth in disclosure slogans…

    "AA, the coercive psychiatric program that works"… or

    "AA, better than shock therapy"… or

    "AA, the other heresy". how’bout

    “If it works, why sue us”???

    This lawsuit is great news.

    I am ready for full disclosure.

  • Let me know when the class action suit is filed.

    I'll be one of the first to sign on.

  • speedy0314

    d.q.,

    you know, you're absolutely on the money. if there were a class-action suit, i would gladly sign my full name to it.

    better — you've a lot more guts than i when it comes to the 'debate' with this minuscule in actual membership, intelligence, & courage fellowship. you sign your full name to your commentary. i'm very definitely starting to lean in the direction of complete transparency when it comes to my opposition to the a-of-a's bronze-age claptrap 'solution' being adopted & financially supported through federal & local tax dollars at public 'medical' treatment outlets.

    maybe it's time to meet this preposterously opaque 'anonymous', largely ineffective mouthful of nothing with some very un-anonymous protest & outcry. i'm in a bit of a spot in my private life where coming out fully (so to speak) might have a very real, very bad impact on my life. once it's behind me, i'm done hiding behind the avatar.

    the a-of-a is a sham & the professionals with clout (yes, i'm talking about you dr. mark willenbring & you dr. nora volkow) who pay it a mealy-mouthed lip service are more often than not actually putting vulnerable people in harms' way.

    the 'religious' argument is a red herring.

    there isn't a dime's worth of scientific data to support the notion that the a-of-a, 12-step facilitation, [fill-in-the-blank] anonymous 'group support 'or whatever the hell nomenclature happens to be in vogue — is any more effective than placebo or quitting of your own accord (or any damned flavor in between, for that matter [i.e., moderation]). it's the sham that managed to bulls**t its way into acceptance at the medical roundtable with jellinek's cooked 'statistics' (& questionable academic credentials) & now it's the sham that's garnered a completely unsupportable beneficent public image.

    personally speaking, it's very near the time to call the emperor on his pastey, fat, ugly nakedness & to do it transparently as a citizen who's got plenty of skin in the game. for now, i'll settle for this:

    thanks for the kick in the ass,

    pete

    ( born in brooklyn in the early 60's, grew up in nyc's foster care system, & went to nyc meetings between the years of 2002 & 2008 [approximately]; if you're a meeting maker making it & you think you recognize the voice, then, yeah, it's THAT pete; for me, this ain't personal — anybody wants to make it personal [in ANY way & via ANY medium] … i think you should know i don't scare very easily.)

  • The Ninth Federal District declared AA to be "religious in nature" and court mandated AA to be a violation of the Establishment Clause two years ago. They even took it further than other courts by saying it is such a gross violation that anyone who is forced into 12step treatment by a probation/parole officer can sue the officer for monetary damages.

    (Didn't Crofoot get the memo?)

    The law was already in place, this is the enforcement of said law. The parole officer screwed up big time when he decided his authority superseded the law.

  • cherokeebride

    First of all, I want to say how happy I am that this blog is here. I’ve been reading for about four months now, and this blog & (most) of the commenters give me hope for the future.

    I am a coerced attendee of AA. I got a DUI a year ago, and as a result was sentenced to 12 months probation with mandated 2x/week attendance at AA meetings. As part of my probation I am also required to have a sponsor who is listed on record at the probation office. I am currently about halfway through.

    After my DUI, I quit drinking. It just didn’t make sense to me to do it anymore. I didn’t need help or meetings to stop – I just said “That’s it!” and did it. (I did read a lot of books though). I didn’t start going to AA until I started my probation. I mentioned that was interested in going to a few SMART meetings in town because SMART fits into my atheistic viewpoint, and was told that if it wasn’t a 12 step program, it didn’t count towards my probation – but that I could go on my own if I was so inclined. I continue to talk about AA alternatives (SMART, the 16 steps, SOS, LifeRing and Women for Sobriety) every time I meet with my probation officer – who seems interested – in the hopes that I can at least have some influence from the ground up. It seems like nearly everyone in the probation office & the court system here are two-hatters.

    I now go to AA meetings twice a week, and had to find a sponsor. This has been difficult, as the message of AA is diametrically opposed to what I believe & how I was raised. I believe:

    – That I chose to quit drinking, and my continued sobriety comes from effort on MY part.

    – Most of my choices and accomplishments in life (aside from the DUI) have been good.

    – My first thought – what I call my gut instinct – is usually the right one and I need to listen to it more often rather than less often.

    – My life was and is manageable.

    – There is no such thing as a "spiritual" disease and if alcoholism is a "real" disease there should be both pathology and medical research for a cure vs. a 70+ year old book.

    – I can find a solution to any problems I have in my life either myself or with the help of friends, family and mentors who know me well, rather than asking someone (who TELLS me they are crazy) I’ve known all of 3 months.

    I also believe that most of the “problems” that I hear spoken about in meetings or examples of “wrong thinking” that AAers with long term sobriety talk about and/or use as examples of why they aren’t right in the head (like, for example, getting upset in traffic or getting annoyed with ones coworkers) are things that everyone deals with – problem drinker or not. It’s hard for me not to yell this out at meetings.

    I have to continually affirm these beliefs to myself because in meeting after meeting – and from my sponsor – I hear that the people around me are “crazy,” that I am not “normal,” that directing the course of my own life is wrong, and that I need to disassociate myself from friends and family in order to stay sober. My biggest fear is that when my probation is over, I won’t be able to find a way out of AA. Until I finish my probation, I feel trapped.

    I liken it to getting invited to lunch by your mother in law, only to find out she’s trying to get you to join Amway – you don’t want to leave or tell her Amway is crap and piss off her and maybe your significant other, but you feel angry, annoyed, and ashamed for falling into the trap in the first place.

    This blog – along with the Orange Papers, ExposeAA and others like it help me keep my resolve. You remind me that I’m not crazy, that I’m not broken and that when the time comes, I can break those ties.

    Thank you.

  • tintop

    cherokee bride – as of now, you are under court order.  When the probation is over, your association with aa is over.   aa has no leverage; aa has no means after the court is done with you.  your sponsor is fully aware of that.  The devil may be in the detail; but, that is the bottom line.   Obey the court; 'go and sin no more'.

  • cherokee bride, it was nice to hear from you.  i think you are right, that you most definitely sane. it was cool to read your mil analogy; it was a good one. hold on to your brain, friend. if i were court ordered at this point, i would fer sure bring a book.  i went to my final divorce hearing today.  i am already divorced, but the child support situation took a long time to work out.  anyway, i was asking my ex's lawyer his thought on duis and aa.  he said hat he just tells his clients to go with the flow.  i mean, sometimes u need to go with the flow, but this dos not make it fair or right at all. he says often they use the word "recommend" in instead of "must attend" to get around the legalities.  but in some situations, like yours, man, there is no recommending. i have never heard of a situation where one was FORCED to get a sponsor.  i would choose some1 who looks like they also think something in the room smells… hop everything works out for you.

  • cherokeebride

    Thanks for the comments, tintop & violet.  I actually thought this was a new post – for some reason I didn't notice the date. D'oh!

    I just so appreciate this blog and what its doing.

  • Commonsense

    Cherokeebride – I think there are lots of similarities between Amway and AA.  See "Is Amway a Cult?":
    http://www.cocs.com/jhoagland/amcult.html
    For a humorous slant. see this multi-level marketing parody video:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qFtJC9CqQ4c
     

  • cherokeebride

    Commonsense – you're right!  Actually, I view AA sort of like an MLM anyway – your "sponsor" is like your upriver point of contact in any MLM.  🙂

  • Z

    @Cherokee Bride, I'm pasting this part of your post into my private notebook to refer to, it is so helpful!!!

    "- That I chose to quit drinking, and my continued sobriety comes from effort on MY part.

    – Most of my choices and accomplishments in life (aside from the DUI) have been good.

    – My first thought – what I call my gut instinct – is usually the right one and I need to listen to it more often rather than less often.

    – My life was and is manageable.

    – There is no such thing as a “spiritual” disease and if alcoholism is a “real” disease there should be both pathology and medical research for a cure vs. a 70+ year old book.

    – I can find a solution to any problems I have in my life either myself or with the help of friends, family and mentors who know me well, rather than asking someone (who TELLS me they are crazy) I’ve known all of 3 months."

    My story is essentially getting sentenced to ACOA based therapy — yes my parents drank but this was after I'd been out of the house about 18 years and happy — BUT my reason for seeking the advice of a therapist was that there were other more serious and more secret problems in the family. BUT when I said there was drinking, everything had to be looked at through the 12 Step/Hazelden lens, other REAL issues could not be discussed, and a lot was projected in that hadn't been there. I of course wasn't savvy enough to jump out soon enough, because they got me with their insistence that everything I knew/thought I saw was wrong and they could see better than anyone. I tend to feel guilt/shame over having succumbed to this and it's helpful to see it isn't just me — although I certainly don't wish the experience on anyone. Thanks for posting.

  • Primrose

    Cheroke, you sound as though you have your head very well screwed on.  How to plan your exit strategy?  I would suggest that you don't become too socially dependent on aa members.  All that 'stick with the winners' rubbish.  Keep independent. I would advise you to look at exposeaa but it has gone.  You know that you are not powerless.  Could you plan an amusing speech for your last meeting?  I know of an author who goes to aa to get ideas for characters.  Keep informing yourself and finding out that you are not alone, and not wrong in your profound distrust of this cult.

  • DeConstructor

    CBride-

    Also remember that the VAST majority of people do stop drinking on their own. If you really think about, all people do.

    Unfortunately, the AA faith recieves unearned admiration, and undeserved credibility. This is combined with the faulty disease model of addiction (BTW that was accepted by the AMA and other entities after a lot of lobbying by the AA faith-google Marty Mann)

    Later after the Hughes Act of 1970, that reuired health insurance companies to pay for "treatment" of this concocted "disease" we  now have the recovery industry we have and its incestuous relationship with the 12 step faith.

    Be very careful of the steptards. If you personally like some of them, keep your relationship with them, but always remember that they may befriending you as some type of "project"

    Be very careful of 12 step dogma and theology. It is built on lie after lie after lie.

    Always remember that alcohol is not cinning, baffling, nor is it powerful. It is an inanimate substance, and anytime you take a drink, you are doing a voluntary act and choosing to do so. You do NOT have a "disease"

    Steptards continue to promote, market, and prosylize misinformation and disinformation as medical fact that is neither medical nor is it fact. In short, make all of your own decisions and be a responsible person

    DeCon

  • Rick045

    DeCon wrote, "Be very careful of the steptards. If you personally like some of them, keep your relationship with them, but always remember that they may befriending you as some type of “project”

     

    That's a great point.

    I also think of it as a grooming process, and it is aided and abetted by treatment centers. When I went through treatment, it was drilled into us to get a sponsor with at least two years sobriety as soon as possible. People in the rooms are well aware of that, and just watch for new "prospects" to come their way. In many cases, they actually pick their "pigeons" before the person has a chance to figure out what's going on. Many of these types develop a good sense for who's serious about getting sober and who isn't, so in a way, they cherry pick their sponsees the way treatment centers cherry pick clients to inflate their success rates. In my experience, there was nothing consciously devious about most of these people. They have good intentions and fully believe that they are doing the right thing. The fact all of this has the blessing of those treatment centers only reinforces that belief. They are simply passing along the same indoctrination process they experienced, and cannot understand why people would ever turn around and feel that they've been duped.

     

    People pay for disease treatment, but they get cult indoctrination 101. Nobody should be more embarrassed by the current state of affairs than the medical community, (especially the AMA) for selling out to this nonsense in the first place.

     

  • cherokeebride

    Thanks gang.  Few things:

    @violet: I forgot to respond back sooner – the whole "Will attend AA/NA and will maintain a sponsor" are preprinted on all the probation forms in my state, so I think its *really* common.

    @Z: I'm so glad you like it! Thank you! 🙂 I've been lucky to have a therapist (ongoing for three years vs. someone I just got) who is really open to alternative ideas, etc.

    @Primrose: I pretty much only have contact outside meetings with my sponsor.  I have friends and family and have no desire to make new "steptard" ones. 🙂 I'd love to have my exit strategy planned, with famously awesome speech, but I'm not so much a speech maker, so I'll probably go out by pretty much avoiding everyone. ;P

    @DeConstructor: Love the facts on the "disease" bit.  Thanks so much! And the "project" idea – I'm pretty sure I'm a "project" already, because I try to say what I think.  Case in point, at one meeting someone mentioned how they can't see their drinking buddies anymore.  I mentioned that I was lucky, because my friends/family have been supportive, and that I've found going to parties or BBQs with them are more fun and easy because I enjoy myself more than I did when I drank – plus I'm the permanent DD!  I was then subjected to 45 minutes of "shares" about how important it is to "change your playground" – with the implication that it was innocent sharing, but I knew it was directed at getting me to change my own personal playground and go play with them. Ugh.

    @Rick: Can I tell you how much I hate the word "pigeon"? It wasn't used around me until recently, and it seriously makes me sick. Double ugh.

    Thanks so much for the comments you all.  I really appreciate it, and I really look forward to posting on ST more often.

     

     

  • Primrose

    Rick, your post made me feel sick.  Agree with Cherokee about the word pigeon.  It is grooming.  It is subtle and they don't even know they are programmed to do it.  I read something on an online aa forum about how to be an ambassador for aa.  Someone was describing how they live their live soberly and well BECAUSE SOMEONE SEEING THIS SOBER LIFE MIGHT THEN BE TEMPTED TO JOIN AA.  They were not doing it for themselves or their families, but in order to recruit.  Am I being unfair?  

    This discussion is still going on .http://forums.delphiforums.com/aacultwatch/messages/?msg=15.1

    The aa guy currently has the last word.

    pigeons, prospects, grooming.  Ugh.

  • tintop

    plan your exit strategy.  At the end of the day, aa does not care whether you are there or not.  That has to be kept in mind.  No one in aa is going to 'try very hard to keep you'.  There may be a bit of minor aggro from them.  But, it is only minor aggro. 

    "go with the flow' and fulfill the order of the court.  That is what matters.  aa does not matter.  aa has nothing at all to do with whether you drink or not drink.  aa has nothing to do with whether you are 'spiritually fit' or not.  It is only a place that you hung out for a time.  nothing more than that.

  • speedy0314

    tintop always just … nails it.

     

    the only thing i would add to his post is this: the longer you stay out of "da rheumz" the more apparent the inanity of the whole enterprise becomes.  trust me, in another year you'll be walking by a used bookstore & laughing out loud when you come across copies of the big book.

     

     

    close your eyes & think of england,

     

    speedy

  • cherokeebride

    Thanks Tintop & Speedy! 🙂 I appreciate it – and you're right.  In the big picture, it doesn't matter.

    Can I be honest and I say I don't have a copy of the BB?  Read it once online (for free), it sucked, was barely readable and I can't bring myself to buy it.  I used to read slush piles for a publisher – it was like all the stuff we used to turn down. Horrible stuff. I refuse to own one.  Like Tintop said, I'm going with the flow – but I sure don't have to like the flow. 😉

    Something I forgot to mention – I actually walked in skeptical of AA, and had already armed myself with reading the Orange Papers, etc. This blog just gives me the best reminders ever.

  • tintop

    as susan mcdougall said: "I can do it standing on my head".  and she came into court in leg irons.

    as speedy said: close your eyes and think of england.

    Insofar as the meetings are concerned:  do not let the dead air make you nervous and make you feel like talking.

  • Primrose

    Tintop is right.  They don't care about you at all and statistically they expect most people to leave anyway.  I would say, don't get talked into doing coffee or anything, unless your probation person says you have to.  It is all a way to get you plugged in.  You don't sound like a good pigeon anyway, luckily. 

    Do you sense any others in your meeting feel the same?  How did you come across the orange papers?  Have you mentionned them to anyone else in aa?  Could you?  I have a little fantasy of putting fliers on each chair before a meeting with alternatives to aa. 

    If you ever feel pressurized into anything, tell them you are going to 'take what you like and leave the rest', just as you were told.

    I think the big book can potentially damage ones use of the English language so you are doing well to keep well away from that excrement.

    My suggestion about planning a humorous leaving speech was not original.

    http://thearidsite.tripod.com/AR081025.HTM

    Pelvic floor exercises.

    Could you keep a register of who attends your group, how many, how long sober, whether coerced to attend or not, dropout rate over the year?  Would you dare say anything controversial along the lines of the fact that it simply doesn't work?  I find the self-fulfilling prophecy of powerlessness to be a diabolical practice.  I used to go on a forum saying that the one thing that worked for me was that I kept telling myself that it was entirely, one hundred per cent up to me whether or not I had a drink.  Which is incidentally true.

  • Primrose

    Could you keep a diary of the most memorable twuntery.

    Have you experienced yet the atmosphere after a death?  For some reason a death seems to prove beyond any doubt how serious and good and crucial the cult is.  Which is not terribly logical.

    Could you keep a copy of 'Alice's Adventures in Wonderland' with you at all times.

    I know this question doesn't concern you, but I am in the UK and I'd like to know the rules in the US.  What happens if you have a drink, or drink in moderation, or drink to excess?  What would your probation officer do?  Would your sponsor tell them?  Is it a condition of your dui that you are abstinent for a year?

  • Primrose

    Are you sent there (do you think) for therapy or punishment?  You are obviously not taking it seriously (hurrah!), you are on your guard for the culty bits, and you are able to take your own decisions about yourself; so are you being infantalised (by being made to go through what is, if you don't even try to take it seriously (hurrah!)) as a punishment.  And is it meant to feel like a punishment?

    It is interesting talking to someone who is actually attending meetings.  Do share.  This is a nice playground.

    Most important question; do you think the others at your meeting have heard of or read the orange papers, etc?  Would you get in trouble with your probation officer if you were heard to mention it (would that make you look too rebelious? back to infantalising).  What proportion are true believers and sceptics?

  • Ben Franklin

    The best part of the beeg buk  I read was the story in the back called"Join the Tribe". Undeniably ghost written by a white man. Undeniably racist. Undeniably showing the "rigorous honesty" practiced by the "spiritually more pure than thou even though I just got out of prison". The injun talks about how many moons ago he drinkum the firewater and fuckem up the teepee. The story was replaced in the next edition. Kind of like Stalin era pictures where the now out of favor and probably dead people just disappear. When I first read it I laughed so hard i broke my glasses.

  • cherokeebride

    Hi Primrose:

    I quit drinking after my DUI –  so I don't know what would happen if I broke my probation and did drink.  Typically in the US, if you're on probation for a DUI you aren't supposed to drink.  I'm not willing to find out. However, I've heard that you either get more probation or jail (think Lindsey Lohan breaking her probation). They have random drug/alcohol testing, which I suppose is how they tell.  I don't think they ask your sponsor.

    I actually don't know if its meant for therapy or punishment, but I feel its intended as therapy, but most people view it as punishment.  Think 2 hours/week, plus an hours travel time each week, plus meeting with my sponsor once every few weeks for 2 hours – that's about 200+ hours I won't get back, along with gas money.

    I do hope I'm not coming across as glib in terms of the actual DUI – I do feel that I did something wrong, and I'm paying for it, and I'm fine with that.  My main problem that I'm being coerced to attend a religious program that goes against my belief system.  If I was given an option to go to SOS or Women for Sobriety (both of which have meetings in my area) I probably wouldn't have dove into the world of anti-AA. But I wasn't, and so I'm here.

    I don't know if anyone has heard of the Orange Papers.  However, I do know that there is a strong anti-religious contingent in one of the groups I go to – about half of them refuse to say the Lord's Prayer.  My general sense is that not many people in my area are too familiar with the Internet side of either AA or its detractors. I personally came across the Orange Papers by searching Google for "Skeptical about AA." I'm fairly plugged into the skeptic community and was surprised that they hadn't done much about it.

    And finally, I don't think I'd get in trouble for talking about it to my probation officer – but I do feel like talking more about other options (SMART, SOS, LifeRing, etc) rather than sharing how I really feel about AA.  My goal, eventually, is to lobby for alternatives to AA be allowed to probationers in my area.  I don't think it will happen this year, or next year, but I do hope it will happen.

     

     

     

  • Primrose

    http://forums.delphiforums.com/aacultwatch/messages/?msg=15.1

    This one.  About how aa attacks rather that reasons with critics

  • Rick045

    @Primrose, regarding your comment about those who feel they are acting as ambassadors for AA. When I was in the rooms, it was common to hear members remind each other that "they might be the only big book that someone will ever see". Many of them truly believed that the twelve steps could benefit even non-alcoholics, exactly the same way those Oxford Groupers believed that surrendering to "god control" was the answer for all of the world's problems.

    IMO, one of the things Orange does best is to explain how those Oxford Group recruiting and indoctrination techniques were adopted by AA. That demeaning language found in the literature and used in the rooms hasn't changed. The more "scientific" the treatment industry tries to make this stuff appear, the more ridiculous the actual program appears by comparison.

  • DeConstructor

    Ben

    Join the Tribe! is getting hard to find because it is soooo racist, and highlights the bafoonery and incompetence from AAWS and the GSO. I have heard it was removed from the new editions of the big book.

    For those who would like to read it, here it is.

    http://silkworth.net/grapevine/sonof_tallman.html

    For what it is worth, this piece was published in 1976, not 1876. I live between 2 Indian reservations and if anyone now spoke to a native using this type of language, they would get their butt rightfully kicked.

  • cherokee, i am glad that your group at least has an anti Christian element to it.  when i first starting going over fifteen years ago, i went to aa in a liberal, college town and peeps told me to just say it anyway and it would help me feel like i was "a part of" ahhhhhh.

  • i just read that story and it hurt my stomach, i did not have a laughing reaction.  i am way too sensitive. thank fuck, i am outta aa.

  • Ben Franklin

    At the bottom of the article it states that it first appeared in grapevine in November 1962.From what i recall it was only in one edition (3rd?)of the sacred tome and then it vanished. Nevertheless, it does very well point to deceptive recruiting and lack of honesty in an organization supposedly built on it. This story keeps me away from AA. That and the triennial surveys.The total lack of looking at the real world and the cover ups of data they don't like or mistaken fables like this story did it for me. Why can't you get a story from a real Indian? Why can't we see the data of the surveys?

  • Ben Franklin

    Violet, I was not laughing at the racism, I was laughing at the stupidity of AA.

  • cherokeebride

    That particular reading is so racist and horrible, I am amazed it was ever printed. *Shudder* I don't even disclose my background to anyone for fear I'll get something similiar thrown at me.

  • cherokeebride (welcome!), I know! I just read that thing, too. What's more amazing than the fact that it was written, is it's actually still there for the world to see! Someone finds that worth hosting. I think I need to take a screencap of it right away.

    Ben, I laughed reading that, too. It's just so outrageous!

  • cherokeebride

    Thanks FTG! I so appreciate this site.  I almost sent you and MA a fan email, but decided that was just *too* dorky….

    And yes, that needs to be screenshot (screenshotted?) and put up on a compendium of crazy things from AA.

  • Mona Lisa

    Oh, that is just AWFUL.  I don't know whether to laugh, cry or scream.  "Member of AA for many moons." Awful, awful, awful.

  • Primrose

    Rick, I' have lifted your post of 12.41 to prove the point that you made brilliantly about the relationship between 'treatment' centres and 'street' AA.  Hope that is ok? Thanks for refering me to this thread.

    In the course of trying to remember where I had read it, I trawled a load of old post on this site.  Cherokee and others affected by dui s might find the history of this interesting.

  • Primrose

    You kidding, Cherokeebride!  I write fanmail to ftg all the time.  I label it' "Don't trouble to reply', and just offload my thoughts that I don't want to put online.  I feel as though I spent so many years in a prison that I am filled with joy of life by just reading that there are many more people out there (I didn't know it wasn't only me).    All best, P.