AA’s Affiliation with the Courts

I just thought I would take a moment to clarify this point: The courts would never have used AA as a sentencing option if AA itself did not actively and aggressively 12 Step at the courthouse. The courthouse is the most important outreach work AA does to maintain its membership numbers. Alcoholics Anonymous not only encourages members to 12 Step at the court house, in spite of the breach of several Traditions, and in spite of the discomfort and questioning of members, but actually uses passive aggressive manipulation to coerce members to engage in this 12 Step outreach at the courts.

Anyone who asserts that courts are taking advantage of AA, without AA’s enthusiastic and aggressive participation, is either ignorant of AA’s position on the subject or practicing Rigorous Honesty™ (lying).

It is AA’s policy to forge this relationship with the courts:

AA Cooperation With the Courts

AA Video for Legal and Correctional Professionals

  • maozedong

    That is absolutely true. All AA would have to do to end this practice is refuse to sign the slips. The AAers in my county donate literature to the probation department for distribution to offenders.

  • Lucy

    FTG – Thank you. Very well said!

    The same thing can be said about the mental health and medical industry and the pardons and parole systems inside public prisons. In the first case, AA members actively lobbies AA as a "lifestyle" choice which can augment (if not replace) long term care for anyone who drinks too much, regardless of the reason. As an example, AA members have convinced a local medical schools to send students to meetings as a way of training them to send drinkers to meetings.

    By the same token, the notorious Texas prison system allows AA members (after great lobbying by members who are lawyers) to conduct meetings in all prisons. Sponsor members may speak on behalf of a felon facing parole or pardon, and membership in AA counts as good service.

    The influx of criminals and the mentally ill is the DIRECT result of AA doing what AA does best – recruit new members by promising the drinker and the institutions a cure.

  • Lucy, Yes! I wanted to just address the court thing, but of course there's a similar video on AA's website for medical professionals and HR people… AA has a policy of pursuing, building and maintaining affiliations with these outside entities.

    And, on the same page where AA posts it's videos mining the court system for child molesters, domestic abusers, violent offenders, financial predators, etc, they also have a cute cartoony video courting children: "I'm and alcoholic, and I got sober when I was 17." Seventeen.

    I remember a Serenity Hornet angrily insisting to us that there's some meaningful difference between the terms affiliation and relationship. That was very funny.

  • SoberPJ

    I liked the part in the document where if someone signed a slip and put their phone number on the slip, it was ok to call that person and verify attendence. Yeah, right. The meetings I attended had a flippin basket full of court slips.When I was a chair or secretary, I wouldn't be able to know who the flip they were for. And, they were welcome in the meetings. I only heard about meetings that wouldn't sign slips, I never was in one.

  • tintop

    jd, well foster brooks – your real name – you never claimed to be honest.

    are you drunk again? you are amoung friends, you can be honest for once. We will love you until you can love yourself. But, remeber, the truth will set you free; but, first, it will piss you off.

  • Rick045

    I attended meetings for twelve years, and never once saw anyone refuse to sign court slips. I don't remember hearing much complaining about it either. I also remember hearing that groups could refuse to sign them, but it was just talk. The overwhelming attitude was that perhaps the person would hear something they needed to hear, whether they wanted to be there or not. I suspect that things have gotten worse since I left, but the idea that AA would ever turn away potential recruits is preposterous.

  • eddy
  • Commonsense

    If an AA group doesn't want to sign slips, the answer is obvious – don't sign slips. Furthermore, the group should change its name in the interest of "rigorous honesty" to "No Slips Signed Group" and have it listed in its intergroup meeting schedule. Never going to happen.

    As an alternative, AA could make all AA meetings closed, thereby demonstrating an intent to lock out non-alcoholics that only want to get slips signed. Also, never going to happen.

  • ok, especially jd,

    FTG, thanks. You are awesome! Your work here is so important!

    I spoke to an AA Board member regarding member safety. She's the Chair of that subcommittee. A few months ago I called her because we were seeing all this stuff on ST and criminals being sentenced to Meetings, and all the court signing done at The Marina Center. (As well as the 2 newest murders. Kristine and Saundra CASS in Hawaii and Herbert Tracy White's Murder. We do not sign court cards at the small women's meeting I still attend.

    When I said to her that AA in NY should not have allowed this. She said to me, "well, we put it out to the fellowship in a group conscience and we left it up to each meeting to decide. Imagine if we all went to meeting places that allow this the most, held a business meeting and made a motion to say we don't sign court cards anymore. That it's against the traditions. It would be so cool to see the reaction. ( I'm sorry Im living in fantasy land here) To see the judges faces, to hear the phones ring in NY GSO, saying hey "what's going on here? (Can someone do an SNL skit on this please so I can laugh?)

    I know that they say that it's up to the group, but most AA members think that AA World Service GSO is "God".

    A good example, is when we wrote the "Make AA Safer" pamphlet and began handing it out, some AA members were furious that we were handing out non approved AA Literature.

    Even though the "group " is at The Top of the Structure. Right? Yes. Any group can write literature. But no one does. We did.

    My home group approved and gave us input on our literature. About 50 members gave us their input. What they liked , what they didn't like.

    Back to the signing of court cards. Sorry…

    There was never a real discussion done in the overall fellowship because most groups don't have a GSR ( General Service Rep). Some 3000 meetings in the LA area. Only 50 -60 gsr's show up for Area, or district meeting on a monthly basis. AND even then those groups express how their groups don't want to have real business meetings.

    NA knows that the structure does not work. And they have taken action to change it. And they took serious action without the fellowship's opinion because some serious Predator action took place about 4 years ago. A rape.

    Im sorry, Im all over the place, this women said something else to me on the phone that I could not believe.

    WHen I told her there was a problem with sex offenders being sent to meetings , because we might have a minor in the meeting, a teen.

    She said, "Maybe, they can make an exception for that" Hmm, I was unable to speak after that. She thinks it's a good idea to have a sex offender and a teenager in an AA meeting under the current circumstances because they are both alcoholics???

    No safety posters, no safety statement read, no special training etc. I felt sick to my stomach.

    As each of these little incidences happened, I realized I no longer wanted to be a part of this community, fellowship, whatever you wanna call it in today's language.

    So imagine, A General Service Board member thinks like this. OMG!

    I am embarrassed for and by AA. I realized after many of these surreal moments , I no longer wanted to be associated with AA.

    Sorry I went on and on. It makes me sick and something has to change. Something has to be done about it all.

    I can not just leave yet knowing that all this is going on still as I write this post.

    Oh WTF.

  • JD

    Aren’t links fun? Here’s one that gets close to the experience on the ground… chk page 108 for the reception the convicted really receive…but then, I’d guess a good bunch of the ST crowd could tell you how rejected they felt when no one would sign their slips when they dragged up after their court ordered meetings begging for signatures.

    http://books.google.de/books?id=VdCJPgL-72EC&pg=PA108&lpg=PA108&dq=court+referrals+to+AA+discouraged&source=bl&ots=G9EyEa1aHN&sig=SA_-DDNcMJ3IbHCtoSdWZu7ULDM&hl=de&ei=rXcqTfWqAZGu8QOVopC2Ag&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=7&ved=0CFAQ6AEwBg#v=onepage&q&f=false

    AA World Services wants to be seen as welcoming and helpful. The groups generally want no part of what the courts send. Guess who has the ultimate say? FTG, you don’t believe for a moment that National calls the shots, do you? I don’t think you’re that lame, so you must have purposely left out the reality of how the disgruntled forced convicted are handled on purpose.

    But then, you never claimed to be honest, did you?

  • DeConstructor

    JD-

    Why did you not mention the do’s and don’ts on page 120 of the above book you recommended, with such lines as:

    “inhibiting our willingness to encourage or MANDATE attendance”

    not to mention the obvious smack at Rational Recovery at the bottom of the “do’s and don’ts” -Why cure a concocted “disease when you can get a cult follower and recruiter for life?

    You are right about this book however, I MUST read it.

  • Gunthar2000

    “Partners in change: the twelve step referral handbook for probation, parole

    So much for AA not affiliating itself with any other organization.

    The way that these people lie right in your face is astonishing.
    They’re the masters of pissing on your leg, and then telling you it’s raining.

    borrowing a bit from the Orange-Papers here…

    Inconsistency. Contradictory Messages.
    A.A. scores a 10.

    The actual value system of a cult is often the antithesis of the system that it advertises, and A.A. is no exception to that rule of thumb. Alcoholics Anonymous is loaded with contradictions and inconsistencies:

    * “We offer you unconditional love and acceptance.”
    “And the conditions under which we will give you some ‘unconditional love and approval’ are:”
    o “You must practice absolute abstinence from alcohol.”
    o “You must go to lots of meetings.”
    o “You must believe in the Twelve Steps and practice them.”
    o “You must believe in a tyrannical God or Higher Power who will alternate between dictating work orders and answering your prayers, granting your wishes, and delivering miracles on demand.”
    o “You must revere Bill Wilson and Doctor Bob.”
    o “You must never question the A.A. program.”
    o “You must never contradict A.A. doctrines or dogma.”
    o “You must keep it simple, stupid!”
    o “You must recruit more members.”
    — And when people didn’t obey all of those rules, Bill Wilson hated them and sentenced them to death by alcoholism.

    * “This is a program of rigorous honesty.”
    o “Fake it until you make it.”
    o “Act As If.”
    o “RARELY have we seen a person fail, who has thoroughly followed our path.”
    o “Of alcoholics who came to A.A. and really tried, 50% got sober at once and remained that way; 25% sobered up after some relapses, and among the remainder, those who stayed on with A.A. showed improvement.”
    o “You have no conception these days of how much failure we had. You had to cull over hundreds of these drunks to get a handful to take the bait.”

    * “Think, think, think.”
    o “Stop your stinkin’ thinkin’.”
    o “You have a thinking problem, not a drinking problem.”
    o “Your best thinking got you here.”
    o “Utilize, Don’t Analyze.”
    o “Nobody is too stupid to get the program, but some people are too smart.”

    * “Alcoholics Anonymous does not demand that you believe anything.”
    o “You must abandon Reason, human intelligence, and logic, and just have faith.”
    (The Big Book, 3rd Edition, William G. Wilson, Pages 51-54.)
    o “Relieved of the alcohol obsession, their lives unaccountably transformed, they came to believe in a Higher Power, and most of them began to talk of God.”
    (Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, William G. Wilson, pages 27-28.)
    o “From great numbers of such experiences, we could predict that the doubter who still claimed that he hadn’t got the “spiritual angle,” and who still considered his well-loved A.A. group the higher power, would presently love God and call Him by name.”
    (Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, William G. Wilson, pages 108-109.)

    * “Alcoholics Anonymous is a self-help group dedicated to helping people to quit drinking.”
    “Our primary purpose is to stay sober and help other alcoholics to achieve sobriety.”
    “Alcoholics Anonymous is not a religious organization” The Big Book, Forward to the 2nd Edition, William G. Wilson, page XX (of the 3rd edition).
    o “At the moment we are trying to put our lives in order. But this is not an end in itself. Our real purpose is to fit ourselves to be of maximum service to God…”
    (The Big Book, 3rd Edition, William G. Wilson, page 77.)

    * “You can have any Higher Power of your understanding that you wish.”
    o The Third Step Prayer says:
    “God, I offer myself to Thee — to build with me and to do with me as Thou wilt. Relieve me of the bondage of self, that I may better do Thy will. Take away my difficulties, that victory over them may bear witness to those I would help of Thy Power, Thy Love, and Thy Way of life. May I do Thy will always!”
    The Big Book, 3rd edition, William G. Wilson, page 58.

    * “A.A. is just an easy-going self-help program; take what you want and leave the rest…”
    “Alcoholics Anonymous does not demand that you believe anything. All of its Twelve Steps are but suggestions.” (Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, William G. Wilson, page 26.)
    o “There are no musts in Alcoholics Anonymous; all of our Steps are only suggestions.”
    o “There are no ‘musts’ in Alcoholics Anonymous, only ‘oughtas’.”
    o “There aren’t any ‘musts’ in this program, but there are a lot of ‘you betters’.”

    But the word “must” is used in the first 11 chapters of the Big Book 58 times. A few of them are:
    o Chapter 1: I must turn in all things to the Father of Light who presides over us all.
    o Chapter 2: “Yes, I am one of them too; I must have this thing.”
    o Chapter 3: Once more: The alcoholic at certain times has no effective mental defense against the first drink. Except in a few cases, neither he nor any other human being can provide such a defense. His defense must come from a Higher Power.
    o Chapter 4: But after a while we had to face the fact that we must find a spiritual basis of life or else.
    o Chapter 5: Above everything, we alcoholics must be rid of this selfishness. We must, or it kills us!
    o Chapter 5: We saw that these resentments must be mastered, but how? We could not wish them away any more than alcohol.
    o Chapter 5: Whatever our ideal turns out to be, we must be willing to grow toward it. We must be willing to make amends….
    o Chapter 6: We must be entirely honest with somebody if we expect to live long or happily in this world.
    o Chapter 6: The rule is we must be hard on ourself, but always considerate of others.
    o Chapter 6: We must lose our fear of creditors no matter how far we have to go…
    o Chapter 6: We must not shrink at anything.
    o Chapter 6: We must take the lead.
    o Chapter 6: Every day is a day when we must carry the vision of God’s will into all of our activities. [Go recruiting for A.A..]
    o Chapter 6: But we must go further and that means more action. [Go recruiting for A.A..]
    o Chapter 6: But we must be careful not to drift into worry, remorse or morbid reflection…
    o Chapter 7: To be vital, faith must be accompanied by self sacrifice and unselfish, constructive action. [Go recruiting for A.A..]
    o Chapter 7: He should concentrate on his own spiritual demonstration. Argument and fault-finding are to be avoided like the plague. In many homes this is a difficult thing to do, but it must be done if any results are to be expected.
    o Chapter 7: But we must try to repair the damage immediately lest we pay the penalty by a spree.
    o Chapter 7: If their old relationship is to be resumed it must be on a better basis, since the former did not work.
    o Chapter 7: Both you and the new man must walk day by day in the path of spiritual progress.
    o Chapter 8: Wait until repeated stumbling convinces him he must act, for the more you hurry him the longer his recovery may be delayed.
    o Chapter 8: Your husband will see at once that he must redouble his spiritual activities if he expects to survive.
    o Chapter 9: But he must see the danger of over-concentration on financial success.
    o Chapter 9: We have come to believe He would like us to keep our heads in the clouds with Him, but that our feet ought to be firmly planted on earth. That is where our fellow travelers are, and that is where our work must be done.
    o Chapter 9: Whether the family goes on a spiritual basis or not, the alcoholic member has to if he would recover. The others must be convinced of his new status beyond the shadow of a doubt.
    o Chapter 10: Though you are providing him with the best possible medical attention, he should understand that he must undergo a change of heart.
    o Chapter 10: For he knows he must be honest if he would live at all.
    o Chapter 11: But life was not easy for the two friends. Plenty of difficulties presented themselves. Both saw that they must keep spiritually active. [Go recruiting for A.A..]
    o Chapter 11: Though they knew they must help other alcoholics if they would remain sober, that motive became secondary. [Go recruiting for A.A..]
    o Chapter 11: Still you may say: “But I will not have the benefit of contact with you who wrote this book.” We cannot be sure. God will determine that, so you must remember that your real reliance is always upon Him.

    And Bill Wilson often used the phrase “have to” instead of the word “must”, but it still meant must:
    o Chapter 2: If you are an alcoholic who wants to get over it, you may already be asking — “What do I have to do?”
    o Chapter 3: “Then they outlined the spiritual answer… But the program of action, though entirely sensible, was pretty drastic. It meant I would have to throw several lifelong conceptions out of the window.”
    o Chapter 6: We have a written inventory and we are prepared for a long talk. We explain to our partner what we are about to do and why we have to do it. He should realize that we are engaged upon a life-and-death errand.
    o Chapter 6: Reminding ourselves that we have decided to go to any lengths to find a spiritual experience, we ask that we be given strength and direction to do the right thing, no matter what the personal consequences may be. We may lose our position or reputation or face jail, but we are willing. We have to be.
    o Chapter 6: The spiritual life is not a theory. We have to live it.
    o Chapter 7: You have to act the Good Samaritan every day, if need be. [Go recruiting for A.A..]
    o Chapter 7: After all, our problems were of our own making. Bottles were only a symbol. Besides, we have stopped fighting anybody or anything. We have to!

    And of course, above all, there is Bill Wilson’s declaration that you will die if you don’t do his twelve steps. That is the ultimate must:

    Unless each A.A. member follows to the best of his ability our suggested [Bill Wilson’s required] Twelve Steps to recovery, he almost certainly signs his own death warrant. His drunkenness and dissolution are not penalties inflicted by people in authority; they result from his personal disobedience to spiritual principles [Bill Wilson’s cult religion practices].
    Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, William G. Wilson, page 174.

    http://www.orange-papers.org/orange-cult_a5.html

  • SoberPJ

    Massive… sorry, but there is a sad reality in your good work. In some number of years, someone will say something like," hey, remember that lady that was trying to make AA a safer place? What was her name again and what ever happened to her?" The transient waves of uncaring and unaware AA members are like the tides – they never stop. You are trying to change the tides. Your frustration is obvious and it is because you care. Don't kill yourself over people that don't care as much as you do. If your goal is to "make AA a safer place" maybe you should make a goal that is more realistic under the circumstances, like " make 5 local groups a safer place". That can probably be done and you might get a feeling of accomplishment if it actually happens. Otherwise, you should probably back away from the wall you are beating your head against.

  • sober pj,

    i think at some level I have come to that realization already, so my group, two in west hollywood, 20 in Palm springs area , (spanish speaking) and 7-10 in Downy area are discussing and all using literature. we wrote.

    Plus a few around the country.

    Yea your right.

    Good news is I did not go to the district meeting this Sunday.

    It feel so freeing.

    But we have already raised alot of awareness and the people who care have jumped on board. The others are creeps.

    FYI, sometimes in my meditation last summer I would hear a small voice that would say

    "leave them , they don't care , you are wasting your good energy on them"

    Forget this route, move on! LOL So finally I am.

  • Lucy

    JD – I never had any slips to be signed. I was a kool-ade drinking AA member for decades (plural).

    What exactly is AA, if not the members? If it just GSO or the Conference-approved literature ot that "chip" of a book? Does GSO sponsor you? Does GSO hold meetings?

    Does GSO suggest "90 in 90" or defend itself on this blog?Remember the "I am responsible" placard at groups? WHO exactly is responsible? Does GSO ever take 12th step calls or speak at treatment centers or take meetings to jails?

    The MEMBERS are AA! It's bullshit to pretend anything else/

  • AnnaZed

    Marco, I'm not clear from your post exactly where this forum is that you are posting on.

  • Marco

    Hi all. I had an exchange with an AA official about AA and the courts, especially about forced AA attendence. If this might interest someone and you did not see it, go to the Forums and check the last part of the thread : “Who helps send people to 12 Step programs? ” And here is a link to some other “official” AA literature about AA and the courts:

    http://www.aa.org/lang/en/en_pdfs/smf-177_en.pdf

  • Marco

    Annazed: it's the Forums section of this website.

  • AnnaZed

    Ah! ok then.

  • Marco,

    so what happens when the sponsor is someone who is raping newcomers and getting blowjobs in exchange for rent. Happening in West Covina, or shall I say it was happening till he got arressted, put in jail, got out of jail and is now teaching 12 step classes in a church in Pasadena. ANd the classes are 2/3rds women. OMG. and this is just one story.

  • AnnaZed

    Wow massiveattack, I am very close to some people who have a family member who has been coerced into AA in Pasadena (I live right nearby). Where are these 12-step “classes” taking place, and if they are called “classes” are the taxpayers paying for them?

  • ANNAZed,
    They are in some churches where they are holding what they are calling12 step classes all rolled into one.
    I will call someone tomorrow to get the name of the CHurch.

  • Harry

    Contemporary Issues Concerning the Survival and Evolution of the Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous 12 Step Programs in Relation to and with Court Ordered Participants
    By Harry K.

    Introduction
    I speak only as a member and citizen, not as a representative of any organization or group.
    I merely present my opinion and personal observations in an effort to help further intelligent thought and discussion that might ultimately lead to a better understanding.
    I have relied upon and continue to rely upon AA/NA for both my lifestyle and quality of living. Recovery from active alcoholism and addiction is a life and death matter.
    AA/NA’s continued survival is essential to the lives of many.
    External influences can adversely affect the well being and/or survival of AA/NA.
    The legal system influences the internal wellbeing of AA/NA.

    History
    There is absolutely no doubt that AA/NA have turned many lost souls into healthy individuals, loving family members and productive members of society. The record of success speaks for itself.
    With such an attractive track record concerning a grave social and personal problem, of course, many have been drawn into AA/NA. In addition, many have desired to push others into AA/NA.
    Recovery is only possible when the individual has made the decision to recover. No one can make the decision for anyone else and expect success.

    The Courts
    The courts give the individual the desire to stay out of jail, it is true. However, the courts do not give the individual the required price of admission to AA/NA, namely the desire to get/stay sober and/or clean. On the surface the two motives seem to be the same, however, close examination proves they are fundamentally different and might very well be mutually exclusive.
    The Way AA/NA Works
    Probably the central most principle is the concept of the individual coming to the realization for the absolute need to begin recovery.
    “If he [the “prospect”] is to find God, the desire must come from within.” (Page 95 of Alcoholics Anonymous 4th Edition)
    In AA/NA, the concept of finding a “Higher Power” is the absolute central theme. AA/NA is spiritual to the very core.
    Those Who Might Disagree
    It is important to be aware that AA/NA are not a part of the penal system. Recovery is not punishment.
    The Constitution
    I agree with the U. S. 9th Circuit Court ruling. AA/NA are without doubt religious in nature and function.
    The Point is Motive
    Although anyone with a desire for recovery is welcome to AA/NA, anyone with a desire to have their court card signed is not. The people are welcome, the cards are not.

  • soberbychoice

    Harry, below is my latest report on the status of AA. It is declining by high percentages outside the US. The US is the only place the courts coerce people in any substantial number to AA. A million Big Books sold each year by AAWS, no new members. Fewer members today globally and in the US than in 1993. It’s all churn. There is no recovery rate. There is no retention rate. If court coercion ended tomorrow, AA would very quickly recede to a membership of about 400,000 by my estimates. The overseas declines are simply devastating to anyone who wants to claim success for AA (see below.) I’ve been around AA for three decades; the leadership has always said the future of AA was overseas. That strategy has failed miserably. This is going to be a very small organization on its 100th anniversary in 2035. The current declines of AA parallel very closely the declines of the dozens of other recovery movements in US history (see Wm White’s “Slaying of the Dragon”).

    THE LATEST STATS FROM AAWS SHOWING FURTHER GLOBAL DECLINE

    AA’s latest numbers (Box 459, Summer, ’11) continue to show it’s slow but inexorable decline. Very ominously for AA, the number of groups overseas in 2011 from 2010 declined by 9,059 (17.2%), and AA lost 59,768 (8.5%) overseas members in one year. That furthers the argument that without the forced coercion from US courts and treatment centers, AA would be in a freefall globally.

    AAWS reports that AA as a whole now has 2,057,652 members globally, down from 2,103,033 in the previous year. By contrast, in 2002 there were 2,215,293 members. In 2002, there were 891,062 members outside North America. This year’s 644,498 members is a decline of 28% over nine years.

    The numbers in North America are essentially flat from 2010. Canada actually lost 146 members over the year but claimed it had formed 81 new groups. It’s group count is flat with 2002, but the membership count is down by over 3000 over the nine years.

    The US is the sole place in the world where AA is growing, reflecting the coercion of the culture and courts. The 2011 membership number for the US is 1,279,664. That’s up slightly from 2010’s 1,264,716. The group count grew this year by 1,211, to 57,905. The largest drop in the US over the nine year period was in the number of inmate members. The number of “behind the walls” groups declined by about 1000 over the period while the membership count dropped from 66,036 in 2002 to only 38,938 this year. AAWS offers no explanation, but one can surmise that mandatory sentencing guidelines may have resulted in inmates knowing that the “get out early by attending AA” card is less effective than it used to be.

    Meantime, during all this stagnation and decline, AAWS continued to sell another million Big Books every year. So, nine million or more copies of the sacred text were foisted on newcomers over the period and the membership lost 157,621 members. The Grapevine’s circulation is now projected for this year at 88,000, down from 93,000 last year.

    The picture overall is a stagnant organization on the precipice of a future great decline. The combination of more courts declaring AA coercion to be a violation of the Establishment Clause, the growth of alternatives, the widespread internet information on AA’s ineffectiveness, all will combine to be its further undoing. For decades the AA leadership has claimed its growth opporunity was overseas. That strategy has clearly failed, and the only strategy that is working now is one that is clearly a violation of the program’s claimed principles of attraction not promotion. AA is now locked arm in arm with the courts for its survival, making a complete mockery of the claim of cooperation but not affiliation.

  • Harry

    I recently relocated from Alaska to the “lower 48”. It is common knowledge up North, that it is much more of a “police state” here. I see that. The meetings of AA in Alaska are without “court cards”. Down here, I have found most meetings to be bursting at the seams with court ordered people. I walked out of an NA meeting tonight. Everyone of the dozen or so, was either court ordered or had been. I have nothing against anyone having the desire to get sober; however, the government has walked all over us by forcing its criminals to attend meetings. The meetings here have an air of “clownishness”, could be the result of so much fakery. The numbers concerning success are clearly cooked. The courts, judges, lawyers, councilors, probation and parole officers, etc.etc. have rigged the game, and the true loosers are, as usual, the marginalized.
    And thank you for the related links. I was feeling pretty lonely there for awhile….

  • Alaska does seem to be one state that does not seem to be having the problems that are present in the lower 48. I could find no instances of violence with a rather careful search.

  • Harry

    True, Alaska is more like a different country than just another state. Aside from the internal workings of the AA/NA meetings, rest assured that violence in that society is high, very high. Huge amounts of alcohol and other drug abuse. Followed with domestic violence, rape, FAS, health system and law enforcement overload. No picnic. Someone was killed in the Alano parking lot in Anchorage a year or so ago.

  • Harry; could you post a link to the killing in the Alano parking lot? The owners of the blog and massiveattack are collating the depressing incidents of rape and murder etc at the cult. And have a look at this link: An oldtimer in AA revealed.

    http://stinkin-thinkin.com/2011/05/29/####-other-gig/comment-page-6/#comment-59481

  • @Harry; Harry says:
    ‘There is absolutely no doubt that AA/NA have turned many lost souls into healthy individuals, loving family members and productive members of society. The record of success speaks for itself.
    With such an attractive track record ….’

    Harry, have a look at this. In every comparative study ever done, AA has fared worse than the control group. Unfortunately AA does not keep a record of the suicides.
    http://www.orange-papers.org/orange-effectiveness.html

  • Harry
  • Thanks Harry. That was quick.

    I hope you stick around, Harry, because we could do with some intelligent and honest AAs here. We tend to get the loons.

    This was our resident AA until he was busted.
    http://stinkin-thinkin.com/2011/05/29/####-other-gig/comment-page-6/#comment-59481

    Have a look at stop13stepinaa for details of the rapes and murders and other serenity stuff. Please stick around. 🙂

  • Harry- AA is seriously declining. you wrote@ There is absolutely no doubt that AA/NA have turned many lost souls into healthy individuals, loving family members and productive members of society. The record of success speaks for itself.
    With such an attractive track record concerning a grave social and personal problem, of course, many have been drawn into AA/NA

    Where are the stats of these healthy individuals. AA has never spent a dime on research.
    I agree with soberbychoice..Afterover 3 decades in AA i have seen meetings close down one after another in a big city in the USA. Meetings that existed 5 years ago are gone.

    The last home group I attended for years…even though we always had a stream of new women, sometimes no new ones. The Meeting NEVER grew. It’s still the same if not smaller. Only sometimes when a newer member brought a busload to the meeting was it full.

    I heard an AA board Member who is a Judge speak. He said ” there are some 25 million people in the USA with a problem and only 2 mil in AA and how many in NA? so that leaves 22 million who don’t go , will never go, and many who have left like me and Thousands who hate AA and what about all the other cultures who have NEVER embraced the powerless sudo christian religious rhetoric driven archaic nonsense that AA is thick with.

    I agree. At the courthouse in every town, there should be a meeting room where a panel of AA, SOS, Smart, Women for Sobriety etc can send volunteers to tell others how they quit.

    The internet is here. AA is not the only game in town and the word is out about the predators and criminals, rapist and murderers attending to Aunt Sally and cousin Mary who just burnt the toast too many times.

    The other big problem I have now is the lie AA’s say all the time that you have to attend meetings forever. Giving to the cause forever. The numbers and this prove you wrong.
    You are welcome here but be prepared …NO ONE is drinking the AA koolaid anymore.
    Especially not me! I personally am being contacted about the rapes going on in AA and many not being reported because they were NEWCOMERS when it happened! They were vulnerable when it happened. They are afraid because they think AA is some special underground fellowship. It’s not a fellowship anymore. They think they are some secret society like the one at Yale or Harvard….well it’s not. AA is accountable to all this criminal behavior going on and pretending they have some special traditions to make them un accountable is absolutely INSANE.

  • Documented Harry – thanx.

  • @Harry; have you read the orange papers?

  • Harry

    Orange papers I have not read.
    On a related note….
    I need to add that a woman in AA with less than a year sober can not be viewed as someone who is capable of giving sexual consent. Consequently, the sexual predators run rampant, with the AA membership simply standing by watching, or even saying that that is just a part of getting sober. Disgusting.

  • We know. We know. We know. We know.
    Read the Orange Papers. They are a bit shouty but contain nothing but the truth and all the references are right.
    Keep coming back, Harry! 🙂

  • Harry- well, I now see some of your other posts. And with some of them I agree. Sorry if I was so hard on you at first.
    Welcome. Many of us felt alone at first. Not anymore. I love this site!

  • Harry@ I need to add that a woman in AA with less than a year sober can not be viewed as someone who is capable of giving sexual consent. Consequently, the sexual predators run rampant, with the AA membership simply standing by watching, or even saying that that is just a part of getting sober. Disgusting.

    SO true. So true. Well said. And this is only part of why I finally left AA after many decades.
    FYI- I’m not 80 either.

  • http://www.nadaytona.org/

    Have a look at this site. We need to warn parents not to let minors anywhere near these clowns, whose only qualification is that they were stupid enough to join the cult that is AA.

  • Harry

    I have seen women come to AA who are barely able to recite their own name. Often they have been completely worn down from the bar and party scene. Used and abused, day and night oftentimes for years at a stretch..They simply do not have the mental state of mind to defend or care for their own well being. Fact. They need a time of safety to get their shit together. The AA sexual predators find such newcomers easy prey. It is my opion that a woman needs a year of safety in order to heal.

  • It is my opinion that anyone in the vulnerable state you describe should be kept well away from AA before she is brainwashed into reliance on the group and self-fulfilling powerlessness. Anyone who goes to AA looking for help with a drinking problem should go on the internet and find out why the cult is the very last place they should go to.

  • Here is a list of ‘treatments’ for substance abuse, in order of effectiveness:

    http://www.behaviortherapy.com/whatworks.htm

    Here is the exposure of the sort of ‘rigorous honesty’ she might expect in the rooms:

    http://stinkin-thinkin.com/2011/05/29/####-other-gig/comment-page-6/#comment-59481

  • Harry

    Here’s a thought. Most of the time, I see the solution to alcohol and drug addiction to be drug theropy. I do not see the value in substituting a bottle of pills for a bottle of booze, when they both merely mask reality. Is it not the point to face one’s emotions and trust them? Not to distort them out of mind? That the “Professional” is merely a drug dealer should be made clear. Change? That is a good place to start.

  • ‘distort them out of their mind’? Like telling the vulnerable woman you described that she has a (non-existent) disease and that the only cure is life long membership of the cult. As someone else on this blog said, I hope she is not under 30 (I’d say 40) and even remotely attractive.

  • @Harry; have you read the links to which I have linked? I would love to hear your thoughts on them. And most particularly this one which explains how the ‘alcoholism as disease’ theory came about, and how it was financed. Dr Jellinek, the linchpin of the disease theory was asked to return his PhD to Yale University, which he did. His work on ‘the stages of alcoholism’ is still used in rehabs, to brainwash very vulnerable people into this damaging nonsense.

  • http://www.addictioninfo.org/articles/447/1/Alcoholism-is-not-a-Disease/Page1.html

    I would very much like to hear your views on that one, Harry.

  • Sally

    @ JR
    Interesting articles about a career criminal in AA (Alaska)…..Also posting in Keep Coming Back.

    Judge sentences career criminal to 30 years
    http://peninsulaclarion.com/stories/112700/ala_112700ala0020001.shtml

    Negligence (This one is especially interesting..I cannot view the entire article…but I wonder if this Judge sentence him to treatment, then ruled that the treatment center had a duty to protect the other clients)
    http://goliath.ecnext.com/coms2/gi_0198-67823/Negligence.html
    The Alaska Supreme Court ruled in a recent case that an out-patient substance abuse treatment facility had a duty to protect its patients from harm during the course of the treatment. Specifically, the court said that the center should have taken steps to warn patients that others in the treatment program might be prone to violence.

  • mikeblamedenial

    Harry, suffice to say you have entered a tough neighborhood, but nice to see you here. I find your comment regarding facing one’s emotions interesting in that steppism works so hard to deny or even demonize certain emotions, while encouraging others. Anger is a luxury Wilsonites cannot afford, resentment is their number one offender, and acceptance is to be pursued at all times regardless of cost. It teaches that self-doubt and self-castigation are virtues. Most of this from the pen of a man who, as far as I know, NEVER took a psychology class in his 1900’s college experience and regularly advocated the use of niacin and LSD as tools to fix one’s psyche years after he devised a program he arguably never seriously adhered to.

    A bit about meds. For over ten years I attended AA regularly as a three-pack-a-day smoker. When I did quit, I used Nicotine Replacement Therapy quite successfully, something discouraged actively by AA’s step-child, Nicotine Anonymous. Early in my quit (as in just a few days) I announced my quit at the AA meeting at the local spin-dry, happily showing everyone my patch. I was nearly booed out of the meeting, and was told by several smokers afterward that it wasn’t a real quit because of the medication. I wore the patch for a total of eleven days, and have been nicotine-free for six and a half years.

  • Sally

    “As part of the program, the center encouraged all members of the group to rely on each other for help and support outside of the group meetings. To help the group maintain contact, the center compiled and disseminated a list of members and their telephone numbers.”

    —That phone number list has to got to stop as well!!! WTF?

  • Rick045

    Harry wrote – “Is it not the point to face one’s emotions and trust them? Not to distort them out of mind? That the “Professional” is merely a drug dealer should be made clear. Change? That is a good place to start.”

    I see nothing healthy about AA’s teaching that “anger is the dubious luxury of normal men”. I don’t personally see anything wrong with regrets and resentments either. Those things all have their place and are simply part of being human. AA’s teachings simply result in the suppression of those things which can be just as debilitating as “distorting” them with medication. It’s my opinion that so many old-timers are passive-aggressive assholes precisely because they’ve spent years suppressing normal emotions.
    I heard that blanket statement about professionals being pill pushers many times in the rooms, and was around long enough to know that many of the very people expressing that view were themselves on medication. Certainly not all professionals could be characterized as drug dealers, but I heard similar sentiments expressed toward therapy as well. The fact is that steppers will denigrate anything that they think might lead a person away from AA.

  • causeandeffect

    @ Harry
    Here’s a thought. I have suffered all my life, even as a small child, from depression and my life and thinking were impaired by it. I finally got on the right medication and for the first time in my life, and am living in reality and have dealt with any psychological issues long ago. My thinking and emotions are no longer masked or clouded by depression. I feel it has a lot to do with my sobriety. After all, isn’t that the desired goal? Continued sobriety and having a good life? No, apparently not. I did’t think so. One must continue to suffer in order to continue accepting the AA dogma. I have been accused of being impaired by a troll here, but nothing could be further from the truth. Properly prescribed anti-depressants don’t impair or mask anything.

    @ hyacith, welcome. How long have you been at this blog?

  • Sally

    @causeandeffect

    I hope you don’t mind me jumping in 🙂
    I too take medication for depression (also in therapy). It really helps me, and since I’m not consumed with depression and anxiety I feel less like drinking and drugging.

    Sally

  • causeandeffect

    Harry, what about those who are mentally ill, and will harm themselves or others without their meds? What happens when one of you tell them to get off their meds and they do exactly that? How will you explain that to others? How do you explain it to yourself. How will you sleep at night? I really don’t know how you people fail to recognize this.

    I was told to get off my meds by someone like yourself with your same rationalization.
    Even though I’m not seriously mentally ill, the effect of taking half of my prescribed dosage caused a sudden brain imbalance and very serious suicidal ideation that I’d never had before in my life. I shudder to think of how close I came.

  • AntiDenial

    The fact that both AA and NA try to minimize any concerns about safety about minors attending is really shocking. Some Drug Courts have wised up and do not mandate AA/NA anymore because of known sexual predatory behavior against teens. Volusia County Florida stopped a few years ago because of it.Many courts still do though and needs to stop! AA and NA are fully aware of many courts concern about minors in Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous. Yet they are going full steam ahead with booklets to PROMOTE attendance of minors.
    There one written by NA called ‘By young addicts for young addicts’ is just shameful
    and disgusting as it encourages minors to open up to NA members about their sexual
    history and any problems associated with sex in their lives. This infuriates me.Who trained NA to counsel teens on sexual issues? Is NA not about drug abuse?
    What the hell! This is perverted. Please read this booklet along with Booklet for ‘Parents
    and guardians of young people’. Note how they word ‘young’ instead of ‘minor’?
    But if you read both it is clear they are addressing minors. Both booklets are on this site
    http://www.nadaytona.org or you can google it or find it on NA very own website.

  • AntiDenial

    BY young addicts for young addicts booklet link

    http://web.na.org/admin/include/spaw2/uploads/files/EN3113_2008.pdf

    For Parents and Guardians of young people booklet

    http://na.org/admin/include/spaw2/uploads/files/EN3127.pdf

  • Sally

    AntiD,

    Re your above links. Oh my goodness!

    And, I don’t beleive for a minute that “this literature was developed by young members of Narcotics Anonymous who have stayed clean and found a new way of life.”

    “You may not see young members in the meetings you go to, but if you stay clean and keep coming back you will find us”.

    Translation: Keep listening to the older members and you will become brainwashed, as we are, then when we find each other we can all chant together. In the interim it is a strong possibility you will be 13 stepped – possible even sexual abused. But keep coming back, because it is more important that your clean.

  • AntiDenial

    @ WA-Only 14 years old? Good grief! It is just horrible that they have been doing this for so long. Please read the booklets,I would be interested in your opinion. It just blows my mind I read them.

    @ Sally Thanks reading them-They are short and full of crap. Thanks for quoting a couple statements as I did not have time to. But the fact they they admit that many young people have a problem with there not being other young people in the meetings and they try to overcome the objection like a car salesman just to increase their base, makes my skin crawl. It is bad enough that AA/NA recruits adults to known unsafe meetings-but children and minors? I really think Department of children and families in each state need to look into this. Any other group would have to have a license and background checks-including Alateen-but somehow AA/NA has got away with this practice for way to long and needs to cease.

  • SoberPJ

    Yeah, the whole recruiting of minors thing has got to stop. And, their practices are totally deceptive. Does anyone really think a teen wrote those brochures? I mean really. They can probably skirt the issue by saying some of the quotes were from teens, but it is still deceptive. Just like how the big book got that nic name. The entire 12 step ecosystem has a foundation of deception and manipulation and it plays out to various degrees from “white lies” to deliberate and gross deceit. All of it justified and rationalized by the true believers. When thoroughly and obejctively examined, it is really sick stuff.

  • Sally

    I had a meeting at my ex rehab that was supposed to reccomend a different facility to me for aftercare (group therapy for recovering women). They had “officially terminated” me last week because I refused to go to AA meetings…They had no reccomendation, there is none that aren’t AA based. They suggested I get re-evaluated and go back into treatment (because I had ten drinks/different occasions in the last 5 months). Laughable! I just wanted to see what they would say – only reason I went – but also to show them the numerous pages of cases about violence in/around meetings across the country that I had printed up – but still, she asked me “what about the good in AA”? She says I’m paranoid. They are all brainwashed and part of the cult. They don’t care about safety. They suck.

  • Harry

    You have an interesting site. I am glad to have spent some time here. Thank you. Good luck and good bye.

  • Come back Harry! You have nothing to lose but your….. (?)
    Please have a look at some of the links you have been given, Harry?

    Thanks for stopping by. Ususally we only get the AA loons and also Dick B. Please stick around. 🙂

  • AntiDenial

    @Harry-it was good to hear your points of view.Welcome more.

    @SoberPJ-That was my initial reaction when I read them too.That young people did not write them. It is a manipulation of youth to try to give them something they can relate to.
    Like talking about sex! Okay the teen might not want to come to talk about substance abuse-but we will catch there interest about multiple sex topics that we will gladly discuss in detail and maybe-just maybe they will be able to get in their pants at the end of the day.

    I mean the way it is written is so transparent and WRONG!

  • Great discussion. I heard recently that a member of the Pacific Group committed suicide. So now Clancy says it’s okay to use meds.
    Someone should sue him and the group. They have the money. For acting like Professionals when they are not. The room with 600 is full of AA’ers who think they are better then God. The arrogance level in that meeting is frightening and sick.

    mikeblamedenial @ Anger is a luxury Wilsonites cannot afford, resentment is their number one offender, and acceptance is to be pursued at all times regardless of cost. It teaches that self-doubt and self-castigation are virtues. Most of this from the pen of a man who, as far as I know, NEVER took a psychology class in his 1900′s college experience and regularly advocated the use of niacin and LSD as tools to fix one’s psyche years after he devised a program he arguably never seriously adhered to.

    This post here is exactly how I feel and why I am no longer going anymore. I have felt this way 20 years. SO why didn’t I stop going sooner. This makes me so mad.

    rick045-I see nothing healthy about AA’s teaching that “anger is the dubious luxury of normal men”. I don’t personally see anything wrong with regrets and resentments either. Those things all have their place and are simply part of being human. AA’s teachings simply result in the suppression of those things which can be just as debilitating as “distorting” them with medication. It’s my opinion that so many old-timers are passive-aggressive assholes precisely because they’ve spent years suppressing normal emotions.

    Rick- so so true. There is a meeting in Santa Monica CA that you have to have over 10 years to talk. Oh really…they were the meanest , unfriendliest group I have ever met! So what does this mean. That after 10 years you are better and wiser then someone with 3 years. They are so fucking sick! I am glad I am gone for good.

    mikeblamedenial will be co -hosting with me soon right?

    I hope you call in sometime to my radio show. I like what you are posting here. It’s so true!

  • AnnaZed

    @massiveattack [who mentions] ~ “…I heard recently that a member of the Pacific Group committed suicide. So now Clancy says it’s okay to use meds.”

    Is that someone new, as in someone besides Del Shannon?

    Anyway, he may publicly say that those with problems should seek advice of doctors and take medication if needed, but I have a friend whose husband is a long-time member (former friend really, but a person really struggling with AA’s effect on her life) who says that in the true inner-circle of the Pacific Group no man (there are no women in the inner circle) would even dream of taking meds or talking to a therapist and that her husband was ridiculed, bullied and even placed in a head-lock and forced to his knees to pray when he even wondered aloud if he should look into that for himself. She fears he will kill himself.

  • It would appear that Clancy I of the California based “Pacific Group” has far reaching effects on the direction of AA. Clancy I was the sponsor of Mike Q. of the infamous “MidTown Group” out of Washington DC in Maryland. They were a “back to basics” group that gained National attention in 2007-2008 because of the rampant 13 Stepping and other issues going on. Clancy I still holds immense power over AA in California, Florida and the surrounding areas of Washington DC sending his missionaries to spread the gospel of Bill Wilson. His actions should be watched very carefully.

  • mikeblamedenial

    Clancy’s base of operations.
    http://www.midnightmission.org/

  • Lucy

    Unfortunately, suicides are nearly as common in AA as coffee. They cause a bit of gossip and shock, and then they are smoothed over with some discussion about how sick the dead person was and how he or she should have done ____________________ instead.

  • Sally

    Is Clancy of the PacificGroup the same of Midnight Mission, Clancy Imislund?

  • Sally

    Anthony Hopkins’ saviour reveals how he beat booze by aiding others
    http://www.dnaindia.com/entertainment/report_anthony-hopkins-saviour-reveals-how-he-beat-booze-by-aiding-others_1381422
    The man who helped save Sir Anthony Hopkins battle his booze nightmare has revealed how he came to the star’s rescue.

    Clancy Imislund, a former alcoholic who helps the homeless battle their addictions in Los Angeles, has spoken of how he came to the Oscar-winning actor’s aid when he was still coming to terms with life without alcohol after quitting the bottle in the mid-seventies.
    Hopkins, now 72, went on to become a volunteer at the Midnight Mission

    Hopkins, now 72, went on to become a volunteer at the Midnight Mission.

  • SoberPJ

    Celebrities doing “volunteer work” is not like you and me doing volunteer work. Sir Tony won’t be taking out the garbage and cleaning toilets any time soon. And, for celeb’s, a PR stunt once a year carries a lot of “goodwill”. Also, notic how it isn’t Anthony talking about himself, it is a known, shameless public promoter of AA that is doing it. Clancy gave his life to AA and thinks other people should do the same. He has done a lot of good work and the mission is a great resource for the homeless and downtrodden, but it comes back to the huge ego Clancy has developed from being in AA. Few have larger egos while at the same time claiming to be humble. Ying and Yang I guess. Can’t seem to have one without the other.

  • Scroll halfway down the page:

    http://www.sobrietytalks.com/shop/?cat=7%20-

  • AnnaZed

    There are tapes of poor Sir Anthony kissing the ring of AA in long loquacious monologue; they are around. Have any of you seen Sir Anthony’s directorial effort Slipstream http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0499570/? It’s completely unwatchable. As an actor he’s an absolutely marvelous if hammy actor (excluding The Remains of the Day) but as a person I suspect that he is insane.