You Can Take the Lunatic Out of AA, But You Can’t Take AA Out of The Lunatic

I made the mistake of approving a comment from Diablo, one of our resident trolls. In a fit of rigorous honesty™, he changed his name and personae, and tried sneak a multi-paragraph tirade through. It began:

Hey I am Steve I am new here. I came around last night and read for awhile trying to see if I fit in here.
This is what I came away with from my reading. Now mind you I am not the best writer nor do I make any attempt to try….

I deleted it, and I’m posting this as a warning, because he is also going through our community pages. These types have a sense of entitlement, and he will likely show up again at some point. If you happen to see any comments here or in the community section that have a tinge of lunacy, and that you suspect may be Diablo, let me or FTG know, and we’ll delete it if it is him.

  • Gunthar2000

    That pretty much proves he was nothing but a troll.

    I’m a little bit concerned that so much time was wasted over the past few weeks arguing with this recent barrage of trollism. I think we had a pretty good thing here with the strong community bonds we had been building before we were attacked by the troll brigade. I hope that it hasn’t been lost. For people who are trying to escape the AA mind trap, this might be the only place that they have to find refuge. I believe it hurts our efforts and it can effect the emotional stability of some of us to allow these trolls to operate with impunity.

    Our basic mission statement says that ST was started with the intention of building community. I think that this cause is too important to be sacrificed on the alter of free speech.

    I also wonder about doctors and Lawyers who might visit our community. How are they to take us seriously when all they get from us is an endless argument with trolls? How about the newcomer? What will they think of this blog when it’s nothing but mindless circular bickering?

  • http://www.stinkin-thinkin.com friendthegirl

    Gunthar, one option is to require registration in order to comment. It won’t prevent all trolls from coming through, but it will add a level of accountability that they might not be willing to accept, if their intention is just to disrupt.

    Also, it might be possible (i’ll check) to give members more control if everyone is registered — like I might be able to install an ingore function, if there is one.

  • Lucy

    FTG – have you considered having an open format and a closed format, and using them for different purposes?

  • Gunthar2000

    I think a three strikes policy might be a good idea.

    1st strike gets a warning… “WARNING! You have been identified as a troll!”
    3rd strike gets the banned permanently.

  • mfc66

    @flg – The ignore button sounds like a good idea. I tried to write a script for myself for firefox using an add on called grease monkey to do this for myself but it was only partially successful because of how the page loads but I wonder if wordpress do a better version ( coded by by somebody more competent than me!)

  • http://iloveeli violet

    i like the three strikes idea. i get the free speech thing, but it diablo in particular got super tiring. however, this could potentially limit someone who is an aa who truly wants argue a point. and i think it is important to let aas argue a point. i know how awful it sounded to massive attack and the others when big john was being so dismissive. ad how lame it was that he started ignoring calls. i would not want “this side” to be like that.

  • http://www.stinkin-thinkin.com friendthegirl

    Hi Lucy, I’m not sure… Unless I’m misunderstanding you, that’s what I had in mind when I created the community was a place that was moderated and community controlled — sanctuary from the blog, because the blog tended to be so rowdy. However, I’m still having a hard time getting a handle on the buddypress system. I just installed a couple of new plugins over there that might help, including a “flag as inappropriate” button for the bottom of posts.

  • http://www.stinkin-thinkin.com friendthegirl

    mfc, It looks like both wordpress and buddypress have been resistant to users pleading for an ignore function. It seems basic. I wonder what the problem is.

  • Ben Franklin

    Diablo says:
    Hey I am Steve I am new here. I came around last night and read for awhile trying to see if I fit in here.
    This is what I came away with from my reading. Now mind you I am not the best writer nor do I make any attempt to try….

    Diablo,
    Gosh I really do talk too myself.

  • sugomom

    FTG, there are many members of the blog discussion that didn’t join the community pages. Over there, we can private message each other. Is there a way to put that function on the blog interactions? There have been questions I have had of folks in my particular situation (where AA acted as the invasion of the body snatcher of a loved one) but there is no way to ask them a particular question without unintentionally hijacking a thread. That’s what kills me in Yahoo groups, people respond under a header that has nothing to do with the facts they are addressing.
    As far as the trolling wars, I think that they are amusing, have even gotten into one or two myself. But then someone (like me recently) really needed some knowledge to impart to a divorce site regarding the dangers of AA and I had to interrupt the trollblow session 3 times before I got it answered. That isn’t our collective mission and it won’t raise the collective consciousness of the world as to the dangers of AA.
    I was scared off of SR at a time I really needed support. If I came here hurting from AA and trollrolls were all I saw, I would be afraid to post.
    Maybe we could have a trollroll that operates like the neverending thread and the first warning should be to stay on the blog topic, or take it to the trollroll?

  • mikeblamedenial

    Trolls are always looking for a game. If they don’t find one, they quickly move on.

  • causeandeffect

    diablo certainly did have a sense of entitlement — to dominate every thread with personal insults. He even became a member to post in the community pages, posting there even after he had been banned. What’s to prevent that in the future? I like the 3 strikes, you’re out idea when it comes to abusive behaviors. Most blogs would have never tolerated it for so long.

  • AntiDenial

    I agree with Violet.

  • humanspirit

    @ftg – I’d really advise against the registration idea. This will put a lot of genuine people off posting. We’ve been doing a lot of research into this at my workplace recently (and what we’re dealing with there is a lot less sensitive). People will often not just not bother or get a bit freaked if they have to register, for various reasons.

    Three strikes and your out sounds good. Trolls will disingenuously whine about their “freedom of speech”, but who cares? They can go and exercise that right somewhere else, or try and sue you in a federal court (or even in the International Court of Human Rights if they feel strongly enough about it). Good luck to them with that.

    This blog has always welcomed comments from people with opposing viewpoints as far as I can see. If anyone’s too stupid to see the difference between that and trolling, then that’s their problem. Let people like diablo come back when they have learned to play with the grown-ups. Till then, we – and anyone dropping in here with doubts about AA and steppism – are much better off without them.

  • causeandeffect

    If someone wants to troll badly enough, they’ll just register. It didn’t keep diablo out of the community pages. He had no concept of the difference between expressing an opinion and insulting. I’m so glad he’s gone. I really wonder if he’s the reason Mike left…

  • http://www.stinkin-thinkin.com friendthegirl

    Right. I simply can’t troll-proof the blog. And we all don’t agree on who’s a troll and what behavior crosses the line. I can’t contain trolls to certain threads, and there doesn’t seem to be an ignore button available for either wordpress or buddypress.

    I think a 3 strikes rule is more than fair.

    I’m on a deadline this week, so I don’t have time to write everything I’m thinking, but I’m reading everyone’s suggestions.

  • Mona Lisa

    I am in favor of the 3 strikes policy. There is no way to troll proof the blog. The rules of engagement are clear and certainly not overly restrictive. They basically boil down to “don’t be a raving asshole”. I feel that someone who violates that simple concept 3 times in a row has forfeited his right to express himself here and can go someplace else.

  • tintop

    Three strikes will work. Most of them are drive by rants.

  • http://stop13stepinaa@wordpress.com massiveattack

    FTG, not sure I totally understand the trolll thing , But I agree with Gunthar, when I see the fighting going on on the blog I zone out till I see someone making sense again.
    Ignore. maybe don’t bite. They want to get a rise from us.
    Just saying…
    If we say …all of us…thanks for sharing and nothing else, going back to the subject it might be fun to use humor to dis empower what they are saying.

  • http://none violet

    I do like what Gunther has sad in the past, “Please don’t feed the trolls.”

  • Ben Franklin

    Mike left the Dombeck thread because of the never ending nonsense with Tony J and Mc gowdog. I left soon after. I agree that a vicious stepper is their own argument against themselves but to go on and on ad infinitum gets boring after awhile and the stepper succeeds in shutting down discourse. AOC has no problem here for the most part. We might disagree with him but he is respectful and doesn’t call us monkeys. I vote for three strikes.

  • http://deleted Primrose

    I agree with Gunthar. I used to think they should just be ignored but for about 3 weeks this blog was dominated. And boring. I would love more people from aa to comment on here but we only get the nutters who do not listen, just sabotage.

  • Mona Lisa

    That’s the thing, Primrose. They do take over the blog. And they are not here to debate or discuss. They are here to feed their narcissism. They do not want to convince us of anything; they want a reaction, the stronger the better. The more we react, the better they like it, and the more outrageous their comments become in an effort to egg us on. Pretty soon the entire blog becomes about them, which is exactly what they were looking for. Any semblance of reasonable discourse disappears in that environment. Engaging them actually detracts from free speech.

    I tell you, these people ruined what was actually a pretty good dialog at mental help net. For a long time one could go there and have a fairly reasonable discussion about the merits of the program (of lack thereof). Opinions would be forceful and things would get heated; Dombeck or his sidekick, Schwartz, would occasionally weigh in; it was repetitive at times but often quite instructive. But the troll element took over the blog. People on both sides absolutely could not resist the impulse to react. The whole thing became an exercise in personal insults and general stupidity. I left. On occasion I’d show up, make a point calmly and be completely ignored in favor of more verbal fisticuffs. There was no more debate. I suspect people thought they were debating, but they were not: they were engaged in an endless, pointless troll war.

    They will do the same thing here if they are permitted to.

    I think it is important to make sure we don’t limit reasonable debate here, but 3 strikes should be enough to make the determination.

  • http://deleted Primrose

    ML, I have just read something JRH said about not being able to find the link he wanted (to do his fabulous work on exposing this cult) and couldn’t find it because it was buried in the weeks when the blog was dominated by people who have no sense of their own relative unimportance. If I dominated the main threads I hope that someone would kindly and gently suggest that I open a thread in community. What happened may not have been meant to be sabotage but it did sabotage. 3 strikes and out does sound like the best thing.

  • mikeblamedenial

    On the negative side, the elimination of trolls generally reduces site traffic by about 50%. On the plus side, the elimination of trolls generally reduces site traffic by about 50%.

  • Border Collie Mix

    I am currently in AA, and have been wondering if it is acceptable for me to post occasionally, or if that would be considered rude? I really don’t know how to categorize myself opinion-wise. I agree with so much that is brought up on this site, and the Orange Papers, though I realize that might be hard to believe because of the trolls (which are so childish). My perspective is that AA has serious problems that it is completely unwilling to address; I have always seen this. My personal story is that I was condemned to places and situations even worse for me than AA by a very flawed mental health system in my state and my family, so abuses in AA were something I just assumed I needed to work around.
    I just wanted to say that I have been helped by reading the experiences and opinions of the people on this site, I developed a lot of fears regarding AA and Orange and ST have helped me lay some of those to rest. Even though I have a meeting I attend that is helpful to me, and where I enjoy the people, I am not going to say “I haven’t seen that at MY group” about anything, because I used to go to a LOT of meetings and chances are I have seen it.
    I believe that people who drink or drug themselves away need as many approaches as possible available to them to help them get past that problem, we don’t have that right now. It’s a medical care travesty. All someone has to say to many mental health care givers, for instance, is that they drink and suddenly they can simply be shuffled to the “rooms” where it is often said or implied that their depression (my case), bi-polar, etc.. are totally secondary and caused by the “alcoholism” they were born with, but which also makes them an intrinsically bad person. I have a gut feeling that your work on this site can only help people.

  • Ben

    It seems to me that anyone who does a search for a site that concerns disillusionment with 12 step programs and treatment methods would fall into one of two categories: a. addicts or alcoholics who have already attended AA or NA etc. and/or 12-step treatment and been unhappy with it and b. 12-step true-believers who are itching to attack any alternative for the same reason that fundamentalist religionists attack atheist websites: fanatical devotion to ideas and claims that are unsupported by evidence, and a deep fear that these ideas and claims are untrue, which they try to suppress with virulent attacks.

    12-step meeting attendance and 12-step treatment themselves are the most effective agents for disillusioning and disappointing the majority of alcoholics and addicts. The poor success rates of these two branches of the same cult attest to that. The people who respond well to and believe strongly in AA and other 12-step programs are as immune to rational argument as any religious fanatic. The people who view 12-step programs and treatment as quackery and fanaticism dressed up as legitimate treatment for addiction have already studied these claims and experienced these methods, and found them to be ludicrous and ineffective. They are therefore unlikely to be swayed by an AA or NA “troll”.

    Unlike faith-based treatments, effective, legitimate alternative treatments are evidence-based. All a person who comes here for the first time searching for alternatives to 12-step treatment for alcoholism or other addictions need be told is where to find the evidence and to study it. Anyone who has come here for support for a decision to get away from 12-step programs will get that support from the many fine people whose posts I’ve read here.

    The only person who will take what a fanatic says seriously is another fanatic. There is only one thing that can lead a rational person to change her or his mind: compelling evidence for the truth of a claim. That is the one weapon no religionist or 12-stepper will ever have.

  • http://www.stinkin-thinkin.com friendthegirl

    One thing that concerns me is that we all have different ideas of troll. There have been a couple of times when the heat was really high for me to ban someone that I just did not consider to be a troll, and I’m not going to ban someone for being artless, arrogant, or obnoxious, if it seems to me that they are genuinely trying to engage or get their point across and giving as good as they’re getting.

    Here are things that will get a strike (as to be determined by my own spidey senses):

    Fillibustering
    Bigotry
    Bullying
    Sockpuppeting
    Revealing or intending to reveal anyone’s personal contact information

    If we have a 3 strikes rule, perhaps we can also have a “don’t feed the trolls” honor system, to keep things from escalating and getting boring, as Prim noted. Just don’t give assholes any oxygen, or deflate them with the funny. Or even take them on, but don’t let them pull you down the rabbit hole.

  • http://www.stinkin-thinkin.com friendthegirl

    Welcome Border Collie Mix. Of course you are welcome to post here.

  • Susan

    I remember a bit of trouble with trolls and discussion of banning last year (yay for a year free of AA!), and was quite happy when some of the most egregious offenders were banned. It is difficult, because there is a fine line of trolling and debate. I do agree that there should be some sort of three strikes policy, as a person might not immediately realize the tone of their post on the first strike. That said, this needs to be a safe space. I remember vividly stumbling across this site when I was thinking of leaving the cult, and at that time, would have been even more confused if there were too many aggressive messages. They sometimes come across as the same kind of gaslighting that often takes place in AA, and can make you question your first instinct.

    This place is a great resource, keep it up!

  • howlermonkey

    I’m joining the 3-strikes bandwagon. I also think that this policy strikes the right balance between keeping open debate and keeping a safe space for people who need to ask difficult questions about the program they’ve been struggling with. And like everyone else, I’ve really enjoyed the intelligent discussions that have been popping up in various threads these last couple days.

  • flannigan

    Tremendous website. So inspiring to read rational discussion of real issues by intelligent
    people with so varied experiences. I have learned so much from the Orange Papers, ST,
    Morerevealed, and AA:cult or cure than I could hardly imagine. Thanks to everyone.

  • AntiDenial

    I still dont quite get what a troll is or what the various opinions of them are.
    Of course I have some clue-but could it be explained a bit more?

  • Gunthar2000

  • Susan
  • http://www.stinkin-thinkin.com friendthegirl

    My definition of troll is someone whose sole intention is to derail discussion — to make the conversation about him rather than about the subject — for instance, the other day when diablo was rapid-fire posting in babytalk. Clearly, there’s no rational way to respond to or engage that. Here’s the case in point: http://stinkin-thinkin.com/neverending-thread/comment-page-13/#comment-29677

    I honestly believe that most of the people who troll are not intentionally trolling, but the fact that they can’t see the difference between bullying and arguing means that — whatever they think — they’re trolling. So, for me, it makes more sense to take the word “troll” out of it and just have rules. I don’t want to ban anyone by guessing at their intent.

    Obviously, JD makes no bones about the fact that his intent is to troll, but he’s not very effective at it. I don’t think he has it in him to go balls out crazy. In fact, he is one of those AAs who does our job for us: Hey, kids, that nasty piece of work could be your guide to spiritual enlightenment!

  • Jcal

    Mona Lisa; I tell you, these people ruined what was actually a pretty good dialog at mental help net. For a long time one could go there and have a fairly reasonable discussion about the merits of the program (of lack thereof). Opinions would be forceful and things would get heated;
    Jcal, Speaking of Mental help.net, remember in the beginning of this thread when Mr. AA said that woman drew straws to see who was gonna 13th step him? He was actually ‘poking fun’ at someone else on this thread that claimed that happened to them on mental help. A bunch of people on here started calling him a liar but they didnt know what was really going on and the guy who really said that didnt speak up. I know because I was involved in the debate over there.

  • tintop

    mentalhelpnet is pure black humor, across the board

  • Lucy

    BorderColliemix _ welcome here from Lakeland Terrier plus 2 Chihuahuas.

    It took me a couple of decades to realize that I drank a lot because I was depressed a lot. I got help for the depression when I ended a bad marriage to a then-member of Al-Anon.

    My present and long time bipolar husband had an experience very similar to yours when a combination of bad mental health practioners and worse AA members nearly (and literally) killed him. When he tried to get good help, AA members made it worse for him.

    That was the catalyst that shot me out the door of AA, but I got a lot of help here and you will too.

  • Nukefreekiwi

    I think many will automatically delete themselves from the forum if they were only ignored. Any response to their inflammatory rhetoric only feeds their egos and encourages them further. If their attempts to disrupt the forum were met with community silence they will be left listening to the sound of one hand clapping.

  • Jcal

    My last post was meant for the neverending thread, im on ther wrong thread! Dont do drugs lol

  • http://www.stinkin-thinkin.com friendthegirl

    Jcal, could you verify my understanding of your story? Are you saying that this “drawing straws” story happened to someone else — not Mr. AA — and that Mr. AA recomposed that story as if it happened to himself, knowing that the person this actually happened to is a participant here?

  • http://www.stinkin-thinkin.com friendthegirl

    Here is what he said: “And by the way Lucy, only three oldtimers? On my first year anniversary a half dozen female oldtimers drew straws to see who was going to break in that young meat. Thought I would like it; didn’t”

    And it can be found at 3:37 on this page: http://stinkin-thinkin.com/2011/02/01/massiveattack-live/comment-page-7/#comments

  • Jcal

    friendthegirl says
    Jcal, could you verify my understanding of your story? Are you saying that this “drawing straws” story happened to someone else — not Mr. AA — and that Mr. AA recomposed that story as if it happened to himself, knowing that the person this actually happened to is a participant here?
    Yes thats what i am saying. We had a discussion at mental help about a year or so ago and somebody who is on ST actually said that story. You cant forget that story right? I thought the person who said that would at least say something when Mr. AA said that but he didnt.

  • AnnaZed

    That’s funny Jcal, I just called garden variety bull-shit on that story not plagiarized bull-shit. Weird!

  • MA

    That is a fine example of rigorous honesty™!

  • http://www.stinkin-thinkin.com friendthegirl

    And this was his response to you, Anna:

    AnnaZed

    Glad to know that you are the great arbiter of truth. Amazing that I offer an account of sexual predation to confirm what many are saying on this site and you say it just wasn’t believable.

    So that is the what this site is all about: you decide what is true and what is false.

    Good luck with that. I have better things to do.

    I have submitted a request for clarification/refudiation.

  • tintop

    “Mr aa” is a stranger to the truth.

  • Jcal

    Actually on Mental health the poster said at his first year anniversary a half a dozen cougars drew straws! Mr. AA did not post it, somebody else that was posting here did. When I read what Mr. AA wrote I figured he was poking fun at the original creator of that story because we were all on the same thread once again!

  • AntiDenial

    is Mr AA still on the thread? What happened to him?

  • http://none violet

    Hi Border Collie Mix. I am glad you are here. :)

  • AnnaZed

    Well, of course that story is ridiculous. Women drawing straws for the sexual rights over some sad looser AA guy’s dick? ~ please. I mean, do you even in the fun-house mirror world of AA believe that? Not a chance. which is not to say that there is no 13-stepping on men in AA, but my experience is that the really aggressive 13-stepper women scarcely speak to one another so fierce is their competition. Collude to corrupt some tender lad (with the added hilarity that it was somehow held in abeyance until that magic “after one year” birthday ~ as if!) ~ not a chance, pure fiction.

    The only interesting question is what caused seemingly semi-sane MrAA to stray into that well-worn AA territory known as The Grossly Confabulated Tale In Support Of Some Bizarre AA Point. I have seen a great deal of that in AA in real life and on the boards. What causes it I wonder.

  • sugomom

    AntiDenial, he left when his other personalities left. He may have been Diablo with a script writer or JD.

    If anyone is bored and wants to see what I have been dealing with on how AA ruins families you can follow this thread. Truly tiring. Better than Nyquil.

    http://forum.marriagebuilders.com/ubbt/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2474553&#Post2474553

  • sugomom

    Oh, and welcome Border Collie Mix! Spoiled rotten Golden Retriever here with a torn ACL that’s costing me more than my own torn ACL, and grandmom to a great Silver Lab, a Germain Shortbrain…er Shorthair and a Rottenwieler…er Rottwieler. All who are too often sure that my house is a boarding facility!

  • sugomom

    Annazed, my ex once actually said that if his current relationship with his 13th stepper blew up there were “plenty in line.” After my gagging stopped I chuckled at the fact that this unemployed loser who had tried to commit suicide twice, was in AA for 2 years and in two inpatient rehabs and had no relationship with his children and never paid a dime of child support, was actually considered a “catch”. Well, he is good looking, and I DID teach him how to dress well! Hee hee.

  • http://none violet

    az: “Well, of course that story is ridiculous. Women drawing straws for the sexual rights over some sad looser AA guy’s dick? ~ please”

    You said it, bahahahahahahaha!!!!

  • causeandeffect

    Welcome Border Collie Mix! Of course it’s not rude to post here. It’s only rude to be rude. I’m glad that you’ve found much you can agree with on Orange and this site. All too often people feel alone with their reactions to AA whether they decide to stay or leave. I had a lot of fear and anxiety at first when deciding to leave the AA mentality, but I’m really over most of it now. Hope you will continue to post here.

  • http://none violet

    I cannot live with dogs. (I am too low functioning and need to read too much). But we did have a bloodhound once. And we were always wanting him to behave more like a border collie. Man, was that dog a dope.

  • http://none violet

    “He may have been Diablo with a script writer ” I thought this, too.

  • AnnaZed

    OK, I’m not authorized to say this, but I’m pretty sure that speculation about one poster being some other poster gives ftg indigestion. She can see the ISPs. As with diablo’s alter she told us when she spotted one.

  • sugomom

    FTG is the bomb! I don’t have that level of patience! I will send her Zantax or Pepcid or something!

  • http://www.stinkin-thinkin.com friendthegirl

    It does give me a little cramp, yes.

    We can even see if someone’s coming through on a proxy.

    I promise to expose anyone I catch sock-puppeting for everyone’s amusement.

  • http://www.stinkin-thinkin.com friendthegirl

    Sugo, I could use it right now! I just had this awesome jasmine green tea coconut milk iced tea about an hour ago, and now I feel like I just guzzled a bottle of dish soap. gah

  • http://gogorachgo@gmail.com Go-Go Rach

    Hi All!

    Diablo is an asshole. There must be a whole lot of inbreeding spawning these trolls because I’ve been getting lovely emails from the STEPTARDS and weird new followers on my blog. Don’t they have anything better to do? OH YEAH, not so much.

    If I wanted to hear a word from those nut jobs, I’d STILL GO TO MEETINGS. It’s like a BAD dream that never ends.

    UGH. *shrugs* Praise DELETE.

    *high five FTG*

  • Border Collie Mix

    Thanks all for the welcome. Concerning the trolls, I think one of the reasons they may be so angry is because this site promotes alternatives for people who have drinking problems other than AA. There is a very strong belief within AA that there can never be another solution to alcoholism. I really don’t think that in the rank and file member it concerns a fear of not getting enough new AA members, I don’t get the feeling they think that far into it. But I have always heard a lot of talk regarding “no magic pill”. It is perceived as kind of a blaspheme to suggest a potential medical solution and people will rise up fast against the very suggestion. I have personally been helped by certain AA meetings and certain people in AA; but to fight so hard to limit people’s options is just wrong.

  • http://deleted Primrose

    Yes, Border Collie, AA members maintain their sobriety by helping other alcoholics. Therefore they cannot tolerate a solution, or a selection of solutions that would deprive them of the drunks that they need. I am not sure whether they would all go and get drunk without this supply. I can see why they want to suppress methods that might be successful and cause less deaths through alcohol and suicide.

  • sugomom

    Here is the radio show which discusses my email about my situation with AA. The show is sappy in nature. I did NOT say “He did become an alcoholic.” They do slam the pratices in AA while saying they do not discredit AA. Don’t pay to download. Just hit the play button and slide the timeline to the 32 minute mark in the timeline or you’ll need to listen to some lady talk about verbal abuse. Don’t puke when he says that his programs were AA based, they do go on to say how dangerous they are to marriages. Also try not to puke when he says he went from doing a two year internship and then went on to running 10 treatment programs concurrently. I accomplished my goal of exposing 13th stepping. So in that vein I feel I succeeded. http://www.oneplace.com/ministries/marriage-builders-radio/player/what-verbal-abuse-is-and-how-to-deal-with-it-163023.html

  • sugomom

    PS don’t miss when Dr Harley says he is aware that “In most groups they don’t worry about that sort of thing, and they just let the affair happen.”

  • hulahoop

    @FTG – My definition of troll is someone whose sole intention is to derail discussion — to make the conversation about him rather than about the subject — for instance, the other day when diablo was rapid-fire posting in babytalk. Clearly, there’s no rational way to respond to or engage that.

    He was channeling Elmer Fudd over and over again.

    @ border collie mix – My personal story is that I was condemned to places and situations even worse for me than AA by a very flawed mental health system in my state and my family, so abuses in AA were something I just assumed I needed to work around.

    Welcome! I am glad to see you came back.

    I realize you had awful experiences in places other than AA so your expectations were lowered.

    I find what you said about abuses in AA being something you thought you needed to work around a common thought expressed by people who have attended AA. People so badly want the program to help them that they are willing to overlook a lot of things they do not feel are right. Then they are told, “Take what you want and leave the rest.” That slogan encourages people to ingnore the things they don’t like.

    Abuses are not something a person should have to learn to work around. Especially in a program that bills itself as one who helps so many. I hear, “Yeah, I know there are problems but AA has helped so many that those problems do not outweigh the good it does.” I disagree. Abuse comes in varying forms and levels. I saw it at almost every AA meeting I attended displayed in different ways. From saying nasty things behind somebody’s back or mocking them to bullying.

    My experience will differ from a lot of people because I travel a lot and never got to attend the same meeting for more than a month or so. I was only privvy to what I saw. I never really got much of the behind scenes goings on. I didn’t know exactly what they were, but I knew they existed due to things some members would allude to.

    I think there are some positive aspects to the program but they are short term and limited. I do not trust anything that encourages me to build a lifelong dependence on it. To me that is abuse in itself. AA allows and represents itself as a method that works. It sucks people in when they are at the most vulnerable. One of the saddest parts to me is I met a lot of really nice people there who thought they were doing the right thing. People will sit through the meetings, subject themselves to all kinds of bullshit, never object to a thing, and then tell you how much they dislike certain things in private after the meeting. I never understood it.

  • johnny crash

    Leave poor Diablo alone he is trapped in a fellowship that leads to the same ending ,,,, unhapppyness confusion self destruction and insanity …. if this is what he needs to do to draw attention to himself and build self esteem I say power to him … maybe one day he will bew able to give up the koolaide and build a life thats fore fulling and adventerous ,,,, I hope one day really he can break free

  • Mr AA

    @ AntiDenial

    Having been laid off from my job this week, my priorities have shifted.

    I do find the commentary about the “cougars after the newbie on his first anniversary” story quite enlightening. It is absolutely true, and was originally offered to corroborate some of the strange things that happen in AA – nothing more. Apparently, it wasn’t violent or abusive enough to pass the all knowing ST barometer of truth.

  • tintop

    “Apparently, it wasn’t violent or abusive enough to pass the all knowing ST barometer of truth.”

    A fairly intelligent post from you “mr AA” – wonders never cease
    Until you wrote that fatuous and puerile sentence. – lol

  • MA

    I’m sorry to see you got laid off, Mr AA.

  • Gunthar2000

    It might be better if he got laid.

    Can Buddhist monks get laid? Is that even allowed?

  • Mr AA

    @ MA

    Thanks for acknowledgment . This is the fourth time since 2000, and that’s no way to build a reasonable retirement.

    Gotta say that the monkey video that Gunthar posted (the one with the volume control problem) some time ago was off the hook. I just couldn’t stop laughing…

    “jails, institutions, death….DEATH…That’s not a good thing.”

    Anyway, regardless of what suspicions any of you have about my sincerity, I can applaud all your efforts without agreeing with everything you say.

  • Mr AA

    One last time,

    I WAS a buddhist monk, and continue to follow the vows although I no longer live in the community. With my lifestyle, will always consider myself a buddhist monk; however, my previous reference in the present tense was misleading. Now beat me with a Dharma shit-stick and move on.

  • tintop

    I, too, am sorry that you got laid off. That is unfortunate.

  • Gunthar2000

    How do you get laid off from being a Buddhist monk?
    What did they take your bowl away?

  • AntiDenial

    @MR AA I was curious how many meetings do you go to a week ?
    Do you go less now or more now? How did your group react to you being
    laid off? Why would a Buddhist Monk go to AA? Have you thought of going to different type of groups that are secular?

  • Mr AA

    @AntiDenial

    My attendance at meetings – about once every other week – is the last dying ember of my loyalty to the first “Sangha” of which I was ever a part. Back in the late 70′s / early 80′s AA in the area I attended was very much a spiritual clearinghouse where you could hook up with gnostics, tantrists, sufis, kabbalists & other diversities to finish the job that AA started. Then it was 380 meetings in my first year, and It was in such a manner that I was exposed to the Dharma and eventually tried the full monk lifestyle for quite awhile.

    Now I travel a solitary path, but am torn by loyalty to memories of a group that no longer exists in the form that helped heal me. Not very Buddhist, is it?

    I don’t really have a “group,” but experience tells me that they will care only enough to be politically correct. Most of my friends are not in AA