More on Michael Toole

[UPDATE: Toole gets 30 months in Club Fed. Maybe during his first strip search, someone will find more reasons why his drinking habit causes him to steal, lie and cheat. He does seem to pull these things directly out of his ass: Toole Gets Prison Time]


“With all due respect, the statement you made in the courtroom regarding Mike’s attendance at an AA meeting that, ‘it didn’t work’, was not only insensitive and bitingly sarcastic, but it was also a person affront to all those who battle addictions. If only it was that easy – that people receive counseling or attend an AA meeting or two and they are cured. But, we know, Judge Conaboy, that this is simply not true. As I noted before, there sadly is no cure for alcoholism and, therefore, sobriety is a lifelong struggle….”

– Sharon Palushock, MD


The above quote was written by Michael Toole’s sister-in-law, in a character reference letter to Richard Conaboy, the judge who will soon sentence Toole – a former judge himself, who got caught with his hand in the cookie jar. She is scolding the good judge for making a comment on the efficacy of Toole’s treatment program, after he was caught stalking the key witness in his case; and arguing it was okay, because he happened to have done it on the way from an AA meeting.

I got a chuckle out of this for a couple of reasons, not the least of which is the fact that this woman is chastising the guy whose very ass she should be kissing. She is also, in classic AA form, equating sobriety with ethics – and is, in fact, marrying the two. Nothing in the court record implied that Toole was drunk while he was stalking the witness. All that was acknowledged was that he was following a witness around against specific court instructions. By this woman’s logic, Toole should be absolved from breaking the law because he is an alkie, which was why he was stalking this witness in the first place. It’s all part of the disease, you see.

My guess is what the judge was making reference to when he said, “it isn’t working,” is the part of the AA program that promises more than abstinence. Like being able to “handle situations which used to baffle us.” If the old Michael Toole was a morally bankrupt guy who worked the legal system to his personal favor (which he was, as this is what he is being sentenced for in the first place), then the new AA version of him should be expected to obey the rules of law and the court, and know not to harass the key witness in his trial. The judge was not speaking about Toole’s ability to abstain from alcohol. He was referring to his inability to do “the next right thing.”

This is a neat trick AAs often play when they pull the abuse excuse. By defining sobriety as more than abstaining from alcohol, and placing abstinence in the same package as morality, they can plea the idea that their dastardly deeds aren’t their fault, but are part of their drinking problem. In this reference letter, this woman is setting her brother-in-law up for a lifetime of absolution, by declaring alcoholism as a disease that cannot be cured. It’s perfect! Stalk a witness? It ain’t my fault. Break conditions of parole? Sorry, I’m an alcoholic. It’s a life-long, day-at-a-time struggle, ya know. With AA’s definition of sobriety, one will always be able to say, “I’m sorry, I was drunk at the time.”

– MA




  • chris

    I wonder how many people Judge Toole sentenced to AA?

  • Mona Lisa

    The real affront to those who “struggle with addictions” is the notion that “sobriety is a lifelong struggle”. Who the hell says so? It sure isn’t for me. Frankly, the biggest struggle I’ve had since I quit drinking is the struggle to get this AA shit out of my head.

  • SoberPJ

    ML.. I totally agree… dealing with idiots who say stupid things is more of a life-long struggle than “sobriety”.

  • chris

    It`s not a struggle for me either mona. The struggle was trying to convince myself the AA shit was true, and trying to adhere to the morons advice. On my own, it`s actually fairly easy. It`s been over 5 yrs. without a drink and without AA. The longest I could possibly stand it in AA was about 3 months. Since I beleived the nonsense of “If you leave , you MUST drink, I did.” I know better now, thank goodness.

  • DeConstructor

    Wonder if Dr. Palushock would care to respond to us….

    We are the firewall. We are (and hopefully this sentencing judge) are the few entities holding the AA faith, the recovery industry, and the judicial system accountable for considering faith healing to be a credible practice of medicine.

    What if the stalkee had be seriously injured? We have determined that AA actually does not legally exist. Does this individual get a free pass because he is an ‘alcoholic in recovery’? Or worse, get leniency because of his former position?

    Not only does this judge getting sentenced need to be held accountable, but also this physician for giving factual misinformation as medical fact, and also the judicial system itself for requiring, and thereby giving credibility to this obsolete and dangerous superstition and faith healing.

    I hope all parties involved in this matter are aware that we are paying attention.

    Through the course of its history, AA has dealt with those of us who question the faith by negative personal attacks, always using the trump card word ‘denial’, death threats, slander campaigns etc. They cannot control the internet, and our message cannot be contained.

  • Rick045

    Some of the AA-inspired misinformation provided by Dr. Palushock could probably be found almost verbatim in those letters from the AAers that were blocked. God’s chosen sickos get to keep their names private while a doctor publishes the same bullshit they would spout. She also gives quite a bit of information about his condition and treatment, which was one excuse that was used for not releasing those AA letters. It’s no wonder that steppers develop an astonishing sense of entitlement.

  • DeConstructor

    Also reading through the reference letters- Is the judge now working as a beer delivery guy?

    Many of the people reference currently working with him at a beer distributership. I do not buy into the faulty disease model of addiction, but seriously, is this guy trying to impress a judge while doind this for a living?

  • Rick045

    @Decon, yeah, I think so, or at least he was. Part of the narrative is that he’s been humbly struggling to find work and took anything he could find. (all while staying sober of course…)

  • chris

    He was sober when he was stalking the guy wasnt he? I thought it said he was coming back from an AA meeting. What coming back from an AA meeting has to do with anything, I dont know.

  • Katieshrike

    I’ve never written a letter of recommendation for legal reasons, only for jobs, so I don’t know the proper format. But it strikes me that pretty much every letter has a self-promoting paragraph at the beginning. Is this standard format? I understand “I’m so-and-so, and this is how I know Michael Toole.” But many of them are “I’m so-and-so, these are the praiseworthy things I’ve accomplished in my life which give me a better perspective than you of the morality of Mchael Toole.” So you went to med school or served in the military for 40 years or brought Jesus to remote Godless villages, whatever. How is that relevant?

  • Rick045

    Thank you for the updates MA.
    It seems that there is also going to be an investigation into that letter writing campaign.

  • chris

    Everyone`s sorry when they get caught or sentenced. Regret is a bitch for sure.

  • chris

    To MA: the last part where you said “Sorry, I was drunk at the time.”, he wasn`t drinking at the time I don`t beleive. Like you said the woman was trying to equate the “disease” with morality. So, even if a person isn`t drinking they can blame the “disease”.

  • chris

    I don`t know how many times I was accused of “disease thinking”. Usually if I had an idea or conception outside of the AA approved way of thinking. That was my “disease talking”, omg, how stupid.