Life On Planet Crackpot

Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you “Badass Billy” Macdowell:

I arrived at the doors of Alcoholics Anonymous at the age of twenty nine. It took me twenty years beyond, after five years, three years and a number of sporatic [sic] months of, what we in AA call, “dry drunks”, or, “white knuckled sobriety”, to understand and accept what was being suggested to me by the understanding and caring  people of AA and what the spiritual program of AA would eventually do for me.

That being said, I will put to rest an old wives tale about the alcoholic in the simplest terms that anyone can understand. Have you ever heard, “that all the alcoholic has to do is use “will power” to stop drinking?” Well, let me ask you something very personal, “have you ever tried will power when you had a case of diarrhea?” Try it sometime! If it doesn’t work for diarrhea, it certainly will not help the alcoholic to stop drinking. Believe me!


This piece of literary brilliance is taken from Badass Billy’s drunkalog, where he goes on to write:

I had to turn my disease over to the care of the God of my understanding, totally surrender to the fact that alcohol conquered me, remove my self centerness [sic] (ego deflation in depth) and ask for guidance. That was never in me to do prior to my surrendering. It is because of that spiritual conversion, from the extreme depths of despair and desperation, drowning in the quicksand of insanity, that I was able to recover to become a productive and respected member of society. Without a Higher Power and the Twelve Step program of AA to guide me every step of the way, there was no way out of what is often referred to as… “self will run riot.”

Billy’s ego deflation and consequent sobriety was effective enough to allow him to self-publish an autobiography in which he declares himself “God’s linchpin.” In promoting it, he tells the world that he now lives “in a prestigious country club, overlooking the third hole on the golf course.” That certainly makes me want to buy his book. All of this may sound a little self-aggrandizing to you, but before he surrendered his ego, Billy was downright insufferable.

Aside from being God’s linchpin, Billy is an addictions counselor and self-appointed constitutional scholar. Convinced that prohibition wasn’t given a fair chance the first time, Billy has taken it upon himself to wage war against the alcoholic beverage industry. Here is a glimpse into his legal strategy, which sounds a lot like something Oliver Wendell Holmes might write if he had been chewing on a belladonna plant at the time:

The important emphasis and concept that must be addressed over and over is that this litigation pertains primarily to the loss of the alcoholic’s spiritual being, subject to the disease of alcoholism. The alcoholic is not the “ordinary consumer!” Once the alcoholic steps over the threshold or invisible line of being the ordinary consumer to becoming the alcoholic, that individual loses his/her choice as to whether or not to drink the addictive drug/poison, ethyl alcohol. Therefore losing the title of the ordinary consumer which every lawsuit filed against the alcohol beverage industry depends on for a victory. Each time a manufacturer, vendor or bartender sells their product to an alcoholic, they violate the alcoholic’s Constitutional Bill of Rights. The alcoholic has lost his/her “SPIRITUAL BEING.” To be specific, the alcoholic’s Freedom of Religion has been stolen, and the alcoholic has lost his/her freedom of choice.. The alcoholic’s free exercise of his/her religion is being prohibited by the law Congress has mandated making the drug/poison, ethyl alcohol legal. Therefore, the alcoholic’s Constitutional First Amendment has been violated without consent. The judiciary further crucifies, and makes culpable the alcoholic by using and accusing that the alcoholic is “the ordinary consumer” with “common knowledge of the product he/she is drinking.” Thus, aligning the alcoholic, who is a very sick person with the disease of alcoholism, with the “normal individual.” Therefore, any complaint brought forward by the alcoholic, not precluding the innocent victim who has been damaged by the beverage alcohol, via the alcoholic, or “normal individual” any right to be awarded the relief deserved on the merits that alcohol was the cause of the plaintiff’s complaint.


I found Billy through the evildoers at Modern Drunkard, who gave Badass Billy his nickname, and against whom Billy had declared war and put up this website with the purpose of taking them down. Go get ’em, Billy! Below is a link to a must read email dialog between Billy and Frank Rich, the editor of Modern Drunkard:

The Ballad of Badaaaaaass Billy Macdowell

I could elaborate further, but this shit just writes itself. Enjoy!

  • xyz

    Sounds like the dry drunk faction of the Tea Party to me: ( Fill in the blank _______ something I don’t like) is stealing my freedom of religion ( christianity), and violating my CONSTITUTIONAL First Amendment rights!


  • He shouldn’t be attacking the drinks industry. If there were no drinks industry, that might reduce the number of desperate people coming into the rooms to be helped. Without this constant supply of fresh meat he and his mates would not be able to maintain their own sobriety. They maintain their sobriety through Step 12; recruitment. Curing the alcohol problems of the world should logically be the very last thing that AA wants.

  • mikeblamedenial

    Better to have him running a hopeless fool’s errand than to be bothering the new girl at the Tuesday Nite Bigbook Study Group.

  • “Badass Billy” Macdowell is obviously extremely intelligent and I would definitely pick him as an addictions counselor. I am sure that the keywords he has put on that warning page will pick up the right “crowd” of followers. Google knows him well and if any of his followers are looking for those types of keywords they will get a hit on the first page. I wonder how many of his followers search the web for those keywords and why? I guess they could be putting those words in to search for sites to warn people about and not to look at them.

  • MikeAugustine

    Actually, as a long-time sufferer of IBS I can tell you that I have more than once used willpower to combat diarrhea. Not easy, but possible. Sorry for the scatological post, but the Harvard statue exchange from yesterday has left me feeling less restrained in all all things toidy-related.

  • Lucy

    Well done, MA.

    Only Billy is smart enough to understand the insidious cabal between the alcohol industry and Congress to kill alcoholics by forcing them to drink and then drive into innocent victims. His investigative reporting into the multi-million dollar marketing scheme perpetrated by MADD might win him a Pulitzer, if he only he would learn how to spell.

    Now personally I am looking forward to the day that Phil McGraw gets the ghosts of FDR and Churchill on his show so that Billy can deliver them some well needed therapy.

  • Lucy

    Oh, and I had no idea that the Prodigal Son was a pickle.

  • I ran into an AA freak a while back who gave me the old pickle bit.
    I told him that I had decided AA is a , and that I was doing just fine without it.
    He looked up at me with his matted hair and snots all over his T-shirt and said, “Once you’re a pickle, you can’t go back to being a cucumber.”

    I was thinking about this last night and decided that the perfect comeback would have been… “Yes, but you can go back to being human.”

  • DeConstructor

    Well I should not take shots at this guy for spelling because I continue to have problems in that area…Now with that being said….

    In wading through his drivel, filled with groupspeak and cult think, the question arises regarding has this person actually progressed in life?

    It appears to me this person has traded the issue of drinking too much for the addiction of AA. Although less physically taxing on the body than hardcore boozing, probably harder on a person overall, and certainly harder on those around him.

    He makes our case for us, and has a built in excuse for a judge, his family, his group, and most of all himself, any time he chooses to indulge in a ‘relapse’.

    This is how people die, and how society continues to accept their behavior, when they kill someone else.

  • Disclosure

    I use willpower to induce diarrhea. Sorry I can’t contribute more, I’m at work.

  • I hope that “Badass Billy” Macdowell is not abdicating a “toilet seat” as a higher power. It does seem to have control over a lot of Alcoholics that do seem to pray to it occasionally. May a suggest a nice bathroom “Door Knob” instead.

    (Disclaimer: Not speaking for, or a paid employee of the Harris Spiritual Door Knob Manufactures Association)

  • Ben Franklin

    The diarrhea analogy always pisses me off. Not only is it a false analogy, but you can use it against itself. If I pray real, real hard will my HP make my diarrhea go away? Seems like you should never get diarrhea if you work all the 12 steps. You can drink all the laxatives you want and HP will still have your GI tract expel perfect well-formed stools. Shiny too!

  • hog.wash. > “It has been said that if a person who perceives to have a drinking problem, and is sitting on the fence about doing something about it, remembers their first drink, they probally are alcoholic.”

    sososo stoopid. it is almost as bad as, “no one winds up at an AA meeting by accident.” Um, well, yeah, hey do. Everyday.

  • People end up in AA everyday because the followers of the prophet Bill Wilson manipulate the friends, family, lawyers, judges and Court System to indoctrinate and send thier new “prospects” to the church basements they congregate in. Once that is done they have thier hooks in you and invade every part of your life and force you to become a member for life looking for other “prospects”, or they make you follow the path of jails, institutions or death. This is a very sick religious cult that has been exposed in other countries also.

  • causeandeffect

    The alcoholic has lost his/her “SPIRITUAL BEING.” To be specific, the alcoholic’s Freedom of Religion has been stolen, and the alcoholic has lost his/her freedom of choice.. The alcoholic’s free exercise of his/her religion is being prohibited by the law Congress has mandated making the drug/poison, ethyl alcohol legal. Therefore, the alcoholic’s Constitutional First Amendment has been violated without consent.

  • flannigan

    @all at ST
    The exchange of e-mails between Badass Billy and Frank Rich, editor of Modern Drunkard magazine, is a must read. Simply amazing.

  • MikeAugustine

    We had an old-timer (since deceased) up my way who used to talk about how he shit himself when drinking. I always found his shares not only unnecessary but also kind of exhibitionist. Freud would have loved the guy.

  • Lucy

    Decon – You are right. Except that apparently someone has already died. And it’s hard to know what Billy’s part in it was because nothing is Billy’s fault.

    What should be remorse for violent behavior has morphed into paranoia. The liquor industry, his friend, MADD, etc. have all tried to ruin his life. On top of that, he has the distinctly AA habit of lying (“we aren’t a temperance society; we just want to ban alcohol) without having an internal conscience which tells him the difference between the truth and self-justification.

    These are the real jewels which tell you who he is:

    “Alcoholism is a disease and I am a victim of that disease.”

    “I almost killed a man because he reached into my pocket to steal a few dollars. To add misery to injury, I was being charged with the murder of the executive director of a major television network program. I thought nothing of taking a lie detector test without an attorney… not very smart, but passed without a doubt that I didn’t commit the crime. Another serious situation I was involved in, and was arrested for, was the act of discharging a weapon in a friend’s house while we were both drunk and comple”tely out of our minds. He told the officers that I fired at him and they hauled me off to jail.

  • flannigan

    What is with the diarrhea analogy- since when is putting something in your body(drinking) comparable to something leaving your body(diarrhea)? This can only make sense to an indoctrinated AAer. And I really don’t think it makes any sense to them either.
    It is just something thrown out there which has no actual meaning.

  • humanspirit

    I like that diarrhea analogy if only because it points up how crazy these people are. There are a couple of ways to cure diarrhea. The most effective way does actually involve some willpower (i.e., not eating anything) and practical measures (i.e. drinking plenty of water, ideally with rehydration salts dissolved in it) until the body flushes out the infection – which is what the phenomenon of diarrhea is usually all about. This will usually take 24 hours if you’re lucky; up to four or five days if you’ve got a really serious bug – in which case you should go and see a doctor anyway, because praying for it to stop really isn’t going to help much. (Interesting that Macdowell neglects to point out that praying and the 12-step program never cured diarrhea either.)

    There’s another way, which is to take stuff that effectively “blocks” your system (it goes by the brand name of immodium in the UK – don’t know what it is in the States). This is useful if, say, you’re travelling and can’t get to a toilet. It is never recommended for anything but very temporary use because it doesn’t help the body get rid of the infection and thereby cure itself. It just hides the symptoms and doesn’t address the cause, keeps the infection bottled up inside – literally – and hampers the natural healing process.

    I the latter method might well be quite a good analogy for the 12-step “cure” for alcoholism.


    Billy’s opening paragraph has that speaker circuit quality. I can envision old-timers nodding their heads, newbies gawking with open mouths as Billy gives his sermon. Hand shakes and back slaps afterward as Billy basks in glory.
    What an absolute crock!


    Ah…I should have said SOME of the old-timers nodding their heads. The others sitting back with the AA smirk on their faces.

  • Border Collie Mix

    His opening is like an AA form letter I’ve heard it so many times from so many gurus. I can’t count the times I’ve heard the diarrhea analogy and that second paragraph is Well worn as well. The only sentence missing is “nothing I say is original, it all comes from those who have taught me and the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous because MY best thinking got me here.”

    All it takes is a nifty nick-name, a faithful following, and some over-used lines and you have a circuit speaker getting paid vacations on a regular basis and a nice income selling freshly minted recordings to the convention minions.

  • Am I correct in assuming that people come to listen, and even buy recordings of someone talking about $h!t in the coven of followers of the prophet Bill Wilson commonly referred to as AA?

  • Lucy

    JR – You are correct. Google “AA speaker tapes” and listen to all the talks you want to hear

  • SoberPJ

    Thanks JR .. that really cracked me up !

    I can’t believe the money I pumped into retreats and speaker tapes. I really liked Earl Hightower because he was so articulate and had a great story. Filled with tragedy, misery and redemption/conversion. I never tired of hearing how he had to watch his family die on a mountain in Mexico from a plane crash. And how he got a huge settlement from the airlines and proceeded to completely torch his life. Every one of the circuit speakers manipulates emotions to make you a jumbled mess of feelings and then pours on the “solution” to make it all better. The more emotional, tragic and crazy, the better. It makes people live in fear of the options waiting for them if they drink and reinforces the message that AA makes it all better. I have heard a minimum of 20,000 shares and that number boggles my mind. Over time, there is not much that is very new. Although, towards the end a guy came in and talked aout how he had “whiskey dick” with a hooker and I hadn’t heard that before. Very useful commentary for work and such. They live in a different world. One I no longer want any part of. I had enough thanks.

    • MA

      All of these drunkalogs have the same formula. I don’t know if y’all read this that FTG wrote a while back. It’s really good.

  • jeffeff

    I didn’t “lose” my title of Ordinary Consumer — I voluntarily relinquished it and in so doing, I achieved the title of Extraordinary Consumer. Therefore I have regained my spiritual being, and am in the process of rewriting the Alcoholic Constitution, which will be ratified upon the public slapping around of Mr. William Q. MacDowell, Esq.

  • Lucy

    There is a woman who says, ‘” My sponsor went to Europe with 20 years and came back with 20 days, and I was 20 weeks pregnant when my husband left me for a girl I sponsored. I was so resentful that I had to ask Clancy to sponsor me.”

    It has everying FTG mentions in two run on sentences.

  • Pogue Mahone

    CBT worked well for my diarrhea.

  • causeandeffect

    LOL! Pogue!

  • I think the Spiritual Door Knob Association is in trouble.

    How is the sickness and diarrhea bug caught?

    “you can like get the viruses from like touching a door knob that someone else touched”

    “wipe down all commonly touched objects like door knobs”

  • kc1964

    So did Billy turn his diarrhea over to the will of gawd, too….so i got AD in HD.

    Drinkalogs remind me of the question and answer part of the Ms America Pageant. Stupid pontification.

  • MikeAugustine

    nice gravatar, kc

  • hulahoop

    I am lost here. Really. Confused. What does the uncontrollable urge to have an explosive bowel movement have to do with drinking? I am seriously not getting the analogy just like I don’t get it when being an alcoholic is compared with having cancer or diabetes. Folks, it is not a disease, nor a stomach virus. It isn’t something you ate either. Good lord.

  • DeConstructor


    Anyone who promotes the faulty ‘disease’ of alcoholism should watch the video I posted in ‘Why We Were Chosen’

    The world should listen to that kid.

  • humanspirit

    @JRH says:

    “I think the Spiritual Door Knob Association is in trouble.

    How is the sickness and diarrhea bug caught?
    “you can like get the viruses from like touching a door knob that someone else touched”
    “wipe down all commonly touched objects like door knobs” ”

    Don’t despair, JRH! There’s a stepper called jay_thompson (slogan a second) over on the Washington Post thread who’s giving your business a plug:

    “In a word, your higher power may be something as insignificant as a door knob, a picture, a meditative state, anything that is conducive to the focus necessary to remember your life has become unmanageable due to your addiction.”

    You should get in there quick and follow up the advantage.