Quote of the Day

“You too have a misconception of what AA is to it’s members,or at least to me. Alcoholic Anonymous is a way of life. Drinking is but a symptom of our disease….”

– Greg G. An AA, at the Daily Strength forum.

 

[You may also notice some comments in this thread directed at “cabledude,” (aka, JD; aka Mondotuna; aka Jerry) asking him to not be so snarky. He seems to have erased his comments, deleted his account and slinked into his troll hole. Don’t worry…we’ve got screen shots, and we’ll share his finest comments soon.]

  • SoberPJ

    You didn’t post the whole pathetic comment. This guy is a walking, breathing regurgitating AA platitudinous robot.

    ” You too have a misconception of what AA is to it’s members,or at least to me. Alcoholic Anonymous is a way of life. Drinking is but a symptom of our disease. Sure we don’t drink and get an enormous amount of support from our fellowship and meetings.In addition to that AA teaches us a new manner of living that requires rigorous honesty. So AA is teaching us a new way to live. The very best job we could do running our own lives earned us a seat in AA.
    Most of us had no idea of any manner of living except for selfishness ,self centered , self seeking. AA’s way is teaching us to be responsible for our own actions and to place other peoples needs before our own.. We love it. Hope you try and look at AA with a new pair of glasses. ”

    You have learned your lines well AA jedi. Now, go barf them on the unwashed, vulnerable masses.

    This guy is probably a huge hit at meetings.

  • Lucy

    I go back, as I always do, to the unsolicited remarks of my sponsor as she told me that I was “placing my family above AA.” I had been traveling all week for my job, I had not seen my 5 year-old daughter in 3 days, and I had to travel the next week.

    She was the wife of a doctor who hadn’t worked in 30 years, and wanted me to go on a 12 step call with her at 7:30 on a Saturday morning. She went on frequent cruises, bought lots of clothes, and had all kinds of parties.

    She did not help her then-penniless son or his grandchildren go to college and she did not save for retirement. When her husband died a few years later, she depended on her son to make her mortgage payment.

    “Most of us had no idea of any manner of living except for selfishness ,self centered , self seeking. AA’s way is teaching us to be responsible for our own actions and to place other peoples needs before our own.. We love it. Hope you try and look at AA with a new pair of glasses”

    Indeed.

  • It is the old slogan “You can take what you want and leave the rest.” What people do not understand is that the actual meaning of the statement is “AA will take what it wants, meaning all of your time, family and friends and leave an empty shell that they will manipulate.” Why do you think they always tell you to leave your brains at the door?

  • Sally

    Lucy, I wonder if we had the same sponsor.

    Re: “AA teaches us a new manner of living that requires rigorous honesty. So AA is teaching us a new way to live”….I never needed a program or group to teach me to be honest. My parents taught me that when I was a toddler and throughout my childhood.

  • Tallmike

    Aren’t the sharings selfism? When some true believer stands up and tells all about what a scumbag he formerly was while he was a drinker and that he is now this wonderful sober, non-drinking dude thanks to AA it is still all about self, despite the disclaimers. It is also unfortunate that the lives of these folks still revolves around alcohol, not the drinking of it anymore but the rehashing in the drunkalogs and fear of even a single whiff of the stuff. When PT Barnum spoke about a sucker being born every minute, Bill W. and Dr Bob listened and implemented the program. Madness… sheer madness.

  • SoberPJ

    It’s a selfish program … when you share, say “I” not “you” .. Leave your friends and family because your sobriety is your number one priority .. Get into service for you and us .. It doesn’t matter if he drinks, I’m doing this for me .. It doesn’t matter if they don’t accept my amends, I am doing it for me… and on, and on…

    Naw, there is nothing selfish or self centered about the AA Corporate self-help approach.. It only looks that way. It’s not really religious, it only looks that way. It’s not really dangerous to society, it only looks that way. We’re not deceitful and manipulative, it only looks that way. The bb isn’t retrograde and doesn’t have lies and overt contradictions, it only looks that way….

    If it looks, walks and quacks like a duck, guess what ?

    The whole thing is deceitful and manipulative faith healing non sense and thank goodness more people are starting to realize it. The Anti-AA voices are getting more numerous and louder and when it reaches a certain point, the AA Corporation will lose.

  • Jonny Quest

    The Anti-AA voices are getting more numerous, but they are still rather disorganized. I’m still hoping someone will write a coherent “manifesto” on AA resistance, so to speak.

    There is certainly enough material on this blog for a book.

  • G2K

    Daily Strength is an absolute mind-trap. I went there when I had first escaped from AA and they did their best to convince me that I would fail. The whole forum was like one big fat AA recruiting vaccume. The funny thing is… Daily Strength claims to be open to alternatives. Go over there and tell them that you tried something other than AA and see what happens. I’m sure that those freaks at DS harm more people than they help.

  • FKABB

    Greg G(ag), sure knows his stuff. What a bunch of bananas.
    Wonder where the big fish tuna will surface next. With an ego like his, it can’t stay under wraps for long. He seems to offend people wherever he raise his slimy, slick head.
    PS. Thanks for uncovering these gems MA, many of us don’t have the stomach to hang around those sites.

  • Swamibedpan

    @Jonny Quest. Please, please,please no not another Book. Anything but another Book.

  • Lucy

    Sally,

    Much as I like my parents (and your parents), I doubt that we are the only AA members (former or otherwise) who were taught the difference in right and wrong. I think that most of them were taught the difference in right and wrong, but admitting it ruins the AA narrative of having been re-born when a member stops drinking and does the steps.

    The narrative is far more important than the truth, even if the AA member’s mental health depends on telling the truth. He has to adapt Bill’s story as his own, and he has to change the facts to match the narrative, or he will be chastized by the other members. The narrative has to include “what is what like (when living in the hell of alcoholism), what happened (the miracle burning bush of the 4th step, the last drink, the 9th step, etc.), and what it is like now (everything is perfect when I align my will with God’s will).”

    A lie is a lie is a lie, unless it’s part of the replacement of a real event with what it should say in an AA story so that it match’s Bill’s story.

  • Doreen

    Lucy–I had a similar sponsor back in the early 1980’s. Her husband was a professor at the university. I had a small housecleaning business and Kate was one of my customers as well as being my sponsor. Her checking account was often overdrawn. She bought lots of antiques and threw fancy dinner parties for the local muckety-mucks. Lobster was often on the menu. Her checks to me bounced on a regular basis. She still owes me $40. LOL…It’s worth the 40 bucks just to be able to tell this story.

  • Jonny Quest

    @Swamibedpan:

    LOL. What I do wonder sometimes is whether the approach taken by ST – while highly amusing to those of us who have been through the ringer – is actually succeeding in keeping people from going to AA.

    Do they read this blog and think “there is no way I’m going to AA”, or do they conclude, like many on the LifeRing forum did, “these ST folks are real bitter and angry, they must have an axe to grind because they are still drinking – that’s why they don’t like AA” ?

    I’m wondering if a nice, coherent PDF pamphlet/book along the lines of “Why you should stay away from AA”, without our snide, though amusing remarks, might be effective.

  • Lucy

    Doreen and Sally – I think the same woman replicates herself at every AA meeting in the US.

    Mine had a penchant for hats with netting, flowing scarves and those brightly colored reading glasses that say, “I’m Fifty And Fabulous.” She had a deeply personal relationship with QVC and the color purple.

    I have an AARP card but, if I ever waste money on a hat with netting, please have mercy and kill me quickly before I become one of them.

  • Quagmire

    Carebear64
    View More Posts Ignore
    Reply #1 – 05/11/11 7:11am
    ” Well for me, I had drank so long and drinking was involved in every part of my life including school and work – when i stopped drinking, I had to continue many of the things I did before, just this time without the alcohol. It wasn’t really what I did to replace drinking, but i did make some subtile changes in the beginning, which was not going to bars, office parties, or family gatherins involving alcohol, i did that for several years -”

    This says it all and she did it without the aid of AA. She wrote the last post on this thread. She commented on CableDude’s comments and kinda of set him straight, respectfully.
    I love how she explains her early life after drinking, balance (common sense) comes to mind.

  • Swamibedpan

    @ Jonny Quest. I hear ya. But another design for life? One of the strengths of this site is that it exposes the facts and leaves a blank canvas for us all to make up our own minds. I think leaving aa is like stopping drinking, the individual will do it as a result of cost/benefit analysis. Part of that leaving process is reclaiming independent,critical thinking which the cult seeks to eliminate in all of its converts. By coming here I believe I am reclaiming my own voice instead of that of the prophet and his sacred scripture. A how to manual might stifle that process. In this digital age there is already a huge amount of info out there in a variety of formats, a lot of it superbly well done. Also amusing remarks are kryptonite to cults. Remember the rooms. You can laugh but only at the right places. They deserve to be mocked.

  • SoberPJ

    JQ, they would be effective. I think there should be hundreds of different pamphlets and pdf’s circulating out there. 10 for every pamphlet type that the AA corporation puts out. Flood the flippin world with the stuff. Give them ISBN’s and make sure libraries stock them and they are sold on Amazon, B&N and everywhere for cost. Make the government fund them because they are related to health care and help the criminal justice system. Put them in fire and police stations so people know what the real deal is. Remember, they won’t stop spreading their faith healing non sense so if they are to be beaten it will be through public knowledge and that can’t happen with a few web sites and “crackpots” that are trying to change the current system. They have a couple million sales people, plus a phony reputation and we have what? 50 people trying to get the word out. If that? Widespread information is the primary way to get people’s attention.

  • Sally

    Doreen and Lucy,

    I soooooooo want to share my ex sponsors story. But she is/was a patient where I work, and I just can’t do it – because part of it relates to my job and her being a patient there.

    I think that when some people quit drinking and drugging, they may want to change a little also. If they want to, they don’t need steps to do it. Making “amends” could be simply be not doing that shit anymore. No need to lie about drinking or where you’ve been or how much you’ve been drinking. Assholes (liars, thief’s, predators) on the other hand, don’t change because they don’t want or care to. Drinking or not, steps or not, they will still be assholes.

    I hope I don’t sound like a stepper!

  • Doreen

    Lucy–I can just picture her!

    Johnny–I really don’t perceive us as particularly bitter here. But maybe others do. It just feels good sometimes to point out all of the hypocrisy in the cult. Sponsors are somehow allowed to have so much power over people and it helps me once in a while to do a quick review of some of mine. There were a couple of women who were actually helpful to me to some degree and I appreciate that. The whole idea of group support/social activities, etc. is what I think makes AA as successful as it is. Not that I’m saying it is particularly successful :-). I doubt that the steps and the gawd thing really help keep very many people off the sauce.

  • Jonny Quest

    @Swamibedpan:

    No, not interested in designs for living. Was thinking something concise, like this. Direct, to the point, easy to print, distribute, and e-mail, but clean.

    AA proselytizers are experts at showing the friendly side of tyranny, and at presenting others as “bitter” and “angry” and “resentful.”

    PUBLIC HEALTH WARNING: Addiction Recovery Groups (RG’s) are Hazardous to your Life, Your Health, Your Mental Health, Your Liberty, Your Civil Rights, Your Safety, Your Dignity, and Your Pursuit of Happiness!

    http://web.archive.org/web/20021224194330/http://rational.org/Reasons.cancel.html

    Suggested Do’s and Don’ts (this one does have a disclaimer – “Print, duplicate, distribute at will.”)

    http://web.archive.org/web/20021224193911/http://rational.org/Donts.html

  • Jonny Quest

    Bitter or not, AA has got one heck of a propaganda machine going. We need our own newcomer’s pamphlet.

  • Sally

    JQ, ty, another good link for my favorites.

  • I recall bitching about a lot of AA members (reading about Lucy and Doreen’s sponsors brought this back) to some guy in Al-Anon (by the name of Mike R, his wife Bea had “double-digit sobriety”), and he said in all seriousness “but Ben, imagine how much worse they would be without the program!”

  • What would be the best distribution channel for a pamphlet or book? The business model of AA primarily uses an Indirect Channel supplying to a number of Independent distributors that store and promote the pamphlet and books. They do not appear to give any type of credit for thier materials and require payment in advance. They do not hire local transportation companies for delivery and rely on national and international delivery companies and include the cost of delivery, handling and packaging in the required payment in advance to initiate shipment.

    In our case we can not do a bricks and mortar business model and free electronic download would be the best option at this time. We would need multiple mirrored sites designed just to download the material. We need them to be mirrored so that if one site is taken down because of lack of maintenance, lack of funding or hackers, the others will survive. The sites need to be clones of the main distribution point, but autonomous.

  • Jonny Quest

    I think if a good PDF pamphlet is developed, and there is a disclaimer allowing people to “print, duplicate, mirror, or distribute at will” that others will gladly mirror it.

    Look at Joel Spitzer’s “Never Take Another Puff” PDF e-book – that sucker spread like wildfire to every single quit smoking site.

  • Jonny Quest

    Also, e-books can be published for free for amazon kindle. Very easy to do. They will show up on Amazon book searches. If the price is $0, people will download it, particularly if they have a kindle or the kindle app for ipad, etc.

  • MA

    Fuck a free ebook. Patience, Jonny. We’ll get on published soon enough.

    FTG will have one out there even sooner, although it isn’t an AA bash book.

  • Lucy

    Swami – I’m with you. I don’t want to be a member of any club that would have me.

  • Jonny Quest

    Death by a 1,000 cuts works as well. Can’t destroy AA – that’s wishful thinking. Even if it were destroyed, it would just mutate and metastasize.

    Foot traffic is their weak point – they need it to survive. Divert it away – doesn’t matter where -and they will bleed.

  • Here is a flyer I mad up about a year ago when things were looking really grim for me still fighting the fight from the inside. It’s kinda funny now reading it…like a Stuart Smally saves his family scene.

    here goes:

    Are you sick and tired of AA ?

    Would you like to try another way of getting and staying sober?

    Are you tired of hearing Chapter 5 droning on and on and AA rhetoric shoved down your throat? Are you a long time member that feels there’s nothing for you in reading a book written in 1936 over and over again.

    A new program for alcoholics and addicts is being formed.
    No Labeling. A fresh new approach.
    A support group for sober or newly sober people. Where spirituality is top priority. Living principals and truth are practiced.

    Where individuals honestly work on developing character and sober skills to live by.
    We address the WHOLE Person.
    Body
    Mind
    Spirit
    Physical, spiritual, psychological, and mental
    We think it’s time has come.
    We are a safe haven. No Predators allowed.
    No member will be sexually harassed or financially pressured in any way.
    We have a zero tolerance for criminal behavior.
    Zero tolerance for 13 stepping like behavior carried on in AA.

    If AA or NA has not worked for you and you are looking for something new, come and join us for our first meeting.
    Interested in A non-secular approach?
    Try…
    Smart Recovery
    Rational Recovery
    Secular for Sobriety (SOS)
    Women for Sobriety
    LifeRIng
    Beyond Rehab
    Steven Slate
    Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

  • Swamibedpan

    @ Jonny. Ok you are right. Swamibedpan took a dip in the ocean in came out with a new attitude. It is a formidable foe though.

  • I actually like that flyer. It is called an Elevator Speech or Elevator Pitch. These speeches are designed to be only 10 to 30 seconds long (roughly the time it takes you in an elevator). The main points are:

    1. Catch the attention quickly of the listener or reader with the first sentence.
    2. Explain the problem.
    3. Give a solution.
    4. Leave them with something easy to remember for follow up.

    Example of good elevator speech:

    “Are you having trouble with AA solving your problems? Many people have problems with AA. You can find help. Google stinkin thinkin in AA.”

    Total word count 24. Fifth grade reading level which means anyone will understand it. Estimated time to repeat 7 seconds. Instant recognition of how to find further information. Easy for the speaker and receiver to remember. It leaves the receiver wanting more information.

    Example of same information but much harder to understand and remember:

    “Are you having trouble with Alcoholics Anonymous? Many people have trouble with the financial, sexual predators and repetitive relapse it causes. Learn about the psychopaths that get sent to AA and the cognitive dissonance that the pseudo culture of AA promotes. Get more information at stinkin-thinkin.com.”

    Word count 46. Twelfth grade reading level or above which means that some people will not understand it. Estimated time to repeat 15 seconds. Recognition of how to find further information is prone to errors, they have to remember the entire link. If someone remembers it and puts in stinkinthinkin.com or sinkingthinking.com and gets no hits, the average person will abandon looking for the information. Difficult for the speaker and receiver to remember. If the receiver does not understand the words in the message they will not look for more information.

    Remember – one of the reasons the Big Book is so well read and popular is because it is written at a fifth grade level and relies on easy to remember slogans for its spreading.

  • JRH- thanks. Maybe I’ll make a little PSA & put it up on youtube.

  • It all depends on your audience and who you want to reach. The first example will reach anyone and pique interest in finding more information. The second example was more targeted to someone who has already done some research. I have been studying what makes videos go viral. There are many different explanations. They all seem to point towards making them very short, with simple everyday words and something of interest to everyone. The videos with millions of views.

    Here is a study done in 2006:

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/15958470/ns/msnbc_tv-countdown_with_keith_olbermann/t/most-viral-video-all-time/

    Here is a list done in 2010:

    http://www.time.com/time/specials/packages/completelist/0,29569,1974961,00.html

    If you study some of them, you will find out some of them had “product placement” in them that was very powerful. Something that is short, funny and shows one or two problems in AA will get the most views, because it is targeting the biggest market. Only a small portion of the audience will get the true meaning, but it will bring awareness to the majority of people who watch it. This approach is called “baby steps.”

  • lucy

    Wanting Accountabilty, When I was a sponsor, I got a 2 am call from a woman (whom I was NOT sponsoring) who wanted to confess that she had “slipped” by eating an entire serving bowl of sweet potatoes. I told her to call someone in OA because I had to go to work the next morning.

    Al Franken is a long time member of Al-Anon, but at least he has a sense of humor about it. I had no sense of humor at 2 am.

  • flannigan

    Ah, Greg G, drinking excessively with repeated negative consequences is not a symptom of the “disease”, it IS the “disease”. However, there IS a cure- STOP IT. Without alcohol there can be no alcoholism (why do you think it’s called “ALCOHOLism”?

  • Disclosure

    Last night when I arrived home after being out of town 12 days for work I drove by my old home group. Even though I had not seen my wife, daughter, and dog for two weeks I thought of stopping. I realized how crazy it was to want to stop. Part of me wanted to drop in so they could see that I am not dead after stopping meetings. Another part wanted to show them my new work clothes and $6,000 watch. I particularly didn’t want to share that I still have no desire to get drunk even though I have been going to bars and drinking NA beer with my wife and colleagues. Thanks to you Stinkin’ Thinkin’ I now have a life beyond my wildest dreams! Family, Money, and property thanks to science based medicine, the debunking of coercive tactics, and the nurturing of a clear realistic core belief system.

  • SoberPJ

    Disclosure… It wouldn’t matter, they would twist any success you have and make it an example of how the program works, while in the next breath condemning you for not going to meetings and giving back what was so freely given to you. For as we all know, if you get better in AA and don’t devote your life to it, you are a thief. Geez, what a rock and a hard place that is for the unsuspecting new Corporate AA member?

  • Commonsense

    @Disclosure – I have thought about dropping into my old home group to see how it is going. However, I know it is pointless for me to “keep coming back.” There is really nothing in it for me by showing up, and nothing in it for them if I show up. I threw my Big Book in the trash; they still drag their highlighted and dogged eared copies” to meetings. I threw out my chips; they continue to hand them out. I don’t drink anymore; they “slip.” I think clearly; they have “mental blank spots.” I have moved on; they haven’t. I have better things to do; they don’t.

  • flannigan

    @commonsense
    Welcome to real life. Enjoy your freedom. And I agree with you, there is nothing to be gained by anyone by returning to your “old home group”.

  • DeConstructor

    On the same idea Disclosure-

    I wish Charlie Sheen would have a coherent press conference, and make the simple statement that he is alcohol and drug free, and not bat shit crazy as the media has portrayed.

    That would throw the recovery industry over the edge. It would not matter how they spin it, they would be exposed for the fraud they are.

  • A short “Spoof” of Charlie Sheen coherently talking at an AA meeting could be one of those viral youtube videos. It could show him being grilled by a Stepper. It would appeal to both AA and anti-AA audiences. No direct links need to be shown, just a lot of mentioning of Stinkin Thinkin. Major media coverage………

  • Jonny Quest

    @JR – That sounds interesting. Too bad I don’t have the necessary sense of humor to make it.

  • hulahoop

    sober PJ quotes ” You too have a misconception of what AA is to it’s members,or at least to me. Alcoholic Anonymous is a way of life. Drinking is but a symptom of our disease. Sure we don’t drink and get an enormous amount of support from our fellowship and meetings.In addition to that AA teaches us a new manner of living that requires rigorous honesty. So AA is teaching us a new way to live. The very best job we could do running our own lives earned us a seat in AA.

    Ahhh….there is that rigorous honesty term again. I’ve wondered how many people who found the fellowship and religion of AA dumped their friends and family because they knew those were the people who knew them best and would call them on their rigorous honesty bullshit.

    Rigouous honesty my ass.

  • Z

    It’s so abusive and uses so many mind control techniques that I’m starting to think it is actually a cult.

  • flannigan

    How can fostering a fraud be considered “rigorous honesty”? These AA gurus make no sense at all. Someone will have to explain this to me. I just don’t get it.

  • Wanting Accountability, How do I say this? I totally thought you were a guy. Why did I think that? I tihnk you were new when either JRor Johnny Quest was new, too. I have never seen Stuart Saves His Family while not in AA. Lucy, the worst thing about yuor story is that you’re prolly not the only peorson she called at 2 am. It was prolly a regular thing she did. The people in AA, are for sure, way crazier that in any other place. I dunno; that ‘s sorta mean, I guess. Totally just my opinion.

  • Lucy

    Violet, Of course, you are absolutely right. I am quite sure that I got called in the alphabetical order my name appeared in the list of women from that group. I am equally sure that she kept calling until she got someone to feel sorry for her because her “disease” make her eat a bowl of sweet potatoes.

    Isn’t that the way all of AA works? The ones that stay (and the ones that become big wigs)are the ones who have decided to go to any length to avoid responsibility for their behavior. It’s a weird Darwinian reversal of the survival of the fittest. In AA, it’s survival of the most parasitic. The more dependent the person is on AA to tell him who he is, to define his thinking and behavior for him, and to give him a livelihood, the more of a boss he is in AA.

    Out of AA, we would just call these people “nutjobs.”