12-Step Psychologist Arrested on Attempted Child-rape charge

A psychologist in Seattle who directs a 12-step rehab centre, and co-wrote this book advocating AA and the 12-step approach to treatment for alcohol addiction, has been arrested on charges of attempted rape of a child:

Well-known Seattle psychologist jailed in attempted child-rape case

David Scratchley, director of a Christian-based substance-abuse recovery center in Belltown, was booked into the jail early Friday.

He refused to attend his first court hearing on Saturday afternoon, where King County District Court Judge Arthur Chapman found probable cause to hold him on investigation of attempted rape of a child in the first degree and communicating with a minor for immoral purposes. Scratchley was ordered held without bail; he is scheduled to return to court Wednesday.

Dan Donohoe, spokesman for the King County Prosecutor’s Office, said Sunday that a charging decision will be made by Wednesday.

A law-enforcement source close to the investigation said Scratchley had attempted suicide and is being held in the section of the jail for mentally ill inmates.

Scratchley, 52, is suspected of attempting to rape a 10-year-old boy, according to police. Scratchley directs the Matt Talbot New Hope Recovery Center and used to be clinical director at Seattle Children’s Home, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the mental-health needs of children and their families.

Police were called to Scratchley’s home at 3:30 p.m. Thursday after a woman told officers he invited her over “so they could both sexually assault a child,” Seattle police Sgt. Sean Whitcomb said. Officers immediately responded to Scratchley’s apartment building and found the boy.

  • This is so grotesque, it almost seems like fiction. As though maybe this guy just kinda sucked so ppl decided to turn on him, making this shit up. I cannot handle this world. And I feel like alotta it exists in 12 step culture. Was the woman *ever* in on it, I wonder?

  • KellyRyan

    I have a long standing open account with Amazon. I sent an email with the link suggesting this book be removed from the site.

  • Another child is a victim of AA sexual misconduct. Thank God the woman turned him in.
    What a sicko. I am so glad this site exists to expose the harm done to minors and others at the hands of Bill W’s cult.

    Save the children! http://www.nadaytona.org

  • If this guy were a Scientologist, Mormon, Wiccan or Satanist, it would have been dwelt upon throughout the entire article. As a 12-stepper, a lying, drug-using one at that, the Church of Surrender to Powerlessness doesn’t even merit a direct mention. Give this fraud a rope and turn off the monitor.

  • disclosure

    He was going after a 10 year old boy. That is pre-puberty Mike, out of bounds in Mormon dating circles.

  • Prickly Pear

    I like this site, I really do. That being said, I hope none of you are ever on a jury that I am standing in front of, my AA membership would seal my fate promptly. I

    f there was a disclaimer on this site stating “WE DISREGARD THE CONCEPT OF INNOCENT UNTIL PROVEN GUILTY” I would be fine with all the comments I see here.

    If this guy is guilty, cut his balls off. If all the other nut jobs in AA that have been arrested and are awaiting trial are guilty, same deal. Punish them severely for their crime.

    Some of you folks seem level headed, others are a study in reactionary emotionalism.

    My opinion is like a fart in the wind, it doesn’t amount to much. In any case, I do get a kick out of this site and wish you well in cleaning up AA. I wish a lot of people I sit next to would go away as well.

    • MA

      Hi, Prickly Pear.

      Because this is a blog and not a courtroom, we aren’t required to meet a legal standard of guilt in stating an opinion. If I were a juror in this case, I certainly wouldn’t convict this guy based on just the information in this article. But I’m not, and assuming the information in the linked article is true, I would say this guy is guilty. I’d also bet my dog that this would not have been the first time he’s chosen to abuse kids. Just the first time he got caught.

      I promise if this guy gets acquitted, we’ll post about it in as much detail as possible.

  • Prickly Pair, I like having you here, too, I really do. That being said, if it quacks like a duck, has a water-resistant butt, and hangs around the duck pond, the court of public opinion will probably have some comments on its duck-like aspects prior to a formal declaration of duckhood in a court of law.

  • SoberPJ

    It’s sooo much more fun to emotionally fly off the handle and prematurely crucify AA members. If I’m wrong, I can always blame my higher power for my behavior .. I am under gawd control you know … and then do it again next time. It’s sooo convenient that way and I never have to feel bad for the nasty shit I do … because, well, I didn’t do it. uh huh.

  • Prickly Pear – actually I have been thinking along the same lines as you. People are innocent until proven guilty. Unfortunately society and the press often attempt to try a person in the media before they have even been before a judge. This can be seen in the recent Cassey Anthony case and the OJ Simpson case. Both were judged not guilty, but they were tried in the press and the over whelming opinion is that they should have been adjudicated guilty. Society relies on its judges to give fair and just sentences, but who watches the judges? Freedom of information watches the judges and we are just a small part of the big picture in reporting it and trying to expose an anonymous society hiding behind spirituality.

    If the people who testified against Anthony or Simpson were to even attempt the veil of anonymity that AA members practices, they would be in jail. Why aren’t Floyd Nadeau and his sponsor believed to be named Fanjoy in jail for not reporting the murder of Danita Brown in Lewiston Maine by Bob Ryder in a timely manner? It is true that things like rape can happen in a grocery store, but like the Simpson and Anthony cases the witnesses didn’t have to chant an oath of secrecy or have a special coin on their person that people use to signify they are part of a society that will not report acts such as these because of a code of anonymity they chant nearly daily.

    Freedom of speech and the press are important for the protection of society as a whole from corrupt judges, political regimes and the sub groups underneath them.


    Stellar as usual!

    If you read the introduction to this blog, you would have stopped writing after you said, “I like this site, I really do”. What more can be said then what is in the description of this blog. What part do you do you really like. The fact that we are comfortable, confident and individualistic enough to make decisions on our own? That we can leave AA, stay sober and live a happy fulfilling life? That we have a forum to share our horrid experiences in AA with like minded people and try to help each other? The questions are ad infinitum.

    I think you have to barge onto this site to get your penned up AA anger out. That you can’t truly share or problem solve with your AA buddies; they would gossip about your share and it would be used against you. I think you are looking for a friend; someone to confide and trust. Yes, you can find it here, however, AA’s friendship is conditional. Please keep visiting us. One day you won’t be as angry, you’ll feel a sense of well being and you can find friends. Then you will no longer be Prickly pear with all your defenses up; you’ll be more like a daisy.

    Keep coming back until you find peace then stay longer. Please watch you language; AA or not it isn’t appropriate!

  • disclosure

    Welcome to ST.
    Your fart counts…
    As do his poofty little balls.


    please write to staffcoord@aa.org

    attach the link to this story or any story of your own. Tell them that they are going to be held accountable for all the rapes, murders and molestations unless they do something big soon to protect innocent children and minors and young adults from the sick fucks they have invited into AA.

    Forget how they respond… please just do it. There has never been a movement before that addressed this at every level. Let’s no t let them have it easy in NY collecting their BIG ASS pay checks.
    I agree with Violet. I was physically sickened by this story A poor little 10 year old boy.
    How many. Now he’s pleaing that he is crazy , next he’ll say he is powerless.

    Now for Prickly P- I wish a lot of people I sit next to would go away as well.

    Then do something. Have a business meeting in every group you go to.

    Have everyone stop signing court cards. Tell your group they are sending 3rd sex offenders and violent criminals to AA meetings unknown to most 98 % of the AA pollution
    Get my literature and hand it out. PRint these stories out on this sie or mine, bring them to your group and educate them. I did this with my group before I left and they were shocked to the core and we were a safe women’s meeting, but many new woman came with horror stories all the time.

    Write your own safety statement …

    Makes rules that Sexual harassment will not be tolerated like The REST OF SOCIETY IN AMERICA TODAY!

    Get off your ass and make change. contact me directly if you are serious. You can effect some change in your meetings or are you a wimp like most of the AA members here in Los Angeles who are so controlled by fear and what others think that they protect the predators and not innocent members?

    These are hard questions. But AA has gotten very FAT and very big. And the Press just has such a love affair with it that it makes me wanna fucking vomit. makeaasafer@gmail.com http://www.stop13stepinaa.wordpress.com

    We can see with these past stories following the Nutley NJ story that the tide is a turning.

  • Mona Lisa

    Prickley Pair: Okay, so maybe the woman is totally lying, and the guy was going to play Monopoly with the kid. There was still porn in his house. And cocaine. And he’s in charge of a recovery center that requires 12 step participation. 90 in 90 and immediate sponsorship.


    I think that deserves mention on this site.

  • MikeAugustine

    Wow, sounds a lot like the counselor agent orange had. That guy was doing coke and diddling his step kids. Who are these people?

  • Mona Lisa

    MikeAugustine–yep, this guy DOES sound like Orange’s counselor. Same part of the country, too.

    Who are these people? The loving, caring, concerned and highly spiritual leaders of the 12 step treatment world, that’s who they are.

  • So let me get this right. Dr. David Scratchley was the clinical director of the Matt Talbot Center in Seattle and Phase I of treatment at that facility consisted of:

    PHASE I – 4 Months

    Treatment Elements:
    • Daily attendance, Monday-Friday, 8:30am-2:30pm
    • Individual sessions with case manager once a week
    • 90 meetings/90 days or minimum 3-4 AA/NA meetings per week
    • Signed attendance slips required for AA/NA meetings
    • Sponsor obtained within first 30 days
    • Random urine analyses

    Not only did the clients of Dr. David Scratchley at the Matt Talbot Center have to pay for the teatment, they weren’t allowed to work for 4 months:

    “The Matt Talbot Center offers five hours of classes per day, plus daily check-in and in-depth process groups. Full completion of Phase I is required before part-time employment is an option.”

    I can see the possibility of major manipulation at the Matt Talbot Center. First get highly vulnerable people or their families to sign on the dotted line to pay for this “Rehab”, then take up all of the clients time in therapy and 12 Step meetings and forbid the client to work for at least 4 months. Oh yeah, I forgot the families of the clients, I wonder if Al-Anon is recommended so they will disassociate from the family member? They provide things like this also:

    October 17, 2011:
    * Matt Talbot Center & Seattle Seahawks: Teaming Up to Restore Families (5:30 pm)

    Exactly what type of teaming up are they going to do with the client that they don’t allow to work that has been disassociated from by their family? Do the Seattle Seahawks know what type of facility the Matt Talbot Center is that they are helping to promote?

  • prickly pear

    Good stuff from most of you guys.I am not the typical AA lemming. I could never attend another meeting ever and be fine. I am not looking for prospects. I don’t care if you do the steps or not, I really don’t. I have no agenda.

    Do me the courtesy of not clumping me into the majority of AAers. I read the stories here and believe them, they are horrendous. I have never seen this in my experience with AA. It doesn’t mean that it isn;t happening. Frankly I am glad some of you are working on this.

    Massive, I am not sitting next to the perverts you guys are discussing, at least not to my awareness, I just don’t like some people because they are assholes, just like in real life.
    I will continue to visit this site, but will probably refrain from posting as I do not want to get into a debate. An AA on this site, is like a meat eater at a PETA festival, probably not going to go over well. Carry on………..

  • SoberPJ

    pp .. for what it’s worth, I thought you did ok with your original post. It is obvious to me you are not a rabid stepper and sometimes my emotional extremeism needs a counter point or two to make me think even if it doesn’t change my stance. If you are for change in AA, then we are actually aligned in at least that one way. It is a good starting point for discussion. Am I sometimes over the top? You bet ..but what fun. I get to express opinions that have been pent up for 16 years because all the people I trusted just wanted to keep me from really thinking about how bullshit the whole thing is. Questioning the dogma is frowned upon and that was my first clue.

  • PP, if you were sitting next to them, how would you know until after the fact?

  • i agree with you massive, but am concerned about , “Have everyone stop signing court cards…” my only issue (it’s not really an issue; it is more of a concern…) here is that i really do think there are many, non violent ppl who are FORCED to go to aa and it is not their fault. i feel for them, i really do. Example: moms with issues who need help with custody, etc. do you see what i mean? they may have been pc-ed or something. and though i know that drinking and drinving IS a violent crime, i do think that ppl should not lose their kids over it (unless these ppl do it repeatedly… ) if they stopped signing, then what position would the non violent criminals be in? i am not criticizing, i am just wondering. i i think it is something worth talking about. it does seem like a solution though, as courts SHOULD NOT be sending criminals there.

    i continued to be so confust about aa’s affir with the media. why? i feel like if we could get on the inside of corporate aa, some how, and also get a few smart , connected ppl of the press on our side, then we’d be better off. i wonder about this guy: Nicholas Kristof. He writes extensively about women in third world countries, etc. And he has a pretty remarkable reputation to uphold, but I think if he knew women were being sexually exploited, murdered even, he might bite. Maybe I will write to him..

    Here is a sample of his work from the Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/31/opinion/sunday/kristof-evangelicals-without-blowhards.html

    I mean, he is a pretty big deal, but I feel like he is someone who would make an attempt to get back to us, giving us a lead on a writer who does have the time.

  • Violet, AA is the lake into which the violent, the mentally ill, the predators, the traumatized, and the non-violent are all cast with the expectation that they will all teach each other to swim, thus saving each other from drowning.

    Little Bill says “I don’t deserve this.”

    William Munny says, “Deserve’s got nothing to do with it.”

  • disclosure

    Unforgiven is my favorite violent revenge western!

    He had it cummin’
    We all got it cummin kid’

    Who owns this shit hole?
    You, Fat man, speak up.

    You are a coward, you just kilt an unarmed man.
    He shudda armed himself.

    That was one night better spent in front of TV instead of at an AA meeting gawking and creeping around.

  • Border Collie Mix

    @ Prickley, I think the point of posting stories like this is to show that the 12 step industry is to criminals like a filthy house is to roaches; a great feeding/hiding place.

  • Prickly Pear

    Good points and friendly dialogue, I can get with this.
    On the topic of signing court slip, Beware, rant coming.


    I would be fine with this practice if the preamble was re-written or a disclaimer that stated (we take what we want and leave the rest). The last time I checked the court system was an institution. “We are not allied with any sect, denomination, politics, organizations or institution.” yeah right. Not to give you guys fuel, but I have always thought the preamble was total bullshit.

    The 12 steps worked for me, that doesn’t mean it will work for everyone. AA should be absolutely transparent as to what this deal is all about. Í am glad that my sobriety is not based on making meetings every day. I would have drank a long time ago.

  • SoberPJ

    pp, the preamble is a complete lie ..starting with the opening sentence .. rarely have we seen a person fail who has thoroughly followed our path…. If you do the research, you will find that over half of the story authors in the first edition relapsed and some died drunk. Bill made the shit up dude to get money … you have been lied to from the first time you heard that. In an honest program. How does it make you feel that you have believed a lie the entire time? That you were spoon-fed a lie at every meeting? That you are not allowed to openly challenge it and maintain your standing in the roomz? Really think about it. Don’t just gloss it over. Think deeply about what it means to be lied to in an honest program. The fact may be that the steps only kept you busy while you kept yourself sober. If you are not willing to entertain that possibility, ask yourself why not. Are you so brainwashed that you can’t give yourself credit for something that you obviously did? If you are bothered by this line of thinking and reason, ask yourself why?

  • The problem of signing court slips actually is a complex problem that stems from the fact that the court, probation and DMV systems believe that by sending someone to a program where they have to admit they are an alcoholic/addict (whether they are or not) and chant Bill Wilson, that recidivism will be lowered.

    True the court/probation/DMV ordered AA/NA member does not have to identify themselves as an alcoholic/addict, but then the prospect hunters would be resistant to sign the cards that they have to have signed to stay out of jail. The prospect hunters love this (even though they are in denial about it and won’t admit it). If the court ordered attendee does end up in jail because of this, when they get out the prospect hunters know that they will “keep coming back” to stay out of jail. The Bill Wilson’s prophecy of of jail if you don’t become a member for life becomes fulfilled.

    The court ordered phenomenon of AA/NA membership and trying to leave can be seen in the analogy of the 1961novel “Catch 22” by Joseph Heller. In that novel the only way to get out of the Air force is to say you are crazy, if you say you are crazy, then you aren’t. If you are court ordered to AA/NA, they only way to stay out of jail is to admit that you are an alcoholic/addict. If you admit that you are an alcoholic/addict they you need to stay in AA/NA for life.

    It is quite a mess that needs to be fixed.I think it would help if the more vocal prospect hunters would quit telling everyone that AA/NA is the only thing that works, especially when the program fails so many people in need (and no it’s not people failing the program, its the faith healing program that has nothing to do with alcoholism/addiction treatment that is failing the people forced to attend).

  • The point in not signing court cards is to send a message to the judicial system to STOP sending people to them. Do not aid the judicial system in sending criminals to any meetings. If they want them to go so bad then set them in a building with police.
    Also no meetings near schools,daycares,playgrounds.

    Do you know in most important Drug Court meetings that there is typically an AA to represent them and to continue to pitch to them?

  • In Volusia County Drug Court they do not not mandate that AA has to sign anything for meetings. The participants have to fill out a form stating which meeting they went to and what they got out of it. It is kind of an honor system yet it is still forced attendance.

  • SoberPJ

    AA is stuck. Without the court feeder system, it dies. With the court feeder system it is populated with more predators and the mentally ill which results in the kind of crimes that are being documented here. They want their cake and eat it too, unfortunately for AA, the cake is poisoned and it will kill them.

  • AntiDenial – you forgot the most important part of “in most important Drug Court meetings that there is typically an AA to represent them and to continue to pitch to them” and that is it is an “ANONYMOUS” person giving the recommendations in a court of law. I do have to wonder how well an emissary of Scientology would fair in a court room giving a reference for someone if they tried to be anonymous?

  • Prickly Pear

    @ Sober PJ, I appreciate your feedback and will sit with some of the question you pose. I would like to think I I am not brainwashed. However, if I am asleep dreaming I am awake how will I know.

    Facts that I am aware of.
    The original 100 was actually about 40. Of these many did indeed relapse or die drunk
    Bill Wilson plagiarized large portions of the book and tried to screw the fellowship with royalties. His mistress still receives $
    Bill used LSD and was a womanizer
    Central Service and AA GSO is a for profit business, if a drunk actually gets sober that’s a bonus. I’ve seen the salaries they make. I will not put a penny into the basket of a group that donates to them.
    So, is a lot of AA hypocritical, you bet, does it irritate me that everything in AA is taken as gospel, or considered divinely inspired, you bet. I could go on, the point is, I do my research and know a lot more about AA than the average joe. I stand by my original statement that I would be a lot more ok with AA if it was honest.

    I believe something beyond my power changed me, to take credit for this transformation is something I have never considered. I’m not a religious man, I believe in Spirit, I use the word God but there is no sect attached to it.

    I drank for 20 years, I wanted to stop many times but couldn’t. Many portions of the Big Book describe me pretty well. When I drink, I develop a craving for more, that’s why I could never go out and just have a few. My mind could never grasp this, I tried to moderate and manage my drinking and I failed. Today my mind is different, I don’t think about booze one way or the other, I have it in my house, I go to bars to see live music etc. I’m one of those “controversial guys who says he is recovered.

    I like to sit with questions, I will spend some time reflecting on my recovery and see what comes to me.

  • SoberPJ

    Cool .. I just couldn’t stand the lies and contradictions any longer. I refused to be lied to or taken advantage of for one more minute. I also came to the conclusion after studying the mind that a supernatural entity did not reach into my brain and rearrange my neurons and synapses to get me to think and act differently. I learned not to drink and by staying away from it, the desire for it, and thoughts about it, lessened over time. No magic. if I ever drink again, my system will be affected and the process will have to start over if I want to not drink. The thing with Bill W’s writing is he recognized how a person with an alcohol problem thinks, which is mostly accurate, then he brings in a “solution” that is actually a religious conversion and if people believe it, it doesn’t matter if it is true. It becomes true to them and it is protected against dissent in myriad ways. Pretty clever, just not clever enough or effective enough to really say it “works”. You are the one who did not pick up a drink and you deserve the credit. Anyone who tells you differently is delusional. No external entity controlled your hands. You did it, you. Study the physical working of the mind and the concept of will. Great place to start getting some perspective on the mind http://www.ted.com/search?q=mind . You learned how to not drink. If you want to say you learned that in AA, fine, but then that makes the solution different than they portray. Knowledge will set you free, not the bondage of false truths.

  • @JR- exactly. An Anonymous person gets to pitch to the courts. I found it interesting in one of the Nutley stories where they interviewed 3 anonymous AA members. I remember when I have talked to the press they HAD to use a first and last name. Why does AA get special treatment in newspaper articles? If they want to speak to the press they should be treated like anyone else interviewed.Hell-its not like they are in a witness protection program!

    In fact some AA members choose not to be anonymous,of AA prefers they dont speak about it to the press.

  • Just came across this little fiction book blurb about a murder mystery and AA members.


  • prickly Pear-I would be fine with this practice if the preamble was re-written or a disclaimer that stated (we take what we want and leave the rest). The last time I checked the court system was an institution. “We are not allied with any sect, denomination, politics, organizations or institution.” yeah right. Not to give you guys fuel, but I have always thought the preamble was total bullshit.

    Oh I love this. I have been ranting about this to my husband lately.

  • Mona Lisa

    Prickly Pair: No point complaining about the court slips. Corporate AA doesn’t care what the membership says: they do exactly what they want, like when they sued AA members in Mexico and Germany over the objections of the rank and file.

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