AA Sends Out Its Anonymity Letter

And Romenesko has picked up on it!

A day after a Romenesko reader noted that Roger Ebert was an Alcoholics Anonymous sponsor for reporters, A.A. sent a message to journalists on its email list. It says that “our fellowship does not comment on matters of public controversy, but we are happy to provide information about A.A. to anyone who seeks it.”

Check out some of the comments.

  • AfricanRockFish

    The Republican Party would probably blow up Harlem for the chance to dictate their coverage as much as AA gets to dictate their own coverage in the media.

    • dave

      is that your real picture, you look like you could use a meeting

      • shysterbill

        He just came from a meeting.

        • guest

          Shut up!
          That’s his sponsor, after the last GS convention..

  • Tomviolin

    AA works for some people, it doesn’t work for others. Why can you just leave them alone? Yes, some people in AA become very enthusiastic. Wouldn’t you if your involvement in a program saved your life? If you don’t like it, you don’t have to go to AA, you don’t have to promote it, you don’t even have to agree with it. But no one benefits by people going around calling it an evil cult. Live and let live for Pete’s sake.

    • FreeatLast

      And if we’ve been shamed, harassed, bullied and made fun of by AA people don’t we have a right to say so as well? Unfortunately for some of us AA behaved like an evil cult. And frankly I am tired of AA people saying “yeah, but you may turn away a person who’s life might have been saved, therefore you should shut up and let us have our say.”

      I have been on recovery forums speaking about matters that have nothing to do with AA and the AA enthusiasts swarm in and take over and use any and every discussion to promote their program and denigrate the programs of others.

      Perhaps suggest that AA people practice a little live and let live, and recover and let others recover as well.

      Even when I was part of AA, if I asked an honest question I was treated like a traitor, accused of being a trouble maker who didn’t really want to get sober, told to drink some more they’d leave the light on for me, well, you know the drill. This because I didn’t understand what I heard.

      There is nowhere I have found, where one can even mention AA and not have them come in to set us straight, even to the point of saying that what I experienced didn’t happen, it was just my misunderstanding. And yes, principles before personalities, but don’t miss a meeting. The fellowship IS part of the program. We are told we can’t work it without a sponsor and without other AA folk to kick our butt when we get out of line.

      I never ever thought I would feel this way. I went in with good will and looking for community. I’ve been in recovery for years, In discussion with others in recovery no one person or group from any program or method has sought me out to shame me, correct me or accuse me of having the wrong attitude, low quality recovery etc except other AA members and this while I was in AA working the program! I nearly choke when I hear them swoop in on the newcomer to assure them AA folk are the kindest,most forgiving people ever.

      I would have been happy to live and let live, but they followed me to harass and harangue me and tell me how prideful I was and how shabby by recovery is. And to do so in public, because bullying people in public might keep some other folks who might speak out in line.

      • all-anon-nomo

        My husband got so swept up by the cultishness of AA that he lost his own identity. He was a pot addict, not a drinker, but at the time he joined, I was just glad he recognized he had a problem and was willing to work on it. I joined Al-Anon to support him. Soon he was going to several meetings a day, making excuses for not working, saying his sobriety was most important. I ended up working 14 hr days to keep up with the bills. He became more distant, and whenever he brought AA members to our home, they treated me as if I were an impediment to his healing–never mind that I was keeping things afloat.

        I finally realized he was being brainwashed and disenfranchised, and that he had simply substituted meetings for pot smoking–he’d become utterly dependent on AA. So, although he had begun taking his inventory, he wasn’t getting at the root cause of his addiction at all. Worse, he was willing to throw away our 17-year marriage, during which I’d endured physical abuse and supported him in his search for treatment, because his AA buddies had lured him into their parallel universe.

        After years in The Program, he still hadn’t dealt with anger management. The last time he attacked me, I filed for divorce. So much for AA.

        I firmly believe that if he had put in 10% of all those meeting hours into real therapeutic counseling or programs which didn’t require devoting himself to a cultish community, if his head hadn’t been stuffed with slogans that precluded him from using his powers of critical thinking! he could have lifted himself out of the sludge of his addiction long enough to regain some balance and control.

        Instead, he took the path of least resistance, which in this case was to jettison a wife who’d been his staunchest supporter, and hang with his dry-drunk buddies. It took me over 10 years to recover emotionally, financially, spiritually, but I guess he got his sobriety all right.

        AA has helped many, but you rarely hear about their casualties. Happy to see this forum. This is the first time I’ve shared this rant, which I did only as a cautionary tale. I hope people who have gone through or are caught up in similar circumstances get help outside the cult of AA. Don’t let one oerson’s needs totally dominate your life. In the end, the only person who can take care of you is YOU.