Archive for the AA in the News Category

Parenting Class











Joan and Ward Cleaver they ain’t….

Steve & Linda Vigil passed out….

“…The Vigils rolled into a Las Vegas, New Mexico Red Lobster recently, their five-month-old daughter in tow. The young family was seated at one of the fine eatery’s comfy booths and prepared themselves for a mighty feast.

Soon, though, restaurant employees realized something was terribly awry. The Vigils appeared to be cataclysmically intoxicated, so-much-so workers observed them repeatedly “passing out” at the table and hardly able to speak.
When a server refused to ring in the Vigil’s order for more spirits, the denial didn’t appear to make a dent in the couple’s collective buzz. Linda Vigil was soon spotted shaking and dangling the baby by the arms, trying to make her dance as proud papa looked on with an approving, albeit chemical-stained, smile.
Once the couple had soaked up enough of the chain restaurant’s ambience, they got ready to leave. It was at that juncture when concerned Red Lobster’s workers observed the wobbly parents toting the child in her car seat as it swung and bumped into chairs, doors and walls.
Red Lobster staff offered to call a cab for the couple, but that gesture was shot down.
A waitress then summoned authorities.   
Officers arrived in the restaurant parking lot to find the Vigils severely FUBRed. They also found Steven Vigil trying to drive off in a red Ford Mustang that had been reported stolen in late May.
Steven told police he had borrowed the vehicle from an Alcoholics Anonymous buddy. He added that he and his buddy had recently got into a spat and that was likely why his AA chum had now reported the car thieved….”

Get Me To A Meeting…Lickety Split!

David S. IV, an AA member in Washington, needs a day planner. He showed up late for a meeting at the New Song Worship Center for the second time in two days. The second time was on Sunday morning, in the middle of a church service, after a high-speed chase in which he drove in excess of 115 miles per hour:

David Thomas Sumner IV apparently needed to repent.

The 80-member congregation of the New Song Worship Center in Lexington was just beginning Sunday morning’s service when Sumner appeared in the church’s doorway. He shouted as he rushed down the aisle, then lay face down at the feet of pastor Marv Kasemeier, who was standing near the pulpit.

Sumner was followed by a Washington State Patrol trooper, who handcuffed him and lead him out of the church.

Authorities say Sumner, 41, of Kelso led a trooper on a high-speed chase that hit 116 mph on Interstate 5, then raced up West Side Highway and finally dashed up Aaron Drive at the north end of Lexington.

A police report said Trooper Zachary Casey clocked Sumner’s northbound car at 94 mph on I-5 near the Longview Wye. Sumner sped away when Casey tried to pull him over, according to the report.

Police said Sumner was swerving through all three lanes of traffic and passing cars on both shoulders. Casey said he saw at least 50 near collisions between Sumner’s car and other drivers. Casey said he backed off, fearing the pursuit would put other drivers in danger. He said frightened motorists jerked their cars to the shoulder as Sumner passed, opening up a wide lane for him to again take up the chase.

Sumner crossed the Lexington Bridge at Sparks Drive, according to the report, then turned north on Westside Highway and reached speeds of at least 90 mph in a 35 mph zone as he raced past Riverside Park and swerved onto Aaron Drive, where the New Song church is located.


From a second article:

Sumner was carrying a container that looked like an ice bucket. He ran to a storage area near the church pulpit, stashed the container, and then fell at Kasemeier’s feet.

A short time later, a state trooper walked in and handcuffed him.

“Mr. Sumner said I submit to a higher power, I just need to do this now and I came to the church,” said Kasemeier

Acquittal for Pinconning Serenity Hornet

Stanley M. “Mike” Milostan, the AA who shot a woman and fellow stepper multiple times after she went after him with a ball-peen hammer, has been acquitted of assault with intent to commit murder. He was convicted of possession of marijuana with intent to deliver and possession of a firearm in the commission of felony.

My guess is the jury found it difficult to pick the truth out of the victim’s and defendant’s stories, because they were both so obviously full of shit. However, it does look like they bought the victim’s story that she was prostituting herself to Mike M. in exchange for drugs. He’s still being held in the pokey, awaiting his sentencing for that dastardly deed.

What are the odds that, when it comes time for sentencing, this asshole’s AA brethren will come crawling out of the woodwork to tell the judge what a spiritual giant he is?

Jury acquits Pinconning man of attempted murder….

Truthiness in Advertising

AA’s Australian advertising agency has swept the annual Siren awards, which are given for the most creative and effective radio advertisements in Australia:

Gatecrasher takes out the Siren for Alcoholics Anonymous

A single ad called Mummy, won the overall, single, and craft categories. It was also one of three ads in the AA campaign which took out the campaign category.

Written by Des Hameister the spots are confronting looks at the effects of alcohol on everyday situations. Hameister said keeping things simple and single-minded was the most important thing to remember when creating an effective radio commercial.
“Alcoholics don’t hurt just themselves and the ad empathises with that fact,” he said. “The insight is that alcoholics don’t only need to be told they’ve got a problem, they simply need to know that there’s a solution.”

Those of you wondering how an ad campaign promoting AA fits in AA’s tradition of “attraction, not promotion,” should just stop right there. Your best thinking got you here. Think, think, think yourself another drink. You just keep your own side of the street clean.


He Said, She Said

In a heartwarming tale of one drunk helping another, one AA is on trial for shooting another AA after she beat him about the back of the head with a hammer. He claims she was his marijuana supplier. She claims to be a low-end prostitute, and that she was actually banging him in exchange for weed. Somewhere along the way, they each picked up a helluva resentment. It’s a classic “he said, she said” scenario:

Pinconning man on trial for attempted murder….

Milostan said he was on his knees, taking apart Borieo’s kitchen table when he received a blow to the back of his head.

“I got knocked out,” he said. “I was blacked out. It didn’t seem very long when I woke up on my stomach on the floor and somebody’s on my back. I heard some gunshots as I’m coming to. I’m going, ‘Oh heck, someone’s got a gun.’ I’m going ‘C’mon, Mike, wake up.’”

Milostan eventually shook off his attacker, he said.

“I see this person with hair in her face,” he said. “I know it’s a woman but I’m not really identifying her as Amy. The look on her face was something to remember. It was like nothing I’d ever seen. Her eyes are bugging out of her and there’s not a word coming out of her mouth.

“There wasn’t a cross word between us at that point,” he continued. “She was hitting me with the hammer. She was knocking the snot right out of me.”

A dazed Milostan, blood pouring from his scalp, looked down and noticed his .38-caliber revolver in his hand, he said. Borieo raised the hammer again and Milostan told her to lower it. When she did not, he shot her, he said.

He then called 911 on his cellphone and waited for help to arrive.

Questioned by his attorney Edward M. Czuprynski, Milostan said he met Borieo about a year-and-a-half before the shooting, when he was shooting pool at Bailey’s Bar & Grill in Bay City. He denied ever selling marijuana to Borieo, but said he bought the substance from her to help his wife and a friend deal with side effects of cancer treatment.

Milostan said he only briefly visited Borieo’s home a few times to pick up marijuana, loan her money or to give her supplies for her baby son. He denied having a sexual relationship with her. Borieo has testified he gave her money and marijuana for sex.

Milostan said he and Borieo attended an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting the evening of March 14, 2010. Upon returning Borieo to her home, he used her bathroom, washed his hands, and accidently left three gold rings by the sink. He realized he forgot the rings the next day, called Borieo and made arrangements to pick them up.

Blinded By Faith

An impaired driving case out of Toronto sheds light on some of the problems in relying on AA God™ to fix one’s drinking problem, and raises some interesting questions.

William Crawford, a stepper of twenty-one years, was riding his bicycle home from an AA meeting when he was struck by Jose Lugo-Alonso. Lugo-Alonso had been doing rum shots, and was convicted of impaired driving:

Guilty verdict for man who hit cyclist, leaving him partially blind

Jose Lugo-Alonso, 61, was found guilty of impaired driving causing bodily harm in a ruling on Wednesday by Ontario Superior Court Justice Harriet Sachs.

On the night of July 31, 2008, Lugo-Alonso struck cyclist William Crawford, 57, with his minivan as Crawford was waiting to turn left from Jarvis St. onto the Esplanade. The accident left Crawford partially blind and hearing impaired, forcing him to give up his civil service job.

This case brings up a number of questions. Now, we all know there are no coincidences, so this was was part of AA God’s™ plan. This makes sense from the defendant’s point of view, because AA God™ doesn’t begin to work his magic before a steppers enters AA. An alcoholic needs some sort of sign — some sort of wake up call, and this is a standard example of that. This was Jose’s wake-up call, and he will no doubt make a fine member of AA when the court makes attendance a condition of his sentence. We’ve all witnessed the heartwarming accounts of steppers praising AA God™ for His work in orchestrating incidents like domestic battery or hit and runs, so the still suffering alcoholic will be attracted* to their nearest meeting. But normally the victims in these scenarios aren’t themselves members of AA.

This case has a different twist, because the victim here had just checked in for his 24-hour reprieve. AA God™ was on the clock. I’m not good at godpuppetry**, so I can’t explain what He was thinking when He made Bill C. the victim here. Did he save Bill’s life from alcoholic despair, only so He could be hit by a drunk driver on his way home from a meeting? Or, did he technically do his job because Bill C. was sober at the time, and His job is fixing alcoholics, not playing traffic cop. Maybe He was fixated on Jose, and neglected to note that Bill C. was an AA member.

Is there anyone here with enough experience in AA mind-bending logic who can explain this? Franky, I’m baffled.


*Forced there by a judge
** the act of speaking for God, as though He were a sock puppet, and explaining how He intervened in your life to save you from alcoholic despair.

Some Must Die

The characters of AA can make up  some interesting cocktails when they mix together. Here is a story out of Minnesota that took a tragic turn when Shannon Gura, an AA who was being 13th-stepped by Don Kreye, another stepper; decided (along with a couple of accomplices) to extort some big money from him:

Woman sentenced to 90 days in coercion plot; extortion victim killed himself

Gura, who now lives in Alabama, had pleaded guilty in October to a single count of coercion in a plot to extort $500,000 from Dan Kreye, one of the founders of High Five Erectors Inc., a steel-construction company in Shakopee.

She had met Kreye through Alcoholics Anonymous, and Gura said he had expressed an interest in helping her and had even given her money to help her buy a Jeep. She testified at an earlier hearing that when she told a friend of hers, Rickey Pouncil, of Rosemount, about Kreye, Pouncil figured the businessman was wealthy and came up with a scheme to extort money from him.

At Pouncil’s direction, Gura sent sexually explicit texts to Kreye in August 2009. The businessman replied in kind, even sending her a graphic sexual photo of himself. Later, over a steak dinner, Gura presented Kreye with printouts of his texts and photo and told him that she’d give them to his wife and kids unless he paid $65,000.

Pouncil and another woman allegedly continued the extortion over the next few months. On May 10, 2010, Kreye, 57, took his life in the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge.

Police found a note in his car that read, “I am being extorted over $500,000. Best for my family and friends.”

Heartwarming, isn’t it?

Mayor Bob Ryan: AA Hero

Sheboygan, Wisconsin mayor Bob Ryan is a member of Alcoholics Anonymous. Or, as he put it, “an intensive outpatient program.” It’s worked so well for him, that last week he once again got liquored up and decided to kick some ass:

Sheboygan Mayor Rejects Council’s Call For Him To Resign
Ryan recently came under fire since going on what one bartender called “a rampage” in Elkhart Lake that included contact with police after a barroom scuffle in the early morning hours of July 25 and passing out in a tavern. Witnesses also said Ryan verbally harassed women in local nightspots with rude and sexually tinged remarks.

It’s the third drinking incident since Ryan was elected mayor in April 2009, the first occurring in September 2009 when a YouTube video surfaced of a drunken mayor at a local tavern making sexually explicit comments about a female relative.

The second was in July 2010 after he visited local taverns with his brother. It was after that incident that Ryan first said publicly that he is an alcoholic.

Mayor Ryan is a perfect fit for AA, where he’ll be able to continue his shenanigans unfettered; but back in the real world, this latest incident was enough for the city to settle a sexual harassment suit filed against him:

City, Angela Payne settle sexual harassment complaint against Bob Ryan

Angela Payne — who accused the mayor of drunkenly propositioning and attempting to kiss her — will be paid more than $750,000 under the settlement, a source said. That figure includes the money Payne would have earned under a five-year contract typically given to department heads, with damages and attorney fees likely added on. Payne’s first-year salary was set at $75,000.

Payne was fired in August 2009 after just six months on the job and a month after she said she rebuffed Ryan’s advances. Payne alleged in a complaint with the state Department of Workforce Development that the events were related. Ryan denied the allegation, and attorneys were prepared to defend his stance until his highly publicized relapse last weekend.

This guy makes Ted Kennedy look like teetotaling alter boy. And his drunken trifecta is enough to award Bob R. our “AA Hero of the Month” award. Congratulations, Bob!

The Rigorously Honest Head Shrink

In another puff piece about the play about Bill and Dr Bob that is sweeping the AA world, this one out of Oz, a shrink and 12-step advocate (likely and AA himself) is tossed some softball questions by the journalist writing the piece (also likely an AA himself). Here, the doc explains the difference between spiritual and religious:

A stockbroker and doctor walk into a bar

Jurd and Bergman agree the biggest misconception about AA is that it’s a religious cult. ”AA is spiritual. There’s a chasm of difference between religious and spiritual,” Jurd says. Presented with the adage that religion is for people who don’t want to go to hell while spirituality is for people who don’t want to go back there, he concurs.

A chasm of difference? Well, I guess the good doctor will explain it so we can all understand:

”Yeah, I suppose. It doesn’t demand you believe in God. ”It merely suggests you remember you’re not God yourself. Because that’s what alcoholics do in trying to beat alcohol by willpower. They’re playing God. Unsuccessfully.”

So, AA doesn’t demand a belief in God. It just demands an acquiescence to the will of a God one does not believe in.


The Wizard In Oz

Todd Carney, a rugby player in Australia has had some drinking problems. His story was profiled last week in the Sydney Morning Herald, which prompted this letter from an AA with all the answers:

The story Carney and all his mates must read

I got sober at age 46 through Alcoholics Anonymous [but] when I came into AA I was alone and without hope after 26 years of non-stop drinking. I was living life like a derelict in my own home and was about to lose my job. I was sick and frustrated over my personal powerlessness over the drug alcohol.

”AA saved my life. I am very interested in Todd Carney and I have been astounded at the way in which Todd has been managed by the people around him who have been trying to help him. Although people have meant well, there has been a lack of understanding of Todd’s real needs in the area of recovering from the disease of alcoholism/addiction. I am concerned when I see Todd relapsing because people trying to help Todd simply don’t understand his problem .

”When I read your article saying Todd was so committed to not drinking he was taking pills that would make him violently ill if he drank, it made me almost vomit! This is not a long-term solution or a program. The disease of alcoholism centres in the mind, Todd’s problem is his head, not his body. The pills are only a short-term interruption, Todd’s mental obsession with regards to alcohol won’t go away unless he gets into a program of recovery. The only one that is proven to work [if you work it] is AA and the 12 steps of recovery.

”I can see in the way Todd has been playing he is clearly distracted. The amount of guilt and shame and self-loathing he is carrying around must be horrendous, and the 12 steps of AA deals with that very effectively.

”Todd, please let us try to help you.”