Archive for the Abuse in AA Category

The Jim B. Episode, Revised and Expanded

If you’ve been a regular, you’ll notice that I took down the last two posts on the subject of Jim Bock and the Sponsorship Group in Chatham, NJ. I want to be clear that the episode detailed in those posts did not drive us to close the blog, so I’m going to tell the story again with more clarity.

Now then:

There is someone leaving comments on forums around the internet about someone named Jim Bock who runs the Sponsorship Group in Chatham, New Jersey. They’re hit-n-run cut/paste comments that look like this:

One of the all time most pathetic and dangerous AA groups ever is based out of Chatham NJ. They are called the Sponsorship Group and their leader is Jim B.

Dictator Jim B. and his disciples have been ruining the lives of young women since at least 2000. To call what they do “13th Stepping” would be a compliment. Imagine a group of people with no medical or psyciatric training that tell people how and why they need to stop taking necessary medication! It’s a disgrace. People have suffered and in some cases are dead as a direct result of this groups actions!

Jim B. and his disciples at the Sponsorship Group all have SG tatoo on their wrists and live by the rules of Jim B. He takes advatage of people who are in need of help. He should be charged with mental abuse and should have to register as a sex offender. He will experience KARMA soon.

A few of these comments appeared here (using the full last name), buried in the discussion section of random posts, and they were not on my radar.

So, last week, I received an email from Jim Bock that looked like this:  Continue reading The Jim B. Episode, Revised and Expanded

Alcoholics Anonymous and the TABOO of the GEOGRAPHIC change.

 

 

No.

Geographical Cure (a.k.a Geographic ):
An effort to cure our alcoholism by getting a ‘fresh start’ in a new location. It doesn’t work. There is a saying around AA, ‘Wherever you go, there you are.’

I remember having about five years sober in AA and approaching my sponsor for guidance. I had done well and established a very successful business. In my success I started to look at property in an idyllic location where my family and I had always wanted to live. I had saved enough money to buy a house there for cash. My wife and I had picked out a house and were ready to make our move. Being a good AA I decided to check with my spiritual advisor and sponsor first. Much to my disappointment, he told me that it was dangerous for me to buy this house and move so far from my support group. Clearly I was brainwashed; AA and my sponsor had become my lifeline. I had such a lack of confidence in myself from working the AA program and listening to the rhetoric of the group that I was unable to stand on my own two feet. I was completely dependent on the program and fellowship. As someone who has disconnected from AA, I can look back and see what a shame this is. I see now that AA did not give me power but that it completely crippled me. I have not been living my own life but have been living the lives of others. I remember hearing how bad it was to move away from a persons AA group but never recall hearing anyone share about experiencing a move in which they drank. Members would share that if an alcoholic were to move away from their group they would drink. They would even share that subconciously it was probably an underlying reason for the move. Remember, the great obsession of every alcoholic is to drink normally.

Another factor that plays into the AA’s management of the geographic move is the God implication. Whether implied or by direction the AA seems to rely heavily on the notion that God will do for the alcoholic what he cannot do for himself. Live and let live and let go and let God would seem to directly conflict with any sponsors direction regarding a geographic change, unless of course the AA sponsor is a direct channel from God.

Bottom line; what business does any AA have meddling with the personal life choices and goals of anyone who wanders in their door?  Have you been incapacitated by a sponsor who told you not to make a geographic change?  Were you pressured to stay in your community?  This may be the place to talk about it and share opposing viewpoints so that those who are still crippled by AA can gain insight and make their own decisions.

Serenity Hornet Out of Jail

Eric Earle, the stepper with an anger management problem who was arrested a few days ago in connection with the death of his girlfriend, has been released pending further investigation. My guess is he’ll be back in the pokey fairly soon:

Homicide suspect released from jail

Earle was released from Men’s Central Jail in Los Angeles at 5:15 a.m. Wednesday, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Inmate Information website.

Homicide Bureau detectives are waiting for the coroner’s full report before presenting evidence to the District Attorney’s office, Ramirez said. No charges have been filed in relation to Brada’s death, a District Attorney official said.

The coroner ordered toxicology and neuropathology following the autopsy, a coroner’s official said. The tests could take four to eight weeks to complete, and the full coroner’s report will not be released until then.

“At this time, there is no reason to believe (Earle) is a flight risk,” Ramirez said.

All you ladies in the Santa Clarita area intergroup — put 911 on your speed-dial and wear something nice. Eric is back on the market!

_______________

UPDATE: Eric Earle was finally arrested again on January 26th, and charged with murder. The cause of death was determined to be “ asphyxiation at the hands of another.”

Essential Reading from Maia Szalavitz

Why Tough-Love Rehab Won’t Die

Despite decades of research showing the harmfulness of coercive rehab for addiction, these abusive, tough-love programs refuse to go away.

On Wednesday, TIME.com reported on the phenomenon of “blood cashews,” nuts produced for export in Vietnamese drug-rehabilitation programs where addicts are forced to perform “labor therapy,” such as sewing clothes, making bricks or, most commonly, shelling cashews.

Last Sunday, the New York Timesdescribed Russia’s harsh new treatment camps, where addicts are locked up for as long as a month in “quarantine rooms” to endure withdrawal.

And last week a lawsuit was refiled against a Utah-based school for teens with drug or behavioral problems, with 350 former students alleging that the school engaged in abusive disciplinary tactics like locking students in outdoor dog cages overnight.

Yet, to date, there has been no evidence that the use of forced labor, public humiliation or generally brutal confrontation has ever been effective in rehabilitating people with drug problems — or any other kind of problem, for that matter. What’s more, when tough-love approaches are compared directly with kinder treatment alternatives for addiction, the studies find that compassionate strategies win by a large margin.

Read the whole thing…

 

 

 

Stepper Arrested for Murder of Fiancè

Eric Earle, serenity hornet extraordinaire, wrote this on his facebook wall last month:

“YA WELL ………………seven days and life is alot[sic] better thanks to the love of my life ,,,,,meeting”S[sic] and sposorsship[sic] it works if you work it…”

Prior to that, he was in and out of AA – always with a new spiritual awakening. He wrote this, which sounds like it was taken out of a drunkalog manual, back in April:

“IT is easier to see now,as i look back on my life today and my drinking , that from the very beginning alcohol had been a part of every disaster in my life .I saw my alcohoism[sic] took me to new depths of disgrace, embarrassment and despair. i have found out above all i am healing spirtually[sic].

He was arrested a couple of days ago after “the love of his life,” who he picked up at an AA meeting, was found dead in their bed:

Boyfriend arrested in killing a woman

Earle’s Facebook page paints the picture of a man battling addiction with the help of Brada. The two attended Alcoholics Anonymous meetings together and got a dog together, according to his recent Facebook activity.

“Yes, I am back into recovery, and it feels great,” Earle wrote on July 28. “Four days and lots of meetings thank you God for another chance. …”

Earle announced on Facebook that he and Brada were engaged July 29.

Seven days later, on Aug. 5, Earle was arrested on suspicion of corporal injury against a cohabitant and released on bond, according to county arrest records.

Earle was charged Aug. 22 with misdemeanor vandalism stemming from the incident, according to county court records. Earle allegedly “maliciously damaged and destroyed” the window of a sheriff’s patrol car, causing damage over $400, according to the Los Angeles Superior Court complaint.

Powerless after the first drink… Violent Abusers in AA

Here’s another sonofabitch blaming his violent abuse of a woman and a child on alcohol. This is a subject I should have added to the “Why Addiction Recovery Should Be A Feminist Issue” post. While alcohol might lower one’s inhibition about behaving in socially unacceptable ways, it does not give people permission to be violent that they didn’t already have. Focusing on alcoholism instead of on the violent behavior is regressive and dangerous — especially when the treatment for addiction teaches that one is powerless over ones behavior after the first drink.

Havana Man Faces 5 Charges

A Havana man faces five charges for hitting a woman with whom he lived and spitting on her and her 2-year-old child.

Eric J. Graham, 49, allegedly hit the woman in the head, spit on her and the child. Then he reportedly grabbed her cellphone so she could not call 911. He also disconnected the landline in the house while the woman was talking to a 911 dispatcher.

Graham faces three domestic battery charges and two charges of unlawful interference with the reporting of domestic violence. All five charges are Class A misdemeanors that could carry up to one-year jail sentences.

Graham is set for his next appearance Sept. 15. He told the court that he is going to Alcoholics Anonymous to deal with the alcoholism that prompted this incident.

13th Stepping at Cornerstone Recovery in Houston

Here is a story about 13th-stepping by a counselor at Cornerstone Recovery in Houston, TX:

Counselor accused of having sex with teen patient

HOUSTON (KTRK) — A substance abuse counselor is accused of having sex with one of her patients — a 16-year-old boy — and police say it happened more than once.

According to police, the counselor and her patient had attended an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting on a July night after which they went ‘parking.’ When police arrived, the whole alleged relationship began to unravel.Until Tuesday, Amanda Leann Kueht was a drug and alcohol recovery counselor. Now she’s a defendant, arrested Tuesday night by West University Place police. Now Kueht, 28, is charged with sexual assault of a child under 17.

“Had inappropriate contact with a victim that is underage,” said prosecutor Amanda Skillen.

On July 27 in a church parking lot, a West U. patrol officer is said to have spotted a car. It didn’t seem right and then he observed a partially dressed male teenager and Keuht in the back seat.

“The female subject in the back seat was 28 years of age and the male subject in the back seat — our victim — was 16 years of age,” said Patrick Phil Clark of the West U. Place Police Department.

The couple’s clothes were disheveled. Later, the teen told investigators while no sex took place that night, it had before.

“It had been going on for a few weeks with numerous encounters,” said Clark.

Her name has been taken off of the Cornerstone website, where until now she was listed as a managing counselor. It said this about her:

“She is completely dedicated to helping adolescents and their families recover. Mandy takes pride in being organized and dependable. Over time it has become apparent that she has a passion and enthusiasm for the 12 steps and helping others, as well as her own spiritual and mental growth.”

A true angel of mercy!

Predators in AA

New from blamethenile:

Related: AA’s GSB Turns A Blind Eye To Child Predators in Meetings

AA’s GSB Turns a Blind Eye to Child Predators in Meetings

Has anyone seen this?

It seems that in 2010, Paul E. Clearly, Trustee of the General Service Board of AA, Inc. submitted a report about child sexual abuse in AA to the GSB’s Subcommittee on Vulnerable Members in AA (I know!). He detailed several shocking instances of predation and implored the GSB to take responsibility for the safety of AA’s most vulnerable members. He concludes:

For a host of moral, ethical, and legal reasons, it’s time for the General Service Board to provide leadership in addressing the issue of child sexual abuse in AA.

Read Paul Cleary’s very revealing 7-page report, “Predators in AA,” and don’t miss the GSB’s predictably despicable abdication of responsibility on the last page. There is some reference to GSB’s response around the web, for instance here,  here and here, but I could find only one  reference to Cleary’s original report (which I was unable to download as a pdf, but could view in google docs).

ATTACHMENT_TO_TOPIC_002-PREDATORS.doc

Amends to Abusers?

A question posted on PhillyBurbs:

In all the 12-step groups I’ve been in, I’ve known few people who haven’t been abused at some point in their lives. Yes, there are a few of us who come from shining, loving households, who have been loved to death by our families. But most of us have much darker tales.

I met a woman recently, with one of those darker tales, who hasn’t yet begun her steps. While talking with her one day, she told me about her father, who was terribly physically abusive to both herself and her mother. The wearing-long-sleeves-in-summer kind of abuser. Even held a gun to his little girl’s head once.

Now, most sponsors tell their sponsees that they have to make amends to everyone in their lives. I personally have a father who was very minor-league, barely abusive compared to this friend’s story.

My sponsor has always insisted I have to forgive him and apologize to him. Ask him how I can make it up to him, for all the damage my being an alcoholic has done to him.

I think this is bull. And I think it would be insane for my friend to make an amend to this man. She was an innocent, helpless child, and the person who was supposed to protect her harmed her in ways unimaginable to any sane person. What could she possibly owe him?

Now I know I’m still considered quite new to recovery by many, I know this goes completely against my sponsor’s teachings, and I know I’ll probably think this very foolish one day.

But I also know I can’t be the only angry soul out there thinking this way.

Does anyone agree with me on this?

No responses so far.