Archive for the Gaslighting Category

Bill Wilson and “You’re Only as Sick as Your Secrets”

Pandora’s Box

One of the many AA Slogans that is often used is “You’re Only as Sick as Your Secrets”, and is used by members of the fellowship to gaslight prospects for Alcoholics Anonymous to do the 12 Steps with no real manual to follow. The problem is that by doing the 12 Steps, you often open up a Pandora’s Box that should remain closed, and that box often gets opened up for your friends and family to see with disastrous results. There is a disclaimer in the 12 Steps on Step 5,”Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs”, but is it really followed? Do the secrets in the Pandora’s box that the 12 Steps open up cause harm?  Does the sacred first 164 pages of the “Big Book” even attempt to follow this Spiritual path? Are your secrets safe and will they be used against you if (and when) they are revealed? Continue reading Bill Wilson and “You’re Only as Sick as Your Secrets”

AA Troll Self-report 4 point Questionairre

AA Troll Self-report 4 Point Questionnaire

Guidelines: When answering remember that a “prospect” for Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) is someone that you think may be an Alcoholic, but you aren’t sure. Only circle the best answer and only one.

A. When you meet someone new do you?

  1. Become their friend.
  2. Immediately identify them as a prospect for AA.
  3. “When you discover a prospect for Alcoholics Anonymous, find out all you can about him.” BB p.90, Working With Others
  4. “If there is any indication that he wants to stop, have a good talk with the person most interested in him — usually his wife.” BB p.90, Working With Others
  5. Items 2,3 and 4.

B. When you find a prospect for AA do you?

  1. Become their friend and nothing else.
  2. Invite them to meet your home group.
  3. Recommend Al-Anon to the spouse and/or Alateen to the children.
  4. “Continue to speak of alcoholism as an illness, a fatal malady.” BB p.92, Working With Others
  5. Items 2,3 and 4.

C. When a prospect resists indoctrination into the faith of Bill Wilson do you?

  1. Just be their friend with no strings attached.
  2. “We find it a waste of time to keep chasing a man who cannot or will not work with you.” BB p.96, Working With Others
  3. “Approach through a doctor or an institution is a better bet.” BB p.91, Working With Others
  4. “If your man needs hospitalization, he should have it, but not forcibly unless he is violent.”  BB p.91, Working With Others
  5. Items 2,3 and 4.

D. When a prospect is having trouble with family life do you?

  1. Tell them to spend more time with their family and work it out.
  2. Tell them to go to more AA meetings where their family is not present.
  3. Replace their family with the family of the home group.
  4. Make sure they spend ALL holidays and weekends at AA sponsored events.
  5. Items 2,3 and 4.

Scoring: Count up the circled answers above and apply to the scale below.

  • 5 – No narcissistic Bill Wilson infection detected.
  • 5-10 – Slight infection but still treatable.
  • 10-15 – Needs a 90 meetings in 90 days booster shot.
  • 15-20 – Intergroup management material. Will make an excellent Sober House Slum Lord or Addictions councilor.

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.

AA Deception and Plausible Deniability

Despite the fact that AA has a definite chain of command and an AA Corporate home office, it’s members claim that there is no controlling body in Alcoholics Anonymous and can not be held accountable for the actions of its members. It gets away with doing this because of what is called Plausible Deniability. In a nutshell they are using the AA members they recruit as prospects and the cloak of anonymity of  the AA Corporate Home Office in New York, to give them a way out of any trouble they may get into. If anything bad happens because of one or more of their members, they quickly abandon that member and disavow any control over that individual or group of individuals to protect themselves using Plausible Deniability by blaming those underneath them.

Plausible deniability refers to the denial of blame in loose and informal chains of command where upper rungs quarantine the blame to the lower rungs, and the lower rungs are often inaccessible, meaning confirming responsibility for the action is nearly impossible. In the case that illegal or otherwise disreputable and unpopular activities become public, high-ranking officials may deny any awareness of such act or any connection to the agents used to carry out such acts.

The big problem with this command structure is that currently a percentage of these members come from the court systems as potential violent criminals who deny this because of the anonymity that AA provides. AA is set up to make its members find “prospects” for indoctrination into Alcoholics Anonymous and where to find them.

“Perhaps you are not acquainted with any drinkers who want to recover. You can easily find some by asking a few doctors, ministers, priests or hospitals.” Pg. 89 “Big Book”

The above quote is from the original 164 pages of the “Big Book” and is considered the foundation of the Alcoholics Anonymous movement. Over the years that followed the 1936 publishing of the “Big Book”, the “hospital” part of where they searched for prospects for Alcoholics Anonymous somehow changed to “hospitals and institutions(H&I) with the institution part referring to the court system for DUI, Drug and Alcohol Courts and the general prison population.
Because of the “cloak” of anonymity and the problem of getting an accurate count of its anonymous members, it is nearly impossible to find out how many people actually come from the court systems. AA members always claim that the percentage is extremely low, but you will also hear many times during meetings that they have been arrested and put in jail where they “hit bottom” and find the fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous.

Alcoholics Anonymous and the problems that we are seeing are not going to change until the cloak on anonymity and the plausible deniability of the AA Corporate Office and its individual members are made accountable for their actions.

Why We Were Chosen

Why We Were Chosen Group

Sometime in the 1980s, a meeting chairman in San Francisco gave me a wallet-sized card engraved with a portion of the text from “WHY WE WERE CHOSEN,” an eponymous speech given by Judge John T. on the fourth anniversary of Chicago’s first AA club in 1943. He said that, although GSO Conference had declined to approve the text as AA literature, the San Francisco groups had thought it such an important message that they handed it out to newcomers and visitors.

“WHY WE WERE CHOSEN” talks about drunks as prophets and saints, and places AA as a movement as important as Christianity. It’s both grandiose and inane at the same time and a real Christian might find it offensive, as Dr. Arthur H. Cain did when he called it “idolatry” in his Saturday Evening Post article. You can read both the tract and Cain’s response on Orange’s blog:

By the time I first saw the tract, I had already heard all kinds of BS, from an aging hippie explaining that Bill Wilson’s birth was the “dawning of the Age of Aquarius,” to how AA was so “cutting edge that science was trying to catch up with it.” I considered most “Meaning of AA” proclamations as either psychobabble or Godbabble, and I thought it was harmless drivel. But, twenty years later, I got to see harmless drivel in action.

A friend asked me to speak at a “Chicago” Group here in my home state. She explained that Chicago Groups follow the 90 minute format of the groups in that city using a speaker who introduced the topic, and a chairman who “calls up” responses from the group. She didn’t particularly like the group format, because she thought the men used it to exclude women. She had been going simply because her daughter attended, and now she hoped to change the group by bringing in women speakers. She wanted me to be her first speaker, even though she wouldn’t be able to be there that night. I didn’t know what a Chicago Group was, but I liked her and I thought it would be fun. I also wanted to encourage young women.

On the day of the meeting, I got a call from a man who introduced himself as the Powerfully Recovered Alcoholic who would give me the Chicago Group speaking rules. I needed to wear a “modest” dress and make-up, to introduce myself as a “Recovered” Alcoholic, to give both my sobriety date and sponsor’s name, to not use curse words, and to limit quotations either to the first 164 pages of the Big Book or to the “Other” Big Book.

Well, okay.

When I got to the clubhouse, a young woman wearing a flowered Sister Wife dress opened the door. She was in the middle of introducing me to the other similarly dressed Sister Wives when I realized she was the daughter of my friend. Her Andrea Yates thousand-mile stare had been so flat that I hadn’t recognized her. She handed me to a faded young man in a baggy suit, unpressed tie and scuffed shoes, and then she faded into the wall.

The young man was the Powerfully Recovered chairperson. He showed me to my seat, and began to read “WHY WE WERE CHOSEN” from the podium. He was near the end of the tract when I noticed that everyone wore oversized clothes.

I picked an innocuous topic and I told the usual jokes, but I just couldn’t connect with anyone. I was the only person wearing the right size and a smile in the room. I realized that looking like a normal person might very well constitute immodesty in this crowd.

After I spoke, the Powerfully Recovered chairperson began choosing men (not women) from the audience to give short responses. The gloomy men spoke about duty and privilege, and the (nearly) cheerful men talked about their new lives. They inserted “Praise God” an average of once every 90 seconds, and thanked their tireless sponsor, who was the Powerfully Recovered chairperson.

I was glad when the meeting was over and, for the first time in AA, I did not stay and talk to the crowd. I never went back.

My friend later told me that she had gotten her daughter into therapy and that the therapy had caused her daughter to leave the group. The daughter had the divorced her husband, mainly because he lost his job because he was missing work to be at the group. He then left the group and moved back to Iowa to live with his parents. Both of them blamed the group for destroying their marriage.

The Powerfully Recovered chairperson admitted that he has twice been hospitalized for depression, and he has left the group, which shrunk from a club house to a weekly meeting.

Recovery Thought Police

Wyoming Supreme Court: Sentence Unusual But Not Illegal

CHEYENNE — The sentence of a Campbell County man convicted of aggravated assault and battery was unusual but not illegal, the Wyoming Supreme Court ruled Wednesday in a split decision.

Willis Center Sr. pleaded no contest to the charge and was sentenced by District Judge John Perry in November 2008 to 36 to 80 months in prison. But the judge stayed the sentence and granted Center a furlough so he could enter an alcohol rehabilitation treatment program.

Center failed the program primarily because he refused to complete the written first step of the 12-step Alcoholics Anonymous program in use at the WYSTAR center.

He was then sent to the state penitentiary.

On appeal, Center claimed the sentence was illegal and his right to due process was violated in the way his placement was revoked.

The supreme court majority, in an opinion written by Justice William Hill and including Chief Justice Marilyn Kite and Justice Michael Golden, said that while the sentence was “unusual and perhaps ill-advised,” it was not illegal.

Read the rest…

First, the judge diagnosis Center’s real problem as alcoholism, not violence, and sends him to an alcohol rehab program, which turns out to be nothing more than AA. Center cannot bring himself to admit he’s powerless over alcohol, so they “fail” him and send him to the pen.  I think the state has put itself in the position of having to prove that the 12 steps are effective and necessary for the treatment of alcoholism.

Maybe he should have gone to the pen in the first place for whatever violence he comitted, but now he’s being sent there for not taking the First Step, which is nothing more than a statement of belief. Insane.

Yeah, that’s why.

Lucy just posted this link in the comments, but it is begging for a thread crashing. It is such a nasty piece of passive aggressive, sanctimonious AA gaslighting that I think I should issue a trigger alert for people who are still untangling their minds.

7 Reasons Charlie Sheen May Hate AA So Much

In one of the myriad interviews he gave over the last week, Charlie Sheen said clearly that he hates AA.

A lot of people have trouble with Alcoholics Anonymous. AA is full of people and people can be messy and flawed.

The human train wreck formally known as Charlie Sheen is a common sight in the AA meeting halls. The only difference between Mr. Sheen and other self-absorbed, delusional, frantic addicts is the size of the audience to which they rant. These people do not last long in AA. They mock the Fellowship and the 12 Steps (PDF) as too religious or simplistic. AA is beneath them.

Here are a few possible reasons why Charlie Sheen might hate AA so much.

Reasons Why Charlie Sheen May Hate AA

  1. He would have to admit he is powerless.
  2. He would need to embrace Humility.
  3. Deep tissue Change would be required.
  4. He would have to be Anonymous!
  5. His Higher Power could not be Charlie Sheen.
  6. He couldn’t blame anyone else for his troubles.
  7. He would need to learn to be Grateful.

This article offers one really sound reason why anyone might hate AA.

Still Sober

What are your qualifications again?

This appeared on Yahoo Questions about a year ago (you’ll notice that our friend raysny was on the spot). Gunthar sent me the link (he’s on a tear!) and I was relieved to see that most of the responses to this woman were from rational people. What’s of interest to me, though, is this peek into the demented mind of a sponsor who actively guides vulnerable people in AA, and is probably gaslighting her pigeons and micromanaging someone else’s day for them as we speak.

Are the ego deflating steps in Alcoholics anonymous useful for someone with severe low self esteem?

My aunt is a sponser for AA, (which is scary for me since she has a very narcissictic and controlling, abusive personality). She told me to try working the 12 steps to help me get over my rape and captivity as a child.
(I don’t drink BTW)
But I don’t see how deflating my ego and dwelling on all my faults is helpful in recovering from this?
I mean, I do that everyday anyways and its a pattern I’m trying to break, it just doesn’t make sense to me.
This seems like a good place to repost this:

Spiritual Brutality

Speaking of the recovery crackpots over on the Huffington Post, I landed on a particularly crazy one that, I believe, is a prime example of the type of mind-fucking, boundary-crossing, passive-aggressive, vicious emotional abuse that passes for rigorous honesty and spiritual awakening in the 12-Step culture.

The author, an addictions counselor, has written an article about her daughter’s relapse — barely containing her obvious sense of personal betrayal. In the name of “sharing” with her readers, she exposes her daughter to the scrutiny of millions of strangers. Irresponsibly, she takes advantage of her public venue to publicly shame her kid:

However, this beautiful young lady is covered with tattoos scattered about her body with little or no thought as to what she is permanently inking. One looks like a car engine and is supposed to be a music box; another is a musician that I don’t think she has ever heard of and whose hair covers most of his face. Her ear lobes sport gauges that are so big, the middle part of a sugar ice cream cone would fit comfortably through it.

Though I’m not thrilled that Lucy has decided to permanently use her body as a grease board, it does not make me love her any less.

Her tone is bitter, and her descriptions of her daughter are unkind and unloving — resentful, if you will:

Lucy became a garbage pail for any drug from acid to mushrooms to heroin. Cutting and anorexic behavior became the norm as well.

Lucy made it clear that she had no interest in considering any of my suggestions for continued education or career choices.

Lately when I see her, she is unfocused, easily agitated, defensive and dirty. This last week, a planned family dinner witnessed Lucy making several trips to the bathroom. Was she throwing up her dinner, and back to the days of bingeing [sic] and purging, getting high or both? Regardless, it was clear that her clean and sober days were over.

Bennett claims to be writing in the interest of simply connecting with her dear, dear readers — because she just knows that they are like family — but her saccharine tone is a thin veneer over what is clearly a roiling bitterness.  I find that disguising her daughter’s name is a bad faith move, considering that her own name and contact information are at the top of the page. There is nothing compassionate about the way she portrays her daughter, and in fact, her choice of words are the kind that will do deep emotional damage coming from a mother’s mouth.

After reading this, I thought, “How dare she?” And how has she dared to speak to her daughter when no one is looking?