Archive for the Quote of The Day Category

Quote of the Day

Richard Dreyfuss delivered the keynote address for the Oklahoma Outreach Foundation, where he offered up a some of the standard Sobriety Woo, but ended his speech with this grand heresy, which I dedicate to the new incarnation of JD:

Expressing a desire that his keynote would make the audience think, Dreyfuss encouraged recent graduates of Mission Academy to reach beyond sobriety.

“Remember, sobriety is a fabulous goal, but is it better to be a sober wife beater than a man who drinks occasionally and loves his family?” he said. “You have (graduated from) a sober high school, I commend you. I truly commend you. But as you grow up, you’ll find that what also counts is good acts and moral behavior and being kind and patient and being a loving parent and husband.”

Watters and Wine

Remember the Catholic Priest, Fr. Pete Watters, who was featured in the article about Toronto AA’s removing the agnostic groups from the roster (“Does Religion Belong at AA? Fight over ‘God’ Splits Toronto AA Groups“)? He was quoted in that article:

“People and agencies can help,” Watters says, “but the only one who can restore that person to permanent sobriety is God. But that’s the God of your understanding — that can be anything you want.”

How does a Catholic priest reconcile advising others to believe in whatever conception of God they want? Can God be whatever you want if you’re a Catholic? Do false gods work just as well in AA as Catholic God? According to his faith, isn’t Watters condemning people to both disease and damnation by encouraging them to pick any conception of God they want?

Is Watters really a Catholic?

The Toronto Star recently wrote an article commemorating Watters for his 50 years of sobriety in AA (“Priest Calls on His Own Demons to Help Others with Theirs“), and includes this detail:

And then, at 50, he felt a calling that rekindled youthful dreams of joining the priesthood that booze interrupted.

“So I went to the bishop and I asked him, ‘Are you taking any old men these days?’ The next thing I knew I was in the seminary,” he said.

He was ordained a few years later and even received dispensation from the Vatican to celebrate communion with grape juice, so he doesn’t have to sip sacramental wine, because “it’s pretty good stuff,” he laughed.

It seems that this priest has more faith in the tenets of AA than he does in Catholicism, though which the substance of the wine is transformed into the blood of Christ. Despite all appearances to the contrary, the truth — according to Catholic faith — is that the wine is no longer wine.  But it is for this priest.  It seems that he has more faith in AA’s disease model than he does in transubstantiation.

What’s his real religion?

Bonus Quote of the Day

An AA member responds to the Watters article:

I am writing to express my deep disappointment that the Star continues to provide a platform for this priest to dishonour the fellowship that helped save his life. AA is called Alcoholics Anonymous for a reason — we have a long tradition of anonymity expected of our members at the level of press, radio and films.

This is not because we are ashamed of being alcoholics. It is to ensure our humility and to enforce the fact that no one person has the right to represent AA to the world at large. Glory and grandiosity are very dangerous for recovering alcoholics, who are egomaniacs at the best of times.

By continuing to publish this priest’s full name and photo while associating him with AA, you are hurting his sobriety. I am very sorry to see a second article of this nature in three months.

Andrea O, Strathroy


Blowhard of the Day

Yesterday, Humanspirit, posting as “yixing” on the Guardian, responded to an article titled “Amy Winehouse: Why is there so little understanding of addiction?” and her comment was censored by the editors. They offered no specific reason, only linked to the commenting guidelines. Her comment was preserved, though, since another commenter, Gunnerson, took issue and quoted her in his/her response.  So we can see for a plain fact that the editors censored for opinion. The response, which stands, is stunning and I thought would serve as a good “quote of the day“:


There is nothing enlightened about doctors foisting their medical responsibilities onto AA or NA. These groups may work for some – the peer support is useful here, I suppose. But AA especially has an appalling failure rate, presumably because its programme has nothing to do with tackling addiction and everything to do with finding God, accepting personal powerlessness, prayer, confession, repentance, atonement, retribution, daily seeking of God’s will, and evangelizing the 12 step programme. (Anyone here who doesn’t believe me, look up the 12 steps of AA and AA’s “Big Book” online, and ask yourselves whether this really should be the default “treatment” for addiction that a secular society should be using in the 21st century.)
I’m assuming you now feel better after your fact-challenged rant.
But you’re not wrong about everything.

AA does have an appalling failure rate, something along the lines of 60%. Interestingly you do not mention any alternative modalities that do better than that. I suspect that’s because you don’t know any, and I further suspect that’s because there aren’t any.

The very reason that “patients” in expensive rehab centers are “forced” (your words, not mine) to familiarize themselves with the AA or NA programs is simply because if they did not do that their own “failure rates” would go through the roof.
The real scandal here, and you touch upon it, is the scumbags rehab operators pocketing oceans of cash by charging the earth for what is no more than a fancy referral service to a program that is free anyway.

Of course Bill Wilson was a shady operator – he worked on Wall Street for crissakes, what would you expect?
In spite of your fulminations about his character, and your condemnation (and misrepresentation) of the true breadth of AA and similar programs you completely fail to account for the fact that nothing else has so far come close in effectiveness for both theists and atheists alike.

The annoying (for folks like you) fact is that, as preposterous as AA can be, and it certainly can be that, and as unpalatable as some of its literature is to the secular mind, it’s still the most effective modality out there, and not just by a little bit.

I would fully expect AA and its offshoots to disappear of their own accord quite soon after being replaced by a treatment modality less offensive to your prejudices, something robustly scientific and comfortingly secular no doubt, but as of now there is nothing meeting those criteria to discuss, now is there?

Quote of the Day

Here’s a comment from a self-described skeptic* posting in the AA thread on James Randi’s forum. According to Godwin’s Law, I think we just won the whole Internet:

I just returned from a visit to ‘Stinkin Thinking’. The views there have a lot in common with racists and bigots.

You know if you see a black guy smoking crack they all smoke crack or if a Jew ask for something to be discounted it’s because all Jews are cheap.

Apparently if someone is raped by an AA member we are all rapists, if someone is convicted of robbery and goes to AA we’re full of criminals.

When some 46 year-old jackass tries to pick up a young woman at a meeting, we’re all horny drooling predators. I’ll give them credit though, they aren’t sexist, supposed there’s a bunch of “cougars” in our midst too. Scary stuff.

* He wrote this after telling me that since I am on a skeptic website, I have to provide evidence — as long as the evidence doesn’t come from Orange’s website. Is this a new thing among skeptics? To refuse to evaluate a study objectively because you don’t like this one other guy who references it?

Quote of the day…

This is a work of art and should not be buried in the comments at the LA Times.

mcgowdog at 12:21 AM March 12, 2011

I thank you for the gloss Diablow and all… but the anti/XAers tremble when they hear my name.

I am the sand in their vaseline.

I ask them questions and stick to fundamentals of recovery while they sit back and condemn and attack… in fear.  They will not answer my questions… nor the questions of our peers in recovery.

They fight us… and attempt to tear “us” down.  We’re the very objects of their cause.  We are their only audience.  We are their clients… their customers.

All we do is be ourselves and we scatter them into the only corner they can hide under… censorship.

He left this several days after the thread died — and is not on our blacklist.



From thumb66:

I have a disease that tells me I don’t have a disease = I belong to a cult that tells me I’m not in a cult.


Quote of the Day

“well lets see how can I put this……

My sponsor told me that I needed to…..’take care of myself more often’…..before I ended up doing something stupid again when it came to the womenfolk………..I still ended up with a new girlfriend though….”

Blake, an AA, responding to a question about “crazy sponsor assignments”.

Quote of the Day

First off, if you don’t do the steps of course you go back out. Heck, if you don’t get a sponsor, and won’t do 90 in 90, and won’t do the steps, you were never in! How can you go back out? How can you relapse if you never attain?

When I was taken through the steps I was told that AA required constant and unending spiritual growth until I died. I was told that the character building never ends, and that I was responsible when a suffering alcoholic put out his hand for help. But much more than what I was told, it was what I was shown. My sponsor and his circle of friends were all in their late 60s, and they were 12 stepping machines. You could ask them any day what they were building in their character, and they could and did come right back with the answer of what they were working on.

My sponsor once drove through a hurricane to do a 12th step. Believe me, he wasn’t crazy, just willing. The person he went to told me that he arrived moments before the suicide. On the night he died my sponsor went out on a 12th step at 9pm, and died at 2pm. I might add that he died in his sleep, sober, serene, and loved by very many.

My sponsor was always taking people through the steps. When ever he made an assignment of any kind for a sponsee he went and did it again himself. He said he had seen too many old timers falling into telling people to do things they had long since stopped doing. This approach to serving and character building kept him constantly recycling the steps, and it caused him to apply AA principles in all his affairs.

To the best of my knowledge, all the people he sponsored are still sober. It is my intention to keep doing the actions he took, that kept him sober, and that gave him such a clean and serene end.

From a response posted yesterday on a year-old thread over at Friends of Bill called “relapse is ‘stinkin’-thinkin'”.

The original post is some bonus crazy:

We are speaking of those who are capable of being honest with themselves. Relapse is caused by a lack of spiritual development and we believe in a spiritual solution that recovery is completely and directly dependent on the integrity of the individuals spiritual program. It is not based on support groups from finite man, ((b) That probably no human power could have relieved our alcoholism..) but upon the individuals spiritual fitness- how well one “trust God, and cleans house”.

Quote of the Day

Donald Quinn sent in this post he found on craigslist from a poster called “anylengths.” Hopefully it will give Murray his fix of I don’t want what they have for today.

Just wanted to top post something . . . < anylengths > 04/29 10:56:50

For the bigbookbobs, mrbullshits and moldysaras to recommend against and malign an organization which has by the testimony of millions has helped them to recover from the depths of hells they can’t imagine is the most hateful, spiteful and unconscionable act of evil one human being can perpetuate upon another.

Over half a million people have died horrible and pathetic deaths from alcoholism this year already partially because of the likes of mr. bull_shit and bigbookbob.

These guys are accomplices to the murders of some of these suffers who could have recovered and lead full lives like many of us here and I really feel bad for these hate mongers because the universe is going to give back to them what they put into it.

Many mostly anti-AA’ers like smurf, spa, daeg, starfodder and the likes have either found for themselves or witnessed the absolutely remarkable benefits of 12-step programs (or just the fellowship part) in their own lives or the lives of others and have given testimony to that here, and yet you call them all liars, I just don’t get it.

Now the bobs, moldies and mr.bullshits are trying for some kind of martyrdom here in this forum by calling all of these recovering and recovered people here fucking liars and telling them that their personal stories are lies and not real and AA/NA hasn’t and never did help any of them?

Well, the universe is watching and I wish them all the luck in their pointless hate and chaos campaign they’re waging against the good souls here trying to help alcoholics and addicts to recover the way they’ve been blessed with recovery.

AA saved my life, my family and my soul and you calling me and the rest of us liars doesn’t diminish these truths in any way.

Remember kids, there’s always a price to be paid.