Neverending Thread

Let’s try this. Since it’s so  far proving impractical to expect off-topic debates to relocate to the actual debate forum on the community pages, here is an open thread, where anyone can introduce whatever topic you’d like to beat into the ground.

The rules are:

Exactly what the man says right here.

It’s all yours…

  • Gunthar2000

    The entire organization is a cult.

  • Gunthar2000

    "Just because people want to form a group and call it AA doesn’t mean they are AA."

    Actually, you are wrong about that.

    Tradition 3…

    Our membership ought to include all who suffer from alcoholism. Hence we may refuse none who wish to recover. Nor ought A.A. membership ever depend upon money or conformity. Any two or three alcoholics gathered together for sobriety may call themselves an A.A. group, provided that, as a group, they have no other

    affiliation.

  • Martha

    Stanton Peele on is AA a cult?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_CIkxTbTJVs

  • diablo

    @Gunthar,

    No, Gunthar I am not wrong about that. Plenty of AA meeting have been shut down for unscrupulous acts, there are many ways to do this. The biggest one is the meeting will either become healty or it will disband.

    Please don't confuse principles of the 3 tradition with your understanding of it just to prove your right.

  • Mike

    Peele is da man!

  • Gunthar2000

    @diablo… You have an answer for everything doncha?

  • Gunthar2000

    @diablo…

    How many people have you helped to stay sober using AA's 12-step method?

  • diablo

    @Martha,

    Stanton Peele is talking about certain people who attend AA. I get it. Thank you. Why is it so hard to understand for some of you that there is a difference between AA/GSO and people who attend AA.There is a separation.

    Well that's just how we do it in this soceity/country we live in, We blame the President for congress not acting right, we blamed our parents because we turned out uneventful and we blame AA/GSO for not governing the people who attend the meeting. They have turned it into a cult.

  • Gunthar2000

    When the president had sex with his intern he was censored.

    If your daddy abuses you, even years later, you can call the police and have him arrested.

    If someone in AA abuses you they'll ask you to look for your part in the situation, cover the whole thing up by denying that it ever happened, and ultimately they will deny responsibility for the behaviors of individual members.

    Why is this so hard for you to understand?

  • diablo

    Martha, Gunthar and Mike,

    Cult-Like!!!!! Does not have a hedgemony, GSO does not rule. People coerice others in AA to say the same things.

    No Stanton Peele never said AA was a Cult. As a matter of fact said it could not be because it lacks a hedgemony.

  • diablo

    Gunthar2000 says When the president had sex with his intern he was censored.

    If your daddy abuses you, even years later, you can call the police and have him arrested.

    If someone in AA abuses you they’ll ask you to look for your part in the situation, cover the whole thing up by denying that it ever happened, and ultimately they will deny responsibility for the behaviors of individual members.

    Why is this so hard for you to understand?

    So what you are saying here is, these are the people you associate with in and out of AA. Well that is good for you, "if you lie down with dogs you may just get fleas.

    I happened to associate with people who care for others, are honest and hold accountability as a value to have.

  • http://deleted Primrose

    Diabolo. I am pleased we have a thread where we can say what we like without going off topic.

    I do refer to AA as a cult sometimes. Sometimes I refer to it as an entity.

    You are right that it is not a cult in the way that Scientologists, Mormons, Children of God etc are.

    What I do not think is in question is that AA has 'cult-like characteristics'. Would you agree or not that AA has 'cult-like characteristics'?

    Would you be kind enough to give your answers to this questionnaire? It is nothing to do with AA.

    <a href="http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:NqwGu27ko9MJ :www.gospelassemblyfree.com/facts/questionaire.htm+cult+questionnaire&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=uk” target=”_blank”>http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=ca…” target=”_blank”>:www.gospelassemblyfree.com/facts/questionaire.htm+cult+questionnaire&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=uk

    I will be interested to read your answers and I thank you for your attention to this. P.

  • diablo

    @Vera,

    Amazing how someone who says he has moved on from AA behaves in a semmingly brainwashed manner by responding to even the slightest criticism of AA with a swift and often vitriolic response. This seems to be true of all AA’s I have encounter when confronted with criticism of the “program”.

    Vera, you are being a hypocrite. Why do you have to attack. I am debating and giving my point of view. Why do you have to insult me for wanting AA to be there for others who need help initially.

  • diablo

    Primrose,

    Read my posts and you will see where I have said that groups of people who do attend AA have formed what I call cults, they act as everyone of those questions you wanted me to answer. (sorry been there done that)

    Some members of AA are all the bad you folks can speak about and worse.

  • http://deleted Primrose

    I have read your posts, Diabolo.

    Would you do me the courtesy of giving your answers to the questionnaire. I am not talking about minor groupings within AA. I would like to hear your answers from your own understanding and experience of AA. Thank you in advance. P.

  • ez

    The Song That Never Ends

  • Commonsense

    ftg – I like the never ending thread idea. Sort of a freedom of thought and expression stinkin thinkin fight club.

  • http://deleted Primrose

    Also thinking about an old post I have looked up here, and the Irish.

  • http://www.stinkin-thinkin.com friendthegirl

    Primrose, soberbychoice offered this in his post, AA's Own Stats: http://stinkin-thinkin.com/2011/01/10/aas-own-sta

    AA’s Triennial Survey shows the membership to be an average age of 47, sober about 8 years. Approximately 85-90% of the members are white, and those numbers are not changing appreciably with the dramatic demographic changes in the US population. The US Census Bureau estimates our country will be minority white by 2042. AA is going to somehow have to miraculously either bring in the minorities that have not flocked to it over the decades, or else it is going to have to dramatically increase its penetration rate in the white population, if it is to remain anywhere near its current size in a decade or so.

  • http://deleted Primrose

    From the hogwash thread. It has been said that people on this blog are asserting that they seem to know more than ‘doctors’. This is a good point. My respect for the medical community has been assaulted by what I have seen and read about this cult. Isn’t everyone brought up to respect doctors? They were the brightest at school and had to learn lots of science before they went to med school. And yet they do not condemn this magical nonsense. And therapists. But doctors are meant to be trained in science and that must include bad science, which the cult is. I get the feeling that many doctors have looked at the cult, decided it is nonsense but are afraid to criticise it. But they should. Because it is so damaging for the vast majority of people who are not happy to join a cult.

  • diablo

    Primrose,
    First off you have to come up with a better definition for AA, then a Cult. Because you will be hard pressed to find any Doctor of medicine or science to agree with you. Terrance from the Orange Papers does not qualify.
    Now instead of saying AA is a Cult, why don’t you say that some people who attend AA can form a Cult amongst themselves. This I would agree with you on. I have seen it, it usually starts when the name of the homegroup is the person chairing the meeting, ALWAYS.
    The books and literature is far from qualifying as something encouraging a cult. I hear there are web sites out there for people looking for a better AA, more exclusive. Just because people want to form a group and call it AA doesn’t mean they are AA.

  • Gunthar2000

    That’s not what I said at all.

  • Gunthar2000

    Here is Stanton Peele’s intro to Charles Bufe’s Book “AA CULT OR CURE.”

    AA: Cult or Cure, Tucson, AZ: See Sharp Press, 1998.
    Introduction to Charles Bufe’s AA: Cult or Cure

    Stanton Peele
    Morristown, New Jersey

    “AA: Cult or CureCharles Bufe begins AA: Cult or Cure with a description of a standard AA meeting—dominated by a few people who tell their same, self-serving stories for the umpteenth time, the proceedings unfocussed and unhelpful, the environment filled with smoke and other unhealthy environmental contaminants—from which most people leave with basic psychological and social needs unmet. This opening vignette conveys a lot of information—it tells you that Chaz Bufe has been there; that AA, for all its grandiose claims, consists of meetings of typically not particularly helpful people with their own ample blind spots and personal needs; and that this is a book that takes a different slant on what has been up till now the sacrosanct topic of Alcoholics Anonymous.

    Chaz Bufe writes in the great tradition of the independent scholar, someone devoted to the pursuit of knowledge and understanding without institutional support for doing so. In AA: Cult or Cure, Chaz combines personal experience, historical analysis, review of government, AA, and other research data, and analytic interpretation into a seamless whole. His work on the indebtedness of AA and Bill W. to the Oxford Group Movement (later known as Moral Re-Armament), AA’s Carl Jung connection, and Bill W.’s fiddling with funds earmarked for publishing the Big Book breaks new ground.

    But Chaz’s larger task is to evaluate the overall impact of AA on the individual and on society. In conducting this evaluation, the reader feels Chaz is not an ideologue. He gives credit where credit is due, acknowledging the brilliant insights of AA-founder Bill W., represented particularly in the 12 Traditions that Bill authored for AA. Chaz sees in these a successful blueprint for ensuring the democracy of AA as an organization not beholden to commercial, political, or intellectual interests. AA is in the alcoholism business, plain and simple. Chaz likewise points out that AA has not lent itself as an institution to oppression of women, blacks, or homosexuals as have other religiously based organizations.

    Unfortunately, this strength is vitiated—as Chaz’s analysis shows-by the tyranny of the group and AA philosophy over the individual. There is little room for individual variation and none for individual questioning of AA. The AA attendee does not speculate that he or she may not be an alcoholic, or question any of the 12 steps—for example, the need to turn oneself over to a “higher power.” Despite AA’s innocuous claims that this higher power may take any form, Chaz shows through its own 12 steps that AA requires a belief in deistic authority, with a corresponding diminution of self.

    Chaz also shows—often through analysis of original data sources—that AA succeeds with relatively few (5% at most) of the massive numbers of alcoholics who wander through its meetings. The data which show this are general population surveys, AA’s own membership studies, and research on outcomes of AA and other 12-step treatment (which forms the overwhelming majority of treatment programs in the U.S.). But AA is not concerned with data about its effectiveness or the numbers of people it leaves out in the cold. The fundamental goal of AA is to propagate the 12-step belief system and to support the small minority that finds this approach facilitative of recovery. This single-minded purpose has led to repeated ugly instances of career-endangering attacks on those who dare to gainsay AA’s methods and success.

    Chaz takes as his fundamental task to evaluate whether AA (and the ubiquitous 12-step treatment programs based on AA’s model) comprises a cult involvement. In reaching his conclusion, Chaz roams widely over the acknowledged cults in recent American experience—the People’s Temple, the Moonies, and Scientology, among others—along with the work of cult researchers and theorists. Examining cult philosophies and indoctrination techniques, he answers with a qualified “yes”: the most important therapy group/technique in the U.S., in the eyes of the public, media, and health care system, is in many ways a brainwashing factory, one whose impact has led to no reduction in alcoholism in the U.S. In fact, by discouraging alternative approaches and free thinking about America’s drinking problems, AA may have had exactly the opposite impact.

    But the good news, in Chaz’s analysis, is that America’s honeymoon with AA is nearly over. Chaz traces this cultural shift to the recent more critical thrust of popular articles on AA and its 12-step philosophy, repeated negative court decisions on the constitutionality of forcing people to attend AA/12-step programs, and a growing awareness of AA’s limited effectiveness—as well as to his own and other books, many published by See Sharp Press. In the next quarter century, Chaz predicts, what has often been AA’s reign of terror over American alcoholism treatment will end.”

    —Stanton Peele, Ph.D.
    Author, Diseasing of America, co-author (with Archie Brodsky) The Truth About Addiction and Recovery

  • Vera

    Amazing how someone who says he has moved on from AA behaves in a semmingly brainwashed manner by responding to even the slightest criticism of AA with a swift and often vitriolic response. This seems to be true of all AA’s I have encounter when confronted with criticism of the “program”.

  • ez

  • humanspirit

    At the risk of being childish and troll-like – “hedgemony” ??

  • Lucy

    Diablo _

    I have actually been a participant in forming two groups. This is the pamphlet we used, and it supports Gunthar’s citing of the Tradition 3:

    http://www.aa.org/pdf/products/p-16_theaagroup.pdf

    As far as I know, no AA group has ever been closed by GSO or AAWS. I have known plenty of them that closed because of internal strife. Since neither GSO nor AAWS did anything about the public problems like the Midtown Scandal, I would like to see from you exactly what the corporate body of AA did to close them.

    The AA site above would support my position, but should you doubt me, I would direct you again to the AA website and Service Manual which references the autonomy of groups to do as they please . If you find a place in the Manual which allows for the outside or corporate dissolution of groups, you must have a different Manual

    http://www.aa.org/en_pdfs/en_bm-31_04-05.pdf

    Thanks.

  • http://deleted Primrose

    (Sorry, Diabolo! I forgot to include the link. I honestly don’t know many aas at all and I would like to hear (read?) what you make of it. In my experience people who attend aa meetings can put what they like in and no one knows anyway, so I don’t know. As I read about other entities with cult-like characteristics, the big factor seems to be money, generally going in the direction of a (living) leader. I don’t see that in AA. In fact, many people in aa are vehementally against any sort of activity that could even be construed as encouraging people to give more than they feel they want. I’d be grateful if you would give it a read. Thanks. P.

  • http://deleted Primrose

    )

  • http://deleted Primrose
  • soberbychoice

    AA has had very little luck in trying to increase the minority membership. Black membership is about 5.7% according to the last Triennial Survey; Spanish at 4.8%.

    A few years ago (maybe 2006) the AA Trustees decided to hold an "Inner City Forum" in Philadelphia to see if they could figure out why blacks were so underrepresented in AA. One of the conclusion in the final report was that black ministers saw AA as "competition" and discouraged attendance. Black ministers must know another "religion" when they see it!

    Spanish membership is growing in many areas, and the AA Conference has lost $3-4 million dollars in promoting "La Vina," the Spanish Grapevine to that population since the nineties. There has been little integration of the Spanish-speaking membership into the folds and inner sanctums of AA, however. It's common in Area assemblies for there to be an interpreter for the three or four Spanish members who show up,;however, most Areas now have their own Spanish "district" that is not integrated with the rest of AA. The typical annual GSC in NYC has only one or two blacks and Spanish speakers in attendance every year. Any way you want to cut it, this is a white person's recovery program with a sprinkling of diversity far less diverse today than most other institutions in our society, except maybe for churches.

    Someone asked about AA meetings that get closed down. The only ones I've ever seen closed are those "behind the walls" where wardens decide they don't want the meetings. AA still reports around 60,000 members "behind the walls," but that number has fluctuated up and down by year for the past decade.

  • http://deleted Primrose

    (Assuming this is a thread for random ideas)
    Does anyone have any idea of the ethnic make up of AA?
    (In the UK, one is encouraged to tick one of a number of boxes anonymously at every interaction with govt. It would be second nature to anyone from the UK, not sure about the US)

  • Mike

    @prim, here’s a hint: play that funky music, white boy. To be fair, there are minorities in program, not sure about percentages. Never saw any asians and only knew a few jewish members.

  • causeandeffect

    Primrose, I saw that one somewhere. I’ll try to find if for you. I’ve rarely seen anyone ethnic and always wondered about it.

  • diablo

    @Lucy,
    As far as I know, no AA group has ever been closed by GSO or AAWS.

    diablo wrote:
    never said that, I said the DCM and Intergroup.

  • http://deleted Primrose

    (I am half terrified that I might offend anyone, or be called a racist)
    but I do would like to ask what peope think about the ethnic make up of what they have seen in ‘the rooms’, or to direct me to a relevant post,

  • MA

    Whitey rules AA. I think they include the numbers in their surveys.

  • diablo
  • http://deleted Primrose

    MA: I am not prepared to accept what you have said unless you provide me with links or references to your last post. I am not very computer literate so I would be grateful if you or anyone else would provide a link.

    Diablo: I am not prepared to accept what you have said unless you provide me with links or references for your last post. I am not very computer literate so I would be grateful if you or anyone else would provide a link to the posts of which you speak.

  • Acacia H

    I suppose it depends which area you’re living in. I saw many black people in S.E london aa meetings. I’ve seen a couple of black people in West country meetings. I saw one Sikh in a West country meeting. I myself am mixed raced. Mother white -english and father black-jamaican.

  • http://deleted Primrose

    Thanks, Acacia.

  • AnnaZed

    Primrose, that is the UK. In the United States AA is essentially all white and over 95% male. Prison populations might be an exception to that.

  • Acacia H

    I have seen on this blog that in the USA, people can be mandated to AA. In the UK, people also have to have aa slips signed for probation.

  • Acacia H

    Its called the CHIT system

  • http://deleted Primrose

    Thanks ftg. I think it was that post that got me to ask the question, and old posts. TY.
    AZ. I think you make an important distinction between UK and US.

    If Diablo is lurking, please D, have a look at the questionnaire. Much appreciated. http://stinkin-thinkin.com/2011/01/10/aas-own-stats-show-slow-demise/comment-page-3/#comment-24877

    Posting this quickly.

  • http://duischooltruth.wordpress.com JR Harris

    What amazes me is that AA claims to be “based on attraction rather than promotion” per tradition 11. I don’t understand, aren’t they going to prisons to promote AA and the 12 Step program? Aren’t hardcore AAer’s complaining about criminals being sent to the rooms by court order when they get out of jail? Why are they going there if they are not trying to promote AA? Could it be that the 12 traditions is being subverted by the home office by promoting this and some of the hardliners are objecting? Do they have dissension among their own ranks?

  • http://deleted Primrose

    There is dissent within the ranks, JRH.
    =======================================================
    I have been told two ‘facts’ (no references) by a devout al-anon person.
    1) More partners of alcoholics commit suicide than alcoholics
    2) Many members of al-anon suffer from OCD

  • darfieldboy

    Acacia,
    “…In the UK, people also have to have aa slips signed for probation”
    Are you SURE about this ? If so I will raise it with my chums on WiredIn, as it goes against our human rights, and I am sure they would be mortified to learn it was going on. Just as I was mortified when the police drug squad used to inspect my CD registers to see who was getting methadone, and thus an addict. I got that stopped!! This isn’t the USA yet!!

  • darfieldboy

    It’s all white up here in Northern England aa even though we have the biggest concentration of muslims in the UK. I can only recall ever seeing 2 people of colour, in the rooms and one of them was a visitor. As someone said above, “…whitey rules”, but it’s always been a white middles class organisation, reading the bb it’s obvious that the pitch is for the white middle class male.

  • http://deleted Primrose

    Yes, Acacia: I didn’t know about this in the UK. Could you tell us more.
    Make up of my nearest group: 3 over 60, one over 50. All with 18+ years. All white. 3 middle class, one a bit of a character. Plus random newcomers, none of whom have stuck. Occasional visitors from other groups. Occasional ‘celebrity’ who says as little as possible and CERTAINLY does not do 20 minutes meeting before a meeting, nor 20 minutes after. Curious. Perhaps he ‘has’ to go due to pressure from family or something. All this reported faithfully to me by one of this ‘confidential’ group.

  • http://deleted Primrose

    Acacia: I meant could you give details of the probation service requiring cult membership? Wondering about the (moderately vocal) atheist campaigners. Dawkins and his bus.

  • Mike

    Kinda quiet around here tonight, the true believers must be at church.

  • http://www.stinkin-thinkin.com friendthegirl

    MA hit the gong on the Great Tony J Experiment of 2011

  • Ben Franklin

    What no Tony? You mean will have to go to Stinkin Thinkin Revealed Blog to get his wisdom? Oh No…………………..Not!

  • tintop

    Tony is just another burn out. His best days are behind him

  • causeandeffect

    Dang, I was hoping I’d chased him off.

  • http://duischooltruth.wordpress.com JR Harris

    Actually I think it is an honor to have two blogs dedicated to this site. Especially when it is only 2 or three people who really post on them. It is good publicity for this site. Anyone who goes to them will want to find the real truth and find their way here. They will realize who is the trouble maker and who is not automatically, they are doing good advertising for this site without even knowing it. I mean come on, they even have a posting about how they are being accused of being trolls at this site. When the average person comes to this site and sees that they are only causing trouble, they realize what the real issues are. I wonder how many people they have sent to this site through their advertising?

  • Mike

    Either tony j’s been banned again or he’s at an alcathon….

    • MA

      Yeah, I banned him. It was a nice experiment, but he wasn’t interested in any reasonable dialog, and it was becoming Tony’s blog. He can get a tad exhausting. If he wants a blog, he can start his own. He can rant there to his heart’s content.

      OK, back to our regularly scheduled AA bashing.

  • http://duischooltruth.wordpress.com JR Harris

    Maybe the “Miracle” finally happened……………….???

  • Mike

    Lol, good riddance to the racist bully

  • Ben Franklin

    FTG and MA ,you did the right thing. If Dombeck’s blog is any example it would be how Tony and to some extent Mcowdog would take it over. He did the same thing here and believe me he would not stop until all dialog was extinguished. It is his form of censorship.

  • Ben Franklin

    As an epilogue, here is part of Tony J’s response to his banishment on mcGows blog:

    “The only possible response is to kill the opposistion. They did it to John the Baptist. Hell, they even did it to Jesus.”

    I wonder if Jesus knew how to use a spell-checker. And then the truth comes out:

    “Although unlike Jesus, I would probably throw one of them off a subway platform if the heat of the moment.”

    I didn’t realize the “J” in Tony J stood for Jesus. Your own personal throw people under the train Jesus. Good Riddance.

  • causeandeffect

    He definitely has a messianic complex! It’s so interesting that they can come here, insult everybody for so long, and still play the victim when banned. Tony J, your cross is calling you.

  • http://www.stinkin-thinkin.com friendthegirl

    Now he knows how Jesus felt! That is, if everyone on the planet were a Christian, and Christians influenced every facet of public policy, and no one publicly criticized Jesus or his followers ever. Ever. And Jesus found a small insignificant group of critics who are wrong about everything and spent every waking moment obsessing about them, calling them names, shit-talking and browbeating them into falling in line with the status quo, until they said, “Jesus, go preach to the choir,” who, it turns out, didn’t want to listen to him either. And Jesus got so mad that he fantasized about killing them. In that way he knows exactly how Jesus felt.

  • Mike

    Both Tony and McGowDog have violent tendencies. Typical fascist mindset .

  • Gunthar2000

    Tony J. has more in common with Caiaphas than he does with Jesus.

  • http://www.stinkin-thinkin.com friendthegirl

    Of course, I have to add “Now I know how Jesus felt” to the tags.

  • sunny

    WWTJD?

  • Martha

    @ Mike. I have not seen many examples of AA members who are capable of having a give and take discussion. On their blogs they delete and boot dissenting voices and when they come here or to other counter AA sites they resort to insults and attacks. I think the reason for this is they really believe they are powerless and can only commit to being sober for a 24 hour period and their grasp on sobriety is so weak that any questioning can push them to drink. I really wonder sometimes if the steppers who say they want AA to get back to its roots have the Oxford Group’s far right politics in mind. Don’t forget that Buchman admired fascists and attended nazi rallies in the 1930s.

  • Mike

    @Martha, I agree. I have to say that not too many years ago I would have been one of those steppers. I remember maybe 10 years ago how there was a woman and a man at one of my meetings who used to mock the idea of powerlessness and using a higher power. I despised them for no other reason than that they were saying something I found so contrary to what I had been inculcated with up to that point.

    It has been a long process for me to get to the place they were at. The big difference is that I do not want to step foot in another meeting. I literally feel sick after 5 minutes.

  • tintop

    tony j reminds me of foster brooks crossed with polonius
    let him live in that little dream world that he has created for himself

  • tintop

    AA is mostly white; white, middle class, protestant.

  • http://mbaird24@cox.net freedom24

    @Mike – I relate to you a lot. Sometimes I wonder why it took me so long to get to this place. I have seen posts and read books of individuals who find this out in 6 months or so.

  • diablo

    FTG says:
    Now he knows how Jesus felt! That is, if everyone on the planet were a Christian, and Christians influenced every facet of public policy, and no one publicly criticized Jesus or his followers ever. Ever. And Jesus found a small insignificant group of critics who are wrong about everything and spent every waking moment obsessing about them, calling them names, shit-talking and browbeating them into falling in line with the status quo, until they said, “Jesus, go preach to the choir,” who, it turns out, didn’t want to listen to him either. And Jesus got so mad that he fantasized about killing them. In that way he knows exactly how Jesus felt.

    diablo says:
    Now that is just to funny. Thanks!!!

  • Gunthar2000

    He’s just warming up folks… Stay tuned for more.

  • Mike

    @freedom, some are sicker than others. /-8//

  • http://duischooltruth.wordpress.com JR Harris

    Well I did post it in another place on this blog, but I think is it worth posting again here.

    “God and the devil were walking down a path one day when God spotted something sparkling by the side of the path. He picked it up and held it in the palm of his hand.

    “Ah, Truth,” he said.

    “Here, give it to me,” the devil said. “I’ll organize it.”

    Source: http://articles.cnn.com/2010-06-03/living/spiritual.but.not.religious_1_spiritual-community-religious-god?_s=PM:LIVING

  • Rotten Ralph

    Well, Tony J certainly pushed the limits, didn’t he? Has anyone here listened to AM radio recently? Thank God the FCC isn’t run by MA or FTG (both self-described “first amendment junkies”).
    I researched most of Tony’s posts, and don’t see where he broke any of the rules stated above, except the vague number 4 rule.
    Maybe the commissars of Stinkin Thinkin could specify the particular offenses committed which prompted his dismissal, perhaps?
    I always thought that the first amendment was a right and not just a privilege, and that America was a nation of laws and not men.

  • Ben Franklin

    Ralph are you one of Tony J’s disciples? I can see violations of 1,2 and 4. Perhaps you can go wave your flag on their blog. Shit, he should have been banned for being stupid. Maybe we can enact a new rule.

  • http://www.stinkin-thinkin.com friendthegirl

    Ralph,

    You don’t seem to be clear on the First Amendment. It doesn’t guarantee you the right to someone else’s private venue. It doesn’t, for instance, grant me the right to set up a soapbox in your living room so that I can insult you morning, noon, and night as you go about your daily business. It doesn’t guarantee me the right to publish an op-ed piece in the New York Times just because I want to. It protects citizens from government censorship. Tony still has his constitutional rights: he can set up his own blog. He can stand in the public commons with a bullhorn and say whatever he wants to about us.

    We welcome debate and differing opinions, but we don’t owe anyone free reign to turn our blog into a gutter — to destroy something that we and our community have created. We have First Amendment rights, too, and we are exercising them here by building and maintaining this blog. Everyone has the right to build and maintain their own blog, and to decide what’s unacceptable behavior in their own private venue.

    Our ideal is free debate — and debates get hot, so there is a lot of leeway for that. For instance, when you were debating the disease model with other members of the blog, the discussion may have been heated, but it didn’t degenerate into character assassination and shit-talk. We never threatened to ban you for your opinion. Your opinions weren’t blocked. You would never be banned for expressing your opinion on this matter either. Tony is banned, not because he disagrees with us, but because he doesn’t know how to disagree with us without turning this blog into a sewer.

    I spend a lot of hours on this blog, posting stories, writing articles, keeping up with and corresponding with members, doing the behind-the-scenes administrative stuff like making sure things are updated and compatible, activating accounts, perusing reams of spam to make sure that no one’s comments have been eaten by the filter. I even tweak the code, to make things look better or work better. I wrack my brain to try to come up with solutions that will best accommodate everyone who participates here while keeping this blog as open to debate as possible. Someone requested t-shirts, so I made some t-shirts. I set up the community pages. And I’m not getting paid. We have no sponsors or advertisers. We make no money here. (Now I know how Jesus felt!) This blog is a pure exercise of our freedom of speech.

    I also have a right not to put all this time into the blog just so that Tony J has a place where he can call me amoral. My respect for the free flow of information does not translate into an imperative to honor a relentless and colossal asshole on his mission to shut down all discourse on our blog.

    So, I log in this evening, and start scrolling through the spam to make sure that no one’s comments were eaten by the filter, and there’s your shitty, self-righteous comment, thanking God that we’re not in charge of the FCC, accusing us of hypocrisy and civil rights violations.

    How about this, Ralph: How about Tony’s right to swing his fist ends where my nose starts.

  • http://www.stinkin-thinkin.com friendthegirl
  • Commonsense

    @Rotten – Tony J broke the ultimate rule. He is boring.

  • MA

    Why is it that those who cite the first amendment, very often have no understanding of its intent, how it has been interpreted by the Supreme Court, or where its protections apply?

  • hulahoop

    As an epilogue, here is part of Tony J’s response to his banishment on mcGows blog:

    I took a look at that blog today. I didn’t disagree with everything I read over there. It was really the way a lot of it was presented that I didn’t care for. Some of it was offensive to me. I didn’t see anything I wanted. I didn’t see any serenity. The blog didn’t make me reconsider my thoughts about AA or offer anything meaningful to me.

  • Mona Lisa

    MA: You said it perfectly: it was becoming TJ’s blog. TJ is entitled to his opinion, but he isn’t entitled to hijack your blog.

  • Mona Lisa

    “My respect for the free flow of information does not translate into an imperative to honor a relentless and colossal asshole on his mission to shut down all discourse on our blog.”

    Exactly, FTG.

  • Acacia H

    About the CHIT SYSTEM…..
    I think I left AA about Sept/Oct 2010. At every meeting the secretary would mention that they had the CHIT and if anyone needed them signed for probation then just see the secretary at the end of the meeting.
    Although I had nothing to do with probation, Social Services wanted me to also have these slips signed for me, as proof I was attending AA meetings.
    Sorry its took so long to get back to you guys on this, but I’m a bit thick and could’nt find this bloody thread.

  • Acacia H

    If anyone goes to the AA UK site, under HOW AA CAN CO-OPERATE. You will see that they state…
    Confirmation Of Attendance System

    Where he Criminal Justice System requires the offender who attends AA meetings to produce a record of attendance, this can be arranged by the meeting Secretary giving the offender at the end of the meeting a numbered “CHIT” to give to their offender Manager.

  • Acacia H

    So this is already in place. AA has lent itself to the UK justice system. What I personally found frustrating is the times I did’nt make it to an AA meeting due to child care. But Social Services would look at these slips as a committment to my sobriety. The more slips I had, the more it would help my case getting my kids back.

  • Acacia H

    Must point out. I had one child at home, hence the child care issue and one child in local authority care.

  • hulahoop

    So this is already in place. AA has lent itself to the UK justice system. What I personally found frustrating is the times I did’nt make it to an AA meeting due to child care. But Social Services would look at these slips as a committment to my sobriety. The more slips I had, the more it would help my case getting my kids back.

    Sounds like chit to me. :)

  • Gunthar2000

    @ftg!!!!

    Living room… Soap box…
    I just posted the same thing in the Trolls thread.
    You and me must have the same type of tinfoil hats.

  • http://deleted Primrose

    Thanks Acacia. Could we talk about this in the community pages? I didn’t know about this.

  • http://deleted Primrose

    Could anyone comment on these two ‘facts’ that I have been told by an al-anon truebeliever?
    1) More partners of ‘alcoholics’ commit suicide than ‘alcoholics’.
    2) Many members of al-anon suffer from OCD

    Thank you.

  • JD

    Amoral? I’d not say that was true FTG, as it would signify a large degree of flexibility in thought and the ability to understand the different facets of an issue or organization.

    But, it’s something you could strive for.

  • http://deleted Primrose

    There is an al-anon/OCD connection.

    At that time, Obsessive Compulsive Anonymous was virtually nonexistent in my area. My Psychiatrist suggested I go to Al-Anon. I said to him: “Now wait a minute, I don’t think so. There’s nobody in my family that is an alcoholic, why are you suggesting Al-Anon? I have OCD.” He sat back in his chair with a gentle smile and said; “The first step of all 12 step programs reads the same except for one word. For instance, in Alcoholics Anonymous it will read; ‘We admitted we were powerless over alcohol -that our lives had become unmanageable’. In Codependent Anonymous it will read; ‘We admitted we were powerless over others-that our lives had become unmanageable’. In Emotions Anonymous it will read ; ‘We admitted we were powerless over emotions-that our life’s had become unmanageable’”. Then he looked at me with his soft nonjudgmental eyes and asked; “Jim, what are you powerless over at this time in your life?” I replied;” My fears, my OCD”. He agreed and continued to ask me these bottom line questions. “At any level, has your life become unmanageable or out of control”? I thought for a few seconds. Bang! It all made sense. I had no control over my fears from OCD and my life was a mess because of it. He then asked the crucial question, “Jim, in that first step, do you think you could replace that single word with “fears”?

    http://www.ocdawareness.com/pages.cfm?ID=30I'm a Type A personality, workaholic, obsessive-compulsive, overachiever with ADD, ADHD thrown in. I’ve bought in to the myth that ‘success is measured in
    personal output.’ After several health setbacks, I’m using Al-Anon slogans as mantras for recovery. Recovery is takes its own sweet time; I’m accustomed to a hurried pace. Recovery is one bite at a time; I live in gulps. I’m being forced to take baby steps when I’m more comfortable striding. I’m learning how to live a green tea lifestyle with a caffiene addict’s coping mechanisms.

    http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/5852810/recovery_from_ocd_and_perfectionist.html?cat=5

    Does anyone have experience of OCD? David Beckham is a sufferer. That is about all I know.

  • Gunthar2000

    Is it my imagination or did JD’s posts lighten up a bit when Tony J. was posting?

  • Mike

    I found that too, G2k, but FTG has the ability to track source IP addresses and she has said they are not the same poster. It it possible that he is either using another device (smartphone) or a proxy server for posting. I do find the general patterns of his posts similar. Then again, the true-believers probably find all of us to be very similar in our posts too.

  • Ben Franklin

    Mike and G2K, you know that is just anecdotal evidence!

  • Ben Franklin

    If you read Tony J’s post on Mcgowdog’s blog it is really clear that he was really upset that he got banned. He shared in a meeting about it. He talked to the fellas. He prayed on it. He really has no life and JD showed up here around the time Tony J couldn’t hold court no more on the Dombeck Blog. Pathetic.

  • diablo

    Listen it is rather simple to come back to a web site you were banned from. Use a different computer, floating proxy ect…
    What is sad is the motivation.

  • Mike O

    Oh, and to other topics. It looks like “Golden Voice” Ted Williams has left 12-step, Dr. Phil advised “rehab” against “medical advice” now. Surprise, surprise. Now the indignant 12-step armchair commenters get to laugh, point and pontificate.

    http://www.theroot.com/buzz/good-guy-gone-bad-ted-golden-voice-williams-leaves-rehab

  • Mona Lisa

    That business with Ted Williams is absolutely heartbreaking. Like watching a train coming down the tracks, with Ted tied to it.

  • Mona Lisa

    To the tracks, I mean, not the train. I’m tired.

  • tintop

    It is a bad situation. “Dr” Phil should have stayed out of it. He is the very model of: “people who go visiting in other people’s lives.”

  • Mike

    @mona, right now ted *is* tied to the rehab/dr phil train. His dudley do-right moment is still to come.

  • http://duischooltruth.wordpress.com JR Harris

    The Ted Williams story could be an excellent time for Stinkiin Thinkin Activists to start putting out stories to the mass media about the destruction 12 Step Programs cause. This is a prime example. Something along the lines of how they are going to make him relapse multiple times to break his will and spirit.

  • DeConstructor

    I wonder if there is a way one of our people could contact Ted. Sometime down the road he may be very interested in what we do here.

    Of course, that is based on the idea he will survive what he is going to go through and may be another dead victim of the recovery industry cartel, just like CHRIS BRADY, and another dead person will be blamed for not “getting it”

    http://www.advocate.com/Arts_and_Entertainment/Television/When_Intervention_Isnt_Enough/

  • Martha

    Review of The Big Book from From The Journal of the American Medical Association
    Oct.14, 1939: http://www.morerevealed.com/archives/jama–big-book–review.html

    “The seriousness of the psychiatric and social problem represented by addiction to alcohol is generally underestimated by those not intimately familiar with the tragedies in the families of victims or the resistance addicts offer to any effective treatment.

    Many psychiatrists regard addiction to alcohol as having a more pessimistic prognosis than schizophrenia. For many years the public was beguiled into believing that short courses of enforced abstinence and catharsis in “institutes” and “rest homes” would do the trick, but now that the failure of such temporising has become common knowledge, a considerable number of other forms of quack treatment have spring up.

    The book under review is a curious combination of organising propaganda and religious exhortation. It is in no sense a scientific book, although it is introduced by a letter from a physician who claims to know some of the anonymous contributors who have been “cured” of addiction to alcohol and have joined together in an organisation which would save other addicts by a kind of religious conversion. The book contains instructions as to how to intrigue the alcoholic addict into acceptance of divine guidance in place of alcohol in terms strongly reminiscent of Dale Carnegie and the adherents of the Buchman (“Oxford”) movement.

    The one valid thing in the book is the recognition of the seriousness of addiction to alcohol. Other than this, the book has no scientific merit or interest.”

  • diablo

    @Martha,
    Now were getting somewhere. I can only hope that all the folks who want scientific solutions in the BB now can put to rest those desires.
    “The one valid thing in the book is the recognition of the seriousness of addiction to alcohol. Other than this, the book has no scientific merit or interest.”
    No scientific merit or “INTEREST”. (This is key)
    Stop dragging the BB and the GSO through a myriad of thoughts and conclusions based upon the endless articles and documents/studies you read.
    Gawd the Treatment Industry, Judicial System, Education Dept’s ect….are way ahead of us all in stripping AA of any of it’s original merits.
    I’m afraid they are gone never to return.

  • causeandeffect

    AA never had any original merit. Ever. Period. The percentages in the bb are complete fabrications. Only 5% got sober then, only 5% get sober now and it’s not because of AA. It’s because they used their willpower to get sober and gave credit to AA.

    Nobody desires scientific solutions in the bb because there are none. There never will be. The fact that AA engages, and always will engage in willful ignorance of anything remotely scientific, and to the extent that people have worse relapses, untold misery and higher death rates from drinking because of it is absolutely criminal.

  • diablo

    @Cause,
    Of course AA had merit at the beginning. It was helping people. Why are so hung up on %’s.
    Cause, do a survey on any treatment organization for full blown alcoholics and drug addicts, there not good.
    I am not disagreeing with your assessment of AA in general. I have said that it is no mystery that AA is not based on scientific evidence. That is why I like it. AA can be nothing more then a conversation at a kitchen table.
    Now Cause, nobody has worse relapses, untold misery and higher death rates because of drinking because they read a BB at a kitchen table.
    Now the people who attend AA, I can’t speak for all of them. I don’t say this cavalierly or without empathy.
    Death is something that seems to be synonymous with self destructive lifestyles. I have witnessed this for over 40 years of my life.
    I encourage your advocacy to clean up AA or put it out of business. I really do. I also am concerned about the drug addicts and alcoholics getting the initial help they need.
    I don’t profess to have all the answers.

  • http://deleted Primrose

    Not just Ted but all high profile people stuck in the same bs. I have been looking up UK celebs who have been involved in this. Some out themselves. Some of them are highly intelligent.

    On exposeaa, someone said that one of two things would have to happen to propel this vile cult into the media spotlight. Either one of the anti-aa movement would be killed or a celeb (Lindsay Lohan was an example) would be moved by their own experience to speak out.

  • http://deleted Primrose

    Why are so many actors/musicians in this?
    Ronnie Woods seems to be a constantly relapsing member.

  • Petal

    Relapse is part of recovery.
    Wether you are in AA or not.
    AA does two important things.
    Firstly, It gives people solid, practical tools to stay sober by actually looking at why and how you became an addict and some tools on how to approach life that work so you can stay sober. Practical guidelines.
    Secondly, it gives recovering addicts a like-minded community, new sober friends who can relate to what you are going through. Which is one of the most important parts to sobriety. New friends.
    AA is not all good or all bad. I am startled at the vitriol on this site towards it.
    I have seen it work for many, many people. In fact, of the dozens of recovered addicts I know the most successful ones STARTED in AA. One friend, he was in AA for 7 years. Then left because he felt certain he would never use heroin again but he was ready to drink. So, he left that model. With no rancour. As he said, it had a time and a place and suited his needs at that time. Then it didn’t. Big deal. 16 years of a manageable life.
    Another friend she started in AA but also realized that her use of alcohol and weed are not gateway drugs towards her drug of choice, crystal meth, so she has stayed away from AA. She sometimes goes to CMA but finds there is less clean time and stability, inspiration in the members than in AA. She also uses AA/NA occasionally as she feels it is appropriate for her. Four years now of a manageable life.
    My brother on the other hand, at 3 years off heroin, cannot drink or smoke or anything at this time. Altering his mind in any way has proven to him that it will drive him to his DOC (drug of choice) at this stage of his recovery. AA and his recovery house gave him a super cool dedicated group of new friends who support each other to stay clean, have fun etc. He isn’t dogmatic or weird about AA but it is working for him and a lot of other people I know.
    AA doesn’t work for everyone. Nor is it the only path. AA won’t necessarily be needed by all who use it forever. Those who return to alcohol, or weed or whatever have not failed. Even my AA friends know this. The marker is, has your life spiralled out of control, is your life unmanageable due to your substance use? Not every addict can start with casual use. Some former addicts can never alter or don’t ever want to alter, again.
    Though there is this understanding about casual use the organization works because it enforces total sobriety for the time that it is needed to get the emotional/ physiological addiction under control for those people who need that!!
    There may be weird stuff in the internal workings of AA. I don’t know. I have only been to half a dozen open meetings to support friends or attend cakes.
    All I can say is I have seen many of my horribly addicted friends and family get sober with the help of AA. Though many have left after a few years, they are amazing, vibrant people who maintain sobriety (manageable life not abstinence). Some have not left and are vibrant, amazing people who are sober and abstinent.
    AA works for enough people that there is merit in it. Period.

  • Petal

    One more thing.
    Where I live the AA community places a high value on the higher power being whatever that means to you. Not god or jesus. It is very secular. This might be why there is a high success rate in amongst the people I know. None are religious.
    As well, I do know a few people who just quit using and got over it with no outside help.
    So many paths…

  • howlermonkey

    @Petal – I have heard of AA meetings where the focus was on solid, practical tools to battling addiction. But they were all meetings that existed 25-30 years ago, during the big boom of AA.

    To be fair, I also heard some bits of practical advise in my meeting last year. But mostly I heard about the powerlessness of the alcoholic over his or her problem. “Solid, practical tools” were openly scoffed at and those who used them are ridiculed or pitied for their lack of understanding. The AAs who come in here agree. Complete dependence on the meeting, 12 step program and “higher power” is the core of today’s AA. The alcoholic himself can do nothing.

    So I would not necessarily recommend AA as a way for getting started on a road to sobriety. For people who can ignore the program and take advantage of the instant AA community, that might work. For others, it’s a potential death sentence. IMO, anyone who truly buys into AAs powerlessness is not dealing with their issues and is not adopting practical solutions, but is just undermining themselves and setting themselves up for pointless relapses and deepening despair.

  • humanspirit

    @Petal

    “Firstly, It gives people solid, practical tools to stay sober by actually looking at why and how you became an addict . . . Practical guidelines.”

    I’ve yet to see any ‘practical tools’ or ‘practical guidelines’ whatsoever suggested by either AA, the 12-step program or the big book. What exactly are these? Praying? Confessing your sins? Daily seeking God’s will? Going to meetings and hearing people endlessly crap on about what they did when they were drunk? None of this has anything to do with practicality or reality.

    I’ve even less seen any 12-stepper really suggest people look into the causes of their drinking and why they became addicted in the first place . This takes proper, genuine, professional therapy. The AA line is that people become addicts because they are basically spiritually defective people, for who ‘bottles are but a symptom’. Not a very helpful answer for most people trying to overcome an addiction.

    If people’s lives have become ‘unmanageable’ because of their addiction (and people in AA are told to say this whether their lives actually are unmanageable or not) , stopping drinking or using is usually enough to make it more ‘manageable’ again. This would happen whether or not they went to AA.

    “Where I live the AA community places a high value on the higher power being whatever that means to you. Not god or jesus.”

    This is good, obviously, but it also means that the people in your AA community are not actually following the 12-step program, in which the ‘higher power’ is a very well-defined specific god who’s interested in hearing your prayers and confessions, who will keep you sober if you pray enough, and who is personally interested in your case. The higher power (known coincidentally as ‘god’) also has a personal will for you that you must constantly seek out. He (the AA god is definitely a ‘he’) also created the universe, btw, It’s good that the people in your community have seen through this deception.

    “Secondly, it gives recovering addicts a like-minded community, new sober friends who can relate to what you are going through. Which is one of the most important parts to sobriety. New friends.”

    Yes, AA can function well as a support group in some cases – peer support can be a very good thing. And if ‘new friends’ – if they are genuine friends – doesn’t mean dumping your existing friends and family, then that’s good too. Unfortunately it often does mean the latter. And if anyone decides to leave AA, they might find those AA friendships were very fleeting and conditional indeed (conditional on carrying on in AA) – plenty of testimony of that going on in this blog. And some people very much regret dumping their true friends along the way.

    Finally : “Some former addicts can never alter or don’t ever want to alter”

    What does ‘altering’ mean in this case? The only ‘alteration’ necessary in stopping drinking is . . . stopping drinking and staying stopped! So what further ‘alteration’ do former addicts need, in your opinion, and how will AA help them achieve this?

  • Acacia H

    Relapse is part of recovery!!! what a load of bull! if thats the case, then no one would be capable of staying sober for more than a short time. There are people that stay sober for 20,30,40 years.
    If some people see relapse as part of recovery, then they set themselves up. Self fulfilling prophesy. What a load of cack!

  • humanspirit

    PS. @Petal – I do appreciate your understanding that people don’t need to stay in AA for life. Unfortunately a lot of people don’t recognize this.

  • Acacia H

    Time and time again I heard in meetings that only other alcoholics could understand other alcoholics. This was such f**k-up speak! For gawd sake, when I was in rehab, none of the staff were in recovery, but they understood. They had years and years and qualifications of working with all addicts, drinking,drugs,gambling, self-harm and so forth. We were taught about triggers, CBT, PSYCHO ANALYSIS, PERSON CENTRED THERAPY. It was a Holistic approach. It was important that we expressed our feelings. CBT,PSYCHO ANALYSIS AND PERSON CENTRED THERAPY were the tools we were taught.

  • tintop

    The vitriol can be startling; but, for someone with critical distance, it should not surprise. As petal described, it does some good for some people. It is. also, free and readily available.

    AA can, also, do some good as a support group. That may be the main source of the good that it does do.
    I think that after AA done the task that the person has assigned to AA, it is right and proper to leave.

    For myself, that is what occured: AA performed the task that I assigned it. There was no reason for me to stay, so I left.

    There are reasons for the vitriol; and those reasons are good reasons. AA has earned the criticism.

  • diablo

    @ Petal,
    Thanks, AA can be a place for rebuilding. Great testimony.
    @howlerMonkey
    Yeah, your right on the money in most of your post. Ya know if you wanted you could get the correct definition that AA was referring to for “powerlessness” or you can just stick with the one you heard from everyone else or the one you made up.
    Second thought here, 25-30 years ago I was in AA and we were trying to get clean and sober. I was one of those heroin/cocaine addicts and Wild Irish Rose drinkers. AA was well into it’s decent back then because of the overload of treatment center hostages inundating AA. Jesus we even had people going to mental wards trying to bring the message to schizophrenics, (who we getting our fifth step from today Timmy or Johnny literally).
    AA to me is plain and simple. I went there because I could hang with other drunks and junkies. We were trying to put the pieces back together of our life we blew up. I saw others I knew on the street (and wondered where they had gone) in AA, they looked good, sounded good and were working towards a better life.
    This is the AA I knew, nobody ran around trying to intellectualize the fucking dream, we were not drinking or shooting dope, staying out for 2-3 days (on a run) leaving wifes and kids behind, jobs lost, jails and hospitals. The nightmare had subsided and i was with others who knew of my pain. They did not feel sorry for me, they just knew and were there.
    If you can not understand that you are powerless over alcohol and drugs then fine. I am not going to argue with you because I don’t know that world. I just know what I went through and if it wasn’t for God, family, friends and a understanding that dope and whiskey was more powerful then me. Well I would not be here, simple as that. I am grateful my family did not have to remember me as “waste of human potential”.
    Ya know guys here on this blog it is real simple, you may not be alcoholics and addicts. Be happy your not or be happy you are. I am. I get to help people like me.
    I guess many of you here are helping people like you.

  • diablo

    tintop says:
    There are reasons for the vitriol; and those reasons are good reasons. AA has earned the criticism.

    diablo:
    I have learned this to be true.

    tintop says:
    AA can, also, do some good as a support group. That may be the main source of the good that it does do.
    I think that after AA done the task that the person has assigned to AA, it is right and proper to leave.

    diablo:
    “Right and Proper”!!!!!!!

  • humanspirit

    Acacia H says

    “Time and time again I heard in meetings that only other alcoholics could understand other alcoholics. This was such f**k-up speak! For gawd sake, when I was in rehab, none of the staff were in recovery, but they understood. They had years and years and qualifications of working with all addicts, drinking,drugs,gambling, self-harm and so forth. We were taught about triggers, CBT, PSYCHO ANALYSIS, PERSON CENTRED THERAPY. It was a Holistic approach. It was important that we expressed our feelings. CBT,PSYCHO ANALYSIS AND PERSON CENTRED THERAPY were the tools we were taught.”

    Yes, because it seems that you were lucky enough to get into a program that saw you as a person first and an ‘addict’ second. 12-step “therapy” is not about seeing you as a unique human being who happens to have developed an addiction – it’s 100% about seeing you as an ‘alcoholic’ and exactly the same as any other addict. Every statement you make and everything you do is judged through the prism dictated by those of the faith. There’s no room for real people, with their own psychology and their own history allowed. Snap judgements and inferences are made about you by people who have minimal understanding of (and less training in) basic human psychology.

    The ‘only one alcoholic can understand another’ is complete and utter bollocks – all this is about is convincing steppers that they are the only people who can be of any ‘help’ to other alcoholics, and this is why so many rehab places are wholly staffed by unqualified people. It is so dangerous that they should think like this, and even more appalling that they have managed to convince even the medical community of this.

    The steppers who ‘treated’ my family member obviously had no understanding of him at all, even though he was very definitely a ‘fellow’ alcoholic. It didn’t occur to them that trying to bully him into a belief in the supernatural was really the not right way to go about delivering the ‘holistic’ treatment they advertised in their glossy brochures, nor was it particularly likely to deliver the desired outcome. He found the non-alcoholic , mainstream counsellor he saw during his ‘aftercare’ infinitely more helpful. Maybe because this person actually had some proper qualifications and training in helping people deal with addiction problems and had the skill to help him sort out his issues from the starting point of where he was coming from personally? (Seems like psychology 101 to me, but obviously a bit too complex for most steppers to comprehend.)

  • diablo

    @human,
    take your treatment center nostalgia and your nice slogans from your counselors and put them on the right side of your list (AA should be on the left). Now look at your list they will be equal, if your honest.
    You sound like a stepford mutant, who was cloned and programmed.
    Your not better for it my friend.

  • humanspirit

    @diablo “. . .if it wasn’t for God, family, friends and a understanding that dope and whiskey was more powerful then me.”

    @diablo, I appreciate your sincerity and your story, but why do you think that dope and whisky are more powerful than you? Dope and whisky are not sentient beings; they’re not out to get you. They have no ‘power’. You have absolute power to choose whether you drink whisky or smoke dope or not – they don’t have any kind of power to make you do it. Which makes you the infinitely more powerful one in all this. And by choosing not to drink or dope (as you presumably have) you have actually proved it.

  • Jcal

    Diablo says, I was one of those heroin/cocaine addicts and Wild Irish Rose drinkers.

    Jcal says, gawd diablo! That just brought back some sorry assed memories for me lol.

  • humanspirit

    diablo says

    “@human,
    take your treatment center nostalgia and your nice slogans from your counselors and put them on the right side of your list (AA should be on the left). Now look at your list they will be equal, if your honest.
    You sound like a stepford mutant, who was cloned and programmed.
    Your not better for it my friend.”

    Oh shit, I actually posted what I though was a rational (and sympathetic) answer to this person, and then he comes up with this in the meantime. Oh well . . . will know better next time.

  • diablo

    human,
    I will answer your question if you will admit that you really have no idea what I am talking about. Have never experienced such a retched life and stooped as low.
    If we can establish this first I would be more then happy to explain what powerlessness is all about (for me).

  • diablo

    Jcal,
    I hear ya, brother. Don’t miss those buggars.

  • howlermonkey

    @ diablo – The definition of powerlessness that I heard – the inability to control the most basic emotional and intellectual aspects of one’s life – was what was given to me in my main meeting and every other meeting I attended. People used quotes from the Big Book to back this up. Sorry if I somehow got confused and believed this to be the AA definition of powerlessness. If that ‘s not what you call powerlessness, maybe you could figure out a way to put your definition into words. This “you can’t understand” bullshit doesn’t fly. So put up or shut up.

    And get this straight. Don’t you ever again claim that any person on this site was never really an alcoholic or an addict. Not only is that a cop-out excuse for being unable to defend your opinion, it’s a lie and a slander against everyone here. You do it again, I will push to have you banned.

  • diablo

    @howler,
    Please show me the quotes people used for such a intellectual Treatment Center definition of powerlessness.
    That’s the first question, second. Isn’t the whole premise of the BB based on being a alcoholic. So while in the cusps of my alcoholism and drug addicted life I had a inability to control the “most basic emotional and Intellectual aspects of my life”.
    I will say WTF I want to say whether you like it or not. I am sick and tired of reading your two day in the program BS. Yes you can intellectualize the shit out of AA, good for you. You went to school, problem with that is your floating above the real problem. You and your intellect fly right by the answer.
    I don’t care if I am banned or not, got it. Good. If you dish it out stop fucking crying and take it.
    Now back to are gentlemanly ways.
    Good Day!!!!!

  • diablo

    @Human,
    The problem were having is your talking treatment center AA and I am talking about a regular `ole run of the mill AA meeting. No professors, counselors and definitely no science, unless it is watered down for us laymen folk. We like our AA real simple.
    Problem, can’t find it to much anymore.

  • Gunthar2000

    Much like everything else I learned in AA, the definition of powerlessness changed as I became more involved.

    At first powerlessness seemed like something I could relate to. Powerless was more of a feeling that it’s literal implication. I definitely felt powerless over alcohol.

    As time went on I went to more meetings and read more AA literature> More was revealed. The powerless concept became very much in alignment with the concept of original sin. As an alcoholic fallen from God’s grace I was powerless over people, places, things, and most of all my own emotions and behaviors. The only thing that could save me was God’s grace.

  • diablo

    @Gunthar,
    Like I said Treatment Center lingo….sorry everyone I knew and know, in and out of AA doesn’t see it they way the minority see things here, on this issue.
    We understood the principle to mean, while under the influence. Once I sobered up and my head cleared, powerlessness was not a issue. Now if I “choose” to use this principle again in my life it is there. When my daughter turned 16 and we gave her a car, I found that principle to be very handy. :)
    I signed this contract here in Oklahoma to do work, well the guy I thought I was working for left the company a week before I arrived. The new guy is pathetic and will be fired. Problem the big guy here in charge, this is his cousin. So the firing will take time. This principle comes in handy in this situation.

  • Gunthar2000

    @diablo…

    Treatment center lingo is AA lingo. The AA you’d like to believe in does not exist.

    You go on with your fantasy… put all of the pathetic people in their places… and revive the spirit and principles of fantasy AA if you’d like.

    How’s that workin’ for ya?

  • diablo

    Gunthar,
    Please, give it a rest. Your sitting on shoulders of many before you. We/I have been dealing with the decline of AA for some time.
    Treatment Center lingo is “YOUR” AA lingo, not mine and many other AA people. This is the AA you were introduced to I guess. IDK.

  • Acacia H

    @Humanspirit,
    Yes, I do feel very fortunate. Before entering that rehab, I’d been in and out of AA for 5years. I even introduced my sister to AA. That was before the rehab experience. After I finished rehab, I was asked to attend an AA meeting by my sister whillst visiting her.
    I was shocked, because when she spoke at the AA meeting her whole vocabulary changed. She talked in slogans. Everybody in that meeting sounded the same. The same old pat. This was not the sister that I once knew.
    I reminded that there was no cross talk in these meetings. Something I was’nt use to in rehab. Our thought and perceptions were challenged in rehab. I was taught in rehab that I was’nt powerless over alcohol and that it was a choice to drink or not to drink.
    So when I started to go to AA in my new area I knew they were talking a load of crap. Thankfully my sister stopped going AA after being in the fellowship for 8 years. She is still sober at14/15 years.
    She saw the lunacy of these people and herself at one time.

  • howlermonkey

    diablo – like most other people here, I now understand that you are completely full of shit. You like being full of shit and you will use this state to avoid thinking about who you are, what you say, and what you do. Just like your buddy Bill. Thanks for showing us what AA is really all about.

  • diablo

    Howler,
    So now I am full of shit, OK.
    Thanks

  • causeandeffect

    Steppers just can’t express themselves without stooping to personal attacks, can they?

  • Mike

    Diablo: ” No professors, counselors and definitely no science, unless it is watered down for us laymen folk. We like our AA real simple. Problem, can’t find it to much anymore.”

    Well you see, diablo, it’s this pesky IQ thing. In spite of the best efforts by popular culture to counter the gradual rise in generational IQ, our kids tend to be a little smarter than we are. There are a lot of theories as to why – better nutrition, strides in education, prosperity. The net result of all this is that the little scamps are more likely to cast a critical eye on what might have been considered gospel (no pun intended) by we who came before them.

    For example, we no longer think that a guy who is convulsing is possessed by a demon. We no longer whip schizophrenic people to help them snap out of it. We don’t use leeches to cure the plague. We don’t consider homosexual people to be mentally ill. We don’t doubt the ability of a black man to lead a great nation.

    Sooner or later we will no longer offer mindless slogans and religious ritual as a means of countering addiction. All we need is another generation or two for that to happen. This web site is helping.

  • howlermonkey

    The idea that some gutter drunk is unfit for counseling or unable to think about their addiction is idiotic. That’s just another way to avoid responsibility, nothing more.
    Some people do use their intellect to avoid facing their issues. Others use their lack of it to do the same. But intellect is irrelevant to addiction. You don’t have to be smart to admit that you’ve become addicted. And you don’t have to be smart to figure out why that is and what you can do about it. You do have to be honest, and you do have to believe that you can control and change the way you act, react and think.
    But that’s hard work, and some folks get real used to mental laziness. It’s as comfy as pint of bourbon.

  • diablo

    @Howler, Cause, Mike and Gunthar,
    We all will sleep better knowing you 4 have AA all figured out with your collective I.Q. This is not to insinuate individually you don’t have superior I.Q’s but just think what y’all could do.
    Stop being narrow minded. Open your mind.
    Judges, Doctors, Lawyers, Business Owners (as myself) tradesmen, white collars, factory workers ect….. we all benefited.

  • diablo

    Howler,
    I have devoted a few years to counseling, I needed it. You just don’t get it. Quackery is infectious around here.

  • diablo

    Mike,
    I would reply but you really did not say anything. I’m trying.

  • Petal

    @howler: What other practical tools where scoffed at? In my community many people who are in AA recovery groups also do therapy (we have good healthcare for addicts so it is accessible ie FREE), yoga, meditation etc…Where I live even acupuncture for recovering addicts (which has some success in treating addiction) is free.

    @Acacia H: .When I say relapse is part of recovery what I mean is that falling of the wagon in early sobriety seems to be a part of the process of getting sober. Only two of the literally dozens of people who are close to me and now sober quit on a dime and never looked back. Neither went to AA. One found out she was pregnant and stopped. Another just quit using heroin when his life fell apart(he raged for 5 years, then just stopped) but kept using pot and alcohol but his life was manageable. What I am saying is that if AA or treatment doesn’t work instantly for someone it is not necessarily the programs fault but a part of the addicts healing process in action. Later, another place in their process of letting go, if they are not dead, they will finally quit.
    My brother was in and out of treatment for 3 years.
    His relapses were regular, every 30-90 days for one day, three days, a week, a month then back in the system. Then his best friend (whom he met in recovery) told him that maybe he wasn’t done and to not come back till he was. My brother went out for 6 months. When he came back he lived in a recovery house again but this time he stayed for 10 months where he had therapy (i don’t know what kind) in his house as well as AA meetings (in house and out in the community). He also had free weekly CBT therapy through our health system on top of what he received at the treatment centre. He also took a college program to possibly be an A&D counsellor.
    Three years later he still goes to AA at least three times a week, sponsors people, has a great job that he loves (first time he has a real job in his life, was junkie from 14-28), and maintains good relationships with people in and out of AA. He loves the friends he has met through AA and the 12 steps (and this is someone who has done loads of therapy) as part of his toolkit to stay clean…
    As well, he has learned that for him total abstinence from all substances is mandatory.

    @human spirit: My brother and many friends have not had the experience of AA that your family member did it seems. The only reason the people I know gave up on it was that they didn’t want to be 100% abstinent whether that meant weed or booze. And that just doesn’t fly in AA. And thats OK.
    Also, altering just means getting high, altering your mind state. Some people who have been addicts may be able to use other substances responsibly. Others just shift to addictions with less harmful consequences (ie weed for heroin or booze) and others need to never alter ie abstain from all ‘altering’ substances completely.
    What I meant about letting go of old friends and making new friends is this: The people you used with. Initially, you may need to let go of them for a while till you have some distance from using yourself and won’t be triggered to use by your loneliness because of a lack of friends who can relate to you.
    In my community there are 12 step off shoots: the 12 steps morphed, tweaked a bit, filtered to suit others needs. And all are OK here, openly accepted by the larger AA community. I am guessing from the vibe on this forum that in some places AA has a very Christian agenda which isn’t bad but makes it inaccessible or unpalatable to some people.Buddhist 12 step, Yoga for AA-ers(a woman who was in recovery with my brother runs it at place where a meeting is held), AA for Native Americans filtered through their spirituality.

    Every (good) recovery house here has multiple approaches. Therapy. AA. I teach yoga and meditation on a voluntary basis in a recovery house.
    Many paths all lead to freedom!!! One will work for you!!!!

    @everyone: When a person credits something with SAVING THEIR LIFE (mine was meditation and yoga) it can naturally cause zealotry!!! This is normal!!!!(combine this with religion and there can be problems!) I hope that the baby is not thrown out with the bathwater in the case of AA. Maybe there needs to be a day of reckoning for the movement…I don’t know. It seems to work here.
    I have more to add later but need to make dinner.
    Be well, be happy…respect each other.

  • Petal

    I am totally curious now, though. I am going to ask my friends in AA if and what they perceive as problems in their community.

  • Gunthar2000

    We’re not talking about babies and bathwater here… We’re talking about a mind control cult that has the power to destroy people’s lives.

  • Gunthar2000

    Everyone is different. People who’ve had the self-esteem beat out of them as children, or who’ve suffered equally traumatic experiences in their developmental years often self-medicate in order to escape the pain and confusion of not understanding who they even are. There is nothing selfish or self-centered about this. The last thing these types of people need is to be convinced that their insecurities are caused by defects of character. The worst thing they could do is to deflate their ego’s even further.

  • diablo

    Howler says,
    And get this straight. Don’t you ever again claim that any person on this site was never really an alcoholic or an addict. Not only is that a cop-out excuse for being unable to defend your opinion, it’s a lie and a slander against everyone here. You do it again, I will push to have you banned.

    diablo,
    It is not a lie or slander. It is a honest and would venture to say accurate assessment of the lack of time or (no time) in AA. IMO and FWIW, There are two types of peeps here that share their problems concerning AA and you can easily distinguish who has actually gone to AA (really) and who just happened to be in AA. Sorry if you feel I am being judgmental because your right I am (kinda hard not to). But lets be fair you are to against me.
    Hey every time I have a negative response to someones post 5 peeps jump. Which is fine because most of the time the banter is cool then there are those posters who like to dig for a reaction. They get the reaction then want to cry about the reaction they received.
    Yes, I am guilty of posts that can be a tad bit biting but believe it or not I am not intentionally baiting folks. At least not consciously.

    Howler,
    (it’s a lie and a slander against everyone here)
    When I make a comment to someone directly in a post, it means I am talking to that person. If you then want to take it on as part of your business fine but to assume everyone else wants to do this is a bit presumptuous.

  • http://www.stinkin-thinkin.com friendthegirl

    “Real alcoholic” is a term that has absolutely no meaning outside of AA. It’s maddening, but it’s ridiculous to argue the point. I mean, it’s like an atheist trying to convince a Christian that he is indeed saved. How can that conversation even happen? When someone says “You’re not a real alcoholic,” they might as well be telling you that you’re not Rapture Ready. It’s an impossible conversation because there’s just no common ground at all. Similarly, the word “sober” in AA has absolutely nothing to do with beating addiction — it’s a spiritual condition. We all use the same words, so we think we can talk to each other… but it’s a whole ‘nother language.

  • Ben Franklin

    Someone around here needs a good pimp-slap upside the head. Where’s Speedy when you need him?

  • diablo

    friendthegirl says

    “Real alcoholic” is a term that has absolutely no meaning outside of AA

    diablo wrote:
    This is true, no, really it is.

    Friendthegirl says:

    Similarly, the word “sober” in AA has absolutely nothing to do with beating addiction — it’s a spiritual condition.
    We all use the same words, so we think we can talk to each other… but it’s a whole ‘nother language.

    diablo wrote:
    That would be dead on. Thanks.
    I am not smell’in what you cook’in.

  • SoberPJ

    I once worked with a woman that had a peculiar behavioral pattern. She always had to have the last word in any conversation, no matter how mundane the conversation. I tested it once by saying goodnight to her at the end of a long day. She replied, then I replied, then she replied, and I replied, then she replied even though she was nearly out the door on the other end of a long hall. Many other communication tests confirmed my suspicions. I guess some people are just wired differently. Sorry, gotta go piddle on some cow fat. Yes, no, maybe really.

  • howlermonkey

    Petal says

    @howler: What other practical tools where scoffed at? In my community many people who are in AA recovery groups also do therapy (we have good healthcare for addicts so it is accessible ie FREE), yoga, meditation etc…Where I live even acupuncture for recovering addicts (which has some success in treating addiction) is free.
    **************************

    @Petal – all those things were talked about…a little.. by a few of the people at my meeting, including myself. Either during, after or at a subsequent meeting some “old-timer” would eventually let drop about the supposed stupidity and uselessness of believing in one’s own power and carefully work in a hint to indicate which speaker had failed. When the offender was me, I also got an “are you talking with your sponsor” lecture and some talk about the importance giving up control. Some of these people themselves saw therapists, but they had no problem saying that other people’s therapy was no good (“Oh, those Jungians, so sad, they think they can fix themselves”).

    But the newbies who crowed about their inability to organize their lives or their failure at their projects or their giving up on some aspect of their lives received some very unsubtle verbal back-up from the oldsters, usually right in the same meeting. You could see the warm, creepy smiles light up for them.

    This main meeting is in an affluent and powerful part of a large US East Coast city. I also went to a few in the suburbs. Same thing, only a fraction more subtle. The average “sober” time for the leading lights of the main meeting was 25-30 years.

    I agree that AA doesn’t HAVE to be this way. And there were a few people with several years who didn’t care about what anyone else said and came for the fellowship alone. But they didn’t set the tone for the meetings. For someone like me who was looking for what more I could do to strengthen myself against my addiction, all I was finding was ways to weaken myself.

  • tintop

    Several comments:
    The term, ‘real alcoholic’, is an artifact off AA; it does not exist outside that venue. The term is irrelevant, whether it is ‘true’ or not. If you need to quit, you quit.

    Consider the source. the people in AA are, amoung other things: disordered, turbulent, inappropriate in their thoughts, feelings, words and deeds. That is, in fact, why they are there. Is it the place to correctly ‘deal’ with those states of mind? The issue is in doubt, to put it kindly. But, it is what we, as a society, have decided is good enough.

    The plain truth is, that is who you are sitting next to: people whose personalities are disordered, turbulent and inappropriate to such an extent that they have brought harm and distress to, both, themselves and other people. Apply the principle of caculated risk.

  • causeandeffect

    I remember someone had tried to share that he had read that exercise is good for the newly sober. The no cross talk rule was broken when he was interrupted and informed that it wasn’t in the big book so he had no business sharing it.

  • hulahoop

    Hi Petal! Thank you for taking the time to post here. I know it’s hard for someone to post an opposing point of view. I am being very sincere. I do have some questions for you. I hope you will take the time to answer them without attacking me personally. I appreciate your time and consideration if you will answer them. Please keep in mind, I am not asking these questions to make light of your point of view. Perhaps you will have something that I want. And you know you have to give it away to keep it.

    Relapse is part of recovery.
    Why? I do not understand that statement unless you are going to tell that each time a person relapses (and I do hate that word) it makes them examine themselves that much more closely. What AA taught me is a relapse is something to be ashamed of. It happens because I am not working a good enough program because I am spriritually weak. I am failing the program. The program isn’t failing me. The reason someone relapses is because they don’t want it badly enough or they don’t want to do the work enough.

    Firstly, It gives people solid, practical tools to stay sober by actually looking at why and how you became an addict and some tools on how to approach life that work so you can stay sober. Practical guidelines.

    What does the program do to help me examine myself to see why and how I first became an addict? My understanding was I became an alcoholic because I had some sort of spiritual malady or weakness. Only by working the steps and getting a sponsor and checking my brains at the door and faking it until I made it while using rigorous honestly would I become sober.

    So please, which solid, practical tools have you learned? Which practical guidelines have been shared with you? Many of us would like to know since we didn’t get them at the meetings we attended. We probably could use them in our daily lives.

    Which city are you in? I am not asking you for your personal information or anything. Just which city? I would love to attend the meetings in your community since your AA seems to be so much different than the one I and so many of the others on this site attended.

    Secondly, it gives recovering addicts a like-minded community, new sober friends who can relate to what you are going through. Which is one of the most important parts to sobriety. New friends.

    I’ll agree with your statement about giving alcoholics and addicts a like-mind community. Yes, one of the things I enjoyed and benefitted from was having a group that truly seemed to understand what I was going through at the time. It did help me to refrain from drinking.

    Be very cautious how you use the word “friends” though. I can count my true friends, the ones who hung by me through thick and thin, on my fingers and toes. Nobody I met in AA is among that number. They were my friends when I was at the meetings. And yeah, they talked about going to lunch or doing this or that. But none of them were my true friends. I even lost one I thought was a true friend due to AA because I don’t tow the party line. New friends, new life. Out with the old. In with the new. I have no doubt many of the people who post here can testify to what I am talking about.

    AA works for enough people that there is merit in it. Period.

    I hear this thought all of the time. What about AA worked for you? Do you think AA has helped more people than it has harmed? Or do you think the members of AA have helped more than they have harmed? How many people being helped is worth the ones who have been harmed or taken advantage of?

    Thanks in advance Petal. I am really not trying to mock your involvement in AA or what you gained from it. I am asking you to share what you gained from it so that we can learn from your experience.

  • Jcal

    causeandeffect says
    I remember someone had tried to share that he had read that exercise is good for the newly sober. The no cross talk rule was broken when he was interrupted and informed that it wasn’t in the big book so he had no business sharing it.
    Jcal says
    Ive also witnessed silly things said like that by program gurus before. A guy once brought in to a meeting fliers for a group ski trip and some over zealous AA asswipe got loud and made a big deal about it because it was not AA approved literature! So the guy who brought in the fliers asked the the AA -power tripper if he wanted to fight and the AA guru stfu and sat back down brooding. lol The AA zealot told everybody that this guy was a loose cannon and the group started to shun him, he ‘picked up’ a week or so later and I never saw him again. Some real brotherly love in that meeting huh?

  • Gunthar2000

    I mentioned Chris Prentiss’ book “The Alcoholism And Addiction Cure” at a meeting and after the meeting I was surrounded by an angry group of men.

  • hulahoop

    Gunthar, what is it about you that brings out the worst in these trolls? I’ve wondered about that when I see their posts to you. I can speculate. What do you think it is?

  • Gunthar2000

    @hulahoop… Is it my character defects? I know that some of them are pissed off because I have a history of visiting recovery forums and speaking out against AA. It’s a bad habit that I’m working on. I suspect that a few of them have followed me here. I’ve even posted recently on McCowdogs blog, something I swore I’d never do again.

    I am Satan to them. Please go ahead and speculate.

  • Jcal

    hulahoop says
    Gunthar, what is it about you that brings out the worst in these trolls? I’ve wondered about that when I see their posts to you. I can speculate. What do you think it is?
    I think the reason would be is that Gunthar has very strong convictions against the AA program and im sure they are warranted. And some others can see some good about the program. I myself could see AA as a positive support group if there was no steps and no AA books, but then again that wouldnt be the real AA. I am grateful that I had a place to go where there were others like me who were trying to quit also. I would have went to any support group to try to stay clean but AA is all there was. I wasnt damaged by AA but alot of people in the rooms got under my skin.

  • Gunthar2000

    It would be nice if AA was just a psychosocial rehabilitation program for alcoholics. Unfortunately there’s a whole lot of brainwashing and religion that goes along with AA.

  • SoberPJ

    “AA works for enough people that there is merit in it. Period.”

    This one always gets me. It is an ethical dillema of sorts. The Big Book and , hence the program, contain outright lies and manipulates the unwary. To endorse it as a program that “works” is to endorse lies and manipulation as viable methods for dealing with alcohol abuse. Is this ethical? Does the few lives it seems to turn around justify the many that are not helped or even harmed when there are other, more honest approaches to substance abuse treatment available? Is faith-healing and deceitful manipulation more palatable to society than scientific methods for the treatment of alcohol abuse? Today, it seems to be.

  • Jcal

    Gunthar I totally agree with you. The things I grew to really dislike about AA were the pictures of Bill and Bob on the wall like a shrine, the importance of time, the denial and bait and switch of god and the dont question anything program silent rule. It seemed to me that even though AA is supposed to be an ego deflation process the people who had the most time had the biggest egos. Not all of them but most who were heavily involved. Oh yeah and the thing that probably pissed me off the most was if you drink you failed the program the program never fails anybody who follows it thoroughly. I followed the program to a T in the beginning and kept relapsing for a couple of years.

  • http://www.stinkin-thinkin.com friendthegirl

    Relapse is part of recovery… in AA. Binge relapse, to be precise. The “Outpatient Treatment of Alcoholics” study by Brandsma et al shows that, after 6 months, people in AA are 5 times more likely to binge than the control group and 9 times more likely to binge than people using CBT. That’s not a drop out rate. That’s a binge drinking rate.

    Another study shows that people in 12 Step treatment — as apposed to psychotherapy — experience higher rates of depression and anxiety within the first four months: http://stinkin-thinkin.com/2009/03/23/higher-power-stymies-recovery/

  • Sugomom

    FTG, you are sooo right. My ex husband could put them away, but never binge drank…until he joined AA. It was as if he was programmed to end up in an institution (hospital) with a blood alcohol content that should have killed him. Nobody that used to know the person he was before he entered the rooms could understand this. It was as if the program stripped him of all sense of responsibility. Also, he was very anxious and depressed and his sponsor was highly critical of psychiatric help and antidepressants as Gawd could remove this defect if he worked the program right. So I guess they should bottle the higher power and market it as a cure for clinical depression. It’s mind numbing!

  • Rick045

    @Gunthar, given what I’ve read about your program experiences here, I can easily imagine the kind of humiliation you were subjected to. I say that because I watched it repeated many times in the rooms with those who struggled to stay sober. I do not visit AA forums, so I really don’t know what you’ve posted elsewhere.

    My friends in the program started dropping like flies when I started openly suggesting that people consider giving other options a try. I never suggested that anyone leave AA, but simply that they consider “outside” help as a possible adjunct to it. At about that same time, I privately began voicing my concerns about the abuses to my sponsor and a couple of others that I felt comfortable confiding in.
    That was also when the “meeting-after-the-meeting” talks changed noticeably, and what were once friendly talks became lectures; always beginning with an awkward attempt to placate by reminding me what a reasonable person I was, followed by a litany of reasons why they were so misunderstood, and I was so obviously confused. The more they lectured, the more I simply began to pay closer attention to what I was actually witnessing in the rooms. That was a painful experience because people I once thought of as friends were simply insulting me (in a loving way of course) simply because I was pointing out things that they did not think should be mentioned. It’s interesting to watch those lectures that I received in those meetings-after-the-meetings become patterns that get repeated on the internet. Those lectures couldn’t change the reality I witnessed in the rooms then, and they certainly don’t work too well on open forums. People may not be quite as willing to alter their perceptions for the sake of “fitting-in” while at the privacy of their computer, and I personally think that’s a good thing.

  • hulahoop

    Petal, I am truly blown away by what you say about your community and the AA meetings there. Please do tell what city they are located in. I never had the opportunity to attend meetings like you describe.

    I understand the zealotry. I don’t understand the idolatry. Perhaps you can explain it to me.

  • howlermonkey

    @SoperPJ@7:07am – That’s a big one for me too. I know at least one person who benefited somewhat from AA, though that was 25 years ago. And I’ve seen some people who were probably better off (i.e. still alive) because they were using AAs to not drink, but who were otherwise very poisonous people. But of course there’s the huge number of people that AA isn’t helping at all, and the huge number of people it is actually hurting.

    One of the big features of this quasi-mythical AA-of-25-years-ago, at least this is what I was told, is that the biggest organizing principles were the Serenity Prayer and the phrase “Let go and let God.” I actually have no problem with the Serenity Prayer. It’s pretty good as prayers go. You could even substitute the word “maturity” for serenity and it works even better. And if you see “let go and let God” in that same light, then it can serve as a reminder that we can’t control everything in our lives, but we can control how we react to stuff. I can believe that an AA that emphasized these things could really help any religious or spiritually inclined person get their shit together.

    But as we all know, that’s not how it is in the vast majority of meetings, not any more. So what to do? I guess I think that what we’re doing now is the right thing. It’s not like we can destroy AA anyway. It will still be there for those few who can benefit from it in whatever way they can do that. But by telling what we went through and sharing our opinions on the whys and wherefores, I hope we can keep steering people away from something that might hurt them.

  • hulahoop

    @Gunthar -@hulahoop… Is it my character defects? I know that some of them are pissed off because I have a history of visiting recovery forums and speaking out against AA. It’s a bad habit that I’m working on. I suspect that a few of them have followed me here. I’ve even posted recently on McCowdogs blog, something I swore I’d never do again.

    I am Satan to them. Please go ahead and speculate

    Well, I speculate that you pose some sort of threat to them. I don’t really understand it. You are one person sharing their experiences about AA. Yes, I think they feel extra threatened by you. I don’t know why.

    I know you have sworn off the boards but sometimes “relapse”. That is because you are passionate about what you believe. Maybe some of these steppers are not as passionate about what they believe and you make them realize that.

    Maybe it’s because you openly admit to taking a drug (forgive me, I forget the name) but you take something that actually helps you deal with the cravings. Personally, I look at you and wonder if I am truly am an alcoholic or not. I don’t have to take medication. I do take Zoloft for depression though. Maybe they look at you and think AA will be extinct if the members start taking this drug. I hope my intent is not lost in this post and you will understand what I am saying. I admire you for making the choice you made, but some people might view the medication as a threat.

    I do not post on AA boards. I do read them. I’ve seen your posts as well as one or two others from here because y’all use the same name. Maybe AA folks are threatened by anyone who dares to challenge the dogma of AA. You make no bones about it. Me…meh…I come here and hope one person reads what I write and is at least challenged in their thinking. It’s like planting a mustard seed for me. You (and a couple of others from here) actively go out and pursue questioning the persona of AA.

    Or maybe, just maybe, the trolls question if you really live what you preach in real life. Not just on the internet…but in real life. I do. Part of me really wants to fling myself down at the doorway of meetings and tell people not to do it. Don’t sell your soul for this bullshit. I don’t do that though. I only I know I live by what I preach as far as AA goes. I think you do too and it scares some steppers because they know you truly believe what you say and maybe they don’t. Does that make sense?

  • Gunthar2000

    Just to be clear… I took naltrexone during the last four months or so of my drinking. I don’t have to take it any more. I virtually erased my cravings and made it much easier to quit. When I first started taking it I was drinking around 16-20 beers a day… A light day might have been 10-12. Soon after I begean taking naltrexone I was down to a six pack… Within 4 months I was down to 3 or 4 beers. Alcohol just didn’t seem that important to me any more… It just made me feel bloated.

    I wanted to be sure that I’d never relapse again, so I did my best to learn as much as I could about other methods. I also had some pretty serious issues at the time. I took an extended nature hike for a while. I wouldn’t trade anything for that experience.

    I’m pretty honest about my life because I think that people need to know that it’s okay to not be perfect… Just because you don’t agree with AA doesn’t mean that you are selfish… you have no goals to further develop your character… humility isn’t a value that you aspire to live by… You’ve never thought about helping other people. Those people who try to cram the 12 steps dpown our throats would like us to believe that the promises have come true for them… They present themselves as some higher order of spiritual excellence. They seem to believe that because they’ve learned to parrot a few slogans they have discovered the elusive key to happy land, and no one else will ever get there unless they submit to AA’s authority. Just like me and you they ride this emotional roller coaster we call life. They have learned to pretend that they’ve been blessed because that’s what the winners do.

  • http://deleted Primrose

    Could we have a post on lovebombing? Or would someone provide a useful link? Thanks.

  • http://deleted Primrose

    I think that I read, some years ago, of a US policeman who was against aa and had set up a group to that effect. Does anyone know what I am talking about?

    Also, I would like to ask why there have been so few studies about the effectiveness, or not, of this cult?

  • diablo

    ftg says,
    Another study shows that people in 12 Step treatment — as apposed to psychotherapy — experience higher rates of depression and anxiety within the first four months: http://stinkin-thinkin.com/2009/03/23/higher-power-stymies-recovery/

    diablo,
    So is this supposed to be abnormal or are you saying that AA is responsible for this or is this just a statement (conclusion from a random study). What are we supposed to take away from this. It’s seems you want to change AA into a form of

  • diablo

    Sorry folks my fingers slipped. Premature post.
    It seems you want to change AA into a form of treatment you want. Ftg it is no surprise that AA would have more experiences with people suffering from depression. Many have yet to receive a diagnosis and medical attention, many have no insurance or simply don’t find it important yet.
    AA helps more people without the means to acquire psychotherapy, lets just get honest here. Are we going to compare apples to apples or what.

  • http://www.stinkin-thinkin.com friendthegirl

    You have it backwards, diablo. There are 3 groups of people, all with the same diagnosis. After 4 months, the ones in AA have a higher rate of depression compared to the other 2. That means that AA specifically did not help people who needed psychiatric help. It created people who need psychiatric help.

    I don’t care if AA stays the same or not. I want to see it out of public policy, science, and conventional wisdom. And I want it to be very clear to all members about what it is (a program of spiritual enlightenment), and about what it can and cannot offer alcoholics.

  • Ben Franklin

    AA helps more people without the means to acquire psychotherapy, lets just get honest here. Are we going to compare apples to apples or what.

    Give proof then. Out with it.

  • http://deleted Primrose

    Ftg said: ‘I don’t care if AA stays the same or not. I want to see it out of public policy, science, and conventional wisdom. And I want it to be very clear to all members about what it is (a program of spiritual enlightenment), and about what it can and cannot offer alcoholics’.

    I agree with most of that. But AA needs the never ending churn of newcomers, from treatment centres or conventional wisdom. There would be no members if they didn’t persuade at least few newcombers to stay on. The kudos within this cult comes from lengevity of ‘sobriety’. The oldtimers (more or less) admit that they get a benefit from ‘sponsoring’, although it may not help their ‘sponsees’. This is why I think it would be hard to have a version of aa that dropped the bb, the bs, etc. No incentive to stick around and get the longevity status bonus. A bit like having a job that involves travelling and unable to commit to a ‘home group’. No incentive to lovebomb.

  • diablo

    hulahoop says

    Petal, I am truly blown away by what you say about your community and the AA meetings there. Please do tell what city they are located in. I never had the opportunity to attend meetings like you describe.

    I understand the zealotry. I don’t understand the idolatry. Perhaps you can explain it to me.

    diablo,
    Here we go again with another member attacking incognito using sarcasm and invalidating remarks.
    Jeesh I thought you did not like this behavior when it was done to you.

  • Gunthar2000

    @diablo…

    What can we do to make you feel more comfortable when reading this blog?

  • Petal

    Thank you all for your responses.
    I am very curious and am definitely going to check in with my friends who use AA now and those whom it didn’t work for about their negative experiences in AA.
    I want you all to know I respect and hear that you or people you know have all had hard and horrible experiences in AA. My sharing of my experience is not meant to invalidate what you are doing here.
    I am not in AA or recovery. I just happen to be an old hippy kid who lost a few dozen(!!) of my people to hardcore addictions for many years and watched the ones who didn’t die all come back in one way or another(AA or not).
    My people who are sober and attend AA most also have done therapy (through treatment or otherwise) and alternate healing modalities in conjunction with AA. I have never heard anyone say they were encouraged to only use AA but I will check.
    I am 39 years old and I can think of, off the top of my head over a dozen people (between 27-60) whom I know who have 3 or more years sober and are in AA. I knew them all as drug addicts and alcoholics, too. There are another few people whom I have met randomly (friends of friends, in my yoga classes, in Buddhist groups etc) and befriended whom I later found out are in AA and they also have years under their belts.
    I can only look at the people in my life to see and say that AA has helped.
    Just to reiterate some of my friends also got sober without AA. Some friends also left AA because they don’t practice abstinence from all substances.
    @hulahoop: I live in Vancouver, Canada.
    I answered the relapse thing in my second post. And I think the ‘tools’ question as well.
    I know so many people in AA! I just called my Dads wife to see what the fellowship means to her. She has never taken a cake and only done the steps part way through. She hasn’t had a sponsor in years. She has a friend in her program who has 29 years sober and she calls him her mentor. She says no one has ever given her a hard time about this. She is 7 years sober. She says god for her is Good Orderly Direction. She says she was on an AA web board but got turned off by the narrow-minded zeal of the people. In her group you can talk about other things besides alcoholism. She says anything too dogmatic wouldn’t work for her. She says she has come across more ‘fundamentalist’ AA-ers in groups when she went to Mexico. I read her some of the stuff on this board and she said that in meetings she attended over 7 years in B.C. in Nelson, the Gulf Islands, Vancouver and Victoria she had not had or heard of people having those experiences. Except for 13 stepping. She says everyone here emphasizes that this is not therapy and to get that help if you need it. Which, I repeat, is accessible and free to recovering addicts here.
    Maybe the west coast AA scene is ok. I bet there are some bible-belt area (we have that in BC, too) meetings that would totally not work for the people I know. I dunno.
    Thanks for letting me on here. I hope I have not offended anyone.
    Be well.

  • howlermonkey

    @Petal – You said nothing offensive at all, so I don’t think anyone was offended by you at all. You have been honest and respectful. I only hope that you feel that you’ve also been respected and treated honestly.

    And don’t worry about diablo. He’s just a troll playing out his routine.

  • Sugomom

    Interesting post Petal. Could you please expound on the comment “except for the 13th stepping.”

  • Martha

    Celebrity stepper time:
    “Charlie Sheen had a “briefcase full of cocaine” delivered to his home — and was using large amounts of the drug during the 36-hour bender that landed him in the hospital … this according to a source inside the house.”
    http://www.tmz.com/2011/01/27/charlie-sheen-cocaine-bender-porn-star-party-coke-drugs-overdose-od-hospital/
    ***************************************************************************
    Here we go again. Google news has over 800 links for this story. It is a good opportunity to go to the articles that allow comments and point out how totally useless 12 step programs are and post some links to counter AA websites. If I was into betting I would put money on Charlie Sheen being sent to NA as part of his likely prosecution.

  • http://duischooltruth.wordpress.com JR Harris

    Well he hasn’t been charged yet….. (Pun Intended) , but he was only 8 day from finishing his probation:

    http://www.tmz.com/2010/10/26/charlie-sheen-drunk-naked-hotel-room-hospitalized-drunk-intoxicated/

    Chances are he will have his probation violated and will end up in another posh rehab resort.

  • SoberPJ

    JR, that’s an old one… he was hospitalized again in the last couple of days :-)

  • http://duischooltruth.wordpress.com JR Harris

    Oops – Didn’t look at the date. Seems like it is a familiar story though. Reminds me of a drunkalog, you know the story they tell over and over again, after they tell everyone they are powerless . I wonder if Dr Phil has a solution for this?

  • Martha

    I’ll bet Drew and Phil are racing to Sheen’s side even as we speak.

  • Petal

    @sugomom: she said there was 13 stepping in her experience of AA but not the other stuff you guys have talked about. She said for her 13 stepping was people trying to pick people up. I told her I thought 13 stepping was trying to pick up someone who had less than a year of sobriety. She didn’t think that was it.
    All right.
    I spoke to my brother.
    He says that in his AA circle they say the rooms are a good place to visit not a place to stay. At first rely on it and get your work done. Then, take what you need and get on with your life.
    He says people are always encouraged to seek outside help if the rooms are not enough.
    His take is he spent the first year and a half of his sobriety going to meetings every day. He says it was and is a big part of his sobriety. He says in our city there are 700 different meetings a day. He figures he went to 300 of them. Of which there are only 6 he now goes to 2-3X a week. He says that for him the rest of the meetings had lots of people who he couldn’t relate to or didn’t like, messages/directions not to his taste, lots of men and women looking to pick each other up. He says it is super hard in small towns where there are less options.
    He says he only has three rock solid best friends that came out of the rooms. They would love him regardless wether he was in AA or not.
    He says to remember its not Well Peoples Anonymous. Its Alcoholics Anonymous and there are a lot of sick people out there. Be selective.
    I asked him if he felt there was lots of politicking and ego in the organizational side of it. He said for him, not at all. He said in his experience people are very committed to principles before personality.
    I asked why he thinks AA fails people. He just said if you do your work diligently it won’t fail. Thats his experience.
    I asked him if he would recommend it to people and he said yes.

  • http://duischooltruth.wordpress.com JR Harris

    Maybe Dr Phil and Drew could spring for a Rehab for Charlie Sheen and Ted Williams, their both in show biz. Ted has just hit bottom(or so it seems, he can’t afford a briefcase full of coke). Maybe they could humble themselves on national TV and see who hits bottom first, or the hardest. The problem is that everyone remembers Charlie Sheen, but few people remember Ted Williams.

    http://stinkin-thinkin.com/2011/01/13/ted-williams-concern-trolls/

    Maybe one can be a sponsor to the other…….

  • diablo

    Howler,
    And don’t worry about diablo. He’s just a troll playing out his routine.

    diablo,
    Trust me, Petal is not worried about me. But you sure are.

  • Petal

    Anyways, thank you all, again. I feel like I have almost satisfied my curiosity.. I will keep checking in with my AA and non-AA sober people but am done posting here. Be Well!

  • http://none violet

    mr. diablo: “5 peeps jump.” come on. youre on a blog fulla people who hate aa? why are you even on here? but what you said about the dood from the orange papers was funny. i mean, the orange papers are out there. but, i love the orange papers anyway. so there.

  • http://duischooltruth.wordpress.com JR Harris

    Sorry Petal – this site actually has a lot to offer. We are a little rough sometimes and get off the subject because some people are continually trying to take other peoples inventory when they should be taking their own. You might want to try the community pages, only a few people do that their. The main thing that I have personally noticed is that 12 Step Programs are designed to break down the ego and tend to make you spiral downward. They call it part of the cure or the “Miracle” ,they promise. The only problem is that they thrive on relapse and want you to “keep coming back” at any cost by continually reminding you you will reelapse. It is the downward spiral that AA promotes that I am concerned with.

  • diablo

    Petal,
    Please tell your brother thanks. I also wanted to thank you for coming here and sharing. I have only been on here maybe 2-3 weeks, it’s tuff sometimes. I also know it is what I make it.
    AA does work for many and does not work for many. I am learning the flip side of this coin here. I left AA after a long direct affiliation because I found that it was time to move on. I did not need to attend on a weekly bases and the message I was hearing from many meeting was a message of dependence on the people(members) and the meetings rather then asking people if they want to learn a set of principles that may help them change their lives.
    I have always looked at AA like a surrogate voice that I needed to listen to. I found this voice through studying the BB and the steps. For various reasons in my younger years I failed to listen and assimilate the everyday life tools I needed to have to grow up. I was extremely embarrassed at the age of 27 when I realized how immature I was for my age. I had allowed drugs and alcohol to severely stunt my emotional/mental growth. Professionally I was a disaster, I had not even routimely balanced my checking account. I was not present intimately (not just sexually either) in any relationship nor knew how. My children were just a extension of me ect…..I had allowed drug and alcohol to set up shop in my life. Just about every decision I made was made about or because of drugs. This had gone on for over a decade, bad habits had taken hold, I had formed a personality based upon evading everyday life.
    AA did not help with all of this obviously but what AA did do for me was give me the training ground to practice thoughts and actions. I would go to my counseling sessions and the various seminars/workshops I attended learn new ideas and uncover truths about myself and come back to my wonderful friends and share. It was great because they were on their journey too. Sometimes we would talk about our life lessons in the meeting (especially step meetings) most of the time after the meeting. The best part of AA for me was after the meeting when I gathered with friends and we talked. I mean really talked.
    Because of all of this I became the husband I am today, father and Owner of a business.
    I am so closer with my family, I have learned to let my family be. I don’t walk around with shame, I have nothing to feel guilty about. My life has changed and continues.
    There are all kinds of people in AA, I knew who I wanted to gravitate to early on. Just like are towns we life in right now they are different types of folks. I have never suffered fools lightly. Including myself at one time.

  • http://none violet

    i have asked a few times why ftg is not famous , but now i wanna know why gunther isn’t: “When the president had sex with his intern he was censored.
    If your daddy abuses you, even years later, you can call the police and have him arrested.
    If someone in AA abuses you they’ll ask you to look for your part in the situation, cover the whole thing up by denying that it ever happened, and ultimately they will deny responsibility for the behaviors of individual members.”

    superbly put, buddy.

  • http://duischooltruth.wordpress.com JR Harris

    Unfortunately the “famous status” that you are talking about is just media hype. The true innovator of change does not wish their cause to be attributed to them, they want the cause to be attributed to the cause, unlike Bill Wilson who profited from it. A true innovator of change does not attempt to manipulate people for themselves, they do it for the cause and nothing else.

  • diablo

    JR Harris,
    A true innovator of change does not attempt to manipulate people for themselves, they do it for the cause and nothing else.

    diablo,
    Please do tell, who are you referring to for your ideal innovator. Remember we do live in a capitalist society here in America, so the conditional thought reform has already been ingrained in us.
    Mother Theresa doesn’t count, she never lived in America.
    Boy, it really bothers you folks that Billy boy plied his trade.

  • SoberPJ

    Exactly what “trade” would that be?

  • diablo

    How about answering my question first that you so conveniently skipped over. Who would you be referring to.

  • http://www.thecleanslate.org Steven Slate

    I really got into it on a thread over at drugs.com. Some woman who is a counselor or some sort of treatment program employee was telling a current client of the St Jude Retreat (where I got sober and eventually taught) that the program was connected with scientology/narconon! I wrote way too much – but she distorted my words and refused to own up to the irresponsibility of her lies about st judes. I also found that some anti-scientology site is the source of the rumor, and tried to set them straight. For the record, if any of you have heard this – St Judes has absolutely no affiliation with narconon or scientology, and never has. Back in the 90′s, when narconon was like the only other non-12-step facility in operation, the people from st judes cited their research. Because of this, there are many people on the web claiming that they are connected. It’s pretty infuriating.
    http://www.drugs.com/forum/need-talk/i-am-done-57686.html#post308670

  • diablo

    Naracon and St.Jude did have a referral agreement at one time. I will either get the link to back this up or ask the person who told me to talk with you, Steven. Either way I don’t know from looking at your blog if that would be a bad thing. You seem to be convinced in your way of healing the addict. I applaud your convictions.

  • http://www.thecleanslate.org Steven Slate

    I just went back to that thread, and my most recent post is gone and the thread is now locked – which is upsetting, because that woman severely misrepresented me, and now I can’t respond to it.

    @diablo Thanks for applauding my convictions. I don’t know of any referral agreement, but I’d definitely be interested in what your friend has to say – either way, I’ll ask SJRH about it directly.

    I’m curious though, what you mean by “I don’t know from looking at your blog if that would be a bad thing”. And to be clear, that’s not hostility on my part, just an honest question.

  • AnnaZed

    I does bother me that Wilson spent his life plying his “trade,” which was conning people.

  • http://www.thecleanslate.org Steven Slate

    Not that I had to ask, but I did, and I just got it from the horse’s mouth – they have never had any sort of referral agreement with Narconon – never. And they have never referred a single person to Narconon.

    These are people with whom I have deep personal ties, so I have no reason to expect them to lie to me about this.

  • http://www.stinkin-thinkin.com friendthegirl

    Steven, I had also heard that St. Jude was connected to Narconon/Scientology… I wonder if they should make that clear on their website. If I’d heard that, and the person you were squaring off with heard it, too, maybe there’s some kind of disinformation campaign being waged for some reason (can’t imagine).

  • causeandeffect

    @ Steven Slate I had to copy the page before it disappeared. That substance abuse “counselor” is clearly so brainwashed I found it difficult to tolerate reading the comments. I only hope the original poster stays put. It is a good thing the thread is closed though, so nobody can read the misinformation that “counselor” spouted. I just can’t understand why someone would think it’s somehow easier to consider addiction a behavior than consider it a lifelong disease. It’s sooo illogical

  • http://www.stinkin-thinkin.com friendthegirl

    I just went to see the thread, and it disappears. Weird. C&E, can i see your copy of the page?

  • causeandeffect

    Sure but it’s 19 pages in word. I’ll send it in a msg.

  • http://www.stinkin-thinkin.com friendthegirl

    oh dang. ok. if you email it, i’ll put it in a pdf and upload it to the blog (unless you want to put it in a pdf :) )

  • causeandeffect

    Don’t know how.

  • http://www.stinkin-thinkin.com friendthegirl

    No problem. It will only take me a second.

  • http://www.thecleanslate.org Steven Slate

    I think I provided a bad link. This one works, and the thread shows:
    http://www.drugs.com/forum/need-talk/i-am-done-57686.html

    I had found this because I was too lazy to type Baldwin Research Institutes url, and I started typing there name into google, and “Baldwin Research INstitute Scientology” automatically came up. It looks like the source that several of the results point back to is an anti-scientology website called “Why We Protest” http://forums.whyweprotest.net/threads/baldwin-research-institute-a-scientology-fraud.29387/

  • http://www.thecleanslate.org Steven Slate

    FTG “Steven, I had also heard that St. Jude was connected to Narconon/Scientology… I wonder if they should make that clear on their website.”

    That might be a good idea. But the reason this rumor floats around is because they quoted narconon research in a paper they wrote 15 years ago, when narconon was effectively the only other non-12-step program in existence in the US (with their own research). I can’t help to think that any further mention of narconon would fuel the fire, judging by the interpretation over at “whyweprotest”, and it would also probably result in more search engine connections to narconon too.

  • http://www.thecleanslate.org Steven Slate

    Oh, also, I had signed my post at drugs.com as “Steven Slate – Author – The Clean Slate Addiction Site”. And I didn’t put a link, because it was my first post over there, and I didn’t want to seem like a spammer. Now they’ve edited my post to remove the name of my site!

  • diablo

    Steven Slate says

    Not that I had to ask, but I did, and I just got it from the horse’s mouth – they have never had any sort of referral agreement with Narconon – never. And they have never referred a single person to Narconon.

    These are people with whom I have deep personal ties, so I have no reason to expect them to lie to me about this.

    diablo,
    No Steven, the other way around. Narconon was referring people to your program. I can not get the link right now and btw way did a women by the name of W. email you here or there?

  • http://duischooltruth.wordpress.com JR Harris

    @Steven Slate – beware of the evil AA manipulators. They a sociopaths who have found a path to ply their trade through belonging to AA. They will use any tricks possible to manipulate you and will ALWAYS ask for personal information to use against you.

  • http://www.thecleanslate.org Steven Slate

    No email from a W. What I was told was that at times, people said they were referred by phone operators at narconon facilities that had no open beds – but this was not something solicited by St Judes in any way, and there was no kind of agreement for them to do so – it was something they took upon themselves. It would be like me referring people to the Sobells program at NOVA – I have no connection to the Sobells and no agreement with them, but I’ve read tons and tons of their work, and judged their program to be a viable alternative to conventional outpatient treatment.

  • causeandeffect

    @Steven Slate — He never seems to have a link to back up what he says. All he does is run around here, yapping and nipping at everybody’s heels like a chihuahua. Pay no attention to him.

  • diablo

    @Steven if we could get these two dimwits to shut up long enough we could possibly have a decent conversation.
    What I have been trying to say is I had heard Narconon had referred people to your facility (ST.Judes). In regards to my statement, “is this a bad thing” just that. Is it a bad thing that Narconon refer people to St.Judes.
    Steve, W. will not be emailing she would rather just not get involved at this time. This whole conversation we tried to have here got to stupid (with interference) for her.
    Another time.
    You folks are doing great work there keep it up. All future correspondence will be done by email if that is cool with you.

  • diablo

    JR, grow up and do your push ups in some other playground. Yeah, I notice you….OK.
    Troll somebody else.

  • http://duischooltruth.wordpress.com JR Harris

    Question? If the devil speaks and no one hears it, does he really make a noise? Does the devil try and manipulate the people who are in desperate and in need of help.

    A rose by any other name………………………. it doesn’t matter if it is in Spanish, French, German or Lithuanian…………….tag your it……………….

  • Gunthar2000

    Here is a link to information about St. Jude Executive Retreat by the Baldwin Research Institute that clearly endorses NARCONON. The article also suggests that, ” psychological based treatment is ineffective in the treatment of alcohol and other drug problems.”

    http://www.saintjudecountryretreat.com/addiction-treatment-22.php

    My opinion is that these organizations are definitely affiliated with each other.

  • http://www.thecleanslate.org Steven Slate

    @diablo
    No offense, but I don’t know whether to trust you – you said that they had “a referral agreement”, and that you would provide a link. Now, you’ve reworked that claim while acting like you just didn’t make yourself clear in the first place about it – when your words are crystal clear a few posts back for anyone to see. Heck, I don’t even have to go back a page to see that you’re backtracking, I just need to scroll up a bit. If there is a link, feel free to post it here – otherwise, there is nothing to discuss.

  • Mike

    @steve, the guy has a problem with facts, it’s becoming well known.

  • http://none violet

    Diablo,

    Who do you think you are? Seriously. It’s an open thread. Do you REALLY think you’re that smart? Sorry. But you’re not. I am not interested in taking my time to go through your comments to see if you’re in AA, and to see the germ of your effing lame rantings. But, really, “go do pushups in another playground” as well as referring to people who have come to this blog for awhile, often to get support, “stupid” is pretty much jackass behavior. But you know what they they say about arguing over the Internet, right? You must know…

    It’s interesting, I havd a light dawns on marble head mooment last night. I was in AA more for an addictoin to narcotics. REally, i was never a fan of drinking with other drinkers. Mostly, becasue I never truly liked other drinker. thus, why would I have ever expected to like the AA population. Some of your comments, Diablo,, are reminding me of this. Maybe you’re not even in AA though… Really, WHO. CARES?

  • Nukefreekiwi

    Sorry Steve but the link G2K provided casts a shadow over your assertion that there is no connection between Narconon and St Judes. The 2 organisations seemed more closely affiliated than the innocent referencing of a solitary narconon study would suggest.

  • http://www.thecleanslate.org Steven Slate

    @Gunthar “My opinion is that these organizations are definitely affiliated with each other.”

    Hi Gunthar, I’ve read many of your comments on here, and have come to respect your opinions, and hold you in high regard – which is why it pains me that you have this impression of St Judes. I can see how this statement on it’s own, gives you pause (if not downright contempt!): ”psychological based treatment is ineffective in the treatment of alcohol and other drug problems.”.

    Now I have to say that I don’t think the paper this is from, “Treatment Doesn’t Work”, is the best paper around. It is long (takes up 27 pages on their site), it is rambling, and takes on too many issues. However, I understand the conditions under which it was written, that is, I know the background of what these guys were going through when they were developing their program and fighting for survival. When they say “psychological based treatment” they are referencing the wider world of treatment, and the dynamics therein. The status quo at the time (mid to late 90′s – and essentially it hasn’t changed too much since), was that you were told that you needed treatment, and that without this “medical” help, you would be unable to deal with addiction. Your savior would be a counselor who used a model of therapy or counseling based on the 12-steps. The very setup of walking into a place filled with authority figures that traditionally “fix people” transferred the responsibility for change (and indeed the locus of control) away from yourself, and into the hands of treatment center staff (who then transferred responsibility to god! But that’s another issue). What they were against, is making the “addict” feel like an outside force would fix them – especially when in reality, that outside force had no effective way to fix them. To contrast this, their approach to the addict was not “we’re better at fixing addicts than those other guys, sit back and be cured” – it was “you can fix yourself, you are already capable of doing so, and we will show you how”. Also, having started out as devout AA members (but rejecting the disease and powerlessness concepts) believing in some core principles of the 12-steps, they thought the social aspects of going through this with others was important. Thus they offered what they called a “social/educational” approach, which they felt was drastically different than the “psychological methods” involved in treatment – where the addict was dependent on doctors, therapists, psychiatrists, and counselors to fix them/be the agents of change.

    Now, their curriculum has constantly evolved, and at one time you might have summed it up as being the 12-steps rebranded, whilst lacking the disease and powerlessness concepts – and today it is wholly it’s own thing with barely a trace of anything that resembles the 12 steps. But obviously, principles of psychology have been involved all along, and they respect those principles – it is the methods of “psychological treatments” which are regularly employed in the addiction treatment world that they disdain. But I know them, and I know that they hold high regard for some psychological approaches – within that same paper, they also quote some of Miller’s work on Brief Intervention and Motivational Interviewing, and they have shown me that they look favorably upon these approaches. I have no doubt that if they chose to offer a “treatment” program today, they would probably use Miller’s methods, and they would probably use CBT/REBT, or do something in line with the views of Martin Seligman, William Glasser, or Jeffrey Schwartz – but they are not choosing to offer treatment, because psychologically, they don’t want their clients to feel as if their problem is something which takes doctors to fix, they don’t want to pass along any sort of psychological dependence on “treatment” to their clients. They want them to know from the moment they walk in the door “we’re not going to fix you, we have no doctors here, we’re going to teach you, and you’re going to fix you”. It is by design, that they have no medical staff, because traditionally, those people do something to you to achieve results which would be impossible without treatment – and being in a “treatment” environment implies such a framework even when it doesn’t explicitly state it. St Judes believes there is no disease to be treated, there is only beliefs, thought patterns, and values to be considered, and new patterns of choices to be embarked upon.

    In their quest to justify an educational approach, they quoted research from Narconon, which clearly was a mistake at this point. As they moved from getting clients by word of mouth in the 90′s to having a strong web presence in the 2000′s, they started to receive many clients who had been to Narconon, and the stories these people told made us all aware of the horrors of that program. And personally, comparing those stories to what we were doing, there was never any doubt in my mind that the work I had done at St Judes was drastically different from Narconon – which is why I was shocked to find out a few days ago that there were people on the web not only comparing us to Narconon, but claiming that we were somehow affiliated with them. When I first was in the St Jude program, my good friend Bobby McLaughlin (the subject of HBO’s “Guilty Until Proven Innocent”) who went through it with me, told me all about his narconon experience – sitting in a chair for hours on end while a counselor screamed insults at him until he wouldn’t react or be affected by it, drinking oils, and spending countless days in saunas (even eating meals in the sauna!)- both as a client, and eventual director of the program, it never occurred to me that I was involved in anything like the Narconon program.

    I know why they cited Narconon – because it was the only other non-12-step approach employed in a residential setting at the time (when the paper was published in 1998), and it was billed as “educational”. It wasn’t because they wanted to emulate them, or because they themselves were closet scientologists – they wanted to challenge the current paradigm, and justify moving beyond it themselves by saying “we’re not the only ones”. I feel that St Judes should either edit “Treatment Doesn’t Work” to remove any references to Narconon, or take it down from their site. But I also know something about those conspiracy theorists who are set on branding St Judes as Scientologists – that they would simply site such an edit or removal as further evidence of ties to Scientology, and characterize it as an even darker hidden connection. The words on that whyweprotest thread convince me of that – they say something like “Look at how they put a disclaimer in true scilon fashion before they suck L Ron’s cock” – in reference to a legitimate disclaimer within the paper that says something like “this is not an endorsement of narconon or scientology”. These people would continue to reprint it, and they would quote and distort it even further out of context, leading to a larger trail of a web-based mythology. So it’s probably best that it just stays up on their site, where people who really want to know, can read the whole thing for themselves.

    But more importantly, anyone who is interested in St Judes, but has been concerned by the claims that it’s Narconon, can investigate what goes on at Narconon and then call St Judes to ask what goes on there – and then compare these two things, and realize that they are drastically different.

    As my own disclaimer – I do not speak for St Judes or BRI in any official way. I am a former employee and client of theirs – I speak as someone who knows their program from the inside, taught their program, believe strongly in it’s effectiveness and their mission – and who is personally outraged that people may be deterred from the help they can get there by these vicious rumors. I am not a Scientologist, nor have I ever been – I haven’t even read dianetics! I am not “anti-psychiatry” or “anti-medication”. I am anti-conventional addiction treatment, and anti-12-step. I am pro-using-medical-treatments-where-properly-indicated-and-effective.

    -Steven Slate

  • Gunthar2000

    @Steven Slate…

    Thank you for your comprehensive evaluation of St. Judes.

    I’m not a conspiracy theorist… My own experience tells me that people who are seeking treatment for alcoholism need to be wary of those who would use double-talk and outright lies in order to recruit new members for various religious cults. Because of this I would caution anyone against involving themselves with any organization that endorses either AA or NARCONON in any way.

    The argument as to whether or not alcoholism is a disease is irrelevant when considering whether or not someone should seek professional help or treatment. Every alcoholic is different… Some people need help from the medical establishment in order to recover or manage the underlying issues that may have led them to drink in the first place. Residential recovery programs that do not employ a medical staff are simply reckless and irresponsible institutions run by unqualified people who don’t know what they are doing.

  • hulahoop.

    @diablo diablo,
    Here we go again with another member attacking incognito using sarcasm and invalidating remarks.
    Jeesh I thought you did not like this behavior when it was done to you.

    Seriously, you don’t know me. And very seriously, you need to stop. I did not use “incognito sarcasm and invalidating remarks.” That is your opinion. Feel free to express it. But don’t be surprised when I call you on it. Let’s see, so far you have called me greedy, tried to invalidate my experience on AA based on my brief time spent there and backpeddled when I called you on it. And then try to tell me about non prayer based meetings. And also questioned my belief that AA is a religious program.

    I asked Petal questions based on the fact my time in AA was brief and I come in to contact with so few steppers. I am trying to learn. Of couse I will give my point of view when I ask a question so they will know where my question is coming from. I do not have the luxury of speaking directly to people I question. I depend on a message board. Just as you do. Do not read in to what I am asking nor the way I do it. Again, you do not know me and truly do not know what my motives are. Do us both a favor and do not assume. Thanks in advance.

  • hulahoop.

    @petal – Maybe the west coast AA scene is ok. I bet there are some bible-belt area (we have that in BC, too) meetings that would totally not work for the people I know. I dunno.
    Thanks for letting me on here. I hope I have not offended anyone.
    Be well.

    No. Your post explains a lot. Especially about help being free for addicts in your country. It is free in the United States but you have to prove you are destitute and most likely they will send you to a twelve step based after care treatment. That goes on to include a twelve step based after treatment because they have had twenty-eight days to fertilize your mind with bullshit in order to prepare it for even more bullshit.

    AA is considered real deal therapy in the United States. A lot of people (such as myself) went there thinking it was a support group only to find out it is something completely different. It is not real deal therapy either. There are no licensed mental help professionals there in the capacity of therapist. Nope. It is a lot of unqualified people speculating on how to give advice to others they have no business giving advice to. Also, odds are if you do seek real deal therapy, your therapist will be all about the twelve steps because it worked for them so it should work for you too. Or because they don’t know any better.

    Thank you for coming back and taking your time to post to answer some of my questions in a positive light.

  • http://www.thecleanslate.org Steven Slate

    @Gunthar – I’m sorry if I worded something to imply that I think you are a conspiracy theorist – to be clear, I meant no such thing, and was referring to some of those who populate that “whyweprotest” forum, and the general type.

  • Gunthar2000

    @Steven Slate…

    I’ve read a bit of what you’ve written on your site. While it’s not exactly pithy, I agree with most of what you have to say… In fact I think it’s brilliant… the same goes for Baldwin.

    We just happen to disagree on a few key points.

  • http://deleted Primrose

    If anyone remembers the site ‘exposeaa’, I would like to read the essay about ‘What science means to me in my daily life’, or something to that effect. Also, a piece where someone questionned why, if this ‘program’ works, there are not millions of happy long term steppers clogging the place up?’, or words to that effect.

    AA/TWELVE STEP expansion into India:
    I do not know where I read about AA’s plans for expansion into India. If anyone else has read about this, would they please supply a link? I am thinking about how hard it is to remove someone from a cult. There is a thread in the community pages about a potential shortlist of what potential recruits should be aware of ‘BEFORE they go to AA’. I don’t know a great deal about REAL help for alcohol problems, but I wonder what you all think.
    (eddy posted this: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/life-style/health-fitness/health/Helping-others-helps-alcoholics-stay-sober/articleshow/7384428.cms
    )
    Thanks.

  • http://deleted Primrose

    Further to the query about the piece on exposeaa called something like ‘What reason/science means to me in my daily life, does anyone know how hard it is to get a drug appoved? It is a glacial process. In the UK at least. And it is the side effects that stymie the drug. (Obviously I am thinking about the ‘side effects’ of AA, which are unrecorded). I don’t think that aspirin would get a license today because of the strictness about side effects. And if one is trying to get a new drug thru trial, one finds that the burden of proof is very much on one, not on detractors to prove my drug is wrong.

  • diablo

    Steven Slate says

    @diablo
    No offense, but I don’t know whether to trust you – you said that they had “a referral agreement”, and that you would provide a link. Now, you’ve reworked that claim while acting like you just didn’t make yourself clear in the first place about it – when your words are crystal clear a few posts back for anyone to see. Heck, I don’t even have to go back a page to see that you’re backtracking, I just need to scroll up a bit. If there is a link, feel free to post it here – otherwise, there is nothing to discuss.

    diablo,
    Listen you can saddle up with your cronies here and interpret my previous posts anyway you like. I don’t give a shit. What I said from the beginning is this, I had heard Narcanon was referring AA people to St. Jude and there was a woman that was going to confirm this statement. She saw what was written here and decided to say forget it. It wasn’t worth the trouble.
    In the big picture this whole conversation mean nothing anyway. So please have your opinions about me and shove them up your ass. I am tired of taking stupid shit around here. If you did not understand my post act like a man and Private message me with your complaints, don’t embarrass me out in public, that is just plain being a asshole.

  • diablo

    Violet,
    read through your post. I got nada.
    Sorry.

  • Mike

    Diabloooooooo, half truths availed us nothing

  • diablo

    Steven,
    But more importantly, anyone who is interested in St Judes, but has been concerned by the claims that it’s Narconon, can investigate what goes on at Narconon and then call St Judes to ask what goes on there – and then compare these two things, and realize that they are drastically different.

    diablo,
    I am from a web site (Fornits Home for Wayward Web Fora) I am sure you are familiar with, W. was from this site.
    If I may express a opinion on the above comments. Asking Narcanon or St.Judes employees about how successful their program works is not very prudent I would think. I would think bias would play a role.
    Do ex-clients have a facebook site up and running, are their blogs or sites that clients have created concerning St’Judes and their treatment methods. Positive and negative, I’m sure not everyone had a great experience.
    Thanks

  • Mike

    Oh, so now like the case of the no-prayer aa meetings you go from stating something as the truth then backpedaling and telling us to go off and do our own research. Are you the reincarnation of bill w?

  • diablo

    HH,

    Seriously, you don’t know me. And very seriously, you need to stop. I did not use “incognito sarcasm and invalidating remarks.” That is your opinion. Feel free to express it. But don’t be surprised when I call you on it. Let’s see, so far you have called me greedy, tried to invalidate my experience on AA based on my brief time spent there and backpeddled when I called you on it. And then try to tell me about non prayer based meetings. And also questioned my belief that AA is a religious program.

    diablo
    I don’t have to know you, to comprehend a post you write. Sorry you have a problem with my comments concerning your posts.
    HH, I have not back petal on anything I written here, you have me confused.

  • diablo

    Mike,
    the more you write the more you leave no doubt. Your a fool and I don’t suffer fools patiently.
    Go dance for your buddies and stop bothering me.

  • Mike

    fool or not, I’m having an easy time seeing through your charade. I suppose every site needs its trolls. Oh well.

  • diablo

    No Mike your not seeing a charade, what your seeing is a self projection of your own narcissistic attitude playing itself out once again all over someone else. This is your MO as I have seen with others that came here. Nice try though. I am not a punk and will not get pushed or bullied by you.
    Your a fool who gets his rocks off tormenting others.

  • Mike

    @diablo, I resort to mocking when I feel a person is not being honest about their motives. I see you as such a person. I have to question why you’re really here in the first place. Anyone with a moderate level of reading comprehension and basic logic can quickly see how disingenuous your posts and train of thought are. As another poster wrote yesterday it’s almost like multiple people are sharing your handle. Either that or you are one of the most bi-polar people I have ever encountered.

    BTW, it’s cute the way you answer reasoned responses to your posts with phrases like “not smellin’ what you’re cooking”, “got nada out of your post”, etc. You know exactly what we are saying. A third grader could understand the substance of most posts here. Cut the BS and kindly go haunt some other site.

  • Gunthar2000

  • diablo

    Mike,
    Why is it that you can not see yourself in any of this. If a third grader can comprehend then this should be a walk in the park for you.
    I’ll try in help.
    I am on the fence basically concerning AA, I don’t have a problem with the literature as written and what I believe it meant. What I do have a problem with is the people in AA (majority) and the influence of treatment centers.
    Being bi-polar/schizophrenic why not. I have been everything else, I’ll try this on. Actually it wouldn’t be so bad on some days to slip into another personality.
    Thing you need to remember is, since I am on the fence on certain hot topic issues here, the feedback I get is multiple. Little different then you. So when it is sarcastic and name calling x 6 I get a little offended.

    When I say I got “nada” I mean I got nothing. Some posters here are responding with emotional rants. I don’t care to read most of them.

    Last but not least pal, you have questioned my integrity (due to your confusion) to many times. I no longer am interested in hearing about your concerns anymore.

  • Mike

    fair enough, diablo. I’ll try to neither read nor respond to any of your future posts. Good luck finding your niche on this forum, I think you’ll need it.

  • diablo

    How about parity, equal standing. Do we have to fight over who is going to get the remote.

  • hulahoop.

    @diablo diablo
    I don’t have to know you, to comprehend a post you write. Sorry you have a problem with my comments concerning your posts.
    HH, I have not back petal on anything I written here, you have me confused.

    Yes, you back pedal all of the time. You speak out of both sides of your mouth with a forked tongue.

    Really, a false apology to me is almost as bad as someone who is trying to sell me a shiny new false religion while telling me that is not what they are doing. No need to apologize. You keep right on posting your erroneous personal judgments here. Don’t be surprised when people get tired of it and you receive no response at all.

    You are right. I probably have you confused with all those thumpers I met within the program who privately denied their level of involvement but still pushed the agenda of AA in public. Part of the reason I decided not continue the AA religion was based on people just like that and the ones I obviously have you confused with.

    You said you would be in Okalahoma for two years. Two years is long enough to start your own AA meeting and run it the way you see fit since there is no accountability to anyone and each “chapter” is autonomous. Do it up old school. Refuse court ordered people and all those folks from rehab. Shit, you can call it “Old Timers Only” or the “10 Year and Up Club…” or the “Let’s All Get Together and Lament About the Way It Used to Be.”

    What is your purpose here? My purpose is to at least get one person to see AA for what it really is. To alert the the possible newcomer to the dangers of AA and to let them know it is not the simple little support group it represents itself to be.

  • http://www.stinkin-thinkin.com friendthegirl

    diablo,
    I haven’t been reading all your comments or these discussions very closely (I just can’t follow the arguments lately), but by now I’ve gotten the gist. I wonder if you were aware that you’re not alone in your quest. There are plenty of By the Big Book types — AA purists, or “back to basics” people out there. I was reading on Friends of Bill (I can’t find the post now) about how these guys are organizing and sweeping through AA groups and recruiting their newcomers.

    Danny S is a 100% by the Book guy, and holds no truck with conventional AA, treatment centers, etc. Have you visited his blog? There’s a link at the bottom of the sidebar. You might like his perspective.

    I find that we have common ground with the Big Book guys in that we all want to see AA occupy a more appropriate niche.

  • http://deleted Primrose

    ftg, isn’t it like the orthodox jews supporting the plo?

  • http://www.stinkin-thinkin.com friendthegirl

    Recently, the biggest conservative Libertarian icon and the most well-known liberal Green Party consumer rights activist got together on a common cause: http://mwcnews.net/focus/analysis/8288-ron-paul-and-ralph-nader.html

    But, certain of the big book guys seem to really start spitting nails when you suggest that there might be common ground. Makes me wonder whether they really believe what they say they believe.

  • http://deleted Primrose

    ftg, that’s what I was talking about. thanks. I support hardcore aa. Keep the non ‘alcoholics’ out. Keep it pure.

  • http://www.stinkin-thinkin.com friendthegirl

    I can get behind that. Some people want to be God’s chosen and some people want to be “real alcoholics” — that’s fine with me. Just keep it out of public policy.

  • Mike

    I still wouldn’t ally with BTB types. I understand the enemy-of-my-enemy-is-my-friend thing, but there’s a price to pay down the road for giving such people a feeling of legitimacy. Religious fanaticism is the next (maybe current) major crisis facing the USA IMHO, and we don’t need the ‘real alcoholics’ joining the fray.

  • Ben Franklin

    Diablo, You may want to try this website to be with fellow hardcores:
    http://mcgowdog.blogspot.com/
    Rotten Ralph or Ralph Rotten is over there. They may be more to your taste. They also believe in the sanctity of early AA mythology-er-history.

  • http://deleted Primrose

    Eddie Izzard (British comedian) did a sketch along these lines. Some people are so profoundly uncool that they are cool. The really cool people and the really really really uncool people have some sort of meeting. How can I support hardcore AA? Get rid of the non-alcoholics, leave it pure.

  • Mr AA

    I have never met a 100% by the Big Book person – Danny S included. Those self-appointed protectors-of-the-faith pick and choose with the same bias as any Orangeophile. Some will swear by the first 164pp but dismiss the stories. “Back to Basics” groups as a rule won’t even look at “To the Employers.”

    A “return tn the origins” movement is typical of any “spiritual” community that has lost its way – and 70 – 100 years out was when both Buddhists and Christians both thought, “Hey, maybe we should write some of this stuff down before we forget what it means.”

    AA was constructed to be amorphous, unorganized, and constantly evolving out of any limiting definitions. It will survive and outlast treatment centers, sites like this, and its own myopic stupidity. But in what form? Your guess is almost as good as mine.

  • Mike

    Well said, Mr. AA.

  • diablo

    Guys I am very comfortable right here. In time as we plow through diablo this and diablo that, my existence for being here will have proved itself. I do belong here I read the preamble and enough of ftg comments to know this is true.
    My only difference is the literature and how I interpret the message the first 100 including Bill and Bob wrote.
    What I will try very hard not to do is respond to insults and engage in stupid arguments.
    I have noticed one thing here more then others the dogma. Ftg says something (expresses a opinion) and out come the so called minions saying the exact same thing. Guys this is scary. I mean shit can’t you at least put a different slant on the opinion.
    I do not follow, short step or go all in on anything. I am very leery about any organization including AA. You folks are a bit over the top.
    I am not a Big Book thump-er, a big ra ra guy never sponsored many people. Had a family and a business that took most of my time. My wife has never been involved in AA or Alanon, she came once for my first year chip (btw the only chip I ever picked up). I never brought my family around AA. I found them to be very intrusive and out of step with boundaries. Unsolicited advice is common and making over-dramatic comments is another.

    Hey y’all, stop trying to figure me out. I am not your science project. Go about your business, I will do the same. Try to judge me by my content not by your ill conceived assumptions.

    friendthegirl says
    I can get behind that. Some people want to be God’s chosen and some people want to be “real alcoholics” — that’s fine with me. Just keep it out of public policy.

    Diablo says,
    interesting statement.
    No body wants to be a real alcoholic, at least this has been my experience. It is what it is.
    Making this public policy can border on arrogance if you were to ask me.

  • http://www.stinkin-thinkin.com friendthegirl

    Mike: I just don’t get why they’d rather obsess on our insignificant, fringe group rather than turn their attention to their “own side of the street”. If they think we’re killing alcoholics, then MOTR AA must be slaughtering them en masse. You’d THINK they’d be doing the same thing we’re doing. I don’t want to get in bed with anyone — I just don’t understand the fixation with us when some of our goals are so similar. If AA were exactly what they want it to be, we’d have no blog.

    Ben: I heard poor Ralph was over there claiming he’d been banned from ST. In case anyone’s wondering, he wasn’t banned — and isn’t banned. After MA banned TJ, he put the words “Tony J” on the blacklist — sort of like putting “penis enlargement” on the blacklist, so that any comments with those words will end up in the spam file. A couple of Ralph’s comments went into the spam file that day because he used TJ’s name, and I fished them out and approved them — nasty as they were. Maybe he got the idea that he was banned when his comments didn’t appear right away. I guess he’s connected with his tribe over it, so all’s well that ends well.

  • diablo

    HH says,
    What is your purpose here? My purpose is to at least get one person to see AA for what it really is. To alert the the possible newcomer to the dangers of AA and to let them know it is not the simple little support group it represents itself to be.

    diablo says,
    well this is noble and I mean that. Just leave your personal emotions which tend to blind your “purpose”, out of it.
    HH, if you don’t respond to me that will be fine. If nobody responded to me that would be fine. I have plenty of friends I’ll survive.

  • http://deleted Primrose

    I feel as though I am talking to myself here. Why is the burden of proof on the people who oppose this cult and its hold over policy? I am not really anti-aa as much as anti-bizarre rubbish. Surely anyone spouting bizarre rubbish should be justifying what they are doing.

  • http://deleted Primrose

    Not me justifying why I am against bizarre rubbish in all forms.

  • http://www.stinkin-thinkin.com friendthegirl

    Mr. AA, That’s interesting. I suppose I have absolutely no idea if I’ve ever met a 100% by the book AA because I’ve never felt inclined to question them about that. I just take them at their word. What I have found incredibly weird about those Big Book guys, though, is how vehemently they defend mainstream AA against us. You know, if AA were what they say it is, then what do they give a damn what the statistics say? You’d think that would be irrelevant to them. And they want to insist that AA is not full of criminals and predators when we say it is, while at the same time, they rail against court-mandated AA.

  • http://www.stinkin-thinkin.com friendthegirl

    Prim, I agree with you! When I talk to MA about this, he uses the term “special pleading.” It’s what makes debate impossible, because one side gets to claim all kinds of unprovable lunacy and call foul when they’re asked to defend it logically. This seems to be par for the course in a country which won’t take a presidential candidate seriously unless he’s a Christian.

    I was thinking about that this morning, in terms of new age types, and it reminded me of this event: I went to a “fire walk” with a friend. This is where people get together and walk on hot coals. So, there was just no way I was going to participate in this, but I went to offer support. When it was over, all these people were lying around inside the cabin with their feet in the air, crying and screaming because every last one of them had burned the freak out of their feet. It was horrible! And I’m there with the facilitator of this thing (who, conveniently opted out of the fire walk) trying to get ice and aloe to these people.

    What happened is that this facilitator had built the fire on the side of a hill, and had everyone start their fire walk from the bottom of the hill and run up! However, when she surveyed the mess she’d made, she stalked over to me and said, “This is your fault, you know. Because you wouldn’t participate, you brought bad energy to the whole event.” It’s a good thing she made everyone sign a waver, because I don’t know how far that defense would have taken her in court.

  • http://www.stinkin-thinkin.com friendthegirl
  • diablo

    ftg says,
    I haven’t been reading all your comments or these discussions very closely (I just can’t follow the arguments lately), but by now I’ve gotten the gist. I wonder if you were aware that you’re not alone in your quest. There are plenty of By the Big Book types — AA purists, or “back to basics” people out there. I was reading on Friends of Bill (I can’t find the post now) about how these guys are organizing and sweeping through AA groups and recruiting their newcomers.

    diablo,
    I would not say I am by the BB type. Like I totally lock step with the message. I am not a member of AA anymore nor choose to ever be again. Even if AA went back to only 100 members I would not be the 101st.
    All I am saying is AA when written and presented to the small number of people became a simple unsophisticated roadmap for people struggling to stop drinking. Was this supposed to be the only way “I” don’t think so, is it scientific, No. Can it be improved, Why?? Don’t like it don’t do it.
    Form your own brand of program to help people with drug problems.
    I don’t like how AA is being used today, it is a reward and punishment model. This is bs.
    I always enjoyed the smaller meeting that focused on just talking, getting stuff off your chest, Trying to find simple answers to help myself.

  • http://duischooltruth.wordpress.com JR Harris

    My impression of AA, is that if you are not a Hardcore Alcoholic, you are shunned until you become one. To become accepted, you are first probed by the advanced guard, the elite Big Book Thumpers who have been thoroughly trained in the 12 Steps. Their job is to make sure that you are a Hardcore Alcoholic or you shunned by the group.

    Thumpers use advanced tactics to find out information about you, and then use it to convince you that you have an incurable disease. If they can not find enough information out about your past to convince you that you have this disease, they subtly suggest that you are a YET…. and shun you for not being an Alcoholic. To become a member of the group they have planted the seed that you will eventually relapse and become one of them. They sit back and wait for you to become Hardcore.

    I realize that there are many true tragic stories in AA, but….. I have to wonder how many stories are embellished by a new comer, to gain acceptance into the elite groups of AA? To become one of the elite, you must give your soul to the group and they gladly accept it. Once you become a full fledged member, you start to hear everyone’s story and it becomes the norm. Relapse is considered inevitable, and now becomes one of the societal norms that you deeply believe will happen to you.

    The Thumpers sit back quietly, and wait for a relapse to happen. When it does they use this to prove their wisdom by telling everyone in the groups about how another person has failed. How many times do you hear in the rooms that someone has left an not had any problems? I am sure it happens, but you very rarely hear about it. You won’t hear about it because it does not put another notch in the gun handle (or bedpost if they are a 13th stepper). Thumpers gain immense power the more notches they have, and try at any chance they can to gain another one. If you do not believe me, go to a meeting and watch a Thumper talk about someone who has relapsed. Chances are they will have a big smile on their face because they have just added another notch, and are becoming more and more powerful in the AA Cult.

  • http://deleted Primrose

    Thanks for the reply, ftg.

  • http://deleted Primrose

    And why, in 75 years, do we only have 3 comparative studies of the effectiveness of this wonderful self-help fellowship?

  • http://iloveeli violet

    i have heard many fire walk stories like this one. the only successful fire walk i have ever seen happen when pam did it on the office and was able to tell jim she still liked him. seriously though, WHY would anyone want to walk a fire any way?

    question–off topic–ST. JUDES… i got there b/c there has been discussions about this retreat and one of their workers (right?) comments here and also has a smart blog. (clean slate) he has an open fb page, i think. anyway… i worry it is a scam? but clean slate does seem real, cool, and smart (other than i think maybe supporting the tea party, um yikes, right?)

    thoughts?

    they have research that i agree with on the site, but then, the researchers seem to work for st. judes. so confust!

  • diablo

    ftg says,
    And they want to insist that AA is not full of criminals and predators when we say it is, while at the same time, they rail against court-mandated AA.

    diablo says,
    who has ever said that. They have always been there since day one (criminals/felons). I thought this would be a no brainer. Most crimes that are committed usually happen while under the influence. This includes sexual crimes just check your colleges.
    I don’t like court ordered people being forced into AA because it is not right. Not so much for AA but for the individual and their rights.

  • Gunthar2000

    Jesus Christ diablo!

    Would you just fuckin’ go away?

  • diablo

    Gunthar,
    Now you know how I feel about you.

  • http://iloveeli violet

    “when i say nada it means i got nothing.” really? thank you for letting us know. i was really confust before. emotional rant to complete clarity.

  • tintop

    The concept of ‘special pleading’ covers the matter succintly. That needs to be read carefully.

    J R Harris describes the process well. I suggest reading that post carefully.

    People, frequently, come into AA in a disordered state. They are confused, upset, anxious, depressed, vulnerable. Sometimes, all of those – at the same time. This is not the state of time that leads to careful calculation of risk; calculation of options.

    Now, combine that with some of the characteristics of those others attending AA. It should not be necessary to delineate those characteristics. We all know what they are.

    Two and two make four.
    I am not surprised to read of the predatory conduct; the abuse; the incompetent advice; the the ritualistic/stereotyped nature of the rhetoric uttered; the emotional volatility of the relationships.

    How can it be any other way?

    What is to be done? Can AA be ‘reformed’? No. It can only be replaced by better methods.

  • http://www.stinkin-thinkin.com friendthegirl

    diablo, to be specific, they say that there are no more criminals and predators in AA than any other public place. I’ve seen AA’s make comparison to malls, bars, and the grocery store. If you look around this blog, you’ll AA’s insisting that if you get fleeced or raped in AA it’s your own fault for not taking basic precaution, just like you would do in a barroom (of course, people aren’t asked to turn over their will and treat their own instincts with skepticism in bars — nor do they give their phone number to everyone who walks in the door).

    This what inspired MA’s post about the rotary club.

  • tintop

    This must be pointed out:
    the failure of the victim to correctly calculate risk has nothing whatever to do with the responsibilty of the predator for his own bad conduct.

    By its’ very nature, AA is a deeply flawed organization. It contains the ‘least common denominator’ of humanity. This begs the question: What reason is there to believe that the attendees of AA have the wit and the wisdom to help someone else? ( I will leave aside the question of how much they have actually helped themselves)

  • http://www.stinkin-thinkin.com friendthegirl

    diablo says “I always enjoyed the smaller meeting that focused on just talking, getting stuff off your chest, Trying to find simple answers to help myself.”

    Why should that type of meeting be called AA?

    Also, I just noticed this: I have noticed one thing here more then others the dogma. Ftg says something (expresses a opinion) and out come the so called minions saying the exact same thing. Guys this is scary. I mean shit can’t you at least put a different slant on the opinion.

    I would like to be directed to examples of this phenomenon. I’d also be interested to hear what the dogma is.

  • tintop

    I, too, am waiting to read a delineation of this purported dogma.

    I, also, noticed the passive aggresive dig with the word ‘minion’. Too funny.

    Perhaps, diablo, you would like to indentify, by name, these ‘minions’.

  • diablo

    ftg,
    Y’all……naw I would not throw me in that group. What you just described is sick and to be honest I have never seen this aspect of AA and glad I have not. Will I argue that people have said these things, nope. Because it would not surprise me at all.

  • Gunthar2000

    Thank you oh great and fearless leader ftg.
    I too would like an example… besides the obvious one I am giving right now. :)

  • http://duischooltruth.wordpress.com JR Harris

    I decided to look at the Friends of Bill website that diablo mentioned. Very interesting……. A post on the front of the blog from January 29th was from a 32 year veteran of AA who finally came to the realization of what he had joined. After 32 years of going to rooms he realizes he has been wearing a mask and hates himself. The 12 Steps sure seem to have worked.

    http://www.friendsofbill.net/profiles/blogs/tell-the-truth-after-32-years

    They also have a post called “Open Discussion or are they just Open Disgusting meetings?”

    http://www.friendsofbill.net/forum/topics/open-discussion-or-are-they?xg_source=activity

    This site seems to give many of the examples of the good and bad of AA, with a pro-AA feeling and tendency with many quotes from the BB. I didn’t see any posts from diablo there, even though he reads that blog. .

  • diablo

    JR, if you could cite where I mentioned the “friends of Bill website” I would be interested. Honestly I have never mentioned this site because I did not even know it existed.

  • http://www.stinkin-thinkin.com friendthegirl

    I mentioned it.

  • http://deleted Primrose

    :)

  • diablo

    diablo says,
    “I always enjoyed the smaller meeting that focused on just talking, getting stuff off your chest, Trying to find simple answers to help myself.”

    friendthegirl says
    Why should that type of meeting be called AA?

    diablo says,
    Idk, because in this particular circumstance the meeting was started by a AA member, he brought a BB and other literature and called it a AA meeting. Now I am also confident we could call this meeting anything we wanted to. I see what you mean.

    diablo says,
    Also, I just noticed this: I have noticed one thing here more then others the dogma. Ftg says something (expresses a opinion) and out come the so called minions saying the exact same thing. Guys this is scary. I mean shit can’t you at least put a different slant on the opinion.

    friendthegirl says
    I would like to be directed to examples of this phenomenon. I’d also be interested to hear what the dogma is.

    diablo says,
    couple of definitions of dogma;

    1. prescribed doctrine: political dogma.

    You have to agree that their is a political doctrine here, a particular principle or position advocated. Right?? Your avocation creates the dogma. Does this make sense??

    2. a settled or established opinion or belief.

    I don’t believe I have to explain this one.

    Ftg, dogma is not necessarily a negative word it is like the word ignorance. It depends upon the use of the word and in what context it was used.

  • http://duischooltruth.wordpress.com JR Harris

    Your right diablo, I read it in your post on the neverending-thread January 30, 2011, 1:01 pm. You cut and pasted what FTG said. So you didn’t really say it, you were just repeating something someone else was saying. My apologies.

    When you cut and paste what other people are saying into your posts, it becomes hard to differentiate what you are saying and they are saying. It is kind of like when people do the 12 Steps, when they repeat them are they saying them, or are they just repeating something someone else said? Be careful repeating what other people write, if you do it long enough it will become part of your though process. Kind of like when you got in trouble at school and the teacher makes you write something on the board 1000 times. They do it to brainwash you in to a behavior that they feel is appropriate.

    If you notice I did not cut and past anything from your post, I just referenced the location, date and time.

  • Mr AA

    This morning I went to a meeting on the first tradition that lapsed quickly into that self-indulgent land where the beginner is the most important person in the room and AA members love each other unconditionally….etcetera, etcetera, etcetera. My contribution began,mockingly, ‘Now that we have congratulated ourselves on being the most enlightened group in the history of the planet, let’s talk about the people who come to AA looking for help but, who through no fault of thier own, do not receive it.”

    It took only a minute or two of pointing towards the overlooked, the disenfranchised, the marginalized alcoholic who sits on the sideline in AA wanting to be part of a group that is too busy celebrating birthdays and hanging out with the cool kids to even acknowledge their existence, to turn the meeting around to a frank discussion of how AA can do better.

    Perhaps it is hubris on my part to believe that the reason they listen to my relentless critique is because they know that I love them.

    And remember my “Top Ten Things that I Learned from my Relapse”? For the first time in five years not a single person walked out on my lead. The consensus – as relayed to me over the last couple of weeks: what they saw that night was a person comfortable in their skin, playfully engaging the Program & Fellowship, and fearless about their sobriety. And just being that person opened them up to ideas that they might never have even listened to had I approached them with an agenda.

    Although I emphatically applaud what you are doing on this site, I respectfully submit for your consideration the power of engaging “the enemy’ in their world, on their terms.

  • http://www.stinkin-thinkin.com friendthegirl

    I didn’t ask for the definition of dogma, I asked for the dogma here. I agree that we are a community of like-minded people. It happens a lot that people with similar ideas and experiences get together, build community, and talk about and explore their shared ideas.

    The other thing is that, yes, “dogma” is a neutral word, but I believe that it’s very passive-aggressive to use the old, “What? It’s just a neutral word. I’m not making a value judgment” line (the unspoken corollaries being: 1. It’s interesting that you’re so sensitive about the word; and 2. If the shoe fits…). “Dogma” may be neutral, but it has very well known connotations, and people don’t use it when they mean, simply, “position.”

    And yeah, I’d say we have a position.

  • Gunthar2000

    @Mr. AA…

    I tried that… I was told that you don’t go into someone else’s house and piss on the carpet.

    I was also surrounded by a group of angry men and mocked at every turn.
    I wouldn’t advise anyone to try to change AA from within. I think it’s just a dangerous thing to do. I know that some of the folks who post here are still on the fence. My advice to them is to leave AA… Erase all AA contacts from your phone… Don’t accept phone calls from them… Cut off all contact and move on. This doesn’t mean that you should erase the abuse you’ve been through from your mind. There is no magic delete button. The best way to challenge all of that AA bullshit is probably with a group of like-minded people who’ve found their way out of AA. That’s what this site is all about… When we’re not busy fending off trolls that is.

  • Mr AA

    @Gunthar2000

    Apparently you didn’t do what I did: I did not piss on their carpet – I cleaned up a few stains at no charge; no angry group of men surrounded me, and no one EVER mocks me.

    You missed the point: I have no agenda to change AA from within (that’s why they listen!?) – I am there to help the suffering alcoholic who would normally fall through the cracks. Everything else is gratis.

    But it is a tough road and not for everyone and, clearly, not for you. I respect your choice. Why do you not respect mine?

  • Gunthar2000

    @Mr. AA…

    I simply stated my opinion. No one is disrespecting you.

  • Mr AA

    @Gunthar2000

    Enough said.

    I appreciate you taking the time to state your opinion.

  • Mona Lisa

    Mr. AA: I will leave engaging them, on their terms, to you and others who have the intestinal fortitude to do so. And–no kidding–I respect you for it. For myself, though, I’ve chosen to work towards raising awareness, acceptance and availability of recovery pathways other than AA.

  • Gunthar2000

    @Mr. AA…

    Questions…

    1. How is it that you “help the suffering alcoholic who would normally fall through the cracks”?

    2. Why do you feel that it is so important to “help the suffering alcoholic who would normally fall through the cracks”?

    3. Are you a qualified medical professional?

  • tintop

    Repeating the question, which is not rhetorical: What reason is there to believe that AA, and people in AA, have the wit and the wisdom to help the ‘suffering alocholic’ ?
    What are the words and the deeds that produce results?
    What, precisely, do the 12 step do?
    What, precisely, does a sponsor do?
    What, precisely, does a meeting accomplish?

    This is not a laughing matter; this is not an empty academic exercise. People go to AA in a vulnerable state; disordered, disturbed, worried, afraid. Who, exactly is there in AA to help them?

    I do not like games.

  • Mr AA

    @Mona Lisa

    Nice to hear from you ML!

    From our modest history at mentalhelpnet, I suspect you understand that I believe AA must and will change, and that we need warriors on all fronts to facilitate this. I respect your battle as I know that you respect mine.

    No one really knows what, if any, catalyst will best bring AA into modernity. All that I ask is that anti-AA’rs understand is that there is nothing in the Program or Fellowship that requires AA to be other than a group of people who help each other get and stay sober. Dogma be damned: AA can be whatever it wants to be.

    For those who have been hurt by AA: vent as long as you need to be heard; be angry as long as it takes to heal; and then embrace the possibility that you are not much different from the AA rank-and-file that you denigrate.

    (PS: Mona Lisa, I will be approaching a major rehab soon and I need the latest statistics on how the number of rehabs using 12 step programs is declining. Can you help a fellow warrior out?)

  • tintop

    Mr AA: I am sure that people who have been hurt by AA will appreciate your kind words, however condescending they, in fact, are. Too funny

  • Mr AA

    @ Gunthar200

    Forgive me for not being more specific: THROUGH THE CRACKS OF AA – nothing else.

    How? – by showing them that AA is just a beginning and not a lifelong sentence
    Why? – i don’t like people suffering unecessarily
    Qualifications? – since alcoholism is not a disease, why would I need to be a medical professional?

  • Gunthar2000

    Assuming that AA actually helps anyone… How does it work?

    I’m not asking for details about the 12 step process… I know about that already. What I’m looking for is the mechanism that links the problem (alcoholism) to the desired outcome (sobriety)… The missing link if you will.

    When an AA members commit to carrying the message, or helping the sick and suffering they are basically appointing themselves ambassadors of the will of God. First one must assume that carrying the message is God’s will… Second they must believe that it is God’s will that they share the message with other alcoholics… But where is the healing I’ve heard so much about? How does it happen that carrying such a religious message will remove the desire to run away from life and drink?

  • tintop

    What are your qualifications Mr AA?
    What reasons can you give that demonstrate that you have the wit and the wisdom help ‘suffering alcoholics”?

  • Mr AA

    @tintop

    Since I include myself among those who have been hurt by AA, what is so funny and condescending about explaining the tripartite healing process by which I moved beyond the injury that I felt?

  • Mr AA

    “What reasons can you give that demonstrate that you have the wit and the wisdom help ‘suffering alcoholics”?

    None – other than the testimony of those that say that I have.

  • Gunthar2000

    since alcoholism is not a disease, why would I need to be a medical professional?

    The answer to that is you don’t need to be a medical professional.

  • tintop

    That is not evidence. That is merely an assertion by an anonymous user name on a blog

  • http://duischooltruth.wordpress.com JR Harris

    I think what @Gunthar was referring to when being a qualified medical professional is in the sense of psychology. In the US, the licensing and censure of medical professionals is determined by each individual state. I think practicing psychology without a proper license should be dealt with harshly. AA unfortunately has many members who are sociopaths that practice psychology with devastating results. They use the loop hole that they are not professional because they do not get paid for it with money, and it is a self help group. They also use a loophole by making them admit they are a Alcoholic in front of everyone, so if they mess up they can blame it on Alcoholism and it was not their fault.

    If a loved one went to a psychologist for help and that psychologist obviously gave the wrong type of treatment to them and it resulted in their death, I think anyone would want make sure that society is rid of them.

    What is really needed, is for people who practice psychology using these loopholes, to be identified and legally punished for the damage they do. If more people who have been misled by sponsors to leave their family, their jobs, their mind at the door, complain and actually sue in Civil court the perpetrators of these deeds will be put under check.

  • Mr AA

    “That is not evidence. That is merely an assertion by an anonymous user name on a blog.”

    I am not offering evidence; I am simply responding to your question. But I suspect that you are not interested in an exchange of information.

    So let me make this perfectly clear: theanalytical detector has yet to be invented that is sensitive enough to measure how little I care about people’s agendas. If you want to talk, then talk. Otherwise, I really am not interested in one-up-manship.

  • Gunthar2000

    @JR Harris…

    It happens all the time. Unfortunately, there are no discernible boundaries between just offering advice and pretending to be a social worker… I guess the only difference is that one of them gets paid.

  • Gunthar2000

    @Mr. AA…

    Where is the link?
    How does AA help people to stop drinking?

  • tintop

    Mr AA —
    You have no evidence. And, you know that you have no evidence

  • Mr AA

    “Where is the link?
    How does AA help people to stop drinking?”

    When did I ever say that AA helps people stop drinking?

    Going to bed now…this “discussion” has grown tiresome.

  • tintop

  • raysny

    Mike wrote:
    “I understand the enemy-of-my-enemy-is-my-friend thing, but there’s a price to pay down the road for giving such people a feeling of legitimacy. ”

    Look what teaming up with Scientologists did for Szasz’s credibility.

  • tintop

    Szasz made a tremendous mistake.

  • causeandeffect

    At the risk of annoying JR Harris by directly quoting him, I just can’t express the pinpoint accuracy of what he said without quoting him, so I’ll attempt to make sure this is clear.

    JR Harris said, “they subtly suggest that you are a YET.”

    My brother did this to me many years ago, when I was still a very moderate drinker. Seldom drank and didn’t drink much when I did, so that’s exactly what he said, “YET” I have wondered how this may have eventually effected my drinking. Also, when speaking with my sister, describing to her that I rarely drank, she yelled “AAAAAA, you’re an alcoholic!!! You’re lying about how often you drink!!! You better go to AA!!! Then I told her I didn’t drink much even when I did. She screamed “AAAAA you’re an alcoholic!!! You’re in denial about how much you drink!!!” Damn. She’s always been a chicken little, but damn. What, just what do you say to that? Mind you, she was many States away and had never, ever seen me drink. The power of suggestion being what it is, I may have never had a chance. I’ll never know what might have happened otherwise. I only started drinking excessively after something horrific happened that I had no skills to cope with. In fact, I believe they had been praying that I would need AA, gawd love em!

    JR Harris said, “I have to wonder how many stories are embellished by a new comer, to gain acceptance into the elite groups of AA?”

    I had a sponsor for a minute whose story was so absolutely crazy, I really, really felt the need to embellish my 5th step, which she was pressing very hard for. My drinking days were really not very impressive other than the fact I almost drank myself to death. Fortunately, she quickly proved she was still nuts and I quickly fired her, so no need to embellish.

    JR Harris said, “The Thumpers sit back quietly, and wait for a relapse to happen. When it does they use this to prove their wisdom by telling everyone in the groups about how another person has failed….Thumpers gain immense power the more notches they have, and try at any chance they can to gain another one. ”

    The sponsor of the aforementioned sponsor did this. She’d accuse someone of drinking, or tell someone they were going to drink. Of course, sometimes the person had been drinking and she would look like a psychic, and the story would be told. Or the power of suggestion would set in, paranoia would creep into the mind and the person would drink. Again, the story would be how “Linda knows these things” and again she would look so, so wise. But if the person hadn’t or didn’t, there would be no mention, other than to a close friend, which is how I found out about it. My brother regards her as a mystic. I regard her as a sociopath.

  • diablo

    Ftg says,
    I didn’t ask for the definition of dogma, I asked for the dogma here. I agree that we are a community of like-minded people. It happens a lot that people with similar ideas and experiences get together, build community, and talk about and explore their shared ideas.

    diablo,
    This like-mindedness brings about the dogma (or can be the dogma). I did not mean this as a slap just a reminder that AA does not hold the “corner market” on dogma here.

  • Gunthar2000

    diablo… Honestly, What is it that you are trying to do here?

    Are you trying to win at something?
    Are you looking to make friends?

    What is it that brings you back over and over again, when you obviously feel that you’ve been abused?

  • diablo

    Gunthar,
    I understand that you struggle heartily when it comes to conversations that question your wisdom but try, really try to press on. You are not helping yourself by continuing to indulge your shallow understanding of others opinions.

    You are exactly the type of personality I disliked in AA, your condescending and think you know everything. When in actuality if you could read your posts with unbiased clarity you would see your weaknesses.

    Dude your not “as in the know” as you think you are. Nor do I feel any compelling need to explain myself to you until you correct your demanding attitude.
    Actually I find you to be very funny with your demands.

    Hey try this, take your lazy unstimulated butt over to the forums, read what I have posted then formulate some questions and come back and present them.
    How about that, it would be called a grown up conversation/debate.
    I’ll wait to hear from you.

  • diablo

    Where is the link?
    How does AA help people to stop drinking?

    diablo,
    That is a tuff question to answer. I guess the same way my parents and friends helped me, by being there and assisting me. AA had the road map and I wanted to believe more in that then I wanted to drink.
    Ya know as we have all said here you have to want to stop, this I’m sure we can all agree on. I just decided on AA help. Religion did not work for me and neither did treatment (I am not talking about the type with doctors either).

  • Gunthar2000

    I’m not interested in reading all of that stuff you’ve cut and pasted over at the forum.
    I’ve read a few of your posts… quite a few… and I’m pretty sure that you are fuckin’ bat shit crazy. You’ve become nothing more than a pain in the ass, and I can’t wait for someone to ban your ass.

    How dare you say the things you say to the people on this blog???!!!

    You are just an angry person with a serious mood problem.

  • causeandeffect

    Gunthar, it reminds me exactly of my ex-husband. He would intentionally do extremely insulting and hurtful things to me. If I said anything at all about it at all, no matter how carefully stated or questioned, i was always accused of being the abuser, he was always the victim. He was always the injured party, no matter what.

  • Gunthar2000

    C&E… You’ve got mail.

  • raysny

    diablo,

    I never received any type of assistance, nobody had any faith in me because of my atheism. Folks went out of their way to tell me how I was going to die drunk in a gutter because I didn’t believe in God. That the kind of help you mean?

  • diablo

    How dare you say the things you say to the people on this blog???!!!

    Like I have said maybe one day you will stop blaming me and others for your inability to have a rational conversation without being a bully.
    How dare I say things to people like yourself, how dare you judge me and bust my balls since the first day I got here.
    Gunthar what universe do you come from, must be a self centered one.
    WoW, you and Cause definitely have your routine down.

    Good night….will talk again sometime. Oh, I am still waiting for the questions from my forum.
    Thanks

  • howlermonkey

    @Gunthar – Re: people with an endless supply of batshit, I am reminded of an old saying.

    “How can you tell when a junkie is lying? His lips are moving.”

    Hope that’s not an NA slogan or anything. It’s just that some folks just aren’t worth the trouble. Once everyone figures that out and just ignores him, he’ll go away. He needs people to hate him. Part of his program or something.

  • http://duischooltruth.wordpress.com JR Harris

    @causeandeffect – Good job at explaining what happened to you from my post. You would not have annoyed me, you were very clear and concise on what points you were trying to bring about.

    I believe the scenario I described, and the scenario you described are common place in the rooms of AA. There are people trying to build an elite presentation of themselves in AA, at the expense of the new comers. All they want is another notch on their belt to prove themselves one of the all seeing elite. I am sure that anyone who has been to an AA meeting or event (picnic, dinner, etc… ) has met them. They are the ones that probe you, until they find out enough personal information about you. They then get that Cheshire cat maniacal grin on their face, that they know more than you, because they have become one of the elite.

    I have only my experiences, and the experiences of people who write about what happened to them to come up with my conclusions. I remember that my wife’s sponsor wanted her family at the meeting where she gave her first share to show support. Is this common place, or just a one off manipulation. I do not see where having family members at a meeting like this helped with my wife’s sobriety. I do remember the big smile that her sponsor had when my wife was talking. I can still see her face today, and it is scary.

  • diablo

    raysny,
    No that wasn’t the help I was referring too.
    Try again sometime.

  • http://www.stinkin-thinkin.com friendthegirl

    @diablo “This like-mindedness brings about the dogma (or can be the dogma). I did not mean this as a slap just a reminder that AA does not hold the “corner market” on dogma here.”

    diablo, you’re playing gaslighting games, and I am now seeing very clearly what is frustrating the other commenters here. I will debate and engage, but I don’t play “Who, me?” with anyone.

  • Gunthar2000

    @diablo…

    You are such a sucky person.

  • diablo

    No I am not playing any games with you and I am tired of being excused of games because I will not answer the question exactly the way you want me too.
    Here is your problem as I see it ftg, you state you want other opinions and thoughts but you really don’t, you just want other thoughts you can easily change through your persuasive intellect. I will not answer questions here they way y’all want me to. My answer to dogmatic comments that abound here was very clear.
    This who me crap is in your head don’t project it on me, please. I find a lot of you do this, projecting. This is once again my reason for saying dogma abounds here. Most of you here have pre programed answers to everything some one says that does not exactly have your opinion. I saw it with Mr. AA, blast him with questions that are impossible to really answer and if he doesn’t answer they way you want he is criticized. Well he just decided he wasn’t going to play. Second you have some people posting here that clearly have no experience with AA as a alcoholic and go on ad nausea pummeling people with questions and stories you know they are regurgitating from others posts.
    Dogma once again.
    Hey I am OK with all of this, I’ve been around long enough on sites debating that this has not exasperated me yet. I am frustrated. I have not seen such a closed minded blog in a long time. Guys your not all right and every one else is stupid, blind, helpless and is just waiting to get your help. AA clearly does not have all the answers and in a lot of cases does not have any answers.
    AA has a enormous amount of people who come to AA meetings realize it is not for them and leave. There not leaving pissed, outraged, or disappointed there just leaving because AA was not for them. It has been my experience that a large amount of people have left this way.
    Ftg I don’t have this savvy intelligence nor can I articulate as well as you in the form of writing. I do my best to get my point across. instead of accusing me of gaslighting, why don’t you try again with another question. i think sometimes you folks give me more credit for intelligence/comprehesion then I deserve. Really!!!!!! ADDHD…my processing has void spots.

  • diablo

    Gunthar2000 says

    @diablo…

    You are such a sucky person.

    and this explains everything.
    Gunthar,
    when do you stop beating on the people. Please explain this. I mean this can’t be all AA’s fault this personality you have. Just how many bodies have to be beaten by you until your satisfied.
    Mirror time, dude.

  • http://duischooltruth.wordpress.com JR Harris

    So who is going to win the Superbowl this year? …. I’m a Steelers fan. They are the odds on favorite this year. I think I’m going with them. They don’t have a 5% success rate. I wouldn’t root for a team that did.

  • causeandeffect

    JR, with all due respect, the 5% is a retention rate, not a success rate. Just keep in mind that diablo, having been in AA for many, many years, is part of the 5%. I would not call that a success.

  • http://duischooltruth.wordpress.com JR Harris

    But back to football…… Using Vegas Odds, would you back a team that had a turn over rate of 95% a year? Would you back a team that had a core team of 5% and they had all been on the team for many years? Even if one of the 5% that is left is a great quarterback, he still has to eventually pass the ball to one of the new 95%. What are the chances that the newbie will fumble? Would you bet on this team? Of course they could always say that the 95% they hired weren’t really football players. Even with this excuse, would you bet money on them winning the Superbowl?

    Of course if we are using that as an analogy to AA……

    I’m sure an active group in a metropolitan area will have at least a 100 new members a year. That tells me that 95 people out of the newbies you meet are in for disaster. It still doesn’t seem like a very good success rate to me. Unless their core teaching tools are flawed and untrue. Would you trust someone using flawed and untrue teaching teaching tools with your life and your family? I guess they could just say that the 95% that left weren’t really Alcoholics and do not count.

  • AnnaZed

    @Mr AA who says ~ “…All that I ask is that anti-AA’rs understand is that there is nothing in the Program or Fellowship that requires AA to be other than a group of people who help each other get and stay sober.”

    That is so absolutely categorically untrue that I wonder if you have actually even been to an AA meeting or read the literature at all.

    Every single page of the literature, every single line item of the steps and bogus traditions requires many, many, many things of AA adherents and participants not least of which is belief in a very peculiar almost occult interpretation of what God is and how (if there were such a God) he would act in this world. To say or think anything else about AA is either to be willfully obtuse or to prevaricate.

  • JD

    Diablo, your error is to plea for reasoned responses that are full of paranoia and hate and little asides about what bad thing happened to the cousin of a friend’s barber who, in their sickness perceived people trying to help as overstepping normal civil boundries.

    It’s understandable that when people are confused, looking for answers and someone in AA hurts their tender feelings by telling them the truth, or suggesting they bathe, that they stomp off and forever after believe what their heads tell them about AA, perceptions formed when they were at one of the sickest points in their lives.

    What is hard to fathom is how that sick and mistaken view can afterwards be used to base a purpose in life upon for years to come.

    The underlying idea is they will be ok if they can close down AA. If only they can fold every meeting in the world they will not feel the way they do, and will finally be alright.

    You should see the ones who have been at this for 20 years…they become warped into something very odd. Every bad thing in their lives is the fault of AA. Every missed opportunity, every medical problem, their inability to get along socially, or function normally is not their fault at all. It’s all the fault of an organization that doesn’t know they exist, don’t care what they think, and continues to help people get terrific lives while they experience their problems ongoing.

    When an organization is responsible for such wrongness and continues to wound them so deeply, what else can you expect?

  • http://deleted Primrose

    ftg/ma: could we have a post on lovebombing? Or could you direct me to a site that I could use to show someone what lovebombing is.

  • JD

    rats..’not full of…’and ‘doesn’t care’. Sorry guys, I’ll start reading these through before posting them.

  • http://www.stinkin-thinkin.com friendthegirl

    JD sez “someone in AA hurts their tender feelings by telling them the truth”

    That holds a lot of weight from someone who believes he’s not responsible for his own behavior… I mean “powerless.”

  • http://www.stinkin-thinkin.com friendthegirl

    Prim, I’ve seen your requests for a lovebombing post… I’m sorry we haven’t done one. It’s a good subject. I know we’ve addressed the subject before, but just in the context of cultish behavior. If someone would like to write a post on it or the start to a discussion (including you, Prim), I’d be happy to post it.

  • JD

    Sorry FTG, I haven’t the time or inclination to teach Alcoholism 101, and don’t care if you get it the powerless thing or not. Surely you can find someone to explain the concept. Though probably not among those here, true.

    Try LifeRing, as some seem to get it over there, and the scars you’ve suffered at the hands of the terrible AAs won’t continue to block your understanding.

  • http://deleted Primrose

    thanks. and shunning, the evil sibling of lovebombing.

  • Gunthar2000
  • Mike

    @ftg, following up on an earlier observation you made about diablo….’gaslighting’ is the right term for what he’s doing. The guy’s a dyed in the wool steppist, it’s becoming more apparent.

  • tintop

    Mike, I expect that he is. That seems to be the most logical explanation for his behavior here.

  • http://deleted Primrose

    THx G2K. I hope that the fact that we are going to look at the sites that you have posted will count for more than a random google. iyswim. I am currently being told that al-anon is ‘not as bad’ as aa. (GT2k, have you looked at eddy’s post re Times of India?) Thanks all.

  • Mr AA

    @ AnnaZed

    The key word is “requires.”

    No one is required to read the Big Book, call their sponsor, work the steps, follow the traditions, or do anything else. That there is intense pressure to do so is clear, but no one in AA has or ever will be able to compel me or anyone else to do anything.

  • Mona Lisa

    Mr. AA: The links are posted in the comments to this blog entry:

    http://stinkin-thinkin.com/2011/01/10/aas-own-stats-show-slow-demise/

    I agree that there is nothing on the order of a law of nature that prevents AA from changing. Theoretically, yes, it can change. Practically, I don’t see it happening. It would require a wholesale rewrite of the literature and a complete change in group culture. Good luck with it though; I think what you are doing is good. The fewer people who are abused and hurt in the name of recovery, the better.

  • Mike

    @tin, almost makes me yearn for the days of tony j, at least with him it was a case of wysiwyg.

  • tintop

    I understand that, mike.
    Hostile fatuity is more interesting than condescending fatuity.

  • Mr AA

    Mona Lisa:

    Thanks for the reference to the links.

    When I came into AA in the late 70′s – just before the explosion in treatment centers – the group culture in AA where I attended was entirely different. Almost no one believed that alcoholism was literally a disease, using the idea instead as a pragmatic metaphor. Relapse was not so common once a decent stretch of sober days were strung together. The influx of treatment center graduates changed all that.

    So a partial change has already occurred, and it happened before anyone in AA realized what was going on. Another Trojan horse could accomplish something similar. For a conscious change, however, when a group culture is organized around a central belief rooted in a shared experience, the culture changes only when new shared experiences create an alternative central belief.

    But it all depends on how people interpret their experiences. Bill Wilson interpreted his white-light vision in terms of a simplistic powerlessness – power – empowerment ideaology that resonated with what he already believed. I had a similar white-light experience but interpreted it differently: my “Program” is rooted in self-knowledge, not dependence on a higher power.

    So if anyone wants to call AA a religion – and I have no problem with that – let us take it even further and hold out the possibility of a “New Testament” (No offence to Christians) for AA that finishes the work the Bill Wilson left undone, and even corrects some of the mistakes in the literature. Stranger things have happened.

  • tintop

    One day it will be recognized that “Mr AA” is merely another troll. Condescending and fatuous; but, a mere troll nonetheless.

  • howlermonkey

    @tintop – I’ve been wrong about trolls before and given them chances they didn’t deserve, so I may be wrong about Mr. AA. I don’t know whether he’s a troll or just someone who seems like an odd duck.

    I have also heard that AA was very different in the late 70s-mid 80s. Perhaps the fact that its numbers were suddenly increasing put the ratio of newbies to oldtimers at an all-time high. And maybe those newbies really did just take what they wanted and left the rest. I can understand that if that’s what you experienced as AA in your first years of sobriety, then that’s what you’d believe AA really is.

    I confess I haven’t read many of Mr AA’s posts. They just don’t seem relevant to the AA that I have access to. In the AA I know, only the most superficial criticism of the Big Book is allowed, if that. Steppism, disease theory and powerlessness are the ruling concepts. They form an absolute law, and any who do not embrace them are “not working the program.”

    So while I have no reason to doubt Mr. AA’s sincerity (unlike some others here), I don’t see what his experience has to do with the issues at hand. No, AA doesn’t have to be the way it is. There may have been times it wasn’t. But it is what it is now. Its madness has particular methods that we are in the business of analyzing, reporting and combating. That’s why I’m here anyway.

  • tintop

    mr AA’s experience with AA has very little to do with the issues at hand.

  • Mike

    @howler, my experience with mr aa makes me skeptical about his motives. He’s a lot like the guy who called himself ‘extravagant promises’ on the old mentalhealth forum. Both seem to want to build a newer, better aa while keeping aa just like it is. EC threatened me with violence after I had compared his ideas to something that one would hear from chopra or oprah.

  • Ben Franklin

    @Mike, Oh those wonderful threats of violence from these ever so spiritual people over the intertubes. I remember when Tony J implied violence against you on Dombeck’s blog. What was he going to do? Beat you with an electron? Speaking of Tony J, it still seems so striking to me the way JD and him think and write. Maybe they are different. If they are different then it just goes to show the cultish nature of AA.

  • http://duischooltruth.wordpress.com JR Harris

    Peoples motives will always be an issue on any post. Hardcore AA Thumpers are highly trained in deception and interview techniques to get the information they need to practice mind control. I have to wonder why they keep coming back here? Is it because they wish to hone their skills on mind control?

    Hardcore AA Thumpers are also heavily indoctrinated in the 12 Steps and AA slogans. They like coming back to this site as often as they can, and have been taught that “If you hang around a barber shop long enough, you will get a haircut”. Given this, I wonder why their own teaching and philosophy is being ignored every time they come back to this site? Maybe they will catch something from here, like common sense………..

  • howlermonkey

    @Mike – I hear ya. The one person I actually know who did AA in the early 80s doesn’t want to hear about what it’s like now. He still clings (a little childishly, IMO) to his AA experience as a great time in his life and can’t believe that anyone could be hurt by it, or that it has some very strong cultish tendencies. He actually winces if I say anything against it. This person is very dear to me, and I don’t want to disturb his equilibrium. But I certainly can’t trust his instincts on AA.

    @tintop – Yep. There’s theoretical interest in talking about what AA might have been or could be. But that stuff is mainly relevant for highlighting what AA really is and really does right now. If someone brings up the past to distract attention from the present, then that’s a sign of dishonesty.

  • Mr AA

    Troll? Odd Duck? Violent Deceiver?

    I heard about this site, read the ‘About Stinkiin Thinkin” introduction, saw the value and thought my approach would be complementary. My nickname in AA is “The Muckraker” & I have been challenging the Program & the Fellowship as the only game in town for over half my life.

    So what’s the problem?

  • AnnaZed

    @Mr AA who says ~ “…The key word is “requires.” No one is required to read the Big Book, call their sponsor, work the steps, follow the traditions, or do anything else.”

    For now I’m going to go with willfully obtuse and reserve judgment on prevarication, but mind you I am a very thorough reader.

  • Mike

    @ben, that’s what really chaps the true-believer’s asses. They can’t use actual physical intimidation. The internet has leveled the playing field and they hate it. I try to console them, to no avail, that the web affords them the true realm of the spirit. It hasn’t seemed to click though.

  • Ben Franklin

    Mike the true realm of the spirit has been devastating to them. They can’t control the literature like they did before. It is too bad for them that they can’t outlaw the free flowing of information.

  • howlermonkey

    MrAA – I honestly don’t know if there is a problem. But with the site experiencing at least two very ugly, long-term trolls, you can understand why there’s a desire to figure out if there’s another one. Both these trolls are experienced gaslighters and liars. Sometimes they acted calmly and considerately then other times they acted like complete psychopaths.

    I understand that you are critical of AA, and believe it can be reformed from the inside. I don’t agree, but I don’t see any problem with you arguing for your sincere beliefs. Some say that you have also said things that make them doubt the sincerity of your past statements. So I can’t dismiss that either.

    I’m not going to ask you to prove yourself or anything like that. I’m not in charge of anyone. But you should be able to understand the concern about trolls. And you should be able to understand that the majority of AA experience does not match yours.

    A case in point: Saying things like “No one is required to read the Big Book, call their sponsor, work the steps, follow the traditions, or do anything else” is a tricky business. On one (very abstract) level it’s true, on another (present reality), nothing could be more false. It’s how well you acknowledge and distinguish those levels that will determine how you come across. The more you confuse these levels of meaning, consciously or not, the more you will give the impression of being a gaslighter or a troll.

  • Mike

    @howler, very well put. @bf, ain’t the internet and the first amendment grand?

  • Mr AA

    @ AnnaZed

    Let me try this again.

    My “motive” in telling people that no one is required to do anything in AA is not to spread the idea that AA is open and tolerant, as clearly it is not. My “motive” in telling people that no one is required to do anything in AA is to open a path through all the close-minded intolerance. Here is what i mean:

    Much of this site seems rightfully dedicated to exposing all the evil that goes on in the Program & Fellowship. This knowledge empowers people. Don’t you think that someone who is told that they don’t have to listen to all the con-artists and manipulators in AA is equally empowered?

    My first years in AA were anything but easy, and my sponsor made sure I understood that most people in the Fellowship were not my friends. I saw the sexual predation, outright stealing of money, and lieing that went on right off the bat. But I really wanted to stay sober and carved out my own path. At my first year anniversary I stood up at my home group and announced: “I stayed sober this year in spite of most of you, with the help of a few of you, but mostly because I wanted to live more than I wanted to fit in.”

    I hope that explains my position a little clearer.

  • hulahoop.

    @JRWhen you cut and paste what other people are saying into your posts, it becomes hard to differentiate what you are saying and they are saying. It is kind of like when people do the 12 Steps, when they repeat them are they saying them, or are they just repeating something someone else said? Be careful repeating what other people write, if you do it long enough it will become part of your though process. Kind of like when you got in trouble at school and the teacher makes you write something on the board 1000 times. They do it to brainwash you in to a behavior that they feel is appropriate.

    The reason I do it is to help me remember what I am posting about without having to go back to find the original post. I realize some people find it annoying. I am truly sorry for that. It is difficult for me to remain focused on what I am writing about by using memory only. I guess I could delete the quote out of my post when I am finished responding, but then I probably wouldn’t remember what I was referring to unless I sift through the other posts. For me quoting is a reference tool that helps me to stay focused and hopefully not drift too far off track.

    It also helps me when people do it. Otherwise I have to go back and search posts to see what it is being referred to. Sometimes I will read a post and wonder what the author is referring to. Sometimes there are so many comments that I cannot remember everything that has been said so far.

  • SoberPJ

    I have no problem with Mr AA, but this caught my eye ” Almost no one believed that alcoholism was literally a disease, using the idea instead as a pragmatic metaphor. ”
    How does one tell where the pragmatic metaphors end and the real bullshit begins? And where is the guiding authority that ordains which is a metaphor and which is not? From this perspective, the relation to religions is quite obvious.Are people really powerless, or is that just a dramatic pragmatic methaphor too? Is alcohol being cunning, balling and powerful a metaphor or did Bill Wilson believe it? And wants his followers to believe it too. No, there is so much horseshit in the program it is non sense, period. Over time, it leads to serious delusion and cognitive dissonance.And, I might add, while the individual actually believes his grasp of understanding life is increasing, when in fact, it is doing just the opposite.

  • http://duischooltruth.wordpress.com JR Harris

    I like the way that AA claims nothing is required in AA. But is that the real truth? While it may not be required, it is very frowned upon if you do not follow all of the “suggestions” perfectly. You are demeaned by the group as a whole and become a “YET” if you do not follow the program. AA is full of contradictions on this. You can not ” take what you want and leave the rest”. If you do you are considered in denial and an labeled as “Unfortunate” and “incapable of being honest with themselves”. Sounds like a catch 22 to me. It also sounds like a very deceptive program…

    “Rarely have we seen a person fail who has thoroughly followed our path. Those who do not recover are people who cannot or will not completely give themselves to this simple program, usually men and women who are constitutionally incapable of being honest with themselves. There are such unfortunates. ”

    Source: Chapter 5 Big Book.

  • hulahoop.

    MrAA – My first years in AA were anything but easy, and my sponsor made sure I understood that most people in the Fellowship were not my friends. I saw the sexual predation, outright stealing of money, and lieing that went on right off the bat. But I really wanted to stay sober and carved out my own path. At my first year anniversary I stood up at my home group and announced: “I stayed sober this year in spite of most of you, with the help of a few of you, but mostly because I wanted to live more than I wanted to fit in.”

    I don’t understand. Why didn’t you carve out a path that didn’t involve using AA to remain sober? What about the group helped you to live?

  • Lucy

    Mr. AA, Things must have really changed between the late 70s and the early 80s, because I can assure the word “disease” was mentioned at every meeting I ever attended. And apparently the AA GSO and AAWS didn’t know you all thought alcoholism wasn’t a disease or it wouldn’t have voted to publish “Is AA for You?” in 1973.

    Take a look at the first paragraph in which AA itself referers to the “disease of alcoholism” in the pamphlet on the AA website -

    http://www.aa.org/lang/en/subpage.cfm?page=71

  • Lucy

    And if you think that citation of “disease’ in conference-approved literature is anecdota (which one could say was exactly the basis of your argument)l, AA has provided you a search engine on the site so that you can see how many times “disease” is used in conference-approved literature.

  • Lucy

    And if you think that citation of “disease’ in conference-approved literature is anecdota (which one could say was exactly the basis of your argument)l, AA has provided you a search engine on the site so that you can see how many times “disease” is used in conference-approved literature.

  • causeandeffect

    Sober PJ said, “.And, I might add, while the individual actually believes his grasp of understanding life is increasing, when in fact, it is doing just the opposite.”

    So very true. It’s evident when they share.

  • http://duischooltruth.wordpress.com JR Harris

    @hulahoop – Sorry, I wasn’t referring to you about quoting posts. I was just trying to make a point because someone said, I said, they said something. (You know, the usual he said, she said, we said, you said run around) The fact was they did say it (or at least repeated it) when they quoted someone else (Mere semantics and I misunderstood who actually said it ). No offense to anyone, I understand that posts have to be cut and pasted to answer a specific question. I was mainly trying to put an end to the endless he said, she said, we said, you said run around for a while. It was getting confusing.

  • MA

    I personally have no problem with AA or anyone believing alcoholism is a disease. That’s a straw man. My problem with AA is in believing and treating alcoholism as a character flaw or moral weakness. Whether an AA believes it to be disease or not is irrelevant. If they’re playing out of the ‘Big Book’, they’ve got to believe it’s a spiritual malady that can be treated by an invisible guardian angel who fixates on alkies. That is plain ‘ol, batshit crazy.

  • hulahoop.

    Will someone please take the time to explain step eleven to me?
    Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.

  • howlermonkey

    MrAA wrote: “Don’t you think that someone who is told that they don’t have to listen to all the con-artists and manipulators in AA is equally empowered? ”

    Possibly, but not necessarily.

    Most people, even with forewarning, and especially when they are in the emotionally vulnerable early stages of quitting an addiction, are going to be very susceptible to social pressure. Current AAs are very adept at getting pigeons to doubt their own perceptions and interpretations of reality. And most people in the pigeon role are going to want to believe in the goodness of the people who supposed to be helping to get them sober. So I don’t believe you’re correct, for the most part.

    You were VERY fortunate to have a sponsor who warned you about the problems in your meeting and who actually allowed you to take a very individual path. That’s literally one-in-a-million. My sponsor pretended to do that but it turned out that he was just waiting for me to come around to the “right” way of thinking – just like in “We Agnostics.”

    And seconding hulahoop’s question of 9:13am. Why did you stay at all? Was your sponsor the councilor you needed, or was it some other thing? If the program was no good and the meeting no good, what was there?

    Thanks.

  • causeandeffect

    hulahoop, that’s one of the really big problems I had early on. I have always considered people who think they know what gawd’s will is are delusional at best, and downright dangerous at worst.

  • hulahoop.

    @JR – No offense taken. I know quoting can be annoying because it makes people have to sift through posts and also makes posts longer. My memory is terrible. I do understand the divide and conquer aspect as well as taking you what from a post and leaving the rest.

    I never understood “How It Works.” I reached a point where I literally wanted to spit on the floor to show my disdain for it. There were a lot of people who felt the same way I did about it. It was one of those “take what you want and leave the rest” issues. I didn’t understand why the group didn’t vote it out of the opening statements. I understand now. It is one of the many loopholes used to defend the “failure” rate of the program.

  • hulahoop.

    @cause – hulahoop, that’s one of the really big problems I had early on. I have always considered people who think they know what gawd’s will is are delusional at best, and downright dangerous at worst.

    Someone (I think possibly FTG) posted something about it on another thread. I’ve been thinking about it but it is a little fuzzy to me now. I wish I could find it. It had to do with praying to a higher power. This step requires you to pray (or meditate) to God.

    How does someone know the difference between God’s will, their personal will, and the will of the group?

  • Mike

    I attended a number of retreats in early sobriety hosted by a popular circuit speaker, long since deceased. He used to warn us to steer clear of those who thought they knew god’s will for us, and shortly thereafter he would tell us what god’s will is for us.

  • http://duischooltruth.wordpress.com JR Harris

    I think the “difference between God’s will, their personal will, and the will of the group”, comes down to who you think your higher power is. In AA you are supposed to be able to pick your higher power. It just has to be the correct one per AA doctrine. I think they are trying to order it like this:

    1. Personal Will
    2. Will of the Group.
    3. Gods will.

    Well AA indoctrination takes “Personal Will” right out of the picture. You have to do this or you are shunned because you are in denial. This leaves the “Will of the Group” and “Gods Will”. They appear to try and make them one in the same, or at least blur the line between the two. I would say they are most definitely a Religious group of extremists, who’s teachings try to lead everyone to believe that they speak for God. They try and claim that you can pick any higher power you want, but in reality this is false, and they force the Will of God on you as the group see’s it. This effectively makes the Groups Will the same as Gods Will.

  • Mr AA

    hulahoop asked: I don’t understand. Why didn’t you carve out a path that didn’t involve using AA to remain sober? What about the group helped you to live?

    howlermonkeyadded: And seconding hulahoop’s question of 9:13am. Why did you stay at all? Was your sponsor the councilor you needed, or was it some other thing? If the program was no good and the meeting no good, what was there?

    My answer:

    I had nowhere else to go. The jails and insitutions were getting tiresome. AA was a place I could go every night where at least people were not drinking – if I had had to spend evenings alone in my apartment during my first year I never would have made it. There were smiling faces: I don’t remember any smiling faces from my childhood. The smiling faces kept saying “Hi XXXX” – a simple acknowledgement of my existence. For someone who was barely functioning, this was real soul food.

    An important thing that kept me going was the “meeting after the meeting.” That’s when many dropped their meeting persona and spoke the truth.

    And of course, I do realize that my “sponsor” provided a one-in-a-million experience of AA for me. So why not return the favor?

  • AnnaZed

    @Mr AA who says ~ “…My “motive” in telling people that no one is required to do anything in AA is not to spread the idea that AA is open and tolerant, as clearly it is not. My “motive” in telling people that no one is required to do anything in AA is to open a path through all the close-minded intolerance.”

    Ah yes, by all means, a single post on a tiny blog enjoining suffering, confused, detoxing and depressed people (some of who are also mentally ill) to somehow navigate a gauntlet of manipulative, intolerant and flat-out crazy people and somehow hold their own and make sophisticated and iconoclastic decisions while simultaneously being told to “take the cotton out of your ears and put it in your mouth,” get a sponsor (teen drug programs, social workers and parole officers ALL require this) etc. etc on up to actually using the group as a deity.

    That’s a great plan.

    Should we make posters or little pamphlets for the hundreds of thousands (over the years millions) of depressed people who drank too much after a death in their family, confussed teens (children!), sexual assualt victims under post-traumatic strees, working people trying to hold onto their jobs, parents under the thumb of the Department of Social Services trying desperately to hold onto their children, people at risk of being deselected for organ transplants, battered wives and vulnerable veterans (people to whom we as a society owe so much more than this tripe) to fight this complicated fraught battle for you in lieu of getting actual treatment for their actual problems?

    Excellent, where do I sign up. Raise high the roof beams carpenters, we are having trouble fitting some of these giant heads under our inclusive ceiling here.

    You will have to forgive me, but I have seen this argument many, many times. I was myself for many years a member of the fringe or more tolerant wing of AA until I finally got it through my head that it was an exercise in complete stupidity.

    @hulahoop ~ there is absolutely nothing wrong with quoting other posters when you respond to them; in fact it makes the conversation much more comprehensible. There is nothing wrong with your net etiquette. There is no need for you to apologize. I might even go so far as to suggest that the humility that you keep demonstrating by denigrating your perfectly sound reasoning and communication skills might be in part a manifestation of residual damage that 12-stepping may have done to your self-image. Fuck that!

    As to this question of yours “…How does someone know the difference between God’s will, their personal will, and the will of the group?”

    Wilson had a simple answer to that; just treat the group itself as God Problem solved.

    G.O.D. = Group Of Drunks, ever heard that one? While that is absolutely, positively one of the single most offensive ideas that I have ever encountered in my life, it is a pillar of AA religious indoctrination.

  • http://duischooltruth.wordpress.com JR Harris

    @Mr AA. I can understand your point of view. AA gave you something to do besides drinking and financially it only cost a dollar a meeting. If you go once a day every month it works out to about $28-$30 a month. That is probably less than one night out drinking. I have a question though, why didn’t you try a gym, the YMCA(true it does have some Religion in it), or local Recreation Center?

    Could it be that you were never told that these organizations could provide that sort of support? When you talk to someone about their drinking because you want to “return the favor”, do you mention and encourage these options?

  • Gunthar2000

    AA was a cult from the very beginning. The idea that AA was once this wonderful organization and was suddenly infiltrated by recovery industry Trojan horses is just bullshit. The history is there for everyone to see. AA has lobbied congress and actively recruited from prisons and hospitals since AA’s inception. AA commitments at prisons and hospitals are nothing new. There is no new AA… period. Alcoholics Anonymous was engineered to be a cult from the very beginning… and a brilliantly organized self perpetuating mind trap is the result.

    People who come in here and squawk about how you can take what you need and leave the rest, or how there is a good old boys network within AA if you just take the time to look for it are just hardcore AA zealots doing there best to try to save a few newcomers from what they perceive as the Stinkin’ Thinkin’ beast. They are the worst kind of liars you can find in AA. They smile in your face while they put you in your place. They have the same hidden agenda that every other AA shit-maggot has… to recruit new members for their religious cult.

  • Lucy

    AnnaZed – “You will have to forgive me, but I have seen this argument many, many times. I was myself for many years a member of the fringe or more tolerant wing of AA until I finally got it through my head that it was an exercise in complete stupidity.”

    In AA, I was frustrated by the AA members disavowal of and intolerance to fact, evidence and logic. On this site, I have become frustrated by the AA members who post with complete disavowal of and intolerance to fact, evidence and logic.

    I watch them play the same mind games I saw in the meetings, and all of the games are based on their rules -

    1) You don’t know what I know about AA.
    2) My group isn’t like that.
    3) Someone may say __________ in print, on a website or in a newspaper but they really meant _______________.
    4) I’m not like that.
    5) You don’t understand what it is like to be in AA.

    I’m sure you have many more of them.

  • Gunthar2000

    @Lucy… I couldn’t have said it better myself.

  • Mr AA

    @JR Harris

    Thanks for taking the time to understand my point of view.

    My final drunk landed me in lockdown in a psychiatric unit, and all they said at discharge was: “Go to AA.” No alternatives were discussed, and I was way too wrecked to even consider anything else.

    Presently, I doubt I go to more than one AA meeting every other week, and then only because I am asked to speak. My efforts to “reform from within” are Trojan Horse in nature: my main focus now is to hit treatment graduates before they hit the meeting rooms, to catalyze a culture change similar to what happened in AA between the late 70′s and early 80′s – but a different kind of change that will ricochet back to the treatment centers. Paradoxically, the unholy alliance between treatment centers and AA is actually their Achilles Heel. My style is always to beat them at their own game on their own turf.

    When I talk to someone about their drinking, I would like to mention and encourage many options, but I do not understand them as well as I understand AA . Fortunately, the Internet allows people to do a lot of research themselves, as long as they are aware that options exist. This is always part of my message.

    Thank you.

  • http://deleted Primrose

    JRH: joining a gym does not have the same pay off as being part of a cult. I think this is why aa will not survive once Dorothy has looked behind the curtain. People in this cult think that they are very special people (not ‘normies’!).

  • diablo

    @ AnnaZed,
    Anna says,
    That is so absolutely categorically untrue that I wonder if you have actually even been to an AA meeting or read the literature at all.

    diablo,
    I think this may be the fundamental difference between Mr. AA and you. He sees it as it was meant when written in the BB, as suggestions, a proposal for a possible road map. I know Bill wrote, “That rarely has a person failed who properly followed are path” whatever, that was Bill. he wanted to see folks get sober.
    I can tell you in my experience a vast majority use parts of the steps (due to a different interpretation) and leave the rest. This is the attitude I have seen with most AA folk.
    I always felt a wide latitude in my interpretations. It wasn’t till I ran into countless T/C folks that I started to see the militant AA’er. Lock stepping with the BB.

  • diablo

    Mike says
    @ftg, following up on an earlier observation you made about diablo….’gaslighting’ is the right term for what he’s doing. The guy’s a dyed in the wool steppist, it’s becoming more apparent.

    diablo,
    Boy, that makes it very easy for everyone around here. Your brain doesn’t have to hurt anymore. Diablo is a Stepper.
    Here is a concept, let me tell you what I am.
    I would not call me anything other then a person who went to AA for a little over two decades then made a decision to move on due to philosophical differences.
    AA probably is changing and I don’t think it will be for the better. I personally would like to see AA become small again maybe then it could help the alcoholic it was meant to help.

  • Gunthar2000

    We are all so sick that we can’t see what the Big Book says?

    Parts of the steps? What about all of that half measures bullshit?

    Don’t be fooled by people like this… They are just trying to get you into more meetings. The more meetings you go to… the more brainwashed you’ll become.
    No matter what these people say, AA is a religion.
    Would you hang out at the Kingdom Hall and just take what you need and leave the rest?

  • diablo

    Mr AA says

    When I came into AA in the late 70′s – just before the explosion in treatment centers – the group culture in AA where I attended was entirely different. Almost no one believed that alcoholism was literally a disease, using the idea instead as a pragmatic metaphor. Relapse was not so common once a decent stretch of sober days were strung together. The influx of treatment center graduates changed all that.

    So a partial change has already occurred, and it happened before anyone in AA realized what was going on. Another Trojan horse could accomplish something similar. For a conscious change, however, when a group culture is organized around a central belief rooted in a shared experience, the culture changes only when new shared experiences create an alternative central belief.

    But it all depends on how people interpret their experiences. Bill Wilson interpreted his white-light vision in terms of a simplistic powerlessness – power – empowerment ideaology that resonated with what he already believed. I had a similar white-light experience but interpreted it differently: my “Program” is rooted in self-knowledge, not dependence on a higher power.

    So if anyone wants to call AA a religion – and I have no problem with that – let us take it even further and hold out the possibility of a “New Testament” (No offence to Christians) for AA that finishes the work the Bill Wilson left undone, and even corrects some of the mistakes in the literature. Stranger things have happened.

    diablo,
    Thank you very much for your clear concise personal testament. You articulated what I have wanted to say but could not.
    AA has evolved and it works and doesn’t work. We shall see how this will play out.

    Once again thanks

  • diablo

    Gunthar2000 says

    We are all so sick that we can’t see what the Big Book says?

    Parts of the steps? What about all of that half measures bullshit?

    Don’t be fooled by people like this… They are just trying to get you into more meetings. The more meetings you go to… the more brainwashed you’ll become.
    No matter what these people say, AA is a religion.
    Would you hang out at the Kingdom Hall and just take what you need and leave the rest?

    diablo,
    I don’t think anybody will be fooled by my personal experiences and thoughts. Why????
    Because I have said it many times here I don’t like the AA of today. So I will say it with you, Don’t go to AA at all. Not a problem.
    What I am saying is the BB is a genuine way to get sober. I know this may sound funny but my cousin (women) went to a couple of meetings and hated it. The people she said she found gross (her words). But she had a BB started reading it and calling me and others and asked questions. Well pretty much on her own got sober and has stayed that way for sometime.
    AA was hyjacked many moons ago, fuck em. More ways then one to skin a deer.

    • MA

      Well pretty much on her own got sober and has stayed that way for sometime.

      You’re right about this statement. If she got sober, it was on her own. Not because of some religious scripture written by a group of deluded nutjobs. Your old school AA is just as crazy and messed up as the modern AA. It’s just a different breed of crazy.

  • diablo

    @Gunthar,
    Hey if you had a epiphany one day and it resulted in helping people with what you have suffered from, would you not want to tell other people. Then see these people tell others and so on.
    Most prisons are filled with people who abused alcohol and drugs. What a great place to start. I would think.

  • Martha

    Diablo said: “So if anyone wants to call AA a religion – and I have no problem with that – let us take it even further and hold out the possibility of a “New Testament” (No offence to Christians) for AA that finishes the work the Bill Wilson left undone, and even corrects some of the mistakes in the literature. Stranger things have happened.”

    Bill Wilson should have left the entire Bog Book undone. The book is devoid of any valuable insight and has no merit what so ever. Rather than a “New Testament” what is needed is a variety of books that incorporate all we have learned since the 1930s about addiction. Part of that process should include how and why our approach to addictions went totally off the rails because of AA. The legacy of AA has caused so much harm that we need to do more of what we do here. We need to bend the stick in the other direction in order to repair the damage done by AA. I hope that someday soon an author or authors will write a book whose central message is that we are not powerless over substances, that encourages will power, self confidence and critical thought. It should incorporate SMART, RR, Sinclair and Stanton Peele. I would entitle the book You Have the Power to Stop Using! There are millions of people out there who although they have never seen a Big Book or gone to an AA meeting have absorbed the lie that addiction is a disease and that those who have the “disease” are powerless. Hearing that many of them just don’t bother to consider stopping. That among other reasons is why the Big Book belongs in a museum of ineffective approaches to human problems alongside mustard plasters and other quackery.

  • Mike

    ” That among other reasons is why the Big Book belongs in a museum of ineffective approaches to human problems alongside mustard plasters and other quackery.”

    It’s well on its way, Martha. Have faith.

  • http://duischooltruth.wordpress.com JR Harris

    @Martha – before you get hit with it, I just thought I would say that Mr AA said that and diablo was repeating it, but since daiblo agrees with it, he might as well have said it. (Just trying to prevent a he said, she said, we said, they said war/)

  • http://deleted Primrose

    The Big Book, quite apart from being a bible to cultists, is on OFFENCE to the English language.

  • http://www.thecleanslate.org Steven Slate

    Belief in the “disease” was brought up on the last page – 2 things-
    1. The disease has always been a part of AA, the doctors opinion makes that clear, and if not, Bill’s support of Marty Mann/NCA and writings in the grapevine regarding his support for her mission make it clearer. It’s true that at times AA’s have tried to characterize this as an outside issue which they have no opinion on – but in the face of the evidence this is simply a hollow deceptive tactic.

    2. It does matter whether you believe it’s a disease or not, believing that you have disease which causes you to lose control of the choice to drink – will lead you to behave in such a way. A study by William Miller confirmed this: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1046/j.1360-0443.91.12s1.7.x/abstract
    “Among pretreatment characteristics, problem severity (e.g. alcohol dependence symptoms) was positively associated with relapse, but only one measure retained predictive significance after Bonferroni adjustment. The extent to which clients endorsed disease model beliefs on the Understanding Alcoholism Scale was positively predictive of relapse at 6 months, a relationship that held, at least in direction, across all follow-up points.
    ….
    A simpler model supported by the present study (assuming that high risk situations are inevitable) is that the absence of coping resources and the presence of disease model beliefs are associated with relapse”

    They did all kinds of measures in this study and tried working the data out several ways, and one of the only things that held as a predictor of relapse (and a strong one at that) was belief in the disease model. The more you believe in the disease, the more likely it is that you’ll “relapse”.

  • Martha

    “Hey if you had a epiphany one day and it resulted in helping people with what you have suffered from, would you not want to tell other people. Then see these people tell others and so on.”

    Are you referring to Billy’s hallucination while stoned on Belladonna? You call THAT an epiphany? Billy W was con artist with a scheme and his “epiphany” was that he could rip off the Oxford Group’s dogma and begin a new religion that denied it was a religion. B.T. Barnum would have been proud.*

    *there is a sucker born every minute.

  • http://duischooltruth.wordpress.com JR Harris

    What did Bill W. do for a real job? He sure ended up with a nice house (and now a shrine) when he died. If I follow his road map, will I end up with a house like that? Or should I just start my own cult and wing it from there? Do I have to experiment with mind altering drugs and mind control to become so successful?

  • Gunthar2000

    @Primrose, Mike, tintop, Mona Lisa, howlermonkey, Ben Franklin, JR Harris, AnnaZed, hulahoop, SoberPJ, Lucy, causeandeffect, MA, Martha, Steven Slate, and friendthegirl… Excellent posts today!

  • Mike

    @Steve, thanks for the references. Great research as usual.

    Guildenstern, Rosencrantz, and Hamlet, circa 1600, also found that it tends to be the way in which we approach an issue that determines whether it can be considered good or bad, and therefore a problem:

    “Why then ’tis none to you; for there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so. To me it is a prison.” [Hamlet Act 2, scene 2]

    Forgive my relapse into frivolity , I have a long commute ahead of me….

  • http://deleted Primrose

    G2k, or anyone. Where did I read that someone predicted 25 years before St Bill went to meet his maker, that the BB would take the place as an object of illogical worship?

  • Gunthar2000

    @Primrose…

    The oldest concise articles critical of AA that I’m aware of come from Arthur H. Cain.

    http://www.orange-papers.org/orange-ahcain.html

  • diablo

    Martha,
    You give Bill Wilson and AA’s BB so much power. The book was not written by certified addiction counselors/doctors, scientists ect….Just a stock broker and a general practitioner doctor and a 100 others general laymen.

  • diablo

    Steven says,
    Belief in the “disease” was brought up on the last page – 2 things-
    1. The disease has always been a part of AA, the doctors opinion makes that clear, and if not, Bill’s support of Marty Mann/NCA and writings in the grapevine regarding his support for her mission make it clearer. It’s true that at times AA’s have tried to characterize this as an outside issue which they have no opinion on – but in the face of the evidence this is simply a hollow deceptive tactic.

    diablo,
    before you go off on one of your long diatribes stop right here. Dr.Silkworth never endorsed the disease theory. Please cite any study or opinion where he said this.

  • Martha

    No, Diablo it is AA that gives that book of bull**** so much power. No matte who authored it Bill claimed all the royalties. http://www.orange-papers.org/orange-bigbook.html

    “Then, in April of 1939, on the copyright application form, Bill Wilson claimed sole ownership of the copyright of the Big Book for himself,

    * in spite of the fact that the book had at least 32 authors,
    * and in spite of the fact that he had already been paid for his writing work as contract labor (paid twice already: honestly the first time, when he was paid $1558 to write the first 11 chapters, and dishonestly the second time, when Bill helped himself to the Big Book publishing fund).
    * And in spite of the fact that he had repeatedly promised the 31 or so other co-authors that the book would be jointly owned by the whole group.”
    -clip-
    “Bill Wilson’s psychiatrist, Dr. Harry Tiebout, was irritated with Wilson’s distortion of the history of A.A. and the Big Book. Ernest Kurtz reported in his book, Not-God: A History of Alcoholics Anonymous, that:

    A report on this first meeting of the General Service Conference of Alcoholics Anonymous in the June 1951 A.A. Grapevine again roused the ire of Dr. Harry Tiebout. The psychiatrist wrote Wilson an accusing letter, “pointing out the dangers of historical distortion, egotism, and damaging ingratitude.” His special objection was that Bill had unjustly ignored the role of A.A.’s non-alcoholic friends in saving Works Publishing, Inc., in its troubled early days. This particularly irked the doctor because he himself had been an open-pursed purchaser of the apparently worthless stock.
    In rejoinder, Wilson acknowledged that some clarity had indeed been lacking in his brief description of that episode of history, but Bill went on to deny vigorously an intentional “historical distortion” in the interests of making Alcoholics Anonymous appear “self-sufficient” and so more maturely independent than had actually been the case in its early days. He pointed out, in obvious high dudgeon, that “in the past year we’ve tremendously spread information concerning the vital roles played by Silkworth, Tiebout, Dowling, Fosdick, Rockefeller, Richardson, Alexander and a dozen others.”
    Not-God: A History of Alcoholics Anonymous, Ernest Kurtz, page 130.”

    Where all of that money went:
    http://www.orange-papers.org/orange-aacoa.html
    *********************************************************
    It is clear that the last thing Billy W. was capable of was rigorous honesty.

  • diablo

    @Steven,
    I have a situation for you to comment on. You have a chronic alcoholic and intravenous drug user that comes to St. Judes for treatment. You go on an treat him and he seems to take very well to your treatment plan for him. He does not feel manipulated, coerced or bullied into endorsing his sobriety. Now you know from your experience in this field of alcoholism that some people drink with no abandon.
    This person towards the end of their stay with you comes up to you and states that he feels because what you have taught him about empowering himself he can safely drink again upon leaving. As a matter of fact he is going to celebrate the very night he leaves, “tie one on” as they say.
    Now pry tell, what would be your advice for this man or better yet your professional opinion.

  • MA

    Diablo says: …before you go off on one of your long diatribes stop right here. Dr.Silkworth never endorsed the disease theory.

    He refers to it as an “allergy.” That, my friend, is a disease.

  • Gunthar2000

    From Bill W.s speach at Dr. Bob’s funeral…

    Then came that little man that we who live in this area saw so much, him with the kind blue eyes and white hair, Doc Silkworth. You’ll remember that Doc said to me, “look Bill, you’re preaching at these people too much. You’ve got the cart before the horse. This ‘white flash’ experience of yours scares those drunks to death. Why don’t you put the fear of God into them first? You’re always talking about James and The Varieties of Religious Experiences and how you have to deflate people before they can know God, how they must have humility. So, why don’t you use the tool of the medical hopelessness of alcoholism for practically all those involved. Why don’t you talk to the drunk about that allergy they’ve got and that obsession that makes them keep on drinking and guarantees that they will die. Maybe when you punch it into them hard it will deflate them enough so that they will find what you found.”

    AA has been using the deception of medical practice since the very beginning.

    http://www.orange-papers.org/orange-Dr_Bob_Memorial.html

  • diablo

    @ Martha,
    Hey anybody can quote the Orange papers and use his research and opinions. Do me a favor stop being lazy and do your own research. Go to these meeting and study the entire situation. Go about and dig up the stories and articles about Bill and Bob and what they were thinking at the time of the article.
    You only seem to want to mention Bill, you know he had a direct partner Bob Smith. Bob was very influential within AA also. Henrietta Sieberling was also and then of course Lois. Lois started Al-Anon for the women and families of alcoholics.
    Are you saying Lois and Dr. Bob Smith were crazy, skewed, greedy reprehensible dirt bags.
    You have to lump them all in there. Dr. Bob Smith also has a son that frequently talks around the country, we mind as well throw him in there. Dr. Valient also, even though he debated the merits of AA he continued to passionately promote AA (sort of a double bind there). Even Stanton Peele in his conversation on tape said AA was not a cult, please say it after me, “IS NOT A CULT” and found many advantages AA had to help alcoholics.

  • MA

    “Are you saying Lois and Dr. Bob Smith were crazy, skewed, greedy reprehensible dirt bags.”

    Yes. Yes I am.

  • diablo

    MA says
    Diablo says: …before you go off on one of your long diatribes stop right here. Dr.Silkworth never endorsed the disease theory.

    He refers to it as an “allergy.” That, my friend, is a

    diablo,
    MA, come on lets not drag out the medical books and go down this road. A allergy is most definitely not a disease.
    Dr. Silkworth was not splitting hairs or using semantics. I don’t even believe he was even aware at the time he “unofficially” made the comment “allergy ” that the disease concept was being bandied about.

  • Gunthar2000

    <i."Dr. Silkworth was not splitting hairs or using semantics. I don’t even believe he was even aware at the time he “unofficially” made the comment “allergy ” that the disease concept was being bandied about."

    No Silkworth just thought it would be a great way to scare the hell out of people, deflate their egos, and drive them toward a religious conversion.

  • MA

    An allergy is most definitely a disease. Specifically, it is known as “allergic disease” in the medical community. Of course he promoted the disease concept. And you’re right. He was not splitting hairs. He specifically meant it was a disease.

  • diablo

    @Gunthar,
    Gunthar posted (a excerpt concerning Dr. Silkworth),
    Then came that little man that we who live in this area saw so much, him with the kind blue eyes and white hair, Doc Silkworth. You’ll remember that Doc said to me, “look Bill, you’re preaching at these people too much. You’ve got the cart before the horse. This ‘white flash’ experience of yours scares those drunks to death. Why don’t you put the fear of God into them first? You’re always talking about James and The Varieties of Religious Experiences and how you have to deflate people before they can know God, how they must have humility. So, why don’t you use the tool of the medical hopelessness of alcoholism for practically all those involved. Why don’t you talk to the drunk about that allergy they’ve got and that obsession that makes them keep on drinking and guarantees that they will die. Maybe when you punch it into them hard it will deflate them enough so that they will find what you found.”

    diablo,
    It is fine to post a article such as this for the “shock and awe” . Especially if you are speaking to people with little knowledge of the history of AA.
    This was concerning a period of time in the 30′s. Alcoholics or drug users who could not contain themselves (probably many here) would have been locked up in the asylum where Dr. Silkworth worked. So when Bill came around and showed even some promise of helping alcoholics most Doctors jumped on it.
    Just think about this for a second, your in a profession where most of your patients slowly go out of their minds and die a horrible death. That was 1935. At least where Bill and Dr, Silkworth were.

  • diablo

    MA says
    An allergy is most definitely a disease. Specifically, it is known as “allergic disease” in the medical community. Of course he promoted the disease concept. And you’re right. He was not splitting hairs. He specifically meant it was a disease.

    diablo,
    Now if I was making this statement you would ask for citations, well I’m asking. My allergy to moss is not a disease. Just asked my family doctor. He happens to be home today getting ready for this blizzard were expecting tonight and tomorrow in Oklahoma City.

    • MA

      Do you folks bullshit yourselves about everything? I swear you’d deny it’s raining, while in the middle of a thunderstorm. It’s stunning. Here. And here.

  • diablo

    @Gunthar,
    Gunthar says,
    No Silkworth just thought it would be a great way to scare the hell out of people, deflate their egos, and drive them toward a religious conversion.

    diablo,
    That would be a reckless statement, because first off you have no idea of his state of mind, why this conversation happened and the origins of the conversation. Your just pulling tidbits out of the info Hywy and putting your spin on it.
    Like I said Gunthar and these are your words, in the condition you were in once in your life, they would have locked you up. “One flew over the Cuckoo Nest” shit.
    This is fucking scary for sure. I am not saying I agree with it but it is true.

  • Martha

    Diablo, the Orange Papers are the most extensive, well researched and best documented resource about AA anywhere. AA is a cult. Peele agrees that it fits many definitions that describe a cult. The main thing about Peele is that he believes that AA has it all wrong fro the start and that they do a lot of harm.

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    Building on an essay in Wired magazine by Brendan Koerner, New York Times conservative columnist David Brooks lauds to the sky AA and its founder, Bill Wilson. Both Brooks and Koerner point out the worldwide spread of AA (although it is limited mainly to the U.S. and like-minded countries), and the spread of the 12 steps to nearly all areas of behavior change, indeed, to how we approach social problems of all sorts.

    Along the way, Brooks makes the good points that there is no scientific way to program behavior change — that it is indefinite and rooted in individual choice. He points out the benefits of the social networks AA provides its members, and the decentralization of the AA movement, so that individual chapters are able to organize as its own members see fit. These are strong organization and psychological pluses.

    But, unfortunately for a rational conservative, Brooks misses a few downsides to the AA movement.

    1. The view AA conveys of alcohol and alcoholism is associated with abstinence-binge tendencies that already dominate America and other temperance nations. AA’s approach is completely abstinence oriented. In fact, temperance cultures like America, which are highly suspicious and fearful of alcohol, are characterized by many individuals who restrict their drinking, but then go on benders. Similar Northern European cultures, for example, have several times the death rates due to alcohol of Southern European countries, because the former tend to monumental binges (think Ireland, England, Finland) while in the Southern countries, people drink alcohol causally with meals (think Italy, Spain, Greece, France). All indications are that the latter is much healthier. More particularly, the majority of AA members fall off the wagon. When they do so, they very often return to drinking without restraint.

    Brooks, a great trend-spotter, has missed the worldwide movement — including in the United States — towards harm reduction. Harm reduction has an opposite approach to substance use and addiction from the 12 steps. It assumes many people will fail to achieve abstinence, and instead works in every possible way to curtail the problems associated with use: infections (through needle exchange), eliminating accidents (through safe driver programs), healthier use (through cutting back drinking, providing shelter, food and medical care for alcoholics and addicts, and, in the drug area, using safe injection methods or substitutes for injectibles).

    Just as Brooks and Koerner were announcing their discovery that AA is great, the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism was announcing that “alcoholism isn’t what it used to be,” that most people cut back alcoholic drinking without going to treatment — that is, that most of the benefits of self-improvement occur outside the walls of AA for people who specifically violate the fundamental principles of AA. Brooks rejects science in this area: i.e., the idea “that we will someday find a scientific method that will allow us to predict behavior and design reliable social programs.” But let’s not reject science that tells us how the majority of people actually behave. That’s ignorance.

    2. Sorry, AA doesn’t work. The goal of AA and comparable methods is to get people sober (which does NOT, outside of AA, mean total abstinence for everyone). But, according to Koerner: “Wilson’s success is even more impressive when you consider that AA and its steps have become ubiquitous despite the fact that no one is quite sure how — or, for that matter, how well — they work.” In other words, Wilson’s and AA’s triumph has been in marketing, not therapeutics.

    In other areas, Brooks is not so quick to jump on the bandwagon of approaches that aren’t proven to be successful. Given that AA started in 1935, that it is still not proven to be successful is beginning to be a bit worrisome. Do drinking and drug problems, alcoholism and addiction, seem to be improving in the United States? (Hint: according to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 25 percent of 21-year-old Americans have a diagnosable drug or alcohol problem — far and away most often an alcohol problem.) Don’t you think we might be doing a little better in this area after 75 years?

    3. American AA is coercive. Brooks wisely notes, in acknowledging that AA doesn’t work particularly well, “There is no single program that successfully transforms most people most of the time.” But virtually everyone who ends up in AA in the United States is sent (forced) to attend AA or comparable programs — for example through drug courts, or even municipal traffic courts after a DUI. Why does this occur? Because the AA movement is spearheaded by true believers who believe what was good for them is good for everyone, as Brooks himself hints: “There are millions of people who fervently believed that its 12-step process saved their lives.” Naturally, these people are inclined to “recommend” that others follow their one truth path. This, even though Brooks notes, “the majority, even a vast majority, of the people who enroll in the program do not succeed in it.”
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/stanton-peele/aa-isnt-the-best-solution_b_629004.html

    I don’t know enough about Lois or Smith, but Wilson clearly was a greedy reprehensible dirt bag.

  • Gunthar2000

    “Alcoholics or drug users who could not contain themselves (probably many here) would have been locked up in the asylum where Dr. Silkworth worked. So when Bill came around and showed even some promise of helping alcoholics most Doctors jumped on it.”

    You’ve got a bullshit excuse for everything. There were plenty of available treatments for alcoholism back in the 30s. They may not have been that effective, but they were out there. In fact one of them was the purge and puke belladonna treatment that supposedly got Bill W. sober.

    I wonder why Bill W. didn’t build a program around belladonna.

  • causeandeffect

    Sigh

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allergy

    Allergic diseases are strongly familial: identical twins are likely to have the same allergic diseases about 70% of the time; the same allergy occurs about 40% of the time in non-identical twins.[23] Allergic parents are more likely to have allergic children,[24] and their allergies are likely to be more severe than those from non-allergic parents. Some allergies, however, are not consistent along genealogies; parents who are allergic to peanuts may have children who are allergic to ragweed. It seems that the likelihood of developing allergies is inherited and related to an irregularity in the immune system, but the specific allergen is not.[24]

  • diablo

    @MA

    diablo says,
    “Are you saying Lois and Dr. Bob Smith were crazy, skewed, greedy reprehensible dirt bags.”

    MA says,
    Yes. Yes I am.

    diablo says,
    you really feel that way or are you just being mean because you can. I truly find it hard to believe that you could have such a opinion about harmless people just trying to help.

    • MA

      diablo says,
      you really feel that way or are you just being mean because you can. I truly find it hard to believe that you could have such a opinion about harmless people just trying to help.

      Why are you calling me “mean?” You asked a question, and I responded. Don’t ask if you are going to flake out on the answer.

      Read the biography of Dr Bob. He was one sadistic SOB. Lois was a deluded, crazy loon. She was complicate in many of the things Bill did.

  • Martha

    sorry about the extra copy on my previous post.

  • Gunthar2000

    “Gunthar and these are your words, in the condition you were in once in your life, they would have locked you up. “One flew over the Cuckoo Nest” shit.”

    I never said anything like that… Please ban this troll.

  • diablo

    @Gunthar,

    Gunthar says,
    You’ve got a bullshit excuse for everything. There were plenty of available treatments for alcoholism back in the 30s. They may not have been that effective, but they were out there. In fact one of them was the purge and puke belladonna treatment that supposedly got Bill W. sober.

    diablo,
    Would you please name the insurmountable treatment centers available in and around NYC in the 1930′s, please. That specifically dealt with alcohol.
    Now remember it was 1934-35 were talking about.
    I’ll give you one but it was in Hartford CT. Institute For Living. I would think for the average chronic alcoholic this would be to far away. Another problem was funds $$$ since most alcoholics drank till the money was gone. I know Gunthar you and I can relate to that. It is called running to the wheels come off the cart. Know what I mean.

  • Gunthar2000

    Ban diablo or I’m outta here.

  • Mike

    @MA, you have just encountered the Diablo Effect. Here’s how it works:

    1. Diablo enters the thread late afternoon with moderate talk.
    2. He then negates what someone says with a snarky comment or two, or better yet, provides misleading information to counter what someone had posted.
    3. He wait for the rebuttals.
    4. He finds the most reasoned rebuttal and make a slighting, pithy comment that refuses to acknowledge what the other person said.
    5. He then gets some real strong rebuttals back telling him how whacked he is.
    6. He then acts all hurt, and eventually leaves the thread.
    7. The next day he comes back and starts all over.

    I’m thinking at this point what he really wants is to get booted so that the site’s ban count can start ticking up. Then the McGowdgos, TJ’s, et al can say that we are shutting out dissenters.

    Nuff said, I got studying to do.

  • diablo

    @Gunthar,
    I never said you said what I wrote above. What I said was you have revealed that you were in rough shape at one point in your life. In 1930 they probably would have put you in a asylum. I would have been there also and any body else here with a chronic alcohol/drug problem.

    Gunthar, when do you actually stop your stomping and kicking your feet like a little snit, when things don’t go your way. You really have no idea how to debate without losing your mind.

  • Mike

    @g2k, don’t do it, it’s what the you-know-what wants. You have a lot to offer, stick it out and ignore the palooka.

  • http://www.thecleanslate.org Steven Slate

    @diablo
    First off, we wouldn’t “treat” them. We would make clear that we are not offering treatment. Second, I would let him know that moderate use is possible, and that in fact most formerly alcohol dependent people go on to moderate/sub-dependent levels of use. I would be clear that a single drink needn’t lead to full blown alcoholism/loss of control. I would confirm to him that indeed, St Judes philosophy is compatible with moderation goals. My personal recommendation (and this is me personally, I’m not sure how St Judes asks their teachers to respond to this question nowadays, although I do know that they believe moderation is a viable outcome) would be that he spend a good amount of time (not the 6 weeks in the program, but out there in his day to day life) practicing being content without alcohol, so that he isn’t using it to escape reality but instead forging new habits for dealing with the demands of life, before he starts using moderately.

    This study shows that moderation is not only possible, but probable for those who fit the DSM-IV diagnosis for Substance Dependence:
    http://www.thecleanslate.org/self-change/substance-dependence-recovery-rates-with-and-without-treatment/

    And that’s all I’ll say about this issue, since it’s a hypothetical, and this person is not available for me to interact with and have a dialogue about all the concepts I would have taught him at that point, and to discuss ways that he can practically apply these concepts into his life.

  • Martha

    Diablo, you seem to think you have even a scintilla of control over what we say here. You are not in some meeting where you can stop cross talk. All you do here is help us prove our points to people who drop by and your posts help us to convince others to quit AA or avoid it all together.

  • diablo

    Gunthar2000 says
    Ban diablo or I’m outta here.

    diablo,
    Bye don’t let the door hit the rash on your ass on your way out.
    :)

  • diablo

    Martha says
    Diablo, you seem to think you have even a scintilla of control over what we say here. You are not in some meeting where you can stop cross talk. All you do here is help us prove our points to people who drop by and your posts help us to convince others to quit AA or avoid it all together.

    diablo,
    Stop making this personal. I am not delusional, I am under no idea that I control anything here. That is all up in your head.
    Just look around if I was controlling anything around here I would be ready about now for a full blown anxiety attack. Because it is not working.

  • Martha

    Diablo, if you think AA is useful for anybody then you are delusional.

  • MA

    Diablo, don’t be a dick.

    Gunthar, we need the Diablos of the world here posting.

    Let’s try and keep this civil. We don’t have to agree, but at least we can not get personal.

    You know why Texas doesn’t drop into the Gulf of Mexico? Cuz Oklahoma sucks.

  • diablo

    @Steven,
    OK your not treating them aye. The program at St.Judes is not free and Insurance covers it. So there better be some treatment there, especially if your expressing onofficial opinions on anti-depressant medication.
    I not trying to split hairs here but I find everyone here doing just that. I don’t like the disease concept either. But every single one of us have known people in our lives either professionally or otherwise that can never seem to drink moderately. Why is that, what is the reason for this. Your guess is as good as anybodies.

  • diablo

    You know why Texas doesn’t drop into the Gulf of Mexico? Cuz Oklahoma sucks.

    Now that is a good one, you LongHorner. We owned ya this year.

  • MA

    For what it’s worth, I think it’s a disease. A physiological one. I know I’m probably in the minority here. Silkworth was the only one of those assholes with a lick of sense. He was on the right track. Too bad AA decided that his opinion, based on 1930s understanding, is set in stone. Any other advancements in understanding be damned.

  • diablo

    Diablo, don’t be a dick.

    That would almost be impossible around here as thing are. If you have a different opinion your a dick, if I come back with sarcasm in response to sarcasm I’m a dick, if I slap Gunthar back because he attack me or wants me banned I’m a dick.

    Can we use another word. Because I am a “dick” already, MA. :)

  • causeandeffect

    Just scroll up. diablo posts twice, or every other, or every 2 posts. Even though he can’t even hold his own, even though he can’t control what people say, even though he can’t prove any of his arguments and even though he is completely irrational and delusional. I don’t know why he doesn’t slink off in embarrassment but it’s obvious he’s just getting some kind of perverse reward out of this. Just ignore him.

  • http://www.thecleanslate.org Steven Slate

    The worst part about the allergy thing is that there truly are people with a real allergy to alcohol – but the allergy doesn’t result in continued uncontrollable drinking – it’s like other food allergies, and it can end with them going to the emergency room for anaphylactic shock!

    Those who characterize addiction as an allergy have borrowed a real dangerous medical condition and applied it to people who are in no such danger.

  • causeandeffect

    Steven, thanks for the link you posted previously.

  • MA

    No, Diablo. You were being a dick. I don’t want to argue with you about. I’m just asking for you not to be a dick. Nobody else be a dick, either.

  • diablo

    @ MA,

    MA says,
    Read the biography of Dr Bob. He was one sadistic SOB.

    diablo,
    I mean this seriously, what bio are you referring to?? I have not read one with this information. I am interested .

  • causeandeffect

    Oh, speaking of dicks, my dad knew Dr Bob. Said he was a dick.

  • diablo

    @MA,
    You have a good point concerning the psychological abnormalities running parallel with alcoholism and drug addiction. It is no coincidence that bi-poplar, depression, AADHD and multiple learning disorders are associated with drug addiction and abuse.
    This has just been my experience while I was in/around AA.

  • MA

    His kids wrote a book about him. He was a puritanical sociopath. Ward Cleaver he was not. Google it.

  • http://duischooltruth.wordpress.com JR Harris

    Do you know how to control an elite Thumper in a large group? Tell them to take it up with their sponsor and ignore them.

    I hate to do it, but I have to quote Tradition #12:

    “Alcoholics Anonymous has no opinion on outside issues; hence the AA name ought never be drawn into public controversy.”

    Is this not an outside issue? We are not at an AA meeting, but…… this is a public forum and controversy is being made here. Is this one of those traditions that can be broken at any time for any reason at the whim of an elite Thumper?

  • http://www.thecleanslate.org Steven Slate

    Diablo – “The program at St.Judes is not free and Insurance covers it. So there better be some treatment there, especially if your expressing onofficial opinions on anti-depressant medication.”

    No, it is not free, but that’s irrelevant – charging a fee for something doesn’t make that thing treatment. Insurance does not cover St Judes. I know of one person who got their insurance plan to reimburse them after the fact, and they fought hard for that with their company about it – St Judes does not get involved with insurance companies.

    Where do you get the idea that they are expressing “unofficial opinions on anti-depressant medication” (whatever the heck that means).

    For the record, St Judes doesn’t get involved in people’s medications or psychiatric treatment – except to let the client know that it is their own responsibility to get such care/continue such care. If someone needs to see a psychiatric professional while in the program, they’ll help them to make an appointment with someone local, and they provide transportation to such appointments. If they have medication, they are provided a lockbox in which to keep it, and asked to administer it to themselves as they normally would; if a client is believed to be abusing or not taking their prescribed medication, they may be asked to leave, because their problems are beyond the scope of the program; once in a while, someone may be asked to go to the local hospital for a psych evaluation before being allowed to continue with the program – and that’s basically as far as St Judes gets involved in such matters.
    They teach no opinions related in any way to anti-depressant medication.

  • BusBozo

    HH
    Will someone please take the time to explain step eleven to me?

    Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.
    Kind of tricky. Bill W acknowledges as much somewhere in the 12×12, where he explains that is wise to seek out someone wiser and more experienced in such weighty matters (sponsor I suppose), Lest the wrong vibes come through and it isn’t really God you’re hearing. Of course, I suppose a Ouija board is a suitable replacement in case a sage isn’t’ handy

  • AnnaZed

    @JR Harris ~ It is very important to know that Bill Wilson never held an actual job in his entire life (before, during or after the creation of AA). Contrary to AA lore he was never a “stock broker,” a job that requires either having a seat on an exchange or being employed by an entity that does, and that additionally requires (and even did in the 1920s and 30s) that the broker or brokerage house be bonded by an insurance company against theft of clients money or theft of service on the exchange. Wilson was a “stock tipster” to the degree that he could be said to have had any profession at all. That is to say that he was a con artist, a grifter, a criminal, a compulsive liar and a cheat. He could never in a million years have been bonded and was never a broker. AA is of course 99.9% comprised of people whose class limitations, lack of education or plain stupidity keep them from even comprehending a distinction like that and .1% comprised of people who would probably be shocked if they bothered to research who Wilson really was, but they don’t bother to check.

    Of course, after AA got going Wilson just lived off of the fellowship.

    Also Doctor Bob (Dr. Robert Holbrook Smith), who enjoys sainted status in AA second only to Wilson, was a drunken Proctologist who had a bad reputation for drunkenness and prescription drug abuse. In 1935 he was very close to being sanctioned by the medical board of his time, which mind you wasway more lenient then professional licensing boards are now about drunkenness, drug abuse and even lapses that could (but miraculously don’t) result in patient injury or death. The day that is commemorated as the “start of AA,” or the day of Dr. Bob’s last drink, is in fact the day that he operated on a patient after drinking three beers and taking a sedative to stop his tremors (under Wilson’s supervision) on June 10th, 1935. That’s right, the “birthday” of the organization itself is actually the day that a discredited doctor committed a felony by operating on a patient while impaired. In Smith case it was one such day of many, but AA claims that it was his last. I am not sure that I believe that, but I do know that Smith did not practice once he became sober.

    That’s right a doctor, a surgeon and supposedly a rigorously honest AA never practiced the healing arts in any way shape or form once he got on the AA tit. Smith never worked or practiced again once AA got off the ground, he just mooched off of the fellowship. He didn’t get quite as rich off of it as WIlson did, but that was because Wilson stole all of the royalties to the book.

  • http://duischooltruth.wordpress.com JR Harris

    @AnnaZed – Thank you for the run down on what Bill W. and his cohorts did for a living. I always thought it, but I never really heard the story.

    I remember going to a few meetings with my wife, and people would be showing her pictures of his house and doodads with his picture on it. It always reminded me of those late night TV infomercials where they would promise riches beyond your wildest dreams, if you just purchased and followed their “program”.

    My wife purchased may different books on AA and even bought transcribed CD’s with the Big Book on it so she could listen to them in her car going between meetings. She always did put her heart into everything she did.

    Unfortunately she is too far gone to bring back I am afraid. She did 270 meetings in her first 90 days and wanted to continue it. She thought and talked nothing but AA whenever I was with her. She has become an elite Thumper and can not speak more than 2 sentences without quoting the Big Book or a slogan. She has been to well over 2000 meetings at this point. I realize that she is suffering from OCD, but she is being praised for it many times a day in the halls of AA. I wasted several decades building up our relationship, and the cult destroyed it in a few years. I feel like a fool for sending her their for help in the first place.

  • diablo

    @ Anna,
    Anna tries to explain Bill’s Job,
    It is very important to know that Bill Wilson never held an actual job in his entire life (before, during or after the creation of AA). Contrary to AA lore he was never a “stock broker,” a job that requires either having a seat on an exchange or being employed by an entity that does, and that additionally requires (and even did in the 1920s and 30s) that the broker or brokerage house be bonded by an insurance company against theft of clients money or theft of service on the exchange. Wilson was a “stock tipster” to the degree that he could be said to have had any profession at all. That is to say that he was a con artist, a grifter, a criminal, a compulsive liar and a cheat. He could never in a million years have been bonded and was never a broker. AA is of course 99.9% comprised of people whose class limitations, lack of education or plain stupidity keep them from even comprehending a distinction like that and .1% comprised of people who would probably be shocked if they bothered to research who Wilson really was, but they don’t bother to check.

    Diablo,
    Nice story Anna but a little to over the top. Bill was a stock trader and some thing close to a Actuary (can’t remember the name right now), predicting risks in company’s for potential clients and existing clients for his company.

  • diablo

    MA says
    His kids wrote a book about him. He was a puritanical sociopath. Ward Cleaver he was not. Google it.

    His son JR. is in the program and speaks at least once a year. He talks about his fathers behavior while he was drinking for crying out loud, MA. No kidding his behavior was not stellar. I’m sure that goes for you and everyone else here that drank and drugged, I’m sure we could get many people to speak of our dark history.
    Most of us had a problem with drink and drugs that is a fact we can all agree on, so probably we have committed some no no’s while under the influence. What we disagree on is the method of someone taking care of this problem.
    Why are we condemning people for their behavior while under the influence and not ours. Please don’t give me all this hoopla about they are different bla bla. They led pretty good lives after they sobered up.

  • AnnaZed

    @diablo ~

    Please stop bending yourself into a pretzel shape trying to imitate intelligent discourse.

    It’s just, … really words fail, but I’ll try … it’s just so sad.

    Your use of the word “…insurmountable…” upthread, constructs like “…I am under no idea…” are so devoid of meaning (or even perceived and slightly understandably mistaken meaning, or even variations that might be stretched to be called a typos) not to mention (sorry) bizarrely stupid, that you really need to stop the pain for everyone and just stop trying to act like you have even a rudimentary education. Then you produce constructs like this “…It is no coincidence that bi-poplar, depression, AADHD and multiple learning disorders are associated with drug addiction and abuse.” What the fuck is that supposed to even mean? In addition to being ridiculous it would be completely meaningless even if you could be said to have experienced it. Reading even a portion of your posts I see that you don’t even know the difference between a plural and a possessive; so your spell-check won’t help you. It’s stunning really. I’ve engaged in online discourse with many AAs and you are by a quantum amount the most obtuse one that I have ever encountered. Really it’s a gold standard of some kind.

    It’s nothing to be ashamed of (really!), and this desperate striving poseur posting style may be one of the reasons that so many people are telling you that you just don’t even make any sense. Just assume that with any word of more than three syllables that you might be considering deploying that you don’t in fact know what it means and don’t bother to attempt to use it. Really, you’ll feel better too I am sure.

    By the way, are you by any chance institutionalized or something? You certainly seem to have a lot of time on your hands and some of this English language usage would indicate maybe that you are under a considerable medication load.

    With reference to Wilson’s real resume; I stand by my post as being factual. Bill Wilson was never a “stock trader.” All stock transactions are ultimately transacted only through a stock exchange entity like the NYSE, NASDAQ or the Shenzen. Stock sales are only completed by exchange members and their designated staff during trading hours who are credentialed and bonded. Wilson, of course, never had a seat on any exchange and also never for a day in his life was employed by any brokerage entity anywhere; chiefly because he was unemployable and couldn’t be bonded.

    Wilson was just a “tipster,” in short ~ a swindler. These are facts. All the other stories that Wilson made-up about himself including the absurd story about the motorcycle trip in 1922 are pure fabrication. The months spent moving from city to city with only a motorcycle and side-car were nothing but a period of poverty so extreme that even Louis couldn’t get a retail job so they just mooched for over a year on contacts that Wilson had made. The idea that he was “evaluating companies” is just ridiculous. Bill Wilson never owned a “company,” his company was himself and he stood at various bars in various large American cities opining about the relative potential value of stocks in various companies then glommed onto people who had money to buy stocks and often moved into their houses and mooched off of them for weeks, even months while trying to insinuate himself into various deals. He didn’t have “clients” he had “pigeons” and “marks” who became briefly his “friends” before getting sick of him and throwing him out. The fact that his wife worked as a retail sales clerk demonstrates that he was not successful at this though he certainly made enough to keep himself dressed in a way that the well-heeled men that he was trying to swindle would think was acceptable and of course keep himself in alcohol and cigarettes. After the Wall Street crash of 1929 Wilson had a really urgent need to find another income stream.

  • AnnaZed

    With reference to Dr. Bob Smiths only son Robert “Bob” “Smitty” Smith (Not “Jr.”); he died in April of 2004. Until that time he worked the Al Anon and AA History circuit, not the AA speaker circuit. http://www.barefootsworld.net/aasmitty.html So, unless you are deploying Bill Wilson’s Ouija Board then he is not speaking once a year.

    Sadly, Smitty himself also never worked a legitimate job in his life. He was on the AA tit from when he was a teen until his death.

  • AnnaZed

    Sorry, correction, I left out Smitty’s war record ~ which was outstanding.

    Still, aside from his stint in the military he did model his life after his dad’s though. In Texas “oil producer” is a title like “stock analyst” that basically means, “unemployed.” He worked the AA angles and worked the conventions and speaker circuit, that was his life (sad).

  • MA

    diablo – The only difference between a drunk sociopath, and sober one, is that one is drunk and the other is sober. Dr Bob was the same guy he was once he quit drinking, that he was while he was a drunk.

    Bill was most definitely not “stock analyst” or “stock trader.” This is something I know about, as this is my profession. I’m a both a licensed stockbroker and a CFA. Bill was an unlicensed stock “touter.” He was complicate in what is known as “pump and dump” schemes. A practice looked on with contempt by any real financial analyst, and is today most often employed by Mob front groups, who hawk penny stocks to unsuspecting investors, and inflate prices of those companies before selling out and leaving their pigeons holding the bag. Calling Bill Wilson a “stock analyst,” as Dick B did in the link Anna just provided about Dr Bob’s son, is like calling a homeopath a “doctor.” Bill was a con artist, pure and simple.

    This whole back and forth is giving me a sense of ennui. It’s why I don’t typically argue with steppers. It’s worn me down. I think I’ll concede this round to you, Diablo.

  • Mike

    @ma, don’t concede to that guy. don’t even answer him.

  • hulahoop.

    @MA- Bill W. was a dry drunk by his own definition! He made up the term. I mean I guess he did. He took credit for so many other things by other people that it is hard to tell what he came up with on his own and what he stole from others.

    Bill continued to swindle people, cheat on his wife, smoke, lie, and you know, live a life of rigorous honesty(tm) even after his so called spiritual awakening. Nothing about him truly changed accept he stopped drinking. None of that spiritual awakening took place in any other avenue of his life. Yet everyone is supposed to believe on his good word that he didn’t drink again. That might be true or not. All I have is his word on that. I want to believe it, but have a hard time swallowing it based on the example he set. Too bad they didn’t have Sexaholics and Smokaholics and Swindleraholics Anonymous back in the day.

  • hulahoop.

    Mike says @ma, don’t concede to that guy. don’t even answer him.

    Ditto.

  • diablo

    AnnaZed says
    With reference to Dr. Bob Smiths only son Robert “Bob” “Smitty” Smith (Not “Jr.”); he died in April of 2004. Until that time he worked the Al Anon and AA History circuit, not the AA speaker circuit. http://www.barefootsworld.net/aasmitty.html So, unless you are deploying Bill Wilson’s Ouija Board then he is not speaking once a year.

    Sadly, Smitty himself also never worked a legitimate job in his life. He was on the AA tit from when he was a teen until his death.

    diablo,
    He was called Jr…that is a fact.
    Hate to correct you but I’m not reading from a web site or ggogle page, I was talking from experience. So much experience that I sat in meetings with him in Memphis Tn. while I was on business there during the late 90′s. Yes he was called Smitty but then again everyone was called Smitty that had a last name Smith. He lived in Memphis for a time with another gentlemen that grew up with him. Can’t remember his name.
    Now back to you Anne. Thing the thing about people like you that sit at a computer and plagiarize others work and post it as maybe your own, when you finally meet someone who has been around and done personal research your intellectual bullshit is exposed. Bravo you can write with eloquence, but it amounts to shit. Because you don’t have any idea what your talking about and have to depend upon fictitious people you have never me for information.
    Anna, I know your a sanctimonious ass. Kid yourself or kid the blog here but the bottom line is you really don’t know what your talking about.
    Keep googling you’ll get there.

  • diablo

    MA,
    Your a stock broker and I appreciate this. But once again for the up tenth time for so many years this stupid conversation has been argued. Everyone that dislikes Bill says he wasn’t and everyone who does like him say he was.
    He was, that is a fact…argue it all ya want, insult him, minimize it or what ever.
    It was such a short period of time of his life, what he did do is create a movement, write a book and capitalize on the royalties, good for him. It is called the “American Dream.”

  • diablo

    AnnaZed says
    With reference to Dr. Bob Smiths only son Robert “Bob” “Smitty” Smith (Not “Jr.”); he died in April of 2004. Until that time he worked the Al Anon and AA History circuit, not the AA speaker circuit. http://www.barefootsworld.net/aasmitty.html So, unless you are deploying Bill Wilson’s Ouija Board then he is not speaking once a year.

    Sadly, Smitty himself also never worked a legitimate job in his life. He was on the AA tit from when he was a teen until his death.

    diablo,
    Just for posterity sake I wanted the facts put out here instead of a vindictive inspired account by a poster who is obviously very inept at collecting factual data.
    First we need to understand Anna is not speaking from any personal experience, all she is doing is pounding the keyboards and spouting out what anybody could have said.
    We also have to understand what is motivating these responses, just read the posts above they are debasing sarcastic laced comments drowning in animosity.
    I would like to debate her facts but she is incapable as most here because they have to control the conversation.
    Jr, Smitty and Bob was a AA speaker invited to many conventions to speak and this was not for the Al-Anon slot. Jr. started out in Al-Anon and as time went on realized (his words) became a alcoholic. It is not uncommon for AA people to also go to Al-Anon meeting. It is not uncommon for AA people to speak to Al-Anon and Al-Ano to speak to AA (although this is not as common).

  • diablo

    ” Bill was a con artist”, pure and simple.

    Riiiiight, and all the other traders on “Wall Street” are not. This is in your blood, “conning” is nothing more then “hedging”, my friend. I have enough experience dealing with traders and stocks to at least know this, I don’t trust any of ya. Nothing personal.
    It’s like saying my “Bookie” is my best friend.
    It like trying to find a honest futures analyst, playing with derivatives, a mortgage broker and the ‘ole stand by a car salesmen.

  • MA

    diablo, No offense, but you are living a separate reality. It is really stunning.

  • AnnaZed

    You aren’t by any chance considering debating that Smitty is dead (and has been for over 5 years) and not (as you said) speaking at conventions a couple of times a year?

  • AnnaZed

    As I said, Smitty was an professional AA speaker who literally made a living off of appearances at AA conventions. He spoke about the “History of AA.” He lived a life where every tie-clip, every pair of socks and dog-eared book that had once been touched by his father’s palsied hand was treated as a sacred relic and some of the money that he lived on was from the sale of these relics.

    Really, no wonder he developed a severe alcohol abuse and dependence problem. Of course, via the self-fulfilling prophecy of AA, he declared himself an alcoholic. Really, what other destiny could he possibly have had? It seems like the only time that he functioned well (and he acted with bravery, discipline and distinction) was during the war when he was away from the toxic culture of AA worship built around his dad. It’s really sad.

  • diablo

    MA says
    diablo, No offense, but you are living a separate reality. It is really stunning

    OK….But Bill still was a trader. That is a reality whether it is mine or yours.

    AnnaZed says

    You aren’t by any chance considering debating that Smitty is dead (and has been for over 5 years) and not (as you said) speaking at conventions a couple of times a year?

    diablo,
    Nope….ya got me on that one. Wasn’t thinking .

  • http://profacero.wordpress.com Z

    Nasty person, this diablo. What was all that I heard in Al-Anon about how important it was not to have to be right all the time — and to concede to facts, not delusions or wishful thinking?

  • tintop

    z , quite

  • diablo

    Anna,
    AA conventions don’t pay a fee to the speakers. They pick up all their expenses and this is if the convention has sold well. Many times speakers could not come because the convention could not support them and they could not afford to come.

  • Lucy

    Z – on the money.

    Diablo isn’t looking for facts. He’s looking for an argument.

  • diablo

    Z says
    Nasty person, this diablo. What was all that I heard in Al-Anon about how important it was not to have to be right all the time — and to concede to facts, not delusions or wishful thinking?

    AnnaZed says
    @diablo ~
    Please stop bending yourself into a pretzel shape trying to imitate intelligent discourse.

    diablo,
    so explain to me please how this double standard works here. I mean I understand you want to be taken seriously as a intelligent source for Anti-AA information, please explain how this exchange helps the average reader coming here.
    “Z” this hurts you more then it would me. you are discrediting yourself and blaming it on me.

  • Lucy

    Diablo- I chaired a convention where (“Acceptance is the answer to all my..) Paul O spoke. The convention paid him $2,000 plus his expenses to speak.

  • Lucy

    And we paid for his wife Max to come

  • diablo

    “Maybe this world is another planet’s hell.”
    ALDOUS HUXLEY
    1894 – 1963

    ALDOUS HUXLEY – Brave New World Revisited

    “If we could sniff or swallow something that would, for five or six hours each day, abolish our solitude as individuals, atone us with our fellows in a glowing exaltation of affection and make life in all its aspects seem not only worth living, but divinely beautiful and significant, and if this heavenly, world-transfiguring drug were of such a kind that we could wake up next morning with a clear head and an undamaged constitution-then, it seems to me, all our problems (and not merely the one small problem of discovering a novel pleasure) would be wholly solved and earth would become paradise.”

    “two thousand pharmacologists and bio-chemists were subsidized. Six years later it was being produced commercially. The perfect drug. Euphoric, narcotic, pleasantly hallucinant. All the advantages of Christianity and alcohol; none of their defects. Take a holiday from reality whenever you like, and come back without so much as a headache or a mythology. Stability was practically assured.”

    “Rational and kindly behavior tends to produce good results and these results remain good even when the behavior which produced them was itself produced by a pill.”

    “What fun it would be if one didn’t have to think about happiness!”

  • diablo

    Lucy says

    Z – on the money.

    Diablo isn’t looking for facts. He’s looking for an argument.

    Diablo says,
    Would you please back this up. Because I could go and cite 10 bio’s or just stories written by various people that would account for Bill W’s stock trading if you would like.
    This career was short it started after WW 1 and ended during the ’29 stock crash. So from 29 till 39-40 royalties on the BB started coming in Bill gave tips on stock to people and did other jobs to make money. Lois’s family also helped financially.
    Lucy why don’t you engage me with conversation without the prerequisite that your point has to be the controlling point of the conversation.

  • AnnaZed

    Lucy, that’s typical. The Yahoo Group GSO Watch is debating right now about Paul and Max and their demands that dog kenneling fees be paid as well as their “expenses” before Paul speaks. Not incidentally, Paul O. is astonishingly full of shit even for an AA speaker:
    http://xa-speakers.org/pafiledb.php?action=file&id=1211

  • diablo

    Lucy says
    Diablo- I chaired a convention where (“Acceptance is the answer to all my..) Paul O spoke. The convention paid him $2,000 plus his expenses to speak.

    Lucy says
    And we paid for his wife Max to come

    diablo says,
    I have never chaired a convention but 3 times I was Hospitality Chairmen but from Atlanta, Memphis and Hartford Ct. I have never heard of any speaker being paid to speak. Sunny Beach from Florida went so far as to tell The Alatoona RoundUp in , Cartersville, GA that it would be a insult to him if such a offer was ever presented.

    Thanks Lucy, I learned something today. I know have another reason to dislike AA.

  • JD

    Lucy, that would be out of line to collect an honorarium or fee for speaking at an AA conference. Was it an AA approved conference or a private retreat, something possibly set up by and for alcoholics? Not asking when or where it was.

    I’ve not heard of that ever being done, and would be disappointed in Paul if he stepped so far out beyond the edge. Are you sure?

  • AnnaZed

    Don’t make me laugh, many things can be covered under the rubric of “expenses.” As I said, a yahoo group that I monitor of GSRs who themselves attempt to monitor the insane and out-of-control crazy AA GSO was just gnashing its teeth this week about Paul O. and Max and their inflated monetary demands. Smitty also had a sideline in selling what can only be called AA sacred relics, that is his father’s possessions. Like I said, his life was really sad.

  • diablo

    Anna,
    I am not disagreeing with Lucy. If she said it happened she was the Chairperson so she would have had to approve it. I am also not judging this payment. I’m just saying I have never heard of it. But hey anything is possible in the AA of today. The Danny Ryan Meeting AA in Hartford Ct, Danny would take the money from the collection every night for himself. He felt his message was worth the payment.
    Another reason I don’t like AA.

  • JD

    Glad to hear the Yahoo group of AA members has normal and reasonable standards and speaks up when it recognizes violations…the one you ‘monitor’, that is.

    Whatever you do Anna, don’t get caught by any North Koreans while ‘monitoring’ them.

  • http://duischooltruth.wordpress.com JR Harris

    On Pail O. speaking for pay at an AA meeting. Well…. let me see…. “take what you want and leave the rest” ….. “Rarely have we seen a person fail who has thoroughly followed our path” …. “collect an honorarium or fee for speaking at an AA conference”

    Yup… Paul O. is definitely following the path alright…. I wonder how many of the other 12 steps and traditions he chooses not to follow?

    The 8th Tradition:

    “Alcoholics Anonymous should remain forever non-professional, but our service centers may employ special workers.”

    Case closed…..

  • http://iloveeli violet

    QUESTION: I have read–I do not know how many times–that Bill was not a *really* stockbroker. I believe this. However, can anyone link me to a thread or point me to a peer-reviewed source (or even just a well known, well respected biography) that proves this? I do not mean this in a bitchy, challenging way. I am really just curious. Sadly, I see that many AA members “prove” that he REALLY was one by citing pages numbers from the BB or the 12 and 12 to do so. I know Orange discusses this, but I sometimes wonder if Orange (and I LOVE Orange) exaggerates. Also, I sometimes cannot find his citations, or if I can find them, I struggle to connect his point with the citation. (Again, I do love the Orange.) Merci for any answers.

    Connection: @ Z: I must confess, I learned @ Aaanon to actually use these phrases, “You might be right.” As well as “You make a good point.” I use them at times, however, I really find that when I do use them, I am basically undermining the person I am speaking with, which is actually kinda shitty.

    Regarding Diablo who is annoying me, but who is also making me feel embarrassed for myself: “…debasing sarcastic laced comments drowning in animosity.” That Annazed, she is just drowning in animosity. Really, though, I need to say this: I sort of get why Diablo is talking like a high school senior who is taking a graduate seminar in American Lit for extra credit. For example, it is hard (for me anyway) to talk straight here without trying to imitate the diction of a peer-reviewed journal article, only to come across like a ridiculously distracted Diane Rehm wannabe who is actually in truth a valley girl with a state school education.

    Though the writing on this blog intimidates me, at times, I believe that what it also does is steps the anti-AA movement (if we are calling it that) up a notch. I remember when I first started researching criticisms of AA about five or (maybe more?) years ago, I came across poorly, poorly written sites accompanied by pictures of teletubbies urinating in green. I was creeped out and discouraged. I most certainly have never felt that way when reading the writings of this blog’s authors. They way people communicate and argue is something I think about often. I worry that I am a classist bitch in some ways, as I can barely respect someone who communicates with double negatives and the like. But really, this is absurd. Language really is not a way to REALLY be a “better” person. What I LIKED about AA was that it seemed to, even if only on a surface level, create a sort of social cohesion. I believe in this social cohesion. If there were ever to be a real, working anti-AA movement, I would want it to have this same feel, perhaps in a more authentic way.

    I am thinking right now about my ex husband who reads on a post graduate level. I am studying for series of easy (but not to me) tests right now. His help is invaluable to me, particularly with Social Studies and History. He is a passionate liberal who has an unfortunate obsession with reading a particular red neck New Hampshire Newspaper and then arguing endlessly with Libertarian and Republican commenters who think the sad state of our nation is mostly to be blamed on welfare mothers and of course “the gays.”

    The other important fact about my ex is that though he is extremely smart, he also from a grossly uneducated background and he has dysgraphia. Thus, his tone and diction in written arguments is often imitative of other commenters. The idea of someone pointing out how stupid he sounds, quite frankly, is wretched and sickening to me. Thankfully, as he is arguing with NH red necks, it is doubtful this will ever happen.

    Just wanted to say hi on this blustery day. :)

  • diablo

    Violet,
    Thank you in a subtle way, I think. I have been blasted by many on different sites for my communication skills. Who gives a rats ass, really. You understand what I am saying and that is all that counts. Usually when posters have nothing more in the tank to rebut they love to get personal. Hence the myriad of personal attacks on Bill, Bob, Lois and their families.
    I think we just step down and start banging are heads off of curbs when we do this.

  • AnnaZed

    diablo ~ you don’t get to define what the rules of engagement are here, this is not AA. Feeling put upon? Just giving you a taste of your own stick, sucks don’t it? If MA and ftg have problems with the form my comments have taken then they can tell me so. Violet seems to feel that she has been peppered with friendly fire, and for that I am sorry. For the record violet; there is absolutely nothing wrong with the way that you express yourself.

  • diablo

    Anna,
    :)

  • hulahoop.

    @ Violet – Just wanted to say hi on this blustery day.

    Hi back to you! How are you? It’s a rainy, windy day where I am.

    I am pretty happy if I can read a post and get the writer’s meaning. I can deal with mistakes because I make them too. It’s sort of like an AA meeting. Some people speak better than others. Some people are more social than others. Here, some people write better than others. For me it isn’t so much about the business of writing…it’s the message itself. I think everyone does a great job of getting their points of view across.

    I am reminded of being at meetings when someone would correct the reader. There was a guy who stuttered a lot when he read. He could have passed, but he didn’t. I admired him for trying.

  • http://deleted Primrose

    (approp of not much, so posting here; I saw my oldtimer ‘friend’ yesterday and I showed him my little bunch of papers, including a mix of general cult questionnaires and some choice bits from st and the ops. He asked for copies!! Not sure what he will do with them, but it pleased me.)

  • Acacia H

    @Primrose,
    what time does chat start on here in uk time. do you know

  • Acacia H

    SO pleased that you’re friend asked for those papers. keep us informed

  • Acacia H

    I think I sorted it. 2pm GMT

  • http://deleted Primrose

    Suggestion that the UK guardian commission a piece on aa. At 1.15pm ish.http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/feb/02/you-tell-us-comment?commentpage=last#end-of-comments

  • http://deleted Primrose
  • http://www.thecleanslate.org Steven Slate

    Apparently, Whoopi Goldberg made some statements on The View yesterday indicating that she was addicted to drugs well into her career. This was in response to a discussion of Charlie Sheen. I’m interested to learn more of her thoughts on addiction and about her experience, but I’m coming up short on google. So I’m wondering, does anyone know where she might have spoken about this more in depth?

  • http://duishooltruth.wordpress.com JR Harris

    @Steven Slate – I found a link from 1991 on Ebony magazine about it you might want to look at. It is entitled “The Whoopi Goldberg nobody knows”

    http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1077/is_n5_v46/ai_10405344/

    JRH

  • http://www.stinkin-thinkin.com friendthegirl

    Maybe this is a better place to repost this:
    PJ posted this observation yesterday, and I was kinda hoping a genuine Serenity Hornet would address it. It got lost in the daily meltdown, though. So, I just wanted to bump it back up:

    SoberPJ sez:

    I kind of feel sorry for jd. All that effort at fighting the people and sentiments on this blog. It flies directly in the face of AA teachings to stop fighting anyone or anything, love and tolerance is our code, acceptance is the root of our problems, the grouch and the brainstorm may be the dubious luxury of normal men, etc. His behavior overtly displays two major possibilities -

    1. Deep down, he really doesn’t believe the AA tripe and is here to “do battle” in any way he can. And enjoys the engagement.
    2. He knows he is going against AA teachings and is directly risking his sobriety for a “”noble cause” – the defense of AA against the enemies of the faith.

    Either way, there has to be a significant amount of cognitive dissonance around his behavior. If he truly participates in AA and believes he is a good AA follower, his behavior can’t be justified and will eventually cause significant internal strife. Maybe the vitriol he spews is already evidence of his internal conflict. If that is the case, we can expect it to get worse unless he counts the fingers pointing back at him and decides to make amends to us all for his obviously un-program-like behavior. From a pure AA perspective, his side of the street is quite dirty right about now and we all know that leads directly to the bottle …. or is it all bullshit? You see, JD’s vitriol and the fact that he is sober prove AA is bullshit. If the AA bullshit were true, he’d be drunk right now. If he’s not, then it proves AA is bullshit. In AA parlance, he’s workin JD’s program and everybody knows where that leads. It’s such bullshit.

    http://stinkin-thinkin.com/2011/02/01/projection/comment-page-2/#comment-28382

  • Sugomom

    Good Point Sober PJ!

  • Sugomom

    I need your help….especially JR. I posted my story in a Marriage Builders forum. Along with stories of people that were isolated by a stepper family member, I got a stepper piping up. Here is my response:
    With all due respect Fred, I am very aware of the traditions of AA…But since we are on Dr. Harley’s Marriage Builder site, I question what good it does a marriage to belong to a group that has it’s priorities placing the marriage down on the list so far….even further down than “Helping other alcoholics” and “Serving the Fellowship.” This is in direct opposition to what Dr Harley’s program is about. Have you read the article Dr Harley wrote on how the codepency (AA and Alanon believe in this) movement is really bad for marriages? Dr. Harley even cites that his experience is that few marriages survive involvement in rehab 12 step programs. Now drunkeness is certainly not good for a marriage, but AA is not the only way!

    I don’t know what your involvement with AA is, how many times you go to meetings, how many times you do service, how many times you talk to your sponsor or sponsees…but involvement in any group to this degree makes a person physically and emotionally unavailable to your family. And I know the standard comeback is “I was not available when I was drinking either.” But Life Ring, SMART Recovery, Rational Recovery and the Sinclair Method of recovery do not require you to pledge allegiance to the group before your marriage!

    To post a response follow this link:
    http://forum.marriagebuilders.com/ubbt/ubbthreads.php?ubb=newreply&Board=32&Number=2472374&what=showflat&fpart=1

  • http://duischooltruth.wordpress.com JR Harris

    @sugomom – I just posted to http://forum.marriagebuilders.com

  • Sugomom

    I’m on a roll. But I need help. Left a similar response to my one on Marriage Builders over on Sober Recovery. Could one of you more knowledgeable members give me a response that sites the BB? I know that they put sobriety and the fellowship first. But I don’t want to answer the following without citing the BB passages. Here is what a stepper wrote…I am the FO she refers to:

    I disagree with FO’s assessment of AA’s “priorities”, though I certainly defend her right to her opinion.

    AA doesn’t require anyone to “pledge allegiance to the Fellowship”. Sobriety MUST be the priority or there will be no healthy marriage. To the extent (and only to the extent) that working with others helps to maintain healthy sobriety, that must also be a priority, but not to the exclusion of spending time with one’s family and attending to their needs. If an alcoholic is doing that beyond the initial phases of recovery (when a certain amount of familial “neglect” is sometimes necessary), then he or she is not living a healthy sober life.

    Certainly some alcoholics screw it up and use AA as an excuse to neglect their families. That is WRONG, and unless they get address it, they are likely to drink again.

  • Ben Franklin

    JD do you have anything to address here?

  • tintop

    soberpj may well be right about ‘jd’. he will have to sort that one out on his own.. Not my business, not my problem

  • http://duischooltruth.wordpress.com JR Harris

    @gunthar2000 – great new video on “Another Monkey on Your Back”

  • Gunthar2000

    The sound came out way too loud.

    I’m learning as I go.
    Sorry to anyone who got their ears blown out.

  • http://duischooltruth.wordpress.com JR Harris

    Does anyone know where “Royalty Free” music can be downloaded for free? I have found many sites that have “Royalty Free” music that you can use on YouTube and places like that, but they want you to buy a CD from them to use it. As activists it would be nice to know where we can download them and use them for free.

  • Gunthar2000

    @JR Harris…

    YouTube has a limited number of free audio clips.

    Are you planning on making videos, or slide shows?

    If so, please send them to me and I’ll post them on YouTube

  • causeandeffect

    JR ask Mikeblamedenial.

  • Gunthar2000

    I can also make slide shoe videos similar to blamedenial’s videos (not as good though)

    If anyone has something in mind, just write up the text and send it to me at stinkinthinkin.outreach@yahoo.com

    I’ll be happy to make the video and post it for you. Just remember to keep the sentences brief enough to fit on a single slide, and please double space between the sentences so that I know how you would like the text to appear.

  • JD

    Just ran across this PJ and FTG, sorry I didn’t see it before.

    Fighting is inaccurate-my gf knows when I’m writing here because I always smile. It’s more like while out on a walk, noticing a little nest of angry fire ants running about and then pissing down the hole. Probably makes no real sense, but it’s almost irresistable to do.

    The lapses in judgement, the posturing, the misrepresentations, the inaccuracies, the desperation to be correct or the thinly-masked sexist raging about Bill (for doing what your Daddy did), ect is just too tempting to not poke fun at, if I’m in the mood to do so.

    Now, if I hurt you in some way I’d need to examine that, but so far everyone here is clearly well armored, protected by an amazingly hightened degree of self-righteousness and intolerance, or in many cases by heavy medications, that a guy like myself can have a little fun with impunity.

    No need to worry too much about my sobriety, PJ. AA continues to provide me with what I need to meet every circumstance very well in life. You’d not believe me if I told you how well that’s worked out over a very long time, so I’ll not waste time except to say every decade has been far better than the previous one, and I’m excited to begin my 4th soon, glad I began sobriety quite young and have had the benefit of that and still have so much more to look forward to. AA works extremely well for those who do it, and for our entire lifetimes. I’m just one among an immense crowd who haven’t had to suffer from our alcoholism for a very long time. Sure, I know you’re very happy for us.

    So, we do our thing and you do yours. The examples of how doing your thing works out are on every page of this little blog.

    I’ll continue to take our thing over your thing. And, we’ll see how many of the current names are here in even a lousy 5 years. The ones who are sneaking off to meetings and not talking about it, or endure heavy medication to mask their alcoholism from themselves (but no one else) might have a shot, but by and large I’d look for a new crew entire, with a few of the old that have gotten their asses kicked by their drinking a bit more sprinkled in.

    Always funny to see antis come back after getting drunk again, more furious than ever at AA for their drinking, as if they themselves weren’t the ones sucking it down.

  • Martha

    Gunthar’s take on the 12 steps:

    RARELY HAVE they seen a person who has thoroughly followed their path.Those who do recover are usually people who have recognized AA as a dangerous religious cult, and will not give themselves completely to AA’s fanatical program.The AA Cult is constituted primarily of men and women who are constitutionally incapable of being honest with anyone… including themselves.
    Some of them are not at fault; They were screwed the second they set foot into the church basement door. They were systematically indoctrinated into believing that alcoholics are naturally incapable of grasping and developing a manner of living which demands any type of honesty. They should still be held accountable for the behavior that has ruined so many lives. Many AA members suffer from grave emotional and mental disorders. The program requires that they believe alcoholics can never recover. Most of the people who quit drinking without AA have recovered in large part, due to their self-determination and ability to act rationally. Our stories disclose in a general way what We used to be like, what happened, and what We are like now.
    If You have decided You want to leave Alcoholics Anonymous and are willing to go to do it – then You are ready to take certain steps.
    At some of these We were delighted. We were sure that We had found a more sound and reasonable way. With all of the earnestness at our command, We encourage You to be resolute and confident from the very start. Some of Us have tried to hold on to Our old AA ideas and the result was nil until We let go absolutely. Remember that WE deal with Alcoholics Anonymous – cunning, baffling, dishonest! Continuing the mental masturbation was too much for Us.
    There is only one person who has the power to overcome your alcohol problem – that person is You. May You trust and believe in Yourself now! Delusions and superstitious nonsense availed Us nothing. We stood at the turning point. We learned to protect and care for Ourselves with complete Self-acceptance. Here are the steps We took which are encouraged as a course of action to escape the AA mind trap…

    We decided We were “Not Powerless” over alcohol – that Our lives had become dominated by AA.
    Came to understand that We were never as morally reprehensible as some AA members had led Us to believe.
    Made a decision to turn and walk away from Alcoholics Anonymous forever.
    Made a scorching and fearless indictment against AA as an organization.
    Admitted to Ourselves and another Human Being that We had been ambushed into joining a religious cult.
    Were entirely ready to relieve Ourselves of the self-defeating bullshit We were taught at AA.
    Familiarized Ourselves with cult indoctrination tactics in order that We may never fall into a similar trap again.
    Made a list of all AA-members who had harmed Us, and became willing to confront them all.
    Called such people on their bullshit whenever possible, except when to do so would significantly injure them or others.
    Continued to indict Alcoholics anonymous and when We were wronged promptly expressed our disapproval of it.
    Sought scientific empirical evidence that could help Us to defeat addiction; focusing on Ourselves as the Power to carry that out.
    Having been awakened from the AA nightmare as a result of these steps, We tried to carry this message to other victims of AA, so that everyone might know the truth about the Alcoholics Anonymous cult.

    You are not alone.
    Many of Us have been misled by the religion that claims not to be a religion. Some of Us suffered for years oblivious to the fact that AA offers no reliable or even sincere method to help alcohol troubled people to recover from addiction. When We felt hopeless… They used it against Us. They told us We were powerless.
    They did it to break Us down.
    They did it to make Us unsure of Ourselves.
    They did it to recruit new members for their religious cult.
    We’re here to expose AA for what it really is. If You’ve tried AA over and over again, and You’re not getting the results you were promised, maybe it’s time You tried something else.
    Think about it.

  • Martha
  • tintop

    “Always funny to see antis come back after getting drunk again, more furious than ever at AA for their drinking, as if they themselves weren’t the ones sucking it down.”

    have another drink, foster You post make more sense drunk

  • tintop

    That is good Martha. I think that is true and accurate.

  • hulahoop

    @JD – The lapses in judgement, the posturing, the misrepresentations, the inaccuracies, the desperation to be correct or the thinly-masked sexist raging about Bill (for doing what your Daddy did), ect is just too tempting to not poke fun at, if I’m in the mood to do so.

    Asshole. That actually does hurt me. Not because of anything my Daddy did. He is a good and honorable man. However other family members were not so good and honorable. Surely you met sick pricks just like them at some of those meetings you meetings you attend. Or maybe you didn’t. You just never know. Keep that in mind before you spew your hate you sadistic motherfucker. May I please have your sponsor’s phone number?

  • tintop

    hulahoop: jd is a dissipated old burnout. What he writes is toxic drivel.
    he is, of course an asshole. More likely than not, he got drunk last night. Again.

  • Lucy

    JD _ What makes you think that the people here are drinking? Jealousy?

  • http://www.stinkin-thinkin.com friendthegirl

    Yow, JD. Excellent testimony for 30 years of spiritual awakening through the 12 Steps. Holy shit.

  • tintop

    lucy — because ‘jd’ gets drunk himself on a regular basis.

  • Martha

    That sort sick lashing out by JD is the sort of behavior that is rewarded in AA. I would not be surprised to find that JD is considered a source of wisdom in meetings and that he is a serial sponsor who messes with people’s minds. The sickos tend to dominate in most meetings and the lack of decency is seen as a virtue. They are furious that people here are sober without AA and that things like the Sinclair Method is catching on. The accusation that we are all going to drink again or are now drinking is more of a wish on his part. It would make is facade of smugness even worse to see us have slips. I am sure that books like The Alcoholism and Addiction Cure will become as well known as the Big Book, but unlike the BB those books will change as new evidence, medications and experiences come in. Those first 164 pages are the most worthless words ever committed to paper.

  • howlermonkey

    It doesn’t matter whether or not JD gets drunk. He is simply a repulsive and reprehensible individual who cannot control his negative behavior.

    JD is a walking, talking advertisement for the AA way of life. Do you want what he has (e.g. no real friends)? Step it right up.

  • Lucy

    JD says that we’ll do our thing, and he’ll do his, but when we crawl back to meetings and beg for forgiveness, he’ll be urinating on our poor, drunk bodies.

    That’s a Serenity Visual that will stay with me a long time.

    .

  • Lucy

    And he is way too mean to actually be drinking.

  • JD

    Guys, easy…that was me being nice, in case you missed it.

    In return for civilly answering PJ’s questions, kindly forwarded by FTG so I wouldn’t miss it, I get this in return? Settle down and don’t froth so much..no one is suggesting you change a thing at all. I do really hope you keep this stuff going as is possible for you, as it’s the funniest thing on the ‘net. Just be yourselves.

  • Martha

    This reminds me of when I had my first success in helping a coworker quit AA. I had told him about SMART, SOS and other alternatives and he was considering them. A stepper told me that giving him that information was worse than if I had poured gin down the man’s throat. Talk about thinking than stinks!

  • tintop

    “Guys, easy…that was me being nice, in case you missed it. ”

    pathetic loser. You are an asshole

  • Martha

    JD is the brand of troll who makes our case for us. Can you imagine anybody actually wanting what he has?

  • SoberPJ

    jd is kind of sad actually. It must be hard to watch the program you have devoted your life to be dismantled before your eyes. It is crumbling and he is powerless to stop it. He believes the AA way of life is superior to anything we can live and that provides the platform for all his nasty comments. What he can’t see is what we see. That the AA way of life produces people like him. Calloused, sadistic and closed-minded, while thinking they are loving, caring, tolerant and open-minded are characteristics of some people that have grown old in AA. I know many AA’s like that and I was destined to become one, but I had to look hard at the reality of AA and make a decision. Did I want to continue living the lies of AA, or did I need to get out to live a truly better life? I chose the latter. My hope is to never become like JD. For me, to do so would be to lose at life.

  • Sugomom

    Pardon me everyone. Maybe I need to post this elsewhere. Could one of you please direct me to the BB or traditions that put the fellowship before family? Hate to interupt your troll fighting, but I’m trying to do a grassroots movement to protect families and marriages from the ravages of AA. Seems a better use of my time than fighting JD
    I’m going to repost mine from earlier today:

    Sugomom says I’m on a roll. But I need help. Left a similar response to my one on Marriage Builders over on Sober Recovery. Could one of you more knowledgeable members give me a response that sites the BB? I know that they put sobriety and the fellowship first. But I don’t want to answer the following without citing the BB passages. Here is what a stepper wrote…I am the FO she refers to:

    I disagree with FO’s assessment of AA’s “priorities”, though I certainly defend her right to her opinion.

    AA doesn’t require anyone to “pledge allegiance to the Fellowship”. Sobriety MUST be the priority or there will be no healthy marriage. To the extent (and only to the extent) that working with others helps to maintain healthy sobriety, that must also be a priority, but not to the exclusion of spending time with one’s family and attending to their needs. If an alcoholic is doing that beyond the initial phases of recovery (when a certain amount of familial “neglect” is sometimes necessary), then he or she is not living a healthy sober life.

    Certainly some alcoholics screw it up and use AA as an excuse to neglect their families. That is WRONG, and unless they get address it, they are likely to drink again.

  • diablo

    SoberPJ sez:

    I kind of feel sorry for jd. All that effort at fighting the people and sentiments on this blog. It flies directly in the face of AA teachings to stop fighting anyone or anything, love and tolerance is our code, acceptance is the root of our problems, the grouch and the brainstorm may be the dubious luxury of normal men, etc. His behavior overtly displays two major possibilities -

    1. Deep down, he really doesn’t believe the AA tripe and is here to “do battle” in any way he can. And enjoys the engagement.
    2. He knows he is going against AA teachings and is directly risking his sobriety for a “”noble cause” – the defense of AA against the enemies of the faith.

    Either way, there has to be a significant amount of cognitive dissonance around his behavior. If he truly participates in AA and believes he is a good AA follower, his behavior can’t be justified and will eventually cause significant internal strife. Maybe the vitriol he spews is already evidence of his internal conflict. If that is the case, we can expect it to get worse unless he counts the fingers pointing back at him and decides to make amends to us all for his obviously un-program-like behavior. From a pure AA perspective, his side of the street is quite dirty right about now and we all know that leads directly to the bottle …. or is it all bullshit? You see, JD’s vitriol and the fact that he is sober prove AA is bullshit. If the AA bullshit were true, he’d be drunk right now. If he’s not, then it proves AA is bullshit. In AA parlance, he’s workin JD’s program and everybody knows where that leads. It’s such bullshit.

    diablo,
    Sober PJ,
    I think it is also diassociation. Just change the kids for adults just entering AA and the parents for member (sponsors and old timers) an there you go.
    I don’t think the abuse is as bad as the article above but I think you get the drift.

    “Dissociation
    Excerpted from Compton’s Interactive Encyclopedia

    The unconscious is like a great holding area or reservoir of unprocessed events. Anything we don’t or can’t assimilate consciously goes there. The unconscious holds irrelevant things such as images of strangers we see on the street. It also holds important things that need to be brought into conscious awareness but may be too big to fit our existing system (conscious mind). There are times when people are unable to fully assimilate the significance of an overwhelming experience such as a car accident. One of the passengers calmly calls an ambulance, administers first aid, and reroutes oncoming traffic. Once the ambulance arrives, she falls apart and cries hysterically. In order to take care of the immediate priorities, she dissociated her feelings and emotions temporarily….
    Children rely extensively on adults for interpretation. Their developing comprehension is largely fashioned after that of their parents or caregivers. If caregivers are emotionally damaged, their own skewed view of the world is imposed upon their children.
    Unresolved issues in the parents’ unconscious are misinterpreted for the child. This is a common phenomenon known as projection. For example, if parents feel shame but cannot admit it, they may deny it, separate themselves from it, disown it, dissociate from it, and project it onto their children. They then condemn their children as being shameful. In psychology this is described as retaliatory defense. In other words, the shame the parents have within themselves but cannot accept is expressed by shaming the children. (projection) In fact, the less parents are able to accept the “monster” within themselves, the more readily they are able to see it in their children.
    Emotionally troubled parents frequently reinforce skewed interpretations with abuse. If the abuse is extreme, as practiced by destructive families, a child’s conscious world becomes overwhelmed. The extreme abuse is dissociated into the unconscious, but it cannot be made to fit, even in a misinformed way. The trauma remains dissociated. To survive, children tap into extraordinary coping skills, fashioned from within their own unconscious.

  • AnnaZed

    To my certain knowledge I have never known a single person who found pissing on an ants nest to be an irresistible urge. What’s up with that?

  • http://www.stinkin-thinkin.com friendthegirl
  • tintop

    http://www.aa.org/bigbookonline/

    Sugomom, this a link to the on line big book. I hope this helps

  • Sugomom

    Thanks for burying my question Diablo. Just keep going y’all. Maybe I can get some help on the Yahoo forums.

  • SoberPJ

    hmmm, so he found a place where he can inflict a little pain and suffering with complete impunity? Like, pissing on fire ants? Interesting…

  • http://www.stinkin-thinkin.com friendthegirl

    Sugomom, Off the top of my head, passages like this in the chapter “To Wives” makes the priorities clear. http://www.12step.org/references/the-big-book/big-book-chapter-8.html

    Still another difficulty is that you may become jealous of the attention he bestows on other people, especially alcoholics. You have been starving for his companionship, yet he spends long hours helping other men and their families. You feel he should now be yours. The fact is that he should work with other people to maintain his own sobriety. Sometimes he will be so interested that he becomes really neglectful. Your house is fill with strangers. You may not like some of them. He gets stirred up about their troubles, but not at all about yours. It will do little good if you point that out and urge more attention for yourself. We find it a real mistake to dampen his enthusiasm for alcoholic work. You should join in his efforts as much as you possibly can. We suggest that you direct some of your thought to the wives of his new alcoholic friends. They need the counsel and love of a woman who has gone through what you have.

  • diablo

    SoberPJ says
    jd is kind of sad actually. It must be hard to watch the program you have devoted your life to be dismantled before your eyes. It is crumbling and he is powerless to stop it.

    diablo says,
    Ha Ha Ha……Jesus Christ are you really this ignorant or are you at times just stepping into your 4th dimension.
    I know the zeal is like a “rush’ endorphins surging, blood pumping ect……
    Sober Dude, stick to your intellectual rantings, I am at least am educated by them.

  • Ben Franklin

    The sad thing about JD is that there are many like him that stroll the rooms of AA. He is just one of the sad and deluded flock to whom criminal behavior and pissing on fire ants is the spiritual norm.

  • Lucy

    Sugomom – Well, I guess I would suggest Chapter 9 “To The Wives,” which Bill insisted that he write instead of Lois. There are Chapter 9 or “Family Recovery ” meetings all over the country. They are set up to help an alcoholic spouse show his or her non-alcoholic spouse how to live with each other, and, in spite of being sponsored by Alanon, they are based on Chapter of the Big Book.

  • hulahoop

    Oh Good Lord. Really. One asshole comes here insulting a lot of us and another comes here trying to rationalize the behavior of the other troll. Trust me, I am being very nice by my use of the word “troll.”

  • Sugomom

    Thanks Tin Top! You are a breath of fresh air.

  • Sugomom

    Oh and thanks everyone else too. My feed isn’t very fast.

  • diablo

    hulahoop says
    Oh Good Lord. Really. One asshole comes here insulting a lot of us and another comes here trying to rationalize the behavior of the other troll. Trust me, I am being very nice by my use of the word “troll.”

    diablo,
    You sure do have a filthy mouth for someone who supposedly got well after she left AA.
    Are you on a break from it all right now?????

  • SoberPJ

    hh …. yeah, there’s an interesting dynamic playing out here.

  • Martha

    The “To the Wives” garbage is pretty typical of that era. Billy seems to see women as being assistant people and probably expects women to always be deferential to men and to be subservient. I can’t imagine anyone except a religious fundamentalist would write something like that in 2011.

  • Ben Franklin

    Diablo really knows how to bring on the stupid.

  • SoberPJ

    It’s uncanny …. and highly suspect …

  • diablo

    Ben Franklin says
    Diablo really knows how to bring on the stupid.

    diablo says,

    Com’on frankie when are you going to take my side for a change. You know she has been using some foul language.
    Give it up bro….

  • Vera

    I prefer foul language over foul step-think.

  • diablo

    Found this on another site.

    Re: AA Driving Lessons Help

    February 3rd, 2011, 10:51 pm

    AAKid wrote
    Hello everyone, Im just coming of age for drvigin and I am looking into the different schools i could attend. I foudn this site: [url="REDACTED"]AA Driving Lessons[/url]
    Does anyone have any more information about them? Good / Bad xp?

    response to comments:
    Now some spam is just funny. AA driving lessons? Imagine such a thing. God grant me the serenity to avoid the deer in front of me! — or let’s “let go” and “let god” around that curve. SCREETCH!!!

  • MA

    That is funny, diablo. Especially the response. We all know it would be absurd for AA God to drive a car, or avoid us from hitting a pole with our car. But keeping us from drinking, for twenty-four hour stretches, from a god who didn’t give a shit about us before we do the steps…now that’s just plain ‘ol common sense. Of course he will do that.

  • Mike

    diabloooooooo, are you a lonely person? you’re acting like the high school outcast who settled for negative attention as a way of at least getting noticed. Man, seriously, aa is custom made for you. I suggest you go back. It’s an ersatz social group, but one all the same. You’ll be in good company.

  • AnnaZed

    Maybe Diablo could be confined to Neverending somehow. It would be apropos certainly.

  • diablo

    Another comment concerning AA driving school.

    Mmm. Could be they’re aiming to impart a certain fluidity to the set of folks’ driving skills. :)

  • diablo

    Oh….Anna here, we can’t have two super ego’s in the room. Bye!!

  • causeandeffect

    Wow Annazed!!! That’s amazing!! How ever did you do that? Do you give lessons?

  • Sugomom

    Guess Annazed just Drove Diablo off the board! He’ll be back, give him time to make another drink!

  • causeandeffect

    Sugomom, I tried to link to that site you posted earlier, but it didn’t take me to the thread you were on. Sorry.

  • Mike

    Ain’t it grand the wind stopped blowing?

  • causeandeffect

    ahhhhhhhhhh

  • http://duischooltruth.wordpress.com JR Harris

    I wonder why they never made a chapter in the Big Book entitled “To Husbands”, after all it is an equal opportunity destroyer. You don’t suppose the original writers were being biased and uninformed? I wonder what other blatant biased and uninformed information is in the Big Book?

    Anyway, I know the Big Book doesn’t have any any information in it for me, I’m a husband and am not even mentioned.

  • AnnaZed

    Wow, that was neat. I have no idea how I did that. Reverse psychology maybe?

  • diablo

    OK,
    I have had my 10cc of opiate, my shot of “night train” and now I’m going for a long tote on my bong filled with red hair. Ooooooooboy the winds are blowing and the chair is rocking.
    Oh…… schreeeech!!!!
    I’m dreaming, sorry.

  • causeandeffect

    diablo, go tote your hair somewhere else.

  • Jcal

    causeandeffect says
    diablo, go tote your hair somewhere else.

    LOL C&A I dont think hes talking about human hair!

  • causeandeffect

    LOL, I don’t care what kind of hair he’s “toting”, I just wish he’d “tote” it somewhere else!!!

  • AnnaZed

    diablo, that was in fact a very funny post. In all earnestness, maybe you should consider writing fiction. I am a writer and it’s the work of half of a day to come up with an image anything like as resonant and amusing as “a bong filled with red hair” (“filled” not “full of” is masterful).

    I am absolutely entirely serious.

  • SoberPJ

    ” They struck the children, kicked out door panels, smashed treasured crockery, and tore out piano keys.” But’s that’s ok, they’re sick , like they have the flu. No need to call the police or get real help, cheerfully see them through their sprees. How does a self-help book get away with advising spouses to tolerate these types of activities?

    I want to hear a single prosecutor in the US condone striking children or doing property damage while intoxicated.

  • diablo

    Anna, that is Sinsemilia Marijuana grown exclusively in California. As far as I knew, ya know back in the 70′s. wink wink!!
    Purple hair too.

  • Rick045

    Martha wrote – “The “To the Wives” garbage is pretty typical of that era. Billy seems to see women as being assistant people and probably expects women to always be deferential to men and to be subservient.”

    @Martha, Bill’s attitude didn’t seem to have changed much by the time he wrote the “Twelve Concepts For World Service” in 1962:
    “Women workers present still another problem. Our headquarters is pretty much a man’s world. Some men are apt to feel, unconsciously, that they are women’s superiors, thus producing a reflex reaction in the gals. Then too, some of us – of both sexes – have been emotionally damaged in the area of man – woman relations. Our drinking has made us wrongly dependent on our marriage partners. We have turned them into our “moms” and “pops,” and then we have deeply resented that situation. Perhaps maladjustment has taken still other turns which leave us with a hangover of hostility that we are apt to project into any man – woman relatedness that we undertake.”

    “It is not a question of superiority or inferiority at all. Men, for example because they are men, are apt to be better at business. But suppose we replaced our six women staff members with six men? In these positions could the men possibly relate themselves so uniquely and so effectively to our fellowship as the women? Of course not. The women can handle this assignment far better just because they are women.”
    Page S187
    The AA Service Manual combined with The Twelve Concepts For World Service.

  • Martha

    Also I doubt that the Oxford Group on which AA is based was not a champion of equal rights for women. The OG held reactionary positions on most social and political issues.

  • AnnaZed

    It was lost somewhere yesterday, but I posted that Wilson’s glancing mention of “cowering frightened children” and his dismissive, selfish advice to them is quite possible the single most odiously wrongheaded and insidious instance of destructive advice well meaning suggestion possibly in the entire annals of addiction theory. His thoughtless interference in the lives of others was (of course) based on nothing but his absolutely just pulling bullshit straight out of his ass given that he was childless and knew nothing at all about this type of terrible situation. His advice to family members who had been through years of abuse ~ including violence ~ was to basically suck it up and now cater to the religious mania that has replaced Dad’s abusive persona and to be kind, generous and patient with the new completely self absorbed, mostly absent and always insanely hectoring person that Dad is completely entitled to become. Talk about self-will run riot!

  • Martha

    correction, should read: Also I doubt that the Oxford Group on which AA is based was a champion of equal rights for women. The OG held reactionary positions on most social and political issues.

  • SoberPJ

    AZ.. I agree. It is contemptable that the treatment industry allows that garbage to be part of the package. Quite frankly, that may be the achilles heel of this whole thing. They need to modify or remove anything that even implies that domestic abuse and violence and property destruction are to be tolerated. The first time hubby comes home drunk and beats the kids, or starts smashing your great grandmothers heirloom china, it’s time to call the cops ! Period. PERIOD !

  • diablo

    AnnaZed says

    It was lost somewhere yesterday, but I posted that Wilson’s glancing mention of “cowering frightened children” and his dismissive, selfish advice to them is quite possible the single most odiously wrongheaded and insidious instance of destructive advice well meaning suggestion possibly in the entire annals of addiction theory. His thoughtless interference in the lives of others was (of course) based on nothing but his absolutely just pulling bullshit straight out of his ass given that he was childless and knew nothing at all about this type of terrible situation. His advice to family members who had been through years of abuse ~ including violence ~ was to basically suck it up and now cater to the religious mania that has replaced Dad’s abusive persona and to be kind, generous and patient with the new completely self absorbed, mostly absent and always insanely hectoring person that Dad is completely entitled to become. Talk about self-will run riot!

    diablo,
    You do understand when this was written and who is behind the thoughts and words. These words were not just Bills, they were some of the brightest minds at the time.
    Women were finally allowed to vote in all states in 1920, blacks still were not.
    Bills DOB is 1895, in 1920 he was 25 yrs, in 1934 he was almost 40yrs. By this time in his life he was fully indoctrinated in the behavior of inculcation when it came to women. My grandfather (on my moms side) was not any better when it came to women.

  • SoberPJ

    And your family history update means what diablo? The point is that part of AA teachings and concepts are fully out of touch with todays reality and need to be changed.

  • Gunthar2000

    LATEST VIDEOS

    [Deleted upon request. Gunthar will repost them below, edited for typos. -- ftg]

  • diablo

    MA,
    Have you ever heard of The ManKind Project. Many AA’ers are sent to this weekend furlough for some toughing up on spiritual madness.
    You would also need to be familiar with LGAT’s to understand this weekend experience.
    http://forum.rickross.com/read.php?4,12552
    You will find info in this link concerning AA men and women being sold a bill of goods literally $600.00 and understand more about LGAT’s.

  • causeandeffect

    Gunthar, I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again, you are a FRIGGIN’ GENIUS!!!!

    You Rock

  • diablo

    Here is a link that shows something very ugly that is also happening in AA. Soliciting members to join Mankind Project for a weekend. This is a story of a young man and his weekend. It ends very tragically.
    This is a bizarre story so please I did not post it to offend anyone. I am trying to show you bit by bit why I have left AA.

    The ManKind Project and Michael Scinto: http://www.houstonpress.com/2007-10-04/news/weekend-warriors/

  • diablo

    SoberPJ says

    And your family history update means what diablo? The point is that part of AA teachings and concepts are fully out of touch with todays reality and need to be changed.

    diablo says,
    I guess your right sober dude. The writings do need to be changed.

  • Gunthar2000

    Thanks C&E….

    I’m reworking the families video.
    I’d like to make it a little longer and add a few more talking points.
    If anyone has any suggestions, or would like to submit some text for me to make a video you can send it to me at stinkinthinkin.outreach@yahoo.com

  • Martha

    Gunthar, I love new 12 steps video. You rock!

  • Gunthar2000

    Thanks Martha. :)

  • Mona Lisa

    I read the link about the ManKind Project and I am just sick. I will have nightmares tonight.

  • Gunthar2000

    THE NEW 12 STEPS – By Gunthar2000

    Updated with audio

  • Gunthar2000

    What Can AA do for Your Family?

    Updated with audio

  • JD

    When I opened G’s video I immediately began looking around for Princess Leia, figuring since Jabba was taking up most of the screen the little hottie should appear somewhere in there soon.

    But sadly, she never showed at all. It was a complete waste of time.

  • JD

    Here’s a better angle, still keeping G as background fill. Luckily it’s a still shot and has no annoying winging to endure.

    http://www.princessleia.com/images/starwars/LeiaR2/Leia56.jpg

    Glad to help.

  • AnnaZed

  • AnnaZed

    JD, you are an asshole.

  • Gunthar2000

    Thank you JD.

  • http://deleted Primrose

    Thank Goodness we have this neverending thread to talk about random things. It would be awful if random things clogged up the threads that have a focus around which for people to share their ideas.

    Random thing: A while ago someone on this board mooted the idea of a place to record/pay tribute to those who have died in a way related to their interaction with aa. I have not lost anyone to AA, either through alcohol or suicide. I wondered if anything happened to this idea?

    In the UK, an anti-depressant, Seroxat, got a load of bad publicity because it was said to have suicide as a side effect for a minute number of people who had taken it. I don’t think that there was any suggestion that those suicides proved how good Seroxat was.

    I am trying to think of another ‘treatment’ in which people who have tried it band together to warn about its side effects?

  • Acacia H

    primrose, what time is chat on

  • http://none violet

    i like the idea of the tribute thread.

    what is going on in the uk, primrose, with methadone? or, any of you guys in the uk? i read an article from the guardian that people even in the uk are getting pushed towards abstinence recovery which scared me, as i think we sorta (we=usa) take our lead from you guys.

  • hulahoop

    Vera says I prefer foul language over foul step-think.

    I know. Foul is definitely in the eye of the beholder. Or the person on receiving end of it.

    I haven’t used a word here that I never heard used in the rooms over and over again. Even in front of children sometimes. Or behind the back of another member when people were talking about them. Some of the shares I heard literally made me embarrassed and uncomfortable to the point of blushing. I couldn’t believe some of the things people would say in mixed company.

  • tintop

    “Here’s a better angle, still keeping G as background fill. Luckily it’s a still shot and has no annoying winging to endure. ”

    It is spelled, whinge, asshole.

    keep trying, foster. Have another drink

  • tintop

    Dedicated to that clapped out old roue, jd”
    Have another drink, foster

  • hulahoop

    @ Anna – Wow, that was neat. I have no idea how I did that. Reverse psychology maybe?

    Anna, I almost made you my new higher power until I saw the effect lasted for all of two minutes. Darn. It sucks to want to believe something is real only to find out it isn’t.

  • Rick045

    @hulahoop, there was a woman that frequented groups in my area who would get up and leave when the “F” word was repeated too much for her liking. Of course, once some of the guys figured that out, they would deliberately try to see who could make her leave first. I didn’t like the woman either, but those kind of games were just childish and stupid, and very common.

  • Acacia H

    @ Violet,
    I haven’t read that myself. What do you mean abstinance from alcohol? As far as I know, doctors here are more inclined to think abstinence is the best way to go.

  • diablo

    Gunthar,
    That was a great video, honestly. The audio was pleasant. What is the name of the band.

  • diablo

    hulahoop says

    Vera says I prefer foul language over foul step-think.

    I know. Foul is definitely in the eye of the beholder. Or the person on receiving end of it.

    I haven’t used a word here that I never heard used in the rooms over and over again. Even in front of children sometimes. Or behind the back of another member when people were talking about them. Some of the shares I heard literally made me embarrassed and uncomfortable to the point of blushing. I couldn’t believe some of the things people would say in mixed company.

    diablo says,
    HH, must be nice to have a built in excuse mechanism within your brain for “bad character” . Hmmmmm AA made me this way.

  • hulahoop

    Rick045 says @hulahoop, there was a woman that frequented groups in my area who would get up and leave when the “F” word was repeated too much for her liking. Of course, once some of the guys figured that out, they would deliberately try to see who could make her leave first. I didn’t like the woman either, but those kind of games were just childish and stupid, and very common.

    And allowed to continue. Where was of all of the self policing the group was supposed to do when someone was being victimized? I keep hearing about how the group is responsible for protecting their members yet I continue to see where people are abused in many different ways while the rest of the group turns a blind eye to it. Nobody says anything because everyone is more concerned about their side of the street.

  • http://www.stinkin-thinkin.com friendthegirl

    JD, making shitty comments about someone’s personal appearance is bullying. As someone who also finds it irresistible to torture small creatures, you probably have no idea what’s wrong with that. So, just be aware that it crosses the weird random line between “right” and “wrong” that has always been elusive to you. Don’t do it again.

  • Mona Lisa

    When trolls are ignored, they will often up the ante by being especially obnoxious. This is nothing more than a bid for attention.

  • Rick045

    @hulahoop, I do regret that I turned a blind eye to certain things to the extent that I did. What a person sees when they are desperately trying to see the good tends to blind them to the bad, and I was like that for a long time. As far as those groups policing themselves, what may be completely acceptable in one may be frowned on in another. There is no consistency, and some are simply desperate to have a crowd. The scenario I described above happened repeatedly at several groups in a particular area. The burden was entirely on that woman to find groups that were acceptable to her, no matter how inconvenient, (or even impossible) that may have been.

  • http://www.thecleanslate.org Steven Slate

    “JD, making shitty comments about someone’s…”

    Also, it’s just a sign of complete intellectual impotence, which is sad.

  • Martha

    In AA complete intellectual impotence is a sign that you are working a good program.

  • Ben Franklin

    @ Martha- spot on!

  • hulahoop

    Rick045 says @hulahoop, I do regret that I turned a blind eye to certain things to the extent that I did. What a person sees when they are desperately trying to see the good tends to blind them to the bad, and I was like that for a long time. As far as those groups policing themselves, what may be completely acceptable in one may be frowned on in another. There is no consistency, and some are simply desperate to have a crowd. The scenario I described above happened repeatedly at several groups in a particular area. The burden was entirely on that woman to find groups that were acceptable to her, no matter how inconvenient, (or even impossible) that may have been.

    There were plenty of times I turned a blind eye to things I saw that I didn’t approve of. You are certainly not the only one. I wanted to see the good too. I wanted to be successful within the program. At first I was willing to overlook things I disapproved of or had questions and reservations about. I was also afraid and too intimidated to speak up. I was always the newbie at most of the meetings I attended.

    I agree it was up to the woman to find groups that were acceptable to her. I group shopped each time I found myself in a new city until I found one that suited me. I was usually able to do that. What do you do when you can’t? What do you do when there are people there who are intentionally trying to run you off? Do you suck it up and continue to go or do you just stop going?

  • Gunthar2000

    “Stop taking other people’s inventories.”

    “Resentments kill alcoholics”

    Just a couple of the thought stoppers that AA uses to keep the flock from speaking out.

  • Martha

    My ex sponsor used to say “she works a good program” so often that I still sometimes hear her grating obnoxious voice repeating it.

  • JD

    “It is spelled, whinge, asshole.”

    Spoken like a true Island Monkey with 2 inappropriate commas. Did your drinking begin back then, when you and the other unwanted Council urchins were skipping so much school?

    I didn’t, use, spellcheck.

    Too back there isn’t a comma check, eh? Guess it’s unimaginable anyone could possibly need it. But, some, apparently, do.

  • Ben Franklin

    JD and Tony J always use monkeys as a slur. Perhaps it is meant to be racial. I know TJ protested that he is not JD but they both have the same lingo and modus operandi. We do know they belong to the same cult.

  • causeandeffect

    JD, I remember your first few posts here. Who is doing your typing and spell check for you now? They aren’t doing a very good job.

    “Too back there isn’t a comma check, eh?”

    Too back?

  • causeandeffect

    Ben, it could only be a racial slur.

  • Rick045

    “What do you do when you can’t? What do you do when there are people there who are intentionally trying to run you off? Do you suck it up and continue to go or do you just stop going?”

    @hulahoop, Those are good questions, and the fact that they even have to be asked is one of the main reasons I still hang around sites like this. I was also fortunate enough to be able to pick and choose, and I have some idea of what can happen to those who simply can’t. Those questions need to be repeated loudly and often as long as AA is being touted as a “treatment” and as long as sick people are being dumped in those rooms with no accountability anywhere in sight.

  • diablo

    These posts I brought over from the Sinclair Thread, they are appropriate for this thread.

    AnnaZed says

    “…Bill was involved with AA for 37 years, he has been dead for 40 years. Hmmmmm……..”

    AA is the vision of Bill Wilson. Of course it was his vision of how to appropriate and combine the ideas and methods of the Oxford Group and the Temperance Movement to make himself into a little tin God, but that is what it is and what it has remained unchanged and unchallenged since its inception.

    No, Anna your wrong. AA today is not Bill, Bob, Lois and the first 100′s vision. Not even close. Just because Bob died in the 50′s doesn’t mean you should disrespect him like this was not his vision also. They both shared it equally. Bill’s personality just stood out.
    The AA that is existing today is the treatment industries vision. That is just a fact.

  • Sugomom

    Gunthar posted this link to Massive Attack’s radio show on her 13th step site, I didn’t see it posted here…..BTW Great job all!
    http://hotfile.com/dl/101379957/2c9aa3c/st_radio.mp3.html

  • AnnaZed

    JD, you can’t seriously by calling out the grammar police (surely you jest) because I am entirely qualified to answer that call though you would certainly come to regret it.

  • causeandeffect

    diablo says (under the heading “Suggestions”)
    Hey!!!!!
    Martha and Eddie, stop people are dying. Remember!!!!! :)
    February 5, 2011, 2:01 pm

  • causeandeffect

    Despicable

  • diablo

    AnnaZed says

    JD, you can’t seriously by calling out the grammar police (surely you jest) because I am entirely qualified to answer that call though you would certainly come to regret it.

    diablo,
    Who gives a shit.

  • diablo

    causeandeffect says

    Despicable

    diablo,

    weally, you silly wabbit.

  • causeandeffect

    diablo says (under the heading “Suggestions”)
    Hey!!!!!
    Martha and Eddie, stop people are dying. Remember!!!!! :)
    February 5, 2011, 2:01 pm

  • Martha

    Diablo, you are one sick f***

  • tintop

    “I didn’t, use, spellcheck. ”

    I do not own that problem, foster

  • Ben Franklin

    Ben Franklin says

    AA sux

    diablo,
    The way I post comes of like I am talking to myself.

  • tintop

    And, foster, you are an asshole.

    Born a fool, live the life of a fool, die a fool,
    Have another drink., sot

  • Ben Franklin

    Ben Franklin says

    Oops I meant to say “off” as in “comes off like”

    diablo,
    doesn’t matter I am still engaging in deep thought with myself

  • tintop

    “JD and Tony J always use monkeys as a slur. Perhaps it is meant to be racial. I know TJ protested that he is not JD but they both have the same lingo and modus operandi. We do know they belong to the same cult”

    Ben Franklin, what else do you expect from, clapped out burnouts like those two losers?

  • diablo

    Martha says

    Diablo, you are one sick f***

    Marty,
    Weally, I thought we were to pee pees in a poddy, you silly wabbit. :)

  • diablo

    Ben Franklin says

    Oops I meant to say “off” as in “comes off like”

    diablo,
    doesn’t matter I am still engaging in deep thought with myself

    Diablo says,

    Benjamin would you just slow down, Jesus. Your head going to explode. I understand.

  • diablo

    I meant to,too and two pees in a poddy. Weally!!!!

  • Gunthar2000

    Pathetic troll.

  • http://www.stinkin-thinkin.com friendthegirl

    Knock it off, diablo.

  • diablo

    Gunthar2000 says

    Pathetic troll.

    No what is pathetic is having to read your nastiness which never ends.

  • diablo

    Really your telling me to knock it off. Could you be anymore bias.

  • Gunthar2000

    Fuck off diablo.

  • diablo

    I don’t think so, deal with it.

  • causeandeffect

    diablo says (under the heading “Suggestions”)

    Hey!!!!!
    Martha and Eddie, stop people are dying. Remember!!!!! :)
    February 5, 2011, 2:01 pm

  • Martha

    can we please 86 this clown named diablo.

  • Acacia H

    GUNTHAR2000,
    HOW DO YOU LOG INTO THIS SITE.

  • http://www.stinkin-thinkin.com friendthegirl

    diablo, you’re going into time out.

  • Martha

    thank you.

  • Gunthar2000

    Acacia H,

    I’m not sure what you mean “LOG IN”.

  • causeandeffect

    Thank you very much friendthegirl. To say something like he did is morally reprehensible. To respond to it with baby talk….well, there just isn’t a word for that.

  • hulahoop

    FTG – diablo, you’re going into time out.

    Awesome! Thank you! Unfortunately, I think he likes the attention though.

  • Gunthar2000

    Bye bye diablo. :)

  • Gunthar2000

    I’m not gonna miss him.

  • Martha

    “To respond to it with baby talk….well, there just isn’t a word for that.”

    Two words: wet brain

  • causeandeffect

    Martha, I stand corrected.

  • Acacia H

    @ Gunthar2000,
    At the top of this page on the right hand side, it says log in. What’s that for

  • Acacia H

    Has Diablo gone then

  • Gunthar2000

    I’ve started a group on the community pages for developing video responses to the Top ten AA lies of all time.

    I’m looking for brief blurbs responding to the lies to use in the video.

    Here’s the list…

    1. Rarely have we seen a person fail.

    2. The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking.

    3. AA is not affiliated with any other organization.

    4. AA has saved millions of lives.

    5. AA is spiritual not religious.

    6. AA works for everybody who honestly works it.

    7. AA helps people to be serene.

    8. If you are able to stop drinking without AA you are a dry drunk.

    9. If you are able to stop drinking without AA you are doing it alone.

    10. If you stop without AA and you tell anyone you are just angry.

    #1 is reserved for raysny since he’s the expert on the subject.

    Please keep the responses brief. This will be a slide show presentation. Text is subject to editing.

    Thanks in advance to all who participate… Let’s get this done today.

  • Gunthar2000

    Acacia H, I think that is for blog contributors like MA and ftg. You don’t need to log in to respond.

    If you’d like to see more of the blog you can go to the main page – scroll down, and at the bottom it says “next”. That will take you back a page. If you keep doing that it will take you all the way back to the first post in 2007 or so.

  • hulahoop

    Ben Franklin says JD and Tony J always use monkeys as a slur. Perhaps it is meant to be racial. I know TJ protested that he is not JD but they both have the same lingo and modus operandi. We do know they belong to the same cult.

    causeandeffect says Ben, it could only be a racial slur.

    I’ve wondered about this before. Here in the Deep South it can be considered a racial slur and will be determined to be one if you use that term in certain areas. (Certain areas = anywhere a Black person hears you using it.) You will either get an earful in return or you will get your ass kicked. Seriously.

    I never brought up the issue because I didn’t want to speculate, and I do not know if the term has the same meaning in other parts of the country. Sometimes the South seems to be an entity of its own. Also as much as I don’t like what Tony or JD post, I would like to believe they are not using the term in a racial way.

  • Acacia H

    Oh thanks Gunthar.
    I’ll check out the community pages for your new group.

  • hulahoop

    friendthegirl says diablo, you’re going into time out.

    I posted about this. The post didn’t show. Either it was caught by your spam filter OR it is because my Internet connection SUCKS right now. Dial up was better than what I am dealing with at the moment. I am very pleased to see there is a filter to take out duplicate posts or else I would have stopped posting a couple of days a go out of embarrassment.

    Anyway, thank you FTG! You have almost achieved higher power status. Unfortunately he likes the attention. It is almost like he is trying to get himself banned so he can go run and cry about how he was victimized by the owners of this site and the members due to no fault of his own. Thanks again. The forum will be a fun place to visit again for a little while.

  • Acacia H

    I’m pleased that Diablo has gone. It was getting out of hand. He for a time became the centre of attention.

  • AnnaZed

    @Acacia H ~ the log in is for posting in the Community area.

  • Acacia H

    why as diablo been able to post in the community pages just a minute ago

  • Acacia H

    diablo posted in community pages a minute ago

  • Acacia H

    Thanks Anna

  • http://www.stinkin-thinkin.com friendthegirl

    Acacia, He just snuck that in before I could get over there to block him.

    Whack-a-mole!

  • http://none violet

    I agree with the DIablo time out. Seriously, I got sucked in, felt bad for him, and then he was a shit to me, too. What a dbag. Seriously.

  • http://duischooltruth.wordpress.com JR Harris

    I think he has a new incurable disease – it’s call Trollism

  • Acacia H

    Sorted ftg. Sorry. So glad he’s gone though

  • http://www.stinkin-thinkin.com friendthegirl

    It’s like turning off a jackhammer.

  • Acacia H

    ftg, The hat….is that to donate to this site. If it is I’m not too sure on dollars. I’m only use to pounds.

  • Gunthar2000

  • Acacia H

    oh, and how do I change my avatar on here. Ive managed to do it on the community page but not here

  • http://www.stinkin-thinkin.com friendthegirl

    Hi Acacia, yes it is a donate button :)

    Also, we use Gravatar here, so if you want your pic to show up, go to gravatar.com and set up an account with the email address that you use to post here. You can upload your avatar pic there, and it will show up!

  • Gunthar2000
  • AnnaZed

    @Acacia H ~ to change your avatar here you need to create one at http://en.gravatar.com/
    Then that avatar appears on any WordPress blog (including this one) that you post on if you post wit the email that you linked to the gravatar. You can also change it whenever you want and it changes globally to all the WordPress blogs, which is of course excellent time wasting good fun.

  • Acacia H

    Awwww….thanks everyone. You’re such stars!

  • Martha

    ftg said: “It’s like turning off a jackhammer.”

    I would have put a different ending on the word jack.

  • hulahoop.

    @ violet – I agree with the DIablo time out. Seriously, I got sucked in, felt bad for him, and then he was a shit to me, too. What a dbag. Seriously.

    Violet, he has been given the benefit of the doubt by many people here including myself. I do believe in freedom of speech and I respect FTG and MA for giving people a place to express themselves even if it conflicts with what they personally believe in. That being said, there is a fine line between expressing yourself and using that freedom of expression to be a disruptive asshole with absolutely no respect for the other people who come here to post.

    I don’t care if he attends five AA meetings a day and sleeps with a picture of Bill underneath his pillow at night. I really don’t. Great if it works for him. His constant disruptions and yammering on about nothing and putting down people here who I do like and respect is like adding static to a really good radio station someone enjoys a lot. Eventually you have to either deal with the static or change the station.

  • Acacia H

    whoop!whoop!

  • hulahoop.

    Okay…this a test. I uploaded a pic and want to see if it shows.

  • Gunthar2000

    @AnnaZed…

    I tried to explain to an AA guy why I left, and he started yelling at me, “You’re still a pickle!”

  • hulahoop.

    Dammit. Back to the drawing board.

    Acacia H is that you? You are lovely!

  • Gunthar2000

    Yes! Lovely! whoop!whoop!

  • hulahoop.

    Okay. Let me try again.

  • Gunthar2000

    I wanna see what other people look like now, since y’all have seen my fat Jaba ass. :)

  • http://www.stinkin-thinkin.com friendthegirl

    hulahoop, you have to use the email address you’re using to post here (just in case you weren’t), and also, sometimes it takes a little while to work.

  • http://none violet

    acacia, i feel like youre wearing a ballet costume; it’s cool. :)

  • Acacia H

    @ HH & Gunthar, yes that is me.

  • causeandeffect

    Ahhh, Acacia, you’re pretty!

  • Acacia H

    @Violet, no it’s a dress and my real name is Lolly.

  • http://www.stinkin-thinkin.com friendthegirl

    diablo, if you’re reading this, I’m not going to actually read anything from you with the subject line “hypocrite.” That goes straight into the trash. I showed you your very first words on this board. The first thing you posted on here was an unprovoked, direct personal attack on another member here and then insults to everyone who posts here, so you don’t get to sanctimoniously take the high road on your way out.

  • hulahoop.

    Gunthar, check your email.

  • hulahoop.

    hulahoop, you have to use the email address you’re using to post here (just in case you weren’t), and also, sometimes it takes a little while to work.

    Thanks FTG. I’ll go back and make sure I jumped through all the hulahoops correctly. :)

  • Acacia H

    @CandE,
    Thank you. Stop now, I’m blushing!

  • http://none violet

    it’s a wicked cool dress. i am not cool enough to put the real me on here. :)

  • http://none violet

    um, ftg, i went to the avatar site and that is still the old violet. :( oh well. after i upload the image, then what?

  • hulahoop.

    I logged in. It works over there in the community section.

  • http://none violet

    oh, sorry, it takes 5-10 minutes. i am such a dork.

  • http://none violet

    you’re not a fat ass dood!

  • causeandeffect

    I think I’ll stick with the avatar I have since it gives me an hourglass figure, LOL.

    It sure is nice around here without all that incessant yapping. Hypocrite says hypocrite. LOL

  • hulahoop

    I bet it will work now. Doh!

  • Gunthar2000
  • Gunthar2000

    It is nice causeandeffect. :)

  • Acacia H

    @ Violet, I’m sure you are cool! For me, it’s more like a coming out lol

  • http://none violet

    look at how cool i am now. thnx ftg and acacia for making my crazy avatar a thing of the past. :)

  • JD

    Can’t speak for Tony (and apparently neither can he, due to the much-lauded tolerance here), but I don’t believe I used the word monkey here before. Not racial at all, so don’t expand your paranoia levels further. They’re clearly maxed out and might break.

    To explain. Since TT caught my misspelling of whinge fairly quickly for a guy like him, which indicated to me he’s UK. In mainland Europe the UK wannabe Europeans are referred to as Island Monkeys, to denote their small, skittish, and easily agitated characteristics, their occasional explosions into either hysteria or opposing sporting team supporters for no reason, which fits with how I’ve always pictured…oh, I can’t do that I was told.

    Though I do wish the talented person who drew up the cute little avatar of Bill with horns drawn on would have been the one to scold me about the sanctity of respecting the personal appearances of other people.

  • http://none violet

    JD, we will see you at pizza hut. :)

  • tintop

    Your wish is denied with contempt, foster
    \a video of your hero mr bill

  • causeandeffect

    Hi JD, thank your grandchild for coming to see us again!

  • Gunthar2000

    JD is a hater.

  • causeandeffect

    JD doesn’t write his own comments anymore. LOL!

  • tintop

    hey, foster
    you can give another one of your great whinges. You whinge so well you need a get reward for them. be the first thing that you ever won, except, perhaps, a drinking contest

  • http://www.stinkin-thinkin.com friendthegirl

    JD sez Though I do wish the talented person who drew up the cute little avatar of Bill with horns drawn on would have been the one to scold me about the sanctity of respecting the personal appearances of other people.

    Trying to explain bullying to you would be like trying to explain “blue” to someone who was born blind. So, just follow the rules, JD. And if you need any more help discerning right from wrong, I’ll be very glad to help out.

  • http://www.stinkin-thinkin.com friendthegirl

    Also:

  • causeandeffect

    I feel that the eyes should glow red, but who am I to criticize someone’s masterpiece like that? The lipstick on the collar is such a nice touch.

  • Johnny Crash NYC

    I love the lipstick on the collar

  • http://www.stinkin-thinkin.com friendthegirl

    Thank you.

  • Ben Franklin

    JD, it does seem to escape you that whether your slang is against a white person or a black person it is still a racial slur, especially the way you describe it.

  • Ben Franklin

    Oh and JD, why would you just out of the blue bring up “island monkey”. Is this some kind of backhanded passive-aggressive way of sneaking one in? Why would you assume ( you know what they say about asses in AA) someone is British and in heightened spiritual condition throw a lighthearted slur at them. Also, we all know what monkey means in American slang. So why bother using it if you have been rocketed into the fourth dimension of spiritual stepper bliss? Do you ever think twice about what you post?

  • http://duischooltruth.wordpress.com JR Harris

    @ftg – I’m using your Bill W picture as my desktop background.

  • Acacia H

    I’m from the UK and I’ve never heard the term Island monkey. New to me.

  • Acacia H

    JD is offensive!

  • http://profacero.wordpress.com Z

    JD: “In mainland Europe the UK wannabe Europeans are referred to as Island Monkeys”

    Could you please cite in the original “mainland European” language(s)? I speak Spanish, Portuguese, French, and Danish, and I can read Catalan, Italian, German, Swedish, and Norwegian bokmaal.

  • http://www.thecleanslate.org Steven Slate

    I haven’t seen the monkey comments, but I have to say context is extremely important, yet often ignored when making a charge of racism, even when clearer epithets are used. ‘Monkey” is not a term that is clearly an epithet, it has been used quite often to mean ‘stupid’, ‘dumb’, or ‘foolish’ as much or more than it has been used in a racist way. For example, there are countless cartoons and other pictures portraying George Bush as a monkey – and the people who distributed those pictures never meant anything about his race, they meant to portray him as dumb.

  • causeandeffect

    Judging from his first few posts JD is somewhat illiterate. It’s his ghost writer that is being offensive for him now.

    George w Bush looks like a monkey anyway.

  • Acacia H

    I do not appreciate his slurr on the UK

  • ez

    Strangest thing, when I look for the term “island monkees” in various slang dictionaries, I can’t find it. Neither can I find a varient of such a popular EU slang term when I search for “island monkey”.

    Nor have I ever heard such a term used in my 4 plus years in the UK.

    Amazing, huh?

  • http://deleted Primrose

    Acacia: I have never heard ‘Island monkey’. I have heard of ‘cheese-eating surrender monkey’, which was I think a derisory term reflecting French foreign policy. Is this a slur upon us as a nation? Is it because we is multi-cultural?

  • http://deleted Primrose

    I don’t want to ‘tread’ on anyones toes here and I am very grateful to MA and ftg for this blog. The only criticsm, if one could call it that, is that no one has thought about the ‘Toto’ factor. On the basis of what I understand this site is about, it is surely (Shirley?) going to be very important at some point in the future (my money is on 5 years, and this is from someone who made money on the death of the Pope vs the Queen Mother) we are going to need a ‘Toto’. I apologise if MA and ftg have already covered this important angle.

    If I can help: In October 2010 I acquired a Cairn terrier puppy. She is housetrained for some time now, and a joy to all who meet her. We are in the process of training her to see a curtain and automatically pull at it. I will continue with this aspect of training unless I hear that MA and ftg have planned for this ‘intervention’. If anyone else on this blog has purchased a Cairn for the same purpose then think it is best that someone else takes this very important role. I have not had her ‘chipped’ yet, but will continue with ‘curtain pulling’ training until I am assured that we have a Cairn in place.

    I am in the UK so there will be some dog transportation issues.

    I cannot believe this issue has not been mentionned so far. I will leave this subject now, but I will continue with ‘curtain training’ in the interim.

    Primrose.

  • Acacia H

    cairn?

  • Acacia H

    I thought I’d do a bit of advertising for stinkin thinkin. I intend to buy some items from the ST shop for me and my baby to wear. I just wish the items would also have on them stinkin thinkin.com.

  • http://deleted Primrose

    DO NOT tell me that Toto was not a Cairn terrier? I have had her since Oct.

  • Acacia H

    Primrose, I did’nt understand your post sorry.

  • http://deleted Primrose

  • http://iloveeli violet

    dear primrose, *surely* you can’t be serious. just kidding. seriously though, what are you talking about? was this for the movie somebody wanted to write (was that you?) about all of this? i am so confused.

    i wanted a tote bag that just read “ftg” b/c i think she is kind of like a rock. star. i feel bad that i have not purchased anything. i am so broke that i am in the space where i won’t even look at my checking account, as i feel the truth will create a sense of fear that will be too too much for me. acacia, you and your baby will look so cool with that stuff. :)

  • http://iloveeli violet

    @ JR: me too, i copied your smart idea.

  • Acacia H

    @ Violet, thank you. I think I too will also copy JR’s idea.

  • SoberPJ

    I can only guess that she is talking about some sort of mascot. Other than that, alzheimers would be my second guess.

  • http://deleted Primrose

    Wizard of Oz
    Tried to link.

  • Martha

    What’s with the blue lights in Bill’s eyes. I thought the Goa’uld had red eyes.

  • onesobergirl
  • Mike

    goodbye

    After a few months posting here I’ve decided to move on. As fun as it has been to do spiritual battle with the likes of tj, jd, et al, I feel that it has become an unproductive, if not unhealthy, pastime of mine. Good luck to you all.

  • causeandeffect

    Goodbye Mike. I suppose you must do what’s good for you, but I’ll miss you. Hope you at least come back to say “hi” once in a while. Please remember, battles aren’t necessary here. Take care.

  • Acacia H

    goodbye Mike and you take care.

  • http://www.stinkin-thinkin.com friendthegirl

    We really enjoyed having you, Mike! When something’s not fun anymore, you know it’s time to go… I send best wishes after you. Bon voyage :)

  • hulahoop

    @ onesobergirl says http://mylifesober.tumblr.com/

    Are you the owner of this blog that is linked to? No offense to you, but I think it is a little rude to stop in, post a link, and split without at least posting a message to introduce yourself. It makes the original post seem like spam.

    I took a look at your blog and have a few questions for you. Please try to come back by here when you have more time other than to post a link.

  • humanspirit

    I must admit I won’t miss diablo too much. I tended to ignore him (because I generally didn’t think he had much of any interest to say, to be honest, and he took up an inordinate amount of space saying it) but the times he did say anything to me it was not only always extremely snarky and presumably intended to be insulting, but also totally unrelated to anything I’d actually posted, which was a bit odd. I got the feeling he was one of those people who never bothered to read further than the first few lines of anyone’s comments before he fired off a hostile response, and was frequently too inattentive (or too challenged) to see when people were quoting from someone else. Not a crime, obviously, though it does indicate he wasn’t interested in any kind of serious debate. I know he wasn’t just banned for being boring and irritating, but it’s kind of nice to know he might now be able find a better forum to try to dominate in.

    I’ll miss you too, Mike! (We’re obviously into love-bombing people when they leave, not when they first appear!). I always really appreciated your comments here, and hope you’ll still drop in occasionally.

  • Gunthar2000

    1st in a big long series.

  • http://none violet

    Gunther, is that you in the picture in the community section?

    I love the image of the Baptist church in a chicken coop.

    What ever became over the poor bi-curious man?

  • Gunthar2000

    Yes violet. That’s me about a year and a half ago before a medication packed on most of this extra weight. I was probably 60 pounds lighter then.

    I’m not sure what happened to the bi-curios guy. He seemed really nice. I hope he is well.

  • Gunthar2000

  • http://www.stinkin-thinkin.com friendthegirl

    I love your new youtube adventures, Gunthar. Excellent!

  • causeandeffect

    Gunthar, I love these videos, I really do. And it’s nice to be able to see your face. But I’m concerned about steppers seeing your face as well and attacking you for them. DeCon made the point previously that they can be very violent. Is there any other way you can do this? I know showing your face makes it really real, but I admire you and don’t want anything bad to happen to you.
    Nice photo in the community pages btw.

  • http://www.stinkin-thinkin.com friendthegirl

    I mean that really, G. These videos are really something. So compelling and so human. I think that they will speak to so many people.

  • causeandeffect

    Pixelation! Is it too late to use pixelation?

  • http://www.stinkin-thinkin.com friendthegirl

    (c&e, I’m a little worried too.)

  • http://www.stinkin-thinkin.com friendthegirl

    (But I think they wouldn’t be nearly as compelling if Gunthar were hidden).

  • causeandeffect

    That’s so true. I completely understand that. And I understand how much this means to Gunthar. Just hope he’ll be alright.

  • Gunthar2000

    I’m not afraid anymore. If a freakshow stepper kills me it will bring the issue to the headlines.

    It’s never going to happen anyway.

    Thanks you guys. The next two will be entitled “What I did for myself”.

  • Rick045

    Thank you Gunthar, I admire your courage. Your stories bring back memories, and I also have a big “F**k You” for anybody who thinks I have any reason to lie about the things I witnessed in the rooms. I saw an old AA acquaintance in the grocery the other day. I don’t know if still goes or if he remembers me or not, but I do know he’s on the sex offender registry for abusing a ten-year old.

  • hulahoop

    @ Gunthar – I’m not afraid anymore. If a freakshow stepper kills me it will bring the issue to the headlines.

    Sometimes I have a morbid sense of humor. I thought, “Yeah and the judge would probably sentence the (would be) murderer to mandatory AA meetings because they weren’t working a good enough program. You must promise me you are really going to WORK the steps this time.”

    I admire your courage and determination. The fact you are willing to let yourself be seen and heard in a way so few people do when they are passionate about a cause that isn’t popular. I wish I could watch the videos, but my Internet connection SUCKS right now. It is so bad that I find myself missing the days of dial up. Life has temporarily lost some of its luster.

    Thanks for all you do and for setting an example for the rest of us. :)

  • hulahoop

    @ Rick045 – Thank you Gunthar, I admire your courage. Your stories bring back memories, and I also have a big “F**k You” for anybody who thinks I have any reason to lie about the things I witnessed in the rooms. I saw an old AA acquaintance in the grocery the other day. I don’t know if still goes or if he remembers me or not, but I do know he’s on the sex offender registry for abusing a ten-year old.

    I think I’ve never heard a lie about anything that goes in the rooms. I think I heard plenty of lies in the rooms though. It was usually about who could give the best drunkalogue and who could out do who. It seemed like a lot of people spent a lot of time bragging and reliving their glory days if they were telling the truth. Part of the reason I didn’t like to share very often was/is because my drunkalogue is very boring. Truly. It would put most people to sleep. But I did see and hear some shit though. The one thing I can say about AA is it had a profound effect on my life. I do see people, places, and things differently. I wish I had never stepped in to that first meeting.

  • hulahoop

    Wait, let me clarify – I think I’ve never heard lie about what goes on the rooms told by someone who managed to get out. I do not believe anything a stepper tells me unless I know it to be true myself or unless I can get verification. A stepper will say anything to get a person in to the rooms. They are under the influence of AA.

    As far as the profound effect on my life…I really should have used the word negative. I am a lot more untrusting of people now. I find myself questioning people’s motives a lot more than I did before I found AA. I find myself digging beneath surface of appearances more. I am probably a little more cynical and skeptical of places, things, and people.

    I think the worst thing AA did for me was to make me question my faith. And worse, the faith of others. I am having a very hard time with it.

  • SoberPJ

    You can’t spend years looking for the negative aspects in your behavior and the behavior of others and expect to emerge happy, joyous and free. You can, however, expect to emerge cynical, neurotic and depressed.

  • hulahoop

    @ PJ – You can’t spend years looking for the negative aspects in your behavior and the behavior of others and expect to emerge happy, joyous and free. You can, however, expect to emerge cynical, neurotic and depressed.

    Thanks PJ. I really do appreciate it. You have given me food for thought.

    Have you ever had a huge WTF? moment? I think I have been having one those for a while now.

  • tintop

    I think that it is important to understand what sorts are in AA. There are many sorts of disordered people in AA, narcissists , schizo affective, borderline, anti social. And, all sorts of mood problems; depressed, anxious, panic. On top of that , put, destructive drinking and drugging. A devil’s brew.
    The most problematical are the disordered. They are the ones that cause real problems for others. They do not just suffer themselves [ and some do], they make others suffer. And, they tend to accuse the others of being off kilter.

    Now, the disordered are very resistant to treatment. Perhaps, they may have brought so much havoc to their own lives that they have actually recognized the need to change. But, for them, change is very difficult.

    The people with mood problems suffer much as well. Such suffering sometimes leads to suicide.

  • hulahoop

    Tintop – What are you trying to say? I think I am not understanding it.

  • http://iloveeli violet

    Intervention!!! :) My bf emailed this to me today and said, “Why all need AA.”

  • http://iloveeli violet

    oops,

  • http://iloveeli violet

  • http://iloveeli violet

    cannot post a video for some reason. oh well, hi everyone.

  • tintop

    hulahoop —That aa is full of deeply troubled and deeply wounded people who are having a great deal of difficulty ‘problems in living’.

  • http://www.stinkin-thinkin.com friendthegirl

    sorry. somethings fubar. i don’t know what’s going on with the video…

  • sugomom

    PUKE ALERT! My relationship issue was discussed on Dr Harley’s Marriage Builder radio show. He and his wife are NOT very complimentary of what “recovery” does to a marriage. They also think that coed groups should be banned. I will post the show when it is available in the archives. But I have been harping away against some AA blowhards over on that site. I (and others here have joined me) just keep presenting our experience of what AA did to our families. One brave soul who is on this board even admitted she even ALMOST gave her spouse the heave ho because of AA advice. Anyhow, this was the latest post from an BB junkie:

    Here is an age old problem that basically I think the writers and beginning members screwed up on royally.

    A little history.

    The origans of AA started out with a group known as the Oxford group. This group had fair luck with sobriety (sobriety was not its purpose) but required Absolutes for membership. Alcoholics were absolutely no good at Absolutes. Alcoholics came to the group to try and achieve a spritual awakening or experience. They pretty much became a subset of the group and often were refered to as “The drunk Squad”. They stayed pretty much grouped together.

    Abby Thatcher was one that sobered up-Performed the Absolutes-Brought about a spritual awakening-He stayed sober approx 2 months-Then brought the idea to Bill Wilson because he knew Bill was a drunk like him. Together they started out trying to sober up people. When almost 100 were staying sober it was decided they would write a book. Started out as a money making scheme to support other projects.

    Heres the screw up—->They named the GROUP AFTER THE BOOK……….WAS WRITTEN

    THis is the very important part here

    IF YOU READ NOTHING ELSE READ THIS-

    THE BIG BOOK IS THE INSTRUCTIONS-(THE PROGRAM OF AA) ON HOW TO RECOVER FROM ALCOHOLISM. I AM RECOVERED TODAY BECAUSE OF THE BOOK (THE PROGRAM) -A SPONSOR-SUPPORT AT AA MEETINGS(THE FELLOWSHIP).

    THE BIG BOOK GAVE ME PRECISE-SPECIFIC INSTRUCTIONS ON HOW TO DO THAT. WHEN I WORK WITH ANOTHER (SPONSOR) AND HE SHOWS ME THE INSTRUCTIONS-I WORK IT TO THE BEST OF MY ABILITY-A SPIRITUAL EXPERIENCE OR AWAKENING OCCURS-I RECOVER.

    THE NAME AA MEETING OR GROUP CAME AFTER THE PROGRAM (THE BIG BOOK) WAS IN WRITTEN FORM. THE BIG BOOK IS THE PROGRAM THAT I WORK TO RECOVER-

    AA MEETINGS ARE THE SUPPORT OR PLACE I GO TO TALK ABOUT WHERE MY RECOVERY IS AT. THE PROBLEM IS THAT THE PROGRAM (BIG BOOK) MAY NOT BE FOUND AT AN AA MEETING.

    I HAVE BEEN TO MEETINGS WHERE I WAS THE ONLY ONE WITH A BIG BOOK.
    I HAVE BEEN TO MEETING WHERE SPORTS, HOW MY WEEK WAS-WORLD EVENTS -HOW TO MAKE GOOD VENISON SAUSAGE-jokes-EVERYTHING BUT THE BIG BOOK WAS DISCUSSED.

    AA PROGRAM=BIG BOOK
    FELLOWSHIP OF AA=WHERE I MEET TO DISCUSS WHERE I AM AT IN THE PROGRAM (BIG BOOK)

    IF THE GROUP IS NOT DOING THIS THEN I DON’T KNOW WHAT TYPE OF GROUP IT IS AND GAURENTEED I WON’T BE BACK UNLESS TO INFILTRATE AND TRY TO GET THE GROUP BACK TO THE BIG BOOK.

    AA HAS BEEN SO PERVERTED AND WATERED DOWN BY TREATMENT PROGRAMS-MY PROGRAM-I THINK-I FEEL-PHYCO BABBLE-DRIBBLE FROM ATHEISTS WHO DON’T WANT TO MENTION THE WORD JESUS CHRIST OR GOD-HOW DARE YOU MENTION IT IN A GROUP.

    THE BIG BOOK IS CLEAR-OUR REPRIEVE FROM ALCOHOL IS CONTINGENT UPON OUR SPRITUAL CONDITION. MY SPRITUAL CONDITION IS MY RELATIONSHIP TO GOD…..PERIOD!!!

    NO WHERE IN THE BIG BOOK (AA PROGRAM) DOES IT TALK ABOUT OUR SPONSOR OR GROUP SUGGESTING ANYTHING ABOUT OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH OUR SPOUSES EXCEPT FOR US TO MAKE AMMENDS AND ENCOURAGE OUR SPOUSES AND FAMILY TO LIVE ON A SPIRITUAL PLANE WITH US. IF THEY CHOSE NOT TO WE ARE TO ACCEPT THAT BUT STILL TRY TO ENCOURAGE THEM TO JOIN US. IN FACT SPONSORS ARE ENCOURAGED TO STAY OUT OF FAMILY MATTERS AND WORK WITH THE ALCOHOLIC to get them to the spritual experience..

    When I listen to people at the meeting talk about taking a 3rd step or fourth and they have been going to meetings for several years then there is a problem. All of this can be done in under six weeks. We are not to dilly dalley. We are to get right with ourselves-get right with GOD-make ammends to others-continue trying to always do the right thing-Go out and help others. PRETTY SIMPLE

    THE NON ALCOHOLIC IS ENCOURAGED TO TALK TO ANOTHER SPOUSE WHOS SPOUSE IS RECOVERING ALSO. NO AL-ANON AT THAT TIME IT WAS WRITTEN.

    The trouble with what you are saying is that you are talking about 2 different entities here that are being lumped together. The PROGRAM is very different than the FELLOWSHIP>

    I challenge you to take anything from the first 164 pages of the Big Book (the program) and find what you will that which does not defend or try to better the relationship with a spouse, a family member or pretty much any relationship we have in life. If garbage is coming out of the meetings then that is the meetings fault. Not the programs fault.The program and the fellowship may be two entirely different things.

    added-The group you describe in your post is probably garbage. It is not ok for sponsors or the group to be butting in to family matters.

    Just my .02 cents

    The history in this can be verified and I will put links in if you really want me to.

    nESRE

    Edited by nesre (02/08/11 02:57 PM)

  • sugomom

    Awesome video Violet! Gunthar I will get to yours after dinner.

  • humanspirit

    @sugomom

    Some of the things you quote from this lunatic are:

    “THE BIG BOOK IS THE INSTRUCTIONS-(THE PROGRAM OF AA) ON HOW TO RECOVER FROM ALCOHOLISM.

    THE BIG BOOK GAVE ME PRECISE-SPECIFIC INSTRUCTIONS ON HOW TO DO THAT. ”

    This is one of the things that really, really worries and confuses me about steppism. I’ve read the bb several times, and I’ve yet to see any advice WHATSOEVER (excuse caps) on how to stop drinking or how to tackle addiction. I’ve literally scrutinised it, trying to find such ‘instructions’. What are exactly these ‘instructions’ that the bb contains on how to stop drinking? I can’t find a single one. If Bill Wilson had mentioned that he managed to stop drinking through taking belladonna, then, yes, that would have been one practical option, but he chooses not to mention that at all. (The one thing that might have given the whole thing some kind of credibility.)

    The rest of it sounds very much like the stuff diablo used to come out with here, i.e. coming from a bb fundamentalist who deplores the current state of AA and the treatment centres who (apparently) don’t hold it as a literal sacred text. (In fact I wouldn’t be at all surprised if it actually was diablo coming out with this bilge – who knows?)

    Yes, try and post the show here when it’s available, Sugomom. (But please also give us another puke alert too :) )

    Crazy stuff, as we know, but I just wish these people would keep well out of the affairs of people who are genuinely and seriously trying to address a life-threatening issue.

  • tintop

    For encouragment This is the Force of Destiny La Foraze del Destino !

  • Mona Lisa

    It’s true that there are no instructions or practical advice on how to quit drinking in the BB. I kept thinking that my brain was too muddled from the years of drinking to figure out the instructions; everyone else was talking like they were in there so I figured I was missing something. To be honest I am still not sure how exactly I worked the steps, but I did, several times in fact. Sometimes those years are just a blur, a blur of meetings, drama and general insanity. Better than when I was drinking, but not much.

  • tintop

    La Forza del destino!

  • causeandeffect

    They all seem to want to blame everything wrong with AA on treatment centers. It seems like a rumor that someone started many years ago in defense of AA which all the steppers who have ever heard it repeat. This one, diablo, mr. AA, all the same crap. I just don’t think, if you pressed them for details, they would agree on what specifically treatment centers did to ruin AA. I don’t think they are the same person at all. I think they are separate people sharing the same delusion. They are just clones spouting the same ideas. BTW diablo’s grammar was, well to say the least, severely lacking. He’s not the same person or persons unless someone was intentionally dumbing down their posts. It would be difficult to consistently make the same errors he made.

  • humanspirit

    causeandeffect says

    “They all seem to want to blame everything wrong with AA on treatment centers”

    Which is hugely ironic because when my family member went to treatment centre he was seriously up against steppism 101 (people were required to STUDY and even memorize quotes from the bb as part of their paid-for “treatment!”). Needless to say we were not informed that this would be the case until we’d handed over the money . . .

  • tintop

    That music is intended to show that time is on our side.

    On les aura!

  • sugomom

    Tin Top, rolling with laughter now.

    Human Spirit, Mona Lisa, and Cause and Effect….I kind of wonder if this poster wasn’t actually Diablo, since I posted the link to the marriage site and asked for help and input on ST. He started out with the word “origans” and then botched the word Guaranteed, not that I haven’t mistyped or incorrectly spelled a word! Then I decided that the words encourage, and precise were not part of his usual dribble. Back to the point…the BB does not give advice on the ways to get sober. The BB does not address the family except in archaic and condescending ways, with an occasional reference to taking pity on them because they are also diseased! When my ex first started in AA, not only did he waste child support money on the BB. but on a multitude of books trying to explain the BB. Daily Strength, Big Book Words, etc. Hell, he even gets daily emails of ESH….yet refuses to pay child support.
    Although I know there are AA historians on this site that could take this fool down, I neither have the knowledge or the desire to respond. Treatment Centers, AA, It’s your fault, It’s their fault…all so mind boggling to me! The BB could be one page if it were up to me….JUST STOP IT! Is this behavior making you happy? Is it working for you? Is it strengthening the bonds with the people who love and care for you? OK, for me that’s it.
    I guess to make it one page it would have to be REALLY big font!
    I think you will all be really happy with the stand that Dr Harley and wife take on their radio show. They are careful to not shut out AA, but DO point out how it distracts one from a normal and fulfilled life. I am grateful to them that they chose to take a stand and do a show based upon a single heartfelt email from me. Slowly, one by one, we can really DO the ST Outreach program!

  • causeandeffect

    Thanks tintop. It certainly is and I’m enjoying your videos.

    Humanspirit, I’ve never heard in a meeting that wasn’t from the bb, 12&12 or some slogan that could be inferred from them. The most brutal attacks on what someone had shared (there was one who was notorious for waiting until the end of the meeting to share so he choose who to self righteously thump on the head by quoting the literature) came from the 12&12.

  • http://stop13stepinaa@wordpress.com massiveattack

    Gunthar,
    Great great video. I do not think you will be the last. Many will now come forward and speak directly. on this subject.
    I am really really proud …doesnt seem to be the right word. But I was like “yea right on Gunthar. Speak the truth.” Certainly we have heard enough lying and BS in Meetings.

    I cant wait till edit my video and put it up. I think the radio broadcast had a great effect on some of us!!!!!!! Thanks GUNTHAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • tintop

    sugomom — I am glad that somone got it.

    On les aura!

  • sugomom

    Excuse me, I didn’t mean to be glib or short circuit the efforts you all have endured to overcome your over indulgence in alcohol…I know it’s not as easy as “Just stop it!” I have recently been so frustrated by the excuse making society we live in where bad behavior is not only excused but publicized as well. I am self correcting and apologizing for minimizing the life long struggles you have all overcome to get to where you are today. I just wish that each and every one of you had found something other than the Program based on the Big Book. Even that term drives me crazy, what adult refers to serious literary works by such simple terms?…”Mom, can you read me the book by the guy that wrote about the BIG WHALE?”

  • http://www.stinkin-thinkin.com friendthegirl

    I need a recovery nerd:

    We are always bandying around a couple of figures: 1. AA’s 5% success (retention?) rate according to the Vailant study, and 2. the 5% spontaneous remission rate.

    Where does the 5% spontaneous remission rate come from? What is the time frame? Are we talking about alcoholics? diseases? or addictions in general?

    I’m looking at the NIAAA’s study of 43,000 people, and it finds this:

    # Twenty years after onset of alcohol dependence, about three-fourths of individuals are in full recovery; more than half of those who have fully recovered drink at low-risk levels without symptoms of alcohol dependence.
    # About 75 percent of persons who recover from alcohol dependence do so without seeking any kind of help, including specialty alcohol (rehab) programs and AA. Only 13 percent of people with alcohol dependence ever receive specialty alcohol treatment.

    http://www.spectrum.niaaa.nih.gov/features/alcoholism.aspx

  • tintop

    sugomom , I understand.

    I went through a year or so long period of trial and tribulation. Part of that was drinking a lot. Muchly lot

    Force of circumstance – an opportunity to get out from under – dictated, in uncertain termsthat this destructive hand to end STAT. It did. I moved 1300 miles, remarried, got a new staee, a new home, a new wife, a new family, an ew life. At age 59. That was in 2005. None of that would have happened if Ihad not done what neeeded to be done.

    There is more to ‘just stop it’ than just stop it.

    We do have to – seriusly – have to know the difference between blame and responsibility. Sometimes, we do not undertsnad that being responsible is an opporrtunity to stand up and show what you can do.

    We can get it done.

  • causeandeffect

    Don’t know where I got this but it’s the whole (original, I think) analysis on the surveys sloppy graphs and all

    As far as Vaillant, I thought I had some of his analysis bookmarked but, dammit, I can’t find it now. I’ll keep looking.

  • sugomom

    Tin Top, That was perfect…..I really do get it. Stanza after Stanza!

  • causeandeffect

    Oh, crap, I didn’t know it would do that! sorry. I’ll send the link in a msg

  • tintop

    sugomom.

    With all the talking here, I thought of La Forza Del Destino. The Force of Destiny cannot be thwarted. On les aura!

  • http://www.stinkin-thinkin.com friendthegirl

    That’s OK c&e, thank you! That’s pretty cool, actually. I didn’t know you could do that either.

    So, is the spontaneous recovery rate in the Vailant study, too? How does that number jibe with the NIAAA’s study?

  • causeandeffect

    I’m thinking 5% per year whereas the NIAAA study would be over a number of years, but I don’t have anything to back that up at the moment. I really, really thought I had it. Yes Vailant found 5%, AA didn’t improve over spontaneous remission, but increased death rate. I’ll keep looking.

  • tintop

    ftg, the Orange Papers has letters discussing this matter. The ‘Arid site’ has material on this matter as well.

  • MA

    That analysis C&E posted is the one done by three AAs, which has no basis in reality.

    The spontaneous remission rate in the Vailant study, the the NIAAA are looking at two separate things.

  • tintop

    That study by the AA is not worth very much unless and until an independent agency has the raw data, and is able to do its’s own analysis of the data.
    Retention and ‘success’ are separate matters.
    Failure to retain does not mean failure; it means that people left AA. Leaving AA is not proof of failure.

  • causeandeffect

    Oh, MA, I thought it was a different one. Sorry.

  • MA

    No problem. That thing will come up with a google search. It gets confusing.

  • causeandeffect

    True tintop. You can be in AA and still drink, you can be out of AA and be abstinent or moderate. Means very little. Your chances are better out of AA. I really thought that was the original survey where, by there own admission only had the 5%, not the one by the three stooges. Sorry again. Could that be deleted? I wouldn’t want to be responsible for spreading misinfo.

  • tintop

    We have had this ‘argument’ 87, 416 times, at last count, before; with the same result. Which was: “Yor teeth are like stars, they come out at night.”

    Oh well

  • causeandeffect

    tintop, I don’t recall having any argument with you, ever. Again, sorry.

  • Ben Franklin

    Actually MA, C&E linked to the Triennial Surveys. You are thinking about this by the three stooges:http://hindsfoot.org/recout01.pdf

    The new interpretation, which could be right, is that the numbers along the graph pertain to the percentages of members in various months of their first year. These then are relative frequencies. Relative frequencies after a long period of time with consistent results then are probabilities. So the probability that you are an AA member in your first year in your 12th month is 5%. AAers want to divide the 5(last month) by 19( first month) and come up with a 26% success rate. You can’t do this. This type of study only gives a one day snapshot of its members. It does not establish a relationship concerning retention. Only a longitudinal study that follows members over time can do this. Valliant did this. He came up with 5%. Funny how that number matches.

  • http://profacero.wordpress.com Z

    @tt, that Toscanini clip is fantastic!!! And I’ll bet classical music scares off trolls, too…

  • MA

    You’re right, Ben. I was wrong. Sorry about the C & E.

  • http://deleted Primrose

    From my observations, which were brief, and from conversations with an oldtimer who spat the koolaid out many years ago, plenty of people in the rooms were still drinking, or had relapsed. Whenever I read aas talking about membership, I wonder how many are actually sober, or perhaps just waiting to ‘get it’.

    What would happen to cult members if there were a magic pill that cured alcohol problems? They keep saying that they need newcombers to help, because that is essential to their own ‘recovery’. What would happen if the newcomer supply dried up?

  • Acacia H

    What’s koolaid?

  • Martha

    @ Acacia H.

    “Drinking the Kool-Aid” is a phrase and metaphor, used in the United States and Canada, that means to become a firm believer in something, to accept an argument or philosophy wholeheartedly or blindly without critical examination. The term originated with the November 1978 Jonestown Massacre,[1][2] where members of the Peoples Temple were said to have committed suicide by drinking Kool-Aid laced with cyanide.[3]

    Evidence gathered at the Jonestown site after the incident indicated that rather than Kool-Aid, Flavor Aid, a similar powdered drink, was used in the massacre. Some survivors of the incident object to the link between blind faith and the People’s Temple implied by the phrase, since some victims were murdered rather than being convinced or forced to commit suicide.[4]

    Objections notwithstanding, the phrase is commonly used in a variety of contexts to describe blind, uncritical acceptance or following, generally in a derogatory sense.”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drinking_the_Kool-Aid

  • http://www.thecleanslate.org Steven Slate

    For as much data is out there about AA retention rates, natural and assisted recovery rates, etc – there are exponentially more ways to interpret that data.

    Unable to show much reliable evidence that their treatments are actually effective, the recovery industry has begun to focus more on retention and/or compliance rates – that is, they’re measuring success not by whether the treatment is effective at helping the client to achieve their moderation or abstinence goals, but whether people will stay in treatment or not, and whether they will comply with the demands of treatment providers (one of which is to go to AA meetings as a so-called “aftercare plan”) Thus the goal is not to send people on their way to move on with their lives, but instead to just keep them in a never-ending cycle of treatment. Success has been redefined as constantly engaging in some kind of treatment.

    If we believe that only 5% of people who go to AA stay involved in the long run, then AA is a failure in terms of the new goal of keeping people forever in “treatment” (not to say that AA is treatment in any true medical sense of the word, nevertheless our various government agencies regularly refer to 12-step meetings as a form of treatment).

    Personally, I haven’t used this 5% number on my site, because while it is salient, it still lacks significance for me since it doesn’t show me how that 5% does. As a side note, I think those 95% who go to 1 or a few meetings may be done a huge favor by the miserable experience – personally, since I washed my hands of the 12 steps 10 years ago I have met less successfully active AA members, and far more people who told me they went to one meeting and said to themselves “I don’t wanna end up like those miserable people” and then proceeded to change their habits on their own. To find out what percentage of people are “scared straight” by 12-step meetings, would be an amazing statistic to have. I bet it’s a high number.

  • Acacia H

    @ Martha, thank you for that explanation.

  • http://www.stinkin-thinkin.com friendthegirl

    Steven sez: “To find out what percentage of people are “scared straight” by 12-step meetings, would be an amazing statistic to have. I bet it’s a high number.”

    That would be a great number to have. Also, I wonder how many people who would have eventually gone into complete recovery on their own (by which I mean that they dropped the addictive drinking and got on with things) either 1. instead spent a lifetime in AA or 2. actually developed a severe dependency only because of their involvement with AA.

  • http://www.thecleanslate.org Steven Slate

    @FTG
    I think the NESARC data you’re citing and the similar NLAES data from 10 years prior is far more important than the 5% retention rate of AA. It shows that there is a vast majority who never even go there, and that they’re alright, they still find their way to change. Stanton Peele has cited these numbers often, with good reason.

    Another interesting aspect though is that if you have ever been to AA at all, you’ll be included in the “treated” group in this study. That 25% of people who resolve their dependence through treatment may include a good portion of people like me – I went to 12-step meetings and treatment programs, but I don’t attribute my success to that involvement. To me, it was all wasted time that always ended with me being worse off and returning to even more extreme problematic use. When I did stop, it was through a simple non-medical, non-12step educational program which taught me how to choose to change, and to reject the disease and powerlessness concepts. So I don’t attribute my success to treatment or the 12-steps, I attribute it to some knowledge and my own efforts – yet in the methodology of these studies I would be considered a treatment success story.

  • http://www.stinkin-thinkin.com friendthegirl

    @steven, Yes, we’re putting a lot of weight on the NIAAA results, of course. I got it into my head last night that it just seemed like a better bunch of numbers to have in one’s back pocket than even the 5%. I wondered if these numbers have anything at all to do with each other, or how they reconcile.

    Wait… where does this 25% figure come from? The Vailant? In the NIAAA results 13% of dependent people who eventually recovered sought treatment (doesn’t say what percentage of those were ultimately successful because of treatment), but doesn’t specify AA. Regardless, I’ve always wondered about that, too: how are they gauging success and how are they drawing this line from treatment to recovery. Amazing they’d include people who rejected AA as having been treated by AA.

    Of course, none of this has anything at all to do with Real Alcoholics ™

  • http://www.thecleanslate.org Steven Slate

    @FTG
    Thanks. I agree that your other suggestions would be quite interesting to investigate. No doubt, there are countless people who end up brainwashed into believing they need to “hit bottom” or otherwise prove that they’re real alcoholics, or really take the disease/allergy concept and powerlessness to heart. I have TONS of anecdotal evidence on this, and I think many on this site would offer up anecdotal evidence of this too. As for actual scientific numbers, I think the best we can do at this point is compare with natural rates of recovery, and I think the data you presented which shows the difference between those at <5 years since onset of dependence, and those at 20+ years since onset give us a good indication that our anecdotal evidence is significant.

    In the long run, the untreated group does far better. In the study you cited, at <5 years since onset, identical numbers of treated and untreated subjects are still dependent (about 65%), But at 20+ years the numbers have seriously diverged – 13.6% of the treated/AA group are still dependent, while only 4.3% of the untreated group are still dependent.

  • MA

    Acacia, is there no kool-aid in the UK? Maybe y’all call it something else.

  • SoberPJ

    “But at 20+ years the numbers have seriously diverged – 13.6% of the treated/AA group are still dependent, while only 4.3% of the untreated group are still dependent.”

    I contend the reason for this is that in AA, you are not allowed to get well. The untreated group doesn’t huddle around focusing on a problem they had 20 years prior and are not surrounded by people in various stages of the same problem. Hearing the same litany of ills over and over and over again. They get on with it and I have known several of those people. I used to feel sorry for them, that they didn’t have the “fellowship”. If the “fellowship” becomes the source of a new set of problems, who the hell needs it?

  • http://www.thecleanslate.org Steven Slate

    I think (although I’m not sure, the wording they use can be tricky at times) the 13% is from the total number of people with dependence surveyed, and some of those people haven’t recovered from dependence (about 25%). But when you look only at those who recovered, 75% of them were never exposed to treatment, and 25% of them were. So in other words – if you randomly picked 100 people who were recovered from alcohol dependence for a year or more, 25 of them would have been to treatment or 12-step programs at some point in their lives, the other 75 would never have sought such help.

  • http://www.thecleanslate.org Steven Slate

    “Amazing they’d include people who rejected AA as having been treated by AA.”

    I don’t know whether this is a conscious decision on their part or not. To know this, they’d have to include another question such as “do you attribute your recovery to treatment/AA?”, and this would be a much more subjective measure than anything else in the study.

    To be more accurate, I personally wouldn’t fit into this study at all, since alcohol was not my primary drug – but, you get my point. “Alcoholics” that don’t attribute their successful recovery to AA/treatment would still be considered a treatment success in this study. Nevertheless it is one of the most sound pieces of research available because it does include a control group of untreated individuals.

    Not to plug my own site too much, but I do have a page where I copied a table from this study if you want to look at some more info from it: http://www.thecleanslate.org/self-change/substance-dependence-recovery-rates-with-and-without-treatment/

  • causeandeffect

    Steven Slate said

    “there are countless people who end up brainwashed into believing they need to “hit bottom” /

    I consider myself to be one of these. It almost killed me.

  • MA

    Steven,

    May I re-post that here and link it back to your site (which is excellent, I must say)?

  • http://www.thecleanslate.org Steven Slate

    absolutely – and thank you.

  • Acacia H

    MA, not that I know of.

  • http://www.stinkin-thinkin.com friendthegirl

    Steven sez: “I don’t know whether this is a conscious decision on their part or not. To know this, they’d have to include another question such as “do you attribute your recovery to treatment/AA?”, and this would be a much more subjective measure than anything else in the study.”

    Well, according to AA — as you mentioned — success is inseparable from continued AA membership. They have no definition of success that includes moving on from AA, so I think they should have to stick with that when it’s time for the numbers. Anyone who’s recovered and has no relationship (or no further relationship) with AA cannot count.

    Who do I speak to about this? :)

  • Lucy

    I would like to add to what Sober PJ says about not being allowed to get well.

    The AA version of reality is that anyone, even someone who has been sober for decades, needs a sponsor whom he can “bounce things off of.” In that reality, the real purpose of a sponsor is to approve or disapprove of decisions made by that member. It is to re-enforce the sponsee’s dependence on the sponsor to run his life. It is to make the sponsee learn helplessness, avoid making close relationships outside AA, isolate the sponsee from the world outside AA, and let the sponsor run his life for him.

    That is why sick people get sicker in AA.

  • sugomom

    HARPER’S MAGAZINE JAN 2011
    “The Drunk’s Club” by Clancy Martin
    subtitled AA, the Cult that Cures

    http://hivdatf.files.wordpress.com/2010/12/harpersmagazine-2011-01-0083250.pdf

    This baffled me a bit. The guy was raised in the church of AA. His mother left his father for his father’s AA sponsor. Then he became a drunk and joined AA complete with relapses and a suicide attempt. He delves into all the stupidity of AA and laughs at Bill W. Mocks the religious part of it. Says “AA is the world’s largest functioning anarchy, and on the whole it performs astonishingly well.” Then goes on after all this to credit it for saving his life? In a follow up, lists all the drugs that help and don’t help you give up alcohol. The cover picture is subtitled “AA the Cult that Saved my Life” Am I missing something? http://www.thewaysofthewoodchuck.com/?p=603

  • Gunthar2000

    Clancy is trying to turn AA into a progressive organization that actually helps alcoholics. He’s only been sober in AA for around 2 years… I think. He’s a philosophy professor and existential enthusiast. I believe much of his work focuses on the Christian existentialists.

  • Gunthar2000

    FROM WIKIPEDIA…

    “Kierkegaard proposed that each person must make independent choices, which will then constitute his existence. No imposed structures—even Biblical commandments-[citation needed]can alter the responsibility of each individual to seek to please God in whatever personal and paradoxical way God chooses to be pleased. Each person suffers from the anguish of indecision until he makes a “leap of faith”, and commits to a particular choice. Each human being is faced first with the responsibility of knowing of his own free will, and then with the fact that a choice, even a wrong one, must be made in order to live authentically.”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christian_existentialism

  • tintop

    cause and effect, I was speaking globally, not specifically with you. This argument about ‘retention’ or ‘effectiveness’ has gone on and on and on. With no effect.
    We, c & e , have not argued about anything.

  • sugomom

    This post on another forum struck me. An young adult writes a letter to her mother regarding the severe damage done to their family by her Mother’s fundamentalist absolute religion. Then she addresses her mother’s drinking and says she wished she actually would go to AA to realize it is her choice to put the bottle to her mouth. The fact that she believes, as most the general public, that AA is a program that teaches personal responsibility is glaring. AA would be the LAST place she would want her religiously fanatic mother to go. Letter follows:

    Mother,

    I realize that your life has been hard. I understand why you turned to religion. I still disagree with your choice because your religion has strained our bond to the point of breaking.

    I know it must pain you to see that your children are not “Godly.” I could list all the things that I know we have done wrong in your eyes but we both know what we’ve done. I could throw insults at you or accuse you of doing wrong by the Bible, the way you do to me. I won’t. I don’t care about the Bible or what it says is wrong. I believe in common curtsey and kindness. You have rarely shown that to me.

    The Bible says divorce is wrong, so you say it is wrong too. I am separated from a man who was horrible to me and sent me to mental institutions. I left. I was strong because of that. I was right. You, have been divorced twice and are on a third marriage. I will not throw stones. You were right to leave your last husband. You should have left twenty years earlier. But please, do not judge me on different standards than you would judge yourself.

    Please, do not continue to tell your children that they are killing you because we live lifestyles you disagree with. Do not tell us that we are the catalyst to your drinking. You will kill yourself with drinking. I see signs of alcoholism and serious health problems. You are sick. You need help. Your children have tried. You want God to heal you of your illness. You are hiding. God is a hiding place for you, where you can hide your illness, your mistakes and you can ignore all the blame that is on you. If you actually went to a doctor or to A.A, you might have to admit that you, and no one else, put that bottle to your lips.

    I’m sorry for the harsh life you had. Much like dad, your life has been tainted by your religion. Not just that, but a twisted, fundamentalist, absolutist religion that was forced on you. You, in turn, forced that religion on me and that, I cannot forgive. Through you and dad, I have questioned everything because of the many mistakes you acted out. I went through years of searching and thinking that if you were wrong about one thing, how many other lies did you teach me? I am still asking that question, daily and my answers continue to go against you. You both have lied to me, forced me into a religion that I want no part of. Only now, that I am older, smarter and more independent, can I move away from it and see it for what it is.

    I would thank you and dad, both for being so blatant with the mistakes and lies. It made it easier to see the flaws of religion.

    Niki

  • Gunthar2000

    FROM WIKIPEDIA…

    “Bonhoeffer stressed personal and collective piety and revived the idea of imitation of Christ. He argued that Christians should not retreat from the world but act within it. He believed that two elements were constitutive of faith: the implementation of justice and the acceptance of divine suffering.[31] Bonhoeffer insisted that the church, like the Christians, “had to share in the sufferings of God at the hands of a godless world” if it were to be a true church of Christ.”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dietrich_Bonhoeffer

  • tintop


    very far off topic.

    But great singing from one of the greatest — Callas is bellisimmo!

  • Gunthar2000

    @sugomom…

    I probably should have clarified… My last two posts were examples of Christian existentialists. This is Clancy’s field of philosophy.

  • sugomom

    Thanks Gunthar, got it. But the article seemed to point out that he was just trading addictions, not drinking the koolaid. Am I wrong? I mean he pointed out all the hypocrisy and laughed at the awakenings. All I took from this is how totally conflicted and screwed up people in AA are….or maybe more of an understanding on how the draw can keep people coming back despite seeing it as an abyss.

  • http://www.thecleanslate.org Steven Slate

    FTG – “I need a recovery nerd:”

    I got so caught up in discussing that one study that I forgot to tell you that you should really check out ‘Addiction: A Disorder Of Choice’ by Gene Heyman. It’s got a ton of really great research in it. I don’t think it speaks to that 5% figure, but it does discuss natural recovery rates in depth. I’ll try to take a look at it some time today and see if I can isolate a salient number for you.

  • http://www.stinkin-thinkin.com friendthegirl

    Thank you, Steven!

  • Gunthar2000

    @sugomom… I think Clancy doesn’t buy some of the things he’s seen at AA, but for the most part his existential philosophy is probably in alignment with the concept of surrendering one’s will to God. I think he wants to be a circuit speaker and bring change to AA… Good luck to him.

  • soberbychoice

    Here’s a quote from Vaillant from a Grapevine interview in May 2001: Note his use of the term “substitute dependency” as a description of what AA is all about. And remember, in addition to being a Class A trustee, he has long been a member of Al-Anon!

    Grapevine: You said about 40 percent of the people who remain abstinent do it through AA. What about the other 60 percent? Could we in AA be more open, more supportive of these?

    George Vaillant: Yes. You know, if you’re batting 400, it’s all right to miss a few. I think the fact that AA knows the answer to an extremely complicated problem is probably all right.

    But it doesn’t hurt at the level of GSO for AA to have humility and understand that 60 percent do it without AA. It’s also true that most of those 60 percent do it with the AA toolbox: their spirituality doesn’t come from AA; their support group doesn’t come from AA; and what I call “substitute dependency” doesn’t come from AA. But they still use the same ingredients that AA uses.

    And I don’t think there’s anything that the other 60 percent are doing that AA needs to learn from, except: “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” If you meet someone who has stayed sober for more than three years and they’re pleased and boasting that they did it without AA, thank your Higher Power for another recovery. You know, there’s “little” sobriety, being dry, and there’s sobriety with a big S, which includes humility and not thinking that you’re the center of the earth. So if someone is doing something without your help, good enough.”

    Here’s a link to the full interview:
    http://www.divisiononaddictions.org/html/reprints/vaillant.htm

  • Gunthar2000

    Oh Jesus! Valliant was pretty nutty huh?

  • soberbychoice

    @Gunthar2000:

    I’ve never met the dude or heard him speak, but, yes, he must be some kind of nutty prof. As Orange continues to point out, the good professor’s own work showed AA to be ineffective and dangerous, Valliant himself says AA “certainly functions as a cult and systematically indoctrinates its members in ways common to cults the world over….”, and yet he remains a promoter of the first order. His last book, “Spiritual Evolution: How We Are Wired for Faith, Hope and Love,” is some kind of weird attempt to use the latest breakthroughs in brain research to say that mankind is evolving to a higher spiritual understanding pioneered by AA!! If so, fear for the future!

  • Gunthar2000

  • http://none violet

    Awesome video. :) Thanks for “being part of the solution” Gunther!

    I have had this happen, none in AA is home (um, or answering the phone)… Funny how the phone calls I got were when I was fine or if I had some guy that other chicks liked liking me. People called for gossip abuout my life. Inauthenticity to the max!

  • Gunthar2000

    So right violet! When I first showed up they all gave me phone numbers and told me to call any time. When I became suicidal no one answered the phone except for my sponsor.

    I actually had two really nice guys for sponsors for a while… They just were not equipped to deal with what I was going through. They meant well, but the 12 step bullshit and slogans only made things worse. I don’t like to blame the good guys. I do think that they are victims of the cult though. That was one of the hardest things for me to work out. I made sure I thanked these guys for trying… then I erased their numbers from my phone and moved on.

  • BusBozo

    Tintop
    Thanks for the Toscanini video. Great. I came across a biograpthy of him last week and will read it next.

  • tintop

    Toscanini was a great musician. He was performer/conductor, rather than a composer.

  • http://www.stinkin-thinkin.com friendthegirl

    Tintop, I love Maria Callas so much I could spontaneously combust. Thank you for finding a reason to post that, and I hope you find more reasons to post her. (For future reference, I am an enormous fan of Glenn Gould, so if you were ever inspired to post the Goldberg Variations or something, that would be good).

  • tintop

    Callas singing “ave maria” from Verdi’s Otello
    a tour de force

  • tintop

    You have to click on”watch on you tube”

  • sugomom

    OK, the radio download of my story is ready. Marriage builders is a long time well known program. On public radio they are not as anti AA as they are in their articles and private speaches. Dr Harley did run treatment programs and says they were AA based, but his recent addiction recovery practice is much different. He hates Alanon and wrote this: How the Codie movement is ruining marriages. http://www.marriagebuilders.com/graphic/mbi8110_cod.html

    HOW DO I UPLOAD THE MP3 FROM MY WINDOWS MEDIA PLAYER TO HERE?
    I know how to email it but that’s it. I don’t want to post it on UTUBE because it will pull up all my daughter’s music videos and I don’t want trollers treading on her.

  • http://www.stinkin-thinkin.com friendthegirl

    sugomom, email me the mp3 and I’ll upload it to our files.

  • sugomom

    Done. Thanks. There are a couple BB thumpers on that marriage site that are driving me crazy. They never answer questions like ” Why doesn’t anybody in AA do something about 13th stepping? Why do you belong to an organization that doesn’t address this?”
    They ignore and say “This is what the BB says.” I don’t shive a git what Bill W had to say. Talk about a gigolo on a marriage site? ARRRGGGHHH

    Something is going on in the community pages. No activity posted for hours. But I get email updates that for example Ray just responded in one of my groups. Since you have nothing else on your plate (ha ha) Can you check this out? Thanks! You are my hero!

  • http://none violet

    fb exchange that happened a few minutes ago:

    my post: screw you dr. drew and your stoopid camera crew.

    former aa friend: what?I love him ?

    Me: you do???? :) i think he exploits the vulnerable. which, i have seen sosososo many times you know where. and i ithink people are so into looking at the havoc the addict has created that nobody stops to quietly ask, why does this person feel so bad? there is a video that has this line in it in a youtube spoof; it is somewhere on my wall. (you may not, stinkin thinkin, that i am kinda plagarising ms. gogo rach here. )

    aa buddy: Na..I think he embraces recovery and it helps to c our old idols almost unrecognizable cause of addiction…it helps me to c their struggle and I’m sure it plants seeds in multitude with the power that tv has…..and mant do recover so that is sucsess as far as I’m conserned.ox

    the bf baby daddy says: I don’t drink
    or pee in sinks
    it’s what I want my fans to think……

    (this is another line from the video.)

    the AA: Oh…and an addicts life is havoc..which is deadly..and dr drew seems to always get to the pain beneath the addiction..from what I c…(i think she was struggling with her phone here)

    aa friend: Cynicism…a dangerous gift of inteliigence

    (not posted but thought by me: DOOOD!)

    aa double posted: Cynicism…a dangerous gift of inteliigence

    Me: isn’t it cool that we all have such different perspectives?

    aa: s Absolutely..and @ least we are clear headed enough to express them

    Me: hey x, i just noticed you put that d. drew is your idol on your post, i was not posting this inresponse to you r post. i just made the connection like this second.

    Me: ‎:)

    aa: I know it was a coincidence..ha..that is funny..I’m not offended in the least..I’m glad that our difference in opinion sparked some conversation..I’m dieing here not bn able to banter about anything other then …nothing..I miss u
    59 seconds ago · Like

    I backed down only b/c this aa with 21 years does things like spread rumors that a mother is molesting her child b/c the woman looked down at the garbage in her front lawn. She was one of the only people, however, at the meetings in this town who i liked talking to. i am kinda a snob and she went to a smart art school so i was impressed. also, she is super interesting ansd super fun. i believe aa ruined her life and marriage.

  • http://none violet

    i have noticed the same thing with the community pages. :) i know you have a deadline, ftg.

  • Eddie Spaghetti

    Intersting conversation. All the people on that show get paid quite well to be there. Maybe it helps some people, maybe not. I heard they offered Lindsey Lohan six figures, which she declined. The show that does bother me as exploitative is Intervention on A&E. I would love to have been featured on that show. I’d straight call them out about how they need people like me to sell advertising space. Afterall, they would not bedoing this if it were not profitable. Preferably I would like Jeff to be my interventionist so I could talk with him about the DUI he got in 2008 while still working on the show.

  • Eddie Spaghetti

    Speaking of Intervention, remember one espidode where the person featured had to go to the hospital because of alcohol poisining. In the hospital, he started drinking hand sanitizer. Rather then tell a nurse or try to stop his, they just kept on filming. It could have killed him. I’m still waiting for the episode where someone dies on their filmed binge leading up to the intervention.

  • http://www.thecleanslate.org Steven Slate

    Gunthar_
    I’ve been meaning to tell you, that monkey video had me laughing out loud. Extremely funny. (that was you right?).

  • Lucy

    Have you read the bios of the three interventionists? Except for the one who was a pastor, their only training is in the area of chemical dependency.

    Treating drinking or drugging without understanding psychiatry is a good way to kill people. It’s how mentally ill people get into AA and are threatened into staying there when what most need is an educated mental health professional and medication.

  • Gunthar2000

    Yes Steven… that was my monkey. :)

  • Eddie Spaghetti

    Lucy wrote: “Have you read the bios of the three interventionists? Except for the one who was a pastor, their only training is in the area of chemical dependency.”

    The pastor is Jeff VanVonderen. He is the one who got a DUI in 2008. He’s still on the show orcestrating these things.

  • http://www.thecleanslate.org Steven Slate

    FTG – have seen Agent Orange’s analysis of chip sales?
    http://www.orange-papers.org/orange-letters62.html

    You probably have, but I figured I’d bring it up because it’s so fascinating. And I believe that if instead of being on Orange’s wonderful yet lo-fi site, if it was written up as a piece by the Freakonomics author and published in the NY Times, it would go further in convincing people that AA’s claims aren’t all they’re cracked up to be than anything else thus far. It’s a brilliant approach.

  • http://www.thecleanslate.org Steven Slate

    ES – “Rather then tell a nurse or try to stop his, they just kept on filming. It could have killed him. I’m still waiting for the episode where someone dies on their filmed binge leading up to the intervention.”

    It’s like that Sam Kinison bit where he goes off about Sally Struthers being surrounded by starving kids “Just give em a sandwich!!!!”.

  • Eddie Spaghetti

    I just thought I would add that a few months after getting busted for drunk driving, VanVonderen released his book: “Soul Repair: Rebuilding a Spiritual Life”. For $14, you can purchase this insightful masterpiece from his website.

  • http://www.stinkin-thinkin.com friendthegirl

    Assuming that those interventionists are sincere people, I wonder how they justify participating on that show… exploiting addicts, very selective editing, filming violence and drunk driving, and especially the confidentiality agreements.

    @Steven, yes that chart is amazing — perfect for freakonomics or the Harpers Index, even. I’m the worst and explaining numbers, but MA is awesome at it. Maybe he can do something interesting with that chart, too.

  • Eddie Spaghetti

    FTG said: “Assuming that those interventionists are sincere people, I wonder how they justify participating on that show… exploiting addicts, very selective editing, filming violence and drunk driving, and especially the confidentiality agreements.”

    I suppose they might say that by allowing that shit to be filmed, A&E is able to pay to send them to an expensive rehab facility that they otherwise could not afford. I agree it is exploitative and sicknening. But hey, it sells.

  • hulahoop

    @ Eddie – I suppose they might say that by allowing that shit to be filmed, A&E is able to pay to send them to an expensive rehab facility that they otherwise could not afford. I agree it is exploitative and sicknening. But hey, it sells.

    I wonder if A&E actually pays for it or if the rehab donates the treatment in order to receive the free advertising they receive at the end of the show when the addict is shown as being a different person. I found most of the rehabs were 12 step based. It makes me sad for the addict. They will most likely go from being addicted to a substance to being addicted to a 12 step program.

  • sugomom

    Repeat post:
    Here is the radio show which discusses my email about my situation with AA. The show is sappy in nature. I did NOT say “He did become an alcoholic.” They do slam the pratices in AA while saying they do not discredit AA. Don’t pay to download. Just hit the play button and slide the timeline to the 32 minute mark in the timeline or you’ll need to listen to some lady talk about verbal abuse. Don’t puke when he says that his programs were AA based, they do go on to say how dangerous they are to marriages. Also try not to puke when he says he went from doing a two year internship and then went on to running 10 treatment programs concurrently. I accomplished my goal of exposing 13th stepping. So in that vein I feel I succeeded. http://www.oneplace.com/ministries/marriage-builders-radio/player/what-verbal-abuse-is-and-how-to-deal-with-it-163023.html

  • Eddie Spaghetti

    @ Hulahoop-”I wonder if A&E actually pays for it or if the rehab donates the treatment in order to receive the free advertising they receive at the end of the show when the addict is shown as being a different person. I found most of the rehabs were 12 step based. It makes me sad for the addict. They will most likely go from being addicted to a substance to being addicted to a 12 step program.”

    That is certainly a possibility. I really don’t know how it works, but there is likely a complex finacial arrangement. In Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew, the stars/patients are paid to attend. Most get about half of what the average person makes in a year (often more) to attend a 3 week program/show. In Intervention, I don’t think the people featured are paid. They do get offered free 12 step treatment and rehabs with nice amenities. I know from seeing commercials that some rehabs pay to advertise during the program. But there are probably complex finacial contracts. I do know they give updates at the end of the show, and most people relapse. So the rehabs that the people attend probably what to distance themselves a bit, but the show always names the rehab center where the person is shipped to.

  • humanspirit

    Eddie Spaghetti says

    “Speaking of Intervention, remember one espidode where the person featured had to go to the hospital because of alcohol poisining. In the hospital, he started drinking hand sanitizer. Rather then tell a nurse or try to stop his, they just kept on filming. It could have killed him.”

    This is so sickening and inhumane, I don’t know what to say. Being in the UK, I’ve never seen this show (it was on offer as in-flight entertainment on a trip to the States recently, but I couldn’t bring myself to watch it). Are there any other people in the US speaking out against this kind of exploitation and callousness in the interests of “entertainment”, or is it just people on ST?

  • Eddie Spaghetti

    Human Spirit,

    There is. But most of it is ignored. From Wiki: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intervention_(TV_series)

    “Matthew Gilbert (The Boston Globe), a critic of the show, argues that the program is exploitative and showcases individuals as they self-destruct. He also argues that the confrontation within the intervention is milked to show only the most dramatic moments and that the final results of the intervention and subsequent rehabilitation is glossed-over.”

    Melanie McFarland, another television critic, also laments that the show does little to educate on successful intervention and instead deceives the subjects of each episode in order to film them at their lowest point.

  • Lucy

    That show exists because families are desperate to get help for their family members who are drug addicts and drinkers. Unfortunately, the show, and the entire addiction industry, ignore the fact that no one quits until they want to quit.

  • hulahoop

    @ Lucy – That show exists because families are desperate to get help for their family members who are drug addicts and drinkers. Unfortunately, the show, and the entire addiction industry, ignore the fact that no one quits until they want to quit.

    It is the families that really get to me. They are usually so much more desperate than the addict to find some sort of help. The rehabs offer false hope to them. It’s like they make family believe all their loved one has to do is go to rehab and everything will be a bed of roses. Truthfully, it would be a very tough call for me to endorse sending a loved one to a 12 step rehab. I don’t know if I would rather allow them to continue with their addiction without trying to intervene or to send them to a 12 step rehab. I feel like either way you lose them.

  • hulahoop

    Oops. I forgot a tag. I meant to bold the word desperate. The families are totally desperate. The rehabs prey on that desperation. The a lot of the audience have the same issues going in their families and think it could possibly help. They have also been fed the idea that 12 step rehabs and AA work through the media. I feel badly for the addict too. Especially if they go back to their old ways or become a big book toting thumper. Neither is a good solution.

    The show should be forced to reveal the deals it has made with the rehabs due to the nature of the programming. It is one big informercial for rehab. I notice they don’t go in to detail about the methods of the treatment.

  • Gunthar2000

    @sugomom…

    Great work! It’s too bad they ran out of time. Were you waiting on the phone to get on the air? Is there another show scheduled where you’ll be featured?

    I’ve sent out a few emails today to folks like yourself that I think might be interested in putting some spark into the outreach project. Please contact me at stinkinthinkin.outreach@yahoo if you are interested.

  • sugomom

    Thanks, this was based on my written correspondence. They emailed me that they want to do a longer segment on it. I told them about my involvement in “a group that suggests alternative, more empowering programs”. My concern is that they may be afraid to take on all the backlash from the AA thumpers as I am getting thumped on their message board. After all, they still have to sell their marriage seminars, books, etc and that may turn off a large part of their audience. AA thumpers are everywhere!

  • sugomom

    I NEED A BIG BOOK NERD OVER THERE SOS HELP!
    http://forum.marriagebuilders.com/ubbt/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2474975

    You don’t have to post, just give me the goods.

  • http://deleted Primrose

    Post on the Elton John thread and it will get noticed.

  • http://www.stinkin-thinkin.com friendthegirl

    Did you get any help, sugo?

  • http://www.stinkin-thinkin.com friendthegirl

    What are the goods? What do you need? What’s the post in question?

  • http://deleted Primrose

    There is a post in community, ftg. I think it is regarding sponsors and whether they are featured in the first 164 pages of the bb.

  • Gunthar2000

    I just posted over there.

    If there are any posts that you’d specifically like to address, please let me know which ones.

  • hulahoop

    There is a post in community, ftg. I think it is regarding sponsors and whether they are featured in the first 164 pages of the bb.

    They are not. I am not a big book thumper. I’ve read a lot of comments by people and nothing in the big book talks about sponsors. It says alcoholics are supposed to help other alcoholics.

    Sugo, I did go over there and take a look. I wanted to gouge out my eyeballs with a rusty fork when I left. I admire what you are doing. Debating with thumpers is damn near useless because they do not want to see it. Just like people like you and I don’t want to see what they are saying. The difference is I actually tried to do it their way. I wanted their bullshit to help me. That is why I can’t see their point of view about it.

    I literally had a friend tell me he does not care if he is brainwashed. At least he is “fat, stupid, and sober” now. (His words, not mine.) I never back off and neither does he. He keeps hoping I will go back to the program and surrender myself to it. I keep hoping one day he will wake up and snap out of it. Steppers do not want to see the real deal. Steppers totally believe AA is what is keeping them sober. People will say nobody quits drinking and drugging until they want to. Well nobody leaves AA until they want to. It is two different addictions but an addiction all the same.

  • causeandeffect

    Hulahoop said “I wanted to gouge out my eyeballs with a rusty fork when I left.” I feel the same way whenever I read stepper speak. As far as the bb goes sugomom, I got nothing to quote at the moment that will help your case. This is an issue of fallout that is more an overall attitude in AA especially that only an alcoholic can understand another alcoholic. I wish I could help more.

  • sugomom

    Thanks everyone, I love this line HH “Sugo, I did go over there and take a look. I wanted to gouge out my eyeballs with a rusty fork when I left.” Gunthar added some great points, as did someone else from this forum under a dif name. The part that galls me is that they REALLY don’t read what you post! There are 10 posters over there. 8 have been negatively affected by AA, but these two butts keep thumping! And this is a marriage site! And they keep defending their traditions, BB or Program. One is divorced, the other is contemplating because, according to him, his wife is an Alcoholic.

  • http://deleted Primrose

    Does anyone know who owns/hosts/moderates this site?
    http://alcoholism.about.com/library/blmitch16.htm

    It would appear to be the first point of call for anxious potential victims to be lured in, under the guise of doing ‘research’.

    If anyone were to ask a cult member to write down the beliefs they have picked up, this site would be a handy crib sheet. I asked this ages ago and someone said they thought it was maintained by a stay at home mom. Any ideas?

  • Gunthar2000

  • Gunthar2000

  • Gunthar2000

  • Gunthar2000

  • Gunthar2000

    I don’t expect everyone to watch them all. They start off pretty slow. It get’s better as you go.

    Anyway… They’re here if you’re interested.

  • Rick045

    Thank you Gunthar. Some people internalize things in a deep way and I think those types may be the most harmed by long term AA exposure. The worst possible thing to do to such a person is to keep telling them how flawed their thinking is. I’m glad you made your own way. Thanks.

  • http://none violet

    dood, you bought one of ftg’s shirts! (note to ftg: i am buying one when i get a real job.) awesomeness all around.

  • http://none violet

    wait, sorry. your tee shirt.

  • Gunthar2000

    Sorry folks… That was slow and silly… way too much G2k for any one human being to handle.

    Oh well… I’m human.

  • http://none violet

    I am confust, I haerd you say the Jesusfish 500. (And um, I have read thi s in another *secret* place). This is a metaphor for your experience some how, I think. Can you elaborate?

  • Gunthar2000

    I started a silly little blog called The Jesus Fish 500… I was going to keep it a secret until it had some content, but I let the cat out of the bag the other day. It’s kinda nothing right now, but eventually I hope it’s better than the stupid videos I posted last night.

  • hulahoop

    I don’t really know where to post this. It’s a study about how alcoholics helping other alcoholics to stay sober in AA helps them to stay sober themselves. How this practice could help others in different situations.

    http://www.businessweek.com/lifestyle/content/healthday/649501.html

  • causeandeffect

    Gunthar, I think these videos are great and will be of great help to others. They could be shorter, but it’s a great start. I’ve been wanting to comment on youtube but my comments sound too AA. Thanks for shar… uh, thanks for expressing your experi…uh… Whenever I think of something to say, I’m not around my computer!

  • http://none violet

    maybe you could do “short versions” for those who need them shorter. but leave the long versions, too.

    but what i wanted to know–and i knowyour blog is called the jesusfish500 is where you came up with the name. wanted to know the idea process. i mena, i know what a jc fish is and i know about the indie 500 (sp?) just curious.

    my blog is kinda pink. i dunno. does any1 else have one other MA/ftg, gg rach and gunther? i know i already asked: i was just hoping for some1 to say YES, i totally have one. anywayz, bye for now. gg try to lose at least a pound. my clothes DO NOT FIT. grrrr.

  • http://none violet

    do not stop with the videos. come on!!!! :)

  • Gunthar2000

    The folks at AA said I’m not that important and it’s not all about me… Sometimes it has to be though.

    I can’t believe I chopped the explanation of why I chose the Jesus Fish 500 as the name.

    I had made a million plans to quit drinking before and failed, so I bought one of those magnetic Jesus Fish thingys at the dollar store… (The center was white) I decided that 500 days would be long enough to establish new patterns of behavior so I wrote “500″ in the middle of the Jesus Fish and put it on the refrigerator of the scummy little apartment I was living in. I did this to constantly remind myself that I planned on making a plan to sober up. I wrote page after page, and then threw them away, and then I came up with the wacked out idea that living outside would help me save a bunch of money, and that if I needed to struggle to survive there would be no possibility that the idea of drinking would creep back into my head.

  • hulahoop

    @ Violet – my blog is kinda pink. i dunno. does any1 else have one other MA/ftg, gg rach and gunther?

    No. I did a purchase a domain name with the good intentions of putting up something. I got caught up in the format of it. I am still working it out in my mind. I know what I don’t want it to be but don’t quite yet know what I want it be if that makes sense.

    @ Gunthar – had made a million plans to quit drinking before and failed, so I bought one of those magnetic Jesus Fish thingys at the dollar store… (The center was white) I decided that 500 days would be long enough to establish new patterns of behavior so I wrote “500″ in the middle of the Jesus Fish and put it on the refrigerator of the scummy little apartment I was living in. I did this to constantly remind myself that I planned on making a plan to sober up. I wrote page after page, and then threw them away, and then I came up with the wacked out idea that living outside would help me save a bunch of money, and that if I needed to struggle to survive there would be no possibility that the idea of drinking would creep back into my head.

    You should place that story on your blog.

    Also, I haven’t had the chance to view your videos. I can see the stills. You should make one with your glasses off. Nothing against people who wear glasses. It just makes it easier to a person’s eyes when they are not wearing them. The eyes are the mirror to the soul if you believe in all of that.

  • Gunthar2000

    Oh Jesus! Why did I post those videos?!

  • Gunthar2000

    Violet… I haven’t seen your blog.

    Got a link?

  • http://none violet

    it’s too lame. maybe in a few days. i am not even sure how to do tags so that i can be found in an anti aa search. ahhh! so, i miised the part about the fish i guess, but i did hear the 500 hundred day plan.. :)

  • http://none violet

    man! i think the glasses are fine. :)

  • http://none violet

    maybe one w/out the cigarette. ok. ftg, do not kick me off for over posting!

  • hulahoop

    @ Gunthar – Are you smoking in those videos? I am a (cigar) smoker. I know it’s tough to do without the nicotine during times of stress and making videos while exposing your raw self is very stressful…but smoke before and after!

    It isn’t that the glasses are not fine. Really I think you should do both. Make some with the glasses and without them. I am a huge eye contact person and body language person. There are times I don’t even need to hear what a person actually says if I can see their eyes and watch their body language. Usually it’s when someone is lying. (I know you are not lying. It’s just an example.)

  • Gunthar2000

    One thing I do all of the time is look up or down to the left when I’m thinking, or if I get nervous, and I get nervous if the wind blows. They say it’s a sign that someone is lying. This is why I don’t put too much stock in theories about eye contact or body language.

  • roaddog

    @ Gunthar – My turn to say “don’t be too hard on yourself” about posting the vids. Watched all of them and think you did a great job of telling everyone about what you did.
    You found something that worked for you. That’s what counts.

  • BusBozo

    Primrose,
    The moderator is a guy called Buddy T, who is a long time Al-anon member. He doesn’t meddle much in the comments, mostly monitoring for spam as I can see. Occasionally he will respond to a comment. If I recall, he has been moderator for somewhere around ten years.

  • http://deleted Primrose

    Gunthar: I haven’t looked at the above videos yet, but I managed to get someone who is still very much ‘under the influence’ to watch the slappy slogan glove one. Loved it. So, so silly, for a very silly ‘program’. Thanks. Didn’t I read that Steven Slate did comedy? The cult is RIPE for comedy.

    BusBozo: Thank you! If an innocent and ignorant person tries to do ‘research’ into this cult, that site comes up very high in google and looks sort of authoritative. Do you have any suggestion about getting Buddy T to change this misleading misinformation? Thank you for responding. I have wanted to know about that site for years now.

  • http://none violet

    steven slate, if you’re reading, are you in the “johnny rebel ” sketch, is that you?

  • BusBozo

    Primrose
    I really never spent much time looking at the info pages, I mostly participated on the forum (in fact I posted the article from here about the lack of growth in AA. I received only a few responses). I seldom go there anymore, but have had some lively discussions in the past. There are not many AAers that post, and most of them of are of the tepid variety.
    As far as changing the information…hmmmm….probably have a better chance in changing ONE sentence in the holy grail BB. Buddy T seems to be a true believer.

  • BusBozo

    Forgot to add: I believe the whole about.com thing is owned by a large company (NY Times?) I think they have hundreds of different forums and they appear to be not involved in the daily operations.

  • http://none violet
  • Gunthar2000

    Oh goodie!

  • causeandeffect

    Hey violet, I liked your blog. Especially the part about snots in the mustache. What is this follow with google friend connect? I’m very suspicious of these kinds of things. I know I can see other people’s business in my email inbox that I wish I didn’t know. I had to find a setting to block their info, but I don’t know what people can see about my info. I feel it’s very intrusive and not what I signed up for when I started my email. Not that is what the google friend connect is. I’m asking because I don’t know.

  • http://none violet

    yeah, that guy was somthing. and then he described his daughter’s rack holy! what the? i saw him like six months later with some chick in the gorcery store and snuck away from her to come talk to me. lordy.

    it is not my real email re: friend connect so i am not worried. but i wigged out when i first saw that there was a google sign in–whenever that was…

  • Gunthar2000

    Great stuff violet. I’m following your blog now.

    I’m dying to share my latest post (it’s finished now)… a tribute to orange…

    http://jesusfish500.blogspot.com/2011/02/personality-annexation.html

  • http://none violet

    I left you a comment there. I never thought of Orange in this way. How cool! Thanks.

  • Gunthar2000

    Thank you violet! :)

  • http://deleted Primrose

    I am thinking about the fact that the ‘Good things about AA’ post in community is empty and that there must be positive things about AA, although I did not see them. An aunt of mine found herself abandoned with 5 children (my cousins!) under 5. She moved to Scotland and went to Church a lot, got all involved in Churchy/childreny things. And stopped when they ‘took off’. Maybe AA is OK as a short term measure. Maybe the lovebombing is good if you don’t get hooked. Perhaps some people are able to treat AA like that without getting hooked into staying forever and doing the sponsor/service thing that they seem to push very early on. I have also been talking to a marriage guidance counsellor who has told me that she belongs to a group that she thinks has interesting cult like characteristics (her words, more or less) but she tells me that she is aware and will not get drawn in. But then again, many people have written that they were cynical but still did get sucked in. Just wonderin’.

  • mfc66

    @Primrose . When I look back i do see that it gave me somewhere to go in my early days to spend time with others who were not drinking. I had to stay away from many friends at that time as they were as bad as me and I had starrted drinking in the past bafter being around them. It was inspiring to meet people who had not drank for many years and I got into a bit of a “staying sober” competition with a couple of other newcomers.

    the message about powerlessness may be helpful for the first few weeks or months when someone is still at the craving stage but long term it causes a huge amount of needless stress and worry. The sponsorship thing can lock you in and reinforce the bigbook values although I found the opposite in my case and It made me question the dogma.

    I only sponsored one person and his sobriety birthday is on my real birthday. He is still sober and occasionally goes to meetings but is not an extreme member. He phones me on that day every year to thank me for the help that I gave him in his early time even though I have explained to him my true feelings about AA. I could not continue to sponsor once i had lost faith in the program.

    I think many people do benefit from some form of community support in difficult times but becoming dependent on a program such as AA or a cult can have serious problems for somebody in the long term.

    I have been through some very difficult times in the last couple of years due to my girlfriends poor health etc as well as I court case which I eventually won. I have been able to deal with these problems because I have put addiction well behind me and have the the self confidence and strength to support someone else and take on a battle. I am not sure i would have done so well if I was waiting for higher powers etc to intervene or was dependent on some spiritual mumbo jumbo. Recovery is just another area that is retarded thanks to spiritual / religious community.

  • Gunthar2000

    @Primrose…

    I think you are right.
    Some people are able to take what they need and leave the rest… Usually people who are not as desperate to find answers as I was.
    I don’t know how anyone could go to meetings and ignore all of the bullshit. It seems to me like it would be damaging either way.

  • Gunthar2000

    @mfc66…

    It’s too bad there isn’t another group available for peer support… One that screens members and keeps separate meetings for people in trouble with the law.
    I actually believe that co-ed meetings are probably a bad idea for most people in early sobriety. There’s just too many people out there looking for someone to help them feel good.

    I think the meaning of powerlessness morphs over time. To me, powerless was a metaphor for how I was feeling whenever I tried to sober up. It was kind of like the drowning man reaching out for a life preserver. That sure describes how I felt.
    Over time, powerlessness took on a whole new meaning and became a difficult way of life.
    To the oldtimers powerless means that the pigeon has suffered enough to know they must work the steps. Those who haven’t suffered enough relapse and need to be prodded toward more suffering. Some oldtimers take this to the point where it becomes all out abuse.

    There are good people in the program though. I don’t know how they do it, but they are certainly there. There just arent enough of them, and they have failed to use their influence to bring change and discipline to AA. I think that bringing change would involve erasing the literature and dogma from the minds of hundreds of thousands of people, so I don’t think that it will ever happen.

    It’s too bad, because AA is everywhere. It could help a lot of people.

  • Jcal

    mfc66 says, the message about powerlessness may be helpful for the first few weeks or months when someone is still at the craving stage but long term it causes a huge amount of needless stress and worry. The sponsorship thing can lock you in and reinforce the bigbook values although I found the opposite in my case and It made me question the dogma
    Yep! When I first came into AA that explanation of being powerless initially helped me out. What it did was help me get out of my place and get to a meeting every night. As time went by I really got into the 12×12, but as I started to see things more clearly , there were things in the book that just didnt ring true to me. The #1 thing for me was ‘being a drunk we did not have the luxury of anger even justifiable anger’. That line wore on me for years until I started expressing my opinion on it. I was always met with opposition sometimes extreme. LOL some people would get angry that I thought it was ok to get angry under the right circumstances. Is that ironic? To be fair there were a couple of times that people would tell me that they agreed with me outside the meetings but never would speak up inside. One true believer spoke out ” when you get angry just give it away! I said to who? she said to your higher power silly! lol She thought she was giving me sound advise.

  • http://deleted Primrose

    Another question.
    Why does Orange not find a publisher?
    I know the Orange papers are huge and the letters keep coming, but why not publish it as a large book and get the (negative/positive/who cares?) publicity of reviews?

  • http://deleted Primrose

    I know the ops are available free online, but I like to read from paper, and make notes in the margin.

  • Gunthar2000

    I don’t know why Primrose.
    I’ve sent him an email asking that myself.

    I think that The Orange Papers are truly an altruistic effort as far as he is concerned. There have been some months where orange has gotten over a million hits. It seems to me that he could probably make himself pretty wealthy, but he chooses not to do so.

    Never thought I’d be a fan of some guy who chases geese around with a camera… He’s a rock-star to me though!

  • http://deleted Primrose

    Fuck altruism, it is a document that should be in every library and every school and every AA meeting.

  • hulahoop

    @ Gunthar – I think that The Orange Papers are truly an altruistic effort as far as he is concerned. There have been some months where orange has gotten over a million hits. It seems to me that he could probably make himself pretty wealthy, but he chooses not to do so.

    It’s an altruistic effort as far as I am concerned. Not many people were speaking out when he started. He used his computer skills to spread his message. It was and remains a huge undertaking. He is an old school hippie based on the things he has said himself. True to it as far as I can see. In AA they say you have to give it away to sober. You must help other alcoholics to remain sober. Maybe this is his way of doing that in his own way. He has spread and given the message to other alcoholics. He has helped many of them. At least the ones who choose to see it.

    I read your tribute to him. It was a great read. Thank you.

  • hulahoop

    I should add he has something I want. He lives by example. It’s really that simple for me.

  • Gunthar2000

    Thanks hulahoop…

    Here’s a link to the tribute for anyone who is interested.

    http://jesusfish500.blogspot.com/2011/02/personality-annexation.html

  • http://deleted Primrose

    I used to work for Yale Univesity Press and they published all manner of obscure works that were destined for University Libraries and coffee tables. Why not orange?

  • hulahoop

    @ Violet – I really like what you wrote on your blog. You are doing just fine!

  • causeandeffect

    Gunthar, I loved the tribute you wrote. Orange is a star to me too. Aside from helping me to escape the trap, Orange helped me to trust my instincts again. I went in very optimistic about what I was about to learn, based on what I’d heard from people I loved and trusted. Then I started to recognize that some of the beliefs were potentially gravely dangerous. The cognitive dissonance left me quite crippled at times. I was force to actively ignore what I knew in my heart. Then I learned from Orange that it was even worse than I realized. I’ll never doubt myself like that again. From now on I trust my instincts.

  • tintop

    When I went to AA, I did not ignore the BS. I went in spite of it. The benefits of attending began to wane, and the reasons for ‘ignoring’ the BS went away. After about 15 meetings, I left. I found very few people who had their act together; those who were found little succor there. Most of the old timers were far too self absorbed to even take notice of others, much less to be of any use. The rhetoric/jargon were used to prevent communication.

    Yes, AA can be used as a support group to get moral support. But there is so much dross, using AA as a support group can be a hard task. With me, AA had a sell by date – about two months after I started.

  • gotalife

    Hello, all!

    I have to say, I’m right there with Primrose. I wish I’d known that information before I was subjected to the 12 step shuffle. I might have been in a better position to defend myself. Lack of readily available info regarding the drawbacks/truths of AA seems to be a problem. Not that it would have to be a profit thing, I just wish more folks knew about it. I know in the beginning I wasn’t in a frame of mind to dig and research this stuff. Makes me want to print some of Orange’s work and go post them at every detox in town!

    @hulahoop-
    I got on morerevealed.com yesterday. Thanks for the link. Good stuff.

  • http://deleted Primrose

    I apologise for saying fuck.
    I do not understand why Orange is not published. I raised this on another forum and I was told that it was not peer reviewed. When I first came across Orange I found it shouty. I clicked on every lind and found references for every thing he said.

  • http://deleted Primrose

    Gotalife: take it easy. Coming out of a cult is weird. In AA they only allow their own literature. Do not take anybody’s word for it on this site. The important thing about coming out of a cult is to inform yourself. Not my word, not anyones. (But the ask.com site is pro-AA, so get to realise which people have which agenda. My agenda is to expose (not ban, or destroy) AA and the twelve step approach, particularly the learned concept of powerlessness. Please use the net to inform yourself, and I am dying for ftg or MA to post on lovebombing.

  • Martha

    Gunthar, the opening part of your tribute to Orange reminded me of this clip from Carl Sagan’s series Cosmos.

  • http://none violet

    @ hulahoop, thank you!!!

  • http://none violet

    primrose is so cute: “I apologise for saying fuck.” :) i love all you guys.

  • Gunthar2000

    @Martha…

    That’s pretty much where I got it. I heard about the stardust quoter from Alex Filippenko on his Teaching Company series. I have cosmos on DVD.

  • gotalife

    @Primrose-
    Yeah, coming out of it all is very weird. Sorry for the overzealous-ness! ;-) I just came across stinkin thinkin about 2 weeks ago, when I’d finally had enough! I’ve been doing as much research as I can since. Needless to say, I’m amazed at all I’ve found. The internet wasn’t as developed back when I first got in AA. So glad it is now!

    @Martha- I bought Stanton Peele’s book yesterday. Great read! Thank you for the recommendations.

  • Gunthar2000

    Hey folks!

    I’m so excited to tell you that we have our first down-loadable documents available on the Outreach Project.

    Stickers that you can place anywhere!

    You’ll find them in the task bar if you are interested.

    http://outreach.stinkin-thinkin.com/

  • http://none violet

    Gunther, I am not even buying coffee and Dand D right now, that is the nater of my brokeness. However, I love them and think you are awesome for all of your effort in the anti aa revolution. :)

  • http://none violet

    Gotalife, I think your overzealousness is pretty badass and excitng. I am so glad that another very cool person is outta AA and into the night!

  • Mona Lisa

    Speaking of Buddy T and Orange: I first “met” Orange on the Buddy T recovery forums, where Orange showed up to ask forum members to read his new work. This was in 2001 or so when I was very much an active AA member. The Orange Papers website was in its infancy then; I don’t think there were even any letters yet, just descriptions of Orange’s experiences in rehab and some history of AA. Well, I was horrified and dismissed Orange as a crackpot and heretic. But after a few more years of exposure to AA the truth of his words became inescapable. I looked him up again to find that his little essay had grown into a masterpiece. I give Orange all the credit in the world for his perseverance and commitment. He may use a bombastic tone at times, but the man is telling the truth.

  • SoberPJ

    @gotalife … glad you got out.. when I first came to the realization that it was lies and manipulation and faith-healing, I was all wound up for a couple months. It went away and looking back, I wonder what that was. I am much calmer now that I don’t have to try to live up to some nebulous ideal of what a good program person is. The pressure to say the right things at meetings and act like I am serene for the newcomer is non-existent now. I don’t miss that shit at all. I am simply living my life the way I want to, not how somebody else thinks I should live it.

  • Gunthar2000

    Stinkin’ Thinkin’ printable tear off fliers are now available on the Outreach Project here…

    http://outreach.stinkin-thinkin.com/?page_id=115

    Print ‘em up and post them all over town! :)

  • Martha

    I will leave some fliers around the AA hall and insert them into Big Books at the library. Also waiting rooms at doctor’s offices and hospital ER waiting rooms. Community centers also have bulletin boards and info booths.

  • Mr AA

    I don’t think that Orange is unpublished because of the peer-reviewed thing – that is a scientific standard that few researchers can meet. Orange’s admirable efforts are easily dismissed by serious publishers because the way in which you present the truth is just as important as the truth that is being presented. Orange comes off as a crackpot, and his references just lead to other references which lead to other references. Although discovering Orange may be an epiphany to many on this site, in its present form, his website will find no more critical interest than does the Big Book.

    Reaction against the truth does not automatically brings the truth. Most successful social movements succeed by being FOR something rather than AGAINST something.

  • Gunthar2000

    The question is…. Would people read the orange papers in print?

    My guess is yes… Certainly enough people to buy Terry a house.

  • tintop

    That is your opinion mr aa. And, you have a vested interest. Very simply, he is saying things that you dislike.

    It is you who are the crackpot, not orange. You come here and post fatuous consedcending drivel. A site that disagrees with you. Now, just exactly who is the crackpot?

  • http://www.stinkin-thinkin.com friendthegirl

    Based on my own recent experience, I can say for a plain fact that simply writing something interesting and explosive is really not enough to get a person published.

  • tintop

    quite true, ftg. It takes much more than that.

  • Martha

    If you follow the letters to Orange you can see that his labor has borne fruit. On a regular basis he gets email from people who were encouraged to leave AA because of the information provided by Orange. Of course he also gets his share of angry drive by rants by rabid steppers. Both sorts of email reflect the fact that the word is out there about his site. Maybe what Mr. AA really objects to about the references is that they document the truth about Orange’s conclusions. I think there are publishers who would print as well as make an e-book from The Orange Papers. Orange is FOR something. He presents all of the non 12 step alternatives to AA. There is not just one way to deal with addiction. There probably will always be a niche for AA even after its coming collapse just as other cults seem to fill a need for some folks. Most importantly he always reminds people including steppers that they keep themselves abstinent. He encourages us to take credit for our own sobriety. Steppers seem to at once be angry that the OPs exist and say they have no impact. Some of them lose their vaunted serenity very easily when the read them.

  • Mona Lisa

    FTG, does this mean that you’ve had trouble with the book? I hope not.

  • Martha

    Some may find this a little creepy, but is quite fun too:

  • Martha

  • MA

    The Orange Papers aren’t research, and it is not an academic writing. It isn’t something that would be subject to peer review. It does, however reference a great deal of academic research that has been peer reviewed.

    Mr AA, why don’t you cite some specific research referenced there that would not stand up to peer review.

  • Gunthar2000

    It says right at the top, “One Man’s Opinion.”

  • http://www.stinkin-thinkin.com friendthegirl

    Mona, No, not at all. But I have learned that getting a book published doesn’t have a whole lot to do with writing a good book. It’s more like pitching a business proposal to a bank.

  • Mona Lisa

    Orange does not come off as a crackpot; the only reason I thought he did upon first exposure was that I had my head full of AA garbage. The reality is that Orange makes sense, and his facts check out. His internal links on the website are intended to help people find things: they are not intended as citation links. His research is listed as a bibliography and it all checks out.

    Also, Orange definitely does not write in a way that would discourage readership. In fact, his tone of indignation is actually quite a popular thing these days if one looks at the best seller lists. Consider books like Ann Coulter’s “Treason”, “Godless”, and “Slander” or, from the other side, Al Franken’s “Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them”, and “Rush Limbaugh is a Big Fat Idiot”. The tone of these books makes Orange sound like Mr. Rogers and they fly off the shelves.

  • http://none violet

    I have a question for everyone… (Kind of to MA, but really to everyone.)

    Obviously, I know what a peer reviewed journal or journal article looks like, kinda. I know it is something that is academic. Um, it is “smart.” It’s not an article you’d find in say The New Yorker. And, I get that when I do an EBSCO search I can select the option to only get the peer reviewed articles. These articles are sort of “better” mostly in reputation, but also perhaps in content. Is there a way to sort of define why it is important that anti aa research come specifically from this type of journal? And, do you/we think that this is really important ? (As opposed to kind of important :) Why?

    I really do have a sort of fuzzy definition of this. And, I need to say, many TEACHERS do too. Here is a tiny example. I mentioned something about a using peer reviewed articles to a chick who is writing a capstone (like a thesis). She was like, no, “I cannot use any of my peers’ writng in this.” What the? NO clue. To me, this sorta spoke to the mentality type you find often in teaching.

    I realize this may be a teense off topic, but it is, after all, the never ending thread.

  • Mona Lisa

    FTG, that is a relief. I am really looking forward to reading your book. You are a fabulous writer.

  • http://none violet

    @ Gunther: You are awesome. I made a flier once. Man, I went ON AND ON. This is really lucid, very clean. I am gonna post some!

    @ Mona, I am looking forward to it, too. I feel like I might not be able to wait.

  • Mona Lisa

    Although wikipedia is not itself peer reviewed, it does have a pretty good explanation of the term:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peer_review

  • http://none violet

    wanted to know if any of you have dealt with binge eating junkfood. i am definitely the fattest i have been since i had my son 11 years ago. gross. i was researching sugar addiction, that kind of thing. i am getting alotta spiritual solutions, guys! so lame.

  • Gunthar2000

    Do some research on L-Glutamine and Chromium Picolinate violet.

    L-Glutamine reduces sugar cravings and Chromium Picolinate speeds up metabolism.
    Don’t drink too much coffee with it… The Chromium will get you wired.

    http://www.life-with-confidence.com/l-glutamine.html

    http://www.bodybuildingforyou.com/weight-loss-etc/chromium-picolinate-information.htm

  • Gunthar2000

    I lost over 80 pounds around 13 years ago… The vitamins and exercise helped.

  • http://deleted Primrose

    Why can’t the orange papers be peer reviewed by other experts in the field? By pro-AA doctors and others and Stanton Peele, Jack Trimpney, Steve Hassan etc?

    I think it would be on the self-help shelves in a book shop and lots of self help books contain so much garbage that it would look erudite. I have various bits of the ops printed and would much rather a book. Why can’t Orange self publish?

  • http://deleted Primrose

    It doesn’t matter really because ftg and sp are writing a book.

  • Gunthar2000

    Primrose… The OPs are available for free download.
    Just print them up.

  • Mona Lisa

    Orange is not a professional or an academician, and peer review only exists within the academic and professional communities. Peer reviewed material is published only in professional and academic journals and not by mainstream publishers.

    This is not to say that Orange should not try to publish his works, simply that peer view is inapplicable to what he has written.

    In any event, my understanding is that Orange considered publication and at this point has decided against it. His call.

  • http://none violet

    I love Orange, but if he were to publish, it would be similar to Carol Bennet publishing in the Huffpo. People would be like, um, who is this dood? And, really, who doe he think he is? I have never contacted him, other than trying to stalk him on fb…

  • causeandeffect

    If Orange published I don’t think people would be asking who he is for long. Not long at all before everybody would be talking about him. I do believe I’ve read in one of the emails that he feels there are way too many links to cross reference to. i wish he would but I think he wants to keep his life uncomplicated. I think offering freedom of mind is his priority and I respect that.

  • Gunthar2000

    Has everybody seen this picture?…

    http://www.orange-papers.org/orange-letters222.html

  • causeandeffect

    Yeah, G, I saw it. Seems really content, doesn’t he. Now can you imagine him on Good Morning America talking about his book?

  • DeConstructor

    Orange has stated in his writings that hyperlinks do not really publish on paper, and that is why he has left it in an e-format for the world.

    Certainly many of his sources do withstand academic scrutiny, which is more than ANYTHING printed by AA or Hazelden can claim.

    I think Orange builds a stronger case for his criticism, as he does not market it. Orange is an actual case of attraction rather than promotion.

    As far as I am concerned, Orange has done a great deed for humanity, and those of us who have benefitted from his masterpiece should be the ones to promote it.

    In my line of thinking, Orange should be nominated for the Presidential Medal of Freedom, Nobel, or some award of that magnitude.

  • http://deleted Primrose

    I just looked at GK’s link to the ops and further down saw this, in a response to an offer of help.

    ‘A friend and I have recently broken free of the AA Cult, after approximately 6 years each. We are both wanting to put our tortuous experience to good use, and were wondering if there are any articles you may need some assistance with for your website.

    Kate

    Hello Kate,

    Thanks for the message, and congratulations on your new freedom. And thanks for the offer of help. I’m sure there is something that you can do. I’ll have to think about that one for a while.

    Well, actually, one thing occurs to me right now: The one thing that I cannot write about with authority is what it was like to be a woman in Alcoholics Anonymous. How bad was the sexism? The invitations for 13th-Stepping? What did you see happening to other women? What should young women who are being shoved into A.A. know?

    Have a good day now.

    == Orange’

    and I wondered if massiveattack has been in contact with him.

  • http://www.thecleanslate.org Steven Slate

    1000th post on this thread!

  • http://iloveeli violet

    1001!!!

    re: the picture of orange. so ,i guess now is not a good time for me to get into my daddy complex issue.. is he single? shut it violet.

    this is so awesome, this but from my new fave. show, portlandia. and i think this couple is me and the bf and maybe some of you. :)

  • hulahoop

    @ gotalife – @hulahoop-
    I got on morerevealed.com yesterday. Thanks for the link. Good stuff.

    You are very welcome. I hope you had a chance to at least take a look at More Revealed: A Critical Analysis of Alcoholics Anonymous and the Twelve Steps
    aka The Real AA: Behind the Myth of Twelve Step Recovery
    by Ken Ragge. Especially the “Meetings” chapter. I totally enjoyed the book even though it started off a little slow for me. I could not stop reading it until I finished it. I think it is a must read.

    http://www.morerevealed.com/mr/table-of-contents.html

  • http://www.thecleanslate.org Steven Slate

    I’m totally loving Portlandia too, and that’s a great sketch. Did you see the one where they wouldn’t eat chicken without knowing that it was truly free-range, so they went to the farm and ended up in a cult led by Jason Sudeikis? Good shit. I also love that feminist bookstore.

  • http://iloveeli violet

    I have seen them all. Yep, he told her to quit be so bitchy. Awesomeness.

  • http://stop13stepinaa@wordpress.com massiveattack

    I spoke at a meeting today. As I listened to the traditions read I thought to myself.
    Don’t they know the truth?
    1. Our common welfare comes first, blah blah blah…so its okay to sexually harass each other.
    2. Talks about a loving God expresses himself in the group conscience. Is that why the District and Area fought and would not let us discuss Internal problems of safety in our meetings.
    3.The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking…thats why groups let courts force DUI’s to come to meetings against their will and many have no desire to stop at all and they sit in meetings hating the other members.
    4.Each group is autonomous except when it effects AA as a whole. whatever. When one woman in florida threatens a shop owner, we think this affects NA as a whole. When a member kills his ex girlfriend and his daughter we think it affects AA’s reputation.
    5.Each group has one primary purpose. …so why are people cleaning up dog crap in clancy’s yard in LA?
    6.An A.A. group ought never endorse, finance, or lend the A.A. name to any related facility or outside enterprise, lest problems of money, property, and prestige divert us from our primary purpose.
    Google treatment centers and rehabs and tell me how many say 12 step recovery. Just because they say 12 step instead of AA. Like we’re idiots and we dont know that AA and 12 are the same thing.

    7. Every A.A. group ought to be fully self-supporting, declining outside contributions. NY GSO is not . It depends on 6,000,000 million dollars in outside book sales to Prisons, rehabs and treatment Centers to make money to run their World Service Office in NYC.

    8. Alcoholics Anonymous should remain forever nonprofessional, but our service centers may employ special workers.
    AA members have gone off to the NAADD to work for Big Bucks in big suits to lobby for more big money in Washington and help raise our insurance cost . REhab is expensive guys right?
    Oh yea, salaries in NY office to pay 12 salaries and those who retired in another 6 million dollars.

    9.A.A., as such, ought never be organized; but we may create service boards or committees directly responsible to those they serve. AA is highly organized. But not very professional. The office is run like musical chairs and they switch out positions. EVen if they are not good at that job.

    10.Alcoholics Anonymous has no opinion on outside issues; hence the A.A. name ought never be drawn into public controversy.
    Even when their members are getting sexually harassed, raped and preyed on and murdered, even though it says on their tax return that they are the custodian of the traditions. Does that mean Tradition 1 where our common welfare comes first??? Im scratching my head now.

    11.Our public relations policy is based on attraction rather than promotion; we need always maintain personal anonymity at the level of press, radio, and films. really, so how many times did Bill appear in the Press and on TV. How many times in the press ddi AA get free publicity. WE just had some in the Latimes. Is forcing DUI’s to AA Attraction rather then promotion? Was the making of 2 AA Hollywood Stories a way to keep BIll anonymous in an oh so spiritual way, that normal AA’s shouldn’t do because Bill was better then us, more important then us so he could be in the press? just sayin…
    CAn somebody help me archive how many times Bill Wilson was really in the news? 50 times? I don’t know but it was alot.

    12.Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all our Traditions, ever reminding us to place principles before personalities. They chant this one now. Why? SO many don’t live by any principles. I can harass you, abuse you, give you stink eye, stalk you, rape you, 13 step you, and there is NO ONE in charge of enforcing what is right when things go wrong. Long time members think this is what makes AA so wonderful. I think this is what makes AA so ridiculous in todays world.
    Sorry for being so long winded. Guess that’s what I get for going to a meeting.

    today in my share I told them about Smart Recovery and RR. AND a 20 year old women having a hard time with just AA was very interested in alternatives to AA’s 12 steps. I said the truth. It was interesting.

  • Gunthar2000

    That was just awesome massive attack!

  • Jcal

    massiveattack says, .Each group has one primary purpose. …so why are people cleaning up dog crap in clancy’s yard in LA?
    Jcal says, IDK some people MUST be really stupid. Brainwashed or not! When I heard Clancy tell his story the first time I thought to myself ‘so what! big deal!’ if his addiction took to the place mine did he would have died. I could never understand why that village idiot got so much respect. Imagine not being able to grow facial hair exposed while being sponsored by that jerkoff. I still think he hates facial hair is because someone down in So Cal with a goatee kicked his ass.

  • Jcal

    FTG, what happened to my avatar?

    • http://www.stinkin-thinkin.com friendthegirl

      Jcal sez: “FTG, what happened to my avatar?”

      Hi Jcal, Maybe you’re logging in from a different IP address than usual?

  • Rick045

    Good work Massive Attack. I’m always glad when people start to see through the twelve traditions, but I know it must be painful for you because you do care.

  • http://none violet

    Clancy doesn’t let his pigeo….I mean sponsees grow facial hair? That is perfectly insane. JCal, you just made me really miss this friend of mine from NH. He actually is in California now. He had years of sobriety and there was no getting him (or his wife, now ex wife) outta AA. Anyway, he usta share about how fucking lame Clancy was. He said he got up once to just wlak out when Clancy was speaking and Clancy tried to make a fool of him in front of the whole place and he said some funny thing back. I am never a fan of people using the word retard, as you guys know, but my friend would basically go on and on in his share that , “Clancy was a re…. I could never stop laughing. It was so inappropriate and so funny. The other people in the room would be rolling their eyes. They hated him and his wife. And other than using that word, that is not appropriate, it was all awesome.” I usta tell him, “Hey, are you sure you do not want to listen to my Clancy CD.” :) You know, I think I have got that Clancy CD still, somewhere. It was pretty lame, though I usta listen to is A LOT on my way to work about four years ago.

    Massive Attack, I know I am being so invasive every time I say this: I am astounded that you still go!!! But I do honor your choice. And I appreciate all the work your doing. Thank goodness you were there for that young woman today. That is the one thing where, if I allowed myself to really think about it, I could get really worried and upset. Those young women do not deserve to be subjected to that bullshit. Neither did I and neither do I; I have to put myself before them. So I am not there like you are to help. Again, thank you.

  • Mona Lisa

    I heard Clancy speak at the 2005 international convention. He offended me so badly that–even though I was a fully entrenched AA zombie at the time–I got up and walked out, literally got up from like the 5th row and walked through the crowd and out the door. A few others were doing the same, but most of the crowd thought he was just tooooooo funny.

    Assholes.

  • http://none violet

    In case anyone feels left out and has never heard or even heard of Clancy, and/or feels like they need a drunkalogue fix :) you can d.l. his story here: http://www.aaspeakers.org/Clancy_I-from-Venice_CA-at-the_A_Disease_of_Perception

  • Jcal

    Violet and Mona Lisa, Im glad to hear that others felt the same way about Clancy that I did. One summer I went down to Fort Lauderdale Fl. for a vacation. It was scorching hot and humid out. I went to an aa meeting and the guy speaking was in a full suit, jacket and tie. The dude looked like he was melting. When he started speaking he said that he was sponsored by Clancy and that Clancy wants his sponsees to dress appropriately for AA to show that AA works. I felt bad for the guy, he was lost for sure. Everybody else had tank tops and tee shirts, short pants and sandals on. Im not sure if anybody down there new who Clancy was but I did.

  • Jcal

    Hey! theres my lobster dragonbug avatar

  • BusBozo

    I heard Clancy at a local speakers meeting (about 150 people) when I was newly sober about 3 months. Even though I eventually became a true believer, at the time, I remember thinking that this guy was so full of himself. He had a small contingent of minions (including one very attractive young lady), all well dressed, that came the 60 miles to the meeting with him. I’ll aways remember seeing him roaring off in a gleaming oldie but goodie type car, laughter emanating from within, big smiles glittering as he waved to the crowd outside watching. Seeing this blowhard in action should have been a warning to me, but noooooooooooooooo. Anyway, I am glad to be out of the fold.

  • Lucy