Follow the Money

132 Responses to 'Follow the Money'

  1. JR Harris says:

    I am starting to favor the idea that AA is part of a coerce multi-level business model started by Bill W., Emmet Fox, and Dale Carnegie to make money. The pieces fit together quite nicely. They all had the motive, opportunity and means to set up and run this scheme on the unsuspecting public. It could be called “AA, the story of the Stock Broker, Evangelist and Salesman.”

    MOTIVE – All three started theirs schemes around the time of the Great Depression (1929-1940) to make money from a target market that had very little money to spend.
    OPPORTUNITY – All three were in New York to make money and have direct ties to one another during this time.
    MEANS – All three used Religion to advertise their money making scheme and bring in new customers. All three deny using Religion to make money, even though they relied on thier schemes to support themselves and fellow conspirators at a level 100′s of times higher than the majority of the people they were profiting from.

    Unfortunately, people studying the origins of this scheme may go to a book store and buy the current editions of the books that these people wrote and may come up with different conclusions. The reason for this is because they are the current editions and have been edited to cover up thier deception. All three of these people are dead, yet someone is making a lot of money off of the sales brochures they wrote, and still making and living 100′s of times better than the target market they are appealing to.

    This is not AA history, this is multi-level marketing history. To understand it you have to read the original “Sales Brochures” these people wrote and understand the motives behind them when they were written. The current “Sales Brochures” have been edited to boost sales in today’s market.

  2. JR Harris says:

    All multilevel pyramid marketing schemes, just like AA, use the same tactics. They want to make sure that the costs of labor, advertising, taxes, materials and rent are kept as low as possible. This is done so that more money will trickle up to the top holders of the scheme. The people on the bottom of the pyramid make very little and spend much more time actually working the program that they are using to make money. If we use the AA General Manger Phyllis Holiday as an example, she only works 17.5 hours a week and makes 147K a year. The Assistant Secretary Doug Richardson works 35 hours a week and makes 135K a year (Thanks for the info SoberPJ). The people at the top of a pyramid scheme make more money and work less hours than those at the lower levels.

    To make a pyramid scheme as profitable as possible for the people at the top, the costs must be controlled. How does AA control the costs of its multilevel pyramid scheme?

    1. Costs of Labor – AA relies on and actively promotes “Service Work” to accomplish it’s goals. This keeps the costs of labor extremely low, at the expense of the people at the bottom rungs of the ladder. You have to remember any large corporation with 2,000,000 members would be spending a fortune on janitorial services. AA has eliminated these costs. AA has also turned thier 2,000, 000 members into unpaid salesmen for thier Sales Brochures.

    2. Costs of Advertising – AA has set up a very interesting advertising campaign to keep this cost at near zero levels. The beauty of it is that they claim that they do not advertise. Technically they do not, they train salesmen to do it for free. They train the salesmen to say they are not selling anything and then go and search out the target market to sell them the program. Salesmen often give out “freebies” to the target market to entice customers to join. In AA’s case this would be Sales Brochures or AA trinkets. This costs the top level of the pyramid scheme nothing because they set up the actual salesmen to pay for these materials themselves. Often times these “Sales Brochures” are purchased from the people at the top rungs of the pyramid.

    3. Cost of Taxes – To gain more profit for the top rung holders of this pyramid scheme, AA registers itself as a non-profit organization (just like a Religious organization) to get favorable tax status. This lowers the cost of taxes immensely, both at the State and Federal levels.

    4. Cost of Materials – To keep the costs of materials as low as possible they have devised a rather interesting way to pay for the printing, storage and distribution of thier Sales Brochures. Paying for the printing is done by the salesmen themselves. Storage is at a reduced rate because of the tax status of non-profit organizations. Distribution costs are also near zero because they have trained the AA salesmen to do it for free.

    5. Costs of Rent – To keep rent low, the AA multilevel marketing scheme uses the salesmen it produces to search out the lowest possible rent for its salesman’s offices. Because they have been trained as good salesmen The rent is paid for by the salesmen themselves. The low level salesmen often work out of Church basements, or nearly abandoned buildings in bad neighborhoods. The highest levels of the scheme work out of very expensive buildings in New York city that are being paid for by the low level salesmen.

    All of this was devised by the influences of Bill Wilson, Emmet Fox, and Dale Carnegie during the late 1930′s. They all have ties to one another and all started thier schemes in New York City at the same time. They are all dead now, but the legacy has been turned over to the Salesmen that they trained. Only the very top rung makes money off of this pyramid scheme and AA Big Book 12 Steppers are being used to fund those at the top for free.

  3. Martha says:

    The big difference between AA and other multilevel schemes is that Amway has not figured out a way to get courts to order people to sell Amway products.

  4. SoberPJ says:

    I have heard many times that “nobody makes a dime off of AA”. This is very, very far from the truth. There are many people that make far more than dimes off the vulnerable and unwary AA member. Let’s begin this saga at the source – the financial filings with the IRS.

    They are available on the New York State Charity Registry and you can see one of them here –

    The net is people make a lot on money for working few hours and there is a column of extra money they make from other activities that are related to AA. I have no idea what those activities are .

    Name Hrs/wk Pay related inc Title

    Donald Meurer 17.5 $74,853 $51,768 Asst Treasurer
    Doug Richardson 35 $102,252 32,600 Asst Secretary
    Phyllis Halliday 17.5 $102,876 45,358 General Manager
    Adrienne Brown 35 $102,271 19,312 Staff

    So, an assistant secretary brings in $135 K working 35 hours per week. Pretty generous… I like how a General Manager makes $147K for working a little over half time..

    In the filing, you can also see that medical benefits are free for anyone that retires from AA service and the price tag for that benefit is pretty high. Who else pays lifetime medical benefits when you retire? Pretty darn generous.

    And remember, 10% of any Bil Wilson book royalties goes to the family of Helen Wynn – the favorite mistress of good old honest Billy Wilson. She must have had that extra special something among the mistress crowd ( or it was extortion cause she knew the truth. “I get 10% of your royalties or I go public with the truth !!”). I’ll let the reader try to figure that one out.

    There is also a significant financial reserve that appears to be a minumum of $12 million, although getting to the true number for AAWS, GSB of AA, and AA Grapevine would take some financial sleuthing.

    No folks, this is only the AA organization-specific financials, I will post the Halezden numbers sometime soon and they have around $150 Million in assets. Not bad for a faith healing racket.

    Then there is Betty Ford Center and all the smaller faith healing orgs that rake in big bucks from vulnerable people looking for help. We’ll expose em all and remember, they have a 5% success rate, so repeat business is very brisk.

    And these organizations get tax breaks and they raise your insurance rates by paying for people that can’t “get it” the first dozen times they go through “treatment” or “rehab”. I’ve known more than one person that has gone through the spin dry more than 20 times and still can’t “get it”. And you and I paid for the faith healing that doesn’t work.

  5. SoberPJ says:

    Hazelden in Minnesota – good faith-healing business – I was wrong, they have almost $184 Million in assets.

    Organization Name HAZELDEN FOUNDATION
    Federal ID# 410682405
    For Fiscal Year Ending 12/31/2009
    Direct Public Support $5,669,275
    Government Grants $0
    Other Revenue $91,283,221
    Total Revenue $96,952,496

    Amount Spent for Program or Charitable Purposes $71,846,677
    Management/General Expense $19,985,529
    Fundraising Expense $2,351,740
    Total Expenses $94,183,946

    Excess/Deficit $2,768,550
    Total Assets $223,262,688
    Total Liabilities $39,365,146
    End of Year Fund Bal/Net Worth $183,897,542

    In reality, this would be a nice business to have. A liability to net worth ratio of 4.67 to 1 is really good. It means that they could run for almost 5 years without making a dime. Of course that wouldn’t happen because they have a bunch of free sales people working for them. And they have the new government thing with the Navy, so they are in good shape hawking the “give your will and your life to your higher power” schtick.

    Keep coming back, we know it may not work, just keep coming back.

  6. SoberPJ says:

    OK, Betty Ford Center – wouldn’t want to be in their shoes… business and assets declined in 2009. That always results in belt tightening which is never fun. At non-profits, if it gets bad enough, people start sharing pens…

    So, let’s see. A growing population in the US means a growing number of Alcoholics, which translates into less revenue for the most prestigious name in rehab. How does that work? I’ll tell you how that works, people are getting wise to the fact that the 12 Steps are deceitful, manipulative, faith-healing non sense and they are going someplace that actually helps their substance abuse situation. HA !

    My prediction – they will move this doument once they find out we know about it. Any bets on how long that takes?

  7. I have written a couple of posts detailing my feeling that AA is structured as a multi-level marketing outfit (I don’t think that pyramid and multi-level are interchangeable). I used to work one of those businesses, and the parallels are so similar. I was pretty successful at it, and sponsored a lot of people. There is a lot of pressure to sponsor in MLM, and the reasons are these:

    1. It’s a fact that most people will fail at an “it works if you work it” model, because it’s really not true. I sponsored a lot of people who worked a hell of a lot harder at it than I ever did and followed the program more to the letter, but were just “constitutionally incapable” of making it work for them. I wasn’t smarter or more diligent than any of my sponsees, just a little more adept and entrepreneurial. Sponsoring is like throwing as much random shit at a wall as you can get your hands on, knowing that most of it won’t stick, but something will. If your business depends upon the “throwing throwing random shit at a wall” model, it makes sense to have people on the lower levels do it. If you have enough people throwing, you’re going to end up with a core of people who are successful. Then they can start throwing.

    2. Sponsorship deepens your commitment to the business and makes it more likely that you will stick around. We were always told to get our sponsees to start sponsoring as soon as possible for this reason. It turns out that this is true in AA, too. One study demonstrated that sponsorship in AA was more beneficial to the sponsors than the sponsees. Indeed, AA’s own literature insists that 12-Step work is not intended to help the “still suffering alcoholic” as much as it is to protect your own sobriety.

    3. Not only does sponsorship increase your dedication, it increases your time/life investment. In MLM, the more successful you are, the more time you spend at it, which is the opposite of how successful businesses operate, and why I eventually got what I needed (a temporary, flexible source of income when I was going through a divorce and on my own with a toddler) and left. The point of owning a franchise, for instance, is to eventually reach the point where you are no longer the one flipping burgers, but are playing golf because others are flipping burgers. In MLM, the more burgers you flip, the more you have to flip to stay in business. You’re no longer running one hamster wheel, but trying to run several of them at the same time.

    4. There are a handful of very successful MLM sponsors — the ones who go up on stage at the conventions and inspire others with their personal rags to riches stories. Everyone is moved. Having been in the “in” circle of an MLM, and having been on the receiving end of the “come to Jesus” call from the Queen Bee when I’d had enough, I know that this level of success has nothing to do with “working it,” and everything to do with communicating success.

    MLM’s make big bucks off of the people who buy in and then fail. The people who happen to stick bring in more people who buy in and then fail. AA differs from this scenario in that people who fail keep coming back.

    Here’s my take:

  8. SoberPJ says:

    So, the current income tally from AA, Betty Ford Center and Hazelden for the year ending 2009 is about $140 Million. That is just three organizations in the faith-healing business. The combined assets/reserves of these organizations is at least $250 Million.

    There are many more for-profit faith-healing businesses that don’t have to publish their financial information. I would guess that the final tally could exceed a Billion dollars, but I doubt it would go to $14 Billion just for the faith-healing centers. If you add hospitals and specialty facilities and literature and after care, etc it might go to $2 Billion, but somebody is going to have to show me how they got the $14 Billion number that has been bantied about. Still, $2 Billion ain’t bad. If insurance companies pay half of that, I am sure they would appreciate a reduced payout number.

  9. One place you might be interested in exploring is

    This is a storehouse of information about who is investing in or lobbying for what. They follow the money, and that’s all they do. After messing around there for a while, I found that Betty Ford and Hazelden had given money to an outfit that was lobbying for the parity bill. It’s no surprise that they were (so were the liquor companies), but the information is there: how much they donated and to whom, and who else donated, etc.

    I have a hard time navigating their website. Searches on a particular entity might come up empty, but if you search for a bill, you might get the hit. You have to be creative and focused and dedicated to turn things up over there. But when you find something, it’s worth the investment.

  10. Commonsense says:

    MLM usually has two components: (1) selling actual products in order to side-step laws against pyramid schemes (this is selling overpriced shit nobody wants) and (2) recruiting new members to buy the shit nobody wants and recruit more members into the pyramid (this is the selling of hopes and dreams that are rarely realized). Definitely based on high-volume churn and throwing random shit against the wall with the knowledge that some shit sticks better than others.

  11. Rick045 says:

    @J R Harris, you may already be aware of this, but the1939 AMA review of the Big Book noted the similarities to both Dale Carnegie and Buchmanism.

    “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.”–big-book–review.html

  12. sober pj,

    wow you rock
    I just read the 38 page tax return for 2008-or 09 It s too late.
    WE need to talk. I have an Idea that my CPA gave me.

    Yes this is a huge part of exposing ALL the faith healers charging blue Cross Blue Shield for treatment. Illegal!!! as all heck.
    ftg sober pj and jr harris we should have a conference call.

  13. JR Harris says:

    I looked at the 2009 tax returns for Bills house run by the Stepping Stones Foundation, interesting.

    Contributions (a): $101,307
    Dividends (a): $245,657
    Net Profit (a): -$72,333
    Other Income (a): $41,051
    Total Revenue and Expenses (a): $315,782

    The interesting part is that they have a net gain entry on line (5b) of $2,509,055 and on line (10b) the less cost of goods sold is blank? Both of these items are not included in the “Revenue and expenses per books” column (a).

    The online book store and on site gift shop must have some money coming in. Where is it? What is with line (5b) and the $2,509,055?

  14. SoberPJ says:

    Since the whole thing is rigorously honest, it can’t be that there is another organization running the gift shop so the foundation doesn’t look like it is making any money. My guess is the money from this religion is spread all over the place.

    To search the IRS Charity Registry for charities with Alcoholics Anonymous in the name, go to and do the search.

    114 “Satellite” organizations. That looks pretty organized to me.

    And a very curious article from the Stepping Stones website –

    Why would they post that there? It basically has elements that discredit the White Light myth of the program…. I want to chug some Belladona damn it. I might even consider going back if getting a good buzz was part of the program.

    If we use light forensics, the consumate sober leaders life process was –

    Drink low quality rot gut booze.
    Take Belladona 4 times
    Hallucinate your ass off – experience god
    Create an organization of contradictions, lies and manipulation
    Screw lots of Newcomers
    Smoke like a chimney
    Drink lots of coffee
    Get famous
    Take LSD
    Screw more newcomers
    Never have to work a job – get stuff for free
    Prematurely die of suffocation

    What could be better?

  15. MA says:

    Try doing a search with the usual buzz words: serenity, sober, etc. You’ll find a ton of places.

  16. Steven Slate says:

    On average, 69.5% of all revenue taken in by treatment programs comes from public funds. Here’s a link to a SAMHSA study with that info:
    And here’s a link to a post I wrote about it:

    Since 90% or more of treatment programs indoctrinate people into the 12-steps, this is the equivalent of the government propping up AA. That is, every single one of us is supporting the existence and dominance of AA with our tax dollars whether we like it or not. And when they tell us how they’re using science and evidence based treatments, it sounds nice, but just means that they’re bastardizing Motivational Interviewing to get people into AA, or that they’re giving someone a prescription for bupe and then sending them to AA – the 12-steps are ever-present.

    This is the direct result of work done by AA cheerleader Marty Mann and the NCADD. They dragged the government in, and now that it’s a big incestuous party, plenty more people and organizations are keeping this relationship alive.

  17. JR Harris says:

    There is a lot of information that clouds the money trail of AA. I did come up with a way to narrow it down a little by using reasoning. We will actually find the money trail at some point by finding a mistake made by one of the feeder groups into AA. Unfortunately there is no way to research all of them in a timely and organized manner. We need a systematic way to narrow our search. I came up with this to start with:

    Geographic Area of Home office: AA is based out of New York which has a monetary barrier to market entry because of the high costs of living and rent (read you have to make a lot of money somehow to survive . We can also look at the tax returns easily from New York. The area also has many other organizations that are using the AA Big Book and providing revenue to AA, we should look at those also to see where the money is going to and from. AA uses these other entities to promote it’s book and there is also a good chance that the members of these organizations will at some time join AA.

    Main non-profit groups:

    Alcoholic Anonymous Grapevine Inc.
    Alcoholics Anonymous World Services Inc.
    General Service Board of Alcoholics Anonymous Inc.

    Possible geographic links(Good ole boy networking) :

    Alcoholics Anonymous on the Niagara Frontier Inc.
    Employment Program for Recovered Alcoholics Inc. (read cheap labor)
    Queens Intergroup of Alcoholics Anonymous Inc.
    Stepping Stones Foundation
    Suffolk Intergroup Association of Alcoholics Anonymous

    NOTE: Interesting……… there are very few intergroups listed for New York and none of them sell anything on thier websites such as literature or fancy chips. I believe that for marketing purposes they are using printed material at the AA meetings. I do not believe that this is the norm for most states. Could it be that the AA home office in New York has a very tight leash on the groups in that state to prevent controversy? Anybody out there been to a New York Intergroup meeting who knows what they talk about? Where people buy the Big Book and trinkets?

    The trail in New York seems to run into many dead ends with unanswered questions on where the money is going. The only tie to sales is at Stepping Stones and that has been researched and is a dead end. I think the next place to look is the top 10 metropolitan statistical areas in the US and the Intergroups they have. Find out where they get thier Big Books and literature from.

  18. JR Harris says:

    AA and the Silent Salesmen (Subliminal Marketing Technique) – With 2,000,000 members world wide, AA has at least that many silent salesmen working for them for free. If you open up your Big Book (come on I know you have one somewhere, it’s the one with all of the handwritten slogans in it) and go to the title page you will see other suggested reads on the page opposite from it. All of these are published by AAWS and AA members search out the suggested readings to buy them and recommend them to thier friends as free salesmen for AA. This is the listing and order in the 4th Edition:

    Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions
    Alcoholics Anonymous Comes of Age
    As Bill Sees It
    Dr. Bob and the Good Oldtimers
    Pass It On
    Daily Reflections
    Experience, Strength and Hope
    Came to Believe (Booklet)
    Living Sober (Booklet)
    A.A. in Prison: Inmate to Inmate (Booklet)

    Looks pretty straight forward, doesn’t it? Now try searching for them online. You come up with many possibilities, and it is hard to find the one published by AAWS. Could that be how money is being secretly funneled into peoples pockets?

    I am going to make it easy for you. Go to an online book store such as Amazon, Borders, Barnes an Nobles, etc….. and put in a search for “Alcoholics Anonymous” and search for only unused books(Used book sales do not go to the Author). You will see some re-occurring names always poping up on the first page. I noticed:

    Aa Services
    Alcoholics Anonymous
    A. A. Services Staff
    Susan Cheever
    Dick B.

    These are links to the major players in the AA Book club scheme. Interesting list……. wouldn’t you say?

  19. One thing I think needs to be explored here is the connection between AA members and sober living homes. It seems obvious that this is a huge racket — unlicensed, unregulated group sober homes are everywhere, run by AA members. Anyone can open one of these houses, because there are no regulations in place for their oversight. One interesting term we learned during massiveattack’s radio show was “recovery landlord”. I had never heard that before, but it seems to me an apt euphemism for yet more people who make a living off the backs of addicted people.

  20. Here’s an article today — a pretty common story about neighborhood residents reaching their limit with these group homes.

    I found this comment interesting:
    “Please remember, Gorman is a high-priced lawyer from Yountville who doesn’t live here who’s being paid a great deal of money by a for-profit company to fight communities that try to prevent these facilities from opening. For an example of how this issue is playing out in other cities similar to San Rafael, see this article on a Sober Living home in Somerville, Mass:
    I attended the meeting last night, and what I deduced after listening closely and doing a bit of investigating is that for-profit companies and landlords are exploiting a series of legal loopholes in the law to make boatloads of money by turning large, single-family homes into rooming houses after they fail to sell for elevating asking prices in a down economy. Loophole number one: classifying alcoholics and addicts in recover as “disabled.” This law was intended to prevent employers from discriminating against people with a history of drugs/alcohol and was not intended to apply to housing. Since when is someone who claims to b…e in recovery disabled as it relates to housing? Certainly they don’t need physical accommodation etc. Legal loophole number 2/3 is a very clever backwards catch 22: They avoid the licensing requirements that would normally apply to halfway houses by providing no treatment, while at the same time avoiding the normal zoning laws and codes that would apply to rooming houses by calling themselves “sober living” houses. And if there’s no treatment and only one manager for 13 or 14 men, how can the City or residents have faith rules and safety codes will be enforced? The last thing we want is for our residential neighborhoods, already under siege and feeling unsafe as described by other commentators, afflicted with these for-profit group homes.”

  21. AllyB says:

    I know it’s not quite what you are after JRH, but I thought this was an interesting thread on the SR family board about “recovery” costs.

  22. JR Harris says:

    Every little bit helps. On the Sober House problem I am looking for ties to the Home Office of AAWS in New York and working my way down. Here is my firdt looks:

    This is about a year out dated, but has all of the issues we have been talking about with Sober Houses and they are trying to pass laws (I am researching further):

    New York is a high rent district, so I looked at the top end first. This Sober House costs $8500 a month (Remember in the above article that they are supposes to have at least 6 people on average for a total revenue of $51,000 a month or $612,000 an year per house, look at the bottom of the article and see how many of these houses they run):

    This house is on the low end at $600 a month (Income for six people is $3600 a month or $43,200 a year):

    NOTE: Both advertised by SOBER NEXUS. Need to research this company and look for links to non-profit “Employment Program for Recovered Alcoholics Inc.” then look for ties to AAWS.

  23. JR Harris says:

    One way to uncover the book club scheme is to look how the original publishers of the AA Big Book morphed into the non-profit AA. Follow the money train. The original publisher was “WORKS PUBLISHING, INC. NEW YORK CITY”.

    Original AA Book Club Publisher Copyright page info (11th edition 1947):

    Copyright, April, 1939 by
    Works Publishing Inc.
    NEW YORK CITY (17)
    All rights reserved under Pan-American copyright convention
    International copyright reserved
    First Printing, April, 1939
    Second Printing, March, 1941
    Third Printing, June, 1942
    Fourth Printing, March, 1943
    Fifth Printing, January, 1944
    Sixth, Printing, June, 1944
    Seventh Printing, January, 1945
    Eight Printing, February, 1945
    Ninth Printing, January 1946
    Tenth Printing, August, 1946
    Eleventh Printing, June, 1947

    Current AA Book Club publisher copyright page (Fourth edition, eighteenth printing, August 2006):

    Copyright 1939, 1955, 1976, 2001 by
    {portion removed for clarity}
    Printed in the United States of America

    So how did “Works Publishing Inc.” morph into “ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS WORLDS SERVICES, INC” and when? What other books did “Works Publishing Inc.” publish?

    Note: I am not saying it is wrong, but whenever you buy a Big Book the proceeds go to an America Corporation. Look in your Big Book and you will find “Printed in the United States of America” by an American Corporation.

  24. SoberPJ says:

    Well this is the most comprehensive bibliography on Payment for Substance Abuse treatment I have ever seen. The actual report must be a doozy !!

    Economics of Drug Abuse Treatment Services

  25. Great research here I must say I love it!!!

    Just some other strange facts… The first printing of the Big Book was not “copyrighted” sorry about the spelling… the right way. Years past and they had to make a new edition because the original one went into Public domain. Bill was a freaky lousy business man. So actually I could take the original , start printing it and keep the money. They don’t own that first one. No, they don’t own the publishing or the copyright to it. It’s like if I never sent in a copyright on one of my songs. so No one really owns it. They keep this very hush, hush but I was told this by the GS Manager who ran NY GSO for many years and by a delegate in the 70’s when they were cleaning this mess up.

    However this thread is extremely important to the work I am doing and when I get closer I hope we can all meet face to face to talk about it.
    It just makes my skin crawl now.

    The Attorney General is the first step. IRS the next.

    Can we have an ex-steppers convention/conference. :)

  26. joedrywall says:

    Very interesting theory. I am not really familiar with Dale Carnegie. AA does tell of Dr. Bob bringing his “pigeons” to many of Emmet Fox talks. There is also suggestion that one of Bill W. buddies having his mom work for Fox.
    I must admit I have five of Emmet Fox’s books myself and I really enjoy them. I have done some internet searches to find criticisms of his work or his teachings but I have yet to find any.

  27. Mona Lisa says:

    Orange has an excellent history and analysis of the creation of the Big Book, including an exhaustive discussion of the copyright fiasco.

  28. SoberPJ says:

    This is somewhat of a tangent, but there is a guy selling the “original” BB manuscript on ebay

    It probably isn’t copyrighted so somebody could re-write it and call it the “corrected” version of the original manuscript of Alcoholics Anonymous …. ( and probably get sued by AAWS – they actually haven’t stopped fighting anyone or anything)

  29. JR Harris says:

    AAWS has someone actively monitoring Ebay and other sites looking for copyright infringements. Many people have been banned from Ebay because of it. Do a search using “banned from ebay for selling alcoholics anonymous” and you will find many stories of it. The selling of the Big Book, especially the early editions is big business and they go in price from a few hundred to many thousands. To limit the supply and increase the demand (read as price) AAWS actively goes after individuals to prevent selling of these artifacts by what they determine a copyright violation. Who do they consider as friendly and do not go after (read as the people who they allow to make big money from 2nd hand sales)?

    The Ebay experiment if anyone wants to use it.

    Ebay is a very popular target of AAWS and easy to use as an experiment. If you want to know who the current players are who are allowed to sell AA stuff at high prices go to Ebay and do a few searches as follows:

    Alcoholics Anonymous
    Alcoholics Anonymous Book
    Alcoholics Anonymous Book 1st

    Testing items on EBAY on 3/23/2011 using the following searches showed:

    Alcoholics Anonymous (3,426 entries)
    Alcoholics Anonymous Book (1,009 entries)
    Alcoholics Anonymous Book 1st (57 entries)

    During this experiment note who are the Top Rated Sellers, and the prices they are getting for the things they are selling. What makes these individuals different from the other people who have been banned from selling this stuff?

    (Hint: If I were allowed to sell a LARGE amount of AA stuff on Ebay ,and not not be hassled by AAWS. I would welcome NEW entrants into the market and buy thier books at low prices to increase my inventory, and resell them at a ridiculously high markup. If they started to flood the market with low cost items, I would turn them into AAWS and Ebay to have them banned. Look for the top rated power sellers who are not being banned.)

  30. JR Harris says:

    The AA Circle and Triangle Symbol was used to signify “Real” AA material up until May 1993. AAWS had been trying to force medallion and trinket manufacturers to stop using this symbol. Because the copyright was considered unenforceable, the law suits were dropped and AAWS decided to use “conference approved” to denote “Real” AA material. Because of this, anyone can use the symbol at this time. AA is now forced to remain a book club because of this.

    When researching where the money goes you can ignore trinkets with the circle and triangle symbol. AAWS has no control over them anymore. What you can research is the use of other copyrights they have and are trying to enforce.

    Follow this money trail. AA has the following copyrights on printed material:

    Alcoholics Anonymous
    The Big Book
    Box 4-5-9
    The Grapevine
    A.A. Grapevine
    Box 1980
    La Viña.


  31. chris says:

    the circle and the triangle are on the dollar bill arent they., well, any bill i think. except a ducks bill.

  32. SoberPJ says:

    Ya know … I never thought to add the take from Alanon, Alateen, NA and other 12 Step related orgs. I don’t have the desire to search state records right now for those orgs, but I’ll bet there are quite a few.

    Who publishes the Alanon books and pamphlets?

  33. SoberPJ says:

    Interesting … the “Author” of Courage to Change is Al-Anon Family Group Head Inc, but a search for them on Google only turns up the Courage to Change book. Who are those people and what is their affiliation with AAWS?

  34. JR Harris says:

    Al-Anon does not seem to be affiliated with AA. Here are the Corporations:

    1600 Corporate Landing Parkway
    Virginia Beach , VA 23454-5617

    1600 Corporate Landing Parkway
    Virginia Beach , VA 23454-5617

    Websites (both go to the same place):

  35. joedrywall says:

    I still find it very difficult to believe that Al-anon still exists. This day in age don’t most spouses just leave the boozer?

  36. JR Harris says:

    I found some interesting documents released to the Public Domain April 1st 2011. They are free to copy and distribute since they are released to the Public Domain. They are all PDF’s and notes can be added to each file if people want to.

    If Anonymous Defendant keeps writing these short pieces it will make a treasure trove of easy to get at information. These are written by Anonymous Defendant, who could be an AA member who wants to remain anonymous. They can be downloaded here if you are interested.

    AA Corporate Contact FAQ — 125k
    AA Corporate Assets FAQ — 124k
    Mandated AA Attendance — 146k

  37. humanspirit says:

    That’s really weird. I find it impossible to believe that Al-anon isn’t affiliated with AA – their meetings all begin with the 12 steps and 12 traditions, etc. and members are required to work the steps. What’s going on here? Is it a tax dodge?

  38. JR Harris says:

    Bill Wilson’s wife, Lois is a co-founder of The Al-Anon Family Groups. I am researching further.

  39. Z says:

    @joe, no they don’t, unfortunately, Alanon is full of spouses who are in no position to leave, don’t think they should, don’t know whether they have the right to consider it given that alcoholism is a disease, etc. Then, it’s full of people whose kids are victims of the drug war. There are very many of these parents. Then there are the adults who have been sent because they have alcoholic parents. I’ve gone when my parents have been around just because it’s so hard to watch them do their thing; at an Alanon meeting people will say yes, we understand why you are exhausted; the recognition is a relief.

  40. hulahoop says:

    Has anyone heard of or know of the “Joint Commission? Some rehabs say they have its approval. I don’t know a thing about it. Their tax returns are listed on the site. Of course it’s a non-profit organization.

  41. hulahoop says:

    Hmmm…interesting. I am wondering this organization would endorse a facility that is a true twelve program.

  42. hulahoop says:

    Correction – “A true twelve step program.” Sorry…it’s late. I should be in bed. This is like a puzzle to me though.

    This money thing has had me intrigued since the day I attended an AA meeting in a very affluent area. They had three meetings a day in the same location. I was only able to attend the morning one. I would watch a guy count up the basket money and leave, not waiting for the meeting to finish. It was the same thing almost each day. I would sit close to him and watch him count the money. It was usually about $80.00. That doesn’t sound like a lot of money, but multiply it six days a week three times a day times 52 weeks a year. (No Sunday meetings. I’ll admit Saturdays were a little slack.) I’ll be generous and say five days a week.

    The other members encouraged me to attend the afternoon and evening meetings because they were even better. I am guessing they were referring to attendance.

    I left that town and went to another where I surprised they could even afford to have meetings. It was a small space in a strip mall on a rough side of town. I later discovered the “owner” had been arrested for cocaine possession. Another meeting I attended in the same area had a sign that said they needed $40.00 a day to pay the bills. It was in a renovated house. $40.00 a day times 30 days in a month is $1200.00. I wondered who owned the house and what the note on the house was.

    I’ve been sort of researching this stuff. It reminded me of the “layers of an onion” analogy I heard in AA. Only this is different. Meetings. Sober houses. RehAAbs. A rehAAb that says it is non-profit, but my research on it says it is for profit. Why is a rehab located in one state but registered to a company in another state? Why is the Joint Commission endorsing a rehAAb that clearly states it is 12 step based? (Why don’t they start checking out churches too?) It’s a lot to research to come up with any real answers. It has me intrigued though.

  43. hulahoop says:

    joedrywall says I still find it very difficult to believe that Al-anon still exists. This day in age don’t most spouses just leave the boozer?

    My father told me men marry women hoping they will never change. Women marry men hoping they will. :)

  44. JR Harris says:

    The Joint Commission on Accreditation
    One Renaissance Boulevard
    Oakbrook Terrace, IL 60181

    Founded in 1951
    Certifies “disease-specific care programs”
    Includes “behavioral health care”
    Non-profit Corporation


  45. JR Harris says:

    This is a link to all of the Tax returns of AA from 2002-2009.

  46. hulahoop says:

    Each location of the rehAAb I researched proudly displays the seal and approval of the Joint Commission when only two of them have been approved. A lot of people will see that seal of approval and feel better while not knowing what it is nor how it is obtained. Based on a quick check I did, it looks like the Joint Commission checks for things like cleanliness and handwashing. I didn’t see anything about recovery, relapse, and death statistics.

    There are a lot of parasites in the rehaab industry.

  47. hulahoop says:

    I don’t have time to research this from the tax returns – NTEE: F220 – SUBSTANCE ABUSE TREATMENT

    AA is NOT substance abuse treatment. Treatment implies medical procedures based on science. Not faith healing. AA bills itself as a nonprofessional support group but yet calls itself substance abuse treatment.

  48. SoberPJ says:

    I didn’t see anything in the Joint Commision that related to substance abuse either. They certify more procedural things like processes and facilities. Their site vists probably just check the sinks and toilets and determine if the place has the right guidance posted – “Please wash your hands before returning to work”.

  49. on the 2009 Tax Return, Hillside PLanning Association gets paid $138,233 a year.
    I googled it. It’s another non-profit.
    What is it. Who’s paying who for what here?

    It’s confusing.


    good point. A fellowship turning into substance abuse treatment???WHat?
    Hello…This needs to be investigated.
    By a real journalist. not just me and you and this blog.

  51. hulahoop says:

    I agree with you massiveattack. Hopefully a real journalist…investigative reporter will happen upon this thread. I don’t know anything about accounting and tax reporting for non-profits.

    I also found this interesting –
    Foundation: 15 – Organization which receives a substantial part of its support from a governmental unit or the general public
    Activity Code(s): 573 – Other Activities Directed to Individuals

  52. JR Harris says:

    One very interesting thing about the 2009 tax return is that they received $8,931,657 in revenue (Schedule A, Form 990, Part I, Section A, Line 4(e)) from Public Support. This is the money that the Corporate AA home office receives after the sub entities (Individual groups and Intergroups) take thier share from the $1 that everyone usually gives during a meeting.

    The interesting part is that from this money they paid out $1,267,941 (or 14.2% of the total) to 4 Corporate Employees. (Form 990, Part VII, Section A (D)(E)(F))

    Corporate Employee Total Compensation for 2009:

    Assistant Treasurer – Donald Meurer – $201,474 for 17.5 hours/week – $221.40/hour
    Assistant Secretary – Doug Richardson – $135,124 for 35 hours/week – $74.24/hour
    General Manager – Phyllis A. Halliday – $251,110 for 17.5 hours/week – $275.95/hour
    Staff – Adrienne Brown – $121,583 -for 35 hours/week – $66.80/hour

    I do not believe that they will be leaving AA until the miracle happens. Do not forget that this is only what they receive from the AA home office.

  53. SoberPJ says:

    Hypothetically speaking, because there is no proven crime yet, if corporate “AA” directors or employees were arrested because of some financial impropriety, would the news media refuse to cover it? If it were one big racket of faith healing non sense, would they cover it? If 12 Step, faith healing non sense was costing tax payers billions of dollars a year, would they refues to cover it ? Would they even investigate? More hypothetical.

    Let’s say the insurance companies and the government are paying out $2 Billion a year for 12 Step, faith healing non sense. If the average inpatient “rehab” costs $18,000, that means only 111,111 people got that form of “treatment”. That is probably a small number of people. Now, if the average number of times through rehab is like 3, this gets interesting pretty quickly. Then add all the outpatient costs and the dollar number probably skyrockets.

    It’s a HUGE incestuous racket. Booze companies push a highly addictive feel good substance and a 12 Step, faith healing racket is there to capitalize on the people that get out of control on booze. Works great. Everybody involved makes money and lots of people are employed and nobody gets hurt. It is the ultimate american system. What could be wrong?

  54. JR Harris says:

    I believe that the news media is already catching on, and is willing to write stories about Corporate AA improprieties. The internet is a great bastion of free speech that is also the current equalizer to Corporate and Governmental run advertising policies.

    The current perception of AA is that it is a “fellowship” and not a Corporation. This perception has to be changed to the truth behind AA. This can be done by individual posters by always referring to AA as Corporate AA with policies and procedures. Corporate AA hides these procedure from the Public view as can be seen by the 2009 Tax return where they publicly state for the whole world to see:


    Without these documents being made public Corporate AA knows that it is protected from lawsuits because “intent” can not be proven without them. They are closely guarded “secrets” of a Publicly run and registered Corporation.

    The first thing that needs to be done is that AA be realized by the majority of the public that it is a Corporation. Like the tactics used in the Corporate AA 12 Steps, it has to be memorized into consciousness by constant repetition. Refer to AA as Corporate AA as many times as you can.

    Posters will have a hard time with this at first because Steppers will come back and say it is not a Corporation, it is a “Fellowship”. Have them open up thier “Big Book” and look at the cover page. It says plainly at the bottom “ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS WORLD SERVICES, INC.” a Corporation. They will then say that is only the publishing arm of AA. Tell them about the Intergroup in thier area. That is also a registered Corporation (it has to be by law) that sends money to the Corporate AA in New York.

    AA is a huge Corporate conglomerate that is controlled from New York that has 100’s of smaller Corporations feeding it money under different names acting as Intergroups. These Intergoups in turn spawn off other not-for-profit Corporations registered under even more different names. Each of these corporations have private businesses who sell goods and services to the Addiction Industry in way of Sober Houses, Medical Services, Accounting Services, Accreditation Services, Advertising Services, etc………

    To find out the revenue that the AA Corporation in New York generates in total, just in the USA, you would have to go to every state and analyze each Intergroup and the not-for-profit and for-profit organizations they do business with. This is in the billions.

    The first step is to make people realize that AA is a Corporation. The next logical step would be to have people in each state just list Corporations that have ties to the Intergroup in thier area and post it on a centralized Internet location (more on the easiest automated internet technology to do that later).

    REMEMBER: Corporate AA, AA Corporation, the Corporation of AA, etc……..

  55. SoberPJ says:

    ok, sounds good… nice approach.. I would add the word “monopoly” whenever possible to make it even more descriptive and accurate.

    I heard that “dominant market share” occurs when a single entity has more than 30% penetration of a market segment. If the 12 Steps of AA Corporation are used in more than 90% of faith healing institutions, then AA can be considered to have dominant market share and possibly hold a monopoly position in the substance abuse treatment industry. Now, if AA Corporation is the only supplier of the “text books” necessary for the patients treated with their brand of “treatment”, within their monopoly, where does that lead? It is like Epson owning 90% of the printer market and you can only buy the paper through them. It is every business owners dream to have a captive market, but there are laws against this specific thing. How does AA get a pass on something so obvious?

  56. JR Harris says:

    Actually in the “Big Book” market Corporate AA is considered an “oligopoly”. They fiercely compete and protect thier market share with few other sellers. Anyone selling a “Big Book” is fiercely litigated against by lawyer specializing in corporate law. Hazelden is thier major direct completion with the selling and marketing of one of the the original copies of the “Big Book” which the copyright was non enforceable. They publish and market this book under thier own copyright and also defend its distribution with corporate lawyers. This is possible because the original which they “purchased” had writings on the pages, making it an original piece of literature. The other market player that they have corporate lawyers go after are “used” book sales.

    Monopoly laws protect markets where there are few market players and they have major barriers to entry. The breakup of the Corporate AT&T monopoly in the US was a prime example. AT&T owned all of the cables used to provide phone service to the US homes. The barrier to entry was that a competing entry would have to run thier own lines to provide service. This was prohibitively expensive and nearly impossible. Monopoly law took over in this case and opened up these lines to other carriers to use. This is why you often have many choices of who you want your service with.

    With Corporate AA thier are no barriers to entry like this. Anyone can (and does) attempt to enter the market by producing thier own literature and programs, hence you have SMART Recovery, HARM LESS, etc… Corporate AA can not be sued for being a monopoly because people have a choice, just not enough people know about it yet.

    Corporate AA has all of the characteristics of an Oligopoly in the “Big Book” market.

  57. SoberPJ says:

    These others have entered the market, but they have gotten little traction in the specific market where the AA Corporation has a monopoly. Namely, the entities that incorporate the 12 Steps into their treatment models. The number of non-12 Step facilities is extremely small given the dollar size of the overall market. As far as I know, there is 1 Sinclair Method-based treatment facility in the US. There should be multiples in every major US metro.

    As a business owner in the rehab industry, do you want a treatment model that treats someone to get better and send them on their way. Or, do you want something that has a near guarantee that the patient will return for another round of “treatment”. The AA Corporation method is a sure money maker for these organizations and they probably want to keep it that way. Why employ something that actually works when it would be bad for business?

  58. JR Harris says:

    In order to change the corporate policies of AA to protect the public, we should look at the policies of other companies that have been changed and how it was done. There is another company in history (this is a for-profit company) that has been changed that should be given a cursory look to see how it was done there. The company is Coca-Cola and the process used to change its policies is 1/2 page long (I know this has nothing to do with Alcoholism, but it shows you how to change corporate policies):

    You may want to look into this now, the day may come that when you go to the movie theater they will show you ads for 12 Step Rehabs during the previews instead of Coca-Cola.

  59. hulahoop says:

    I stand corrected. All of the facilities of the particular rehaab I am researching have the Joint Commission gold seal of approval. Here is a cut and paste of the details.

    Improve the accuracy of the identification of individuals served. Use of Two Identifiers

    Reduce the risk of health care-associated infections. Meeting Hand Hygiene Guidelines

    Accurately and completely reconcile medications across the continuum of care.

    Comparing Current and Newly Ordered Medications

    Communicating Medications to the Next Provider

    Providing a Reconciled Medication List to the Patient

    Settings in Which Medications are Minimally Used

    The organization identifies safety risks inherent in the population of the individuals it serves.

    Identifying Individuals at Risk for Suicide

  60. Assistant Treasurer – Donald Meurer – $201,474 for 17.5 hours/week – $221.40/hour
    Assistant Secretary – Doug Richardson – $135,124 for 35 hours/week – $74.24/hour
    General Manager – Phyllis A. Halliday – $251,110 for 17.5 hours/week – $275.95/hour
    Staff – Adrienne Brown – $121,583 -for 35 hours/week – $66.80/hour

    thats some pretty good wages for a Corporation that is Non-profit and that only pays 12 employees plus the retirees and Bills women.

    I think we are seeing how deep this is. But that it is a possible task.
    great posts!

  61. JR Harris says:

    The 2008 Tax returns of “ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS WORLD SERVICES, INC.” have a very strange anomaly that is worth noting. Most people look at Form 990 Schedule A Part 1 to find the salaries of the top employees. Is he on this Tax return? Look for Greg Muth, he is on there. How much did he actually make from all of the Corporations sub-entities?You have to look further and you will find it buried on buried on Schedule J, Part II. His total compensation that year from this corporate position was $156,891 and $469,850. (Separate Sub Corporations) for a total of $626,740. It does not really say how many hours he worked a week for this because of the accounting trick used. This return only show 17.5 hours. It is most likely 35 hours. At 35 hours a week he would actually be making $344.36 an hour. He has disappeared off of the 2009 Tax return. Where did he go? Many parts of the corporation have been outsourced to other companies. Follow the MONEY.

    Link to 2008 Tax return:{DCE742A2-61A0-4650-BBE1-F2BAE0843B9D}

  62. JR Harris says:

    Ooops = follow this link. They above one did not format correctly in the post.

  63. SoberPJ says:

    Whenever an oldtimer says, “Nobody has ever made a dime off of AA” , look at them square in the eye and say “BULLSHIT” !

  64. JR Harris says:

    In following who publishes AA corporate literature and who actually profits from it something very interesting has been found. Using the book “ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS: The story of How Many Thousands of Men and Women Have Recovered from Alcoholism” 4th Edition, Eighteenth printing, August 2006 the next page after the cover page gives the corporate legal information of that book. At the very bottom of the page it gives the Library of Congress Control Number (sometimes abbreviated as LCCN) for that book as 200109094693. It states the ISBN for that book is 978-1-933007-16-1. Doing a search for those numbers on the internet do not result in any links back to that book. Try the following searches in your favorite search engine and see if you get any hits:


    I believe that the page in the book covering the legal copyrights of the book is produced by either the author, editor or printer/manufacturer of the edition you are reading. Who gets the royalties associated with people buying that particular edition?

    Look at the book you are using to follow the 12 steps and do the same thing. Are the numbers in your book different (I believe they do change with every new edition ) ?

    I do know that the corporation behind the protection of the copyrights of that book are based out of a corporation registered in New York. Why can’t I find out easily who profits from the sale?

  65. JR Harris says:

    Correction – the Library of Congress Control Number (sometimes abbreviated as LCCN) for that book is 2001094693. Typo from above. This also is the reason why the numbers at online book stores may be different for the corporate protected book that many people believe is the bible of AA. Book stores determine and enter these numbers manually. When you search for the book you want, often you find conflicting information. A quick search for the book entitled “ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS: The story of How Many Thousands of Men and Women Have Recovered from Alcoholism”. Currently this search on online bookstores assigns the author as:

    by Bill W. (Hardcover – 2004)
    by bill w (Hardcover – 1955)
    AAWS (Author)
    by Alcoholics Anonymous (Hardcover – 1950)
    by Works Publishing Inc. (Hardcover – Jan 1, 1948)
    Anon (Hardcover – 1980)
    by unknwn (Hardcover – 2002)

    Who is the author and publisher? Who profits from the sale of this book?

  66. flannigan says:

    @JR Harris
    AAWS profits from sale of this book and all “AA literature”. AAWS is a for profit corporation registered in the state of New York. The American copyright for the 3rd and 4th editions is held by AAWS. The 1st and 2nd edition copyrights are more controversial. The “author” is irrelevant and the publisher is AAWS.

  67. flannigan says:

    The whole thing- AA, AAWS, GSO, intergroups, home groups, “treatment” industry, rehabs, etc. is a scam. All of it. Until one can show me evidence of the effectiveness of the aforementioned in the aleviation of alcoholism/drug addiction, I will continue to hold this view. Faith-healing is not an acceptable treatment of “disease”. The medical community should be ashamed.

  68. chris says:

    I agree, to one who previously flanned. The medical comm. should do a 4th step and then they should admit to DICK B., themselves, and another human being the EXACT nature of their wrongs. But, they probably want to remain sick and disturbed like the rest of us non-AAers. It`s a shame man, it`s a real sham, I mean shame.

  69. JR Harris says:

    Well hopefully by now you have found one of the unfair monopolistic and discriminatory practices that AA uses. They can be held accountable for these actions.

    I am talking about the revenue stream that AA has set up for getting money from the sale of what is normally referred to as a “big book”. They are creating a demand for this book and appear to be limiting the supply and distribution through deceptive practices.

    If you do a Google search for the ISBN (978-1-933007-16-1 or 9781933007161) for “ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS: The story of How Many Thousands of Men and Women Have Recovered from Alcoholism” 4th Edition, Eighteenth printing, August 2006 you will receive no hits. If you go to an online bookstore and put in that number you will receive no hits. Now pick any non-AA book off your shelf and take the ISBN off of it and put it a search engine, if it is a popular book it should pop up as the first item on the list. Now put your phone number in the search engine, if it is listed it should also pop up on the top of the list (there is a reason for this and I will explain further down in this post.).

    Google is blocking the indexing of ISBN 978-1-933007-16-1 or 9781933007161, it will never show up in a Google based search. True you can go to your local Intergroup and buy a book easily and that is most likely where you will get it. They are unfairly limiting the easy selection of an alternate source from online book stores or anyone online.

    The power to influence Google comes from a large corporate source, not an individual. To prove this try and contact them and have the indexing of your phone number blocked, you will never do it (this is why I had you put your phone number in a search engine).

    The Coca Cola Corporation has been sued in US and International courts for this. You could write Google, the AA corporations in New York, online book stores, the ACLU, any number of corporation to let them know of this unfair practice which appears to be coming from AA. Let this unfair practice be known, let the corporations fight it out between themselves.

  70. JR Harris says:

    If you want to know what can be done about this you can search “words banned by google” for a quick list of sites following this. Anyone is free to add to most of the blogs what doesn’t show up on Google. Just remember that whatever you post will not be indexed and search-able by Google. I am not sure how to notify people about this. It needs more research.

  71. JR Harris says:

    Ooops ….

    False alarm. They are indexed under different numbers:

    # ISBN-10: 9781893007161
    # ISBN-13: 978-1893007161
    # ASIN: 1893007162

    Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #4,523

    Number one seller currently on Amazon is currently a self help book:
    “The 17 Day Diet: A Doctor’s Plan Designed for Rapid Results”
    by Dr. Mike Moreno

  72. JRH,
    OKAY I am getting really into this thread about the money. I have done payroll and understand this stuff. Isn’t this embezzling?

    SO here are my thoughts. it says on the tax return that

    SO here’s what those words mean. Sorry I know someone on ST hates this but I just have to do it to prove responsibility.
    “a person who has “responsibility” for or looks after something,” such as a museum, financial assets, or a culture or tradition : the custodians of pension and insurance funds.

    responsibility -means they are responsible….
    noun ( pl. -ties)
    the state or fact of having a duty to deal with something or of having control over someone : women bear children and take responsibility for child care.
    • the state or fact of being accountable or to blame for something : the group has claimed responsibility for a string of murders.
    • the opportunity or ability to act independently and make decisions without authorization : we would expect individuals lower down the organization to take on more responsibility.
    • (often responsibilities) a thing that one is required to do as part of a job, role, or legal obligation : he will take over the responsibilities of overseas director.
    • [in sing. ] ( responsibility to/toward) a moral obligation to behave correctly toward or in respect of : individuals have a responsibility to control personal behavior.

    This is enough to say that its right on your tax return & that you are the custodian and that you are responsible.
    The amount he was paid reminds me of what happened in Bell California recently. They took Millions and they are all in jail.

  73. JR Harris says:

    It has been said that “not a dime has been made by anyone in AA”. The big book Thumpers will quickly point out that that $1 dollar at each meeting does not go far. What they do not realize is that a small percentage of that $1 makes it to a corporation in New York. It is a very small money stream that is very quickly protected by the people at the top of the corporation making $100’s of dollars an hour after all of the bills are paid in one of the highest priced rent districts in New York.

    Rehabs and treatment centers work to protect the AA corporation to protect thier money streams. What Thumpers do not realize is that the relatively small groups that they are in do not make much money from the members of AA. It is the Rehab and Treatment centers they send thier members at close to $1000 a day who are the ones who make the Money of AA. It is the Sober Living house owners that make the money off AA. It is the book and trinket manufacturers that make the money off AA. Only the top members of the AA corporation in New York make any money of of AA, they do this by actively recruiting volunteers who they do not pay so that they can make large salaries.

    On the back end, people in AA invest in facilities who promote the 12 Step treatment model and make thier money there. Their business model depends on the survival of the AA corporation in New York and they protect it dearly. That is why they will always attempt to suppress the truth in an attempt to protect the constant money stream they have started.

  74. Primrose says:

    How many people make their living out of the 12 steps?

  75. JR Harris says:

    The exact number of people making money off of the 12 steps is hard to determine globally. It can be done in a local market with research if the information is available. The easiest country to do this in right now is the US, which also has the largest market penetration.

    Each state has one or many Central Offices tied directly to the AA corporate office in New York. When people start looking at the corporate structure in New York the only thing they find is a few very well compensated salesmen who have many unpaid volunteers. The command structure of AA is decentralized at the very top into these central offices. They have it set up so that if one central office makes a mistake, they can quickly disavow any knowledge of it. The policies of AA at the top are closely guarded secrets which are noted on thier Tax Forms and not released to prevent liability claims.

    The main money makers are the Central offices, followed by the Intergroups and then individual group members. They are the real muscle of the organization and they protect corporate AA by training unpaid volunteers to actively seek and promote adherence to that organization.

    The money trail goes something like this, with exceptions in every area depending upon the amount of greed they have.

    1. Denies control over all AA entities below it, yet sets policy for them.
    2. Limits Liability by claiming it has no control over the layers below.
    3. Makes majority of money from “donations” kicked up from the groups below it.

    1. Actively promotes Intergroups and protects the corporate office in New York.
    2. Makes thier money off of direct or indirect (Spouses, relative, friends) investments in 12 Step Rehab, Treatment facilities and to a small extent rental properties to various Intergroups and group members.
    3. Central Offices are controlled by individual group members who may sell AA trinkets by internet or mail order and may provide rental property to Intergroups.

    1. This is where the majority of the corruption seems to emanate from.
    2. Controlled by members in a relatively long and good standing in AA.
    3. Actively recruits new members off the streets, jails, rehabs, schools and treatment centers.
    4. Are instrumental in getting people with Alcohol problems in to very expensive and long term treatment.
    5. Intergroups are careful not to give the name of what they think is a reputable treatment center. Often the person in need has to beg for the name of one. They also know that geographically there are only so many to choose from.
    6. On close examination it will be found that the group members in the Intergroup make money from side investments owned by them, family members or close friends. These investments are in Sober Houses, rental properties to individual groups, accountants for the group, internet and computer services for the group, maintenance companies for the various buildings rented by group members and to a smaller extent treatment facilities.
    7. The group member of the Intergroup (or family and friends) often employ cheap labor that is plentiful in AA.

    1. These are the bottom feeders of corporate AA.
    2. Often try to swindle other AA members.
    3. May run Sober Houses locally or sell trinkets by mail order or internet.
    4. The strongest make it to Intergroup status.

    This is a very long list of people who make money off of AA. It would take many man hours to compile the exact money amount and the number of people. If you start in one area, it will probably change by the time you start another one. Intergroups are where the majority of the money seems to be made on the back end. You have to start at that level to determine who is really making the money off of AA. This corporation has gone viral, I am not sure if it can be stopped or limited in its growth.

  76. 13apostates says:

    The rehab and AA/NA industry is a fraud!
    Learn what 13 former rehab patients found out during their horrific indoctrination into the cult/voodoo AA/NA world.
    This S.T. site does a great service to the public, way to go!

  77. Primrose says:

    UK AA

    The General Service Office
    The General Service Boardm of Alcoholics Anonymousm (Great Britain) Limited
    Limited by Guarantee
    Company Registration: 587316
    Registered Charity Nos: 226745:SCO38023

  78. Primrose says:

    UK AA

    The General Service Office
    The General Service Board of Alcoholics Anonymous (Great Britain) Limited
    Limited by Guarantee
    Company Registration: 587316
    Registered Charity Nos: 226745:SCO38023

  79. Primrose says:

    I looked at the documents available at Companies House. I was very very surprised to notice the appointment of Professor Jonathan Chick as a director. Professor J C, unless there are two) is one of the only doctors in the UK who prescribes naltraxone for tsm. Can anyone explain that?

  80. JR Harris says:

    Primrose – do you have a link to documents available for the registration office in the UK?

  81. Primrose says:

    It is sheer coincidence that I know his name. I only heard of him yesterday, he rang me today and now, as I happen to be looking at Corporate AA’s accounts, I see he is a director.

  82. SoberPJ says:

    A bit of turnover there in AA UK. That could actually be very good news. Somebody who knows about better methods is now a Director of AA in GB. Wow, maybe the UK is getting sick and tired of American faith healing non sense invading the country and wrecking lives and the gov wants AA to start actually treating alcoholsim if they are going to get any subsidies. Also, where is the best place to do a TSM study? With chronic AA relapsers of course. I’m probably dreaming.

  83. Primrose says:

    I don’t see how it can be bad news, just astonishing; like seeing Jack Trimpney, Stanton Peele and Ken Ragge on the payroll. I will take my astonishment elsewhere.

  84. JR Harris says:

    For the US folks – at the current market exchange:

    Total Income: £1.32m
    = 2,161,866.09 USD

    Total expenditure: £1.30m
    = 2,129,223.06 USD

  85. SoberPJ says:

    OK, so this is somewhat tangental but it involves money and AA.

    So, an attorney proposes AA as part of a rehabilitation process to soften the blow to someone that committed a crime while drunk. Now, isn’t that an admission that the person is diseased and in possession of a disability? Does that also mean the attorney was representing someone with a disability? If the attorney charges full fees for representation, doesn’t it mean they were taking advantage of the person with a disability? Shouldn’t attorneys be required to lower their fees for dealing with people with disabilities? It turns out there is a lot of information on this. I wonder how many attorneys would play the AA card if they couldn’t make any money doing it?

  86. Lucy says:

    soberpj – Until about 15 years ago, the answer would have been yes, the offender could claim a disability if the facts of the case were that he had a drinking problem and would have not otherwise committed the crime. That was especially true of white collar crimes, like embezzlement and tax evasion.

    However, that changed with a cou[le of cases filed by disability insurers that said -gasp!- being drunk is not a reason why we should pay you the same thing as we pay people who break their backs, or lose an arm.

    It all changed, and the only vestige of that thinking (legally) is the reduced plea bargain that includes AA.

  87. Primrose says:

    (this is just something I found ages ago. AAs wanting advice on the tax position of their attraction not promotion campaigning. I had thought it was just more proof that they promote but wondered if it is of interest to this thread.

  88. SoberPJ says:

    An interesting perspective of how AA uses public property to run a business but refuses to pay rent. AA IS a business and they SHOULD operate according to the law.

    In reality, they should probably be licensed as a Professional Fundraiser because they do raise money at every meeting. And it IS raising money through donations, call it anything you want but it is raising money and they should be regulated just like any other charity that has to abide by the laws of their state.

    Here is information from Georgia. Most states operate in very similar manners relative to charities and fund raising.

  89. June 30, 2011, 10:18 pm Watch Surviving Straight Inc says Sembler is best known as a Florida shopping center magnate and Republican fundraiser whose success in amassing funds for the Bush family won him two ambassadorial appointments. Such patronage is a sordid aspect of national politics, but seems trivial when compared with the truly dark side of Sembler’s biography. Long before he achieved prominence in national politics, he was the driving force in the “boot camp” movement that popularized the use of psychological and physical abuse of “troubled” children and teenagers.

    His own creation was a federally funded outfit known as Straight, Inc., which eventually fell apart amid multiple lawsuits and accusations of torture by teenagers abused in its secretive facilities.

    Sembler is real estate magnate who saw the opportunity (amongst others) to make money out of the bodies that he got his hands on.
    June 30, 2011, 10:20 pm Watch Surviving Straight Inc says

  90. Dan W. says:

    It is always best to research what you say “ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS IS A FELLOWSHIP OF MEN AND WOMEN WHO SHARE THEIR EXPERIENCE STRENGTH AND HOPE” Not an office building in NY not a corporation calling themselves Alcoholics Anonymous World Services or GSO. While I agree with they are over paid and leach off of the membership. They are not now nor have the ever been a part of the fellowship, I came frombehind a dumpster 35yrs. ago and the fellowship saved my life. While some of your fact are very true you obviously don’t have any understanding what the program really is. I am an oldtimer and I know a lot of people made alot of money off AA Bill Wilson made millions in royalitiesso have others but the big book is only a text. Churches such as Methodist, Baptist, Luthrun etc. all use the Bible that does not make them a part of the publishing company on the cover sheet . If you want to batter the corporation that cll themselves AA be my guest but the only thing the fellowship is guilty of is not understanding that we are not a part of those people.

  91. SoberPJ says:

    Thanks Dan, you have just proven that someone can be in AA for 35 years and still not know what the hell he is talking about.

  92. Dan W. says:

    When you have managed to get 35 years then say that

  93. Sue says:

    Obviously you revere the program of alcoholics anonymous but did you ever think that it may be a bit self-righteous of you to accuse others of not having any understanding of what the program really is? (in short, we dont get it)

    Congratulations on your sobriety and turning your life around; were you taught that you had nothing to do with it and you owe it all to the program?

    Your length of time in AA does not mean you know anymore about it than anyone else on this blog. Could be that you are just totally and completely brain washed.

    Dont you support that corporation with your donation each time you attend a meeting? “Just asking”

  94. SoberPJ says:

    Right.. every sanctimonious AA delusionist has to use their precious sobriety time as some kind of trump card for reality. Doesn’t work here sonny. In fact, the longer you are in that insane asylum, the more you believe the bullshit and become full of shit yourself. You are living proof. If you really believe that AA is nothing more than a fellowship and has no real direct affiliation with AAWS and AAGSB, or takes direction from same, you are delusional or grossly uninformed.

  95. Dan W., It must be very satisfying to be able to shut people up by pulling old-timer rank. Around here, spending 35 years in a state of willful delusion doesn’t give you any authority over other people or over facts.

    There are people on this blog who have more time in the rooms than you do. Will you take the cotton out of your ears if they tell you to?

  96. Sue says:

    sbj & ftg
    I knew there were a few things I neglected to say. Thanks

  97. HI Dan welcome to St where we all get to say what we think and no one gets to bully anyone because we are sober 35 or 36 years years right?

    AA in NY is very much a part of AA and it’s fellowship. It’s all connected. And if you read a page from AS Bill See’s it . He clearly makes all three corporations accountable for the fellowship at large , and groups that might need help and any person who needs help.

    BTW IM sober 36 years. WELCOME to Stinkin-thinkin a site that supported me when AA service structure had it’s head up it’s ass. Along with the fellowship and along with the the along with GSB ALL THREE CORPORATIONS!!!! yes let’s here it for power, property & prestige …..

  98. SoberPJ says:

    I find it interesting that most long time AA’s will spout things like, “all we have is today” , or ” the one that got up first has the most sobriety” . Yet, when a situation comes up where they need to bully somebody, or trump an opinion, they always rely on the longevity of their sobriety like that is automatically going to lend ultimate credence to their version and end the conversation. Just another contradiction in the land of AA delusionista’s.

    I know one guy who has been in AA for 36 years and never read the book, had a sponsor or done the steps. He is a rarity, but it shows that you actually don’t have to know anything about AA to be in AA for a long period of time. Time does not necessarily equal knowledge of the real roots and functioning of the AA ecosystem. It takes effort to find the truth and most just don’t care enough to do it.

  99. Sue says:

    True, Analyzing all of the lies and contradictions is allot work and very exhausting. I guess for some folks it’s just easier to stay with the consensus of opinions.

  100. JR Harris says:

    Dan, congratulations on your sobriety an pulling yourself out of sobriety. The AA program can, and has helped many people in this endeavor and you should consider yourself very fortunate if you are happy. Look around you, how many people do you see around that you have known for the last 30 or so years in AA? There is a reason for this and it is often quoted even by old timers that “the program doesn’t work for everyone.” AA has an abysmal retention rate and I will venture to guess that you know of many suicides, jail sentences an even murder (I personally even know of one where the AA member relapsed and killed someone, spent 10 years in jail and got out to become a big AA member trying to get more people into the program). The fact is that AA doesn’t work for everyone and the AA members are killing those people. You can call it natural selection if you want, but I call it genocide by AA members of people who do not give themselves totally to the Bill Wilson faith (or Spirituality if you want to use the Anonymous definition by the fellowship of the same name.)

    As for the financial part of AA and its governing by three corporation in New York you appear to be totally fooled by these Anonymous Corporations started by Bill Wilson. They too also act anonymously, that is why they hide there Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) from public view (Check their Tax Returns, they even state that they do not make these public). Because of their anonymity which hides the truth and their stead fast stance of refusing to publish their intentions, Tax returns are the only place to get an incite into these corporation hiding under AA anonymity which are killing the people that the program does not work for, which is much higher than the number of success stories such as yourself. You claim that AA makes very little money from the fellowship, but this can be disproved by the Tax form 990 which is available publicly for every Intergroup in the fellowship. Look up your local Intergroup and you will find that they not only yearly transfer money from the various groups under them to corporate AA as a gift, but they also send money from book sales to them.

    You mentioned that Churches also sell books, but you forgot Synagogues and Mosques. These three religions do not hide under the Anonymity that AA has cloaked itself with, they are at least being honest and not hiding like the followers of the Bill Wilson faith. ALL three faiths not hiding under the Anonymity of the AA corporations in New York follow the Ten Commandments brought down by Moses from Mount Sinai which clearly states “you shall have no other gods before me” and members of the clergy or the flock they preside under are committing crimes against their chosen deities by attending or promoting the Bill Wilson faith which promotes the worship of other deities.

    Dan, you seem like a very smart person and I implore you help stop other members of the Bill Wilson faith from forcing AA onto the people that the program does not work for. They are killing them. I realize that the usual answer to this is “take what you want and leave the rest” or “it is our choice”, but the rogue AA members in search of “prospects” quickly contact the family, friends, clergy and even doctors to help indoctrinate them into the Bill Wilson faith. Remember that the “prospects” are very sick and vulnerable, they need protection from the members of AA who coerce the Bill Wilson faith onto them when it doesn’t work for them. They are killing these poor souls.

  101. JR Harris says:

    Ooops, “congratulations on your sobriety and pulling yourself out of poverty” not sobriety per above. Mistakes happen and I do agree that they should be quickly fixed. It is too bad that the forcing of AA on people it does not work for can not be remedied as easily. It would prevent many tragedies.

  102. Rick says:

    SoberPJ, When steppers tell each other not to take themselves too seriously, they really mean don’t take the program seriously. I now think that those who are most harmed by the program are those who do take it seriously. Dan W doesn’t seem to be overly burdened with considering the fact that the fellowship he holds so dear would not exist if not for the founding of that corporation.

  103. SoberPJ says:

    I love it… “this is a matter of life and death, but hey, don’t take yourself so damn seriously”. And I agree, it is odd how most people in AA just float along, oblivious to where they really are and what they are really doing. Spouting non sense and deceiving and manipulating others into doing the same. Hey, we’re just a simply little friendly fellowship that helps drunks get sober with a few simple suggestions that you must do or face jails, institutions or death … la, la la, la la … Change? Why should we? It works great just the way it is.

    No clue.

  104. Rick says:

    Yeah, I’m sure Dan has never witnessed any abuses during those thirty five years watching that revolving door. “Ah shucks, I’m just a dumb alkie-holik, I don’t know nuthin, don’t see nuthin, but it saved my life, yuk, yuk…”

  105. Sally says:

    PJ says: “Hey, we’re just a simply little friendly fellowship that helps drunks get sober with a few simple suggestions that you must do or face jails, institutions or death.”

    And don’t think about it just do it. “Trust” your sponsor and the group. Don’t listen to normies, they don’t understand you. But we do! If you die or go back out, it’s your fault because you didn’t try hard enough. “Your recovery is up to you but I’m driving the bus”. You are a passenger. A passenger obvlivious (as soberpj rightly put it) to where the bus is going but told you can’t get off of or will die. Ever see Death Road? Buses go off the cliff there at least once a year. AA is just like it.

  106. GENERAL SERVICE BOARD OF ALCOHOLICS Form 99O(2009) ANONYMOUS, INC. 23-7282071 Page 1 Part lif Statement of Program Service Accomplishments
    3 4
    4 a
    Briefly describe the organization’s mission:
    Did the organization undertake any significant program services during the year which were not listed on theprior Form 990 or 990EZ? ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………
    If “Yes,’ describe these new services on Schedule 0. Did the organization cease conducting, or make significant changes in how it conducts, any program services?……………… If Yes, describe these changes on Schedule 0. Describe the exempt purpose achievements for each of the organization’s three largest program services by expenses. Section 501 (c)(3) and 501 (c)(4) organizations and section 4947(a)(1) trusts are required to report the amount of grants and allocations to others, the total expenses, and revenue, if any, for each program service reported.
    EilYes IIXINo
    4b (Code: (Expenses $
    4c (Code: ) (Expenses $
    4d Other program services. (Describe in Schedule 0.) (Expenses $ including grants of $
    including grants of $
    including grants of $
    ) (Revenue $
    (Revenue $
    (Revenue $
    4e Total program service expenses 00. $ 932002
    10050803 788682 1002
    5, 637, 157. 2009.04000 GENERAL SERVICE BOARD OF AL 1 0 0 2 2
    = Y e s
    Form 990(2009)

  107. AS Stated on the tax return. the General Service Board of AA , inc. Is the custodian.

  108. JR Harris says:

    I believe that the 2009 GENERAL SERVICE BOARD OF ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, INC. Internal Revenue Tax form 990 gives the legal description of AA GSO acting as a Rehab by using the word Rehabilitation. Regardless if the individual members of Alcoholics Anonymous want to admit it or not they are supporting the AAGSO organization as a rehab every time they purchase or read AA literature that is “conference approved” and every time they ask it the material is “conference approved” or refuse to use non-conference approved material.

  109. SoberPJ says:

    Ya know, this is actually a huge tell about AA..


    1. It’s a “movement” ? What the hell does that mean? Looked at in the right way, it is actually somewhat sinister. Is Islam a “movement”? Is Wikka a movement ?

    2. “Rehabilitation” . As JR mentioned, that is an interesting word. It generally means to go from one state of being to another, generally improved, state of being. Who says their definition of the improved state is the right one AND what precisely is that state? To be of maximum service to gawd and our fellows? ummm….

    3. “And it’s attendant problems” . Really? Somebody get me a stepper dictionary or interpreter. What in the hell does that mean? And how does it translate into some sort of action? It is carte blanche for poking into any area of society they want to because it is their “charter”. Nobody is safe from this shit.

    And custodian is an interesting choice of words too. It can be considered “legal guardian” . So, it is the legal guardian of a “movement”. Which means that from a legal perspective, they are in charge of ensuring the continued growth and success of the “movement”. If that is their position, then they should be liable for damages as well.

  110. Sober PJ – And custodian is an interesting choice of words too. It can be considered “legal guardian” . So, it is the legal guardian of a “movement”. Which means that from a legal perspective, they are in charge of ensuring the continued growth and success of the “movement”. If that is their position, then they should be liable for damages as well.

    Yes. I see it this way as well.

    Have you read the concepts? They are insane, or is it inane. Its all very telling. A strange underground cult.

  111. I know this is all probably known to those here, and I need to read up on Hazelden, etc. rather a lot. I was just wondering about thoughts on this seeming offshoot of Hazelden by way of Project Turnabout, Minnesota Model Consulting:

    Just the FAQ above, but interesting. Also from their site, their services:

    I’m rather curious how they consult treatment centers on the “Finding and Keeping a Grateful Major Donor” (2nd link).

    Just something I stumbled on that I thought I’d ask thoughts on, as I have seen Hazelden mentioned here.

  112. JR Harris says:

    “Finding and Keeping a Grateful Major Donor” is linked to identifying high value prospects for Alcoholics Anonymous. Bottom feeders of the Alcoholics Anonymous go to jails and institutions and pick up Alcoholics whose assets have already been majorly depleted in the hopes of picking up more prospect hunters to grow the fellowship, they are allowed to die off rather quickly if they have no assets and do not go after prospects to bring into the fellowship. The high value or “Grateful Major Donor of the Minnesota Model is linked to their assets in the following way:

    Major Donors: Finding Big Gifts in Your Database and Online, suggests three indicators that you should look for as you size up your donors.

    # Identify a Donor’s Capacity
    Capacity is usually the deal breaker qualifier for major gift prospects. Gauging a donor’s capacity helps determine the gift range you might ask. Ask yourself these questions about your major gift prospects:

    * How much is the donor worth and how much can he or she give?
    * What is their income, what investments do they have, and what assets do they hold?
    * What are their financial obligations–perhaps they are already committed to large gifts to another organization, or do they have business debts?

    #Identify a Donor’s Inclination
    How generous is this donor? How involved in civic affairs?

    * Do they give to charities and are they involved with organizations with a similar mission to yours?
    * Are their interests and hobbies in line with your mission and programs?
    * Do they or have they been volunteers or served on the boards of organizations like yours?

    # Identify a Donor’s Linkage
    Starting with a current donor who already has a relationship with you is easier and the most cost efficient way to find a major donor. Your best prospects are likely to be found in your own database.

    * Are these donors consistent givers? Do they have a high lifetime value?
    * Have they or their families been the recipients of your services? Are there other ways that they are involved with your organization?
    * Do they volunteer? Go to your events? Evangelize to others about your organization and mission?


    (NOTE: Please note they call them prospects for a reason and use the same lingo as the Bill Wilson faith.)

  113. JR Harris says:

    Ooops….. somehow I got multiple cut and pastes on the last of the three key points (# Identify a Donor’s Linkage). Sorry….If anyone want to fix it they can.

  114. JR Harris says:

    It should be noted that in most major rehabs, upon entering they give you a questionnaire asking your annual salary and a list of companies you have worked for. In the “counseling” this is explored further and they find out many of your financial details in “confidence” supposedly protected under HIPPA and CFR42 which you sign releases for. This is a false dichotomy and this information is used to classify not only what point you are at hitting bottom but your financial backing. If you quickly start bringing in more prospects from the pool of your own untapped high value prospects and start quoting Bill Wilson constantly your assets will most likely be saved form the systematic looting that these companies take courses on.

    Once one of these counseling companies set there sites on you, you have become an asset that they are going to continue to tap to fuel their own growth. If you resist quoting Bill Wilson they will diagnose you in denial and give you a more aggressive (and expensive) treatment plan of more Bill Wilson chanting until you either capitulate or your assets are gone in which they let you die off.

  115. AnnaZed says:

    JR, these are major points. Your recent spate of posts about the 12-step rehab behemoth’s systematic looting of patient assets, patient’s family assets, targeted connections of the patient, targeted employers, etc. is really, really fascinating and I think deserves a long hard look from the AA critical community.

    I know someone right now who has an ex-wife who has looted their child’s entire college fund to force their 15 year old to spend over 500 hours in AA over the past year alone. The teen drug abuse counseling service that has its hooks in her has one top guru guy who has a social work degree of some sort and a few standard issue stepper alcohol and drug counselor types (yes, unemployable ex-junkies minding the teenagers). So, for thousands upon thousands of dollars a month they basically monitor this child’s AA attendance. That’s it. That’s the whole program. The child, it was acknowledged even by them, does not have an alcohol or drug abuse problem in the first place, but was picked up for a curfew violation. That was over 18 months ago and the mother has paid over $30,000 since then for this counseling. The only other thing they did was take away his phone and his computer. Not surprisingly the father’s protests that all of this time spent in AA is causing the boy’s grades to drop has fallen on deaf ears. They have also (in writing) portrayed the boy as a narcissist and a manipulative liar (for life) which he absolutely categorically is not.

    Lovely people wouldn’t you say?

  116. SoberPJ says:

    Once someone is in the system, they own you and your immediate family that cares for you. Their tactics are a con mans dream. They have all the answers and reasons and scare tactics necessary to suck the money right out of anyone that cares. AND, its condoned and institutionalized by federal and state govs. People need an alternative to this maniacal non sense now. From a market perspective, providers will refine their tactics and get more voracious over time. They have zero incentive to lower fees or keep people for shorter periods of time. Look at Betty Ford Center. They magically realized that patients do better if they are kept for 90 days instead of 30. What a revelation for the treatment industry. It just so happens that little piece of valuable research can triple the amount of money they make on a patient. Wow, how lucky can a rehab center get? Their own research creates an increase in revenue ! The gawd of recovery is truly gracious… to the rehabs. Oh, and there is no end to this people. It only goes their way, not yours.

  117. JR Harris says:

    The demand and number of people searching out ways to boost their bottom line by being a Spiritual con man like Bill Wilson can be found out very easily using Google Analytic’s. Put the following in a search engine (without the quotes” and hit enter:

    “how to boost your counseling business”

    Interesting that you didn’t ask for it, but you get many hits on “Spiritual Counseling” with many telling you to expand into eating disorders, debt problems, nutrition, etc……. to boost your bottom line. Google uses special algorithms to determine what the hot topics are at the time of the query and it shows trends. To me anyway this shows the trend that everyone want to jump on the Spiritual, not Religious Rehab bandwagon and take it for a very profitable ride.

    As a side note I noticed something very interesting with that query.On the very first page it pulls up SCORE out of San Luis Obispo California as a resource. San Luis Obispo is the home of Sunny Acres run by Dan Devaul that was recently shut down for code violations leaving a large hole that other Rehabs and Sober Houses will need to expand to fill. It is most likely just a coincidence.

  118. AnnaZed says:

    @Sober PJ ~ the expensive drug counseling entity injected themselves uninvited into the family court hearing for the 15-year-old by contacting the judge directly in writing (via fax day of the hearing, the father never being shown the communication) and informing him that the child was non-compliant on his required AA meetings (had only attended 5 a week, not the required 8 meetings a week) and had not yet gotten a sponsor (yes, that was put in a communication to the judge). This information caused the judge to extend the court’s monitoring of the child who had originally appeared before him on a curfew violation for an additional 8 months and ensured that Mama signed up and paid for another year of treatment. Treatment for this minor is required AA meetings.

  119. SoberPJ says:

    I keep checking the NY State Charity registry for the GSB of AA tax return and it isn’t posted yet. Why is that? They were supposed to file late by August 15. It is almost October and still no filing. Could there be trouble in gawd town? Is their higher power not helping them with their finances? I wonder if they realize there is more than their internal world of neurotics watching the finances and now they have a whole new audience of interested, anti-AA neurotics interested in picking apart the finances ? I wonder if they feel the heat from the magnifying glass they are under?

  120. Sobersince72009 says:

    I don’t care where the money goes, I put a dollar in the basket every night. I haven’t had to speak to the police, retrace my steps from the night before, put my hands on anyone, or cried at the mere notice of myself in a mirror in over three years. Well worth it to me.

  121. RCBleftthecult says:

    Congratulations on your sobriety Sobersince72009!! I know how you feel. This is my first post ever!! I finally had to admit it to myself. I’ve been sober since 9-11-06. There is so much out there. The teachings are so bad and my home group could be a topic on one of these pages. (One of my last meetings) I sat a few seats down from a Child Molester that got life in prison and was let out on a technicality. Its a breeding ground for predators. People cheating on their spouses and boyfriends/girlfriends. Oh ya but we are on the money thing. You do realize that Non profit doesn’t stop anyone from collecting a 6 figure salary with hardly any work?? I turned toward the Church. 3 months, no meetings and not an inkling to drink. Good luck my friend……

  122. RDBleftthecult says:

    I am so glad I found this blog. Is that what it is called ha ha don’t know much about technology. I have been beating my head against the wall. Tried to reason with some people from my home group. I am being shunned. Even my sister thinks I’m crazy!! Thank everyone for helping me feel free for the first time in a long time. I just stumbled on this page in my never ending search. So maybe I’m not crazy after all!! My latest find was connecting Aldous Huxley to Bill W. This was importance to me because you can easily connect Aldous Huxley to Alleister Crowley. It’s been an interesting study for sure….

  123. Tomviolin says:

    Does anyone have any positive contributions to this dialogue? Just saying, I’m a grateful member of Al-Anon, and not an alcoholic, so I really can’t be the one to do this, but why not some of you start a new group and call it the “Real AA” or something, separate from this obviously corrupt organization that AA has become. Actually really adhere to the traditions, except be EVEN STRICTER about money. That is: NO MONEY AT ALL. No “special workers” to pay. All volunteer. NO MONEY AT ALL. Literature donated. Meeting spaces donated. Even coffee at meetings donated.

    And no “affiliated” publishing house or anything like that either. Just put everything up on free blogs on the Web. Each individual member can post a nearly unlimited amount of material on the Internet to share, for free, themselves. Use bit torrent to spread the bandwidth burden of hosting the literature PDFs and to keep things decentralized. No need for any money changing hands for that. Take turns posting your personal phone number on said blog so a potential new member has someone to call, or use Google Voice. Or free Skype calling. No matter what, NO MONEY. EVER. PERIOD.

    If you are tempted to collect for coffee, or rent, or anything, DON’T. Don’t ever declare yourselves a 403(c) non-profit, because there will be NO MONEY to not be taxed on. All labor and materials MUST BE DONATED. If there is any money involved, it’s not allowed.

    I think that’s the only way this mess can be cleaned up. Money is just as cunning, baffling, and powerful as alcohol. Probably, in fact, even more so.

    Money, and the control and power that comes with it, has no business in the hands of a bunch of alcoholics trying to recover from this disease. Neither does it belong in the hands of the co-dependents who make up Al-Anon either. Just say NO to even one penny. Period. I think all of AA needs to do 90 in 90 with NO MONEY. And then stay that way. For good.

    No “trusted servants” either. If we all let go and let God, no one will be “servants” to anyone. All are equals. No service boards. No committees. And no huge organization to have opinions. This will all happen naturally when there is a COMPLETE BAN ON MONEY.

    Anyone who is against this, anyone who says “we have to make sure AA meetings stay on message” or “we need to maintain standards of literature” and all that are nothing but CONTROL FREAKS. Live and let live. Let go and let God. Remember those? LIVE THEM FOR A CHANGE. 12 Steps. 12 Traditions. Promises. The Big Book (for FREE on the Internet). The rest? LET GO AND LET GOD. Imagine there’s no money in AA. It’s not hard to do. And I’m not the only one. Imagine all the people, recovering in peace. NO MONEY.

    Let’s throw the MONEY OUT OF AA. For good. Who’s with me on this?

    • Mark says:

      Tomviolin –

      I don’t doubt that your suggestions are well-intended, but even reducing AA down to its basic level doesn’t eliminate the problems. It simply hones it down to its core program, which is still ineffective faith healing.

  1. […] behind his Land of Oz-like curtain and the Wonderful World of AA will be finally revealed. (SOURCE: […]

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