Posts tagged 12-steps

Dick B is On Youtube

Some of you may be unaware that AA historian and California Raisin, Dick B., has a new Youtube channel. I highly recommend it for any of you who subscribe to Dick’s brand of AA, and made it to our blog by mistake; or for anyone with sadomasicistic tendencies. HERE is a link.

Speaking of Dick, it looks as though another of his lectures to Jesus wound up in in the comment section of our old blog, donewithaa, by mistake. This often happens when a person channels Jesus through the ‘Big Book’ instead of the ‘Good Book’. It’s like reading a Windows document on a Mac, or using translation software to read a foreign website. Sometimes things get lost in translation.

Knowing Jesus reads our blog, because He is as perplexed at using a doorknob to perform miracles as we are – I figured I would link Dick’s post here, where Dick answers Jesus’ question, “what the fuck you are muttering about, Dick?”:

Dear JC:

I make every effort to reply to any courteous email that comes to me at DickB@DickB.com. However, some people try to send me messages by clicking on the “Reply” button when they receive one of my “Dick B. FYI Message” newsletters. Such “replies” have been going to a different email address (dickb.lists@gmail.com) that is associated with the program we use for sending out the “Dick B. FYI Message” newsletters. Those “replies” have not been going directly to me. In fact, most never reached me until today, when my son Ken discovered this “secret cache” of backlogged responses and forwarded them to me in a large batch. Sadly, I do not have the time to sift through them all for happy birthday cards vs. genuine questions.

One other point about how people identify themselves when they contact me. When someone writes me—through any medium—and just uses initials like “J.C.” or “Jim C.,” I really don’t care to reply until and unless they identify themselves by using a fuller form of their name and by including their regular (“snail mail”) address. You have no idea how many “Jim’s,” “Jim C.’s,” “JC’s,” and even “James’s” and others—not including spammers—cross my path.

Quote of the Day

“And that is a shame that some would spend their time in futile resentment trying to mislabel AA as some religious cult. I have seen some others ex-AA’ers with the same vendetta trying to sway others with their copy and paste twisting meanings. Most of them anti-God Christian hating atheists authors trying to mock AA’ers as brainwashed people when that is the farthest from the truth….”

Nite Byrd, an AA, commenting on this post made about the term “Dry Drunk.”

(I posted the link to a frozen page because I have no doubt the original thread and the link to our site might soon be deleted.)

Glenn Beck and AA: A Perfect Fit


Kathleen Parker of The Washington Post had an interesting take on Glenn Beck’s gathering of lunatics in Washington D.C. last week. My name is Glenn Beck, and I need help:

Beck’s “Restoring Honor” gathering on the Mall was right out of the Alcoholics Anonymous playbook. It was a 12-step program distilled to a few key words, all lifted from a prayer delivered from the Lincoln Memorial: healing, recovery and restoration.

Saturday’s Beckapalooza was yet another step in Beck’s own personal journey of recovery. He may as well have greeted the crowd of his fellow disaffected with:

“Hi. My name is Glenn, and I’m messed up.”

My tolerance for delusion has been fairly low lately, so I did not catch any coverage of Beck’s wingnut gathering, but I’ve seen enough of Glenn Beck (a few minutes is enough, really), to have thought of this comparison myself. I don’t blame Alcoholics Anonymous for Beck’s delusion, as I am sure he was like this before he ever entered the program, but he is the perfect fit an outfit like AA.

She goes on:

These may be random quotes, but they can’t be considered isolated or out of context. For Beck, addiction has been a defining part of his life, and recovery is a process inseparable from the Glenn Beck Program. His emotional, public breakdowns are replicated in AA meetings in towns and cities every day.

Taking others along for the ride, a.k.a. evangelism, is also part of the cure. The healed often cannot remain healed without helping others find their way. Beck, who vaulted from radio host to political-televangelist, now has taken another step in his ascendancy — to national crusader for faith, hope and charity.

Of course, one cannot write an editorial like this one without the AA brethren coming out in force to cry ‘foul’, and whether they were supportive of Beck, or wanting to disassociate themselves from this serenity loon, the comments were right out of the AA playbook. Here, Doug Feaver highlights a few, including these gems:

“Kathleen – was the content of Beck’s message upsetting? Where would the addict be without the 12 steps and adherence to a higher power? America might try it – We couldn’t do any worse in our self centeredness.”

and

“Astute and accurate. Beck is a “dry drunk” pontificating on the barroom stool of national TV. Parker is perhaps the most reliable journalist observer whose Republican credentials verify her ability to see reality, beyond mere partisan stridency.”

and

“He violates virtually every tenet of AA and he is a dry drunk. We prefer our anonymity. If you can’t improve on silence, be quiet. A Friend of Bill W.”

Lance Glock is still an abusive, manipulative scumbag

Three months ago we posted this story about Lance Glock, an AA who runs the Johnson Sober Living House, a 12-step recovery mill that this ass clown uses to farm sexual victims. The charges were dropped last week, after the victim refused to testify. At the time of his arrest I wrote:

Not knowing the facts of the case, I have no opinion as to whether this guy committed a crime or not, but I do know that at a minimum he abused his authority and status in AA in order to receive sex from an AA subordinate who was not his wife. Even if this is not rape, it is 13th stepping to the degree of which Bill Wilson would be proud.

This has not changed. Even though the charges have been dropped because the alleged victim would not testify, it does not change the basic facts of the case. The facts are that this married jackass abused his authority to prey on a woman seeking help with her addiction. He abused the trust that he was given, in order to gain sexual favors, which is the nature of 13th stepping.

Today we got a comment from “Truthseeker“. It’s in all caps, which I guess is supposed to make his point that much clearer:

ALL CHARGES DROPPED AGAINST LANCE GLOCK.  ALL YOU HATERS WHO THOUGHT HE REALLY DID SHOW YOU DON’T BELEIVE THE SYSTEM WORKS.  I CAN’T WAIT FOR THE LAWSUIT.

His logic seems a little flawed to me. Assuming this jackass did not rape the woman, and instead only fucked her, is not a validation that the system worked. He didn’t kill her or pick her pockets, either. So what? He is still a predator.

Angie the Anti-Theist on Al-Anon

Angie is writing a series on her experience in Al-Anon. Part 1. Part 2. Part 3.

Peele Responds to the Wired Article

Actually, Stanton Peele responds to David Brooks’ NYT response to Koerner’s Wired article, On the Huffington Post: AA Isn’t The Best Solution: Alternatives for Alcoholics

Big Book Delusion

“The fact is that most alcoholics, for reasons yet obscure, have lost the power of choice in drink. Our so-called will power becomes practically nonexistent. We are unable, at certain times, to bring into our consciousness with sufficient force the memory of the suffering and humiliation of even a week or a month ago. We are without defense against the first drink.”
– from the ‘Big Book’ of Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 24

The above was written in 1939, at a time when we knew little about alcohol addiction. Sure, we knew how it manifested itself, and we knew the consequences of addiction – but we did not know the true nature or the cause of alcohol addiction. Because of our limited understanding, all that could be done at the time to address alcoholism was to treat the symptoms. There were only theories as to what caused alcohol addiction. At that time, it was a widely held belief that alcohol abuse was a character flaw, and that those who abused alcohol were simply exhibiting their weak moral constitution. This was perfect for AA, as they took advantage of his belief, which thy exploited and perpetuated, just as they do today.

AA fills in the blanks of addiction ignorance much like religion fills in the blanks of scientific ignorance. With religion, “God did it” is the default answer to that which we do not (yet) understand. It is fallacious logic at its finest, and is in a nutshell saying, “I don’t know, therefore I know.” With AA, “spiritual weakness” is the default answer. Why does Mary D. insist on drinking when it continues to ruin her life? Simple. Because Mary is “constitutionally incapable” of being honest. This quote from the ‘Big Book’ states that “for reasons yet obscure”, some people have an inability to stop drinking, yet the book turns around and states that a “spiritual awakening” or “an entire psychic change” will relieve a person of their compulsion. In other words, they are stating that they don’t know why some people can’t stop drinking, but the reason they can’t stop is because they are spiritually weak — “I don’t know, therefore I know.” It is just one of the many contradictions which is AA.

In 1939 we did not know the cause of addiction, or why some people could control their drinking, while others could not. This is one thing the ‘Big Book’ had right, and at the time the it was written, a ‘spiritual deficiency’ was as good of a hypothesis as any. Closer to the actual cause was the allergy theory set forth in ‘The Doctor’s Opinion’. The doctor was wrong, but at least he was on the right track, and it was as good of a place as any to start to find an answer. Fast forward seventy-five years, and much of the ignorance we had about the causes of alcoholism have been answered. Any answers we have found in that time, and any scientific advancement made in the understanding of addiction, has been discovered in spite of AAs fighting it at every turn. It is difficult to advance when the primary group available to help alcoholics is only interested in the advancement of their fellowship, and imposing their a set of arcane religious beliefs.

We now have an understanding of the physiological effects alcohol has on the brain, including how alcohol affects the brain’s pleasure pathways, which were not even discovered until twenty years after the ‘Big Book’ was written. We also know, for example, how alcohol affects the production of dopamine for alcoholics, as opposed to non-alcoholics; and it is this understanding that has led to breakthroughs in the treatment of alcoholism. Knowing the cause allows us to treat the cause, and not just the symptoms, of a disease. One thing we know for certain is that alcoholism is not a spiritual malady, and it is not an allergy. Not that there are not psychological consequences to addiction. Obviously, there are; and it is obvious, as well, that psychological problems often serve as a catalyst, and as a reason a person begins drinking in the first place — but the addiction itself is now understood. It is not obscure.

Drugs like Campral and Naltrexone, which have shown to be effective for many in curbing or eliminating cravings, work on these pathways that have been affected by alcohol abuse; and for most, prolonged abstinence will allow these pathways to revert back to their normal function. This happens regardless of whether a person is working religious steps. The “psychic change” that is referred to in the ‘Big Book’, and is so often repeated by AAs, is simply a consequence of abstinence. A person whose brain produces and transmits the proper amount of dopamine and serotonin will feel better, and any intervention by a faith healer, hypnotherapist or any other pseudoscientific practice, is simply a placebo. AAs believe in the placebo because their feelings of well-being correlates with their AA attendance. It is really no different of a mindset as with Native American tribes who once upon a time practiced “rain dances”, which were proven effective by their anecdotal experiences of seeing rain after these dance occurred. These people were not crazy, but were simply working out of ignorance of weather patterns. These dances may still be a part of Native American tradition, but they are no longer practiced for the purposes of actually producing rain. Why? Because the science is in, and we no know rain dances don’t work. That is what science does. It provides us with an improved understanding of things, so we can advance to the next step.

AAs do not, will not, discuss or educate its recruits on the science of addiction, and it will not update its practices to work in tandem with current scientific research. Regardless of what actual science shows, they hold true to the idea that their addictions are a consequence of moral weakness, for which the answer lies in moral re-armament. This is the nature of religion. The world is flat if the good book says it is flat, and nothing can be done to change this belief. A person in AA who fails, is believed to have failed because they did not work the program properly, not because of any physiological problem in their brain. The person who fails, and has been told over and over that “insanity is repeating the same thing over and over again, and expecting the same results,” is told to start once again at step one, regardless of how many times they may have failed before. Real treatment does not enter into the picture, and is more often than not discouraged if brought up to fellow AAs. Get right with God, and you’ll get right with your quit. This is the answer. the only answer. Science be damned.

Keep Coming Back!

OK. I think I got the gist of this:

Ms. Elizabeth Peters is an arsonist. When she gets drunk, she sets fires. And in 2008, she burned down her neighbors’ houses. No, she didn’t go to jail for this. She got got to plea bargain, instead, because it turned out that her confession was inadmissible. So, what she ended up with is probation. And, naturally, according to the terms of her probation, she must not ingest any alcohol. (I wonder if she’s allowed to have matches.)

So, of course, she’s been drinking. She was hospitalized in October for drinking, and while there, admitted that wasn’t her first relapse. At this point, social workers recommended an inpatient treatment program, which she refused to attend (I don’t blame her for that). Now, the prosecutors want the terms of her probation to be honored — which would require her to spend five years in jail. In court, Ms. Peters admitted to violating her probation, and the judge decided not to enforce the mandatory jail time. Guess why. You get one guess.

Peters pleaded guilty Friday to the violation.

Den Uyl said that she technically had not admitted drinking, only refusing inpatient treatment. He noted that she spent seven days in the Carrier Clinic in Belle Mead in January and then completed a 26-day inpatient treatment program.

The judge noted that Peters has been attending weekly counseling sessions and daily Alcoholics Anonymous meetings.

“I am going to continue the defendant on probation, with strict compliance,” the judge said. However, he modified the terms of her probation to include random monitoring for alcohol use.

Obviously, Alcoholics Anonymous has not been working for this woman. Because. She. Is. Mentally. Ill. This is a woman who sets fires to other people’s houses when she drinks, and she is still drinking. And she’s going to Alcoholics Anonymous meeting every day, where people give each other phone numbers, socialize, and visit each other’s homes. Sounds like

Does it seem to anyone else that they are going about this assbackwards? So… the arsonist drinks, and that’s a big problem, of course, but not as big as the part about where she sets houses on fire. Seriously, there is something else going on there, right? She burns houses down. I don’t know what approach is appropriate for arsonists (long-term, intense, very specialized, psychiatric treatment — and keep her off the streets), but it seems like that should be the priority. This is clearly a case where the alcoholism is a symptom of some more enormous imperative. Forget the spiritual awakening: snap an alcohol monitor on her, and treat her for mental illness.

AA Plays Doctor [UPDATED]

It’s so interesting how Alcoholics Anonymous members will deny that what happens in AA actually happens there. They know it happens, and they participate in it, either actively or passively (equally bad). They know we know it happens: the mindfucking, gaslighting, isolating, demoralizing, abusive tough loving, passive aggression, and playing doctor.

Within their creepy little bubbles, this stuff is all normal, and I’m sure it sounds reasonable to them in The Rooms. Our “Comments of the Day” show how unselfconscious they are about being freakin’ nuts with each other when they think no one’s looking. And they do know what it looks like to the reality based community, because when it’s exposed, they don’t own it or say, “Damn right, we do that.”

They deny it. They scoff and bluster. They blame the victims. They minimize it.

After reading Sarah’s, Mona Lisa’s and violet’s experiences in the comments, I would really like to know what people’s experience has been: Have you been told to go off your meds? Told not to get any mental health help outside of AA? That the steps are all you really need? That if you’re on depression medication that you’re not really sober? Did you witness this happen to someone else?

[Please, AAs, please resist the temptation to mansplain the official policy to us. We know what it is. Really.]

UPDATE: Recent Tweet from BigBookRecovery:

Click to Embiggen

(Well, not that recent…)

My name is Cyrus, and I’m… Wait…no.

So, this guy:

On Jan. 12, Shepherd-Oppenheim was arrested and charged with theft, unlawful taking and receiving stolen property after exiting a United Airlines flight from San Francisco.

Police said the University City resident stole a Canon digital camera, a leather makeup case and cash from carry-on bags of fellow passengers.

Was sentenced to 24 AA meetings and to pay $55. His lawyer said: “”Chicken soup – it can’t hurt. I don’t know that it’s needed in this case, but it certainly can’t hurt.”

(Being Cybill Shepherd’s son doesn’t hurt, either.)