Posts tagged 12 traditions

Treatment With A Bang

The founder of a California 12-step treatment facility has been arrested and charged with rape. Lance Glock, who owns the Johnson Sober Living House along with his wife, decided to take time away from her to have a sexual encounter with another AA:

The 27-year-old alleged victim was the only prosecution witness to testify at the preliminary hearing for Lance Glock, co-owner of Johnson Sober Living House.

The woman testified that in August she and Glock took a motorcycle ride into Azusa-Canyon, where she said he forced her to perform oral sex.

After leaving Azusa-Canyon on Glock’s motorcycle, the woman testified, Glock brought her to another one of his sober living homes in Azusa and raped her.

“I said, `No, you’re hurting me. Ouch. You’re hurting me. Stop,”‘ the woman said. “We think and we blame ourselves, but this is not my fault.”

The woman said she initially told the owner of a competing sober living home and another woman about the alleged rape during an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting in September.

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. Of course, in true AA style, he paints a different picture of himself on his website:

“Lance believes a Sober Living community is an integral part of the process of recovery, and that sober living helped him to become a better person, teaching him compassion and concern for the well being of others. He says sober living houses offer viable, tangible solutions for homelessness, starvation, employment, and an opportunity to learn to care for the well being of others.”

This is standard AA nonsense, and this piece of shit – who boasts 23 years of being in Alcoholics Anonymous – is typical of the narcissistic jackasses who serve AA as old-timers and role models. The saddest part of this story is that it is not uncommon. I’d bet my dog that his isn’t the first time this asshole has done this sort of thing, but hopefully it will be the first time he is held accountable.

Tell Us Your Story

One common theme I have seen with former AAs is that there is often a moment of clarity when they finally agree with that voice in their head that something was amiss, and that the program that they had signed up for – a quit drinking fellowship – was indeed much more. Sometimes it is a single incident, like the actions of a sponsor, or something said by another member that was particularly absurd, that gave their head a shake. With others, it was simply the totality of it all, and they knew that if they were subjected to one more aphorism, or one more trite slogan, they felt like their heads might explode.

What was your moment? When did you finally have enough? Was it a particular event, or was it a process. I would be interested to hear from those who have left AA. A reverse drunkalog, if you will. What caused you leave, and what difference has it made for you.

The Truthiness, The Whole Truthiness and Nothing But The Truthiness

Truthiness noun – 1) the quality of preferring concepts or facts one wishes to be true, rather than concepts or facts known to be true; 2) truth that comes from the gut not books

“The truth only carries so much weight. What we believe to be the truth will trump the actual truth every time.” – Cuda


The above quote summarizes, in a nutshell, AA’s approach to recovery — or their approach to almost anything else for that matter. There is a reason why the endless debates which take place in our comment section will never be end, and that is because the two sides are playing with different points of reference – with one relying on logic, skepticism and rational thought; and the other relying on what they want to believe. Continue reading The Truthiness, The Whole Truthiness and Nothing But The Truthiness

Quote of the Day

“When I see a 9/11 victim family on television, or whatever, I’m just like, ‘Oh shut up’ I’m so sick of them because they’re always complaining.”

Glenn Beck, AA, advising the families of 9/11 victims to get off the pity pot.

Stinkin' Thinkin' Pop Quiz

Hey kids! Get out your freshly sharpened no.2s and put on your thinking caps, because it’s time for the Stinkin’ Thinkin’ Pop Quiz!

Here are your instructions: Read over the passages below (redacted for anonymity – these edited parts will appear as “[…]”) and then answer the question underneath. Post your answers in the comments, and feel free to show your work. Googling does not count as work; it counts as cheating. When everyone puts their pencils down, I will post the answers, the full quotes, and the links so that you can verify the answers for yourselves. There will be a potty break in an hour. Continue reading Stinkin' Thinkin' Pop Quiz

Quote of the Day

“Our 1992 Survey showed that only 5% of newcomers to AA are still attending meetings after 12 months. This is a truly terrible statistic. Again we must ask ‘Where does the fault lie?'”

– Dr Ron Whitington, Chairman of AA Australia General Service Board
Comments made in AA Around Australia, Spring Edition, 1994; Commenting on a survey of more than 100 of Australia’s AA groups.

Michelle Huneven writes on anonymity for the L.A. Times.

Huneven has a new novel out, called Blame. As she describes:

The book tells the story of a young history professor who wakes up from an alcoholic blackout in jail to the news that she ran over and killed two people. She goes to prison, gets sober, rebuilds her life.Breaking the ice on AA’s anonymity.

Here is her opinion piece, titled “Breaking the Ice on AA’s Anonymity,” with the subtitle: “There are several good reasons the organization wants its members to avoid the spotlight.”

What do you think?


You Stink

The YouStink forum, presided over by BastisWifey, posts all the episodes of A&E’s “Intervention.” I don’t know why I punish myself by watching that show… It never fails to make me really sick. (I just watched a “where are they now” episode, where one of the interventionists admitted to relapsing — I think that’s what he admitted to, because it was hard to navigate the euphemisms — and taking a leave of absence till he sorts himself out.)

I’ve noticed that Alcoholics Anonymous product placing is very prominent when they get to the rehab part of the program: someone will be clutching their Big Book; a 12 Steps and 12 Traditions will be on display on a bookshelf behind the counselor’s head; slogans are spewed… I wonder if AAWS pays for these plugs.

Anyway, I was looking around over there, and found a link to a video by Dr. Doom, who had been featured on Intervention, but had asked Bastiswifey to remove his episode. And he offered an explanation.

First Baptist Church in Melrose, MA draws Alcoholics Anonymous into Public Controversy

I thought that this story was interesting. Three licenses to sell wine and beer were granted to high-end shops in the neighborhood of the First Baptist Church in Melrose. If you follow the links to the stores’ websites, you’ll see that they’re all gourmet specialty shops, where people can go to get their fine wines or arts-n-crafts beers, along with gifts and yummy foody things.

Wont someone please think of the children!

Won't someone please think of the children!

The church and its members put up a fight, arguing that the fact that they host both a childcare center and Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, makes the proximity of these shops grossly inappropriate. Of course, the argument is as ridiculous as saying that grocery stores should not carry alcohol because children and AA members shop there.  And it’s quite unlikely that granting these licenses will attract a certain element to the neighborhood. I can’t remember seeing anyone sprawled out unconscious with a bottle of chateauneuf de pape in a paper bag out front the local gourmet grocery. These licenses make sense for these businesses.

But, getting back to the church’s using Alcoholics Anonymous as an argument:

Greg Staples, husband of First Baptist’s minister, Rev. Damaris Cami-Staples, and a First Baptist parishioner, stated his concern about how the Lambs’ and Beraldis’ would handle operating a store selling wine and beer in close proximity to Alcoholics Anonymous meetings and the Chime Time Children’s Center. Both Gene and Rebecca Beraldi said they have family members and friends who have struggled with substance addictions and are sensitive to the needs of those attending Alcoholics Anonymous meetings.

This seems to go against Alcoholics Anonymous in a couple of ways. The first, most obvious, is that AA does not engage in public controversy such as this — and if there ever was a public controversy, this is it. Second, Alcoholics Anonymous promotes “living life on life’s terms,” which means that members are expected to learn to handle the obstacles they face. If someone is offering free booze on the sidewalk out your front door, and you think that’s going to be a temptation for you, you adjust your behavior; you don’t try to adjust anyone else’s. Go out the back door. Or learn to walk by withouth having a conniption fit. The fact that local AA members, or the ones who meet in the church, have not spoken out about this is true to the letter of their traditions.

But, I also think that this is one of those instances in which people are staying true to the letter of the law, while disregarding the spirit of the law. I don’t believe it’s overly fussy of me to expect that — in the spirit of the traditions — the members would request that the church where they meet desist from using them in this manner, even if it meant that they would be at odds with their host. Either that, or offer a statement saying that, while they appreciate the support and concern of the church, they do not hold a position one way or the other in this public debate.

Not doing either of these things is a sin of omission — they are exploiting a loophole in their traditions, and allowing themselves to be drawn into the debate, using the church as proxy.

Another interesting element to this story is that Alcoholics Anonymous (like churches) take all comers. No one is screened at either door — there are no background checks done (I’m not saying there should be). And both churches and AA are known for embracing every sinner, every broken and lost person that shows up. Not only that, but AA accepts court-ordered offenders — violent offenders, people who are not ready to quit drinking, who don’t want to be there. There are a lot of people in AA who are still drinking.

So, while the church is beating its breast and imploring everyone to think of the children, they are allowing active alcoholics and violent offenders through their very doors. They want to deny someone from choosing a bottle of schmancy wine to go with their schmancy cheese, in the interest of protecting the babies, while they open the doors, where they keep the kids, to criminals.

What on earth is really going on here?

Wait… What?

Did I slip through some kind of an interdimensional google wormhole? I found an article, in a mainstream news source (The Caledonia Courrier, in BC), titled “Were You Conned?” in which the word “con” refers to AA.

Go give them some love.

Here’s a little excerpt:

The perception and the hype surrounding these twelve step programs give everyone the impression that these programs are the only way to become clean and sober. The 12 Step modalities are laden with caveats which often take one down the path of misunderstanding. Traditional recovery insists on labeling one’s self. (ie: “My name is….. and I am an addict/alcoholic, etc.). This can be self-defeating. Labels can hurt. Rene Descartes once said; “it is not enough to have a good mind; the main thing is to use it.”

When we label ourselves we deny our right to use our minds constructively.

Right on!