Posts tagged coercion

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.

Suicide

Recently the subject of suicide came up in the comments. It’s a subject that we touch on, but haven’t focused on. It’s an important one, and so I wanted to open a thread to discuss the topic, to cull information, anecdotes, research and resources. I would really like to understand this subject better than I do.

So far, I am aware of the Vaillant’s results: Alcoholics Anonymous 3% suicide mortality rate [I corrected this, based on raysny’s clarification in this comment. Sorry for botching that. It’s an important distinction.]. And also aware of a great deal of personal testimony. But not much more.  Has anyone followed up on Vaillant’s results? Is it even possible?  I’m also aware that the subject is controversial, even among the muckrakers.

A couple of very close friends of mine died from their addictions in such a way that couldn’t be classified as suicide, but which I believe were deliberate, or perhaps suicidally reckless. For example, one friend, who didn’t die, told me that one night he decided to kill himself by doing all the cocaine he had in his possession at once (he had been a dealer, so he had a lot), but that if he survived the night, he would give it up for good. He survived, and gave it up just as he promised himself. But if he had died, would that have been a suicide? It would have been classified as an OD or an accident. I’m sure that we all can think of similar tragedies. And I wonder, when we consider suicide, do we count these, too?

I think that some people might find that the connection isn’t between AA and suicide, but between alcoholism and suicide, and that highlighting the correlation is specious. What is your take on that?

Clearly, I have a lot of questions, which is why I never tackled the subject. I just don’t trust myself to address it responsibly or thoroughly. Perhaps, together, we begin to trace an outline.

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.

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.

Quote of the Day

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

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

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

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

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

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

The original post is some bonus crazy:

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

Quote(s) of the Day

“Well, I have been called a Big Book Thumper. I take it as a compliment.

However do not refer to me as a Big Book Nazi or a step nazi. I find it offensive that anyone would associate something that is about love and service with something that is perhaps the greatest smear on the face of humanity in history. AA members that refer to fellow members in that fashion are an indication of the sickness that permeates our fellowship. I don’t look down on these people. Like Dr. Bob, I feel sorry for them. They are the walking dead, all that is missing are the tags on their toes.”
Jim; a Big Book Nazi

“I thank Heaven for a man like Adolf Hitler, who built a front line of defense against the anti-Christ of Communism”
– Frank Buchman; leader of the Oxford Group, from which AA is derived.

The EstAAblishment Clause


One of our readers, Cuda, aka “Leadfoot”, who we regretfully had to ban from the site – participates in a forum largely dedicated to this blog, how they don’t care about this blog, and to dispelling some of the “myths” they believe we are perpetuating about AA. He took time out from his serenity and non-involvement in outside opinions, to ask this question, which is too lengthy and full of straw men to answer in a single post. It does, however, ask an important question about the constitutionality of forced AA attendance, so I thought that I would answer that part of it here it here, in the first of a multi-part series titled “Answering Cuda’s Long-ass Question”.

Cuda asks:

OK Dunces! You’re convicted of a crime. You drank and drove your car.
You were convicted. With your convictions you have forfeited certain “Rights” guaranteed by The Constitution.

We’re sorry you decided to accept the offer of AA or Jail.
Quit bitching! They made an offer and you took it.

Just for the sake of playing along with your game we’ll post the 1st Amendment and see if you can cipher it.

Here it is!
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances”.

So find it!! Where is sending you to AA a violation of the Constitution.

Now, I am assuming that by the word “cipher”, Cuda actually meant “decipher”. I mean, that would really be stupid to cipher it. Right? Sure. Of course, it doesn’t really require deciphering, either. It is written in plain English, and is very clear. I think what he wants us to do is to explain where in this amendment it is that forbids forced participation in AA. OK, I can do that. Continue reading The EstAAblishment Clause

Thinking in Circles

When last we left off, we were taking an exam to determine whether or not we are real alcoholics. Among the things learned were, if a person can stop drinking on their own for a certain period of time, they are not an alcoholic:

This person….can also stop or moderate, although they may find it difficult and troublesome and may even need medical attention. Have you found a sufficient reason to quit and has that reason kept you sober or clean? *Note: If you can answer “YES” to this question, you are NOT an alcoholic or addict!

This brings us to Dave C., an AA and participant over at the Friends of Bill forum. Dave, who has been diligently working the steps, but has yet to have his own white light experience, asks:

“I have been wondering this for some time. I had a spiritual awakening, followed by a relapse 2 months later, followed by a 14 year dry drunk, got heavily involved in meetings and the steps and quiet times and can honestly say I havent [sic] felt my makers presence, but have had plenty of improved periods of perspective I’d call it, but no contact with H.P. Has anyone here had a long period of dry drunk after a relapse and had another spiritual awakening? I’d love to hear about it. I could use some advice in this.”

The most obvious piece of advice to me would be for him to take some belladonna. The second bit of advice should have been that he is not really an alcoholic, since he was able to quit on his own for fourteen years. Of course, that is not how it really works. In AA, if you can quit on your own for any period of time, you were never really an alcoholic. Unless, of course, if you come back to AA, in which case you were a ‘dry drunk’. Does this make sense? Of course it doesn’t. It is just another piece of circular logic one is subjected to when entering the rooms of AA.