Hey, did you know that you can go on a tour of Dr. Bob’s house? You should go! But check the reviews before you make plans, and make sure you scroll down and read them all, just so you get a clear idea of all the wonders that this pilgrimage promises…
Yahoo! Travel: Dr. Bob’s Home – Akron, Ohio
Thank you, causeandeffect!
A couple of years ago, Dexter Parker found himself in a bit of pickle. He was arrested for assault; or, as he put it, “I got into a little trouble with an ex-girlfriend.” I’m not sure if his girlfriend would characterize the incident in the same way, and I’m fairly certain she would not refer to it as “a blessing”, as did the author of this puff piece from the Lufkin Daily News in Texas.
In the two years since his arrest, Dexter has had trouble keeping his sobriety, so three and a half months ago, he entered a treatment program and joined AA. Now that he has been spiritually awakened, he has decided to temporarily suspend his anonymity and the tradition of “attraction, not promotion”, so he could tout his own story, and use the local rag to troll for help in starting his own group.
You go, Dexter!
Pigeon [pij-uhn] noun – a person who is easily fooled or cheated; dupe.
Pigeon is the oft used term that AAs call their newcomers and sponsees. It is also the term con artists use in reference to their “mark”, or the person they are about to manipulate out of something. It was first coined and used by Dr Bob, a con artist extraordinaire, and has carried on to this day. Below is a quote, taken from a Dr Bobblehead on the Souix Falls AA Intergroup website, which is a fairly good example of how the term is used within AA:
“As for my sponsoring, I sponsor much the same as John sponsored me. I had six pigeons in New York over the years. They still call me every week to keep in touch: Three cops, two priests and a regular guy. I’ve only had one guy I took from a Twelfth Step call to the present. He’s 86 years old, and very active in AA. He lives in Pennsylvania now and is very active in AA there.
I don’t push my pigeons into the Big Book or Steps. I try to get them to feel the Fellowship of AA first, the way it was given to me. (Yes, I said pigeons.) I was a pigeon, my sponsor was a pigeon, and his sponsor was a pigeon. I let them know that if they want to be a sponcee, find another sponsor.”
– Artie, an AA old-timer; from his advice piece titled “Art of Sponsorship“.
One of our readers, Dan, wrote the following in our comment section. We thought it was good summary of the religion of AA. With his permission, we decided to post it as blog entry:
AA dogma on the Second Step is primarily contained in the Twelve & Twelve where the theme is transcendence from atheism, agnosticism, AND the religion of the Bible to a supposedly higher-level spirituality based on AAs precepts and practice. Any sop toward organized religion in the texts or heard at meetings is strictly a rhetorical ploy which will be dismissed with in short order during every newcomer’s formal indoctrination at the feet of a watchful adept, his sponsor. A newcomer will rarely question the religious beliefs of his new sponsor, but this is irrelevant since no matter what belief a sponsor professes to have as a come-on, it is going to be unadulterated indoctrination in the AA religion. So, what is the AA religion?
Looking at its history gives some clues. Both its founders were Ouija board-using spiritualists claiming communication with the dead and spirits. Bill W’s wife was a Swedenborgian and Dr. Bob was a freemason, both of which deny the Divinity of Christ. Today’s AA, however, is more self-indulgent New Age mysticism than like its Jazz Age, New Thought spiritualist roots. In my experience from attending meetings for 15 years, I’d say it’s essence is an anti-religion religion–that’s its main appeal–and any spirituality is acceptable and may be freely expressed at meetings, just so long as it’s not the theological teachings of the Christian faith. That will immediately elicit disapproving body language, coughs, chairs moving around, and so on.
This anti-religion religion has a strong appeal to those looking for the benefits of organized religion without the moral consequences of its teachings. Spiritually, AA is itself the “easy way out” it claims to oppose. If there is one sentiment that characterizes AA “sharing” on spirituality, it’s the venomous resentment of organized religion from the predictably ignorant and contrived catalog of its failures. This is odd since AA claims resentments are the number one reason for relapses, while these resentments against religion are voiced with passion, and often rage. Continue reading The Anti-Religion Religion