Posts tagged higher powers

Nine Months to the ‘Miracle’

Lucy wrote this in our comment section. I thought that I would highlight it here. It illustrates what happens when controlling sponsors are allowed to do their thing, unchecked and with no accountability. When some 12-step Nazi like our resident trolls JD or Mr AA point to the costs of a sobriety coach, or a secular treatment approach (as they did yesterday about Steven Slate), implying there are no costs to those who involve themselves in AA – I point to stories like this. Unfortunately, these type of stories aren’t uncommon. Sometimes the costs are nothing more than a loan to an AA grifter. Sometimes the costs are a lot more….

“A woman I sponsored has mild cognitive deficits from a birth trauma. Her problems include a learning disability and balance problems. She understands what is happening, but she is a few beats behind everyone else. She comes from a wealthy family, and she was able to make it through a small college with an adjusted curriculum.

Her learning problems led to depression which led to heavy drinking. Her marriage broke up and she landed in an AA group in the town where her parents lived. She was told to get a sponsor, and was told that the entire group was sponsored by M, an older man who was a retired mechanic.

M told her to stay away from her parents, whom he said would make he want to drink. He invited her to move out of her apartment and into his house.. He said she could either sleep on the couch or share a room with his teen-aged son, a high school drop-out, whom he also sponsored. He suggested that they would even make a good couple. He also told her to quit her job, as he would take care of everyone.

Three months later, she was pregnant with the son’s baby. She called her parents to tell them the good news, and was surprised when they begged her to come home and go to the psych ward. By now she was worried about taking care of the child and, over the strong objections of her sponsor and his son, she went to the hospital.

It took a long time to deprogram her from the things the sponsor had said to her when she was depressed, terrified and alone. When what had happened sank in, she and her parents spent a hefty legal sum paying M to get the son’s parental rights revoked so that she would no longer have to have contact with M. (The son later killed himself.)

I don’t care about who has sex with who, or even what kind of sex they have. Nor do I like the “fucking a cripple” comment, which I find ugly and degrading. However, I know what Massive is talking about when she talks about predators.

AA has plenty of sex offenders, but most women (and men) know better than to spend much time with them. The real problem is the controllers, the ones who delight in running the lives of others and leaving other people to clean up the mess. They fuck people up and then tell them it’s their fault for being angry about it.

AA has three types of members – the uninformed, the predator and the mentally ill. If you know what AA is, it is hard to go there with a clear conscience.”

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.”