Posts tagged it works if you work it

Ambiguous Ambiguity

I always get a chuckle at the various forms of mind-bending responses when a newly indoctrinated stepper starts to realize that they are being asked to acquiesce to believing in God, while at that same time being told that AA is not a religious program. I thought the answers to this question over at Sober Recovery were particularly entertaining. Specifically, this post by “RufusACanal” (20 years sober! yea, Rufus!), who scored a full 10 out 10 in passive-aggressiveness:

I struggle some days with God, mostly because I am power hungry. Today, at this moment I do not. I see His results, because I look for His work rather than mine. Keeping it simple, could I have stayed sober these last five plus years via my own will? No. I am a real Alcoholic and there is no human way I could have relieved my malady, I tried for twenty six long and painful years and failed utterly. AA has never been the problem for me, God has never been the problem for me, I have been the problem for me. When I take my petty and insignificant wishes out of the picture, I can see clearly the hand of God and I believe.

If not God then who, you?

Best to you in your journey.

There were a couple of honest responses from Robb B and bugsworth, but the rest of it takes the reader deep into the rabbit hole of AA lunacy.

Stinkin’ Thinkin’ Over at the Sober Recovery Forum

What happens when there is dissension in the AA ranks? It depends on the platform. In real life, anyone questioning any part of the program will be derided. On an internet forum run by 12-steppers, they get censored. Even if it is not their AA section.

A few days ago, we were directed to a thread that was started at the Sober Recovery forum titled “The Concept of Powerlessness.” As is most often the case in these discussions about ‘Big Book’ scripture, it devolved into a circle-jerk of pseudo-intellectual mental contortion and philosophizing. I find it difficult to make it through more than three or four posts before my reading voice morphs into the “wah wah wah” of the teacher’s voice in Charlie Brown.

This time, I paid closer attention to the conversation, because a rare voice of trenchancy – “John Barleycorn” – jumped into the conversation. Knowing this was would go over like lead balloon, and knowing the AAs moderating the Sober Recovery forum would delete any challenge to the dogma quicker than one can say “rigorous honesty,” we took a screen shot. Click on the image below to enlarge:

It was followed up with this, which has yet to be deleted, but I’ll go ahead and include it here because I suspect it will be. It’s just makes too much sense:

One problem with using examples from internet forums is, AAs tend to couch their language more than they do one on one or within the confines of a group. What John Barleycorn is asking for is an alternative to tell a person who repeatedly fails. Something beyond a slogan. The answer, of course, is that the program cannot fail. It can only be failed. The onus, and the fault, is always on the individual. Always. It says it right there… in the ‘Big Book’.

It’s almost unfair to ask this of a group that is currently under the AA spell. They’ve been conditioned, and have no point of reference other than the insular world of AA. To a worm in a horseradish, the world is a horseradish.


Jonny Quest, aka “John Barleycorn,” advised us SR deleted another post that would dare to criticize AA. Here it is:

Serenity Stealing in Colorado

Here’s a real dilemma: Where does a judge send a guy who claims he bilked a bunch of people out of their savings because he is an alcoholic, when the people he scammed were fellow AA members? I guess we’ll soon find out, when Richard M. is sentenced:

A Fort Collins man accused of defrauding 22 Larimer County investors gained people’s trust through Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, an alleged victim said Thursday. Richard Horace Mayfield, 72, was released from jail Thursday on a $10,000 personal recognizance bond. He faces six counts of securities fraud, three counts of theft and one count of theft against an at-risk adult, according to his arrest affidavit. “He’s like the antichrist of AA,” William Nies, 61, said of Mayfield, adding that he “trusted him personally, because we (attended) meetings 1,000 days in a row.”
Man says he was approached about scheme in AA meeting

(Thanks, Greta)

A Lying Toole

A former Pennsylvania judge and current member of Alcoholics Anonymous, with an aversion to paying taxes, is doing his darnedest to stay out of the joint – he is using the classic AA “abuse excuse” to to do so. Michael “I’m A Serenity” Toole, was caught giving preferential treatment to a litigant in an insurance arbitration hearing, in exchange for free use of a beach house:

Prosecutors say Toole helped Cardoni in an insurance case that was going to arbitration. Each side picks one arbiter, with the judge picking a “neutral arbiter.” Cardoni testified today that when he deliberately scheduled the hearing for a time he knew Toole would be the judge, and that when he approached the courtroom, Toole’s Tipstaff came to him and asked “Who do you want?” Toole then appointed the person Cardoni recommended as the neutral arbiter.

The government says Cardoni then rewarded Toole by letting him use a beach house in New Jersey the lawyer owned as an investment property, renting it out to tenants on a weekly basis. Cardoni testified Toole got free use of the house three times, in 2005, 2006 and 2008, though prosecution and defense both agreed the 2005 use should not be considered in the sentencing because Toole revealed it, not Cardoni, after being charged.

Prosecution says Toole seemed to Stalk Attorney Cardoni

Once he learned of a federal probe that might reveal his ill-gotten gains, Toole thought that he would cover his tracks by creating a fake paper trail:

Cardoni also testified that, in 2008, he began hearing about the federal corruption probe in the county and that he and Toole agreed they should create a “paper trail” to make it appear as though Toole were paying for the house. Cardoni said he estimated the rental value at $7,500 plus the $900 for the repair company, and that he gave that much to Toole in July 2008. After several failed attempts to get together, Cardoni said Toole met him in the parking lot of his office and that the judge gave him a check for $7,500 and a bank envelope containing $900 in cash. Continue reading A Lying Toole

Rigorous Truth* in Duluth

A year and a half a ago, Julie Gronski was driving home drunk from a Halloween party, slammed into a couple of people walking along the side of the road, and took off. Her claim was that she thought she hit a deer, and didn’t feel the need to stop. This makes a hell-of-a-lotta sense because, who ever stops after hitting a deer to check on the condition of their car, or the welfare of the deer? I’m not sure what her excuse was for not reporting the accident for four days after sobering up, and for never turning herself in to police, only to get arrested for the hit-and-run after others tipped off the police.

Naturally, she managed to plea her way down to some community service and coerced membership into Alcoholics Anonymous. Earlier this week, Julie was cited for speeding on her way to an AA meeting, and also slapped with a charge of driving under a suspended license. In a fit of rigorous honesty™, she claimed ignorance to the fact that her license was suspended. Now she is using her involvement in AA, and the fact that she is now a sponsor who was simply shuttling her pigeons to and fro, as reason to cut her some slack. From her attorney:

He said Gronski was being a good Samaritan when she got a call saying that three people she knew needed a ride to their Alcoholics Anonymous meeting. She borrowed her father’s car and got pulled over by police for speeding.

“Her whole life now is doing community service,” Malban said. “She’s attending Alcoholics Anonymous meetings and sponsoring a couple of others in A.A. She does buses and gets rides everywhere. The only reason she was driving this time was to get others to A.A. She borrowed her father’s car. … They have to prove that violation of probation was an intentional and inexcusable act.”

So, if she was unaware that her license was suspended, why would she suddenly start taking the bus and get rides everywhere she goes (except of course, for this single altruistic carpooling act)? Her explanation doesn’t sound very honest to me; but it does sound rigorously honest™.

Duluth hit-and-run driver accused of speeding to AA meeting

* Rigorous Truth – akin to truthiness; the truth as seen through the lens of AA; kind of the truth.

It Works If You Work It

This slogan is really sticking in my craw lately. It is, without a doubt, the biggest cop-out for the ineffectuality of AA: It’s a deflection of responsibility; it’s utterly unprovable; and it’s crazymaking.

If you believe that AA worked for you because you worked it, then anything at all would have worked for you. Anything. There’s nothing about the 12-Steps that addresses addiction or recovery, which means that by the sheer force of your self-will you made a decision, fixed your intention, and followed through. Congratulations! But if AA were a program of standing on your head for an hour a day, that would have worked for you, too. The power of placebo is amazing.

“It works if you work it” is just as true about turnkey businesses, multi-level marketing, and fad diets. What all these things, including AA, have in common, is that they require you to continue “working it” — abdicating your right to self-direction — for the rest of your life. And their failure rates are just as high, for exactly the same reason: it’s soul killing.


He Ain’t No Ward Cleaver

Dana Kessel is a real piece of work. Last month, he got liquored up and slammed into a utility pole, projecting his unrestrained two-year old son into the front windshield:

Dad In Crash Freed on Booze Monitor

Kessel and two of his three children, ages 2 and 4, had gone with a friend, Todd Titus, to the Bowl-O-Mat on River Street, where Kessel told police he had two Coors Light beers and a shot of Southern Comfort liqueur.

Kessel was driving on McPherson Drive when he ran off the road and into a utility pole, police say. A partial Breathalyzer exam later showed a result of .21, more than 21/2 times the legal limit.

Police said that Kessel appeared indifferent to the cries of his bleeding son, who was not secured in his car seat and who was thrown into the dashboard during the crash. The other child was with Titus.

“Yes, the facts are difficult,” defense lawyer Robert Weiner acknowledged.

Now he is out of jail, thanks in part to the help of his AA sponsor, who was there in court to support his new recruit (although I doubt it is his first go at AA, considering this is his third DUI offense). Anyone who allows this to happen to their own child, and then shows complete indifference, is a sociopathic asshole, so he will likely thrive in AA. Unfortunately, it won’t do anything to help him with his drinking problem. This is an example of the harm AA does, and is an answer to the AAs who drive-by our blog and ask why we won’t leave AA alone.

Meet Glen McGuire

Glen McGuire, aka Gideon (Glen) McGuire Augier,  is a shyster. Among his many misdeeds, he bilked businessmen out of small fortunes, and stole the life savings from families wanting to emigrate to Canada. In total, he has been convicted on 11 counts of fraud. Now he is out of jail and looking for something to do, and what could be better than opening a church to support 12-Step groups!

The name of the church is Abba Uno, which sounds to me like the name of bad, one person Abba cover band, but is supposed to mean “one father” in Latin. I’m not sure how to say, “father as you understand Him” in Latin, but that would seem to me like a more appropriate name.

This is not McGuire’s first church. In one of his previous scams – defrauding families wanting to emigrate to Canada of their life’s savings

Glen's Arrest

– he opened the United Christian Fellowship church, which was a front set up to create sponsorships for these potential immigrants. Here is an article from CBC describing his scam. Continue reading Meet Glen McGuire