If you’ve been a regular, you’ll notice that I took down the last two posts on the subject of Jim Bock and the Sponsorship Group in Chatham, NJ. I want to be clear that the episode detailed in those posts did not drive us to close the blog, so I’m going to tell the story again with more clarity.
There is someone leaving comments on forums around the internet about someone named Jim Bock who runs the Sponsorship Group in Chatham, New Jersey. They’re hit-n-run cut/paste comments that look like this:
One of the all time most pathetic and dangerous AA groups ever is based out of Chatham NJ. They are called the Sponsorship Group and their leader is Jim B.
Dictator Jim B. and his disciples have been ruining the lives of young women since at least 2000. To call what they do “13th Stepping” would be a compliment. Imagine a group of people with no medical or psyciatric training that tell people how and why they need to stop taking necessary medication! It’s a disgrace. People have suffered and in some cases are dead as a direct result of this groups actions!
Jim B. and his disciples at the Sponsorship Group all have SG tatoo on their wrists and live by the rules of Jim B. He takes advatage of people who are in need of help. He should be charged with mental abuse and should have to register as a sex offender. He will experience KARMA soon.
A few of these comments appeared here (using the full last name), buried in the discussion section of random posts, and they were not on my radar.
So, last week, I received an email from Jim Bock that looked like this: Continue reading The Jim B. Episode, Revised and Expanded
The Midtown group of Alcoholics Anonymous was rogue, even by AA’s standards. The Q group, which took its name from its leader, Michael Quinones, is a more of extreme example of what happens within the loose structure of AA. 13th stepping is common practice within AA, but this group took it from an art form, to criminal. Here is a quote taken from this reprint of an article from The Washington Post. This is only one example cited in the article:
Kristen, now 26, said that for eight years, she was “passed along” from one middle-aged male leader of Midtown to another. She said her sponsor urged her to have sex with Quinones — widely known as Mike Q. — as a way to solidify her sobriety and spiritual revival. Kristen, who spoke on the condition that her last name not be used in keeping with AA traditions, also recalled helping to persuade other teenage girls to sleep with older men in the group.
“I pimped my sponsees out to sponsors,” she said, referring to the AA members who agree to watch over a fellow member’s sobriety. “I encouraged them to sleep with their sponsors because I really believed that this would help with their sobriety.”
In addition to 13th stepping, the article describes the more common practice of AAs being encouraged by their sponsors to stop taking doctor prescribed medications:
That young woman told The Washington Post that her sponsor in Midtown refused to continue as her adviser if the woman kept taking prescription medications. The sponsor also directed her to stop seeing a therapist ” ‘because you need one clear voice — your sponsor’s,’ ” the woman said.
This is a frightening story, and is covered in greater depth in this article from Newsweek magazine.
So, what was the reaction to this from those within AA? Continue reading The Cults Within The Cult of Alcoholics Anonymous