Posts tagged moral inventory

Even Lies Are Bigger In Texas

The Dallas Morning News is helping AA troll for new pigeons on Thanksgiving. I’m not sure the guy who wrote this is an AA or not. Judging from how full of shit he is, my guess is that he is one, as one of the commenters refers to his “birthday.” This quote below made spew coffee out of my nose:

You might find some turkey and dressing there. But you won’t find a morsel of shame, guilt, lecturing or superiority.

Considering the fact that the foundation of the program is built on shame and guilt; as well as lecturing and superiority from the Big Book Nazis who run the AA show, this guy is either a shameful liar, or wholly ignorant about his subject matter. One thing I do know is, his last name is appropriate.

AA Dries Up Bank Accounts, Too!

Brion Randall is an alcoholic, narcissistic stockbroker with a nasty sociopathic streak, which makes him a perfect fit as an AA spiritual guide leader. Who better to sponsor a person and take them through their Spiritual Awakening™, than someone whose personality and profession aligns so closely to the holy father of AA himself! Unlike Bill W., Brion R. was not a failed broker. At least it did not seem that way on the surface. He not only did well for himself, but his clients also did well. At least they did well on paper. In the case of Brian R., the paper statements he produced were as bogus as Bill Wilson’s white light experience. Somewhere in the middle of his prayer and meditation, he found time to create statements from non-existent bank accounts, which showed the more than six-million dollars of client money that he had swiped and put into his own bank account, was actually growing for them.

One thing many of Brian R’s clients had in common was Alcoholics Anonymous, where he discovered that AA is not just a great place to pick up women and wash one’s brain, but is a great place to troll for clients, as was the case of fellow AA Maria Walker, whose late husband was also an AA and a friend of Brian R.:

Her late husband, Tuck, had been a fellow AA member. They barbecued and watched football together. The Walkers’ little girl, Emily, played with the Randalls’ girl, Riley.

After Mr. Walker died in 1999, Ms. Walker holed up for two days to drink wine and beer, her first alcohol in more than a decade. When she stopped, Ms. Walker says, Amy Randall [Brian R’s wife] sponsored her at the AA group she and Mr. Randall attended. When Ms. Walker fell into a depression, the Randalls had her and Emily stay with them for a week. Ms. Randall helped Ms. Walker learn to make beaded jewelry.

Mr. Randall followed through on his vow to care for Ms. Walker’s finances. Her husband had no life insurance, but he left a retirement account. Mr. Walker’s family paid Ms. Walker for her late husband’s share of the family’s medical-equipment business, and gave her more to set up Emily’s college fund. After buying a $156,900 house, she had about $350,000.

Not all of his clients’ money was put into bogus investment accounts. Some, as with the case of Ms. Walker, were put into inappropriate investment accounts, which were high risk and broke the SEC’s “know your client rule”. In these cases, Brion R. abused client accounts the old fashioned way, with a practice known as “churning”, where the broker needlessly trades on an account to generate commissions. In the case of this this ass clown, he often turned over an entire client portfolio within a couple of weeks. This is what he did with most of his accounts, and he received no complaints at a time when a monkey could throw a dart at a list of technology stocks and make money. It was when the market failed, and clients with conservative investment objectives began to lose money, that the shit began to hit fan for this jackass. By the time most his clients figured out that the only one making money on their accounts was their broker, the only thing he had to offer them was an amends letter and a serenity prayer. Of course, we all know that those things only help alcoholics, not crime victims. Continue reading AA Dries Up Bank Accounts, Too!

Quote of the Day

“Bill W was a modern day prophet sent to us from God.

I cant believe the terrible things that are said on this site.

Shame on you all.”

Murray, an AA, commenting on this blog

Quote of the Day

“You amaze me. Why so bitter and angry ? Why do you feel the need to bash AA every chance you can get. You should know by now there is a big difference between religion and spirituality. I have been a member of AA for almost 8 years — highly involved in service. I am only 26 and am the future if you want to say.

My own
conception of something greater than my self has enabled me to live an incredibly productive life. My Higher Power is so far off the beam than conventional religious beliefs it would make peoples toenails curl. But, above all else it works.

AA does not demand a Christian God. It only suggests a God of your own understanding. So if you read the big book a little closer and lay aside your prejudice, even the biggest atheist or agnostic can recover. If you really want to get technical; if it was not for AA you would not be here. AA is the granddaddy of all 12-Step programs.

love and service,

KB.”

KB, AA, explaining to Cliff Walker at Positive Atheism the difference between Spirituality and Religious.

Welcome New AA Members!

I can tell you from first hand experience that Canadian beer is like moonshine, but good gawd almighty, these first two stories are ridiculous:

Here is a fun story from Chipman, New Brunswick, about an AA who fell off the wagon. His name is George Chisholm, but in keeping with AA’s tradition of anonymity, we will just call him “George C”. Apparently, George C got liquored up and felt up a couple of strangers in an apartment complex. An AA apologist might explain this away by saying the reason this happened is because he was not working the steps. That might explain why God was not helping George C, but it seems like he could looked out for poor gals who got molested.

Not to worry. George is back in AA.

_____________________________________________________________

Another Canuck, Tracy Wood, got liquored up in a Kingston, Ontario bar and started showing his ass:

“Scott described to the judge how Wood came up behind the woman, placed her in a bear hug with his arms pressing against her breasts and ground his pelvis into her buttocks, announcing “I love you.”

He then slid one of his hands down the front of her shirt, grabbed her breast and pulled it out, exposing her to the bar’s customers.

She was rescued from him and Wood was again ordered to leave. But Hunter was told he persisted in his pursuit of the woman. Scott said the second time he captured her in a bear hug and professed his love, however, he slid his hand down her pants and managed to fondle her buttock before the bouncer on duty intervened and freed her.”

What better place for him than Alcoholics Anonymous, where he has been attending since his meltdown. Continue reading Welcome New AA Members!

The Double Bind – Damned if you do, Damned if you don't

One of my favorite jokes starts out with a guy on his first day in prison, who upon meeting his new cell-mate is confronted with the question, “would you like to be the ‘husband’ or ‘the wife’?” Neither of those is a particularly favorable answer. Back in the days of the Salem witch trials, defendants were tossed into a pond. Those who sank and drowned were found innocent of being a witch, and those who floated were found guilty and executed. Given the choice of being tried as witch, or confronted with the two options that were given to the new prisoner, I’m not sure which one I would want to take.

The two examples above are known as double binds. A double bind is one of those “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” kind of dilemmas. The term was created by Gregory Bateson, a British linguist who studied schizophrenia, where he used the term “double bind” to describe as a symptom the stress that schizophrenics feel when perceiving two conflicting messages. A double bind as used by Bateson is a communication dilemma, and can be conveyed both verbally and non-verbally. Double binds are used by abusers of all sorts, particularly among authority figures. I recently read about a priest who had molested a number of kids over the years, always telling him that he loved them, God loved them, and they should not tell anyone about the abuse because nobody else would understand, so they should leave it between the child, the priest and God. The double bind for the children were:

If they did tell anyone: They would be breaking a covenant with God.
If the didn’t tell anyone: The abuse would continue. Continue reading The Double Bind – Damned if you do, Damned if you don't

Saving the World

I’m responding to one of Danny’s comments here on the front page, because I have been wanting to address some of these points anyway, and because I think it merits its own discussion.

In response to this comment, from Danny (here):

You guys have a whole past-time, cottage industry going here based upon hatting our fellowship. Do you at least have SOME familiarity with the Big Book after which the fellowship is named? I have to wonder.

I asked,

Do you honestly believe that we’re here passing our time hating on your fellowship?

And Danny said:

Some seem that way. Not all do. I don’t ‘get’ the motivation. Would you say that the motivation behind a site like this is a “noble” one?

It seem like, “AA didn’t work for me so it won’t work for you either – and I am going to expend my efforts to prove that to somebody.”

Is this like a “I am going to save the world by exposing the truth” kind of phenomenon?

Am I even close?

Peace,

Danny S – RLRA
Real Live Recovered Alcoholic

http://recoveredalcoholic.blogspot.com

 

’Morning Danny,

A lot of things don’t work for me, but I don’t spend my free time stomping around trying to convince everyone that those things are bogus. (Completely OT, but that just made me think of an angry letter to the editor I read once: This guy wrote in to say that the lottery was a scam because he’d been playing for two months straight and hadn’t won anything yet.) We get that a lot here, “You must have failed at AA, and now you’re just disgruntled and probably still drunk.” That’s one of those Unofficial, Unofficial AA Slogans I wrote about. We couldn’t possibly have a beef with AA unless we failed it. It’s a lazy way to dismiss criticism.

Here’s the noble cause:

AA is fucking enormous. If the treatment industry were a microcosm of the whole country, AA would fill the niche Christianity fills. And like Christianity, which has a mighty sense of entitlement to assert itself and influence every facet of society – public schools, court rooms, the Constitution, people’s private lives – AA/12-step has a similar sense of entitlement within the treatment industry. And it is also treated by the treatment industry with the same… Idunno… unquestioning, kid-glove indulgence that Christianity enjoys. In general, people treat Christianity with respect, even if they don’t believe it. It’s kind of funny how rational people, or people who are not Christians, will so rarely – in the arena of public discourse – call bullshit on someone’s religion, even when their opponent’s religious belief is at the very root of their demented approach to public policy.

 Nobody wants to stand up and lambaste AA anymore than anyone wants to get on prime-time news and tell Christians that their religion is ridiculous and that it has no place in government (unless you’re Christopher Hitchens). If you do that, you become the immoral, godless crank, and the uproar is enormous. How long do you think it will be before our country is ready to elect an atheist President? As it stands, we just don’t take anyone seriously unless they have faith in some in strange, random, unprovable,  supernatural event – among many random, strange things they could possibly believe.

In the treatment industry, public criticism of AA and 12-Step programs is rare, and for the same reasons. It is always very delicately couched – AA is just a given; it’s conventional wisdom, mainstream. I wonder how many times Ann Landers, for instance, has suggested AA to her readers, without knowing anything more about it than that AA is what drunks are supposed to do. The treatment industry is bloated with AA, and this is a horrible result. AA is a “miracle;” it’s a belief system; it’s a spiritual program. But it is not addiction treatment, anymore than Intelligent Design is science.

In order for science to consider Intelligent Design seriously, even just to engage in a debate with ID’s proponents, science itself would have to abandon its rigorous standards; the conversation would require that science actually redefine terminology in order to find some common ground for discussion. This has already happened with AA. The treatment industry takes the utter unaccountability of AA seriously. Terms like “spiritual disease” are rarely questioned. And the result of this has been disastrous for so many people.

Further, AA’s unaccountability and lack of responsibility for what actually happens in AA meetings, and the treatment industry’s dependence on, and unquestioning acceptance of AA, has generated some awful AA gestalt, which is like The Grey Goo . People are not being treated for their addictions in AA; they’re either becoming part of the goo or getting run over by it. As MA pointed out, we’ve seen the damage it does to people — its epidemic.

Compared to the giant machine AA has for support, and the doe-eyed acceptance it receives in general, and the millions of members and meetings, we’re really small potatoes. AA is not the underdog; it’s the Gold Standard. AA enjoys a place at the head of the grown-ups’ table, while its critics are viewed as the turds in the punchbowl.

But when we criticize AA, hold it up to the light of day, the response we receive from AAs is so interesting. You’d think they were being persecuted. An enormous institution with this much influence (yes, I know AAs deny this) should be immune from criticism? Can’t handle a little ankle biting? They do not welcome the muckrakers? They have no interest in doing a fearless moral inventory, rooting out abuses and ineffective elements, in evolving? No desire for accountability? Why? Why are the members who question what goes on in meetings told to take the cotton out of their ears? No checks and balances? No standards? Critics must have failed the program that cannot fail.

So, yeah, I’d say that our mission here is noble. We have a mess. People are being harmed in AA because it mimics the dynamics of an abusive domestic relationship* – and it is The Norm. Is wanting to “expose the truth and save the world” a ridiculous pursuit? The way you phrase that makes it seem that doing so is quixotic, silly, childish, deluded. I guess it’s the “and save the world” part. How about we leave off that part, and put it like this, “expose the truth, keep the conversation going, and hope it leads to reform.”

–ftg

*UPDATED because, amazingly, while I was writing this, AnnaZed sent me a link to this piece from addictioninfo.org, which goes into detail about what I mean when I say that AA mimics the dynamics of an abusive relationship.

Many a newcomer will immediately feel comfy and cozy in the rooms of AA simply because the dynamics of the group mirror that of the newcomer’s dysfunctional family of origin.

    * Don’t think, don’t feel.

    * If you do feel, be advised that certain feelings are not allowed.

    * We know what’s best for you.

    * You don’t know what’s best for you, and we won’t even ask your opinion.

    * The family is correct, it is your feelings which are screwed up.

    * You must honor and respect us. You must be grateful for us. We gave you life. You are not allowed to be angry at us.

    * “Ouch! It hurts!” you say — “We’re only doing this because we love you” — they respond

    * “This doesn’t make sense!” you say — “Do it because I told you so!” — they respond

    * We will love you only if you do “this”, “that” or “the other”… we will love you conditionally

    * Don’t speak the truth — We can’t handle it.

    * Be sure to always pretend that everything is allright, otherwise the family will fall apart.

Sound familiar?

We Got Nothin'

I want to address a point often made by AA members in response to AA critics. It’s a two part point, and it goes something like this, “Why do you want to tear down AA when you have nothing positive to replace it with?” And then, in response to anything we have to offer, they say, “You call that something? You got nothing’.”

 Well, no, we don’t have nothing. What we do have, though, is nothing at all like AA.

 I think that when the conversation devolves to this level, both parties end up blinking at each other, baffled. There’s no where to go from here. We’ve found ourselves on the shores of two different dimensions of reality – there’s just no common ground. Continue reading We Got Nothin'

Having Fun With 13th Stepping

This is a conversation about 13th stepping with the good folks who belong to the “Friends of Bill W” group. Some of these guys would even make our friend, McGowdog, blush. Here is the original post:

ok guys, we’re having a going away party for one of our dear friends who is moving forward on his path. one of the events we’re having at the part is 13 Step Twister. i would love it if you guys can share some of the best 13 step pick up lines you’ve heard over the years. remember cheezy is always good when it comes to pick up lines.

example…….i loved what you had to say at the podium, want to get some coffee?

Pretty cool, huh? I wonder if they played 13th Step Twister over at the Midtown group. Here are some of the fun responses. Tell me if you are impressed, ladies:

” Wanna come to my place and read the big book?”

“Let me help myself to your bottom.”

“Allow me to get you on your back – before you get on your feet”

“Let’s be of service to each other: You gotta give it up to keep it.””

“You can’t get drunk with a cock in yr mouth”

“I’m right behind you – I’ll guide you until you’re filled with a spiritual experience. Sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly.”

“that hoop you have to jump through is not the only thing that is bigger than you think”

“They told me to get a service position – I like servicing newcomers, are you game?”

“‘That is a great shirt. Want to know what I call that color? Clitoral pink’. Yes indeedy, whispered in my ear by a 100 year old jerk who preyed on us at the in house rehab meeting.”

It makes sense that these folks refer to themselves as “Friends of Bill W”, because they emulate him so well. He claimed to be pious, but was in reality a womanizing scumbag who banged anything that moved. He even gave part of his estate away to his mistress. I guess these guys just learned by example. This attitude permeates AA, and is really scary considering some of the scoundrels who get sentenced to AA. Any social deviant who pleads the “I am an alcoholic and can’t help it” excuse, is very likely going to be sentenced to AA. What makes this more sickening, is these are the same folks who shove serenity prayers and sanctimonious quotes littered with God references down the throats of anyone who will listen.

Trust me on this one: If you were to call these guys out on this nonsense, the finger would be pointed at you in some way such as “stop taking other people’s inventory”. Or like is described in this post. It is all part of the giant mind fuck that is AA.

Moral Inventory

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There is a saying that AA stands for “Altered Attitudes”, which is one of the slogans with which I actually agree. The AA experience is about changing almost everything, especially attitudes. The purpose of the steps is not to quit drinking, although that is what gets people through the door – it is about conditioning others to alter their fundamental belief systems to make AA the central focus of their lives. Remember, that AA’s stated belief is that the individual is subservient to the group. This is done by diminishing the individual, and praising the group. This isn’t just done in AA. It is a common cult tactic, as described in the cult awareness videos we posted here. One common thing you will see in AA is individuals saying such things as “before I joined AA, I was (insert pejorative here), but now I am (insert glowing individual trait here) – and I owe it all to AA“.

The ways of achieving this are to tear down the individual, and build up the group. Another thing often heard is “I had to be torn down before I could be built back up again”. This is done in a couple of ways. Continue reading Moral Inventory