Posts tagged rigorous honesty

Hey, Kool-Aid!!!

Here is a fun story about Sheila “Hey Kool-Aid” Lockhart. A racehorse owner and serenity hornet in the UK:

How top racing figure rammed her friend’s car in fury over gossip

As the owner of a renowned racehorse named Go Ballistic, Sheila Lockhart might be expected to have an explosive temper.

So after she rammed her Audi into a Mercedes owned by jockey Warren Marston – sending it smashing through his front door as he slept, and prompting him to jump naked from his bed to shout abuse at her down the stairs – it would be easy to assume the worst.

The police certainly did, and matters escalated when they breathalysed Alcoholics Anonymous member Mrs Lockhart, 63, and found her over the drink drive limit.

The details of the events which preceded this little accident are in the linked story, but real entertainment is in Mrs Lockhart’s explanation of the events. Continue reading Hey, Kool-Aid!!!

Putting the ‘Nut’ into Nutley

Looks like an AA got hold of the editorial section of the Nutley paper, and is serving up a heaping helping of rigorous honesty™. In defending the assclowns from AA who are causing havoc in the neighborhood, this AApologist explains that what they are seeing isn’t what they are seeing; and what happens in AA doesn’t happen in AA:

“Contrary to what some have reported regarding Alcoholics Anonymous at Holy Lutheran Church in Nutley, AA is neither a rehabilitation program nor a condition for parole.

According to its website, AA “is a voluntary, worldwide fellowship of men and women from all walks of life who meet together to attain and maintain sobriety. The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking.”

Nutley Editorial: Bashing of AA members is not the answer

Would some of you please go there and explain to this serenity sorcerer the exact nature of his/her wrongs, which in this case are the facts.

Picking Cherries

David Colman just wrote a piece on anonymity in AA, in which he breaks his own anonymity [Challenging the Second “A” in A.A.]. I don’t really have a opinion on his opinion, other than to say that it is a thinly veiled puff piece that omits many of the ways AAs use or break  their anonymity in order to promote a specific agenda. I posted on a few of those ways here a few months ago. Of course, I could never make my point as well as our resident troll, JD, does when he wrote:

“You do have some idea how many judges and lawyers are solid AAs, right? They are a firewall against this kind of thing. And the members in all the media. Plenty more in government than you can imagine. Plenty in the medical and all science professions, lots of people highly placed throughout business, ect [sic]. Like any facinated [sic] groupies you keep track of entertainers, but there are a ton you’ve no clue about.”

At least with this New York Times writer, he was open about his affiliation with AA — although I wonder if he would have disclosed his AA affiliation had the subject of the piece not been about anonymity itself. As JD correctly points out, many of the stories promoting AA and 12-Step recovery are written by AAs who never disclose their AA memberships.

 

What interested me more than the piece itself, was this bit written in the comments section. Specifically, the second paragraph, which I have emboldened:

“As a member of AA for many years, I have always understood that keeping anonymity (especially at the level of press, media and films) is not only for the well being of single members, but for the group as a whole.

When an individual identifies as a member of AA in the public, and then proceeds to relapse over and over again or engage in other “bad” behavior (stealing, lying, cheating, hookers), people who do not understand the program will often use that individual as an example of how AA doesn’t work.

I cannot tell you how many times I’ve had to defend the institution, which saved my life, because some celebrity decided to go blabbing about their “membership” only to relapse (like many of us do!) and have their mugshot splashed on the cover of a tabloid.

Although anonymity is unrealistic in this day in age [sic], and that at a personal level it is an individual’s right to divulge their sobriety, I still believe it should be an ideal to uphold—at least in the public eye.”

Now, anyone who has been around AA for long enough understands what this person will tell those people who don’t “understand the program”: The offending person is either not a real alcoholic™, in which case the program could not possibly work (it only works on real alcoholics, ya know). Or, they did not properly work the steps, which is the only explanation for someone who fails a fail-proof program. And, of course, it will be peppered with the usual buzzwords of “angry” and “resentment.”

What really caught my attention was the irony of this AA complaining that using a singular example is a fallacious way of judging the whole program. It’s the “few bad apples” argument: Sure, there are rogue members who are either not real alcoholics™ or did not properly work the program, that go out on occasion and pick up a hooker or slap their wife around or fall off the wagon; but these are isolated cases. What you should do is focus on the millions of people who bettered themselves through AA.

We’ve all heard this argument countless times, both in AA and from AAs commenting on this blog. It’s another example of AAs wanting it both ways: on the one hand, they don’t want us to point out anecdotal examples of AA’s failure; but on the other hand, they want to hold up anecdotal examples as evidence, and as proof that AA really works. You know…cherry picking and special pleading. It’s among AA’s most ridiculous arguments, which is saying something for a group who thrives on the ridiculous. The entire program is based on the anecdotal, from its ‘Big Book’ scripture to the way they carry the message™.

 

 

Cellerific!

The good news for Chris Destasio is that he will be receiving his twenty-year sobriety chip next year. The bad news is that it’s going to happen in a Federal prison. It seems he sported his rigorous honesty™ by stealing more than $100K worth of cellphones from his employer, and then selling them on eBay:

The phones offered by Cellerific were popular because they were “NIB” (auction shorthand for “new in box”) and because they were “cold” phones that didn’t have numbers assigned to them.

Judging by the hundreds of positive feedback comments
he got on eBay, Cellerific had a solid reputation for low prices and quick service.

Buyers didn’t know that Cellerific was Destasio, an account manager for Sprint Nextel. When he was charged, prosecutors alleged that Destasio had discovered that if he charged the phones to his accounts at miniscule prices — sometimes as low as 99 cents per unit — the businesses either didn’t notice or didn’t care.

The government has since determined that wasn’t entirely the case. A presentencing memo from an assistant U.S. attorney noted that “Mr. Destasio’s discretion to set prices and to grant discounts to Sprint Nextel’s customers appears to be less extensive than the parties believed at the time of the negotiation of the plea agreement.”

Jeanne Cooney, a spokeswoman for the U.S. attorney’s office for Minnesota, declined to specify how much discretion Destasio had in setting prices, saying it was part of the investigation.

The single wire-fraud count Destasio faced involved an Aug. 10, 2009, transaction in which he told a buyer to wire $409 to his PayPal account to cover the cost of a phone.

Sprint Nextel told federal investigators it lost $144,657.28 through the scheme. That’s the sum Schiltz ordered Destasio to pay in restitution.

Former Sprint employee gets 1-year sentence in cellphone scheme

His attorney, in making the case about what a great guy he is, cites his time in Alcoholics Anonymous:

“Admirably, Mr. Destasio voluntarily sought professional help for his chemical dependency in 1992, and continues to attend AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) groups to assist him in his sobriety,” the lawyer wrote.

How many people do you think this guy sponsored over the years? Keep coming back!

The Daily Chuckle

“Well I have done well with not drinking and working the steps has keep me sober for sixteen months. But succumbed to cigarettes when I found myself hanging with sober people who almost all seemed to smoke. I didn’t smoke before I joined AA….”

Dime, An AA, commenting in the nicotine addiction forum at Sober Recovery.

 

OK, let’s try and follow this thread from Sober Recovery properly. “Dime” quits drinking in AA, with the help of his higher power™ and his chain-smoking sponsor. But he then starts a smoking habit with the help of his sponsor and peers in recovery, and he is now addicted. Now Dime wishes to quit smoking, and as luck would have it, he has to go no farther than the forum next door – where he is told his keys to quitting are in the hands of his chain-smoking sponsor, and his higher power™ who was so busy with his drinking problem that He/She/It neglected to keep him from getting addicted to nicotine in the first place. Here is Tony B’s sage piece of advice:

“Believe it or not…. Sponsor is the first place to start. He’ll keep you grounded in all this. Once you have a plan, then it’s all up to your HP to make it a reality.”

Hmmmmmmmmm….

Quote of the Day

“In A.A. we do not tell anyone to do anything….”

– From AA’s website.

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.

Harvie’s Wallbanger

Harvie Morrow is not much on traditions. Especially the 11th tradition of AA, which in a fit of rigorous honesty™, he has decided does not apply to him. Here is a puff piece in The Marlborough Express in New Zealand, where Harvie poses for picture of him pouring a cup of tea, and describes how it only took ten years for AA God™ to finally stop jacking with him and give him the serenity needed to put down that cocktail. Of course, it’s just for one day at a time, and only as long as you attend meetings:

“I’ve been coming for 25 years and, of course, initially I had some ups and downs, but the last 15 years have been plain sailing,” said a smiling Harvie, who underlined the importance of regular attendance at meetings.

“I once heard of someone asking how long they had to attend meetings for and they were told: `As long as you want to’.”

This, Harvie said, summed up the nature of the disease – and the programmes available to help fight it. A renewed commitment is needed every day because the desire to have another drink will always be there.

Freedom May Not Be Free, But Sometimes It’s Tax-Free

The Freedom House in Kalispell, Montana is going through a bit of a back and forth with the City Council. First, for the sake of clarity, let me say that this has nothing to do with Dick B’s “Freedom Ranch”. There is a distinct difference in recovery terms between a “ranch” and a “house”. A “ranch” is a luxury condo on the beach, complete with tennis courts and swimming pools, which is funded with tax-deductible donations, and used, tax-free, by religious nutjobs spiritual enthusiasts, who actually do the “work” of the ranch over the internet. A “house” is a 900 square foot, two-bedroom home that has eight men with spotty pasts and vicious drinking habits, packed into it like a bunch of Chilean miners.

The neighbors are unhappy because, shockingly, they do not want a bunch of criminally-minded guys with drinking and drug problems taking over their neighborhood. Like all sober living homes, they are running it under the guise of treatment and recovery – a type of business that is not allowed under the zoning restrictions of this community. And, like other sober living homes, they are trying to do a workaround the law with “rigorous honesty”, by claiming it is just a bunch of unrelated guys living under a roof, who happen to have organized recovery meetings throughout the week. Despite what the neighbors believe, it has nothing to do with making a prophet profit!

The president of Freedom House’s board, Randall Marr, strongly disagrees with the locals, and he would have been willing to defend his group against these unwarranted accusations, except he was in jail for breaking parole by getting liquored up and making an ass of himself at a local hospital.

The City Council has taken the chickenshit route, and has left it up to state authorities to make a decision on the case, which is pending.

Kallispell Still Undecided on Freedom House

The Doctor’s Opinion: You’re Hot!

A Minnesota AA and doctor is in a bit of hot water for violating her ethical responsibilities, and seducing one of her patients. Ann Friedmann, an obstetrician and gynecologist, put a unique spin on 13th stepping. She befriended and began treating another AA with a history of psychological problems, became her sponsor, and set forth on a sexual relationship for the next several months. Her argument was interesting…and typical:

Friedmann denied wrongdoing, arguing that the patient initiated the sexual relationship, and that their professional relationship ended four days later in September 2005.

But the board found that Friedmann violated her legal and ethical duties to maintain professional boundaries, and that she had blurred the lines for months by taking overnight trips with her patient.

Friedmann, who worked at the Women’s Health Center in Northfield, did not dispute the facts: She began treating the patient in January 2005, after they met at an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting. The patient, a 39-year-old woman with “a complex medical and psychiatric history,” asked Friedmann to become her AA sponsor that April, and for a month, Friedmann agreed.

Medical practices board reprimands two doctors

First, she held true to the AA script by reminding the patient/sponsee of “her part” in the abuse, and then minimized her abuse as a physician by claiming the professional relationship ended within a few days. What she or this article does not mention is the fact that she continued in her role as an AA sponsor to manipulate the very person who she was supposed to be counseling. Nobody from AA will speak out about this, and she will not be held accountable for her manipulation of her sponsee. Unlike the medical board, there is no oversight. It will be business as usual in the separate universe of AA.

In a second case, the board suspended another physician for failing a required drug test. Maybe she should give Dr. Friedmann a call, and join her group. She has an open slot for a new sponsee.