Posts tagged rule 62

Chucky D. Gets Acquittal

Charles “Chucky” Doucette Jr., an AA and convicted murderer in Beverly, Massachusetts; got a “not guilty” verdict in his assault trial.  He was accused of threatening his sweetie with a bullet to the head, and pulling her alongside his truck. According to the neighbor, it was Chucky’s girlfriend, another AA who he had 13th-stepped, who was the instigator this serenity battle:

Doucettte is found not guilty of assault

Upset that the girlfriend he met in Alcoholics Anonymous was drinking again, Doucette took back the key she had to his home and moved out her belongings, Markus testified. While they argued outside his house, she claimed he threatened her and then, while she was standing beside the driver’s side window of his truck, he “dragged” her alongside as he drove away.

But Doucette’s neighbor, Sophia Mahalares, said she witnessed the incident from her second-floor window and told the jury that Markus was not dragged.

“She fell straight down to the ground,” Mahalares said. Markus was unsteady on her feet and appeared drunk, the neighbor said. And, from her vantage point, Mahalares said, it looked like Markus was hitting or grabbing Doucette through his truck window.

Fifteen minutes after calling 911, Markus left a voice mail with Doucette telling him to “get your ass back here.” She left six more voice mails for him, called his sister looking for him and then at 9:21 p.m., “after not getting what she wants,” she called back the police, Dullea said. It was then, 31/2 hours after the incident and her initial report, that she first mentioned the threat to authorities.

It’s a classic American love story!

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™.

 

 

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)

Up the Tiger Bloodline

Charlie Sheen’s father made an interesting comment, which I thought that I would post here because it furthers the dialog from yesterday’s post and comments:

“So if he had cancer, how would we deal with him? Well, he has another disease and it’s equally as dangerous as cancer. “

I think Martin Sheen, who is a card-carrying AA member, should answer his own rhetorical question. How would he treat his own cancer, should he ever be diagnosed? How would he recommend that his family be treated? Would it be with faith healing, slogans, letters of apology to anyone he ever wronged? How would he react if the cancer spread, and the doctors told him it was because he was not working the program properly? Would he ignore any potential underlying cause of the cancer, and presuppose that he got it because of moral failing and spiritual deficiency? Of course, we know the answers to questions. He wouldn’t treat his or Charlie’s cancer like he does their addictions, because it is a ridiculous way to approach a disease. Continue reading Up the Tiger Bloodline

Back to the Toole Shed

In an update on Michael Toole, an AA and former federal judge who got caught taking bribes and evading his taxes (but in a rigorously honest way). His attorney is wanting to seal character reference letters written by his fellow AAs, from public view. Sadly, the judge agreed.

I personally don’t care to see the actual letters, as I know they contain the standard nonsense about how he has changed his life around over to AA, how serene he is now, and how AA God™ has magically rid him of the character defects that caused him to lie and cheat his way around in life. It’s the standard dogma, no doubt.

I would, however, like to see the names of those who gave the references. They are no doubt a colorful bunch of serenity seekers who found their way into AA in much the same way the good judge did – but now they somehow believe they are absolved from those things because they practice a new religion. It’s like a prisoner who has suddenly found Jesus, getting a character reference from his cellmate. It doesn’t mean a lot.

Attorney: Letters for Toole private

“My name is ‘Dick’, and I’m an Assaholic*”

A couple of days ago, AA historian and relentless self-promoter Dick B, took time out from herding sheep into his personal condo, tax write-off Serenity Ranch, so he could write a hit-and-run post over at Massive Attack’s Stop 13th Step In AA blog. It was the classic “blame the victim” response found so often in the rooms of AA:

“He who writes about 13th stepping in A.A. and then tars and feathers A.A. is usually someone who has put very little into A.A., received very little from A.A., and retained a resentment that A.A. could have helped him cast away….”

Translation: If you were used and manipulated by an AA member, at the the very time that you were most vulnerable and seeking help from a from a group who told you to quit thinking and to not trust your own judgment – then the problem is yours, not AA’s. It’s your own damn fault! This is like a defense attorney implying a sexual assault victim wouldn’t have anything to worry about, if she didn’t dress like a whore. Continue reading “My name is ‘Dick’, and I’m an Assaholic*”

Quote of the Day

“I was sitting in a meeting and my sponsee who had about 2 months was also attending. We were working on his fourth step and we had just gone over his sexual inventory and I had pointed out we are not the arbiters of anyone’s sex conduct but I also shared about the suggestion about no new relationships for a year, and explained why I thought it was a good idea based on my experience, that that rule wasn’t in place to protect the newcomer but to protect people FROM the newcomer, and how harmful I had been in my first year of sobriety, so I basically told him he could get his ashes hauled but try not to start a new relationship because we change so fast the chances were he would be harmful to whoever he got in a relationship with.

So anyway, there we are in this meeting, and he’s sitting there grinning like a possum eating s**t, and he raises his hand to share, the topic is gratitude, the chair calls on him and he starts sharing about how grateful he was for the program, and how he just got paid thx [sic] to the grace of god and the program blah blah blah, then he starts sharing about how he stopped at the massage parlor on the way to the meeting and got a b***job, then he points at me beaming and says ‘and it’s all thanks to working the program and my sponsor, he said it was OK to get laid my first year!!!!'”

Ago, an AA.

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.

Quote of the Day

“The ‘higher-power’ concept works. If you want to make the higher-power your left big toe, well that will work just fine.”

hornblower, an AA, commenting on The Telegraph article about Charlie Sheen’s AA criticism.

Pick A New Name For Freedom House

In the latest update on the continuing saga of Freedom House, the slumshack in Kalispell, Montana that is running under the guise of a rehab facility; the powers in charge have decided to take the name away. It also appears that the last group of felons in charge of the place are no longer involved in the day-to-day operations. This shouldn’t come as too much of shock, as it is difficult to run a hell hole like this from jail, which is where former board President, Randall Marr, has been rotting for the past couple of months.

I’ve no doubt that the landlords and Bill Hawk, the current resident in charge, are trolling the rooms of the local AA chapters to find suitable replacements. The last board, which consisted of a hooker, a thief and a pedophile – is a going to be a tough act to follow.

The first thing the new board will have to do is pick a new name this cuckoo’s nest. I thought that we might be able to help them out with a few suggestions of our own. Any thoughts?