Posts tagged Slogans

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.

Stepper Arrested for Murder of Fiancè

Eric Earle, serenity hornet extraordinaire, wrote this on his facebook wall last month:

“YA WELL ………………seven days and life is alot[sic] better thanks to the love of my life ,,,,,meeting”S[sic] and sposorsship[sic] it works if you work it…”

Prior to that, he was in and out of AA – always with a new spiritual awakening. He wrote this, which sounds like it was taken out of a drunkalog manual, back in April:

“IT is easier to see now,as i look back on my life today and my drinking , that from the very beginning alcohol had been a part of every disaster in my life .I saw my alcohoism[sic] took me to new depths of disgrace, embarrassment and despair. i have found out above all i am healing spirtually[sic].

He was arrested a couple of days ago after “the love of his life,” who he picked up at an AA meeting, was found dead in their bed:

Boyfriend arrested in killing a woman

Earle’s Facebook page paints the picture of a man battling addiction with the help of Brada. The two attended Alcoholics Anonymous meetings together and got a dog together, according to his recent Facebook activity.

“Yes, I am back into recovery, and it feels great,” Earle wrote on July 28. “Four days and lots of meetings thank you God for another chance. …”

Earle announced on Facebook that he and Brada were engaged July 29.

Seven days later, on Aug. 5, Earle was arrested on suspicion of corporal injury against a cohabitant and released on bond, according to county arrest records.

Earle was charged Aug. 22 with misdemeanor vandalism stemming from the incident, according to county court records. Earle allegedly “maliciously damaged and destroyed” the window of a sheriff’s patrol car, causing damage over $400, according to the Los Angeles Superior Court complaint.

Shining a Light on Ron V.

Ron Verlander, Jr. is the Executive Director of the National Organization for Addiction Healing (NOAH). As their website  describes, it is not a treatment facility. So, what is their mission? This is taken from their website, which I have frozen:

“NOAH’s commission is to form a spiritual, financial and educational support bridge between the Christian Church Community and the Christian Recovery Ministry networks across the nation in order to save both lives in recovery treatment and lost souls through discipleship.

The “Bridge” is a spiritual two-way bridge. In one direction NOAH will facilitate and distribute desperately needed capital and financial support to Christian/Faith Based recovery facilities across the nation. (Summary of Treatment Facilities Article) NOAH will support its charitable funding projects from donations and pledges from churches, corporations, foundations, other charitable organizations and the general public.

In the other direction, NOAH will educate churches, their pastors and staff on how to minister to a suffering church member, give guidance as to where Christian recovery help is available for those who are in need of rehabilitation and help facilitate a connection to an appropriate Christian/Faith Based recovery facility that will meet the needs of the man or woman suffering from substance abuse addiction.

NOAH will also assist its participating churches in establishing a volunteer recovery mentor ministry within their church. The function of which would be to disciple the member returning from their rehabilitation at the Christian Recovery facility back into the Church first; and secondly into an appropriate 12 Step Support Group such as, Celebrate Recovery, Overcomers Outreach , Alcoholics Victorious, Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous and Al-Anon. These two steps are of vital importance, in order to nourish the individual’s spiritual renewal and conditioning, and enhancing sustained sobriety.”

(Note the picture of Curb Your Enthusiasm and Seinfeld creator, Larry David. I thought he was Jewish, but he is apparently endorsing the NOAH mission.)

Unfortunately, NOAH and Mr. Verlander has yet act on its mission, because he’s been too drunk. There are also some other interesting tidbits to the story:

Drug, alcohol counselor arrested on DUI charges

Turns out it is a residence in Alpharetta.

When confronted about his arrest, Verlander said he had no comment.

A woman who did not give her name told Wilis she helped start the nonprofit with Verlander.

“He’s an alcoholic,” she said.

She claimed that’s why the company never got a chance to work with addicts.

However, their company’s website is still up and running, and soliciting business from faith-based organizations.

Willis asked if Verlander ever accepted donations.

“I appreciate you coming by to talk, but I’m not interested in talking,” Verlander responded.

According to the company’s website, NOAH is an IRS recognized 501(c)3 nonprofit organization.

I hope Mr. Verlander isn’t accepting funds under the guise that he and his staff (which I assume consists of him and this woman who was unaware the website for NOAH was actually up and running) is helping others, and then pocketing said funds for beer money. That would be fraud, and though it may meet the AA standards of rigorous honesty™, it doesn’t meet the legal standard; and in that case, this guy will have more legal troubles than a DUI.

Truthiness in Advertising

AA’s Australian advertising agency has swept the annual Siren awards, which are given for the most creative and effective radio advertisements in Australia:

Gatecrasher takes out the Siren for Alcoholics Anonymous

A single ad called Mummy, won the overall, single, and craft categories. It was also one of three ads in the AA campaign which took out the campaign category.

Written by Des Hameister the spots are confronting looks at the effects of alcohol on everyday situations. Hameister said keeping things simple and single-minded was the most important thing to remember when creating an effective radio commercial.
“Alcoholics don’t hurt just themselves and the ad empathises with that fact,” he said. “The insight is that alcoholics don’t only need to be told they’ve got a problem, they simply need to know that there’s a solution.”

Those of you wondering how an ad campaign promoting AA fits in AA’s tradition of “attraction, not promotion,” should just stop right there. Your best thinking got you here. Think, think, think yourself another drink. You just keep your own side of the street clean.

 

The Wizard In Oz

Todd Carney, a rugby player in Australia has had some drinking problems. His story was profiled last week in the Sydney Morning Herald, which prompted this letter from an AA with all the answers:

The story Carney and all his mates must read

I got sober at age 46 through Alcoholics Anonymous [but] when I came into AA I was alone and without hope after 26 years of non-stop drinking. I was living life like a derelict in my own home and was about to lose my job. I was sick and frustrated over my personal powerlessness over the drug alcohol.

”AA saved my life. I am very interested in Todd Carney and I have been astounded at the way in which Todd has been managed by the people around him who have been trying to help him. Although people have meant well, there has been a lack of understanding of Todd’s real needs in the area of recovering from the disease of alcoholism/addiction. I am concerned when I see Todd relapsing because people trying to help Todd simply don’t understand his problem .

”When I read your article saying Todd was so committed to not drinking he was taking pills that would make him violently ill if he drank, it made me almost vomit! This is not a long-term solution or a program. The disease of alcoholism centres in the mind, Todd’s problem is his head, not his body. The pills are only a short-term interruption, Todd’s mental obsession with regards to alcohol won’t go away unless he gets into a program of recovery. The only one that is proven to work [if you work it] is AA and the 12 steps of recovery.

”I can see in the way Todd has been playing he is clearly distracted. The amount of guilt and shame and self-loathing he is carrying around must be horrendous, and the 12 steps of AA deals with that very effectively.

”Todd, please let us try to help you.”

The Looking-Glass

Here’s an entertaining exchange from a couple of AAs over at the Online Daily Reflections blog. It’s a rare occurrence that we capture this kind of lunacy in the wild, so I thought that I’d post it here.

It started out innocently enough, with Lyby G writing about how her Higher Power™ evolved from a table, to a tree, to her AA group itself, and finally to AA God™. You know…just standard AA stuff. But soon it devolved into a fight between her and “Guardian Angel” over who is the most sober and least resentful:

The first blow was struck by Guardian Angel, who questioned whether Lyby was “really sober” because she was not really working the program. He started the exchange with the “are you in AA, or around AA?” tactic — a classic and effective move. As an added touch passive aggression, it’s written in a kind of freestyle haiku-like manner:

but…
the reality
that you leave out
of the well written story
is that you have been around AA for 20 years…
and have been sober ???

Lydy shows amazing restraint, and simply states her years of sobriety as evidence of its quality:

Sweetheart, I’ve been sober over 27 continuous years in Alcoholics Anonymous and don’t believe in the GOD of the Oxford Group –
atheists and agnostics stay sober in AA every day of the week and we’ve been doing it for nearly 76 years!!!!

Not being one to be deterred from a good serenity battle, Guardian Angel reminds Lydy that it doesn’t matter how long a person has gone without a drink, and her years of abstinence means nothing. She isn’t really sober, even though she hasn’t had a drink in a quarter of a century. Any good AA knows that real sobriety means working the program properly. He ups the ante by accusing her of taking prescription medications, and in keeping with passive-aggressive tone, ends the sentence with a smiley face :

What part of b) don’t you understand?

Your sobriety is quantity not quality
and I would bet millions you abuse meds :)

Intuitively knowing how to handle what seems to us normies to be a baffling accusation – that someone who hasn’t had a drink for 27 years isn’t really sober – Lydy fights fire with fire, and counters the prescription medication accusation with the classic “you have resentments” accusation. She even brought Guardian Angel’s mother into the mix:

Sorry sweetheart, you gonna lose that bet — that’s what you get for taking hookers to the boat lol.

I would bet the $2 I put in the basket every meeting that you have unresolved resentment issues towards your mother that your sponsor really wishes you’d deal with.

Perhaps if you’re being such a troll on here, then you aren’t being abusive towards the members of your home group at f2f meetings.

Awesome.

UPDATE: Guardian Angel has informed me in our comments that I was wrong in what I wrote. She (he?) was actually responding to Paige,  but Lyby defended her “because she is a meddling old bag,who is crazy.”

Thank you, Guardian Angel, for taking time between the Sabbaths to clarify this.

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!

Douchebaggery 101

“You do realize that the founder of Rational Recovery is in prison after killing a family with her vehicle while she was drunk.

It’s always enlightening to hear criticisms about AA from people who know nothing about it.

Do you get your research from the back of a cereal box?

24 years sober”

Bobmom, an AA, in the comment section on article about Rational Recovery.

This comment made me chuckle. “Bobmom” cites the fact that the founder of Rational Recovery killed a family while drunk driving, as an example of it being a failed program; and them chastises the writer of the article for not doing proper research, and claiming he “knows nothing about it.”

Unfortunately for this serenity hornet, he (or she) is the one with his/her head up their ass. She is confusing Rational Recovery with Moderation Management, a program founded by Audrey Kishline. Indeed, Ms. Kishline did kill a family in a traffic accident while driving drunk. She did it as a member of Alcoholics Anonymous, which she joined after resigning from the organization she founded.

So, do ya think that after learning the truth, this matters to Bobmom? Nah. It’s just another inconvenient truth.

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!

Here’s Your Stinkin’ Quiz

A couple of days ago, FTG posted a link to a quiz which is suppose to diagnose a potential drinking problem. I thought that it would be interesting to take those same questions, and apply them to AA itself. Take the test and see how you fare(d):

Do you lose time from work to attend AA meetings?

Are you taking advantage of the Americans With Disabilities Act in order to force your employer to accommodate your meeting quota?

Is AA making your home life unhappy?

Have you been told that AA is your “new family”? Are you being told that your spouse/partner does not understand you, because he/she is not an alcoholic? Is your spouse/partner encouraged to join Al-Anon, where they have been diagnosed as a “co-dependent”?

Do you attend AA to better relate to “sober people”?

Are you hesitant about discussing your drinking issues with friends, family, counselors?

Is AA affecting your reputation?

Are you afraid your employer, neighbors or other acquaintances will learn you attend Alcoholics Anonymous? Do you hide this fact because you believe they will look down on you? Do you only use your first name in AA, so nobody will know that you are a member? Continue reading Here’s Your Stinkin’ Quiz