Posts tagged spirituality

More on Michael Toole

[UPDATE: Toole gets 30 months in Club Fed. Maybe during his first strip search, someone will find more reasons why his drinking habit causes him to steal, lie and cheat. He does seem to pull these things directly out of his ass: Toole Gets Prison Time]


“With all due respect, the statement you made in the courtroom regarding Mike’s attendance at an AA meeting that, ‘it didn’t work’, was not only insensitive and bitingly sarcastic, but it was also a person affront to all those who battle addictions. If only it was that easy – that people receive counseling or attend an AA meeting or two and they are cured. But, we know, Judge Conaboy, that this is simply not true. As I noted before, there sadly is no cure for alcoholism and, therefore, sobriety is a lifelong struggle….”

– Sharon Palushock, MD


The above quote was written by Michael Toole’s sister-in-law, in a character reference letter to Richard Conaboy, the judge who will soon sentence Toole – a former judge himself, who got caught with his hand in the cookie jar. She is scolding the good judge for making a comment on the efficacy of Toole’s treatment program, after he was caught stalking the key witness in his case; and arguing it was okay, because he happened to have done it on the way from an AA meeting. Continue reading More on Michael Toole

Please Advise…

I shouldn’t have to pay taxes for schools. My kids are grown.

Why should I call the cops? I don’t even know those people.

Health Care Reform? I’m healthy and I don’t want to pay for anyone else’s problems!

I don’t know why you say such hateful things about Father Bollier. He never touched me.

Well, so what if he was getting bullied or whatever? He didn’t have to be there.

Of course she got raped. Did you see what she was wearing?

You should have seen this woman slapping her kid around in the store today! No, of course I didn’t. It’s none of my business.

Climate change? Whatever. I don’t see anything. (Besides, I’ll be dead by the time California floats away.)

We really shouldn’t publicize how many children have been killed or have died because of the Iraq war, because it will just erode our morale.

I won’t speak to whether or not people get abused in AA. All I know is that it saved my life.

Dear AA Members,

What profound level of spiritual awakenedness allows you to respond to trenchant criticism of AA – and to the alarming evidence of its lack of accountability and oversight – by saying that the only thing that really matters is that it worked for you?

I’m only asking, because I’ve heard variations on this response so many times. It seems to be the last word — the AA Trump Card.  I’ve been mulling this over for a couple of days, but just had to ask, finally, after reading the comment I. N. Gratitude just posted:

I live a fantastic life today………… If AA & 12steps can be construed as religious or you have a personal dislike of it….. then I am sorry AA was or is a bad experience for you………. Regardless of how others percieve AA…… all I know is it saves my ass and many of my dear fellowship friends……

Well, AAs, thanks in advance for your detailed responses,


The Anti-Religion Religion

One of our readers, Dan, wrote the following in our comment section. We thought it was good summary of the religion of AA. With his permission, we decided to post it as blog entry:


AA dogma on the Second Step is primarily contained in the Twelve & Twelve where the theme is transcendence from atheism, agnosticism, AND the religion of the Bible to a supposedly higher-level spirituality based on AAs precepts and practice. Any sop toward organized religion in the texts or heard at meetings is strictly a rhetorical ploy which will be dismissed with in short order during every newcomer’s formal indoctrination at the feet of a watchful adept, his sponsor. A newcomer will rarely question the religious beliefs of his new sponsor, but this is irrelevant since no matter what belief a sponsor professes to have as a come-on, it is going to be unadulterated indoctrination in the AA religion. So, what is the AA religion?

Looking at its history gives some clues. Both its founders were Ouija board-using spiritualists claiming communication with the dead and spirits. Bill W’s wife was a Swedenborgian and Dr. Bob was a freemason, both of which deny the Divinity of Christ. Today’s AA, however, is more self-indulgent New Age mysticism than like its Jazz Age, New Thought spiritualist roots. In my experience from attending meetings for 15 years, I’d say it’s essence is an anti-religion religion–that’s its main appeal–and any spirituality is acceptable and may be freely expressed at meetings, just so long as it’s not the theological teachings of the Christian faith. That will immediately elicit disapproving body language, coughs, chairs moving around, and so on.

This anti-religion religion has a strong appeal to those looking for the benefits of organized religion without the moral consequences of its teachings. Spiritually, AA is itself the “easy way out” it claims to oppose. If there is one sentiment that characterizes AA “sharing” on spirituality, it’s the venomous resentment of organized religion from the predictably ignorant and contrived catalog of its failures. This is odd since AA claims resentments are the number one reason for relapses, while these resentments against religion are voiced with passion, and often rage. Continue reading The Anti-Religion Religion

Quote of the Week

“…unbelievers will quickly start running you around in logical circles which you will never get out of — so I don’t even try to defend it rationally and logically.”

– Glenn F. Chesnut – 12-Step Author, from his book One of The Higher Power of the Twelve-Step Program: For Believers & Non-believers