Author Topic: AA Protest Flyers  (Read 2000 times)

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Offline Che Gookin

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AA Protest Flyers
« on: September 12, 2010, 07:45:37 PM »
Post your ideas here, I'm planning on trying to find ways to bankroll a limited run of some professionally done up flyers that ought to look kick ass.
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Offline Che Gookin

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Re: AA Protest Flyers
« Reply #1 on: September 14, 2010, 10:49:12 PM »
http://www.morerevealed.com/library/rfh ... orror8.jsp

just putting this here for future reference.

Quote
8 — Belinda
Raped by Old-Timer Sponsor

When I was 23 I left an abusive marriage and started drinking to ease the pain. I kept this up for ten months. My father is an alcoholic and I didn't want to become one, so I went to an AA meeting.

I was wheeled into a meeting because, due to a disability, I am in a wheelchair. I asked for a ride home after the meeting, since I had cab fare only one way. One of the ladies, although she meant well, sent me home with a known predator/13th stepper, "Drew."

I was vulnerable, lonely, and didn't stand a chance from that moment on. Even though at that time I considered myself a lesbian, I was in bed before I knew what happened. I suffered several months of what I now consider to be sexual abuse from this man.

He also became my sponsor. I know this sounds crazy, but you need to understand the kind of shape I was in. I was barely hanging on to sobriety, and I was totally open to all kinds of beliefs and views. This man was a sober member of AA, and I was a newcomer. Needless to say, I was not thinking straight.

People with many years of sobriety are viewed as AA Gods. They are rarely questioned, and when it comes time for one of them to speak, they are viewed as so spiritually superior that you might hear a pin drop in some meeting halls. Drew had enough time sober to be considered superior. Who would question his judgment? Not me! No one told me of this man's history with newcomers.

I am not simply complaining. I tried hard in AA. I really did. But I was also in awe of Drew, and I had only a few friends. My family supported my ex-husband, so I was cut off from them for many years. Also, Drew saw nothing wrong with sex. He claimed he was removing a roadblock to my sobriety. He said that if I came out as a lesbian in AA, I would be shunned in the God-based AA program.

But eventually, I did gain some strength. When I found out Drew was dating my best friend, I got up the courage to stop having a sexual relationship with him.

But then, on the night I received my one-year chip, he raped me.

For the record, I don't drink now, but the abuse I suffered almost drove me insane. It has been ten years since I've gone to a meeting, and I still have horrific nightmares of the sexual abuse my screaming, No! No! No! I don't want this!

Some AA circles frown on therapy. The day after I had the local battered woman's shelter shortly after I was raped, my therapist asked me about my weekend plans. I said I was going to hit a few meetings and kick back. She responded, Do you want to drink? I said, No. She then wanted to know why I would attend a meeting. I now had to explain that, in my AA indoctrination, I had never been given a choice. Attending meetings was drilled into me. But that weekend I chose to skip a meeting, and I never went back. I am sober to this day, because I found the answers to my pain through therapy, which has done more to relieve me of the need to self-medicate than AA ever did.

I really want people to know that AA is often filled with very sick people. I, too, was sick, but I never preyed on new people.

One of ways AA is similar to cults is the doctrine of 90 meetings in 90 days. I felt that in those 90 days I was torn apart so I might be rebuilt. Really, I was torn apart not just so I could get sober, but so I could be controlled and learn not to think for myself.

You know it is kind of ironic, but had Drew not raped me the night I got my one-year chip, I might never have sought therapy. I guess I really should be grateful.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

Offline Che Gookin

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Re: AA Protest Flyers
« Reply #2 on: September 16, 2010, 06:35:56 PM »
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/18368218/site/newsweek/

^I bet this sort of thing is more common than people are lead to believe.
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Offline DannyB II

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Re: AA Protest Flyers
« Reply #3 on: September 16, 2010, 09:47:53 PM »
No, it is not more common or less common, it just happens because groups are allowed the autonomy to be whatever they choose. I have mentioned several times over the last 2 months that there are many groups like this and worse. It is not a question of whether they represent AA or not because if one understands the traditions, you'll comprehend that there is no authority.
In my opinion many groups out there have no business being associated with AA at all. Thank god there are literally thousands of groups country wide, there are over 2500 groups in Georgia alone. So if you are unhappy with one, you can always find another.
Do I feel sad to hear stories like the one I just read, I do. Thank god she found another group and found out what AA really represents.
Thanks for the story, Che.

Danny
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »
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Offline Che Gookin

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Re: AA Protest Flyers
« Reply #4 on: September 16, 2010, 11:42:54 PM »
http://www.mentalhelp.net/poc/view_doc. ... c&id=12570

Seems like it could be a good article for instilling that seed of doubt into the ranks of the boozers and losers.

Quote
Concerning Problems Within AA
Mark Dombeck, Ph.D. Updated: May 7th 2007

cocktail umbrella tilted on its sideIt's time for a follow-up on my AA is a Cult? Essay of about a year ago. Two reasons for this. First, Newsweek recently published a three page article profiling an AA group in the Washington DC area which has been accused of cult-like and abusive behavior. And of course, as AA is by design an open organization at the ground level, there are not really mechanisms in place to keep predatory sorts of folks from joining and then manipulating the organization. Some words on how to identify and avoid predatory behaviors and characteristics are perhaps in order. Second, because the comments on my original AA article keep on coming, and there are distinct patterns emerging therein which are worth commenting on.

The Newsweek article first. The article concerns meetings held at Midtown, which is represented as one of the oldest and largest meetings in the DC area. According to Newsweek, Midtown members pressured a recent attendee, a young woman named "May", to cut off ties with anyone outside the group, to stop taking doctor-prescribed medications for her bipolar disorder, and to date and become sexually involved with other group members. Apparently, newer group members were also pressured to do chores for more established group members, as though they were pledging for a fraternity. There are other accusations as well, but these listed here capture the tone of the complaints.

Some of these behaviors, such as encouraging members to go off prescribed medications, become sexually involved with other members, and do chores for other members seem simply abusive, controlling and arrogant. They are against established AA guidelines as I understand them. Other behaviors such as the group's efforts to socially isolate members may have started out with good intentions. Some social control can be a good thing when dealing with addictions. Addicts build up habit chains, which are series of linked behaviors that lead them down a path towards becoming intoxicated. For instance, seeing a friend with whom you used to drink can set off a chain of behaviors which culminates in you drinking again. The best way to cope with these sorts of habit chains is to avoid getting them triggered. It makes sense, therefore, for newly recovering alcoholics to avoid the people, places and things associated with their drinking habits which get the habit chains started. It similarly makes sense for an organization designed to promote sobriety to encourage newly sober members to avoid those triggering people, places and things as well. There is a line that can be crossed into abuse here as well. You can certainly attempt to control people too much. However, the bar is higher for calling this sort of social control abusive than for some of the other behaviors Midtown is accused of perpetrating.

A little more on the social control complaint. A frequent criticism of AA groups is that members are not allowed to grow out of AA. In the case of the Midtown group, a member alleges that when she tried to leave her sponsor told her that she would die without the group to support her. There may be some merit to this behavior too, despite its seemingly sinister bent. Alcoholics are typically psychologically vulnerable in early recovery. Their minds and behaviors have been compromised by those addictive habit chains I spoke of earlier. Their judgment is typically crappy by which I mean that they may believe that they can go out with their old drinking friends, go to the bar, etc. and not end up drinking. It is as though they believe they are immune to their entrenched habits if they want to be. People who are more experienced with overcoming negative habits know better and do what they can to avoid triggering their habits in the first place. Understood in this light, a sponsor getting angry with a sponsee who wants to leave what seems to be shelter for a return to old habits makes sense. It is a helpless feeling watching someone who seems determined to hurt themselves and will not listen to warnings.

To take the other side of this argument for a moment, I have long been troubled by the idea that AA doesn't seem to provide a clear path for maturing out of the group for those people who over time cease to require it anymore. Or if there is such a path, it is not widely discussed. I have seen people whose entire social lives revolve around AA decades after their initial involvement and last drink and I have to wonder (from my non-addicted point of view) if that is necessary or entirely healthy. I don't question that there are people out there who will continue to need the constant support of AA for the rest of their lives. I don't question that people who have become addicted will remain vulnerable for the rest of their lives. I also don't question that it is a good idea for addicted people to remain sober for the rest of their lives. Better safe than sorry is a good policy. However, I also know that there is a larger world than AA out there, and it seems like it would be a good idea for experienced and long-time-sober AA members to expand their social horizons outside AA, even as it is also a good idea to keep their connection to AA alive.

I've said this before and it bears repeating. AA is not necessarily the best available treatment for alcoholism, and it is certainly not the only one. I'm partial to the scientifically derived treatments myself. Relapse prevention and motivational interviewing approaches are what I'm most comfortable promoting. However, these sorts of interventions are administered by professionals and cost a lot of money to obtain. They cannot be frequently administered to large amounts of people, or at least people cannot typically afford them in any frequent format. Also these scientifically derived interventions don't do a very good job of providing available sober social support; a sort of support that is absolutely critical for early recovery to progress in most cases. AA provides frequently available social support and promotes sobriety every night and every morning and in many places at lunchtime too. AA is free. AA helps people who are open to its message. AA makes an excellent adjunctive treatment for those who can afford to take advantage of the scientifically derived therapies. It is what is available to those who cannot afford those therapies.

There is a baby in with the bathwater, is what I've been saying, and what many people who have commented on the AA essays have been saying too. There are really some treasures within AA if you can get to them. In order to get to them you have to find a good AA group in the first place (which is not guaranteed to be available to you, apparently (but what in life is?), and you also have to be open to the idea that your judgment is faulty; that you need to submit yourself to a "higher" judgment; the judgment of people who have struggled with alcoholism and learned how to live sober.

The thing is, even though an alcoholics' judgment is generally crappy, they still need to keep their wits about them. They still need to be making judgments about the motives of the people in the AA group they're attached to. They need to be satisfying themselves that they are in a group of people who are not trying to take advantage of them but rather who are trying to do something altruistic (and self-preservative too). Both con artist and saint will need to be giving explicit and somewhat controlling directions to the newly recovering alcoholic, and because it is hard to take directions; because there is generally so much pride at stake, these two efforts to control may appear to be indistinguishable. Nevertheless, it is important for the newly recovering alcoholic to be able to reject the one and embrace the other. This is one of the harder things to do in AA, I suspect.
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Offline Che Gookin

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Re: AA Protest Flyers
« Reply #5 on: September 18, 2010, 11:51:00 PM »
http://www.associatedcontent.com/articl ... tml?cat=34

good one to help sway the Drunk Sheeple.
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Offline DannyB II

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Re: AA Protest Flyers
« Reply #6 on: September 19, 2010, 10:51:39 AM »
Quote from: "Che Gookin"
http://www.mentalhelp.net/poc/view_doc.php?type=doc&id=12570

Seems like it could be a good article for instilling that seed of doubt into the ranks of the boozers and losers.

Quote
Concerning Problems Within AA
Mark Dombeck, Ph.D. Updated: May 7th 2007

cocktail umbrella tilted on its sideIt's time for a follow-up on my AA is a Cult? Essay of about a year ago. Two reasons for this. First, Newsweek recently published a three page article profiling an AA group in the Washington DC area which has been accused of cult-like and abusive behavior. And of course, as AA is by design an open organization at the ground level, there are not really mechanisms in place to keep predatory sorts of folks from joining and then manipulating the organization. Some words on how to identify and avoid predatory behaviors and characteristics are perhaps in order. Second, because the comments on my original AA article keep on coming, and there are distinct patterns emerging therein which are worth commenting on.

The Newsweek article first. The article concerns meetings held at Midtown, which is represented as one of the oldest and largest meetings in the DC area. According to Newsweek, Midtown members pressured a recent attendee, a young woman named "May", to cut off ties with anyone outside the group, to stop taking doctor-prescribed medications for her bipolar disorder, and to date and become sexually involved with other group members. Apparently, newer group members were also pressured to do chores for more established group members, as though they were pledging for a fraternity. There are other accusations as well, but these listed here capture the tone of the complaints.

Some of these behaviors, such as encouraging members to go off prescribed medications, become sexually involved with other members, and do chores for other members seem simply abusive, controlling and arrogant.

Quote
They are against established AA guidelines as I understand them.

Their are no guidelines for behavior in the AA Book but certain groups will and can pass bylaws for common decency.

Other behaviors such as the group's efforts to socially isolate members may have started out with good intentions. Some social control can be a good thing when dealing with addictions. Addicts build up habit chains, which are series of linked behaviors that lead them down a path towards becoming intoxicated. For instance, seeing a friend with whom you used to drink can set off a chain of behaviors which culminates in you drinking again. The best way to cope with these sorts of habit chains is to avoid getting them triggered. It makes sense, therefore, for newly recovering alcoholics to avoid the people, places and things associated with their drinking habits which get the habit chains started. It similarly makes sense for an organization designed to promote sobriety to encourage newly sober members to avoid those triggering people, places and things as well. There is a line that can be crossed into abuse here as well. You can certainly attempt to control people too much. However, the bar is higher for calling this sort of social control abusive than for some of the other behaviors Midtown is accused of perpetrating.

A little more on the social control complaint. A frequent criticism of AA groups is that members are not allowed to grow out of AA. In the case of the Midtown group, a member alleges that when she tried to leave her sponsor told her that she would die without the group to support her. There may be some merit to this behavior too, despite its seemingly sinister bent. Alcoholics are typically psychologically vulnerable in early recovery. Their minds and behaviors have been compromised by those addictive habit chains I spoke of earlier. Their judgment is typically crappy by which I mean that they may believe that they can go out with their old drinking friends, go to the bar, etc. and not end up drinking. It is as though they believe they are immune to their entrenched habits if they want to be. People who are more experienced with overcoming negative habits know better and do what they can to avoid triggering their habits in the first place. Understood in this light, a sponsor getting angry with a sponsee who wants to leave what seems to be shelter for a return to old habits makes sense. It is a helpless feeling watching someone who seems determined to hurt themselves and will not listen to warnings.

To take the other side of this argument for a moment, I have long been troubled by the idea that AA doesn't seem to provide a clear path for maturing out of the group for those people who over time cease to require it anymore. Or if there is such a path, it is not widely discussed. I have seen people whose entire social lives revolve around AA decades after their initial involvement and last drink and I have to wonder (from my non-addicted point of view) if that is necessary or entirely healthy. I don't question that there are people out there who will continue to need the constant support of AA for the rest of their lives. I don't question that people who have become addicted will remain vulnerable for the rest of their lives. I also don't question that it is a good idea for addicted people to remain sober for the rest of their lives. Better safe than sorry is a good policy. However, I also know that there is a larger world than AA out there, and it seems like it would be a good idea for experienced and long-time-sober AA members to expand their social horizons outside AA, even as it is also a good idea to keep their connection to AA alive.

Quote
NO Qualifications.
[/b]

Quote

Against AA
I've said this before and it bears repeating. AA is not necessarily the best available treatment for alcoholism, and it is certainly not the only one. I'm partial to the scientifically derived treatments myself. Relapse prevention and motivational interviewing approaches are what I'm most comfortable promoting.

Reality Check
However, these sorts of interventions are administered by professionals and cost a lot of money to obtain. They cannot be frequently administered to large amounts of people, or at least people cannot typically afford them in any frequent format. Also these scientifically derived interventions don't do a very good job of providing available sober social support; a sort of support that is absolutely critical for early recovery to progress in most cases.

 For AA
AA provides frequently available social support and promotes sobriety every night and every morning and in many places at lunchtime too. AA is free. AA helps people who are open to its message. AA makes an excellent adjunctive treatment for those who can afford to take advantage of the scientifically derived therapies. It is what is available to those who cannot afford those therapies.


OK Mr. Phd. make up your mind.

Quote
There is a baby in with the bathwater, is what I've been saying, and what many people who have commented on the AA essays have been saying too. There are really some treasures within AA if you can get to them. In order to get to them you have to find a good AA group in the first place (which is not guaranteed to be available to you, apparently (but what in life is?), and you also have to be open to the idea that your judgment is faulty; that you need to submit yourself to a "higher" judgment; the judgment of people who have struggled with alcoholism and learned how to live sober.

Well he seems to be coming around now.

Quote
The thing is, even though an alcoholics' judgment is generally crappy, they still need to keep their wits about them.

WoW, talk about being judgmental. Thanks Mr. Phd.

Quote
They still need to be making judgments about the motives of the people in the AA group they're attached to. They need to be satisfying themselves that they are in a group of people who are not trying to take advantage of them but rather who are trying to do something altruistic (and self-preservative too). Both con artist and saint will need to be giving explicit and somewhat controlling directions to the newly recovering alcoholic, and because it is hard to take directions; because there is generally so much pride at stake, these two efforts to control may appear to be indistinguishable. Nevertheless, it is important for the newly recovering alcoholic to be able to reject the one and embrace the other. This is one of the harder things to do in AA, I suspect.

Jeesh, I just love it when a condescending arrogant Phd with no addiction history, writes about a subject he could care a less about.

« Last Edit: September 19, 2010, 12:52:41 PM by DannyB II »
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Offline DannyB II

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Re: AA Protest Flyers
« Reply #7 on: September 19, 2010, 11:27:11 AM »
Quote from: "Che Gookin"
http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/2400980/alcoholics_anonymous_tales_from_recovery.html?cat=34

good one to help sway the Drunk Sheeple.

Jeesh Che,
 I am real sorry it took this man a decade to understand AA was not for him. One thing though I did not hear is that he went back to drinking (thank you, AA), yes he went to counseling, good. I am sure that was the best thing for him. Now he needs to go back to counseling to figure out why he blames AA for his unhappiness.
Also very sorry that the millions of people who attend AA meetings worldwide, you enjoy calling names like, Losers and Sheeple.


For all you folks with common sense,
Listen, I have been involved with AA for over twenty years. I started counseling at the behest of my family and sponsor during my first year sober, I was encouraged to educate myself.
My sponsor and friends in AA must have been different from others I have read about here. I was informed to keep a perspective on why I was going to meetings, who was at these meeting and to pay attention. I was told "mommy" is not at my meetings, my sponsor, is not my bank, taxi, girlfriend, friend or parent, that my sponsor was in my life for one reason and one reason only, to help me read and guide me through the first 164 pages of the "Big Book". If a friendship came from this great but it was not mandatory.
My first and only sponsor and I are acquaintances, I still talk with him 22 years later but we never really bonded deeper.
All this bullshit about what Johnny did and Sue Ellen did is like I said, "bullshit".
 
I attend AA meetings or functions rarely, I do believe there comes a time you do move on. Some folks with many years have chosen to stay on, they believe in a higher calling. Most of the folks I came in with have all moved on also, though we will come around for certain events.

These links that "Che" likes to throw up here proves one thing, that AA has a large population with diverse personalities. Welcome to Alcoholics Anonymous, we encourage all to come and we have a seat for you.
Sorry, if the people we invite into our house you find reprehensible(losers), everyone deserves a chance to succeed.
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Offline Che Gookin

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Re: AA Protest Flyers
« Reply #8 on: September 24, 2010, 08:48:54 AM »
http://www.peele.net/lib/aaabuse.html

Good content for the disaffected in the ranks who are court forced to spend time with the boozers and losers.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »