The 13th Step- A Documentary Film, Exposing Sexual & Violent Predators, in Alcoholics Anonymous and its culture Available NOW on VIMEO!

Well- it’s here— now– finally after four years of work.  We won some awards, got into The Cannes Festival in the DOCUMENTARY CORNER, and fought hard to get Broadcast distribution. I get emails from around the US and the world daily about the problems in AA.

BUY IT HERE. CLICK ON THE BLUE THE 13th Step  on top Left !

 

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The film that tells the truth about the most revered self-help group on the planet. AA- ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, promoted as the wonder of this century by ROCKEFELLER,  NEUT GINGRICH, DICK VAN DYKE, ELTON JOHN, EDIE FALCO, Senator Hughes, Chuck Lorre, Martin Sheen and many more.

Little did I know how deep the rabbit hole went when I started making the film in May of 2011. It was Christine and Saundra Cass’s murder in Hawaii that did it for me.  Learning about Karla Brada’s murder put the nails in the coffin as well.

But when I learned about how Pilots, Nurses, and Doctors are extorted to attend in such an insane way …I could not believe my ears or eyes as I read their contracts. This could be another whole film on CNN , FRONTLINE or 60 Minutes – but I digress.

The latest News about Corrupt Sober Living Houses, (Chris Bathum featured on ABC 20/20 recently)  fraud in Rehabs and how PROP 36 sends all the diversion folks to a SOBER LIVING, drug tests all clients and makes everyone follow the 1936 -12 step Prohibition WAYS of NO ALCOHOL , “no nothing” kinda mentality. YIKES !!!

Interesting note that Major Insurance is paying for The Sober Living sham, through a thing called IOP’s and expensive Drug Testing. Who owns the drug testing COMPANY you may ask? I find myself digging, again, down another rabbit hole. But, that’s another film. There is one pilot who I interviewed in this film. He was afraid to be seen.

Here is the link to rent or buy the film.

Activists or AA Bashers? By Juliet Abram

I have decided to highlight some ex steppers who are writers getting their ideas printed in more places then their own blogs. Juliet Abram has a blog and runs some FACEBOOK Groups as well. Here is a post about defending ones own opinion about why some DON”T like AA anymore. ( I do think we have a right to express this, just as if we didn’t like a burger joint! )

By Juliet Abram 06/04/14

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Am I an AA Basher because I found Alcoholics Anonymous unhelpful?

Check out more fresh voices in The Fix’s new blog section.

Ten years ago, I learned that AA’s primary purpose was helping “other alcoholics to achieve sobriety” through working the 12 steps. To disagree was to “bash” AA. I believed AA could help MORE people if it was secular, not spiritual. I even objected to staying anonymous. Were we ashamed? People with other diseases organize 5K runs and put magnetic ribbons on their cars.

Today, my home state of Ohio has over 266,000 people with three or more drunk driving arrests. When I was court ordered to 12-step meetings for the third time, I knew I had to do something different. After all, hadn’t I heard in AA that the definition of insanity was doing the same thing and expecting different results?

I had over a year left of probation when I started a Secular Organization for Sobriety (S.O.S.) meeting. Still, my probation officer professed AA was necessary for my sobriety, and my refusing to go could have resulted in jail time.

I discovered that AA is not a support group that encourages the exchange of ideas. It is a fellowship based on living spiritually and carrying the AA message to others. The women who wanted to help me would ask if I had a higher power – was it God, and did I pray to it? I wanted to be restored to sanity, but as an atheist, I could not make believe I had an imaginary friend.

Discussing spirituality, or religion, made me uncomfortable. As far as I am aware, alcoholism is the only “spiritual” disease. I believe it is beyond the government’s scope of power to prescribe prayer under threat of imprisonment. My opposition to the AA organization does not mean I oppose recovery, but as long as 12-step treatment centers only support AA, other options like S.O.S. or SMART Recovery cannot grow.

It’s not bashing AA to claim AA does not work for me. According to a National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism survey of 43,000 Americans, three quarters of those dependent on alcohol recover, and three quarters of those do so without AA. NIAAA uses the clinical definition of remission from alcohol dependence as a person who is no longer dependent, including asymptomatic, or controlled, drinking. A majority of those in recovery drink without problems according the government’s massive national survey.

So I am in the majority! But in AA one drink is failure and sets you back to Step 1, admitting you are “powerless” over alcohol.

In his 2014 book, Recover! Stop Thinking Like an Addict and Reclaim Your Life with the PERFECT Program (written with Ilse Thompson), Stanton Peele writes: “Most people overcome alcoholism themselves, as they do smoking and every other addiction.” Instead, AA enabled me with applause and reward coins for not drinking. Nobody needs to clap for me because I didn’t drink today.

It’s not bashing AA – it’s truth – to point out that AA doesn’t work for everybody – for most people – and that other methods can be helpful to them. Psychotherapy helped me recognize continuing life and emotional problems I had that the 12 steps never addressed. And I don’t consider myself powerless.

Co-founder of AA, Bill Wilson, wrote in 1958: “Today, the vast majority of us welcome any new light that can be thrown on the alcoholic’s mysterious and baffling malady… We are glad of any kind of education that accurately informs the public and changes its age-old attitude toward the drunk. More and more, we regard all who labor in the total field of alcoholism as our companions on a march from darkness into light.” It’s entirely possible Wilson would have considered SMART Recovery or Moderation Management or Peele’s new book as worthy companions to AA today.

I hope those in AA become more accepting of people who disagree with AA, or who find other ways work for them, instead of calling them bashers. Hopefully, we’ll all benefit by having fewer drunk drivers and “powerless” alcoholics.

Juliet Abram is a writer and artist. She is also a former court mandated attendee of Alcoholics Anonymous. Her activist cause for 12 Step alternatives in Ohio is the AARMED with Facts blog.

CNN/CIR rehab fraud investigation spurs lawmakers into action

 

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http://www.cnn.com/2013/08/02/health/rehab-racket-siu-cir-part-four

 

A yearlong investigation by CIR and CNN found widespread fraud and poor oversight in the state’s alcohol and drug counseling program for the poor, called Drug Medi-Cal. It is part of the nation’s largest Medicaid program.
In the wake of that investigation, another California lawmaker has called for an independent audit into the troubled program. Los Angeles County officials also are proposing reforms aimed at tightening clinic oversight.
Report: Fraud in taxpayer funded programs

Rehab program rife with fraud 10:26
Were teens used as fake rehab patients? 09:08
California’s rehab fraud crisis 04:31

NEW to LEAVING AA and FACEBOOK- Need help deprogramming ?

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HI and Welcome ! There has been a real surge in FACEBOOK activity with ex AA members. Please join us if you want on FACEBOOK in the deprogramming page. I know some dont want to let their identity be known so we are keeping this blog going.

It is a different kind of communication.

No more hiding the truth about AA and NA anymore !

How does AA and NA kill people?

josh_killer stevenhayes_pic_killerWhen I first heard this said, I was shocked . It was January 2011 on Big Johns Radio station in Daytona Beach, FL. One of the callers , had called in and said these exact words.

But what do they mean to me today some 5 years later. I know how AA and NA are killing people.

1. When a Doctor or a Pilot, Nurse or lawyer is extorted to AA for years on end. When A pilot has to play the AA game. ( AA was intended to be a place where the person came to AA on their own) some kill themselves.

2. When members drink or drug again and are shamed into they failed the program ( they didn’t work it hard or good enough ) ” Perhaps you need to do more service….is d=said very often. Also not true. But many cant bear the thought of going back and raising their hands and starting over.

3. Many are told by a sponsor or a stupid AA member that taking SSRI’s makes you not sober or clean. ( Utter nonsense) who do these people think they are ? Doctors?

4. Many are sexually harassed, raped or their children are molested. When the victim goes to the group, the groups says ” well, whats your part in it.( Victims have no part in people victims) Thats what Predators love about AA

5. The facts of what I now understand is that AA fails about 90-95 % who go.

6. There are violent offenders being sent to AA, and through Domestic Violence this leads to murder. Sometimes they have long criminal backgrounds.  ( as for the case in the Petite Murders, they met in AA and then they targeted this family) I have posted the killers mug shots on this page at the top.

7. Suicide is a big killer in AA.

8. I think AA and NA are a huge cause in with Opiates deaths currently . Say a heroin addict goes to a meeting. He or she is told they can never drink a beer or smoke pot. They look around the room and see these creeps or assholes and think— GOD— I’d rather shoot heroin and or die then come to these meetings for the rest of my life.

9. AA can create binge drinking. SOUTH PARK did a great episode about this.

HotDocs in Toronto, Canada- making connections with International Distributors

hotdocs picI arrived last night around 7 pm to a cooler, yummy Canada. The weather feels wonderful compared to overly sunny, southern California.

I am glad to be here to connect with Distributors, Broadcasters and other Doc film makers world wide.

HotDocs is the biggest Film festival and Market in North America.

No The 13th Step did not make it into the film festival, ( I was dealing with Breast Cancer) but it will be seen by over 25 Distributors and important decision makers on a one to one basis. It’s a short trip this time, but productive and I may get to see a film or two. Best thoughts to you all!

Monica aka  massive

Practical Recovery is Hosting a Free Screening of The 13th Step – Tuesday -April 26, 2016 in San Diego CA>

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Thanks to Tom Horvath and Practical Recovery there will be a Free Community Screening.

Monica Richardson – Director /filmmaker will be there to answer questions after the film.

See you then!

If you want to host a Free Community Screening in your town contact us.

Monica

https://www.practicalrecovery.com/event/13th-stepfree-screening-the-13th-step/

Bethlehem Police Officer Sues over being forced to join Alcoholics Anonymous. I Love this GUY!

A Bethlehem police officer who was dismissed following a DUI charge, then ordered to be reinstated, is now suing the city after its expert ruled he is an alcoholic and is unfit to return to the police department.

Richard Hoffman is neither an alcoholic, nor a recovering alcoholic, and has never received a medical diagnosis as such, according to his lawsuit filed in Northampton County Court last month.

Bethlehem, however, is using a forensic psychologist’s opinion to brand him as an alcoholic who cannot perform his duties as a police officer, the suit says.

Hoffman “was, in essence, terminated twice without just cause,” according to the lawsuit.

Since the city regards Hoffman as a recovering alcoholic, which he denies, the city should consider him as a person with a disability covered under the federal Americans with Disabilities Act, the suit says.

Under the statute, Hoffman should have been allowed to complete the recommended treatment before being determined unfit to return to the police department, the lawsuit says.

Hoffman’s attorney, Donald Russo, could not be reached for comment on Wednesday afternoon.

Attorney Susan McDonough is representing Bethlehem in the matter, and filed a notice Wednesday to have the suit moved to federal court. McDonough declined to comment about the suit.

Hoffman was charged with drunken driving after crashing into a parked vehicle and damaging two others in August 2013 in the city. His blood-alcohol content was 0.16, according to authorities.

Hoffman was accepted into a first-time offender’s program and the DUI was erased from his criminal record.

Bethlehem City Council voted unanimously in March 2014 to fire Hoffman, but an arbitrator ruled last year that the city only had cause to discipline him, not fire him.

According to Hoffman’s suit, the arbitrator ruled the city could only discipline him with a 25-day suspension. Hoffman was to be reinstated, but the city had the right to require Hoffman to submit, and successfully complete, a fitness-for-duty evaluation.

Hoffman claims the city never required other officers with DUI charges, who were also suspended 25 days, to receive the same evaluation.

The arbitrators ruling “reflected unlawful bias in the form of an utterly unsubstantiated belief that (Hoffman) was suffering from alcoholism,” the suit says.

As part of Hoffman’s evaluation, Dr. Frank Dattilio submitted a report last May that found Hoffman is an alcoholic who could possibly relapse, and is unfit to return to as a patrolman, according to court papers.

Dattilio made recommendations for Hoffman before he be allowed to return as a full-time police officer:

  • Six months sobriety before being allowed to return to light duty.
  • An additional six months of sobriety before being allowed to return to his patrol unit, with the recommendation of random urine tests.
  • Joining an on-going recovery program, such as Alcoholics Anonymous.
  • Dattilio’s continued evaluation of Hoffman’s complying with the recommendations.

http://www.dailynewsx.com/news/bethlehem-police-officer-fired-following-dui-sues-city-82645.html

Drunk Driver kills person in Accident says AA didn’t work for him

Driver in fatal Franklin County crash given 7 years

  • By NEIL HARVEY, BH News Service
  • 0
  • For most of his life, alcohol was a part of each day, Ronald Lee Bowker said Monday in Franklin County Circuit Court.

    The 52-year-old electrician said he tried Alcoholics Anonymous but claimed it just didn’t work for him. He sought medication that might curb his thirst but said his doctor wouldn’t prescribe it. He told a probation officer his father had always been a heavy drinker and, before that, his grandparents, too.

    “I just couldn’t get away from it,” Bowker recalled.

    His brand of choice was Icehouse — a lager with a percentage of alcohol by volume that is somewhat higher than most domestic beers — and he told his probation officer he usually drank five or six 24-ounce cans every night.

    Bowker was driving drunk on the afternoon of April 24 when his 1999 Chevrolet Silverado crossed the centerline on Burnt Chimney Road and collided head-on with a 2011 Ford Crown Victoria. The driver of the Ford, 58-year-old Trinkle Lee Cook of Moneta, was killed. Read full story here.

http://www.thefranklinnewspost.com/news/driver-in-fatal-franklin-county-crash-given-years/article_efd2e238-e54b-11e5-8f7c-2732ec823498.html

Hopefully one day soon- Americans will know about Vivitrol , Natrexone and other non AA help that would help people addicted to alcohol. Another life would be saved and this man could also have a life free from addiction

SMART RECOVERY, SOS, LIFERING, WOMEN FOR SOBRIETY, Moderation Management, The Sinclair Method, Hams Harm Reduction . These are free options.

NON 12 step paid treatment list: Practical Recovery, in San Diego,  St Judes Retreats in New York State, The Goodman Center in Knoxville, Tenn., Alternatives in Los Angeles, Center for Optimal Living in NYC run by Andrew Tatarsky, Center for Motivation and Chnage run by Jeff Foote, Books by Lance Dodes, Books by Stanton Peele, Book by Hank Hayes You’ve Been Lied to. Book by Amy Lee Coy, FROM DEATH DO I PART>

Gabrielle Glaser and Monica Richardson give Alcoholics Anonymous a run for its money- a low rating for Healing and minus 1 star rating for safety around alcohol overuse issues and here’s why…

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Once again the article in The Atlantic by journalist Gabrielle Glaser  http://gabrielleglaser.com/articles/ was trending on twitter yesterday, then back on to The ATLANTIC Article http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2015/04/the-irrationality-of-alcoholics-anonymous/386255/written last year about how AA is not the safest or smartest place to go for any kind of REAL healing from Alcohol overuse issues.

For me, a long time ex member who was 13 stepped more then once as a teen and GOT OVER IT…..and just lived with it, realized— thanks to GOD,  my good brain and my sons, that AA was full of S**t …..yea I said it. Full of shit. No science, No research, and lots of religious rhetoric. Many MUSTS and do’s and don’ts and ” better be “of Service”  or else you’ll get drunk….kinda crap….but after 36 years with no booze -I walked away a very disenchanted camper.

Thanks to Gabrielle Glaser who documented the work I did  in 2009 -2010, my last two years in AA ( in Chapter Six of her book  HER BEST KEPT SECRET ) before I left in 2011, about Safety, sexual harassment, sexual predatory crimes and 13 Stepping,  I felt validated and not alone.

In her book Her Best Kept Secret, a New York Times Bestseller, Gabrielle Glaser explained to me and the world how alcohol was once a lovely thing to enjoy in The WHITE HOUSE by our First President, George Washington  &  MRS WASHINGTON, and her many guests.  I learned that most men, women and children were drinking hard cider  necessary until we figured out how to have  clean water.

Americans were neither puritanical or Prohibitionist  from the start…that came later—- along with the non drinking Billionaire Rockefeller, and  the famous AA Creator/founder , —–drunkard, scam artist and womanizer—-Bill Wilson and a few other religious fanatics like Frank Buchman who started the cult The Oxford groups. ( The place Bill Wilson really got sober).

Many decades passed before Courts and judges shoved millions of Americans into a lay person, unsupervised cult like pods of nobody’s for a Drunk driving ticket, a violent offense or whatever floats ones boat today —where EVERYONE says ””OH… I’m an Addict “”””” poor me.  I can’t control myself…blah blah blah.

It does make me wonder where those bad ass pioneering Americans with lots of tough skin, tenacity  and self control have disappeared to?

In her book, HER BEST KEPT SECRET – I also learned  that a Heroin kit could be bought in a Sears & Roebuck Catalog. She then explained  how women’s drinking was on the rise, why… and how were these ladies getting help. Maybe horse therapy in a fancy spa for 50 K was not enough.

Glaser never a problem drinker herself,  began investigating innocently at first, found her way down the same rabbit hole as me, and through Dee Dee Stout, a Harm Reduction Therapist in San Fransisco, who appeared in an episode of “PENN & TELLER Bullshit”  ——- introduced us and…       we met. 🙂 The rest is history.

There are times in life where I have met people, Gabrielle being one of them, that I now feel I could not have gone on with my film and my work without their help and their own driven path to seek out why AA and 12 step controls 95 % of all rehab in America . And why was it infested and controlling our Drug Courts  and the DUI system still to this day?

Her early research brought her into the halls of New York AA Headquarters where an employee made a joke about 13 stepping not realizing that someone might take notice.

Katie Couric heard us because of Gabrielle Glaser and her Book. CBS 48 Hours – episode THE SOBER TRUTH heard and told the story of the Karla Brada Murder because of her.

SO this is my ode to Gabrielle Glaser, in that her fierce voice and criticism was needed, and still needed to tell a very dark true story about what really goes on in those meetings and culture.

Gabrielle being one of the first persons to get the most articles written, criticizes what needed to be done, unlike some of us simple ex stepper bloggers could not get one journalist to hear our voices or write those stories.

The courageous women and men who we both met and interviewed has broken open a dirty little secret that felt it was untouchable, above the law and better then medicine and science. Yes – I am talking about Alcoholics Anonymous. It is not a government agency!

I highly recommend her book for those leaving AA, those thinking about leaving and those who are professionals who have been recommending it to their clients for decades.

For me —-she is my hero—-she is my friend— she is a great writer and without her—- we might…still be on yahoo groups or www.stinkin- thinkin.com  —anti AA groups fighting about if AA could ever be sued or was AA a cult or not- boy how sad that would be.

With dozens of anti AA blogs and ANTI FACEBOOK pages Gabrielle Glaser has managed to amass a long list of legitimate Newspaper, Magazine articles , radio show interviews and the Network news, Television shows to uncover, discover and discard the lie… that

AA is the one and only …and the last house on the block—-

which clearly we know now—-it is not true. Nor is it safe.

Your friend,

Monica