Rape- Sexual Assault in Alcoholics Anonymous Palm Springs, Santa Monica, CA. LGBT COMMUNITY at risk too.

rape pic I said no

Recently a woman posted on my stop13 step in AA site. She posted the whole story there. I think you need to see as she has a lot of courage. She is a lovely young 40 year old female that I have been speaking with at length, for the past week, as she is trying to make them change. I want you to go easy with her and her story as she was raped only 40 days ago. The day before Thanksgiving in Palm Springs CA> by a 68 year old male about 5’10 inches tall, in great shape with an accent. He is know to ask women and also be on craigslist. He has a boat in th marina and goes back and forth from Santa Monica , the marina and Palm Springs. Please WARN all. She went to the police and he has not been arrested yet.

She also reported that rape & crisis is Cochella valley said rape with the LGBT GAY AA community in Palm Springs is also very very bad. No one going to the police. I will go out there when a trial happens to support her and help any way I can.

Posted a few days ago by Adrianna W.

My Story:
I for one am looking forward to 2015. I’m not sure where the courage has come from for me to write this letter to you, but I feel it is so very important that I share my story and do my part to “talk about RAPE”, my rape in AA.
The day before Thanksgiving 2014, I was raped, 39 days ago. I have been in AA for close to 10 years and have been clean and sober almost 7 years. My program is my safe haven I am filled with deep gratitude for all that has been freely given to me and I give back as much as I can. My rapist is a man AA in my small community of Palm Springs CA and has 28 (!!) years sober. We call people with lots of time the “elders” and they are the ones we look up to and admire and trust. I am 45 years old. He is 69 years old. (I later found out he injects himself with steroids in he’s arms..yuck!) NOT SOBER
I accepted his “friendly, non romantic invitation to a bicycle ride, the day before thanksgiving. I had only met him briefly at an AA BBQ hosted by my previous sponsor, a woman I trust with my life..or did. I asked her if it was safe to give this man my phone number, as he was interested in helping me with my on-line business. I was told he was fine and safe and has 28 years sober. I gave him my number based on that advice.

After the bike ride (his bikes at his house), we returned to his home where we went inside and has some water and he began making a waffle. He then picked me up off his recliner and began rubbing my shoulders claiming they were tense for the ride. He proceeded to walk behind me, “directing” me into his bedroom. I walked slowly, but I went on my own accord, having no idea he would rape me.
Once in his room he immediately began grabbing at my top, pulling and tearing. I said NO. He said, “Something’s gotta come off” and began pulling at my shorts. I kept my legs closed and he then jumped on top of me and while there began trying to pull my breast out from the top of my shirt, putting his mouth all over my breast. I again said “STOP, I don’t want you to do this”. He then tried to get into my shorts by lying on top of me, suffocating me and holding me down, while his hand tried to get in my shorts. I kept him out and that made him upset. I kept saying, NO, STOP” but he was on top of me and I just froze up inside. He then got off me partially and pulled my shorts and panties to one side and painfully shoved his finger inside of me. I began to sob. I was totally numbed out and paralyzed emotionally. He then got off me and performed oral sex on me for about 2 seconds until I loudly with intent, said “NO STOP, Please!” But I didn’t run or kick him or fight for myself. I just froze up and kept my eyes closed. He then had his shorts off and started loudly saying, “look at me! Look at me..Don’t you want to see what you are missing? I was crying and sobbing. He was angry because I wouldn’t look at him. At that point he shoved his penis inside me and it really hurt. I screamed STOP..I guess loudly enough that he took me seriously, but not before he got at least 2 hard thrusts inside me. He then said, “You know what safe sex is? A condom and a good lawyer”. I had no idea what he was talking about. When it was over he was totally unaffected my tears and the entire act. I got up and got dressed, still totally numb, feeling like I was in some weird dream. I sat down and ate half a waffle, not wanting to exhibit fear. He told me not to tell anyone, especially m AA Sponsor.
I left, got into my car and locked the doors began sobbing and called my old sponsor and went right to her house. She is older and almost in her 70’s. She helped me immensely and I believe was giving me her best advice, but it was bad advice. She told me not to tell anyone, not the police, not my current sponsor or anyone else because would be a “he said-She said” and that I would get a bad reputation in our recovery community and the process would be to traumatizing. She also told me that because I was “pretty” that many of the other women would be happy that I was raped. I know this is false, but it hurt to hear that. I was in total shock and it sounded like a good plan to me because I was numb and I was afraid. For, I was not really in my body to make right decisions or to think clearly for myself. Knowing what I know now I would have called the police right then and there, but I was utterly ashamed and terribly confused and totally numb. Total shock.

Here is the link to her post read full story here…http://stop13stepinaa.wordpress.com/2014/12/08/troll-aa-members-trying-to-crack-the-safety-code-what-a-joke/#comment-5083

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79 thoughts on “Rape- Sexual Assault in Alcoholics Anonymous Palm Springs, Santa Monica, CA. LGBT COMMUNITY at risk too.

  1. Absolutely awful! My heart goes out to this person. I was 13 stepped by someone with multiple years of sobriety. Nothing’s done about these individuals inside the cult. These stories need to keep getting exposed big time! AA can’t get away with their cover ups anymore.

  2. it is almost as if these lady sponsors all have a secret script to read. I have heard identical “reccomendations” that were given to several rape victims I personally know.

    • It is like there is a special pamphlet I have never seen… called “What to do if a Pretty Sponsee Threatens to Take the Cotton Out of Her Mouth.” The subtitle must read… “For the Protection of the Group, The Fellowship, and the Meeting Facility.” Notice how they leave the individual out of that?

        • It repulsed me when I would hear these arrogant as hell old timers defend the emotional abuse etc. inflicted upon them. I heard one of them say old timers would tell him not to open his mouth when he first came in because everything he’d say would be a lie! He defended this bs! The brainwashing knows no bounds. Sick!!

  3. I studied a lot of sociology in my time, “rape culture” is a common term in the media these days… The time is ripe for AA to be exposed… the following was taken from Wiki- The guy who says it is a big genius if you have not heard the name before, it is an explanation of what rape culture is:

    “According to Michael Parenti, rape culture manifests through the acceptance of rapes as an everyday occurrence, and even a male prerogative. It can be exacerbated by police apathy in handling rape cases, as well as victim blaming, reluctance by the authorities to go against patriarchial cultural norms, as well as fears of stigmatization from rape victims and their families.[23] Other sociologists posit that rape culture links nonconsensual sex to the cultural fabric of a society, where patriarchial world views, laced with misogyny and gender inequality, are passed from generation to generation, leading to widespread social and institutional acceptance of rape.”

    • Yes. I couldn’t agree more. Most males I talked to in AA were very quick to blame the victim in any kind of rape case in the headlines. Time to stand up to this.

        • How true!! Everything is your fault even rape. Yet when any of these Hypocrites say they have done something wrong (which is rare) they just say “Well some are sicker than others” or “I’m a work in progress” Bull shit!! Instead of taking responsibility and making amends which these fools NEVER do! The crazy part is these people preach the program but NO ONE is following it. When I tell people about the rooms how a perfect stranger gets to sponsor and run your life they cant believe it!! A woman in the rooms who had 25 years and was hailed as a queen. I always thought she was out of her mind. Well I was right!! She is bi -polar and in and out of hospitals now. See is 68 years old and a complete Mess. She was one of the scariest people I have ever met. And all the lives she destroyed and her own life was falling apart. This I AA!!!!!!!

          • The last time I went back, the degridation of the people that remained was stark. I had gotten much better, and these people just got older and crankier, and damn right sadder.

          • Makes me sick!!! The everything’s your fault part makes my blood boil. What’s your part in crime committed against you?!! Give me a break!!! This is evil. Telling members they should put AA ahead of professional help?! Absolutely disgusting!! I know people who have died because of the abuse of this cult.

          • They put these dangerous individuals, some of whom are pedophiles and abusers etc. on pedestals as though they are statesman to look up to! Makes me want to throw up!!

            • it makes me sick too.

              what also makes me feel sick is that the law and social services and professionals did not help me pre AA around reporting a child molestor and a wife beater.

              and that both AA and the law did not help me around reporting an old timer in AA around sexual abuse.

              And that not only some in AA but also some not of AA have judged and blamed me for what others did.(What they did )
              even though i was reporting it and
              speaking out about it.And played no part in the sexual abuse of myself or others,.

              • Disgusting. People who had done time in prison for who knows what crime were in meetings standing up to be sponsors. Just imagine a poor vulnerable newcomer with nobody to warn them about these individuals who likely haven’t been rehabilitated. This is but the tip of the iceburg of the AA abuse. I challenged members on things such as mere bullying against me and I mostly got shot down as though I was the bad person. Sickening! Now that I’m thawing out I can see the horrors of this with more clarity.

    • I am guilty myself of this…. I did not know at the time this was in that link….

      under those required to report:

      “Clergy members, which includes priests, ministers, rabbis, religious practitioners, or similar functionary of a church, temple, or recognized denomination or organization”

      you bet I would go straight to the cops in a heartbeat, I wish I would have known at the time as I was a lot younger. I foolishly took it to “elders” of the group, both men, and women. The group conscience was that I “shut my fucking mouth.”

      (sorry for the f-bomb, but that is how they talk ya know!)

      for the protection of the group, the fellowship, and the meeting facility.

      • When I was first in AA, another new woman told me she was given a ride from an AA function by a guy. He took a “scenic route” and ended up way out in the country and told her either she had sex with him or he would leave her there. I didn’t know to call that rape at the time, I was so stupid. I don’t think either of us thought such a thing could be reported.

    • Just think of how the floodgates would open to litigation against AA if current or former sponsors in AA started getting sued for the results of sponsees following their advice/guidance/wisdom/BS. The number of lawsuits that in theory anyway could be brought against persons who are or once were sponsors in AA boggles my mind. This would indeed bring some changes about in AA if nothing else would – the collapse of getting away with BS and the realization that there is legal liability for acting as if God – AA would never be the same. If it survived, it would not be the same ball game ever again…..

      • To expand on that sentiment.

        OK, so we have this chronic, progressive and fatal disease. People with this grave condition go to a place that they think is safe and government-sanctioned and lets say they go to a hospital meeting where it obviously looks like the hospital endorses the approach by allowing meetings there. The person hears repeatedly they should get a sponsor and eventually does so. They are merely following the “suggestions” repeated or even directed at them. The chosen “sponsor” then begins to run their lives with the threat of death from drinking and social exclusion if their “advice” isn’t followed. The sponsor is in a position of control in what is supposedly a fatal medical condition. By acting as a representative of the AA program they must bear some responsibility for practicing medicine and giving living and legal advice.

        If the medical condition of “Alcoholism” is serious and fatal, we must begin to treat it that way and shoving people into a community-driven, religious, faith-healing cesspool with no responsibility in any direction has proven itself to be a failed and dangerous approach.

      • There was a man in our neighborhood who sued all the members of the board of directors on really bogus charges because he was mad at the board president over what amounted to nothing. The suit was thrown out by the judge, but if he can sue board members of a homeowners association because he doesn’t like one of them, think of the suit that could be brought against some of these so-called sponsors.

        Psychiatry and Psychology require a license to practice. Sponsors practice medicine without a license.

        • I think the most likely response from AA apologists is that sponsors are only there to help people go through the steps of the program of Alcoholics Anonymous. If the sponsor does more, that is not the fault of AA.

          Um, so, what are the “steps” again, exactly? Hard to say, eh? They are designed to bring about a “psychic change”, right? Sounds like psychiatry to me. So someone with a chronic, progressive and fatal disease is put under the direction of anyone in the cult to help them deal with their fatal medical condition? No wonder their success rate is so low. It’s a joke. The whole AA ecosystem is an unfunny bad joke with dead people as their punchline.

          • Exactly. They don’t deal with any underlying mental health issues. They aren’t professionally trained to know how to deal with them. Then they act like they have all the answers to someone’s mental health challenges. This can be extremely dangerous. Any mental health crisis and some will immeditately say ‘you’re not working your program properly or well enough.’ Unbelievable! I have heard some say they’ve had to seek what they call outside help. That’s the only help they should be getting. Not what’s in the cult. It can simply prolongue a pre-existing problem, if not make it worse. Scary.

            • I agree strongly that psychiatry is not that perfect too. But 12 step can really be 12 steps backwards for many people.

              Hams has an element: 8. Address outside issues that affect drinking

              I often point this out to people just started in cutting back on their drinking, realizing that it is easier said than done.

              What I found when I started doing that, the problem with drink reduced conciterably. Sure on occashion I may still drink too much. But the daily thing, so called alcoholism is gone. The craving is gone.

              I may feel like drinking sometimes, but in no way do I feel a compultion to drink. There is no internal conflict about it.

              But I feel so much of addressing those issues comes from within. A big problem in our society is that people are forced to slave away in the rat race trying to survive, that they have little time to do what it takes to truely work these things out.

              Any therapist worth a spit, is going to be very expencive, in my experience, and those who are not may be nearly as distructive as 12 step.

              • Exactly. That’s the problem. Professionallly trained therapists can cost a lot of money that many people, including myself, don’t have. This cult simply prolongues many underlying issues a person may have, if not make it worse by the brainwashing and negative self talk thrown at them.

          • Considering there is an article on the Fix right now about a licensed therapist who uses the steps to treat trauma victims and claims them as therapy; they are seen as therapy in many instances. I was told by a therapist I know, in defense of using the steps, that a lot of 12 step members would leave therapy if thry thought it was in contrasted with the steps. I don’t feel comfortable revealing his identy.

            • Sad. It becomes their way of life. Their way of thinking and living. Anything not consistent with their AA doctrine world view is considered ineffective and worthless. The 12 Steps and the larger magical thinking philosophies behind them have become a cure-all when they obviously are not.

              • The 12 step cult has too much of a stranglehold on too many medical communities. Not enough exposure on the crimes within AA are the reason. All the more reason to keep coming public and blow this cult wide open.

              • I hate the steps. I worked them through and through. Yet I knew at 24, six years sober, that they were not going to help me with the problems I saw I had even sober. The article on The Fix made me sick..YUCK !!!

                • Makes me want to throw up as well! I couldn’t go through a fourth and fifth step a second time. That’s where I drew the line and realized how insane this all is. Nothing but indoctrination and mind control. Unreal!

  4. i am sorry that you were abused. it is NOT your fault.
    i admire and honor your courage and strength . i support you in your decisions .
    we are all, here for you.
    much respect
    karen parker

  5. to Adrianna W.,

    Know that there are several available alternatives to AA. If pure abstinence is your desire, there is SMART, SOS, and several others… Though many of these groups are small, and access may only be threw internet meetings, that is actually a good thing.

    I do HAMS now with is a group that is accepting of Harm reduction, Abstinence and Moderation support. So we truely are open minded. I often attend online daily, and I can tell you nothing even approaching harassment goes on there. Ever. It is quite equally populated my men an women, and there is no need for all these splinter groups like 12 step decends into.

    Also as far as I know every non 12 step group has sexual harassment policy in place.

    But frankly, the insulating effect of doing meetings on line is that people do not have access to you. You can totally get a decent non physical support group, and it is very safe. I even have a email pen pal now.

    But whatever you do, do not ever do 12 step online, it is a very gross environment.

    Find social physical friends in safe places. Explore common intrests in groups of normal people. Meet people that way. Is my constant suggestion lately.

    I have 2 very good friends who had nearly Identical experiences to you. I know rumors of many more…. AA’s responce to such a thing would make you sick. I know as I have written to world service of both AA and NA. NA at least showed a degree of concern. AA on the other hand……… really rotten organization.

  6. Ok so this really ticks me off this story. As I know 2 women who share this story so I was inspired to write and send this out to one church, and I am going to hit every one I can in the neer future…… here is the letter I wrote: {Feedback please}

    Hello there,

    I am a former member of a 12 step group that meets on your property. In fact quite a few years back my first sponsor and I were the original people who approached the pastor at the time, and you opened your doors to us. At the time I was quite a naive young man, and since my realization of the reality of what goes on behind the scenes in these anonymous groups has changed dramatically.

    I am particularly concerned about the inclusion of minors in these fellowships without the presence of a parent. Often youngsters are dumped at a meeting, the parent leaves, and then they are handed cigarettes, as well as sharing the company of convicted felons. Some of who are convicted sex offenders. And sadly people have no way of knowing.

    Many of these youths are exploited in horrible ways, often turned on to whole new worlds of substance abuse at the hands of felons who are mandated to meetings as a way of getting out of jail/prison, and have no desire what so ever in improving their lives.

    The problem got much worse after the passing of prop. 36 back in the nineties. Not all that are preyed upon are minors, in fact most of the naughty business that goes on around these groups has nothing to do with children at all. But merely the presence of them there constitutes contributing harm to their lives. Irregardless of if they are dumped off by ill informed parents, or brought into meetings by parents who wish to attend themselves.

    The reality of 12 step groups is that they are truly disorganizations. AA world service will tell you about this upside down pyramid of service structure, basically absolving themselves of any wrong doing when it occurs. There are no leaders there. There is no training of trusted servants who may appear to be in control these groups. The reality is that they are completely anarchistic in nature. The concept of Anonymity while a wonderful way for the member seeking help to keep a backlash from stigma attached to their situation from further affecting their lives, also creates a very dangerous situation where various criminal activities can and certainly do take place. It also creates a false sense of intimacy and safety between people who are really strangers. Often only knowing each other’s first names, and if they are lucky, a last initial. And some of these strangers come with serious dangers.

    I suffer a lot guilt for ever being involved with these groups, further more guilt for helping these groups expand in our community.

    A lot of the traditional activities of working the 12 steps and sponsorship seem so bizarre to me now, it is dumbfounding to me that I ever partook in them. Particularly the taking of confession, in the form of a 5th step, is really a dangerous thing for an untrained person to partake in. Not to mention the constant playing the role of priest/therapist throughout the sponsorship process.

    Though I know you have allowed these groups to meet at your facility for some time, very few of the folk who initiated these groups at your facility are willing to have anything to do with 12 step any longer.

    The great news is that there are a lot of other groups growing all around the nation that can take the place of these groups. People have a lot of alternatives these days, and from what I have seen, are happier for it. In many communities 12 step groups are finding it harder and harder to find places to rent, but for good reason. If you look up AA or NA and crime, in a Internet search you will find a lot of horrible news of crimes initiated by people meeting in these groups. But the reality is that what goes unreported is often the most shocking things you would never want to know.

    And those are only the big two. I know many people who have serious trauma as a result of attending 12 step groups for over eating, or loving to much.

    Sure there are a lot of great people involved in 12 step too, but there is a real issue of the indifference of good people within the 12 step culture. It is practically written into AA literature. And I have found when I tried to get the meetings to change from inside, it was not possible. Not at the group level, and certainly not at the world organization level. They simply refuse to make any attempt to protect vulnerable members. They refuse to adopt a sexual harassment statement, they refuse to make any attempt to inform members of many of the dangers in these rooms.
    But the culture of 12 step is to sweep it under the rug, point fingers and say rape is everywhere. It is not our fault. Female sponsors for generations have told rape victims they sponsor to not report. Even in the case of minor children. It is truly chilling.

    What I plead of you is to ask your self, how much do I really know about the validity of the 12 step model? What do I really know about the unseen 12 step culture? And seriously consider if you really should be continuing to support these groups within our community.

    Thank you very much,
    Todd N—–

    P.s. If you pass this on to them please omit my name as it could have serious consequences to my safety and well being.

    • That sums it up well. Dangerous criminals are given full protection in these meetings. I’m lucky I have good intuition. It didn’t prevent a 13 stepping predator from taking advantage of me as a vulnerable newcomer. This must be exposed. No organization is above the law.

      • Truly marvellous letter Oddnes! It’s not vitriolic, it’s balanced, it gives credit where (some) credit is due, it’s articulate, it’s fair and it’s well written. Very well done.

        You could mention the 48 hours programme? Or is that gilding the lily?

        GS

      • What really chaps my hide is that AA takes no responsibility for the situation created in the rooms by dangerous criminals being in the midst of vulnerable newcomers not there due to the criminal justice system. I don’t know of any other place where criminals have such easy access to fresh prey – seriously, to even volunteer at the library shelving books where I live you have to pass a background check. Even as a unpaid volunteer there are safeguards in place. Why does AA have such a hard time grasping this concept? It may be it’s downfall that it won’t take the safety of it’s members seriously.

        • I woke up this morning. “it is almost as if AA does not want to clean up its side of the street.”

          Like they do not want to make amends for what it does. Like it does not want to do a group inventory or something. Or like it does not even belive in the steps it promotes.

          the group level of AA certainly does not practice what it preaches.

          • Are you suggesting that “the program” is constitutionally incapable of being honest with itself?

            The horror, the horror…

            At the end of my stay I found myself in meetings wondering what I could do to improve them. I quickly realized that there was nothing, as the thought stopping slogans amplified by the group conscience definitely belied any semblance of a group conscious of much of anything.

            • Interesting take! Now that you mention it Cognitive Dissident, yup…..AA is constitutionally incapable of being honest with itself. I never quite saw it that way but yes…..dead on. If it were honest with itself, this site wouldn’t need to exist and none of us would be here. Really from step one and from members love bombing you if you show you are willing to tow the party line to sweeping unethical and illegal behavior under the rug – AA is not honest with itself or it’s members. Oh what a tangled web AA has weaved as it has always practiced to deceive. I’m just glad that the truth about AA is being exposed FINALLY.

              • Yes! You get approval in the cult if you go along with their brainwashed doctrine without questioning it. Otherwise you’re condemned and called sick and everything else. It’s sickening. I still have a couple friends that are unfortunately brainwashed. I can’t challenge them on the AA cult because I know they’ll just slam me and call me sick too. It’s frustrating as they’re still going to persuade me to come to the cult. I have to stay very strong and determined during this time. Thank goodness I have support here.

    • Oddnes – my take is that your letter is well written and balanced – it gets the point across in a civil and sane way without rancor. Maybe more of us can be writing similar letters – does anyone think this would have much effect?

      • I think the effect is two fold. One is that it is hard to go after the meeting facilies if they are truely unaware of the reality of these groups. A lot of churches have strict rules to keep thier insurance that are specificly geared to the protection of children. Having a 12 step group on their property is a danger to that facility, as 12 step groups for the most part do not respect such policy. Obviously, or they would adopt some themselves.

        Not to mention the sexual harassment/abuse of women.

        But if they are made aware, and simply choose to stone wall, that is another issue. It makes them complicit in the crime of covering it all up. Which is a bad thing for them to do, as we have seen in various situations in the past years since the priest scandals started. It is not a good idea for them to sheild these groups that sheild its members.

        What I would like to do is use my experiment as a test case for us. I will give this church 10 days from now to respond, and I am going to begin writing each church in my town a very simmilar letter, but I am going to be able to write specific common issues to that local for each location of AA/NA/OA in Davis.

        If they respond back I am coming up with a list of media I can point them too, if they appear to care a wit about the issues I am bringing to them.

        If they do not, or I am simply ignored. I hope to get other people from here to write letters from all over this country and across the world to show that these problems are ubiquidous all over where these groups exist.

        In their letters they will write of common problems they have seen in their own meetings and further give weight to the amount of people who have been harmed by these groups in our communities.

        If we can get them “out” so to speak, of one town, or at least much of it, it will create enough of a media stink. And more media stink is what is needed. This is a good location to start as it is a fairly small town, but it has a large campus that is currenty very focused on “Rape Culture” which 12 steps groups are a glaringly neglected huge part of. Also the town is very progressive.

        12 step groups are going to do whatever they can to stay out of public controversy, if we want people to see what is going on there we need to drag them out into the clear view of the public eye kicking and screaming.

          • here is my other project I just got Story #1 on the Rapevine…. here is a link to the blog.

            http://therapevine.blogspot.com/

            the story is under “Youth in 12step”

            the direct link is here
            http://therapevine.blogspot.com/p/blog-page_12.html

            Please anyone else who wants their story out there read this as I put it up unedited other than for now I am suggesting the person leave their last name off. If they insist one more time I will post their full name.

            it is up to the contributor.

            Please contribute,
            please contribute,
            please contribute.

            People will not be able to comment on the stories, but may comment on the blog entry linking to them. Or on my blog writings.

            Write stories in your own voice in as natural a way possible. You may not get to hit everything in one story, but submit more under different topics, or many on the same if you can.

            It is a Work in progress. Please submit stories on:

            13th stepping issues
            Sexual harassment
            Sexual abuse
            being to young to have been in such a place
            financial abuse
            spiritual abuse
            sponsorship gone wrong
            Mental abuse
            “waking up & walking out”
            deprogramming
            Trying to make things better there

            Thanks!

            Email to therapevinenews@gmail.com

            • Oddnes, I strongly urge you to keep to your gut instinct and omit any last names. They will serve no probative purpose, but may later be a source of regret for the posters. You can help look out for those who may be in no position to look out for themselves in times of great distraught. Great work, otherwise!

            • Oddnes, after having read the first two posts to your new site I want to thank you for your efforts on behalf of the younger XA contingent. Having witnessed so many younger people in AA going down the tubes in my just 20 months in the rooms, your work is of particular interest to me. TSF is the last thing anyone needs, particularly in youth, no matter their problems.

              Please keep up your good work. I believe it will make a difference!

              • Thanks very much. The best thanks is take a half hour and write up a story of your own, put any name on you like. Email it to me.

                therapevinenews@gmail.com

                That goes for everyone. There are so many topics to cover in the 12step horrors field.

                I hate to beg too hard, but I think it is such a great idea, and I think the more stories the better it will be!

              • the ultimate goal is to have a collection of stories so large…. it will just be sick.

                that is what I want. I have figured out a way to set up the blog to better work. It is very different, in that it will not have discussion on these stories. But they will be there for everyone, for as long as 12 step exists.

                • I want to thank everyone who viewed the stories I have posted so far. I thought it would be fun to post where I am getting the most views, and was rather shocked to find that leaving AA was not the winner!

                  As it tends to be my favored forum, you guys need to step up your game… lol

                  Orange paper forums won hands down, though I recieved little comment on stories, the ones I did were great though, as is true with everywhere.

                  LeavingAA, and NAdatona are tied for second!

                  cougarblogger.com
                  is a distant 3rd, But be warned I love her blogging. It is #1 in angry anti AA bloggin In my opinion. A total crackup.

                  Please send me more stories!

                  therapevinenews@gmail.com

                  Lol.. Lets get orange and make leaving AA #1.

                  It is so much fun building this site, but I do need submitters. It is key to the project.

                  http://therapevine.blogspot.com/

    • Great letter I will use it when the time comes. Its so true. I am Busy with paperwork and contacting people for distribution. I look forward to meeting many of you and watching the film with you in your town.

  7. …and I still know guys in AA who resent the women’s group at our local Alano club. With the kind of stuff going on small wonder. I thought t was enough that some women might feel more comfortable in a female only group. If you are actively trying to avoid harassment and abuse, all the more reason. I’ve known some guys in the program to be real skirt chasers, but have been naive enough to not even consider the rape angle. From now on I’ll see things in a new light. I wouldn’t put this kind of action past anyone who was willing to endanger other people by driving drunk.

    • Not to mention that most of the court slips have nothing to do with DUI. Often they are sex offenders who blame alcohol, so they mandate them to AA/NA as a condition of their parole. At the same time AA/NA activly try to get underage people to join… And oddly this literature says nothing about…. “Hey kids, bring your parents with you for your safety”… it is crazy. AA in particular, has pamphlets targeted toward youths.

      • It’s disgusting that AA recruits youth and mandates sex offenders at the same time. That proves that criminals are given full protection. All the more reason this has to be exposed on as many shows like Frontline and 60 minutes etc. as possible.

  8. yup… And every single person in those fellowships is a part of that system. They are members of that organization when they say they are, and at least by my state laws, they are directly responsible. It is just simply not being enforced, the law that is.

    • Absolutely. The fact they do nothing about it makes them responsible. I remember when I was 13 stepped it was like I was under this person’s sick twisted spell. This individual felt they could do no wrong. Really sick. It’s taken some time for me to heal. Abuse doesn’t have to be just physical. I felt very taken advantage of psychologically.

  9. I just wanted to send my support to Adrianna,

    She’s a very brave lady, and she is doing all the right things and all the things she describes about how she felt and how she acted is exactly how rape and sexual abuse victims act – there is nothing unusual about going in to shock, going numb, disassociating etc, there is no ‘right’ way to do it.

    As for the shame thing (I read the full story on stop 13 step a few days ago). I had a wonderful trauma therapist a few years ago, and she was explaining to me about shame and ‘carried shame’. It was in relation to an act of sexual abuse that I witnessed perpetrated on my young friend and then myself when I was about 10 years old by a 90 year old man. He seriously abused my friend, and had been long term, but I was also affected too.

    I told my therapist that for years whenever thoughts of this event floated into my mind I had been dogged by feelings of shame. Sometimes I’d be dogged by the feelings for no reason, with no thought attached to them, they’d just turn up, a bit like an ‘attack’ of shame out of the blue.

    She explained that when we are violated and attacked, our boundaries are overwhelmed – boundaries form that sort of invisible ‘forcefield’ we have around ourselves. They are what us know who we are, give us that sense that tells us when we are being stared at, or someone stands too close, or mobilises us to defend ourselves when someone is attacking our thinking, or allow us to be compassionate to someone feeling intense pain without being overwhelmed by their feelings (they are the line between ‘you’ and ‘me’)..

    These boundaries operate physically, sexually,intellectually and emotionally etc. When they are violated, and rape is a gross violation, we lose control of who touches us and how, our personal space and sense of selves is violated, our very sense of self is denigrated, we may be verbally abused and attacked and raged at also. The attack crashes our boundaries, it is a major violation that we cannot withstand. Therefore we become ‘boundary-less’ temporarily – our on board protection system, or part of that system, like a computer, crashes. (I wish there was a better word than ‘boundary’ but I can’t think of one).

    For someone to abuse us like that they have to have lost touch with their own healthy shame (healthy shame is what prevents us hurting others, propels us to apologise when we do, it’s a sense of our innate, natural imperfection, to use an AA loaded word, healthy shame gives us ‘humility’ so that we realise we are not the centre of the universe, and we have to consider others).

    An abuser is not feeling healthy shame, they have totally lost touch with it. They are shameless. They have to be in order to do the vile things they do, and to have the sense of entitlement they do. They are also feeling sexual arousal. They might also be feeling powerful feelings of hatred and anger. All this emotional ‘energy’ is flying around and we are there, boundaryless, with no means of fending it off, right as we are in the process of being violated.

    She explained that sometimes the crazy feelings we can feel after we have been abused are actually not ours – they belong to the abuser who was cut off from these feelings. We in our boundaryless state sort of get contaminated, a bit like a sponge, our onboard system is temporarily crashed, and so we cop all the shame, all the anger, all the hatred etc..

    She explained to me that I felt ashamed and a kind of sick, terrorised excitement because it was HIS shame, HIS sick excitement and MY terror (the only sane feeling going on in that room at the time was my fear!). I was not nuts, nor was I abnormal, my therapist said she’d worked with hundreds of people like me and they all said the same thing. This was such a relief.

    It was like a key unlocking a door for me – not MY shame, HIS shame!!! And everytime I felt the ‘ick’ feeling come back, if I was in the car, or somewhere where I could, I’d shout ‘YOUR SHAME NOT MINE!!!!’ and slowly it went. I did a lot of breathing, swimming with controlled breathing and shouting underwater on the out breath, yoga, walking, to try and get those feelings out of me. But just knowing that allowed me to get a grip on what was going on. To just know to feel ashamed when we’ve been abused is typical of survivors, really, really helped me.

    Sorry that’s so long winded, hope it makes sense, it’s hard to explain. But all I just wanted to say to Adrianna is it’s his shame, honey, not yours. Give it back to him, you didn’t do anything wrong.

    Girlscout
    x

    • girlscout- this story and my speaking with Adrianna has brought to the forefront my being date raped at age 16 by one of my best friends older cousins. He was 21 and a Vietnam Vet. It left a serious negative mark on me. Then later age 17 I fought off some assaulters when I hitch hiked across the country alone in 1974. Another subject in my film sent me links to how AA members have infiltrated rape crisis support groups. I started thinkining of going to see what they heck they are saying to rape victims. It was then a voice said in my head ” you were raped too” you don’t even have to lie. You can go , and see if they are using AA tactics on rape victims ….

      AA member always said well you were drunk right? So that it was somehow my fault then. I actually believed them until I had a good therapist at age 35. The later incident I was always sober when I hitch hiked. I knew that would keep me safe. So there was apart of what they said that I knew was bullsh*t. I still have flashbacks of why I stayed in that asshole cult for so many years. I refuse to call myself names about it, But I was at a party Saturday night and a woman was defending Families Anonymous.
      When I said that AA aka 12 step was highly religious , she say NO its not ! You can’t make nature your god. I could not hold back. I said WHAT …are you kidding. We discussed till I felt I really got into her head, That AA is religious as deemed by our courts yet people are coerced. She kept saying so you cant force people tp g to AA. And I kept saying , that’s a nice Idea but its not a reality.

      The rape thing is hard. I think Adrianna is the first I have met by phone, who has gone to the police and wants to speak out. I think I need to meet her in person. I think she is going to be the person who will help break things open.

  10. I just want to say that as a male I find the attempts to sweep something as serious as rape under the rug is….is there a word in the English language that fits right? – criminally unacceptable. I can’t even begin to grasp how traumatic it must be to be violated in this way – the only thing I can think of is once when my apartment was burglarized in 1985 and things in my bedroom were picked through and thrown about – I felt very violated. That and maybe crank it up by times 100 is what I am thinking. There is no excuse for any man to force himself on any woman and this is no excuse either for female sponsors to be part of the sickness in the rooms by urging sponsees to just let it go and pretend it didn’t happen. This is beyond sick and twisted and needs to be exposed. How many women – and given that there are GLBT groups, too, how many men also – have been victims of this in the rooms and just swept it under the rug and have suffered for it since? My wish is for healing for those who have endured this and for this issue to be brought out onto the table for the world to examine. And to this particular lady – kudos to you for reporting this crime! For respecting and loving yourself enough to not be pressured to pretend it away…..I wish you healing and the best in your future.

    • Agreed 100%. There is a silver lining that I see here though – there are people who see AA for what it is and thanks to the Internet we are able to come together and get the word out there. To prevent this from happening again and to force necessary changes to prevent this from happening again. Which is not to minimize rape in any way, shape, or form – I’m just glad it’s not say 1976 when the Internet didn’t exist and when society let these kinds of things happen and swept it under the rug.

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