Welcome to “Leaving AA” Alcoholics Anonymous

     Whatever may be your story, we understand. Many of us were in “the rooms” months, years and decades. We know. Welcome to a site and a community that tolerates no AA bullshit! You are free now. You are amongst hopefully mostly sane individuals that have walked the walk and have “fled the insanity and dogma” of 12 step culture and it’s meetings.

      Years of horror. Years of being belittled, harassed, and told what to do by some member who knew less then us and still was unemployed and insane after decades in AA. We sat in smoky rooms, cleaned coffee cups when we didn’t even drink coffee, experiencing abusive crazy batshit 13 stepping older creepy men and women for far too long. We understand, whatever brought you here, whatever you googled, it’s okay. You found us. You found me, you have found tens of hundreds of us who never felt a part of AA or who NOW no longer feel a part of the 12 step culture.

We are all here for many reasons. But one we can most surely agree on. That is if we hear Chapter 5 read one more time…surely, we would blow our brains out. Figuratively.

It’s not your fault. No….your skirt was not too short. You did not dress too sexily. Its them. It’s not 13 stepping. Its called Sexual Harassment in the “Real World” Oh, but AA isn’t the real world is it? It’s some crazy made up religious type 1936 cult thing or, not.  But wait, isn’t this 2011? So why is our government sending people in droves to 12 step. Why are 90 % of Rehabs and Treatment Centers AA/NA based? Is it that one feeds the other? Is it that for many years there wasn’t anything else? Maybe. But that has not been the case for over 25 years. So why don’t  the Courts and lawyers and Judges send DUI’s and problem drinkers to the many alternatives that have been around for over two decades.

Why did I not even know till three years ago that any alternatives to 12 step even existed? Why so many questions. Why is this such a big secret? Hmmmm Money. Profits. Maybe. This is a shame. A praying God forsaking shame. 25 million people are suppose to be suffering from addiction and 1.8 million, maybe, are in AA. And AA is declining. I know this to be true because … many peopIe know and myself have left this year. Yes it’s true, we left… running out the door never to return.

Here are some positive self healing approaches: Some of us ran to (Smart Recovery) some to (Rational Recovery) around over 20 years by Founder Jack Trimpy. Some of us ran to (Women for Sobriety) and some to SOS (Secular for Sobriety), while some preferred a place that abstinence was not the way like HAMS Harm Reduction by Kenneth Anderson. Some wrote books like Amy Lee Coy and Hank Hayes and Dee-dee Stout, Stanton Peele and Albert Ellis. The list is longer and soon I will have a resource page as I have been reading all of these books for the past three years undoing the damage AA did to me for over three decades.  Now let’s compare these with the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous. I think this book is a joke. I studied it in and out and after giving it a good 36 years study, I’d rather sleep zzzzzzzz. Actually I think it’s dangerous if taken over zealously and I think many people feel it needs to be revamped and rewritten.

Some are mad as hell and we aren’t going to take it anymore.

Some of us will not tolerate being bullied… especially AA bullies. So let me tell you right here right now as an x AA member, I know those true believing fools and what they are like. I once was a “true believer” of sorts. I see thorough it all. So if you decide to blog here as an AA troll, only some things will be tolerated. Please Rules of the road:

No sexual harassment, no bullying, no homophobic slurs, no threats allowed ever. Please blog here, start your own blog and let’s hang until Stinkin- thinkin returns as I pray to the gods it will :)

1936 powerless

2011 EMPOWERED!

you choose…

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1,260 thoughts on “Welcome to “Leaving AA” Alcoholics Anonymous

    • HI Ryan. Thanks for calling in today. We will do on AA and suicide next week. Stay well, keep talking and tell your parents I am so sorry for their loss as well.

      • Hi,
        Thanks you all for posting. I’ll be brief. I have been clean and sober now for a year and sixty-five days, most of that in conjunction with attendance of the local AA club here in town. This has been one of the more…confusing, I don’t even have the words…year in quitte some time.
        I have been drinking to get drunk sine Iwas a teenager which started in conjunction with a suicide attempt because of a failed romance, which in turn was the climax of the pain of my parent’ divorce when I was ten.
        I have every street drug you can think, with serious problems with meth and a 6 month bout w/heroin in my mid twenties. There has been trouble with law (four arrests, one a drug possesion felony in 99).
        My life has just never came together (never married, no kids,seriously underemployed, living with mom for the last twelve years, a real loser, in my mind). This has made me unhappy. Very depressed at times. Though now I finally have a decent job (it required a degree, go figure). I;m in student loan debt up to my ears.
        Sorry, looks like this isn’t going to be brief. Last year, after stopping drinking for a month I went to the meeting I currently attend now. I fucking hate it at times. Okay most times. I want AA and sobriety to help I see the men in AA and many of them are single. Ugh. I see very few wedding bands on their fingers. They just don’t have what I want.
        I am a funny, creative guy, with an active mind, who loves to read and study on everything. I like to delve into pop culture, and I am at home in the Bohemian set. I have never felt so …Stifled…before. I am currently looking at a book on Greek migration in the Age of Homer, and I can’t even start it because I need to read the BOOK more, over and over.
        I drank and drugged …well….for many reasons. Mostly to feel better, less akward, more secure, because I really do have real esteem troubles (I’m actually an attractive man and have no girlfriend. Have been “around” a lot, but nothing ever serious or lasting). Yes, sometimes I drank, excessively…to party and have a good time with others.
        AA is not the best friends I’ve had. My friendships came in my early, mid twenties with an artistic crowd in a bohemian neigborhood in the city I live in. I stil talk to them (some), and recent;y attended the funeral of one of our fall
        en.
        My life seems to be getting better in sobriety. I finally have found my first decent job (benifits, 36k, tough work in sales type position though)
        Today my co-workers asked me if I would join them for drinks after work, and I wanted to go. I might have been fun, and I seem to get along with them. I don’t want to be completley sober.
        AA is weird. the thought of being alone (thouugh clean and sober!), and going to endless meetings for the rest of my life, makes me want to scream.
        I am waiting for my life. I desperatley want what a thirty eight year man should have in American society, and I hoped getting sober and doing AA, would be the ways and means to achieve that. I want so much to grow. A real relationship is paramount to me. I want to read something good again. Sometimes I think that this is the right thing to do (Sobriety, though maybe not Aa). I got the job. I got and am using the gym membership. Maybe there is a God that wnts me to SURVIVE. Waiting for my real life to begin.

        What do I do? Any suggestions would be very welcome. Thanks for letting me get this out. Oh, Idon’t wnat to marry into AA. Iwant to get married to a woman, not to Alcoholics Anonymous.

        • hi Travis. Welcome. I have much to comment on your post but I am on the road and no real access to computer. Please hang in there.
          I will be back tonight!
          google Alternatives to AA…is a possible suggestion.

        • Hi Travis,
          1) You don’t have to stay in AA to stay sober.
          2) You don’t have to be completely sober to have a life.
          3) Despite it all, sometimes the loneliness can be crushing. I feel you there.

          • I felt more lonely in AA in the end. When I left I felt connected with bloggers and new friends I made on the blogs.

            ALthough some live in different states, something I learned in AA that works for me, is I pick up the phone and call people when I need to talk.

              • eva- HI and welcome!!! WOW 25 years..you are like me…..

                How are you feeling? I felt really sad and mad that i was so fooled and was such a sucker, a stepper and brainwashed …after a year I felt this huge shift….

                Maybe you can tell us your story.

                • well its been a journey these last few weeks, I have felt everything from extreme elation to sadness, fear and some isolation, I still know deep inside me that this was/is the right thing to do.

                  • Some of the difficulties that I have experienced over the last while are: Talking to my husband of 34+ years about my reasons for leaving the program, he is an avid group go-er and has a lot of fear around my leaving. It also has become our social life to a great extent, although I have friends outside of the recovery program he doesn’t and that is proving somewhat challenging. I am missing the social aspect for sure however my goal is to real identify myself outside of a group setting. I am so much more than someone who doesn’t drink. I am looking to connect with others that have been through the same. I live in a small community in Northern BC so there is probably only one of me right now. I am ok with that right now but have definitely felt a few minor panic attacks. (I can be a bit dramatic). Probably more of a feeling of discomfort than anything.

              • what made me leave? well an accumulation of things,
                1. I don’t believe in GOD Higher Power or any other kind of magic
                2. I was saying what I heard not what I believed
                3. It was time to move on before I lost respect for myself
                4. I am an okay person and I don’t need to keep identifying myself in a negative way, I don’t really want to be working on myself all the time either
                5. after 25 years clean and sober I started to wonder if my step 1 “story” was really my story or bits and pieces of everyone else’s story. It is hard for me to remember. That’s my top 5. More later

                • So you don’t care about the new people coming in?
                  Leave that job for other eh?
                  Take it all and give nothing back – not very spiritual eh?

                  • Actually, I don’t PRETEND to know how to take care of other people who have addiction problems. I am not arrogant. It should be left up to professionals – not ppl off the street.

                  • DD were not IN AA anymore. Have you even read what this site is about. I suggest you take your arrogant ass off my site and go back to your meeting in buudhist lovely ass Thailand and talk about this “AWFUL ” Leaving AA site so we can educate more of you steppers who are still so seriously brainwashed.

                    Good Day

                    NAMASTE!

                  • HI JOHN M REID…you care about prostilatizing your AA religion but see we are gone from AA and we don’t have to do that anymore. Who are you to judge who is spiritual. What you are doing is not religious , spiritual and lacks any manners as well. Oh thats right ….you are an AA member , so you are a rude ARSE> :)

            • Me to after 24 I have now 26, after all the insanity in AA, its good to have a drama free life. But I also think we stayed because we just were not done yet. Than there was nothing left for me to want there.

            • I have done the same thing after 23 years. I am embarrassed that I stayed so long honestly.

              There are two things that made me leave:

              1: Lack of Alcoholics in AA, most people 75% in our area a street drug addicts (this is common all over the USA now). Can not help them, they can’t help me. We lost 2 heroin addict in my home group this spring to OD’s. By telling them they belonged in AA our group is in some respects responsible for their deaths.

              2: Cult “group-think” pressure to conform to the way of our “self appointed leaders”. I have been to AA meetings in over 20 states and 3 countries – I get the Grapevine and read everything AA has published. Yet most people in AA believe whatever bullshit is said in the room by the “spiritual giants” in the rooms. It is utter lies, at beast and destructive advice at worst. Since most people won’t open any of the AA literature other than the BB, they are highly threatened by any dissenting information (though it is in the other AA literature). Having been branded a heretic you are then shunned by the “real sober people”.

              I woke up after 20 years of this nonsense, stayed a few more years, lost all my AA friends because I wouldn’t chant the magic words with them any more. Then I left, I have a new life, very very sober, many new interests and I may even participate in the next Winter Olympics too.

              AA was a place to start, but if you stay too long it turns into cancer.

              • I just left AA for good yesterday. I was an avid attendee of the meetings for 1 and ½ years ( that was many years ago). Even though I left I always had this feeling that I was wrong for leaving. I felt that, as I was told over and over again, if I did not attend AA meetings that I would get drunk and stay drunk or that I would become “dry” and be miserable. I did, over the years, return to my ex-home group but I wouldn’t stay very long. Once when I returned I was asked where I had been. I said that I had been going to church and I was shunned because the thinking in AA is that AA has the ultimate authority on sobriety. I was lead to believe that AA was the only way to stay sober. I didn’t even know what I was believing in until last night when I did about 5 hours of research into AA. I remember, that early on in AA, that first question I asked myself was why it was required of me, in order to get sober and stay sober, that I had to constantly have a mind set that I had to degrade my thinking, that my thinking was continuously wrong; that is what is called ’Mind Control ‘ – independent thinking is not allowed, according to AA members. One must follow the groups thinking or suffer the wrath of alcohol abuse. If I complained about sexual harassment I was told to be patient (just take it) because that person was a new comer to AA or that that person just wasn’t working the AA program. In order to “fit in” I was told that I had to take an inventory of my actions because “after all you (me) were a part of the problem”. Part of my inventory required me, at a later time, to apologize to a person that had abused me as a child, as a teenager and as a young adult. The reasoning for the apology, as I was told, was necessary because I had a resentment against that person and that a resentment was the number 1 reason why I would return to alcohol; that all people are spiritually sick. So what I was really being told is that I’m to take responsibility for my actions and that others were excused from their actions. Fear was instilled in me in many forms. One way that fear was brought to me was that I was told by the AA members that If I did not strictly adhere to the principles of AA that I was signing my own death warrant ( it is written in the BB). There is a lot more to my story. In a nut shell, I suffered for 16 years at the hands of the AA members. I am so glad that I now know the truth and that I have no desire to ever return to AA. I wont waste my time trying to explain myself to any of the members as to the why I left AA. Their phone numbers are no longer in my contacts and if any of the members call me I will ignore their phone calls. I am very glad that I found this web site.

              • Thank you Massive!! I am also ashamed of myself for not only being there so long 20 years but taking the abusive from these MORONS! In many ways it changed my life for the worse. I am just starting to rebuild my life again. Massive the one thing you hit on the head was it is like a cancer if you stay too long. I never could understand how you reread a book over and over and over and over again!! To me it is just INSANITY!! And if you read the literature and the big book it does not say any of this nonsense slogans!! It does not say 90 meetings in 90 days! I believe that AA started out with good intentions and than started tasting the MONEY! I believe that is why they want no one to leave AA and to do meetings everyday. A dollar in the basket every day times millions of people equals MILLIONS OF DOLLARS in there pockets!!! It’s all a SCAM! There is even a story about an Indian on a reservation and he stayed sober by reading the big book and he did not go to meetings. There is so much Hypocrisy in the rooms filled by a lot of weak, mentally ill, perverts!! Thank god for this site!! A place you can detox from the abuse of AA!

                • There was an interesting presentation by the founder of HAMS where he was talking about going back to moderate drinking. He had one line on a powerpoint that essentially said those that went to AA would have the hardest time moderating. That is a pretty big claim and it points to how people subjected to AA are changed. Now, what other changes does AA instill in the individual? I’m serious as hell here. What other shit does AA inject in people’s brains to mess them up beyond the subject of drinking? Magical thinking is certainly one area where I know I have been affected by being told to rely on some supernatural skydadday, but I wonder what else? If anyone has pointers to good sources that talk about this specific aspect ( not general deprogramming, but specific cognitive and behavioral effects of AA indoctrination) I would be much obliged. And I think it is bigger and more influential than we realize.

              • Totally agree I been in an out for 6 years an sober now for over 2 years an realized I was seeking approval from others in these rooms. thought the rest of the people outside of AA didn’t understand am very happy that I got out at 34years old an can now enjoy the rest of my life which I have worked hard for an shouldn’t feel any need for shame or regret or negative thoughts or any of that other stuff people that have ruined their lives an still stayed sober can put on you in there. Goodluck to everyone who is making a new start with their lives we all deserve it.

            • Hi,

              I just found this site and am delighted to meet kindred spirits!! I too am sober, and had to leave AA in order to stay that way! This blog is nice, but can anyone tell me if there is a live chat somewhere for people like us?
              Thanks

            • You ungrateful bastards!

              No only joking – I’d hate to be in the USA where non alkies are sent to meetings and bible thumpers take over the meetings.

              I live in Thailand where people are Buddhist and I love the AA meetings.

        • Travis,
          Look into Smart, they are just one of the alternatives you could try to help you staying sober and enable you to live the life you wish. Use google and as massive said “alternatives to AA” and “non 12 step” are good places to start. Keep looking until you find what you feel comfortable. What feels right for one doesnt mean for all in my . Keep positve

        • Hey congtratulations, YOU got the job and YOU got the gym membership! Not AA, Not God, Not your sponsor, YOU did these things. And YOU can do more, keep on improving you and your life as you see fit, and don’t feel like AA is the only way, believe me, it’s not, it’s not even close

        • Hi Travis-

          Sorry I got so busy, but try going with your co workers and drinking a virgin something. You can make an excuse if you want like” Im driving, next time, …But I say go with them. I missed out on many things in my early years alawys afraid to go when I first came to Hollywood.

          Im sorry I didn’t go and drink a non alcoholic beer or even a coke. Who cares. I can have so much fun sober. ….sorry I hate that word now.

          ALso no one will judge you here if you have one drink. This is not AA anymore. Your a grown up ….you do what you want.

          • I don’t really know how to “blog” yet, but wanted to attempt a comment anyways (how about that – trying something different)… anyways so far I love the ENCOURAGEMENT I see here!!!

        • I went to AA for a long time on and off..My brother did to and quit but he also quit going to AA…He told me something that EVERY AA person needs to understand but is never told.,,,not this way anyway…It worked for me Im sober 11 years he was about 15 or so before he died of pulminary fibrosis.. anyway this is how you can stop going.
          .ask yourself..
          Why are you going? to stop drinking ,,thats part of it…the other part is to LEARN how to stop drinking… those crazy people in there Need it to stay because they never learned the how. ..they have never taken the time to understand HOW to stop. the steps are there to release the past and through the higher power you Believe it can be beat…thats Part of it . the other part is listening to the others on how they handled situations that trigger you to drink..when you LEARN how to stop the triggers ..you learn how to stop drinking and wont need AA no more..You go to AA to LEARN how to stop drinking.
          It really comes down to the higher power at first …you allow it to take control over you ..you are powerless, then in time you learn to take back the power through the meetings Of learning.
          I know say I went to AA to learn how to stop drinking ..once i learned I left..and have never looked back…I understand that One drink will destroy me…I trully believe it too be an alergic reaction…Its a switch ..one drink and its turned on.
          But I dont even think about it ..ever..

          • One more thing..i used the higher power ALLOT..I still do..as Im a believer in the ol mighty.(take God out of the human race and then look around) . And do believe he took it from me..But I was the people teaching me how to handle the situations that let me leave.
            i learned how to stop drinking ..its that easy.

        • Listen to Abraham Hicks Youtube videos on addiction. Addiction (no matter the outlet i.e., food, alcohol, coke, shopping, sex, drugs, etc) is about alignment with yourself.

          Give yourself a break. Much love to you.

          Kimba

          • I know their tapes very well. Listening to them when I went through a divorce was helpful. Years later they sounded a little kooky, but they helped me through that rough stuff and I even saw them live in LA for a weekend. Back then I tried everything. I had lots of AA “time” too but but we all know how little that whole 12 step things doesn’t work for real problems.

        • thank you! I’ve been waiting for others to feel this way. Attended my first meeting in 1982 I was 17 years old and am still attending the bullshit. I’m finally after years finding alternatives after many battles. AA just made me want to drink or get stoned after a fews years attendance each time. I am trying to get my drivers license back from 1995 ouil 3rd offence. Wish there was another way years ago I might not have kept going back out drink and drugging and getting in more trouble . I also feel like they are bullies in AA. they say trusted servants not leaders bullshit they try to run a lot in AA. there is a treasurer where I attend who thinks he is the one who signs the sheets but my sheet says chair person not treasurer besides sometimes I may chair and it used to look good for those of us who chaired, it let the powers that be know we were being part of the group. I would like to be a big shot like them to where is their humility. I wanted friendship but AA’s is conditional. Now days one can feel the tension around the tables like they are just ready to get in to it with someone. I would just as soon have them chump me in that way I could get a couple swings in towards the ones who say they are right but yet are clearly hateful. I now attend a group called DRA dual recovery anonymous. We deal and talk about our mental illnesses and addictions which is what our addictions were in the first place a mental disorder.

          • Yes there are bullies, I have seen it and experienced it. Some of the emotional bullying is very damaging, those relationships are based on: “If you do as I say and follow my program we can be friends, if you stay sober I am a good sponsor, if you get drunk it’s your fault.” and so on it goes. There are some wonderful people in the program but what happens when you step away? I think most of the rhetoric is based on fear and a whole lot of peer pressure/group think.

            • good post I agree. you can do it on your own an in life sometimes you got to. some people that speak loud an prominent in AA maybe financially secure am not have the stress of a low end drunk on the street. of real struggles as well as achieving sobriety everyone’s are different. I came from the gutter got out AA helped for a bit to learn some stuff but I am truly now free of the guilt shame an remorse that I have left the meetings & without going back to the addictive habits which troubled me before. the hard thing is that when you are in AA or another 12 step program you believe it all to be true an the only way because you only get one point of view.

        • I am currently in AA. No booze in almost in almost 10 years
          My sister got sober in AA we had given her up for dead.She is 40 years sober now.
          My question is : What can we do to improve AA : !

          Yes I know about ” 13th stepping” etc…If know about it the person will be more or less …shunned
          We can Not kick people out of AA..
          That is part of the deal….
          About all the other craziness in AA..Well I have been around a while
          And…let us be honest… people in AA start out VERY SICK!
          we try to get better through the step process…yes I know about the grumpy old men etc.
          The truth is … even people with years of sobriety ca be ,,Crazy as fuck !..
          You will be able to identify them
          after after a while..basically you have to know who is really sober serene and has a great outlook on life.
          NOT all in AA do…We are trying to get better . Do Not judge us all by a few. I could go on..but if AA is Not for you ..That is Cool!
          People get sober in many ways.
          Yes I go to meeting and sometimes I hear a Lot of bullshit!
          When I it ..after a certain point , it is my job to correct them.
          I once almost hit an older guy with over 20 years sobriety because he told a new comer that when he got cravings ….to ” eat some sweets”…yea it is in the book but…
          That is Not the Way to have Happy sobriety…some old timers
          think they are ” Deacons”…Bullshit !
          We all the same trying stay sober and live a happy productive life.
          You have to know who to listen to ..
          and who Not to listen to..
          As for the Big Book.. It needs to be “translated for you..actually”
          It is deceptive..there are parts that seem archaic etc..my sister will Not read ” To wives”..she rejects that” Patriarchal bullshit ” as she call is.
          Fine
          Almost every meeting I go to .. I will listen someone who does not have a clue. It is a process and…some people with long term sobriety are still very ..sick.. and unhappy.
          It does Not have to be that way.
          Any way good luck and I would appreciate any feedback.

          Sid H.

          • Sid

            Thanks for your message, we get a lot of AAs on here who just tell us where we are going wrong so thanks for not doing that.

            I don’t think there is much you can do to improve AA because of the way the organisation is structured and also the fundamentalist like zeal with which a significant proportion of members view the infallible programme and book. Changes will never get voted in as fundamentalists have now taken over.

            I had 12 years continuous “sobriety” in AA and in the end decided it was a hokey faith healing cult and left. I have never felt better.

            The 12 steps are not a treatment for anything and in fact cause more problems than they solve around self esteem, guilt etc, neurosis, anxiety, passivity. Also I don’t believe alcoholism is a disease (and neither does science) … I also don’t believe telling people that they are powerless is a solution to anything.

            AA has a less than 5% success rate, and a higher suicide rate than no treatment at all. It’s rife with problems. The only thing AAs do more successfully than not drink, is binge drink worse than ever before.

            Also, whilst I hear you are coming from a good place, your version of ‘correction’ is not the same as someone else’s so it creates a very confusing picture for new and vulnerable members.

            I think AA is anti intellectual and leaves out social and political factors too and AA membership renders members passive and not engaged in social change to tackle the things which causes alcohol abuse in the first place. Contrary to AA belief, alcohol dependence is NOT an equal opportunities disease, it is vastly and unfairly concentrated in those groups without economic or social power. AA membership however is more middle class and white… instead of sitting in a room telling myself I’m spiritually sick and the cause of my own issues, I could be out there making the world a better place.

            Also, frankly, sexual and financial predators need to be more than ‘shunned’ – they need to be reported to the police and barred membership as they would in any other modern organisation (including, finally, the catholic church). AA has a sexual abuse problem (in a large number of cases, organised, systematic abuse) that would rival the catholic church. AA is one organisation and much like Catholics said, ‘but we have a good priest in our parish’ you cannot separate the global actions of the organisation, from the personal experience. If you are in, you are in the global cult of AA.

            The AA programme is also anti-women – the whole book is a bunch of patriarchal bullshit in my opinion, and places far too much responsibility for abuse on the victim’s shoulders, asking them to look at their part in it. It is also hard for minorities – whether by race or sexual orientation or religious belief – as the programme is geared to white, middle class power driving men. The majority of people’s issues is NOT too much ego, but quite the opposite. The programme just retraumatises these people unfairly (again).

            I think a lot of people in AA aren’t even alcoholics – they might have issues for sure, they might be abusing alcohol, but they are not ‘addicts’ – I think this is a major issue too, and this whole thing of ‘self diagnosis’ is dangerous, in that other issues are not being treated and the steps just repress a lot of emotional stuff that needs to be dealt with. Particularly anger, I’ve never met an angrier bunch of people than at an AA meeting. Being angry is not unspiritual, it’s very necessary a lot of the time.

            AA members always insist that the it is just the actions of the few that are causing issues, but in my view, the whole organisation is complicit in the problems – it is the organisation itself that is the problem.

            If you want to improve AA I’d suggest you leave, find another way to stay sober or moderate (whatever is best for you) and devote your precious time to something more worthwhile.

            Best wishes

            Rebecca

            • It is here after reading what 20 blogs on how A.A. is so horrible, for one reason or another, that I stop to blog.
              I am a memIber of Alcoholics Anonymous. I am a gratefull and thankful member of A.A.
              I am 23 years as an active member. I do regularly attend open meetings and closed discussion meetings. I have worked and still do work the 12 steps, in my life.
              I read these negative comments about A.A. and I have also read the Orange Papers, and after reading them I am so glad I am in A.A.
              Why? Well, I did find this site because I get disillusioned with A.A. meetings now and again. What I am disillusioned about is that recovery from alcoholism needs a Spiritual answer, not a self help answer, or a socialist answer, or a self esteem/self sufficiiency answer. Alcoholics Anonymous has a common solution found through our fellowship, yet also through our Program of Recovery. This is the Spiritual answer to alcoholism. The Fellowship and the Program of Recovery. With only one of these I will not recover from Alcoholism.
              So, what is disillusioning me about A.A.? Well, it is the meetings. The idea that recovery is easy. That to just chant certain readings together in the room, be an answer to recovery from alcoholism, the disease of Alcoholism! Well meaning, but misguided souls, relying on the fellowship to recover, never reading or studying the 12 steps nor taking the 12 steps, to have a Spiritual Awakening, and to pass on, as a result of the 11 steps before that they took, the message of recovery, to another sick alcoholic. That is what I see at A.A. meetings where the people there rely on the fellowship alone. Also, there are the ones who do try to carry the message of recovery to another alcoholic yet never opens the Book, and takes the steps, but relies on the fellowship and what they have learned, through the fellowship, to pass this on (whatever this is) to the next alcoholic who does not even know the difference, and takes what this person says as Gospel, even though his Sponsor is not recovered through taking the steps himself.
              Those are the things which disillusion me about A.A. They always have. Not before I took the steps, but after, when I could see it more clearly. That was over 20 years ago though. You get tired of hearing it. You don’t argue with the ones I have just described. You don’t judge them. You watch them. You let them do what they do. What are you going to do? After a while you realize that they are doing the best they can do, and you don’t try to change them. You get to the point that you don’t really care about what they are doing, as by then, you know you cannot change anything that anyone does anyway. So, you change yourself. With a Higher Power of your own understanding you try to do what you can do to help another alcoholic. That is practicing the 12th step of A.A. Do that and you don’t worry about the 2 steppers. (the ones who work the first part of the first step, and the last part of the 12th step). You let them be. When someone wants help with the Program, you can help them, because you have taken the 12 steps of Recovery, and you try to carry that message on to the one willing to accept it.
              When this is done in my life, practicing the 12 steps, carrying the message of recovery to another alcoholic who wants it, going to A.A. on a regular basis, giving back to Alcoholics Anonymous also by doing Service jobs, then I am doing the healthy things one does to stay Spiritually healthy.
              Also, and most importantly, doing these things, not perfectly, nor all the time 24 hours a day, every day, but doing them knowing that by doing them I get the benefit of getting out of myself, my selfishness-self centredness, and my life benefits because of it.
              Of course, A.A. does not say it is the only way to recover from Alcoholism. It does say that it is a way that works, but does not say it is the only way!
              23 years ago I was 25 years old, and came into A.A. beaten by Alcohol and drugs. I may not like everything I see or hear about in A.A. but there are so many other organizations, corporations, religions, etc of which I may not like everthing I see or hear about them, as well.

              • @Aiden_
                Thank you for reminding me why I left AA.

                Your words:
                ” You get to the point that you don’t really care about what they are doing, as by then, you know you cannot change anything that anyone does anyway. So, you change yourself.”

                My response: And so I did change myself…..I left AA and am all the better for it! :)

              • Wow, a fully indoctrinated real life stepper. He used some form of the word “step” 13 times in a single post !! I’m quite sure that is a record.

                I think that qualifies Aiden as a true believer and devout follower of the Bill Wilson Circus and Mental Contortion Emporium.

                If he is not careful and reads his stepper indoctrinated post through a new pair of glasses, he will be amazed at how brainwashed he is before he is half way through.

              • Wowzers

                I’m sorry you lost 23 years of your life to this nonsense – you’ve got it bad, one of the worst cases I’ve seen. 25 is no age to be slapping a label on yourself that you are sick and morally defective and can never get better unless you practice a programme that a crazy man MADE UP! He just made that shit up!

                It’s all made up, it’s like scientology or the Moonies.

                I feel sorry for you, but not so sorry that I can’t ask ‘why are you here?’ on a site entitled LEAVING AA?

                This site is for people leaving AA, not people who don’t know what AA is, it’s not for people who were in AA and didn’t do the programme …It’s not for people who don’t know AA upside down and inside out. We all do, we used to be like you, spout the same stuff you did. And then we had a moment of clarity and took the 12 steps to the door.

                I find your post very patronising, I know what AA is, and what AA says about ‘alcoholism’ and it being a ‘spiritual disease; and what it ;recommends as the ‘solution’ i.e. indoctrinate more people into the group. And I don’t believe any of it and I REJECT ALL OF IT.

                Did you pray to your higher power before you came here to set us all straight?? Is it God’s will that you read all those blogs about leaving AA? Wonder why you did that? Maybe you are in DENIAL? A bit like cruising the booze aisle but not buying, maybe you are cruising the leaving aisle and your post is your way of convincing yourself you are ‘only looking’?

                Nothing, absolutely nothing, happens in God’s world by mistake right, according to your view? So you are either incredibly arrogant and believe you have a special relationship with God that we don’t have and you are here doing his work (me and God are just fine and dandy thanks) or God led you to those leaving AA sites and you need to take the cotton wool out of your ears and put it in your mouth?

                Thanks for reminding me why I left… Ring your sponsor and do a 10th and leave us alone.

                Girlscout.

              • What makes you believe so completely in the rightness of the Big Book and the 12-steps? I would imagine you would not fully support the promotion of proven methods of recovery being offered as equal to AA?

                I felt exactly like you for about 18 years before I realized that the “steps” had only reinforced my negative thinking. I still don’t drink because my life is so much better without alcohol.

                For me AA was the only like of thinking that would get me out of a bad and dangerous life situation I was in at the time. Through buying into the steps I got a place to live for a while so I could get back up on my feet and out of danger. I will always appreciate the PEOPLE who helped me. It was people who helped me get sober and my life to improve. I realize that now, but the 12-steps were a condition for getting help and support. I don’t think an old, unproven, drawn from a cult “program” needs to continue as the only method for someone who is in trouble with alcohol or drugs to get fellowship and a hand-up. I think scientifically proven methods can be used with these other helping strategies.

          • Thank you Sid. For reminding me why I left,

            “You have to know who to listen to ..
            and who Not to listen to..
            As for the Big Book.. It needs to be “translated for you..actually”
            It is deceptive..there are parts that seem archaic etc..my sister will Not read ” To wives”..she rejects that” Patriarchal bullshit ” as she call is.
            Fine
            Almost every meeting I go to .. I will listen someone who does not have a clue. It is a process and…some people with long term sobriety are still very ..sick.. and unhappy.
            It does Not have to be that way.”

            I have attended many non 12 step recovery groups. And this does not occur. Ever.

            The problems with AA are built into AA in places. They cannot be changed. I have no doubt of your honesty. Because it perfectly encapsilated my experience. However, looking at that I had to ask myself, “Why the hell do I support this crap?”

            I remember so many newcomers I tried to convince with wishy washy reasoning, to turn them from what they saw correct at a glance. But I had been brainwashed. Most of that selfemposed due mainly to phobias instilled in the literature.

            Which were all distortions of reality. Even the concepts of “Alcoholism”, it being a “Disease”, and certainly “Powerlessness”. Were actually keeping me sick. And promoting a “Faith healing” cure, for a simple problem.

            It has been only through going to other non-12step based groups. That you see how truely wrong the culture that has developed arround the religon of Bill W. truely is.

            Learning about what alcohol problems are really all about. All that stuff AA leaves out. And I was way to occupied with AA work to go and find out.

            AA cannot be changed for the better. I have read many a post lately from an stepper who was trying to get sexual harrassment issues solved in the 12 programs. Many of us have been trying to get this acchived for decades. I started in 15 years ago, in the rooms. And was shunned. For fighting 13th steppers. It is the only part of your post I dissagree with. More often I see the victims or those who stand up to try to protect get shunned.

            The other non 12 step groups all have strict sexual harrassment guidelines. I have never seen it even come up.

            If I were you I would go check out some other groups. If you like the religous angle. Go with a religous group. But be honest about what it is. AA is a religon, and it is a contentious place. Full of infighting and conflict. I do not see how sending folk there is in any way wise or compassionate.

            I translate “spirituality” to mean “Deceptively Religous” post AA.

            I would rather live an honest life, and a decent one.

          • hi SID- you don’t really want to know what one can do to improve AA. Do you?

            We tried. We did what we could. The push back was insane.

            I heard woman saying we needed to take out all the “he” pronouns. OMG they yelled….You can’t change the BB. Its Inspired by GOD!

            No its not. You probably found your way here because I posted on Facebook recently somewhere new.

            You are not interested in Leaving AA nor do you need help leaving. I don’t care how many years you or your sister has. Im not impressed. Most people I know who have that much time are out of their F**king minds are have some real “issues” that AA will just make you sicker.

            I had 36 years of “time” in that stupid cult. Its such Bullshit I don’t care to get into it. I have blogged for too long , since 2009 as a process when I left AA.

            We …me…created a Make AA Safer Pamphlet. It is now being used all over the world.

            AA needs to throw away its BB.
            Stop Sponsorship
            Stop counting time which really hurts people when they drink 1 drink or one bottle ..they lose all their time.
            (SMART RECOVERY has a smarter approach.)
            They need to tell the courts they can not send sex offenders, pedophiles and violent offenders to AA. They need to create their own special meeting downtown.

            They need a hot line for those who have been harmed to file a report. Then AA in NY needs to send someone out there to shut it down.

            There are people in Los Angeles who are getting murdered by Spanish speaking AA members who are tieing them up to detox them and they are killing them at a rate of 5-10 a year since 2005. I spoke to a detective who is working the case.

            AA should not allow just anyone to start a meeting and use its name.

            They need to read a safety statement. They need to re write the preamble its filled with lies.

            They need to re write the 12 traditions ..they are also so full of shit its not funny.

            This is not a debating blog like Orange papers. If you want to go there and be an AA lover and debate how can one improve ..

            I was so in the thick of General Service AA I know how Stubborn and Ridged they are …There is no changing them.
            And they are embedded everywhere in our Culture and Courts, and medicine, the FAA, TV and FILM and on and on. What I now know…could make a 6 part mini series on MSNBC. Thats how f**ked up AA is and involved with my Government, NIDA, NCADD, on and on Drug court, Rehabs, SAMSA, …its really really bad. Drinking alcohol is NOT A BRAIN Disease Either. Its not a “spiritual Malady” that is NUTS!

            AA is not science.

            AA is a 1935 outdated , religious, cultish modality that needs to be exposed at every level. People need to know what really goes on in AA and that it is against our 1 st amendment rights to be court or even sent there by your employer .

            I can’t wait till someone sues Coca Cola or United Airlines for being forced to a religious organization for drinking a beverage and acting badly or screwing up on the john. Its not 1970′s anymore. Nixon got impeached too! Drug laws went nuts and they locked up everyone with a little bit of pot. Those were the years that AA got in and got its foot hold EVERYWHERE! Well there are millions of us who are pissed off. And things are going to change and they are changing.

      • As you know Massive I’ve left AA and my suicidal thoughts went away after a talk with my phsyciTrist and he upped my meds. Then I got out my studio and with as I used instrumental Beatles Help , I sang it ( with my granny glasses ) to my autistic son , as my symbolic way to leaving AA. Now my own songs I’m in more tune but of course my cover of Help will never match up with J.l.’s voice. My son rolled his eyes back like “dad don’t even”! But I did and he laughed. But I’ve been doing alot of research on SOS. I like it. I know I got off to a rocky start on here but that’s past now. I need to be around healthy people . I need to feel safe. I’m already deAling with a narcissistic ex my sons mom who kept my son from me for a few months. But I won in court who held her accountable for being in contempt. And after foot surgery I went back to work and the owner of the company and I had words. I almost collapsed at work and when I asked for help he got mean. And as everybody knows I will stand (or limp ) my case and not back down. So not only is AA bad but where I work is almost cult like too. Almost Scientology bad . And I went to a meeting Friday to get or feel safe and on Vietnam vet off his meds tried to get attitude ish and I ripped into him. That was my turning point. And of course he was cross talking to a young married woman and she was laughing looking at me. ( looks like 13ting stepping to me). And I wAlked up to both of them and said ” you got something to sAy say it to my face!!” And she approached me later and said ” Bob he’s my friend and you’re my friend ” . And I said ” I just say hi and bye to you”. You are married , how dare you laugh with an older guy at my expense. And every time I walk by you you poke me on the side”. You are Married!! ” and I have a girlfriend OUTSIDE AA. So I filed a complaint and drove Away never to return!

          • awaywego- Right here on this thread. However, if a crime was committed we suggest go to the police, file all complaints at every level. That meaning if you were preyed on file a complaint with Ny GS AA and please keep a paper trail for that. If you need help doing that contact us at makeaasafer@gmail . After you email us we can connect by phone if you want to talk.

            • Thank you for your response on this, Massive. Notifying the AA NY office! is a stroke of genius. I never considerred it before. Since some 13 stepping and bulllying is not exactly illegal and the police can’t do anything, other forms should surely be reported to the central offices, they should be kept informed by the “silent majority”!

              • if you make a complaint do send it to the GSO also post it where ever you can along with their response. Which will be a denial in every case.
                Because just like the catholic scandal, and the scouts. They protect the criminal. Not the victims.

                Just FYI

      • Monica:
        Thank you from the bottom of my heart for the work you are doing to expose AA. I’m from a small rural town in Northern New Mexico where AA is prevalent and one of the “only games in town” so to speak.
        Apart from my own story, I have one to share about my beautififul niece (who is now serving 13 years time for a ‘drug induced crime). Prior to that, with my encouragement and that of an inpatient treatment center (Turquoise Lodge in NM 2006) she attempted at maintaining her abstinence from Heroin by going to NA and AA. In short, she was hit on by every old timer at one of the established AA meetings which caused a lot of disruption. One ‘old timer’ in particular would purse her and when this guy’s girlfriend (also a stepper-and who was 13th stepped by this guy as well) became insanely jealous and my niece eventually felt ostracized by the entire group. My niece had enough sense to understand what was going on and resisted this guys advances. I did confront these 13th step bullies and I was told that addicts of her type were just manipulating. My niece had absolutely no reason to lie to me. Besides, I had observed this type of behavior before, but it became much more magnified because it was now my family, my niece, who I love very much.
        But sadly, we did not know of any althernatives that would help to address her addiction (she was court ordered) and we thought (until now) that there were no or zero alternatives for her. In short, she landed up in prison for 8 years and will be getting out soon. I was appointed by the courts to provide guardianship for her children.

        This type of selfish behavior (not selfless) is always dismissed by these guys because after all “they have a disease”. I think that this is a crock of dog doo.

        I also have been 13th stepped by a woman with multiple years in the AA program. I was so ashamed to talk any of the men about this. The one old timer that I talked to laughed and alluded to the situation as a right of passage. I believe that what triggered that shame was that I was sexually assaulted when I used to dance for bachlorette parties in my early 20′s. You see, in my culture, this was seen as a “woo hoo” and a “right on” type of situation for men. Men do not get raped or sexually assaulted. This AA woman, had no sense of this and she crossed a boundary that I hadn’t learned to manage as of yet.

        I want to get deprogrammed and I’m having a difficult time. With perseverance, I know I can do it. What makes it odd is that I work for an outpatient substance abuse treatment program that introduces 12 step work through the Matrix Model Curriculum. I work diligently (behind the scences) to introduce people that want help to althernatives.

        Thank you again for the work you are doing. I believe that there are a whole bunch of us that are suffering from “post traumatic AA disorder”.(tee hee).

        I joined expaa.org and my name is Marchon on that blog. I posted my bio on there.
        May the paradigmn shift continue! GB you and yours Monica.

        • MarkL- Thank you so much for this post. WOW….Im sorry. That is very sad to hear about your niece and you. Welcome and you to can deprogram. I think reading the non 12 step books help, blogging where its moderated ….Would either of you care to talk with me on the phone…please email me first at makeaasafer@gmail.com There are finally a few serious horror stories about 13 stepping that will be in my film called The 13th Step.
          Its so entrenched everywhere. Its very very bad. But this year will be a good one to take AA down a notch.

          Please blog all you want here and tell your niece about us too. People are traumatized for years form this stuff. They are getting away with it at a criminal level.

          I will soon have page of all my recommend books.

          My radio show I hear helps deprogram as well. Its free and can be found here http://www.blogtalkradio.com/saferecovery and on iTunes for downloading for free.

      • I just left AA for good yesterday. I was an avid attendee of the meetings for 1 and ½ years ( that was many years ago). Even though I left I always had this feeling that I was wrong for leaving. I felt that, as I was told over and over again, if I did not attend AA meetings that I would get drunk and stay drunk or that I would become “dry” and be miserable. I did, over the years, return to my ex-home group but I wouldn’t stay very long. Once when I returned I was asked where I had been. I said that I had been going to church and I was shunned because the thinking in AA is that AA has the ultimate authority on sobriety. I was lead to believe that AA was the only way to stay sober. I didn’t even know what I was believing in until last night when I did about 5 hours of research into AA. I remember, that early on in AA, that first question I asked myself was why it was required of me, in order to get sober and stay sober, that I had to constantly have a mind set that I had to degrade my thinking, that my thinking was continuously wrong; that is what is called ’Mind Control ‘ – independent thinking is not allowed, according to AA members. One must follow the groups thinking or suffer the wrath of alcohol abuse. If I complained about sexual harassment I was told to be patient (just take it) because that person was a new comer to AA or that that person just wasn’t working the AA program. In order to “fit in” I was told that I had to take an inventory of my actions because “after all you (me) were a part of the problem”. Part of my inventory required me, at a later time, to apologize to a person that had abused me as a child, as a teenager and as a young adult. The reasoning for the apology, as I was told, was necessary because I had a resentment against that person and that a resentment was the number 1 reason why I would return to alcohol; that all people are spiritually sick. So what I was really being told is that I’m to take responsibility for my actions and that others were excused from their actions. Fear was instilled in me in many forms. One way that fear was brought to me was that I was told by the AA members that If I did not strictly adhere to the principles of AA that I was signing my own death warrant ( it is written in the BB). There is a lot more to my story. In a nut shell, I suffered for 16 years at the hands of the AA members. I am so glad that I now know the truth and that I have no desire to ever return to AA. I wont waste my time trying to explain myself to any of the members as to the why I left AA. Their phone numbers are no longer in my contacts and if any of the members call me I will ignore their phone calls. I am very glad that I found this web site.

        • That is very, very much the way I experienced AA. It has taken me a while to stop automatically negating my own thoughts and taking the blame for the actions of others.
          But it did slowly change.

          • My experience too. I remember being told to: “trust the process” of course never having anyone ‘explain’ what the magical mysterious process was. In essence it was the same as saying my own “stinking thinking” was at fault and the process like the promises would come if I would doubt my own instincts and feelings and just go along to get along. Well I nearly disappeared into the despairing nothingness of severe depression. Since leaving AA my life is manageable, I trust myself and not some indiscernible “process” and I live a happy and joyous life.

        • I like this – ” the thinking in AA is that AA has the ultimate authority on sobriety”. That is soooo true and the root of many problems in and around AA. Arrogant and righteous without reason comes to mind.

      • “Oh my Massive. I just read your letter for the very first time. I returned to AA about 2 months ago. I returned to my now ex-group. There was a man there, a “new comer”. Every meeting that I saw him at he would remark on the clothes I was wearing ( especially when I wore a dress). I expressed to some other men in this group that I was very uncomfortable with this mans remarks. I was told “hes a new comer” just give him a break. Then this man followed me to my car. I started going to a different AA group and I told this particular man that I was not interested in being around him that I just came to work my AA program. I thought that would settle it until he to followed me to my car and kept repeating himself “ I really need to make amends to you” over and over again, all the while it was perfectly clear that I was trying to get away from him. I then went to a different AA meeting in which a woman fell down and when she got up a man told her (in front of everyone) that she fell because she “ is top heavy” and some people laughed. And yes I then headed to another different AA meeting. This time it seemed as though everyone left in a hurry. It is an 8 a.m. meeting so many needed to get to work. I got blocked from leaving by a man that calls himself John. Every time I tried to leave he would step in front of me. He was talking very fast and continuously. He said that he used to think that intimacy was him and woman lying in bed naked. And he kept repeating “ I don’t want to detain you. I just want to keep you for the rest of my life and control you”. He also would talk allot of AA jargon but he would add in “ I don’t want to detain you. I just want to keep for the rest of my life and control you”. It took me 30 minutes of staying very calm and mostly quite to feel safe enough to tell him that I needed to go. He also said that he wanted to put his arms around me. I told one of the woman from this group what happened to me and that I think that this man “ John” is very dangerous. As it turns out he had done this to 3 other woman in this group. I also told this woman that I would not return to that group until he was gone. She suggested that I not let this man push out of the group, that this man “John would be told to stop or to leave the group. Really!! But that is acceptable behavior in AA because after all “ we are all spiritually sick”. Also in this group – my first meeting there were members that were introducing themselves to me after the meeting. There was a man who calls himself “Sonny” that I was introduced to. When saying my good byes I went to shake Sonny’s hand. He took my hand to his mouth and kissed my hand. Now I am absolutely certain that I never gave him or any other man permission to kiss me anywhere on my body. When I brought this to the attention of a woman in this group and told her that I did not appreciate what Sonny had done I was told by her that Sonny’s behavior was a term of endearment. My ass it was. This man even asked me if I would cook him dinner. I never once gave any of these men any cues whatsoever that I would be interested in them in any way. It is and has been my experience in AA that sexual harassment is acceptable and the men in AA know that it is acceptable. They know that “ no one” can be kicked out of AA.

        • This all sounds so typical of every AA group I have ever been too. OK, the one about the dangerous guy was not the typical but the others were. I particularly like how you added how you were pressured into accepting this with the statement ‘She suggested that I do not let this man push out me of the group’. I have heard this a million times. I’ve had it said to me and heard it said to both men and women.

          I went to a SMART RECOVERY meeting today and it was absolutely amazing. Sooo much better than AA and…. it had a proper paid facilitator who ran the meeting, and ‘yes’ he did gently intervene when some people tried to dominate the room. Whether it be with the amount they talked or with what they said.

          The majority of the room was filled with ex-aaers who had had enough.

    • So far looking at your efforts, I am impressed. I have been in, out and around the many 12 step programs for more than 34 years. I do believe that there are benefits to these programs. The real issue is an old issue “when the student is ready, the teacher will appear”. AA, NA and other programs and religions denies that any program but thier own can lead to a path of enlightenment. I just happen to feel that there are many paths and many teachers. So, I applaud you for beginning this open conversation.

      • chandra- glad you like the open dialogue. 12 step is a super antiquated modality that is filled with lies in Chapter 5 , the 12 & 12 , the traditions and the preamble. They need ALL NEW LITERATURE LOL!!

      • It is a conversation that is almost not permitted in our society. I have huge issues with that. Thank heavens for the internet, I had no idea anyone saw problems with the 12 step modality until I started searching online, I thought I was alone and therefor I really was sick for having the thoughts I was having. We do indeed need this conversation. Supression of thought is NEVER constructive. History has proven that.

    • I was “shoved” into this 12 step model for behavior modification when I was 17 years old. no nonono nooo…..I was “USED” by sexual predators for years! THEY tried to convince me that I was “taking out my “father or brother issues” on them!!!!!!!! These men stole cash from me and “had sex”( worked out mommy issues ) WITH ME. ….ooooh do I sound “self-centered” when i say MEEEEEE. fucking narcissist hate to give attention to someone dying of cancer cause it’s “not about them”…..

    • The need for this site and the message it espouses is essential. Chemical dependency is not a religious issue, and AA must be relegated to the fringes where it belongs.

      That said, leaving your copy so full of grammatical errors, expletives, and poorly constructed thoughts does a great disservice to the entire enterprise. Please fix this.

      • Thanks Dan.. it seems to be a blog of the people, for the people – warts, grammatical errors, incomplete thoughts, complete thoughts, CAPS, and not. Here in the unpaid trenches, we do what we can. I will gladly post professionally written material for money.

        You are right about AA needing to be pushed to the fringes of religious groups.

    • I would like to share my story.
      Do you have any way to contact monica at leaving AA can’t figure out to register and need info on the blogtalk radio schedule.
      I could tell you guys stories that would curl your hair!

    • Okay it has been awhile. I have been struggling but have signed on for a program that is non-AA and trauma based after I finish my working life. Relieved and happy with the people I am dealing with.

    • I have not visited for awhile. I have been struggling and surviving. Now I am retiring and want to enjoy a full life. I am going through an anniversary of an AA based treatment program. I still get angry of the sexism, and the crap I went through in group particularly to deal with the sexism. And I did it voluntarily because it was the only option given through the employee health program. I was not mandated by employer or court system. I come from Canada and we need choices! Even if a program says it is not AA-based, they take you to AA based meetings for outings. Such an insidious programme. I am taking myself with my resources to a program that deals only with alcohol with the added trauma based help. This will happen in Oct or Nov. I can post to, at, during and after the treatment, as they do not seize your computer or phone or any contact with the outside world.

    • Sounds like somebody’s a little butt hurt. You haven’t done your homework judging by the issues stated in your “testimony”. These are not the droids your looking for..weak minded fools.

  1. Hello everybody, thanks Massive for giving us another forum to exchange ideas and share 12 step nightmares. I too, needed the S.T. Community. Hopefully, we can pick up back up here on this new site and get it going.

  2. Frank- your welcome! I am busy building this site up so that it can catch us all and give us a place to communicate till we have ST back.

  3. Hello all, I want in on this. This A.A – Alanon divide and conquer method used by uncaring rehab / treatment centers needs to be exposed for what it is, a Scam. The blame the victim methods. He/she was just “unwilling” or didn’t goto enough meetings. The catastraphising of the familys ” its cheaper than a funeral ” . Interventions which if you look up the methods have a disclaimer, not for people with a heart condition… This EMOTIONAL ABUSE method not recommmended and dangerouse.

  4. The Alcoholics Anonymous survivors movement is a loose coalition of people who, united by the resentment that they have been harmed or betrayed by Alcoholics Anonymous,The “A.A survivors” advocate in favor of alcohol treatment alternatives, or just the right to freedom from the system, for those diagnosed with (or simply accused of being afflicted) with alcoholism.

    We need A Name. The “A.A survivors”

    • WHy don’t you start another blog called that. I have often thought of support groups called that and laughed about it but I think its funny and a good idea.

  5. Massive – THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU for getting this blog up!! Just started posting on ST (after months of just reading) and soooo glad there’s some place to go and feel part of a community of folks who also believe that the 12 step model is not only CRAZY but DANGEROUS!!

    Many thanks, again!!!!

  6. Massive,
    Thank you so much for getting this set up for us. I like the Courage quote-very fitting. Them me know if I can do anything to help.

  7. At the risk of appearing pedantic, I wouldn’t describe SMART, Rational Recovery, Steven Slate, the Sinclair Method, et al as ‘alternatives’ to AA.

    ‘Alternatives’ to AA are the Moonies, the Scientologists, the Children of God and the Peoples’ Temple’. SMART etc are approaches to alcohol abuse that might have a chance of actually working. I think that ftg called them, ‘Recovery Resources’, but even the word, ‘recovery’ gets my hackles up. Recovery from what? A fictional disease?

    • I know. I hate calling them that. Recovery Resources….good idea. Although many put alternatives to AA into google I want them to find them.

      • Yes I now hate the word Recovery…what else can we call them

        Healing Resources for Issues around drugs & alcohol?

        How’s that? ….leaving out the words addiction and I never use the word alcoholism since I left AA. even before I left I stopped using it . Its such a bullshit word.

    • I’ll second this notion !!!

      If you want to be taken seriously, the first thing that needs to go is the “alternative” stuff. This is Steptalk, pure and simple, suggesting that AA/NA is the one true way, and everything else is “not like the original.”

      • Jonny Quest nice to see you here. I agree. Im busy so it will take me a few days to comb thru the site and change most of it. people google alternative for…so I need to leave it in a few places for the search engines.

    • Thanks ept, Ive been in a seminar all weekend till Sunday night OMG does it rock but Im a coming to see you. Is the snow bad still? And when I am done with it I am going to be on fire with passion…well, I think I already have the passion, I just needed a strategy and focus and a team!!!!

        • violet, sorry I just saw this post. It was a Tony Robbins Unleash your power within. WE had to walk on fire coals. It was really fantastic. You know what is so weird. I ran into a few AA pp from LA there , especially one guy from the local service meetings. WE just faked smiled at each other and I walked on. I later thought to myself. Maybe he got feed up too with their BS. Maybe not. I don’t know and I don’t care. They were so mean it was horrible. Im so glad to be gone!

  8. I want to be on the team :) So glad you are still coming here! The weather is better, snow is gone for now. Let me know how I can help.

    • there was a guy named Jim Bock who threatened Ilse aka ftg he posted her personal info and called her at home at 6am, because two bloggers who weren’t reg bloggers on ST called him a pedophile. At the same time Mark & isle were tired of all the crap of running a blog and ftg wanted to go write her book. When the Jim B story happened and btw one of his buddys came on my radio show and acted like an ass too. If you go to http://www.stinkin-thinkin.com the whole story is there. I was so down when it went away that Isle asked me to create something to catch us all and give us a place to blog. SI did it out of a need I felt for myself as well. I still miss ST and I hope it returns with comments open, but until then there are a few more blogs that have gotten created because of ST being gone.

      orange has a forum where some of us go. Expose aa was created by Gunthar 2000. Stepping on Suicide is another new one and There is another one about exposing rehabs. Also A VET named Walter also just created one to expose what happened to him and there is another new one. Too tired. I cant remember the name.
      But welcome , nice to see you here.

  9. Massive,
    Have you done a show on “sober living” yet?

    A sober house with less than seven clients is considered the same as a single-family house. Each person pays $800/month to share a bedroom in a house in a stable residential family neighborhood near schools and parks. The families are chastised for lack of compassion if they object to living next to a bunch of random people rapid-cycling through the rooms next door.

    A $4800/month revolving door is not a family. It is a business that needs to be regulated. It does affect the stability and quality of life for adjacent homeowners. They should have the right to know where these businesses are and the right to hearings on whether the business location is appropriate.

  10. Massive,

    Do you know what time the show will be on Tuesday.

    I checked out a sober living house a couple years ago in a very affluent beach area and it was $750.00 a month, (subject to an increase to $800.00) to share a room and 1 bath with 3 other girls. Very close quarters and I believe she housed approx 8 girls at a time. Buy your own food, shared kitchen privileges. I wont get into the rest right now. I remember thinking; “OMG, I would loose my mind in that room after living alone. Also, quite expensive for someone who in many cases is having financial problems.

    A couple months later, one of the girls I met there shared at a meeting that she had a slip and was either thrown out or in danger of being thrown out. Cant remember which.
    After the meeting she told me she was upset about the ex not allowing her to see her children one night. Went to dinner, had “one” glass of wine. One of the girls smelled it on her breath.
    The manager/owner of the home told her she would be holding a meeting with the other residents and let them Vote as to whether she could stay or not and then let her know. She was very upset and frightened of the unknown. I dont know what anyone else thinks but I thought that was pretty damned degrading. Needless to say; I was extremely grateful that I did not go there.

    • Amy, a couple years ago when I was having a bad time, I went to rehab and two different sober living houses (after leaving one).

      Having everyone vote on whether or not a relapser stays is very common, and occurred in my first house. They actually voted on me, because I relapsed. They voted that I could stay (the two girls I went “out” with were kicked out after the house manager discovered by talking to them that they brought drugs into the house and I only became involved once they were offered to me. It was nice that they told the truth and didn’t try to throw me under the bus), but I chose to leave because I didn’t want to stay there without my friend who was getting kicked out.

      The second house was much smaller, but when someone relapsed, there was a house meeting and everyone was told.

      Therefore, I am lead to believe that this is a very common practice.

      • Ironic,

        Voting may be a common practice but I still see it as very degrading. With my personality, I know that I would have been very offended by the “residents” determining my punishment. The way I see it is; should the alcoholics be making such important decisions. After all; there best thinking got them their, “Right”. Little sarcasm.

        Some of the free places I looked into, did not allow you to have a car. I guess they would be govt. paid? Plus, you had to stay for a minimum of like 6 months. If you had any money, they held it in a safe. Just some of the things I remember.

        After checking many facilities out, I did not have to go to sober living and for that I am very grateful. I lived alone my whole life and never even had room mates. l knew that environment would be very difficult for me. Im sure some dont mind.

        Very nice that your friends did not throw you under the bus.

  11. Massive, it depends when on Tuesday as I have to work. I’ll contact you with further.

    Meanwhile, here are things I’d like to say to the board for public consumption:

    1) If you are running a short-term boarding house, we next ot you have the right to know that you’re doing that. Your six boarders plus “house parent” (I know the vernacular changes constantly for compliance) aren’t equivalent to a black or brown family moving in.

    2) You seek out our neighborhoods BECAUSE we won’t be cool with your sticking your group home next door. So you don’t tell anyone, but in a neighborhood of 40-year residents, people who cycle in and out after 2 months become obvious.

    3) We, your neighbors, want to know who we’re living next to. We enjoy no privacy, having dared to buy our homes and pay properry taxes. So just tell us who these people are. If their privacy is so sacred, get the fuck off the block.

    • smsm-what city is this going on in? West Covina has alot of sober living and they can usually be find if you call code enforcement in your city.
      COde enforcement is key . Just keep calling and complaining about them.

      I was going to do a show at 5PM is that good? Normally I do a show at 6 PM but Im either going to a Smart Meetings or something else.

    • smsm- I can do a special show with you in the New Year at a different time and day so we can discuss this.

      Cheers! Happy Holidays to all.:)

  12. Amy:
    That is VERY degrading.
    People who own these sober houses think that’s the way to keep people in line and keep neighbors from being pissed off.
    No, people are pissed off at the chronic overcrowding, turnover and what happens to people living in a rigid, overpriced, shitty environment.

    • smsm said;

      No, people are pissed off at the chronic overcrowding, turnover and what happens to people living in a rigid, overpriced, shitty environment.

      Well Said; I’ll never forget the site of that room. Four beds in a square, almost head to toe and if you got home from work earlly, you weren’t even allowed to watch the tube in the living room until after 5:00 pm. Then you all have to agree on the same show. Guess you take a vote on that too.

      • I forgot to mention; this woman had another sober living house. Let’s just say; in many ways she appeared very well groomed. Also, very respected in the program for “Being of Service”.

    • What really happened when I lived in an Oxford House is that the two senior members got to live beyond their means. I was fined $25.00 once for running in the front door, shutting it but not locking it behind me, and running up the stairs to take a shower. And fined once for forgetting a cup of tea in the microwave one morning when we we were all up and moving around. It was all so petty, and so Nazi!

  13. Amy,
    Dolllars to donuts the sober operator doesn’t live at either one.

    These “sober-living” operators quibble about whether they can get away with $10/hour for the “house parent,” or “lead” or whatever the new term is.
    They don’t have meetings at the house, for the most part, because 1) meetings are supposed to be public and 2) meetings might be considered “treatment.” You can’t offer “treatment” at an unlicensed house, which is just supposed to be a “family.”

    Now I’m even more pissed off.

    What the hell are are they doing for the people there? Becides cramming them 4 to a room at $800 apiece? Driving them insane? Because that happens, frequently. The people end up wandering outside aimlessly or passing out across the street, Neighbors call PD. The sober operator steps up the house rules, maybe fires the $10/lead for another fungible one, posts more openings on craigslist that only show the living room.

    My question: Are people paying $800/month out of pocket or is this some sort of SSI scam?

  14. First of all, I know she does not live there. I dont know if they have a house parent and they do have meetings at the house daily and people from the outside can attend once a week. It’s even listed in the meeting directory. Im sure I could find out more. At that time, I heard all I wanted to hear. Yes, they pay out of pocket. I dont know that it matters whate the source of the income is. One girl living there had a relative paying her rent.

    Only one person with the most sobriety time has a room of their own, maybe thats the house parent. Dont know. Then there is one or two ??? rooms where two girls share the room. In other words as you get more sober time and people come and go, you are eligible to have more privacy. The day I was there; one was moving out and two moving in. One washing her car outside. Lots of activity. Very nice home but that cramming 4 girls in one room really bothered me, among other things. Like the book at the front door for signing in and out and logging your meetings. Of course your required to attend a set amt of meetings. A lot more if you dont work.

    I’ll find out the name through a connection and do some more checking on the internet.

    • Call the IRS on her. SHe is running a business and there are laws she has to comply with. ALso she needs a business tax license in her city as well. Report her to her local City. There are all sorts of ways to make it hard for them to run these shady businesses. ANd why do you need to live with 8 other sober people to get and stay sober. Its such BS.
      Money, money , and more money.

      Boy those AA types are so spiritual aren’t they?

    • I think it does matter what the source of funding is. “problem drinkers” are enticed to hold onto their problem forever through the lax SSI money pushing on these people. The rest of us pay for these people to stay “sick” forever. Sure, it’s ok for awhile, til they get on their feet, but when it drags on for years or lifetimes even, it’s unhealthy for everyone!

  15. Now you got me thinking. Actually, I did quite a bit research and the less the rent was in any of the places, the conditions got worse and worse. That was the only one that I actually visited. Ive always lived in nice area. Unfortunately, very high rent areas. However, I figured for that price, I’ll move to less attractive are. A singles with bars on the windows sounded better than that prison. I was in a difficult position but I never wanted to go to a sober living house. It was recommended by someone in a meeting. I forgot, you also pay a deposit of one months rent. As I recall, you could pay that in installments.

  16. Massive,

    She may have a license. It’s in a city close to me (you know where I live) and Im sure I could find out more when I have time.

  17. Here, this ain’t too far away.

    http://www.law.stanford.edu/program/centers/scjc/workingpapers/BSingerman-wp2_05.pdf

    One type of an parolee group home is a so-called “sober-living” home. In a sober living home, six or fewer parolees live together and agree not to use. A sober-living home is a non licensed cooperative living arrangement. It is not a residential care facility under the law, is not required or eligible to be licensed by the sate, and is not subject to state Department of Alcohol and Drug Program oversight or regulatory requirements.

    Translation: They can do what they want.

  18. Massive, check this out:

    Ike says in http://chatsworth.patch.com/articles/when-group-homes-locate-in-single-family-neighborhoods:

    “The attitude of the gentalman’s response above proves the blindness of those opposed to recovering peoples existance.
    “Since when are people recovering from addiction/alcoholism handicaped, since 1966 when the American Medical Association declared it a disease. Then again 1988 when the Fair Housing Act explicitly included people in recovery as handicaped people
    “Maybe you don’t care about the thousands that die from this disease every year, but when the time comes and it is you or someone you love who is about to die from this disease, then you may see the light and wish there was a sober living home to help.”

    Oh, no! A disease! We all must help someone be “of service” and profit.

    First, it doesn’t matter if it’s a disease, or a disorder, or even an allergy. What matters is that an unlicensed boarding house is being run due to the loopholes that have so elegantly been pointed out.
    Second, don’t lecture your neighbors until you personally share that $1500/month house in Laguna Beach, or that $500/month share in Riverside, or at least some of that slave handyman labor you’re enjoying from people who have no rights to tenancy and can be thrown out at any time.
    Third, if you say you’re helping, then say how you help. Example: “We will house you four to a room and encourage each of you to tattle on each other while making you do a couple hours of illegal slave labor. Daily. If you don’t do this, we will throw you out and keep your rent.” See, that’s honest, Ike. That’s a hell of a lot better than the “caring,sharing, you may see the light and wish there was a sober living home to help” attitude.

    I have had problems. I don’t force problems on my neighbors as a result. Because it’s their right not to be bothered.

    Your forcing people “to help” isn’t compassion. It’s coercion.

    • The Rent Stabilization Board has real rules and laws for tenants. I owned a triplex in Hollywood and I learned alot about this stuff then. Can these same laws pertain to them? They need to know their rights. They cant just trow them out and keep their money. Have them ask a lawyer, don’t you think?

  19. “ANd why do you need to live with 8 other sober people to get and stay sober.”

    I always wondered why diagnosed schizophenics (another brain disease) aren’t “suggested” to surround themselves with predominately schizophrenic people in order to “recover.”

  20. I just want to say that I know for a fact that many who go to sober living have no choice. They dont feel they need to be around sober people to get sober but cant afford an apartment and these places are costly but the free places are very unpleasant and they work you to deathe. EX. Salvation Army. I did quit a bit of research a couple of years ago. Personally I ran into very few people that were happy in sober living unless they were in a payed rent facility, with the most sober time, which entitles you to a room of your own. Just what I learned from my research.

    One of the girls I met was just out of prison and her relatives were paying her rent. Im in a hurry but I wanted to add that to the discussion.

  21. From my experience in a “sober living” facility, the rent was cheap and the rules pretty lax: weekly chores and house meetings. Not a bad idea but the concept it was founded upon was fundamentally flawed. All those required AA meetings, “getting honest,” and sponsorship sure didn’t help to convince anybody they were not powerless over their behavior and in possesion of a grave “spiritual malady.” I’ve seen people stay and make some impressive life improvements for a couple years then one day hop in the car, drive to the nearest bar, and get plastered. These same people were very compliant and some even highly regarded in the local AA community for the “quality of their sobriety.” Many checked themselves back into detox to be told once more that they had a “powerful disease” and had better “get humble or die.” So were they happy while abstinent residents? Very many were for quite some time. But AA dogma always wins in the end.

    • Ryan said re; sober living;

      “I’ve seen people stay and make some impressive life improvements for a couple years then one day hop in the car, drive to the nearest bar, and get plastered.”

      I use to hear these stories (while attending AA) about people who had been sober a long time and think; “why did they get plastered and or much worse, tragically commit suicide. Honestly, I’d say to myself; “I’ll bet this place drove them to it. How sad.

      I believe this happens (only an opinion) because feeling powless does not resolve a lot of peoples drinking problems. Powerlessness in life fueled my drinking. This became clear to me after reading one book in particular, which gave me the push I needed to leave AA. The book cleared up most of the confusion created in my mind by AA dogma and validated why I was so uncomfortable about the whole program.

      • @Amy,

        What book if you don’t mind me asking? I’ve been reading a lot myself but am having trouble finding much validation. Especially with the literature for “alternative treatments for alcoholism” (Smart, SOS, RR, etc…). Though I would not argue that they are probably superior to AA (and have nice “fellowships” themselves) they still seem to be sympathetic to the cult and advocate abstinence (which is essentialy no different than Prohibition and will most likely prove just as effective). As “treatment” programs, they can’t help but re-iterate the temperate message and “disease concept” (however much they deny it) that has created the problem to begin with (along with various social policies). Next, I tried reading some anti-cult literature like the Guru Papers which was quite insightful though was written by a couple Gurus. So I am coming to question a lot of what I would have accepted at face value before, even when it seems to be rational or validating. Albert Ellis for instance wrote an alternative to AA (which contains some interesting ideas) but even he couldn’t help but resort to confrontational therapeutic tactics as “treatment” (i.e. “Your lazy!). Hasn’t society at large been playing that card to no avail for like ever?

        • Hi Ryan

          Her is information on the book;

          http://books.google.com/books/about/The_Heart_of_Addiction.html?id=Do_jqXDd61YC

          I was at a point where I was so depressed after meetings that I had feelings of suicide. I was not interested in any alternative groups for some of the reasons you stated. I went to the book store for something else and found this book by accident. (My higher power stepped in) Some of the basic important questions/suspicions that I had been struggling with for decades were covered in the book. He does not bash AA but he sure lets you know that if you think you can go there and “take what you want and leave the rest”, thats not going to happen. I wont expand on it here but by reading your comments, I think the book will help you a lot. After reading it, I knew I was done. That was 15 months ago. It wasnt easy after leaving because I did not have any support until I found ST a couple months later and a therapist through the county. I never missed AA, fear was what I experienced. Also, a couple of close friends of mine who read the book (one being a retired RN and the other a crisis hot line counselor) who validated my feelings. Both of these individuals have seen AA pushed on people for years ant they “get it”. Plus I stay in contact with friends, through email, that i have met while blogging.

          I recently found a way to contact the author and intend to thank him for helping me.

  22. I live at a Sober Living in Mar Vista / Marina del Rey. It is a member of the Sober Living Coalition, whose primary aims are to prevent any regulation of these facilities. It is disingenuous to say that because I am a member of a protected class (addicts being recognized as disabled), that no regulation of these facilities is the right way to go. The home that I live in is simply an investment by the current president of the Sober Living Coaliton’s board. All he had to do to open the facility was buy a house, call it a Sober Living, and begin renting out beds at between $1350 and upwards of $4,000. No permit, no oversight. A group of addicts, many whom have to live at a sober living as a condition of court supervision, paying his mortgage and a substantial salary. He is unethical, applies rules randomly, and the only recourse is in court making use of housing laws. As it stands, the lodger’s agreement reads that anyone can be evicted at any time, “for any reason”, and lose both his security deposit and the rent he has paid for that month. To be sure, there are many good facilities, well run, and with true concern motivating there operators. But when, as here, boarders are sucked in by the SLC’s “seal of approval”, lay down substantial sums, and then find the owner skimping on costs by diluting the soap, not providing promised services, letting anything go for some folks while asking those in low paying beds to leave on a frequent and capricious business, the fact the SLC has found the place clean is a nonstarter. Of course there should be city oversight. The SLC project director suggests that facilities that are nuisances be forced to join his trade association is as close to the fox guarding the hen house as I can imagine.

    What are well-run Sober Living’s afraid of? Why not submit to city overight and inspection for a modest annual permit fee? This would allow social service workers the data to confidently refer those in need to places that walk the walk of evidence-based sobriety principles. It would allow law enforcement to know where facilities are and collect data on how these homes affect crime rates. Any treatment facility for addicts has to be licensed. That is not discriminatory. Allowing a group of Sober Living owners to monitor themselves is self-serving, provides incentives to skimp on the work of providing a transitional living space for those in need, and flies in the face of common sense.

    By the logic that these Sober Living owners are trained in at coalition meetings, hospitals would be exempt from regulation because the serve the disabled. Let’s get real.

    http://www.topix.com/forum/county/los-angeles-ca/TBSOA4PK4GQ9L0NSL

  23. smsm= wow that’s alot of money to charge and no regulations. There are so many issues to address. if you want we can talk makeaasafer@gmail.com . I think you have a point and I should discuss on radio show. There needs to be some sort of regulations. I agree 100%.

  24. I’ll try to contact you. To make clear I’m not the OP in the last post. However, the post I cited, and Ryan, and Amy had a point:

    Sober living is a mixed bag at best from the renter’s point of view.

    My point is that they ARE renters. Renters. Who are individuals, not part of some “family” bound magically by landlord “being of service.”

    SLE operators all say renters are “guests” who “happen” to be users who don’t use now. As “ex-users,” “guests” have federal rights as disabled people — the “family” can “vote” to kick out someone that someone thinks they smelled wine on, allegedly.

    On the spot.

    SLE operators: We are on to the scam. Don’t deflect by saying how much you were “of service” with basically an unlicensed boarding house, the type that no one had a choice but to go to.

    Hypocrites.

  25. This is a template for the actual house rules.

    You give up all rights as a tenant. You agree to give “management” the right to kick you out for any reason whatsoever and to keep your “sobriety fee” for the month. You agree to tattle on anyone so you can “save their life.” You agree to let an ex-junkie with no RN, no LPN, not even a vet tech certification be of service by surrendering to them your controlled medications for dispensing.

    That’s what it says, in the boilerplate below.
    Merry Christmas, you guys.

    Code of Conduct and House Rules. These must be followed at all times: Code of Conduct:

    1.RELAPSE: There is a zero-tolerance policy towards drug and alcohol use on or off the premises, and such will result in the guest’s immediate dismissal from the house (see Relapse Code Rule 9 for requirements to return to house). Guests may be asked to submit to drug and or alcohol tests at any time. Refusal to submit to a test will be treated as a positive test result.
    2.VIOLENCE: No form of aggression, from yelling to any sort of physical contact or damaging house property will be tolerated in any way, shape or form and may result in immediate dismissal from the house. No weapons or knives of any sort are permitted to be in your possession at any time while you are a guest.
    3.CLEANLINESS: Guests are expected to keep their rooms neat, tabletops clear, laundry stowed appropriately and beds made up in the morning. Maintaining good personal hygiene, washing laundry and bed linens at least weekly are examples of what is expected of guests. Guests must pull their own weight when it comes to daily chores in the house and cleaning up after themselves. Bathroom articles must be kept in a toilet kit or zip-lock bag in rooms.
    4.BEING A GOOD NEIGHBOR: Guests must be “good neighbors”. We must be considerate as well as friendly and responsive to a neighbor’s needs. Shouting or any loud noise, swearing, where we park our cars, toss cigarettes etc. should be minded acutely. This is important because while communities agree sober livings provide an important and necessary service, most people when surveyed said they would be unnerved by having a sober living next door. Let’s help people reverse this old way of thinking and be better than any average neighbors.
    5.ADVANCING ONE’S RECOVERY: Every guest must submit a written goal statement (attached) which also details his/her daily plans for the coming weeks or months ahead. Examples of advancing one’s recovery or program might include an outpatient day program at a treatment facility, returning to or looking for work, volunteering and being of service in any way by an organization needing help, family therapy, 3-7 AA meetings per week, working at a job– these sorts of actions indicating progress is what we want to see.

    Guest Agreement – Continued

    Code 6: RULES AROUND THE HOUSE:

    1) You give consent to be drug/alcohol tested 24/7 and to remain sober while you are an XYZ guest. You agree to not engage in any unlawful or disruptive activities on or off the property.

    2) You give consent to management to search your room and personal belongings if management feels this is necessary.

    3) You agree to not use abusive language, not to show aggressive or violent behavior or act in a threatening manner to any house mates. Bring any grievances to a manager and we will work things out with you.

    4) Rough-housing, arguing, yelling and such are unacceptable behaviors. Aggression will not be tolerated and will punch a quick ticket to exit the house.

    5) You agree to respect house rules and other guests. If you believe another guest has made an unreasonable request related to your personal habits, bring the situation up with management.

    6) You agree to adhere to stated curfews and “overnight outs” terms: 11pm weekdays; 12am weekends (one hour earlier for those with less than 30 days of sobriety). Plan overnights so you can request them in advance. A call at 10pm requesting same for that night won’t be approved.

    7) You will be expected to meet your goals and daily plan (attached). Sleeping all day, watching TV all day and “drifting” won’t be tolerated and can result in dismissal.

    8) There must be a high degree of mutual sexual respect for members of the opposite sex AND the same sex in this house, and bedrooms of one sex are TOTALLY OFF LIMITS to members of the opposite sex. Sexual interplay shall not be tolerated within the house, and especially in our COED houses nothing but respect will be tolerated. Men “hitting on” women so that a woman may be at all uncomfortable and complains to management is grounds for immediate dismissal for the offender. Sexual urges can be a part of recovery just as they are a part of life, but there is no place for them in this house or in this neighborhood, and that includes viewing pornography of any sort. This is a rule that will be strictly enforced so please help management out and do not even allow the issue to come up on our radar. We expect all of our guests to be mature enough to recognize the potential problems involved with making a housemate uncomfortable, so JUST DON’T DO IT please. Gay or straight behavior is obviously subject to this rule.

    Code Rule 7: INFORMING MANAGEMENT ABOUT A GUEST WHO HAS RELAPSED

    You will alert management immediately should you discover that another guest has relapsed and is using drugs or alcohol. Some clients feel this is “ratting” and hesitate to do it. The fact is you could be saving a life by alerting management about somebody using, as you don’t know what their medical status is. Even if it is just drinking, the next seizure could be their last. Pass that burden to management so we can handle it as a medical issue and you are not put in a situation where you could feel someone’s death is on your hands. You don’t need that. You are not “ratting” on anybody because this agreement to inform us as management supersedes any “promise to keep this a secret” request your friend in relapse has made, no matter how good you imagine your friendship to be. A true friend will put the wheels of rescue in motion by talking to management.

    Code Rule 8: RESPONSIBILITY OF DISCUSSING MEDICATIONS WITH MANAGEMENT

    You are responsible for managing your own medications and keeping them in a safe place. You can request they be kept under lock and key and dispensed to you in weekly amounts by a manager if you are worried about their safety. You agree that XYZ HOMES CAN NOT BE HELD RESPONSIBLE IF YOU ABUSE YOUR MEDICATIONS, WHICH OBVIOUSLY CAN LEAD TO SERIOUS HEALTH PROBLEMS AND EVEN DEATH. YOU MUST CONSULT WITH YOUR DOCTOR ABOUT ALL ISSUES AND SIDE EFFECTS RELATED TO YOUR MEDICATIONS. Keep your medications safe and if any of them have potential to be abused this should be discussed upon check-in to see if this raises any issues with management, and if so, how to handle the situation. If you are discovered to be using abusable drugs later, after you have moved into the house, this may result in an immediate dismissal because you have put everybody in the house at risk and you never discussed your abusable drugs upon moving in to the house, as this Code requires. Suboxone, benzodiazepams of any sort, and any ADD or ADHD meds are all obviously included in prescription medication types that need to be reviewed and discussed with management.

    Code Rule 9: RELAPSE POLICY

    If you relapse and are caught using or test “dirty” you are subject to immediate dismissal from the house. If it is your first violation, providing the house agrees you have been trying and your attitude has been good, you must leave the house immediately and detox at a recognized detox facility and be checked out by staff (no leaving AMA). If and only if house management agrees you can return to the house, you may return. You must continue to pay your Sobriety Fee and keep it current when you are in detox. Any future relapses dramatically increase the chances you will NOT be allowed to return, and at any time you are asked not to return you forfeit whatever is left of your Sobriety Fee for that month. A Sobriety Fee can not be requested while you are in detox if the house does not allow you to return. You are not a tenant and have no tenant-landlord rights. If management decides you are not a candidate for re-entry, you may not return to the house. A decision will be made in your absence. You must pack your belongings immediately upon testing dirty and be ready to leave the premises immediately. Hanging around and arguing will only lead to management calling the police and having you escorted off the premises or arrested if need be. Stepping back on the premises will be considered trespassing if you are banned from the house. We will call a taxicab for you if management can not give you a ride to the detox center or out of the neighborhood where someone can pick you up at a designated hotel or bus stop. You will have 30 minutes to pack your things and be out the door before the police will be called and told you are not welcome on the property. Depending on the police they may be advised to take you to lock-up if you are being difficult, or get argumentative or violent.

    Code Rule 10: YOU ARE NOT A TENANT UNDER XYZ STATE LAW

    YOU RECOGNIZE AND ADMIT THAT AS FAR AS OUR ABILITY TO REQUEST THAT YOU LEAVE THE HOUSE FOR ANY REASON WE DEEM NECESSARY TO MAINTAIN THE HOUSE ATMOSPHERE AS ONE CONDUCIVE TO SOBRIETY, THAT YOU ARE NOT LEGALLY A TENANT INSOFAR AS TRADITIONAL LANDLORD-TENANT RELATIONSHIPS GO. This effectively means that you have no recourse under the law protecting your housing rights as they would normally apply to a traditional tenant under a typical lease agreement. You are giving management total discretion to dictate whether you may continue to remain at the house or not, and for any reason management feels at their discretion it is necessary for you to leave the house, you must obey their final decision on this matter. Any lawsuits or retaliatory legal efforts on your part will be deemed frivolous and if a case ever makes it to court or arbitration, you will be responsible for the legal fees the house must pay to defend itself. There is a good reason that the fee you pay to stay at such a house is called a Sobriety Fee, and not rent.

    By signing below you signify you have reviewed this Code of Conduct and all associated rules with management, have been given ample opportunity to ask questions, and you understand and agree with the Code and rules herein, and agree to abide by same:

    http://www.soberlivingsearch.com/blog/sober-living-ruleshalfway-house-rules-and-guest-agreement-code-of-conduct-rules-relapse-policy-worksheet/

  26. smsm

    Well, they certainly have their bases covered, giving the residents no rights. Unbelievable that what you pay to live there is not even considered rent but a “Sobriety Fee”.

    If someone relapses; is resident voting, as to whether or not the person stay’s, also a common practice there. Beacause they state the following in there house rules.

    “Pass that burden to management so we can handle it as a medical issue and you are not put in a situation where you could feel someone’s death is on your hands.”

  27. From my knowledge, yes the “sobriety” deposit is withheld and immediate eviction imposed on the member if abstinence broken, following group vote of fellow residents. I believe residence can only be re-applied for following minimum 28 day inpatient 12 Step “treatment” and/or identical amount of continuous sobriety and increased AA involvement. Police usually enforce this House rule if called upon, even if the substance used was legal like alcohol. Drug tests are administered randomly. This is against the law. Sure you might not want someone getting drunk in your household but as far as I know, so long as he or she doesn’t threaten other housemates or steal property, they cannot legally be evicted, providing they continue to pay rent. I think such organizations work around this by renting property from private owners who then permit the organization to admit tenants on agreement to abide by their arbitrary code of conduct before being granted occupancy. Not surprisingly, turn-over is remarkably high at such facilities and the true beneficiaries are only the owners and the organizational authorities they’ve made an agreement with. And because “relapse” is so common in such places as well as the presence of other local disenfranchized Steppers, there is a constant supply of replacement tenants so the money continues to flow in.

  28. A case would of course not hold up in court as a result of having signed the contract. But isn’t the contract itself a violation of ethical practices? Probably, but I wouldn’t be surprised if a loophole has already been written into the law to allow such obvious ethical violations (perhaps by AAWS Inc. lobbyists?).

  29. What a lousy example the people who own and run these places are to the residents. I only researched sober living and observed some obvious unscrupulous practices. As far as ethical violations, Im sure they have their buts covered. I think I may know of the facility that smsm is referring to and they have been there at least 10 yrs, I think.
    If it is the one I am thinking of; a lot of big companys pay for their employees to go there. I know of two guys that had to go in order to keep their jobs. Once again, Im grateful that I did not have to go and I have no idea what can be done about it.

  30. I am overwhelmed by what I am reading, here and on the orange papers forum. WE need a conference room, some money and an executive assistant, a research analyst, money to pay them and about 8 solid board members that meet weekly.

    WE need a weekly talk show on TV to discuss all that we are discovering. So we can let the public in on the big secret that AA is not a GOLDEN CHILD.
    WE need a good HBO series that understands all of this and writes a great show exposing it as a sub plot.
    We need to form support groups, face to face in every city for ex steppers that want to just meet up with other anti aa folks.
    Sorry for my rant but there might be some ideas worth implementing here.
    my hubby is sick I am got the sniffles again.

      • Get on board Chris! We really do need as many volunteers and people with input, possible connections to help us in our cause to raise awareness and to enforce existing laws that we already have.

        Any ideas on the stopping of co-mingling minors and violent felons and sexual offenders? Who cares about this stuff? Does anyone?

  31. Massive,
    We need a page that says: “If you’re thinking about sober living, here’s what a sober living search engine with 8,000 houses on it recommends (see link above):

    1) You can be kicked out FOR ANY REASON. ANY REASON means they can kick you out even if YOU ARE SOBER. Read the rules.

    2) You agree to download your entire private life to people who are encouraged to tattle on you rather than “be responsible.” Read the rules (along with Steps 4, 5 and 9).

    3) Your possessions and your body can be searched at any time, 24/7. You better not be jacking off. Even watching TV for a day is against the rules. Read them.

    4) You’re obligated not to yell, not to step into some girl/boy’s room, to clean someone else’s house. Who feeds you, by the way? There’s nothing spelled out about food here, let alone who pays for the 28-day inpatient treatment that can be immediately demanded. Nothing is said about the other party’s obligations in these rules. There are none.

  32. Ryan, the loophole is that ex addicts are disabled under ADA, . Under fair housing, 6 or fewer disabled people living together without treatment can’t be discriminated against. Current/suspect relapsers lose their disabled status, so whatever the house does to them, they can.

    For those who are left, it seems cyanide permeates the entire sober house template. The patrionizing, the solid breaking of HIPAA rules, the coercion…I wonder how it’s not discriminating against a protected class.

    Did you find the sober living of value in any way?

    • Ha! I would rather live with sex offenders. They are easier to get along with. So, what I am saying is, the women are sometimes sicker than the men!

    • The way alcoholics/drug addicts are taken advantage of by predators has at times made me wonder why they are not a protected class.

  33. I found it of value only economically. However, due to the coercions, constant surveillance, gaslighting, labeling, sanctimony, and abject absense of any rational or truly supportive/open-minded conversations or relationships, the financial convenience became insignificant to me. The whole 2 year experience was hell. I wouldn’t wish it upon anybody. Psychological torment would be an understatement. Always wear a smile and pretend like nothing’s wrong. Be grateful and get off the pity pot junky! So sick. Now I get squemish when I hear or read of anything that credits in any way AA. The heartlessness and carefully hidden insolence that characterizes that environment is sickening, along with any and all institutionalized “treatments” for behaviors. Authorities in such places are public enemies #1. I agree Massive. The importance all these places place on “following direction” of whatever quack “recovery” guru in charge, vanishes in light of the fact that many of those same people later smoke crack, rape somebody, or kill themselves. I learned the hard way to never put anybody (especially if they have an abbreviation after their name or really like the number 12) on a pedastool. “Programs” are for Plays, TV’s, and computers!

  34. Massive, yeah we need video and audio of what goes on on those places. Personal testimonies, documents, etc… Track the “gurus” and catch them in “unspiritual” acts. We might have to distribute the evidence from an offshore base. Kind of like Wikileaks. :)

  35. My anger drove me to listen to more of Thomas Szasz on youtube where I stumbled across this gem of his that helped to quell the resentment before needing to do a 4th Step and find my part: “Anyone who seeks power to “tell the truth” is ipso facto a liar. You don’t need power to tell the truth.” Too many more to enumerate here. But definitely drives home that an anti-treatment movement can be judged as sincere insofar as it is indistiguishable from the human rights movement. Explains why I find myself so opposed to instituting “alternatives.” The same system will simply coerce the same individuals to another one-size-fits-all model intrinsically ineffective. Not to mention, the underlying failed morality of prohibition, arguably the ultimate cause of it all, would be left unhindered. Essentially, nothing would really change…I feel validated again :)

  36. Ryan, you’re a strong individual to have lasted two years.
    How did this contract work in real life?

    Were people provided meals? Did they buy their own food or was sharing and cooking food part of the mandate?

    Could people have friends over? Or have pets?

    How did people getting kicked out react? Where did they go? How were other tenants expected to react? Could anyone keep being friends with them?

    What made you stay, and what made you go?

    • @ smsm,

      Sorry for the delayed response. Been quite busy lately so have stayed off the blogs.

      At the first “residential treatment facility” clients cooked their own meals. 2 were assigned by “senior residents” (elected by the counselors) to cook each day monday to friday. The facility had its own van which would be driven by clients selected by the counselors to the grocery store every monday at an arbtrary hour, subject to the caprice of the counselor. Every client had to be dressed and present for a 15 minute dinner at 5:00. The two hours prior were used for food preparation, usually under the watchful gaze of the counselor, who frequently inspected quality of food preparation before communal consumption. *A note on the counselors* before I continue answering your questions: There were three counselors who would show-up at the facility pretty much whenever they wanted. Ostensibly it was a 9 to 5 job. But, usually they would leave early or come in late, unexpected. I know they were paid salary, of which a government grant supplied in part (other sources of income included donations from local philantropists or other national non-profit agencies). One especially venerated counselor was in the position of executive, and the other two ostensibly worked under his lead, though one of them was especially agressive and arrogant and always had the final word (taking note or even expressing recognizition of his ultimate authority was strictly forbidden- either another client or the counselor himself would intimidate one into silence…I’ve seen several clients leave because of his belligerent and threatening attitude. He would harass physically, psychologically, and emotionally several of the “weaker” clients, as well as his fellow counselor (replacement of a prior couselor who “left” curiously following a quite visible, also unmentionable, extra-marital affair with the facility’s secretary).

      Some resident’s were court mandated other’s were voluntary, though 12 step rehab admittance was usually required before even being considered as a candidate for residency. Exceptions, of course, were clients with family member’s associated with the corporate board of director’s (also with its own executive head (local AA member), elected by fellow board member’s), also anyone who came across as especially vulnerable or malleable was immediately granted admittance. Some had to wait (for questionable reasons) for a couple weeks or more. Others were asked to sell houses or cars and leave jobs before becoming clients. The board was mainly in charge of appropriating operational funding and also general property maintance (which in most cases however, was performed by clients, on clandestine threat of discharge).

      As far as being kicked out, many, if not the majority of clients were for various reasons including, but not limited to, having unapproved relationships, suspicion of one, acting on “self will” (which could be anything from working out at unapproved times or locations to using narcotics or alcohol on or off the premises), or “not getting honest” (a couple were intimitaded (“told”) to leave for reason’s beyond my comprehension). Clients were frequently ordered into an office and confronted against their will, on threat of discharge and accompaning risk of jails, institutions, and death. While I’m on the topic, I’ll mention one client hung himself in the facility a few years back. I tried looking for mention of his death in the local obituaries online but saw no listing that included the words “died suddenly” and the location of the facility….sorry if I’m jumping around a little but your question’s stirred a lot of memories. Client’s who left pre-competion or official dismissal usually encountered ridicule and widespread ostracisation and shame. Some would leave in the middle of the night to avoid this inevitable response. Afterwards, remaining clients would be ordered into a group setting where said disbander’s “disease” and “self-will” were analyzed collectively to generate additional tension and fear, hopefully some of a person’s belongings would show up missing, so his putative theft would prove his escape was not inspired in any way by the intolerable and inadequate politics and methodology of “treatment.” Others completed and “relapsed” afterwards (one suicide I know of). One older resident in particular was denied opportunity to solicit for social security for post completion income and housing (even though he over-qualified due to numerous personal health issues). He was only permitted to work at a local home improvement store, to and from which he had to walk several miles when the bus was not available. He was also forced to live in a local halfway house where he was routinely harrased by the several fellow residents many years his junior. The last I know he had locked himself in a hotel room determined to drink himself to death-this is after over a year of compliant and honorary obediency to his counselor’s capricious and stringent “directions” at one of the “best teatment centers in the country.” Many other horror stories I care not to recall for now. Also, I have to run but will try to keep a little more of a presense on the blogs now and again as it seems that the more I try to forget my experience and move on, the more I tend to idealize it and ignore the uncalled for devastating effect it had on me and many others.

      • Ryan,
        I see these men waiting for the bus or riding old bicycles, walking two-by-two sometimes, the rigid postures, the look in their eyes, the fear.
        Their houses are run by an organization that’s exactly as you describe. The houses are meticulously kept up and generally quiet. Most people thus see no problem.
        But I see these guys. I hear your words. And I have a real problem with how much they are not helping.

        • One night a possum crashed our meeting in the garage and my immmediate roommate drowned it. I was not there. But these are some sick, disgusting people.

  37. In the first one, I was there for a year. No visitors or pets allowed, along with a host of other prohibitions. All activities had to be approved by a counselor (paraprofessional bully). Food was purchased and cooked by residents (also under counselor discretion) and consumed at mandated hours. Funds for food were supplied by a pool of EBT cards residents were required to obtain upon admittance. This (though convenient) is a against the law. The counselor forcibly retained and managed every card. No residential internet access. Books and media too were regulated by counselors. “Unapproved” material had to be returned to the local library. People were kicked-out here regularly. A few cases I remember: one had been privately taking muscle relaxers, another was involved in a romantic relationship, many more left on their own accord though before being “officially” ousted for violating some arbitrary staff rule or other (this procedure was performed by a private conference of the paraprofessionals).
    The second year was spent at a far less regulated facility. No counselors at this one but might as well have been. Anything “suspicious” (i.e. not taking lint out of the dryer, leaving a dish out, “slacking” on chore) was reported at a weekly tenant meeting, often accompanied by a brief “intervention.” Though survival and success here did require a greater exertion of autonomy, many former exemplary residents were kicked-out after substantial periods of abstinence and “recovery” for ingesting alcohol or scheduled narcotics. All non-dietary chemical consumption had to be reported at the weekly meetings. If someone was found to have “relapsed” they were expelled by whomever had been elected as President. And of course had to immediately vacate the premises. Belongings left behind could only be retrieved with another 2 residents present and within 2 weeks of expulsion (or were dealt with at the caprice of the house which had the “right” to dispose of them). Reactions were strong amongst the booted rule violators. Police were either contacted or close to being contacted at such times. While association with the wayward ex-client was permitted, it was unanimously frowned-upon by remaining clients. This behavior was undoubtedly largely influenced by AA dogma.
    Lastly, at both facilities, AA participation was mandatory and an essential condition (along with abstinence) of maintaining one’s (perceived) residency.

  38. Ryan,

    In the first facility you were in, how much was the rent (or sobriety fee) and did anyone work. How did they pay their rent? Did “everyone” get monthly food stamp benefits (ebt). Im curios because I know that your rent and total income are major factors in receiving benefits. Did the person in charge of the cards have access to everyones personal pin number or did the residents always purchase the food. If im understanding the situation correctly, then everyone received food stamp benefits and maybe some got cash or other benefits on top of that; which would be included in the ebt benefit card ??? I had a need to apply for food stamp benefits for a period of time and I had to take a letter from my landlord, bank statement and more. I was interviewed for an hour. The whole process was not easy.

  39. Clients did not pay rent. Everyone did get EBT cards. I hadn’t heared of a person applying and not getting one. Accepted as a client, you become legally homeless, explained in a “letter of residency” written and signed by a counselor and presented to social services when applying. Relatively easy then, though things might be changing due to a declining economy and availablity of public services. What’s not explained is that a condition of residency is surrendering governenment issued personal property to the landlords. Sure the law probably permits it. But, by using the term “resident” to describe occupancy, the organization is being purposefully deceptive for the sole reason of preserving their status and income . Said “resident’ is not in any way residing there, he or she is being granted a basic human need of shelter on the contingency of surrending numerous constitutional rights to perceived authorities who are unlawfully practicing medicine without a liscence. The claim could be made that they are entitled to such practices on the basis of not charging rent, but, though rent is not being paid in currency, I would argue that the landlords are, in effect, “getting paid” in psychological submission to them as “more moral” or “more wise” people. Many other unscrupulous practices were and still are carried out there (I’m sure an entire volume could be filled) but such ethical deviations are so pervasive already in society that challenging them would most likely be futile and potentially even dangerous.

  40. I also believe the unusual ease of obtaining social services such as EBT cards was almost entirely due to the high reputation the facility had in the local community.

  41. Im in a hurry and have to go to work but if Im understanding it correctly; all assets of the resident are turned over to the landlord. If so, that means they are being hidden from social services and your required by law to inform them of any assets you have. I’ll read it again when I get home. I have bad cold and my brains a bit foggy.

  42. Yes. In fact the facility was notorious for rejecting real homeless people as “not willing to go to any lengths.” I won’t even get into the prejudice and snobbery inherent in that practice. I, for instance, had a car in my name at the time and probably some other assets. However, upon admittance into the facility, as a condition of being under their “care,” I was supposedly exempt from obeying the law in this instance as you described. Not to mention, as I was a diagnosed “alcoholic” (a diagnosis assigned me in the absence of any medical authorities by the way) it was assumed I was incapable of making my own informed decisions as I had a “mental illness.” The majority of people, unfortunately, would agree on this point (including me at the time). Also the food purchased with my card was not for the sole provision of myself and my family. We were sent to the store with a random batch of cards. None of the individual cardholders were petitioned for consent to use their assest to feed other clients before such trips. More later.

    Hope you feel better :(

  43. I don’t remember exactly unfortunately but I know a lot of the information anyone else would have to provide and the tedious procedures required (such as providing a copy of the pink slip to one’s car), we, as “clients,” were exempt from. This is a double standard on behalf of social services and fraud on behalf of the organization. I do know some applicants were told they needed to sell their cars, houses, or other sizeable assests before they would be eligible for admittance.

  44. Ryan, said;

    “Some applicants were told they needed to sell their cars, houses, or other sizeable assests before they would be eligible for admittance.”

    So now they have money from the sale of the assets. Guess they could hide that by giving it to a relative or friend to hold but what if they cant.

    When you were sent to the store with a batch of ebt cards, you would have to have the private pin numbers in order to use them, right? Wow, the more I learn about this, I have no respect for the whole system. Social Services has to be aware of the unscrupulous loop holes that sober living houses are using.

    I needed help long before I applied and I have never taken advantage of any govt benefit including unemployment. I was treated like a criminal trying to get something I didn’t deserve. I was working member of society, paying rent but needed money for food. I almost walked out a couple of times. Im sure glad I didnt after learning all of this. What they put me through and how easy it is for others, pisses me off.

    Thanks for the well wishes!!!
    It was a huge help and I deserved it.

  45. We all felt very entitled, after all we were all “miracles” in “recovery” working our “programs” (like there’s more than one to work). I’m ashamed to have been a part of it. Sophmoric, childish behavior all in the name of “spirituality” and “sobriety.” One of the most revered counselors had a very visible affair with the Secratary. This was never discussed of course. He works across the street now where he continues to lie to people. Now that’s a “spiritual giant!”

  46. Ryan,

    I share all the AA insanity with a good friend; including all of the disturbing facts about the sober living subject the last couple of days. Her comment tonight was; “So their heroes have feet of Clay”.

    Dont feel ashamed; I’d say you did what you thought was right at the time. I was just lucky enough to find something at the last minute and not be forced into that environment to have a roof over my head. Renting in a home owned by a stepper is far from perfect but it was better than dealing with sober living. This experience has really been an AA eye opener and thats a positive thing.

  47. There’s nothing shameful about living in a sober environment, be it by yourself or with roommates.
    There’s everything shameful about coercing people with few other options to hide assets to get welfare or to turn over assets to the group. Cults do that.
    One thing we can do is encourage people who have been there to tell the story of what these places are like. How they affect people. Who they are run by. I know of one such “intake counselor.” Her quals were getting pregnant by someone she didn’t know, giving birth to an addicted kid who got taken away, having another one. Now she uses guys instead of heroin.
    That’s supposed to be a success story.

    • smsm- there were no sober living places in the 70′s in Hawaii. They had Halfway houses.
      There were houses we shared with other sober pp. Lots of sickness went on there.
      Very bad sexual preying on younger newer people.

  48. SMSM sounds like a really swell place! This sober living thing is really odd. Have you posted a discussion about it on orange papers forum?

  49. Here come the cops and paramedics down the block to the unlicensed sober house down the street.
    Jails, institutions, death, or join the Alcothon Human Centipede.

  50. Thank you. I look forward to speaking to you about the issues that I am currently having with one of the organzined CA meetings.

  51. Massive, thanks so much for starting this site! I was a frequent lurker over on ST and miss it too. Massive, I am interested in hearing your radio program so if you could provide me with details, I’d appreciate it.

    This whole discussion of sober living houses has been a real eye opener to me. Wow! I’m so glad I don’t live in one of those places.

  52. de- Welcome!
    Thanks…what was your handle on ST?

    I still miss http://www.stinkin-thinkin.com btw to any person reading this this site is still up as an encyclopedia.

    http://www.blogtalkradio.com/saferecovery

    you can get to it live on Tuesdays usually at 4PM PST
    or call in from any phone 818-475-9211 to listen or call in.

    Or you can listen live from a computer.
    You can listen to all the shows on the website of blog talk radio or all the shows are now on itunes and be downloaded for free under “podcasts” .

    Tomorrow I am interviewing Donna Cornett who is all about Moderation not abstinence. http://www.drinklinkmoderation.com is her site. She has 3 great books as well.

  53. Hello All

    I have been Reading this site for a good 6 Months. Without boring anyone I am still a member of AA. However since my last relapse almost two years ago My perceptions of the fellowship changed because of a few incidents. (I have been in AA since July 2006) (Stayed sober till Jan 2010 went one night came back next day) (Had a few drinks May 2010 memorial day just got buzzed) First time I went out everyone welcomed me back (even Oldtimers). Second time I came back went to meetings I noticed Nobody welcomed me back like last time (love and tolerance Found it on a milk carton) A few oldtimers came up to me and proceeded to call me a F*@k up but keep coming back. I was degraded by people that had less time then me (now more since I “Relapsed”) It seemed that alot of the stuff I believed came crashing down around me I was told to look in my part of being degraded and threatened. My part was just being there and not putting the cotton back into my ears. I have heard and listened to Massives shows and blogs, Read the Orange papers, stinkin thinkin and everything on the internet about AA and It’s founders.
    My dilemma with the fellowship/Grievances are:

    Too Many Cliques in the groups (AA says those perceptions are all in my head)
    Length of sobriety the more time you have the better a person you are(why are most of these oldtimers some of the most miserable people I have ever met?)
    The obsession to drink for the most part is gone (but I feel more like drinking and tying a few on after a meetings this has been going on for a few months. My sponsor says I need to do more service. Sorry that makes me want to drink too)

    I want to talk to people on sites like these because I am having difficulty leaving AA a good part of my friends are here. I know once I leave they won’t be friends any more. I am trying to build new friendships/hobbies/interests outside of AA
    My eyes have been opened I don’t see myself in the rooms for the rest of my life
    Look forward to hearing and talking to you guys/gals.

    • Pat C

      hi. and Welcome.

      Im going to bed now but I will get back to you ASAP tomorrow. I have some ideas I want to pass on to you.

      (why are most of these oldtimers some of the most miserable people I have ever met?) SO TRUE! I really saw this the last year.

      goodnight. “) hang in http://www.drinklinkmoderation.com she has a really good book. Donna Cornett

    • Welcome Pat C,

      The secret to staying off booz is really simple: know that its poison and when the thought of a drink occurs relate it to drinking any other poison (I typically use gasoline.) The thought of drinking occurs to everyone, not just people who drank too much at some point in their lives because alcohol companies pay a lot of money to plant those thoughts.

      That being said, I have had some interesting revelations recently
      1) I think back to my far too many years in AA and every time I think back to the people I knew, I come up with negative experiences. In fact the negative experiences outweigh the positive by about 4 to 1. At any given point in over 20 years in recovery, I has some brush with an asshole who made life unhappy. What’s comforting is that now that I am away from that environment, I don’t have those conflicts and my stress level has declined noticeably.

      Still there is a lot of pain from those experiences- and more than a little real harm too. I now have only 1 friend from AA left who calls me and that’s because he’s a real Christian, so he has standards on how to behave and be a good guy- AA doesn’t much offer those standards. But there are plenty of other good folks in the world, at work, and at church, and in my family. What is odd is that I now don’t miss the people in AA who I knew- because the vast majority (like 99%) weren’t friends at all but “fellows” (what ever that is) who showed up at the same meetings.

      None of them are worth my time. My goal is to join new organizations and do fun things. I love the idea of joining a fishing club for example.

      Life is too short for whining at an AA meeting every day.

    • HI Pat C.

      OKay, Im back.

      There is a new site called Recovering from Recovery created so we can talk to each other without trolls.
      I really needed to blog when I was leaving, then I left and I still love blogging.

      But truthfully , most in my old home group never call me. It’s a fake sense of intimacy. It’s not real. It can’t be real. There are a few good peeps. But 90% ….

      It ttakes time to deprogram

      • Thanks everyone for the wonderfull comments. I Know there are still some decent people in AA I know of one in church that is a true friend. My goal for recovery is to not drink. My drinking before I got to AA was pretty bad. However the isolation and loneliness. went away after I joined AA. My New 2 year anniversary will be June 1. Right now I still go to some meetings but avoid the ones where the serentity Hornets and “Happy, Joyous & Free” old timers hang out. Knowledge is power. I will check out recovering from recovery. Thank heavens for these forums. Most of the people in the rooms would tell me to do more service, look at my part in it and to keep coming back. The volume of people on Stinkin thinkin, Leaving AA and Orange Papers shows that this is not all in my head Like they say in the rooms. Thanks again for the space to vent. If you know a veteran thank him or her. While this country has it’s problems it still is the best on the planet. Have a great memorial day everyone.

        • PAT C – sorry I just saw this post. Glad you found us. I know …when I found Stinkin thinkin I was blown away. I was not alone anymore.

    • hello pat c,
      am sorry they are cold shouldering you now.
      And tryed to pull you down for haveing a few drinks.
      you stayed off drink for 4 years but thats forgotton
      if you relpase.4 years or 20 years -dont go for anything to them.

      I went AA 2001 – got off pills weed drink
      picked a sponsor who took me supposedly thru
      first 3 steps and put me onto my 4th-
      after about 2 weeks of her shouting at me
      when i phoned she said i was to call her regular
      her shouting at me in meetings “You dont talk you shut up i just speak”
      her pulling me around like i was a rag doll
      her demanding i go stay with her
      at her home-
      (I had and still have my own home.)
      anway after her and others and meetings
      and detoxing i drank-
      and when i did it was the worse drunk i ever had.

      i stayed out for a couple of weeks-
      when i went back my first sponsor said why did you drink
      why didnt you phone me-
      i told her the truth i said i didnt want to phone you and i wanted to drink.
      she banged a cup down on the counter and marched off-
      i followed her and said i dont want you to sponsor me-she shouted
      i was going to say that to you i was
      to get rid of you.
      After the meeting i sat alone drinking a cuppa-
      she stood
      with the other women and she pointed and wagged her finger
      (She had been doing that a lot in my face before i drank)
      she shouted “shes no fucking good her no fucking good”
      Not many spoke to me after that the women kept well away.
      I been in and out of AA/NA for 12 years now-
      i managed to get periods off one time for 4 years.
      I also put myself through further education did 7 years vol work sat degrees and NVQ
      got a job with mental health-
      also got other jobs -
      none of that counted with AA-
      infact they pulled me down for going into further education-
      doing vol work and doing payed work-
      my 4 years straight sober years didnt go for nothing nor
      any of my periods of clean sober time-
      nor did any good things i did or all the step work i did.
      I was continually treated as someone who didnt have it
      didnt get it wasnt doing it-
      yet each time i went back i tryed my best-
      First few years I was shunned by most everyone
      bar a few who gave me a few mins
      of there time -in or out of AA.
      One sponsor always talked -
      today i know that was for his
      selfish reasons-he was fishing me in -he told me he was my mate
      and would be all my life-but i know he wasnt a mate-but
      a stepper recruting.
      times i relapsed i would get one tx from him at times asking if i was okay
      i would say yes and that be that-
      if i bumped into him he would talk-
      So he did more than most there for me-
      as years went by
      oh yeh my aa friends did visit me at times-
      some men came to harrass me get at me
      one tryed to sexually abuse me
      sometimes they
      were drunk and sometimes sober-
      friendships for me in AA were nothing like friendships.
      the last time i went AA i asked that none of them speak to me again.
      So far i have walked right by the few i have bumped into-
      i looked straight through them like they werent there-
      (and those few didnt stop me or speak)
      i dont miss anyone from AA not one single person
      and i liked some of them.
      i never felt close to no one there.
      I have my children grandchildren and a couple of good old
      drinking mates from pre aa-
      they are better friends to me than anyone from aa ever was.
      im going to find some vol work to do (cant work no more)
      am also okay being alone-AA did teach me that -how to be alone
      LOL.
      I became cleabate after i went to AA (did nine years-wheres my sober badge
      for that one LOL)
      I like liveing alone now since aa taught me how to be a recluse-

      am really sorry for whats happening to you in there.
      They stay away from people who relapse
      incase it effects them-

      I dont care to be around any of them now incase they effect me.
      I do drink sometimes but
      dont drink anywhere near like i did 12 years ago-
      i go out to pub ocassionally
      infact i rekon i will stop altogether if i havent already-
      been a while since i did have a drink.

      hope things go okay for you.
      dont let them get to you.

  54. Massive, I recently found you and Orange Papers and all of the people I’ve been looking for. I am so happy that there are so many like-minded, free-thinking individuals. Peace to you.

  55. dont know if they have these houses in UK
    however when attedening NA and at over 1 yr abstinant
    of everything-
    They told me i didnt have the progrmme and would relapse and die if i didnt go
    into a womens dry house-
    this ment looseing my council home putting my child (she is an adult now)
    into care and giveing away my dog-moveing away from my family -
    i used weed after the meeting when i was told-
    relapsed-
    As it was i didnt go to this womens home and still live in my council house-
    that was around 10 yrs ago-
    if i had have went i may well have been evicted like some of the
    people in the posts were-
    then i would have been made homeless and lost my family sober-
    because i went to a womens dry house when i was over a year abstinant-
    these people take the piss or what!

  56. Hi, it’s great to read your site and others like it!!
    While the social aspect did help me briefly, there were too many things that gave me the willies.
    A sponsor who wanted me to come over and make her breakfast, who called me practically every day and wanted to advise me on my entire life.
    The whole repetition of the preamble, how it works, etc. before every meeting.
    I went to plenty of different meetings looking for one that fit. Made coffee, was a greeter, really gave it a shot.
    But I ended up feeling like “what am I DOING?!”.
    Their whole general attitude, the powerlessness aspect, the condescension, the insistence that any issues were MY problem, the 13th steppers, the old timers sniping at each other, my sponsor telling me my husband was bad….in fact that’s what really did it. She kept making disparaging remarks about my husband. For no reason that I could see other than the obvious; to drive a wedge between us. Well that ain’t happenin’. So, I quit going one day and have not been back.
    Thanks.

  57. Hi lem! Welcome. A sponsor who wanted me to come over and make her breakfast, who called me practically every day and wanted to advise me on my entire life.

    WOW. thats creepy and super controlling. Glad to hear you got away.
    I stayed drinking the koolaid for way too many years. But thanks to a family member I saw it all in a flash for the way it really was.

    I heard the preamble and said to myself. “thats all bullshit!”

    Then I listened to Chapter 5 with new ears and said to myself. ” OMG this is such bullshit too” AND OMG this is so damaging to hear this over and over again like a broken negative rat wheel. AND for the love of GOD… Bill was nuts and AA never did nor did Bill ever do any research.

    Yet they read the book outloud like it’s oh so special. GLad to hear you got away. Many kill themselves.

    PLease feel free to blog away and tell your story on the thread Why I left AA if you want.

    • Thanks massive, I will post over there!!
      Chapter 5, “How It Works”. I know, what a joke.
      Rarely have we seen a person fail who has thoroughly followed our path. Those who cannot and will not be completely honest with themselves and admit that AA is perfect and they are fucking losers who just don’t “get it” are doomed. LOL.
      It’s very sad that anyone would kill themselves over that bunch of nonsense. :( I had already read the Orange Papers and stuff before I went. I think whenever a person is court mandated to attend AA they should also be required to read the Orange Papers and “AA; Cult or Cure?” before attending.

      • Len,
        Good Idea. I have met some lawyers recently and I plan to go to the courts to talk to judges.

        If you click on tools here you can see my postcard that you can print that says “Is 12 step not working for you?”

        Gunthar and I did a radio show on Chapter 5 . Its very funny.

        http://www.blogtalkradio.com/safrecovery

        • Hi massive,

          I listened to your show on Chapter 5, great stuff!!
          Definitely people need to know that there are alternatives to AA out there if they want support in their endeavors to quit a substance abuse lifestyle, or alternatives for the referrals from the courts.
          The way the courts automatically sentence people to AA/NA meetings is counterproductive to say the least. When the stack of court slips to be signed is an inch thick and more than half those in attendance are just marking time, checking their cell phones and talking to their friends, we have to ask ourselves, WTF!!?? Also it brings a dangerous element into meetings such as the guy who ranted about how he just got out of prison and related to us about his crimes of violence….what this has to do with me ? NOTHING. That guy should not have been there. And it was one of the “nicer” city meetings. That’s the exception rather than the rule, most I have seen are on probation for alcohol and drug related charges but there’s always the odd few who really should NOT be there….so good for you, do you have a petition going about this, I’ll sign it.

          BTW I never did make that breakfast, in fact never set foot in her apartment again. :)

          • …..and I think if the 12 step commercial side of the house – those jails and institutions the book talks about LOL – needs to have the courts providing them with fodder for their bullshit mill then they should set up meetings that are strictly for those who are court ordered.

    • That’s a great question! I heard he asked for a drink at the end of his life too. Frankly, having watched him on video basically recounting the Big Book, with Lois, drinking coffee in his kitchen, he didn’t look too impressive. But he could recount the Big Book almost word for word. And he did look like a depressed intellectual. I keep coming back to the same conclusion: AA is helpful for newly sober people (IF they don’t fall afoul of the predators in AA) but once a person goes 1 year without craving a drink, they need to get out. For me that happened in year 5. If people stay, they eventually get hurt by AA predators AND they get depressed from “over programming” that is SOOO negative.

      • what is the video called ?
        would like to watch it.
        I didnt fall to the predators as such-
        in other words i didnt get raped or get into any sexual relationship
        while going to AA.
        However i was sexually abused first weeks there-
        and at other times.
        and had harrasment and stalking
        ( i would say an old timer grabbing me at bus station
        and as i shouted NO slapped his lips on mine
        and i had to struggle to get loose from his grip-and then constant bombardment of phone calls -takeing no notice of me asking for no more calls -ignoring me when i said dont call again-
        13 in one day-and five post cards through door in a day-is harrasment)
        was told by others and some of them women i did it i caused it.
        Dont take it seriously-
        tried to make light of it jokes said “YEH am surprised he still had it in him
        at his age.” he was older than me i was about 46 then
        he was about 75.
        It was my fault-everything was my fault.
        i gave him my number and went in his company-

        An old timer woman asked me to help this man-
        i was 10 months clean. sober.
        she said no one else understands his accent (he was Northern Irish)
        am a celt Scottish had Irish relatives-
        help this man this old timer with (9 years )
        as he is here from Ireland to make ammends to his
        family-
        help him find the meetings ect-
        so i gave him my number so he could contact to meet up to go meetings
        and before the instances i related started -he asked for my address as he
        was returning home and would like to send a
        post card to me to say thanks
        so i gave him that-
        he grabbed me later at bus station.
        I ran away-then calls and cards came.
        If he had been drunk i would have understood
        -maby doing this in blackout.
        If i had gave some indacation that i wanted this-but i really didnt.
        dont matter now it was a long time ago-
        am glad i dont go AA any more-
        i know things like this or worse can also happen outside of AA-
        but see i find it diffrent when i am drunk and someone else is
        to when am sober and someone else is-
        for one thing i feel the stronge fear-panic-
        also when people are very drunk- not that it makes it right
        but they dont know what they doing.
        Also this man had 9 years of supposedly working on his defects and behaviours and spirituality
        i wasnt new to AA at that time-
        but that was the first time in AA
        i had managed to get to 10 months clean
        and i hadnt did as much work on myself as he had-
        thats what i dont GET

  58. Leaving AA has been the best decision for me. I do a lot of thinking in my garden, and this feeling came over me yesterday… I kinda saw myself opening up a set of white french doors wide open — the sun is bright and almost-blinding, birds are chirping…and I’m walking outside, and suddenly I’m breathing the freshest, most fragrant air I have ever breathed and smelled in a long time. The scent of the air today pleases my senses in a way that is almost indescribable. It is nirvana, freedom, a whole new World for me! I never knew I could feel the way I have been feeling…

    I am finally my own person again.

    • Yay! I’m discovering how beautiful the fall is without being overcome with guilt from not being able to “get” the AA program. It’s very peaceful. I listen to good music, walk, clean my house and even had a pumpkin latte. I am implementing some of the mindfulness techniques I got in IOP and cleaning my mental house from the stupid AA stuff. Thank GOD I am away from the mindless endlessly smoking program people. Sometimes I feel lonely, but that’s when I pull out my knitting or get busy in the house. I am not working right now (struggling a bit with RA) but I think I am coping well with deprogramming. I’ve been out of the program for about 9 days. Glad I found this site :)

      • hi SG- I m glad you found us as well.:) Many of my new friends are bloggers all over the country, some in the UK as well.

        sg said “Out of the program 9 days!” It’s new for you to be gone then. I felt really really free then. Now Im just really grateful to be gone.

        I went out today as well and I enjoyed the fresh cooler air. It rained , then cleared up and the air was really beautiful. I have had some issues lately that have kept me not as free to move about as usual. But I am getting better. I love these blogs. I miss rfr and st. :( still….will they ever return….

  59. I can definitely relate when the writer mentioned you are filled with people chain smoking (gross) creepy old guys imposing on you and clearly mentally unstable people trying to give you advice. I want to be sober and recover and that is the reason why I choose to go to AA. The program I went to were filled with people who looked crazy, told me that I should attend multiple programs a day and felt like when I spoke or talked about my truth, they weren’t even listening to me.

  60. Hello–I work for an organization that does the complete opposite of AA and do not believe addiction is a disease. I was wondering how I can start blogging or even have people read our blog. We have tons of information on the damage done in AA and truly want to educate people that they can make empowering choices. I’d appreciate any tips on this! Ciao!

    • Yay Melissa! Welcome! Went to the site and found some very interesting things. Thank you for the link! I left 3+ months ago and have never felt so FREE. It’s nice to know the anti-aa sites are growing and multiplying. Hopefully aa will finally implode soon & folks will see it for the abusive cult it is.

  61. Hi Melissa. Welcome! Welcome! PLease put you link in here and tell us all about your help. Where you are , location address phone number. We want to help others connect to non 12 step help.

    you can also contact us directly at http://www.info@mysaferecovery.com …you will reach me privately there.

    Do you help people get over trauma caused by AA?

    • Melissa,

      Welcome! I would love to see the link and Im sure many others would. Good news!! Thank you.

      I left AA 2 yrs ago and know how difficult it can be. Many here have recently left or are in the process. Im sure they will be grateful for another site where there are individuals they can relate too.

    • Our organization is called Saint Jude Retreats with 3 locations in NY and 1 in Manhattan. Our website can be found at http://www.soberforever.net and the number is 1-888-424-2626

      Here is our blog: http://www.soberforever.net/addictionblog/

      Yes, we do help people overcome alcohol and drugs but not by providing treatment and we are NON-12 step. Our founders who had both been attending AA decided to do an extensive 10 year research project on AA and from this wanted to create an opposite program due to AA’s lackluster success rates, thus we were created. What we do is amazing and we don’t label, don’t judge we just help by encouraging people to make better choices in their life and we try to break down the walls of AA such as the “Addict for life.” But I would love to write a piece on it for your site because our Chairman has many stories about the dangers of AA. Also, I went to your site and it just says godaddy.com Thanks so much!!

      • i heard about st. judes and the clean slate guy before finding here. thats awsome what you guys are doing. thanks for posting and helping others to get out.

      • Hi there Melissa and thanks for posting the link to St. Judes, I heard the guy that set up the clean slate (don’t remember his name off the top of my head) on Massive’s radio show, he talked a lot of sense.

        I really got a lot out of this blog:
        http://soberforever.net/addictionblog/index.php/are-there-really-underlying-causes-for-addiction

        I always felt that there was somehow something that MADE me use as chaotically as I did. It got to the point in a 12 step rehab where I considered making something up as everyone else seemed to have been sexually abused, had miscarriages or some other hugely traumatic event that they pin pointed as the start of their “addiction”.

        I started drinking and drugging as a social thing, simple as that. My mates did it, i did it, some of them stopped, some didn’t, I didn’t stop. No trauma, no massive life event, no underlying issues (that has ever been identified by myself or any of the army of professionals that have been involved in my life). I seriously felt like some kind of misfit (as if I needed to feel anymore like that than I did already!) because I was missing this addiction igniting trauma, doh!

        It’s so refreshing to read stuff like this, thanks :)

        • HI Neiko! :) SO nice to see you here. It was great talking to you when I was at Gunthar’s. Where are you blogging these days?

        • Neiko- Steven Slate really speaks this message. I think it’s an important dialogue that must be had. I use to believe that it was an underlying issue. I had no other perspective. But Even before leaving AA I found it so refreshing to here this point of view. Especially from many men.

        • Thanks Nieko and ill , at the end of the day we really want to help more and more people, we got a terrible voicemail from I guess an AA woman, screaming in the phone, she said if we don’t change our advertising people will start dying and bad things will begin happening. I think she missed the point in our program which is to instill hope and empowerment. Sad:( Anyway sorry I did not respond sooner I didn’t realize I had any comments glad you enjoyed the blog nieko!!

    • Trauma. Yeah. I am seeing a new therapist. I told my meds Dr that I did NOT want to talk to ANY 12-stepping therapist, so I had to talk to the Director of Mental Health who is more medical/science-based. How refreshing! So at the last session a month ago, I guess, he asked why I wanted to see HIM, and so I told I left AA & that I also need to resolve some nagging things I’ve got inside about my mom & my childhood. And ya know what he said?? “So, we’re going to be talking about Trauma issues, right? From both AA and your mom?” And then it hit me. Yeah, AA was very traumatic with all it’s dogma, inconsistencies, LIES, pressure, you name it. I’m taking CBT sessions next month, and I look forward to speaking to a non-stepping therapist! Wheee!!! Be Freeeeeeee! Peace out, friends! :)

      • WOW Rainbow-

        You sound great. Interesting how we carry our message about how bad AA has gotten. SO many dont know. This weekend I had a friend over for a party and he was mentioning how his dad just went to AA. I should him my binder 2 inches think with news stories about AA and sex criminals and financial predators.

        He was shocked. But I told him to warn his dad. I was in AA too long. It’s taking me years to deprogram.

        • maybe any organization has the people you mentioned, the predators, the perverts, the ones who take advantage over others. Why then should A.A. be any different than any other.
          Also, what would it do to tell this to the father who wants to get help for drinking? What does telling him about the predators have to do with him possibly going to get help for Alcoholism

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  63. Hi!
    This is the first time I’ve ever posted anything ever anywhere.
    I actually did “stumble” across this site…eventually.
    About a month or so ago, I decided to type “bad experiences in A.A.” In the URL and see what happens. I got “A.A. Horror Stories”. From there I linked up w/ Orange Papers, then to Stinking Thinking and then here. Long story short.
    I’ve basically had experience w/ A.A. since high school. Was sent there through an out patient program after getting caught smoking pot at school.
    Only went to a few meetings. I came around again for about 3 mos. in 1999 and about 6 mos. in 2001. After that I was on a methadone program for about 9 years straight. I decided to walk off that in the spring of 2009 w/ the temporary help of Suboxone for 2 mos. to taper off the methadone.
    There’s way more to all this but basically I ended up going back to my first A.A. meeting in about 9 years because I had to go pee. I was near the Alano Club here and I figured that was as good a place as any. When I finally made it there the door was locked and the fella that answered told me they were closed after the morning meetings but they did open back up be for the noon ones. Huh. I pissed elsewhere.
    I ended up going back later anyway and I never forget sitting there and thinking “this is a delicate situation, it seems like more can go wrong here than right”. People complementing each other on their honesty and humility and at the same time honestly humiliating themselves. I sorta just went up there just to watch, like T.V.. I knew it was serious, shit I was coming off methadone and Xanax and….I’d been through a lot but I couldn’t help but see it as theatre. I hope I don’t offend anyone. I’ve shared that at A.A. meetings and they’d laugh but it’s the truth!
    I went almost every day, got a sponsor, got into “the book” and the steps, made coffee, chaired meetings…..”continued” in steps 10, 11 and 12…etc..
    I began to have some doubts just listening to the people in meetings “…go to meetings…or else, get a sponsor…or else, do the steps…or else… Then, “we’ll love you until you love yourself.” Then, “you need a check-up from the neck-up!”…
    It was like being in the presence of a parental figure who tells you they love you then slaps you across the room. Rinse, repeat.
    I was lucky that I’d been around in the past so I just asked someone I halfway trusted to take me through the steps out of the book, no bullshit. He didn’t seem too interested in becoming my new father figure and I didn’t have a phone to call him anyways (cell or otherwise). Basically, he heard a fifth step. And no, I didn’t “feel the nearness of my creator” afterword either. I can identify w/ the people I’ve read on here that tell about feeling they were not doing enough or not doing it right.
    I began to get concerned when I was getting more resentful than less and then feel guilty about it. Especially since most of it was directed at others in the “program”. Then feeling guilty about that! Uggggh!
    I personally haven’t had the sorta terrible experiences that I’ve read here but I’ve witnessed it.
    What really began to get to me was when a few others began to call me (I eventually got a phone) and tell me they were scared of their sponsor. Basically, from what they told me, they were being interrogated by this guy. Being told they were pathological liars and crap like that. It really disturbed me to hear that. It’s funny, the 12×12 talks about getting someone who’s apprehensive about a 4th step to do it. For the “prideful type” it suggests one “…finds a chink in their armor to let the light of reason shine through” and for the “depressive type” that they build them up and let them know they’re not as bad as they think they are. What I often ended up seeing was
    the “prideful type” finding the “depressive type” and finding a chink in their armor to let the light of reason shine through! Huh, group dynamics wins again. And that’s the thing, group dynamics in a group like that? Well, like I said, a whole lot more wrong can happen than right.
    I feel embarrassed that I parroted the B.B. in meetings and walked away knowing deep down it was bullshit. When I was honest w/ myself I knew that all I was really doing was looking for was acceptance and approval. Period-paragraph. As I sit here I’m thinking “who’s fault is that? Didn’t I put myself in a position to get hurt?” It’s gonna take me awhile to get this guilt complex out of my head. I remember one of those guys w/ the dick sponsor said one night on the phone that he didn’t even know who he was anymore. That really tore at me.
    I ended up drinking after 21 mos. and I thought a lot about that. I felt like a fool. If I really said what I wanted to say in those meetings they’d run me out of there w/ torches and pitchforks! …or some well meaning advice. uggggh! I guess this is a good place to do that. Honesty isn’t allowed in A.A..
    I will hopefully share more of my experiences down the road.
    In reading Stinking Thinking I came across a Wikipedia link on “cognitive dissonance”. That began to explain my dilemma. I was going against my own truth. ME!!! No wonder I felt so nervous and self conscious.
    Self examination? I remember reading “Cutting Through Spiritualism” by Chogyam Trungpa. In it he talks about self analysis. He likened it to a monkey in its cage, climbing on the bars, examining them trying to get a better definition of its own captivity. I read that and realized I needed to put the whip down…the steps!
    I have plenty more to say but I’m beginning to feel like I’m in a meeting and I’m just “rambling on”, as they say.
    I feel like there’s some like minded people here. I’ve never posted anything anywhere before so this is all new to me.
    I’m also going to a SMART meeting tomorrow to see what that’s about.
    Spiritual teachings helped bring me out of where I was at, but I don’t want A.A.’s spiritual solution. I’d rather go to a non-spiritual meeting and keep my own spiritual practice to my self. Call me “shellfish and self centered” but if the shoe fits and it’s comfortable…well, that’s enough for now.

  64. Andrew,

    Thank you so much for posting. I havent laughed so hard in some time. The sad part is, everything you said is so true. OMG, without a doubt; AA makes life more complicated than it already is.
    The should call it Analysis Anonymous!

    Thanks again, :-)

  65. ANdrew- and tell me they were scared of their sponsor. Basically, from what they told me, they were being interrogated by this guy
    These are the kinds of subtle things happening everywhere at meetings that are not necessarily criminal, yet if he were a therapist he really would be out of line. What I see now is that one could now sue an AA member for practicing medicine and giving that kind o advice. As well as this horrible practice that many AA sponsors do.

    But what I want to say to you is

    this is a really great “share” LOL not kidding, but really you have found a group like yourself right here .

    I am really glad You found us. I hope to hear from you again and if you drink ( we dont use the word slip here :) ) again we don’t judge. Its not my business. You are a grown adult. Not that AA members care about that as they boss each other around and ask nosy questions ad infinitum.

    • Yep, obviously there’s more overt stuff that happens like the 13th stepping, physical assaults and financial scams but to me the subtle psychological aspect of it sets the stage for all the the overt stuff to occur in the first place.
      Scary!

  66. Hey,
    I went to a SMART meeting yesterday and and most of the people there were being mandated for meetings.
    One guy was complaining that at his outpatient treatment center won’t recognize SMART.
    I was quick to point out that they can’t do that.
    I read somewhere in these sites that A.A. has been deemed a religion by some branch of our government.
    Is this true?
    I so, what branch?
    I live in Oregon, so is this one of the states that it’s illegal to mandate speciffically A.A. in?
    If anyone out there knows, that would be nice.
    I liked the meeting. Less structured than A.A.. What a relief!
    Oh, and it was nice to have a halfway “normal” conversation w/ another person that was there afterwards. Again, what a relief!

  67. Hey to all former and now fellow non members of AA, so called fellowship. I am in South Western Ontario Canada. I was going on 10 months sober. I was a member of AA. I am gay , and proud. AA throws it’self out there as being an “honest program, a program of ACTION”. A program that prides it’self on AA the good. ” Get a sponsor, Write down your resentments, the 90 meeting schpiel. and so on” Get active, sponsor says, you can’t get active, work on your steps. Not on my watch are you doing service work, but preaches, service work, you can’t read preamble, but you should get active. I started to cite AA “liturgy” like a complete and utter idiot, I was honestly like a robot. Powerlessness, un managability according to who? Appease? Fark that. Every meeting, I would do as I was TOLD, get a sponsor, stick with the winners, Sponsors I could get honest with to tell my story, and secrets to and my resentments, don’t forget that, we are angry. The gossip runs rampid in AA, fark that, Amends, do these dough brains realize Trauma, Childhood sexual Abuse, along with many other forms of abuse, make amends, we learned to survive and cope. Not crying the blues here. Religion, who are we not remembering in the picture here. ? Here where I am from, we have a large Muslim community, this community as many other non christian communities, have that right to access such groups, But the blatant Christian, evangelical overtones of AA, chases various communities from the rooms. BS, higher power as we understand him. How many relationships are started in AA??? “oh we met in these rooms” I experienced homophobia at it’s best, the rules. Don’t start a relationship in AA the first year in, never the less, not in AA according to your sponsor. I see it all over the place. I was sober 5 years w/o AA. Why I went back, I dont know. If you look good, youu have an advantage, the drunk from the streets, that wants what AA has, gets rude looks, the lady with parkinsons, participates in these meetings, by reading, is mocked. Myself, emails from district office, about starting a gay positive meeting, re starting sorry, emails NOT answered. Women with women, men with men, where is this stated in sponsorship rules. I don’t relate to a hetero sexual woman in her life experiences, they are the first to tell me they are straight, like I care. I only came out, because that is who I am, not going to lie, not going to change she with he, any time soon lol for someone else’s comfort level. I am NOT in those dang rooms to pick up like the 13 steppers are, I WAS THERE TO get SOBER. The hell and tears I went through, with words told to me by the Jesus ,Mary and Josephs of AA. My self esteem went down, friends outside AA who respected my sobriety, saw a change and not for the good, isolating, crying, sadness, feelings af aloneness, saying I Was on the AA dry drunk, bc I asked questions. I spoke up, I didn’t show up, to the groups, I went out and consciously went out, sipping 4 sips of a pint of beer. Cliques, gossip, anonymity being broken, judgement, old timers thinking if I dont get sober through this program I will be in jail, psych wards. OH, GET THE FARK over yourselves, talk about egos and vanity. Cultish BS, I wanna live sober yes, by my own HEALTHY means, I can for sure know what healthy is FOR ME. I don’t need the effing jamoborees, round ups, count downs, etc… to get sober. I am a Social Worker, all the stories recently prior to leaving I have heard, I have the duty to report, it is an anonymous program. And do the stories change, depending on who listens. Predators, non AA’s lurking and trolling vulnerable members, new ones for what ever reason. Damn, I was one of the lucky ones!!

    • Hi Chris! Thanks for the intro. As a social worker what do you think of the sexual predators being mandated to the same rooms as minors? Should this not be of a major concern to child advocate groups and Child Protective Services? I do not understand why NOBODY on a higher is not addressing this.

    • Chris- WOW well said. Welcome again. I just read this. It seems there is a movement with in the real world to leave AA yet our entertaiment and media keep promotinh it like it is osmething new and safe. What a joke. But true AA is very dangerous in more ways then one.

      As you stated here about taking sips and their judgement Im glad you found us. Are there any SMART RECOVERY meetings in your city. There are daily SMART meetings online every day now.

      Maybe one way we can change things is if someone like yourself went on to the Muslim community and Promoted Smart or SOS meetings. This way they can be educated that there is something else besides AA and that also less people to begin with will even go to AA.

  68. I can’t answer to the predator, as a human being, not a social worker, it scares me, very much. As a social worker AA has NO right to be taking on that responsibility or the courts should have NO right being MANDATED into AA, in Canada, I do not beieve that can happen, 12 Step treatment facilities are a wide spread joke, soo AA’s BS about….There are no dues or fees for AA membership, we are self supporting through our own contributions.

    AA is not allied with any sect, denomination, politics, organization or institution; does not engage in any controversy, neither endorses nor opposes any causes…….AA has foster affiliation to treatment centres. I am talking about people preying on the vulnerable people coming through the doors. As a AWkr, my concern is hearing a story speaker, then prior a few weeks earlier this woman tells me she had zero custody…abuse…I have the duty to report abuse. to the authorities..anonymity is the “spiritual Foundation” of all their affairs….Crock of shit….speakers almost seem like paid tony robbins stuff…….. regurgitated crap sounding like script….telling us (speakers) about getting wealth from the jail cell to the wealth bc he turned his life around, if weren’t for AA this could not have happened. I was at a camp out, my first AA function this summer 2012…I associate campting with drinking, new to sobriety again after years of being out drinking….near Toronto ( 6 mo’s sober at this time) i got triggered, ran to the car packnig up with my partner also an AA ( not any longer,….) ..thinking I was going out to drink…triggered up set …thinking these people were scary nuts……one woman told me ‘ YOU WILL go out be suicidal, end up in a “mental ward”" I was feeling I had escaped..something…had not come to this conclusion about control…….we took off to toronto, ended up at an AA meeting 5 more months in the program, homo phobia, BS, gri reeping stories from speakers….crying and isolating at night…..dreading meetings but going……..I finally got it they are nuts….felt sick to my stomach seeing certain members….ANONYMOUS BF’N S…..GOSSIP< BULLYING<ALONE…..there you go…. I am not here to do anything else but get the F out of this 12 step thinking and mindset…Canada AA oyyyyy

    • Hi CHris welcome! :)
      I will read this tomorrow and get back to you. I was out to dinner with friends and was out all day getting ready for thanksgiving. Og how nice to be free from having to attend AA meetings. Seems like AA in Canada has its problems too.

      Although I am still planning my protesting the movie “FLIGHT” and filming it with murder victims parents. this crap needs to be exposed big time.

      Blog away and know that more will not be revealed here LOL!!!

    • Chris- sorry to hear all this. I had someone I knew well who killed himself last summer. He was in AA for 18 or so years. Abt many of that time. He was gay and hit on 13 stepped many times when he was young and new by mr oldtimer AA guy back when. Then when my freind comes back with mental problems he gives him the cold shoulder and gossip galore.

      But my friend is too brainwashed and beleives that he is powerless and cant get help in other programs cause he doesnt even know they exist until I tell him asa I am learning about the other options besides AA. SMART< LIFERING RATIONAL RECOVERY < SOS< WFS< although now I just promote SMART ANS SOS AND HARM REDUCTION AND doing it on the ingernet while reading a good non AA book.

      I have a radio show that you might like. http://www.blogtalkradio.com/saferecovery

      I left AA after many years. I am very free now.

  69. AA we use the worls wide office, partner and I just read about the washingtonians and oxfords. Scary shiet. Yep, we identical to US. world wide service, all our stuff came from NYNY

  70. Well the camp thing was like some camp evangelical crusade lol. I knew I wasn;t going to end up in a hospital room, or suicidal, that’s what AA woman told me I would go do if I did. Also, my partner, said maybe they weren’t god for me, better if I were single. Ahh NO…….I don’t take BS, and was realizing I was being played with emotionally, usually I am quicker that….glad to be out and happier….WFS group here talk about New Life Program – 4c’s reading. sounds familiar. Aceptance Statements…lol I dunno…any how cool for me, feel like I am being de programmed. We, my partner and I put all our AA readings and so , in the cat and dog droppings…down the garbage shute

  71. this is not about bashing AA, this is about people being affected from the treatment, and programming , in the negative by AA World Wide. I am not saying these things in all, to make people laugh, some is, but at the time,it may have been, There are others.

    • No. Not in the sense that she is in SOS. I have been to some meetings to see what they were like. If you search in youtube for Los Angeles TImes Puff Piece about AA you will find a video I made.

      Im glad to hear you are doing fine without AA et al!

  72. really, my reason was to share my thoughts about why AA did not serve me well. I am no fan, will not advocate to anyone to go, thus I am doing exactly what step 12 does, RECRUITS. MY thing is, not mentioning. no advertising is the best. I have my own choices to make, abstain, or moderation w/o the so called assistance off AA. It is not serving me after reading responses to continue this ranting on here, But to go out and play tennis, visit friends, wellness activities. What I wrote was my experience, not something to be laughed at. If I want to be laughed at, bullied shit like that, I may as well go to AA, which in my thought, utterly nauseates me, the thought of it…thanks, but no thanks

    • Who was laughing at you, Chris? I think massive simply found your story of dumping AA literature down the chute amusing.

      I’m sorry, but the whole misspelling-rambling post-take offense thing you’ve laid out here has a trollish air to it. I could be wrong, but I have a bit of experience in forums like these.

      Just sayin’

      • The best troll I believe I ever encountered was Mr. AA.(aka Chris on ST, towards the end). He came on like a voice of reason that still enthusiastically support the concept of AA. However when prodded on his beliefs (especially via sarcasm) he became mean as a viper. I almost thought at times that there were two people posting under the same handle. At times he was all Buddhist spiritualism and at others he was Tony J with a run in his stockings.

        It does seem that the trolls have found this site. The pattern appears to be that the same small group of people try to apply a writing style that is not their own, which in turn makes the content of their posts seem even less credible. The best defense is waiting them out. Like all true AA members they lack patience beyond impulses that hover in the region of their nose tip. But they do come back.

    • Chris- Who was laughing at you ? What are you talking about ? Im agreeing with you . It was a really good link. I watched it again. I hadnt seen that in years!

  73. Oh wowzaa! This is the best day of my life, (besides leaving AA of course) finding you guys!! I was in AA for a little over 7 months and I am so f ing glad I am gone! I started noticing I was changing…for the worse, losing self respect, second guessing everything that I was saying, thinking…basically driving me insane with the cult BS! But now the real work begins… I just celebrated my 23 birthday last Wednesday my first glass of wine since going to AA, it was fabulous, but I still have the cult sayings in my head… how did you guys deal with it… I do have to say though, those “AA Old timers” really think they are something, I had to deal with too many creeps in there. A few of them “went back out” because of me. Geez Im engaged and I have two boys, they are something else….

    Looking forward to this blog!!

    • Kristin- OMG OMG I am so happy to see you here. I went to AA very young 18, but left 19 months ago but who is counting? LOL

      You are so fortunate to realize its a cult so early. We all deprogram in different ways, but its a good idea to read other sane literature like http://www.orange-papers.org http://www.expaa.org and go to the deprogramming page. Also blogging.

      Harm reduction , moderation approaches instead of abstinence based programs like Hams Harm Reduction, http://www.drinklinkmoderation.com Dee Dee Stouts book on Harm REduction, The TRUTH ABOUT ADDICTION and RECOVERY by STANTON PEELE, Ph.D.

      read the pages on the http://www.stinkin-thinkin.com site.

      I blogged for a year and tried to make AA safer from the inside. Finally I left ….they are way too stubborn and arrogant and dangerous.

      Again Welcome.

  74. Yay! A fellow comrade joining the troupes! Welcome! Welcome! Welcome! Yehaw!!
    Your excitement makes me smile real big! And like massive said — you got out early!!! I left 6 months ago. AA lied. Since leaving, I am happy happy happy today.

    The solution to my problem was real simple — LEAVE AA!!!!

    • hi rainbow!!!! SO nice to see you here!!! Yea she is lucky to have escaped the cult so soon. SHe is smarted then I was. Its okay cause my years makes me able to make my film about the crap going on in AA and exposing it. yea yea yea:)

      Love your pic.

  75. Hello.. My name is Carla. I really want to leave AA and have the best sponsor, friend in the world.. but am afraid of hurting her feelings. I had a drinking problem for about 5 years after I lost my parents. I got introduced to wine from a group of friends.. and they convinced me that I should come out with them and have wine once in a while.. and then told me which ones to buy to have at home etc.. and low and behold.. I was drinking wine daily.. and one day.. decided that I don’t want it anymore and stopped on my own. After the day I stopped.. I went to an AA meeting.. and after about 3 weeks or so.. in AA.. someone convinced me I should get a sponsor. I didn’t accept at first.. and then later accepted when one approached me. I told her I didn’t want to stop having a beer on occasion.. I just wanted to not drink wine again.. (which is what I had the problem with). I have done some control drinking on and off with beer as for years I have had beer before and after a workout and sometimes.. 3 on weekends. Not in a row.. and not to get drunk! I have been in AA for a little over a year now.. and have done 10 steps.. but I really don’t think I want it any more. I do admit that I have had some “spiritual awakenings” during this time and it did feel good to get my amends out of the way. But I don’t want to give up having beer at times.. and am not abusing it or getting out of hand with it. How do I tell my sponsor I no longer want AA after she vested all this time with me without making her upset? Please help. I really don’t want AA any more.. and feel like I am stuck there. I quit the wine on my own.. and just walked in by myself without court orders or being told that is where I needed to be. The choice was mine to join.. and now I want the choice to leave.

  76. I am also worried that because I have been in AA for over a year.. the people I have met will no longer want anything to do with me once I leave. Please help!

  77. Look around the room and decide; do you want to spend 20 years in AA before you figure out that it’s a cult like religious abstinence group? I did and now I drink from time to time; no disease, no relapse, and no segregation from mainstream society. Your sponsor is so nice but won’t have anything to do with you when you leave. What does this tell you? Could this be a love bomb? Could the sponsor be getting something from you, validation, and self importance?
    Go to the Orange Papers and read all about AA. Consider educating yourself and MAKE YOUR OWN BEST DECISION. Also remember that it isn’t a closed ended question. You can educate yourself about the dangers of AA attendance as well as the LIES and generalities the program may push on you and still go. I personally would never join a group and stay without being aware of the drawbacks and potential for danger. But then again, I hate AA because it damaged me as much as it helped.
    Also, if your name is really Carla Fandrich, anyone (or your sponsor) can Google you and read your post.

  78. CARLA. you owe them nothing. I would rather see you leave then do what I did and stay for 3 decades believing I was in a fellowship When really its a cult and AA has become very dangerous. Listen to your gut ! AA will tell you to listen to someone else. Like a sponsor. WHy should you be listening to a stranger tell you how to live your life. Only in a cult would an adult do this.

    Inside you know what to do. I would tell them the truth. Then you will see how not openminded they are , how rigid they are and how its their way or the HIGHWAY!!! Keep Not Coming Back to AA.

    PLease keep us updated how it goes for you.

  79. Happy Holidays to everyone posting here. I found this site through some googling around. I understand where Carla is coming from in a sense. I know that I need to leave AA as well, but it’s under difficult circumstances. Reading sites like this one has helped me so far, but I have decided to finally speak up.

    This isn’t a speaker meeting and this had been a rather tiring
    Christmas so I won’t go into too much detail right now.

    I knew what I was getting into joining the program almost a year ago.
    I grew up in an AA family. I will never know whether alcoholism is really
    genetic or I was just brainwashed through a generation. I’ve considered
    devoting part of my life to answering that question.
    After a couple of years of trying different methods, scaling back,
    moderation, failed abstinence through at-home programs like RR,
    I decided at the age of 25 that they had finally won…I was “an alcoholic”.
    I am 26 now…I went into it with a grain of salt…but that salt has grown to
    into quite the bitter, unhealthy pile.
    I have the usual laundry list of reasons for wanting to leave,
    perhaps I will go into further detail one day but for now I won’t bore you.

    Yet…I find it difficult to leave. Sure I have maintained sobriety
    from alcohol for the longest time through the program, and I’ve
    worked the steps, but I really think it has more to do with the
    initial environment of sober people. I remain a brilliant actor, pushing
    the steps when I am afraid who might be listening, and who
    might judge me. Essentially I am a fraud.
    A sick investigative journalist It’s caused a rift in my
    entire being.
    I was really ready this time…a lust for life has kept me sober,
    a lack of desire to drink. AA caught me in the clutch of that,
    when my mind was too “open” perhaps…sigh…
    If I left and stayed where I am it would cause serious rifts
    in my family, even the community, heads would explode.
    Let alone if I left, continued to not drink, and explained to
    them the reasons why…
    Ever see that movie “Scanners”?
    Courage is one thing but I too, like Carla, am afraid
    of hurting people.
    So I feel stuck in the position of not being able to
    leave until I can travel, or move. For now, websites
    like this give me solace…and hope.
    I do have a sense of wanderlust in me…always have,
    so if anything it will give me extra motivation to get
    the f–k out of here!

    All the best to you and yours this season!

    • Bri- Welcome- Im sorry I didnt see this till now. I was busy during Christmas , Cooking etc , family …lucky me ..I am long gone from AA now 20 months and I was the MOm in AA and now I am a MOM out of AA and my kids ages 22 and 18 say they like me much better not being a wacko stepper mom. LOL

      I can feel your pain across the internet. I hope you can figure it out and be yourself. When I read your post it really looks like a cult. If you could step back and really see your situation objectively ….wow …poor Charlie Sheen. martin Sheen has been in AA a long time and his TV Producer is in AA. WFT …but even Charlie made his escape and he is drinking moderately I hear. (Don’t quote me please).

      All I can say is that I am really sorry you feel so stuck. We had a young 24 year old blogger, Ryan, that came from a stepper family. Both He and his sister committed suicide in one year. Imagine that horror story for a parent. You can hear me interviewing him on my blog talk radio show Safe Recovery http://www.blogtalkradio.com/saferecovery The interview took place Nov 1 , 2011, we even had a sick pro stepper call in and on live radio made fun of Ryan’s sister Sarah who had just committed suicide. That part of the story is documented on the front page of the once busiest anti AA blog http://www.stinkin-thinkin.com .
      There you will find over 5000 entries of how and why people are leaving, or have left AA. I even documented my leaving there as I left…..

      I was once a parent who spewed AA rhetoric to my sons. But no more. ALso if you want …you can go to the thread at the top Why I Left AA and find the last post and tell us the whole story there. Trust me…we will not be bored.
      personally I think we should teach all 1st DUI’s and youth about Moderation Management.

      Again glad to see you here and be kind to yourself.

    • Bri- Hi! Sorry to hear all this. I was recovering last year when you wrote this from a serious operation, but I am re reading these posts looking for posts to use in my Documentary. I stopped when reading yours. :( It seems if you were just in a Church you would never be thinking this way…you would simply stop going or change churches. So what does that say about AA, your family and your community…to me it says its a cult. It pretends its something more simple and laid back …but really…its not. I hope you are fine and have moved away and moved on. makeaasafer@gmail is my contact.

  80. p.s. I have never been to an S.O.S. or SMART Rec meeting. The closest SMART is 40 minutes away. As my life comes back together through continually abstaining (regardless as to whether I am an “alcoholic” or have a “disease”, I know alcohol isn’t for me) I hope to be able to make it out there and check it out once a week. A De-Program as I prepare to leave this perhaps dangerous dare-I-say Cult-Program called AA.

  81. Hi thank you so much,I am not alone or destined to die insane if I leave AA.I have spent 12 years of my life in this miserable existance in the AA fog of lies.I took a wee drink and guess what I’m fine,eight years of miserable sobriety listening to endless bullshit storys of negative storys booo hooo.I still can’t get away from them,hey havnt seen you in the meetings are you ok?Yea I’m happy and fine thanks,hmmmm denial he’s sick he’s not on the program.No I aint sick,I’m free of idiots like you,I even went back just to see if I was right and guess what I was misersble again,good bye AA,goodbye forever,run ,run,run.

    • I *smile* a lot more these days when I see one. Doesn’t matter if I’m happy or grumpy. I *want* them to see just how calm, relaxed, happy, and full of LIFE that I am today….without those emotional-vampires. They can’t fathom that we are uber-mega-HAPPY, now that we left them.

  82. Hi IAN! Great post. You make me smile as I read … I agree. Lies, lies , lies …..like ‘first you take the drink, then the drink takes you ”

    really ?

    Another one. ” the disease is progressing even though you quite drinking” so even if you are sober 25 years, if you “pick up alcohol again” you not only dont leave off where you stopp….your disease has been progressing all these years”

    WTF????
    When I first heard this when i was young I thought to myself…..these guys are nuts. I should have ran then. Oh well….I am free now.

    So Ian Welcome!!!!

    • >> your disease has been progressing all these years

      Noooo way. I have argued with folks on this one for decades.
      What’s been really happening since you were 25 or 34 years old, is that your BODY got older and is getting older — and when we’re 42 or 72, of course alcohol might (and does) affect our older bodies in a harder way. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that, I told my sponsor. ;)

  83. I (wasted) spent several years in Assholes Anonymous. Fortunately I dwell there no longer…but unfortunatelty, despite the dogma there are many good (naive) people in the rooms. AA dogma is also perpetuated by genuinely good and well intentioned (I’ll be it lost) people; and I stayed long enough to meet someone who I grew to love…but as reality dictates we could not live together apart (from the rooms). It truly makes me sad that I had to let this lady go….when it came down to chosing between her and AA or me, I had to chose me. I would rather be alone than amonst sick people in “recovery”. That is true freedom.

    • Hi Dan,

      I believe you made the best decision for yourself. I couldnt disagree that many in AA are well intentioned. Unfortunately; well intentioned, mislead, narrow minded people in your life can cause you grief. Im sorry for your loss but some of us have a mind of our own.

  84. Dan that’s hard to do , but aa speak makes me crazy now, it’s just so …dumb, I think like sue said, you have made the right decision …you have ur mind u are no longer brainwashed . Again I’m sorry for ur loss!

  85. Can someone comment on whether or not NA is just as bad as AA? I’m recovering from a pill addiciton and of course was instructed to go to 12 step meetings. They tell me in NA that I can never drink again (even though alcohol was never a problem) or I’m not following the program. I get why they say that, but can it really be one size fits all? I really believe that I can eventually drink socially, but they tell me that’s addict-thinking. I’m confused. Also, they tell me that I can also go to AA if I need to “get in a meeting” and it’s the only thing available, but that I have to identify myself as an alcoholic…not an addict. I never drank alcoholically, but I have to identify myself as one? I’m so confused….

    • Kate- Yes NA can be as bad. Are you in a major city? If you are SMART RECOVERY is almost in every city, but if you have just a pill addiction and want to drink normally and probably can, you may wanna check out moderation management or hams Harm Reduction. All three of these programs have daily meetings online.

      After over 3 decades in AA and about 10 years I went to NA in Hawaii for god knows what…I smoked pot as a teen…I would stay away from all 12 step programs. They are not safe. They have become very controlling and culty and maybe in the beginning feel like they help but there is a catch….Nothing is for free ….

      You can go to my older blog http://www.stop13stepinaa.wordpress.com and read the horror stories there about both programs.

      I think NA Service Structure is saner but the program is still based on powerlessness.

      you said . “Also, they tell me that I can also go to AA if I need to “get in a meeting” and it’s the only thing available, but that I have to identify myself as an alcoholic…not an addict. I never drank alcoholically, but I have to identify myself as one? I’m so confused….”

      I say …why would you go to an AA meeting call yourself such a negative thing as an alcoholic when you are clearly not. Why would you lie about yourself like that. AA is filled with predators of all kinds now. And that includes many guru type oldtimers that are so full of shit it nots funny.

      Let us know what works for you ….I wish you well. keep blogging all you want.

      • Kate,
        I think NA and AA can help a person arrest a problem and achieve an abstinent period. 12 step programs are strong social lifelines that can help you obtain initial clean time so you can make decisions not influenced by substance dependence. The problem for me was that I began to abuse the programs and become dependent on the groups. I went into AA dependent on alcohol and departed dependent on AA. Today I work on self reliance with the use of tools, plans, deductive reasoning, science, and whatever else I feel is beneficial. Today I don’t deny myself anything; drinking, an occasional meeting, harm reduction, MM, and the like are all part of my sustainable program.

        The Diagnostic Statistical Manual of Mental Health Disorders breaks harmful alcohol use into two categories; alcohol abuse and alcohol dependence.

        I noticed that my alcoholism was characterized by alcohol abuse which became alcohol dependence.

        I now see that my use of AA escalated to AA abuse and eventually turned into AA dependence.

        I would define AA abuse as;
        1. A maladaptive pattern of AA abuse leading to clinically significant impairment or distress, as manifested by one or more of the following, occurring within a 12-month period:
        - Recurrent AA use resulting in failure to fulfill major role obligations (neglect of children or household).
        - Recurrent AA use in situations in which it is physically hazardous (being exposed to criminals or sexually charged persons, conducting business with other members).
        - Continued AA use despite persistent or recurrent social or interpersonal problems caused or exacerbated by the effects of AA (e.g., arguments with spouse about consequences of meetings or fraternizations. Sponsor/ sponsee tensions arising out of interpersonal control).

      • Kate,
        You said. “Also, they tell me that I can also go to AA if I need to “get in a meeting” and it’s the only thing available, but that I have to identify myself as an alcoholic…not an addict. I never drank alcoholically, but I have to identify myself as one? I’m so confused….”
        I may drink on Monday and go to a meeting on Tuesday. I identify as having a desire to stop drinking which I do have at that instant. The only requirement for AA membership is a desire to stop drinking, you do not have to be alcoholic, you do not have to stop forever.
        Unfortunately the AA/NA programs are full of narrow absolute “truths” that can be dangerous if adopted. A truly open mind is willing to examine all possibilities. If you do go to AA/NA, remember you are there to use them, do not let them use you to further their cause or otherwise.

        • Anon,

          Wow, two great post/comments. I agree with everything you said. When they say:

          “The only requirement for AA membership is a desire to stop drinking, you do not have to be alcoholic, you do not have to stop forever.”

          Unfortunately, thats not the case. If you choose not to label yourself; they wont throw you out of the meeting. However, they have a way of making you feel obligated and very uncomfortable if you choose to be private. Anyhow, you covered some very important points.

          • If I go, it’s for me and not them. I am the only one that can “make me feel”, so, when I state that I have a desire to stop drinking, it is sincere. It is they that prescribe to untrue beliefs and AA tradition violations, not I. They are the uncomfortable for they violate their own constitution. Try though they may to turn it around, the truth of the situation derails their attempt.

          • Its true what you say. However, I personally just found it very frustrating to be myself and sincere in those rooms. I experienced a lot of critisism for that; some subtle and some not so subtle. Being outnumbered can wear on you; depending where your at in your life. In my case; eventually it boiled down to: “why am I putting myself through this”.

        • Low benefit High cost! I love it (-:

          Im all for going to a meeting if you feel the need; especially if you are caught up in a daily alcohol abuse cycle and havent learned other tools. Just dont expect to feel all comfy and accepted when/if you dont go with the flow.

  86. Hi Kate… WHEW! I went to my last meeting about a month and a half ago…And all I can say is that AA is a Mix-Master for the Mind…authors of CONFUSION all of them. They will have you Bass Ackward Crazy before you know it if you listen to them too much…

    Try SMART as Massive suggests…

    Makes way more sense…

    Be well.

  87. Haven’t commented in a while. I got one year abs on Jan 9th. No coin, cake, sponsor, steps. I just don’t drink. Still hit a meeting every once in a while. True believers largely ignore me, which is fine with me. AA did help initially but now it’s screwing with my common sense. Most of those folks are freaking nuts. Happy new year.

    • Mike,

      Congratulations on one year! I think it is important that we all do what we feel is necessary at the time. If those choices prove to be wrong in the long run, then we move on. Personally, I believe AA messed with my common sense. Im sorry its that way and I think it could be different; but I dont have the power to change it. Happy New Year to you too!

    • Congrats on the one year mark Mike of abstinence!
      I hope 2013 proves to be a good year for you.

      AA does not make sense, that is why it messes with peoples common sense! It does not compute!

      I heard Charlie Sheen the other night doing an interview with Pierce Morgan that the people who ran two and a half men were AA Nazi’s!

  88. Congrats Mike!

    In NA they say ” we are people in the grips of a disease who must abstain from all drugs in order to recover.”
    But they don’t abstain from nicotine, caffeine and antidepressants. Don’t get me wrong – I don’t think they should abstain from those drugs if they don’t want to … But I just feel like they are contradicting themselves….

    • Actually AA does discourage taking meds for mental health. In fact many suicides are attributed to the practice of AA and NA members telling members to go off their meds.

      It is sad about all the smoking in AA and NA. There is much written on the fact that many 12 steppers die early from diseases related from smoking. ALOT!!! many go in as non-smoking then become smokers too.

      • AD . Its true …there are hundreds of suicides in AA because they play Dr and therapist in AA. I know 2 people personally who were also so bullied and made fun of for drinking again and they killed themselves.
        I heard there was a lawsuit in NY 2 -3 years ago for a suicide. It was told to me that AA paid out 2.5 million in an out of court settlement. We can’t find it online, however if you live in NYC and are reading this, you can just walk into the main courthouse there and ask if there are any lawsuits against AA on file.

      • AD – now that you mention that, I remember going to an AA meeting 5 years ago (I’ve been on this journey for about 13 years now) and in fact, a member of the group came and whispered in my ear before the meeting that only people who were home group members could speak. So I stayed quiet and listened. I heard the members talk about secrets and abstinence and how they had absolutely no secrets from each other. In fact, it was kind of frightening how much emphasis they placed on the secret thing. Anyway, after the meeting, the woman who creepily whispered in my ear came and told me that I could become a home group member only if I was completely clean of all mind-altering substances. I said, “I am – the only thing I take is Prozac.” and she went on to say, “We do not allow our members to take antidepressants, but we’ll help you get off them.” I couldn’t believe my ears….how could they play doctor like that? I reported the meeting to the AA main office, but they kind of blew me off. I was going to AA because people in my city told me AA was stronger than NA here. I am glad I chose not to do that – I for sure would have been suicidal.

        Thank you for the comments. I am really learning a lot here and Massive – LOVE your radio show. I listen to it while I walk my dog in the mornings. I live in Indianapolis, and we have one SMART recovery meeting here on Wednesday evenings that I’m going to check out.

    • kate – Thank you. I’m glad you enjoy the radio show. Its alot of fun to do it. It gives me a place to speak my mind and after 30 something years in AA, I have alot of emptying out to do!:) We don’t want that crap rumbling around in there anymore now do we LOL…

      I agree. It s not a disease. But even Bill Wilson in the forward says . We are a group of 100 women who have “RECOVERED” from a seemingly hopeless disease… not recovery for ever …

      When did this stupid term can coined ” Hey man I’m in recovery …are you? Its so idiotic!
      Now when he said this he was making this up. The alcohol industry wanted people to blame it on the indiviual not The Demon rum. As we know we were coming out of the temperance movement and prohibition, so all the big alcohol distributors loved the idea of AA and Bill blaming alcohol drunkenness on some serious inner spiritual malady. You are broken to the core. WOW …what a snow job.

      The more I see this crap the more I see it all as a ridiculous made up fake religious cult.

      Happy Martin Luther King day.

      And Congrats to our President Obama, in hopes that he reads our petition for Karla Brada.

  89. Happy King Day Everyone & Here’s to FREEDOM!

    Especially freedom from hacks giving people deadly advice about medication, metal health or even splinter removal. I’d never let any of them tell me, “Boo!” any more. I’m done! DONE!

    They tell people all the time to either not take or to stop taking doctor prescribed medications. The suits need to be publicized and increased. That will put them on notice that they have no business “suggesting” anything whatsoever in terms of medical or mental health treatment for anyone as they are all self-admittedly INSANE.

    If someone tells us they are insane, full of character defects and horribly addicted for life; we should believe them– THEN RUN!

    I just read the most enlightening and educational article this morning. I LOVED it so much that it actually brought tears to my eyes because it was so splendidly and clinically sound. It was posted by someone here on this blog (Robert or Ryan, I think…) a while ago: http://tinyurl.com/SocialConstructionofLanguage

    As one who has written and taught clients and friends how to use Positive Affirmations, it was wonderful to read about the power and influence of language in mental health and recovery.

    My basic and intuitive sense of this kind of knowlege is why I could never buy into the AA dog-hackery; it goes against EVERYTHING I have learned and shared with others for years about embracing and affirming one’s authentic self as determined by One’s Self.

    I KNEW they were full of bat-shat from the get!

    And as one who is at her core, an enigmatic ball of contradictions, endless curiousity, poetry, drama, passion, love, anger, generousity, spirituality, child-likeness and ART…AA was NEVER a place for me. It was literally KILLING me!

    I think it kills more people than anyone realizes actually.

    By affirming and proclaiming negativity, alcoholism, disease, immorality, insanity, etc. a person embraces and reinforces these things within herself or himself. We literally make ourselves sick (or at least SICKER) by saying & believing that we are.

    This is profoundly POWERFUL. We Are Profoundly POWERFUL–especially determining our own Essential Natures. We decide and create our own states of being.

    God, the ALL has given us POWER of Choice and Free Will! Who the devil is Bill W. or any AA zombie to try to take what God has given us away? Or try to convince us that we must give our will over freely…or DIE.

    They lie.

    It is becoming clearer and clearer to me why I started acting so squirrel-screwing, f-ed up and CRAZY in AA. It didn’t ever make sense. I was trying so hard to make it make sense; but that was like shoving an elephant into a taxi cab. Talk about INSANITY. I was a hot wet mess!

    I like logic!

    Please read this phenomenal article. It is a bit clinical at first, but it smooths out once you get the vibe of the verbosity. I am going to write a more accessible article on this and the use of Positive Affirmations regarding living free from substance over-use at some point.

    I still am working at unclogging the mental dung-ball out of my system that AA rammed into me…

    I never fully accepted it…but I can see now that despite my best efforts at resistance, I have been effected. I drove them crazier…but they did get to me.

    I am different now; in good ways and bad ways…

    >>By God, I’m gonna get it TOGETHER though. Then we gon show they asses who “powerless”— DIG THAT (as my Daddy says) :-) <<

    Reading this article helped to put solid language and research behind what I have just experienced in AA. I feel so RELIEVED! I thank the guy who posted it so MUCH and I encourage others to read it. It's cool stuff!

    Massive the POWER of community is SO at work among us…POWERFUL! Thank you…Anti-Denial, Orange Papers, Expose AA, Dr. Peele for your work….. All of your work is coming together and forming a powerful and liberating Body of Work that people leaving AA can draw on instead of allowing exposure to AA kill some very special people. Here is a quote:

    “The disease model does more harm than good. If someone has a firm belief in it, and finds it helpful, I make no effort to persuade otherwise. However, public policy is better based on facts than dogma. Almost our entire US treatment system is based on treating this ‘disease.’ Individuals with addictive behavior are led to think that the most important question is, am I an alcoholic/addict? Of course, rather than admit this, many just ignore problems until they get worse. A more rational system would encourage earlier problem identification, and present a range of options for responding to problems. When you have a receptive audience, I suggest you present our message of hope: You don't have a disease, you are not powerless. By staying focused on what is most important to you (which might be a higher power, but could be all sorts of things), you can gain full control of your behavior, and learn to lead a wonderful life!” (p.3)

    Just think about what it does to a sensitive human being to say, “I’m an alcoholic…I’m an alcoholic…I’m an alcoholic…” every damned day? You will make yourself very, VERY sick if you were not at the onset; I know I did.

    Here again is a link to the full article:
    http://tinyurl.com/SocialConstructionofLanguage

    The article ends with this BEAUTIFUL statement:

    "Finally free from the chains of the medical and psychological vocabularies, many people would immediately fit into society with a little extra help. Others would blend in immediately into artist studios, universities, and musician & literary communities. 19th century Paris was the mecca for such creative people. Bohemian was the term for the artists and intellectuals that didn’t “fit in.” Avant-garde referred to those who didn’t “fit in” and led the rest of us. Something to think about. "

  90. I am thankful for this website. I am amazed at how trapped and afflicted I felt during the five years I went to AA. All the information you find on this website are the words and truths that I felt but had no idea existed nor even how to articulate it. What a dread AA can be for many, now I enjoy moderation and am in a counseling graduate program fighting the ignorance around the AA and treatment industries in regard to the harmful effects of AA.

    • Dan is a changed person since he separated himself from AA. I am amazed to see how damaging AA was in his life and how he has now done a complete turnaround and is mentally and emotionally grounded and in control of his life again. It is just befuddling to me how our society has come to accept this dangerous cult as the only way out of addiction.

      • Dan’s mom- Hi and Welcome! I am so happy you and your son have found us and moderation so he can really grow. As a mom I really understand.
        My husband recently left AA…about 8 months ago and even he is now saying how he sees that its actually keeps you from growing. Again welcome. If you and your son would like to be a call in guest on my radio show I think it might be interesting. If you want… If not that s okay too. Again welcome! ANd feel free to share any good resources that are non AA here including non 12 step therapists. Many people have a hard time finding this.

    • Dan- Im so glad you are doing better and found help with moderation. I know my sons are not gonna ever buy the AA crap and have learned good moderation techniques. Its important for a young person to be empowered and not controlled by some AA freaks who are quite possibly losers and sex offenders to boot.

      Last year we had two young suicides in one family. Ryan and his sister Sarah…AA can truly destroy families.

  91. Ok, I am scared. I called my sponsor and told her about the doubts I’m having about the program. She came to my house with another woman in the program and they told me that I was a strong woman who could think for myself, and that if NA is keeping me clean and I’m trying to find bad things about it, then I’m in relapse mode. They told me that if I stop going to meetings I’ll get loaded again. And they told me I’ll never live free without working the steps.

    • You should be scared, if you believe everything everyone tells you then you may be a victim.
      There are many options to arrest a drug or alcohol problem; is AA the only one you are entertaining?
      I used AA as my lifeline, it didn’t work, I educated myself and make my own decisions now.

  92. I’m not scared because I believe them Anon – I’m scared that they came to my house. Creeps me out and scares me as in “restraining order.”

    • Oh Kate!

      I am so sorry they have backed you up like that. That is horrible to have to feel such fear. Just BREATHE…

      Seriously…take a DEEP breath in…and blow it out. Blow out the stress…

      It would freak me out if they came directly to where I live too. (Fortunately, the ONLY one who knows EXACTLY where I live is my ex sponsor and she is in SHUNNING mode now; so her scanky-acting behind would not dare to show up at my door…)

      I’d be freaked out if she did though.

      I would also tell her and whomever she was with to never show up at my door uninvited again because while I may be in so-called “relapse-mode” they are in “about-to-get-damned-arrested-mode.”

      That will put them on notice!

      Please remember that these folks are cowards at heart. That is why they came together. They likely mean nothing more than to do Service Work and fluck with your head.

      Still, if you continue to feel unsafe, PLEASE…PLEASE do contact law enforcement and let them know. They will politely let you know what to do…and just speaking with the police will make you feel better.

      You deserve to feel better…not be in fear in your own home.

      YOU ARE NOT ALONE.

      YOU ARE NOT POWERLESS.

      They are the fearful ones…really…

      Really…

      Cowardly, bullying lil fart-pigs…coming to bother someone when she is vulnerable…

        • CORRECTION: Oops. Yeah. I’m sorry. That was obscure and immature…

          What’s wrong w/ me?

          I meant to say, “Pig-Farts!”

          And I would LOVE to see them on TV too, but they will be starring at any nearby AA meeting every day and close to every night.

          ;-)

          Anyway…..Out of all my rambling, I hope you got that you ought to call the cops if you are ever afraid for your safety Kate. Seriously. Though they likely mean you no physical harm. They just want to wash your brain and cleanse your soul…

          That’s all.

          :-]

    • Whew, that’s good news; you did call your sponsor though. Perhaps the culties who came to your house think AA is the only game in town. Maybe you can help them by turning them on to other options. If that don’t work, start talking about Jesus, they’ll be gone before you can say “where’s the meeting?”

  93. Kate- OMG Who do they think they are?
    Here is a great Sheryl Crow song

    run baby run…http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3CUr0bnDCfM

    There are choices for you like Smart Recovery some 25 meetings a week online. You are not a puppet for them to boss around. You are a full grown woman.

    Who the f####k do they think they are ordering you around and telling you that you will fail. Are they God ? NO!!!!

    Are they psychic? NO!!!!

    Run Kate …run for your life….

  94. I’m getting disillusioned about AA. I just happen to find this site by accident & was reading about the folks that got murdered or raped by AA members. That’s scary!

    But the main thing is that the meetings here (Prescott Valley, Az) are about the same, damn topic, all the damn time. And when the same topic, I had already hear earlier in the week, comes up again I just say, “I just want to listen”. And that sucks, because I love to talk.

    Most of the women here are so self-centered & have mental illnesses (I don’t, thank goodness!). I can’t related to ANY of them, never. I used to make my phone calls & all I ever got was, “Can I call you back later?”…And they never would. This one lady named Crystal did that to me all the damn time I tried calling (I thought she & I were becoming great friends)…Turned out she wasn’t a friend at all & a backstabber (also she wears WAAAYYY too much makeup for my taste of friends).

    It’s just too much. I now have 5 months, but I have NEVER worked the steps. I act like I did at the meetings, but I’m not. How can one live with doing 12 steps? That’s not a damn life! I want my social life back where I don’t have to drink for hours, have a blackout, and/or go every week anymore.

    So, I’m thinking of trying that moderate drinking program (I do miss wine, but I want to learn to drink it in small consumptions & on rare occasions ONLY). That’s how I want to moderate my life. I miss going out dancing (it’s been almost 6 months now). I’m a social butterfly & want to stay like one, but a BETTER one, without heavy consumption of alcohol. That’s all.

    Another thing about AA is that damn coffee & cookies! Here in Prescott Valley, Az. the damn folks are passing around the cookies throughout the meeting & don’t care about listening to the topic of the day. Or they are having their own conversations to one another while the meeting is in progress. It’s really getting irritating for me. And I never drink coffee, but I started becoming addicted to it in the last 5 months!! All that caffeine & sugar is just as bad as lots of alcohol!! They don’t say anything about the importance of exercise & nutrition (okay, they do mention meditation for the mind. That’s all good, but the BODY has to stay healthy as well).

    I’ve decided to leave for good once I get my 6 months in, which is next month. But I’m cutting down to 1 a week (a women’s only group though), until I get my 6 months. Then I want to learn the moderation program.

    • leanna- HI and Welcome! I just saw this post. I dont know how I missed it.

      I do hear you and I understand. I would head on over to http://www.hamsnetwork.org and you can joining night chat meetings and learn about moderation. I don’t recommend drinking again till you are seriously deprogrammed from AA billshit. Or go to http://www.moderation.org for some other great tips. Mainly we feel if you believe the doom and gloom AA projects you might live that self fulfilling prophesy.

      Read the stories and thread call Moderation vs abstinence and maybe get one of the books from the library or buy it. http://www.drinklinkmoderation.com is a great website.

      ALso how many years did you drink heavy.

      The sites I referred you to will help Im sure…. again Im sorry I missed your post till now.

  95. Monica – I usually listen to your radio show a few days after but I’m interested in joining in the chat room this week. Can you tell me how I go about that? Thank you!

    Kate

  96. Here is a letter I’m sending to the doctor that took care of me when I was in the hospital in October after a suicide attempt:

    Dear Dr. Kelly,
    First I want to thank you for all of the care and support you gave me during my stay at (name of hospital) from October 24 through November 8th. You were truly kind and caring, and I would not be on this road to recovery without you. But there is something I wanted you to know. If you remember, my problem is that I became addicted to prescription sleep medications. I attempted suicide when that addiction became overwhelming and consuming. You put me on antidepressants, which completely changed me and how I look at life. They in fact gave me a life. I was never able to feel happy before this. You pushed me to, actually, insisted that I get “hooked up” with a 12 step program and sponsor before you would allow me to be discharged. In fact, during my entire stay, 12 step programs were the only recovery support options mentioned. I wanted to let you know what happened to me after I left the hospital, and why I want you to strongly consider suggesting other recovery options.

    I attended the (name of group) Narcotics Anonymous group on Thursday night at 8pm at (name of church). A woman there told me that she would sponsor me, but that first I would have to get off all mind altering substances. I shared with her the medications I was on – medications that you, Dr. Kelly prescribed for me, and medications that I truly believe have given me back my life! She told me TO GET OFF THOSE MEDICINES. And she said that she would help me. She is not a doctor and has NO medical experience. In fact, she is a factory worker with no medical training whatsoever. These are the types of groups you are sending your patients to! They are undoing all of the good you are doing your patients!

    I would like you to seriously consider this information and think about it. Please visit the site leavingaa.com where you can learn about many other problems within 12 step groups, and also alternative recovery solutuions. I for instance am researcing Smart Recovery. I am not asking you to stop recommending 12 step all together – at least not yet. But I would urge you to consider recommending other secular, non 12-step recovery options. As you know, Narcotics Anonymous is not held responsible by any trained professionals. Had I followed this woman’s advice, I might not have been so lucky this next time in the hospital. You might have been putting a tag on my foot rather than writing me a prescription for an anti depressant that would stabalize my condition.

    Thank you for your time and attention, and thank you again for helping to save my life.

    All the best,
    Katherine

    I really hope I get a reply…

  97. Katherine,
    I am so blown away by the fact a DR told you to go to NA. What does he know about NA? Did he attend 1 NA meeting is med school? And why is someone even required to go to a 12 step meeting….omg …this is nuts when you know what is really going on in these meetings.

    I am really glad you have told us this story here. I really want to put some stories like this is my Documentary. But is there room? I don’t know. Are you in the So CAL area?

    Its a great letter. I too hope he writes back to you. I do think he will. PLease let us know….okay….

    One of the things we are working on is a tri fold pamphlet to give out to Dr’s, Lawyers and Judges and DUI’s. We comprised a letter to send to professionals. But seriously with my work load already…

    I think what you are doing is really really important and so is your post. Can I post it on the front page?

    • Of course Massive! I’m so flattered that you think it’s a good letter! Anything I can do to help….by all means. Use it however you need to. Unfortunately I’m all the way in Indiana…BUT…I’m moving back to the Bay Area next year…so maybe I can help you with your next documentary!

      If I get a reply, I will post. This was at an Indianapolis hospital so I don’t know how useful it will be to others, but again, do whatever you need to with it.

      Kate

  98. Pingback: Narcotics Anonymous Member Tells Woman Not TO Take her Psych Medication WHAT ARE THESE Nutjob, Non-professionals THINKING | Leaving AA

  99. Wow, what a breath of fresh air.

    I have just made the decision to leave AA after trying for six years to get sober unsuccessfully, and though I don’t lay all the blame with AA, it certainly contributed to me feeling unaccepted.

    Basically I am a kind, slightly naive guy, who found it hard to believe the idea of thirteenth stepping occurs, because I kind of see everyone as good, especially when they say how great they are, as many in AA seem to do.

    I tend to automatically deflect sexually interested woman because I don’t react to any flirtatious behavior, so that never really presented a problem, but I did (as one friend calls it) feel like a virgin at a vampire party, with so many eager to save me (read: “control me, direct me, tell me what to do, and tell me that basically everything in my life is my fault to some degree or another”).

    After one sponsor dumped me because I drank (gee thanks for punishing me because I was not automatically sober), another stood me up on no fewer than eight occasions that we had arranged so that I could discuss a step one with him (at his suggestion), and then failed to return a DVD player and the entire Rockford files series I lent him when I visited him in hospital when he was ill, not to mention numerous other instances of being singled out for criticism or personal attack after something I said in a meeting, I have decided to leave AA.

    What a blessed relief.

    For years I have not been comfortable with the sponsorship thing that seems to be rammed down one’s throat – it seems to me to be assigning the label of higher power over to some other person who has by some chance not had a drink in some time, but apart from that is unqualified to be handing out advice about life to a recovering person.

    I have been uncomfortable with the rigid, closed minded attitude toward most things in the big book, with often attitudes of non acceptance and criticism toward anyone who dares question any of it.

    I have experienced these words, directed at me, from a speaker in a meeting, with not one person speaking up for me: “I can tell when some people aren’t doing so well, even though they say they are. I don’t judge, but it stands out like a sore thumb, and I just can’t help but notice they’re not going so well as they say” (all this while pointedly staring at me, in a room full of twenty or thirty people).

    I have had people question me about my “time up” in AA, because they liked what I said in a meeting, only to have them severely criticise me when they discover I was only a few months sober (I think this person was embarrassed that he took me for an “older sober member”).

    Which brings me to the whole lionizing and applauding of people due simply to their length of sobriety. To me, this seems to be an area of AA that contributes strongly to egotism, and provides some members with the alibi that allows them the power to exert their personality, opinions, and influence over others. This is not to denigrate long term sobriety, simply to ask whether it is sometimes used as an ego boost?

    The conceited, “I know how this thing works, and if you give me a second I will damn well tell you too” attitude is something I came to despise, and what annoys me most is that when I questioned such things with saner members, they would shrug it off with comments like “let go and let god”, or “some of us are sicker than others”, thereby giving tacit approval to the often dysfunctional and controlling behaviors of these people.

    And one other thing I became slowly aware of in AA was the way many women automatically seemed to not be able to be friendly, as in “hello, how are you?”
    I often felt like I was some sort of sexual deviant if I smiled at someone, but I am basically a joyous and happy person in life anyway, so in new sobriety I felt even happier, so to be often confronted with strange looks, or very reserved almost disapproving or reluctant communications seemed very strange to me, however from what I read I suppose it is not surprising some people are strongly affected by the behavior of some men in AA.

    Once again, if there is behavior in AA that causes such disconnection between members then it is not a place I want to be.

    The labeling that is espoused in how it works whereby anyone who struggles with AA is “incapable of being honest with themselves” I always found ridiculous.

    Much of the rationalization and twisted logic in AA is based around looking for anything that confirms the belief that AA works, and denying any evidence to the contrary. The above statement fits this description, conveniently including anyone who does not get sober as faulty, while AA bears no blame.
    Another example of this logic is the logic that says that anyone who doesn’t stay in AA has “failed” and must be drinking, dead, or in an institution, often backed up with one or two anecdotal stories of those who left, then came back when they realized AA was “the only way”, however what this statement fails to consider is the possibility that some people with a genuine desire for sobriety, and a strong capacity for honesty who leave AA and stay sober, of course don’t come back to tell their story.
    AA only knows about the ones who came back to AA, not those who stayed sober elsewhere.

    I must admit, I have changed a lot in my time in AA, and learned a lot about myself and my behaviors, however most of this stuff was by chance, or by my own efforts, despite AA.

    The number of times I encountered negativity within AA that I did not like, or that affected my self esteem and feelings of worthiness were many, and mostly these occurrences were supported or tolerated by other members, or seen by them as an opportunity for me to practice tolerance toward the offender.

    I would have thought it would be incumbent upon more senior members to practice tolerance of newly sober or vulnerable members, not the other way around.

    To be fair, there were many kind people with healthy boundaries in AA, and I do tend to question things a lot, often in a cynical way, especially when these things are clearly irrational or illogical, which does trigger some people who see AA as the thing that saved them, but I have now finally found enough alternative support and understanding of what I need, to finally leave AA gladly, and not have to continue to try to fight for some sort of acceptance from people whom I mostly don’t want to emulate (other than the non-drinking part)

    Good luck to all, and thank you for this forum.

    Paul

    • HI Paul- Welcome! The window is open and we all crawled out, walked out, some are still looking to leave, but many of us have already left the halls of AA wacko stuff…..You have hit the nail on the head. Lucky for you you did not waste the years I did in AA. I am happy you found us. Maybe some day we will have an ex stepper meet up social! in the mean time I too am working on finding balance in my life and making new friends and other hobbies.

    • HI JIM . Welcome! I had lunch today with Laura Tompkins, writer, therapist, blogger and boy was it refreshing to speak with someone sane and fearless about this AA crap!
      I hope you make some new friends here and in your town.

      Blogging has saved me!!!

    • yea that is right, I like vampires, and the AA asshole community reminds me of the vamps, but!
      vampires have class and they are cool people, and they know what they are, (snip) hey man NO Homophobic slurs here. !!!!!

      AA people allow anyone who calls them selves a alcholic, so that means that any pervert with any Ideas can come there and break the laws of people.
      AA is a corrupted communty.
      vampires are not.

  100. He would browbeat me and talk down to me. Ppl would be verbally abusive calling it “tough love ” which of course is a load of crap. My sponsor verbally abused me for the last time almost five years ago and I got the hell out of there

    • that sounds like my story about having a sponcer, except I would drive my sponsers nuts, by calling them on the phone everyday and telling them all kinds of wild stories, about the bars i went to and the funky religions i would attend I was completely off the wall at meetings, in some ways by reading this board, I think god hates AA and that is why he cursed them with me, attending the meetings, I am a energy vamp so i can drain the energy out of them big book gicks, it seems like i am getting to really know my self on this board

  101. Curious about something. I have been in and out of AA, am currently working the steps, have loved it and despised it, and when I leave although if I meditate everyday I never have a desire to drink. I hear so much bullshit in the meetings and the thing is if you are a free thinking person, you can’t call people on their bullshit. Point out contradictions in people’s sharing and you are the bad guy, you are wrong. They want rigorous honesty if they like what you are saying. My personal favorite is the belief that till the day you die, you will NEVER be able to analyze yourself without someone to watch you and make sure you can “follow directions”. Forget the promise that you will be returned to sanity in the literature they tout as infallible scripture, they conveniently ignore that and demand you get a babysitter. Funny thing about that is that if that WERE true, it would be the blind leading the blind as it often is because if they themselves will NEVER be fully returned to “sanity”, how did their sponsor know if they were analyzing themselves correctly? What I am curious about is that there are parts of it I truly love, I do like the literature when I read it the way I read it(as suggestions, period) and it has helped me in the past. On the flip side, people get on my last nerves and when I leave vowing to never return, I start missing it after about 9 months and then come back only to start feeling those same uneasy feelings after a month or two. I use NLP, mantra chanting, and I make my issues go away. I make resentments go away, what sense does it make to put oneself in the middle of some decent people but a few douche bags you would love to punch in the face(and some of them really need to be punched in the face so they will just shut the fuck up). If one in particular who I heard yell at a newcomer who missed a meeting the previous night, if he comes at me again wanting validation for what he is doing, I probably well tell him to just shut the hell up and get the fuck away from me. If he follows me around I’ll quickly turn my back on him to talk to someone else because someone really needs to put the arrogant cunt in his place(Mr. I’ve got twenty years sober and you need to listen to me because I know better than you type bullshit-he can’t even act his age so what the fuck does he have to offer anyone 50 something year old baby). My question is how does a person successfully leave the culture behind and be satisfied socially?

    • David- Its a big question. I left 2 years ago after 36 years. I planned it. I blogged on anti AA sites for over a year, I attended SMart REcovery, SOS meetings at the same time and talked about them at my AA home meeting.

      I bought tens of non AA literature like Albert Ellis books, Stanton Peeles books Amy Lee COys Book and I ate them up.

      I want to say more but I gotte go to sleep. your in the right place.

      more tomorrow…. WELCOME! :)

    • AA is not the only social venue on earth. Try Lions Club, church, historical societies, dance clubs, etc. The possibilities are endless and the idiots stand out like a sore thumb.

      • I went to tony Robbins EVent when I first left AA. A 3 day event where we walked on hot coals.

        I could see the freaks and predators there. Yes anon they really stood out in a more regular setting. In AA there are so many of them and so many vulnerable its not so apparent.

  102. Don’t know how I got to this site but I’m glad I did. I am 29+ years clean and sober and have never really felt apart of AA, and I have tried, oh boy have I tried. Service work… out the ass – Home Group…you bet ya.- Sponsership…. of course. – Working With Others – 12 Step Calls and running a Half Way House and I’ve had enough. All my friends are in AA and if I told them how I really felt it would be the end of our relationships and they would proably tell me I was a dry drunk. I have been a part of the AA community for so long I don’t know anythig else and it engulfs my whole life but I can’t help feeling that it’s all crap and I’ve felt this way for a very long time. I am so glad that you gave me the opportunity to express my feelings as I really have no one to talk to about this matter. I felt like I was the only one who felt this way.

    • Welcome Bo, I left AA after decades, deprogrammed on sites like this one, and now drink with complete success.
      No disease, no institutions, just freedom.

    • bo- HI …..and welcome. I too was there too long. But its been 2 years about since I left. Life is so much better.

      Best to you!!!

  103. I am in the middle of leaving AA after 20 years of being involved. I have recovered from alcoholism as a result of the 12 steps, however the fellowship won’t create a space for me. If i keep going there I have to live in my past, I cannot share at the level I have grown to and I am exposed over and over to limited beliefs which i used to hold as paramount. The AA thing was good as far as it took me, but once I recovered from alcoholism it doesn’t know what to do with me so it attacks me, alienates me, fears me. I am sad to leave, as it is all I have known for so many years and actually has helped me. What has helped me has become a liability. My only reliance is on God as I personally understand Him.

    • I might add that I don’t blame AA or its members. I completely understand that they are just doing and being what they sense is good and right for them and AA as a whole.Many people are advancing through phases of development. I am left alienated when I share honestly what I have recently learned and found being “recovered”. I am easing into the moving on phase. Visiting here is part of that movement.

      • Personally, I never felt that I could share honesty there; unless I gave the group and the program credit for any changes in my life, that I felt I should take credit for and be commended. There was a time when I said what they wanted to hear because I thought that was what I needed to do to get better. When I look back; I always knew there were conditions to be a part of the group. Over time it became clear to me that if I was honest, I would be shunned. People who really care about you; want you to move on and trust you judgement. I needed to be built up and gain self esteem. I guess some who are long time members find that there. My experience was the opposite. Also, do they feel they are a normal part of society or do they spend their lives separating themselves from the Normies?

        • Sadly, I noticed over the (many)years of exposure to AA that many who refer to anyone outside of AA as normies; self righteously consider themselves to be superior to normies. Is that because they have ‘PROGRAM’

      • it is done- I get it when you say you have recovered. I feel that way too. I recovered when I was about 4 years sober at age 22. Now Im over 50 ….yikes…..

        I think there needs to be a book called Recovered. The LIES AA told me.

        Welcome it is done. I don’t think AA helps so many but you are entitled to your opinion. I think its a very destructive place now.

  104. Hi, I love this site. I am in AA but very aware of the abuses that go on in the organization. I hand out a card to newcomers with my name and phone number and the following statement:

    Newcomer safety note:
    No member of AA should harass a newcomer in any way or approach a newcomer for sex, dates or money.

    That way, they know some of their rights and they have a number to call if they have a bad experience. I only go to women only meetings and I encourage other female newcomers to do the same. Co-ed meetings are rarely safe. Sponsors, regardless of gender, frequently abuse their sponsees. Most of the time it is unintentional, but damaging. I just started questioning AA this winter after 3 years in the program and I am navigating how to stay sober and happy through spirituality and honesty while acknowledging AA’s faults and staying away from cultish people. I wish there was another program centered on spirituality (I’m not religious, so church doesn’t work). I’m sticking with AA for now because the spiritual piece works. I do 5th step stuff with my counselor and she’s very supportive and it’s very beneficial. Frequently, instead of looking for “my part” in things, I look for how I can heal (and that often involves simply learning how to avoid unhealthy people). The steps are good, but I disregard a lot of the big book. I change whatever wording I feel like changing.

    I don’t refer to myself as selfish, dishonest, self-pitying etc, etc like it says in the book. It’s not helpful. And whenever I read the big book, i substitute “she” for “he” and I ask myself whether I believe the passage or not, rather than asking myself whether I am conforming to it or not.

    It’s a fun growing experience and journey, keeping the good parts of the program and rejecting the bad parts and thinking critically about what goes on there.

    Thanks for this blog! There is a lot of positive discussion here about living happily after having a drinking problem.

  105. Also, even though I haven’t left the program, I have experienced a grieving process in losing the social contacts from the co-ed meetings I used to attend and from losing the total trust in the program. I have experienced the five stages of grieving: denial, depression, anger, bargaining and acceptance. The anger flares (big time) when newcomers confide in me their stories of being abused – that anger may eventually drive me away, but I am so happy they have someone to talk to who won’t further traumatize them with comical bs like “what was your part in it?” It makes it worth it to me to be there for them.

    • brillando, may I ask what city you are in? WOW this is a hard process. I went through it.

      Im glad you are there as a sane voice for them. But I just want to say…I hope you encourage them to call the police and sue when they are sexually harassed. WHen I was still in AA I didnt realize that a 13 step begins IN THE MEETING…..with the flirting… or touching. SO if it turns into sexual assault and sex that they are new and vulnerable if there starts to be some lawsuits as civil cases the ground swell will bring hundreds to step forward and also sue the person and AA in NY and the location of the meeting. AA is like the Catholic Church. It is the next big Institution that is gonna get sued and brought into the media and news over the next year.

      ITS ILLEGAL TO SEXUALLY HARASS someone anywhere in the US today. People just need to be educated. a 13 step =sexual harassment in legal terms.

      Its a hard place to be where you are. I eventually left and you can read on the main page here the whole big banana of a story.

      you can reach me at makeaasafer@gmail.com if you want to. There were many oldtimer men and women on stinkin thinkin who helped me leave with their stories. I did make a plan though. Good luck.

      Here’s a question WHY don’t these woman go to the police?

      • Hi Massive! It’s just me in Northern Colorado using a more anonymous name. We talked on the phone a few weeks ago about safety workshops. :) I love this blog. It’s very constructive and supportive.

        • oh HI THERE! Great to see you and talk ….im glad you are doing what you are.The last two years …we made a difference. ANd now you are doing that in Colorado. Woman are being empowered there and eventually someone will sue and kick someones butt…so to speak!

          Thank you. Im glad you like it :)

  106. Hi massive (and all fellow bloggers)! today sucked in AA. I went to 2 women’s meetings to announce that there is going to be a meeting on safety in AA here next week and the reaction was altogether disturbing. Almost everyone laughed and nodded their heads knowingly. I was just caught off guard, thinking “is this a funny topic? Is it just accepted that this stuff goes on?” Maybe their experiences have been annoying but not violent. One woman said she met her husband that way. I was super nervous announcing it, because of my history of being attacked and I felt weird when they laughed. Some women were really thankful that the meeting is taking place and I heard one really sad story of a victim. I came home and cried because I’m still letting go of my attachment to AA. I am making efforts to get to know more friends outside of AA through volunteering and pursuing my hobbies.
    Thanks again for having this blog. I can come on here and feel more supported and less alone anytime

    • Maybe its time to just drop the AA rock? You might want to peer into the future and see what you think you want to accomplish with the safety meetings and then compare that to reality. After the safety meetings you will have a new reputation, and it may not be the heroine you may think it will be. You will be the butt of jokes and many people will shun you. Some will be appreciative, but for most you will be a troublemaker. Now, compare that to working with young cancer patients at a local childrens hospital. The entire world would look favorably on your volunteerism. I only say that to illustrate there are other wonderful things in life that are almost universally appreciated. Why not avoid the AA turmoil altogether and choose to do one of those? There are many. You owe AA nothing and certainly don’t need to take abuse for attempted good deeds when there are so many other ways to contribute to society where you will be appreciated and not ridiculed for your efforts.

    • brillando- I do feel your pain. I did what you are doing from 2009- till may 2011. I went to one more PRAASA March 2012 under the radar to speak at the mic out in the audience in front of 500 super AA GSR geeks like I once was. Truth is at PRASSA I was embraced that year. They rushed me and I gave out 200 pamphlets. There were many sincere people who were fed up and pissed off and at a quandary.

      WHat you are doing you need to do. I understand. Truth is for me, when you face them head on like I did, like you are, it will be very easy to leave AA when you are ready. It won’t be long now…I can tell. You will know. You can call me more often if you need or want to. ALSO there wont be any guilt when you leave. NONE . I had none. I did alot of activism before I left. I still reach out if people are caught in between. But now Im throwing it all into my DOCUMENTARY. The truth is coming out !!! The crying is all a part of it. I cried alot as I left. FOr so many reasons. But mostly that I had been brainwashed. That I had spent too many years in AA. All those early years in my early twenties. WOW, what a fucking waste …..WHAT a fool. Its okay now although I had another sad moment that I was always trying to make friends with them when really…I thought many of them were really weird people. Not all of them of course. Take care of yourself brillando!

      I think they laughed at Kali and I sometimes as we made the announcement. Their mindset is Nuts for sure.

      • Thank you so much. Your support means so much to me.

        That really was weird yesterday. When I made the announcement, both meetings broke into this chaos of people yelling out comments. I guess atleast there was a big reaction so I know it’s relevant to people in some way.

        I volunteered with a totally unrelated community organization today and I forgot about AA and it felt great. I have to get out and create a life for myself. I think altruism is a great help in staying sober – it’s just a great feeling to feel useful. I met a woman a while back who had left AA who said that volunteering in the community was one of the ways she stayed sober.

        I honestly know that bringing up the issue of safety will make me want to leave AA. If I wanted to feel peaceful about AA, I would just go to women’s meetings (less often) and listen, but not really engage socially. By promoting this safety meeting, I am inviting people to reveal unfortunate views that offend me. Hmmm. Kind of masochistic, isn’t it? Inviting people to upset me? I think I need to look closely at my motives. I feel very good and peaceful about giving out safety cards to newcomers. So many women come into AA because they are forced to or they don’t know where else to go.

        Thanks again for your support. Is your blogtalk radio show every Tuesday night?

  107. Not sure I know what I’m doing here (tech dork) but I read about 1/2 of the posts above and before I finish reading I want to make a comment (or 2 or 3). Thank you for the area to discuss problems with AA etc. Luckily I have not myself had horrendous experiences w/AA,NA etc (though I know someone who did-her child was murdered, also suicides are very distressing of course), in fact have real good friends there. BUT a while back I started feeling real uncomfortable in meetings and really didn’t want to go, pulling back. Told my sponsor I would be taking a break. She said “have you told _____(very good friend)?” The feeling I got was she thought maybe he wouldn’t want to “associate” with me. Being a real friend, he said that no matter what he would be there for me. He found out “somehow” and I thought that sucked.

    When I talked about backing off I had several different reasons but in the end, I wasn’t/am not sure I could put my finger on why. I was in a cult decades ago, I think it causes very similar feelings. I just feel I am not being true to myself by being there, a lot of the time. Not that I haven’t gotten some things from “12 step”. But I keep thinking that the steps just don’t make sense to me on the whole. And it’s real clear to me what I’m supposed the think and say and do “in program”. Of course that right there makes me want to rebel. And it takes a real effort to speak and do my truth instead of falling into groupthink. But if I’m not true to myself, I feel like s**t about myself. So why am I hanging out in a group(s) where it’s so hard to be myself?

    My spouse is 100% invested in “program” and I still see program friends when I don’t go to meetings, and you know that people assume you are in relapse if not going to meetings. I wish I didn’t care. Why should I? Also, I do have a current very bothersome issue with compulsive eating and another OCD type behavior. I really want to eat healthy and not be super fat and otherwise crazy, having a hard time making myself stop. I’m going to check out the “alternatives”. I do know about many of them, but need to look into more deeply. Oh, I haven’t seen anything on these sites re: the 16 steps of empowerment, talked about in a book called Many Roads, One Journey by Charlotte Kasl. I really like them. They are from a feminist, diverse, non-hierarchical viewpoint, definately non 12-step. The book is in many ways quite critical of the 12 step program concept.

    Sorry for the long blah blah blah. Looking forward to more discussion.

  108. pan- HI and Welcome! SMART RECOVERY has free face to face meeting over 800 around the world and daily online meetings. You can use SMART for food issues too.

    Take a look around and blog all you want. Also I have done blogtalkradio shows called sage REcovery that are good for deprogramming.

    So you knew someone whose child was murdered by an AA member? OMG another murder, not Karla? not Kristine or Saundra CAss?

    • I’m going back out on a thought limb here to build on the concept of AA actually kills some people. It has been said that suicide is the ultimate act of despair and the powerless and hopeless concepts of the AA religion force some people to take their own life because they have not learned any real life coping skills. They have learned to be helpless victims by the doctrine .. on the other side of the coin, murder and the acts of arson that seem to be so common are acts of extreme dominance or power. Killing someone or burning their house down while they are in it is a total declaration of power over the situation. Again, what is missing is the ability to cope rationally with a life situation. The common thread here is the AA doctrine of powerlessness. Did those people come into AA as murderers and arsonists? That is a key question. If they didn’t, then the transformation to the personality that can commit those heinous crimes happened while in AA. This is not to say AA made them do it, but the resultant belief system from participation in AA provided the altered belief structure for the behavior to occur. Subtle but profound.

      Now, let’s say those people weren’t exposed to AA doctrine and instead went to SMART or another environment where they learned appropriate emotional and thought coping skills. Would they have killed then? The answer is hard to predict, but it makes sense that if they learned real coping skills the likelihood of becoming killers is diminished.

      Once again, they went into AA with a certain behavioral profile and became killers at some point in AA – either of others or themselves. This has happened too many times to be ignored.

      Something is seriously and unequivocally wrong with that dogma and the people that profess it. It can’t get any more wrong than people killing themselves and others. If they went into AA and then started pissing on fire hydrants it would be just funny. But a large number of people go into AA and BECOME suicidal and homicidal. Doesn’t the clear evidence of that reality bother anybody? I mean, what’s it going to take for people to wake up and ask some very fundamental questions around what AA actually does to people. It can’t get any worse than suicide and murder, so, if that doesn’t do it, what will?

      Do I really live in a world where nobody in a position to change this situation gives a shit about preventing suicide and murder ?

      • Let me flog this a bit more.

        So, the evidence is clear that some percentage of people that go into XA end up dead – prematurely. They’re alive, go into XA and then die by their own hand or someone else’s in XA. That obviously translates into a percentage somewhere. For anyone reading this that is in a position of power to change the situation, what is an acceptable percentage? I mean, maybe I’m caring too much. Maybe the official government giving a shit threshold is like 20%. At 21% they get concerned enough to look at the issue. At 19% nobody really cares, so I shouldn’t either. It would be nice to know the give a shit threshold though. That way, when it starts to get close, all of us know when to spring into action because people are getting close to caring about people dying as a direct result of their association with XA and its most noble and honest members.

      • spj- wow—wow — thats right. They are lulled into a trance and they having sat in meetings listening to Chapter 5 wacko speak, think they cant do anything and many feel like shit about themselves with 25 years under their belt.
        great point.

        • Along with the learned helplessness that the idea of powerlessness instills into people the other huge problem right at the beginning is the utterly ridiculous concept of a spiritual disease. The suicides and murders never cross any ‘give a shit thresholds’ because they are attributed to a non existent disease instead of being correctly attributed to the failure of waffly faith healing superstition to even remotely address serious mental health and behavioural disorders.
          If your loved one has cancer and was referred to ‘treatment’ in the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. Would that not cross someones give a shit threshold?
          If your loved one has diabetes and was prescribed Scientologys billion year contract, would that not cross someones give a shit threshold.
          But not Wilsons scam, it always gets by under the radar,immune to normal scrutiny, the teflon cult. thats what annoys me the most. that they got away with so much bullshit for so long and continue to do so .

          • I agree, and add to that the fact that many people in AA drank to try to cope with depression or some other mental illness, that really IS a disease, but often are told in AA that they aren’t sober if they take their meds, that meds block them from the “sunlight of the spirit”, or that they didn’t have depression, bi-polar, etc… but what they called mental illness was really just alcoholism and that is the only disease that should matter to them.

  109. Hi there,

    Not sure my last post got posted, this is a test! am really interested in this site as leaving AA/NA after 14 years.

    Will wait and see if this gets posted before I type more !

      • Yes it did get posted, I got a bit lost as didn’t realise blogs under all the sections….14 years later here I am free I hope at last…I am not missing the madness, or the glassy eyed loons claiming they know what’s best for me, even tho they don’t know me…!!
        Crazy, scary to realise just how vulnerable I was, and am now hoping to become more empowered. Got to really get on with some stuff, doing volunteer work is good in the community ! Also rebuild my confidence and start to build new healthy relationships with everyday people…great to read other peoples blogs, similar experiences and feelings, I feel a bit alone since leaving it all behind but better in myself…have always wanted to expose all the madness that goes on at meetings, people get lost in it and say if you mention something (oh you need to be more tolerant) how about living in reality, that I am told is what good mental health is about, not magical thinking !!!

  110. I am stalked online and offline by ppl from the program trying to bring me back to the program and talk program. I honestly think they want me to suffer. I hated AA I was miserable in it and I know I came in with a small problem and ended up with a huger problem thanks to some really messed up men. I should have as a woman stayed with the women and kept my side of the street clean, kept it simple, etc. I am sick of the negativity. I don’t understand why the program exists when success rates are dismally low. The Justice System forcing people to go is a joke. All of it is a joke it’s 2013 new theories are needed. I hope so for the kids’ sakes they need a positive uplifting program for addictions in a messed upworld, AA/NA is outdated and truth be said totally screwed up.

  111. Oh my god, I’m reading the Orange Papers ‘characteristics of a cult’ section and I am literally sick to my stomach. I have heard all this weird propaganda in meetings for 3+ years straight, every week and it is sickening to see through it all. I could see through it on my own, but the historical information blows my mind.
    I’m a good person, so I expect good things of people and it is so hard for me to comprehend why someone like Bill W. would waste his whole life making a destructive cult. I guess maybe he was just extremely mentally ill? But a person has to be a genius to be that successful in starting a cult. It’s perplexing to me.

  112. Hi – I left AA physically 2 years ago – mentally 9 years ago – I couldn’t stand it anymore – I have been sober for over 18 years – I am currently 44. I was more damaged in that program than I can even tell you. The heartless sponsors I had, the endless sexual harassment – the crazy slogans – basically that I would never be a productive citizen and could never live without AA. It’s amazing at who I took advice from – angry women, toothless women, women who wouldn’t work or who were perpetually broke all the time, women who couldn’t function in life at all. I was none of these things, but was willing to believe I must be in denial. I never really felt that I fit in – I 4th & 5th myself to death – with no relief.

    I always heard the same beginning story “I drank because I felt broken.” I never heard anyone say “what broke you and how can we fix that.” It never failed that that question was never asked and it progressed into their drunkalogue and the damage that caused.

    I decided for myself to find out “why I felt broken” long before I drank. The drink only dulled these reasons.

    I could write for days and days about this.

    Kim

    • Some of you know that I went back to AA awhile back. Before I went back I was feeling sorta lonely, depressed, and then, well, I got into a relationship with a guy who seemed like an active alkie. The problem was not so much his drinking; it was his controlling and mean behavior. But because I was so scared of the situation—how to deal with it while in it, and then how the fuck to get out, etc.–I reverted back to the 12 step ideology almost immediately. I did what I had learned to do in my early 20s—I went to freaking meetings. Meeting. Meetings. Meetings. (Meeting makers make it—wtf? Ack!) Also, b/c I am super reclusive I needed suppurt, and fast! I did get it. However, I had to (obviously you will not be surprised) weed out some decided creepiness. With this AA support, along with support from (haha) “normies,” I was able to get outta the relationship.

      It is important to note: getting outta the relationship required courage, not blind faith in a made up, watered down HP (higher power) that the 12 step cult has invented. In part, I knew I had this courage in me from leaving AA in the first place. And the most intense , concrete, helpful support I got was not from “da roomz.” Again, from “normies.” After I ended the relationship I continued with AA, mostly because I felt I owed them my attendance. Also, I was using patterning which made me believe that AA= out of the bad relationship; meanwhile, non AA going = getting into the relationship. This is a form of over generalizing, I now realize. I went to maybe a meeting or so a week after I got out of the relationship. After a few months, what a surprise!, I started more. I did not like it. So, instead of stopping with attendance, I tried to do a 90 in 90. Can you believe this? After all the hours I spent talking to ppl. on Stinkin’ Thinkin’, listening to Massive’s show, talking to Massive, talking and listening to Gunther, to Go Go, and to Ilse? There are others, too. It’s OK though; there is not way I am going to beat myself up… Some of you might remember me. You’ll prolly understand that this made me right out of my mind, this 90X90.

      Today: I am taking a big old AA break. And it feels awesome. I would *love* AA if it were just a place where the crazy and the uncrazy went to deal with their addictions. We could just go in there, have five minutes each to talk about how freaking badly we wanted to get loaded. Or maybe we could just discuss how umcomfortable we all are with living the questions instead of the answers (I am not really a believer in God, even a water down version). And then, both the crazies and the uncrazie could hang out and drink coffee or eat ice cream. Why all the spiritualizing of trauma and addiction? Why all the over dependence on meetings and sponsorship? Why can’t we take it down like 5 billion notches? I loved the built in support and admittedly have needed it throughout the years. But the riff raff that comes along with it is exhausting. And I am not so great with boundaries; what I mean by this is: when people have zero boundaries or are creepy around me, well, I pity them in this ridiculously intense way and feel like I cannot just give a “stay away” facial expression. So much garbage gets in when I attend. It is not my job to make these people feel better! And the inauthenticity I feel in my “connections” with people who attend makes me sad. I go in feeling like it is awesome how overly confessional we all are about the crazy shit we did while using, but then I realize, that is the only way we’re connecting. And then, more importantly, would I let these people in my home to watch my son? Not on your fucking life.

      The reason I felt compelled to post after so long away from the “Anti AA” stuff was for this post’s quote:

      “I always heard the same beginning story ‘I drank because I felt broken.’ I never heard anyone say ‘what broke you and how can we fix that?’ It never failed that that question was never asked and it progressed into their drunkalogue and the damage that caused.”

      Thank you so very much, Kim for these words. I go to AA outta desperation. Like using, it sometimes offers a temporary fix. And then get worse. I never become strong in the broken places. Because where it is broken gets ignored. And I am so tired of this. And when I read what you wrote, I imagined what it would be like to enter a room where people actually asked, “What is *wrong*? Can I help you? I am so sorry you are broken. I get it; I feel broken too. This life thing is whacked.” What I imagined felt wonderful, so amazing. And the reality is: AA is *nothing* like this. Nothing at all.

      • Hi Violet, I remember you on ST. I guess going back to AA only to reach the same conclusions as before demonstrates that deprogramming takes time. You sound like you are seeing things clearly.
        You are right it is not your job to make these people feel better. It never was.
        AA is simply not safe for anyone.
        I have never gone back but getting there beliefs out of my head has been a little harder.

        • hi violet- I am sorry you had to go back for whatever reasons…the infesting to the mind in deep. I am glad I was so involved as A GSR and the MAAS stuff cause they got so in my face about it and or so ostracized us. The main thing is your back again, your ok and we have some bloggers who still go for people to hang with but they don’t believe in 99% of the crap.

          Your an adult , a mother , your educated….its your choice. GLad u got away from the bad relationship.

      • Hi Violet,

        I’m so glad you got out of that relationship. I think the social network that people find in AA is the one thing that is powerful in terms of attaining sobriety. My experience was that it was a powerful help in separating me from my drinking friends. Unfortunately, it came at an incredibly high price for my self esteem, my authenticity and my personal safety.

        It is so not your fault that you got sucked back into AA. AA uses extremely powerful mind control techniques to retain it’s members.

        I can relate to the feeling that AA doesn’t look into the root causes for the drinking. When I left, I was floored and scared of relapse because I realized that I hadn’t received any actual treatment for my drinking problem. I was suddenly trying to stay sober without ever having addressed the reasons I drank. Having a good counselor and a cognitive psychology addictions treatment program has helped. I can tell you more about that if you’re interested.

        In terms of social support, let me know if you want to hear about ways that I have started to reach out for new friends and new social support system. It’s good to hear you have support from people outside the program.

        If you try to contact me and I don’t see your post, you can contact massive and she will contact me. :)

        • Hi Violet,
          Your options are limited only by your beliefs about what your options are. Your possibilities for wellness and health are endless.

  113. HI Kim and Welcome! Nice to see you here among a group of sane ex steppers!

    wow 18 years in the AA hood…depressing I know. I was in it for over 3 decades. There were years when my kids were born and little I went very infrequently. Im so glad for that. I hope you find some comfort here. I found new friends and just people I need to talk with on the http://www.stinkin-thinkin.com blog when it was very busy.

    I have a radio show you might like. http://www.blogtalkradio.com/saferecovery

    What tipped the iceberg for you?

    • The tipping of the iceberg?…. so many things – I had kids and didn’t want all the garbage from in there to get into my home – my sponsor hung up on me when I couldn’t get to a meeting because I was breast feeding (a few years back – she did me such a favor), got tired of hearing people say “hi my name is so-in-so and I’m still just an old drunk, so exhausted by the people, the same topics, and finally, I found a great counselor and when I told her a few months back how I felt about AA – she said it’s okay – that program is meant for people who are interested in just surviving not living – I was so relieved – I cried for days – I knew I hadn’t belonged there for so long. We have since worked on the issues of why drinking masked my feelings and why AA would have never helped with that. She is a lifesaver. I thought if I go to one more meeting, I would kill myself. I was a productive person, worked as a Paralegal, but yet had people who couldn’t hold a job and sleeping with every Tom, Dick and Harry trying to tell me how to live my life.

      Today, I’ve been married to a great man and father for 14 years – he’s not in recovery nor has a drinking problem – I have 2 fab kids – no drama – fabulous friends that I have met outside of AA who lead normal lives – I have a great life.

      It’s weird – I felt guilty for so long about hating being there before I finally went to my last meeting about a year or so ago. I was the only one at an isolated meeting with a newly sober menacing, scary man – that was it.

      I started to work on myself without all the guilt “it must be me….look in the mirror….blah, blah, blah…”

      So thankful – thought about writing a book – I was so young when I came into AA – all the sexual harassing I endured and all the crazy stuff I did thinking this would keep me sober, all the conferences I went to (hating it) and had to bunk with 5 girls in a room because they didn’t have money or jobs and no intention of getting one, quite a few crazy sponsors – I could go on.

      So glad I found this site.

      Kim

      • Until I found your website (searched for “sick of AA”), I thought I was along with these feelings.

        Thanks for your site – reading all the posts has given me so much relief. I’ve thought about staying in AA just to give others like me hope that there is more to life and it’s not the end all, be all of recovery.

        • Kim Turner- Thank you ! Im sorry you were so sexually harassed. I was 13stepped a few times and harassed often.

          I totally get it. When I gave birth to my first son I was 15 years sober , got into AA at 18 years old. But when he was born I was living in Hollywood and soon I too didn’t want to bring my beautiful baby into a meeting. I too was nursing. But my sponsor had died and I luckily has none to tell me I needed more meetings. I went to very few as soon as he was born. But enough of that…I withdrew slowly going to 1 a month and those were at peoples homes for AA couples. So, as I was going to less and less meetings 1990 brought drug courts to Los Angeles. Big F **KING deal. So The AA judges began their onslaught of creeps into AA.

          Kim, Im just glad you found the site. Im happily married too and my sons are older now. They are so glad I left AA. I was a stepper for sure. AA damaged my first married I was such a true believer. Its embarrassing. But …I did escape !!! I am making a Documentary to expose what the hell is going on in AA /NA today. It is criminal.

          AS you say you could write a book…I say write it ….the world needs to know that AA is NOT THE GOLDEN STANDARD that it is proclaimed on Primetime Network TV shows.

      • Kim you’re not alone. I was very sexually harassed too. Even had male treatment counselors trying to sleep with me when I was impatient.

        I’ve been out quite a long time now but so want PREDATORS ANONYMOUS exposed for what it is. I’m so happy massive is making her documentary.

        What made me finally leave was a great therapist and I was tired of the women blaming me for the sick old timers behavior. Bunch of jealous, angry, crazy women in AA.

        Welcome, happy to see u here. :)

        • hi suntime- glad you are getting better. I know you have finally found a good therapist. As always , Im so sorry you were so sexually harassed. I sue your story al the time when I am pitching my film. Boy do they get ” its not an out side issue when I tell the coca cola story “IN a Meeting”

          • Also wanted to say that I found a good one that helped me leave 12 years ago.

            Btw massive, I found out just today that there is a sick man in my local area that has recovery houses. HeHe lives on a ranch. He goes to the local jail and gets the pretty women out and its all on his property. I guess ppl call it the bunny ranch. Supposedly some of the women have complained about him. Let me get u more info and I will email it to you. Maybe you could go down there and talk to these women. Just hope they will come forward bc they are probably court ordered and may not want to. But I guess they are all beautiful…think about it. It’s on his property out in the middle of nowhere. I could only imagine what he’s doing. Makes me so sick.

  114. Hi Kim,

    Welcome to the site. You are definitely not alone in your feelings. I understand so much of what you are talking about.

    It is a really emotional process, first to realize the sad truth of what AA really is (I thought it was the greatest thing ever when I was in it) and then to recover from the damage done. I also have an awesome counselor who validates my feelings. She said recently that she has heard other people talk about AA the way I do (saying that it is a cult). I just wanted cry with relief because, of course, I rarely heard the “C word” uttered in AA. There was one man who “told his story” and he started it out by listing the characteristics of a cult and talking about whether AA is one. But he was joking.

    I’m really sorry about all the sexual harassment you experienced. I know all about that firsthand. I wanted to stay in AA just to talk to new women about their personal safety and sexual harassment (or worse). But the more I separated from AA, the more I started to get nauseated by the slogans and the chanting, etc. I still think about going back to women’s meetings to talk to newcomers, but right now I just can’t take the atmosphere.

    I left AA this winter and suddenly realized that I had received no addictions counseling (like you mentioned about treating the underlying emotional issues). I also realized that I had no life outside of AA. It was scary at first, but now I am pretty excited about developing a new social life, sharing hobbies with new people.

    I totally encourage you in writing a book. Leaving AA is so hard. I am so glad I found blogs like this one. I probably would have devoured a book written by someone who had been through what I was going through. Someone should write a “how to leave AA” manual with examples of how AA hurts and how to heal and how to build a social life outside of AA and a summary of other available treatment programs. Hey, that’s actually a great idea. I wonder if someone has already written it.

    Anyway, it’s great to have you here. It’s healing for me to hear other people’s stories.

  115. Brillando- I did consider writing a deprogramming book. I have started a book and then Im too busy making the film, a nice slim book would and could be a big seller. When we launch the kickstarter we will see how much support we really have out there. I have a suspicion there are thousands of us who have left and been harmed.

    Brillando- Im glad things are improving for you. They are for me too. I have made some new woman friends. I love hearing about them and not their program etc!!!

  116. Pretty cool .. another story of exodus to add to the list.

    I was thinking. If “Alcoholism” is this serious, fatal disease, what other diseases to health care professionals trust to predatory, ex-con, snaggle-toothed, high school dropout wackaloons to provide counseling and give life altering “suggestions” to “arrest” the disease? Seriously. There was a meeting in a dual diagnosis facility where the nurses guided or rolled newbies into a room and closed the door for the meeting. The meeting leader could have been anybody. There were no real requirements, no background checks .. all you had to be was “in the program”. One guy took it over for years and dispensed his brand of advice and behavioral guidance without any medical or counseling background at all. He had supposedly read the gawd inspired Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous and that was good enough for the “medical facility”. The second floor was a lockdown for the seriously delirious folks and they even brought those people into the sphere of influence of these non-certified “leaders”. If people knew the extent of all this nonsense, the lawsuits would be huge !! Asks the parent – “Let me get this straight, I brought my now dead child in here to be under your care and you put her in a room with known predators and wackos totally unsupervised? What the hell is wrong with you people?!?”

    For those that think this doesn’t happen, think again.

  117. spj- wow – what a post!

    Asks the parent – “Let me get this straight, I brought my now dead child in here to be under your care and you put her in a room with known predators and wackos totally unsupervised? What the hell is wrong with you people?!?”

    Sometime spj- this insanity makes me cry. It makes me mad. It makes me wanna yell. So I blog, I call parents whose children were murdered by violent offenders sent to AA, I talk to woman who have been raped and assaulted by men they met in AA who they thought were Joe nice guy, I call public officials ,I create petitions and I plan to go to City Hall and tell LA what is going on in AA. I get tired of it all sometimes. But until the public knows who is in charge of AA

    NO ONE! Do you folks know how many people think AA is a government agency?
    How many think AA has trained facilitators in charge?
    How many think sponsors are someone with a degree who is also trained?

    This is the sh**t that the world needs to know that these wack heads are s ex offenders, violent offenders, and nonbody special at all …AA is a rogue society filled with controlling nutbags.

    Thank you spj for your intelligent posts that see thru the BS of AA and 12 step lunacy. Your post along with Brillando and Kim gave me the umff to go on and keep at it.

    Thank you !!! All of you out there in Anti AA blog land.

    • Thanks guys – this is so wonderful. I do think AA has gotten twisted into more of a cult than the original founders intended – there’s so much in the AA book (will not call it the big book) that did help me, but only with the consequences of my drinking not the underlying reasons for drinking. So strange to think about it now.

      All I have heard in there for 18+ years is how to clean your life up from the effects of alcoholism not the underlying reasons of why I started drinking and continued in the face of so many devastating consequences.

      I think the women who get to AA are so broken and the predators just feed on that – I know first hand how it felt to feel so broken and the first guy who told me I was beautiful and sexy – he was 45 and I was 23. I ate it up because I had felt to bad for so long. Before long, I was sort of involved with him and almost got drunk over that…..sad to think about now. He was married with children – didn’t know that – always have wanted to apologize to his wife. He was in a meeting every night. Everybody knew he was married, but nobody told me – so sick.

      My boys are 8 and 10 and only know that mommy doesn’t drink – they have never questioned it. I never wanted to raise them in AA or have them in meetings.

      We have major pool parties at our home where occasionally there is some alcohol – someone in AA told me I would get drunk doing that and I had to show them in the AA book that it’s okay to have alcohol in my home – there were baffled – they had never heard nor read that.

      I really like sharing these stories and hearing yours – I so felt alone – thank you again.

  118. Hello Kim,
    You have been through a lot in AA. So young when you went there.
    I was 42 when i went i had lots of friends,rarely without a partner (Though they were the wrong type of partner).Often worked.Had interests,and a social life.I was attractive and sexy Pre AA But i didnt know i was.
    On entering AA my already bad self image, well any confidence i had was knocked out of me right away.
    I was in and out of AA for 12 years.Went through the steps in variouse ways.
    I slowly became one of the toothless,stressed out,sexless,friendless women. who gave up on work had no interests no spirit no fight,and a few times gave others advice.
    Mostly i was takeing advice.Always looked on as not haveing IT not doing IT
    not getting it, still sick.
    In my mind i believed i was inferior to the rest including the new commers.
    I was forever being got at critasied pulled down , blamed for everything,accused of things i hadnt done,
    shunned some mostly women kept back from me.
    I was always honest about my drinking and canabis use.
    I wasnt one of the secret pot users.
    I was prayed on by old timers and relapsers at times from my first weeks in AA.
    however i remained celabate. I have never had any sexual thing with anyone who attends AA/NA.
    I remained celabate for 9 years then one time while out of AA for 2 years i had a relationship with a man.
    It didnt work out.
    Since leaving AA i have had 2 social dates with 2 men, i didnt have sex with them.
    It went no where.I was harrased and intimadated in AA.
    Im starting to fill my life again.Voluntary work. new friends,rekindling one Pre AA friendship,my interests are comming back.
    My teeth of course will never come back, nor my attractiveness ,sexiness.
    However at my age now im not so bothered about that.
    I doubt if i will ever have a relationship again. I have been sucesful in modarating my drinking since i left AA.
    I’m glad your getting a good life now. I wont give you any advise
    i shall just wish you the very best for your future.

      • Kim,
        I’m not a kind person.Pre AA i belived myself to be a kind person but after some years there they convinced me i was cruel.
        I just try to say what i think is the right thing to say.
        my heart grew cold after some time in AA.
        Every so often i would get a moment of heart felt emotion,.
        But mostly , slowly,i was turned into stone.
        Pre AA i often had heart felt moments most all the time.
        Many years ago and Pre AA, for a period of time in my life,
        I also got turned to stone, for a while.It went away but for a while.
        In the womens refuge where i lived at that time they told me
        I was in an emotional freeze.
        Was it my alcohol and drug use at that time that caused that, or was it the domestic abuse i was faceing every day untill i escaped with the help of an underground womens help movement.
        I do not know.
        I used to think i was kind but i no longer think i am.
        I used to think better about myself more often Pre AA-not all the time at times i could feel bad about myself Pre AA too.
        But since AA ,well “I’m just a piece of shit on someones shoe again-same as i felt in domestic violence.
        Take good care Kim .

        • Sally,

          I dont think you should talk about yourself like that. I see you as a very kind person and I can tell by the way you write; your a very strong person. Many of us have had a dysfunctional childhood and our emotional growth was stifled. We had to grow up to soon and take care of ourselves. I know I did.

          You were wise enough to leave AA. Eventually you realized that what goes on there would only hold you back from letting go of the past and moving forward. Took me a long time to say; “NO MORE”. I see some personal growth in you already. It’s never too late and your never to old.

          • I seen many who have spent years in AA; show obvious signs of arrested development. Especially those who attend meetings regularly and believe the BS they hear on a regular basis is fact. They lack common sense and become incapable of associated with anyone outside of the meetings. They loose their sense of humor and their boring to be around. This is what happens if you continue to label your self abnormal on a regular basis. Add to that; childishly repeating the same antiquated dogma day after day. Is it any wonder that many Bill Wilson followers have serious personality disorders; including an obvious lack of compassion.

  119. Sue,

    I don’t know about not talking about myself like that.
    Because what i wrote was the truth.
    AA has convinced me that i am cruel.
    And my heart has turned to stone.
    I don’t even feel nothing when i listen to Bob Dylan anymore
    And it’s hard to watch my Father in pain yet feel no pain in my heart for him.
    You see Pre AA i would have.
    But after years in there i slowly turned to stone.
    I didnt feel sorry for myself i felt sorry for others , including in AA for a few years,
    but eventually i turned to stone.
    i think im Medusla. That how you spell it, you know the gorgon ,she was turned to stone.
    I’m trying to thaw, but its not happening over night.

    I didnt leave AA to move forward though i am, moveing forward.
    I left because i didnt like the way it made me feel.
    And because the programme didnt stop me picking up a spliff again.
    After i picked it up i thought what’s the point in ever going back when it dont even work for me anyway.And if i had of went back, I would have needed police protection to go to a meeting .

    Yes i’m a very strong woman.
    I have been on a path of self development for many years and Pre AA.

    You sound somewhat like a counsellor, are you ?
    What growth do you see in me?
    Stifled emotional growth due to childhood,
    Don’t know maby.

    My childhood wasn’t disfunctional my parents did an okay job as far as i’m concerned.
    They functioned okay .
    I had an amazing chidhood.And my Mother and Father took care of me as best they could with what they knew, and what they had.
    I love my Mother and Father and even though AA trys to tell me diffrent
    They love’d me to.i love my children to.

    Everyone i meet seems to want my company.
    Even strangers i meet for the first time.

    And i mix with other people who are not of AA.
    I also avoid some people everyone in AA and some who dont go to AA.

    I loose my sense of humour sometimes including Pre AA,
    but it always comes back.

    You say you see me as a kind person, but you also say Bill Wilson followers
    have no compassion.

    I was in AA went through the steps, read the Books said the prayers.
    I didnt like Bill Wilson very much.
    Thought he had courage to speak of some things.
    but on the whole wasnt a fan of his.

    I think i have compassion, in thought.And deed .
    but it would be good to get my heart back.
    theres no wizard of Ozz, so i shall just have to wait till it comes.

    yes never to late or too old, always liked that saying,
    hope im not to old for a job on a check out or reception or something,.

    i found your reply interesting.
    thanks

    • Sally – At one of the last meetings I went to, I left there so terribly angry and depressed – I hated it and felt there was nothing else. Oh but there is so much more!!!!!! I had just started working with a counselor – not just any counselor who hands u a bunch of pills and says come back next week, but one who KNEW HOW to help me. The minute I told her I was sick of aa and how I hated it, she said “you should be after 18 damn years.” She proceeded over the next couple of months deprogramming me and getting to the heart of my issues. Her exact words were aa is a survival program not a living program – i wasnt trying to survive anymore, but trying to live my life. If it werent for her i would still be spiralling In there trying to figure out myself with a bunch of nuts – dont get me wrong there r some people really trying to work hard in there – i was one of them.

      I had truly outgrown this program. I was no longer surviving, but trying to live and aa stifled my normal development and I was either angry, resentful or numb sitting in meetings – you get so conditioned to go to meetings evert night for the rest of your life that u think something is wrong with u when u no longer want to or hate them – this is actually healthy – I didn’t know how to view it that way.

      I think it can be great for a few years after you stop drinking – to basically fill the time that you used to use for drinking

      I sort of think of it like this – if I had to read the same book everyday for – in my case – for 18 years, eventually ill blow my brains out – lol.

      I remember leaving that meeting determined to find another way to be happy and for me that was going back to the time before I drank to childhood – god knows I had already spent 18 years rehashing my drinking tales and that didn’t help – the only thing left was before that – 98% of children r not broken people when they r born – they r broken by others and sometimes it’s hard to see without the trained professional.

      I am positive that u r an extremely kind person, but somewhere along the way your spirit was broken.
      Kim

      • Kim,
        I couldnt agree more with what your counselor had to say about the cult:

        “Her exact words were aa is a survival program not a living program”

        Did she happen to give her opinion of the 12 steps. In 30 yrs going in and out of AA a half dozen times, for short periods; “I never went through the steps with a sponsor”. Honestly I could not see any benefit to me; even though I was told hundreds of times how they would change my life. As the years passed, I did not observe any proof that the famous steps had improved the quality of anyone elses lives. I saw some common sense in the steps (nothing aa invented) and the rest seemed like hocus pocus.

        • Hi Sue,

          I too believe they r hocus pocus – I did them many many many times trying to get what everybody else seemed to get.

          My counselor said they would only alleviate some damage done by drinking (the amends to wives, children, etc.) and only in the short term.

          As I was so young when I stopped, I didn’t have all this baggage. They don’t help with all the crap you felt before you took that first drink and how to make amends to yourself

          • Kim,

            I just spent a considerable amount of time on a response to you and my server went down when I tried to send it. Im Pissed !!

            I have to go for now but will respond later.

          • Hi Kim,

            I dont remember every thing I wrote this morning that got deleted but I wanted to respond to a few things:

            Even if you have a lot of baggage when you end up in AA; when do you finish sorting through the clutter, stop obsessing and go on with your life. I think in many cases it is futile, to try and go back years and repair damage you caused someone. I mean does the “victim” really care or are they puzzled and view you as being a little goofy. In many cases, maybe you didnt even do anything wrong but your suppose to look for and apologize for your part. Some jerks would be all to happy to accept you being instructed to humiliating yourself; when they were the culprit in the first place. As you said; you need to forgive yourself in order to heal. These fly by nights in AA are not qualified to counsel anyone on how to run their lives.

            AA is full of hocus pocus. How about those promises? Those lies keep people coming back long before they should. When your hurting and vulnerable; you try to keep a positive attitude and believe what they say is true. If and when reality sets in, you realize that AA is not going to rocket you into the 4th dimension. Its very complex and confusing when they make it look like magic and not reality. If you question the magic, then it becomes hard work that your not willing to do.

      • Kim
        im glad you got out and are okay.I liked a lot of what you posted to me.The Things you said seems right.
        i was going to go talk with another counsellor, but have changed my mind.
        I have had 4 years with a pycologist, talked with 4 drink and drug counsellors talked with a few pcyciatirsts talked with my doctor had abuse therapies twice and did 12 years of AA/NA.
        Read a lot of self help books to.
        The things i felt the need to talk over with a counsellor,
        were to do with AA.

        I didnt get one though.

        instead i have been talking over the things
        that have been on my mind with a good friend.

        And im okay now.

        I was repeatedly told by some others in AA, sponsor to, at times when i had done something that at one time i would have thought to be kindness, that it wasnt it was cruel.
        Everyones got diffrent opinions on whats kind and whats cruel .

        AA mixed my brain up a lot.

        i felt compassion for people i read about last night in some of the articles and posts. So i can feel.

        But like you i was used to being in meetings feeling angry , but stuffing it down, afraid but trying not to be , numb.
        becomming ridgid or something like that.

        Aw it don’t matter any more it’s all in the past.
        Don’t think i will ever work it all out.

        I’m happy enough these day’s, getting some of the old me back,meeting new people, doing new things.

        I’m in charge of my own life now.

        i’m going to the Yorkshire Dales soon to do voluntary work at a music festival, and won’t have to get anyones okay on that or have anyone tell me if i go i will relapse.

        I’m glad that AA is over and done with.
        My free spirit will come back.

  120. to the people what still attend AA NA meetings, beaware of the groups what own there own buildings, what have alano clubs, or have attitude of obidence, telling people what to do or what, telling people to donate there money and there time to this cult,
    there has been a lot of people what have been severely harmed by this cult, the best way to fight the AA NA cult is not to obey there commands, be rebellious at all costs, do not go out and use or drink, stay sober and clean and find a new path, any path is better than that NA AA cult

    the legion

    • aasucksna- hi and welcome! Do you want to put this under file a complaint and tell us the names of the clubhouse, the city and state like a YELP review.
      This kind of reporting has become very helpful to warn new members and help others to leave.

      Thanks again for posting.

  121. Although I am still pro-AA, I love reading material like this(as to me, what people really have an issue with is not the AA program but the violation of the traditions that happen constantly in meetings), but that is just my opinion. I feel it gives me a balanced approach to my sobriety. Eventually in a meeting, possibly this Saturday(as we are doing step 3), there is one individual who is an “old timer” who goes on and on with his drivel about how “God got me here and God keeps me here”. I want to point out how I felt obligated to agree with this statement that to me is the height of arrogance before I could do any of the work(because how arrogant is it that I was chosen and a starving child in Africa wasn’t, “God’s” time revolves around me?). I would love to hear that person say he was “chosen” to a mother who is part of MADD who lost their child to a drunk driver and see what she thinks of his “chosen” status. I would laugh if she punched the arrogant SOB in his face or slapped him:) I want to say that in a meeting and perhaps I will. Reading the anti-AA stuff has given me the fortitude to do the opposite I am told(within the philosophy of me not drinking ever) when it is an obnoxious douche bag who is demanding this that or the other. Good case in point, person demands I go to X number of meetings per week, go to maybe half or one less. Person demands I do an inventory in black ink on white paper, do it either on a computer in paragraph form or on yellow paper in blue ink. In fact, I may even go so far to cross out all the “musts” in the book as it says “our book is meant to be suggestive ONLY” which cancels out all the other musts making it ALL suggestive. If I was in a bigger area I would probably go to the Atheist AA meetings(even though I’m not an Atheist but a Pantheist and some would consider me an Atheist) because I would NEVER have to hear about “God got me here and God keeps me here” when the obvious is that I CHOSE to go because I screwed up my life, period. Keep up the good work at trying to keep the people who turn AA into a religion honest:)

    • As I preface many times on this site, I still attend one meeting a week. I don’t know if I call myself “pro-AA” exactly, since I want so badly for more evidence based treatment options to become widely available and accepted in the “recovery world”. But an “AA” I still am and most of the people closest to me are also.

      I believe that people forming communities for mutual support is a good thing, and something that should continue to be available to people with addiction issues. I also believe that being expected to voice support for statements and actions that are either untrue or that an individual finds personally repulsive, is very harmful. Unfortunately AA culture is one that expects you to agree with a very childish and insensitive declaration about “God” (among other things a person might find untrue, like the “alcoholic personality”), either agree or keep your mouth shut. I worry that when people are forced to accept and regurgitate ideas that they view as untrue that it either creates cognitive dissonance that can lead to severe depression and relapse (because they are told they must relapse for failure to properly complete the program); some lucky ones are strong enough to see this and simply leave and not binge. Another way I see people deal with these forced ideas is blot out their own ideas entirely and become a possession of the group/gurus. The third way I see this dealt with in AA is for a person to interpret things they are told in a way that is acceptable to them, I was at least somewhat aware I was doing this in AA for many years, I have some good friends that do this reinterpretation so automatically that they are not aware of it and really believe that their kinder, more healthy version is the real AA, and that the cult hatefulness is not and created by the extremists.

      • bcm- glad you are still spreading some sanity in the rooms. I don’t know how you still listen to chapter 5 though…do you cover your ears. Get up and go to the bathroom?

        • I’m one of those incessant knitting women in meetings, so I just pay special attention to my work.

      • “believe that their kinder, more healthy version is the real AA, and that the cult hatefulness is not and created by the extremists.”

        I think Border Collie strikes at the heart of discussions concerning AA – folks have different impressions and often conflicting definitions of AA based on their own personal experiences. Given that there are thousands of AA groups that are only regulated by “group conscience”, AA can pretty much be anything the group wants it to be – from a friendly social group to a dangerous, full-blown cult. While the general guideline is supposed to be the Big Book, there is even an issue over which Big Book. The first edition had a central theme that one could completely recover from alcoholism through a personal, intense spiritual experience that was attainable through the 12 steps. Later, Bill W. essentially tossed out this central theme of the original first 164 pages in subsequent editions by revising the first 164 pages and authoring an apologetic appendix that said simple educational indoctrination (i.e. a spiritual awakening) and membership in AA was sufficient to overcome alcoholism but only on a daily basis. So AA has been logically inconsistent and contradictory throughout much of its history and remains so today.

      • True. Anymore I simply come out and call things as I see them in meetings-person acts obnoxious and I call them on it. People really start not liking me as a “non-conformist AA member”:) SMART recovery is more evidence based as well as Rational Recovery. They are heavy on NLP which I tried for a long time, it baffled me how self talk routines fixed so many problems in my life yet my desire to drink wouldn’t budge. I kept rewriting them for about 6-9 months and then simply chanted a mantra for two hours per day which did eliminate the desire(and I still chant for that length of time). Little did I know that that was a spiritual solution for me so I went back. Now I simply read the book and over analyze the blatant contradictions that I hear people say, the hatefulness they display, the arrogant condescending attitude, then simply do the opposite that they demand. I suppose the religious sycophants in meetings forgot the part in the book that says “there are no axes to grind, no people to please, and no lectures to be endured” as well as ignoring the long form of tradition three. Usually the ones we are both mentioning here ignore entire sections of the book. Now I simply call them on it and ask for an explanation which pisses them off:) Keep up the good work!

        • The desire to drink can’t be thought away. Alcohol is like superfood to the body and it never forgets that aspect. The system asks for it very frequently in early sobriety but those requests diminish over time and can come up from time to time based on various encountered situations. It is interesting that the system won’t ask if it knows for sure that booze is not obtainable, or as experiments have shown, the reward for not drinking is greater than the desire to drink. The key for me is to hear the system request for a drink – and it does happen albeit rarely- and simply say no as many times as is necessary. To me, there is no mystery. I am the one requesting to take a drink and I am responsible for saying no to myself. There is nothing explicitly outside of me that is telling me to drink, my system is making a request and I can follow through or not. It is really that simple and if one can’t do that, then they need to learn how to and ANYONE that is not seriously mentally ill can learn how to do that. And AA is not how that is learned, in fact, AA retards the critical learning required to control yourself.

          • Please see the copyrighted AVRT of Rational
            Recovery for lore that comprises
            Addictive Voice Recognition Technique.

            SMART Recovery uttered DISARM as its catch phrase indicating Distructive Imagery and
            Self-talk Awareness Refusal Method.

            I believe Dr Abraham Low was the forerunner
            of these cluster of insights with his “spotting”
            practice: SPOT meaning Simple Phrases
            Overcome Tension as practiced then by Recovery Inc ( now renamed the Abraham Low Self-Help Systems. )

            I needed help with my mental hygiene years back and got it with Recovery Inc I showed up there because I thought it was a substance recovery alternative to AA. There is much to be said about this as relates to AA being the elephant in the living room…. Dr Low’s method was not about Alcohol and Other Drug recovery, its so much more! But beware that there ARE many AA two-hatters about, if you know what I mean.

            Bye for now and have fun.

    • Hi Aspie,
      Welcome to the site. It’s a great idea when seeking treatment for a medical condition to research what people are saying about it, both pro and con. So reading sites like this is good.

      The old timer who talks about being chosen is an interesting phenomenon. One thing that I have read is that one of the criteria for determining whether an organization is a cult is:

      “Do the members of the organization believe themselves to be chosen by god?”

      I heard a lot of people share in meetings that they don’t know why god “chose” them to live and find AA and let other alcoholic friends die. Sometimes these people are crying after someone died. Or they will say that god kept them alive when they should be dead.

      Anyway, keep gathering information. Not all people accept the disease definition of alcoholism, but if you do, you will find information about medical and psychological treatments for it on this site (I think information about other treatments is under “tools and support,” I’m not sure).

      • I actually shared last week(if I’m not mistaken) that as I don’t believe I was chosen for anything, I chose to come. I also mentioned that if I said that to a mother who was part of MADD(mothers against drunk driving) and she lost her child to a drunk driver who drank like I used to drink(not that everyone who gets popped for a DUI has that problem, some are in the wrong place at the wrong time and only did it once while buzzed which is still wrong). How would she feel about my “chosen” status? Suprisingly, there was no massive backlash and most of the room agreed with me:) I don’t so much buy into the disease concept myself either, I say alcohol is a dangerous narcotic that should never have been legalized in the first place, but I never tell people not to drink if they can handle it, I usually ask them to drink one for me.

        • aspie-I say alcohol is a dangerous narcotic that should never have been legalized in the first place, but I never tell people not to drink if they can handle it, I usually ask them to drink one for me.

          Alcohol is a beverage!

          Alcohol is a not class narcotic. ..

          Many people drink successfully after leaving AA. ANon is blogging here about just that after 17 years in AA and abstinence. You are a bit brainwashed. Yet a bit inspired and rebel,ious in a good way. Speaking your mind telling them you are not powerless. SO did I for years.

          SO what happened that pushed me out and over the edge to seeing AA for all the BUllshit it is. Its all here. You can read it on the page WHy I LEFT AA. I encourage you to keep blogging etc.

          • I am now starting to think that I need to leave due to feeling like a hypocrite because although I don’t believe the literature to be anti-intelligence, how can I just sit there in a meeting hearing people slander human intelligence. Not every AA member I have known does this, but I feel resentful for going and putting up with it. I feel like just following the eight fold path of Buddhism, mantra chanting, making amends to people, and using NLP.

      • —One thing that I have read is that one of the criteria for determining whether an organization is a cult is:
        “Do the members of the organization believe themselves to be chosen by god?”—

        Oh Brill… It scares me to death when I hear this shit. Just heard it about a month ago in an open AA “Big Book” meeting. Dude, how can these people have the wits to drive their car to the meeting with out winding up in the *woods* if they think this shit? I have ousted myself from the aa community a little in the past, as it is almost impossible to not say anything when a *drug and alcohol counselor* or anyone else for that matter says something like this. (The lady who said this in the BB meeting iis an actualy LADAC!) I have been more quiet about “my truth (um *the real* truth) this time in, asI did not have the energy to argue with these guys; they do not wanna hear it! It is creepy enuf that there is a religion of ppl. saying it… We are God’s chosen ppl. Now ex alkies and junkies, too? If you show up at an AA meeting and are gullible enough, sick enough, lonely enough, or whatever enough to stay—and not get the hell out—it does not make you chosen. Jeesum. I am preachin’ to the choir, I know.

        But I have seen these ppl., as have you *cry* about their luck, that God chose them. And this brings me to another creepy deal that happens… The suicides. Those people who, as these idiots think, “did not *fucking* get the program.” TO be this disrespecful about someone’s suicide is about as douchy as one can get. Just my opinion. AA= Unreal. Ppl., AA is not gettin’ any better. :)

  122. aspie- Interesting handle.

    Anyway, I have no idea why you are here. What on earth did you google to get here?

    I think if you are pro AA you can learn something from what we are saying, take it back there and help some other young person who is being brainwashed and ordered around by some control freak. There is no mention of a sponsor in the bb.

    Anyway..enjoy the site and I hope you get something out of it.

    • I chose “aspie” because it is suspected that I have aspergers, might as well have a sense of humor about how my brain functions and be thankful that I am not a lot worse. I actually look at anti-AA web sites from time to time to keep me honest and balance out my spirituality. It gives me a different perspective on recovery and allows me to separate “AAism” from “AA program”. Thank you guys for this web site.

    • Aspie,

      You dont believe the literature to be “anti-intelligence”; yet you sit in meetings where they insult (slander as you stated it); human intelligence. That doesnt make sense to me. I dont think its beneficial to hang around any individuals that insult your intelligence. Guess thats what they mean when they say; “take what you want and leave the rest”.

      • I am actually wanting to leave as quickly as I possibly can. I simply don’t know how to stay away for longer than a year. I will probably just chant to change how I feel about AA and write up a good solid self talk routine. I also need to learn how to function in the normal world, have normal relationships like any other normal person. Been in and out of AA for about 12 years and it is somewhat foreign to me.

  123. Thanks Aspie for stepping in here. I also CHOOSE to go to AA because is screwed up my life (or was it that God did.) And AA taught that I HAD to ‘keep coming back’ or I’d screw up again – and drink to boot!

    Now I ‘know’ that attending AA by definition is tentative sobriety: keep coming back or drink. One drink, one drunk etc. . . Period!

    Your philosophy, Aspie, which you aspire towards – a day at a time in AA – of “not drinking ever” is already within grasp. Remember Dorothy in _The Wizard of Oz_ when all she wanted was to get back to Kansas was told by the Good Witch, “why you’re already there!; all you have to do is click your heels…” (three times for practice.) So if you think to drink, click your heels – oh that’s right, I don’t drink, ever.

    Welcome to “leaving AA.”

    • Exactly. When I was a Nichiren Buddhist(I might as well still be, I simply wrote my own mantra and created my own practice, and believe almost identical to how I believed as a card carrying Buddhist), the idea is that both sobriety and drunkeness exist simultaneously inside of me. Tap into my Buddha nature(I now simply call it my guide), and drunkeness fall away and sobriety happens.

      Thank you.

    • Hello Massive, My experience attending SMART dates back a dozen years or more around the turn of the century. At that time and location, there were people who were doing both SMART and AA. But the backbone of attendance was people that knew – on some level – they didn’t want AA. SMART was quite new back then although already well developed.

      Two-hatters use the traditions of AA to circumvent the traditions in two ways mainly: 1) to make money off ‘recovery’ ; 2) to make public policy ( controversy ) usually concerning ‘recovery’ and increasingly “mental health” as well. A third reference would be more benign (perhaps) and merely to refer to an AA member who also was merely a member of another organization.

      My comment mainly concerned Recovery Inc. where it was part of the introduction to assert that AA and Recovery Inc. ( now Recovery International ) were not incompatible. Some were members of both organizations and the AA influence seeped in. My perspective has improved to decide this over the years to hear me tell it. I believe that that compatibility intro comment was expedient to placate the pervasive presence of AA.

      My two-hatter reference was of the third nature to my local experience.

      • I heard there were problems with AA in Smart in the UK and I reported it to Tom Horvath. I could see the problem arising as many exit AA and find Smart but bring their beliefs with them.

        Even I said some stupid things in Smart when I first went that were sort of “AA speak” But they corrected me. I feel so embarrassed that I ever was a stepper who was so immersed in the kool aid. Oh well. At least I’m gone and I no longer believe any of the BS. Thanks :)
        I also wish Smart had an moderation component. But I think with a good exit strategy after 2 years those who leave will know what they can do. At least they will not leave with the Idea embedded in them ” jails, institution and death”!!!

        • I said some really stupid things when I first went to smart. I called a guy ” of the hopeless variety” and had to apologize once I saw the error. No one is hopeless in SMART and if you relapse there is no “starting over at Step 1 and get honest this time”. You simply focus and try to learn from the experience. No judgment, shaming or lost position in the group which are all stalwarts of AA life for relapsers.

        • I hear AA speak a lot in SMART, but it seems to usually be uttered by people who have just left AA because they don’t like it. I always figure they will let go of it as they progress in SMART. I like SMART because it is not a religion, so there is no stigma in leaving. If the science/psychology of it ever stops fitting me or benefitting me, I can find something else and move on without the upheaval of leaving a religion.

          • What is the difference between SMART and simply using self talk routines? I need to read more about SMART as I don’t know a lot about it. I like the AA program, I simply can’t sit there any longer and listen to people with long term sobriety slander human intelligence. People turn AA into a religion and I’m sick of that. I am thankful for what I learned, and I won’t go around slandering AA, I simply want some solid alternatives.

          • Aspie,

            If you really think about it, people dont turn AA into a religion (as you said), they do that themselves and then deny it.

            you said:
            ” I simply can’t sit there any longer and listen to people with long term sobriety slander human intelligence.”
            “I am thankful for what I learned, and I won’t go around slandering AA.

            Is it acceptable to you; if they do it to you??

  124. I will admit that I am afraid of leaving AA, not because I think I’ll drink again because if I simply chant everyday like I did when I wasn’t going to meetings, the desire won’t be inside of me. I don’t know how to have a social life outside of AA. I know that sounds pathetic. I go to a Unitarian church in small town Illinois which I love, and this way I will get more involved there, but beyond that I really don’t have a life. Any suggestions would be appreciated. My name is David by the way. Chanting keeps me sober with or without meetings so again, not worried about that in the least. I have left before and really had no social network. I would try to act like a “normal” person who isn’t indoctrinated, who can’t relate to going to a meeting 7 nights a week, and it was actually difficult. In the end I would go back whether I wanted to or not(not for fear of dying, but from not understanding how to just act like a normal person). I also fear my aspergers although as long as I chant everyday I am virtually indistinguishable any more from a NT person. I frankly don’t believe in alcoholism, I believe I have a hyper sensitivity to carbs(like alcohol, donuts, Reeses, candy, etc etc). I obsess over anything due to being an aspie. I also have no desire to hate on AA, it was there for me when I needed it but I think it is time to move on. I got into it earlier today with an “old timer” who got down on human intelligence and I was honest with him about what I thought. He didn’t seem to like what I had to say too much and I left before I caused a scene because my anger over this anti-intelligence attitude people like him have has been building for years and I’ve been holding it in. It will be a while before I totally leave as I have done in the past. I simply want to know how to stay away.

    • aspie- hi Yes I do have a suggestion. stay if you want but it was suggested to me to wean myself from AA, not to do it cold turkey. So How many meetings a week are you going to? I was doing 1 a week and a lot of GSR meetings which was coming to the end of my 2 year term. I was so relieved.

      I made a plan. To go from 1 a week to 1 every other week. AND when ever I had somethings that interfered with that meeting with my sons or husband to pick my family not AA and get someone to cover my treasury commitment with No guilt.

      I planned to leave after 6 months for good. I planned to have one more group bus meetings addressing making AA in NY do something about the sexual predation. I did it on purpose to push the envelope.

      long story short..just by making th eplan I felt the freedom begin to take hold. I could not listen to Chapter 5. I would get up go into the coffee room and pretend to get some tea or food or go to the bathroom. It all worked. Someone even asked me to read chapter 5 during that period and I read it likea drone robot on purpose. Boy was that fun!!! As each week passed I felt this anticipation of leaving while I blogged nightly on http://www.stinkin-thinkin.com which at the time was the biggest anti AA site. People later told me they betted on that I would not leave AA. I knew I would. I made some friends on the blog who I heard thru ILSE had decades sober who left and I started giving out my email in hopes they would contact me and then we woul dtalk.This is exactly what happened. Then I would tlak to tehm on the phone and they would tell me how and when they left.
      But it was the business meeting at my home group that really did it for me. There were many great snae women there. But someone told these batshit crazy 2 woman with 40 years each about what we were discussing and voting on and they came to sabotage the meeting. I saw how nuts they were. And honestly I said to myself …wow I have 36 years …I don’t want anything they have. Im done. There is nothing more for me to do here. By then 4 months has passed and I had missed many meetings now and never once felt guilty.

      Aspie- IF you go to one a day, you could just start going every other day for say a month. Then every 2 days for a month. Then every 3 days for a month. then every 4 days for a month… you get it. till you get to 1 a week. Take no commitments and start doing what Brillando suggested. Get a life. LOL sorry ….just joking..

      Somewhere in you , you will know when you are done. It may take a year. You could attend SMART or SOS or Moderation or whatever…AA is a very bad model for socialization. Many AA members have terrible social skills for one. You will only learn to get worse in AA not better. I wish you the best in your journey.

      • massive, i mighta been one of the ones who thought you’d never leave. :) i am so proud of you and grateful (in an honest, non creepy aa way) that yer still doing this blog. thank you.

      • Thank you. I am going to about 4 meetings per week as of this week. I am returning everything to people that I have borrowed(CD’s and such) as I won’t feel obligated. It is the right thing to do and many AA members I have known would not think twice about keeping those things that don’t belong to them(have known plenty who would do the right thing but plenty as you said who have really bad social skills). I personally believe there are a lot of aspie’s in AA like myself which is why more than anything that they have such terrible social skills and such white and black thinking. The longest I ever stayed away was about a year. Tonight I am going to go to the meeting to return a bowl I borrowed from someone(but not stay for the meeting as summer classes have started).

        I would love to check out a SMART group or SOS, but I am in small town Illinois and the only game in town is AA. Have thought about starting a secular group at my church(I am a Unitarian and I’m sure no one would have an issue with that).

        I’ll let you know how things go for me and keep checking out this website. I simply don’t want to be pro or anti AA, I simply want it to not concern me anymore and just be a normal person, as normal as I can be with my issue.

        I’m David by the way. Thank you.

    • Staying away from AA took practice for me. Practice, practice and then more practice. Come to think of it, years and years it took for me to get hooked on AA, really hooked. Eventually I shunned my non-AA social support increasingly if haltingly. Then I would burn out on AA and try to pull back only to find I’d dive in again, do something akin to a 90/90, speaker seeker, chair, sec’y etc. Coffee, cookies and crazies… rides.
      Up to fifteen meetings a week more or less for several years until about a year ago. Then I got it down below ten meetings and one AM coffee for 60+ steppers every other three months.

      All the above after having been turned on to the
      http://www.orange-papers.org website circa 2005. And LlifeRing even earlier ( then at unhooked.com .) At the turn of the century I tried to attend Rational Recovery with my then girlfriend. We couldn’t figure out why their were meetings but nope there weren’t. Sometimes a phone contact would answer and talk but not answer…. It took a year or two then with poor internet access and drugs and alcohol “relapses” to figure it out: Jack Trimpey had cancelled the RR meetings around 1999 but some persisted anyway kinda for a while.

      At this time I had only attended hundreds of AA meetings and perhaps dozens of NA. Was it a game? I think so.

      Eventually I told that good woman that perhaps being addicted to AA was better than being addicted to the AOD lifestyle (Alcohol Other Drugs.)

      My friend died seven years ago tomorrow. RIP.

      Heavy partying does cloud the mind and AA may appear to clear it. BUT really it shifts one to a new dependency. Like AOD the high can be great but elusive. And the lows, well dose up again. Meetings, meetings and more meetings.

      The bottom line for this report is that I never really stopped the alcohol. But with thousands of sober days and often many months in a row abstinent, I hung onto AA and it hung on to me. I took many chips and coins and keytags; many were legit and many not.

      Eventually I knew I had a problem and it was AA. Yeah, with alcohol I better watch my ass, yup, but meetings got to getting me thirsty. Most of you have heard the story and not from me.

      I was gonna quit on 12/12/12. Couldn’t shake the habit so I dove back in. By New Years I was burnt again hearing the same ol’ crap.
      I started cutting back again and by God, I attended my last meeting – and knew it – on Mardi Gras. I told my clique I gave up AA for lent and it worked! They told me I was upside down and I thought that’s about right how it works in AA!

      Practice, practice and more practice!

      P.S, On day ninety-one I relapsed; the meeting was strange. I’ve been to a couple in the three weeks or so since. I have not identified as an alcoholic. I don’t think I can be on the cusp, I don’t think I want to be on the cusp. I don’t want to bullshit my principles and I don;t want to martyr myself either so I’d best stay away an not re=addict.

      And guess what, I’m not binge drinking much. Too much drinking, yes but not drunk often. I’m aware of the need to be cautious, even responsible and over-drinking does compromise these needs. And I’m not going back to edit the above, I’m posting off. Until later.

  125. Aspie

    you said: “It will be a while before I totally leave as I have done in the past. I simply want to know how to stay away.”

    As long as you attend AA; no one there will tell you how to stay away. Most of what you hear in AA, is an indirect ploy to convince that you can not make it without them. They will never encourage you to choose your own path in life.

  126. Hi aspie,

    You asked about finding a social life outside of AA. One of the things I have done is to look at meetup.com to see what groups are practicing my hobbies. Do you have meetup groups where you live? People will form a group for knitting or hiking or mountain biking or whatever and you can be a part of it. I also started volunteering more and that is awesome. It is very fulfilling. I feel happy to be alive when I help someone else. You can help out with animal shelters, tutoring children, political campaigns, etc. You can join a book club. Even if you’re not totally into these activities, they can help you bridge the gap. The Unitarian church sounds like a great idea.

    • I will look into that, and I want to get more involved at my church(I go to the Unitarian church in town). The only down side of living where I do is there really isn’t anything much in town. I could volunteer for “Angel’s on assignment” even though I’m not Christian but Pantheist, probably as long as I don’t bring up my beliefs as some people there might have an issue with them and call me an Atheist. I am big time into music and we have a cultural society in town, I might get involved with that. I’ll let you know and I’ll keep posting. Thank you. My name is David by the way.

  127. Thank you thank thank you. I went to detox 56 days ago because I knew I needed help. They sent me to NA. I did not buy it but it was/seemed to be helping me. I decided I had anxiety problems and went to an anxiety clinic. They sent me to a shrink. The shrink diagnosed me with ADHD and the lightbulb went on. Duh. It was so obvious it made me weep. Today I called my sponsor, a woman who means well but was a dead set junkie for 10 years and now lives with 2 cats and her children don’t talk to her. But, Anyway…. She told me not to believe the diagnosis, not to self help, research or god forbid medicate…. That the program would provide me with everything I needed. She started kind of yelling at me…saying I have to go to more meetings…and then put on a sweet voice and said…its just a suggestion. alarm bells went off. koolaid dropped out of my hand. OMFG. This is the email I just sent her. If I had read blog first I would have been less apologetic… I just reread it and I see the programming was successful… “My addiction” …as if it is living breathing flipping thing. No, I will not feed the beast! Thanks for listening to my rant!! Freebird .

    XX… thank you for all of your support and kindness. I think you are a strong loving beautiful soul who has overcome so much and that your place and purpose in NA are without question. That said, you are right, I can not admit I am powerless over my managing my addiction going forward. I do not believe this to be true. I can admit that I am powerless over others, but holding this belief that I am powerless over myself is damaging me. I went to detox to break the cycle of addiction. I came back to NA as a support group. Now i feel guilty I am not working the program as suggested. I feel if I were to work a program as suggested, I would only be doing it to gain your approval, and the approval of the group at large. I am clear that if I don’t work a program as suggested I will not be welcome. I understand that I will be judged and criticised if I do things my own way. But I can no longer fake it till I make it. I wish I could have the support of the group and still do things my way, but I understand this is not how it works. I feel judged now, for not being good enough at recovery, and I will feel judged leaving the fellowship. Quite simply, I can not meet the demands of the group and surrender to the 12 steps. If I have yet another area in my life where I feel I am not good enough and being judged, I risk great damage to my mental health. If I comply because I am being told to, but don’t believe in my heart that this is the right course for me for the rest of my life, I also risk great damage to my mental health.

    You say: so what I have ADHD. I say aha, I have ADHD. This does not change the fact that I was addicted to drugs, but it helps me understand why I became addicted to drugs. This is a condition I have been living with all my life. It has caused me way more suffering than my addiction ever has. Addiction was a side effect. I am powerless over the fact that I have ADHD, but I am not powerless over managing it. I became LOST in my addiction, but I am not powerless over it now. I simply am not. i just have no desire at all to ever let drugs control me. Ever. This is true for me as an individual. If becoming a drug addict and finally hitting bottom led me to this day and this discovery, then I am a grateful for my journey.

    Yes, I want to stay because I have learned a lot about addiction and recovery in the rooms, but seeing as I am not willing to admit I am powerless over my addiction and want to work the program in my own way, I feel the right thing to do is to exit quietly. I write this in sadness because there are a handful of wonderful people who i will miss. and i will miss the support. But i wont miss the feeling of personal duplicity. NA has asked me to believe that unless I follow the program I will use and end up in jails, institutions or death. I reject this concept as it applies to me and my history and future. I need to heal and I need support but I can’t handle the pressure I feel that comes with the program. I am grateful to you for your unconditional support and love. I feel this will be withdrawn if i leave the rooms and I accept that is a choice you may well need to make. I have respect for NA as i believe it does work for many people who are willing to work the program. What I hope is that you can believe in me healing myself in my own way, and wish me well, and not tell me it will end in disaster, but I suspect that may not be the case and I accept that too. I seek to explain my point of view, not to condemn the program or gain your approval upon exit. Ok well maybe I do want your approval …. but I know I won’t get it, so perhaps i should apologise for trying and accept that it not my business what anyone else thinks of me.

    I am sorry to be so draining, but you have helped me and I will always be in gratitude to you and the members of NA for your care and concern. The support I received has been wonderful. I will continue to abstain from self medication, seek professional help in managing my mental disorder, and seek drug counselling and support outside the rooms to whatever extent is necessary. But I just can’t make the grade in NA and it is causing me grief. Thank you for all your time and compassion and good intentions for me, it has made a difference. I’m not saying goodbye, I am just saying that I understand this is a turning point in our relationship and I accept that.
    Yours in recovery…. Much love and peace and joy to you always Xxx c

    • I came to a similar conclusion having Aspergers. Autism is my main problem, not alcoholism. My obsessive white and black thinking was from me being an aspie, not being an alcoholic. Alcohol is just a legal narcotic but I could never say that in an AA meeting. Isn’t it funny how us dissenters many times have more sense than a lot of people in AA? Live long and prosper.

  128. Yeah, I just reread it again and I can see I was saying goodbye, I was just afraid to come out and say it. Kind of like breaking up with a shit boyfriend, now I have to return her records!! (Step workbook ) oh and one more rant… She told me that if I put anything in front of my recovery I will loose it. My husband, daughter career and dog will be lost … but not if I abandon them and do 90 meetings in ninety days? Insane! Jesus wept, I was only smoking a bit too much weed… Well waaaay too much. But I’m on my way…. Wish me luck!

    • free bird,
      you can stay off weed without them.

      i stopped and stayed off it for 7 years before i ever heard of AA/NA
      or anything about addiction.

      That’s why i questioned AA/NA years later when i first went there in 2001.

      I knew i had kicked weed before without them.

      They told me that was then that was before the disease had progressed in me. That was when i was younger, that i had managed to do that.And things like that, cant recall everything i just know they made me think, i couldnt do it without them when i went there.
      But this time i would have to do it there way.
      (I’m not a drug counsellor, and dont know enough about this to say if they are right or wrong).
      However I do know lot’s of people do stop and stay off weed without them, that i have done so myself in my past.

      They told me that if i kept useing weed i would go to jail instatutions death and go on to use other drugs.And have no quality of life.
      I have been useing weed since the week before i left AA over a year ago.

      So far, I havent been in trouble with the law,I havent been in any instatutions, or had to talk to any kind of mental health doctor.I’m
      still breathing.I havent used any drugs i havent used before or went on to use any class A’s. And i actualy have a better quality of life now than when i attended AA.
      Not a perfect wonderfull life , but its actually of better quality,than my years in AA/NA.

      I think your sponsor’s a bitch.

      • Thanks Sally … I appreciate the support. And I agree, I can and will do it without them. Pity I live in a small town… I have about 60 people who will be hoping to see me fall so they can be right… So ironic!

        • wow now that’s really sad. If they were really spiritual they would wish you well and hope you do great. It shows that its a cult. Saying crap like that to anyone !!!. There are other normal people in your town that Im sure you can be “real” friends with you.

          free bird, if after a week or at any point you want to delete your post or edit it I can for you. Take care. Have you see the Penn & Teller Bullshit on AA on youtube. It made me laugh so hard. n fact watching anti AAvideos helped and I blogged daily on Stinkin-thinkin blog which was a very busy site back then.

        • Free bird,
          when i first went there, they told me to get rid of all other help.
          I had a pcycologist one to one , once a week, and i was in
          a group called support and survival.
          They also told me my doctor was sick.
          I had PTSD acute anxiety and chronic depression on entering AA, caused through abuse.
          The very people they told me not to trust and to be rid of where the best people i could have kept in my life.
          Instead i was to put my trust in them and the suggestions and programme.
          13 years later i’m now saying i wish i had kept trusting the outside help.
          They told me i was an alcoholic do it or die.
          13 years later i find i can moderate my drinking, and have been for a year now, and therefore cant be an alcoholic.
          As for my cannabis use if i ever feel i want to stop for good i’m sure i will, without going anywhere near them.
          I do stop at times without them. But for short periods.
          i don’t feel any need or want to stop anymore ,for good. (though i have felt that way in past, and could again)
          However if i did i would .
          I know 2 people who live near me,i have knew them for years and Pre AA, both whom did lots of drugs both who would be called addicts by NA standards, and pot heads.
          both have gave up all drugs and moderate there drinking. they have never been for any treatments.
          love worked for them. they both found good partners and settled down.
          they are both men. and both have been my male platonic friends for many years.
          They are still my friends and so are there wifes.
          one of them also stooped cigaretes 20 years ago.
          I always felt i was never good enough for anyone in AA/NA no matter if i was clean sober working a programme slogging my guts out doing service and being polite and respectfull, liken to a humble servant to all there, or if i was tokeing a spliff and drinking a beer. I had lots of clean sober time.but i would relapse. i took a drink after 4 years of abstinance at one time. And used weed again after twice picking up one yr key rings. All my way through it i never felt good enough.
          i felt presured to be perfect .
          yet no one else was, so why did i have to be.
          I’m glad i didn’t get it, im glad i got out.
          I liked them at times and some i held love for in my heart. I admired some sponsors. I gave thanks and im gratefull and thankfull to you all.
          i recall these feelings and thoughts around them too.
          I dont have them any more i dont have any thing to thank them for and they didnt do any great feats of kindness for me. And why the heck i held admiration for a few of them i will never know, i must have been bonkers then.
          i don’t owe them jack shit.

          take care

          • Sally it sounds like got got out alive and are managing your urges…in spite of all the bullshit u had to hear repeated over and over. U r strong…u r a survivor!! Xfbird

        • I used to go to AA in a small town after living in the city and ask how they could get by on just one meeting a week.
          They said; there is less stress here so we need fewer meetings.
          I guess if I can get the stress to zero then I don’t need any meetings at all.
          Is that a geographic?

          • This forum has helped me not question my codices. The small town thing, well I feel so clear about my decision now, that I will just be honest… Smile, and if I get asked, say it wasn’t really for me because I wasn’t very good at it!

  129. freebird. Great post. ….I would Tell her she is not GOD and not psychic and she has no fucking idea what’s in the future for you or anyone else. The arrogance of these steppers/sponsors makes me so mad sometimes…ok….

    You did what you knew was right and left. Good for you. more tomorrow. Gotta sleep!

    • Thanks… I’m so glad I wrote that email to het. it set me free. I’m so glad I posted it here, it gave me a place to be open about the emotional trauma and confusion I feel I have endured in such a short space of time. I can imagine you have seen and heard it all by now… amazing how easy it is to be brainwashed by self righteous groupies of any such group. . Kind of scary really. That said, I feel bad about judging her personal circumstances in my post. It was mean spirited and i regret writing it as i would hate to think i set out to harm her in anyway. I was just reacting to her belief that she was enlightened …. I just don’t see it that way. Or rather, if that is enlightenment, I will settle for darkness. Thx again for this space. It has helped me seal my door entirely from the drafts of this incurable progressive disease that calls itself NA.

      • Hi Freebird,
        Thank you so much for posting that email. It said everything that I felt when I left AA. I just want to congratulate you on being so in touch with your inner truth and being willing to express it to your sponsor and to us on the blog. Keep staying true to that, even on this site and with everything that people in your life say. And congratulations on realizing so early on that NA is not for you.
        It takes so much courage to speak your truth because AA (and I’m sure NA) punishes authenticity. Near the end of my time at AA, when I would speak my truth, I could feel the spoken and unspoken rejection. I am a very gentle person and I just couldn’t take that and had to leave. I wish I had written that kind of email to my sponsor.
        You said of your sponsor: “She started kind of yelling at me…saying I have to go to more meetings…and then put on a sweet voice and said…its just a suggestion.” I had that exact same experience a number of times. My sponsor would kind of yell at me and then put on a sweet voice. It was incredibly creepy and damaging to my gentle heart. I felt she was stabbing me in the heart when she would berate me.
        Congratulations too on continuing with medical treatment for your ADHD. What a gift to get some answers about a challenge that has had a huge impact on your life. The reason your sponsor told you not to do medical research is that cults do not permit outside information to be gathered.
        Also, are you aware of the other free treatment programs that can support you in your transition into your new life? I am only knowledgeable about SMART, but I go to SMART meetings online and I am very happy with that program. There is also SOS (secular organizations for sobriety), WFS (women for sobriety – I’m assuming you are a woman because of the female sponsor), LifeRing, Rational Recovery and much more. People on this site can help you find out more information.

        • Brillando … I can’t tell you how much I appreciate what you have said. It warmed my heart…and i need to thaw out!! i thought maybe i was looking for reasons to use again when I wrote that email…but that was the cliche they use to keep u coming back….. I will look into the info u posted. So helpful. Thank u and I hope u r traveling well.

  130. By the way….. I heard nothing from her after that email. 24hrs….Nothing. Which tells me everything I need to know. And you ppl have confirmed it for me as now I know I was not imagining it… How do they train them, is just indoctrinated or do u suspect there are inner circles??

    Pity the fool that would have me believe I am the fool for running out the back door.

        • yea freebird you are not broken nor am I. You can blog here all you want to help you in your transition. Im so happy you got away from the crazy nut job so quickly!

          I had so many idiot woman judging me when I was 18 , 19 20 , years old in AA. Now I am mid age. But those early years, they were so jealous. There are some really F**king sick people in AA and NA. I would like to slap a few of them right in the face. They deserve to be told F**K you AssHole. I hope some one reads this and does it. My stuff happened so many decades ago…most of them are dead.

          But free bird you are now free. I think brillando made some good points. I go to SMart Chat rooms randomly. Im so tired . I gave a huge party for one of my sons. It was so nice to not be a stepper mom anymore and have all the alcohol around with some 30 young people in the 20′s. No one got drunk. They all drank and had fun but no craziness. It was so nice. :)

          • Massive,
            Im sorry they treated you badly.I might end up with my boxing gloves on before the end of this .
            If i do i will be throwing a few punches for myself and others.i will shout and this ones for what you did to Massive.
            LOL.
            No i’m just jokeing around ,there not worth getting in trouble for.

  131. free bird,
    it wasnt that you werent any good at it
    it was that you were too good for it,
    and also, that it isn’t any good for most of us.

    I like the name free bird, i have a t shirt
    with free spirit printed on it.

    • : ) thx Sally. Just got off phone w sponsor. She was hurt and felt judged. She told me there is no right way, no judgement … But to be open, honest, willing. She wondered where I was getting this close minded es from… ie suspicios I had been reading stuff just like this. I told her i did not believe addiction is a disease, or that is progressive, and incurable. Each time she told me I was in denial and that it works she was a little more aggressive . I held my ground. After 20 minutes she ran out of cliches, mantra, and wished me well. She understood I had closed my mind and to her credit I believe she really does wish me well. A note to my sponsor should you ever stumble upon this post… I am sorry about the comment you being a dead set junkie for 10 years…living with 2 cats and having kids that don’t speak to you. It was nasty, uncalled for and a breach of trust. I was angry because I knew you were going to persuade me to continue to believe I have an in curable disease. Whatever works for you is great, but when someone tells you it’s not working for them, that they do not want to surrender, and they are not powerless over their addiction…you need to let them go and not tell them they are wrong because if they believe that and still leave the fellowship… it causes damage and confusion and ultimately …. relapse.

      • free bird,
        Every time i changed sponsor’s it made them angry toward’s me.
        The last time i changed sponsor’s in AA i did it because i am a woman but the only person willing to sponsor me at that time was a man.

        He sponsored me for a few years. His wife became ill.
        So for these reason’s and other reasons, when a woman offered to sponsor me i took her up on it.
        He couldnt understand why i wanted to get a woman sponsor or why i concerned with his wife being very ill.
        im sure he brought it up around the table infront of everyone unless that was another of his sponsees he was shareing about that day.

        But he was okay about it in the end.

        All my sponsors yelled then nice, bar the last one, i didnt have her long perhaps with time the same would have happened.
        Like good cop bad cop LOL

        One of the first one’s when i tried to tell her i wanted to stop going to AA meetings and stick with my one to one pycologist,
        became very verbally abusive, and swore at me.And more or less told me to keep my mouth shut about an old timer male who had been sexually abusive to me, keep my mouth shut like she had when the same happened to her early in to AA.

        That same woman had a card placed by her in her meeting.
        She was 20yr sober. It warned against abuse and swearing.
        And i use the odd swear word (I’m scottish working class)
        However though i have done so in my past, and since a couple of times. -I had never used swear words in an abuseive way towards her or anyone in those meetings at that time. I would use the odd swear word at times but in general.
        For example, the weathers shit. Or What a F…in day i had yesterday.
        She had gave me a right dressing down for that, so i stropped swearing.
        Yet there she was yelling abuse at me swearing at me, when i told her i wanted to stop meetings.
        That old ladys’ ill now with cancer, wouldnt wish that on no one. It’s All in my past now.

        They do it because they want you to do what they are doing.

        I could never understand why i had it drummed into me from the start of AA that i was not to get angry, yet they were angry .I had it drummed into me if i got angry i would relapse and die.
        Why havent they?
        I had problems with anger and knew that pre AA,
        i was in a group for people who had been abused pre AA.
        Where i was starting to find out about things like human rights and abuse. Starting to look at the abuse that had went on for me, and at my own abuse’s and behaviours.
        I had a copy of an anger managment book for years, i didnt do the classes but studied the book a lot.
        That helped me, as did some counselling and therapies.
        Im not a serial killer or nothing like that so don’t worrie.LOL
        i just met too many very violent people in my life time.So i had a lot of anger in me. I have never hit anyone in AA, well not YET!
        i found web sites such as this one years back, i took a clipping from one into an AA meeting once.
        no one said anything no response. I was told these web site’s were dangerouse.And they would say things such as you don’t know if the people here are sober or not. it’s only in AA you can walk in a room and see with your eye’s lots of people who have got sober.
        I believe the people on these web sites are being honest about there abstinance or drink drug use.
        And in my 12 years attending AA/NA i knew of some who were drinking and useing but saying they were sober clean.
        I personally was always honest about my drink drug use.
        On this web site i dont have to discuss that.
        And AA say’s to be openminded, well you are being open minded just by reading and posting here, open to other options.(i havent got round to it yet but im going to join harms reductions)
        Some in AA do wish the best for some that leave. but i only know this because i was like that when i went to AA. if someone left i would wish the best for them. I also used to pray for them that whatever way they were liveing they would be safe happy and okay.
        I did get a bit jealouse of one of my old pre AA mates once though..when she got clean sober without AA/NA.
        but she didnt know i was, i didnt act out on it LOL stuffed it down. and later that feeling faded. And i was glad for her.

        I’m glad for anyone who gets clean /sober no matter what way they do it. If they are happy to and want to. And im glad for those that are happy in there drink drug use too. Im happy to be in it, have been so for over a year.
        If i ever wanted to go for complete abstinance again, i hope to do that in such a way that i can be happy to be out of it.
        And not suisidal and miserable and ashamed and all the rest of the horrable feelings i had, a lot of the time in AA/NA.
        I didnt wake up to a wonderfull joyfull happy life of peace and serenity in AA like they promised i would if i followed there way. which i did to the best of my ability. I got clean/sober went through all the steps, and nothing great happened.
        i also picked up again while doing that.LOL
        So Fxxx it i just got on with it.
        If shes finding it hard to let you go, and they do you know,
        then whys her programme not working for her.
        they practice step one around people they preached it and taught it to me.
        But it dont work for them.same with one of my first sponsors , she wasnt letting me go with love, she got agressive and bulling tyrying to make me do what she wanted.
        Most of them are like that.
        thats not letting go.And shed been practising that stuff for 20 years.
        LOL
        well i let them go!

  132. In my own opinion I think the reason AA wants men to sponcer men and women to sponcer women,
    the AA like to control the people what attend there, there sex lives, the big wigs get to screw all the new coming women, I think I have seen this in the groups I have been to, not for sure but it seems like this,
    they select a few good men to run the AA group, and the weaker men are shuned away,
    the few good men what run the group, take the new female new comers out on dates, if the women listen to the few, they become girl friends of them, maybe become married to the AA guys,
    the AA men brain wash all the women what come to the AA meetings,telling them that men what are not real members are sex preditors and perverts,
    and not to talk to them,
    I am not sure but maybe I am crazy or what, but this is the vibes and stuff I have picked up on

    • dumb AA member
      AA say’s men to sponsor men women to sponsor women,
      however i was ready to leave AA because of a lot of things, one being, i couldn’t get a woman to sponsor me. they kept saying they couldn’t .
      A man offered saying why give up now. I was clean and sober at the time.And that was someone in AA i had a bit of trust in and respect for. I also liked his nature. he was cheery not many of them are.
      I wish i had just left then, and left clean and sober.( I wasn’t leaving with intent to use or drink again )
      The man who sponsored me for those few years didn’t try anything of a sexual nature with me.On the whole i got on okay with him as a sponsor. I cant say he hasn’t with other women from AA or that he has i have no idea. But i do know he didn’t bother me none in that respect.
      He was a married man.
      If he had of i would have said NO, the same as i said no to the men who did try things of a sexual nature.
      They do try to control people they controlled me. there may be something in what you said, that you picked up on.
      My male sponsor told me that if a man in AA asks you to go for coffee, it men’t he wanted sex.
      I often ask people if they want a coffee, male or female , but i’m not thinking of haveing sex with them.
      He told me this at a time when a man in AA, had asked me to stop for a coffee in a cafe a few times.
      So i see where your comming from. He also told me that when i was ready They AA would pick a partner for me and it wouldn’t be an alcoholic.
      I told him i didn’t want anyone else picking a partner for me.
      after i left AA I heard his wife died, i felt sad around that i liked her and felt for him too.
      I also saw him up town haveing coffee with a woman. that was a week or so after her death.
      I heard he was seeing a woman from AA not long after her death.
      I just said good luck to them. It was none of my buisness.
      after i left AA i was intimadated by my male sponsors nephew, his nephew thought the woman his uncle was seeing was me.
      he said his uncle had been haveing an affair and had went on seeing the woman after his wifes death.( I don’t know if that’s true or not , they may just have been friends. i have no way of knowing. there’s lots of gossip in or out of AA. And his nephew is a violent bully who uses hard drugs.
      His nephew intimadated me on the street i ended up at the police station reporting it.
      And also run from my home, I had very bad panick attacks.
      later my x male sponsors nephew apologised when he found out it wasn’t me. Explaining that he had mixed me up with someone else. It wasn’t much of an apology he was still abusive towards me when he was apologising. But i was glad that at least he knew, so i was no longer being blamed all over my home town, for doing something i hadn’t done.
      And something like that, so far in my life i would never dream of haveing an affair with a married man while his wife was dieing.
      They leave me alone now.

      I’m guilty of some things but so far in my life i haven’t had an affair or sex with a married man.
      not guilty of that one your honour.

      • Sally,
        I hope this is not too forward or inappropriate.
        I am a married man who sponsored a couple of women briefly. Regardless of my intentions and conduct, it was an ineffective relationship in the context of AA’s presumed intent. I am a man and not sensitive to women’s issues, needs, instincts, or coping skills. Additionally, the potential for sensitive or leading conversations that occur can be very dangerous. Psychiatrists are trained to deal with these situations and take patients based on this training and their own ability, I am not. As a single person these rules would not change; sensitive or leading conversation should still be reserved for those I would be interested in. I believe that a relationship that starts as the result of the pursuit of mental health is dangerous for all concerned.
        Still many AA’s do it, why?
        Because they want to.

      • Wow! This whole story has nothing to do with recovery. Quite the opposite! You were already clean and sober when you went in and had no desire to go back to your old lifestyle. What you got into is a world that speaks nothing if recovery and healthy lives but only of sexual maniacs, gossips, deaths, family affairs etc. It is insane!!! Sorry to hear this.

  133. Anon,
    I agree with you on what you have said in your post.
    but also would say,
    out of all the sponsors and people i knew in AA he was the best of them all.

    The women sponsor’s i had were worse. two of those put pressure on me to sleep next to them in there bed’s.Among other things.And they werent sensative towards me being sexualy abused in AA.

    I’m not saying they were lesbians, they didnt try anything sexual with me.
    Though lesbians in NA have.
    however i found it triggered my anxiety ten fold when they put pressure on me to do that.
    I was okay with sleeping on a couch for a night.And i had my own home i could go to.
    One of those got so angry when i said no im okay on the couch or could go home
    She started thumping the couch and screaming why wont you sleep with me.
    I didnt have nothng like that go on for me with my x male sponsor.
    But yes it wasnt leading to a good place. And insensative at times around some things.
    A woman may have understood better.
    Well some women.
    I thought at the time he offered to sponsor me, he did it to help himself.
    he told me he did it for selfish reason’s, and that sponsering women helpd him in his relationship and to understand his wife.
    I could dig that.

    I never sponsored anyone.

  134. I just started listening to an old self talk routine(I forgot about) about leaving AA and I feel confident after listening to it about 10 times! It is only about 1 minute 11 seconds long. I realized something earlier today when I was chanting and I wrote it down.

    People in AA will say don’t think too much and don’t analyze because if you do you may think you can get away with another drink. The problem with this is that it is living in fear of intelligence as opposed to outgrowing fear. It also ignores how AA claims that “alcoholism” works, when in the grips of the addiction to the narcotic alcohol people have an inability to combat the first drink by thinking about it(much like any Cocaine addict or Heroin addict). Any path that attempts to shield the alcohol addict from alcohol is doomed to failure and this is attempting to shield the person by stopping the thinking as opposed to making the possibility of drinking nonexistent because according to their literature “we recoil from it as from a hot flame” regardless of what we are thinking about. Screwed up thinking comes by alcohol addiction, not the other way around. Also fear that a newcomer will put them under philosophical scrutiny when that newcomer shows them(by common sense) they are clearly NOT chosen, just a former drunk who learned how to stay “sober”(albeit a slave to a religion) and their ego is terrified that they are not as special as they have started believing they are, again fear. Also this is playing God in a newcomers life and ignoring the part in the book that says “if he thinks he can do the job in another way or prefers a different spiritual approach encourage him to follow his own conscience.” as well as ignoring Pg. 164 “our book is meant to be suggestive ONLY.” Whether I think too much or over analyze is irrelevant, the only thing that matters is whether I deal with my issues or not.

    There is also the fear that if they don’t insult your intelligence and keep you in line, you won’t get what they have(but just the fact that I have more respect for people than this shows me they have nothing I want, if they are so foolish as to live like this maybe they need to get drunk for crying out loud). This is them trying to bully people into submission by emotional blackmail because they fear for their own sobriety. If they are not too hard on the newcomer the newcomer may drink again and then what will “God” do to their sobriety? Fear again, master slave relationship with their imaginary friend.

    At the end of the day if a newcomer will either do or not do the work regardless of anyone else, the only purpose acting like an obnoxious douche bag AA-nazi serves is to appease the older members insecurity and fear.

    Don’t you just love the hypocrisy of people who ignore and cherry pick? They claim to follow TO A “T” their own literature yet ignore entire sections of it. Point out how it’s ALL suggestive(according to 164) and they flat out LIE about it. That actually happened to me in a meeting I chaired one time that I brought this up, about the legalism and the bullshit that comes out of people’s mouths. I felt like people looked upon me as the bad guy because I was pointing out the obvious. They demand rigorous honesty and so many of them are compulsive liars. They despise and stare down their nose at human intelligence and hypocritically carry around cell phones and use computers. Drive cars. Even carrying around the Big Book makes them a hypocrite, if it wasn’t for human intelligence the printing press would never have been invented. They slander the parents of their marvelous pieces of technology with their high minded arrogant faith, yet that same type of thinking would have put the very inventors and thinkers who put their blood sweat and tears into making everyone’s lives easier to death, burned at the stake for “witchcraft” or “sorcery” not even 300 years ago. Talk about showing gratitude, ungrateful sycophants. It even pisses me off that due to not being neuro typical, thinking deep, obsessively, trying to “figure it all” is as natural to me as breathing. It is painful not to chant my sacred mantra-why, why, why, why, and someone not a fraction as smart as me condemns me for that which is outside of my control possibly out of their own narrow minded jealousy without even having the common decency to acknowledge that they are jealous and wished they were as smart as me.

    I asked in a meeting how a woman with MADD would feel about their chosen status had her son or daughter been taken out by a drunk driver who drank the way I used to drink. I was “chosen” and her kid wasn’t. If she slapped some arrogant baffoon for saying that kind of bullshit I would laugh at them and my heart would go out to her, they had it coming after all. Oh, the masturbatory ego stroking! I never wanted to be chosen, I get so sick of hearing about their “choseness” and “specialness”. Makes me sick…

    • aspir- I too hate that attitude of gee “we’re special” . No they are not above everyone else cause they stopped drinking. who cares? I don’t.

      I was at a gathering the other night and ran into someone who recognized me from AA from a few years back. It turns out we both felt like we didn’t fit in at AA GS meetings ….honestly how many more also felt that way and have since left. I say 10% or more.

      If that keeps up in 10 years AA will be the size of a pea. 100,000 world wide. in 2023. maybe even smaller…Down from 1.4 mil

  135. Here is a link that granted, not every AA member acts like this, but I have heard bullshit like this in meetings before. Reprehensible. Unacceptable. Disgraceful. Anyone on the fence of deciding to leave, listen to this and THEN decide.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=hcGtSzd9Tzo#!

    I will probably listen to this several times a day to reprogram myself, getting rid of any nostalgic feelings, those warm fuzzies, replaced with a sick empty feeling in the pit of my stomach. Would be nice to see this unbelievably arrogant man put in his place by the mother of a rape victim. Maybe they would knock some sense into him one would hope!

    • Aspie,
      i just listened to that link that video. have i got it right is that chris r
      speaking may be wrong it sounded like his voice?

      I only ever heard him once before on some CD’s a sponsor gave me. I was okay with most of what he said on that CD.It was different to this one.

      A long time ago a man from AA/NA came to my home univited.
      I had left AA/NA at the time.

      He stood in my home saying similar things to me as were said in this video.And i have had similar things said to me, by some sponsor’s and some other’s in AA/NA.

      I don’t get AA/NA, and i’m okay with not getting it.
      AA/NA never got me either, never understood me or where i was comming from.And i don’t care any more that they didn’t.

      I don’t want to turn into the kind of parent or person,that would talk to a child or person who had been badly abused, in the way’s these people do.

      I didn’t like what i heard on that video and said by someone
      who was not as a child or adult, held down by force
      and beaten and raped . I heard him say he was not a victim
      of child abuse.

      He sound’s more like an evangalist preacher. Or something like that.

      I’m glad i left AA.

        • massive, this happen’d to you as well?
          I’m sorry.I could never hack that part of AA. Where they blame a victim of abuse.
          A few years back one of them gave me a cd something similar. I went into AA with it and said something about that but i have forgot what. I was very upset angry.

          So was another person a man. He was okay and i dont think he was an alcoholic. But like me was very confused.

          A professional abuse therapist told me that no matter what a victim of abuse has done before they are abused they still are not responsable for it.

          It’s like just because a woman wears a low cut top it’s not saying rape me. No matter if you kiss or hug a man if he then wants sex and the woman dont and says so. She hasnt said rape me.

          And children well for god’s sake how can anyone blame it on a child.

          I think when men or women abuse, because women can sexualy abuse to. Its them that uses they played a part in it , because they dont want to take responsabilty for what they did. They say she led me on she kissed me or she was flirting with me or she was wearing next to nothing, all thats an excuse.

          When i see men walking round in shorts and nothing else i dont have urges to rape them.

          I cant stand AA any more. Im sorry this happened to you. Im sorry they happend to you.

      • Sally,
        although I wasn’t abused, I dealt with Body Dysmorphic Disorder(and thankfully due to chanting and NLP, I overcame the symptoms eventually so I no longer feel like I look like the hunchback of notre dame-most people and women thought I was an extremely handsome man yet in AA if I said that I would be brow beat in similar ways as the douche bag in the video was doing). No one ever understood my relationship problems simply attributing it to “selfishness and self centeredness” as opposed to a very real psychiatric condition which can be overcome. Same as a former sponsor of mine who told me my stimming that I do in my room(clapping my hands, rubbing them together, playing drums with my fingers on my head-not hitting my head but tapping my fingers like my head was a drum kit, and making funny noises when something exciting comes on) is merely my inner child coming out when I told him it is suspected that I have aspergers. At least I don’t do those things in public, still have to work on what to say or not say to people because some things I can’t tell. He attributed all of that to alcoholism(frankly I think that most people who would stick with AA, not everyone, but the white and black thinking, the obsessive special interests, the narrow interests, etc etc that many people in AA are on the spectrum in some capacity as there is no alcoholism). They simply don’t understand, they don’t want to understand, and they will never truly understand.

        I don’t know what the speakers name was, saw the video at “more revealed” and I felt it was appropriate.

        http://www.morerevealed.com

        Also been reading “Leaving The Fold” by Marlene Winell which I wish I had had when I was deconverting from Christianity. I have been far enough away from the church, forgave them for what I felt was done to me(they’re not all fundamentalists cults as I have some friends who are good people who are Christian that I respect as people despite not believing like them, more power to them), and if I replaced “Christianity” with “AA” while reading this book, AA might as well be Pseudo fundamentalist Christianity. Scary stuff. Just sitting in those meetings rots people’s critical thinking skills.

        Glad I’m leaving AA also! Live long and prosper.

        • Aspie,
          Thanks for your reply. I have heard of BDD. I think my eldest daughter has that too. I’m sorry. i hope your doing okay around that.
          it’s strange you saying this about people thought you were handsom man, but was browbeaten if you said that in AA.
          Same here.I have a bit of insecurity around my looks pre aa. But not BDD. But since AA well all i can say is they made me think i was a monstor inside and outside.So for someone with BDD that would have neen really bad AA i mean.
          I was looking at old photos pre aa and in aa, and i can hardly believe what i saw.
          I changed pysically for the worse when i was in AA. I also look very unhappy in them.
          My photos pre aa i wasnt no monstor.I use things for my PTSD i tap my hand at times thats just one thing.
          I also exited another cult years before AA mormons.I actually tried going back to them a couple of years ago, on the run from AA/NA. But i ran away from them again pretty quick. I had to deal with them at times to after i left. But nothing compared to AA. I had a very good mormon friend, he died.I have a couple of christain friends.
          I was born and christained a christain. My mother church of England. my dad atheist. And i was into pagan, krisna rune stones and lots of things a lot pre mormons and AA.
          These day’s im too mixed up about god, so i just don’t talk much about it.

          thankyou for the link i will read it and thanks for your post. And i bet you are a very handsome man.
          take good care.

        • aspie ,
          thanks for the link had quick look im going to be studying
          this link for a while. So may be off line for a day or so.
          Great stuff thanks your a star.

    • aspie,

      i listened to that video again.
      Do people really do that go up to him after he talks and repeat in
      the tone of voice he used, “but i was molested.”

      Mayby some people have said this in there shares after hearing a share like his.
      but did they keep repeating it over and over like he says and in the tone of voice he used.

      I don’t know. I only ever heard someone talk of haveing been abused in childhood about 4 or 5 times in AA.In 12 years.
      the people who said it didn’t say it the way he did.
      And why cant they share back with him about it if he’s shareing about abuse and what he thinks about people who have been abused.
      why cant they.

      I wonder where he get’s it from that people who have
      been through trauma are idiot’s that think they are the only people who have had trauma.

      I cant talk for everyone, but i knew other people had there own traumas.

      When i was a child, a teenager, a young adult ,and middle aged, i read of, and heard on television, and heard from other people, my Mother for one. About other peoples trauma’s.

      I watched world at war every sunday when i was a child.

      I walked through the street’s of port said, and aden, along the banks of the suez canal dureing war.
      and saw the results of starvation and war. I was nine years old i was takeing food and medicine. to a hospital.

      When i was 11 years old i sat in a kitchen listening to the stories of a survivor
      of Belsen, she still had the number tatood on her arm

      I listend to the traumas of my friend when i was a teenager and supported her when she had been raped.

      I listened to my boyfriends and husbands and friends trauma’s

      I could go on to list many many times such as this all throughout my life.

      He say’s “you played a part in it”.
      No one but the abuser is responsable for his or her abuse.

      A child molestor put a photo of me when i was 7 years old on a board at his work.
      In the picture i was wearing a short dress. I wore what my mother put out for me to wear.
      the child molestor pinned my childhood photo to a message board in his place of work
      under it he wrote “this child is guilty of tempting a man to have sex with her ”

      Do child molestors live in a hell of there own. I don’t know and i dont care.i dont want to get into the mind of one.

      he says he would rather be a victim than an abuser.
      I would rather be none of these things. And i’m not any of these.
      i am not a victim or an abuser.

      But if he would like to be a victim of sadistic abuse maby he will be one day.

      He say’s you didn’t speak of it tell anyone your not honest.
      Like not speaking about it, made it happen in the first place.
      but how can anyone speak about it untill its happend.
      it happens abuse, and after it happens someone may or may not speak of it.

      How would he know if someone had spoken of there abuse Pre AA or not.

      And many people who are badly abused have lot’s of reason to not talk of it.
      Some are scared of loosing there lives, or there families life’s if they do.
      And speaking about it after it happens wont stop it happening when it happens.
      Also many abuse survivors don’t recall it they bury it , and forget it. But it comes back to them in flashbacks later in life.
      Then they may talk of it.

      I think abuse should be reported. I did speak about it.

      Pre AA in group’s for such things i heard and listend to other peoples trauma’s.
      I knew other people had bad times in there lifes.

      He says victims of abuse think they have a right to suffer.

      I have not got a clue what he means by that.
      I personally don’t think i have spent my entire lifetime feeling that i am suffering.
      I have had good times and bad times like most people.
      But there have been times in my life i was suffering.
      When i was i didnt have thoughts such as I have a right to suffer.
      in the times when i been suffering, i just did what i could to stop it and be okay.

      When i had second stage cancer i went for therapy to get rid of it.
      before it turned to full blown cancer.
      But i suffered a little dureing it.

      He seemed much the same as most in AA
      AW what a shame for the poor child molestor think how he/she must feel.

      Im not out to kill child molestors. I dont sit thinking about them.
      And my past traumas thanks to outside help , not AA help. but outside help, well they don’t bother me none and havent for a long time.
      And when my past stuff did bother me. it didnt make me into someone who didnt know that other people had been through stuff.

      And i notice he is okay with preaching not to judge a child molestor.
      however is okay with judgeing victims of abuse as dishonest selfish idiots that dont know other people have had trauma’s.

      This has put me off all of AA for life.

      That little girl in the video she looks just like my 6 year old grandaughter.

      • Sally,

        Sorry to hear about everything you have been through, just the fact that you survived through it all speaks volumes about your inner strength.

        I have a theory about why AA attracts people like the man in the video. AA thrives on encouraging helplessness, same with many religions. AA also thrives on patting the wrong doer on the back as in our former drinking and drugging, it gives us validation for being “chosen” which is nothing but masturbatory ego stroking. The more shame and guilt that can be induced in people who have truly suffered, the more people will comply. It is a master slave relationship that people have with their higher power. That is not any kind of spirituality I want, I want a partnership with what I believe in, I’ll never be anyone’s slave. People have to die to validate AA’s beliefs, people have to suffer to validate AA’s beliefs.

        Such a perverted system, so backwards from the real world.

        I wasn’t molested, but there was a lot of experimentation with other boys before I was even 10. I wondered for so many years if I was gay despite lusting over so many girls at school. I started thinking I was Bi but truth be told I would always favor a woman over a man. My psychologist told me that due to a child not having a libido and not thinking in terms of calling sexual acts what adults call them, the other boy who was my age who introduced me to all of these terms and sex acts was introduced to them by an adult. I felt sick to my stomach when I was told this and even relieved. I wasn’t bi or gay.

        Live long and prosper.

        • Aspie,
          thanks again for your post. i’m sorry about the things when you were a child. yes i also heard this from a counsellor.And yes the other child was acting out what had happend to him at the hands of an adult child molestor.
          im so sorry.

          its good that you worked out your problems with your sexuality.

          Im not saying all bi men are the same, but my second x husband was bi. but he was also a wife beater child molestor and lots of things.

          he didnt touch my kids and i found out about him just as we were splitting up.
          it nearly killed me and thats when i turned to drink and drugs for the second time in my life.
          I got sober / clean pre AA.
          but went back into it.

          i have a good friend who is a bi male, he is an okay person.

          i have also questioned my sexuality in the past. had thoughts that i might be better off gay. but it was thoughts.that was a long time ago.I havent been with anyone of my own sex and dont want to.

          i shall have to re-read your post and digest what you have said about religoun slaves that stuff. it;’s saying something to me its helping me with something.

          your a very honest person. thank you

    • Aspie,
      i got up out of my bed to watch that video again. And have been posting reply’s was off to go to that other link but watched it again first.

      i dont know why i got up to watch it again.i feel like im off to cry after watching that.

      i want to take that video in and make them watch it.

      just before i left AA they told me i may have to sponsor a child molestor woman. or couple. i said i couldnt do that.
      One said that he had said no to doing this when he was asked and that he had refused to help or sponsor a child molestor male, and that because he had refused the child molestor got drunk and died.

      I dont want certain people in my life and AA or anyone can take it anyway they want to.
      I dont want anyone in my life who makes me feel uncomfortable, unsafe.I dont want wife beaters rapists child molestors in my life.
      i dont want financial abusers in my life. theres lots of people i dont want in my life.

      he says in it god dont want you to suffer.
      thats right my god dont want me to suffer, thats why my god said dont sponsor no one and run as far away as you can from AA.

      he got that bit right.MY god dont want me to suffer, i have suffered enough.We all have that’s why we left AA.

  136. Hey folks! have just recently begun to read all these posts/sites. I never knew they were here. After 18 years in ‘ the rooms’ I too am sick and tired of the dysfunction- on all levels. I was court ordered there years ago( when detox was my only option)The madness in those rooms is frightening, I am glad to find you all! Agreat deal of exploring ahead

    • Another one in the later teens, just like me and others here and elsewhere. Waking up and seeing the farce is probably why there are so few in the roomz that claim 20 years. Those that do seem to be the proud owners of grace beyond belief. Very special indeed. Some people really ARE too smart for AA.

    • canofpencils,

      hello. 18 years thats a long time. I went in may 2001 and left april 20012. think it was april.I tried doing what was suggested, all of it.
      however found i could only get periods of abstinance, then would pick up weed or a drink again while doing what was suggested to do.
      that i was promised if i did it. i wouldn’t pick up weed or a drink.

      i also found it to be one of the most isolating times of my life. and wasn’t filled with joy happiness and freedom. but rather filled with shame guilt fear anger confusion.

      I had a few good days to, when i did feel happy and things did seem a bit wonderfull. But not many and not for long.

      None of the things i felt were acceptable to other members. They didn’t like me being happy or unhappy. They didn’t want me to have human feelings like anger or grief.I found myself stuffing down my emotions, and trying to not have any.

      nothing i shared around was acceptable to other members.They didn’t like me talking about my drinking pre aa or my life. they didn’t like me talking about any problems i had such as other drugs in AA or alcohol in NA. Other illnesses, or relationships such as family. they didn’t like me talking about good things like when my youngest grandchild was born or my voluntary work. they didn’t like me talking. so i was suggested not to talk. then they didn’t like it when i didn’t talk share and would suggest me to talk. they didn’t like me talking about the programme god or hp, the book or other books. For years they told me i was an alkie do it or die. Then later they told me i wasn’t an alkie and i was killing alcoholics.They blamed me for anything bad that ever happened to me in my life. both pre aa and in it.They only saw bad things in me, and would repeatedly tell me my defects, and saw no good in me.They told me i was no good,nothing f***n special,a dirty deviouse addict,worthless,ugly,evil, sick and bad.that i was not to get respect.

      I also faced at times sexual abuse, which included an old timer grabbing me and putting his hands on me and slapping his lips on mine while i struggled and pushed away saying no leave me alone.he was 9 years sober., okay it happens out of AA too we know that, verbal abuse spiritual abuse emotional abuse pycological abuse and intimadation. I went to the police 3 times around people from AA.

      I couldnt work, i had no friends, no partner and no social life.
      I felt controlled by other members and or sponsors at times.

      I felt disliked unlovable and unwanted in AA/NA.

      I tried to make AA safer, i tried to speak up and out about things
      like predator’s, however i was frowned on for it and ignored shunned.I tried to write to variouse head offices but never got any reply’s.recently i wrote again to the USA. head office, again no reply.

      I left AA, i now do volunatry work. I now have a social life. i now have friends.if people pull me down do me wrong now i don’t have to sit in the same room as them or be anywhere near them. I stay away from people who hurt me and pull me down.

      for over a year now i have done okay with moderating my drinking.
      it’s not been full proof had a few drunk’s, but then AA wasn’t full proof either.

      • sally- maybe one of the best posts you have written in the sense that How nothing makes them happy unless you are abstinence and do it THEIR WAY!!! Am I right?

        Here in I find the downfall of AA in 2013. It has gone off the deep end with a super judgmental attitude. I really enjoyed reading this. Thank you !

        • Massive,
          thankyou too.yes your right. everyone else there wants you to do what they are doing or have done.
          and they all have diffrent opinions. or something like that.

          I felt judged nearly every meeting i went in.no matter what i was doing .

          well you cant please all the people all the time.

          Your right about lot’s of things. i like your posts too.
          You give out good info and good vibe. And thankyou to anyone else who set all this up.And posts here.

          It’s been hitting me hard recently to realise what i have been in.just how much damage AA can do to a person.Drink/drugs can do damage to a person but so can the so called only way of AA.

          Im going to be off the leaveing AA site for a while.Im a bit blown away you know. Reading the posts and articles, and the video of that man. It’s warm today and no work no appointments, think i shall go to the big market in Leeds or something.

          I like illbfrees post on think its file a complaint. About
          the old delusional drunk bastard Bill Wilson. LOL

  137. Hey everyone! Hope your all OK. For all the fathers I say happy holiday, love those kids to the max. For all of us who ” have recovered” keep going. My friend used to call us the walking wounded. I have more respect for those of us who trudge in the real world-everyday. Even with all the horror they keep on. We carry some nasty stuff inside as we forge ahead but we more often than not are succesfull. Not to sound like a commercial but I am proud to be among the many who carry their burden with a new dignity and courage. Thanx for being my friend when I needed you!

      • Sally- I just received an email from a familiar name. It reminded me of the Nigerian Prince scam – The names are correct but that doesnt mean anything. I think you guys are on PST but if anyone knows anything please let me know- Legit?

        • can of pencils,
          im sorry i don’t know what the nigerian prince scam is,
          but it sound’s interesting.I don’t know what PST is either.try catching Massive and ask.
          hope your doing ok i’m sweating out canabis.
          comming off, and looking for work.i had to dodge one of my x sponsor’s nephews .He had a go at me on streets while back. got police.He thought i was haveing an affair with his uncle (No way wouldnt want to, i liked him thought lot of him loved in my heart and cared about him and his family as i did others, but no not that way)
          It was another woman from AA not me. He knows that now. He also had a go at me saying i should go to his uncles house and help
          him as his wife was ill. i wasnt in AA i had left then, I had already offered my x sponsor any help when i was in AA any housework ect.
          and you know none of these people ever helped me with anything apart from ocassional lift,or listening to step work.) no one ever came did my housework or helped me go see my dad who is old and has cancer and lives so far away i have to get long distance busses to get there to help him.
          I also couldnt attend his wifes funeral as one hour before it my grandson was rushed into hospital. I did send a card.
          I was intimadated on the streets twice by this nephew.
          So i steer clear of him.
          i hope you had a nice fathers day. hope you find out about the e-mail thing.hope i find the right job soon
          take care.

          • it seems that sometimes you just cant escape these people. I hope you call the cops ( for what thats worth) and hightail it out of there. Stay safe!

  138. can of pencils,
    im okay. i’m out of AA, been out for over a year.
    The x sponsor’s nephew he got at me on the street back in January.
    He’s a dangerouse person. Known to hold knife’s at people’s throats and rip them Off.
    He did that to a man i tried to have a relationship with once when i was out of AA for 2 years. And he has done the same to others.
    And he helped a dealer try to rape one of my neighbourgs. Well she’s isnt a neighbourgh now, because i moved home in January.
    He’s not in AA, he’s a class A drug user and piss head.
    he hasn’t bothered me since January, but i get panicky when i see him on streets.
    like today, at least i think it was him didn’t have my specks on and he was in distance.So i walked another way so as not to bump into him.
    i have been in and out my home all day sorting out my benifet’s handing in cv’s for job’s and doctor’s.
    there was a job as a project worker at turning point,drink drug treatment.
    i’m qualified to do it. infact it was turning point that put me through my NVQ in health and social care.
    and i liked the workers there. however i don’t have the confidence to apply for it.
    Also it was full week work, dont think i should throw myself into full week yet.
    the doctor has put me on pain killers for my spine, arthritus and stiffning of lower spine. and propranolol for anxiety. it also helps migranes ,which i get.
    So im trying to stay off weed now.
    the scam thing i get things like that sometimes in my computer. i had one she was
    african needed money she wanted me to send her a cheque for a few grand.LOL
    she be lucky i only got pennies in my purse.
    and im not asking no one for anything when im posting about my finacial satus.
    it just helps to tell someone.
    im sorting it out.i have put in for several jobs past few days. and have an appointment in job centre tomorrow around work focus.
    How come you left AA. 18 years is a long time.what was AA like for you?
    take care.

    • Sally, when I first came out of jail a catholic priest took me off the street and put me to work, he ha d found me on the bench in front of Dunkin Donuts on south dixie in west palm beach fla. All I knew was there was such a thing as AA. It saved my life- and for years afterwards I just did what I was told. Only later were my eyes opened and it was like a family member had died. I had ( unknowingly) put all my eggs in the AA basket. I saw really bad behaviour and it made me furious that no one was doing anything- so I soon used my voice and became a pariah. I seldom go to a meetting anymore as it usually is the same old dysfunction! Today I live as a ‘ recovered’ person- I know what is rite or wrong. Dont need a sponsor to tell me. I make errors but thats what life is all about. I dont drink and dont miss it- I have not spent a day in jail/prison nor have I needed an attorney- so! seems I dont need alcohol ior any other BS. Long answer to a short question?

      • can of pencils
        thankyou, you have been really down thats down, on the streets. But you dont talk about it, or jail the way some do in AA.
        i’m sorry. i only ever had 1 or 2 nights on the streets. my sister lived in squats in London for 3 years.she is housed now.i loved the street people i met pre aa.

        and jail, my sister was in Hollywell for 4 week remand.some of my friends pre aa were in jail and most all my partners.
        i have been in the cells probation community service courts.
        but not jail yet. i was ashamed pre aa for being in trouble.
        i havent been in trouble for over 20 years now.
        hope i never do again.
        a catholic priest, was he in AA? AA told me that cristains would walk by drunk in the gutter and do nothing to help.
        theres a catholic priest in meetings i went to. he didnt like me.
        think it was because i once made a joke about priests but i didn’t mean no harm.
        i listen to Billy Connely.

        i dont know what people here mean by there eyes opend in AA and they saw things.I just know i didnt like it there too much most of the time and some bad things happend to me there.
        but they werent right bad things badder things happend to me pre AA.

        im glad it saved your life . thats what i think AA is for those that are at deaths door. I’m a cat of 9 lifes. not at deaths door yet ,but been close a few times. 3 days before i went to AA i fell in the canal in blackout and near drowned.im glad you dont miss drinking thats good.
        i dont drink often but sometimes i have too many. im a pot head,but im off weed at present, im going through withdrawels i do you see because im a long term user. and i do miss it when im off it. I have to take the pills then and i dont like the pills because they can kill you and they have bad side effects but this time they gave me new pills so mayby they wont. i dont always have pills when im off weed just sometimes.
        Florida, i only seen it on films. I watched a documentary about crockadiles think it was in florida. and that film midnight cowboy think it was in florida at the end. I love that film.
        I come from highlands of Scotland i speak dorick.but have lived in yorkshire for think its 28 years. and this city think 20 years. i was mad when i landed here just out the mental ward drink drug pycosis and just out the sally ann in glasgow. sally ann is salvation army hostel.i was on speed and lsd drink weed pills when i got to this city.
        i had 7 sponsors LOL i didnt like haveing to have a sponsor.
        my mate in AA well i say mate friend at the time he became one of my sponsors but then his attitude changed towards me and it didnt feel like he was my mate anymore.
        i dont need a sponsor i got my DAD hes the wisest person i know,
        my Dad had drink problems . but hes not too bad now. he was a merchant sea man lived in sea mans missions he said it was my mam that helpd him out the gutter and thats the words he used “if it wasnt for your mam i would be in the gutter ”
        you sound like your well sane and got it together.No you dont need it.I get a bit angry at times about AA. but then i calm down again so dont mind me if i rant sometimes .when i first went there and they told me i would have to go there for the rest of my life i wanted to scream.
        your post isn’t long. mine are long. I take up all the posting space but im off to stop doing that.it looks like im a right gabby person but the reality is im mostly a quiet person. my mates all come to me just because im a good listener they do all the gabbing. but here i just talk and talk.
        not sure why.but im off to stop the lon