This is a forum for people to write why they left AA stories. (updated March 7, 2012) Updated August 30, 2013.
Let’s begin the new thread.
This picture tells how I felt when I left AA.
Some of you are here for the first time and are wondering why would someone have such a blog.
My name is M and I am NOT an alcoholic. However, I did label myself this stupid word for many years and I did not drink a drop for 37 years. I arrived at AA @ 18 years old.
My blogging name is “massive”
In the summer of 2008, someone very close to me was drinking out of control. So I took him to a young person’s meeting. To be sure, it was not. It was filled with creepy 50-60 year old men, chain smoking and glaring at the young new hopeful twenty something’s who still had no self esteem. I was horrified.
In the mean time, my estranged DAD shows up back into my life after being gone for 12 years. He was drinking and pill popping and was showing signs of being mentally sick. He became homeless and lost everything. He once wore a Brooks Brothers suit, worked for Pfizer, was college educated, a NY cop, he took us to the Jersey Shore to Surf (awesome) he taught me to swim at age 5.
He brought me to Hawaii in 1975 when my parents divorced and I loved it there.
He turned up at an ER in Las Vegas, and was dying. I flew there to see my Dad and although I had cried buckets of tears for him being lost after many good years with him, it was hard to see him such a mess. After 8 months I eventually brought him to me in Los Angeles and within 5 days he died.
He is part of my leaving. My DAD hated AA. He hated that I went to it and was caught up in it so radically.
With his death came a realization that what I had, he never wanted. That AA failed my father. In fact, it failed a few other members of my family.
I had many sponsee’s calling me, wanting my attention and I called them all and said I was done sponsoring anyone from now on. I gave my time, my home, my experience, my soul and friendship and I just wanted to move on. There was something freeing about this. I kept just two woman … They hardly called me.
So my DAD died, and one of my kids was not doing great… and… a young woman named Kali came to my home group meeting. She was also badly 13 stepped. That means she was preyed on by an older guy with much more “time” and he knows exactly what he was doing! And I just took the position of GSR (General Service Rep) for my Home Group.
Kali explained to me what happened. Her sponsor said to her, “what’s your part in it” ?
I said, “you have no part in it” He is a predator!
I began attending the mixed meetings I no longer attended.
But when I attended the meetings with her at The Marina Center in Culver City, California and The VRC Friday night Meeting at 414 Lincoln, in Venice, CA., I was horrified what I saw. I would not send my son, or my worst enemy there. It appeared that there were men there that were not even alcoholics, trying to get sober hanging out. They were there to pick up women… young new vulnerable women. They looked and acted like sexual predators.
We decided to have a workshop to discuss this. I had been introduced to Paul C. a man who had been an AA trustee and a previous delegate. He shared his 7 page letter he wrote to the AA NYGS Board and it just ripped me apart to read about rape and child molesting stories. Even though I knew a women personally whom her mothers boyfriend had molested her 35 years ago. She was 5 years old when he, an AA member, who was dating her mom, took her innocence from her in the most horrific way.
I called an old friend Tom, who was a board member in NA for many years and he told me stories about Bill W taking LSD, how Tom Powers called him a sex addict back then and this sent me searching on the web to then find www.orange-papers.com
I read Orange Papers and attended more horrible meetings that I did not know existed in Los Angeles, CA. For you naysayers… I know there are nice meetings in LA. I’m not talking about those meetings!
I created a workshop with a concerned group of members and the workshops exposed rapes and bad 13 stepping and alot of upset oldtimers confused about how to handle the predators that were taking over their meetings. I thought AA in NY would get on Board and help. This did not happen.
My group and I had tens of meetings discussing this and we wrote literature called “The Make AA Safer Pamphlet”. It was all good until we went to our West side district. Holy cow…how they responded was like they were trying to cover up something and they wouldn’t give us the time of day. We fought for it and the more we did the more they iced us out. It began to feel like giant, mammoth problem, too big for Kali and I and a few others who really cared.
As the months rolled by, I got a gig singing in a hotel that made me very happy. But even the women in my group began to ice us out. Kali moved back to where she came from and I began to hear the readings with a new light. I felt like I was seeing AA as a new person might see it. AA had changed from when I got sober in Kailua in 1975.
It was not filled with fresh normal faces. It was not laid back and “take what you like buffet attitude “ had turned into a more ridged ..”90 meetings and 90 days and what does your sponsor say “ type of rhetoric.
Honestly, I was am independent thinker, a young smart 1970’s hippie. If people said to me then, what they say now to people in AA today,
I would have NEVER!!!!!!! come back to even one meeting!!!!!!
In March of 2010, in Los Angeles, Ca at PRAASA, ( a Pacific Regional Area Service assembly) –( nine states and 15 regions) after much pushing on our part, the chair gave a late night round table entitled,
“Sexual and Financial Predators in AA.”
130 people packed into a room. Many were turned away because there was no more room.
The stories were heart wrenching. The Spanish contingency sat me down and translated as I talked about what we were doing and trying to expose. Then they told me something I could not believe.
That men with many years, old men, were taking young women, middle aged women, any women, up into the mountains to read them their 5th step. I said, ”what were they doing up in the mountains?” And the old lady with her heavy accent said, with that look in her eyes like” you know”
“They make them have sex with them after they read their 5th step!.
In California? I asked, ”not Mexico?
Yes she said.
“Right here…in California.”
There were even meetings were “they tied people up against their will” they said in Spanish as she translated. I was beyond stunned.
In the workshop at the very end a young spanish speaking woman told how she had a friend
who had recently killed himself because of this 13 stepping. To be sure many of us were crying. I had an earlier version of my pamphlet and we gave them out.
In Sept of 2010 I went to Hawaii for a woman’s AA event to see if I could spread the word.
At dinner with my two closets long time AA friends they told me about
the Murder of Kristine and Saundra Cass ( age 13 ), by a man who was Court ordered to AA even though he was unstable and had mental issues and had violent issues with women.
Fact: Judges are sentencing sex offenders and violent criminals to AA/NA meetings unknown to the general public and also unknown to most 12 step members)
It pushed me over the top. Then Herbert Tracy White was murdered by a couple in downtown Los Angeles, CA., who pretended they wanted help as addicts. He was such a sweet guy.
I was done. Thomas B., the AA Area chair was not helpful and so was the district chair a … It did seem like a dead end. That the so called AA structure did not work. That in fact, my local government still worked better then AA’s upside down triangle rigamarole!
But then an even stranger thing began to happen. At my lovely little safe women’s meeting I was uncomfortable. As they read the literature from 1935 which is done at every meeting, I looked around and watched them chanting and nodding their heads up and down.
I saw AA for the first time as a CULT. Wow…I thought. What am I doing? I don’t belong here anymore.
I attended Smart Recovery and SOS meetings and I loved them. I cried alot over the years I wasted in AA. The years it stole from me. The years I was a fool for believing in such crap.
I made blogging friends from all over the country. Women and men victims alike wrote me harrowing tails of abuse, assault, rape, scamming and controlling mentally ill sponsors type abuse. It seemed people were leaving AA in droves.
I created a radio show www.blogtalkradio.com/saferecovery because no one in the media who I reached out to would tell this story of horrible cover up going on in Alcoholics Anonymous. Every night in every city this s####t is going on.
In closing…I left AA after 36 years because I could not tolerate the lies that were read over and over again with no thought or willingness to change or improve an archaic addiction modality, the turning of the blind eye to the Sexual and Financial Predators, and the lack of accountability with all of the above, from the local groups to The New York Alcoholics Anonymous World Headquarters.
Now, I spend my nights with my family, new normal friends, going to movies, listening to live music at clubs, writing, blogging, cooking, being an activist for victims in AA and watching my favorite TV Crime Shows or Documentaries!
I am busy making my film called The 13th Step to be released hopefully in December of 2013.
Now you know more about Monica and “massive”. I have learned much about many of you on the phone, emails and skype and private emailing.
I have learned so much about the judicial system, DUI’s, Court ordering, what are my rights, your rights, how bad the sexual predation is, how bad the controlling sponsor thing is, how ridiculous the free promotion by stars in Hollywood is, how AA is dishonestly depicted in TV and movies…
In January of 2011 I met Dee Dee Stout over the phone because of her appearance in Penn *& Teller Bullshit about AA. Through her I met author and Journalist Gabrielle Glaser, who recently published a book called “Her Best Kept Secret, why women drink and how they can regain control.”
I am a chapter in her book. All the work I did on the inside of AA trying to make it safer, how much push back we got at every level and how I finally decided to leave AA (may 2011) so I could do more productive work and make a film exposing AA and what the truth is about this Institution that is so highly regarded and so widely used in rehabs.
She tells my whole story and weaved in and out of others who tried to make it safer and others who were 13 stepped.
Then I was on Katie Couric on ABC talking about it with Gabrielle.
So now you know more.
Join me in a movement that is growing, so that millions can find the other free options, the use of science based therapies and medicine such as Naltrexone and stop the madness of using a 75 year old religious conversion laypersons support group for a serious health issue.
Join me and please tell me your story!