Killing of 12-step (Narcotics Anonymous) program sponsor raised fears

 Everyone needs to know that AA and NA and all 12 step programs have no one in charge in each group, that there are no trained facilitators of any kind, and that includes SPONSORS, that the secretaries running the group could also be an oldtimer predator of sorts and are also not trained and that 12 step program/meetings are NOT A PROFESSIONAL SETTING of ANY KIND! This is not the first murder like this.  The following story needs to be told and NA and AA need to make safety measures for their own members and they also need to tell Hollywood to stop lying about what goes on in 12 step meetings and it’s culture. We are getting alot of complaints here about controlling and abusive sponsors. The Public at Large needs to know that a Sponsor is just an ordinary AA/NA member. They are not trained, they are not professionals, they could be nuts, they could be scammers, they could be sexual predators. Not only are there NO RULES, no  Guidelines or polices in the current AA structure, there is a serious covering up and member on member abuse and non support when an oldtimer abuses a newer person. Not that this is what happened here. We dont know, but we are tired of the opposite approach of giving the credit to AA and NA as if it is some special safe and wonderful place WHICH IT IS NOT!!!

Here is a story I was told by an NA Board member. A few years back there was a complaint that a registered Sex offender was secretary of a young persons meeting. The FBI/Police  told NA headquarters to tell him to step down. The NAWS said ” oh we can’t do that, we don’t tell our members how to act” …..the FBI/police told them “you tell him to step down or we are going in to get him.” They called the predator and told him to step down.  Why do these steppers think they are special and above the law?

The next story is more horrifying. A woman called NA hotline. A man answered the phone. He went over to help her…..and he raped her. At that point NA began to change their service structure seeing that there were serious problems in thinking a group could and would run the big bad Nonprofits that AA and NA have become.

The sh*t is hitting the fan for sure. Now here is the story about the murder…

Friends say man arrested in murder had been counseled by the victim

By Cleve R. Wootson Jr.
Posted: Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2013
  • Charles Michael Middleton

The man accused of killing Charles Middleton at his south Charlotte home Saturday morning was a man he’d sponsored while involved in a Narcotics Anonymous program years ago, people close to the situation say.

On Monday, Christopher Paul Huffman was taken into custody in Casa Grande, Ariz., more than 2,000 miles from the scene of the shooting on Elmhurst Road in the Sedgefield neighborhood adjacent to Dilworth.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg homicide detectives traveled to Arizona on Monday to interview Huffman, who had no criminal record. Police have not divulged a possible motive in the killing or said whether Middleton’s sponsorship work with Huffman made him a target.

It’s unclear how many people Middleton sponsored in his two decades with 12-step programs in Charlotte. He was one of the longest-tenured members of his weekly meeting group, which was made up of gay men who are also recovering addicts, friends said.

Middleton took leadership roles and engaged other members, chatting over coffee before the meetings or at dinner afterward. He asked people to call him “Mike,” an abbreviation of his middle name. He freely doled out his cell phone number, friends said.

He was semi-retired but still worked part time in credit and collections. He doted on his two cats and had also recently started taking theater appreciation classes at Central Piedmont Community College. Middleton and his friends regularly bought season tickets to plays at the college.

Details of the interactions between Middleton and Huffman were still hazy on Wednesday. Two people who knew Middleton – both of whom asked for anonymity – say the two men met at a 12-step meeting about four years ago. At some point, Huffman asked Middleton to sponsor him. For a while in 2008, they both lived a few doors down from each other on Ardmore Road in Sedgefield.

But their interactions over the next four years are unclear.

“We don’t know why and we don’t know the story behind what happened,” said a Narcotics Anonymous member. “We do know Mike has sponsored and helped a lot of people. … He’d extend his hand to a total stranger at times.”

But for some people involved in local 12-step programs, the link reminded them of the need for caution in dealing with troubled addicts. “It is almost a sacred thing. These are people who so freely give of themselves,” said a Narcotics Anonymous member who declined to give his name because the association frowns on speaking to the press. “How do they know that the people who we are trying to help are not going to do us harm?”

For recovering addicts, sponsorship is a complicated, but close relationship. A sponsor helps a person navigate some of the harder steps of recovery: making amends to people who’ve been harmed, conducting what Narcotics Anonymous calls “a searching and fearless inventory of ourselves,” and sharing a story of addiction with others.

But members say there are few solid rules about sponsorship in the global organization, which says it holds 61,800 weekly meetings in 129 countries. While members encourage frankness on the path to recovery, the organization is often tight-lipped with outsiders and the media about the details of sponsorship.

In a three-page pamphlet on sponsorship, the Narcotics Anonymous organization recommends frequent communication, and discourages romantic entanglements. But it’s unclear if the organization offers sponsors advice on how to protect themselves from the ill effects of another person’s addiction.

A person who answered the phone at the Metrolina Intergroup Association, a conglomeration of recovery groups in the Charlotte area, declined to comment about the relationship between Middleton and Huffman or sponsorship relationships generally.

“We have a tradition that we maintain our anonymity at the press level,” the woman said. Public relations officials with the national Narcotics Anonymous office in Van Nuys, Calif., did not return calls seeking comment.

One recovering addict in Charlotte said members are especially wary at open meetings, which involve people from all walks of life and often from unknown backgrounds.

“We’re not supposed to judge, but this is the real world,” she said. “If somebody’s making me feel uncomfortable, either I’m going to say something or I’m going or leave.”

She said there aren’t many written rules about sponsorships, but experienced sponsors encourage people to be cautious.

“It really has to be a gut instinct and you say to yourself that you’re not going to have them come to your house, you’ll meet them at Starbucks, some place public. It’s a huge deal, because people just come in off the street. We have people from jails, institutions.”

William White, a Florida researcher who’s written about the history of Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous programs, said it’s unlikely that one incident will spark widespread change.

“Anytime something like this breaks publicly, there’s a period of soul searching in organizations like this in general,” White said. “Safety is not an issue that comes up across the board except in the aftermath.”


Wootson: 704-358-5046; Twitter: @CleveWootson

Subscribe to The Charlotte Observer.

Is Narcotics Anonymous Blocking The Freedom of the Press?

Today there was a breaking story about an NA member Chris Paul Huffman killing his NA sponsor, Charles Middleton. It seems printed it and so did jrh on OPF. But after 20 minutes the link was gone and the story headline gone.

This is why its so important to save the actual story, in your computer as a pdf or a word doc….or  print it when it comes out or scan it , or snap shot it, so if they pull , we still have the original story. No body cares if it doesn’t connect the dots in the NEWS!

If in fact, NA asked them to take it down….wow …..that is obstructing the FREEDOM OF THE PRESS. That is F**ked up. I hope we get to the bottom of this one. Good work anti D and jrh. I hope one of you saved it as a word doc etc….

Jim Christopher Founder of SOS Meetings in Los Angeles on blogtalkradio SAFE RECOVERY Tuesday January 29, 2013 4pm PST – 7pm EST

Call in to speak with the host

(818) 475-9211

Founder of SOS (secular oragnaizations for sobriety) Jim Christopher to be my guest.  SOS has over 1000 meetings  world wide for non religious people who want support in a group setting. A great place for atheists and those who do not like AA or NA.

Does AA & NA Bullying Contribute to Violence and Suicides While Breaking National Laws Against Vulnerable Adult Abuse?

dog and cat aaby illbefree

Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous are seen as the best places to turn to when one needs help with an alcohol or drug problem; but are they really? Many are questioning, whether these organizations deserve the positive images they have enjoyed for decades. Currently there are claims of abuse and adult bullying, law suits, sexual assault and harassment, financial exploitation and even murder cases attributed to participation in these twelve step-based programs. Few people realize that AA & NA members and sponsors have been accused of having driven many AA and NA newcomers, vulnerable adults and teens to attempt or succeed in committing suicide. While most people who turn to AA & NA have serious problems prior to going to these programs, AA & NA often result in making people’s issues far worse than they were initially.

The positive image most Americans have of AA and NA is unearned and misleading. This deceptive image warrants closer observation because society has come to depend so heavily upon these programs. Millions of American adults and teens are referred to these programs that consistently fail to actually help the majority of the people who go to them.  By implementing a cookie-cutter type approach, which sends everyone without distinction to AA & NA who has from the slightest ranging to the most severe problems with alcohol and/or drugs, our system, is guilty of being grossly irresponsible and in far too many situations, dangerous.

Unknown threats to physical, emotional, mental and financial safety lie in wait for vulnerable adults and minors who enter twelve step based programs. This is due to the alarming fact that people facing critical issues with alcohol and/or drugs are routinely sent to AA and NA without due diligence or evidence proving that these programs are helpful; or at least not harmful. Many well-intentioned, yet horribly unqualified and often troubled individuals are in AA and NA acting as sponsors (who unadvisedly often act as gurus, counselors, life coaches, advisors, therapists, etc.) to the many vulnerable adults who go to these programs for help with substance use and/or abuse. Mandated felons and criminals are often mixed in among the other AA and NA members. There are no background checks or safeguards in place which would identify what attendees among the members are of criminal intent, mental incompetence, violent nature, sexually deviant or are in some ways unscrupulous and abusive; but many are. Upon careful observation, AA and NA do not live up to their public image.

Are Alcoholics Anonymous Sponsors Out of Control? Good and Bad AA Sponsors. What Kind Did You Have? What Kind of Sponsor Were You?

  • AA sponsor pic

This is Chris Rock from the play “Mother F####ker With A Hat” , where  he plays an AA sponsor. I hear it’s a non pro AA play about 13 stepping. Now playing at The South Coast Repertory in Costa Mesa. I will let you know what I think after I see it. It is set to play in Los Angeles soon, but it’s already sold out.

I have been thinking about this subject ever since blogger “illbefree” arrived here and began posting. So here is my story in a nutshell.

My first sponsor was a very good person by the time I met her. Her name was Mary. She  was a big strong hawaiian woman who was the only person who confronted my 13 stepper asshole, way back in 1975. Yet, even she gave me bad advice a few times. Most of the time she loved me like her daughter. I was a teen. 🙂 There are many things she did that made me a better person. She surely made me laugh! But she made her mistakes too.

First off, one day we were sitting at CoCo’s on Kalakaua with Big Richard and Emile, my AA buddies who were both 20 years my senior. We were sipping on some hot Won Ton soup and coffee and it was a chilly balmy hawaiian evening after we went into Oahu Prison, where we went every Wed, bringing an AA meeting to convicted felons who were in there for life. I’m sure I said something stupid, because then Mary turned to me and

said … ” you are sick, sick, sick”. Now I was 19 and I snapped my head around and said ” What did you just say to me…..I didn’t join AA for people to call me names” …..Her face got very serious and she fell silent. Big Richard gave me that  look ….like  ..”WOW you got some balls kid”. So from then on, she treaded lightly.

…more  of the bad stuff.

She told me to marry my 1st husband, that it was me that was too afraid. She was wrong.  My instincts were right. So why didn’t I listen to them.

She told me that it was my fault when a korean mobster newcomer with 90 days ripped me off for $700. …all the money I had in the world. I should have know better. I wanted to punch her in the face…and I didn’t … but I had her on a pedastill. It was then she became human and was never again looked at as a saint. But I did have another older sponsor who at the same time told me to go after the guy and get my money back which I did.  Her name was Zoe. Thank God for Zoe. She told me to be sure and not to go to too many meetings. That was NOT HEALTHY…”go to the movies, go dancing on Saturday night with young people” she said. Now I see how different AA was then. No one was telling me to go to 90 meetings or even to go everyday.

Here’s some of the good stuff…many times on op the trolls gave me shit for why I stayed so long, but I never felt safe to post it there.

She told me to pusue being a singer, play guitar and take acting.

She supported me in moving to California to pursue my dreams.

She loved me like her own daughter. I seriously needed a mothers love. I never quite bonded with mine, although things are better 30 years later:)

Her whole hawaiian family embraced me and Harry loved me like a daughter.

When other AA women said catty shit about my figure she defended me and told them I worked hard for rock hard abs. Which I no longer have ! LOL I’ll post my real pic later from back then:)))))great abs

She kept trying to get me to go back to school. I was always too afraid until years later.

I know you know that I love to bash AA now, but I did have some good woman sponsors.

Maybe this is why I stayed so long. I even went  to AL ANON for a few years but I picked a sponsor who was an atheist.

In the end when I was uncovering the crap about AA , one of my sponsors,  actually suggested to me that I should sue AA. She also told me she never beleived in being powerless or even that she believed she was an alcoholic. She just wanted to quit drinking and she liked the ladies meetings. Again I was shocked. But this last AA sponsor was so kind and real and non AA like that I felt I needed to post about her. Although she was wrong with advice about my son I had the intuition to know that I didn’t believe in rehab for my kids. And I told her straight up, ” I don’t believe in rehab. Its bullshit” . She was very respectful of me and my opinion.

I  I think most people need professional help and not AA sponsors ….yet we read that even judges ask this question in some of the stories we have published on the blogs. Can you imagine if the judges knew how nuts some of these sponsors are?

Now, recently we have a blogger here who has had hideous and bullying sponsors. I know illbefree has done losts of telling here, but I thought it was an important part of why so MANY people are leaving AA today….and that it  is the cult and controlling aspect. The bully’s and the BS.

Now what kind of sponsor was I ?…I like to think I was different. A rebel with a cause.erin brockivich pic A woman who shared her own experience and really tried to stay away from giving advice. True or not, I hope that I helped more then I ever hurt…  LOL   I was a  woman who had a lot of great therapy and read tons of self help books.  A woman who did rage work and a woman who already thought alot of the literature was BS and outdated. I told sponsee’s about Fein Shui tips, meditations tips, therapy tips from my therapist, how body work was essential and exercise were so important to my sanity and happiness. Yet still if I look back I made a few mistakes too.:(

I once told a woman I couldn’t work with her because when she told me she didn’t believe in GOD. …I was at a loss for words. I knew nothing about other alternatives like Smart Recovery, Rational Recovery, Lifering, Women for Sobriety, Moderation, Hams Harm Reduction, or drink link moderation.  I always looked at this as a spiritual program” OMG… looking back I am so embarrassed by this . Thats truly how naive I was.  I feel good that I called these people and said Im sorry. And Not the AA  way. I could really see how crazy stepper I was. It was hard to take.  To see that perhaps I was in a cult for all those years. WOW!

So please illbefree and anyone else join in…. By the posts we see here and on other anti AA blogs.  I am beginning to think more and more this is a huge problem in AA right now. Back in the 70’s and 80’s sponsors were much more laid back and not so “I’m in Charge”!

I see this is bigger or equal to  the the sexual predation problem. What do you think?

Strange, but true stories from the cult of Alcoholics Anonymous, General Service Area 60 District 44 Swiftwater PA – Toilet arrest


JR Harris's picture

Submitted by JR Harris on Fri, 01/25/2013 – 11:33

In a strange arrest sequence, Malinda Horninger of Swiftwater, Pa., on Dec. 16, 2008 called her Alcoholics Anonymous Sponsor, Roberta Bush (who is 72 years old) after an AA meeting in the Alcoholics Anonymous General Service Area 60 District 44 ( and said she had just relapsed on a pint of vodka. The victim Malinda Horninger was taken off the toilet in her home forcibly by the police with her pants down and handcuffed…

Cops Must Face Suit Over Alcoholic’s Toilet Scare

Friday, January 25, 2013Last Update: 10:02 AM PT

(CN) – A bipolar woman can advance claims that Pennsylvania police officers pulled her off the toilet and handcuffed her with her pants down, a federal judge ruled.
After attending a meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous, Malinda Horninger downed a pint of vodka at her home in Swiftwater, Pa., on Dec. 16, 2008.
Horninger’s sponsor, Roberta Bush, became concerned when her calls went unanswered. When Horninger didn’t answer her door either, Bush, who was 72 years old at the time, peeked through the window and saw Horninger unconscious on the couch.
Thining she was dead, Bush summoned police and paramedics from Pocono Township.
Officer Christopher Gupko later said he was already en route to Horninger’s home before receiving the emergency call, as he believed she had keyed the car of her estranged husband, Kevin Young.
Horninger finally woke up when the emergency personnel entered her home. Bush then allegedly accompanied Horninger to the bathroom, but Gupko barged in just as Horninger was trying to urinate in the toilet.
Horninger said Gupko smashing the door into Bush’s back and pulled Horninger off the toilet while her pants were down.
Gupko then allegedly handcuffed Horninger, kneed her in the rear and legs, raised her handcuffed arms behind her back, slammed her onto a stretcher, and brought her to jail.
Horninger sued Gupko, Pocono Township, Police Chief Chester Staples and several anonymous officers in December 2010, ultimately substituting Sgt. Shawn Goucher and Officer John Manuel for the Doe defendants in January 2012.
U.S. District Judge Edwin Kosik last week refused to grant the defendants summary judgment or let them strike exhibits that Horninger had filed in opposition of their motion.
Horninger can advance claims of excessive force, negligence, failure to intervene, and assault, and Pocono Township will remain a defendant, according to the ruling. “After reviewing the record, we find that there are genuine issues of material fact in regards to these claims, and as such, summary judgment will not be granted on these claims,” Kosik wrote.
Horninger did not fare as well, however, with federal and state conspiracy claims.
“Though there are questions of material fact surrounding plaintiff’s underlying constitutional violations, there is nothing in the record to suggest an agreement between the defendants to violate plaintiff’s rights in furtherance of a conspiracy,” Kosik wrote.
A claim for emotional distress claim also failed.
“While plaintiff did describe the medical treatment she received in her deposition testimony, she has failed to provide or cite to any evidence in the record that would be considered competent medical evidence (i.e. doctor’s report, expert report, etc.),” Kosik wrote (parentheses in original).
The judge refused to grant the defendants qualified immunity.
“The use of force by defendant Gupko on the night in question may be found to be excessive under the objective standards of reasonableness,” the 14-page opinion states. “As such, defendants cannot be granted qualified immunity on these grounds.”


Robert Zemeckis Addiction Documentary from 2000

dr marc kernSomehow I get the feeling that Director of FLIGHT, Robert Zemeckis which stars actor Denzel Washington has not had a chance to read the, or my site here.  I know that he will be interested in what we are doing. So I guess I have a phone call to make 🙂 It just doesn’t make any sense why anyone would promote AA so blatantly in a big A film in 2012.  I am shocked by how many people think AA meetings are run by trained professional facilitators. There is NO SUCH THING happening in an AA meeting.



robert zemeckis pic


Tom Horvath President of Smart Recovery and Practical Recovery on Blog Talk Radio SAFE RECOVERY Tuesday @ 3:30 pm PST 6:30 EST

tom horvath pic 2

Live one hour show with Tom Horvath. President of free non 12 step support groups and President on non 12 step treatment in San Diego Practical Recovery…a great options that DOES NOT INCLUDE being bused to AA meetings.

Call in 818-475-9211

chat live

sex, drugs choco book cover pic Petition for Karla Brada and Kristine and Suandra Cass just Sent TO President Obama

karla pic

Well, it was a long day. Me, Jaro and Hector ( Karla’s parents)  spent all day putting together the petition, a letter explaining what is going on in AA/NA and its culture and how women are being raped and murdered.  We all were so tired, but this is the beginning.

Pictures of Karla, A great letter written by a fellow blogger ill be free was used with a few added touches as well as input from blogger Sally…much appreciation from you both!!!

Personal hand written letter from Karla’s mom was added and the petition as well. You can still sign it. Each week we will work on sending it out to every US Senator.

This is also for Kristine and Saundra Cass

kristine and saundra pic

Next we will send the petition and letter to all the Senators in the USA. Oh yea , we also sent one to Governor Jerry Brown, First Lady Michelle Obama, Joe and Jill Biden.

This is the beginning of our educating our higher folks in government. 1.2 Billion was spent in alcohol and drug education. I think we need a non profit so we can help more people harmed by AA.

Stop Courts from Sending Violent Criminals to Alcoholics Anonymous Meetings.