I was over on The Fix reading the story about Karla Brada’s murder http://www.thefix.com/content/aa-fault-murder-one-its-members and the suing by her courageous parents, Hector and Jaro Mendez to AA in NY. I noticed one line that this writer said about how AA was nothing more then a simple “support group” and they were completely unorganized and their little groups are not connected to NY Main World Headquarters. The article mentions me and how my ideas about safety are….well…you can read it and see what you think. But some of the stuff kinda pisses me off.
“I reached out to a group called International Lawyers in Alcoholics Anonymous (ILAA) inquiring into the validity of such a case filed against AA. Patrick Reily, ILAA’s treasurer, got back to me and said, “Now that certainly presents some practical problems. How do you get service on an unincorporated association that has no structure?”
I find it interesting that a lawyer does not even know how highly organized AA is. From it’s very top in NYC where they rent an entire floor at the Interfaith Building on Riverside Drive, in Manhattan to the connecting links of the Pacific Regional (includes 9 states and 13 regions) AA Service Assemblies held every year, to each area, then District, then Meetings where each group that has GSR ( General Service Rep) connects the groups and brings the money back to NY GSO ( AA Headquarters) where they pay Phyllis Haliday some $350,000 a year, to be their General Service Manager. This is all public information and all 501c3’s are required to post their tax returns on the internet and be public. You should see their hefty retirement packages. Lets see what AA in NY is doing with your quarters and dollars that you send in. How are they using those funds to help other “alcoholics”. They aren’t. FYI 50 % of their donations do not even come from their members, which is a violation of their 501c3 status. Its comes from selling books and literature to non AA entities.
Once you are a treasurer and in ” the system” AA will send you letters asking you for money. Soliciting groups all the way across the country, all the way into my home asking me and my group for money. So yes, they run AA. New York AA runs that big machine in NYC and I know the people there. I Knew one person very well that ran AA NY for 10 years.
Its sad that even, nice intelligent AA members think the groups run AA. The whole upside down triangle stuff …is nonsense. That’s because they read those traditions at every meeting and the preamble that brainwashes you, telling you to believe something that is not so. That is a joke.
Even NAWS (Narcotics Anonymous) six years ago changed their service structure, because a woman was raped by a man who answered one of their hotlines. They realized that something needed to change. They began a series of workshops to address sexual, violent, predatory behavior in NA. They called it ” The Atmosphere of Recovery)”. Well good for them. NA has more updated literature. The NA Blue Book was published in 1981 not 1939. NA stopped saying the LORDS PRAYER…good for them. But their motives were not really about being more inclusive or secular. Their motives were so that the courts could send people there and NA would seem less religious then AA.
I sat in a Marriott Banquet Hall, in Woodland Hills, Ca when I was still a koolaid drinking AA old-timer, for a birthday dinner for an old NA friend, with their entire board. One Board member laughed as she explained this to me. They ( The NA Board) fully recognized and decided without the approval of the entire “Fellowship” through a vote from the “Group Conscience” that the NA BOARD ran NA. Not the groups or fellowship. At least NA is honest enough with themselves to know that not enough groups have GSR’s and even if they did, the majority do not have their shit together enough to have a real business meeting and a vote on a single opinion including Court coercion.
I do think that if their was a group conscience taken in AA/NA today about Court mandating, both with DUI’s of innocent civilians and the court ordering of violent and sex offenders, I would bet that the fellowship would vote a big fat NO to any court ordering and would agree that it is a violation of the 3 rd Tradition. That is one of the things about AA that works, is when someone is ready and attends AA on their own…simply…they are ready to stop or change. Because they are motivated from within. But even when people are motivated from within, sometimes AA /NA don’t work, because they need medication, they need trauma work, they need a real therapist, they need other things…not 12 steps steeped deeply in a religious cult created by Frank Buchman. ( The Oxford Movement) which AA and NA are both based upon.
The KKK has tried this tactic and lost in court many times with the SOUTHERN POVERTY LAW FIRM fighting to stop hate crimes by White supremacists groups.
The Church has tried this tactic many times with hundreds of years of coverups. But as we have seen with the Church, The KKK, and The Boys Scouts…the day came when they were sued and lost and had to pay the millions to victims harms. That day will come when children’s rights, women’s rights, LGBT rights and just simple AA/NA members who have been sexually harassed, raped, ripped off, gaslighted, given bad Medical advice, children molested, etc…will get their day in court, fight and win with money damages, and to force the Courts, Judges , AA and NA to end court coercion and force AA and NA to create Safety Polices, practices and workshops to make 12 step meetings and their culture safer.
If they do not . They will be gone forever like the Washingtonians … and I mean GONE. Because AA is very involved with the DOJ, COURTS, Prison System, Probation and everywhere else. SO…what destroyed the Washingtonians will also kill AA/NA.
The whole thing with extorting Commerical airline Pilots to a type of AA that no one would tolerate in the regular world makes my skin shiver. The HIMS program was created in the 1970’s http://www.himsprogram.com/Content/Treatment
AA and its relationships with The Courts http://www.aa.org/assets/en_US/mg-05_coopwithcourt.pdf
(Im sorry for my long posts but I fractured my ankle. I’m in a cast and foot up and housebound. Thank goodness for Netflix, Blogging, On Demand Movies, TV and thank GOD I am also reading a great book. “WILD” by Cheryl Strayed.