How many steps are there? Twelve, right? Wrong. There are Thirteen. “Thirteenth-stepping” is a euphemistic term used among members of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) to refer to people (particularly men) who target new, more vulnerable members (typically women) for dates or sex. Previous research suggests that women frequently experience sexual harassment in 12 step meetings. Just the fact the term “thirteenth-stepping” exists, serves as a warning. Since thousands of convicted felons are mandated by the US courts to AA, this warning must be heeded.
The following is a partial list of requirements for sex offenders in the court system:
1. Attend all ordered treatment sessions. This includes individual and group counseling, educational sessions, and other treatment as directed. Unexcused missed treatment sessions will result in a sanction.
2. Do not make threats towards other participants or staff or behave in a violent manner. Violent or inappropriate behavior will not be tolerated and will be reported to the Court. This behavior may result in a sanction or termination from the Mental Health Court program.
3. Attend all scheduled Mental Health Court sessions. You must attend all court sessions as scheduled by the Mental Health Court probation officer.
4. As a participant, you will be expected to dress appropriately for court. Clothing bearing violence, sexual, drug, or alcohol related themes is inappropriate. Sleeveless shirts and body piercing other than earrings will not be allowed in court. Sunglasses are not to be worn in court unless medically approved.
5. You are required to attend AA or NA meetings on the weekends, Saturday and Sunday, and must have a card signed at these meetings for attendance by the designated person at the meeting. You must stay for the entire meeting.
Since there is no accountability in a 12 step meeting as participants are required to remain anonymous, the answer to the question is unequivocally…NO. Not only are you not safe in a 12 step meeting but neither is your wife, husband, daughter, son, sister, brother, friend, co-worker nor anyone else. You could very well be sitting next to someone who has been convicted of rape and is mandated to your 12 step meeting as part of their parole. You could very likely be holding hands with someone who has violently raped a child while reciting the Lord’s Prayer….the central prayer of Christianity. The Twelve Steps are based on Christianity, and as an anonymous religion, one would think that the steppers would want to protect their flock. Unfortunately, since anyone can and is mandated to attend 12 step meetings, you are never safe in your meeting. In fact, a 12 step meeting is a dream come true for a sex offender…It’s like a gift from the court for these extremely mentally ill individuals to stalk people in a meeting where no one knows their criminal past. You are sharing deeply personal information in your meeting and sexual predators will play on your weaknesses in order to inspire trust. They will then steal money from you, lie and manipulate you to do their bidding, rape you, your daughter, your son, and take anything they can take from you before moving on to their next victim.
Skeptical? Here are three recent examples:
1) In 2011, Charles Doucette was on parole from seven life sentences, imposed in 1991 for the killing of Raymond Bufalino of Salem, MA and two home invasions while he was awaiting trial in the murder. He was released in 2007 and was mandated to attend Alcoholics Anonymous meetings. In fact, he met his girlfriend in an AA meeting, Melissa Markus, who accused him of dragging her alongside his truck and threatening to put a bullet in her head during an argument outside Doucette’s home on the afternoon of Feb. 14, 2011. The prosecution argued that, given his criminal history and two past instances when Doucette allegedly struck her during their two-year relationship, Markus had reason to fear for her safety. Upset that the girlfriend he met in Alcoholics Anonymous was drinking again, Doucette took back the key she had to his home and moved out her belongings, Markus testified. While they argued outside his house, she claimed he threatened her and then, while she was standing beside the driver’s side window of his truck, he “dragged” her alongside as he drove away. Happy Valentines Day.
3) The following case has been going on since August of 2011. On August 31, 2011 Karla Brada of Santa Clarita, CA, was allegedly murdered by her boyfriend. Eric Earle, 40, has been charged with the death of fellow AA member and girlfriend (the two met in AA).Deputies responded to a 911 call from the residence of Earle and Karla Brada. The caller was Eric Allen Earle allegedly claiming he had found her unresponsive in the morning.
She was pronounced dead at the scene by county Fire Department paramedics.
A sheriff’s detective described Brada’s death as “suspicious” and said domestic violence may have been a factor. Neighbors said the couple fought often and that sheriff’s deputies were a frequent fixture at their home.
Earle’s Facebook page paints the picture of a man battling addiction with the help of Brada. The two attended Alcoholics Anonymous meetings together and got a dog together, according to his recent Facebook activity. His Facebook page has been deleted.
Alcoholics Anonymous World Services and Santa Clarita Alcoholics Anonymous has been sued by the parents of murder victim Karla Brada.
Grieving parents (Mendez), say in court that their daughter was murdered by her sociopathic addict boyfriend because Alcoholics Anonymous concealed his history of domestic violence.
“The Mendezes say that AA showed a “reckless disregard for, and deliberate indifference … to the safety and security of victims attending AA meetings who are repeatedly preyed on at these meetings by financial, violent, and sexual predators like Earle.” AA has known for years that meetings “are repeatedly used by financial, sexual, and violent predators as a means to locate victims,” according to the lawsuit in Superior Court. This case is pending.