67 Comments

The 12 Step Cult Religion Punishes For Relapse

As you loyal and enlightened readers know, there has been a great surge in views on my blog in the last couple of days.  While the stats are flying through the roof, I have had to deactivate my Facebook account to fend off all the abuse and threats from brainwashed steppers.  They truly are sicker than sick.

Of all the comments that have come in recently, the one below is one you will not want to miss.  While this dangerous cult claims that relapse is part of the process, when it happens, they then punish the member for relapsing.  They provide nothing but a diabolical self-fulfilling prophesy smothered in fear of “selfishness,” and when a member is at their most vulnerable, they punish and abandon them in their greatest time of need.

Mr. Scott Wasserman is in need.  Rather than let his comment and my response stay as they are, it is my intent to help Scott by asking you to take a moment to rally around him.  We can do the opposite of what his “fellowship” is doing, by writing him a quick note of support, or a tweet/retweet of this post, or a pingback, or a share on Facebook or whatever strikes your fancy.   We can simply help, rather than vilify and punish.

Below is his comment and my response followed by the link to their location for you to add to the discussion.  The best way for us to beat this cult is to support when they abandon.  Thank you in advance for any assistance.

— Laura Tompkins

Original Comment:

“Although I will not down AA as it has taught me a lot about myself, I agree with many of the statements made. I recently relapsed my own sobriety after 8.5 years. I held certain offices within AA that you’re immediately stripped of due to a relapse. This ties into the feeling of self-esteem that this article speaks of. It really rockets your self-esteem to another dimension when the time you accrued goes back to one day.

As a business owner from before I got sober originally, I’ve always had an underlying belief that in AA we are treated like children if we mess up. Crushing the ego is (according to AA) the only way out. Although I don’t believe one has to be an egomaniac to succeed in business, a little bit helps.

I do believe in a power greater than myself. That said, I don’t feel it controls my life as others do. If anything, it may have hurt me at times. I do now consider myself spiritual but question the dynamics and mixed messages behind it.

I do now believe in taking responsibility for my actions as any upstanding citizen should. I also feel that helping others should be a part of my life. I DON’T believe that we should shame people for not doing “the work” the way it was laid out if they relapse.

I was one of those people. Now that I relapsed, knowing I’ve done the work I’m starting to wake up to the fact that there are other ways to remain sober.

This book was written in 1939. At the time, and to a point today it has helped thousands of people.

I also feel it has hurt many people and should be kept in the list as an option for sobriety.”

My response:

“Hi Scott! Thank you so much for taking the time to comment. This is just about the saddest comment I have seen, and there has been plenty sadness from which to choose. Those people who have played the role of your AA fellowship family have abandoned you in your time of great need. That much is clear.

You are in shock from the looks and feel of it. They claim that “relapse is part of the process” and then punish and neglect and shame you for being part of that process. You learned a lot in spite of the 12 step cult but you were forced to believe that you would not have learned anything without it. They strip you of your power so that you will give it all to the programme. Then, when you struggle, they throw you out like trash. It’s the ultimate bait and switch gas-lighting abusive cult religion.

You are not a person with a big ego that needs to be “smashed!” That never applied to you, not for one single second. You gave almost 9 years of your life to this cult and what did you get for it when you really needed their help? Shame. Rejection. Abandonment.

You see, there is no actual help available in the 12 step cult other than hanging out with people who supposedly know you because they are just like you. Truth is, most of these people are avoiding taking responsibility for their lives and their “powerlessness” is the great excuse for never pursuing their dreams. That’s not you. They allowed you to become a delegate, work for them for free, travel on your own dime, cart around “AA Approved” literature in your car, buy bad cookies, make bad coffee, sweep up cigarette butts… all under the lies of defeating your “personality shortcomings,” “ego,” and “character defects.” All of which now define who and what you are every day for the rest of your life. This is the opposite of genuine help. Again, that’s not you.

It’s been proven over and over in actual studies that the all-or-nothing of the 12 step cult PROMOTES relapse and subsequent bingeing. It’s the great self-fulfilling prophesy of “Well, I’ve lost all my time, I might as well just go for it now!” There is nothing helpful about being stripped of all your power only to be told you are nothing without the AA god and meetings for the rest of your life. The subterfuge is then couched in “suggestions” which are really mandates lest you end up in three, and ONLY three, places: Jail, and Institution, or Dead. Come on!

There was never a time when the book was helpful to anyone. Bill & Bob plagiarized the steps from the fundamental cult religion then known as the Oxford Group, changed to Moral Re-armament and is today known as Initiatives of Change. Now matter what they call it, it is a disempowering set of rules based on fear of “selfishness” and moral defects. It is outright religious indoctrination disguised as a “spiritual awakening.” It’s a “fake it till you make it” world where there is no “making it.” It’s all based on keeping you in fear so that you never leave and keep recruiting others to the fold. It’s the most brilliant cult of all time.

The confusion and sadness you are now experiencing is what happens from being deceived for a very long time. You don’t have to “down AA” to know that what you are feeling is a great sense of loss. They pretend to be your support group but when you need support the most, they shame and vilify you after you did all the “work.” Do not let anyone tell you that you have to start all over again!

If you enjoy the group setting and abstinence is your goal, you’d be far better off attending SMART meetings either in person or online. SMART trains their facilitators and conducts background checks on them. SMART also was developed by an actual psychologist on the evidence-based help available from Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). SMART EMPOWERS members and encourages them to move on with their lives. The 12 step cult religion shackles members to a life time of thought-control faith-healing meetings disguised as help.

The 12 step cult religion should come with WARNINGS. That most people do not know what you have just discovered is proof of the cultural brainwashing. Mostly, I am deeply sorry for your loss. They have let you down in a most profound way. You deserve far better treatment than this.

Here is a link to SMART Recovery:http://www.smartrecovery.org

Also, please know that you are in great company. The vast majority of people run from the 12 step cult within the first three months of exposure. That you stayed and tried so hard is evidence of your trusting nature and the love in your heart. Those who stay long in the 12 step cult are not deserving of such trust and love… and for that monumental loss, you can grieve now. Eventually, you will find your power, (it’s been there all along) and you will find a path that works far better.

Thank you again for trusting this forum with your newfound truths.”

The link to the blog post where you can help.  Scroll down to the bottom for his comment and my response.  THANK YOU!

https://12stepcultreligionexposed.wordpress.com/2014/11/17/alcoholics-anonymous-destroys-self-esteem/

67 comments on “The 12 Step Cult Religion Punishes For Relapse

  1. I can add that OA, a spinoff, apparently, of GA, has a much lower “success rate” than AA. I knew a few who claimed to find “recovery” in OA but it’s almost always short-lived. The groups vary but many are even more cult-like than AA.

    I recently went to a human rights conference where every single speaker stated that there is no one cure that works for everyone. There was only one person who was speaking of AA. None of us could figure out why he’d been invited. He said that AA is the ultimate…ugh. And even supported forcing people to go.

    After his talk I spoke with a few people and it seemed that the consensus was that no one could figure out why this guy was invited! And what his talk had to do with promoting human rights!

    • Thank you! What conference was this? Hilarious. He probably just showed up. They have no boundaries.

      • This was a human rights conference put on by a group that is against the use of force and coercion in medicine and psych. It’s called ISEPP. These are folks that truly want to change the system, or even abolish it. We are all against the Diagnostics and Statistic$ manual, Big Pharma’s right arm. My guess is that this particular presenter is a member of the group, and applied to do the presentation. Or possibly he was asked, and they didn’t realize what he would say! It was all quite incongruous with the intent of the group! Otherwise, he wouldn’t have been accepted to speak. One woman told me she almost didn’t show up because he was going to speak, but the other speakers were truly excellent.

        My own personal observation is that anything forced won’t work. I am quite dismayed that AA has co-opted with the State at this point. They’ve got parolees forced, and many court-commited to go. It is supposed to be voluntary, an option. And furthermore, it’s not the only one! isn’t the statistic something like over half choosing to stop alcohol completely on their own without AA?

        • Well, since those vast majority who make behavioral changes on their own are not reporting to anyone, we have few realiable statistics. You can be sure it’s very high. As you know, most people as they age and grow emotionally, make better choices as they accept more responsibility for their lives. Those who embrace the powerless BILLShit of the 12 step cult do not grow emotionally from the character defective. personality shortcomings, and moral inventories they are now doomed to repeat as mantras for the rest of their lives. Those who embrace the 12 step cult religion have a built-in life long excuse for never accomplishing anything of value with their lives. One, they are too “powerless” to stray very far from “the roomz,” and two, their cult membership is sold as the most important aspect of their entire lives. Mix that with the belief that you cannot trust your own ability to think for all eternity and you have the end of ambition.

          Even those who claim to choose the 12 step cult are forced to embrace nothing but lies about themselves and their “disease.” Not to mention a member of the 12 step cult is never allowed to move on with their lives. It might as well be called Hotel California. You can check in but you can never check out. The brainwashing keeps you in a constant state of fear of your “selfishness.” There is always a degree of force.

          It is nice to know there are conferences like that where people are actually not brainwashed into the 12 step cult dogma. Always nice to hear from you Juliet.

          • Thanks! We also had a MindFreedom conference at the same location the day before the ISEPP one started up. It was all about alternatives and the latest research on the variety of innovative things people are doing to keep people out of institutions and end coercion, brainwashing, forced drugging, and the prison system. Yes to Hotel California. Pick your doorway in there! Every one is one-way. Or revolving.

  2. WHERE is the OBJECTIVE PROOF that AA has helped even ONE FUCKING PERSON! The guy who wrote this needs INTENSE SHOCK TREATMENT to even get his “Deprogramming” from AA STARTED! He made too many “pro-AA” statements to believe that he is anywhere NEAR becoming “anti-AA”!

    • Electro-convulsive therapy (ECT) would certainly be safer than one more second declaring himself “powerless” to a bunch of abusive predators!

      He needs professional help but very slowly. They have shown their true colors and he was searching for answers online… and found my blog. Poor guy. We gotta go slowly here. The shock he’s experiencing is palpable in his expression. It’s just so sad.

      Anyway, Thank you for the laugh! To answer your question. NO. Not one single person. Keep coming back.

      • That better be nothing too much stronger than static electricity. Real electroshock “therapy” destroys people’s brains. As it is currently practiced, the amount of amps is about the same as getting struck by lightning! Two friends of mine recently won huge lawsuits against the doctors that did the EC”T” to them. And then, after they won, they were put on gag orders by the judge to protect the docs so they could keep on abusing. A bunch of us, I’d say several hundred (not sure of exact number), testified to the FDA about harms done by EC”T” and subsequent cover-up of these harms.

    • There is not any proof and there never will be. In fact 12 step groups domuch
      harm to the very people they “claim” to want to help.

      • Just because a very small group of tyrant ‘old-timers’ scream “it works if you work it” only means they have nothing else to do with their lives. Just because this small group gets their validation from bullying ‘sponcees’ only means they find their self-worth is in the toilet, and rather than work on why they hate themselves so, they gaslight others. This cult religion has hijacked the global culture into believing they are some volunteer self-help group when nothing could be further from the truth.

        They harm everyone who spends anytime “in the rooms” since they prevent sick people from getting any help that would actually help. Even hardcore prisoners (not all but most) can be rehabilitated with all kinds of therapies and interventions.

        The 12 step cult religion only serves to disempower people who need to find their self-worth. This cult only serves to blame and bully people when they continue to find relief for all their pain in the only way they’ve ever known to work… a mind-altering substance. Their are far better ways of helping but when you’ve got a damaged person who finds they can get away with never really making any changes in their lives, and can still be an important part of a group, you’ve only harmed them.

        Then there’s also a large group within the smaller group who LOVE to have many sponcees under the disguise of ‘helping’ them with their ‘disease’ … and you’ve got the perfect shit storm.

  3. So much for the “All you need to start your own AA meeting is a resentment and a coffee pot!” This AA slogan has been around for many years’, but is it true?

    Even AA apologists go against this slogan, when things go wrong and the police are called in to investigate and find things that “are just not right. At this point it is only an AA meeting if it is registered with the local AA Intergroup, AA District or AA main headquarters at the Interchurch Center in New York.

    Take a looks at what the AA “leaders” say when an AA meeting in Irving, Dallas County, Texas when 10 people are arrested for holding a non-sanctioned “fake rehab” with after discovering ‘medieval and barbaric’ rehab in October 2016. (I know, I know AA has no leaders).

    The ‘fake rehab” was discovered when a “client” was seen being chased down the street by the “leaders” where “Police said the 37 victims told them they were often beaten, tied to chairs and fed one package of ramen noodles a day.”

    The AA apologetic rule of looking at your part in “it” goes out the window and no affiliation to AA is admitted, even though they had a coffee pot and a resentment…..

  4. There are many links to this story and it is welly documented.

    Victims held captive in ‘medieval and barbaric’ conditions at …
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-nation/wp/2016/10/08/victims-held-captive-in-medieval-and-barbaric-conditions-at-apparent-rehab-facility-police-say/

    ‘Barbaric, Medieval’ Treatment at Two Alleged Rehab Facilities in …
    https://www.thefix.com/barbaric-medieval-treatment-two-alleged-rehab-facilities-texas-leads-10-arrests

    10 Arrested After Dozens Held Captive in Irving, Fort Worth Under .
    http://www.nbcdfw.com/news/local/10-Arrested-After-Dozens-Held-Captive-in-Irving-Fort-Worth-Under-Medieval-Barbaric-Conditions-396189571.html

    Fort Worth rehab facility was ‘medieval and barbaric,’ police say …
    http://www.star-telegram.com/news/local/community/fort-worth/article106399417.html

    Texas officers find dozens of people held captive in homes – Daily Mail
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3826025/Texas-officers-people-held-against-homes.html

    Police: ‘Barbaric’ conditions at Texas rehab facility lead to 10 arrests …
    http://www.chron.com/news/local/article/Police-find-dozens-living-in-medieval-and-9878576.php

    Police arrest 10 after discovering ‘medieval and barbaric’ rehab …
    http://www.dallasnews.com/news/crime/2016/10/05/irving-fort-worth-police-arrest-10-people-rehab-facilities-say-held-will

    Of course the AA Apologetic had to say something different—-

    Former patient dumbfounded by reports of ‘medieval and barbaric …
    http://www.dallasnews.com/news/crime/2016/10/06/neighbors-past-patient-dumbfounded-reports-surrounding-medieval-barbaric-north-texas-rehab-facilities

  5. Somehow this story stayed under the radar, but it is very welly reported on with actual names, dates, places and incidents. Here are the AA groups associated (loosely) who had this abusive rehab holding meetings under their noses. they claim they didn’t know or sanction any of it. So much for all you need to start an AA group is a coffee pot and a resentment. Who made the rule (which there aren’t supposed to be any) of who can start an AA group????

    AA Meetings – Fort Worth Central Office
    http://fortworthaa.org/?page_id=311

    Simply AA – DIA – Meetings
    https://www.aadallas.org/non_cms/meetings.php?iGroupID=166

    Key Words: Rehab, medieval,Barbaric, Utah, Fort Worth, Irving, Dallas, Texas AA meetings,. Ramen Noodles.and aggravated kidnapping, unlawful restraint

  6. I am unsure if the name of the AA group at the time off arrest was called “Volver a Nacer” which depending upon the translation used means “Born Twice.” While there are many details that seem confusing such as how much it costs and the number of people being held at the three facilities of:

    1100 block of North Union Bower Road in Irving. – 37 male patients, two bedrooms, one bathroom.

    2400 block of Penn Street in Irving – unsure of number of residents

    5000 block of Brentwood Stair Road in Fort Worth – 8 men 3 women

    The Grupo “Volver a Nacer” at the 1100 block of North Union Bower Road in Irving appears to be the worst overcrowded. AA meetings were held 4 times a day and were 2 hours long 7 days a week and fueled by a pack of ramen noodles. Full indoctrination was 2 months long and you weren’t allowed to work during that time. Residents reportedly paid $45 a week for the privilege of staying there. Original rent on the hous was reportedly in the $700 range at first for the people running it, but may have been dropped to $500 a month. Faculty was recruited from patients who had gone through the 2 month indoctrination period very reminiscent of the hiring of former “patients” in the troubled teen industry which has been plagued by abuse. Most people spoke Spanish and very little English so the translations may be slanted. regardless $45 a week for 8 weeks is $360 per “patient” and for 37 people that would be $13,320 a month revenue. On thing I did notice was that they did not appear to go to the Spanish Speaking AA website in Houston Texas which does have a Grupo “Volver a Nacer” listed for Houston which may or may not be affiliated in anyway.

    http://www.dallasnews.com/news/irving/2016/11/04/raid-on-overcrowded-irving-house-opens-window-on-tough-love-rehab-for-poor-addicts-1

    Reuniones: Volver a Nacer – oficina integrupal hispana de austin tx
    http://aaaustinhispano.org/index.php/reuniones/details/1/12/reuniones-volver-a-nacer

  7. 16-22547 Arrest Affidavits pursuant to the arrest of people running the “fake rehabs” in Irving and Fort Worth, Texas.

    Description: This is an affidavit filed by the Irving Police Department after the Oct. 4 arrest.

    https://www.scribd.com/document/329658471/16-22547-Arrest-Affidavits#

  8. i am not positive about Orange and am staying out of that for the time being. I believe it may have to do with a terminal case of do what I say, not what I do by people throwing temper tantrums,claiming that the links and documentation on the site that are all carefully cataloged and documented from original sources are somehow embellished. it does contain literary license on some opinions on reading the data, but facts can not be ignored and the people throwing temper tantrums are guilty of far worse who write things illegal under British common law that are full of AA slogans and AA apologetic rhetoric.. If you want any information from the site or the forum I can provide it if needed. I believe that the site and forum can be rebuilt to about 90%.

    With that being said did you see what happened outside an AA meeting in Belton Missouri on Valentines day 2017?

    Woman shot outside AA meeting in Belton | fox4kc.com
    http://fox4kc.com/2017/02/16/woman-shot-outside-aa-meeting-in-belton/

    “4 days ago … BELTON, Mo. — A man is charged in Cass County with the shooting of a woman at an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting on Valentine’s Day…”.

  9. The Belton, Missouri case of a woman being shot on Valentines Day 2017 is a good example of reminiscent of the pregnant woman who was shot in the head leaving picking up her husband at an AA meeting.

    Woman Shot in the Head After Fight Spills Out of AA Meeting | The Fix
    https://www.thefix.com/content/woman-shot-head-after-fight-breaks-out-aa-9235

    The AA Apologetic were all over this with comments like –

    “The shooting didn’t happen in the meeting it happened outside so AA had noting to do with it” – the only problem is that the fight started in the meeting and spilled out into the parking lot.

    “The woman was not shot in the head, the bullet went into her neck” – the only problem is what is the real difference? A few Inches?

    “AA meetings are safe and they have no idea how dangerous a person is” – the only problem is that the shooter was identified by his court slip he left at the podium and AA invites these people to their meetings.

    “The same thing could have happened in a grocery store” – this is actually true, but how many grocery stores do you know have “Correction Committees” that actively go to jails and prisons to invite prisoners to their store? How many grocery stores sign court slips? It is true that sometimes for community service or verification of employment the manger must sign a court slip? The only problem is that the AA attendee is more like a customer, not an employee of a grocery store.

    There are also reports that the woman was pregnant and lost her baby. the AA apologetic would try the “she probably would have lost it anyway.”

    In the Belton, Missouri incident it is unknown the actual circumstances how the woman was shot and they will come out in court records. There are conflicting reports that she was at the AA meeting or just standing outside. I could take literary license in saying that it was in a bad neighborhood due to the AA meeting place and the perpetrator who was arrested was drunk and fighting with someone over a gun when it went off who could have been an AA member because they are known to inhabit that area. I won’t because I don’t know until all of the details are in. Expect the AA apologetic to jump on this one since unfortunately we all know that shootings in public places have been in the news on most continents.and it could have been just that.

  10. As I believe you may have already seen on Facebook and other venues that debate through the use of slogans is rampant when dealing with people who believe (or have been brainwashed to believe) that AA saved their life.and the old AA attacks of:

    “AA has saved millions” – which the facts do not substantiate through mathematical analysis.

    “You’re drunk or stoned” – the old discrediting tactic of the various prohibition era’s worldwide.

    “You’re just a lonely person with no formal education” – something that is prevalent in all societies regardless of whatever training you have had dating back to Roman times. It is worthy to note that in old English times Knights, Earls, Princes, Princesses, Kings, Queens and royalty were often highly trained in the arts of language,philosophy, debate, mathematics, physics and history. Some of the more “barbaric” rulers were self taught which is an example of the Grupo “Volver a Nacer” debacle in Texas.

    The slogan attack in AA of “Take what you want and leave the rest” is also an anomaly that backfires many times. In the Grupo “Volver a Nacer” incident in Texas regarding kidnapping and unlawful detainment of AA “prospects” the members of that group appear to have been self taught and did exactly what the slogan says. It is worthy to note that the Texas incident was started by a person who had come to the US to pursue a Masters degree and had enlisted what appears to be less educated people to follow their customized AA (?) program. In the Texas case the participants were immersed in 24×7 propaganda with sub-par nourishment (one pack of ramen noodles a day and given beans and rice once a week if they were “good”). As can bee seen in the following report the pictures of the weekly pot of beans was not enough to feed 30 people.

    Irving Police Still Seek Answers Why Hispanic … – Dallas Observer
    http://www.dallasobserver.com/news/irving-police-still-seek-answers-why-hispanic-men-held-against-their-will-at-aa-meetings-8797019

    (Note: scroll down to the middle of the article to view a picture of the pot of beans)

    The slogan of “It’s Spiritual, not religious” does not appear to apply to the Texas incident and appears to be following “Take what you want and leave the rest” slogan.since there are many reports that the group was highly religious.

    The formation of Agnostic and Atheist groups in AA is one of the strangest applications of slogans. When you dig down deep into the literature of these groups they appear to be an offshoot and highly trained debating team to talk people into believing in a God which they call a “higher power” and they replace religion with spiritual.in what appears to be an attempt of an AA apologetic stance.

  11. The child like “playground” mentality of many AA meetings is evident by the stories that make the major (and semi-major) regional news outlets that we hear about. Are there more? We don’t know but one thing is very evident in that a strict format of “child like” slogans do not help.

    While it is claimed that there are “no rules” in AA, the facts show otherwise and the term “rules” is changed to “suggested” or “recommended” going along with the “take what you want and leave the rest” slogan. This unfortunately opens the door for abuse of AA members that people see in these stories. The “rules” of holding an AA meeting are reinforced constantly through the constant repetition of the AA Steps, AA Traditions and AA Promises along with Chapter 5 of the AA Big Book of “How It Works” which details how to go out and find new prospects in a very devious manner. AA meeting attendees are prompted to “share” stories which also reinforce these rules. the usual AA format is roughly 20 minutes of chanting mind controlling “rules” and the need to find new prospects.

    The childish hunting of prospects for AA meetings appear to be the cause of most of the major problems since it is pounded into the heads of those attending that they must search and find new prospects for AA to “work.” What happens when AA die hard members can not find a sufficient pool of people to work for? Of course they go to the worst neighborhoods and establishment (i.e. Jails, Prisons, Probation departments, court systems, etc…) the AA Slogan of “Only you can determine if you are an alcoholic or not” goes out the window and victims are targeted by people who have exhausted their pool of friends and neighbors.

    Here is a listing of the “suggested” or “recommended” “rules” of engagement in AA. Note while they are not exactly the same in every case they are very similar.

    A Suggested Format for Conducting an AA Meeting – AASF.org
    http://www.aasf.org/forms/SuggestedMeetingFormat.pdf

    A Suggested Format for Conducting an AA Meeting – Napa Valley AA
    http://www.aanapa.org/images/SuggestedMeetingFormat.pdf

    Suggested Open Meeting Format – Alcoholics Anonymous San Diego
    http://www.aasandiego.org/suggestedopenmeetingformat.pdf

    Sample Group Meeting Format # 1 – AA Sonoma County Intergroup …
    http://www.sonomacountyaa.org/resources/aa-meeting-resources/downloads/Sample_Group_Meeting_Format.doc

    I can’t help but notice that the top results for a search of “recommended format for aa meeting” are all in California, the same state where the infamous cult of Jim Jones and the Peoples Temple also went to the US court system and was given prospects. I believe that the AA slogan of “there are no coincidences” could be applied here, but AA members will vehemently deny this is true.

  12. Alcoholics Anonymous even publishes “suggestions” (i.e. which appear to be rules in my opinion) on how to run AA beginners meetings and talk them into spouting slogans also.

    MU-1 – Suggestions for Leading Beginners Meetings
    http://www.aa.org/assets/en_US/aa-group-life/mu-1-suggestions-for-leading-beginners-meetings

  13. Interestingly, AA GSO (i.e. general Service Organization) at the Interchurch Center in NYC has just published “suggestions” on how to provide safety in AA meetings on 1/25/2017.

    SMF-209 – Safety and AA: Our Common Welfare
    http://www.aa.org/assets/en_US/smf-209_en.pdf

    This is a new pamphlet that I do not believe has ever been published before. It may be a little late and it appears to actually be protecting the reputation of AA and not the attendants. It does show a few sources that have been previously reported on, but I do have to wonder why the pamphlet is being published now and why it is not referred to more in the major AA subgroups.

    • They are only concerned with their reputation NOT with the safety of disciple “alcoholics.’ Their lawyers must have forced them to write this. They still leave it all up to the individual groups and deflect responsibility. Disgusting.

      • Yes. It is very obvious that AA is only trying to protect the organization, and not the individuals. If you notice the first thing they do is quote TRADITION #1 which claims the most important thing to protect is the organization. Then they try a very feeble attempt at claiming that the individual comes in a close second, but they never really say how..

        ““Each member of Alcoholics Anonymous is but a small part of a great whole. A.A. must continue to live or most of us will surely die. Hence our common welfare comes first. But individual welfare follows close afterward.”
        —Tradition One (Long Form)

        It kind of goes along with the fact that if you relapse, you are to be shunned and not working the program right.

    • I was e-mailed a copy of the pamphlet care of MONICA RICHARDSON (producer of the film, “The 13th Step”). She was one of the agitators behind pressuring AAWS into addressing this “safety” issue. I mailed the copy of the pamphlet that I was sent to the local “Intergroup” (in San Bernardino County, CA). I have yet to hear it read. I doubt it will be-given that the “local meeting” has ALL the control in the “message” of AA Steppism!

  14. Example of how AA meetings are protected in Marblehead, MA 1/25/2017 – atleast they did call the police and have him trespassed, but as noted – no one wished to press charges.

    “A report of a disturbance at 12:18 p.m. Tuesday on Anderson Street. Multiple callers reported an out of control man. One caller reported the man assaulted someone and that “people had him pinned to the ground.” The caller reported the man entered the AA meeting acting erratically. The person was taken voluntary to the hospital and was trespassed from the property. No one wanted to press charges at the time.”

    Source:http://www.itemlive.com/news/police-log-1-26-2017/

  15. Drug Court Addiction 12-Step Blues
    https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/drug-court-addiction-12-step-blues

    This is an older article on VICE by Bert Burykill (pseudonym”. Is is still true today?

    “At my rehab intake interview, I was honest about my drug abuse over the years, and the counselor said I was no doubt an addict. His main reasons were that I started in my young teens and abused hallucinogens throughout high school. Truthfully, though, anyone who said they smoked weed a couple times a week, or even drank to get drunk on the weekends (a.k.a. BINGE DRINKING!), was an addict according to the standard assessment test.”

  16. Standard Assessment test….. hmmmm

    Standard Treatment……. hmmmm

    90 AA meetings in 90 days and a life long commitment to AA meetings where you confess your sins in front of strangers every week. So much for leaving a dark past behind you. I remember taking a part time job once for extra money, a girl no more than 25 sat next to me at lunch and the first think out of her mouth was “Hi, my name is XXXXX and I’m an alcoholic!” It wasn’t so much that she said it, but it was the way she said it. This information wasn’t asked for and she had this big smile on her face reminiscent of “I am special and a chosen one!”

    Obviously she was taught this in Rehab and AA and it was completely uncalled for. What other ‘disease” do you meet people and tell them this right off…

  17. I think that the worst example of punishing for “relapse” or “not following the simple program” was that of Reverend Jim Jones of the Peoples Temple, The Branch Davidians and Synanon which all started as a 12 Step program and drug rehab/alcohol rehab program and all ended up as being banned in many countries.

    My Experience with Jim Jones and Peoples Temple – Alternative ..
    http://jonestown.sdsu.edu/?page_id=30265

    Transition of Leadership in Peoples Temple, the Branch Davidians …
    http://jonestown.sdsu.edu/?page_id=40176

    I Am a Cultist, Two Times Over – Alternative Considerations of …
    http://jonestown.sdsu.edu/?page_id=67567

    As can be seen by these stories, all of them wished to grow their congregation at any cost, unfortunately with dire consequences to those participants which were ensnared in the brainwashing schemes. It should be noted that they were all discovered when people tried to leave and were brought back by these groups.

    Most AA groups also wish to grow their meetings at all costs, hence they go to jails, prisons and mental institutions to bring them back and when they try to leave they invariably send 12 Step calls to bring them back.

  18. SYNANON started by the AA member Charles (Chuck) Dederich (who turned into a kind of “circuit speaker”) in Santa Monica, California not only punished for relapse, but started out by punishing the addicts with cold turkey followed by a process called “The Game” where all members were encouraged to demean and ridicule all other members.

    “By 1955, Dederich was a stumbling drunk, homeless and helpless, living on the beach in Santa Monica, California. A fellow alkie convinced him to give Alcoholics Anonymous a shot, and the organization saved Dederich’s life. Not only did AA give Dederich the tools to stop drinking, it gave him a calling. Dedrich took to AA with manic dedication: Before long he was leading meetings all over town, inspiring countless drunks, and gathering a following that hung on his every word. But Dederich found a basic flaw with the 12-Step program that had saved his life: They wouldn’t take junkies.”

    “Once the harrowing detox was finished, the real work of Synanon could begin. The main method of treatment at the center was called “The Game.” A freewheeling, confrontational group therapy session, The Game was “played” by relentlessly picking apart the weaknesses and failings of the other players. Viciousness was encouraged, and groups would gang up on one individual until he or she was reduced to tears, and then move on to the next victim.”

    The Shocking Story of SYNANON: Drug Rehab Cult of the Damned
    http://www.blumhouse.com/2017/01/25/the-shocking-story-of-synanon-drug-rehab-cult-of-the-damned/

    • My half-sister, who died tragically during a seizure in the bath, was sent to Synanon as a kid. She was never the same after that, living on the streets, in parks and the beach, in the Santa Barbara area. She died at 57 years old. The 12 step cult religion continued to fail her as she got older. She would try to go and get so disgusted, she would drink and drug herself into blackout after blackout.

      A victim of a system that abuses the most vulnerable people into an early grave. She never stood a chance.

  19. I am surprised that the “founder” if this pathetic cult was not MURDERED.as he well should have been!

  20. SYNANON appears to be the catalyst of what I would call (or so-called) “Therapeutic Mental Torture of Addicts.” At one time it was considered the “miracle on the beach” and it was the start of the troubled teen industry starting the “Florida organization called The Seed” in 1971 and “Straight Inc. was cofounded by Mel Sembler” in Florida in 1976. When you look deep into each program you find that A.A. was a definite influence on them and the punishment for relapse (and even going to the programs) were “similar to the highly refined brainwashing techniques employed by the North Koreans.”

    “First Lady Nancy Reagan declared it her favorite antidrug program.” (referring to Straight, Inc) which was an offshoot to SYNANON.

    The Cult That Spawned the Tough-Love Teen Industry
    http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2007/08/cult-spawned-tough-love-teen-industry

    One of the foremost authorities on the subject is Paul Morantz who successfully sued SYNANON and a murder attempt was made on his life for doing so.

    http://www.paulmorantz.com/tag/synanon/

  21. There have been “other” movies which portray what I call the teen torture for fun and profit industry (commonly called the Troubled Teen Industry) and one in particular points to its birth in Florida in the Tampa Bay Area portraying the “KIDS of North Jersey” a troubled teen (torture camp) that is very reminiscent of SYNANON tactics.

    Virgil Miller Newton (aka Father Cassian Newton) was the national director of Straight, Inc. in the early 1980’s in St. Petersburg Florida. In the mid 1980’s he expanded his own abusive terror camp in North Jersey (which has been shut down and successfully sued for 4.5 million dollars). Nick Gaglia who was a victim of this torture along with his sister produced a movie called “Over the GW” about it along with another movie called “Aaron Bacon” about another troubled teen camp that eventually led to the death of the victim.

    Here is the youtube channel with all of the particulars-

  22. Movies are expensive to produce and very labor intensive. When you look at the progression of exposing the trouble that 12 Step has caused throughout its history it has evolved into roughly these step TODAY.

    1. Websites spring up exposing problems.
    2. Books are written on the subject exposing the problems in different groups
    3. Youtube Videos are produced on the subject of 12 Step problems.
    4. Someone takes the lead from these videos and makes a movie about it using average to good equipment and editing.
    5. Material about these 12 Step atrocities are marketed through all major internet outlets and may even be talked about on TV and Radio talk shows.

    Unfortunately the first movie (film) about SYNANON was produced by Columbia Pictures in 1965 with a well known star cast including Chuck Connors as Ben. At the time (1965) the internet was not graphics based with youtube not even being around until 2006. There were internet chat groups available, but not welly read. At the time of the SYNANON film (1965) it was actually an advertisement of what I would call “this is what fixes alcoholics and addicts.” While there may have been small pockets of exposing the problems, they did not have the global reach and audience that is available today. At the time of the SYNANON film, it played in major movie theaters and had newspaper and magazine reviews and that was it. At the time the movie was released there were none of the following to speak of.

    1. Fast internet connections (300-1200 baud dial up systems were the norm)
    2. Bulletin Board Systems (BBS, dial up connection 200-1200 baud)
    3. Graphics capabilities (the internet was text based and computers terminals were also).
    4. Book stores did not have the distribution they have today and were mostly independently owned (not major outlets)

    Because of these reasons I believe that this is why the punishments given out by SYNANON have not had the exposure that other dangerous groups have today. Another reason could be that once people escaped, they don’t ever want to go back and are afraid to talk about it (try to stay under the radar).

  23. Public awareness is the key to exposing the problems with 12 Step and the “punishment for relapse” that it causes. At the time of SYNANON which was started by a charismatic “wannabe” AA circuit speaker there are not many direct links to AA except a few references to the fact that he spoke at many AA meetings. Most people would pass by these statements and think nothing of it. The reason for this is that the members of “the organization that does not govern” (i.e. AA,NA, 12 Step) are trying to govern what is released and hit the major news media available at the time against their “traditions.” In the case of SYNANON in 1965 it was precluded by the following “news” stories about AA in the printed news outlets available at the time (making it hard to make a connection from SYNANON to AA) –

    1. Alcoholics and God – The Liberty Magazine Article – September 1939
    2. Early Cleveland Plain Dealer Stories – Cleveland Plain Dealer Articles – October & November 1939
    3. Science Column – Newsweek Magazine – February 1940
    4. Medicine Column – Time Magazine – February 1940
    5. Alcoholics Anonymous – Newsweek – February 1940
    6. Ex-Drunkards Unite Here – Philadelphia Record – April 1940
    7. Charming Is The Word For Alcoholics – Liberty Magazine Article – 1940
    8. Alcoholics Anonymous – Scribners Commentator – January 1941
    9. Jack Alexander’s Article – The Saturday Evening Post – March 1941
    10. Alcoholics Take Steps……….. – Current Digest – April 1941
    11. Laymen and Alcoholics – Harper’s Magazine – September 1941
    12. Alcoholics Hold Cleveland Dinner – The Christian Century – October 1941
    13. Reformed Drinkers – America – December 1941

    Read the rest: http://www.a-1associates.com/aa/Magazines.htm

    You will find that there were many articles praising AA/12 Step. People didn’t know and if they did make a correlation of SYNANON to AA, they would pass it by as a “good” thing. The first AA critical news article did not show up until 1963 in Harpers Magazine, but people had had the propaganda of how great AA was by many articles. They had nothing to research about the problems.

    Criticism of AA, 1963 Harpers Magazine – Silkworth.net
    http://silkworth.net/aahistory/harpers_mag1963.html

  24. It was not until readily available computers and Internet access made the scene that activism by the victims of troubled teen camps and self help groups started to be closed down. Perhaps the most well known incident was Elan School in Poland, Maine.

    Through http://www.fornits.com/phpbb/in the victims of and other troubled teen camps started cataloging the atrocities they endured and people are still enduring. Another outlet was https://www.reddit.com/r/AMA/comments/2xofqe/i_am_a_survivor_of_the_%C3%A9lan_school_an_abusive/ this all happened in the 2000-2017 time frame and is still ongoing. To a major extent the Yahoo news groups in the same time frame were used to expose the problems in AA but are now very rarely used and mostly unread because they are mostly text based and I expect them to be shuttered eventually (but I may be wrong).

    In the last 10-15 years advances in computers, internet and digital photography are being used increasingly for activism to do something about these problems. With the proliferation of smart phones that can access the internet and built in cameras the use of the internet and digital media is within the means of most of the population and is now being used to combat police brutality in some areas.

    Increasingly, Internet Activism Helps Shutter Abusive ‘Troubled Teen’ Boot Camps
    By Maia Szalavitz @maiaszApril 05, 2011
    http://healthland.time.com/2011/04/05/increasingly-internet-activism-helps-shutter-abusive-troubled-teen-boot-camps/

    • My only trouble with Maia is she is a 12 step Apologist, even with all the evidence. That brainwashing is quite powerful! Of course, she gets more interviews that way and if she just admitted the harm done, her publishing world would be far smaller. I get it but… it’s not very admirable.

      • In my observation a 12 Step apologist is someone that has had the “WE AGNOSTICS” chapter of the AA Big Book implanted in their brain and claim to be an atheist that has found a “higher power” in AA (complete contradiction in reality). They tow the AA “GOD” mantra and the “AA is spiritual, not religious”, “AA saved my life” and “AA has saved million” lines following that chapter. Under scrutiny they still practice the AA religion that they claim is not a religion. While they may try to not mention the word “GOD” in their services it is only an illusion made to fool people. In reality they are AA “sleeper cells” waiting explain the “AA is spiritual, not religious” upon unsuspecting victims.

        You have to remember that AA was born during the WWII era and there were many “spies” sent into opposing countries who sat and waited for a chance to sway peoples minds using this technique. Why do you suppose the AA minions helped Bill Wilson to make so-called atheist groups? Is Mia one? I don’t really know, I know of her because of the troubled teen industry and the damage it has done which I have studied extensively.

        I may have missed something, but in the article I linked it shows the progression of SYNANON started by an AA member into the various offshoots of mind control camps for children. i haven’t really researched Mia’s AA affiliation, but then again I wasn’t looking for it.

        i have identified two distinct groups in atheists in AA comprising of practicing AA chanting atheists and practicing non chanting AA atheists (i.e. the sleeper cell). They all have the same agenda, to attempt to prove AA is “spiritual, not religious” and find converts.

        “Remember that we deal with alcohol-cunning, baffling, powerful! Without help it is too much for us. But there is One who has all power-That One is God. May you find Him now!” (Big Book, p. 58)

        • In this particular article, Maia’s not apologizing no. She and I have had discussions and she is forever indebted to the cult no matter how much evidence she uncovers. I get it. She needs to sell her books. But her (admitted) anecdotal evidence should not be included in an article exposing the truth. Here’s one such article.
          https://psmag.com/what-i-ve-finally-concluded-about-12-step-programs-after-25-years-writing-about-drugs-and-addiction-d0ec78253cb#.p6zbtih51

          • Now that you mention it, I do see the AA apologetic traces of “this is not AA” it is an anomaly and not all groups are this way attitude and I am exposing the “problems” of some groups mentality. In my opinion this attitude is more dangerous and more representative of the “try another AA group” defense.

            There are actually many incidents of this mentality, but with the exception of Dick B. very few books are nationally and internationally sold on the subject (with the exception of a few very small printings from other AA apologetic members). Like I said, I never really researched what she wrote about AA, just the Troubled Teen Industry. There are a few websites such as AACultwatch which have there own websites and twitter feeds and AAGSOwatch on the silkworth site. They do note the “problem groups in AA” but I view it as a type of “first strike” attempt to say we are watching and that isn’t AA for appearances. They are definitely sleeper cells. These groups look more toward the “back to basics” AA mentality where they attempt to steer people more toward the AA Big Book and AA attendance because it “worked for them.”

            Ray Smith thoughts on Agnostics in AA (who has passed away and was one of the Anti-AA pioneers in recent times)
            http://www.dangerthinice.org/ray_smith_thoughts_on_agnostics.htm

            • I was friends with Ray. Miss him so much.

              Yes, she tiptoes around her love for the cult by minimizing the truth based on the “we do not govern” lie and the “outside issues” meme. Either way, it’s a subterfuge by design to keep any criticism at bay.

  25. WWASP (World Wide Association of Specialty Programs and Schools) which started the troubled teen industry for fun and profit globally has been exposed by http://wwaspsurvivors.com/ and as the name implies, it is run by the survivors of teens who has interventions done on them and shipped off to these camps. The first camp exposed was Tranquility Bay in Jamaica which was closed in 2006. The next camp exposed was Paradise Cove in Samoa which was closed by the government there. Slowly the focus has been on US based mental and physical torture camps. It is important that these sites are out there because any parent researching these camps or the managers (i.e. directors) associated with these camps will be exposed.

  26. Oops.. Tranquility Bay in Jamaica which was closed in 2009….

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