Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Most other meetings have a "chip chick" or a "chip chico" who gives the new 24 hour people a Keep Coming Back chip, they give a red chip for 30 days, a gold chip for 60 days, a green chip for 90 days, a blue chip for 6 months, a purple chip for 9 months, and a metal medallion for 1 year, 18 months, 2 years, etc.
Oh, and a hug.
These meetings are geared towards the Newcomer.
The new people get to share 1st, but are asked to not talk about their drug of choice or how much they used because we've all used to excess... That's exactly what they say and how they say it. Then the 30 day people get to share, then 60, 90, 6 month, 9 month, 1 year, 18 month, etc. Then they say "Just for today!" Then more ((((((((hugs))))))))) and claps and cheers. (the hugs only appear to be uneven. One-armed-Louie had an incident to his left arm at a bar one night... bars are rough down here in Southern Colorado)
Then ... did I say they read the Daily reflections and Courage to Change? Then the chairperson says, "Does anyone have a topic?"
Then I whisper, "Chair the fucking meeting."
Then it's 6:35 pm.
Then they pass the basket, and the meeting goes on till 6:55 and they have someone read the promises and we close with the Lord's Prayer and at the end, they all say, "Work work work."
So, that's good for the newcomer how?
They are telling you that this program does not work.
They are telling you that they are less than they are.
And they are not responsible for their lives.
That anything that happens to them is because they are recovering, and they have no responsibility.
RIP, Frank McK from Denver Colorado
Saturday, June 20, 2009
Sorry about it. I was ticked and I wasn't too nice. I should be ashamed.
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
I'm not an expert of any sort and do not proclaim to have anything special, except that I'm sober and free of alcohol today and I take no mind altering drugs. That's a Miracle in itself.
I did not rationalize my way into recovery and if you have any problems with the terms alcohol, alcoholism, recovered, God, physical craving, craving, allergy, spiritual malady, not a religion, not a sect, not a denomimation, not a political affiliation, hard drinker, not cured, not a disease, not a cult, etc., then this blog is not for you.
I don't debate. It's a waste of time. I'm not going to change your mind and you're not going to change my mind.
If you like what I do, which is hard to see over the WWW btw, then try what I've done. If you don't, then don't. Pretty simple deal.
I try to be open-minded, truthful, helpful, and humorous. I'm not perfect at any of these goals by any means. I've even been known to learn something and been willing to consider something outside of my own knowledge and/or experience. But with which I speak, I have a bunch of experience in this stuff and something's working for me. If it wasn't, I wouldn't be wasting so much time with this and wouldn't be so passionate about it.
I am really trying to be helpful in all that I say and do. Sometimes my writing style doesn't come off that way. If you get offensive and attack me, I'll get offensive and attack you back... 10 fold. And that works for me. Agree with me, then tell me why. It does me good to know that something worked for you and how you did it. We like to repeat success. really, we do.
I think this should be asked of every new person prior to coming to the meeting... and be asked to have an open mind to your first step.
Am I an alcoholic? Well am I? How do I find out?
One good way is to go back into my own experience. Look at how I drank booze. Not so much looking at the drama or outer circumstances, but how was it with me and booze? How was it when I tried to control my drinking? Why did I feel the need to control my drinking? How was I when I was abruptly separated from booze once I had a good drunk started?
Ultimately, could I control the amount once I started, and/or, could I stay stopped for something like a year on my own power. When I read pages 30, 31, 32, 33, etc... I start to understand why I might just be an alcoholic.
It's also good to know what an alcoholic isn't. What is a hard drinker? What is a moderate drinker? A teetotaler? Can a hard drinker cross the line and become a real alky? Well, evidently yes. And once an alky, always an alky. But not just anybody can get drunk and become an alcoholic. It's complicated, but it just doesn't work that way. Alcoholism is a very selective malady and tests have been done to support this "theory" if you will. I like what a book Under the Influence says about the matter. But I don't like the doc's plan for recovery.
That's all we need, is another plan, right?
But I was given the dignity to find out for myself whether I was an alky or not. I was not forced, coerced, rushed, etc. into AA. I was given the dignity to come to my own conclusion and act accordingly. At one point, my group had to watch me fight recovery and go out and drink again. As the book say, alcohol is the Great Persuader. For it finally and once again "beat me into a state of reasonableness."
When I came back in, they said I looked whipped. They said I was quiet, scared, and didn't seem to have a plan. For me, that was the start of my first step. But I was given the gift of "being open to my first step" and follow the path of consideration.
To partake in a spiritual excercise, you have to start with a question, not an answer.
It was not necessary that I drink again because for one thing, that's dangerous for a guy like me. I could have died or killed people. But... I got in fear and refused to deal with it. Another plan is to see how well you stay sober on your own power. If neither that nor trying some controlled drinking doesn't work, you're probably an alcoholic.
Coming to the realization that you're an alcoholic should be a scary one. It was for me. For, left to my own devices, I will drink again. And for me to drink again means
So this idea of a God personal to me becomes pretty believable. That's how the 1st step shakes out for me. It's not just the 1st step as listed on the Step Scroll or on page 60. It's everything from Title Page, preface, forwards, Dr's Opinion, Bill's Story, There is a Solution, More about Alcoholism, and a paragraph on We Agnostics... other known as the Bedevilments... "We were having problems with personal relationships..."
And if you'll notice, the first 8 pages of Bill's Story is his drunkalog. You can ask yourself "How did I drink, think and feel like Bill?" Pages 9-16 was what he did to recover.
Up to page 23 or so... that's the physical "craving of booze" when it's in my body. From right after that to about page 43, that's the mental obsession or when alcohol is not in my body, but in my mind; the mental obsession. Then the bedevilments on page 52 talk to me about the spiritual malady, or my life without God, whether I'm sober or not.
Step 1, for me it didn't happen over night.
From my experience, Step 2 is where you go immediately after a Step 1 experience.
For the alcoholic, there's but one choice; God or booze.
We become very open about the idea of a God that's personal to us, One we can tap into and experience, once we come to terms with our experience and perhaps future with booze, and our willingness to "become willing" to consider our own conception of God.
The book tells us where our "conception" of God is... deep down within ourselves is the "fundamental idea of God".
AA does not corner the market on God. There are many paths. It is said that AA doesn't even corner the market to sobriety. But it's the most successful solution to recover drunks on the planet. It's not the only show in town. It's just the best show in town.
Some people go to church and perhaps get it there. Church is wonderful for some. In fact, the book says that you should stay active in any religious denominations that we are accustomed to or were attending. The religous view of AA is that it should not interfere with any prior or current affiliations whatsoever. AA does not exclude Christians, Muslems, Judaism, Hinduism, etc. AA is just not allied with any particular one. AA is for alcoholics who want to recover. The problem with religion for an alcoholic like me is the fact that... at the end of the day, when they stub their toe, they don't drink. I drink.
So no matter what, I stay plugged into AA. It's that simple for me.
Booze drives me to God. And it's not a fun trip.
So we all know from the book and the step scrolls on some of the walls at meetings that Step 3 is about making a decision.
Some like to further break it down into the fact that it's only a decision and is followed up by writing inventory as outlined by Step 4.
It consists of a prayer... with a warning at the end of it!
But what about this decision and what does it imply? Why should it be considered first and taken seriously? Why can it be so difficult?I believe that it's because the decision implies... that dreaded "R" word... Responsibility! But once taken, you're on your way to recovery and maturity.
I was given the awesome gift of responsibility the last time I came in from my last drunk. The group said, "It's up to you, bud. Either you're gonna do this stuff or you're not." I felt relieved of the truth in that statement. It was up to me. There wasn't any sponsor who was gonna have to put the bottle down for me. Nor was there a sponsor who was gonna do the steps for me.
In AA, we eat our own spiritual food.
Unless, of course, you write a 4 column inventory. Then you can go to page 67 too. PP 67-70 for fear and sex. Yes, sex is on page 69! But not so in the 1st edition and maybe the 2nd edition. I can't remember about the 2nd Edition. Second edition too!
I write a 3 column inventory and I focus a whole bunch on the 3rd column.
I start with a Resentment inventory, then a fear inventory, then a sex-harms done to others- inventory.
Start on top of a page of a spiral notebook and I like to leave the left page for columns 1 and 2 and the right page for column 3, and I start the top of the page with "God, I pray Truth flows from this pen" or something like that. Oh, and before we write, we review steps 1, 2, and 3; maybe even get on your knees and say the 3rd Step prayer.
The 1st column is which person, institution or Principle with which we are burned up, with whom we have a grudge, or with whom hurt, threatened or interfered with us. Start heading with , "I am resentful at..."
The 2nd column is what they did to us. Be honest and be specific. Start heading with "The cause..."
The 3rd column; Start heading with "Affects my..."
Self Esteem- I am... start the sentence off with I am... the Engineer, etc.
Security- I need... start the sentence off with I need... power, respect, compensation, etc.
Ambition- I want... start the sentence off with I want... praise, adulation, prestige, etc.
Personal Relations- men (how men treat other men or how women treat other women, etc.
Sex Relations- women (how women treat men or how men treat women ......different than the 12 and 12, but this is how we do it [keep in mind there are 3 inventories here. Sex isn't about sex here; it's about how gender relates to the resentment]
Pocketbook- what is money? Often, money is about power and control, etc.
I don't write about pride. I know that Joe and Charlie did. But what do I care about how others view me? That gets taken care of in Self Esteem.
We always write the 3rd column from the positive too. We are writing from how we behave and think when we're playing God. Keep that 2nd column dribble out of the 3rd column.
This is how I write inventory and I do like the 12 and 12's description of our God-given instincts and how we need them to survive, but us alkies demand way more than our share of them and step on other's toes.
So in just writing these 3 columns, we don't conclude. When you write a 4th column, you conclude and then your ego just runs and hides. You can't fool or trick your ego this way. And we can't fight or kill our ego. I hear this is a bad mistake. We can, from time to time, smash our ego though. So what we do is let the wound lay open and fester. When we share this in our 5th step, the 4th column comes out. We see, once we talk with our mouths to another person and God, this inventory. We see, in broad daylight, how we've harmed another.
It's very fortunate if you see more than a few truths in your whole inventory. Some say it's like peeling back the layers of an onion. I agree with this. If God let us see all of our defects of character all in one shot, I think our heads would explode.
When I'm 5th stepping this and my advisor mentions things that I didn't see or identifies harm I caused, I jot that down for my 8th step list and take it to my 6th and 7th step to ask God to remove them.
Anyway, thoughts? What's your experience?
I hear a guy say taking inventory is like performing surgery on yourself or like a guided trip to Hell. The process don't seem that bad when you're in it, but there's always something in me that fights it.
Oh, when you're done writing for the day, close it up with a prayer or meditate on the line "In God's protection and care with complete abandon". Don't go out into the world raw and expect the world to tolerate your bad behavior just because you're writing inventory. Don't cause new inventory, in other words.
But it's been my experience that when I'm writing inventory, my resentments come flying at me. It's a trip.
When I see that I'm wrapping up that dreaded inventory, I call my 5th step partner or spiritual advisor and arrange a place, a date, and a time.
I show up with my inventory and before we begin (keep in mind, you may be on the other side of the 5th step some day ) we review steps 1, 2, and 3 first.
My most profound 1st step experience ever came when I went over to Dr Death's home to 5th step. The first thing he did with me when I asked him to take me through the steps was to ask me to write a piece of inventory. Just one piece.
So I brought it to him and he showed me how to write the columns. Then when I went to 5th step with him, he looked at my inventory and sent me home. He said, "This is your life and death here. This is sloppy. Get this dribble out of your 3rd column and put it back in the 2nd column where it belongs. Is it ok to write about my self and God? Sure. Get it down on paper. Don't judge your work. So after I'd gone back home and finished it, got a ruler out and made straight lines and wrote neatly, I was done. So I went back to his home to 5th step. He said, "I don't know you. Tell me about your drinking." So I told him about my drinking. He said, "That's it?" So I dug down deep and just started talking about everytime I drank and got drunk from back when I was 10 years old to the present. I was shook up and about to explode. He looked at me and said, "Do you now believe that God can do for you .... what you cannot and take you further in every area of your life?" I said "Yes!" We then proceeded on to the 3rd step prayer. Then he said, "Read."
I shared my inventory with him and he shared some stuff with me too. When we were done, he said "Watch the road." I said, "What?" He said "Seriously, be careful driving home and watch the road. Go home and take the book down off the shelf and do what it says to do. Then go and meditate what you've done. Consider the 1st 5 proposals..."
Oh, I'm sorry! I said a recent experience! Well, most all of my inventories have gone that way. On this last one, when I was reading resentments against my brother, I literally got up and started pacing the floor, any my advisor said, "Sit down and settle down." I was feelin' it. I always love the way I feel when I finish 5th stepping. Unless I'd been sent home to rewrite the thing, I know that I'm lined up to finish the other steps; 6,7,8,9, and even 10. Then once I start 9, I can start on 10 and 11. Oops. Getting ahead of myself.
Whenever I baulk on any of these steps, a wonderful tool has been given to me; ask yourself if doing this step is harder than drinking down a bottle of Bourbon? Then I get to thinking, it's not that bad. If you feel like you might be sharing something with someone that will harm or affect them, don't do it. Find someone who's had your experience and gotten past it with God's help. If you go to enough speaker meetings, surely you'll find that person.
Admittedly, the BB doesn't say a bunch about Step 6.
Looking back at my experience with this step, I believe it's where I followed instructions and literally put the book on a shelf somewhere, which I never do normally, then take it down and contemplate the first 5 proposals and see how my work is so far. Are the stones properly in place? Have I mixed mortar without sand? I understand that to be... one part problem (my 1st step) with one part solution (God), then the foundation... my past experience and why I came to AA... my bottom and surrender, if you will, and willingness to believe that God can and will for me, the Cornerstone... which I believe is this willingness, the 3rd step decision or Keystone, for we're building a triumphant Arch to which we pass to Freedom...
I believe the 12x12 talks about how this is the step that separates the Men from the Boys.
So I've looked at things that perhaps I'm unwilling to give up. I've put smoking and chewing Copenhagen in there. I've been anger in there... Then I arise with willingness to ask God to remove them...Pray for the willingness... I'm not real big on that? Anybody got experience with that?
Looking back at my last experience with this 6th Step, I think it's vital to really look at this right after your 5th step review and 1 hour quiet time.
It is right in that moment that we "thank God from the bottom of our heart that we know him better"... because we have just given witness to some chunks of truth about ourself. And as they say, God is Truth. But some of these truths about ourselves or things that were blocking us from God are or would seem to be pretty easy to ask God to take away. Some may not be. So... this is the time to get honest and maybe consider the possibility that we DON'T want some defect of character removed. Willingness is followed by action. So... willingness without action "is fantasy." Gee, that makes sense.
So you can pray for the willingness, but you'd better have your shoes on at that point and be ready to take the next step... which would be 7.
__________Yoda says, "Don't try, do!" He also says, "In 300 yards, right you must bear."
any quotes or paraphrases are from BB 1st Edition.
But why humbly?
For me, this is merely aligning ourselves properly with God.
And what do we do in the 7th Step? We ask. Not beg or plead. It's a simple spiritual act; to just ask. Ask means verbalize. It's sort of like expressing an intent to the Universe, to God. Or from Todd Michael's The Twelve Conditions Of A Miracle, "III. Asking. Clarify your true needs. If you don't clearly put your request into words, the universe won't even know to respond."
So ask. Then of course, there's this prayer. It ends with , "Amen."
No "Amen" after the 3rd Step Prayer.
I sometimes transfer the names onto 3x5 cards and stack them in order of how I'll do them and get rid of the card when I'm done. You can put the harm done and also jot down what you might offer as retribution as well. But be willing to let them tell you what that retribution is as well.
For example, I tore part of a nice hotel to pieces in a drunken rage.
The next day when I bonded out of jail and walked back to the hotel, I hit the ATM and got $100.00 out and walked up to the front desk and asked for the manager. The manager came up and I introduced myself as the person who went hog-wild the night before in a drunken rage, explained that although I didn't remember most of it, I was there to do what I had to do to set right the wrong and handed her the $100.00 and asked if I could settle up the rest of the damages at $100.00 / month until it was paid off.
She said, "Well thank you. We'll work with you on this. But first, I need to tell you that you're never welcome here again." I agreed. Then she went and wrote up a paper for me to sign that said that I'd pay the balance of about $800.00 until it was paid off and that I'd leave my credit card number in case I ever fell behind of the payments. From mine and others' recollection of what all I did that night, this was a deal!
So again, I jumped ahead a step! I do that sometimes. But I say that to say this; come with an intent to set right the wrong. Sometimes it comes in handy. Hopefully, you have something back in your 4th column or to the right of your 3rd column to get clear on the harm.
Do them. Get all of them done.
When I'm in amends, my spiritual advisors and fellow AA members ask me one thing when they see me; "Done with your amends yet?" Bstards.
But... it feels good to get em' done.
I agree with other experiences in here. Sometimes there's a lot of grace. But don't count on it. But if it's there, don't look a gift horse in the mouth.
Once the amend is done, shut up and walk away. Let them chill. Clean off your side of the street. Be brief, be brilliant, be gone.
Don't ever bring up their part. If they bring up their part and ask for my forgiveness, I've always let by-gones be by-gones. If they forgive me, I figure it's icing on the cake.
I state why I'm there and say something about doing this to stay sober, I state the harm I've done and am direct and specific about it (get clear on the harm beforehand!), then I ask "Do you need to tell me how this has harmed you?" or "Would you add anything here?", then I say that I want to set right the wrong... maybe give them something I would do to set right the wrong, depends on the circumstance.
In one with an ex-girlfriend, she accused me of owing her $1200.00. I didn't think it was fair, but agreed to pay it back, arranging the best deal. Years later, she came to me and made amends. At the end, she reiterated that she thought we were square monitarily. I didn't bring it up. I just told her to go well and stay in AA and stay sober. (In God's world this is possible) The Universe probably recompensated me in some way.
But to mess up an amend is no fun. Don't share a trivial feeling with the person. I did this with my mom once and caused more harm. Lesson learned.
This time through the work, I made a huge mistake. I have someone I work with and hate or at least dread being around. He's rude, petty, doesn't clean the toilet after himself, smokes cigars, burps over the phone when talking to customers, and he's a dork. Well, I thought since I hate him so much, I just won't write about him and not get resentful. Two years later, we took each other's inventory. He started it. He emailed certain people in the company all of my faults. I emailed back and did 3 times as much inventory about him, and sent it to "Staff". That's everybody in our company.
We didn't talk for about a week, but my boss came out to Colorado to settle the air. We eventually had a company meeting over Christmas break and the 1st agenda was he and I communicating.
I started the amend of with this line, "Well so-n-so, you probably hate me, but..." Then we had it out and made amends to each other. But his wife works there too, so my amend to her was even bigger. She said that once he and I fought, I stopped saying "Hello" and "Good bye" to her and she missed that.
If there's a way to screw these up, I'll find it.
I just got back from a spiritual retreat and we had a workshop on the thing. To just go through and read the step from "This thought brings us to Step 10," to "But we must go further and that means more action."
I love the 10th Step promises btw. We so rarely hear them in meetings. In fact, most meetings I go to in southern Colorado don't even cover the 10th step and beyond. Unless I go to my home group meeting and another group or 3 that our group inspired. At most meetings they like to talk about graditude, fear, the newcomer, sponsorship, and how wonderful things are now that I stopped drinking.
Let me just tell you all how I really feel. I need to stop holding back.
All I know for sure is that I need to do steps and God removes the obsession from my mind. Step 10 helps keep the pipe clear.
Well anyways, in this workshop, we talked about our experience in the 10th step. It's a lot to digest. There's a bunch of stuff in there. Some talked about working with one specific thing for a while.
For example; work on "turn". Let's say you're at work and sitting in your chair. You've drifted of into "selfishness, dishonesty, resentment, and fear". When these crop up... We ask...
But at one point, down the paragraph, it says we resolutely turn our thoughts... This guy proposed that he's sitting in a chair and he literally turns his chair, gets up, shifts his consciousness to ... someone he can help.
There's all kinds of neat stuff in there you can practice.
I like to have 10th step buddies. Guys I call here and there and they call me here and there and we rap about our day.
I'm finding that I need the practice of the 10th Step to have something to review in the "When we retire at night" in the 11th step. How can you constructively review your day if you don't remember $#!#? You can't.
The 10th Step helps me with awareness.
... and throughout the day...
I love this step. If I had to be stuck on a step the whole year, this would be the one.
Sometimes, I do something with vigor, but it eventually loses its salt. Then stop doing it. The 11th Step gives me permission to go out and try some stuff!
Read a good book like Castaneda or Tolle or Deepak Chopra or Fox or Todd Michael or the Big Big Book or Jung, or etc.
We do other things like Centering Prayer or Buddha Meditation or Yoga or Mentations or... I once went to a 75-rock sweat with a Lakota Medicine Man... I thought I was gonna die! When I didn't, I thought it was wonderful and that I should do it again! Maybe someday...
But even the Christians of the last 2000 years have found different ways to worship. Worship, as Rick Warren (author of The Purpose Driven Life) points out, can be brought down to the otherwise mundane and rote processes of life. Bring God in, wherever you are. Do things for and with God. Why not? Why wait till morning or when we retire at night to fellowship with God? God wants to be our friend! Imagine that? For some it might be singing, dancing, cooking, knitting, doing volunteer work, working with others, yes-12th step work, etc. Just get outta yer head!
We get to practice this stuff. I'll tell you this; if you've tried this stuff you should know what I'm talking about. If you haven't, give it a try and find something that clicks with you and gets you out of your head and into the world.
Is this a sufficient substitute to booze? Heck ya!
Those rascals who wrote the big book hid a bunch of wonderful directions on how to work with others in the Big Book! Pages 89 to 103! Aren't I a smart-@$$? Beats being a dumb @$$ I guess.
But seriously. There are clear cut directions in there and they rarely get talked about in meetings. I think back in the good old days, the new comer was taken and properly 12 stepped, did steps and then they got to attend the meetings. Sounds pretty hard core. But then I wonder what the content of their meetings were? Actual factual experience? Wow! No wonder they had the high recovery rate.
I am an analytical guy and I like to take things apart and find out what makes them tick. This is why I have a hard time with God. But I've asked many in AA about this and I believe there are two distinct things we are looking at here;
Pitching new comers or meeting with people who think they might have a drinking problem and if so, help them get to meetings.
Once a person is in, regardless of how long they've been sober, showing them how to do steps or how you did steps or doing the steps together
So, I've noticed some are really good at doing both and either or. Some work really well with newcomers and some work really well with long-term sobriety.
Have you ever seen someone who's got a long time sober, but not a clue how to work steps? It's hard because they think they know something and are entitled to something. They won't move and you can't teach them nothing. Unfortunately, some of them drink. We had one that did, after 20 years, he came back in teachable, and has been sober and on fire ever since.
Is this crazy or what?
Some people do a lot of service work. Some are big on the 3 legacies of AA and some just love working with new people. We used to clean ashtrays, but ... that's in the past! Coffee. My favorite person! The coffee maker. It's a great job. GSR, PI, CPC, Grapevine, archieves... it's all about carrying the message to the alcoholic. [We used to say, come see the 5% do the 98% of the work!]And the BB isn't shy to suggest that it takes a little insurance out on ourselves and separates us from that next drink just a little bit. Oh, and support your group! Go to the Group Consciences/Business Meetings! Is your group and/or meeting the best in town? If not, make it that way! Don't just sit back and 8!$ch.
Door greeter! We have a person now who's a door greeter at a Thursday Night meeting I go to. It's cool. Little stuff like this goes a long way.
In my group, we're not big on sponsorship. Unless you're new and haven't been through a set of steps. Then ask. Work with somebody. But I don't have a "sponsor". I've done 6 sets of steps in the last 5 years. I'll sponsor you if you'd like. But sponsor? Why do I need a sponsor? The group is my sponsor. In any case, I'm responsible for my own sobriety and I must do steps and eat my own spiritual food. The group will know if I'm messed up or not. They'll yank my covers, and they do! We go to lunch on Friday.
We go somewhere that the food and service is good and we have lunch together. It's sort of and excercise in "Practice these principles in all our affairs." We learn to commit, to socialize, to break bread together and be grateful.
It's better to give than to receive. I believe this crazy paradox. Here's your chance.
Then what do you suggest? Nothing? Oh, well then great. If A.A. does disband, then you'll all really be screwed because this is what you'll have to say...
Right! Nothing! You offer nothing. No hope. No awareness. No intelligence. No spirit. You all are the Gingers of Recovery Soul.
Meanwhile, while y'all are bashing A.A., I'm gonna be firing off beauties of recovery experience like the following;
Stay tuned for a trip through the steps by The McGowdog.
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
No, you aren’t close. I try not to spend my time trying to speak rationally to, or debating with those who have been brainwashed by the AA scriptures, because arguing religion is fruitless. I will answer this question, because it is simple.
AA is not a benign organization. AA harms many, many people – both alcoholics and their families. AA wrecks people’s lives. AA did not fail me, although I have seen it fail so many others; and, not just fail, but cause them irreparable, permanent harm. It also causes society a great amount of harm. We just want to create some awareness. That’s it.
You either don’t understand this or you won’t admit to it because you are brainwashed by this cult. You really aren’t the audience we are playing to here, although we welcome your input. We are really gearing this to those who been harmed by AA, and those who are considering AA.
Judging from the number of hits, and the feedback we have received, it seems to be working well with our target audience.
And then further we see;
M A, on June 8th, 2009 at 8:42 am Said:
I checked it out, but will have to go back to read the rest of his comments. Reading what McGowdog writes is like looking at the sun: I can only do it for short periods at time before I turn my head away. You know that really bad feeling of empathy for someone who makes an ass of themselves in public? That is how I feel when I read what that poor bastard writes. No doubt his AA buddies read it and think, “shut up, already; you are making us look bad”.
I... make A.A. look bad? And you make it look like a bed of roses? Really?
Tell us how you really feel about A.A., would ya M.A.?
AA is f%#$ing enormous. If the treatment industry were a microcosm of the whole country, AA would fill the niche Christianity fills. And like Christianity, which has a mighty sense of entitlement to assert itself and influence every facet of society – public schools, court rooms, the Constitution, people’s private lives – AA/12-step has a similar sense of entitlement within the treatment industry. And it is also treated by the treatment industry with the same… Idunno… unquestioning, kid-glove indulgence that Christianity enjoys. In general, people treat Christianity with respect, even if they don’t believe it. It’s kind of funny how rational people, or people who are not Christians, will so rarely – in the arena of public discourse – call bullshit on someone’s religion, even when their opponent’s religious belief is at the very root of their demented approach to public policy.
Nobody wants to stand up and lambaste AA anymore than anyone wants to get on prime-time news and tell Christians that their religion is ridiculous and that it has no place in government (unless you’re Christopher Hitchens). If you do that, you become the immoral, godless crank, and the uproar is enormous. How long do you think it will be before our country is ready to elect an atheist President? As it stands, we just don’t take anyone seriously unless they have faith in some in strange, random, unprovable, supernatural event – among many random, strange things they could possibly believe.
In the treatment industry, public criticism of AA and 12-Step programs is rare, and for the same reasons. It is always very delicately couched – AA is just a given; it’s conventional wisdom, mainstream. I wonder how many times Ann Landers, for instance, has suggested AA to her readers, without knowing anything more about it than that AA is what drunks are supposed to do. The treatment industry is bloated with AA, and this is a horrible result. AA is a “miracle;” it’s a belief system; it’s a spiritual program. But it is not addiction treatment, anymore than Intelligent Design is science.
In order for science to consider Intelligent Design seriously, even just to engage in a debate with ID’s proponents, science itself would have to abandon its rigorous standards; the conversation would require that science actually redefine terminology in order to find some common ground for discussion. This has already happened with AA. The treatment industry takes the utter unaccountability of AA seriously. Terms like “spiritual disease” are rarely questioned. And the result of this has been disastrous for so many people.
Further, AA’s unaccountability and lack of responsibility for what actually happens in AA meetings, and the treatment industry’s dependence on, and unquestioning acceptance of AA, has generated some awful AA gestalt, which is like the gray goo. People are not being treated for their addictions in AA; they’re either becoming part of the goo or getting run over by it. As MA pointed out, we’ve seen the damage it does to people — its epidemic.
Compared to the giant machine AA has for support, and the doe-eyed acceptance it receives in general, and the millions of members and meetings, we’re really small potatoes. AA is not the underdog; it’s the Gold Standard. AA enjoys a place at the head of the grown-ups’ table, while its critics are viewed as the turds in the punchbowl.
But when we criticize AA, hold it up to the light of day, the response we receive from AAs is so interesting. You’d think they were being persecuted. An enormous institution with this much influence (yes, I know AAs deny this) should be immune from criticism? Can’t handle a little ankle biting? They do not welcome the muckrakers? They have no interest in doing a fearless moral inventory, rooting out abuses and ineffective elements, in evolving? No desire for accountability? Why? Why are the members who question what goes on in meetings told to take the cotton out of their ears? No checks and balances? No standards? Critics must have failed the program that cannot fail.
So, yeah, I’d say that our mission here is noble. We have a mess. People are being harmed in AA because it mimics the dynamics of an abusive domestic relationship* – and it is The Norm. Is wanting to “expose the truth and save the world” a ridiculous pursuit? The way you phrase that makes it seem that doing so is quixotic, silly, childish, deluded. I guess it’s the “and save the world” part. How about we leave off that part, and put it like this, “expose the truth, keep the conversation going, and hope it leads to reform.”
This will take some time to digest and figure out. I guess Stinkin' Thinkin's religion is merely Anti A.A... sort of like the Anti-Christ, right?
Monday, June 8, 2009
And regarding this quote of the week post, I just wanted to point out that it’s not the “God” part of the quote that’s at issue, but the inherent dishonesty in not being upfront with the newcomer about the “God” part. Yeah, all of us have Big Books, and we’ve all read the quote about holding God behind your back with one hand while you lure the new member through the door. We wonder how this jibes with an honest program.
I was talking with regards to qualifying the potential alcoholic, not baiting and switching them once they're in the door.
Remember me? Hard-core A.A.? Exclusive? I don't want to see non-Alkies in the meetings or the fellowship because, it wastes their time and confuses other alkies as to the need for the spiritual approach.
And yes, we do believe that there are suffering alcoholics in A.A. because they don't do steps, not because the program is at fault. It worked great 70 years ago and it works great right now... for those who are real alkies and those who do the deal.
Comment on my posts sometime, Friendthegirl. I'd gladly answer you over here. I'm not gonna go over there and give you free material for your agenda of bashing A.A. over there. You're gonna have to skim the pond scum from SR like you do...not necessarily you FTG, but the other authors for sure.
I do agree with you though, that A.A. is a mess and many should go elsewhere! But I disagree that A.A. is all bad and should disband. It should be cleaned up.
M.A. also said some garbage about how I believe all who are sentenced to A.A. from the courts should have to go to A.A. That's BS! I was stating my own experience in getting sentenced to A.A. M.A. is a stupid manipulative dork who parades as someone with knowledge and superior judgement. Look where he's sucking his material from. Really creative!
But anyways, since they've all been so curious about A.A., what are they up to?
i got a dui last nite, fri was my day to drink on harm reduction? i drank too much, was going to subway (in my slippers, no less) and got hit by a car? just wanted to get something to eat? but i KNOW it is so wrong to drive drunk, i just lose all perspection0 iop is going to send me to a 30 day rehab! i am trying but guess not trying enough! think i hit my bottom
__________________luv and God Bless
In the secular thread:
What is a relapse?
31 posts later, no answer. Just talk of subjective and objective and "I don't like the term relapse because it implies the 'disease model'."
Here's how I'd answer it; "a sip of booze."
Somebody from SMART writes:
""Have you ever seen a homeless person who appears to be an alcoholic? And did you wonder which came first, the alcoholism or the homelessness? Most people would be tempted to drink if they had to spend the night in a sleeping bag on a freeway off ramp. Life success and mental health might be linked to the desire to abstain more than we immediately recognize.""
Answer, "No." Homeless people aren't alcoholics. They are willfull and lazy. Most alkies have gr8 willpower and work their asses off. "The goose hung high." "The papers reported men jumping to death from the towers of High Finance. That disguseted me. I would not jump. I went back to the bar... As I drank, the old fierce determination to win came back."
Alkies build a structure about them, just to tear it down again. They don't check out and go live under the bridge.
So here SMART assessess A.A. and Rational Recovery and comes out on top;
""For example, SMART has tools to address irrational thinking and manage emotions. SMART has rules for happiness, tools to make decisions, templates for making changes in your life.
As near as I can tell, AA relies on a spiritual epiphany to abstain from drinking.
Rational Recovery explains that when you promise yourself that you will never drink again, there is no guarantee that your life will get better, just that you will be sober.
These plans work for some, but they do not give you the ammunition that SMART gives you.""
Epiphany: an appearance or manifestation, esp. of a deity. So God's got to show up. Fair enough.
SMART philosophy on recovery:
""For me, it was a choice UNTIL I took that first pill. Then control goes out the window. Knowing that, it is still my choice to take the first pill. ""
Back to the old "choice" argument. Do SMART's say "for me" a lot, or is that just a new fad?
Ok! Ready for a really good AA bashing? Here goes... oh, please go to youtube and enter yackety sax and play it while reading the following, kay?
"Step 1 interpretation - Discussion
1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol, that our lives had become unmanageable.
Right here, right at the start, is a giant problem. I am not powerless over alcohol, not even close. I have almost perfect control over alcohol. I can drink it or not, I can let it sit on the table and look at it, and I might even be able to juggle it. I can also drink enough to kill myself. My choice.
The second half of that sentence says that my life is "unmanageable". Ummm, no, that isn't quite right. If I drink alcohol, my life becomes a disorganized mess — I drink too much alcohol, and I get more or less addicted to it, and I get behind on the rent, and the utility companies turn everything off, and I starve, but I still wouldn't say that my life was "unmanageable" because I was "powerless" over alcohol.
Step One might be halfways true if it said that us alcoholics couldn't manage our lives very well while drinking alcohol. And Step One might be true if it said that it was ultimately impossible for us to continue drinking alcohol and still have a happy life. But that isn't what Step One says.
Step One is a setup for surrender to the cult. Since you are powerless over alcohol, you will need somebody or something else (like a sponsor) to be your keeper, and take care of you, and tell you what to do, to keep you from drinking. This step encourages dependence on the cult instead of self-reliance; incompetence and failure instead of competence and success.
Margaret Thaler Singer considered inducing a sense of powerlessness and guilt to be one of the five essential conditions for an effective mind-control, or "brainwashing", program. This step, and the next two, where you confess that you are insane, and then surrender to "Something greater than yourself", do a fine job of inducing a sense of powerlessness. And then the following steps, Steps Four through Ten, induce plenty of guilt.
Want more information?
I've got plenty. "
Oh, I bet you do! Get down with your bad self gurl!
Was the A.A. Program and Fellowship intended to be inclusive or not?
Was the A.A. Program and Fellowship intended to be inclusive or not?
I see things in the book that shout that the A.A. program should be helpful for all. I don't know if that means they intended to take the dash on the 1st Step short form and insert your affliction and start your own Program and Fellowship and run with it, or...
We know very well the hammering out of the traditions and the "singleness of purpose". So it's obvious that when A.A. tries to do too much or be everything to everybody, both sides suffer.
But what about the distinction between the "real alcoholic" and the "hard drinker"? Does the hard drinker belong in the Program of A.A. and/or the Fellowship of A.A.?
This may be too hard of a topic. We may not be able to swing this one on here. But it's so important for us to come to some common ground on this or we'll just keep fighting.
So what's my experience with all this? I go to Closed and/or hardlined underground meetings and get fed spiritually as it's almost all program and as much fellowship that I could want.
But I also go to "loose" or very open meeting where I'm very aware that I sit amongst potential addicts, potential alcoholics, "real addicts", "real alcoholics", andas, hard drinkers, hard drug users, alanons, people who aren't sure one way or the other, etc. I don't shy away from them or intend to run them off. I don't go up to them and tell them they're confusing the real alcoholics that that cofusion is killing them. I don't. I can tolerate them. In fact, I love to converse with them and just talk about where I'm at. But I may not be sure who's really an alcoholic and who is just a hard drinker anyway, right? If they have more time than I do and I haven't been able to get them to check out my closed meeting or haven't been able to talk to them about their 1st step, how can I know? They may be very active in service work and much moreso than I and wouldn't assume I could add anything to their knowledge to what being an alcoholic or a hard drinker is.
Let's look at the book. I found a line in there that helped to inspire this thread. It reads, "We have concluded to publish an anonymous volume setting forth the problem as we see it.
We shall bring to the task our combined experience and knowledge. This should suggest a useful program for anyone concerned with a drinking problem."
Anyone concerned with a drinking problem? I'm sorry, but I'm confused. I'm quite sure this means the real alky or the hard drinker. And they wrote, "useful program", not "useful fellowship. So this would imply to me that they are to be included into the fellowship AND the program.
I hear and have caught myself saying stuff like doing the A.A. steps are for alkies only and will make those who aren't alky sick, not better. Is this true or is this false? I think this notion is one of the biggies that divides us (AAers and non-AAers).
To the non-AAer; that book was written during a time when there were perhaps no anti-AAer. Duh, how could there be, right? But seriously, I'm under the belief that there wasn't much hope for the alky anyway and they were cast out to being locked up, considered insane, moral deviants, criminals, hopeless, etc. And to a great extent, these things were true. Then these guys got together and plugged the severity and hopelessness of the problem into the spiritual program of action and found that one alky could reach another alky like no one else could, and there you go. But we follow the teachings of that book and it tells us that this Program is perhaps the best solution for most alcoholics. Many of us do this deal, stumble, and wonder what we missed. Some of us fail. Sure we do. But eventually, some us try and try again, and here and there, it takes hold and some more of us recover. If it finally works for us, we see no need to try something else. So being convinced of that, why should we suggest something else of which we know nothing about and have had no success in?
Maybe the recovered alcoholic should wear a badge and just state up front, "It worked for me and I'm going to have bias." That way, the person being approached can understand that they're not likely to hear much about alternative recoveries from this person.
Also to the non-AAers; I don't think it's necessary for pro-A.A. people to explain or rationalize or accept some updated theory or statistics that A.A. is not effective for the "real alcoholic" or the "alcoholic of the helpless variety" as the book describes. We really have to admit that it's such a subjective study and we'd always be comparing apples to oranges.
To AA-ers: What's your thought? Put yourself in the shoes of the hard drinker for a second. What would you do? It's got to be hard to be told maybe you're not a real alcoholic AND to discover that they're right. I've been told that I'm perhaps not a real alcoholic on numerous occasions and all it did for me is drove me fast into finding the truth and to perhaps consider that maybe they're right. Fear is always involved. But I think it has always drove me further into the realization that I am definitely a Mad Dog Alcoholic of the hopeless variety. But what if it goes the other way? Can we still help them? Should some of them perhaps be approached with alternative recoveries like secular, SMART, Life Ring, Rational Recovery, etc.?
How do we do this and help each other out instead of bashing each other?
I hear and see non-AAers and anti-AAers in the world and on the www say at first that AA is ok and has a purpose for some. But then they go way out and say how destructive it is. They question me on MY program and that only leads me fast and furious into the book and I see myself doing better than I would have otherwise. It's become like working the steps all over again just to show them &%^$s! You know what I mean?
Do you really think A.A. is going anywhere? I don't. I think it's as healthy as ever and is still the model for spiritual recoveries.
I'd like to put arguments against A.A. aside for another day or thread; ones that involve verbage like cult, thumper, nazi, a liar, a jacka#$, a wingnut, and old-timer,etc.
I'll leave my theory of monetary motive aside if you'll leave the arguments against me aside.
What do you say?
So does God direct us, or suggest us?Per ** guidelines...
...any quotes or paraphrases are from BB 1st Edition.
I apologize to the internet for some of the profanity that will ensue. It came from a site that allows it. I usually don't partake in it so freely as I usually post in places with much more accountability and won't allow it. It's just basically about how we act when we have more accountability. I cuss sometimes. Sometimes when I shouldn't, like around my folks. Sometimes I can't seem to help it. They let me know how they don't like it so I've somewhat learned when to use it and when to not. If it offends you, please "turn the channel." Thanks.
I'm not getting into a censorship debate, just explaining that what ensues is an explanation of what brought me to this point on the internet.
I was warned to not even waste my time on this here internet. But I've used it to try to explore my 12-Step A.A. experience... to mixed reviews. I've learned there's a bunch of anti-AA out there. I'm sure there is good and bad reasons for it. Either way, I'm setting out to learn the true from the false and if A.A. is messed up, which I know to a huge extent that it is, I'm gonna set out to do my part to help fix it. I also want to find out where the BS is and to shed light on it.
There's this site that has found it fun to pick on me. I'll let anyone who reads this be the judges of some conversations that I've selected to post here. Granted, I didn't pick out all of my glimmering moments, as that what they've chosen to do. They see fit to judge and twist my postings to fit their anti-AA agenda. Without further ado;
Welcome to our blog!
I don’t argue people’s religion with them. Particularly those in cult religions.
the whole ‘mcgowdog thing’ has me feeling like i was forced to sit in a meeting & listen to the absurd ramblings of a monumental 12×12 asshole. of course, in this medium, i was allowed to respond … but it was still exhausting & frustrating — not because he made any worthwhile points, but because he was the ugly, retarded ‘ghost of meetings left’. if some white supremacist hit the blog & started spouting bullshit about alcoholism being a ZOG conspiracy, that ticket would’ve been punched pretty early on.
okay i’ll stop now.
This has become the subject of a thread started in some recovery forum. Someone asks a question about what underground meetings are, and McGowdog comes in with a response:
The group to which McGowdog is referring is run by a hardline old-timer who subscribes to the typical AA views. McGowdog refers to him as the “meeting cop”. The following dialog will give some insight to how the seedlings of one of these rogue groups form.
Next, McGowdog responds with the most important line in this dialog, and one that gives an insight into how the cults of personality within AA are formed:
Every member, at any level, is subject to manipulative coercion. McDowdog is no exception.
Filed under: Cult Aspects of AA Tagged: AA, AA Slogans, cult, guru, manipulation, mcgowdog, midtown group, , Quinones, rape,
H, on May 14th, 2009 at 5:28 pm Said:
Crude and vulgar drivel, mcdog. Sod off.
Sort of like your poem (which by the waay, is not a poem):
>Bad boys rape our young girls, but Violet gives willingly.
I stated the color-codes for resistors that I learned in college and got accused of being rude.
AnnaZed, on May 14th, 2009 at 7:36 pm Said:
McGowdog, you realize that when you post on the internet, on the world-wide-web (the title might be a hint) that it is not “private,” right? You grasp that don’t you?
McGowdog, on May 14th, 2009 at 8:07 pm Said:
I didn’t “put the word on what I thought was a humorous poem”.
I don’t think that poem is humorous either. I think it’s sick.
It’s what they taught us in college. Anybody in here agree with me on that? Anybody else go to college and learn resistor color codes? Maybe you learned a “fluffier” poem than I did.
Filed under: Crock of Shit Tagged: 13th Stepping, AA, coercion, manipulation, manipulation tactics, mcgowdog, zealot No Comments »
speedy0314, on May 13th, 2009 at 2:59 am Said:
always ready for that trip to the zoo, though, junior! like i said, just post your name, full address & telephone number & we’re off. love to watch the monkeys throw big loads of their shit at you.
(oops … i’m really, really sorry about that last remark. okay, 9th step done!)
you can go back to your star wars lego blocks, now. the big people are going to talk about big people stuff.
Next, McGowdog writes
Filed under: Cult Aspects of AA Tagged: 12 Principles, , Forums, mcgowdog,
Ironic Quote of the Day
Posted on May 11, 2009 by M A
“Then I got sobered up and very… very slowly, I started to grow up just a smidgeon.”
- McGowdog (No, really! I shit you not! He actually said this!)
Filed under: Crock of Shit Tagged: mcgowdog, quote,
H, on May 12th, 2009 at 12:03 pm Said:
mr mcgowdog:go back to your room. It is a nice safe place for you.
McGowdog, on May 12th, 2009 at 3:13 pm Said:
Right! I’m sorry. We had a foreign exchange student one year and he gave us that word. I thought I’d forgotten about it till now.
Anyways, I’ll go back to my room and leave you fine folks over here alone.
As you were and go well.
AnnaZed, on May 11th, 2009 at 8:33 pm Said:
“have a place to part their ass”
This has to be the most spectacularly amusing Freudian slip I have ever read.
gakgakgak, on May 12th, 2009 at 6:00 am Said:
you’re boring mcgowdog.
speedy0314, on May 12th, 2009 at 7:32 am Said:
more will be revealed, my son.
and your joke-book is getting a little predictable. that said, if you’ll publicly post your full name, home address, & telephone number i may just take you up on that trip to the zoo.
that would be fun. get to know the real mcgowdog — up close & personal. not the juvenile, semi-retarded pissant who’s just trying to get under everyone’s skin here but really just making an ass of himself & the ‘loving, tolerant’ program he represents.
btw, i’ll have to check out bill’s reference (if any) about lunar flight in the BB. even if he did (& i’m a little hazy on that) jules verne beat him to the punch by 70 years. does that mean you’ll be reading “from earth to the moon” at your next big book meeting?
don’t quit before the miracle,
Someone in defense of me! Wow, how rare!
on May 25th, 2009 at 1:53 am ***Said:
I like to think I’m well educated, and I don’t think AA is a cult, but even if it is, what does it matter? Like McGowdog posts, it would only be bad if it’s making people’s lives worse, and it isn’t. The only ‘brainwashing’ you could possibly accuse it of is against alcohol. What’s the big deal in that? Alcohol isn’t necessary to our survival. Yes, AA asks for money, but many times I’ve never given anything and have never felt less accepted for it. I expect you won’t want to listen to anything I have to say now that I’ve ‘outed’ myself as an AA-er, well that’s your problem not mine. It seems to me you are the one who is brainwashed, by a world which believes alcoholic drinking is fine while belief in God is not.
M A, on May 12th, 2009 at 8:25 pm Said:
McGow, would you be interested in posting to our blog? If so, send us an email.
speedy0314, on May 13th, 2009 at 2:59 am Said:
… just post your name, full address & telephone number & we’re off
McGowdog, on May 14th, 2009 at 5:30 pm Said:
“always ready for that trip to the zoo, though, junior! like i said, just post your name, full address & telephone number & we’re off. love to watch the monkeys throw big loads of their shit at you.”
I hear ya yappin’ Speedy.
You post your name, full address & telephone number and I’ll come visit you.
Any day, any time.
Just keep exercising those keyboard muscles.
H, on May 14th, 2009 at 5:34 pm Said:
mcdog, you making threats, internet tough guy?Delete this dead dog.
McGowdog, on May 14th, 2009 at 5:41 pm Said:
No, H. Speedy threatened my twice.
Speedy, it’s not me you owe the amend to. It’s ftg and M.A. for being the stupid, sink-to-any-level angry and insecure author on this already spiteful, insecure, and manipulative Hitler-loving website.
Other wonderful works from speedy:
speedy0314, on June 7th, 2009 at 4:10 am Said:
i’d like to forward him a few posts from the steppers over at blame’s YT channel or even some of the e-mail i get after responding to vids. ‘vicious’, ‘demonizing’, ‘tearing down’ … ‘your mileage may vary’.
kiss my ass you molly-coddled, in-love-with-your-own-credentials pansy. sit your highly theoretical ass in meetings for a full year & then tell me how wonderful & empowering it all is.
fuck him twice,
Sunday, June 7, 2009
Back in the 1500s... blah blah blah... Catholic Church...
as the good Baptists at Liberty University who recently declared one cannot be both a Christian and a Democrat, there is an argument amongst the AA faithful as to what makes up a “true alcoholic”, and like any religion, they point to their holy scriptures as blah blah blah...
OK, I had to throw this in from McGowdog. Not because it is relevant, but because it is so funny (I lub McGowdog):
Well I'm glad.
I remember being told by some bleeding deacon that I wasn’t real alky because I was there to get my papers signed. I got my one year chip and went back to find him to tell him I’d like to stick that chip somewhere to see if he could make it melt, but I couldn’t find him. But hey, that’s just me.”
If this is McGowdog after the steps removed his anger and resentments, I would hate to see the guy when he was an angry drunk.
Then M.A. finds a non-AAer from ** to slobber all over. She's probably friend the girl from Stinkin' Thinkin'.
Now *** explains why he is qualified to play God:
Well FriendtheGirl, I’m qualified because I’m properly armed with facts about myself, give me 5 minutes with a guy that’s wants to figure out his truth regarding booze and I will give him enough information to properly diagnose himself, I never tell anyone they are alcoholic, I let them decide.
As far as playing God goes, everyone does this to an extent, write some inventory and you’ll be amazed at what comes to consciousness.”
I’ve met a lot of old-timers who liked to play god, but I must admit this the first time I have seen someone explain why they did. Nice job, ***.
Next, McGowdog writes his funniest response yet:
Yeah, I am a funny bastard... fo sho.
Hey FriendtheGirl! Are you saying that A.A. is organized religion? It’s not. It’s for alcoholics. It’s very inclusive to alcoholics of different religious faiths, socio-economic backgrounds, creeds, races, cultures, age, sex, etc. But it’s not a religion. It accepts all… even agnostics and athiests, and does not require any commitment to any certain path. It lets you choose your own path to God and begs you to sweep aside prejudice, think honestly, and look deep within… Way too inclusive and loose to be considered a religion. The only reason why God is mentioned at all, is because without God, alcoholics perish. But, it’s not good to present that fact until the alcoholic sees the hopelessness of their condition in the 1st Step.”
OK, he explains how it isn’t a religion, and he uses the same nonsense we have all hear ad nauseum blah blah blah rant...
This is the line McDowdog wrote that really makes me chuckle:
“The only reason why God is mentioned at all, is because without God, alcoholics perish. But, it’s not good to present that fact until the alcoholic sees the hopelessness of their condition in the 1st Step.”
This is very true M.A. Most good alkies would rather keep drinking booze to the death than get preached to.
It is better not to present that fact until the alkie is in the door? Is this the program of brutal honesty I keep hearing about? I’m really not trying to pick on the Dog, but he makes it so fucking easy sometimes.
Really, M.A.? Why don't you move out of your mom's basement, go on a date, get a girl, marry, have a child, get a life? My ramblings on the internet couldn't be THAT exciting, could they? Unless of course, you have some sort of monetary investment in secular or alternative drug addictions and alcoholism recovery? Is that it?
This thread goes on and on, and is truly amazing at showing how scary the thinking of folks like ***, *** and McGowdog can be. As I write this, it is still active, and you should do yourself a favor and read through the thing. These are the deluded voices that make AA the cult that it is. They make the point about AA better than any post we could ever make on this blog.
Filed under: Cult Aspects of AA Tagged: AA bullshit, alcoholics anonymous, cult, frank buchman, mcgowdog, old-timer, ***, religion, ***, sober recovery, soberrecovery
« Cult, ‘Anti-AA’ & Other Bulls**t Terminology Quote of the Week: McGowdog »
speedy0314, on June 7th, 2009 at 8:02 pm Said:
can you put some corn starch on my booty tonight?
Posted on June 7, 2009 by M A
“The only reason why God is mentioned at all, is because without God, alcoholics perish. But, it’s not good to present that fact until the alcoholic sees the hopelessness of their condition in the 1st Step” – McGowdog (Stinkin’ Thinkin’ reader and AA zealot)“It all goes back to building our Program on a Truth or a lie.” – Also McGowdog, written less than twelve hours after the first quote.
Filed under: The Tool Shed Tagged: AA jackasses, AA lies, alcoholics anonymous, assholes, lies, mcgowdog, old-timers, Quotes, sober recovery, wingnuts
« The Crazies at Sober Recovery: Real Alcoholics, the Big Book and Selective Altruism
speedy0314, on June 7th, 2009 at 8:07 pm Said:
i can just imagine a young m-puppy scribbling in a coloring book around dinner time & yelling, “mom, is it ‘truth’ yet?”
They can have their fun over there calling me an AA Jackass, an AA liar, an asshole, an old-timer??? not quite yet, a wingnut?
All I was saying there was that most alcoholics need Power outside of and beyond themselves to have removed the mental obsession that all alcoholics are said to have... remember that one? "The idea that somehow, someday he will control and enjoy his drinking..."
But the A.A. Program isn't designed to just start off with "God will fix you." No. The distinction between the alcoholic and the nonalcoholic took about 55 pages to describe.
Then M.A., what's the next thing they go into in that dreaded Big Book? That's right! God. "We Agnostics". Understand? Didday?
“It all goes back to building our Program on a Truth or a lie.” – Also McGowdog
Yup. I said that too! What was the context?
""There seems to be people who just can't get their minds around the possibility that some in A.A. are not really alcoholics and that being in A.A. can make them worse.This is what I hear. I have a hard time fathoming this possibility/truth because that's not me... it's not my experience.It all goes back to building our Program on a Truth or a lie.
__________________So does God direct us, or suggest us?
Per SR guidelines... any quotes or paraphrases are from BB 1st Edition.""
So M.A. points out a couple of my posts and does nothing really, besides putting together some childish tags at the end.
You authors over at Stinkin Thinkin seem like a bunch of three beer drinkers. Do I have to tell you again what that is?
Give one away.
You guys should go grow some nuts and call me back when you've got some pubes.
You guys are not real alcoholics and you're bent because you got run out of strong A.A. meetings. So being the potential addicts or potential hard-drinkers that you may be, you figure the alternate recovery programs like SMART, Life Ring, and Rational Recovery will work on real alcoholics too and A.A. will go down like your mothers and sisters on prom night? Sorry. Those programs may be great for the hard drinker, but here's what a world renowned doctor said about A.A.:
"What you say about the general hopelessness of the average alcoholic's plight is, in my opinion, correct...Had you offered yourselves as patients at this hospital, I would not have taken you, if I had been able to avoid it. People like you are too heartbreaking. Though not a religious person, I have profound respect for the spiritual approach in such cases as yours. For most cases, there is virtually no other solution."
"It goes back to building our program on a Truth and not on a lie."
Yup. That's right. If you're a hard drinker or a non-alcoholic, you cannot recover from alcoholism. Just as a non-cancer patient can't recover from cancer. But there's a lot of non-alkies in A.A. and I'd sure like to send them your way. They seem deserving of your fate.
For I have yet to meet the guy or gal in A.A. that admits they are just hard drinkers and are there for the bad coffee or the strange. So why do hard drinkers waste away in AA? Loneliness?
I asked my recovered alcoholic/recovered addict couselor buddy and spiritual guide from the local treatment center why he takes his clients to the strong open A.A. meeting and not to N.A., Smart, Life Ring, Rational Recovery, etc. and he said because they don't work for the real alcoholic and the real addict. So that leads me to believe you folks over at stinkin aren't even real addicts. Then I asked him if he'd ever heard of secular recoveries and he said all they do is sit around and bitch about A.A.! Just like you guys!
Saturday, June 6, 2009
As far as situational drinking goes, I think this speaks to the fact that alcohol has a power over just about anybody when it comes to its mind-altering effects. When we drink it, we get a buzz and many of us like it, whether we're a social drinker, a moderate drinker, a hard-drinker or potential alcoholic, or a real alcoholic of the hopeless variety.
I feel for you with your divorce/family situation. I hope you get through this period as well as your children without any suffering. Pain is inevidable and it can ultimately help us grow. But suffering is optional. You need not suffer through this. There is help for you on many levels and I hope you find it.
Now the booze; for the hard drinker or alcoholic, the situation or outer circumstances do not matter. An alcoholic can seemingly build his/her life up just to pull it right back down on himself, then it becomes really easy to drink.
Now I'd like to talk about the hard drinker and the alcoholic. Either one can die prematurely, suffer alcoholic torcher, harm people and perhaps kill themselves or others due to their drinking.
But one very important thing separates the hard drinker from the real alcoholic. Given a sufficient reason to either quit, or moderate their drinking, the hard drinker can. They can choose. They can put the plug in the jug. They can "just not drink, no matter what", they can go to 90 meetings in 90 days and stay sober, or they can perhaps do some other therapy and stay sober.
Now the real alcoholic has two components that make it virtually impossible to do what the hard drinker can; stop on a non-spiritual basis. This is pretty much the absolute truth as I believe it, understand it, experience it, etc. The alcoholic has BOTH.
The physical craving or the physical allergy that develops in the pancreas once they ingest ETHO or ethyl alcohol which creates a craving for more of the same, AND...
the "mental blankspot" just prior to the "first drink" or the "mental obsession" which tells them that they can drink normally and be able to control and enjoy their drinking without undergoing the craving once they start.
So, from the way I understand it, you can't just have one or the other and be an alcoholic. It's got to be both... simultaneously. And this condition only happens in about 10% of us. And once both develops, it never ever ever goes away.So, no matter what, the alcoholic can never ever defeat the physical portion of this abnormality. They can only treat the "mental obsession" and the A.A. program offers a spiritual treatment to keep that "Great Obsession" from ever taking a hold again.
The hard drinker, on the other hand, has perhaps one or the other of these very symptoms here, but never both simultaneously. So given a sufficient reason to stop or moderate, they can. I don't understand which one though. Can they either stop or moderate? Surely they can stop, but can they moderate, and drink with control again? I don't know, honestly.
It don't matter for me, because I'm not one of them. I've got both.How do I know? I'll tell you why. Because I was given the dignity, and the gift of discovery (as my buddy Danny puts it), to find out for myself. And I offer you that gift too. For anybody who wants to know for themselves... if they are alcoholic or not, get that book Alcoholics Anonymous, and read from beginning of the book to the end of the chapter 3, More about Alcoholism, or page 43 on the new editions.I've come to find out that I should not like to "diagnose" someone else as alcoholic or not, ever. I can become convinced for myself whether I think they are alky or not, but that does THEM no good. A close loved one can't even diagnose their afflicted to be alky or not. Only I know for a fact, the fine line between having those two symptoms operating simultaneously in me or not.
That's the only recommendation I have, is get that 7.00 book and read... to page 43. Meetings aren't gonna tell you the truth, nor will the www or the treatment centers, doctors, shrinks, or clergy members. So dignity and discovery.
__________________So does God direct us, or suggest us?
So then they come back at me with;
"Have you read page 44?"
Quote = McGowdog:
So, from the way I understand it, you can't just have one or the other and be an alcoholic. It's got to be both... simultaneously.
Then I come back with;
"Page 44 is wrong! Only mistake in the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous.If it was either or, the alky would just not drink. Or if it was the other or, they'd just drink 2 and stop. Trip on that little tidbit.Next comment? "
Then in some other post about real alkies versus non-alkies and 12 stepping and pitching new potential drunks... after reading through Danny Boy's blog and applying my own ESH, I come upon a clear revelation... for me! You all may have know this all along, but would you recovered alkies agree with my next statement?
"There are two things to accomplish here with the new prospect to A.A.
So I think there's some confusion here that needs to be addressed; It's based on a question that I had based on a misunderstanding and it comes back to me from time to time.
We recovered alcoholics are armed with the facts of what it is to be an alcoholic and can sit down with a new prospect to help pitch them into A.A. if we're convinced they are a potential alky or not.
Then once they're in, they need to do these steps. We can't force the 1st step on them and we can't force God on them either. This is where the book and their own experience and their own decision to read and find out for themselves comes.
So I see two distinct goals here; pitching new drunks and taking them or guiding them through the steps.
We can't go to the newcomer and hand them a 1st Step or Real Alcoholic badge and say, "Now go seek God! Go get Em, boy!" "
So, what's my actual experience in this? What I've posted here is what I've learned reading Danny's blog which talks about this stuff in some detail. In my group, the newcomer is fairly quickly rushed into the 4th Step. Then they are hurried along to 5th step it and get those freaking amends done.
But from what I'm seeing from Danny, this may be a mistake. Maybe do more like the book says. Let them go through to page 43 before they rush into 2, 3, 4, etc. So how long should does this take? I doubt Dr Bob spent much time on it. But Dr Bob is Dr Bob. How long did it take Danny to read to page 43, then come out of that with a fire to seek God? He did all 12 in 44 days, right? Does the new prospect read this on his/her own or does their "sponsor spoon-feed the book to them line by line, pontificating as they go along?
I don't mean to sound cynical in this. I really don't. I'm just not all up and gung ho on this whole "sponsor" thing. I don't need a sponsor. A new guy maybe. I'm just used to having a strong group, taking responsibility and doing steps... and hearing, "Are you finished with 4 yet? Are you finished with all your amends yet? Get it done! Quit fucking around!"