Tuesday, February 23, 2010

What then, besides A.A.?

So... Cuda has it out with Speedy again... and Speedy offers us nothing. In fact, he gets sort of a scold from M.A., which leads me to believe that Speedy is MAs alter-ego.


"M A, on February 23, 2010 at 11:04 am Said:
For what it’s worth, I don’t care for Speedy’s insults. Those are no better than the insults thrown around here by AAs.

As for your question, Cuda, there are several alternatives. The first is simply just quitting. You believe AA helped you stay quit. That’s fine. Wade Boggs ate chicken before every game, but that didn’t help him hit any better. It was simply superstition, just like your AA participation. You really quit on your own. You owe it to yourself, even though it has been beat into your head that it is a result of some spiritual hocus pocus. People believe in faith healing all the time, so you aren’t alone. Look at any Benny Hinn or Oral Roberts dog and pony show. You could have replaced AA with a ouija board or touch therapy or Scientology, and you would have had the same result.

There are those who simply can’t quit as easily. The reason for this isn’t mystical, or because they are “real alcoholics”, but is physiological. Most alcoholics’ brains react differently to alcohol than non-alkies. It creates a euphoria for us because it increases our serotonin and endorphin levels, giving us a better feeling from a buzz. This is why we can’t stop at one or two. We instinctively want to keep up those endorphin levels. With time drinking, we condition our bodies to rely on the rush of endorphins from our daily drunk, so our body stops its natural serotonin production. Without booze, we feel weird, shitty, shaky, depressed. These are the withdrawal symptoms which, with time, get better and revert back to normal. It is as physiological as diabetes or heart disease.

Most people can stick through it long enough to get to normal, and some never really do revert back to normal serotonin and endorphin production. It depends on individual physiology. Either way, for those who need help either short or long term, there are options. One is the Sinclair method, which is a drug therapy that addresses these physiological problems which are not a result of character flaws and spiritual deficiencies or any other 19th century diagnosis. There are other similar options, none of which are perfect, but like any science gets better and more refined with time. It will NOT get better as fast as it could with AA and AAs fighting these things every step of the way, and convincing people that all they need is faith healing. or that they are replacing one drug with another.

There are also psychological reasons why people drink, and there are psychological consequences to alcohol abuse. Those people can be helped with real, professional psychotherapists. Psychologists and psychiatrists who are trained in human psychology, not a lay person like you or me, who have to rely on pop psychology, and are influenced by our own personal experiences, and tend to project our problems onto others.

There are other support groups aside from AA, and if someone feels like those will help in them in actualizing their quit, that is great. Even AA has that component right, if they could provide the group support without the head games and manipulation that goes along with it.

We haven’t written much about the alternatives, because this isn’t a recovery site. Our objective here is to tear AA a new asshole, and to help others who have had the same experiences that we have had.


OK... I will reply. So what you basically offer is "Just quit". Now we're back to the Nancy Reagan speech.

Just say no. I think that's just wonderful. It's fairly simple too. If you do what you say, raise your hands!

Now... what's the book say?

Dr's Opinion:

Men and women drink essentially because they like the effect produced by alcohol. The sensation is so elusive that, while they admit it is injurious, they cannot after a time differentiate the true from the false. To them, their alcoholic life seems the only normal one. They are restless, irritable and discontented, unless they can again experience the sense of ease and comfort which comes at once by taking a few drinks--drinks which they see others taking with impunity. After they have succumbed to the desire again, as so many do, and the phenomenon of craving develops, they pass through the well-known stages of a spree, emerging remorseful, with a firm resolution not to drink again. This is repeated over and over, and unless this person can experience an entire psychic change there is very little hope of his recovery.

On the other hand--and strange as this may seem to those who do not understand--once a psychic change has occurred, the very same person who seemed doomed, who had so many problems he despaired of ever solving them, suddenly finds himself easily able to control his desire for alcohol, the only effort necessary being that required to follow a few simple rules.

Men have cried out to me in sincere and despairing appeal: "Doctor, I cannot go on like this! I have everything to live for! I must stop, but I cannot! You must help me!"

Faced with this problem, if a doctor is honest with himself, he must sometimes feel his own inadequacy. Although he gives all that is in him, it often is not enough.

One feels that something more than human power is needed to produce the essential psychic change.

Though the aggregate of recoveries resulting from psychiatric effort is considerable, we physicians must admit we have made little impression upon the problem as a whole. Many types do not respond to the ordinary psychological approach.

M.A.s opinion:

Just say no. Frothy emotional appeal.

See the difference?

Dr. Jack will get you high tonight...

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Judge not lest ye be judged........


Okay, in an effort to combat some of the anti-AA rhetoric and talking points, I've decided that I need go no further than the source. That is, Mr Secret Agent Orange. Orange is the mentor of hundreds of angry and discontented alcoholics (or at least heavy drinkers or at least retired folk and government workers with alot of time on their hands).

Mr Orange portrays himself as a sort of Robin Hood. A real 'man of the people', sacrificing his retirement to help rid the world of the evil empire that is AA. He would have us believe that he is the voice of truth and reason in a world full of deceit and madness. Much like the Fox News narrative, Mr Orange creates his own world wherein we are all damned (by the seething mass of evil that is AA) and only he can lead us to the light. Is Mr Orange our Messiah or is here merely the Pie-eyed piper, come to lead us out of the bar and into the river ?

Well, let's start by giving him an easy test. Mr Orange is an everyman's man and, as such, he's been kind enough to warn his flock of all the nasty propaganda and debating techniques that will be used against them. Mr Orange would never use them, because he only tells the truth. Right ?

Well.............that's not really clear.

It seems that Mr Orange puts a little slogan right on his home page. "This site is best viewed with a brain".

What does this tell us about Mr Orange and the rest of his site ?

Using Mr Oranges circular linking technique, we can reference his own site and see if any nasty little propaganda tricks are at work :

Hifalutin' Denunciations : Implying that you're smart if you agree with Mr Orange is pretty damned 'Hifalutin'.

Claim to Have Special or Secret Knowledge : Yes. Special 'smart' knowledge that only Mr Orange has. He devotes his entire site to it and all you need to see things his way is 'a brain'.

Humor and Ridicule : It's humorous because everyone has a brain and it's ridicule because only the 'smart' people will agree with Mr Orange.

Simplistic Slogans : ie. 'This site is best viewed with a brain'. Short, sharp, simple. A thought stopping cliche if ever there was one.

Double-talk : What does it really mean that you need a 'brain' ? It means, of course, that if you disagree with Mr Orange, you don't have a brain.....double talk.

Stroking Ploys : You understand Mr Orange because you're smart !!!!

Delegitimize One's Opponent : Only stupid people wouldn't agree with Mr Orange, after all, they don't have a brain.

False Dichotomy : The dichotomy here is the 'smart' people and the 'dumb' people. The 'smart' people agree with Mr Orange. Is that a true dichotomy....?

Non Sequitur : No, of course it isn't. Hence the talk of a 'brain' implying 'smarts' is a non sequitur. AA is what it is, if you are an Einstien or a Democratic Fucking Retard. No difference. The viwer's 'brain' has no bearing on the arguments presented.

As you can see, Mr Agent Orange wastes no time showing us that, in addition to giving us a piss poor site from an academic perspective, he's also a hypocrite.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

So why does Tony J. get all the Street Cred?

So... why does Tony J. get all the Street Cred?

What gives? He's responsible for the Dunce Room.

He's also responsible for the Serenity Corner.

Should we be jealous, or impressed?

It's gonna be ok Tone Tone. You'll be able to leave your room before dinner.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Stinkin' Thinkin' Shenanigans

M.A.'s quote of the day:

“Our 1992 Survey showed that only 5% of newcomers to AA are still attending meetings after 12 months. This is a truly terrible statistic. Again we must ask ‘Where does the fault lie?’”
- Dr Ron Whitington, Chairman of AA Australia General Service Board
Comments made in AA Around Australia, Spring Edition, 1994; Commenting on a survey of more than 100 of Australia’s AA groups


Whether it's true or not... let's just see if we can decipher how his data is collected, shall we?

I checked out the link he provided and did searches on A.A. Statistics and 1992 Survey and 5% and Dr Ron Whitington, and came up with this;

· New to AA?
· Members
· Health / Media
Content search results
Contact AA?
Central Service Offices
· New South Wales
· Australia Capital Territory
· Queensland
· Northern Territory
· South Australia
· Tasmania
· Victoria
· Western Australia
· National Office
Advanced search
No pages were found containing Dr Ron Whitington


Then I googled the thing and came up with this;

Did you mean: australia + dr don whitington
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Results include your SearchWiki notes for australia + dr ron whitington. Share these notes
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1. Quote of the Day « Stinkin Thinkin
Feb 11, 2010 ... Dr Ron Whitington, Chairman of AA Australia General Service Board Comments made in AA Around Australia, Spring Edition, 1994; Commenting on ...donewithaa.wordpress.com/2010/02/11/quote-of-the-day-3/ - 10 hours ago -

2. Stinkin Thinkin
Dr Ron Whitington, Chairman of AA Australia General Service Board Comments made in AA Around Australia, Spring Edition, 1994; Commenting on a survey of more ...donewithaa.wordpress.com/ - 9 hours ago - Cached - Similar -

3. R.D. Whittington, DMD, Dentist in Amarillo, Texas 79124
Dr. Whittington brings this exciting concept to Amarillo along with many years of practice and continuous learning, enabling him to offer you true ...www.whittingtondmd.com/ - Cached - Similar -

4. Letters 74
The Australian A.A. leader said that they too had a 95% dropout rate in the first year — that only ... Dr. Ron Whitington — Chairman General Service Board, ...www.orange-papers.org/orange-letters74.html - Cached -

5. Letters 78
Also see the description of Dr. Vaillant's test of A.A. effectiveness. Why don't you mail me back in a few years, .... Dr. Ron Whitington — Chairman General Service Board, ** AA Around Australia, Spring Edition No 90, October 1994 ...www.orange-papers.org/orange-letters78.html - Cached - Similar -

Show more results from www.orange-papers.org


Ummm... see more results for Stinkin' Thinkin' and Orange-Papers? No fucking thank you!

But actually, let me do one more advanced search;

Advanced Search

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Results 1 - 10 of about 2,300,000 for Dr Ron Whitington -"Stinkin -Thinkin" -"orange-papers". (0.20 seconds)
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1. Ron Whittington brings Civil War history to life
Taking part in this presentation is Ron Whittington, director of affirmative action and multicultural programs, who plays the part of William Owen, ...www.udel.edu/PR/UpDate/98/2/ron.html - Similar -
2. Ron Whittington - LinkedIn
Greater St. Louis Area - Information Services
View Ron Whittington's professional profile on LinkedIn. LinkedIn is the world's largest business network, helping professionals like Ron Whittington ...www.linkedin.com/in/ronwhittington - Cached -
3. Whittington & Associates, LLC About Us
In the field of crisis communications, principal Ron Whittington has dealt with ... 3 MILLIE DR., SUITE 100 JACKSONVILLE BEACH, FL 32250 PHONE: 904.563.0402 ...whittingtonandassociates.com/about_us.htm - Cached -
4. R.D. Whittington, DMD, Dentist in Amarillo, Texas 79124
Dr. Whittington brings this exciting concept to Amarillo along with many years of practice and continuous learning, enabling him to offer you true ...www.whittingtondmd.com/ - Cached - Similar -
5. Whittington's Radiators Inc, Hazlehurst Mississippi 39083, Ronald ...
The owner or manager is Ronald Whittington and the employee range of this automotive ... DCHLI Saturn, 3705 Point Clear Dr, Ocean Springs, Mississippi, ...www.localautospot.com/mississippi/.../ronald-whittington-127801.html - Cached -
6. BBB Review of R.D. Whittington D.M.D. in Amarillo, TX
Original Business Start Date: May 1988. Principal: Dr. Ronald Whittington, Owner. Customer Contact: Dr. Ronald Whittington, Owner - (806) 359-1212 or ...www.bbb.org/.../rd-whittington-dmd-in-amarillo-tx-96040064 - Cached - Similar -
7. Ronald Whittington - United Kingdom - Email, Address, Phone number ...
Ronald Whittington DDS 500 Quail Creek Dr Unit A, Amarillo, TX - Texas 79124-1637 806-359-1212. Sara Joyce DDS 2815 S Georgia St, Amarillo, TX - Texas ...www.123people.co.uk/s/ronald+whittington -
8. Lawyer Ronald Whittington - McComb, MS Attorney - Justia Lawyer ...
Mccomb, MS - Ronald Whittington - - Justia Lawyer Directory.lawyers.justia.com/lawyer/ronald-whittington-945555 - Cached -
9. Map of Ron Whittington in 3 Millie Dr # 100 Jacksonville Beach ...
Ron Whittington in Jacksonville Beach Florida with MapQuest maps and driving directions. Ron Whittington locations in your local area - maps, directions, ...www.mapquest.com/maps?name=Ron+Whittington...Dr... - Cached -
10. Support DCDC - The David C. Driskell Center
Dr. Ronald and Mrs.Patricia E. Waters Ms. Dianne A. Whitfield-Locke Dr. Ron Whittington People's Congregational United Church of Christ Rhythmic Choir ...www.driskellcenter.umd.edu/support/index.php - Cached - Similar -


Quit licking the slobber from T.H.'s chin, would you M.A.? If I wanted to regurgitate his propaganda, I can go there on my own.

Save the Dunce caps and the black boards and the pop-quizzes and the #2 pencils for your Star Wars buddies. We've got drunks to work with.

* Note; that's not a drunk. That's "the dumb fuck".


Hi McGowdog,

Thanks for your enquiry.

We have looked at Conference reports back in 1992 and 1993 to find no record of such a claim.

There is no evidence here either way. In any case, the surveys that are occasionally conducted in Australia cannot be considered scientifically or statistically valid.
Their main purpose is simply to get a broad brush picture of demographics in AA, to provide our best guess to outside organisations as Public Information.

Tony ******
National Office of AA Australia
48 Firth Street, ARNCLIFFE NSW 2205
+61 2 9599 8866
+61 2 9599 8844 (fax)


Hello again McGowdog.

Indeed, we have located in the archives a copy of the quarterly newsletter "AA Around Australia" - the source that you cite.

It includes a copy Dr Whitington's opening address at the '94 Australian General Service Conference of AA, in which the statement appears:"Our 1992 Survey showed that only some five per cent of newcomers to AA are still attending meetings after twelve months."

So the attribution of the quotation is accurate. Whether or not the deduction made from the survey data is accurate may be open to debate.

Let me suggest that, almost a generation later, that there is no current evidence to either confirm or refute that this is currently the case.

What is important is that today, the Fellowship of AA continues to offer alcoholics a solution that works for thousands of people in Australia.

National Office of AA Australia

48 Firth Street, ARNCLIFFE NSW 2205
+61 2 9599 8866
+61 2 9599 8844 (fax)

So there ya go Orange and M.A. If you look hard enough, you can cherry-pick claims to support your statistics. It still doesn't tell me what I need to know about the success of the A.A. program; if you're a real alcoholic... on the continuum of alcoholism that requires you to seek outside help, much less spiritual help, and if you really go at it with one-half the zeal as you did looking for another drink, this Program will not let you down.

From my personal observations, many who come to A.A. do not need the program of action to get and stay sober and the really sad truth is this; many who really need it do NOT do what's required of them... aka the steps.

Furthermore, I'm not gonna pin my hat on some statement that one Dr. Whitington claims.

Good day mates!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

McGowdog dives into those Triennial Surveys of A.A. Membership

Shark Sandwich said...

OK, McGowdog. Let me explain to you how you are not understanding these numbers. This explains it using AA's triennial data.

Take out a calculator and draw yourself out a bell curve.

No, M.A. I'm not gonna get out a calculator and draw a bell curve. For one thing, a bell curve is what you use to show the the probablility about a mean or average, and may be good to track astronomical data or a sample of info for the purpose of charting a normal distribution. A better way to analyze the reliability vs failure of something, looking at a pretty Sigma 3 averaged chart tells us nothing. I'd like to describe another way of looking at data, like the reliability of a man-made medical devices, let's say.

[Insert yummy Red Herring for M.A. to chew on]Let's say that you've got the Conmed/Bard Argon Beam Coagulator 6400. You build a number of those and get them into the O.R. of say 1000 heavy trauma operating rooms across the country and track the reliability of the medical device/electrosurgery devices.

It's gonna look like a bell-curve if you go out far enough. But we like to call it a bath-tub curve. Let's say that we're tracking failure rates instead of "retention" or reliability rates. The higher the failures, the higher the data goes on the y-axis (number of failures) vs time (x-axis). It always ends up as a bathtub curve.

You start off with a lot of failures in the beginning of a product while still working out the design failures, assembly failures, component failures, QC/QA oversights, testing failures, R&D design failures, burn-in failures, etc. As you go along, you tweak the design, improve/upgrade the software, catch and improve assembly failures, improve components and/or change vendors where necessary, improve proceedures and for QC and QA via trend analysis, improve test proceedures, R&D does their thing to improve designs, upgrades, etc, ... to where the high failures drop dramatically and you've got a device that goes for years and years with minimal failure.

Then... somewhere out at the end of its life, components start to die at such a rate that you retire the device. That's bathtub curve and I suppose you could make a bell curve in such a fashion.[End Red Herring]

Some of you may be atheists and all. But do you really want to rate a real live human being the same way? What's the predictible outcome of God, let's say? What kind of curve would you use for That?

Naw Ma. Let's not reinvent the wheel, shall we?

Like it or not, there were a couple of reasons for the survey, which started back in 1968.

1. “To enable A.A. to furnish more accurate data about the Fellowship and its effectiveness to the growing number of professional – doctors, psychiatrists, social workers, law enforcement officials and others – who are working today in the field of alcoholism.”

2. “To provide A.A. with more information about itself so that members can work more effectively in helping the many millions of alcoholics who still suffer throughout the world.”

This was back when we had PI (Public Information) committees, but no C.P.C. (Cooperation with the Professional Community) representation.

The C-1 graph data was never intended to be retention percentages in the first place and has been the fodder for reckless antiAAer claims.

Each of the 5 Triennial Surveys is a cross-sectional study - a snapshot at one point in time for 1977, 1980, 1983, 1986, and 1989. Assume that the same number of new people have been attending their first meetings every month. That is how many will be in their first month when the observation is made. Or as the chart says, “% of those coming into A.A. within the first year that have remained the indicated number of months, with the y-axis going from 2 to 22, expressed as a %, in two % increments, then the x-axis going from 1 month to 12 months in 1 month increments and the data depicting the average of the 5 surveys starting at 1 month and going to 12 months…

1 month; 19%
2 months; 13%
3 months; 10%
4 months; 9%
5 months; 8%
6 months; 7%
7 months; 7%
8 months; 6%
9 months; 6%
10 months; 6%
11 months; 6%
12 months; 5%

Rounding error shows 102% or 103%.

The ratio of the second month people in the survey to the first month people is the retention rate between the first and second months. In that same way, it is possible to find the retention between any two sampled months.

In the actual data presented: Month1 = 19% does NOT mean that "81% (i.e. 100% - 19%) dropped out in a month as some sources claim.

Month3 = 10% does NOT mean that "90% (i.e. 100% - 10%) leave within 3 months and Month12 = 5% does NOT mean that "95% (i.e. 100% - 5%) stop active participation in AA inside of a year.

Instead, what the data does show is that for every 100 people surveyed with under a year since first attendance:

19% of that population were in their first month
13% were in their 2nd month
9% were in their 4th month
7% were in their 6th month
6% were in their 8th month
6% were in their 9th month
6% were in their 10th month
6% were in their 11th month
5% were in their 12th month

What is actually shown in the C-1 graph is that 56% of those who stay beyond three months are still active in AA at the end of a year. Other Survey results show even better retention rates after the first year.

You’d have to see the graph (Chart 1) for each individual graph for the respective surveys to understand. For example, the one shown is the distribution for all months. The 1st month distribution starts at 100% and goes down to 26% after 12 months. The 2nd month distribution goes from 100% at the 2nd month and goes down to 38%, 3rd month from 100% to 50%, 4th month from 100% to 56%...

The normalizing factor, that which you multiply everything on the distribution by, is 5.25. So Tony J is correct in saying 26.25% after the first year.

Now, two more points the Triennial Survey points out;

As mentioned above,

• 56% of those who stay beyond 3 months are still active in A.A. at the end of a year and other surveys show even better.

• Another important consideration for data interpretation and context is that not everyone who attends A.A. meeting is an alcoholic.

They have graphs in there that show from 77’ to 80’ the percentages of different age groups have come into A.A. Less than 21 years of age, for example rose from 1% in 77’ to 3% for 83’ through 89’, less than 31 years of age rose from about 12% to 22% from 77’ to 89’, 31-50 year olds have been a pretty steady 55% from 77’ to 89’, and 51 years + declined from about 37% in 77’ to about 24% in 89’.

Random suggests imprecision rather than the opposite, but in actuality, when it comes to voting polls, for example, comes to mean “absence of bias". Just because you have a larger sample, doesn’t make it more accurate. That’s what they’ve done with the above survey and it’s good enough for me.

Here’s two statements from A.A.’s Triennial Surveys that show progress in the fellowship;

“About 40% of the members sober less than a year will remain sober and active in the Fellowship another year.”

“Similarly, of the members sober five years, about 90% will remain sober and active in the fellowship another year.”

No prediction is made for those that do NOT remain active.

Length of Sobriety (Data of 1989 survey)

Sobriety Range_________% of Sample
1-2 years______________13.3%
2-3 __________________9.8%
No response____________0.4%

Another bit of wonderful data; across the board, from less than a year sober to 45+ years sober, average meetings per week is 3.

I think I’m gonna go on a 36 meetings in 90 days campaign.

Or how about this? 90 meetings in 90 years? You like that?

Oh look! Attendance at Alcoholics Anonymous meetings may reduce depression symptoms (http://esciencenews.com/articles/2010/01/28/attendance.alcoholics.anonymous.meetings.may.reduce.depression.symptoms)

Look! There goes a fucking rabbit. Depression for who? The spouse? Fuckin’ dicknose fucks. That's what the fuck you get when you mix alcoholism with Psychology and Sociology.


Ok. Now that the above concern is out of the way, I’d like to delve into blame guy’s claim of a falling fellowship in terms of numbers.

First of all, let’s look at what the NIAAA’s (National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism) NESARC survey, (National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions) says about the hard drinker vs. what some of us A.A. types like to call the real alcoholic.

Just for shits and giggles, let’s call the hard drinkeralcohol abuse” and the real alcoholicalcohol dependence”.

It’s fair to assume that for every alcoholic, there were about 0.68 hard drinkers… from just looking ahead and skipping a little algebra. In the next 10 years, there were about 1 hard drinker for about 0.81 alcoholics.

The NIAAA says “the number of American adults who abuse alcohol or are alcohol dependent rose from 13.8 million in 1991-1992 to 17.6 million in 2001-2002 (i.e. 8.5% of the population 18 years and older or about 1 in every 12 adults).”

A June 10, 2004 National Institutes for Health (NIH) News Release summarized the NESARC survey data as;

• 1991-1992; alcohol abuse; 5.6 million, alcohol dependence; 8.2 million, total; 13.8 million.

• 2001-2002; alcohol abuse; 9.7 million, alcohol dependence; 7.9 million, total; 17.6 million.

“In 2002, global A.A. membership was around 2.1 million (1.2 million in the US)."

"These membership numbers are likely understated; even so, it is a substantial quantitative indicator of A.A. success.”

So… the way I see it, we’re (A.A.) helping 1 of every 7 alcoholics or about 14.3% of them. The amount of real alcoholics went down a bit... maybe some died. The amount of posers-er!!!!!!!!!! hard drinkers actually almost doubled... from 92' to 2002. So if anything, A.A. meetings should actually be smaller. But... we've got some hard drinkers to run out first. Or another way to look at is is this... that will make more room for the real alcoholic that is still out there. Don't want to do A.A. via the steps or believe in God? Fine. Get the fuck out. We need the chair. Maybe then we'll get the recovery rates up even higher and the antiAAers will be all proud of us. I have a ... an epiphany! You hard drinkers? Go join an antiAA blog. They'll keep you busy.

So based on that, Blame, what were you saying?

Friday, February 5, 2010

M.A. from Stinkin' Thinkin's Thought for the Day

Thought of the Day
Posted on February 5, 2010 by M A
Perhaps those AAs who are getting sober with the help of their Higher Power™ could “go it alone” for a few days so God can sort out things in Haiti.

Filed under: Deep Thoughts Leave a Comment »

I went to um... leave a comment, and it wouldn't let me for some reason. Last night, I was in like flynn. Oh well. Well since M.A. aka Shark Sandwich is with us over here now... I'd like to drop a response.

Well that sounds fair to me. I could give up God for a few I guess. I'll just pray to my cats for a few days, no problem. That will be cool. They get pretty spiritual when we give them catnip. Godnip.

Anywho... I thought God spoketh over there in Haiti about 23 days ago.

I added this bit thinking that I was being blocked from over there, but not the case... as it was just a temporary bottleneck.

mikeblamedenial, on February 6th, 2010 at 7:59 pm Said:

“M.A… you had a shitty sponsor. Let me help you with that next time, please.”

So did you, it would seem. If you are going to make offers of sponsorship, particularly when describing or commenting on 12-step concepts, I suggest you first get a dictionary, and a thesaurus, and do a little reading. Your repeated misuse of the word “amend” indicates a lack of understanding of its meaning,. The word only appears in the English language as a verb and its definitions do not apply in the 8th and 9th step applications.

a·mend·ed, a·mend·ing, a·mends
VERB: tr.
To change for the better; improve: amended the earlier proposal so as to make it more comprehensive.
To remove the faults or errors in; correct. See Synonyms at correct.
To alter (a legislative measure, for example) formally by adding, deleting, or rephrasing.
To enrich (soil), especially by mixing in organic matter or sand.”

The noun “amends”, which the 8th and 9th steps mention, always ends in the letter “s”. I would also submit that the definition of that word has been convoluted in your current 12-step application. It isn’t an apology, a confession of sin, a plea for forgiveness, or any other make-us-feel-good-about-ourselves-and-get-right-with-God nonsense. Here are some dictionary definitions from three different sources:

something given or done to make up for injury, loss, etc. that one has caused.

Recompense for grievance or injury.

Compensation for a loss or injury

Here are some synonyms to clear it up even further–amends: noun Something to make up for loss or damage: compensation, indemnification, indemnity, offset, quittance, recompense, redress, reimbursement, remuneration, reparation, repayment, requital, restitution, satisfaction, setoff.

As you can hopefully see, penance, sacraments, the pain of Jesus, the all-seeing Eye of God, Scientology, etc, while possibly worthwhile subjects of discussion, clearly are not within the intentions of the ninth step or the scope of any proper amends discussion between sponsor and sponsee. Yours is a good example of one of the basic shortcomings of sponsorship: inept leadership based upon indoctrination rather than genuine qualification to administer accurate, helpful information. Write your letter of confession and apology to the Eye, and send me a Paypal check (you have my email addy) as compensation for all those crappy things you said about me, then go ahead and continue to take personal inventory, promptly admitting when you are wrong.

Jim, on February 6th, 2010 at 9:57 pm Said:
I agree. If an amend is done from a place of seeking to ease a guilty conscience and not from a sincere desire to set right a wrong, it only feeds the sickness from whence it came.

That being said, I’m glad I’m not famous because I screw up all the time.

They have a saying in AA that you can’t save your face and your ass at the same time.

mcgowdog, on February 6th, 2010 at 10:10 pm Said:
Take you Funk and Wagnalls definitions and cram them up your pipe hole.

I have plenty of awesome experience on making amends. I do them and I finish them every year.

” It isn’t an apology, a confession of sin, a plea for forgiveness, or any other make-us-feel-good-about-ourselves-and”

“An apology won’t fit the bill at all.”
So… no shit, Sherlock. What was your first clue? But showing contrition and sorrow is very important. But what part of my amend example did I say, “I’m sorry!”? No where.

What’s your experience making amends? We use the Sacraments of Pennance in our 8th Step. If you’ve done such a thing, we can talk about it. If not, I’m not interested in your opinion of which you know nothing about.

Paypal? I owe you money? Why don’t you go down to the soup kitchen and eat. Next time someone bumps into you at an intersection, come out grabbing your neck… go for the California Lottery. Oh, and please, go down to the bus depot and give out some free b-jobs and get your self esteem back. Quit being a victim. I owe you nothing. Don’t like my writings? Don’t read them.

mikeblamedenial, on February 6th, 2010 at 10:51 pm Said:
Your hateful, vulgar, and generally unkind words are a stark contrast to your professions of sacramental adherence and the selfless dedication to helping others prescribed by 12-step doctrine. Once again, the word is “amends”, not “amend”. Repitition is the key to learning new information.

AndyM, on February 7th, 2010 at 12:10 am Said:
Odd that so many online 12 step apologists manage to combine a claim of profound spiritual spiritual insight with a filthy (if sadly limited and misspelt) vocabulary. Suggestions that people who disagree with them shove various things up their rectums seems to be a popular theme with them for some reason. I do wish aa literature had been written in this robust , no-holds-barred, lavatory wall style of prose. For my money it would have given a more accurate picture of aa spirituality as seen in practice.



4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of everybody else in the room.

I expected nothing more from you whiny bitches.

Monday, February 1, 2010

When to do a set of steps and how often ?

It's becoming evident to me that what my group does isn't too popular amongst other A.A. groups.

I'm not all big on slobbering over a guy who once took me through the work and following him around the ends of the earth like an unfed puppy dog.

Some of you, on the other hand, think me or my group is whacko because we do steps yearly.

I'm having a good discussion with Danny about this now. I'm working to respect and understand his side and he's doing likewise with mine. I suppose there's a right and a wrong motive for doing steps... but not to seeking God. If we're doing these steps to fix a relationship or get a better job or to get the IRS off our back, woe is us, right? The 11th Step says, "We ask especially for freedom from self-will, and are careful to make no request for ourselves only. We may ask for ourselves, however, if others will be helped." Is getting our resentments, fears, harms done to others cleared up and cast away a selfish end? To ourselves? To our group? To the newcomer prospect or suffering bleeding deacon in our group? I don't think so.

I think I understand people who don't feel the need to do an inventory just because a group or a person or a calender tells you to.

But I decided into a group who does it, sort of like clockwork... or as the seasons change. Our group decided up front that this is what we will do. There have been some who have decided out... of the group or out of the process...until it's time for them. No biggie.

We find the time of September to the end of November a good time... a good season... to kickstart the middle-work and get it over and done with. It also makes for good topics. One of the good things about giving a 5th step is the opportunity to hear a 5th step too.

People are busy during Summer. After summer is over, people are ready to settle in and get their feet wet. We do a set of steps and are done with amends by the time Thxgiving and Christmas and New Year comes along. Then we do an awesome spiritual retreat after the Super Bowl.

When working with newcomers or folks who need steps, we get them in the steps and free of sponsorship immediately.

You know the funny thing about the people who do A.A. tapes? The people who do A.A. tapes. It takes an incredible ego to do that stuff. If anybody tells you otherwise, they're a liar.

We believe that the alcoholic ego grows right up alongside the recovered alcoholic. So if anything, the steps become more vital. The path narrows. This is what I've been told and it reconciles with my experience.

Dr Harry Tiebout was ambivalent to the "disease model" for alcoholism. I personally think it's bullshit. I believe alcoholism to be a spiritual malady for me... the real alcoholic.

I don't care if you believe in doing the 12 steps yearly or not. What I'd like to learn more about is why you do and what you get from it and why you do NOT and what you get from that. To me, doing steps yearly is quite natural. It's simply what we do. But when it's time to do the work again, I go out on my own... and decide for myself, if this is what I will continue to do... or not. We question the whole deal. I question the whole deal; Maybe I'm an alcoholic. Maybe I'm not. Maybe I need God. Maybe I do not. When once I decide from there, I'm either in or out. Are you in or are you out?

Based on work with 250 alcoholics during his first 10 years at Blythewood, Tiebout developed the following conception of the alcoholic mind:

"In the normal individual there is a tendency to create some privacy for his inner life, for his motivations, reflections and emotions, so that they are not completely accessible to the environment. Normally this attempt interferes only slightly with the freedom of movement of outgoing and incoming stimuli and impulses. The boundary which the normal individual sets up between himself and the environment may be called a floating or diffuse boundary. In incipient alcoholism, however, it appears that the boundary is drawn somewhat tighter than is usual, and that with each stage of further development of the alcoholism more and more gaps are closed until the alcoholic seems to have erected what may be called a barrier which permits only a minimum of interplay between the inner self and the environment."