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Friday, 25 July 2014

Conference questions (2014) – almost! (contd)

36. Given the service commitment required to be a Conference delegate, would Conference consider introducing a specific and separate guideline for Conference delegates, which can better help in the selection and preparation of delegates and their alternates?


In the 2010 Conference report, the response to the inventory question (question 2) from Committee 5 ‐ on improving the method of Conference reporting back to the membership – did not address the issue of improving the existing communication between Conference and the membership as a whole.
Ideally all delegates would readily understand the implications of each question in terms of the Concepts, Traditions and the Conference Charter. As our trusted servants it is vital that all Conference delegates are fully armed with the facts in order to truly serve the Fellowship.
Our literature has plenty to say but it would be useful to have that gathered in one pamphlet or guideline to ensure that delegates are sufficiently informed about what the position entails.
It could also provide guidance about which literature should be read by an aspiring delegate or alternate. For example:
 ∙ GB Service Manual
 ∙ World Service Manual
 ∙ Conference Charter and warrantees
 ∙ 12 Traditions
 ∙ 12 Concepts
 ∙ AA Comes of Age
 ∙ Recent previous Conference reports

Terms of Reference No. 7 Covered in recently approved Structure Handbook for Great Britain, page 93”

Comment: And they wonder why the majority of the fellowship is so disengaged from participation in the service structure above group level! But it always serves the interests of hierarchies to make their operations as obscure and as technical as possible ensuring thereby their machinations remain incomprehensible to the rest of us. In this fashion they remain the 'masters' of their mysterious craft whilst excluding the remainder from any real participation. AA has been and is a profoundly undemocratic organisation with a leadership (?) that is unelected, and which for the most part remains effectively unaccountable (by design). With an ever increasing proliferation of guidelines (ignored largely by those who have no interest in AA principles eg. cult members and groups) and burdened by an expanding and mostly unnecessary 'bureaucracy' (eg. region) - even as the membership is static if not actually decreasing - AA shows every sign of disappearing into a mire of its own making. The production of yet more guidelines does not, we would say, suggest a solution! Maybe fewer!

See here for a full list of other questions that didn't quite get through the 'filter'


The Fellas (Friends of Alcoholics Anonymous)

Thursday, 24 July 2014

Back to Basics=Wally P= terminal boredom!

Every now and then we get an email from a Back to Basic's apologist giving us yet another history lesson (which version?) about AA, and the antecedents of the aforementioned Wally's unique take on the recovery programme. Again we are informed how badly AA is faring and how mislead we all are. Once again the same old entirely inaccurate quotes about AA recovery rates are rolled out (this happens with such mind-numbing regularity that we don't even bother to cite the corrective passage in the Big Book in response to these idiots anymore). According to this latest missive it's all Bill Wilson's fault! Apparently (or so our recovery 'expert' informs us) the rot set in with the publication of the “12 Steps and 12 Traditions” (authored by the infamous Bill Wilson, destroyer of AA). Thereafter we all became hell-bent (or so we're told) on stopping newcomers from doing the steps (or at least delaying them) instead of belting them through in double-fast time. The fact that they'll probably be as clueless at the end of the process as they were at the beginning is neither here nor there. So our SUGGESTION to all you recovery 'gurus' out there (and you do seem to be multiplying) is invest some of your not-so-hard-earned money from the sales of your dubious literature and buy some specs! That way you might overcome your congenital eye defects, which can be the only possible explanation for your inability to grasp some really REALLY 'basic' facts. Or perhaps you fall into that category of being “constitutionally incapable”. Or then again maybe you're just plain thick! Who can say!

For an analysis of the Back to Basics/Primary Purpose scam see: An Enquiry into Primary Purpose and Back to Basics AA Groups 

For an exhaustive, properly researched and ACCURATE presentation on AA recovery rates see: Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) Recovery Outcome Rates - Contemporary Myth and Misinterpretation 


The Fellas (Friends of Alcoholics Anonymous)

PS Coming soon! (drum roll followed by wild applause). Our very own slightly irreverent and even occasionally critical commentary of the Big Book (in serialised form)! Everything will be given the 'once-over' (unlike, for example, Joe and Charlie who just leave out anything they don't agree with). We will quite naturally be charging you vast sums of money for the privilege of being on the receiving end of our penetrative insights – NOT! We will also be producing a wide selection of very expensive supporting literature (work sheets, flashy brochures, commentaries on our commentaries, CDs, DVDs, mpegs, jpegs, clothing pegs etc) together with all manner of novelty toys, badges, jewellery, deodorants, baseball caps and anything else we can think of to part you from your cash – NOT! Members of the team will also be available personally to take anyone with enough 'readies' through the recovery programme – NOT! Alternatively speakers can be provided for events GRATIS (subject to the usual provisions: first class food and accommodation, first class travel, first class groupies etc). Send email for details on dressing room requirements!! These alone will be spectacularly exorbitant! - NOT!

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Road to Recovery Plymouth – a finger in every pie!

Extracts from the aacultwatch forum (old)

Hi, everyone

I've been debating for around three years, whether or not I should post this message here. The reason I held off from doing so, is that it doesn't directly affect AA: however, it does have a big effect on addicts in other areas of life, but I can't find an equivalent platform to this anywhere else. So, at long last, I've decided to heck with it - if I post here and its not relevant, then a moderator can remove it from the board. However, maybe it will do some good...

Anyone who reads the AACultwatch blog knows that there is a strong cult contingent in Plymouth, in the shape of Wayne P's "Road to Recovery" group - there's a LOT of posts regarding their attitudes and adventures, going back several years and showing no sign of abating any time soon. However, the same group is also running an SAA group, very much in the same mould. I had direct experience of the group myself for almost two years, before I realised it was unhealthy and moved on.

The group, which runs under the name "There Is A Solution", was founded by a sponsee of Wayne P's (in the interests of anonymity, I won't name who), and they run it in exactly the same way that R2R is run. Almost everyone is sponsored within the group - and if not, you are encouraged to do so - which means that a pyramid is set up, with the founder at the top. Since the Golden Rule is, Do What Your Sponsor Tells You, it essentially means that the founder controls the actions of everyone in the group. In addition, the group completely ignores the Green Book of SAA, and instead uses only the Big Book of AA, changing the terms of alcohol addiction to sex addiction wherever they are found in the text. They actively dismiss the Green Book as unhelpful, with several areas that are, in their words, more likely to cause a relapse then aid recovery.

Like I said, I was in the group for two years. The general mode of operating in that time was to get members to come to both weekly meetings, attend no meetings outside the group (which wasn't too difficult to arrange, as SAA meetings are a bit thin on the ground), and we were strongly encouraged to also attend the open meeting of the R2R group on a Friday evening - in fact, this open evening was given higher importance than the Thursday meeting of the group itself! The only time in two years that we were encouraged to attend any meetings outside our own was if we went en masse to another group (I attended a couple in Bristol when one of our group moved up there, and a conference in London), to "spread the word" of how recovery "should" be done.

In not sure what the solution to groups like this is: if anything, to my mind they're potentially more damaging to addicts seeking recovery than the AA groups they've spawned from. AA is now big enough that in a city like Plymouth, there are many different groups being run. At the time I was in the SAA group, however, it was the only group of its kind in the area. I had no way to compare it to anything else, and the only other twelve-step experience I had was of the R2R parent group. It took me two years before I was able to glean that things weren't healthy there, and I consider myself a bright and intelligent individual, who has read up on cult activity and methods for years.

I don't know that I can expect anything to change: this post is certainly not an attempt to rally a call to arms, or get the group disbanded. But I do think its important that other would-be members are forewarned about its ties and attitudes, and in hindsight, I'm sorry I waited three years to speak out.”


The Fellas (Friends of Alcoholics Anonymous)

PS To use “comment” system simply click on the relevant tab below this article and sign in. All comments go through a moderation stage

PPS For new aacultwatch forum see here. Have your say!

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Questions and Answers on Sponsorship (contd)


Can a sponsor be overprotective?

In their enthusiasm to help a newcomer achieve sobriety, some sponsors may tend to be overprotective. They worry unduly about the persons they sponsor and tend to smother them with attention. In doing so, they may run the risk of having a newcomer depend on an individual member, rather than on the A.A. program. The most effective sponsors recognize that alcoholics who join A.A. must eventually stand on their own feet and make their own decisions — and that there is a difference between helping people to their feet and insisting on holding them up thereafter.

Another danger of overprotectiveness is that it may annoy the newcomer to the point of resenting the attempts to help — and expressing that resentment by turning away from A.A.”

(our emphasis)

Comment: Or in the case of cult sponsors setting themselves up as the sponsee's Higher Power and bullying rather than smothering them into submission. The reality is that newcomers to AA have to start making their own decisions from the off! No-one else is entitled to take that responsibility. 

Remember - Step 3 states: 

Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him."

(our emphasis)

It does NOT say:

Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of our sponsor as we understood Him.

Moreover a sponsor is NOT ESSENTIAL to recovery. And NO sponsorship is better by far than BAD sponsorship!


The Fellas (Friends of Alcoholics Anonymous)

(to be continued)

Monday, 21 July 2014

Stuff! (contd)

In our never-ending quest for privacy and anonymity (unless you're a cult bully of course!) we present:

SpiderOak makes it possible for you to privately store, sync, share & access your data from everywhere”

“‘Zero-Knowledge’ Privacy

'Zero-Knowledge' privacy means the server never knows the plaintext contents of the data it is storing. Never. Therefore, the data is never at risk of being compromised or abused by either internal threats or external hacker”


The Fellas (Friends of Alcoholics Anonymous)

See also under Free Stuff in Links and Downloads

Alcohol research

Cooperation and Rivalry Between Professionals and Memberrs of AA, Kurtz, LF, Health and Soccial Work, Vol. 10(2),104-112, Spring 1985

Because Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) is an important resource for recovering alcoholics, most treatment centers want to work cooperatively with it. To identify factors that enhance this cooperation, the author surveyed AA members and professionals in the same communities and obtained a profile of their interactions, ideological similarities and linking activities.”

PS For AA Minority Report 2013 click here

Sunday, 20 July 2014

An alternative to AA's “20 Questions”: You know you're a drunkard when … (contd)

When booze does its taxes it lists you as a dependent

Your idea of codependency is splitting the bar tab

You open a friend’s refrigerator and are bewildered to find food where the beer should be


The Fellas (Friends of Alcoholics Anonymous)