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“how to protect the vulnerable in AA …....
Unfortunately I think that GSO would be able to beat a Midtown-like lawsuit.There really is too wide a separation between the groups and NY. However I do believe that the hosting facilities (most of which are churches) can be spooked enough to ban groups on a case by case basis, unless such groups show that they have proper guidelines in place to protect the vulnerable. In my mind these guidelines would include:
- A stated group policy concerning admission for parolees, registered sex offenders.
- A stated group policy regarding sponsorship qualifications, background checks.
Think about it. If I as a pastor or facilities manager have opened my doors to a group that does not have such policies in place then I am being negligent in my responsibility to protect visitors to my facility. To me, it’s almost like not adhering to the fire code.
All it will take is one civil lawsuit that links a meeting place to having facilitated abuse by an AA group. Trust me, the hike in insurance premiums will then cause many doors to close to AA.
I’m actually thinking of sending out letters to a number of churches in my area warning them of the potential for abuse within the groups. I bet it will have an impact on making AA more accountable.
The Fellas (Friends of Alcoholics Anonymous)
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