Click here

Monday, 1 September 2014

A-rambling we will go!

Yep! The aacultwatch team's going AWOL! In anticipation of some rather nice weather coming this way we've decided that only the insane would want to slave over a hot keyboard when such an opportunity to commune with nature presents itself. Thus we will be wandering the highway and byways of our green and pleasant land wondering at its abundant delights – or delighting in its abundant wonders etc etc. Incidentally we didn't ask our sponsors if this was OK. The reason - we ain't got any! Back soonish … maybe!


The Fellas (Friends of Alcoholics Anonymous)

Sunday, 31 August 2014

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

Your bar tabs impact the international price of wheat and barley

Your hangovers can be seen from space

You’ve heckled AA meetings

You know to put extra ice in your cocktail when you take a hot shower

You don’t get “falling down drunk,” you get “gravity-challenged”


The Fellas (Friends of Alcoholics Anonymous)

Happy New Year-The Vision Of Tomorrow, January, 1952, Bill W

PS For AA Minority Report 2013 click here

Saturday, 30 August 2014

Questions and Answers on Sponsorship (contd)


How may “outside” A.A. groups help groups and members in institutions?

This subject is fully covered in the pamphlets “A.A. in Correctional Facilities” and “A.A. In Treatment Facilities.” Also see Guidelines on Corrections Committees and Guidelines on Treatment Facilities Committees, Treatment Facilities Workbook and Corrections Workbook, all available from G.S.O.

Service Sponsorship

. . . A.A. service is anything whatever that helps us to reach a fellow sufferer — ranging all the way from the Twelfth Step itself to a ten-cent phone call and a cup of coffee, and to A.A.’s General Service Office for national and international action. The sum total of all these services is our Third Legacy of Service. — The A.A. Service Manual/Twelve Concepts for World Service, page S1.

Sponsorship in A.A. is basically the same, whether helping another individual’s recovery or service to a group. It can be defined as one alcoholic who has made some progress in recovery [ie. you don't have to be “recovered” nor do you HAVE TO HAVE a sponsor] and/or performance in service, sharing this experience with another alcoholic who is just starting the journey. Both types of service spring from the spiritual aspects of the program.

Individuals may feel that they have more to offer in one area than in another. It is the service sponsor’s responsibility to present the various aspects of service: setting up a meeting; working on committees; participating in conferences, etc. In this matter it is important for the service sponsor to help individuals understand the distinction between serving the needs of the Fellowship and meeting the personal needs of another group member.

A service sponsor is usually someone who is knowledgeable in A.A. history and has a strong background in the service structure. The A.A. member is introduced to a new language: G.S.R., D.C.M., area assembly, minority opinion. They will become familiar with the Traditions, Concepts and Warranties, as well as The A.A. Service Manual/Twelve Concepts for World Service, Alcoholics Anonymous Comes of Age and other A.A. literature.

The service sponsor begins by encouraging the member to become active in their home group — coffee, literature, cleanup, attending business or intergroup meetings, etc. The service sponsor should keep in mind that all members will not have the desire or qualifications to move beyond certain levels and, thus, the service sponsor might help find tasks appropriate to individuals’ skills and interests. Whatever level of service one performs, all are toward the same end — sharing the overall responsibilities of Alcoholics Anonymous.

Eventually, the service sponsor encourages the individual member interested in this form of service to attend district meetings and to read about the history and structure of Alcoholics Anonymous. At this point, the individual beginning this work should begin to understand the responsibilities of service work, as well as feel the satisfaction of yet another form of Twelfth Step work. Such individuals should be encouraged to take an active part in district activities and consider being elected to alternate positions in the district so as to learn about the responsibilities of various jobs in the service structure.

During this process it is important for the individual to continue to learn about the Three Legacies — Recovery, Unity and Service, and to understand that the principle of rotation not only allows them to move on in service, but also gives newer members the privilege [ie. it's NOT a right] of serving. Rotation also allows them to understand that no one should hold on to a position of trust long enough to feel a proprietary interest and thereby discourage newcomers from service.

Co-founder Dr. Bob said, “I spend a great deal of time passing on what I learned to others who want and need it badly. I do it for four reasons:
1. Sense of duty.
2. It is a pleasure.
3. Because in doing so I am paying my debt to the man who took time to pass it on to me.
4. Because every time I do it I take out a little more insurance for myself against a possible slip.”

The basis of all sponsorship is to lead by example [this will exclude cult sponsors by definition. They work on the basis of 'Do as I say, not what I do']. Service sponsors can impart to their sponsees the pleasure of involvement in the work of Alcoholics Anonymous. This is best done by stressing the spiritual nature of service work and by pointing out the usefulness of simple footwork and faith.

Now, through knowledge and experience, the newer member is aware that service is our most important product after sobriety. With this knowledge, the individual is able to share their vision with others and ensure the future of Alcoholics Anonymous.


Most present members of Alcoholics Anonymous owe their sobriety to the fact that someone else took a special interest in them and was willing to share a great gift with them.

Sponsorship is merely another way of describing the continuing special interest of a seasoned member that can mean so much to a newcomer turning to A.A. for help.

Individuals and groups cannot afford to lose sight of the importance of sponsorship, the importance of taking a special interest in a confused alcoholic who wants to stop drinking. Experience shows clearly that the members getting the most out of the A.A. program, and the groups doing the best job of carrying the A.A. message to still-suffering alcoholics, are those for whom sponsorship is too important to be left to chance.

By these members and groups, sponsorship responsibilities are welcomed and accepted as opportunities to enrich personal A.A. Experience and to deepen the satisfactions that come from working with others.”

(our emphases - our comments in red)

Comment: By and large sensible advice although this section fails to point out the obvious danger. A singular presentation of what service involves means that bad as well as good perspectives might be passed on to the newcomer. Over-reliance on a single individual (such as will be found all too often amongst the cult membership with their sponsor 'fetishist' approach) always entails this risk. As broad a range of experience should always be sought combined with a greater emphasis on the study of AA conference approved literature.

This brings to an end our survey of this piece of AA literature.

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


The Fellas (Friends of Alcoholics Anonymous)

(Coming next! aacultwatch's review of “The AA Member – Medications and Other Drugs”)

Friday, 29 August 2014

Conference questions (2014) – almost! (contd)

50. Would Conference pass a recommendation that the General Service Board of Alcoholics Anonymous, as guardians of the Twelve Traditions, condemn the actions of Intergroups and Regions, which exclude registered AA groups, and individual AA members from exercising their right of participation in our service structure?


A registered AA group in Bournemouth, South West Region, and its members have for 7 years been excluded from participating in their local Intergroups, despite repeated attempts to join. [Let's make it 8 years, and then 9 and then …..]
This AA group, which is to be found on the National list of AA meetings, has donated thousands of pounds directly to GSO, as local Intergroups have consistently declined its donations. [Anybody can get listed nationally. There are no checks carried out. Go on! Try it out! Make up some daft group name and apply for registration!. And of course the local intergroups are going to decline a cult group's donations. The real question is why is GSO accepting them?]
No credible reason has ever been given for these clearly discriminatory actions. Does any service board ever have a credible reason for excluding any group to which it is directly responsible and which it serves?
(Tradition 9) [Untrue. See: Bournemouth Road to Recovery group]
These actions have created disunity locally and diverted attention away from efforts to carry the AA message. [Untrue. The existing intergroup and groups are positively thriving without the participation of the Bournemouth cult group. And no one can claim that the Bournemouth cult group EVER carried the AA message!]
Many members have been left feeling very insecure in the Fellowship that saved or could have saved their lives. Some may have left AA all together. [Many members leave AA and some die because of the cult groups. See Bournemouth Road to Recovery suicide]
Very willing and competent AA members have been denied the right to serve in the local service structure. [Untrue. Bournemouth members can hardly claim to be competent. Competent implies responsible – a quality completely lacking amongst the cult membership]
This right should never be denied any AA member based on membership of a particular group. [It's not a right – it's a privilege]
Failure by the GSB to express any views on this disgraceful state of affairs, may well have been deemed as approval of their actions by local Intergroups. [Untrue. GSO has made its position quite clear. It's ultra vires as far as they're concerned]
In any organisation where discrimination takes place it is the role of the leadership of that organisation to take a clear stand. [GSO has. See above]
Up till now the GSB has shirked on its responsibility and alcoholics could well have died as a result of this inactivity. [Again untrue. See above. We know for a fact that many alcoholics have already died because of the cult's activities. See Medications and Recovery]
Similar actions go on unchallenged in other parts of AA in the UK. [Excellent. Let's hope this trend spreads with the exclusion of further cult groups from participation in the service structure. See our Cult Where to Finds:

o Tradition 1
o Tradition 3
o Tradition 4
o Concepts 4, 9 and 12.

Terms of Reference No. 7 From the supplied background material this is a local issue”

Comment: We can expect no doubt the Bournemouth Road to Recovery cult group's complaints to appear again next year in 'Questions that didn't quite make it'

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


The Fellas (Friends of Alcoholics Anonymous)

Thursday, 28 August 2014

Alcohol research

Values Stressed by Two Social Class Levels at Meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous, Murphy MM, Quarterly Journal of Studies on Alcohol, Vol.14 (4), 577-585, 1953

This investigation was designed to analyze the values stressed by speakers at meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous (A.A.) and to ascertain whether values stressed by members of middle class social status background differ from those stressed by lower class members. Previous investigations (2,3,4) have disclose that class values of his early training become integral parts of the individual's personality and are ever-present guides for what he thinks, what he feels and how he acts. Social class differences operate to maintain barriers against intimate social participation among individuals of different social status backgrounds and make it difficult for them to work, live and commune with one another. American educational institutions, which serve all social class levels, are dominated by teachers of middle class background who stress middle class values, attitudes and goals.”

PS For AA Minority Report 2013 click here

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

To kneel or not to kneel, that is the question?

Extracts from the aacultwatch forum (old)

Hello ….....,

Thank you for your delightful response. You are clearly an intelligent person. So I will be fearless and thorough in my response :)

I would be interested to know what Higher Power requires you to kneel twice per day? Did this "suggestion" come as a direct communication from your Higher Power, or did it come from a sponsor (a human power)?

Although the Big Book mentions "humbly" and "humility", please can you also tell me where in the Big Book it specifically tells us to kneel twice per day, every day. Or is this yet another sponsor-invented "suggestion"??.

As kneeling is a religious practice connected with worship and adoration, I would be interested in the origin of this "suggested" practice.

Would you also please tell me how kneeling equates with being "humble"? I have encountered a number of kneeling fetishists in AA and they seem to me to be very far from being humble. Both in their attitude and behaviour. For example. a man in Ealing - Happy Dennis - talks incessantly about kneeling and being "humble" and coerces others to do likewise. Yet he produces his own literature contradicting AA, breaks the traditions, misquotes AA literature, and doesn't listen to anyone except the voice of his own deluded self-will, which has been running riot in Ealing for some time now causing a lot of disruption to the local fellowship and confusion among newcomers.

Another self-procaimed "humble" and kneeling fetishist is David C Icons, who has set up a website that lies about and distorts the AA program, knowing that it is causing division and conflict within AA, and offering dangerous and potentially fatal advice on medical and psychological matters which he is certainly not qualified to give. Please can you tell me how this is being "humble".

It seems to me that kneeling as an alleged expression of "humility" lacks both depth and weight, and, given the examples above, is nothing more than fakery and posturing.  As the program, according to the Big Book, is about connecting with and doing the will of a Higher Power, I would really like to know what Higher Power requires this daily charade. It certainly isn't my Higher Power!

I can assure you that I do have a conscious contact with my own Higher Power who requires humility to take place in my heart, in my attitudes and behaviour, and not as a mere pose on the floor, easily feigned.  Would I be able to share that in your Hampton Wick [Friday] meeting without being "cross-shared" or "blanked" by the assembled company of ever so "humble" cult-sponsors ? Somehow I doubt it. As has been said elsewhere in the aacultwatch site, and is my experience, - "the more they kneel, the more arrogant they become". It is a sad, but true irony.

I will deal with your other points later when I have more time. Please bear with me, I will address them.  Look forward to your reply.



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!