AA MINORITY REPORT 2013

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Saturday, 28 February 2015

"The Fellowship has profiteered from the alcohol industry......"


See previous entries

According to GSO: 

The transfers did not happen in quite the way you suggest, Morgan Stanley decided to close its charity arm and sold it off to Credit Suisse, we were transferred in April 2014, some of the staff were transferred along with it and we had assumed that the existing investment policy would also be carried forward. At that time and until October 2014 that policy was that Investments should not include companies where alcohol is  the main commodity. 

We were very disappointed to discover that Investments had been made in Diageo plc and a meeting was held in December with a representative from Credit Suisse concerning our portfolio.

Since then the Executive met and has made a decision concerning our Investments which I am not able to divulge until it is taken to the GSB meeting at the end of this month. However I will let you know the outcome as soon as I can.”

A request for clarification of the above: 

So, just to be clear :


· In April 2014 Credit Suisse were appointed to replace Morgan Stanley as the Fellowship’s investment managers and were given a mandate that ‘No Investments are held / managed in Districts that fall under the “Tax Avoidance” or “Politically Unstable” umbrellas.’


· Despite the acknowledged importance of such matters in light of Tradition 10, the implementation of this mandate was not checked by us, them or anyone else before the balance sheet date of 30 September 2014.


· You advised me on 9 December that a statement will appear in the audited accounts regarding the new Managers’ investment mandate and, when asked for clarification, affirmed that none of the investments disclosed in the accounts for the year to 30 September 2014 will trace back to Luxembourg.


· On 11 December accounts are filed at Companies House detailing our holding of Luxembourg-domiciled funds and a publicly traceable indirect investment in the shares of Diageo plc, the world’s largest distiller of alcoholic spirits.


· We continue to hold these investments, and have no definite timescale as to when they will be sold.

Is that correct?”

And so on and so forth. We won't bore you with the rest. We think you get the general idea!!

Now with regard to the current position see here 

You will observe from this the name of the previous fund managers (so-called “Brand Y”) has been omitted for fear of litigation. We would have thought if there was any litigation to take place it should be us versus them (incidentally “Brand Y” is Morgan Stanley just in case you didn't remember). But, of course, we don't get involved in such mucky issues and consequently companies such as these (blood sucking, amoral parasites that they are) think they can walk all over us.

We'd be interested to hear what steps the GSB and GSO are going to take to ensure the reputation of the fellowship is not tarnished by the negligent behaviour (yes we did say “NEGLIGENT”) of such companies as these in the future

Cheerio

The Fellas (Friends of Alcoholics Anonymous …... and NO friends of fat cat, tax avoiding spongers!) 

PS Again our thanks to that small group of AA members who took the time and energy to try and protect our name when apparently neither the General Service Board nor the General Service Office could be bothered!

Friday, 27 February 2015

Alcohol research – LawCare


 

Most professionals believe they should be able to handle their own problems, even when such problems are completely outside their professional training and experience. Lawyers, in particular, because they spend so much of their time sorting out other people's problems, find it difficult to acknowledge that they themselves sometimes need help. However, they usually find it easier to take this step with another lawyer and so our staff all have experience of life in practice as do most of our supporters.

Ignoring problems and hoping they will go away is no solution. The first step is to recognise the existence of the problem. The second step is to seek objective, expert support and advice in dealing with it.

That is where LawCare comes in. LawCare is here to help you to cope with the increasing number of problems facing the legal professions today, any of which could adversely affect your professional performance and family life”


PS For AA Minority Report 2013 click here

Alcohol research – The European FASD Alliance


 

The European FASD Alliance was founded in February 2011 to meet the growing need for European professionals and NGOs concerned with FASD to share ideas and work together. The European FASD Alliance is a nonprofit international organization registered in Sweden.

OUR GOALS
To support the member associations in their efforts
• To improve the quality of life for all people with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders and their families
• To increase awareness of the risks of drinking alcoholic beverages during pregnancy.

The EUROPEAN FASD ALLIANCE will also act as a liaison centre
• To collate and disseminate information to its members
• To stimulate international collaboration on research projects on the origins management and prevention of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders
• To encourage national associations to exchange and share their projects and experiences
• To foster the foundation and development of new national FASD Associations”



PS For AA Minority Report 2013 click here

Thursday, 26 February 2015

'Mickey Mouse' recovery versus the real thing!



Well we're quite used to being told in mainstream AA (ie. the REAL thing) how deficient our own recovery is eg. AA 'lite', 'cafeteria' style recovery, “Beano readers” blah di blah di blah. But now we've come up with our very own designation for the quick fix, instant gratification, do it by the numbers brigade: 'Mickey Mouse' recovery. After all we can play this game as well!

Question: So how can you recognise Mickey Mouse recovery (Mickey Mouse - a slang expression meaning small-time, amateurish or trivial. In the UK and Ireland, it also means poor quality or counterfeit)? (interestingly - or not depending on your point of view - Mickey Mouse's (the cartoon character) body was originally designed out of circles in order to make the character simple to animate. There's got to be a message for the cult here somewhere!)

Answer: Mickey Mouse (or MM) recovery is usually nearly instantaneous! This miracle of transformation is achieved simply by: ringing up your sponsor every day, and doing EXACTLY what he or she says (of course); reading a passage from the Big Book (but only according to the aforementioned guru's current interpretation); ringing two newcomers (whether they want to be contacted or not) whose phone numbers you've contrived to extract, all the while mindlessly chanting the cult mantra – happy, joyous and free – as well as maintaining the fiction (as loudly as possible, and at every opportunity) of never having a bad day together with variations on this theme …. This type of recovery doesn't require any kind of belief in a Higher Power other than your sponsor nor is more than a superficial grasp of the Steps indicated. In line with the cult injunction viz. your best thinking got you drunk, reflection or insight are relegated to mere self-indulgence and the aforementioned mindlessness (open-mindedness is not quite the same thing) of the cult approach is very much de rigeur.

So imagine if you will a newcomer but recently arrived in the fellowship having just escaped from their personal alcoholic hell. This individual (whose concept of deferred gratification will necessarily be pretty weak especially when it comes to alcohol) has spent a large part of their life mostly sedated whilst seeking some kind of 'easy access' nirvana. On encountering the cult he or she will be “guaranteed” (yes folks – a cast iron guarantee!) a “life beyond their wildest dreams”, that they will almost inevitably be “rocketed into a fourth dimension” of bliss, and that never again will they EVER EVER have a bad day etc etc, and all this merely by following (mechanically) a few simple SUGGESTIONS (cult speak for orders!). Some of these suggestions might bear a passing resemblance to the recovery programme but hardly any will be in accordance with the principles of either the programme or the fellowship (Steps, Traditions, Concepts). The cult version is mostly counterfeit. Having been fast-forwarded to yet another set of 12 (remember the magical number!) 'Promises' via the largely 'assembly line' style of sponsorship so favoured by the cult they will then be mystically translated into this new reality. Let's face it! Any alcoholic (or addict for that matter) when confronted with this scenario is hardly likely to turn down the possibility. On the other hand if they're actually told the truth, that there are no guarantees of anything other than the fact that if you don't pick up the first drink you can't get drunk, that the steps are the work of a life time and require something more than superficial observance, that it is extremely unlikely you'll be entering any dimensions other than the rather humdrum one we currently occupy, and that bad and good days are the normal lot of humanity, well that's entirely another matter isn't it? So the cult starts and ends with a lie. There's really no other way of putting it! Mickey Mouse recovery needless to say rarely yields any lasting satisfaction - frothy emotional appeal rarely does! And for those of us who have been through the process, and then discovered the lie? Either abandon the cult (and AA) and look for other alternatives (an increasing number are available), begin attending REAL AA meetings where members share their experience of life in all its awful (and glorious) majesty, or stay with the cult and yell their ersatz message louder and louder in the forlorn hope that this will serve to drown out those oh so nagging doubts. Life's full of tough choices. But then it's that way for everyone. So take heart! Strive on – mindfully!

Cheers

The Fellas (
Friends of Alcoholics Anonymous ….. and THE REAL THING!)

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Alcohol research – Society for the Study of Addiction




PS For AA Minority Report 2013 click here

Alcohol research – The Alcohol Learning Centre


 

The Alcohol Learning Centre (ALC) was originally commissioned by the Department of Health under the Alcohol Improvement Programme (April 2008 - March 2011) to help reduce alcohol-related hospital admissions across the NHS. The ALC transferred to Public Health England on 1 April 2013 and is now part of Public Health England's alcohol learning resources”


PS For AA Minority Report 2013 click here

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

It's OK to have a bad day!


Extract from old aacultwatch forum: 

Hello again.

There have been various versions of the so-called "six suggestions" or "six things".  

As they existed around the early 1980's (when I came into the fellowship) they were as follows:

1) Pray for obsession with alcohol to be lifted.

2) Get to a meeting today

3) Ring another alcoholic if you feel like a drink.

4) Write a "Thank You" Gratitude List

5) Read the Just for Today Card

6) Say Serenity Prayer - if feeling anxious, afraid or wanting to drink.

I have these written in abbreviated form at the back in my first  London "Where to Find" (from 1984) together with a few telephone numbers from my first meeting.    The "Where to Find" in those days was much thinner compared to what it is now. Also it was printed on glossy paper.

When AA first came to the UK in there was no literature and no Big Book available here, so the members at that time had to improvise. There were various lists of "Things to do" for the newcomer circulating at the time. 

Some of these recommended reading the just for today card and cultivating an "attitude of Gratitude" by writing a Gratitude List. I once heard a chair by Dartmoor Bill, one of the founders of AA in this country and 47 years sober at time I heard him. He used to share that his "Big Book" was the Just For Today card, as there were no Big Books around when he was a newcomer. Incidently he was an atheist and did not believe in the Big Book at all. He died 52 years sober. 

The "Six Suggestions" underwent revision and change  throughout the 1980's and 1990's  and became more complicated and elaborate, until they became six paragraphs of suggestions, or rules. The Wednesday Vision for You meeting at Eaton Square started printing these  elaborated suggestions on small cards. I attended that meeting around the time this started to happen. A number of people left the Vision group because they felt David B (founder of the Vision cult) was  violating Traditions by printing his own literature and presenting it to Newcomers as AA. The original "six things" were not good enough for David, so he  substantially changed them-  for example he added that people should have 2 home groups, and ring 2 newcomers, pray on their knees, and other modifications.  He also added the non-AA slogan "misery is optional" and the hype "if you do these you will never have a bad day" to the cards. 

There were plenty of perfectly good AA meetings around London at the time this was going on. Most people got sober, and still get sober, in the mainstream of AA.

In hindsight, it is obvious that David B was really cultivating power and prestige - attractive, yes, but, as the Traditions tell us, deadly dangerous for the alcoholic and the fellowship.  Thus he set up his competitive cult group ( the Vision), and he denigrated the mainstream of AA as "sick"  labelling them "the walking wounded" He called his Vision cult the"real" AA, exhorting attendees to "go for Gold".

He gradually isolated himself and his cult within AA. The focus of recovery and sharing at Vision shifted from working 12 steps, to doing 6 things; and from talking about God or Higher Power, to promoting sponsors and sponsorship.  I remember there was a young man who attended the Vision around that time who earned the nickname "6 things" because that is all he shared about - doing the six things. He drank again, by the way, and I haven't seen him since.  

I used to consciously do the six things ( the simpler version) up until about 11 or 12 years ago. I eventually  found them a pointless burden to be honest. Reading the Just For Today card every day became a meaningless ritual. Around 1999 I stopped doing them altogether because my conscience didn't sit well with them, and I felt some of them were just plain superstition, and I was doing them out of fear, rather than Faith.  If you practice fear, in whatever form, you cultivate it within yourself.  

Today I am of a strong …..... Faith, and my Higher Powers don't want me on my knees, so the first of the "David B-amended" six suggestions is definitely out of the question for me. The original six suggestions never mentioned kneeling.  Nor did they mention "never having a bad day" if you did them. 

In my experience the "never have a bad day" prestige spin-phrase clouds the primary purpose of AA as contained in the Preamble, and puts unnecessary pressure on members to share that they "feel good all the time" even if they don't. 

My primary purpose today is not about "not having a bad day", it is about not having a DRINK today. That keeps AA simple for me, and for the newcomer. Also my Program and sharing today should be about honesty, not about presentation and spin. It is my capacity to be honest that will keep me sober, not my ability to put on a prestige performance in a meeting.  Again that keeps it nice and simple for me. 

It also keeps me humble. I have learned over the years that true humility is not a morning "pose" or body posture (easily feigned), but it is about how I interact with others and how true I am to my Higher Powers and myself.

Why complicate a simple Program ? 

If you take the steps then you have everything you need to stay sober.  My focus today is on practising the steps in my daily life according to my understanding of God and my understanding of spiritual expressions. This gives me far more freedom and flexibility of action,  and unburdens me of an arbitrary  list daily tasks and quotas largely invented by an AA personality who really had no authority to impose them on anyone else in the first place.”

Cheers

The Fellas (Friends of Alcoholics Anonymous)