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Posts critical of AA – Recovering-from-Recovery https://www.recoveringfromrecovery.com An Alcoholism and Addiction recovery blog. Wed, 14 Feb 2018 13:05:04 +0000 en-US hourly 1 61103246 New Blog Critical of AA https://www.recoveringfromrecovery.com/new-blog-critical-of-aa/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=new-blog-critical-of-aa https://www.recoveringfromrecovery.com/new-blog-critical-of-aa/#comments Wed, 14 Feb 2018 13:02:45 +0000 https://www.recoveringfromrecovery.com/?p=20681 Here is a new blog critical of AA by another person who has left. https://ileftaa.blogspot.com/ It was a difficult decision for me to leave AA, even though I was questioning what was going on in meetings and its effectiveness. Other people seem to find this is a problem as well so I am always glad when […]

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Here is a new blog critical of AA by another person who has left. https://ileftaa.blogspot.com/

It was a difficult decision for me to leave AA, even though I was questioning what was going on in meetings and its effectiveness. Other people seem to find this is a problem as well so I am always glad when people are prepared to share their experiences. This new blog looks good and has been started straight after leaving AA. I waited a few years and have a different perspective as a result. I hope this helps those who are struggling in the rooms at the moment and who want to take charge of their own recovery.

Here is the first Blog post.

The first few days

I went to my last meeting last week. I am already feeling better, I am less anxious and the near depression I was feeling is already starting to fade. I also noticed that I was frustrated and I don’t know how long I’ve felt that way, thankfully that is fading too.

I told some trusted friends what I am doing, I don’t know why because now I don’t care who knows.

At this point I’ve also decided that from now on even when someone probes my answer will be that I am someone who chooses not to drink. I don’t feel the need to disclose why I don’t drink anymore, I have done my part and given much more than I have taken. I’ve probably also put up with too much over the years too since I chose to live a principaled, virtuous and honest life long before I was in aa and in hindsight, my risk was I chose to be around a lot of people that were not.

Out of my own volition I chose to be around people that told me time and again what kind of person they were. They were usually in almost direct conflict with my personhood. I’ll have to forgive myself and not do that anymore.

All in all, just a few days in and I am feeling better. I am pretty much relieved every time I turn around. I have found gratitude again in most things that were just about driving me crazy.

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Rational Email https://www.recoveringfromrecovery.com/rational-email/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=rational-email https://www.recoveringfromrecovery.com/rational-email/#comments Sat, 21 Oct 2017 15:00:36 +0000 https://www.recoveringfromrecovery.com/?p=20627 It is always good to get an email from somebody who has found the site helpful. I got permission from Tim who wrote this to put this on the site. I also used some of the ideas from Rational Recovery http://www.rational.org/index.php?id=36      in my early days of recovery when I was looking for alternatives to AA. I read […]

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Rational Recovery BookIt is always good to get an email from somebody who has found the site helpful. I got permission from Tim who wrote this to put this on the site. I also used some of the ideas from Rational Recovery http://www.rational.org/index.php?id=36      in my early days of recovery when I was looking for alternatives to AA. I read the Rational Recovery book http://rational.org/shop/index.php and found a lot of the ideas linked in with many of the things I was taught in CBT counselling.

I think Rational Recovery really helped those of us who were not interested in the religious spiritual side of AA, and who did not think that God was going to do anything .

Thanks again for the email and if anybody else wants me put a piece on the site please get in touch. I really do not have the time to do that much these days and would really be repeating myself on many issues if I wrote about the same things. Most visitors to this site are thinking about leaving AA and are searching for alternatives.

Message Body:
Like your site! Thank you for your work and efforts in addressing this important issue. I’d like to get involved. I’ve latched on to Rational Recovery: Hope we can connect.

I was diagnosed at age 15 as an alcoholic. I’m now 52.
That diagnosis has been an ‘evil and corrosive thread’ in my life. It’s hard to admit I allowed myself to accept the disease concept but I did. It’s embarrassing – but it is reality. Here’s what I accepted and continued to believe for 37 years:
• I am afflicted with an unprovable, incurable, fatal and progressive disease
• I am powerless to treat it on my own
• The only prescription to treat this disease is constant support from:
 A Higher Power
 AA Meetings
 The AA fellowship
 An AA sponsor
 Consistent application of the 12 steps in my life
• This disease inexplicably causes me to reach a point where there will be no mental defence against the first drink.
• Unless I hand over my life to an unqualified sponsor, a God of my understanding, and the 12 Steps, I am guaranteed a life of jails, institutions, and death.
• If I do relapse, it can only be because I didn’t apply the above formula well enough or perhaps failing to disclose a deep dark secret somewhere in my life that I can’t identify or am unwilling to admit.
• If I do what I’m told, shut my mouth, and blindly follow my unqualified sponsor’s advice and AA’s program my reward is… wait for it…
• A good chance to stay sober for 1 Day!!!!!

While I admit that for some people, AA does help them stay sober. The issue for me was whether it was helping me achieve total abstinence. Evidence (repeated relapses over 37 years) suggests it didn’t help me then and won’t help me now. I actually believe AA kept me sick by providing an ideal setup/excuse to relapse. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t angry at AA and the Recovery Movement for the fear mongering that is so prevalent. The good news is that 37 years after that ridiculous diagnosis, I am free. Further, AVRT has allowed me to recognise that the anger I feel toward AA, albeit justified, can be a weak point for my addictive voice to target in hope of preventing me from flawlessly executing my Big Plan. That’s not going to happen. I’m on to my AV and look forward to showing it absolutely no mercy going forward!
Bottom line, it’s time to put on my big boy pants and take full responsibility for my past decisions to continue to ‘relapse’ – I don’t think ‘relapse’ is even the right word to use since it implies some force beyond my control caused me to resign abstinence and resume drinking and using. I drank because I love the effect produced by alcohol. Same thing with drugs. They worked. They allowed me to effortlessly change the way I was feeling. There really are no free passes left for me when it comes to drinking and using. The solution is 100% abstinence for the rest of my life. I’m 32 days in and the hope I feel is indescribable.
I actually went through an exercise of listing the 12 steps out and comparing what AVRT and RR’s alternative.
Here’s what I came up with for Step 1.
AA Step 1 – We admitted we were powerless over alcohol and that our lives had become unmanageable
The truth – I admit that I love the pleasure of being intoxicated so much that despite clear and indisputable evidence of its guaranteed negative impact on my life – I continued to drink/use.
Let’s be honest here. I drank and used drugs because I wanted to feel pleasure. Alcohol and drugs have always immediately improved the way that I felt. Some of my most pleasurable moments of my life have been under the influence of drugs and alcohol. This is the ‘great fact’ for me. Drugs and alcohol work in that respect. They always have and they always will. History has shown me that the pain created by drinking and drug binges significantly outweighs the brief pleasure I experience when high and the escape I seek is always temporary. The after effect of drinking or using drugs is increasingly more negative and severe. I can no longer safely drink or use drugs. My addictive voice has been a cunning and powerful force in my life, but it has never had the power to compel me to drink or use. Those decisions were mine and I am responsible for them. Most of the problems in my life stem from my unwillingness to address the challenges that come up in life and face them effectively. Not addressing them has created pain and pressure to build up. When the pain or pressure of not effectively dealing with life became greater than the fear of escaping with drugs and alcohol, I decided to take the easy way out to change how I felt with substances.

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Unhelpful AA sponsors https://www.recoveringfromrecovery.com/unhelpful-aa-sponsors/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=unhelpful-aa-sponsors https://www.recoveringfromrecovery.com/unhelpful-aa-sponsors/#comments Wed, 12 Jul 2017 09:54:32 +0000 https://www.recoveringfromrecovery.com/?p=13033 I try not to be critical of other people’s recovery solutions. I feel is a private matter for the individual to decide which solution is best for them. I have been critical of those who call themselves anti-AA. I feel that they often exaggerate the problems in the fellowship. However, I chose to leave the […]

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I try not to be critical of other people’s recovery solutions. I feel is a private matter for the individual to decide which solution is best for them. I have been critical of those who call themselves anti-AA. I feel that they often exaggerate the problems in the fellowship. However, I chose to leave the 12-step world, because I did not feel it was the best solution for my recovery, and also because I was wary of some of the members. It is certainly not perfect.

Today I was sitting in a cafe in London and I witnessed both the good side and the bad side of the fellowship from my table. I was reminded why I left AA, and felt sorry for one of the group, I could overhear, who clearly had issues with working the steps.

I was sitting on my own, when three middle-aged women sat at the table next to mine. They seemed in good spirits and it became apparent that they had come from and AA meeting. Two of the group had obviously been members for sometime and seem to have done well. They were offering encouragement to the third member, who had not completed the steps, and had some concerns about step six. They were talking about this in a low-key way, and not attracting attention. I would not have heard their conversation unless I was sitting right next to them. They were helping each other, which is what the fellowship should be about.

cafe

 

Their little chat, and privacy, was broken when two men sat down next is them. One was obviously the Sponsor of the other. The Sponsor type instantly butted into the ladies conversation and offered his wisdom. Despite the fact that the ladies were obviously not impressed by his intrusion, he offered to drive them to another meeting. When they declined, he carried on, and suggested they attend a different meeting in another area later in the week that he thought would be good for them. This meeting was one of the cult type meetings that I remembered from my time in the fellowship, where are people go to impress others, rather than help them. He seemed to think going to one meeting after another was the norm.

They were saved by Mr Sponsor’s phone ringing. He answered it very loudly, and it was obviously a call from another sponsee. This gave him a chance to show off. He certainly took the opportunity. Instead of being subtle, he answered as loudly as possible, and made it’s obvious he was talking about AA. The whole cafe could hear him including the waitresses who are pointing at him, making comments in Romanian and laughing. He started talking about the steps and God, as if they were the only solution to alcoholism, which is often what devout members of AA actually think. He was making no attempt to emphasise with the other person on the phone, but just talking to impress the other members of AA in the cafe.

He was precisely the type of person that annoyed me during the period I went to 12-step meetings. He was somebody that likes to perform to a group, but does not have the sensitivity to really help others. All he can do is quote the big book, and tell people to go to meetings. He is critical of anyone who does not work the AA program in a strict way. Unfortunately, there are a lot of people like this in London meetings. He had completely ruined the ladies conversation with his intrusion. They were the ones helping each other and it was ironic, that it was the hard-core stepper that ruined things.

I certainly don’t think recovery groups are for everyone, but many do benefit from membership of a sober community. Unfortunately it is important to be on guard for people who want to dominate and control others, in these groups. I think this type of behaviour is more common in AA due to the sponsorship part of the program. I certainly felt a relief at not having to deal with the self-righteous critical types, who are often horrific gossips, after leaving AA. I valued my privacy, but people such as the man in the cafe, do not. For them AA has become a way of life, and they love to tell others that they are members, even anonymous people sitting in a cafe. They feel blessed to be members of AA.

This brought back a memory for me, as the first time I was embarrassed by a member of AA in public, was in this very cafe over a decade ago. That person was my sponsor, and I realised he was very similar to the man in there today. He would have used the same phrases, and was equally tactless. I had chosen him as my sponsor, as he had latched onto me at meetings and told me about other meetings that he felt were good. I realise now that I was being guided to hard-core 12-step meetings, rather than the more laid back meetings that I later found helpful. It was odd to experience this again. It made me realise how far I have come. I realise now that I was never going to fully fit in to AA. I’m not religious and I’m not spiritual. It suits some people, but is not the only way and as I value my privacy, I am better off not doing recovery in a group any more.

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The Thinking Atheist 12 Step Episode: https://www.recoveringfromrecovery.com/thinking-atheist-12-step-episode/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=thinking-atheist-12-step-episode https://www.recoveringfromrecovery.com/thinking-atheist-12-step-episode/#respond Thu, 20 Apr 2017 10:34:13 +0000 https://www.recoveringfromrecovery.com/?p=11396 Here is a quick post to link to an excellent podcast about recovery. It is by The Thinking Atheist  and the topic is 12 Step Recovery. Many who go to AA etc, are put off by the religious side of the programme. It did not appeal to me, and so I just accepted that AA came […]

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Here is a quick post to link to an excellent podcast about recovery. It is by The Thinking Atheist  and the topic is 12 Step Recovery. Many who go to AA etc, are put off by the religious side of the programme. It did not appeal to me, and so I just accepted that AA came from the Midwest of America and ignored that side of it. Eventually, I got fed up with hearing about “Higher Powers” and moved on. I had made use of AA as a sober group to be part of, and found being with people with multiple years of sobriety in my early days was inspiring. If they could beat alcoholism, then I felt that I had a chance.

The podcast features Jon who often contributes to my own podcasts.

Here is a quote from the podcast Youtube page

Alcoholics Anonymous and other recovery programs often invoke (or require) a “Higher Power.” How effective is this, and are there better alternatives for beating addiction and overcoming ? We explore 12-step programs, the often religious language they use, and some secular alternatives.

I feel this podcast is very fair to AA, and illustrates many of the pros and cons of this support group, for the Atheist. AA divides opinion, and you can see many pro and anti comments on the youtube page, although I do wonder if many of the people commenting had actually listened to it!

 

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Is Alcoholics Anonymous a Destructive Cult? https://www.recoveringfromrecovery.com/is-alcoholics-anonymous-a-destructive-cult/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=is-alcoholics-anonymous-a-destructive-cult https://www.recoveringfromrecovery.com/is-alcoholics-anonymous-a-destructive-cult/#comments Sun, 02 Apr 2017 08:32:51 +0000 https://www.recoveringfromrecovery.com/?p=11374 Jon who often does podcasts with me and has his own blog https://jonsleeper.wordpress.com which is really worth reading has done this podcast with Chris Shelton about the cult side of AA. This is what he says about it. I did a podcast with Chris Shelton, a recovering Scientologist who spent 27 years in that harmful destructive self help […]

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Jon who often does podcasts with me and has his own blog https://jonsleeper.wordpress.com which is really worth reading has done this podcast with Chris Shelton about the cult side of AA. This is what he says about it.

I did a podcast with Chris Shelton, a recovering Scientologist who spent 27 years in that harmful destructive self help cult. His YouTube channel is amazing. I’ve been following it for a couple of years and am a big fan. Recently, Chris appeared on Leah Remini’s hit TV show “Scientology & The Aftermath”. We discuss some of the nuances around Alcoholics Anonymous. AA’s not a cult, it’s a very successful peer support group. It does share similar thought reform technology – only with positive outcomes. There’s never been a better time for people struggling with alcoholism / addiction to find recovery. I’d encourage anyone to explore the options now available — particularly AA, SMART Recovery and The Sinclair Method. These tools can also be used in combination. There’s a wrench for every nut. Thanks for having me on the show, Chris.

I think it is well worth a listen, and he puts forward a balanced view. It is certainly not the type of Anti AA rant that you sometimes find on Youtube. I am also interested in the negative effects of Scientology having known people who joined that cult.

Jon does many great talks on AA, and I can certainly recommend them.

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Anti AA forums and blogs. https://www.recoveringfromrecovery.com/anti-aa-forums-and-blogs/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=anti-aa-forums-and-blogs https://www.recoveringfromrecovery.com/anti-aa-forums-and-blogs/#comments Thu, 30 Mar 2017 13:14:38 +0000 https://www.recoveringfromrecovery.com/?p=11358 Old Post about Anti AA sites Back when I started this blog in 2013, I wrote a post about the Anti AA world https://www.recoveringfromrecovery.com/anti-aa-sites/  which generally gets about 20 views a day, despite being quite old. I suppose this is because it mentions the Orange Papers forum and site, which was often viewed by AA […]

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Old Post about Anti AA sites

Back when I started this blog in 2013, I wrote a post about the Anti AA world https://www.recoveringfromrecovery.com/anti-aa-sites/  which generally gets about 20 views a day, despite being quite old. I suppose this is because it mentions the Orange Papers forum and site, which was often viewed by AA members, who wanted to laugh at the “Dry Drunks” who had left AA. I intended this post to make it clear I did not want the trolls that make up the membership of that thankfully defunct forum, posting their rubbish on this blog. In fact I had considered not bothering with comments at all here, especially as I rarely read comments on other people’s blogs. People behave with less inhibition online, and too many are prone to aggression, especially when they have become part of a small, extreme group that echo their views. This is sometimes called a social media echo chamber.

Leaving AA

I can see why many people leave AA, I left myself after a year. I found the religious side conflicted with my own views and I was fed up with hearing from people going on about miracles and sharing the same old thing, every time I went to a meeting. Some people love that, but it is not for me, although being in a sober community certainly helped me in my first year. I felt some of the groups were cult like and that many members had a very narrow view of recovery.

Back then,there was not much online about leaving AA, but thanks to Amazon being in existence, I was able to buy some decent books on alternatives to AA, and some were really good. I had found a great therapist, who asked me to read Stanton Peele’s writing as I was not enjoying certain aspects of AA, and I then discussed his books with her. I found Stanton’s ideas really resonated with me and was able to do work on my self esteem and other issues in an effective manner, now that I had the tools to stay sober. I often wonder if I would have stayed sober if Stanton’s books had not been available to me, as I read them at a critical time, and they certainly helped. I was having issues with gossip in AA, and certainly had no faith in praying myself well.

There were nothing like the number of recovery blogs out there, or alternative to AA websites that interested me, and there were no suitable podcasts. Monica Richardson who made the film “The 13th step” about issues in AA made the first one that I listened to, but this came a while later. I was really doing recovery on my own for a while, until I came across the “Stinkin-Thinkin” blog by Friend the Girl and MA. Here is the original blog https://donewithaa.wordpress.com and here is the later blog archive http://stinkin-thinkin.com .Bill Wilson AAThis was the best online recovery community I have been part of. It was was very fast moving, and had good writers, who mixed humour with serious issues, and this meant it attracted some equally amusing contributors, many of whom have sadly left the online recovery scene, once it turned toxic.

 

At that time the Orange papers site was seen as extreme and thankfully did not have its repellant forum, which attracted “trolls” from both sides of the recovery world. Some people seem to believe everything that was written on this site. It is possible that they are the easily influenced types who took everything in AA literally. They would often form petty rivalries and would follow each-other to other forums such as the Fix, and the arguing would carry on there as well. This resulted with comments sections filled with hate, which reflected really badly on those who had moved on from AA. It was impossible to have any form of sensible debate without some idiot spewing their bile. This was the type of behaviour that had lead to the Stinkin Thinkin site being closed. They had assumed that the “Big Book thumpers” from AA would make themselves look stupid, which they did. What they did not anticipate, is that those on the Anti AA side, were even more crazy and there was no limit to their stupidity. It was due to the actions of the Anti AA side, that the best blog questioning the lack of effectiveness of the 12 step world, was shut down. The attempt of running an online community, for those who had left AA, was ruined by people, who would have been ignored, if they had built their own site. This is a real shame as I feel there is a need for this type of community online, but people will not take part if they are going to be attacked by fools, with a narrow point of view.

Here is a piece I wrote for Addiction.com https://www.addiction.com/expert-blogs/why-i-dont-go-to-aa/ which is hardly a pro AA piece, although it gives AA credit where credit is due. It is simply me sharing my experience of recovery, in the hope that somebody else in a similar position may read it, and look at some of the solutions that have helped me. The comments underneath are bizzare and generally show the Anti AA brigade up for being the bigots that they are. I am actually defended by those who still attend AA and others who have no history with the “Orange Papers brigade”. This is on a piece about leaving AA, so you can imagine how they react when somebody writes in favour of that fellowship.

Numbers in the Anti AA world

I actually don’t think there are that many people, involved in the Anti AA world. An indication is when they start a petition, which is rarely well supported. They do this often, but rarely reach more than a couple of hundred signatures. Even the crowd funding for Monica’s film, did not raise much from the Anti AA people. Indeed they hampered her efforts and even hacked her website, so they could distribute the film before it was released, which meant she was left out of pocket. Most people simply drift away from AA after a while if they are disillusioned, and wish those that remain well. We are lucky that there are books such as the excellent “The Sober Truth” by Lance Dodes, which illustrate problems in the AA and 12 step recovery world. to make his point, he does not have to rely on wild conspiracy theories, or trying to link the founder of AA to Hitler etc which are ofen found online. Of course, it is the outlandish ideas that the Anti AA people often point to, so they are disappointed in the lack of exaggeration. It does not appeal to their sense of drama.

Damage to other recovery groups by Anti AA Trolls.

Although I ignore the views of the trolls that based themselves on the Orange Papers Forum, I do worry about the damage they do to other groups that are trying to provide alternatives to AA. They often talk about the advantages of groups such as Smart, although very few of them actually attend its meetings or bother to qualify to setup new meetings. Instead their aggression probably puts reasonable people off trying these alternatives to AA. They are more interested in telling people what did not work for them, rather than rationally discussing the wide range of solutions out there. Would you want to sit next to one of these idiots in a recovery meeting, especially those who have no respect for other people’s privacy.

troll

I have certainly been critical of AA on my own sites but have always given AA credit, where I feel it deserves it. I am certainly not a fan of those who sell the 12 steps in rehab as a form of treatment as I don’t see this as an effective solution. The steps certainly not a medical treatment. Although I no longer attend AA, I realise that many do find it helpful and would hate to deprive them of a free support group, that they find beneficial. I don’t really care about the DUI people that get sent there, who I view as irresponsible, although I don’t think sending them to AA does them or AA much good. They would probably benefit from another form of education and punishment.

Failure of the Anti AA movement.

As far as I know, the Anti AA people have not managed to close a single 12 step meeting or have any effect on the numbers attending. All they have achieved is to divide part of the online recovery community. They often attack eachother. Being Anti something, generally does not achieve much. Being pro another solution and seeking to build it and make it something worth belonging to and worth being part of is completely different!

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Monica Richardson- The 13th Step Film https://www.recoveringfromrecovery.com/monica-richardson-13th-step-film/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=monica-richardson-13th-step-film https://www.recoveringfromrecovery.com/monica-richardson-13th-step-film/#comments Sun, 12 Feb 2017 20:41:08 +0000 https://www.recoveringfromrecovery.com/?p=11283 The 13th step Film – Monica Richardson Today I met up again with Monica Richardson who has made The 13th Step film, which is a documentary about issues in AA. it is well worth watching and if you are in the UK, it is being shown for free at The Crown Plaza Hotel on Wednesday […]

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The 13th step Film – Monica Richardson

Today I met up again with Monica Richardson who has made The 13th Step film, which is a documentary about issues in AA. it is well worth watching and if you are in the UK, it is being shown for free at The Crown Plaza Hotel on Wednesday 15th February. Monica will do a question and answer session afterwards.

http://filmfestinternational.com/february-15th-room-1-london-iff-2017/

The last screening was great and a few of us who had met online on various recovery forums got together afterwards for a great chat.

I did a quick podcast with her talking about how we met years ago and how things have changed. She was still in AA and trying to make it safer back in those days, but when she could not make much progress she studied Film Making and decided to make this documentary. It  took a couple of years and has been streamed on Amazon Prime and is available on Vimeo as well.

Here is a link to the film website. http://www.the13thstepfilm.com and here is her more general Blog. http://leavingaa.com which are worth a look. I hope to see some of you at the Film.

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Monica Richardson 13th Step Film 2017 https://www.recoveringfromrecovery.com/monica-richardson-13th-step-film-2017/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=monica-richardson-13th-step-film-2017 https://www.recoveringfromrecovery.com/monica-richardson-13th-step-film-2017/#comments Sat, 04 Feb 2017 14:33:30 +0000 https://www.recoveringfromrecovery.com/?p=11275 Monica Richardson 13th step film A few of you who ave followed this blog will remember me supporting Monica Richardson for making her film the 13th Step. Some of us met up at a preview show in London over a year ago. Since then the film has been cut down and been released on Amazon […]

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Monica Richardson 13th step film

A few of you who ave followed this blog will remember me supporting Monica Richardson for making her film the 13th Step. Some of us met up at a preview show in London over a year ago. Since then the film has been cut down and been released on Amazon Prime where it will reach a world wide audience. This is an amazing achievement as when I first met Monica online she had never been involved in film making and was about to do a course on the subject. Making documentaries is hard work (I have worked on a few), so making something like this after experiencing problems in AA should be applauded. These issues are real and should not be swept under the carpet.

The 13th step film in London 2017.

International Filmmaker Festival of World cinema

Screening on Wednesday, February 15th at 6:30 PM. The Screening will take place at The Crown Plaza Hotel in Screening Room 1.

http://filmfestinternational.com/february-15th-room-1-london-iff-2017/

The last screening was great and a few of us who had met online on various recovery forums got together afterwards for a great chat. I hope to be there this time as well, and I hope to catch up with Monica while she is in the UK.

 

Safety In AA.

Monica has devoted a lot of time to speaking out about safety in AA meetings. Other’s such as the Journalist Gabrielle Glasser have questioned if AA is a safe place for women and there has been some media coverage on the subject as well.

AA was designed for low bottom middle aged drunks in the 1930’s and its religious traditions do not make it easy to update without protests from fanatical BigBook thumpers. This results in many issues being covered up or brushed aside as an outside issue. This looks like it could be changing and AA has published this PDF which talks about safety and responsibility in meetings. It should not surprise anyone that there are some criminals in AA or other 12 step groups, that goes with substance abuse. This can cause problems when they mix with the vulnerable people who make up another part of the recovery community. I hope this is the first step to stopping some of the unacceptable predatory type behaviour in AA.
Monica Richardson_Mayfair_Hotel

 

 

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“Bob K. on AA’s Past, Present and Future” https://www.recoveringfromrecovery.com/bob-k-on-aas-past-present-and-future/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=bob-k-on-aas-past-present-and-future https://www.recoveringfromrecovery.com/bob-k-on-aas-past-present-and-future/#comments Thu, 15 Dec 2016 15:41:26 +0000 https://www.recoveringfromrecovery.com/?p=11248 I was sent this link by Jon https://jonsleeper.wordpress.com who has done many podcasts with me over the past year or so. He listened to this podcast at AABeyondbelief.com which he recommended to me. I found it very interesting and will read the book that Bob K wrote “Key Players in AA History”. It is great to listen to […]

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I was sent this link by Jon https://jonsleeper.wordpress.com who has done many podcasts with me over the past year or so. He listened to this podcast at AABeyondbelief.com which he recommended to me. I found it very interesting and will read the book that Bob K wrote “Key Players in AA History”. It is great to listen to a podcast about the origins of AA that is not full of conspiracy theories and other craziness. I hoping that Jon will do a podcast with Bob K for me, as he is much more qualified to talk about AA history than I am, having spent more time in the AA programme.

AABeyondbelief.com has some great podcasts and other information, and I wish I had been in AA with these people rather than some of the more cult like members that I spent time with, which eventually caused me to leave the fellowship. He talks about some similar types in the podcast!

AA meeting

Bob K wrote “Key Players in AA History”. https://www.amazon.com/Key-Players-AA-History-bob/dp/099171749X  He is now researching a book on historical alternatives to AA which explodes the myth that nothing really helped alcoholics prior to AA. Turns out there were lots of groups and books — some of which worked very well.
He’s an atheist in AA and really knows his stuff. This podcast discusses the recent controversy at Toronto Intergroup, which decided to delist three atheist AA meetings and is now being sued on the grounds relating to issues of human rights discrimination.
Bob has a great understanding of this, knows many of the individuals involved, and speaks very well on it.  He also has a brilliant explanation of the real reasons behind Bill Wilson’s spiritual experience and what that really entailed.
I will be reading the book and will write about it for the books section.

 

 

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Our Relationship to Addiction | Steven Slate | TEDxTahoeCity https://www.recoveringfromrecovery.com/our-relationship-to-addiction-steven-slate-tedxtahoecity/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=our-relationship-to-addiction-steven-slate-tedxtahoecity https://www.recoveringfromrecovery.com/our-relationship-to-addiction-steven-slate-tedxtahoecity/#comments Sun, 20 Nov 2016 15:06:36 +0000 https://www.recoveringfromrecovery.com/?p=11225 Our Relationship to Addiction | Steven Slate | TEDxTahoeCity A great Ted Talk by Steven Slate about the reality of problems caused by treatment solutions for addiction. I have followed Steven Slate since I read his intelligent contributions to the Stinkin Thinkin Blog some time ago. He has a great site here at http://www.thecleanslate.org/ This is […]

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Our Relationship to Addiction | Steven Slate | TEDxTahoeCity

A great Ted Talk by Steven Slate about the reality of problems caused by treatment solutions for addiction. I have followed Steven Slate since I read his intelligent contributions to the Stinkin Thinkin Blog some time ago. He has a great site here at http://www.thecleanslate.org/

This is a quote from his site next to this Ted Talk.

Addiction is not a disease, it is a choice…

…the disease model of addiction has never been scientifically proven. What’s more, the disease model hasn’t even helped to reduce stigma, reduce overdoses, or even to help people solve their substance use problems. All the promises of the medical model have fallen flat. It’s made things worse.

If you’re ready for a realistic helpful view, read on. I think you’ll find the evidence demonstrates that “addicts” are free to change, and that passing on this information isn’t cruel–it’s compassionate.

My thoughts.

I certainly agree with a lot of what he says. I certainly felt that the 12 step approach and calling addiction a disease are things that are out of date. I certainly don’t like the idea that people are powerless. I have read a lot on the subject that supports his views. I hope more people speak out against the old fashioned ideas which work for such a small amount of people. There are lots of superior solutions to beating addiction which do not involve faith or prayer which I have mentioned on other parts of this site.

My experience from running this blog suggests that there are lots of people who have not done well with 12 step groups especially if they had it pushed on them, but who have done much better when they have made use of more modern solutions. Lives are lost because of treatment centers offering such a poor quality service which would not be acceptable in other areas.

 

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