CBS 48 Karla Brada AA Full length

Here is the full length version of the CBS 48 documentary about Karla Brada and safety issues in AA. It features Monica Richardson, and Gabrielle Glaser, who both want to make AA a safer environment.

CBS 48 Karla Brada

Here is a direct link.

Here are previous links to pieces here on this site about Karla Brada.

I think that CBS 48 has done a great job, in the way that they have made the program, and have dealt with a sensitive subject, in a sensible way. Karla was very unlucky to be killed, by somebody in AA, although I suspect that the sort of domestic violence that the film portrayed and the fact that men go there to find vulnerable women (something I saw), happens more than people realise.
AA was designed in the 1930’s for low bottom male drunks, and has not updated in any way despite the world changing around it. This is typical of a religious group, which does not welcome outside investigation, when things go wrong, and only wishes to promote a good self image. AA has a problem, especially in USA where there is a lot of court mandating, as well as people being introduced to AA from rehabs, which are not offering great treatment, and are telling people that they need to attend AA or die. This mixture, along with the fact that fairly young people are now introduced to AA is bound to cause some problems.

It is such a shame that methods such as the “Sinclair method” are not being pushed more as this will help people to recover without AA. Many people would be helped by rational approaches that do not involve sitting in a room praying for a solution, with criminals, or sharing parts of your life in front them in public.

Things need to change, but few in AA are prepared to do anything. Many who are longterm in AA, have made it their religion and are as resistant to change, as the Catholic Church, that has done little to protect minors from child abuse. I know Monica Richardson, who took part in the film, and remember her when she was still a member of AA, trying to make it safer from the inside. She was given the brush off, and is now making a film about the subject. She has done so much to try to raise awareness of this problem, that AA has done so little to deal with.

There are quite a few comments on the CBS site, and on their Facebook page from people who are outraged that anyone should criticise AA, and are furious that Karla Brada’s family are bringing a lawsuit against AA. This shows the typical AA mentality, that the 12 step “spiritual solution” should never be attacked, but I feel that it is out of date and needs modernisation. AA has not listened to anybody, making quite rational arguments, about the problems caused by this out of date fellowship, and so a lawsuit is pretty much the only thing, that can get things changed.
It is such a tragedy that a fellowship that has a great infrastructure, to help those who suffer from addiction, decides that dogma and spiritual practice is more important, than protecting female members, or telling those struggling, that there is a pill called “Naltraxone” that will help destroy craving. There are some great people that go to AA, and are there to help, but many are misguided, ignorant about other solutions, and a minority are dangerous. If you add the lack of accountability, and the issues caused by anonymity, then it is easy to see that unfortunate things will happen.

One of the reasons I left AA, was because I wanted to take responsibility for my recovery and not rely on some stupid “Higher Power”. It is about time AA took responsibility for its actions and members and was honest about the problems that have been illustrated by this program. It could not even be bothered to answer any of the questions that CBS 48 wanted to ask at its headquarters. AA just allowed them to film an old big book which sums them up!


Commenting area

  1. women can be predators too!
    And not just in AA.
    And just Bc someone is in the rooms
    doesnt nean he/she isn’t still sick.

    • There are many good people in AA and I certainly am grateful for the support I got in my early days. However there are some unsavoury types and AA does little to warn people about them. Some people in early recovery do not have much awareness or common sense.

      There are some predatory women out there – turn up to AA in a Porsche wearing a family crest ring, and you will find them!

  2. I’m 38 years clean and sober, through AA & NA, recently started attending AlAnon. Dealing with confrontation and other issues involving the word “No”. My story pieces are in another post here.

    There are suggestions in 12 Step fellowships which are often ignored but would solve the relationship delimma: don’t get into one your 1st year of Recovery, meaning to me, until you’ve worked all 12 Steps, with a Sponsor, and Practiced all 12 of them, for that Year. Then, don’t get involved with anyone in the Fellowship, for another year, and another, and another, etc. It’s not the place to find a Soulmate.

    The Fellowship is Not the place to find a partner. If you meet outside the rooms, doing things you like to do, then perhaps … But Not inside the rooms of the fellowship. It’s a place for Recovery from a fatal disease involving mental, physical, emotional and spiritual illness. Intimate relationships only complicate the rooms, and sadly, sometimes end in death.

    I feel it’s a Homegroups responsibility to try and make th rooms a safe place to Recover. But if you don’t take the suggestions, you’re on your own.

    I know all too clear the traumas of being sexually harassed, bullied and threatened, and then having some lunatic say it was my fault, or it’s an outside issue, etc. only to keep from having to confront someone.

    Because of my writings here, I believe I’m being asked to read the Traditions at each AA mtg I attend regularly. I said No last night. It’s another beginning for me to make change happen in my meetings. No more sexual harrassment, bullying, death threats without being exposed to other members … Via the Internet.

    It’s very hard for me now … Attending my meetings … But I believe it will invoke further changes so folks will be more protected.

    But … Follow the suggestions of trusted members … Or possibly suffer fatal consequences.

    I don’t think it’s possible to have Rules Intact without Unreasonable Demands developing, destroying the rooms filled with recovering alcoholics.

    My heart goes out to the young lady who lost her life. I am so very sorry.

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