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Monday, 8 February 2016

The 'space cadet' moves ever closer to the 'fourth dimension'


Yep! Another correspondent has sent in Wayne's (Plymouth Road to Recovery cult group) latest contribution to Western culture via Facebook (another significant tax avoider) .. a picture of himself!


Looks like a Step Two job to us!

One wonders how far he will have 'rocketed' into his own psychotic delusions before those little men in the white coats come to TAKE HIM AWAY....

Cheers

The Fellas (Friends of Alcoholics Anonymous … and still present on planet Earth!)

PS Our usual thanks to our correspondents

Sunday, 7 February 2016

aacultwatch – who ARE the mystery men, women, aliens behind it? And who cares!


From time to time we get emails from people who think they know who the people are who run aacultwatch. Sometimes we get emails from people who've even been ACCUSED of running the site (as if it were some kind of criminal offence!!). To date nobody has come anywhere close... And the reason why? We refer you to our introductory statement which has been on the front of the site since we started back in .. when was it? … Oh yeah sometime in 2008 .. or was it 2007? Anyway it seems like aeons ago …


But we've been told that someone has co-opted our old domain (nothing to do with us.) and is yet again rather tediously claiming to know who's behind it all.... sorry folks.. never heard of them....

But there can be no doubt about who's running the cult down in Plymouth.. Yep it's the space cadet.. Wayne P... Clancy clone, serial 13 stepper, general control freak and all round schmuck.... and here he is again in indulging in his favourite pastime – SELF promotion.... Who knows one of these days he might actually make his way all the way up to Step Three.. But then to be fair … he's not very bright...... It's a bit sad really …. don't you think …..

And as for the Bavaria Intergroup … clearly just as clueless!



Cheers

The Fellas (Friends of Alcoholics Anonymous .. and terribly terribly anonymous!)

PS Thanks to our various correspondents

Monday, 1 February 2016

Yiewsley Tuesday 11.30 am (London South Middlesex Intergroup)


Our correspondent writes: 

Yiewsley Tuesday 11.30am. This used to be a nice quiet little out of the way meeting which met in a small room at the back of a church...... It is now held in a little Chapel of the same church and, although … it would be stretching it to call it a cult, it has definitely gone off the rails. The secretary, and whoever is doing the chair, sits in front of the chapel altar which is decked out with elaborate altar cloths, upon which stand a crucifix and two candlesticks on either side. Against the crucifix is the Big Book and I think the book "Came To Believe" Against the left candlestick is the Serenity Prayer and against the right candlestick is a slogan “AA is a lifestyle not a turnstile” This is not an official AA slogan.. I googled [a well known tax avoidance company] the slogan and came up with this website 

https://sites.google.com/site/thebarnbangor/ 

Other literature is displayed on and around the altar. I have been told that there are now other non AA slogans displayed at this meeting. The meeting is an hour long – but the first 10 minutes or so is taken up with a tedious series of readings – the 3rd step prayer, the 7th Step prayer., the 11th step prayer, a reading from Daily reflections and a reading from the Big Book. There is a stained glass window at the back of the chapel with a representation of Christ. Behind this window is a light bulb and at the secretary's signal the light is switched on and the window is lit up. ”That's the Higher Power up there”, he says firmly. Then the speaker gets to share.. The sharing is mixed but there seems to be a large presence of the “I am a grateful RECOVERED alcoholic” brigade. And they have sponsors who "don't give suggestions" (implying they give orders instead). I was informed that these people used to attend a cult meeting in Harefield. But that meeting is now closed, and now they have come to Yiewsley and brought their slogans and “recovered” status with them. They also attend the Friday night Uxbridge meeting.

There is also a meeting in Ashford on a Friday night which has exactly the same prayer format but with lighted candles for lighting, and no church altar.”

(edits to preserve anonymity)

Comment: Apparently the AA preamble is read out at the beginning of the meeting. We can't think why! Here it is: 

Alcoholics Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from alcoholism.

The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking. There are no dues or fees for A.A. membership; we are self-supporting through our own contributions. A.A. is not allied with any sect, denomination, politics, organization or institution; does not wish to engage in any controversy; neither endorses nor opposes any causes. Our primary purpose is to stay sober and help other alcoholics to achieve sobriety.”

They must have forgotten that bit! Easily done... after all this statement is only read out at the beginning of pretty well every AA meeting in Great Britain

(our emphasis)

We're going to take this opportunity to outline our own brand new 'public relations' policy. From now on in ALL cases where a group or even dare we say intergroup eg. Plymouth 'Road to Recovery' cult intergroup shows any signs of going “of the rails” as our correspondent puts it we'll be referring the matter to the relevant part of the service structure eg. intergroup, region, GSO and requesting they take appropriate action under Tradition Four (one of the most misquoted and certainly most misunderstood AA principles). We quote: 

Four—Each group should be autonomous except in matters affecting other groups or A.A. as a whole” (short form)

and 

4.—With respect to its own affairs, each A.A. Group should be responsible to no other authority than its own conscience. But when its plans concern the welfare of neighbouring groups also, those groups ought to be consulted. And no group, regional committee, or individual should ever take any action that might greatly affect A.A. as a whole without conferring with the trustees of the General Service Board. On such issues our common welfare is paramount” (long form) 

Source: Alcoholics Anonymous, The AA Tradition 

We would argue that this Tradition places an obligation on groups to take full responsibility for their actions and where they fail to do so the onus falls upon other groups (eg. intergroup, region, AA nationally) to apply any corrective action. To this end written notifications of any breaches will automatically be sent to the relevant intergroup together with copies to the General Service Office in York. In more serious cases involving for example allegations of sexual predation, criminal activity, bullying/harassment etc the Trustees will also be formally notified as well as the police where an offence may have been committed. This will ensure that ignorance cannot be subsequently raised as a defence by those seeking to avoid their responsibilities. Moreover the Yellow card (confidentiality statement) may no longer be relied upon as a cover for collusion or complacency. Full disclosure will apply.

Where an intergroup is involved a request will be made for any response to include an indication of what ACTION has been taken. Where the intergroup fails to do so or indeed fails to respond (which in our experience is more often the case), and after a suitable time has elapsed (no more than two weeks), we will then contact – where appropriate - any relevant public agencies who have dealings with that intergroup eg. health trusts, probation services, treatment centres, landlords (of the property where the meeting is held) etc and update them accordingly. All of these owe a legal duty of care towards their clients and have a legitimate right to be informed of any abuses. We will invite these bodies to contact the intergroup (contact details will be supplied) for an explanation.

By these means we intend to apply pressure to the fellowship to clean up its act! Experience has shown that organisations which are largely self-regulating (or in AA's case virtually unregulated) and secretive will inevitably become corrupt. We intend to do our bit to reverse this process.

Cheers

The Fellas (Friends of Alcoholics Anonymous)

PS Our thanks to our correspondent

Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Consent! It’s as simple as tea …..


A charming video by Thames Valley Police….


A brilliant aid to “Welcoming a Newcomer to the Group” and Committee 5, Q.3 “Violence and Personal Conduct Structure Handbook Final Version” don’t ya think???

Why not liven up your meeting with laptop screen?  And send it to your local predators?

Cheers

The Fellas (Friends of Alcoholics Anonymous)

P.S. Our usual thanks to the AA member who drew this to our attention (and to Thames Valley Police). If you couldn’t get your head round the video, make your enquiries here http://www.consentiseverything.com/

Sunday, 24 January 2016

Welcoming a Newcomer to the Group (draft)


AA conference (2016)

See here

Comment: By and large the document consists of a range of pretty sensible suggestions although we would question whether in fact a “strong home group is paramount”. We would argue of far greater importance is a solid grasp of Step One, something which can only be accomplished by the individual concerned. The remainder of the programme consists largely of what might be described as 'trimmings' which are entirely optional. You don't need to believe in God (just so long as you don't think you ARE God!) to get and stay sober nor do you need to get on your knees to pray (or pray at all), and it certainly isn't a requirement to get a sponsor or assign to anyone the right to run your life. That's your responsibility.

We would strongly endorse the notion that AA members should be fully conversant with all the literature relating to newcomers specifically Chapter Seven Working WITH Others (our emphasis), a section of which cult members seem to remain totally ignorant. As for “greeters” one or two are quite sufficient rather than the customary hordes of 'happy clappers' which assail any poor unfortunates who happen to cross their path. As for the 'men for men' and 'women for women' recommendation this seems to assume a particular sexual inclination which is by no means universal. We know of plenty of gay members who find a reverse pairing more helpful. It's also worth noting that no mention is made of AA members asking people new to the fellowship for their contact details. They may offer their own but this implies no reciprocity. Your phone number, email address etc are your business and no one else's! It's called 'anonymity'. Finally as for so-called “Newcomer” meetings ALL AA meetings are newcomer meetings. Too often the former simply serve simply as 'hunting grounds' for cult predators searching out 'fresh meat'.

Cheers

The Fellas (
Friends of Alcoholics Anonymous)

Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Prison and Alcohol


Another offering from the AA conference (2016)

Some quotes from the pamphlet:

In Alcoholics Anonymous, there is no "right" or "wrong" way to get sober.” - tell that to the Big Book nutters, sponsorship 'addicts', Step Nazis and all the other self-appointed 'experts' on recovery!

And, as we stayed sober ourselves, we started to see how our experience could help others, passing it on freely, as it had been passed on to us.” - note the word “freely” - no contracts to sign or deals to be made, or conditions set! “Freely” means …. freely!

many of us feel they [the Steps] are a necessary pathway to contented sobriety.” - and many of us don't!

Acceptance of the Twelve Steps is not mandatory in any sense” ie. it's all VOLUNTARY!

An alcoholic who has made some progress in the recovery program shares that experience with [does not dictate] another alcoholic who is trying to stay sober through AA It’s usually someone we can feel comfortable with, someone with whom we can talk freely and confidentially, and we ask [they don't offer] that person to be our sponsor, to help us learn how to live sober.” (our emphases) - This section will necessarily exclude all cult style sponsorship (ie. do what you're told blah di blah di blah)

there are no bosses” - see above

But, the decision was up to us” - see above

And finally:

As you stay sober, you will find what works best for you. But one of the things we realized is that nobody could do the AA program for us. We had to do it ourselves” (our emphases) – the buck stops where? YOU.... not your sponsor, not the local 'big cheese' … YOU!

Cheers

The Fellas (Friends of Alcoholics Anonymous)

Sunday, 17 January 2016

Variations on the violence theme


See here

Comment: It all sounds great doesn't it? But it doesn't really deal with the more subtle, less overt bullying that goes on in AA under the guise of 'sponsorship' ….... cult style that is..... We reckon telling newcomers that they'll drink if they don't get a sponsor (the implication being that a human power is the deciding factor as to whether you get sober or not), or slapping someone across the face for failing to complete their Step Four on time, or interfering generally in their relationships, work life, religious (or not) beliefs etc ie. generally micromanaging their lives, is all bullying as far as we're concerned. These guidelines don't deal with these issues at all. So here are a few suggestions of our own. If you meet someone who seems to think they have the right to run your life point out to them they are being offensive and would they kindly take a hike! If anyone 'suggests' to you that you're incapable of making your own decisions or exercising your own judgement politely point out to them they're being a prat and 'suggest' ….... they take a hike. If indeed you should have the misfortune to encounter any kind of recovery 'expert', Big Book aficionado or guru (you know the type – the super sobers!) run for it .... or if they persist politely 'insist'..... they take a hike. It saves a lot of trouble all round!

Cheers

The Fellas (Friends of Alcoholics Anonymous)