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AA Renegade Dies--Whither Midtown?

Michael Quinones, leader of the Midtown Group, the network of local Alcoholics Anonymous chapters that appeal to young people and break with AA's traditions in some very disturbing ways, died last week.

The Midtown Group, the generic name for a cluster of AA groups that meet in Maryland, the District and Virginia and specialize in helping teenaged and other young alcoholics, has been accused of encouraging young female members to have sex with older men in the group, seeking to sever or at least limit members' ties to family and friends, and encouraging members to stop taking prescribed medications.

The passing of Mike Q, as he was known within AA circles, has people talking about whether Midtown will continue to thrive within AA, wither away, or move closer to the practices that protect other AA groups from the kind of controlling leadership, abusive sexual practices and socially exclusive methods that Quinones was accused of putting into practice in Midtown.

As I reported last month, AA has been unable to address the allegations that former members of Midtown have raised because the movement's loose structure prevents it from exercising effective authority over rogue groups. Former members who want to make certain that other young people do not feel pressured to have sex with leaders and older members of Midtown have been trying to get the local Intergroup, the assembly of Washington area AA groups, to take a stand about Midtown's practices. But it's not at all clear what will happen to that effort now that Quinones is gone.

Ex-members expect Quinones' close friends and associates who have been running the network of groups during Mike Q's long illness to continue that work. Some say they would be surprised if there is any substantial change in the character of the group. But others point to Quinones' personal charisma and his studies of the work of George Gurdjieff, -- whom Mike Q pointed to as the source for his beliefs about the importance of sexual relationships as a source of healing and strength--and conclude that Midtown was effective and attractive primarily because of the power of Quinones' personality and ideas.

Quinones, who was 63 when he died, lived with other members of the group in a house in North Bethesda that served as a focal point for many young people. Some Midtown members live in group houses in Gaithersburg, Bethesda and other suburban locales, and many of the young people buy shares in summer houses in Rehoboth.

"I guess it will work out fine for the hierarchy," one commenter on an anti-Midtown web site said after learning of Quinones' death. "They will make him a martyr for 'saving all their lives.' Now begins the countdown to the giant picture of him attached to the podium, or the life sized bust...."

Another commenter who said she attended a Midtown meeting Sunday reported that "A moment of silence before the meeting was in place and other than that it went on as usual."

Groups like Midtown often collapse or are radically reshaped after the death of their founding leader, but in this case, there are hundreds of vulnerable young people who rely heavily on the group for emotional support and social structure. Despite AA's longstanding policy of granting all of its groups near-total independence, it behooves members of other local groups to step in and offer alternatives to young people who are caught up in Midtown.

By Marc Fisher |  August 22, 2007; 7:56 AM ET
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Comments

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I've had to fight the impulse to send Mike Q a case of whiskey. IMO, he deserved to die drunk.
AA's fourth tradition grants groups autonomy except in matters that affect other groups or AA as a whole. Midtown has affected other groups and the fellowship; they have compromised AA's reputation as a safe haven for all who seek help.
Other than dropping Midtown's meetings from the roster, there's not much Intergroup or General Services can do but, hopefully, let them wither & die.
In the meantime, be warned. Midtown may be associated with AA, but what they practice is not how many sober alcoholics' define sobriety.
Of course, I only speak for myself...

Posted by: thesecondA | August 22, 2007 9:54 AM

This somewhat amusing saga of "Mike Q." seems to have gotten a bit more airplay than it is worth. There are hundreds of AA groups in the Washington D.C., area that follow AA's 12 traditions and are strong in carrying AA's message to the still suffering alcoholic.

The Midtown "group" - group of what I am not quite sure of - seem to have very little to do with Alcoholics Anonymous. There are other "recovery fads" that I have seen come and go in my 27-plus years as an active member of AA; Rational Recovery immediately comes to mind.

I hope that those who broke the law in Midtown are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. I also hope the general public better understands that Midtown is not representative of AA - and in my humble opinion, is not even a part of AA.

Good riddance to con artists and sexual predators like Michael Quinones.

Posted by: AA member | August 22, 2007 9:57 AM

Hey Marc,

I have a question for you. For all your interest in the "controversy" surrounding this story, have you ever attended any of the meetings in questions, or any meeting of AA for that matter?

Just wondering

Posted by: AA member | August 22, 2007 10:19 AM

AA member, what's your point?

Posted by: Tom T. | August 22, 2007 10:38 AM

Tom,

If thirty people called Marc and told him that the sky was blue, and he procceeded to write about that as fact, how would he ever really know what color the sky is if he never actually goes outside himself. Sounds more like sensationalized reporting than infromed fact based reporting is what I was getting at. How can such an "esteemed" member of the press convince anyone, that he knows what the real story is if he has never seen it with his own eyes?

He even admitted in his Power Talk/Hur blog that he never even attended the meetings in question. How informed is that?

Posted by: AA member | August 22, 2007 11:26 AM

AA Member is of course correct--as some Midtown members know, I was invited to attend their sessions incognito, an invitation that Post ethics rules require me to decline. We do not believe in reporting via subterfuge. Yes, there are times when it's enticing to sneak into some meeting and pretend to be something other than a reporter, but that's simply not honest and we don't do it.
So I relied on good old reporting: I spoke to dozens of people who devoted years of their lives to Midtown. Some left the group in disgust, some were drawn out by exit counselors and family members, and some remain in the group and continue to defend its approach and actions. In addition, I spoke to police investigators, lawyers, counselors, psychiatrists and others in AA and out who have watched Midtown for many years and have close experiences with it. That's the way most news stories are reported. Ideally, every story will include firsthand observation as part of the reporting, but that's not always possible, nor is it, in a story like this, necessarily of much use. As members of Midtown are quick to note, many of the more coercive aspects of the group are evident not from the meetings themselves, but from the close social connections and job and living arrangements that members are lured into. Going to a meeting wouldn't give a reporter much insight into that.

Posted by: Fisher | August 22, 2007 11:38 AM

How informed is what?

Why would an alleged scam artist and sexual predator like this Mike Q. dude (and his cronies) go after a middle-aged, balding man like Mr. Fisher? It looks to me as if Fisher's reporting has multiple sources that have given ample testimony to the type of conduct that has occurred over the years at the "Midtown Group." And much of this conduct -- that has nothing to with AA seems -- to be focused on Quinones and his cohorts allegedly coercing young, impressionable women very early in sobriety to part with finances and sexual favors. My only hope is that a grand jury will soon return indictments against this bunch of creeps.

Posted by: Yeah, but ... | August 22, 2007 11:41 AM

Come on, Marc. In today's world of gotcha cable news and Internet bloggers, we all expect you to go undercover as a 17 year old woman who is fond of drink.

OK, now I can't get that image out of my mind.

Good reporting.

Posted by: Come on, Marc | August 22, 2007 12:23 PM

Well, I'm just glad that I'm sleeping at night, sober and happy. I wonder if the people who have provided the slander for this article are sleeping at night happy and sober. My thought is that it is dobtful. But they'll remain in my prayers anyway.

Posted by: Be your own person | August 22, 2007 1:47 PM


If you believe all that mess...
I have a bridge I'd like to sell you.

When they came for the old timers,
I remained silent;
I was not an old timer.

When they kicked us out of the meetings,
I remained silent;
My spirit is not in the meeting space but the meeting itself.

When they came for the traditions and heart of AA,
I did not speak out;
I was just a young member who in my heart is following the traditions.

When they came for me,
there was no one left to speak out.

I will continue to live as I know is right - my life is between me and God - not some random BS newspaper.

Posted by: If you believe all that... | August 22, 2007 2:03 PM

Copying the "when they came for me" prose decrying the silence of people during WWII is beneath contempt. Your situtation is not remotely similar and constructing a parallel that says otherwise is despicable.

Or are you about to be packed into a freight car and hauled to the gas chamber?

Posted by: vhbrown | August 22, 2007 2:18 PM

Thanks for the background, Marc! That was illuminating.

Posted by: Tom T. | August 22, 2007 2:19 PM

Actually that phrase has been used for many groups having nothing to do with WWII including the Catholics, Protestants, and the mentally ill. Also, due the slander and gossip many people are dying. The resentful and the newcomer alike. I think it's important to recognize that. When those who carry this awful bag of lies drinks and dies perhaps then you will believe it's important to tell the truth about the situation.

Posted by: If you believe that... | August 22, 2007 2:30 PM

Marc,

I thank you for your respose above. I gotta tell you though, and maybe its just me, I have a problem with reporters and members in the media who have reported on this "controversy" pressuming to know anything about AA and its traditions.

I can go a block down the street and talk w/ sales guys at a honda dealer. I can then go to the chrylser deler, the lexus dealer, then over to the ford dealer. They'll all tell me how and why they are the best and how and why the "other group" is wrong and all about how they treat thier customers badly.

Doesn't really make me much of an authority on cars and how the how cars work does it? The reason I had asked whether or not you had attended Midtown or any other meeting was because I was interested in knowing wether or not you actually know what the 12 steps and traditions are in AA. I guess since it wasn't important for your story to do any back checking on AA as a program of recovery, I guess that should tell everyone what it needs to.


Your original article titled" AA member leads members away from Traditions' talked about the unusual adaptation to AA that Mike Q created. Midtown was an established AA meeting back in the 50's, long before Mike Q even got sober. Besides, there are no leaders in AA, onlt trusted servants.

To be fair, I think you should have asked Rev. Goff what it is really like to be in thier "huge" fellowship hall standing shoulder to shoulder in August with out any air conditioning.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 22, 2007 2:44 PM

When my son called to tell me he's not coming over tonight because he's going to a memorial service I asked if it was for Mike Q.

He said, "yes."

I told him I'd read about him on this web site. He said, "oh."

I said, "I know if you act with integrity, work the steps and follow the traditions that you will not be one of those people they talk about who take advantage of people."

The fact that my son called me, was at work, and even has a drivers' license is a tribute to the Midtown group. Of his pre-Midtown friends one is in jail and the other stepped in front of a train and is dead.

The only reason I can read this and not be outraged that it's sensational is that I know that the program works, and that people who haven't been there don't have a clue about it.

I never met Mike Q and I imagine that I might not have thought he was the greatest person, but I have to wish him eternal peace because he was a part of a group that has saved one life that is very dear to me.

Posted by: MomofAA | August 22, 2007 3:26 PM

Midtown AA is not going anywhere Midtown will continue to grow and save lives as it did mine because I will "pass it on".

Posted by: God Bless | August 22, 2007 3:49 PM

Indeed Midtown will not go anywhere and it will continue to thrive. It's because the people there are happy and know how to have fun in sobriety. Others see this and look on in envy. Alcoholics are envious, paranoid and spiteful creatures. This evidenced in these blogs and in the the articles about the group. Most of the things in these articles could be construed one way or the other. I guess the one thing Marc Fisher forgot was to check the credibility of his sources. I don't want to say anymore, but the people he quoted in his articles literally had ulterior motives while they were supposedly undergoing this torture in Midtown. Oh, I guess they didn't mention THEIR part. That would change, rather discredit the story entirely. Wouldn't it.

The one thing I know about AA in the DC area is that it is BORING. And the people you're hanging out with this year will most likely be gone next year; either no longer going to AA, moving away somewhere or even leaving and getting drunk. Alcoholics rarely stay in one place very long, it's their most outstanding trait. Rarely do the ever see eye to eye on anything. Another one of their outstanding traits. Hehhemm...

But then there's Midtown, a place where you know people will always be doing something active and sober. True some of them have a stupid elistist attitudes, but criminals they are not. Breakers of traditions they are not. The accusers are the breakers of the traditions, not them. Read the damn traditions again, this time read the black parts on the page. :|

A stupid assumption on every haters part is that people came to Midtown without a choice. Most of the members there chose to be there because they know how bad their case is. Regular ho-hum DC AA just wasn't cutting it. What are you going to do for the other 23 hours of the day? In most of the AA groups in this area, the answer is nothing. Feeling crazy want to drink, too bad, you'll just have to wait for the dreary meeting 15 hours from now.

What goes on there is a miracle to some and a nightmare to others. But one thing that is certain, you won't find it anywhere else in this country or in any other. Midtown saves the lives of people who could not get sober anywhere else they tried. Thank God Midtown is there. Thank God.

Posted by: Indeed | August 22, 2007 6:06 PM

" ... What goes on there is a miracle to some and a nightmare to others. But one thing that is certain, you won't find it anywhere else in this country or in any other. "

This reminds me so much of Jonestown.

Thanks for confirming many of our suspicions, "indeed" ..

Posted by: Sure sounds like a cult to me | August 22, 2007 6:16 PM

Marc,
First of all thanks for the great reporting. I'm a long-time member of the program and a former resident of D.C. Along with a ex-Midtown buddy, I attended a number of Midtown meetings and events to see what with my own eyes what was going on. To their credit, Midtown does two things extremely well; they help the young alcoholic develop a social network and learn that you can have fun in sobriety. This is something I am often dissappointed with in our other groups...it seems to me that often the older members can fail in demonstrating this to younger alcoholics...that you can be sober and still enjoy life.

On the other hand, I saw enough suspicious and sometimes downright creepy behavior in Midtown groups that sent me running for the hills. Meetings definitely had the flavor of a personality cult centering around 'The Q' and his lieutenants. I've found their slight perversion of the program to be disturbing. It was obvious from day 1 that these changes were meant to beneift 'the Q' and his guys. I have to be honest. I have seen this type of predatory behavior very occassionally in other groups.....of course, AA is a microcosm of the world. My issue is the scale and systematic nature of the abuse. In most groups, AA old-timers will often intervene personally to address the situation. Obviously, when the old-timers are the ones taking advantage, this is tough to correct.

I DO empathize with the parents who feel a debt to Midtown for saving their child. It's hard for me to argue against them. I think Midtown is better than no AA, but there are many great meetings in the DC area. Unfortunately, one needs to try out many sometimes to find the good ones.

In my opinion, the best way to help your child is to know something about alcoholism. The Big Book of AA isn't only for alcoholics by the way. If a parent wants to REALLY know what the program is all about (and not just take Midtown's word for it) you can learn alot about the principles through AA's website (www.aa.org) or by reading the Big Book of AA.

Blessings to everyone fighting this pernicious disease.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 22, 2007 6:18 PM

I know there are many people that have been saved by the work of members of Midtown. I also know of people who have been harmed by members of Midtown. Which I guess makes AA no different than other organizations. If Mike Q (or any of the other surviving members of Midtown) had (have) done anything illegal then prosecute them.

Since Mike Q had a service at Blessed Sacrement I am assuming that he was Catholic. So now if Mike Q has done anything wrong it will be from a far higher authority to determine his guilt.

Mike Q and Midtown are a part of AA but they are not AA. My own home group has its share of "interesting" people. Heck, AA is about only place I know of that having jail in your C.V. makes your story "better".

As long as the primary message in Midtown is: don't drink, practice the principles in all of our affairs, say your prayers, talk to your sponsor, attend meetings, and help another alcoholic who still suffers than Midtown is doing the work of AA.

I pray that Mike Q is in a better place.

Posted by: AA ButNotMidtown | August 22, 2007 6:26 PM

Marc, thanks for your reporting on this story. As an "old timer" (a phrase I hate but it is true) I was impressed you were able to get such a good feel for what our program is about and the essential way in which Midtown has perverted it.

It's interesting why AA has not reigned in this outlaw group; you allude to the concept of anonymity and the fact that AA is not really an organization but an amorphous movement, a fellowship based on the principles of moral behavior and individual honest and integrity, and one without actual rules or membership lists. Those are true reasons, IMO.

Our concept of anonymity in the public media is one grounded in the concept that we should be governed by "principles, not personalities" and the idea that if everyone is anonymous in the media, the AA name will never be drawn into public controversy. Indeed, some Midtown members have vehemently argued in the blog posting to your first article that anonymity should shield lawbreakers. Let me assure you and every non-AA member who might be reading that real AA members obey the law. We are not a secret society and do not shield lawbreakers. In fact, it is strongly suggested that every member take responsibility for and make amends for his or her actions, past or present, that harmed someone.

The concept that anonymity should shield a "charismatic" "leader" who "runs" an AA group for years is, to any real AA member, highly ironic and offensive in a way that might even be difficult for a non-member to fully appreciate. AA has no leaders, only "trusted servants" who serve as volunteers for short periods of time; they serve the other members and they "do not govern". (For example, members volunteer to make coffee, line up logistics and the like.) Given that we do not accept outside contributions and take in a minimal amount to cover basic expenses like renting a room at a local church or buying nominal refreshments, and give the rest away, there are really no decisions involving money. The emphasis is on meetings and discussing our issues. Each person may say basically what he or she wishes without any crosstalk or criticism. No one tells anyone what to do.

This last emphasis, focusing on oneself and not interfering in others' lives, is possibly the biggest barrier to AA in trying to do something about Midtown. As most people know from common experience, those who overly criticize and try to direct the lives of others frequently do this to avoid looking at and working on themselves. Alcoholics (and most everyone in AA regards alcoholism as a lifetime condition, even after many years without a drink) seem especially susceptible to try and direct the lives of others, and so are especially on guard for any hint of this in their own behavior. This makes many, many members reluctant to intervene in the Midtown situation, given that they fear it might bring out this kind of behavior in themselves and lead them back to alcohol. It's also our tradition that each AA group is independent, except when its behavior harms other groups or AA as a whole. (The qualifying clause is often overlooked, however.)

So our fellowship is especially vulnerable to those who wish to pervert it.

Many Midtowners argue that they have a fun group of fellowship, that they don't drink, that sexual relationships heal, and similar arguments. Well, to some extent that is true. However, what's the price? Many members, especially young females, have been harmed by sexual abuse and predation, and they are further harmed when they are called liars and thieves, and subject to unrelenting verbal abuse and threats to reveal the secrets they have revealed as part of their "treatment". Many other members, by virtue of paying for their sponsor's vacations and doing domestic and yard work for free for years, are being exploited. Many members who have been pressured to quit psychotherapy and drop their medications (and many mental illnesses are organic illnesses, not simply emotional problems) are harmed tremendously. (One person I knew went off all his psychotropic medication at once and committed suicide two days later.)

And yet we're told that Midtown is "fun". Well, it's certainly fun if you are a male getting as much sex with numerous young women as you want, if someone else is paying for your vacation, and if someone else is doing your house cleaning and yard work for free. However, it's not recovery. It's not sobriety. It is not Alcoholics Anonymous. It is parasitic and it is exploitative. And the predators and parasites of Midtown, whose "program" is diametrically opposed to essentially everything AA stands for, have no right to call themselves an AA group.

Posted by: DCC | August 22, 2007 7:03 PM

Mom of AA wrote:

"The only reason I can read this and not be outraged that it's sensational is that I know that the program works, and that people who haven't been there don't have a clue about it."

What about the people who have been, or whose children have been there, and have been harmed or exploited?

Why on earth would a 60 yr. old man surround himself with underage girls?

That doesn't seem at all odd? And that some of those young women would make allegations of impropriety seems entirely outside the realm of possiblity?

Midtown has long been, and seemingly continues to be, operating outside the tenets of AA. If you wish to call yourself an AA group then don't act alarmed when people expect you to follow the principles of AA.

For example: Midtown's part in all this?

Amends to anyone? Individuals? Other AA groups? AA as a whole?

Explanations on why there is even a "group" called Midtown? Not a meeting...a GROUP. AA doesn't do that.

Explanations or denouncements of Mike Q as "a leader." AA doesn't do that, either.

All the rationalizations, denial, minimizing, and finger pointing are not necessary if Midtown is following the principles of the program. But don't take the name of something decent and change its message against its will and not expect that you won't be asked to be accountable for that.


Posted by: Jane D. | August 22, 2007 7:12 PM

Eventually, we all die.

And God sorts it all out.

Posted by: AA Member in Houston | August 22, 2007 7:37 PM

AA butNotMidtown, I'm also not Midtown and have never been. I have over 20 yrs.

Can you really think that if the activities described in the articles, posts, and (for me) the personal accounts of people I know and trust are even remotely true, that Midtowners could be "practicing the principles in all their affairs" and "helping the alcoholic who still suffers"? Truly?

I have a friend who was in Midtown some years ago and defends it, rationalizes its behavior (no one who knows her can figure this out, actually). Anyway, after a spirited exchange with her during which she defended Midtown to the skies, she added at the end "But I hope Mike Q burns in hell".

I believe that heaven and hell are on earth, not in any afterlife. And on earth, Michael Quinones created a hell for many desperate people who were suffering and went to his group for help.

Posted by: DCC | August 22, 2007 7:42 PM

Hey, there's nothing wrong with mind games and rape to take your mind off drinking!

Posted by: Sweetie | August 22, 2007 8:07 PM

For those who have been influenced by Mike Q, the ones furiously defending Midtown or Mike Q, I feel truly sorry for you. Mike will meet his creator, his God, or his Devil. We dont know. But look at the facts and question for yourself. You do not need a reporter to question, a police officer to question, an ex Midtown member to question, or a priest, a therapist, a mother or a dry cleaner. The steps of AA and the traditions of AA are there to guide an alcoholic to become a useful productive member of society. For those that held Mike is such esteem, When and Where did he become a productive member of scociety OUTSIDE OF AA? or with his own FAMILY? Does any one ever question that??
There was a man preaching the miracles of AA, when he NEVER EVER made amends to any one in his own family?? isnt that the 9th step? Amends, to make whole, at least attempt. He did have 2 wonderful kids that he NEVER made time for. He had at least 2 ex wives, many girlfriends and 100's of sex slaves.
He did not hold a job for any length of time (3 years max) been bankrupt a few times SOBER. This man appologized to no one, a self rightous ass.

So for those that have followed in Mikes footsteps, God be with you, or may you find a real man to follow now.
Are you not questioning why his own children did NOT attend his funeral? This was not a man that had love in his heart. If there was no personal gain either financial or sexual he had absolutely nothing to do with it, and that included his family. This was not a sound man or a good man.

for those parents thinking that Midtown was a miracle, AA is a miracle, not midtown, not Mike Q. I fear those that aspire to be like Mike, to think there are possible clones of him is a dreadful thought if not a nightmare.

Posted by: exexex | August 22, 2007 9:25 PM

exexex, thank you! I didn't know that Michael Quinones was such a failure in life and that his children didn't attend his funeral. I knew, of course, that he lived with teenaged girls for years, that he lived with a 19 year old girl up to his death.

To the parents of children who thought Midtown was a miracle, I only agree with exexex that AA is the miracle here. And it truly is a miracle that the twisted and perverted version of AA practiced in Midtown worked at all. I hope that your children will now be able to free themselves of this group and find the real AA so that they may live a sober life.

Posted by: DCC | August 22, 2007 11:28 PM

I do not celebrate the death of anyone but I know that the DC recovery community is better off without Mike Q (real name Edward Quinones, Jr.). If he was such a great man, why did he go by his brother's name? Why did he reject his own family? I am acquainted with members of his immediate family. When I heard he had died, I called them to confirm and offer condolences. They were unaware of his death. His son had not been allowed to see his father before his death. I do not think they were even aware of the recent services, which would explain their absence. One of them thought he might be sent back to Puerto Rico where his mother lives. Was she at the memorial services?

The Q group (which became the Midtown groups) had a reputation for being sexual predators when I got clean 20 years ago. AA refused to address the improprieties and enabled Midtown to develop. I noted with interest the posting here from the person who said all of non-Midtown AA was so boring, that people don't stay there and the real recovery is in Midtown. This is classic cult thinking - us vs. them, we are the only ones with the real message, etc. If the rest of AA and other 12 step fellowships are so bad, then how do you explain how AA has survived prior to Midtown or Mike Q and how do you explain why the non-Midtown groups are full of people with over 20 years in recovery?

I challenge Midtown to show they indeed follow the traditions of AA. First, open up membership of your groups to any alcoholic with the desire to stop drinking, not just those who have sponsors that belong to the group. Let any alcoholic vote in your group conscience. Second, open up your group financial records to other members of AA. Third, attend some non-Midtown AA meetings on your own, not with a Midtown entourage. Meet and talk with members there. You don't have to mention Midtown, just talk recovery. Or are you afraid of what you might learn?

Posted by: anonymous11 | August 23, 2007 12:16 AM

It's my understanding that AA and it's members generally don't debate; not in private nor in public. I'm sad that folks reading these articles and the blog postings will have their opinions of AA tainted. Alcoholics Anonymous is a gorgeous program of action for the treatment of Alcoholism. I could never repay the debt of sobriety, the sobriety of many of my family members and friends, but, if I'm lucky, I will die trying.

I'm a well travelled AA member and have been to meetings all over the country. I've been to a couple Midtown group meetings and found them largely just like other AA meetings. I'm grateful for the tools I have to get over my own personal resentments, worries, concerns and fears and not have to take them out in public or media.

Folks, please be aware that this is a public forum and our words matter.

Take good care,

Kirk

Posted by: Kirk W in San Francisco | August 23, 2007 3:27 AM

It's my understanding that AA and it's members generally don't debate; not in private nor in public. I'm sad that folks reading these articles and the blog postings will have their opinions of AA tainted. Alcoholics Anonymous is a gorgeous program of action for the treatment of Alcoholism. I could never repay the debt of sobriety, the sobriety of many of my family members and friends, but, if I'm lucky, I will die trying.

I'm a well travelled AA member and have been to meetings all over the country. I've been to a couple Midtown group meetings and found them largely just like other AA meetings. I'm grateful for the tools I have to get over my own personal resentments, worries, concerns and fears and not have to take them out in public or media.

Folks, please be aware that this is a public forum and our words matter.

Take good care,

Kirk

Posted by: Kirk W in San Francisco | August 23, 2007 3:27 AM

It's my understanding that AA and it's members generally don't debate; not in private nor in public. I'm sad that folks reading these articles and the blog postings will have their opinions of AA tainted. Alcoholics Anonymous is a gorgeous program of action for the treatment of Alcoholism. I could never repay the debt of sobriety, the sobriety of many of my family members and friends, but, if I'm lucky, I will die trying.

I'm a well travelled AA member and have been to meetings all over the country. I've been to a couple Midtown group meetings and found them largely just like other AA meetings. I'm grateful for the tools I have to get over my own personal resentments, worries, concerns and fears and not have to take them out in public or media.

Folks, please be aware that this is a public forum and our words matter.

Take good care,

Kirk

Posted by: Kirk W in San Francisco | August 23, 2007 3:28 AM

i got sober in the dc area almost 20 yrs ago and i watched the reality of the mid town group and what they practised. about 17 yrs ago i met a young lady at a mtg at mont general hospital who had gotten involved with the midtown crowd almost from day 1. she was shaking and crying because "they" had told her that she could no longer take her prescribed meds for her depression and bi-polar disease because if she did, she would be "using" and therefore not sober. she desperately wanted to be sober so....she did as she was told. at about 90 days she found a gun and blew her brains out. what i remember best was a midtown "member" saying...."well, i guess she wasn't ready yet". not a bit of remorse.
EVERYTHING that you have printed about the Q group is the gods honest truth and the only ones who will write defending the group are their own members.
keep up the good work

Posted by: kf hawaii | August 23, 2007 4:47 AM

Kirk,

Thanks for your thoughts. As a member with over 20 years, I was horrified to read of the activities of the Midtown group in Newsweek, on the front page of the Sunday Washington Post last month, and to see numerous local TV news stories. A criminal started and is underway. Churches started kicking out meetings. All this happened before any debate on this web site.

I understand a national TV news show is doing the story as well. You seem to getting into this forum late here. I suggest you read the original article and comments at http://blog.washingtonpost.com/rawfisher/2007/07/midtown_group_aa_group_leads_m.html

Yes, many meetings at Midtown aren't very different. But the reality just beneath the surface is sickening. Since the articles came out, I have talked to many people I've known for years, some of them victims of the organized sexual abuse in Midtown, some who confirmed the other exploitation and tactics referred to in the story. I'm afraid this is something AA can no longer ignore.

Midtown is not AA. It is a twisted and perverted version of AA where "service work" means having sex with your sponsor, "selfless" means paying for his vacation and doing his house work and yardwork, "going to any lengths to stay sober" means stopping prescription drugs, breaking off from family, not going to any meeting not a part of the Midtown group, and much more. These are not sensational charges in a tabloid, but researched statements that many members have confirmed since the stories came out through their AA network - stories that many victims had left in the past but now confirm. And it's still happening.

The blame for all this can be left at the feet of the male leadership "hierarchy" at Midtown. The only way the public will blame AA for this is if we now do nothing.

Posted by: DCC | August 23, 2007 8:33 AM

Correction: "...a criminal investigation started and is underway..."

Posted by: DCC | August 23, 2007 8:34 AM

If some of the defenders of Midtown sound juvenile in these comments, it is because they are, in fact, juveniles. That's the problem.

Anyone who travels in DC AA, not under the cult spell of Midtown, knows exactly what is going on with that group. One need only meet a few young female refugees and chat with some AA folks who have been in Washington for a decade or so.

The facts are established. The question is: what does anyone do about it? Relying on Intergroup or New York has never worked. Is it possible for a group of people with long term sobriety to attend all the Midtown meetings, week after week, to spread the genuine message of AA? Can any group of mature adults match the perserverence of an army of 19 year olds?

Posted by: dcAA | August 23, 2007 8:37 AM

Kirk wrote: "It's my understanding that AA and it's members generally don't debate; not in private nor in public."

You're right. We "GENERALLY" don't.

Except that in this situation there are minors who are being exploited by older men in the name and guise of AA.

The media has written about it and broadcast it at the local, national, and international level.

I believe that we AAs need to speak out that this is NOT our beloved organization.

That we do not CONDONE what is happening in Midtown.

And explain, not only to the general public, but to Midtown members themselves, where their group has departed from AA principles.

Midtown members are discouraged from attending other AA meetings.

They do not have certain AA-approved literature available to them at their meetings.

They have been told so many things "in the name of AA" which are either half-truths or patently false, that they really don't understand why others condemn or question thier actions.

And they will NOT stick around for any face-to-face discussion once they learn that you are not a Midtown supporter.

And it's been going on for decades.

This seems as good a place as any to explain why they are so "misunderstood" (as they so often claim). To explain what others have seen and experienced. To explain what AA really says about things like sponsorship, finances, medications, and traditions.

If they've never heard that AA frowns upon men sponsoring girls (as I have personally witnessed), then they can't even begin to understand why people think there is something wrong with their group's behavior.

If they haven't been exposed to the ideas in the Traditions, they have no idea how unusual it is that a GROUP of meetings all fall under one umbrella name: Midtown.

If they haven't been allowed to serve at a local or regional level, they have no idea how strange it is that their meetings (which number in the 100s), make no donations to AA. Or perhaps what a "prudent reserve" means w/ regards to group funds.

Most of the people I've met from Midtown are decent, kind people who have little idea of what sets their group apart. They have been told a set of lies about jealousy, resentment, and ignorance regarding anyone who questions or criticizes their group. Most of us are none of those things.

Barring the issues of minors not being able to truly consent, and the use of the AA name, I would be fine with ADULT Midtowners doing whatever they're doing--provided they are making an informed choice.

If they freely choose to give all their money away and sleep with predators, who am I to judge.

Just don't call it AA.

And don't do it to kids who don't know what's going on and can't legally consent to it regardless.

Posted by: Jane D. | August 23, 2007 10:06 AM

I was once a Midtown member, "ex-Q", and I can honestly and soberly state that all allegations against Mike Q and the Midtown Group are COMPLETELY and UTTERLY TRUE!!!! Mike was a vicious and manipulate dictator of human minds, using A.A. principles as a means for his own self-fulfillment and sexual exploitations. I can say this, because he was my sponsor. I entered the group knowing full well about all the rumors of the group, and was slowly "brain-washed" into their cult-like activities. I was not aloud to associate with friends I had known in the A.A. for years that were not part of the "Midtown" or "Q" group, and that I could only go to meetings with Midtown group members. I was "appointed" a sponsor and not able to chose one for myself. I had at one point 18 service positions in A.A. that keep me estranged from my family. I was told that I needed sex in order to be happy. I was told to stop taking prescribed medicine, that all I needed was the steps and my sponsor. I was told to get Mike Q. as my sponsor and did so. I was sexually approached by Mike several times, and when I turned him down, I was shunned by him and members of the group, not allowed at his beach house, and forced to do yard work, clean his house, not go one trips, ignored my members and friends and made to feel extremely shamed.

"But then there's Midtown, a place where you know people will always be doing something active and sober." I feel so sorry for the person who wrote this and for the people that are still being lured to believe the lies created and dispelled by a sick, perverted man whose only self interest was sex and servicing himself.
Mike and his appointed soldiers used A.A. money and money from A.A. members in the group to finance extravagant vacations in Mystique, California, Florida, and the Islands. Mike bought fancy cars, fancy clothes, and even expensive bed linens with money from members from the group.
I had the displeasure of working very closely with him and witnessed and over-heard many conversations and meetings with members of the group, and they were not AT ALL in line with what A.A. practices.

MIDTOWN and MIKE Q. are an abomination to A.A. and I truly pray that the group with cease to exist now that Mike is DEAD! I am forever grateful I left the Midtown group, and I am grateful and sober member of A.A.

Posted by: Ex Midtown Member | August 23, 2007 11:02 AM

I think DCC and Jane need to get a grip. They are so quick to shout down anyone that offers any kind of different opionion, wether they be from midtown or not.

Why don't you try reading the black parts of pages 60 to 64 in the big book? Just because some has a different opinion, one that you may not agree with, doesn't make either of you right. No matter how justified you believe you are.

Holding onto so much spite and anger really is unhealthy, you may want to take a look at that.

Trying to help people and spread a positive message of recovery is one thing, being spiteful and ugly while doing so, is entirely another. But then again anger, justified or not never really is that attractive, is it?

Posted by: Anonymous | August 23, 2007 11:50 AM

Ex midtown member,

Where do you go to meetings? Maybe I'll come by and check it out sometime.

Posted by: AA member | August 23, 2007 11:52 AM

My 29 yo brother's recovery from drug abuse is due to his involvement with Midtown. Midtown is largely made up of young people and I think it's helped my brother to be around young people who don't drink/use drugs. It's hard to find that elsewhere! Of course, he's a guy, and I don't have a female's perspective, but I hope everyone remembers that this group has helped a lot of people - my family will be forever grateful.

Posted by: DC | August 23, 2007 11:53 AM

(blank), I'm unclear what you mean that Jane and I "are so quick to shout down anyone that offers any kind of different opinion".

Can you give an example of this? Because I haven't shouted at anybody. My argument is that the sexual predation of young women who come to AA for help only to be exploited should end now. The exploitation of members should end now.

One of the most evil traits at Midtown is twisting the meaning of AA slogans and literature. "Service work", "selflessness", and "going to any lengths to stay sober" always end up boiling down to having sex with your sponsor and giving money to your sponsor for his vacation or other large purchases. And you talk about "unhealthy"?

The post directly above yours, from "Ex Midtown Member", is from a person whose sponsor was Mike Q, whose real name was Edward Quinones. Perhaps you can address that post rather than making your vague criticism.

If you are interested in something pertinent from our program which explains this controversy, perhaps you could consider the Responsibility Statement we all subscribe to:

"Whenever anyone, anywhere reaches out for help, I want the hand of AA always to be there; And for that, I am responsible."

I take this seriously. I don't want young people, or anyone, who come to AA for help to be exploited and exploited by predators masquerading as AA.

Posted by: DCC | August 23, 2007 12:28 PM

(blank) wrote: "I think DCC and Jane need to get a grip. They are so quick to shout down anyone that offers any kind of different opionion, wether they be from midtown or not.

Why don't you try reading the black parts of pages 60 to 64 in the big book? Just because some has a different opinion, one that you may not agree with, doesn't make either of you right. No matter how justified you believe you are.

Holding onto so much spite and anger really is unhealthy, you may want to take a look at that."
****************

Firstly, I'm not angry or spiteful. Perhaps you are reading a tone into my words that isn't there. I'm concerned about this issue. If there have been children abused then that angers me. But I'm definitely not spiteful and angry about what I perceive to be Midtown's operating outside of AA's principles. Concerned and looking for clarity--but not angry.

Secondly, shouting down? I've asked questions welcoming dialogue and information on this and the other blog repeatedly. I'm very interested in what Midtown supporters have to say on the matter. Most of the responses, however, have been violations of the user agreement, and have not addressed the questions I've posed.

Finally, differing opinions are fine. I've yet to insult, degrade, or attack those with differing opinions. Supporters of Midtown have NOT responded in kind. That is also in black and white for anyone to read.

But the fact of the matter is, is that Midtown does not seem to operate under the guidelines and principles of AA. Those aren't principles I've made up. I didn't write the sponsorship pamphlet where it suggests that we use same-sex sponsors. I didn't write the Tradition that states we do not create outside groups within AA. I didn't write the step which says we make amends to those we've harmed.

So I'm extremely interested in hearing HOW exactly the defenders of Midtown reconcile their claims that Midtown is simply another AA group, with the fact that their group openly tolerates men sponsoring women, calls themselves "Midtown," and jusitifies IT'S behavior with regards to multiple people making some very serious allegations against it.

If those things aren't true, then please show me.

If they are....then those are instances where Midtown is operating outside the AA guidelines--and that's a problem.

Listening eagerly......

Posted by: Jane D. | August 23, 2007 12:42 PM

You are basing your report on a Myspace page? You truly are pathetic reporter Mark Fisher. Your comment about the moment of silence came from a girl known as Onley Amanda, although she now likes to be called Mandie. Ask her about the people that helped her? Or are you just reading her comments on Myspace?

Mark, please. I am begging you... Grow up. Leave this man's life alone. He died and he will be missed. I hope when I die I will have affected so many people's lives.

Posted by: Huhhh | August 23, 2007 12:47 PM

ALl... Mike passed away a week ago. Apparently, you have not heard. But he is not around to investigate, harrass, stalk (yes he was stalked by some of you) bother or slander. He is at rest now. Maybe you should all do the same, give it a rest.

Thanks Huhhh, Mark's reporting has been disgusting.

Posted by: This is disgusting | August 23, 2007 12:58 PM

For the record, Midtown's malfeasance was discussed at a Regional Service Assembly meeting BEFORE the original Post article, or any knowledge of it appeared.

Posted by: thesecondA | August 23, 2007 1:38 PM

Of course your not clear Jane and DCC, exactly my point.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 23, 2007 2:00 PM

Actually, Mark has done a great service to the community by bringing the atrocities of Mike Q. and the members of the Midtown Group to the attention of the public. Many people have wanted this for a long, long time. Thank you Mark for your reporting. Thank you for this Blog. Thank you for your previous Washington Post article on Mike and Midtown.
Also, thank you to the AA members who have and hopefully will continue to bring Midtown's Malfeasance to the Regional Assemblies.
Mark, you are awesome and an excellent reporter. :-) Thank you!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: Thank you Mark! | August 23, 2007 2:11 PM

Sorry I spelled your name wrong Marc.
Still think you're an awesome reporter.
Thank you again for your article and this blog.

Posted by: oops | August 23, 2007 2:33 PM

Dear (blank), I asked for an example to back up your vague and inchoate charge. Where is it?

I think it's interesting that (blank) illustrates perfectly two points from yesterday. The first is that Midtown supporters utilize the "ad hominem abusive" attack in which they attack a person making an argument rather than the argument itself (cf. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ad_hominem) I have read both these blogs in detail (this and at http://blog.washingtonpost.com/rawfisher/2007/07/midtown_group_aa_group_leads_m.html) and have not seen a single instance where anyone from Midtown has even attempted to refute any of the charges. They have also not answered a single factual question raised by others.

The other point this illustrates is the general reluctance of AA members to get into controversy or to even appear to criticize another person. (blank) tries to make use of this general attitude to counsel me, expressing mock concern about my health and advising me to do a certain reading about anger. This is just another example of Midtown turning good AA advice and slogans into cover for the predators of Midtown.

It's interesting to me that in the face of a rising tide of ex-Midtown members (and by the way, I'm not one and found out about this through the Post article but I have since talked to trusted friends who had been abused but had been embarrassed to discuss it prior to the article) who are coming out with their personal stories of incredible abuse, (blank) focuses his or her selective attention only on those who oppose the abuse.

If (blank) were as reasonable a person as he or she is presenting himself or herself as, wouldn't (blank) show some concern for the victims of the abuse or the predators and parasites who perpetuate it? Wouldn't he or she at least have any interest in whether these incredibly serious charges are true?

Posted by: DCC | August 23, 2007 2:44 PM

Very moving.

I sincerely hope that when you die at least one of your children, or your mother, or just anyone from your family, comes to your funeral. Unfortunately that wasn't the case with Edward Quinones, Jr. aka "Mike Q".

I also sincerely hope that you affect other's lives. But I hope it's positively, not negatively like Edward Quinones, Jr. did.

By the way, does anyone know why he went by his brother's name? Just curious.

Posted by: DCC | August 23, 2007 2:52 PM

(My post was to Huhhh.)

Posted by: DCC | August 23, 2007 2:55 PM

The accusations against Mike Q and his lieutenants concerning sex, money and abuses of power are correct; and the few people defending them are either brainwashed or they are liars.

Oh, and I seriously doubt that the group will dissolve because there's still plenty to be gained by people like Jack, Arno, John, etc. They've clawed their way to the top of the pyramid and with Mike gone the power is there for the taking.

Posted by: Grateful X Midtowner | August 23, 2007 3:07 PM

It is rather disturbing that not one post (that I can recall) from any Midtown supporter has addressed the allegations with anything other than, essentially, "So what?" "That's not my problem." "But there's been a lot of good," or many, many personal or character attacks.

That, in and of itself, is not in keeping with the behavior AA suggests for its members.

The point is being made over and over again: Midtown, and its members, have some sort of program, but it is NOT AA.

Either fix your program/group to be in line with AA, or stop using the AA name.

If the behavior and conduct on this, and Marc Fisher's previous blog page, are any indication of what Midtown is like, I simply don't find the allegations of impropreity and abuse to be hard to believe.

If you can't "practice the principles" on a website blog, you aren't going to convince me that you're practicing the principles in other areas.

Posted by: Jane D. | August 23, 2007 3:12 PM

"By the way, does anyone know why he went by his brother's name? Just curious"

Oh that's a VERY interesting question. Perhaps someone should look into the matter. Who knows what might turn up...

Posted by: Grateful X Midtowner | August 23, 2007 3:13 PM

I have been a member of AA in the DC area for over 10 years, however, I've never hit a Midtown meeing nor had I met Mike Q. Having said that, this controversy should be put to bed. The co-founders of AA wrote the traditions to protect ourselves from ourselves. We all have our own program and our own meetings. It is not my responsibility to rescue AA'ers from a meeting that I may feel is harmful to them. My responsibility is to be there when an alcoholic walks through the door of one of my meetings.

Posted by: What Would Bill W. Do? | August 23, 2007 3:26 PM

"It is not my responsibility to rescue AA'ers from a meeting that I may feel is harmful to them."

I totally agree.

Except in this case it's MINORS.

Whole different kettle of fish...

If we AAs stand by, silent, while children are exploited in the name of our program, then that's wrong.

And b/c this issue has been made public already, to stand by in silence now, I believe, affects the reputation of AA as a whole.

How are we a program of attraction, if we hide, defend, and/or ignore those who exploit children in our ranks?

Posted by: Jane D. | August 23, 2007 3:38 PM

With Midtown it seem's like the cure is worse than the disease...(if your a young female at least)

Posted by: way to help people | August 23, 2007 4:12 PM

What would Bill W. do?, your position is not uncommon in AA. Certainly our primary responsibility is for our own meetings and to preserve our own sobriety and help other alcoholics who walk thru our meeting's doors to achieve sobriety. I have no disagreement there.

I disagree with your position but understand it. I just feel this is hurting our program as a whole and hurts many individuals in the name of AA. I think our traditions assume that everyone in our program is honest, and clearly that's almost entirely true but not 100% true. And we assume that bad meetings will wither away, leaving the true AA. In that Midtown has been abusing women for over 20 years, according to much evidence that has accumulated, that doesn't appear true either.

I agree with many others in this forum that this is a very sad state of affairs for our fellowship and poses some hard decisions, both moral, as to our responsibility for others we don't even know, and for our own sobriety, which potentially can be damaged or lost by some members who might get too much into adversarial conflict in this matter.

I come down on the side of getting involved. At the worst time in my life AA was there for me and I want our miraculous program to be there for others in the future. No one can predict the future but it seems to me that if good members of our fellowship (and that's almost everyone, in my experience) now do nothing our program is in danger and we will live to regret it.

Posted by: DCC | August 23, 2007 4:33 PM

Jane D is absolutely right. People have stood by in silence long enough and let this happen. I left the group a long time ago, THANK GOD! Reading all this commentary as well as the Post and Newsweek articles brings me great happiness that the exploitations of Mike Q. and the Midtown group are finally getting publicized and hopefully there will be repercussions on the group other than their losing meeting space in Churches. At the same time it makes me so sad for all the young members who are caught in the lies and deceit of the Midtown group. Midtown has gotten even worse. It is not surprising. Mike was a predator, and the other top leaders mentioned, are predators of the worst kind. They prey on those who come into a group seeking help and hope. Those who are lured into the group are lavished with phone numbers and movie parties, dances, and social activities, only to be cohered later into sex and mind manipulation. Many of the "young people" that are attracted to this group are under the age of 17. Many of the Senior members who have exploited the members in the group are twice, three, four times their age. Many of the young people who come into the group also come from abusive backgrounds, be it sexual abuse, abusive parents, abuse from the streets, etc. and it leaves them as easy prey for these people. I witnessed it over and over. Mike was the master and trust me, although he is dead, he instructed his soldiers and their girlfriends, now wives, well enough to carry on. I pray for an end to all this sickness. A.A. does not deserve it and neither do the newcomers.

Posted by: X Midtowner | August 23, 2007 4:34 PM

If members of AA feel so strongly that something should be done about the Midtown Group, then become a GSR and/or attend the next WAIA Board of Directors meeting as well as the Washington Area General Service Assembly meeting. If not, there's always Al-Anon.

Posted by: What Would Bill W. Do? | August 23, 2007 5:33 PM

Isn't one of the traditions of alcoholics anonymous anonymity? The anti-midtown group has been posting names all over their blogs of members.

Also funny is the person who runs that site is like 40 and married to a 21 year old. Went after her when she was a teen.

Posted by: Renee | August 23, 2007 6:03 PM

Renee is Shawn. Shawn is the creator of http://www.myspace.com/thefallofmidtownliars. Shawn is a long term Midtown Member who has spread his lies throughout the internet, while posting my full name, posting pictures of me and videos of my wife, on the internet. I attempted to post my response to what he, and his group has continued to do, but the author of this blog has not accepted it for posting (yet?). I shall try once again, for Shawn had paid no attention to any Traditions that I am aware of, while he has continued his offensive, through his smear campaign Midtown propaganda endeavors. A worse example of a human being you would find most difficult discovering, and he's well established within the Midtown collective. Go figure...

Posted by: One voice. | August 23, 2007 6:28 PM

First of all, I have to admit that I was wrong about who created the Myspace profile, "fallofmidtownlairs". I had assumed that it was "sickgirl", because she was (at one point) its only friend and supporter and because of the previous emails that I received from her that were overtly negative and all too frequent. Although I cannot understand why anyone in A.A. would accept a friend request by such a site, I have to make amends to her for calling her out as the creator, now that it has been proven to me that she is not. I am sorry that I called you out as the creator of that slanderously fictitious profile sickgirl. Unfortunately, you allowed yourself to be used by what has been proven to be a Midtown Group member, to help strengthen Midtown, at the cost of A.A. as a whole.

The creator of the "fallofmidtownlairs" Myspace profile is a long term member of the Midtown Group; a group that has represented itself as a cult, and has behaved as such, for over 20 years now. The name of its creator is Shawn. Shawn is a typically weak willed Midtown Group member who has been conditioned to become and remain completely dependent on the Midtown Group. I can say this without any reservation for he, himself, has (publicly) gotten on top of his Midtown soapbox and described how he couldn't stay dry from alcohol without the Midtown Group, and if truth be told, he could not and he did not, when he tried. Perhaps, if he was introduced to A.A.'s program of recovery to begin with, he may have had a real chance to recover from alcoholism. I cannot say.

Myspace, with the help of some very concerned and highly agitated friends of mine were able to track the exact residential address of the thefallofmidtownliars profile creator (Shawn), by several methods; one of which was a means of tracking, known as "pinging". I'm not going to pretend that I understand the exact process, or the small pains that they took to secure all of the other information involved, but the result points to one person, and that person is Shawn, who lives in a typical Midtown Group Home, near Seven Locks Road. Sickgirl obviously does not live near, or around Seven Locks Road. There are two other Midtown informational sources that have confirmed that he was the creator.

These helpful individuals were able to discover several other identities that Shawn currently uses, in order to spread his Midtown Propaganda. These online identities are, but are not limited to:

onegoodlookinthemirror@gmail.com

timparsons1@gmail.com

timparsons2@gmail.com

AndynMaryland

www.doitsober.com

MySpace URL: http://www.myspace.com/thefallofmidtownliars

And "Easy", also of Myspace, who happens to be thefallofmidtownliars only real friend.

There are several other web addresses that are documented, but those show the exact identity of Shawn. Out of my respect for A.A., I would prefer to handle this without revealing his full identity. He did not respect my identity, by any stretch of the imagination, when he posted my full name on various web addresses, as he stated that I was stalking and 13 stepping my wife when she was 16. What Shawn knows, all too well, is that she was preyed upon when she was 15/16 with less than two weeks experience in A.A. A Midtown Group member who was in his 30's preyed upon her, as he had with numerous 14/15/16 year olds, over a period no less than 10 years... To suggest that this pedophile was the only one (in the Midtown Group) who behaved as such, would create a large laugh throughout many other A.A. groups, as well as within many Midtown meetings. Every time I hear people saying that that never happens, I want to spit in their face. To be sure, when I first read Shawn's shining example of his spiritual program, I and others, wanted to do worse than that to him.

The truth is that many of these females that were preyed upon or basically raped, before or after their 16th birthday, have such a level of disgust over what was done to them (by the Midtown Group-as-a-whole) that many of them choose to walk forward and attempt to wash themselves of that horrible experience. Remember, it's usually their sponsorship lineage, and their "closest Midtown friends" that led them to that (possibly ongoing) horrible experience, then it was their sponsorship lineage, and their "closest Midtown friends" that manipulated them to suck it up and hold it deep inside of then, less they be ostracized from the only higher power that most of them have been manipulated to become co-dependent on. Don't even mention the fact that the judicial system is not gentle with those who have been victimized and want justice. Most of them, and for damn good reason, have little interest in being victimized twice.

Every time Shawn emailed me, over a period of 6 months, he used the name onegoodlookinthemirror. I initially assumed that it was Sickgirl because she was sending her emails through Myspace, at around the same time. When I finally blocked him, he began emailing my friends, with personal information about me, which included pictures of me, and previous Myspace comments, that I had posted up to six months before he had emailed me. To suggest that he is overtly obsessed with me would be a vast understatement. Unfortunately, his obsession didn't stop with me, nor did the harm stop with him. He has had help from other Midtown Group members, who have (for the most part) apparently worked independently of one another, in order to publicly discredit ex midtown members who have spoken out against the group and the harm that they provide to A.A.'s vulnerable Newcomers.

Shawn, as well as (at least) three other (confirmed) Midtown Group members (of whom I will not identify by name at this time) have continually posted the contents of previous Midtown Group member's personal 5th steps or intimately private conversations on the internet, after those that confided in them were ostracized from the Midtown Group. Need a recent example? On the internet is a (less than two week old) posting from one of these 4 Midtown Group members who heard, in an extremely intimate and private conversation, how another (now ostracized) member drank the bath water of his Guru. This was discussed, at depth, in full confidence that this Midtown Group member would not disclose that which was meant to be heard by him and the higher power of the person who was discussing this with him. Unfortunately, for most of the Midtown Group, the group itself is their higher power, so the established hierarchy of the group hears a great many of these 5th steps and extremely intimate and private conversations . This behavior was first established by Mike, who encouraged his trusted Lieutenants to tell what was discussed in their pigeons 5th steps. I remember seeing this when Mike was my grand sponsor, over 20 years ago. That behavior, as well as others, have only become more refined since then. What these Midtown Group members have done, in regards to this behavior (out of many), as it relates to A.A.'s principles, is criminal.

This is one of the ways that the Midtown Group attempts to discredit the members who are voluntarily or involuntarily exiting, as they are being ostracized from the only higher power that they were motivated to rely upon. You see, if those exiting members thrived outside of the care of their self made higher power, then Midtown's hypothesis that anyone who left the group will drink, would crumble, and as a result, the fear that holds a great many of them there, would no longer work. Keeping them distracted by sex, (false) status, (false) security and humorous activities can only keep the young people there distracted for so long. I cannot even begin to calculate the amount of harm that these Midtown Group members have consciously implemented; all so that their self made higher power could thrive and temporarily relieve them of their thirst for alcohol and destructive habitual tendencies. What most of them have chosen to ignore, is the entirely new and destructive set of behaviors that their new group, as a whole, have helped them to implement.

Here's a little personal information about the thefallofmidtownliars profile that a few Midtown members already knew of.

One the date of its conception, Shawn, several other Midtown members, Anna and I shared a single cabin at a spiritual retreat, hosted by A.A. members, both inside of and outside of the Midtown Group. These A.A. members endeavored to create a growing sense of unity throughout our local fellowship, as our differences continued to rise and climb, because of the Midtown Group, its philosophy and a great many A.A. members having difficulty accepting or understanding it. On the second day of the retreat, while I was conducting an 11 step workshop, Shawn created thefallofmidtownliars profile. The reality of the situation is that he was not alone in this creation. Several other Midtown Group members knew about this at the time, or very soon afterward. Another reality is that a Midtown Group member called me a couple of days afterward, and expressed a sincere disgust over what was done to Anna and me. For this, I thank him. It made me remember that there are individuals with character left inside of the Midtown Group, and that I have to remember this fact.

That Saturday night, as a true musician and I played music together in front of a beautiful fire, I also made fireplace treats for those sitting around the main musician. I approached Shawn with one of them and offered it to him unconditionally. He accepted it without gratitude, as I would have expected from him, then I continued playing the drums on a true musician's guitar case. That night, Anna offered him and the other Midtown group members blankets, because it was getting colder. One of them accepted a blanket with gratitude, for that person was ill prepared for the night weather. The next day he stayed physically inactive in the hectic kitchen as people worked around him, in order to make breakfast for everyone there. He video taped my (then) fiancée climbing on the chef's rack (in order to help stabilize the chef's working environment), hoping that she would fall. When he sarcastically asked her a fairly stupid question, she chose to ignore him and he posted that on the internet as well.

When he created that site and posted various other lies about her and I on other internet web sites, he knew, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that Anna and I were not only coming up on our Birthdays in a couple of days, but that we were to be married in less than a week. As with most alcoholics with untreated alcoholism, he remains in a state of conscious misery, and as with most alcoholics who are fixated within this constant and horrible state, he would prefer that others remain there with him. In a large way, I do feel sorry for him. To be within his head, alone at night with his eyes closed and nothing but his misery to distract him from himself, would be a state of being that I would find unbearable indeed.

In ending, I would like to offer the clearest case of hypocrisy that I have ever seen in my entire life and I'm offering it up to you, for your viewing displeasure.


View for yourself, just how hypocritical and dishonest this Midtown Group member is. Remember, he is NOT acting alone. On www.doitsober.com (of which he is the administrator) he wrote this message and then stated that an A.A. member outside of the Midtown Group wrote it. I highlighted the parts which are overtly hypocritical and dishonest. In essence, Shawn created the site to defend the Midtown Group, then wrote a defensive letter to that site, then stated that it wasn't himself who wrote it. After which, a couple of months later, he created thefallofmidtownliars. A greater monument to hypocrisy you will never see.

Posted by: One voice. | August 23, 2007 6:33 PM

I really enjoy this discussion. I have noticed how many of us have gone back to AA's traditions in our responses. That's a beautiful thing. It shows how powerful and timeless these traditions are. As any AA member knows, these traditions are but guidlines....although like the steps, guidelines many of us take damn seriously! While I agree with 'WWBD' in principle, I have to say that my interpretation of our 10th tradiiton, 'Alcoholics Anonymous has no opinion on outside issues; hence the A.A. name ought never be drawn into public controversy,' IMHO has to do with AA as a whole entering public debates. I don't believe that it covers individual AA members discussing AA in a public forum.

I agree that we have to be mindful as to not damange the name and image of AA, but on the other hand, the practices of Midtown have already damaged our fellowship, and I believe that it is the duty of long-time AA members with experience in the program to provide positive information as to what AA is and isn't. We do exactly the same thing in our Public Information practices where we go out to the public and provide positive info on who we are and what we do. In my opinion this discussion is no different.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 23, 2007 6:35 PM

This stuff goes on all over the meetings, it's called 13 stepping. Just last year there was a woman up in Germantown who killed herself due to this stuff. Guys hounded her, not because of looks, but because she couldn't stay sober and was easy when she was drunk. Many guys with double digit sobreity were even bringing beer over to her house to get her drunk to get laid.

Posted by: Alice | August 23, 2007 6:42 PM

Alice, it's horrible that this happened in Germantown. Now if you make this a premeditated, assembly line procedure which is done to all newcomer attractive females, by assigning them to older male sponsors, and by twisting all the AA slogans and traditions, you have Midtown.

Posted by: DCC | August 23, 2007 7:15 PM

Well, I'm pretty sure they don't try to get the women drunk, I will grant them that.

Posted by: DCC | August 23, 2007 7:18 PM

Anonymous, I agree. This debate is not about "outside issues". It is expressly about preserving our program. This blog debate probably has one-twentieth of one percent of the non-AA audience that the Newsweek and Washington Post articles had. It seems to me it's quite helpful in bringing out many varying opinions and in showing the character of those who hold the opinions. For that reason I wish the Washington Post *would not censor any comments* as they have been doing. We know what we are going to get here if we criticize Midtown. We ought to be each free to express ourselves and draw our own conclusions, just as we are in an authentic AA meeting. Hopefully, everyone can hold the profanity and the worst abuse, but for those who cannot, their language expresses their character far more than their content.

I also strongly believe that the only way AA could be harmed here is if real AA members do nothing, and in five years we are reading about even more sexual predation and exploitation at Midtown. It's a black mark against us that the predators have apparently been working their abuse for twenty years. To have it continue now would be disgraceful.

Posted by: DCC | August 23, 2007 7:30 PM

What Would Bill W. Do? wrote: "If members of AA feel so strongly that something should be done about the Midtown Group, then become a GSR and/or attend the next WAIA Board of Directors meeting as well as the Washington Area General Service Assembly meeting. If not, there's always Al-Anon."

I think many people who live in DC are getting involved at that level. And have been for some time.

Not everyone lives in DC, though. That shouldn't preclude anyone from calling for answers with regards to these issues.

I find your "Al-Anon" comment very strange.

The suggestion that one is co-dependent because s/he is concerned about whether or not a cult-like group (Midtown has been on cult watch lists for years), carrying the AA name, and accused of preying on children is actually doing these things, is very strange to me.

If this is, indeed, happening how can we stand by and do nothing?

How can we have anything less than a ZERO-tolerance stance if criminals are in our ranks, using our program of love and honesty to prey on children?

How are we supposed to discern where the truth is if we don't ask hard questions and hold the situation up to the light?

If wanting to know whether children have been exploited in the name of AA makes me co-dependant, then so be it, I suppose.

I frankly can't fathom why anyone would object to investigating and denouncing criminal activity with CHILDREN. Or suggest that others who do so have some issues.

I will not keep quiet when I know that our program is being perverted and twisted by a small few, and presented as AA so that pedophiles can have sex with children.

And when all one needs do is stop into a Midtown meeting to see that these men routinely and openly sponsor underage girls, have a history of romantic relationships with underage girls, and have opportunity to be alone with underage girls in private settings........well, it sure doesn't look good. And it makes these allegations seem a lot less far-fetched than they otherwise might.

I think people (AA or not) deserve some answers from this group.

These are very serious issues.

If their members are 100% innocent, then at a minimum they ought to be very carefully looking at what they have done to get themselves in this situation. And working to fix it. Because this has not all just "happened" to them.

And neither has it just happened to the rest of AA. We all bear some part in doing an inventory and making amends.

Because, out of this, AA's name has been publically linked to cult tactics, pedophiles, dispensing dangerous medical advice, and more.

I don't think AA's name ought to be linked with those things and now ALSO linked with a membership who doesn't care if they're happening or not.

Posted by: Jane D. | August 23, 2007 7:41 PM

I strongly agree with Jane D. ZERO TOLERANCE should be our policy. In addition to all the other abuses, children have been molested in Midtown.

I have contributed to and followed these two blogs for several weeks and I can't think of a more succinct statement about this whole issue than Jane's last two sentences:

"Because, out of this, AA's name has been publically linked to cult tactics, pedophiles, dispensing dangerous medical advice, and more.

"I don't think AA's name ought to be linked with those things and now ALSO linked with a membership who doesn't care if they're happening or not."

Thank you, Jane D.!

Posted by: DCC | August 23, 2007 7:50 PM

So what are you going to do about it? Does it upset me that young paople are being exploited, yes! The police have been involved, yet they can't dig up any evidence to prosecute these people. So what can you do about it?

This group has been going strong for many, many years and I'm sure the issue has been talked about at the area committee meetings. What have they done about it? It all goes back to the 12 Traditions. What are you going to do about it?

Al-Anon is not just about co-dependency. It's about living and let live. We are powerless over people, places and things. If you have the courage to change the things you can, do it. So what are you going to do?

What would Bill W. do?

Posted by: What Would Bill W. Do? | August 23, 2007 8:49 PM

I have no idea what the solution is.

For my part, I hope that my participation in this forum will expose even a few Midtown members to some specific reasons why people believe they are not practicing the principles of AA in several areas.

Reasons, which are not based on spite, anger, or resentment. Truly it's the principles before personality, for me.

If one Midtown member can hear that it might be advantageous for their group to do a formal Group Inventory and carry that idea to the group, where some self-examination and healing can occur that would be a wonderful start.

If the idea that they could begin to work with other AAs (at the local level and beyond) to make amends for this public relations situation hasn't occurred to them as being something to consider, then I hope they can read that here and consider it.

As I've said before, many parts of our program have been twisted or omitted in Midtown. If Midtown members do not know that there IS an AA approved pamphlet on sponsorship which clearly suggests that we use same-sex sponsors (and if that pamphlet is not displayed at the meetings they are attending, then how could they ever know that?), I would hope that that information here could help them better understand what they are choosing, and why people are critical of their practice of men sponsoring women and girls.

Also, I think it's important the if any of the general public is reading, that at least some sober members of AA clearly state, "We do NOT condone, endorse, or defend the type of behavior this group has been accused of. Further, we welcome ANY investigation into their actions--and our own--which will allow the truth to come to light."

Other than that, I'm praying about it and trusting that the truth will come out.

Posted by: Jane D. | August 23, 2007 10:09 PM

DCC, Jane, WWBD - There is IMO some really healthy debate and important discussion going on in this blog. This is really important stuff and Jane/DCC, WOW, what a team...your points are sooooo right on. If enough old-timers and people with interest and time started going attending their Sunday night meeting, could they bring change from the inside out? How many would it take? Seems to me that's the only way its going to happen. After that, start a new intergroup...they've been half the problem by completely ignoring you.

Posted by: Atlanta | August 23, 2007 10:16 PM


Atlanta:
"If enough old-timers and people with interest and time started going attending their Sunday night meeting, could they bring change from the inside out?"

What a shame and sad this is here and not possible with todays sponsorship system which is not even mentioned in the Big Book.

There is many clones breaded by the system
One day I hope one can of being true to thy self instead of being a clone.

It is impossible to be true to thy self when looking for the truth in others.
The sponsorship system is an institution inside of A.A.

Posted by: Question | August 23, 2007 10:36 PM

sory to say this - this a washington post blog - yes about an aa member, and a renagade group, but the debate on what to do, with all the aa slogans are really going above the publics head. So if you are indeed trying to reach the masses, please step out of your AA slogans, jargon, or parot talk and take the debate to an AA platform. Not the post. I am sure AA has websites for these type of discusions. The public does care about abuses that have occured, but really dont care about how AA or Midtown will fix themselves post Mike Q's death. people will want to see justice, as needed, to serve the public.

sorry - I thought the AA debate was out of touch.

Posted by: exex | August 23, 2007 10:53 PM

Question, how long have you been off your meds? It wasn't a good idea.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 23, 2007 10:57 PM

Yes, they were supplying this woman with alcohol left and right. One even showed up at her doorstep with a fifth of whiskey. I have heard many woman say they found booze daddies by coming to AA.

Posted by: alice | August 23, 2007 11:09 PM

exex, I think probably almost everyone reading and participating is an AA member, although I recall you are not (at least if you are the previous exexex :-)

I think we do need a place to discuss although the sites I've visited don't seem to have nearly the depth of discussion we are having here. I also think the extraneous comments like that above ("how long off meds") and the unpleasant ones keep us reminded of what's at stake.

But I think that 'what would bill do' is absolutely correct. We should organize and do something. There was a post yesterday which I'll find by an Xer that had ideas on how Midtown could improve - I believe they were to allow Midtowners to go to outside meetings, account for their money, and allow any AA member to vote at a group conscience meeting. I was kind of shocked that such things are apparently prohibited now, though I guess I shouldn't be.

I have been in contact with folks here by receiving email on midtownfeedback@yahoo.com and I welcome more. I'm trying to get some things sorted out in my life now but I can make some time to do some work here...

Posted by: DCC | August 23, 2007 11:19 PM

For the peroson who said "I hope Mike is in a better place." Well we all know that Hell is warmer than Costa Rica! He can keep that eternalk tan!

Posted by: Anonymous | August 23, 2007 11:25 PM

Booze Daddies??? That's just gross. And I'm really sorry to hear about that woman in Germantown...that is so sad.

I would like to add that I hope the new leaders of the Midtown group are monitored somehow...these guys are Q's disciples afterall and I think many of us already know what some of these guys are capable of. So I hope that the people who have been attacking this problem head on continue to do so. Your work is important and I believe it will save lives.

Posted by: Grateful X Midtowner | August 23, 2007 11:33 PM

All of the allegations are true. I've sponsored at least 10 women out of this group. Most of the horror stories are the same with a little variation between STD;s, taking meds away, multiple abortions, financial exploitation and 5th-step distribution to the leader (Mike Q) called "Full Disclosure".... But all had a common denominator..sex with assigned older men in the group. I have been sober in AA for 18 years and I have never heard of Full Disclosure, in fact quite the opposite.
Is there a solution? Not as of yet. As long as they continue to infiltrate WAIA and H&I, AA as a whole wil suffer greatly! More will be revealed!

Posted by: betsy.t | August 23, 2007 11:36 PM

good riddance

Posted by: kill em all | August 24, 2007 12:38 AM

It is what it is who can be the watch dog another self proclaimed sponsor. Is there any non drinkers on the board? If there were surly this group would be removed from the directory as some kind of justice and an example to others who promotes in A.A.

Posted by: Questions? | August 24, 2007 1:55 AM

ATTENTION ALL WOMEN STILL IN MIDTOWN (and any others looking for a good women's meeting):

I attend one of (if not THE) strongest women's meetings in the area: STEP SISTERS on Thursday nights at Good Shepherd Church in G'Burg at 7:30. It's very close to 270. There are SEVERAL women there who used to be in Midtown. There are SEVERAL more who very recently left Midtown and are trying to start over. They are broken, confused and full of fear. But they are trying, and they are willing one day at a time to make a positive change.

Step Sisters is a group of strong, spiritual women committed to working the Steps of A.A., practicing the principles of A.A., and passing on the message of hope instilled in them from working the program outlined in the Big Book of A.A. We are about 40-50 strong right now, and growing.

Step Sisters is focused on THE STEPS. We don't come and dump about our day. We don't stray off topic. We don't whine about the problem. We are not full of self-pity. We stay focused on the solution and we share openly about how a Higher Power is working through us to help others in the spirit of love and service.

I have attended MANY women's meetings in the area and I can honestly say that not one holds a candle to Step Sisters. I know how to talk about how my relationship sucks or my boss is a jerk or the guy in traffic cut me off or my family doesn't understand me. But how does that help YOU? I have a responsibility as a woman with double digit sobriety to bring a positive message of recovery to those still suffering and to keep my complaints reserved for my sponsor and my H.P.

If you are looking for a way out but don't know where to go or how to start: YOU ARE NOT ALONE.

I know from talking with these women how hard it is to leave Midtown. Leaving essentially means giving up most of your friends, your sponsor, your boyfriend, and a way of life ingrained in you from Day 1 at the Midtown Group. It's also hard to hear A.A. slogans and jargon and discern what is true and what is not. I believe certain members in Midtown knowingly (or unknowingly) use these phrases for their own selfish, controlling purposes. So to hear them in regular meetings can be nauseating and confusing. But keep coming back...eventually you WILL BE returned to sanity and you WILL SEE the difference between Midtown and regular A.A.

I also empathize with how extremely painful and difficult it is to leave the only home group you've ever known, especially when other meetings aren't necessarily full of people who will be your instant friends or who will know where there are 5 fun things to do this weekend. But recovery is also about asking for help -- there isn't always going to be an onslaught of A.A.'ers reaching out to you. Sometimes we have to reach out ourselves, let people get to know us, open our mouths and share that we are in pain. We can help you. Life doesn't have to be full of fear. From working the Steps they way they are outlined in the Big Book, you CAN be released from fear.

Lastly, A.A. HAS NO RULES: You get to pick your sponsor; SHE is not assigned. Your sponsor should not share your 5th Step with ANYONE w/out your permission, period. You get to pick who you want to open your legs for (if anyone). You get to pick which meetings to go to! You get to decide who to trust and who not to! You get to decide which service position to take (hopefully at the gentle guidance of a sponsor who genuinely cares about your well being). You get to decide who to live with. You get to decide where to work. And yes, you can function and do things that feel right in your gut WITHOUT GUILT.

Real A.A. has no leaders, no hierarchy, and no dictators who preach how they think you should be working your program. I cannot stress this enough. Any guilt or shame inflicted upon you by other members of Midtown for ANYTHING you've done or said, or any questions you've raised about the group, no matter how small, is total B.S. and a way to control you with fear tactics and the threat of relapse. Come out of the darkness and into the Light! We are here for you in the Fellowship of the Spirit.

SO PLEASE JOIN US NEXT THURSDAY. We would love to meet you, and become part of your new, healthy, FUN network. Let us love you until you can love yourself again!

Posted by: SoberInDC | August 24, 2007 10:10 AM

"This is really important stuff and Jane/DCC, WOW, what a team...your points are sooooo right on."

OMG, this is too funny. Bwa-ha-ha

Oh you are so right, no, no, you are even more right. Yes, yes, I know I know, I am right and you are right, and this blog is soooo helpful. Look what we have accomplished so far, so much more to do. So glad you're here, you are so right, did I already say that?

Midtown should be banned, everyone there is sex crazed, raping children (Mind you, there are only two people in that group under 16, one male/one female). They stole the treasury of waia, one of them highjacked a plane flew it to Mike Q's house, and then put a box of AA chips along with the entire WAIA and Midtown treasury inside the plane, then flew it to Cuba, stole Fidel Castro's (our hero) cigar AND his beard, and then gave it to the British Royal Family.

Then they gave cookies to everyone with sexually suggestive slogans like, "Have a Nice Day" "Keep Coming Back" "Live and Let Live"

Who do they think they're fooling with these cookies? I think we all know what "keep COMING back" means, disgusting they are to put the word 'coming' on a cookie. SEX freaks. "Have a Nice Day", we all know that is sexually suggestive and really is just code for "I think That You and Me Should Begin a Relationship That Includes Intercourse, By The Way, Nice Beret"

Do you see these concrete examples I'm giving here? If this isn't evidence, then what is?

Posted by: ha ha | August 24, 2007 10:53 AM

A correction:

I think my post came across as stating that Step Sisters is the only healthy women's meeting in the area. True, of the ones I've been to in the area (I'd say about 20 or 30), it (is in my opinion only) the healthiest. But as was so lovingly pointed out to me just now, Step Sisters is not the ONLY healthy women's meeting in the DC area. Each person needs to discover what works for them. Sorry for tooting the Sisters horn!

Posted by: SoberInDC | August 24, 2007 11:03 AM

I relate to you 'ha ha'. I attended Midtown one time. After the meeting one time, I was having a conversation with a male member there and we were talking about ex-presidents of the United States. I shared that my favorite president was Kennedy, and then he shared that his favorite president was Eisenhower.

Then later I thought, "Oh My God, Eisenhower is some kind of Midtown code". It really means Eisenhower late for the gang bang.

Damn, I'd been had! That was the last time I'd ever go there. On my way out someone asked me if I was okay and then said that, and I quote, "don't worry, it gets better, keep coming back".

Disgusting.

Posted by: Yup | August 24, 2007 11:10 AM

Does anyone really take seriously the notion that compelling newly sober girls to have sex will in any way help them stay sober? Seriously? Does this sound like some old charlatan gratifying himself while cloaking it beneath the banner of sobriety, Jesus Christ, take your pick. So long as the girls in question are not minors and the act therefore criminal, Michael Quinones and those who continue his methods may be sociopathic but still entitled to do as they please. But it is anathema to the program of AA found in the Big Book and everywhere else. They should call it something else.

Posted by: Rob S | August 24, 2007 11:12 AM

From a friend:

Please join us at Language of the Heart. We meet Saturdays at 9am at St. John's Lutheran Church on Aspen Hill Road. Since I have been to both Step Sisters and LotH, I can safely say that LotH is another healthy women's meeting.

Posted by: SoberInDC | August 24, 2007 11:23 AM

ha ha and Yup, I relate to you so much. I had a Midtown experience too. I was out of detox and went to one of their meetings. First thing that happened was someone greeted me at the door, AND it was a guy. He shook my hand and smiled at me. He smiled, what a freak! This guys standing there at the door shaking people's hands and smiling at them. Sex sex sex. So obvious. Then someone else walked in and he shook their hand too and he smiled at them TOO. He did this to everyone that wallked in the meeting. I called the police immediately but then realized that the number I'd been given for the cops was really the rejection hotline. So I got mad and hung up.

At the time, I had no place to live and I ended up having to crash at one of the Midtown members houses for a night. I slept on the couch at a house, and when I woke up the people that lived there started talking to me about sobriety and AA stuff. Then they gave me towel and told me I could take a shower. So I did. When I got out of the shower, they had prepared for me a hearty breakfast for me to eat. So I did. I ate the breakfast and it was good. Sex freaks. I was just waiting for the moment of truth here because I had heard all the rumors.

Then I realized that I was in the moment of truth already. THAT BREAKFAST HAD BEEN PREPARED REALLY FAST. No one, I mean no one does it that quick except for McDOnalds. So I looked around the room searching desparately for the Ronald McDonald clown to come popping out at any moment. He never did. THERE WAS NO CLOWN!

I started to freak out, my heart began racing rapidly and then I lost it. I bolted out the door and ran away as fast as I could and immediately called the police on this group for the second time. But the police did not answer. Instead I got the owner to local bakery, wrong number again. So I ordered some lemon blintzes to be picked up later that afternoon. I never went back to Midtown again.

I hope this story has helped some of you. :)

Posted by: Weedle | August 24, 2007 11:32 AM

Soberindc stated "Lastly, A.A. HAS NO RULES: You get to pick your sponsor; SHE is not assigned"


A.A. has no rules? then right away they say WOMANS "ONLY" MEETING again separating the woman from the fellowship again under a good cause of course the sick judgments of another and the weak and weary follow. Your sponsor is not assigned? Are you tell me that sponsorship is not promoted in A.A.? Is an out right lie. New comers are tormented that if they don't get ONE they will get drunk and "YOU" are one of the tormentors, promoting a meeting that keep other genders out.
Do you really think you are you helping alcoholics? or are you trying just helping yourself?
A.A. is to carry the message to anyone anytime anywhere. What your actions are doing, is beyond any practical logic of help.

We don't pick your sponsor, but we will inseminate others to the end to get a sponsor.

Why all this sponsorship craze stuff? womans ONLY meeting? and on and on?
Why not JOIN A.A.? If one will read the simple 5th grade text Big Book, uninterrupted by others, on ones own. An A.A. fellowship will come, "Its in a vision for you in the Big Book" . Not this sponsorship crap having to administer the steps to someone already here and keeping out others already here.

The third TRADITION states "YOU ARE A MEMBER IF YOU SAY SO" "SIMPLY MEANING " YOU DON"T HAVE TO BE SPONSORED. WE ARE NOT ALLIED WITH AN INSTITUTION or INSTITUTIONAL WAYS
Bill W saw your sect types coming, that's why the Traditions were needed, but don't speak of them in the heavy sponsored meetings around, you will fell the group will not any couscous. The Outside sponsorship system is only spreading cancer and propaganda in A.A - Someone forgot that the help comes from one "THAT ONE" is God, not and the outside sponsor.
Trust in him "before" you clean house not in the proclaimed system that claims it. Opening you own eyes, and ask yourself for once, who have I really helped here, as if I was the one who even did. Sectioning others off from the fellowship of the whole to The sponsorship system is crazy.
Bill W say it clear we are not allied with any sect. Sponsorship and Stage meeting SECTtion others off from the whole.
IF YOU DON"T GOT IT - YOU WILL GET IT. Got It !!!

Posted by: Timewilltell | August 24, 2007 11:37 AM

I feel sorry for people who use humor as a defense mechanism to evade the Truth. I guess it would be better if it were funny humor.

Posted by: SO FUNNY!! | August 24, 2007 11:40 AM

So because YOU had a good experience there, it's outside the realm of possiblity that someone else (many people, it seems) had a different experience?

And you find it appropriate to belittle women and girl's claims of sexual misconduct?

Nice.

Even if these women and girls are pathological liars who have fabricated this entire ruse, you still have a responsibility to conduct yourselves appropriately. Yet, the Midtown members/defenders here seem to be behaving in a way that is NOT in line with AA's principles. Odd.

How you get "midtown should be banned" from the posts here is beyond my comprehension. That's quite a straw man.

Again....how is Midtown dealing with this publicity situation?

And if you don't think they have a responsibility to deal with it, could you explain why.

Posted by: Jane D. | August 24, 2007 11:42 AM

Timewilltell: the women's meeting in Midtown consisted of meeting at Mike Q.'s house. Mike led the meeting and the newcomers sat on the floor. I'm sure Mike had lots of experience as a woman so he was the logical choice to lead the meeting each week. Since he's 6 feet under I guess there won't be anymore women's meetings at Midtown, so no wonder you are down on women's meetings. How can men have any control over their women if they're meeting only with each other? And you're right! There is no logical way anyone could get and stay sober by going to gender-specific meetings. Thank God you reminded us of this vital fact. By the way, either repeat High School Spelling or get off the crystal meth.

Posted by: High School Graduate | August 24, 2007 11:48 AM

Actually I take back what I said. Your posts are actually quite funny. I take myself way too seriously. Sometimes I jsut get carried away with all these rumors and gossip. It seems that I will have alot to make amends for because of my postings on here. I am not all to smart when it comes to things I am emotional about. For that I apologize.

Posted by: Jane D. | August 24, 2007 11:54 AM

I agree with you again Jane D., I have behaved like an ass on here. I have been subscribing the old notion of 'contempt prior to investigation'. Something we alcoholics do alot. Obviously I am no exception, and I too take myself and my head way too seriously. I apologize for what I've said about this group. We don't really have the facts. Everything I've posted on here has been gossip and rumor.

Posted by: DCC | August 24, 2007 11:57 AM

Midtown member: Nice try posing as Jane D. Go get honest and do a group inventory instead of hiding behind humor and posing as others to avoid looking at yourself. Your sad attempts to protect your group from investigation and keep the secrets hidden from others or tossed aside as hearsay are not working. I personally know of many who have left your pathetic, controlling, unspiritual "AA" group in recent weeks because they are longing for real recovery. Maybe it's time you too woke up and smelled the revolution.

Posted by: GET A LIFE | August 24, 2007 12:01 PM

It does seem that you folks have a hard time with rules (feel free to check out the user agreement you consented to, which prohibits you from "posing" as another poster) and immoral behavior. Imagine that.

Posted by: Jane D. | August 24, 2007 12:06 PM

DING DONG THE WICKED WITCH IS DEAD!!

Posted by: R.I.P. | August 24, 2007 12:10 PM

Haha, you think I'm in Midtown, this is too much fun. Do you ahve any idea how riduculous you are? Yeah, you wish I was in Midtown. Because then you don't ahve to face the possiblity that one of your peers thinks you are an ass.

This is so much fun. Too much fun screwing with people who take themselves so seriously.

BTW, GET A LIFE!

Posted by: I GOT A LIFE | August 24, 2007 12:23 PM

And in taday's news.....

Jane D finally comes clean, states "I take myself way too seriously. Sometimes I jsut get carried away with all these rumors and gossip. I am not all to smart when it comes to things I am emotional about. For that I apologize."

DCC not wanting to left hanging by her staunchest ally folds like a house of cards too, states:" I have behaved like an ass on here. Obviously I am no exception, and I too take myself and my head way too seriously. Everything I've posted on here has been gossip and rumor."

More will be revealed, stay tuned folks
(maybe one day I could write a gossip column for the post too)

Posted by: AA MD | August 24, 2007 12:24 PM

"It does seem that you folks have a hard time with rules (feel free to check out the user agreement you consented to, which prohibits you from "posing" as another poster) and immoral behavior. Imagine that."

This was NOT my posting. My posting was above that. I was saying that I apologize for getting too carried away with myself and bashing this group without any cause. I can only encourage all of you to do the same. Midtown has never had a fair hearing and that is my stance.

Jane D., over and out.

Posted by: Jane D | August 24, 2007 12:26 PM

The defenders here are burying themselves. Is easy to see that they no longer think for themselves, except to attack and ridicule real, serious allegations...talk about giving AA a bad name...Q (or his disciples) really worked their magic on you. As for the sponsorship nazi, you're just on the wrong blog. My guess is this blog debate could end up in the AA Archives of its history. Think about that.

Posted by: Anonymous AA | August 24, 2007 12:29 PM

Friend, you have heard of something called an "IP address?"

From the W. Post:

Additionally, entries that are unsigned or contain "signatures" by someone other than the actual author will be removed. Finally, we will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or privacy policies or any other policies governing this site.

Posted by: Jane D. | August 24, 2007 12:30 PM

From another friend:

Other healthy, supportive women's groups that I have discovered include: the
Sunday women's groups at Del Ray at 10:30 (my favorite is the step meeting,
but the discussion meetings are also great), the Sunday 5:00 pm Potomac
Women's meeting at St. James Episcopal Church basement on 11815 Seven Locks
Road and the Saturday Cedar Lane Women at 4 pm located at the Cedar Lane
Unitarian Church.

As a woman who used to not like hanging around other women, I've been truly
blessed to develop friendships with women in these groups and discover a
healthier me. For those of you still searching, don't give up on the
miracle. You will find a group where you belong.

Blessings.

Posted by: SoberInDC | August 24, 2007 1:27 PM

The Midtown people really know how to defend themselves well; half come accross as brainwashed attackers who offer nothing but rediculous assertions and the other half immature and foolish.

Even without the cult/pedo issues Midtown seem like a pretty unsavory bunch.

Posted by: bloggust | August 24, 2007 1:38 PM

Enough with the bickering!!
The collective personality defects spewed here leaves me to speculate that a bunch of folks need to concentrate on keeping their own side of the street clean. If that 4th step isn't done yet, start by completing it.

Posted by: thesecondA | August 24, 2007 1:57 PM

I just think that we're all happy that Jane D and DCC have now come clean about what they've done on this blog. The bashing of Midtown based on a press article. The lies that they have told about this AA group when they themselves even admit that they've never been there. The boring reinterations of the same story over and over again.

Thanks Jane D and DCC for apologizing to the Midtown Group. It took a great deal of integrity to that guys. Kudos to you. Here's what they said:

"Actually I take back what I said. Your posts are actually quite funny. I take myself way too seriously. Sometimes I jsut get carried away with all these rumors and gossip. It seems that I will have alot to make amends for because of my postings on here. I am not all to smart when it comes to things I am emotional about. For that I apologize." - Jane D

"I agree with you again Jane D., I have behaved like an ass on here. I have been subscribing the old notion of 'contempt prior to investigation'. Something we alcoholics do alot. Obviously I am no exception, and I too take myself and my head way too seriously. I apologize for what I've said about this group. We don't really have the facts. Everything I've posted on here has been gossip and rumor." - DCC

Posted by: Citizen | August 24, 2007 2:07 PM

To all those Jim Jonesian Midtowners you know what you have done; everyone dies eventually and you will have to meet you maker and be judged.

Scary thought isn't it.

Posted by: hmm | August 24, 2007 2:12 PM

Your feeble attempts to fool people into thinking you're Jane & DCC are what is REALLY funny.

Just because you keep re-pasting over and over again your fake comments from above isn't going to finally convince us that Jane & DCC regret one iota of their postings here. What are you, 12? Do you think we are actually that gullible?

Don't you think the time you are wasting proving to everyone your lack of maturity would be better spent by healing your group from within?

Posted by: Seeker | August 24, 2007 2:21 PM

I think it's very interesting to hear people who have not been in AA in the DC area for any length of time defend Mike Q and his movement. I have been a sober member of AA in the DC area for over 25 years and have seen the wreckage of this group many, many times over the years. Here are two of my observations about this mess.
1)Mike Q/Midtown created a "special needs" group within AA. These kids are convinced they need special activities and entertainment since they are young. Alcohol doesn't care how old you are. If you know anything about alcoholics, you know we like to feel "unique"and will buy into anything that feeds out denial.To some extent AA is social but the organization's primary purpose is by no means to provide a social life for young people. And by the way, where are these "thousands" of young people that have been helped? I meet a few sober ones here and there but not the armies the defenders refer to.
2)Defending Mike Q is like defending a pedophile priest. They're both bound to do some good due to the organizations they affilated with, but that doesn't make them any less perverse. Almost makes it worse.

Posted by: Mskitty | August 24, 2007 2:39 PM

None of you are capable of having a real debate on this issue. Maybe perhaps the reason for all the Ad Hominem retorts (attacks) is because there is no other way to get through to you. It's like trying to argue with a medieval court system about why Jews should not be tortured for their faith or why someone is not a witch just because they weigh the same as a duck. Such is the case with the Midtown group. Truly a persecuted group on here.

Anytime anyone sticks up for Midtown on here, they are attacked as being a Midtowner themselves or supporting rape, stealing or other such crimes. Yet, never has there ever been a solid argument on the part of any of you. Not once. You say things like 'Midtown shall be taken out of the Where and When and the needs to be disbanded.' Then when asked about your extremely hasty and sweeping generalizations of this group, you deny that you say these things when what you said is only two or three posts above. Things like Midtown is all brainwashed. How? How are they brainwashed. Do you know all these people who are presently there? NO, YOU DON'T

What the f#%ck is your argument here? Huh? That Midtown are all rapists, are all brainwashed, that they steal money from people. Okay, fine, where is your friggin proof. You have none. 100's of girls raped and taken advantage of but all of the 100's are just too scared to come forward. Bullsh&%t.

Oh no, let me predict the next couple of postings that are to come.

1) Oh, there goes another Midtowner defending the leadership, obviously he is brainwashed because he is talking about things like proof, making a solid argument, using reason and pointing out our logical pitfalls.

2) There they go again pointing out flaws in our logic, must be another brianwashed Midtowner, defending rape, controlling people, asking us to defend our argument. Sexually perverted. Probably plotting a trip to the Junior High, huh, huh.

3)These Midtowners really know how to defend themselves by insulting us for calling their whole group a bunch of pediphiles when we don't know them. We have the right to bring this whole group down and anyone in it based on things that happened a decade ago and the testimony of people who are direlects themselves. After all, we're the 'real AA', blah, blah, blah.

You aren't capable of discussing this with anyone. It's like trying to argue with a crazy person. I'm gonna leave you now to suck on eachothers d*#cks, because that is all you do on here.

Bon Appetit :)

Posted by: Reason | August 24, 2007 3:05 PM

Citizen wrote: "I just think that we're all happy that Jane D and DCC have now come clean about what they've done on this blog. The bashing of Midtown based on a press article. The lies that they have told about this AA group when they themselves even admit that they've never been there."

I have been there. And I've said as much.

What lies are you referring to?

That there has been some very negative press about Midtown and AA? Scroll up. Grab a copy of Newseek. Check out the DC news websites for articles and video clips.

That women/girls in Midtown have male sponsors? I've heard and seen that first hand. Has that practice ended? Perhaps it has. Let's hope.

That there are some very, very serious allegations being made against Midtown and Mike Q? Again, scroll up or contact some of the local police and ask them about any allegations made.

I have made no claims regarding the truth of those allegations, b/c I have no way of knowing for sure. But, based on what I've experienced and heard DIRECTLY from Midtown members, I don't doubt the veracity of them.

It is my opinion, based on my experience and understanding of AA, that Midtown ought to address these issues--regardless of the truth of these allegations.

And it is also my opinion, that by not addressing them (and I have yet to hear that they are doing anything), that they continue to strenghten the case against them that they operate outside the principles and traditions of AA.

If you can show me where I've said something that you consider to be a lie, I'm happy to discuss it and will apologize if I'm wrong.

Posted by: Jane D. | August 24, 2007 3:11 PM

Well seems there is no shortage of news articles about detailing Midtowns 'antics'.

Surely, it must be a vast left-wing media conspiracy out to get them [/sarcasm].

Posted by: hmm | August 24, 2007 3:49 PM

Hmm:

However, none of those 'Antics' take place in the present, they all take place in the past. Moreoever, they seem to be the doings of 2 or 3 people, according to the articles, yet the entire Midtown group is cited for having done these "antics". None of the reporters ever checked out the group for themself, and they have admitted that. They're going entirely on heresay. Entirely.

So yes, that sounds like a conspiracy to me if there ever was one. Heresay, gossip, testimony from people with a history of crime themselves and a history of drug abuse drinking and lying does not factual story make.

Posted by: Citizen | August 24, 2007 3:58 PM

Yeah, and everyone thought Hilary Clinton was a nut when she openly talked about the vast right-winged conspiracy that was out to get her husband. (Boy she really didn't know what she was talking about, did she) Speaking of article, who was it that went to the press in the first place? "Sober & Active" members of AA right? Does anyone think that Newsweek just stumbled upon this story, or it was feed to them. This wasn't a public controversy until someone decided to make it so. Thanks again for your apologies ladies.

Posted by: AA member | August 24, 2007 4:08 PM

See above post to Hmm. All of these stories take place in the past, according to the articles, and they are doings of 2 or 3 people, yet the entire group is responsible. How? Are you responsible for what someone did in one of the meetings you go to if it happened years ago? I think they answer you will give me is 'No". Yet, here we have 250+ people being persecuted for things they've never heard of and people they barely know.

Allegations against Mike Q are moot at this point. Mike Q has passed on. There's no discussion there anymore. It is futile to try to charge him with a crime now. He is not on earth anymore. Sorry to have to state the obvious but hey, look at these posts.

Allegations against Midtown are kinda moot too. The membership of Midtown has changed so much through the years that most of the people there weren't even around when all these 'happenings' happened. That's like trying to charge you with a crime that happened in your house before you bought it.

Women having male sponsors in Midtown. Well, are you sure about that? When was the last time you were there? And so what if they are. Sponsorhip by the same gender is a suggestion only. There is no AA Gestapo, although it sounds like you are trying to start one. This means to you that you now have to travel to every AA meeting in the area and make sure no one is breaking the same gender sponsor suggestion. It would only be fair to do that, right?

Midtown doesn't have to answer to anything that is not based on fact. Do you think movie stars defend themselves everytime the Inquirer prints a crazy story about them. No way. Also, you can't charge a group with a crime. Only a person. No people at Midtown, not even Mike Q has ever been charged with anything, period. Not in the 15+ years that they've kept a file on it. So these allegations have been quite fruitless through the years being that there's no crime going on there.

Posted by: Citizen | August 24, 2007 4:17 PM

The point is is that in addition to Mike Q, Midtown and AA have been named publically with negative press.

I absolutely think we're responsible for that (regardless of the origin or the veracity), if we are self-identified members of either group. The prgram of AA suggests that we are responsible.

Our entire program is "suggestion."

If you, or your group, is disregarding those suggestions, and bringing negative attention to AA as a whole b/c of those departures, then how do you justify that?

If men sponsoring women were no big deal, perhaps the allegations brought against Mike and Midtown wouldn't be an issue, you know?

You don't see how that practice has played a part in negatively affecting AA?

How Joe Public reads these allegations about *AA* and starts to think that we have a system in place where sexual abuses are ripe for the picking?

Where sexual predators have an institutionalized system all set up for them should they decide to join our group and prey on young girls?

AA recommends same-sex sponsorship so that there can be NO CHANCE for these sorts of allegations or impropriety.

And honestly, if male members of Midtown were coupled with women of their own age, it wouldn't look so fishy, either.

I'm not interested in policing anyone--just in maintaining the integrity of our program and making sure that we remain a program of attraction. And if there is any suggestion that our members have participated in criminal acts in our name, then I am all for trying to flush out the truth in those cases.

Posted by: Jane D. | August 24, 2007 4:44 PM

Firstly, yes Mike Q and Midtown have been named negatively in the press. Midtown has been named as a whole, and wrongly so.
But like I said in my last post, it is all heresay and in the past. You're going to have to drop it. The allegations take place a long time ago, at least two years ago. No reporter ever checked out this group as it exists now, therefore no credible account of what this group is like today exists. And the particular people being named are responsible to defend themselves if they feel the need. Also, Midtown is not a club, there are no members that have the obligation to do anything except attend meetings, period. That is really bold of you to demand that an AA group defend itself against allegations that they know very little about. That they break their anonymity and submerge themselves into some crazy media fiasco. And as I recall, Midtown has defended itself to the press by writing them anonymous letters. You have no right to tell them that they have to break traditions and come out publicy in the press and comment on something that has very little to do with any of them. That's BS. This is AA, we don't do that. Your gonna have to drop that one, it makes no sense and is against everything that AA's traditions are about. The Traditions were designed to keep members out of a media fiasco such as this.

Your next point about Midtown affecting AA as a whole is not true either. I'll quote AA Member above: "who was it that went to the press in the first place? "Sober & Active" members of AA right? Does anyone think that Newsweek just stumbled upon this story, or it was fed to them. This wasn't a public controversy until someone decided to make it so." This is a fact pointed out by someone. Nobody investigated Midtown and then wrote a story. Former disgruntled members went to the press and fed them this story. The Concerned Friends Group hounded them until they would write the story. Because all of the stuff in the articles is only heresay, it is only proper to say that the Concerned Friends Group brought the negative attention to AA by having a report about PAST occurences in Midtown. No reporter ever did an independent investigation on this group at all. Your gonna have to drop that one too.

You said: "Where sexual predators have an institutionalized system all set up for them should they decide to join our group and prey on young girls?" Okay now, you are really taking a leap there once again. There exists no such thing in the Midtown group as far as we know, and that is total propaganda you just posted on here. You're esentially saying that women are forced into sex with men in this group. Do you really believe that? That's the only thing you could be saying because last time I checked sex between people of legal age is consensual, unless it is rape. Since there are no rape charges against anyone there, then you are in essence lying and disseminating propaganda on here. Aren't you? What do you call it? Aside from the allegations against Mike Q, which are moot now, you know nothing about the lives of the people who are there now. Nothing. But you're slinging dirt about them anyway.

Lastly, what does being coupled with people "your own age" mean? Are we now judging people's personal lives on here too. That's nobody's business. Women in the 20's have always dated guys in their 30's, there is nothing unusual about that. That's normal in American society. That's so common it's not even worth mentioning. You're gonna have to drop that one. We don't judge people's personal lives in AA.

This is why I say you have no argument and are really just spreading propaganda. You just keep taking these illogical leaps in your reasoning and it destroys peoples lives who have nothing to do with this war about past grudges. You need to leave them alone.

Posted by: Citizen | August 24, 2007 5:39 PM

Listen all of you, my main point is, if this were a trial by Jury, you would lose hands down.

Because you are condemning a whole group whose membership is always changing about things that happened years ago. You cannot prove beyond a doubt that this is the way the group functions today. And the credibility of the accusers is so bad, you may not even want them to take the stand after all.

The groups leader has passed on. Go home and leave these people alone.

Nuff said.

Posted by: Citizen | August 24, 2007 5:55 PM

Preying on newcomers is an issue. I was once privy to a young girl showing up at a meeting crying her eyes out. She was struggling to get off of heroin and hadn't touched it in weeks but was drinking to wean herself off. I saw her later taking a meeting into the county jail and she was telling me how a slip signing drug dealer followed her down the road after she left the meeting and gave her free heroin. He was pimping her out the next day.

Posted by: Alice | August 24, 2007 6:09 PM

The Persecution continues...

The Midtown Witch hunt goes on...

Pitchfork anyone?

Posted by: So | August 24, 2007 6:12 PM

Midtown need not go public with its inventory or amends.

No one needs to break their anonymity to start a process of self-examination and making amends.

The allegations are not just toward individuals--reread the articles.

And it matters not whether those allegations are rooted in truth, really. Or where they came from. Our program asks us to look at OUR part in our conflicts.

What matters is that Midtown (and if you choose to name your group that and you have trusted servants and self-identified members of that group--then that's "you") takes responsibility for the situation at hand.

You can get a Group Inventory form from NY, I'm sure.

I NEVER said this: "that women are forced into sex with men in this group."

I'm saying that many other people have publicly made that claim. And if Midtown does things which are clearly NOT suggested by AA, which gives those claims MORE merit than they would have, WERE Midtown following AA's suggestions, then that is a problem for which Midtown is directly responsible.

Many people feel that Midtown has harmed AA as a whole.

Who is Midtown to say we're wrong?

My 9th steps have never worked that way. I don't get to decide who is worthy of my amends. I don't presume to tell people who claim I've hurt them that they're full of it.

I'm just not clear how you can justify the rationalizations you and your defenders have set out here.

Posted by: Jane D. | August 24, 2007 6:28 PM

(High School Graduate), Quote "How can men have any control over their women if they're meeting only with each other?"
SICK THINKING -YOU SPEAK YOUR REALITY you must be a proclaimed sponsor believer in A.A. , what's crystal meth ? is that some type of glass ware.

Does the A.A preamble needs to be changed, to fit your sect type meetings?
ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS IS A FELLOWSHIP OF MEN AND WOMAN 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,(get it) denomination, politics, organization or INSTITUTION; does not wish to engage in any controversy; (But has to due to the sponsorship system)neither endorses nor opposes any causes. Our primary purpose is to stay sober and help other alcoholics to achieve sobriety.

The A.A.responsibility pledge will also need to be changed to accommodate all the new staff members.

RESPONSIBILITY PLEDGE
"WHENEVER ANYONE, ANYWHERE, reaches out for help, I want the hand of A.A. always to be there.( Not some self proclaimed irresponsible individual labeled sponsor) And for that: I Am Responsible."

Not to mention the Traditions

This was all here before the outside system took over. Think, before you react.
The Book knows of your kind, thats why the Traditions were wrote.

Posted by: Timewilltell | August 24, 2007 7:01 PM

Jane, Jane, Jane. Let it go "...does not wish to engage in any controversy" The word is ANY.

You are only fueling the fire. AA has been keeping people sober for years, decades. It works. Not perfectly, not everywhere, not for everyone. Get to a meeting and talk about this stuff there. You've made your point here.

Posted by: Page 449 | August 24, 2007 7:15 PM

Jerry - get a grip. You don't have the charisma that Mike ever had, and you never will. Be jealous all you want. People avoid meetings that they know you and Ana are at. Ana is annoying, whiny, and can't shut up. Oh, and folks - she's bulimic. Why don't you take up her eating disorder as a cause? What 20 year old that is 5'0 and 90 lbs at most goes and gets butt implants and liposuction? If you're her proud husband why does she wear jeans so tight that camel toes are showing?

Posted by: Renee | August 24, 2007 7:20 PM

I have been in Alanon for 15 yrs. My daughter got sober 6 yrs ago and unfortunately was in the Mictown Group until last summer. Initially I felt very grateful to the group for helping my daughter. I went to her celebrations and supported her sobriety. If you go to a Midtown meeting on Sunday to support your child, believe me, the upper tier are all aware that you are there. They put on a front that looks great. It would be hard for anyone not to think this group was wonderful. They all look great, they are polite, dressed well and exude happiness.
Have you ever heard the saying.."You can't judge a book by it's cover?" Certain things that I questioned from the beginning, I let them go thinking that I was being over-sensitive. Here are the list of the order of things that unfolded for my daughter and for me.

6 yrs. ago my daughter got sober and was in rehab when she met her sponsor. The woman told her that she was her sponsor and gave her a phone number to call her everyday.
My daughter did't call the 1st day but the girl called her instead and immediatly started lecturing her about calling and going to any lengths.
My daughter was afraid that she would get in trouble in rehab if she didn't do what this girl told her so she started calling her everyday.
She got out of rehab and was immediatly bombarded with new friends.
Every bit of her time was accounted for and only in AA meetings or doing service work. (Keep in mind that I stayed out of her recovery and did not question her about it)It came time for her to re-inroll in college and she informed me that she couldn't do it because it would interfere with her sobriety. I let it go and figured I would re-visit her education in December.
A few little things occured that were red flags but I was willing to ignore them because after all she was sober. Initially here are the things that I questioned but let go of: My daughter made a very early ammends to me and my husband about her using behavior. She appeared very sincere and convinced us that she was on a new path and wanted to do anything she could to make ammends. We(my husband and I ) said, "Well, you have caused us a lot of harm and we accept your ammends but we want you to do 2 things: We want you to pay us back the $10,000 you cost us for attorneys fees and stolen goods from our house. We don't want you to pay us all at once just a little bit each month. She agreed to pay us $100 a month because she was working at Starbucks and didn't make that much money. We agreed. Then we said,"We want you to finish your college education and we will pay for that." She assured us that if she didn't start back in January she promised to start again in the fall. During our meeting I forgot to mention that she had her then boyfriend with her during our meeting. My daughter was 20 he was at least 35. 6 months after our meeting my daughter came to us and said she wanted to talk to us. We met again. This time she had her boyfriend and another 30-something woman with her. I will not reveal any names. She told my huband and I that she had to make sobriety 1st in her life and that going back to school could cause her to relapse. We questioned her about not making the $100/month payments and she said that she needed to contribute to the group and continue her service to AA. Again my husband and I discussed it and just chalked it off as "Thank God she isn't using drugs anymore." We continued to help her out financially and support her recovery but we both started feeling that she was taking advantage of us. We confronted her about it(again she always had another prson from the group with her)Get this! She told us that our behavior was toxic to her sobriety! She said that if we wanted to help her we should support her in all of her decisions..After all "I'm sober, I'm not that other person." Again we fell for it for fear we would lose her. I can honestly tell you we gave her a lot of money. Now I know where it was going. She went to Costa Rica twice..my husband and I haven't had a vacation together on 4 yrs. She had a beach house..my husband and I go to the beach occasionally for a long weekend. Her then boyfriend?..Well he left her for a 16y/o girl that had 4 days of sobriety. He left her with herpes..and told her that if she continued to focus on the herpes that she would drink..he told her that she was ungrateful and that she wouldn't even be sober if she hadn't met him..he told her to go help someone else and get off the pity-pot. Thankfully she didn't drink..She stuck in the group for another year and finally realized that her life was going on a downward spiral. She shared with me a talk that she had with Mike Q. She said that at the time he made her feel better but now she realizes what his motives were. She said that he told her that the reason that she isn't happy is because she is letting her feelings control her. He told her and I quote "You are letting something so small as herpes cause a resentment? Look at me I have cancer. You better get some gratitude or you will drimk. Be grateful for your experiences with #$%* he kept you sober. She left the meeting with him thinking she was crazy. Finally a year ago she and I had a long talk and she told me everything..The service work..mowing the lawn, cleaning the house,organizing his closets,changing his sheets,buying groceries,cooking,serving him his plate etc. The financials: $1000for the beach house, $500 for materials for the New Year's play..$100 here and there for various dinners and activities. The Sex: Sponsor told her that if she continued to be closed-minded about sex that she would never get sober. Sponsor told her that if she had a Dic* in her mouth that she wouldn't be able to drink. Sponsor told her that alcohol has made her sexually depressed and that she should take a hard look at that. Sponsor told her that her parents were sicker than she was and that they were her "Family of Chance." Midtown was her new "Family of Choice." She did a thorough 5th step with her sponsor and her sponsor told her if she wanted to be totally sober and spiritually sound that she would share it with others (MIKE Q) so that she would experience "Full Disclosure." Unfortunately, she did. She said she wanted to feel totally accepted in the group. After that, my daughter started feeling that she was going against everything she was taught by her parents. She said that she started feeling dirty, dishonest and cruel. She decided to leave the group..change her cell phone..never deal again with them. I hooked her up with my friend #*&$ who has 18 yrs in the program. I am blessed..My daughtr is sober and just celebrated 6yrs. She has returned to college at Georgetown and is free of this cult..she is not completely free of the guilt she has about the sexual abuse but we all know that everyone can be healed. I am so grateful for Marc Fisher and any media that continues to reveal the truths about this corruptive group.

Posted by: Alanon Mom | August 24, 2007 8:11 PM

Hello my AA friends!

I just got home from work today (8:30, a little late for a Friday. Too late to go to my home group tonight :-( but I'll make up for it.)

Meanwhile, I see that while the cat's away the mice will play.

I was wondering how long it would take for the Midtown Clowns to figure out they could put anyone's handle in the "name" field of a post, that there was no password for signing on. I'm surprised that it took this long, frankly. After all, they have a lot of experience in masquerading as concerned AA members and sponsors, don't they? Why shouldn't they naturally pose as someone else on a blog?

It's gratifing that most people have figured out this tactic. As far as I'm concerned, it simply illustrates the kind of dishonest people we have been talking about here. People without integrity. People who think that anyone intelligent would mistake their juvenile scribbling for the writing of concerned AA members who want to stop the sexual predators of Midtown, who want a ZERO TOLERANCE for sexual predators in AA.

Let's see, people without understanding of why we need zero tolerance for sex predators? People without honesty? People without integrity? In other words, people WITHOUT SOBRIETY.

Honesty is the very foundation of our program, according to our Big Book; only those without it fail. Respect and caring for the dignity of others is the heart of our AA society. At least that's my view, after 22 years of sobriety in our program. Or, in the words one of my best friends in the program always says when he shares, "our blessed program".

We should all remember that our program depends on individual honesty and respect for each other, even when we vehemently disagree with each other. Our sobriety depends on it. Our lives depend on it.

I'll now take a look at what else has been going on here...

Posted by: DCC | August 24, 2007 8:59 PM

Dear Alanon Mom, you just told my story "almost" verbatum (without the 8 weeks of involuntary hospitalization for depression). I've never talked to another Midtown parent about my story. I knew I wasn't alone but reading your story was in some way healing to me. Thank you, thank you for sharing it.

Posted by: Another Mom | August 24, 2007 9:04 PM


A place inseminated with sponsors, lots of sick self proclaimed labels, YOURRRRRR sponsor. DO YOU HAVE ONE YET, after you
are already in A.A,? THATS LUNACHRST If one still needs "one" in A.A. after a few days they should see a few physicists.

Posted by: Saddened | August 24, 2007 9:04 PM

To the moms: I am so sorry for your ordeals. They sound very similar to what I've heard through the grapevine, and 100% plausible given what I know about Midtown first-hand.

With these sorts of experiences being recounted, we AAs are supposed to "live and let live?"

Accept "Didn't happen when I was there," as acceptable responses from Midtown members/defenders?

If *whispers* that that sort of stuff happened at ANY point in my home group, and I knew that there had never been an effort to right it or investigate it or distance ourselves from those responsible, I would find another group.

Because that's not AA.

We don't hide, we don't lie, we don't minimize, we don't deflect blame.

We are not afraid of critical self-examination.

We make amends when others tell us we've harmed them.

If we aren't sure where we've done that harm, we ask others to help us discern our part.

It's just such a pattern of living outside the principles with this group.

And normally, I think we'd let them be wrong.

But this is an unprecedented situation involving minors. And I just don't think we can afford that any longer.

Posted by: Jane D. | August 24, 2007 9:46 PM

Dear Renee/Shawn/shawnblog/onegoodlookinthemirror/doitsober.com/Easy/thefallofmidtownliars/timparsons1&2@gmail.com and any other false names you've hid behind to harass people - You are one unscrupulous, pathetic, immoral and sad human with no ethics or conscious to continuously name and slanderously defame innocent indivduals. You must be a shining example for the Midtown Group.

Posted by: Sickenend | August 24, 2007 9:59 PM

Moms, your stories are very moving. I think that in simply posting them you will feel some relief and recovery. I strongly encourage you to post in this blog everything that comes up as these memories and feelings come flooding back. Despite all the back and forth here, the stories of those hurt are the mst authentic posts here. We can all learn from you, and we should never forget you.

Also, I'd encourage your children to post in the same way. Not to sensationalize but to help recover. Let it all hang out. Also to show people what's happened. These stories touch people in a way that all the arguments can never do. Thank you!

Posted by: DCC | August 24, 2007 10:47 PM

Yes, Renee is Swawn. Look up Fall Of Midtown on Myspace if you want further details on who he is and the Cult that he so desperately defends. Do you want to know the worst part? If he were sitting amoung a group of them, as they huddled together for a false sense of co-dependent security, you wouldn't be able to pick him out of that herd. He is well established with the Midtown Cult. If you needed a fair example of what type or degree of sobriety/spirituality that you could expect from becoming dependent on the Midtown Cult, Shawn's(Renee) as good example as most any of them. If that's what you want, then I will not stop you. On a personal note, what he did in his last two postings is typical of how the Midtown Cult, as a whole, attempts to discredit those who stand against them. Good luck to you, if that's what you want to become.

Posted by: One Voice. | August 24, 2007 10:51 PM

I am not Shawn, Sean however u spell it. I hope Sean does sue you for publishing his name on a blog spot stating that was him. No one but a complete idiot would do what you did. You did the same thing with Iris, and I hope she sues you for defamation of character.

Do you even have a clue what libel is? Defamation of character is?

How do you folks follow this idiot?

Sorry folks, the WP does not suddenly IP trace someone and give it to common folk, and nothing was traced to Seven Locks Road. I live in Rockville, Maryland.

You speak foolish talk, Jerry. You are absolutely no different than Mike - how old is Ana and how old are you? What the hell is a man almost 40 interested in a 22 year old?

Think it's kind of like "you spot it, you got it."

Posted by: Renee | August 24, 2007 11:36 PM

Typing away feverishly on your keyboard is not going to change the world or AA. This situation with the Q Group and/or Midtown has been going on for years and NOW you're demanding retribution? Get over yourselves.

signed,
a nonMidtown member/defender

Posted by: Just Do It | August 25, 2007 6:57 AM

nonMidtown, your statement is incorrect and also disproves itself.

AA members and others are demanding zero tolerance for sexual predators and an end to the other damaging, controlling practices at Midtown, all as aided by its cultlike organizational behavior.

"Typing away at the keyboard" by Marc Fisher is what brought these these practices to light to the general population, that beyond Midtown and its immediate environs. Midtown is not the center of the Universe and its disgraceful behavior was not generally known. So yes, NOW we are requiring Midtown to act within the law and, if it wishes to call itself an AA group, to act as one.

This debate has gone on in this forum for weeks, and now you are just getting involved?

Posted by: DCC | August 25, 2007 7:29 AM

I posted on the other article, and I just want to say a word about warning people:

After I left that group, I made the discovery that I had met (and in some cases knew quite well) MANY people who knew all about that group. People who knew me, knew that I was in it, knew what it was, and SAID NOTHING.

Actually, there was ONE guy--a complete stranger--who worked the concession counter at the Westside Club, who told me that he'd heard a lot of bad things about that group. He encouraged me to stick around for a little while until the next meeting because he knew there would be women there who had a long time in sobriety and were trustworthy. He couldn't get me to stay, but he just kept saying, "Stick with the women, stick with the women."

Total stranger. The only one who ever said jack s***.

So I asked all of these other people that I knew who were in A.A. that said nothing at the time WHY they didn't try to warn me, and they ALL had some cop-out about how they knew I would eventually get tired of the "shenanigans" and move on...about how everyone eventually leaves...about living and letting live. Whatever. All COP-OUTS.

And who the hell refers to psychological manipulation as "shenanigans"?! A**holes, that's who.

As I posted on the other thread, Victor B., who is STILL well-respected around A.A. in the D.C. area, actually SHOWED UP to the group conscience where we were kicked out and defended the group's right to run itself as it saw fit. And I saw that jackass every Wednesday night when I tried going to a certain other large meeting in the D.C. area.

I can absolutely tell you without reservation that the WALL OF SILENCE about that group--in the larger A.A. community in this area--is the biggest indictment of the community that there could be.

I still have a hard time comprehending how it was possible that so many people--so MANY people--who could have warned me actually CHOSE NOT TO GET INVOLVED, even by going only so far as to SAY SOMETHING ONE TIME to me.

Consequently, when I did leave, I believed for a long time that I was completely alone and that no one would understand what had happened. I continued to be ashamed of my involvement in that group, and that sense of shame and lonliness kept me away from A.A. for a long time. I just can't understand how there could have been so many people in my life that knew and said nothing.

Is that what we're supposed to become in sobriety?

Posted by: XQ | August 25, 2007 10:20 AM

A CANCER CALLED MIDTOWN

Yes, Page 449, you are correct, AA does not wish to engage in any controversy. Perhaps that is why AA members who knew of the disgraceful activities at a cancer on AA that calls itself Midtown did nothing for fear of causing a controversy, tacitly agreeing with the false Midtown argument that anyone exposing the disgraces of Midtown to thus stop them would be the one causing the controversy. Perhaps that's why Midtown has been able to harm people and destroy lives for so long.

We say that AA as a fellowship has "no position on outside issues" and thus its name should never be drawn into public controversy.

But AA members who speak out are speaking for themselves and are not expressing a position on outside issues.

They are protecting and upholding the good name and reputation of AA, protecting the victims of Midtown sexual predation and economic exploitation -- those who go to what they believe is AA for help -- and preventing more such victims from being created.

Midtown cleverly twists and perverts AA beliefs and traditions to its benefit, trading on the good name and reputation of AA, deceitfully appearing to be AA from the outside, while working its sexual abuse and economic exploitation against (mostly) young people and their families on the inside, not caring who is hurt just as long as the "leadership hierarchy" continues to benefit.

Now that the national media has exposed Midtown, its members use every dishonest tactic to try and protect themselves, and to keep themselves secret as best they can, because secrecy is the friend of abusers. Abusers are terrified of exposure, because they cannot flourish in the light. Abusers can only flourish in the dark.

And now that Midtown is being exposed, it is panicking. It throws up every dishonest defense it can against AA and its members, those, like Jane D., who wish to end the reign of abuse. One way is to accuse AA and its members of ignoring AA traditions and guidelines.

Midtown now accuses those AA members who, speaking for themselves alone, wish to end sexual abuse perpetrated by an outside group posing AA as drawing AA's name into controversy! By speaking up we are "breaking anonymity"! We are breaking the tradition that each group should be independent! (Whoops, "except in matters affecting other groups or AA as a whole") And so on.

Clever. Clever and outrageous. Clever and intentionally deceitful.

Because by this argument AA and its members can do nothing. Nothing to prevent sexual predators from attracting victims under the good name of AA, of perpetrating their abuse under the good name of AA, of economically exploiting them under the good name of AA, and of pressuring them to drop their medication, their medical treatment, their family relationships and connections, all under good name of AA.

This outlaw group posing as AA tells newcomers that sex with their sponsor and buying their sponsors gifts, even vacations, is "selfless", that sex with their sponsor teaches them "spirituality", and that performing free housecleaning and yardwork for their sponsors is "service work". It even tells teenaged girls, according to the mother who wrote above about her daughter's Midtown experience, that a woman with a penis in her mouth isn't putting a drink into her mouth. (And remember, girl, you must go to any lengths to stay sober!)

Then it has the shameless audacity to say that AA members are drawing the name of AA into public controversy when they speak out!

Often we say to other members, "remember, you may be the only 'Big Book' that a practicing alcoholic may every see". That means that we should act in a manner that exemplifies AA principles and traditions, that shows our program and its principles for what it is.

If we are concerned that each individual member be a good example of the AA program, are we not concerned that an outside outlaw group operating in our name, one that perverts virtually every one of our traditions, twists virtually all our advice and sayings, acts dishonestly and deceitfully in virtually all things, has been written up in the national media, is being investigated by law enforcement, and is destroying lives -- again, in OUR GOOD NAME -- is being allowed to operate unchallenged by AA as a whole and by most of our members?

Midtown is not AA. Midtown is not even remotely AA. Midtown is step zero. Midtown is a cancer on AA. We should have the wisdom to know the difference. And we should now do what is right.

Posted by: DCC | August 25, 2007 11:31 AM

The Cult Called A.A.

When we think of cults, we usually think of bizarre religious sects, armed compounds, mind control and eccentric leaders. Most of us do not think of Alcoholics Anonymous (A.A.) as a cult, but I do.

Three years ago, I was in the grips of a serious drinking problem. Like most alcoholics, I rationalized my drinking, citing the many terrible circumstances in my life. Then, almost three years ago, I stopped drinking. Period. By myself.

Oh, I attended a half dozen or so A.A. meetings at the time, upon the advice of someone recommended by a friend. The woman who suggested A.A. to me was a licensed psychologist. She was a "recovered alcoholic" and was very active in A.A.

What I found at the meetings was a weird mixture of the deplorable and the laughable. It didn"t take long to notice that something was not quite level with this organization.

I was tipped off to A.A.'s strong cult qualities when the lady psychologist made a somewhat curious remark during the first week or two of my sobriety.

I had an uncle then (he died this past January) who had been an alcoholic prior to 1960. Uncle Ralph consumed, by his own subsequent admission, about a quart of whiskey a day. He stopped drinking without the assistance of A.A. when he met my aunt. It was a condition of their marriage that he stop drinking, and he did.

I remember my Uncle Ralph as a sweet, generous man during the thirty-odd years he was married to my aunt. He was not abusive or cruel, he worked hard, and made an excellent stepfather to my three girl cousins. When I mentioned Uncle Ralph to the lady psychologist, stating that he'd quit drinking on his own, she immediately dismissed my observation with, "Oh, well, he's just a dry drunk." She of course had never met my uncle Ralph, knew positively nothing about his character and yet claimed to be able to diagnose him as a "dry drunk" strictly on the information that he hadn't progressed through the A.A.'s widely touted "twelve step program." Bear in mind, this was a licensed psychologist making an incredibly spurious, rash judgment.

Of course, all cults have this in common: they reject and label as untouchables any who do not embrace their particular version of "Truth." To died-in-the-wool communists, non-believers are "bootlickers of the capitalists," or "counter-revolutionary hooligans." To the born again fundamentalist Christian, non-believers are "agents of Satan." To Moslems, Christians are "devils," and to Nazis, Jews are "swine." To the Alcoholics Anonymous membership, anyone who stops drinking without chanting the mantras of cult founder Bill W. are "dry drunks," pure and simple. You don't even need to know anything more about the self-quitters -- the fact that they quit drinking without A.A. makes them dry drunks, a priori.

Don't get me wrong. I do not advocate suppressing A.A. or any other cult. I simply want you to know, in case you are a problem drinker and are toying around with the idea of quitting, that it's O.K. to develop your own solution to your own problem. The last thing you need when you undertake a major, radical transformation in your life is to be accused by a bunch of self-righteous fanatics of being "a dry drunk," whatever the hell that is.

The whole A.A. program hinges upon the alcoholic's acceptance of what A.A. calls a "higher power." Conversely, adherents to the twelve-step program are expected to renounce any personal responsibility for, or control over, their problem. This blatant renunciation of the concept of free will is also a characteristic of every single other cult I can think of -- the individual counts for nothing, while the non-existent, the illusory, the hypothetical, is all. Self-respecting, proud, analytical achievers do not make good cult members. A cult follower must be stripped of his sense of individual worth -- in many sects, he is humiliated sexually, deprived of sensory stimuli, sequestered from the larger community, or otherwise manipulated to look upon himself as degraded and worthless. In A.A., you are plopped in a ring of cultists every evening and pressured to place your entire destiny in the hands of some "higher power."

When I began to ask hard questions about the nature of this "higher power," half expecting to hear some gibberish about "god," I learned (no kidding!) that one member even had his motorcycle represent his "higher power." What form of silliness is this that empowers motorcycles to cure us of alcoholism, I wondered.

At A.A. meetings, everyone sits around in a big circle. There are readings from "the Big Book," a not-very-well-written compendium of home-spun philosophy and anecdote authored by Bill W. and his colleagues some decades ago. Every cult needs its sacred writings, its revealed word. Members start talking about themselves and their alcoholism, and oddly, this sounds more like "self-criticism" under Mao's cultural revolution than anything therapeutic. In fact, it's all directed toward precisely the same end as "confession" in the Catholic church and Maoist "self-criticism" -- de-emphasis of the individual and a concomitant glorification of the ethereal, the other-worldly, the imaginary.

At some point, if you begin to question this "program" of A.A.'s, the talk gets tough and they start to lean on you. You are told that you can never recover on your own, that you are doomed to lapse over and over again into drinking binges, or at best, become a "dry drunk." (This is supposedly someone who has stopped drinking but still manifests all the unconscionable traits of a drunk: all the sociopathy, all the abusiveness, all the manipulative behaviors.)

The more you try to trot out examples of persons who have transformed their own lives under their own steam, the more the party line is thrown back at you: you are powerless against drink. Powerless. Any so-called examples of alcoholics who quit drinking without the twelve steps are in reality only examples of "dry drunks."

When I left A.A., I made the comment to someone that if I were indeed "powerless," I might as well commit suicide, because a life without any control over my destiny would be pointless and absurd. I stated again my conviction that I did not regard myself as powerless, and I went about my recovery in the most sensible way I could imagine. I removed alcohol from my home, I found some healthy pastimes to pursue (mountain climbing, writing, and painting) and, in the whirlwind breakup of my marriage, I devoted myself to staying afloat financially, making my new company prosper, and seeking out some like-minded companionship -- that was when I re-joined Mensa.

So, if you are determined to quit drinking, you can save yourself about three hundred sixty-five hours a year, plus travel time.

Try the "one-step" program, instead: just stop drinking. Believe me: you can do it.

I did.

Posted by: AA is nothing but a cult | August 25, 2007 1:12 PM

To AA is nothing but a cult,

I have written a lot in the last day here and I don't want to be repetitious (though as far as Midtown goes I do to restate my positions, I'll grant you). But I was interested in your post.

Your description does not fit AA very well as a whole. As a member with 22 years sobriety, I'm glad you stopped drinking on your own 3 years ago and haven't resumed, as I took your post. If you felt alcohol was a problem for you, it's wonderful you were able to do this.

Each AA group is independent of the others (unless their conduct harms AA) and there is a huge diversity of styles, opinions, and beliefs.

At many groups, everyone does indeed sit around a circle, as that does facilitate face to face communication without any hierarchy implied. But not at all. At a small minority of groups, members read "Big Book" passages and discuss them in relation to their situations and lives. I haven't been to a meeting like that in many years but they exist.

At most groups I've been to, most members have a belief in God, and even more in a "Higher Power". However, I am an agnostic, everyone knows it, and a number of fellow members in my group are similarly agnostics. No one has ever questioned my beliefs nor has anyone ever "leaned" on me to change them or pressured me to do anything whatsoever.

One statement I've never heard anyone say in my 22 years is that anyone who stops drinking on his own is a "dry drunk". I can't generalize that to say no one has ever said it but in my experience this would be a very rare belief. Obviously, your psychologist was stating a extreme belief without evidence and, inappropriately. You make the point that she was licensed - is that material to AA? Because AA has nothing to do with licensing anyone for anything.

You stated that AA members are "expected to renounce any personal responsibility for, or control over, their problem. This blatant renunciation of the concept of free will is also a characteristic of every single other cult I can think of -- the individual counts for nothing".

In this I can tell you you are absolutely incorrect. The belief you describe is alien and contrary to the stated beliefs of our program. In AA, the individual is paramount, individual free choices made by the individual are everything, and taking responsibility for our drinking, admitting our past behavior, and making amends for any any harm we've caused are the virtual cornerstones of our program. It's regrettable if anyone at any meeting said otherwise.

As far as my recovery, for the past fifteen years I've averaged around 17 meetings a year of an hour each. This amount varies year by year at my discretion. I can listen to my friends tell me in detail their feelings and about their lives, or anything else they wish to talk about about, and I can speak about myself and speak my mind for five minutes or so without interruption, criticism, or fear of disapproval. After the meeting we are all friends.

It's regrettable you were introduced to AA through an incompetent psychologist who steered you to a meeting of dull fundamentalists and extremists. However, if you are describing your experience when you say one is "stripped of his sense of individual worth -- in many sects, he is humiliated sexually, deprived of sensory stimuli, sequestered from the larger community, or otherwise manipulated to look upon himself as degraded and worthless. In A.A., you are plopped in a ring of cultists every evening and pressured to place your entire destiny in the hands of some 'higher power'", then you are describing an outlaw cult group like Midtown that was posing as an AA group.

Posted by: DCC | August 25, 2007 2:28 PM

(RE: The Cult Called A.A.)

Bill W is Turing over in his grave. A.A.'s Big book was not written for any cult purposes
Powerless over alcohol is understood, but all your other "TRUE" and clear statements comes directly
from the "SPONSORSHIP SYSTEM" as they self proclaimed themselves as the interpreters of the Big Book.

The Sponsorship system does in fact state all those statements you made, The Big book may elude to
a drunk having a hard time as dry but not using it to manipulate anyone, "The Sponsorship System does."

The Traditions of A.A. "CONDEMMS THE SPONSORSHIP SYSTEM "IN" A.A."
Tradition One and Two ; Not making anyone conform or believe or in anything , Not to organize. Which
Systems do. As the Traditions go on and on the system takes them out of context to promote themselves
In A.A. while an earlier Tradition states if you cant follow the Traditions in order DON'T CALL YOURSELF AN A.A GROUP
that's long before there tactics tiring to use them as no outside controversy after the "FACT"


I have been a member coming up on 3 decades and seen the simple suggested program get turned into a program of suggestion as a direct result
of the sponsorship system that was used at "onetime" outside of A.A. to introduce people "TO "A.A not used to renegade people "IN" A.A. after a person was sober.

I understand the pity that is here, I hope one day the word sponsor will not posses the "power it has" which is clearly the lack of humility and get back to a fellowship instead of their follow-ship crap that the professional world promotes from the outside into A.A.
Thanks for sharing of this sad experience
There is nothing wrong with something falling down, but there is something wrong with "ONE" not being able to pick "THEMSELVES" back up,

Posted by: Timewilltell | August 25, 2007 2:39 PM

A.A. by itself tells no one not to believe " IN" anything. The second step states came to believe "THAT" a power Greater than yourself could and would "THAT ONE IS GOD" may you find him know. "The Book Not me folks."
There are many substitutions for faith there is no substitution for God. Not the sponsorship system as someone's H.P

Posted by: Timewilltell | August 25, 2007 3:03 PM

We will all have to see what comes out in the upcoming court hearing in Montgomery County, MD when Jack, Bridgette, Carol, Jon,Joni, and various others defend Tammy. That should be a circus!

Posted by: . | August 25, 2007 5:17 PM

Most 'guru' types - are completely clueless about the traditions and steps as evident here.

Mike Q. I knew very well. He, like many many people in AA, come in and get off alcohol and turn to other vices. Many have not much of a past, and it is easy for them to change. Others, have long long pasts and it is very hard for them to become completely honest with themselves and others. I know Mike struggled with this, and he turned to other substances.

I am not defending Mike, but I know many posting here and you all need to focus on yourselves and not him. He is dead now.

Many of you do not understand the book. I have heard many hear in meetings - talking about doing their 4th step "AGAIN" and one person here is running a workshop about this, and is leading people astray with his lack of knowledge.

The steps were meant to go through once and that is it. Not continually. Step 10 is what you do to continue to take personal inventory. There's no need for a sponsor after step 12, and no where in the big book does it even talk about this.

Steps were done within days, all 12, and not weeks, months, or years. They weren't something you went back to either. Today's AA is not what Bill Wilson had in mind at all.

Posted by: Beth | August 25, 2007 8:15 PM

Beth you hit the nail on the head. If Fisher knew the truth of some of the folks he's interviewed, he'd cringe.

"J" got sober at 15 - after spending 2 months drinking. Please, tell me what he has to contribute to AA?
"A" is a rich brat, a child of a doctor and a lawyer. I guess sleepign with Mike Q screwed her up so much she has to advertise her **ssy all the time with skin tight jeans. Girl has even had a butt job, liposuction, and a boob job now and she's only 22.

Posted by: Renee | August 25, 2007 9:18 PM

What alcoholics you all are!! Paragraph after paragraph after paragraph of blither that doesn't do a thing. Arguing with a faceless audience and hearing silent applause. Do you really think you're helping anyone ... except yourself???

I dare you to go to Q's funeral next week and make your case at the service. Show your contempt and make a stand for AA. Walk away from the veil of your computer and let me see you!!! I dare you ...

Posted by: Get off the soapbox | August 25, 2007 9:59 PM

ok to (blank) when is this Montgomery County court date circus? date and time?
and to "beth" I really dont think you knew Mike Q that well - vices? are you kidding me? he cried sobriety, mentaly, spritualy, and so on. Are you saying changing a vice is ok in the spritual work of aa? Who are you kidding? one vice for another is NOT sobriety. that would be a reaching for justification of trading on addiction for another wouldnt you agree?
so AA can be considered "institutional co-dependency"? trading one addiction for another? then take the lesser of 2 evils? Its is ok to have sex with young vulnerable girls ( a vice) but not ok to take perscribed meds? come on? still think Mike Q/midtown is/was spirtual? Sad but a streatch, but I bet Midtown/Mike Q thought antibiotics werent so good either? So long as the sponsor was in control I bet it was ok?

AA is to help people become active whole members of society- if that cant be accomplished thru AA and basic priciples and COMON SENSE, then there are OTHER issues that need be addressed.

Just because you have a sober drunk does not mean you have a good person, whole person, SAIN person, or spritual person. That is just the point that Marc Fisher and Nick Summers were trying to make to the public. Just because they are Sober does not make them sain, whole , honest, productive people. Just means you have dishonest, distructive, manipulative people running under some disguise of spritual guru's that are just as sick or more sick then the Catholic preist petophile.
just because they are sober does not make it ok to beat the crap out of some one emotionaly or physicaly? Does It?? from what I KNOW, I KNOW , that is exactly what had occured during Mike Q's life.

This was NOT a sain man, a spritual man nor a good man, many are following his footsteps from what I have read and heard, that is sad if not terifying. If you beleive Mike was a spirtual man a man of God, then you too are headed for a great disapointment.

Posted by: exexex | August 25, 2007 10:26 PM

to alanon Mom,
THANK YOU! I wish I could talk to you and give you the huge hug! and your daughter too! She will and can recover from her exposure to MQ and MT! many have in the past and many will going forward! Thank you for your honesty, thank your daughter for her courage to tell you the truth and bring to light the sickness. 20 some years this has been goin on, she is one of hundreds exploited and you are a mom of the hundreds - so thank you!

with gratitude!

Posted by: exexex | August 25, 2007 10:59 PM

No Midtown. No peace.

Know Midtown. Know peace.

Posted by: Renee | August 25, 2007 11:08 PM

Well, we have seen everything from the Midtowners, and we are still seeing the (one presumes) untrue personal attacks on those opposing them, which even if they were all true would not refute these charges one bit.

Now the complaint from Midtown seems to be that this discourse is not effective. That it accomplishes nothing.

OK, Midtowners, if this is true you might as well drop out of this blog now as you have nothing to fear and can continue your predation unabated.

Of course you are wrong. There are a endless sayings about the power of the truth, the power of the written word, and the power of an idea whose time has come. History shows them to be true.

Every literate person knows this. As for Midtown, perhaps the appropriate quote is from Ben Franklin: "Experience keeps a dear school, but fools will learn in no other."

Posted by: DCC | August 25, 2007 11:18 PM

"Of course you are wrong."
You're right, DCC.
Now shut the $#&! up.

Posted by: White Flag | August 25, 2007 11:29 PM

Get off the soapbox wrote: "I dare you to go to Q's funeral next week and make your case at the service. Show your contempt and make a stand for AA. Walk away from the veil of your computer and let me see you!!! I dare you ..."

Why on earth would you think that showing contempt at someone's FUNERAL would "make a stand for AA?"

That would be a disgusting and inappropriate act.

This is one of the few forums that seem to exist to discuss this matter.

And I think this is an EXTREMELY important conversation to have, given the severity of the allegations, and there is NO reason why it couldn't remain civil and rooted in the principles of AA (well....there is one big reason, isn't there?).

That Midtown members/defenders are unwilling and/or unable to open themselves to what is being said is one more red flag in a long line of red flags.

That not one person has said, "We're listening. We disagree strongly that these allegations are true, but we are willing to have the dialogue and hear your concerns," is a very strange thing for a group of "AAs." Very, very strange. And telling.

The defaming, insulting, and degrading posts speak volumes.

In that regard, I think this "blither" [sic] has been quite helpful, actually.

True colors.

Posted by: Jane D. | August 25, 2007 11:31 PM

I went to Midtown when I had about 3 yrs of sobriety, against the advice of most of my friends and sponsor. My thoughts were "Midtown really can't be as bad as people say it is". I left after 1.5 yrs and was very fortunate. I CANNOT BELIEVE THAT THERE ARE ACTUALLY MIDTOWN MEMBERS DENYING THE ALLEGATIONS- I have nothing to gain by responding except for getting the TRUTH out. ANYONE who has been in Midtown for any amount of time knows the truth about what goes on in there :
1-MEN SPONSOR WOMEN, MEN TELL THEIR "PIGEONS" THAT IT IS A "SPIRITUAL EXPERIENCE TO SLEEP WITH THEIR SPONSORS". - THAT IS A FACT
2-MIKE Q HAS ONLY DATED WOMEN UNDER THE AGE OF 20 FOR AT LEAST THE PAST 10 YRS- THAT IS A FACT.
3-UNDERAGE SEX HAPPENS ALL OF THE TIME IN MIDTOWN. IF IT IS "CONSENSUAL" AS MEMBERS OF MIDTOWN CLAIM, IT IS ONLY BECAUSE YOU ALL HAVE CONVINCED THESE NAIVE WOMEN WHO SEEK RECOVERY THAT IT IS "OK". I KNOW FOR A FACT THAT ONE WOMAN HAD HER FIRST SEXUAL EXPERIENCE WITH AN OLDER MEMBER IN THE GROUP THAT THE MEN "ELECTED"- THAT IS A FACT. ANOTHER FACT IS THAT HER MOTHER ACTUALLY GOES TO MIDTOWN AND DIDN'T PROTECT HER OWN DAUGHTER THEN OR NOW- THAT IS PATHETIC!!! I GUESS THAT IS BECAUSE HER MOM IS SPONSORED BY MIKE Q AND PAYS FOR HIS "LIFESTYLE" INCLUDING TRIPS, ETC...
4-MIDTOWN DOES NOT HAVE ANY PAMPHLETS IN ANY OF THEIR MEETINGS REGARDING AA AND SPONSORSHIP OR AA AND MEDICATION- THAT IS A FACT- DOES "JORGE" CARE TO COMMENT ON THAT??????????????
5- ANYONE WHO ACTUALLY WORKS IN THE MENTAL HEALTH FIELD KNOWS THAT WHAT HAPPENS IN MIDTOWN IS NOT TRUE AA- OR THERE WOULD NOT BE SUCH CONTROVERSY ABOUT MIDTOWN/Q GROUP.MIDTOWN DOES SAY THAT PEOPLE CANNOT TAKE MEDICATION BECAUSE THEY ARE "NOT TRULY SOBER". MIDTOWN ALSO TELLS THEIR NEW MEMBERS TO GO OFF THEIR MEDS COLD-TURKEY- RESULTING IN MANY MEMBERS BECOMING SUICIDAL. IT IS A KNOWN FACT THAT MANY INDIVIDUALS WHO LEFT MIDTOWN HAD TO BE HOSPITALIZED IN ORDER TO SAVE THEIR LIVES DUE TO WITHDRAWAL FROM THEIR MEDS. IT IS ALSO A FACT THAT MIDTOWN SAYS THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS DEPRESSION. MIDTOWN CLAIMS THAT IT IS JUST "SELF-CENTERED ALCOHOLISM" MIDTOWN DOES NOT ALLOW THEIR MEMBERS TO SEEK OUTSIDE HELP- UM,,, HAVE ANY OF THE MIDTOWN MEMBERS EVER READ THE BIG BOOK??? BACK IN 1939 IT WAS DOCUMENTED IN THE BIG BOOK THAT AAs should seek outside help... um, since when does Midtown get to change the Big Book to meet their needs- especially on pg 69- or have they not read that page either???- I bet anyone in Midtown will come up with some lame rebuttal to this too. HEY JORGE- DO YOU KNOW WHAT THE DSM IS- i BET NOT. DO ANY OF YOU IN MIDTOWN KNOW WHAT THE DSM IS??? NO, BECAUSE NONE OF YOU ARE PSYCHIATRISTS, CLINICIANS, OR SUBSTANCE ABUSE COUNSELORS- SO WHY IN THE WORLD DO YOU THINK YOU SHOULD EVER GIVE ADVICE ABOUT MEDICATION, THERAPY, OR ANYTHING RELATED TO ALCOHOLISM OR DEPRESSION!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
6- Midtown has a true heirarchy and Mike Q is the "leader"- real AA does not have any heirarchy. Midtown calls their going to other meetings "outreach". Um, let's be truthful and call it what it is "recruiting for the cult". By the way, notice how NONE of midtowns go by themselves to other meetings- that is because it is "sponsor directed" that noone can go alone to other meetings as they " might get the wrong message from other meetings".
7- I could go on and on and on about the BS that goes on in midtown- I feel really sorry for people like "jorge" who have been convinced by Midtown/ Mike Q that these "Allegations" are "just not true"...
How about if we all go to court and testify about this??? Let's see who the judge and jury would believe- certainly not Mike Q- a mental challenged x vietnam vet- or the sane Millions and Millions of AAs with real sobriety and true morals.
8- I FIND IT AMAZING THAT MIDTOWN HAS THE BALLS TO TELL ANYONE THAT HAS LEFT OR IS PLANNING ON LEAVING THAT THEY "WILL NOT STAY SOBER" IF THEY LEAVE- IF THAT IS NOT WHAT A CULT DOES, LET'S LOOK UP THE DEFINITION OF A CULT.
I DO NOT SEE ANY OTHER MEETINGS/GROUPS BEING INVESTIGATED IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA OR STATE OF MARYLAND OTHER THAN MIDTOWN- I WONDER WHY THAT IS???
9- I WAS TOLD THAT I COULD ONLY DATE IN THE GROUP BY MANY MIDTOWNERS, SPONSOR INCLUDED- HMM, SOUNDS LIKE A CULT
10- FEEL FREE TO CHALLENGE ME ON MY WRITINGS- I CAN GIVE YOU NAMES OF THOSE WHO HAVE BEEN HARMED AND EVEN DIED FROM BEING IN MIDTOWN----- AND THOSE WHO DIRECTED ME TO DO THE ABOVE.
MIDTOWN IS NOT TRUE AA- IF IT WAS, IT WOULD NOT BE UNDERGOING INVESTIGATION BY MANY OUTSIDE AGENCIES...
MIDTOWN IS THE ONLY AA GROUP THAT TELLS ITS MEMBERS HOW TO LIVE THEIR LIVES- INCLUDING WHERE TO LIVE, HOW TO DATE, WHO TO DATE, NOT TO GO TO THERAPY, NOT TO TAKE MEDICATION, WHO WILL BE YOUR "ASSIGNED SPONSOR" WHO WILL PICK YOU UP AND DROP YOU OFF FOR MEETINGS, WHERE TO WORK, TO CUT YOU OFF FROM YOUR FAMILY AND FRIENDS NOT IN MIDTOWN.
I WISH I COULD SAY I HAD A POSITIVE EXPERIENCE IN MIDTOWN, BUT THE WHOLE TRUTH IS THAT MIDTOWN/ Q GROUP IS A CULT AND LIE ABOUT WHAT GOES ON IN THERE.
TRUE RECOVERY IS ABOUT LEARNING TO LIVE LIFE ON LIFE'S TERMS, NOT AVOID LIFE BY BEING A MEMBER OF A CULT.
I WAS FORTUNATE THAT I DID NOT GET SOBER IN AA AND MANAGED TO STAY SOBER WHILE IN MIDTOWN.
THE TERM FOR "RECOVERY" IN MIDTOWN IS " DRY", NOT SOBER.
IF MIDTOWN HAD REAL RECOVERY, THEY WOULD GIVE SUGGESTIONS, NOT DIRECTIONS, NOT CALL THEIR SPONSEES "PIGEONS" AND ACT LIKE REAL SOBER MEMBERS IN RECOVERY.
MILLIONS OF RECOVERING ALCOHOLICS ARE SOBER, BECAUSE THEY DO NOT GO TO MIDTOWN.
THOSE DEFENDING MIDTOWN ARE ONE OF THE TWO: PEOPLE WHO HAVE MOVED TO THE AREA AND JUST PULLED INTO MIDTOWN DUE TO THE APPEAL OF A SO-CALLED SOCIAL LIFE OR INDIVIDUALS WHO GOT SOBER IN MIDTOWN AND HAVE NEVER EXPERIENCED ANY OTHER RECOVERY----- THOSE ARE THE FACTS...
ANOTHER FACT: THERE IS NOTHING,ABSOLUTELY NOTHING SPIRITUAL GOING ON IN MIDTOWN.
MIKE Q LEADS THE "WOMEN'S MEETINGS" FOR MIDTOWN AT HIS HOME- DID I MISS SOMETHING OR DID MIKE Q HAVE A SEX CHANGE???- THAT IS A FACT.
---- THESE ARE TRUE FACTS ABOUT MIDTOWN--- IF NEEDED, I WOULD GLADLY TESTIFY UNDER OATH, BECAUSE I AM A TRUE SOBER MEMBER OF AA- AND AN EX MEMBER OF MIDTOWN- THE " Q GROUP CULT"

Posted by: ex-midtowner/ real sobriety/true to AA | July 26, 2007 06:46 PM

Posted by: reposted | August 26, 2007 12:15 AM

White Flag,

If you don't like what I write, the solution is simple. don't read it.

I suppose a lot of people are tired of hearing members of AA write against the sexual predation and economic exploitation of Midtown. One reason I do this repeatedly is that repeatedly Midtown members get on here and deny, deny, deny that this abuse is happening. If people hear only the BIG LIE FROM MIDTOWN members that no abuse is occurring, they may start to believe it.

I believe that the truth cannot be allowed to be drowned out. So I won't shut up. And obviously, the others who feel the abuse must stop aren't going to shut up either. And I don't think the media and national TV investigation will stop either. So how long will this go on? Until the truth has prevailed once and for all.

Posted by: DCC | August 26, 2007 12:49 AM

I hope J & A file a lawsuit against Shawn/Renee. You've got a great defamation case here. I think CFG has a lawyer referal willing to help...you should check with them.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 26, 2007 1:08 AM

Jane D.,

Yes, these guys are beyond belief, aren't they? Their tactic is to provoke disruption at a *funeral* in the hope that those who oppose their sexual predation will somehow be discredited.

They don't realize that decent people would never disrupt a solemn religious service or add to the pain of a family in grief. They don't realize these things because they have no comprehension of how decent people think, and no empathy for those suffering and in pain.

That's why they can take people desperate to end their drinking or addiction and use that fact to have sex with them, to treat them only as objects for their own gratification.

But we know that the truth will prevail.

How low can you go, Midtown? Or, perhaps, the better question is how long can you live in this falsehood and this denial?

Posted by: DCC | August 26, 2007 1:12 AM

DCC said "They don't realize these things because they have no comprehension of how decent people think, and no empathy for those suffering and in pain."

That pretty much says it all. I never could understand how people could get away with this stuff for so long. How so many people could be hurt and hospitialized by members of such a large group. Usually someone in a crowd will have a conscious and try to stop it, but listen to them. You're right, they have no empathy, there's no sanity to it at all. If they were completely innocent, there should be some level of concern and interest in these allegations, some empathy for those harmed, something. We see NONE of that here by anyone, not even the slightest hint of concern that people have been hurt by this group.

Its almost surreal, like we're in a very bad "dream." Where not one of them cares what has happenend to those spilling their guts and telling their experience. They just write them off, attack them, defame them, or dare them to cause a scene at a funeral. How could that sound like a good idea to ANYONE?

Posted by: Another Mom | August 26, 2007 1:40 AM


The Sponsorship system bulldozes their ways around A.A.

NO SPONSORSHIP SYSTEM NO PROBLEM, where you have differences you will have trouble.

SOLUTION:
BAND THE SPONSORSHIP SYSTEM FROM THE A.A. FELLOWSHIP, use A.A. AS A WHOLE to Learn to Be true to thy self.

Posted by: Timewilltell | August 26, 2007 2:36 AM

The above sounds drastic but what is even more stupid and craze is one not being able to utilize A.A. and it's fellowship as a whole. Why keep secrets?

Posted by: Anonymous | August 26, 2007 2:52 AM

you people are whacked.

Posted by: LoserinMaryland | August 26, 2007 11:51 AM

Midtown AA is not going anywhere Midtown will continue to grow and save lives as it did mine because I will "push it on"

Posted by: Anonymous | August 26, 2007 12:22 PM

Disband the once meaningful sponsorship system thats purpose was lost and used to drop off a drunk DRUNK in A.A.,and now organized and promoting "their glory" on A.A's spirit.

These people are beyond whacked, promoting self proclaimed personal live saving technics on others.

"A.A. WITHIN ITSELF" works great, the S.S. has screwed it up. Proclaiming the S.S. knows the answers.
A newcomer may be the sick - The injected self proclaimed S.S. is by far the sickest.
All "one" has to do is read the Book. OMG

Posted by: Anonymous | August 26, 2007 12:47 PM

You're free to do that, obviously. But don't be surprised to find that your group is not granted the autonomy it once was, based on the violation of the Fourth Tradition.

If you truly have nothing to hide or anything that needs "realigning" with the principles of AA, then surely that should be no problem, right?

Posted by: Jane D. | August 26, 2007 12:47 PM

A lot of people come in A.A. looks like only a few actually come to.

Posted by: Saddened | August 26, 2007 12:56 PM

To Jane D., DCC, and Another Mom:

Midtown DID show up at my friend's funeral and used her as an example of what happens to people who leave the group.

There WERE a group of us on the inside--a very large group--who stood up to the hierarchy because of what went on there, and we were VOTED OUT of the group. We CONTINUED to show up to Midtown meetings to demonstrate to others there that you didn't have to be in Mike's sponsorship family to stay sober, and we were ganged up on quite viciously.

NO ONE would call on us during meetings. We weren't allowed to share. We were shared AT. In fact--entire hour-long meetings were dedicated to sharing AT US, by one member after another. We were turned on by friends and boyfriends. We were told that we were toxic and that we would drink. Rumors were spread about us. We went from having "over 100 close personal friends" to having only each other...and our numbers fell off after one person and then another and another defected back into the group because they couldn't take what was being done to them for breaking ranks.

Trust me. It's not like no one ever tried standing up to them from the inside. We did. We did. And for what? To be able to say that, although we lost so much, at least we fought?

My friend lost her only boyfriend of 5 years. She lost her sponsees. She lost her best friend. My friend relapsed. She was diabetic. It killed her. She was 21.

Midtown rolled in to her funeral en masse and filled the pews. A girl who had NEVER MET my friend came up to HER MOTHER and told her that my friend's death "really helped her a lot."

These people drove her over the edge and wouldn't even let us grieve for her in peace.

They suggest that people make a stand at Mike's funeral because that is the kind of people THEY are.

Posted by: XQ | August 26, 2007 1:34 PM

Jane D
Thanks for being here.
The point I am
trying to make is that it is not who is RIGHT or who is WRONG, it's about who is left when it comes to alcoholism.

I am concern for the people who are RIGHT and sadden for the WRONG doings, Probably would be very pissed off if it personally happen to me but it happen to US, this happening came through as a direct result the S.S. thinking they are right, and now into A.A. itself. The victims and now already here were just looking for help from A.A. why con them into believing in people again? the sponsorship System.
Why not let them ask?
Ask what about the Big Book not ones personal life.
Instead newcomers are trained to follow another in the S.S.
A.A. simply says come JOIN US.
How can one JOIN something if one is FOLLOWING?
A.A is a simple suggested program the S.S.is the only thing that complicates it more than it really is, a program of suggestions.
Live and let Live for it's only but for the grace of God there go I, surly not some self proclaimed outside sponsor system.

Posted by: Timewilltell | August 26, 2007 1:46 PM

Midtown will not go anywhere. They will continue to meet and represent themselves as "A.A. Groups", even if they have to do so secretly, which they had been doing in certain locations, and they will continue to feed off of the life force of our fellowship. It's that simple. It's who they are and it's what they do. To expect the entire Midtown Group to suddenly behave differently, for any reason (which would include Mike's death) would be, by A.A.'s working definition of insanity, insane. There are too many established and maintained Midtown beliefs and behaviors that are enforced by too many sponsorship tiers and their lineages, for the group, as a whole, to change course and head into a positive direction.

I know that there are good people within Midtown. I have met them personally, but they too are conditioned, or they too would have left the group themselves. I'm sorry, but it's my belief that this is true. How could one remain within a social group that is widely known above all other groups as controlling, manipulative, dominating, predatory, isolated, and feared and not be conditioned to remain in that specific social group? As much as most there would like to say that "Midtown keeps them sober", the basic truth is that they have been conditioned to believe that if they were to leave the group, that one single group, their lives (as they only know it) would cease to exist and they would drink and to drink is to die. By a variety of known methods, every Midtown Group member is conditioned to believe, in no uncertain way, that if he or she leaves the Midtown group, that he or she will die. No other real A.A. home group, that I am aware of, even remotely suggests this.

Those that fight the conditioning are usually pushed to the sidelines, where they get to watch those that are allowing their conditioning to develop reap their "rewards", while they themselves, do not. For most newly sober alcoholics who are, through their own defects of character, quite thirsty for sex, status and security, this viewing can be unnerving. The end result is that this newly sober person will (usually), at best, try a few other A.A. meetings, but that Newcomer will not be so feverishly or "richly" rewarded for becoming a group member, nor will that Newcomers thirst be quenched with an abundance of sex, security and status, so invariably, the weaker Newcomer will go back to the Midtown Group and accept his or her process of assimilation with the Midtown collective.

Ok. That's obviously one view point concerning a limited aspect, of this ever growing problem. What are some solutions to this ever growing problem? When a working and developing problem is presented or accepted, a working and developing solution needs to be presented, accepted and implemented. For those who are not following me just yet, I'm talking about a series of individual and Home Group responsibilities that all of us, as A.A. members, can be fulfilling, in order to truly help our Newcomers, strengthen and realign our fellowship and surpass this gross misrepresentation of A.A (in the DC area) through practicing A.A.'s principles of Honesty, Open-mindedness and Willingness, while engaging in activities that are ultimately based in love and service.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 26, 2007 1:52 PM

XQ, I am so sorry for your loss and the treatment you received from what should have been your support network. Keep speaking your truth and know that your HP has a wonderful plan for you!

Timewilltell, I've read your post(s?) and I'm sorry to say that I can't really address what you've said, b/c I'm having difficulty understanding. But please don't let my lack of understanding keep you from speaking whatever truth you need to--surely someone is benefitting from your unique insight. Bless you, my friend!

Posted by: Jane D. | August 26, 2007 1:59 PM

Yes, Renee is Shawn. A current Midtown Group member told my wife and me (in public) that he saw him create the profile at the retreat, of which we were all on. This person was not led or manipulated into giving us Shawn's name. He offered Shawn's name and what he saw him do, on his own accord. The person who discovered the exact residential address of the person who created the "midtown poster child site" is an AA member that is currently in Military Intelligence. He has connections that I cannot speak of, with those who run Myspace. Look up Love and Service and CFG on Myspace if you want further details of the group that Shawn so desperately defends.

Do you want to know the worst part? If Shawn were sitting among a group of them, as they huddled together for a false sense of co-dependent security, you wouldn't be able to pick him out. He is established within the Midtown Group, which isn't difficult. All that is required is an accumulated period of dry time between drinking spells and that their dependence on the group is confirmed. Even still, it still hasn't helped him to intimately connect with a female, in a group where it's almost impossible not to get laid (or catch an STD). Maybe that's why he appears to concentrate on couples, as has been observed?

If you needed a fair example of what type or degree of sobriety/spirituality that you could expect from becoming dependent on the Midtown Group, Shawn's (Renee's) as good example as any. If that's what you want, then I will not stop you. What he has continued to do on Myspace and on the Washington Post threads are typical of how the Midtown Group -as-a-whole- attempts to discredit those who stand against them or get in the way of their feeding ground. The best thing that he has done for those who wanted to expose and/or know more about what the Midtown Group does to its members, is create that profile. Good luck to you, if that's what you want to become. They will help you become as such.

The CFG has suggested that I have a solid defamation case and they have offered a referral for a lawyer who is willing to help bring this typical Midtown Group member to justice. Clearly, I'm legally pursuing this matter. What freaks like Shawn do in private, can never hold weight or water within a court of law. Never.

How anyone who is as cognitively, ethically, and morally underdeveloped as Shawn is, can (somehow) function in society, I will never know; nor can I understand why anyone would consciously choose to relate to, or emulate him in any way. All I do know is that he thrives on this new found attention (as most untreated alcoholics do), even if it does make the group that he is dependent on, look like a cluster of sociopaths. It's the most recognition that he's received in his life and he will not stop, so long as he can feed off it, just like his group -as-a-whole- feeds off of A.A.'s Newcomers in Maryland, DC, Virginia and their ever growing and consuming satellite Q. Group contingent in Tampa, Florida. Yes... I wrote Tampa, Florida.

Why has this attack been so personal? Why wouldn't it be? As I have previously stated, this is what Midtown does to discredit those who thwart their ability to meet their ends, by any and all means. In the last year, I have (in their eyes) thwarted their ability to function as efficiently, by:

1. I have been of service by organizing and implementing several 12 step workshops. In these 12 step workshops, we usually guide around 35 - 40 people through all of A.A.'s 12 steps, in a simplistic workshop format. Two of these workshops have been conducted at the Kolmac Clinic in Gaithersburg Maryland; the same Clinic that spoke out against the Midtown Group in Newsweek. The results have been astounding. Kolmac has asked me to bring this workshop to their Gaithersburg facility, three times a year. Can you imagine what that would mean for their outreach machine? Who in their right mind, would join the Midtown Group, after working all12 steps and are beginning to establish a working conscious contact with the Higher Power of their growing understanding? Few indeed, for the Midtown Group influences our Newcomers to pursue their desires for sex, status and security at any and all means and their character defects are well compensated for their continued efforts. The Big Book refers to our defects as "Blocks". How can anyone establish a conscious contact with the Higher Power of their growing understanding, while building the blocks (character defects) that prevent the sunlight of the spirit from entering our lives? You can't. What the group does -as-a-whole- is take away or prohibit these Newcomers from receiving this much needed sunlight, thereby enabling the Newcomer to become and remain dependent on the group for what substance it will offer to them.

2. I sponsor, at any given two month period, upwards of 8 or more males. During these two months, we engage in the 12 steps (hopefully) at least two full times, while continually being of service in ways that our Higher Power will guide us to be of service. After which, I suggest that they connect with another sponsor and cycle through the 12 steps again, so that they can discover another perspective on the steps and how to work with others. At no time do the males that I work with know of each other, or how many other people I am working with at that time. I do this for two reasons. 1. People idolize other people way to damn easily around here and 2. Proportionately speaking, the more that we, as sponsors, allow the people that we are working with to become dependent on us for guidance, that much do they NOT invest on depending on their Higher Power for guidance, through Prayer and Meditation. Invariably, after a period of time, the sponsors become, to an extent, the higher powers of those that they are working with. Also, and just as important, these sponsors that have allowed themselves to be depended upon as the higher power of these Newcomers, invariable find themselves and their ethics compromised by this dependence. In truth, many of these sponsors become just as dependent on the Newcomers, as the Newcomers are on them. Many Midtown members have been informed, and are aware of this. In truth, I have informed many of them of this and many have seen this for themselves, but nothing has changed. What I have endeavored to practice as a sponsor, is as close to our literature as possible. It's also directly opposite of what midtown teaches.

3. I was voted in as a WAIA Executive Committee Board Member, during the last election. In truth, all but one midtown member was voted off and replaced with new, fresh, diverse service members. Midtown members, who previously owned and controlled the Board, did everything that they could to prevent free thinking and diverse A.A. members from participating in that vote and they failed. What I have seen, in regards to their continued attempts to control WAIA (while being of service on the Board) has been frustrating, to say the least. They are assuming as many WAIA Intergroup Rep Positions as possible, so that when the next vote comes in December, they will overwhelm the vote and put all midtown members on the board again.

Also, in the last year, I have personally picked up 3 separate (now EX) Midtown group members, who were forced out of their Midtown group Home. On each occasion, they were told to be out of the house that they were strongly motivated to move into, before the day was up. If anyone knew of how many Half Way Houses that they have moved Newcomers out of (on a minutes notice), people around here would be appalled. So there they are with bags in hand and not a soul from their Midtown Group willing to help them in any way. To see them standing there is shocking. In order to know what I'm talking about, you have to be there and look into their eyes as they finally discover just how misled, used and discarded they just were. It's a mixture of shock, disbelief, and fear every single time, and all they have to do is speak out, like I'm doing right now They get slammed like I am, publicly, so that the ones that witness it will stay in line and continue to feed the Midtown Machine. I'm assuming that Midtown wishes that others see how my wife and I have been slandered, so these others will sit back in silence and let them continue to feed off of the Newcomers that we, as A.A. Members, are responsible for protecting.

How then, should we treat these Midtown Group members, when we see them at a real A.A. meeting, say at the Del Ray Club, where I saw a large group of them last night? Personally, I did not treat them -as-a-whole- or individually, with any disrespect. I did not reach out to any of them either, as I usually do at WAIA, for a few of them (not just Shawn) have caused me to be extremely weary of them; however, if one of them had reached out to me, I would have been there, even if it was Shawn. Why is this attitude important? Because they need to know that we are there for anyone, anywhere, that reaches out for help. It doesn't say, "unless their from Midtown". It says, "when anyone, anywhere".

Here's a case in point, as to why this behavior is so important: Yesterday, a good man that recently exited the Midtown Group suggested to the person that he is sponsoring, to call me because he cared for the person that he was working the steps with, but could not physically be there with him on a shaky Saturday night. The male that he is working with called me and I was there, as I should have been. I invited him to a celebration dinner for a young woman who was now 5 years sober, then to the Del Ray Club for her celebration, and he came to both of them. There had to be 20-30 young people at the dinner party and we all helped him to feel welcome, because that's what we are here for. The beautiful part about it was that when the sponsor was a current Midtown member, I'm almost certain that the sponsor was motivated to distrust and avoid me, but as an A.A. member, he took a chance and my Higher Power and I didn't let either of them down.

They need to know that no matter what, if they take a chance, we'll be there for them and guide them through the process of recovery, as suggested in the Big Book + 12 and 12 and not solely by what's dictated by our Home Group.

Posted by: One voice. | August 26, 2007 7:16 PM

Thank you, One voice, for sharing your experience, strength and hope. You have certainly enlightened my thinking and shown how infiltrating this group is. I not only thank you for that, but for being a part of the solution. The Midtown's control over the WAIA Board is disturbing to say the least. It pains me to think if L and C have been perpetuating their control or are victims of it as well.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 26, 2007 8:28 PM

Sorry, am not Sean, and I did not realize the extent you lied J. You are not even an alcoholic nor is A - just lonely people who are socially inept. No one at A's high school remembers her drinking, and what's ur story - u drank two weeks and you profess to understand alcoholism? Neither of you know what a struggle is, what it is like to sleep on a park bench, sleep with someone for booze, or wake up with the shakes.

Posted by: Renee | August 26, 2007 8:31 PM

We do not profess anyone alcoholic, however you can quickly diagnose yourself. Step over to the nearest bar and try some controlled drinking..try it more than once. It may cause you a case of the jitters.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 26, 2007 8:59 PM

Do you see how every time Renee/Shawn denies his real identity, he misspells his name on purpose? Apparantly you think being alcoholic is a popularity contest..."you are not even alcoholic..." then you going about defining what it takes to be one and assuming your struggle is different which makes you more of an alcoholic than someone else. You must consider yourself "unique" in some way. In my home group, we are clear that we can not diagnose others, only ourselves. I think you have probably helped alot of viewers here understand just how sick the current members of Midtown are, so you done us quite a service. Thanks, Shawn.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 26, 2007 10:08 PM

For those who think Midtown has not affected AA as a whole, check out the Wikipedia entry on AA--under "Criticism and Controversy" and then under "Occasions of Abuse at Meetings."

Seems pretty obvious to me....but, I'd be interested to hear other's takes on it.

Posted by: Jane D. | August 26, 2007 10:10 PM

XO, read your experience. Whats happening there is much identical here in California that it scares me, Not as much yet exposed but same shut out technics indicating something is going on and wrong.

When the language of the heart is shut out, the A.A. life line dies and most go elsewhere.

These so called A.A. groups have one thing in common, They are large.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 26, 2007 10:16 PM

I saw that too. Ever see a midtowner without another midtowner at an AA meeting? Me neither.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 26, 2007 10:20 PM

Its everyday now that L & S is getting emails from Midtown members looking to get out.

Now that the sociopath is dead the group is going to slowing fade away, its going to take some time but its inevitable now.


Posted by: Rob K | August 26, 2007 10:44 PM

Have been away today but several points seem important to me here.

1) The WAIA seems key here. Every group should be represented because Midtown appears trying to pack the group and vote themselves into power in December. Yuk, how bad does that sound?

2) Midtown voted to expel members from its group? What does that even mean? How can an AA group expel anyone? "The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking". People at meetings are consistently ignored when they wish to share? People direct comments at those they disagree with during meetings? Despite everything we've heard, these appear to be additional egregious violations of our traditions.

3) Midtown members attended a former member's funeral and directed nasty comments at the deceased's MOTHER? Is this possible?

4) There are members posting repeatedly about the "sponsorship system" whom I don't understand. I think they are saying that Midtown sponsorship is authoritarian and perverted, and that leads to these abuses. But Midtown has perverted everything else about our program as well. I don't see sponsorship as intrinsically evil, although being powerful, it might have more potential for that.

5) Cultlike controlling behavior seems the hallmark of Midtown and, potentially, other groups that have been alluded to here.

It seems to me we have covered a lot of abuses of Midtown over the last few weeks. We have also gotten a lot of information about the techniques of abuse and control used by the Midtown members.

I think we should try and figure out what strategies are available, beyond simply publicizing and discussing the abuses here, to curtail this abusive and cultlike group. Others have already presented a lot of ideas. I'm going to try and go back thru here and list them. Some other things appear obvious but it's getting a little late so...there's always tomorrow.

Posted by: DCC | August 26, 2007 11:31 PM

Jane D
Let's see if this point cannot become clearer. Hoping it will be discovered rather than disclosed.

A point is the Twelfth Tradition and many other traditions as well, the Twelfth tradition shares with us 12X12 pg 187 " These experiences taught us that anonymity is real humility at work." ( The label sponsor voids all this) " It is an all-pervading spiritual quality which today keynotes A.A. life everywhere." (Maybe in the fellowship before sponsorship took over) " Moved by the spirit of anonymity, we try to give up our natural desires for "PERSONAL DISTINCTION" as A.A. members both "AMONG FELLOW ALCOHOLICS" and before general public." (The whole sponsorship system around A.A. is about distinction. Me and My sponsor or My sponsor and Me if you don't have one ect). "As we lay aside these very "HUMAN ASPIRATIONS", we believe that "EACH" of us takes part in the weaving of a protective mantel which covers our whole Society and under which we may grow and work in unity."

The outside label "SPONSOR OR SPONSORSHIP" IS NOT MENTIONED IN THE BIG BOOK FOR THIS REASON.

"ANYONE USING THE "LABEL SPONSOR" CREATES A DISTINCTION BETWEEN ANOTHER ALCOHOLIC. "


The Traditions is clear and why the outside sponsorship system can be the downfall of A.A.'s fellowship. In one aspect, anyone using the label that creates distinction from another here in A.A. is on the Mike Q path to a certain point.

Solution: Courage to change, looking to the Traditions

Posted by: Timewilltell | August 27, 2007 12:52 AM

It seems to me that Timewilltell is advocating that the entire program of AA needs to stop sponsorship. Although we can agree that, where Midtown is concerned, abuses "in the name of sponsorship" have occurred. I think your platform is a bit broad for this forum. The purpose of this dialog is to discuss solutions for dealing with Midtown's cancer on the DC AA community. You seem to be suggesting that the solution is for the entire program of AA to change by ending sponsorship. I don't mean to discount your suggestion here, but I feel that any solution for this local problem which requires an entire worldwide fellowship to change is bitting off a bit more than we can chew for this discussion. And your time might be better spent on joining a discussion addressing a solution for this local cancer. If your posts are not calling for the end of the "sponsorship system" as you call it for the entire worldwide fellowship, but you are trying to fit into this local situation, please clarify your point. Otherwise, I think we get it.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 27, 2007 7:35 AM

So, Mike died, and there is the possibility that the group will fizzle or transform or fade...or just change into Jack or Arno's group(s), provided they can pull it off.

Even if it does end, though, we all know it shouldn't have gone on this long. We all know there isn't anything to keep it from happening again. As someone on this thread just posted, and as several posted on the thread for the last article, there are groups like this all over the country. I know from personal experience that Mike used the Pacific Group in California as a model--had us all listen to tapes of Clancy and Johnny, invited others from there to lead workshops and retreats for us, and courted (or got Midtown members to court) that group heavily to speak at smaller local conferences. Why? Because they were a good template to learn from. Because they are also large and so many are dedicated to sponsor-worship (and leader-worship...i.e. Clancy). There are plenty of people in that group who turn their sponsees into an army of personal servants. There may be lots more people there who would never do such a thing, but then--how is a newcomer to tell them apart, especially when the predatory sponsors in that group appear so happy and successful (and unopposed)?

So...what do we do about this? There are too many people successfully using A.A. for seriously shady purposes. I encounter people ALL THE TIME (including on these threads) who keep asking, "If you don't like their meetings, why don't you just go to other meetings?"

To that I say: read the post, towards the end, from One Voice above. Newcomers were coaxed out of half-way houses and into a group living situation with Midtowners. They fail to toe the line, they get evicted with no notice. These are NEWLY SOBER PEOPLE. These are not well-to-do, well-connected people with lots of options. Do you know what it's like to be embraced by a group when you had just about lost all hope? Do you know what it's like to be turned on by that same group for disagreeing with them? I do. I was just barely old enough and financially stable enough to be able to find a place of my own when I got kicked out of the group--and I had time to find a new place because, unlike the newcomers that One Voice mentioned, I had a lease with my name on it. The girls without all those options ended up back in the group (and then denounced the rest of us defectors publicly--claiming that we were all toxic, had lied to them to get them to turn on the group--very McCarthy-esque).

This whole program is one that aims to give hope to people who don't have any. What a cruel trick to get those people to trust again and to have it turn out to be a predatory group that they have trusted.

Why doesn't the General Service Office in New York start putting out a pamphlet--AT LEAST--about predatory practices and how to avoid them? Why not put the information on their website (like they put other pamphlets in PDF format) for people to look up even if they don't find it at the meetings they attend? At least they would acknowledge the problem and attempt to help their own f-ing members.

What we have all been talking about here, without really coming out and saying it, is that A.A.'s name is used by con artists to gain credibility for themselves, and World Service knows it--and SAYS NOTHING.

They ought to use some of that money our groups send them to stand up for the A.A. name and help protect their own members.

It's LONG PAST time for them to stop being silent on this matter.

Posted by: XQ | August 27, 2007 9:19 AM

To clarify the point it would take the Traditions in of Alcoholics Anonymous while keeping an open mind on this label that has been injected "into" A.A as a whole.

Posted by: Timewilltell | August 27, 2007 9:28 AM

I agree with the poster above [blank] re. the sponsorship discussion. Interesting, for sure, but maybe not best suited to this platform.

Anyway, I'm curious to hear what Midtown members/defenders have to say about the counselors and professionals who have been quoted in the media discounting Midtown's behavior.

If ex-members speaking out are "liars," "jealous," and of "questionable character," then what is the excuse for professional therapists and counselors who are speaking out?

I sincerely hope that people can consider how outrageous and far-fetched the excuses and rationalizations Midtown members/defenders are making against their critics.

What gain would a licensed expert in the field of mental health and/or addiction have to make false allegations in the press?

This huge conspiracy theory that everyone is simply jealous or resentful just doesn't hold up.

And really, if you have that many resentful ex-members (as you say you do)..........then WHY? Shouldn't you, at a minimum, be looking at that?

Posted by: Jane D. | August 27, 2007 9:30 AM

XQ, I think your ideas about NY are right on.

A pamphlet on predatory practices would be a wonderful start.

Surely, NONE of us could object to that.

I wonder if petitions forwarded to them requesting such a thing would be effective?

Posted by: Jane D. | August 27, 2007 9:36 AM

Jane D..You won't believe this but there is a member in the Midtown group, I think her name is Rachael or Rebecca, that is a liscensed adolescent counselor/psycologist. She actually has an office and counsels adolescents. How would you like it if you found out you were paying a psycologist to treat your son or daughter and you found out that she was in the hierarchy of the Midtown Group?

Posted by: Anonymous | August 27, 2007 9:55 AM

(Blank) asked, please clarify your point. , It seems to me that Timewilltell is advocating that the entire program of AA needs to stop sponsorship.

"NOT" TO STOP THE OUTSIDE SPONSORSHIP SYSTEM FROM BRINGING PEOPLE TO A.A WHO NEED IT.

WE ALL NEED TO STOP THE PROMOTING OF DISTINCTIONS AMONSTS PEOPLE ALREADY HERE IN A.A.

"UNITY"
WHAT THE TRADITIONS WERE WROTE FOR.
A PROGRAM OF ATTRACTION
not this followship crap.
If you want what we have, get a sponsor IS SICK SICK SICK

ONE HAS EVERYTHING THEY NEED WHEN THEY WALKED THROUGH THE DOORS OF A.A., THEY BROUGHT IT WITH THEM. ALL THEY HAVE TO DO IS DISCOVER IT, BEFORE SOMEONE DISCOVERS THEM.

Posted by: Timewilltell | August 27, 2007 9:55 AM


If anyone is having trouble with this, PLEASE
talk to many other members of A.A. not another distinction. You all know who that is

Posted by: Timewilltell | August 27, 2007 10:09 AM

It was suggested that
A pamphlet on predatory practices would be a wonderful start.

Why promote fear in a pamphlet?

In 1975 the pamphlet SPONSORSHIP came out
little over 3 years after Bill W Passed on.

Clarance S A Self PROCLAIMED "FATHER OF ALCOHOLIC ANONYMOUS, Who started the sponsorship system on his own, around A.A. in 1944. Look into the past, it can be our greatest asset. In Google search type "Clarance S the father of Alcoholics Anonyomus"

Thats how the label "sponsor" was injected in A.A. and their is a lot more with these abrasive personality types.
Bill W started to write the Traditions in earlier 1946 and published them in 1949 in the 12X12, Do you think he left the label
sponsor out of the Traditions for a reason?
Yet mentioned "IT" and giving an example of
it in hospitals bringing someone to A.A.

Why not walk with out heads up?

"ONE FOR ALL AND ALL FOR ONE"

Many will help anyone that is in trouble in A.A. if you are not sitting in a meeting with your "sponsor" that does not allow certain gender alcoholics to come in and JOIN, I would look at that also.
ANYWHERE ANY TIME

Posted by: Anonymous | August 27, 2007 10:38 AM

Yes, her name is Rachel K. and she is a licensed therapist. She had about 12 years sober when her husband left her and she relapsed. She then went into Midtown for the first time and stayed. It always struck me as odd that she would go into Midtown after spending 12 years in real A.A. and knowing what they were all about. But when she relapsed she was hungry for sex and approval and superficial fun so Midtown fit the bill I presume. She hooked up with Bryce who is a big guru in Midtown. He's got like 25 years sober and is a total sleaze. He's the one that sued McDonald's when he spilled coffee on his gonads. He has a long history of conning and shifty behavior...and "borrowing" $ from others in A.A. for his get-rich-quick schemes and then disappearing and never paying them back. Mike Q. was his sponsor. He & Rachel got engaged and then they split and the police were involved. I heard she has a restraining order against him and now they have to go to separate Midtown meetings, except of course on Sunday nights when there is only one meeting. I guess they stay on opposite ends of the room on Sundays. I'm not sure if she still sees clients but I would guess so considering it is her career. But I also heard she might be looking to go to other meetings. I hope so.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 27, 2007 10:46 AM

INTERESTING

• Clarence S. - Dorothy S.M. was wife; early Cleveland A.A., led revolt & announced special meeting of alcoholics separate from Oxford Group; started & founded group Cleveland group May 18 1939 Cleveland Heights home of Abby G.,
*called himself Father of Alcoholics Anonymous; attended John D. Rockefeller's A.A. dinner February 8, 1940; leader of group of dissident "anti" Conference & "anti" General Service Office, his story "Home Brewmeister" in all 3 editions of Big Book (A 19-20,183) (C 49,131) (D 101,109,115,142-5,208-11, 216 ,218-9, 241, 245, 248, 252, 261, 263, 265, 267-8, 270-1, 312-3) (G 50, 103) (N 75, 78, 84) (P 203, 224, 255, 257) (S 32, 155) (BB1

Posted by: Anonymous | August 27, 2007 10:51 AM

Headed to the "roots" of the cancer.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 27, 2007 11:10 AM

Not meaning to promote the happening here is very similar to a past true documentary "The Wave" A 1981 California Palo Alto high school experience?
If you have a hard time finding it, Its also on youtube, again not meaning to promote but to learn.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 27, 2007 11:26 AM

U people are clueless about AA. Bill Wilson NEVER made any mention of sponsoring people. He NEVER made any mention of repeatedly doing steps over and over like you hear in meetings all the time. The steps weren't done in months like they do now. They IMMEDIATELY did all of them and that was that.

I cannot believe someone is running a 12 step workshop and is completely clueless about AA>

Posted by: Real AA | August 27, 2007 11:44 AM

There was once a group years and years and years ago that served BEER at their meetings. Everyone in the Washington AA community was aghast and wanted the group disbanded. Of course this is not the same sick situation as Midtown. However, AA cannot tell a group what to do. The beer group finally died and if we keep praying, the same fate will become Midtown. If not, well ... Nothing, absolutely nothing happens in God's world by mistake.

Posted by: old timer | August 27, 2007 11:48 AM

I think it would be a mistake, if we were not responsible sober this time.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 27, 2007 11:58 AM

Bill W. had a sponsor, his name was Ebby.

Here's an excerpt regarding sponsorship by Bill W.

The Next Frontier: Emotional Sobriety
by Bill Wilson

Copyright © AA Grapevine, Inc, January 1958

Spiritual calculus, you say? Not a bit of it. Watch any AA of six months working with a new Twelfth Step case. If the case says "To the devil with you," the Twelfth Stepper only smiles and turns to another case. He doesn't feel frustrated or rejected. If his next case responds, and in turn starts to give love and attention to other alcoholics, yet gives none back to him, the sponsor is happy about it anyway. He still doesn't feel rejected; instead he rejoices that his one-time prospect is sober and happy. And if his next following case turns out in later time to be his best friend (or romance) then the sponsor is most joyful. But he well knows that his happiness is a by-product--the extra dividend of giving without any demand for a return.

Posted by: Bill W. and sponsorship | August 27, 2007 12:05 PM

GOOD OLD EBBY

Ebby was a member of the oxford group and got drunk after talking with Bill W, when he did talked with Bill in 1934 the Big Book was not even wrote yet till 1939!. Did they again "forget the label" in the Big Book and Steps? The Traditions knew this was going to happen
that's why they were wrote the TRADITIONS, one should read them without injecting Myth's into them.

Bill W, did and said a lot of things to try to help his friend later, as a human, Bill W just could only help EBBY by giving him 200.00 a month till he died. Some think he some how may of been sober a year or two but not in A.A. when he passed on.

The Myth's of a sponsor!, there are many substitutions for faith, but there is no substitution for the God that could and would if sought.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 27, 2007 12:26 PM


Blank try to make a example,
"Watch "any AA of six months" working with a new Twelfth Step case."

It means if anyone is here with "6 months" they should help anther drunk to A.A.

Are you trying to say at 6 months "everyone" is your so called label sponsor?

Look a little closer

Posted by: Anonymous | August 27, 2007 12:40 PM

Defending a label in A.A., what, a concept!

Posted by: Anonymous | August 27, 2007 12:49 PM

Whank Whank Whank Whank Whank Whank. Now I feel like a character in Charlie Borwn. Listining to people here talk about how much "they know" about AA, and Sponsorship is giving me a headache.

Posted by: Whank | August 27, 2007 1:03 PM

Not the myth but the "REAL" definition of the label sponsor.

http://www.yourdictionary.com
1. One who assumes responsibility for another person or a group during a period of instruction, apprenticeship, or probation.
2. One who vouches for the suitability of a candidate for admission.
3. A legislator who proposes and urges adoption of a bill.
4. One who presents a candidate for baptism or confirmation; a godparent.
5. One that finances a project or an event carried out by another person or group, especially a business enterprise that pays for radio or television programming in return for advertising time.

Who here can claim this of another "sober" one - The sober one would need outside physiological help!
Now, a drunk who is drunk, is not always in his right mind and needs help, "go out there" and help them as was meant and then when sobered up ask him if he or she is willing to try A.A.

A simple suggested program turned into a program of suggestions by the S.S.

Is the Mike Q's and midtown groups around A.A. just trying to be this sponsor? or are they mislead by there self proclaimed fathers?

Posted by: Anonymous | August 27, 2007 1:05 PM

oldtimer wrote: "There was once a group years and years and years ago that served BEER at their meetings. Everyone in the Washington AA community was aghast and wanted the group disbanded. Of course this is not the same sick situation as Midtown. However, AA cannot tell a group what to do. The beer group finally died and if we keep praying, the same fate will become Midtown. If not, well ... Nothing, absolutely nothing happens in God's world by mistake."

But was that "beer group" given national media attention in the mainstream press with the AA name? Is it listed in resources which define AA, like Wikipedia or Webster's?

We don't tell a group what to do UNLESS they are affecting other groups or AA as a whole.

I'm all for praying, but how on earth do we continue to keep AA as a program of attraction if our message is: "Yes, we know that many minors and their parents have accused of us of sexual predation, but don't worry....we're praying for it to end." ??

I'm sorry, I don't mean to be flippant, but can't you see how that might look to the general public?

How many CHILDREN need to die and/or come forward with allegations of statutory rape before we put forth a stance of zero-tolerance?

How can we allow Midtown to continue to remain autonomous given this situation?


Posted by: Jane D. | August 27, 2007 1:09 PM

whank posted, Listining to people here talk about how much "they know" about AA, and Sponsorship is giving me a headache.


NOTICE HOW HE ATTACHED THE LABEL SPONSOR TO A.A., NOW INSIDE OF A.A. without being mentioned in the BIG BOOK!
It's more than a Headache, more like a heart ache here, ask the victims of the sponsorship system inside A.A.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 27, 2007 1:16 PM

exexex wrote, "ok to (blank) when is this Montgomery County court date circus? date and time?"

It's all public record. Last week in October in the Circuit Ct of MC (I think). You are welcome to go to the clerk's office and pull the records for the Dickinson vs. Sendelback case. All the people named in the posting you responded to have reported they will be there to testify on Tammy's behalf-whether they will actually show up-we'll see (this I know because I got it from one of the people testifying). Look it up, I believe you can find this stuff online. I even think one of the myspace midtown hater sites did a blog on it. You can find your own date and time out. If I had more time to deal with your simple mind I would.

Posted by: Mike from Kensington, MD | August 27, 2007 1:23 PM

Reposted from the Discussion board on http://www.myspace.com/thefallofmidtown


That which is fed and unconfronted, grows. Always. Be it based in positivity or negativity. There are many examples to be found. Take The Midtown Group (MG), for instance. Clearly, they are a destructive force for AA. Yet, what does anyone do? They use up Newcomers like they were worthless. Need a case in point? Ok. Here you go...

There are individuals that have formed an organization, which call themselves "Love and Service" (LS). They have every intention of bringing the MG's negative influence, to light, for all of the world to see, as well as help the MG's conditioned members receive psychological help, as they attempt to leave the MTG.

The MG, feeling the threat of exposure, that could limit their consumption of Newcomers, decided to fight back by setting up the Public Relations Chair Person of LS with a false charge. The MG not only used a woman to file false "stalking / harassment" charges on this Trusted Servant, they also manipulated (pressured) more than 30 of their impressionable Newcomers, to lie in a Court of Law, to back up said charges.

What the MG didn't count on was that what manipulative practices that work in AA meetings and on its broken fellowship, does not work, by any stretch of the imagination, in a Court of Law. Some of these Newcomers, that were being sacrificed in this legal sham, began realizing this by the end of the first court session and decided to run away and not be charged with slander, and for lying in a Court of Law, in the second session (because they were losing the case by a landslide). And why do I use the word, sacrificed? Because the AA program is such that the only known way to be relieved of Alcoholism, is to establish and maintain a growing level of spiritual conditioning. Pushing Newcomers to lie in Court, is going against that spiritual conditioning, and the MG long timers knew this, and cared not. These MG long timers would easily use up and throw away more than 30 of their Newcomers because they know d**n well that they will replenish their number, within a short period of time, due to their effective and well oiled outreach machine. Need an example of that as well? Wait a minute. No less than two of them will be at your meeting, outreaching for their new play and for more Newcomers, this Holiday Season

By the second Court session, a typically weak willed MG (well over 21 year old) member, was called up to the stand, by a Judge who knew of the MG very well and began asking him questions, concerning the sexual exploitation of seriously under age Newcomers. This typically weak willed member began describing how the leader of this Cult, relieved him of his then 14 year old girlfriend, and began a sexual relationship with her until he tired of her, at the ripe old age of 17. Yeah...
For obvious reasons, the case was dropped, the Newcomers were clearly used and the Court system has direct evidence that the MG and its self imposed leader, is using children as sexual outlets for their emotionally and spiritually sick fatherly long timers, and the Court system has every intention of using said information to file child molestation charges on some of these MG long timers as well its self imposed leader. Maybe this will bring their crimes to the light of day for some of us here that are too afraid to speak up and stand for what is right?

Now, here's my question... How is the general AA community going to respond to this clear and present elephant, that is tearing its house down? How long is it going to let this Cult (AKA the Q. Group) disguised as a set AA groups (at least 18 controlled AA meetings) wear down the integrity of the AA program, before they take a stand and stop this madness!?

This is where all of us, one and all, need to stand up for that which is meant to save lives and not exploit them, and shout out, that this Cult stops here and now. That we of AA want them to stop running WAIA and its committees, stop manning the AA phones, stop rewriting the Where and When's to only have themselves as "Young Peoples Meetings" and to get the f**k out of the Institutions, where they actually recruit many of their more weaker willed members!

Seriously now people, it's way past time to wake up and offer them the credit that they so rightfully deserve. It's time to take responsibility for our own inactions, for because of them; the MG has thrived, like a virus. We need to wake up and stop feeding this virus by our inactions and stop them from hurting another Newcomer, right now.

Posted by: Reposted for Mike. | August 27, 2007 1:44 PM

Reposted from a Blog on "one of the myspace midtown hater sites".

This was meant as a message for all AA members, from an AA member.


"It's not about "picking a side". We're not in Junior High and we're not about world domination, or world peace (for that matter). It's about doing what is right. Ask your Higher Power, during self examination, prayer and meditation, what His will is for you, then do what you believe is morally and ethically right for yourself, as well as for those about you. Learn from the experience. Pass what you have learned to another. Grow. Continue to learn. Be there when those that have lost their way, begin to search for home again. Reach out your hand, and walk with them. Offer to unconditionally guide them through the program of recovery, so that they can experience their promised spiritual awakening. Through their spiritual awakening, they will recover from alcoholism. After which, in order to maintain their spiritual condition, one of their chosen responsibilities will be to pass their working knowledge to another. In turn, that recipient of unconditional love and support will most likely do the same, and for similar reasons. Within time, you will see yourself, as well as those that you have been of service to, as strong links in a long, humble and powerful chain which has but one true primary purpose; and that is to be of maximum service to God (as you may understand Him) and to your fellows, through love and service. Within time, if our AA principles are individually maintained, our temporary fellowship difficulties will self heal."


* Author wished to remain anonymous *

Posted by: Repost from http://www.myspace.com/thefallofmidtown | August 27, 2007 2:00 PM

Okay Jane. You've made some very interesting points.

(1) Is it listed in resources which define AA, like Wikipedia or Webster's?

-- HELLO! Wiki is not, repeat ... IS NOT gospel. It is written by wiki users so if I post something about YOUR home group would it be doctrine? Would it be true? NO. Your reference to Webster's? What is that about?

(2) How many CHILDREN need to die and/or come forward with allegations of statutory rape before we put forth a stance of zero-tolerance?

-- You tell us, Jane. How many children will YOU allow to die before YOU find the solution to this mess.

(3) We don't tell a group what to do UNLESS they are affecting other groups or AA as a whole.

-- Your continuing argument in this dialogue is to TELL another group what to do. THEY must do this, THEY must do that. Shaking your finger and telling someone/something to change is futile. Do you really think you have that kind of POWER??

(3) How can we allow Midtown to continue to remain autonomous given this situation?

-- You ask a lot of questions, but no answers are coming from you.

What's the answer? Huh? Huh? What are YOU going to do, Jane? Have YOU attended a WAIA meeting? Have YOU written letters to World General Services? Tell us EXACTLY what YOU have done, Jane, to fix this problem. Have YOU approached any members of Midtown? Could you? Would you?

p.s. back in the early days of AA a person with six months of sobriety was an OLD TIMER. It was very difficult to stay sober in those days and there were plenty of relapses.

Posted by: Old timer | August 27, 2007 2:34 PM

So how does that website qualify as "haters?" Based on these 2 blogs, I see no evidence of hatred. It seems their cause is focused on encouraging dialog identical to what's going on here. Do Midtown members think everyone but the defenders are "haters."

Posted by: Anonymous | August 27, 2007 2:40 PM

"Why promote fear in a pamphlet?"

Things that are dangerous should come with a warning label.

Posted by: XQ | August 27, 2007 3:05 PM

Mike from Kensington, Dickinson vs. Sendelback is clearly a civil case representing a dispute between two individuals, such as a contract interpretation.

This is not a criminal matter, something you should have made clear. Perhaps it's wiser to let the court decide this matter in accordance with the rules of evidence and the law and not try and give your own hearsay, garbled version.

Posted by: DCC | August 27, 2007 3:14 PM

Oldtimer, I am happy to engage in a dialogue about this, but I'm sensing a lot hostility in your response to me, and I'm not sure where that's coming from. I'm not trying to anger you or anyone else--simply trying to engage in a discussion about, and challenge some defenses of, what I believe to be a serious issue affecting AA.

-- HELLO! Wiki is not, repeat ... IS NOT gospel. It is written by wiki users so if I post something about YOUR home group would it be doctrine? Would it be true? NO. Your reference to Webster's? What is that about? --

I don't think Wikipedia is gospel. It's an online encyclopedia, as far as I know. It seems to be a credible a source of information to a lot of people. Perhaps it's not as credible as I think--which is why I was asking what other people thought about it's inclusion of the Midtown situation.

-- You tell us, Jane. How many children will YOU allow to die before YOU find the solution to this mess. --

I'm not arrogant enough to believe that I have a solution to this situation. I have stated before that I have NO idea what a solution would be. But why would that preclude me (or anyone) from discussing it or having an opinion.

I wish there was a solution. I wish I knew what it was.

-- Your continuing argument in this dialogue is to TELL another group what to do. THEY must do this, THEY must do that. Shaking your finger and telling someone/something to change is futile. Do you really think you have that kind of POWER?? --

Not at all. I've suggested what I THINK Midtown ought to do based on my understanding of AAs Traditions and principles. I think that they have violated the 4th Tradition by affecting AA as a whole. And as such, they should not be granted the autonomy that we grant most groups.

I also think that they ought to be doing a group invetory and making amends.

That's my opinion. Take it for what it's worth....

Other people on here have suggested that some of us suck on each other's genitals.

I'll take that suggestion for what it's worth, too. LOL

-- You ask a lot of questions, but no answers are coming from you.

What's the answer? Huh? Huh? What are YOU going to do, Jane? Have YOU attended a WAIA meeting? Have YOU written letters to World General Services? Tell us EXACTLY what YOU have done, Jane, to fix this problem. Have YOU approached any members of Midtown? Could you? Would you? --

I've done some of the things you've suggested. Others are not feasible. But, none of it precludes me (or ANY of us) from voicing an opinion or asking questions or participating in this dialogue. And I'm not clear why it's more or less incumbent upon me to have a solution or provide answers than anyone else here.

Posted by: Jane D. | August 27, 2007 3:21 PM

FYI, from Wikipedia: "The threshold for inclusion in Wikipedia is verifiability, not truth. "Verifiable" in this context means that any reader should be able to check that material added to Wikipedia has already been published by a reliable source."

The inclusion of allegations against *AA* on Wikipedia are referenced to Newsweek.

So it doesn't seem that anyone could post anything about anyone's home group or AA willy-nilly.

Posted by: Jane D. | August 27, 2007 4:07 PM

Well at least Wiki has its own rules. AA, as we all know, does not have rules.

Posted by: old timer | August 27, 2007 4:12 PM

Solutions.... We were attempting to focus on the solutions.

Before doing so, we all need to accept that there will be a fair amount of looking at ourselves and our individual Home Groups as well, for without us and our unwillingness to accept responsibility and participate at the Area level, Midtown would have never found its niche, and then continue to exploit it for all that it is worth. One of Midtown's primary WAIA defenses is that they fulfill a vital role in our area (WAIA, Area 13), which unfortunately is true. What is also true is their unwillingness to allow people from outside of the Midtown Group to participate in most of these Sub Committees. In essence, it would reasonably appear that we have a duel problem.

Most A.A. groups depend on Midtown to run most of WAIA, and Midtown has little want to allow A.A. members outside of the Midtown Group to participant in these Committees, further than that of menial duties, which allow these A.A. members to be of no real influence to said Committees. I can only assume that some of these A.A. members feel as if they are but helping to feed a machine that is ultimately consuming its own. I have felt that way myself, while attempting to be of service there. Many A.A. members have attempted to make a change at WAIA. Since the last election, the monthly meeting has held 3 times the Intergroup Rep's that it did before the election. More A.A. members and their Home Groups are finally seeing that they have to be of service at the Area level, or someone, or something else will do it for them and they may have their own agenda. Need a current example? Ok.

Example: Go to the next WAIA Hospitals and Institutions Committee Meeting and count the number of A.A. members there, who are not in Midtown. If there are any, did they just show up to be of service? Great! However, were they actually given a service position where these A.A. members could carry the message of A.A. into a Hospital or Institution? Chances are, you will see few A.A. members outside of Midtown there, and unless they co sign Midtown's message, they will NOT be given a chairperson position, which allows that service member to carry an A.A. meeting into a Hospital or Institution.

How can that be? Surely, there must be A.A. members that have wanted to be of service within a Hospital or Institution? Yes, of course there are, but what these A.A. members experience, is a glass wall that certain Midtown Group members have placed there, prohibiting A.A. members outside of their group from carrying the message of A.A. After a period of time, the A.A. members that have attempted to participate in these Committees finally get disgusted and walk away. It reminds me of a restricted club, which only certain and approved members can enter and participate. I was one of four A.A. members, with over 50 years of sobriety and 12 step of experience between us (who wanted to be of service on that Committee), and we experienced this wall in force.

So, where does that leave us, in regards to a working solution? Again, we have to look at ourselves and our Home Group (H.G.) first. Here's some questions that we can ask ourselves and other H.G members.

1. Am I and other H.G. members helping to make it the best H.G. that it can be? If so, how?
2. Has my H.G taken a Group Inventory, to see if it's fulfilling its primary purpose?
3. Does my H.G. have a "Greeter", to welcome a Newcomer as he or she is walking through a door that's unnerving to most Newcomers? Are these Newcomers ignored in any way, because "I'm too busy", or because "someone else will help him or her?"
4. Do H.G. members (who have been practicing all 12 steps) offer to guide Newcomers through the 12 steps, as suggested in A.A. conference approved publications?
5. Does my H.G take a meeting to a Hospital or Institution?
6. Does my H.G have a WAIA Intergroup Representative or GSR?
7. Does my H.G participate at the Area level? If so, how?
8. Does my H.G participate in fellowship activities, such as hosting picnic's, dances, ice cream socials, going out to eat (either before or after the meeting) and the like? If not, why?

Maybe some other A.A. members can offer some reasonable and possible solutions that the average A.A. member can ask themselves and/or implement, in order to improve our deteriorating situation?

Posted by: Remaining Teachable | August 27, 2007 5:46 PM

DCC wrote, "Mike from Kensington, Dickinson vs. Sendelback is clearly a civil case representing a dispute between two individuals, such as a contract interpretation. This is not a criminal matter, something you should have made clear. Perhaps it's wiser to let the court decide this matter in accordance with the rules of evidence and the law and not try and give your own hearsay, garbled version."

There is no "garbled version" to what I wrote. I wrote what I knew for fact and what I didn't know I indicated "I think". There was no need for me to make anything clear; exexex wanted to know so I pointed him/her in the direction where he/she could get the answers. No hearsay here-sorry. Everything I wrote you can actually go and see for yourself, pull the court's records if it's that important to you.

This civil case should bring a lot of things to light. A person's connection to the cult like Midtown Group and how that has played a dominating role her life is one of the things in question. It should interest those on both sides of this argument to see what is revealed. It is possible that the court record could tell us volumes considering perjury is a serious crime...unless members of the Midtown Group are really willing to go to any lengths to protect their own....hmmmm, can't imagine that ever happening.

To the others who had something to say about me identifying the myspace sites as "haters", point taken and understood. If I could do over I would indicate that they were "informational" sites, not "haters". Love your sites and look forward to your upcoming blogs.

Posted by: Mike | August 27, 2007 6:18 PM

Remaining Teachable,

Thanks for an interesting and thought-provoking post.

First, I have heard of the WAIA but know very little about it. I have been a GSR for my group in Northern Va in the past. I think it's clearly an excellent idea that all eligible groups participate, although I believe only a tiny fraction of AA members in the DC metropolitan area had ever heard of the horrendous practices at Midtown until recently. Hospitals and institutions are where Midtown can get its best, most naive customers, so I'd hate to think they run that committee. (Although groups I go to help run meetings in jails and homeless shelters and I don't think anyone's heard of WAIA. Is it your experience that institutions won't allow AA members not authorized by the WAIA committee to help with meetings? Because I'll bet that is about to change if Midtown runs the committee.)

So: Do you know where I can get additional information about the WAIA, Area 13 group? It would be especially good if there were something on the web. Thanks.

Second, I believe that this blog and dissemination of information to all AAs and interested professions and institutions is a big part of the solution. I'm sure the Midtown situation was not known generally until recently. And judging from the hailstorm of abuse that fell on anyone who shared any story of Midtown abuse or made any criticism of Midtown when this blog started (and the worst was removed by the Post, unfortunately), that isn't surprising. The first Midtown wave here was abuse, lie, and deny, abuse, lie, and deny. I think we're thru that phase.

I think that there are at least two different tangible and useful purposes for a blog like this. First, we need to get the information out. Authentic, real life stories by those with direct personal knowledge of Midtown abuse - former members, parents, therapists and other professionals, current members willing to talk, and others. These stories have a power that far transcends any abstract discussions about traditions and the like and general summaries put up by people like me, who have (to me) completely credible but secondhand information. We need the real stories. Then we need to get as widespread dissemination as possible.

The second purpose is online coordination to make further plans. We need to make plans and come up with strategies. You aren't the only one to suggest the WAIA; we clearly need to pursue that. We also ought to organize, possibly with outsiders like the therapists and other professionals who have expressed (to put it politely) concern. We need to build a community with an interest in ending this abuse. I doubt it's feasible to consider this as an AA activity per se. Even though Midtown can run its charade as an AA group, I think we should consider a community which considers the perspective of AA members but others as well. This broader base will give us a lot more power. No one in this broader based effort will speak in favor of molestation, sexual abuse, economic exploitation, and the other abuses. No one will think that spiritually based anonymity should allow these activities to continue unabated. No one in this broader based effort will think they have no right to try and curtail these abuses. We will also have more information about the effects of cultlike organizations, sexual abuse shaming, quick withdrawal of certain medications, and the like.

As AA members, we can also draw up some guidelines that an AA group should follow. I'm sure AA has published some already. some would be 1) oppose the assignment of newcomers to sponsors and oppose men sponsoring women and vice versa; 2) oppose the voting of members into or out of any AA group; 3) oppose the pressuring of members to drop medical treatment or prescriptions; 4) oppose the establishment of permanent leaders for a group; 5) oppose the teaching that newcomers must have sex with sponsors to learn spirituality; 6) oppose sponsors' use of sponsees as personal servants; 7) At least temporarily for a year or so, require Midtown to provide its financial books and records for review by a responsible disinterested party; 8) Perform a group inventory with particular attention to the individuals the group has harmed, with a provision for the acknowledgment of the harm and amends to be made to those harmed. (These are some ideas off the top of my head.)

Your HG questions are good. I'd say my HG stacks up pretty well. But I'm sure we could always do better.

Posted by: DCC | August 27, 2007 7:23 PM

Mike, I don't know exactly where you are coming from re this court case. If true information about Midtown comes out, so much the better. I didn't indicate you'd written anything "garbled" because all you'd written that I recall was the first names of people who were testifying in some court case and you were looking forward to it.

You might not want to get your hopes too high. Civil cases are postponed all the time and settled confidentially before trial more often than not. Still, if there is the hope that true information about Midtown abuses will come out, I'll certainly keep my fingers crossed!

Posted by: DCC | August 27, 2007 7:29 PM

www.aa-dc.org

Posted by: waia link | August 27, 2007 7:35 PM

RE: Remaining Teachable
The Traditions of .A.A is the Answer not another group conscious here.
A.A. came form the hearts of individuals. One alcoholic talking "to" anther not "at " or "grouped upon". (Not meaning you)

MY HOME GROUP IS ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS - ANY WHERE ANY TIME

This HOME GROUP stuff should be ones personal home, at home. Has ones program gotten so complicated and big that it cannot get it out the door of a meeting?
It's easy to look and sound good in a meeting, ask the Mike Q clones.

To participate in A.A is one thing, to make it ones personal home is another. "Personal ambition has no place in A.A." Tradition Eleven pg183

Other members should learn to know how and in "order" the TRADITIONS OF A.A. WORK. "Tradition One 12X12 pg 129

"Does this mean, some will anxiously ask, "that in A.A. the individual doesn't count for much? Is he to be dominated by his group and swallowed up in it?" WE MAY CERTAINLY ANSWER THIS QUESTION WITH A "LOUD" "NO!"

Learn to live and speak the language of the heart

Read it for your self in the 12X12 learn to participate in life without institutional directions. Let us JOIN A.A. instead of follow
others, stay close to the groups watch out not to get sucked into again, follow the Traditions that's what they are here for.

When all else fails (sponsors, groups, simply put, people, places and things) read and live the Traditions for they are the applications of the steps then Come JOIN US instead of hoping and needing to follow another

Posted by: Anonymous | August 27, 2007 7:53 PM

Thanks, waia link.

I went to the web site and it says:

"Welcome to Area 13. The Washington Area General Service Assembly (WAGSA) includes the District of Columbia, the adjoining Montgomery and Prince George's counties in Maryland, and the Hispanic Groups in the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia."

Virginia, including Northern Virginia, is Area 71.

Well, sigh, I'm in Northern Va and not in any Hispanic Group, so the only actual rule that I think I've seen in AA says that none of my groups is eligible to send a representative to WAIA. :-(

Posted by: DCC | August 27, 2007 8:09 PM

Solution:


PG 129 Tradition 1: No one can compel another to do anything.
Is he to be dominated by his group and swallowed up in it?
We may answer this with a LOUD "NO"

Pg 132 Tradition 2 When indeed no A.A can give another a directive
The soul authority is a loving God as he MAY express himself in "the group" conscience. not "

Tradition 3 The only requirement for A.A. membership is a desire to stop drinking.
"One does not have to be sponsored anymore."

Tradition 4 Each group should be autonomous EXCEPT in matters affecting A.A. as a whole.
" End gender selected meetings and live by a true A.A. pledge and preamble."

Tradition 5 Each group has but one primary purpose to carry "IT"S" message to the alcoholic who still suffers.
" The message of A.A. the Big Book/ 12X12 not ones "personal" experience"

Tradition 6 An A.A. group ought NEVER endorse, finance, or lend the A.A. name to any RELATED facility or OUTSIDE enterprise, lest Problem of money, property, and "PRESTIGE" divert us from OUR primary purpose. Thats a no brainier

IF ONE HAS NOT GOT IT FROM HERE, "TURN YOUR BACK", AND SURRENDER TO PEOPLE, PLACES AND
THINGS ONE MORE TIME.

It's impossible to find the truth in ones self when looking for the truth in others. It's only a daily reprieve for "ANY" of US.

Posted by: Timewilltell | August 27, 2007 9:41 PM

Many who believe in years, never understood, the meaning of, we all have only a daily reprieve. "One day at a time"
We all, will have a sobriety date one day, weather on a sugar coated cake or carved in the stone on ones grave.
Live and let live.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 27, 2007 9:58 PM

DCC, have you visited the myspace websites for Concerned Friends, Psuedoname, Love and Service and The Fall of Midtown; AKA Q Group? The work done by the editors, along with many others, of those spaces has been going on for over 18 months. Stories have been collected and made part of packets to take to churches who have given Midtown meeting space. Alot of your suggestions have already been put into place. I just wondered if you had visited those sites to see the informational blogs, suggestions and stories posted there.

Posted by: Another Mom | August 27, 2007 10:40 PM

Only a Home Group (appropriately guided and served by trusted servants) would attempt and complete a Traditions Home Group Inventory; then make the adjustments necessary to improve the effectiveness of its ability to reach the Newcomers that happen upon it and transmit the A.A. message of recovery to them. Most meetings within the DC, Metropolitan area wouldn't even consider taking one, much less accept the truth that it would offer and make what adjustments that the Inventory suggests. These are the same exact meetings that wholly depend on Midtown to run Area 13, which, if you didn't know, is Montgomery County, PG County and Washington, DC. These are the same exact meetings that help Midtown suck up A.A.'s Newcomers through WAIA's Hospital and Institutional Committee, because of their utter lack of involvement there.

In other words (and most of us will have a difficult time accepting this), if the A.A. meeting that you consistently frequent doesn't have (at least) a GSR, WAIA Hospital and Institutional Representative and a WAIA Intergroup Representative, you have no voice in Area 13 and your meetings decisions are being made by Midtown members and you are helping to feed them with fresh new Newcomers because of your inability to accept that each A.A. member is, to an extent, responsible for A.A. as a whole and that means carrying the A.A. message of hope to places where Newcomers may not be able to come to you or your meeting.

Saying that A.A. is my Home Group is a cope out. That's the voice of someone with little or no Area level experience. Has anyone here read any part of 12 Concepts of World Service? A.A. is an upside down triangle and the "Home Group" is where all the real power is. This is where A.A.'s decisions are actually made. When a meeting that assumes that it's a Home Group does not have a GSR, WAIA Hospital and Institutional Representative and a WAIA Intergroup Representative, they are misleading themselves. I can think of no real A.A. Home Group that doesn't engage in some form of scheduled and committed type of 12 step (activity) service outside of its meeting location, while not engaging in Area service so that its voice can be heard.

Here's an example of what's happening right now:

There are around 1500 meetings in Area 13, every single week. If they were all Home Groups, then there would be around 1500 WAIA Intergroup Representatives there for the monthly Intergroup Representative meeting. At the last WAIA monthly Intergroup Representative meeting, we had around 170 Reps, tops... That's about 1% of the Reps that we should have had. Numbers are numbers. They are not lying to you right now, and neither am I.

We all need to learn a great deal more about Area service around here. Not only that, but 99% more of us need to suit up and show up at the Area level, or Midtown will NEVER go away.

Now watch, someone who doesn't want to stop watching TV, will break away from it for 5 minutes to debunk what I just wrote, because he/she had been advised to make coffee for an A.A. meeting and thought that he/she was being controlled by his/her sponsor.

Posted by: Remaining Teachable | August 27, 2007 10:46 PM

Here's just a small part of what happenend to my daughter relating to the H&I Committee controled by Midtown. When she was in Northern VA Mental Health Hosp. due to a breakdown after a Midtown member took her meds (at Q's direction), THE ONLY GROUP who was allowed to bring a meeting into that Hospital was....you guessed it? Midtown. We tried to tell the staff about how she ended up there to begin with, but they blew it off completely. That was 1 year ago.

Why does a group intent on taking away your medications FIRST THING when you get in the group, want to recruit newcomers straight from a hospital who just put them on that medication? Its cruel, if you ask me.

Posted by: Another Mom | August 27, 2007 10:55 PM

Oh, I forgot... Midtown had more than 30 of its group members showing up as Intergroup Representatives and their numbers are growing...and they vote as one. When I said that 170 Reps were there, I meant tops. So, because 99% of the known A.A. meetings that currently exist were not present to voice what was expressed in their Group Consciousness, Midtown can sway the vote as they damn well please, and everyone outside of the Midtown group has to suck it up.

Am I reaching anyone here....? Midtown, as a group, will not change. Stop throwing the Traditions at them because they're not listening. If anything, (in this thread) they have proved that they WILL NOT LISTEN. We cannot reach that group, as a whole, with reason. It just won't happen.

We have to change. We have to suit up and show up. We have to grow up, accept responsibility for our Area and fulfill that responsibility with our behavior; then, and only then, will a real change begin to happen.

There is a very small group of us that are trying to make this change, but we cannot do it without your help. Please help us to make this positive change. We need your help. WAIA needs your help. Our Newcomers need your help. I need your help.

Posted by: Remaining Teachable | August 27, 2007 11:10 PM

Hi Another Mom! No, I don't know anything about a myspace page but it sounds encouraging. So I will check it out.

That's a pretty horrible story about your daughter. I wonder if the hospital still has the same fuzzy feeling about Midtown? If they are like most other bureaucracies, probably. :-(

Posted by: DCC | August 27, 2007 11:51 PM

Hi Teach,

I don't get the idea that anyone thinks Midtown will listen to the Traditions or any other program guidance or literature. However, it's an important point to others that they don't

I wouldn't just limit this to Area 13 members of AA. To begin with, there are a large number of meetings in Northern Va. There are also concerned family, health professionals, churches and religious groups (many of whom have and possibly still are allowing Midtown to use their facilities), and others who would like to help.

AA does not live in a vacuum. Midtown cannot survive in anything like its present form if its abuses become well known in the general community. I think looking at this as an Area 13 internal governance problem is taking too narrow a view here, although that aspect of the solution should certainly be pursued.

Posted by: DCC | August 28, 2007 12:00 AM

Remaining Teachable
"Saying that A.A. is my Home Group is a cope out. That's the voice of someone with little or no Area level experience. Has anyone here read any part of 12 Concepts of World Service? A.A. is an upside down triangle and" the "Home Group" is where "all "the real" power is."
"Stop throwing the Traditions at them because they're not listening."

And the "home Group does not have all the "real" power, you are conditioned my friend and I know you believe what you are saying but your are conditioned, God could and would if sought.
Look to the Traditions they are the " Ought" of Alcoholics Anonymous, if you can't do what you "OUGHT" to don't call yourself an A.A. group.
A.A being a home group leave one a "FREE SPIRIT" not some conditional institutional distinction from others with "REAL POWER"

You are saying you need help to make your home group more powerful?, sounds like you need a different program to fit your statements into. The Traditions are not for them, they are for "US". get it
May God's help you if that is acceptable to your conditioning.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 28, 2007 12:21 AM

God will works wonders for people or groups who don't claim it.

Have you ever herd the saying when three or more are gathered? Not meaning just an A.A. group either.

The catch is, in his name, not some home groupies.

Page 162 in the Big Book "Thus we grow. and so can you" read on a little more.
A.A. started with no home groups.
Yet it is important to stay close for many reasons. Don't get swallowed up again and again.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 28, 2007 12:44 AM

Hi Teach
It's not for them its for "US"

Posted by: Anonymous | August 28, 2007 12:46 AM

Lets get back to helping the sick drunk who is alcoholic to A.A., instead of tiring to heal the sick sponsors in A.A.

Posted by: Timewilltell | August 28, 2007 12:53 AM

For those keeping track, the Dickenson v. Sendelback case is a custody case. My understanding is that the mother (Sendelback) is a Midtowner but the father (Dickenson) is not. I'm not sure if he ever was but there is quite a history with the two of them going back to 2003 when she filed a domestic violence case against him but the Court denied it. Courts seldom deny domestic violence cases so it was probably convinced she was lying. Last year she filed criminal charges against him - 5 counts of stalking, telephone misuse and harrassment. The case was "steted" meaning it was placed on an inactive docket. Prosecutors use stet cases when they don't think the victim is credible but they hate to simply drop cases especially cases on the domestic violence docket as this one surely was. Sendelback also has a federal tax lien filed against her and an unpaid judgment owed to Suburban Hospital (her address in this case is Mike Q's) and a pending collection case for unpaid bills.
I have only reviewed the docket for the custody case but it has obviously been nasty (not unusual for contested custody cases). She is clearly trying to restrict his access to the child and resisted the appointment of an attorney for the child. I hope to review the file next week. I will love to see what the filings actually say, especially the pretrial statements. Someone named Peter Worden was subpoenaed, presumably for a deposition. Trial is set for October 29. It appears that Sendelback has the financial edge.
It could make for an interesting trial.

Posted by: anonymous11 | August 28, 2007 12:56 AM

What part of "only !% of all A.A. meetings in Area 13 are represented at WAIA", does everyone not understand? Midtown controls WAIA because only 155 Intergroup Rep's usually show up at the monthly meeting (when there should be over 1,500 Rep's) and around 30 of them are from various Midtown controlled meetings. When they are instructed to, they vote as one. That means that when there is a vote (at any current date and time), they control approximately 25% of the vote. What does that mean for every non Midtown controlled A.A. meeting? Well, that means that Midtown is your voice now, and because your A.A. meeting has chosen to not responsibly participation at the Area level, you actually have conceded your vote and your voice, to the Midtown group.

If just one Intergroup and H&I Representative showed up for ever 50 A.A. meetings, WAIA would have the service structure available to withdraw from its dependence on Midtown members. Case in point... Who answers the phones, at the desk? Who is in control of the Where and When? Why have some A.A. meetings that have spoken out against the midtown Group, been deleted from the Where and When? Who is running the H&I Committee? How many non Midtown members are taking meetings to a Hospital or Institution in Montgomery County? Who runs the Rules Committee and how is it run? What would happen if all Midtown members discontinued any and all active service work throughout WAIA?

Do you know any of these answers? Most likely, you do not. You're a free spirited A.A. member and A.A. as a whole is your home group. You follow the Traditions and you don't want or need a sponsor. Well, good for you. You can rest on those comforting thoughts, but it will only enable this problem to continue growing.

Posted by: Remaining Teachable | August 28, 2007 2:35 AM

Our Co Founders had Home Groups. Dr. Bob committed to a great deal of service work through his Hospital commitment. When those he guided through the steps were discharged, he recommended "Trust God, clean house and help others". He also suggested that they go to existing A.A. meetings. Even then, when a active alcoholic called a local Intergroup office, that office would contact available A.A. members who would talk to the prospect, and offer to help the prospect to a Hospital, if it was needed. A.A. members from the 12 steppers Home group would visit the prospect, while the prospect was in the Hospital. When the prospect was leaving the hospital, those same home group members were there to help the prospect home and acclimate him into the A.A. way of life, which included his invitation to join as a member of that home Group, while they guided the prospect through the steps.

People here are treating the concepts of Home Groups and sponsorship as dirty words when they are not. These concepts can be abused, as with most I guess, but they are tried and tested. I guide a fair amount of people with severe learning disabilities, through the 12 steps. They are attracted to me because I will not just buy them a BB and 12+12 and tell them to go to "lots and lots of meetings".

Posted by: Remaining Teachable | August 28, 2007 2:41 AM

Teachable, You are obviously correct on the importance of the WAIA and getting broader representation by home groups. If you have been following this discussion for some time (and I suspect you have) there are simply people who don't get it or for whatever reason want to throw the discussion off track. It's frustrating, I agree, but as I say you seem on track with a very important idea, and as you're clearly motivated and knowledgeable in this area, perhaps you could develop it further here and ignore the flak thrown up by those who don't us to progress.

It's disappointing to me that the WAIA is missing probably one third of the Washington Metro area, namely Northern Va, where I live. That's just something we have to live with for now. However, if there is something I can do in this department, I'll willing to try.

So as I understand it, the WAIA produces the Where and When and it controls access to what groups can take meetings to hospitals and institutions. What are its other functions?

As a former GSR for my group in Northern Va I confess the idea that a group would try to take over a local intergroup, not list meetings in the Where and When, and not allow certain groups to take meetings to hospitals and institutions a completely alien concept, an entirely unthinkable idea for AA. So it seems critical that Midtown not be allowed to do this and that the WAIA be returned to its original purpose.

The branch of the discussion about sponsorship seems completely unproductive to me here, as is the idea that AA members have no right to try and prevent the abuses and spread of the Midtown cancer. After reading your last posts I see Midtown as even worse, if that's possible, than I did before.

Posted by: DCC | August 28, 2007 6:42 AM

So if we look at Midtown as a cancer on AA, which is seeming a better and better analogy, we might want to develop some definite objectives for dealing with it from that perspective.

Certainly several that Teachable has just mentioned are blocking Midtown from delisting existing meetings in the Where and When, and blocking Midtown from chocking off access to groups wishing to hold meetings for hospitals and institutions. What are other similar objectives?

Posted by: DCC | August 28, 2007 6:47 AM

I agree that the WAIA situation is a BIG issue. I'm sure it's been been done, but has anyone gone to the other groups and apprised them of the situation, and encouraged them to send their reps?

I also agree that we are probably not going to reach Midtown as a WHOLE with reason and a call to AA principles.

However, just like AA can plant a seed and ruin drinking, perhaps a few INDIVUALS can read some of the information here and it will plant a seed of doubt when they hear the rationalizations and defenses spouted in the hierarchy's "talking points."

Posted by: Jane D. | August 28, 2007 9:13 AM

but the problem is that midtown controls the committees that produce the where & when and oversee who goes to hospitals & institutions. that's why the vote later this year is so important.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 28, 2007 9:18 AM

Thank you to "anonymous11" and Mike for filling in some of the gaps for us. Peter Worden is the detective in Montgomery County handling the case surrounding the Midtown Group. From what a witness on the Dickinson side told me, Worden was subpoenaed to support a theory for the defendant, that if it were not for the Dickinson camp a case would never have been opened-so it's Dickinson's fault that all these public entities have picked up the story (yea, right). Apparently Dickinson was a member of the CFG and was instrumental in helping shed some light on this issue and getting the attention of the authorities. It helped that Tammy and her friends were questioned in court when she filed for the denied protective order. Dickinson had a great attorney who let it be known that Tammy and her friends were part of a dangerous group. Tammy has no money, but her mother is the financial backer here. I mean what kind of money she could have if she got fired for falsifying timesheets a little over a year ago? She admitted to this in open court. Also, now the Sendelback party is open to having an attorney for the child, they recently filed a motion to make this happen. What's interesting is that Sendelback was ordered not to bring the child to "Midtown meetings" until the final hearing could be had. Apparently the judge thought the allegations were enough not to be ignored.

Posted by: ~A | August 28, 2007 10:41 AM

You people are out of your league, H/I work is outside the doors of A.A period.
Why are you fighting about it here?

A.A is not allied with any hospitals or institution so may I ask what are you trying to do?.

To stop individuals from doing what they think is good, outside of A.A. and surly covered up with good deeds "is crazy"
Do they think they are evil ? hell no
Do they look bad? Not outside A.A. in hospitals and institutions
Are they Bad? Not outside A.A. yet or they would be in jail
Are they better than they were? I am sure of that

"WE RAISED THEM TO BE "SPONSORS TO OTHERS" AND NOW YOU DON'T LIKE WHAT WAS RAISED.".

TAKE YOU FIGHT OUTSIDE, to the hospitals and institutions "SERVICE PEOPLE "
The hospitals and institution won't know what the hell you are talking about either because it's simply outside "OF" A.A.
and service people want to drag it in, like the sponsor thing.

When you get tired come on back and learn to live through traditional A.A. ways.

IT'S SIMPLY NOT A.A. TRADITION, YOU AND THEM DON'T UNDERSTAND THAT. "SERVICE PEOPLE".

Posted by: Anonymous | August 28, 2007 10:55 AM

I think i have a solution--- Let the police deal with it, let the courts deal with it. If there are legal issues let the leagal system take over!.

OH YEAH i forgot, the police WERE involved and realized that CFG were the crazy ones.

Worthless Jerry- I know you think you are hot sh*t but the truth remains you raped your now wife.

Kathy M - everybody knows that your husband smokes pot, no one judges you for that.

Michelle G- grow up, Rob is no good for you, you want a man who is in jail for refusing to pay child support, and stalking? He tried to kidnap her!

Posted by: upyourbutt | August 28, 2007 11:02 AM

I can say with certainty -- because I'm one of them -- that the desk secretaries who answer the phones at WAIA are not controlled by Midtown. Furthermore, WAIA is always looking for volunteers to man the phones. So if you're interested, please contact them.

With regard to the Where and When, I don't have any direct knowledge if anyone has the ultimate authority in listing the meetings. However, if you do not see an active meeting listed, call WAIA.

This is a very useful forum for discussion, and it appears we may be working toward a solution of the questionable practices of Midtown.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 28, 2007 11:09 AM

Posted by: | August 28, 2007 11:09 AM
"This is a very useful forum for discussion, and it appears we may be working toward a solution of the questionable practices of Midtown."

THE MIDTOWN STRATEGY IS SIMPLE AND SOME WHAT NATURAL.
Step1
Make sure the victim is scared and weary

Step2
Tell them they can't do it alone

Step3
Intersect the person before they learn from the A.A. Big Book on their own. H/I is a great start they will come to you.

step4
Make them feel more stupid "after" they get here so they can become teachable.

Step5
Tell them they are too stupid to read the book on their own.

Step6
Let them know you are doing for them what they could not do for them self "THAT'S FOR SURE"

In sex easy steps
The end results, a "new sponsor" is hatched
works on all men and women alike.


Posted by: Anonymous | August 28, 2007 11:47 AM

Hi Jane D., glad to see you are still here in the middle of this blog tornado.

Yes, I think discussing this whole thing rationally in relation to AA Traditions, purpose and guidelines is an excellent idea and we should keep it up. This forum could fill an important education function.

Also the WAIA seems important in a solution here. Too bad Northern Va isn't included.

My thoughts are evolving and even given all the information I've gained and all I've thought through and written, I'm learning more every day and putting this in more context. Will post later. Let's all of us keep our spirits up!


Posted by: DCC | August 28, 2007 12:22 PM

Remaining Teachable say
"Saying that A.A. is my Home Group is a cope out. That's the voice of someone with little or no Area level experience."
"carrying the A.A. message of hope to places where Newcomers may not be able to come to "you" or "your" meeting."
"Stop throwing the Traditions at them because they're not listening."
Was Mike Q your sponsor? Are you promoting MIDTOWN? Look what you wrote.

Anybody remember the first blog title ?

Midtown Group: AA Group Leads Members Away from Traditions

How does one lead another away from something they never understood in the first place?

SHOW OTHERS TO THE TRADITIONS FOLKS and if they don't want to do them, cut them lose.
p.s. Here's the catch, people have to live the Traditions to them to do the traditions and most want nothing to do with them, especially the sponsorship system, even though they are the applications of the steps "here" in Alcoholics Anonymous

Posted by: Anonymous | August 28, 2007 12:35 PM

p.s. Here's the catch, people have to live the Traditions to do the traditions and most want nothing to do with them, especially the sponsor system, even though they are the applications of the steps "here" in Alcoholics Anonymous

Posted by: Anonymous | August 28, 2007 12:38 PM

SOLUTION:

You can't throw anybody out, right?
Invite them all over to Clancy I or Johnny H or even Keith D's home group, where they can all get along in "there" home group meeting meetings

Posted by: Anonymous | August 28, 2007 12:55 PM

upyourbutt youR DA MAN!

MIDTOWN IN DA HOUSE!!!!

Posted by: Anonymous | August 28, 2007 1:00 PM

So what happens when the newcomer wants to leave midtown but loves the fellowship there and feels that they can not find it elsewhere? Where can they go? Where are the groups that have things going on as much as midtown? Where are the groups that hold dances, organize trips, "keep the newcomer busy so they don't have to drink"?

Posted by: an | August 28, 2007 1:29 PM

an, there are groups like that, at least in Northern Va, for young people.

Posted by: DCC | August 28, 2007 2:08 PM

A.A. is now suppose to be turned into a dance club so someone won't drink?
Right

Posted by: Anonymous | August 28, 2007 2:11 PM

Maybe it's time one should learn to be a contribution, instead of looking for one.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 28, 2007 2:14 PM

Sounds great that's just the 7th Tradition "Every A.A. group ought to be fully self-supporting." declining outside contributions.

Who wants to learn that Tradition it goes against what we are told and taught by sponsors.

Who wants to apply that Tradition to themselves? that's call responsibility.

What A.A. wants to even learn the Traditions? especially if they been around a while.

Posted by: Timewilltell | August 28, 2007 2:50 PM

I only ask because that's why a lot of people are part of the MG. They have outstanding fellowship. They keep each other sober by doing things together. And no AA is not supposed to be turned into some dance club, smart a$$...I used that as an example of fellowship. Some young people in AA getting sober crave that fellowship and social network. For some young alcoholics that's a big part of their sobriety along with working the steps.

Posted by: an | August 28, 2007 2:53 PM

Fellowship or Club?

Posted by: Anonymous | August 28, 2007 3:05 PM

Yeah, and that would suggest that I should be taking personal responsibility for my part, within the A.A. fellowship...and that would suggest work... Hummm... I can tell everyone here to practice the Traditions (while I do nothing to help solve this ever growing cancer) or I can commit to showing up once a month for Area level service work, while continuing to guide Newcomers through the 12 steps... No, I'd rather judge and break down those who are breaking their backs to make a positive difference, while I decide if I'm going to put that much needed dollar bill in the basket... Of course, I'll need to drink my third cup of coffee that the group has offered to me for free (because I deserve it), before I make such a decision... No, I want to keep my much needed dollar too.

When it speaks of being self supporting through our own contributions, it's not just talking about financial support. Every group is supported by its service members, in various ways. One of those ways is to do so at the Area level. That is where you will find Midtown. That is where they are making your decisions for you. On several occasions, many of us have witnesses a few Midtown Members represent themselves as Intergroup Rep's for meetings that we have never seen them at before and they vote in their midtown agenda, through that A.A. meetings vote. If your meeting isn't represented, how do you know if your meeting isn't being used like that?

It's this simple... If you are not part a working solution, you are part of this growing problem.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 28, 2007 3:06 PM

I understand a craving, and there is usually something wrong with it.
Are we Talking about Alcohol?
Are we talking about A.A ?
or are we talking about a social club?
Why not start your own CLUB and have dances?

Posted by: Anonymous | August 28, 2007 3:09 PM

Get real, there are other young people in AA besides Midtown. Just go to St. Luke's on Sundays or Wednesdays or the Del Ray Acceptance meeting on Friday night and I'm sure there are countless others. Check out the Westside Club or the Dupont Circle Club or Rockville Metro Club or the Unity Club. All the sober clubs put on dances and events and talent shows, etc. I got sober and did ALL the fun stuff ... retreats, beach houses, Sessions, coffee before the meetings, celebration dinners, the works. And I did it all without Midtown!

Posted by: Anonymous | August 28, 2007 3:14 PM


One can do what ever they want. In A.A.
if the Traditions is a OUGHT, and if they cannot do the oughts one should not call them selfs an A.A. group. If you don't know the Traditions maybe the newcomer can help you with them, he or she is not conditioned and knows of no distinctions.
A simple suggested program screwed up by th S.S.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 28, 2007 3:16 PM

I wouldn't tell that person to "get real". That person has only brought up a point that I'm certain many more have thought. They have been conditioned and they are experiencing fear because the source of that conditioning is being compromised by truth. Allow them to ask their questions, and then answer them respectfully. If you want to help them, do so attractively.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 28, 2007 3:20 PM

The Traditions of A.A. tells us directly from A.A. "not this sponsor crap" what A.A. IS and is NOT, what A.A. does and does not do.
Its as simple as that.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 28, 2007 3:24 PM

There are others in Northern Va. I'm not so young any more but I know Unity Club in Falls Church has dances, sports, ski and scuba trips, and other activities (they used to anyway). I also was a member of a great sober beach house at Rehoboth that had nothing to do with Midtown. I'll try to find some other information as well. This is something where we could make a big, fast difference.

I do agree we're a fellowship, not a recreation club, but common sense ought to tell us that if people can't find anything fun to do with their new sober friends they're a lot more likely to go back to where they used to have fun and we know what that means.

Posted by: DCC | August 28, 2007 3:24 PM

DCC is right.

Please everyone, continue with more solutions.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 28, 2007 3:27 PM

I apologize for saying "get real". You are right. I just get frustrated that some people think Midtown is the only group that does "fun" stuff. (If you consider paying $ directly to the hierarchy under the guise of finaincially supporting your group's next event "fun".)

Posted by: Anonymous | August 28, 2007 3:29 PM

I do agree with (blank) above that finding good alternatives to Midtown is extremely important. Members are unlikely to be inclined to give up something that many of them like if there is no reasonable alternative.

Obviously, the fear of losing their social network, boyfriend or girlfriend and possibly living arrangements will make many react in a hostile fashion. That probably isn't the underlying feeling that many have.

Let's work on this!

Posted by: DCC | August 28, 2007 3:34 PM

I noticed Shawn has a new name today, probably didn't like being known as Renee/Shawn, guess he prefers "upurbutt." At least we know where his head is!!

Posted by: Anonymous | August 28, 2007 3:35 PM

DCC thank you...That is the information I was asking for. It is nice to know that there are options besides midtown where you can get real sobriety and have fun.

(Blank) who posted this: " I wouldn't tell that person to "get real". That person has only brought up a point that I'm certain many more have thought. They have been conditioned and they are experiencing fear because the source of that conditioning is being compromised by truth. Allow them to ask their questions, and then answer them respectfully. If you want to help them, do so attractively."

Thank you...

Posted by: an | August 28, 2007 3:43 PM

"I apologize for saying "get real". You are right. I just get frustrated that some people think Midtown is the only group that does "fun" stuff. (If you consider paying $ directly to the hierarchy under the guise of finaincially supporting your group's next event "fun".)"

Some people might not even know what is outside of midtown :( If that's the only group they know.....I know for me I need to be around active people who are doing things and not just going to meetings then going home because I will be sure to drink. I have to keep my life full and not just of AA but of activity. Fellowship and working the steps is a big part of my sobriety. I know many who feel the same way.

Posted by: an | August 28, 2007 3:56 PM

I know that there are young people's groups in No. Virginia who would welcome people with open arms. Most of them are well aware of Midtown and can offer a lot of support and fellowship for anyone who seeks to find AA groups where the Traditions are something to aspire to.

They have many activities and lots of fellowhip!

It is out there! And without the pressure and fear you may have experienced in Midtown.

I think this is a crucial piece of this situation. SOOOOO many young people are drawn to Midtown and stay there (perhaps even despite their discomfort with the group's practices or reputation) precisely because of the activities, fellowship, and fun Midtown cultivates.

It's one of the things I absolutely admire about Midtown--their ability to keep putting on fun events. (I think their motives and their financial means to do these events are the turd in the punchbowl, but that's not to say that it couldn't be done in a way that has integrity.)

Posted by: Jane D. | August 28, 2007 4:03 PM

DCC, exexex and anonymous11,

you might want to get your facts straight..
his son was at his funeral. As was his brother and sister. His mother died some years ago, so she was unable to attend the services.
Also, he was not living with a 19 year old girl, but I am sure you all will keep playing your crazy game of telephone and pass on more gossip.
I just think it's kinda funny all the things people say based only in gossip! What facts do you really have to back up anything that you people say?
Just wondering?
Here's an idea for you...GET A LIFE!
Maybe if you spent a little more time focusing on helping other drunks get sober, and less time on pointing the finger at others you might live a life not filled with resentment.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 28, 2007 4:38 PM

One can't change the stripes on a tiger. The Midtown members will go down fighting.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 28, 2007 5:49 PM

His Brother (Jim) was motivated to take out a $30,000 Home Equality Credit Line Loan on his house, so Mike could receive "Alternative Treatments". I wonder if that was the last person Mike squeezed for money or do you think he was able to fit a couple more in before he died? True to the end, he was. True to the end.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 28, 2007 6:04 PM

Remaining Teachable, your apology is accepted and I understand the frustrations going on and do not wish to make them any worse.

YOU "Saying that A.A. is my Home Group is a cope out. That's the voice of someone with little or no Area level experience."

You need to explain to me, what more is there than one drunk talking to another about the Big Book and 12X12.!
I am not into tell others I believe that they have to discover it for them self's and it starts with asking not telling and has nothing to do with following it's discovering.

After 27 years in A.A. and hundreds of friends all around the world, I see how the kinds keep turning things and make them more complex than what it really is, they try hard to control and enjoy at the same time which is a great obsession in itself .
.
I personally experienced the Clancy Pacifica group clan, Johnny H Group clan and the Dog on the roof group clan, all that match the descriptions of the Midtown group clan , with one thing in common, Heavy sponsorship system and one home group. After Chuck C died Johnny and Clancy started the Home Groupie fad.

Listen instead of react here for one second.

If you can show others how the Traditions work, in order, without using them in the legalistic sense, like most do, they and you will see for themselves.

If you tell them, you will be no better than them.

Use the broad version in the 12X12
Beware a lot of the things you " may" be doing and may not be within the Traditions either, so keep an open mind and with a little luck we may all come around.
God Bless good luck

Posted by: Timewilltell | August 28, 2007 7:29 PM

I got a call from a midtown member last week looking to get out, I get many of these. He told me he was pressured into going to Mike Q's funeral. He never met Q. Although they told him that since Q started the group that he is responsible for his sobriety so therefore, he should feel obligated to go to his funeral.

They call themselves AA, we know different.

Posted by: Rob K | August 28, 2007 9:23 PM

(blank), I don't believe I said Edward Quinones' children did not attend his funeral. I said I had not heard that. As far as his living with a 19 year old girl, I heard that independently from three different people who were in a position to know. So as far as I'm concerned the vote on that is 3-1 in favor. Whether that's true or not, I have heard from many people that he had sex with numerous teenaged girls, perhaps hundreds, over the years when he was 45 -63 years old.

Posted by: DCC | August 28, 2007 9:28 PM

It would be safe to say that he lived with a 19 yr old within the last 4 years..I think she dumped him shortly after Paris. She may be 20 or 21 now..Wow that makes it better..she wasn't living with him until his death..What a huge mistake..We got the dates wrong.Let's see he would have been 60 or 61 then, when he lived with her? Oh it's OK then..give me a break How honorable for his family to come to the funeral..they barely spoke to him until he got very sick. He used to speak horribly about his poor son! It's so intresting that if anyone in the MT group has problems with their family they always blame and say that "They are sick and toxic to my recovery." I've seen beautiful young girls shut out their families after being brainwashed by the group. Except when to do so would financially profit the group..So who is sick? Also a reliable source at Avery Road says that they are investigating a recent occurance where a few Midtown members brought a meeting in, under another name, and harassed a young girl and assigned her a sponsor. Midtown was barred from Avery Road but are coming through H & I(Carol V. from Midtown) under a different name. Just gave the piece to Pat Collins..stay tuned. The only way to keep this going is through the press. AA General Services, WAIA, and AA as a whole still refuses to really take any action. CFG is trying but the media is the only way. It is unfortunate! The US constitution has had to be ammended several times. We need to ammend some Traditions..Only an opinion

Posted by: betsy.tate | August 28, 2007 10:07 PM

Betsy, thanks for your thoughts. The first person who told me about the 19 year old was a staunch defender of Midtown, trying to prove he didn't sleep with underage females - his live in girlfriend was 19! She dumped him? Good for her.

Anyway, I agree with your thought that maybe some change in AA Traditions is called for. Or thinking generally. As we all know changing even the tiniest thing in our program probably *is* harder than amending the US Constitution.

But I think our program needs to think long and hard and figure out why this outlaw group shouldn't operate as an AA group. Because as the general public learns about the sexual abuse and even child molestation, and the other abuses, they aren't going to react very favorably when AA claims we're just safeguarding our Traditions or spiritual anonymity in allowing it to do these things under our good name. I also believe that, even though we are a religious nation, they won't appreciate any protestations from AA that we only prayed to God to heal the evil at Midtown, but thought it was unnecessary to take any action ourselves.

I mean, right now an al Qaeda terrorist cell could claim they are an AA group. And after all, they don't drink and they do pray every day, so...

I really don't want the government passing laws to oversee and/or regulate our fellowship, but I think that will inevitably happen if AA as a whole continues to pretend it doesn't care and simply does nothing. Because people won't stand for this situation to continue.

Posted by: DCC | August 28, 2007 10:26 PM

have to say, I am disapointed at some of the name calling, I asked a question and was called in a reply simple mided?
other names I have seen in a back lash as Nazi and the like? what for? Freedom of speach is a gift, and some would call a right. but that was unnessisary.
name calling with in the blog shows gross imatuirity, retaliation is not nessisary.
speak your own truth please. If you find it nessisary to ridicule some one elses truth you may just be ridiculing your own.

(blank)had much to say, but ask your self did Mike Q spend time with his son, his family BEFORE he was diagnosed? was he really close to his kids, his family? All I say is look at the FACTS, what did he do, how did he participate in there lives, how did he influence his kids, family etc. ?? ever? what do you know of his kids? REally? what do you really know? why doesnt some one ask the kids what it was like bing Q's offspring?
so many are worried about them selves, not once have I heard any thing about his own kids or family. I can imagine how q's kids would feel, Mike spending all this time with AA kids and not having the time to spend with his own kids! how pathetic!
an blank calls me simple minded!???


Posted by: exexex | August 28, 2007 10:56 PM

And..It's not just the Midtown Group. There are many in the Pacific Group and other sub-cults in AA that think they are crazy and second-guessing themselves. This is the beginning of a big story for the national media and all of AA. Trust me..the media is not finished..Wait until they get a hold of the Pacific group. That is why I think AA, as a whole should ammend some Traditions. AA, as a whole, should take action now!
Just another opinion.

Posted by: betsy.tate | August 28, 2007 11:03 PM

Betsy, I think you'll agree that when the media gets hold of a good story they do not let go - they have a field day. And what's better than a sensational sex scandal involving children? And a conspiracy too? Involving a respected institution?

Posted by: DCC | August 28, 2007 11:08 PM

exexex, I agree, the name calling is pretty disappointing here. On the other hand, it is very revealing of character and I believe it helps show the character of the issue quite well and of those participating. Clearly, those exhibiting the name calling abuse don't have the benefit of being able to think ahead, or alternatively can't help but give in to their emotions even when it works against their interest. Does that remind of us of anything?

Posted by: DCC | August 28, 2007 11:13 PM

Wait until the financials come out along with more stories about sex..and the blatant deceit by MT, posing as another group to get in Avry Road to, yet again, try to recruit another young girl. They are making stupid mistakes. Desperation is my take.

Posted by: betsy.tate | August 28, 2007 11:18 PM

It just occured to me, MT will say "We aren't the Midtown Group we are from ie. Promises on Monday Night." That will be there way to get out of this one. Except that Avery now has a list of all of their meetings. Hopefully they won't even use H7I anymore and just depend on their alumnae and others that go to Avery on a regular basis for meetings. Who knows maybe H & I will soon become extinct.

Posted by: betsy.tate | August 28, 2007 11:25 PM

OUR GREAT PROGRAM PART...The Twelve Traditions...HAS COME TO MEAN LIFE ITSELF TO ME

Bill w. Stated the traditions were in the hearts of people long before the were put on paper for the traditions are the principles in writing, the applications of the steps.
THE TRADITIONS, as written , define for me clearly and precisely how to get well and stay well. They tell me who God is, what He does, and where He functions. They show me what spirituality is and how I may better seek and find it. They clarify what anonymity means.
Perhaps most important of all, they point out the path, the path towards humility. It is helpful that this path is not described bluntly; rather it is whispered in each Tradition where one has to be listening .As I look back, I can remember when I honestly asked myself what do the steps have to do with my drinking problem , today the answerers did come and today the traditions showed me precisely the path to emotional sobriety
Tradition One tells us that "Our common welfare should come first..." Not second or fourth or tenth, but first. Why? Because "personal recovery depends upon AA unity." So. I learn that after the Twelve Steps have been digested, my group, my AA, comes first; not myself, you understand, but my AA group or groups. My own recover--my most prized possession, since it means life itself--depends upon my group's unity.
I am told how to stay well in Tradition One, and to my surprise, it dawns on me that I have received the first gentle whisper which nudges me along the path of humility.
Tradition Two tells me who God is, where He is, and what He does. It says, "For our group purpose there is but one ultimate authority...a loving God as He may express Himself in our group conscience." God expresses Himself in a specific location--my conscience. This is good news to me. I have wondered where and who God was and what He did. Now I understand what was meant, long ago, by the command, "Be still and know that I am God."
In the last half of Tradition Two and I find the second gentle whisper toward humility: "Our leaders [you and I] are but trusted servants; they do not govern." I love the clarity and force of that simple word "but." As a leader I am but a trusted servant; I need not govern. Thank God! I have been a dubiously trusted leader who felt that he must govern for too long; now I may be relieved of all of that. As God may express Himself in my conscience, I am His and your trusted servant, who governs only me!
Tradition Three tells me that "The only requirement for AA membership is a desire to stop drinking." To have a desire to stop anything is new to me. So I receive the third gentle whisper toward humility. As I hear and feel these gentle whispers I settle more and more each day to life size, as "Life comes to be for free and for fun."
Tradition Four brings me clearly and simply into my own right. It says, "Each Group should be autonomous, except in matters affecting other groups or AA as a whole." You and I are autonomous. Individually and collectively, we may do as we wish, we are unrestricted. . .except when we step on someone else's toes Thus the fourth gentle whisper toward humility says to me, "Brother, the common welfare comes first for truly spiritually selfish reason that our own recovery depends upon in its continued existence."
Tradition Five defines in clear terms my only reason for existence. There is no other for me: "Each group has but one primary purpose. . .to carry its message to the alcoholic who still suffers." There is my answer. I need purpose--and I have it! I must carry the message to the alcoholic who does not know the way out. So I say to myself, "Thank God for alcohol and for the un-recovered drunk!" And I hear a fifth gentle whisper toward humility deep within which says, "At long last you have come to realize that service to others is all that you have to offer in this life!"
Tradition Six clarifies the spiritual side of this program. It says, "An AA group ought never endorse, finance, or lend the AA name to any related facility or outside enterprise lest problems of money, property and prestige divert us from our primary spiritual aim." I'm glad to know this, because now I can be on guard. I have a primary spiritual aim which money, property and prestige can bust wide open and devour. I hear a sixth gentle whisper toward humility which says, "your primary spiritual aim is to carry the message to the alcoholic who still suffers!" In the role of a trusted servant, I must follow the instructions of a loving authority who lives in the depths of my soul. It says, "In all reverence carry to the sick alcoholic the message that I have given you."
Tradition Seven shows me how to obtain peace of mind and how to regain my self-respect. At long last I understand the inner peace that comes from being responsible for myself, and to myself. Tradition Seven says, "Every AA group ought to be fully self-supporting, declining outside contributions." What relief that is! No longer do I need to wait for contributions. I am now free to give contributions.
Tradition Eight gives to me, a professional man, the very keynote of humility: "Alcoholics Anonymous should remain forever nonprofessional, but our service centers may employ special workers." I know the professional life; I am in it up to my very ears; I love it. But I know one other thing, too: in my life of service there is absolutely no room for professionalism. In AA I am an ordinary human being with no more skills than anyone else.
Tradition Nine astonishes me by stating, "AA as such ought never be organized; but we may create service boards or committees directly responsible to those they serve." You see, in the past, I have been so well organized (or so I thought) that I almost died from it! I was frightened at first to find that I needed to be in a group that wasn't organized. But in AA I am free to be myself as I find myself at the minute, and here I find another whisper toward humility: I can be on service boards or committees, and I can be a trusted servant who is directly responsible to you, my fellow AA's.
Tradition Ten pleases me very much. I read it daily with a joyful smile: "Alcoholics Anonymous has no opinion on outside issues; hence the AA name ought never be drawn into public controversy." Just think, as an AA I need never be drawn into public controversy. I don't have to worry about being right. Never again! I don't have to fight anymore. I've had enough of controversy.
God love our good co-founder, Bill, for taking it easy on my befuddled brain. He held off giving me Tradition Eleven until I could hear and digest Tradition Ten. I read: "Our public relations policy is based on attraction rather than promotion; we need always maintain personal anonymity at the level of press, radio, and films." Never again do I have to promote a single thing. . .I am free to be myself. I am free to believe what I believe. I am free to say what I believe in my own way. And I hear a whisper (number eleven) deep within that says, "The way to humility is to realize that you need to maintain personal anonymity!" It doesn't say that I have to, or that I should, or that I must; it says I need--to maintain anonymity, as I need the very food and water and air that keeps me alive.
And so Tradition Twelve comes into view. "Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all our Traditions, ever reminding us to place principles above personalities." In wondering about this anonymity business. Now I know. Anonymity means that I am only Joe. I am just a guy like you. You and I are equal. There are no class distinctions. I am not a professional man; I am just Joe. The weather way up there on the peak of "prestige and gain" was bitter cold. . .down here in the world of anonymity, it is warm and balmy. I can shake hands with you and look you straight in the eye and say, "Hi, my name is Joe." I am just one guy. No more. No less. I am one of the grains of sand that goes to make up our great beach of AA. Without me as a grain of sand, without each of you as a grain of sand, there would be no AA beach. Without the beach of AA there would be no you and no me.
So I hear the last and best whisper of all. It says "ever reminding us to place principles above personalities." I smile a deep inward smile. Day after day I come to know that our common welfare comes first, that my God is a living authority located inside of me, that I am His un-governing, trusted servant who is dedicated to the spiritual activity of carrying the message in complete anonymity to the alcoholic who still suffers.
I smile because in my organization I am unorganized. I smile because I need not be a professional who has opinions that he must cram down your throat. I smile because I can at last be myself, and if I don't attract anyone at least I won't promote anyone.
But mainly, I smile because you--all of you in AA--have given me the opportunity to fight for the principles rather than my or your personality.

Posted by: Timewilltell | August 28, 2007 11:58 PM

Someone who doesn't even have enough integrity to use a screen name accuses me of not getting my facts straight. Perhaps he/she should review what I said. Last week someone said Q's children did not attend his funeral. What I said was that if they didn't attend, it may have been because they didn't know about it because the family members I was in touch with didn't know about any services being scheduled as of that time. As we now know, services had not occured as of then. I don't know if these family members went to the funeral or not because I will not call them just to dig up dirt. My facts are straight.
So tell me, did I have his real name wrong? Did they use his real name at the funeral or did he continue living the lie even in death? Was his son's family at the funeral? Was his son sober? I know that Q's son has rejected AA because of how his father rejected him and that has hurt him deeply. How's that for reaching out to the suffering alcoholic? What about his other offspring? Were they there? Did anyone tell his son about how much Q's death had helped them?

Posted by: anonymous11 | August 29, 2007 12:12 AM

Interesting and lengthy.. I smile because i have worked hard to achieve my 18yrs of sobriety. I smile because I am a productive member of society. I have melded in the stream of life. I have ceased fighting alcolhol. I have been guided and protected by a spirit. I can goven in my job and not let my ego get in the way. I cam mother at home and keep and open-mind. I can change my mind and not feel ashamed. I can stand up for what I belive is right even if I stand alone. I am a whole person. I feel balanced in my life and I seem to fit in wherever I go. I am happy I don't depend on AA for my life. I have AA as a part of my life.

Posted by: betsy.tate | August 29, 2007 12:15 AM

There is nothing better than hearing someone who is being true to thy self

Posted by: Timewilltell | August 29, 2007 4:04 AM

THE TRADITIONS truly are the applications of the steps.

The TRADITIONS are the principles in writing for Alcoholics Anonymous only, they belong to no other.

THE TRADITIONS do not need a principal to administer them to anyone but ones self, if willing.

THE TRADITIONS is the experience of A.A., not your experience, nor mine, but "OF A.A." for people who want to be a part of A.A. not just in or around.
Give them a try, live them.

Remember they don't have to be administered by some "service person" or proclaimed sponsor they are freely given in Alcoholics Anonymous.

Please S.S. don't make this complicated too.

Remember the first blog title here?
Members make up the group.

Warning the Traditions maybe a hazard to controllers.
No ill effects have been reported on ones trying to be true to thy self.

Posted by: Timewilltell | August 29, 2007 5:45 AM

DCC suggested we change the Traditions.

A Tradition is called a Tradition for a reason not an excuse!!

The Traditions were wrote for spiritual unity purposes. Thats why many don't understand them.

The worst way to use the Traditions is in a legalistic manor meaning not spiritual.

If the Traditions are being used in a legalistic way, it's a guaranteed that "ONE" person or group has control issues.

Use the traditions of A.A. freely and for what they were meant for. The "preservation " OF A.A. not some group.

The Traditions are the references of A.A. what it use to be like, not what it's like now!!!!!

Want to know about any place? Learn their Traditions.

We all know about the TRADITIONS of the police department? don't we?
Why would one want to change a Tradition?

All I can think of, is the ones that can't be true to thy self won't need to change themselves if they can changed the TRADITION.
Think again about that, its good to look back if one is lucky to see, it may even be their greatest asset. Our primary purpose is clear and so is our Traditions.

Posted by: Timewilltell | August 29, 2007 6:46 AM

Sorry just can't say enough when it's A.A. and not someone or something else in A.A.

Posted by: Timewilltell | August 29, 2007 6:50 AM

[Also a reliable source at Avery Road says that they are investigating a recent occurance where a few Midtown members brought a meeting in, under another name, and harassed a young girl and assigned her a sponsor. Midtown was barred from Avery Road but are coming through H & I(Carol V. from Midtown) under a different name]

True! I was surprised when I first heard they were banned from Avery road. I thought to myself No they're not, they still take meetings in there. Does not surprise me.. There are Midtown members who are actually starting to raise questions and some who want to leave.

Posted by: an | August 29, 2007 8:29 AM

Perhaps if your WAIA is not concerned about how Midtown is handling the H&I Committee (under their umbrella), as well as the controversy they are causing for WAIA, then it would seem to me they really do not care that Midtown is dragging them through the mud. I am very active in Area 16, I can't imagine our Area Assembly or Intergroup putting up with any of this. I suggested before, start another Intergroup. Maybe that would get their attention!!

Posted by: Another Mom | August 29, 2007 10:21 AM

Another guy that is trying to leave Midtown told me the other day that he wanted to call promises his home group but he was not allowed. He was told that Promises is a Midtown meeting so he must call his home group Midtown.

Now when Midtown members are voting at WAIA, they use the names of all of their meetings such as Promises. So they have a group rep for Promises, but its not their home group?

More evidence of cultish behavior and defiance of AA traditions, this of course is because they are not AA.

Posted by: Rob K | August 29, 2007 10:53 AM

In regard to the Dickinson v Sendelback case, Sendelback has not changed her position regarding appointing a "best interests" attorney for the child. She wants a "Nagle v. Hooks" attorney. The difference is a best interests attorney represents the child in the case as a whole and fully participates in the case including making recommendations for custody and visitation (now called access). A Nagle v Hooks attorney's only role is to decide whether to waive the child's privilege to allow the child's Shrink or therapist to testify. They have no ongoing role in the case. I suspect that Sendelback thought a best interests attorney would likely side against her but that the child's therapist will testify in her favor. What I have often seen in these types of cases is that one side has picked the therapist, cultivated a relationship with the therapist including creating negative ideas about the other side and then has kept the other parent away from the therapist.
I hope to look through the file next week and learn more but for now I'm off to a recovery convention in San Antonio to see my friends from around the world, all of whom got clean and stay clean without Midtown or other cults. In my fellowship, Midtown would have been dealt with and taken off the meeting lists long ago due to their tradition violations.

Posted by: anonymous11 | August 29, 2007 11:16 AM

Thank you "anonymous 11" for what you wrote, you seem to have legal know how. Have fun on your trip. Would like to hear more of your thoughts after you review the file.

Posted by: Mike | August 29, 2007 11:30 AM

Thank you "anonymous 11" for what you wrote, you seem to have legal know how. Have fun on your trip. Would like to hear more of your thoughts after you review the file.

Posted by: Mike | August 29, 2007 11:31 AM

"It is a spiritual axiom that every time we are disturbed, no matter what the cause, there is something wrong with us. If somebody hurts us and we are sore, we are in the wrong also....As we saw it, our wrath was always justified."

pg 90, _Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions_


"Finally, we begin to see that all people, including ourselves, are to some extent emotionally ill as well as frequently wrong, and the we approach true tolerance and see what real love for our fellows actually means. It will become more and more evident as we go forward that it is pointless to become angry, or to get hurt by people who, like us, are suffering from the pains of growing up."

Posted by: resentments | August 29, 2007 11:31 AM

No one comes into AA as portrayed in these reports. There are no virgins in AA. There are no nice boys that drank too much.

It takes years of recovery to become sensitive, kind and self sacrificing.

Posted by: troubled | August 29, 2007 11:55 AM

I've researched cults to the doctorate level. Many of the personal testimonies on those midtown group myspace informational sites say it all, to the point and truthfully.
The unfortunate thing is any cult member who see's it will be in denial to the degree that they would want to get rid of it and keep others from seeing it!
-20 year cult survivor-

Posted by: -20 year cult survivor- | August 29, 2007 12:03 PM

Thank you, resentments, for the passage from the 12x12. I read an earlier post that referenced PAGE 449. But it appears as if the anti-Midtown people just won't let go and let god. Talk about your pitbulls!!

From reading the posts, it appears that Midtown is not unique in its variation from AA guidelines. The Pacific Group and many others around the country are doing the same thing. My sponsor tells me that "some are sicker than others." True in society as well.

I am not a Midtown supporter. But I am a member of AA. I don't condone with Midtown is doing but am keeping my side of the street clean AND putting out my hand when the Newcomer walks into one of my meetings.

Posted by: aaMember | August 29, 2007 12:11 PM

resentments + troubled = midtown


Stop making excuses and rationalizations by using our literature against real A.A. members and by suggesting that it's ok to molest the children that are lured into the Midtown Cult because "There are no virgins in AA." and "There are no nice boys that drank too much." When are you Cultists going to wake up!? You should go back to your dimwitted lies that you have been using, over and over. At least then we know it's a Midtown Cult poster and not someone who is simply naive and confused.

No on is supposed to "tolerate" a group where it's an institutional behavior to prey upon 14-15-16 year olds by men in their 30's-40's-50's and 60's. Whoever suggests that A.A. members should not be disturbed by that behavior, or that A.A. members should accept and tolerate the horrible abuses that will continue (and will get far worse) are a direct contributor to this problem

Posted by: get real and wake up | August 29, 2007 12:23 PM

aaMember, its good you're keeping your side of the street clean. I just hope your daughter, sister, mother, niece or close friend does find themselves drawn into the cult activities so well disguised as AA fun some day. Enough and I mean ENOUGH people have been sacrificed by those unwilling to stand up and say it - "ENOUGH."

Posted by: Anonymous | August 29, 2007 12:25 PM

"keeping my side of the street clean and putting out my hand when the Newcomer walks into one of my meetings." is what has helped the Midtown Cult grow as large as they have, while that have continued to exploit as many adolescents as they have. While you were keeping your side of the street clean and putting out your hand when the Newcomer walks into one of your meetings, Midtown was running all of the Institutional AA meetings, where most of the really messed up newcomers are. Because Midtown is there and you are not, they never even make it to your meeting. Keep up the bad work. I'm sure that some 15 year old that being pressured into having sex with someone that's older than her father tonight (so she can keep sober) is extremely grateful for your utter lack of participation in her and this travesty.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 29, 2007 12:40 PM

Dang, people!! Get a grip. This stuff has been going on for 20+ years. Where the heck have you been and what were you doing about it?? This is not NEW NEWS.

But now that Marc Fisher opened up a Comment Board everyone wants blood and is self-righteous and pompous. Reminds me of people who sit on their butts and demand an end to the Iraq War...but still go about their day-to-day business unaffected, yet every once in a while (just to make themselves feel good) blurt out an anti-war diatribe. I can only carry the message not the alcoholic.

p.s. I'm sorry for the 15 year old who get caught up in this crap. And I can only guess that the 15 year old is extremely grateful for your participation in her and this travesty. Am I right?

Posted by: aaMember | August 29, 2007 1:03 PM

WHOEVER WROTE -- "keeping my side of the street clean and putting out my hand when the Newcomer walks into one of my meetings." is what has helped the Midtown Cult grow as large as they have, while that have continued to exploit as many adolescents as they have. While you were keeping your side of the street clean and putting out your hand when the Newcomer walks into one of your meetings, Midtown was running all of the Institutional AA meetings, where most of the really messed up newcomers are. Because Midtown is there and you are not, they never even make it to your meeting. Keep up the bad work. I'm sure that some 15 year old that being pressured into having sex with someone that's older than her father tonight (so she can keep sober) is extremely grateful for your utter lack of participation in her and this travesty." -- THANK YOU!! I COULD NOT HAVE SAID IT BETTER MYSELF.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 29, 2007 1:29 PM

Defenders of Midtown unite!!

Help the Higher Tiers molest a newcomer tonight!!

Posted by: Anonymous | August 29, 2007 1:30 PM

Maybe if we all keep our sides of the street clean and pray, it will only be another 20 years til they stop f***ing with newcomers. Gonna go do some street cleaning and hold a candlelight vigil now.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 29, 2007 1:39 PM

As a member of A.A., We need to address what is going on here. A similar occurrence happen in regards to control freaks, (The weak labels as sponsors) A.A. world's service conference then came out with the A.A. pledge in 1964/65 in response to the negativity of the
news media. This negative media was a direct result of the label that was "injected" into the whole, by Clarence S. The "self proclaimed" "Father of Alcoholics Anonymous."
They new something was wrong back then, that's why thy wrote the Traditions.

The title of "HIS" promotional pamphlet in 1944 says it all.

In 1975 "AFTER BILL W PASSED ON" Clarence came forward and his followers injected the pamphlet with the A.A. name on it this time. Why? And HOW?

Look when H/I was organized by the outside sponsorship system that needed a purpose and cause inside A.A. Look at the billion dollar book industries at Amozon.com
on how to become a sponsor in a 12 step program. Then face us and say this is A.A.

H/I was organized by the outside sponsorship system, and either one of them have anything to do with the willingness of another to sober up in A.A.

A.A. is not allied and should be so set apart that if needed that it can be discarded by the groups, The million dollar question ? Does Alcoholics Anonymous groups have the courage to change knowing this?

Read the post, The easy six step way to snagging a newcomer through sponsorship before they find A.A.

Posted by: ??? | August 29, 2007 1:55 PM

Personally, I believe, such as ... that at least I have the honesty to admit that I haven't done a DAM# thing about Midtown and their practices. What about all you other alcoholics. Where were you all when notices were sent out by WAIA to the Registered Groups asking for phone duty, H&I reps, GSR reps and the like? Where were you when the monthly meetings were being held in Silver Spring? So get off my case. Look in the mirror. I have.

Posted by: aaMember | August 29, 2007 2:09 PM

Clarence S claimed "HE WROTE" the first pamphlet on sponsorship in 1944.

The Big Book was first printed in 1939!!

"Connect the dots"

Posted by: Oneforallallforone | August 29, 2007 2:16 PM


Whats wrong with letting someone who is able to walk, after detoxing in a hospital or institution, walk into the doors of A.A.?
Instead of demoralizing them and dragging them in?
Guilt works in religion and heavy religious sponsorship groups but not here in A.A.

Posted by: ???? | August 29, 2007 2:24 PM


Have you ever noticed "SERVICE PEOPLE"
Have attitudes?

There must be a condition attached to the unconditional love they are trying to transmit.

Posted by: Oneforallallforone | August 29, 2007 2:57 PM

Ok, "aaMember" has admitted that he has done NOTHING to help with the Midtown problem. Good for him... Too bad others here will not have that depth of self honesty. Should we commend him for attempting to retard those who are DOING something about the midtown problem? No. But others will follow that lead. Alcoholism is a selfish disease. Being there for others unconditionally, in the manner in which THEY need it, runs across that self-made grain.

Re read this thread. There are AA's who have been working extremely hard to make a difference in and around WAIA and it's been people like "aaMember", "Oneforallallforone", "resentments", "troubled" and various other midtowners that have continually tried to derail their efforts. Either commit to being a part of the solution by actually having a service commitment at WAIA or get out of the way of those who are there now!!!!!!!

Posted by: Anonymous | August 29, 2007 3:04 PM

Mkay...

"It is a spiritual axiom that every time we are disturbed, no matter what the cause, there is something wrong with us..."

Yeah. I have a story about that.

When I was in Midtown, I didn't know Mike was into teens because he was dating a 30 year-old (his beard). When I was still new, I saw that 2 15 year-old girls were engaging in some very suggestive play (in public) with two guys that were 25 and 26. I brought it up with my boyfriend, saying it was unconscionable and why weren't the girls' sponsors intervening (and I said I would call their mothers if they didn't).

So, I showed up at a meeting (one held in Lewinsville Presbyterian Church, FYI). The leader was one of the higher-ups in the group. During his lead, he stares right at me and shares that crap about resentments and being judgmental. Then he asks if I want to share. I decline. After the meeting he comes up to me to talk about my "being judgmental."

Now, I never brought the subject up with him, only with my boyfriend. This guy I never spoke to about it directed his lead at me and then "called me out" about what I said--inside a car with only my boyfriend present.

Every time I brought up the young girls dating older guys (teenagers dating guys in their 20's is the extent of what I saw for a long time), another group member would quote that EXACT passage. Whenever I objected to anything in the group--like Arno collecting disability when he wasn't disabled--I heard the same quote.

As a result, it still makes me sick to hear it used "legitimately" in regular A.A. meetings. And I will never quote that cursed passage to anyone, ever.

P.S. I went to the girls' sponsor (a woman), and she filled me in on what their mothers were like. It seemed they were actually safer with the 25/26 year-old turds than at home with their mothers, from the sound of things. And such was the case for many, many people in Midtown (sadly).

Posted by: XQ | August 29, 2007 3:06 PM

I'm sorry "XQ", but if you have a problem with some 15 year olds being molested, then the problem is in you. You have to ask yourself if you want to molest a 15 year old because we have another saying too, which is, "If you spot it, you got it"! Now, stay away from WAIA, and midtown and stop being judgmental because if God didn't want those 15 year olds to be molested, then it wouldn't have happened, right?

Posted by: Don't stop the abuse!! | August 29, 2007 3:15 PM


Lets just say for the sake of argument from the do-gooders that we didn't attract ANY ONE.

AT LEAST WE DIDN'T PROMOTE someone.

PS. That was attract not attack.

Posted by: ????? | August 29, 2007 3:21 PM

HA HAHA HAHAHAHAHAHA

OMG

I love sarcasm

Posted by: Anonymous | August 29, 2007 3:22 PM

Also to Another Mom:

I can only imagine what it was like for your daughter to have the people responsible for her ending up in a hospital show up to haunt that very hospital. That's HORRENDOUS to even contemplate.

I can tell you that, when I tried to get help, I kept hearing from my therapist (actually, from 2 of them) that "AA is not a cult," even though I never claimed that it was.

Then I figured out pretty quickly that they didn't have a good working knowledge of what a cult DOES anyway. I hit the library and brought in books and articles to educate my own therapist so that she could help me--which she really didn't (she was a nice lady, but...no experience with this).

Even now, I find that most people (psychology degrees or not) don't have a very functional idea of what happens in a cult and why it's so hard to even trust your own gut feelings that something is deeply, deeply wrong.

I hope your daughter gets the support she needs. In my experience, I had to make do with the resources I had, flawed as they were. It was always helpful to talk to other former members--in that, at least someone believed me and really, truly "got" what I meant about what went on there--but there was sooooo much anger that the therapeutic effect was pretty much nil.

I just wanted to say all this so that you know--and can maybe tell her--that she is NOT alone, no matter what it may feel like at times.

I wish you both the best.

Posted by: XQ | August 29, 2007 3:29 PM

Don't stop the abuse!! Stated"I'm sorry "XQ", but if you have a problem with some 15 year olds being molested, then the problem is in you."

Don't let me catch or see you or you molesting a Girl, or will need a God.
What a sick person you and your Sponsors are.

Posted by: ?????? | August 29, 2007 3:30 PM

That's the most stupid comment posted here, bar none. Unfortunately, that's the general consensus, if not condensed, of most the posters, be they with Midtown or not. With that level of stupidity and sloth so readily apparent, those who have every intention of milking A.A. for what its worth, should be able to do so in less than 20 years. At which time, A.A.'s message, its effectiveness and its integrity will be utterly compromised. As a result, it would be reasonable to assume that A.A. should fall, like the Oxford Group, and like the Washingtonian Group, in under 50 years.

And it couldn't have happened without your participation, or lack thereof.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 29, 2007 3:31 PM

I see I touched a nerve with the mention of something really actionable (collecting disability when not disabled).

Posted by: XQ | August 29, 2007 3:31 PM

WOW...I am speechless as to where this discussion is going

Posted by: an | August 29, 2007 3:32 PM

Dear ?????????????????????????:

Ever heard of SARCASM? Lighten up.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 29, 2007 3:35 PM

up here in NY we don't have a lot of girls putting out-- maybe you horn dogs in DC wanna share the wealth?

Posted by: interested | August 29, 2007 3:38 PM

Collecting a financial income unethically is a Midtown norm. Townties are encouraged to look up towards those who can pull it off successfully. Don't even deny this, or I'll site exact references.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 29, 2007 3:39 PM

Thank you for your thoughts and for sharing your experience here, XQ. As far as I'm concerned, you are one of the most important people on this blog. So don't let the sarcasm confuse the points being made here, cuz I'm not. I hear you loud and clear.

Posted by: Another Mom | August 29, 2007 3:40 PM

Another Mom:

Cool.

Posted by: XQ | August 29, 2007 3:44 PM

People that don't get sarcasm and think the person is being serious are IDIOTS

Posted by: Anonymous | August 29, 2007 3:44 PM

"Don't stop the abuse!!" is a typical non drinking idiot. You'll find walking examples, exactly like that, throughout this blog. They may not be harming these adolescences, but they ignore their screams because it doesn't have anything to do with them, and their feeling a little guilty for not stepping up to stop it (mainly because their lazy or a coward), so they try to prevent others from stepping up to stop it.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 29, 2007 3:46 PM

i've never seen a bigger bunch of cry babies and whiners..

ok mom's what u need to understand is what your sweet little girls did on their knees on the streets to get their fix.. AA is filled with crack w*ores.. no big news.. AA saves lives.. but your sweet little girls and boys won't become angels overnight..

if they are banging old men.. perhaps they should be getting some deeper character building at home?

they don't change from hustling a buck to virgins overnight..

the fact that many of these girls were se*ually abused under their parent's watch is something for you to clean up..

if these kids are acting out se*ually there is something in them that needs to be addressed..

Posted by: victims | August 29, 2007 3:50 PM

Dear Interested:
All you have to do is gather some of your guy friends together (you sound like a spiritual, seeking God's will kinda bunch) and go to the local rehab proclaiming the gifts of A.A. Then tell the tweens they're selfish and self-centered if they don't drop to their knees. They'll be so scared of relapsing they'll do it. Try it! It's been tested tried and true down here. Good luck. Then when you develop a conscience and gain some maturity, females above the age of 14 might be more attracted to you.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 29, 2007 3:51 PM

Hello? "Don't stop the abuse" was KIDDING. Get a brain cell!

Posted by: Anonymous | August 29, 2007 3:53 PM

I wasn't being sarcastic. Ok, maybe I was; but only alittle. Go to any midtown meeting tonight and you'll hear these sweet catch phrases come out of no less than 2 pre-programmed mouths. If it's a larger meeting, you'll hear them come out of more pre-programmed mouths. Abusers love these sayings, as do the people who would allow these abusers to thrive. The only real difference is that the abusers know what they are doing, and why. These enablers are usually too stupid, lazy, or riddled with their own sins to know why they transmit that bullcrap.

Posted by: Don't stop the abuse!! | August 29, 2007 3:56 PM

I'm denying it. References please.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 29, 2007 3:56 PM

Q:I have just come to the realization that I'm addicted to feeling like a victim. I would like to know how I can truly overcome this addiction and empower myself.

A:Please keep in mind that in some cases people have to seek professional help for serious emotional issues. But if your situation isn't too severe then this will help.

You might want to read the answer to the question that I answered before yours: "How do you take control of your emotions instead of letting your emotions take control of you?" The answer to that question will help you get started because the first thing that you want do is figure out what the positive intent is.

Once you know the positive intentions of the emotions that you are experiencing, then you want uncover the secondary gain. In other words, what are you gaining from feeling and behaving the way you do?

It has been said that all behavior is useful in some context. Stop and think about that. You are benefiting in some manner as a result of being the victim. For example some people crave the attention and "pat on the back" that they get from being the victim. If you have trouble figuring out what the secondary gain is email me. al@alduncan.net

You must know what the secondary gain is because a change in behavior will not last unless the secondary gain is maintained. Find a different way to achieve the secondary gain and it will be easier for you to let go of feeling like a victim.

http://www.alduncan.net/feeling-like-a-victim.html

Posted by: duncan | August 29, 2007 4:05 PM


Reference delivered as requested.

Brice, Mike Q.'s previous right hand man, was the one that started the whole "spill the coffee on your genitals, then sue the McDonald's" fad. He used up a newcomer while doing it, by manipulating the newcomer to lie about what really happened. He helped to screw up our legal system with his bogus law suit and all he had to do was spill some coffee on his testicles, while destroying the spiritual conditioning of the newcomer that he used. He used a portion of the stolen money to take Mike Q. to Mexico, for vacation. That's where he broke his neck and back, while driving the rented jeep from the stolen money. Mike left his (then) main Lieutenant, the person most loyal to him in a debilitated Mexican Hospital, so that he could make it back to Midtown, so everyone could hear him speak... Brice appeared to wake up for a period by leaving the MG, but his conditioning ran too deep, and he returned to where his character defects could roam without confrontation.

Posted by: Reference delivered as requested. | August 29, 2007 4:15 PM

Thanks references! The truth is so funny it hurts.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 29, 2007 4:24 PM

And another one.... This is a posted comment from Love and Service, on "one of those midtown hater" (myspace) sites.


We are noticing emails and comments suggesting that some people cant comment because they have no personal experience or proof of sex crimes and embezzelment. Rest assure we have plenty of evidence of such conduct. The following is an email written to one of Q's "grand pigeons" (who is now the treasurer at WAIA) regarding left over money from a trip to costa rica last year (the day after the yearly play), The Q himself responds with what to do with that money, Take a look:


Jack,

I wanted to let you know that I unexpectedly received the US Air deposit
back on my credit card. I could put $1,522 in your account tomorrow if you
want. I did not tell anyone that they would be receiving this money back as
it was factored into the cumulative amount. Last year we got the returned
deposit about 2 to 3 months after the trip and used it for Project Toronto
room rental (per Q). Thought you and Q could use this cash for this trip.
Just send me your account info (I think it is United Bank) and I will
deposit a check tomorrow.

Not too much is happening here....I have been getting lots of phone calls
which is good and have been studying (but definitley feel fear re: exam). I
paid my registration today for the last 2 sections and am going to sign up
to take Regulation at the end of January and Audit at the end of February.

The only other thing I wanted to write you is last night (the night before
Susan left for Costa), I wanted to make sure to have sex. She was
downstairs until after midnight and before she came upstairs I watched some
Cinemax (almost to stay focused). Didn't feel that great about that and
didn't want to tell you, but I was happy to have sex.

Thanks for the time and I will talk to you soon. Hope you are getting some
solid surf and I know you are having a great time.

JG

Hey John,

Looks like we need to stay five more days, me and Court see if you
can handle the plane tickets from your end and also the rental car .....use
the new money for this. Also what did you find out about France? Hopefully
that's locked in. You can deposit into my Bank of America if need be.
Thanks!

Write me back,
Mike


Cool.....got your message. He was up to some self-will, I wanted to see if
he had said anything to you. I will give you a call later...i'm back in the
office. I'm mean he can't be the only guy kissing 15 year olds while
playing truth and dare.
- Show quoted text -


Reply Forward

Jack Reid
to
More options Feb 13 (5 days ago)
i heard about that from lil robin -- sounds totally friggin cra-Z to me!
all i know is that pappa has been in on at least 2 of these things...


I know that PB, 24 hour john, Heather, and the 15 year old took part. I
know that both PB and 24 hour made out with the 15 year old. I think
Heather only kissed PB on the cheek. I found out through Alexis at Midtown.
PB was at my house yesterday helping me out and never said a word. Major
dishonesty. I talked to him after midtown and told him this is bulls##t and
this is what drinking people do. He called me later crying and saying that
he feels unsafe. I told him to read the big book. Didn't know what else to
say.....seemed like an act to me. I don't think Robin was there either. I
will find out more...I focused more on his blatant dishonesty than what
happened at T/D. JM broke up with him after midtown....either she knows
about the T/D, but it seemed like she was heading that way anyway.

Posted by: Reference delivered as requested. | August 29, 2007 4:40 PM

Are the midtown defenders "getting" the picture yet or do you want to keep sticking your head in the sand?

Posted by: Anonymous | August 29, 2007 4:49 PM

That's the problem, isn't it? If they take their head out, then they're morally and ethically responsible to act accordingly. Untreated alcoholics are centered within self, which suggests, if not mandates, that they have little to no interest in acting in a manner that is centered in selfless service. Midtown will continue to grow and its knowing and unknowing defenders will not only enable this to happen, they will prevent those of us who want to help, from doing so.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 29, 2007 4:57 PM

To whoever said this discussion was getting crazy (my word), I agree with you. But that doesn't mean we quit.

I was going to write something long about how some people here see an avalanche of evidence that child molestation is occurring, yet all they do is criticize those who want it stopped, on the grounds that anyone who is disturbed or angry about anything, ever, has some spiritual deficiency. To wit, they then lift a quote from the Big Book.

Well, let you give my take on this:

If anyone, anywhere, sees a child being molested and DOES NOT BECOME DISTURBED, THAT PERSON IS SPIRITUALLY AND EMOTIONALLY ILL.

If anyone, anywhere, sees a child being molested and SAYS AND DOES NOTHING, that person is spiritually and emotionally ill.

If anyone, anywhere, is next to a child being molested and SEES NOTHING, that person is spiritually and emotionally ill.

My friends, the twisting and perversion of the teachings of our program by the sociopaths of Midtown is sickening. They take our program of love, faith, self caring, selflessness, service, honesty, and integrity and turn it into a pack of lies, distortions, perversions, selfishness, predatory and exploitive behavior, and sexual molestation and dominance. Midtown is not AA. Midtown is not even remotely AA. Midtown is a cancer on AA and on every member of AA.

Finally, to my Midtown co-blogger who said that as we are pit bulls attacking Midtown who won't let go, and that we should "let go and let God": It is my God's will that I help put an end to child molestation. Because my God doesn't favor child molestation. Does yours?

But Midtowners are not all powerful. To the contrary, they are weak in the same way that all people like them are weak. They put on a good show on the outside but on the inside they are panicking. They are not just lying hypocrites. They are panicking lying hypocrites. They are terrified of what is about to happen.

OK, unctuous Midtowners, anything else?

Posted by: DCC | August 29, 2007 5:49 PM

Hmmmmmm. Let me check my new preamble ... Our primary purpose is to stay sober and put an end to child molestation. Yep. It's right there.

Seriously, DCC, AA was not meant to take on such a serious and horrible crime. Your efforts to end child exploitation would be most welcome at www.missingkids.com in their Exploited Child Division.

Tell 'em AA sent ya'!

Posted by: aaMember | August 29, 2007 8:35 PM

That's certainly a good idea, aaMember, seriously!

I assume you'd agree that the Big Book and our Traditions were not meant to shield child molesters. The passage quoted was taken out of context and didn't apply to someone seeing child molestation. I also assume you'd agree that just because the Preamble says nothing about ending child molestation doesn't mean that our fellowship condones it.

This behavior has happened by design at Midtown repeatedly and I don't see how so many members can treat it so lightly. I don't want to tell anyone how to do their program and there are many ways to get and stay sober. But I think we can insist that a group calling itself an AA group not be a haven for sexual predators operating under the AA name.

Posted by: DCC | August 29, 2007 9:13 PM

wow, still more name calling. how pitiful!

I do see that Mike Q's prize quote of the spiritual axiom is still widely used to exploit the new comer, victim, what ever.

that quote is to make peace with one self, not to be used to exploit some unsuspecting victim of abuse. Now Mike was notorius for saying this quote word for word - page by page to tell the victim (who walked in on him having sex with the other woman, the friends girlfriend, the wife etc) So the friend rightfuly disturbed, in order to be spiritual bowed to this perverted statement.
so the perversion will continue so long as there is this "Spritual Axiom" to use in the guise of aa and God.-- hummmm - just like the Catholic Preist I suppose?

if your mad your mad, that is allowed, and not "un" spritual. If your hurt- same applies, if your a victim - run like hell- wake up and seek immidiate counsel!

Posted by: exexex | August 29, 2007 9:47 PM

aaMember, I've looked back at your posts. I appreciate now that this has been going on for a long time - over 20 years. But this wasn't generally known and this information from Newsweek, the local TV channels, and the Washington Post is hitting a lot of people (like me) from out of the blue.

Northern Va isn't in the WAIA, despite the WA in its title, so we might have even less contact with an AA community that is associated in some way with Midtown. The Northern Va community is very large - don't know how big in comparison to Montgomery, Prince Georges, and DC but it's big, with a large number of clubs, thousands of members, and lots of activities similar to Midtown's. I have been a GSR and done other service work. I believe that Northern Va might change the balance here.

It must be discouraging if you've seen this go on for 20 years and been unable to do anything. Just having found out about this, I'm not throwing in the towel here. I believe that this problem can be solved.

Although the many underage girls who have been molested and the many older ones who were mistreated bother me a great deal, as does the use of "pigeons" as servants of sponsors, and the other economic exploitation, and the pressure on member patients to stop their medication, one thing that particularly bothers me is the perversion of our AA vocabulary, Traditions, slogans, and Big Book quotations which are are folded into the Midtown Newspeak such that the meanings are reversed. That's a reason the use of the Big Book quote this afternoon made me especially angry - yes, I'm not afraid to admit that I feel the human emotion of anger.

Language is important, and Midtown's perverted mapping of our language into its distorted belief system gives Midtown the credibility of AA while allowing the most outrageous transgressions to be conducted. The appropriation of the AA name also bothers me a great deal as this has the likelihood of damaging AA's reputation, keeping newcomers away, preventing referrals from alcoholism professionals, possibly encouraging government laws and regulations, and in general keeping the hand of AA from being there in the future for those who need it.

AA held out a helping hand to me in 1985 when I most needed it, and I truly want the hand of AA to be there for those who will need it in the future. Midtown endangers that. This is where I'm coming from.

Posted by: DCC | August 29, 2007 9:48 PM

reference delivered, very interesting! wow!

Posted by: DCC | August 29, 2007 10:31 PM

DCC, you have to understand that even though most, if not all, of the information you have read about Midtown in this blog may be new news to you, most of the information and personal stories (including the email about depositing the return deposit into Q's account) has been public knwoledge posted for a long time on the myspace websites previously referred to. So this stuff is nothing new to many here, especially the X-members. What's new is that this dialog has been going on this long between a variety of ex's, current, thinking of leaving, or never have been a Midtown members about this cancer. That is a good thing as it gives an avenue for both sides to speak. The bottom line is that "nothing changes if nothing changes." People have known for a long time what has been going on there and although have they have tried different means, still the cancer grows. Mike's passing MIGHT change that a little bit, but the cancer still grows deep and, as you can see, the denial grows even deeper. Everyone posting here feels threatenend in one way or another. That means we all are acting out of some sort of fear...either for the newcomer, or the child, or the program of AA, or the loss of their home group. All of these fears are real to each one of us. How can we overcome them, we know the differences between the anit-midtowners and the defenders....do we have any similarities? If so, is there a foundation there in which to dialog about a Solution? Just thought I would throw it out there...I'll probably get lambasted, so go ahead!!

Posted by: Similarities | August 29, 2007 11:08 PM

Similarities, I have had similar thoughts. Thank you for being here. I cannot respond to this now, but I would like to later on; perhaps after I meditate on the issue further.

Posted by: One voice. | August 29, 2007 11:31 PM

Why was my comment censored???

Posted by: Grateful X Midtowner | August 29, 2007 11:38 PM

Did you use any curse words, or derogatory terms?

Posted by: Anonymous | August 29, 2007 11:39 PM

From the mouths of babes..I was taking my 17 year old daughter to college. I was feeling very sad and emotional. I have been sober 18 yrs but only attend a few alanon meetings at this stage of my sobriety. My daughter has never taken a drink or mind-altering substance. We discussed drinking and drugs in college and this is what she said, "Mom I am never going to start drinking..no way..I don't want to even chance having to go to AA. I realize it helped you but most of the people I've seen are wacked. They seem to use AA as an excuse to act crazy." I agree with her for the most part. Granted she has really only seen and been around Washington AA which I do think is very messed up. So kids think of it this way..If you never drink..you don't have to go to AA.

Posted by: Sober Mom | August 29, 2007 11:48 PM

Similarities, I am hearing a lot that these problems have been known for a long time, and also that they have been posted for a long time, so in theory it's been public. But many, many members are just hearing of this.

I have no doubt that a lot of Midtowners may be uncomfortable with certain aspects of their group, and be amenable to change, and like other aspects. I'm sure there are positive aspects, although it does seem to me from what I've read, heard from others I've recently talked to and seen here, there are many aspects that are bad and for which we ought to have zero tolerance.

I have posted a number of posts above on solutions. I tend to react to the denials and rationalizations, however, as I think it's important to counter them as they come up. I'm planning to try and collect all the ideas and try and summarize and organize them, at a minimum for myself. Briefly, from memory:

1) An organized set of first person accounts - sounds like this may have been done

2) A concise, organized statement of "charges" against Midtown, for want of a better word, which could be presented to the media and to outside organizations.

3) Working groups with outside professionals and organizations to get professional opinions about this cult phenomenon, to get opinions which could be published, to network broader and outside the fellowship

4) A comprehensive list of resources (meetings, clubs, etc) as alternatives to Midtown for probably mostly young people who are interested in social activities, sports, dances, picnics, outings, ski and scuba trips, etc (there are a lot in NoVa where I live)

5) A plan to encourage and educate people to participate in WAIA (which unfortunately does not include NoVa) and a plan of action once that is done

6) A comprehensive web site for organizing activities and discussions. I haven't looked at the other sites in detail and that may already exist. this would include a confidential whistle blower and lifeline for MT members wanting to provide information or get help.

7) A set of steps for MT recovery (about a dozen I posted above, which are roughly analogues to our steps)

8) A comprehensive plan for media and GSO relations.

9) Some legal strategy or thoughts for curtailing this Midtown conduct.

10) A strategy, as you noted, for trying to work with Midtown - for establishing "diplomatic relations" and negotiations.

I am sure a lot of this has been done in one form or another already. I imagine the Marc Fisher and Newsweek articles didn't just come out of nowhere. I figure that the effort to stop Midtown abuse is now is a position to recruit many more helpers now that the word has gotten out.

Posted by: DCC | August 29, 2007 11:56 PM

So given that a lot of members are just hearing of this, and a lot of outsiders are just hearing of this, I think the situation is hopeful and the movement to remove the offending behavior can quickly pick up a lot of support.

Posted by: DCC | August 30, 2007 12:02 AM

I used a few, but I was quoting someone who posted earlier.

At this point it seems rather nonsensical to respond to such an asinine post though, so I'll leave it alone.

Posted by: Grateful X Midtowner | August 30, 2007 12:07 AM

This is way more than a cancer here; it is a corps when service is no longer just one drunk talking to another.

It has become that a certain type going "outside" the doors of A.A. then calling them self A.A. - making fun of A.A. believing they are A.A.
when all they are is control freak sponsors and controlled babies trained "TO BE OF SERVICE" is obviously SICK

Tell A.A. what more is there than one drunk FREELY talking to another?

What wrong with being kind and giving another back to themselves?
The outside Sponsorship System is the downfall of just one drunk talking freely another - It's no longer free there's a condition.

Screw A.A. lets all Join the corps they say.
A.A. needs to cut them lose and if they don't come back GREAT.
And if they do come back STOP the meeting and get it back to the A.A. message
Not the Self proclaimed sponsorship crap and "their job propaganda crap"
A.A. works and A.A. works good, period.

Learn the TRADITIONS of A.A. before a sponsor wants to learn about you. GET IT

Posted by: ?????? | August 30, 2007 12:20 AM

Question marks, I agree with you that AA is basically one drunk talking to another, and also a group of drunks sharing one at a time in a meeting. To me, this is the heart of the program and the part that makes it somehow miraculous. This worked for me and worked well.

I'm not exactly sure what the sponsorship issue is here. But I agree that no sponsor should have some sort of military authority over a sponsee. At least that would have never worked for me and IMO there are some inherent dangers and drawbacks. Most groups I've been in have enough mental health and checks and balances to keep the relationships safe.

Posted by: DCC | August 30, 2007 12:37 AM

To DCC
Thanks for "BEING" here

Theres many substitutions for faith. But there is none for God.

The superstition of sponsorship leads others away from the group as a whole, usually before they can really get there. Then it's no longer one drunk just talking to another, now creating a distinction between drunks. It's called the Big boy talking to a Little Boy.

Sponsorship is a distinction and there should be "NO DISTINCTIONS AMONGST US"

That's why A.A. works great and others (sponsors)just try to claim it.

Posted by: ?????? | August 30, 2007 1:04 AM

DCC,
It was really was rude of me to "assume" you knew the Traditions which could easily cause a distinction between us. I will show you Tradition 12 on pg 187 in the 12X12
"Moved by the spirit of anonymity, we try to give up are natural desires for personal distinction as A.A. members BOTH among fellow alcoholics and before general public."

The prior Tradition 11 on 183 " This Tradition is a constant and practical reminder that personal ambition has no place in A.A."

Thanks again for being here.

Posted by: ?????? | August 30, 2007 1:33 AM

I'm not a big fan of sponsorship as many people practice it. However, it seems to me that most everyone needs some help when they first come in. Meanwhile, while sponsorship is practically universal across groups in my experience, it is practically unheard of, again in my experience, for male sponsors to sponsors young females, and to have sex with them, and to have them perform as free servants. So I don't see sponsorship per se as the problem with Midtown.

In 1985-90 I went to a 12x12 meeting every week where we read aloud one chapter per week and discussed it. That was more than 2 full passes of the entire book each year for five years so I am well acquainted with the opinions in the book.

I'm one of those people who strongly believes, as you certainly seem to, that there should be no Big Boy talking to Little Boy in any AA recovery context. I do not take anything written in the big book or the 12x12 as gospel, but simply as the opinions of those who wrote them, albeit informed by a great deal of experience with the program.

I certainly have no objection to anyone professing faith in God and most people I know do. As I've said above, I am an agnostic. I'm happy that AA allows me complete freedom to believe what I do without anyone trying to convince me of their beliefs, and this has worked well now for nearly 23 years.

And yes, I'm happy you're in on this discussion here too. I figure a lot has gone wrong with Midtown and, beyond anything else, we need to make sure that the hand of AA is available and that it is a helping hand, not that of a predator.

Posted by: DCC | August 30, 2007 1:57 AM

I never heard of the term, "Sponsorship System" before this thread. Drop the rock already!! ??????????... We got your point, the last 30+ times. We're trying to come up with solutions to the Midtown cancer that's feeding off of A.A., and you keep throwing rocks in the process. Seriously, you've done more to distract from our progress here than Midtown members have, and their Cult's about ready to fall down or take off. You're helping it to take off!

From now on, please, everyone else, when a midtown member attempts to throw a monkey wrench into this or when someone else makes another whack comment, please, please, just walk past it and continue with allowing those who have been hurt, to speak freely about it. If you want to contribute to the solution, please do, but let the other people fly about, undisturbed. Bird won't listen to you and neither will they.

Posted by: We’re here to discuss midtown, not ?????’s issues with sponsorship. | August 30, 2007 3:02 AM

The Midtown group in no way violated or perverted any of AA's Traditions. Tradition 4 for example is negated by Traditions 1 and 2. AA has leaders who are but trusted servants and if they bothered to govern, the midtown scandal would have been dealt with long ago.
What a disgraceful case of negligence.

Posted by: Ian Richardson | August 30, 2007 9:05 AM

DCC
"Everyone need help" and there is a need to associate with our fellow, One drunk talking to another, period, NOT this distinction stuff of the Sponsorship System that tries to SALE YOU there idea.
The ideas of A.A. in the A,B,C's is precise and clear what is B?
Many are just conditioned to the System that is another dependency that is turning sick like the alcohol did.
I am not trying to tell you this, I know better than that, How can you tell anyone something if they are dependent on it, you can't and should not.
Thats what makes A.A. a discovery program for ones self. It's hard to Join anything
if you are following. It's like tring to love and hate at the same time
IMPOSSIBLE
A.A. "of itself" "works" and A.A. works good

Posted by: ?????? | August 30, 2007 9:30 AM

(We're here to discuss midtown) stated
"I never heard of the term, "Sponsorship System" before this thread."

"Wish I never herd about Midtown either."

This is about midtown, as it FELL FOR THE S.S.

Learn their traditions! "Where it came from" not what you think it should be.
The trick is not to confuse it with A.A.
One drunk freely talking to another a gift freely given. Not a system that operates out of fear if you don't.

Posted by: ?????? | August 30, 2007 9:51 AM


Blank Posted by: | August 29, 2007 03:51 PM
"Dear Interested:
All you have to do is gather some of your guy friends together (you sound like a spiritual, seeking God's will kinda bunch) and go to the local rehab"

WE DON"T PROMOTE or implicate A.A. IN ANY WAY.
WHY NOT LET THEM COME TO US (Willingness)RATHER THAN HUNT FOR THEM SO YOU CAN BE THERE SPONSOR? You did say they were already in rehab, didn't you.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 30, 2007 10:00 AM

DCC, Stated "I am well acquainted with the opinions in the book"

The Traditions are not opinions, They were not written subjectively like the steps but objectively from A.A's experience.
Maybe thats why we just can't get it here.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 30, 2007 10:14 AM

Congrats Marc Fisher, you're the new Michael Moore! A one sided story to promote your own ego.

The only difference is that Michael Moore at least slants the facts. You just rely on rumor and innuendo.

You crossed the line from journalism to promoting your own agenda.

Posted by: WhatHappenedToTheInvestigation | August 30, 2007 10:28 AM

Timewilltell/?????, I understand you are trying to get people to understand your point, and you can see some of us are trying. BUT you are suggesting changes to a well established system of sponsorship in AA. Your points may well be something for all to meditate on, it isn't dealing with the REALITY that Midtown is agressively going into hospitals (even the ones they have been banned from) trying to recruit newcomers. Reality must be dealt with REAL actions, not the concepts (right or wrong) you keep trying to explain to everyone. That's simply not a solution to what is happening with Midtown TODAY. Thank you for your insight but please try to understand, we're not trying to "GET" your concept here because concepts won't address the aggressive, predatory behavior by MT. Its too broad, vague, and beyond the scope of what we need to focus on here. Thank you.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 30, 2007 10:30 AM

BlanK Posted by: | August 30, 2007 10:30 AM

You don't understand A.A. has nothing to do with anything outside of a meeting.
Don't confuse A.A. with the operations of the outside sponsorship system operating in outside hospitals and Institutions.


Posted by: Anonymous | August 30, 2007 10:36 AM

Midtown has already confused itself with AA when it is not, we're trying to deal with the actions of Midtown here.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 30, 2007 10:39 AM

(BLANK )Posted by: | August 30, 2007 10:30 AM
"a well established system of sponsorship in AA."

You said it, now if you can just get it

The TRADITIONS of A.A. CONDEMNS the SYSTEMS
WAYS, Thats why so many are scared to look and understand the Traditions.

Take a closer look at the Traditions keeping an open mind.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 30, 2007 10:49 AM


(Blank) Posted by: | "August 30, 2007 10:39 AM
Midtown has already confused itself with AA when it is not, we're trying to deal with the actions of Midtown here."

Is midtown in the A.A. directory ?
Is the sponsorship system promoted thought out A.A

Many are confused when the label sponsor is not even mentioned in the Big Book. Yet promote and raised.
YA BUT

Posted by: Anonymous | August 30, 2007 10:58 AM

There's NO POINT arguing about sponsership systems...

No one in AA is going to give up their sponsers, no matter how many times you post a new message about it here.

Moving on...!

Posted by: Grateful X Midtowner | August 30, 2007 10:59 AM

LET IT START WITH LOOKING AT OUR SELFS INSTEAD OF OTHERS, IN A.A OR NOT!

GOT IT ? if not I hope you will get it.

A good start is the Traditions anyone want to argue abut them too?

Posted by: Anonymous | August 30, 2007 11:06 AM


Grateful X Midtowner Quote
"No one in AA is going to give up their sponsers"

You are now speaking for everyone in A.A.?
yet no one of A.A.
Are you A.A's new sponsor?

Posted by: Anonymous | August 30, 2007 11:23 AM

As I stated, these diatribes are pointless.

It sounds like you're trying to change the subject here.

The subject of the debate on this blog is the Midtown Group, and that's what will be discussed here.

Posted by: Grateful X Midtowner | August 30, 2007 11:25 AM

This is how midtown got to where it is.

As an X midtown member you maybe still conditioned? seek outside help
God bless and keep coming back

Posted by: Anonymous | August 30, 2007 11:29 AM

Why are you so invested in changing the subject of the discussion here? It sounds very suspicious....hmm.

You can say what you want, but I won't respond anymore. That's enough trolls for one day!

Posted by: Grateful X Midtowner | August 30, 2007 11:31 AM

Cut and paste

LET IT START WITH LOOKING AT OUR SELFS INSTEAD OF OTHERS, IN A.A OR NOT!

Posted by: Anonymous | August 30, 2007 11:32 AM

Can I order a pepperoni pizza with olives?

Posted by: Anonymous | August 30, 2007 11:43 AM

Cut and paste

LET IT START WITH LOOKING AT OUR SELFS INSTEAD OF OTHERS, IN A.A OR NOT!

GOT IT ? if not you will get it.

A good start is the Traditions anyone want to argue and abut them too?

Posted by: CUTAND PASTE | August 30, 2007 11:49 AM

A established system..Yes! A well established system..Questionable? I anticipate that all 12 step programs may soon go by the wayside..There are many treatment facilities that have started using other treatments for addictions. They are able to keep accurate data about recovery success. AA, because of their Traditions has some rather clouded statistics relating to the recovery success..it is pretty safe to say that the recovery rate in AA is not that successful, hence the reason insurance companies and Addiction Mental Health Professional are using other methods and treatments. There is already a decline starting in 12 step treatment.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 30, 2007 12:28 PM

www.healthrecovery.com

Posted by: Anonymous | August 30, 2007 12:33 PM

WhatHappenedToTheInvestigation posted the following:

Congrats Marc Fisher, you're the new Michael Moore! A one sided story to promote your own ego.

The only difference is that Michael Moore at least slants the facts. You just rely on rumor and innuendo.

You crossed the line from journalism to promoting your own agenda.

Marc Fisher DID interview many people in AA also churches institutions/rehabs. The facts for you and many others hurt. The only innuendo or rumor here is what you wrote and the fact that you wrote it is to promote YOUR agenda. as for the MT group I personally do not believe everyone there is bad or even is aware what is going on but there is no doubt that there has been egregious disturbing behavior going on for some time and now its out, there is no stopping it now. I very much wish you and EVERYONE in AA well

Posted by: DEN in AA | August 30, 2007 12:44 PM

The Midtown Group, as an institution, uses sexual promiscuity, innuendos, rumors, financial and public recognition rewards, lies, abuse, and a sever level of peer pressured manipulation to keep those within its fold, in line. The Midtown Group, as an institution, frequently uses these tools so that they can continue to promote, control, fulfill and extend THEIR agenda, within the unsuspecting and all too trusting A.A. fellowship. When they have fully exposed and worn out one of these frequently used tools (in a given circumstance/situation), such has been witnessed by the horribly slanderous character assassinations that several Midtown members have posted on this thread alone; they switch tools and use another one from their limited tool chest of shortcomings, say, like distraction (ordering a pizza or repeatedly attempting and demanding to draw the topic off topic).

Seriously people, stop being played. If someone on this thread character assassinates another horribly or attempts to repeatedly change the topic, mark it up as Midtown behavior or the ravings of an idiot that doesn't know why the rest of us are here, then do not respond to mentioned midtown member or idiot (one and the same, perhaps?) and STAY ON TOPIC. Empty wagons are supposed to make noise. It's what they do. Stop trying to fruitlessly correct a natural state of non awareness for one, or all, of these empty wagons.

Posted by: Would you send your 14 year old daughter to Midtown? | August 30, 2007 1:24 PM

AA is a self cleaning oven, when the heat gets too high, the crap flakes off and burns. That is the basis of the Traditions.

Facts: A CFG leader is currently in jail. Another just recently drank while attempting to tell hundreds of others about 'real AA'.

A guy goes to his high school reporter friend, with unsubstantiated claims about Midtown, and Newsweek prints a story. The CFG group brings the same unsubstantiated claims to every news channel and paper in town, and more articles are printed.

The key here is unsubstantiated claims - unfortunately, as any lawyer or cop can tell you, eyewitness testimony is the single most unreliable evidence that exists.

So by using friends and harassment to bring unsubstantiated claims to the public's attention gets transformed into 'Midtown is causing a problem in AA?'

How is that? Because somebody went to their friend to print a story based on b.s.?

Oh, but Worthless Jerry's MySpace page says it is true? Rob K., who just drank again, says it is true?

Until 1 allegation can be corroborated by anyone outside of either camp, keep this out of the public. All that is being accomplished is tarnishing the AA name.

And saying 'but we are protecting the children' is not an excuse to break traditions, as the people doing that - who have just drank again - should be proof of.

Posted by: Some Guy | August 30, 2007 2:20 PM

More cult evidence.. The word on the street is that I drank. This is what the Q instills in the followers if anyone leaves the group "they drank".

I AM CLEAN AND SOBER. CALL ME: 202-489-7730 OR JUST COME AND LOOK FOR ME IN AA MEETINGS, YOU WONT FIND ME IN THE CULT MEETINGS...

Posted by: Rob K | August 30, 2007 2:27 PM

Come on Rob, you know you're drinking. Admit it. How could you stay sober without Midtown? Everyone knows if you leave Midtown it's only a matter of time before you're stupid drunk. I'm surprised you didn't drink sooner than this. Real A.A. is a crock and eventually we all go back to King Alcohol. Thank God Midtown is there or we would be without hope. Midtown, save me from these A.A. spiritual freaks! Lure me into your lair of hypocrisy and sexual deviance. I can't survive on my own! I need sex & money replacement addictions to feel good about myself!

Posted by: Anonymous | August 30, 2007 2:36 PM

Boy, you are "Some guy" allright. Abuse, deny and lie....guess we are back to that phase again. I guess you want everyone here to believe the parent's and ex-members' personal stories here are uncorroberated as the victims of the abuse. We can't believe them, but we should believe you, while you try to redirect the focus from your group by publicly using an OUT RIGHT LIE about Rob K. Then you have the nerve to talk about tarnishing the AA name. How typical of you.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 30, 2007 2:50 PM

I'm not a member of either Midtown or CFG, just a local AA member that is sick of this blatant tradition breaking in the name of a 'cause'. Does anyone in CFG realize that the rest of the AA members in the area cringe whenever we hear of another story or have any clue how you come across in general?

Bill W. wrote the traditions because of various problems occured in the development of A.A. and because he had been advised of the Washingtonian Group. The Washingtonians had started in the mid 1860's by a group of drunks helping to keep other drunks sober, and was incredibly successful in a short period of time. Within 10 years, the Washingtonians were all gone, because they had decided that since they were doing such wonderful work with drunks, why not take on many other causes?

So Bill wrote the traditions to keep that from happening in A.A. Well, here it is, today.

Do any CFG leaders wish to post their sexual histories here? With dates?

That is not the issue here, it is using whatever means necessary to promote your resentments - which is blatantly obvious to 3rd party observers.

And please, don't start lumping me in as a 'Q', as it is stated in these posts that Midtowners gangs up on non-members but if you read the posts, you will see the CFG gang up on anyone that does not agree with their opinions.

If anything, it seems that the pot has called the kettle black and is in fact entirely capable of being black without the kettle now. We do not need to be A.A. vigilantes.

Posted by: Some Guy | August 30, 2007 2:52 PM

I'm glad that it's becoming apparent on this thread why some who leave Midtown have a hard time rejoining A.A.:

1. When former members show up to A.A. meetings, they hear slogans and literature passages that they've been hearing--in perverted fashion--in Midtown; these citations of the literature were used to justify the worst of Midtown's offenses, and sometimes it's just too much to hear them repeated, even if the intention of the people quoting them is completely different;

2. Midtowners get told that talking about what goes on there is putting A.A. in a bad light--and they get told this NOT only by Midtowners but by many in A.A. around this area (I've heard this many times).

Posted by: XQ | August 30, 2007 2:58 PM

The CFG is non-existent and has been for over a year so get your facts straight.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 30, 2007 2:59 PM

Getting unsubstantiated claims printed in national magazines and posted all over the internet, followed by lengthy forums with all sorts of gibberish does make A.A. look really bad.

If I started making up claims about a person, and kept it up year after year, and pulled every string I could to get these claims out in the public in everyway possible, does it:

1- after time, make these claims true?
2- make me look good?

The DC area is in damage control mode now, because there is such a black mark from all the hostility.

That is where efforts should be made, stop the mudslinging, and show up for the newcomer.

And I am sorry if I haven't kept up with whatever the anti-midtown gang is called these days.

Posted by: Some Guy | August 30, 2007 3:09 PM

Get a clue -- you actually can sleep at night thinking all of this is made up? That "anti-Midtowners" took the time to make up all the stories about their expeiences at Midtown earlier in this blog and in other venues? In the hopes that their corroborations would shake up their old "home group" because of a resentment? What a vivid imagination you have!

Posted by: Anonymous | August 30, 2007 3:15 PM

| - You think that I don't hear just as many rumors about innappropriate behavior from the anti-midtowners? It's just that I don't spend my energy trying to play judge and jury.

And again, you have to go to attack mode. What are you defending?

I'm just saying knock it off, quit the negative behavior - their bad behavior justifies yours? - and stick to making your A.A. better.

Posted by: Some Guy | August 30, 2007 3:20 PM

These are people (or perhaps only one) that are in a state of psychosis wherein all stimuli invokes increased similar reaction that deepens the sufferers seeming episodic drama. It's like a soap opera, but the person truly believes the drama they've dreamed up is very real and extremely important.

No logic applies here. Truth, untruth, hate, kindness, rage or love are equal stimuli to the sufferer. The reactions will be the same no matter what is posted.

Facts certainly do not apply.

Posted by: M.D. | August 30, 2007 4:19 PM

Some Guy (Shawn H.) is full of some crap. Can't anyone see that he's but one within a small group of hypocritical midtown tools that's been throwing mud at anyone who is opposed to their higher power (the Midtown Group), on this entire thread? It's the same small group of Midtown whack jobs that keep focusing and posting these slanderous lies about Rob, Jerry, Ana, Michelle, Cathy, CFG, and Love and service?

Posted by: Anonymous | August 30, 2007 4:27 PM

Hope all is well with you. Just wanted to drop a line. It appears to me that you're letting this Shawn/Renee character get way too much into your head. Every time you post something responding to his crap, you are feeding his insanity. Stop giving him rent free space in your head. Keep doing what you're doing and fighting the good fight but keep to the principles and leave the personalities out of it. Don't let them drag you down to their level. Their bs is so off the charts that it destroys any credibility they may have had.

BTW I have learned that Midtown approached members who are very very prominent and powerful in Montgomery County to intercede on their behalf to save some of their meeting spaces. These members declined and would not help them. Apparently Midtown is prepared to break other's anonymity to protect themselves.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 30, 2007 5:05 PM

I'm not Shawn, and I don't know who you are talking about.

But this:
"Some Guy (Shawn H.) is full of some crap. Can't anyone see that he's but one within a small group of hypocritical midtown tools that's been throwing mud at anyone who is opposed to their higher power (the Midtown Group), on this entire thread? It's the same small group of Midtown whack jobs that keep focusing and posting these slanderous lies about Rob, Jerry, Ana, Michelle, Cathy, CFG, and Love and service? "

That's not mud flinging? That's not an attack? You are doing exactly what you are accusing others of doing. By having more members flinging mud on threads your side is more trustworthy?

Like I said, using the wrongdoing of others, fancied or real, to excuse your bad behavior isn't what this is about.

Of everybody mentioned, you think the average A.A. member sees you guys running around and thinks 'Gee, I want what they have.' Either side?

I'm not a midtown member. But both sides, together, make up such a small percentage of the D.C. A.A. populace - quit making it seem like this area is nothing but a bunch of unprincipled maniacs. Speak for yourselves, stop trying to tell everyone else how they should be reacting, and quit trying to say 'change the traditions' just because they don't put up with your nonsense.

Posted by: Some Guy | August 30, 2007 5:13 PM

Hey "some guy", probably Sezgin. Someone told me just yesterday that Sezgin told them I drank a couple of weeks ago. My friend said that he said "rob K?! dont talk to him anymore, he drank and he's crazy!"

Call me, you have the number.

Posted by: Rob K | August 30, 2007 5:36 PM

Well, this blog space seems to go thru phases and right now we are in a mud slinging cycle. I think it's good that basically everything happening here is happening and we can see and reflect on the different kinds of thoughts, feelings, and actions that are produced by this Midtown subject. It shows us what to expect and perpares us to deal with it. And that's just about everything that could possibly relate to AA and the various personalities involved.

The phase I think the overall AA community and general public, to the extent that it's involved, are in now in is the initial realization that this Midtown problem exists. Many of the (at least) thousands who wish to address this issue and end sexual predation and child molestation from operating under the good name of AA are just having the awful facts sink in. This discussion provides such people with the overall context of the verbal abuse, mind games, and rationalizations in which Midtown has been perpetrating its abuse now for some two decades. It also provides a forum for many newcomers to the debate to begin the process of contacting others to help out.

In that connection I invite anyone to email me at midtownfeedback@yahoo.com if you wish to talk.

I have received some good feedback on other web sites which are being used for contact and organizing a response to Midtown.

I know there are strong feelings by those involved and I think everyone who has read this blog space will understand why. I think, for the longer term and broader effort to uphold our AA fellowship and traditions at Midtown and possibly elsewhere we need to make this about more than just a Midtowner - ex-Midtowner struggle. If it is seen by a broader community (AA, professional groups and the general public) as simply a fight of clashing personalities, no matter how warranted and justified, it won't gain the broader support needed to put our fellowship back on track.

Posted by: DCC | August 30, 2007 6:12 PM

I have been watching these posts since this article came out with great interest and now I wanted to comment. I believe for the most part this has been a healthy exchange of thoughts and feelings about a serious subject. Even though it has gone off tract sometimes this is about abuse in AA or the good name of AA being abused. It would seem far fetched that so many people would go out of there way to smear this group (MT). Such a conspiracy is usually reserved for the government. Reporter in this day and age gets raked over the coals for printing false stories, fired at least usually followed by a lawsuit. I take this to hart because we are one of the Churches who suggested Midtown to look for another place for there meeting. This was a very difficult decision on our part, one we did not take lightly. We spoke with many people from AA, Hospitals and other places of worship before we made our decision. I personally do not believe every one in MT has committed these atrocities but it is prevalent enough to warrant the ban, nor do I think the rest are ignorant. There is obviously a level of vulnerability here. I was saddened to see names being used (not in the article) but the posts. Most egregious was from Some guy accusing a member of AA of relapsing and using is name. How horrible is that Some Guy should be ashamed of themselves. These actions would have me believe that Some Guy could be capable of atrocities being leveled at MT. As far as this giving a bad name to AA in this area most people knows that any group anyware will always have some bad seeds including ours. That's all for now God bless ALL of you.

Posted by: concerned | August 30, 2007 7:46 PM

A voice of reason and truth, thank you.

Posted by: Rob K | August 30, 2007 8:15 PM

Concerned, we need your voice, thank you for commenting. I have been named too, but I can forgive. Please stay with us.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 30, 2007 8:59 PM

Concerned, thank you for your thoughtful and insightful post here. You are a real contributor and, as we all say at meetings, "Keep Coming Back"!

Posted by: DCC | August 30, 2007 9:17 PM

what is CFG???

Posted by: exexex | August 30, 2007 10:01 PM

Concerned Friends Group = CFG

Posted by: Anonymous | August 30, 2007 10:06 PM

I would just like to state that I'm in no way connected w/ CFG, or the MySpace people or any of the other names mentioned on this blog. I'm here because I used to be in the cult of Midtown; I witnessed the insanity first hand and would like to see it end.

To Some Guy: As a long time member of AA in the DC area I don't know of a single person who cringes when they hear about the exposition of the Midtown Group, on the contrary (and you would know this if you were a regular member of AA), people are RELEIVED that something is finally being done about it.

Posted by: Grateful X Midtowner | August 30, 2007 10:47 PM

Please please forgive me but I forgot to mention that the guy person that Some guy accused of relapsing NEVER RELAPED. That my friends is the disturbing part, he/she KNEW THAT!! That stinks to high heaven. I too can forgive but that's easy for me to say. Also I am not CFG I am just concerned......ummm maybe I should join.

Posted by: Concerned | August 30, 2007 11:02 PM

Sounds like a good idea, Concerned. Could someone post here how to contact CFG and how to join? Thanks.

Posted by: DCC | August 30, 2007 11:41 PM

Posted by: All friend links | August 30, 2007 11:56 PM

Posted by: Forgot one | August 31, 2007 12:00 AM

A couple more informed posts and it will be time for the ol Midtown "Abuse, deny and lie pattern" to be faithfully played out again...

Posted by: Anonymous | August 31, 2007 1:06 AM

Concerned - so it's perfectly ok for you to acuse me of being part of 'atrocities' at midtown, even though I have clearly pointed out that I don't go there? And for CFG to go public with these 'atrocities' although article after article states that none of these have ever been proven true by the police?

But I am the bad one for using a person's first name and initial in 1 of the many public forums this group has used to violate the traditions?

I'm noticing a pattern here, the same people ganging up as soon as someone posts something that may not be anti-midtown. Hmmmm. So there are what, 5-10 active angry people doing all the damage?

And to the ex-midtowner that says this area's members are relieved - GO TO DIFFERENT MEETINGS! They are not. Most don't give a hoot about midtown, most don't trust them or you guys, and none of you guys are exactly prime examples of healthly sobriety.

I mean, who are you guys to criticize Clancy? He speaks at 50 A.A. conventions a year around the planet, and has for the last 30 years. Apparantly, a huge majority of A.A. likes his message, or he wouldn't be able to do that - it's not he is in charge of all of those conventions. So if you are challenging him, you are challenging the majority of A.A. Period.

And that's what is going on here, guys, you may be all wound up about something and feel justified, but you are such a small minority and to use the tactics you guys have - violent disregard of the traditions of the very thing you claim to be trying to help - is absurd.

How long did you really think it would take before there was an anti-anti-midtown group?

Now, instead of attacking me, why not answer some of the questions I have asked in my posts, try explaining exactly how you aren't breaking traditions and damaging A.A., how it wasn't the anti-midtown group that brought this to the press, list your qualifications for being A.A., list your qualifications for speaking on behalf of the 1900+ meetings in the area, and tell why anyone with a right mind would want anything any of you have?

Posted by: Some Guy | August 31, 2007 8:05 AM

No one outside of midtown uses the phrase, "anti midtowners" and no one outside of midtown has, or has interest in the information some guy has. When are you people going to get real? A.A. separated itself from the Oxford Group. Why not separate yourself from A.A. and we will not have this chaos any longer? It would be best for all of us.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 31, 2007 8:11 AM

^ Exactly.

Some Guy said: "And to the ex-midtowner that says this area's members are relieved - GO TO DIFFERENT MEETINGS! They are not. Most don't give a hoot about midtown, most don't trust them or you guys, and none of you guys are exactly prime examples of healthly sobriety"

I already clearly pointed out to you that I'm not involved in any way w/ any of these groups. I know A TON of people in this area as I have been in AA for a long time and you are very mistaken if you think that people in AA don't "give a hoot about Midtown" Where in the world do you go to meetings and do you actually socialize with people afterwards? No need to answer. I can tell by your language and your mistakes that you're part of Midtown. Remember: the devils in the details...it's the little details that give one away. Try to get it right the next time you impersonate a normal member of AA.

Posted by: Grateful X Midtowner | August 31, 2007 9:45 AM

Some Guy wrote: "And to the ex-midtowner that says this area's members are relieved - GO TO DIFFERENT MEETINGS! They are not."

That's not been my experience, at all.

In over a decade, I've only heard Midtown members say anything positive about Midtown.

EVERY other AA I've met has expressed concern or disgust about Midtown, or has not heard of them.

For the record, I have had no involvement with CFG or any of the other groups. Finding out that there was an organized group working to find out exactly what was happening at Midtown was a HUGE relief to me and dozens of other AAs I've spoken to.

And all the stories and experiences and rumors and "hearsay" match all the way around. That's a big coincidence, don't you think?

If I had read in Newsweek or on CFG that Midtown was slaughtering bunnies at its meetings, well that might give me pause, b/c that's entirely outside my experience with them and anything I've ever heard about them.

But the sexual exploitation of young women and girls and all the rest is the same stuff we've all heard and/or seen FOR YEARS AND YEARS. I have no reason to believe that people are making this stuff up. And NO ONE I've talked to thinks it's made up, either.

The girls quoted in these articles were TODDLERS when I started hearing that Midtown/Mike Q were taking advantage of young women and girls.

How many people, how many GENERATIONS of people, do you need to discredit as having resentment, etc. to keep your denial firmly in place?

How do you explain ONE group having so much controversy (all along the same vein) for 20 YEARS? And dismiss it as the work of a handful of people who weren't even ALIVE or drinking yet or in AA when it started?

Posted by: Jane D. | August 31, 2007 9:56 AM

Some Guy..You want some Clancy stories? Please..just because he speaks at conventions doesn't mean that he isn't a cult leader. The man is nuts..most in California (except the Pacific Group) can't stand the man. Believe me we would have to start a whole new blog on his cult behavior, brainwashing and financial exploitation. AA is a business for Clancy among many other things.

Posted by: Sober in LA | August 31, 2007 10:21 AM

Sober L.A
"AA is a business for Clancy among many other things."

It's as plan as that.
Is it a coincidences that Clancy spoke up for the Midtown controversy group all the way from L.A., or is it a connected vain? Why does anyone speak for others?
NO BRAINIER

Posted by: LA - A.A. | August 31, 2007 11:29 AM

Clancy is Q's grand-sponsor. Clancy sponsors Johnny H. who is Q's sponsor.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 31, 2007 11:33 AM

1st let me copy/past what I wrote: "These actions would have me believe that Some Guy could be capable of atrocities being leveled at MT" .I did not say you could be capable of, nor did I say you were from MT. I would not take this any more personally as the person you falsely accused of drinking. I did not even use your name. I sorry if your feeling were hurt but just pointing out how wrong that was and it is wrong, I would never want to be the poster board for AA. We would all be doomed, never claimed to be perfect, but thanks to AA I am getting a little better all the time, so I am told and I did not even have to pay them this time. Seriously this is a dialog, sharing of ideas, thoughts and feeling.
2nd I did not even mention Clancy.I believe I herd him speak and like his message, I do not know him personally so I cant comment on that. You will have to address someone else on that matter. As for the Traditions it would be a much better sell if you not doing the same thing not that is such a big deal to me as I have never seen anyone practice anything in AA perfectly including myself, the Issue of this post is not so much as a anti MT post as it is about very destructive behavior causing grave harm by persons in MT. I have been around for awhile and know that the concern for this issue is a lot larger than you would have everyone to believe. As far as I am concerned you blew any credibility when you falsely accused someone of drinking in a public forum. You owe him an apology which I am sue he would gladly accept. That had nothing to do with this post.
Lastly what is a "violent disregard of the traditions"? I not getting the violent part, I sincerely wish you well. And appreciate most of your input, we have all went through HELL to get our seats and there will need to be some healing after take care of this issue, which I believe will be because it is out now, there is no turning back.

ps, as for anyone wanting what I have.(I wish to believe this is not a personal attcak) but I am comfortable thanks to the steps and my friend/family in and out of AA seem to be comfortable also, thats all I need. Have a great long weekend everyone, look forward to see you at Sessions.

Posted by: Concerned | August 31, 2007 11:41 AM

I don't know who you folks are. But here in Texas we don't take kind to what you guys are doing to AA's good name.

Someone, please post the full names, addresses, phone numbers, and other personal histories of the anti midtowners- the one's who broke AA's traditions (other's anonymity at the level of press + engaging AA in controversy).

God and your own conscious will take care of those at midtown that are selfish--just like he does at every other group in the country.


I'd be happy to use my team of legal investigators to publish reports on their transgressions. I firmly believe that those who live in glass houses ought not to throw stones.

KB

Posted by: oh yeah | August 31, 2007 11:50 AM

OMG, KB, you can't be for real. You're a little behind the "Q-ball" on this issue. We already said above no one uses the phrase anti-midtowners unless you are a midtowner. Get real!

Posted by: Anonymous | August 31, 2007 11:56 AM

Webster would say different:

an·ti /ˈæntaɪ, ˈænti/ Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[an-tahy, an-tee] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation
-noun, plural -tis.
a person who is opposed to a particular practice, party, policy, action, etc.

Posted by: oh yeah | August 31, 2007 12:35 PM

It's doesn't take a rocket scientist to ask why is someone in L.A. defending someone in D.C.?
Accusing and blaming parents of not doing their job? What is it that they are doing to others that parents cant? Or may I ask what are they doing having to defend and lie to so many?
A closer look at a the Midtown, Pacifica, Big Book and Dog on the roof groups should be looked at as there is a common denominator between them separate from A.A.'s program and Traditions

Posted by: Anonymous | August 31, 2007 12:37 PM

Maybe we should ask their sponsors?

One day people in A.A. have to get real and not look for real A.A. in others.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 31, 2007 12:52 PM

"Clancy is Q's grand-sponsor. Clancy sponsors Johnny H. who is Q's sponsor."

The Grand daddy of all Satan

Posted by: Anonymous | August 31, 2007 12:58 PM

Woowwww... Let me get this straight... KB, who is NOT associated with midtown (wink-wink) is angry at a huge assortment of victims, who have stated, in detail, how they were victimized by the midtown group. KB accuses these victims of violating the traditions (by speaking out against the harm done to them) and retaliates by asking anyone who has personal information about these AA members (who have been victimized), to post their private information, which would include their FULL IDENTITIES on the internet, so they can be punished.

I have seen many midtown members do some damn horrible things, but this is a full violation of what AA holds dear. Does anyone else see that? What this midtown group member has suggested is that someone post the private information of what midtown believes to be key "toxic" ex members, which would include their FULL IDENTITIES on the internet, so that they and other midtown group members can get their revenge on. If these identities are posted, along with their addresses, as this midtown member is requesting, know in advance that only a midtown member would do such a thing. You should also know in advance these same midtown group members will harm these midtown victims...for the second time.

No, no cult here...

Posted by: KB is all about the midtown group. | August 31, 2007 1:49 PM

Actions speak louder than words

Posted by: Anonymous | August 31, 2007 1:50 PM

Long term Midtown Group sayings...

"You can't drink with a dick in your mouth."
"If you don't know the Big Book, sleep with someone who does"

Posted by: Anonymous | August 31, 2007 2:01 PM

KB is all about Midtown,

Yes, of course I agree that KB is a member or associate of Midtown. I'm taking it that anyone who looks at this blog space and then expresses anger at the victims and threatens to expose their identities on the Internet has some serious spiritual problems. I think it's transparent and anyone reasonable realizes this.

Posted by: DCC | August 31, 2007 2:41 PM

Print the identities of AA members who speak out against the midtown group! It's the only way to teach them to respect the 12 Traditions! Love and tolerate midtown! Judge and punish midtown victims who cry out for help! Midtown is the victim of vicious rumors! Psssst! So and so (full name and 5th step contents continually posted on various websites-by midtown members-) is drinking, so don't listen to him!

Posted by: Soooooooo not a midtown member either :-) | August 31, 2007 2:43 PM

Of all the things difficult to express in writing so that everybody gets it, sarcasm is one of the very hardest.

Posted by: DCC | August 31, 2007 3:07 PM

Hey, you forgot to mention this part of KB's offer, "I'd be happy to use my team of legal investigators to publish reports on their transgressions." Of course, you can't tell from his offer is he means Midtown's transgressions or anti-midtowners'. Either way, its interesting to see how they do AA in Texas (wink, wink).

Posted by: Anonymous | August 31, 2007 3:07 PM

Though this attempt at sarcasm is certainly appreciated and makes a good and valid point. :-)

Posted by: DCC | August 31, 2007 3:09 PM

i was involved in a situation where there were two factions within a group....one faction split off from the other and and formed a new group. there were loads of resentments,gossip, accusations etc. all the things that serve to bring a groups down. I asked my sponsor for a suggestion as to my role since, i was not a member of either group. He said i was to remain neutral because when the inevitable explosion occurred some of us would be called in to work with people on both sides of the issue relative to their alcoholism and we couldn't very well do that if we sided up one way or the other.

as far as what would Bill W. do...? a couple points to consider...he said on more than one occasion that if our society failed it would be from within not from without. Each of us has the resopnsibility to see that this society is here for those who don't yet know there is a way out...as long as our Creator deems it so...
lets try to remember that the alcoholic who still suffers in not always the newcomer...
as to that group problem i mentioned ...my sponsor was right...and i was in a position to offer assistance to people on both sides of the issue...it really didn't matter what my personal opinion was...i had to put principles before personalities...including putting the principles of our traditions ahead of my personality

Posted by: freds | August 31, 2007 3:21 PM

Freds--

It's not a divorce. It's not a highschool fight. It's not one group against another.

It's people who have never met one another but have been the victims of ONE group over the span of many years speaking out about it in public...finally. It's people in A.A. who want to know how to stop this group from perverting the good name of the whole organization we owe our sobriety to.

Posted by: XQ | August 31, 2007 3:45 PM

Again, the same 5 people jump in to attack. How suprising. And concerned, you actually want me to apologize for calling out that guy? Where is his proof for all the call outs of the midtown members? Did you not read any of the previous posts, the articles, etc? And since I am not in midtown, but don't support what you guys are about, I am obviously evil and/or a midtowner? It's not within the realm of possibility that you guys are way out of line? How convenient of you people - try to discredit, but claim that is what others are doing to you.

You people have prooved exactly what I thought - you are crazy. A group of crazies united by a resentment. Is it true that some of the CFG members actually tried to take a random midtown attendee to court for a restraining order, although they had never even met that person? Is it true that various CFG people were egging midtown people's homes? Is it true that some of the CFG people have slept with minors in sobriety? These are all stories circulating in my groups. That's what I hear in my meetings, people.

To the poster that said either area members are disgusted by Midtown or haven't even heard of it - but that I am a jerk - that was my exact point. Nobody was talking about this in the meetings I go to, and I have over 15 years sober, until these articles and by making this infighting national, you are hurting my group.

And it seems this wasn't affecting groups outside of our area until these articles came out, as witnessed by posts from around the country. Please, you guys really need to read the traditions.

Since you guys have no proof, posting it all over the internet anonymously DOESN'T SUDDENLY MAKE IT FACT. If it were fact, the police would have acted a long time ago. Do you mean to tell me that the police either endorse this group or that they are incompetent and can't do anything about the apparantly blatant lawbreaking? The funny thing about you guys is that to prove your 'case', you simply post links to the same anonymous unproved accusations. THAT ISN'T FACT. IN ORDER TO BELIEVE YOU, WE NEED TO SEE FACTS.

And again, if 50 conventions a year deem Clancy a good enough message of A.A., wouldn't that stand to reason that these guys here, with what exactly, shouldn't be in charge of determining the D.C. area A.A. fate? Lemme see here, Clancy I. is a maniac but this guy Rob knows the truth?

Isn't each group autonomous, except when it affects other groups or A.A. as a whole? Who's group is affecting other groups here? I say the anti-midtown group - they went public, they don't adhere to traditions, they use whatever tactics they choose to try to cause harm. Is one of the 'leaders' of that group not even an alcoholic and currently in jail?

Concerned - you can't have your cake and eat it too. Get all your buddies to stop slandering and lying - in public no less - because I find it hard to believe that anyone doing any of these things - ON EITHER SIDE - would stay sober very long.

You guys really need to read the 12 and 12 before you cause too much more damage. Read it again, and see if you still have the same outlook. Please DDC, concerned, | - the usual suspects - read the traditions again, read about resentments in the big book, before you start rehashing the same thoughtless posts.

Posted by: Some Guy | August 31, 2007 4:27 PM

The twelfth Tradition asks us to give up distinctions amongst other fellow alcoholics.
And how does one do this with "everyone" promoting?

Once aware of this and as long as there are distinctions amongst us such as a big guy (sponsor) talking to a little guy (baby) there will be no Unity, just conformity.
Your choice

Posted by: Anonymous | August 31, 2007 4:31 PM

A.A. use to have GREAT UNITY and less distinctions. 1975 A.A. turned to conformity today is a by product of yesterday.

Do we have faith to change it back,
or the courage to just continue on?

Posted by: ?????? | August 31, 2007 4:56 PM

Across the board, I don't keep up with Jones' or anyone else in clothing, cars, cooking, or much of anything else. But I take direction from a sponsor in AA. I do this because without that kind of check valve, I start to feel that I know God's will, based on what I've decided is good or bad.

It seems there are others just like me all over the place in our great fellowship.

Posted by: Non-conformist, all the way | August 31, 2007 5:00 PM

Some guy wrote: "Isn't each group autonomous, except when it affects other groups or A.A. as a whole? Who's group is affecting other groups here? I say the anti-midtown group - they went public, they don't adhere to traditions, they use whatever tactics they choose to try to cause harm."

Well, no matter what you think about the "anti-Midtown" group, it isn't them being named publicly for grossly violating AA Traditions and committing acts against children.....all in the name of AA.

And to date, the vast majority of Midtown members/defenders posting on this forum or others have said thngs that are so FAR REMOVED from AA's Traditions and principles, one only need scroll up a bit to see how the members of this group prove ALL BY themselves (without help from anyone in CFG, AA, or anywhere) that they are operating outside the program of recovery called AA.

Those facts speak for themselves as far as I'm concerned.

Defending people who are vulgar, name-calling liars (and posting as another person IS lying) isn't strengthing your case that you have a clear understanding of the Traditions and who is and isn't violating them.

Obviously, you're entitled to your opinion and every right to post it here. But, talk about facts? That's all right here in black and white. If that's where your moral compass comes to a rest, then you're not going to convince me that you have a clear view of this situation or anything else.

And for the record, I have NO resentment against anyone in Midtown. The people I have met there I care for very, very much.

Posted by: Jane D. | August 31, 2007 5:00 PM

I think the ills that plagued Mike's orbit will dissipate with his passing. Mike had massive charisma. But I'm sure other svengalis are out there and ready to pick up any slack Mike's absence will bring.
Where you have young, vulnerable girls you will find lecherous old men. Its an issue that is way bigger than Mike Q or the "midtown" group. It's like AA's dirty little secret (one of them), the elephant in the room. It should be acknowledged, and be discussed.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 31, 2007 5:22 PM

Now we are moving back towards denial. There is an avalanche of evidence that Midtown practices are abusive, predatory, and cultlike.

As far as I know, I have don't know anyone who is currently in Midtown, who broke off from it and is currently in any anti-Midtown movement, or who is participating here. I do know several people who simply quit going some years ago and provided me some strong stories of abuse. But they have moved on, and in one case moved to another part of the country and no longer think or talk about Midtown.

Mr. Clancy Imusland's name has been brought up here as a supporter of Midtown. In the original Washington Post article his name comes up as follows:

"Clancy Imislund, managing director of Midnight Mission, a Los Angeles nonprofit group that serves the homeless, said he asked senior Midtown members about the allegations and found that 'there probably have been some excesses, but they have helped more sober alcoholics in Washington than any other group by far.'

"Imislund, who speaks frequently to AA groups across the country, said he concluded that if sexual relations between older men and young girls 'ever did take place, it's not taking place now. It had been an issue, but wherever you have a lot of young, neurotic people, they're going to cling to each other.'"

Let me make several points about Mr. Imusland. Marc Fisher interviewed Imusland, told him about the very serious charges, asked his opinion, and Mr. Imusland responded that he had "asked senior Midtown leaders", ie, the PEOPLE ACCUSED OF THE MOLESTATION AND OTHER ABUSES, and concluded that if they ever occurred, they have stopped. He implies, to my sensibility, that this is probably the fault of "young, neurotic people". This is an extremely serious issue and extremely seriously charges. It's hard to imagine more serious charges being made against any group or group leaders. I don't think it's necessary to recount what has happened when different religious groups and scouting groups over the last decade or so have been charged with similar abuses and these abuses have been proved. I believe that Mr. Imusland took the interview, the charges, and his response far too lightly. Perhaps he did not realize the seriousness of the situation. Perhaps he may conclude that he should not have discounted these charges after talking only with the ACCUSED PERPETRATORS. Perhaps he may wish to make a clarification and provide additional information about his broader investigation of Midtown. Perhaps he might wish to dissociate himself from his offhand remarks and from Midtown generally. There is still time and everyone would understand offhand remarks made without a full consideration of this matter.

As far as Midtown having "helped more sober alcoholics in Washington than any other group by far", this may not have been thought through logically. Midtown is several hundred members of many thousands in the Washington, DC area. Who knows if Midtown has helped more alcoholics or not? There are some pretty large sober groups out here in Virginia he may not be aware of. No one in AA keeps statistics. However, even if Midtown is the single largest group, it represents only a tiny fraction of the overall population of sober alcoholics in this metropolitan area.

So before anyone uses Mr. Imusland's statement as a strong statement of support of Midtown, and as a refutation of these serious charges against Midtown, perhaps Mr. Imusland should be contacted for either a written confirmation of his support of Midtown and refutation of the charges against Midtown, or a retraction of such full support of Midtown.

Posted by: DCC | August 31, 2007 5:24 PM


Posted by: | August 31, 2007 05:22 PM
Quote "Mike had massive charisma."

Really?
or a massive abrasive sponsorship personality.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 31, 2007 5:34 PM

Jane-
"Well, no matter what you think about the "anti-Midtown" group, it isn't them being named publicly for grossly violating AA Traditions and committing acts against children.....all in the name of AA."

I read the articles as a member of A.A. I have had little interaction with anyone from Midtown, I live in northern Montgomery County. I have had seen some CFG, but only was aware of this because of friends pointing it out.

So I read the articles, and I even did some more digging. The detective in Montgomery County told me there was nothing going on, just some people hounding him, and he didn't seem to happy to have to even waste his time on this.

And that's when it dawned on me- what really is going on here? Did you, Jane, do any research, or are you simply believing what is written on anonymous forums? Jane, you are 10 feet tall. Does that make you 10 feet tall all of a sudden?
Apparantly it does.

Then you acuse me of defending vulgar, name-calling liars! Well, if nothing has been proven against these midtowners, and this group is ravenously making claims against them, that is ok? I don't think so.

If nobody in my meetings was even aware of this going on, and now its all over the place, well, how did that happen?

I found out how that happened. A guy whose good friend was a writer for Newsweek happened to be dating a woman that apparantly is behind some of the allegations, and got a story written.

And then I got word of story after story of crazy shenanigans being pulled against these midtown people by this rabid anti-group.

I think it hurts A.A. If either side is guilty of the alleged offenses, they will ultimately pay a price I am sure of that. I am sure that I don't have to make them pay. I am also sure that this was not handled properly and that traditions have been violated, and that this is hurting our A.A. community.

Posted by: Some Guy | August 31, 2007 5:42 PM


We can say with certainty Midtown has hurt more people out in the open than any other group around.
Even the once EST group in A.A. didn't do as much harm as Midtowners

Posted by: Anonymous | August 31, 2007 5:51 PM

Some Guy is right. Midtowns aren't the bad guys. Perhaps they are but simple A.A. folk who are misunderstood by the general A.A. Fellowship? No, that can't be it... What then, could it be? Could it be that Midtown is the constant victim of villainous slander most foul! My Goodness! That must be the answer!

((Money laundering. Where is all their money going? RE: Meetings. The New Years Eve Play. Their Midtown Convention - Singleness of Purpose. ETC))

Often, in my peer network (outside of these misunderstood midtown meetings) do my peers and I contemplate just how crazy these CFG people are. We discuss, at depth, just how resentment riddled and crazy these 5 anti- midtowners, or Midtown Haters (as we like to call them -e-v-e-r-y-d-a-y- to e-v-e-r-y-o-n-e-) people are! If truth be told, it consumes all but all of our social interations. It saddens our Home Group members (which is not midtown influenced or Midtown controlled) just how much these crazy, resentful people are hurting A.A., while putting the blame on these innocent God fearing Fellowship bystanders. As we contemplate why this group of 5 crazies are relentlessly attacking these adoring A.A. members, we continually ask ourselves questions such as these... "Is it true that some of the CFG members actually tried to take a random midtown attendee to court for a restraining order, although they had never even met that person?" "Is it true that various CFG people were egging midtown people's homes?" "Is it true that some of the CFG people have slept with minors in sobriety?" I can only assume that most other A.A. Home Group members ask themselves these very same questions, if not on a daily basis, for these questions are clearly that important to our Home Group members.

((15 year old A.A. newcomer, pleading for your help, as she is pressured to have sex -again- in order to stay sober))

Oh Dear Lord! What Devils work beith done here!? Surely, these Midtown Haters have but proved exactly what all of us (outside of these Midtown meetings) have thought - they must have been driven crazy by Satan himself. Just as surely, they must be a group of crazies united by a crazy resentment. My goodness, it must be true!

((Institution or Hospital meeting being exploited by Midtown members who have lied about their relationship with their home Group - Midtown - in order to gain entrance to the Institution and acquire as many A.A. newcomers as possible))

When we have a breath of reprise from our non midtown service commitments, our non midtown Home Group usually goes over these questions, as deeply as Some Guy. Thank goodness for your continued contribution to this positive exchange of trustworthy information Some Guy. It does my non midtown heart good to finally know that there are other A.A. Home Groups that contemplate and discuss these questions as detailed as yourself and I, and the Home Group that you most certainly represent.

Posted by: Not Midtown… And neither is Some Guy… | August 31, 2007 5:53 PM


Home sweet home groups it makes me crazy
Home sweet home groups I am losing my mind
Home sweet home groups I got to get out of here and find a way, a way that is clear.

Posted by: Homegroups | August 31, 2007 6:09 PM

Some guy you seem to like facts, I will start whit just one for now and work my way up, It is a fact by your own writing that you used some ones name and falsely accused them of relapsing. That is a fact. That is against the traditions and is a big no no in AA. Because of your actions I fine it difficult to listen to you telling everyone that they are breaking the traditions, like I said you lost your credibility there. Also no one said you are evil and I never said you are in MT. relax guy. I can read your post weather you use CAPs or not. I am not able to nor would I stop what you call slandering and lying. Because when someone is victimized after awhile they will want to talk about it. If this happened to someone in your family or a friend I am sure you would change your tune. I will take you advice and read the 12 and 12, one can't read that too many times!! But because you are doing what you are accusing others of doing I am not sure if anyone else is going to listen. Remember lead by example!!. You not need to worry as they say the truth will come out and I believe it has, again I wish you well.

Posted by: Concerned | August 31, 2007 6:23 PM

Now we are moving back towards denial. There is an avalanche of evidence that Midtown practices are abusive, predatory, and cultlike.

As far as I know, I have don't know anyone who is currently in Midtown, who broke off from it and is currently in any anti-Midtown movement, or who is participating here. I do know several people who simply quit going some years ago and provided me some strong stories of abuse. But they have moved on, and in one case moved to another part of the country and no longer think or talk about Midtown.

Mr. Clancy Imusland's name has been brought up here as a supporter of Midtown. In the original Washington Post article his name comes up as follows:

"Clancy Imislund, managing director of Midnight Mission, a Los Angeles nonprofit group that serves the homeless, said he asked senior Midtown members about the allegations and found that 'there probably have been some excesses, but they have helped more sober alcoholics in Washington than any other group by far.'

"Imislund, who speaks frequently to AA groups across the country, said he concluded that if sexual relations between older men and young girls 'ever did take place, it's not taking place now. It had been an issue, but wherever you have a lot of young, neurotic people, they're going to cling to each other.'"

Let me make several points about Mr. Imusland. Marc Fisher interviewed Imusland, told him about the very serious charges, asked his opinion, and Mr. Imusland responded that he had "asked senior Midtown leaders", ie, the PEOPLE ACCUSED OF THE MOLESTATION AND OTHER ABUSES, and concluded that if they ever occurred, they have stopped. He implies, to my sensibility, that this is probably the fault of "young, neurotic people". This is an extremely serious issue and extremely seriously charges. It's hard to imagine more serious charges being made against any group or group leaders. I don't think it's necessary to recount what has happened when different religious groups and scouting groups over the last decade or so have been charged with similar abuses and these abuses have been proved. I believe that Mr. Imusland took the interview, the charges, and his response far too lightly. Perhaps he did not realize the seriousness of the situation. Perhaps he may conclude that he should not have discounted these charges after talking only with the ACCUSED PERPETRATORS. Perhaps he may wish to make a clarification and provide additional information about his broader investigation of Midtown. Perhaps he might wish to dissociate himself from his offhand remarks and from Midtown generally. There is still time and everyone would understand offhand remarks made without a full consideration of this matter.

As far as Midtown having "helped more sober alcoholics in Washington than any other group by far", this may not have been thought through logically. Midtown is several hundred members of many thousands in the Washington, DC area. Who knows if Midtown has helped more alcoholics or not? There are some pretty large sober groups out here in Virginia he may not be aware of. No one in AA keeps statistics. However, even if Midtown is the single largest group, it represents only a tiny fraction of the overall population of sober alcoholics in this metropolitan area.

So before anyone uses Mr. Imusland's statement as a strong statement of support of Midtown, and as a refutation of these serious charges against Midtown, perhaps Mr. Imusland should be contacted for either a written confirmation of his support of Midtown and refutation of the charges against Midtown, or a retraction of such full support of Midtown.

Posted by: DCC | August 31, 2007 7:07 PM

Now we are moving back towards denial. There is an avalanche of evidence that Midtown practices are abusive, predatory, and cultlike.

As far as I know, I have don't know anyone who is currently in Midtown, who broke off from it and is currently in any anti-Midtown movement, or who is participating here. I do know several people who simply quit going some years ago and provided me some strong stories of abuse. But they have moved on, and in one case moved to another part of the country and no longer think or talk about Midtown.

Mr. Clancy Imusland's name has been brought up here as a supporter of Midtown. In the original Washington Post article his name comes up as follows:

"Clancy Imislund, managing director of Midnight Mission, a Los Angeles nonprofit group that serves the homeless, said he asked senior Midtown members about the allegations and found that 'there probably have been some excesses, but they have helped more sober alcoholics in Washington than any other group by far.'

"Imislund, who speaks frequently to AA groups across the country, said he concluded that if sexual relations between older men and young girls 'ever did take place, it's not taking place now. It had been an issue, but wherever you have a lot of young, neurotic people, they're going to cling to each other.'"

Let me make several points about Mr. Imusland. Marc Fisher interviewed Imusland, told him about the very serious charges, asked his opinion, and Mr. Imusland responded that he had "asked senior Midtown leaders", ie, the PEOPLE ACCUSED OF THE MOLESTATION AND OTHER ABUSES, and concluded that if they ever occurred, they have stopped. He implies, to my sensibility, that this is probably the fault of "young, neurotic people". This is an extremely serious issue and extremely seriously charges. It's hard to imagine more serious charges being made against any group or group leaders. I don't think it's necessary to recount what has happened when different religious groups and scouting groups over the last decade or so have been charged with similar abuses and these abuses have been proved. I believe that Mr. Imusland took the interview, the charges, and his response far too lightly. Perhaps he did not realize the seriousness of the situation. Perhaps he may conclude that he should not have discounted these charges after talking only with the ACCUSED PERPETRATORS. Perhaps he may wish to make a clarification and provide additional information about his broader investigation of Midtown. Perhaps he might wish to dissociate himself from his offhand remarks and from Midtown generally. There is still time and everyone would understand offhand remarks made without a full consideration of this matter.

As far as Midtown having "helped more sober alcoholics in Washington than any other group by far", this may not have been thought through logically. Midtown is several hundred members of many thousands in the Washington, DC area. Who knows if Midtown has helped more alcoholics or not? There are some pretty large sober groups out here in Virginia he may not be aware of. No one in AA keeps statistics. However, even if Midtown is the single largest group, it represents only a tiny fraction of the overall population of sober alcoholics in this metropolitan area.

So before anyone uses Mr. Imusland's statement as a strong statement of support of Midtown, and as a refutation of these serious charges against Midtown, perhaps Mr. Imusland should be contacted for either a written confirmation of his support of Midtown and refutation of the charges against Midtown, or a retraction of such full support of Midtown.

Posted by: DCC | August 31, 2007 7:08 PM

I will ask again how it's possible that these allegations are the same ones that many of us have been hearing for years?

The young women featured in these articles were toddlers when I started hearing similar allegations from other people in AA.

I think people have been trying to deal with these allegations for years in a way that upholds the Traditions. And as far as I know those efforts have not been effective and more and more stories of abuse have come out in the meantime.

I think it's important to remember the professional, non-AAs who have spoken out against Midtown--the addiction counselors, the therapists. They're not beholden to the Traditions of AA. They have no personal "grudges" to settle. And they are confirming what others are saying.

I don't begrudge those who broke their anonymity to the press. Yes, it's a violation of our Traditions, but if you knew that children were at risk, at what price do you uphold the Traditions?

And given what I've seen since these stories broke, the behaviors of people involved speak volumes. And they confirm to me that there is a group who routinely violates the principles of AA for their own gain, and a few individuals who have broken Tradition for the good of the whole--AA and society in general.

Posted by: Jane D. | August 31, 2007 7:15 PM

Clancy I, WILL HAVE TO RETRACT. They cannot afford to have the Pacific group disclosed by the public, it has to stay within the sponsorship system.

If you think Midtown has problem with sponsorship wait till you get a load of the mother vain.

Is this again too broad for this forum or do we have double standards when it comes to our friends who are scared, weak and weary?
Take a closer look.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 31, 2007 8:58 PM

Question:
Since A.A. has no Membership rules, which means one does not have to have or be a sponsor to be a member. Is the sponsorship system even protected by the Traditions of A.A.?. Is it separate? where is this requirement in A.A. and if not, WEll!!!!
Can another be sued if they are acting as a sponsor for another and damage occurs?

Posted by: Anonymous | August 31, 2007 9:11 PM

Posted by: Anonymous | August 31, 2007 9:50 PM

I would never think of killing my sponsor ... maybe I would think of not calling my sponsor, but not killing my sponsor.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 31, 2007 11:06 PM

Any one who kills another is "NOT THINKING"
They are reacting

Posted by: Anonymous | August 31, 2007 11:31 PM

Why doesn't the parents of minors and adults that are victims seek legal counsel?
There are a lot of attorneys in A.A. that I am sure they will help.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 31, 2007 11:39 PM

Since the same 5 people keep going on and on I have an idea...

I will go the midtown meeting this sunday and decide for myself. I have never been there, so to be fair I will go. If I see with my own eyes what others claim - and concerned, please get it in your head that until now, nothing posted in any forum or written about can be taken as fact until some charges are filed - I will know both sides. So everything claimed as far as I am concerned is just that - claims, so to me you haven't had credibility from the get go. Until you stop pointing at myspace pages as your proof, get over the 1 allegation I made. 1 versus what, 1,000's? It must be nice to so blatantly ignore your own actions.

I can tell you though that from what I have seen and heard about this other crew, I am not impressed. It doesn't look good when anyone expresses any sentiment whatsoever that doesn't agree wholeheartedly with their views those same 5 people go on the attack.

Posted by: Some Guy | September 1, 2007 12:03 AM

Hey you all! Stop with all the gossip! Every time one of you (barely legal) 16/17/18 year old Midtown pressured sex victims comes forward, it hurts A.A. and its unity! If you really wanted to help A.A., you'd just shut up and clean your own side of the street. Oh, and pray for someone else to do something about it... But not you! Were not hurting A.A.! Your hurting A.A., every time you speak up! Face it, your just jealous and resentful because your not a part of us so leave us alone because unlike you, were trying to help people here...


*16 year old girl crying in the dark, after being forcibly manipulated -by the group- to have sex with a (MUCH) older man, in order to stay sober*

Posted by: Wow… These 5 people have written A LOT over the last 25 years! | September 1, 2007 12:34 AM

If A.A. members would carry the message that God could and would if sought, These types of people, places and things would not exist.

Sponsors or God ? someone who has two masters will hate one of them.

Someone who thinks they can see what's going on from the outside sitting around the group is unwise, others experienced the pack after time and is speaking out, sometimes it takes a while to learn to either leave or conform to a home group.
Many have chosen to change it as their past has become their greatest asset today.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 1, 2007 1:02 AM


I never called you evil, I never said you were from MT, I never pointed anyone to myspace pages and I am not posting to impress you, I am not sure why you are so defensive of thing that I never even posted, that is very strange to me, please re read wat I did so you can respond on something I did post, I would not mind that but to do so on something I did not post is a little weird, and no I am not calling you weird. You are very much entitled to your opinions but base it on what exists, I am sorry you feel this is an attack, I know some one personally who has been through this and have known them for quite awhile, why would I not believe her? If you had some one you care about confide in you that something happened to them would you call them a liar? They have no reason to lie and all the stories are similar. You are really hot about this. Imagine how they feel? Honestly I do not know of criminal activity but apparently some have what I do know is activity so morally incomprehensible that is extremely harmful to these people and AA and themselves. In that respect you will not get criminal indictment guilty charge you seem to need to see something is going on. you are so charged up about this its hard to believe you do not know these people but I will take your word, go to the meeting like you said, I have been to there meetings before, just long enough to see something was not quite right so stick in there. If it was not for my friend I might possible be sceptable but I believe her which makes me believe them. I think its great you are going, also just because I do not agree with what you are saying does not mean I have a problem with you or anyone else, I have not forgotten most of us are in the same dysfunctional family. I wish all sobriety and happiness. P.S. Some guy please read several times to you can comment on what I DID say. Is that fair? Every one take care

Posted by: concerned | September 1, 2007 1:19 AM

OMG I was writing when WOW posted, I can not believe what you wrote, I am almost speechless.....almost. You really don't see that's it's the guys pressuring the young ladies that is hurting AA not them....you actually believe it's the ladies who need to clean there side of the street? Really!!! Truly that is the most outrageous thing I have read this whole time. Some Guy if this is what you run into those meeting I believe you might change your mind; please go as soon as possible and let us know what you find. Thanks

Posted by: Concerned | September 1, 2007 1:43 AM

Same Guy, go to the meeting. What evidence are you going to be looking for? If you don't see public sex does that mean the charges are false? If you don't see sponsors ripping prescription drugs away from crying members are the charges false? What behavior are you looking for?

I went in the 1980s to a couple of Midtown meetings and I felt there was something that felt wrong about it and didn't go back. There was a 20 year celebration for some guy named Hugh, who must have been 15 when he got sober. But the entire meeting seemed to be some kind of glorification ceremony, way way way overdone. Who was he?, I thought. I had no idea then and have no idea now.

Posted by: DCC | September 1, 2007 5:54 AM

Anyone who reads the posts here (less the ones from Midtown members/defenders using vulgarity and name-calling and such) as "attacking" might have a sense of perception that varies quite differently from my own.

I'd encourage anyone to go back and read the girls' accounts. Read the mothers' accounts in this thread.

Reread the Newsweek article and read the parts where professionals state their opinions about Midtown.

Watch the news clips on the local news sites. Watch the ones where MORE people came forward and said their experiences matched those who had already come forward.

Read reviews of the Washington Post and Newsweek to see what sort of reputable media outlets they are.

And then go through this, and the other Marc Fisher blog, and read the comments from Midtown members/defenders--provided they're still there--many of them were not able to follow the simple rules The Post set out here, so their vulgar, profanity-laced, insulting, and duplicitous comments may have been removed.

Any rumors, character assumptions, motives, and personalities aside........those actions speak volumes.

If Midtown members/defenders can't practice the principles of AA on an internet blog, why would I think they're practicing the principles elsewhere?

If Midtown members/defenders can't follow the rules of an internet blog, why would I think they're following rules elsewhere?

If Midtown members/defenders behave in morally reprehensible ways (lying, name-calling, insulting, suggesting vulgar acts, etc.) on an internet blog, what makes me think they're not acting in morally reprehensible ways elsewhere?

They've been accused of all these things: not following the principles of AA, not abiding by rules/laws, and behaving in morally reprehensible ways. And they've proven, THEMSELVES, right here in black and white, that those allegations are true, insofar as their participation here goes.

It's not a huge leap to think that their behavior in other arenas might follow suit.

Does that mean that ALL the allegations are true? Not necessarily. But it certainly makes them plausible.

Add that to all the other ways Midtown openly defies the principles of AA (male/female sponsorship, group funds, outside affiliation, leaders vs. servants) and you have a RECIPE for disaster. So no surprise that now there's a disaster.

And no one in Midtown can figure out how that happened, or accept an iota of responsiblity for it?

I can't defend any of that. Your mileage may vary, I guess.

Posted by: Jane D. | September 1, 2007 9:15 AM

I went to a couple midtown meetings and heard some good stuff. During the meeting, i didn't see any 15 year olds being presured sexually, hurt or anyone being thrown our of a midtown group home. Maybe you all are wrong?

Posted by: Oblivious | September 1, 2007 10:18 AM

If there are people in AA who are breaking the law, i.e., molesting minors, then it should be reported to the authorities. (And it has, hasn't it?)

AA has no leaders and no one can speak for AA. AA does not have an internal police department or private detectives. If someone stole my purse during an AA meeting or assaulted me - or even worse - killed me, I wouldn't expect AA to charge, try and sentence the offender. Now wouldn't such an act toward me hurt AA as a whole if it was publicized? Yes!!! Should members of AA speak to the public and press about it? I don't think so.

Posted by: My opinion | September 1, 2007 11:33 AM

I can't thank you people enough for what is being learned here. It would mean nothing if not shared. Listing to concerned friends that go to this meeting to find out for there self's
As if peoples pasts that were already their and experienced are not of an asset.
Let's put something in perspective.
1. Alcoholism is a deadly disease Yes or No (yes go on no just stop here)

You would think that if one found an answer to the above question with 11 million or so, lets just say a lot of drunks, the rooms of A.A. should be packed on IT's Own, the streets full, standing room only, we are talking of a deadly disease. It's a shame others claim they have a way when so many die watching the sick in A.A..

The people who claim it's the meetings! miss the message of A.A's. ideas in the A, B, Cs
Others claim THEY help so many, when in actuality so many really have no why out but to go past them .

A question to ask ourselves as an individual would be "AFTER" a while why do so many leave or have to change meetings? when there is no way out? What do they " feel and see" after a while not just one or two but thousands come looking for a way out that cannot hang or do they get hung, Others utilize the same 12 step in other programs with ease.

Does saying others are nuts or alcoholic justify things, Telling another they are alcoholic works for a while even though A.A. asks us not to. Telling another not to think works for a while, Telling another to go to meeting works for a while, Telling others to get a sponsor works for a while, Telling others this to will pass, Telling others to work the steps works for a while. All this telling works for a while, "None of this is the message" proclaimed sponsors.

God works great miracles through people who "do not claim his work", have you ever wondered why all the meetings in A.A. are not packed due to this hideous deadly disease that can gut someone from the inside out?

Clancy I, claims larger meetings help more people, Do they? Not according to A.A's experience. And the experience of many here, so what can help?

Knowing it is simply JUST ONE ALCOHOLIC TALKING FREELY TO ANOTHER- in old words, when two or more are gathered in HIS name, not just a bunch, and the bigger the bunch clinging on to their sponsors at some heavily sponsored home group. The ones using the name and spirit of A.A. in A.A. for prestige or recognition to say look what "WE" do

Why are not all the rooms full of people with such a disease that is so deadly?
Is it the same denial that's going on here when there is no other helpful being to go to?

Posted by: Anonymous | September 1, 2007 12:54 PM

'my opinion', one purse theft or even murder at an AA meeting is certainly not an act of AA.

But the abuses, molestations, predation, and cultlike practices at Midtown are represented to the members, especially newcomers, as part and parcel of the AA program of recovery.

Midtown has perverted everything about our program and represents itself as an AA group. Great harm is being done in our name.

But Midtown is not AA. Midtown is not even remotely AA. Midtown is a cancer on AA. The only way that AA will be blamed is if AA members now do nothing and let this horror continue.

Posted by: DCC | September 1, 2007 1:20 PM

ere are a few passages regarding the Fourth Tradition. From what I've heard, the Midtown Group is helping alcoholics to recover from alcoholism. Has the Midtown group "greatly injure[d] AA as a whole"? That's what I think the discussion here is focused on. Unfortunately the Traditions do not tell us what we should if they have. Does anyone know if the General Service Board has been contacted regarding this problem?

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

The Twelve Traditions Illustrated, The Fourth Tradition
Because each group IS autonomous, it's up to each group to avoid any action that might harm AA. And there HAVE been such actions - or this Tradition would be unnecessary. "Implicit throughout AA's Traditions," Bill W. wrote, "is the confession that our Fellowship has its sins. We admit that we have character defects as a society and these defects threaten us continually."

Tradition Four (12&12)
In charting this enormous expanse of freedom, we found it necessary to post only two storm signals: A group ought not to do anything which would greatly injure AA as a whole, nor ought it affiliate itself with anything or anybody else ... The AA group would have to stick to its course or be hopelessly lost. Sobriety had to be its sole objective. In all other respects there was perfect freedom of will and action. Every group has the right to be wrong.

Posted by: My opinion | September 1, 2007 2:22 PM

So why are these groups attacking openly in the press instead of going to the group and trying to be the change they want to see?

Posted by: Right! | September 1, 2007 2:46 PM

p.s. According to AA General Service Conference-approved literature, "The A.A. Group ... Where It All Begins," an Intergroup or Central Office - in this case WAIA - does not have any authority over an AA group. Its responsibilities are detailed in this pamphlet.

Posted by: My opinion | September 1, 2007 2:55 PM


Listen to what peoples experiences are sharing.
Many are experiencing group wills instead of group consciouses, "Follow instead of JOIN"

If you don't like it start you OWN group. They did instead of being true to thy selfs.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 1, 2007 3:02 PM

RE:My opinion
Thank you for sharing that, I find that when a Tradition is broken the prior Traditions have been violated starting with Tradition one.
"Is he to be dominated by his group and swallowed up in it. We may certainly answer this with a LOUD "NO""

"No A.A. can compel anther to do anything"

The soul purpose of a home group violates this and the bigger the group the more group will imposed, to a point they say look how many we have helped.
I do not think A.A. would be judged on how many one sobers up, than the willingness of one freely giving to another.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 1, 2007 3:14 PM

Right! is ... well, right.

The Concerned Friends Group has totally violated our Traditions!!!

It's THEIR action that has GREATLY affected AA has a whole.

Even though the offenders are The Dirty Old Men of MIDTOWN (DOMM), the Traditions specifically tell us what action a group, regional committee or individual should do.

It's not the Midtowners that went to the press and said: before anyone accuses of us anything, here's the story.

Yet two wrongs don't make a right.

And before you Midtown haters and/or Midtown lovers get on my case, I'm speaking about the Traditions.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 1, 2007 3:51 PM

xq
Concept XII, Warranty five

"...aggressive public acts would place the Conference in the position of having violated one A.A. Tradition in order to defend another. Therefore aggressive or punitive action,even in this area,must be omitted.

Privately, however, we can inform Tradition violators that they are out of order. When they persist, we can follow up by using such other resources of persuation as we may have, and these are often considerable. Manifested in this way persistent firmness will often bring the desired result.

In the long run though, we shall have to rely mainly on the pressures of A.A. opinion and public opinion. And to this end we shall need to maintain a continuous education of public communications channels of all kinds concerning the nature and purpose of our Traditions.

Feeling the weight of all these forces, certain members who run counter to A.A.'s Traditions sometimes say they are being censored or punished and that they are therefore being governed. It would appear that A.A.'s right to object calmly and privately to specific violations is at least equal to the rights of the violators to violate. Some deviators have suffered rather severe personal criticism from individual A.A. members and this is to be deplored. However this is no reason for us to stop reminding all concerned of the undesirability of breaking A. A.'s Traditions before the entire public. It can be said in all fairness the the difficulties of those who contravene the Traditions are chiefly troubles of their own making."

the Post certainly isn't bound by our Traditions...thats why its up to us to guard and protect them

Posted by: freds | September 1, 2007 4:04 PM

right wrote: "So why are these groups attacking openly in the press instead of going to the group and trying to be the change they want to see?"

People have gone to the group. They've been laughed at, ignored, threatened, and further victimized--for DECADES. Meanwhile, the allegations and stories of abuse continue to roll in.

If an organized group alerted the press to a story, there had to be individual victims to "back up" their story. And there were quite a few: AAs, professional therapists and counselors, parents, and ex-AAs.

And subsequent individuals have come forward and told their stories of victimization at the hands of Midtown.

Frankly, if there is an ounce of truth to these people's stories (and it is an awful lot of coincidence and lying, if there's not), I don't care what Traditions have or haven't been violated. And further, I will say that I wouldn't care if Traditions needed to be violated to make it stop. If AA has an epidemic issue of exploitation and molestation of MINORS that can not be dealt with in accordance with its Traditions, then the Traditions are fundamentally flawed.

HOWEVER, I don't think such a conflict exists. I think that this issue CAN be resolved by AA in a way that is in keeping with the Traditions. But I think it's time for NY to step in and support the local groups who have been trying to deal with this issue for 20-some years. It's been affecting local groups for years, and now it's affecting AA as a whole. And it's not just because someone "spilled the beans."

AA has taught me that my life can be an open book. Not perfect, but not filled with dishonor and secrecy. Our program should be the same.

Posted by: Jane D. | September 1, 2007 4:42 PM

Note:
The abrasive personalities that need confrontation have been using the same Traditions out of order to fend off people in a legalistic way for years.

If the Traditions are brought up around a group, chaos starts due to Traditions used for manipulative reasons, intentional or not.

The Traditions are numbered like the steps and the dots need to be connected. (Trying to do step twelve without doing step two)
One will see the group will kick, when the traditions are mentioned to be discussed.

Be aware of the order and how to connect the dots between them. One can always ask how another reach that Tradition without looking at earlier ones in order.

God Bless and Good Luck

Posted by: Anonymous | September 1, 2007 5:13 PM

Resentful angry folks have gone to their news cronies telling stories and you don't care what traditions are bing broken - and you want AA NY to "step in" to do what?

Posted by: Anonymous | September 1, 2007 5:19 PM

FYI, from an online chat with Marc Fisher:

Marc Fisher: Thanks very much. I've heard this week from a great many AA members who have known about Midtown Group and it's very, um, non-traditional ways for quite a number of years and who did not come forward because of AA's strict traditions about anonymity. So in the end, Midtown's excesses were very much protected by AA's way of interacting with the outside world -- a sad and difficult irony, and one that some ex-members of Midtown fought to overcome so that they could come forward and tell this important story.

Posted by: Jane D. | September 1, 2007 5:25 PM

{blank} wrote: "Resentful angry folks have gone to their news cronies telling stories and you don't care what traditions are bing broken - and you want AA NY to "step in" to do what?"

Not "stories." First-hand accounts.

First-hand accounts credible enough to be picked up by mainstream, highly respected media.

I want AA NY to step in and find out what on EARTH is going on in Midtown that has resulted in AA's name being associated with predators, charismatic cult leaders, and the routine exploitation and sexual abuse of MINORS.

Posted by: Jane D. | September 1, 2007 5:34 PM

If we AAs feel justified in breaking one tradition because we aren't getting the desired result from keeping within the Traditions, where does it stop? Do we ban a child molester or a murderer who has a desire to stop drinking from our meetings? Do we now break another tradition ... the only requirement for membership, etc.???

Our Traditions protect AA as a whole. And I will fight anyone who feels it is necessary to break our traditions, as I owe AA my life. I don't care the issue is. I certainly don't condone AA's who exploit MINORS in AA. And I will buy the first ticket to see them hauled off to jail. But I will not hurt Alcoholics Anonymous in the process.

And, if in fact, NY has been contacted in the past and nothing has been done ... well, there's your answer.

Posted by: Counterpoint | September 1, 2007 5:39 PM

Jane D., Well said! I agree with you 100%! (For once, I don't have a long post here. :-) 100%

Posted by: DCC | September 1, 2007 5:40 PM

Speaking as sober member of AA, who in thier right mind (Jane) can honestly attempt to say that it is ok for traditions to be broken. Glad your not my sponsor or a member of my home group.

And I quote.....
"I don't care what Traditions have or haven't been violated. And further, I will say that I wouldn't care if Traditions needed to be violated to make it stop."

I did snicker when I read DCC's post about attending as many meetings as they do. Maybe that is part of the problem. Its much easier to play monday morning quarterback than to actually get out and try to change things from being of service on the area level? Surely, Midtown does not exist in a vacuum here, does it?

Another favorite of mine definitely had to be the one about midtown "controlling the phones" and "keeping meeting from being listed in the where and when" Obviosly, someone has never even been to WAIA, must less really knows anything about how it works.

I just see a lot of bithching on here. Progress not perfection is what we are trying to attain. Will you meet shady people in AA. Of course you will. Some are most definately sicker than others. I know a group of people has been involved with the police and local prosecutors. What was ever the result of those meetings? The myspace page has quite a list of friends, surely so many people working toghether would be able to have an affect on the problem, without publicizing this through the media, right.

If there really is a way to go about affecting change, please tell me. AA as a whole means more to me than I can say in words. I hate to see all the mud slinging, infighting, and wheel spinning that seems to be going on here.

Posted by: Change/Break Traditions?????? | September 1, 2007 5:41 PM

Jane wants NY to step in and find out what's going on. I want the POLICE to find out what's going on and DO something about it.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 1, 2007 5:45 PM

The Concerned Friends Group is not an AA Group. It is not solely attended by AA members. Its mission statement does not remotely resemble the Preamble of AA. Do some research on the subjest. How could such a Group, under that definition, have totally violated our Traditions, or even 1 Tradition, I will never know? Many groups speak out against AA (RE: Rational Recovery). How are they breaking AA Traditions? They are not, nor could they break any of AAs Traditions.

Of course, that's not the ludicrous part. The ludicrous part is that the Midtown Group, who, as a general practice, violates AAs Traditions, has the gall to point the finger at anyone else. It's the equivalent of the slimy older brother telling the rest of the family that it's the little sisters fault why people are seeing their family in a poor light, because it was the little sisters screams for help that the surrounding neighbors heard and wanted to respond too. He attempts to manipulate them into believing that if she would only shut the f**k up, then all would be well and people wouldn't see their family in a poor light. On average, the darkened family, now contaminated by this spiritual cancer, will actually assist him in shutting her the f**k up. Of course, her harm will continue as will the younger ones, once he has tired of her or has fully consumed her.

What if he succeeds with his manipulation? Will his family heal, or will they get worse? Will the family stay together, or will they fall apart? Will he stop exploiting his siblings, or will he continue. Will those exploited siblings continue that harm onto even more siblings, as most other damaged human beings do?

Answer these questions honestly, for our very house hangs in the balance of our combined decision. We will either actively participate, as a whole, to gradually contribute to healing our fellowship, or we will ignore this widening cycle of harm, as we continue to keep our side of the family table clean. Someone else has suggested, several times, that we can leave our family, as certain members devour our siblings, and start our own family. Now, that's love for one another, if I ever saw it.

So, what usually happens when we just keep our side of the street clean, or we leave our family for another or start our own? The deteriorating family, after a time, will fall apart and all the while, it will be the slimy older brother who will continue to point his contaminated finger at the little sister who only wanted others in her family to help and care for her. Also, and obviously important to most, is the fact that those who are used to feeding on other family members and have acquired a taste for it will, will, after their family is consumed by them, find yours and begin feeding off of your family; and you helped these feeders to your new home by keeping your side of the street clean.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 1, 2007 5:46 PM

To poster 5:46 PM -- WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT? PLEASE EXPLAIN!!!

Posted by: Anonymous | September 1, 2007 5:54 PM

Context is always helpful.

If children are being harmed and exploited in our program, dicussion and finger-pointing about who violated what Tradition does NOT matter to me. Adhering to Traditions does not take precedence over exposing or correcting ongoing, institutionalized criminal or immoral acts in our midst.

And again, with the exception of the 2 or 3 individuals who broke anonymity in the press (NOT for personal gain, which is what our program warns against), I do not think any Traditions have been, or need to be, violated to bring these allegations into the light and make sure they are not tolerated.

Posted by: Jane D. | September 1, 2007 6:42 PM

Honestly, I don't see how any member of our fellowship could possibly think that the reporting of systematic molestation of minors by the "leaders" of group claiming to be an AA group could in any way violate our traditions.

And just for the record, Jane D. said "I think that this issue CAN be resolved by AA in a way that is in keeping with the Traditions".

There is a mammoth amount of evidence reported that serious transgressions have occurred. Yet a common response in our fellowship is that our traditions prevent anything from being done. It is some kind of article of faith that such a group will just fall by the wayside, or that God will step in.

Our traditions also supposedly prevent any discussion or investigation of the evidence on the grounds that it would hurt our fellowship.

I do not believe that the traditions were meant to shield sexual predators and child molesters and allow such activities to continue unabated.

Midtown is operating under cover of the AA name, gaining credibility from our name. They gain influence and power to harm young people by using our name.

Now that this situation is becoming known to the general public, they will demand something be done.

I believe that AA has an obligation to investigate these allegations and to take action, if necessary, to prevent child molestation from taking place under the name of AA and facilitated by use of our name. If AA does not investigate and these abuses are subsequently found to have occurred, this will be a stain upon our fellowship forever, and could possibly result in legal action. Our Traditions do not include "see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil".

And yet many feel we should cover it up, say and do nothing. Well, the only way these abuses can occur is in the dark. The only way to preserve our name is to encourage open discussion. When there is open discussion and Midtown's true nature is subjected to the bright sunshine of discussion and publicity, that will the beginning of the end of the abuses, because these abuses can only flourish in the dark. And an open effort to deal with this matter can only uphold our good name.

Posted by: DCC | September 1, 2007 6:51 PM

Reread it if you want to. Maybe it'll make sense the second time, but only if you're open minded to the truths that it represents. A.A. is like a huge family. A.A. groups are like smaller, separated but related sections of the larger and complete family. Use that as a reference point and the relevance of our current situation should become readily apparent.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 1, 2007 7:00 PM

AA is a great group; it has weathered other crisis and this one too. So do not worry, we are to strong, the story is out, now people are aware of what's going on in that group and will avoid it, remember things happen for a reason, GOD has a plan, it's in the book folks. The only reason the story got out is because there is a story, If the good folks in Midtown had not been behaving in the way they were there would be no story. You can argue, yell, complain all you want but it's a cone deal and there is NOTHING you can do about it NOTHING. Although I do not believe every one in Midtown is involved obviously there was enough, so lets clean up our acts and get back to the business of sobriety for this is a program of recovery.

Posted by: looking forward | September 1, 2007 7:18 PM

"so lets clean up our acts and get back to the business of sobriety for this is a program of recovery." Personally, I like this. We all have to clean up our acts by participating in the solution. Cleaning our side of the street isn't part of the solution. This situation has only grown because we choose to clean our side of the street. Every H.G. needs to get involved in service outside of its H.G. Every A.A. member needs to pass the message of recovery, as it is described and outlined in the BB. If we all participated in this solution, Midtown would be seen for what it is and few would be attracted to it. Midtown wouldn't be able to transmit their message of Midtown recovery in these Hospitals and institutions, because every H.G. would be participating in the solution. As it stands, the only message coming out of the WAIA H&I Committee is the Midtown message of recovery because only Midtown members are operating it.

So far, nothing has changed other than the fact that more people who were not directly involved with, or hurt by Midtown know of what's going on. Knowing is only the beginning.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 1, 2007 7:37 PM

As has been posted many times - where's the POLICE in all this? Jane, DCC et al. Pick up the phone and call them. Child molestation and abuse cannot be fixed by AA!

What distresses me most is some of you want to tear down the TRADITIONS and demand that AA do something about it. Who exactly are you talking about here? AA has no leaders, no Board of Directors, no Ethics Committee.

Squabble all you want. But do not expect me to jeopardize my sobriety, my AA, my program to join your cause. And before you flip your lid and accuse me of not caring about MINORS (yes, Jane we get it), call the police and report what you've heard, read and believe to be true. Oh, wait. Maybe you have. Frustrated, huh?

Posted by: Enought!! | September 1, 2007 7:55 PM

I read it makes sense, I understand it

If a group of people called for an immediate group inventory using the A.A. pamphlet Under groups/inventory not someone telling others again but using the pamphlet
and enough are there it's show time. If that don't work bring in the movie recorders and record these idiots so others can see them.
Show time
One for all all for one - It something gets out of hand "don't fight" call the police.
We are just doing a peaceful protest.
If the inventory works change the format predators are known to leave if they are not in control.

Posted by: Timewilltell | September 1, 2007 7:55 PM

Timewilltell

"record these idiots so others can see them"

This of course would not be shown outside of A.A.

We have listen to a lot of tapes of others in A.A.
Right?

Posted by: Anonymous | September 1, 2007 8:14 PM

Enough asked
"Who exactly are you talking about here? "

show him or her and us "record it"

Posted by: Anonymous | September 1, 2007 8:16 PM

No one wants to tear down the Traditions.

How speaking out against immoral acts in our group jeoperdizes your sobriety is beyond me, but, if it does, then by all means, I would advise you to do what you feel comfortable with.

The police are investigating, according to these articles. I trust that they will find the truth. And I imagine that more victims will continue to come forward.

I'm not asking AA to police.

I am, however, interested in AA sending a clear message of zero-tolerance about these abuses happening in its name. It need not come from one person or board. It could be handled the way we handle the rest of our business: with trusted servants and through the conscience of our group.

Posted by: Jane D. | September 1, 2007 8:17 PM


A video recorder is mightier than an unfired gun these days.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 1, 2007 8:26 PM

Thank goodness the police are involved. It's hard to decipher all the facts from this blog. As far as the zero-tolerance message, point made. I think the general AA community in the area is well aware of the situation and will not tolerate such abuse in their groups. Just mentioning the Q Group or Midtown elicits groans and grimaces.

Whither Midtown? I believe so.

Posted by: Enough!! | September 1, 2007 8:34 PM

The Midtown Cult is an institution within the fellowship of A.A. Just because Mike died doesn't mean that the institution itself will fall. The director may have died, but the existing Board members remains locked in place and those Board members have no interest in removing themselves from the power that they have groveled for over the last several years. One must also note that there is an established hierarchy in place. Each person within the Midtown hierarchy has been conditioned to "jockey" for social positioning within their sponsorship lineages. They are rewarded for behavior that promotes the group and pleases the higher tiers and given consequences for behavior that displeases the higher tiers. All this really means is that there is a firm set of behavior protocols that will safety insure that the Midtown Cult will remain entrenched within A.A.'s trusting Fellowship.

Description of Laws broken in this comment: 0.

Midtown's relationship to A.A. and its principles in this comment: 0.

The Midtown Cult's cost to A.A.'s integrity and its ability to help future alcoholics: Countless and untold.

Level of the stupidity of a person for suggesting (or believing) that everyone outside of the Midtown Cult should call the police and wait for them to press charges for this Cult being entrenched within A.A.'s trusting Fellowship, before finally accepting that the Midtown Cult is actually entrenched within A.A.'s trusting Fellowship: 11 (from a top score of 10).

Posted by: Not Enought! | September 2, 2007 12:37 AM

not enough!, two thumbs up from me. When I read some of the people here, I just wonder 'what are some of these people thinking? why don't they get it?'

I think from now on the right language for me is "Midtown Cult".

Posted by: DCC | September 2, 2007 12:55 AM

"The Sponsorship System is the injected cult prate in the program. The people in it either were and are just looking for a way out from the Alcoholism"

Posted by: Anonymous | September 2, 2007 1:06 AM

Two thumbs up from me, too.

I remember years ago a very high ranking employee in one of the surrounding school districts saying, "Q Group? Oh yes. They're on our 'cult-watch' list."

Posted by: Jane D. | September 2, 2007 1:20 AM

I was suggesting that if the police are able to discern who the guilty parties are then maybe, just maybe, the Cult will break down and die. That's my opinion but thank you for pointing out my stupidity. You zealots and fanatics who think Midtown will just go away because you think it is the right thing to do is, well ... stupid.

Posted by: Enough!! | September 2, 2007 9:11 AM

Enough!!, I don't think that opinion is stupid--especially since I hold the same one! LOL And I should have been clear that I did not agree with that part of that post.

I'm guessing that stupidity comment was borne out of frustration. (As I understand it, the police have not being able to bring charges because of the very young age of consent in MD--15, if I recall correctly--and the ages of the girls who've come forward were 16-18.) Doesn't excuse it, though. I think we all wish that if criminal acts are occurring the police will be able to effectively end it.

Posted by: Jane D. | September 2, 2007 9:45 AM

I hate to point this out, but people have been claiming the existance of ghosts, bigfoot, UFOs, and the loch ness monster for years. Does that make them real?

My point being that if the police didn't find anything, then what exactly is the problem? I have seen so much poor logic displayed on this board (DCC, Jane particularly) where they make assumptions on other peoples points and then run from there as is if that assumption was fact. But all the facts seem to say that, basically, this 'other non-AA group' has decided that it needs to police an AA group.

I don't recall voting in my meetings to have this non-AA group act on my behalf. And if they want to use that as an excuse to break traditions, they can go to hell as far as I am concerned. These people need to put there energies elsewhere instead of rehashing past resentments - just like it says to do in the steps.

As an AA member, I feel like this outside group needs to be put down fast. This is a terrible precedent, I don't care what they claim is the reason. If they can't believe a HP can clean this up, then how do they believe an HP can save them from alcoholism?

Posted by: san fran man | September 2, 2007 10:44 AM

If the word sponsor was even mentioned in the Big Book as the solution or eluted too - I would not of asked A.A. for help, wait a minute , I didn't ask, I didn't even know I was an alcoholic 27 years ago when I first came and stayed, I discovered that later within .
I had enough trouble with myself and the word God, I did learn a lot about faith and not in sponsors, I assure you.I understand, how this happened, I don't believe in like so many that are conditioned with sponsorship "ADORATION". "MANY" have turn into cultism or on the light side, institutional ways, as a way out.
But, But, But, But, and we know we have BUTT heads and are butting heads within our selfs. One good look in the mirror should be good enough.
Take a closer look!
It truly begins within.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 2, 2007 11:10 AM

san fran man ( Quoted)
"But all the facts seem to say that, basically, this 'other non-AA group' has decided that it needs to police an AA group."

Police or sponsor? Go ask them

Posted by: Anonymous | September 2, 2007 11:20 AM

San Fran man, the only assumptions I'm making is to believe the first-hand victim accounts, the things I've heard from the mouths of Mike Q and his sponsees, and what I've seen at the Midtown meetings I've attended.

If you don't believe people who have been there and experienced things first-hand, that's your perogative, obviously.

I'm confused by your comments on non-AA groups acting w/out our consent or in line with the Traditions. Non-AA groups don't need to do those things.

You want to hold non-AA groups accountable, but not goups who actually are using the AA name and breaking Traditions? That makes no sense to me.

Posted by: Jane D. | September 2, 2007 11:28 AM

Just another heavy sponsored group that is policed by the sponsorship system.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 2, 2007 11:32 AM

san fran man
Take a closer look

Posted by: Anonymous | September 2, 2007 11:39 AM

Lets ask Clancy I, he knows just ask the pacifica group the Big Book group will back him and the Dog on the roof's group will validate it, wait, the Dogs group is mad at the Big book Group, that won't work.

Folks these are prison yard games where most of them came from and now is your sponsor.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 2, 2007 11:50 AM

To suggest that the Midtown Cult is an "outside issue" is similar to suggesting that the Big Book is not A.A. Conference Approved literature. The Midtown Cult is set of A.A. meetings that consist of A.A. members, who believe that their main home group is Midtown, which meets on Sunday night. This is obviously not an outside issue, but thank you for attempting to suggest that certain people (who are speaking out) are violating the Traditions...again.

Also, drop the "call the police and let them deal with it" crap. A 60 something year old (apparent) sociopath had established, over a period of years, a group of manipulative and conforming behavioral protocols that enabled him to remain in complete control of over 400 A.A. members; most of them being under 21.

These A.A. members were, on average, secured through Midtown's WAIA Hospitals and Institution endeavor. As most of us know, there are a great deal of Midtown members who were handpicked at various Institutions because of their physiological difficulties and their inability to deal with life on life's terms. As they were secured from the Institution, they were surrounded by Midtown members who, after a short period of time, manipulated these maladjusted newcomers into becoming fully dependent on the Midtown Cult.

In short time, these newcomers are told where to go to meetings, what to dress, where to live, where to work, where to go to school, how to act, who their sponsor is and to do what their sponsor tells them to do, who to and who not to talk to, NOT to take psychological medications for mental disorders, discontinue psychological treatment (RE: aftercare-read Newsweek), who to and who not to sleep with, ETC, ETC, ETC.

One bi product of this layered conditioning is that 16, 17 and 18 year old girls were brought to Mike and other key Midtown higher tiers (Board members) for sex. These sexual sacrifices were manipulated by their peers and sponsorship lineages, to have sex with these men, and for them, the end result would be a better standing within the Midtown Cult and continued sobriety. As most members within this Cult are conditioned to "jockey for social poisoning" within the Midtown Cult, this was easy to accomplish.

If they did not have sex with these higher tiers, they risked being ostracized by the Midtown Cult, which would include, but not be limited to, being thrown out of the only living environment available to them now (remember, they were manipulated into burning their previous bridges), exposing them to A.A. meetings that they were (in no short measure) told would corrupt their sobriety because these "other meetings' were toxic and all of their (now previous) Midtown friends and sponsorship lineages would have to discredit them publicly, as to insure their continued standing within the Midtown Cult.

Laws broken: 0

Reasons why anyone can or should call the police: 0

Midtown's relationship to A.A. and its principles: 0

Changes that will be make, just because Mike has died: 0

Person "hand picked" by Mike, to carry the Midtown Cult's message forward: 1

Eager Midtown Cult members that are all too willing to continue this perversion of A.A., at the cost of A.A.: Approximately 500. Don't forget that they are growing in Florida and they hadn't seen Mike around in years. An Institution doesn't need its Director, in order to function adequately.

Changes that will be made, because of your utter lack of participating in the ongoing and progressive solution that is needed for A.A.'s survival: 0

Number of Alcoholics that desperately need you to come forward and participate in the ongoing and progressive solution that is needed for A.A.'s survival: Countless.

Do your part. Do it well. Do it now.

Posted by: Do your part. Do it well. Do it now. | September 2, 2007 12:05 PM

Jane D
"I've heard from the mouths of Mike Q and his sponsees, and what I've seen at the Midtown meetings I've attended."

I have seen this scenario many, many , many times before between the distinctions (sponsorship and sponsees created.) re: my sponsor told me to share or not to share to do, or not to do, My sponsor, My sponsor , My sponsor. Are you surprised the mental rape that goes on between these distinctions? went to molesting behind closed doors and mental rape in the groups all as a "direct result of the sponsorship system", Good or Bad.

When are we going to get honest?
Can you just imagine for a second, ACTIONS SPEAK EVEN LoUdEr THAN WORDS.

Question: How did we or it get this way?, the answers will come if your own house is in order, surly our house in A.A. has not been in order for quiet a while. Let me ask a MY sponsor. Get real people, use A.A. as a whole don't put it in a hole.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 2, 2007 12:21 PM

Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is that little voice at the end of the day that says, "I'll try again tomorrow."

Help A.A. and try to improve our situation (again) tomorrow.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 2, 2007 12:34 PM

There is one that has all power that one is God may you find him now.

ABANDON THE SPONSORSHIP SYSTEM THAT HAS DIVIDED A.A. AS THE WHOLE.

Let go Let God, Faith works Ya know, all one has to do is let go.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 2, 2007 12:38 PM

Blank quoted


Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is that little voice at the end of the day that says, "I'll try again tomorrow."

Help A.A. and try to improve our situation (again) tomorrow.

All we have is "today" we have been trying and still are.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 2, 2007 12:42 PM

do your part, excellent post! Good description of how Midtown Cult works.

I would add one thing: Changed "Laws Broken: 0" to "Laws Proved Broken in a Court of Law Until Now: 0"

Young women have told the Montgomery County Police that they were coerced into sex with Midtown Cult members when they were below 16 years old. However, no one is willing to testify openly in court to this.

I believe that if enough real AA members speak up for the sunshine to light up Midtown Cult practices, and to support all those who come forward with their personal stories, that we will all see that the law was broken again and again.

Until the Newsweek and Washington Post articles, only hundreds knew of this Midtown Cult posing as an AA group. Now, a few thousand know. When we all know, and the sun shines on Midtown Cult, these abuses will be a thing of the past.

Let the sunshine in!

Posted by: DCC | September 2, 2007 1:08 PM

I'm not a member of midtown + i'm not one who wants to see them obliterated.. I'm a friend of anyone who helps others in AA..

Midtown, the marines, catholic church, police department, FBI, doctors... Tight-nit groups of like minded people with a common goal. They all have made mistakes that have put their group's survival about their group's purpose. It is a tough job doing the right thing... Midtown has helped countless people.. Many who would be dead today if midtown never existed.

But controversy is good.. When priests rape kids and its covered up.. Change is required.. When the FBI covers up mistakes.. Change is required.. When malpractice kills patients.. Change is required..

Midtown.. now its time to change.. not everything.. but somethings: a GROUP CONSCIOUS where people can vote regardless of who their sponsor is; NEVER exclude anyone from a midtown activity because of finances; FINANCES of ALL group activities NEED to be overseen by someone in the group who is responsible and can be counted on to do the right thing--EVERY group activity must be independently financed-- what happens is that a slush fund is created when any activity operates in the black.. say--a ski trip is profitable- those funds can go anywhere.. and do.. THEY NEED TO GO TOWARD FINANCING THE PARTICIPATION OF NEWCOMER PARTICIPATION; OLD TIMERS of the group need to set an example of what is ok sexually--for Christ sakes-- let the new girl do an inventory and make some amends-and try to sponsor some new girls---before she is fair game.. Otherwise go back to the ONE year idea.. But these kids want to have sex and if discouraged until they work the steps.. it would be a powerful motivator..

What also NEEDS to be changed is that EVERYONE needs to respect AA's traditions... EVERYONE... Going to the press is so pathetic... I'd have more respect if you stood up in the group or passed out fliers... To bring in the press is likely to cost you your sobriety.. But we'll see... God Bless..

Posted by: midtown-cult | September 2, 2007 1:12 PM

"midtown-cult", I do not mean to discredit several of your extremely prudent points; however, you, in your last post, have just used the press to express your ideas about what changes need to be made and how. Will that cost you, your sobriety? I doubt it.

Also, DCC, I was only expressing the lack of legal, if not unethical and immoral crimes that I posted in my last comment. I know that crimes were committed. I SAW them committed. I remember when older Midtown Cult members were having sex with minors on the upper floor of their Thursday night meeting in DC...during the meeting. We were led to believe that it was cool and we behaved as such. I even had sex up there with my (then and legal) girlfriend, during a meeting. You could overlook the meeting and laugh with each other while doing it.

My main point is that even though no legal crimes were described in my last post, they were crimes against A.A. members, nonetheless. You cannot call the police about them, but to allow them to continue would be to allow their harm, and the harm that they will transmit to others, to continue. When you consider the long standing consequences that that will have on A.A. as a whole, then to do nothing and pray for "Gods' will to be done", is unacceptable.

Posted by: Do your part. Do it well. Do it now. | September 2, 2007 1:33 PM

Jane-

AA can't affiliate with outside groups. It is apparant that some AA members, opposed to a particular group, have themselves formed a group "outside of AA" with the sole purpose of destroying another AA group. Using this veil of non-AA status they blatantly break tradition and try to hide behind that when these infractions are brought up.

People have been opposed to the practices of many different groups over the years. Some of those groups are even mentioned in this forum. That is why there are Traditions. By creating this outside group, these members are obviously lacking the faith that the traditions are good enough to take care of this matter, lacking faith that a higher power would provide justice to these offenders, and are obviously lacking faith in the areas police force.

If everytime a situation arose where AA members did not have faith that it could be overcome, should they run out and create a watchgroup to intervene? How is that different than a crime victim hunting down the people that commited the crime? It is not ok in society, no matter how bad the crime, so why would it be ok here?


Posted by: san fran man | September 2, 2007 1:34 PM

A.A. as a whole, what a the Big Book and Traditions do mention.

Anything added to a already whole would have to be injected into. The first A.A. sponsorship pamphlet copyright in 1975 was injected after Bill W passed on and thanks to the self proclaimed sponsorship system injected by the father of A.A. Clarance S.
on his own in 1944 - Hitler lives on do you think the sponsee ranks are kidding, when speaking of "A.A. natzi sponsors"

Take a little closer

Posted by: Anonymous | September 2, 2007 1:35 PM

In the A.A. Big Book, we are called upon to be His servants. As God's servants, are we to sit back and do nothing, while this Cult manifests itself within A.A.'s fellowship? While I am watching those in front of me, under the care of an organization that I am a part of, being coerced into a Cult which has no real philosophical relationship with A.A., but bears its banner, should I not stand up as a A.A. member, if not a human being, and say that enough is enough!!?? This has been going on for over 20 years! They have been HIDING behind these 12 Traditions, and they depend on these 12 Traditions for their unchecked and continued growth!

What if a certain set of A.A. groups were to form, that dictated that molesting children was A.A. and it was directed by one man and his hierarchy? What then? Would your cowardice mentality continue to hide behind the 12 Traditions as they are now, or would you attempt to point out - continually- that molesting children was NOT A.A.?! Wake the F**K up!!??

Posted by: Wake the F**K up!!?? | September 2, 2007 1:49 PM

Wake the F**K up!!?? That is exactly what has happened and the midtown defenders and midtown itself is still hiding behind them. Losers will always be atracted to midtown. its impossible not to get laid there. if you were a child molester, which AA meeting would you go to? Would you go to the "AA" meeting where the minor is pushed to sllep with you so she wont drink or will you go to the AA meeting where they teach the 12 steps? No brainer. midtowns going no where.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 2, 2007 1:59 PM

Since I'm not a part of that group, I won't speak for them.

But as far as I can tell, they aren't affiliated with AA at all.

AA can't affiliate, but AAs can. We join many things outside our program (churches, social clubs, school groups, etc.) and we don't expect them to uphold the Traditions of AA. I'm not sure why this group is any different.

I don't think anyone has recommened or advocated "destroying" Midtown.

And it's been stated over and over again that many believe that this is a case where a group has been affecting other local groups for a while and is now affecting AA as a whole. Our Traditions do account for this. And I see no reason why it can't be dealt with in a manner 100% in keeping with the Traditions.

Posted by: Jane D. | September 2, 2007 2:01 PM

(midtown-cult)
Our Traditions show us that we should not create any distinctions amongst other fellow alcoholics, Yet people insist on createing direct distinction relationships using the label sponsor..
Then threating others that if they don't have one only one they can get drunk is SICK SICK SICK
Really, where do the traditions ask us that and why do you insist on injecting it into A.A. promoting it through fear?
Why do the Tradition say we are not to tell another they are even ALCOHOLIC? Not to make anyone conform to anything. Never organize, Money meaning things property meaning places and prestige meaning people/sponsors can easily divert us. Follow a sponsor and you will never be able to JOIN A.A. following.
EASILY diverted
A.A. Says Follow the dictates of a Higher Power and you will presently live in a new and wonderful world, no matter what your present circumstances!
Have faith take a closer look.
One cannot clean house until one trusts in God - Thats why A.A. says Trust in God first then clean house second. not work the steps in A.A. with your whoever. Got it hope so because if not we will get it.
Attraction rather than sponsorship promotion which is SICK SICK SICK

Posted by: Anonymous | September 2, 2007 2:09 PM

Ummmm... Hello... Midtown members (as in more than 1 member) created a Traditions breaking myspace page directed at two A.A. members and have posted their full names along with pictures over the internet. I guess that we forgot about that, huh? No, no... No midtown Tradition breakers here. Nothing to see here but midtown haters and A.A. Tradition breakers (other than midtown members, of course).

Posted by: Anonymous | September 2, 2007 2:12 PM

In every society there's the good and the bad. That's just the way it is. For those who think AA should be any different, that's unfortunate. I don't believe any of us came through the doors of AA squeaky clean, but the Good really do out number the Bad. I'm willing to live with that.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 2, 2007 2:38 PM

The body is vastly more important than the disease that inhabits it. When a cancerous disease infects that body, the body needs to reject the disease, and if it's unable to do so, then the disease needs to be surgically removed or eradicated. In most (if not all) cases, the body cannot survive, as the disease is parasitic in nature and has but one agenda; and that is to feed off the host body (that it now infects), for its sustenance and survival.

Tell me, what Doctor, in their right mind, would suggest leaving an unchecked parasitic disease within the host body, knowing that by doing so, the host body would perish?

Posted by: Anonymous | September 2, 2007 2:49 PM

Midtown has been around 20+ years, according to what I've read here. This board has a lot of bs in it, but for argument sake let's assume the Midtown Group has lasted at least that long. I came into the rooms of AA in the mid-90s and am sober today. How can that be if this unchecked parasitic disease has been feeding off its host? Because AA works, that's why. Despite your terminal diagnosis, another person will get sober today and another tomorrow and another the next day.

Posted by: Analogy 101 | September 2, 2007 3:16 PM

Different cancer's have different latency periods. Some periods can last up to, and beyond 40 years. Once the disease is pronounced enough and can feed no further, the host body is no longer able to function and as a result, the host body dies. Should one allow the infectious cancer to spread unchecked, due to its inability to kill the host body immediately, or should one seek and accept the help necessary to abate the disease? Contrary to what some may choose to believe, this analogy is relevant to our current situation. If this cancer remains unchecked, the host body (A.A.) will eventually be unable to function as it was meant to and as a result, it will die as well.

Now that we're on the subject again, who would be responsible for the body dying, if the disease were to remain fed and unchecked?

Posted by: Anonymous | September 2, 2007 4:10 PM

Come on thinkers... Let's see some answers. Who or what would be responsible for the host body dying, if the disease were to remain fed and unchecked? Is it the host body or the disease that is responsible for the death of the host body?

I'll give you a guess...

Which one has a choice in the matter? Diseases are one dimensional and parasitic in nature. They have no choice in the matter. Diseases feed off of the host body. It is what they do. It is what they will continue to do. The body, on the other hand, can choose whether it will allow this parasitic carcinogen to eat away at itself.

Again, I ask you... who would be responsible for the body dying, if the disease were to remain fed and unchecked?

Posted by: Anonymous | September 2, 2007 4:38 PM

do your part, I was just saying that crimes have been committed by Midtown Cult, that's all, and I suppose it's just a matter of wording. But I agree with your posts.

It's possible to me that the discussion on this blog may have run its course. There are a certain number of people who, for whatever reason, do not support doing or saying anything about the abusive Midtown Cult. Clearly, more than a few are members or associates of Midtown Cult, and clearly as well, a number of these are using multiple identities here to make it appear their numbers are greater.

I'll continue to check in and I still have a few more points to make but I think I've reached the point of diminishing returns in this kind of a forum. But I'm not going away, just redirecting some effort.

I've talked to a number of AA members in Northern Va and for the most part, even members who had heard rumors about "Midtown" for years but didn't intervene now realize it is a dangerous cult and believe something now needs to be done. This includes those who had a "live and let live" attitude, and those who felt our traditions go in the way. This forum, by showing the magnitude and extent of the problem, has been helpful.

Also, I want to thank the abusive members of Midtown Cult who have simply attacked anyone and everyone who asks for some inquiry into this matter but have not themselves provided any helpful or qualifying information, mitigating circumstances, refutations, or denials. By simply attacking and doing things such as breaking other's anonymity, charging that others have relapsed, and trying to instigate the disruption of a funeral, they have made a more persuasive argument against Midtown Cult than anything I could have said or written myself.

So now I am talking about what strategies to pursue to move this further. This includes legal strategies with some member attorneys, public relations strategies with those in that field, and other strategies. I won't say any more now here.

However, I believe that this situation is tractable to a solution and those who want a clean AA, a program with zero tolerance for sexual exploitation, economic exploitation, and the utilization of abusive cultlike practices, must now join together to achieve this goal.

This effort should not be limited to a struggle between Midtown Cult vs. ex-Midtown members. This is an effort to do what is right to achieve a decent and clean AA that lives by the Traditions, that serves our Primary Purpose, that is safe for all ages and genders, that respects the dignity human rights of all members, and that all members of our fellowship and all members of our society can trust. Does anyone here doubt that this is what Bill W. and Dr. Bob had in mind?

This is not a matter that any decent member of AA ever anticipated or would probably wish to have to deal with. Nonetheless, it has been forced upon us by the cancerous Midtown Cult. I believe that it is our moral obligation to make AA trustworthy, safe, and decent, and I believe in our Pledge of Responsibility:

"Whenever anyone, anywhere, reaches out for help, I want the hand of A.A. always to be there. And for that, I am responsible."
-- Bill Wilson, AA Founder

Posted by: DCC | September 2, 2007 6:19 PM

weak minds go to AA.

Posted by: AA is a cult | September 2, 2007 6:24 PM

isn't it amusing the person behind this charade is 40 and has a 20 year old girlfriend? I guess he just isn't boinking her good enough or something.

Posted by: You spot it, u got it | September 2, 2007 6:32 PM

Strong minds drink themselvs to death, we will always save a chair for you if you change your mind. good luck.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 2, 2007 6:40 PM

'you spot it, you got it', I would be interested in why you call this a charade.

I would truly love someone on the other side to actually present some argument that this is not as bad as it seems or is made up altogether. Can you present your argument? Thanks.

Posted by: DCC | September 2, 2007 7:20 PM

You people just don't get it. If this situation with Midtown were such a travesty and threatened our program to such an extent as you all extol, this blog would have crashed by now from all the postings. I can count on one hand the posters who are injecting fear that AA will cease to exist if Midtown isn't run out of town.

And belive you me, your drama queen dialogue with cancerous disease surgically eradicated dimensional parasitic host body carcinogen sustenance infects perish would have cleared the room by now. But thanks for sharing your supernatural ability to project the future.

Dang!!! I thought I was only one who could do that.

Posted by: Enough!! | September 2, 2007 8:17 PM

Thank you, DCC--well put!

Posted by: Jane D. | September 2, 2007 9:13 PM

Contrary to what you might believe many of us trying to get the word out of what is going on in Midtown are busy people working raising families and working with others in the program, the reason we are taking time out of our lives to do various things to prevent anymore harm coming from the actions of the people in Midtown and any other group (as has been pointed out in this blog )is that we know what is going on and believe just sitting by and not doing anything is wrong, We believe its our responsibility as at contributing member of society. The ONLY way for ANYONE to stop us is if this behavior was to stop. For me that would be great so I/we could use that time to get back to other thing but as it stands now it is priority for us, we will not let this go until it stops and there is NOTHING you can do NOTHING. Unless you are willing to change things that need to be changed, you can complain, curse, insult us whatever but you are wasting your time we are trying to make a change, you are just complaining. Again the story is out. Most people going to meeting in the area know about the situation you can't change that. So we have made people aware and they will choose different meetings, all groups, institutions professions have a bad apple such as a bad doctor, police officer, teacher, that does not mean they will not use our services (AA) its we just have to keep our eyes open. That's with everything everyware; AA has and will save lives for the people who want it. AA is not going anyware anytime soon if at all because it works. If you want us to stop you know what to do and you know what you're doing and we are not talking about people with some character defect here. Or we would not be wasting our time. So again let us all clean up get back to recovery and start the healing process

Posted by: Anonymous | September 2, 2007 9:22 PM

"You spot it, u got it" and "Enough!!".... Could there be a relationship? Could he be a part of midtown? HAHAHAHAHAHA! Just joking :-) Keep up the good work Renee/Shawn. Considering how well you can count (NOT), maybe you can add the many and varied aliases that you have used in this one thread alone, but considering the extent of your interactions here, I doubt it...

Posted by: "You spot it, u got it" and "Enough!!"…. Could there be a relationship? | September 2, 2007 9:27 PM

The minute you Groupies stick a knife in the heart of Midtown and kill the beast, call me. I now return to my regularly scheduled program of recovery and sobriety.

p.s. that incessant noise you hear is your forehead banging against the wall.

Posted by: Sideline Sara | September 2, 2007 9:42 PM

"We believe its our responsibility as at contributing member of society. The ONLY way for ANYONE to stop us is if this behavior was to stop. For me that would be great so I/we could use that time to get back to other thing but as it stands now it is priority for us, we will not let this go until it stops and there is NOTHING you can do NOTHING"

That is some scary stuff - nothing insane about that.

This does not dispell much the notion that the "cure" is worse than the disease.

Posted by: san fran man | September 2, 2007 9:44 PM

Jane -

Your post:
"We join many things outside our program (churches, social clubs, school groups, etc.) and we don't expect them to uphold the Traditions of AA. I'm not sure why this group is any different."

Your post makes zero sense. Of any of the groups you mention, is their primary purpose to infiltrate A.A. so as to disrupt a particular A.A. group? No. That is a huge difference - if you can't see that, get off the internet and go back to school.

Have you noticed what you are attracting to this forum - some loon that is against sponsorship, and somebody else that wants to create a legal group to govern A.A. Great stuff. Guys, I hate to tell you this, but your lack of perspective is unreal. You aren't that important.

Combine this with the other insane ramblings and I have no doubt what the real problem is in D.C. You can come out to Cali to see real A.A.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 2, 2007 9:58 PM

I'm still trying to wrap my head around the whole Doctor's Opinion -- host body and parasites and latency periods. If I'm successful, may I use it in my thesis ... or do you have it copyrighted? HAHAHAHA. Oh that's rich. HAHAHAHA.

Posted by: PhD candidate | September 2, 2007 10:12 PM

That the posts you point to as insane and telling are NOT the ones containing vulgarity, name-calling, outright lies, and sexually lewd suggestions is baffling to me.

And that the group you're worried about is NOT AA and doesn't claim to be is, too.

If you're OK with people coming forward with more and more accounts of abuse at the hands of Midtown, then that's your deal. I'm not OK with it.

I don't claim to know the answers, but I've seen and heard enough to know that I, personally, can not sit by and hope it works itself out.

I'm not asking anyone else to sign on to anything they don't feel comfortable with.

And neither am I mocking or insulting them for having a different perspective on this.

The DC area has been grappling with this problem for a long time. I'm sorry you think we're not handling it up to your standards or whatever. We're decent people, trying to do right in a really messed up situation. And if you'd like to discuss the situation with me in a respectful way, I'm happy to do that. But please stop the insults and put-downs.

Posted by: Jane D. | September 2, 2007 10:22 PM

San fran man, Sideline Sara and whoever if these things were happening to you, your sister or your friends what would you do? Seriously what would you do? If some one you trust and/or love said this is what happened to them how would you handle it? I for the most part try to put myself in other people's shoes and if I was from the outside I might think like you do. I do try to keep an open mind about things but for many of us myself included we know people directly. I have a friend I have known for many years. There is no reason for her to lie. I know others who have family members how have been through this. What would you do?

Posted by: Anonymous | September 2, 2007 10:52 PM

I'm OK with anyone and everyone coming forward with stories of their experiences with the Midtown Group. I hope they do..I hope more press covers this and I hope that eventually all those on here will realize that many people have been harmed. Not just young girls in AA. What about their families that aren't in AA. This isn't about any resentment..this isn't about AA Traditions..this is about young people who have gone to in-patient and out-patient treatment (most sent by their parents)and practically been taken hostage by MT. Read the accounts..most of the kids are so scared that they feel they have to do this..They are led to believe this is the only way and their parents most of the time are clueless until it is too late..Get a grip everyone..this is srious and has affected many non-alcoholics that really don't care about a Tradition, a resentment, a clean side of the street, or a bunch of gossip. They care about their children! It is only fair for outsiders to be made aware of this group (MT) that remains within the walls of AA! If those in AA and AA as a whole is concrned then something should be done.

Posted by: betsy.tate | September 2, 2007 11:34 PM

I agree with you Jane, I understand with a different point of view but the name calling billeting and vulgarity I do not get, do you actually think that a good sell for your point of view, it distracts from what you are trying to say, please post your thought but if you want to be taken seriously do it as an adult. It would be more effective

Posted by: Anonymous | September 2, 2007 11:40 PM

(blank), have you noticed what you are attracting to this blog? People supporting child molesters.

However, if you wish to read what people have written perhaps you could make a more pertinent and accurate comment.

Posted by: DCC | September 2, 2007 11:56 PM

Jane, how exactly are you to be dealt with respectfully? Your group, although you may have started out with a really good motive, has gone so far astray that you are now a far worse problem than the original group you went after.

Answer the questions, for one - is your group in A.A., or not? Because if they are, why are they calling on members to go to the area intergroup and vote? Did your group break traditions repeatedly? In other words, who exactly is your group accountable to? And don't answer they did it first, and don't use bad logic to be sarcastic, just answer the questions! Are you people doing it now or not? Yes or no?
How did this group gain control of your intergroup? Is it because no one else in the area was showing up?

You group isn't accountable to anyone. The police aren't good enough, God isn't even good enough. I referenced direct quotes from someone about NEVER STOPPING FOR ANYONE. That is insane, the kind of stuff a spree shooter writes in their manifesto.

Your group has lost all accountability because it accepts no accountability, and has gone further off course than the group it set out to destroy. Clean up your side of the street, stop breaking traditions, stop breaking laws, and hold yourselves accountable to some standards of decency and then maybe outsiders could take you seriously. As of now, you just appear to be selfwill run riot. Maybe then people wouldn't be so putoff by your approach that they would actually listen to what you are saying.

Do you realize how many people come in to A.A. and don't stay sober? What do you think they tell people that care about them when they leave about why they stopped going? They say all sorts of crap about the meetings they may or may not have attended to make it seem like they had to leave. So to round up some of them for an article, and then go off on a rampage, to the experienced eye doesn't seem like such a valid cause. It seems really careless and irresponsible.

And Betsy, why don't you go talk to the parents of the 400 reported members of that group and see how all of them feel before you believe the parents of the kids that aren't sober anymore. They tend to love their kids so much, and they want to believe them. But again, why aren't their kids sober and the other 400 are? Keep in mind that is a pretty big group to ask people to believe they have been performing ritualized rapings unnoticed by the police for 20 years.

Posted by: san fran man | September 2, 2007 11:57 PM

And by the way (blank), if AA members now do nothing to reign this in, there actually is a chance we will be regulated in some way by the government. Because if we can't prevent a cult group of child molesters from operating under our name, someone else is going to.

The last thing I want is some kind of legal control over our program.

One of my good friends in the program knows some mothers of teenagers who have heard about this. Their take is that if their children needed help, they wouldn't allow them within 5 miles of an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting. These are not mothers who are alcoholics, just people who read Newsweek and the Washington Post. They also vote.

Posted by: DCC | September 3, 2007 12:03 AM

"How frequently we see a frightened human being determined to depend completely upon a stronger person for guidance and protection. This weak one, failing to meet life's responsibilities with his own resources, never grows up. Disillusionment and helplessness are his lot." word for word from the 12 & 12pg 43
Is this a coincidence that they wrote it in the 12X12? Relationship to sponsorship inside A.A.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 3, 2007 12:03 AM

San Fran, Who says their kids aren't sober anymore? I know a few parents of members who have left the group..their kids are sober,one is in therapy for the 2 abortions that she had while in MT and various other emotional issues but she is sober.. it is actually very Midtown of you to think all of those that have left Midtown are not sober!

Posted by: betsy.tate | September 3, 2007 12:09 AM

"san fran", you are kidding aren't you?

Everything that Jane has written is reasonable and measured. Your statements about her are patently absurd and downright offensive. You said her posts are "the kind of stuff a spree shooter writes in their manifesto". What on earth are you thinking here? That is unacceptable.

What Jane D. wants, what I want, and what most people here want, is for molestation, sexual predation, economic exploitation, and cultlike control practices being conducted systematically in the name of AA, and proclaimed to be part of the AA program, be at a minimum disasociated from AA.

Posted by: DCC | September 3, 2007 12:13 AM

san fran man you did not answer my question:

San fran man, Sideline Sara and whoever if these things were happening to you, your sister or your friends what would you do? Seriously what would you do? If some one you trust and/or love said this is what happened to them how would you handle it? I for the most part try to put myself in other people's shoes and if I was from the outside I might think like you do. I do try to keep an open mind about things but for many of us myself included we know people directly. I have a friend I have known for many years. There is no reason for her to lie. I know others who have family members how have been through this. What would you do?

Posted by: | September 2, 2007 10:52 PM

Posted by: Anonymous | September 3, 2007 12:14 AM

DCC Quote:
"practices being conducted systematically in the name of AA, and proclaimed to be part of the AA program, be at a minimum disassociated from AA."
I agree
Thats going to be a tough one with a system already injected in A.A.

san fran: speaks his own reality very Midtown

Posted by: Anonymous | September 3, 2007 12:20 AM

I don't know how many times I can explain this....it's not my group. I'm not in the Concerned Friends Group or any other group. I'm a concerned, individual, AA who has had direct experiences with Midtown, and I'm interested in figuring out how we AAs can best deal with this situation.

I have no idea what that group is doing aside from what I've read on its myspace page. I'm sure you could contact them directly with your questions and concerns, though.

How can you deal with me respectfully? LOL I don't even know what to make of that comment.

Perhaps you could go back through this blog and see how some folks have respectfully dealt with some pretty low blows for ideas. Restraint of pen and tongue?

Maybe that was a rhetorical question....I don't know.

Posted by: Jane D. | September 3, 2007 12:30 AM

SAN FRAN MAN
It took me awhile but I read all the post and no ware did anyone say what you directly quoted them as saying here is what you said: I referenced direct quotes from someone about NEVER STOPPING FOR ANYONE. That is insane, the kind of stuff a spree shooter writes in their manifesto
The nearest thing was some one saying the word is out and there is NOTHING you can do about that. So now we have you twisting what other people are writing, not good. Also you never answered the question: if these things were happening to you, your sister or your friends what would you do?

Posted by: Anonymous | September 3, 2007 12:32 AM

san fran
"Your group has lost all accountability because it accepts no accountability, and has gone further off course than the group it set out to destroy."

Is it really a "YOUR GROUP" situation here ?
sounds very midtown. You say one cannot say it is an outside A.A. group? We all lose home groupie.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 3, 2007 12:32 AM

betsy.t--I just want to clarify, that I, too, hope those who've been victimized will come forward with their accounts. By all means!

What I meant is that I hope we can get to a point where abuses, which necessitate people coming forward, are no longer even occurring.

Posted by: Jane D. | September 3, 2007 12:37 AM


Take a break listen and see Bill W on the subject the Traditions for they are the applications of the steps.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FTwYbRX5N78

Posted by: Anonymous | September 3, 2007 12:50 AM

Jane that will be nearly impossible considering that Midtown holds firm that all of this is slander and untrue statements made by 5 resentful people. They won't admit to anything and they believe that their group is helping more people in the Washington area than anyone. They refuse to admit to anything..to them, the media, the victims, ex-midtowners, CFG and anyone that believes these people are all resentful...I personally don't think anything will be done. What I will do when a friend has a child in trouble with alcohol or drugs is to tell them to stay away from Washington AA..it is the only solution I have at this point.

Posted by: betsy.tate | September 3, 2007 12:55 AM

Did you ever think that I don't care about your traditions? I worry about my 3 children..hope they never need AA, Midtown or your Traditions.

Posted by: Bob-Not in AA | September 3, 2007 1:04 AM

"SAN FRAN MAN" is a little Midtown man. Stop being fooled people. Come on now... Since when did someone from Cali or Texas knew so much about or defend midtown so much? It's the same group of Midtown tools who keep posting under different names, but there methods are always the same. it's like they can only play one hand and they deal themselves the same cards everytime. Stop falling for their Midtown cult BS. As for "SAN FRAN MAN" or some other Midtown tool posting whack stuff and claiming that a CFG person posted it first, you should have expected it by now. Their trying to put anyone against their cult on the defensive and off balance.

Posted by: San Fran, the Midtown man | September 3, 2007 1:05 AM

Bob-not in AA, I certainly understand what you are saying. Believe me, as a member I do not for one second believe that the spirit or any tradition upholds abuse or sexual predation of children. The abuses charged are an abomination and virtually everyone who claims the "traditions defense" is a supporter of this Midtown Cult. The supporters of Midtown Cult are not representative of the thousands of members I have met in 22 years in our fellowship. Indeed, I have very rarely met anyone who conducted himself or herself as many Midtown Cult supporters here do on most every post.

AA is a law abiding fellowship whose values include love, concern, and support for fellow humans. There could be no more set of values more antithetical to AA than that of the Midtown Cult.

I appreciate that you are saying that AA apparently has no means of disassociating itself from Midtown Cult or protecting those who come to AA for help, and thus the name of AA can no longer be trusted. This is a consequence of our program's inaction - I hope not for long.

Posted by: DCC | September 3, 2007 1:56 AM

Right, SFTMM, I think most everybody has figured out that the Midtown supporters supposedly from Texas and San Francisco are Midtown Cult members or associates.

Posted by: DCC | September 3, 2007 1:58 AM

Cult informational site with Warning Signs of Potentially Unsafe Groups

http://www.rickross.com/warningsigns.html

Especially pertinent, I think, the ones about hidden finances, former members recounting similar stories of abuse, members who leave are regarded negatively, and no tolerance for questioning the group or leader.

I hope that Midtown members will read that cult information and decide for themselves.

Lower on that page are the 10 Signs of a Safe Group. Please read it and see if your group qualifies!

Health professionals have spoken publicly about having to treat ex-Midtown members as ex-cult members.

Posted by: Jane D. | September 3, 2007 10:01 AM

I'll fight my own battles. You fight yours. But to send me a guilt trip because I won't help bring Midtown down (which I still haven't heard what the plan is) is appalling.

It's funny to read the first couple postings on this blog that seem to be Midtown friendly. Two weeks later the Midtown haters are still on a rampage.

Posted by: SS | September 3, 2007 10:07 AM

A rampage, huh? It's a (mostly) civil discussion on a blog, my friend. Hardly a rampage.

And not "Midtown haters." No hate. Not personal.

Concern about AA and the serious charges of abuse in its name.

If that doesn't apply to you or your group, then don't worry about it, you know?

Posted by: Jane D. | September 3, 2007 10:14 AM

I'll rephrase:

A civil discussion for nearly two weeks by Midtown opponents regarding the serious charges of abuse in the name of AA has all the signs of an obsessive personality disorder. However, this is the best entertainmet I've had in months! Especially when I'm accussed of being Shawn or Renee or some other Midtown groupie. Keep it comin', love.

Posted by: SS | September 3, 2007 10:39 AM

DCC Quote
"Believe me, as a member I do not for one second believe that the spirit or any tradition upholds abuse or sexual predation of children."

Apparently and obviously the lack of humility in "your" promoted sponsorship system "DOES", which is outside of A.A.

Every one has a part has a cause and effect, Weather part of A.A. or not.

Most love them selfs so much that they screw them selfs right out of here, others are just looking for love.

WHEN YOU SAY "GET A SPONSOR", the victims here did just that. "you all" promoted them to them, And know you don't know what to do.

This has been going on ever since the sponsorship system took over after Bill W passed on in 1971 through the FIRST A.A. endorsed copyright pamphlet wrote in 1975,
and you are asking them for help now?

Like it or not ALL OF YOU promote sponsorship. SOMETHING NOT EVEN MENTIONED IN THE BIG BOOK, NOT PART OF A.A., yet in A.A. that uses institutional ways. The Sponsorship System supporters just leads others into the Institution, and teachings of "there system".....
Knowing about this!!! what are you going to do about it?

GO ASK YOUR SPONSOR? LIKE MIDTOWN WAS "RAISED ON"? IS SICK, SICKER and now SICKEST.

Go ask Clancy? Johnny? find another HOME GROUP? How many homes does one have to lose
sober to get this. OMG

How can on clean a littered street when everyone that walks by litters?
Take a closer look.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 3, 2007 11:07 AM

Entertainment?

Can you imagine how that might sound to the mothers and girls who've posted their stories of abuse here?

If you're an AA who isn't interested in taking their allegations seriously and/or wanting to do something about them, then that's fine. But mocking people isn't part of the AA I know. It does, however, seem part and parcel for the Midtown folks posting here.

Posted by: Jane D. | September 3, 2007 11:15 AM

How can one clean a littered street when everyone that walks by litters?

Posted by: Anonymous | September 3, 2007 11:16 AM

Why is it that anyone that doesn't whole heartedly agree with this anti-group 1) Is a child molester or 2) Is in midtown or 3) both.

I guess it is impossible to believe that there are people who don't agree with the tactics you folks have chosen? When you are so righteous you can do whatever you want however you want to whomever you want and anyone who doubts you is an enemy? I suppose that since I am critical of your approach I obviously am for cultish child molestors?

DCC you just shoot back with other questions and attacks. Every single time. What are you defending? It appears that someone in this CFG thing themselves is 40 and has married a 20 year old after dating for 4 years, doesn't that make them a child molester as well by your definition of child molesting?

To whoever posted people in glass houses shouldn't throw stones, I agree wholeheartedly and anyone with any longterm experience in A.A. knows before you go running off leading the charge for some new righteous cause, you really need to look at the whole picture. If you don't believe it, try it and post when it is all over.

Since none of the regular posters will answer any questions but instead try to get upset about posts that are only rehashing the tactics that they themselves introduced, you can safely assume there is a lot they do not wish to discuss.

I am a parent of 3. I have an 18 year old daughter. Would I like my daughter to be in a cult? Obviously not. There are many things as a parent I have had to accept against my wishes. Fortunately she is not an alcoholic, so I haven't had to worry about many things other parents face. But certainly I haven't been enamored with all her choices in boyfriends, friends, activities, etc. I am fortunate also to not have been an active drunk in her lifetime. Would I like if she married a 40 year old? Probably wouldn't be too excited about that, I have to tell ya, but it seems that isn't the real issue here as it is overlooked on 1 side and not the other.

Looking through this from an outside perspective it all seems quite extreme. Do you think this is the first time extraordinary charges have been made against an A.A. group? There is precedent for this kind of thing, from Akron, N.Y., L.A., Seattle, San Diego, K.C.

I am sure that as long as alcoholics go to A.A. there will be these groups, and there will be an ever larger group that is mad at that group. And the allegations of misdoings will fly. But nobody has hidden behind the power of anonymity on the internet to so brazenly attempt to cause harm like this yet, or try to jump back and forth between being in AA and not so as to bypass any accountability for breaking traditions.

As an A.A. member reader, I am presented with this most incredible story about which anomosity and curiosity is roused. But then I am presented with another disturbing layer to dig through - where should I start?

Try this out- 1) clear realistic goals 2) hard facts 3) accountability to ethics and/or the traditions - if you are not an AA group, quit pitching at AA meetings, and if you are an AA group, act like one 4) a commitment of your group to live by some sort of principles -from #3- and not to teeter on the extreme.

This would apply to both sides of this dispute - stop trying to force people to choose between the lesser of 2 evils. I would not be proud of either.

BTW - 12:30p in the Haight, Mon. (babysitting available). I'll be there today.


Posted by: the haight not hate - san fran man | September 3, 2007 11:17 AM

entertainment (noun)
an activity that is diverting and that holds the attention

Posted by: SS | September 3, 2007 11:28 AM


SS Quoted:
I'll rephrase:

"A civil discussion for nearly two weeks by Midtown opponents regarding the serious charges of abuse in the name of AA has all the signs of an obsessive personality disorder."


If there is a sober mental obsession here and in A.A. it's the sponsorship system craze.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 3, 2007 11:32 AM

SanFranMan, no one is forcing you to do or choose anything. I don't think anyone's even asking you to choose or do anything.

You seem very concerned with this Concerned Friends Group. I suggest you take it up with them. They are one of several groups, as I understand it, who have formed to address the abuses in Midtown. There are many other individual AAs who are interested in addressing these abuses who have no involvement in any of these groups. There are several health care professionals in the area who are interested in addressing these abuses also. We're not all in some "anti-Midtown" group. Most of us don't even know each other.

If you're not interested in addressing these alleged abuses, then don't worry about it.

Posted by: Jane D. | September 3, 2007 11:46 AM

After further review..It is my understanding and I verified it, that Concerned friends group is not just AA members, in fact there are parents, siblings,friends, psychologist, hospital reps, cult counselor, church reps ,and many others. I think thAt they no longer exist because their main goal was expose the group. I will try to verify if they even exist anymore.

Posted by: betsy.tate | September 3, 2007 11:59 AM

Leave Midtown alone! What is your deal!?? We get and keep people sober more than any thing!!! You Midtown haters need to get a grip. Likw what haight not hate siad above, your anti Midtown leader of the anti Midtown scam is 40 and married a 18 year old and you won't ewven look at that! They were dating before she was 14.He won't let her go to meetings and you poeple thnik he cares about people?! He hates AA and wants your help in killing a AA group that keeps hundreds sober.Midtown got me sober and keeps me sober. You poeple want to take my group dowmn and get me drunk. leave us alone!!!!!!

Posted by: leave us alone!!! | September 3, 2007 12:02 PM

When I was new I yelled at my sponsor for something he had done... I'm not really sure what it was.. But it was really important or so seem like it was at the time.. But his response changed my life.

He said "What is it in me that you have yet to come to terms with in yourself?"

When I answered that question I found peace.. I continue to answer that question to stay sober..

Because.... "Resentment is the 'number one' offender. It destroys more alcoholics than anything else. From it stem all forms of spiritual disease, for we have been not only mentally and physically ill, we have been spiritually sick. When the spiritual malady is overcome, we straighten out mentally and physically."

I urge both sides to sit with pencil and paper.. You will discover you have played a role.. Perhaps you have been selfish.. You may have done some things you regret.. Perhaps you ignored some responsibilities.. You may have placed your need for social status, financial gain or sex relations above that of helping a newcomer.. I HAVE & SO HAS EVERY AA MEMBER I KNOW!

You make the changes necessary in yourself to find peace otherwise you will drink.

Posted by: resentments | September 3, 2007 12:03 PM

I LOVE THE PROGRAM, the sponsor system in the fellowship stinks, especially when "THEY" are RIGHT"

Posted by: Anonymous | September 3, 2007 12:36 PM

I LOVE THE PROGRAM, the sponsor system in the fellowship stinks, especially when "THEY" are RIGHT"

Posted by: Anonymous | September 3, 2007 12:38 PM

There are those of us who are not sitting down and writing anything..I'm not an alcoholic, I'm not in AA and I'm not about to look for any spirituality in this situation. Take for instance "To Catch a Preditor" from Dateline. I doubt that they encouraged both sides to sit down with a pencil and paper. I doubt they accused NBC of being selfish. Take this out of AA and look at the problem..Others are involved. Again I repeat. I refuse to even consider AA as any form of treatment for Alcoholism...it is a risk for children!

Posted by: Bob-Not in AA | September 3, 2007 12:40 PM

resentments Quoted
"You make the changes necessary in yourself to find peace otherwise you will drink."

Are you sure you should not ask your SPONSOR?

Posted by: Anonymous | September 3, 2007 12:41 PM

haight, first, you could begin by reading http://blog.washingtonpost.com/rawfisher/2007/07/midtown_group_aa_group_leads_m.html

Then, if you can bear it, you can read the blog responses to that article and then this article's responses.

You said this has happened in other cities. Any sources of information? This is very extreme.

Since people have been posting on this blog with obvious phony identities, it's difficult to know who is writing. However, your entry was quite long and reasoned.

You ask "What are you defending?" That's easy. I am defending our program. I am defending the 14 and 15 year girls who go to Midtown Cult only to be assigned older male sponsors and be pressured into sex.

They are underage, legally children, and so that is called molestation. Marriage is not molestation even if the woman is 20 years old. (And I don't care, but who knows if this is accurate.)

To my knowledge, I do not know anyone in this blog space. I have never been a member of Midtown although I did go to several meetings there approximately 20 years ago and did not care for them.

After the articles in Newsweek and the Washington Post came out, I tried to see if I could find anyone who had personal experience with Midtown. (My home group is in Virginia, around 25 miles away, but in social distance it's much farther.) I had no problem finding women who had gone to Midtown as teenagers and had these experiences, as I've described in some detail above. One I had known for over a decade and had never mentioned this, but had a very disturbing story. Again, her story was about being assigned to a 65 year old sponsor who told her she was unattractive but he would be willing to teach her spirituality by having sex with her on a regular basis. I know this woman very well (she is married with a family and no, she was never my girlfriend) and trust her completely. Her emotion in relating this story was obvious and she now lives in a different part of the country; she had not hear of or read either story. I heard a number of other stories. Personally, I have no doubt this is happening at Midtown Cult.

Even members will confirm that once a new member moves into a Midtown Cult house, is denied freedom of movement and cannot see her family without a monitor or go to any meeting other than Midtown, her psychiatric prescription drugs are sometimes simply taken away from her; otherwise, she is frequently pressured to give them up. pressured to give them up. This has had dire consequences for many.

The Midtown Cult is not an AA group except in name only. It trades on the good name of AA to gain access to hospitals and rehab centers where it recruits new members with an abundance of attention and "friendship".

Although it now seems apparent that these Midtown abuses have been going on for over 20 years, this blog's utility seems to be ending. Our program allows this group to act in the name of AA and present itself as carrying on the AA principles and program.

This matter has gotten a lot of attention locally and I understand it will be on a national TV magazine show. AA needs to 1) take these charges seriously and investigate and 2) if it finds these charges true, make it clear that this is not an AA group and does not represent AA. This will hamper its ability to recruit at hospitals and rehabs. It will stop the harm to our name which is spreading through this area. And it will save a large number of people from being harmed and exploited in our name.

Posted by: DCC | September 3, 2007 12:47 PM

Bob-not-in-AA, I sincerely thank you for your post! It is good to hear some common sense here.

It's hard to believe the distorted thinking and reality in many of these posts.

Posted by: DCC | September 3, 2007 12:57 PM

Why won't anyone look at the relationship of the supposed "anti-Midtown group" leader?

Because it's NOT my business.

It's NOT AA.

The Midtown Cult, who uses the AA name and is listed as a bona fide meeting in AA meeting lists, who has violated the 4th Tradition by affecting AA, IS my concern.

It is so indictive of a group who has no clue about the principles of AA, that they literally can not see the distinction here.

Posted by: Jane D. | September 3, 2007 1:23 PM

Interesting approach:

AA needs to 1) take these charges seriously and investigate
*** Who exactly do you want to investigate this? Any volunteers from the blog?

2) if it finds these charges true, make it clear that this is not an AA group and does not represent AA
*** Who should make this announcement? There is no one person or group who has the authority to speak for AA.

Somebody should do something! The police obviously are not handing down indictments fast enough. But something needs to be done and now! That's what I'm hearing.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 3, 2007 1:53 PM


Blank
AA needs to 1) take these charges seriously and investigate
*** "Who exactly do you want to investigate this? Any volunteers from the blog?"
Have their sponsor do it.

"Somebody should do something!"
Someone already has, the sponsorship system.
May God help you ALL

Posted by: Anonymous | September 3, 2007 2:10 PM

DCC,
Why all the worry about the recovery program. It's been less than 5% for years and no one wants to talk and look around with their own eyes about it. Why are you concern now?

Posted by: Anonymous | September 3, 2007 2:18 PM

SAN FRAN MAN
It took me awhile but I read all the post and no ware did anyone say what you directly quoted them as saying here is what you said: I referenced direct quotes from someone about NEVER STOPPING FOR ANYONE. That is insane, the kind of stuff a spree shooter writes in their manifesto
The nearest thing was some one saying the word is out and there is NOTHING you can do about that. So now we have you twisting what other people are writing, not good. Also you never answered the question: if these things were happening to you, your sister or your friends what would you do?

San fran man, Sideline Sara and whoever if these things were happening to you, your sister or your friends what would you do? Seriously what would you do? If some one you trust and/or love said this is what happened to them how would you handle it? I for the most part try to put myself in other people's shoes and if I was from the outside I might think like you do. I do try to keep an open mind about things but for many of us myself included we know people directly. I have a friend I have known for many years. There is no reason for her to lie. I know others who have family members how have been through this. What would you do?

Posted by: Anonymous | September 3, 2007 2:22 PM

DCC, quote
"if it finds these charges true, make it clear that this is not an AA group and does not represent AA. This will hamper its ability to recruit at hospitals and rehabs"

The recovery rate in the past has been in the negative also. But who cares we don't need to keep track, right? A.A. membership pamphlet cares and is taken every 3 years.
Scream all you want the damage is done and being done wherever their is a distinction amongst us our supporter of the S.S friend.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 3, 2007 2:28 PM

From GSO: "If you find the A.A. message being carried on a network TV or radio program or in a national publication, chances are that G.S.O. helped to supply information. The staff member on the P.I. {Public Information} desk provides A.A. facts for the media, answers thousands of inquiries yearly from the general public, and is in touch with local P.I. committees and contacts."

In the same way that press releases are issued, and topics are presented before groups to vote on, it seems to me that we could handle this as we normally do. Or at least TRY.

Posted by: Jane D. | September 3, 2007 2:38 PM

I hope Jane is a member of a "group" that votes on this issue. Thanks for being there.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 3, 2007 2:47 PM

Thanks. My hope is that ALL of AA will be that group and that vote.

Our principles and Traditions are so far from what these allegations say.

Posted by: Jane D. | September 3, 2007 2:57 PM

... Sideline Sara and whoever if these things were happening to you, your sister or your friends what would you do? Seriously what would you do? If some one you trust and/or love said this is what happened to them how would you handle it?

The fact of the matter is that it hasn't happened to me, my sister or my friend. Thank God. But if it did, I certainly wouldn't call on Alcoholics Anonymous. I would call the authorities.

Posted by: SS | September 3, 2007 2:57 PM

When it came from your sponsorship system?

Posted by: Anonymous | September 3, 2007 3:04 PM

Jane (quote)

Why won't anyone look at the relationship of the supposed "anti-Midtown group" leader?

Because it's NOT my business.

It's NOT AA.

The Midtown Cult, who uses the AA name and is listed as a bona fide meeting in AA meeting lists, who has violated the 4th Tradition by affecting AA, IS my concern.

It is so indictive of a group who has no clue about the principles of AA, that they literally can not see the distinction here.

(end quote)

actually, yes the person this refers to is on the WAIA board currently and is a member of AA. that person helped create a group and cleverly called it not aa. they then went public. no other group had found the need to take initiative on this issue until this group went public but besides that key piece of info how exactly was it affecting other groups?? i think they dont see the distinction clearly. we aren't aa so we can go public. but we are aa so we can tell other groups how to run and we can go to intergroup. unless people say we are bad, then we arent aa so we can do whatever we want. and I can do something but you guys cant. and we can do whatever we want because you are bad people for doing the same things i do. and if i make somthing up and put it on myspace it is then fact unless of course you do it too in which case you are a bad person.

here is the quote sanfran man i think was using:

(quote)
The ONLY way for ANYONE to stop us is if this behavior was to stop. For me that would be great so I/we could use that time to get back to other thing but as it stands now it is priority for us, we will not let this go until it stops and there is NOTHING you can do NOTHING. Unless you are willing to change things that need to be changed, you can complain, curse, insult us whatever but you are wasting your time we are trying to make a change, you are just complaining.(quote)

i dont know what snadman meant it sounds like a nice stable person wrote that

Posted by: ron baldelk | September 3, 2007 3:04 PM

Since 1975 the S.S. this has been like a sewer pipe that is now expanded ten times it's size and ready to burst, anyone that's around it is going to get sh- t on them.
How many are there? Look in the A.A. approved membership pamphlet, I think they say 73%

Posted by: Anonymous | September 3, 2007 3:05 PM

From GSO's AA Guidelines, Public Information pdf on aa.org:

"Informing the Fellowship:

Though the 'public' in 'public information' refers to non-A.A.s, many local P.I. committees consider that helping to keep the Fellowship itself informed is also among their responsibilities.

Building wider understanding of the Twelve Traditions among A.A. groups is a common P.I. activity; special meetings are often held for this purpose."

Posted by: Jane D. | September 3, 2007 3:15 PM

nice spin there nut job

Posted by: Anonymous | September 3, 2007 3:17 PM

Ron, individuals spoke to the press recounting their individual experiences and individual opinions, as far as I can tell. Some AAs, some ex-AAs, and some professionals in the mental health addiction field. No one is barred from doing that. Our Traditions suggest that AAs not break anonymity in the press, and that is largely for personal gain.

So unless you are calling all of these individuals who came forward initially--and the several more who have come forward subsequently--liars, I have no idea why it matters who put them in touch with the press or vice versa.

Posted by: Jane D. | September 3, 2007 3:28 PM

Jesus... First of all, I am not the Leader of any "Anti-Midtown Movement". I am not certain that there actually is an "Anti-Midtown Movement" in the radical sense that its namesake represents and if there was such a thing, I doubt that I would be an active member, much less its Leader. The person who founded L&S identified himself as the founder in this blog, so to continue suggesting that I am such, discredits Midtown group members even further. The groups that I am aware of that have attempted to shine a light on and help others receive help, as they leave the Midtown Group, are Love and Service and the CFG, which has been mentioned, in detail, both poorly and adequately, throughout this entire blog. If they were all about the hate, as been suggested by various Midtown Group members, they would not have a Certified Cult Exit Psychiatrist (who works with the FBI) as a member.

Because some skulls here are too thick to have assimilated this information the first time, I will repeat myself by publicly stating that I am not a member, nor have I ever been a member of Love and Service and the CFG. I can not be a member and support some aspects, if not most, of what their mission statement suggests. They showed me that they wanted to help and they showed me how they wanted to help with our Midtown situation, but I declined to join. Did it sink in this time? As for going to the press with this internal issue (Ron), I can't count just how many times I have written that we need to leave the press alone. At some point, these blatant liars (like you and Shawn) will have to accept the fact that what is written here, is in black and white and can be referred to easily, and these lies and slanderous accusations will used against you in a Court of Law... And guess what? The CFG has offered me the services of a lawyer to do just that, so maybe I should join them? They have only helped me, where Midtown, as a group, has sought but to hurt us, both privately and publicly.

Secondly, about my wife... When are you going to get her age right? Of the five times that her age has been referred to in this blog, not once has anyone in Midtown stated it correctly. Not even once. She is 23, as in twenty three. Which one of you idiots suggested that she was 13 when we stated dating and which one of you idiots actually believed that Midtown propaganda? For Christ's sake, if you're going to lie about something, pick a good lie and stick with it. Also, and more importantly, posting what she has said in meetings and lying about her and what she has said in A.A. meetings is inexcusable. This whole, "Look at him and what he's doing" thing is poorly thought out and implemented and it's been used entirely too often to appear reasonably feasible.

As I mentioned earlier in this blog, it was a Midtown Group member who did intimately manipulate his way into her life when she was 2 weeks in A.A. and 15/16. She was not the first that this (one) Midtown Group pedophile used to fulfill his sick fantasies with and she was, by no stretch of the imagination, his last. That (one) Midtown Group (30 something year old) pedophile used up countless early teens in his sexual spree, that lasted for well over ten years. Do you want to know the really sad part? He was just a low ranking bottom feeder. He wasn't anywhere near the hierarchy. Now, imagine just how many victims that we're talking about here, over a 25 year time line... Is it sinking in yet? Considering this, to suggest that 5 resentful people are writing all of these stories is an act of stupidity that I will cannot begin to understand.

I do not hate those who are in Midtown. They are, and should be seen as individuals. I am appalled by the Institution that they have created within A.A. In this Midtown Institution, they have developed and maintained a working philosophy that dictates that the higher road of spirituality is not obtainable, or not as obtainable as the certain road of materialism and how it expresses/manifests itself within sex, security and status excursions.

If that were it, I would wish them well within their fruitless endeavor and walk away from them, but that's not it, is it? No, it isn't. As an Institution, they dramatically and extensively manipulate A.A.'s Newcomers to become dependent on their Institution for their sobriety. Within this ever deepening co-dependency, they are handed "service commitments" that enable Midtown to strengthen its numbers. If these "service members" do well and outreach hard for the Midtown Group, these "service members" will be rewarded by moving up the Midtown social structure. The Midtown Group, as an Institution, attempts to continue their membership incline by setting their members up with housing, work, new relationships (only within the group), etc, so that if a member even begins to think of wanting to separate themselves from the Midtown Group, they instinctively know that their world, as they now know it, will end by doing so.

These few concepts and behaviors alone have no relationship to A.A. that I am aware of. To continue posting the A.A. meetings that they have direct control of in the Where and When suggests that we, as A.A. members, approve of their Midtown philosophy and how they condition A.A.'s Newcomers.

We can, through our WAIA Intergroup Representatives, vote that all of the Midtown controlled meetings be taken out of the WAIA Where and When. It will not be hard to do. Most of us know where all of them are. It's the Newcomers that fall prey to their tactics because they walk into these meetings unaware of what their walking into; but that will not solve our problem, will it? No, it will not.

Solutions... Again.

As I stated earlier, every A.A. meeting needs to step up and be of service at the Area level, or Midtown will continue to make all of Area 13's decisions for you and nothing will change. As in...absolutely nothing will change. Have your H&I Rep go to the monthly WAIA H&I meeting and don't stop going until the H&I Rep that your A.A. meeting is representing, can carry the A.A. message of recovery into a Hospital or Institution. Independently offer to guide Newcomers through the process of recovery (the 12 steps), unconditionally. Organize fun things. We are not a glum lot. Prove that to our Newcomers.

What am I doing fellowship wise? I am helping to organize a camping trip where we'll all sleep in tree houses for the weekend! That's going to be incredible, to say the least. Also, on a weekly basis, I help out by organizing a Saturday lunch for A.A. members and their families, after my afternoon A.A. meeting concludes. In every way, I always invite all A.A. members to this A.A. meeting and out to lunch afterwards, be they from Midtown or not. I am a WAIA rep and once a month, I am fully surround by A.A. members who are clearly on one side of this fence that is all but separating us now. I try to reach out to the ones that I can reach at the monthly meeting and at other A.A. meetings, but lately, the lies that have been posted about my wife and me, from certain Midtown members, have largely pushed me away from that now.

Inwardly, I believe that every A.A. member is an individual, but for the most part, Midtown Group members, as a conforming whole, cannot separate themselves, their beliefs or their actions, from the Institution that directs them. In my limited opinion, the Midtown Group's philosophy is only barely and at best, remotely related to Alcoholics Anonymous and Alcoholics Anonymous, as a result, should not be associated with such a philosophy.

Posted by: One voice. | September 3, 2007 4:20 PM

The fact of the matter is that it hasn't happened to me, my sister or my friend. Thank God. But if it did, I certainly wouldn't call on Alcoholics Anonymous. I would call the authorities.

Thank God, and if the athorities did not act...I am not sure you are grasping the scope of the situation here with that said...our Conscious guided us in this direction, we did not take this lightly these were difficult decisions; I understand that some people will disagree and some agree, After this much time its obvious you will not agree with us and we do not agree with you...I am not sure there is anything else to say, you keep doing what you think is best and we will do what we think is best and that's pretty much that!!I do wish everyone well

Posted by: Anonymous | September 3, 2007 4:22 PM

Bob-not-in-AA wrote:

"I'm not an alcoholic, I'm not in AA and I'm not about to look for any spirituality in this situation. Take for instance "To Catch a Predator" from Dateline. I doubt that they encouraged both sides to sit down with a pencil and paper. I doubt they accused NBC of being selfish. Take this out of AA and look at the problem..Others are involved. Again I repeat. I refuse to even consider AA as any form of treatment for Alcoholism...it is a risk for children!"

This sums it up very nicely, in my opinion. Many members here use the Traditions to argue that the problem of abuse perpetrated in the name of AA should not be mentioned, should not be stopped. The founders of our program never intended to shelter crime and abuse of members or to perpetrate cultlike control. The Traditions were never meant for this purpose and it is only through the most tortuous and blind reasoning that they could ever used for this purpose.

Bob, thank you again for your common sense post and your perspective from outside AA. It is one I have heard more than a couple of times in the last few weeks. If AA does nothing all of us will be hearing it more and more in the future.

Posted by: DCC | September 3, 2007 4:24 PM

Bob-not-in-AA wrote:

"I'm not an alcoholic, I'm not in AA and I'm not about to look for any spirituality in this situation. Take for instance "To Catch a Predator" from Dateline. I doubt that they encouraged both sides to sit down with a pencil and paper. I doubt they accused NBC of being selfish. Take this out of AA and look at the problem..Others are involved. Again I repeat. I refuse to even consider AA as any form of treatment for Alcoholism...it is a risk for children!"

This sums it up very nicely, in my opinion. Many members here use the Traditions to argue that the problem of abuse perpetrated in the name of AA should not be mentioned, should not be stopped. The founders of our program never intended to shelter crime and abuse of members or to perpetrate cultlike control. The Traditions were never meant for this purpose and it is only through the most tortuous and blind reasoning that they could ever used for this purpose.

Bob, thank you again for your common sense post and your perspective from outside AA. It is one I have heard more than a couple of times in the last few weeks. If AA does nothing all of us will be hearing it more and more in the future.

Posted by: DCC | September 3, 2007 4:45 PM

Bob-not-in-AA wrote:

"I'm not an alcoholic, I'm not in AA and I'm not about to look for any spirituality in this situation. Take for instance "To Catch a Predator" from Dateline. I doubt that they encouraged both sides to sit down with a pencil and paper. I doubt they accused NBC of being selfish. Take this out of AA and look at the problem..Others are involved. Again I repeat. I refuse to even consider AA as any form of treatment for Alcoholism...it is a risk for children!"

This sums it up very nicely, in my opinion. Many members here use the Traditions to argue that the problem of abuse perpetrated in the name of AA should not be mentioned, should not be stopped. The founders of our program never intended to shelter crime and abuse of members or to perpetrate cultlike control. The Traditions were never meant for this purpose and it is only through the most tortuous and blind reasoning that they could ever used for this purpose.

Bob, thank you again for your common sense post and your perspective from outside AA. It is one I have heard more than a couple of times in the last few weeks. If AA does nothing all of us will be hearing it more and more in the future.

Posted by: DCC | September 3, 2007 5:05 PM

Well, I'm not sure why my post above appears three times but that may be as clear a sign as any that this blog has gone to the point of seriously diminishing returns, at least for me.

It's been real and very useful to me in gaining a thorough understanding of this deceitful, parasitic phenomenon, the kinds of people who drive it, and the rationalizations and techniques used to perpetuate it. Also, of course, to make contact with some of those opposing it. Now it seems time to move on to the solution. I would like to be of help and you can contact me at midtownfeedback@yahoo.com.

Posted by: DCC | September 3, 2007 5:18 PM

"Thank God, and if the athorities did not act..."

***Why on earth would the authorities or the police not act upon my sister, my friend or me being molested by a bunch of old geezers??? I would be calling the authorities non-stop until they did take some action. If I still don't get any attention, I would call the county or city department of child welfare.

... and we will do what we think is best and that's pretty much that!!

***I have no problem with you doing what you think is best ("our best thinking got us here") as long as it doesn't hurt Alcoholics Anonymous or tear apart our fellowship. The Traditions pretty much tell us what's acceptable and what is not.

Do not destroy Alcoholics Anonymous!! Bill and Bob were right that we are our own worst enemy. Only alcoholics could destroy this remarkable fellowship; it would come from inside, not from the outside world. Please!!!! Someone listen!!!

Posted by: SS | September 3, 2007 5:30 PM

SS you are right bacause many members in that group have acted in the way that have that is hruting AA thank you it is those people (MT) using the name AA that this has come up, fianally a voice of reason, SS thank you again.

Posted by: Enough is enough !! | September 3, 2007 7:04 PM

want to ask you all a question. Do you find it acceptable for a man to be 40 with a 21 yo wife? Let's skip over she's over 18, that's bs. What man at that age wants someone that young with good intentions?

Posted by: Renee | September 3, 2007 7:29 PM

From Fisher's July article:

Montgomery County police said they are looking into allegations of underage sexual relations. But they said the women who have come forward have told of relationships that took place when they were 16 or 17; Maryland law considers women 15 and younger to be underage. Many of the allegations were aired in Montgomery County District Court in a domestic relations civil suit involving a member of the group.

"We interviewed 15 to 20 people, and they all said he's doing it. But it was all, 'It wasn't me,' " said Montgomery police Sgt. Ron Collins of the department's pedophile section. "Nobody's come forward with anything we could charge him with. The girls can be 16 or 17, and it's legal."

For you bloodhounds, call Sgt. Ron Collins and give him some new information so (1) he can round up the usual suspects, and (2) we can be done with this!!!

Posted by: Anonymous | September 3, 2007 7:37 PM

oh hell read AA Comes of Age

Posted by: TheEagle | September 3, 2007 8:03 PM

Renee didnt you say they were outside of AA, I dont know even if that is trun, stck to te subject please.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 3, 2007 8:05 PM

They are AA and behind all this crap. And people are blindly following someone who is guilty of what Mike is.

Posted by: Renee | September 3, 2007 8:11 PM

Letting go doesn't mean giving up, it means opening myself to new vistas.

Posted by: ???????? | September 3, 2007 8:21 PM

Call the county or city department of child welfare.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 3, 2007 8:23 PM

Sheezus, at 15, no one had to twist my arm to sleep with someone else. These girls knew full well what they are doing, and are probably ashamed now and creating vices to alleviate guilt.

Posted by: Liz | September 3, 2007 8:35 PM

If they were ashamed, why would they agree to tell their stories at the national level? That would seem a little counterproductive.

If you've read the articles, the girls aren't the only ones to speak out. Surely the counselors and police quoted aren't making up their stories.

Posted by: Jane D. | September 3, 2007 8:51 PM

So, your saying they should be proud to be runarounds like this at 15? You think these guys are at fault, just where on earth are the parents? My daughter is 16, and hasn't been left alone enough to get laid yet. Neglect at its finest.

Posted by: Liz | September 3, 2007 9:06 PM

No, I'm saying that in most of society, when a much older person has sexual relations with a teenager or minor, the adult in that relationship bears the responsibility.

*Most* people don't blame the victim. Especially when they're minors.

Posted by: Jane D. | September 3, 2007 9:13 PM

And it doesn't make sense to me that if they were making up the stories out of shame, that they would agree to have their comments published in Newsweek or the Washington Post.

Posted by: Jane D. | September 3, 2007 9:28 PM

I am not following this guy blindly, most of us knew about this before, I do not know who this guy is or if what you are saying about him is true. What Mike Q and his followers were doing was on a much larger scale, in the name of AA, to many vulnerable newcomers. Again this is very different on all levels, but kudos to you for trying.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 3, 2007 9:32 PM

So here we are weeks later and there seems to be a stale mate, We have the people who want to do something about a cult using the name of AA called Midtown/Q group at the (accused) risk of breaking the Traditions of AA, Then there's the People who want to let this group continue to victimizing people because there belief that breaking the traditions in the way that the former group is (accused)of doing is causing AA great harm. Is this about who is right? Everybody seems to positively believe in what they are saying or doing. How long do we argue over this? My guess is when they end this post.
I have not seen anyone change anyone point of view unless they are not posting it. From what I have seen I do not think everyone is going to agree to disagree so what do we do next? Will there be any healing? Most of us are in the same group called AA.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 3, 2007 9:58 PM

(blank), I think this blog has been illuminating and useful but also agree that nothing is going to be resolved here. I think the utility of this blog is quickly coming to an end and the real work to end the abuse carries on elsewhere.

Posted by: DCC | September 3, 2007 10:12 PM

I agree, good night, good luck, God bless, and happy trudging.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 3, 2007 10:35 PM

Another excerpt from Fisher's earlier story:

...said she tried to get AA's local coordinating body to look into allegations against Midtown but was told that each group governs itself.

"The assumption since our founding was that groups that did not follow the traditions and concepts would fall away," said a staff member at AA's General Service Office, who spoke on condition of anonymity "because we are all alcoholics, and that is our policy."

***I always get in trouble when I don't do my homework!!
New York's GSO said they can't do anything.
The police say they can't get a case.

The actions of people who just can't let this go remind me - not because of the issue but of their ACTIONS - of a child asking the mother for something. She says no. The child then goes to the father and asks the same thing. The father says no.

In AA, we learn you do the footwork, but accept the outcome. We put ourselves in a bad place when we EXPECT, not accept, the outcome.

I have faith that Board of Trustees of GSO has A LOT more experience in these kinds of issues than we do. Heck they know everything that happens in AA!!

In 2000, Rebecca Fransway published a book "12 Step Horror Stories ..." And there are many, many, many more books written about the cultish nature and problems with AA.

In the UK in 2000, the Guardian newspaper reported that "volunteer members are increasingly being investigated by police forces examining allegations of sexual abuse."

And now, in 2007 Newsweek reported on alleged cult-like and abusive behaviour in one controversial Washington DC AA group.

In 72 years AA has been functioning and keeping us drunks sober. According to AA World Services, as of Jan 1, 2007, there are estimated to be 1,213,269 AA members in the United States and 53,665 groups. Worldwide membership is estimated to be 1,989,260.

Given these numbers does one really think the Midtown Group is bigger than AA? I don't believe Midtown has that much power ... or do the staunch anti-Midtown group?

Right-sized yet?

Posted by: SS | September 3, 2007 11:28 PM

We will see Midtown's dimise within the next couple of years. Only a Sociopath could keep a cult like this together. Being that the Sociopath is dead, so will the group die in time. My hope is that all will find and join AA.

I'm seeing more and more Midtown drop outs at AA meetings around town, so this is proof that the dimise has already begun.

Posted by: Rob K | September 3, 2007 11:53 PM

That's good news, Rob. I agree it probably took an extraordinary sociopath to create Midtown and hold it together. I don't know but perhaps the media coverage is helping out as well.

I don't think anybody should give up however. At least I'm definitely not going to. They seem to have a lot of meetings and I know they've taken over several in Northern Va.

Posted by: DCC | September 4, 2007 12:48 AM

Rob K
"We will see Midtown's dimise within the next couple of years. Only a Sociopath could keep a cult like this together. Being that the Sociopath is dead, so will the group die in time. My hope is that all will find and join AA."

Mike Q and his type took over and diverted others easily and many, many more are to come and already here. How?, same way as quite a few around have already achieved it, thought sponsors an outside system.

A.A. is communal the sponsor system is institutional do we have to say anymore.

Take a closer look, Things that go away by themselves WILL come back and the S.S. hasn't even left the fellowship.

They have only just begun.


Posted by: Timewilltell | September 4, 2007 1:45 AM

P.S
Don't get the good old A.A. fellowship spirit mixed up with the follow-ship of sponsorship.

It is humanly impossible to JOIN anything if you are following !!!!!!!!!

Posted by: Timeinabottle | September 4, 2007 1:51 AM

sociopath's

Posted by: Anonymous | September 4, 2007 1:53 AM

SS relayed
"In 72 years AA has been functioning and keeping us drunks sober. According to AA World Services, as of Jan 1, 2007, there are estimated to be 1,213,269 AA members in the United States and 53,665 groups. Worldwide membership is estimated to be 1,989,260."

See you found it, look back it is taken every three years, it can be our greatest asset to really see if one looks.

27 years ago their was more!!!!!!!!!!!
without the institution that added six hundred thousand plus locked up and the other parts of the world that joined in a few years back..

Take a closer look, S.S. using the A.A. fellowship to justify there means.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 4, 2007 2:08 AM

You would of thought A.A. would of doubled by now with more helpers,. "wait" they are to busy working on people from the inside out.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 4, 2007 2:40 AM

Posted by One Voice - "The person who discovered the exact residential address of the person who created the "midtown poster child site" is an AA member that is currently in Military Intelligence. He has connections that I cannot speak of, with those who run Myspace."

Does anyone else out there find it alarming that this "CFG" or "anti-midtown" group has innappropriately used National Security connections to "spy" on members of the Midtown group? This is hardly a national security issue.

This begs the question - What other illegal or immoral methods are members of this anti-midtown hate group employing, or what have they already employed, to achieve their aim?

Posted by: Concerned | September 4, 2007 8:48 AM

SS wrote: "The actions of people who just can't let this go remind me - not because of the issue but of their ACTIONS - of a child asking the mother for something. She says no. The child then goes to the father and asks the same thing. The father says no."

Maybe. Only the questions are along the lines of, "Hey, I'm seeing people being hurt and taken advantage of over there, can you please help?"

Posted by: Jane D. | September 4, 2007 8:50 AM

To SOMEGUY who posted this:["Since the same 5 people keep going on and on I have an idea...

I will go the midtown meeting this sunday and decide for myself. I have never been there, so to be fair I will go. If I see with my own eyes what others claim - and concerned, please get it in your head that until now, nothing posted in any forum or written about can be taken as fact until some charges are filed - I will know both sides. So everything claimed as far as I am concerned is just that - claims, so to me you haven't had credibility from the get go. Until you stop pointing at myspace pages as your proof, get over the 1 allegation I made. 1 versus what, 1,000's? It must be nice to so blatantly ignore your own actions.

I can tell you though that from what I have seen and heard about this other crew, I am not impressed. It doesn't look good when anyone expresses any sentiment whatsoever that doesn't agree wholeheartedly with their views those same 5 people go on the attack.]

Good luck in finding the midtown meeting....They are always at different locations. They just jumped location once again. The only way midtowners know where their next meeting will be is by other midtowners from high in the food chain calling down the list of their members.

Posted by: an | September 4, 2007 9:50 AM

Defenders of Midtown unit!!

Help Midtown exploit A.A. tonight!!

Keep burying them with retarded bs boys. Eventually they will stop trying to reason with a bunch of retards and give up. Then you win AND you get to keep doing what Midtown rejects do best, which is milk A.A. for what its worth.

Defenders of the Midtown unit!!

Help Midtown molest a 15 year old tonight!!

Good little retarded townies! You do your cult and you cult sponsors proud!

Defenders of the Midtown unit!!

Help Midtown take over your meeting tonight!!

Posted by: Anonymous | September 4, 2007 10:41 AM

I have told sponsees to cut ties with their family and believed it necessary; the last one was a 19 year old girls who's mother pimped her out to support her heroin habit. The one before was when her step father was molesting her.

I have told sponsees to stop taking medications if they wanted to get sober; the last was a woman who was taking xanex and mixing it with alcohol. Of course she was abusing the prescription and had a history of forging her doctor's signature.

I had sex with a woman who had six years sober when I was just a few months sober_ it was great- the one I was with when I was trying to get sober was doing heroin. The one with six years persuaded me to go to many meeting that I would never have gone to otherwise.

JEALOUSY, RESENTMENT & SELF PITY HAS FUELED THIS WHOLE CONTROVERSY!

HELL HATH NO FURY AS A WOMAN SCORNED (or the jealous guy who wanted her but only had an opportunity to watch)....

Posted by: sponsoring | September 4, 2007 11:43 AM

"JEALOUSY, RESENTMENT & SELF PITY HAS FUELED THIS WHOLE CONTROVERSY!

HELL HATH NO FURY AS A WOMAN SCORNED (or the jealous guy who wanted her but only had an opportunity to watch)...."


Are you referring to Renee/Shawn?

Posted by: Anonymous | September 4, 2007 11:49 AM

Someone just wrote we so called midtown attackers/haters, that we have employed the Military Intelligence to achieve our nefarious goals. Wow...I for one did not know we had that kind of power, so this is a bigger conspiracy than I thought......come on people
I am not sure why this has turned to so much resentment here that that there is on listening anymore if there ever way. No one side is going listen/agree to the other. The posts seem to getting close to resentment/anger and dare I say hate....its getting crazy in here, now we are bringing the CIA into this....WOW. one great thing I have is tonight as in last night I can go to a meeting and feel a little bit of sanity befor I come back to this post thank God.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 4, 2007 12:01 PM

Distinctions are the destructions of one helping another,
sad it's acceptance of promotions has been happening in A.A. for quite some time.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 4, 2007 12:06 PM

sobering, good for you.

When you *advised* your sponsees to stay away from abusive families, that sounds like very good advice.

When you *advised* your sponsee to stop *abusing* *Xanax*, a highly addictive drug with effects not unlike alcohol, and under *medical supervision*, that sounds like good advice, as it would with any highly addictive drug given the same qualifications. (Of course, since many drugs prescribed by psychiatrists are not addictive, do not have pleasant effects but do work, and their discontinuance, especially sudden, can be dangerous, it's good that you didn't actually take drugs away from any sponsee.)

When you had sex with a consenting adult, why not, especially since she was not your sponsee.

So what's the problem? Because this is not what anyone is concerned about.

Posted by: DCC | September 4, 2007 12:14 PM

Sponsoring Quoted
"I have told sponsees to cut ties with their family and believed it necessary; the last one was a 19 year old girls who's mother pimped her out to support her heroin habit. The one before was when her step father was molesting her."

CALL THE POICE IDIOT FIX ALL CONTROL FREAK, If not seek psychosocial help together as adults they will call them if you can't, don't bring it to A.A.
for a fix.

THERE ARE AUTHORITIES AND THEN THER ARE SPONSORS WHO THINK THEY ARE INSIDE A.A.

Another one of many psycho sponsors who is playing drug rehab doctor in Alcoholics Anonymous.

Religious A.A's who have self proclaimed them selfs to administer the steps to others already in A.A. ARE INSANE

Posted by: Anonymous | September 4, 2007 12:33 PM

Great. You had sex with an older woman who was a consenting adult that wasn't your sponsor. You did not have to have sex with her so you could remain sober and climb up the Midtown ladder. You were not told to have sex with her by your sponser and your network, and if you didn't have sex with her, then you would not have been removed from your network by your network. Do I have it so far? Great, but thats not what we are talking about here.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 4, 2007 12:41 PM

Both sides are sick and don't know it.
Look newcomer/ open minder and learn.

Learn what A.A. is not before you dictate what A.A. is or should be, The traditions of A.A.

No Member should in any way make anyone believe or conform to anything !!!!!
Thats outside and inside, got it self proclaimed A.A. religious A.A. priests with doctor digress, who label them selfs sponsors as a distinction from another.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 4, 2007 1:02 PM

20 years ago I was 20 and the Q group was thriving at Midtown. At the time, there was much discussion regarding the traditions and simply put, it's an outside issue. What happened, happened outside of the meetings. Sure, the attendees were engaged in predatory behavior towards the newcomers but the fellowship is designed to trust that in time, these things will die. I am surprised it took 20 years though...most often, groups with iconic figures and group-will last for only a few years. It's an anonymous fellowship for a reason...any group that associates itself with a person's name..run far..far away

Posted by: ADAAT | September 4, 2007 3:26 PM

ADAAT, well, I have heard first person stories going back to then from people I've known for years and are trustworthy. They are horrific - I can't think of a better word. This has gone on for the last two decades and from what I hear from others, it is still going on. Many people have been serious harmed in the meantime.

I majored in economics in college. Economists frequently say "in the long run" something or other will happen. In the 1930s a famous economist pointed out that "in the long run we are all dead".

I fully agree that if a group is named after the person who is in charge of it, just run away. But newcomers just out of rehab don't know that. There must be a better way to protect them than waiting for a sociopath to die.

Posted by: DCC | September 4, 2007 3:36 PM

THe really funny thing here is that DCC and Jane D and Concerned are all Midtowners themselves secretly dominating this board with reverse propoganda.

Posted by: Grrr | September 4, 2007 4:55 PM

Sodomites, all of you. Flagellance and sodomy, that's what you preach. I saw Rob K coming on to my neighbor's dog, while Lale did terrble things to it with a spork.

Posted by: Yup | September 4, 2007 4:57 PM


Grr Quoted:
THe really funny thing here is that DCC and Jane D and Concerned are all Midtowners themselves secretly dominating this board with reverse propoganda.

Propaganda or uncovered truth abut the sponsorship system?

Posted by: Anonymous | September 4, 2007 5:20 PM

Suggestion:

If another suggests with a tone, that is not an suggestion that's sponsorship

If another suggests something after prying, that's not a suggestion that's sponsorship.

If another gets mad if you don't do what they say, that's not a suggestion that's sponsorship

If you want what we have, find a sponsor that's plane sick., Serious outside psychological help is needed for both parties involved.

Sponsorship is a substitution for faith the Big book does mention.

The Traditions of A.A. condemns the dictating system that newcomers get subjected to in the doors of A.A., creating a distinctions between them, epically when "they" are RIGHT.

Sponsorship hinders another's soul from it's primary goal,
To be true to thy self.

These are just a couple out of the thousands of spiritual reasons, instead of the threats use by the myths of the sponsorship promotional system.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 4, 2007 5:40 PM

Timewilltell needs a life.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 4, 2007 6:10 PM

Grrr wrote: "THe really funny thing here is that DCC and Jane D and Concerned are all Midtowners themselves secretly dominating this board with reverse propoganda."

Hee! You're cute! Thanks for the giggle.

Now shhhhhh....you'll blow my cover! :)

Posted by: Jane D. | September 4, 2007 7:52 PM

Timewilltell is us right here right now.
Most can't get there in the here and now, they are to busy asking their sponsors what
they can say and do from the past to look good rather than even try. And if they get in trouble they hide in what they call a home group.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 4, 2007 8:47 PM

I found life!!! It's in the applications of the steps:
ALCOHOLIC ANONYMOUS TWELVE TRADITIONS.

Oh by the way it's freely given so you don't have to
ask your sponsor if it's ok. !!!.

Posted by: Timewilltell | September 4, 2007 8:59 PM


More being aware more won't have to be aware.

End the promoted institutional system in A.A.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 4, 2007 9:04 PM

BEWARE !!!

Posted by: Anonymous | September 4, 2007 9:05 PM

YUP
At your age I am surprised you parent let you on the internet unsupervised. This post is geared towards adults ( some would argue)

Posted by: Anonymous | September 4, 2007 11:20 PM

THe really funny thing here is that Grr is against Midtowners secretly posting this board with reverse propoganda

Posted by: Anonymous | September 4, 2007 11:23 PM

The Sponsorship system helps people justify why they are naturally incapable of grasping and developing a manner of living which demands rigorous honesty.

The Sponsorship system justifies those, too, who suffer from grave emotional and mental disorders.

The program works great!! the followship in sponsorship needs to " reform " back outside of a program that already works without there special services.

Unity not Diversity

Posted by: Anonymous | September 5, 2007 7:00 AM

The Sponsorship system helps people justify why they are naturally incapable of grasping and developing a manner of living which demands rigorous honesty.

The Sponsorship system justifies those, too, who suffer from grave emotional and mental disorders.

The program works great!! the followship in sponsorship needs to " reform " back outside of a program that already works without there special services.

Unity not Diversity

Posted by: Anonymous | September 5, 2007 7:01 AM

The Sponsorship system helps people justify why
they are naturally incapable of grasping and developing a manner of living which demands rigorous honesty.

The Sponsorship system justifies those, too, who suffer from grave emotional and mental disorders.

The program works great!! the followship in sponsorship needs to " reform " back outside a program that already works without there help.

Unity not Diversity
fellowship not sponsorship

Posted by: Anonymous | September 5, 2007 7:03 AM

There is a fine line here in that the traditions define the groups and our service structure...they do not regulate meetings nor the fellowship. You should read AA comes of Age and see the plight of the Washingtonians who were 500,000 strong in the mid 1800s and died during the Civil war because they took a political and social stance on slavery among other caucuses. Our traditions are written in blood with the deaths of tens of millions of alcoholics who "thought" we should do more...to quote Bill W "sometimes the good is the enemy of the best"
However its incumbent upon the members to approach the newcomers and inform them of various BS, its not the job of the AA organization.

Posted by: ADAAT | September 5, 2007 10:30 AM

So it might be up to us personally...I am looking forward to reading AA comes of Age, will take it to Sessions with me, good day all

Posted by: Anonymous | September 5, 2007 11:20 AM

Grrrr!

Posted by: Yup | September 5, 2007 12:40 PM

I almost joined the Midtown group in DC... But I found out there was no membership fees. No indoctrination process. Nothing barring me from attending the meetings if I wasn't a cult member. There was no special rules or group tithings. I would not be assigned a boyfriend or be required to give me self totally to their leader. It was not a fun club to join. So I just attended the meetings and stayed sober for a few years. I Moved away, no I miss Mike. I hope he is resting well. He deserves a rest.

Mr. Fisher, I wonder what hot stories you are covering now... Did someone switch the hotdogs out at the ballfield again?

Posted by: Not quite... | September 5, 2007 1:15 PM

Blank
"So it might be up to us personally...I am looking forward to reading AA comes of Age, will take it to Sessions with me, good day all"

Tradition One

"Does this mean," some will anxiously ask, "that in A.A. the individual doesn't count for much? Is he to be dominated by his group and swallowed up in it?"

We may certainly answer this question with a loud "No!"


No A.A. can compel another to do anything; nobody can be punished or expelled. Our Twelve Steps to recovery are suggestions; the Twelve Traditions which guarantee A.A.'s unity contain not a single "Don't." They repeatedly say "We ought..." but never "You must!"

People to busy following sponsors are incapable of living the applications of the step "our Traditions".

Posted by: Anonymous | September 5, 2007 6:41 PM

How convenient for your AA Traditions to allow sick,criminal people to to do what ever they want, Hence the reason nothing will be done to protect young vulnerable children and adolescents. My advice to anyone with children or young adults..Keep them away from AA. They remain unprotected by AA's sacred Traditions!

Posted by: Anonymous | September 5, 2007 10:02 PM

Blank quoted
"How convenient for your AA Traditions to allow sick,criminal people"

It's not the A.A. Traditions it's the sick sponsorship system that was used outside of A.A. now injecting there cancer around A.A.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 5, 2007 11:19 PM

Blank Quoted
"How convenient for your AA Traditions to allow sick,criminal people to to do what ever they want"

Obviously you don't know the A.A. Traditions.

Read the posts it's the promoted sponsorship system that brought this on. The system preys on the weak and weary and get them to follow it in privet around A.A.

A.A. Traditions condemn others telling others or believing in others. The sponsorship System LOVES it.

Read the Traditions for yourself keeping this in mind.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 5, 2007 11:29 PM

Blank Posted by: | September 5, 2007 06:41 PM

Tradition One

"Does this mean," some will anxiously ask, "that in A.A. the individual doesn't count for much? Is he to be dominated by his group and swallowed up in it?"

We may certainly answer this question with a loud "No!"


No A.A. can compel another to do anything; nobody can be punished or expelled. Our Twelve Steps to recovery are suggestions; the Twelve Traditions which guarantee A.A.'s unity contain not a single "Don't." They repeatedly say "We ought..." but never "You must!"

The above is just some of Tradition one

I am sorry your child was swallowed up in the outside sponsorship system and home group crazes, Sooooo many get caught up in it not knowing it's not A.A.

Where in the Traditions does it say to get one of these self proclaimed hero's ?

Where in the Steps does it say it? and I mean it.

Where in the Big Book?

IT DOESN'T !!!!!!!!! BECAUSE IT'S NOT A.A.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 6, 2007 12:01 AM

Its quite apparent to me that its: Whither Midtown.

Posted by: Rob K | September 6, 2007 12:38 AM

WHAT ABOUT THE ANNUAL PLAY THAT MIDTOWN HOLDS AT WALT WHITMAN HIGH SCHOOL IN BETHESDA ON NEW YEARS EVE? DOES THE SCHOOL KNOW THAT A DESTRUCTIVE CULT RENTS THE AUDITORIUM? THE CULT THAT HAS BEEN IN THE NEWS AND THE NATIONAL NEWSPAPERS?

SOMEONE HAS TO LET THEM KNOW ASAP.

Posted by: Rob K | September 6, 2007 12:43 AM

Many will learn about the sponsorship system
that has infected A.A. and it's groups, through the A.A. Traditions.

"SOMEONE HAS TO LET THEM KNOW ASAP."

As a long time good member of A.A., not a supporter of the outside sponsorship system around A.A., I agree, they need to know to beware.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 6, 2007 1:13 AM

Is there an obit for Mike Q anywhere? I've looked all over...I can't imagine didn't pony up for a grand last bit of recognition.

Posted by: IdahoGirl | September 6, 2007 1:17 AM


It's quit apparent to me, MIDTOWN is about a heavy handed sponsorship system that the "group will" condones.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 6, 2007 1:21 AM


Wanted dead or alive does not change the practicing clones around.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 6, 2007 1:25 AM

Yes, I wonder about the obit, too. Odd. Especially for a guy who has a history of disappearing when the "heat" turns up.

Posted by: Jane D. | September 6, 2007 8:51 AM

A honest question deserver's a honest answer.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 6, 2007 9:08 AM

I'm sorry Rob, what was that?

Posted by: AA Member | September 6, 2007 9:27 AM

Traditions, Sponsorship System, Steps...all of these plus more AA babble continues to allow the MT Group under your large AA umbrella. Because of the Traditions..you can't kick them out so AA has to allow this group to remain under their name? That is the impression I have gotten from this blog. You can say they are not AA but truth is..they are because AA hasn't and won't do anything to remove them...hence the reason I posted earlier that AA will protect their sacred Traditions instead of the vulnerable child or young adult.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 6, 2007 9:51 AM

Hey Blank,

Maybe you should learn a thing or two about what AA is and is not. If there are really "atrocities" occuring at the hands of any AA member, that is an outside issue as far as AA is concerned.

AA is not the police, nor are they judge and jury. I wish I could say the say for individual members of AA as well.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 6, 2007 10:00 AM

AA is a scam with a lot of double-talk! they have excuses for everything as long as they don't drink!

Posted by: Anonymous | September 6, 2007 10:06 AM

I think (blank) has a valid "outsider" concern about our "sacred Traditions."

It must be very confusing to hear, "We're willing to let Midtown be wrong, because our Traditions dictate that. But we're not willing to let anyone remotely affiliated with AA be wrong by trying to look into or address Midtown, because our Traditions dictate that."

Posted by: Jane D. | September 6, 2007 10:48 AM

Jane D: Exactly! Double-talk. Everyone in AA keeps saying "The Traditions work" well of course they do because they are set up so they can be used either way. I'm glad I don't live by those Traditions. No one has to be accountable in AA for any type of behavior. What a concept! How convenient for really sick insane people.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 6, 2007 11:16 AM

To be fair, I'm GUESSING that a lot of the people doing that "double talk" are attempting to protect Midtown in a way that is NOT in keeping with AA's Traditions.

It seems to me that Midtown has violated so many Traditions (primary purpose, outside affiliation, affecting AA) and has figured out a way to use "the autonomy Tradition" to duck and hide for a long time, that it's time they have SOME measure of accountability to AA.

If that means we need to make some unprecendented moves (like issuing an AA statement of intolerance for predatory behavior, forming committees to work with groups having trouble with the Traditions, etc.), then I think those things should be considered. There's no reason why we can't address this issue and not uphold our Traditions.

Because if AA can "survive" exploiting children in its name, then surely it can "survive" addressing that exploitation.

Posted by: Jane D. | September 6, 2007 11:35 AM

Are you going to lead the charge Jane?? I'd sign up.

Posted by: AA member | September 6, 2007 1:02 PM

It's not AA's job to protect against criminal behavior any more than its your employer's job. That's what the police and justice system are for. If I were aware of a crime in or out of AA, I'd report it (and have done so in the past). Sure, there are some screwed up people in AA...big news flash. If we weeded them all out, we wouldn't have much of a fellowship 8-)

However, two or more people having consenual sex is not illegal...be it one day sober or not. The Q group has only proven the necessity of our traditions much like socipaths prove the necessity of our justice system...we just have different methods of handling them.

Posted by: ADAAT | September 6, 2007 4:26 PM

I think (blank) has a valid "outsider" concern about our "sacred Traditions."
It must be very confusing to hear, "We're willing to let Midtown be wrong, because our Traditions dictate that.

Start at Traditions One first, and see if it can even be an A.A. group.
Anyone can call them selfs and proclaim them selfs whatever they want and I am sure they will have FOLLOWERS, people who use Traditions to justify their cr---ap can't blame the Traditions they need to blame the sponsorship system that promotes their self and having the outside affiliations.

Traditions say what an A.A. group is and is NOT what a group does and Does NOT do.
Don't call yourself an A.A. group if you have other affiliations. Sponsorship is another affiliation weather you chose it or not.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 6, 2007 4:27 PM

I can assure that if I were a professor at a college who was telling students that consensual sex with me might improve their grades, it might not be a police matter (depending on the age of consent), but the university would not remain silent and inactive. And if they did, their reputation would be in the toilet and their admissions would surely see a decline.

I imagine if there was someone who wasn't even affiliated with the college who was posing as an employee and doing something along those lines in the school's name, the college wouldn't just shrug and say, "We're just leaving it up to the police," or "We have no opinion," to the parents of those harmed.

No one's suggesting some wild west round-up and public hanging.

Just that at some point, that there ought to be some dialogue about this. Some response. Some discussion about what happens to a group's autonomy when they are engaging "in matters affecting other groups or AA as a whole." Someone ought to be asking the question, "If these allegations are true, what part did our Traditions play in letting it happen or go unquestioned?"

I'm sorry, I can not see how AA does not have an obligation to engage in SOME LEVEL of critical self-examination on this issue. Just because Midtown isn't willing, as a group, to do some inventory, and is willing to deflect the blame to anyone else, that doesn't mean that AA (or AAs) ought to do the same. And by remaining silent and pointing to Midtown as being autonomous (and thereby solely responsible or not), I can't see how that's a whole lot different.

Posted by: Jane D. | September 6, 2007 5:14 PM

Wanna hear something hysterical? The guy behind the fall of midtown is SPONSORING someone who is on the MARYLAND SEX OFFENDERS site as a child sex offender.

Posted by: Greg | September 6, 2007 6:18 PM

Idahogirl:

Since The Washington Post did the article for Midtown and is also hosting this blog, I highly doubt they wanted to contact the Post to do an obituary...

Posted by: Rob K | September 6, 2007 6:31 PM


Jane D
"I'm sorry, I can not see how AA does not have an obligation to engage in SOME LEVEL of critical self-examination on this issue."
I agree

Greg
hysterical and sick not surprising.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 6, 2007 6:31 PM

satan has left the building

about time!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: Anonymous | September 6, 2007 7:46 PM

The Cult Called A.A.

by Paul Roasberry
Reprinted from Matrix, Denver Mensa, Janet Roder, Editor

When we think of cults, we usually think of bizarre religious sects, armed compounds, mind control and eccentric leaders. Most of us do not think of Alcoholics Anonymous (A.A.) as a cult, but I do.

Three years ago, I was in the grips of a serious drinking problem. Like most alcoholics, I rationalized my drinking, citing the many terrible circumstances in my life. Then, almost three years ago, I stopped drinking. Period. By myself.

Oh, I attended a half dozen or so A.A. meetings at the time, upon the advice of someone recommended by a friend. The woman who suggested A.A. to me was a licensed psychologist. She was a "recovered alcoholic" and was very active in A.A.

What I found at the meetings was a weird mixture of the deplorable and the laughable. It didn"t take long to notice that something was not quite level with this organization.

I was tipped off to A.A.'s strong cult qualities when the lady psychologist made a somewhat curious remark during the first week or two of my sobriety.

I had an uncle then (he died this past January) who had been an alcoholic prior to 1960. Uncle Ralph consumed, by his own subsequent admission, about a quart of whiskey a day. He stopped drinking without the assistance of A.A. when he met my aunt. It was a condition of their marriage that he stop drinking, and he did.

I remember my Uncle Ralph as a sweet, generous man during the thirty-odd years he was married to my aunt. He was not abusive or cruel, he worked hard, and made an excellent stepfather to my three girl cousins. When I mentioned Uncle Ralph to the lady psychologist, stating that he'd quit drinking on his own, she immediately dismissed my observation with, "Oh, well, he's just a dry drunk." She of course had never met my uncle Ralph, knew positively nothing about his character and yet claimed to be able to diagnose him as a "dry drunk" strictly on the information that he hadn't progressed through the A.A.'s widely touted "twelve step program." Bear in mind, this was a licensed psychologist making an incredibly spurious, rash judgment.

Of course, all cults have this in common: they reject and label as untouchables any who do not embrace their particular version of "Truth." To died-in-the-wool communists, non-believers are "bootlickers of the capitalists," or "counter-revolutionary hooligans." To the born again fundamentalist Christian, non-believers are "agents of Satan." To Moslems, Christians are "devils," and to Nazis, Jews are "swine." To the Alcoholics Anonymous membership, anyone who stops drinking without chanting the mantras of cult founder Bill W. are "dry drunks," pure and simple. You don't even need to know anything more about the self-quitters -- the fact that they quit drinking without A.A. makes them dry drunks, a priori.

Don't get me wrong. I do not advocate suppressing A.A. or any other cult. I simply want you to know, in case you are a problem drinker and are toying around with the idea of quitting, that it's O.K. to develop your own solution to your own problem. The last thing you need when you undertake a major, radical transformation in your life is to be accused by a bunch of self-righteous fanatics of being "a dry drunk," whatever the hell that is.

The whole A.A. program hinges upon the alcoholic's acceptance of what A.A. calls a "higher power." Conversely, adherents to the twelve-step program are expected to renounce any personal responsibility for, or control over, their problem. This blatant renunciation of the concept of free will is also a characteristic of every single other cult I can think of -- the individual counts for nothing, while the non-existent, the illusory, the hypothetical, is all. Self-respecting, proud, analytical achievers do not make good cult members. A cult follower must be stripped of his sense of individual worth -- in many sects, he is humiliated sexually, deprived of sensory stimuli, sequestered from the larger community, or otherwise manipulated to look upon himself as degraded and worthless. In A.A., you are plopped in a ring of cultists every evening and pressured to place your entire destiny in the hands of some "higher power."

When I began to ask hard questions about the nature of this "higher power," half expecting to hear some gibberish about "god," I learned (no kidding!) that one member even had his motorcycle represent his "higher power." What form of silliness is this that empowers motorcycles to cure us of alcoholism, I wondered.

At A.A. meetings, everyone sits around in a big circle. There are readings from "the Big Book," a not-very-well-written compendium of home-spun philosophy and anecdote authored by Bill W. and his colleagues some decades ago. Every cult needs its sacred writings, its revealed word. Members start talking about themselves and their alcoholism, and oddly, this sounds more like "self-criticism" under Mao's cultural revolution than anything therapeutic. In fact, it's all directed toward precisely the same end as "confession" in the Catholic church and Maoist "self-criticism" -- de-emphasis of the individual and a concomitant glorification of the ethereal, the other-worldly, the imaginary.

At some point, if you begin to question this "program" of A.A.'s, the talk gets tough and they start to lean on you. You are told that you can never recover on your own, that you are doomed to lapse over and over again into drinking binges, or at best, become a "dry drunk." (This is supposedly someone who has stopped drinking but still manifests all the unconscionable traits of a drunk: all the sociopathy, all the abusiveness, all the manipulative behaviors.)

The more you try to trot out examples of persons who have transformed their own lives under their own steam, the more the party line is thrown back at you: you are powerless against drink. Powerless. Any so-called examples of alcoholics who quit drinking without the twelve steps are in reality only examples of "dry drunks."

When I left A.A., I made the comment to someone that if I were indeed "powerless," I might as well commit suicide, because a life without any control over my destiny would be pointless and absurd. I stated again my conviction that I did not regard myself as powerless, and I went about my recovery in the most sensible way I could imagine. I removed alcohol from my home, I found some healthy pastimes to pursue (mountain climbing, writing, and painting) and, in the whirlwind breakup of my marriage, I devoted myself to staying afloat financially, making my new company prosper, and seeking out some like-minded companionship -- that was when I re-joined Mensa.

So, if you are determined to quit drinking, you can save yourself about three hundred sixty-five hours a year, plus travel time.

Try the "one-step" program, instead: just stop drinking. Believe me: you can do it.

I did.

Posted by: Intelligence | September 6, 2007 9:18 PM

There are many substitutions for faith but there is non for GOD as an individual understands him.
God could and would if sought, easily.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 6, 2007 10:54 PM

I understand the comment regarding a university, church, government, or business handling a similar issue involving inappropriate sex allegations. Yes, from the outside it must seem like we are just a bunch of wimps. But, our organizational structure is one that has no centrality. There's no one to call and tattle on...no AA executive to say "hey, these jerks are jerks!"

We are organized in an upside-down pyramid. If you and I want to sit down over a cup of coffee, complain, have sex, and call ourselves an AA meeting...no one can stop us. There is no application to start an AA meeting, no orientation class...it's there if you say it is.

Still seems strange to me after 20 years...while also very liberating...but that's how we work. It's a sink or swim thing, meetings that suck die...good meetings live...Midtown is a good meeting with some people that suck.

I also agree that this requires some examination and discussion with sponsors, members, newcomers, newspapers, et. al. This is a good thing for AA that this discussion is the self-examination called for. In the end, you can vote with your mouth or your feet. After witnessing the sickness with the Q group and discussing it with other members, I chose to vote with my feet with the hopes that one day this would resolve itself. Its sad for all those harmed along the way..its both embarassing and relieving its been resolved.

Posted by: ADAAT | September 6, 2007 11:01 PM

ADAAT quote
"There is no application to start an AA meeting, no orientation class...it's there if you say it is."

There is Traditions in place that ONLY belong to Alcoholics Anonymous and no one else. Not like the steps that belong to anyone, the Traditions state you can call yourself an A.A. group PROVIDED that as a group you have "NO OTHER" affiliations.


Intelligence post,

I hear what has been dictated to most likely from a sponsor, surly not in the Big Book.
You were intelligent to step away.
I read the Book for myself and came to believe in "God". Through my weaknesses I found my strength.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 6, 2007 11:27 PM

There actually is an application to start a meeting.

I think it's very conflicting to state that we are totally decentralized and thus can't do or say anything with regards to this issue, when anyone can go on our website and read the latest press release (dated April 2007) which explains how AA is directly reaching out to "Very Young Alcoholics" with new literature and audio visual.

If we're centralized enough to directly reach out to parents and children and tell them that they can find a solution for alcoholism in our fellowship, then I think we're centralized enough to deal with and speak out against sexual predators who are exploiting children in our name.

I, frankly, can not see how morally and legally we can issue a press release that encourages children to join us, and a month later have a feature story in Newsweek appear--detailing how horrifically children have been victimized once they were members, and AA not say a word about it.

Posted by: Jane D. | September 6, 2007 11:49 PM

Does anyone know who Mikes sponsor was? Well I do, and I can tell you that this whole mess didn't start with Mike. There was alot of other old timer scum bags out there doing the same sleezy crap that Mike was doing way before him. I knew Mike and I could never understand where all the attraction came from. I always thought he was sort of an idiot and therefore anyone who fell for his bs was also an idiot. He was not an attractive man, and he was definately not very cool. The only way he could get laid was by manipulating newcomers and he passed this down to all of his pigeons who were all just a bunch of geeky, loser, strike out artists also.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 7, 2007 12:23 AM

A sponsor use to bring an alcoholic to A.A. It was only a few day process to show the new alcoholic the Big Book and take the steps. A few days mind you.

Today sponsorship system takes over, and more than a few days, TO DO WHAT?

A.A's name should be changed to S.S. to live up to there ways today.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 7, 2007 1:29 AM


Blank
"Does anyone know who Mikes sponsor was?"


Sponsor and sponsee = Monkey see Monkey do !!

Posted by: Anonymous | September 7, 2007 1:32 AM

GREG: Wanna hear something hysterical? The guy behind the fall of midtown is SPONSORING someone who is on the MARYLAND SEX OFFENDERS site as a child sex offender


I don't even know that guy, but So freaking what?! That's an outside issue for him unless he starts molesting chicks in AA! Go find some other dirt to sling dummy.

Posted by: an | September 7, 2007 8:15 AM

Greg, I apologize. Calling you a dummy was unnecessary. It just makes no sense for you to throw that out when it really doesn't matter unless that guy is sexually abusing a child in AA.

Posted by: an | September 7, 2007 9:40 AM

A.A. turned into a bunch of little sponsorship clubs? Isolating the newcomer from main stream A.A.

Watch the actions of the sponsorship system around meetings as they walk their prey away A.A. as a whole and work on them in a privet "ONE on ONE" already here in A.A., it happens at meetings all the time and is promoted to do so.

The next time your in a meeting observe, you will see many free people talking with another and also many trapped sitting with there sponsor in A.A. who wish they were free but don't know how due to "one on one insanity".

If you don't do what your sponsor says the groupies will turns and mock you.THIS IS NOT A.A. it's the system injected into A.A.

Participation meeting groups are good for mocking and promoting others by not having and working with a sponsor, this insanity happens sober folks everywhere in A.A. today

The "Bigger" the groups the stronger the "clubs and insanity used on others, all covered up with a good cause in the name of A.A.

Take a closer look. Go to a smaller meetings and you stand a better chance not to get caught up in the sponsorship system clubs.
Learn to give freely of what you find, don't ask your sponsorship system, ask God in your morning meditation the answers will come be aware and beware.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 7, 2007 10:01 AM

ONE ON ONE IN A.A. IS INSANITY.

One on one outside A.A. is not recommended either, take someone with you.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 7, 2007 10:10 AM

You get more out of one on one ask the Mike Q home groupies if not the sponsorship system will BACK them up

Posted by: Anonymous | September 7, 2007 10:35 AM

What you are saying about the sponsorship system makes a lot of sense to me. brings up many questions for me.

Posted by: an | September 7, 2007 10:53 AM

In Midtown they try to make it seem as if you can't trust your own mind. These people request guidance from their sponsors to make simple decisions. A lot of the people there are like puppets with their sponsors telling them what they can and can not do. Who to hang with and who to stay away from. Service service service, get out of yourselves, go shake a hand and ask someone how their day is and your problems will all go away! No no no, don't go home and do homework, hang with us until you are exhausted because your sobriety is more important than school work.

newcomer: I think I am going to home instead of hanging out tonight. I am pretty beat from a long day.

midtown: Maybe you should call your sponsor before you make a decision like that because you might have alterior motives for going home.

What a crock !

Posted by: an | September 7, 2007 11:07 AM

I agree with the assessment of overpowering sponsors. It's a natural subconscious desire for power, control, and manipulation when people make themselves counselors for members of any fellowship...AA or not. The same reason the psycho-therapy doesn't work for the alcoholic is the same reason that exclusivity in a sponsorship family has problems...it's a single source, single perspective...highly subject to problems like discussed here.

It is for this reason, that the Traditions speak exclusively of the "group" and only mentions that we should beware of leaders who do not act as trusted servants of that group. Now the Q groupies formed something that was not AA...but attended AA meetings much like a pimp watches the busstop.

The group within AA is our sacred environment. Alcoholics are not easy to rehabilitate...we have about 1 in 30 that walk into a meeting make it to their first year. By common measurements, we are not a general success. Yet, the tens of millions sober today around the world would argue otherwise and surely will not let some group of predatory idiots impact their recovery. Certainly, from the outside we are tarnished, from the inside its done, over, he's dead.

Posted by: ADAAT | September 7, 2007 11:27 AM

If it doesn't come from ones own heart it isn't A.A. it came from sponsorship.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 7, 2007 12:30 PM

ADAAT Quote
Alcoholics are not easy to rehabilitate...

What do you mean by this statement?
Do you feel it is your job to rehabilitate someone?

It is easy and today surly not simple but God could and would if sought.
A simple suggested program turned into a program of suggestions by the sponsorship system.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 7, 2007 12:35 PM

Can you please tll me what "Sponsor Direction" means? Are their Great-Grand Sponsors? There must be if their are Grand Sponsors? What is a Sponsor meeting? Can you fire a Sponsor? Can a Sponsor fire you? How many days sober do you have to be to sponsor someone? How many people can you sponsor at once?

Sound a little crazy doesn't it!

Posted by: Anonymous | September 7, 2007 12:39 PM

Sounds real and crazy a lot.
A sick system.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 7, 2007 1:19 PM

What does "Full Disclosure" mean in AA?

Posted by: Anonymous | September 7, 2007 1:21 PM

What the hell is a "pigeon" meeting?

Posted by: an | September 7, 2007 1:44 PM

What the hell is this sponsorship crap that is being crammed down peoples throats anyway,
and for their own good. Who's good?

Posted by: Anonymous | September 7, 2007 2:00 PM

Good honest questions with no answers - will you people just go away you are making my sponsor and us babies look bad.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 7, 2007 2:02 PM

Someone call our Great Grand sponsor Clancy.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 7, 2007 2:05 PM

... A question for the Midtowners reading this: Who are Jack, Arno, Frank, Bryce, Brigitte, etc., getting to sponsor them now? Are they all getting Johnnie?

Posted by: Just wondering | September 7, 2007 3:40 PM


ADATT Quote
"I agree with the assessment of overpowering sponsors. It's a natural subconscious desire for power, control, and manipulation when people make themselves counselors for members of any fellowship...AA or not."

Not being mentioned in the Big Book, Steps or Traditions a lot of people must have promoted the system ,then had to find a way to justify it and know people are asking questions about what they are and who they are and what they mean by all the bs they passed around in A.A. to get were they are today all which is inconsistent with the Traditions and the Big Book in other words their own opinions.
GAYS = Go Ask Your Sponsor

Posted by: Anonymous | September 7, 2007 3:50 PM

To answer an earlier question, yes, as a member of AA we rehabilitate alcoholics...it's a very slow and patient process. I sponsor a few people and my rule is that they must have the phone numbers of 4 or 5 other people in the fellowship with multiple years of recovery. Not only does this protect them from me, but I have also found that it greatly increases their success in sobriety.

Sponsorship families that are hierarchical in nature or center around AA celebrities just don't seem to succeed...but those that include the entire fellowship in a more meshed, peer-to-peer group-oriented manner tend to breed success. This is why there is little mentioned about sponsorship in our literature because it can easily be abused...but the flat group conscience values all as equals.

Posted by: ADAAT | September 7, 2007 5:44 PM

Are you licensed?

Posted by: Anonymous | September 7, 2007 6:38 PM


ADATT Quote:
"To answer an earlier question, yes, as a member of AA we rehabilitate alcoholics.."

Are you licensed to rehabilitate others?
What are you credentials?
I hope not another self proclaimed person here

Posted by: Anonymous | September 7, 2007 6:42 PM

Since when did one drunk talking to another get into one drunk rehabilitating another?

Posted by: Anonymous | September 7, 2007 6:45 PM

WOW !!!! I thought God did that work
A.A. ideas Plainly and clearly states in the (B) no human power can relive us and the answer is (C) not the S.S.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 7, 2007 6:49 PM

ADAAT:
" To answer an earlier question, yes, as a member of AA we rehabilitate alcoholics."

QUESTION: Do you know What a spiritual void is? and you and your gang thinks they can fill it!!!!! Another really sick one keep your eyes open

ADAAT Quoted
"Sponsorship families that are hierarchical in nature or center around AA celebrities just don't seem to succeed."
Are you telling me you "know" who succeeds and who doesn't? Do we have a prophet here?
What about PERSONAL WILLINGNESS EVER HERE ABOUT THAT?

ADAAT Quote:
"Sponsorship families that are hierarchical in nature"
Most come after they LOST the families they were suppose to be sponsoring that's natural ?

This is an example of the outside systems cloning effects which is not consistent with the Big Book and why the TRADITIONS warn us and ask us not to follow our SICK BROTHERS

Posted by: Anonymous | September 7, 2007 7:32 PM

Anybody want to be rehabilitated ?

Go see ADAAT and his gang descendants and disciples of the S.S.

This has gone from sick to sicker and these type are the sickest.

Rehabilitate, I am sure. as if you could and would if sought.

Where do these people come from? most important where are they going and how many have they already taken with them? The recovery rate indicates about 50%, due to this fatal attraction.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 7, 2007 7:45 PM

This blog has been taken over by some nut with a sponsorship resentment. Any Midtown discussion has become completely pointless at this point, its time to move on and let this guy rant....most everyone else has.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 7, 2007 8:40 PM

To control and enjoy is a great obsession

Posted by: Anonymous | September 8, 2007 1:57 AM

ADAAT Quote

"It is for this reason, that the Traditions speak exclusively of the "group""
That is not correct. It talks to each member in the group and in Tradition Three you are a member if YOU say so, no one needs to be sponsored here in A.A.
Take a closer look

"I agree with the assessment of overpowering sponsors. It's a natural subconscious desire for power, control, and manipulation when people make themselves counselors for members of any fellowship.."

If it is subconscious its alright then?

Twelfth Tradition
These experiences has taught us that anonymity is real humility at work. It is an all-pervading spiritual quality which "use to" keynote A.A. life everywhere. Moved by the spirit of anonymity, we try to give up our "natural desires for personal distinction" as A.A. member among fellow alcoholics. Tradition 12 pg 187
"Thats why sponsorship is not mentioned in the Big Book, Steps or Traditions. Period

Posted by: Anonymous | September 8, 2007 2:35 AM


WAS MIKE Q A GREAT SPONSOR? WHO FOLLOWED HIS GRAND SPONSOR? did everything on a subconscious level to help.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 8, 2007 2:38 AM

Just briefly checking in and wanted to respond to one thing...

ADAAT wrote: "Yet, the tens of millions sober today around the world would argue otherwise and surely will not let some group of predatory idiots impact their recovery. Certainly, from the outside we are tarnished, from the inside its done, over, he's dead."

Just because Mike Q is dead, doesn't mean there isn't poop all over our side of the street that now needs cleaning up.

Can I be the only one who thinks that the "inside" work is only now beginning?

"Made direct amends to those we harmed..."

People's children died because "AA" told them they weren't sober if they took prescribed medication. Kids were coerced into sexual relationships because "AA" told them they needed to go to any lengths. Kids are in cult-deprogramming situations because of their involvement in "AA."

Harm has occurred.

Doesn't our program suggest that we take a look at our part and then make amends?

What about the kids who were told by Midtown that they needed to direct their sponsees to act in these ways? Can you imagine the guilt they're going to experience for being the messangers of such twisted "AA?" They've been used and exploited and harmed, too.

When I stopped drinking and got into AA, AA didn't suggest that my work was over. They said it was just beginning. I had stopped digging the hole, but now I had a responsibility to fill it back up. My thinking is that with Mike Q's death, the digging might have slowed down, but there are plenty of others with shovels over there. And the job of filling the hole back in hasn't even started.

Posted by: Jane D. | September 8, 2007 10:43 AM

Jane, I agree with your assessment here. However, you have to know you're digging a hole to stop and you have to see the hole before you consider filling it up again. How can the local AA fill the hole whole while Midtown continues digging and are oblivious to the hole as well as denying all other problems. BTW, I just read a blog at thefallofmidtown where someone posted that L**i, a pigeon of B****a's, is funnelling all the Midtown money through her business with J**k's help. The Midtown fools keep giving it to them, I wonder if they know they're building L**i's business.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 8, 2007 11:30 AM

Jack, Arno, Bryce,Bridgitte, Beth, Barbara,Carol,Joe,John G, Frank..Report all of them to the IRS and let them figure it out. No doubt they will find some sketchy business going on.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 8, 2007 11:47 AM

We have also seen men and woman who go power- mad who devote them selves to attempting to rule their fellows. Pg43 12X12 = Sponsorship

The injected infestation of the system has festered to the surface. It is not just ONE problem.

SPONSORSHIP, CULT and MIDTOWN TYPES are SYNONYMOUS.

Sponsorship = Power and prestige
Cult = weak Followers
Midtown = Home group groupies

Posted by: Anonymous | September 8, 2007 12:27 PM

We have also seen men and woman who go power- mad who devote them selves to attempting to rule their fellows. Pg43 12X12 = Sponsorship

The injected infestation that has festered to the surface is not just one problem.
SPONSORSHIP, CULT and MIDTOWN TYPES are SYNONYMOUS.

Midtown AA is not going anywhere Midtown will continue to grow and save lives as it did mine because I will "pass it on". Posted by: God Bless | August 22, 2007 03:49 PM
(As if Midtown home group was the lifesaver!! using the post name God Bless)

{Posted by: | August 30, 2007 10:30 AM
Timewilltell/?????, I understand you are trying to get people to understand your point, and you can see some of us are trying. BUT you are suggesting changes to a well established system of sponsorship in AA. Your points may well be something for all to meditate on, it isn't dealing with the REALITY that Midtown is agressively going into hospitals (even the ones they have been banned from) trying to recruit newcomers.}

ADATT Quote
"I agree with the assessment of overpowering sponsors."
{Can Posted by: | September 7, 2007 12:39 PM "Can you please tell me what "Sponsor Direction" means? Are their Great-Grand Sponsors? There must be if their are Grand Sponsors? What is a Sponsor meeting? Can you fire a Sponsor? Can a Sponsor fire you? How many days sober do you have to be to sponsor someone? How many people can you sponsor at once?
Sound a little crazy doesn't it!" }
{Posted by: | September 7, 2007 10:10 AM
ONE ON ONE IN A.A. IS INSANITY.
One on one outside A.A. is not recommended either, take someone with you.}
ABC's of the S.S. vs ABC's of A.A. ( Don't add up)

Posted by: Anonymous | September 8, 2007 12:44 PM

Building her business? If it's true, it'll be more like sending her to jail. Sounds like another "fall guy" who is going to be sacrificed for this group.

Posted by: Jane D. | September 8, 2007 12:48 PM

Step3 pg40 12X12 "
"All by himself, and in the light of his own circumstances, he needs to develop the quality of willingness."
"All of the twelve steps require sustained and personal exertion to conform to their principles and so, we trust, to god's will. "
What's with this sponsor crap telling us our Book is wrong and the steps have to be administered to another by them!!

The sponsor systems actions and sounds are religiously cultic around A.A.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 8, 2007 1:36 PM

Calling the Q group a cult is a pretty accurate term...the fact that is has been built within the structure of AA is a shame. But much like Jonestown isn't a blemish for all religions, neither should these people require for AA to do restructure. However, should AA choose to restructure, any AA member can make a motion and carry it to their home group and up the service chain. Have at it.

Wrt to those who feel that "licensed" professionals are only qualified to help alcoholics recovery..you are gravely mistaken. Paid professionals take your insurance money until it runs and and then drops you off at our door with a meeting list..much like the justice system does with DWIs..hospitals, jails...this is exactly how I was introduced AA BTW.

Without going into too much detail, there is essentially a partnership between God and the trusted servants of AA..much like the clergy in a church. Yes, this sounds crazy...so what, you come up with a better way to help alcoholics then lets see it in action. As a partner trusted servant we provide compassion, tolerance, guidance, and love...those who manipulate for their own control, like the Q group, aren't trusted servants and are aptly called a cult.

I don't expect for you to get this...I am just trying to provide some clarity onn what truly exists in AA vs those that are peripheral.

Posted by: ADAAT | September 8, 2007 1:59 PM

The only person that seems rational here is Jane D. It just so happens I disagree with her. I can't make amends for the Q group anymore than I can for someone in prison. They have to make direct amends. If Midtown as a group takes their inventory and chooses to make amends..then great. My home group is not involved in their practices and neither am I. We try and carry the message by practicing the principles of AA rather than make up for those that don't.

Posted by: ADAT | September 8, 2007 2:14 PM

Look at all the interesting stuff over the last week here!

I doubt that Midtown members are embezzling money and not paying taxes on it. I think they are too smart for that. Because we all know the IRS pays a large cash reward (a percentage of taxes recovered) to anyone who reports them.

ADAAT makes an interesting point: "to those who feel that 'licensed' professionals are only qualified to help alcoholics recovery ... you are gravely mistaken ... Without going into too much detail, there is essentially a partnership between God and the trusted servants of AA ... much like the clergy in a church. Yes, this sounds crazy ... so what, you come up with a better way to help alcoholics then lets see it in action."

I'm sure that this is good news to a major church, since apparently God is a now a partner in sexual molestation and may have to pay half or even all the damages as reported in the press

(http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/metro/20070908-9999-lz1n8timeline.html)
Sept 8, 2007

"September 2003: Archdiocese of Boston agrees to pay $85 million to more than 500 people.

"February 2004: Church-appointed National Review Board rebukes U.S. bishops for "shameful" failure to stop widespread clerical sex abuse over the past half-century.

"July 2004: Archdiocese of Portland, Ore., becomes first Catholic diocese to seek bankruptcy protection in the face of sexual abuse claims.

"December 2004: Orange County diocese agrees to pay $100 million to 90 victims, with payouts ranging from $50,000 to nearly $4 million.

"February 2007: San Diego diocese files for bankruptcy protection the day before the first trial was to begin. It is the fifth and largest diocese to seek Chapter 11 reorganization in the face of roughly 150 claims.

"July 2007: Los Angeles archdiocese agrees to pay $660 million to 508 victims in what is by far the largest Catholic settlement of its kind.

"Yesterday: The Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego reaches a $198.1 million agreement with 144 childhood sexual abuse victims. The diocese also promises to release church documents about abusers' histories."


Or, if ADAAT considers the abuse an act of God, rather than a failing of humans, perhaps God should have to pay all the settlements in full. ADAAT, you ought to let the Church know immediately that they are off the hook

Perhaps it would also be convenient if God takes the responsibility for the Midtown Cult's organized program of child abuse. That way it isn't anybody's fault and no amends need to be made.

Let's see now. Can anybody here rise to the challenge and "come up with a better way to help alcoholics", as ADAAT requested?

How about this: that our program institute a policy of ZERO TOLERANCE towards sexual abuse and child molestation performed as part of the AA program of recovery and not allow cults who perpetrate this to represent themselves as AA groups?

Posted by: DCC | September 8, 2007 2:33 PM

Posted by: ADAAT | September 8, 2007 01:59 PM Quote" you come up with a better way to help alcoholics then lets see it in action. As a partner trusted servant we provide compassion, tolerance, guidance, and love.."
Notice how he placed in the word guidance coming from the S.S.

The Big Book is a better way what you do is the action.
How it works pg 70 "We earnestly pray for the right ideal, for guidance in each questionable situation"
Who is guiding who?

Posted by: Anonymous | September 8, 2007 3:18 PM


Take a closer look ADAAT:
Without going into too much detail, there is essentially a partnership between God and ONE DRUNK FREELY TALKING TO ANOTHER NOT GUIDING ANOTHER FOOL or fooling others to guide.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 8, 2007 3:22 PM

Interesting statement:

"Without going into too much detail, there is essentially a partnership between God and ONE DRUNK FREELY TALKING TO ANOTHER NOT GUIDING ANOTHER FOOL or fooling others to guide."

MANY FOOLS HAVE BEEN FOOLED INSIDE A.A.
By who? God or your ?, your pick is your belief and action.


LET IT START WITH LOOKING AT OUR SELFS INSTEAD OF GUIDING OTHERS.

Posted by: ????? | September 8, 2007 4:11 PM

I agree that Midtown should be making direct amends. But my money's on: "that ain't gonna happen." Look at the quotes from their members in the press; not an ounce of responsibility or empathy.

I just can't see how AA can issue statements welcoming children, but not statements renouncing the abuse they receive in our fellowship.

If we're reaching out to families with children before they come to AA, then surely we can reach out to families who've been harmed after they've come to AA.

And, really, I think we're all partially responsible for what Midtown has done. I think it's important for AA to discern its part in this and make any amends. If Midtown's wreckage is able to happen in our fellowship, then our fellowship bears some responsibility. At a minimum asking the question, "What's AA's role in this?" ought to be done.

Just because Mike Q is dead and Midtown won't take action or responsibility, doesn't mean that the rest of AA ought to treat the situation as "done" and "over."

Posted by: Jane D. | September 8, 2007 6:28 PM

Yes, I definitely agree with Jane D. First, it's important to victims of sexual abuse that they receive acknowledgment and amends to recover, and this is really about the victims. Second, as long as Midtown continues to deny that anything ever happened, how can they possibly be trusted in the future? Third, just because Mike Q. is dead, why should we believe anything fundamental has changed? Because the problem extended far beyond him alone; he selected lieutenants who would perpetuate the abuse and set up the structure to facilitate its continuance.

Posted by: DCC | September 8, 2007 6:40 PM

ACTION FROM A.A IS AN AMEND.

How does A.A. go about mending anything with so many self proclamed guidance consolers?
You know who

Posted by: Anonymous | September 8, 2007 6:51 PM

Yes, absolutely, (blank), some kind of action from AA that acknowledges the abuse and ends it would be extremely healing to the young women who were sexually abused by the "hierarchy" of Midtown. In order for this to happen some group such as GSO in our fellowship must take the initiative and find out what happened and what is still happening. Barring GSO, some other group of AA members should do this.

Since I last posted a week or so ago I have talked to at least one other young woman who was seriously sexually abused by a "hierarchy" member at Midtown.

It's cowardly and self centered of our fellowship to look the other way here. If GSO will not acknowledge this abuse and resolve to end it members should organize a way to acknowledge it publicly to those who were victimized.

This isn't about any kind of retribution against Midtown. It ought to be about facilitating some kind of healing for the victims here. That should be our only concern.

Posted by: DCC | September 8, 2007 8:58 PM

DCC,
Yes, absolutely, (blank), some kind of action from AA that acknowledges the abuse and ends it would be extremely healing to the young women who were sexually abused by the "hierarchy" of Midtown. In order for this to happen some group such as GSO in our fellowship must take the initiative and find out what happened and what is still happening. Barring GSO, some other group of AA members should do this.

A time when A.A. was criticized by the press in the early 60s, World services sent a message, That message was the A.A. pledge. After Bill W passed on and since 1975 we haven't been able to keep true to that pledge all we done is made 10 times the amount of different pamphlets, look at the copy right date. So what can A.A. really say ?
Not another pamphlet for Gods sake.
We are sorry. Any descent person is against abuse, that should not have to be said.
So what are we to do? What can we do?
Look at our part and find out how this effect and cause was administered and supported? Midtowners, Clancy and many others see nothing wrong with how it happened.


Tough spot when 73% of the people in A.A. support a potential abusive system which has drove an alcoholics chances to recover down to less than 5% and dropping as we watch.
Listen to what is said. Midtown saved their life. right, WRONG, God did, and the deadly system takes the credit, brags how big they are and how many "THEY" helped while we watch them kill the recovery rate.

What got one here before they meet anyone in A.A. ? God?
What causes others to leave after they come to A.A.? People?

It would be great to here from the ones that left A.A. because it gets tiring listening to the bull of a self proclaimed system with purpose and cause to rehabilitate another in the name of A.A.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 8, 2007 10:39 PM

Of course, I agree that the perverted and twisted system at Midtown did not help anyone recover. If anyone recovered there, it was in spite of their system. Midtown is a cult, an abusive one at that, and one motivated by providing economic and sexual advantages to the "hierarchy".

As I have said several times, I have not generally relied on what some people here are calling the "sponsor system" but I do have close friends in the program. However, most people do have sponsors and very few appear abusive from what I can see. It appears that most members enjoy having sponsors and that sponsorship helps them.

The system at Midtown is cult control which relies on numerous known techniques of thought control. Basically, it is a totalist system as described by Robert J. Lifton in his landmark book "Thought Control and the Psychology of Totalism: A Study of 'Brainwashing' in China" (1961). "Totalism" is a term Lifton invented and it refers to properties of groups that attempt to gain total control over another person's mind and behavior, generally by exerting control over that person's physical and social environment. Lifton's work is the basis for the later studies of cults. Methods used to control another's thought and behavior without their consent (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_J._Lifton):

* Milieu Control -- The control of information and communication.
* Mystical Manipulation -- The manipulation of experiences that appear spontaneous but in fact were planned and orchestrated.
* Demand for Purity -- The world is viewed as black and white and the members are constantly exhorted to conform to the ideology of the group and strive for perfection.
* Confession -- Sins, as defined by the group, are to be confessed either to a personal monitor or publicly to the group.
* Sacred Science -- The group's doctrine or ideology is considered to be the ultimate Truth, beyond all questioning or dispute.
* Loading the Language -- The group interprets or uses words and phrases in new ways so that often the outside world does not understand.
* Doctrine over person -- The member's personal experiences are subordinated to the sacred science and any contrary experiences must be denied or reinterpreted to fit the ideology of the group.
* Dispensing of existence -- The group has the prerogative to decide who has the right to exist and who does not.

Anyway, I believe that AA should make an acknowledgment of the harmful acts done by Midtown. That would assist in healing by their victims.

I believe also that we should prepare an informational booklet for hospitals and rehabs in the DC area and distribute it, so that they can teach their patients what real AA is like and how to identify cults posing as AA. That would be a positive step that could help newcomers avoid the trap of this abusive cult in our midst.

Posted by: DCC | September 9, 2007 12:57 AM

The cold truth is that if people chase you out of AA, the alcohol will bring you back. I hear a lot of comments from people in the cheap seats telling AA how we should conduct ourselves. Others are giddy pointing out hypocrisy...as if that is challenging.

So, let's go down your path Jane, let's agree to make amends. What do we do? Hire lawayers that go pay the families large sums of money and shut them up like churches?..is that truly an amend? Do we go meet with the families and victims personally and apologize and welcome theme back into healthier groups? Do we as a fellowship take a moment of silence and reflect on our past silence in this matter? Do we thank Mark Fisher for bringing this matter to light where others wouldn't?

I hear a lot of long-spear jabbing from the back of the line. I am a member of AA, in the meetings everyday...I am willing to make such amends...what would you suggest I do to make this right?

Posted by: ADAAT | September 9, 2007 10:28 AM

Have any of the AA members posting here ever read tradition 10?

Here is a little excerpt:
"As by some deep instinct, we A.A.'s have known from the very beginning that we must never, no matter what the provocation, publicly take sides in any fight, even a worthy one. All history affords us the spectacle of striving nations and groups finally torn asunder because they were designed for, or tempted into, controversy. Others fell apart because of sheer self-righteousness while trying to enforce upon the rest of mankind some millennium of their own specification. In our own times, we have seen millions die in political and economic wars often spurred by religious and racial difference. We live in the imminent possibility of a fresh holocaust to determine how men shall be governed, and how the products of nature and toil shall be divided among them. That is the spiritual climate in which A.A. was born, and by God's grace has nevertheless flourished.

Let us reemphasize that this reluctance to fight one another or anybody else is not counted as some special virtue which makes us feel superior to other people. Nor does it means that the members of Alcoholics Anonymous, now restored as citizens of the world, are going to back away from their individual responsibilities to act as they see the right upon issues of our time. But when it comes to A.A. as a whole, that's quite a different matter. In this respect, we do not enter into public controversy, because we know that our Society will perish if it does. We conceive the survival and spread of Alcoholics Anonymous to be something of far greater importance than the weight we could collectively throw back of any other cause. Since recovery from alcoholism is life itself to us, it is imperative that we preserve in full strength our means of survival."

If you fail to see how this doesn't apply here, or you feel you can cleverly evade it's relevance to your own actions, you have failed to comprehend what you have read.

Posted by: traditional | September 9, 2007 10:58 AM

traditonal Quoted
Have any of the AA members posting here ever read tradition 10?
"As by some deep instinct, we A.A.'s have known from the very beginning that we must never, no matter what the provocation, publicly take sides in any fight, even a worthy one."

This is an A.A. issue that harms the public as one tries to find out if they may be an alcoholic

Use your head. Tradition 10 talks publicly, from the outside, like slavery, prohibition, politics, they are not referring to A.A. that is harming the innocent through sponsorship" and that was achieved as a direct result of the sponsorship system GOOD or BAD.

Start at Tradition one before you try to use and not understand Tradition 10

Posted by: Anonymous | September 9, 2007 11:37 AM

Tell you what..during my coffee-induced AM clarity, the solution dawned on me. Let's all show up at the MidTown's group conscience. The group conscience is the monthly business meeting whereby issues such as this are raised and discussed in an open forum.

If someone wants to make a motion whereby the group publically apologizes (while in personal anonymity), I would be interested to hear the debate. If someone wants to make a motion to create a pamplet "Predators in AA" or something along those lines...that would be interesting.

My point is this. If anything you have to say, say it at the group conscience. If someone knows the date and time, I'll be willing to show up. This is the right way to address this issue within AA and the best way to confront those directly involved.

Posted by: ADAAT | September 9, 2007 11:57 AM

A.A. is a communal fellowship
Sponsorship is and institutionalism system


Note: the word sponsor or sponsorship is NOT even in the BIG BOOK. (big book thumper s)

A.A. is a program of attraction rather than promotion.
The sponsor system uses fear base promotion due to ones past. Examples available

A.A. uses the Big Book and God through Meditation
The sponsor system that uses the sponsors view points. Examples available

A.A. uses the group consciouses as a whole.
(which is now infested)

The sponsor system uses other believers seen as clones thats glory is to create a group WILL. Midtown, Pacifica and other examples Available
A.A. uses the group consciouses as a whole.


A.A. is a program of attraction rather than promotion.
The sponsor system uses fear base promotion due to ones past. Experience available


People are not sure what a sponsor is, look in the dictionary.
I am sure what A.A. is just look and live it's Traditions.

This is just a few differences amongst us
there is a lot more covered up by good deeds of the outside institutional sponsorship system using the spirit of A.A.
to promote the proclaim system that is not even in the BIG BOOK.
Take a closer look.

Posted by: manymoretocome | September 9, 2007 12:07 PM

ADAAT, I'm not sure what the comments about those in "the cheap seats" and from "the back of the line" mean. We all have the same membership status as far as I understand the Traditions.

In any event, I'm simply *suggesting* that we engage in some dialogue and brainstorming about this issue--a critical self-inventory.

Do I know exactly what an amends to the victims of Midtown would look? No. Does that mean that we dismiss the idea out of hand?

Could we issue a press release acknowledging the recent media exposure and denouncing the practices we've been accused of, while explaining our Tradition of group autonomy?

Could we simply offer our condolences to the victims and their families?

Could we discuss setting up a committee to discuss gaining some clarity on the issue of a group's autonomy when they are affecting AA or other groups?

Doesn't our program tell us that our amends involve not repeating the same offenses? Is there anything we can do to make sure that these sorts of abuses aren't going to happen in our fellowship again? Even if we can't be assured of 100% success, don't we have an obligation to try?

Re. attending Midtown's business meeting: I'm not able to do that, and I believe that outside members are not granted voting priveledges, and that their meetings locations are no longer available to the public, but if you could manage it I think that's certainly a great way to start. I hope that you'll keep us posted here if you are able.

Posted by: Jane D. | September 9, 2007 2:19 PM

Jane's correct, going to their group conscience in large groups was discussed over a year ago. Midtown doesn't allow anyone in their group conscience that isn't sponsored by someone connected to the hierarchy. Apparently, they stand at the door and only allow certain people in they know. If no one even knows where they meet, how are they still being listed in the Where and When?

Posted by: Anonymous | September 9, 2007 2:38 PM

Jane D. I'm all for engaging in dialog but I am calling some people on their bluffs "he has the right to criticize who has the heart to help". It's not good enough to sit and point fingers (not directed at you)...if people feel strong enough about this they can still show up to a group conscience...voting member or not you are still welcome to attend.

If you feel even further stronger, then make Midtown your homegroup and become a voting member..or better yet, bring up a motion in your own homegroup to make a "Predators in AA" pamphlet and see if it flies. I'm just calling some people out here as to how strongly they feel about this issue..if so, then post the date and time of the next Midtown group conscience and I certainly will attend.

Posted by: ADAAT | September 9, 2007 2:39 PM

http://www.aa-dc.org/meetings.asp?st=VA&d=Sunday&format=&special=&type=&subtype=&time=7%3A00+PM&City=

Apparently, the DC church has kicked out the Midtown group and it oddly meets in Burke VA. If you can't make the group conscience...show up in the meeting..say what you need to say..piss people off..it won't be the first time. In fact, it's an Open meeting...anyone is allowed to attend alcoholic or not..take your grievances there..directly to the source...anything else is peripheral.

Posted by: ADAAT | September 9, 2007 2:56 PM

MIDTOWN
BURKE, VA
CHURCH OF THE GOOD SHEPHERD
9350 BRADDOCK ROAD

SUNDAY 7PM.

Open Speaker - Anniversary - Young People
Handicap access.
Chip meeting.

So - TONIGHT AT 7PM.

It's a speaker meeting. I don't believe you should intentionally "piss people off" as ADAAT recommends. This only hurts the cause of decent, real AA.

However, showing our presence may be a good idea as is discussing Midtown with the pastor. This sounds like the meeting that was kicked out of Church of the Pilgrams at the P St. bridge.

Posted by: DCC | September 9, 2007 4:25 PM

That's funny. The WAIA (which covers DC and Maryland) lists meetings for Virginia, and it lists the Midtown meeting for tonight at 7pm at Burke.

The Virginia AA web site at www.aavirginia.org also lists Virginia meetings for tonight at 7pm but for some reason does not list the Midtown meeting.

I wonder what could account for this difference?

Posted by: DCC | September 9, 2007 4:40 PM

Note: The sponsorship system will pack
Have simple short logical questions before hand, discuss them with others so they all don't come from one person, Ask for a group conscious mentioned in the A.A. group pamphlet. Bring the pamphlet hold up the pamphlet so everyone can see it's coming from A.A. not the opinion or view point of another.
Good luck God Bless

Posted by: Anonymous | September 9, 2007 4:50 PM

Who is the paster of the church?
Has anyone talked with them?

Posted by: Anonymous | September 9, 2007 4:54 PM

Recall that the meeting tonight is a speaker's meeting.

As far as speaking with the pastor, we should get help from those who have done this with other DC area churches in the past.

Posted by: DCC | September 9, 2007 5:12 PM

Knowing what you know and not informing the paster of the church REALLY looks bad for all of A.A. not just a group.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 9, 2007 5:26 PM


Why add another amend to the list?

Posted by: Anonymous | September 9, 2007 5:31 PM

Why all of a sudden asking for help

Post the meeting information on the web ask A.A.'s for support
Give supporters a local contact number.
Objective is to get a real open group conscious not this privet secret crap.
Controllers will step down and not say a word on a real group level they will send their clones in.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 9, 2007 5:41 PM

Yes, we should inform the church properly. That is our obligation.

I do not believe that generally AA members should allow what we do to make amends to the victims of Midtown contingent upon anything Midtown itself decides or doesn't doesn't decide to do. The focus should be on the victims and I believe that an acknowledgment from a number of AA members that the victims were harmed and that we will try and prevent additional harm to others will be more powerful than many of you here seem to believe. Midtown members need not be involved. If they wish to make amends that would be great but we shouldn't delay waiting on them.

The purpose of this is to promote healing of the victims and I believe this would help a great deal.

Posted by: DCC | September 9, 2007 6:10 PM

ADAAT, quoted "I'm not sure what the comments about those in "the cheap seats" and from "the back of the line" mean. We all have the same membership status as far as I understand the Traditions"

Saying something and believing it is two different things here

A sponsor and sponsee labels should be removed. Two different statuses and both members.

There should be "NO DISTINCTIONS" but there are and it is a direct result of the institutional outside sponsorship system.

IF A.A. amends anything it should be these two distinctions injected amongst us in the present.
The courage to change the things we can.


Posted by: ????? | September 9, 2007 8:02 PM

Personally, I find it a bit repulsive that the Sunday Burke meeting still calls itself Midtown and is Young People-Open.

Calling the church and expressing your discontent is precisely what American citizens do. This has nothing to do with being an AA member or not. And going to the source of the problem is what sane people do rather than suggest things like "end sponsorship"

If the Midtown group has nowhere to call home, it will surely die. This course of action I find productive and directed right at the source rather than at AA as a whole.

I would recommend that we members start with the group conscience..if we aren't welcome, then let the church know the facts.

Posted by: ADAAT | September 9, 2007 8:25 PM

ADAAT, yes I find it repulsive that they are now meeting elsewhere and we have every right to call the church and a moral obligation to give them whatever information we have about Midtown. However, given that others here have worked with churches previously to get Midtown expelled, I'm hoping we can gain the benefit of their experience in terms of how they did it, what evidence they presented, etc.

I went to the church tonight to check out the meeting. It's kind of far out (3 mi SW of the Beltway) and I got there at 7:10 for the 7:00 meeting. There were about 20 cars total in several large parking lots. There appeared to be a children's group playing outside with an adult (10-11 year old children) and a church meeting inside with some adults (about Sunday morning services and a prayer retreat). The other doors were locked and I did not see an AA meeting.

I believe that we should inform any church hosting a Midtown meeting and present all the evidence we can regarding this cult group. They have apparently taken over some meetings in Northern Virginia (according to information someone else presented here), including a Big Book meeting I used to go to. I feel certain that no church anywhere would want to facilitate any cult group such as Midtown, and Virginia (for those who aren't that familiar with it; I've lived here for a long time) is much more conservative than DC or Md.

This is certainly something we can all do. It makes sense to me that we coordinate somehow. midtownfeedback@yahoo.com

Posted by: DCC | September 9, 2007 9:14 PM

I agree,
Also in the future there should be "NO DISTINCTIONS" like our Traditions state.
The outside Institutional Sponsorship System referred to as the S.S. has contributed the substance to the situations at hand. The sponsor/sponsee is a distinction and know again in gang or institutional form, however one want to put it.
here.

Posted by: ????? | September 9, 2007 9:20 PM

again I see traditions used as has big book verse used to defend or even hide the bs that still continues today.
a crime is a crime ,sprituality is sprituality, morality is morality, AA continues to hide behind 12 & 12 , virtues etc.- this is a joke to those outside of AA. but shameful to all that hide behind AA. you are all now with in the catigory of politicians, preist, rabi's etc. that hide behind scripture to give yourself peace of mind at what ever cost - even another human being.
read the webster dictonary for AMENDS - to make whole - to what it was -
you all seem to be far from that even if that is the intent.

Posted by: exexex | September 9, 2007 9:32 PM

Alcoholics Anonymous is not a hidden place and is anonymous even though there are criminals and a system around A.A. yet not part of A.A.


If a sponsee was not a member yet, then there would be no distinction between the sponsor in A.A.
As soon and if the sponsee became a member the distinction should stop and the fellowship start.

This is where the pit hole in the road that
so many are pushed into. Not part of A.A.

I understand it would be hard for the BIG guy (sponsor)to drop the ego for the LITTLE guy(sponsee,baby,pigon).

It is impossible to be true to thy self when looking for the truth in another pitching or catching.

If there is an amend may it be that each and everyone of us can learn to be true to THY SELF someday.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 9, 2007 9:52 PM

If all anyone has is just a Day at a Time, Maybe it's time, and not about someone else's time.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 9, 2007 10:11 PM

To the one who is so adamantly against sponsorship system: That will not be going away anytime soon, if at all. This blog is not about that subject. Sponsorship has worked for too many for to long, sure it can get corrupted as in anything but that is not the deal here, AA is great take you can take what you want and leave the rest, not sure if you something happened to you sponcershipwise but its hear to stay

Posted by: Anonymous | September 9, 2007 10:35 PM

exexex, yes, I agree that the outside world considers it pathetic that while a group posing as an AA group is sexually abusing the young women who go to it for help, AA generally looks the other way and does nothing.

It's especially pathetic and ironic because AA members believe that we must look the other way so as to uphold the sanctity and "Traditions" of our fellowship. In other words, a fellowship that was founded largely on honesty, integrity, and service to others allows children to be molested and others to be abused sexually and economically just to preserve its own purity! Young people who come to AA for help must be sacrificed so that AA does not suffer any inner controversy that might disturb it. Destroying lives is OK as long as we preserve AA unity and purity. We're just that important!

Posted by: DCC | September 9, 2007 10:38 PM

exexex, yes, I agree that the outside world considers it pathetic that while a group posing as an AA group is sexually abusing the young women who go to it for help, AA generally looks the other way and does nothing.

It's especially pathetic and ironic because AA members believe that we must look the other way so as to uphold the sanctity and "Traditions" of our fellowship. In other words, a fellowship that was founded largely on honesty, integrity, and service to others allows children to be molested and others to be abused sexually and economically just to preserve its own purity! Young people who come to AA for help must be sacrificed so that AA does not suffer any inner controversy that might disturb it. Destroying lives is OK as long as we preserve AA unity and purity. We're just that important!

Posted by: DCC | September 9, 2007 11:09 PM

exexex, yes, I agree that the outside world considers it pathetic that while a group posing as an AA group is sexually abusing the young women who go to it for help, AA generally looks the other way and does nothing.

It's especially pathetic and ironic because AA members believe that we must look the other way so as to uphold the sanctity and "Traditions" of our fellowship. In other words, a fellowship that was founded largely on honesty, integrity, and service to others allows children to be molested and others to be abused sexually and economically just to preserve its own purity! Young people who come to AA for help must be sacrificed so that AA does not suffer any inner controversy that might disturb it. Destroying lives is OK as long as we preserve AA unity and purity. We're just that important!

Posted by: DCC | September 9, 2007 11:27 PM

Posted by: ADAAT | September 9, 2007 08:25 PM
And going to the source of the problem is what sane people do rather than suggest things like "end sponsorship"

No one is talking about "end sponsorship" there is a place for it, and is somewhat still needed in hospitals and institutions to bring others to A.A. Never meant to create a distinction between others already here, and definitely not to guide there life's in A.A. which screws them out of here. There is a need.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 9, 2007 11:28 PM

(There is apparently something wrong with my connection; sorry for these multiple posts of one comment.)

Posted by: DCC | September 9, 2007 11:48 PM

Posted by: DCC | September 9, 2007 11:27 PM

"It's especially pathetic and ironic because AA members believe that we must look the other way so as to uphold the sanctity and "Traditions" of our fellowship."

I can see here you never read the Traditions in order. Must of let others dictate them to you as out of order as needed in a legalistic way.

This is not what the Traditions are about but it is what sponsorship does. Sponsors use them and abuse them and make sure no one reads them in order to understand them none the less live them starting at ONE.
Are they just too busy preaching the steps?
Tradition One
"No one is to make another member believe or conform to ANYTHING"
Tradition Twelve, There should be no distinctions amongst us.

The Traditions will be hard for the institutional sponsorship system that is outside A.A. to even begin to start learning the Traditions in order yet live them.
The steps belong to anyone the Traditions belong to A.A. not sponsors, criminals, or goody too shoes but A.A.

Keep others following others and soon you will have your own traditions, and a followship to rule.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 9, 2007 11:50 PM

Thanks for your thoughts but your conclusions that I have never read the traditions in order is completely wrong. I went to a 12 + 12 meeting for 5-6 years. Each week we read a chapter in the book and discussed it and I've read and discussed the entire book over a dozen times.

Perhaps instead of writing ""It's especially pathetic and ironic because AA members believe that we must look the other way" I should have written "It's especially pathetic and ironic because many AA members here believe that we must look the other way". That might have been more understandable to you.

Posted by: DCC | September 10, 2007 12:30 AM

Strange I ran across this saying

"Those who are not governed by God will be ruled by tyrants"

Thought it should be shared.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 10, 2007 1:06 AM

I was once at an AA meeting when a stinking-drunk man ran in waving a pistol. The man was known to the group, a hard-luck case who preferred putting on drunken performances to getting sober. But now here he was stoned drunk with what looked to me like a real gun. The room emptied in a matter of seconds. I pulled out my cell phone and dialled 911. Someone put his hand on my phone and said, "You can't do that. This is an AA meeting." I left the room, then called 911.

I know there are many misguided souls who believe that tradition 12 somehow means that AA members are above the law, that our drunken follies should be seen in a different light once we get sober. There may be something to that. But nowhere does the Big Book suggest that AA members need no longer obey the same laws as everyone else. We stay sober by being rigorously honest and taking responsibility for our actions.

As for purely AA concerns at the Midtown group, like the Steps, Traditions and so forth; that's for us to decide. But if any members of the Midtown group or any other group prey upon under aged boys and girls I hope the District Attorney will prosecute them just as they would any other sex offenders.

Posted by: Rob S | September 10, 2007 6:55 AM

Did some digging: The pastor of the church is related to a Midtown member and already knows what is going on. Good luck trying to get them banned from that church too.

Posted by: an | September 10, 2007 8:30 AM

Rob quoted
"We stay sober by being rigorously honest and taking responsibility for our actions."
I agree ten fold, but is this what we really do or are we into other peoples actions?
Not discounting anything going on here. It's wrong and has been wrong for a long time and still is wrong.

What happen to peoples common sense?

The Traditions were written for unity purposes, not mumbo jumbo. People claim they read and learned the Tradition, yet prior to the writing of them Bill W stated they were in the hearts of people long before they were put on paper as every A.A.er knows they are the applications of the steps!!!
Most cannot understand that in A.A. today, why? It doesn't come from ones own heart it come from the head of another, who is the other?
Most take defense when sponsorship, a word that is not mentioned in the Big Book is opposed. Why? Why have to be defensive? Is not the above statement true? Is there doubled standards ? Thinking we have to guide others that lost the A.A. way in A.A. then doing it someone else's way in the name of A.A. - This is the best sponsorship has done IN A.A. and much more TO A.A, as people didn't know how to dial 911 when needed, yet alone use God for what he is here for, instead of the self proclaimed.
What happen to "our common welfare" has it been taken over by the outside system that is now affecting our personal welfare?

"The institutional sponsorship system can fragment the fellowship and destroy the fellowship but it cannot take away they spirit that A.A. was built with." That one my friends is God not a self proclaimed S.S.

Is this against sponsorship "NO" nor is it for IT, because its an outside matter that has affected A.A. and it's Traditions, I invite "EVERYONE" to read the Traditions carefully for themselves, keeping in mind that they do not need to be administered by others like many are made to believe the steps are today. The Traditions are not here to impress or protect certain individuals around A.A.. It's about unity not diversity, have you ever wondered why A.A. would put out ten times more pamphlets after Bill W passed on? Look at the copyright dates and the revised dates of original pamphlets (google search) Does it seem strange a "Do you think you are different" (1976) pamphlet in A.A when the Big book says if one is not convinced they are our hats are off to them. At the same time the first A.A. approved "sponsorship pamphlet came 41 years AFTER" (1976)

Right now, and for a long time we have a sponsorship system who took over the phones who think they are different and abusing people in A.A. is fine because "there sponsor says so". It's easy to see where the crap comes from connect the dots, it's not the Traditions I a sure you.

"A simple suggested program turned into a program of suggestions as a direct result of the institutional sponsorship system", it's as simple as that and now beyond !!
Go to the source, Not God, the System

Posted by: Anonymous | September 10, 2007 8:41 AM


Thanks an
"Did some digging: The pastor of the church is related to a Midtown member and already knows what is going on."

We did what we can here in peace, where else do they pack?

Posted by: ????? | September 10, 2007 8:46 AM

Posted by: Blank | September 10, 2007 01:06 AM
Strange I ran across the saying
"Those who are not governed by God will be ruled by tyrants"

In the here and now it would be seen and said true fully
" Those who are not governed by God will be ruled by their sponsor"

Posted by: ????? | September 10, 2007 8:57 AM

an,
Does the church paster know, or are you speculating and just here say?

Posted by: Anonymous | September 10, 2007 9:07 AM

I can't believe I just spend 30 minutes reading the above comments. This truly is amazing. I am a member of AA from PA and have attended Midtown once a few years back. I don't really remember much other than it being a ton of people.

But what I am amazed at is the effort and enthusiasm you people have in trying to destroy an AA meeting. Even if you don't like it, and even if there are people there that offend you.

So apparently a man there died recently who was the cause of your worries, but yet you still continue to attack them. You single out names of AA members but attack the majority.

I feel so sorry for you that you think that you are the ones that need to mend other people's fences. There is a simple word for this... martyr. You are going to lead the people to the promised land and destroy the infidels.

There is this meeting here outside Reading that I despise. They are about 30 old guys who essentiually yell at newcomers and tell them that they should shut up and listen. I disagree with them, and to show it I stay out of that meeting and try to foster something different in myself.

I am amazed that if the "systematic rape machine" is going on, the police have not shut it down. Even if they cannot 100% prove anything, there are things judges can do to help make sure it no longer happens pending an investigation.

I have been sober for 15 years now and have seen quite a bit in these rooms. Normally this sort of thing comes from jealousy and resentment attached to some wrong done to someone else. Hopefully, one day you people will find a way to make amends to those you are harming.

I know what you are going to say, "Well you have never been here. You don't see what is going on!" Well if I did see what was going on, and did not like it, I would never go back. If I saw something illegal going on, I would alert the police. And if they could not take care of it, I would see what I could handle with the offenders. Anything more is just ego.

Posted by: Crapfully Yours | September 10, 2007 9:25 AM

New to the area an want to make sure that I can avoid all this. Also, what can I do to help out?

Posted by: Kim McC. | September 10, 2007 9:47 AM

IF YOU KNOW THE DESTRUCTION CAUSED BY MIDTOWN PLEASE CONTACT ALL PLACES WHERE THEY MEET AND LET THEM KNOW THEY ARE HOSTING A CULT.

IF YOU ARE IN AA IN THE DC AREA. COME TO THE AREA WAIA MEETING TOMORROW NIGHT CONTACT: WWW.AA-DC.ORG FOR DIRECTIONS. MIDTOWN HAS TAKEN OVER WAIA FOR 5 YEARS NOW, WE ARE WORKING TO GET THEM OUT! BUT WE NEED MORE AREA SUPPORT. THERE ARE 2000 MEETINGS IN DC, ABOUT 28 ARE MIDTOWN CULT MEETINGS, IT WOULD ONLY TAKE 40 GROUPS TO GET THEM OUT OF WAIA. COME HELP! THEY ARE IN CHARGE OF H & I WHICH THEY FILTER ALL NEW AA'S FROM INSTITUTIONS ONLY TO MIDTOWN CULT MEETINGS.. THIS IS KILLING PEOPLE!

Q IS DEAD BUT HIS SOCIOPATHIC PHILOSOPHY IS ALIVE AND WELL WITHIN THE MIDTOWN MEMBERS MINDS AND MEETINGS. WE NEED TO GET THEM OUT OF THE HOSPITALS AND INSTITUIONS.

PLEASE CONTACT WALT WHITMAN HIGH SCHOOL WHERE THEY HOLD THEIR ANNUAL CULT PLAY, LET THE PRINCIPAL KNOW WHO IS RENTING SPACE.

AA NEEDS YOUR HELP!

Posted by: Hugh Mcghee Sr. | September 10, 2007 10:51 AM

Yeah, nice one "Hugh".........

Posted by: Anonymous | September 10, 2007 11:16 AM

an,
Does the church paster know, or are you speculating and just here say?


I know for a fact that the Church pastor is related by BLOOD and is immediate family to a Midtown member. It is not speculation or hear say.

Posted by: an | September 10, 2007 11:40 AM

This is something that the media should know about... and will. They are incredible investigators. A church harboring a cult, hmmm.

Posted by: Vanessa Quinones | September 10, 2007 12:21 PM

Obviously, no church wants to facilitate sexual abuse or a cult.

Posted by: DCC | September 10, 2007 12:29 PM

I will certainly contact Pat Collins at Channel 4, and Fox. I hope the Washington Post continues to follow up on this. The media coverage could get perishoners attention. I've had it with these sick people!

Posted by: Anonymous | September 10, 2007 12:33 PM

Hugh McGhee, Sr., I appreciate your post and ideas here. I also do not mind your shouting but if your entire post is in caps then it's hard to read.

I'm sure family members of a deceased predator-sponsor at Midtown wouldn't want to be associated with him in the Washington Post.

Posted by: DCC | September 10, 2007 12:48 PM

I was'nt shouting.

Posted by: Hugh Mcghee Sr. | September 10, 2007 1:10 PM

There are two discussions here:
1) Whether "AA" owes an amends for the actions taken by a few
2) If so, who should perform those amends.

AA as a whole doesn't owe an amends. If in fact, the Q group is a cult, then they are outside of AA using the name for their own sick gains.

If you disagree with that statement, then the members of the Q group owe the amends for their own actions. If they are unwilling to do so, then as citizens ( be it AA members or not) we also have other discourses which include contacting the churches they meet within.

The choices are simple, ranting on about anything else is nonsense.

Posted by: ADAAT | September 10, 2007 1:26 PM

Crapfully Yours:

You do noy know what we are going to say, I myself whould say you are intitled to your opinion and as you disagree, I disagree with you, thank you for your imput.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 10, 2007 1:45 PM

A.A. as a whole amends would be to try to stop and inform others about the abuse going on in the name of A.A.

A.A. could not admen what has already happen when it was not A.A. but some self proclaimed group of individuals. Only the ones involved can do that and it looks like they show no remorse and a lot of arrogance.
It is sad this is and has happened.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 10, 2007 2:37 PM

As far as what I've written, I believe I've said that if AA members, Midtown or not, acknowledged the harm done by Midtown to its victims, this would assist recovery by the victims. To the extent that AA members pledge to try and end this abuse this is an amends to the victims and would also assist their recovery. I believe that the emphasis should be on helping the victims of Midtown recover and preventing further abuse by Midtown.

An amends made by those who perpetrated the abuse would be the best, but probably the least likely, action here. It would probably be the only action that would provide some recovery to the perpetrators, but any acknowledgment by any AA members would be very helpful to the victims, as would any pledge to end the abuse.

Several important factors in ending the abuse include providing young people with information about alternative meetings and groups that have social and recreational activities, and providing information to those in treatment with information on identifying cultlike AA groups such as Midtown. As I've noted, Unity Club in Falls Church has had a lot of such activities including sports, dances, picnics, and ski and scuba trips.

Posted by: DCC | September 10, 2007 2:41 PM

By the way, that was Unity club at www.unityclub.com. I went to hundreds of meetings there of many different independent groups and many, many activities but have no other connection with them (this was a while back but I think it's still the same and is popular out here in Va). This is an accepting, pluralistic community with many activities including dances, get togethers, regular sports and recreation, holiday dinners and other activities; bulletin boards have sober housing choices, vacation trips, other activities. Relationships commonly formed among members including marriages. You should make your own decision if the Club and any group is the right choice for you.

I have no idea how many members frequent the Club but I'd say it is easily larger than Midtown. I am told that Midtown tried to take over Unity at one time to gain control of the finances but was quite easily repulsed.

Meetings 5:30 am -- 10:00 pm each day and less than 10 miles out I-66 from DC. Nicely furnished facilities with coffee bar, bookstore and multiple meeting rooms (there are concurrent meetings of different groups and programs). Everyone is treated respectfully as far as I've ever seen and Traditions are followed. Northern Va has other such clubs and groups.

Unity Club Mission (per web site):

"• To provide a meeting place for members of Alcoholics Anonymous and other Twelve Step recovery programs.

• "To offer a secure, supportive environment between meetings, creating a sense of sanctuary for the newly recovering alcoholic.

• "To offer a loving, accepting atmosphere where fellow alcoholics serve as a "surrogate family" for the isolated and lonely alcoholic.

• "To operate a meeting place where leaders, visitors, members, trusted servants and administrators are governed in the spirit of the Twelve Steps and Traditions of alcoholics Anonymous.

• "To operate as a non-profit and non-stock corporation in conformity with the laws and regulations of the US Internal Revenue Service and the Commonwealth of Virginia."

Posted by: DCC | September 10, 2007 3:19 PM

Email received today from The Cult Exit Counselor that has been helping:

Hello all,
My experience with cults that lose a leader is that the situation
becomes very volatile. Some people desperately grasp
at the leader's ideas and practices, exaggerating their impact in
dangerous ways, Others break out and seek help. When
the latter occurs the people who can help must provide continued
support. The best is to give the refugees a physical real-
ity where they can examine what was deliberately done to manipulate
them. This should be done slowly, with precision, and with AA's great
strength, love and patience.
An important step toward this stage requires the pulling together
of an accurate appraisal of how Midtown worked. Then
a consensus about how to present it must be reached. From these steps
a coherent explanation can be generated that
gives the refugees a clear and fairly uniform framework with which each
can work as they rebuild a healthy sobriety.

On Monday, September 10, 2007

Posted by: Cult Expert | September 10, 2007 3:22 PM

As I mentioned, go to your home group...make a motion to create a pamphlet called "Predators in AA"...take it to Intergroup, to the District, and up the service chain.

If you are so passionate, then go to the District and sit on the Literature subcommittee and draft a copy with others in the area.

Lipservice doesn't get you sober and doesn't make amends.

Posted by: ADAAT | September 10, 2007 3:26 PM

Since Rob K was such a long time member of the "Cult", when is going to make his amends?

Posted by: Anonymous | September 10, 2007 3:39 PM

Thanks for your suggestion, ADAAT. As a matter of fact, I wrote Northern Va Intergroup today. I was elected GSR for my home group a week ago.

However, I don't think "Predators in AA" is the best title. Perhaps members in the WAIA (Md and DC) area could consider doing something similar to get the ball rolling all over.

Posted by: DCC | September 10, 2007 4:26 PM

We could also write an article and publish it in the Grapevine. I can't recall if there is a local AA newsletter..the Grapevine is usually a little feel-good-happy-sober stuff..doesn't necessarily like the darker side of the reality of sticking a bunch of drunks in close proximity to one another and taking aware their alocohol 8-).

If the District has a local newsletter..then maybe we can publish a "What AA Isn't?" article...

Posted by: ADAAT | September 10, 2007 4:34 PM

Another good idea, ADAAT. The Grapevine does seem ideal but I've never seen anything like this in there. :-) But there's a first time for everything.

Posted by: DCC | September 10, 2007 4:37 PM

So, to continue on, if anyone reading here has ideas (or, especially, experience) on identifying cults like Midtown, dealing with them, or extricating oneself from them, please post your thoughts or information here.

This is part of the solution, folks!

Posted by: DCC | September 10, 2007 4:49 PM

Martyr: a person who displays or exaggerates their discomfort or distress in order to obtain sympathy or admiration

Posted by: Anonymous | September 10, 2007 5:03 PM

denial;A refusal to grant the truth of a statement or allegation


Posted by: Anonymous | September 10, 2007 7:23 PM

You guys are missing the most important thing..H & I..this is where Midtown gets their young members. They control H & I and the Where & When. They also answr the phones at the desk and at night. The hospitals and Institutions need to be notified that they are posing under different names. They are not using Midtown when they go in. I think that they are probably in major recruiting mode now since some have left the group. Just a thought

Posted by: betsy.tate | September 10, 2007 8:17 PM

Thanks, Betsy. I believe that what you're talking about is under the purview of WAIA which includes only Md and DC, not Northern Va. where I am a GSR. I think we're OK over here for the present.

However, I know that some people here are very involved in WAIA and are definitely working that approach.

Posted by: DCC | September 10, 2007 9:01 PM

How does 1 AA group take over an entire area of AA and Intergroup for the District of Columbia? How does that happen? Its almost like a conspiracy theory movie. How can folks be sooo apathetic as to deny the obvious? I hope someone in AA archives is watching and recording...this moment in AA should go down in history and we should learn or the lesson will continue to be repeated. Unreal!

Posted by: Confused | September 10, 2007 11:04 PM

Why don't you just design and print a pamphlet that's not AA approved and have a mass mailing to every church, hospital, clinic, and AA meetings and clubhouses? I'd contribute to a fund for that.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 10, 2007 11:16 PM

Confused, you can read above the issues of Midtown and WAIA. However, Midtown apparently has GSRs at 28 meetings in the WAIA area. Most groups are apathetic and don't have a GSR, and most individuals don't volunteer for this service job, so that's the issue. Is Midtown a conspiracy? Well, it's a group of people, the majority of whom apparently live together in Midtown houses, who are closely knit, who have cultlike practices, and want to propagate their group. So you tell me if that's a conspiracy. I'm just sticking with the word "cult".

People here are trying to get this to change.

Posted by: DCC | September 10, 2007 11:26 PM

Well, (blank), I don't see any overriding need that a pamphlet explaining how to identify a cult posing as AA be approved by AA.

If this blog is any indication (and who knows?) such a pamphlet might cause a furor in our program. Apparently many members here would rather have this abuse covered up in the name of our "Traditions" rather than protect innocent young people from being molested and sexually abused.

Nonetheless it would probably have more credibility if it were approved by our fellowship. So I guess we can start out working in that direction. However, I don't need the late Bill W.'s approval, or that of people who are certain they are channeling him, in order to try and save children from being molested. On the contrary, I believe this is a moral obligation.

Assuming this blog is still kept up for a while by WashPost.com I think we can work thru here for a while longer and get some things accomplished. Else we can check out some of the other sites that have been established, and referenced above.

Posted by: DCC | September 10, 2007 11:36 PM

Thanks DCC..you are one of the few on here trying to come up with solutions..It is going to be difficult because they have infiltrated WAIA..but..a thought occured to me..They are starting to infiltrate Virginia meetings. Maybe, just maybe you guys can stay ahead of them.

Confused, They took over because they start by taking over groups in MD and DC then they elect Reps and they do it so quickly and quietly, for instance they go to a new group with a few people and then they go again and again, sharing and looking good and then they go to the group concious..but when they have a group concious they bring lot of people with them to vote and Boom..they now Represent that group. They do it all the time..in fact.. They did it to the original Mitown Meeting on P Street..I was at the group concious the night they won the Rep election and took over....They destroyed that meeting!

Posted by: betsy.tate | September 10, 2007 11:38 PM

Whoever is writing things on here about Rob K are obviously people in Midtown. I personally know him and know that he is sober and prob one of the most grounded people I have ever met. You guys are really showing your true colors by making up stories about people that are so far from the truth. I doubted all of the controversy, but now I see that its all true.

Posted by: Lisa P | September 11, 2007 12:56 AM

Betsy, thanks. I suspect that this fall will be a turning point for Midtown. Partly because Mike Q is dead, but mostly because this is now out in the open.

I believe that Midtown was expelled from one of the main Md rehabs or hospitals and know that's happened with many of the churches. There is no going back now. This is on account of the work that the others have done previously. Now there are many others joining this effort.

Yes, we definitely want to stay ahead in Virginia and keep an open and honest fellowship out here.

Posted by: DCC | September 11, 2007 1:08 AM

The Monthly WAIA Meeting is tonight at 8PM it meets at:

Grace Church
1607 Grace Church Road
Silver Spring, MD.

MD/DC area AA needs the support of all members to get this cult out of the Hospitals and Institutions. This is how they are able to recruit brand new bodies to their meetings. These new people get an introduction to a cult, not AA so it is imperative that we get in there and vote all of these Cult members out of WAIA!

This is a very serious matter. Please come and tell others.

Posted by: AA MEMBER | September 11, 2007 9:28 AM

I hope people show up for this.

Posted by: an | September 11, 2007 11:27 AM

What is happening here is precisely what AA calls for...a group conscience...kinda cool that it happens over the Internet. But a decision without action is a fantasy...and people are taking action.

Reform in AA takes place 1 alcoholic at a time, one group at a time, one District motion at a time. But it is best expressed through us sharing in meetings, on the phone in the fellowship, and in anonymous blogs such as this. We should show up at the H&I, phone line, and District to offset the Q group.

There is no clearer group conscience than the absent one. If we are too lazy to follow up with our own efforts, time...then shame on us. Admittedly, I have personally avoided the Q group for years now in hopes that it would naturally die...but I see the damage that has caused us as a whole.

Posted by: ADAAT | September 11, 2007 11:43 AM

ADAAT, yes you are right, what an insight! I've never thought of this as a group conscience meeting but you are right.

In talking with many members personally over the last weeks I have found that the general mood is absolute revulsion and disgust that this Midtown Cult could have grown like a cancer in our fellowship.

The immediate reaction of many members is the "Traditions" argument that we should let Midtown be Midtown and it will die out. After a little discussion that includes some of the details of the horrors, the damage to the young people coming in to get help, and the fact that it's now over twenty years and counting, the Traditions argument quickly falls by the wayside, as we say.

Remember, the WAIA meeting for DC and MD area is tonight at the address above. Do you want Midtown as the exclusive representative of our fellowship at to alcoholic patients at hospitals and institutions? Me neither. Go to this meeting and do something about it.

Also, do what ADAAT says. Talk with your friends in the fellowship. Tell them what is happening. Work against this cancer.

This is deadly serious. We must act. No more victims of Midtown Cult. Not one more!

Posted by: DCC | September 11, 2007 12:43 PM

Yes! Wonderful to be in the solution. Even if it hasn't been revealed 100% yet.

Posted by: Jane D. | September 11, 2007 12:57 PM

Mike's son was at the funeral. Mike's daughter could not attend the funeral for financial reasons. Mike's brother and sister (his survving siblings) were there. There were over 400 people at the funeral and 350 for the memorial service.

Posted by: a concerned member | September 11, 2007 1:01 PM

True

Posted by: an | September 11, 2007 1:16 PM

My prayers are with you all...I really hope enough show up to make a difference and can't wait to hear about it.

Posted by: Atlanta | September 11, 2007 1:21 PM

I understand that some people were "sponsor directed" to go to the funeral, even if they had never spoken a word to Mike Q. or didn't even know the man. I think it is kind of eerie that people were there that didn't even know him. Cult in action again.

Posted by: betsy.tate | September 11, 2007 2:26 PM

I have been told by some "moles" within the Midtown that sponsors are telling their pigeons not to read this or anything else relating to exposing midtown.

Kind of sucks that most wont even see this blog, let alone all of the other media coverage.

Posted by: Mama Q | September 11, 2007 3:41 PM

They'll see it allright...many already have...we know they've seen the media...you can't not!

Posted by: Anonymous | September 11, 2007 4:21 PM

DCC, put down the donuts, turn off the monitor, and go out and actually try and help somone instead of acting like you are anything other than a complete egomaniac coward that hides behind the anonymity of the internet.

I agree with all the out of towners posting on here who I think are correctly seeing the situation - a few scorned egomaniacs are breaking every tradition in the world and making mountains out of molehills to justify their annoying behavior. If you ever started calling churches in my area, and telling them some BS stories that you personally have never experienced and no reputable or appointed authority can verify, ruining the AA name because you are bitter, I would personally come kick the crap out of you. Would your actions justify my behavior? To me they would, and apparantly - from your own worldview - that is perfectly acceptable. So and so said so is all the proof you need to spend all your waking moments posting on internet forums. You are pathetic.

Seriously, 100's of posts from the same group of people! Get a grip, you aren't helping anyone, you are just being babies. This is the United States, people, you are innocent until proven guilty, and we have things like the judicial system in place to take care of serious matters. We don't need the Geek Squad harrasing every outlet they anonymously can think of to prove they must be someone.

So as far as I am concerned, you can take your counselors, cult experts, and resentments and stick them where the sun don't shine! HELP!! Somebody take the keyboards & cellphones from these morons!!

Posted by: nothing but bs | September 11, 2007 8:15 PM

To "nothing but bs," does your sponsor know you're reading this blog??? Are you refusing to take direction? Watch out, your about to drink and die, while the rest of Midtown turns they're back on you because you are now - TOXIC!

denial;A refusal to grant the truth of a statement or allegation

Posted by: Anonymous | September 11, 2007 9:38 PM

These cult guys have not figured out yet that when they start becoming abusive a big bell sounds in everyone else's head that says "Midtown Cult's AFRAID again!"

So when 'nothing but bs' (why would anyone say that about himself?) writes on the Internet "I would personally come kick the crap out of you", they must be REALLY scared. Because, of course, threatening violence against another person is actually the crime of assault.

Many AA members feel a moral obligation to inform churches that are hosting a predatory sex cult of that fact. And make no mistake about it, 'bs', we are going to fulfill our moral obligation.

Posted by: DCC | September 11, 2007 10:07 PM

I think it's time for the Media again!! It seem to be the only way to get anyone's attention..Apparently WAIA meeting was a complete disorganized joke and a waste of time says one person who attended.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 11, 2007 11:49 PM

Well, we will keep moving ahead on all fronts here.

WAIA is important but working directly with churches, hospitals, and institutions seems a promising approach, and one that the cult is clearly very afraid of. We do not need WAIA's or anyone else's approval to work to prevent more Midtown Cult victims from being created.

Posted by: DCC | September 12, 2007 12:13 AM

The Sponsorship system is strong and belongs outside A.A. It doesn't matter if the system thinks they are right, it doesn't make it right, it just makes distinctions and gangs consisting of sponsors and sponsees.

They are to busy looking for direction from there sponsors and friends, they don't know it has to start within, no one can teach another that, it has to be discovered through personal willingness some thing the sponsorship system does not want you to use on your own. The whole Sponsorship system is quite inconsistent with the Big Book, Steps and Traditions in our books.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 12, 2007 12:45 AM

bs hahaha... its so true

dcc the world is full of losers like yourself. the internet is just the first way people could show off what morons they are while hiding. I AM NOT MIDTOWN so dont go there. ready! fire! oh yeah, AIM! it is obvious you are a lonely bitter person. oh no I can hear the typing now...

Posted by: anti dcc | September 12, 2007 10:32 AM

It's kinda sad that some AA groups in the DC metro have been anesthetized by the constant supply of newcomers via ASAP, courts, and treatment centers. We really don't need to do any service..the newcomers come at a steady stream..in fact, I rarely hear service discussed in meetings anymore.

As a result, we turn a deaf ear to things such as the Q group since it really doesn't hit our bottom line...will alcoholics really stop coming in? This really centers deeply into the integrity of AA..what we are willing to do..and not. From my perspective, we've gotten fat, dumb, and lazy...why be of service to God when hell provides us all we need.

Posted by: ADAAT | September 12, 2007 11:28 AM

bs hahaha... its so true

dcc the world is full of losers like yourself. the internet is just the first way people could show off what morons they are while hiding. I AM NOT MIDTOWN so dont go there. ready! fire! oh yeah, AIM! it is obvious you are a lonely bitter person. oh no I can hear the typing now...

Anti DCC: If you are not midtown why the hell are you so bitter about this and why do you feel the need to only attack DCC HUH? poser. It's obvious that you are a midtowner or associated with tem.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 12, 2007 1:07 PM

"It's kinda sad that some AA groups in the DC metro have been anesthetized by the constant supply of newcomers.." Aren't newcomers the point of the whole thing?

And yes, you are all losers.

Posted by: hahaha | September 12, 2007 1:15 PM

"I rarely hear service discussed in meetings anymore." Go to Midtown, they talk about service all the time.

Posted by: grr | September 12, 2007 1:17 PM

Oh yea midtown all about service

Midtown: Hey why don't you cut my grass or shovel my driveway and get out of yourself.

Newcomer: OK :(

HAHA, I don't know what AA meetings you are attending because about 95% of meetings I have attend stress the importance of service. Oh and the newcomer chooses whether they are going to do it or not. They don't get ordered into service by a sponsor. It is suggested.

Posted by: an | September 12, 2007 2:01 PM

Midtown is a disgrace to AA, those people don't have a clue about doing service work because they're just mindless robots with they're head up they're butts being ordered around and told not to think but do as they're told so they won't "drink and die." So what happens to these mindless folks who leave....they have to stop being robots and get their head out of their butts and use it. Of course, then all 400 members have turned their back on them. It must really suck being stuck in that group...

Posted by: Anonymous | September 12, 2007 3:11 PM

'anti dcc', I see you have taken my advice and changed your name from 'nothing but bs'.

So with your new name we can now see what you are against. But what are you for? Are you for a clean AA program that has zero tolerance for sexual molestation of minors, zero tolerance for sexual abuse of newcomers by much older "assigned sponsors", zero tolerance for well known cult practices of thought control, zero tolerance for the practice of medicine by untrained sponsors, and zero tolerance of taking prescribed medicines from newcomers by sponsors?

If you want a clean AA program that focuses on helping alcoholics to live sober lives as honest, happy, and healthy people, then you are not "anti dcc". Because that's exactly what I want as well. The same kind of program that I entered in 1985 and that has helped me live sober, happy, and healthy ever since. The same kind of program that our Responsibility Pledge says we all want for newcomers.

Posted by: DCC | September 12, 2007 3:34 PM

Grr
"I rarely hear service discussed in meetings anymore." Go to Midtown, they talk about service all the time.

"LIP SERVICE" get a sponsor crap.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 12, 2007 4:27 PM

THE FIRST STAGES TOWARDS CULTISM.

Step 1. Someone convinces another that they have to get a sponsor in order for A.A. to work. - Lie #1 to get an inside track

Step 2. Someone who makes them content in "their click" around meetings. - Pack Conditioning

Step 3. Someone who tells another to go to 90 in 90 - see if they follow and take direction - Take them from normal routine to availability

Step 4. Someone who convinces another they have to have a home group and get read of old friends. - Lie #2 Substituting of isolation

Step 5.One who says that you have to call them everyday - Communicational Control Conditioning

Step 6. One who says you can't work the step alone; a sponsor has to help you to administer the steps. - Lie #3 Test of an insanity boundary

Step 7. Someone who gets involved in your personal affairs to guide you. - insanity takeover

The Test if you are ready

Step 8. Someone who belittles your judgments, thinking and uses the past over your head.
Example Your best thinking got you here - Even thought people around you didn't make it at least we are sober, Stay close follow us - Keep it simple stupid, Follow direction.-Test

Step 9. Conditioned to praise sponsorship and promote others through H/I and meeting walk-ins into the click from around A.A. meeting - People rank praises

Step 10. "After conditioned" more guilt is used to hold each others in there place, threatens of drunkenness if they were to leave. Self thinking not allowed.

Step 11. Resentments build, old sponsor fired, new sponsor injected out of fear, same place just a different seat on the titanic.

Step 12. Fake it in hope one will make it.

We need all to learn to be true to thy selves it's the first step towards any recovery.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 12, 2007 4:39 PM

I just found out about the whole exposure of what we used to refer to as the "Q group" now called the Midtown group. First, I must say, Crapfully yours, you are the self righteous 15 year sober egomaniac person, how dare you judge that what you are clueless about. We meet the sickest and wellest people in AA, and also the most cunning and manipulative. Then you add to that vulnerable, young, survivors of trauma as most young women and many young men coming into the rooms are, and they do not have a chance against this group of predators. I moved to the DC area when I was sober seven or eight years, and that was twenty two years ago. I was at that time a young person, and found the whole situation beyond belief. The only thing we could do was to try to protect young people and newly sober people against them. You cannot call the police when someone does not know that they are being used and abused by those abusing their power, new people look up to persons with time.
There were times when I had to leave Montgomery County just to have a social life, they have been involved everywhere for years. And to the person who says they are just getting into Virginia, I moved out of the area six years ago, and they were very well already entrenching themselves into Virginia.
I could go on and on about the group. They did not just victimize young people, I watched them do the same to my brother, I finally spoke out to him when they started making him believe he would get drunk if he did not do things that were abusive, including telling him to have sex with the young girls. See, they had a way of turning people against people and making you look bad if you spoke out against them, and of convincing persons that those who were against them were, as full of Crapfully yours says, jealous of them. That makes me want to barf, no one that I know that had a healthy appreciation of sobriety were jeolous of them, mostly we spent time trying to keep their ability to victimize others as minimally as possible.
I personally witnessed plenty, and had plenty of persons, including my own brother disclose many abusive situations, I saw money exchange hands, I saw people attempting to solicite sexual favors of newcomers. Unlike what they represent, I saw many of their victims who were abused and went back out and end up in treatment centers where I worked. To the mother who gives them credit for her son's recovery, you better hope that he does not become a sexual preditor, and he probably already is or he would not last in that group.
For those of you trying to change things, go for it, although some of them are not involved in all the sexual and financial abuse, for any life they helped, it is not worth the lives they destroyed or tried to destroy. Most of the people who got sober, did not need them to get sober, individuals and groups do not get anyone sober. The person who is open to change, the 12 steps and a God of their understanding has the ability to get there without a special group of people.
So, crapfully yours with 15 years, those of us that love AA and have been exposed to this cult, would try to breakup this group out of selflessness and for the preservation of something precious and life saving. I have 30 years, have lived in several areas, and I have never found anything as disgusting as the "Q Group/Midtown group", I hope that God can forgive Mike Q, and it is a good thing that God is in charge of his soul and not me, because I would send it right to the flames of hell forever.

Posted by: used to live in DC area | September 12, 2007 8:38 PM

To "used to live in DC area," thank you for your post. We would like to repost your comment as a blog on our website. The link is http://home.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user&MyToken=46e6843e-b8a1-4558-9965-472174fe7fe2. I'm glad you found this blog...your experience is needed here.

Posted by: The Fall of Midtown. AKA: The Q Group | September 12, 2007 9:28 PM

Posted by: The Fall of Midtown. AKA: The Q Group | September 12, 2007 9:32 PM

used to live in DC area

"Most of the people who got sober, did not need them to get sober, individuals and groups do not get anyone sober."

There is a sane person that understands one does not need to be sponsored or have to go to a certain place to go to get sober, A free spirit that knows it begins within. Where there is one or two A.A. can survive and start over.

Posted by: ??????? | September 12, 2007 9:32 PM

"used to live in DC area" dude you seem like a really happy guy.. 22 years and the same resentment.. you are pathetic.. my father molested me when I was six.. the steps really helped me see that being a victim is pointless.. grow a nut and work some steps! Its like the homophobe who is gay.. does taking advantage of others ring a little too close to home for you?

whats up "used to live in DC area" you touching some little wieners when you were drinking? perhaps a little experimentation on your little brother? its classic.. its always what we HATE in others that we can't come to terms to in ourselves.. I'm not saying that people weren't hurt in DC.. but what actions are you taking to make the world a better place? who are you helping with your hate? how much trust do you have in God?

Posted by: sober and happy | September 12, 2007 9:56 PM

'used to live in DC', thank you for your story! The content and tone of your story above is almost exactly what I have heard in person from victims of Midtown Cult.

To other folks who had Midtown experiences, please post them here.

The publication of the personal experiences and devastating damages to people are the means that will ultimately end this parasitic, predatory cult. The ugly and downright inhuman responses of the Midtowners themselves are damning as well.

WashingtonPost.com censor, please, please do not remove the Midtown post as you have removed many of the others. This shows better than anything what this group is like.

One reason that the "Q Group" went on so long is that the decent people in AA (99%+ of the membership) couldn't comprehend just how vicious, degrading, and damaging this cult actually was. They didn't have the means to understand - thankfully, few people do.

The above post together with the Midtown Cult response may well be the single best exemplar on this blog of the magnitude and viciousness of this phenomenon.

No more Midtown Cult victims. This must end now!

Posted by: DCC | September 12, 2007 10:24 PM

Dear Sober and Happy, and obviously a Midtown supporter, I do not have any hate. I do not hold resentment, and I know who I am, it is certainly not a victim, nor did I imply in anyway that I am. I trust very much in God, which is why I said it was a good thing that Mike's fate is up to him and not to me. By the way, most victims of abuse will go out of their way to try to protect others, some becomes perps, sounds like you certainly condone the victimization of others..................
posting here is one very small way I make the world a better place, otherwise I will not stoop to your level to defend your your ridiculous accusations.

Posted by: used to live in DC area | September 12, 2007 10:37 PM

DCC..In all fairness to you, I think you wish that they couldn't comprhend it, however I have 1st hand experience with many young women who have left the group. I am talking about young women starting from 10 yrs ago and to tell you the truth, I have tried for so long to talk to old timers and many people in AA about the behavior and they always said to me that I was being over sensitive and that I should't believe everything i hear, especially from new-comers. I am so sick and tired of trying to defend the women that leave Midtown to a bunch of men in the program. I am still in shock, after all of the media , that anyone in their right mid would would still defend this group. I have lost so much faith in AA..They continue to manipulate everything around the Traditions and the fellowship and Anonimity..It is just a bunch of bull!
I am sober 18 yrs and I now realize that AA is group of drunks that won't stand up for themselves. Sad state of affairs ..My Opinion

Posted by: betsy.tate | September 12, 2007 11:33 PM

Hi Betsy, glad I checked in here before bed.

Yes, I certainly have many of the feelings about our program and members that you do. I have been pretty disgusted by many members who just don't seem to care, or don't want to get involved, or think that that would risk their sobriety, or who make every excuse under the sun, invoking traditions, never getting upset about anything, 'there are no big deals', 'God will take care of it', etc etc. Honestly, I have lost respect for these people.

However, there are many others who wish to become involved and help out, really quite a few. This gives me some hope.

But like you, I have lost a great deal of faith in our program. It just doesn't seem possible to me that this situation could have lasted a month, much less twenty years. I am even at the point where I question that if our fellowship doesn't care that we're being used to facilitate systematic sexual abuse we should exist at all. If we are so concerned with our own personal sobriety that we turn our backs to the mammoth human wreckage facilitated by our name, performed in our name, we are complicit. In that case, can we believe our program is grounded in morality and honesty?

My main motivations at this point are to 1) provide some moral support to the past and current victims to facilitate their recovery and 2) prevent more victims from being created. I think that exposing this situation to the world outside our fellowship, including religious, educational, and professional groups and institutions, and to the general public, will be very productive.

As a non-AA member pointed out here a few weeks ago, people outside our fellowship are not tortured about whether exposing a group of sexual predators violates AA traditions, or whether it's unhealthy for AAs to become upset about this sexual predation, or whether we'll lose our sobriety if we speak up. They simply expect the molestation and predation to be stopped. They believe that's the right outcome here. Obviously, so do I and so do you and so do many others on this blog. And I'm feeling very confident if we do some work here that is going to happen.

But is this discouraging as far as the future of our fellowship goes? You bet.

Posted by: DCC | September 13, 2007 12:10 AM

DCC..discouraging, To say the least! I am discusted by the response from people in AA. I am no longer willing to stand up for AA because after 18 yrs of sobriety and a program that has taught me to be honest, I cannot be dishonest about my morals , values and convictions. I no longer want to be affiliated with AA. I think it is a big bunch of people that do not want to recover from not only sobriety but from emotional damage that Alcoholism has caused. Alcohol is but a symptom. I am recovered and want nothing to do with a fellowship that allows and accepts behavior that is morally and spiritually wrong..simply wrong! I don't want any responses about Traditions, judgement, resentments, Steps, Sponsorship or any of the AA babble. It is so disturbing to me that many who are Sober can even entertain this behavior. WAIA, GSO anyone in AA can even think twice about this. I'm so sick of all of the talk and bull. I do not want to be affiliated with any group like this. I think too much of myslf to lower myself to this type of group. It is sad because I was a believer in AA until this. I really thought that something could be done but now I realize that it is all beauracracy and politics among WAIA. Just my opinion and very dissappointed.

Posted by: betsy.tate | September 13, 2007 1:01 AM

There is a BIG DIFFERENCE between the "PROGRAM" and a FELLOWSHIP OF "SPONSORS."

Posted by: ??????? | September 13, 2007 1:51 AM


Some can't see, others don't want to see, while others can't believe it just might be the institutionalized sponsorship system was what and why the Traditions were written for as an ought that cannot be live today because of the system everyone is caught up in and don't have the courage to change it.

It's a Let go and let your sponsor pony follow-ship show with no Program.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 13, 2007 2:11 AM

Well, I woke up after sleeping a while and started thinking about this again, Betsy.

As I said, I have lost respect for a number of people in the fellowship but by no means all. Many people want to make the situation change. But on the whole everything about AA seems to make the fellowship a sitting duck for this kind of cancer.

I feel the future may not be bright for our fellowship. But I wish that were not so. Because I really do want the same helping hand that was there for me when I needed it to be there for others.

Authoritarianism, as practiced in governments, cults, and similar organizations, will always have followers. To a certain mindset, it appears to provide security, order, and certainty without drawbacks or cost. And our fellowship's principal response to a parasitic authoritarian invasion is...? Denial? Self-Centeredness? Paralysis? Cowardice? Intentional blindness? Selfishness? Does anyone else have a more positive spin? Because I'd like to hear one.

I do recall the very oft-repeated slogan "If nothing changes, nothing changes."

However, again, we can stop the cult. Churches, schools, and hospitals will not give it access as long as they are aware of it. Civilized society will not permit it to continue as long as they are continuously aware of it.

Posted by: DCC | September 13, 2007 2:33 AM

Betsy and DCC, I feel like I am somewhere in between the both of you. I did not move that far away, just to Baltimore, and I struggle with maintaining involvement with AA. After thirty years I have seen and heard of much abuse in AA. But I remember that this program is there to attrack sick people. And since these people are dealing with alcoholism, that means many of them have been self medicating lots of "ISSUES". While many hide behind the traditions to ignore and/or not act upon abberant, deviant behavior, the 'principles over personalities' has been helpful for me to separate the actual program 12 steps from these persons so that my faith in recovery through those principles can continue.
This does not mean I have to condon and/or ignore the behavior, I do not think our Founders meant for us to allow anyone to do anything they want in the name of AA. I do not turn my back on AA, to me that means I am turning my back on me, since I know that left to my own devices, 30 years will go out the window, I can drink again.
For many, this means that emotionally they cannot stomach dealing with the Q Group issues. For others it means that they must. I certainly was one that had to deal with them, and would have loved it if I had been able to get anyone to press charges against them.
Even when the Q Group was not there, I lived places where there were '13th steppers'. I went face to face with many of them in protection of the women I sponsored. I was accused of being a man hater, gay, jeolous and the list goes on by those who wanted me silenced and ignored. (And now the latest, homophob and playing with my brother), it will never end as long as I speak out. There will always be sicko's out there. It would work until the victim finally realized what was happening, and then at least they knew where to turn for help in sorting out things rather than picking up a drink. They knew that somewhere among the zombies there was that big mouth sacriligious woman had not backed down, had not been silenced, and that that behavior also represents AA and the possible recovery path that is different. We are many and varied..........................

Posted by: used to live in the DC area | September 13, 2007 6:44 AM

--Well, I woke up after sleeping a while and started thinking about this again--

DCC that is called a resentment.

The problem with what you are doing is that A.A. is a place for sick people to get well. For alcoholics to come recover. It is not a place for nice kind folk to become saints.

If you start making behavior rules, which is in essence exactly what you are trying to do, where does it end? Do you really think people are trying to condone illicit behavior?

No, that is not what people are saying. What they are saying is that "no matter how far down the scale" you have gone, you are welcome in A.A. If you don't change, well, you won't stick around. You are welcome to come, but why would you? A.A. is for the sick trying to get well, and if you aren't interested in getting well, you won't be around long. That is why the traditions state 'there is no A.A. police'. Get it? That is why A.A. members - and I live in PA - have a hard time listening to you.

If you start trying to make a list of unacceptable behavior, you are essentially making a list of rules for membership, of which there aren't any and hopefully never will be. I fail to see how you can not comprehend this. Our fellowship can not deny even the most unsavory of individuals. Even in the midst of their lowest points, they are welcome.

And, your behavior is totally unacceptable, and you are losing sleep over it. A resentment is reliving the emotions of events, thinking about what you should have said, what you could do, etc., and that is what you are doing. Even if you were dead nuts on about this group, two wrongs do not make a right here.

I better explain what I mean by this before you interpret and mess it all up. Churches generally try to lend a hand to A.A. groups, let them meet, etc. They do not like controversy, as your merry band of harassers has so cleverly found out. So when you start bothering them, they simply don't want anything to do with A.A. anymore because all they associate is A.A. = problems. They don't care about the specifics, they can't hear when you try to explain that although this meeting is some crazy cult, this other meeting is just fine. They just don't want anything to do with A.A. anymore, and we as a fellowship lose another facility. This has happened before, and that is why more experienced members like myself would like for you to knock it off.

Personally, I think you better find a way to accept that if this midtown group is really as bad as you say, that a HP will take care of them and that you don't have to rent so much of your headspace to them. I have never seen a person stay sober over a long period behaving the way is claimed about this group, but I have watched many a member leave with justified resentments as well.

Posted by: inventory | September 13, 2007 7:12 AM

Inventory wrote: "...they simply don't want anything to do with A.A. anymore because all they associate is A.A. = problems. They don't care about the specifics, they can't hear when you try to explain that although this meeting is some crazy cult, this other meeting is just fine. They just don't want anything to do with A.A. anymore, and we as a fellowship lose another facility. This has happened before, and that is why more experienced members like myself would like for you to knock it off."

And exactly why other experienced members want Midtown to knock it off.

If you think churches can't differentiate between "crazy cult" and "fine" AA groups, then how can the rest of the general public who picks up Newsweek or the Washington Post and reads story after story of kids dying and being molested and needing cult-deprogramming after attending AA?

Because that's been my point all along--I don't think most people can differentiate. And according to our Traditions, that's where a groups' autonomy ends.

If AA as a whole can send out a press release encouraging children to seek us out as a viable way to deal with their alcoholism, the AA ought to address the fact that these children are being abused in AA.

It's not "police work" to issue a statement saying, "We do not endorse the sorts of things that we've been accused of recently in the press. We would like to express our deepest condolences to those who may have been harmed. And, further, we would like to assure our members and the general public that we are currently seeking ways to address this issue in our society." And then form a committee to find out how WE can possibly change so as not to foster this sort of thing from happening again.

Posted by: Jane D. | September 13, 2007 9:16 AM

'inventory', you think that I woke up last night because I had a "resentment"? Or because of anything to do with AA? What a reach!

Nonetheless, in our program, we are allowed freedom of thought and you are exercising yours.

It's interesting that your are exercising yours thinking about what is wrong with me that I would want molestation and sexual abuse performed in our name stopped. But there you have it.

There is a fundamental semantic issue in this entire argument that I have been thinking through and I'm not going to comment much now.

However, I will address your statement that "A.A. is a place for sick people to get well. For alcoholics to come recover. It is not a place for nice kind folk to become saints."

I agree 100%. Our as someone very wise told me many times, "we are sick people trying to get well, not bad people trying to get good."

One thing you don't seem to appreciate is that there are actually bad people in the world. Perhaps I should say that you don't seem to care that there are bad people in the world. Being a bad person is not the same as being a sick person. In fact, for a person with no conscience, it can be highly rational and rewarding to live as a bad person, a deceitful person, a person who exploits and uses up people, especially sick people, who gets as much sex and money from them as he wants and then throws them out.

Edward Quinones, Jr. was such a person He was a bad person, a very bad person. He ran Midtown Cult as his personal fiefdom, and he did not run it so that sick people could get well.

Perhaps you can now follow your own advice and not trouble yourself any further over this matter. You might get a resentment. And also, don't lose any sleep over whether I stay sober.

Posted by: DCC | September 13, 2007 10:11 AM

Betsty Tate, yes you should leave AA if it doesn't hold up to you "morals and convictions" Get out and go find a church or a PTA meeting somewhere. AA doesn't need you and your spiritual hilltop.

Jane D. and DCC, I see you are still on here after 2 months running this board. Do you not have a life? You are both headed for a drink it seems. You are so swamped in resentment that you have been posting on this board 6-10 times a day for over 2 months. That's pretty sick. And all of this over some gossip about things that happened years ago. Neither of you have ever even been to Midtown. Isn't that stupid? You're really sick, very sick people.

Well, go on get out there and drink. Quit wasting time about your relapse. If this is all you're gonna do, then go to the bar and get out of AA.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 13, 2007 10:12 AM

The reason no one is doing anything about this is because it doesn't exist anymore. And the accusers don't come forward because they know their not telling the whole truth. Their leaving out some pretty terrific details. No charges files officially on any one of these things? Why? Because they are lying, that's why. Exagerrating, fabricating. That's why these "accusers" are in the dark because they aren't accusers, their liars.

It's pretty hard to convince a well-rounded educated and objective person that loose alcoholic women are somehow the victim of casual sex. That's pretty friggin absurd no matter how you try to dress it up with your backwards rationalizations.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 13, 2007 10:16 AM

Jane D. and DCC, that guy just gave you fuel. Now run with it! Watch these two run around with those two last messages like a little dog with a rag or a frisbee.

Blah, blah, blah blah blah blah. Well, I think blah blah blah. Yes yes, you are so right.

I bet you're the dumbest looking people in any room you walk in to.

Posted by: Jane D / DCC Rampage | September 13, 2007 10:21 AM

[blank] wrote: "The reason no one is doing anything about this is because it doesn't exist anymore."

So it did exist at some time then?

I'm not still doing the immoral things that I did when I was drinking, but I'm still responsible for cleaning them up, making sure they don't happen again, and making amends.

I'm perplexed why this, "it's over," rationalization simply absolves Midtown.

And it kind of contradicts the, "they're all liars," rationalization.

Posted by: Jane D. | September 13, 2007 10:27 AM

Inventory, long timer used an example

"No, that is not what people are saying. What they are saying is that "no matter how far down the scale" you have gone, you are welcome in A.A"

That was not meant and refer to INSIDE A.A. that was meant outside of A.A. ones past and if you can't see that you can't see that WOW!!! The sick arrogant sponsor craze that that has become perverted and now bring A.A. down to there scale justifying it as sponsors do with there own cause. The distinctions are great here and many believe in their personal cause thanks to the sponsorship systems directives to other distinctions.

A "simple suggested program" turned into a "program of suggestions" directly by the sponsorship system that always had been perverted in the lack of humility.

Sponsors are the orphans and self proclaimed cling to the A.A. program that they feed off of.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 13, 2007 10:36 AM

Get a life Jane. Don't you have a job or something?

Posted by: Anonymous | September 13, 2007 10:39 AM

Oh look, Shawn/Renee is back as the great liar/defender/hide behind other identies guy of Midtown. Didn't your sponsor tell you not to read and post here?? Careful, the truth might make you drink because you can't handle it.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 13, 2007 10:48 AM

Midtown is one Big babysitting club raised on the sponsorship system not A.A.. The babies are the sponsors in charge now.

WE SOW FROM WHICH WE NOW WEEP.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 13, 2007 11:23 AM

And all of this over some gossip about things that happened years ago. Neither of you have ever even been to Midtown. Isn't that stupid? You're really sick, very sick people.


Just to put my two cents in here:

The sexual abuse may not be continuing but the money issues sure are.

Is is not true that people are still stealing money in midtown?

Fact! Person came forward not too long ago stating that he stole money from the treasury for personal gain. Go ahead Midtowners, keep putting money in the basket for these guys to steal and do with it as they please.

Posted by: an | September 13, 2007 11:25 AM

(blank) said: "The reason no one is doing anything about this is because it doesn't exist anymore."

Given that apparently every year for the last twenty years, Midtown's story has been "there were some abuses in the past but they have ended", the world needs a complete accounting of the abuses and when and why each one ended. That will be necessary before anybody will even think about believing you folks.

Because the evidence is overwhelming that a horrifying systematic pattern of sexual abuse and molestation took place at Midtown and was directed by the "hierarchy" of "leaders".

Then, when the entire pattern is revealed, Midtown can begin making amends to the victims of your sexual abuse and molestation.

Then, you can begin addressing your cultlike organization, your unauthorized practice of medicine, and your monetary "accounting" "issues".

Posted by: DCC | September 13, 2007 12:17 PM

Money is just one thing, peoples life's are another. There is more than one issue here and it takes an open thinking mind to sort through them. Know your weakness and you will find your strength with a little hope that will be God not a person, place or thing again and again.

1. Sponsorship control a distinctions amongst us. Like it or not it's who cares!!!!

2. Unwanted conformity, the mental and physical rape going on through the sponsorship system that was never meant or needed inside A.A. but for 12 step work outside in hospitals and institution's.

3. Lust, the want for distinction weather you are pitching or catching. Meaning the relationship between a sponsor and the baby they are mothering.

To control and enjoy is a great obsession in itself. What a vicious cycle throughout a simple program.

My hope is that one day we all may be true to our selfs with or without.

Posted by: ??????? | September 13, 2007 12:41 PM

DCC
"Because the evidence is overwhelming that a horrifying systematic pattern of sexual abuse and molestation took place at Midtown and was directed by the "hierarchy" of "leaders"."

It's the "hierarchy of sponsorship" they are not leaders nor trusted servants by any stretch of there self proclaimed imaginations.

"SPONSORSHIP" IS A "LABEL" THAT CREATES "DISTINCTIONS" AMONGST US "IN A.A." "AGAINST A.A." AND its Traditions in the first place, and now placed first as most is sowing what "they" weep.

One for all and all for one right?
Excuse me while I go to "MY" stage meeting with "MY SPONSOR", "you don't understand" is insanity to A.A's program, yet acceptable between self proclaimed sponsors and "there " babies.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 13, 2007 1:04 PM

THE "LABEL SPONSOR OR SPONSORSHIP" IS NOT EVEN MENTIONED IN A.A'S BIG BOOK.

THE OUTSIDE SYSTEM THAT IS A HIERARCHY INSIDE. LOOK IN THE BIG BOOK.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 13, 2007 1:17 PM

Lets call Clancy to seek truth !!!!
Fools following Fools

Posted by: Anonymous | September 13, 2007 1:23 PM

Drop the rocks, Drop sponsorship, too many are getting stoned and both sides are having to change their emotional sobriety dates.

God tried to help us but sponsors would not let him live and let live.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 13, 2007 1:34 PM

A million dollar program shoved up ones a-ss a nickel at a time

Posted by: Anonymous | September 13, 2007 1:38 PM

So what if I live alone. People like to make fun of me and critisize me because I have 7 cats and haven't been seen with a man in 10 years or so. People call me a loner and all kinds of stuff. Although, those things are true, it doesn't do any good to attack me or DCC. I have my emotional problems and in many ways I could be considered socially unacceptable.

But Midtown isn't the first group me or DCC have gone after and attacked. We helped to de-rail a group in Cinncinati where an 80-year married man was sponsoring young men and women. It was perverse. These groups we go after deserve every bit of the lashing that we give them. If either me or DCC can be instrumental in having every member of the Midtown group thrown in prison for 5+ years just for attending those meetings, then that would be wonderful.

Posted by: Jane D. | September 13, 2007 2:52 PM

Well said Jane D. I remember the Cinnicinati group. Although, it was never proven that Carl P. was ever doing anything wrong, he should have been assumed guilty because 3 ex-members said he was mean to them and often smiled at the girls all the time, winking at them during meetings. Thanks to our efforts, that group no longer exists.

All I can say about Midtown is that most if not all the group members need to be locked up in prison for being a part of that group. No trial, just a long term sentence for rape. Even the women and new members. All guilty by association. If the police won't do it and say there's been no crime committed, then we should hire a team of people to come in and break up their meeting by force.

Posted by: DCC | September 13, 2007 3:00 PM

Again, The Post has asked us to abide by a certain set of rules. One of which is that we not "impersonate" other posters. By posting here, you already agreed to those rules. The Post has my IP address, as they do all of ours. It will be quite easy for them to see which posts correspond to those IP addresses and delete the "imposters." Please let's save them the annoyance of having to do this.

Posted by: Jane D. | September 13, 2007 3:04 PM

I find it very interesting that my Uncle Jim Quinones (My Dad's brother was at the WAIA meeting this past Tuesday night.. someone told me. Also that in the meetings they are saying the my Dad left a legacy behind.

Does anyone wonder why I moved away from my Dad and those people that worshipped him?? I'm his daughter and believe me, if you knew what I knew about him, you would have retreated long ago. There are a couple of people that know this. One of them for 2 years has been exposing these truths, some believe and some don't.

I belive my father to be a sociopath who through mind control and manipulation made his group thrive. I'm in AA here in St. Louis, REAL AA, thank God I found it here. What my Dad has done is ruined the lives of all who has been exposed to him.. he was a powerful man, only evil.

and YES, this is the real Vanessa Q.

Posted by: Vanessa Q | September 13, 2007 3:11 PM

Jane/DCC, its obvious neither of you posted the last 2 comments. Note the comment above about Shawn/Renee, who is probably the nasty Midtown person posting again and probably impersonating you again, as he did before. Regardless, its clear you two have honor and integrity, unlike some others here.

Posted by: Atlanta | September 13, 2007 3:12 PM

Vanessa, thanks for joining the discussion here and for your comments. I, too, heard Jim was at the WAIA meeting. I'm so glad to know you found the true program of AA and that you have survived the "legacy" your father left behind. Thank you for your strength and honesty here, I can't imagine what it must have been like to witness or had to deal with. God Bless you.

Posted by: Atlanta | September 13, 2007 3:20 PM

Vanessa, I couldn't have said it better. God bless you.

Posted by: Jane D. | September 13, 2007 3:22 PM

So what if I live alone. People like to make fun of me and critisize me because I have 7 cats and haven't been seen with a man in 10 years or so. People call me a loner and all kinds of stuff. Although, those things are true, it doesn't do any good to attack me or DCC. I have my emotional problems and in many ways I could be considered socially unacceptable.

But Midtown isn't the first group me or DCC have gone after and attacked. We helped to de-rail a group in Cinncinati where an 80-year married man was sponsoring young men and women. It was perverse. These groups we go after deserve every bit of the lashing that we give them. If either me or DCC can be instrumental in having every member of the Midtown group thrown in prison for 5+ years just for attending those meetings, then that would be wonderful.


Posted by: Jane D. | September 13, 2007 02:52 PM

Well said Jane D. I remember the Cinnicinati group. Although, it was never proven that Carl P. was ever doing anything wrong, he should have been assumed guilty because 3 ex-members said he was mean to them and often smiled at the girls all the time, winking at them during meetings. Thanks to our efforts, that group no longer exists.

All I can say about Midtown is that most if not all the group members need to be locked up in prison for being a part of that group. No trial, just a long term sentence for rape. Even the women and new members. All guilty by association. If the police won't do it and say there's been no crime committed, then we should hire a team of people to come in and break up their meeting by force.

Posted by: DCC | September 13, 2007 03:00 PM

More midtowners, hiding behind other posters names huh? How sad that they can't even get their own handle on here and speak their mind.

Posted by: an | September 13, 2007 3:31 PM

Vanessa I think it's great that you had to courage to post on here what ou did. Maybe actually some midtowners can read it and hear it from the person who knew Mike better than any of them. His own blood. Thank you .

Posted by: an | September 13, 2007 3:35 PM

Well, I think the Midtowners evince a pretty simple pattern. When they get scared, they start abusing. When that doesn't work, they try something else. They have posted silly posts under my handle and Jane D.'s handle before and I assume they will again. They do this because they are dishonest.

It becomes tiresome to point out, but that must be done nonetheless, that Midtown has never addressed or denied these charges. All they ever do is throw garbage at anyone who brings this subject up.

Look back to the original front page story in the Washington Post (http://blog.washingtonpost.com/rawfisher/2007/07/midtown_group_aa_group_leads_m.html)

"A meeting held on Sunday evenings for nearly two decades at the Church of the Pilgrims near Dupont Circle left the church this year after ex-Midtown members provided 'detailed and credible allegations,' said the Rev. Ashley Goff, director of Christian education at the church. Midtown leaders told pastors they were being criticized unfairly by 'disgruntled people who couldn't keep their act together,' Goff recalled...church leaders concluded that 'this group crossed boundaries in very strong ways,' Goff said. 'Clearly, they were targeting young women who were in their first rehab program -- the most vulnerable people.'

"Informed that the church was 'about to make a decision about asking them to leave', Goff said, 'Midtown came to us and said, 'Oh, our group's gotten too big, and we're going to leave.''

"Goff added: 'Our fellowship hall is huge.'"

"At St. Mark Presbyterian Church in Rockville -- the site of one of 20 or so weekly Midtown meetings across the region -- the Rev. Roy W. Howard said that after Midtown leaders refused 'to give me an explanation of the allegations against them, I decided to ask them not to meet' at the church anymore."

And so after leaving the Church of the Pilgrims after 20+ years, Midtown moved its Sunday evening meeting to a smaller church miles outside the Beltway. Apparently at this new location, they don't need such a large fellowship hall.

Posted by: DCC | September 13, 2007 3:47 PM

Vanessa Quinones, thank you and God bless you! You have helped many young women today.

Posted by: DCC | September 13, 2007 3:51 PM

Those posts above are proof that both DCC and Jane D have a history of abuse and randomly attacking AA groups

Posted by: CFG | September 13, 2007 4:36 PM

I agree with CFG. Jane D and DCC you are terrorists, picking on this poor AA group which only seeks to help people

Posted by: NHY | September 13, 2007 4:38 PM

Jane D. should have all 7 cats taken away for the lies she told about Carl P. in Cinncinati. He was just trying to help people, never meant anyone any harm. Jane D. had a newpaper article written up about him that ruined his life.

Posted by: Barry | September 13, 2007 4:41 PM

Your above comment proves that you know nothing about Midtown & that you're full of lies and propoganda.

"Informed that the church was 'about to make a decision about asking them to leave', Goff said, 'Midtown came to us and said, 'Oh, our group's gotten too big, and we're going to leave.''

"Goff added: 'Our fellowship hall is huge.'"

That fellowship hall was not huge. WHen I was in Midtown in 2003-04, you could not get a seat unless you got there at 4:00 p.m.. The mtg started at 8 p.m.

Posted by: DCCC | September 13, 2007 4:44 PM

But Midtown isn't the first group me or DCC have gone after and attacked. We helped to de-rail a group in Cinncinati where an 80-year married man was sponsoring young men and women. It was perverse. These groups we go after deserve every bit of the lashing that we give them. If either me or DCC can be instrumental in having every member of the Midtown group thrown in prison for 5+ years just for attending those meetings, then that would be wonderful.
------------------

Jane D. wrote this. This isn't the first time she's done this as she says here.

Posted by: Anon | September 13, 2007 4:47 PM

Jane D. & DCC and all of you:

Why can't you just admit that there's someone on here who visits this blog sometimes; who is not part of Midtown; who is not Renee or Shawn or whoever you think; But who sees what a bad thing you're doing on here AND also just simply likes to mess with you. WHY?

BECAUSE IT'S SO MUCH FUUNNNN!!!! Bwa-ha-ha-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA

Rule #62

Posted by: Mr. Ha ha | September 13, 2007 4:51 PM

You know, Anon/DCCC/Barry/CFG/NHY/Shawn/Renee, there is nothing you can do to stop the truth anymore. Mike's own daughter has spoken here and none of your lies, abuses, defenses, mudslinging, impersonating others or distractions can stop what is happening here or anywhere else to expose Midtown for the cult it is...NOTHING....you are powerless to stop it. Give it up!

Posted by: Anonymous | September 13, 2007 4:54 PM

Vanessa Q | September 13, 2007 03:11 PM
"Does anyone wonder why I moved away from my Dad and those people that worshipped him"

And let me guess what they label him as
_ _ _ _ _ _ _
As so many are conditioned to say and do.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 13, 2007 5:14 PM

Mr. DcCC, OK, the fellowship hall at Church of the Pilgrams was big enough when I went to several Midtown meetings in 1986. It was still big enough in 1987. And in 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, and part of 2007. In fact, it was big enough until the day before Church of the Pilgrams was going to kick you out. Only that day did it become too small?

So you went to church miles outside the Beltway and got a SMALLER church fellowship hall?

Posted by: DCC | September 13, 2007 5:41 PM

Mr. HaHa, I have been sober in the program pushing 23 years and believe me, I have seen people of all kinds. Sorry to disappoint you, but you're not unique.

Posted by: DCC | September 13, 2007 5:45 PM

Vanessa Q (as I should have addressed you, my apologies), thank you and God bless you!

You have my sincere condolences on the death of your father. I can only imagine how difficult all this must be for you and I pray that you have found and will continue to find inner peace. I'm very glad you have found a real AA group where you live.

Posted by: DCC | September 13, 2007 5:50 PM

Sociopath:

Antisocial personality disorder (APD) is a psychiatric condition characterized by an individual's common disregard for social rules, norms, and cultural codes, as well as impulsive behavior, and indifference to the rights and feelings of others. Antisocial personality disorder is terminology used by the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, while the World Health Organization's ICD-10 refers to Dissocial personality disorder. People diagnosed with this disorder are typically called Sociopaths.

Posted by: Be Clear On This | September 13, 2007 9:44 PM

Does that include Jack, Bryce, Arno, Frank, Billy,John G, Carol, Bridgitte, Beth, Barara, and the other at the top.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 13, 2007 9:52 PM

Help is Coming!

Posted by: Help is Coming! | September 13, 2007 9:55 PM

Love ya Vanessa Q - way to go kido! remember humility will take you many places! and save many!

I found myself compeled to speak out beyond the cult issue, if some one is in a cult, that is one thing, but ABUSE (physical or EMOTIONAL) is something totally different. SO, for those souls that may need to understand abuse, signs, for emotional or physical please pay attention to this attachment!

google signs of abuse, or abuse and this is what you can find as well as ways to get out if you dont know how, and you cant use your own "support" group since they may be the abusers.


Feel like you have to "walk on eggshells" to keep him from getting angry and are frightened by his temper.
Feel you can't live without him.
Stop seeing other friends or family, or give up activities you enjoy because he doesn't like them.
Are afraid to tell him your worries and feelings about the relationship.
Are often compliant because you are afraid to hurt his feelings; and have the urge to "rescue" him when he is troubled.
Feel that you are the only one who can help him and that you should try to "reform" him.
Find yourself apologizing to yourself or others for your partner's behaviour when you are treated badly.
Stop expressing opinions if he doesn't agree with them.
Stay because you feel he will kill himself if you leave.
Believe that his jealousy is a sign of love.
Have been kicked, hit, shoved, or had things thrown at you by him when he was jealous or angry.
Believe the critical things he says to make you feel bad about yourself.
Believe that there is something wrong with you if you don't enjoy the sexual things he makes you do.
Believe in the traditional ideas of what a man and a woman should be and do -- that the man makes the decisions and the woman pleases him.
(some people) Have been abused as a child or seen your mother abused.
If you are abused:

You are not alone and you are not to blame. You cannot control his violence. There are ways you can make yourself safer:
Call the police if you have been assaulted. Charging abusive males is a necessary step in reducing physical violence.
Tell someone and keep a record of all incidents for evidence.
Write down the details for yourself as soon as possible after the assault. Keep it in a safe place where he won't find it.
Develop a safety plan. Memorize emergency numbers. Keep spare house and car keys handy. Know where you can stay in an emergency.
Consider ending the relationship as soon as possible. Without intervention, his violence will increase in frequency and severity as time passes.
Recognize that no one has the right to control you and that it is everyone's human right to live without fear.
Look out for men who:

Do not listen to you, ignore you or talk over you.
Sit or stand too close to you, making you uncomfortable and seem to enjoy it.
Do only what they want or push you to get what they want.
Express anger and violence towards women either through words or physically.
Have a bad attitude toward women.
Are overly possessive or jealous.
Drink or use drugs heavily.
Have a reputation for "scoring".
Need Help Now?

Sources:

Adapted from information from Interval House, Hamilton, Ontario
North York Public Health Department

I do hope that many can acctualy be honest enough with themseves to KNOW that they are in this predicament and they can get out - I DID! and it has never been better!


Posted by: exexex | September 13, 2007 10:11 PM

For those interested in the ten personality disorders enumerated in the DSM IV the article on them in wikipedia is pretty interesting, very well sourced and referenced, and appears authoritative http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Personality_disorder

The article on APD (sociopath), supra, is equally worthwhile and is at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antisocial_personality_disorder

Diagnostic criteria from the DSM IV (wikipedia):

"The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV, currently DSM-IV-TR), a widely used manual for diagnosing mental and behavioral disorders, defines antisocial personality disorder as a pervasive pattern of disregard for and violation of the rights of others occurring since age 15vc, as indicated by three (or more) of the following:

1. failure to conform to social norms with respect to lawful behaviors as indicated by repeatedly performing acts that are grounds for arrest
2. deceitfulness, as indicated by repeated lying, use of aliases, or conning others for personal profit or pleasure
3. impulsivity or failure to plan ahead
4. irritability and aggressiveness, as indicated by repeated physical fights or assaults
5. reckless disregard for safety of self or others
6. consistent irresponsibility, as indicated by repeated failure to sustain steady work or honor financial obligations
7. lack of remorse, as indicated by being indifferent to or rationalizing having hurt, mistreated, or stolen from another"

Edward Quinones, Jr., aka Mike Q, seems to meet the above criteria. Also, I have had the displeasure of meeting some of the "leaders" of Midtown over the last decades and it was my impression that they met the criteria as well.

Of course, I am not a psychiatrist. But common sense tells any objective adult that a cult organized for the sexual abuse and economic exploitation of young people seeking help for an illness is morally bankrupt and a perversion of every decent human instinct.

NO MORE MIDTOWN CULT VICTIMS!

Posted by: DCC | September 13, 2007 10:21 PM

Blah blah blah blah, blah balh blah blah. This is the "REAL AA" I'm glad I never cme across any of you losers in a meeting.

Posted by: AA | September 14, 2007 9:49 AM


The difference between a "Real AA" meeting and a fool.
Fools meeting has authorities (sponsorship and ranks)
Fools meeting are about follow-ship to feel good, do what I say place.
Fools meeting are about distinctions - Self proclaimed saviors called sponsor

A.A MEETING ULTIMATE AUTHORITY IS GOD
A.A. MEETINGS IS ABOUT UNITY A FELLOWSHIP
A.A. MEETINGS ARE FOR ALCOHOLICS

There is a clear distinction between a Real A.A. meeting and a counterfeit one thank to the TRADITIONS OF A.A. Live them or Leave them

Posted by: Anonymous | September 14, 2007 10:12 AM

"ONE" authority newcomers and past sponsees

ONE authority and your not it sponsors

Be a unconditional friend to another in A.A. not the labeled sponsor meant for hospitals and institutional work outside of A.A.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 14, 2007 11:22 AM

To (blank), who wrote "The difference between a "Real AA" meeting and a fool" post a few posts above.

Well said, (blank)! Meetings based on any person's authority are not really AA. Especially if it's some kind of long term authority.

Posted by: DCC | September 14, 2007 1:22 PM

"NO" AUTHORITIES IN A.A. WHAT SO EVER
Seelsh, Notta, NONE


"SHORT OR LONG TERM"

This is what Tradition One is saying and has been saying and will continue to say because it is the message of A.A. not your message or your so called sponsors message or my message but the the A.A. message from the BOOK itself, period.

One may say, Ya but look at me, A.A. says look at your self and one look should be good enough, not one good look.


Posted by: Anonymous | September 14, 2007 3:23 PM

Why is this, how can this be? How can we learn without a sponsor?
Watch the fellowship and learn but,

"A.A. IS A PROGRAM YOU DEVELOP - IT'S NOT WHAT ONE LEARNS,"
that development, at least here in A.A. my friends comes only from the grace of God.

Learn it from a sponsor and you will become a smart A-ss

Trust in God and clean house you will develop humility and unity.

Don't learn to work the steps right with someone, Trust in God and just take them and let Gods guidance be with you.

Tip: Quit now if you have to check with your sponsor.

Being true to thy self cannot be learned but it surly can be developed.

Vanessa Q -Thank you for being here. We are all sorry to hear about your Dad and your tone of experiences that you had to go threw. Our prayers are with you all.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 14, 2007 5:07 PM

To develop, is to improve what one already has.

To learn, is to understand something completely different.

Let go of the system and develop by trusting in God.

Posted by: Timewilltell | September 15, 2007 10:59 AM

One surly has to let go before one can develop.

Posted by: Timeanyone | September 15, 2007 11:39 AM

Defining the spiritual world

People who don't believe are called atheists
People who follow people are called cults
People who follow God are call Christians
People who follow their hearts find God and
understand no matter what creed.

Posted by: Timewilltell | September 15, 2007 12:06 PM

Man, u all are the type of people who need AA. Type who goes to bars and walks out stumbling with food all over themself. Not me. I'm cool. - Renee

Posted by: Get the drink on | September 15, 2007 1:55 PM

The helpless type

Posted by: Anonymous | September 15, 2007 2:34 PM

People who go to AA have more than drinking problems. J, for example, is aloof, looks and acts homosexual, babbles non-stop with fancy talk trying to impress people, and is the joke of Montgomery County AA. People actually leave meetings that him and A are at. They hold the meetings hostage with their psycho babble and no one holds any wieght to them. What kind of person quits drinking at 15 and goes to AA daily 25 years later? A nutcase, that's what. A has no friends at all outside of AA, and was very unpopular in high school. That is what kind of people you find in AA.

Posted by: Very true get the drink on | September 15, 2007 4:48 PM

You know, Anon/DCCC/Barry/CFG/NHY/Shawn/Renee/Very true get the drink on, there is nothing you can do to stop the truth anymore. Mike's own daughter has spoken here and none of your lies, abuses, defenses, mudslinging, impersonating others or distractions can stop what is happening here or anywhere else to expose Midtown for the cult it is...NOTHING....you are powerless to stop it. Give it up!

Posted by: Anonymous | September 15, 2007 10:58 PM

A message from the A.A. program to think about, and for those that thinking is against your religion lets use meditate.

Its starts with the manipulation of the phrase,

"BUT OBVIOUSLY YOU CANNOT TRANSMIT SOMETHING YOU HAVEN'T GOT."

The self proclaimed sponsorship system bases it's self and the use of this phrase to create a distinctions amongst others, misusing and interrupting the Big Book to YOU.

1st remember the Traditions ? - There are No distinctions amongst us in the A.A fellowship., no one can make anyone conform or believe in anything, no labels on and on !!

Now look how the distinguished system manipulates and uses the phrase. Read the phrase in Big Book starting at the top of the paragraph to the end.

It is clear that "NONE OF US" only God could.
The way the Big Book says it is with no distinctions, meaning none of us can.
Read it for yourself.

The "hierarchy of sponsorship" are not leaders nor trusted servants by any stretch of there self proclaimed imaginations.

"SPONSORSHIP" IS A "LABEL" THAT CREATES "DISTINCTIONS" AMONGST OTHERS "IN A.A." "AGAINST A.A."

This is why the recovery rate has been less than 5% for over 25 years, WAKE UP stop killing your brothers and sisters find the awakening and stop the number one killer that is guiding others around A.A. to their death beds. STOP LET GO AND LET God develop it through our program don't be taught by tyrants.

Take a closer look

Posted by: Anonymous | September 16, 2007 1:54 AM

Fallingwater

"There in a beautiful forest was a solid, high rock ledge rising beside a waterfall, and the natural thing seemed to be to cantilever the house from that rock bank over the falling water....Then came (of course) Mr. Kaufmann's love for the beautiful site. He loved the site where the house was built and liked to listen to the waterfall. So that was a prime motive in the design. I think that you can hear the waterfall when you look at the design. At least it is there, and he lives intimately with the thing he loves." -- Frank Lloyd Wright

Posted by: Anonymous | September 16, 2007 3:19 AM

Moral of the above story,

A person seeking solidarity, without getting pushed onto the rock bank over the falling water.!!! It's better to listen from afar than to have to watch your back.

Fellowship not the sponsorship crap !!!

Posted by: Anonymous | September 16, 2007 10:06 AM

This was sent to FOM.

The truth, layered and multidimensional as it is, becomes subjugated by the will of those who would have want to keep others from beholding or experiencing it. The truth, it would appear, bares naught but inconvenience to those whose focused obsession it is to continue the spiritual enslavement of others who have not caught sight of, or experienced a single layer or even one dimension of the truth that is currently and consistently withheld from them. These ignored and generally unseen victims bear the legacy of a barren imagination by those who continue to enslave them through any and all means, which of course, includes group manipulation. Lives meant to be lived and fulfilled, are ruined, wasted and cast aside by the selfish and self-centered pursuits of those who would bleed them dry for the nickel that they are worth to their captures. When they are finally able to look up and see the truth, it is only because they are lying on the ground and their previous captures are now wiping this truth on their face with the soles of their custom made shoes that the victim's lives, and all that was promised to them, had paid dearly for.


* Author wished to remain anonymous *


Posted by: Anonymous | September 16, 2007 1:05 PM

"They left the village in the clear dawn light. As the sun rose the mountains were dazzling white with dark blue hollows, every indentation could be seen, and they looked so close that a stranger might have thought them a two hours' drive away.

"The Caucasus loomed small and elemental in a world of small manmade things. If all the people who had ever lived had opened their arms as wide as they could to carry all that they had ever made, or ever thought of making, and piled it up in swelling heaps, they could not have raised such an unbelievable mountain range.

"The road from the village to the station kept the mountains continually before them as though those snowy expanses, those bare crags, those shadows hinting at invisible ravines were their destination. But from one half hour to the next, as the snow began to thaw on the lower slopes, the range seemed to part company with the earth, and its upper third hung suspended in the sky. It became shrouded in mist, so that there were no ribs or seams to show that these were mountains, and they saw instead what seemed to be a vast cloud bank. This broke into fragments indistinguishable from real clouds. Then they too were washed away. The range disappeared as though it had been a celestial mirage, and wherever they looked they saw only grayish, heat-blanched sky. They drove on..." - A. Solzhenitsyn, "August 1914"

Posted by: tick | September 16, 2007 2:07 PM

The Corrected Version - my apologies - tick


"They left the village in the clear dawn light. As the sun rose the mountains were dazzling white with dark blue hollows, every indentation could be seen, and they looked so close that a stranger might have thought them a two hours' drive away.

"The Caucasus loomed huge and elemental in a world of small manmade things. If all the people who had ever lived had opened their arms as wide as they could to carry all that they had ever made, or ever thought of making, and piled it up in swelling heaps, they could not have raised such an unbelievable mountain range.

"The road from the village to the station kept the mountains continually before them as though those snowy expanses, those bare crags, those shadows hinting at invisible ravines were their destination. But from one half hour to the next, as the snow began to thaw on the lower slopes, the range seemed to part company with the earth, and its upper third hung suspended in the sky. It became shrouded in mist, so that there were no ribs or seams to show that these were mountains, and they saw instead what seemed to be a vast cloud bank. This broke into fragments indistinguishable from real clouds. Then they too were washed away. The range disappeared as though it had been a celestial mirage, and wherever they looked they saw only grayish, heat-blanched sky. They drove on till noon and beyond..." - A. Solzhenitsyn, "August 1914"

Posted by: tick | September 16, 2007 2:17 PM

Steps 1 through 9 helps us to identify, admit and accept our weaknesses and strengths, while we begin clearing away, and making amends for the wreckage that we had created in our past. During this time, these 9 steps motivate us to begin developing a God Consciousness within. This sense of God Consciousness (examples: strength, inspiration, direction, intuitive thoughts, decisions, etc) is strengthened and maintained by adhering to the 10th, 11th and 12th Step practices.

After working all of these steps for a period of time, I have found myself at this stage, within my ever evolving and unfolding recovery.

I ask my Higher Power, during self examination, prayer and meditation, what His will is for me, then I do what I believe is morally and ethically right for myself, as well as for those about me. I endeavor to learn from the experience. I attempt to freely pass what I have learned to others. I allow my Higher Power to help me grow. I continue to learn. I am here when those that have lost their way, begin to search for home again. I reach out my hand and walk with them. I offer to unconditionally guide them through the program of recovery, so that they can experience their promised spiritual awakening. Through their spiritual awakening, they will recover from alcoholism/drug addiction.

After which, in order to maintain their spiritual condition, one of their chosen responsibilities will be to pass their working knowledge to another. In turn, that recipient of unconditional love and support will most likely do the same, and for similar reasons. Within time, if you were to behave similarly, you would most surely see yourself, as well as those that you have been of service to, as strong links in a long, humble and powerful chain which has but one true primary purpose; and that is to be of maximum service to God (as you may understand Him) and to your fellows, through love and service.


Within time, if our AA principles are individually maintained, our temporary fellowship difficulties will self heal.

Posted by: I Am Responsible. | September 16, 2007 11:46 PM

[Doctor:]

He seems to be completely unreceptive.
The tests I gave him show no sense at all.
His eyes react to light the dials detect it.
He hears but cannot answer to your call.

[Tommy:]

See me, feel me, touch me, heal me.
See me, feel me, touch me, heal me.

[Doctor:]

There is no chance no untried operation.
All hope lies with him and none with me.
Imagine though the shock from isolation.
When he suddenly can hear and speak and see.

[Tommy:]

See me, feel me, touch me, heal me.
See me, feel me, touch me, heal me.

[Doctor:]

His eyes can see
his ears can hear his lips speak
All the time the needles flick and rock.
No machine can give the kind of stimulation,
Needed to remove his inner block.

Go to the mirror boy!
Go to the mirror boy!

[Father:]

I often wonder what it is he's feeling.
Has he ever heard a word I've said?
Look at him now in the mirror dreaming
What is happening in his head?...

I wish I knew.


-- Pete Townshend, "Tommy: Go To The Mirror"

Posted by: tock | September 17, 2007 1:16 AM

RE:I Am Responsible

Do you sit in stag meetings that keep other
genders out or is flat not invited?

Do you follow the S.S ways?

Are you aware when praying the serenity prayer asking for the wisdom to "know the difference" after each meeting?

Are you aware of the difference?

No answer needed, your knowing is good enough.

Question: We are all responsible, for what is the million dollar question?

Posted by: Anonymous | September 17, 2007 7:03 AM

Posted by: I Am Responsible. | September 16, 2007 11:46 PM
"I offer to unconditionally guide them through the program of recovery"

A.A is a path for Gods sake "WHAT"S THIS GUIDE THEM B.S "IN A.A."?

What's wrong with using God and the fellowship as a whole? Are you that much of a paranoid loner to have to use BS on another here in A.A.? "GUIDE THEM" are you that powerful? or are you harming them?

In A.A. there is "only one" may you find him now, are you a clone of the S.S.?
Note: The word Guide / Control is synonymous

Go outside and clone others don't guide them, ask them, and let them know that NO HUMAN POWER CAN RELIVE US. Give them an uninterrupted version of the Big Book and STEP AWAY for God could and would if sought.
To control is to be controlled

Following a fool who has a need to guide others in A.A. is stupidity when we already have A.A.. A.A it's not learned, it's developed. To develop something you must already have it. Got it !!!!

Posted by: Anonymous | September 17, 2007 7:39 AM

If one has the need to follow something - may it be a loving God in there own heart.

If someone has the need to look for someone - hope they look and find themselves.

Maybe, just maybe, one Day at a time one can develop a way to be true to thy self, someday. What a concept.

Posted by: Timewilltell | September 17, 2007 8:08 AM

A.A. does have a board of trustees (General Service Board of A.A.), and I would encourage anyone concerned about this issue to write to them expressing your opinion.

The Board's duties: "meets once a year and provides a link between the groups throughout the U.S. and Canada and the trustees who serve as custodians of A.A. tradition and interpreters of policies affecting the Fellowship as a whole."

A.A. World Services, Inc.
P.O. Box 459
New York, NY 10163
(212) 870-3400.

http://www.alcoholics-anonymous.org/en_information_aa.cfm?PageID=2&SubPage=51

Posted by: Jane D. | September 17, 2007 11:56 AM

I am Responsible: If you read the article you will understand why the MT group is not AA..The message that is given to them, through the late Mike Q and his hierarchy, is the message of the teachings of Gurdjieff. These teachings include the importance of sexual relationships in finding spirituality. This is what they are taught from the beginning..Now is this AA? You tell me.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 17, 2007 12:11 PM

Gandhi made salt at the ocean against the rule of the British. He did this to show that the "fruits" of the earth are for all and at no cost. Knowing full well he was going to be arrested for this act, he did it anyway's. This action he took to show the world that the Brit's were corrupted. Some could argue that he did it so that others could have salt.. This is one of the last act's that was performed by Gandhi before the Brit's retreated from India and gave it back to the natives.

Similarly, acts of many over the last 2 years have been performed to show the corruption of a cult that resides within AA, MIDTOWN. Soon we will too see the demise of them due to the concerned, selfless act's of these people for the good people of AA.

Posted by: Mahatma Gandhi | September 17, 2007 1:15 PM

As I have been reading through AA message boards and blogs over the past few days, I find myself very dismayed at the extreme lack of concern and outrage over the brouhaha surrounding the mainstream media's reporting of the allegations and investigation of the Midtown AA Groups of the Washington, D.C. area. The few comments that I have found have been along the lines of, " This is terrible, but I'm glad that it doesn't happen in my group." I have learned over the past few days that these happenings have been known to AA members for several years now. Perhaps those people have quit caring about this matter, but it seems to me that they never cared at all. And that is the truly sad thing about this whole matter.

At one point in my life, I cared deeply about AA, to the point of defending it against anything that I felt was impinging upon the purity of its message. But I doubt that I would have spoken out against this situation, as I also believed in the value and virtue of the AA Traditions. It would simply be a matter left to the people of that area to deal with. But today, as I feel that the steps and traditions of AA serve only to further the interests of AA World Services and AA's General Service Office while subjugating the thoughts and opinions of AA's members, I must speak out about what I believe to be a matter of grave importance.

Up to this point, my writing here has been directed towards those who doubt and disbelieve what AA promotes, as the majority of AA adherents simply dismiss my writing as "AA bashing." But now, I ask my opponents to give these words some heartfelt, thoughtful consideration.

Why is it that the traditions of AA counsel against speaking out openly about the injustices being perpetrated on vulnerable people at the Midtown Groups? Is it for the benefit of the newcomer to AA, who may find herself at a group like that, or is it for the benefit of the public image of AA? How is it that two AA groups being under investigation by the FBI do not affect AA as a whole? Why is it that there is so much indifference to this situation from most AA members? And why do your trusted servants in New York refuse to offer any opinion concerning this? Do they even care? More importantly, do you care?

In the light of these allegations, how do you think the parent of an alcoholic or addicted teenager feels about sending their child to AA for help? Even without all the other objections that I have about AA, I would hesitate to recommend AA to any teenager solely on the basis of this scandal, and the lack of any action by the membership of AA. Do you truly believe that AA is helpful? And if you do, then why don't you demand some sort of action from your leaders? I have been accused of "killing alcoholics" by speaking out against AA, and possibly planting seeds of doubt that might prevent someone from going to an AA meeting. By allowing the actions of the Midtown AA Groups to go unchallenged, and allowing this situation to stain the reputation of AA, you are guilty of the same. Or is AA itself more important than the the people who it wishes to help?

The tired old hack of,"The Midtown Groups aren't 'real' AA", is simply an evasion of responsibility. It is an evasion of AA's responsibility statement and it is an evasion of the responsibility that we all have concerning the protection of vulnerable people from criminal behavior. AA's traditions do not exist to protect or help the individual, they serve only to protect the corporate image of AA. Yet they may ultimately prove to be AA's downfall. By tacitly condoning pathological behaviors of individuals and groups of AA, these traditions demonstrate to the public that AA exists not to help suffering alcoholics, but only to further its own existence. In the eyes of the general public, AA is AA is AA. They aren't concerned with the splitting of hairs surrounding "real AA" and "AA, Inc." They don't care about AA's traditions or how each group is autonomous. They simply look to AA as a place for help for their loved ones who have a problem with alcohol.

AA is not an ideal that is worthy of self-sacrifice like the ideals of freedom and liberty that our forefathers sacrificed themselves for. It is exactly what its preamble says it is; "A fellowship of men and women..." No organization or fellowship can truly claim to have well-being for itself when it refuses to ensure the well-being of its members. Anonymity only serves to keep people within AA from speaking out openly and publicly about matters such as this.

I would ask you to ask yourselves, " Do I wish for any others coming to AA to be harmed by the behaviors demonstrated by the Midtown Groups?" If you have personal experience with criminal behavior in the Midtown Groups, or any other AA group, I would ask you to seek the courage to speak out against those activities, to the police and to the public. If you are simply a member of AA, and truly care about helping others, I would ask you to demand answers and action from your trusted servants. It is time to find out if the leadership of AA are truly trusted servants who are responsible and accountable to the members that they serve.

Respectfully yours,

E r i c F r y

Posted by: Anonymous | September 17, 2007 1:55 PM

Eric, thanks for your comments above. There is huge amount of text written above and in the previous blog but I'm sure you have seen that there are members who are strongly opposed to the Midtown practices. Many in the Washington area have learned about this only recently via the media. Also, many former members of Midtown and other members have apparently informed our "trusted servants" in NY and elsewhere to no avail.

I think all of us who want a safe AA for young people and everyone else coming in are continuing to push for that. However, I think the answer is probably not to be found principally within our program but outside it. Many parents are already saying that if their children needed help, they would not let them within fifty miles of AA.

There are many proposed solutions for working with treatment centers, health care professionals, churches, and other people and institutions who have facilitated AA in the past by referring patients and hosting meetings. Although they are aware of the difference between "real AA" and "Midtown Cult AA", as this grows and our fellowship continues to do nothing this distinction may fade quickly. As a member in Norther Va with over 20 years I can feel it fading. I have already gotten a few angry calls from families whom I encouraged to send a young person to AA, not because of any bad experiences there, but simply on account of the media coverage.

As you know, the practically automatic response of many members to this information Midtown is to shy away from controversy, recite the tradition of independent groups, to tell me God will take care of it, to not take someone else's inventory, to say there are no big deals, to say ending sexual abuse is not one of our primary purposes, or any other manner of excuse that will allow them to do nothing.

Even worse than the Midtown situation is the possibility that this cult movement, with its associated sexual and economic predation, is growing throughout our country and in others. At least that's reported in this blog.

So although I will work to try and end this situation at Midtown Cult, I don't think the future looks very bright for our fellowship.

But that's no excuse for our doing nothing.

Posted by: DCC | September 17, 2007 2:49 PM

Deshu and Shawn should be ashamed of themselves for what they have done here. For everyone's information, they are extremely close friends and are currently in Midtown (even though for the most part they have both suggested, numerous times and under different names, that they are not) and they both have continually sandblasted anyone who has spoken out against Midtown in the Post threads. Shawn is responsible for the outright internet throat cutting (posting first and last names and pictures of A.A. members who are outspoken against midtown, on many different web sites. Shawn has also posted personal 5th steps of those who have left Midtown, on this and other internet web sites), while Deshu continues to spread his Midtown BS and character assassinates A.A. members while using their first name as a means to an end, which of course, is to protect his Cult. That whole, "look at those other people" crap is getting old too. You know, now that he's suggested looking at "other people", someone very close to him...his girlfriend perhaps, a Psychiatrist herself, has suggested to her pigeons that they discontinue taking their psychotropic medications. It would be easy to assume that the Medical Association that is responsible for her licensing would be interested in this information, considering that she took an oath to "do no harm". I know I would be, if she were sponsoring my daughter. Perhaps she's sponsoring your daughter right now?

What I find truly disgusting is Deshu and Shawn's complete willingness to drop our Traditions into the toilet, all in the effort to maintain and protect their Cult, but when anyone speaks out against the horrors conducted by their Cult, one of them immediately withdraws the same traditions that they so flagrantly discarded with their excrement, and holds them both up as evidence of wrong doing by "those midtown haters who are hurting A.A.". The excrement on the traditions is from their Cult and the toilet that they and their Cult have thrown them in. When either of those retards suggests that it was one of "those Midtown haters" who soiled them, it shows their intelligence level, which if combined between these two rejects, might add up to 84.

Deshu himself personally manipulated WAIA into formally suggesting during the Intergroup Representative meeting that people should stop breaking other A.A. member's anonymity on the internet... WTF is going through his mind, I will never know? Either he's enormously clueless of his own actions, as well as his soul mate, Shawnblob, or he's just another Midtown sociopath in good Midtown standing? I don't care either way. I just can't get over how pathetic both of them are. I doubt that either of them has ever taken "onegoodlookinthemirror" themselves.

Just to think about either one of them makes me sick. If there is a God, may She find it in Her grace to help both of them become what most of us believe to be an actual human being.

Posted by: Curious | September 17, 2007 4:27 PM

Deshu and Shawn should be ashamed of themselves for what they have done here. For everyone's information, they are extremely close friends and are currently in Midtown (even though for the most part they have both suggested, numerous times and under different names, that they are not) and they both have continually sandblasted anyone who has spoken out against Midtown in the Post threads. Shawn is responsible for the outright internet throat cutting (posting first and last names and pictures of A.A. members who are outspoken against midtown, on many different web sites. Shawn has also posted personal 5th steps of those who have left Midtown, on this and other internet web sites), while Deshu continues to spread his Midtown BS and character assassinates A.A. members while using their first name as a means to an end, which of course, is to protect his Cult. That whole, "look at those other people" crap is getting old too. You know, now that he's suggested looking at "other people", someone very close to him...his girlfriend perhaps, a Psychiatrist herself, has suggested to her pigeons that they discontinue taking their psychotropic medications. It would be easy to assume that the Medical Association that is responsible for her licensing would be interested in this information, considering that she took an oath to "do no harm". I know I would be, if she were sponsoring my daughter. Perhaps she's sponsoring your daughter right now?

What I find truly disgusting is Deshu and Shawn's complete willingness to drop our Traditions into the toilet, all in the effort to maintain and protect their Cult, but when anyone speaks out against the horrors conducted by their Cult, one of them immediately withdraws the same traditions that they so flagrantly discarded with their excrement, and holds them both up as evidence of wrong doing by "those midtown haters who are hurting A.A.". The excrement on the traditions is from their Cult and the toilet that they and their Cult have thrown them in. When either of those retards suggests that it was one of "those Midtown haters" who soiled them, it shows their intelligence level, which if combined between these two rejects, might add up to 84.

Deshu himself personally manipulated WAIA into formally suggesting during the Intergroup Representative meeting that people should stop breaking other A.A. member's anonymity on the internet... WTF is going through his mind, I will never know? Either he's enormously clueless of his own actions, as well as his soul mate, Shawnblob, or he's just another Midtown sociopath in good Midtown standing? I don't care either way. I just can't get over how pathetic both of them are. I doubt that either of them has ever taken "onegoodlookinthemirror" themselves.

Just to think about either one of them makes me sick. If there is a God, may She find it in Her grace to help both of them become what most of us believe to be an actual human being.

Posted by: Curious | September 17, 2007 4:27 PM

Once again. For those who keep refering to the Anonymity Statement/ Tradition of AA with regards to Midtown, THEY ARE NOT AA, IT DOES NOT APPLY HERE.

Posted by: Rob K | September 17, 2007 5:38 PM

If I am not in AA and someone has told me they are in AA. I can say what I want about them. They broke their anonymity! Therefore, those of us not in AA don't have to follow any of your ridiculous Traditions.
To Eric Fry: Amen, big kudos to you. Enough of these Sober people continuing to justify Midtown behavior! In the name of AA and it's Traditions...Nonsense! Garbage!
Anyone with an alcohol or drug problem..Stay the hell away from AA. You can certainly find a much better spiritual path elsewhere.

Posted by: Wondering | September 17, 2007 6:39 PM

If I am not in AA and someone has told me they are in AA. I can say what I want about them. They broke their anonymity! Therefore, those of us not in AA don't have to follow any of your ridiculous Traditions.
To Eric Fry: Amen, big kudos to you. Enough of these Sober people continuing to justify Midtown behavior! In the name of AA and it's Traditions...Nonsense! Garbage!
Anyone with an alcohol or drug problem..Stay the hell away from AA. You can certainly find a much better spiritual path elsewhere.

Posted by: Wondering | September 17, 2007 6:39 PM

wondering, of course you do not have to follow AA traditions. Members stay anonymous in the public media and do not disclose other's membership in AA. In person we can certainly tell people we are in this program and many people we know are aware of it.

However, you should know as a non-member that all the arguments here for keeping the Midtown situation hidden and covert in the name of AA traditions are completely phony.
There is no justification whatsoever for Midtown's behavior or in not taking steps to stop their behavior.

When I needed help AA was there for me and I want it to be there for others in the future who need help. Midtown is a disgrace and has no right to operate in our name. However, members who do nothing to stop it are not serving their fellowship here.


Posted by: DCC | September 17, 2007 7:34 PM

According to our 2007 membership survey pamphlet
73% in A.A. today serve and promote the follow-ship in the S.S. same system as in Midtown

Guide/controller are synonymous words.

Why is everyone trying to fool them selfs and justify humans as relieving an alcoholic in the first place.
The sole purpose of the Big Book to to show another precisely how we recovered. Period
Not this guide you propaganda when one is already in A.A.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 17, 2007 9:32 PM

The Big Book states in the

FOREWORD TO FIRST EDITION pg xiii

"To show other alcoholics precisely how we have recovered is the main purpose of this book. For them, we hope these pages will prove so convincing that no further authentication will be necessary."

Posted by: ???????? | September 17, 2007 10:07 PM

I just went to Midtown on Sunday for the first time and it was a GREAT AA meeting! People were dressed nice, I was greeted warmly at the door, there was plenty of coffee. A few asked if I had a sponsor, and since I have one, it did not bug me one bit. I think I will go back this coming Sunday. Although the posts on this blog are mostly negative, it did help point me in the right direction. Thanks for letting me know that there was such a good AA meeting in the DC area!

Posted by: Found out for myself | September 18, 2007 9:09 AM

My life has been saved by the people at Midtown who practice the AA way of life, and for that I am forever grateful.

Posted by: Anonymous One | September 18, 2007 9:22 AM

Found out for myself wrote: "Although the posts on this blog are mostly negative, it did help point me in the right direction. Thanks for letting me know that there was such a good AA meeting in the DC area!"

If you ONLY read the hate-filled vitrol posted by those who defended Midtown, and still felt like there was something there that you wanted....then god bless ya. I didn't get sober to cuss people out and behave that way--that was my using behavior.

If you read the personal accounts of those who were harmed by Midtown, and still felt like there was something there that you wanted....then your "picker" might be a bit broken, you know?

Posted by: Jane D. | September 18, 2007 10:59 AM

Found out for myself - If you think this blog pointed you to a good meeting, and that meeting was Midtown, clearly you didn't read ANYTHING posted here. No one in there right mind would START attending that meeting if they had read anything here. Therefore, we can assume you and Anonymous One have just been planted here to praise the group of sickos who extort your donations for their personal gain, practice medicine illegally, and lie and maniuplate the young and vulnerable newcomers into sexual relationships of their choice. If that's what you want, then that's what you'll get.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 18, 2007 12:03 PM

'found out', there is an overwhelming amount of evidence to an objective outsider that Midtown is an abusive cult. I have friends who have personal experience of Midtown who verify the description in the article and postings above.

Perhaps if you do not trust the experience of myriad others you can become a member of Midtown Cult and test for yourself whether Benjamin Franklin's famous quote is true or not: "Experience keeps a dear [expensive] school, but fools will learn in no other." It's just a quote and I make no representation about you. But I will add, yes, their Sunday night meeting was friendly to me (though I did not join their group) and everybody else says the same. It's after you're in the front door...

Posted by: DCC | September 18, 2007 12:05 PM

Interesting.

Posted by: an | September 18, 2007 1:21 PM

'found out' , keep attending those meetings and you will FIND OUT.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 18, 2007 1:25 PM

Forgot to add my handle....It was I who just posted.

Posted by: an | September 18, 2007 1:25 PM

Found out...: You can go to whatever meeting you want. You can eventually make Midtown your home group if you really like it. You won't be able to vote at a group conscious unless, of course, you drop your current sponsor and get a MT sponsor. Just remember the old phrase "You can't judge a book by its cover." I suggest you spend more time with those nicely dressed people that you met on Sunday night and see for yourself.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 18, 2007 1:49 PM

well said 'blank'

Posted by: an | September 18, 2007 1:54 PM

Clancy's group, the Big Book group and others formed a small committee to handle "all" group affairs. They have no group conscious as a whole.

They been doing it for years and they rotate only to the selected, not elected by a group conscious but by the committee that were put in place and ran by guess who?

This gives them a "controlled rotating committee" so they don't have to ask the group, they just lead them.

These are PRISON YARD GAMES that no one can see up front or from attending the group because the Whole group is run by the controlled committee and not obvious to the group nor some of it's home members.

Sit and watch, just because the monkey came off your back doesn't mean the circus left town.

The method described above is in effect in many places, what do you think Clancy and Mike talked about and why from L.A?

Take a closer look at the "Sponsor system" that rotates.

Everyone should make it their home group and talk to others that have no clue.

A game you all are playing to some extent.


Posted by: Timewilltell | September 18, 2007 7:22 PM

I left the Bellflower group over 20 years ago when they initiated this type of sponsorship system strategy from the Clancy's clans.
Stayed sober using A.A. a my home group coming up on 3 decades now.

At least if I do not attract anyone you won't find me promoting this B.S.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 18, 2007 7:52 PM

AA sounds like AA is really messed up, especially since this guy Clancy goes all over the country and speaks a conventions,,in the name of AA..I once heard him speak and I walked out because he was making fun of "Over-Eaters Anonymous" and making fun of people on Prozac. I guess AA doesn't care..I have lost all faith, trust and respect for AA. What a bunch of scam artists.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 18, 2007 9:26 PM

How is this "Clancy" related to Midtown Cult?

Posted by: DCC | September 19, 2007 12:05 AM

Posted by: | September 18, 2007 09:26 PM
"AA sounds like AA is really messed up"

The program is still great
The fellowship is wonderful
Many in the groups have a problems as a direct result of ............ sick of hearing something promoted constantly yet not mentioned in the Big Book for a good reasons, (A.) it's not part of ones program in A.A. nor in a step.
(B) no human power can relive us (c) people places and things easily divert us and hinders others soul from it's goal.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 19, 2007 1:17 AM


Posted by: DCC | September 19, 2007 12:05 AM
"How is this "Clancy" related to Midtown Cult?"

Call Clancy and ask him. Why would someone in L.A. would call and talk to Mike Q in Washington DC then defend their position with no empathy for the victims blaming the parents of the victims, for what? looking for help with a disease?

Posted by: Anonymous | September 19, 2007 1:28 AM

DCC, Clancy I. was Mike Q's grand sponsor. Apparantly Clancy has sponsored many who start groups run just like Midtown all over the world. He's the common thread in all this sick wacked out AA sh*t.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 19, 2007 7:08 AM

How to overcome the victim mentality From the lips of Jesus

The first thing Jesus says is, Do you want to get well?
What kind of question is this?
Of course he wants to get well! It sounds silly, but it wasn't. This man had been there for years and still was not healed. I believe he was a pity junky. I believe he is like some of us.....hooked on being a victim.....hooked on this angel dust of the soul. Or else why would Jesus have asked him this question, do you want to get well. This is a legitimate question for such folk.

Listen to what this fellow says.
I have no one to help me. While I am trying to get into the water, someone else cuts in line. Its not my fault, sound familiar?

Today, we have become good at playing the BLAME GAME, blaming someone else for our problems.

Regardless what the situation, we are ready to maintain its not my fault...it
can't possibly be me.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 19, 2007 10:19 AM

Clancy was mentioned at sessions.

Posted by: an | September 19, 2007 11:04 AM

Cat Phrase Means

miaowbu Feed me
meeow Pet me
mrooww I love you
mrow I feel like making noise
miaowmiaow Play with me

Posted by: Anonymous | September 19, 2007 11:34 AM

I hope some animal never bores a hole in my head and lays its eggs in my brain, because later you might think you're having a good idea but it's just eggs hatching.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 19, 2007 11:45 AM

Sometimes the only way you can feel good about yourself is by making someone else look bad. And I'm tired of making other people feel good about themselves.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 19, 2007 11:48 AM

Because people have a need to control and dominate others the larger the group the less control one has, right?
WRONG, If there is "NO" GROUP CONSCIOUS AS A WHOLE, all it will be is a sober GROUP WILL, THAT'S WHY you are not invited to their party unless you conform, all in the good name of A.A. and the look at what we do BS.

How do you tell the difference between a Group will and a group conscious?
Simple have an open group conscious. Fake it and you end up with a will no matter how good it looks.

This blog is a conscious of careers and victims asking for help and the sponsored trained learned willed ones not only refuse but mock there victims around A.A. in the name of A.A. is surly sickening to anyone personally conscious.

"His own blood has cried out to help others for God sakes"

Now, if one cannot HEAR THE CRY OUT HERE, and needs to witness the sickness for themselves in order to believe what is and has been going on, they need to be committed, and that's not to A.A.
to a place where they can find (not this con find b.s) a conscious of their own.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 19, 2007 12:29 PM

Posted by: DCC | September 19, 2007 12:05 AM
"How is this "Clancy" related to Midtown Cult?"

"CONformity"

Posted by: Anonymous | September 19, 2007 1:07 PM

Just thought I would look in on the blog, see what was going on since my last visit. Some of it is fairly dissociative.
To "Found out" - sociopaths are the most charming people in the world, and you did well there because you knew the message and heard the message in spite of the messengers who you do not know. They say the only normal people are those you do not know yet.
DCC - I am sorry that you do not have hope for the program of AA. There are many people out there participating in healthy groups, one of the gifts of sobriety is the ability to shift through the BS and learn to get what you need.
Eric, there are many who do and did not turn their backs on trying to deal with this situation, but remember that each person has a different set of strengths in this program and who are we to judge others who put up with this BS.
We in AA are a reflection of our society, AA is not the problem, AA is a solution to the problem, there are others. What I do know is that I am responsible to protect the new person yet also respect their right to make their own mistakes, and be there for them, not in judgement, but to pick them up when they get kicked to the curb. There are many predators, male and female in the program and not in the program. I usually severe those relationships as I do not want them to get the impression that their behavior is acceptable.
We are all capable of abusing power, be careful DCC, your cause is noble, but is your heart pure, this can become so consuming that you can begin to look like the problem to those you are trying to help. I have had to back off more than once when my good intentions got misinterpreted because my delivery was too passionate, too angry, too loud. You have a wonderful message, AA is alive and well, if you are feeling like AA may not survive, maybe you need to travel around to some new meetings. You have access to an incredible amount of people with an incredible amount of recovery, and many wonderful people. The message of recovery in AA has not changed, nor has the ability of that message to transform lives changed. When I got sober over thirty years ago, people thought us young people were going to make AA go to hell in a handbasket, but here we are, and those old people who "spilled more than you ever drank" have forty, fifty years. When I came in, ten years of sobriety qualified you as an oldtimer, then when I had twenty years people with thirty years were oldtimers, now that I have thirty years unfortunately my bones tell me I am getting to be an oldtimer, but thank god I don't feel like it.
The spiritual axiom mentioned in the tenth step in the 12 and 12 reminds me that I must always be looking at me. All victims can be perpetrators, any human is capable of abusing power. God has given me many gifts, probably more than most, I used to abuse them by not using my talents, I can also use those talents to stoop to others level. I only have a daily reprieve from that behavior, just like I do from drinking.
With that said, DCC, keep up the good work! We probably know each other

Posted by: used to live in the DC area | September 19, 2007 11:52 PM

'used to live in DC area', thanks for your support here. I have not lost all hope for AA but I think we need some new guidance, traditions, or framework for protecting the people who come to our program. Right now our stance seems to be that Bill W. is dead and our program ought never ever change a thing. God will take care of it all.

I doubt this will be all consuming to me. I have no personal relationship with anyone in Midtown and not that many in the past. All there are here is words, words, words so I make my words strong. I think Midtown Cult people respond to strong words as they have become used to them via their authoritarian environment. I also believe in repetition, though it is quite tiresome. I'm confident that I can outlast the Cultists in this blog and that everyone who reads their constant barrage of excuses, rationalizations, and arguments will see every single such instance controverted. It isn't very time consuming for me to do this and I owe this much to the program which saved my life.

As far as getting more involved, I am now a GSR again after many years. I'm not under the impression that I can lead some crusade to change our fellowship from within - in fact, I have not the slightest interest in such a thing. I'm a member to stay sober and because I have many friends in the program, and dealing with Midtown is a very unwelcome chore for me. I do think that if this threat continues, and most members turn their back on it, prospective young newcomers should be warned in some way.

However, the word is already spreading in the DC area to keep teenagers far away from AA. As you may know, it's spread thru the therapist community (the open letter written by a therapist before the media coverage), among churches (again, before the media coverage) and among many, many parents and the general public (as a result of media coverage).

The only way our fellowship will change internally, IMO, is if enough members are resolved to see it change. If they are simply waiting around for an Act of God, like Mike Q dying or Midtown being hit by a meteorite, and few members do anything, then I think this cult movement (which seems to be gaining steam all over as described in this blog) may ruin our program. However, if members show any interest and will in getting our program back on track, I think it could be done simply and with relatively little effort. (Of course, convincing members to show "will" is most difficult so perhaps a different word is needed. :-)

There are many good people in our program - almost all of them in fact - but as Albert Einstein said "The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing." Please email me at midtownfeedback@yahoo.com if you wish.

Posted by: DCC | September 20, 2007 12:56 AM

I would LOVE to get a cup of coffee with DCC and "used to live in the DC area". Thank you both for being here. Thank you both for giving a damn and thank you both for setting a good example. We need all the good examples that we can get around here.

Posted by: Thank you both for being here. You too Jane! | September 20, 2007 1:13 AM

Good exapmle my eye. Whatever!

Posted by: Anonymous | September 20, 2007 10:12 AM

So many people in the program have NO idea about this situation.

They do not know that so many victims have come forward. They don't know about the follow up stories in the Post and on the local DC news shows.

They do not know that AA GSO issued a press release a month before this story broke describing how it can help "the very young alcoholic."

They do not know that this "scandal" is now part of AA's entry in the online encyclopedia, Wikipedia.

Every person I've chatted with has felt much differently after learning these FACTS. This is not my opinion or anyone else's. These are impartial facts which may be verified with a few minutes on the computer.

And after learning this information, the resounding opinion I've heard is that WITHOUT A DOUBT, AA as a whole has been harmed. And SOMETHING ought to be done.

Once presented with the facts, people will decide for themselves. The churches have. The rehabs and counselors have. And so shall the rest of the public and AA.

If, after, learning of these facts, the majority of folks decide that AA ought not react, then that's that.

But we can't yet claim that we're making informed decisions when most of us don't even have the information. Asking people to vote at a group conscience when they haven't been made aware of the issues, is not what our program is about.

And if Midtown wants to add to the information, I would HEARTILY welcome their input.

OPEN AND HONEST. That's what we ought to be working with here.

I will soon post my letter to our General Service Board asking them to consider this issue, and I would encourage everyone to continue spreading the FACTS--not only to GSO but to other AAs and your intergroups and so on.

Posted by: Jane D. | September 20, 2007 10:52 AM

Midtown meetings around A.A. are plentiful. how can one tell the difference? Group conformity, rather than on an individual based unity.

What are the contributing factors that create this insanity
1. sponsorship system
2. Group conformity not individual unity as a whole
3. Lack of respect.
The key to our usefulness.

Crying to "MOM" is not an answer

Our world service has lost copyrights and flooded A.A. with promotional pamphlets since Bill W passed on. Example: "Do you think you are different" "Questions and answers on sponsorship", "Is A.A. for you" what does this mean world service and A.A.ers, all theses different promoted distinctions, Hence the "sponsor" mantra is a non-sequitor to an alcoholic here already, and is not written in the Big Book, the simple fact that God could and would if sought was counted on before all the B.S got injected.

What are the chances of GSO even responding here? NIL - How can someone respond who is not responsible themselves? A.A. as a whole needs to take a closer look at its public relations policy before the public takes a look at the harm sponsors is doing claiming they are A.A. , a 5% recovery rate for the past 20+ years should be evident enough that an inventory should have been taken LONG AGO like the one at the 1964 world conference meeting.

So what's the next step? Call your sponsor? The writings are on the walls in graffiti.

Posted by: Timewilltell | September 20, 2007 12:16 PM

Please send info on CFG and Rob K to libertyflagship@gmail.com

Posted by: Anonymous | September 20, 2007 1:46 PM

'timewilltell', I am 95% in favor of what you have written above and believe you have added a great deal of your experience, strength, hope, and wisdom to this discussion. I think around three fourths of members have sponsors (I am not one of those members) and the sponsor-sponsee relationship is cherished by many, many members I know. However, it is certainly subject to unbelievable abuse as we are seeing here. And even if not abusive, it can surely limit a person's growth as well as enhance it, depending on the nature of the relationship. (As an example of the former, I know a member with over a decade who calls her sponsor several times a day and obeys her every order in the smallest details of everyday life. But I also know members who have enriched their lives immeasurably with a sponsor's loving support and acceptance.)

Posted by: DCC | September 20, 2007 1:58 PM

(blank), if you have been following this discussion you can go to CFG's web site and sign up.

Posted by: DCC | September 20, 2007 2:01 PM

Jane D., I appreciate your recent comments very much and think a letter to GSO is an excellent idea. I'll definitely help out if I can.

Posted by: DCC | September 20, 2007 2:02 PM

DCC
"But I also know members who have enriched their lives immeasurably with a sponsor's loving support and acceptance.)"

Sponsors or Gods grace and the unity in the fellowship?

Posted by: Anonymous | September 20, 2007 2:41 PM

DCC
The sadness here is felt and shared by many. To look at reality head on is not easy to face and even harder to get the courage to change it when one is dependent.

I sit on the side lines sober and will respond, I will also send a letter if you think it will help, I am emotionally detached from these people, places and things that A.A. mentions to watch out for in its book.

I came to believe in God and do no make fun of anyone who substitutes and praises others wanting to turn A.A. into their religion, but It has gone on to long and to much watching and hearing our brothers and sisters dying on the side lines while others are just praising others is sicking, and not speak up, just like the victims didn't at the time of need is also sick.

A.A. members use to wonder who will might be next to go out, today the sponsorship systems arrogance just says its better them than me, who is better here, or are so many just way off track completely.

When will the recovery rate return? Depends on what one believes in rather than is dependent on.

The Big Book is clear the outside sponsorship system is not clear and is the cancer that has taken many alcoholics chance away from real A.A., most likely more than thats here in A.A. today.
Unity not Conformity.

Posted by: Timewilltell | September 20, 2007 3:57 PM

'timewilltell', I've never heard any member say that their recovery or happiness was exclusively due to a sponsor but they seem to appreciate and benefit from being especially close to one person. As far as I'm concerned this is up to them. I'm sure there are groups that encourage uniformity but the groups I go to do not and all kinds of opinions are welcome.

I think Jane D. is going to post a letter to GSO as I think I will here. I think the more letters to GSO on this the better. It's entirely possible GSO will ignore them but I do not give up easily.

I have no idea what our 'rate of recovery' is. But these days throngs of people are forced thru our doors by therapists, courts, rehab centers, etc. I believe we are a fellowship for those who want support and, well, fellowship in staying sober. We are not a treatment center although, like many 'old timers' I did not go to any treatment program and experienced nothing short of a miracle in our program. People still do; I've seen it. I can see people at their first meeting (and usually meet someone like that every week) and can get a feeling if this person will 'make it'. I'd say many many people who sincerely want to make it do make it. I always ask them if I (or a nearby female is it's a female coming in) can take him/her to a meeting tomorrow. Sometimes it's a 'yes, thank you, I want to go' but more often it's a 'I'll do anything to stay sober but I'm just at a meeting today, why should I have to go again tomorrow?' It seems a pretty good first indicator though that's not why I ask the question.

Posted by: DCC | September 20, 2007 4:17 PM

What the H are we gonna do about Barney the dinosaur? He's a pervert. Standing there all purple.

Posted by: Arrest Barney | September 20, 2007 4:20 PM

'arrested', NO MORE MIDTOWN VICTIMS!

Posted by: DCC | September 20, 2007 4:23 PM

Describes Rob, DCC, Jane and CFG:

Embittered by an abusive upbringing, seething with resentment, irritated by others' failure to fulfil his or her superior sense of entitlement, and fuelled by anger resulting from rejection, CFG and Rob display an obsessive, compulsive and self-gratifying urge to displace their uncontrolled aggression onto others whilst exhibiting an apparent lack of insight into their behavior and its effect on people around them. Jealousy and envy motivate CFG and Rob to identify a competent and popular individual or group who they then try to control and subjugate through projection of CFG and Rob's own inadequacy and incompetence. A paranoid fear of exposure compels CFG and Rob to perceive that person or group as a threat and hence neutralise and dispose of them as quickly as possible. Once a person or group has been eliminated there's an interval of between 2 days and 2 weeks before CFG and Rob chooses another target and the cycle starts again.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 20, 2007 4:55 PM

DCC
I've never heard any member say that their recovery or happiness was exclusively due to a sponsor but they seem to appreciate and benefit from being especially close to one person. As far as I'm concerned this is up to them."

Why is it even promote and praised right at the door around A.A.? played as a threat that if you don't something is going to happen, then have the addasity to state its left up to them is as absurd as it's English definition of the word in the A.A. program.

Why does the system ask ? when A.A. asks it's members not to even tell another they are even alcoholic !!!!!!
People firing their sponsor, sponsors firing their sponsees because they don't do what their told, people pleaser's following every word when to and not too share, all out of promoted fear and a system that capitalizes on A.A., and is saying what?

Think about it's sickness without having to praise the sick.

Think about your part in this promotional con game and not even in the Big Book.

Think about the midtown meeting game,
keep promoting and we will keep getting

Posted by: Anonymous | September 20, 2007 4:58 PM

You really think writing a letter to AA asking them to acknowledge and address claims of kids dying and being molested is the result of seething resentment and obsession? Seriously?

Posted by: Jane D. | September 20, 2007 5:07 PM

DCC
"'timewilltell', I am 95% in favor of what you have written above and believe you have added a great deal of your experience, strength, hope, and wisdom to this discussion."

It's not about who's right nor who's wrong it's about who's left. Not looking to be favored just relaying the Big Book uninterpreted meaning not my opinion and at least. I do not promote or stand for crap that is not even in the Big Book and you know I am clear on that.

I have a lot of friends in different states
and many here as A.A. grew up around me and I grew up in A.A.

If I don't attract one person I can assure you with rigorous honesty I didn't promote the outside sponsorship system problems that many of it's victims experienced and few still praise and promote not even looking to the fellowship God gave us for fun and for free.

Posted by: Timewilltell | September 20, 2007 5:39 PM

'abusiveseethingrejectionobsessivecompulsivejealosyinadequacyparanoid', I encourage you to keep going. Don't sell yourself short. Get it all out.

Posted by: DCC | September 20, 2007 5:45 PM

DCC
"Don't sell yourself short. Get it all out."

It be great to get it out and not have it harm another, but most don't have the courage because they sold their soul to another dependency.

Posted by: Timewilltell | September 20, 2007 7:28 PM

I have read every blog on here over the last 2 days and I am utterly disgusted..This is the sickest bunch of double talk and nonsense I've ever heard. I'm not in AA, I am a father of 2 teenage girls and I am going to give my friends a heads up to just sit and read this bunch of garbage. AA , as it appears, is just some nuts all over the country who claim to be spiritual. Midtown, regular AA, Clancy AA. It stretches clear across the country. Stay away from the real human beings on this earth. You guys are like a bad infection. It is too far gone to change and why should you? You have Traditions...Keep up the scam it works for few.

Posted by: Unbelievable | September 20, 2007 8:15 PM

Unbelievable, I hear your concerns loud and clear. And as an active member of AA, I share many of them. Many of us are working to change how AA is handling this very, very serious and sick situation in our group.

I would like to ask you, if you are so inclined, to please share your view with our General Service Office in NY. I believe they need to hear you, too.

A.A. World Services, Inc.,
P.O. Box 459,
New York, NY 10163
(212) 870-3400.
publicinfo@aa.org

Posted by: Jane D. | September 20, 2007 9:16 PM

'Unbelievable', I have read your comment and I agree that the Midtown situation and growing cult presence in AA is sickening and dangerous. Everyone, but especially parents and those who work with young people, should be warned. And I say this as someone with almost 23 years membership in AA. Let me tell you, I am just as disgusted and angry as you are.

I do want to tell you that the overwhelming majority of folks in AA are good people and that this blog, with all its nastiness and abuse, is not representative of our program, Also, that our program has helped many, many people stop drinking and live productive lives. However, the way our program is constituted we seem almost paralyzed and defenseless as a fellowship to do anything about this awful situation.

I agree with Jane D. that you would be doing a service if you and (my suggestion) as many people as you know wrote strong letters or complaints to AA World Services at the addresses above. I believe they see this as entirely an internal problem to AA and do not consider the effect this abusive conduct has on our society and its children when it permits molestation of children, sexual abuse, cultlike practices and the other horrific practices described to continue. Society needs to let them know this conduct will not be tolerated. Thank you!

Posted by: DCC | September 20, 2007 10:18 PM

This was sent to FOM.


Hand lovingly outstretched, I welcome you to walk with me for awhile, for you are as much a part of me, as I am a part of you. Together, we are meant to reach for far greater heights and distances, than either one of us can reach alone, when we individually isolate ourselves within our all too limited, unique and closed minded human perspective. Unfortunately, we are separated by our ignorance of our truly connected and intertwining nature.

Love that part of me that is part of you and do not fear that part of me that is part of you, for the distance between you and I is only visually apparent and ultimately misleading on this plain of existence. When we go home again...and we will most certainly go home again; we will be together as we once were and all will be well as we travel forth through multi-dimensions, in limitless directions, simultaneously.

So please, remember, while we are here, on this plain of existence, when you see that I have stumbled and fallen down on the side of this road that we are walking on together; slow down and offer a loving, outstretched hand to me. An outstretched hand, intimately influenced by the love that we inherently have for one another as a whole entity, will help to see you through this humbling stage of enlightenment as well; for the degree at which you are of service to me is directly proportional to the extent that you are of service to yourself, for again, we are one.

Small visual differences aside, remember, I love you and I am here for you.


* Author wished to remain anonymous *

Posted by: For 'Unbelievable', by a sober member of AA. | September 20, 2007 10:25 PM

'wishing to stay anonymous', I am slightly in the dark here here but I believe on this one point you can enlighten me: who is FOM? Thank you!

Posted by: DCC | September 20, 2007 10:40 PM

Fall of Midtown. FOM

I copied and posted it from their Myspace site. I wanted 'Unbelievable' to have the option of knowing more about what AA members can and do express, in terms of spirituality. It was an attempt at balance, within this dramatic and unsettling blog. He will either accept this expressive gift of overall love from one AA member to all of humanity for what it is, or he will not. I only wanted to offer the option, for it touched me deeply, as I hope that it does him and all within midtown.

Posted by: 'Unbelievable', by a sober member of AA. | September 20, 2007 11:08 PM

I'm sorry. I meant to sigh the posting as, "To 'Unbelievable', by a sober member of AA." I can understand the confusion now. I hope that this clears things up.

Posted by: "To 'Unbelievable', by a sober member of AA." | September 20, 2007 11:16 PM

Sent concerns about A.A. as a whole to world service.

Posted by: Timewilltell | September 20, 2007 11:36 PM

'sober member', yes, I took it as a gift of love, very expressive, and I imagine he will as well. You're right, though, this is a pretty grim blog and some light and love is much appreciated.

I'm glad you cleared up FOM because I thought it might mean "friends of Midtown" and that was the basis of my confusion since it seemed so unlike a Midtown post. :-)

Posted by: DCC | September 21, 2007 1:28 AM

This is not my problem..It is however, my duty to inform and warn my friends about this just as I would any cult. If you in "Real AA" claim that Midtown and Clancy AA is a cult, then it is your responsibility to have them removed from your "Real AA." Otherwise you are part of this cult. Why in the world would I get involved with this group? I have no affiliation at all. I was reading the blogs as suggested by a friend who is also not in AA. If I ever do need to seek help for an addiction or any friends or family need help, I will seek a Professional. I will continue to spread the word about and warn those in question. Have you ever heard the phrase "Guilt by association?" That is all of AA. Those Traditions are a joke.

Posted by: Unbelievable | September 21, 2007 9:28 AM

Please send info on CFG, FOM, LAS, and Rob K to libertyflagship@gmail.com.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 21, 2007 9:37 AM

This is not my problem. I was merely reading the posts as a suggestion from a friend of mine. I have no affiliation with this group. It is pretty clear and not Rocket Science that "Real AA" is, by default, a cult also if you continue to have "Midtown AA" and "Clancy AA" in your groups of AA. I will however spread the word to stay away from this group. If I, or any friend or family member, need help for an addiction I will certainly seek Professional help as opposed to this bunch of garbage. Your Traditions are your worst enemy in this world today. Have you ever heard the phrase "Guilt by Association?"

Posted by: Unbelievable | September 21, 2007 10:01 AM

Yet another valid point on why all Midtown meetings need to be removed from the Where and When.

While you're voting to remove these Cult gatherings at WAIA, you can ask Shawn H why he is attempting to collect information on CFG, FOM, LAS and Rob K, by means of libertyflagship@gmail.com. Is that an example of following A.A.'s Traditions Shawn? No Shawn, it is not. It's just another example of Midtown crapping on our Traditions, while pointing the finger at CFG, FOM, LAS and Rob K.

When you go to WAIA to vote these Cult gatherings out from the Where and When, look for the fat, pasty, ugly white guy with straw like hair that usually has this look of dumfounded superiority attached to his face. You can't miss him. If that fails, look for the as*hole that is attempting to clap for someone being recognized for something he has not done himself. Clapping for someone else seems to inconvenience him a great deal. Remember Saturday Night Live's Sarcastic Family"? Remember how they sarcastically clapped for each other when one of them achieved something? I'm not joking. That is him. You should spot him immediately.

The damage that he and his Cult have done to A.A. is immense and it will not stop without you helping to stop it. He and his Cult should know exactly how you feel about that.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 21, 2007 11:14 AM

All I can say is that we are working on it, Unbelievable.

I appreciate your input. Your view is shared by many.

I believe that AA's inaction on this matter is born out of naiveté, rather than any malice. But that by no means excuses what has happened or our continued lack of attention to it.

Posted by: Jane D. | September 21, 2007 12:32 PM

[Yet another valid point on why all Midtown meetings need to be removed from the Where and When.

While you're voting to remove these Cult gatherings at WAIA, you can ask Shawn H why he is attempting to collect information on CFG, FOM, LAS and Rob K, by means of libertyflagship@gmail.com. Is that an example of following A.A.'s Traditions Shawn? No Shawn, it is not. It's just another example of Midtown crapping on our Traditions, while pointing the finger at CFG, FOM, LAS and Rob K. ]

Shawm why didn't you just put your name in the handle everyone knows who you are?

Posted by: an | September 21, 2007 1:26 PM

'Unbelievable', I almost entirely agree with you. AA absolutely needs to disassociate itself from the Midtown Cult and prevent it from calling itself AA. I venture to say that although Midtown has been operating like this for some 20 years, relatively few in our fellowship, even people like me who live 20 miles away, knew little or nothing about it, possibly only a few vague rumors, and certainly not about the level of abuse. It was only after Newsweek and the Washington Post published this story in the past few months that most people found out. As far as "Clancy AA" and other groups, I have no information other than what people have written in this blog. However, I think we now have a responsibility to find out what, if anything, is going on there.

AA is not an organization but a fellowship. Apart from putting their names and locations on a list of meeting times and places for publication, groups are not required to register or talk with each other at all. (And of course they are not required to list in the "where and when" at all but Midtown does.) No one is in charge.

As you mention our traditions (as we have no rules) can be seen as part of the problem. However, they never anticipated such a situation, and the perpetrators are tortuously interpreting the traditions to their advantage. They twist everything. Our traditions in no way, except by the most perverted interpretation, shield child molesters or allow this abusive and horrific conduct to continue.

Progress is going forward to rid ourselves of this menace. Although former Midtown members have been trying to spread the word for some years, anyone reading this blog can see the reception they received. These former members and friends did get Midtown expelled from churches (and to make it clear, it was Midtown, not many other AA groups who meet at these same churches, that was expelled).

We have really just started on a broad front as a result of the media coverage that the original groups also helped generate. The more people, both members and non members, who know the facts here and the more they know, the sooner the world will be rid of this problem. Thank you for your interest and support in getting the word out, 'Unbelievable'.

Posted by: DCC | September 21, 2007 1:42 PM

I have to agree that it is all Unbelievable. If my own daughter had not been a victim, I would not have beleived myself...and in fact didn't. It took awhile to sink in and I have been fighting against this group ever since. But how do you fight a system which doesn't really understand the purpose behind the Traditions. Many in AA don't even understand them, and unfortunately, don't want to. Start a Traditions discussion in your homegroup...mine does this once a month. It was not well received at first because newcomers are still trying to understand the steps. But now we all look forward to that meeting.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 21, 2007 3:18 PM

Blank "Start a Traditions discussion in your homegroup...mine does this once a month. It was not well received at first because newcomers are still trying to understand the steps. But now we all look forward to that meeting."

It's at the least a start even though it will not be well received at first, sorta like stopping the drinking.

Posted by: Timewilltell | September 21, 2007 3:58 PM

sorry, for what your daughter had experienced
around A.A.

Posted by: Timewilltell | September 21, 2007 4:02 PM

I agree that there should be more discussion of traditions. However, I think AA needs a Bill of Rights.

Our own Bill of Rights was not in our own Constitution but was proposed and ratified only several years later. Although the original Constitution stated how our government was organized and would function, and our earlier Declaration of Independence stated the underlying theory ("all men are created equal" being the most famous), it was not until the Bill of rights was added as the first 10 amendments to our Constitution that most of our cherished individual rights were spelled out and made official.

So our original Constitution did not guarantee freedom of speech, religion, the press, assembly, or a fair trial, the right to counsel and cross examine witnesses, and all the others. Today many people think of only our Bill of Rights when they think of the Constitution.

There were those who argued against the Bill of rights on the grounds that the spirit of our government clearly gave these freedoms to the people. I think most people would agree today that the inclusion in our Constitution of these rights was a very wise move.

Today we face a similar situation in our fellowship. The spirit of our fellowship and our traditions includes honesty, integrity, respect, tolerance, and dignity. (There are many more and I don't mean to be inclusive.) but the practice in some groups appears abusive and diametrically opposed to this spirit. The time is right for an AA Bill of Rights. the rights of anyone attending an AA meeting should be spelled out clearly and comprehensively, but simply.

For example, every person attending a meeting (a member, prospective member, or anyone else) should be free from pressure to have sex with any other member, sponsor, or other person. The Midtown Cult ("a woman with a dick in her mouth does not have a drink in her mouth", their saying goes) followed the creed that the way to achieve spirituality was through sex. (As it turned out, this was often sex between middle aged authority figures in the group and teenaged female newcomers.)

So if we had this freedom as an explicit right of every AA newcomer, prospect, and member, there would be something to point to at least theoretically prevent it from happening. I think that's extremely important. The right must be worded properly and the one above isn't. I have been working on a set and I'm happy to receive suggestions or comment at midtownfeedback@yahoo.com. Or in this blog although it may be hard to sift out.

Posted by: DCC | September 21, 2007 4:26 PM

Oh, I attended a 12&12 group that read the entire book aloud every 6 months and discussed a step or tradition each meeting. Very well attended and very worthwhile. That's all the group did.

Posted by: DCC | September 21, 2007 4:30 PM

The Traditions work well when not taken out of order and contexts and used for the unity purposes they were meant for, not the legalistic manor used to hide distinctions.

Tradition 12 would be hard to follow because they ask that there be "no distinctions amongst us" and the sponsorship system is a distinction in a class all by itself apart from the fellowship itself.

Posted by: Timewilltell | September 21, 2007 4:58 PM


75 years old
Clarksburg, Maryland MD
What is all this garbage about sponsors? AA is about helping others, it is not about taking the unwary captive, and thinking for him. Reread the first chapter, and you will see this. Read page 159, and you will see that Bill W was able to leave three people with less than three months sober and they were OK because they were working with others outside.
Religion says that no man can serve two masters, he will love one and hate the other. Now the only sponsor that we should pay attention to is our parents, or spouse, but we should not kill them just because they are not listening.
As screwed up as Bill W was, he did try to keep AA focused on helping others and to respect the minds of others. He says of AA certainly there is none that more jealously guards the right of the individual to think, talk, and act as he wishes. Now if you are doing any of these as your sponsor wishes that is a problem for your psychiatrist to try to get out of your system and not as something to foist on the innocent new comer as the AA ideal.

I try to get it across to people in AA, that the sponsor is not a living God on earth that has the duty to do anything to be a great help to a new comer.
Sponsorship is something that came into AA from the mid west, and it was just to protect the group from the alleged danger of strangers squealing on the members for their being drunks.
People say the sponsor is supposed to help the new comer with the steps. It takes a sponsor and a new comer not being aware that the steps are just suggested, to make this possible. AA is about helping others, and we cannot help them if we are their instructors or saviours. DR Bob and Bill W both said that the steps simmer done to love and service in the last, Now how much instruction on the subject does a new comer need? How much instruction on the sujbect does the old timer need on the subject?
Bil W said, "There is no dogma". Now the self appointed instructor sets himself up as an authority on AA, and on the new comer's life or whatever wild thought comes into his head. If one believes in God, what is he doing following a mere human, and if he doesn't believe in a God, why is he making a sponsor his God?
As far as breakups with a sponsor goes, try to help others instead of wondering what idiot to suck up to.

Posted by: Drunk Driver | September 21, 2007 5:18 PM

Drunk Driver, A.A. needs you to go to midtown meetings. Your message is needed there beyond question. This is where your message will do the most good and help the most A.A. members. Their God is their, home-group, sponsor and network, in that order. At the very least, please attend their mid-upper Montgomery County meetings and share your message. Please consider it.

Posted by: midtown needs Drunk Driver!!!!!! | September 21, 2007 5:37 PM

'DD', I agree that you could do a great service by taking your message to Midtown.

'timewilltell', I feel the same about your message. It's important for Midtown to hear.

This is a time when many Midtowners will be looking for a new message now that Mike Q is gone. Both of your messages are good for them to hear.

Not that others shouldn't go as well.

Posted by: DCC | September 21, 2007 7:12 PM

In 1692, children were expected to behave under the same strict code as the adults--doing chores, attending church services, and repressing individual differences. Any show of emotion, such as excitement, fear, or anger, was discouraged, and disobedience was severely punished. Children rarely played, as toys and games were scarce. Puritans saw these activities as sinful distractions.

But unlike young girls, boys had a few outlets for their imagination. They often worked as apprentices outside the home, practicing such skills as carpentry or crafts. Boys were also allowed to explore the outdoors, hunting and fishing. On the other hand, girls were expected to tend to the house, helping their mothers cook, wash, clean, and sew.

Many children learned to read, but most households owned only the Bible and other religious works--including a few that described evil spirits and witchcraft in great detail. There were a few books written for children, but these often warned against bad behavior and described the punishment that children would suffer for sinful acts.

Such was the world of Abigail Williams and Betty Parris during the long, dark winter of 1692. There was little to feed their imagination that did not warn of sin and eternal punishment. It is no wonder that the young girls were so captivated by Tituba's magical stories and fortune-telling games. These activities were strictly forbidden, which must have filled them with fear and guilt. This may have been one reason for their hysterical behavior. And at a time when young girls were forbidden to act out or express themselves, it is easy to see why they were so enraptured by the attention they received when they became "bewitched."

Of course, there were probably many factors behind the girls' actions. But what is more surprising than the accusations from these imaginative young girls is the reaction from the community. The girls may have sparked the witch hunt, but it was the adults who set the wheels into motion.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 21, 2007 10:37 PM


The outside sponsorship system that creates distinctions have been privately running people out in A.A. for 25+ years. The recovery rate is a clear indication of that for anyone who even cares to look.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 22, 2007 6:01 AM

ZZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzz.....

Posted by: jack c | September 23, 2007 7:13 AM

You may not know me, but I know everything about you...Psalm 139:1

Posted by: Anonymous | September 23, 2007 10:37 AM

Wake up Jack quit pulling the sheets over your head, gotta be responsible someday rather than be lead out the door and down the road.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 23, 2007 10:44 AM

DCC asked
"'DD', I agree that you could do a great service by taking your message to Midtown.

'timewilltell', I feel the same about your message. It's important for Midtown to hear.

This is a time when many Midtowners will be looking for a new message now that Mike Q is gone. Both of your messages are good for them to hear.

Not that others shouldn't go as well."

THE SAME MESSAGE IS IN THE TRADITION OF A.A. - READ THEM this time with the understanding they were written because they knew of these controllers and there people praisers long ago that were covered up with good deeds that diverted the alcoholics soul from is purpose.

Look at the self proclaimed "Father of Alcoholics Anonymous" around A,A in the 1940's who was an anti Conference & anti General Service Office leader of the anti groups people praise today.

Dr Bob sponsored this guy in through the hospital not knowing he was going to defect and infect A.A. from the inside out under Dr Bobs outside goodness.

Google - Clarence S father of A.A. - See who the great grand sponsor daddy of them all is today.

As dd said
Try to help others instead of wondering what idiot to suck up to.

Bottom line
Who's your daddy !!!!!

Posted by: Timewilltell | September 23, 2007 11:23 AM

COMMENT ON ABOVE POST ABOUT SALEM VILLAGE TRIALS


'anonymous historian', it appears you need further education in research.

When you cut and paste an article written and published by someone else, as you did in your Salem witch trial post above (see http://school.discoveryeducation.com/schooladventures/salemwitchtrials/life/children.html) it is necessary to provide a reference to that source. Otherwise it is considered dishonest and plagiarism.

When you try to draw some lesson from an historical event, you ought to actually read material on the event and not just cut and paste. When you read, you ought to read something more than a page on a web site written for children.

There is a mammouth amount written about the Salem witch trials of 1692, but I will refer to wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salem_witch_trials) here for convenience. Their article is sourced with footnotes so anyone can easily research further. You might be interested though in several right now:

* Elizabeth Reis, Damned Woman: Sinners and Witches in Puritan New England, Cornell University Press, Ithaca, NY, 1997
* Carol F. Karlsen, Devil in the Shape of a Woman: Witchcraft in Colonial New England, Norton: New York, 1987.


SALEM VILLAGE WITCH TRIALS OF 1692

Salem Village, Massachusetts was a small, isolated community and had little contact with other communities. Its form of government was largely a theocracy and religious leaders, especially the minister Samuel Parris, largely ran the village. Their religion was especially controlling and intrusive into personal life.

Continuing: "Women, they believed, should be totally subservient to men. By nature, a woman was more likely to enlist in the Devil's service than was a man, and women were considered lustful by nature. In addition, the small-town atmosphere made secrets difficult to keep and people's opinions about their neighbors were generally accepted as fact...Girls were trained...to be servants."

Pastor Parris was controversal and his rule was resented by many in the population. In 1692 his daughter and his niece, children below the age of 12, began having temper tantrums and fits; several other village girls then began this behavior. They blamed their fits on witchcraft performed by several women in the village who had lost interest in attending church and were considered social misfits. Sarah Good, Sarah Osborne, both Puritans, and Tituba, a slave and non-Christian, were arrested on the grounds of witchcraft. Pastor Parris and several outside pastors served as investigators and judges. Pastors investigating witchcraft, along with their families, were considered by church doctrine to be protected by God and could not be accused or guilty of witchcraft.

Witchcraft trials were still going on in Europe at that time and from 1450 to 1700, depending on the source of estimate, between 12,000 and 100,000 women, men, and children were executed as witches.

In Salem, the evidence against the alleged witches was of two types:

* Spectral evidence, or the recounting of dreams and visions by the accusers.
* A magic ritual, in which a cake of rye meal and the accuser's urine was fed to a dog; if the accused witch showed signs of discomfort while the dog ate the cake, as determined by a religious inquisitor, this was a sign that she was indeed a witch; another ritual in which an inquisitor could feel the devil in an accused by laying on of hands was apparently used in one of the cases resulting in execution.

The accused were almost always found guilty but would be spared if they confessed, disavowed the devil, and accused others of witchcraft. Unsurprisingly, fear and paranoia spread thru the village as more and more were accused. Old scores were settled in the name of God as people raced to accuse each other first. There was some spillover to neighboring towns. Most people arrested faced almost certain hanging if they refused to make a public confession. The confessions gave public legitimacy to the investigation and since each confession produced new arrests, the process continued. George Burroughs, a former pastor of Salem, who had enemies in the town among the new pastor's adherents, was also convicted and executed, the only minister to suffer this fate.

All in all, 150 people were arrested, 5 died in prison, 29 were sentenced to death, and 20 were executed (14 women and 6 men). The trials came to a close after about 6 months when devout, regular churchgoers began to be accused, and after a prominent, outside pastor published an admonition saying "It were better that Ten Suspected Witches should escape, than that one Innocent Person should be Condemned." Subsequently, Massachusetts disallowed the use of "spectral evidence" in court. In 2001, 309 years after the executions, Salem Village victims were officially pardoned by a resolution of the Massachusetts legislature signed by the governor.


SIMILARITIES WITH MIDTOWN CULT


So assuming that our anonymous historian wishes us to learn lessons from the Salem witch trials, what such lessons might these be?


The similarities between between 1692 Salem Village and the current day Midtown Cult are quite obvious. Salem was a close knit, intrusive community, in which details of everyday life were controlled by an authoritarian structure led by one person. Rumors were proliferated and accepted as fact. Confessions of any wrongdoing were spread publicly. Women were disparaged, regarded as inferior, and a source of evil and lust. There was little contact between the Salem villagers and the outside world. And the leader, Pastor Parris, had the extraordinary power to have his detractors, rivals, and enemies accused, convicted, and hanged based upon the purported dreams of his 9 year old daughter and 11 year old niece. Intentionally or not, that is what his actions accomplished. The behavior and circumstances are similar to Midtown Cult's, except of course that there no one was executed. The only deaths in Midtown I'm aware of were by suicide.

Midtown is also a close knit community in which a substantial percentage of the group lives together. Members are required to attend only Midtown meetings, go on Midtown vacations and to Midtown beach houses, have Midtown monitors when visiting their families, are pressured to drop psychotherapy (as they should listen only to the "one clear voice" of Midtown), have their prescription psychiatric medication, if any, taken away, routinely have their confidential past given as part of their recovery disclosed publicly to the group, date only others in Midtown, perform free servant services for their assigned "sponsors", and, of course, if young and female, are often expected to have sex with older Midtown male authority figures. Dissent is not tolerated. The group was run for decades by Edward Quinones, Jr.(aka Mike Q.), described frequently as a sociopath, and recently in this blog described as a charismatic sociopath by his daughter, until his death in August 2007. There are numerous charges of embezzlement by the authoritarian leader "hierarchy" and of Midtown members being exploited economically.

Both Salem Village and Midtown essentially implement a totalist environment. Robert J. Lifton and many other researchers following his original book of about 1960 (see postings above about Lifton and cults) identified the kinds of environments and techniques which could effect behavioral and thought control of a population. A totalist environment using known thought and behavioral control techniques is an exceptionally powerful mechanism for shaping and controlling human thoughts and behavior, and without checks and balances, professionals in charge, outside monitoring, and written ethical guidelines, can be exceptionally dangerous.

There is a great deal of additional research relating to this area including the Stanford Prison experiment (ordinary college students become sadistic when playing prison guards), the Stanley Milgram experiment (ordinary people willing to torture people on directions from experimenter), the Asch conformity experiments (ordinary people give preposterous answers when all others in their group do), the Authoritarian Personality study (how a nation gave in to Nazism and perpetrated the Holocaust), "Thought Reform and the Psychology of Totalism: A study of Brainwashing in China" (Robert J. Lifton, 1960), "Deceptive and Indirect Techniques of Persuasion and Control" (Margaret Singer, 1987), "Cults in Our Midst" (Singer, 1995), and many, many others. These are very easy to search for using google (google scholar suggested) or wikipedia but you can contact me at midtownfeedback@yahoo.com if you wish.


NO MORE VICTIMS OF MIDTOWN

Alcoholics Anoymous is a self help support group for people who wish recover from alcoholism. It is specifically not a treatment program, does not employ professionals, does not run treatment centers, and has guidelines against Midtown practices such as allowing males to "sponsor" females. It also appears to have no mechanism or stomach for stopping a dangerous and abusive group dyametrically opposed to its spirit, principles, and guidelines, from operating, attracting, and abusing young members using the AA name. So it's possible that the only solution is to spread the word about Midtown to everyone possible, both AA members and the general public. Midtown, like cochroaches, cannot operate in the light.

MO MORE MIDTOWN VICTIMS!

Posted by: DCC | September 23, 2007 8:58 PM

1,028 comments so far. Mannnn.... Those 5 angry midtown haters sure do write a lot. Actually, I believe that "Timewilltell" contributed to about 200 of them, and those are just the ones that he signed. Sponsorship System... I never even heard of that expression before this post. To suggest to a newcomer that he should let an entire A.A. meeting help him/her work all of the 12 steps has got to be the worst idea...ever... I could easily explain why, but the lack of room on the internet would prevent me from doing so.

Example: Newcomer walks into an A.A. meeting and asks all 50 of them to do his 4th, 5th and 8th step with him. Could that entire meeting actually do that? How would they do that? I could go on, as I know that "Timewilltell" will most certain do, but it's a waste of time. No one could sponsor, advise or suggest "Timewilltell" through any activity. Gee, his inability to absorb ourside information reminds me of midtowns brick wall of extreme un-teachability.

Posted by: 1,028 comments so far. | September 23, 2007 9:13 PM

28+ years of sponsorship system propaganda
NOT EVEN THE WORD IS IN THE BIG BOOK and most cannot even tell the difference as they use instead of live A.A.'s Traditions.


The chances of a Sponsors and sponsees achievement of being honest with therm selfs, at the time needed are nil, they are to busy bar room talking with them selfs explaining WHAT HAPPEN sober.

Continual step work on a victim inside A.A. is the smoke screen to prey and pry on the sick.

Boy some people can hate newcomers setting them up through fear right from the gate with a distinction and authoritative is the gates of insanity.
Ask a newcomer if they are still here most already gone according to recovery rate and the A.A. approved membership surveys taken every 3 years along with the recovery professionals and for the past 20+ years.

Most can see that with their own eyes if they can just get out of themselves long enough and look around, "forget it heres comes another victim lets get him or her"

If one cares instead of denies, group inventories should not be feared, oh ya, A.A. is not in charge here, the S.S.is.

Man does the S.S. use up and go through newcomers.

All in the good name name of A.A. covered up with good selfish deeds.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 24, 2007 7:19 AM

'timewilltell?', your message is needed in person at Midtown!

Posted by: DCC | September 24, 2007 7:28 AM

Posted by: 1,028 comments so far. | September 23, 2007 09:13 PM
"Example: Newcomer walks into an A.A. meeting and asks all 50 of them to do his 4th, 5th and 8th step with him. Could that entire meeting actually do that?"


Response:
Due to promotion of the steps through the B.S of the S.S. in a "supposed" suggested program which were are asked not to implicate alone with other thing in the Traditions,
it is impossible for "MOST NEWCOMERS" to freely ask any "one", "TWO" is considered a lier "Three" today is unheard of because he or she has already fell victims of the S.S. through fear to conform.

THE S.S. is a sick movement in our suggestive program turning it into a program of suggestions, Their suggestions.
NOT EVEN IN THE BIG BOOK.
GOT IT

Posted by: Anonymous | September 24, 2007 7:37 AM

Posted by: 1,028 comments so far.

This is nothing compared to the comments the Sponsorship System (S.S.) uses in privet on there new prey.

Use A.A. as a whole don't keep digging holes.

Posted by: Timewilltell | September 24, 2007 7:48 AM

So has anyone gone to the WAIA meeting?

Posted by: an | September 24, 2007 2:52 PM

Good question! And no... No one here got off their keyboard and helped. There were over 65 Midtowners there and the same amount of non Midtowners, which in my book, represented different A.A. members from various Home Groups. Midtown manipulated the current Chairman to read an official statement on the Executive Committee's behalf, even though the Executive Committee didn't vote to have that official statement represent their interests, which is typical midtown behavior at the Area level.

Here's a thought... Let's see if you can follow along, shall we? How could there have been 65 Midtown Intergroup reps there, when they only have control of 23 meetings? Come on... Get those wheels turning. Can't figure it out, can you? Ok, I'll help you. Two thirds of them were lying. OMG!? Can that be true!? Why yes, it can be. And because no one here wanted to do anything about it except to intellectualize about how it happened or squeal about the sponsorship system (and that jerk isn't even in AA), not a damn thing was done about it. Good job people!!

Posted by: aaMember | September 24, 2007 5:57 PM

DCC - Put the torch down and step away from that Midtowner!

Posted by: Anonymous | September 24, 2007 6:04 PM

It's unfortunate that an intergroup organization purporting to represent the Washington area does not include or represent probably its biggest population, namely Northern Virginia, which is in a separate AA "area".

That keeps me and a number of my friends from participating.

Posted by: DCC | September 24, 2007 6:06 PM

aaMember, not all of us are in the DC area. But we can still work to spread the word so that those who are will perhaps feel more compelled to attend and participate.

Out of curiosity, was the executive committee statement something in relation to Midtown or this issue?

Posted by: Jane D. | September 24, 2007 6:12 PM

"Deshu himself personally manipulated WAIA into formally suggesting during the Intergroup Representative meeting that people should stop breaking other A.A. member's anonymity on the internet... WTF is going through his mind, I will never know? Either he's enormously clueless of his own actions, as well as his soul mate, Shawnblob, or he's just another Midtown sociopath in good Midtown standing? I don't care either way. I just can't get over how pathetic both of them are. I doubt that either of them has ever taken "onegoodlookinthemirror" themselves."

In the previous post thread, Deshu is "Alon". Deshu and Shawn drop personal names with little care for these AA members or AA as a whole. At this moment, Shawn is attempting to collect personal information on CFG, FOM and Rob K. to use against them.

"Please send info on CFG and Rob K to libertyfl******@gmail.com" That is Shawn H. He's been more active than timewilltell and that says alot.

Deshu, an ourspoken midtown member, directed the Chairman to read for the Board, what the Board did not ask him to read. It was a clear example of midtown behind a curtain, pushing a button. Every month, we see the same example.


Posted by: Curious | September 24, 2007 8:28 PM

Is there a roll taken at WAIA? If so, why doesn't someone release the roll within AA and then people can visit the groups Midtown members are alleged to be fraudulently representing and inform them of this fact. Maybe some of them will be inspired to send real representatives next time. If roll is not taken and recorded, why not? How else can you tell who is representing who and preserve the integrity of WAIA and, thus, AA.
I belong to another 12 step fellowship in the DC area. We have roll taken and recorded in our minutes for our equivalent of WAIA. We would not cotton to people falsely claiming to represent groups. But of course we have a different take on things including the traditions. If half of the things about Midtown are true, we would have removed them from our meeting lists long ago. Personal recovery depends on _A unity and unity depends on how well we follow our traditions. If a group does not follow our traditions, it is not a _A group and thus cannot be listed on our meeting lists. To list such a group is to endorse it and thus endorse an outside enterprise.
To my knowledge, Midtown has never attempted to infiltrate our fellowship although we have meetings in some of the same facilities as they do. They probably know better. We have a number of young people who have come to our fellowship to get away from Midtown. The stories I have heard from them for years match what I have heard in Newsweek, the Post and on sites like FOM. In fact they are often worse.
Some years ago a cult like group known as little aa started attending our meetings. Once some experienced members realized what was going on, we were able to isolate them, protect newcomers and other vunerable people, make it clear to them we were on to their crap and make it uncomfortable for them to attend our meetings. They went away and I have not seen or heard from them for years.

Posted by: anonymous11 | September 25, 2007 12:02 AM

If you have been stalked, harassed or taunted by Rob and the CFG, please send info to libertyflagship@gmail.com. You are not alone!

Posted by: Anonymous | September 25, 2007 9:46 AM

anonymous 11 which meetings are these that you guys hold in the same facilities? Just wanted to check one out.

Posted by: an | September 25, 2007 10:52 AM

I have the goods on Rob. He cares for people. He helps people. If you are in Midtown, he will help you get out. Rob does have a job. He is not sleeping on someone's couch and he is quite sober. At this moment, he is organizing an A.A. Fellowship weekend trip. Want more? Watch him and you will see more. Ask him for help. See what happens.

Posted by: The Truth. | September 25, 2007 5:25 PM

To clarify, we don't have meetings on the same day or time as any Midtown meetings, we have meetings on different days at some of the same facilities, except for H&I meetings taken into the Avery Road treatment center in Rockville. There are separate AA and NA H&I meetings at the same time there. Supposedly Midtown has been banned from Avery Road but the person taking the NA meeting recently told me the people bringing in the AA meeting claimed to be from Midtown.
If you want to check our meetings, why limit yourself to those in the same facility as a Midtown meeting? All our meetings are great and just as good as any other. Go to http://www.cprna.org/meetings.htm if you want to find one.

Posted by: anonymous11 | September 25, 2007 11:47 PM

That's true. The person taking meetings to Avery Road is from Midtown.

Posted by: an | September 26, 2007 8:44 AM

Why don't you start a new Intergroup? This one seems hopelessly hijacked and unwilling to confront the issues. I hate to say this but it looks like you don't have enough support so it seems an impossible task. If Midtown still has control of the Exec. Comm. and does what they want...what hope is there for any change. I don't understand how there can be 65 Midtown Reps if they only have 25 or so meetings. What is soooo wrong with your Intergroup that can fly? Is this person exagerating or what? It just doesn't make sense. DC is really screwed up...Bill W. must be turning over in his grave.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 26, 2007 1:25 PM

Avery Road kicked out Midtown...yet they still take a meeting there. I don't see how your AA community and intergroup puts up with this shi*t. Is everyone just so apathetic that Midtown gets away with anything? Sad state of affairs!

Posted by: Anonymous | September 26, 2007 1:29 PM

Jane D. mentioned above the address of the General Service Office in NY at

A.A. World Services, Inc.,
P.O. Box 459,
New York, NY 10163
(212) 870-3400.
publicinfo@aa.org

She also mentioned a Board meeting. Any idea when this meeting will take place and the name of the board which is to meet?

Thank you.

Posted by: DCC | September 26, 2007 5:30 PM

"A.A. World Services, Inc. is presently looking to recruit an exceptional executive assistant, who will be the "right hand" to the General Manager and Board of Directors. This newly created position is a spectacular opportunity to work with an amazing group of individuals, in a great location. Our offices boast beautiful Hudson River views in the Columbia University neighborhood on Manhattan's Upper West Side.

"Founded in 1935, we are one of the most prestigious non-profit organizations around, and are recognized worldwide for our dedication and commitment to helping those who suffer from Alcoholism."

Apparently an open position. Apparently being "one of the most prestigious non-profit organizations around" is something AA World Services is proud of.

http://cercalavoro.monster.it/getjob.asp?JobID=61258017&AVSDM=2007-08-15+16%3A48%3A00&Logo=1&pg=2&sort=cp&q=Administrative+Assistant&vw=d&brd=1

Humanresources@aa.org


Posted by: Anonymous | September 26, 2007 5:48 PM

The above post on executive assistant job at AAWS was by me.

Posted by: DCC | September 26, 2007 5:55 PM

I have begun reading, as time allows, our program brochures and guidelines on aa.org. I encourage everyone to do this.

I believe there are a number of questions we should request clarification from AAGSO on. For example:

Re "AA Guidelines: Treatment Facilities
Committees". This guideline says that

"All people responsible for meetings at treatment facilities concur
that the more outside members who participate, the better. The
patient then has an opportunity to hear varied A.A. talks, and has a
better chance to identify."

The guideline recommends "rotation among groups in the area" for leaders and if one or several people regularly chair the meeting "obtaining other speakers as well".

The TF committee "Encourages group participation" and "All A.A. groups and members should be given the opportunity of
sharing in and doing this type of Twelfth Step work".

So, given that we are told in this blog that Midtown has taken over the Hospitals and Institutions Committee in WAIA, I believe members should ask clarification from AAGSO whether a TF Committee for this area area has the power to prevent AA members and AA groups in this area from holding AA meetings in a treatment center.

If so, given the guideline, what is the basis for such prevention?

If a TF committee talks with an institution purporting to represent AA and tells the facility that a certain AA member or group does not have permission of AA to hold an AA meeting in that facility without the approval of the local H&I Committee, and the facility believes they represent AA and refuses the meeting, what will AAGSO do about it?

Posted by: DCC | September 26, 2007 9:23 PM

If you are a Virginia member and wish to register your concern about cults in AA and Midtown's moving of meetings to Northern Virginia, please attend a special meeting this Saturday, Sept 29 at noon-2pm at The Falls Church (108 East Fairfax St, Falls Church, fairly near corner of main and Broad Sts).

Ted K., the Virginia delegate to GS conference, will talk about the recent conference in NYC.

Also, volunteer to be aq GSR if your group does not have one, or discuss this matter with your GSR and group.

Posted by: DCC | September 26, 2007 11:20 PM

The meeting will be about a number of topics, just to be clear.

Posted by: DCC | September 26, 2007 11:56 PM

Nice Spin on the Delegates sharing meeting DCC! Did you learn your tactics of deception and information manipulation in prison or a boot camp?

Actual invite as seen on the Northern VA Intergroup page.
Link: http://www.nvintergroup.org/Delegate_Sharing_Flyer.pdf

COME ON EVERYBODY
TO THE
DELEGATE SHARING AND
LUNCH
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 29, 2007
FROM 12:00 UNTIL 2:00 p.m.
AT
The Falls Church
108 East Fairfax Street
Falls Church, Virginia 22046
Ted K., the Delegate from Virginia, will tell us about what happened at the
General Service Conference in New York City!
Sponsored by Alexandria Districts 1, 45 and 46, Arlington District 2,
Fairfax District 5, Falls Church District 6, Mt. Vernon District 11, Mount.
Vernon, and Springfield District 21 and Wilson District 25
Come join us and bring a friend!

Posted by: Anonymous | September 27, 2007 10:57 AM

I am a GSR and I assure you, I am going to register my concern about this situation.

Do you think it is possible that after an article in Newsweek, a front page article in the Washington Post, and numerous stories in the local TV media about the Midtown cult, that this topic is not important and did not come up at the Conference? And if it did not, what does that say about our fellowship and GSO?

Because these are strongly supported allegations that hundreds or more of YOUNG WOMEN, MANY UNDERAGE, were SEXUALLY ABUSED by MUCH OLDER ASSIGNED MALE SPONSORS BY A CULT called MIDTOWN in the NAME OF AA. That many Midtown members have had their prescription medication taken away and subsequently needed hospitalization; some have committed suicide; that many members were pressured to drop psychotherapy. That many members were pressured to give large amounts of money to their sponsors to finance their vacations and other expenditures, forced to perform housekeeping and yardwork on a regular basis. That members were "encouraged" to live in Midtown-sponsored housing with other members (half do). That members were isolated from their families and needed to have Midtown monitors present when they visited them; that members were not free to attend non-Midtown meetings. That sex with other members of Midtown, especially older male "sponsors" was proclaimed part of the AA recovery program. That an AA slogan was "If a woman has a dick in her mouth she can't put a drink in her mouth". That the sex and the economic exploitation, and all the rest, were called "service work", or "selflessness", and were part of "going to any lengths to stay sober".

Do you think it is possible that there will not be discussion of issues among those attending and with Ted K.? If you have some information that this topic will be prohibited please let us all know.

Midtown has moved its main Sunday night meeting to Northern Va (after being expelled from church of the Pilgrams in DC). It is listed in the WAIA web site (ie, for DC and Md) but not in the Virginia/Northern Virginia web site. Apparently true of other meetings out here now as well.

So again, I say that if you are a Virginia member and wish to register your concern about cults in AA and Midtown's moving of meetings to Northern Virginia, please attend a special meeting this Saturday, Sept 29 at noon-2pm at The Falls Church (108 East Fairfax St, Falls Church, fairly near corner of main and Broad Sts).

Ted K., the Virginia delegate to GS conference, will talk about the recent conference in NYC.

Posted by: DCC | September 27, 2007 12:05 PM

(blank), thanks for helping publicize this special meeting Saturday in Falls Church to talk about AA issues.

Again, that URL was http://www.nvintergroup.org/Delegate_Sharing_Flyer.pdf

As the announcement says, "Come join us and bring a friend!"

Posted by: DCC | September 27, 2007 12:08 PM

I'll be there.

Posted by: Count on that. | September 27, 2007 3:46 PM

Cult-like "AA Groups" are, sadly, everywhere. To imply that a scared, shamed, young alcoholic woman should know better than to become involved in a situation such as this is unrealistic. I personally spent 11 years in a very controlling, fanatical, secretive AA Group. I had the same sponsor for the entire 11 years and I can tell you that this can be a very difficult situation to extricate yourself from. The group I attended did not promote sexual exploitation (that I know of), but the control of the new member was managed in a sick, systematic fashion. First you are welcomed with open arms, offered love and compassion for the first time in many years. You are promised happiness, true friendship and fellowship. It is the classic cult "love bomb". Instant intimate friendships, coupled with the dark assurance that "without us, you will die drunk and alone." It is manipulation and mind control at a level of sophistication that most young alcoholics are simply unable to identify - let alone deal with. By the time I realized that my sponsor shared everything I told her with her sponsor, it was too late. As demanded, I had limited nearly all contact with other people to my fellow group members only. Any individual thought or feeling that went against the group doctrine was immediately reported to the "higher-ups". Punishment, via the silent treatment, was swift and severe. I can't tell you the number of times I was instructed to not talk to a group member because they "needed tough love". I lived many years believing that if I didn't attend this group ONLY, I would get drunk and die alone. All women were instructed never to disclose our own personal information to another woman without the express permission of our sponsor. We were strongly advised not to attend other meetings in the local area. Medication was not allowed. Therapy was not allowed. The few times I managed to be courageous enough to speak my mind, I was quickly told that I was spiritually sick and teetering on the edge of disaster. I was told "You just don't want to hear the truth". My participation in the group ended only when the following thought kept playing through my mind: "If I get drunk maybe they will leave me alone". In a moment of sheer desperation I went to another meeting, cornered a woman there and told her what I was thinking and feeling. I have never looked back. I would like to tell you that I moved on to a healthier AA group and now joyfully attend AA. This is not the case. I do go to meetings, however I do not trust AA. It has been over 2 years and I have stayed sober despite thier predictions and threats. I have learned many, many valuable lessons. We are not the keepers of "the truth" for anyone else. If I feel inclined to control another person, it is not out of a desire to be helpful. AA is not a religion. Fanatics are dangerous - no matter what. The relief I have felt since leaving this group is unreal. I had traded the slavery of active alcoholism for the slavery of a sick, sick group of "sober" AA members. I would advise anyone involved in a situation such as this to RUN! Never again will I clean my grand-sponsors house, sweep pine needles off her roof, find a home for her dog, participate in the shunning of another woman, or sit in an AA meeting desperate for an escape. This is my experience. It is, sadly, also the experience of too many women in my area. Some AA groups are dangerous and do it all in the name of Alcoholics Anonymous. Scary.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 28, 2007 3:30 PM

Thanks for sharing your story. It is very informative for people looking to avoid a cult and for others who would like to end them. I wish you well in your recovery. I'd like to think there are very few meetings like this in AA but they seem to be coming out of the woodwork here.

Posted by: DCC | September 28, 2007 3:56 PM

"No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main. If a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friend's or of thine own were: any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bells tolls; it tolls for thee."

-- John Donne, Meditation XVII

Posted by: The Bell | September 30, 2007 9:06 PM

DCC Wrote "'timewilltell?', your message is needed in person at Midtown!"


DCC,
Its not my message that is needed, it's the message of alcoholics Anonymousness Traditions, the spirit of A.A. is what is needed.
If I were to go to the midtown group with my message it would be no different than the B.S. they already use to or conditioned too from the sponsorship system.

It's not about my message or your message it's about the message in the Traditions and one has to have the spirit of A.A. to hear and most already traded their faith and soul to the constantly promoted sponsorship system.

Prayers is the only help here, the damage occurring is due to the sick system that is widely promoted, EVEN BY YOU,
YET NOT EVEN MENTIONED IN THE BIG BOOK.

The S.S. just fakes it hoping to make it and it's not theirs to even make.

God works miracles for people who don't claim it others just promote.


Posted by: Timewilltell | October 1, 2007 1:17 AM

God forbid that "Timewilltell" should actually go to a Midtown meeting and help an alcoholic in need. That would require work, love, and service; three aspects of recovery that are mentioned predominately within the Big Book. He obviously has no interest in going to an A.A. meeting, Midtown or otherwise and actually helping anyone. His is a singular agenda, as is Midtown's. The inability to reach him with logic or passion is equal to none, save that of the Midtown Group. Reason has no place within a closed mind, or closed group. On average, defensive, one dimensional thinking rules the closed mind, and/or the closed group. In other words, one cannot bring reason, where reason cannot, or will not be entertained. Unfortunately, "Timewilltell" and the general A.A. community in the Montgomery County and DC area will continue to behave in a similar fashion, concerning this growing situation. They will whine about what they believe our problems are, but they will do nothing to correct or improve the situation. In essence, they will do nothing and the cancer will continue to spread.

So, if you're one of those people who think that going to a meeting is 12 step work; you're wrong. Also, while you're doing nothing except pointing your finger at the Midtown Cult, or whining about what you don't like, you are a direct contributor to the watering down of A.A. to the point of drunkenness.

Posted by: "Talking to walls" | October 1, 2007 4:52 AM

The AA community in the DC has been accused of a "wall of silence" that protected Midtown Cult for two decades and facilitated the sexual abuse and molestation of young women and the economic exploitation of its members. Now that the story is out many members are saying "on, everybody has known about that for years".

Shining the sunshine on cults like Midtown, along with exposing their practices, is something that we can all do to make AA safe again for young people. Because it is not safe now.

About.com is a major web site with many "experts" who provide information and advice on many topics, including drug abuse and alcoholism. They have an article and blog area on Midtown. But so far there are only 29 responses and the majority seem to be supporting Midtown.

If you want to support a safe AA for our children I suggest you head to this URL and give your experience, strength and hope.

http://alcoholism.about.com/b/a/256391.htm?terms=alcoholism+midtown

Posted by: DCC | October 1, 2007 3:44 PM

Many people in this blog have alluded to the "wall of silence" that AA has maintained around Midtown for several decades. This wall is both local and at the General Services Office level. Although many AA members in the area now freely say "oh, everybody has known about that sleazy 'Q Group' for years" I believe the great majority of members in our area did not know about it, or at least did not know the extent and magnitude of the sexual abuse and molestation, economic exploitation and the dangerous amateur practice of medicine by this cult.

The Berlin Wall came down in 1989 and it's time that the Wall of Silence around Midtown Cult came down as well. How many young women would have been spared sexual abuse and molestation had the Wall of Silence come down when the Berlin Wall did? How many young people have been separated from their families since then. How many have been forced to pay for their sponsor's Caribbean vacations since 1989? How many young members have been hospitalized or committed suicide after their medication was abruptly taken away? How many rehabs and hospitals have welcomed Midtown Cult into their facilities because they represented Alcoholics Anonymous since 1989? How many young people were streamed right out of those hospitals and into Midtown Cult since 1989 because Midtown Cult was Alcoholics Anonymous?

Like a cochroach colony, Midtown Cult cannot operate in the light. The Internet is one form of light in the present day.

About.com, a major site of experts on all subjects, has a section on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse. They have a story on the Midtown situation and a blog area to discuss it. But there were way under than 200 posts since May as of earlier today. IMO, that's not good enough if we want to help clean up our Fellowship.

Click over to http://alcoholism.about.com/b/a/256391.htm

The story is called "Cult-Like D.C. Group Giving A.A. a Bad Name?" If you want to register your opinion look down to "Discuss This Story" and do so.

Posted by: DCC | October 1, 2007 4:35 PM

Well, the draft preview of a post disappeared before I could finish it so I rewrote from scratch and now here they both are half an hour later. Repetition doesn't hurt I suppose. :-)

Posted by: DCC | October 1, 2007 4:53 PM

"Talking to walls"
Has all the questions and answers, Must be a conditioned midtowner.
If you think you can fix anyone, especially your self, what are you doing here?
Fixing someone?

Midtown needs a different spirit that does not come from people places or things
a proclaimed savior could not conceive that
concept thats why the Traditions were written

Posted by: Timewilltell | October 5, 2007 7:36 PM

jxckao qtnzu adzq ohzmlyp zuwvhdq dgqmtlhu qnopahmlx

Posted by: vsdmnp vwxc | October 5, 2007 10:21 PM

Does Midtown have a sponsorship "structure"? I have heard people actually introduce themselves by adding that so-and-so is their sponsor and Mike Q is (was) their grand-sponsor, great-grand-sponsor, etc. This sounds like an hierarchical organizational structure based on sponsorship. In other words, Mike Q. was ultimately the chief sponsor in Midtown and everyone was "descended" from Mike Q through some number of sponsorship relations.

Also, that to be a "member" of Midtown (as opposed to attending a Midtown meeting) one must have a sponsor in Midtown. If so, what is the difference between attending Midtown meetings and being a Midtown member?

Does anyone know what the situation is or was with regard to these sponsorship questions? I'm just interested in whether there is or was such a sponsorship structure. Thank you.

Posted by: Inquiring Mind | October 6, 2007 3:03 PM

Sponsorship and its structure is an outside issue and not what A.A. is about,

A.A. is about being responsible to and for ones self.
A.A. is about being true to thy self.

Sponsorship is opposed to both of the above issues and the adventures before and after the A.B.C. ideas of A.A.

The midtown and sponsorship system is a natural disaster, that's why sponsor or sponsorship is not mentioned in the Big book and why the Traditions of A.A. were written to keep the control freaks out and away from newcomers so they can survive because God could and would if sought . Many agnostics around A.A. do not believe in the A.A. program and live off of the sponsorship system.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 6, 2007 8:00 PM

Sponsorship, " the Gods of hope" that agnostics promote and egos run with.

A.A. is a program within a Fellowship and is about finding a power that can intuitively handle situations that use to baffle them and that ONE is God may you find him now.
IN ORDER to be true to thy self one has to look to God first, then at ones self and then share with another not going to another's ego that we all have.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 6, 2007 8:50 PM

Inquiring Mind asked
'Does Midtown have a sponsorship "structure"?

The A.A. program does not have a sponsor or sponsorship structure. In fact the A.A Traditions speak against it indicating no promotion or distinctions amongst us, you are a member if You say so, meaning you do not need a sponsor to vouch for you or be responsible for you.

Cults have sponsors and are heavily promoted!!!! Does that answers your question

Posted by: Anonymous | October 7, 2007 12:30 AM

Id anyone has the information about Midtown's structure I was interested in, I would appreciate it. Thank you.

Posted by: Inquiring Mind | October 7, 2007 11:24 AM

Join it

Posted by: Anonymous | October 7, 2007 11:31 AM

Apparently this blog discussion is now concluded.

Posted by: Inquiring Mind | October 7, 2007 12:13 PM

The gifted sponsor, meaning the individual motivated by love and tempered with wisdom, isn't the person with the most "sponsee's". This is not a popularity contest of numbers, nor is it a race to see how many needy and desperate people that we can manipulate into becoming dependent on us for their sobriety. If there is a race, it's a race to be of service to those who are at the depths of their alcoholism; so that these fellow suffers will have a second option to their suicidal first.

What truly sets these gifted sponsors apart is that they have a far greater interest in helping other fellow suffers into becoming gifted sponsors themselves; so that they can recover from alcoholism and be of service to others in need.

Simply put, a true sponsor isn't the person with the most sponsee's, but the person who helps others into becoming true and gifted sponsors for alcoholics yet unseen.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 7, 2007 4:35 PM

Are you talking about drunks not knowing they are alcoholic and do not know of A.A?. or are you talking of people already here that knows of the 12 suggested steps? This is the difference between helping someone and a claimed savior.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 7, 2007 9:35 PM

Didn't know sponsors were the gifted ones, I always believed in the Big Book in personal willingness being the key, and that was why the steps and the Big Book is only suggested.
Interesting

Posted by: Anonymous | October 7, 2007 9:40 PM

Gifted, meaning the sponsor cares naught for herself, at the expense of another, yet cares enough for a new prospect to let that prospect go, when letting go and moving on is called for. Gifted, meaning the sponsor guides the new prospect through the 12 steps as suggested in our basic text, while not leading or permitting the new prospect into becoming dependent on the sponsor (which happens entirely too often) for guidance, strength, direction, inspiration and care. Those needs should be left to the Power that could and would provide these needs, if that Power is sought. A gifted sponsor leads the new prospect to that Power. The gifted sponsor never attempts to be that power. A gifted sponsor has no ego and demands nothing, nor does she offer rewards or consequences. The ungifted sponsor, at times, either consciously or unconsciously, uses their prospects to reward their own lowered or crippled sense of self esteem, at the cost of the new prospect.

Some sponsors are gifted, while others are not. Their intentions, as well as their actions, dictate that difference. Midtown, as seen in this thread alone, has a wide range of ungifted sponsors.

Posted by: How many have you helped through the steps? How many fellow sufferers have you ignored or mistreate | October 7, 2007 11:20 PM

What's wrong with one drunk just talking freely to another?

It first started just like that. Bill W sober Dr Bob Drinking Bill called Bob No Big Book and no A.A. yet the key to their success was their humility and willingness not having to impress each other, no label claims.

Both with a desire to stop drinking as God performed the magic written in the steps.

Today certain labels administering something to another already here in A.A. is insanity for both parties involved, "especially if they are right". The reason for ANY LABEL is only for RECOGNITION purposes ONLY.

Come and help, if you can't help at least stop promoting labels sending the recovery rate into the gutter for the past 25 years
and newcomers to there death beds

Why all this crazy craze about a label that is not even in the Big Book and never meant for inside A.A.? "WE" are soooo far off base.

Is the humility in A.A. gone and now arrogance promoted by the S.S.? One HONEST look around at the recovery rate and around you should be answer that.


ps: Honesty is not something you have to make up at the time you need it, Honesty is something that has already happened and the S.S. is and has been overly involved in A.A. for years and most don't even have the wisdom to know the difference.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 7, 2007 11:32 PM

Oh my God! I can't believe that DCC and Jane D. finally shut up and have stopped posting their ludicrous rantings on here. No more profound and self-glorifying diatribe to read. What will they do now? Get jobs? Get some sleep? Eat breakfast? Who knows...who really knows? How does one behave when they realize that after 3 months of constant posting, they are not the Nobel laureate they thought they were.

As was the case with the last blog, 'Yup' has the last word. And that word is Good Riddance and Good Night. (Okay that's five, I know that) Peace ;)

Posted by: Yup | October 22, 2007 4:51 PM

Dear Yup, I believe DCC and Jane D have moved on to other ways of letting the appropriate people know the dangers of cult groups like MT. because this medium is pretty much done, I think they have done a great job and will continue to. God bless them and all of us. Good Riddance and Good Night Yup Peace ;)

Posted by: THE END | October 22, 2007 5:14 PM


YUP,
DCC and Jane stopped and you started they changed and you accepted.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 26, 2007 5:25 PM

How sad... No one in the midtown group will hear the message of recovery, for if they did, and they were allowed to apply the principles of honesty, open-mindedness and willingness in all of their affairs, they would not, with clear conscious, be able to see the ongoing harm and remain within that group. This thread was an avenue to warn others, little more. Whether those others hear this warning and attempt to make a positive change within their own back yard, is subject to how they respond to their wants and needs.

Posted by: XQ | October 26, 2007 9:55 PM

No, I haven't quit at all and apparently members of Midtown Cult have not either. Perhaps everyone will now want to get back in here and spread the word that Midtown Cult is an abusive organization posing as an AA group.

Remember, this blog discussion is important because it's on the web site of one of the world's principal information providers. Educated, knowledgeable people all over the world read the Washington Post.

NO MORE MIDTOWN CULT VICTIMS!!!

Posted by: DCC | November 1, 2007 2:24 PM

The cult is and will continue to whither. Throughout history other cults such as this one die out within 2 years of the leaders death.

Posted by: Rob K | November 5, 2007 12:53 PM

Hopefully, the Midtown Group will crumble, fade away or change.
Unfortunately, the "Sponsorship Group" (an off-shoot of Midtown) is alive and thriving in Northern New Jersey. They are a carbon copy of Midtown and have created many problems here. They meet in Chatham Township, NJ.
Fortunately, they are being monitored throughout the entire state and are gradually being banned from carrying their "message" into most hospitals and institutions. Many sober members of the fellowship are praying for these sick individuals.

Posted by: Concerned in NJ | November 14, 2007 1:39 AM

Midtown will not wither away and die. The reason is because Midtown is not a cult, it is an AA group that has helped thousands of people where other groups has failed. People flock to Midtown because it is a fun and happy place. This controversy is a hoax. People in this country are influenced by advertising and sensational press. This is no exception. These stories remind me of the Swift-Boat campaign against John Kerry. Same Style of attacking but no one is quesitoning the credibility of the sources of these stories.

Rob K. who posted above is one of the ones responsible for this hoax. Rob is a sexual predator and a pervert. One of his partners in crime, Lale, has been hospitalized 7 times for "mental illness" (alcoholism) since this controversy began. I believe her complaint was that a person at Midtown told her that she should try working the 12 steps instead of running to her pills for the solution. I think we can see now that the alterantive advice given to her by the Midtown member was much better than the plan she has been subscribing to since that time.

One of the other partners in crime is a guy has been thrown in jail for beating his 18-year-old girlfriend. He is 42. Another one is constantly being locked for back child support. The others are active drunks. What a jooke, right? Sad but true. You and Marc Fisher are all following them in this, you idiots.

All of the people mentioned in the articles (nearly all of them) have relapsed and cannot get sober again since they became part of this 'Burn Midtown' conspiracy. Others have relapsed too who were only minimally involved.

It is so ridiculous that people actually believe in this tripe. None of you have a clue or a life if you are still on here.

I am constanly hearing complaints about Rob K. and how he is always trying to seduce young women. I am not lying about this. He is seriously a hypocrite and ironically is trying to become Mike Q himself. Or rather what he claims Mike Q was. This guy is a sicko and you're a bunch of dumba**es for following his words.

It baffles me how no one even remotely checks into the credibility of where these "stories" came from about Midtown. Mentally ill people, crazy people, drunk people, deviants, all of the above.

You're a bunch of idiots. Midtown isn't going anywhere my friends. Definitely not to your boring meetings.

Ha ha!

Posted by: Yup | November 14, 2007 3:06 PM

Yup, you rock! Finally someone out there willing to stand up and speak the truth about this BS. Long live Yup! The Nazi press should fear you.

All of the sickos on here get a life. Midtown doesn't care about this press anyway, they're too busy helping others.

Posted by: #1 Yup Fan | November 14, 2007 3:11 PM

Yup and Yup Fan, it's hard to believe that there is anything left of Midtown.

First of all, Midtown is not AA.

Second, no church will allow Midtown to meet on there property.

Third, the rest of the fellowship has collectively spoken and is continuing to speak about the trouble that Midtown and the "Sponsorship Group" of Chatham NJ have brought upon AA as a whole.

For any Midtown or Sponsorship Group members, who may very well be suffering from alcoholism, the rest of the fellowship has left the door open for you. Please be willing to change.

Posted by: The Fellowship | November 16, 2007 10:47 AM

Again we see only the completely dishonest and untrue ad hominem attacks of the Midtown Cult, defined in wikipedia as "most commonly used to refer specifically to the ad hominem abusive, or argumentum ad personam, which consists of criticizing or personally attacking an argument's proponent in an attempt to discredit that argument."

We have never seen any kind of rebuttal of the charges by any Midtown person, only the ugly kinds of attacks above. Those who have conducted objective examinations of Midtown cult, including news media, churches, cult experts, and other outsiders, have concluded that these charges are true, and have said this publicly, and in the case of churches, banned Midtown from their premises (although real AA groups are still welcome there). For my part, I talked to people I've know or met in my 20+ years of sobriety and quickly found young women who had been personally abused in Midtown. Most people who had personal knowledge of the situation just assumed that everyone in the program knew, as it was so open and obvious, but it's only relatively recently that this became true.

Midtown is an abusive cult which tramples on virtually every single AA tradition and it's disgraceful that they are allowed to call themselves an AA group. We can only hope that with the death of Edward Quinones, aka "Mike Q", they will dissolve.

Using AA as a cover for sexual predation, economic exploitation, and other personal abuse must stop.

NO MORE MIDTOWN VICTIMS!

Posted by: DCC | November 16, 2007 5:55 PM

I was recently forwarded the newsweek article, and started reading up on Midtown. I find this thread enlightening, as well as hopeful. Thank you to all who are working on ending sexual abuse.

I walked into the rooms of AA in '89, and have seen many disturbing trends over the years in AA as I have lived on both coasts. Sadly, Midtown is not surprising.

I have a hard question. Have this girls and women been tested for HIV?? One of the worse things about rape is being told that you have to be checked for STD's and HIV. Since STD's are rampant in Midtown, is HIV being spread?

I am not looking to spread fear, I am just looking at this from being a rape survivor. I too was raped by someone in AA. I am not the first, and sadly, won't be the last. And this is one of the issues that had come up for me.

I ask because people are working on a solution. Another way to take legal action is if someone knowingly has HIV, and has unprotected sex, can be held liable.

I applaud all of you who are trying to make changes and stoppng sexual predators in the rooms of AA. I have tried for years, and know just how frustrating it can be. I am grateful this has finally come to light so that hopefully now the victims can find help, the cancer of midtown can be removed, and maybe, just maybe, AA can make the necessary changes to prevent this from continuing.

Blessings,
West Coast

Posted by: West coast AA member | November 17, 2007 1:20 PM

West Coast, thanks for your thoughts and contribution here! Unfortunately, this thread seems to have mostly played out but I hope many people can read your post nonetheless. BTW, the original article on Midtown in the Post is referenced and linked in the first sentence of the article at the very top here.

I think our program needs an individual Bill of Rights for members and anyone attending meetings. It would seem to go without saying that a program whose strong values include honesty, taking responsibility for one's actions, and spirituality would not need explicit traditions against coerced or forced sex, especially between middle aged men and underage girls, but this appears to be the case. Also, against taking away a member's prescription medication, preventing them from seeing family members, and other such behavior - the list is too long to recount. But all these are happening as well.

So we do need an explicit statement of individuals' right, because, as is apparent in this blog, Midtown Cult members pervert our traditions and language to actually make these abusive practices seem part of the recovery process. People being pressured need something they can point to and say "the AA program says I don't have to do what you're asking". We need this because we have nothing like it now.

Posted by: DCC | November 18, 2007 8:50 PM

In regards to 12 Step Programs.

It was designed/created back in the 1930's for Alcoholics Anonymous. It hasn't changed much (if at all since).

Trying to use a 12 step program to help you to recover "in my opinion" is about as effective as trying to use a 1934 Model T FORD to navigate the interstates of today.

The 12 Steps (Don't make Sense) unless you are trying to build a "misery loves company state of recovery" Hooking yourself to the DAY you last quit (day after day), is like tying an anchor to the problem (s) psychologically.

In many ways the infamous 12 steps was better than nothing (for some), if that is what the comparison is, I agree it may be helpful for those in need of a social support venue - I think the REAL QUESTION WE SHOULD BE ASKING OURSELVES IS: IS IT SAFE?

Today we know much more about recovery, and how it works.

Based on that information I would sugegst that it is supporting your addiction to not look into the merits of a modern methodology of recovery. (One that incorporates more substance than the 12 steps)

Teh 21 Steps to STOP Gambling is an example of a recovery program with a modern element of accountability and common sense built in to it.

Posted by: Shawn Jordan | November 20, 2007 2:01 AM

Yup (and several other names), at the very least, you appear to be emotionally and spiritually unhealthy. Do you not see that? Unfortunately, I doubt that you do. Clearly, you are defending what you believe to be an A.A. group; however, you're behavior does not suggest that you are aware that A.A. has spiritual principles that the alcoholic seeking recovery is suggested to adhere to, if he wishes to not remain untreated. In case no one has mentioned this to you, untreated alcoholism does not equal recovery, no matter how strong your social network is. In fact, for the alcoholic, as with most people with treatable diseases, to remain untreated is to invite unneeded hardship for you and those about you, as well as the strong possibility of an early demise

If you will, answer this one question. Would you willingly invite unneeded hardship, as well as the strong possibility of an early demise for what most people would call a cult? Whether you answer this question or not; if you're alcoholic, your behavior has already made that choice and ultimately, you will answer for that choice. From this perspective, it would appear that you are already in the midst of paying for it.

\Whoever you are, I feel sorry for you. The road before you has been made even more treacherous that it was before you started down it, and you have helped to pave it, brick by brick, charac