Well, this was a change over at TheFix. A three page article, "The Dark Legacy of a Rehab" (Synanon is the main topic). The ST blog is also linked. Here's the bit that caught my eye, from page 3 (http://www.thefix.com/content/aa-cults-synanon-legacy0009?page=3):
With AA having little such oversight, it’s difficult to get a read on how widespread these perverted groups may be. Given AA's generally solid reputation, and since the police and press have little interest in uncovering therapy cults that likely operate within the fringe of the law, most testimonials about cult-like AA groups come from, as you might expect, comments on blogs and websites.
The AA home office typically refuses to comment on the actions of its chapters, however much they depart from the organization’s mission and practices.
Though not quite up to the standards accepted by mainstream journalism, the stories amassed by sites such as orange-papers.org, aacultwatch.co.uk, xsteppers.multiply.com and stinkin-thinkin.com are often as compelling as they are depressing. Here we learn that Clancy Imislund, a famed addiction expert who managed to get celebrities such as Anthony Hopkins clean while operating an LA rehab program for the homeless, is the driving force behind the Pacific Group, also based in Los Angeles and one of the country’s largest AA chapters. Some allege that the Pacific Group has adopted many of Synanon’s former methods, including claims of guru status for “Clancy I.,” sexual exploitation and various forms of behavioral control. Imislund himself seems to be a somewhat of a globetrotter, advising other AA chapters around the country and the world, expanding the presence of the Pacific Group with spin-off meetings and giving countless speeches about personal empowerment and beating the demon of addiction. (Interestingly, when asked about the Midtown Group scandal, Imislund responded in the Washington Post that “there probably have been some excesses, but they have helped more sober alcoholics in Washington than any other group by far.”)
Read the rest: http://www.thefix.com/content/aa-cults-synanon-legacy0009?page=1