Financial scams are becoming more and more prevalent in the rooms of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) as can be seen by the "Gifting Table" Pyramid Scheme using AA Sponsors/Sponces exposed February 6, 2013 in Hartford, Connecticut in Alcoholics Anonymous General Service Area 11 District 7 (http://www.ct-aa.org/Districts/District7/tabid/144/language/en-US/Defaul...). Recruiting heavily from Alcoholics Anonymous using Sponsors the buy in was $5,000 and if you complained, you may just find a severed rabbit head in your front lawn.
Gifting table testimony cites severed rabbit head, questions about link to slain Madison woman
Published: Thursday, February 07, 2013
By Susan Misur
email@example.com / Twitter: @nhrsusan
HARTFORD — A Women’s Gifting Table member testified Wednesday that she found a severed rabbit head on her lawn while tables were under investigation, and believes it was left by someone associated with a murdered participant.
The witness said she told police she felt someone linked to Barbara Hamburg, a table member found dead in 2010 in her yard in Madison, was trying to send a message by leaving the animal head, adding that she spotted the person’s car in her neighborhood. However, police noted that the incident, which occurred a few years ago, could have been the result of a hungry coyote or other wild animal, she acknowledged.
The woman also told jurors in a trial focusing on the gifting tables that she and fellow members of Alcoholics Anonymous were recruited to the alleged pyramid scheme, at times by their AA sponsors. The woman will only be named as Julie due to AA’s firm belief in member privacy.
Julie took the stand in U.S. District Court in Hartford, where Guilford residents Jill Platt and Donna Bello are on trial for serving as alleged leaders of the gifting tables and have been charged with defrauding the Internal Revenue Service and table members. Elena Cahill, a licensed attorney who participated in a table, also testified, denying claims by other witnesses that she said tables were legal.
Participants paid what they were told was a tax-free $5,000 gift to a high-ranking group member to join a table, recruited friends, attended meetings, and could climb the ranks to receive $40,000.
Julie said her AA sponsor-turned-best-friend introduced her to tables in 2009. Platt and Hamburg discussed table strategies with Julie, who soon joined by paying her $5,000 entry fee to the friend who told her about the group.
Julie said she believed that when you give a gift to someone, it comes back to you and that she appreciated the group’s oft-spoken goal of helping women.
Along the way, Julie questioned aspects of the table, including how it was legal, she said. Eventually, there were eight AA members involved in tables and Julie attempted to recruit more. What followed was “the largest conflict I’ve ever seen in Alcoholics Anonymous,” she said. “It’s a violation of a trusted relationship. I trusted people to save my life, and people trusted me to save their lives, and to take advantage of that situation was a problem.”
She quit her table in early 2010, a few months after then-Attorney General Richard Blumenthal launched an investigation of the exclusive clubs. She felt conflicted about requesting her $5,000 back.
“If I came off, they wanted someone else because they want eight gifts. I didn’t want someone else in the situation I wanted to get out of,” Julie said.
Julie eventually lost friendships with AA friends who had joined the gifting tables. Though Julie failed in bringing in new participants, she said she felt shame in trying to recruit AA members because the support group is about trust and unity. She later warned AA members about tables.
I can't think of any group more suited into talking prospects into joining a pyramid scheme then the con men and women of Alcoholics Anonymous because it's Spiritualist*, not Religious, now shut up and pray....
* Spiritualist is referring to the fact that the "12 Steps and 12 Traditions" (12&12) were written by Bill Wilson while he was experimenting with LSD and holding Ouija Board and seances in his home to "help" him write it http://www.beliefnet.com/Entertainment/Books/2004/03/The-Spook-Room.aspx