AA Recruiting in High Schools Coercion

AA recruits regularly at High Schools, they say there aim is to “educate” not recruit “prospects.” The reality is that they are recruiting for AA when they go to High Schools and have a "talk" with the students. They are also doing it without asking permission from the parents. Churches do not go to High Schools to tell everyone how great there programs are. unless it is a Religious school and from the same faith. I have never heard of a Rabi going to a Catholic Church to tell the congregation how great their religion is and it will solve the evils of everything plaguing mankind. AA gets away with it in public schools because they claim it is “Spiritual, not Religious” (establishment clause). There are two main problems with recruiting in High Schools. First they do it without the parents permission and the Bill Wilson “seminars” they give are usually mandatory. The second problem is that if the teen gets involved with Alateen, the parents can not stop it or have a say over who their sponsor will be (Alateen Sponsors come from Al-Anon). While it is true that a family can start to spiral out of control, Alateen can make it happen extremely quickly. A parent who drinks on the weekends can easily be labeled an alcoholic by their children, especially if they are in the "rebellion" stage. Alateen gets the school and social services involved and once that happens the parents become a target for the AA members of who quickly start the interrogation process to label them an "Alcoholic" who should be chanting Bill Wilson. Innocent drinking by the parents on weekends can be easily exacerbated by their children who are taught to dis-associate from them and talk about there experiences believing that they are confidential. These experiences are often "embellished" by the urging of the Al-Anon Sponsors and group think. These stories "leak" to social services and other parents (no matter how much they want yo to believe they don't.) When AA, Al-Anon and Alateen get involved in your child life they are looking for new “Free Salesmen” for the AA corporation started by Bill Wilson.
massive's picture

Considering Level 3 sex offenders have been sentenced to AA in the past few years I think this is a point we must address in our fight.

AA has no business spreading its virus in ANY high school. The purpose of high school is to educate young men and women, not indoctrinate them into a failed cult religion. All concerned parents should be aware of this violation of church and state. Federal courts have already ruled that AA is religious, res adjudicata, it has already been settled.
Orange's picture

Yes, this is a very big point. And parents are naturally hyper-sensitive on this subject. For good reason. We should hammer away at this point non-stop. Sex offenders are sentenced to A.A. and N.A. meetings. Often. Heck, my own "counselor" at the "treatment center" was sent to prison for criminal sexual penetration of two minors -- his own step-children. And then I listed three more sex offenders in the file "Sentenced to A.A.": http://www.orange-papers.org/orange-sentenced.html And I wasn't even trying to find sex offenders there. I just perused an online newspaper, and made a list of all of the people who were sentenced to A.A. in the small town of Westboro, Massachusetts, in a few months. One was a child pornographer, and the second one was a bad cop who threatened to rape a 12-year-old girl. The third one was the worst: the police believe that he is an unconvicted murdering sexual predator, but they can't get the evidence to convict him. Just the kind of people you want to send your children to for an education, right?
Orange's picture

I received two letters recently, from a woman who quit a branch of Clancy's Clones called "The Nursery", wherein she described the oldtimers preying on underage girls: http://www.orange-papers.org/orange-letters249.html#So_Done_With_AA http://www.orange-papers.org/orange-letters251.html#So_Done_With_AA Particularly relevant lines: 2. They demean women. Most of their meetings are for men only, although they are trying to convert young women into the "Nursery way of life." In mixed meetings, I have heard Nursery speakers make derogatory jokes about women, and about Al-Anon. They openly let older members hit on and stalk younger women in "their" mixed meetings. When I say older I mean over 45, and when I say younger I mean under 20. 4. They spread like a virus. They are constantly starting up new meetings in their home areas and in new areas, and require that the meeting be run the way they say. 5. They are taking over young people's meetings, conferences, and round-ups, because that's where all the young women are. Don't get me started about what happens at YP events. I think that this is the kind of stuff that parents should hear about before they allow A.A. to have any access to their children.

I am a bit surprised that 12-Steppers are "encroaching" into high schools (as if the travesty of "Al-Anon" is not enough!). Are there specific examples where this occurs? Parents need to be informed, and the kids need to be saved from these cultish-predatory, sickos!

.I don’t know what AA you guys a have seen, but its not the AA I know. I chair an AA Public Information committee and my Area get lots of requests from Schools and Colleges for us to attend with literature and to speak to the pupils and teachers about our experience with alcohol and our recovery from alcoholism. The AA guide lines are clear, its not preaching it simply telling our experiences. I have never seen any AA person coerce or recruit in the manner you describe. But I have seen many Teachers for example come to look for a solution to their problems after our visits. The schools it seems have many, many alcoholic teachers as well as students who have problems that are not recognized or addressed. I have heard a lot of teachers tell how they are drunk mist of the day teaching our kids. AA clearly (from its text) does not at all claim to be the only solution for sobriety and I can only speak for myself, but from my experience, AA only tries to help the public after it has been asked and we have been able to help some and will be here to help if we can. Regards

"AA only tries to help the public after it has been asked..."? The thousands of co-erceed probationers and parolees would disagree. Do you not understand that the basis for "remaining sober in AA' is recruiting new members? (Working With Others)? Have you not read the "Big Book"? Do you not know that several Federal courts have declared AA a religious program? I personally do not care what you believe about alcoholism and its appropriate treatment, this is a free country, but stay the hell away from impressionable young adults with your fraudulent faith-healing and mindless drivel about powerlessness. Do you tell your "audience" that AA works no better than no treatment for alcoholics? Or do you tell them "it works if you work it"? Do you also tell your "audience" that there are other modalities of treatment for alcoholism that are more effective than AA? Your post above just shows how much denial you and AA are in.

I again, dont know what AA you are talking about, the subject was High schools ? not probationers or and parolees, thats different all togther and another subject. All I know is that the schools and colleges again REQUEST aa member to talk at thier schools and colleges. And we try to help by sharing our experience. Im not religious at all and nor is AA as far as im concerend and im not in denial. I was in denial for the years i was drinking. I dont drink anymore thanks to AA and I have read the BB many, many times and worked the 12 steps of AA. Why you have to default to insults is beyond me. Perhaps you have some denial yourself? I thought this was a discussion forum?

What I tell people about AA being a possible solution is clear. Its in the forward to the 2nd edition (if you have read it) BB FOREWARD TO THE SECOND EDITION xxi except: "In all probability, we shall never be able to touch more than a fair fraction of the alcohol problem in all its ramifications. Upon therapy for the alcoholic himself, we surely have no monopoly " Its right there, AA is "a" solution for those that have found it to be so. It clearly does not claim to be the only solution. And as you brought it up, as an ex jail bird mysef and since been invited to several correctional facilities to talk about my experience with alcohol. Id be glad to discuss in another thread.

AA claims it doesn't go where its not asked to, yet how about the CONFLICT OF INTEREST of its so-called "members" (whether they be teachers, judges, etc.) that "invite" AA into their work enviornments for a so-called "attraction, not PROMOTION" event? I truly doubt AA was "invited" by a judge to begin getting people coerced by the court system into attending AA meetings! And as for schools-there are enough hostages held their already! The last thing those poor kids need is to have to listen to a bunch of train-wreck, CHOICE-living individuals postulate about how a bunch of worthless words, and an even more worthless book, "saved" their life, when the fact is, they CHOSE to stop the alcohol consumption themselves! AA needs to be BANNED from school campuses, as religion does!

Sir- I apologize if you took my criticism of AA speaking in high schools and/or colleges even by request of same as a personal insult. It was not meant that way. It was a criticism of AA's failure to comply with their own "traditions"- "attraction not promotion". Speaking as an AA member at an educational institution is certainly promotion of AA and the AA dogma. How can it not be? Do you not tell the young adults that "you were powerless over alcohol, no human aid could help you, and that God could and would if He were sought"? Do you not see that this is religious dogma? And in violation of the separation of church and state. As for you believing that AA is not religious, your co-founder Bill Wilson said it was. How can one "work the steps of AA' without some kind of belief in a "God'/"higher power" to save you from powerlessness over alcohol without which you are doomed to die from alcoholism? This is a religious belief you are epousing. Saying AA is a "spiritual, not religious" program is a dodge and a distinction without a difference. Telling people that God will save them from a disease which is progressive, chronic, and fatal is most certainly epousing faith-healing. And I am in denial?? This IS a discussion board. Please enlighten me about what I am in denial about. Do you think Scientology or Jehovah Witnesses should go into educational institutions and promote their dogma? How about the Roman Catholic Church? Or Pat Robertson? Congrats on your sobriety. You did it yourself.

No doubt, Flannigan, you have a good explanation of why the "religious right" in your country is so dismissive of A.A.

AA is not, and never has been, a :therapy for alcoholism". Remember, there is no cure, "once an alcoholic, always an alcoholic". The only therapy for alcoholism is moderate/stop excessive drinking of alcohol. What this has to do with belief in God, prayer, steps, meetings, recruiting new members, confessings your sins, service work, etc. escapes me.

If AA is "a solution for those that found it to be so", so be it, but you have no right to promote faith-healing in public educational institutions in the USA. It has already been adjudicated as unconstitutional and a violation of the separation of church and state. Be a good citizen, follow the law. Thanks.

People who decided to stop and did it when they happened to be attending aa will always attribute sobriety to aa. They stopped, aa didn't do a thing for them. Just like the relapses while in aa are not because of aa. It's all behavior and choice. Promoting it in public schools is ridiculous.

Who does " faith-healing in public educational institutions" ? I have never seen that at any of maybe 200 school visits and public information commitments that I have attended and participated in , by any one anywhere in AA all across the USA and half way around the world that I have personally been to? Do you have some examples of that , places, and people? The "Law" in every case in the US and around the world btw invites us to speak, the "Law" promotes AA, by sending people to it, not AA itself. The Constitution can not be in any way affected by AA. Its not the government, although many government officials , are members (or should be if the Capital Hill bar bill is anything to go by.) I would suggest that organized religion by definition and clear proof violate the separation of church and state at virtually every level not AA. "So help me GOD" seems to appear a little to much in LAW for an atheist??? What rights do I have over that? Hows the constitution doing for me? No, religious radicals, often Christian, violate the separation of church and State in the US. A program that simply tries to help folk stuck in the terrifying grip of alcoholism does not. I can only speak for myself.

I was just wondering how you found this forum/website. Are you familiar with/have you read the "Orange Papers" from whence this site emerged? If you have read "Orange", why would you bother to post a comment bragging about AA promoting itself in high schools/colleges? What is your agenda? Just wondering.

Do I have any examples of AA promoting faith-healing at any public educational institution? Well, in fact, I do. Your post is a perfect example. Wherever AA promotes itself in a public institution, it is promoting faith-healing, since "alcoholics are powerless to save themselves without God". This is the dogma of AA. "No mental defense against the first drink witout the aid of a "higher power". Bill Wilson wrote this. Do you agree with that statement or not? "If AA members do not work the steps to the best of their abilities, they are almost certainly signing their own death warrants". Bill Wilson also wrote that. Do you agree or not? Please make yourself familiar with court cases concerning AA. It will be an eye opener.

If I could have decided to stop, I would have. I am an alcoholic, I cant stop when I start and I wanted to start all the time. My body and mind have a reaction to alcohol that non alcoholics dont have. People have all sorts of allergies I do not have. Mine happens to be alcohol. As it affects my mind as well as body, my mind tells me its ok to drink even after the dire consequenses of doing so over and over again for 35 years. Jail, two divorces overdoses, ER's , Detox, Therapy, Doctors, Rehab, nothing stopped me. My will power was gone when it came to alcohol (not everything else btw). Do you think I knew that when i first walked into AA? then found othes like me? I have not had a drink in 22 months now. Whatever comes after, going to AA got me to stop and STAY sober so far and especially it will do so just TODAY.

Im not promoting AA in any shape or form, just answering you forum notes with real life examples i have witnessed. I simply have not seen what you describe? anywhere. I was invited to join this forum. I thought it was a decent discussion forum, but clearly now I ve read through some , its full of comments from people who seem to have some deep rooted issues with AA. I do not to date. I have no agenda, Im interested in all aspects of my recovery. I had many years of hell and found a way out. Im interested in critics of AA. I want an informed opinion. I have not seen any example of many of the things talked about here. I want to know if they are real or not as I have seen many examples myself of the opposite. Im from England, we have a different aspect to this./ So do my friends in Tokyo who are shinto. We are not all white, middle aged christian Americans, this is a GLOBAL issue and this site is known and seen all over the world as is Orange papers thats how we found it.

Brace58-you ARE STOPPED! Your "imaginary-friend" of a "higher power" (or whatever the hell you call it!) had NOTHING TO DO with you stopping, just like it had NOTHING TO DO WITH YOU STARTING! You are NOT "allergic" to alcohol, or you would have STOPPED USING IT AFTER THE FIRST INGESTION OF IT! And calling yourself an "alcoholic" after you have STOPPED alcohol consumption, makes about as much sense as you calling yourself a smoker after stopping smoking! Grow out of your, "I can't do it" mentality, when the fact is, you have, and you are, and YOU WILL CONTINUE TO REMAIN SOBER, as long as YOU CHOOSE TO! Not the alcohol, not the imaginary "higher power", not a group, or a badly-written, self-centered, 72 year old book, or a set of "steps". Just YOU! YOU did it! YOU can undo it. YOU can continue to do it. Its called CHOICE! You have always had it. YOU always will. Deal with it. Now and FOREVER. Fuck this "one day at a time" mentality! Did you want to drink when you were an alcoholic "one day at a time"? I doubt it. So why be sober, "one day at a time"? You are sober. Hope you remain so, and can live with yourself as such. Good luck.
Dennis M.'s picture

Brace58, you're welcome to contribute to the discussions here and I hope you're treated well, but I wouldn't waste your time defending AA and giving the typical anecdotal evidence about how it saved your or any one else's life. I and suspect the others here that wish to see the cult exposed for what it truly is have heard these defenses many, many times and are very well versed in the subject matter. I grew up around the 12-Step culture from the age of 10 including the business arm of it, I have heard all of this many times over. If you want to learn something, great, if you only want to defend AA with no legitimate scientific backing you're not going to get a positive response.
Dennis M. "They are not at fault, they seem to have been brainwashed that way."

As Dennis M said above- you are more than welcome to post here and more than welcome to defend AA on this website. Please take time to read the "Orange Papers" (huge website but it will be worth it). I think most people on this forum are interested in truth, not just opinion. As far as "having some deep rooted issues with AA", well, if you mean do I protest against promoting quackery as a treatment for addiction, the answer is yes. AA does not work any better than no treatment in overcoming alcoholism. Promoting AA as a valid, effective treatment of a very real problem IS the issue, since AA has been shown by studies time after time to be no better than doing nothing. Please read "Orange Papers" (and any other books about alcoholism/addiction that you can find). I also recommend "More Revealed". Congrats on your 22 months of sobriety. You did it yourself.

Brace58- "I am not promoting AA in any shape or form". Defending AA is the same thing as promoting AA. Do you not see this? Again, congrats on your sobriety. Good luck to you.

brace58- Whether one is from USA, England (just noticed you are), Tokyo, or wherever is not the issue. THE issue is whether AA is a valid, effective treatment of alcoholism. Or whether it is just another scam in a long line of scams that does not deliver what it says it does. "Rarely have we seen a person fail...." If you are happy in AA and you attribute your sobriety to the program of AA, by all means, continue what you are doing. It is your life. But I say this in all sincerity, take time to educate yourself in the total picture of AA, alcoholism, addiction, and treatments of these disorders, not just what you are being told by the Big Book, your sponsor, or the oldtimer gurus. Sometimes things are just not what they appear to be. You owe it to yourself to be well informed about "alcoholism", "treatment" and "recovery". There is much information out there. Good luck to you.
btnben's picture

Hello there Brace58. I too am from England and have 25 years (on and off) experience of AA. I'm originally from Brighton but now live in Plymouth. If you want an example of strange things happening this side of the Atlantic just look into the "Roads to Recovery" groups - the main one is here in Plymouth. A while ago I heard a new member of this cult within the cult rejoicing in the fact that they were travelling to Glasgow to see Clancey - the last time I heard anyone talk like that it was before a U2 concert. Apologies in advance for the language, but I thought it was a fucking disgrace.

God damn it, get me a whiskey

Bill W, Deathbed


alkieanon's picture

massive says: "Considering Level 3 sex offenders have been sentenced to AA in the past few years I think this is a point we must address in our fight." Opinion or fact? Please cite a source. 3rd level mentioned again: http://www.orange-papers.org/forum/comment/17702#comment-17702 http://www.orange-papers.org/forum/comment/22651#comment-22651 http://www.orange-papers.org/forum/node/489 http://www.orange-papers.org/forum/node/544 What's the connection?