March 29th, 2015

Twelve Steps to Danger: How Alcoholics Anonymous Can Be a Playground for Violence-Prone Members - Pr


.... “AA has been on notice for years that AA meetings are repeatedly used by financial, sexual, and violent predators as a means to locate victims.”

There is considerable evidence to support that assertion. Sexually exploitative actions toward newcomers in AA have long been detailed in AA’s history; biographies of founder Bill Wilson detail his sexual encounters with attractive female members. One associate of Wilson’s told a biographer that at one point, he and others feared Wilson’s womanizing would derail the group altogether. The actions, which range from inappropriate advances to rape, are known in AA circles as the  “13th Step.”

In 2007, stories in the Washington Post and Newsweekdescribed the sexual and emotional abuse of young women at a cultlike AA group in Washington, D.C., called Midtown.  The stories included the accounts of young women who said they were pressured to have sex with many AA members, but especially with the group leader, Michael Quinones, who has since died.

Police concluded that no crime had been committed, since the women involved were over the age of 16 and therefore consenting adults....

Twelve Steps to Danger: How Alcoholics Anonymous Can Be a Playground for Violence-Prone Members - ProPublica

I'm not sure why i posted this.  I am so prejudiced in favor  of 12-step programs that i guess i needed to show another side.  Yes, anonymity protects the guilty as well as the innocent and the program.  But it is a key part of the 12-step programs.  What does anonymity do for the program and for the individual.  Well it protects people and emphasized that the program is about principles, not personalities.  Anonymity is hard to come by these days.  The people are best able and most interested in protecting their anonymity are scoundrels and spies.
I am reading a book on AA by Laura S., Well, i think i know what Laura's last name is because of google.  We all have names and pasts and spirituality doesn't change that.  If we want to limit the influence of ego, maybe we need something other than anonymity.  And we live in a world where, if pain  and suffering can touch us anywhere, it can touch us everywhere, even in spiritual spaces.