[Note that the Foxhall groups were founded by, and are still run by, sponsees of Clancy I.]
THE BLAHG: CONFESSIONS OF A DANGEROUS MIND
May 24, 2007
*Signup Date*: 04/29/07
Thursday, May 17, 2007
Who are these fools????? Why are they here?????
Current mood: full
"Those who seek absolute power, even though they seek it to do what
they regard as good, are simply demanding the right to enforce their own
version of heaven on earth. And let me remind you, they are the very
ones who always create the most hellish tyrannies. Absolute power does
corrupt, and those who seek it must be suspect and must be opposed."
— Sen. Barry Goldwater (R-AZ)
Despite the fact that Sen. Goldwater is one of my political heroes, I
think this quote pretty much sums up the recent revelations of
wrongdoing at the Midtown* AA Group in Washington DC. Having been a
sober member of AA for 13 consecutive years (or as my friend Drew G.
would ask "in a row?"), I believe I have to address these allegations
by stating that there are more than a few AA groups like Midtown where
this bullshit of coercion, intimidation, and "13th stepping" (engaging
in sexual relations with newcomer for my non-AA friends out there) has
gone on. While the chicken shits at the AA General Service Office in
New York want to stick their heads in the sand and state the 4th
tradition of group autonomy, this bullshit does affect AA as a whole.
Let me share with you a similar experience I had with a AA group while I
was living in Minneapolis. I was part of a group called "Foxhall
Chapter 7" which met on Thursday nights at a church in Hopkins, MN.
Ironically, the inspiration for the Foxhall Group (where there are
several nationwide) began in Washington DC like the Midtown Group. At
this meeting, there was an overt air of superiority among the people
sponsored by the self appointed messiah of the group and their
descendants known to each other as "pigeons." Anyway, this "messiah"
in his early sobriety had committed adultery and had an affair with a
newcomer woman who was about 30 days sober and was working as his
nanny. But after all, it was OK for him to commit what I consider to be
a sin of Biblical proportions but a no-no for the newcomers to the group.
I saw a lot of this hero worship run amok in this group and my former
sponsor and I got caught up in what we now dub "the dog and pony show"
of Minneapolis/St Paul AA. Women and men sitting together with their
sponsor saving their seats and getting them a cup of coffee and making a
big Broadway production out of it. The men usually wore suits and ties
and the women dressed up too and were instructed to go out and meet
newcomers. The way they approached newcomers was akin to a used car
salesman. Was some of their concern genuine? Perhaps. I usually felt
there was some ulterior motive involved like a person's desire to
control another person and emulate their sponsor all in the name of
"unconditional love" of course. Then again, Pol Pot and his Khmer Rouge
nutjobs told the Cambodian people the same thing as they tried to turn
their beloved country into a collectivist agrarian society. (Oh damn,
there I go again on one of my anti-Communist rants again....fucking
I seemed to be more interested in the downtroddens-looking ones from the
treatment centers and would talk to them about things like football and
the championship ring I was wearing. Why shove a bunch of useless
cliches down their throat that they were already hearing from the camp
commandants when relatable subjects like sports seemed to put them at
ease? That was my theory and still is. But my "message" was not good
enough according to some of these image hogs. These minions need to
call us every night and be at our every whim whenever we demand it.
That fucking Mirmak is an egomanical jock run amok! How dare he tell
these minions that there is an actual life out there once you sober
up? Believe or not, there is. And to the dickwad at Foxhall (Chad)
that asked me if I was friends with Steve Rosga, the answer is yes and
he is a hell of a lot more fun to be around than you! (See Steve's
profile in a previous blog for an idea of the company that I keep)
My sponsor at the time pretty much left me alone to do my thing much to
his sponsor's dismay. Unfortunately, a few years later he ended up
moving to Cincinnati and suggested that I find someone locally. So I
met this guy named Jim S. who moved up from Iowa with his AA wife Jane
H. (why they don't share the same last name is beyond me). Anyway, Jim
and Jane sponsored a gaggle of men and women at the Foxhall groups in
Minnesota and Iowa.
At first, Jim seemed like an easy going guy and I thought I would ask
him since he was sponsoring a couple friends of mine. Like a Pavlovian
dog, Jim licked his chops and thought to himself that I was going to
be a fun prospect for him. So he tells me that I have an assigned time
to call him once a week just to let him know how I was doing with my
program. As far as I was concerned, my program was to do the 12 steps
and continue to live my life in an ethical manner in all of my affairs.
I guess that wasn't good enough for ol' Jim since I needed to be
involved in every form of AA service known to man and have AA be the
centerpiece of my existence. I went on a few service calls with him at
first, but I thought a day at the gym pumping iron was more beneficial
since I was still playing football at the semipro level. But according
to Jim, that wasn't helping the alcoholic receive "the message." OK,
let's get this straight. I nearly ruin my college football career with
my drinking and have a chance to redeem myself with my old college coach
on this semipro team. (Keep in mind that I have like 7 years sobriety
under my belt at this time) I think that message of redemption and real
hope is fucking awesome and that is exactly what the newcomer needs to
hear, not a life enslaved to the will of a control freak sponsor.
Like an assinine child, Jim would hear none of it.
The final straw in our relationship was my refusal to sponsor someone
who was a convicted sex offender. In short, this man had committed
some lewd acts with an underage girl. Once he divulged that information
to me, I immediately informed him that I would not be his sponsor any
longer. I didn't have the heart to tell him that I thought that his
crime should be classified as a Federal capital crime punishable by
death. In any case, word got out that I "fired" this sicko as a
"pigeon" and caught all kinds of holy hell from Jim and some of his
sponsor's minions for "saying no to AA." Never mind that my wife was 7
months pregnant with our daughter and I was going to become a father.
Did I want this guy potentially around my infant girl? OH HELL NO!!! as
my friends Gerone and Jamel would say. I flat out told Jim my views on
child sex offenders and how the legal system should literally hang them
high. I was told by Jim that my views on this guy's sexual proclivities
towards children were an "outside issue" and I should let it go.
Furthermore, I should reconsider my decision of sponsoring this guy
bcause he is a "still suffering alcoholic." to which I told him "if you
are so concerned about this, then why don't you sponsor him. Because he
may be welcome into your home, but he sure as hell won't be welcome in
mine." With that being said, I decided to end the sponsorship
relationship with Jim and left Foxhall as a group. I was not about to
compromise my principles and integrity for the sake of letting some sick
pervert become a part of my life in the name of "carrying the message."
As far as I am concerned, a rope around the neck and hung from a tree
for this pervert would have been more apropo.
The My Space page about the Midtown group also talks about some of the
goofy things that these AAers did. I remember Jim's wife Jane was so
concerned about wine being put food like chicken that she refused to
consume such dishes and told her minions that it would lead to a relapse
if they ate a dish made with wine. Did someone tell this culinary
"expert" that the booze is cooked out and evaporates when they deglaze
a pan? That was as comical as the fucktard who chewed someone out for
putting Grey Poupon on their sandwich.
I will close this long blog to address the practice of 13th stepping. I
am proud to say that in all of my years of consecutive sobriety in AA
that I never once participated in this practice. However, I would see
some leecherous men try to fawn themselves over a lot of the newcomer
women while telling their "pigeons" that it was forbidden for them to do
so. One newcomer woman I remember fondly was named Amber. She was a
very beautiful and well figured young lady. Anyway, a lot of the males
in our group were seeking attention from her. She usually gave them a
smile and said hi but that was usually the extent of her friendliness
towards them. Anyway, she comes up to me one day and asks me "are all
of the men like this in AA." I told her no and asked her why she asked
me. She told me she felt that some of these men had ulterior motives.
I am thinking to myself, "so why is she asking me?" Maybe she wants
me to kick their asses within an inch of their lives which I felt like
doing to a lot of the 13th steppers in our group. She then tells me
that I seem pretty safe. OK, I thought....she obviously didn't talk to
my college football coach. I looked at her and said "I'll protect
you. Follow me." So I told everyone in the group a lie that she was
my adopted sister and if they tried to fuck with her that I would fuck
them up within an inch of their lives. Granted, that was an outright
lie but I felt she needed to be assured that AA was a safe place for
her. I always looked out for her like she was my little sister and we
used to joke with one another about being siblings.
As a result, Amber is still sober and living in Minneapolis. I was
fortunate enough to have her be a part of our wedding when my wife and I
wed. She told me for a rough and tumble kind of dude that I was, she
was happy that I found someone special to spend the rest of my life with
in a committed relationship. She also thanked me for looking out for
her in her early sobriety. Unfortunately, there are other women who
enter the fellowship who weren't or aren't as fortunate. By letting
this practice happen and sticking our heads in the sand, AA unity will
eventually dissolve slowly but surely leaving this fellowship in the
trash heap of history. If this pissed off and sometimes crabby AAer
has anything to say about it, I ain't going down without a fight to
make this organization a safe haven for all who seek help. May God have
mercy on the souls of the transgressors who seek to tarnish the AA name
for their own twisted agenda because, and be forewarned, I won't.
This is the least I can do for an organization that means a lot to me.
And with that being said, I will defer my comments about AAers
practicing medicine without a license for another blog. However, any
person that truly cares about the AA program should be concerned about
the shenanigans going on with the Midtown and Foxhall Groups. At this
point, I will not be silent anymore because this shit does affect AA as
In the words of Todd Beamer......"Let's Roll."
[The next letter from Matt_M is here.]