Stop13stepinaa's Blog

Tom Powers and Bill Wilson wrote the 12 and 12 together. Had a huge falling out due to Bill’s Sex addiction.

Posted in 13 Stepping, AA Activism, Exposing AA, Women's Right in AA Culture by Massive on June 1, 2010

Tom Powers helped Bill Wilson to write Bill’s second book, Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions. Francis Hartigan, who was Lois Wilson’s private secretary and confidant, recently wrote a biography of Bill Wilson. For it, Hartigan interviewed Tom Powers, and quoted Tom as saying that he had urged Bill to quit his smoking and womanizing:

“All the while we were working on the ‘Twelve and Twelve,'” Tom said, “I would argue with him, ‘you’re killing yourself. And think about what you’re doing to Lois!”
While other people I spoke with insisted that Lois never knew about Bill’s affairs, Tom insisted that “Lois knew everything and she didn’t have to guess about it, either. A lot of people tried to protect her, but there were others who would run to Stepping Stones to tell Lois all about it whenever they saw Bill with another woman.
I asked Tom how Bill reacted when Tom would insist that Bill’s guilt over his infidelities was responsible for his depressions.
“I think that was the worst part of it,” he said. “Bill would always agree with me. ‘I know,’ he’d say. ‘You’re right.’ Then, just when I would think we were finally getting somewhere, he would say, ‘But I can’t give it up.’
“When I would press him as to why the hell not, he would start rationalizing. What would really kill me is when he’d say, ‘Well, you know, Lois has always been more like a mother to me.’ Which somehow was supposed to make it all right for him to cheat on her.”
Tom himself had also been sexually compulsive even after he quit drinking, and he found it very hard to change his behavior.   …
Tom said that it took him five years after he quit drinking to change his behavior in this area, and for five years after that, he tried to get Bill to change, too. “Besides what he was doing to the women he was chasing and to Lois, his behavior was a huge source of controversy in AA,” Tom said. “He could be very blatant about it, and there were times when it seemed like the reaction to a particularly flagrant episode would end up destroying everything he had worked for. But then people would scurry around and smooth things over, or cover it all up.”
According to Tom, Bill’s behavior caused some of his most ardent admirers to break with him. Eventually, Tom broke with Bill, too.
“I told him that I still considered him to be my sponsor, but that I didn’t want to work with him anymore. I said that I hoped we could be friends, but I didn’t want to have anything more to do with him publicly. I just couldn’t go on feeling as though I was in any way supporting what he was doing to Lois — and to himself.
“Bill said, ‘Fine. I feel the same way about you, too,’ and we shook on it. As though it were some mutually agreed upon parting of the way, with fault on both sides. Which was a real switcheroo, you know. I think he knew that I saw right through it, but I guess it made him feel better not to have to take responsibility for destroying what had been a very enjoyable and productive working relationship.”

86 Responses

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  1. Hadenough said, on June 2, 2010 at 7:39 am

    There are many people in AA who have this additional addiction in the area of sex but they aren’t trying to be leaders of AA. It is when the leaders, the elder statesmen, as it were, take their position of power, and it is a position of power and usurp it, abuse it and make others cow-tow to their ego that they then begin to diminish what AA is. When a vulnerable woman or man or minor is subjected to this kind of power grab (abuse of position) and they have no idea that it is not the norm in AA nor should it be, that they come away from AA thinking they have to go it alone in sobriety or return to drinking. Therein lies AA’s demise. What can we do? Bill W. is dead. Lois is dead. We can speak the truth every time the topic is aired. The movie of Lois’ life did not reveal Bill’s womanizing nor her suffering in this regard and in this way continues the lie, the deception and the enabling of someone with Bill’s behavior. It is time for AA, as a society of sober groups to take its own inventory, just like Bill & Tom’s 12 & 12 states about the individual. Peaceful action through prayer, reflection, meditation, writing and revealing the results to another leads to progress which is the best part of the AA program beyond the personalities and into the principles. To this end I strive each day.

  2. Alternative for Sobriety said, on January 25, 2011 at 9:47 am

    so true, It would be great to see a movie about Bill that showed all that truth about his Predatory behavior, and how about him sitting around taking LSD! That would be refreshing.

  3. Mary said, on January 28, 2011 at 8:47 pm

    I was very lucky, early in my recovery I was around some long-time members who didn’t mind sharing the truth about Bill W. One was a lady who had lived in New York a long time who had known people close to Bill. People worry that the truth will “damage new comers” but it set me free. I had been buying into the horrible defective person I was supposed to be because I was an alcoholic to the point of feeling like I could never be a “good AA” and wondering if I could stay sober, or even if I deserved it when she said this. After that it started to become a little easier to accept my own humanity even while subjected to meetings of people spouting on about writing “War and Peace” sized 4th steps every year and making beautiful, groveling amends to every being they had known on the planet, living and dead. I finally began to learn to not judge myself as hopeless. I was very fortunate in some of the more easy-going and honest people I met along the way. The perfect steppers were so cult-like, they scared me, and AA was my last stop, or so I was told (and, in truth, the mental health system in my area was so awful that other than AA, their solution for me had been to house me in a private home that took in people with mental retardation and dementia; I was 28 at that time. That and drug me on powerful anti-psychotics so I could be easily controlled by my family or handlers).

  4. Alternative for Sobriety said, on January 29, 2011 at 2:45 am

    You were luckier then me in that regards, I was completey in the dark about Bill until NA starting writing a Big Book in the 80’s . Then the rumors started about him taking LSD. I was shocked and didnt want to believe it. Over 2 years ago is when I really saw it all. Orange -papers and friends told me. I felt like an idiot. But then I felt free and I realized how culty AA had become. Chanting and quoting the book like he/it was GOD!

  5. Mary said, on January 29, 2011 at 3:23 pm

    The chanting and promotion of self-hatred is a big turn-off for me. I am very careful in what meetings I attend, I do still participate in my home group and one decent women’s meeting. When some 25 year old high school drop-out is sitting there all glassy-eyed spouting dialogue that sounds like it came from a movie made back in the 1940’s something is not right or honest. Then when he leaves the cocoon of the half-way house and starts using again it’s because he didn’t “work the program”. It can get completely weird, as much as I know that the good people I met in my time of greatest crisis saved my life, I also know that a LOT of what passes for a program of recovery with a lot of people is wrote memorization and/or abuse.

    • astrologerdawn said, on April 17, 2013 at 6:46 pm

      I don’t hear the self-hatred piece, although I’m sure it must be there. I go to several different programs and I take what I want and leave the rest. Until I go to a meeting where I connect with people who have identified and worked on ALL of their addictions, I take what I want and leave the rest. The first meeting I ever went to 25 years ago was in a club house where the first thing I noticed were two huge coffee urns, several plates piled high with donuts, lots of ashtrays and people smoking. I remember saying to the woman that I was with “don’t these count as addictions?” and she told me to only focus on alcohol! Thank God I know better now and that it’s everything, the smoking, sex, love, gambling, drugs, alcohol, food and whatever else there is out there to be addicted too!

      I’ll continue with individual and group therapy, talking to my spiritually healthy friends, go to each addictions meeting when it works for me and get what I want, say what I need to say for me and leave when it works for me!

  6. hadenough said, on January 29, 2011 at 11:56 pm

    Fortunately I had two sponsors who were free thinkers and did not spout retoric or make me do lockstep thinking or actions. They both said, you have a brain, so use it and take what you need and leave the rest. One man, a brain surgeon in recovery said not to trust the AA gurus, to find my own path and my own spirituality, to uncover, discover and discard so that I could become myself which was hidden under my addictive behaviors and thinking. I learned so much from those people and their love and encouragement was something that was profound. I learned to pay attention to my gut and to my heart. I stayed away from people who sponsored a million people at a time…how did they find time to live their own life? It did not make sense. I stayed away from people who couldn’t express themselves outside of “program talk and rhetoric” because they didn’t really feel like they were alive to me, at least not yet. I am definitely not someone who can sponsor just anyone because I am really sensitive and don’t want to just give my energy to someone who is not serious about getting well. Yes, it’s an ongoing process but I do feel we can get well. No, I don’t operate under the illusion that I could drink again, the allergy doesn’t heal itself. But mentally, spiritually and psychologically, we can get well. I was one who needed psychotherapy, decades of it but that is because of what occurred before I started drinking. Thanks for reading. Peace be with you.

    • Alternative for Sobriety said, on January 30, 2011 at 10:29 pm

      I agree, when I came in in 75 people were very careful not to tell you what to do, rather find the answer within. I would have run like the wind if they did treated me like they treat people today.
      Im trying out Smart Recovery Meetings, I really liked it alot.

      • Thomas Westbrook said, on March 13, 2014 at 5:45 am


    • john paul said, on July 8, 2013 at 10:33 pm

      Forgive me for being blunt, but I’ve never heard someone say things so close to my inward thinking about aa. In particular, I’ve always felt a bit ashamed for not trusting some of the members who are a bit over-eager to help. I think there’s a passage in the NA book about big-fish-in-a-small-pond syndrome, and it goes on to explain that some of us have had so little entrusted to us in our lives, that gaining reputation in aa can inflate our egos and we can divert attention from our flaws by trying to control our sponsees and aa positions. It was nice to hear you say that you trust your gut n heart cuz I’ve always felt guilty for doing that as though i was judging them. And the program rhetoric does need a limit ;) Thanks

    • john paul said, on July 8, 2013 at 10:34 pm


      Forgive me for being blunt, but I’ve never heard someone say things so close to my inward thinking about aa. In particular, I’ve always felt a bit ashamed for not trusting some of the members who are a bit over-eager to help. I think there’s a passage in the NA book about big-fish-in-a-small-pond syndrome, and it goes on to explain that some of us have had so little entrusted to us in our lives, that gaining reputation in aa can inflate our egos and we can divert attention from our flaws by trying to control our sponsees and aa positions. It was nice to hear you say that you trust your

      • canofpencils said, on July 9, 2013 at 5:03 am

        Ego deflation at depth- unfortunately the ego runs the show in life. You use recovery or therapy to bring the damage under control. AA says you have no control- but after being “sober/clean” for awhile you have control over your life( or as much as chance will allow) The time comes in ANY therapy when you have to go out there and live life. The clowns are always there in or out of these programs- how you deal with them changes as a result of the work you do. And one thing all this work taught me is you dont abuse anyone including yourself

  7. Mary said, on January 30, 2011 at 2:39 am

    hadenough, I love what you wrote! We need more free thinkers in recovery circles.

  8. bobboman said, on April 2, 2011 at 6:56 pm

    I am 40 years sober and have always identified with Dr. Bob as my model for sobriety. His mantra was to “keep it simple” and that’s what I try to do. My early sponsors did the same and it’s the same message I pass on to people I help. If Bill had been the sole founder of AA it would have been franchised long ago. As a New Yorker he was always the one most prominently mentioned in this area. I don’t have any real respect for Bill, although much of his writing is helpful if you take it on a “do as I say and not as I do” basis. He is a poor power of example.

    • Massive Attack said, on April 3, 2011 at 8:57 am

      I agree Bill is a poor example. But in doing this work and all the accounts I have collected the criminal activity is too widespread to ignore and act as if it’s not rampant.

      So we have written a great pamphlet and over 50 meetings are using it and it’s growing.
      thanks for posting!

      I hear Stepping Stones makes plenty on his drunk junk.

      • bobboman said, on April 3, 2011 at 9:53 pm

        Can I get a copy of the pamphlet?

  9. JR Harris said, on April 3, 2011 at 10:27 pm

    The wife of Bill W, Lois had a very big effect on him that is usually glossed over in AA history. She was born Lois Burnham on Mar. 4, 1891 and was 4 years older than Bill Wilson. She became Lois Wilson on Jan. 24, 1918. The work history of Lois gives a good idea on the path she was following during thier marriage. Lois Wilson held the jobs at the Red Cross, Bellevue Hospital and Macy’s during the early years of thier relationship. Possibly because of her previously working at Bellevue Hospital, she was so worried about Bill that she started to look for sanitariums to put him in during the early 1930’s. The reason she stayed with him into the 1940’s when the “Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions” were written is anybody’s guess. It could be that the Corporation that Bill W made, started to pay all of the bills.

  10. Mel Gibson said, on April 4, 2011 at 7:43 pm

    My problem is is that AA promotes itself as virtual Christianity. yet, Wilson couldn’t keep free from womaninzing. AA is either a spiritual program, who founders live what they preached, or it is not. Then again, Mormons are considered spiritual and Brigham Young got busy with 12 wives.

    I struggle with the AA concept. Years ago AA was considered for down-and-out drunks. Then, it raised it’s standards through the Self-help movement and welcomed high-bottom drunks. I only hope AA goes back to its original manifestation and leave Self-help recovery to psycho-tropic medsa and neurotic psychologists.

  11. Massive Attack said, on May 7, 2011 at 9:34 pm

    Why do smart intelligent people in today’s world read this literature like it is good information.
    It’s way too outdated for me.
    NA has already written a new text. Can’t wait to see if it’s any good.

  12. Enrique said, on August 23, 2011 at 12:52 pm

    My late sponsor was one of those that sponsored millions, he even sponsored people on the web thousands of miles away. He chained smoked and became obese in his latter years, and died of lung cancer. He was my god for many years. When I would question him about rumors concerning his borrowing hefty sums of money from his other babies and not paying back, he would refuse to answer. He was one of the biggest gurus in all of AA and was on the speaking circuit from the time he had just a few months of sobriety due to his very well trained voice (he was an actor) and his glibness. When I first got sober in 1978 I told him in my inventory of the children rape at 7 that I experienced and that it affected me so much that I thought I should get therapy. His answer was that either there is a god or there is no god. And if there is a god he will provide all I need and to ask Him to remove my difficulties. I worked the program extremely hard, prayed, amends, you name it. Volunteered in hospitals, sponsored. But I became increasingly worse, never losing the desire to drink and never acheiving the promises in any way. I just stayed sober and the years went on. Finally at 20+ years sober I said fuck it and went out, assuring myself that if I could not handle it I would return. After 12 years of successful controlled drinking my limit started to increase and became concerned enough that I decided to try AA again. In the last 5 1/2 during my drinking I found this wonderful therapist who was the first one that helped me with the rape and other issues that had buried me in extreme, unimaginable depression and delusions since age 7. And though I have been drinking the last 12 years I am in much better shape in mind and body than when I was sober 20+ years! My problem now is that when at a meeting I feel like am forced to cower to those with years of sobriety even though most of them are really messed up the head. They would never accept the fact that I am actually a dramatically improved human than when I was sober. I am also much more clear-headed about all the realities of AA. I am a bonifide agnostic and have no interest in the spiritual crap of AA or any of the steps and inventory baloney. But I still want to go to meetings for the fellowship of like-minded people. Throughout the last 12 years of drinking I also really cleaned up my diet and excercise diligently to the point that I am much better shape than anyone near my age in AA. Most of those with 20+ years plus are just like my sponsor was, chain-smoking, coffee guzzling obese monstrosities. And they sit on their fat assess talking about their spirituality. Makes me want to puke. Because of these things I now put absolutely no value or importance of how much time one has. In fact I am so disgusted with how AA has not changed a bit since I left that I may just go on with my well-managed drinking or quit on my own. I wish I could find groups in or out of AA where god, the steps and everything AA including the Lords Prayer and all the other rituals are left out. I ust would want to be around those that truly try to improve themselves as humans, and strive to be courteous, fair, honest etc. without having to write inventories.

    • Massive Attack said, on August 24, 2011 at 1:45 am

      Welcome. I found your story really moving and I am so sorry you had this a hole in your life for so long. This is the tragedy that I see in AA that goes on for years.
      This is the cult aspect I see now that I have left. I hope you find some solace in that you are not alone. has a blog go to the thread WHY I LEFT AA and you will read some sad , true and great shares and stories.
      I am soo sorry for your childhood rape. I can not imagine how horrid that was and to be minimized by this freak is unconscionable. Thank god for spell check! anyway
      I encourage you to read and return here and read the older stories. I started this blog in January of 2010.

      PLease feel free to contact me directly at

      I agree with you about the many who have 20 + and yet are so fucked up.

      I wish I could find groups in or out of AA where god, the steps and everything AA including the Lords Prayer and all the other rituals are left out. I ust would want to be around those that truly try to improve themselves as humans, and strive to be courteous, fair, honest etc. without having to write inventories.

      Try Smart Recovery Meetings. They are wonderful! I go once in a while. ALso I am going to have a ex stepper support group that meets maybe once a month. Wanna join let me know. no steps, no readings, no religion.

      Again welcome. Also you might like Kenneth ANderson on blogtalkradio HAMS Harm Reduction network. He drinks moderately and successfully. He was a guest on my radio show a few weeks back.

    • Massive said, on December 1, 2013 at 3:40 pm

      I know it has been a long time but I am wondering how you are doing. I created another blog called there is a thread called Abstinence vs Moderation for those who need other options. Many bloggers have posted there.

      makeaasafer@gmail is my contact.

  13. Massive said, on February 29, 2012 at 10:23 am

    Reblogged this on Stop13stepinaa's Blog and commented:

    Just see people asking this questions. I was shocked to learn this. I know some one personally who met Tom Powers who helped Bill write it. He no money at all.

  14. michael prater said, on November 20, 2012 at 9:52 am

    The information written in the 12car and 12I gives the sponsor pertinent information as to why these predators act the way they do. Instincts on rampage baulk at investigation! My God given instincts for sex, security and society have exceeded their proper function. They are God given instincts; they are the exact NATURE of my wrongs. I am grateful for the people who study this literature and can hold me accountable in all areas of my life! The accountability is formed through the clear cut directions of the twelve steps of Alcoholics Anonymous; we fully disclose ourselves and our problems. I am very eager to visit AAA. I am frustrated with the frothy emotional appeal of AA.

  15. Massive said, on November 20, 2012 at 11:00 pm

    SO you are saying you like what you read in the 12 and 12? Im not getting what you are saying exactly…

  16. massive said, on January 23, 2013 at 8:27 pm

    Johnlight ….Im confused as to your point here.

    • Johnlight said, on January 23, 2013 at 8:34 pm

      Sorry you are confused. What would you like me to say.

  17. massive said, on January 23, 2013 at 8:37 pm

    What are you trying to say? Im not getting it. The initial post is how Bill and Tom had a falling out because Bill Wilson was a rampant 13 stepper, philanderer and Tom couldn’t take watching it anymore. Today he could have used the Bullshit word a “Sex addict” ….what a joke ….At least back then when a man or woman stepped out they called it what it was. No powerless BS.

    • Johnlight said, on January 23, 2013 at 8:51 pm

      All wilson had to offer was his example. If Powers did not like the example…. So what? Powers did the writing and saddled AA with his conflicting ideas it might be best for all concerned to ignore the 12×12.

      The idea that AAs should be chaste holy rollers was Tom’s

      The ideas about philandering are yours.

      The idea of sex addict ……. ?

      • massive said, on January 23, 2013 at 9:11 pm

        All wilson had to offer was his example. …really? and his BS made up religion and his sexual predation known to the insider AA’s since its inception …read or read Bill W book written by Francis Hartigan. Its not my Opinion !!!! He preached what he did not live up to. He was a lazy ass….as I was told by the docent at Stepping Stones his home museum, which I visited this summer to find more truth about the late mr bill….

        AA is filled with sexual harassment and predation . Its illegal yet AA’s act like they are some sort of secret club ….its days are numbered with the attitude we can do anything we want and get away with it. Cops are going into meetings undercover to catch people now. ….I heard…..

      • Johnlight said, on January 23, 2013 at 11:23 pm

        If you read what Bill and 22 members of AA wrote in 1938-april 1939 you find a vastly different story. The 1 st edition carries religious ideas that no aa member voiced. The 12×12 was written by a new comer to AA and the 2nd edition was more than 50% changed from the first edition. All the changes to date and all the publications subsequent to the Original/Multilith edition were made to satisfy a religion’s agenda.

        AA has survived despite the changes. The acceptance of members like Bill and Bob have set the collective example that there is a welcome for all with loving acceptance of who they are —– without a condition that the new member conform with anyone’s agenda of how they should comport themselves.

        Those who would demand a Disney image seeks to deprive AA of its earliest examples. AA is as good place to wake up and smell the roses. Any group AA or otherwise that demands rigid conformity to any ideal of behavior is a bastion of power players preying on the flock. Yes, there plenty of “AA” groups who demand a conformity, these are best avoided. If the groupies are waving books and saying the “right” things the right way….run.

        Cops on the job have always come to AA. Why not? Every one is welcome cops, robbers, predators, wanna be victims…..just like the rest of the world. Nothing said or done in AA is secret, or special. Getting and staying sober has nothing to do with AA….It is just a place for fellowship for folks in remission from alcoholism.

      • astrologerdawn said, on April 17, 2013 at 6:40 pm

        In denial much?

  18. Gunthar2000 said, on January 24, 2013 at 11:16 am

    Who cares what changes were made, by whom, or when. AA literature stands as some of the most self-loathing, religious material that I’ve ever read in my life. The demand for denial of self, and conformity to AA principles is prevalent within AA literature, and AA culture alike.
    Every once in a while I run into these supposed AA purists, who want to correct us all about what AA really is, and what AA isn’t. They like to pretend that AA was never intended to be what AA actually is, or that the reason so many of us can’t stand AA is because we’ve never actually experienced AA the way AA was originally intended.

    • sleepy said, on January 24, 2013 at 1:43 pm

      johnlight- more blah blah blah making up mumbo jumbo bs of what AA is and what AA isnt.

    • AntiDenial said, on January 24, 2013 at 2:52 pm

      Hey johnlight, are people supposed to enjoy the fellowship before or after 13 stepping, rape, murder, being a victim of a financial scam or doing a sexual inventory confession? The Program and fellowship are both contaminated with harmful practices including turning their backs on children and teens.

    • Hank said, on January 24, 2013 at 3:11 pm

      Hey Mr. Johnlight,

      I understand your passion for the program and I once to would do anything to protect the AA way, in fact I still have an AA tattoo embedded in another tattoo on my chest today. So I truly get your desire to defend the AA history, members and program.

      After freeing and deprogramming myself from AA and then finding out the well documented truth about AA I’m considering have my tattoo laser removed because of the knowledge I now possess. You owe it to yourself to at least seek out and read text other than approved AA literature and see what others have found under the hood of AA but what could really help is the other solutions that are out there! Dozen and dozens of solutions that can take your life to the next level.

      Either way let your light shine!


      Hank Hayes
      Author of “You’ve been lied to..” the 5 master keys to alcohol, addiction and life freedom”.

    • sally said, on July 9, 2013 at 1:12 pm

      aye that’s right i kept getting told that too. each sponsor i had 7 i think it was would say it each time i changed sponsors. and others i heard saying that. This is what AA is about and that wasnt real AA and they are still sick.I no longer care what AA is about, but one thing i do know it didnt help me any.its like the other thing they kept saying IT GETS BETTER,
      no it dont .it dont get better it gets got so bad i wanted to die im not athiest or agnostic but the last thing i wanted was another religoun or cult or anyone telling me i had to find a HP or god. Or to hear god god god all the time or to be made to talk about it. And made to change my own beleifs.I didnt want to be a preacher.or a late night phone counsellor for drunks and crack heads.and that not a judegment i got nothing against drunks or drug users i am one. why would i have gone to AA/NA if i wasnt. But im not an alcoholic or crack user. so i didnt get it. i also didnt want to have a surrogate parent sponsor. OR sex with strange men i didnt know and didnt want.lots of things all i wanted was help around drink. had a god pre aa i didnt need to look for one. but kept getting told i didnt have one or the one i had wasnt the right one.PRE AA i knew what my HP or god was, but in my life sentance to AA i lost that. im not sure what i am anymore, but now i have left AA im slowly getting back to who i once was in that respect and got so bad for me in AA i asked god to take my life in my sleep not to let me wake up again.thats how bad it got for me in AA.and heres another BUT DID YOU TRY I MEAN REALLY TRY AA YES I TRYED IT OFTEN ENOUGH TO NEVER WANT TO GO BACK THERE AGAIN>

      • canofpencils said, on July 9, 2013 at 1:55 pm

        Much as I disagree with much of AA and many of its members. If it werent for AA”s doing 12th step work Id be dead

  19. illbefree1 said, on January 24, 2013 at 1:08 pm

    Here…here Gunthar2000!

    I know for certain how AA and it’s minions have affected me and many, many others NOW; some of whom are dead. What does an unsolicited AA history lesson do for this loss of human potential all for the sake of an outdated, ineffectual modality that was never based on any real case studies, research, science or medicine; but rather the ravings of some man who had “visions” in hospital and copied a lot of content from old Oxford Religion’s texts?

    People should go through all of this hell and reading, re-reading and memorizing pure lunacy for a bit of Fellowship? Really? People should read fabrications, plagarism and lies ad nauseum, until they can regurgitate this made up “literature” on cue all for the sake of getting together with “fellows” for coffee and miserable conversation? (Or maybe to have basis/excuse to argue with people online instead of doing Service Work or calling a fellow member… Hmmmm….That I can understand.)

    I find no semblance of God, the Creator of the magnificent Universe and ALL in it in not one jot or jittle of that RUBBISH! I do not care what AA’s original intention was. It has and continues to do great harm.
    All we are trying to let unaware people know is that there are alternatives. We must make the alternatives as readily available as is info on AA so that people may choose freely. If in the face of a plethora of alternatives, someone still chooses to join the AA spiritualnotreligious-religion… I say More Powerlessness to them!

    Usually I do not even address such individuals. It is pointless. I have had far enough and too much of that..that “way” and that nature that one picks up via prolonged exposure to AA…

    “The 12 steps appear to be laced with something that makes people mean and arrogant. The more seriously people take them, the weirder they become, in comparison to their pre-cult personalities. They also appear more inclined to mistreat their fellow beings — all in the name of treatment or recovery, of course.”


  20. illbefree1 said, on January 24, 2013 at 1:18 pm

    Example of man taken himself through deprograming and testing out an alternative:

    May He Find FREEDOM Now!

  21. Hank said, on January 24, 2013 at 2:53 pm

    Keep going my man, sounds like your on the right path. Smart recovery is an excellent program and resource. Consider making a of list of the things you can do to pattern interrupt yourself when you start feeling funky because it’s bound to happen. There are lots of tools in SMART jump in start using them as soon as your able.


    Hank Hayes
    Author “You’ve been lied to..” the 5 master key solution to alcohol and addiction freedom.

  22. illbefree1 said, on January 24, 2013 at 5:27 pm

    Hello Hank Hayes…

    I posted that gentleman’s video from YouTube. I do not know how he is doing now. I pray he is doing well. It is INSPIRING to see him so self-determined to find a REAL way for himself.

    I have not been out of AA long. I was not in it long and never quite drank the Kool-Aid, thus was always in trouble and being emotionally tortured by my sponsors. I just could never fully accept all that non-sense. I tried to force myself to in order to please my sponsors, but it just caused me increased anxiety and hardship.

    They told me that my inability to “stop thinking” would be the death of me. I no longer believe that though. I feel it is a fate worse than death to walk around living one’s life in a dull, dumb hypnotic state, refusing to open one’s eyes or even read like a real human being with the blessing of this wondrous brain that God, the Creator has given us all. I willnot live the AA way of life because for me, that is NO LIFE.

    Anyway…your book will be the first that I read in my deprogramming process. Massive has strongly reccommended it to me.

  23. SoulSurvivor said, on January 25, 2013 at 7:59 am

    @ Johnlight – First of all, there is A LOT done in “secret” you are just not privy to it, you would have to be at every single meeting every minute of the day and in every single abuser/predators head know to know their motivations and be behind closed doors with them…You are just not “aware” which is what this site is about. Many people here ARE from first hand experience in their own lives and at their meetings and have been badly hurt. And everyone is welcome as long as they do not HARM others, then things can change and with awareness very ill people can be safe so they CAN enjoy their sobriety/fellowship. As far as ” calling the cops…” in your other comment. Just read through the site…When Karla was murdered, the cops are very much involved as well as in many, many other circumstances. Make yourself aware, educated so you have an eye out for what is happening to protect mainly women….So that the Fellowship CAN be enjoyed. Also, “Predators” are not allowed to be around minors for example, they are at one of the places I went too for a long time, because of our existing laws. Your experience, is your experience. Others have theirs. Our goal is to simply create a SAFERAA and there is nothing more healing than being SAFE while you recover. Right?

    “Cops on the job have always come to AA. Why not? Every one is welcome cops, robbers, predators, wanna be victims…..just like the rest of the world. Nothing said or done in AA is secret, or special”.

  24. SoulSurvivor said, on January 25, 2013 at 1:47 pm

    @ Johnlight – Here is a sincere question John. In answer to your statement below. Who ANYWHERE with an educated brain in their head “SAYS” this is a good idea whatsoever? Just because something is written in a book, doesn’t make it right?!?. That is why we have Universities and Library’s and Medical Schools and Scientific / Historical Institutions FULL OF BOOKS! So the human mind can learn to rationalize, reason, be objective and figure out if what they are “seeing” makes any sense or is healthy at all! That is also why we do not have Sharia Law in the United States as it is archaic and outdated DESPITE what “their ” book says. I am just saying, no offense. But you have to start THINKING!

    “AA has survived despite the changes. The acceptance of members like Bill and Bob have set the collective example that there is a welcome for all with loving acceptance of who they are —– without a condition that the new member conform with anyone’s agenda of how they should comport themselves.
    Those who would demand a Disney image seeks to deprive AA of its earliest examples”

  25. massive said, on January 25, 2013 at 4:22 pm

    johnlight. you are trolling and Im moderating your posts. This is a place for people who have been trauma tized by 13 stepping. Obviously that is not you. I do not care to have sudo intellectual conversations about a cult that took way too many years of my life.

    I suggest you go to “In The Rooms” blog where you will be welcomed by other pro steppers.

  26. massive said, on January 27, 2013 at 11:00 pm

    Hank- Great book. It really helped me deprogram. And I felt I had another brother out there who saw things like I did and was sane about it all.

  27. canofpencils said, on June 2, 2013 at 5:21 am

    AA has become a weak sister. Not only do you have sexual predators but you have every form of fake and liar in these rooms. I had one guy use antibuse for 2 years – every day- and claim he was sober? The rooms are full of these parasites. Its popular to have no bottom and claim sobriety- no wonder their dying by the hundreds

    • Massive said, on June 2, 2013 at 10:33 am

      Can of pencils- love ur handle name!
      But so true … Many come to prey ,but are not even a distance abuser . It’s become a deadly joke !

      • canofpencils said, on June 2, 2013 at 1:02 pm

        Rite! and sadly few have the balls to speak up in meettings and tell the truth , thus risk being alienated. Many are ‘ sober/dry’ on the fellowship and not the core of the program- I dispair at times

    • Johnlight said, on June 3, 2013 at 11:22 am

      No cure for alcoholism exists. Certain treatments do help: incarceration, placement in “rehabs” and halway houses, loss of driving privilages, interlock devices. The inapprpriate use of AA as a place to sentance active drunks to is simply a bad idea. If the AA groups would simply stop endorsing attendenca slips, most of the predator problem would go away.

      • Massive said, on June 3, 2013 at 1:59 pm

        john – there are people who recover completely. AA’s preaching of doom and gloom was never research. The mind set is very dangerous in AA. Extremely negative. I highly suggest SMart Recovery and SOS ofr Abstinence and for those who choose that way.

  28. canofpencils said, on June 3, 2013 at 4:25 am

    Hey Massive!- sorry, I got off topic in my last whine. I got sober in South Florida and I saw sponsors have affairs with their pigeons( i hate that term) wifes- but then it takes 2. As I dried out I saw everything from group sex to sponsors dicking sponsee’s- the whole gamut. Lets just swap one dysfunction for another.I saw pedophiles continue their sick behaviour-” watch where their feet take them after a meetting’ Often the women were no better than the men, in my infancy I called NY and my IG office- only to get the lame ‘ it’s a group concience’ crap. Any time I see criminal behaviour I call the cops and anonymity be damened. I stopped going to most meettings for years( cottage type was the only ones that had any sobriety)AA is so weak here and members are here for the social crap- they give away chips for not smokeing! Aside from the cops, what can we do, beside speak out. I dont mind being Sancho Panza but it gets old!

  29. massive said, on June 3, 2013 at 9:33 am

    canofpencils Holy Sh**T! That’s intense, but I know things are that bad. Are you still in Florida now?

    I would like permission to post this on another blog where there are more posters, can I ?

    • canofpencils said, on June 3, 2013 at 10:40 am

      Of course you may.In many instances things were much more disturbing, I dont exagerate. The half way house that really saved me -after detox was in the AA business. The ‘ manager/owner” would hire us ( at any one time there were up to 8 men in the 2 homes this guy ran) I knew women(2) who were thrown out of South County Mental Health Inc ( a county run in patient/ court ordered treatment facility) for being caught haveing sex with other residents. I was crushed when I finally woke up to the chronic non Sober behaviour of many of the most respected ‘ old timers’. You might understand this in a newcomer but someone with 10-15-or more years? someone you saw at every meetting you went to? I went to a meetting in ‘south county’ one nite , ran into a man I knew from West Palm Beach and he told me he was there ‘ 13th stepping’ If this is what ‘ sober’ sponsors teach their charges it’s no wonder our success rate is so abysmal

      • massive said, on June 19, 2013 at 7:55 am

        canofpencils- omg- what a horror story. Its become a very sick place. Thanks for sharing this here.

      • canofpencils said, on June 19, 2013 at 9:43 am

        I left out something else. The owner of these 1/2 houses was paid x amount of dollars for our( court ordered tenants) labor. Not only did we pay for the rooms at 75$ a week -we were given less than half of the money paid to this Oldtimer- who let out our services. He also had a seperate apartment, where he lived in another part of West Palm Beach. Across the street was a self storage where he kept the household items that were the choicest. He also had a woman partner who ran a house for women down in South WPB. She later died of a drug overdose- trust me this is only the tip of the iceberg

  30. canofpencils said, on June 3, 2013 at 11:07 am

    A glareing example that I should include is this one. My first sponsor John M had an affair with his sponsees wife. They eventually married and were considered by those – not ‘in the know’ as AA celebrity’s and old timers. The sponsee of John M was so destroyed and subject to ridicule -at every meetting- that he left south florida. For several years I did not know this, others did, but didnt tell me. I thought my Sponsor walked on H2O. When I found out I dropped him like a cheap suit- ‘ do as I say, not as I do’ They are no different today, the rooms are full of illness, some of it is scary.

    • astrologerdawn said, on June 3, 2013 at 11:57 am

      My first sponsor was married and she ended up having an affair with my husband’s sponsor. When I mentioned this “13 stepping” thing that I’d heard about she fired me! At the time (1989) I was distraught, and in a lot of emotional pain and couldn’t believe that she would just dump me like that. Fast forward many years and I have watched this happen with others. I go to GA now (have yet to meet anyone that’s not cross-addicted with some other issue). Small groups, no experience of 13 stepping and warm and kind. I know with all my years experience it’s the people that I’m talking about in GA, not GA itself. I continue to take what I want and leave the rest. The ONLY reason for me to go to a meeting is for me to talk about me and think about me and focus on me! If others don’t like what I say…. too bad….

      • canofpencils said, on June 3, 2013 at 12:32 pm

        A survivor! many of the actions taken by those in all these rooms, when done to satisfy some unhealthy or innapropriate desire can be deadly- on a nunber of levels. Some folks experience these emotional train wrecks at a time when they are most vulnerable- many drink or do drugs or take their life. This is not what we are here for- I did not ‘ sober up’ to become some other type of parasite. As for what each ‘ group concience’ dictates? many are so far afield as to be avoided at all costs. Thank you, just a few stories like yours give others the knoweledge they are not alone- and isnt that one of the reasons we ended up in these rooms?

      • massive said, on June 17, 2013 at 11:40 pm

        dawn- this is a tragic story ..Im so sorry to hear one more crazy AA 13 stepping situation. PLease take care and know that you are not alone!

  31. sally said, on June 14, 2013 at 11:11 am

    that post was really something. thankyou for posting that.

  32. sally said, on June 14, 2013 at 11:24 am

    i nearly turned off my computer thought i was back in AA. Glad i kept reading.
    I was sexually abused as soon as i went to AA. I was in a phycosis and detoxing at the time.
    I also have PTSD and it was very bad at the time of me going to AA. Bit better now due to outside help.
    Not AA help. The man who sexualy abused me, was cant recall but a good few years sober. He had been through steps and sponsored people. the women in AA encouraged me to be in his company and told me i was to be his friend.I was surprised when i saw him skinning up and smokeing weed,they had told me i couldnt.
    I was told if i did i wasnt sober.years later i was told it was okay for some in AA to smoke weed, but not addicts.
    they told me i was an alcoholic do it or die. they told me i was an addict do it or die. they told me that for years
    They said there was no other way. years later they told me i wasnt an alcoholic or addict.
    I was sexually abused a few times, and verbally abused and intamidated.
    I always pushed them away said no.i didnt want to have sex with them.
    I was blamed for people sexualy abuseing me, and intimadateing me.I was blamed for being abused as a child a teenager and an adult.I didnt have any friends in AA.I was very isolated.
    I went there in 2001-i left in 2012. I didnt want to be a victim when i was born. Or at any time in my life.
    i no longer think i am, im a survivor.

    • sunkist123 said, on June 17, 2013 at 7:45 am

      @ Sally: One of the first people I met in A.A. said first a person is a victim, and then can become a survivor- BUT the person can then go on to become a ‘live-er’… I think that’s a good way of looking at it… and so let’s all of us be LIVE-ERS!!!!!

    • massive said, on June 20, 2013 at 7:57 am

      hi sally-nice to see you here. This story you write is just horrific. I am becoming troubled by so many of these types of stories but unfortunately they are so common place in AA today.

      I think AA has gone to the dogs…there is no fixing it ….what do you think. Is it possible to improve it after all these years?

      • canofpencils said, on June 20, 2013 at 8:09 am

        The whole purpose of this AA program was to CHANGE attitudes and behaviour. I think with some it did- with many it did not. My friend used to say ” what do you get when you sober up a horse thief”? The dysfunction gets to you after days and years and thats while watching all the sick behaviour. I cant stand it anymore, Its like a cancer, and you sure dont need it- in any form.

      • sally said, on July 9, 2013 at 2:48 pm

        i have went on to be a live-er thanks to you Massive and leaving AA web site but most of all i thank myself for haveing the courage to, at times stand up against such issues in AA meetings with no back up team behind me. and not a friend among them .And i no longer batter myself up inside for the times i played there game. do you recall this one US and THEM that alone made me feel alone. the night i left AA i thought i had 3 choices AA/NA die drunk or kill myself. i have read some terrable storys about AA since i left it.These are the storys we dont here in AA. AA say’s it cant change AA, that we have to change. AA stays the same.theres nothing wrong with AA or the programme just the people.i tired my hardest to change the things in myself i was told to change like lust. strange when i was told to do that i hadnt had sex for years because i didnt want to. that includes with the old timers who wanted to, like the old man must have been 70 ,i wasn’t a kid i was 42 then, yes that grabbed me after a meeting and tried to kiss me,grope me, all that i had to push him away and even though i find it hard to run , i ran away as fast as i could.he was 9 years sober i was 10 months sober.well they said i wasnt sober. but i was.yes theres something wrong with the people thats for i have done enough changeing into what AA wanted me to be like, and i didnt like some of the changes it wanted from me,. i was told to wag my finger in peoples faces, i said no im not doing that i dont want to be a bully.i didnt like it when it had been done to me and didnt want to do it to others. any changes in me from now on will be changes i want.Will AA ever change, improve i really dont know.last time i was in AA i wanted to change it make it a better place. safer. i had a few ideas like that but wasnt there long enough to do that. and dont reckon anyone would have helped me do that anyway.i was in and out of AA for 12 years getting sober for periods.i left for good, and wont be going back. but it matters to me that there are people in there being harmed. And that those harms may get worse not i hope AA changes.they have a swear card on tables it offended some of the ladys and gentlemen in AA, they didnt half rip into me for swearing ,including the lady who swears herself shes been sober umpteen years . was sober 20 when i first went there.and i also offended her when i asked her for help around a man who sent me a very sexually abusive obsene phone call ,when i first went to AA my god she was so angry that i had said anything about it apperently thats ok to do in AA and i shouldnt make a big deal of it and shut my gub about it. but yes my swearing did get less as time went on. so maby a rapeist dont rape as often after a few years in the people may change slowly . and then if the people change AA would be a bit better, but then there will always be other’s who turn up swearing like a trooper as i did. and AA halted my swearing but it didnt stop it as you will know from my there will always be people in AA who swear, or steal.or rape,or are violent.Will AA ever change improve. no i dont think it will i think it will get worse my friend i think it will get worse.
        peace and love

      • Massive said, on July 9, 2013 at 9:41 pm

        You are in charge of ur life now!!!

  33. canofpencils said, on June 17, 2013 at 4:40 am

    Hey folks, has everyone else received that gmail looking for $ This looks like a scam but ! I just wanted to post as ive rarely seen the like- in or out of these forums

    • sunkist123 said, on June 17, 2013 at 7:41 am

      So I’m not the only one who received that? I’ve been receiving HUGE amounts of spam/virus stuff during the last few years, but all the others came from Yahoo addresses & had links, so I wasn’t sure what to make of this one.

      • canofpencils said, on June 17, 2013 at 7:50 am

        this is from an address I would otherwise pay attention to- but since it smacked of scam I sent the person an email for some info. I guess people get higjacked all the time

      • Massive said, on June 17, 2013 at 10:02 am

        yes canodpen I was hacked. Please delete the email. Sorry for the inconvenience.

      • canofpencils said, on June 17, 2013 at 10:13 am

        Consider it done! ive had to reinstall windows several times after I too had been hacked by a really nasty program. Good luck-

  34. massive said, on June 17, 2013 at 9:49 am

    canofpen- YES I WAS HACKED FROM THAT EMAIL! PLease delete. Thanks for the warning. I got it from many people.

  35. sally said, on July 11, 2013 at 3:49 pm

    I’m glad that for some AA saves there life’s. and helps them.
    AA didn’t save my life or help me with very much at all. And i think that fear kept me going back there.
    mayby it helped a little around some of my behaviours.however behaviours are something i can change myself if i want to.and something i was doing pre AA.I was in an assertiveness group pre AA trying to change a behaviour. At one time i thought AA gave me periods of abstinance , i had forgot about the periods of abstinance i had pre AA. All i went there for was help around my drinking, they told me i was an alcoholic in denial do it or die i believed them. they told me i couldn’t have 1 or 2.I had never tried to, and i found early on in AA that i couldn’t. I got run over by a car after getting drunk and in blackout, i was going to AA at the time.
    while there i went through things i wouldn’t want my children or grandchildren to have to go through.I think its about time AA stopped all the stuff that is wrong in AA.Other groups i have been in such as ,therapies, have
    trained facilatators, to stop bullying and other wrong things.there are things AA could do to help make it safer.
    I have been okay in moderating alcohol for over a year now.I had a drink tonight my first alcoholic drink for a month. i had 2 drinks.
    i don’t feel i owe AA anything.And i don’t care to try to get it anymore.

  36. astrologerdawn said, on July 12, 2013 at 1:49 pm

    I second that!

  37. astrologerdawn said, on July 12, 2013 at 2:00 pm

    I went to AA when I went home to England (mainly to meet an American on the base so that I could buy cheap cigarettes) the old timers would go crazy when I would change every “he” to “she” and “God” to “Goddess”. They would even come up to me afterwards and try and chastise me! Then one night this English man sidled up to me and asked me to go to the pub! Firstly most people who are working on staying away from alcohol don’t suggest a drinking establishment and he kept leering at me! He didn’t wait for an answer and kept on moving his eyes up and down my body and then launched into this speech about how I was new and he was here to take me under his wing. He had come to the meeting late, so he hadn’t heard me share about having 11 years sober at that time. He assumed I was a newcomer. I decided to play along to see where this guy was going. If he had been really looking at me he would have seen I had an engagement ring on! I said to him “I thought I was supposed to spend more time with women than men and to get a female sponsor. He gave me some cock and bull story about it didn’t really matter and having a man was just as good especially as he had 3 years. I remember distinctly saying to him “are you trying to 13 step me?” His face turned really red and he asked me where I’d heard about that and it was a myth and people didn’t really do that. I laughed at him and told him I had 11 years sober, 8 years more than him and I hadn’t seen a better go at 13 stepping than his! He got really annoyed, stayed red and then said he had to go. At that moment my fiancee came back from the bathroom and we had a great laugh about this guy. It wasn’t AA that gave me that strength, it was all the work I did on myself in 8 years of therapy and workshops that helped heal the underlying traumas. Stopping drinking was easy once I had dealt with my all the horrendous things that happened to me when I was younger. I only used AA as a place to find some like minded people when I moved to a new town where I didn’t know anyone. This has worked for me. Remember that which does not kill us makes us stronger.

    • sally said, on July 15, 2013 at 11:31 am

      thanks for posting is people like that man that ruin AA.
      no they didnt like it when i got into pagan things, either.
      and they didnt like it when i leaned more to the christain god.
      but i was told by them to find god told by them to find a HP.
      it was like it had to be one or the other or something else
      as long as it wasnt me doing anything.
      I wasnt an athiest PRE AA, i didnt need to find god or hp.
      i already had before i went there.i like astrology too and celtic pagan things.
      i think im celtic.and i think thats what i was pre AA.but if i ever abstain from all drugs forever
      it will be me that does that not any other force. im sorry you went through
      horrendouse things when younger.i have heard some terrable things, storys of abuse. i dont know how some people have survived the things they have been through.
      at times in therpay i felt wrong for being there my issues seemed so minor compared to the terrable abuse some people have been through.

      • astrologerdawn said, on July 15, 2013 at 2:25 pm

        I find it completely unhelpful for any of us to compare ourselves and our lives to each others in terms of trauma. No one can say someone’s pain and suffering is less or more than mine or anyone elses. Your pain is real and true for you! I’m really happy that all of my beliefs and strength came together when I encountered the 13 steppers in AA!

  38. massive said, on July 14, 2013 at 8:40 pm

    astro- Welcome and Glad you were smart enough to see the 13 stepper coming ….many are not so clear.

  39. Marion the Librarian said, on July 26, 2013 at 7:57 pm

    Oh my gosh, Massive! I Have the best idea. Really it’s just comic relief with a twist of horror for the documentary. I’m sure there’s not time in the film for comedy but this made me laugh. So, wouldn’t it be great to choose a meeting like the “Happy Destiny” meeting here (whatever with that name, right? that could be part of the comedy). Then send in four or five cute women. When the meeting’s predator does his thing where he asks out the newcomers and tells them that learning to see movies and go on dates is an important part of learning to be sober, they can tape record it. It would be hilarious because I bet he was giving me a rehearsed speech and not just making spontaneous conversation. Then we could contact him for comment! LOL!!

  40. cougarblogger said, on August 1, 2013 at 1:19 am


    “I told him that I still considered him to be my sponsor, but that I didn’t want to work with him anymore. I said that I hoped we could be friends, but I didn’t want to have anything more to do with him publicly. I just couldn’t go on feeling as though I was in any way supporting what he was doing to Lois — and to himself.
    “Bill said, ‘Fine. I feel the same way about you, too,’ and we shook on it. As though it were some mutually agreed upon parting of the way, with fault on both sides. Which was a real switcheroo, you know. I think he knew that I saw right through it, but I guess it made him feel better not to have to take responsibility for destroying what had been a very enjoyable and productive working relationship.”

    Wilson had no problem destroying relationships as long as he did not have to take responsibility for his destructive behaviors. The program works by teaching all members to avoid taking responsibility for their destructive behavior. It works if you work it. The real switcheroo!

  41. brendan ford said, on November 10, 2014 at 9:11 pm

    I would like to know more about tom powers and how he came about writing the twelve an twelve with him and where u found this out from?

    • Massive said, on November 10, 2014 at 11:56 pm

      Google All Addicts Anonymous. They… Bill and Tom Powers ad a falling out over Bill Wilson’s Womanizing.

      • wpesr said, on November 11, 2014 at 3:06 pm

        Where do you find it on that site?

  42. Massive said, on November 11, 2014 at 7:29 pm

    I know from a NA board member who met TOM before he died.I will try an find you a link. It may be in a book .

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