Although AA denies it, AA promotes itself as a “TREATMENT” for alcoholism, and promises that members who work the 12 steps will have all of their problems solved by the higher power of their own understanding. This is evident in the medical misrepresentation the original bunco artists provided within the first pages of the AA big book (The Doctor’s Opinion) and on BB page 42 AA promises that the 12 steps suggest that adherence to spiritual principles can solve all problems.
“Quite as important was the discovery that spiritual principles would solve all my problems.
… and let’s not forget “THE PROMISES” on page 83-84, of the big book…
“If we are painstaking about this phase of our development, we will be amazed before we are half way through. We are going to know a new freedom and a new happiness. We will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it. We will comprehend the word serenity and we will know peace. No matter how far down the scale we have gone, we will see how our experience can benefit others. That feeling of uselessness and self pity will disappear. We will lose interest in selfish things and gain interest in our fellows. Self-seeking will slip away. Our whole attitude and outlook upon life will change. Fear of people and of economic insecurity will leave us. We will intuitively know how to handle situations which used to baffle us. We will suddenly realize that God is doing for us what we could not do for ourselves.
Are these extravagant promises? We think not. They are being fulfilled among us—sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly. They will always materialize if we work for them.”
So I guess my answer to the question “Is AA responsible?” is yes. AA is responsible for acting as a barrier between this veteran and the treatment that he needed… AA is responsible for breaking promises that AA cannot keep… And worst of all… AA is likely responsible for feelings of hopelessness, confusion, and despair that may have contributed, or even driven Mr. Conley to acts of violence.
Were these killings outside of AA?…
My answer is no. The killing happened within the circle of members. Just because it didn’t happen at a meeting doesn’t mean it happened “outside of AA.” This is certainly “not” an “outside issue.”
Had the man been “encouraged” to attend church services, could that church be faulted for his actions outside of it?…
Again… AA is not a building… AA is a fellowship of men and women who stand in the way of vulnerable people’s efforts to improve their own lives. If Brother Jedediah shows up at the church picnic with an Uzi the church holds little responsibility for his behavior. If, on the other hand, the church recklessly recruited hardened criminals and mental patients to the flock… The church is responsible… The church has a moral obligation to the safety of it’s members.
As far as veterans go… PTSD is no excuse for murder… My heart does not go out to murderers.