Today I collected money for some artwork I did for someone I had met in AA. She proceeded to tell me she had been 13th stepped by another member who married her and ripped off her and her whole family with a life insurance scandal. The 13th stepper never sobered up and remained a revered member of the group. After losing her house to this and being left with nothing, although sober, she took her case to the AA group and the Alano club that hosted the meetings. The man remains there still running his scam and she was told, “If you sober up a horse thief, you have a sober horse thief,” that neither the Alano Club nor AA was responsible for the actions of it’s members. She returned to the meeting, called them a cult and never went back.
Not responsible for the actions of its members??? Lets take a closer look at this, shall we? In the Mai Lai massacre, one of the most horrific incidents of violence committed against unarmed civilians during the Vietnam War, the general was charged with a war crime and convicted for being responsible for the actions of his soldiers while he claimed he wasn’t. The Catholic Church has been held responsible for the actions of pedophile priests. Businesses are routinely held responsible for cases of sexual harassment by their employees. “When the harasser has the ability to significantly change the employee's employment status, the United States Supreme Court has said the employer can be held directly responsible if those decisions are motivated by a person's sex or sexuality.” Yet Alcoholics Anonymous continues to get away with it in outrageous numbers.
Can AA do anything??? Yes it can and doing nothing is partnering in the offense. Routinely, innocent and often new AA members are being scammed, hustled, sexually abused and taken advantage of. There are places in AA, the meeting places, the secretary or GSR of the meeting, or AA world services themselves, where the individual can make an appeal, but all too commonly, AA is doing nothing making the organization responsible and thus, being part of the game.
The most common abuses tend to be sexual and financial predators, but more severe cases involving rape and murder are occurring as well. Isn’t it time AA be held accountable?