Professionals in Alcoholics Anonymous are illegally coercing clients into AA, even when it is evidently counterproductive, and they are willfully negligent towards clients who claim to have been harmed by AA and want to explore alternatives and avoid the AA-dominated recovery industry.
After about a half a year of sucessfully exploring alternatives and deciding firmly that AA was confusing me more than helping, AA members involved with my case began twisting any lapse into proof that I couldn’t think for myself, and was an ‘alcoholic’ with all the character defects, denial, and lack of faith attributed to the alcoholic of the Big Book.
In June 2014 I filed complaints which were completely ignored. The content of my complaint was similar to this video, and also included a class action complaint about the ethics issues involved when social workers bring their AA religious beliefs to bear on clients. http://www.rational.org/pdf_files/nasw_complaint.pdf It was a clear message that I had no interest in seeing any couselor who is an AA member. The situation was slightly confused by the fact that nobody would listen to me at all unless I pretended to be ‘in recovery’. In reality I was getting worse and worse, and resorted to lying about doing better in order to escape the addiction treatment trap. There are two ways of looking at this descension into dishonesty: In one sense, I was following Alcoholics Anonymous’ advice “fake it till you make it”. From the Rational Recovery point of view, I was simply refusing to give false authorities information that they would only use against me.
Of course, the confusing effect of this was that these counselors got the impression that I was actually being helped by being forced again and again into AA. It is really a double-bind. I was dying to speak my truth to someone, but nobody would hear it unless I lied, in which case I would be shown to be dishonest.
Since my complaint seemed to be willfully neglected (there was no follow up, and I only received a termination letter referring me again to the same treatment I had refused), I was left in some ways completely confused and hurt, and in other ways more and more sure that there is something seriously wrong with AA’s involvement in social work.
The facts are clear. AA is deemed religious in nature by federal circuit courts. Any religious coercion by licensed professionals is against the law, and AA has no place in professional treatment.
The video will be seen by some (who have experienced this kind of coercion) as humorous, but really, there is nothing funny about serious and deadly effects of this malpractice, and it is not something to be brushed aside and simply accepted and forgiven while it continues to happen over and over again. People are being mistreated and left worse off, and then ignored with a blind eye.
So this video shows my experience and the continual retraumatization I experienced by these organizations I went to in hopes of finding professional help in understanding the failure of Alcoholics Anonymous: Samaritan Counseling Center of the Capital Region, Saint Peters Addiction Recovery Center (SPARC), Recovery Resource Center of Albany, Pinnacle Behavioral Health, Capital District Psychiatric Center (NYS OMH), and others.