Monday, August 27, 2007

New Briggsmore Beach Post: The Problem with Evil

I recently posted a very well written explanation of the problem I have with making sense of the universe if there is an almighty benevolent entity overseeing our beautiful mess. You can find it at:

Friday, August 24, 2007

Don't go to bed angry...

stay up and fight.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

AA, Stay Out Of My Bathing Suit Areas!

There is a tradition in many AA groups of passing around phone lists which are given to the newcomer so they can call for support when they feel shaky or squirrelly. However, most groups only allow women to put their contact info on phone lists for women, and men are only allowed to put their info on lists for men. Again, this is a leftover from AA's origins from the "Primitive Christianity" movement of the early 20th century. The point is that AA – like every other witch's brew of superstition and irrational authoritywants to regulate functions as personal as a person's sexuality. Some argument can be made for avoiding highly emotional situations early in recovery, but again, this is the choice of the person seeking help.

I think the tradition of giving newcomer's phone lists is a good one overall, however, I think that each individual, regardless of their sexual orientation, should decide whether they want to give another person their contact info. This is the practice we follow at Briggsmore Beachphone lists with both men and women's numbers are regularly updated and given to persons attending our group for the first time. To date, I have heard of no problems with this system. In fact, it helps us "recovered" folks more than it has the newcomers.

It's true that we must caution newly sober people who want to help from giving their contact info to people who might pose a danger. But again, that is a decision between the parties.

Another problem with this tradition is that it assumes heterosexuality. Gay men and women's sexuality is overlooked or ignored. A gay man or woman might just as well abuse the privilege of calling us for help as a straight person, but this is overlooked. Again, pass the list and let each person decide if they want to offer their number to the newcomer.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Preoccupation With Growth As An Indication Of Cult

One of the primary features of AA that distinguishes it as a cult rather than a healing institution is its interest in expansion and in increasing its membership. Cures are meant to be finished at some point in time. Sometimesas with HIVsymptoms can only be held at bay, but this does not mean that the search for a real cure is forsaken. People are expected to remain in AA for the rest of their lives because of two untested propositions: (1) that a person who becomes chemically dependent was already organically defective from birth, and (2) regular contact with other abstaining persons is the only true safeguard against this defective condition. The theological ideas of Original Sin and Mother Church are very much alive in the AA cult.

If AA is a healing institution - which I believe it must strive to becomethen it will count its success by the people it has helped who have moved on to live their reclaimed lives. However, AA - as an institution and as reflected in the oldtimer party lineonly counts its successes by the people that stick around for years, donating valuable services to the organization. AA, like any other cult, is concerned with its survival and expansiona true cure longs for the day when it will not be necessary.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

The Argument Over Personal Preference

  • He said: "My favorite color is purple."
  • She said: "No, it's not. Our favorite color is blue."
  • He said: "But I don't like blue, and I know that many other people don't like blue as well."
  • She said: "Don't worry. You'll see. In time, your favorite color will be blue."
  • He asked: "What if I never like blue?"
  • She said: "Then you'll drink and you'll die."
  • He said: "Well... I guess purple isn't too different from blue. Would it be alright if I said my favorite color is indigo or blurple?"
  • She said: "That will be okay for now, but newcomers need to be told their favorite color is blue if they want to stick around. Blue is just too important! Look around, blue is the favorite color of everybody who's anybody!"

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

What's Good About AA?

I think Agent Orange ( has done a tremendous job with his AA muckraking. Along with Jack Trimpey ( and Stanton Peele (, I think Agent Orange is on the right track in developing an alternative (and dare I say - better) path for people who want to stop using chemicals.

I wouldn't mind using this as an opening reading at AA meetings I develop ... that is, if the author would permit me to reprint this article.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Powerless over my beliefs...

How am I supposed to change the way I think and feel if it (like my proclivity toward alcohol abuse) is genetically hardwired into my personality?