How many steps are there? Twelve, right? Wrong. There are Thirteen. "Thirteenth-stepping" is a euphemistic term used among members of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) to refer to people (particularly men) who target new, more vulnerable members (typically women) for dates or sex. Previous research suggests that women frequently experience sexual harassment in 12 step meetings. Just the fact the term "thirteenth-stepping" exists serves as a warning. Since thousands of convicted felons are mandated to AA by the US courts, this warning must be heeded.
The following is a partial list of requirements for sex offenders in the court system:
1. Attend all ordered treatment sessions. This includes individual and group counseling, educational sessions, and other treatment as directed. Unexcused missed treatment sessions will result in a sanction.
2. Do not make threats towards other participants or staff or behave in a violent manner. Violent or inappropriate behavior will not be tolerated and will be reported to the Court. This behavior may result in a sanction or termination from the Mental Health Court program.
3. Attend all scheduled Mental Health Court sessions. You must attend all court sessions as scheduled by the Mental Health Court probation officer.
4. As a participant, you will be expected to dress appropriately for court. Clothing bearing violence, sexual, drug, or alcohol related themes is inappropriate. Sleeveless shirts and body piercing other than earrings will not be allowed in court. Sunglasses are not to be worn in court unless medically approved.
5. You are required to attend AA or NA meetings on the weekends, Saturday and Sunday, and must have a card signed at these meetings for attendance by the designated person at the meeting. You must stay for the entire meeting.
Since there is no accountability in a 12 step meeting as participants are required to remain anonymous, the answer to the question is unequivocally...NO. Not only are you not safe in a 12 step meeting but neither is your wife, husband, daughter, son, sister, brother, friend, co-worker nor anyone else. You could very well be sitting next to someone who has been convicted of rape and is mandated to your 12 step meeting as part of their parole. You could very likely be holding hands with someone who has violently raped a child while reciting the Lord's Prayer....the central prayer of Christianity. The Twelve Steps are based on Christianity, and as an anonymous religion, one would think that the steppers would want to protect their flock. Unfortunately, since anyone can and is mandated to attend 12 step meetings, you are never safe in your meeting. In fact, a 12 step meeting is a dream come true for a sex offender...It's like a gift from the court for these extremely mentally ill individuals to stalk people in a meeting where no one knows their criminal past. You are sharing deeply personal information in your meeting and sexual predators will play on your weaknesses in order to inspire trust. They will then steal money from you, lie and manipulate you to do their bidding, rape you, your daughter, your son, and take anything they can take from you before moving on to their next victim.
Skeptical? Here are two recent examples:
In 2011, Charles Doucette was on parole from seven life sentences, imposed in 1991 for the killing of Raymond Bufalino of Salem, MA and two home invasions while he was awaiting trial in the murder. He was released in 2007 and was mandated to attend Alcoholics Anonymous meetings. In fact, he met his girlfriend in an AA meeting, Melissa Markus, who accused him of dragging her alongside his truck and threatening to put a bullet in her head during an argument outside Doucette's home on the afternoon of Feb. 14, 2011. The prosecution argued that, given his criminal history and two past instances when Doucette allegedly struck her during their two-year relationship, Markus had reason to fear for her safety. Upset that the girlfriend he met in Alcoholics Anonymous was drinking again, Doucette took back the key she had to his home and moved out her belongings, Markus testified. While they argued outside his house, she claimed he threatened her and then, while she was standing beside the driver's side window of his truck, he "dragged" her alongside as he drove away. Happy Valentines Day.
Defense attorney Eitan Goldberg, who joined Scott Dullea in representing Doucette, asked for Doucette to be released from custody while his case was being considered by the Parole Board...and as part of his parole, attend AA meetings. Doucette's lawyers produced enough reasonable doubt to get him acquitted from this assault and he was set free. Again.
In March 2012, Roy Floyd Johnson Jr. of Dalton, GA was accused of sexually molesting an underage girl during a Narcotics Anonymous (NA) meeting. Johnson faces charges of child molestation and sexual battery of a child. He was arrested in January for molesting a girl who was attending a Narcotics Anonymous meeting with her parents. The girl was in a separate area when she said the incident occurred. Her mother said that she did not think anything about it because she told police that the coffee is back there and homeless people come in all the time to go to the bathroom and get coffee. The mother is also reported to have said that she has never seen the man before at any of the meetings but does remember what he looks like. Johnson has previously been charged with battery and assault many times. This case is presently pending.
Even more disturbing, teens are routinely mandated to 12 step meetings for alcohol and drug related issues and are in dire danger of meeting folks like Doucette and Johnson. In case you are thinking that these incidents are isolated, any research will prove you wrong. These crimes in 12 step meetings are being swept under the rug by the judicial system and AA and NA. Our children depend on us to protect them and we are failing them miserably when it comes to continuing to mandate minors to AA and allowing felons and minors to mix at meetings. In fact, AA actively sends members to recruit and transport criminals to and from meetings. After all, AA like any other cult, needs to keep the flock growing and thriving in order to continue to control members with negative affirmations of disease and powerlessness and character defects and personality shortcomings, ad nauseum.
The long standing propaganda of AA may make this difficult to understand. The truth about AA is very different than the reputation they have worked so hard to keep in tact. Most people achieve sobriety on their own and only those who are Christian, or very damaged by their family of origin, stay in AA for very long. Please see http://www.orange-papers.org/ for more information.
I look forward to any comments and will respond with dignity and respect.