Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Predatory Bleeding Deaconry

bleeding deacon: n. a person who believes himself indispensible to a group, esp. a person who becomes so over-involved in a group’s internal management, policies, or politics as to lose sight of its larger goals; (hence) a person with a negative, moralizing character, who acts like the sole source of wisdom.

Predatory (prěd'ə-tôr'ē, -tōr'ē)
1. Living by preying on other organisms: a predatory mammal; a predatory insect.
2. Of, relating to, or characterized by plundering, pillaging, or marauding.
3. Living by or given to exploiting or destroying others for one's own gain.

A Struggle Inside AA...

I suppose the various and sundry nefarious and unconscionable behaviors and events reported about The Midtown Alcoholics Anonymous group in Washington D.C must include, for now, the convenient and safe prefix alleged.

I'm reminded of one big book thumper I crossed paths with when I was still an active member of the online debating morons... He used to love calling A.A a "secret society". This man was also fond of sponsoring females, by his own admission. And as chance would have it, I also crossed paths with one of his, um, intended targets with whom he wished to spread the message...

So, yeah, cool and all that. The rule of law, etc...
But it wasn't a mind bending proposition for me, and for many others I'm sure, to feel the veracity of many of the elements in this sordid story from D.C.


Sugah said...

I got sober in an area with a lot of self-appointed bleeding deacons. They had agendas beyond helping others get sober. I learned that they thrived because little by little, emphasis on the 12th step declined. There were fewer and fewer people with quality sobriety showing up to spread the message, so old BD's message was the only one left. I consider it an act of my HP that I was able to get sober and stay sober long enough to find out what AA was really all about. Thankfully, those groups have improved (mostly because the BD's eventually got drunk).

I think one of the problems with online recovery communities is the newcomer's inability to see anything more than the talk. They can't see the walk, and those of us who have been around a little longer and may have a little more sensitivity for the subtleties of behavior - a nose slightly more attuned to the smell of bullshit - can call these predators to the mat, but to what effect? We'll argue with them, turn every thread into a debate, deflect attention away from the newcomer and towards our desire to preserve unity, and throw our hands up in frustration, walking away from a sad and sick pseudo-recovery board. The newcomer, thinking s/he's found a way to ease into recovery from the safety of home is no better off than when s/he started.

The latest java updates isn't the same thing as a fresh pot of coffee. Long live the homegroup.

God help us.

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