Saturday, September 14, 2013

Secrets of Alcoholics Anonymous Everyone Should Know by Elaine and Dallas

Secrets of Alcoholics Anonymous Everyone Should Know, Elaine and Dallas. ?Eugene, Oregon: Palace Guard Publishing, 2012.  e-book, 50 pps.

The two authors are members of Alcoholics Anonymous and they are for A.A. in spite of the title.  Secrets of Alcoholics Anonymous Everyone Should Know  is a very short e-book which covers whacked sponsors, people on the take [for sex a.k.a. rehab romances or 13-stepping the newcomers], professional criminals and users, and bits of unsavory truth concerning Bill W.

The bits of unsavory truth about Bill W. are not unsavory enough.  The authors leave out the fact that Bill had at least one long term affair [Look up The Orange Papers in your search engine], that he was highly co-dependent [read the chapter to the wives in the Big Book which basically says "Leave the newly recovering alcoholic alone and let him do exactly what he wants to.  Don't stress him out with reality..."], and that he became a sort of mystic [as many folks who claim any sort of special knowledge and/or personal experience with a divinity are].

The stories about rehab romances or early recovery romances, wicked sponsors, and professional criminals are well-told even if a bit dry for digestion.  There is no indication of what percentage of A.A. members fall into the category of "not having your best interest at heart" and consequently I had the distinct impression that the unsavory types described were more widespread than they actually might be.  The authors are quick to say that in spite of their cautionary tale, Alcoholics Anonymous has helped many people achieve sobriety and a life free from the bondage to addiction to alcohol.

sapphoq reviews says:  Secrets of Alcoholics Anonymous Everyone Should Know may be short but useful reading for anyone in early recovery who doesn't know the basic rules about safety, is prone to idealizing people in general, or is naïve.  [N.B.: Or, it may not be so useful].  I am not convinced that "everyone should know" these "secrets."  Certainly, folks who have no reason to attend 12 step meetings can be excluded from the expected or desired readership.  The writing is a bit dull.  Although vulnerable newcomers would do well to heed the advice concerning dating, sex, slime, and sick sponsors, this advice can be neatly summed up by two words:  Pay attention.  Most people will tell you who they are if you allow them to talk long enough.  New folks who either don't know or may have forgotten basic safety rules when dealing with others that they do not know well aren't going to necessarily be helped by Secrets of Alcoholics Anonymous Everyone Should KnowPeople in the early stages of recovery need concise information in an easy package.  Give this one a miss unless you feel compelled to read everything with the words "Alcoholics Anonymous" in it.

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