What if, at the lowest time in your life, those who are supposed to help you, prey on you? It happens every day, in countless AA and NA rooms across the world. The story has the same lame routine and ring to it every time. The new, freshly sober gal comes to a meeting, hoping for clarity and a new way of life, and before you know it, there’s a man schmoozing her up, trying to get on her good side, with more than just good intentions at hand. This has been termed “13th stepping
” and most women new to the program have no idea what 13th stepping even is. The one thing most freshly sobered up AA and NA patrons usually don’t count on is meeting other people who are more sick than themselves. They come in with rose colored glasses on, ready to see the world with new eyes and never figure that the problems they might encounter in the rooms themselves may be as bad or worse than the problems they already have. The question is, why don’t the old-timers and those who have been around the program for a while help these women? Better yet, why doesn’t the World Board in both programs set forth clear rules on this issue? AA and NA Daytona Meetings in Holly Hill, Daytona Beach, Ormond Beach.
Those within the walls of AA and NA include those that want to be sober and are there of their own free will, those that aren’t sure if they even have a problem but want to check out a meeting or two, those ordered to attend by judges in cases such as drunk driving, and then there are those who have to come as part of a treatment program for other problems such as sexual crimes or other felonies they have committed. There are countless felons in AA, who by all standards are not all bad, but there are those who have committed sexual abuse, there those that have tried to kill their wives and girlfriends, those who have raped, and pedophiles. The list goes on and on. Perhaps judges in criminal courtrooms should stop ordering those who have committed sexual offenses into these programs and instead insist that they get individual counseling or inpatient treatment. Sadly, that wouldn’t entirely solve the problem even if such orders were issued however, because once those with sexual addictions figure out that meetings are a place to meet vulnerable women, they keep going back, even after court ordered sanctions have ended.Frequently in the rooms, people say, “Keep your own side of the street clean, and take your own inventory.” What this means essentially is don’t worry about what others are doing. It is none of your concern. This is precisely the response that one newcomer got from from the World Board of NA after calling to call attention to a man with seventeen years of sobriety that made 13th stepping a regular habit. “What this man does is single out the newcomers. He’s around fifty years old and keeps an eye open for any fresh meat that comes through the doors. Doesn’t matter their age. They could be his age, or even under 18. If they look good to him, he pounces. He got to me when I had about thirty days sober. What these guys do is take women like me who have to leave everything behind in order to start a new life, and they sort of brainwash us I guess, make us feel like we can depend on someone and that all is not lost. What eventually ends up happening is that these girls and women build their foundation upon him and other men like him, and eventually they find out that not only is he lying to her, he’s screwing just about every other chick in the room. I’ve talked to women who wanted to kill themselves over this guy, and let me be real clear about this, it’s not just the guy that makes them feel this way. It’s the head game. These women are already at their lowest and desperately just need to feel like someone cares and we all know that’s human nature. This one man in particular is known on a national level in NA and has even gone as far as to pick up a sponsor on the World Board. I have no doubt that was intentional. He serves on state boards in Nebraska and attends national conferences where he is invited to speak often. Everyone knows about him, and when I called the World Board to report him and the damage he was causing, I was essentially told to go call someone who cares, that they don’t take anyone’s inventory. This isn’t a joke. The guy has something like 14 felonies, is one of the most manipulative men I’ve ever met and people just laugh it off while high-fiving him for being the guy that has three girlfriends in every state in the U.S. Meanwhile women keep relapsing over it. Some have relapsed over and over because he just doesn’t stop. This one guy and his actions have the potential to kill several, and he’s only one of hundreds, if not thousands who are lurking,” said one anonymous NA member. Continue reading