Monica Richardson grass roots founder to stop 13 stepping in AA, financial scams, sexual abuse and murder and rape in Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous, will be interviewed by Katie Couric Tuesday July 16th 2013 at 3:00 p.m. Along with with well known author Gabrielle Glaser for her new book that was released by Simon and Shuster  ” Her Best Kept Secret- Why Women Drink and How They Can Regain Control”.

A Must Watch!

Gabrielle Glaser in her book explains why AA is not the answer for many women and also interviewed Monica Richardson for her book that she devotes an entire chapter to.

Monica Richardson discusses as a previous 36 year AA member about the dangers of court mandates and the crime that happens when you co mingle vulnerable members of society and violent court mandates and sexual predators. Court mandating is being done against people’s constitutional rights as AA has been determined to be religious enough that no one should be forced to go. Yet this happens in our courts every day by Judges.

This information about the ineffectiveness and the real dangers of Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous is much needed to inform the public that there is more effective treatment and that AA or NA is not a safe place to send your loved ones- especially teens.

Monica Richarson has a website  and  that is a must read for those that want to learn more about these important issues. She also has her own popular Blog Talk Radio at

She was interviewed by Big John Radio Show in Daytona Beach about 2 years ago that sent a wake up call to many listeners. Monica did an interview herself with a local business owner who had been threatened by Daytona AA and Daytona NA members in the City of Holly Hill with no help from Holly Hill PD or the City of Holly Hill in Volusia County Florida. Those events inspired the website about the  12 step madness in Holly Hill and around the world.


  1. KIRKUS- BOOK REVIEW Of ‘Her Best Kept Secret’ By Gabrielle Glaser

    by Sarah Hepola on July 18, 2013 | Posted in Nonfiction

    For some women, the day never gets better than when the cork eases out of the Chardonnay. Long gone are the days when a real lady wasn’t “supposed” to drink. We live in an age of boozy book clubs and fizzy pink cocktails and the Facebook group “OMG, I So Need a Glass of Wine or I’m Gonna Sell My Kids.” A 2010 Gallup poll found that two-thirds of women drink, a higher percentage than at any time in the past 25 years. And while women are more open about their excess than they’ve ever been before, what they often hide is the extent of their problem—and the pain of it.

    In Her Best-Kept Secret: Why Women Drink—And How They Can Regain Control, reporter Gabrielle Glaser looks at why we’re drinking so much and what we should do about it. She questions the monopoly that AA holds in the recovery community, and builds a case that “thirteenth stepping” —the program’s term for members hitting on other members—has created an unsafe environment for women. Started by two men in the 1930s and ballooning to a current tally of about two million members, AA is an astonishing American success story. But as the big book itself states, “In therapy for the alcoholic, we surely have no monopoly.” Seventy-five years after that book came out, our understanding of alcohol and the science of drinking has deepened. Is it time to think beyond the Twelve Steps?

    Books about drinking problems are usually written by people who have them. But you don’t. How did you decide to write this?

    I was relocating my family from Oregon, where I’d been a newspaper reporter, to the New York area in 2008. The bottom had fallen out of the economy. I’d been a reporter for 25 years, and I couldn’t get a job and I was miserable. I found myself drinking more than I should have. It was masking my anxiety, but it was also rendering me less functional in the evening.

    Continue reading >

    I went to lunch with an editor friend, and we started talking about how women were drinking more. She had a situation like I had—she’d gone through a rough divorce, but we’d both been able to pull ourselves back. She said, ‘Write me a proposal.’ So I did, and it landed on her desk the same day as the toxicology report for a woman who’d had a horrible accident on the Taconic Parkway (Diane Schuler, who died along with seven others). It really resonated as a topic of national conversation. This wasn’t Girls Gone Wild; it was middle-aged mothers, struggling in secret. The most telling thing about this terrible accident is that her family insisted she did not have a drinking problem.

    What were some of the most shocking statistics about women and drinking that you found?

    One was the rate of women getting help. From 1992 to 2007, just a span of 15 years, the number of women in their 40s and 50s who sought treatment for alcohol abuse nearly trebled. And the number of women who arrived at the hospital for over-intoxication, or near poisoning, rose significantly.

    So American women are drinking more than ever. But are they drinking more than women in other countries?

    We know they’re drinking differently. A woman in Madrid or Barcelona is going to have a glass of wine or two at lunch. At dinner, she’ll have another small glass of beer. That’s technically three drinks. But it’s not three drinks at home, by herself, because she’s frazzled, she’s had a bad day, she has aging parents, her job stress is taking her over the top. Kids are doing fewer chores than ever before and who picks up that slack? The mother. In traditional households where the man has a more demanding job, the household chores fall to the woman. No one else has correlated that to drinking, but I will. I know, because I’ve been there.

    Women are under a lot of pressure for other reasons, too. Pressure to stay sexy and young-looking. We’ve achieved more power in the workplace, but there wasn’t an equal and opposite pressure-valve release.

    Oh, absolutely. Your eyelashes need to be longer. You can get fillers. Cream whitener for your arms. Hair extensions. Rejuvenating facials and injections. Young, young, young. It’s enough to drive anyone to drink.

    In the book, don’t you say something about how over-drinking is basically a rich country problem?

    No, wealthy, affluent women have this problem. But what a really smart psychologist and historian concludes is that it results from the fraying of our communities. It happened when we moved far away from our support network. You see it in societies where there’s been rapid urbanization. It doesn’t happen in traditional societies. He argues that the disease theory [of alcoholism] hasn’t worked for us in terms of treatment. It’s a societal problem that is the result of losing our extended families, our religious institutions. I have to say that makes a huge amount of sense tHer bEst Kept Secreto me.

    One surprising thing about the book was its focus on the recovery process, and Alcoholics Anonymous in particular. Was that something you set out to do, or did it evolve from your research?

    One hundred percent, it evolved. I thought the book was going to be a straightforward trend book. I started going to open meetings of AA. As someone who had suffered from depression and gone to therapy, I was perplexed by how some of it might work for women. I went to several women’s-only meetings, and I was struck by how deep the longing for the drink was. It seemed like these women had quit with a gun to their heads. And then I went to mixed meetings, and men tried to pick me up. And I thought: Well, that’s weird.

    I had absorbed the popular notion that if you had a problem with drinking, you needed to go to AA. I didn’t know there was a whole body of studies looking at medicine in treating alcohol dependence. Or that other countries treated alcohol dependence differently. The Twelve Steps are a very American way of treatment.

    I put my name out on a few blogs about drinking and in a newsletter for an alternative treatment center that offers a non-Twelve Step approach. I was alarmed by the number of women who called, emailed and wrote about how much they had been damaged by AA. I don’t say this lightly.

    It’s tricky to write about AA, because we’re talking about such a large number of people. And one of the keystones of it is anonymity. So it strikes me that people who do talk about the organization are those who are not in it, or who have difficulty with it.

    I think that if it works for someone, that’s fantastic. But one thing I wanted to point to is the number of people who have reached out to me as I was researching and who have continued to reach out to me and said, ‘This is my experience.’

    It hasn’t always been so great for women. Some people have said, ‘But it’s a microcosm of society.’ Well, my answer to that is, ‘AA in Great Britain and AA in Australia understood that sexual predation were very much a part of the scene’ and they have issued safeguards encouraging people to call the police if they see anything untoward. I’m not clear on why that can’t be taken up here and adapted.

    I certainly know a lot of people that AA has helped, though, and they often talk about looking for any excuse not to stick it out. I wonder if you feel there’s any danger in writing a book like this that could turn people away from a program that might actually save them?

    I write from the point of view of science and what the numbers show, which is that 12-step programs are near the bottom of the rankings in terms of efficacy. From the Cochrane Review to the COMBINE study to the more recent graph of effective treatments, the 12-step treatments have been surpassed. In the book, I also use AA’s own numbers, which show a 5% success rate. If abstention and meetings work for someone, that’s fantastic. But for the vast majority of people for whom they don’t, there are other options. And that’s what I describe—a new way of thinking about what alcohol abuse really means. I try to avoid the word “alcoholic,” which most alcohol researchers have avoided for the past 30 years.

    One of my friends, their kid was just released from a facility, and he killed himself. He was told he wasn’t allowed to use medications for bipolar disorder because he wouldn’t be sober. So I know the organization has helped people. But I have evidence of it not helping others. And we are a culture that has adopted it as the first line of treatment.

    Psychopharmacology is an interesting topic. The big book was written in the 1930s and certainly doesn’t say anything about anti-depressants. But my understanding is that many groups consider pharmaceuticals to be fine.

    Maybe that’s the case in a major city where people are exposed to new and different ideas. But I happen to know a friend of the family and she said this kid was told by his sponsor. So maybe it depends on who you’re sponsored by. And you might have an old-timer who is really draconian. These sponsors can be a support, but they’re not medical professionals.

    Well, I think you’re getting into the core strength and weakness of AA: It’s people helping people.

    But when those people are overriding what medical professionals say, then I think it can be a problem.

    The public information person at AA told me that I had grown a dangerous path of grass in my head from those three weeks I was over-drinking. She said, ‘If you don’t watch it, you’re going to end up hitting bottom.’ I wanted to be respectful, but I almost snorted with laughter. What? It’s a progressive disease? What is your evidence for that? So that made me want to take on how we, as a nation, came to this idea that you have to hit bottom. That’s when I really did take on the history of [E.L. Jellinek’s “Addiction and Recovery”] graph, and interpreting it to mean it applies to everyone. Well, no, it applies to 98 white guys who filled out a survey in 1946. That was the best that science and society could offer at the time, but we’ve moved beyond that. If you got diagnosed with breast cancer in 1970, you had to have a radical mastectomy. We have different options now.

    I wanted to show that there’s a vast range of treatments for women who have alcohol problems. Alcohol abuse disorder shouldn’t be as scary as it used to be, just as breast cancer isn’t as scary as it was in 1970. And yet we still say: You’re an alcoholic, you have a disease, you have to go to a church basement for the rest of your life. I want to get away from that idea.

    I think it’s very odd that we can discuss all the ways to lose weight. If you are off carbs, everyone understands that. If you need to go for a morning walk, and need support, everyone understands that. It’s important for people not to hide in shame. People can rewire their brains. Not everyone, but a lot of people. And return to drinking moderately.

    Sarah Hepola is the personal essays editor at She is writing a memoir about her own drinking, Blackout, which will be released by Grand Central Publishing in 2015.

    • Laurie Dhue admits during her interview after Monica’s and Gabrielle’s that sexual harassment happens in AA and that SHE was preyed upon too!

  2. Comment from Shari Allwood on the Katie Couric website about today’s interview!

    Shari Allwood

    I’ve had the honor of working for an organization called SMART Recovery for 19 years. SMART Recovery believes that individuals in recovery should be aware of all available recovery options, then free to choose from amongst those options.

    There are many pathways to recovery, and the most important thing is to find a path that works for you. (That path may include a combination of mutual support groups, or support groups plus therapy, or inpatient/outpatient treatment services — whatever you find helpful is worth pursuing.)

    If Katie’s program today caused you to wonder if you may have a problem with alcohol, I’d encourage you to check all of your free mutual support options — AA, SMART Recovery, Women for Sobriety, LifeRing, SOS — and if you think you may just be getting to a point where your drinking is more excessive than you’d like, take a look a Moderation Management. Do your best to find a program that is a comfortable match for your needs and beliefs.

    I’ve witnessed many changed lives of those who have benefited from SMART Recovery. I have friends who have benefited from AA. I’m aware of individuals who have enhanced their lives via Women for Sobriety, LifeRing and SOS. This isn’t a competition — it’s helpful to have a variety of programs to fit a variety of needs of women (and men, and youth, etc.)

    I encourage you to not give up until you find what works for you.

  3. I do want to clarify that there are many people (men and women) in the program I wouldn’t let babysit my kids or enter my house. I also have experienced 13 steppers that look for new people in the program. My experience is this is the exception and not the rule. AA has its faults but I don’t think it is a program that promotes this type of behavior. I’ve met some wonderful people in this program. It has saved my life along with numerous other people I know personally. I do not condone this type of behavior and have had to call people out, talk to them during and after meetings. If this behavior continues, they are not welcome and there are a number of people who join together and make sure this behavior does not continue. If I was thinking about going into aa and watched this shoe today, I would not have ventured into this program. This is something that people need to be aware. This made me feel like I’m automatically a pervert or child molester because I attend aa. Poor reporting and irresponsible journalism.

  4. I cant hear the radio show dont know how.
    but its okay i already know what AA is about.
    I thank the people who are getting it onto the radio and television.
    I hope to live long enough to see AA fully exposed, and made to take account for the harm it has done to many.

  5. Even TV Anchor Laurie Dhue and her boyfriend both agreed that the dangers of AA that Monica Richardson and Gabrielle Glaser spoke about was TRUE!!!!!! Great validation! Laurie Dhue said she was an alcoholic and stopped 6 years ago. She went to AA and was preyed upon.

    DR. Hokemeyer validated they are other safer options people might want to consider other than AA. Ya Think?

  6. Ridiculous! This is like saying “Don’t go to church there may be sinners there”. It’s unfortunate you had a bad experience, but to blame your experience on AA as a whole is ludicrous.Hopefully you are not making a profit on bashing AA.

    • Hi Cindy, maybe you’re not aware of all the problems people have had due to a lack of basic safety policies in AA/NA. This site advocates for safe, qualified recovery programs and public safety in general. This site recommends recovery programs that CARE ENOUGH about its member’s to help safeguard them from abuse with good safety guidelines. If you REALLY care about your fellow members and want to know the truth then read through the news articles in the monthly archives on this site and do a personal inventory. Take a look at this INTERNAL AA MEMO in the link below!!

    • i dont get a penny for posting my expieriences in AA/NA.
      i got no compenstaion for 12 years of mind torture. I cant get back those 12 years. AA nearly ruined my life.The sinners in churches are held responsable for there abuses and crimes.Not the victims.
      churches are investigated when there are allagations of sexual abuse. Some churches have held there hands up to it made apologies and compensated there victims.There are thousands of bad AA experiences being reported from all corners of the earth.
      heres 2 of mine.
      I was told i was an alcoholic do it or die there was no other way!
      I was told WE are not a religoun or a cult.!

    • Cindy what is ridiculous is that AA promotes and actively seeks minor teens and young women to the same meetings as violent sexual predators and other harmful felons. This is AA’s doing and they are at fault for the murders and rapes that happen by their own members.

      AA needs to do a fearless and extensive moral inventory for the perfect storm of their 12 step house of horrors.

  7. It’s ON and awareness about the dangerous total lack of safety polices and rampant abuse within 12 step organizations like AA and NA is coming OUT !!!!!


  8. Amazing Work Monica! Gathered many here in Akron Oh to view the show today! Can’t wait! I passed out several flyers also … I’m sure after it Airs _ many of the Akron area hardware stores will be selling out of Shovels & candles… AA lil’ cult members will be ‘dashing’ to Dr Bobs 855 Ardmore Ave. to clean up ! He’s already so ‘Full of Shit’ … But after the national awareness on the Katie Counic Show …oh ya! The shit shovels will be NEEDED! Perhaps I should call the local Priest so they can hold a candle light S.H.I.T Vigil out at the grave. ((Sober Horrified Idiots Together ))! Gonna need a lot of candles – Not only are they a glum lot … They are a Dark bunch , where they gather ..’Darkness’ follows !

    • Marie you are right! It was awesome- still time to see in many parts of the country, and people can replay it later. If the follow up guests agree to be careful in AA!!

      This is mind boggling we have got this far!

      Great job Monica and Gabrielle!

      Thanks Katie Couric and execs for the interview!


  9. That’s right, don’t forget to catch Gabrielle Glaser and Monica Richardson on the Katie Couric show coming up Tuesday, July 16 !!!

  10. LOOKING FORWARD TO IT ! THANKFULLY!!!! It’s about time that global media began to lift the veil of secrecy and let the truth be told about this! For the safety of all, it’s time to raise awareness about the abuses and coverups going on within these huge, unsafe global organizations.

    These 12-step meetings include many unstable ANONYMOUS violent/ predatory, repeat offenders with untreated mental and emotional disorders, sitting side-by-side with unsuspecting young vulnerable and naïve teenage boys and girls, women and children.

    Why would these organizations refuse to have even the most basic safety guidelines?

    It’s like some cult from the dark ages, allowing abuses to go unchecked and be systematically covered up!

    How can drug courts mandate vulnerable people to these unsafe meetings, at such a crucial time in their lives, knowing how unsafe and unsupervised they are?

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