This is a fascinating story…………..
How Sexual Deviance Could Have Crippled Alcoholics Anonymous
FEB 17 2012, 11:04 AM ET
Instead of fight for her mother’s inheritance—and risk exposing her sexuality—Felicia Gizycka dropped a lawsuit to protect a developing AA.
Editor’s Note: This is the third in a three-part series from Amanda Smith about the drinking life of Countess Felicia Gizycka, daughter of famed newspaper editor Cissy Patterson, and the other women involved in the early Alcoholics Anonymous movement.
In 1943, Countess Felicia Gizycka severed relations with her mother, the notorious Washington, D.C., newspaper publisher and Chicago Tribune heiress, Cissy Patterson, in what would prove to be the last of the many vicious “drunken rows” they had engaged in over the previous 20 years. Several months later, through her psychiatrist, Dr. Florence Powerdermaker, Felicia was introduced to “Bill W.” and his small, but growing fellowship, Alcoholics Anonymous, in New York City. For the first time in her life Felicia experienced a sense of community and belonging. In her sponsor, Marty Mann, Felicia had found a stalwart lifelong friend. By the end of the Second World War, Felicia had committed herself to a life in recovery.
After their mother-daughter “divorce,” there had been almost no communication between Felicia Gizycka and Cissy Patterson, a Chicago Tribune heiress and the publisher of Washington Times-Herald, the most widely read newspaper in the nation’s capital. As a result, the telegram Cissy received from her estranged daughter in the spring of 1947 sparked more surprise — and suspicion — than it kindled any hope of reconciliation. In light of Mrs. Marty Mann’s upcoming lecture engagements in Washington, Felicia wondered, could her close friend and A.A. sponsor stay at Cissy’s mansion on Dupont Circle? “Marty Mann was for a time the head of the Women’s Division of Alcoholics Anonymous and the only person I ever knew who had great influence on Felicia,” Cissy explained shortly afterward in a letter to her reactionary cousin, Colonel Robert Rutherford McCormick, publisher of the Chicago Tribune. “Well, that would be all right, too,” she continued, betraying her anxiety as to the exact nature and extent of the proposed guest’s sway over her daughter, “if Marty were not a notorious lesbian, and that is rather hard to swallow.”
Perhaps honoring the many efforts that friends had made to reconcile mother and daughter over the years, perhaps for other reasons, Cissy Patterson did invite Marty Mann to stay at her home on Dupont Circle, graciously placing her household staff as well as her personal secretary at her guest’s disposal. For reasons that go unrecorded, however, the hostess was absent while the friend and mentor who had so profoundly changed her daughter’s life was in town.
On her rigorous national lecture tours, Mrs. Marty Mann repeated what would become a familiar refrain: “We must overcome the stigma of sin that has been fastened upon the alcoholic if we are to get anywhere.” But while she and her colleagues made sweeping headway in dissociating alcoholism from venality in the popular mindset, Mann was deeply aware that the blossoming organizations to which she had devoted her life stood to be irrevocably blighted by any taint of what was considered at the time to be “sexual deviance.”
As a result, already burdened with the public-relations encumbrances of being a recovering alcoholic and a woman, she took careful steps to prevent her sexual orientation from becoming known outside of her circle of close friends, or publicly associated either with her work for the National Committee for Education on Alcoholism or with the Alcoholics Anonymous movement generally. Indeed, as her biographers Sally and David R. Brown put it, in her distinguished professional life “Marty’s use of the title Mrs. served the purpose of blurring her real orientation.” Within the necessarily insular gay and lesbian communities of Manhattan and Fire Island, Mann and Priscilla Peck were known as a committed couple. To outsiders, they were “friends” and “roommates.” They did nothing to hide the fact that they lived together; indeed, their unmarried, heterosexual counterparts did so customarily for the sake of economy and safety. By the early 1950s the couple would sell the cottage at Cherry Grove where Felicia had been a constant presence over the preceding decade. As Fire Island developed a reputation as a gay and lesbian summer retreat during those same years, Marty arrived at the conclusion that she could not risk the exposure that her continued presence there might occasion. Such fears were legitimate inasmuch as she and her circle appear to have been threatened with exposure, directly or indirectly, during Felicia Gizycka’s internationally sensationalized efforts to break her mother’s will in the autumn and winter of 1948-49.
All 3 articles
In a BILLION dollar bribery case a former chief executive got a light sentence in part because of his attendence at Alcoholics Anonymous meetings! Wow, Alcoholics Anonymous has become so powerful that they can effect sentencing in a
multi billion dollar bribery case. Unbelievable. Sounds like he had AA members march in to testify what a good AA member he was.
Halliburton: Ex-KBR Chief Jailed For Bribing Nigerian Officials
HOUSTON — After years of sentencing delays, a former KBR Inc. chief executive received two and a half years in prison Thursday for his role in a scheme to bribe Nigerian government officials in return for $6 billion in engineering and construction contracts.
Albert “Jack” Stanley also must serve three years of probation and pay $1,000 a month in restitution after he is released.
Stanley pleaded guilty in 2008 to conspiring in the decade-long scheme related to the company’s natural gas operations in Nigeria from 1995 to 2004. Stanley was KBR’s chief executive until 2001 and chairman until June 2004.
The 69-year-old spoke to U.S. District Judge Keith Ellison in court Thursday, saying that alcoholism played a role in compromising the traditional American values of hard work, honesty and integrity that he brought to his professional life.
“I lost touch,” he said. “I wish to be very clear that I accept full responsibility for what I have done … and hope to be able to continue to make amends for my past.”
Larry Veselka, Stanley’s lawyer, asked the judge to forgo a prison sentence for Stanley, citing his involvement in Alcoholics Anonymous and mentoring relationships with people in Houston and North Carolina, where Stanley now lives. About two dozen people also attested to Stanley’s volunteer work in court Thursday.
Indeed, Stanley’s sentence is lighter than his plea agreement had outlined, as he had faced the possibility of seven years in prison for violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. A federal presentencing report suggested punishment of three and a half years.
Another AA Sponsor that bilked big bucks from the vulnerable he met at Alcoholics Anonymous Meetings. This actually hurt him at sentencing and he received the maximum sentence of 8 years in prison. Ponzi schemes seems rather common in Alcoholics Anonymous.
They go for the big money! This man had been well respected as a sponsor and looked up to in AA.
Do not loan people money in AA, or invest with people you meet in 12 step programs!
Bala Cynwyd resident Ira Pressman got eight years in prison.
By Eric Campbell February 13, 2012
After pleading guilty to engineering a Ponzi scheme that cost 23 people roughly $7 million, Bala Cynwyd resident Ira Pressman was all but certain to spend a few years in prison no matter what happened in his sentencing hearing.
The distinct circumstances of a few of those thefts, however, made certain that Pressman’s attorney was trying in vain to get a sentence on the lighter end of the spectrum.
John I. McMahon Jr. argued that Pressman’s years of supporting his fellow Alcoholics Anonymous members demonstrated he was someone who could find redemption. But in explaining Pressman’s sentence—97 months, the maximum under federal guidelines for the array of crimes he committed—U.S. District Judge Jan E. Dubois on Friday said Pressman’s AA legacy was ultimately a liability.
“Somewhat undercutting that good work is the fact you ended up defrauding two or three members of the program,” DuBois said, calling that aspect of Pressman’s behavior “particularly heinous.”
Pressman joined an AA program on the Main Line after overdosing on cocaine Oct. 22, 1988, he told the court Friday, after DuBois had heard testimony from three former friends of Pressman’s who knew him through AA and lost money in his fraudulent investments. Though the victims gave their names in court, Patch is withholding their identities.
One victim who testified, a woman from Penn Valley, said she “grew to love Ira” as a fellow AA member for the past seven years. She invested with him but soon found herself losing faith, eventually screaming over the phone to him, “You really are a Bernie Madoff, aren’t you?”
Added the victim, in court: “I felt like picking up a drink just to calm myself down.”
When Pressman was charged, even AA members who hadn’t lost money to him were unnerved, the victim said: “People cried. It was as if someone pulled the rug out from under them. … Ira sponsored so many addicts and alcoholics.”
A second victim testified, describing himself as an attorney who “was retired until this situation.” He, too, had lent Pressman money in 2010 after they “developed somewhat of a friendship” in AA.
He had had problems getting Pressman to pay him back for a smaller investment in 2004, he told the court, but he had enough faith in Pressman that he, against his better judgment, borrowed against his retirement fund when he was told more capital was needed.
“He was a man who had reconstructed his life, had many years of sobriety and was looked up to for advice for many people,” the victim said.
After weeks and months went on without the victim being paid back, Pressman finally told him he’d gone to the Montgomery County District Attorney’s office to come clean, the victim said.
“He essentially said, ‘Well, I’ve done some inappropriate things,'” the victim said. When asked to elaborate, Pressman told the victim his criminal attorney had advised against going into more detail, and he added that the victim could face unwelcome scrutiny of his tax returns if he reported Pressman on the federal level.
“I didn’t see any sense of remorse whatsoever,” the victim said.
Like DuBois, the victim took particular offense at Pressman involving AA friends in his scheme.
“People get the feeling that these are safe environments. That’s the most egregious part of this situation, that a lot of people opened up and were taken advantage of,” the victim said. “I really feel he should be given the maximum sentence permitted.”
A third victim from AA had pre-recorded testimony on video that was shown, off the record, at Friday’s hearing.
‘Sacred to me’
McMahon, Pressman’s attorney, pointed out that the vast majority of the victims were not in AA; Pressman himself said he knew the investors in various ways. McMahon also described a defendant who struggled with addiction beyond drugs and alcohol (such as debt and sex) and who had behaved well for the balance of his time in recovery.
“For 15 years, he lived a good life,” the attorney said. “It was the last three or four years when, obviously, that changed.”
Louis Lappen, representing the U.S. Attorney’s Office, dismissed the “diversions” of McMahon’s approach to the case.
“This defendant knew better,” Lappen said. “He’s a man who can operate legally and lawfully when he wants to, and when he gets in trouble, he steals.”
Pressman, in forest-green prison garb, told DuBois his problems stemmed in part from the fact he had stopped going to 12-step meetings a few years ago, instead attending religious and social engagements with his wife, who is now suing him for divorce.
Though he had “done all the things you’re told in AA not to do,” Pressman said, he hadn’t intentionally preyed on his vulnerable fellow addicts.
“I did not set out to defraud people in AA,” Pressman said. “AA is sacred to me.”
Was Demi Moore’s AA sponsor’s death the trigger for her meltdown? New claims suggest the actress was left distraught after Pattsy Rugg’s passing
Last updated at 4:50 PM on 27th January 2012
Actress replaced by Mary-Louise Parker in biopic Lovelace
The meltdown which saw Demi Moore rushed to hospital earlier this week could have been caused by the death of her AA sponsor, new claims have suggested.
According to reports, the 49-year-old actress was left so distraught following the death of Pattsy Rugg, who she previously introduced to friends as her ‘mom’, last year, that her passing may have triggered the star’s health scare which saw her seek treatment for anorexia and substance abuse issues.
Demi looked overcome with emotion as she left Rugg’s funeral held Christ the King Church in Cape Cod, Massachusetts, in December.
The new claims about the trigger of Demi’s issues have emerged as it has been reported the mother-of-three is addicted to prescription drug Adderall – one of the addictions that is thought to have led to her reported seizure on Monday night.
A source close to the actress told RadarOnline.com: ‘Demi has been taking Adderall and drinking energy drinks and starving herself and those are some of the serious causes that led her to collapse.
‘The pills and starvation destroyed Demi and this has been a problem for about a year.
‘She’s constantly jacked up on Adderall and combining that with not eating accounts for her loopy behavior and anorexic body frame.
‘She literally refuses to eat any food.’
Demi’s estranged husband Ashton Kutcher was last night seen arriving back in Los Angeles looking strained as he jumped behind the wheel of an awaiting SUV and sped off into the night after touching down at LAX airport.
The 33-year-old actor has been in Brazil for the last week where he has been busy attending a slew of events, including a Brazilian fashion show and a Florence And The Machine concert.
Steven Hayes and Joshua Komisarjevsky first crossed paths at a Hartford, Connecticut, drug treatment center in the summer of 2006, according to police.
Both men, career criminals, had been in and out of jail for similar non-violent crimes. Twice they had overlapping stays at the same halfway house or drug center, and the two attended Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous meetings together and became friends, according to a detective’s report. NA Daytona Meetings in Holly Hill Florida.
They shared similar interests — often the downfall that led them into the criminal justice system — but nobody knew at the time that their friendship would result in what police and prosecutors say was one of the most brutal crimes in memory in the prosperous town of Cheshire, Connecticut.
Connecticut killer sentenced to die for “unimaginable horror”
New Haven, Connecticut (CNN) — A judge in New Haven sentenced a 31-year-old man to death Friday for his role in a deadly home invasion that killed a woman and her two daughters in 2007.
Jurors convicted Joshua Komisarjevsky in October on six capital felony charges. The 12-member jury had recommended death by lethal injection on each of the counts.
“The task of sentencing another human being to death is the most sober and somber experience a judge can have,” said Superior Court Judge Jon Blue.
Komisarjevsky responded Friday, saying that he “came into this trial angry and defiant.”
It’s a “surreal experience to be condemned to die,” he said. “Our apathetic pursuits trampled the innocent.”
He said, “I did not rape. I did not pour that gas or light that fire.”
“I will never find peace again and my soul is torn,” Komisarjevsky added.
The family of his victims left the courtroom before Komisarjevsky spoke.
Richard Hawke, in a victim’s statement prior to the sentencing, said the killings of his daughter and granddaughters had left him “half-past dead.”
“They offered to give you everything you asked for, you didn’t have to take their lives,” he told Komisarjevsky. “You will from now on be known as a prison number in the book of death. You are now in God’s hands.”
The man convicted of being Komisarjevsky’s accomplice, Steven Hayes, was sentenced to death in 2010. Juries convicted the pair on charges that they beat and tied up Dr. William Petit Jr., raped and strangled his wife, molested one of their daughters and set the house on fire before trying to flee.
Photos of Petit Crime Scene-
July 18th 2013 Katie Couric Show with Mathew West and the Cheshire Murders-