13th Step The Film – Private Screening, London, Weds 27th May 2015

Folks Exciting news, the long awaited explosive documentary by former long-time AA member, now turned activist and film maker, Monica Richardson, makes it’s UK debut at the Mayfair Hotel, in London this coming Wednesday 27th May.  The film exposes the criminal and sexually predatory behavior that occurs systematically within Alcoholics Anonymous.

Here is the latest trailer: 

Several years in the making, this film has taken Monica all over the United States to interview victims, and experts, as well as fielding calls and emails from all around the world.  She did not start out to become an activist, like many smart women in AA, Monica was good and ANGRY about the obstinate refusal of fellow members to hear her pleas that predatory behaviour must be addressed in local meetings.  She started holding ‘Make AA Safer’ workshops in her hometown of Los Angeles.  She was stonewalled at every turn.  As she started blogging, she realised that the problem was much bigger than anyone could have first suspected.  As Monica became aware of (and shocked by) the sheer scale and horror of the tales of abuse flooding into her inbox and told to her in person by desperate people who just wanted to be believed not told to ‘pray for’ their abuser or look for their ‘part in it’, the project grew and grew.

What started out as a one woman mission has turned into something much, much bigger – a feature length documentary with extremely high production values and some shocking, well researched content – although it’s testament to Monica’s grit that the film has come to fruition.  So much so that she’ll be joining us in London after hot footing it from the Cannes Film Festival, and winning the ‘Best Documentary’ award at the prestigious Beverly Hills Film Festival.  Festival screenings later in the year are due in Europe, across the USA and Canada.  To reserve tickets and to find out about future screen dates check the film’s website: http://www.the13thstepfilm.com/

The film uncovers the fact that despite repeated warnings from respected board members and longtime members, this predatory behavior goes unchecked by Alcoholic Anonymous’ world headquarters. It is exacerbated by the sentencing of criminals and sex offenders to AA meetings without the knowledge of other AA members.  Sex offenders sometimes seek out AA due to its lack of rules and oversight, it’s a nice place to hide in plain sight. From our courts, our health system, our prisons, all the way down to our children’s cartoons, Alcoholics Anonymous has permeated our lives and filled us with supposed knowledge about alcohol abuse, rehab and recovery for over 60 years.  But what exactly is AA? What goes on within those meetings where alcoholics congregate and DUI offenders are forced to go as part of their criminal sentences?  This film will explore society’s deep-rooted relationship with AA and discover exactly what goes on behind the veil of anonymity.

I’m on the edge of my seat already!

So if you are in London, come along to the Mayfair Hotel, a beautiful 5 star venue with its own cinema, for the first UK private screening and then a Q&A session afterwards with the film-maker. I will be there as will many other UK bloggers as well as journalists, and recovery professionals.  I also hope that interested AA members will come along too and we can have a respectful and honest discussion about this subject.  I know for myself, that by the end of my time in AA, I felt that speaking up about 13th stepping was getting me nowhere, and I felt by staying I was complicit in condoning this appalling abuse of some of the most vulnerable people in our community.  Of course my reasons for leaving AA were many and complex, but the routine abuse of women and the vulnerable really was the ‘deal breaker’.

If you would like to correspond with me privately, then please do leave a short comment below and then I will have your email address in my comments control panel.  Those of you with whom I’ve already chatted to offline, I will drop you an email over the weekend. I really think this film can change things, whether AA embraces it, or likes it, or agrees with it, or not.  One thing is for sure, the trite cliches that even well-intentioned AA members trot out about this problem, and the bizarre conflation of 13th Stepping with ‘dating’ (it’s NOT dating, it’s premeditated abuse) are not sufficient any longer and real change is needed.

You can find out more about the film here: http://www.the13thstepfilm.com/

Hotel location is here:  Anyone affected and hurt by predatory behaviour and 13th stepping in AA can find solace, safety and support on Monica’s blog for victims https://stop13stepinaa.wordpress.com/ it is strictly moderated and no trolling is tolerated at all.

Yours

The Girlscout  x

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8 Responses to 13th Step The Film – Private Screening, London, Weds 27th May 2015

  1. lovinglife52 says:

    This is a really great write up on Monica’s work. If everyone gets behind her like you have done we can help prevent serious problems in the 12 step recovery world. I look forward to seeing the film and meeting everyone from Monica’s blogging community that turns up.

    • girlscoutuk says:

      Ah thanks! I really, really support what she has done, I think it’s an amazing achievement and I really hope that those of us who have left AA, and those still in AA, are able to start to really have an honest and open debate about this, and what needs to be done to make AA safer for vulnerable people who need help. I’m truly looking forward to seeing it, and meeting everyone! Thanks.

      • lovinglife52 says:

        I hope a few people come that are not connected to the blogs and who will be seeing it for the first time. It would be interested to see how they react. I am sure that they would be shocked.

      • girlscoutuk says:

        Yes I really hope that too, and it will definitely be interesting to see that ‘outside in’ reaction – I suppose some of us have been talking about this for a long time, already are clear what we think about it, and are used to the arguments ‘pro’ and ‘con’ that it’s easy to forget how shocking it is when you really understand the scale of the problem for the first time. Like those who were in Jimmy Saville’s orbit, looking back now, they failed to see the red flags that appear so obvious now, as somehow they were caught up inside the whole thing. I think some fresh eyes on this topic will really add an interesting and important dimension to any subsequent discussion.

  2. Massive says:

    When it played in Chicago, their were quite a few Two hatters. Long time AA members and about 5 ex steppers who were very vocal. It was a very good conversation. I can wait to meet many of you.

    • girlscoutuk says:

      That’s what I’m interested to see Massive, what sort of interest you get in London from two hatters. I really do hope it’s a conversation, that’s what really needs to happen for things to change. We are all really looking forward to it! Thanks for dropping in! 🙂

  3. Lovinglife52 says:

    I though it went really well and it was great to meet everyone. I was really impressed that the AA people in London got the message and agreed that there were issues, and wanted to send the film to people in Uk AA.

    • girlscoutuk says:

      Yes it was a brilliant night and awesome to meet all the other ex AAs in London. I think it’s great that the AAs there ‘heard’ us too, Monica has made a very hard hitting film and she’s getting stuff DONE! Yay!

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