THE 13TH STEP : THE FILM
In my 36 years as a member of Alcoholics Anonymous, I discovered that violent criminals and sex offenders are being court ordered into AA meetings, unknown to the public and AA members. As a result, innocent people looking for help are being sexually harassed, financially scammed, raped and murdered.
I learned that it is a violation of our 1st Amendment rights to sentence people who get a DUI ticket to AA, a laypersons support group that has already been deemed ‘”highly religious” in 25 states.
Is Alcoholics Anonymous a Drug Treatment Program? If it is, then it would be regulated by the state, but it’s not. Why not?
Is Alcoholics Anonymous a religion? If so, then my government cannot send me there for treatment. So why do they?
I was in AA for 36 years. I came in willingly on my own and viewed AA as a fellowship not a “program”. I tried to change the system from the inside, but I was threatened and my words fell on deaf ears.
So I left.
My Message Has Already Started To Spread.
Even Katie Couric Has Listened,
Monica Richardson On Katie Couric
As a teen, I was preyed upon by older AA members, but I survived and through the support of the fellowship I stayed. There are many less fortunate people than I who did not have support, and lived in silent shame – some even committed suicide. I know firsthand that AA’s philosophy can be harmful to some very sensitive, vulnerable types of people.
By the time I was 22, I had been a Public Information Chair for AA in Hawaii, an Area Chair, a DCM (District Committee Member) for Honolulu. I was a sponsor, a secretary, a treasurer, a coffee maker; you name it, many times over throughout the years.
In my final years in AA, I was a General Service Rep in Los Angeles, CA and founded a grassroots movement called Make AA Safer, where I taught local AA groups how to keep people who wanted to stay sober safe in meetings from those who wanted to take advantage of them. I created and collaborated on literature with a small group of woman and we hosted the first Make AA Safer workshop in Culver City, CA in April of 2010. I wanted to help AA, make it relevant and safer for all. When Alcoholics Anonymous World Services found out about what I was doing, they shut me down.
The AA service structure is broken and I set out to help change it. But, instead of being met with open-arms we received threats because of the work we were doing to keep people safe in the meetings. However, our work did get one rapist arrested and taken out of meetings where he was harassing new-comers on a daily basis. But when I heard about Saundra and Kristine Cass’s murder, I felt I really needed to warn the public and the AA community. I cannot sit idly while more people become victims of the system.
What, if at your weakest moment, at your most vulnerable age in life, those that are supposed to help you are preying on you?
Is it normal for random 50-year-old men to attend meetings with 16 year- olds girls and be their confidants?
Is it okay that criminals are taught to accept that they are not responsible for their own actions?
This is a story that needs to be told now, before another child or young adult is made a victim.
Victim of murder by a man she met in an AA meeting.
A life taken so young – Karla Brada
About The Film:
This feature-length documentary film is about the criminal and sexually predatory behavior that occurs systemically in Alcoholics Anonymous. We will address the real meaning of the term The 13th Step and clear up any misconceptions the public has about AA, the steps and how AA sponsorship really works.
13 stepping is a specific term where an older AA member with lots of sobriety takes advantage of a new member romantically, sexually or financially.
This behavior goes unchecked by A.A.’s world headquarters, despite repeated warnings from respected board members and longtime members. This behavior is exacerbated by the systematic sentencing of criminals and sex offenders to AA meetings without the knowledge of the other AA members.
I have been making this film since May of 2011, investing my own money, time and equipment. During that time I traveled across the country interviewing victims and former AA board members.
Murdered August 2010 by Clayborne Conley who was court ordered into AA.
I have been blessed to be given the trust of so many people. I have now interviewed 60 people who were harassed, raped or sexually assaulted by fellow members of Alcoholics Anonymous.
With extensive research, I have managed to document the stories of children being molested by AA members. I have also traveled across the country and interviewed the surviving family of AA members who were murdered by violent offenders ordered into AA as part of probation.
This activity is well known in Alcoholics Anonymous. AA NY Headquarters knows this is going on. Our courts are mandating that anyone arrested for an alcohol offence be sent to AA. A teenager caught drinking at a party can be told by a judge to attend an AA meeting where a sexual predator was also told to go, and no one is allowed to tell that teen the history of his/her sponsor!
AA has been the foundation of alcohol treatment in this country since its inception in 1935.
It has become a place where older members act as sexual predators, scouring the room for new victims aka, “13 stepping”, among its “secret” type culture of “we are anonymous”. Thousands are harmed and forced to live in shame, too afraid to tell their story.
TJ sought refuge but instead 13 Stepping resulted in his murder.
THERE IS HOPE!
Yes, AA has helped some people, but AA’s Big Book published in 1939, may need to be updated and/or replaced with science, kindness and new modalities.
AA simply needs to keep up with the times. There needs to be “Safety Policies and Procedures”. The judicial system must get involved and understand what AA really is and what is occurring behind closed doors.
There needs to be transparency and education in an organization that has been given so much power and free promotion. I believe that other options run by trained facilitators, counselors, psychologists and members of the medical profession should be given more validity. AA Should NOT be the only choice for treatment.
HOW THE MONEY WILL BE USED:
Of course, our goal is to raise the minimum amount of money we need to proceed with production, but more than that, to help us to go further in completing the film. If we exceed our goal, we will use the additional funds for additional weeks filming and editing. We have already filmed many interviews. There is a plan for shooting at least 50 more interviews. The money raised will be used to hire professional cinematographers and sound people and their crews, an editor, a producer and assistants, hard drives, archival footage, music, sound, and to cover travel and legal expenses. We also plan to raise additional funds from private investors and foundation grants.
You can also view our website here:
Web Site: The 13th Step The Film
Follow us on Facebook: Facebook 13 Stepping
Follow us on Twitter: Twitter 13 Stepping
Follow us on Instagram: Instagram 13 Stepping
Follow us on YouTube: YouTube The 13th Step
And please ask me any questions you may have!
If we hit our goal we will be able to make serious social change in the field of drug and alcohol rehabilitation and help launch this film into the mainstream. It will also ensure that millions of at risk youth and parents hear about the cover-ups occurring so that innocent victims will not be put in harm’s way .
We want to start a dialogue for change with the judicial system and ensure there are separate meetings for those court ordered to attend AA.
All of the proceeds from this campaign will go directly to completing production and starting post production.
YOU CAN CHANGE HOW ALCOHOL & Drug Over-Use IS VIEWED AND SAVE A LIFE!
I have a team of people working with me. Some are already very talented Hollywood professionals; Barry Rubinow, award-winning Editor, Edwin Pendleton Stevens Director of Photography, Diana Lundin, DP who filmed 2 main interviews, Matt Mc Clain who filmed interviews in NYC, Leon Luis, Music Supervisor, Jay Silverman, filmed my first interview. He gave his time, his studio and service as a donation to my project; Hank Linderman, a top Hollywood engineer/musician, engineered and edited my last album “Record Store”, soon to be on iTunes and on CD Baby. David B. Smallman Esq. from Smallman + Snyder Law Group PLLC for Legal Services, and Kevin, my husband who has given me his unrelenting support.
IS AA A CULT?
Is AA a religion or is it a Drug/Alcohol Treatment Program? If it is a religion, how is our government forcing people there? If it’s a Treatment program then it needs to be regulated by the state and Federal government.
At the start of every meeting is read the AA Preamble: “Alcoholics Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from alcoholism. The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking” Yet why are people who don’t want to stop drinking, who are not alcoholics, told by judges they have to attend AA or go to jail? Why is AA letting people who don’t want to be there stay and harm those who really want to be helped? In my research I have discovered that there is so much coercion and even extortion being done to Pilots, Doctors, and Entertainment people .
“GO to our REHAB or you are through! “