An example of how the AA sponsor system inflates egos and encourages sociopathy and just plain bad manners.
I was eating dinner in one of my favorite Park Slope cafes the other night when two guys walked in and asked if they could join me at my table. I thought this was a pretty strange request because there were about four empty tables in plain view in the place at the time. But I don’t like to be rude, so I told them to go ahead and sit down. In retrospect I think I must have been targeted because I was wearing a Lower East Side Needle Exchange T-shirt that said “I [heart] Drug Users.” on the back.
Well before very long the arrogant one who had forced himself onto my table was telling the other one all about how to do his fourth step inventory for his AA program. It was quite clear that the arrogant one was an AA sponsor and the sheeplike one was his sponsee. This was not a conversation which was likely to improve the digestion of my meal, so I kindly and politely told them that their conversation was highly offensive to me and would they please move it to another table. At which the arrogant one piped up that if I didn’t like what was being said that I ought to move to another table. This in spite of the fact that I had been there first.
Then the arrogant one started saying “some are sicker than others” and I told him that I totally agreed because he was clearly sicker than anyone. At which point he hurled more insults at me and started talking about how everything he said was protected under the first amendment right of free speech. I explained to him that this did not apply in a private place of business which had the right to eject him if he was offending other customers.
At this point I called the waiter over, and the waiter asked them very nicely to move to another table and stop bothering me since I had been there first. Of course Mr. Sponsor Pants refused to move and said that the waiter ought to call the police on me. Perhaps he assumed that I was a drug user because of my shirt and assumed that I would be an easy target for oppression who would cower under the jackboot of the law. Although I am a staunch defender of the rights of drug users to be free from oppression and coerced religion such as is practiced by 12 step programs, it just so happens that all the drugs I like are legal, and hence I have no fear of the law. So I seconded the motion to call the police to eject these two interlopers who had invaded the privacy of my table and who were insisting upon offending me with their cult religious practices.
Oh I might also mention that between the two of them all they had ordered was one cup of herbal tea. Mr. Sponsor Pants finally finished his cup of herbal tea and announced that he was paying his bill and leaving.
Why am I sharing this with you? It is a perfect example of how harmful AA is to people’s mental health. This man is typical of the sociopaths who become AA sponsors and of how their egos grow even more inflated as a result of the power they are given by their sponsorship roles. I have seen this sense of entitlement before when the AA meeting that used to meet in our church was evicted. Of course they spent much of their meeting time talking about how organized religion had lost contact with God and how the true God could only be found in AA meetings. But the real kicker was that they thought they had a right to move our piano every time they had a meeting even though they had been expressly forbidden to do so. They kept it up until they broke the leg of the piano which they then refused to pay for.
If you value your mental health, then stay away from AA. I hope some of this bad behavior sunk into that sponsee’s head and he has the sense to leave before he gets sucked in any deeper.