Please sign this Petition

This petition was initiated because we saw a pattern with LCSWs and healthcare workers sending people to AA even when it was completely inappropriate, and even claiming it was their right to do it. Organizations like Samaritan Counseling Center of the Capital Region seem to force even their Clinical Director (who’s also on the state licensing board), who said she was not a fan of the 12-steps, to refer people to coercive 12-step interventionists, no discussion allowed, even after the client told them repeatedly this is not helpful. There are three possible causes for this:

1. Pure ignorance and blind faith – No longer acceptable because they have been notified.
2. Coercion within the industry / financial conflicts of interest (‘do it this way because I run this counseling center’) – Also not legal to intimidate licensed trained professionals in their job duties like this
3. As a way to blame mishandled transference on the client – Which would be the sickest explanation for a sex therapist / supervisor / pastor/ Executive Director to prefer 12-step coercion among both clients and supervisees.

Samaritan Counseling Center’s 12-step ‘preference’ seems to be based on a combination of 2 and 3.

Not exactly the response I was hoping for

Here’s my latest letter from David Olsen who still refuses to acknowledge any problems with the 12-step ‘treatment’, which includes getting people to detail their sex lives and then going no-contact if they think this did not help resolve an alcohol problem.

This is not exactly the response I was hoping for. I was hoping that they would acknowledge my complaints and concerns about 12-step coercion, the problems with the rehab industry, and tell me that they would be looking into this. That would make me happy and make me feel like they listened and that they might not do this again to someone else.

I’m concerned about the people getting psychologically and financially abused, extorted, raped, murdered, mistreated, etc, and I don’t like this concern to be treated as ‘denial’, belligerence, ‘bullshitting’, ‘taking them for a ride’, ‘harassment’, or however else they want to attempt to undermine and invalidate my attempts to communicate.

They should acknowledge a systemic problem that led to my therapist fearing for her job security and me becoming suicidal, all because this stupid cult religion which is ‘treatment’ that is ‘not treatment’ cannot be criticized.

Instead, they estimated an invoice for $9.75 for copies of my complaints, which I had asked to be amended (after they were removed) according to my right to request that via HIPAA laws.


FOIL Appeal to MaryEllen Elia New York State Commissioner of Education

Does the Delmar Reformed Church in Delmar NY really not want me on their property just because I complained about 12-step coercion in therapy (which they provide an office to as a ‘sponsor church’)? If so, that doesn’t seem like such an open minded church at all. I wonder if they know that their sponsee counseling center is banning people from the property for writing a letter about 12-step alternatives. I find it hard to believe that they would approve of that, but you never know.


My Own Letter to Mental Health Professionals

update Jan 20 2020: Samaritan Institute is now called Solihten Institute.

Here’s my own letter which will go on top of the packet I’m sending to the New York State Department of Education, Samaritan Counseling Center, NASW, Samaritan Institute, and the US Department of Health and Human Services.

I don’t think I’m ‘personality disordered or mentally retarded’ (Axis 2) for being concerned about Alcoholics Anonymous coercion in mental health care.

notpowerless (PDF)


Resources in 2006

This page in the ARISE book, from 2006, shows the acknowledged options for ‘treatment’ through coercive ‘interventions’, not just for drug and alcohol abuse, but for pretty much everything. Yet, as early as the mid-eighties and early nineties, there was such strong criticism of the 12-step approach, enough so to form alternative organizations and strategies and activist organizations. Instead of acknowledging the failure of 12-step coercion initiated by EAPs and similar programs, and exploring this feedback, the 12-step organizations devised new tactics for extortion, information control and fear-mongering, which grew their industry to the $35 billion dollar ‘rehab’ industry that it now is, even though they cannot prove that their ‘treatment’ is any more effective than no treatment at all, while censoring complaints that this kind of ‘treatment’ is even counterproductive, using failures as a reason for more of the same.


I am also including some of the contracts that coerce people into treatment. The book also contains payment plans for ARISE interventions.



Another Letter to Health Workers and Academics Against 12-Step Programs

This is Silver’s message. She, like me and many others feel there is a pattern of abuse, anti-intellectualism, and willful negligence doing more harm than good in 12-step programs, and was compelled to speak out about it. We are writing these letters because we want people to understand, care, and realize how much most people (even mental health professionals) don’t really know about the 12-step programs and how inappropriate this kind of ‘treatment’ can be for (we think most) people.

Many who’ve experienced this spent a lot of time being afraid to say these things, and feeling very alone and ‘crazy’… but we slowly connected anonymously on blog comments, then as people in the real world or through social media, and now we’re organizing to let others know that we are not powerless and we won’t be tolerating the shunning, shaming and censorship that keeps this cult alive, especially not by our state-licensed professionals.



Another Email to ARISE Interventionist’s Website

Full story here

Hi Kelly,

I was looking around ARISE’s website again today, and wanted to touch base on some other concerns I now have. Although it was beyond great that the 12 Step reference was removed from the Intervention Page, I am concerned that this may be misleading.

On this page for Information for Families, the only support groups listed are 12 Step supports (Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, etc.) They are mentioned by name and linked to their information. I am concerned because families will not learn about SMART Recovery, SOS, Women for Sobriety, LifeRing, and other supports.

Can these other supports be included as one of several “appropriate support groups” that ARISE now claims on their Intervention Page? Also, the longer list of links (here- ) does not include SMART Recovery, etc.

Here are their links to make updating ARISE’s website more efficient, also in SEO, search engines, etc, listing these organizations will drive more traffic to ARISE. So it’s really a benefit for ARISE to offer these links:

I appreciate ARISE’s continued commitment to provide outstanding, quality care to each person they help, and each family they help. However, to fail to mention alternatives to 12-Step supports is a hindrance to recovery to individuals who do not benefit from those groups. Also, to favor “some” non-profit 501(c) businesses and not others is favoritism, and this should be at the very least acknowledged, even if ARISE prefers the 12 Step organizations, it is the right, decent, humane thing to do to list the other support groups.

Thank you,


Operation Iraqi Freedom Veteran and Agent for Change, Second Letter Campaign

12-step treatment not only induces PTSD in some people, it is absolutely the wrong treatment for people traumatized by combat nursing, who were seeing people get shot, burned, or bombed, and then decided to shake it off, have a few drinks and get right back to work.

What the hell is wrong with these state licensing boards being run by blame and shame steppers? Licensed professionals are being forced to accept utter stupidity, extortion and abuse by their superiors in the State.

I’m also wondering what real PTSD treatment involves (which thankfully she’s now getting more of, after advocating for her rights, from the VA hospital).

Pride Letter (PDF)