Conclusions – 12-step coercion is real

I blogged about this problem since Feb 2015. Here’s what I’ve learned:

– Samaritan Counseling Center will not formally acknowledge any problem with or complaint about 12-step referrals made directly after complaints about 12-step coercion.

– Therapists at Samaritan, other than the Executive Director, will privately acknowledge the problem, but records show that the official position is not what either the therapist or client would reasonably conclude.

New York State will not formally acknowledge any problem with or complaint about 12-step coercion

– Complaints are removed from medical records

Petitions are completely ignored

NASW social work ethics codes do not apply to two-hatters

– Complaints are passed off as personality disorders or mental retardation.

I think there are other conclusions, but this is enough for now.

Axis 2 – Personality Disorders and Mental Retardation

IMAG0391Axis II: Personality disorders and mental retardation

This is in my medical records, and ‘confirmed’ by the 12-step interventionist LCSW-R James Garrett, because I complained about Alcoholics Anonymous coercion at Samaritan Couseling Center of the Capital Region.

My complaints, however, which led to this diagnosis, have been removed and are not ‘technically‘ a part of my clinical records, so there is not a very good record of why I am so personality-disordered or mentally retarded. I would like my complaints to be included in my medical records but Samaritan Counseling (which is a right to request according to HIPAA law) is not responding to this request.

I spent several weeks being dissuaded from asking for my records from James Garrett to compare them with the ones I had received from Samaritan Counseling. I finally demanded them, and while he had been telling me that it was her decision not to speak to me, for five months I had several indications that she was willing to speak to me but could not because I had not completed the treatment process, which seemed to be never-ending. His records show that I wanted to know what he was telling her, and this one shows it pretty clearly.

This above was the last note related to my ‘progress’.

The final one:

Was my attempt to explain over a year of AA coercion which I found troubling. In this letter I was still trying to give the addiction specialist James Garrett the benefit of the doubt, not yet knowing what was going on and it wasn’t until a year later that I got this record saying that he had been calling me Axis 2 in the meantime and telling Samaritan to keep boundaries. Samaritan then sent me a termination letter saying that since I hadn’t used a stamp (I hand-delivered the letter to the therapist’s office because it was closer than the post office, while mailing the other two to the Clinical Director Jenness Clairmont and Executive Director David Olsen), that I was ‘under no circumstances’ to have any personal contact with any of them anymore.

SLAPP Lawsuits

After posting a couple of AA-critical links on FaceBook I was told that if I continued to do so, I could get sued.

This was after my therapist refused to speak to me because I was not engaged with the 12-step program recommended by Samaritan Counseling, and after my complaint which was followed up by ‘under no circumstances’ was I to have any further personal contact with anyone at Samaritan Counseling.


Notice what this article describes (sexual assault, etc) without ever mentioning that the 30 million dollar business is a 12-step rehab. That’s quite a feat to never mention the 12-step program, considering the enormous amount of information connecting this kind of behavior to the AA cult.


Fraud on the Court in Physician’s Health Services Case


“It has recently become quite clear that attorney Deb Stoller, Director of the Board of Registration in Medicine’s Physician Health and Compliance Unit, has been unethically and unlawfully withholding and concealing evidence detrimental to Physician Health Services (PHS) and exculpatory for me. She has essentially been concealing their crimes.

“The “Administrative Record” filed by the Board was absent copious documentation of major importance and all of it was submitted through the care of Ms. Stoller. The missing documents include multiple petitions and supporting documents that are neither irrelevant nor superfluous. Each of these documents contains sufficient indicia of reliability to meet probative value.Concealing material fact, misrepresentation and making false statements to a state administrative agency is unethical. It constitutes abuse of power and fraud.” – Disrupted Physician

Saints Run Mad 2.0

In a ‘sequel’ to the criticism of the Oxford Group called Saints Run Mad, by Marjorie Harrison in 1934, Peter Anthony Eng writes a scathing 2015 paper on the 12-step program of Alcoholics Anonymous.

Saints-Run-Mad 2.0

From the 1934 book:

“Prominent Groupers who have heard of my intention to write this book have alternately attempted to bully or bribe me into relinquishing the idea. On the one hand, I have been told that “it will not be a seller”—that “it will be damned at the outset” and “that it will make dull reading”; and on the other hand I have been urged with promises of commercial success to write in favour of the Movement, apparently regardless of whether I am convinced or not. The “wide field” for such a book has been spread temptingly before my eyes. Although the present book has been condemned unread as “dull”, the other has been praised unwritten as a “best seller”. I have been obliged to reply that in all honesty I must associate myself with the large and growing body of thoughtful people who are seriously alarmed at certain aspects of the Group teaching and practice. I have begged my Grouper friends to believe that the critics are not unsympathetic. They would be only too glad to welcome the Group if certain teachings were explained so that they were acceptable to con­science and to intellectual honesty. I hope, but hardly expect, that such an answer will be made. In the absence of any such assurance the grave doubts and misgivings that now obtain must continue and increase.”

Samaritan Counseling Executive Director David C. Olsen Recommends 12-step Treatment for Masturbation “Epidemic”

In this article, Executive Director David C. Olsen reassures people that they will not go blind, but that masturbation is a serious problem and has become an ‘epidemic’. He then recommends therapy, an addictions specialist and 12-step meetings.

“Health begins with admitting you have a problem. From there, you must take steps toward recovery. Find a therapist, find an addictions specialist, join a 12-step program.”

Yes, he wants to hear your fifth step.

This is very misleading advice. There are ways to get mentally healthy that don’t involve religious coercion or telling a pastor or a group of self-proclaimed sex-addicts about how you you struggle not to touch your self. Additionally, this article deliberately ignores the problems of 12-step coercion, rehab fraud, systemic abuse and pathologization of normal behaviors and feelings which have been repeatedly brought to the attention of the author, and met with absolute silence. It is unethical for professionals to refuse to acknowledge or address complaints about the 12-step programs.

If you’re not familiar with what 12-step treatment entails, it involves ‘admitting powerlessness’, insanity (that you are incapable of thinking for yourself), and giving your will and your life over to a ‘higher power’ (usually a person who also claims to be powerless but speaks to God on a daily basis about what God wants), and praying to your ‘higher power’ to remove your defects of character, confessing the ‘exact nature’ of your wrongs and doing whatever you are told to do by a sponsor.

If those dynamics seem like a recipe for abuse, you won’t be surprised to learn that there are many people who agree.

The insistence by a state licensed social worker and organization-wide supervisor and trainer that people need to surrender to lifelong participation and promotion of a religious cult is ethically extremely questionable and psychologically harmful to many people who are told that ‘working the program’ is the only way to be truly ‘sober’.

Both the Clinical Director and my therapist expressed concern about 12-Steps WITHIN the organization, but they repeatedly referred me to the 12-step interventionist after they had consulted with David Olsen after my complaints.