Moderation Management – Another AA Front Group

Moderation Management (MM) was founded by Audrey Kishline in 1994 as an ‘alternative’ to AA for those who had a ‘drinking problem’ but weren’t interested in complete abstinence.  Kishline believed that there was a difference between ‘problem drinkers’ and ‘true alcoholics’ and that MM could fill a void in substance abuse treatment.  Kishline later decided she was a ‘true alcoholic’ after all and rejoined AA in 2000.  Two weeks later she killed a father and his daughter while “driving a hundred miles an hour in a total blackout” when going to visit her father.

At about 6 p.m., travelers Patricia Clark and her friend Brenda Keller were driving east on I-90 when Kishline suddenly pulled onto the highway from a wooded shoulder, heading in the wrong direction at 60 mph. After forcing a startled Clark to swerve into the farthest left lane to avoid a collision, Kishline veered into the tree-lined median, then reentered eastbound I-90, again in the wrong direction. “It scared us to death,” says Keller, who immediately dialed 911. During the next five minutes, a dozen horrified motorists phoned the police. “She kept running cars off the road,” says Det. Tom Hickman of the Washington State patrol. Richard “Danny” Davis, 38, and his daughter LaShell, 12, weren’t so lucky. Kishline’s one-ton brown pickup truck slammed head-on into their 1982 two-door Dodge. Davis died on impact, his daughter moments later. “We had to cut them out,” says Hickman. When police arrived on the scene, they found Kishline unconscious and unseat-belted, a half-empty bottle of 80-proof vodka beside her in the front seat. Two hours later at a Seattle hospital, tests showed her blood alcohol level to be 0.26, more than three times the state limit.

kishMM is just a front group for AA, whose purpose is to indoctrinate more people into the 12 Step cults by convincing them they might be ‘true alcoholics’ and to underscore the risks of guessing wrong.  Of course, ‘alcoholism’ is completely fake.  It’s a mischief cult for some (like Kishline) and for others it’s a brainwashing suicide cult (e.g. Robin Williams and Philip Seymour Hoffman and millions of others).  Kishline killed herself last month, showing that for some people it can be both.

Kishline founded MM with Jeffrey Schaler, who is curator of a Thomas Szasz web site.  Szasz is an anti-psychiatry psychiatrist who questioned the existence of mental illness and addiction.  He believed that much of these conditions were faked, as if the participants were actors playing parts.  (Szasz died a few years ago.)  Schaler is obviously a smart and skeptical guy, but somehow he was bamboozled by Kishline into joining the board of MM.  He later left, denouncing the organization he helped found, after she became more persistent in her doctrinal distinction between ‘problem drinkers’ and ‘true alcoholics’.  Regarding her crime he wrote: “I support a life sentence in prison for Kishline.  Another option would be to give her the opportunity to commit suicide.”

The other original members of MM’s board were Kishline’s husband Brian and psychologist Fred Rotgers of the Rutgers Center for Alcohol Studies.  Rotgers has long promoted ‘harm reduction’ strategies and alternatives to the 12 Step approach.  But he still believes in the existence of the ‘true alcoholic’ and sees MM as a pipeline into AA: “We now see a sizable minority of folks in MM who have moved to an abstinence goal”.

A recent comment on an article about Kishline’s suicide reveals Rotgers’ true sentiments:

As former Chairman of the Board of Moderation Management Network, Inc, I want to go on record about the major contribution to the health and well-being of Americans made by Audrey Kishline.  Audrey was a visionary thinker and a pioneer in bringing science-based treatment alternatives to the American public. These alternatives, as Ms. Glaser notes, are endorsed by SAMHSA and are widely used in other countries outside the U.S., especially in Europe. Audrey’s personal tragedy has nothing whatsoever to do with the importance of her contribution. That she battled serious depression for many years is true. That she found herself unable to moderate her own drinking, especially when in the throes of her depressive darkness is also true. Nonetheless, the organization she founded has helped, and continues to help, thousands of problem drinkers. Science-deniers, such as robddolgin who comment just precedes this one, are no different than those who deny the Holocaust or global climate change. They operate with their heads in the sand, with egos so large that they believe they have all the answers for everyone who has a drinking problem–“do it my way!” Audrey saw clearly, and the principles of MM reflect this vision (as do the basic ideas behind AA–read The Big Book to see how Bill W. conceived of the best way to help people change) and the reality that individuals are always the ultimate decision-makers in their own lives, and the best way to promote healthy choices is to have them available. Moderate drinking approaches are one of these choices. That they are not made widely available to problem drinkers in the U.S. is a travesty, but one that Audrey sought to remedy in one small way. She will be missed both as a pioneer in assisting problem drinkers and as a human being with all the flaws that we all share.

 Of course, he is just parroting Big Book propaganda and copying their brainwashing tactics to discredit detractors. Amazingly, anyone who says that addiction isn’t really a disease is called a ‘Holocaust denier’ and ‘science-denier’ and has a ‘large ego’ and is ‘trying to do it your own way’.  These are all well-known 12 Step cult debating tactics.

Also he completely fails to address the reason why Kishline went driving even when she knew she was drunk.  The idea that she wasn’t aware because of her blackout is BB propaganda.  As Bill W said, “There had been no real infidelity, for loyalty to my wife, helped at times by extreme drunkenness, kept me out of those scrapes.” (p.3)  This is of course a well known lie.  But Rotgers promotes the idea that once drunk you are no longer responsible for your behavior either because you are unaware or lack judgment.  This is axiomatic in AA.  Of course Kishline had long experience with drunkenness to know that she was dangerous behind the wheel.  And yet she drove anyway.  Why?  Probably because she was trying to get some kind of revenge on her father.  This could be easily corroborated by anyone who knows her family.  It is very typical of most stories of female alcoholism – usually an attempt to get their mother to ‘love’ them, though most heterosexual women outgrow such childishness by their mid 20’s.

This passage from the Big Book is recited at the start of every meeting:

Most of us have been unwilling to admit we were real alcoholics. No person likes to think he is bodily and mentally different from his fellows. Therefore, it is not surprising that our drinking careers have been characterized by countless vain attempts to prove we could drink like other people. The idea that somehow, someday he will control and enjoy his drinking is the great obsession of every abnormal drinker. The persistence of this illusion is astonishing. Many pursue it into the gates of insanity or death.  We learned that we had to fully concede to our innermost selves that we were alcoholics. This is the first step in recovery.  The delusion that we are like other people, or presently may be, has to be smashed.

The idea that alcohol makes us do things we later regret is a religious belief: idolatry of ‘King Alcohol’.  It is not a scientific belief, despite government scientists’ heroic attempts to make it so.  SAMHSA promotes that belief to children under a pseudoscience guise: “Don’t drink because it will make you do things you’ll later regret.”  NIAAA and NIDA similarly promote pseudoscience nonsense to convince the public that addiction is real, ironically and hypocritically calling their critics ‘science deniers’ even though their own claims about the ‘neuroscience of addiction’ are pure conjecture and speculation.

Like AA, he dismisses his critics as having their ‘head in the sand’ — “Belligerent denial” (BB p. 568) and suffering from ‘large egos’ — “Our actor is self-centered — egocentric.” (BB p. 61)  This causes the resentments that power the cravings.  “And with us, to drink is to die.” (p. 66)  The only solution is a spiritual cure: “We trust infinite God rather than our finite selves.”  (p. 68)  Rotgers is promoting AA suicide cult doctrine to disarm his critics, a tactic that has worked for AA for decades.  They say either, “If you criticize AA you are going to die.”  Or, “If you criticize AA you are killing suffering alcoholics.” (Whichever they think will be more effective at silencing you.)  These tactics are the envy of islamist extremists!

Rotgers ascends to new heights of hypocrisy when he validates Bill Wilson’s notions of ‘the best way to help people change’.  Of course, Wilson promoted AA as the only way (“Rarely have we seen a person fail”), while Rotgers scorns others as claiming exactly that.  What makes Wilson so special in Rotgers’ eyes?  Why does Rotgers refer to him reverently as ‘Bill W.’?

The truth is that AA and all its front groups like MM are the true science deniers.  AA is killing millions through its deadly brainwashing propaganda, and Rotgers’ greatest hypocrisy is his own denial of the AA Holocaust he helps perpetrate.

Tom Horvath of SMART and other promoters of ‘alternative treatment options’ are similarly just front men for AA propaganda. The goal is to provide softer introductions to AA’s religious pagan/satanic doctrines which provide a convenient pipeline to the 12 Step drinking club suicide cult of powerlessness.

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8 thoughts on “Moderation Management – Another AA Front Group”

  1. If you’re going to write fiction, why won’t you figure out a storyline and try to keep it just a little less wordy

  2. Trish and AM should get a room. You two sound so much alike: read broken record, you are probably the same person.
    Still trotting your baggage of lies and hate out.
    Sad.

  3. I did read what you wrote. The disease concept isn’t able to be proven in which I agree with you even though I was ABUSING drugs and alcohol for many years and is the beliefs of AA in which has been the tool that I’ve used to get off of those substances. Pre disposition,genetics and family history of abuse can not be argued though even though it’s not 100%. It’s an issue in my family,both sides.
    The point is that no matter what belief one has,drug and alcohol abuse causes severe health issues which kill people or permanently DAMAGE them if abused long enough. You stated there is no disease(which I agree with can not be proven),but you used the word damage along with something you don’t believe in. But you said a person can damage their liver and have health problems from abuse which contradicts itself.
    I’m an advocate of what ever helps someone get their life back. No matter what it takes.

  4. So if alcoholism doesn’t exist,black outs don’t exists,then blood alcohol levels don’t effect judgement,and grand mal siesures don’t kill people from alcoholic with drawl. Everyone who has researched AA’s archives knows William Wilson was a bad husband who had many mistresses and had an egocentric,grandiose,narsasistic personality. They also know that he wasn’t the sole author of Alcoholics Anonymous (Big Book). The first 75 original members argued and scrutinized line after line until it was approved. Of course Bill W. was a liar and a thief. He was a lush. He’s not a guru even though he thought he was. The main thing is saying alcoholism is made up and it’s AA’s doing is a complete fabrication. They put people in asylums before there we’re “treatment” centers. It doesn’t matter if you believe you became an alcoholic or was born one. The simple fact is if you abuse alcohol you damage your brain,organs,etc. Alcohol is abused and people get Sober in AA,Church,on there own,by working out,yoga,nutrition,psychiatry,will power,medically,for their family,through the judicial system,and many other ways. What ever the method a person uses to abstain from a substance that causes them harm is completely up to the person and is a good thing. AA doesn’t have a monopoly and doesn’t claim to in their literature. It’s states that they only have a path that works for them. It even mentions that there hasn’t been a pill discovered that eliminates someone’s problem drinking yet. So it doesn’t shun modern advances. It also states that if you need professional help to go get it. AA being a cult would be true if a guru was held up above the rest of the members. How can an AA member hold a stock market swindler,cheating,LSD advocate who died screaming for whiskey as a guru above everyone. The members who do hold him up like that have never investigated the program they’re apart of. It’s common knowledge to members who have any capacity and common sense. The fact still remains that if someone kills them self then they’re mentally ill and if they drank for years they damaged their brain just like NFL athletes who suffered too many concussions and committed suicide. There’s too much scientific proof that brain damage causes depression and depression causes suicidal tendencies. It’s not a matter of a disease or not,it’s science which had proven this. Wet brain isn’t fictional. Neither is diabetics who became that way from their diet. Too much of anything can damage you. What ever way you can stop will ultimately save your life if caught in time. If the behavior comes back then you’re in danger again and if you’re damage is too far gone then who knows what will happen but blaming one man or an organization is insanity!!

    1. 1. Try paragraphs.

      While it is definitely possible to drink so much and for so many years that suddenly stopping drinking can lead to seizures (or liver damage), that doesn’t mean that “alcoholism” is a disease, any more than seizures caused by head trauma after a car accident means that getting into a serious accident is proof of a disease called car-accident-oholism. A lower-than-deadly dose of arsenic can cause permanent neurological problems, because the poison did non-lethal damage, and lower doses than that can have no result. In fact, there are trace amounts of arsenic in some drinking water.

      Yes, they put people into asylums for drinking too much, but they also put people into asylums for “hysteria”, “hysterio-epilepsy, or just being a PITA and having relatives who could afford to get you out of the way. BTW, in the 19th century, they thought that slaves who wanted to escape had a “disease” – “drapetomania”. And, before germs were discovered in the mid 19th century, they thought “fever” was a single disease – we now know it’s an immune response that can be triggered by numerous different things (not all of which are diseases)

      Maybe calling AA a cult is not accurate – perhaps it’s a structure that creates the conditions in which numerous cults can flourish under their banner. But then again, if someone who has been going to one chapter can just go to any other chapter suggests a cohesive, single cult. Not all cults are organized like Multi-Level-Marketing, or the Oracle at Delphi. Some are more loosely-organized.

      AA definitely has a monopoly – even the organizations that claim to be alternatives to AA don’t question the premise that alcoholism/addiction is a “disease” and that it requires commitment to a group and abstinence to “treat” it. Also, look at how many federal government departments are AA-derived:
      National INstitute of Alcohol Abuse (NIAA), Interagency Coordinating Committee on the Prevention of Underage Drinking (ICCPUD), Office of Drug & Alcohol Policy & Compliance, Drug-Free Workplace Advisor of Dept of Labor, National Institute on Drug Abuse, Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Also, rehab facilities where people stay in dorms for a bit follow 12 steps even if they don’t call themselves 12 step facilities (e.g., Hazleton) and route clients to AA/NA/whateverA on release.

      Science has NOT prove “alcoholism” or “addiction” to be a disease. There’s no bacteria, virus, prion, parasite, organ defect or damage, hormone excess or deficiency, no accidental trauma or birth defect that can distinguish a person with “addiction” (“alcoholism” ) and one without. In science, there’s a thing called Falsifiability. If a claim cannot be disproven, it is not a scientific claim. In science, first you propose a yes/no question: Is alcoholism a disease? Then you have to gather evidence that can be replicated by other scientists, that answers that question Yes or No. Just the fact that someone who says, “I’m not an alcoholic (addict)” gets the response, “That’s denial – and denial is proof that you do have alcoholism (addiction)” is proof that this is NOT a disease, it’s a mind game.

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