Hello everyone. I am so glad I found this site. I found when googling about AA and it's chip system to see if others agreed with me that I think it's a very bad practice.
I went to AA about a dozen years ago because I was desperate and was told by many that it was the place to go to get sober. What happened was that I joined a group full of people (not all of them) that preyed on newcomers and really screwed with their heads. There were affairs, constant drama and gossiping going on but I tried to overlook that to help myself get it together. I also felt very uncomfortable when I first started attending about being swarmed by folks at the end of the meeting wanting to give me their phone number, getting asked for rides from people I didn't know and even asking for money. I tried several local groups too. I left after 6 months. I got better for a few years.
But these past few years my drinking got out of hand again so thought I would try a new small AA group at my church and was ok at first - until I got to know my sponsor better. Holy crap, just in a short amount of time I realized she was a gossip too, telling me all about her other sponsees' business so I'm sure she told them my business too. Yeah, that's someone I want to do a fourth step with. When I relapsed after 11 days she was horrified. I was at her home 2 days after my relapse when a gentleman from our group stopped by to drop something off. She turned to me and sternly said "aren't you going to tell him what you did?" - I said no, that's my business. She also insisted that I come to her home once a week for 12 step bible study which I tried but all she did was talk about other people and we accomplished nothing. And I am so tired of all the AA cliches that people seem so proud to repeat again and again.
I am so glad to have found this site to learn more truths about AA and am going to be very relieved when I tell my sponsor I am going to do a behavior modification program instead. She's gonna probably go ballistic and I'm sure her response will validate my reasons for leaving AA even more.