Controversy Over
Sharon Lynn Ellermeier
Archives 9
Contact Us

All I had to do was ask Barbara Fox about controversy over our websites and I could have saved myself a lot of headaches.  I should have known that this was nothing new.  All we are is her original "self help information service" on the web.  Why is it that us young whipper snappers think we know everything?  Why is it we fight battles that have already been won by our wise elders?  LOL :)
Here is Barbara from her book "Houses of Hope...a Chance and a Choice": 



Click here to print the above explanation of a Self Help Service.

This website and it's parents and siblings are nothing more than Barbara's intial self help service on the web.  They are a clearing house of self help information.  You can take it or leave it.  If the information helps, use it.  If it doesn't help you...maybe it will help someone else.


I want to apologize for stirring up some controversy in AA and NA recently about treatment centers, websites, recovery events and traditions.  However, I must admit...I enjoyed your responses. 


I especially enjoyed the responses from the old timers who have had to deal with this issue over and over again during their sobriety in Lincoln AA and NA.  Despite our little arguments over the years we have managed to stay together and many of us have managed to stay clean and sober.  Just yesterday, I saw a friend get 31 years and another friend get 21 years.


My guess is that people who gain a lot of clean time do not stay long in resentment.  My guess is, they get angry and let it go.  Unity and humility are their guideposts.  These people are good examples for me.


Some of the comments were very interesting.  Here are some of them:


In 17 years on the Meeting Place Board we were constantly being challenged that we didn't follow AA traditions, etc.  Of course, when we cited them, we were always told we weren't AA which we were not or didn't pretend to be.


Seems these people who think they have and own the basic fundamentals have the true way and expect everyone to follow them.   (These measures are suggestions only)  I often noticed not many of these people stay clean and sober over the long run. 


When I was on the Central Office Board, the Pockets Groups were making their big splash and I often tangled with them, especially the little wenches.  Not one of them remains in the program today and most and their significant others have been long gone.


Not sure why a personal, informational bulletin board or service is obligated to follow the traditions or concepts, most of which they could not recite, but of course refer to whenever convenient.


Not too knowledgeable about NA but presume the situation is similar and thought many of them had more difficulty than many AA members.


Reading your announcements isn't mandatory and they can always ask to be removed.





I do not have a problem with the activity, whether it is "in full compliance" or not.  I came in to AA in 1986, and I have been listening to this same kind of un-unifying throw-about since then.  Some people just have to place personalities before principles, namely their own personality.  They just have to make everything about them.  Egoism.  God is not the ultimate authority, they are.


Ignore the mean-spirited types, they just want the attention and power, do not give it to them.  They are too full of themselves to listen to anybody else.


I think you are doing the right thing, just go ahead.  What, if it is not fully AA sanctioned, then we cannot do it?  And just who "officially" sanctions it?  The AA police?  I want to see a badge.  Who the hell appointed them in charge of AA? 


Just my two meaningless cents.



Wow! What was that about? Are there people talking our jam down? Tell me who they are and I will go out and smack ‘em with my big book! Just got to LOL because you just can't fix stupid!





I can tell you why I show up.  I want to be of maximum service to God and others.  As I see the hot line actually work and think back to the Saturdays when we were looking into cell phones, or discussing the budget, or trying to find volunteers for the hot line, or discussing what yellow pages we should be in, or ( the list goes on...).  Then I get a call @ 3:00 in the morning from to an addict who is desperate to talk to someone.  Or somebody from out of town calls and says how good it is to talk to a live addict, or some one just trying to find a meeting (I have been that person in other towns.).  All these things make me grateful that I am not there today, but I know that by doing some of this, it has helped me stay clean for another day.  By trying to do my part I no longer have to spend all my time and energy "finding ways and means to get more".  I have been able  to live life on life's terms and sometimes that means things don't go how I think they should.  Thank God!!  Usually that is for the better in the long run. I am thankful I now am busy with life, kids, work,...  And NA has given me that.  That is why I do what I can as I know you do. See you soon.






As I read your words Fred I wondered to myself "Have I not made my motives clear enough for others to know why the hell I show up".  I then determined that I was indeed comfortable with my motives and extremely grateful for my situation with regard to my ongoing service.

As Jeff mentioned, the continued 'payback' that keeps showing itself is enough to keep me interested in suiting up and showing up.

I hope that you continue to be interested in contributing to our ongoing PI work as I feel you are an asset to the subcommittee and to the recovery community as a whole.

Love and respect in the Fellowship,



Thanks Fred for all of your hard work. Do you want to know how to please everybody?  Sit back and do nothing! Then you can just listen to people bitch that there is nothing happening and sobriety is no fun. Ho Hum!





I applaud you and Lincoln Recovery for the outstanding job you both do in providing recovery information to all areas of recovery state wide.  Never have I recieved an e-mail where you have attempted to represent that you speak for any recovery program.  Fred, I appreciate all of your hard work at making recovery a little easier and a lot funner for all of us in recovery!
God's Bless,
PS.  I think you handled this issue with dignity, class, and courage! 




Thanks Fred. No telling how many people you'll help through this event. Keep up the great work!










So if others don’t come can I have all five hours of stage time and.....How about those leftovers!!!!! 


We will be there rain or shine.  We love you and the tradition people just need to understand that this is not a perfect world… And this was never advertized as an AA function. It was advertized as a RECOVERY FUNCTION SO ---NANNY NANNY BOO BOO STICK YOUR HEAD IN DOO DOO    love





Don’t send me anything like this again.  Send me only the positive.





What traditions is everyone crying about? People like that are pathetic and this country is full of them.


SB and Iraqi Veteran



I didn't realize there was such a fuss about this event.  I only heard one person ever make a negative comment. It is true that he made the same comment 2 or 3 different times, but he was the only one.  All I can say is the flyers were always being picked up by people.  I think you are doing a great service.  Keep it up!!!!





I want to thank all of you for your support, tolerance and patience of me.  No matter what, you kept telling me to come back.  Sometimes I wondered if you knew what you were asking for?  Sometimes…I still wonder (I am sure you do too).  LOL J  One thing for sure…if we can laugh at ourselves, we are certain to be amused.  I am amused most of the time.   



Here is the original email I sent out about the recovery websites that, I and my friends, have developed and the Armed Forces Day Jam:


Partners in Recovery, Alcoholic Addicts, the Nebraska Recovery Network and Lincoln Recovery don’t go by the traditions set down by Bill W. 


I have heard that many of you will not be attending the Armed Forces Day Jam because you have been told that it does not follow the traditions of Bill W.  I scoff at this fiasco.


Do you believe everything you are told?  Perhaps you should have joined the military!  I would have loved troops like you!  We are not in violation of any traditions.  Bill Wilson was a veteran.  He attended many treatment centers…only back then they called them Hospitals at best and Insane Asylums at worst.  He also enlisted Bob Smith…a doctor, to help establish the first treatment center that had any kind of success.  


You can all, certainly, make your own choices.  However, I just want to express my opinion about our military: 


Our service members have seen things that no one in their deepest nightmares would or should want to experience!  They did not see these things as some part of a John Wayne movie.  They lived them.  They saw, felt and experienced the blood and loss of their comrades.


If you want to nit pic about traditions that you know very little about, shame on you!  My guess is…that Bill Wilson, as a veteran, would want you to, and encourage you, to come to our event!!!


Members of the Lincoln VA SUDP Alumni are offering you (the common citizen) a chance to come and have fun with us.  If you can not do that…where are you at with patriotism? 


Yes, is associated with and affiliated with treatment at your local VA Clinic.  Thank God, they helped us get sober! We are proud of that and proud of the staff at our Lincoln VA Substance Use and Dependency Program (SUDP).  We would very much like it if you would come out and support the Marines, Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen that defended your freedom!


I realize…many of you have known me for a long time.  I came into recovery in 1989.  You have seen me struggle.  You may like me or you may not.  No matter your opinion of me…I hope you will put our veterans first!  This is truly an opportunity to put principles before personalities. 


Did I tell you…we are roasting a pig?


It never ceases to amaze me how there can be a pig in the living room and not one alcoholic/addict will talk about it.  - Fred