Secular Recovery Programs
Dorman Blazer

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[Some of this response, pertaining to a different matter, was removed.]

From: Cliff Walker <>
Subject: Secular recovery programs' lack of candor
Date: Tuesday, October 06, 1998 12:57 AM

Just because recovery groups are atheistic or "No-Higher-Power"-based, does not mean they are on the up and square.

Meanwhile, RR is not atheistic (neither is it theistic: it is neutral). RR simply advocates for the separation of State and church when it comes to mandated and state-sponsored AA and treatment, thus this magazine's endorsement of that organization.

Two groups, S.M.A.R.T. (affiliated with A.H.A.) and S.O.S. (affiliated, I think, with the Humanist group out of Buffalo, N.Y.) have published lies about Rational Recovery and its founder, Jack Trimpey. These lies are clearly for the purpose of tarnishing the credibility of an organization that has not done things like this to other organizations or people. Also, the lies are still in print -- they have never been retracted. (I just got yet another lie from S.M.A.R.T. headquarters in the e-mail not one week ago, exaggerating the length of S.M.A.R.T.'s existence by two years. The date a group of people left one organization to form a competing organization [17 August 1994] should not be the subject of debate, don't you think? At one point, S.M.A.R.T. was calling Jack Trimpey its founder, in order to get a free ride on Jack's reputation.)

Hank Robb, Ph.D., is the leader of the S.M.A.R.T. groups in the Portland Area. In an attempt to convince me to support the new organization and leave R.R., Robb told the other R.R. leaders and myself that Rational Recovery had simply changed its name. No. Rational Recovery still exists, but abandoned its board of directors and its tax-exempt status. When Robb left R.R., he retained several hundred dollars that was raised in the name of Rational Recovery. He used this money to start the S.M.A.R.T. chapter here. Robb also pulled a stunt whereby the phone number for his psychology practice retained the Rational Recovery listing in the phone book for 16 months after he started his new group.

Meanwhile, I delivered, by hand, almost 350 pieces of mail announcing that Rational Recovery still exists because I was without postage money. I have communicated with Robb within the last year about this money matter, though the incident occurred in August, 1994.

Therefore, I detail these lies to anyone who announces to me that they support one or both organizations.

Also, for these reasons, I completely ignore both S.O.S. and S.M.A.R.T. on my "Recovery Watch" page, never covered their activities or existence in the "Critical Thinker," and will probably leave mention of them out of "Positive Atheism" unless someone comes up with a fantastic reason for covering them.

We atheists have no business tolerating lies such as these. Life is just too short.

S.M.A.R.T. Recovery started through deceit and theft, and still practices these despicable activities. If you want more information on both S.M.A.R.T. and S.O.S., and their underhanded dealings with Jack Trimpey, Jack's e-mail is

I think you have watched me for long enough to notice that I will have absolutely nothing to do with a group that practices deliberate deception. That Cliff Walker has been closely involved with Rational Recovery for six-and-one-half years speaks volumes for RR's integrity.

If CRT/USA got involved with supporting S.M.A.R.T. or S.O.S., now that I have moved the RR meeting, it wouldn't surprise me at all, and it shouldn't surprise you, either. You are a man of integrity, and you watched what Nancy and Jerry and the others did to me, when I did nothing to hurt them. I don't expect them to suddenly become honest simply because I stood up and demanded that they honor their word in a money matter. For CRT/USA to get involved out of loyalty to a philosophy, without regard for integrity, makes perfect sense to me, based on what I have seen.

Cliff Walker

"I am a perfect specimen
   of the human species
   in that I am perfectly human."
      -- Cliff Walker

"A stupid man's report of what
   a clever man says is never accurate
   because he unconsciously translates
   what he hears into something
   that he can understand."
      -- Bertrand Russell

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