Blog: Parent’s Worse Nightmare

A true story of a local woman and a group you only think you know.

What is your worst nightmare as a parent?

We all know the answer to this question. If there is any truth to the law of attraction, we are not going to even think about it, lest we invite it to us. The first thing you want to know if your child is in an accident, is if they are injured. The recent horror of the Sandy Hook Elementary school mass shooting serves as a terrifying reminder.

Guilt is part of parenting and the guilt for these parents who lost their babies at school, a place we trust to be safe for our children, must be debilitating and overwhelming. Yet, it is not possible for us to consider this happening to our child, no matter what their age.

One such story is that of Jaroslava and Hector Mendez and family. The Mendez’s live in a beautiful ranch style home in Santa Clarita, California, filled with memorabilia from their past, a very homey feel, pictures and treasures adorning the living room and, of course, pictures of their three daughters. Their eldest, their youngest, and their middle child Karla, who died at 31 years old, on August 31, 2011.

Karla was a beautiful young woman who was a diabetes supplies medical tech, a great softball player, and loved her dog Kloe, as a mother loves a child. Karla was just getting started in life.

At 31, she was dating and enjoying life, having fun and beginning to discover herself. She was also drinking alcohol and testing her limits, like most young people do. She had been charged with a DUI (driving under the influence) after a car accident. She was reportedly driving with a bac (blood alcohol level) of .08. Fortunately, she was not injured, nor had she injured others.

She attended inpatient rehab and was taken in a van, with all the other patients, to AA meetings. Jaroslava and Hector wanted their baby Karla to get the help she needed and were happy to see her getting some help. Soon after becoming a member of AA, Karla met a man there and bought a condo in which the two were living together.

His name is Eric Allen Earle, and he was mandated by the courts to attend AA meetings as a condition of his parole. Eric Earle’s criminal record looks like something from a CSI TV show. It is truly terrifying the number of restraining orders that have been filed against Earle, by his ex-wife and his own father. Earle allegedly murdered Karla by strangulation after she had asked him to move out of her condo.

A few weeks before her death, Earle was arrested for battery after beating Karla. Earle’s AA sponsor, Patrick Fry, allegedly talked Karla out of pressing charges, and the charges were dropped. Since 1991, Eric Earle has been charged and convicted of 22 civil cases, has 8 restraining orders filed against him and has accumulated more than 52 criminal charges.

It might seem strange that he did not spend more time in jail, but his record shows that he was put on probation, with AA attendance as a stipulation, an all-too-common mandate. As any thinking person knows, AA and the 12 steps are cult religions that require one to give one’s life over to a higher power, pray, and recruit others to the cult.

Those indoctrinated in AA are now screaming (and boy do they scream when someone tells the truth), “AA is spiritual, not religious.” No sorry, you are mistaken and brainwashed. Those of us who have studied this cult and have been exposed to it know that it does more harm than good.

The so-called Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous was taken directly from the Oxford Group teachings, but the references to God were softened in order to attract the most members possible. Please see the link below. The claim that AA is “spiritual, not religious” is one of many ways AA founder Bill Wilson covered his tracks, and sold his program to the vulnerable and lost people it still attracts and brainwashes today. http://www.orange-papers.org/orange-rroot030.html

Eric Earle had proposed marriage to Karla and she had accepted. As evidenced by his criminal history, Earle is one of those guys who preys on vulnerable women like Karla, gets into their lives as fast as possible, then bleeds them dry of all their money and simply moves on to his next victim.

Originally, Earle was not charged with murder since he claimed he woke up to find Karla unresponsive the morning of August 31, 2011. Allegedly, the police believed Karla was the victim of an overdose. Months later, after an autopsy was finally conducted at the insistence of Karla’s family, Earle was arrested for the murder.

Her family knew that she had not overdosed, she did not take drugs, and at the time was not even drinking. Her family had no idea that Earle had been mandated by the courts over and over again to 12 step meetings. They had no idea that Earle had been kicked out of his parents house for beating his father. They had no idea that Earle was living off of Karla and had her paying his child support. They trusted the pervasive dogma that anyone who wants help need only attend meetings and work their miraculous “steps.”

Is your child safe in 12 step meetings? Absolutely not. The guilt Jaroslava and Hector are now living under 24 hours a day, 7 days a week is truly heart breaking. Be warned … No one is safe in a 12 step meeting as long as people like Earle are there.

The 9th circuit appeals court in 2001, deemed that “coerced participation in a religion-based program was unconstitutional because eight state and federal courts had ruled on the issue and all had agreed that a parolee has a right to be assigned to a secular treatment program.” This Federal Court System has deemed mandated AA attendance unconstitutional. This system covers Alaska, Arizona, California, Guam, Hawaii, Montana, Nevada, N. Mariana Islands, Oregon and Washington. However, all these states continue to mandate AA because a circuit court decision is a ruling, not a law.

This does not mean that people do not fight it, they do, but very few because of the cost. Also, most people do not know their rights and go along with whatever the judge, lawyer and parole officer says in order to comply. It is also a get out of jail free card for criminals like Eric Earle. Eric Allen Earle was mandated to AA for at least 17 years before murdering Karla. Has AA been established to be a religious organization? You betcha. Anyone in their right mind can see clearly that AA is a cult religion and therefore is a breach of the Establishment Clause of your first amendment rights – that is, as the First Amendment says, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof . . . .”

What’s not at issue in these cases is the question of whether AA is, in fact, religion-based. All litigants typically agree that it is, and the courts are unpersuaded by the idea that it’s “spiritual” and not religious. Technically, mandating people to AA is not illegal in any state … yet. It can be fought if you have the money and the time, which few have who find themselves in situations of this kind. Even if the court or probation department cannot mandate AA attendance as a condition of parole, secondary establishments such as the DMV can.

As part of the court sentence, there can be a stipulation that you must complete classes at the DMV. These classes require attendance at AA. This is a loophole commonly used by judges and parole officers. The way things stand now, the most dangerous people are mandated to AA, while the most vulnerable people attend out of a desire for help. Neither party is getting what they deserve. Please see the links below for the AA Guidelines on cooperating with the courts. As you can see, AA tells members to avoid criticizing the program but to actively sell the AA way of life to incarcerated people. http://www.aa.org/en_pdfs/mg-05_coopwithcourt.pdf http://www.peele.net/lib/drunk.php

Is AA complicit is harboring the criminal past of it’s members? There is no doubt. AA actively recruits new members from courts and prisons (see link above from AA’s actual guidelines publications). Do not think for one second that Karla’s case is an isolated incident. Nothing could be further from the truth. AA does not want the publicity lest the truth be revealed. Why? Because if the general public knew the truth, AA would turn into the fringe cult for desperate religious fanatics which it is destined to become.

Also, if the truth came out, all would see that AA does not work. AA simply hides behind “anonymity” to protect the revelation of the truth. Like any good cult, it has covered it’s tracks to perpetuate survival. AA is not about helping the alcoholic recover. No, AA is about helping AA stay in power, in spite of all the inherent dangers. The indoctrination is indeed powerful.

I did not always think this way, after all I was trained at the Hazelden Graduate School for Addiction Studies, the mothership of all 12 step based recovery. Since 95% of rehabilitation facilities are in bed with the 12 steps, it is difficult to get training other than in the steps.

My transformation happened slowly and was sealed after writing an article for the Huffington Post (link below). I was astounded at the anger and vitriol exhibited in the over 800 comments on my article. The fact that the indoctrination is so strong to bring someone (many in fact) to the brink of threatening me and others who criticize their beloved program, is enough to reveal their brainwashing. Even those who have been in the program for years and years and do not even attend meetings any longer will still claim that it is “spiritual, not religious,” along with all the other dangerous dogma. The number of stories I have heard of “13th stepping” and of abuses of power financially, emotionally and physically, are truly mind-boggling. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/laura-tompkins/alcoholics-anonymous_b_1383849.html

So now you know – convicted criminals are routinely mandated to attend 12 step meetings as a condition of their parole. Jarloslava said to me while sitting in her lovely kitchen, “I have no reason to live anymore. My only reason to get out of bed in the morning is my attempt to get justice for Karla. My joy is gone.” They are completely lost and are grieving a loss of incomprehensible magnitude. The worst nightmare of a parent has come to pass for them.

What makes matters even worse is that they are rightfully suing AAWS (Alcoholics Anonymous World Services), but are having a very difficult time finding the proper representation. There are convicts sitting next to our daughters in AA meetings, the Mendez’s have a strong wrongful death case against AAWS and yet, Earle has more rights and protection in jail than Jaroslava and Hector have in their attempt to get justice for Karla.

This lovely American couple is looking to our justice system for the help they deserve. Thus far, we are failing them. There is no excuse for allowing the dangerous practices of AA to continue. Exposing the truth is the only solution. The beginning of the truth rests in finding true justice for Karla Brada. {For secular help please refer to the link below for the many safe and secular alternatives available.] http://www.selfgrowth.com/articles/top-10-best-alcoholics-anonymous-alternatives-list

Laura Tompkins was born and raised in Las Vegas to a casino family. She holds a BA in Sociology from Regis College. She also holds a Master of Fine Arts from the University of Delaware’s Professional Theatre Training Program. Finally, she has a Master of Arts in Addiction Studies from the Hazelden Graduate School for Addiction Studies. She is also a stage manager, director, actor, and one hell of a cook. She is a certified addiction specialist with a private practice in Pacific Palisades, Calif.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Monica March 30, 2013 at 07:11 PM
In AA's 12 Concepts it shows that AA in NY is responsible for the fellowship at large at the World WIde Level. No one reads those, but they have rules of sorts. They are are 501c3. They are a non profit corp. They are a business. They are not a "fledgling society" anymore nor have they been for 40 years. They have Millions and they have liability insurance. AA members are not very aware how big AA in NYC is. MOst never read The Service Manual. I have. Its all in there. They are being sued and they will be sued over and over again like the Catholic Church is. They are not a secret society. They like to think they are. They do think they are above the law cause of who is in their stupid 12 step programs. Frankly I dont care.....They are not Bigger then ROME and the pope and they are not bigger then FOOTBALL in AMERICA and Jerry Sandusky came tumbling down. ANd the Pope stepped down one week after HBO aired Mea Culpa...... ALL it takes is one family ( Karla Brada's parents) stepping into the light with a good lawyer....and boom.....the hundreds more will file charges all over the country and world in fact!
Monica March 30, 2013 at 07:14 PM
Anti d- exactly. Covering up crimes for ever!!! www.nadaytona.org is a great site to read the news about AA and NA and who is really in the seat next to you.
Susan Jones March 31, 2013 at 05:38 PM
What a shame, AntiDenial, that you also thought I was lying hwen I posted that she had moved in quickly with Eric and was engaged to him when he had 4 days of sobriety. You all post about her as if you knew her when the the real truth is had Karla just been one of the many thousands of DV victims each year that suffer and die, you wouldn't be here at all it if hadn't been for the AA slant to her death. I disagree that AA is responsible. Eric Earle is responsible and deserves the highest punishment possible for his act.
Susan Jones March 31, 2013 at 05:40 PM
What a shame, AntiDenial, that you also thought I was lying when I posted that she had moved in quickly with Eric and was engaged to him when he had 4 days of sobriety. You all post about her as if you knew her when the the real truth is had Karla just been one of the many thousands of DV victims each year that suffer and die, you wouldn't be here at all it if hadn't been for the AA slant to her death. I disagree that AA is responsible. Eric Earle is responsible and deserves the highest punishment possible for his act.
Laura Tompkins March 31, 2013 at 06:17 PM
You disagree and you're wrong. Not only is AA responsible, so is the judge and attorney and probation officers (and his sponsor) who continually sentenced Eric to 12 step cult meetings rather than do anything to punish him for his over 52 criminal cases ... In and out of AA for over 17 years. People like Karla are lead to believe they are safe with people in this cult. They are not. Her mother thought she was safe. She was not. The general public think they and their loved ones are safe. They are not. It's called wrongful death and willful negligence. AA disciple's loyalty to their cult only further proves its dangerous cult status. The facts are the facts. Blind faith prior to investigation is deadly. AA is culpable and has a duty to care and warn its members since AA insists members turn their will and life over to their way of life. Hell Scientology is safer!


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »