Since my return to the UK and discovery of CA (Cocaine Anonymous) in Kent… of all the gruesome freaks I’ve encountered, Nick Batchelor is perhaps the worse. An arrogant, egomaniacal thug working with youth at Switch Youth Services and now for all the world to see on Channel Four in the show, Hunted.

He is a nasty piece of work who achieves status in any organisation he finds himself by reinventing the rules, intimidating and bullying those about him to achieve a gangsters respect and a limited incarnation of what he thinks maybe… power. He probably did this in prison and he’s doing it right now in his official capacity in Cocaine Anonymous.

To be clear, I wouldn’t have written this blog unless Nick had made the fatal error of appearing as a public figure on National TV.

When I turned up in CA with a decade more sobriety than he would ever have he immediately sought to tear me down. He discovered I was having a relationship with a closeted builder (now out of the closet) called Joe Owens. Joe… a shabby little fellow with all the shame based problems living in the closet incur: he met all of my friends, I was hidden from his. Whenever we saw each other at anonymous meetings he would ignore me, then meet me for sex in public places.

Why do we hate gay men who stay in the closet? Because they collude with people like Nick Batchelor. When our relationship ended Nick called me a nonce and a predator… openly in a CA meeting, accusing me of preying on vulnerable Joe. Diminishing the three months we spent together, infantilising a grown man. As if 30-year-old Joe were a child who could not know his own mind. To be clear: Joe has spent his whole adult life hooking up with strangers online. His particular turn on: strangulation. He came immediately with both hands tightly around my throat. Why? I imagine he had such disregard for his own homosexuality and the men he was having sex… only the potential death of his sex partner would give him release.

Nick Batchelor met his partner in the rooms of Cocaine Anonymous and his mouthy sidekick Sarah met hers too, but they weren’t interested in looking for the similarities…. just the differences. They set to intimidating me and others whose jib, they thought, didn’t fit the rooms of CA.

Only yesterday another CA idiot told me his relationship with a woman (he also met in AA) was totally different from mine because his relationship was based on love. He inferred men together could never love each other. Good God! It’s like returning to the dark ages, these ghastly white trash with their old fashioned ideas of gay men, foreigners and the differently abled.

Nick Batchelor, when he is not spouting homophobic invective, described the older special needs guests at the building we share with other community groups: the Community Center in Marsham Street Maidstone as: ‘dribbling’, his verbal description accompanied by cruel gestures. A cheap laugh at the expense of the less fortunate. I made an official complaint about him there and at Maidstone CGL, The West Kent Drug & Alcohol Wellbeing Service on Mill Street. Both organisations were helpless to address my complaints because CA is an ‘anonymous programme’, they said, and therefore lawless. CA allows people like Nick to get away with expressing his extreme personal views in any inflammatory way he chooses.

When I shared about being gay in front of Nick, he replied, “I don’t care if you fuck animals.” That’s what we are dealing with, folks. Unbridled homophobia. Homophobes like Nick used to say, ‘I don’t care if you are gay as long as you don’t shove it down my throat’. And I thought that meant watch us kiss or hold hands or have campy voices, so I didn’t do any of those things. But it doesn’t. Shoving it down their throats means: if a gay man audaciously and shamelessly talks about his life and considers himself equal to someone like Nick Batchelor then he must be swiftly dealt with. Non compliant gay men, in Nick’s toxic masculine world, must know their place.

Nick insisted I was removed as the treasurer of our local CA convention if they wanted funding. Again citing my relationship with Joe, an adult man in CA, as an act of abuse. The simpering ‘head of CA Kent’ Lucy Britton called me, introducing herself as the Head of CA Kent, she admitted she too had a disastrous relationship with another Cocaine Anonymous member. She called to advise I should go to different meetings or stop going to meetings which is utterly contrary to everything the anonymous programe stands for. Calling me merely inflamed the situation ten fold. This is an organisation that claims to have ‘no leaders’. BULLSHIT!

An hour ago, things changed. I could not believe my luck. There was Nick’s ugly mug… on TV. This vile ex con has the audacity to claim he ‘helps youth’, of course he does! As long as they are not lgbt or differently abled. Look at his Linkedin caption. Should I judge him by his past? No. But his present needs scrutiny.

One young gay man came up to me and quietly admitted he was terrified of Nick but didn’t have anywhere else to go. CA was his last chance. One has to ask… why was Joe in the closet unless he felt intimidated? I uncover homophobia wherever I find it. I can smell it at 50 paces. If a man like Joe is in the closet it’s because he fears not being respected as a gay man… and with toxic males like Nick Batchelor running the show, who can blame him?

CA in Kent is a ghastly travesty run by a few sick souls who have barely scraped the surface of sobriety. Unable to stay clean, in and out of the rooms… people like Nick Batchelor lording it over them.

With fools like Nick Batchelor at the helm I have no hope for any of them.