Grapevine Online Exclusive

Published July 2014.

Thought Police

An AA looks at the issue of feedback and crosstalk in meetings

Back in the early 1990s, the prefatory script at our meetings in St. Paul was revised to disallow uninvited feedback and crosstalk. If we wanted feedback, we were to request it, but we were not to ask if someone else wanted feedback.

I regarded this restriction as unacceptable. I viewed this as an infringement on my right to ambush other people in meetings for saying things that conflicted with my beliefs. I thought I should be free to interrupt and challenge people's opinions and thereby force their thinking to conform with the party line, as I understood it. I was like the thought police.

-- Charles J.

Mission, Texas

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