Grapevine Online Exclusive

Published July 2014.

Thoughts on the Traditions

An AA wonders if we are welcoming enough to newcomers

I believe we have abdicated our obligations with respect to Tradition Five because of the way we often deal with court- and treatment center-mandated attendees. When these folks show up at our meetings, they are not treated very well and are certainly not encouraged to come back. There are regular comments from the membership like: "All they do is drink our coffee and disrupt the meeting," or "I don't know why we should have to work for the courts," as well as others.

Whatever happened to welcoming the newcomer? Doesn't the Third Tradition tell us to greet all who come to the meetings? There are lots of "good sounding" comments advocating the exclusion of these folks such as: "We don't sign slips because that would make us better than them," "We don't sign slips to protect our singleness of purpose," "We are protecting the purity of AA," and on and on.

-- Roy B.

Monroe, Louisiana

This is a preview. To view the full article, use the link below to begin a free 7-day trial!

Related Items:

Home Group at Rio Rancho
For years, he jumped from meeting to meeting until he learned the value of a place called home

Brighter Day
Now that's he sober, he's counting the days of his life, not the days until his death

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

Later in Life
She thought she was different from others, but came to see that she was just a garden variety alcoholic