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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

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