Magazine

From the June 2011 magazine.

June 2011: Tradition Six

The sixth of a new series of articles explaining the Twelve Traditions ...

"We saw we'd soon be mired in politics."

The moment we saw that we had an answer for alcoholism, it was reasonable for us to feel we might have an answer for a lot of other things. The AA groups, many thought, could go into business, might finance any enterprise whatever in the total field of alcoholism. In fact, we felt duty-bound to throw the whole weight of the AA name behind any meritorious cause.

Here are some of the things we dreamed. Hospitals didn’t like alcoholics, so we thought we’d build a hospital chain of our own. People needed to be told what alcoholism was, so we’d educate the public, even re-write school and medical textbooks. We’d gather up derelicts from Skid Rows, sort out those who could get well and make it possible for the rest to earn their livelihood in a kind of quarantined confinement. Maybe these places would make large sums of money to carry on our other good works. We seriously thought of re-writing the laws of the land, and have it declared that alcoholics are sick people. No more would they be jailed; judges would parole them in our custody. We’d spill AA into the dark regions of dope addiction and criminality. We’d form groups of depressive and paranoid folks, the deeper the neurosis the better we’d like it. It stood to reason that if alcoholism could be licked, so could any problem.

-- Bill W.

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