From the March 2006 magazine.

Southwest Regional Forum, Rogers, Arkansas, December 2-4, 2005

In his opening remarks on Friday, the Chairman of the General Service Board of AA, Leonard Blumenthal, Class A (nonalcoholic) trustee, reminded us to "continue the spirit of the international convention in Toronto and to enjoy ourselves and our fellowship with each other." All 486 attendees--half of them from the host area of Arkansas, and the rest from" the remaining seven states in the Southwest region--seemed to take the advice to heart. The weekend provided many opportunities for fellowship and lively discussion of topics relevant to the Grapevine and to AA as a whole.

At open sharing sessions, several members voiced a concern that the Grapevine was deviating from AA's singleness of purpose by devoting too much attention to "outside issues," such as depression, problems other than alcohol, and psychological topics, rather than "pure AA." Other attendees, however, were quick to respond to those concerns by expressing their continued love of the Grapevine and by reminding us that our co-founder, Bill W., wrote about drugs, his own depression, and other "controversial topics," both in the magazine and elsewhere. One member also countered that, despite our focus on our primary purpose, he had never been able to define what "pure AA" would be.

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