There are numerous postings on I-SAY explaining this in
detail. I ask you to examine them closely. On page 159
in AACA, Bill wrote about where he placed HIW. Bill wrote,
"The backbone of the book would have to be fitted in
right here". At the top of page 160 Bill wrote "This
problem had secretly worried the life out of me".
Yes, many if not most, AA groups read "How it Works"
aloud at meetings. We ignore, and disobey the advice
given to Bill by Dr. Silkworth. Bill writes that without
this advice, AA could never have been born. It is the
cart before the horse IDEA. If Bill writes that AA could have never been born without this advice, I think it is
at least worth investigating. Our AA membership has been
stagnant for two decades, churning, helping and holding
a few. Dr Silkworth offers us a technique for the
wholesale recovery of alcoholic sufferers. ANONYMOUS
Unfortunatly, according to Box 459,we had more AA members in 2002 than we do today. We are not growing. I think this is cause for great concern. I take responsibility for not speaking up as AA was being "wattered down" during the 33 years I have been a member. I feel my duty now is to encourage others to understand our traditions and concepts and explain thair importance to AA's future.
As a newer member to AA, I would like some more details on what you're discussing here. Can you describe how the Program has been watered down? Thank you.
"to make weak or dilute." So as it applies to AA, it simply means that anything said or done not in accordance with or following the clear-cut, precise, specific directions in the basic text of the book Alcoholics Anonymous, weakens or dilutes the program. Through the years since its inception in 1935, the program has been diluted and watered down by a lot of us who do not read/study the Big Book, don't take the steps/follow the path thoroughly, subscribe to half measures, and try to pass on something we certainly don't have or have all screwed up. Look up what Bob Pearson wrote in his last address, titled "Rigidity." Hope this cleared it up a bit for you....don't let watered down, diluted AAs screw up your path to recovery.
Through the years since its inception in 1935, through
years of trial and error, the most effective method of
reaching the suffering alcoholic was developed.
To reach the alcoholic at the level which works, we
have to understand "How it Worked" at that first meeting
of Bill W. and Dr. Bob. Bill had worked with numerous
alcoholics before he met Dr Bob. In his own words Bill
described his results as spectacularly unsuccessful. Bill
was using the HIW approach, preaching to his prospects.
That approach did not work with alcoholics then and is
not working for us today. True, some do respond, but
we fail most alcoholics approaching us today.
Somewhere in our literature is written that we best
reach alcoholics by feeding them with teaspoons instead
of buckets. Today we try to feed them with buckets by reading How it Works to them. We count just over two
million members worldwide today. We ought to be at
six to eight million members today. I believe we
would be at that number if we had not introduced the
How it Works approach to helping them. Instead of
helping them we push them away from their final chance
or hope. We can water it down: stop reading the 24 hr
book and "How it Works" at meetings. Stop all praying
and chanting at meetings. Return the role of sponsor to
being a servant, not a teacher. It is the responsibility
of the GROUP to teach, not the individual member.
If we follow the path thoroughly, paying attention
to each and every detail exactly, we will rarely fail.
As strange as it seems, the diluted, watered down approach
is "How it Works". ANONYMOUS
This is very difficult to explain and even more
difficult to understand. Until Bill used the advice
from Dr. Silkworth, he had very little success in
helping another suffering alcoholic. Dr Silkworth's
advice to Bill (and I believe to us) was to stop
preaching and to go easy on the God Stuff.
I see diluted as the method which works. We have
become too rigid. We make so many requirements to
new and old members that we push them away. We all know
what they are. 90 in 90, work those steps, hold hands
with us while we pray. We use a method of attraction, (in
theory)without an ounce of promotion. We should not tell
another: if you want what I have, you will have to do what
I did, or even worse, do what I tell you to do. Let
the Big Book do all the suggesting. Even the book is
meant to be suggestive only.
I just re-read the EXERPTS FROM G.S.O. SENIOR ADVISOR BOB P'S CLOSING TALK at the 36th GENERAL SERVICE CONFERENCE.
He wrote in 1986 that he felt that the greatest danger
facing Alcoholics Anonymous today (1986) is "the growing
rigidity that is so apparent to me and many others."
We need to return to the method which works: Share our
own experience, strength and hope, what I was like, exactly
what happened to me, and what I am like now. Stop reading
How it Works aloud at meetings, stop requiring new
members to turn their lives over to a "sponsor". Remove
all religion and cult rituals, such as chanting and
praying at meetings. We want to include all alcoholics
who have a desire to get well. That ought to be the
only requirement for membership in our fellowship. ANONYMOUS
God forbid that anything should evolve from the original sacred text as you interpret them. Bitter old men like you have clung to the tired old phrase " its not like it was 30 years ago". If you were to have things your way we would still be reading from the 1st edition and speaking in Edwardian English like Bill wrote in. "How It Works" is an accurate presentation of the program and that is what the groups primary responsibility is to the new comer, an accurate presentation and it should be read at the start EVERY meeting. 90 in 90 helps form the habit of attendance and it gets the drunk through his/her toughest patch. Frankly I seldom ever hear it referred to. Your hyperboles about requiring new members to turn there lives over to a sponsor is rubbish and shame on you for the lie. This may happen in one in a thousand groups and for you to paint the whole of AA with that brush is despicable. People come to these pages for encouragement not for your vitriolic hate filled resentments. Finally AA is not a cult or a religion and your court sightings to the contrary are a fraud and you know it. More new comers are driven away from AA by the likes of you then by any reading or format.
I debated if this message was worth a reply. It is
posted on "Moment of Clarity" #4. Sometimes angry,
mostly sad old man. Sad to see our fellowship near
death, on life support. ANONYMOUS
sent this to the drug addicts who want to talk about the types of drugs they use and how they use them. singleness of purpose,
If you came from a treatment center to AA you need to understand that if what the treatment center taught you is not in the AA literature or if it conflicts with the AA program, then follow the AA program or risk getting drunk! Thanks, Corky 7-8-71
I have been announcing this new tool at the different meetings whenever I have the opportunity. I read and ponder the quote every day. To me it is like a nice respite from all of the other emails that I receive daily. I tend to save it for last, as though it is my dessert. The quote for June 25 reminds me of times when I have tried to muscle my way through in group business meetings, not paying much attention to our wonderful set of traditions, which is the glue that binds our fellowship in our singleness of purpose. Of course, I've learned to do better than that. Now I like to have a receptive ear and if I decide to contribute something to the discussion I first weigh it against the traditions. It has given me a lot of peace of mind and serenity. Thank you for this great new tool.
"No matter what is going on in my life, no matter how bad things seem, I can always find something to be grateful for if I just look hard enough."
Today's quote, as always, is just what God wants me to hear....had auto accident Wednesday, waiting to hear if my car is totalled. Trying to keep my trust in God alive, but it is difficult as this would be a devastating blow. Grateful that I am alive and not hurt worse than I am, but that gratitude is hard to hold on to in the face of what would be yet another financial disaster. I'm alive & sober, " take away my difficulties, that victory over them
would show those I would help of thy love, thy power, thy way of life." Please help me trust in thee that however this turns out is your will and help me to accept it.
Sad in Savannah
Any time I am unable to find something to be grateful for, I need to go back through the first three steps.
Not only do I try to find gratitude in all situations, but also can find peace and serenity with the knowledge that no matter the situation or (percieved) predicament, all will be ok in the end. All this as a gift from my Higher Power through the working of the steps and this program.
I was told to live in the now 10 years ago when i came back to A.A. after 13 years of more research. My first sponsor and 3 other fella's told me this constantly. I got tired of hearing it so i believe i needed to hear it. They also told me to be where my hands are. I am always grateful for those guys being there for me. They really helped me to realize reality and to stop living in the fantasy world i was living in. I love the grapevine quote of the day and look forward to reading it every day. Keep up the great work you are doing and the new ideas. I love it. Wally L. sterling, IL.
I am not qualified to intellectualize the mind of GOD!
So the simple solution for this alcoholic is to believe with all my heart that GOD IS !!!
Having lived a life of selfishness, self-centered, only believing thtat you only did something for someone only if you received something in return and in most cases, if it was more profitable. It was hard for me to trust someone for the sake that they wanted to, only when I began to work steps with my Sponsor and began to open up, that the love broke through, That I was able to, also get that feeling of wanting to give and only then was I able to "Trust" in others.
This is a great quote!
I grew up in a family of secrets and unable to rely on other people. Slowly in the rooms of AA I have begun to develop very dear to me relationships. I recently went through a scary cancer scare -- am ok no cancer-- but I was not alone as the living support of three women from meetings stayed close to me. Felt close to the God of my understanding and felt this women were manifestations of they God-Live we carry to each other.
So appreciate this lesson on trust.
Thank you for this quote!
I have found no other more significant principle in my sobriety than being able to actually begin trusting another human being with knowing my character defects. A real sense of Unity which is one of the three legacies of AA. Joe G.
I have nothing more significant in my sobriety than the ability to begin to trust another human with my character defects while practicing rigorous honesty. Joe G.
Thank you AA for teaching me how to trust my friends and lean on them. I was far too proud and fearful to lean on friends. I thought they would drop me and then laugh at me. What a relief to be able to trust.
It took months before I trusted anyone in AA even my sponsor, but I too was living in a world of make believe, when I did finally wake up,would you know there was coffee cooking, Thanks to those who came before me....
I still see that I have a lot of work to do in friendship. I tend to feel guilt and shame when I need a friend. Those feelings always prevent me from asking for help when I need it most. Even when friends offer to help, I have a terrible time accepting their help. I don't know if it's ridicule or I feel so guilty or shame that I am not more together than I am. I forget that we are all human and we don't have to do this by ourselves. I'll likely struggle the rest of my life with asking for help.
If you don't ask for help - you will remain lost...You are not alone = so many suffer with this same problem...When you seek help, do so from the right people..AA is a great support...You will make good friends and receive lots of encouragement...I was afraid also at first and ashamed to ask for help.I did...and not only did I get it, I also got my self-esteem back...It's been 10 years now and I never want to go BACK !!! Good luck to you, you can do it !
Here is my two bridge theory of friendship: Rather than building a bridge to meet a friend in the middle, each friend builds a bridge all the way to the other.
When we give without strings of any kind we actually are helping our physical health. Our cells thrive when we are giving.
I am grateful to have this as a new source of knowledge!
In the beginning of my recovery, i heard people say that "THE ONLY LOVE WE CAN KEEP IS THE LOVE THAT WE GIVE"
I first had to love myself and learn how to keep the love for myself.
boundies are not walls...
Man do I identify with this; not sure when I began protecting myself and clearly need to identify what I'm afraid of!
This is so true and for a lot of people they get to AA with so many layers of walls inter tangled with truth and lies. It's hard to know which walls to start taking down.The first bridge must be to our higher power after we have admitted we have a problem with alcohol and that our life is unmanagible. Then come to believe a power greater than ourself can restore us to sanity. Then let go and let God and see how the bridges start to be built. This AA thing didn't just happen by accident. It's a fine oiled machine. I love it when AA starts changing lives for the better. I'm proud to be a member of AA...and I still build walls for a short time! Then let God help me build a shinny new bridge.
Recently someone very close to me did something that was very hurtful; deeply, severely painful. The June 18 quote about being responsible for my own peace and serenity gave me strength to lovingly articulate how I was hurt. Instead of drinking massive quantities of alcohol to mask the pain and feed the self-pity, I shared my feelings. This person was very sorry, sincerely apologized, and the wall of self-preservation is melting away. We are on our way to re-building a bridge of trust. I am hopeful and do not feel alone! (June 19 quote!) Thank you, AA, for giving me sobriety, and a life I never thought possible!
THE ABILITY TO RESPOND DEPENDS ON ME GETTING FEAR OUT OF THE WAY. HIGHER POWER!
Practising principles before personalities is essential in our fellowship and really hard when personal calamity is evident in our life but oh boy when evidenced it's a great feeling for all concerned - the member and all those around - truly inspirational - no wonder it's covered in both Step 12 and Tradition 12!!!
LORD, I sure do Thank-you !!
I am responsible as a member in good standing to see that AA gets the best leadership to guide us into the future. That is equally true weither the leader is myself, some one I like and approve of, or some one I don't necessarily care for. The best fit to lead need to guarantee our survival into the future for our children, grandchildren and untold great great grandchildren. AA as a whole is much more important that my future and my rewards! What can I contribute, not what can I get out of it. I must give it away to keep it. That was true early on and is all the more true today! Thank God for AA. Let is grow as long as God may need us to serve Him!
I am responsible as a member in good standing to see that the best leadership ever guides us into the future. This is true weither I am to be that responsilbe person, or weither it is someone else that I like or do not realy care for. It is the future of AA for my childern, grandchildern and as of yet unborn great grand children, and not what I get out of it. I must give it away in order to keep it! That was true in the beginning of AA for me, and is all the more true today. The longer we are around, the narrower the broad highway becomes!
I'm reminded of why it is so important to attend book studies, to study the literature, and to attend step studies. This is a WE program. I'll never forget (I was about 4 years sober) calling my sponsor after attending a step study and telling him the first word in the first step is WE. His comment of course was yes it's been that way since the step was created. All of us can learn from book studies no matter how long we've been sober. We are God centered folks but the group (We) helps us stay on a steady course. Bill D. Laguna Niguel, Ca.
does this mean that our recovery rate will increase to what it was back then???
In the decade of the seventies our membership grew from
approximately 300,000 to approximately 900,000. With only
three hundred thousand members, we were able to attract and
hold another six hundred thousand suffering alcoholics in
a ten year period. I am using statistics from GSO.
Today with an army of two million strong, worldwide,
what is our recovery rate? Using estimates from twenty
years ago, our recovery rate for the past two decades
is less than zero. We have fewer members in A.A. today
than our membership in 1992.
To restore our effectiveness to the rate of the 1970s,
we must return to the format of the 1970s. Stop reading
HIW aloud at meetings. Remove tha 24hr book from AA meeting
rooms. Stop all chanting. The Hi Joe! response by the
group is a chant. Again stop all chanting. It makes us look foolish in the eyes of the public. Return to the true
sponsorship role, or eliminate the term "sponsor". It will probably be easier to eliminate it than to reverse it.
Stop sharing by "show of hands". This creates all kinds of
EGO problems. The same is true for today's concept of
Sponsorship. Separate AA from NA. Both fellowships work
best side by side. Joined together, everyone loses.
One of the most important and probably the most difficult
is to separate AA from religion. We must again become a
fellowship. We were never meant to be a Fellowship.
Stop the "hold hands and pray", "ring around the rosy"
closing. Leave the holding hands to the romantics.
Stop praying at meetings. Pray elsewhere on your own time.
These are my observations from over four decades of
being involved in Alcoholics Anonymous.
Our future success will be based on our willingness
to study Dr Silkworth's IDEA and return to that method
of helping the suffering alcoholic. Bill called it a
technique, a gadget. I believe it to be God's gift to
the alcoholic sufferer, and to those who care for us.
"Responsibility is a gift; and although we are not obliged to receive it, we will never come to know the peace, assurance, and love of a vital sobriety until we do."
I am very happy to carry my recovery message to all who are willing; it has kept me sober 10061 days in a row. May I suggest, the "recovery rate" you are referring to is a direct result of us doing our 12th step. We are planting a seed, not knowing the outcome. I am not telling you anything you don't know when I say "The results are up to God." I am responsible for telling my recovery message in an attractive way, so as to be of maximum service to those I would help of God's power, love, and this way of life.
However, in addition to our 12th step work there are large numbers that darken our doors, which find the work too hard.
Maybe, they would tell us it's that "God" word they can't take. I’d loved to ask them, why they don't stay.
I can relate to the washing dishes, in-the-moment quote. The same happens for me when I do dishes and also when I paint the walls in a room. I just say, "Ok, run the roller through the paint pan... not get the excess off... now go over to the wall... start in middle, go up, go down, smooth it out.. start back at beginning." I call it the Zen of painting. I have recalled things that happened 30 years ago, things that would never come to mind if I was doing something else. Great way to work on my 4th step!! LOL
I am always most satisfied when my head remains where my feet are.
i really needed this today as i had left some dishes in the sink after eating a late dinner upon a return from a late meeting and an even later phone call from a fellow member. an opportunity to meditate; oh yeah...god is good.
I just signed up yesterday to receive the daily grapevine quote. SO grateful that I did. The quote today reminded me to focus on only what is right in front of me. I am currently going through a situation in my life that is causing a load of heartbreak. I can so easily get carried away in my thoughts of grief and pain if I forget to see what is just right before my eyes. I am just so incredibly blessed to have this program in my life. ~~Susan R. Harrisburg, PA
I find that keeping my mind on God and anything but Alcohol is the best for me. I have trained
my self in the art of wood carving is soothing and most relaxing. Italsoo helps with the Xmapresentsts. God bless. Drand for 42 years and have been sober for 9 years 10 mo. Boy is life great.
Love this quote. Playing the blame game got me nowhere. On the other hand, taking responsibility, difficult as it sometimes is, works. I was at a meeting last week where someone asked, "Is it inherited from your parents?" This quote is the perfect response and I did hear some version of it at that meeting.
Whow, that was me. Since surrendering to the program this time, I now am responcable and have choises, with the help of my higher power. Love AA.
I used the excuse to drink for 40 years, If you were born into the life I was, if things happen to you that happen to me then you would drink to, besides I was drinking because I wanted to, was easier than I could'nt stop. Surrender was the Key, Stept one.
In practicing prayer and meditation, my latest revelation is the value of conscious believing in a power greater than me, that has in so many ways and continues to do for for me what I can not do for myself. Now, after all these years, I see that I can choose. Didn't know or see or even care before. I guess it was a big help letting go of the can of "i don't care" juice. Or the bottle of F-it syrum. Ha! Hate to say it, but thank you to the system, for pulling me over and arresting me, 4 times!! sheesh! Cunning, baffling and powerful. May I continue to practice with a vengence, willing to try, to want more, more than just ok, so I never chose misery, like the misery I used to know with my friend/foe alcohol. MD