Traditions

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admin
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Share and discuss AA's 12 Traditions

jslavens7
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Joined: 2012-03-22
General

I am just listening/reading.

Anonymous
In my home group we complain

In my home group we complain that people do not contribute enough to pay the expenses of the group, I think in the 19 years I've been in the group we have always complained about the lack of generosity of the people with the hat. When we passed the hat, we were 30 or 40 people and earn 2,500 pesetas (about $15); we could pay to a cup of coffee for every two people. When we went to the bar after the meeting many people, many of these people who complained how little we provided to the bag, said "I pay all these cups of coffee." But we were in a room of 150 square meters in the center of the city and we spent a lot of money on the anniversary of the group. Maybe we should be humble and we rent a cheaper locally and not pay $ 300 per month to presume that we are in a luxury local. For years we sold snuff to acquire more money for the group, we wanted to have the 300,000 pesetas (about $ 1500) on a fixed term to give some interest. We also did a budget in which the expenditure side was higher than revenue.
For years there were no rotations in the group because the three members who performing the services were refusing to rotate because they felt comfortable being the leaders of the group. When they were forced to rotate, they formed their own group in order to remain the leaders, trying to avoid visiting members of other groups of people and preventing the group members visited the other two groups of Gijon in Spain. For years only voted at business meetings people who did make services; the people who didn’t performing services were not group members, we were people who were coming to the meeting.
The most expensive practice session is to moderate our character defects, especially those who like me and I do not want to undo, because all traditions ask us to strip off a series of character defects that often we love have. Defects in many cases, such as arrogance, pride and dreams of greatness, we do not want to get rid. The first tradition asks me to lay down my desire for leadership and my pride, reminding me that I am nothing more than a small part of a society within AA, and society in general. The second tradition asks me not to try to steer the group reminds me that I'm not the boss.
The third asks me not practicing classism and AA remember that we are all equal, that anyone who wants to stop drinking have a seat in the group. The seventh asks me to moderate my tendency to be prodigal and moderate way I spend and control costs of the group, do not spend more than what people contribute, even if it means being frugal. Do not try to brag about money when he drank. The last two traditions ask me to be discreet, do not flaunt what I am not, as to when he drank, not presumed to be the important person I would like to be, and abandon dreams of greatness that many people have had which many people still love them and do not want to part with them.

Joe_C
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Joined: 2014-08-16
Tradition One - Unity, not uniformity.

"For thousands of alcoholics yet to come, AA does have an answer. But there is one condition. We must, at all costs, preserve our essential unity; it must be made unbreakably secure. Without permanent unity there can be little lasting recovery for anyone. Hence our future depends upon the creation and observance of a sound group Tradition. First things will always need to be first: humility before success, and unity before fame."

This was Bill quote from Language of the Heart reprinted as the August 20th Grapevine quote of the day. I am big on unity. Some think unity and uniformity are the same thing; they are quite opposite. One is fascist, demanding obedience and conformity. The other is love and tolerance. Unity is a noble virtue. It takes courage and love to embrace groups and individuals who have their own way of doing things and not dismissing or feeling threatened by them.

Fundamentalist muckers are too rigid; atheists don't have "real" recovery without God; why do women or young people or the LGBTQ community want their own meetings - isn't mainsteam AA good enough for them? These are the kinds of conformist demands for uniformity that forget that we are 115,000 individual AA meetings, all united, all different and no one whose found a flawless formula yet. We're still experimenting.

Anonymous
The Traditions - There I have said it!

Corky S.
7-8-1971
Dallas,TX

I always heard, “What ever happened to the old timers?” Well, now I am an old timer & I know, but I never hear it addressed. I sobered up on July 8, 1971 at 30 years old in San Antonio Texas. To put it in prospective, Bill W. died in January, 1971, 6 months earlier. Today I am 73 with 43 years of continuous sobriety. Around 1974 the government got involved in alcoholism treatment. They declared a drug is a drug is a drug…. so they could help more people with more problems other than alcohol. That concept, a drug is a drug is a drug…..began to creep into the fabric of AA. The ones who were taught that taught others, who taught others…. Now it is accepted policy in AA groups.
I was raised in AA to believe that I was either part of the problem or part of the solution. There was no in between. Also I was taught that if my home group broke the traditions, real or implied, I must find another home group if they wouldn’t stop. If I didn’t I was approving of the breaking of the traditions by my participation in that home group.
By the year 2000, it was very difficult to find any group that didn’t break at least 1 tradition & usually more. When I would ask about that tradition break I was told that most of the groups did that. That was the logic or justification. In 2000, I lived in the Houston Texas metroplex area. I would join a home group that appeared to follow the traditions & even tell them I was looking for a group that followed all the traditions. I went to a conference on the traditions in that area & the first thing the presenters said was that group conscience had priority over the traditions. If the group allowed a tradition break that was OK. I just left the conference immediately.
Then a natural disaster caused me to move to the Richmond Virginia area. I thought I would not have the problem but it was actually worse. Circumstances caused me once again to return to Texas after about 3 years, this time to the giant Dallas / Fort Worth area. Surely in this huge area, new to me, there must be many groups that follow the traditions. Well here we are 3 years later & I have yet to find one, just one.
About a year ago, I finally gave up looking. To me it is just sad but that is what the membership chooses. If you think that you & your home group are immune from this think again. Remember, the other groups do it is never an excuse. Here are some real examples / samples that are actually common occurrences.
Accepting money from anyone who gives it. Remember Each group is self-supporting, declining outside contributions. Passing the basket at an open meeting so everyone, members & non-members alike, will contribute. To make matters even worse they announce to please contribute $3 or $4 if you can. Also several groups use the group collections to feed the homeless, or even have a group party. Most groups sell coffee & announce coffee is $1 a cup or $2 for all you can drink at that meeting. An AA group does not sell anything, ever. One more on this, I have seen the basket passed several times in the same meeting to support different causes. Sometime it is a can or cans that are passed.

Allowing non-members to participate in meetings. By definition, an Open Meeting allows anyone to attend. Non alcoholics may attend as observers. Everywhere I have gone to open meetings the non-member visitors are called on & encouraged to speak. More than one group has made a non-alcoholic a member of the group with voting privileges.

The group needs money so we have to raise money! I actually saw a large sign outside an AA club on the main street saying, “AA Garage Sale this weekend”. Groups need money because they spend more than they take in. The most common problem expense is the rent. Groups have nice, expensive, facilities for their meetings. Very few meetings are held in the long time traditional & cheap church room. Also groups pay custodians from group funds instead of cleaning themselves. Their answer is to have another fundraiser & pass the basket & tell the people to contribute more than $1.

Probably the most detrimental function to AA today is the integration of drug addicts who do not have a problem with alcohol & can drink successfully into the AA groups. There is at least 1 in every meeting who insists on talking about his or her drug problem, usually at length because they don’t have an alcohol problem to discuss. I am sorry but that is not our common problem & usually excludes most members. If I want to hear about a drug, weight, smoking, clutter, obsessive or compulsive problem, I can visit a 12 step program meeting for that addiction.

There is more, much more but you probably don’t want to hear any more.

AA is changing for the worst & as the result AA is dying! It was said, early on, if AA were destroyed it would be from within.

Sent from Windows Mail

Anonymous
The Survival of AA

Hello Corky - As a member of AA I am crushed to hear about your experience, as you described it in your letter dated July 31, 2014. Let me assure you AA is alive and well in Olathe, Kansas. I have experienced some of the issues you describe, but through prayer and perseverance those things can change and groups can get back to being a part of the fellowship as invisioned by our founders. My wife and I USED to be made fun of for ALWAYS having our big book at meetings. Today at least half the members at that particular group carry their big books, but it took some time. For years we were part of the problem, chronic relapsers, and didn't know any better until we finally found some "real alcoholics" that showed us the way. People don't know what they don't know! They can only show what they've been shown. Three or four of us actually started a new group two years ago, after two short years its not uncommon to have 20-30 people at our meetings now! We have NO TOPIC meetings, we ask that no one bring there problems to the meetings, ONLY SOLUTIONS! ("If you have a problem talk to your sponsor or another alcoholic after the meeting") Our "topics" are taken directly from the first 164 pages at every meeting! We have workshops on the Traditions AND the Concepts! We put on "sponsorship" workshops, presentations on the "history of AA" etc... Not presented necissarily by "us", we brought in the Area Archivist, for example, for the presentation on the history of AA. MY POINT IS, that people are starving for "good AA" but it takes dedicated people like yourself to stick with it and persivere! If the ship is sinking, don't just jump off the ship buddy, start bailing water! I would also ask you to consider checking out the Primary Purpose group in Dallas, ask for Chris R and tell him of your experience, he may seem a little hard core at first but I can assure you that group follows the 36 spiritual principles of our fellowship. Good luck, hang in there, and continue to carry the message!

Love, your brother in recovery,

Pat C
Simply AA Kansas City

Anonymous
Survival of AA

So good to know that our group here in Florida is not alone. Three of us came together and started our group 3 years ago because we were hungry for the AA we had each experienced in getting sober. We wanted a structured closed meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous that was in keeping with our 12 Traditions and that used and referenced only conference approved literature. The result is that we are continually growing. Newcomers seem to be attracted to our group as was a past delegate. We consistently and persistently refer to the Traditions at every opportunity in order to teach them. So thankful to read that others are trying to do the same.
We have all 3 of our legacies displayed at every meeting which was different even for us. Your mention of the 36 spiritual principles was very affirming.
Your friend in the fellowship,
Nancy
Florida

Anonymous
traditions

Thank you so much for talking about this contraversial subject honestly. I am going through the same situation now with my home group. For me, this is a GOD thing that you wrote what you did. I was looking up the weather, but instead of the weather, the AA grapevine popped up! I dont know where it came from. I havent been on this site for weeks..... my group refuses to follow tradition and actually encourages people to talk about drugs! They are breaking several traditions and thats making a lot of members of that group uncomfortable. It made me uncomfortable, so I brought it up. Now we are even more divided than ever. Our unity and purpose have been compromised. There is gossip, lies, egos, and resentments flying around like crazy. It breaks my heart that these alcoholics are more willing to be a part of the problem, than follow our traditions or be a part of the solution.23

Anonymous
I could not agree more with

I could not agree more with Corky S. I am only 2 years sober but I love this program and am heavily involved in service. I am a GSR and find it almost impossible to get people to even listen to what I have to report back from GSO, let alone explaining our Traditions. I am a pure alcoholic and frankly, I don't understand what is so confusing about THE ONLY REQUIREMENT FOR MEMBERSHIP IS A DESIRE TO STOP DRINKING.

I went to a meeting the other night and the first thing the leader said was that he was not an alcoholic but was told to substitute the word alcohol with drugs. I was floored but I brought my sponsee with me and had to explain to her about what the trend in AA seems to be and to beware.

Anonymous
same old song

The problem I hear in your discussion is not members choice of chemicals but the choice to discuss the problem rather than the solution - Trust God, Clean House, Help Others.

barleycorn
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Joined: 2012-02-25
The Traditions

My name is Mike and I am an alcoholic; sober since March 1990.

Thanks Corky for telling it like it is. I can identify with everything you have written and have the same frustrations. I can't remember how many times I have written, “What’s on your mind”, on the topic of the Traditions. I have stopped counting!

I too am unable to find any group in my area that will stick to the traditions as a matter of principle; knowing that failure to do so will eventually destroy the unity of any group and AA as a whole. I too no longer join any group that does not follow all traditions. I attend many meetings to determine where groups stand on the traditions and what response I get when I point out any situation that breaks traditions. So for the time being I am an AA member without a home group. I have been for some time.

Our fourth tradition, re Group autonomy, highlights my biggest concern with AA unity. On page 149 of the 12 Steps and 12 Traditions it states, “Thus it was under tradition 4 an AA group had exercised its right to be wrong. That my friends seems to give most AA groups today the license and privilege to do whatever they please with little or no consideration for the last part of the tradition, “ except in matters affecting other groups or AA as a whole”. Is there one thing from the following list that can’t give AA or any group a negative reputation; drugs, religion, cultism, chanting, singing, hugging, money, property, prestige, professionalism and too much organization to name a few? These are the things that I see and hear at every AA meeting I attend and it is getting worse not better. Our message is so diluted we no longer have a common solution to our common problem. In fact I rarely see any common sense applied to the traditions because we no longer have anything in common.

I have given up trying to find a home group in my district. A few of my close AA friends have started a men’s closed AA meeting. A group that is willing to follow all traditions at all times come hell or high water. We have already held a number of meetings in our homes and are working toward starting a registered group in the fall. Don’t know how things will turn out or what kind of support we will get. I do know our meetings will be better than what is out there now. If others don’t want what we have we can always go back to meetings in our homes the way it was when AA started.

Thanks for sharing Corky. You are not alone!

Mike B.
Oliver, BC, Canada

Anonymous
traditions at last!

Thank you so much for sharing. What Corky said, was so true. Im going thru a situation with my home group right now. The group is breaking more than half of the traditions. And hardly any members find fault with this. The few that do wish to follow traditions, are being character assasinated. We are no longer united. Our purpose has been lost. We read the traditions at every meeting but for some, they seem to have lost their meaning. Im so grateful that I have a sponsor that took me through the traditions as well as the steps. This morning after my daily readings, prayer, and meditation, I asked my higher power to please guide me. I felt like looking up the weather for today, but instead of the weather, the AA grapevine popped up....and the subject was traditions. I wasnt even on this site. I havent been on it for weeks. Im so grateful that you guys are out there. I dont feel alone anymore. Its funny but, I never thought that I would find AA unity on the internet! My Father works in mysterious ways. Thanks again for sharing.

Anonymous
I belong to a closed meeting.

I belong to a closed meeting. Makes it some better

noduis
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Joined: 2013-09-05
Re: The Traditions

I'm happy to say most local groups adhere fairly closely to the Traditions, though some do take "group autonomy" to extremes. But with three hundred groups, give or take a few, this is to be expected.
But Mike, I'm puzzled. Which tradition permits a group to limit its membership based on gender? We already know there is no such thing as a "Republican" AA group, or a "Lutheran" AA group,or a "Scuba Divers" group. So why do we have "Men's" groups or "Young People" groups, etc?

barleycorn
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Joined: 2012-02-25
Gender based AA groups:

You asked an interesting question Noduis; “Which tradition permits a group to limit its membership based on gender?”

The answer (IMO) is no tradition limits a group’s right to do so. Page 149 in the 12 and 12 tells us that any group has the right to be wrong; it seems even at the expense of breaking traditions. I am opposed to this policy but that is what is says. We are also told that any 2 alcoholics gathered together may call themselves an AA group providing they have no other affiliation. I don’t see how starting an AA group based on gender (men or women) constitutes an outside affiliation.

I will relate a little AA history including my own opinion and experience on this topic. The AA Traditions were adopted at the 1950 General Service Conference in St. Louis and were based on the 1st fifteen years of AA experience (trial and error).Our literature tells us that most groups in the early years had so many membership rules it was a miracle any alcoholic could qualify. When AA started in 1935 there were no traditions and only men’s groups. It was 4 years (circa 1939-1940) before the first woman alcoholic arrived at AA. Even then many men were reluctant to admit women to our fellowship. Fortunately today most AA groups and meetings are open to both men and women. Not sure when the first women’s group started but they have been running for years. The tradition of men and women forming groups based on gender became accepted practice years ago and (IMO) do not break any traditions.

I don’t believe any group based on outside affiliation (i.e. politics & religion as outlined in the AA preamble) should be registered by GSO and AA members should not attend any of their meetings.

Group conscience is the final authority on this question. My experience is that most gender based groups will welcome any member who shows up at their door needing a meeting. Early in my sobriety I took a taxi to a meeting in a city I was staying to find a closed women’s meeting. Did they turn me away? No they did not. They welcomed me and even asked me to share. A number of ladies gave me a ride back to my hotel after the meeting. I previously belonged to a men’s group where on occasion a woman arrived at our door needing a meeting. Our group conscience was to advise the ladies that we were a men’s meeting but they were welcome to attend. We also offered transportation and direction to a gender mixed meeting being held at the same time. It is a matter of personal choice whether a member joins a gender based group and/or attends men or women meetings.

Hope this answers your question. Thanks for your comments and I wish you another 24.

Mike B.
Oliver, BC, Canada

noduis
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Joined: 2013-09-05
Re: Gender based AA groups:

"Page 149 in the 12 and 12 tells us that any group has the right to be wrong; it seems even at the expense of breaking traditions."
If Tradition Four gives any group the right to break the other
Traditions there is no reason to have any Traditions. Tradition Four gives groups wide freedom, providing what it does doesn't affect other groups or AA as a whole. If a group opens its membership to Overeaters or compulsive gamblers, for example, it opens every other meeting to those individuals When it limits its membership to a particular segment of AA it effectively closes its meetings to the rest of AA.
I'm sure most, if not all, would permit anyone to attend if he or she shows up not knowing it's a specialty meeting. But would they be so welcoming if the same person shows up on a regular basis? I seriously doubt it.

barleycorn
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Joined: 2012-02-25
Gender based groups:

Thanks Noduis for your additional comments.

I agree wholeheartedly with your statement that gender based groups would welcome a member of the opposite sex a first time but not a second or third. After the first it becomes (IMO) an attempt by that person to intrude on a gender based group’s right to hold a closed AA meeting of their choice.

That right is guaranteed in traditions 2 and 4 (group conscience and autonomy) provided any group has no outsides affiliation (i.e. political, formal organization or sectarian religion) and do not harm other groups or AA as a whole. Gender based groups do not (IMO) break with our traditions. Men’s and women’s meetings have existed and been accepted tradition for decades. It is every AA member’s right to join a gender based group and attend their meetings. Although many members do not approve of or like gender based meetings they have the option of attending other meetings, the vast majority of which are mixed gender.

Do gender based meetings limit attendance to some members and are they specialty meetings? I suppose they do and they are but that is nothing new to AA. There are many types of specialty meetings that cater to the individual need(s) of our membership; professionals (anonymity), racial minorities; language (French, Spanish), sexual orientation (GLBT) and atheists/agnostics to name a few. Some are more restrictive than others but that is the decision of the group conscience, not mine.

Our membership tradition (#3) tells us the only requirement for AA membership is a desire to stop drinking. Members are generally more attracted to and identify better with some groups than others.

Thank God every AA member has a variety of choices of groups and meetings to attend, where they can go to hear the miracle of AA (one drunk sharing with another drunk).

Thanks to all for the part you play in my sobriety.

Mike B.
Oliver, BC, Canada.

barleycorn
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Joined: 2012-02-25
Traditions

You asked an interesting question Noduis; “Which tradition permits a group to limit its membership based on gender?” The answer (IMO) is no tradition limits a group’s right to do so. Page 149 in the 12 and 12 tells us that any group has the right to be wrong; it seems even at the expense of breaking traditions. I am opposed to this policy but that is what is says. We are also told that any 2 alcoholics gathered together may call themselves an AA group providing they have no other affiliation. I don’t see how starting an AA group based on gender (men or women) constitutes an outside affiliation.

I will relate a little AA history including my own opinion and experience on this topic. The AA Traditions were adopted at the 1950 General Service Conference in St. Louis and were based on the 1st fifteen years of AA experience (trial and error).Our literature tells us that most groups in the early years had so many membership rules it was a miracle any alcoholic could qualify. When AA started in 1935 there were no traditions and only men’s groups. It was 4 years (circa 1939-1940) before the first woman alcoholic arrived at AA. Even then many men were reluctant to admit women to our fellowship. Fortunately today most AA groups and meetings are open to both men and women. Not sure when the first women’s group started but they have been running for years. The tradition of men and women forming groups based on gender became accepted practice years ago and (IMO) do not break any traditions.

I don’t believe any group based on outside affiliation (i.e. politics & religion as stated in the AA preamble) should be registered by GSO and AA members should not attend any of their meetings.

Group conscience is the final authority on this question. My experience is that most gender based groups will welcome any member who shows up at their door needing a meeting. Early in my sobriety I took a taxi to a meeting in a city I was travelling through to find a closed women’s meeting. Did they turn me away? No they did not. They welcomed me and even asked me to share. A number of ladies gave me a ride back to my hotel after the meeting. I previously belonged to a men’s group where on occasion a woman arrived at our door needing a meeting. Our group conscience was to advise the ladies that we were a men’s meeting but they were welcome to attend. We also offered transportation and direction to a gender mixed meeting being held at the same time. It is a matter of personal choice whether a member joins a gender based group and/or attends men or women meetings.

Hope this answers your question. Thanks for your comments and I wish you another 24.

Mike B.
Oliver, BC, Canada

medkoz
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Joined: 2013-02-05
texting in meetings

I have scanned various places ( AA Oriented ) on line and in the archives of the Grapevine . No where do I see addressed this now and today phenomenon which seems to have permeated many meetings . That is the habit of checking ones phone ( emails, texts I suppose ) . But that seems to not satisfy because quite frequently these same people are texting each other within the meeting or someone else outside. Quite frequently what is discussed is what is said, who said it and their take on it. What is the experience of others and how did / do you handle it
G

Anonymous
Tradition One is the answer

Our common welfare should come first, our personal recovery depends upon AA Unity. When someone text, or gets disrupts a meeting or cross talks they are taking away from someone else who may want to listen and gain something from that share. I address the person directly outside of the meeting and remind them of our First Tradition and explain the importance of not making themselves "the important ones" by being distracting.

lb2013
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Joined: 2014-03-31
text in meetings

My home group always asks members to silence phones at the beginning of meetings. We don't mention anything about texting as our meeting has a lot of long term sobriety and folks are respectful and there to participate.

I have been to meetings, especially those filled with "green card" newcomers, where the chair explicitly asks folks to not text during the meeting. How closely folks follow the request seems to depend on the meeting.

If this became a problem in my home group, I can guarantee it would come up during our monthly Home Group meeting and we would develop a group conscience on how to deal with it.

I should mention that there may be other reasons folks look at a smart phone during a meeting. I have a searchable electronic Big Book on my phone and an e notebook full of my favorite BB passages. I am hesitant to refer to these during meetings because of the sentiment against texting.

Anonymous
texting in meetings, "green card" newcomers?

What the heck is a "green card" newcomer? That seems like an offensive phrase, both to the newcomer and to permanent residents of the United States. But maybe it wasn't meant disparagingly.

It sometimes seems like the What's on your mind Forum is a place to air our feelings of superiority to various categories of other people in the meetings: people for whom drugs are part of their story (the majority of alcoholics under 30); people who are involved in the criminal justice system; etc. But there is also a lot of experience, strength and hope shared here, and I keep reading it.

Just my two cents.

Anonymous
Cards of many colors

I'm thinking they are referring to an attendance card, which are sometimes required as a condition of parole (for instance). The confusion stems from the fact that the attendance record is different in different places. Here, they are blue sheets of paper and they are commonly called "court slips" or "attendance slips" (not sure whether the use of the word "slip" started out as a subtle dig, but the term stuck. So some places they may be green or blue or some other color, they may be cards, or pieces of paper, they may be from the courts or other entities -- I even recall a homeless shelter that used them to allow residents to attend night meetings after curfew. So whatever they are called "verification of attendance" is the point.

Anonymous
I heard a speaker one night

I heard a speaker one night refer to himself as being a "Card Kid" from way back. Apparently he was court-ordered into AA and had to have his "card" signed for so many meetings a week. Now there are sheets to sign. I have a friend with 4 years sobriety that still has to have his sheet signed for his P.O.

I have no problem with addicts attending meetings. That is my choice. If it weren't for addicts attending meetings in my area, many meetings would not exist. Two years ago Oxycotin addiction was rampant. Now it is Heroin, and it's gotten to be an epidemic all over the city and state. Their "success rate" appears no different than alcoholics. If they want to stay clean, and attending AA meetings, help them do it, I'm all for it.

If groups want to exclude addicts from their meetings, that is their right. I vote with my feet and choose to attend other meetings.

lb2013
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Joined: 2014-03-31
Green Card Newcomers

Not meant disparagingly. Simply referring to the tremendous number of attendees at some meetings who are court ordered and are only there to get a green card signed.

This relatively new phenomenon, where our criminal justice system uses AA as a dumping ground for those who committed alcohol or drug related crimes, can overwhelm a meeting with folks who really don't want to be there and may not have a "desire to stop drinking". Many of the problems listed in this forum can be traced to this practice.

I attended a meeting where the chair signed cards at the beginning of a meeting and invited folks to stay if they wanted. This helped the attendees meet their legal requirements and populated the meeting with those who wanted to be there.

Anonymous
3rd Tradition

I have been terrible hurt by a woman in AA, with long term sobriety. She was my first sponsor, and revealed my 5th Step to my church elders. I learned she has been gathering info on me from other women in my group, and now I have been asked to leave my home group. I don't even know why. Her family is politically powerful, and it has been intimated to me that if I complain to the police about this treatment, I will "be harassed" by them.
I am hurting so bad right now. My current sponsor says leave it in the past, but it just happened. I cannot pray for her.

Anonymous
Tradition Viotation

I am so sorry to hear your dilemma. If I were you, I would bring it up at your next district meeting to see if this woman is affecting an other groups or the rest of AA for that matter. Do not let it go!!

Anonymous
Nobody should tell the

Nobody should tell the experiences of others outside the group. For many years, in fact until today, I have been listened others relapse, marital separations of members or other personal circumstances. We should not gossip other things, but we talk about anonymity every months. Spread the news goes against our Twelfth Tradition because the anonymity tells us what to whom you see here and what you hear here, that you stay here. We shouldn’t comment the personal circumstances of others.

Anonymous
Anonymity After A Relapse

I have a question. I am new to AA (15 mos.) and a good friend relapsed. She didn't call me for a couple of days, but before she did, I must have gotten 15 phone calls from other people to report this to me. Every caller asked me if I knew. I was so caught off guard with the first call, but answered by deflecting and simply replied "I will pray for her." Personally, I think the one who relapses owns that relapse and it is her place and her place only to share that info with whom and when she so decides. I think it is not in accordance with our 12th Tradition to "spread the news." I know there is the "we talk amongst ourselves," ideology, but I think this is gossip, kind of like talking about who you saw at a meeting or what was said. Thoughts?

noduis
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Joined: 2013-09-05
Question

Just seeking info. Are there any guidelines saying where a group, district or area should or should not spend Seventh Tradition contributions? Providing, of course, they don't ".... endorse, finance or lend the AA name to any related facility or outside enterprise...."

dennikenni
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Joined: 2011-05-21
Where group should not spend 7th T money

Hi, my name is Ken. I currently serve as area treasurer. Of course there are "guidelines" for Finance MG-15. Go to www.aa.org and search "finance" you will find wonderful and exhaustive background about the 7th Tradition. Also, ask your home group's take the topic to the local District's "Group Concerns" session during their meeting to get fresh feedback.

I would suggest that the "spending" part is more the 6th Tradition. For general guidance based on the principles of our Traditions I suggest your read from Language of the Heart, "Tradition Six" May 1948. Bill W. writes:

"...we of AA would be the first to say that many a fine enterprise does a lot of good with a lot of money. To these efforts, money is usually primary; it is their lifeblood. But money is NOT the lifeblood of AA. With us, it is very secondary."

"The core of AA procedure is one alcoholic talking to a, whether that be sitting on a curbstone, in a home, or at a meeting. It's the message, not the place, it's the talk, not the alms. That does our work."

Spending money from an AA group has the potential to appear to be an endorsement of sorts - so it should always done to "carry the message" and avoid obligations that are outside the spirit of all Traditions and Concepts.

Since 1948, technology has brought wondrous ways to be attractive and let those with a desire to find us from homes, prisons, treatment centers, etc. There are many ways to help carry the message that your district, intergroup, area and GSO help do this where groups and individuals might not - e.g. translation of Big Books. There is a great way to share funds with your service partners - see the pamphlet "Self Support, Where Money and Spirituality Mix" (F3).

So, my view is rather than get complicated with groups funds beyond their operational and prudent reserve needs, share the "extra" funds in Unity with your intergroup and general service partners.

Thanks for the opportunity to share.

Anonymous
I have a question

hello my name is Holger colleagues and I am an alcoholic
I have a question from hase 24 hours and some have been attending AA in Spain 13 years old, and I regrasado my home country Ecuador and the group I'm attending the habit of celebrating the anniversary thereof, with much fanfare, and to solve all these expenses call people who no longer attend meetings only to contribute the amount of $ 60 per member so that they can be included in the list of birthdays.
without having attended a meeting at the best year
Total for the party that is going to invest about $ 1,200 a
and the truth that I absolutely exaggerated parese our tradition of attraction is the pass through the lining.
if anyone wants me clarify to do or how you can change these bad havitos, and you'll excuse me if I'm wrong.
thanks in advance and happy 24 hours

Anonymous
7th tradition

There are no dues or fees for membership; however if the group decides to pass the hat for a special function, I believe it can do so (Trad 4). Its the same for conventions where the expenses have to be met. You don't have to participate if you don't want to.

Anonymous
Ecuador party

I was hoping that the $ in Ecuador was not equal to $ US but I just looked and it is.

All I can think of is that last friday my group in the middle of the US had it monthly birthday party. It was for four men with 4, 7, 29, and thirty years. I think the cake was about $20 and two cartons of ice cream about $6. Three received medallions that cost about $0.80. They didn't have a thirty year medallion so somebody made one from paper and it was a wonderful laugh.

It was a wonderful party with each man talking briefly about how they did it.

This is what is common in the middle of the US.

I would love to visit Ecuador some day and glad that AA is alive and well there. (If it doesn't cost me $60, excuse the bad joke)

Anonymous
traditions

It seems that every time I go to a meeting it's more like a meeting about drugs . What has happened to Alcoholics Anonymous ?

mwjones
Offline
Joined: 2013-11-12
Identify vs compare

What specifically is being said about drugs? Can you identify with what the person went through, or how they felt? Is there anything about how they handle their addiction that you could use to handle your addiction?

Anonymous
My Aunt

I used to weigh 140 lbs and so did my aunt. She told me how she lost her weight and I told her how I lost mine and how I used to feel. So what??

I came to AA because I had a desire to stop drinking. Nothing else. I can identify with members that also have the same desire. I don't have to relate to anything else.

clu1992
Offline
Joined: 2012-05-30
re identify

We shouldn't have to search for identification. In AA we identify as alcoholic. Anything beyond that I consider an outside issue. There are 200 different 12 step programs. The reason is identification.
It's a sad day when alcoholics come to AA and have to search for ways to identify because the rooms are full of outside issues. I wonder how many potential or actual alcoholics have come to AA for help only to find they don't identify with the addict (who should be in NA)?
There is a reason we have tradition 1 -unity, we aught to all at least be alcoholic, tradition 3- our membership aught to include all who suffer from alcoholism, and tradition 5 - singleness of purpose- that AA deal with alcohol and only alcohol. The purpose of such single mindedness in AA is to overcome alcoholics denial of alcoholism. Alcoholics who haven't recovered and others who attend AA that are not alcoholics continually try to shift AA away from alcoholism, which simply kills alcoholics.
Like Bill w. Said, "our first duty as a society is to preserve ourselves. If we don't, then we can help nobody"

Anonymous
Identify

I agree that singleness of purpose and identification are key components of our program. The modern plague of abuse of illicit and prescribed drugs has made AA much more complicated, though.

I was taking an AA meeting in to the local county jail and discovered that I was probably the only "pure" alcoholic in the room. Most of the guys ended up in jail over drug issues - especially meth. Many knew that they could not/should not drink and that a drink led inevitably to meth or whatever. But I don't know how many of them were real alcoholics. Their problems with other drugs and the power of those drugs over them completely overshadowed alcohol. Without singleness of purpose and identification, I felt about useless to help them.

Thankfully, my home group has enough long term sobriety in the room that we have not been overwhelmed with drug talk. I have attended other meetings, though, where the jail crowd congregate. The 7th tradition basket tends to be piled high with green cards and the meeting features a lot of jail talk, cross talk and drug talk and not much about alcoholism, solution or recovery.

It seems all I can do at this point is help my group stay true to our purpose and help carry the message into other meetings.

mginsberg
Offline
Joined: 2011-10-14
"Pure" alcoholics

If AA starts to exclude everyone but "pure" alcoholics, AA will soon become extinct. There are very few young people coming into AA who have zero experience with drugs. If these newcomers are made to feel unwelcome in AA, AA will die after the current generation of old-timers die. Drug use has become a fact of life for anyone born after 1980, and perhaps earlier. I suspect that the source of this intolerance is a feeling of superiority over the drug addict. If any alcoholic feels superior to the drug addict, it's a sign that s/he hasn't done enough drinking yet.

noduis
Offline
Joined: 2013-09-05
Re:"Pure" alcoholics

Where have you heard or read that alcoholics want to limit attendance to your so-called 'pure' alcoholics? If you take the time to read the Third Tradition essaay in the 12&12 you'll see that very early on AA welcomed someone with another problem. And if you can force yourself to read the whole anecdote you'll find the last sentence, "Never did he trouble anyone with his other difficulty."That particular member had the courtesy to concentrate on his alcoholism when talking with another alcoholic, a courtesy which modern day addicts refuse to practice.
I have heard hundreds of excuses for addicts to attend AA meetings rather than NA or one of the other programs, but not one single legitimate reason.

Anonymous
Try quoting Bill W. LANGUAGE

Try quoting Bill W. LANGUAGE OF THE Heart, hroblems other than alcohol pages. It speaks for itself and if not, bring it up at your business meeting.

Anonymous
Try quoting l.o.t.heart.

It really is becoming very sad. A.A. is slowly being suffocated by the drug culture, and those "do gooders" that enable.

Oh well! Guess it is in the P.G.T.O. plans. Druggies are not the same as alkies! Not better or worse than, just different.

All the best.

clu1992
Offline
Joined: 2012-05-30
re anonymous

Speak up at those meetings. Remind them of traditions 1,3,&5
It's our responsibility to transmit AA information in AA. It's our fault for not speaking up when it happens. Include our singleness of purpose in the meeting format.

Anonymous
singleness of purpose

Tradition 10, outside issues also. We who have been around have to lead by example. Most of this stuff is a problem with newcomers. They don't know that if there is no AA then we are all screwed; because we will be on our own and that has never worked. Its just like if you are on a plane that is going down do you put the oxygen mask on the baby or on yourself. The baby is like a newcomer, that's why the "core" of AA has to survive so we can take care of those yet to come.

Anonymous
Several years ago asked a

Several years ago asked a trustee who was an intergroup. He answered me that it was a big deal it was good that we had in Asturias, after this answer I didn’t know what was the intergroup. I did two things. I asked a veteran in Oviedo all the doubts I had about the service and the structure and I read the service manual.
I remember many years ago in a workshop proposed to give a fellow of the money that was left us to Caritas. I remember perfectly the face of outrage and scorn from the veterans. I remember a fellow get out to give the paternalistic discourse. All these people did not understand that the partner was not a bad faith did ignorance. If you have not explained to fellow sixth tradition he does not have to know that we do not support fault of our primary purpose, and that includes not give money to other organizations. We think that fellows must know the traditions, even before coming to Alcoholics Anonymous. Fellows have no know the fellowship if we do not explained them.
Newcomers do not know the traditions and veterans services because they do not explain things, but when we're not asking for the work to explain things that newcomers do not have to know. After we complained that people do not know the principles of AA.
I going to let you apologize for the part I played. I also explain many things you know but do not tell.

Anonymous
RE: Several years ago asked a

We take care of only ourselves. AA Groups do not contribute money to other organizations. But of much
greater importance is the tradition that we do not
ask for or accept any outside support. We pay our own
expenses out of our own pockets. This eliminates any
interference in our affairs. This cultivates an
atmosphere of trust and admiration from the general
public. We even gave up the copyright on the third edition of the Big Book,
which some considered a tragedy. Actually it was
a God Blessing. We offer our books and literature at
the lowest possible price, only the cost of printing.
The traditions are vital to the survival of our
fellowship. The TWELVE STEP PROGRAM may churn along,
but our A.A. fellowship will not survive without the traditions. ANONYMOUS

Anonymous
CHIPS AND TRADITIONS

It´s been long time I´m searching information about the Chip Issue. Although I love giving chips in a personal way, I have found no conference statement about it or official support to it. In the GSO page they don´t sell them either they mention them. Some Grapevine article relate to them and in many groups they have it as Chip ceremony.
Well my conclusion is that I will still give the chips to those newcomers or anniversaries. but I will explain to them I do it on a particularly way and explain to them that is not part of the AA principles. One of the topics that most helped me to come to a solution to this problem is related to HP will. HP is the one who will help you sober, not the chip. But I will give you the chip in a personally way to remember yourself that without his help and AA most likely you will not saty sober

Anonymous
chips and such

Fortunately, for the most part, the GSO has stayed out of serving as censor for recovery literature and practices (like giving coins), leaving all that to each group's discretion. Not that one should read anything into it, as I do not believe that the GSO financially supports Dr. Bob's Home in Akron (I could be wrong on this), but the gift shop there sells coins, including the nifty shiny ones I occasionally see getting presented to folks. Seeing two people get coins at my first meeting, especially a 30 day coin, gave me the hope that I too could do it. I do not like getting a coin or observing my anniversary, as it seems like I am being congratulated for the hard work of those in the rooms that allowed me to tag along and get and stay sober, but I observe it anyway to express my gratitude to AA and to demonstrate that somehow this things works.

Anonymous
My group holds a monthly

My group holds a monthly steering committee meeting for thirty years and the treasurer give a report but he was lying for years and we never thought that he was lying and steeling the money that we gave him for the rent, we have no reason for it. We have not problems with the money for twenty one years.
We make a mistake, we didn’t change of treasurer, and he was the treasurer for several years. We gave him the ability to do whatever he wanted. He thought that he is the boss of the group and the only person who gave the ability to do service. He thought that we aren’t going to ask for responsibility.
If he is an asshole, he is an asshole in the bar and he is an asshole in the group of an Alcoholics Anonymous too, he can’t avoid it. We have a checking acot that requires 2 signatures and it isn’t a solution. He never deposited the money in the account, you have reason. We are going to select better ours trusted servants. We have the Sidgurd Syndrome, nothing is foolproof, we can’t avoid it. The people are going to fail sometimes.

mginsberg
Offline
Joined: 2011-10-14
treasurer

We had the same thing happen in our General Service district. The treasurer was the only person who had access to the checking account. There was no oversight by other officers. The financial report we received at steering committee meetings was complete fiction. We lost thousands of dollars. We learned that a second person in addition to the treasurer must oversee and verify all financial matters. That includes knowing the checking account number and monitoring the account activity on a regular basis. In the future we will write checks for all of our expenses instead of making cash payments. A paper trail is invaluable. We shared our experience at area level and at a regional forum. We found many other groups, districts and areas had the same lax financial practices we did, and suffered the same kind of theft. We contacted GSO and got advice about how to put financial safeguards in place. The good news is, we made a fast financial recovery, and our past treasurer is in the process of paying us back. We will never go back to our old way of doing things.

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