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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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.
You hit the nail on the head. By not rotating positions, this person was able to steal from the group. Our group holds elections for group officers every year. Some positions rotate yearly and others, such as GSR, every 2 years. We laugh about "remaining forever non-professional" and that just when someone is mastering a service position, they rotate out. On the positive side, it probably keeps us humble, teachable and without the power to do much harm.
I hope your group and this individual can recover.
My name is Ana Isabel and I 'm an alcoholic. We take all steps that we came not to take our money from the group. We saved money on a primer to name three fellows and getting money signing two fellows is necessary. The action was taken because a fellow took all the money from the group, and did not happen once but several. The group had to make a huge effort to get out of trouble.
This week we learned that a former treasurer has taken 2,000 euros and had stayed the rent money a year, about 4,000 euros. We just found out that we owe to the local owner. We do not know how we will solve. It has taken the money treasurer who always boasted elite group, who complained that the gratitude of many people not noticeable in the bag, but did not realize that gratitude also noticeable in the bag, read several articles whether what we missed in the bag is gratitude or charity, now I know why I put so much emphasis on the bag and waited for us to say patronizing speeches calling commit ourselves to the services. Tell me what you brag and say that you lack.
My name is Ana Isabel and I'm an alcoholic. Today the fellow has recognized their theft and is committed, in writing, to return the money in installments; the first of this month, the last in December 2014, this year. He did it in several fellows of the group who came to his house to ask for explanations. He has pledged to return the primers of the Bank that still retains and extracts of the Bank which saves before the end of the week. Now the problem of the group already has a solution, we are in a better position than last week
I'm guessing your group doesn't hold a monthly steering commitee meeting (group conscience)? I suggest you start one so each month the treasurer can give a report on how much $ came in, where the group stands as far as it's prudent reserve, and where the if any monthly expenditures went. some groups go as far as having a checking acout that requires 2 signatures (this only works if the money is actually placed in the account) some groups have envelopes that require 2 signatures after each meeting to ensure the proper amount of $ is placed in them.
What seems to work best is to have a group that focuses on practicing the 12 steps and traditions and getting trusted servants from the members who have done the 12 steps.
we used to joke about everyone having the right to steel the money. the funny thing is, nobody ever did!
Today in the business meeting following a comment from a fellow of the group there was a dispute that nearly ended in a fight, several fellows had to hunt means to avoid it. we always ask why the people leave the group but we don't think this attitude is the reason the people had a bad opinion of the group, of AA, and the people leave the group.
I wanted to gain some perspectives from my fellow AAs regarding a murky situation that has crossed my path. I am an active member of AA and have been in the process of introducing my older sibling to the program. He has just recently completed a difficult custody battle - part of his custody agreement with his ex is that he attend regular AA meetings. He volunteered to do this. No mention of 'proof of attendance' was mentioned in the agreement, so at this time, he isn't required to have a sheet signed by a chairperson. However, his ex recently contacted him, asking him to provide the name and contact information of his sponsor so she can 'routinely receive status updates on his "counseling"'.
He does not yet have a sponsor, but even if he did, in my perspective, this would be a blatant violation of the 12th tradition. Seems pretty cut and dry right? No is a complete sentence? Not quite.....
What I found most disturbing (I attended the custody hearing and was present for the discussion of AA attendance) is that throughout this process, the attorneys and nearly all parties involved seem to have a gross misconception of what AA is. It was often referred to as 'counseling', or 'AA classes'. So firstly, there are people operating under false assumptions regarding the purpose/scope of AA. Secondly, her attorney is supporting this discussion of 'I want to be able to contact your sponsor'. For me, this is the red flag. Especially since he volunteered to attend, in order to help himself.
Hypothetically speaking, what if a sponsor felt comfortable speaking to his ex regarding his progress in the program - and now it is a part of their written agreement. To me, it seems like opening the door for someone to attempt to micro-manage his program, and by someone who is not even a member of AA nonetheless! Now, if she finds that she is 'dissatisfied' with his program or feels it to be 'inadequate' in her opinion, she is dragging his program into the courtroom to be scrutinized. Decisions regarding other matters are now being based upon 'AA performance'. What attracted me the most was knowing that there weren't 'rules' in AA. I know I'm running down the rabbit hole here, but I want to see if others arrived at a similar train of thought.
So my questions are:
I realize that I can educate my sibling on what AA does and what AA does not do. However, should I assist him in 'setting the record straight' with these misguided attorneys so they can avoid this conundrum in the future? Is it my place to do so? How can I do so tactfully without engaging in a conflict?
I posted this question because I realize that my opinion is only that of one AA in a fellowship of millions, and I'm looking for a bit of guidance from those who may have a bit more experience here!
Thank You! Grateful to be sober today and grateful for the fellowship!
I suggest you give your brother and his sponsor the A.A. pamphlet on sponsorship and its purpose. Also, you might want to give your sister in law some advice as to what AA is really about and to read the chapter The family afterword, as well as the pamphlet. A sponsor is only there to help give away what was freely given to him or her, nothing else. He is not a marriage counselor.
You are correct in saying that each member of AA simply expresses their own opinion and cannot represent AA. However, AA has a General Service Conference that meets once a year and it represents the group conscious of AA. The General Service Conference approves literature for AA World Services to publish, to provide guidance to the groups and AA members, and to state AA's opinion on certain matters. You can use these pamphlets to educate the attorneys on what AA members and groups do and don't do.
These pamphlets clearly state that AA members do not provide counseling or therapy, and they explain the need to respect the anonymity of all members - INCLUDING THE SPONSOR'S ANONYMITY AND NON-PROFESSIONAL ROLE. These attorney's have no right to try to force the sponsor into revealing who they are or trying to force the sponsor into the role of professional counselor, whereby the professional counselor reports progress on treatment to outside parties. AA's are not professional treatment counselors or therapists.
A couple of pamphlets that may provide the specific wording and explanations for this particular case with the attorneys might be:
A Newcomer Asks.....
Frequently Asked Questions About AA
Questions and Answers on Sponsorship
The AA Group... Where It All Begins
I would suggest providing your brother and his attorney with several pamphlets about what AA is and what it is not, which can be found on the AA worldwide website. I envision bigger problems if nothing is done, such as a well-meaning but similarly naive judge ordering the attendance of a sponsor or someone else connected with AA, or your brother's attorney subpoenaing his sponsor or someone to testify at a deposition or court hearing as part of a custody dispute. It also sounds like the ex needs Alanon notwithstanding the fact that she is no longer married to your brother, but I guess that isn't my call or my business anyway.
In the eyes of the world we are closer to counseling or classes than anything else. We don't occupy the center of the universe, It's not the worlds job to understand up perfectly. Our preamble explains who we are except for those studying us (which has been done and done nicely).
At first I thought it would be OK for the sponsor to report the guys attendendance. But what if your brother stopped going? Should the sponsor be a tattle-tale? Of course not so I guess that excludes reporting attendance as well.
Ex can feel free to park in the street outside of the meeting place and log his attendance herself. He owes me a steak dinner for that stroke of genius.
In a public information meeting the companions of Al-Anon surrounded the fellow who had told their experience they cared asking them to have hand tremors or could not sleep. In a workshop the big fight ensued because the person who had painted the group took three coffees. On another occasion a fellow came with arrogance and accuse a fellow relapses, we had put a complaint and taxed group meetings, several comrades gravely insult one of them got up to hit. At another meeting were watching TV when I get the time of the meeting wondered why he had not started the meeting which ended in fight over TV out the window. It's amazing that still presume to be an elite group.
One of our members, male (40 years of age) recently attacked 3 older male members (70-80 years of age)in the rooms at our fellowship. He not only struck them but also went into a rage swearing at all the members both male and female. The eldest member 80 years old was taken to the ground during this episode. He has an annurism that could have caused his death. How do we handle this in accordance with the traditions and principles of the program? We really need help. Thank you.
In the past three years I too have witnessed violent
episodes at AA gatherings. I have been the victim on one
occasion. In retrospect, I see that I should have involved
the police. I thought the group would take action. But no
one wants to take a stand. This member assaulted other
members and finally got into trouble outside of the rooms.
People on the outside are not as forgiving. We are just
too kind (or fearful).
These troublemakers need to be removed from our A.A.
rooms. This affects our groups and A.A. as a whole. But
we just stand aside and hope that the situation will take
care of itself. "God will take care of it". But I have
seen these problem members linger on for years.
Tradition Four has two storm signals. You know what
they are. ANONYMOUS
Read tradition 1 long form, “Hence our common welfare comes first. But individual welfare follows close afterward.”
Don’t confuse tradition 3’s only requirement for membership in AA with tradition 1’s common welfare of a group. A group on occasion will ask a disruptive member to leave until they can behave themselves. If someone attacks someone and are kicked out, that doesn’t mean they are kicked out of AA. If you foresee more problems with this person, call the police, get a restraining order. It they try to intimidate or upset the group, immediately call the police and have them removed. Remember, the group comes first, the members second. This is AA, these things will happen from time to time.
Groups I have attended have a policy to call the police to handle unacceptable behavior.
Traditions? You don't need to tell the police or anybody else that the perpetrator is a member or and alcoholic, just that he is a criminal or a mentally ill person who needs to be removed and prosecuted if a victim wants it.
"How do we handle this in accordance with the traditions and principles of the program?"
You handle it the same way you would (should) handle an act of violence anywhere else - you turn it over to the law enforcement authorities.
We were so close to honoring our seventh tradition of self support at some point
in the 1950's/1960's. Giving up the copyright on the Big Book and offering it up for
anyone to print was practically the final step. That idea had to be God inspired.
"A refreshing spectacle" Bill described our tradition of self support. Alcoholics
Anonymous is offered free of any charge. Then we offer a little of our time and
money to support our fellowship, and our service structure.
Something went wrong. I see a lot of the problem to be the General Service
Board of Trustees' practice of giving jobs to past trustees. Bill writes in the
Service Manual concerning this. Bill calls it a Powerful Tradition, not one of
the Twelve Traditions. Personally, I feel that it is more important than any
of the formal Twelve Traditions. as it relates to the assured future of Alcoholics
Anyone who may be concerned can find this Powerful Tradition on Page S72 in the
2012-2013 edition of the Service Manual. I believe never means NEVER. In Concept
IV on page 15, the same warning is written. The warnings begin with "If it wishes". We have been violating that powerful
tradition for about thirty years. It has cost us dearly, and will remain a thorn
for as many decades as we continue to allow the practice. ANONYMOUS
Thanks, I read the convoluted Wilsonism on S72 that you refer to. If the organization wanted to adopt the policy Bill say he is using as an example they have had plenty of time and official meetings to do so.
There is a word for a business that tries to operate on the same business plan for 59 years. That word is CLOSED. Fortunately we have trusted servants who keep AA running well despite criticism from of opinionated, ill advised people who won't bother to invest the work it takes to achieve a level of trust required to be called a trusted servant.
"There is a word for a business that tries to operate on the same business plan for 59 years. That word is CLOSED."
I find it refreshing to hear someone who does not parrot every word written by Bill W. or expect that everyone else should think that what Bill W. wrote needs to be followed in today's world. If the Ford company faced a labor dispute today and a decision had to be made, would the people in the Ford company start pouring through Henry Ford's old letters and written materials, and do exactly what Henry had thought should be done in his day and age for labor disputes? It's a similar situation when A.A.s constantly comb through Bill W's writings looking for all answers for today's problems. Did the A.A. mind's ability to think for itself die along with Bill W's, forty-some years ago when Bill W. passed away?
You need to include that the information you provide is only your opinion. Thousands of trusted servants are involved in the operation of AA and see things quite differently.
What is an opinion? If Bill W. wrote the Service Manual,
and I point out what is written, is that just my opinion.
All I ask is that you do an investigation.
Our Service Structure ought to be getting smaller;
Bigger is not always better. Now, that is I.M.O. ANONYMOUS
Perhaps the GSO and / or other parts of the service structures should be reduced in size. If that's what you think, then give the reasons and the benefits of reducing the service structure size. But simply saying that "Bill said so" is not a good reason.
"Bill said so"? I sincerely doubt that Bill W.
ever said anything about reducing the size of our service
structure. When he died in 1971 A.A. was growing steadily along with the service organization.
My concern is Tradition Seven. Alcoholics Anonymous
claims to be self-supporting through its own contributions.
We read that at practically all A.A. meetings. But that
statement is not true. We are supposed to be growing
spiritually and part of that is to become more honest.
There are numerous reasons for our Tradition Seven: We
want the Big Book and all of our books and literature
to be as affordable as possible to everyone. We want
to eliminate any possible outside influence in our affairs.
We would not be tempted to publish anything just for
profit. We would only provide services that the membership
is willing to pay for. Alcoholics Anonymous needs to have
the best favorable public image as possible. We need
to adhere to our Traditions as they are written and intended. And please do not beg for more money. ANONYMOUS
you should read last years anual report. I belive it said only 19% of book revenue comes from non AA entities. they also stated that if each registerd group gave $140 (or something close to that) a year to GSO or if each member gave $6 a year, AA and all its services would be self-supporting regardless of what our litureature does. take that back to your next steering committee and see if your side of the street is clean.
On page 68 of the 2012 FINAL REPORT, the gross profit
from literature for 2011 was $7,947,800. 19% of that amount
is $1,510,082. A million and a half dollars of our revenue
came from sources outside of A.A. Do you think that is OK?
I suspect that most A.A. members give it no thought at all.
They couldn't care less where the money comes from.
From my "side of the street" we ought to honor Tradition
Seven in spirit and to the letter. Sell books and literature
at the cost of printing, without any profit at all. Pay
for our services out of our own member's pockets. "Spend
What We Send". Not a penny more. Study those "If it wishes"
and "If it Wished" statements in the Service Manual, pages
S72 and page 15. That reveals the cause of our financial dilemma. ANONYMOUS
So people outside of AA think enough of our literature to buy one and a half million dollars worth? I think that is excellent news. There is only one thing that our literature is good for - carrying AA's message to those who still suffer. If we are missing that many people who need our message thank God someone is getting it to them.
so we have the short form of traditions on a shade that pulls down at meetings. This short form was suggested by Earl T. Dr. Bob Sponsored him and he started AA in Chicago. His idea was the short form was to make AA members tradition conscience. This is found in AA comes of Age page 213. It further states that this was what was adopted by the 1st general service conference in 1951. Moreover, it states these are the traditions that we know them today. Then why do we have the long form in our literature? Tradition 3 is very differently written in the long form than the short form. I guess my question is have we abandoned the Long Form of the traditions even thought they are still printed in our literature, and are supposed to use the short form as a guide for Unity? If we do not use the long form of the traditions as adopted by our General Service Conference, then why are they still printed? I have heard many an argument in meetings over the wording of the short and long form for someone to prove he is correct and the other fellow is wrong. I am writing this in reference to some of the comments on addicts in meetings and how it is handled and especially in group business meetings. It can be quite intense or casually dismissed and then we move on. Would love to hear shared experience, strength and hope. I feel if AA ever fails, it will be from within.
May I suggest some excellent reading just for personal info on this subject. One of the finest compliments & defense of Alcoholics Anonymous & it's primary / singleness of purpose. It also addresses the importance of how people identify themselves at AA meetings in an honest historical perspective. This comes from the World Board Of Trustees of N.A. in a memo sent out to the membership of N.A. in the 80's & again in the 90's. You can find it at the na.org website under the heading "Bulletin 13". Also show's up "Some thoughts regarding our relationship with AA". I think you'll be pleasantly surprised & find it refreshing to know that there are those that get it in AA & outside of AA. You may be surprised by the suggestions to the membership by the World Board Of Trustee's of N.A. in this regard. Thank God for good & honest leadership & trusted servants wherever they may be.
My home group is a 12 x 12 Study. We read the Long Form of the Traditions before every meeting. We go around the room and each member reads one Tradition until we complete them. The Long Form of the Traditions is alive and well in our Group.
As far as addicts in meetings are concerned, a former Trustee of Alcoholics Anonymous recently told me, it doesn't matter if alcohol is my 27th most pressing problem, if I have a desire to stop drinking, then I am welcome in a meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous. I can have 26 more pressing problems than my drinking but it doesn't matter as long as I have a desire to stop drinking.
The third Tradition states that our membership ought to include all who suffer from alcoholism. It does NOT state that all members have to be alcoholic or consider themselves alcoholic. Just because someone desires to stop drinking does not automatically make them an alcoholic. Not by a long shot. The burden is on us, the members of AA, as it should be - we may refuse none who wish to recover. Period.
oledad195, I have always wondered how tradition twelve
ended up reading that Anonymity is the spiritual foundation,
when it is so clearly explained that it is humility, expressed by anonymity, is supposed to be the foundation;
not anonymity in itself. What do you think? ANONYMOUS
The long form of the 12th merely spells out more completely the full meaning of the concept of anonymity, which is much, much more than mere humility -- at least that is how I have come to understand it. But your observation, or question, points out our tendency as human beings to try to put everything we can neatly into a box, sort of like modern day Pharisees or Sadducees. Divinely inspired or not, Bill's writing was never intended to reflect the "precision of a poet" (or lawyer), notwithstanding the tendency of some of us to devote much time and energy over the meaning of a particular word or phrase. I am much more content in my sobriety when I avoid doing that.
You are saying that anonymity is much, much more than mere
humility. I see anonymity as only one ingredient in humility. Anonymous is "no name acknowledged". Humility
is something much greater. I would hardly call it "mere".
I have come to believe that Bill W. left us a perfect
fellowship/program. All the details are there. We have
yet to open the box. Actually we have opened it but have
not taken out all of the contents. Humility is still in
the bottom of the box. ANONYMOUS
I also am much more content in my sobriety when I don't let my thinking interfere with or substitute for the intuitive knowing that comes with Step 11 work. In the 10th step, I ask that my thinking be guided. There is a good reason not to leave that out of my daily prayers.
When I take a particular word or phrase into my meditation, I usually get a little burst of inspiration or understanding that warms my heart. That doesn't happen when I argue for a particular meaning.
I'm a member of a large metro group that meets in a club house and we have five meetings a day, every day. I'm involved and have missed only 3 Group Business Meetings in the last 5 years. Not so very often a member will come to the business meeting and complain to us about the conduct or actions of others and how traditions are being broke.
We ask them what they want us to do ? they look at us puzzled. We tell them we do not govern, that as a body we do not tell anyone what they can say or do in our group. They ask then what do we do ? This is when I like to chime in and tell them what an old wise lady once told me.
She said there is no complaint department in this group, yet we all are the complaint department. We must be willing to confront our fellow alcoholcis in a non conforntational and loving way whenever we witness inappropriate conduct or tradition breaks. No doubt conforntation congers up images of flaring nostrils and spaital flying everywhere, but with knowledge, love and practice it gets easy. We hold ourselves accountable.
A local group now advertises in the digital billboard of a church. In an effort to demonstrate that this could be seen as favoring a specific demonstration of a specific religion, I have voiced my objection, and even referred them to the appropriate passages in the 12&12.
The first Grapevine cover was printed with what has been called the AA preamble by many and it says
"AA is not allied with any sect, denomination, politics, organization or institution."
Remember the wisdom of the founders in stating that we can recover together, or fail on our own.
I would see this as a violation of Traditions six
and eleven. I realize that we are not a secret society,
but some alcoholics might hesitate to
enter a church with a billboard announcing an AA
meeting on a particular evening, especially if they are members of that church. I know "they can go to other
churches and other meetings". I think it would be wiser
to fully obey the traditions. ANONYMOUS
See tradition 9, page 174 in the 12 X 12, and Warranty 5 in the 12th Concept for world services
Our group meets daily in a church that has been kind enough to host us for the past 15 years or so. In addition to upholding the traditions of AA, hosting a "closed" meeting and following the guidance from of our group conscience, we are responsible for enforcing the rules and requests that come from the church. We meet upstairs of a daycare, for example, and have been asked to watch our language and not smoke around the entryways.
We include some guidance in our meeting preamble. We also created a pamphlet that summarizes our guidelines and gives reasons for each guideline that a member can give to a newcomer. We also offer alternatives for those who might have trouble meeting the guidelines.
Most newcomers who come to AA need to be educated about how the program works and how a particular group works and why. We have found that if people understand the reasons behind our guidelines and are offered other options, they respond well.