Traditions

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Anonymous
Tradition 11

How about on facebook, Titter, Email's and the digital world, we have no guidence in the Tradition itself?

Many of us understand the spirit of the tradition, but what about the newer members texting away and updating their Facebook Page during our meetings?

This is my question.

Anonymous
RE: Mule Muffins (Tradition 11 and 12)

Yes I do believe it. If you read the long form of Tradition 11, (and I am assuming you read out of the same book I read), right before the part you wrote about it says "publicly". It also says a couple of times in Tradition 11 public level. What about speaking to a non AA group. I can't show my face?? Did you ever give your last name to another AA member?? Bill W wrote back in the 1950's that he felt education was a big part of the soulution to the alcohol problem. Where is this education?? Shouldn't some of it come from people who know what they are talking about?? Did Bill give his last name on the film??
You know there is something called the spirit of the law and something called the letter of the law. It may behoove someone to think about both! If he made the film for ego or personal gain like the tradition says then it is wrong but how the heck can prove that!

Ray C.

Anonymous
Speaking at public gatherings

Recently at an AA meeting a member shared that he spoke at
a school assembly where his son is a student. He shared his
full name and his son's name, when he spoke.
My personal opinion (I have several) is that speakers at
these events ought to be members from another location.
They would not be known and would not be recognized. First names only ought to be used. Anonymity, humility, EGO
deflation and self-sacrifice are involved. ANONYMOUS

Anonymous
Publicly

Again, the long form on page 192 of our 12+12. The only
publicly I see is where Bill writes: (Our names and pictures
as AA members ought not be broadcast, filmed, or publicly
printed.) Do you have any proof that Bill did not make that
film for personal gain or ego? Of course it can't be proven.
You were the one who brought it up. Tradition Twelve is of
immense value in explaining this.
Some members give their last names when they admit that
they are alcoholics at meetings. They justify it by
saying, "If someone needs me in the middle of the night,
I want them to be able to find me in the phone book." I
personally don't think that I am that important. The "hand
of AA" does not have to be my own personal hand. I believe
anyone looking for AA at any time of the day should be able to look up AA in the phone book and locate someone to talk to. My responsibility is to make sure that the AA number
is available, and someone is there to take the call.
We have no AA police to enforce any of our traditions.
We all share that responsibility. They were written to
assure our future. If we don't understand them and obey
them, AA has no future. ANONYMOUS

Anonymous
Using Last Names

At some AA groups the use of last names is common
when sharing. Half of the name for our fellowhip is Anonymous. Who I am is just not that important. First
names ought to be optional, but today at meetings
someone will demand "who are you" if no name is
given. I think anonymous means without name, or
no name given. This has to do with the alcoholic EGO,
mostly what got us into trouble in the first place.
Alcoholics Anonymous has become what it vowed never
to be. I have come to believe that the traditions
ought to be labeled D..ned well betters. Perhaps we
ought to read them at the beginning of the meetings
instead of HIW. Manny Q.

AD010416
Offline
Joined: 2012-01-18
Re: Using Last Names

Quote:"At some AA groups the use of last names is common
when sharing. Half of the name for our fellowhip is Anonymous. Who I am is just not that important. First
names ought to be optional, but today at meetings someone will demand "who are you" if no name is given. I think anonymous means without name, or no name given."
First, this is Alcoholics Anonymous, not Secret Alcoholics.
Second, read Tradition Eleven. "....personal anonymity at the level of press, radio, and films."
Third, read "Doctor Bob and the Good Oldtimers," page 264. "The A. A. who hides his identity from his fellow A. A. by using only a given name violates the Tradition just as much as the A. A. who permits his name to appear in the press in connection with matters pertaining to A.A."

Anonymous
RE; Re: using last names.

Dr. Bob and the Good Oldtimers was copyright in 1980.
The quote on page 264 was how D.S. of San Mateo, California
remembered it. I have little doubt that this was how Dr.
Bob felt about anonymity. I think it was Ray C. who wrote
that he heard it on an audio from Dr. Bob's own lips.
It was important that Dr. Bob. S. could be reached
by those who needed him. He was a medical doctor and
treated thousands of alcoholic sufferers. I don't believe
that this understanding of anonymous is best in today's
A.A. Anyone who tries to find A.A. today can easily
find us. If that is not true, it is our responsibility
to make it true. Bill, with the help of his A.A. friends
developed the permanent best, with regards to all of
our traditions, in my opinion.
In chapter XXI Group concerns and angry rumors,P268
is an article about Bill and Dr. Bob being accused of
stealing from A.A. I found it informative. ANONYMOUS

Anonymous
discernment

Was reading Merton's so called "prayer of discernment," which includes this insightful line: "the fact that I think that I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so." This mirrors some of Bill's writings on the dangers associated with those who think they have a connection with the "divine will." And if I can never be certain of the divine will as far as my daily life is concerned, how can I ever be certain that I have any inside track on what is and is not best for AA as a whole? The discussion of the traditions and how they were pounded out on the anvils of experience (in the 12 & 12) suggest that those who were most sure and most vocal about what AA was or should be turned out to be most wrong. At least that is the lesson I derive from it. Dr. Bob's last words to Bill, "Don't louse this thing up" and "keep it simple" should remain at the forefront of discussions about what "ails" AA.

Anonymous
RE: discernment

"the fact that I think that I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so". For some reason this
line does not seem to be insightful at all. I find it is
irksome. Today I believe that I am doing God's will for me.
Each day I ask for knowledge for His will for me and the
power to carry that out. I try to align my will with what
I believe to be God's will for me. Am I always to be in
doubt, questioning whether whether I am doing the right
thing? That seems to undermine my basic beliefs.
Did not some of the members who were the most sure
and most vocal turn out to be right. Who insisted that
the twelve steps were to be suggestions. Who insisted that
that a higher power be a God of the individual's own
understanding? Bill wrote that the phrase "God as we
understood Him" may be the most important words in our
literature. And that means the God or Higher Power of
the individual's understanding, not the God of AA's understanding.
Dr. Bob's last words to Bill W. were "Let's not louse
this thing up; let's keep it simple." That has become a
bumper sticker: KISS, Keep it simple stupid! How very sad.
I suppose there are few things which can be proven
beyond a shadow of a doubt. But I believe much of what I
see. When I see men and women day after day admitting that
they are alcoholic, and yet living good productive lives,
this is proof beyond a reasonable doubt that Bill W. and
Dr. Silkworth left us with a solution that saves us from
the alcoholic misery and death. ANONYMOUS

Anonymous
pipeline to god

One of Bill's Grapevine writings, I think, became the subject of a clip in "As Bill Sees It(p. 38, I think)" discussing the dangers of those who think they have figured out God's will. As you note, when Bill's wrote in April 1961 an article on "The Dilemma of No Faith," he suggested that "the phrase God as we understand him was perhaps the most important expression to be found in our whole AA vocabulary." Bill goes on to point out that while roughly 300,000 had recovered in the preceding 25 years, "maybe half a million more have walked into our midst, and then out again." He goes on to suggest that some of the fault needs was the "Do as I do, believe as I do - or else!" attitude of some well-intentioned but ego-driven members (in which category he included himself). He gives the example of a prospect being driven away by the spiritual arrogance of speakers, who were convinced that only through their faith could others recover.
I am an atheist, or at least a strong agnostic. I got sober going to meetings that begin with the Serenity Prayer, read the preamble and How It Works before whatever the daily reading is, and closed with the Lord's Prayer (holding hands, chanting when done - you all know the drill). I participate in the ritual. But I am quick to point out that a "group of drunks" constitutes a higher power for me and many others, that the mostly protestant theology oozing throughout the "AA approved" literature need not turn them off and send them away. I can only hope that a few folks with a similar lack of faith in a god or gods stick around when they hear of others doing the same with success. Bill's writings in later years reflect a growing awareness of what "true tolerance" actually means.
So should we pitch all the readings and chanting? That decision is all up to the individual group, just as what I choose to believe is up to me.

Anonymous
"without a higher power"

In my opinion, the article titled "without a higher power"
was one of the most powerful writings in modern AA literature. Bill W. made every effort to prevent AA from
becoming a religion. I understand that he even gave up
his desire to join the Catholic faith, to keep AA from
becoming attached to any religion. He had separated from
the Oxford Groups around 1937 or 1938. Dr Bob remained
with the OG until about 1940. Although Bill and Dr. Bob
both sobered up in the Oxford Groups, Bill discovered
that most alcoholics did not respond favorably to the
"on your knees" approach. Some did get sober this way
but most were turned away. Remember it took them
four years to save 100 members. True tolerance has a
much deeper meaning than I could ever try to describe.
The reading "I stand by the door" by Dr Sam Shoemaker or
his wife Helen, holds a deep description of what the
AA fellowship is all about. AA is much more than a
twelve step program.
Non-alcoholics enter the house of worship through
the front entrance. The suffering alcoholic, because of
shame, remorse, fear, and guilt just refuses to enter
this way. Alcoholics Anonymous provides a way in. We
welcome the sufferer to enter through the basement door.
All he/she has to do is to approach the door. The door
opens automatically. Once inside she/he finds many others
just like himself/herself. No longer alone, the process of
sobriety begins. Many members eventually find their way
upstairs to the sanctuary, and some down the aisle to the
cross. Some remain in the basement. No one is coerced to
go upstairs. It is entirely up to the individual member.
There is a path but there is no human being on the path.
It is just that, a path. Members who remain in the
basement are as much a sober member of AA as any other
member. Taking the steps is an individual choice. We
meet in the church's basement but we are AA members,
not allied with any sect or religion. All this is in
theory. We have indeed allowed AA to become a religion.
A strange cult-like religion.
The early atheists and agnostics were determined that
a non-sectarian fellowship would be left for the future
generations of suffering alcoholics which were sure to
come. They did their part and did their best. It is
now up to us to separate AA from religion and keep it
that way. It can be done but it will take a lot of
work and a lot of sacrifice. We have to sacrifice our
EGO's and get rid of our spiritual pride. ANONYMOUS

Anonymous
Unification

One thing seems to be certain. We all want AA to be viable for us and for future generations. Our approach and ideas may be different but our intent is similar. My son died of this illness at age 25. It is the most terrible thing in the world losing a child. No parent should have to bury their child.
If I can help just one alcoholic I want to.
My idea of the best way to help is to follow the steps and traditions, be the best copy of the BB I can be and always think of the newcomer before I speak or act before, during and after the meeting.
Who knows or can say what our numbers in rank are supposed to be?? The book says we have barely scratched the surface! The book tells us there are some alcoholics you cannot help! There are many factors to the formula of who will get sober and who will die. It isn't ALL AA's fault. Hopefully we will work together to improve the AA setting for the newcomer. I love all of you in a very special way!

Ray C.

Anonymous
re: unification

Tears come to my eyes every time I read this message.
ANONYMOUS

Anonymous
RE: Unification Ray

I have wondered what was the real source of your passion for AA.
My son survived. His addiction almost killed me. Watching
childern suffer and die is a torture no parent ought to
have to endure. And finding that there is little or no help
available in today's society. Over three hundred died in a three year period 2005-2007 in my state, including my
next door neighbor a 24 year old I had known since her
childhood. These deaths were drug related. Her death triggered an obsession which is still
going on. But I am convinced that we are failing. I believe that we are all to blame. I stood by watching the
changes taking place. I really did not know how harmful
they would become. I was afraid to object. I insisted
on using the 24hr book at meetings. I verbally stated the
steps as D---ed-Well Betters. My whole view of the
recover process changed as I investigated. The cart before
the horse IDEA explains most of it.
AA offers a solution. It is in the fellowship: come on
in and join us; have a cup of coffee and take a seat.
fellowship with us, listen to us. You help us to stay
sober by your presence and your listening. If you want
to join us we welcome you.
We push alcoholics away when we say: Take these steps
or die. Do 90 in 90. Find God and find Him NOW! Hold hands
with us as we pray. I do know one thing. We share the one
common goal: to help as many suffering alcoholics as
humanly possiple. I think we could start by eliminating
the chanting, and separating alcoholics from addicts,
maybe more real closed AA meetings. And I hope to eventually convince you that reading How it Works aloud
at meetings is not a good thing. Meanwhile we trudge the road of happy destiny. ANONYMOUS

Anonymous
AA Dying

If AA is dying it is because of the individual not the group. After all the groups are made up of individuals. If you believe in the BB and the 12/12 and live the steps and traditions you have to try and speak up when you see a violation. Even if you are at the risk of losing popularity. AA is not a popularity contest. But my suggestion is know what you are talking about before you make any suggestions to the group. If you have some sobriety under your belt and believe in AA and in the steps and traditions help your group out. I am not talking about opinions, opinions are the belly buttons, everyone has one! I am taling about facts. Following the steps and traditions in the meetings so the meetings will survive.

Wilhamena

Anonymous
RE: AA Dying

Quote
"If AA is dying it is because of the individual not the group"

A group is an illusion and would not exist without individuals it's when the people claim Gods FREE GIFT and believe sponsors do it instead is when A.A. started dying.

Anonymous
Wilhamena

The effectiveness of our fellowship has diminished as
indicated by our lack of growth (two decades now). I
certainly hope you are doing all these things. Even if
you are not an old timer, "If you see something, say something". Don't argue or criticize. Just voice your
concerns. Many members may agree with you, but are just
waiting for "someone else" to "say something". Alcoholics
are suffering and dying. Their families and friends are
suffering, while we just sit silently or chant "Keep
on Coming Back". Some may respond, "that is just your opinion. But an opinion is just a feeling or belief without any evidence. The evidence is real. investigate. ANONYMOUS

Anonymous
How Does it Work??

One says it's the fellowship. One says it's the steps. One says it's the meetings. One says it's God. One says it's this, that or the other thing.
I am reasonably convinced it is a combination of things and the answers may be different to different people.
I do believe the teacher will appear when the pupil is ready.
I agree with not reading AA literature in meetings. It is an AA meeting not an everything meeting. I agree that long discertations about drug use or anything else for that matter doesn't belong in a meeting. That goes beyond the scope of most meetings. I agree that the chanting should go. "We are not allied with any sect", the chanting is too sect like for me. But you will never get me to say that reading anything, including HIW, from the BB will harm or scare away a newcomer. Long after we are gone, (hopefully), the BB will still be here. It is history. It was written so the message of AA could be carried without being garbled.
If the cart before the horse means that the phsyical aspects of the illness should be discussed before the spirtural I don't know. Maybe AA could not have happened without the cart b4 the horse but it also could not have happened without the spiritual awakening idea. This idea was carried to Bill W through Roland H and Ebby T before Bill got the cart IDEA from Dr. Silworth. Who is to say which is more important? There were many, many factors that went into the formation of AA and to say one was more important than another is folly.

Ray C.

Anonymous
RE: How does it work??

Who is to say which is more important. Bill w. wrote in
AACA: Just before leaving for Akron, Dr. Silkworth had
given me a great piece of advice. Without it AA might
never have been born. Bill wrote on page 70 AACA: "THIS WAS HOW TO CARRY THE MESSAGE". Bill was writing about
his successful meeting with Dr. Bob.
In another writing which I cannot presently locate,
Bill wrote that without this advice A.A. could never
have been born. I ask you again to at least investigate.
I believe understanding this is the key to A.A.'s
success or failure. If A.A. could not have been born
without it, I don't believe A.A. will survive
without it. Invest in the History book. Alcoholics
Anonymous, the Big Book, is a story book. Alcoholics
Anonymous Comes of Age is the real History Book.
I believe we are coming closer to the Truth. ANONYMOUS

Anonymous
RE: RE: How Does it Work???

I am begining to think some on this site are just rabble rousers. The Big Book is a "story book"? I have all the books and have read them and will read them again but the BB was written to cary the message. Go tell the newcomer to read all the history books and let me know the result.
The BB was sent out to suffering alcoholics by the hundreds in the early days and many recovered just by reading the book. The spiritual angle came before physical angle and without the spiritual angle AA would certainly never have been born either! Bill had talked to Dr.'s and had been hospitalized, I believe, at least 2 times before his spiritual awakening. The SA happened after Ebby spoke with him. I am not saying Silkworth's contribution wasn't important, it was! But you are putting the cart before the horse as far as the order of ideas that formed AA. Bill said he invisioned one alky talking to another by the hundreds, this was before the Silkworth IDEA!

Ray C.

Anonymous
What's the big IDEA?

Alcoholics Anonymous was born when Bill W. successfully
"twelve-stepped" Dr Bob S. Bill had the SA and had the
vision of saving all the alcoholics in the world, and
tried to do that (WITHOUT SUCCESS). He worked with
alcoholics he found at the missions and at Towns hospital,
I believe hundreds of them. He tried from Dec 1934 to
May 1935, without reaching even one. I think some of them
came into AA at a later time. The accepted birth date of
Alcoholics Anonymous is 10 June 1935 the day of Dr. Bobs last alcoholic drink.
Bill W. wrote several times that without the advice
from Dr. Silkworth, AA could never have been born. We
need to develop a true understanding of Dr. silkworth's
IDEA. Go easy on the God Stuff, in a nutshell, is the
way I understand the IDEA. ANONYMOUS

Anonymous
Ray C.

Thanks, I did pick up on the literature error. I have read
enough of your messages to recognize that it was an error.
I still type very slowly and read my messages over and over
before sending. I cringe when I see some of the mistakes
I have written. But they are posted as we write them. The
editors make very few changes in our messages. Sometimes
they just do not post the message at all. It is best that
way. We are in the same book and maybe in the same chapter.
Someday we will be on the same page. ANONYMOUS

Anonymous
WHY DO WE CHANT?

Have you made any effort to stop the chanting in
meetings? I think it can be stopped if we can understand
the reasons. Many members agree when I explain it this way,
remember that this ritual did not start in the Northeast
until around 1980. The meetings I attended were quite
reverent. Many may say, what a glum lot. When I made the
statement: My name is Rose and I am an alcoholic, there
was no group response Hi! Rose! This was considered an
admission that I am an alcoholic, or part of our first
step, and admitting it in front of others, a part of the
fifth step. I understand that chanting is an immediate, automatic response by a group or crowd.
Every member just remained silent, listening, and
enjoying another drag on the ever present cigarette.
The other chants soon appeared. It often seemed that
the chanters was saying, "Look at me, I'm here too! In
recent years it seem that the chanting has become a
contest to see who can shout the loudest. And in many
meetings the chanting has become shouting, hooting and
hollering.
You may say, let them have fun. My main concern is that
chanting makes us look weird in the eyes of the public.
It is vitally important that the general public look
upon Alcoholics Anonymous favorably. We must not give them reason to view us as a sect or cult. Some AA members may say, what do we care what the public thinks. But we need a favorable public relations policy or AA suffers.
In recent years an article was printed in the AAGRAPEVINE, titled "Why are we shouting?". If you have
an online subscription you can look it up. Even if you
have no subscription to the GRAPEVINE, they offer a seven
day free trial.
I did find considerable resistance in trying to
eliminate the chanting at my meetings. We do indeed guard
the individual's right to think, talk and act as he/she wishes. But I feel that as a group, we need to conduct
ourselves properly: (As Rose Sees It). ANONYMOUS

barleycorn
Offline
Joined: 2012-02-25
Chanting:

Thank you Rose for such an insightful article on the need to get rid of chanting in meetings.

I agree wholeheartedly with your reasons and the solution that every AA member and group should work to eliminate the practice from their meetings.

In addition to the sect/cult practice we also look ridiculous acting like a bunch of children at a high school pep rally.

No wonder many newcomers and oldtimers don't want what we have!

Oliver
British Columbia

Anonymous
Chanting

Oliver: Chanting will continue for a long time, unless we
stand up and speak out. And, believe me, it will not be an
easy task. I brought it up at a group conscience meeting
where eleven members were present. I spoke against chanting.
Everyone had the opportunity to share on the topic. We
did not even take a vote as it would have been ten to
my one vote. But as time has gone by, only 2 or 3 members
keep insisting on chanting. Eventually they will hear how
foolish they sound and stop.
It is really reverent at my home group to state, My
name is Rose and I am an alcoholic, without anyone
chanting, shouting, yelling HI! Rose, or hooting or
hollering. But I fear that it will take decades to
stop the chanting. I wish some of our leaders and
trusted servants would get involved. Maybe soon they
will. This ritual makes A.A. look foolish in the eyes
of the public. We agree on several concerns. Rose

Anonymous
Chanting

Chanting started in the Northeastern states around 1980.
I despised the ritual right from the start and never really
joined in. I just got used to it, until it evolved into
yelling, shouting, hooting and hollering. This really started to annoy me. Word gets out to the general public
that this is done at meetings. It makes us look foolish,
which harms AA as a whole. At some meetings where I have
spoken out against the chanting, as kind of a last resort
I will shout as loud as the loudest chanter. I get some
strange looks. Many members just don't realize how
ridiculous chanting is. This gets member's attention.
We need to always be as attractive to the general
public, newcomers and oldtimers alike, Why would new
members want what we have if we look and sound foolish?
Your message is appreciated more than you will
ever know. Rose

Anonymous
RE: How Does it Work?

B4 you call me on it I ment to say I agree with not reading NON AA literature in an AA meeting!

Ray C.

Anonymous
Ray C.

I did pick up on the mistake, but I knew that you just
wrote it wrong. Fast typing again. I live with a sense of
urgency much of the time. I have "done the math" and figure
that you are a dozen years younger than me. You see, I do
believe the membership numbers and am greatly concerned
for the future of our fellowship. Whatever the problems,
I don't believe they are going to correct themselves
without a lot of effort. I have learned much from messages
here. And hopefully I will continue to learn. The first
chairman of the General Service Conference Bernard Smith,
said that each generation ought to leave AA in better
condition than when we found it. My generation has been
failed to accomplish this goal. You have a lot of work ahead. ANONYMOUS

AD010416
Offline
Joined: 2012-01-18
Third Tradition (and some of the others)

Anonymous wrote, "If using drugs is part of your story, (what it was like, what happened and what it is like now), then they may be discussed. "Next day found me drinking both gin and sedative."
First of all, where did 'what it was like, what happened and what it is like now' come from? I have yet to find it anywhere in AA literature, though It's possibly in there somewhere. The closest I can find is on page 58 of the Big Book: "Our stories disclose IN A GENERAL WAY what WE used to be like, what happened, and what WE are like now."
Who changed "in a general way" to read, "Our stories go into great detail what we did" and "we" to "it"?
The sentence, "Next day found me drinking both gin and sedative" is just that, a single sentence. I never went to college but even I know the difference between a single sentence and a long drawn out narrative.

Anonymous
Thanks ADO10416

Our stories disclose in a general way what we used to be like, what happened, and what we are like now. I believe
that is why we do that, in a group setting. with each
alcoholic member sharing. That is why the group is so important. The newcomer is almost sure to identify. They
just need to listen. In Language of the heart on page 223
Bill writes: Sobriety-- freedom from alcohol-- through the teaching and practice of the twelve steps, is the sole purpose of an AA GROUP. Sharing ought to be done going
around the room, allowing each member equal time, as much
as possible. No one's sharing needs to be considered more
important than anyone else's. Keep those alcoholic EGO's
deflated. EGO deflation and humility are still the key
to recovery. Imagine that!, after all these years.
Some have changed "we" to "it". We have also changed fellowship to Fellowship (except in the preamble). picky, picky, picky. ANONYMOUS

Anonymous
RE: Third Tradition (and some others), ie: Drugs

One of the problems with posting and emailing is the written word is one thing the spoken word is another. Without the opportunity of F2F discussion, the voice tone, inflection, so forth, the meanings really change.
I did not mean to imply a long drawn out harangue about drug usage is OK simply a mention or brief discussion of an individuals experience.
I am sorry the exact quote from the BB in chap 12 and what I mentioned wasn't close enough for you. What like one word difference?? Using drugs,(sedatives is mentioned in at least 2 places in the first 164p and again by Dr. Bob in "Dr. Bob's Nightmare".
I am totally against AA changing it's forum from dealing with alcohol and in fact never even smoked a doobie in my life but I think it is rediculeous trying to dictate to people exactly what they can say in a meeting. The first page of the first tradition in the 12/12 will tell you that and page 19 of the BB at least intimates it.
If your neighbors dog pooping on your lawn bothers you enough that you have a resentment about it you need to talk about it.
That being said; how long a person talks is another issue and that would fall under meeting format. I like one hour meetings. I don't like sitting in a meeting where people go on and on like I am doing here! It is usually the same people all the time! The chairperson is either too polite, scared or inexperienced to say anything. If you want to know way AA is having trouble (like it did in the 1940's) it is probably because people in AA are not taking the responsibility and time to have business meetings or steering comittess or whatever you want to call them to format a meeting the way the group wants to run it, (hopefully by the traditions), and stick to it!

Ray C.

Anonymous
Drug addicts

I traveled about 50 miles round trip to a closed noon
meeting. Most of the meetings I attend are open. This was
a speaker meeting with lots of sobriety. On day the speaker,
an attractive lady, was there with her partner. After she
spoke, during the sharing he identified himself as a drug
addict. simply a drug addict. There were thirty members
there and none of us made any objection.
The next week I went again and he was the speaker. He
gave a real drug addict talk. Again no one said a word
about it. I did not know how to handle it. This was
not one of my regular meetings. At a real group conscience
meeting, I would have the courage to bring it up.
Should I have called a group conscience after, to
discuss it? Should I have made a scene by bringing it
up immediately? If I had mentioned it at the previous
meeting, the speaking meeting could have been prevented.
The drug addict and his alcoholic friend seemed to
be friends of the regular members.
Although this was an established meeting of a few years,
I went back a few weeks later and there was no one there
for the meeting. The ladies in the church office said that
the meeeting members just stopped showing up.
At some of the open meetings I attend some members identify
themselves as Alcoholic/Addict. I find this has begun to
annoy me. Some attendees simply state casually that
they are addicts. It doesn't seem to bother anyone but me.
I am trying to get an Addicts Anonymous meeting (not an N/A
meeting) started locally. Several addicts who have become
real friends, are just not making it in AA. They keep
"going out, using" and I fear that more are going to die
from drugs. Do we throw the addicts out, as the mother
robin pushes the young out of the nest. Have we done
more harm than good by letting the addict become a
member of AA?
A poster recently wrote that his/her mother, who is not an alcoholic, enjoys our open meetings. I believe this is OK at an anniversary or event, but at a regular AA
meeting?? I seem to find fault with many things. It is
no wonder that I am called relentlessly negative. But I have a wonderful Sat evening meeting to go to. We have
deleted the reading of HIW, the 24hr book and the promises. The speaker has adequate time to speak with time for
individual members sharing. I am working to eliminate the
chanting, and a couple members join me on the outside of
the "ring around the rosy" circle, hold hand and pray"
closing. These reversals bring me hope. ANONYMOUS

Anonymous
"Open" vs. "Closed" AA Meetings

My friend, it seems that you have fallen into a very common misconception about the difference between an "open" and a "closed" AA meeting; it is NOT that in a "closed" meeting one can only discuss problems with alcohol, while in an "open" meeting one can discuss problems with alcohol or drugs. Actually, the difference is that only self-proclaimed ALCOHOLICS should attend a closed meeting, while open meetings may be attended by ANYONE. However, in NO AA meeting should non-alcoholics be allowed to participate, by sharing, reading, or whatever. Groups are autonymous, so it's up to the group to decide how much an alcoholic who also has a drug problem should be able to share about the latter, but it is NOT left up to the group as to whether a non-alcoholic, addict or not, can share or otherwise participate. He or she can NOT.

Anonymous
Control much?

Sounds like you could use some Ala Non meetings. Have you ever considered working on your character defects instead of trying to change the way a group runs itself? I just prayed for you and I am grateful I am not you.

barleycorn
Offline
Joined: 2012-02-25
Drugs

Thank you for sharing on drugs at AA meetings.

I just attended an AA roundup in Salmon Arm, British Columbia, where they had a drug addict co-chairing one of the AA call up meetings. He identified himself as only an addict so I can only assume he was.

The insanity goes on and if we don't stand up for something we will fall for anything.

As I see it AA is destroying itself from within.

Oliver,
British Columbia.

Anonymous
Alcoholic vs. Addict

I believe that AA program is more than strong enough to survive the addict attending our meetings when they are seeking the solution of AA recovery and its subsequent design for living. I can only assume that if addictive chemicals, other than the chemical of alcohol, were as prevalent as they are today, that the Big Book may have in fact included all of us. I do know one thing for sure, I do not have the credentials to guard the door to our AA meetings and say who is allowed to be exposed to recovery. The greater danger to any AA meeting is when we drag in our complaints and theretofore divert from a discussion of the Solution.

barleycorn
Offline
Joined: 2012-02-25
Drugs at AA meetings

I believe that most newcomers walking through the doors of AA today have been on everything but rollerskates. They have multiple addictions including drugs, alcohol, food, tobbacco, sex, etc, etc. I do not question that other substances are part of our stories but, other than alcohol, they have no relevance at AA meetings. They dilute our message of recovery from alcohol and confuse and frustrate those seeking help for their alcoholism.

Introducing myself as an alcoholic and an addict (which I did early in sobriety) indicates I have a bad case of terminal uniqueness or little understanding of traditions 5 and 10.

Traditions 5 & 10 are very clear on the subject of outside issues.

Tradition 5 states," Each group has but one primary purpose - to carry its message to the alcoholic who still suffers". There are no other purposes; period; end of discussion.

Tradition 10 states, "Alcoholics Anonymous has no opinion on outside issues; hence the AA name ought never be drawn into public controversy". We should not be sidetracked by discussions of drugs. If we need help with drug addictions we should attend NA. There are 12 step programs to deal with almost every addiction known to man.

For those who still insist on wasting AA meeting time listening to your drug-a-logue I ask you to concider the following.

What we have is a common solution to our common problem and our unity is based on this premise. I think we can all agree that our common problem is alcoholism and our common solution is the 12 steps and 12 traditions of AA.

The last thing Dr Bob said to Bill W. was , " Bill let's not louse this thing up...let's keep it simple".

When an AA member attends an AA meeting they should expect to hear a message of recovery from alcoholism. If they are unable to identify with what they see and hear they will leave and not come back and perhaps die from their disease.

Outside issues destroy our unity, threaten growth and the survival of our fellowship. I owe my life to AA but I am becoming increasingly concerned with what I hear and see in meetings today. Drugs are but the tip of the iceburg that could sink the ship of AA.

Anonymous
Drugs at AA Meetings

I agree with you 100% that the drug issue is going to sink AA, but NOT because people are talking about drugs at meetings, but because people aren't. I've been in and out of AA since 1984 and I am shocked at how much the fellowship has changed in the last 10 years. It is SO much more intolerant of any talk of dual addictions or co-occurring disorders. And the drop in membership is astounding. There are hardly any young people at meetings. It's become a fellowship of over 40 white males. And I think you can trace it all to the anti-drug movement that gained steam amongst the AA leadership in 2001.

I was at a meeting tonight and I mentioned the word drugs once and an old timer got up and walked out. Yet when he talked I guess it was ok that he mentioned such relevant issues like his unemployment, anger issues, and upcoming knee surgery. Think about how ridiculous this is people.

The unfortunate reality is that AA is just plain wrong on this issue. Yup, I said it. People, and Organizations, make mistakes. The US Constitution was amended several times. Bill W. dropped acid in the 50's on many occasions (maybe that's why he was so steadfast about keeping drugs and alcohol separate - it would have lost him 22 years of sobriety). We all know that if you're an alcoholic you can't do drugs, and vice versa. Addiction doesn't care - all that matters is the pleasure center in the brain is stimulated.

Frankly, I think the real issue at play here is classism and perhaps even a little bit of racism. There is no reason that one shouldn't be able to relate to any addiction story. What happened to tolerance? Yeah, I know, go to NA. But guess what? NA isn't in every town, and why should I have to adjust my schedule and censor my story when I am just as much an alcoholic as the next guy?

I think if Bill W. we're alive today he'd be appalled at the intolerance and exclusivity. It goes against the entire spiritual foundation of AA. "more will be revealed to you" and it has. The times have changed. 90% of all people in rehab today are dual addicted. I fear the program I grew up with and loved so much over the years is teetering on the brink of collapse. I'd stay and fight, but my recovery is way too important to mess with so unfortunately I have to move to NA.

Anonymous
Drugs at AA Meetings

I agree with you 100% that the drug issue is going to sink AA, but NOT because people are talking about drugs at meetings, but because people aren't. I've been in and out of AA since 1984 and I am shocked at how much the fellowship has changed in the last 10 years. It is SO much more intolerant of any talk of dual addictions or co-occurring disorders. And the drop in membership is astounding. There are hardly any young people at meetings. It's become a fellowship of over 40 white males. And I think you can trace it all to the anti-drug movement that gained steam amongst the AA leadership in 2001.

I was at a meeting tonight and I mentioned the word drugs once and an old timer got up and walked out. Yet when he talked I guess it was ok that he mentioned such relevant issues like his unemployment, anger issues, and upcoming knee surgery. Think about how ridiculous this is people.

The unfortunate reality is that AA is just plain wrong on this issue. Yup, I said it. People, and Organizations, make mistakes. The US Constitution was amended several times. Bill W. dropped acid in the 50's on many occasions (maybe that's why he was so steadfast about keeping drugs and alcohol separate - it would have lost him 22 years of sobriety). We all know that if you're an alcoholic you can't do drugs, and vice versa. Addiction doesn't care - all that matters is the pleasure center in the brain is stimulated.

Frankly, I think the real issue at play here is classism and perhaps even a little bit of racism. There is no reason that one shouldn't be able to relate to any addiction story. What happened to tolerance? Yeah, I know, go to NA. But guess what? NA isn't in every town, and why should I have to adjust my schedule and censor my story when I am just as much an alcoholic as the next guy?

I think if Bill W. we're alive today he'd be appalled at the intolerance and exclusivity. It goes against the entire spiritual foundation of AA. "more will be revealed to you" and it has. The times have changed. 90% of all people in rehab today are dual addicted. I fear the program I grew up with and loved so much over the years is teetering on the brink of collapse. I'd stay and fight, but my recovery is way too important to mess with so unfortunately I have to move to NA.

Anonymous
Posting and Emailing

I see the biggest obstacle is getting AA members interested
enough to find and read the postings. I began a few months
ago to "talk up" the AA GRAPEVINE, at meetings as needing
support in the form of new subscribers. I use that opportunity to mention I-SAY. I am extremely grateful to
say that it is free, with no subscription required. I do
not take up a lot of time announcing it, and sometimes
just mention it when I share. At some point could you
share the trouble AA had in the 1940's. Did it result in
the formation of the traditions? ANONYMOUS

Anonymous
RE: Posting and Emailing

I wasn't around in the 40's but from what I have studied there was a lot of contention between the groups. Cleveland and Akron for example. Cleveland said Akron was too religious and followed the 4 absolutes of the Oxford Groups.
Also Hank P went to every group he could and bad mouthed Bill W. which caused a lot of problems.
Yes the problems did result in the forming of the 12 traditions.

Ray C.

AD010416
Offline
Joined: 2012-01-18
"What like one word

"What like one word difference??"
That's cute. It's all right to take one sentence and use it to rationalize turning a share from the topic of alcoholism to drugs, but asking about changing "we' to 'it' is nitpicking. Yet we hear over and over, "This is a 'we' Program."
Bill W. (of the "Next day found me drinking both gin and sedative." fame)wrote an article published in the February, 1958 Grapevine. It was considered important enough to be made into a pamphlet and published again in "The Language of the Heart."
It say, in part, "Sobriety - freedom from alcohol _ through the teaching and practice of the Twelve Steps, is the sole purpose of an AA Group." Notice he stressed 'freedom from alcohol' and said it is the sole purpose of a group.
I have yet to find a legitimate reason for AA to allow addicts to turn our meetings into Alcadictions Anonymous.
As Tradition Five in the 12 & 12 states, "Shoemaker, stick to thy last!" better to do one thing supremely well than than many badly. And the final paragraph on page 142, same book. "Never did he trouble anyone with his other difficulty."

Anonymous
What a difference one word can make.

In the original manuscript, chapter five read: Rarely have we seen a person fail who has thoroughly followed our
directions. Directions was changed to path before the Big
Book went to print. I believe this change is of great value. A path is different from directions. There is a
copy of the origional manuscript available for about
seventy five dollars. In today's AA we have changed "path"
back to directions. I suspect that many of the last
minute changes have been reversed. We were left a fellowship
of men and women by our pioneers. That has morphed into
a Twelve Step Program. Sad but true. ANONYMOUS

Anonymous
RE: "What like one word

Nearly the whole BB and definitly the steps are written in the past tense. It is because the forebearers are saying "this is what we did, it you and the same results you do what we did and it may work for you". If my brother and I build a house that you admire and want to copy we tell you what we did and give you the "plans". If you use wood instead of brick, cinder block instead of concrete, you may get a different result. When I change "we" to "it" it makes the telling of "my story" my story. Get it? In other words what "it" was like for me! I can't tell "our" story!

Ray C.

Anonymous
RE: RE: What like one word

Why not just explain how the house was built, and leave the plans on the table for the interested party to use, without
any qualifications? Attraction not promotion. Do we have to
say: this is what we did, if you want the same results, do
what we did and it may work for you. Why not simply say, this is what we did, period. We ought only share what we
were like, what happened, and what we are like now. Let the
newcomer decide all by himself if he/she wants to follow
our path. I will say: Attraction, absolutely without
promotion of any kind. This approach relieves the new
person of any guilt or shame. I drank a lot of times due
to shame and guilt. I think telling a newcomer to find
God and find Him now is harmful. To try to explain the
twelve steps takes a long time. Let the new person get
addicted to our fellowship and coffee. I hope this makes
a little sense. I am still trying to understand it. Thank
the newcomer for listening to us. This helps us to stay
sober. Allow the concrete foundation to set up before trying to build a house on it. ANONYMOUS

Anonymous
"One Word"

Dr. Bob said attraction for some people is sitting on the steps of the Alano club and waiting for a drunk to fall into their lap. He said that if you weren't promoting the program on levels other than press, radio, film and tv you were violating the tradition.

Wilhamena

Anonymous
RE: "One Word"

You must tell us where you found these sayings by Dr. Bob.True, initally Dr. Bob and Bill went out looking for drunks,but after AA was established and the word spread there was no need to promote ourselves. Bill W. went public at one point, promoting AA to the general public. He and his friends decided that promotion would harm AA in the long run. ANONYMOUS

Anonymous
"One More Word"

I'd either read it in the biogrophy of Dr. Bob, The book aboout Sister Ignatia, or heard it on a disc.

Wilhamena

Anonymous
RE: RE: "One Word"

Heard it from Dr. Bob's own lips on a casette tape.

Ray C.

Anonymous
RE: RE: RE: What like one word difference

You know what? Trying to explain myself in type is very very difficult. I guess I should have clarified the "plans" are the BB. All this going back and forth reminds me of one thing. Keep is simple. A person can be marooned on a desert island and get sober if they have a copy of the BB and read it. All this talk about whats wrong with AA reminds me that in truth the program of AA is the 12 steps of AA. If a person will not, does not, can not work/live/practice the 12 steps all this other stuff is irrelevant.
"If you want what we have" you will do what we did and see if it works for you. It is that simple!!

Ray C.

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