Traditions

930 replies [Last post]
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.

Anonymous
Enough Already

OK. I deeply appreciate your concern for our fellowship. If we had a lot more who have that passion for AA,we could do better at helping others. Mort J. sobered up
in 1940 in Calif with only the Big Book, and started groups
in Los Angeles. I believe alcoholics were getting sober
and were starting groups with nothing but the Big Book. I am sure that Bill W was pleased when he found out that
alcoholics were recovering without his personal help, just
using the Book.
I find this is much easier than face to face debate.
Believe me, I do both. I just don't think well "on my feet".
and I like to be able look up information. When I voice
my opinions and concerns at AA gatherings I do not debate.
I just state my ideas and let everyone else do the same
without interruption. Here on I-SAY we have the
moderator to keep us from attacking each other. I am
convinced that our purpose is the exactly the same. To
help save as many alcoholics as humanly possible.
ANONYMOUS

Anonymous
Only conference approved literature read at open meetings

In the 24 hours I’ve been sober, I have had the opportunity to attend meetings across the country due to my occupation. I have been in communities from one day to nine months. This experience has given me a great respect for group autonomy.
I have recently settled into a community and no longer travel as I did in the past. During a recent vacation I took the opportunity to visit each individual group in this city which has meetings scheduled daily at noon and at least once each evening. My motive was to get a feel for each group in order to guide newcomers to meetings they would feel comfortable in.
As I made the rounds to each meeting, I asked at each if they were open or closed since it wasn’t announced. After asking, I was informed that all meetings in the city are open except for two. Which I think is ok however I feel it should be announced.
The next custom I observed is that at each of the open meetings, Richmond Walker’s book “24-hours a day” (now printed by Hazeldon) is read at each meeting with no announcement that it is not AA conference approved literature.
I have no issues with Walkers book being read at closed meetings when coupled with a “this is not AA conference approved literature announcement” as long as the group conscience approves it. I do feel since the meetings are open to the public that reading this book as part of the meeting implies affiliation and endorsement (tradition 6 long form) to Hazeldon and Richmond Walker.
Each page of Richmond Walker’s book begins with a statement that States the date and “AA thought for the day”. I think this is contrary to tradition 4, by reading an AA thought for the day that AA doesn’t have.
After getting close with members of this AA community, it is easy to see how fond this area is with this particular book. I think it’s good as well. I just don’t think we should imply that AA has a thought for the day, or the particular meditation and prayers for each day as stated in Richmond Walker’s book. AA does however have several meditations and prayers listed in the book “Alcoholics Anonymous” and the “Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions”
I have heard that AA was given the opportunity to print Richmond Walker’s book, but turned it down because the 12 x12 was about to be printed. Does anyone know why aside from the reasons I have listed? All responses given by Members who have worked the steps, studied the traditions and concepts will be read with great diligence.
Thank you!

barleycorn
Offline
Joined: 2012-02-25
Reading non AA literature at AA meetings:

I don't see how the reading of non AA literature at any type of meeting (open or closed)conforms in any way with the 4th tradition.

What does the reading of non AA literature at meetings tell the newcomer or anyone else for that matter? In my opinion it says that AA literature isn't good enough for AA.

Does this practice not negatively affect other groups and AA as a whole? I think so and is totally unacceptable. Group autonomy not withstanding the fact still remains that the 2nd half of the tradition is being totally ignored!

Group conscience should be informed and this practice does not even come close to conforming to the standards of common sense.

Just like many other new style AA meetings and groups.... anything goes!

Anonymous
Conf. approved lit.

It is my understanding that Hazelton has indeed offered Walkers's book to AAWS on more that one occasion, after all we are about the only ones who buy the book. The reason it was turned down from what I have been told is because of it's recurring "Christian" overtones. I'm sure that the GSO archives desk can fill in some of these questions. Mike

curtis
Offline
Joined: 2012-02-01
I believe it was Walker

I believe it was Walker himself that offered the book to us, but the Confrence at that time felt that we would be better off to develop our own literature rather than accepting it from outside the fellowship. This precident has continued to this day.

Anonymous
Mike: Hazelden's 24 hr book.

I sincerely doubt that Hazelden ever considered giving
up the rights to the 24hr. book. They must have made millions on that book which is so popular with alcoholics.
I was going to write "Everything has a price", but that is
not entirely true. Bill W. refused that job at Towns
hospital, after his friends asked him not to take it. Bill
would have been secure financially for the rest of his
life. The word altruistic comes to mind. Bill was convinced
that taking that position would not be in the best interest
of AA. Bill and Lois surely could have been comfortable.
My point is that the 24 hr book was already a very
popular book and the profit for AA would have been great,
and the money was needed at Headquarters.
But Bill and his friends, along with the AA's
General Service Conference in 1954 refused to accept the
book, despite the obvious financial profit. They decided that the book was not what AA was all about. The Christian
overtones was the main reason. But there are other reasons
for the book's rejection. Take a real close look while you
are reading it. I read it almost every day and I suspect that you do the same. I would guess that most AA members
today use this book. Hopefully, the other 28 million suffering alcoholics in America have found another solution.
Those of us who remain are members of this strange new
religion. We have pushed all the others away. My conservative estimate is six million so far. They are
just not comfortable, "ready", for the Christain approach
to recovery. We push them away before they become ready.
I am convinced that if we use the approach developed by
Dr. Silkworth and Bill, that most alcoholics approaching
us will come to believe, if we feed them with teaspoons
instead of buckets: That One is God, may you find him NOW!
Those who do not come to believe can remain sober with us
in AA with whatever beliefs they may have (or none).
I doubt that any information exists where it is written
by Bill where it states that the 24 hr book was rejected
because of its religious nature. In my opinion, Bill trusted
that his view would be honored. Of course, today this book is as much a part of AA tradition as the Big Book.
I certainly don't have all the answers, but I do believe I have many of them. Most of this is my opinion,
but it has developed over a period of four decades of
sobriety. Some periods of time may have been "dry", but
I am convinced that dry is much better than wet. I have
found that GSO will gladly respond to any question by
regular mail. And I assume by email. Write to them. I
have found that a reply is almost immediate, and a followup
mailing is made after a thorough search is made for answers
to our questions. ANONYMOUS

AD010416
Offline
Joined: 2012-01-18
Only conference approved literature read at open meetings

On line AA forums are overflowing with complaints about holding hands, praying, reading "How It Works" and/or other excerpts of AA literature, dress codes, language codes, sponsorship, etc. etc. etc. "...we could increase the list ad infinitum," to quote another portion of the Big Book.
Yet the same gripers not only approve, they encourage groups to allow addictions to be discussed and shared in our meetings.
I suppose it's the typical mantra of the untreated, "If I do it everyone else does it, too, If I don't do it nobody else should, regardless of what the Traditions say. After all, I'm above the Traditions."
In "Problems Other Than Alcohol" Bill W. wrote, "Experience says loudly that we can admit no exceptions, even though drug users and alcoholics happen to be first cousins of a sort." Many societies forbid marriage between first cousins, for obvious reasons. AA should be no exception.

Anonymous
I agree that addiction should

I agree that addiction should not be part of AA. Lets revise the big book and take every reference to drug use or drugs out of it. We can then call the big book, "The little book".

Anonymous
Hazelden's 24 Hr A Day Book.

Look at today's reading. March 6th. God is mentioned by name fourteen times, eighteen times counting the capitol
pronouns. Many will say, so what? This is a God Program.
But Alcoholics Anonymous is not a God program. A belief in
God is a common side effect of the AA fellowship, not
the medicine. Bill W. was wise to reject this book.
How many times today will this page be read to alcoholics all around the world, along with "That One is
God, may you find Him NOW!? Even the Full Gospel churches
I have attended waited until the end of the service to
have the alter call. We proselytize at the opening of the AA meeting. We have the cart in front of the horse.
Manny Q.

Anonymous
RE: 24hr book and other literature

When a piece of literature is brought up for approval and it is turned down, (or voted in), do they have to give a "reason" for the approval or denial or just a vote??

Ray C.

Anonymous
Ray

That is a good question to ask of our General Service
Office. While you are writing, ask for a copy of the
membership numbers from 1935 to the present. Look at the
growth pattern for our first 55 years. A friend made a
line graph using the numbers which made it look even
more alarming.(to me). Please note that the first nine
numbers are every five years, after that every year. I
ask you to write for the list and examine it. ANONYMOUS

Anonymous
Hazelden's 24 Hr Book

I was at an AA meeting in Northern Virginia about five years
ago and was told by a member of the group that they no longer allowed the 24 Hour book to be read at their meetings. I was livid! How dare they ban a book which had
helped me so much for 35 sober years! My first little black
book was given to me at my second AA meeting. The price on
the inside cover was $1.75. After a few years in the
fellowship I bought them by the box and sold them at cost
or gave them away. I had been told that they were not
"conference approved literature". I did not know what that meant, but I kept the books separate from the approved
literature, and paid for them out of my own money. The
elders allowed me to display them at meetings but they
had to be on a separate table away fron AA literature.
Nothing from the 24 hr book was ever read aloud at AA
meetings. Three decades later the book was read widely, from the podium in meetings I attended. We often used
the page of the day for topic discussion. I could see
nothing wrong in doing so.
When I found out that AA memberhsip was declining,
losing a half million members in the 1990's and little
or no growth in the years after, I became concerned.
The study of Bill W.'s six months of what he called
"violent exertion" became of interest. I studied Dr. Silkworth's advice to Bill just prior to Bill's trip to Akron in 1935. Bill wrote that without that advice AA
could never have been born. This was the "cart before the
horse IDEA" advice. An understanding of this advice is
vital to the future of AA. If AA could not have been born
without it, AA cannot survive without it. Many will say,
"that is old horse and buggy stuff". Most members will
refuse to even bother to investigate. That is the "stuff"
that enabled AA to be born.
Some alcoholics respond to the "That one is God, May
you find Him NOW! approach. They keep up the appearance
that AA is working just fine. My observation and opinion
today is that most suffering alcoholics are turned away
from AA by today's religious nature. ANONYMOUS

Anonymous
RE: Hazelden's...Manny Q.

I like you Manny you say some good things. I like everyone on this board. I learn from everyone!
I did want to ask you though--do you know how many times God is mentioned in the big book!
A F.... Lot!! It is a God program, the good part is, (and this is what makes AA universal), it is a god of your own understanding!!
I don't care why the 24hr book was turned down, I just know it was! Therefore should not be used in an AA meeting unless
group conscience. Otherwise, people start bringing in Dear Abbey articles and everything else!
I was at an AA meeting one time and they gave the lead out of a paperback book! No one said a word! I was new at the time. Today I would speak up. I Am Responsible.

Ray C.

LAS24
Offline
Joined: 2012-03-07
topics

I see no reason why a snippet from any source can't be read, after all who knows where wisdom lies. I tend to read a lot and I often find myself relating to and finding bits of wisdom in some of the oddest places. One man's junk is another man's treasure. Who is to say that the newbies interest in Star wars or 24 won't help them, afterall AA doesn't hold a patent on these principles. Recovering alcoholics in all walks of life are sharing their stories and getting the message out to the masses of still suffering.

Anonymous
RE: topics

Recovering alcoholics in all walks of life are sharing
their stories and getting the message out to the masses
who are still suffering. There is one message: Alcoholics
Anonymous offers a way out of the suffering, for alcoholics
and for those who care for them. Our primary purpose is
to carry that message. How to best help the most is a
concern for most of us. I believe it is a single message,
and I believe we carry that message best by attraction
not promotion. ANONYMOUS

Anonymous
RE: Topics

We have to have some kind of guidelines. People would start reading out of the Bible, Koran, Medical Journals, Poems, Whatever! Our basic text is the book Alcoholics Anonymous.
We need to stick to AA philosophy. There are other programs out there if a person wants to be able to do whatever!

Wilhamena

Anonymous
Ray C

All my life I have had this desperate need to have everyone to like me. I still have the need but it is no longer that
important. I have lost many AA friends in the social sense
in the past five years, due to my concern for the fellowship
of Alcoholics Anonymous. No one likes to have his/her
basic beliefs questioned. Today(much of the time), I speak
up. Today I am responsible. I don't have to repeat my
concerns here. I have and will remain ANONYMOUS. Two and
a half men is one of my favorite sitcoms, second only
to Seinfeld. Manny Q. and Rose are synonyms. You had to see
the episode. I try to be funny at times. But I am often
advised not to give up my day job. So I am back to being
ANONYMOUS

Anonymous
RE: Ray C/Manny Q/Rose

I don't know you personally but one thing that is important is to like yourself, (I am talking about having good self esteem). If you have a belief, especially if you have studied it, researched it, talked it over with another and prayed about it then stick with it.
I too have been chastized because I am outspoken and opinionated about AA. AA saved my life and I don't like anyone F....... with it. My opinions are based in fact and I am a student of the BB and 12/12. I am certainly not always right but I try to know what I am talking about. You can hear a lot of BS in meetings but you will always find the truth about alcoholism in the book "Alcoholics Anonymous".
When I post here it is nothing personal I just try and understand a person's point of view. I was told "don't read between the lines in the BB because there is nothing written there". PS ( I like Seinfeld and 2 1/2 also), you are probably not old enough to remember some of the great sitcoms we had in the late 50's early 60's also.

Ray C.

Anonymous
Student of the BB and 12+12

I read these books for many years. I have studied the
steps and traditions in group settings. I honestly believe
that I understand the 12+12. In the past few years I have
taken a real interest in AACA and Lang, starting two Language of the Heart meetings a couple years ago. I just
recently was introduced to the 12 concepts. There are also
six warrenties. I have no idea what the warrenties are
all about. But I found the concepts extremely interesting.
The concepts seem to deal with our service structure.
As much as I loved AA when I came in, I have always
found things which bothered me. That is, after the first
three months of the wonderful "pink cloud". In that eurphoric state nothing bothered me. Being a non smoker,
I began to hate the cigarette and cigar smoke. Friends
tried the smoke eaters, and exhaust fan systems, but
relief was limited. Eventually I started a non-smoking
meeting where most members were smokers but they smoked
outside. The meeting lasted about ten years, until our
state ruled no smoking in public rooms. Smoking in the
rooms was a big issue for years, I suppose some states
still allow it. Hopefully meetings are available for
non smokers. But I wonder how many newcomers would be
offended if we order them to "PUT OUT THAT CIGARETTE".
Bill W. was a heavy smoker, and he sufferred in his
final years because of it.
What really is on my mind is this idea of conviction.
For years I questioned many of the changes I saw at the
group level. But I could seldom understand or justify
my concerns. I have always had trouble speaking, even
when I knew what I was talking about.
For example, I had this awful feeling about the
reading of How It Works at the beginning of meetings.
And it did start in my area in 1980. I made feeble attempts
to prevent it, but even with 10 years sober I just did
not understand the recovery method of our fellowship.
I eventually accepted this reading and would actually
stand up and read it loud and clear. I would emphatically
say THIS IS HOW IT WORKS!! I did not know that our
co-founder Bill W. had written in three talks to medical societies that even he could explain how AA works. Yet we
claim that we know how AA works. Bill wrote that we can
only disclose what we do and what seems to happen to us.
Bill called it a gadget or technique.
I understand today that How It Works is simply the
title of chapter five. To claim that we know how AA
works and that we have the ability to explain how it
works is simply not true.
I have heard that when someone is completely convinced
of something, it becomes easier. There is no doubt or
nagging questioning. I have also heard it called insanity.
I am convinced that these changes I have seen in AA
at the group level have severely harmed AA. By harm, I
mean that we are failing to help very many alcoholics in
AA today. We have the formula for the wholesale recovery
of men and women who are suffering and dying. We have
distorted this formula to the point where it is barely
effective at all. Sure, some do recover. Some alcoholics
will always recover, some on their own. We ought to have
an eight million head count in AA membership today.
Every AA member knows, or ought to know, that today we
claim two million members. We had almost two and a half
million members two decades ago. Something is seriously
wrong. I have two words I found somewhere: Dogma and distortion. ANONYMOUS

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