955 replies [Last post]
RE: poor me

Alcoholics are dying, someone wrote two hundred every day, their families and friends are suffering. Our effectiveness has been severely diminished by these
things you mention. Surely, you can find something more
constructive to do than to make fun of me. ANONYMOUS

re re poor me

I don’t think the guy is making fun of you as much as bringing attention to an important point. It’s my responsibility to bring my concerns about how to best carry the message to my group conscience meeting, or district or area if I wear one of those hats. I try to present it as convincingly as possible in a business like manner. If the majority doesn’t see fit to go along with it, it’s my job to accept that. Nobody gave me an exclusive on knowing God’s will for everybody. AA may be just fine the way it is right now or may need to run off a cliff before it can be replaced by something better.
I attend a couple of get-togethers a year that have both an AA and Alanon speaker. Learned that there is some co-dependency in this if not most alcoholics. The symptom shows glaringly in “If they would just listen to me (let me control them) then everything, including me, would be just fine”. Fortunately the same twelve steps works on that disease as well, I just need to recognize its symptoms. When I walk into an AA group, where everybody is required to be nuts to join, and tie my happiness to their behaving, I’m in big trouble. If I’m moping around feeling sorry for myself instead of being a living testament that the promises do indeed come true, I’m of no value to those dying, killing or being imprisoned every day.

Lies, worse lies and statistics

Who would have any idea of the number of AA members but AA groups? The last numbers I could find showed about 64,000 groups in the US and Canada with less than half of them contributing financially to the General service Office of Alcoholics Anonymous. If they won’t contribute a dime of support, what kind of information are they providing on membership? Sketchy to non-existent would be my guess. On the other end of the scale are groups that would contribute the best information available, but what would it be? Except for in some small isolated groups, I wouldn’t expect any to be able to provide a very good idea of a head count of members. It’s the nature of people to want to quantify things and the nature of AA to elude it. Also affecting membership numbers is a large part of the population that was exposed to and developed a drug of choice other than alcohol. And there are those, despite a loud and prolonged outcry to the contrary, who recover in Alcoholics Anonymous and get on with their lives. There are lies, worse lies and then there are statistics.

Membership Numbers

Our General Service Conference meets next week. 93 delegates
are gathering in New York to view the operations of our
General Service Board, our General Service Office, and
our publishing operations.
About two million dollars is spent on the conference
every year. To my knowledge the New York operation is
about a fifteen million dollar operation. I have seen
estimates of 22 million dollars annually. Our current
General Service Board continues to violate Tradition
Seven, by using profits from the sale of books and
literature to fund salaries and benefits. We are supposed
to be selling books and literature at the cost of
producing them, as part of our service to the public.
This enhances our image in the eyes of the public, and
prevents any interference in our affairs.
What is the product? We gain about 15,000 new members
a year, and have held that rate of gain for the last
few years. Why do we need a Conference? Bern Smith
answered this question sixty years ago; to spread the
word of A.A. to the alcoholic who suffers and may not
know there is help available. That is simply not true
in today's age of communication.
I believe that any person who has drunk themselves
into a position to need us, has heard of us. One of
my past delegates wrote that "what they have heard about
us" may prevent many from aproaching us." You might say, well,
that is a job for our Public Information Committees. We need
to inform prospects that we are not a religion or a cult.
Would it not make more sense to change the way meetings
are conducted, so there would be no reason for anyone
to think of us as a cult or religion?
Again, where is the product? Where are the results of
a two million dollar conference and a fifteen million
dollar operation. 15,000 new members a year. With 60,000
groups, that is only one group out of four gaining one new member per year. This is done by our local groups.
These are core problems which are not even on the back
burner. Our conference will spend much of the week discussing "The Plan". And congradulating themselves on
doing such a great job. And expressing great appreciation
for being "chosen" for such an honor. We are failing
hundreds of thousands of suffering alcoholics every year
by the way our meetings are conducted. And that failure
will continue for the next generations of sufferers.
Please re-consider postings this message before pressing
the delete button. Who am I kidding? You did not even
read this far.

Joined: 2013-04-29
cost of the conference

the cost of the conference is not $2M a year. i think it is less than half of that. blessings, L


This is another project for Corey. How much DO we spend
on the General Service Conference? It has been held in
two different locations in recent years. Why don't we
hold the conference in a different Locale every year?
Are we obligated to have the Conference in New York?
I do believe the cost is close to two million dollars
a year. As a conservative, it does sound excessive. My
State (area) could use the business. ANONYMOUS

RE: Membership Numbers

My heart is filled with gratitude. Thank You, Sincerely.

RE: RE: Membership Numbers.

Thanks for the thanks. But I cannot continue this
alone. Hopefully you are attending A.A. meetings. Make
sure your groups have regular group conscience meetings,
once a month if possible. Spend an hour a month with
group members discussing these questions: Why are we
shouting, chanting, yelling or hooting and hollering?
These rituals make us look stupid in the eyes of the
Why do we continue to read "How it Works" aloud at
meetings. Bill W. wrote in "Three Talks to Medical
Societies", that even he could not fully explain how
A.A. works. pamphlet (centerfold). This reading makes
an AA meeting seem like a church service. Separate A.A.
from church. The individual A.A. member can be as
religious as she/he chooses, but keep it out of A.A.
Tradition. Pray in your own home or church and do so on your own time.
Today's concept of sponsor is so distorted it needs
to be eliminated. Then the true sponsor will reappear.
There should be no hierarchy or patriarchy at all in A.A.
We all come together as equals. A spectacle ought not
be made of any member, newcomer or earlytimer.
Buy these books. Read and study them. The Language of
the Heart; Alcoholics Anonymous comes of Age. These are
the source explaining many of my concerns. ANONYMOUS

RE; Lies and statistics

64,000 groups in the US and Canada. In the past three
years we have gained about 15,000 new members each
year. Only one group out of four gained one new member
in a year's time. If a group cannot help and hold more
than one new member annually, something is awfully wrong. Sure, we stay sober just
by "trying" to help other alcoholics. Bill did that in
his first few months of sobriety. Bill said his approach
was wrong. He almost spoiled the whole thing.
But when Bill approached Dr. Bob in humility and
weakness, Dr. Bob responded favorably. Most A.A. members
have not a nodding acquaintance with humility, although
we think we have it abundantly. We preach humility but
have not an ounce of it ourselves.
It seems that our lack of growth and our failure
is evident to everyone except our own prideful members.
Is it possible that half of our A.A. groups are
practicing Concept Seven? Not all is in the Big Book.

Fellowship or fellowship?

In thinking about what AA is and or was, the comments about Fellowship and fellowship keep surfacing. The big book and the 12x12 use an F or an f for Fellowship. I thought I would see how often this happens, so I used a web site called 164 and more to search.
Fellowship is used 36 times in the big book and 12x12 and fellowship is used 21 times in those books.
In trying to avoid contempt prior to investigation, I looked up definitions for Fellowship:
1. A company of people that shares the same interest or aim.
2. A feeling of friendship, relatedness or connection between people.
Those definitions seem to fit well with AA.
As to the history of our Fellowship and the program or 12 steps of our fellowship, I am of an increasing opinion that the Fellowship and the 12 steps of the program were originally one in the same. Page 42 in the big book chapter “more about alcoholism” comes to mind. The first sentence of the second full paragraph states,” Then they outlined the spiritual answer and program of action which a hundred of them had followed successfully”.
From my experience and reading all the historical material I can get my hands on, for me I have come to believe the spiritual answer is the belief and surrender to a higher power of my understanding, and the program of action is the 12 steps that carry out the goal of surrender and belief in a higher power.
In our big book there is a chapter titled “there is a solution”. On the first page of that chapter there are a couple of paragraphs that outline the unity of our fellowship. It says that having shared a common peril is one element in the cement that binds us…. The tremendous fact for every one of us is that we have discovered a common solution.
Don’t let me or anyone else read your big book for you, please look for yourself. If you are thinking to yourself the big book is old and that’s not AA today, you could be right. However the big book still sells about 1 million copies annually and has sold over 30 million copies to date. The big book is and has always been the basic text that outlines AA’s program of action. To say otherwise would be very dishonest and misleading.
Please don’t take me too seriously; these are just my thoughts this morning. If my experience in AA has taught me anything, it’s that I probably will have a completely different view next year!
Gotta go, I get to pick up a sponsee for an early lunch before a noon meeting.

Fellowship or fellowship

Are we losing sight of keep it simple ???????
It was suggested to me that when reading
the Big book or 12x12 that if I stuck
to the black bits I would not go to far

RE: Fellowship or fellowship?

Corey, Can you research and find out how many times
fellowship in the earlier editions of the Big Book has
been changed to Fellowship in the fourth edition? The
preamble still reads fellowship, but will soon be
Fellowship. I can hear the comments "for God's sake",
what difference could that possibly make? You are
a thinker. What do you think?. I think we ought to
remain a fellowship. I think the conditions for a
true fellowship are best written in the chapter
in Alcoholics Anonymous Comes of Age. Thanks for your
sincere devotion to our precious life-giving, life-
saving fellowship. ANONYMOUS

Joined: 2012-01-18
Re: RE: Fellowship or fellowship?

Of course we must act on this danger to AA! People have died, wars have been lost because someone capitalized a word.
Next we can worry about how many times the word 'steps' is capitalized in AA literature and how many times it is written in lower case.


Jim: Alcoholics are dying because our fellowship has
morphed into a Fellowship. In the past three decades we
have "evolved" from a fellowship of men and women to a
Twelve Step Program, only one of many such Programs.
As a fellowship our membership continuously grew
at the rate of doubling about every ten years. We have
fewer members in Alcoholics Anonymous today than we
had twenty years ago. We boast of TWO MILLION STRONG.
We ought to have eight million. We had almost two
and a half million two decades ago. Something has
gone horribly wrong. What happened? Dogma and Distortion
have all but destroyed A.A. Now I can add distraction. ANONYMOUS

who are we?

Our traditions state that "Our leaders are but trusted servants" so we do indeed have "leaders". If that be the case it time for those folks to take a stand for our single purpose and do what the service manual says they are to do that being guard our steps and traditions. We seem to be trying to be all things to all people, allowing non-alcoholics to think we have a way out of any and all addictions. Not true! My sobriety is based upon my spiritual condition, if that is dogma so be it. We did not invent these steps they have been around for centuries, the fellowship that saved mine and millions of others evolved around the study and practice of this process we call the steps.
Open discussion meetings seem to be the most popular in my area, no one has ever explained to be the purpose of an open discussion meeting. My observations is that it allows non-alcoholics to participate and get the mis-guided impression that Alcoholics Anonymous can provide recovery no matter what the addiction. No Way! Please take a couragous stand for our SINGLE purpose. Ray

RE: who are we?

Ray? What is an "open discussion" meeting? What started out as a meeting open to the public, where alcoholism is discussed, and
friends and families of alcoholics could attend, like so many things in A.A. this has been distorted. At this open meeting potential alcoholics could attend to "check us out"
wiithout admitting to be alcoholic. They may not even know
if they are alcoholic or not.
Today's open discussion resembles an A.A. meeting only
a little. It is just a group of people where anything
and everything is discussed and anyone can take part,
alcoholic or not; thus an open discussion meeting. ANONYMOUS

open meetings

have we lost the fact that an open aa discussion meeting is just that an aa meeting. we discuss alcoholism at these meetings not drugs,sex court papers. if we discuss anything and everything it most certainly cannot be called an aa meeting.wil

RE: who are we?

Are we people who clap for others who survived getting out of a burning building they themselves burnt down ? - Are we people who praises sponsors? are we people who believes in God and can't rely on him so we call someone for relief instead - Who are WE surly has nothing to do with God wouldn't you say ?

RE; RE: who are we?

Who do we think we are? We expect praise and applause for
doing what millions of people do as a matter of course. We
ought to walk humbly under the grace of God, for those of
us who believe in God, and share the umbrella, even if
our religious beliefs are not similar. I love that burning
building example that you have used before. God bless you and the rest of us. We certainly need it. ANONYMOUS


A RECOVERING ALCOHOLIC AS FOR MYSELF. LIVING FOR ALCOHOL WAS MY DEPENDENCE TO KEEP ME GOING, A DRUNK THAT NOW HAS A GREATER POWER FROM SHARING THAT DRINKING IS NORNAL FOR ME. NOT DRINKING IS A NEW EXPERINCE THAT WOULD ONLY BE WITH SUPPORT AND GIVING ME YOUR INABILITY TO STOP ON YOUR OWN. We was alcohol. now a relationship to other drinkers like myself means learning to stop judgement of my sick thinking that takes a lot of higher power to give me release from a life style of not wanting know one else to hate me. A.A. gives me hope seeing people like me not drinking. the freedom to grew close to a personal praying as his power does create my advancement from his already all knowledge of my experiencing the day from going through it, he always does all beyond my wildest dreams, I AM SUPPOSE TO BE DRINKING AND HATING MYSELF, SOME ONE REALLY LOVES ME!

Joined: 2012-01-18
Upper Case or Lower Case

Alcoholics are dying, true but not because of some distinction between Fellowship and fellowship. It's because people are preaching that the Big Book doesn't have the answer, the answer is in the history books. It's because people are wasting so much time playing word games that the newcomers aren't hearing about recovery. It's because people are so busy coming up with what's wrong with AA that the newcomer doesn't get a chance to hear what's right with it.


Alcoholics are dying while we stand by with a life saving
measure. Families and friends of the alcoholic are frustrated and suffering. Half measures avail us nothing. The
Alcoholics Anonymous fellowship, in its entirety, offers a solution.
The Big Book may contain the answer but it is not the
complete answer. Bill explained this by saying that more
would be revealed. The Big Book is a mighty beginning. The
12 & 12 further explains the steps and explains the Traditions. Bill wrote the BB at less than five years
sober. Some may believe that Bill's hand was guided
by God. Bill wrote from his own experience, not by some
divine intervention. Bill's spiritual experience was
God given. Bill describes that awakening. I find it
interesting that Bill "watered down" his miraculous
experience in the big book. He used great care not to scare any future prospect away. We push them away at their first
meeting telling them they have to Find God and Find Him
NOW. I ask you to read those other books. ANONYMOUS

re fellowship

In comparing the number of Fellowship to fellowship between the 1st and fourth editions, I came up with the following numbers:
In the first edition the word fellowship capitalized or not is used 25 times. Of those 25 times it was changed from lower case to capital twice. I believe once on page 94 and again on page 96. I don’t know why.
The fellowship is used 32 times in the fourth edition. The 7 additional uses of fellowship are mostly in the preface, forwards to the second, third, fourth editions, and once in a note in the chapter to the wives.
My numbers may not be exact, so check for yourself. I used the web page 164 and more to search “Fellowship”.
I hope this helps?

About Traditions

Traditions,laws,customs,religion-they all resemble each other because they seek to perpetuate the past.Sometimes that's a good thing,sometimes bad.Let's not fall in love with ourselves, thinking that the dead hand of tradition will never strangle us as it has so many groups before.The most important AA traditions are not written-down:Meetings to abolish loneliness.Sponsorship to supply good orderly direction.Chairpersons to keep us from throwing chairs....AA Tradition 4 used to be a good one,but after much struggle to get our "4th.Chapter:We Agnostics Group" listed,it turns out we are not a group unless we've been awarded a group number.In my experience it is a distinction without a difference,like the difference between an AA meeting and an NA meeting:once you get past the rigamarole, you can't tell the difference.


P.T.Barnum is famous for saying "There is sucker born everyday" one of his lesser know quotes is, "You can't sell any peanuts till you get em the tent". The point is if you do not identify with alcoholics you probably will not stay past the "rigamarole"."Shoemaker stick to thy last" is what we better be doing or we will be of no help to anyone.
I could give flying burb less if you believe in anything let alone God, but don't screw up the fellowship and program that saved mine and million of others lives. Go start you own deal. Good Luck. M.


P.T.Barnum is famous for saying "There is sucker born everyday" one of his lesser know quotes is, "You can't sell any peanuts till you get em the tent". The point is if you do not identify with alcoholics you probably will not stay past the "rigamarole"."Shoemaker stick to thy last" is what we better be doing or we will be of no help to anyone.
I could give flying burb less if you believe in anything let alone God, but don't screw up the fellowship and program that saved mine and million of others lives. Go start you own deal. Good Luck. M.

All Before

Most comments I have been reading are copied and pasted here from a anti-AA site. Look for yourself, easy enough. It's unfortunate that this forum has been hijacked.

Before your comment:

Well my friend, in my humble opinion, you have really gone off the tracks with your post; but do keep trying.

If anything it is comments like yours that appear to hijack this site. What anti- AA site are you talking about? What comments have been copied and pasted to this site? You seem to be one who is talking in generalities that lack any credible evidence to support your claims.

Most comments I have read here have been well thought out, logical and supported by the Traditions as described in the 12 and 12, Big book and other AA approved literature.

These posts talk mainly about how today’s issues either detract from or reinforce the unity of AA. They are about the Traditions and that is what this thread is about.

The posts here talk about AA members experience and concerns regarding our Traditions; about how the Traditions are ignored, misunderstood or just plain violated by the majority of AA members.

They are about the problems that reflect little if any concern for the common welfare of our fellowship. They are about issues that threaten AA’s unity, growth, survival and the dismal recovery rates of our members, especially newcomers. They are about the issues that, over the past 20+ years, have resulted in millions of alcoholics failing to receive AA’s real message of recovery.

I for one have never cut and pasted anything to this site that was not my own work and I doubt that the majority of others have either. They are referenced to AA literature that supports the writtings.

I am so grateful to those who take the time to share by writing. By reading them I learn I am not alone in my beliefs and my resolve is strengthened to try and fix the problems.

Thanks for the part you play in my sobriety.

Mike B.
Oliver, BC.

re All before

I don't know what that means but that's OK.

A wonderful thing about anonymous postings on the internet is that the words have to stand on their own two feet. They gain no credibility from the lofty perch or personality that they came from. They could be from the Bible, Socrates, Charlie Manson's cell or the restroom wall. No one in their right mind would accept them as being factual without comparing them with their own knowledge or some verification.

I try to connect my posts to some well-established AA principal and spell out the connection to it. If someone doesn't like what I'm saying they don't have an argument with me (an anonymous internet poster). They have a beef with the principal. They certainly have a right to do that. Let he reader see both sides and decide for themselves.

It would be lovely to get

It would be lovely to get some feedback about an idea I am working on. Soon there will be a conference.Part of which will be the question: Should we change the short form of the eleventh tradition? The thought is that no mention of the internet allows for potential breaks of anonimity since the internet is not specifically mentioned in the short form of the 11th tradition.Be that as it may,the 12x12 says on page 14,the introduction:The 2002 general service conference discussed this issue and it was unanimously recommended that:"The text in the book twelve steps and twelve traditions,written by Bill W.,remain as is,recognizing the Fellowships feelings,that Bills writings be retained as originally published." What do you all think should happen?

RE; All Before

Bill W. wrote in the April 1963 edition of the AA
Grapevine, page 345 in The Language of the Heart, an
article: "Our Critics Can Be Our Benefactors".
If we are criticized by anti AA sites, we ought
to pay attention. If it is completely false we can
ignore it. But if there is any truth we need/ought/
must pay attention and make corrections.
Stop reading "How it Works" aloud at meetings. Remove the
24hr book from our rooms, Stop all forms of chanting,
stop sharing by "show of hands", delete today's form
of sponsor (if we do this, the real sponsor will
re-surface), stop the holding hands and praying.
These simple changes (reversals) will begin the restoration of the effectiveness of our fellowship
(not Fellowship) of Alcoholics Anonymous. ANONYMOUS

Tradition 4

Last week it seemed that a GSR and a DCM couldn’t read Tradition 4 on the sign on the wall. “HIGHER UP’S are looking into the problem and are writing to New York.” Doesn’t look that tough to me but that’s how it came down. Our central office is only an hour’s drive and I’m retired so I went and picked up a handfull of pamphlets “The AA Group”. A few people looked at them. The problem went away. I imagine that a letter from GSO will arrive in a few months encouraging the would-be leaders to re-read the tradition and maybe the pamphlet “The AA Group”. The dog barks, the caravan passes

Tradition 12

Last week a member shared an experience he had at another group in town. His second AA meting in his life. There, he shared among other things that he was going to counseling. For that he was interrupted by the meeting chair with something like “This is AA. We don’t want to hear about your council ling, or your lawn mower or any other stuff. You talk about your alcoholism here.” He’s never been back. He’s been a sober, contributing member of our group for about two years. Now it’s my turn to confront him. I think sharing a negative experience at another group, by name violates the tradition – “principals before personalities”. The principal is that there is another AA group in town. The personality is that there was a jerk chairing the meeting the day he was there. I try not to pass judgment based on that one experience. Contempt before investigation. If someone gets mad at us and is willing to give AA another chance before they give up completely, I want them to try that other group. Maybe the jerk over there got drunk, got better or maybe the two will connect like Bill and Doctor Bob. I’ll share this information with the guy, one on one, and he’ll likely leave out the name of the other group the next time he tells the story. We always open the meeting reading one tradition. I’ll toss in tradition 12 this week . A free bonus tradition today, no extra charge.

Chanting, prayer, the whole enchalada

Yesteryear’s AA does not exist. I can’t get sober in it. I can’t stay sober in it. I can’t carry any message in it. It’s gone. My recollection of it is flawed anyway. I compare what’s good about what I want with what’s bad about what I don’t want. If my recollection was unflawed and unbiased it wouldn't matter. It’s still gone. Tradition two tells me that what we do in THIS MEETING, RIGHT HERE, RIGHT NOW is driven by the conscience of this GROUP. If what’s going on violates AA’s principals, its counseling not AA, is not the way we used to do it (or any of a hundred other ways to say “I DON’T LIKE IT”) then AA has a very simple grievance procedure. If my clear, well researched, presentation of my grievance doesn't enlighten those who error in their ways (don’t switch to MY WAY) I still have options. I can change my thinking. I can leave. I can demonstrate that what I do has such marvelous results that no one can keep themselves from following my example. I can sit around feeling sorry for myself because I can’t get people to DO WHAT I WANT THEM TOO. If I opt for the last option and am the good AA that I think I am then I’ll quickly repeat 6 and 7 and God will happy to remove that self pity before I get drunk over it. Is that a WIN, WIN, WIN, WIN, WIN situation or what?

I don’t believe a two thousand year old prayer, thought by many to be handed down personally by the son of God, needs to be improved. If it did, would the world’s self-proclaimed all time losers be the best group to do it? I share this bit of genius once in a while in meetings. I stop at amen myself. I don’t use The Lord’s Prayer if I chair a meeting. It’s unique to only one religion, excluding all others, so I don’t think it belongs In AA. Most think differently. I don’t argue. Their thinking is as good as mine.

I didn't like holding hands with other men when I started either. I got over it. Didn't hurt me a bit. Found out where the discomfort was coming from. Got over that too. A new freedom delivered as promised.

The Prayer

Their thinking is a good as mine. I like that.

Yesteryear's A.A.

Alcoholics Anonymous of the 1970's does indeed exist. We
have a morning group where we do no chanting, and do not
"Hold hands and pray". We make a spectacle of no one,
and discourage anyone from making a spectacle of themselves.
We simply go around the room for sharing.
Recently, at the meeting a member from another group
attended and stated "my name is Mike and I am an alcoholic".
He was shocked that no one chanted HI MIKE! He repeated
himself, but still no one chanted.
It reminded me of the first time someone sitting behind
me at a meeting around 1980 when I was shocked by the first
Hi Joe! chant. Before that the meetings were reverent.
I am still trying to convince today's membership that
I have researched my grievances thoroughly. Chanting makes
us look like idiots in the eyes of the public. ANONYMOUS

Yes I agree Old School AA

Yes I agree Old School AA does still exist and works :-)

RE: Yesteryear's A.A.

"Alcoholics Anonymous of the 1970's does indeed exist..."

Reminds me of a submission to the Grapevine a while back. I think the title was "Out of the Mouth of Babes"

In a meeting someone shared (in wonderful, ambiguous psycho-babble) that they had been "...acting out some old behavior..". A newcomer with only a couples of weeks in asked "if you're still doing it, why do you call it old behavior?"

re out of the mouth of babes

very true! If I am still behaving that way, it is a current behavior!

re out of the mouth of babes

So true ! brilliant !

yesteryear's AA

Your last sentence is revealing. Since when does AA care what the 'eyes of the public' think of us? In many communities the public thinks that AA is a cult, for weak willed people, for those who are so morally bankrupt they cannot avoid the drink on their own.

If you don't like people acknowledging someone else in a meeting that's your opinion and right. You can always take your resentment, a pound of coffee, and a coffee maker down the street and start your own kind of meeting


Our public relations policy is based on attraction not promotion. We read that almost every meeting. It tells me we do indeed have a public relations policy and we do care about what the public thinks of us. We do not toot our on horn we rely on our friends outside the fellowship to do that for us. So in is imperative we inform the public as to what we do and just as important what we do not do. Hundreds of PI committees work tirelessly on those very items, maybe you might think of joining one of them. M

Joined: 2012-01-18
Re: Yesteryear's A.A.

"Alcoholics Anonymous of the 1970's does indeed exist."
Before you make a statement like that you should check your facts. I've been sober in AA since mid 1971. In my first two years I attended meetings in five states and three foreign countries, and the meetings I attended then are the same as the meetings I attend now. The Twelve Steps I used then are the same Steps I use now. The Twelve Traditions I used then are the same Traditions I use now.
Yes, there have been some changes. People introduce themselves as an alcoholic anda. Speakers use the first part of their talk telling the drunkalogs of any relative who ever picked up a drink. The most damage, by far, is that done by malcontents who spend all their time posting their complaints to forums like this one. The ones who know what will drive each and every newcomer who comes through our doors.
If AA is so messed up, why hang around?


Yes, Jim, the A.A. PROGRAM is the same as it has always
been. The steps are the same. The traditions are the same.
But first and foremost Alcoholics Anonymous is a fellowship.
At least it still says so in the preamble. It will soon be
changed to Fellowship. Alcoholics Anonymous has been changed
from a fellowship to a TWELVE STEP PROGRAM. That is the main
reason we are failing. Our fellowship was never meant to
be a TWELVE STEP PROGRAM. Sure, some alcoholics like yourself do find sobriety in a PROGRAM, but most alcoholics
approaching us are turned away/off by such an approach.
Spiritual pride is nauseating to most alcoholics who
come to us. They see it and feel it, although it is not
apparent to ourselves. We lack humility, although we
think we have it abundantly.
Why don't we try this: let us simply talk/share about
our own miraculous recovery and end it there. Thank the
group or the prospect for listening. Stop saying, WELL,
if you want what I have, you will have to do what I did,
and I will tell you how to do it. Of course that is part
of "How it Works". Stop reading it AT MEETINGS! ANONYMOUS

Joined: 2012-01-18
"Our fellowship was never

"Our fellowship was never meant to be a TWELVE STEP PROGRAM."
Just a guess, but it seems the only part of the AA literature you are familiar with is the Preamble to the Grapevine. I belong to several veterans' organizations where I find plenty of fellowship among men and women with whom I have much in common. A fair number of local AAs belong to the same organizations but that's not how we stay sober.
How about those alcoholics who don't have access to meetings? You'd just write them off, wouldn't you? Tough luck, maybe if they really wanted to get sober they'd move to a place where they could find meetings.
A few quotes you must have missed while you were so busy telling everyone what's wrong with AA:
To show other alcoholics precisely how we recovered is the main purpose of this book." ('precisely how we recovered' is italicized for emphasis).
"The tremendous fact for every one of us is that we have discovered a common solution. We have a way out on which we can absolutely agree, and upon which we can join in brotherly and harmonious action."
"Further on, clear-cut directions are given showing how we recovered." (I'll bet the words, 'clear cut directions' really tightens some jaws.)
"Once more: The alcoholic at certain times has no effective mental defense against the first drink. Except in a few cases, neither he nor any other human being can provide such a defense. His defense must come from a Higher Power."
"If you have decided you want what we have and are willing to go to any length to get it -- then you are ready to take certain steps." (What WE have, not what I have)
"At some of these we balked. thought we could find an easier, softer way." (Just going to meetings and telling everyone what's wrong with AA?)
"Though our decision was vital and crucial step, it could have little permanent effect unless at once followed by a strenuous effort to face, and to be rid of, the things in ourselves which had been blocking us. Our liquor was but a symptom. So we had to get down to causes and conditions.
Therefore, we started upon a personal inventory."
"Having had a spiritual awakening AS THE RESULT OF THESE STEPS we tried to carry this message to alcoholics....." How can we carry a message of a spiritual awakening if we haven't had a spiritual awakening? We might just as well insist the newcomers accompany us to church.
And from the 12&12:
"A.A.'s Twelve Steps are a set of principles, spiritual in their nature, which, if practiced as a way of life, can expel the compulsion to drink and enable the sufferer to become happily and usefully whole."
"More sobriety brought about by the admission of alcoholism and by attendance at a few meetings is very good indeed, but it is bound to be a far cry permanent sobriety and a contented, useful life."
Finally, your statement: "Spiritual pride is nauseating to most alcoholics who come to us. They see it and feel it, although it is not apparent to ourselves."
How can you possible know this, unless you have spoken to each and every alcoholic who has come to us?

Yesteryear ADO10416

"If AA is so messed up, why hang around?" Believe me, I have
asked myself that question many times in the past five
years. If I had no children and had no concern for future
generations of suffering alcoholics and their families,
I would/could just walk away. Many, if not most, alcoholics
have just walked away from what they find. Many leave due
to what A.A. has morphed into, a strange religious cult.
I stay because I still believe that A.A. can still be
saved. The greatest obstacle is convincing members that
A.A. needs to be saved.
We have at our fingertips, the greatest gift ever known.
We have a method of getting free from a life of misery.
We have a method of sharing that gift with others who
suffer our affliction, a technique that rarely fails.
Denial and apathy are our greatest enemy. I really
do not understand how posting concerns on this forum
could harm an alcoholic looking for help in an
A.A. meeting. ANONYMOUS

The whole enchalada

A truly informed group conscience ought to decide how to
close the meeting. Not you or any other member. If the
group votes to use the Lords Prayer in closing, that is
what should be done. Bill W. wrote a letter to his
friend Russ explaining why it is OK to use Christ's prayer
in closing. Search for Dear Russ Letter, Bill Wilson. I
found it very imformative.
It puzzles me that we close meetings with the third
step prayer, a personal prayer written by Bill. Bill
writes that it was meant to be taken with one other person.
or taken alone with God. I went to a four speaker recently
and we used the clock to close the meeting. "The meeting
has ended. You are welcome to have coffee and cookies.
So you got used to holding hands with men. How does
that help you to stay sober? I simply stopped holding
hands with anyone at meetings. I don't know where those
hands have been. Let's leave hand-holding to the romantics.
We started that ritual in eastern states in the early 1980's. How well has that blunder served us? ANONYMOUS

"So you got used to holding

"So you got used to holding hands with men. How does
that help you to stay sober?"

Perhaps it's not as much a method of maintaining sobriety as a symptom of sobriety "...we have stopped fighting anybody or anything."

"A truly informed group conscience ought to decide how to
close the meeting."

I couldn't agree more. I (and other group leaders)choose one of several traditional closings. Being rigid was one of many character defects that severely limited my participation in and enjoyment of life. I sometimes see that in newcomers and try to exhibit an example of freedom from these shortcomings.

RE: So you got used to holding"

To Rigid: I would like to inform you that "you (and other
group leaders)" do not form a truly informed group
conscience. Not even close.
So you have "stopped fighting anybody or
anything." If you were not trying to prove a point
you would not be here on this forum. We both want the
best for the future of Alcoholics Anonymous. We are
responsible for A.A. future. Will it survive or will
it die? I have come to see that our main point of
disagreement is in the method used to carry the message
to the alcoholic who suffers. You seem to believe that
we ought to teach. I believe it is the group's job to
teach, not you, me or any other individual. Attraction,
no promotion of any kind. I am not talking about
advertisment. I am talking about example. Don't tell
anyone in A.A. what to do. Tell them what we did and
what happened to us, and end it. ANONYMOUS

Joined: 2013-01-18
singleness of purpose-replying to Dr.V,,non-alcolic trustee

Sobriety-that is my single purpose.What is sobriety?Simple:"No drinky,no druggy."You can't have your cake and eat it(or drink it),too...Is there wiggle room?I'm not sure.But,for me,I'm not gambling.The only thing I remember from my first 20 white chips is:every time I gambled my sobriety("Well,AA says this is not a good idea,but here goes!"I lost it.To quote my first sponsor 20 years ago:"We all want something to take the edge off.You are not suffering from a librium deficiency."And:"If you smoke grass,you'll drink."He did.....................My sobriety doesn't qualify me to condemn anyone.I do resent anyone who tries to run anybody out of AA because they aren't a "pure alcoholic".Alcohol is a drug.Learned that in 6th.grade."Alcoholic"is an adjective,not a noun.We are alcohol addicts;therefore,drug addicts.These are the people with whom I identify.Running a crack addict out of AA is a cruel crime.A mind-altering substances is what got us all here.To quote my sponsor again:"Don't let anyone run you out of AA."KEEP COMING BACK

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