I'm finished. It started out with a few ideas on how AA might improve itself and it has gone to who knows more about AA history. I have already agreed on some topics but now you are brow beating. For 75+ years the program has basically, (not saying for eveyone but most), been read the big book, get a higher power and work the steps. Now it has to be leave the newcomer alone but have them read every book approved by AA so they can make a decision if they want to get sober but not work the steps or heaven forbid having a higher power.
No more from me on your subjects, go ahead and carry the banner. I don't think arguing on this web site for all the world to see is the best thing for AA. I am taking the high road and responding positively to the folks who want to get sober or have questions about the program as outlined in the BB. Adios.
Before I apologize, and I am sincerely sorry that I
have hurt your feelings, let me make one last correction.
The shares of the Big Book were turned over to the Foundation, later re-named The General Service Board of
Alcoholics Anonymous. This ownership change took place in 1942. The
board of trustees could change the wording in the BB
if they decided to. Bill relinguished his shares to
the Trustees, to the fellowship.
The shares mentioned in Bill W.'s will were shares
of the royalties Bill received from his work. If I
found this information, anyone here could find it. But
I hope that the Big Book is never re-written, although
there were some changes in the wording on the dust
cover which was changed, and is now being challenged
at this years's General Service Conference.
Again, Ray C. I am sorry I hurt your feelings. I
am saddened that I have lost another friend. I had hoped
that we would someday be on the same page. I feel we are still in the same book and maybe in the same chapter.
I look forward to reading your messages, although they
may not be written to me.
And I am almost done. I have written my concerns over
and over. I am elderly and have a lot of "loose ends"
to clear up. I may see very little reversal of the
blunders we have made. And these corrections may never
be made. The A.A. Fellowship of today could continue for
several more decades, stumbling along, spinning our
wheels, churning. Pride and the alcoholic EGO are
indeed powerful. But someday I hope to go to an A.A.
meeting and hear the chairperson say: We no longer read
"How it Works" here at the meeting; we have discovered
that it can be harmful to newcomers and other members.
And it goes against the advice given to Bill W. in the
spring of 1935. Bill writes many times that without
this advice A.A. could never have succeeded. And I fear
that if we continue to ignore that advice, Alcoholics
Anonymous will eventually vanish completely. Even
worse, we could continue churning, gaining enough members
to replace those who die or drop out. We push away most of
those approaching us by the way our meetings are conducted.
Those who are already here and those few who stay make
it appear that Alcoholics Anonymous is "alive and well".
Our membership numbers indicate that is simply not true.
That's funny because Bill W. mentioned his shares of the BB in his will.
Please read chapter seven in the book Alcoholics Anonymous, especially pgs 94 and 95. The whole chapter outlines the best practices for 12 step work.
Chapter 7 is entirely devoted to step 12. If I am practicing something different, as I have done in the past, I am only fooling myself that what I am doing is 12 step work.
Thanks for posting so we can have these important discussions!
I used to think that I could manage my own life and no one was going to tell me what to do. That was a lie! Alcohol finally one and I was flat on my feet. For the last six years I have been in the program of AA and thought to myself several times "Yeah, I can fool these guys all I want, but I'm still going to drink!"
Now after moving several times in succession, I finally realize that by admitting my hopelessness in this disease, I am finally able to have some peace of mind and make the decisions that help me to stay clean. The only one in control of my life today is my Higher Power whom I choose to call God.
As i was reading pages 84-88 in the bb this morning, I started to wonder how many other AAs start there day by reading these pages? i particularly enjoy the 11th step and how it tells me what to do on awakening. anyway, i was taught to read these pages as part of my 10 and 11th steps. after just reading it for awhile, i soon began to practice it.
The proposition of Step 2 is that faith in a higher power = soundness of mind.
how simple it is to sit behind the screen and admonish,complain,berate and critisize what we cannot either accept even more so understand from the situations of others who become members of AA.While truthfully most of what has been commented here,is of pure opinion, the hostility [behind those wanting to portray themselves as having been more succesful than others,or that their concise interpretation of the Big Book is superior]...is just breathtaking.Nothing is ever without contreversy,of that I am certain,but one could only hope that because AA was established in order to provide for those in search and need of much needed help,that it will remain despite its' ups and downs over the years, the place where we can go to for support and the chance for a new start.
Is it pure opinion that the effectiveness of AA has
diminished, if it is based on membership numbers from our paid staff at our General Service Office? We are EXcluding
most alcoholics who approach us today. That most AA members
today can deny or ignore our lack of growth, is what I may
call breathtaking. A better word is appalling.
There were no "ups and downs" until the early 1990's
when the dogma and distortion of the 1980's began to take effect. AA membership grew continuously for the first 57
years. If "each one reaches one" we would always grow.
To accept a loss of over half a million members in the
1990's, and our current stagnation, is also appalling.
There are over thirty million alcoholics in the US
today. No, I haven't counted them. They are on the loose.
We boast of TWO MILLION STRONG, worldwide. How strong are we today? Really??. Only one group out of four groups in the US and Canada could claim one new member in the whole year of 2010. Do the research. Yes, just sitting behind the
screen is fairly easy. And a lot of information can be
found this way. Try telling a group that reading HIW aloud
at meetings is harmful, and most will chant you right the door. But I refuse to be bullied any longer by loud personalities at meetings. Here, I prefer to remain ANONYMOUS.
Your tiresome editorializing all over the different I-say sites is becoming a real boar.
Nobody in AA should be telling anyone what to do, and if they are they should be gently corrected, pointing to page 59 in the BB where it clearly states " Here are the steps we took, which are suggested as a program of recovery". Many of us have (like you) seen family and friends die from this disease and we are hurt every time it happens and it reinforces the deadly nature of this disease. Some people need to hear that these are just suggestion much like its only a suggestion that you pull the rip-cord of your parachute.
WE DO NOT push anybody away. They stay or they don't, their choice. They've hit bottom or they haven't. They want what we have or they don't. To do 90 in 90 IS useful in establishing a habit of attendance but it's still only a suggestion. Reading the Preamble, How it works and the 12 Traditions is something the newcomer need to hear and yes They are the most important person in the room (not you). Keep coming back it works are not chants and the Serenity prayer is that, a prayer
I don't know if your just a dry drunk or a bleeding Deacon or you just want every thing done your way. Read page 61. Do you see your self in there?
My little town has over 50 meeting on any given day One of them is call the Happy Heathens, If you don't like the way things are being done in the meeting you attend then I SUGGEST you start your own and do it your way and see who comes. Just a thought
I don’t find the writer the least bit tiresome, quite the reverse in fact. I am enlightened by what he says. It is good for me to know that there are others who also share my concerns. If he reads this, then I say thank you.
It is easy to accept the truth and to speak it when it brings comfort. It is easy to resent the truth and to silence it when it brings discomfort. Truth, comforting or discomforting, will always come out in the end. The growth and well being of AA will always depend upon how well each new generation is willing to accept the truth, take inventory of itself and then to correct its faults.
I am grateful that I got sober in the days before the internet. Back then there was no coercion for newcomers to get a sponsor, or for them to take the steps before they were ready to. The 1940s AA slogans “Easy does it.” “Live and let live.” still meant something. Newcomers decided in their own time and manner. There was no conformity to ritual, yet all the meetings were more or less the same. There were no special purpose groups, no religious emotionalism, no outside literature, no speaker recordings, no greeters, no holding of hands; no question of unity.
People talked with humility, of their sordid drinking, of themselves, without exhibition. They did not talk of what their sponsor said, nor did they entertain; nor pride themselves with their knowledge of the Big Book. They did not pride themselves with their having had a spiritual experience, nor how they pray and meditate; nor did they pride themselves on how many years they had been sober. There was no sponsor worship, no old timer worship; no guru worship.
I have seen the changes in AA and I do not think they are good. These changes are producing emotional experiences instead of spiritual awakenings; dry alcoholics with half cracked egos, emotionally dependent on amateurish teachers and preachers; emotionally defensive of the dogmas they have been taught. They have not yet experienced the truly open mind, humility and tolerance that is associated with a spiritual ego deflation at depth. This writer gives me hope that AA still does have a good future, if it can but stay on its spiritual foundation of placing principles before the personalities who seek to gain power, prestige or money.
There is another alternative to being a dry drunk or a bleeding deacon and that is to be good leader. So, I hope the writer continues, regardless of those who, as Bill W. put it: “pitch gobs of rumors, gossip, and general scuttle-butt to gain their ends --- all for the good of A.A., of course!” Not all is in the Big Book. It is but a beginning.
(Bill W. quote from “Leadership in AA: Ever a vital need” Concept IX, The AA Service Manual Combined with the Twelve Concepts for World Service pp 36-40) http://www.aa.org/pdf/products/en_bm-31.pdf
Thanks for the encouraging posting. I knew there had to
be someone "out there" who understands what I have been
"catterwauling" about. You see, I do believe we should have
eight million members in Alcoholics Anonymous today. We
have failed six million sufferers plus their friends and
families. One of those who died was the child of my next door neighbor. It was her death that propelled this obsession in me. It was further fueled by the near-death of
my son from addiction. I have three grown children who have never seen me drink. But they have my bloodline. I fear that all three will need an adequate fellowship someday.
I find that our greatest mistake is ignoring Dr. Silkworth's
"cart before the horse" advice to Bill W. in the spring
of 1935. Most of our mistakes have developed out of
that one blunder. When I finally understood why Bill and
his friends rejected the 24 hr book, I also understand
why reading How It Works at meetings is so harmful to A.A.
as a whole. We have actually changed a fellowship of men
and women to a twelve step program, only one of many. But
I just keep repeating myself. Many thanks. ANONYMOUS
Wow, you must really be an oldtimer! I'm impressed!
No "...outside literature, no speaker recordings, no greeters, no holding of hands; no question of unity."?
I'm a bit of a newcomer, but I remember buying "The Little Red Book", "Stools and Bottles", "The Eye Opener" and Twenty-four Hours A Day", all published by Hazelden.
I have a copy of a (recorded) talk Dr. Bob gave in Detroit in 1948. I have copies of some of the (recorded) talks given at the 1960 International Convention.
In 1972 a friend loaned me two tapes of AA speakers to take with me on a ten month shipboard deployment to the Far East.
Between July, 1971 and June, 1973 I attended meetings in five states and three foreign countries. I don't recall a single one where I wasn't greeted by someone. Not all of those meetings closed with members holding hands, but a great many of them did.
I will agree, in my early days we had no computers or cell phones. On the plus side, we didn't have people calling themselves concerned AA members while complaining about what's wrong with AA.
You may have misunderstood the writer's mentioning of
the 1940's slogans of Live and Let Live and Easy Does It.
I suspect he entered A.A. about the same time as you;
the early seventies. A.A. at that time was a fellowship of
men and women. Today's A.A. is a TWELVE STEP PROGRAM, only
one of many. Rose
These changes in Alcoholics Anonymous have taken place
in the past 30 years. I was well aware of the changes as they were taking place (and I did not like them), but I
did not recognize them as being so devestating to our
fellowship. Although I was uncomfortable with the changes,
I just did not understand why I hated them so much. So
I just accepted, and went along with the "herd". It
was not until about 2005 that I realized that A.A. was in
trouble. It was then that I saw the meetings in my area
not only not growing, they were actually shrinking. (Some
may say maybe it is your fault). And I am as much to blame
as anyone else, because of my fear of standing up and
The meetings of the 1970's were all basically the
same, unity, not conformity.
I believe that it is the duty of every A.A. member
to speak up (complain), when they question rituals and
customs which may be in violation of the other two
thirds of the fourth tradition. ANONYMOUS
I am glad you are sober today. I agree with what you said and you will grow by attending meetings in different locales, and by reading the Grapevine. In one spot the person writting says fellowship is the key and another says greeters are wrong! Folks who have this kind of thinking are either confused, senile, have Alzheimers or are trouble makers who just like an argument.
I agree the chanting is not appropriate as it sounds sect like and I don't want AA to be a sect.
But thinking that reading anything from the BB in a meeting or suggesting someone works the steps or finds a HP is harmful to them is rediculous. That is the AA program for crying out loud!
An automatic response by a group is chanting. This began
simply by one person, not the chairman, responding Hi. Joe!
when Joe states that he is an alcoholic. Joe is admitting
that he is an alcoholic and is admitting it to the group.
The one member responding soon became the group chanting
in unison; Hi! Joe!
Do you have any particular reason why you do not like
this ritual? Do you think it harms A.A. as a whole? Do you
think chanting ought to cease? If so have you made any
attempt at eliminating it in your groups. Do you still
attend meetings? Do you make your opinions known at the
group conscience level?
A.A. friends have told me that if I don't like the
chanting, to just cover my ears. But my main concern is
that this ritual makes us look foolish in the eyes of
the public. I have often written about the A.A. friend
who was watching a tv program portraying an A.A. meeting.
She said that her non-alcoholic husband actually laughed
out loud when the group chanted Hi! Joe!. He sarcastically
asked: Is this the A.A. that you are going to.
This one thing is important, and it seems to be the
only thing we agree on. So let's start here.
Dale Carnegie wrote about the importance of remembering
friend's names. One way is to repeat the name of the
person. That may have been the way it was justified in
the beginning (around 1980 in the Eastern States). Today
the repeating of ones name has become chanting, shouting,
hooting and hollering. This harms our public image. Some
members may think or say: what do we care what the public
thinks. Besides, the first tradition tells us that the
individual has the right to think, talk and act as he
wishes. So how do we stop the chanting? I know it can be
eliminated. No one at our AM meeting chants any more.
They realize how stupid it sounds. When someone who is at
the meeting for the first time chants, the rest of us
realize how foolish it sounds. The new member soon
catches on and remains reverent. We have to start somewhere
to "try to turn this ship around", using the words from
my area delegate. Let's start here. ANONYMOUS
A lot of folks are caterwalling about AA's lack of growth.
If AA's growth is lacking who is to say it's AA's fault??
There are so many possibilities out there it is astronomical. Maybe more people don't care if they die nowadays! Maybe more poeple don't have the fundamental belief in God that the BB talks about! Most say that numbers are down for church attendance. With the broken homes nowadays a lot of people have never been to a church or synagogue or whatever! A lot of young people have never given a thought to God. A lot of folks nowadays are left to fend for themselves and have the belief they have to do everything on their own! A master of my own destiny crap! Drugs and booze are much too easy to get now. Parents holding partys for their kids to teach them to drink. Drugs pouring into the country like crazy. Hell no one even reads anymore! How can you tell them the answers are in the book when the can't read or are too lazy to read it!
If an individual wants to sober up. If they are tired of their life and want to change they will do something about it whether it is AA, counseling, church, RR or some other thing that they think will help them they will do it. All we can do is be the best AA's we can be. Read and follow the BB and the steps and traditions. Always keep the newcomer in mind. Put the hand of AA out and be there. Then anyone who comes into the rooms will have a chance! No one person can make another one get sober. The individual has to want it! They are welcome in AA but if they think there is another solution they can try it! All I know is I wanted it and it worked for me but I took action. I did what I was told to do. I know this program will work for anyone who admits they are alcoholic, surrenders, becomes willing and takes action! Stop walking on egg shells and tell the newcomers the truth. You may hurt their feelings but you can save their lives!
Ray C, I am in total agreement with your content of your letter dated Feb 22, 2012! I could not have put it any better myself. The program works if you work it! Kelly J.
"A lot of folks are caterwalling about AA's lack of growth."
?? Where are they? Our chairman of the board of trustees
and our GSO manager have acknowledged our lack of
growth over the past few years. They are hardly caterwalling. Most who appear to be concerned seem to have
an "Oh, Well, attitude. We are not the only "game in town".
The truth is that hundreds of thousands of suffering
alcoholics are approaching AA every year. We fail them
because of the way our meetings are conducted. Our foolish
pride and the alcoholic ego refuse to let us admit our
blunders. I have been caterwalling about five years now.
Maybe someone will start listening soon. ANONYMOUS
I had to look that one up. As a high school dropout,
my vocabulary is limited. It is a perfect discription of
my persistant negativity. I have written about one of our
worst mistakes in AA in the past three decades, at least
a hundred times. I have yet to read a message from anyone
who agrees with me. Several groups in my local have deleted
the reading simply because it is too time consuming. No
one seems to understand the basic reason this reading at
meetings is harmful. If we can somehow develop an understanding of why the 24hr book was rejected by Bill W.
and his friends in the early 1950's, we can move closer
to understanding why the reading of HIW at AA meetings has
been so tragic. We are trying to feed newcomers with buckets
instead of teaspoons. Most of us elder statesmen are fully aware that God is the central core of Alcoholics Anonymous.
(I do consider myself an elder statesman, sometimes just an
elderly statesman). But in the true AA method, we share our
own experience, strength and hope, and explain our own
spiritual (religious) experience. We do this in a manner
which does not even imply that anyone else has to the same. If we are attractive enough, hopefully the new person
will want what we have. But we are not to cram anything down
anyone's throat. How could the truth harm anyone if we simply share about ourselves? No one's feelings could be
hurt, if we follow the true AA approach (method). We do not
need to walk on egg shells at all.
Yes you are correct. Very few people read these messages
and most do not understand them. But someday, sooner or later they will. By caterwalling, maybe it will be sooner,
and more suffering alcoholics will be saved. I am sober.
"I've got mine"! who cares? I have heard members say. I
have no "ax to grind". My life was saved by the origional
true AA fellowship. I have lived a wonderful life because
of Alcoholics Anonymous. And I do have a precious yellow
cat. Caterwalling certainly describes her at times.
I believe we share the same purpose as most AA members:
to help as many suffering alcoholics as possible. How we
go about that, will always be our concern. I suspect that
we are in the same book, and will someday be on the same
page. Ten years ago I could have written most of the
rebuttals I receive today. I had only skimmed over our AA
origination and history. I have spent the last years
doing the research. The turning point was the death of
a fellow AA member on her 24th birthday. AA failed her.
My obsession was further fueled by the near death of
my son, who was turned off by today's AA.
Some times I doubt that AA will ever return to any
degree of effectiveness. But Bill W. had faith that
faults in AA would be self-correcting. Bill often wrote
that we will remain as long as God needs us. Maybe our
time of usefulness has passed. I think NOT. ANONYMOUS
I have never seen a yellow cat. You must have meant
an orange cat. I guess we all make mistakes in our progress
not perfection. Manny Q.
Sorry about mispelling Caterwauling I type fast and mispell words sometimes. I don't get the harm in reading How It Works out of the BB. I don't see how anything read from the book aloud in a meeting would hurt anyone.
Some day you will see. Just never give up the enthusiasm you have for our fellowship. I didn't understand it until I was thirty five years sober. Please don't wait another 15
years. I see that everything has its proper place in the
big book as well as in the 12+12. The proper place for
How it Works is in Chapter Five. Bill placed it there
for a special, timed effect. Read pages 159 and 160 in
Alcoholics Anonymous Comes of Age. Bill wrote: The
backbone of the book would have to be fitted in right
here. This problem had secretly had worried the life out
of me. end writes. I am still amazed that Bill had the
insight to place it there. Bill W. had insight which
I believe beyond human. Dr. Silkworth and Bill developed
this unique technique of reaching the still suffering
alcoholic. All we have to do is follow the path left for
us. To do that we must understand that following a path
is not the same as following directions.
And thanks for the new word, however it is spelled.
It certainly describes me for over five years now. My
cat eventually gets my attention, by not giving up.
when an alcoholic is relieved of his/her obsession with dry drunk behavior the insane mind that led to the first drunk to begin with....
The alcoholic mind has trouble following directions. Whether sponsoring or being sponsored, willingness to follow directions brings success.I can't change how other people think or act or mess with the complicated processes outlined in the steps.Many people sent to AA by outside entities have not had the experience of desperation or made the cry of the soul that led me to AA and the willingness to follow directions.It is a waste of my time to criticize how "they" do it. I can't pass on the lifesaving messages and criticize at the same time. I have to ask HP to direct me and give me the focus and willingness just to help others according to the Divine Will. Thank you HP for 8,084 days of sobriety!
SEEMS YOUR SOBER MIND NOW HAS TROUBLE TOO !
Some are mentally disordered and need the outside sponsorship systems help if they cannot be honest with themselves and surly God.
I get so tired and sometimes amused by those who feel their way is the only way to work the program and others ideas are simply not worthy of consideration. When I came to the fellowship, thank God there were those around me who offered love and understanding despite of my early fumbling words. They allowed me to say what I felt at the time and helped me find a way to stay sober without the constant critizisms I see and hear from those who are so sure theirs is the "only" way to stop drinking. I was allowed to "grow" at a pace instead of being told how to do things anothers way which may have gotten me drunk. I was told by an "old timer" to get honest, I WAS honest at that time and was sad to hear that the same"oldtimer" died drunk doing things his way and not listening to anyone but his own voice. Thank God for those who listen and allow others to grow at Gods pace, not theirs.
Why does the outside sponsor system insist you have to take the steps with them?
Step 1Cannot person willingness see they are alcoholics/
2Does one have to be tricked into believing in God by another?
3connot one turn there life to God without an in between interference?
4 How can someone help another with there past when they weren't even there?
Surly an outside system around A.A. that diverts most and encourages the sick, sober.
Step 1: WE admitted WE were powerless over alcohol. I did not know what was wrong with me. When I came into AA I was full of fear, afraid that I was going crazy. I was very glad to find rooms of people that felt and acted similar to me and I came to the conclusion that I too am an alcoholic after reading the Doctor's Opinion by the time I was half way thru reading the Big Book.
Step 2 does not mention God at all. All I had to do was come to the conclusion/belief that there was some type of power greater than myself. I do not cause the earth to orbit the sun. I cannot make it rain. I cannot avoid paying taxes.
Step 3: Made a decision to turn our wills and our lives over to the care of God (your higher power) AS WE UNDERSTOOD HIM. The decision is mine to make and mine alone. NO ONE can MAKE me do this.
Step 4: Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves. My guide in the program helped me see myself thru my own bullshit. Yes, I was still trying to bullshit even myself. My guide in the program helped me to see patterns in my behavior and thinking and helped me to to dig deeper to find basic traits such as self-centeredness, jealousy (to name just a couple) that was common in several of my 'events' in my life.
My sponsor helps me by freely giving me their experience, strength and hope. My sponsor helps me by giving me SUGGESTIONS in how to work the steps.
I SUGGEST you find a guide/sponsor to help you find answers to these questions that you posted. All I have done is give you my experience with the first four steps.
"The dicision is mine to make and mine alone". I will copy a paragraph from Language of the Heart Page 8, written by our co-founder Bill W. Quote: Ultimately these truths govern his life and he comes to live under their authority, the most powerful authority known, THE AUTHORITY OF HIS FULL
CONSENT, WILLFULLY GIVEN. He is ruled, not by people, but by principles, by truths and, most of us would say, by God. end quote.
None of us ought to cram the steps down anyone's throat.
The reading of How it Works aloud at meetings does just that. The freedom to work the suggested steps must again become the individual's decision. The general public
must be assured that we are not some kind of strange religous TWELVE STEP PROGRAM. The effectiveness of Alcoholics Anonymous can be restored, if we study and
understand this. ANONYMOUS
I am glad there are a few alcoholics who have remained, despite the incessant chanting and praying at the AA meeting of today. Add the redundant readings day after day and today's concept of sponsorship and I am amazed that anyone stays. After twenty years of listening to HIW and the other readings day after day, I am surprised that anyone
remains. Even Bill W. wrote that there are as many varieties
of spiritual experiences as there are people who have had them. In my region many of us are christians and we express our beliefs when we share. If a nonbeliever can
love and tolerate us, we can love and accept anyone with
a desire to get well. AA was never meant to be a TWELVE STEP
PROGRAM. Alcoholics Anonymous is a fellowship, as defined in
AACA in the chapter "A friend looks at Alcoholics Anonymous.
When and if we ever understand this, maybe AA effectiveness
can be restored. I personally fear that we are headed down
a dead end road of self-destruction. ANONYMOUS
"AA was never meant to be a TWELVE STEP PROGRAM. Alcoholics Anonymous is a fellowship, as defined in AACA in the chapter "A friend looks at Alcoholics Anonymous"."
Alcoholics Anonymous is a fellowship which has a twelve step program of recovery.
One can find fellowship in churches, service organizations, or any gin mill in town.
"Alcoholics Anonymous is a fellowship which has a twelve step program of recovery. One can find fellowship in churches, service organizations, or any gin
mill in town." REALLY? That is not what OUR preamble says.
Sorry chap. There is only one way to work the program; by doing the steps out of the Big Book with a sponsor. There is no timeline, Just action and more action for the rest of your life.
Sorry chap. There is only one way to work the program;
who is this out of control freak menacing force? some poor sponsor who can't understand the Big Book so they interpret it so they can impose on others. There are many ways, without God fear drives one to people, place and things. there are many substitutions for faith there is none for God. keep coming back
Sorry chap "There is only one that one is not a sponsor - that one is God may you find him now. Trust in God and clean house and share with anyone who understands not pretends or delusion-ally conditioned to ignore the pertinent ideas of A.A.
What step what Tradition are people in A.A. talking about when a sponsor is a requirement to take the free steps? Take a closer look at the uninterpreted A.A. version in the 164 pages of the book - The word is not even their YET.
It is this kind of belief that has caused the near collapse of our fellowship. Comments like this still make my blood boil. I estimate conservatively that we have failed six
million suffering alcoholics in the past two decades with
this kind of thinking. Plus their friends and families.
The Big Book was meant to be suggestive only. The 12
steps are for those of us who choose to use them. They are
but suggestions. To push them on any new member is harmful.
Bill W. leaves us vital information on page 8 in Language of
There are many who think like you. It is frightening.
A common misconception by those who have never actually read thee Big Book but repeat what someone else said: "The 12
steps are for those of us who choose to use them. They are
The Big Book actually says,"Here are the steps we took, which are suggested as a PROGRAM OF RECOVERY." Look up 'suggested' in a dictionary and you'll understand that the steps are offered, in their entirety, as a means of getting and staying sober not as a list of some things we might do if we feel like it.
As for the quote, "The Big Book was meant to be suggestive only." Another sentence taken out of contest by someone who refuses to follow AA's program.
The next sentence says, "We realize we know only a little."
When the book was written AA was three years old. Until then there was no 'Twelve Step Program.' By admitting they knew only a little they did not come off as saying AA was the only way to get sober. Oddly enough, three quarters of a century later science still hasn't come up with a more successful method.
The book Alcoholics Anonymous is not the Truth with a capital "T." You can interpret it and the steps outlined in it and the 12 & 12 however you want, you can even believe that your interpretation of both is as "divinely inspired" as you believe these texts are. But I know many happy and content alcoholics who have been sober for decades without belief in a Judeo-Christian "god," and some without doing the steps at all, others without doing them in a fashion that most Big Book thumpers would view as being per Hoyle. They too are members o AA by virtue of the 3rd tradition. I happen to believe that working the steps as I understand them has helped me stay sober and relatively content, but I would never presume to tell anyone that they have to work the steps, nor what the steps mean (other than what they mean to me), nor how they should work them. If anyone asks, I merely tell them what I have done, what worked for me and what didn't.
I believe that the formation of Alcoholics Anonymous was the greatest gift to the alcoholic since the beginning of
The Washingtonion Society, a decade and a half ago. The Washingtonions almost had the solution to the dilemma of the alcoholic sufferer. But it slipped away because of blunders that they made. I have heard estimates of up
to half a million members. They collapsed after 10 years.
The mistakes were not intentional, but they were fatal.
Bill W. writes on page 345 in Language of the Heart that
AA's principles, EVERY ONE OF THEM, has been borrowed from
ancient sources. The 12 steps have been around for centuries, although not written as they are today. This is
the approach of religion and has always worked for some
alcoholics. Bill W, acting on the advice from Dr. Silkworth,
aided by Bills own desperation, developed a new technique,
or method of approach. This method, after being hammered
out on the anvils of experience, proved to be effective
for the wholesale recovery of alcoholics. Alcoholics
anonymous membership grew continuously for over five
decades, until we started making blunders of our own.
These blunders have been listed on the I-SAY forum many
On page 68 of Dr. Bob and the Goodtimers I will copy
a paragraph defining his meeting with Dr. Bob.
Describing their talk as "a completely mutual thing" Bill said, I had quit preaching. I knew I needed this alcoholic
as much as he needed me. THIS WAS IT. And this mutual
give-and-take is at the very heart of A.A.'s Twelth Step
work today. (In theory). We ought not be cramming the
twelve steps down anyone's throat. Bill W explains this
on page 8 in Language of the Heart. ANONYMOUS
Anonymous writes, "We ought not be cramming the
twelve steps down anyone's throat. Bill W explains this
on page 8 in Language of the Heart."
Granted, the first sentence in that paragraph states just that. But it goes on to state that "Yet we powerfully unite behind them because the truth they contain has saved our lives. ....... Our experience tells us these universal truths work."
On page 223 of the same book Bill wrote, "Sobriety - Freedom from alcohol - through the teaching and practice of the Twelve Steps, is the sole purpose of an AA group."
Note "teaching and practice" and "sole purpose".
Big Book, page58:
"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."
In other words, if you aren't ready to take the steps you must not be willing to go to any lengths, which means you probably don't really want what we have.
The Washingtonion Society, a movement akin to Alcoholics
Anonymous, almost found a solution to alcoholism. It began
in 1850, over a century and a half ago. Bill W. and Dr.
Silkworth developed a technique (method) which worked for
about fifty years until the alcoholic EGO began to take
it over. Investigate the "cart before the horse IDEA,
offered to Bill W. by Dr. Silkworth in the spring of 1935. ANONYMOUS
I just love revisionist history based on perceived Truth - it is so cute.
The Washingtonian Movement is very much part of AA Tradition. It would only take one AA generation not to pass on the experience of AA history, Traditions and Concepts to the next, a period of perhaps 40-50 years, for AA to diversify and disintegrate like the Washingtonian movement. Maybe this is beginning to happen now, but I believe it’s never too late to turn around.The Washingtonian Movement can be found in the following AA publications:
The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions: Tradition Ten
Pass it On pp 325n 354, 366-7n
The Language of The Heart pp 4-5, 7, 11, 43
Alcoholics Anonymous Comes of Age pp 77, 124-125
Could you explain exactly which part of this history has
been revised? If I have been in error, I certainly would
like to know. I need to know so I can correct my mistakes.
The Washingtonion movement was studied by Bill W. He
mentions this in one of the traditions. Why would you consider it to be perceived Truth? And I see nothing
to be considered cute. The Washingtonions vanished. The failure of AA is no joke. (at least not to me) ANONYMOUS
Take a closer look at the uninterpreted A.A. version in the 164 pages of the book trusting in God and cleaning house.
Quote: "It is this kind of belief that has caused the near collapse of our fellowship"
Really? "The awareness that every AA member has an individual way of working the program permates the pages of Grapevine ..." (Statement of Purpose) "Every AA the privilege of interpreting the program as he likes." (As Bill Sees It, page 16).
Who besides a sponsor is arrogant enough to say there is only one way and it's with them?
I was told to ask the Higher Power to draw my spirit to the person that was to teach me. I do not need or want a supervisor. My choices on my own didn't work out so well. But that prayer did. I needed someone to teach me how to live and work the steps. That is how I sponsor also.
We can change sponsors whenever we want...even without talking to the one we are leaving if that is how we choose to do it. Just stop calling and go to different meetings.
Running someone else's life is inappropriate and has nothing to do with a sponsor's role in AA. My sponsor has 31 years and I am coming up on 22. I ask her advice from time to time, I do my 5th step with her and we pray together. She has done the same with me on occasion.