From the August 1983 magazine.

PO Box 1980

Who cares how they get here?

It has come to my attention that some AA members object to people being forced to attend AA as part of a court-ordered suspended sentence. "Our primary purpose is to stay sober and help other alcoholics to achieve sobriety." I notice no condition, e.g., "to help other alcoholics who want our help to achieve sobriety." How can we help people to get sober if we refuse them access to our group?

This is a program of attraction; how, then, do we attract people? Not by forcing the courts to send them to jail because our closed meetings are so sacred that we refuse to allow anyone in who is not a self-declared alcoholic. How many of us would be active in AA today if it were not for the Third Tradition, "The only requirement for AA membership is a desire to stop drinking"? Not a stated or provable desire--just a desire.

-- R. C.

Morehead City, North Carolina

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