From the April 1995 magazine.

The Right to Be Wrong

After moving out West, I attended a beginners meeting one afternoon. A man stood at the door greeting people this way: "Are you new? Do you have a desire to stop drinking?" If the individual didn't admit to having such a desire, he or she was invited to leave and go to another meeting. I was furious. Where I got sober, no one was ever asked to leave an AA meeting unless they were causing a disturbance. In disgust I left this meeting and went to another being held nearby.

Even though I was new to the area, I voiced my chagrin. Older members listened but didn't seem too concerned. They knew of the gentleman in question and were aware of his self-appointed function as greeter/screener. To my surprise, they invited me to chair their discussion meeting. The topic I selected was Tradition Three: the only requirement for AA membership is a desire to stop drinking.

-- Jim N.

West Springfield, Massachusetts

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