From the April 1982 magazine.

We Pay the Piper

Tradition 7 - Every AA group ought to be fully self-supporting, declining outside contributions

A BIG WORD--emancipation. Whatever does it have to do with whether I put something in the basket at an AA meeting? Why do I have to put anything in the basket in the first place?

Groups went out of their way, so it seemed when I finally came into Alcoholics Anonymous over twenty years ago, to tell me that "there are no dues or fees for AA membership." That line from the definition of AA (our Preamble) registered on one part of my brain and struck me with awe and disbelief. In another part of my brain, I saw myself going to meetings in the same way I had gone to the Boys Club Friday nights as a child, with a nickel in my hand for the club show. How proudly I used to walk into the auditorium, holding my little ticket aloft as my legitimate entree into that arena of strangeness and power.

-- W. H.

Manhattan, New York

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