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February 2002

PO Box 1980

Abashed

Sometimes when I attend a meeting I've never attended before, I make an effort to look at it through the eyes of a newcomer. That's what I was doing the other day at a meeting when I heard a speaker who'd been sober twenty-seven years. I thought that the first forty-five minutes of the talk were excellent; they would have made a favorable impression on me, had I been a newcomer. But the other five minutes were a real turn-off.

The speaker spent those five minutes stating how much more loving and caring AA people were compared to church people. Then, expanding on the theme, the speaker said how AAs were also much better than "Earth people" and "normies," making nonalcoholics sound like an undesirable form of life.

Church people and "normies" are the family and friends who helped me stay alive until I found the way to sobriety. It is not necessary to bash them.

I got a lot out of this talk, but if I'd been a new person affiliated with a church or a nonalcoholic family, I would have missed a good message.

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