3rd Tradition Long Form

The 12 Traditions of Alcoholics Anonymous, the principles that hold our groups and society together.

3rd Tradition Long Form

Postby avaneesh912 » Tue Feb 09, 2016 6:30 am

"Our membership ought to include all who suffer from alcoholism. Hence we may refuse none who wish to recover. Nor ought AA membership ever depend on money or conformity. Any two or three alcoholics gathered together for sobriety may call themselves an AA group, provided that, as a group, they have no other affiliation."
-Third Tradition, Long Form, 1946


The long form clearly indicates membership is for people who suffer from alcoholism right? Do we ever sit and see if the member is really alcoholic? All we ask today is if he/she has a desire to stop drinking. Something to ponder.
Show him, from your own experience, how the peculiar mental condition surrounding that first drink prevents normal functioning of the will power (Alcoholics Anonymous, Page 92)
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Re: 3rd Tradition Long Form

Postby leejosepho » Tue Feb 09, 2016 7:29 am

I think today it would be interesting to see how many people in A.A. or AA even qualify for membership. If we were to ask each individual for a simple Yes/No answer as to whether s/he has a desire to stop drinking, I suspect we would immediately begin hearing many things other than a clear "Yes" or "No". Changing the question to something like "Do you have a desire to stop drinking and/or to remain stopped forever?" might help a bit, but I still suspect few people would be willing to offer a single-word "Yes/No" answer.
=======================
"We A.A.s do not *stay* away from drinking [one day at a
time] -- we *grow* away from drinking [one day at a time]."
("Lois Remembers", page 168, quoting Bill, emphasis added)
=======================
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Re: 3rd Tradition Long Form

Postby OnPoint » Tue Feb 09, 2016 10:07 am

avaneesh912 wrote:The long form clearly indicates membership is for people who suffer from alcoholism right? Do we ever sit and see if the member is really alcoholic? All we ask today is if he/she has a desire to stop drinking. Something to ponder.
Your statement clearly indicates that your definition of alcoholism is vastly different from mine. First, as I understand it a person can be "suffering from alcoholism" whether or not they believe they are an alcoholic. In my own case I was sober for months before I could admit to myself that maybe I was actually an alcoholic. Second, you said
avaneesh912 wrote:Do we ever sit and see if the member is really alcoholic?
No, I never do this, nor do I feel that it is ever appropriate that I should. This is a decision that only the individual is capable of making. If someone had tried to "qualify" me I would have had to admit that I didn't believe that I was an alcoholic and I would have left the program.
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Re: 3rd Tradition Long Form

Postby leejosepho » Tue Feb 09, 2016 10:22 am

OnPoint wrote:
avaneesh912 wrote:The long form clearly indicates membership is for people who suffer from alcoholism right? Do we ever sit and see if the member is really alcoholic? All we ask today is if he/she has a desire to stop drinking. Something to ponder.

Your statement clearly indicates that your definition of alcoholism is vastly different from mine.

I would highly doubt that, but what we are seeing here is a possible difference between personal understandings of whether or not the current members of any given group could/would/should/will accept as a member anyone at all who simply says s/he has a desire to stop drinking. Alcoholics who have a desire to stop drinking are welcomed to join the group, but having a desire to stop drinking does not prove someone is alcoholic.

OnPoint wrote:...as I understand it a person can be "suffering from alcoholism" whether or not they believe they are an alcoholic. In my own case I was sober for months before I could admit to myself that maybe I was actually an alcoholic.

We all agree there, and no one is saying anyone must say s/he is alcoholic in order to join A.A.

OnPoint wrote:Second, you said
avaneesh912 wrote:Do we ever sit and see if the member is really alcoholic?
No, I never do this, nor do I feel that it is ever appropriate that I should. This is a decision that only the individual is capable of making. If someone had tried to "qualify" me I would have had to admit that I didn't believe that I was an alcoholic and I would have left the program.

Chapter Seven speaks clearly about our being certain the recovery candidate is an alcoholic, but that does not mean we diagnose people and then require them to agree. Rather, it is our responsibility to be certain we do not "waste time" on people who are *not* alcoholics (or who do not want to stop drinking) and that we ultimately make sure our group members actually are alcoholics.
=======================
"We A.A.s do not *stay* away from drinking [one day at a
time] -- we *grow* away from drinking [one day at a time]."
("Lois Remembers", page 168, quoting Bill, emphasis added)
=======================
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Re: 3rd Tradition Long Form

Postby PaigeB » Tue Feb 09, 2016 10:37 am

all who suffer from alcoholism.

This could also include my family - who surely do suffer from the affects of alcoholism.
If I'm not able to say how I'm working my program today, then I'm not working my program.
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Re: 3rd Tradition Long Form

Postby leejosepho » Tue Feb 09, 2016 12:59 pm

PaigeB wrote:
all who suffer from alcoholism.

This could also include my family - who surely do suffer from the affects of alcoholism.

Trying to confuse things, eh?! ;)

Nothing in our book ever suggests actual A.A. membership is for anyone other than alcoholics, but we certainly do acknowledge the essence of what you are saying:

"An illness of this sort...involves those about us...engulfs all whose lives touch the sufferer's...
"We hope this volume will inform and comfort those who are, or who may be affected. There are many." (page 18)

We are the afflicted, others are the affected and our book was written for them also. And then, of course, at least some of our groups still do this:

"...customary to set apart one night a week for a meeting to be attended by anyone or everyone interested in a spiritual way of life." (pages 159-160)
=======================
"We A.A.s do not *stay* away from drinking [one day at a
time] -- we *grow* away from drinking [one day at a time]."
("Lois Remembers", page 168, quoting Bill, emphasis added)
=======================
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Re: 3rd Tradition Long Form

Postby clouds » Tue Feb 09, 2016 1:12 pm

"And besides, we are sure that our way of living has its advantages for all."

That is from the forward to the first edition of the book AA.

I sort of get that early days AA meetings were more open than they are now to everyone, families, friends of alcoholics and just interested people of anykind.
" Burn the idea into the consciousness of every man that he can get well regardless of anyone. The only condition is that he trust in God and clean house." page 98 A.A.
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Re: 3rd Tradition Long Form

Postby PaigeB » Tue Feb 09, 2016 1:31 pm

all who suffer from alcoholism.

This could also include my family - who surely do suffer from the affects of alcoholism.


Trying to confuse things, eh?! ;)

Nothing in our book ever suggests actual A.A. membership is for anyone other than alcoholics, but we certainly do acknowledge the essence of what you are saying:

"An illness of this sort...involves those about us...engulfs all whose lives touch the sufferer's...
"We hope this volume will inform and comfort those who are, or who may be affected. There are many." (page 18)

We are the afflicted, others are the affected and our book was written for them also.

Yes we are afflicted and they are affected, but the little quote says "suffers from".

All suffering is internal and I do not belive we are capable of judging it in any way. Certainly, if you believe in a HP, you must also believe that any person who takes the time and effort to stumble into an AA meeting (even a closed one) is also subject to the powers that be and therefore all must be well. It is just not up to us, and we are absolutely not qualified, to make such distinctions about the pains of another being. All we can do is try the "11th Step Prayer" (St. Francis) and try to of loving service.

(And yeah - I can be a bit silly at times LOL)
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Re: 3rd Tradition Long Form

Postby ezdzit247 » Tue Feb 09, 2016 1:48 pm

avaneesh912 wrote:
"Our membership ought to include all who suffer from alcoholism. Hence we may refuse none who wish to recover. Nor ought AA membership ever depend on money or conformity. Any two or three alcoholics gathered together for sobriety may call themselves an AA group, provided that, as a group, they have no other affiliation."
-Third Tradition, Long Form, 1946


The long form clearly indicates membership is for people who suffer from alcoholism right? Do we ever sit and see if the member is really alcoholic? All we ask today is if he/she has a desire to stop drinking. Something to ponder.



There's nothing to ponder unless you believe that you or anyone else in the AA fellowship is actually qualified to engage in that kind of judgmentalism about whether or not another AA member is "really an alcoholic". Do you?
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Re: 3rd Tradition Long Form

Postby Brock » Tue Feb 09, 2016 3:34 pm

There's nothing to ponder unless you believe that you or anyone else in the AA fellowship is actually qualified to engage in that kind of judgmentalism about whether or not another AA member is "really an alcoholic". Do you?

There are times when I believe we can and should be judgmental. In my area we have a few (especially younger women) members, whose contribution is usually just as repetitive, as the old timers some of us spoke about in another thread. It usually goes something like, 'I love to go out with my friends to the clubs on Saturday nights, but I always end up drinking too much and embarrassing myself.'

The book gives a description of alcoholics in various sections, these are two I know off hand -
Neither does there appear to be any kind of treatment which will make alcoholics of our kind like other men. We have tried every imaginable remedy. In some instances there has been brief recovery, followed always by a still worse relapse.

That we were alcoholic and could not manage our own lives.......

Now this little (Chris R calls them disco drunk), has not tried every imaginable remedy, or any remedy, the truth is if they didn't go out to the club they wouldn't have gotten drunk. And as for their lives being unmanageable, that only applies on a Saturday night at the club.

They are welcome of course, but my experience is they don't do the steps or talk them, far less speak of spiritual matters, and asking them to speak or worse them sponsoring others, opens wide the possibility of their influencing someone who really needs the program, in a negative manner. So if I am in the chair and newcomers are in the room they won't be asked to speak, and if someone asks me if one of them would make a good sponsor I say no, if that is being judgmental, too bad.
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Re: 3rd Tradition Long Form

Postby Layne » Wed Feb 10, 2016 1:44 am

If someone didn't think very highly of your sobriety and felt that asking you to speak or worse that if you were to sponsor others, opens wide the possibility of you influencing someone who really needs the program, in a negative manner; and because they honestly felt this way, if they were chairing the meeting they wouldn't ask you to speak, and if someone asks them if you would make a good sponsor, they would say no...what would be your reaction and why?
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Re: 3rd Tradition Long Form

Postby avaneesh912 » Wed Feb 10, 2016 4:34 am

The fellowship was formed for a common place for alcoholics to get some help and recover from this hopeless condition. The co-founders and those old-timers captured their experience and put-forth a plan of action (the 12 steps) to recover from that. We have the steps and the traditions to hold the fellowship together.

When I hear statements like steps are nonsense or just don't drink and go to meetings I only conclude they either not alcoholics or they lack total knowledge of what alcoholism is about.

Couple of segments in the big book is all you need to see if they really understand the nature of this beast:

Show him, from your own experience, how the queer mental condition surrounding that first drink prevents normal functioning of the will power.
(or)
Our so called will power becomes practically nonexistent. We are unable, at certain times, to bring into our consciousness with sufficient force the memory of the suffering and humiliation of even a week or a month ago. We are without defense against the first drink.

If people people understand what is quoted here, they wouldn't be coming up with these statements.

Armed with facts, the book says we should be able to convince the alcoholic, the dire need for spiritual help. Most of that lack that knowledge. And they project their ignorance on others.
Show him, from your own experience, how the peculiar mental condition surrounding that first drink prevents normal functioning of the will power (Alcoholics Anonymous, Page 92)
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Re: 3rd Tradition Long Form

Postby leejosepho » Wed Feb 10, 2016 6:07 am

Brock wrote:There are times when I believe we can and should be judgmental...

In my own experience, there is nothing (or there at least does not need to be anything) judgmental about being responsible in relation to what is shared in my own home group's meetings. We have a specific message to carry...

"The tremendous fact for every one of us is that we have discovered a common solution. We have a way out on which we can absolutely agree, and upon which we can join in brotherly and harmonious action. This is the great news this book carries to those who suffer from alcoholism." (page 17)
"The great fact is just this, and nothing less: That we have had deep and effective spiritual experiences which have revolutionized our whole attitude toward life, toward our fellows and toward God's universe. The central fact of our lives today is the absolute certainty that our Creator has entered into our hearts and lives in a way which is indeed miraculous. He has commenced to accomplish those things for us which we could never do by ourselves." (page 25)
"...wrecked in the same vessel...restored and united under one God...hearts and minds attuned to the welfare of others..." (page 161)

...and we are not obliged to allow people who might embrace something different to take up our meeting time and/or to confuse things by sharing whatever else they might want to share.
=======================
"We A.A.s do not *stay* away from drinking [one day at a
time] -- we *grow* away from drinking [one day at a time]."
("Lois Remembers", page 168, quoting Bill, emphasis added)
=======================
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Re: 3rd Tradition Long Form

Postby avaneesh912 » Wed Feb 10, 2016 6:23 am

Another thread I contantly hear is "there are many ways to spirituality". Of course. Nobody denys it. But here in AA we have 12 steps and 12 traditions. Do I go to a Mosque and say "the bagavad gita is another way to reach god?" No, I know my ass will get whipped. I think we should respect the principles put forth by founding fathers.
Show him, from your own experience, how the peculiar mental condition surrounding that first drink prevents normal functioning of the will power (Alcoholics Anonymous, Page 92)
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Re: 3rd Tradition Long Form

Postby Reborn » Wed Feb 10, 2016 10:49 am

There are non-alcoholic people in AA...anyone who says there isn't needs to go to more/different meetings. That being said it is not up to me to judge what stage of the game people are in. They may just be in the first stage of the wringer that will ultimately open their ears to the solution. The only thing I can do is keep carrying the message...and suit up and show up for the guy who finally has the desire to stop drinking. I always have to remember what it took for me to finally work the steps...that sweet gift of desperation.
We have recovered, and have been given the power to help others. BB pg 132
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