Alano Clubs - Breaking Tradition?

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

Alano Clubs - Breaking Tradition?

Postby SoberInMI » Fri Apr 28, 2017 10:46 am

I have an issue: "Alano" Clubs. I have no issue with sober clubs per se.

Lets start with the fact that Alano is short for Alcoholics Anonymous and thus violates the 6th tradition: "An A.A. group ought never endorse, finance,
or lend the A.A. name to any related facility or outside enterprise, lest problems of money, property, and prestige divert us from our primary
purpose." Contradicting this tradition, Bill W was involved with, and thus endorsed, the 1st Alano Club which was in NYC. The fact that AA has not protected its name is tacit endorsement of this violative use of the AA name. Curiously and contradictorily, AA won't accept donations from Alano or sober clubs.

Given the foregoing, Alano Clubs violate AA's "singleness of purpose" which is embodied in the 12 Traditions by hosting other twelve step meetings. And there is the issue that Alano Clubs don't follow AA principles.

I believe the solution is for "Alano" Clubs to be forced to rename themselves. What are your thoughts?

I don't know if this website allows links, so I offer the following title to be Googled: "A.A.® Guidelines: Relationship Between A.A. and Clubs." This still doesn't address the complications caused by the use of the AA name.
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Re: Alano Clubs - Breaking Tradition?

Postby PaigeB » Sat Apr 29, 2017 1:13 am

Welcome SoberInMI... It is kinda late for me but I see a contradiction...

AA should not be allied, but AA "failed to protect the name" - which sounds right
and
AA won't accept donations from Alano or sober clubs - which sounds right
and
the solution is for "Alano" Clubs to be forced to rename themselves - just because of the name? Ala - no ... Sounds more like Alanon than Alcoholics Anonymous...

As I said I am tired. I think others will be along soon to add their thoughts.
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Re: Alano Clubs - Breaking Tradition?

Postby SoberInMI » Sat Apr 29, 2017 10:28 am

I agree with you that "Alano" sounds more like Al-Anon than Alcoholics Anonymous. But Al-Anon also suggests a relationship with AA and its name takes us back to the same place: Alcoholics Anonymous. Al-Anon is "a contraction of the two words" Alcoholics Anonymous. Apparently AA balked at the letters AA in any form in, but not the full name in any form. Google "Where did the name Al-Anon come from and why the dash (-)? "

So you have pointed out a second sanctioned violation of the 6th Tradition.
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Re: Alano Clubs - Breaking Tradition?

Postby PaigeB » Sat Apr 29, 2017 11:22 am

Actually, I see no violation - what do you mean? I really have the feeling I am not understanding your question. :?

Anyway, I think they mean affiliation like "Joe's Crab Shack Meeting at 8" wherein people have to buy a drink or an appetizer instead of passing the basket.

In my experience we have 3 Clubs in town, none of them are named Alano so I don't know if that is a franchise or a favorite name. Ours are CR Gratitude Club, Industrial Club and The Fellowship Club. This VERY issue came to the District's attention for discussion. I was pretty new at the time and marvelled at alcoholics of all different stripes gently arguing and being kind to one another so my memory is short on the details, but you can call GSO or your District or Area to discuss too... Anyway there was a GROUP named "Sunday Morning Industrial Club Breakfast" where there was a FEE for breakfast. I have no idea how money was involved with the club itself or if the Group held the proceeds from the fee. It was all about the name and the affiliation it implied to the Club and questions implied by a FEE. It was also discussed that some meetings were named after the Churches they met in and they paid rent to those churches.

The folks in the District cannot dictate to any group what they should do, but it was suggested that perhaps they should evaluate the name.

I know that "Sunday Morning Industrial Club Breakfast" became "Sunday Morning Breakfast & a Meeting" AND they separated the breakfast itself from the meeting with new flyers indicating in no uncertain terms that all who desired could have breakfast at 7am for a FEE and that the same location had an Open AA meeting at 9am.

I know of at least 2 meetings that are held in Churches decided to NOT change their names - but their names did not say "Jones Church Meeting" but rather "Jones Neighborhood meeting" and another not Hope Catholic Church group but just "Hope Group".

Each Group is Autonomous and I believe each District and Area fall in there too, though maybe (?) with a higher degree of responsibility. I have called GSO before and they called me back the same day and talked with me a while about how the Traditions and other Groups had addressed the same questions I had. I tell you, people that take those calls have a pretty high showing of Love and Tolerance as well as a degree of patience I have not yet achieved!

I hope that helps... set me straight if I missed the question! :wink:
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Re: Alano Clubs - Breaking Tradition?

Postby PaigeB » Sat Apr 29, 2017 11:40 am

APRIL 29th

GROUP AUTONOMY

Some may think that we have carried the principle of group autonomy to extremes. For example, in its original "long form," Tradition Four declares: "Any two or three gathered together for sobriety may call themselves an A.A. group, provided that as a group they have no other affiliation."* . . . But this ultra-liberty is not so risky as it looks.

A.A. COMES OF AGE, pp. 104-05

As an active alcoholic, I abused every liberty that life afforded. How could A.A. expect me to respect the "ultra-liberty" bestowed by Tradition Four? Learning respect has become a lifetime job.

A.A. has made me fully accept the necessity of discipline and that, if I do not assert it from within, then I will pay for it. This applies to groups too. Tradition Four points me in a spiritual direction, in spite of my alcoholic inclinations.

* This is a misquote; Bill is referring to the Third Tradition.

From the book Daily Reflections
© Copyright 1990 by Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc.
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Re: Alano Clubs - Breaking Tradition?

Postby Blue Moon » Sat Apr 29, 2017 2:56 pm

SoberInMI wrote:Lets start with the fact that Alano is short for Alcoholics Anonymous and thus violates the 6th tradition: "An A.A. group ought never endorse, finance,
or lend the A.A. name to any related facility or outside enterprise, lest problems of money, property, and prestige divert us from our primary
purpose."


Key word: "group". "An AA group ought never ....". Clubs are not groups. Clubs are not morally bound by AA Traditions, AA Groups are.

I think it's not unreasonable to say that most outside of AA would not associate "Alano" with "AA" or "Alcoholics Anonymous".

For me, a bigger issue is with those clubs that insist on taking all 7th Tradition donations from the groups that meet there, and deciding for themselves what to do with the money. That should be the groups' decision, not the club's. All the clubs should be doing is charging rent and other expenses directly associated with use of the facility. It's the responsibility to understand and uphold AA Traditions - even those Groups that meet at a club.
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Re: Alano Clubs - Breaking Tradition?

Postby tomsteve » Sat Apr 29, 2017 3:34 pm

my thought:
its awesome to see newcomers that love the fellowship and program.
its also awesome to see them stop playing God and think they know how everything should be, which usually happens along the journey of spiritual progress.

also, isn't it awesome to be able to have an opinion whether people agree with it or not?

what about something named like "asheville 12 step club?" :)


can ya show us how its fact that alano stands for alcoholics anonymous?

i think you should take it up with AAWS. find out AA's stand on it

ive got bigger fish to fry
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Re: Alano Clubs - Breaking Tradition?

Postby SoberInMI » Sat Apr 29, 2017 3:45 pm

Blue Moon wrote: Key word: "group". "An AA group ought never ....". Clubs are not groups. Clubs are not morally bound by AA Traditions, AA Groups are.


Yours is a common error like interpreting the 7th step "shortcomings" as different from the 6th step "defects of character" because they are different terms that could not mean the same thing when the 7th step prayer uses the term "defects of character", and opining that the 4th step "moral" inventory is different from the 10th step "personal" inventory when the big book uses the term "personal" inventory when talking about the 4th step, hence "continued to take personal inventory."

The consequence of your literal interpretation is that you are saying that AA World Services can lend the AA name and cause the ills described which are detrimental to AA itself, but a group cannot. Would you opine the the local intergroup or even the area can lend the AA name too? Which you be upset if some part of AA other than an AA "group" lent the AA name to an organization or entity that tarnished the name? What about an Alano club or an Al-Anon group?

Blue Moon wrote:For me, a bigger issue is with those clubs that insist on taking all 7th Tradition donations from the groups that meet there, and deciding for themselves what to do with the money. That should be the groups' decision, not the club's. All the clubs should be doing is charging rent and other expenses directly associated with use of the facility. It's the responsibility to understand and uphold AA Traditions - even those Groups that meet at a club.


Sober clubs are collecting rent and in many cases aren't collecting the rent that the space is worth so the club is subsidizing these meetings. If that is the case, the group is violating the 7th Tradition in not being self-supporting.

I certainly agree with the latter, but few do. Some take the short from of the 3rd tradition literally and allow persons who only identify themselves as drug addicts to attend closed meetings because they have a "desire to stop drinking" which makes it easier for a new comer to participate in AA, but the long form makes it clear that a member (and closed meeting attendees) must be an alcoholic which is clearing defined in the 1st step. Alcohol as a gateway "drug" to narcotics does make the addict powerless over alcohol.
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Re: Alano Clubs - Breaking Tradition?

Postby Brock » Sat Apr 29, 2017 5:16 pm

Sober clubs are collecting rent and in many cases aren't collecting the rent that the space is worth so the club is subsidizing these meetings. If that is the case, the group is violating the 7th Tradition in not being self-supporting.

I don't have an opinion on the clubs breaking tradition, but the above would have most of the groups in my area violating the 7th. I expect the same would apply to many groups worldwide, groups on the whole can't be expected to be concerned with what the space is worth if it were put on the open market.

The points are jumping around from interpreting shortcomings and defects, to drug users at closed meetings. I personally like the hard hitting discussion style of SoberInMI, but we often get new members here who don't last long because of it. They tend to come out shooting from the hip in different directions, and soon run out of patience, (and ammo), with those who may not see things their way. Some subjects like drug users at meetings are well covered here in separate threads, as is the shortcomings & defects discussion, starting new threads on these points is not a problem, those type of subjects usually draw good 'traffic.'
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Re: Alano Clubs - Breaking Tradition?

Postby SoberInMI » Sat Apr 29, 2017 5:43 pm

Brock wrote:The points are jumping around from interpreting shortcomings and defects, to drug users at closed meetings. I personally like the hard hitting discussion style of SoberInMI, but we often get new members here who don't last long because of it. They tend to come out shooting from the hip in different directions, and soon run out of patience, (and ammo), with those who may not see things their way. Some subjects like drug users at meetings are well covered here in separate threads, as is the shortcomings & defects discussion, starting new threads on these points is not a problem, those type of subjects usually draw good 'traffic.'


My point was to show that alcoholics spend to much time trying to self "interpret" various parts of the program, especially the steps, rather that trying to "understand" what the founders meant which often times is found in the Big Book.

Another example is that people will say that in the 3rd step we are only making a "decision." But reading the Big Book discussion on the 3rd step finds the 3rd step prayer where we in fact give our will and lives over to the care of God.

I am not trying to start a heated discussion, but to share what I have learned with those who will listen.

Here in Michigan we typically have table meetings, or each table is a meeting within a meeting and often based on the Akron Pamphlet, once known as the Detroit Pamphlet probably because the pamphlet was never copyrighted (hint hint), which just covers the steps. I have experienced tables where someone has gotten upset that part of what someone has shared is not strictly on the step at hand. Personally, I like to show how the steps are related to each other and not stand alone.

Otherwise, I think this particular topic is too advance for a newcomer and I haven't wandered too far in this forum to find those discussions yet.
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Re: Alano Clubs - Breaking Tradition?

Postby Blue Moon » Sat Apr 29, 2017 7:03 pm

SoberInMI wrote:The consequence of your literal interpretation is that you are saying that AA World Services can lend the AA name and cause the ills described which are detrimental to AA itself, but a group cannot..

AAWS didn't lend anything to anyone. I neither said nor implied otherwise.
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Re: Alano Clubs - Breaking Tradition?

Postby SoberInMI » Sat Apr 29, 2017 7:50 pm

Blue Moon wrote:
SoberInMI wrote:The consequence of your literal interpretation is that you are saying that AA World Services can lend the AA name and cause the ills described which are detrimental to AA itself, but a group cannot..

AAWS didn't lend anything to anyone. I neither said nor implied otherwise.


My comments were not dependent on an implication that AA had lent its name to anybody else, I only commented on the literal words you wrote. Otherwise, you exemplify my last posting that many AA members self-interpret instead of trying to understand the writing itself. Going back to my posting regarding defects of character and shortcomings, steps 6 and 7, Merriam Webster defines defect as "an imperfection that impairs worth or utility : shortcoming."

Still, you are incorrect. You didn't deny or dispute the self-evident fact that AA has lent its name to Al-Anon and Alano clubs thus implying that it was in fact true when you merely disputed, or raised the only issue that you dispute, that the 3rd Tradition applies at least in principle only to groups and not the whole of AA.
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Re: Alano Clubs - Breaking Tradition?

Postby PaigeB » Sun Apr 30, 2017 2:03 am

I believe the solution is ... to be forced

This is plainly against the Spirit and the Principle of AA.

Done arguing about it too. I don't come here for a fight. Most of us don't, but I bet you will find others who will.
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Re: Alano Clubs - Breaking Tradition?

Postby Brock » Sun Apr 30, 2017 6:02 am

Done arguing about it too. I don't come here for a fight. Most of us don't, but I bet you will find others who will.

I think 'fight' is a bit heavy a word, but indeed there are some here who don't back away from a vibrant discussion, and those who will tell you it's where they learned the most.

Some will say you must share only your experience strength and hope, and their own style of writing is overflowing with emotion, and experiences of what it was like for them. But if people want to discuss their interpretation of the book, or of any AA literature, this is the place to do it, if it gets heated at times it's an indication of the passion some members have for their program, I would rather be around such people any day.

The same members who would have us writing only in their style, from time to time send out little PM messages, encouraging those who they perceive to be 'writing in the wrong style,' to toe the line of their example. They have given up doing that with me now, guess I am a lost cause, never replied to the PM's, but if I did, it might mention that this site has other sections, and I don't go there and expect to discuss things the way we do here, because those are basically online meetings, and meetings follow a certain format and decorum. This section is called discussion forum, a discussion being a debate on a certain topic, (which I have gone off for now), and these things in real life or on line will get heated sometimes, it's the nature of the beast. There is a line in the book which says - “One school would allow man no flavor for his fare...” It's referring to sex not discussion style, but sex is fun and so is healthy discussion, and both get heated at times.
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Re: Alano Clubs - Breaking Tradition?

Postby SoberInMI » Sun Apr 30, 2017 7:33 am

PaigeB wrote:
I believe the solution is ... to be forced

This is plainly against the Spirit and the Principle of AA.

Done arguing about it too. I don't come here for a fight. Most of us don't, but I bet you will find others who will.


AA traditions don't permit the lending of the AA name and the AA name is a registered trademark which was done to protect the AA name. So defending the AA name is in fact in line with AA principles. Please correct me by naming that principle.


Brock wrote:
Done arguing about it too. I don't come here for a fight. Most of us don't, but I bet you will find others who will.

I think 'fight' is a bit heavy a word, but indeed there are some here who don't back away from a vibrant discussion, and those who will tell you it's where they learned the most.

Some will say you must share only your experience strength and hope, and their own style of writing is overflowing with emotion, and experiences of what it was like for them. But if people want to discuss their interpretation of the book, or of any AA literature, this is the place to do it, if it gets heated at times it's an indication of the passion some members have for their program, I would rather be around such people any day.


You misunderstand what it means to share your experience, strength and hope which is done in part because alcoholics are a stubborn and self-centerd sort and don't take "instructions" very well. So in AA we don't give "advice." Instead, we share how we did it or how it worked for us suggesting how it could work or be worked for others: experience, strength and hope. Laying out facts and opinions has nothing to do with it.

Frankly, I don't think Paige is really telling what she is experiencing because her statement that she is done arguing when she never engaged in the debate in the first place is irrational. Paige's anger seems to be an indication that I proved that a strongly held belief was wrong.

Returning to Brock, what is happening here is nothing more than a debate.
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