Multi Group Membership

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Multi Group Membership

Postby Longwalker » Tue Aug 19, 2014 6:39 am

I have been attending AA meetings 2 to 3 times a week for several years I am member of 2 groups but I only hold office in one of these group in the other I just wash the dishes and clean up at the last group meeting of one of these groups one of the Old Timers ???? put it to the vote that I should be made to give up membership of one of these group as he quotes the guidelines as saying because of voting rights you can only be a member of one group.

I have checked the guidelines till im going blind and cannot find the specific reference, when asked to vote on anything I always put AA first then the group and then me. ( unless it's voting on who's turn it is to buy the buns )

Anyone help out here as im losing some sleep over this one

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Re: Multi Group Membership

Postby ann2 » Tue Aug 19, 2014 7:21 am

Hi and welcome!

I can understand how you would find that disturbing. Most of the things voted on in a business meeting have to do with the operation of the meeting itself. There's only a couple of times a year that there is a vote on an issue that will be taken further to intergroup or district.

Actually we have this discussion regarding online groups vs. face-to-face groups. Again, it's very infrequent that there would be a case of one person voting twice on the same thing and heard twice (via the groups) on the same question.

But alkies like to make a big deal of things sometimes. I would go with the group that hasn't made an issue of this myself :) and just keep attending the other group and helping out on an ad-hoc basis. However, I am sure you will find a solution that works for you. Also, other will want to add their own experience on this subject.

I'm just Ann, the laissez-faire.

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Re: Multi Group Membership

Postby Squawking Hawk » Tue Aug 19, 2014 7:41 am

Longwalker, welcome to e-AA. I see this is your first post here. I've been knocking around the rooms of AA for awhile and suspect that the answer to your question lies in either the 12 concepts or 12 traditions. After I finished the first draft of this post, I saw Ann's post with some good points so I revised my post.

What I can say is that in all my years in A.A., I don't believe that I have ever heard of a group that had a vote which resulted in a member (you in this case) being told to give up membership in one of the groups. Sounds a little harsh to me, but what do I know, as I am not familiar with that group.

That being said, I have attended f2f meetings in the past where they were very strict about only being a member of one group. In fact I myself was a member of two groups at one point in my sobriety (many, many years ago). At the urging of my sponsor, I did not worry about this but respected the wishes of the group in question. I took a slightly underhanded approach which I suspect that some might take exception to and won't elaborate further.

One thing that I have done more recently and that I have seen others do is to only hold office and vote in one group and to only attend and vote in group conscious meetings of one group. But they will help clean up, for example, in another meeting and other perform service work but not attend group conscious meetings.

Hawk


I have been attending AA meetings 2 to 3 times a week for several years I am member of 2 groups but I only hold office in one of these group in the other I just wash the dishes and clean up at the last group meeting of one of these groups one of the Old Timers ???? put it to the vote that I should be made to give up membership of one of these group as he quotes the guidelines as saying because of voting rights you can only be a member of one group.

I have checked the guidelines till im going blind and cannot find the specific reference, when asked to vote on anything I always put AA first then the group and then me. ( unless it's voting on who's turn it is to buy the buns )

Anyone help out here as im losing some sleep over this one

With Regards
Longwalker
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Re: Multi Group Membership

Postby Brock » Tue Aug 19, 2014 10:43 am

I think we should first look at the AA literature specifically the leaflet “The AA Group,” in which it is suggested that we only have one home group at a time. The home group being where we participate in service, vote and so forth, so having voting “rights” in more than one group is discouraged. For this reason I agree entirely with the experience of Hawk, who has witnessed persons helping out in other groups but voting only at one. I would go a little further and even suggest that it be made plain to the group at which I am helping but not voting, that should anyone newcomer or otherwise wish to do the chores I am doing I will be pleased to step aside, just to be clear that I am not denying a service position from a member who may wish to do it.

I really don’t like giving this advice, since it may appear to discourage helping at more than one group, and lord knows we need more members like Longwalker who go the extra mile. We must also keep Tradition four in mind, this pretty much gives a group the autonomy to create “rules” on how their meetings are conducted, and have service work done as they see fit. One group may say no nonmembers can do service, another may roster a nonmember to chair, so no group must conform to AA policy, the likely result of non conformity is given in the 12 & 12 page 174.

Keep up the good work Longwalker, best of luck.

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Re: Multi Group Membership

Postby PaigeB » Tue Aug 19, 2014 11:50 am

It is probably time to let someone else do the dishes, spirit of rotation and all. I would continue to greet people as if you were a home group member no limits on that, but I was always told one group one vote. And with online AA this became a problem for me.

I do vote one the small scale (affecting the group) here at e-aa and I also vote in my f2f at the higher levels of District & Area. My term of service will end in January and my "replacement" has already stepped up at both District & Area for reason not related to e-aa. I just really felt the need to do the home group thing over the District thing and the meeting are the same time different place.

So I do call e-aa my "online home group" and Women Into Action (f2f) "my home group". I do service at the group level in both places. I go ahead and vote - very carefully at both, but hopefully nothing I vote on goes higher than group level issues. Either way I doubt that online and face to face will ever have the same issues... in fact the two will probably never even cross paths. Wait - several of my f2f homegroup will be at the International Conference where I plan to spend a good amount of time in the Cyber Suite - I will even buy a T-shirt showing my affiliation with Online Intergroup. Maybe it will come up in my f2f homegroup after that.

If forced to choose, I would have to pick my face to face group. Sad but true. Still I would not slow down my 2 -3x daily visits to e-aa. Both were miracles that kept me sober and THAT is my first responsibility.
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Re: Multi Group Membership

Postby Blue Moon » Tue Aug 19, 2014 4:54 pm

Longwalker wrote:at the last group meeting of one of these groups one of the Old Timers ???? put it to the vote that I should be made to give up membership of one of these group

This is ridiculous. The individual has not thought this through at all. How does he/she propose to enforce the outcome without breaking with Tradition 3? How will anyone other than you decide which of the groups you're to be a member of?

You're a member if you say you are. It is certainly suggested that in matters affecting other groups or AA as a whole you have 1 Home Group and only cast your vote there. 1 member, 1 vote. They could ask people to "declare" it's their Home Group for that vote, but can't exactly check member credentials. I would like to see anyone seriously try to enforce it in Alcoholics >>Anonymous<<, the one outfit which has no voter-registration forms etc.

When it comes to matters within the Group, eg who makes the coffee next week, your membership and vote is as valid as anyone else's.
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Re: Multi Group Membership

Postby Brock » Tue Aug 19, 2014 5:15 pm

Blue Moon wrote:You're a member if you say you are. It is certainly suggested that in matters affecting other groups or AA as a whole you have 1 Home Group and only cast your vote there. 1 member, 1 vote. They could ask people to "declare" it's their Home Group for that vote, but can't exactly check member credentials. I would like to see anyone seriously try to enforce it in Alcoholics >>Anonymous<<, the one outfit which has no voter-registration forms etc.



No they can’t enforce it, 3 says you are a member if you say you are, and right now Longwalker says he is a member of both groups, and this is not in keeping with AA guidelines. So they don’t check credentials, what should he do be dishonest? No of course not, and even if he were and said this is my home group at one place and I vote x & y, then one of those folks goes to his “other” home group and sees he is chairman or whatever, his lie would be exposed and all hell would break loose.

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Re: Multi Group Membership

Postby Blue Moon » Tue Aug 19, 2014 5:46 pm

Brock wrote:No they can’t enforce it, 3 says you are a member if you say you are, and right now Longfellow says he is a member of both groups, and this is not in keeping with AA guidelines. So they don’t check credentials, what should he do be dishonest? No of course not, and even if he were and said this is my home group at one place and I vote x & y, then one of those folks goes to his “other” home group and sees he is chairman or whatever, his lie would be exposed and all hell would break loose.

Don't be so disingenuous! Nobody is saying he should lie. Nothing to stop someone being of service in > 1 group.
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Re: Multi Group Membership

Postby Lali » Tue Aug 19, 2014 7:42 pm

Blue Moon wrote:I would like to see anyone seriously try to enforce it in Alcoholics >>Anonymous<<, the one outfit which has no voter-registration forms etc.


All of the groups in my town do.

And when it is said that if you say you are a member, you ARE a member, I believe that refers to AA as a whole, not each individual group.
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Re: Multi Group Membership

Postby Blue Moon » Tue Aug 19, 2014 8:27 pm

Lali wrote:
Blue Moon wrote:I would like to see anyone seriously try to enforce it in Alcoholics >>Anonymous<<, the one outfit which has no voter-registration forms etc.


All of the groups in my town do.

And when it is said that if you say you are a member, you ARE a member, I believe that refers to AA as a whole, not each individual group.


"Any 2 or 3 alcoholics gathered together for sobriety may call themselves an AA group provided that, as a group, they have no other affiliation."

I see nothing in that 3rd Tradition which states "provided .... no other affiliation, and provided they're not already members of another AA group".

Strange to see an entire town practicing their 4th Tradition right to be wrong. But similar happens in a town near where I live too. Just because all groups in a town are run by the same clique doesn't necessarily make them right.
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Re: Multi Group Membership

Postby Tommy-S » Tue Aug 19, 2014 8:36 pm

Hi Longwalker,

Thanks for the topic, and for the responses...

First thing that comes to my mind is 'Spiritual Kindergarten' is still alive and well in AA. Like someone else wrote here elsewhere, "AA is not exactly a hotbed of mental health"

You could probably contact the desk at GSO for experience and apeal (per Concept V), but any response received with be prefaced with a disclaimer that GSO has no authority over groups.

As stated, the "AA Group" pamphlet, pg 16 ( http://www.aa.org/assets/en_US/p-16_theaagroup.pdf) writes:
Traditionally, most A.A. members through the years have found it important to belong to one group which they call their “Home Group.”
The 'Traditionally" hardly seems written in stone, as with much of our "No Musts" society.

Also, as for being a member, it clarifies membership on pg 13
Just as we are members of A.A. if we say we are, so are we members of a group if we say we are.
Personally, I like the definition of belonging to a group as Membership, better than some I meet who claim to be members but have no group... kind of like professing to be a professional baseball player, but not belonging to a team... but that's just me

Lastly, I would have to ask myself why I want to be where I am not wanted??? Life seems too short to waste my time where I am not wanted, and I have suffered enough from my own Alcoholism to volunteer to suffer from someone else's

Best of luck... Thanks

Tommy
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Re: Multi Group Membership

Postby PaigeB » Tue Aug 19, 2014 11:24 pm

I have suffered enough from my own Alcoholism to volunteer to suffer from someone else's


As an aside - I hope to remember this when I need it!
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Re: Multi Group Membership

Postby Longwalker » Wed Aug 20, 2014 12:37 am

Good Morning

All very sound advise which I have taken onboard, I was really looking for someone to say just take him outside and keep slapping him till he sees sense :)
but that wound't solve anything I think I had a case of how dare he, So last night I prayed for him and stopped getting my panties in a twist, it dosn't really matter in the end if I am a member of that group or no I will still attend and wash the cups and drive people home, I have put my pride and ego back in the bottom drwer where they belong, again thank you for the kind advise and wise replies.

Stay Safe
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Re: Multi Group Membership

Postby ann2 » Wed Aug 20, 2014 1:55 am

Heh heh heh good thought on the slapping!

Also fun to ask a question and see an argument start among regulars.

It's all good :)

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Re: Multi Group Membership

Postby Db1105 » Wed Aug 20, 2014 11:05 am

I'm curious, did they actually put it to a vote? In my area we have a hard enough time finding people to take service positions. It wouldn't be AA without some crazy old timers.
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