A strange Third Tradition case...

Is the concept of a Home Group dying? What is a Home Group anyway? Talk about it here.
seed1234
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Re: A strange Third Tradition case...

Post by seed1234 »

Big Flags going off in my head about this situation. Mostly because of the newcomers! I was a newcomer just 7 short months ago and if that guy would have talked to be at any length about getting sober (longer than 5 minutes) and nobody told me his situation I would have been mad as hell and would have never come back and would have probably got drunk over it! He can come to meetings, do service work, but when it comes to newcomers...........we have a responsibility to provide a safe place and intervene under such circumstances. This really bothers me!

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Ida
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Re: A strange Third Tradition case...

Post by Ida »

When I was brand spanking new in the program, there was this guy that started coming to meetings that I had met through a drinking friend of mine back when I was still drinking. I remember thinking it was odd he was there because when I had met him, he didn't drink and ended up breaking up with my drinking friend because she was drinking. I then thought that perhaps he wasn't drinking when I met him because he had a problem with alcohol, but he shared in meetings that he didn't drink. Being a vulnerable newcomer, I was uncomfortable to have a non-alcoholic in a meeting (at the time I only went to closed meetings because I was uncomfortable sharing with others that were not alcoholic), but I was also offended when the kid approached me to say hello and told me, "Yeah you should be here for sure" (again, he first met me when I was still drinking). Eventually the kid admitted that he was a schizophrenic (not unlike your guy). Everyone just basically tolerated him being there; a few of the nicer guys actually tried to help him deal with the disease that he actually had, but he was not as adamant as your guy sounds; he only hung around for a few months before I stopped seeing him. I will admit, I still wonder if he got help for himself, and I hope he is doing better, but I was not unhappy to see he had stopped coming to meetings. I am not saying I don't think he deserved to be there, or that he doesn't need help, but I don't think that we could have helped him anyway because AA is not Schizophrenics Anonymous, ya know? I also thought it was odd that he was tolerated when other addicts that came to meetings were often discouraged from coming and told to find NA or whatever. Anyway, there isn't much you can do. If you can, let it go, if you can't, I would suggest you find another meeting to go to (if you have that luxury in your area). Of course, we never really know who is going to show up at these meetings; I've heard of "tourists", people who simply go to meetings for a show of some kind when they know good and well they are not alcoholics. I totally understand your discomfort.

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Patter
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Re: A strange Third Tradition case...

Post by Patter »

"The feeling of having shared in a common peril is one element in the powerful cement which binds us....The tremendous fact for every one of us is that we have discovered a common solution." (BB 17)
Doesn't seem to apply to a nondrinker imho.

Patsy©
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Re: A strange Third Tradition case...

Post by Patsy© »

Hi Victor,

Victor, this gentleman is not a member of AA, how can he be? He doesn't meet the only requirement for AA Membership, a desire to stop drinking.

This is one of the serious issues facing Alcoholics Anonymous as a whole today. There are fewer and fewer who want to step up and take responsibility to become accountable for how the AA Home Group is run. YES I said RUN. When an AA group calls for a Group Conscience...its an INFORMED Group Conscience that keeps that AA group in Unity, Service and Recovery.

This gentleman that you speak of, is welcomed to attend any Open AA meeting that he chooses, but when it comes to this gentleman becoming an AA member...its is obvious that he can not be an AA member. AA groups are catering to so many now a days and Alcoholics Anonymous was never intended as a catch all, or to solve all of the worlds problems and in fact, we put our own society and our very own lives on the line when we begin to think that we can.

We AA's seem to have become stuck in some politically correct verbiage, that in reality, has nothing, absolutely nothing to do with AA as a whole, AA Groups or AA members carrying the message of hope to those who still suffer.

When I got sober, at every single AA group and AA meeting, they had the hard copy of The AA Service Manual combined with Twelve Concepts for World Service, where any and all AA group members could go and look, learn, discuss and apply what keeps US ALL together in Unity, Service and Recovery.
From the AA Service Manual:

Closed meetings are for A.A. members only, or for
those who have a drinking problem and "have a desire
to stop drinking."

Open meetings are available to anyone interested
in Alcoholics Anonymous’ program of recovery from
alcoholism. Nonalcoholics may attend open meetings
as observers only.


At both types of meetings, the A.A. chairperson
may request that participants confine their discussion
to matters pertaining to recovery from alcoholism.
Whether open or closed, A.A. group meetings are
conducted by A.A. members who determine the format
of their meetings.

A.A.’s Single Purpose
Tradition Five: Each group has but one primary purpose—to carry its message to the alcoholic who still suffers.

"There are those who predict that A.A. may well
become a new spearhead for a spiritual awakening
throughout the world. When our friends say these
things, they are both generous and sincere. But we
of A.A. must reflect that such a tribute and such a
prophecy could well prove to be a heady drink for most
of us—that is, if we really came to believe this to be the
real purpose of A.A., and if we commenced to behave
accordingly.
"Our Society, therefore, will prudently cleave to
its single purpose: the carrying of the message to
the alcoholic who still suffers. Let us resist the proud
assumption that since God has enabled us to do well
in one area we are destined to be a channel of saving
grace for everybody."
A.A. co-founder Bill W., 1955




Page 150 in the 12 x 12.....Tradition Five "Each group has but one primary purpose - to carry its message to the alcoholic who still suffers."

"Shoemaker, stick to thy last!"... better do one thing supremely well than many badly. That is the central theme of this Tradition. Around it our Society gathers in unity. The very life of our Fellowship requires the preservation of this principle.
Alcoholics Anonymous can be likened to a group of physicians who might find a cure for cancer, and upon whose concerted work would depend the answer for sufferers of this disease. True, each physician in such a group might have his own specialty. Every doctor concerned would at times wish he could devote himself to his chosen field rather than work only with the group. But once these men had hit upon a cure, once it became apparent that only by their united effort could this be accomplished, then all of them would feel bound to devote themselves solely to the relief of cancer. In the radiance of such a miraculous discovery, any doctor would set his other ambitions aside, at whatever personal cost.

Just as firmly bound by obligation are the members of Alcoholics Anonymous, who have demonstrated that they can help problem drinkers as others seldom can. The unique ability of each A.A. to identify himself with, and bring recovery to, the newcomer in no way depends upon his learning, eloquence, or on any special individual skills. The only thing that matters is that he is an alcoholic who has found a key to sobriety. These legacies of suffering and of recovery are easily passed among alcoholics, one to the other. This is our gift from God, and its bestowal upon others like us is the one aim that today animates A.A.'s all around the globe.

There is another reason for this singleness of purpose. It is the great paradox of A.A. that we know we can seldom keep the precious gift of sobriety unless we give it away.
Failed 12 Step Call? Not if we walk away sober!

MitchellK
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Re: A strange Third Tradition case...

Post by MitchellK »

Someone wrote - "You could check out the long- form of Tradition 3 (which makes no mention of either drinking or desire to stop). But getting a group to even read it could be a challenge."

I thought that since it was brought up to "check out" AA's Third Tradition, that maybe we should:

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

AA membership is open to all who suffer from alcoholism. How does one suffer from alcoholism if they have never had a drink?

Of course AA may refuse none who wish to recover (from alcoholism) but if they haven't suffered from alcoholism...?

Alcoholics gathered for sobriety may call themselves an A.A. group. How does one who has never been inebriated gather for a condition they have never experienced?

Now that we have "checked out" the 3rd Tradition and found that it does actually mention drinking (suffer from alcoholism) and a desire to stop (gather together for sobriety and wish to recover), we would, if we were actually practicing principles of recovery in all our affairs, understand that someone who has never picked up a drink has no business at a closed AA meeting.

One of the things which will eventually transform AA into a footnote in history books along with the Washingtonians and the Oxford Group is that AA continues down the path of not wanting to offend anyone or scare anyone off. AA continues to sell out its principles and compromises its core values just to please anyone and everyone who either walks through its doors or questions anything about AA.

People with schizophrenia belong in AA if they have suffered from active alcoholism and wish to recover from it.
People with other addictions belong in AA if they have suffered from active alcoholism and wish to recover from it.

Allowing people membership into AA who have not suffered from active alcoholism nor wish to recover from it goes against everything AA's founding members intended and against everything AA stands for.

Patsy©
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Re: A strange Third Tradition case...

Post by Patsy© »

Mitchell Wrote: One of the things which will eventually transform AA into a footnote in history books along with the Washingtonians and the Oxford Group is that AA continues down the path of not wanting to offend anyone or scare anyone off. AA continues to sell out its principles and compromises its core values just to please anyone and everyone who either walks through its doors or questions anything about AA.
Ditto!
Failed 12 Step Call? Not if we walk away sober!

hecramsey2
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Re: A strange Third Tradition case...

Post by hecramsey2 »

what a sad and desperate man. I'm very liberal when it comes to 3rd edition. One doesn't need to have had a bender to be an alcoholic. That's just drinking. Alcoholism is in my mind it is in my perceptions it is how I think that is the problem.I understand being very upset about his behavior I been there many times. Particularly in large cities like NYC where is essentially and AA meeting is a public place no different from Port Authority or the subway. We don't check IDs or give up blood test we rely on self honesty of everyone.he would drive me nuts. To give you an idea of my alcoholism, I want to go to his meeting now to check it out, kind of like what you have a toothache and you go touch it to feel much discomfort. Self righteous indignation is my latest drug of choice.
.one thought I had is he could be lying he already seems quite dishonest so he may have had plenty to drink in the past and just wants to sounds different or is a shame or whatever. You need to look at the source here do you trust him by your description I don't.my sponsor always says kill them with kindness. or as Oscar Madison says when you have a troublemaker give him a job. if you are forced to deal with him for any reason I would try to treat him like the 6th man he is and not engage in his b******* . Just be incredibly kind and generous and complimentary, see what happens.

if you are not forced to deal with him I would try 2 stay out of it unless you see him doing something very threatening or dangerous there is really nothing you can do and if there is other people as a group will do it you do not have to be the catalyst.

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