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Tuesday, 23 September 2014

The AA Member – Medications and Other Drugs (contd)

Extract: (our observations in red print)

Some alcoholics require medication.

We recognize that alcoholics are not immune to other diseases. Some of us have had to cope with depressions that can be suicidal; schizophrenia that sometimes requires hospitalization; bipolar disorder, and other mental and biological illnesses. Also among us are diabetics, epileptics, members with heart trouble, cancer, allergies, hypertension, and many other serious physical conditions.

Because of the difficulties that many alcoholics have with drugs, some [unqualified] members have taken the position that no one in A.A. should take any medication. While this position has undoubtedly prevented relapses for some, it has meant disaster for others [including death].

A.A. members and many of their physicians have described situations in which depressed patients have been told by A.A.s to throw away the pills, only to have depression return with all its difficulties, sometimes resulting in suicide. [see Dual Recovery AnonymousMedication and Recovery]. We have heard, too, from members with other conditions, including schizophrenia, bi-polar disorder, epilepsy and others requiring medication, that well-meaning [we would say stupid or dogma driven viz. cult members] A.A. friends [?] discourage them from taking any prescribed medication. Unfortunately, by following a layperson’s advice, the sufferers find that their conditions can return with all their previous intensity. On top of that, they feel guilty because they are convinced that “A.A. is against pills.”

It becomes clear that just as it is wrong to enable or support any alcoholic to become readdicted to any drug, it’s equally wrong to deprive any alcoholic of medication, which can alleviate or control other disabling physical and/or emotional problems.

Some A.A. members who have required medication share their experience:”

See above pamphlet for individual histories.

(our emphases)


The Fellas (Friends of Alcoholics Anonymous)

To be continued

Monday, 22 September 2014

Whatever happened to the AA Circle and Triangle? Lost it? Careless or stupid? Or maybe we just sold out!

Extracts from the aacultwatch forum (old)

Things probably were different in 1983. I don’t think there were so many self-serving writers and business people exploiting AA for their own selfish gains back then. They probably had better control over their instinctive drives for personal power, prestige, sex and money. AA held the Circle and Triangle symbol as a copyright trademark for AA World Services and AA Grapevine in 1983. Now it doesn’t in 2013. I guess there were enough old timers in 1983 who understood that their recovery included guardianship of the fellowship against self-serving business people from within and outside the fellowship; to preserve AA’s spiritual entity and therefore its unity for future generations; a responsibility and duty that was transferred to them and to each of one of us, as the new generation, to pass on to the next, by the founders in 1955. 
I wonder how many could have imagined in 1955 that the Circle and Triangle would no longer belong to the heart of AA just 38 years later in 1993? The symbol of AA’s identity relinquished from the Third Legacy perhaps for ever, to businesses exploiting it. In Alcoholics Anonymous Comes of Age Bill wrote:

Above us floats a banner on which is inscribed the new symbol for A.A., a circle enclosing a triangle. The circle stands for the whole world of A.A., and the triangle stands for A.A.’s Three Legacies of Recovery, Unity, and Service. Within our wonderful new world, we have found freedom from our fatal obsession. That we have chosen this particular symbol is perhaps no accident. The priests and seers of antiquity regarded the circle enclosing the triangle as a means of warding off the spirits of evil, and A.A.’s circle and triangle of Recovery, Unity and Service has certainly meant all of that and much more. (Bill W. Extract, Alcoholics Anonymous Comes of Age p 139)

Now this symbol belongs to the self-serving business people. No longer the symbol of Recovery Unity and Service once used by AA World Services and AA Grapevine, but the symbol of exploitation put up by any self-serving businessman who wishes to combine his business with AA. Sometimes it can be seen double on the internet, promoting RV (Recreational Vehicle) Parks (a.k.a. Caravan sites in UK): two circles with revolving triangles, (See post above) or embossed in the background of an RV website with the slogan “ Friends of Bill W. Always Welcome.” http://www.shadycornerrvpark.com/ No real friend of Bill W. would exploit his life’s work and the fellowship in such a way. The consequence of widespread exploitation of the AA trademark by AA members and outside organisations came to a head in 1993. AA lost a valuable asset and legacy which belonged not only to the whole worldwide fellowship, but also the generations yet to come.

USA/Canada General Service Conference 1993 marks a dark day in AA history which continues to cast a shadow over AA in 2013; a day when the fellowship in USA/Canada gave up guardianship and sent a message to all businesses that AA no longer has its protective circle; that AA no longer protects itself. All who were sober longer than a couple of years in 1993 in USA/Canada bore the responsibility to provide that protective circle and the majority didn’t. It seems not many in the fellowship are willing to take that responsibility in 2013.

 AA Grapevine reported this sad day, and perhaps a significant turning point in AA history, in December 1993: the legacy of a degeneration who cared little for AA as a whole and cared little for this and future generations:

AA Grapevine  December 1993, Vol. 50 No. 7:

Around AA
Whatever Happened to the Circle and Triangle?

Have you noticed that the circle and triangle symbol no longer appears at the top of the Grapevine's Table of Contents? The decision to remove it has its roots in recent events: actions of the 1993 General Service Conference, and subsequent actions by the Board of Trustees and the directors of AA World Services.

Adopted at the 20th Anniversary International Convention in St. Louis, the circle and triangle symbol was registered as an official AA mark in 1955, and has been widely used by various AA entities. By the mid-1980s, however, it had also begun to be used by outside organizations, such as novelty manufacturers, publishers, and occasionally treatment facilities. There was growing concern in the membership of AA about this situation. Some AA members were saying "we don't want our circle and triangle aligned with non-AA purposes." In keeping with the Sixth Tradition, that AA ". . .ought never endorse, finance or lend the AA name to any related facility or outside enterprise. . .", the AA World Services board began in 1986 to contact outside entities that were using the circle and triangle in an unauthorized manner, and to take action to prevent such use of the symbol. 

AAWS implemented this policy with restraint, and did not resort to legal remedies until all attempts at persuasion and conciliation had been unsuccessful. Of about 170 unauthorized users contacted, two suits were filed, and both were settled in the very early stages.

Denying the use of the symbol to outside entities raised other problems, however. By early 1990, it was clear that some AA members very much wanted to be able to obtain medallions with "our" circle and triangle. Both the AAWS and Grapevine Corporate boards began receiving requests to produce sobriety chips and medallions, and the matter was discussed at a joint meeting of the two boards in October I990. Their consensus was that production of tokens and medallions was unrelated to our primary purpose of carrying the AA message, and they suggested that the matter be given a thorough airing at the General Service Conference in order to seek a group conscience from the Fellowship.

At the 1992 Conference, there were presentations on why we should or should not produce medallions, and on the responsibility of AAWS to protect our trademarks and copyrights. The result was a Conference Advisory Action asking the General Service Board of trustees to undertake a feasibility study on the possible methods by which sobriety chips and medallions might be made available to the Fellowship, and to report its findings to an ad hoc committee of delegates.

The ad hoc committee met prior to the 1993 Conference, for several full days of discussion and deliberation, and in turn presented its report and recommendations on the Conference floor. After discussion, the Conference approved two of five recommendations: 1) that the use of sobriety chips/medallions is a matter of local autonomy and not one on which the Conference should record a definite position; and 2) that it is not appropriate for AA World Services or the Grapevine to produce or license the production of sobriety chips/medallions.

In substance, the ad hoc committee report said: "We began to see that the issue is 'What is best for AA as a whole' and not 'Does the Fellowship want AA sobriety chips/medallions?' or 'Can AA produce sobriety chips/medallions?' The committee did not focus on the use of sobriety chips/medallions--groups and individuals are free to use them if they wish. The question is whether it is best for AA as a whole to have a sobriety chip/medallion with the AA name on it authorized and/or issued by an AA entity.

"Some of the comments made during the Traditions part of the discussion included:

"The First Tradition --At the heart of the matter is unit. . ."

"The Second Tradition --Therein lies our solution. Where is our ultimate authority and where is our center? Is it internal or external--principles arising from a power greater than people, or values of the world? We must keep in mind that this is also the place where Bill W. points out that '. . .the good is sometimes the enemy of the best.'

"The Third Tradition --We were reminded that we are a self-correcting Fellowship. . . We felt that it is time for the whole Fellowship to get back to the simplicity and basis of our message.

"The Fourth Tradition makes it clear that we must separate the spiritual from the material. Keeping in mind that any action we take could affect AA as a whole. . .

"The fifth Tradition --The Big Book, Alcoholics Anonymous, The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, AA Comes of Age, and 'The Twelve Concepts for World Service'--are the basic message, the core message of AA. Everything else is commentary on the basic message: all literature published, comments and sharing at meetings, even the Grapevine, is a sort of national commentary. Could chips/medallions be another form of commentary, another form of a pamphlet?

"The Sixth Tradition calls on us to 'divide the spiritual from the material.' Money is not a valid consideration in the question of whether or not litigation should be brought against misusers of our logo since AA is not in the business of making money. Similarly, the fear that others would be making money off our logo does not hurt the Fellowship on a fundamental level. How do we let go of this tiger we have by the tail?. . . We are at the tip of the iceberg of litigation right now. . . We went many, many years without lawsuits. To continue on this path threatens to keep our focus on money and property instead of allowing our view to widen spiritually.

"The Seventh Tradition reminds us 'Experience has often warned us that nothing can so surely destroy our spiritual heritage as futile disputes over property, money and authority.'

"The Eleventh Tradition --explicitly warns against the sensationalism that follows litigation. It is essentially negative attention and puts the Fellowship at risk.

"The Twelfth Tradition --Humility is the key, working from the internal to the external, from the smaller to the larger, from 'I' to 'We,' in a spirit of humility and trust. What course of action will keep us on the path of spirituality?. . .
"The committee spent a great length of time in the discussion of the Warranties. Warranty Five states:

"'Practically all societies and governments feel it necessary to inflict personal punishment upon individual members for violations of their beliefs, principles or laws. Because of its special situation, Alcoholics Anonymous finds this practice unnecessary. When we of AA fail to follow sound spiritual principles, alcohol cuts us down. Therefore, no humanly administered system of penalties is needed. This unique condition is an enormous advantage to us all, one on which we can fully rely and one which we should never abandon by a resort to the methods of personal attack and punishment. . . .

"'In case the AA name should be misapplied. . .it would of course be the duty of our General Service Conference to press for the discontinuance of such a practice--always short, however of public quarreling about the matter. . . . It was recognized that a public lawsuit is a public controversy, something in which our Tradition says we may not engage.'

"The chips/medallions and trademark questions were dealt with as separately as possible. The committee felt that a distinction could be drawn between the two in terms of their respective significance to AA. The trademark (logo) is the embodiment of the AA name. The significance of its shape is described in AA Comes of Age, page 139: 'The circle stands for the whole world of AA, and the triangle stands for AA's Three Legacies of Recovery, Unity, and Service. . . The priests and seers of antiquity regarded the circle enclosing the triangle as a means of warding off spirits of evil, and AA's circle and triangle of Recovery, Unity, and Service has certainly meant all of that to us and much more.'

"Medallions, on the other hand, are not universally considered an embodiment of the Fellowship as such. Many stories are told about the role that the coins play in an individual's continuing sobriety: the coins act as symbolic recognition of the length of sobriety. They are not the sobriety itself and any attempt to make medallions more than a symbol may lead perilously towards ego-inflation, self-glorification, rather than ego-deflation (see Tradition Twelve).

"The committee felt that the desire to protect the unique meaning of AA's symbol is at the foundation of litigation, as well as the fear of the trivialization of the mark. But despite the vehemence with which we feel 'ownership' of the symbol, we suspect that the belief that we (or anyone) can 'possess' the symbol is a fallacy.

 "It actually works against the foundation of the Steps that lead us to sobriety. Ownership necessarily involves control and to argue over that control through litigation takes the focus away from the fact that we are ultimately powerless. We can own the meaning of the symbol, and if someone uses die graphic, our meaning will not be diminished, as long as we keep the principles it represents in sight.

"The committee finally questioned the goals of litigation, what would actually he gained from a lawsuit. We suspect that the harm done internally as a result of litigation would be far worse than the harm others could do to our 'property" from the outside. At the base of this approach is the trust that is the foundation of AA. It is our trust that AA principles will work to protect our name, just as our trust in God is the foundation of our program and of our lives. Warranty Five says that we can '. . .confidently trust AA opinion, public opinion, and God Himself to take care of Alcoholics Anonymous. . . ."

"Concept Seven states '[The Conference] Charter itself is not a legal document. . . .it relies instead upon the force of tradition. . .for its final effectiveness.'

 "To us, the fear that the incorporation of the symbol by others outside the Fellowship would somehow detract from the significance of the symbol is really unfounded. No one outside the Fellowship can detract from AA's strength if we stick to the Steps, Traditions and Concepts, which unite us.

"The registered trademarks, service marks and logos are symbols of our spiritual Fellowship, Alcoholics Anonymous, and should be treated as such.

"The General Service Conference is a living entity. From the group conscience will eventually emerge an expression of the will of a loving Power greater than ourselves proven to be firmly linked to the Traditions and Warranties, keeping us safe for as long as we are needed."

The ad hoc committee report was debated on Tuesday and Thursday of Conference week, and the subject of chips and medallions came up again during a final sharing session on Friday. The chairperson of the AAWS Board made the following statement at that time: "The AAWS Board will immediately begin a thorough review of us policies regarding our marks, will do everything possible to avoid initialing litigation, and will prepare a revised policy statement to be ready for next year's Conference."

Immediately after the Conference, the General Service Board accepted AAWS's recommendation to discontinue protecting the circle and triangle symbol as one of AA's registered marks. And by early June, the trustees reached substantial unanimity in support of AAWS's statement that, to avoid the suggestion of association or affiliation with outside goods and services, AA World Services, Inc. would phase out the "official" or "legal" use of the circle and triangle.

If you're wondering how to identity Conference-approved literature in the future, it will carry the words "This is AA General Service Conference-approved literature." As pieces of literature are due for reprinting, the symbol will be deleted; and new materials will carry only the Conference-approved wording.

Like the Serenity Prayer and the slogans, which have never had official recognition, the circle and triangle will most likely continue to be used widely for many AA purposes. The difference from earlier practice is that its official use to denote Alcoholics Anonymous materials will be phased out.

(This material is adapted from the August-September issue of the GSO newsletter Box 4-5-9; portions of the ad hoc committee report are taken from the Final Report of the 1993 General Service Conference.)” http://da.aagrapevine.org/"

Comment; It would seem from the above that it's not only drunks who rationalise their stupidity! Come to think of it!  A drunk would have done a better job! It turns out we sold out for a few pieces of silver - or rather plastic!


The Fellas (Friends of Alcoholics Anonymous)

PS To use “comment” system simply click on the relevant tab below this article and sign in. All comments go through a moderation stage

PPS For new aacultwatch forum see here. Have your say!

Sunday, 21 September 2014

"Review of the effectiveness of treatment for alcohol problems"

Review of the effectiveness of treatment for alcohol problems, Raistrick D, Heather M and Godfrey C. National Treatment Agency for Substance Misuse (NHS), 2006

Extract (pp. 139-142):

12.4 Collective mutual aid

12.4.1 Alcoholics Anonymous Context

In modern times, the first mutual aid group to be formed in the alcohol field was the Fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), which was founded in 1935 in the USA when medical and scientific interest in alcohol problems was low. Since then, AA has been enormously successful in reaching alcohol misusers around the world and has helped many hundreds of thousands of people.

There are estimated to be two million active members of AA worldwide in nearly 99,000 groups in over 140 countries (Emrick, 2004), although the demographics of AA membership vary widely across different countries. AA have established a website in the UK: www.alcoholics-anonymous.org.uk.

It would be more accurate to describe AA as a way of life than a form of treatment. In the early days of AA, professional involvement was eschewed; later, links with the helping professions were more welcomed (Slattery et al., 2003). This topic will be returned to later.

From the treatment policy point of view, AA is an extremely cost-effective means of combating alcohol-related harm (Humphreys and Moos, 1996) and is entirely self-financing. From the individual’s point of view, it is highly accessible and offers help on a continuous, 24-hour basis. No formal treatment service can match AA for the continuity of support it offers to its new adherents.

Members of AA believe they suffer from a disease, which is present before they ever come into contact with alcohol and that results in a permanent inability to control drinking. The “disease of alcoholism” model espoused by AA is said to afflict a small minority of drinkers and cannot be cured, but only arrested by total and lifelong abstinence. Adherents believe that without such a commitment to abstinence, further drinking leads invariably to progressive deterioration, insanity or death.

The code of AA principles and practice finds expression in the Twelve Steps, supported by the Twelve Traditions (Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, 1980) (see figure 12a). The references to “a higher power” in these codes reveal the strong spiritual element in AA teaching.

A crucial feature of the AA recovery programme is the practice known as “12-Stepping” in which an established member takes responsibility for helping and advising a new recruit. This is regarded as essential to beginning the recovery of the new recruit and to maintaining the recovery of the older member. This activity is supported by regular meetings at which “recovering alcoholics” tell their personal stories and AA recruits are urged to attend these meetings almost every night at first and then on a regular basis for the rest of their lives.

In addition to its spiritual content, the social organisation of AA provides support for a new life without alcohol, together with a new self-concept and social identity. Further description and comment on AA can be found in McCrady and Delaney (1995) and Emrick (2004).

There are two organisations that provide help for families of alcohol misusers: Al-Anon for spouses and Alateen for teenage children.

12.4.2 Evidence

It has proved difficult to conduct research on the effectiveness of AA, mainly because of the anonymity upon which it properly insists and because of the
problems in forming randomised control groups.

The Fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous claims a success rate of 65 per cent sobriety at one year or more (Alcoholics Anonymous, 1990), but this only applies to those who persevere with regular AA attendance [viz: “Of alcoholics who came to A.A. and really tried, 50 % got sober at once and remained that way; 25% sobered up after some relapses, and among the remainder, those who stayed on with A.A. showed improvement.” Alcoholics Anonymous, Foreword to Second Edition, p. xx]; as a general statement of outcome among all those who attend or are referred to AA, it must be regarded with caution.

Several studies have shown either that alcohol misusers who attend AA are more likely to recover than those who do not (Humphreys, Moos and Cohen, 1997; Ouimette, Moos and Finney, 1998) or that frequency of AA participation is positively correlated with good outcome (Connors, Tonigan and Miller, 2001). However, these studies are subject to the problem of selection bias; those who attend AA meetings, or do so more frequently, may be more motivated to solve their alcohol problem than others, while those who do not attend or drop out from AA may already have relapsed.

In the Mesa Grande (see page 44), Alcoholics Anonymous obtains a fairly high negative rating, indicating ineffectiveness. However, the studies on which this rating is based used court-referred alcohol misusers who had been mandated to attend for treatment. This is likely to underestimate the effectiveness of AA because:

Such individuals are poor prospects for success from any form of treatment [Note: consider implications for chit-system]
The involuntary nature of referral to a voluntary organisation like AA limits any conclusions that can be reached.

Kownacki and Shadish (1999) carried out a review and meta-analysis of 21 controlled studies of AA and residential treatment based on 12-Step principles, with a particular focus on their methodological quality. With regard to AA itself, there were three randomised trials and nine quasi-experimental (non-randomised) studies. They concluded:

Randomised studies yielded worse results for AA than non-randomised studies, but were biased by the selection of coerced participants
Attending conventional AA was no worse than no treatment or alternative treatment
Several components of AA seemed supported (recovering alcoholics as therapists, peer-led self-help therapy groups, teaching the 12-Step process, doing an “honest inventory”).

Although the only requirement for membership of AA is a desire to stop drinking, there are good reasons to believe it is helpful to particular kinds of individual. Of all those who initially attend AA or are referred to it by a professional worker, it is likely that only a small proportion will attend regularly (McCrady and Delaney, 1995) – the rest either attend on a spasmodic basis or drop out completely. Since those who attend regularly are likely to have a good outcome, it is important to know what kind of people they are.

In a meta-analytic review of the literature on AA, Emrick et al. (1993) found that those most likely to affiliate successfully:
Had a history of external supports to stop drinking
Were more likely to have experienced loss of control over drinking
Were more anxious about their drinking
Were obsessively involved with their drinking
Believed alcohol improved mental functioning.

It is important to note that these findings on successful AA affiliation were confined to US alcohol misusers.

Mankowski, Humphreys and Moos (2001) showed that greater involvement in 12-Step groups after discharge from formal treatment is related to the degree of compatibility between the alcohol misuser’s personal belief system and that of the mutual aid group. Tonigan, Miller and Schermer (2002) reported that atheists and agnostics were less likely to initiate and sustain AA attendance than spiritual and religious individuals and recommended that this be taken into account when encouraging AA participation.

In a survey of service users carried out in conjunction with the Scottish Health Technology Assessment Report (Slattery et al., 2003), it was found that most respondents had attended at least one meeting of AA. While all said they recognised that AA works well for many people, most felt it was not suitable for them. Those who found it beneficial, although in a minority, seemed to gain considerable support.

The results of this survey confirm the view that AA is not suited to all alcohol misusers. Some may be put off by the spiritual aspects of AA teaching and others may have difficulty in revealing the details of their personal lives to others. This argues for a range of mutual aid approaches to be made available.

There have been no controlled trials of the effectiveness of Al-Anon, but there is evidence that members show improvements in emotional adjustment through participation in the organisation (Humphreys, 2004).

Members of AA tend to do better if their spouses are affiliated to Al-Anon – however, affiliation to Al-Anon by the spouse does not appear to make alcohol misusers more likely to attend AA or to initiate formal treatment.

Hughes (1977) showed that, among teenage children of alcohol misusers, Alateen members had significantly fewer emotional problems that those in matched comparison groups.

12.4.3 Conclusions

AA appears to be effective for those alcohol misusers who are suited to it and who attend meetings regularly (IIA)
AA is a highly cost-effective means of reducing alcohol-related harm (II)
Not all alcohol misusers find the AA approach acceptable (II)
Coercive referral to AA is ineffective (IA) [see above]
Al-Anon and Alateen are effective in providing emotional support to families of AA members (IIB).”

(our emphases) (comments in red)


The Fellas (Friends of Alcoholics Anonymous … but no friends of the 'chit-system'!)

PS For AA Minority Report 2013 click here

Saturday, 20 September 2014

Bill and Bob's Excellent Adventure! (contd)

A wildly imaginative dianoetic rambling concerning the the “basic text” of Alcoholics Anonymous (viz. the Big Book) (our comments in red print)


Figures given in this foreword describe the Fellowship as it was in 1955.

Since the original Foreword to this book was written in 1939, a wholesale miracle has taken place. Our earliest printing voiced the hope “that every alcoholic who journeys will find the Fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous at his destination. Already,” continues the early text “twos and threes and fives of us have sprung up in other communities.”

Sixteen years have elapsed between our first printing of this book and the presentation in 1955 of our second edition. In that brief space, Alcoholics Anonymous has mushroomed into nearly 6,000 groups whose membership is far above 150,000 recovered alcoholics. Groups are to be found in each of the United States and all of the provinces of Canada. A.A. has flourishing communities in the British Isles, the Scandinavian countries, South Africa, South America, Mexico, Alaska, Australia and Hawaii. All told, promising beginnings have been made in some 50 foreign countries and U. S. possessions. Some are just now taking shape in Asia. Many of our friends encourage us by saying that this is but a beginning, only the augury of a much larger future ahead.[see Timeline]

The spark that was to flare into the first A.A. group was struck at Akron, Ohio, in June 1935, during a talk between a New York stockbroker [Bill Wilson] and an Akron physician [Dr Bob]. Six months earlier, the broker had been relieved of his drink obsession by a sudden spiritual experience, [see Bill's Story] following a meeting with an alcoholic friend [Ebby Thacher] who had been in contact with the Oxford Groups of that day. He had also been greatly helped by the late Dr. William D. Silkworth, a New York specialist in alcoholism who is now accounted no less than a medical saint by A.A. members, and whose story  [note the term 'opinion' in the chapter heading – contrary to AA received wisdom it would seem that 'opinions' are not entirely to be dispensed with!] of the early days of our Society appears in the next pages . From this doctor, the broker had learned the grave nature of alcoholism [again contrary to AA conventional thinking it would seem that a non-alcoholic is quite capable of 'carrying the message']. Though he could not accept all the tenets of the Oxford Groups [foreshadowing an early break with the aforementioned organisation], he was convinced of the need for moral inventory, confession of personality defects, restitution to those harmed, helpfulness to others, and the necessity of belief in and dependence upon God.

Prior to his journey to Akron, the broker had worked hard with many alcoholics on the theory that only an alcoholic could help an alcoholic, [but see above] but he had succeeded only in keeping sober himself. The broker had gone to Akron on a business venture which had collapsed, leaving him greatly in fear that he might start drinking again. He suddenly realized that in order to save himself he must carry his message to another alcoholic. That alcoholic turned out to be the Akron physician.”

(our emphases)

Coming next – Foreword to Second Edition (contd)


The Fellas (Friends of Alcoholics Anonymous)

Caution: This curse (sorry!!) COURSE is not to be taken as AUTHORITATIVE nor is it to be regarded as DEFINITIVE in any way. Anyone found to be according it any undue status will be reported to the appropriate authorities (ie. GSO York or whoever) who will then do …. ABSOLUTELY NOTHING! (quite rightly too we say!). Moreover any person discovered to be quoting from the aforementioned course will be TERMINATED with extreme prejudice!

Friday, 19 September 2014

And finally …... Conference questions (2014) – almost!

55. A proposed minority report for consideration.

Terms of Reference No. 7 The questioner has been referred to document "How to submit a topic or question for Conference".”

Comment: Or as the Terms of Reference should read: how the AA conference avoids confronting an issue when it's staring them directly in the face! Here's the report in question: Minority Report 2013

See here for a full list of other questions that didn't quite get through the 'filter'


The Fellas (Friends of Alcoholics Anonymous)

PS We look forward to next year's crop of discarded questions!

Thursday, 18 September 2014

The AA Member – Medications and Other Drugs (contd)

Extract: (our observations in red print)

Note to medical professionals

Cooperation with the professional community has been an objective of Alcoholics Anonymous since its beginnings. Professionals who work with alcoholics share a common purpose with Alcoholics Anonymous: to help the alcoholic stop drinking and lead a healthy, productive life. [Note: not strictly accurate. Some medical experts advocate a 'harm minimisation' approach and do not regard complete abstinence as necessary. Therefore their objectives differ completely from that of AA]

As noted in the introduction, some A.A. members must take prescribed medications. However, our experience indicates that the misuse [Note the use of the word 'misuse' – not 'use'] of prescription medication can threaten the achievement and maintenance of sobriety. [Again AA 'experience' is no substitute for a proper medical diagnosis; the latter should ALWAYS take precedence]. The suggestions provided in our introduction are offered to help A.A. members find the right balance and minimize the risk of relapse.”

(our emphases)


The Fellas (Friends of Alcoholics Anonymous)

To be continued

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Memorial: Dr. Bob, January, 1951, Bill W

See also Links and downloads

PS For AA Minority Report 2013 click here