Tradition 6 Dilemma- A Question of Conscience

Discussion related to the 12 Traditions
Roger B
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Joined: Thu Jun 30, 2011 4:48 pm

Tradition 6 Dilemma- A Question of Conscience

Postby Roger B » Thu Jun 30, 2011 5:48 pm

I have been losing sleep and praying about the dilemma (my problem) descibed below for about a year. I am seeking some rational thought relative to our A.A. Traditions, specifically the 6th tradition, prior to deciding on my actions. I would very much appreciate some wisdom!

A year ago my home group moved locations.

No issue with that..

Prior to moving some members of our home group and others formed a non AA specific "foundation for recovery." The purpose of the "foundation" is to provide a meeting facility for AA and other 12 step programs at a reduced charge. The "foundation" will accept voluntary donations from sources outside and in additionn to the AA membership. The "foundations board of directors will manage those funds for 1)" the betterment of the facilities, 2) furthering the work of Alcoholics Anonymous, as the board may see fit." The "foundation" will DBA or operate as "The _____CLUB." The club will solicit dues paying members.

The issue that I have with the above purpose statement is a "foundation" or "club" stating that it will further the work of A.A. What? Since our A.A. group is not able to enter into a long term lease for better meeting facilities the individuals of "foundation" have stepped up to be accountable to a landlord for rent. For that I am truely grateful!

Here is where I am conflicted:

The "foundation" or "The Club" worked the group conscience into accepting a rent of 80% of our A.A. Groups Seventh Tradition Basket. A majority of our A.A. members who were present at the Group Conscience Meeting and voted for the 80% arrangement were "foundation or club" members" and mostly its board of directors. The "foundation" is now our A.A> groups landlord.

Thus far our AA group is the only "recovery" group meeting in the facility. OUR A.A. group provides the MAJORITY financial support to the "foundation DBA The _____Club".
The "foundation" has positioned itself with it's board of directors not the A.A. group for "furthering the work of Alcoholics Anonymous, as the board of directors may see fit."

While I have made the decision to vote with my feet and not be involved in any way with the "foundation DBA as the Club"- The Landlord. I love the A.A. fellowship and our A.A. group.

An A.A group ought never endorse, finance, or lend the A.A. name to any related facility or outside enterprise,....."

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Postby Dallas » Fri Jul 01, 2011 3:30 am

I'm guessing here -- because I don't have first hand experience w/ the particular foundation or club that you are mentioning and writing about -- so, I'll try to use my previous experience and my understanding of the Traditions -- to treat it as a "hypothetical situation."

I'm guessing -- that the foundation "club" organizer and chosen board of directors -- has good motives and intentions -- but, they lack experience and understanding of the AA 12 Traditions and they lack experience of operating what we might call a "Club". They've turned the AA Group into a business entity -- trying to justify that they haven't done that, because "they know better than AA experience" in regards to "how to do it." :wink:

If our intentions and motives could keep us sober, that would be great! Many of us probably wouldn't have needed AA in the first place. We could have probably just quit drinking and stayed quit and transformed our lives on our own -- because of our good intentions and motives. However, the many of us, with the good intentions and motives -- if we were real alcoholics -- would soon discover that good intentions and good motives are not enough to keep us sober. :lol:

This foundation and the AA Group (the AA Members involved with it) will eventually face some difficult problems and difficult situations. And, let's hope that they all stay sober and that none of them die as a result of it.

We have tried, and true experience and wisdom -- passed on to us through Pioneer's of AA -- with our 12 Traditions. It's been my experience that it will help me to learn that experience and use it to the best of my ability, and eventually -- through my own mistakes of "using their experience" I'll gain some wisdom and insight, and be able to have some of those "Aha!" moments of understanding -- that will reflect on "why" we have the 12 Traditions.

A good metaphor, I believe, is sobriety. Many of us came to AA, and figured we were smart enough to do it a little different than how the Big Book suggests that we do it. It might work well for a while -- but, then down the sobriety road -- we'll discover that "our way" wasn't good enough to keep us sober, happy and alive. We'll either drink or die as a result of our experiments. Some of us, who live after experimenting -- will get a chance to make it back and do it differently.

Best wishes,

Dallas B.

Roger B
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Jun 30, 2011 4:48 pm

Postby Roger B » Fri Jul 01, 2011 8:43 am

Dallas- It is best to deal with this scenario as a hypothetical as I am trying to understand practical application of the intent of the 12 traditions and my personal actions. It is not about other personalities.

I think that the motives and objectives were all good and well intentioned at the onset. Some, but in no way all, of these people have 25+ years in our fellowship. They know or should know the 12 traditions.

As we know the devil is in the details. The implementation of a good, well intentioned idea appears to have been confused by ego and personalities. The "Foundation DBA THE Club" has establihed a governing body over the group conscience. The group conscience is in essence controlled by the board of the "Foundation DBA the Club".

There is more to the story. Having moved to a new and better meeting location, attendance and the flow of newcomers has not changed. Yet, "the foundation" decided to expand the facility and rent the adjacent space thus doubling their monthly rent requirement.

Soon, in spite of the fact that "club" members are paying $100/yr. in dues, a cash crunch appeared and there were announcements at the A.A. meeting that the "clubs" expenses were beyond what the group was bringing in 7th tradition contributions. There are now regular announcements to dig deep into pockets to pay the bills.

It still appears that the A.A. group is providing the majority financial support to "the foundation."

At the end of the day I have decided to try to get my ego out of this dilemma and let God decide what will become of the "foundation", "the Club" and the A.A. group.

Thanks for your thoughts.

See you as we "Trudge" the road...


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Re: Tradition 6 Dilemma- A Question of Conscience

Postby Toast » Fri Jun 15, 2012 5:21 pm

Tradition 6

“ An AA group ought never endorse, finance or lend the AA name to any related facility or outside enterprise, lest problems of money, property and prestige divert us from our primary purpose."

Since our humble inception way back in 1935 AA has never had an enemy in the world. But can you imagine what kind of shape we be in today if we’d taken donations or contributions from political movements, religious sects or pharmaceutical companies who later turned out to be fiendishly corrupt? Organisations that caused the death or displacement of millions of innocents, do you honestly think we’d have lasted as long as we have while all these others fell by the wayside and returned to obscurity? No I don’t think so, by endorsing such organisations we’d rightly be held partly responsible for their actions. AA would then merely have been a flash in the pan like many so called ‘ altruistic’ organisations that shot up like a rocket and disappeared just as fast over the last 75 years. And today their would be no AA for we’d have sunk along with those who tried to exploit our hard earned good name for there own dishonest purposes.

All we AA’s really need is a place to meet and talk, nothing else. A bunch of bankrupt idealists like us have no need for large sums of money. Its been proven time and time again that money in large quantities has always caused trouble within a group. That’s why we give it all away to intergroup or buy literature and only keep a prudent reserve to pay the rent, buy coffee and cookies etc, that’s about all money is good for in AA.

This is all about keeping it simple; we deal with fixing drunks nothing else. We’re not a medical or educational organisation, we cant be all things to all men, after all we’re perfectionists who failed perfection, so what do we know? Well we do know what will happen to sick people if they continues to drink, so now we spend our energies giving away what we’ve learned in AA for free in the hope it may one day save someone’s life. A well-organised AA group run on spiritual principles fills the void where medicine and education fail.

And can you imagine the headlines if some well known TV personality spent thousands of dollars drying out at a private clinic that claimed to be part of AA and got drunk as a lord the day they came out? The press would have a field day claiming AA doesn’t work and we’re only interested in taking money from self-deluded drunks. Well sure AA does take in self-deluded drunks, that what were here for, it’s our primary purpose, but the last thing we want is their money.

By dividing the material from the spiritual a well-run AA group is able to span the divide between the political, religious and class boundaries that have beset our society for generations. And being the kind of people who obsessed about ‘ money, property and prestige’ all our lives its not hard to see why these unhealthy desires had to be removed from our recovery, they only get in the way of our search for true humility. The bottom line is we’ve never had enemies because we’ve never had money. If we did have loads of money we’d surely have an equal amount of enemies in the form of PR men, financial consultants, bankers or other ‘advisers’ who’d only be glad to tell us where we were going wrong with all those AA dollars, if we’d only ‘ listen to them’. Does this sound familiar? Enough said.

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