- A.A. Preamble

A.A. Preamble

Topics related to AA Meetings - and alcohol addiction recovery

Re: A.A. Preamble

Postby HolbrookGriffith » Tue May 29, 2012 4:13 pm

Not long ago I made a text document paraphrasing for an interested friend some key points from a piece on the Preamble that I ran across at aa(DOT)org. (Sorry, system wouldn't let me include the URL.)

The Preamble first appeared in the Grapevine in June 1947,
and was written by Tom Y., the Grapevine Editor at that time.

Its intent was to inform the public as to what A.A. is and what it is not.

The Preamble began appearing in each monthly issue of the Grapevine,
and later in A.A. Conference-approved literature.

The Preamble originally contained the wording, “…an honest desire to stop drinking…”

In 1958 the expression “honest desire” was discussed at great length at the General Service Conference.

It was considered impossible to determine what constitutes an “honest” desire, thus the word was dropped.

The current version of the Preamble (no "honest") has been in use since September 1958.
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Re: A.A. Preamble

Postby Dallas » Tue May 29, 2012 6:06 pm

Thanks for sharing that Smitty! ;-)
I'm always interested to know who did what -- and, when and what changes were made, and by whom, and what the circumstances or situations were. It helps me round out some of the pieces of the puzzle that I've picked up here and there. Hopefully, I'll have a clearer vision, and understanding of the picture and the story that the puzzle represents.

I love learning more and more about AA history, facts & trivia.

Please feel encouraged to continue to share! It's appreciated.

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Re: A.A. Preamble

Postby Dallas » Wed May 30, 2012 9:56 am

btw: Happy Birthday, Keith!

Breath Checkers: I've heard that in early AA, (pre Al-Anon) the wives of sober AA's would be the door greeters at the meetings. As members would arrive at the meetings, the wives would greet them, and sniff them, to find out who was drinking again! :-) Then, they'd report back to the sober old-timers to let them know "so-in-so is drinking again." LOL.

Yep. I've often wondered if the preamble was actually written before or after the short form of the 12 Traditions -- where there was much discussion going on about removing the "honest" desire part. And, which came first -- the Preamble printed in the Grapevine -- or the Short Form of the Traditions.

Some of the Groups were setting up "Rules" as to what the Test was to be -- for the subject to prove that they had "an honest desire" to stop drinking. In many areas, new prospects were being turned away and refused help -- because some older member of AA said "they don't have an honest desire." Or, the group had established things like "probationary periods" where the new member would have to appear before the "AA Board of Directors" for their area -- to find out if they could get off of probation-membership status, and then enjoy status as fully fledged members. LOL.

People that think we have serious problems in AA today -- would do well to go back and study the history of Early AA Groups in different areas. That's why I've concluded to my own understanding that -- there is nothing new in AA, and no new problems that are much different than the same problems that were faced in early AA. The only difference is: we now have literature that we can read and study -- to find out how the problems were solved in early AA. And, use that information as a reference, in solving our problems today.
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