I don't disparage those stories. I've read the new stories in the 4th Edition -- and some of them -- in my opinion, do more harm than good. The original intended purpose for adding new stories in the back of the book, was to be an example of the current Fellowship changes -- not in current changes to "the program of recovery" changes.
When stories of the current Fellowship changes reflect the changes that some are making in the fellowship -- that's off-base to the original program of recovery -- that hasn't changed -- they shouldn't be included in the book as examples. That further distances the new people in the Fellowship from the real deal of the AA program of recovery.
The AA program of recovery is not the Fellowship -- it's the original text of the Big Book & the Dr.'s Opinion & Forward to the First Edition.
As suggested, when this topic was added -- the benefits of studying the AA history -- is because much of the Fellowship has strayed from "How it works". (AA's Program of Recovery). It has changed so much that in many places -- new people are encouraged to do it buffet style -- make up their own program of recovery by taking out or adding whatever they want. Then, they can't figure out why they're not staying sober. They then say... "well I tried AA and it didn't work." They didn't try AA -- because AA does work.
What they tried was their buffet style program and referred to it as AA. They followed their own ideas of "How it should work and how they were going to work it" -- and, most often, they were encouraged by those in the AA Fellowship that did the same thing.
If they are going to change the program of recovery to their program of recovery -- I say they should hit the road, write their own book, and put whatever stories they want to in their book. Then, when suffering alcoholics try their New & Improved Modernized Program of Recovery -- according to them -- the suffering alcoholics are not apt to say "I tried AA and it didn't work" -- they can legitimately say "I tried The Other Way Out" and it didn't work -- so, now "I'll try it AA's way."
The Big Book came before the Fellowship. How's that? Well -- up until the book was published -- they're were no AA's. The Pioneer's didn't have an official name for their Fellowship -- they were still in the "pioneering and experimental stages." Once the book was published -- it became their "text book" with their "official program of recovery". The R&D stage was over. They broke their ties to other "outside fellowships" and named themselves after their official text book. The authentication days were over.
So, if the original pioneers -- broke off their ties to "outside ideas", wrote an official text book of their recovery program, and decided to name themselves "after the book"... those who do it "outside the book" really should write their own book, and name themselves after "the other book."
That's how I see it. If that's disparaging (spelling?
) then, yep, I guess I'm doing that after all.
Have you ever seen the TV commercial -- where Burger King customers go to Burger King -- and they order the Original Whoppers -- and the people behind the counter serve them Big Mac's, Quarter Pounders, and Square Cheeseburgers? It's a great metaphor of AA.