- Why study AA history?

Why study AA history?




General discussions related to A.A. History.

Postby GeoffS » Sat Dec 06, 2008 7:06 pm

They have a list of things they 'stand for'

at some of these I baulked,

for example, the won where they want courts to make people attend their meetings, tradition 11?

thats just one example for me. I don't think it matters what other issues I thought there were. Its not for me and I wouldn't encourage others. But if others choose it, then of course I wish them well in their recovery.
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Postby Dallas » Mon Dec 08, 2008 2:14 am

But if others choose it, then of course I wish them well in their recovery.


Ditto on those well wishings also! :wink:

I'm all for anything that will help any alcoholic to recover and to ease the pain of those that love him/her the alcoholic. To me, it doesn't matter if it's AA, church, religion, transactional analysis, psychotherapy, a different program, or even voodoo! :lol: :lol:

What concerns me -- is when they mix those things up with and into AA, and start referring to AA, as if there is some association between the sect, philosophy, therapy, denomination, or whatever -- and AA.

Example: If I'm going to mix it up to modify it then I need to re-name what I'm doing to "The Dallas Anonymous Program" and not AA.

Then, if me and other people try "My Program" and we all end up drunk or dead -- it doesn't give AA a black eye over it.

And, of couse... if "My Program" is so successful.......... :lol: :lol:
I want "all the credit" AND everything that goes into the basket!!! :lol: :lol: :lol: (I wouldn't want to mix it up with AA, because I'd be asking for a $10 bill in the basket instead of a buck... where someone could get buyers remorse and complain that they can get it cheaper at AA!!! )

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Postby sunlight » Thu Feb 12, 2009 3:56 pm

Just an update on how Back to Basics book study went. The group got burned out on it before we were halfway through. It was the long-timers that didn't want to read it anymore, saying it was just repeating the big book, though it DID prompt discussion on "the way we were".

As soon as I get a Saturday off, I will go to the oldest AA club in Denver & check out one of the Back to Basics meetings held on that day. I am shooting for no contempt prior to investigation.

Back to you, Chet... :wink:
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Postby Dallas » Fri Feb 13, 2009 6:47 am

"the way we were".


What if... rather than investigating how other groups are doing something -- we just investigate ourselves! :lol:

What if... instead of the focus being the way someone else thinks we were... to look at the way we are... and the way we can be?

If this was my "What if's" (and who would think they're not :lol: :lol: )... I would first go line by line and word by word... through the Big Book, following the precise instructions there... and trying to do precisely what was written to do... then, I'm getting it "first-hand" from the Pioneer's of AA, themselves.

I would stick with the front cover, up to page 164... and then, the stories that made it in the first, second, third and fourth editions... in other words... the stories that were in the first and second editions... and the heck with the rest.

That was my starting point in my own personal investigating... sticking with the Big Book. If you do what's in the front sections of the Big Book, the best you can... it won't matter what "way they were"... because you'll be doing it... :wink:

When I finished that... I used "AA Comes of Age, Pass it On, & Dr. Bob & the Good Oldtimers." There is great AA history right there!

Then,I listened to old tapes of the Pioneer's... talking themselves about themselves... instead of listening to someone or some group say "this is what they did".

For me, that provided me with a solid-AA-foundation of AA's history.

Sometimes, things sound good and look good... and appear good... but, someone was wrong about it! :lol:

We have it all written down and preserved for us.

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Postby sunlight » Fri Feb 13, 2009 3:48 pm

Sometimes, things sound good and look good...and appear good...but, someone was wrong about it! :lol:


Boy, I hear that!

Thanks, Dallas.
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Postby Tim » Fri Feb 13, 2009 7:31 pm

Dallas--I've never run into anyone in AA who disparages 4th edition Big Book stories that were not in the first two editions (Read: Any stories written in the past 54 years)
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Postby Dallas » Sat Feb 14, 2009 2:20 am

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. :lol: 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." :lol: :lol:

That's how I see it. If that's disparaging (spelling? :lol: ) then, yep, I guess I'm doing that after all. :lol:

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. :lol: :lol:



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Postby Tim » Sat Feb 14, 2009 12:28 pm

**Tim watches as Dallas lifts the bun from the burger and exclaims in shock, "Where's the beef?"**
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Postby Dallas » Sat Feb 14, 2009 7:18 pm

Hee hee!!! :lol: :lol: :lol:

Precisely! :wink:

When I was in my early days of AA, I thought I was making progress. And, I was making progress -- but, I wasn't making the kind of progess that I needed to be making -- in the time that I needed to make it.

I later learned that there is Grace -- but, there is also something known as "The Grace Period!" After the Grace Period -- not only do we have to make our minimum payment -- we have acquired interest -- and, then a little while longer -- we have penalties! And, then suddenly our account is over drawn, the total amount due is due with the penalty and interest, and the account gets closed! :lol: :lol: Then, maybe it's someone somewhere in the back office lets us know we need to cut our Sobriety card in have and throw it away! Because, now -- it is worthless to us! :lol: :lol:

So... on the day I was starving... and really needed a meal... I placed my order... and when my order was ready... it was "Sorry Dallas. Your account has been closed and you'll have to starve!" :lol: :lol: And, I did!

So, after my drinking and toxic emotions killed me again -- and I got a second chance at rebirth... I wasn't about to fool around with it! I was tired of being dead, over and over and over and over again! I knew it was my last chance... and I was convinced... that since I had already "tried AA"... that it wasn't going to work for me!!!

And, it didn't work for me... until I started working It! :wink:

I learned that "How it works"... actually meant "This is precisely what you must do -- in the time period that we suggest -- if you want what we have and are willing to go to any lengths to have it!"

And, it worked for me as it has worked for countless others.

Because of listening to things that I heard in AA meetings -- from some seasoned AA's -- it nearly killed me -- and I was convinced that "Well... that was AA and I already tried that! And, it didn't work!"

I guess that's why I'm a little sensitive about AA's program of recovery.

I nearly died -- forever and for good -- going to the AA buffet! :lol:

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Postby GeoffS » Mon Feb 16, 2009 10:19 pm

Funny this being discussed now, this morning I had a conversation with a guy who wants me to sponsor him, he'd been on the in and out boom then bust cycle with another sponsor. Of course I am doing it, and asked him to start by reading the BB of AA, at the Preface, then the forewords, then the Dr's Opinion, then we'll talk a bit. His astounded (and astounding) reply was "my last sponsor told be just to skip those bits and get on with the steps in Chapter 5."

I pointed out that if he wants what I have, he needs to do what I've been doing. That is the whole program of AA from the start onwards. I did not drink 'Alcohol Lite' so I doubt AA Lite will do for me. I'd like what the guys I know in front of me have, and they got there by sticking to the black parts on the pages of the BB, all of them.

Others (including those in the new stories) may get and stay sober using the AA buffet or their own take on things. Thats great, good luck to them, I wish them a happy safe recovery. I'd prefer to stick with the guys I trust, and they trust the program as written in the BB. Its there in full detail in the first 164 pages. And you know what for them it works, and for me it works, and I'm gratefully not going to try and fix it cos it ain't broke. If I tinker with it, it will sure as hell break.

Or as someone once said "We, of Alcoholics Anonymous, are more than one hundred men and women who have recovered from a seemingly hopeless state of mind and body. To show other alcoholics precisely how we have recovered is the main purpose of this book. For them, we hope these pages will prove so convincing that no further authentication will be necessary."
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