Tuesday, December 1, 2009

A.A. Tradition 3: Common Problem... Common Solution... Truth

Tradition Three:

Our membership ought to include all who suffer from alcoholism. Hence we may refuse none who wish to recover from alcoholism. Nor ought A.A. membership ever depend on money or conformity. Any two or three alcoholics gathered together for sobriety may call themselves an A.A. group, provided that, as a group, they have no other affiliation.

First, don't assume that anyone in an A.A. meeting is an alcoholic. Individuals are allowed to decide that for themselves, but good sponsorship, if you will, can straighten this out. It requires what's already laid out in that wonderful book. If someone is in the wrong place, we can direct them to someone who can better help them.

"Cooperation with other fellowships and the professional community."

Remember that one?

"It's not us against them!" This takes a lot of pressure off of me and you.

It is said that the 12 Steps will work for about any group, if there's the foundation of truth; common problem.

It is said that just about everything that we know about alcoholism came to us from non-alcoholics, like Dr. Silkworth and Dr. Harry Tiebout for example.

Just about everything about spiritual came from non-alcoholics, like Sam Shoemaker, Dr. Carl Jung, Fr. Ed Dowling, etc.

"We don't have the answer. We have an answer. The principles are universal. They have been freely given to us and we share them freely." This... also takes a lot of pressure off of me... and us.

It is said that some of our professional community and other friends of A.A. are leaving off the physical craving phenomena of alcoholism and it's the very thing that sets us apart from the non-alcoholics... and it's not their fault. It's ours. Should we not stick to the one thing we do well? A.A.?

The most anti-social, anti-God, anti-each other group of alcoholics can call themselves an A.A. group...which leads to Tradition 4.


  1. And I quote;
    "The most anti-social, anti-God, anti-each other group of alcoholics can call themselves an A.A. group...which leads to Tradition 4".

    Not really.
    Sobriety, per AA definition, is defined as "The freedom from alcohol through the practice and teaching of the 12 steps".

    Therefore, if you're not gathered for "Sobriety" per AA definition, you may not call yourself an AA group per tradition 3.

    Unfortunatley what I see happening is that "Lifering" meetings and "Smart" meetings are what's really going on inside the rooms of AA and AA is taking the heat for the failure because we're the ones with the sign on the door. Shame on us for not holding the newcomers feet to the fire.
    Why are we out numbered inside the rooms of AA by Lifering Members? We allow it. It's my fault. Why are people coming to AA and sitting on step 3 for years? We allow it. It's my fault. Why are pople coming to AA just to have someone to talk to? We allow it. It's my fault. Why the hell is there a group therapy session going on inside my meeting?? We allow it. It's my fault.
    Is any of it AAs fault??? No it's not. It's my fault for allowing this to happen in my presence. It's the fault of any Member who doesn't take a stand and clean the meeting out. Rid the fellowship (small "f") of the ones that have no desire to get sober via 12 steps and rid the fellowship of those that stand for it and encourage it. These hour long bullshit sessions with free coffee have become the norm.
    Again, it's my fault.

  2. For what it's worth.
    Traditions 3,4 and 5 are like a tradition sandwich.

    Tradition 3 says you must be an alcoholic and you must be there for sobriety through the 12 steps. Otherwise, go elsewhere.

    Tradition 5 says our primary purpose is to carry our message to other alcoholics. That is the message of our group. "It's message" is the wording and if our group is weak then so is our message.

    Then comes the dreaded Tradition 4 that says we can do whatever we want even if it means tossing the strong traditions like 3 and 5 out the window.

    So we ignore the two slices of bread on the outside and go for the good stuff in the middle that's a lot more desireable than a couple slices of bread anyhow. I guess we feel that the bread to the birds.

  3. So... when I hear that guy announce himself as "Sober in recovery" instead as "My name is Zed, and I'm an alcoholic", I'm getting Cockring sobriety... er, I mean LifeRing sobriety?