Sunday, October 24, 2010

Is there any hope to reclaim A.A. or do we have to go underground?

Rob B. posed a question which could stand on its own as a topic here;

"I went to a meeting last night that was loosely disguised as an AA meeting, I e-mailed Jim about it but would like to hear some discussion on the Anda's of the world and if there is anything we can do to reclaim this fellowship or is it to far gone? It disturbs me to think the real deal will have to find an underground group in order to find people who can help him recover."

So, there are meetings I go to where guys who identify themselves as addicts are actually chairing the meetings... meetings that are in the CSO list as an A.A. meeting.  Some identify as andas and some just addicts.  I often wonder what they think as they hear the preamble, How It Works, and Traditions read.

At our Oksoberfest about 8 years ago, we had a reader read the preamble and he screwed around and added the words "or addict" during his reading.  They were introducing the speaker whom was guess who?  None other than Paul Martin (R.I.P.)  He ripped the commitee and tho whole bunch a new one and spent about the first 10 minutes of his share talking about unity and the mess and danger that our fellowship has become.

But you guys know the deal... doggoneit!  Only one druggie buggie.


  1. Thanks for posting this Patrick. I hope some others will come in and share there thoughts.

    To me it is crystal clear. Sobriety Freedom from alcohol through the teaching and practice of the steps is the sole purpose of an AA group.

    More groups than not pick, choose and modify our traditions and standards to suit there needs. I think it is too far gone. Luckily there are places like living rooms, Denny's and vehicles where one drunk can work with another for the sole purpose of sobriety. I'm of the mind the fellowship is a giant clusterfuck of misguided folks. My guess is it will die eventually. So will a lot of drunks who needed to hear the real message from a real drunk.

  2. Hello Paul. Welcome here.

    ""Hi, my name is Darrell, and I'm an alcoholic anda drug addict."

    That's sort of what we mean be an anda. It might also mean an alcoholic with dual problems. Some of us may truely be alcoholics and addicts, but some of us feel they ought to be treated separately.

    A.A. is for alcoholics and there are other 12 step programs for other problems. Identification is key. A drug addict cannot help an alcoholic and an alcoholic can't help a drug addict.

    Some of us also feel that alcohol is not a drug and is just different. Many would argue this and say it's all garbage. But in the final analysis, they are in good company and many if not most meetings accommodate the alcoholic/addict/insert mental disorder here model.

  3. I recently commented on how was banned by a local detox. Banned from bringing meetings in there.

    Today we had our group inventory. One of the questions we looked at is "How well are we as a group fulfilling our commitment to carry our message into the local detoxes?" I said that we will probably do it so well that we get banned.

  4. My Monday night meeting was a good one and the topic was the 5th Step. One of our members came to the realization that two of us are done 5th stepping not and it's his turn to step up to the plate and finish his inventory and asked me if I'd hear his 5th when he's done.

    The other two guys in our group who seem to have no intention in agreeing to our group conscience and doing the middle work are saying things like, "Ah... ummmm... babble babble... ummm... free will... between me and God... nobody's business... babble babble... ah ummmm..."

    In crossfire, I posed a question to Gary asking him if he thinks it is his business to warn a person when they're headed off a cliff. He used me as an example. He said, "Remember a few months ago when I did that to you and you told me to go fuck off?" I said, "Yes, I do." He said, "That's the way it is sometimes. Ain't nothing wrong with that. You can tell me to fuck off. I don't care about that, but if you go drink, it's my duty to warn you or tell you that we see you deteriorating in the group before you leave and head out that door. But if you're gonna go drink, drink someplace else, not in our group."

    Going out and drinking again sucks, but the last time I did that, booze did something for me. I was able to come back and hear the group again. They tell me to do something I don't want to. I still say fuck off sometimes, but then I submit and do it because today, I DON'T want to drink. So we do this middle work... some of us.

  5. As a person who went out and drank, I get to see other people who really need this deal go back out and drink again... from time to time. And they don't do it because they are newcomers or because they're confused. Actually, they are rather sure of themselves and they know something. They usually are too smart for the group and they are usually hiding some kind of resentment or fear or maybe they are not really even hiding it. But it's not that they are scared. Usually I see quite the opposite. That's what I've observed anyway. Either that or they just won't do the damn work. They find some reason to not 4th step, miss something in inventory or won't 5th Step or don't 5th step with the right person and miss something there or don't complete their amends. If they don't need to do that stuff to stay sober, they don't stay in our group for long.

  6. We started out underground and it worked. We probably need to go back to our roots in order for things to start working again. Most meetings are a bullshit cocktail hour without the cocktails. Of course what I see and experience is that only a small fraction of AA is what you see in meetings. Or should be. If people want to call it AA, we can't stop them.
    I have seen a group here that was taken over by some of the more traditional type. They just waltzed in and commandeered the meeting. After about 2 months all the dickheads were gone.
    So there you have it. Go underground or take over meetings in packs of four or five. Set the tone and move on to the next loose group of dickheads.
    The best way to condone what's been going on is to remain silent. Speak out and you'll be real unpopular. Stand your ground and they'll go away.

  7. Hey Karl! Good to hear from ya.

  8. Good to be here. I moved to the middle of a corn field. It took a while to get internet. Then My Mother in Law came out for a visit and she was using my computer room.
    I couldn't keep my neighbors off my inventory. So the solution was simple. Move to the middle of a cornfield where I have no neighbors. We can ride Dirt Bikes, Hunt, Ducks, Geese and whatever between commercials, build bonfires, make pipe bombs, and let the dogs run loose. All without the Sheriff showing up.
    Talk about "Serene".
    Strange thing was I couldn't leave my Mother in Law here alone. She was scared. Go figure. Where she comes from there's Burglars, Axe Murderers, Rapists, Car Jackers, Thugs, Hoodlums, Gangs all over, etc... that she's OK with. Here on a good day a skunk might walk by worse case scenario and she doesn't want to be by herself after dark. I don't get it.
    Anyways, good to be back.

  9. A resounding YES! For all of our sakes, please go underground. You undermine the addiction treatment industry and medical science. My preference would be that you go away completely, and I imagine in 50 years you will, but I'd like to live to see the day.