Tradition 7 & Check List

The 12 Traditions of Alcoholics Anonymous, the principles that hold our groups and society together.
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Tradition 7 & Check List

Post by Tommy-S » Fri Sep 07, 2012 5:48 pm

Tradition Seven, Long Form: The A.A. groups themselves ought to be fully supported by the voluntary contributions of their own members. We think that each group should soon achieve this ideal; that any public solicitation of funds using the name of Alcoholics Anonymous is highly dangerous, whether by groups, clubs, hospitals, or other outside agencies; that acceptance of large gifts from any source, or of contributions carrying any obligation whatever, is unwise. Then too, we view with much concern those A.A. treasuries which continue, beyond prudent reserves, to accumulate funds for no stated A.A. purpose. Experience has often warned us that nothing can so surely destroy our spiritual heritage as futile disputes over property, money, and authority.
“Self-supporting alcoholics? Who ever heard of such a thing... Always we have had our hands out. Time out of mind we’ve been dependent upon somebody, usually money-wise. (12 x 12, pg 160)
Recovery meant standing on our own feet, personally, and as a group. I once heard in a meeting, “Alcoholics had a ten-foot umbilical cord, looking for someone else to plug in to, to feed and care for us.” As I grew in AA, and learned to take responsibility for myself, so must I share responsibility for my group, and AA as a whole.

(Being an 'e-AA' member is no different. Internet and website space cost money.)

Some of my sobriety has been on ship, and in war zones, and in service to Prisons. Because of the donations of groups, those service centers have always had the funds to remain in operation to answer a request for help no matter where it came from.

Self-supporting also granted us freedom, as ‘whoever pays the piper calls tune’. AA could remain free from outside influences ONLY if it funded AA services itself.
“our Trustees...declared for the principle that AA must always remain poor. Reasonable operating expenses plus a prudent reserve... Approving editorials here and abroad generated a great new wave of confidence in the integrity of Alcoholics Anonymous... the irresponsible had become responsible...” (AA Comes of Age, pg 114)
Lastly, in AA, we also ‘vote’ with our purses and wallets. If one AA wishes to run the meeting ‘his/her’ way, contrary to Group Conscience, or a District ignores Group requests, or the GSO takes us in a direction the majority thinks unwise, we AA’s tighten up the donations... Concept VII which insures AA’s ‘Ultimate Authority’ rests with the Groups and not our “Designated Authority” of the General Service Board. (AA Service Manual) ... roduct=100



Practice These Principles…**

Tradition Seven: Every AA group ought to be fully self-supporting, declining outside contributions.

1. Honestly now, do I do all I can to help AA (my group, my central office, my GSO) remain self-supporting? Could I put a little more into the basket on behalf of the new guy who can’t afford it yet? How generous was I when tanked in a barroom?

2. Should the Grapevine sell advertising space to book publishers and drug companies, so it could make a big profit and become a bigger magazine, in full color, at a cheaper price per copy?

3. If GSO runs short of funds some year, wouldn’t it be okay to let the government subsidize AA groups in hospitals and prisons?

4. Is it more important to get a big AA collection from a few people, or a smaller collection in which more members participate?

5. Is a group treasurer’s report unimportant AA business? How does the treasurer feel about it?

6. How important in my recovery is the feeling of self-respect, rather than the feeling of being always under obligation for charity received?


** These questions were originally published in the AA Grapevine in conjunction with a series on the Twelve Traditions that began in November 1969 and ran through September 1971. While they were originally intended primarily for individual use, many AA groups have since used them as a basis for wider discussion.

Reprinted with Permission AAWS
Together, we don't have to cave in or wimp out to that Fatal First One, no matter what today!

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Re: Tradition 7 & Check List

Post by PaigeB » Mon Sep 10, 2012 11:10 pm

Could I put a little more into the basket on behalf of the new guy who can’t afford it yet? How generous was I when tanked in a barroom?
I really have to point out that 1$ in 1940 was A LOT. Now you can't get a cup of coffee for 1$ !!!!!!!! Seriously, we should start putting in at least 2$ as yesterday's 1$ is now worth about .44 cents! And THAT is just self supporting for my one self... this checklist asks if I should give MORE to help carry the newcomer until they can be self supporting. Here is the 7th Tradition basket for e-aa

But also more, The Grapevine is not self supporting and will likely be absorbed by GSO and not be a separate entity. Great a subscription for yourself and get one for a treatment center or a sponsee.

We need to set aside some money in our wills and/or make personal donations directly to our Districts, Areas and/or GSO.

New slogan? Give until it feels good! And pass it on.
Cling to the thought that, in God's hands, the dark past is the greatest possession you have - the key to life and happiness for others. With it you can avert death and misery for them. page 124 BB

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Re: Tradition 7 & Check List

Post by MyNameisVictor » Mon Mar 25, 2013 12:44 pm

Hi all,

I just had to give a talk on this at an AA group here in NJ. IMHO, the 7th tradition is brilliant because it ensures that money will never, ever be the higher power in AA. By being self-sufficient and declining outside contributions, AA will never be an evangelical organization where you have some guy on a pulpit shouting "God personally told me to raise money for a new chapel...", nor will it be like the rehab I went to in which they actually took patients whose insurance had run out, escorted them to the door and said, "good luck." The seventh tradition ensures that there will never be any hypocrisy to that effect. That's one of the main reasons why AA works.It makes sure that the sole purpose is to stay sober and help other alcoholics to achieve sobriety.
"They said a miracle would happen on my 90th day of sobriety, and it did happen...I was sober."
-Anonymous from the Trinity Group of AA in NYC

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Re: Tradition 7 & Check List

Post by Tommy-S » Tue Mar 26, 2013 9:05 am

Thanks Victor,

Another aspect of the 7th Tradition, one I looked for as a suspicious newcomer when I first came in, was "How much money do you have HAVE to make off me before you figure I am well?"

(I am still rather cynical when I get invovled with going for a license or clearance for a position, as it's a rather large, costly, and thriving industry)

AA, thankfully, sold only one thing...sobriety.

Together, we don't have to cave in or wimp out to that Fatal First One, no matter what today!

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