Secular aa groups not being listed in meeting guide

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Soberguy27
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Secular aa groups not being listed in meeting guide

Post by Soberguy27 » Mon May 21, 2018 10:35 pm

First let me say that I have been sober over 28 years now. I also have been an atheist the entire time. I tried to fake it til I make it but, you can't believe something you don't. In any case I was still able to work the steps guided by a very loving and caring sponsor. Now I have found some groups in my area that are secular groups. The problem is that my local central office refuses to list these meetings because they said we changed a few words in the steps. This really makes feel that I am no longer welcome or that groups who are atheist will not be recognized as an aa group.
Bill W. Once wrote in the grapevine in 1946 " So long as there is the slightest interest in sobriety, the most unmoral, the most anti-social, the most critical alcoholic may gather about him a few kindred spirits and announce to us that a new Alcoholics Anonymous Group has been formed. Anti-god, anti-medicine, anti-our recovery program, even anti-each other, these rampant individuals are still an aa group if they think so"
I realize that aa is a spiritual program but you can be spiritual without a God. Religion hasn't cornered the market on spirituality. Any thoughts on this and what can be done for these groups to be included?

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Tosh
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Re: Secular aa groups not being listed in meeting guide

Post by Tosh » Tue May 22, 2018 12:35 am

Soberguy27 wrote:Any thoughts on this and what can be done for these groups to be included?
I'm an atheist also, but I'm always welcomed in any A.A. meeting. Most folk don't seem to care what my theological view points are, apart from one foaming-at-the-mouth type, some years ago.

So myy thoughts are that if they've changed the steps, it's not really A.A. and shouldn't be listed as such. A line needs to be drawn somewhere, I guess, otherwise inch-by-inch an 'A.A. meeting' might get very strange.

I'm a member of a running club, if I started a cycling club and tried to say it was a running club, that would be weird, even though there's similarities with both sports.

So why can't they call the meetings something else, like 'Secular Recovery', create a website of their own, do their own marketing, and not try piggy backing onto A.A.?

Anyway, there's my thoughts; I don't claim them to be right btw. :lol:
Come, come, whoever you are. Wanderer, worshiper, lover of leaving. It doesn't matter. Ours is not a caravan of despair. Come, even if you have broken your vows a thousand times. Come, yet again, come, come.” Rumi (No sniggering from the sex addicts)

Soberguy27
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Re: Secular aa groups not being listed in meeting guide

Post by Soberguy27 » Tue May 22, 2018 6:29 am

The only change is the word God and reference to. Otherwise the steps are the same. I think that if groups like prime time AA who even have a disclaimer on their website that they are not to be confused with AA can be included in meeting listings then secular groups should also be included in the meeting listing. Otherwise to me the saying welcome we care means little. Even Bill W. says groups like ours is an AA group. It's stuff like this that makes aa seem like you're only welcomed if you are in the in group, if not go elsewhere. Sad to me. LGBT meetings are listed, how are se ular groups any different?

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Re: Secular aa groups not being listed in meeting guide

Post by tomsteve » Tue May 22, 2018 7:00 am

Soberguy27 wrote: Any thoughts on this and what can be done for these groups to be included?
i would say contact GSO new york and see what they suggest.

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PaigeB
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Re: Secular aa groups not being listed in meeting guide

Post by PaigeB » Tue May 22, 2018 12:26 pm

The problem is that my local central office refuses to list these meetings because they said we changed a few words in the steps.
So if you change a few words is it still AA? Is it still Conference approved literature? Is that a requirement? What do the Traditions and Concepts of Service tells us? How do they apply personally and at a Group Level? If not recognized at the central office, what does the Area say? What about the State Level? Calling GSO (212) 870-3400 is a good idea.

I am an atheist and I used semantics to get over my aversion to certain words. I had heard there was a SMART Recovery Group in town, but I did not try it and it folded before I could actually give it too much thought. It was held at a treatment center - and I have an aversion to those too, LOL.

Today I would not change a word of the first 164 pages. It worked for Them and it'll work for me.

I WOULD call GSO - I found them to be very helpful when I had a question about the Traditions and how they applied to my Home Group. I called and someone called me back and talked as long as I needed them to talk/listen.
Step 6 is "AA's way of stating, the best possible attitude one can take in order to make a beginning on this lifetime job... with most of them we shall have to be content with patient improvement." 12&12 Step Six, p.65

Soberguy27
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Re: Secular aa groups not being listed in meeting guide

Post by Soberguy27 » Tue May 22, 2018 4:42 pm

None of the litriture of the big book has been changed. The ONLY words changed are in the steps that we post on the wall and the only words changed is the word God. All else is the same. Now I realize that some may feel offended by this but not listing our groups in meeting listings isn't any different than if LGBT, Spanish speaking, or any other language meetings were excluded. If you don't agree with secular meetings then you probably wouldn't attend them just as I don't attend LGBT meetings because I am not gay. I still believe that their meetings should be included in the meeting guide as ours should be as well.

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Blue Moon
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Re: Secular aa groups not being listed in meeting guide

Post by Blue Moon » Wed May 23, 2018 12:34 am

Welcome to our world. e-AA is a registered AA Group, but has no representation at any annual AA General Service Conference. We get no voice or vote on how online AA is a legitimate part of AA, and whatever Conference opinions or votes there may be about online AA are skewed by folks who have "contempt prior to investigation" when it comes to online recovery.

At such times, perhaps the best you can do is vote with the feet and wait for "mainstream AA" to finally wake up to reality and heed Bill's warning that if AA ever dies it will be from within.
Ian S
AKA Blue Moon

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positrac
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Re: Secular aa groups not being listed in meeting guide

Post by positrac » Wed May 23, 2018 3:31 am

Tosh said:
So my thoughts are that if they've changed the steps, it's not really A.A. and shouldn't be listed as such. A line needs to be drawn somewhere.
Tosh I agree that keeping lines, traditions and history of AA and all of it's past success and failures that were lessons learned are necessary. If central office starts allowing "groups" to pick and choose then what we'll have is a club instead of an organized thing called AA.

I would dare to say that your situation is not the first nor the last and I have to wonder if I would be welcome in these "special" groups as I believe in the burning bush and all of that stuff in the Bible......My sobriety date is 01-11-1989 and my opinions are mine and the main point should be staying sober and living happy productive lives instead of picking at every frigging detail! In case you forgot -----> Life on Life's terms. Just saying not a judge, just happy to be alive and sober because I was falling fast before I hit my bottom in at smoking hole I climbed out of.
Work hard, stay positive, and get up early. It's the best part of the day.
George Allen, Sr.

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Re: Secular aa groups not being listed in meeting guide

Post by Greywolf » Sat Jun 23, 2018 7:14 pm

My personal experience was to see how I could change my attitude to accommodate AA instead of how AA could change to accommodate me. I found with a little effort I could fit into AA. Finding a Power greater than myself which I consented to call God and AA's generosity in having the only requirement for membership be desire to stop drinking allowed the most obstinate side of me to declare myself a member.

After that my biggest hurdle was my distaste for joining a group that would have me as a member. =biggrin
I don't care how much you know until I know how much you care.

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PaigeB
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Re: Secular aa groups not being listed in meeting guide

Post by PaigeB » Sun Jun 24, 2018 10:19 am

Blue Moon wrote:Welcome to our world. e-AA is a registered AA Group, but has no representation at any annual AA General Service Conference. We get no voice or vote on how online AA is a legitimate part of AA, and whatever Conference opinions or votes there may be about online AA are skewed by folks who have "contempt prior to investigation" when it comes to online recovery.

At such times, perhaps the best you can do is vote with the feet and wait for "mainstream AA" to finally wake up to reality and heed Bill's warning that if AA ever dies it will be from within.
WE ARE sorta listed on the website though....
For information about online meetings/online groups: http://aa-intergroup.org.
And of course we are listed with the online aa-intergroup.

I wonder if getting non-theistic meetings listed is a matter of going through the GSO process to get listed?
Or has it more to do with the fact that the meeting has changed some "words" in the "readings" here and there? The only way to work out the details is to work out the details.
Step 6 is "AA's way of stating, the best possible attitude one can take in order to make a beginning on this lifetime job... with most of them we shall have to be content with patient improvement." 12&12 Step Six, p.65

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