What does "It's" refer to in Tradition 5?

The 12 Traditions of Alcoholics Anonymous, the principles that hold our groups and society together.
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Re: What does "It's" refer to in Tradition 5?

Post by PastDelegate57/65 »

Once again, a matter of trying to over-think the simple. "Its" message is embodied in the words of the 12th Step. Read it out loud to yourself and you will surely understand.

People "pervert" Tradition 5 "its" to mean whatever a Group believe is "its" message. There is not one single place in AA Literature that backs that up. One can even read what our message is in the Forward to the First Edition.

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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Re: What does "It's" refer to in Tradition 5?

Post by MacZa »

It's helpful to read the brief chapter in the 12 and 12, including the long form of tradition 5, in order to clarify the meaning of "its." Here's the long form:

"Each Alcoholics Anonymous group ought to be a spiritual entity having but one primary purpose -- that of carrying its message to the alcoholic who still suffers." (Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, p. 155)

Here, it is made clear that "its" refers to the AA group that has the stated primary purpose of carrying the AA message to alcoholics.

(I know I'm responding to an ancient thread, but unless I've misread it, no one seems to have looked at the long form of the tradition.)
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Re: What does "It's" refer to in Tradition 5?

Post by PaigeB »

Good Call MacZa! I didn't re-read the entire thread, but you nailed it with the long form.

Some groups read the portion of the Forward to the First Edition in their beginning of the meeting, so I hear that a lot. Glad you brought the Long Form to the discussion.
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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