Tradition 5

“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.” Bill W. wrote this in a Grapevine article in April 1948 he goes on to say we have a sacred trust, “”that only a recovered alcoholic can do much for a sick alcoholic,”.

I could quote and quote of how many times the above idea is repeated in our literature.  That the very core of our program is for one alki to help another alki get through the swinging doors.  I was once privileged to hear two meth addicts share with one another their experience, it was the most intimate conversation outside of sex I can remember.  They were connecting on a level denied to me, because I was outside looking in, I could not identify with what they were sharing.  That is what members of AA are asking for, the right to have a meeting where that intimacy is allowed. Where the direction, content and purpose of ANY AA meeting reserves the right to help only those who have a desire not to drink.

Approximately eighty five percent of the meetings in Utah are open meetings. They are not open, as they were when I got sober, to allow wives and children to hear how AA works from other members.  Not there to allow that drunk who couldn’t make up his mind to listen to a member of AA share their open meeting story.  No the open meetings in Utah, and other areas are there to allow those with “problems other than alcohol” to participate.

I can hear the grip already, “damn old timer” you are absolutely right but how did I get to be an old timer. I surrendered to a Higher Power and followed the men and women who knew how to stay sober.  If alcohol is not your most pressing problem have the respect and courtesy of bringing your problem to a group of men and women who can help you.  But you are not the problem the problem are the members of AA who lack the courage to up hold the principles of AA.  To hold sacred the torch being passed to them that when my loved ones need a meeting where they can find the holy connection that I had when Joe C came to my house and shared his story.

Is your group dedicated to helping only alcoholics?


~ John McG.
Park City

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