Sunday, July 10, 2011

Bill W. on Tradition 3

Tradition 3: The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking.

"Yet Point Three in our AA Tradition looks like a wide open invitation to anarchy. Seemingly, it contradicts point one. It reads, "Our membership ought to include all who suffer from alcoholism. Hence,  we may refuse none who wish to recover. Nor ought AA membership  ever depend on money or conformity.

Any two or three alcoholics  gathered together for sobriety  may call themselves an AA group." This clearly implies that an alcoholic is a member if  he says so; that we can't deny him membership; that we can't demand from him a cent; that we can't force our beliefs or practices on him; that he may flout everything we stand for and still be a member.

In fact, our Tradition carries the principle of independence to such a fantastic length that, so long as there is the slightest interest in sobriety, the most unmoral, the most antisocial, 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!"

(Language of the Heart, pp 32-33. © The AA Grapevine, Inc.)