Jump to content

Too Many Non-Alcoholics in AA


MrPatrickThai

Recommended Posts

The reason that AA's success rate has fallen due to too many heavy drinkers or drunk drivers going. Please, if you don't suffer from the disease of alcoholism as stated in the 4th tradition, stay away you are killing real alcoholics.

 

Our membership ought to include all who suffer from alcoholism. Hence we may refuse none who wish to recover. Nor ought A.A. membership ever depend upon money or conformity. Any two or three alcoholics gathered together for sobriety may call themselves an A.A. group, provided that, as a group, they have no other affiliation.

 

The short form, "a desire to stop drinking" was written for medical people. 

 

This guy explains it well.

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 124
  • Created
  • Last Reply
On 9/20/2017 at 2:22 AM, Jessi said:

This is why I seldom go to meetings now.

Maybe you should start a literature based meeting, ie the Big Book study, where one can only talk about what has been read.

 

Or go to a discussion meeting and make it "my experience of having a spiritual experience"

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 9/20/2017 at 6:54 AM, superglue said:

This is a tough call.

It is not for me to assess others as alcoholics or not.

The Bill & Bob method has been viable for many years.

 

I just hope that this dilemma is resolved soon. 

Principles before personalities.

I think it is for me to tell those whiners going on about the Bkk traffic at meetings and telling newcomers that they don't need to work the steps, or just go to meetings and don't drink,  to shut up.  

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...

I agree with the OP.

I got a call from an old gentleman asking if he could come to the meeting I attend. He said he was wanting to quit drinking and had stayed sober a year before with the help of people in AA but now was hitting it hard again. 

When I said the requirement was to be an alcoholic and have an honest desire to stop drinking, he said he wasn't an alcoholic but had a real need to cut down drinking. As our meeting is closed, I had to tell him he wasn't welcome there. This is hard to do for some but AA is for alcoholics.

Link to post
Share on other sites
16 minutes ago, Neeranam said:

I agree with the OP.

I got a call from an old gentleman asking if he could come to the meeting I attend. He said he was wanting to quit drinking and had stayed sober a year before with the help of people in AA but now was hitting it hard again. 

When I said the requirement was to be an alcoholic and have an honest desire to stop drinking, he said he wasn't an alcoholic but had a real need to cut down drinking. As our meeting is closed, I had to tell him he wasn't welcome there. This is hard to do for some but AA is for alcoholics.

Good on you mate!

 

Too many people now scared of hurting other's feelings! You did the right thing, as far as I'm concerned. But perhaps invite him to an open meeting.

Link to post
Share on other sites

The only requirement for AA membership is a desire to stop drinking.

 

Thank God I didn't have to be an alcoholic, because I wasn't an alcoholic when I first darkened the door almost 29 years ago.  At least not until about 60 days in when I heard enough stories similar to mine that I realized my very common definition of "alcoholic" was totally screwed.

 

Reading a lot of the threads here on TVF and going to thousands of meetings has also convinced me that a lot of people who could be helped can't seem to get past the semantics of what defines an alcoholic.  Not surprising given the crap that's floated around long before social media messed it up even more.

 

My favorite way to say it is that if drinking is causing problems in my life, I have a drinking problem.  Full stop.

 

I have absolutely no right to tell anyone who expresses a desire to stop, slow down or even think about slowing down that they're not welcome at a meeting.  Unless it's by a consensus of the group conscious- and I've occasionally seen that happen. 

 

I still remember the little old ladies who pointed me to a seat (and poured me a coffee) at my first meeting after some guy suggested I try the meeting down the hall.  The little ladies told him off jokingly, saying I didn't look sick enough to try Al-Anon...  28 years and 10 months later, I still haven't found it necessary to pick up that first drink.

Link to post
Share on other sites
37 minutes ago, impulse said:

The only requirement for AA membership is a desire to stop drinking.

Plus you have to be an alcoholic, obviously, as it is Alcoholics Anonymous.

 

Some guy comes in because he has diabetes and needs to stop for health reasons is not a member and should be told. Some guy who is sentenced by a judge because he got a DUI is not welcome.

 

I've wasted so much time in the past with sponsees who turned out to be just heavy drinkers. The first thing I do now is make SURE the new guy suffers from the disease of alcoholism, for if he doesn't he doesn't need to work the steps or need a spiritual experience and will spread this to the newcomer who is a real alkie, risking his life. 

 

It's not hard to find out is someone is an alcoholic or not. If  they're not, they are dangerous if they come to AA and tell others that all they do is go to the gym, come to meetings and go to the Pink Pussy bar twice a week for a massage.

 

I was at a meeting in Pattaya years ago and the chairperson said he was sober 20 years and all you need to do is go to meetings and not drink. As it turned out, most of them should have been in Sex Anonymous. 

 

I was about a year sober. This kind of talk could have killed me and trust me it has killed many alkies, these numpties that are too cheap to pay for the counselling they need and come to AA and rant about their problems and not how they recover. I'd love to meet that idiot again and tell him what I think of that suggestion.

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, impulse said:

The only requirement for AA membership is a desire to stop drinking.

Plus you have to be an alcoholic, obviously, as it is Alcoholics Anonymous.

 

Some guy comes in because he has diabetes and needs to stop for health reasons is not a member and should be told. Some guy who is sentenced by a judge because he got a DUI is not welcome.

 

I've wasted so much time in the past with sponsees who turned out to be just heavy drinkers. The first thing I do now is make SURE the new guy suffers from the disease of alcoholism, for if he doesn't he doesn't need to work the steps or need a spiritual experience and will spread this to the newcomer who is a real alkie, risking his life. 

 

It's not hard to find out is someone is an alcoholic or not. If  they're not, they are dangerous if they come to AA and tell others that all they do is go to the gym, come to meetings and go to the Pink Pussy bar twice a week for a massage.

 

I was at a meeting in Pattaya years ago and the chairperson said he was sober 20 years and all you need to do is go to meetings and not drink. As it turned out, most of them should have been in Sex Anonymous. 

 

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, impulse said:

 

Where does it say that?

It's obvious isn't it? Can a butcher be a member of a lawyer's society?

 

Our membership ought to include all who suffer from alcoholism. Hence we may refuse none who wish to recover. Nor ought A.A. membership ever depend upon money or conformity. Any two or three alcoholics gathered together for sobriety may call themselves an A.A. group, provided that, as a group, they have no other affiliation.

 

As it says  in the OP, this short BS version was written for medical people to give them an idea of what the traditions were. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
49 minutes ago, MrPatrickThai said:

It's obvious isn't it? Can a butcher be a member of a lawyer's society?

 

Our membership ought to include all who suffer from alcoholism. Hence we may refuse none who wish to recover. Nor ought A.A. membership ever depend upon money or conformity. Any two or three alcoholics gathered together for sobriety may call themselves an A.A. group, provided that, as a group, they have no other affiliation.

 

As it says  in the OP, this short BS version was written for medical people to give them an idea of what the traditions were. 

 

That's one opinion.   And it's a common opinion.  My AA line (My sponsor, his sponsor, his sponsor, and all the guys they sponsor) are big on reading only what's in black and white because reading between the lines and complicating stuff with our opinions is generally what got us in trouble.

 

“The only requirement for A.A. membership is a desire to stop drinking.”

 

Doesn't get any simpler or more clear than that.  Regardless of why the short form is the one that made it onto all the charts in front of every meeting.

 

By way of a more "reading between the lines" discussion, lots of alcoholics don't know they're alcoholics until after they've been around to hear enough stories that a few of them ring their bells.  Which was certainly the case with me.  But it's hard to hear enough stories to ring the bell if they don't let you into the meetings. 

 

Admittedly, there are good arguments on both sides.  One of the downsides of AA in Bangkok is that there aren't 1,000 meetings a week like back home (or 1,000 meetings a day like So California) where we can pick and choose the meetings that more closely adhere to our own beliefs.

 

Edit:  And just to be clear, I have no problem with the meetings who take a group conscious and collectively decide to take issue with DUI's sentenced to AA by the courts (Validly because of privacy issues), or that a recovery center's patients are disruptive and no longer welcome.  But I do take issue with any individual or clique that decides on their own who is welcome and who isn't.

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 05/10/2017 at 12:16 PM, Neeranam said:

I agree with the OP.

I got a call from an old gentleman asking if he could come to the meeting I attend. He said he was wanting to quit drinking and had stayed sober a year before with the help of people in AA but now was hitting it hard again. 

When I said the requirement was to be an alcoholic and have an honest desire to stop drinking, he said he wasn't an alcoholic but had a real need to cut down drinking. As our meeting is closed, I had to tell him he wasn't welcome there. This is hard to do for some but AA is for alcoholics.

Isnt prevention better than the cure. How do any of us know if that chap didnt go on and is now an alcholic? So you made it clear he wasn't welcome!. Sorry but what you did is wrong as far as im concerned you appointed yourself a Doctor and specialist ? Did you ever consider the old boy was infact reaching out for help! I seem to recall i always said im not an Alcholic honest i just need to cut down. Luckily the person i talked to listened and questioned me a little more over a period of time.

Link to post
Share on other sites
58 minutes ago, jeab1980 said:

Did you ever consider the old boy was infact reaching out for help!

 

I don't know too many people show up at an AA meeting for a lark.  So I generally assume they're there for help.  I suck at hard-ass AA.  That wouldn't have worked on me, though it's the only thing that works on some guys.  But I can't tell who those guys are based on the facade they present when they're all guarded, walking in as a relative noob.  

 

So my goal is to make them feel welcome enough to want to come back for another meeting.  That simple.  Just come back.

 

At zero dollars per meeting, they have plenty of time later to figure out if they've made a mistake.  And if they are a candidate for hard-ass AA, I introduce them to one of my hard-ass friends.  And if they're women, they get introduced to my women friends. 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
9 minutes ago, impulse said:

 

I don't know too many people show up at an AA meeting for a lark.  So I generally assume they're there for help.  I suck at hard-ass AA.  That wouldn't have worked on me, though it's the only thing that works on some guys.  But I can't tell who those guys are based on the facade they present when they're all guarded, walking in as a relative noob.  

 

So my goal is to make them feel welcome enough to want to come back for another meeting.  That simple.  Just come back.

 

At zero dollars per meeting, they have plenty of time later to figure out if they've made a mistake.  And if they are a candidate for hard-ass AA, I introduce them to one of my hard-ass friends.  And if they're women, they get introduced to my women friends. 

 

You didnt get the rest of his post he dismissed him out of hand the old guy didnt get the chance to go to his meeting.

Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, impulse said:

 

That's one opinion.   And it's a common opinion.  My AA line (My sponsor, his sponsor, his sponsor, and all the guys they sponsor) are big on reading only what's in black and white because reading between the lines and complicating stuff with our opinions is generally what got us in trouble.

 

“The only requirement for A.A. membership is a desire to stop drinking.”

 

Doesn't get any simpler or more clear than that.  Regardless of why the short form is the one that made it onto all the charts in front of every meeting.

 

By way of a more "reading between the lines" discussion, lots of alcoholics don't know they're alcoholics until after they've been around to hear enough stories that a few of them ring their bells.  Which was certainly the case with me.  But it's hard to hear enough stories to ring the bell if they don't let you into the meetings. 

 

Admittedly, there are good arguments on both sides.  One of the downsides of AA in Bangkok is that there aren't 1,000 meetings a week like back home (or 1,000 meetings a day like So California) where we can pick and choose the meetings that more closely adhere to our own beliefs.

 

Edit:  And just to be clear, I have no problem with the meetings who take a group conscious and collectively decide to take issue with DUI's sentenced to AA by the courts (Validly because of privacy issues), or that a recovery center's patients are disruptive and no longer welcome.  But I do take issue with any individual or clique that decides on their own who is welcome and who isn't.

 

There are plenty of meetings in Bangkok, where I got sober. Sadly, there's not enough literature-based ones for my liking. 

I agree with you that young people especially deny/don't that they're alcoholics and a desire to stop drinking is good to get them in the rooms.

However the tradition does state that "Our membership ought to include all who suffer from alcoholism." And there is good reason for that.

I agree with you that it is up to the group conscious to decide who is disruptive.

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

As Bill W wrote in the Grapevine:- 

"Our membership ought to include all who suffer alcoholism. Hence we may refuse none who wish to recover. Nor ought A.A. membership ever depend upon money or conformity. Any two or three alcoholics gathered together for sobriety may call themselves an A.A. group, provided that, as a group, they have no other affiliation."

This is a sweeping statement indeed; it takes in a lot of territory. Some people might think it too idealistic to be practical. It tells every alcoholic in the world that he may become, and remain, a member of Alcoholics Anonymous so long as he says so. In short, Alcoholics Anonymous has no membership rule.

Why is this so? Our answer is simple and practical. Even in self protection, we do not wish to erect the slightest barrier between ourselves and the brother alcoholic who still suffers. We know that society has been demanding that he conform to its laws and conventions. But the essence of his alcoholic malady is the fact that he has been unable or unwilling to conform either to the laws of man or God. If he is anything, the sick alcoholic is a rebellious nonconformist. How well we understand that; every member of Alcoholics Anonymous was once a rebel himself. Hence we cannot offer to meet him at any half-way mark. We must enter the dark cave where he is and show him that we understand. We realize that he is altogether too weak and confused to jump hurdles. If we raise obstacles, he might stay away and perish. He might be denied his priceless opportunity.

So when he asks, "Are there any conditions?" we joyfully reply, "No, not a one." When skeptically he comes back saying, "But certainly there must be things that I have to do and believe," we quickly answer, "In Alcoholics Anonymous there are no musts." Cynically, perhaps, he then inquires, "What is this all going to cost me?" We are able to laugh and say, "Nothing at all, there are no fees and dues." Thus, in a brief hour, is our friend disarmed of his suspicion and rebellion. His eyes begin to open on a new world of friendship and understanding. Bankrupt idealist that he has been, his ideal is no longer a dream. After years of lonely search it now stands revealed. The reality of Alcoholics Anonymous bursts upon him. For Alcoholics Anonymous is saying, "We have something priceless to give, if only you will receive." That is all. But to our new friend, it is everything. Without more ado, he becomes one of us.

Our membership tradition does contain, however, one vitally important qualification. That qualification relates to the use of our name, Alcoholics Anonymous. We believe that any two or three alcoholics gathered together for sobriety may call themselves an A.A. group provided that, as a group, they have no other affiliation. Here our purpose is clear and unequivocal. For obvious reasons we wish the name Alcoholics Anonymous to be used only in connection with straight A.A. activities. One can think of no A.A. member who would like, for example, to see the formation of "dry" A.A. groups, "wet" A.A. groups, Republican A.A. groups, Communist A.A. groups. Few, if any, would wish our groups to be designated by religious denominations. We cannot lend the A.A. name, even indirectly to other activities, however worthy. If we do so we shall become hopelessly compromised and divided. We think that A.A. should offer its experience to the whole world for whatever use can be made of it. But not its name. Nothing could be more certain.

Let us of A.A. therefore resolve that we shall always be inclusive, and never exclusive, offering all we have to all men save our title. May all barriers be thus leveled, may our unity thus be preserved. And may God grant us a long life --and a useful one!

Bill W.

The A.A. Grapevine, February, 1948

Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, impulse said:

I don't know too many people show up at an AA meeting for a lark.

I was walking up the road from the Bangkok group meeting one evening when I started asking a woman about how long sober she was. She said, "oh I've never drank, I just go to the meeting to improve my English"! 

There were a couple of overeaters there too, who went as there was no OA meetings. nobody had the balls to tell them to get the hell out. Maybe because they were women, a rare breed in Thailand expat AA.

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 05/10/2017 at 12:34 PM, MrPatrickThai said:

Good on you mate!

 

Too many people now scared of hurting other's feelings! You did the right thing, as far as I'm concerned. But perhaps invite him to an open meeting.

Yes, that's what I have done. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, jeab1980 said:

Isnt prevention better than the cure. How do any of us know if that chap didnt go on and is now an alcholic? So you made it clear he wasn't welcome!. Sorry but what you did is wrong as far as im concerned you appointed yourself a Doctor and specialist ? Did you ever consider the old boy was infact reaching out for help! I seem to recall i always said im not an Alcholic honest i just need to cut down. Luckily the person i talked to listened and questioned me a little more over a period of time.

There is no cure per se. This was only 2 weeks ago and the guy is nearly 80. I think by that age one knows if they are an alcoholic or not. 

I knew I was an alcoholic at 17, when getting delerium tremens. Non alcohols don't get those, don't need to be a specialist to know that.

Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, MrPatrickThai said:

There are plenty of meetings in Bangkok, where I got sober. Sadly, there's not enough literature-based ones for my liking. 

I agree with you that young people especially deny/don't that they're alcoholics and a desire to stop drinking is good to get them in the rooms.

 

I'm going to drop out of this discussion, but I'd suggest going to meetings in a couple of dozen cities before you make that claim, or decide what AA is all about.  And go to some meetings that make you feel uncomfortable.  It's a personal growth thing.   About 6 months in, I became a traveling salesman and spent the next 10 years on the road, generally leaving home by car on Monday, returning on Friday night.  My first action when I checked in to the hotel was to look up Intergroup and call to find a meeting. 

 

I got to go to meetings in dozens of cities all over the USA, and moving 5 times, got to have half a dozen "Home Groups" and several sponsors.  Really opened my eyes to the strength of the program, and conversely, how many screwed up, manipulative and predatory people there are.  There are towns where I'm surprised anyone gets sober.  And other Podunk places where I fell in love with the people.  Bottom line is that it was a humbling experience to find out how little I knew, and how my Home Group didn't have a monopoly on sobriety.

 

I've been welcomed in NA meetings, CA meeting, in gay meetings, in Debtors Anonymous meetings, and in others- (no women's meetings for me, though- I'm told they're kind of militant about that).  Because the 12 steps are the 12 steps, and the recovery is the same.

 

I had people insist on coming to my hotel to take me, a complete stranger out to dinner before the meeting, then include me in the after-the-meeting meeting.  I know of no other organization where that happens on a regular basis.  What a blessing-  built in friends in every city in the country.

 

There's always some controversy about the topic at hand, and I come down on the literal reading of the 3rd tradition, short form because I may have missed out on all of that had those little old ladies not taken it to heart at my first meeting.  No telling how my life would be different.

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, MrPatrickThai said:

Hi Impulse, please before you drop out listen to the above speaker and let us know your experience about meetings in the USA. You have much experience. 

 

Thanks for the link and will do once my VPN kicks in again here in China.  Where I'm 100+ km away from the nearest meeting.  And they're playing with the VPN because of the big cheese political meetings going on this month.

Link to post
Share on other sites

AA members convenient definition of a 'heavy drinker'

 

A person or persons who have proved to carry the ability to stop drinking without the aid of an external support  'programme'

 

You guys are starting to sound more like the freemasons than a self help group!!

Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, 473geo said:

AA members convenient definition of a 'heavy drinker'

 

A person or persons who have proved to carry the ability to stop drinking without the aid of an external support  'programme'

 

You guys are starting to sound more like the freemasons than a self help group!!

No, the is the medical experts definition too. Even Carl Jung said the alcoholic could not quit without a complete psychic/spiritual change.

Link to post
Share on other sites
10 minutes ago, MrPatrickThai said:

No, the is the medical experts definition too. Even Carl Jung said the alcoholic could not quit without a complete psychic/spiritual change.

Fine if the statement is protected by actions whereby as soon as somebody stops drinking without support and spiritual guidance they are immediately downgraded to 'heavy drinker'

Link to post
Share on other sites
23 minutes ago, 473geo said:

Fine if the statement is protected by actions whereby as soon as somebody stops drinking without support and spiritual guidance they are immediately downgraded to 'heavy drinker'

Not downgraded, there's nothing wrong with being a heavy drinker.  

 

https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/heavy-drinkers-arent-necessarily-alcoholics-may-almost-alcoholics-201411217539

Link to post
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.


×
×
  • Create New...