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Old 11-26-2016, 10:48 AM   #1
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Location: Hamilton, ON
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Default What is Freedom in AA?

What is freedom in AA?

Language of the Heart: May 1960.

The Traditions and customs of Alcoholics Anonymous reveal a charter for individual group freedom,the like of which history has never before produced.We have no humanly administered government whatever.

Once upon a time there was an AA member who got the notion that his own group was a little too stuffy,respectable, and intolerant. Hence it was, he thought, over fearful of the lapses and deviations of its members. Tongue in cheek,he pondered a remedy. Finally he hung a placard in the club room. It read as follows:"Folk, just about any thing goes in here. But if you happen to be drunk at this meeting,don't be too noisy about it. And please don't smoke your opium in the club elevators!"

True, our friend had gone overboard to make out his case. An AA drunk at an AA meeting is seldom seen, and it's probable that nobody has yet smoked opium in a clubhouse. Nevertheless any of us can read between the lines of that placard,and to good effect.

Our prankster was really saying to each the respectable and the fearful,"But for the grace of God,there go I." To disturbers of the group peace he was saying,"Nobody can compel you to behave,or punish you if you do not.AA has Twelve Steps for recovery and for spiritual growth. It has Twelve Traditions for unity of every AA group and our whole fellowship.These Traditions show how we can all stay in one piece,if we will. Now this meeting place cost some money. We hope you will put some cash in the hat but don't want to make you do it.You can attack us,but you'll probably find that most of us won't fight back. You can bust your anonymity in public and miss use the AA name for your own prestige and pocketbook. If you insist on such foolishness we can't stop you. The same is true if you drag the AA name into public controversy. We hope you won't do any of these things to us, or to yourself. We simply say that you will have to practice AA's principles because you want them for yourself - not because we insist.

The choices are yours; this is your charter of freedom in AA."

Love always,


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