Extracts from old aacultwatch forum:
“I assume you mean the meetings where anyone with a drug history is told to leave? There are a couple of groups that act like that in my area but they don’t call themselves “Primary Purpose Groups” as a separate designation. Is that catching on as a special designation of meeting? If so that could cause AA’s reputation to suffer IMO, especially now that the internet gives anyone with a computer a voice. Some of the hatefulness I have seen at meetings crazy with the “primary purpose” would be enough to make me have never stayed in the fellowship if I hadn’t been to some very good meetings before I encountered it.
The groups who are extremely strict about the primary purpose always make me uncomfortable, and I am a plain old drunk! They seem to be more controlling than friendly and in the few groups I am familiar with there are presiding old timers who absolutely rule the roost from their imaginary throne, and everything that goes on in the meeting must be to suit them (sponsorship, meeting shares, the coffee had better be the way they like it too) or the offending person gets slammed. I have had friends stop attending one of these meetings because they started asking people as they entered the room if they were a real alcoholic or not, then determined if they could stay or go.
I recall seeing an entire treatment center group kicked out of another meeting when I had a couple of years sober, just because one poor girl called herself an addict. Poor thing probably hadn’t detoxed enough to even know what planet she was on at that point, let alone if drinking had been a problem along with the drugs. They told her she had to leave immediately and that meant the rest had to go as well. It was one of the nastiest situations I have witnessed. That particular meeting called themselves the “Original Group” and would tell everyone they were the only real AA meeting in town and you couldn’t have real sobriety without being a member. I have never seen an angrier collection of old coots in my life. Guys locked up for life in prison couldn’t be any meaner or angrier than those guys. Fortunately even back then that meeting kind of became a joke and no one went but those hateful old men after a while. It may have died off by now.”
“That’s as good a description as I’ve seen, but Yes there is actually an organisation within AA calling itself Primary Purpose.
They’ll argue the toss about anything and are always right. You know the type (ie most of us before we got sober!:).”
“Wow, so they are literally trying to create their own “special” AA officially? Remarkable! That takes a lot of fear! Most of us have too much to do in daily life to carry a resentment that far. I would imagine the guys in charge of this would have to be quite angry. Circuit speaker worship has been a concern of mine for some time, I have seen people get very nasty (or just drunk) after attending special “workshops” that tell you the “real way” to read the Big Book (sorry, I learned to read in first grade, need to move on).
Thanks for the information, I will need to look into this. It doesn’t sound very healthy and if any of these meetings come here I will want to avoid them. My husband is very much a student of AA History and this will be of intense interest to him as well.”
In the early days of AA the fellowship operated under a loose set of spiritual principles borrowing heavily from the ideas of The Oxford Group. There was no single way of “doing AA.” Some people favored a plan focused on living “One Day at a Time” others were focused on prayer and “quiet time.” As the steps evolved there were various versions used at different times and in different places.
Here are some descriptions of the early six step versions of the program as found in AA’s literature and archives:
The day before I was due to go back to Chicago, a Wednesday and Dr. Bob’s afternoon off, he had me down to the office and we spent three or four hours formally going through the Six-Step program as it was at that time. The six steps were:
- Complete deflation.
- Dependence and guidance from a Higher Power.
- Moral inventory.
- Continued work with other alcoholics.
Found in the AA Archives in NY is a version of the steps as recalled in 1953 in a handwritten note by Bill W. and presumably for Father Ed Dowling. The note reads:
For Ed –
- Admitted hopeless
- Got Honest with self
- Got honest with another
- Made Amends
- Helped other with demands
- Prayed to God as you understand Him
Alcoholics Anonymous is a wonderful ancient book and has helped many, how many one will never know because it is anonymous.
For some reading an ancient text can be difficult. like ¨ To the Wives or The family afterwards and so on.¨
“Recovery now” is an alternative, it does not stray away from the steps because they are beautiful and timeless.
There is a new Doctor´s opinion, which explains why Dr. Silkworth in his explanation to Bill W used the term allergy. Today we know alcohol is a brain addiction like any other addiction. There are allergies to alcohol, where one breaks out in hives etc.
Most old timers, the bleeding hearts in AA are against the word ‘addiction’, because they feel themselves above the heroin user (for example).
But for those who wish to live in the real world: Alcoholism is a brain disorder as is addiction to other drugs such as heroin nicotine etc.
Give it a read, cant hurt.
When it is said, someone is addicted or dependent; it is meant the sufferer cannot operate their day-to-day life without the constant support of alcohol or drugs.
A tremendous amount of research has proven that addiction is a chronic disease of the brain. Despite this knowledge, many people, including some health care professionals, still describe addiction as some sort of moral weakness. We know that an addiction disorder is not caused by a lack of willpower or the result of some certain personality type.
Alcohol and drugs increases the amount of the chemical dopamine in the brain’s reward center, which creates the feeling of pleasure that occurs when someone takes a drink. Alcohol also harms the part of the brain called the pre frontal cortex. This part of our brain is used for thinking and planning. When the brain tells us the pleasure of drinking or getting high is more important that the basic necessities of life, the alcoholic doesn’t realize he or she has a problem.That part of the brain is no longer functioning the way it should. The alcoholic is now in a state of denial.
There is a saying for an alcoholic one drink is too much and a thousand never enough.
Alcoholism is a chronic and often progressive disease that includes problems controlling your drinking, being preoccupied with alcohol, continuing to use alcohol even when it causes problems, having to drink more to get the same effect (physical dependence), or having withdrawal symptoms when you rapidly decrease or stop drinking. If you have alcoholism, you can’t consistently predict how much you’ll drink, how long you’ll drink, or what consequences will occur from your drinking. It’s possible to have a problem with alcohol, even when it has not progressed to the point of alcoholism. Problem drinking means you drink too much at times, causing repeated problems in your life, although you’re not completely dependent on alcohol. Binge drinking — a pattern of drinking where a male consumes five or more drinks in a row, or a female downs at least four drinks in a row — can lead to the same health risks and social problems associated with alcoholism. The more you drink, the greater the risks. Binge drinking, which often occurs with teenagers and young adults, may lead to faster development of alcoholism. If you have alcoholism or you have a problem with alcohol, you may not be able to cut back or quit without help. Denying that you have a problem is usually part of alcoholism and other types of excessive drinking
“God, I offer myself to Thee—to build with me and to do with me as Thou wilt. Relieve me of the bondage of self, that I may better do Thy will. Take away my difficulties, that victory over them may bear witness to those I would help of Thy Power, Thy Love, and Thy Way of life.
(the step on p. 59 BB)