Seen changes in AA these last few years?
I know, clubhouses are technically "not AA", but often that line of separation is so smudged that it effectively does not exist. Here in South Florida, for instance there is a 'tradition' of groups doing what are called "Step Series". This consists of a speaker (chosen by whom?) who presents his view of one Step per week, thus occupying the Speaker's chair for 12 consecutive weeks. Often these are advertised with handbills you'll see posted on bulletin boards in meeting-rooms -- "John C. presents the Twelve Steps", etc. This seems to me to be contrary to the basic 'principles before personalities' precept of AA -- and produces the results one can easily imagine.
The effect is that in the group closest to my home, such is the desire for prestige that all of the meetings, some 50 per week, have become a revolving platform where the same worthies "Tell their story" over and over again for the first half-hour of the meeting. I've brouhg tit up in "Business Meetings", but my opinions meet a consensus of those who are part of the carousel. I regularly meet people who've dropped out of AA meetings here because of this, or have even seen people thrown out because they didn't conform.
I'm not looking to reform -- i just find myself eaning toward that feeling described in the 1st tradition of the 12 and 12 where "the alcoholic goes back into his cave, thinking what a great thing AA could have been". I don't want what these people have -- even if their stories (and claims of sobriety) represent the truth, which in my experience somewhat questionable.
Disenchanted, then, I feel somehwat like the "jaywalker" who keeps getting run over but persists in doing something where he gets hurt.
"Insane", says the Big Book. So what is the alternative if this the trend it seems to be in AA throughout the United Sates these days?
I agree utterly with the 'Clancy' et.al. cult of personalities you mentioned. How this tumor grew on AA, DESPITE repeated warnings in our own literature is a mystery to me. Dotto '13th stepping', which I've found is most often practiced by those who preach "stay out of relationships in the first year".
I have advocated the resource for correction lies at Intergroup level, which prints the 'Where and When'. 3rd Trad: "Any group..may call themselves an AA group as lond as they have no other affiliation. It follows that groups that exclude anyone through clubhouse diktat should be removedfrom the local the 'Where and When'. This has met a stone wall at both WSO and Intergroup levels when I've offered it. The 'responsable' people (GSM) do the 4thTradition ostrich.
It took almost two years to beat this, using a complaint to the NY State Board of Human Rights, which only worked because of the original man's disability! The President of the Board (who instigated the slander) said, when I cited AA Tradition, "That's just a bunch of 70 year old BS and doesn't mean a thing any more."