Seen changes in AA these last few years?

In Miami Beach where I live, and to some extent in New York City, it seems to me that after almost 20 years participation in AA (and 11 1/2 years of continuous sobriety) that there is a distressing trend toward hierarchies, particularly in AA "clubhouses". I know, clubhouses are technically "not... show more In Miami Beach where I live, and to some extent in New York City, it seems to me that after almost 20 years participation in AA (and 11 1/2 years of continuous sobriety) that there is a distressing trend toward hierarchies, particularly in AA "clubhouses".

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?
Update: nicki...: It's not Step meetings that I object to: I'm all for 'em. It's the "Series" aspect that gets uncomfortable. Not only I, but newcomers see the repetitive speaker as somehow entitled. The speakers also tend to comport themselves this way. Bad for all, in my opinion, and... show more nicki...: It's not Step meetings that I object to: I'm all for 'em. It's the "Series" aspect that gets uncomfortable. Not only I, but newcomers see the repetitive speaker as somehow entitled. The speakers also tend to comport themselves this way. Bad for all, in my opinion, and eventually bad for the group, the locale, and for AA. (4th Tradition: "Every AA group is autonomous, except as effects other groups or AA as a whole."
Update 2: Glad to hear you get it, Helen. So many AA's spout "tradition" jargon and ignore what's going on around them! Whetehr it's by choice or negligence, i can't say. Either way it speaks very badly for the program itself. I agree utterly with the 'Clancy' et.al. cult of... show more Glad to hear you get it, Helen. So many AA's spout "tradition" jargon and ignore what's going on around them! Whetehr it's by choice or negligence, i can't say. Either way it speaks very badly for the program itself.

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.
Update 3: ONE of the most virulent experiences was the venerable 'Mustard Seed' in New York, where a member was thrown out because the effects of his Asberger's Syndrome were deemed "disruptive". I called it to the attention of the Group Conscience, and he was voted back in in the next Business... show more ONE of the most virulent experiences was the venerable 'Mustard Seed' in New York, where a member was thrown out because the effects of his Asberger's Syndrome were deemed "disruptive". I called it to the attention of the Group Conscience, and he was voted back in in the next Business meeting. One week later, the Clubhouse Board met privately, and its 10 membirs (all paid "servants"!) voted him out again, and me too, this time "For Life". They posted a notice to this effect in the meeting room, complete with our full names, and placed a Trespass Order with the police, giving the 'explanation' to all who asked that I was an "escaped felon with warrants for my arrest'.
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."
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