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Sobriety — freedom from alcohol —through the teaching and practice of the Twelve Steps, is the sole purpose of an A.A. group.

Singleness of Purpose

Bill Wilson AA cofounder

Sobriety — freedom from alcohol —through the teaching and practice of the Twelve Steps, is the sole purpose of an A.A. group. Groups have repeatedly tried other activities, and they have always failed. It has also been learned that there is no possible way to make nonalcoholics into A.A. members. We have to confine our A.A. groups to a single purpose. If we don’t stick to these principles, we shall almost certainly collapse. And if we collapse, we cannot help anyone.”

When a Meeting Is Not a Group

The A.A. group has been called the basic unit of our Fellowship and the foundation upon which A.A. stands,” delegate Jack C., Southern Minnesota, reminded Conference members. ” Perhaps that is why we so zealously guard our definition of a group. 

There’ s such a proliferation of different kinds of meetings that we fear our message will be diluted He explained that, while all A.A. groups hold meetings, not all meetings are A.A. groups. 

The A.A. group as we usually think of it, he said, fulfills six points defined by the group conscience of A.A. in the U. S. and Canada: 

1) All members of the group are alcoholics and all alcoholics are eligible for membership; 
2) As a’ group, members are fully self – supporting; 
3) A group’ s primary purpose is to help alcoholics recover through the Twelve Steps;
4) The group has no outside affiliation; 5) The group has no opinion on outside issues; 6) The group’ s public relations policy is based on attraction rather than promotion, and maintains personal anonymity at the level of press, radio, TV and films. Also listed by the General Service Office are specialized groups – for men, women, gays, young people, doctors, etc. — which hold meetings in which only recovery from alcoholism through the A.A. program is discussed.

Spring 1988 AA, “A Letter For Professional Men and Women” Read more here.

AA Recovery

History of AA

AA History Early AA History in the San Francisco Bay Area A History starting in 1941 for the East Bay and Alameda County Taken from

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