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Keeping Groups Safe

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I BEGAN my recovery journey in a treatment centre - although this treatment centre recommended AA and the Twelve-Step Programme of recovery, it was not an AA treatment centre. I found this hard to comprehend in the beginning, but I now know the meaning of the Steps with their focus on the safety of its individual members and the Traditions for protecting and keeping the AA groups safe. 

If AA had had a specific affiliation, financial interest or dependence, it would have quickly become a commercial enterprise where success and failure would have had to be measured. This in turn would impact on those suffering from alcoholism and be a measure on those attending AA - life or death? can afford to stay? cannot? needs financial help? not enough funds...the list of pitfalls for not having or adhering to this Tradition is extensive. In addition to AA lending money to outside enterprises, the same goes for outside enterprises investing money in AA…those investing would want to control and exert their power. 

Above all, this is a spiritual Programme where the only power is a personal one; a God of our understanding, an inner resource and thus not to be imposed on anyone. The Twelve Steps are suggestions only, although I work them to stay alive and well - mentally, physically and spiritually. Members share their own personal experience, strength and hope for no gain other than to give away what has been freely given. Thank God for the Traditions.

MICHELLE, Plymouth