MY THOUGHTS ON TRADITION TEN
"Alcoholics Anonymous has no opinion on outside issues; hence the A.A. name ought never be drawn into public controversy."
In my 32 years in AA I have never seen our meetings divided by a major controversial issue or ever publicly taken sides on any question and I do believe it is by instinct known from the very beginning that AA must never no matter what the provocation publicly take sides in any fight
Even a worthy one we cannot be tempted into any controversy this reluctance to fight one another or anybody else is what keeps the fellowship staying with the basis of AA this does it means that the members are going to back away from their individual responsibilities to act upon issues
But when it comes to AA as a whole that's quite a different matter in this respect we should not enter into public controversy because we know that our Society will perish if it does we conceive the survival and spread of Alcoholics Anonymous to be something of far greater importance
Maybe this sounds as thought the alcoholics in A.A. had gone peaceable, and become one big happy family well this isn't so as the Human beings that we are we squabble Before we leveled off a bit A.A. looked more like one prodigious squabble than anything else at least on the surface
A corporation director who had just voted a company expenditure of a hundred thousand dollars would appear at an A.A. business meeting and blow his top over an outlay of twenty-five dollars worth of needed postage stamps
Disliking the attempt of some to manage a group half its membership might angrily rush off to form another group more to their liking Elders temporarily turned Pharisee have sulked Bitter attacks have been directed against people suspected of mixed motives
The early of the Washingtonians members foresaw that they should dedicate themselves to this sole aim. In many respects, the Washingtonians were akin to A.A. of today. Their membership passed the hundred thousand mark. Had they been left to themselves, and had they stuck to their one goal, they might have found the rest of the answer.
Maybe the society could have survived the abolition controversy, but it didn't have a chance from the moment it determined to reform America's drinking habits. When the Washingtonians became temperance crusaders, within a very few years they had completely lost their effectiveness in helping alcoholics.
The lesson to be learned from the Washingtonians was not overlooked by Alcoholics Anonymous As we surveyed the wreck have that movement early A.A. members resolved to keep our Society out of public controversy Thus was laid the cornerstone for Tradition Ten
Many new meetings were started because of the elders temporarily turned Pharisee bitter attacks have been directed against people suspected of mixed motives this is where the term bleeding deacon or elder statesman came from thank God for AAs position on outside issues today