Thursday, August 28, 2008
I think that the idea of having separate fellowships via Tradition Six is an excellent one and needs to be observed at meetings. In general, the sixth tradition is observed but occasionally someone will identify themselves with the "other" fellowship or quote out of non-conference approved literature. In one meeting, a lady read from A Beautiful Boy.
Generally, someone will come over after the meeting and remind the people who committed the faux pas that in Al-Anon, we only speak Al-Anon, share our E, S, and H and use Conference Approved Literature (CAL). There are lots of reasons for this. When Al-Anon members use AA literature for their meetings there is a tendency to concentrate on the alcoholic and his/her behavior rather than the family experience and our own recovery. The mention, recommendation or discussion of material other than Al-Anon Conference Approved Literature can be confusing to newcomers and takes the focus off of the Al-Anon program. I think what it boils down to is program integrity. And keeping with CAL helps maintain the integrity.
And here is one of the best statements that I've found to clarify the separateness of the programs:"If you are a member of another 12-step group we ask that you limit your comments to Al-Anon topics and save other comments for their respective recovery group. We do this not to limit you, but to be sensitive to our new members who may still have unresolved issues surrounding alcoholism, drug abuse, or other such problems."