Newcomers: Watch out for the Time-Bullies! From Big Book Sponsorship
Don’t let anyone talk you out of your miracle.
By the 1980’s, working the 12 Step Program had been replaced by a “Meeting Makers Make It” Program and going to meetings became the program!
In the 1940’s and 50’s meetings were a place where recovered alcoholics talked about carrying the message of experience strength and hope to suffering alcoholics and help newcomers work out a solution to their problem (alcoholism/addiction).
“Seeing much of each other, scarce an evening passed that someone’s home did not shelter a little gathering of men and women, happy in their release, and constantly thinking how they might present their discovery to some newcomer. In addition to these casual get togethers, it became customary to set apart one night a week for a meeting to be attended by anyone or everyone interested in a spiritual way of life. Aside from fellowship and sociability, the prime object was to provide a time and place where new people might bring their problems.” (A.A. 4th Ed., 159-160)
Today, our meetings have changed into something else.–endless rituals of readings and poetry recitals intermixed fellowship bromides such as, “This program is caught not taught” and “Keep Coming Back and Wait for the Miracle”.
Recovery success rates went from 50% to 75% to less than 10%! Many alcoholics or addicts would be better off trying to quit on their own will power than come to a meeting where untreated alcoholics sit around and talk about their problems and tell the newcomer not to work any Steps for the first year.
But something amazing happened!
Joe and Charlie started a “Back-to-the-Big Book” revival in the late 1980’s, whereby the newcomer could work all 12 Steps in a weekend! Since then, there has been a resurgence of working the 12 Steps. Today, thanks people A.A. archivist Wally P. who revived the Beginner Meetings of the 1940’s, newcomers are shown, once again, how to work a 12 Step program in four, one-hour sessions!