Rebellion Dogs Radio Episode 1 De-listing A.A. "Agnostic" groups 

Welcome to Rebellion Dogs Addiction & Recovery Radio Show, bringing you a 21st century look at 12 Step life, with more bite and less dogma.
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I am currently reading Robert Kegan and Lisa Laskow Lahey’s Immunity to Change: How to Overcome It and Unlock the Potential in Yourself and Your Organization (Harvard Business School Publishing, 2009). Kegan is on record as saying:
 
“Successfully functioning in a society with diverse values, traditions and lifestyles requires us: to have a relationship to our own reactions rather than be captive of them; to resist our tendencies to make right or true, that which is merely familiar, and wrong or false, that which is only strange.”
 
Who doesn’t dismiss or is at least get uncomfortable with the unfamiliar. However, what’s the danger of making sacred that with is familiar? What is the danger of dismissing or demonizing that which seems strange to our way of doing things?


Recent  blogs have been focused on the Vancouver situation for a couple of weeks and in 2014 they are treating as new, the same situation Bill Wilson dealt with 60 years ago: Who gets to say who or what is a real A.A. group?

Vancouver discrimination of agnostic AA groups Part I
Vancouver discrimination of agnostic AA groups Part II

In Bill W’s AA, if you want to change the Steps so they fit with your worldview – go for it. Will there be any pressure from AA to either conform or get the hell out of here – never.

In a film about the Traditions Bill confesses that the Twelve Traditions are contrary to his own knee-jerk reactions. He had his own agenda and his own secret aims for AA. The Twelve Traditions reflect the experience that his fears proved to be groundless and his ambitions were purely egotistical. Our Traditions are not from the wisdom of AA elders but born of the bad experiences of following first impulses. In this inaugural podcast Bill W himself, warns us that the Traditions are to guard against temptations that are bound to resurface, the temptation to govern and the human tendency toward rigidity, fear and intolerance.

If we don’t know our history we are damned—damned to repeat it, so we take a time-capsule trip back to 1957 when AA history set in place the standard to deal with non-conforming AA groups that want to do their own thing and aren’t asking anyone’s permission to do it.

On page 81 of Alcoholics Anonymous Comes of Age Bill W writes about Buddhists who said that they would like to be part of AA, but also would like to replace the word “god” with “good” so that the practice of the Steps would be compatible with their atheistic belief. In 1957, Bill Wilson writes:

“To some of us, the idea of substituting ‘good’ for ‘God’ in the Twelve Steps will seem like a watering down of A.A.’s message. But here we must remember that A.A.’s Steps are suggestions only. A belief in them, as they stand, is not at all a requirement for membership among us. This liberty has made A.A. available to thousands who never would have tried at all had we insisted on the Twelve Steps just as written.”  (reprinted with permission of A.A. World Service Inc.)

Read or download Show Transcripts

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