District 20 Area 11

Guilford Connecticut Alcoholics Anonymous

Founders Writings Survey Results

Founder's Writings
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# Id Submit date You are submitting this survey (choose one) Do you think that A.A. Founders would object to or embrace revisions to their writings? If yes, why? If not, why? Do you think the Founders’ writings are effective in reaching new members? If not, what measures do you think can be taken to resolve this issue? What reasons would you consider for changing our Founders’ writings? How do you feel about changing A.A. Founders’ writings to replace outdated references? What suggestions do you have for preserving the Founders’ writings, along with keeping pace with our current A.A. Society and its future? Should there be a special Conference process for approval of changes to our Founders’ writings? (e.g., super, or qualified majority – 75%, and/or 2-year consideration process.) What additional ideas, thoughts or suggestions can you share about changing or not changing the Founders’ writings? (please feel free to add questions that we may not have thought of that you feel may best inform the discussion.)
1 126 2024-05-08 09:21:30
As an individual A.A. member
I feel the founders would be humble enough to hear any suggestions. The real question is why do we feel the need to change something that has helped so many for so long? If someone feels like they can’t relate to the literature in its present form maybe they are not ready for what’s being presented.
As effective today as the day they were written.
I don’t believe there’s anything that needs to be changed.
Leave it alone. I believe this would create a schism and this was the very thing that early AS was warned about.
Nothing needs to be changed.
The founders were conduits used by the Great Universal Spirit that the miracle of recovery could be spread by our society to all who suffer. I believe it would be a sin and a blatant disregard of God’s gift to us. Selfish, self centered, that we think is the root of our troubles. Don’t sacrifice the many for the wants of the few.
2 125 2024-04-30 12:58:28
As an individual A.A. member
A change in verbiage but not the message.
Men focused
I would welcome
As stated above, verbiage changes and more inclusivity.
As above
3 124 2024-04-28 21:22:38
As an individual A.A. member
Not sure. When you start updating what you think someone thought you might miss including something someone needs to hear/read.
My sponsor, best friend and I each have over 35 years. A woman with 4 years in our group has a hard time with calling her HP God.
To make it more inclusive of physical changes you go through as well as more focus on mental health.
I think that would be ok.
Write a thoroughly researched history of AA. Founders, how it spread throughout the world, how other religions handle a higher power, how AA has had to keep pace with longer and longer sobriety.
I like the idea of surveying members. I hope you’ll be able to find committee members who can stick to the foundation of AA but who are also fresh enough to offer changes that are as lasting as previous writings have been.
4 123 2024-04-26 20:47:41
As an individual A.A. member
I think the only revision they would accept is additions of stories from more diverse sets of voices, as the later editions of the Big Book did.
Not really, I think both the writing style and language used are heavily outdated. But I mean that only for completely new members. I have seen many people first see the Big Book and think it is archaic and unhelpful, only to grow to love it after reading it and attending the program more and more over time. But, in terms of someone who has never been to a meeting, has no knowledge of AA or the principles, taking a first glance at it, I doubt it would be effective.
I would consider changing our Founders' writings if words are no longer used and the majority of text is not obscured. I mean to say, I would only alter synonyms of words and language structure.
I am fine with replacing outdated references within reason. I think "outdated references" to things of actual reference are fine to revise. The issue is when "outdated reference" is code for "political agenda", which I've seen crop up in AA revisions. To update an actual reference, like when Living Sober referred to a car as a "lemon" is completely fine. But I think there is a slippery slope from replacing outdated references to pumping AA literature with political agendas. When the preamble was revised from "men and women" to "people", it was entirely clear a certain political ideology was being pandered to. And that is unacceptable. I am not anti-that ideology, but the slightest crack in AA's tradition of keeping politics separate can, and will, lead to its downfall. Whether a majority-held belief is viewed as "righteousness" or not is of no relevance to if it should be included in AA literature, anything of the political realm should be kept far away from AA. So, I am fine with updating outdated references, so long as they are actual references to obscure facts or events.
It could be possible to keep an original edition of all the AA literature, along with any revised editions.
No, every voice should count.
There has been no group nor organization in social history that has been able to maintain its purity for an extended length of time. Every group becomes corrupted, throws away its founding ideals, changes its values or visions. Be aware that these little changes being pushed every so often will only serve to deviate AA entirely from its beginnings in the 20th century. AA is not immune to the trends of history, and it seems that, unless these changes be inconsequentially small, AA will begin the process too of diverting entirely from what it once was. One thing, though, that I would change is in Living Sober when it mentions "other drugs" and references extremely hard drugs as things to avoid only "because they could lead back to drinking", whereas people in AA should avoid drugs because, like alcohol, they are powerless over them and will lead to spiritual death. Not only that, but the Big Book has an explicitly clear stance on drug use found on page 411.
5 122 2024-04-26 09:01:12
As an individual A.A. member
Yes. Object. I believe in the power of the word and believe that when we change their words is in effect watering down the message. P 53 is almost sacred to me. Change nothing. Their writings led me back to my Heavenly Father.
Yes. New members are reached IF they are ready and willing to surrender. The key is to teach the soul not the mind. Do not get distracted by the vain idea that new words are better. Let His word teach the heart to listen.
None. Do not change anything.
No. Change nothing.
Enhance Bill and Bob's writings but do not change them. The word and the first 100's thoughts on the 164 pages were perfect in my view. God inspired.
Change nothing. Weakening our foundation by adding more water to the sand and mortar will sabotage our bridge to HP and our spiritual journey.
Let yea be yea and nea be nea. God calling, pick up the phone. "Its a cinch by the inch, harder by the yard, ya dumb som bitches, go back to da quarter." That's what the elder statesmen would say. Teach the newcomers the old way. It is Good Orderly Direction.
6 121 2024-04-26 08:04:26
As an individual A.A. member
As long as content remains intact, i think the founders would be ok w changes
I think the founder's writing is effective in reaching new members
Personally i would not change founder's writings. I see the work as an artifact which should remain un-changed. If supplemental data needs to be changed to appeal to new members i can understand.
I think the founder's work should remain un-changed. Im not clear on the 'out-dated' references specified in this question
Personally i would not change founder's writings. I see the work as an artifact which should remain un-changed. If supplemental data needs to be changed to appeal to new members i can understand.
Yes, changes should only be made if passing the strictest compliance. (Question is confusing)
I think the vast majority is accepting of the work in its existing form. Changes made might satisfy a minority, and disenchant the majority.
7 120 2024-04-25 09:21:28
As an individual A.A. member
Yes, AA has worked well as written for many years.
Yes, when the person is ready the messenger appears.
No this should not be done.
The Founders writing and the first 164 pages should not be changed
There can be additional literature added as was the Living Sober book, but the BB should remain the same. I got sober as a teenager & am now 46 years sober. I sorted my way through the BB and still do.The language provides for great discussion
8 119 2024-04-24 08:23:09
As an individual A.A. member
Some of the sexist stuff could be amended
9 118 2024-04-23 03:49:26
As an individual A.A. member
Hi I already contributed to the questions above, but I think it would be interesting to search for diversity in the AA archives. I tend to think that the stories of others we present way back when, but they didn’t make the cut so as to appeal to the majority demographic at the time. That would be very interesting. Others can be defined as the person who took uppers, downers or shot up in the 30s as in The Golden Arm or Refer Madness. People of all shades, Berlin has had an active queer community since the 30s. Looking for the historical others would be a great foundation to help others feel that they truly belong. Thank you
10 117 2024-04-23 02:49:17
As an individual A.A. member
I don’t know what they would think, but they did say that there are no leaders in AA, so I believe the intent is for the writings to be ameliorated as we go forward in unity.
I thought AA was just for men at first because of the texts. I had to translate the meaning to apply to myself because it said “he” all the time. Also, using big G God and calling God a man is uncomfortable.
Making BB and 12x12 inclusive seems like a good idea to me. Write “god” and use that word only (no he or she for god). When the literature talks about drunks in general write he/she/them or preferably the more general “they” even in the singular.
I think it’s worth considering as a group.
Would it be like adapting the Bible in a way. Meetings could have a New Revised Edition or the Bill and Bob Heritage edition. We might have to number paragraphs.
Definitely through a conference with both majority and 2- year consideration. Maybe a slate of translators who could be sent by region.?
11 116 2024-04-22 12:35:01
As an individual A.A. member
Yes. They would want a group consciousness. They were not rigid. Times have changed.
Yes. Except for The Family Afterward
Include more women’s issues and stories about domestic violence etc.
That is not important to me. The old references connect us to the old timers and our legacy.
More love. Less self flagellation. Women need to be brought up rather tff he a torn down.
Women don’t usually have wives at home taking care of us and waiting for the family to get back together. The Family Afterward does not touch most women’s situations.
12 115 2024-04-22 12:09:39
As an individual A.A. member
Yes. They wanted to reach as many alcoholics as possible.
Some of the dated. For example. The chapter To Wives reflected the time in our culture when wives were the dominant spouse and it truly is Bill’s perspective instead of actually being written by the wives of those alcoholics.
I would consider a change, to reflect more honesty and spouses of all types and generations.
I’ll all for it. It should reflect the times in which we live.
I think we can preserve them as part of the history. Nothing will replace my 3rd edition.
Do the changes keep the integrity of the original document and do they address todays’s society.
13 114 2024-04-21 09:51:15
As an individual A.A. member
Depends what you mean?
I generally would not change much
I kind of enjoy the "oldness" of it
Update 3rd step prayer to take out the thres and thous
14 113 2024-04-20 08:07:01
As an individual A.A. member
I believe they would object because when you change the words, you change the meaning- dumb down.
Yes, I believe it’s effective the way it is. It’s been around for 80 years languages change constantly.
Have a spine-say no
AA should not become woke.
15 112 2024-04-20 04:21:14
As an individual A.A. member
Object. Its "their" writings in their words, expressed the way they wanted. Additional writings is fine. Editiing is a huge no no.
Yes. They worked for millions and they will work for millio s more. If its not broken dont fix it.
I wouldnt.
Changing the writings to make it more what? Up to date references? No way.
Keep them as original. Current Alcoholics are the same as past and future alcoholics. We all have the same disease and the same cure works with all of us when we are ready to accept it.
No changes required.
Add new writings. Add new additional volumes by other current AAs. Under no circumstances should we edit the founders writings. To do so would make them something else.
16 111 2024-04-18 08:15:35
As an individual A.A. member
I object to changing the writings. My concern is that it would get watered down from the original meaning.
For the person willing to go to any lengths, yes.
I would not change the Founders writings.
Add a footnote to explain the reference but don’t change it.
I plan on maintaining the A.A. book edition that was out when I came into the program. I plan to continue to attend meetings that support that.
Please refer to my previous comments.
So much in society has been watered down due to “hurt feelings “. Well, get over it if you want to get sober!
17 110 2024-04-17 19:27:25
As an individual A.A. member
Yes and no. Quiet often doing changes can unwittingly lose deep meanings, one needs to be careful with that. To say nothing new new or of use and value over all these years would be of no benefit to members would not be correct either.
I don’t so much see it as their writings are effective as much as how it is shared.
This is what I would like to hear, what are the reasons you think it should be changed?What about it is not effective, I have yet to see someone fail who has thoroughly followed its principles.I read a fascinating at least to me story about the Lords prayer in an Emmit Fox book.He explained how it was such a perfect prayer it has remained almost completely unchanged for thousands of years, and has served well and consistently without any meddling with it’s original writing.
Replace or would adding an updates section be a wise alternative?
As I stated above, leave the original writings intact but simply add a section to the writings to reflect current issues.
Majority and a consideration process.
As I alluded to in my comments you need to be very careful with what or how you want to present and implement changes.A good example is looking at scriptural readings.I have looked at modernized writings of it and had the opportunity to look at older version only to find and realized in so doing the original intent and meaning had unwittingly been bastardized.The original writings had a magic in them that has worked amazingly well, it was a divine process that caused it to knit together excactly as it did.I think you need to think well about changes or at least as I said leave the original body intact and add to it.
18 109 2024-04-15 16:27:43
As an individual A.A. member
I believe the founders would welcome an updated version of canonical texts that remain relevant to the ever-changing culture.
No, not new young members. There’s a dated, musty quality to some of the words and phrases in the Big Book, i.e., chaps, rebuffed, demoralization, frothy, men who have lost their legs, moral inventory, etc.
Updating the language and content of AA’s Big Book could make it more accessible and relevant for contemporary audiences, including young people, people of color and those with disabilities.
All for it! While preserving the original intent and wisdom of the Founders, it’s important to strike a balance between maintaining core principles and adapting to modern needs.
1. Carefully revise language to be more inclusive of gender, race, and cultural background without changing the fundamental messages. For example, use gender-neutral pronouns and more inclusive examples and stories.2. Include more personal stories from a diverse array of members that reflect modern challenges and demographics. This would showcase the universality of the recovery experience across different backgrounds and eras.3. Offer a digital version of the Big Book that can easily updated and accessed.4. A Preface or an updated introduction to the Big Book that explains the historical context of the original text and the reasons for recent updates.
Conduct educational outreach sessions that explain the reasons for a new, updated version and how to use the new materials effectively. This helps ensure members understand the updates and can integrate them into their recovery process.
19 108 2024-04-15 05:18:17
As an individual A.A. member
yes, if it is not broken, we try to fix it. It is sickening to think we know better than those who showed us how to get sober
It's a simple program, why are people trying to change it
Just leave it alone and focus on staying sober
You people need to find better things to do, you sound like our politicians
Today's society needs to fit itself to A.A. , if they want to be sober
Leave this thing ALONE remember to KEEP IT SIMPLE, last words "don't louse this thing up"
This committee should end with this non-sense and focus on "staying away from the first drink"
20 107 2024-04-14 10:53:52
As an individual A.A. member
Embrace. It says "We know only a little. God will constantly disclose more to you and to us"
I do think they are effective. The pronouns may need to be altered. Simply say, We of alcoholics anonymous share our experience strength and hope....
They are white male centric
Mixed feelings.
Reference the old writings beside the newer
Sounds reasonable
I am a white woman and want to feel included when I read the big book of Alcoholics Anonymous and right now I don't. What if it said sisterhood everywhere it says fellowship? What if it said woman everywhere it says man? What if it said she everywhere it says he? How would thar make a man feel day after day and year after year and decade after decade? I am 66 years old and would like to see a compromise in my lifetime. I joined AA when I was 26. 40 years of taking a back seat messes with anyone's self esteem. There has to be a better way to word things to satisfy both sides.


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