Saturday, January 1, 2011

Secret of AA: After 75 Years, We Don’t Know How It Works | Magazine

A fantastic article that examines AA. I had no idea about the origins and how the 12 principles were put in place. I also really loved the quote below because that's kind of how the Ben's Friends network of patient support sites work. We're a little bit like controlled chaos, but it seems to work and inevitably, a bunch of good ideas come out of the chaos and we incorporate them across all the networks.

Secret of AA: After 75 Years, We Don’t Know How It Works | Magazine:

"The growing pains spurred Wilson to write AA’s governing principles, known as the 12 traditions. At a time when fraternal orders and churches with strict hierarchies dominated American social life, Wilson opted for something revolutionary: deliberate organizational chaos. He permitted each group to set its own rules, as long as they didn’t conflict with the traditions or the steps. Charging a fee was forbidden, as was the use of the AA brand to endorse anything that might generate revenue. “If you look at this on paper, it seems like it could never work,” White says. “It’s basically anarchy.” But this loose structure actually helped AA flourish. Not only could anyone start an AA group at any time, but they could tailor each meeting to suit regional or local tastes. And by condemning itself to poverty, AA maintained a posture of moral legitimacy."