Continuing with the sixth Tradition of Alcoholics Anonymous, which was started in the last entry, part 45.
“Secondary aids…ought to be…so set apart that…they can be freely discarded.” Bill Wilson and Dr. Bob Smith used Bob’s medical title to target captive alcoholics for conversion to the Oxford Group and later to AA. Their first convert (AA #3) was a patient in an Akron, OH hospital. In fact, when one alcoholic man tried to join the early Alcoholic Squad, Bill W. and the others seriously debated whether a man who’d never been hospitalized could join their fellowship: they ultimately decided he could, but it was far from a sure thing.
“Hence such facilities ought not to use the A.A. name.” AA has never wanted a two-way separation between hospitals and their cult. AA quite likes establishing meeting grouos in hospitals and rehabs. Bill started the Rockford State Hospital meeting group in New York, which is still active to this day. AA wants the freedom the drop hospitals they invade. AA rigidly restricts “outside materials” like medical science, but has no respect for such healthcare institutions.
“Their management should be the sole responsibility of those people who financially support them.” Bill W. had no desire to run a hospital, subject to rules and regulations and laws about practicing medicine without a license. He wanted all the credit for healing, but not the burden of providing healthcare.
“For clubs, A.A. managers are preferred.” This sentence kind of dates the Tradition to the middle of the last century when it was written. Clubs are not really a thing for the middle and lower classes anymore. In that era, this meant that AA membership needed to matter moire than club membership, that non club AAs should be welcomed at meetings taking place in a clubhouse, and that the AA group must have a different name from the club itself.
“But hospitals…ought to be well outside A.A.— and medically supervised.” I have a feeling that last clause was added to protect AA from charges of practicing medicine, and the outcome of patient care. Hospitals must be outside AA, even while AA worms its way into every hospital.
“While an A.A. group may cooperate with anyone, such cooperation ought never go so far as affiliation or endorsement, actual or implied.” If an outside organization wants to help the groups, that’s okay so long as the groups don’t say anything nice about the people “cooperating” with them. AA is selfish.
“An A.A. group can bind itself to no one.” Except Bill Wilson, his Higher Power, and of course, his cult.
“An A.A. group ought never endorse, finance, or lend the A.A. name to any related facility or outside enterprise.” No fundraising for drunk driving prevention causes, no endorsement of credible rehab centers, no AA marching for civil rights. If it doesn’t reflect all glory back on AA, it’s against the rules.