Consider if proposed agenda items for plain language, simplified language, accessible translations and large print versions of the book Alcoholics Anonymous, as well as workbooks to help study the program of Alcoholics Anonymous can be addressed with a common solution.
The subcommittee has been tasked with identifying and gathering information about the issues driving both previous and current requests regarding the language and tools to access the book Alcoholics Anonymous. The objective is to collect relevant information concerning all aspects related to these issues to facilitate a broader, more fully informed discussion at both the board and conference levels.
Two main themes have been identified from our discussions:
- Accessibility – due to the literacy level or lack of ability to adequately comprehend the message of recovery by the individual as written in the book Alcoholics Anonymous.
- Relatability – changes in current language and culture (including views on modern language, gender and religion) which hinder the individual’s ability to relate and embrace the program as set forth in the book Alcoholics Anonymous.
Do you agree continuing to finding a “common solution” to the requested “translations/workbooks?” Why or Why not?
Consider requests to revise the book Alcoholics Anonymous: (Note 4th Edition)
1. Add pages 3 through 41 of the pamphlet “The A.A. Group” as an appendix in the next printing.
As many groups read from the text, “Alcoholics Anonymous,” it would be helpful to include “The A.A. Group” pamphlet its appendix. It is believed that having the pamphlet inserted would encourage best practices and participation in general service. Ultimately, this could help improve our service culture to the benefit of the groups, the still suffering alcoholic, and Alcoholics Anonymous as a whole.
Do you agree to include the AA Group pamphlet as an appendix to the Big Book? Why or Why Not?
2. Revise the first 164 pages
We recommend that the Conference form a study committee to audit the first 164 pages of the Big Book with the purpose of identifying changes that can be made to make the Big Book more reflective of the A.A. membership composition. The focus should be on identifying the following for possible change:
- Pronoun usage – where possible the gender-neutral form should be incorporated.
- Passages or sections that are no longer consistent with or relevant when taken in context of society in general or the A.A. membership composition.
- The chapters To Wives and The Family Afterward should specifically be evaluated for revisions to be more consistent with today’s membership.
Do you agree to revising the first 164 pages of the Big Book? Why or Why Not?
Consider proposals related to possible Fifth Edition of the book Alcoholics Anonymous:
1. Develop a Fifth Edition
The committee reviewed requests for proposed Conference agenda items related to the possible development of a Fifth Edition of the book, Alcoholics Anonymous. The committee recognized the priority of addressing whether or not a Fifth Edition of the book, Alcoholics Anonymous, might be developed before addressing items related to content and format changes.
Do you believe we should begin development of a 5th Edition of the Big Book? Why or why not?
2. Develop a Fifth Edition of the book Alcoholics Anonymous with updated stories and revisions to Appendices III and V.
Sampling of suggested changes:
- Stories should emphasize current sobriety.
- The request to update the appendices isn't intended to remove any of the current language, but rather to expand on existing ideas in Appendices Ill and V.
- Update Appendix Ill (The Medical View on A.A.) to include more information on mental illness. The language could be similar to (or directly lifted from) ''The A.A. Member Medications and Other Drugs." Specifically, page 6 of the pamphlet, where it talks about some alcoholics needing medication.
- Appendix Ill references a pamphlet that is now out of print. It says, ‘This address is now available in pamphlet form...under the title 'Three Talks to Medical Societies by Bill W’.”
- Update Appendix V and include perspectives from different faiths. Currently, the only perspectives offered are from Father Ed Dowling, who was Catholic, and an Episcopalian magazine. There are many other faiths that can be included - Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Islam, etc.
- The fellowship is overdue for a new edition of the book. Historically, there is an approximately 20-year average between the different editions of the Big Book (1st edition, 1939; 2nd edition, 1955; 3rd edition, 1976; 4th edition, 2001).
Do you agree with revising the appendices as requested? Why or Why Not?
3. Add a proposed addendum to a fifth Edition foreword of the book Alcoholics Anonymous at the time it is published.
Consider a proposed addendum to a Fifth Edition forward, of the book Alcoholics
Anonymous, at the time it is published. The addendum of gender terms is written with the intent that all who are seeking answers (help) for a drinking problem are encouraged to give Alcoholics Anonymous a try.
…We find there are many who find the gender terms of the Big Book somewhat insensitive in this era. AA addresses many "issues" people find problematic in the program but the bias of the gender terms in the Big Book are not undertaken anywhere that we can find…Our proposal mentions adding as an addendum and since this is what we voted on, I am not changing the wording but it is meant as an addition to the forward.
Do you agree with adding an addendum to the 5th edition? Why or Why Not?
Cooperation with the Professional Community
Discuss progress report on LinkedIn page implementation.
The majority opinion of the subcommittee is that Alcoholics Anonymous should have a Company Page on LinkedIn to enhance our cooperation with the professional community.
It would offer another digital resource in addition to our website where professionals could find accurate information about A.A. and where we could address misconceptions; it would broaden the reach of About A.A.; it could offer a venue for our professional friends to recommend us which is significant given the impact of peer to peer communication; it could expand the network of professional friends which could deepen the pool of Class A candidates; it could raise awareness of national and local professional conferences where A.A. would be exhibiting; and our presence on LinkedIn could reinforce the continuing relevance and efficacy of our Program.
Do you agree with the continuing LinkedIn Page for C.P.C. committees? Why or Why not?
Review the pamphlet “Self-Support: Where Money and Spirituality Mix.”
1. Consider a request to revise the pie chart percentages on page 12.
In the pamphlet ”Self-Support: Where Money and Spirituality Mix” on page 12, I would like to see the percentages on the pie chart changed back to the following:
30% to district
20% to area committee
10% to G.S.O.
40% to intergroup or central office
60% to district
30% to area
10% to G.S.O
Here is my reasoning. I do not think that group contributions to G.S.O. should have the same percentage (and certainly not a higher percentage) than district and Area because a district in our area has only a total of between 5 to 40 groups in which to receive group contributions coming in. (We all know that not 100% of groups are able to send any contributions at all.) Our area only has 200 some odd groups to receive contributions from. On the other hand G.S.O. has all the groups in Canada and the USA to receive contributions from. It seems logical that the less amount of groups you have to receive contributions from, the higher the percentage you need to get in order to carry the message locally.
Do you agree with the request to revise the piece chart percentages? Why or Why Not?
2. Consider request regarding contribution percentages to service entities.
Specifically, the center and bottom pie charts illustrated on page 13 of the pamphlet depict the seemingly sanctioned division of contribution funds between service entities. As the delivery of services varies, sometimes greatly, from Area to Area, and between districts, and among central offices/intergroups, we believe that GSO should not make any suggestions about contributions to these entities. Instead, we propose that the one pie chart without filled-in percentages (top illustration) be retained and the following text be added to p. 7 and p. 13: “Duties of the entities notated above are described on page 7 of this pamphlet. Performance of these service duties vary from area to area. Please be sure to inquire which services these entities provide in YOUR area and contribute accordingly.”
Our Area feels that the middle pie chart illustrated on page 13 of said pamphlet construes a seemingly sanctioned division of funds between 4 entities (10% to district; 10% to area committee; 30% to GSO and 50% to intergroup or central office).
Do you agree with revising the pie chart showing percentages NOT filled in and text added to p. 7 and 13? Why or Why not?
3. Consider draft language related to the “virtual basket.”
A number of groups have utilized digital payment platforms as an adjunct to passing the basket in the conventional sense in order to provide opportunities for cashless contributions. There are different payment platforms to facilitate this service and it is up to the group to determine which one to use. Some groups have found that a smartphone app-based payment platform is the most efficient, seamless and minimally disruptive solution for providing a digital contribution. Experience suggests that the treasurer is a likely choice to handle digital contributions, though some groups add more than one trusted servant to share the responsibilities or create a new service position to inform the group about digital payment options and assist other group members who are interested in contributing this way.
Do you agree with the request add draft language regarding virtual basket?? Why or Why Not?
Consider request to develop a Bridging the Gap Workbook
There are currently pamphlets available from GS0 regarding Bridging the Gap, but
there is not a BTG Workbook. The Bridging the Gap Workbook would combine the Most important aspects drawn from both the GS0 Corrections and Treatment Workbooks to achieve a complete understanding of the overall Bridging the Gap process.
Do you agree a Bridging the Gap workbook is needed? Why or Why Not?
Int’l Conventions/Regional Forums
Discuss methods of closing the Big Meetings at the International Convention.
"For the last 4 Internationals…the closings for the Big Meetings have been Friday night: Lord's Prayer, Saturday night: Serenity Prayer and Sunday morning: Responsibility Statement. …GSO has historically received communications in favor or against one or any of the closings. For the most part the communications have been evenly distributed. The current closing distribution hopes to include all views."
Do you have an opinion on how the big meetings should be closed? Why or Why Not?