Neither [A.A.’s] General Service board … nor the humblest group committee can issue a single directive to an A.A. member and make it stick.

—Twelve and Twelve, p. 173

How John W. learned there are no rules in knife fights: Watching Paul Newman’s opponent hit the ground in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. Makes sense to most drunks. A.A. should never be organized.

​ Melissa M. made a career of moving from country to country to avoid looking at the carnage she had created. Bree L. tells how Kathleen C.’s sister used the b-word to help her get sober. Also in this issue: The sense of purpose driving the survival of members and their meetings. The general service committee suggests ways groups can communicate about keeping meetings safe for newcomers.

Rules? In a knife fight?

A sense of purpose drives the survival of members

Our common welfare comes first, as Carla H. sums up (after adding emotional sobriety maintenance to her toolbox of coping mechanisms). We are the anarchists who rebel against the rules. The paradox is: We are the ones with the message we have been waiting for.

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