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There Is A Solution!

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RA RA's Logo There Is A Solution! The E-Newsletter of Recoveries Anonymous; The Solution Focused Twelve Step Fellowship.
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Introducing R.A.’s 12 TraditionsRA
The spiritual principles by which R.A.'s members, R.A.'s groups, and R.A.'s fellowship relate to each other and to the people around us. RA
    This is the next in a series of articles about R.A.'s Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions. Even though A.A. has granted us permission to adapt the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, Recoveries Anonymous is a unique Fellowship with a distinctive way of looking at and working the Twelve Steps and the Twelve Traditions. R.A.'s experience is that, when someone thoroughly follows the pioneers' "clear-cut directions," they will duplicate the pioneers' results. They will find the same recovery that the pioneers found.RA
    We have been previewing chapters from R.A.'s upcoming new book, R.A.'s Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions Revealed. It seemed to make sense to start previewing the traditions with the chapter detailing R.A.'s understanding of the First Tradition. However, that meant we did not preview the chapter "Introducing R.A.'s Twelve Traditions." We are now correcting that omission.RA
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    Within R.A., we have found that the Twelve Traditions contain spiritual principles. These principles provide us with practical spiritual guidelines. Following them produces informed R.A. members. R.A.'s experience is that these members will know their rights and responsibilities within their R.A. Group. They will also learn how their R.A. Group functions. In addition, they will understand the way that their R.A. Group connects to the other R.A. Groups, to the entire R.A. Fellowship, and to the rest of the world. They will be more effective in their efforts to help others. They will be able to utilize R.A.'s program of recovery to its fullest potential.RA
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LquoteWithin R.A., we have found
that the Twelve Traditions
contain spiritual principles. These principles provide us with practical spiritual guidelines.
Rquote
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    In R.A., we believe that the foundation for what would later become the Twelve Traditions was laid when Bill Wilson first met Dr. Bob Smith. This was on Sunday, May 12, 1935. Bill was put in touch with Dr. Bob because they were both members of the Oxford Groups. This was a popular spiritual movement of the day. The Oxford Groups were open to anyone, with any problems or behaviors, as well as those just seeking spiritual growth. It sought to bring about a spiritual healing through surrender to God. The pioneers embraced the spiritual principles they learned in the Oxford Groups. They also perfected and enlarged upon the program of action that the Oxford Groups had followed. The pioneers' efforts resulted in the creation of the Twelve Step program of recovery.RA
    In 1936, the Oxford Groups received some bad publicity. This was the result of their involvement in the political and social issues of the day. Therefore, they had to change their name. By 1938, they had almost disappeared. In addition, the Oxford Groups had rarely been successful when they tried to help alcoholics. Therefore, the pioneers' focus on helping alcoholics resulted in criticism from some of the other members of the Oxford Groups. They felt that the pioneers were wasting their time. The collapse of the Oxford Groups made an impression on the pioneers. So did the animosity that was directed at them for working with alcoholics. Eventually, these experiences would play a vital role in the creation of the Twelve Traditions.RA
    Bill and Dr. Bob started working with others soon after they met. By the fall of 1938, thanks to their efforts, there were approximately one hundred recovered alcoholics. They made comments and suggestions to Bill as he wrote what is now called the Multilith Copy of the Big Book. It contains the first group conscience approved version of the pioneers' "clear-cut directions" for working the Twelve Steps. In April of 1939, the hardcover First Edition of the Big Book was published. The fellowship began to grow very quickly. This rapid growth soon raised many issues.RA
    The pioneers discuss these questions in R.A.'s Multilith Big Book, on page V, in the second paragraph. They say, "Our Society then entered a fearsome and exciting adolescent period. The test that it faced was this: Could these large numbers of erstwhile erratic alcoholics successfully meet and work together? Would there be quarrels over membership, leadership, and money? Would there be strivings for power and prestige? Would there be schisms which would split A.A. apart? Soon A.A. was beset by these very problems on every side and in every group. But out of this frightening and at first disrupting experience the conviction grew that A.A.'s had to hang together or die separately. We had to unify our Fellowship or pass off the scene."RA
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LquoteAs we discovered the principles
by which the individual alcoholic could live, so we had to evolve principles by which the A.A. groups and A.A. as a whole could survive
and function effectively.
Rquote
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    Then, in R.A.'s Multilith Big Book, on page V, in the third paragraph, the pioneers share how they solved these problems. They say, "As we discovered the principles by which the individual alcoholic could live, so we had to evolve principles by which the A.A. groups and A.A. as a whole could survive and function effectively. It was thought that no alcoholic man or woman could be excluded from our Society; that our leaders might serve but never govern; that each group was to be autonomous and there was to be no professional class of therapy. There were to be no fees or dues; our expenses were to be met by our own voluntary contributions. There was to be the least possible organization, even in our service centers. Our public relations were to be based upon attraction rather than promotion. It was decided that all members ought to be anonymous at the level of press, radio, TV and films. And in no circumstances should we give endorsements, make alliances, or enter public controversies."RA
    The pioneers based these principles on over ten years of experience. The process that led to their creation is detailed in A.A. Comes of Age starting on page 203, in the first paragraph. Bill explains that, as early as 1945, many letters were coming into the fellowship's office. Members and groups were asking for help resolving issues that had come up. In the second paragraph, Bill says that these letters would eventually provide the "basic ideas" for the Twelve Traditions. Bill then says that, late in 1945, a friend of the program made the suggestion that they use the contents of these letters, and the responses to them, to write a "set of principles." These principles would not be rules or laws. However, they could act as guides for every level of the fellowship. Everyone could refer to them for the answers to any questions they might have.RA
    Bill's biography, Pass It On, gives us more details. It does this on page 306, in the second paragraph. It says that the "Twelve Points to Assure Our Future" were first printed in the April 1946 issue of A.A.'s magazine, The Grapevine. It then says that Bill followed up by writing an editorial about each point. The first editorial was published in December 1946. It was titled, "On Tradition One." In each editorial, Bill described the circumstances that lead to the creation of that tradition. He also explained why that tradition was needed by the fellowship. These editorials were also published in A.A.'s magazine, The Grapevine.RA
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Lquote[Bill] says that within
a few years the members of the fellowship could see that the Twelve Traditions were just as important as the Twelve Steps.
Rquote
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    In A.A. Comes of Age, on page 204, in the first paragraph, Bill shares about the fellowship's reaction to the Twelve Traditions. He says that only the groups that were having problems seemed to appreciate them. Most groups initially did not like them. Some simply thought that they were an unnecessary complication. Other groups, especially those that had strict membership requirements, were absolutely against them. RA
    The most likely reason for this opposition is made clear in Pass It On. On page 305, in the third paragraph, it says that in 1943 the office contacted each group. They asked the groups to send a list of any rules and requirements that they had regarding membership. The results covered many sheets of paper. Bill and the others in the office were surprised. They realized that, if every group had enforced all these rules at once, almost no one would have ever been allowed into the program. Bill says that ninety percent of the pioneers would not have been able to join the fellowship.RA
    In A.A. Comes of Age, on page 204, in the second paragraph, Bill writes about what he did after he received these mostly negative reactions to the Twelve Traditions. Bill says that he and his wife, Lois, visited groups around the U.S. and Canada. He would talk to their members about the Twelve Traditions. Many people came to these meetings. Unfortunately, most of them were not interested in hearing what Bill had to say about this topic.RA
    However, on page 204, in the third paragraph, Bill says this lack of interest among the members did not last. He says that over time their attitude began to change. He says that within a few years the members of the fellowship could see that the Twelve Traditions were just as important as the Twelve Steps. RA
    Then, on page 204, in the fourth paragraph, Bill writes that he did not consider himself to be the author of the Twelve Traditions. Bill says that he just wrote down the spiritual principles that had already been developed. He says that this happened as the result of answering the letters that members had sent to the office asking for help in resolving problems. Bill then gives credit to the staff at the office. He says that, without these people, the Twelve Traditions would never have been created.RA
    Later, Bill writes about the first international convention. He does this in A.A. Comes of Age, on page 212, starting in the bottom paragraph. Bill says that this convention was held in the summer of 1950. He goes on to say that about 3,000 people attended. He also shares that this is where Dr. Bob made his last appearance. Most important, Bill shares that it was at this convention where the Twelve Traditions were formally approved by a unanimous voice vote.RA
    This is a preview of the chapter "Introducing R.A.'s Twelve Traditions" that will be in "R.A.'s Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions Revealed" which will be published in the coming year.RA
View an HTML version of R.A.'s Twelve Traditions!  Download R.A.'s Meetings Guide!
 
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The Spiritual Principles in the Twelve TraditionsRA
This section is intended to clarify some of the common misunderstandings about the Twelve Traditions. In R.A., we believe that everyone has the right to work the program in any way they wish. However, sometimes a misunderstanding can have serious consequences. It can delay someone's recovery. It can cause him or her to blame themselves for their lack of success. It can make them feel guilty. When a newcomer comes to R.A., we believe that we have an obligation to correct these misunderstandings. An R.A. newcomer can then effectively apply the spiritual principles in the Twelve Traditions to his or her life. We have tried to do this in a way that is not critical of other programs or the well-intentioned people in them.RA
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LquoteR.A.'s experience
is that there are several misunderstandings about
the Twelve Traditions.
Rquote
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——————RA
    R.A.'s experience is that there are several misunderstandings about the Twelve Traditions. These misunderstandings are common in some of the other programs. When newcomers from these programs come to R.A., they sometimes say that they were told things that have hindered their recovery. For instance, some were told that they should ignore the Twelve Traditions. They were told that the Twelve Traditions have nothing to do with their recovery. Sometimes they were told that the Twelve Traditions are only for those who are doing service at the group or fellowship level.RA
    In R.A., we have a different perspective on each of these issues. R.A. has discovered that newcomers need to learn about the Twelve Traditions, not ignore them. In R.A., we have found that the spiritual principles in the Twelve Traditions often play a vital role in helping an R.A. newcomer to find and maintain their recovery. In R.A., we have also found that the Twelve Traditions apply to everyone, even if they are not doing service for their group or the fellowship. Therefore, within R.A., we discuss the Twelve Traditions with them. We guide newcomers through the Twelve Traditions. We help them to understand their rights, and their responsibilities under the Twelve Traditions.RA
    Within R.A., we have also found that learning about the Twelve Traditions has another benefit. A newcomer who knows their rights and responsibilities will have a level of protection against anyone who tries to control or manipulate them. In R.A., we have often heard of this happening from people who come to us from other programs. They describe how they were encouraged to become dependent upon their sponsor or their group instead of God. Then, their sponsors and groups tried to take control of their personal lives. They were told what to do about private matters. They were threatened when they refused. They were told that they would be expelled from that group.RA
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LquoteIn R.A., we have found that the spiritual principles in the Twelve Traditions often play a vital role in helping an R.A. newcomer to find
and maintain their recovery.
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    R.A.'s experience is that these situations can be very harmful. The newcomer may leave the program. At best, their recovery may be delayed. In R.A., we have found that understanding the first three traditions can be particularly helpful for a newcomer in these situations.RA
    R.A.'s First Tradition makes it clear that our program protects each member's right to think, to speak, and to behave in any way they wish. No one has the authority to force anyone to do anything. No one can be disciplined or excluded from the group. RA
    The Second Tradition will let them know that the group conscience only applies to decisions made by the group. It assures them that no one has the right to tell them what to do in their personal life. They will know that they simply need to follow their own God-given direction and guidance in all things. RA
    The Third Tradition will let them know that they are full members of Recoveries Anonymous when they say that they are. They will understand that no one has the power to limit their membership in any way. No one can expel them from the fellowship.RA
    This is a preview of the chapter "Introducing R.A.'s Twelve Traditions" that will be in "R.A.'s Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions Revealed" which will be published in the coming year.RA
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  A page from R.A.'s Journal Of Recovery.
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The Miracles Revealed:
R.A.’s Journal of Recovery
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The page to the right is from R.A.'s second book, "The Miracles Revealed: R.A.'s Journal Of Recovery." This book will give even the most experienced person a fresh look at the program. You can read it like a daily journal, or you can read it straight through. R.A.'s Journal will help everyone come to a deeper understanding of our program of recovery. If you enjoy this sample, please visit R.A.'s web site and download a copy of "The Miracles Revealed: R.A.'s Journal of Recovery."RA
A Story of RecoveryRA
Our experience is that the stories in the original Multilith Big Book were written to validate the pioneers' "clear-cut directions" for working the Twelve Steps. To help your recovery, we encourage you to visit R.A.'s web site and get "The Original Way Out Revealed: R.A.'s Annotated Multilith Big Book" and read all of these original stories. The following passage is from the story "A FEMININE VICTORY." In R.A.'s Annotated Multilith Big Book, in the personal story section, on page PS18 it says:RA
RA"When I was divorced, I thought the cause had been removed. I felt that being away from what I had considered injustice and ill treatment would solve the problem of my unhappiness. In a little over a year I was in the alcoholic ward of a public hospital!RA
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"It was there that L... came to me. I had known her very slightly ten years before. My ex-husband brought her to me hoping that she could help. She did. From the hospital I went home with her.RA
RA"There, her husband told me the secret of his rebirth. It is not really a secret at all, but something free and open to all of us. He asked me if I believed in God or some power greater than myself. Well, I did believe in God, but at that time I hadn't any idea what He is. As a child I had been taught my "Now I lay me's" and "Our Father which art in Heaven." I had been sent to Sunday School and taken to church. I had been baptized and confirmed. I had been taught to realize there is a God and to "love" Him. But though I had been taught all these things, I had never learned them.RA
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LquoteYou admit you've made a
mess of things trying to run
them your way, are you willing
to make a decision?
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RA"When B... (L's husband) began to talk about God, I felt pretty low in my mind. I thought God was something that I, and lots of other people like me, had to worry along without. Yet I had always had the "prayer habit." In fact I used to say in my mind "Now, if God answers this prayer, I'll know there is a God." It was a great system, only somehow it didn't seem to work!RA
RA"Finally B... put it to me this way: "You admit you've made a mess of things trying to run them your way, are you willing to make a decision? Are you willing to say: "Here it is God, all mixed up. I don't know how to un mix it, I'll leave it to you." Well, I couldn't quite do that. I wasn't feeling very well, and I was afraid I'd make a decision and later when the fog wore off, I'd want to back out. So we let it rest a few days. L and B sent me to stay with some friends of theirs out of town—I'd never seen them before. The man of that house, P... had made his decision three months before. After I had been there a few days, I saw that P... and his wife had something that made them mighty hopeful and happy. But I got a little uneasy going into a perfect stranger's home and staying day after day. I said this to P... and his reply was: "Why, you don't know how much it is helping me to have you here." Was that a surprise! Always before that when I was recovering from a tailspin I'd been just a pain in the neck to everyone. So, I began to sense in a small way just what these spiritual principles were all about.RA
RA"Finally I very self consciously and briefly asked God to show me how to do what He wanted me to do. My prayer was just about as weak and helpless a thing as one could imagine, but it taught me how to open my mouth and pray earnestly and sincerely. However, I had not quite made the grade. I was full of fears, shames, and other "bug a boos" and two weeks later an incident occurred that put me on the toboggan again. I seemed to feel that the hurt of that incident was too great to endure without some "release." So I forsook Spirit in favor of "spirits" and that evening I was well on the way to a long session with my old enemy "liquor." I begged the person in whose home I was living not to let anyone know, but she, having good sense, got in touch right away with those who had helped me before and very shortly they had rallied round.RA
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LquoteAre you willing to say:
'Here it is God, all mixed up.
I don't know how to un mix it,
I'll leave it to you.'
Rquote
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RA"I was eased out of the mess and in a day or two I had a long talk with one of the group. I dragged out all my sins of commission and omission, I told everything I could think of that might be the cause of creating a fear situation, or a remorse situation, or a shame situation. It was pretty terrible, I thought then, to lay myself bare that way, but I know now that such is the first step away from the edge of the precipice.RA
RA"Things went very well for quite a while, then came a dull rainy day. I was alone. The weather and my self pity began to cook up a nice dish of the blues for me. There was liquor in the house and I found myself suggesting to myself "Just one drink will make me feel so much more cheerful." Well, I got the Bible and "Victorious Living" and sitting down in full view of the bottle of whiskey, I commenced to read, I also prayed. But I didn't say "I must not take that drink because I owe it to so and so not to." I didn't say "I won't take that drink because I'm strong enough to resist temptation." I didn't say "I must not" or "I will not" at all. I simply prayed and read and in half an hour I got up and was absolutely free of the urge for a drink.RA
RA"It might be very grand to be able to say "Finis" right here, but I see now I hadn't gone all the way I was intended to go. I was still coddling and nursing my two pets, self pity and resentment. Naturally, I came a cropper once more. This time I went to the telephone (after I had taken about two drinks) and called L to tell her what I had done. She asked me to promise that I would not take another drink before someone came to me. Well, I had learned enough about truthfulness to refuse to give that promise. Had I been living after the old pattern, I would have been ashamed to call for help. In fact I should not have wanted help. I should have tried to hide the fact that I was drinking and continued until I again wound up behind the "eight ball." I was taken back to B's home where I stayed for three weeks. The drinking ended the morning after I got there, but the suffering continued for some time. I felt desperate and I questioned my ability to really avail myself of the help that the others had received and applied so successfully. Gradually, however, God began to clear my channels so that real understanding began to come. Then was the time when full realization and acknowledgement came to me. It was realization and acknowledgement of the fact that I was full of self pity and resentment, realization of the fact that I had not fully given my problems to God. I was still trying to do my own fixing.RA
RA"That was more than a year ago. Since then, although circumstances are no different, for there are still trials and hardships and hurts and disappointments and disillusionments, the two sins of self pity and resentment are being forgiven and eliminated. In this past year I haven't been tempted once. I have no more idea of taking a drink to aid me through a difficult period than I would if I had never drank. But I know absolutely that the minute I close my channels with sorrow for myself, or being hurt by, or resentful toward anyone, I am in horrible danger.RA
RA"I know that my victory is none of my human doing. I know that I must keep myself worthy of Divine help. And the glorious thing is this: I am free, I am happy, and perhaps I am going to have the blessed opportunity of "passing it on." I say in all reverence—Amen."
 
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A Newcomer AsksRA
This section has a question from a newcomer. It also includes the answer they were given. Most R.A. newcomers have received confusing information while they were in other programs. In R.A., we believe that we have a responsibility to clear up their confusion. We try to do this in a way that does not criticize other programs or the well-meaning people in them. We trust that this information will help you in your efforts to carry R.A.'s message of hope, sanity, and recovery to those who still suffer.RA
Q"I used to be part of a group that did not follow the Twelve Traditions. This group did not believe in or use A.A.'s 12&12. They would only let its members read the front of the Big Book. They had me rip out, and throw away, everything in the Big Book after Dr. Bob's story. They also did not use any of the other A.A. books. They said that Bill had written the 12&12 and the other A.A. books without any help. They said that he had just imposed them on the program. I am now working with an R.A. Sponsor. She is encouraging me to get a new copy of the Big Book and read all the stories in it so I can compare them to the original stories in R.A.'s Multilith Big Book. She also suggests that I get all the additional books that are on R.A.'s list of suggested literature. This includes the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions. If it is true that Bill wrote this and each of the other A.A. books without any help or input from the fellowship, why are you recommending them?"RA
QBill Wilson did write the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions. This book is usually called A.A.'s 12&12. He also wrote several other books that are on the list of R.A.'s Suggested Literature. However, the rest of what you were told is not accurate. For example, Bill first wrote the Twelve Traditions. They were published in A.A.'s magazine, The Grapevine, in April of 1946. This gave the members of the fellowship the opportunity to read and comment on them.RA
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LquoteBill Wilson did write
the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions. This book is usually called A.A.'s 12&12.
Rquote
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RAThen, Bill wrote editorials about each of the Twelve Traditions. Every month they were also published in The Grapevine. This started with, "On Tradition One," in December of 1947. Everyone in the fellowship had the opportunity to read them and comment on them. The Twelve Traditions were approved by the fellowship. This happened at the first international convention in 1950. RA
RAIn Bill's biography, Pass It On, it describes what Bill did next. On page 353, in the third paragraph, it says that Bill expanded the editorials that he had written for The Grapevine into longer essays. It says that these essays were for use in A.A.'s book, Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions. It says that this process started as soon as the First General Service Conference ended. This was in April of 1951. It goes on to say that, once he had finished the essays about the Twelve Traditions, Bill started writing the essays about the Twelve Steps.RA
RAThen, on page 354, in the second paragraph, it describes the method that Bill used for writing the essays about the Twelve Steps. It says that he used the same process that had worked so well for creating the Big Book. It says that he also used this same process to assemble the Second Edition of the Big Book, as well as to write A.A. Comes of Age. RA
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Lquote[Bill] then says that the
completed draft of the manuscript was sent out to many people for additional comments and suggestions.
Rquote
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RAIn A.A. Comes of Age, on page 219, starting in the third paragraph, Bill goes into more details about his writing process. He says that he had an "editorial team" to help him. He says that it consisted of Betty L., and Tom P. He says that they had started work on the essays for A.A.'s Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions early in 1952. He then says that the completed draft of the manuscript was sent out to many people for additional comments and suggestions. Bill says that this included the program's friends in the fields of medicine as well as religion. He says that it was also sent to many long-time A.A. members. They published the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions in 1953. RA
RAThe fellowship had approximately one hundred members in late 1938. This is when Bill started writing the Big Book. He wrote the Big Book using the same process he would later use to write other books for the fellowship. He would write a draft and then send it to the members for comments. He would then revise what he had written to include these suggestions. He would continue this process until the group conscience approved the final version. In The Language of the Heart, on page 145 and again on page 200, Bill describes himself as being more of an "umpire" than he was an author. RA
RAThe fellowship had grown to over 100,000 members by 1952. This is the year that Bill started writing the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions. This book was published in 1953. The fellowship had grown to over 150,000 members by 1955. This is when Bill assembled the Second Edition of the Big Book. The fellowship continued to grow and had over 200,000 members in 1957. This is when A.A. Comes of Age was published. Bill wrote these books using the same process he had used to write the Big Book. The tens of thousands of members that were in the fellowship when these books were published would never have agreed to accept them if they had not first been edited and approved by the group conscience.RA
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LquoteIn R.A., we believe that there is
no question that the book, Twelve
Steps and Twelve Traditions,
was
edited and approved by the group conscience of the fellowship.
Rquote
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RAThis is especially true when the Second Tradition is taken into account. This tradition is detailed in A.A.'s Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions. This tradition discusses the importance of making decisions by subjecting them to an informed group conscience for approval. This same tradition describes the program's leaders as being "but trusted servants." This tradition also assures us that the program's leaders "do not govern." In R.A., we believe that there is no question that the book, Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, was edited and approved by the group conscience of the fellowship. We also believe that this is true for each of the other books that Bill wrote for the program.
    This is a preview of the chapter "Introducing R.A.'s Twelve Traditions" that will be in "R.A.'s Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions Revealed" which will be published in the coming year.RA
 
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R.A.’s “How To Begin…” GuidesRA
To find out more about our Twelve Step Fellowship, and how you can get started working the Twelve Steps of our Solution Focused Program of Recovery, we suggest that you visit our web site and Download R.A.'s "How To Begin…" guides. This includes R.A.'s Newcomer Guide, "How To Begin Living In The Solution."

R.A.’s Solution Focused BooksRA
Move up to the next step in your search for recovery by downloading and reading the PDF versions of R.A.'s Solution Focused Books. We do not charge for the PDF versions of our books. Instead, we give the passwords needed to open our books to thank those who support our efforts to help others. You can show your support by making a small, one time, tax-free contribution to R.A., or, if you truly cannot afford to make a contribution at this time, by filling out our Feedback Form. RA
    If you are reading this, you have probably spent a lot of time and energy trying things that did not work out the way you hoped they would. Doesn't it make sense to invest a little more time and energy in this time-proven method of finding the recovery you've been seeking? As the pioneers promise in the Multilith Big Book: ''It works—it really does. Try it.''

R.A. Is Self-supportingRA
If R.A. has helped you, please consider making a contribution in support of our efforts to help others.

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For more information about our Twelve Step Program Of Recovery visit our web site at www.R-A.org

 
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