TRADITION THREE

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Definition of Tradition: guideline for relationships between groups, members, other groups, the global fellowship, and society at large.
Synonyms of Tradition: guideline, principle, practice, etc.

These notes are from recovery in AA and/or related 12 step programs.
Readers are encouraged to click external links for more detail.
We hope you find them helpful.
Love in fellowship.

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Tradition Three – Identity: The only requirement for A.A. membership is a desire to stop drinking.

Our membership ought to include all who suffer from alcoholism. Hence we may refuse none who wish to recover.

Nor ought A.A. membership ever depend upon money or conformity. Any two or three alcoholics gathered together for sobriety may call themselves an A.A. group, provided that, as a group, they have no other affiliation. — 12 & 12 p.139-145 | More…

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At one time. . .every A.A. group had many membership rules. Everybody was scared witless that something or somebody would capsize the boat. . .

The total list was a mile long. If all those rules had been in effect everywhere, nobody could have possibly joined A.A. at all. I’m grateful that the Third Tradition only requires of me a desire to stop drinking. –Daily Reflections | More…

This Tradition (3) is packed with meaning. For A.A. is really saying to every serious drinker, “You are an A.A. member if you say so. –12 & 12 p.139 | More…

To establish this principle of membership took years of harrowing experience. In our early time, nothing seemed so fragile, so easily breakable as an A.A. group. –12 & 12 p.139 | More…

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A member gives us a vivid glimpse of those days. “At one time,” he says, “every A.A. group had many membership rules. We were resolved to admit nobody to A.A. but that hypothetical class of people we termed ‘pure alcoholics’. –12 & 12 p.140 | More…

How could we then guess that all those fears were to prove groundless? How could we know that thousands of these sometimes frightening people were to make astonishing recoveries and become our greatest workers and intimate friends? Why did A.A. finally drop all its membership regulations? –12 & 12 p.140-141 | More…

As group after group saw these possibilities, they finally abandoned all membership regulations. A newcomer appeared at one of these groups, knocked on the door and asked to be let in. –12 & 12 p.141 | More…

At first the elders could look only at the objections. Overjoyed, the newcomer plunged into Twelfth Step work. –12 & 12 p.142 | More…

Not long after the man with the double stigma knocked for admission, A.A.’s other group received into its membership a salesman we shall call Ed. –12 & 12 p.143 | More…

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The 12 Traditions of AA are a set of guidelines for how the organization should function. They were developed by the early members in response to problems as they arose.

The 12 Traditions first appeared as a set of /  principles in 1946. It is unlikely that AA could have survived so many years without these guiding regulations. | More…

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