with more than 300,000 members of A.A. who are sober today as the
direct result of taking all Twelve Steps in the Back to Basics A.A.
Beginners' Meetings and with more than 3, 000 weekly A.A. meetings
held throughout the United States, Canada and around the world,
there are still some in the recovery community who are not
familiar with or who are misinformed about our life-saving work.
Therefore, we will attempt to put in writing some guiding
principles so that if approached by someone who doesn't understand
what Back to Basic is all about, you can easily answer their
questions and alleviate their fears.
On numerous occasions in the
1950's, an A.A. pioneer from St. Louis shared from the podium
that, "TO BE CRITICIZED IN A.A., DO SOMETHING-ANYTHING!!!!!"
Well, we are doing something about our abysmal recovery rate,
and we fully expect to be criticized for it. But, we don't
conduct Beginners' Meetings to be popular, we conduct them TO
WE BELIEVE IN THE SOLE
PURPOSE OF AN A.A. GROUP
At Back to Basics A.A.
meetings we implement the A.A. principle established by Bill
W., our New York City co-founder, and approved three times by
the A.A. General Service Conference. We acknowledge and
affirm that taking people through the Twelve Steps is our
alcohol-- through the teaching and practice of the Twelve Steps
is the SOLE PURPOSE of an A.A. group. Groups have repeatedly
tried other activities, and they have ALWAYS failed. . . . If
we don't stick to these principles, we shall almost surely
collapse. And if we collapse, we cannot help anyone."
Bill W., The A.A.
Grapevine, Inc., February 1958
(Affirmed as a guiding
principle of A.A. and approved by the A.A. General Service
Conference in 1969, 1970 and 1972.)
WE PRACTICE THE TWELVE
At Back to Basics A.A.
Beginners' Meetings we practice all Twelve Traditions while
taking attendees through all Twelve Steps using the "Big Book"
of Alcoholics Anonymous. The long form of the Twelve
Traditions was published in the A.A. Grapevine in April 1946,
so the Traditions were in place at the time the A.A.
Beginners' Meetings played an integral part in our 50-75%
THE BACK TO BASICS A.A.
MEETING FORMAT IS NEITHER CONFERENCE APPROVED NOR CONFERENCE
DISAPPROVED--AND NEITHER IS ANY OTHER A.A. MEETING FORMAT
Back to Basics is nothing
more than an A.A. meeting format from the mid 1940's. It was
used by many of the A.A. pioneers to take newcomers through
all Twelve Steps in four one-hour sessions. It is a format
that was approved by many thousands of A.A. Groups in the
1940's and 1950's and has been approved by more than 3,000 A.A.
The General Service
Conference does not approve A.A. meeting formats. Each A.A.
group decides upon its meeting format based upon its group
conscience. There are many A.A. meeting formats-none of them
are "conference approved."
REGISTER YOUR BACK TO BASICS
A.A. GROUP WITH THE GENERAL SERVICE OFFICE
Many Back to Basics A.A.
Beginners Meetings are hosted by A.A. Groups that use their
existing Group name rather than a separate name to designate
their Beginners' Meetings. Others operate as "stand-alone"
To prevent any
misunderstanding with other A.A. groups, we suggest you
register your "stand-alone" Back to Basics Beginners' Meeting
as an A.A. Group with the General Service Office. You can
download the registration form from the website,
www.alcoholics-anonymous.org. At the main page, click on,
"Services to Members." At that page, click on,
"AA New Group
Form." It only takes a few minutes to fill in and return the
form to the General Service Office at Grand Central Station,
P.O. Box 459, New York, NY 10163. You will be issued an A.A.
Group Service Number in about thirty days.
Some Back to Basics
Beginners' Meetings have registered with GSO using something
other than "Back to Basics" in their Group name. This is
understandable because there are already thousands of Groups
registered as "Back to Basics" that are NOT A.A. Beginners'
Meetings. The name of the Group isn't important--saving lives
Some of the Back to Basics
Beginners' Meeting names that have been registered with GSO
are "Back to the Big Book Group", "Back to the 1940's
Group", "Take Twelve Group", "Big Book Step
Group", "Twelve Step Group", "Here Are The Steps We Took
Group", "Old Fashioned A.A. Group", etc. Whatever name you choose, please send your group
General Service Representative to the Area Service Assemblies
so your group conscience can be heard within the General
REGISTER YOUR GROUP WITH THE
LOCAL INTERGROUP OR CENTRAL OFFICE
Even though the local
Intergroup or Central Office isn't part of the General Service
Structure, it still provides many valuable services to the A.A.
Groups and Meetings in the area. One of its services is to
publish a local A.A. meeting list. To be included in the
meeting list, include your A.A. Group Service Number with your
Intergroup or Central Office registration form. Send your
Intergroup or Central Office Service Representative to the
monthly meetings so your group conscience can be heard at the
USE A BACK TO BASICS MEETING
LEADER GUIDE TO CONDUCT THE A.A. BEGINNERS' MEETINGS.
The Back to Basics Meeting
Leader Guide is designed to be used to conduct the A.A.
Beginners' meetings. It contains the format for the four
one-hour meetings and the handouts for the sessions. By
removing the yellow insert from the cover of the three-ringed
binder, the binder becomes completely anonymous.
To make copies of the
handouts, remove the masters from the plastic sleeves. Run
the masters through a copy machine and return them to the