Alcoholics Anonymous Guidelines Relationship Between AA and Al-Anon (from AA GSO New York)
The Fellowships of Alcoholic Anonymous and the Al-Anon Family Groups have a unique relationship. They are naturally drawn together by their close family ties, and yet the Twelve Traditions, the General Service Boards, and the General Service
Conferences of both Fellowships suggest that each functions more effectively if it remains “separate” co-operating but not affiliating with the other.
Each Fellowship has always had its own General Service Board, General Service Office, Conference, Publishing Company and World Directory. Each has established its own policies and maintained its own services. This separate functioning has served both AA and Al-Anon Family Groups well is a matter of fact AA’s policy of cooperation but not affiliation was established as long ago as the early I950’s and both Al-Anon and AA recognized at that time the importance of maintaining separate Fellowships.
However, from time to time, questions come to both AA and Al-Anon General Service Offices indicating confusion as to how AA and Al-Anon may best cooperate in the area of groups, inter groups or central services and area and regional conventions and get-togethers.
The staff members of the General Service Offices of A.A and Al-Anon met and discussed these questions and AA’s General Service Conference approved the following suggested Guidelines
Question: Should a group be affiliated with both AA and Al-Anon?
Answer: As the primary purpose of the AA Group is to help the sick alcoholic to recover and the primary purpose of the Al-Anon Family Group is to help the Al-Anon to live with herself or himself as well as with the alcoholic, it was suggested they not be combined but remain separate groups. This will enable both Fellowships to function within their Twelve Traditions and to carry their message more effectively. Thus the group name, the officers and the meeting should be either AA or AI-Anon but not both. Naturally, all are welcome to open meetings of both AA and Al-Anon groups.
Question: Should the word family be used in the name of an AA group?
Answer: AA group policy was reaffirmed that “only those with a desire to stop drinking may be members of AA groups and only AA members are eligible to be officers of AA groups. Therefore, it was suggested that the word family (long identified with AI-Anon) should not be used in the name of an AA group and family groups should not be listed under the Family group name in the AA World Directory.
Question: Should AA and Al-Anon have combined Central (or Intergroup) Services and Offices?
Answer: Both experience and the Twelve Traditions of AA and Al-Anon suggest that each Fellowship will function more effectively if each retains separate committees, separate staff and facilities for handling telephone and personal calls, as well as separate telephone answering services, intergroup activities, bulletins, meeting lists and all types of Twelfth Step services. Also that the members involved in each service committee or office be AA members, if an AA facility and Al-Anon if an AI-Anon facility.
Question: How may AA and Al-Anon cooperate in Area and Regional Conventions and get-togethers?
Answer: This answer depends on whether it is an AA convention or an Al-Anon convention The former are growing in number.
In accordance with the Twelve Traditions a convention would be either AA or Al-Anon not both. However, most AA convention committees invite Al-Anon to participate by planning their own programme, and the committee arranges for facilities for the Al-Anon meetings. If AA invites Al-Anon to anticipate in this matter, all expenses involved in the Al-Anon meetings are paid the funds of the AA convention committee.
Question: Should an AA Convention Committee make a contribution to Al-Anon from the financial profits of the Convention?
Answer: In accordance with the Self-Support Traditions of both Fellowships and to abide by the concept of co-operation but not affiliation,” it is suggested that AA should not make gifts or contributions to Al-Anon. By the same token, AA should not accept contributions from Al-Anon.
We think you will be interested in the resolution of gratitude to the Fellowship of the Al-Anon Family Groups which was unanimously approved by the 1969 General Service Conference of AA
The Delegates of this the 19th General Service Conference of Alcoholics Anonymous, meeting in official session in New York City, this 25th day of April, 1969, do hereby declare;
WHEREAS it is the desire of this Conference to confirm the relationship between Alcoholics Anonymous and the Al-Anon Family Groups, and
WHEREAS. it is the further desire of this Conference to acknowledge AA’s debt of gratitude to the Al-Anon Family Groups therefore,
BE IT RESOLVED, that Alcoholics Anonymous recognizes the special relationship which it enjoys with the Al-Anon Family Groups, a separate but similar Fellowship. And be it further resolved that Alcoholics Anonymous wishes to recognize, and hereby does recognize, the great contribution which the Al-Anon Family Groups have made and are making, in assisting the families of alcoholics everywhere.